Mommy and Me

Mommy and Me
Sharing life with you is fullfilling

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Happy birthday to my little girl!

4 years ago today I had the most amazing little girl.  Though life threw her a few lemons she has made some spectacular lemonade!  Her personality warms my heart, I know that one day she will be an amazing wife and mother, or really anything she sets her mind to.
Yesterday she took her baby doll to the chiropractor with her, after our appointment she needed to go potty, I took her to the bathroom and there was a changing table sitting off to the side. She laid her baby carefully on the shelf of the changing table (she couldn't really reach the top), proceeded to go potty, and then announced that baby needed a diaper change.  She careful set baby off to the side of the shelf,  laid out baby's blanket nice and smooth, then put baby on it, lifted baby's legs and said "eww, that's yucky". She pretended very gently to wipe baby and replace her imaginary diaper, then she lifted baby off the shelf the way only a mother does to be sure the baby's head doesn't fall back, cover the doll with her other blanket, and announce that we were all done.
I can't tell you how excited I am to not only give Fia a cabbage patch kid for her birthday, but also to give her a nicer stroller and car seat for Christmas! 
Her mother skills are not all I love about her though. Fia has an awesome sense of fun, and her humor is so sarcastic but sweet at the same time.  Her laugh makes everyone smile, and though she has the determination of a bull dog, she also has the compassion of a dolphin.
4 years old! Gosh she is growing so fast!  I had no idea how quickly she would grow out of that sweet toddler look she held on to so well,  but she is a child now, no longer rounded like a baby, or uncoordinated like a toddler.  I am so in love with her!
Happy birthday to my big girl Fia!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Here come the holidays!

Oh how I love this time of year! And finally I am 'home for the holidays'. That makes it even better!
Four plus families that when I left had only just one child are now 2-3 children bigger. All of them though separated for a time are now back together. .. we are family. .The real kind. Not just by blood, which is generally how family is formed, but bonded by the blood of Jesus, transformed by the word of God, and united by years of friendship. 
I know my blood family is a little offended that I choose to live closer to this make shift family,  but I just know this is what my own family needs for growth and contentment. People that support their mama and daddy, people that speak the truth in love,  people that care, not because they are obligated to but because they want to.
Though we all have our differences and quirks we really do love each other, and that is important.  Some are more distant than we would like, some are more busy than we hope, some have different plans for their family than we do, but we love one another, truely deeply do.
I'm so glad to be home! I'm so happy to celebrate this holiday season with our family.   I pray you are all where you need to be for this holiday season as well.

Monday, November 17, 2014

School is in session

I have been too busy to blog much lately.  My intention was to build garden boxes, clean the yard, and begin to turn this house once again into a home, then also to turn around and do all the same for my friend who was arriving shortly after us.  Man was it a lot of hard work, and the work isn't nearly over, not for me and not for my friend.
I accomplished all of my goals but the building of my garden boxes. The wood I intended to use was so rotted out that it would never have made a good box, it never would have even held nails without splintering and falling apart. I can't afford the cost of new wood at this time either so the boxes will have to wait.
Today we start school again. We have had a nice long break, though I intended to continue having Caeden read during break I did not so he will be frustrated with that I think. He already has recognized that his best friend is reading without much difficulty and is sad that he doesn't think he can read at all. He said to me the other day "do you know what my secret to reading is?" He was trying to convince me that he can not read at all. "I just remember the words.
I should be honest with myself and admit that half if this statement is bad and the other very good.  The bad half is that when we read stories he does memorize the whole story and recite it as we work our way through it. The good is that because I force him to point at each word as he reads he sees the words as he says them and when we start a new book he quite often remember the words he used most in his last book. So he is, in spite of himself, learning to read.
We also do spelling words which he is required to read so we are reinforcing a lot of words as well, without a story context.
Today we start in slowly.  We have reading, math and spelling only. 20 mins. Of reading and math each. And writing out spelling words 5 times each.
I have a lot to prepare this morning so we can be done early enough to get to our chiropractor appointment.  So please have a beautiful day!
Samantha Mehaffey

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Oh yeah... we made it here.

Well our drive with the kids and a 36 foot 5th wheel was amazingly smooth.  We arrived on time and in good shape if not a little dirty from no baths or showers on the road.
A few things happened that I hadn't thought out well,  and had little control over. First I got a head cold. ..yuck. no one else got it though so we managed quite well.  But then dear old aunt Flo decided it was a good idea to join us on the trip.  I won't explain any deeper but suffice it to say that she wasn't welcome. I also forgot to call the gas company before leaving and since it was the weekend while we traveled I never was able to set up an appointment to get it turned on. Fortunately our friends in Oklahoma allowed us to shower at their home.
We initially illegally parked the 5th wheel at our house blocking the driveway mailbox and the entire yard, after unloading most of its contents we found a storage facility to park it at. 
A major mishap happened in delivering the 5th wheel to its new home. A gorgeous Victorian mansion was sitting to the left side of the road and very out of place considering the buildings surrounding it, I was busy ogling it when I realized that our destination was actually coming up quickly to the right. I slowed, but Patrick saw the same gorgeous house and didn't see me slowing. I realized moments too late that he was not able to stop and slammed on the gas,  the effect only barely helped.  The heavy 5th wheel drove the truck forward despite Patrick's effort to stop it and the end result is that I spent a week looking for a new car. The children are all safe as are Patrick and I, even Boomer was ok.
I love my new car! It is an 03 honda pilot. I might have preferred to purchase one a little newer but Hondas don't run too cheap.  The kids fit wonderfully in the 2nd row but there is a 3rd row should I need it!
Aside from wrecked cars we have had a number of other adventures, the latest is a stomach bug,  doesn't seem to last long but it's a doozy.  This comes at the same time that we realized that our fridge wasn't working properly and we had to defrost it for 48 hours. Before you draw conclusions about the fridge and our tummies it seems to be coming like a virus, we didn't all get sick at the same time. It started with Fia,  then the boys both got it. Fia is fine now and Micah is also on the mend, however Caeden is taking a while to get through it and I now have it, but so far Patrick seems unfazed (at least now).
We also have a lack of storage for things like home school supplies. .. but it's coming along. 
We still need to find a washer and dryer, and I still have some garden boxes to build.  I had planned to make them out of the old fencing but it is too far gone to be useful.  So I'm searching for used wood in other places.
So many goals!  I also have started some diy projects.  The first us the hall bathroom. ..had I not been bombarded with sickness this week the first project of the room would be finished. .. but it will take some time. I can't wait to show you what I'm doing!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Leaving on a jet plane

No I'm not going to hop a plane out of here but I am leaving today. We all are! Today we embark on a new yet familiar journey. 
In March of 2006 I helped my best friend move across the country to be with her military husband.  It felt a bit exciting and a bit like a punch in the gut. It was supposed to be me marrying a man of adventure and living in military housing. I don't know why but I always thought I would live in a shabby 70's built military house at the end of a dead end street.
I was so happy for her but had shut off my dreams of motherhood to both celebrate her marriage and help her move, and beyond that to preserve myself and begin whatever it was God had decided was better for me than motherhood and marriage to a military man.
And then as we pulled up to the parking lot not one but two men got out of my friends husband's vehicle.  True to my promise to God I barely looked at the 2nd man. I did not notice the way he looked at me, I didn't notice how handsome he was, I didn't notice anything but the fact that he was there and I would have to offer to let him ride with me on base so that my friend could ride with her husband in his two seated car.
Fast forward to June of the same year and not only do I see this man, but I am moving into an apartment in Oklahoma City to be near him (and out of my parents house).  I will clarify that we did not live together.
Fast forward again to April 2007 and I am traveling with him to Michigan where my family is and celebrating our marriage vows. His family came to of course, we just had the wedding in Michigan to save too many people from traveling (his family is spread over several states and mine only lived in a small portion of Michigan so it made sense.
Ever since we have called Oklahoma home. We had to leave when the military sent us to San Diego, California but have wanted to return ever since.
We have had a few chances but usually Patrick goes to prepare for us to follow and for one reason or another it doesn't happen.  Today however nothing is stopping us!
Who would have thought so much could change in so short a time?  In 2006 I was pretty much at the bottom of the barrel so to speak.  Giving up all my dreams. Turning them over to a heavenly father who I knew would care for me.  And now 2014 is almost gone and I have done it again only with a husband and three children. ..and both times God has pulled through and provided exactly what I had always wanted but given over to his capable hands!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Getting really excited

What is more exciting than a vacation?  Going home!
I have not been on vacation for the last five years, more like on a spiritual journey.  God has brought me through loneliness, PTSD, a c-section, a miscarriage, several moves, making new friends,  having a home birth, and many other things, some stressful and some joyous. 
I am closer now to God than ever before.  He didn't need to prove himself to me,  but he has. Over and over again.
And now after 5 years I am going home! 

I have been dreaming of the things that need doing once we arrive.  And I would like to share my ideas.
1. In Oscoda I learned that gardening can be fun and I enjoyed the fruit of my labors. We have a bunch of old fence pieces our Tennant said he would dispose of and never did, so I decided to build a garden box. A really big one. And prepare for spring now while cleaning up the back yard.
2. The 2nd bedroom needs a coat of paint and I am going to start readying it to be a boys bedroom.  Caeden wants it to be dragon themed.
3. Currently we have no beds for the children to sleep on, for a few weeks we will give them their mattresses from the 5th wheel and then a friend has offered us their guest bed, and Caeden and Fia will share that while Patrick and I make them some bunk beds that convert to two twin beds. Once they are finished I will put one in Sapphira's room and one in the boys room and move Micah in with Caeden in his pack 'n play until he is big enough for a big boy bed, at which point I will build a canopy bed for Fia.
4. Begin collecting used furniture that will fit the style and size of our home si we can return the things borrowed from our friends.
5. When we bought our home there was a large tree stump in the front yard. It was ugly and I wondered how we could get rid of it, but then it started to grow.  I tended it the first year we lived there trimming back the branches that stretched towards the house but leaving those that stretched toward God. Today it is a giant tree but only a little taller than the house. So I am going to tend to its branches some more. There are also some bushes in front of the house that Patrick and I have always thought were not right. So I plan to remove them and make some flower boxes to put in their place.
Overall I plan to beautify my home and make it a haven. There are other things we plan to do as well,  like replace the roof, but that isn't something I personally can do so it isn't detailed here.
I can't wait to get started on these projects!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Taking the challenge

Women living well has set about challenging women to take control over themselves and the atmosphere of their home and I have been joining in, not on the scale I would like to be but I am indeed doing it.
The first challenge was to light a candle every day and let that remind me to stay in prayer.  Keeping my thoughts close to God and communicating with him through out the day has certainly helped me keep my cool a bit better. Especially when I have not been sleeping well and tend to loose it more easily.
Today she has posted the second challenge.  Soft music. I find this one to be very difficult. ..If lighting a candle in a 5th wheel wasn't hard (I had to make sure it could be set somewhere it wouldn't burn the whole house down and there isn't anywhere that my kids can't get to it and blow it out because who doesn't like to blow out candles? But this second one has the potential to either help or severely hinder my peace. I have what is called cookie bite hearing loss and background noise can incredibly irritating to me,  and my space is rather small so all noises are wrapped up in a tight space here.
I'm going to try it though because I certainly need peace. I have it about so many things but peace towards the children I have been failing at. And bless their hearts Caeden and Sapphira have both recently received Jesus in their hearts (expect to read about that soon...) but Caeden has been displaying signs of a volatile temper and I know it is because his mother has done so poorly holding hers lately.
Apparently I'm up for the day now, though I wish I could sleep some more. Micah has woken up. Good morning world.
Join in with me in the fall challenges at
I look forward to hearing from you about how you are doing.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

How things change

I didn't think I would be writing this post for at least another year, but here I am writing it. Things are once again changing for our family.  The changes are not unwelcome, but they are pretty unexpected. 
A few weeks back Patrick put his resume in with a company down in Oklahoma and they finally got back to him and he tested for the job on friday. .. He passed with flying colors and should be receiving the details of his new job soon. Since we did in fact put a resume in ourselves, that part of the news is not unexpected.
We own a house in Oklahoma and have been renting it out to a friend who after we signed up to have a leasing agent care for the home, he decided to move on. When the leasing agent saw and reported all the work that needed doing the grand total for time and supplies was close to $3000.00. Wow! It is in need of a lot of love but is also livable, so we were prepared to pay for the work, but then they informed us there is a leak in the bathroom from the roof that needs repair and they won't move anyone in until the work is done. Which as a tenant I can totally understand but from my perspective it it awful because on top of the $3000 we have to pay, we will end up paying for another month of our mortgage while they are not even caring for our home by filling it with some tenants. 
So we decided to move back in.
A year ago we were making this same move only with a ton of stuff, now we are making it with very little stuff.
A year ago we were expecting a new baby,  now all my Oklahoma friends are having babies. ..One was born yesterday, another is scheduled to arrive on Wednesday.  And another early next month, and another in January.
A year ago we were following money, now we are following God. To be honest I felt God was leading us before,  but Patrick confided in me that he has learned a lot from God regarding money and security over the last year and now feels he is following God's will more than before.
A year ago we were derailed in that plan by a loving heavenly father who had a plan to teach his children a love lesson.
I have a lot of trials ahead of me concerning furniture, but God has already brought our friends in to save the day and loan us several things to make due until we have our own.
I will still attempt to post 5th wheel living moments until we are officially done with it but it won't be many.
Closing this chapter will certainly be bittersweet.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Toning down the schedule

Alright you ready for a schedule workout?  My schedule has become fat and because of it I am left breathless most days.
Here is a typical day.
5:30am wake up with Patrick to make and pack his breakfast and lunch for work.
5:45 am if I had a good night's sleep I will stay up and do my bible study I'm averaging 2 or 3 out of every 5 week days on this currently.
6:45 am check email and attempt to blog if the children allow such time.
7:30am if I have not already done so, get up (all other items are done in bed after I make Patrick's lunch)
8am breakfast for anyone who hasn't had any yet and we begin wrangling clothing on all my little ones and diaper changes.
9 am (yes it takes that long to get everyone dressed) wash dishes
9:30am begin school with Caeden
11 am put micah down for a nap while the older two watch a movie and practice their penmanship
12 PM lunch
1 PM nap time for Caeden and Fia and depending on how the 11 am nap went for Micah possibly for him.  Begin preparing dinner. And if Caeden has not finished school help him to finish.
1-3:30pm alternate between attempting to clean, make necessary phone calls (which have to be done outside), and correct bad behavior from children who should be resting.
2pm put micah down for his nap if I didn't at 1pm
3:20 PM Patrick gets home and we spend a quick 10 minutes catching up on the details of our day
3:30pm let the children up so they can spend time with daddy while I pack our gym bags or prepare for grocery shopping (we only have one day a week where neither of these things are necessary)
4pm out the door for either the gym or shopping.
6:30pm after returning from our outing Patrick turns on the TV and watches with the kids while I prepare and serve dinner. Caeden and Fia clear the table.
7 pm eat dinner
7:30pm get the kids ready for bed nurse Micah, read bedtime stories
8pm cuddle with Micah while we wait for the other two to fall asleep.
9 pm go to bed and attempt to talk to Patrick until he falls asleep and lay awake for another hour.
10:30 - 11 PM fall asleep
11pm-5:30am sleep until interrupted by a crying baby
Rinse and repeat.

So how do I find time to clean?  Lately I don't and that is one reason why my fat schedule needs to tone down.
What will I do? To be honest I don't have much of a plan except that I'm going to slow down on the activities for school. Caeden won't like that but he will get more play time so hopefully that will make up for it. We will continue working on spelling (which is really penmanship and sight word memorization), math and reading. And that is the plan for at least this week but possibly the whole rest of the month. 
The funny thing about this is that this month we are focusing on the character trait of 'orderliness' so it kinda fits well. I'm so glad I prayed over our schedule and asked God to show me what sections to put where because this is coming at such a perfect time.  After Halloween we are taking a whole month off while the children and I go to Oklahoma for the birth of a new cousin.
And then we should be totally ready to jump fully back into school and do all subjects with vigor and excitement.
I'm looking forward to seeing my house come back together and my schedule slimming down though! I seriously doubt one week will be enough time to achieve it but one day at a time has always been my goal for the home and children so we shall see how it goes.
How are things going in your home? Do you have time for God? Do you feel like your schedule needs a workout or diet to?

Monday, October 6, 2014

5th wheel living moment

So I'm a few days late on this... I guess you will get two this week.
Sleeping arrangements.
When we bought our home on wheels we had to consider where everyone would sleep naturally. .. but we didn't know certain details about sleep that would come into play only last night.
The weather is starting to turn colder and to save on propane we are working on making our home more energy efficient but so far they are only ideas and not put into practice just yet.
Patrick and I keep each other warm at night, well Patrick keeps both of is warm is probably a more accurate statement. So we just throw on an extra blanket and close our thick curtain and keep pretty warm while the temps are still at or above the 90's at night.
The kids however don't sleep together and even if they did wouldn't provide much heat for each other. So their room is a little different.  We started out the night with a space heater that at its worst is a little warm to touch and so is safe for the kids, though we have educated both Caeden and Fia that it should not be played with.  And I secured a pillow to Micah's window since his space is the worst for collecting cold air. I intend to winterize a bit better soon, possibly even today depending on how the day goes.
At 2:30am Micah woke up, he wasn't going back to sleep but was quiet so I stayed in the bedroom with him and the heater (we set the heater to 60 so it was pretty chilly in the living room).  While in the room I noticed not one but several things I might not have otherwise noticed.
1. Micah's bed is like a cave, dark and cold. Even with the heater in the room it was the coldest part of the room.

2. Heat rises... duh right? But that's a pretty big problem for a certain little girl who sleeps at the top of the room and has eczema.  All the moisture was being sucked out of her part of the room.
3. Caeden has the best sleeping situation. Window with a good solid curtain, and a thick blanket that he is old enough to know how to keep it on while sleeping.
4. Magically the cord on the heater is much longer than I thought it was and the heater can be placed on the floor rather than the very tall cupboard.
5. And Fia will sleep through a full body lotion application.
So what to do? Well mostly just moving that heater and lotioning Fia were the biggest fixes. With the heater on the floor some of that glorious heat was hitting the bottom of Fia's bed and billowing down into Micah's cave like bed and getting trapped.
I have plans for the future to make a large curtain to cover the doorway in this room and to insulate the storage space under the beds.  But this things are for another post.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Letter to God Oct 3rd

*as always the letter below is a personal letter to God from my time with God. I try to spend time with him daily by reading his word (at least a chapter sometimes more), doing a daily devotional (currently I'm using "Jesus calling, enjoying peace in his presence"), and writing God a letter. This is not meant for training or teaching, it is just my personal devotion to gain a better relationship with my savior, and become a better wife and mother.  I hope you enjoy it.

Dear Lord of All,
In my bible study two verses stuck out to me, or was it three? I'm so tired I don't know.
Psalm 13:6 "I will sing to the Lord, because he has dealt bountifully with me." NRSV
This was actually just after the one mentioned in my devotional,  but it is how I feel. The devotional talked about supernatural responses, and I could very easily look at my circumstances and feel entitled to more, but I don't feel that way at all. Instead I feel blessed and abundantly provided for. Instead of missing what I do not have, I am thankful for all I do have. I am covered by grace and happy with my life.
The other verse that stuck out was in Hebrew 12. At one point I had most of this chapter memorized, but I don't anymore, it was before Caeden was born, and I've only just got back into verse memorization again.
Hebrew 12:11 "now discipline always seems painful rather than pleasant at the time, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it." NRSV
Oh these children try me! Yesterday was a grace filled day. I never lost my temper,  which in the few days before I am ashamed to say I did. Yesterday the children were not better behaved, I didn't discipline them differently, but I was different.  I did not yell. I did not plead. I did not cry over their disobedience. I simply disciplined them when discipline was needed and spoke calmly to them about the change in behavior that I expected to see in the future, and slowly they came around and began to obey.  Was it the perfect obedience I wanted and hoped for?  No, but it was better than where we started so I will take it and hope for more tomorrow.
I have been tired and emotionally drawn, and in that have resorted to emotional outbursts which I have then seen in Caeden, and I don't like it in him, so I'm certain he doesn't like them in me and is confused by what I expect of him when I have been a bad example for him. So thank you Lord for helping me break the cycle yesterday, and I am asking you to help me to be a better example for him, and Fia and Micah as well.
Thank you Lord for your grace.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Settling in

*this post was from the beginning of the month.  I didn't realize it was never published.

This is the month when we choose whether we settle in for the winter or move on. This is the game changer month. It is also a month of financial dependence on God because we are strapped for cash.
In Indianapolis I took Caeden to the minute clinic and they sent me directly to the hospital because he may have appendicitis.  He didn't,  thank God, but the bill finally found us this month, and it is a whopping $800.00, I think health care is over charging but that is another story. Last month as you recall I had my wrist worked on and that bill was about $400, and over labor day weekend Micah was seen at the ER because the minute clinic was closed, so who knows how much that bill will be. Then there was sad news brought to us, Patrick's father passed away, Patrick didn't really know him, but we hope to send at least him to Colorado for a graveside service they are planning in early October. And last but not least our mortgage will most likely be coming out of our pocket this month because our Tennant has given us notice that he is moving out and we hired a maintenance company to take care of the house and they took their fees from his last month's rent. Tough month for finances right? I'm sticking tight to our budget and trying not to go over at all, even trying to stay under it, but my solace is in a heavenly father who can provide for all our needs.
Back to the whole settling in part though. We have a three year plan to pay off the home we own and rent out, it is totally doable if we are diligent. But we still want roots. Do we want them in Oklahoma where our house is and our friends live?  Or do we want them somewhere else?  We have always wanted to go back to Oklahoma,  but we also occasionally entertain the idea of going to Colorado and getting to know Patrick's family.
What are we going to do? We don't know, but we really would like to honestly settle in somewhere, and for at least the next 4 months we have to make the decision in the next two weeks.
Be in prayer for us would you?
How can I pray for you today?

He is home

Patrick left town to take care of some legal matters after his father passed away, and he came home yesterday.  I'm so happy to have him back!
He came back full of things to say about his mother's side of the family, a lot of them live in the area and he hadn't seen them in years.  But little to say of his father's family;  unfortunately they were not in town, and we hope to plan another trip to see them together at some point.
The kids and I created a fill in the blank game while Patrick was gone, the game goes like this, me: "Daddy is going to be so blank to get home. " Caeden: "happy" and we make up sentences together for whatever we think up, yesterday all of our sentences revolved around daddy!  It is fun when they are big enough to understand your excitement over things and join in on it!
Though we had to be at the airport at 12:30 we still went to church yesterday, we had to leave early but I didn't see any reason we couldn't go, so we went. And Pastor Dale asked me to share my testimony of the last year.  I pray that God used it for good but I have no idea what he has done with it as I had to leave service early.  But though I have said it many times I am so glad to have our family together living in this trailer,  I prefer that over us being separated by states while Patrick works the jobs his contracting company finds him.
Our house is little but God knows where to find us, and more often than not we will be together.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Letter to God

*below you will find the contents of a letter written to God during my quiet time and bible study this morning.  It is not meant to be an example of how to pray, it is not meant to teach theology, it is simply a letter written to my heavenly father that I am willing to let you read.

"Dear Heavenly Father,
There is so much to thank you for this morning!  Thank you that Boomer is being quiet, that Micah went back to sleep, that Caeden and Fia are still asleep and that I get to spend this time with you this morning. 
Thank you for sorting things out with Patrick's family and for the honesty of his uncle.  We needed that honesty, and now Patrick can rest in the knowledge he has gained.
Thank you for paving a clear path toward our winter plans.  Though I still do not know what they are I trust you and your ability to 'handle the details'.
Thank you for making this week easy on me.  Not having Patrick here is always difficult but you have made it easier.
As I was reading I found a few verses that seem to have both answered some questions and left me with more I hadn't until now thought to ask.
I have never believed the notion of 'once saved always saved' because to me it would imply that if you confess in your heart and believe in Jesus and his saving grace but then later denounce him and live a life far from the service of God you will still receive heaven, but doing that seems to me to be worse than never knowing Jesus at all.
I talked to my dad about my brother and the way he has been living these last few years.  He has not out loud ever (at least that I know of) claimed he doesn't believe, but his actions are certainly not producing fruit and may be doing more harm than good.  I can't say he is denouncing you, I don't know if he is or not but the verses made me think of him and pray for him.
"4For it is impossible to restore again to repentance those who have once been enlightened and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared the Holy Spirit, 5and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, 6and then have fallen away, since on their own they are crucifying again the Son of God and are holding him in contempt. 7Ground that drinks up rain falling on it repeatedly, and that produces a crop useful to those for whom it is cultivated, receives a blessing from God.  8But if it produces thorns and thistles, it is worthless and on the verge of being cursed; it's end is to be burned over." Hebrews 6:4-8
Based on the last verse alone I think there are a lot of people who are in danger of fire.
No one but you can know the heart of a person, or the extent of their struggle to pursue you, but God my heart is crying out to you.  Please gather these confused and lost sheep. Help them to turn away from the desire to have what the world offers as temporary compensation for denying you.
And with a particular friend in mind reach the hearts of those that have yet to follow you.  I've said it a lot lately 'a failure to make a decision is still a decision,' so Lord please make it obvious what choice they are making and how important this decision is, how life altering it is, and help them to see you in a true and radiant light.  If they could see you, it is almost certain what their choice would be.
Thank you Lord again for your grace. I pray you flood me with the same grace as I go through this day with the children.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Special thanks

Special thanks to a little boy who woke up at 4:30am and decided that was when the day started I didn't get my bible study or letter to God written today. He loves to try tearing the pages up and sitting right on top of what I'm writing if I try doing it with him! He is like your favorite cat and dog wrapped up in smiles and laughter when you are attempting to do anything that doesn't have him right in the epicenter.  And who could resist playing with a boy so charming?
So instead of my letter to God this morning I'm going to share a 5th wheel Living moment.

Trash! And Laundry! Two things that in a normal sized house are annoying and need constant attention, are in a 5th wheel the biggest problems I face daily.

There is no place for a giant kitchen trash can in a 5th wheel which means that if I am on top of things I will take the trash out a minimum of two times a day. And most rv park dwellers have lovely little golf carts that they will load up and take down to the bins but I don't do things the easy way. I fill a bin of my own  outside with a lid.. it is really just a lightweight metal trash can with a lid. And when it is full I transport it to the kids wagon and we go for a family walk (unless Patrick is home then one of us can go and we don't all need to). Caeden pulls the wagon,  Fia pushes her baby doll stroller,  I walk Boomer and push Micah's stroller and off we go.
Landry is also a thing of worry. Where do you keep the baskets? So far I have three baskets. Two are your regular rectangular ones and they are kept stacked on Boomers kennel out of the way until laundry day. One of them generally becomes a catch all.  It is meant to be where the unmatched socks stay until their love is found and they can be moved to their homes but generally everything on the table gets put in the basket if I'm finished cooking and the kids have not finished cleaning it off.
I also have a laundry hamper that stays just inside the doorway of my bedroom and collects laundry all the time. When this basket is full I have two loads to wash,  when it is overflowing I have three.  Our family usually creates a load of laundry every day and I try to go down to the wash house every other day.
This chore is a bit easier.  Again I load the wagon with two baskets (that is all that fits) laundry detergent and quarters (I recently acquired a draw string bag to keep my quarters in and love it!) The children can stay at home for this trip since I can see our door from the door of the wash house. And hear Caeden if he hollers for me. I know that it takes 8 quarters to wash each load and 34 minutes. I know it takes 5 or 6 quarters depending on the contents of the load to dry a load. And since I'm so close I leave the laundry to do its thing and return home to be with the children instead of staring at the machines. Unfortunately this means occasionally something happens with the children that prevents me from getting back right away and some times ties up the machine for someone else... but I do set an alarm on my phone to remind me of when it will be done.
Lately Fia has been my laundry assistant. She comes with me and helps me load the machines and it is her job to put the quarters in and turn on the machine.  She can mostly do this without help.
Another day I will try taking pictures of our organization for children's clothing.
For now I need to take a broom and gather everything on the floor and get the children to pick up their things, it works pretty well if I tell them anything left on the floor goes in the trash. I have never had to throw anything of real value away... but I would if it came to it and they know it.
Have a great day!  Thanks for visiting my 5th wheel living moment. Leave a comment I love to hear from people.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Feeling challenged

Lately I have been blessed to read some blogs by women totally in love with Jesus and it has been challenging me to do something more vocal to share my own love for Jesus.
Women living well is a great inspiration point. I would link it but my phone is behaving a bit wonky and I can't figure it out at the moment. So look it up I promise it is worth while.
Anyway I'm inspired to put my faith and more out there for you all to see. So I'm going to make it a goal to put one of my "letters to God" on my blog once every week.  This goal is a bit lofty so bare with me if I don't manage. To be honest I don't even always write a letter to God once a week,  but I try to do it daily. As Micah is sleeping better once again I think I should be able to manage it a bit better for at least the time being.
Just so you know what a "letter to God" is, I will explain.  It is exactly what it sounds like. Whenever I open up bible I spend time reading and praying and immediately after I write out my heart in a love letter to him, addressing it in whatever way I feel best suits the way I feel for him that day, some times as 'heavenly father' sometimes simply as 'Jesus'. And pouring out the contents of my heart there after.  These prayers are personal and I don't expect anyone to share my view point, I'm not giving them as examples of how others should pray, I'm simply allowing you to read my personal moments with Jesus my savior.
I am also going to make an effort to share a specifically 5th wheel living moment once a week. Just a little more insight to the life of living small with those who are small (namely Caeden, nearly 6, Fia, nearly 4, and Micah,  nearly 1).
So expect that first letter soon. Possibly at 5:30am tomorrow morning.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

In a funk.

My husbands father passed away the beginning of the month, since he didn't know the man much at all you would think it would have little effect on us, but you would be wrong.  His father came from a family with a rich history,  financially and otherwise, but he was never given a chance to be part of their family, not really.  And his father in his last years of life due to health problems or other reasons didn't claim to have children, Patrick was his only son. The sense of belonging has been hard to navigate and is a subject that we don't see completely eye to eye on. We both agree that it is best for him to go see the family he never got to be a part of now.  And he has planned the trip. We can't all go so he is going alone.
I am not sure why but I am handling this trip badly. I believe it isn't just this trip but the uncertainty regarding it, and shortly after it I will be going on a trip myself, and that trip isn't completely scheduled either. I know I could leave in either Oct or Nov.  I don't much care for uncertainty.  It puts me in a mood.
Patrick has been getting the worst of it, which is to say he is noticing it when others are not.  I am trying not to be melancholy but that is what is happening.   God grants me the strength daily that I need for that day... but I can't help thinking about tomorrow. 
Another day has arrived. .. though it is pretty cold and my blankets are warm I must make the most of it.  Besides I'm pretty uncomfortable with Micah's attempts to crawl over my face, put his fingers up my nose and in my eyes and mouth.  His knees and elbows constantly land on my neck too.  So up I get. The children need mama to make breakfast!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Precious moments

Nursing Micah is not nearly over, but these moments of his excitement over the comfort it brings him and the nap he will get afterwards is just too sweet. I certainly will miss this time when it is over, but I also look forward to him growing and developing his own little personality and mannerisms.
Just like the other two children have already done and continue to do every day. Caeden with his aptitude for building things and discovering new science. And Fia with her growing nurturing nature.  They both amaze me constantly.
I do worry about passing on some of our bad traits as well. Like my impatience with inattention.  Or Patrick's wariness of failure.  What can I do but press on though, praying constantly that this experiment with parenting won't be a failure. 
While doing it I'm certainly holding on to every moment with these babies though because with Caeden already taller than my elbow I know my time of hugs and kisses and tender teaching moments is limited.
What is it about these children that has me so wrapped up in love? Everything! Even the rough moments like when I can not for the life of either of us get Caeden to realize that if he just focused his brain in on what we were doing he would know with out a doubt that he is reading and stop telling me he doesn't know how. Even those moments are priceless and I value them. One day instead of telling me he can't read he will be telling me what he did read and these moments will be gone.
I've got to go get some more schooling done with them... though I often lose my temper I really do love that I can teach them here in our home and experience all their exciting discoveries with them.
What are your children discovering lately?

Monday, September 8, 2014

The start of it

I started blogging because let's be honest I love writing and wanted people to read what I wrote. But I also started this particular blog to help myself heal after the birth of my daughter, and continue to blog today because not too many people live like I now live.
5th wheel living is pretty incredible.  But how did this happen?  When Patrick and I got married he suggested that we buy one of those pole barns sitting outside of Lowes or Home Depot and buy some land, renovate the barn into a home with a loft bedroom and add a bathroom.  I thought he was crazy and wanted nothing to do with it... now I know that while to him it was a whimsical idea to save money, there was probably a lot more benefit than I knew to the idea, but I needed to get over my dream of a perfect place to entertain and raise kids... had I managed that back then maybe my dreams would be reality now.
God takes us through journeys to get us where he wants us, sometimes the journey has a short cut, like buying land and a pole barn, but I am grateful for all I have learned by not doing that,  I am grateful to have met so many people through the journey I went on instead.  People like Carrie, she grew up very near to where I did in Michigan but we never would have met if Patrick hadn't been stationed in San Diego.  Or Vanessa,  also in San Diego,  and my pen pal because we like hand written letters more than bills and grocery store fliers. Or Laura who now calls me when she cleans her bathroom (and though I have no idea what her bathroom looks like right now I do wish she were cleaning it today because I miss her) I never would have dreamed of living in her neck of the Michigan woods, but I did and I loved it because of her. And what about the people my children have met? Caeden recently wrote or rather drew stories for his friends and he hasn't seen most of the ones he drew for in a year.
These journeys of life are amazing,  I would not trade them for anything.  Thank you Lord.
There have been eye opener moments all along this road though. One such moment was when Patrick was offered the job in Oklahoma that eventually lead to us being in a 5th wheel in Pennsylvania.  At that moment I just knew something seemed to warn me that this journey wasn't cut and dry the way it seemed. I needed to talk to someone about it. I bought a coke and a diet coke at burger king and went to see Laura who talked me through my thoughts and prayed with me.
In that time with her a few things were happening,  I was confirming her fear that by being my friend she was opening herself to pain because I would leave again one day, and I was working through my own fear of packing a house while getting ready to deliver a child and moving shortly afterward... I had no idea what God had in store for me, but I knew it was meant for good, and I had a feeling it was going to hurt.  It did hurt but God sustained me through it all. I'm thankful that Laura was the one I could go to. Any other friends would have talked me through it and prayed in their quiet time but not right on the spot with me, what a blessing to have those prayers right in the moment!
Thank you Laura,  thank you God.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

The days are numbered

When Micah is not sick our days have considerably less nursing sessions, today he woke up well. Today he nursed and was still awake. Since he always takes a nap immediately following nursing when he wakes up that means some excellent cuddle time for me this morning.
Knowing how quickly time passed when Caeden was a baby (when he was the only one who took up my time) and then how much I missed when Fia was a baby because of PTSD and how much faster her infancy disappeared into toddlerhood (even faster caring for two). I am well aware that the days of Micah's infancy are nearly over. I'm surely going to miss them, but his new accomplishments are pretty incredible too.
Yesterday Micah discovered how much fun climbing my two step ladder was. He went up one step and then down again, he was so proud of himself!  He did it over and over again.
He said banana for the first time yesterday too... several times actually. After mastering it the first time he then called all the food I gave him by the same name.
He signs too. Not ASL,  no he signs his own way. He uses the ASL sign for milk to say he wants something you have, and he waves when he wants you to come to him. I find it funny that neither Caeden or Fia were very interested in signing but I taught them things like "please", "thank you", and "more". I have shown Micah a few signs but he hasn't been using mine, he makes up his own.
He is so big and so little at the same time.  I love this stage of adventure and total dependence. I will miss it dearly when it is gone. But every day is an adventure I'm not willing to give up just to hold onto today a little longer.
What are your today's filled with that you will miss when tomorrow comes?

Friday, September 5, 2014

Where is my award?

Seriously I don't need or want one, I feel as if the ER I went to over the holiday weekend wanted to award me with worst mom ever though. What happened?  Glad you asked because get ready for this can of worms.
Back story: I am on the fence about vaccines,  but since Micah was born at home and we have moved so much since his birth he has not established care anywhere and though he has been seen by a few doctors we have not done any vaccines.  I have been fine with this because my other two are vaccinated and I would rather wait until his immune system is developed before introducing all those chemicals and synthetic or dead viruses into his system anyway...possibly even saying no to some vaccines altogether,  though the jury is still out on that one.
So on to our ER visit. Micah was sick for nearly a week slight fever runny nose sort of sick and we were scheduled to go see friends over labor day so you can imagine how happy I was when the fever disappeared the day before we were supposed to go. We packed up everyone and headed out of town. On the way there I felt congested,  Patrick was starting to feel bad before we even left and Caeden got a fever and headache on the way down.
Why did we keep driving?  I'm a selfish mom.. The trip was lined up with my best friends 30th birthday and we were going to a hotel for a night away from the kids. The first in 5 years! I couldn't help but think I was putting her kids at risk of getting sick but she felt the same as me and we didn't want to give it up, besides Micah was already getting better and he was the biggest worry.
We had a blast and ate so many things we don't usually least not all in the same night anyway. It was refreshing.
The next night however Micah had a fever of 103f. Ibuprofen was bringing it down a little but I was worried about pneumonia so I took him to the minute clinic, wouldn't you know it they were closed despite the Internet and phone service saying they were open.
I took him to the ER. They saw him pretty quickly.  The triage nurse gave him nearly 2 times the recommended dose of ibuprofen by accident (something I realized after leaving) and the doctor after I was open and honest with her about my concerns for the cost of our visit being that we are self pay,and informed her that Micah was currently unvaccinated,  went out of the room and called a social worker (one that works for the hospital) who then quizzed me about why he was not vaccinated and why we move from state to state so much.
The dr. Wanted to do X rays, blood work, catheter for a urine specimen, and then possibly more tests. I politely told her we would do one thing at a time and asked for a urine collection bag we could put in his diaper. 
The X ray came back normal no pneumonia.
Back at our friends house Patrick still felt like junk, Caeden was in and out of feeling like junk, and my head was so congested I could feel my teeth hurting and my voice was all but gone, blood work for one of the diseases Micah should have been vaccinated against seemed beyond stupid because we were all sick if we had it either a vaccine was worthless against it or it wasn't one you can vaccinate against.  So I left.
I got the discharge paperwork that explained dosage for Micah ibuprofen,  and learned what to watch for if I needed to bring him back in and they made me sign a paper that said I refused the doctors suggestions and that if he died she wasn't responsible (seriously that's what it said). And we went home.
He is fine now. Still congested but fine. ..turns out it was roseola. .. I'm not the worst mother ever... I live in a 5th wheel move across county a lot and have my doubts about traditional medicine, but care for my children and get them the help they need when they need it.
I never thought I would be treated as a child neglecter for saying we move a lot... next time I will say I don't vaccinate on purpose,  at least I have dealt with the rudeness of doctors concerning that point of view before.
Oh and last week's fever and runny was teeth, he got two of them!  All my kids get fevers and runny noses while cutting teeth, I was dumb for believing what the new studies suggest that children don't get fevers or runny noses from teething... experience shows at least mine do.

Up and down

Most of the time I don't struggle at all with the fact that my house is tiny and on wheels... but sometimes the negatives of this lifestyle do oppress me. Yesterday was one of those days.
What are the negatives?  I will tell you,  not because I want to complain but because it is realistic that there are some and what they are may surprise you.
Lack of privacy. I don't mean I can't get dressed or use the bathroom without interruption.  Let's face it no mother in the world can do that no matter how big her home is. No what I mean is if I need a breather, a moment of silence, or just to have a little emotional outburst there is no where I can go to do so without concerning everyone in the family. I used to be able to clean my room alone and just not come down for a while but now my room is three stairs and a curtain away from the TV.  Which makes it impossible to have some quiet time and way to easy for the kids to find me when I want to be alone.
What else?  I can't decorate. Let's face it a wall papered wall in a 5th wheel could be painted but it doesn't have much space to hang pictures or make personal. On top of that my husband would like to sell this once we are done with it and so doesn't want me painting the walls. The fashion of travel trailers is pretty ugly too. Like a fancy house in the late 90's. Valances and non functional curtains all over the windows.  I do plan to rectify this in the kids room.  For Christmas they are getting blankets, sheets and window dressings to personalize their space. I of course have to make them though and that brings me to reason number three that I don't like camper living.
Making Christmas gifts or even buying them them early while living in a small space is really hard! First off just pulling out my sewing machine is hard because it has to be taken care of immediately after using it whether the project is done or not. But the other problem is one of privacy again.   How do you hide what you are making? And then where do you put it until it's time to give it?
Moving on. The fourth reason I don't care for this lifestyle and here is the kicker, it's also the last and the one that bothers me the least. Every noise and movement carries through the whole house. If Micah is napping everyone else has to be quiet. It doesn't matter that he naps in my room in a dark space, he can hear us talk, watch tv, and feel us walk across the floor. If he wakes in the middle of the night I can usually get him back to sleep without waking the other kids, but if he is sick you can can bet he will have Patrick awake as well even though I stay in the living room and Patrick stays in bed.
So there it is 4 small complaints.  The rest of this life is pretty good. And though it probably can't be repeated to the scale it was last month we managed to save just over $2000 last month and use it to pay off 15 months of our mortgage in one grand sweep. Which would be out of the question in any house we could live in out here.
Though I would love to sing the praises of this life some more and give the glory to my gracious God, I have two children that are finding it hard to be obedient, and another who is crying that he is done sitting in his highchair.  So for now, good bye.
What are you struggling with? Is it as big of a deal as it feels to you?  How is God working it out for good?

Friday, August 29, 2014

School has begun

Thinking about Caeden being in 1st grade is hard on me. We started our home school journey when he was only 3 years old. It was a trial year to see if I could handle it.  Boy was it hard on me. Caeden is not a sit down and learn type of child. He wants to get up and do things and at that he wants to do them his way.
This year however.. He is 5 nearly 6 and we are still on trial, not to see if I can handle it anymore, but he is in this awkward space between kindergarten and 1st grade ages. If he were in public school there would be no question he would go to kindergarten but not because he can't do 1st grade work, no because he is a get up and go child who doesn't like to follow conventional rules. He is going to be a leader one day I just know it. He wouldn't fare well in the public school realm as one of the oldest in the class at this age group.
However even though he passed everything required of him for moving on to 1st grade I still was a bit reluctant to move him on, fearing the challenges of some of the sit still work. He has proven me wrong 100 times over in the 4 days since we started school.
Yes we still struggle, yesterday was a perfect example of the struggle,  but if we start early in the day it seems to go a lot more smoothly, and yesterday I had an appointment for Fia that prevented us from starting school until noon. So he was already done with his sit and concentrate mood.
You might want to know what our curriculum is... well let's start with the process I have been through to get where we are.  Our dear friend told me the first few years you don't really need to have a curriculum.  I didn't believe her until after spending 3 months preparing a free curriculum I found online and then a few weeks into it I realized though the curriculum was good it didn't work for children with the wiggles.  So instead of investing in a new one I started adlibbing the days through preschool and he succeeded. 
Then came kindergarten and I decided again not to invest money into a curriculum this time not because it was an early grade but because I was worried about spending money on something that would so quickly fail for my child.  Instead I looked up the core curriculum that public schools are using across the nation. I realized while researching that I didn't like the way they taught reading and choose to wing it and be backward teaching word recognition instead of phonics first.  And once we really got going everything was caterer to my child's learning style and flowed very well. It wasn't long before I also noted that science was way too easy for him and we picked up a 3rd grade science book at an auction after they had finished selling and it was free. He loved it and it wasn't until the last two chapters when they introduced math concepts into the lessons that they became too difficult for him to understand (We were still on number recognition and they were talking about multiplication).
If you have been following my blog you know that during our kindergarten year we had a baby and moved houses three times finally ending up in a 5th wheel at a campground. you can understand with all that packing I didn't have time or resources to prepare a curriculum myself.  Plus after eliminating science and reading from the core curriculum I didn't have much faith in it to teach my son, and was all the more driven to teach him myself and not send him to public school. So without any further ado, our curriculum for this year is Konos. I did a lot of research on curriculum and loved that Konos teaches all its lessons around character traits like attentiveness (our first trait). I also liked that they want kids to be wiggly. And it is a curriculum meant for multiple age groups so if Caeden is advanced in science I don't have to have a different curriculum for him to get what he needs out of it.
Konos doesn't cover some subjects though. Math, phonics, spelling, and learning to read are not in the curriculum.  There are plenty of reading projects once the child knows how but no method to teach them.  This might be hard for some but for me considering the backward method I started Caeden on last year it is perfect and means I can continue to do that with him. We have also picked up some kindergarten and 1st grade workbooks from various stores (target, and 5 below) that will support his learning phonics this year.
I got phonics flashcards from target that show a letter or phonetic sound on one side and a list of six words on the other to show the use of the sound. These are our spelling words.
And last but not least we are trying Singapore math this year. Honestly I wish I had learned math this way. I'm very excited about it and Caeden is doing well with it too. I've been surprised how good he has been doing with everything so far. Makes me believe I choose right in having him start 1st grade instead of repeating kindergarten.
You may wonder what Fia is doing during the day while Caeden does school.  She is most often involved. Konos activities almost always are ok for her to join in, and when we are working on math or spelling or writing she is tracing letters or numbers in a work book from target or showing me the letter a (for now) in Caeden's spelling words. Her curriculum is really a non curriculum.  But at her appointment yesterday she was asked to trace some lines and I was rather thankful we had been working on that very thing this week.
Last thing before I get going on school for the day; how does our day flow?
We wake up and start with breakfast around 7 am (sometimes earlier) as soon as breakfast dishes are taken care of and everyone is dressed I pull out the school books. We have family reading and bible verse memorization practice.  Then math, spelling or phonics, and konos activities.  We are done by the time I need to make lunch and everyone lays down for rest time right after lunch which is usually about 1 PM and we stay there until Patrick gets home from work at 3:20 PM.
If everyone sleeps then I get a chance to wash dishes and get things ready for the evenings activities which three times a week means going to the gym, once a week grocery shopping and the rest of the days probably finishing laundry and getting in baths before bedtime.
There you have it. Thanks for reading all that. How is your school year going? Are you sending your kids off to public school or teaching them at home? How does the day flow?

Friday, August 22, 2014

Getting ready

This is officially the last weekend before we start school here... I'm both nervous and excited.
1st grade is such a big deal!  My boy is getting so grown up. 
We are even going to play around with some preschool for Fia. I wasn't going to, not on the books anyway, but she is going to be doing almost everything Caeden does anyway so I figured I should keep track of it all just to see the progress she makes before kindergarten next year.
So I guess I have two children in school now.
I have chosen to follow the konos curriculum.  It covers everything except phonics and math from kindergarten to eighth grade. Phonics I will be teaching my own way using a mixture of methods as I did last year,  math however is not my forte so I bought the Singapore math text and work books.  I'm excited and honestly wish it had been the method taught to me.
In the meantime we are preparing for Monday and trying to enjoy the beautiful weather we have in eastern pa right now.  We took the trash in the wagon down to the bins... we were quite a sight.  I pushed Micah in the stroller,  Fia pushed her doll in a doll stroller,  and Caeden pulled the wagon. We also had Boomer with us, poor thing doesn't get many walks.  We were a mini parade on the way to the garbage bins.
On the way back  we became worm paramedics and rescued three worms from the road way.  I'm sure they appreciated it even if they scared Caeden by wriggling and twisting when he tried to pick them up. It's nice at this age I don't have to admit to being a wuss that doesn't like touching worms, I just call it a learning experience and make them do it themselves.  One day they will know their mama is a wimp though.
It's a glorious day... how are you spending it?

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Getting up.

When he was an infant, Micah would try to start his day at 4:30am.. This sucked but was really no worse than him waking for a feed because he didn't stay awake long. Now as a 9 month old he is waking up at 5:30am after a few weeks of sleeping until 6 or 6:30am. I thought perhaps it was due to teething, or because he was cold, but this morning he has already cut the tooth (though perhaps there are more coming) and he was not cold...I think we have formed a habit .
It's hard to break a habit in a child. But breaking baby habits involves a lot of tears and baby tears are loud. So breaking bad habits during other people's sleep is no bueno in a 5th wheel.
You might suggest that I get in the habit of waking up at that time, and I would answer that I am up then... but I'm up packing Patrick ' s lunch and making his breakfast. And once he leaves for work I like to fit in some bible reading.  But with Micah up I don't always get Patrick ' s food prepared which means that he has to spend money to eat, which then throws off the budget (not by much mind you but it comes out of his spending money and I'm sure there are other things he would use the money for if he could).
So how do you silently get a baby back to sleep?  I do not want to nurse him to sleep anymore,  he is finally starting to find ways to soothe himself that do not involve my breasts and I like that. I'm hoping he will just eventually fix it himself if I stick to my guns and don't nurse him until after Patrick leaves for work.  But because of how things are going, instead of being up and ready for the day when the kids wake up I am laying in bed with Micah until 8 am when he finally goes back to sleep.  And next week when we start school I can't be doing that.
Anyway if you have any suggestions please send them my way!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Sewing projects

I love learning new things! 
I have one week to finish my projects and get ready to start school with Caeden.  So for the first time since moving into the 5th wheel I pulled out my sewing machine.  I'm re-covering a high chair cover with plastic to make it easier to clean... However I have come across two problems.  1. Plastic sticks to the machine and won't let it slide through. 2. If I pull my fabric along it screws up the tension and makes an ugly seam. Ugh. Oh and plastic doesn't recover after you make a hole in it the hole stays so it is super important not to make bad stitches!
I have screwed up two spots. Hopefully I can recover from that and not make any more. If I manage that goal then I could be more ready for school next week than I thought was possible.
On another much sadder note we had our first 5th wheel related injury today. I feel awful but I can't see any way I could have prevented it 100%.
Caeden had just come inside and closed the door but unknowingly hadn't latched it. Micah is pulling up on everything lately and the door is no exception. He tried the unlatched door and fell out. The second it happened my heart stopped.  I ran as quickly as possible but the damage was done my poor baby was laying on the ground outside by the time I got to him.  He has a really pretty bruise on his forehead and what looks like a scratch just above it. He didn't bleed so I don't know if you call that a scratch or what.  I tried to ice it but he just fought it off and it made him cry more so I left it alone.  He seems unmoved about it. Even fell asleep at nap time on the bruised side...I however feel like trailer trash. I am still in my pj's,  hair not brushed,  bare foot,  and my baby fell out of my trailer...guess who is winning mom of the year today? 
I'll update later on how baby is and whether the high chair cover survives my machine, but for now...I'm going to go brush my hair.

Friday, August 15, 2014

I have missed you.

Unexpectedly two weeks ago my phone, my only means of connection to ANYONE, began to blink and then died... I thought I was low tech, I learned that is impossible in our day. I totally survived the two weeks that followed the death of my mobile device, but was rather lonely at times and was worried that my pregnant clients would not be able to reach me. However everything was fine in the end. It just made me miss the days of having Internet in my home and a land line to call people. Samsung is currently repairing my old phone and my mother in law bought a used one for me to use until I get it back. However Samsung told me to remove my sim card so I thought I could put it in the new phone... not so! It flagged the card as stolen and locked it! So sprint should be able to unlock it They pitched it and gave me a new one... which means because I didn't sync my phone to my Gmail account (which by the way I thought I had but hadn't) I have lost almost all of my contacts! How's my attitude about all of this? Pretty awesome. Yes I'm annoyed but life isn't over. What else has happened? Lol. Well my debit card was copied and my account was used to buy someone's groceries! But that was resolved with a single phone call. I got my lovely ganglion cyst back. I got sick yesterday... All the symptoms of pregnancy to which was quite fun to think about for the day. But then at 7th when dinner was finally done and I couldn't eat it I took my temperature and saw I had a slight fever and decided it wasn't a baby but a tummy bug that was also giving me a back ache and head ache. I feel fine this morning! Praise God because we are supposed to be visiting with some friends this weekend. And now I don't think we will have to cancel. This all could really have gotten me down over the last two weeks but hasn't. I'm so glad to be blessed by God, and to be with my family!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Illuminate the darkness

Today I feel like God has given me a bit of insight.  It isn't a new concept but rather a new way [for me] to look at an old one.
Instead of painting my world with rainbows for sin or pink, blue, or orange, for sickness, disease or injustice, I pray that God will use me to shine light into the darkness of our world. Illuminating the beauty we all posess that is the love of God, for peace, humility, healing, forgiveness,  and joy.  Beauty that can not be denied.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Get ready to save

We have entered a new season of our lives.  One of plenty. .. After so much time striving to make our savings last, we are now in a position where we can think about things a bit differently and start giving and saving at the same time!
We have never taken Dave Ramsey's financial peace University, but have several friends who have and I did take some teenage equivalent course when I was in New Zealand. .. so we are applying our knowledge.  I have set up a bank account for emergencies with a total of 3 months expenses in it.  That is done! Next step paying off the mortgage on our house in Oklahoma.  I'm not sure what our plan of action is on that just yet but that is the next step.
What else are we doing? Well we just sponsored two of the cutest kids on the planet.  They live in Indonesia,  their names are Gita and Ipung.  They are both 5 years old (same age as Caeden) I'm feeling so very blessed to be able to sponsor them!  And even more blessed that my husband was the driving force behind doing it!
I set up a budget for us to live off from. .. One that may change slightly coming up because our rental house is newly signed with a rental management company.  But that shouldn't change things too much. . Just a little.  We are actually going to be earning something from this investment now!  For the last four years we have been blessed to have a friend renting and caring for our home but now its time to start using it as an income home and though we don't like raising the rent on a friend we are happy to know that soon our house will be helping us instead of hindering us from financial peace.
Looking forward to the differences the new plan is going to be making us!

Get ready to save

We have entered a new season of our lives.  One of plenty. .. After so much time striving to make our savings last, we are now in a position where we can think about things a bit differently and start giving and saving at the same time!
We have never taken Dave Ramsey's financial peace University, but have several friends who have and I did take some teenage equivalent course when I was in New Zealand. .. so we are applying our knowledge.  I have set up a bank account for emergencies with a total of 3 months expenses in it.  That is done! Next step paying off the mortgage on our house in Oklahoma.  I'm not sure what our plan of action is on that just yet but that is the next step.
What else are we doing? Well we just sponsored two of the cutest kids on the planet.  They live in Indonesia,  their names are Gita and Ipung.  They are both 5 years old (same age as Caeden) I'm feeling so very blessed to be able to sponsor them!  And even more blessed that my husband was the driving force behind doing it!
I set up a budget for us to live off from. .. One that may change slightly coming up because our rental house is newly signed with a rental management company.  But that shouldn't change things too much. . Just a little.  We are actually going to be earning something from this investment now!  For the last four years we have been blessed to have a friend renting and caring for our home but now its time to start using it as an income home and though we don't like raising the rent on a friend we are happy to know that soon our house will be helping us instead of hindering us from financial peace.
Looking forward to the differences the new plan is going to be making us!

Get ready to save

We have entered a new season of our lives.  One of plenty. .. After so much time striving to make our savings last, we are now in a position where we can think about things a bit differently and start giving and saving at the same time!
We have never taken Dave Ramsey's financial peace University, but have several friends who have and I did take some teenage equivalent course when I was in New Zealand. .. so we are applying our knowledge.  I have set up a bank account for emergencies with a total of 3 months expenses in it.  That is done! Next step paying off the mortgage on our house in Oklahoma.  I'm not sure what our plan of action is on that just yet but that is the next step.
What else are we doing? Well we just sponsored two of the cutest kids on the planet.  They live in Indonesia,  their names are Gita and Ipung.  They are both 5 years old (same age as Caeden) I'm feeling so very blessed to be able to sponsor them!  And even more blessed that my husband was the driving force behind doing it!
I set up a budget for us to live off from. .. One that may change slightly coming up because our rental house is newly signed with a rental management company.  But that shouldn't change things too much. . Just a little.  We are actually going to be earning something from this investment now!  For the last four years we have been blessed to have a friend renting and caring for our home but now its time to start using it as an income home and though we don't like raising the rent on a friend we are happy to know that soon our house will be helping us instead of hindering us from financial peace.
Looking forward to the differences the new plan is going to be making us!

Friday, July 25, 2014

I found people like me!

I stumbled on a website full of full time rv families!  I'm so excited about this!  You should check it out!
Seriously check this out!
I am still exploring the site but hope to write more about it in the future!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Don't feed the fire

I recently built my very first fire without the help or input of anyone.  It turned out great and I jokingly called myself the fire master the rest of the evening. Fires have a lot to teach us.  One such lesson is that you can't keep feeding the fire if you want to put it out.
This morning I woke up groggy and less than than chipper, but in a good mood.  My children however were intent on making the day difficult.  This really makes me wish I had gone to sleep earlier.  First Micah woke up crying.  He wanted to nurse and go back to sleep, but Caeden woke up then too. Caeden doesn't have a mute button, or a slow down button, or a consider others button yet.  I plan to install them soon.
So Caeden hits the ground running "can I have a yogurt?"
I buy yogurts just for Caedens breakfast.  No one else eats them.  It makes mornings go smother if he can get his own breakfast while I tend to Micah.  This morning he couldn't get the silverware drawer open though so he had to wait until Micah was taken care of and this for what ever reason ticked him off.  He stamped around the 5th wheel and loudly complained and demanded that I get him a spoon.  I schooled him for his rude behavior toward me and he waited, the damage was done though because then I hear a sleepy little girl saying "can I wake up now?" She took to saying this around the same time she stopped falling asleep during her nap time.
I get Caeden a spoon, try again to get Micah to go back to sleep,  no dice,  the children are all over the place playing being loud and then fighting.  I demand they get dressed then start to read with Caeden which on a day like today is just asking to create bald spots on my head. 
After struggling through the book we finally finish and Micah is screaming for me.  Caeden is still hungry and Fia has finished her oatmeal I get Caeden a bowl of cereal and go back for a 3rd attempt at getting Micah back to sleep, and it is working until Caeden 'meant to just push Fia a little bit' but obviously pushed too hard cause she is screaming.
This is my morning. .. And it isn't even 9am. How do you not feed this fire? Oh I tell you it is a constant struggle.  Just let the little things slide and find good ways to deal with the big ones that don't involve waking up the baby I just got to sleep...
Next on my agenda grocery shopping.  On a day like today you can call me crazy. .. But we have company coming tomorrow and no more food in the house. I have no choice but to brave the stores with my motley crew and pray that God has mercy on me.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The reward system

Caeden is learning to read,  and Fia is getting a good reminder on potty training.  And we decided to go back to a big reward for each accomplishing their goals.
We took them to Walmart and let them chose a toy. .. our genius kids picked $10 toys with out any prompting!  For your understanding here are the rules.
Caeden must read 3 books to receive his dragon toy.  He can look at the toy all he wants but it can not come out of its package or be played with until he has read all three books. 
Fia must use the toilet and have no accidents for 7 straight days to receive her baby doll stroller. 
I made them each a chart and for each day Fia is accident free, and each book Caeden reads they receive a sticker for their charts.  So far Caeden just earned his first sticker this morning,  and when Sapphira wakes up she will get to put her 3rd sticker on the chart!  I'd say we are off to a very good start.
Caedens reading is actually very good if only his attention was as good as his ability he would be reading at a higher level by now.  He just gets about three quarters of the way through a book or story and starts wiggling and can no longer concentrate on what he is supposed to be doing.  It's been hard because of that to assure him that he can read and that he is doing well.  If he never finishes the book he thinks he has failed all together and doesn't want to try anymore.
Fia on the other hand, no one knows what is gong on there. She was fully potty trained and suddenly became terrified of public toilets again and went so far as not wanting to use our toilet either.  But now with that baby doll stroller sitting on the shelf she has been accident free for 3 days no problem at all.  I've decided to just continue to remind her often to use the toilet once this week is done,  I think it will help her at least at home.
So there it is.  I don't know if this is bribery, I'm going to say it isn't. When you go to work you don't just do it because your boss said to, you get a financial reward for your effort. .. so my kids are getting rewarded for their hard work.  Hopefully this proves to Caeden that he has the ability, and to Fia that she doesn't need to be afraid of the toilet. We shall see.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

So brave

Yesterday cost me about $400.  Not totally unexpected.  I had my Dr. Appointment for that ganglion cyst.  I was thrown off a bit by my doctor's appearance though. I expected an older white male,  short and chubby. I have no idea what made me expect that.  What I got was a dark skinned,  skinny,  angular nosed, young man wearing a pink Polo that made his skin really pretty.  He was gentle and funny... And professional.  I don't want anyone to think I was flirting with the man. . Lol. 
After discussing my problem and having him bend and twist and press around in my wrist he confirmed what I always thought.  The part of my wrist that sticks up is bone, not a cyst.  Which had him worried because it could have meant surgery or an eventual wrist replacement.  A wrist replacement!  I've never heard of a wrist replacement!  But he informed me that almost anything on my body could be replaced (side note, none would be better than the original though). So he sent me off to get some xrays.
I asked every person available how much those would cost me. .. No one knows!  What industry can you go to, specify exactly what you need and not be told the cost until after you agree to it.  I don't mean that they could give me a ball park figure but not an exact price. ..I mean they said it could be a few hundred or more. .. or less, but you will get 50% off cause you are self pay. .. Who cares what 50% is if you don't know what 100% is? How do I know it is actually discounted if I don't know the original cost up front?
Sorry I digress. .. Back to my wrist.
I returned to the doctor and was shown the bones in my wrist on the computer.  They both look exactly alike!  Nothing wrong with the painful one at all.  I paid, or rather will pay for something that no one could tell me the cost and in the end I didn't need. .. But I'm glad to know I don't need surgery!
After talking this over with the doctor he offered not to charge me for an ultrasound to take a look and see if there was anything he could do. 
And to our amazement there was indeed a cyst.  A tiny one under the bone sticking out, it was causing the pain and some inflammation on two of my tendons.  So then I started warning them about my extreme dislike for needles and the doctor seemed nice but perhaps didn't believe it was a serious concern, who likes needles?  The nurse however got me a cold lemonade and some peanut butter crackers, and then when I mentioned I wouldn't eat or drink until after the procedure because I might puke she offered to get me something to puke into.  I refused because I didn't think I would puke,  the only times I have ever puked was during the glucose test in pregnancy.
Then they left me in that room for a while with all the stuff they would be using in my wrist!  Nerve wracking!  But I kept from thinking about it by reading an article in a magazine about spd which I found very interesting but finished before they came back.
When the doctor returned I was still pretty calm and feeling very proud of myself.  He sprayed my wrist with something pretty cold and then injected something to numb my wrist.  I always react after the needle so trying to stay conscious I asked about the cold stuff he sprayed me with.  He said he had no idea what else it could be used for and then started reading the label and informed me it was flammable.  Lol.  I asked him not to light me on fire. He laughed and we chatted a moment while he waited for the numbing stuff to work.
Then he got the ultrasound going again and started by taking fluid out of the cyst and then injecting it with a steroid to take away any inflammation and get rid of the cyst.  And while he did that I started fighting the urge to puke.  I even asked him (mostly because I thought talking would help me stay conscious) if I passed out and convulsed would it mess up what he was doing?  He said no. Then I told him I thought I was going to puke.  He got me a trash can and then called for his nurse in a sort of panicked voice. If I had been feeling better I would have laughed at his reaction.  He found me a little plastic basin and I held it while trying to regain my balance, not puke, and not pass out.
Im happy to say that after a few minutes, a cup of cold lemonade, and some crackers, I was OK.  I didn't pass out or puke!
Then I realized I would be driving a stick shift home and wanted to cry.  Lol.
Any way. I made it through.  Pretty well too.  And the doctor when he returned to check on me picked a little about how he had never lost a patient.
  Now I am supposed to wait a few days before reporting the results but while it was really painful last night it feels almost normal today (normal as in still painful) hopefully tomorrow I can say it is normal like my other wrist.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Reunion crashers

A few weeks ago my family was invited to the home of some of the members of the church we are attending,  while we were visiting we were given an invitation to come to their family reunion... this sounds odd, but it was a party and they invited us so we went.
The reunion was held at the vacation home of an Amish man and his wife.  From what I gather the family used to be Amish but over generations they are mostly not Amish any longer for whatever reason.  So the only remaining Amish in the family (at least of those present) were the man and wife hosting the reunion.  My secret desire was that there would be more. I want to learn about all these cultures we have the privilege of seeing on all of our travels. 
I learned quite a lot about mexican food while in San Diego.  I say it was a lot but no Mexican would agree, I went from a general understanding of tacos to making and eating quesadillas, fajitas, and even once I helped to make enchiladas.  Just having these foods in our diet on a regular basis is quite a difference from my upbringing.
So now on the east coast I have the privilege of living near many menonite and Amish families. I feel excited to get to know this difference in culture. But the family reunion we crashed was not the time to learn about them I suppose.
I did have the chance to speak to a mother of 8 children soon to be nine,  the daughter of our host.  We actually had a bit in common.  Though I have only three children and live in a house on wheels, and she has 8 children and lives in a grand beautiful home on around 100 acres, we both like to sew clothing for our daughters, we both home school our children, we both want to raise God fearing children who respect and care for others. We both have experienced home birth, and in different ways have put our total trust in God, it was wonderful to get to speak to a woman who understands the important things in my life because they are important to her as well. 
I'm finally coming around to the idea that I can have a conversation with someone and know ahead of time it won't develop into a deep friendship, and still spend the time talking about whatever comes up and really enjoy the time.  I will always thirst for lasting relationships and miss my dearest friends who are not living near by (due entirely because we don't stay anywhere long enough to put down roots), but I can truely enjoy the company of strangers on a deep level and then move on perfectly Ok, probably better off for it.
I thank God for the chance to meet this family, and being included even so briefly in their family.  I look forward to the next adventure we as a family get to be part of!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

I am learning

Talking to a newly homeschooling mama friend I hadn't spoken to in months reminded me of some things I said to and about myself a few years ago and made me realize just how great my God is.
When Caeden was a baby, maybe even before he was born Patrick and I started talking about how we would educate our children, home school was an option we would consider but were unsure of.  I was home schooled a few years and while I thought it could have been great, it wasn't. I was not socialized during that time and wasn't kept accountable for my school work much of the time.
Then when Caeden turned two I met a woman who was homeschooling her three children, and part of a co-op, and thought "yes I think I could do that but ONLY with a co-op". So home school became a reality to me. Something that could be done but only with support.
We moved back to Michigan for awhile and I prepared a curriculum for Caeden's preschool when he was 3.
And then Patrick got a job where I couldn't even locate a co-op.  So I learned that in deed I could homeschool without a Co-op. But that was just pre-school, surely pre-school didn't count.
Then kindergarten time came and not only did we not have a co-op but we also moved 4 times from October to the end of May.  Which is almost the whole school year and somehow we made it through.  We are done with kindergarten!
So my friend asks me "did you find a co-op? " and my answer.  "Yeah there are some out here but we aren't joining any."  HAHA!  What happened to the girl I was a few years ago?  Unsure of my abilities as a mother and teacher, unsure of what God had been leading us to all along.  Here I am, not the best mother, not the best teacher, but absolutely the best for my children, absolutely qualified for the work God has anointed me to do!  Sure is going to be rough, but I have a mighty father to lean on and he is reliable, strong, a great leader, and I know he can teach me what I need to know to give my children the life they need and grow them into God fearing,  strong caring citizens of this country who take care of themselves and others as they are able.
I am growing so much and God is leading me through this journey.  Is it about me?  Nope, but while in this life I'm determined to do my best at it.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Trouble in paradise

Sometimes it seems you get all your ducks in a row, get yourself set up, Your household is in order, and then something hits the water and starts it rippling.  That is my life.  The water never stops rippling, and if I think it might be then hang on because it won't last long.
I try to enjoy this life that I have because it is the one God has blessed me with, but if I'm honest it tires me out.  We have been playing with tests for ADD on the Internet and yesterday Patrick was answering the questions as they pertained to me.  He was answering in jest but had a story to back up every question he answered yes to.  In the end I felt like the real problem is that I am over loaded with to - do's.  I want a simple life but even though our things are few, our lives are far from simple.
I'm trying to depend on God for direction and find it hard to do as he has said because I have to find the time to do it right.  Here is an example.  I prayed the week before last that I could help Caeden realize the role he plays in our family and to take ownership of that role without complaint.  I felt the answer was to have him take on a chore of his own.  One he would do every day.  In this house the cupboards are so high I have to be selective on what my children can help with.  So again I prayed about it and felt the Lord answered that he should clean the bathroom.  This sounds perfect.  I organized the bathroom and bought baskets to make it easy on him to keep things organized.  But then I never taught him how to do it... I want to obey but I'm having a hard time doing it.  Makes me slightly more compassionate toward my children's disobedience when I can see my own so clearly.
I am determined that today will be the day that I teach him how to clean the bathroom.  Maybe we will do that even before breakfast. If not though it will be done. I will be obedient to God in the raising of my children.
And these ripples in the pool of my life, I'm trusting in God to calm them and carry us on. Wherever he leads us we will follow.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Fun times

Yesterday a family from church joined us at the campground pool for a swim.  It was lovely to meet with them and we enjoyed their company.  The children did not really play with each other but I hope one day they will become friends I really like this family.
It's hard because the kids that come to the campground are either only here for a weekend or may not be the kind of kids I want my children playing with. There is one boy that is here a lot and isn't much older than Caeden but is allowed to wander around at will much of the time, Caeden is not allowed that freedom and the other boy doesn't understand.  Caeden has twice left without permission and gotten in trouble for it, and the other boy is starting to get it I think. But the other problem is this boy seems to be a camilion, changing how he treats Caeden depending on the other children he is around.  If the child is older he acts like he doesn't know Caeden, if younger they all become friends fast. It hurts to watch this considering Caeden doesn't know why it is happening and has yet to make any other friends.
Which is why I'm so very excited to bring him to vbs at church!  I'm praying he will become friends with the children there. They are bound to be better influences on him and since we will attend church together he will see them on a regular basis.
Life for Caeden has been rough. Giving up toys,  leaving friends,  changing houses so often.  I would like to make these changes easier on him but the truth is they are not easy on any of us.  We can only pray that God will protect our hearts during the changes.
So after church today Caeden will get his very first big kid activity away from mommy and daddy.  I mean that he will be attending for a whole week.. He does go to children's church without us. I am a bit sad about this. I have not decided if Fia will attend or not but I believe her age group is included.
Ack. My babies are getting so big!

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Happy 5th of July

No time to post yesterday. .. so you get a 'day after' post.
Happy 5th of July!
Yesterday was a pretty good day.  I had mini attitude issues and got through them.  I find that I'm jealous of my husband when life starts to overwhelm me and I feel like I'm running to hard for to long to keep it all going.  He works 5 days a week and then gets to come home and not work.  Lol!  At least that is my perspective,  he actually does help us out at home a lot, like yesterday he worked a half day and came home and we all went out to a park that was hosting festivities.  After that I made some hamburger patties and he grilled our dinner, built a fire so we could make smores, took care of some trash that was just laying around and then helped me get everyone in bed.  Which is a lot more than nothing. 
We intended to watch the fireworks but someone said there would be some here at the campground but didn't know if it would be today or tomorrow.  We let the kids stay up until after dark which is to say an hour and a half past bedtime, but no fireworks were going off so we concluded they must be tomorrow.  Then as in some grand joke they began the fireworks display about 3 minutes after tucking them into bed. I wasn't about to get them up again since they were both so tired that they were crying about things they wouldn't have ordinarily cried about (such as a new found hatred for helium balloons because they always fly away).
Caeden and I had a good talk about why God created things that go away but bring us joy while they last.  This life is temporary. 
This life is temporary,  do you hear that?  Only life with Jesus is forever. My children teach me that every day as I look at them and see them growing so quickly.  God gave me these babies to love, raise, and teach about his love, but they are not really mine, they are God's, and one day they will be grown.  I comfort myself knowing that we have God inspired technology that will help me to communicate with them even after they leave my home, but when they are grown I pray I have done my job for them well.
Oh how I pray I will have taught them to love the Lord with all their hearts and to love each other as themselves.  I pray they will have a steadfast joy in their hearts the kind that seeps out of them and into the hearts of those they come in contact with.
I pray that jealousy will find no place to take root in their lives, that they will be happy for the good fortune of others and content in their own good fortune.  That they will find spouses that love Jesus and walk humbly with God together.
I have always prayed for my children but now that I'm seeing Caeden starting to make his own choices in life and I know the end of a season has come for us, now I pray even harder.  I feel like prayer is my greatest weapon against the sins that my children are about to face head on.  I protect, guide, and disciple them but they make their own choices. 
My biggest prayers for them currently are obedience,  joyfulness,  and contentment.  Couldn't we all use those?
What are your prayers for your children?