Saturday, July 31, 2010

Our God is Greater...

I've been doing some reflecting lately about my mother.  You see 2 years ago August she was in the ICU and it was a terrible experience for me because I wasn't allowed to talk to her.  You can read more about the saga here.  Anyway, I've really trying to make peace in my soul about the situation, because I can't really do anything on the outside about it.  I've sent my mother letters and she just won't talk to me.  So, I've got to find some way to forgive her for the pain this has caused me and my family.  I've been praying and praying for God to help me to forgive her.  I was talking with a friend about it today and what she told me is in the bulk of this week's song...  Our God is bigger....  Let go let God etc :)  I'm still praying for reconciliation.  I'm still praying for forgiveness and the ability to forgive.  I'm still praying for peace.

Our God- Chris Tomlin

Water You turned into wine
Open the eyes of the blind
There’s no one like You
None like You
Into the darkness You shine
Out of the ashes we rise
There’s no one like You
None like You

Our God is greater, our God is stronger
God You are higher than any other
Our God is Healer, awesome in power
Our God, Our God…

Into the darkness you shining
Out of the ashes we Rise
There’s no One like You
None like You.

Our God is greater, our God is stronger
God You are higher than any other
Our God is Healer, awesome in power
Our God, Our God…
Our God is greater, our God is stronger
God You are higher than any other
Our God is Healer, awesome in power
Our God, Our God…

And if Our God is for us, then who could ever stop us
And if our God is with us, then what can stand against?
And if Our God is for us, then who could ever stop us
And if our God is with us, then what can stand against?
What can stand against?

Our God is greater, our God is stronger
God You are higher than any other
Our God is Healer, awesome in power
Our God, Our God…
Our God is greater, our God is stronger
God You are higher than any other
Our God is Healer, awesome in power
Our God, Our God…

And if Our God is for us, then who could ever stop us
And if our God is with us, then what can stand against?
And if Our God is for us, then who can ever stop us
And if our God is with us, then what can stand against?
Then what can stand against?
Then what can stand against?

Our God is greater, our God is stronger
God You are higher than any other
Our God is Healer, awesome in power
Our God, Our God…
Our God is greater, our God is stronger
God You are higher than any other
Our God is Healer, awesome in power
Our God, Our God…

Friday, July 30, 2010

What's in a name

It's been raining here.  And Raining.  And Raining.  Did I mention rain?????  My backyard is now a state sponsored grassland and a habitat for new species that they didn't even know existed- until now.  Glad we could be of service to the great state of TEXAS!  :)

So, what do you do with 4 kids in a very tiny house when it just won't stop raining?  Crafts!  We recently painted the Chick's room, and since then I've had an idea in my brain of their names on their walls.  So, today I finally got to Hobby Lobby and got the letters and paint and the 4 kids and I sat at the table and painted the letters, which will go up in the babies' rooms.  Even the chick painted~!  Yes, my 18 month old painted the "S"....... and the table..... and her lips...... and her hands..... and her cup..... and....  Oh  - sorry!  I got distracted for a second..  LOL  I wish I could show you how they came together on the wall, but that will have to be a post for after the adoption.  For now, just imagine- and go buy your kids some letters and paint.  It was really inexpensive and it turned out WAY cuter than I thought it would!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Home School Curriculums

Many people ask me the same questions when they find out we homeschool:

  • How do you do it?
  • Do you take state tests?
  • What curriculum do you use?
So, here's your answers :)

How do you do it?

My best answer for this is I have no idea!  I wrestled with the decision to homeschool for three years! I prayed about it, thought about it, researched it...  You see, as much as I would like you to believe that I am the perfect homemaker with the perfect children all properly dressed lined up in a row, with polite mannerisms, I am not that person.  There are many days that my house is a complete disaster.  There are days that I do nothing but holler at the kids (I HATE those days).  There are days when I can't even find my left shoe, let alone something important.  There are days I can't seem to get anywhere on time..  (I HATE to be late)...  I am NOT organized.  At. All.  Remember, I'm reading Homeschooling at the Speed of Life: Balancing Home, School, and Family in the Real World with CDROM and One Year to an Organized Life: From Your Closets to Your Finances, the Week-by-Week Guide to Getting Completely Organized for Good????  In fact, when I told my husband I thought we should homeschool, his answer was something like this:  "How are you going to do THAT???  You are SOOOO not organized!".......  Hmmpf

But God.

That's my answer.  I don't know how I do it.  But God does.  He will equip you to whatever He calls you.  I believe that to be true.  I've seen it over and over and over again.  Heck, I got 2 babies in less than a year, and continued homeschooling, and continued everything else!!!  How?  But God.

Do you Take State Tests?

No, we are not required to take any standardized testing.  However, that does not mean we don't.  What I have done with my kids, is I have them take the Stanford Achievement Test every 2 years.  That helps me to know that we're on the right track and still progressing along according to other peoples' standards.  And, each time, my boys have tested several grade levels above their own!  No I'm not tooting my own horn, just reiterating the But God thing again :)  And now as we enter the High School Realm they will take all the same tests other High Schoolers take- PSAT, SAT, ACT etc...

What Curriculum Do You Use?
I don't use any one particular curriculum across the board.  I use a mixture of several based on what fits us best.  I'll go through each kid:

The Chick:
She's only 18 months old, so very little formal schooling at this point.  However, she's exceptionally bright, so I'm starting to work with her a little.  We do a lot of drawing, coloring, playdough etc.  We'll do some preschool style art projects over the year too.  We read a LOT of books.  I'm considering using a new curriculum from Heavenly Homemakers called "Learn Your Letters, Learn to Serve". It looks really good, and it's pretty inexpensive too....

He's doing a mixture of 6th/7th grade this year.

9th Grade...  Already!
As you can see, he has a very full load this year!  (Here's that But God thing again!)

My basic thought on homeschooling is each family should do what works for them.  If your family needs more structure, go with something that affords that.  If your family needs less structure, go with that :)  There is so much stuff out there for homeschoolers, that you can do it anyway that suits you!

I spend time in the summer putting our lesson plans together, and we start in August and finish up by the first part of May.  We're really done with school by then, so it works best for us to do that :)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


Ever feel like time is just flying by?  Wednesday of last week my husband was put on special assignment, which required him to go to night shift with no days off.  When we got married (a LONG time ago) he was on night shift and remained on night shift for the first 12 years of our marriage.  It's only been recently that he has been on days and I finally feel like we have a *somewhat* normal life.  I never tire of him coming home in the evening for dinner.  I may be tired when I get up with him in the morning, but I count it a blessing.  So, this week he's been on night shift and I'm reminded of just how much I love day shift!  I feel like we are just ships passing in the night.  We've had very little conversation, because he's just too dad gum tired, and I'm trying to keep 4 kids quiet during the day.  I'm ready for this to be over now LOL....

Which got me to thinking about time, and how fast it flies.  It seems like just yesterday we brought Auston home from the hospital.  The cat didn't know what to do with him, and quite frankly, neither did we!!!  We were scared to death.  But I can see it like it was yesterday.  Now he's almost 14 and turning into a man.  Ugh.  We start high school this year and that makes me realize that in just a few years he'll be off!....  What will I do without him here every day?  I can't even bear the thought.  I know I have to let go, and I have to be strong for him, and I will, but inside I'm just trying to grab hold of time and slow it down.  When I was growing up my parents couldn't wait to get me out of there...  I can't imagine that.  And Greg is right behind him, growing up WAY faster than I want him to.  He's interested in girls, and I mean REALLY interested, and starting to pull away from mom a little.  What?  WHY?  I didn't authorize this!  He's supposed to be my baby!!!   And then there's the chick, who is just 18 months old and acts like a 3 year old....  Um excuse me- I got you so I could have a baby again...  Quit growing up so stinkin fast!!!!  And you, Mr. Goat....  Don't even get me started!!!  You are not allowed to follow suit with the rest of these traitors..  You, my precious baby boy must remain just that- my precious baby boy....  Do you hear me????

Why are they not listening to me?????

So, today, on GratiTuesday, I am thankful for the time.  I'm so very thankful that I can stay home and be here when my family needs me.  I am thankful that I can take my husband lunch at his extra job.  I'm thankful that I can homeschool my children and spend that much more time with them, because even though I am right here all the time, I still feel like I'm missing stuff.  I'm thankful that for the most part my kids want to be with me, and I hope that never ever changes.  And yes, I'm thankful that they're growing up.  I know.  Surprising, huh?  I'm thankful that they're growing up because they're really great kids, all four of them and I just know they are going to do really great things.  They make me so proud.  They have incredible hearts.  I just hope I'm half as good as they are.

This post is linked to GratiTuesday on Heavenlyhomemakers :)

Monday, July 26, 2010

Menu Monday


Ok, so last week didn't go exactly as planned, I had planned a night of eating out because we were supposed to take my father in law his truck, and I was excited at the idea that I could finally get his brisket out of my freezer, which desperately needs to be emptied, and then he got someone else to do it for him, so the brisket is still in my freezer and I spent a lot of Tuesday wondering what we should do about dinner......  Flexibility.... It is the name of the game, right?

So- To the husband and children who also read this blog, here is my disclaimer:  This menu plan is to be used as a general guideline which may or may happen as prescribed.  In the event that I decide we will have something different for dinner, or I'm not cooking at all there will be no complaining of any type.

There :)

Ok, with that said, here is this week's menu:

Monday:  Chicken and Macaroni and Cheese

Tuesday:  Snack Dinner (AKA Left Overs, AKA Mama aint cookin! :)

Wednesday:  Taco Soup

Thursday:  Ham and Potatoes Dinner (We're having company LOL)

Friday:  Pizza- I'm gonna try to make my own Pizza dough....  We'll see!

Saturday:  Burgers, Ranch Potatoes

Sunday:  Spaghetti, Salad, Garlic Bread

Lunches we usually do left overs or sandwiches.  Lunch is not a real big affair around here....
I'm going to try something with breakfast- we'll see how well it works out...  I'm not buying any cereal, and I know one child who may have a problem with this...  BUT I'm going to make up breakfast foods, muffins, casserole, tacos etc and let them reheat...  WE'LL SEE!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Supper Sunday-Stuffed Burgers

I'm looking for a good recipe for Hoppin' John.  I had one and I seem to have lost it, so if have one, please share!  Thanks!  In the meantime,  here's a favorite of ours when we're camping, but good all the time:

Stuffed Burgers
Ground Beef (enough to make two patties per person)
BBQ Rub, or other seasonings, salt, pepper, garlic salt

Petite Dice Tomatoes
Onions finely diced
Peppers finely diced
Any other filling of your liking!

Form the ground beef (mixed with seasonings if you want) into 2 patties per person.  Make the patties extra thin and extra large so they can go around the fillings.
I usually let each person assemble their own burger so they put what they want in it :)

Take one patty and place fillings of your choice in center, leaving room around the edges for sealing.  Place the other patty on top and seal the edges.

Wrap burger in foil and cook on grill for about 20 minutes or until browned.  Or if you're camping, throw it on the fire for about 10-15 minutes :)

I don't usually serve these with buns, because there's enough in them to not need a bun too, but you can if you want :)

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Singing Saturday- Cry Out to Jesus

To everyone who's lost someone they love
Long before it was their time
You feel like the days you had were not enough
when you said goodbye

And to all of the people with burdens and pains
Keeping you back from your life
You believe that there's nothing and there is no one
Who can make it right


There is hope for the helpless
Rest for the weary
Love for the broken heart
There is grace and forgiveness
Mercy and healing
He'll meet you wherever you are
Cry out to Jesus, Cry out to Jesus

For the marriage that's struggling just to hang on
They lost all of their faith and love
They've done all they can to make it right again
Still it's not enough

For the ones who can't break the addictions and chains
You try to give up but you come back again
Just remember that you're not alone in your shame
And your suffering


When your lonely (when you're lonely)
And it feels like the whole world is falling on you
You just reach out, you just cry out to Jesus
Cry to Jesus

To the widow who suffers from being alone
Wiping the tears from her eyes
For the children around the world without a home
Say a prayer tonight

Friday, July 23, 2010

Family Time Friday!- Making Cookies

Monday I had the pleasure of making cookies with the chick.  She's 18 months old and in to EVERYTHING....  But, one thing she really likes is to mix....  She takes random bowls and spoons and "makes" all kinds of things.  I noticed this a lot while we were on vacation, and decided to make cookies with her when we got home.  So today I finally did, and while it didn't go all peaches and roses, it was still fun.  I really look forward to making more with her and I really look forward to when she's able to actually help in the kitchen.  What a blessing!  I've always cooked with my boys too, but there's something very special about mom and daughter in the kitchen.

And they turned out Yummmo...

Oh, and I put the balls of dough on wax paper in the freezer and froze them, then transferred them to a bag, and only baked what we'd eat today :)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Thoughtful Thursday- Christmas in July

So, I'm getting into One Year to an Organized Life: From Your Closets to Your Finances, the Week-by-Week Guide to Getting Completely Organized for Good, and this week I'm supposed to get all of my photos organized and basically get ready to make a photo album if I so choose next week.  In typical fashion I read the entire July passage (even though I started in the middle of July) and the first week was about getting your address book in order.  Well, this got me to thinking that this is something I really really need to do with Christmas fast approaching, which got me thinking about my Christmas list and beginning to formulate that...  Hmmm  a little bright and shiny maybe?  LOL

So, I did take time to go through my Gmail address book/ contact list.  Have you any idea how many outdated or duplicate addresses I had in there?  SHEESH!  Now I just have to get the mailing addresses in there, which will be really handy now that my phone pulls that address list too, so if I'm out and about I can bring envelopes to address.  Yes, I hand address Christmas envelopes.  I have a thing about it.  LOL

Ever wonder why we will do strange things?  Like, I can drive around in my minivan that hasn't been washed this year, because I don't have time to wash it, but I'll take several days to hand write all of the addresses on my Christmas cards....  LOL

I digress....

So, I'll keep working on that address list and throw a little thought into my Christmas list so I  can start watching for sales, and then I'll look into organizing my photos.  Honestly, the more recent ones are pretty organized anyway, so I'm not in too bad of shape here.  However, I would like to start having a "Year book" made each year to chronicle our lives...  Maybe I'll make the 2009 one next week....

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


I have several friends in my life who I consider to be super moms.  Moms that I watch and get inspired to be better myself for knowing them.  My husband makes fun of me because I watch Kate Plus Eight, and 19 Kids and Counting and shows like that.  He thinks it's because I want that many kids.  But really, what it is about is I watch those moms and say to myself- that woman has 8-10-20 however many kids and look, she's surviving!!!  I only have FOUR!  So surely I can do what I need to do, right?

I also have several online friends that I have met through various ways- email groups, business adventures, etc that I draw off of and try to take tidbits of their lives into my own to make myself a better person.  One friend has been a great source of strength and encouragement in our foster journey, and she now writes a blog.  I met her on an email group, and we've never met in person, but I feel like I know her just the same :)  Another super mom I met on the same email group, and she makes Martha Stewart look lazy, I swear!  She also writes a blog now, and I'm sure you'll see some of her recipes here. 

I have some favorite blog writers too that inspire me, one of my favorites being Heavenly Homemakers.

Then I have "real life" people who inspire me.  You know the type- the friends that help you to see the best in yourself.  The ones that you can be real with.  Trishia, and Gwenn are my inner core, and I have friends that have been my friends my whole life like Jeremy, and Michelle.  It's great to have friends that you can let into the inner core of your being.  That you don't have to get dressed up for.  That you don't have to clean up the house for.  That you can count on to give you good advice and have the guts to tell you what you don't want to hear sometimes.  Everyone should have friends like this.

Beyond all of this, I am the most thankful for my husband.  He inspires me everyday.  When I see myself through his eyes it makes me smile.  He is there for all the good times and he's still there when it's bad.  He knows me inside out and loves me anyway.  I am so thankful for that.  He is an amazing father to our children, and ladies, I don't have to tell you not all men will welcome children into their hearts that aren't their biological children, but my husband has done that and more with our babies.  He is a very special man.  :)

Join us for Gratituesday at Heavenly Homemakers!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Menu Monday

Ok, Y'all know I'm on this organization kick thanks to Homeschooling at the Speed of Life: Balancing Home, School, and Family in the Real World with CDROM and One Year to an Organized Life: From Your Closets to Your Finances, the Week-by-Week Guide to Getting Completely Organized for Good...  So I'm going to purpose to Plan out my menus better.  I usually do some form of this, but some weeks I'm better at it than others, and it REALLY shows when I'm not on top of it!  So this will probably evolve into something more elaborate with recipes and stuff, but I'm starting small :)

It's summer, and I live in Texas, so the goal is to not heat the house up LOL


Monday: BBQ Chicken, Couscous

Tuesday:  Eating out

Wednesday:  Tacos

Thursday:  Trying a new recipe because I'm hosting group at my house next week:  Ham and Potatoes

Friday:  The kids like to have Pizza on Fridays, so a lot of Fridays we do :)

Saturday:  Left Overs/ Snack Dinner

Sunday:  Chicken Fried Steak Strips, Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Supper Sunday- Taco Soup

I'm gonna try to give y'all a recipe each week from my "vast" collection LOL...  Here's one of my absolute favorite go to recipes:

Taco Soup
WW Points+ 4pts per serving, makes 8 servings (only for the soup, not the toppings)
1 can  Black Beans
1 can Pinto Beans
3 cans of different varieties of diced tomatoes (I like to have one with fire roasted, 1 with peppers, and one with italian seasoning, but no matter what I have on hand it has always turned out good! )  :)
1 pound ground beef, browned
1 can corn or half a bag frozen corn
1/2 packet Ranch Dressing mix
1/2 packet Taco seasoning or seasonings of your choice. (I use my own blend of garlic salt, onion powder, and chili powder)

For Topping:
Tortilla Chips
Sour Cream
Shredded cheese

Brown ground beef with onions.  Place all ingredients (except toppings) in crock pot and mix up.  Cook on low 5-7 hours or high 4-5 hours.
When serving:
Place soup in bowl, cover with cheese, dollop sour cream and  crumpled tortilla chips.  YUM

Singing Saturday!!- No Matter What

I'd like to start a new feature on this blog.  So many songs have touched my life, so many have encouraged me, so many have gotten me through some tough times.  Music is definitely one of my passions.  I sing at Bible Study, and it is such a blessing to my soul.  I'd love to join the church choir, but that will have to be something that happens when the kids are older.  For now I'll sing on Thursdays and escape into my radio.  It's not uncommon at all to find me in the driveway with my radio blasting a Christian song and my hands held high!

So here's the first installment:  This song really speaks to anyone who is going through a tough time.  It's called "No Matter What" by Kerrie Roberts.

No Matter What

I’m running back to your promises one more time, Lord that’s all I can hold on to, I gotta say this has taken me by surprise, but nothing surprises you. Before a heartache can ever touch my life, it has to go through Your hands, and even though I keep asking why, I keep asking why,

No matter what, I’m gonna love You, no matter what I’m gonna need You, I know You can find a way to keep me from the pain but if not, I’ll trust you, no matter what, no matter what.

When I’m stuck and there’s nothing else by myself, I’m just sitting in silence, there’s no way I can make it without Your help, I wont even try it. I know You have Your reasons for everything, so I will keep believing, whatever I might be feeling, God you are my hope, and you will be my strength,

No matter what, I’m gonna love You, no matter what I’m gonna need You, I know You can find a way to keep me from the pain but if not, I’ll trust you, no matter what, no matter what.

Anything I don’t have You can give it to me, but it’s ok if You don’t, I’m not here for those things, the touch of Your love is enough on its own, no matter what I still love You and I’m gonna need You

No matter what I’m gonna love you, no matter what I’m gonna need you, I know You can find a way to keep me from the pain but if not , I’ll trust You, no matter what, no matter what. I know You can find a way to keep me from the pain, but if not, I’ll trust you, no matter what no matter what no matter no matter what

Click the video before and listen!  I think you'll like it as much as I do :)

Friday, July 16, 2010

We survived!!!

Well we survived our vacation for 6!!!!  We traveled 3318 miles in 10 days and our car looked like it!!!! The kids had crazy fun.  While driving all over the place I read a couple of books about organizing.  Now that I have 4 kids living in this small house it is more important than ever to get this house under control.  We'll be starting school back up soon and I need to have us in a place where we can focus!  Auston will be starting high school, which is kind of scary to me, but I know he (we) can do it.  I'm also purposing to be more consistent in writing this blog, because, frankly, I need an outlet!  I hope you'll read on the days when it's boring LOL.

So the first book I started reading was called Homeschooling at the Speed of Life.

In it Marilyn Rockett talked a lot about balance and organization.  She really puts it in a perspective that made me think "I can do this!"  and let me tell you - I am NOT an organized person AT.ALL...  ;P  She talked about the realistic side of the idea of touch it once, and everything has a place and everything in it's place yada yada yada.  Included with the book is also a CD-Rom that had a whole bunch of forms for helpful use.  Reading this got me more in a mind set of a plan of action....  which brought me to the next book I began reading while on vacation:

In this book she actually takes a different task per month and breaks it down into week tasks to get your house under control in a year!  Now I'm well on my way.  This month is the address book, photos and stuff like that.  I'm trying to do the whole month's tasks even though it's the middle of the month already.  I'll let you know how it goes :)

Regardless of any of all of this I have a new found passion to try to get things under control here.  I have really realized that when the house is chaos I am really cranky, and that's not the kind of mom I want to be or the kind of wife I want to be.  I need to help my kids and husband to understand how to help me too, and I realize it will be a learning curve, but I'm gonna give it a whirl!  Wish me luck!  :)

I wish I could post really cool pictures from our vacation, but I have to refrain from any with the babies in it until they're adopted.  I can't WAIT for that to be done!!!!!

That's about it for tonight....  Talk to you soon :)

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Vacation for 6 Please

Well, we're off on an adventure like no other.  Many people who know me know how unorganized i am.  It's just not my strong suit.  Never has been.  But going from 2 kids to 4 in just a few months has forced me to get with the program.  I still struggle, but probably not more than any other mom with 2 kids under 18 months and 2 boys entering the teen stages.  So yesterday i took on the daunting task of packing up 6 people.  And either God has really blessed me with some order in my life or we've forgotten something really important!  :)