Friday, July 30, 2010

Inviting Controversy

So, this morning I am curious to know where you guys stand. :) The topic is economic collapse. Growing up, we were the family who was preparing for Y2K. Were you? We had friends who moved to a commune in West Virginia, I think, so they wouldn't have to deal with the disaster that awaited. We never went that far, but we had shelves in our basement that held a pretty large amount of pasta and canned beans. :) Of course nothing happened, and I never heard anything else about those friends. But if you YouTube "economic collapse" or "next great depression" or "stockpiling food", there are countless videos to choose from! :) Here's the deal: where do you draw the line between trusting God to provide for your needs and using your brain to prepare for a natural disaster, loss of job, or this gigantic, earth-shattering economic collapse that I am being told will happen in the very near future? I have certain family members who have gone as far as printing off lists from the internet of things that we're supposed to be stockpiling: generators, oil, food, water, medicine, etc. And yet I have other, very close family members who I love and truly respect who are fully supporting us in trying to sell our home and therefore have more bills, larger mortgage, etc. AGH! I am so confused. I'm not judging either party, but we're not really sure what we feel is right. On one hand it's VERY appealing to us to be 100% debt free and grow enough food to live off of for the year. Did you know that your local grocery store has enough food to feed your little town for 3 days. 3 DAYS? What then???? God HAS promised to provide for our every need, but sometimes I think people use that to allow them too many liberties. God has also provided us with a brain. That's like saying that savings accounts aren't necessary. I think every Christian thinks it's wise to have a savings account for emergencies, or just for the future. Or like those people who don't believe in life insurance. OH.MY.WORD. Don't even get me started. Did you know that THE BIBLE says in 1 Timothy 5:8 that if a man doesn't provide for his own household, he's worse than an infidel???? But what about food? Diapers? Water? And can I even go as far as to say guns and ammunition? Sorry bambi lovers, I was raised in a squirrel-eating-deer-hunting family. :) Even if it's just to protect your family. I mean, would you keep your life's savings in your mailbox? No, you keep it in the bank to protect it. Doesn't it make sense to keep a gun in the house to protect your family? I told you I was inviting controversy. :) Okay, guns and ammo aside, do you think our country is headed for economic collapse? Do you think we need to be stockpiling supplies? PLEASE share your thoughts! There are certain things that I'm totally open to. Guns? Not so much. I think that's a necessity. Life insurance? Sorry, that's another one that I'm not budging on. It is absolutely insane to me how so many men have $20K in a life insurance plan somewhere. Let me ring your pretty little neck and tell you that it won't even cover the cost of your funeral. Do you want your wife to have to ask the bank for a LOAN just to get you in the ground??? AGH! Okay, I've got to get off this subject. ANYWAY, the point is, do you feel it's right to protect your home and family with a gun? Do you think it's okay to have a savings account in case your husband losses his job? Do you think it's okay to store some extra food on a shelf in your basement? I think we have such extreme double-standards sometimes. It's smart to be saving for retirement, but you're not trusting God if you have 5 boxes of rigatoni on a shelf in your garage. Okay, I've said enough. You're turn! :)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Guns and Doctors


(A) The number of physicians in the U.S. is

(B) Accidental deaths caused by Physicians per year are120,000.

(C) Accidental deaths per physician
is 0.171

Statistics courtesy of U.S. Dept of
Health and Human Services.


Now think about this:


(A) The number of gun owners in the U.S.
is 80,000,000.
(Yes, that's 80 million)

(B) The number of accidental gun deaths per year, all age groups, is 1,500.

(C) The number of accidental deaths
per gun owner is .0000188
Statistics courtesy of FBI
So, statistically, doctors are approximately
9,000 times more dangerous than gun owners.
Remember, 'Guns don't kill people, doctors do.'
BUT Almost everyone has at least one doctor. This means you are over 9,000 times more likely to be killed by a doctor as by a gun owner!!!
Please alert your friends
to this alarming threat.
We must ban doctors
before this gets completely out of hand!!!!!
Out of concern for the public at large, We withheld the statistics on
for fear the shock would cause people to panic and seek medical attention!

Monday, July 26, 2010

The School Room

It's time to show you the school room! :) I had every intention to make this space bright, colorful and fun (because it's something I'd never do in any other room of the house...) but then we put the house on the market and had to leave it neutral. So, I just worked with what I had! Here goes...

This is what you see when you first walk in. The piano was given to us when we moved to Pennsylvania. I found the "Family" wall-hanging in Hobby Lobby during a recent trip to SC. The upholstered chair in the corner was a lucky find from a super cute shop I refer to as "mom's basement". :) The gate-leg table is an antique from my great-grandparents home. The chalk-board in the back (that's supposed to be hung, hint hint sweet hubby...) was made by us. He bought a cheap board from Lowes and some 1x4's for the trim. I painted the trim brown and used chalk-board paint for the board.
The red bean-bag chairs in the corner are from Target and are NEVER used. Very poor investment on my part. :(
The teacher's desk. :) This is where I store all of my curriculum, pens, flashcards, school supplies, etc. Small upholstered chair is another antique from my great-grandparents.
The boys sit on this hope-chest-turned-bench to work on school, and the chalkboard is easily accessible right behind them.
Just another picture of the desk. Craigslist for $15! Still planning on painting it, distressing it, and adding new hardware but don't want to start all of that until we move and decide on a new color scheme.
We are using BJU's Footsteps for Fours curriculum. I will be honest. I'm not a fan. :( But only because it is not written for homeschoolers. I have been busy completely rewriting the entire teacher's edition to suit our family.
I'm using this notebook to rewrite the lesson plans. LOVE this! Found it in a teacher's supply store a long time ago, and now finally have a use for it! :)
Another down-side to the K4 curriculum we have chosen to use is that it doesn't include Bible, art, or music. Soooo, we are improvising according to our objectives for this year. Verse memorization will just be out of the Cubbies book. Seth does family devotions at breakfast, and the kids have Bible story books read to them before bed. This is enough for us, for this year.
For music we are planning on enrolling our 4 year old in Suzuki violin as soon as we find out where we'll be moving to. :) In the mean time, they are memorizing a new hymn every week. Hymns were an enormous part of my childhood growing up, and I want it to be a part of theirs as well.
I am a very task-oriented planner. :) This school-prep time has really made me think about our reasons for #1: homeschooling. #2: why are we encouraging book-learning for preschool? #3: what are my objectives for this year? The lay-out of the school room, the curriculum we are using, and the extra-curricular activities I arranged are strictly due to these three areas. I don't believe preschool is required to be strictly educational. It's important for us to be prepared for kindergarten next year, so it's important for us to be organized and learn to sit still and listen-to-comprehend this year. We are starting August 2nd, Lord willing, and will be following a 4-day school week. I have allowed 1 day a week for scheduled play-dates, violin, and the library. We will also be taking an entire week off for Christmas. I'm excited, but very overwhelmed. I know it won't go exactly the way I have planned, but I feel like I have a much better chance of getting something accomplished if I set my standards high and strive to work hard. We will see. God has called us to teach and train our children at home for this year, so that's what we are planning to do! And by golly, I'm going to give it my darn-level best. :)

Sunday, July 25, 2010

A Family Favorite.

I have been making our own granola for years. My mom made it for years before that. I can no longer eat it since going gluten free, but it's still a very cheap and healthy alternative for my family's breakfast. Here's the recipe:

Combine 1/2 cup oil, 1/2 cup honey, and 2 t. vanilla in a microwave safe container.
Microwave for 1 minute.
In a seperate bowl combine 6 cups of oats, 1 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup bran and 1/2 cup wheat germ. I prefer using my hands to mix this all up so I can crush the brown sugar really finely. There is nothing worse than biting into an enormous, hard, crusty lump of brown sugar the next morning in your cereal. :(
Now pour your warm, liquid concoction into your dry mix. Use your hands for mixing this too. SO much easier. You'll think it's too dry, but just keep on mixing. It will eventually all become gooey. :)
You can also add 3/4 cup of sunflower seeds and/or raisins at this point. I spray a large sheet pan with Pam and bake it at 350 degrees JUST UNTIL the edges become slightly golden. This will ensure your granola is still a little chewy. Watch it carefully! It burns QUICK!
Pull it out of the oven, stir it up a bit and let it cool completely before storing it in an air-tight container. That's it! Easy peasy! :)

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Let the competition begin.

I'm not a very competitive person. I'll let you win, time and time again, if it really means that much to you. But it's a very different story if there is a reward involved. Here's the deal... My hair has been cut into varying lengths over the past few years. It was extremely long for our wedding. But then I decided that married girls don't have long hair, so I got a "bob". Haircuts happened to be too expensive when we were newlyweds and my hubby was finishing up college, so the length came back. Then I had my first baby and decided that moms don't have long hair, so I got an "inverted bob". It was super cute (or so I thought), and extremely easy to care for. But then diapers became priority over salon visits, so it grew long again. Baby #2 entered the world and I was so overwhelmed with caring for two under two that the hair was chopped again. Then my daughter was born. She was a girl! She was fragile! She was in pink! A love for all things soft and feminine returned and I vowed to never cut my hair again. But then life slapped me in the face and it was chopped. :( :( :( My poor husband. He assured me he loved all the changes, but I knew he really missed those locks I had while we were dating. I kept going back and forth and back and forth, unable to make up my mind. He knew I was on the brink of cutting it off again, so he struck me a deal. "If you let your hair grow out long enough to reach your bra strap (am I even allowed to say bra in the blog world? It feels very awkward...), I will buy you stainless steel appliances." Well honey, those are the only words I needed to hear. :)

I was 24 and pregnant with my 3rd here...
My 25th birthday and the hair was a little longer...
Age 26 here, and the longest it's been in a long time....
But here's the catch. Having long hair brings back so many memories of sleeping in rollers on Saturday nights and tempts me to re-live the 90's. :)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

I saw myself.

I've had a lot of quiet, alone moments this week. Last night I got a total of about 2 hours of sleep. It's enough to make a girl ponder on her life. :) My only goals in life were to be a wife and a mommy. I'm living my dream, but not exactly the way I had hoped. I was looking for a way to occupy the kids for a few hours before bedtime last night, so we headed off to the library. The library for me means I come away with something to read during those sleepless hours of the night when my brain won't slow down enough to let me relax. The library for my kids means they get to stand at the train table and play with wooden engines for a while. It's a win-win. :) As we were hunched over the train table last night, I noticed a woman sitting on the floor reading. All 3 of her children were involved in "story time" with the library lady, so for all intensive purposes she was alone. Her body language spoke volumes. Tense. Annoyed. Frustrated. A few minutes had passed when a man about her age came in wearing business clothes. He sat down at the table right next to her and proceeded to watch story time. One by one all 3 of their children ran over to give daddy a hug. The nervously looked from mom's face to dad's face, trying to find some sort of answers before running back to story time. That was it. The couple was obviously married, but they never even looked at each other. Story time ended, the couple stood, and the family left the library. I immediately thought to myself "how selfish!" Those kids were obviously searching for approval. They needed the reassurance that the foundation of their family wasn't crumbling. But they didn't get it. The dad probably was a jerk. The mom probably had lost all respect and hope for him. Maybe there was infidelity. Maybe there were financial problems. Maybe abuse. I really don't have a clue, but I felt so bad for those kids. It was then that I saw myself. I've been that woman. He has been that man. The wall of trust broken. All respect lost. Hopes dashed. Forgiveness shattered. Night after night of "letting the sun go down upon your wrath...." We had a pretty serious conversation a few weeks back when we had one of the biggest "light bulb moments" of our relationship. We knew things needed to change....for the kids sake. "These kids need parents who pray for them!" "These kids need parents who are constantly in the Word." And then it hit me. What about when the kids are gone? We were so willing to become ultra-spiritual for them, but what would happen when they were gone? We had a child in '06, '07, and '08. There is a VERY good chance they will all be in college, married, and gone at the same time. Then what? If our whole motives for growing in God is for their sake, what motivation will we have when they are not here? The empty-nester years scare us to death. We dated and were married for such a short time before babies started coming that we never really had a foundation for "us". It's been hard, to say the least. Do we regret what we did? Not for a single day. I could hear someone say "have some time for just the two of you first..." until the day that I die and I will still never regret starting our family right off the bat, but something has to change. We need to get to the point where we are in this for us. Not complaining. Just being honest. :) We are madly in love, but probably not for the right reasons. Don't know why I felt compelled to write this today. I'm sorry if I've ruined your perception of us. :) Last weekend we did something "for the kids", yet again. Hehe....I have pictures to prove it.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


Okay ladies, I totally feel completely inadequate. Not only have I recently found the value in stopping at yard sales, but now I'm throwing coupons into the mix. I found two videos on YouTube today that you just have to watch. I haven't got a clue about where to start. Anyone with suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Here's video 1, and video 2. Enjoy, and be challenged! :)

Monday, July 19, 2010

Why I want a rancher...

I think I may have confused a few people in my last post about me wanting a rancher. Who in the world picks a rancher as their dream home??? Well, me....for two reasons. #1: no more children falling down the stairs. I cannot even tell you how many times I've heard the trip, then the slip, then the enormous crashing and flipping, and then finally the scream. I am just SICK.OF.IT. No stairs means no baby gates. My mom lived in a rancher for a couple of months (or years??? can't remember...) and couldn't stop talking about how much she loved it! "You live in your whole house!" She would say. Which is so true, if you stop to think about it. There is never a lonely, dark finished basement that sits in quietness while you entertain upstairs where the sun shines! No more steps means you use your whole house all day long, because it's easier to get to your whole house! Okay, that was reason #1. Reason #2 is because most ranchers are just dang ugly. It's true. If you live in one, it's okay to agree. They tend to be very dated and tempt you to think "wow, those people haven't done anything with that place since the day the roof was put on!" But you see people, I have an OBSESSION with turning nothing into something. The ugly into the beautiful. The mundane into the magical. Seeing life left in someone else's garbage. If young whipper-snappers like us don't start taking control over ranchers, no one will! Pictures to prove my point:

You can take something like this.....
and turn it into this!
All pictures courtesy of this blog.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

One man's trash...

is truly another man's treasure. You wouldn't believe what I find laying on the side of the road. I normally try to fit it in the car by myself. Otherwise I call on the hubby to drive down and rescue me! :) I don't know what I was thinking by picking up all of this stuff last weekend. Did I not remember my house is on the market? Two days later I would get 3 different phone calls for 3 different showings! Oh well, I had fun with my little projects while they lasted! "Finished Product" photos are coming. Just have to run back to Lowes for some more silver knobs. I thought I needed 4. Turns out I really needed 8. Dang those math skills! :)
The ugly wood color that the antique dresser was originally. Have I mentioned how much I hate the color of stained wood these days? Agh!
This pretty lil lady was perched on the side walk, just waiting for the trash man to rescue her. Lucky for her, I got to her first. :) I think this was after the first coat of paint.
My sweatshop. :)
I wish I had better "before" pictures. You wouldn't believe how hideous this stuff was when it first walked through the door. Can't wait to show you the finished product!

Friday, July 16, 2010

My Dream

We are such dorks. Really people, you have no idea. I skyped my hubby this afternoon and asked him if someday we could invest in solar panels for our home. He said I was turning him on. We are just not the norm. At first I was a little concerned about that, but I think I've learned to accept it. I was at my mom's the other day and she threw this at me. I don't think I've seen one of these catalogs since Y2K. I almost started hyperventilating from excitement. I guess I got my dorky gene from her. My dad would've been throwing the Tommy Bahama catalog at me. :) Our house has been on the market for a week and we've already had 4 showings. We don't really expect it to sell, just because we're not willing to lower our price and the market is SO bad. Not to mention the fact that there are now close to 20 homes in our development that are also for sale. :( BUT, it got us thinking. "What if it DOES sell????? Where will we live!?!?" (insert panic stricken, hormonal female voice here) One of my greatest weaknesses is worrying about what others think. His is too. We want something bigger, but afraid others might think it's too big. We don't want something huge, which we're afraid will then cause "those friends" to think we've settled for second best. We want land, but afraid "those friends" might think we stink after working in the yard all day. We want a really nice, "uppity" community for safety and status reasons, but afraid "those people" will judge us for squandering our money. Oh how I wish everyone would just stop judging! Although, I actually LOVE hearing EVERYONE's opinions, even if they make me upset. So screwed up, I tell ya! :( So here's my dream. Actually this is our dream....

We're up before the sun in our 1100 sq. ft., 50 year old rancher. My hair reaches my waist, so there's no need for styling it. It succumbs to it's daily fate of a pony tail, once again. He makes the coffee and does something super masculine and sexy, like, let's say 50 push-ups right there on the kitchen floor, without his shirt on. A girl can dream, no? :) I slip on a fresh white t-shirt and old, ripped jeans to run outside barefoot and scatter feed for the chickens. On my way back to the house I gather whatever eggs are available and the ripest berries on our 20 bushes for breakfast. He already has coconut oil warming in the old, cast-iron frying pan. The eggs are cracked and the peppers and onions are married together to serve us our first meal of the day. The kidlets slip groggily out of their beds (we would have 6, by this point...) to join us at the large farmhouse table made of old barn wood. He reads the Bible and prays over us before he heads out to check on the cattle and wheat. We have a very strict homeschool schedule because we aren't going the "unschool" route, and we engage our brains heavily until 11am. They get to take a break to spend the next hour on their instrument of choice while I head to the garden to gather lunch. We devour today's menu of sprouts, olives and "dinosaur juice" on the picnic blanket spread out under the sycamore tree. My wonderful children get to discuss with their father what they learned in school that morning, and we take the entire hour just savoring every morsel that the land beneath our feet has harvested for us. One o'clock has come as the children and I head back into the house to finish up today's school. By mid-afternoon we have the entire family in the acre of garden space out back weeding and tilling while we sing in perfect harmony There Is A Redeemer. Have I mentioned that because of our small home and enormous garden, we also live debt free? The solar panels were an anniversary gift last year, so our monthly electric bill is never over $18. The 3 youngest have come down with a fever and runny nose, so to the herb garden I run! The leaves as well as some bones I pulled out of the freezer are simmering quietly on the woodstove to be used for their healing purposes that evening. Dinner is something warm and nourishing. We spend the rest of the evening snuggled up on the couch under all of nana's homemade quilts to listen to his elaborate stories. And as you might have guessed, he gets it every night. ;)

Now of course I don't really think all of this will actually happen. We'd all be cranky and sweaty from a house with no air-conditioning and my kids would be screaming from bee stings and splinters. Just trying to be vunerable in a world where we are all wearing the veil of perfection. :)

Thursday, July 15, 2010

A Full Tub!

I love bath nights. Everyone gets kicked, chokes on the water and fights over the toys, but they smell so good afterwards! We still let all 3 of them get in the tub together, mainly because no one has asked awkward questions yet. That could mean one of two things. #1: they are developing at such a slow rate mentally that they still don't notice the difference, or #2: our whole family is naked so much of the time that it has just become the norm and therefore they don't see it as unusual. I'll let you comfort yourself with whatever answer you feel less uncomfortable with. :) As they were splashing in the water the other night I realized what a blessing it is to have a full bath tub. Still amazed that God saw fit to bless us with these three...
These boys are best friends. Last night we let them get their sleeping bags out and camp on the floor in our room. The next morning they told us that they got scared in the middle of the night, so they just held hands until they fell back to sleep. Ah! My heart has melted into a puddle...
They HATE getting their hair washed. It might be because we do the "quick rinse" method. Why prolong the agony of trying to get the soap out???
This is what we got after we asked for a funny face.
This girl needs a sister! If only "reversals" were covered by insurance companies. :)
Here's to the reminder that a cramped house, a loud meal, or a full tub are a blessing from the Lord! :)

Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Psalm 127:3 ESV

Friday, July 9, 2010

The 4th

So thankful for the new camera. What a difference it makes in the quality of pictures! Once again you were right, babe. :)

my baby girl and I
our boys with their Uncle Adam
Silas has become completely obsessed with me over the past few weeks...
taking advantage of Caden being still for more than 3 minutes :)

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Another Craigslist Redo

Do you remember the 3 tiny rockers I purchased on Craigslist a while back? Yeah, well, they were supposed to go on one of the two porches on that farmhouse that we were whole-heartedly planning on moving into to. But then, of course, we lost the house. Before we lost the house (actually, we didn't "lose" the house. we were the ones who backed out of the deal...) I had also purchased a rocker for me. I also took the time to paint it white, to match the other ones, at 10:30pm. :( ANYWAY, we are not buying the farmhouse and have no intention of buying any other farmhouses any time soon, so the bigger rocker has to go. Let me know if you are interested. It's going in the yard sale on Saturday. :)

Monday, July 5, 2010

Back to the drawing board...

My absence has been the direct result of a lack of a camera. We were thrilled and blessed to be able to purchase a new camera last week, but there is one problem. I don't feel comfortable using it yet. It's a Canon 20D and has way more buttons than our last $100 point-and-shoot. :) Therefore, I do not have pictures to share with you today, but there is an over-abundance of inspiration and ideas floating around in my head to not write something. I also feel like I have so much to fill my readers in on. My children are slowly out-growing their fear of the pool, thanks to a very generous friend who allows us to invade her beautiful backyard every Thursday afternoon. If tonight goes as planned, we will have sold a total of $850 worth of products on Craigslist this weekend alone. There is also a "For Sale" sign now in the window of our home, for which I will be contributing an entire post on how to "show your house". :) I am an expert mover. Seriously, people. You have no idea. I have moved 5 times in the past 7 years. I also want to write something about decorating for the type of house you live in. And another one on de-cluttering and simplify. See!? I told you! Too many thoughts and ideas to not write them down. We had a wonderful 4th of July. The kids survived the fireworks, and we survived staying up past 1am 3 nights in a row to get the shambles that we live in to look good enough for our trusty realtor to take pictures this morning. If you're local and know someone who is looking to buy a house, please send them our way! Or if you're looking to purchase a property as a rental investment for yourself, our home might be perfect for you! We are very ready to be out, for so many reasons. This month we'll be celebrating the fact that I have lived in the same house for 4 years in a row. :) The last time I lived somewhere for 4 years, I was only 17. Lol! OH! And another thing....I desperately want to write something about purchasing a home for your "season of life"! I have learned SO, so much. A lot of things to share with non-expert movers. :) Trying to find the time today to beg my dear sweet hubby to give me the low-down on down-loading pictures. Yes, that was on purpose. I'm a lot smarter than most people think. :) A pictures to share with you to keep you from being utterly and completely board from my ramblings...

I found an a.m.a.z.i.n.g. blog this weekend, thanks to The Nester. Her name is Emily, she is a Bible-believing mother of 4 who has her own design company and is honest enough to admit that at times she has been known to go 4 days without a shower. How can you not love her! :)