Mommy and Me

Mommy and Me
Sharing life with you is fullfilling

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?