…Nine Months Later

I do so have to laugh at myself when it comes to this blog! I’m just terrible…as in totally stink at keeping up with this thing. I would love to write daily and, believe me, there’s plenty to write about, but I just can’t neglect children, husband and life for even a few minutes and feel good about it. I am one of those women who struggle to take time for myself because I know there’s always something else I should be doing.

I digress. After reading the last two posts, the latter being nearly a year ago, it just seems to be calling me to update. So, here goes:

I shared that our rental home was for sale and our offer had been turned down (as well as all other offers we had made on any house or land at that point). The house ended up with a contract in August so we quickly found another rental and moved again on Labor Day weekend (2013). We had just started our third year of home school a few weeks before this so we took a week and a half off to get settled and then jumped back into life with both feet.

I tried to be a good steward of all our junk and began going through and getting rid of some things. This included the crib, mattress and sheets to some folks in need as well as an assortment of other baby items to a friend who had just had baby #4. And, on the first Sunday in October, I looked at the little pink lines in complete astonishment (well, as astonished as you can be when you haven’t been trying to prevent such things)! God is just so comical at times! We’d been moving that baby stuff around for several years and literally a month after giving it away, we discover that WE NEED IT! But, God in His sovereignty, met the needs of those we provided a crib for and is continuing to meet our needs as well. So, to do a quick catch-up…at this point, I am 30 weeks along tomorrow and we decided for the first time to not find out the gender. I’m a little OCD so this is hard at times but will be such a sweet moment on delivery day. Due June 19!

Now, a little catch-up on the house situation as well. If you recall from a previous post, we had made an offer on a two-bedroom house on 15.5 acres that was turned down. This house did not sell so after much frustration with the house-hunt, we decided to make the same offer again. The people were now listing it as for sale by owner but because our first offer was made through their agent we still had to proceed with said agent. Anyway, the owner apparently didn’t want to deal with this agent (we had not heard good things about him) and after our offer he contacted our agent personally. After a few negotiations, we settled on an amount and in January bought ourselves a little house in the woods. Yes, this will be Brown Eyed Baby #4 so a two bedroom for six people is a bit tight! We are currently in the process of adding a family room, master bedroom and a bedroom for the boys. We’re also making a few changes to the kitchen, and have stripped the floors and restained them to match the new part of the house. We’re hoping to be moved in no later than the middle of May. Oh, did I mention that this current rental is also for sale and we’ve had to show it since March 1? I could seriously pull my hair every time I see the agent’s name pop up on my phone!

I. Am. Tired. Just sayin’. I have moved at 6-weeks pregnant without knowing I was with child and with a 16-month-old, moved at 14ish-weeks pregnant with an 18-month-old, moved at 10-weeks pregnant with three and five-year-olds and am now trying to help my BEH with the remodel/addition, clean and show this house, start sorting and packing and will do the final move while 35 or 36-weeks pregnant. I will take the first and second trimester moves any day over a third. We have moved a lot so there are certain things I like to do and I am very much a DIYer so there’s a ton I want to paint and do at the new house before moving in, but I am just physically unable to do a lot of it. I have bought some zero-VOC paint to do a few painting jobs (all will be outside except one and with a mask) so it’s not a total loss but God is certainly teaching this OCD, ADD, push-till-you-can’t-move girl to rest, ask for help and have some patience.

Let’s see…did I miss anything? I’m still doing Trim Healthy Mama, albeit somewhat loosely while pregnant. My BEG is going to be nine this Friday, BEB #1 just turned seven two weeks ago and BEB #2 is a fiery, sweet, still-blonde 3 1/2-year-old who keeps us all busy. School still has it’s ups and downs but we’re adjusting and working through this current chaos. We will start the next year in a new house with a two-month-old so lots more chaos in store. But, you know what, God is my strength so bring it on!

Blessings to you all. I’ll catch up all the other stuff one of these days!

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My Blog is Still Here??

ūüôā Well, I must say, I warned you that I was terrible at keeping up with a blog!¬† My last entry was over a year ago; and, quite frankly, I’m surprised I still even have an account and a page!¬† I read through the last two entries – moving to our new cabinish house at Christmas, first year of homeschooling…all I can say is wow!

Let’s catch up, shall we?¬† Just a few months after moving to that wonderfully remodeled mountain-vacation in Florida home, BEH decided he wanted to apply for a position within his company back in North Georgia where we lived prior to moving south in 2010.¬† After three months of intense, Nehemiah/George Muller-type prayer, he was given the position and we began planning to move AGAIN!¬† When I say intense prayer, I mean three months of seeking His supernatural clarity and wisdom to know that we know.¬† BEH had wanted to move back to North GA the day after we moved south – it was where we had hoped to “stay” so I wanted to be sure that God wanted us to move back and not just my sweet BEH.¬† Anyway, our God is awesome and His hand was in and on every decision we had to make.¬† From finding a rental to getting two spots in a Classical Conversations community near our new house to the movers having a “heart to work” and sweet friends helping us move in and get settled.¬† It was the easiest, quickest move we’ve ever had (and it was number eight)!

We moved in August 3, 2012 and it’s now July 11, 2013!¬† Whew!¬† We’ve loved being back “home”, we’ve loved our rental with it’s perfect homeschool room, we’ve loved being near old friends and making new ones, we’ve grown to love our new church and the relationships we are building there, we love our CC community and how it has enriched our homeschool experience.¬† Now, I say that but the first few months were kinda hard for me at the new church.¬† I’m an introvert at heart and could easily be a hermit so jumping right in with groups of women is not easy for me – even after all these moves.¬† Luckily, several CC families attend our church and I attended a wonderful women’s conference in January of this year that helped set my heart right.

So, that all sounds blissfully wonderful, right?!¬† ūüôā¬† I know.¬† Well, the fun is over and the rollercoaster must continue.¬† The owner of our rental home needs to sell it.¬† We made an offer but he wants considerably more than we want to pay (again, we’re thinking resell and with some of the work that needs to be done we simply can’t pay his price, fix those things and resell it and, honestly, even think we’ll break even).¬† This means it is currently on the market and being shown.¬† No small measure of stress with three little people who can make a disaster area appear in three seconds flat!¬† We’ve been looking and looking at homes for sale as well as rentals but we live in an affluent area and don’t like most of the larger, cookie-cutter type homes.¬† And, the older homes all need work but because of the great schools and affluence, they’re still a little pricey or just on a tiny lot.¬† Honestly, the FL house fit our natures perfectly and we’re just not finding that here!¬† We did find a two bedroom on 15 wooded acres and made a low offer because we would have to add on to the home and it was, of course, turned down.¬† We’re also considering building a small home on some land that we have found for a great price.¬† Only problem is, it’s a large tract of land and the owners don’t want to sell a small tract!¬†¬† And, then there’s BEH returning from a mission trip to Guatemala.¬† These trips always remind us of our spoiled, American lifestyles and how we chase the American dream at every turn.¬† So, maybe we’ll end up living in a hut somewhere!¬† ūüôā¬† We’re simply praying and waiting at this point.¬† God will direct and provide in His time, not ours.¬†

This is getting long so I’ll wind it up for tonight.¬† We’re about to start year three of homeschooling.¬† It has been a blessing but it is not without its own sacrifices and hardships.¬† My BEG is a toughy¬†– disliking anything school-related.¬† She was like this when she attended public school Kindergarten.¬† Sight words made us need therapy after a study session!¬† She is just not a motivated child, which makes it my job to find a way to motivate her.¬† Quite frankly, I am at a loss but praying through.¬† I have considered sending her to school but that just means she will fight with her brothers when she gets home because she’ll be tired and we’ll have to stress and call on the Holy Spirit to give us every measure of self-control to get her homework finished each night.¬† So, I feel it’s better for her to have the creative playtime with her brothers that she now enjoys and we get through all that school stress during the day so we can enjoy our evenings with Daddy!¬† Like I said, praying through.

BEB is now a six-year-old sweetheart (when he wants to be) and LBEB is about to be three in a few weeks.¬† Seems like he’s been potty trained forever – by far my easiest.¬† We still have a few slip-ups but potty life is good.¬† Are all third children more independent and just seem way too smart?¬† He’s a cutie and we all spoil him rotten.

It was great to catch up!  Blessings to you all!

Timely Encouragement

As the days tick quickly away and draw me ever closer to another birthday, I am noticing that I’m starting to feel my age. ¬†Once upon a time, feeling my age wasn’t so terrible because I was young¬†and felt energetic¬†but this celebration of my birth is for thirty (plus five) years. ¬†And, well, I’m feeling every one of them. ¬†I’m tired, my hips are suddenly aching and I just don’t have any extra energy to keep up with the eternally-hyper brown-eyed brood that reside with me.

Also, lately I have allowed myself a great many pity parties. ¬†I get down, get discouraged and just wallow. ¬†Some days I even do a little dunking. ¬†I have allowed the enemy to taunt me with my “failures”; to tempt me into agreeing. ¬†When I am too tired to spend extra time playing with the children or for a good week and a half each month when I’m a little “extra cranky” and I am snappy or even yell at the children for something they’ve done, I hear the faint whispers. ¬†Oh, they start out faint but pretty soon they’re echoing in my head: ¬†“What kind of mother are you?”, “Some Christian you are”, “Your children are going to remember you as the crazy mom”, “Your children deserve better”. ¬†And, so I listen and then I agree. ¬†And, suddenly I’m face down in the pit. ¬†The pit of despair, the pit of failure, the pit of self-loathing. ¬†And then, then I hear the faint laughter. ¬†He has won again.

Or so he thinks.

Because my enemy has an enemy who just happens to be my Father. ¬†From the bottom of that pit I cry out – sometimes in anger because I want so desperately to stop this cycle and I feel I’m missing some great detail that will change me, sometimes I simply cry out for help and He gently lifts me back up and hands me a book. ¬†This book¬†is used to dust myself off and begin again. ¬†And, I love how He likes to slip in bits of encouragement when I’m not even looking for it. ¬†Several times over the last few months, I have received email devotionals that I felt were written completely for me. ¬†Two of these were especially meaningful: ¬†Getting Up Again and When Good Isn’t Always Best. ¬†They were both timely moments of encouragement that helped me to see that I am not alone in this role as a Christ-follower, mom, wife, daughter, sister, friend.

For me, I think the answer lies in “taming the tongue”, “being slow to speak and slow to anger” and finding self-control in moments of exhaustion and stress. ¬†But, it could also be that there is something my Heavenly Father is trying to show me but I’m just so busy trying to fix myself that I’m not listening closely enough and must endure the lesson again. ¬†I am a work-in-progress indeed but I know the One who formed me with His very hands, who knew me before I was conceived and who has a plan and a purpose for my¬†life. ¬†And, sweeter still, that book I use for dusting tells me that I can be confident of this: ¬†He who began a good work in me will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ. (Phil. 1:6)

So, as this birthday creeps closer and my body aches and I have days of uncertainty, I am ever thankful and blessed that I have hope, strength and…my dusting book.

Blessings to you tonight.

And, thus ends another summer…

Can it really be August? ¬†The month of July (and truly even June) seems like such a blur! ¬†However, we were so blessed to have visits from my mom and sister (from Virginia), sweet friends from North Carolina that we had not seen in three years and friends from North Georgia who are simply like family to us. ¬†I planned a small dinner party for BEH’s 35th birthday – cleaned the house and served a meal I had never cooked before all without getting stressed out or worrying about how it would turn out. ¬†We have also been in negotiations for a foreclosure house for several weeks and just signed the contract last night. ¬†Closing is not scheduled until September 26th and I could easily worry myself sick over whether or not it will work out but after these past few weeks, I have placed it entirely into the hands of my Jesus. ¬†My life is His and I know that His plans for me are perfect according to His will. ¬†It really is that simple if I just let it go.

AND…(drum roll)…I began homeschooling the older two brown-eyed children today! ¬†We had a trial run a few weeks ago using the Day 1 schedule and curriculum that was a bit chaotic. ¬†Let’s not forget that they are 4 and 6 and there’s a LBEB in the midst who is very near his first birthday. ¬†I was quite nervous after that day but also very well aware that I had not fully prepped myself for that day and the more “homework” I do in advance the smoother each day will be. ¬†So, today we reviewed a bit of the Day 1 stuff and also Day 2. ¬†It actually went very well. ¬†We still have lots to learn and many kinks to iron out. ¬†I have to be observant enough to figure out the kids’ different learning styles and what will work best for each. ¬†Luckily, today LBEB played independently for a long time and then took a three hour nap so blessings all around! ¬†ūüôā ¬†More to come on this topic, I am sure!

I am also considering opening an Etsy shop with some of my crafty items.  I have made several purse organizers and my NC friend asked me to make several as she feels sure the ladies that she works with would love them.  So, that may be one of my niche tests.  I may also make a few more Waldorf dolls and see how that goes.  Then, there are the tutus.  There is also a lovely little shop here in town that might be interested in a few items.  So, in my spare time (insert loud snort and laugh here) I may just attempt to whip up a few items and see how this goes.

Time to look through renovation books with BEH for the new house!  Yes, your prayers are requested.  Goodnight, all!

Summer Rest…Hmmm

Is it just me or does it seem that we never slow down anymore? ¬†We always seem to be rushing somewhere, doing something and stressing all the while. ¬†Summer seems a bit like that already. ¬†While many are just getting out for summer vacation this past week, my daughter has been out for about three weeks (and it seems much longer)! ¬†I have allowed them a very lax schedule these three weeks but things are starting to feel a little out of control so I think we need some structure at this point. ¬†They are attending a VBS this week and possibly next week. ¬†I’m thinking we need to pick back up with our lessons, schedule some swimming days and some library time. ¬†There, that should help!

Side note: ¬†our cocker spaniel, Samson, has been an outside dog for nearly a year and a half and this week became a house dog – I’m having Marley & Me¬†flashbacks! ¬†He’s just as annoying as a lab but not quite as sweet (we previously owned a black lab that lived up to the lab description completely)!

My mother and sister will be visiting us the last week of June through July 4th. ¬†It’s nearly an 11-hour trip so a visit is a very special treat! ¬†We have friends visiting us the last week of July (we haven’t seen them in three years and we’ve both had babies since then – another special treat)! ¬†And, we’d like to make a few beach trips in the meantime.

Let’s add to that that we just booked our very first Disney vacation for the second week of December so we’re very much in the planning stages of making sure we book everything we want to see and do. ¬†AND, we have finally made the decision to homeschool for this upcoming year so I’m in the middle of final decisions on curriculum, ordering, and trying to figure out where to put all the stuff in this ever enclosing rental house. ¬†In the midst of all this, my BEH feels the need to discuss possibly buying a home OR transferring to a new facility in another state. ¬†Need I say just how much I don’t even want to think about that? ¬†So, a few of these things will require their very own blogs (Disney! and homeschool, of course) but, alas, I need some rest even though I’m enjoying the quiet of the house at this very late moment.

Good night, John Boy…

Organiza…what?

I think there is something inherently wrong deep within my soul that keeps me from being organized now that I have three little ones under my feet nearly every waking moment. ¬†I know this isn’t anything new to mom’s out there but it sure is frustrating. ¬†We’ve been living in a rental house for nearly a year and a half and some days that frustration in and of itself is enough to drive me even crazier than I am!

We moved from a four bedroom house with a full attic and two car garage to a three bedroom home with a carport – small bedrooms and closets. ¬†There’s just no storage anywhere. ¬†We were blessed that the house has a formal living room and a den so we have made the formal living room into our storage room and I just recently hung up a curtain so that I can’t see that mess every time I walk down the hall. ¬†(The front door opens into a hallway and not that particular room; however, you do have to walk past it if you enter that way). ¬†Anyway, I’ve gone through that room multiple times, repacking, trashing and trying to organize but within a week it’s usually back to being very difficult to simply walk through.

Then there’s the rest of the house. ¬†There’s just clutter everywhere it seems. ¬†Toys, clothes, books, papers, mail, etc. ¬†I’ve tried purging but it seems that stuff gets replaced with more somehow. ¬†We’re very blessed in that friends give clothes to both me and the children so I’m not complaining that we have an abundance. ¬†Believe me, I praise the Lord constantly for his provision. ¬†I just want to be a better steward of what He has given us. ¬†I know you’re thinking I should get off the computer and get busy! ¬†This is a rare moment being that it’s Saturday and the BEH and BEB #1 are both gone. ¬†Part of me simply wants to rest on this Saturday afternoon but the other part looks around and wants to scream because I know that even if I work until time to crawl into the bed tonight, I still won’t have made much of a difference nor will I have taken a break.

So, I am in search of that happy medium. ¬†Be joyful always and give thanks in all circumstances. ¬†I suppose I will start there and ask God for wisdom in my organization. ¬†You say a little prayer for me, too, please. ¬†I’ll also go back and visit Fly Lady and maybe borrow some of her advice! ¬†And, hey, blogs are great for tracking progress so we’ll see how I do.

Delayed, Overwhelmed, etc….

I figured that a blog would not fit into my life very well right now and it seems I was right! ¬†Constant chaos, chores, babies, trips and stuff galore has kept me from finding the time to truly sit down and open myself up as I would like. ¬†I also wanted to update the birthday party and doll. ¬†So, here goes…

The birthday party went well but I did allow myself to get stressed out over small details.  It had been a week of small things not quite working out so on that particular day I simply reached a point of being overwhelmed by the time it started.  Of course, it ended up being a good time despite my own dip into the depths of crazy mom world.  The kids enjoyed their bikes and other gifts and just playing.  I know that God is in the details and should have simply let Him take care of those for me!  Live and learn, mess up, repeat!

The doll. ¬†The hair. ¬†The latter did not arrived until the Monday following¬†the party. ¬†However, I was completely okay with this somehow. ¬†Probably because she received a bike from us and I had enough other stuff to hold onto to for the day. ¬†So, I finished the doll that week (after the party) and the next week was Spring Break so the kids and I went to Virginia to visit family. ¬†BEG lost BOTH her top front teeth in one day while there so I let her have the doll as her “tooth fairy” gift. ¬†(We don’t really do the tooth fairy and she knows the truth about said issue but is smart enough to know that she wants to play the game anyway)! ¬†She was promptly named Rose.

Waldorfian DollShe was initially wearing one of BEG’s baby dresses. ¬†However, just a few weeks ago I made her a mermaid outfit. ¬†(Template found here.

Mermaid outfit

The Monday Before the Saturday

Today is the Monday that begins the week before the Saturday…the birthday Saturday…not just for one brown-eyed child, but for two of them. ¬†And, I must confess, I’m not a big birthday party fan. ¬†I actually don’t mind them once they start but the planning, preparing, ¬†comparing and my OCDness all just wear me out. ¬†A huge part of my dislike is the expectation and how detailed parties have gotten over the years. ¬†I remember having just my closest friends over for lots of playtime, lots of cake and ice cream and then more playtime. ¬†It was simple and fun…and I still remember them!

BEG and BEB have shared parties because their birthdays are two weeks apart and one of these days we’ll have to separate but for now we’re still sharing. ¬†We have decided to have a simple cookout with burgers, dogs, chips, cake and ice cream. ¬†My Type A personality wants to add sides and lots of little extras but that defeats my purpose and plan of keeping it simple and not wearing myself out.

Okay, now let me explain my current predicament. ¬†Our original plan was to purchase our son a Spiderman bicycle and I’m making our daughter a Waldorf-inspired doll. ¬†I found lots of examples, kits, etc. online and finally decided that the most economical route would be to make one from a kit. ¬†I do like to sew and be crafty but this would definitely be a new “craft” for me. ¬†BEH was most concerned because he knows I tend to be a perfectionist and would most probably freak out that it wasn’t turning out as I had perfectly envisioned in my head. ¬†Go figure. ¬†Anyway, moving us back to today…the Monday before the Saturday. ¬†The doll is completely sewn together and only lacks the embroidering of a mouth and hair and to be my first, I am quite pleased. ¬†However, the yarn for the hair still hasn’t arrived. ¬†I ordered it from Etsy and did not notice that it would be coming from, um, Israel. ¬†So, we are about 3 1/2 weeks out from purchase date with no yarn in site and the order is not showing up on the USPS site. ¬†I also must still make or find some clothes for this lovely dolly. ¬†Based on this predicament, BEH bought BEB and BEG bicycles last night, you know, just in case!

Waiting on my hair!

So, despite my rush to finish the doll, I must press on as we have dance tonight, a visit to the assisted living home for the boys tomorrow, church on Wednesday, my new Photoshop Elements class on Thursday and a Bible study on Friday morning. ¬†Just so you know, I’m not a big fan of being this overly booked with our family but it has, of course, worked out this way for no other reason than to make the Monday before the Saturday that much more interesting.

Enjoy your Monday before your Saturday. ¬†I’m off to chase a newly crawling, teething, pulling up to stand infant and a playful sweet ole nearly-four-year-old…and maybe find time to work on a doll. ¬†Blessings from the South, ya’ll.

Flickr Photos

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