Posted in Adoption, Budgeting, Couponing, Everyday, Health, Homeschooling, Inspirational Thoughts, Marriage, Medical, Once a Month Cooking, Organization, Saving Money, Truth and Honesty

Operation “Get Life Together”

Operation “Get Life Together” is underway.  Here is a bit of what all has been going on the last week or two…..

  • Scheduled:  Dental appointment!  This is HUGE because I do not like the dentist, but my teeth do not like me.  It is what it is.  I have had a toothache for a while and because I CHOSE not to do anything about it (excuses:  time, money, don’t want too, doesn’t hurt that bad, blah blah blah), I now have 2 choices…1) get it pulled (insurance pays) or 2) have a root canal (insurance DOES NOT pay).  I also have to have a wisdom tooth out and some cavities to be filled.  As good as I am brushing, my mouth has always been full of cavities (maybe its genes maybe it is lots o candy).  Anyhow, I have my appointment made for my extraction or root canal.  I got them cleaned.  I also have 2 other appointments I need to make and then I will be caught up with my mouth!  Yay me!  And because I’m awesome, I went ahead and scheduled 5 of my 7 kids an appointment for their teeth to be cleaned.  Yes, I’m a rockstar, I know.
  • Scheduled:  Mammogram!  Girls…take care of your boobies!!!!!!!!!!!!  Breast Cancer is curable if it is caught early!  Now that I’ve said that, I will say that it has been 5 years since I had my last one (practice what you preach, I know).  It was also scheduled for today….which I had to cancel because I didn’t want to take the 3 little boys to this appointment and I had no one else to watch them.  I did reschedule for the week after next. I will be keeping that one!
  • Scheduled:  Papsmear!  Girls…..take care of your girly bits!!!!!!!!!  Is it fun?  Heck no.  Is it necessary?  YES!  I did go, but to my chagrin, I was late and I had started my period.  Good times were had by all.  The nurse and doctor sat down with me and we discussed life, my body, what the problems were, etc.  We have a game plan and I have a new appointment on the 25th of August.  I will be getting my bloodwork done (haven’t done that in about 3 years), I will be doing a urine test, an ultrasound on my insides, a hysteroscopy (they scrape the inside of your uterus) and a papsmear.  Getting it all done in one day (I may throw in a tattoo for good measures cause it is right across the street).  Once all of this is done and the results come in, I will be getting a hysterectomy, a bladder sling, and my girl parts fixed.  I am stoked.
  • Scheduled:  Hunter’s OMS follow up appointment and his Pediatric Opthamology appointment.
  • Need to schedule:  eyeballs for all.
  • I have begun working on our ZERO based budget plan and will do a follow up of that when Big Daddy and I sit down and write it all out.
  • We have discussed our debt and how we are getting out of it.  We are on the same page.
  • I have *not* been to the gym yet.
  • I have a goal of getting back into the swing of going to church on Wednesday nights.
  • I have begun a “for me” project…more to come on that.
  • I rocked the freezer meals.  I went and bought our groceries back around a month ago and we still have a good month left of freezer meals….it will last us almost 2 mths!  We have only had to go to the grocery one time (for lunch items and some breakfast stuff).  I spent about $550 on that July trip and we are still going strong.
  • Get my freezer meal ideas on paper
  • Cleaned my room!
  • Organized the laundry room
  • Organized/cleaned the garage
  • Made my purse emergency kit
  • Made my van emergency kit

I’m rocking it all out.  If you would like any info on organization, cleaning, the kits I’ve made, meal planning, etc….drop me a comment below.  I’m considering doing a video on some of these things to help with those who are visual, like me LOL

Posted in Budgeting, Everyday, Homeschooling, Inspirational Thoughts, Medical

New Purchase

Yes….I’m determined to get out of debt.  Yes…..we have a doable plan that will take us *forever* but still….we will get out of debt.

That being said, sometimes you just need a little something something to help the monotonous days seem a bit brighter.  I saw this hashtag  on someone’s social media (yes, I’m a stalker) and I thought “wowzer, I need that tattooed on my forehead and plastered all over my walls.”  There are days when I feel like I’m entering the 7th level of hell and it is just me and a water pistol.

There are days that I am overwhelmed.  Looking at these PILES of books that I’m trying to get through because I’m doing the kids school planning is OVERWHELMING me.  Seeing the pictures I have taken off the walls and not put up yet is OVERWHELMING me.  OMS is OVERWHELMING every inch of my person.

I am not defeated.  Jesus is still on the throne.  He has already laid out His plans to prosper me and not to harm me.  I’m just choosing to be all up in the flesh instead of depending on him.  Well………..not today, satan.  Yes, I ordered this shirt.  Yes, I may wear it everyday till it falls off my body.  Yes, I may get one in every color.

When I wear this shirt, I know that it is not just me in the 7th level of hell with a water pistol….it is He who shield me and stands to either side of me and in front of me and behind me.

So….with that being said….click on this link ZXZY Women Cotton Short Sleeves Not Today Satan Letter Print T Shirt Blouse Top and get yours too! We can be twins 🙂

Posted in Budgeting, Couponing, Health, Homeschooling, Inspirational Thoughts, Marriage, Medical, My Lady, Once a Month Cooking, Organization, Saving Money, Truth and Honesty

Enough is Enough

Tonight, I had this overwhelming feeling of being suffocated by debt.  I hate that feeling. I hate the fact that I am a slave to money.  That is not how it is supposed to be.  When we moved into this house, about 10 years ago…we had no debt (other than our previous house).  We do not do the whole credit card thing (learned our lesson from that), we didn’t have new furniture…if we did, we paid cash for it.  Our cars were paid for, no student loans…nothing.

Now…..shazaam……we have a van payment, a student loan, an equity loan, another type of loan, a house loan, medical bills, bills from where things have broken and they have to be fixed.  It could be worse.  I know that, but I feel like, right now, this is worse because I know better.  I know what Jesus teaches us and instead of walking that narrow path that He chose for us….we saw the bright shiny-ness of the wider road and we took it.  Now, we are standing on the little strip of dirt between the wide road and the narrow road.  I equate it, in my mind, as those little pieces of dirt between the different lanes of the interstate.  Where it is posted no U turn.  That is where we are standing.  The wide road is so shiny and it is filled with new vehicles, coach bags, sports obligations, vacations, and movies.  The narrow road is not so shiny, but it is being protected, from the elements, by these beautiful weeping willow trees.  It is filled with discipline, being trusted with little, tithing, paying cash, not serving two masters.

I am over it.  I am ready to walk on that narrow road…not sure if Big Daddy is, but I also know he is tired of it too.  This is scary.  It is a hard road.  We’ve walked on that road.  We’ve made sacrifices.  We succeeded.  We can and we will, in the Name of Jesus, succeed again.  It is time to hand over this endeavor and because we are so weak…..we need to lean on Him because He is SO strong.  He is our Strong Tower.

Another issue that we have given lip service too is our health/weight.  We are fat.  We are fat people.  We are not fluffy.  We are not round around the edges.  We are not jolly.  We are fat.  Straight up.  Our health sucks.  We get winded walking up the steps to the bedroom.  Big Daddy can’t hardly walk because of pain.  We have purposed, for years, that the next year will be the year.  It is the magical year we get fit.  We give it a week…we only lose 4 lbs of pee weight and we are done.  We want a double quarter pounder super sized with a coke the size of my face and a side of a double decker death by chocolate cake.

I am over it.  Done.  Just done.  I do not want to give the illusion that we eat crap all the time.  Frankly, I do not buy sweets (now there are other people in my house that do, then eat it all in one sitting). I do drink coke.  I am going to try and cut that down to 1 a day.  We only drink water.  I cook with tons of veggies.  We do not eat much bread or pasta.  We are fruit eaters…..we do not do things badly BUT we are completely inactive and we do not blink if we want to eat out…we eat out. So, we are affecting our health and our finances by poor choices along those wide roads.

I will be documenting our journey of getting out of debt and getting this fat off of us.  You are welcome to follow along.  You can subscribe to my blog >>>>>>>>in this side bar>>>>.  You can also follow me on any social media platform (also on that side bar).  If you have suggestions, by all means, give them too me.  Suggestions on stay at home jobs, how to make some extra money on the side, healthy recipes, or exercises.  Anything.  I am open.

Here’s to having my belly full of ENOUGH.

Onward and upward.

Posted in Everyday, Health, Homeschooling, Inspirational Thoughts, Marriage, Medical, My Lady, Once a Month Cooking, Organization, Truth and Honesty

Motivation Monday

This funk has GOT to go….so go it will.  As my Lady always says “pull yourself up and get outta that pit.”  With that being said….I’ve got things to do, places to go, and people to see!

  • Get thank you cards mailed
  • Email G her letter from the kids
  • Make a dentist appt for me and Noah
  • Make dentist appts for the three younger boys
  • Reschedule eye appt.
  • Schedule ACT for Noah
  • Let him drive (insert me vomiting)
  • Pack for Lville and our next drs appt
  • Call dr with update on Hunter
  • Wear makeup
  • Work on Family calendar
  • Pull some homeschooling stuff together
  • Get my letter of intent finished
  • Call OT to cancel appt
  • Reschedule said appt
  • Clean my bedroom
  • Go through and super clean the boys’ rooms cause there is a nasty smell that, frankly, scares me.
  • Call my mama
  • Go see V’s new apartment
  • Set my month’s goals (yes, we are 1/2 way into July but why wait)
  • Start my Bible reading again
  • Clean of and prepare homeschool computers and tablets
  • Read to my baby
  • Finish Freezer cooking
  • Baseball……….Baseball………….and more baseball
  • Go and see my Lady.

This season has sucked.  This year has sucked.  I have not enjoyed any of 2017 and not a whole heck of a lot of enjoyment was had in 2016 LOL.  What holds me together is knowing that known of this surprises Jesus.  He has got all of this.  He has my family.  He knows the beginning from the end.  I just have to buckle in and deal with the twists and turns of the rollercoaster I have been living on for the last year or so.

Time to live.  Time to breathe.  Time for a new season of life.  Time for new beginnings…..this is where Eccl. 3 comes into play.

Ecclesiastes 3 (NLT)

A Time for Everything

For everything there is a season,
    a time for every activity under heaven.
A time to be born and a time to die.
    A time to plant and a time to harvest.
A time to kill and a time to heal.
    A time to tear down and a time to build up.
A time to cry and a time to laugh.
    A time to grieve and a time to dance.
A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones.
    A time to embrace and a time to turn away.
A time to search and a time to quit searching.
    A time to keep and a time to throw away.
A time to tear and a time to mend.
    A time to be quiet and a time to speak.
A time to love and a time to hate.
    A time for war and a time for peace.

What do people really get for all their hard work? 10 I have seen the burden God has placed on us all. 11 Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end. 12 So I concluded there is nothing better than to be happy and enjoy ourselves as long as we can. 13 And people should eat and drink and enjoy the fruits of their labor, for these are gifts from God.

14 And I know that whatever God does is final. Nothing can be added to it or taken from it. God’s purpose is that people should fear him. 15 What is happening now has happened before, and what will happen in the future has happened before, because God makes the same things happen over and over again.

Posted in Everyday, Homeschooling

Good News

I’m always hesitant to see where my kids are in their schoolwork.  They do it….everyday and I grade it….once a week. I make out schedules for 3 of my kids and the other 2 have their schoolwork mainly online so that schedule is made out for them.

With Christmas coming up, I know that we will be taking a break…a long, much needed, much deserved break.  I looked to see our local public school’s calendar to count up how many days my older children should have under their belts before the break.

They needed to complete lesson 88, in all subjects by December 19th.  *Panic* ensues and I tentatively ask Boo what lesson set he finished today (that is math..2 different maths, English/Grammar, spelling, history, science, Bible, Spanish and so on)…he finished lesson 74 today which puts him RIGHT ON target!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Woohoo!!!!!!!!!!

I’m pleased to announce that Peach is 3 days ahead, as well!!!!!!!!!!  I’m so excited.  Gigi struggles, but she has her schedule and it will be completed (much to her chagrin) and the little boys…we are just plugging along with minor hiccups here and there.

I feel like the Little Train that Could….I think I can, I think I can, I think I can…..chuggin’ chuggin’ up that educational hill.

Posted in Everyday, Homeschooling

Oops in Homeschooling

Today, as the boys and I were reading together, I might have made a bit of a faux pas……I could chalk it up to the fact that I had not had any cheese, broth or caffeine.  Maybe that is a good thought.

So, I didn’t have an “oops in homeschooling,” I had a small lapse due to the insufficient dairy consumption (in the form of parmesan) and I was dehydrated due to the fact that I had not had my morning chicken broth or coke or water.

All that being said…the boys and I were reading.  I have many readers that are 1st-3rd grade.  I bought most of them at yardsales or consignment stores.  When the we read, one boy reads one page, my other son reads a page and I read a page.  So I am flanked by two super cute boys and we are enlightening ourselves on our newest story.  At the end of table, doing his work, is Boo.  You have a visual, right?

We were reading “Harvey’s New Fish.”  This story is about an elementary school aged boy who is jealous because some of his classmates have pets and are allowed to bring them to school for a type of show and tell.  He goes home and asks his mother if he can have a pet and she says no.  In that same afternoon, the boy gets a letter from his uncle, who lives in Japan. The uncle promises to send him a fish, in the mail, from Japan.  Well, the boy was thrilled and he went to class, the next day and announced to his friends that he was getting a fish from Japan.  Days went by and no fish came.  Harvey was sad and the kids began to say that there was no fish coming and that he wasn’t telling the truth.  He got home from school, discouraged, and his mom told him that he had a package in the mail, from his uncle.  Harvey rips open the package to find a kite, in the shape of a fish.  The boy tossed the envelope and was angry.

He went back to school, the next day, with a jar and water in it.  The kids asked him what it was and he told them that it was his “transparent” fish that his uncle had sent him from Japan and that the “transparent” fish ate “transparent” food.  All the kids (and teacher) gathered around and soon, the kids began “seeing” the fish.  The boy was so excited that his friends were excited and his teacher encouraged the students’ to draw a picture of the “transparent” fish from Japan.

The next day….Harvey returns to school, without his transparent fish.  The kids ask where the fish is and Harvey tells them that a cat snuck in his house, found the jar and ate the fish.

Story Over.

There are comprehension questions about the story at the end…I ask the boys the questions to see how their memory recall is and if they could remember details of the story.  The boys sat down, ready to answer the questions.  I closed the book and I looked at the boys and said “well, Harvey is a little liar, isn’t he?”  Boo stops what he is doing and he looks up, in shock.  He said “mama…that wasn’t the point of the story.”  I thought, what the heck is the point.  The boy is a liar.  I asked what the kids thought of the story and they all agreed.  The boy was ungrateful to his mom and uncle.  He lied to his teacher and his fellow students, and frankly, he needed his butt busted.

I took the opportunity to discuss integrity, honor, honesty, trustworthiness, deceitfulness…..my kids know what I expect out of them.  They are still kids, however, and they still make poor choices.  It is my job to guide them, instruct them and discipline them, if necessary.

So, I took an innocent story, out of a 20 year old reader, and I created a lesson on how to be a city on a hill.  Boo still snickered..moreso because he kept thinking the story was real and he wanted to research what a “transparent Japanese fish” looked like.

Bless.

🙂

Posted in Adoption, Everyday, Homeschooling, Inspirational Thoughts

Coloring Outside the Lines

As I was working with Little Man and Catfish, yesterday, my mind started that swirling and twirling that it does.  Sometimes that is good and sometimes that is not so good.

I’m not sure what this time would be classified as.

We were studying the American flag and all the rules that are associated with how to handle the flag.  One rule, is that you cannot fly another nation’s flag with the American Flag.  I’m sorry to say, that that is a rule that I might have to break.  With one of my children being from Ethiopia, I want him to honor that country as much as he honors America.  People fought for rights there, as well as, here.

That isn’t what got my mind swirling and twirling.

LM was coloring his nations flag and I told him what colors to put and where to put them…we wanted it to be correct.  I told him to color inside the lines and to make it pretty.  He did…he did a great job.

Then, I got to thinking about a conversation that Big Daddy and I had the other day (yes, my mind goes to a thousand different places at once).  We were talking about a possibility that is coming up and a big decision that we have to make.  When my husband was asked to be in this position (can’t really mention it right now), I just looked at him and asked “do the people that recommended you for this opportunity KNOW who your wife is?”  He asked me what I meant….I meant that I don’t wear taupe.  I don’t conform and where most people are happy to color inside the box….there is no box in my world.  I have hot pink hair….I am loud…..I eat parmesan cheese out of the jar with a spoon…..I am opinionated…..I laugh at inappropriate times…I speak my mind….I love bohemian clothes that are tie dyed……do they REALLY want you in this position KNOWING that I am standing behind you.

My husband is soft spoken, slow to anger, in likes his box, he believes when  you color a landscape picture that the sky should be blue and the grass should be green…I don’t do that.  I love abstract, creative, wild, and loud things….I do my best work under pressure and surrounded by chaos.

I have tried to conform and be the person that people can think “oh, she has it all together.”  I don’t have it all together…my pieces of life are scattered from here to Timbuktu.  I know where all my pieces are because I’m an organized kind of flower child.  I have all these beautiful ankle length bohemian skirts that I choose not to wear because people will look at me and go “there she goes again.”

I’m so tired of that crap.

I want to laugh.

I want to enjoy life.

I want Jesus to ooze from my pores.

I want pink hair, comfortable clothes, and beads that were handmade by beautiful women in Africa.

So, when you see me out and my beads are clinking next to each other and my hair matches my skirt…..don’t focus on what you see on the outside and automatically assume that I am a flighty person who doesn’t have a thought in my mind.  Look at my eyes because in being myself, loving myself, and knowing everyday that “Joy comes in the morning” (Ps. 30:5)…you are looking at a person who is happy and is confident.

I may not have it all together all the time but today, I choose joy.

Posted in Adoption, Everyday, Homeschooling, Inspirational Thoughts

Today is the First Day….

….that I have felt settled in the homeschool arena with my two little boys.  My kids, normally, work independently beginning in about 4th grade and becoming solely independent (with help, of course) by the time they are in middle school.  I do not stand over them and dictate…they have their schedules, they have their curriculum and they work at their own pace.  They do so with the understanding that there is a beginning, middle and end.  They know what I want done by the end of the year.  We begin state testing about Mid-May and then we are done….till August :/

With my little boys, well, they are a different set of kiddoes.  Catfish has MMD (mild mental deficiency), severe dyslexia, FAS (Fetal Alcohol Syndrome) and a lot of other stuff.  Little Man has some memory lags due to malnutrition and he is completely deaf in one ear.  We have mainly been focusing on math, reading, and spelling.  Catfish has therapy 2 hours per week in a town that is a half hour away.  They work on his speech, reading, handwriting, comprehension, etc.  It truly throws a ginormous kink in my day, but it has gotten him an official diagnosis and his therapists have been wonderful.

I spent this past week mourning the results of the testing.  I know that sounds dramatic, but it is what it is and no one wants their children to be delayed, have any type of dx, or have any issues, whatsoever.  We want our children to be okay, normal, and be able to function in this world…a parent wants their children to leave the nest and fly.  Catfish will probably not leave the nest and that is okay…well, it is okay now.  It wasn’t for about a week and a half.

In our efforts to help him, we have found audio books that are recorded by people and not machine.  He has been listening to 4th grade (his grade level) audio books (free books) that are classic novels.  He listens to them because his reading is so bad because of the dyslexia.  He is listening to books, on his grade level, to help improve his severely delayed vocabulary.  This will all help him and he loves listening to books.  He is reading, however, books on the 2nd grade level.  He is doing well and reads one or two stories a day that include comprehension questions.  His memory is affected so we are trying to build those memory muscles the best that we can.

In therapy, Catfish uses an FM system.  It is a headphone that is attached to a system with a microphone.  The therapist speaks clearly and the microphone magnifies the sound in his ears to help him HEAR the words being said properly.  He has a type of phonetical processing problem where he can not hear the words said properly therefore he says them incorrectly and has a speech impediment.  Well, there is no financial assistance or program that can assist in us purchasing an FM system, so we did a knock off called the Pocketalker.  It is similar to the FM system and it drowns out the outside sound and simply magnifies my voice.  We are currently working on our “r” sounds…those are a booger!

So, this weekend, I sat down and realized that Catfish, though he should be in 4th grade…is probably more like 1-2nd grade.  Okay.  So I deal with that.  LM is supposed to be in 1st grade but can pull some 2nd grade out of his hat, but only when his brain is working (sometimes we have to run around the house to get our brain warmed up).  I came up with a doable schedule, will be adding in math worksheets and possibly science, and lots of memorization of facts.  I will be working with both boys, in tandem on the same set of books.  Today went really really well.  It will not be easy and Catfish will eventually catch onto what I’m doing, but I feel like if I can bump Catfish up in math (he is excellent in math) and keep LM on his grade level in math, that will be a huge boost of confidence even though the other books are 2 grades below what he is working on.  We really don’t do grade levels anyway and there is no  GRADE 2 marked on any curriculum that I use, so the visual is not there for him to be discouraged on.

This is working…it keeps me accountable and not flying by the seat of my pants.  The boys are learning.  I’m not frazzled.  The big kids can help when I am at therapy with Catfish and they know exactly where we stopped and where to pick up.  It really is a win win for me.

Here is a copy of our November schedule, to give you an example.  I started with November 10th (the schedule is new), so there are 12 teaching days left in this month.

November 10-14; 17-21; 24-25 (12 days)

Reading:

            COME BACK HERE, CROCODILE

 

8-17 46-53 72-81
19-25 54-60 82-90
26-33 61-67 91-101
35-45 70-71 103-115

 History:

            OUR AMERICA

 

5-9 35-43 59-63
13-23 45-49 65-69
25-29 50-54 70-75
30-34 55-58 76-81

 

  • Name Continents
  • Name Oceans
  • Name Seas
  • Match states to map
  • Draw flag and identify how many stars/stripes and why
  • Begin Timeline

Communities:

            LIVING IN COMMUNITIES

 

4-7 22-25 40-45
8-11 26-29 46-49
12-17 32-35 50-53
18-21 36-39 54-57

 

Vocabulary:     share                            Senses                         city

                        map                            

 Spelling:

Spell – alphabetize – define – sentences – test

~some, her, would, make, duck, luck, suck, stuck, like, him, into, time, pet, get, wet, let, has, look, two, more, red, bed, fed, sled~

~write, go, see, number, men, hen, pen, ten, no, way, could, people, tell, fell, sell, well, my, than, first, water, bad, hat, glad, mad~

~been, called, who, oil, win, lip, kid, ship, sit, now, find, long, mom, fox, chop, shop, down, day, did, get, bus, truck, must, cut~

 Dictation:

Week 2

  • I can sit with the man.
  • I have a big pig.
  • His thin skin had a pin in it.
  • He can kick the stick but not the brick.

Week 3

  • We all have a lot of hot pots.
  • You can hop when you drop your mop.
  • There is a job for each man.
  • Which rock do you have?

Week 4

  • Their hut is shut, but I will do in.
  • He will hug many bugs on the rug.
  • It is so fun to run in the sun!
  • With some luck the duck will not get stuck.

 Math:

 Worksheets (6 per day) on different areas of 2nd grade

Flashcards

Fact families

Begin division

Simple fractions

Online Reading: (only for Catfish)

The Tale of Peter Rabbit

Huckleberry Finn

Tablet Work:

10 min. starfall

10 min. 2nd grade math