Everyday, Family

7 Ways to Know You Need a Self-Care Day

7 Ways to Know You Need a Self-Care Day

7 Ways to Know You Need a Self-Care Day

  • Planned ignoring of your family and friends happens every 5 minutes
  • When you realize you have not brushed your hair in 3 days
  • Meltdowns are happening (on your part and not your children’s part) daily
  • You find yourself hiding in the bathroom more often than not
  • The sound of your children inhaling the oxygen you are breathing bugs you
  • Going to get the mail is a vacation
  • The sound of a particular child’s voice makes you want to run down the road naked screaming at the top of your lungs

Last Night

Big Daddy got home early, yesterday.  He had to go and do weapons training, therefore, it was a short day for him.  On his way home, he called to see if I wanted lunch.  I have not been particularly hungry, lately, but I told him to pick me up a salad.

Once home, he found me where I always am…at the dining room table.  The table is filled with schedules.  There are Bible reading schedules, menu schedules, yearly school schedules, and daily school schedules.  I also had an array of Dr. Seuss books and Sandra Boynton books stacked up.

My Days

Since school started, the dining room table is where you can find me at any given moment of the day.  There are occasions when I hide in the bathroom.  I may have been found lying in the fetal position, in the closet, and sometimes I am in the kitchen starting supper.

My days are exhausting, though you wouldn’t be able to tell from the state of my house.  See, I have 5 kids at home (one is married and one is in college or working).  Two of my kids have some learning issues going on, one rushes through everything and has to redo everything.  One particular child has a word and question quota that MUST be reached every day or she will self-implode.

Then There is Hunter

Hunter consumes 99% of my day.  Physically, he struggles, so his every move has to be monitored.  I was trying to get his medications rolling, he started shaking so badly that he shook backward and landed on my apple head Chihuahua.  I thought he killed her.  It was bad.

He wants to “do school” so badly, but there are so many times he cannot physically sit still or hold a pencil.  So, he wants to play with play-doh, play with sand, read books, play with legos, etc.

While I am grading papers, answering questions, doing my work, fielding phone calls, planning/starting supper, he is glued to my hip.  He wants to do all the things, all the time and he cannot do them by himself.

He Knows Me

Thankfully, Big Daddy knows me.  He knows when I’ve had my belly full.  After our lunch, I asked if he cared if I went to town…alone…and he said:  “GO.”  He did not have to tell me twice.

Off I went.  I didn’t brush my hair, change my clothes, or put on makeup.  I just went.  Mom and daddy were on my to-do list.  I had an overwhelming desire to just go and set with them.  I cried and prayed all the way to Paducah.

We Had the Greatest Visit

I got to see K and J (Hunter’s biological brother and sister).  I also saw my sister.  Shopping is not my favorite thing to do in the history of ever, but that did not stop me.  Kohl’s, Michael’s, Hobby Lobby, Old Navy were some of the stores I visited.

At Michael’s, I found some artwork. In Old Navy, I found a dress.  They were both on sale.  Then, I did something crazy!  Dillard’s!  Never have I shopped in that store, but today, I stepped out of my comfort zone.

Makeup Counter

I meandered to the makeup counter and I asked the 12 yr old girl and the 40 yr old woman to help a girl out.  There was a brief moment of stating that I want to look natural.  My makeup needs to be simple, and I do not want to look like a prostitute.

We had so much fun and yes, I did buy some makeup.  She informed me that I didn’t need to keep makeup for more than a year (mine was going on 3 or more cause I just don’t wear it often).

Coming Home

When I got home, from my self-care, afternoon, it got even better.  Big Daddy had almost finished painting the living room, papers were graded by him (and Alyssa the next day), and he cooked supper.

He hugged me, told me he loved me, that I looked beautiful and supper would be ready in a bit.  That was just the respite I needed to snap out of this funk that has been swirling around in me.

Moral to the story:  Find a fella like Big Daddy.

Giveaway

Review & Giveaway Spirit of God

Review & Giveaway Spirit of God

Description

Review & giveaway Spirit of God Illustrated Bible brings to life more than 40 Bible stories that help readers understand that God’s Spirit has been with us since the beginning of time and continues to be with us today. From the glory of creation through the powerful letters of Paul, God’s Spirit is living in his people. Old and New Testament stories such as Adam and Eve, Abraham, Joseph, the Baptism of Jesus, and Pentecost come alive with dramatic illustrations by Fernando Juarez and moving text by Doris Rikkers. With a cover that sparkles and shines with foil, this is a special storybook Bible that will appeal to both children and parents alike.

Author Bio 

Doris Rikkers is a freelance writer and editor who has written many bestselling children’s books and Bibles. Although she loves the ocean, she lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  She is surrounded by her books, her flower gardens, and her family and friends.

Illustrator Bio

Spanish artist Fernando Juarez illustrates children’s books and works as an art supervisor at the Madrid studio Ilion Animation. The company produces 3D feature films for children. Fernando has three kids himself.   If he has any time left after work and family, you might catch him playing guitar in a rock band.

Social Corner

Spirit of God Illustrated Bible  On this page, you will find a free sample of what this Bible has to offer.

Enter to Win  

A winner will be drawn, randomly, on September 27, 2018.  Please subscribe, like, and comment on this post, on FACEBOOKPINTEREST, and TWITTER for a chance to win!

Pictures

“Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255:  “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”).  Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway.  Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.  I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post. Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller/FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days on the same blog, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again.  The winner is subject to eligibility verification.
Adoption, Family

5 Unexpected Ways Starting Over Can Make Your Life Better

5 Unexpected Ways Starting Over Can Make Your Life Better

5 Unexpected Ways Starting Over Can Make Your Life Better

These are the 5 unexpected ways starting over can make your life better. After a *rough* start (and finish) to my day, I decided to just begin again.  As I sat in my bed, crying, I felt the Lord impress on me.  These are some simple things that I (and you) can do that can make my life (and the lives of my children) better.

  1. Hug your difficult child.
  2. Give encouragement, even if it is through gritted teeth.
  3. Pray often.
  4. Smile more.
  5. Begin again.

Choose to start over.

A new book.  Chapter 1.  Page 1.

It is NEVER too late to begin again.

Do NOT feed into the lies of Satan.

You are NEVER “too far gone.”

NEVER too old.

You will not be sorry.

God.  Is.  Bigger.

Inspirational and Encouraging Bible Verses

Cut it, Grind it, Make it into Ash, Burn It

 

Homeschooling

Things You May Not Know About Homeschooling A Child With Dyslexia

Things You May Not Know About Homeschooling A Child With Dyslexia

Things You May Not Know About Homeschooling A Child With Dyslexia

There are things you may not know about homeschooling a child with Dyslexia   Homeschooling a child, with Dyslexia (and other learning disabilities), has been one of the most stressful, difficult, undesirable times of my life.  Dramatic?  Maybe, but it is my truth.

I was ELATED when we found out our child had dyslexia.  I mean, I giggled.  It was such a loud giggle that my child’s therapist thought I was fixing to have some sort of breakdown.  She even patted me, and I got a hearty “bless your heart.”

By the time my child was diagnosed, I had had this child in public preschool, homeschool, back to public school, and then when that crashed and burned, back to homeschooling.  I have homeschooled this child for the majority of his life, but I wanted to see if someone else could figure out what was wrong.

Luckily, our local university does specialized testing that does not cost me an arm and a leg.  Add that to the fact that his therapist (and all of the grad students) were beyond amazing with my child (and with me).

Getting Tested

Getting tested was not a hard thing to do, once we got going.  We first had him tested for Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CapD).  That yielded the result of nothing was wrong, and his hearing was excellent.  No help, no answers.

We started therapy because I thought maybe it was depression or anxiety.  That was another plane flying into a mountain kind of moment.  It yielded no results.  Next, we tried medication for ADHD/ADD to see if that would spark something.  The meds did nothing.

It was an exhaustive list of things that we tried.  There was no amount of anything I could do or that I tried that helped him.  He was falling further and further behind, educationally, mentally, emotionally, and otherwise.

Finally an Answer

Once we got our appointment, at our local university, the therapist said she had to “score” the results.  That was when the back patting began.  I asked her why she was patting my back and had a look of sympathy on her face.  She just smiled that sweet smile and kept on patting.

She said that she could not definitively tell me anything (until the scoring was done), but she knew within 5 minutes that he was SEVERELY dyslexic.

**Cue giggles**

Working Hard

She and the grad students worked really hard with him.  He worked very hard, as well.  They did the Barton system with him, that did help.  He was “well enough” to leave intense therapy.

Since he has been out of therapy, life has been hard.  He is not progressing at an average rate, at all.  He struggles, at times, with even spelling his name.  Spelling, well that is a thing of the past.  I’ve finally yielded and bought him a spelling calculator.

We have the Dragon software, so he can “tell” stories instead of having to write them physically.  This does not help with his grammar, however…I feel like that could be a lost cause.

He does have an insatiable love of reading.  I am incredibly thankful for that aspect of his life.  He may skim over words that he doesn’t know, but he still reads.  He prefers the Encyclopedia on any type of war.

Other Issues

Other issues play into the delay that this child has, but I’m not going to go into them.  I just know that I hold onto a lot of the guilt for how behind he is.  It is not for lack of me holding him to a higher standard or for seeking outside help…it is just a mom’s guilt.

I know that I am not to blame for things his biological mom chose to do, while pregnant.  Logically, I know that, but still…I wanted to be able to fix it.  To make it better.  To help him learn.  To see him thrive.

I almost feel like I’m 1/2 way up the mountain.  I’m not sliding down the mountain, and I’m not going upwards either.  A treadmill…I’m standing on a treadmill, going THROUGH the mountain.

Here’s to all the mama’s going through the mountain.  Cheers.

The More You Know

Test for Dyslexia

Dyslexia: Symptoms and Causes

Results are In

Medical

Look Deeply Into My Eye

Untitled Design

On the Road Again

Here we go, back to the Amish Iridologist.  As we travel back to Hestand, KY, we meet up with Dr. Reuben Schwartz.  I’m so thankful that the trip is not too long, about 4 hours.  I had packed Hunter’s bag the night before.  We had the staples, of course.  I had a few pullups, wipes, a baggie, some extra clothes, 3 stuffed animals, a banana, some gluten-free snacks, and 2 movies.  I had told the kids to do their chores before bed, to prevent yuckiness in the morning.  It was also required, that they all bathe cause…well, they are kids and they smell.

Preparing

Once morning rolled around, kids ate quickly and got dressed.  We hoped in the van and once we were on the interstate, we popped in a movie.  Big Daddy drove, I slept, kids watched a movie.  It was a good set up.

Due to the MASSIVE amounts of road construction and the fact that Dr. Reuben is out in the middle of nowhere (quite literally), we were 15 minutes late.  They were waiting on us because it was inching closer to dinner time and they do not miss their dinner.

His son was there to help, so he took the boys to one room and I had Hunter and Grayce with me.  Mr. Reuben did his thing.  He got his little crucible and his utility flashlight and he edged all up in my personal space.  The man smells like Melaleuca and love, I kid you not.  His eyes are bright, his clothes are fantastic, and his white beard with those piercing blue eyes…..oh, and that smile.  He is so engaging and friendly (and honest).  It has been such a joy getting to know him.

The Results are In for the Kids

G:  He said her “rages” were because her left ovary was not very nice LOL.  He saw, in her eye, the issue she has had since before she came to us.  He even found her pneumonia that she had before she came to us.  Apparently, there is scarring from it.  Her thyroid is causing her weight to be out of control and stress.

N:  Stress, thyroid, adrenal gland, digestive system, and drink more water!

D:  Stress, digestive issues, and heart issues.  This is probably a biological factor, as Dr. Reuben’s son asked if we had heart issues.  We had to, quietly, explain our family dynamics.

J:  This boy.  Well, there is stress, digestive stuff, not enough water but he was told to “lay off the sodas.”  We laughed and said that he doesn’t drink anything but water and milk.  They see pre-diabetic stuff going on in him.  I had to have Dr. Reuben look at him because I told him Ethiopians do not have diabetes and he is only 12 and something wasn’t seen correctly.  Reuben saw the same thing, so we are going to be making a follow up with his pediatrician to check his blood work.  Mama is not even playing.

Big Daddy and Me

Big Daddy:  He asked him how his joints were (collective laughter as we all know how bad his knees are).  He asked him how his stress was, he nailed his thyroid, the fact that he does not drink enough water or that he eats too much red meat.  He also laid out the issue with his heart.

Me:  Once Dr. Reuben got all up in my stuff, he slid on back in his chair and said: “good grief, you are under tremendous stress.”  I told him I was fine and what made him think I was stressed.  He laughed and said, “your eye is telling me you are under stress.”  I told him of my past 2 weeks where every night, I have been consumed in pain.  I either start vomiting or have diarrhea.  He said that it was straight up stress.  He said we needed to calm my body down.

Stress

I find it eye-opening that all my kids (and us) had stress show up in their eyes.  This past year has been nothing but a stress ball for us.  I don’t think I have considered the effects of Hunter’s condition has had on the children.

How sad, as a mom, I did not recognize that.  We are all going to have to sit down and have a family meeting to address this.  Our family may need to step back from the few things that we do, in order to see to the mental health of our crew.

I know that I have a lot going on in my life, I mean I have 7 children.  There are many irons in many fires.  The anniversary of my Lady’s death is coming up, my house is in disarray because we are painting, my room is a nightmare because all my living room belongings are not upstairs, Hunter is not getting better, school, issues with a family member that is breaking my heart.

I have to step back.

It really is that simple.

Now, how to do that…

 

 

Giveaway

Review & Giveaway: Unbroken: Path to Healing and Redemption

Unbroken: Path to Redemption

Unbroken:  Path to Redemption is IN THEATERS OCTOBER 5, 2018.  This movie is based on Laura Hillenbrand’s bestselling book, UNBROKEN: PATH TO REDEMPTION.  It begins where the hit movie Unbroken concludes.  This movie is continuing the unbelievable true story of Olympian and World War II hero Louis Zamperini.

SYNOPSIS:

After surviving a plane crash, weeks of floating on a makeshift raft in the Pacific, and then years of torture as a prisoner of war, Louis Zamperini finally returns home to California, seemingly unbroken.

When the war ended, his battle began.

Because he was haunted by nightmares of his torment, Louie sees himself as anything but a hero. Despite battling demons, anger, and alcohol, Louie feels obligated to participate in an Army tour to raise money for War Bonds. But as he focuses more on hotel bars than his public appearances, Louie is ordered to take R&R on the beaches of Miami. There, he meets Cynthia, a young woman who captures his eye — and his heart. After a whirlwind courtship, the couple weds and moves to Los Angeles.  While pursuing every avenue of hope he can find — from trying to reestablish himself as a world-class runner to get-rich-quick investment opportunities — Louie’s wrathful quest for revenge drives him deeper into despair…and the bottle.

Even more, he was hopeless and on the brink of divorce, Cynthia experiences Billy Graham’s 1949 Los Angeles Crusade where she finds faith in God and a renewed commitment to her marriage and her husband. Now, her most fervent prayer is for God to help Louie find the peace and forgiveness he so desperately needs.

This Fall

UNBROKEN: PATH TO REDEMPTION brings to life the rest of Louis Zamperini’s powerful real-life story.  This story is about forgiveness, redemption, and amazing grace.

This movie is from the producer of Unbroken and the writer of A River Runs Through It.

Starring

  • Samuel Hunt
  • Merritt Patterson
  • David Sakurai
  • Will Graham (as his grandfather, Billy Graham)

OFFICIAL TRAILER

PRESS RELEASE

A winner will be drawn on September 18, 2018.  The lucky winner will receive 2 Fandango tickets to this fantastic movie event (all about date night!)

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