Thursday, December 17, 2009
Anyway, the second dentist came right in and put the laughing gas on me. It was at that moment that I found out why they call it laughing gas. First, it made me feel "funny" all over. My body just felt strange. That wasn't the worst part of it, though. All of a sudden, I didn't just feel funny, I thought I WAS really funny. The Dr. was explaining to me that I could regulate the amount of gas I got by choosing how much I breathed through my nose. He explained, "If you want more gas, just breath through your nose more. If you want less,..." (this is where my inner comedian came out). I blurted out, "Then just stop breathing?" Hilarious, right? Right? Oh wow, not so much, huh?
Something else I didn't know what that even though you feel funny, you are still aware of your surroundings enough that you know how silly you are. I couldn't believe that I had said something so goofy. It got worse, though...I actually laughed out loud at my own joke! Yep, laughing out loud with a big vacuum-looking hose across my face, at a joke that wasn't funny to begin with! It was like having what people describe as an "out-of-body experience." It was like I was witnessing myself make a fool of myself, yet half of me was still really giggling over that hilarious joke! Ugh, how embarrassing!
Let me just say now that I will not be using nitrous oxide again. At least I gave everyone in the office a story to tell over their dinner tables tonight. Plus, for being such a great patient, I got to get a prize out of the treasure chest! I know that sounds like another one of my hilarious jokes, but it's actually true. I walked out of the office 2 hours later with 2 stitches in my mouth, gauze on my tooth, an ice pack on my cheek, and.......a new silicone pot holder! What a day!
Friday, December 4, 2009
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Anyone else have any discipline books they really like?
Friday, October 30, 2009
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
He said he "painted a picture of everything God made."
Here is Makenna's picture:
She said, "I painted a picture of a rainbow and Jesus. Jesus is the purple one." :)
Ahhh, kids. At least their thoughts are set on Jesus!
Monday, October 19, 2009
Here's how we do it:
1. The number one rule that we do not break is that we will never rob from God. (see Malachi 3:8) He is the giver of all we have and we happily give back to Him a minimum of 10% of it.
2. East at home with the food you prepare. We do not eat out...well, rarely. I do mean rarely too! We maybe eat out 3-4 times a year at the most. It is so much cheaper to buy groceries and prepare a meal at home (not to mention the health benefits). In addition to buying food from the grocery store, try to stretch the food you buy so that it lasts as long as possible. My grandma (from whom I inherited my cheapness) always added pasta to things like chili and soup so she'd be sure to have enough to feed 5 kids. I'm still learning other tricks like that to make our meals feed more. One thing I have always done is water my kids' drinks down 50 percent. I didn't start this to save money actually. I started when they were about 1 year old or so giving them about 10 percent juice to 90 percent water. I eased it up over the months until it was 50/50 and just never stopped. I do it with Kool-Aid too. They don't need all of that sugar anyway. I realize that I won't always be able to do this, but I have a friend who was still doing it with an 8 year old, so there's hope that I'll be able to keep it up for a while!
3. Plan ahead. I try to plan out what we're going to have for dinner all week. I like to write it down, but that doesn't always happen. I at least try to have it in my mind, though, when I make out my grocery list. Then, I take my list to the grocery store and stick to it! The only exception is when I spot a really great in-store deal. I can't pass up a good deal. Which leads us to...
4. Be a bargain hunter! Each week, I scour grocery adds from 2-4 different grocery stores and make lists of what I want from each store. When I find items really cheap, I stock up on them. At any given time, we have about 20 lbs. of meat in our freezer. I buy it on sale, divide it up, and freeze it. My theory is that if something you use is cheap, go ahead and buy as much of it as you can store. My most recent "stock up" item was salad dressing. A local store had name brand dressing for $1 per jar. I bought 15 of them. It's fun, also, to see the looks you get from the check out people. :)
5. Use the same theory when it comes to clothes. I am a rummage sale addict! There is just nothing like getting a $10 pair of jeans for 50 cents! If I find a rummage sale with really cheap prices, I buy any clothes my kids can wear or will wear in the next few years. Even if a few of the items don't fit in the right season (it occasionally happens), I can resell the item for the same price (if not more) in my next rummage sale. Just a few months ago, I found a rummage sale with a table full of boy's jeans and shirts for 25 - 50 cents each. They were name brand too! I nearly cleared the entire table off! I put them all in a big tub in Wyatt's closet and I get them out as he grows into them. I have enough clothes for him for the next 2 years and I didn't even spend $10! Okay, you can tell this stuff really excites me.
6. Avoid debt whenever you can. We do our very best to avoid debt, but I will admit that this is one area in which we are still trying to improve. We aren't credit card free, but we're not far from it. We feel like we're doing ok as long as we keep our balance under $1,000, and then we use our tax refund to pay off the balance each year.
7. Probably the biggest secret to our money management is that we always buy used. From cars to clothes to furniture to gifts (yes, gifts). If you are willing to put in a little time, you can find quality items at a fraction of the price you would pay new. Plus, when you buy used, you can usually get a higher quality item. If you have $300 to spend, you could go buy a cheap new couch. If you buy used, though, that same $300 would buy you a high quality used name brand sofa. It's the same with clothes. I can go buy a brand new pair of jeans from Target for $10. They're fine, but they tend to wear out sooner than jeans from Children's Place jeans (which I buy used for $1). Our family is so committed to saving money that a few years ago we started what we call "Second Hand Christmas." We made it a rule that when you buy a gift for someone, it either has to be used or off of a clearance rack. The kids love it because they get more presents, and the parents love it because we are all spending half as much!
8. Another rule that I think most people don't live by is this: You have to get past what I call the "just one dollar" mentality. It's never "just one dollar" around here. A dollar can buy so much! While it's true that a soft drink might be just one dollar, we always realize that instead of a drink, I can use that one dollar to buy a shirt, pair of jeans, and even shoes for one of my kids. Trust me, I've done it!
9. Finally, try to find things for free....yes, free!
a) If aren't already a member, I encourage you to become a member of your local Freecycle group. Freecycle is an online local group in which you can give away things you don't need anymore and get things from other people in the group. It's wonderful. It's not just trash that people want to get rid of, either. Our best Freecycle find to date was our trampoline (with the safety net). Our kids love it, and we likely would have never put out the money for a brand new one. We have also gotten things such as a package of diapers, shoes, and many trash bags full of clothes for the kids.
b) Get acquainted with your local library. We go there at least once a week for movies. They have all of the latest DVDs if you are willing to wait until you can find them on the shelf. We watch movies a lot, so this saves us a lot of money each year. Also, familiarize yourself with the library's website. I found out about a year ago that I could request a book or cd and the library would purchase it and put it on hold for me when it came in. How easy is that?
c) Find free places to go for entertainment. Our kids look forward to the first Thursday of each month because it's the free night at our local children's museum. Being so young, my kids think it's only open once a month. :) They love it, though, and we don't have to pay $100 to be a member!
So, those are my secrets of the trade, if you will. I realize this post has been a little lengthy, but I wanted to pass along every tip I could think of that I've learned along the way. I'm still learning too, so there may be more to come soon! These tips help our family live on one income, and it allows us to teach our kid the value of a dollar. Our children will probably never dream of going out to spend $50 on a pair of shoes. Wyatt proved to me just last night just how much he's learning from watching us. I was putting his pj's on him before bed and he noticed they were "new" (new to him). He said, "I like these, Mommy. Which rummage sale did you get these from?" We had to laugh. He made his momma proud!
Hope this helps you save a dollar here and there. Afterall, there's so much you can do with a dollar! Please share any of your money-saving tips here as well!
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Big Daddy and I were married in October 2003. We were so excited to start our journey together and anxious to start out family. As we were entering into our first Christmas together, I found out I was expecting. We were thrilled! We decided we would keep it secret for at least a few weeks. It was fun to have a secret just between the two of us!
On December 26th, we were planning to make a 7 hour road trip to visit Big Daddy's family. That morning, I started having what I would later find out were contractions. At the time, however, I knew absolutely nothing about pregnancy and even less about miscarriage. Maybe it was actually best that I didn't know that in the two hours before we were to leave for our trip, I was losing our baby. The pain I was experiencing eventually went away and we left town. While we were aware that what I was going through would have to be discussed with our doctor, we were completely unaware of how serious the problem was. We could think of little more than how our lives were going to change over the next year. We had many moments throughout our trip in which we talked about how different our next Christmas would be. We were just so excited!
When we came home a few days later and called my Dr, she wanted to see me immediately. The Dr. came into the room, walked right over to shake my hand, and didn't let go. She looked at me and said, "I'm sorry, but you've had a miscarriage." My heart just broke. I didn't know what to say, what to do, or who to talk to. What I think made it worse is that in that moment, I felt so alone. Who could possibly understand what it's like to lose a baby?
After crying over our loss with my husband, I called my mom. We cried too over the loss. The only advice she could give me was to call the only two women I knew at the time who had lost a baby. That's why I wanted to share my story too. It was encouraging to me to know that someone actually understood just what I felt. I wasn't alone.
I will pass along the most encouraging words I heard then in hopes that they will help any other woman who has had a miscarriage. My sister-in-law told me, "If we truly believe that life begins at conception (Jeremiah 1:5), then we know that it was a baby and he/she will be waiting for you in heaven." While I have 3 children here on Earth, I will have 4 when I get to Heaven! One of my babies just went straight into the arms of Jesus! Praise the Lord that day wasn't the end...I will one day hold that baby!
Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Friday, October 9, 2009
Somehow, just the sight of something so precious makes me forget the hours I spent listening to her whine. I forget the number of times I picked her up, put her back down, picked her back up, etc. I suddenly am less aware of my shoulder that she has used as a kleenex all day. It's just difficult not to realize how blessed I am when I see a sight like that.
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
"You can't live on just one income these days."
Well, let me tell you that I beg to differ! I assure you that you can not only survive, but thrive on one income! For those who may not know us, Big Daddy and I have a reputation for being cheapskates. I don't mind it at all, though. In fact, I consider it a compliment. It has become more apparent to me lately that knowing how to live this lifestyle doesn't come naturally to everyone. Also, it actually requires some work on our part. So, call us cheapskates. We'll likely thank you for acknowledging our skill and work ethic. :)
I get excited about saving money. I know, I know...there are bigger and better things to get excited about, but it just excites me. I am always looking for a new corner to cut or a new way to save money. Reading books on this subject, however, have been little help because we are usually already doing most of the things the author suggests. Usually the first step is to stop eating out or stop paying to go to the gym. We couldn't do those things anyway. Now, does that mean that I have all the answers? Absolutely not! It just means I have more to discover--new ways to save!
I'll be an open book here just to give some perspective. I don't share this to glorify myself, but to glorify God and show what He will do if we only obey. I've often noticed that many people who claim to be "poor" end up making 40 - 50K annually. Let me just state for the record that we do NOT make that much....although it would sure be nice! I'm sure that by most people's standards, we are making enough to just get by. Instead of just "getting by," though, we have managed our money and saved. Because of that, we now have a $100,000 house, 2 vehicles we own, and all the fun extras like cable, DVR, internet, and cell phones. So, remind me again what we're missing out on that would require us to have a 2nd income?
Now I'm sure I have you wondering just how we do it. I'll tell you!
Stay tuned for part 2.....
Friday, September 18, 2009
This past week, we have been studying the letter L and leaves. The kids ended their week by painting leaves. Because of the mess that goes along with painting, we don't do it very often. On this particular day, however, we just moved our school time until right before baths. It worked out perfectly and the change in routine was so exciting for the kids. The pictures actually turned out really cute!
Now being as committed as we are to education, we wanted to be sure that everyone learned something from the moment. So, what can a 16 month old learn while we all paint leaves? Maybe what leaves feel like? Maybe how to use a paint brush? Maybe discover paint with water? In the end, she learned all of that plus the fact that when you dip a paint brush in water and then rub it on the colorful page, it makes the paintbrush taste really good! Plus, you can drink the "rainbow" water!
Needless to say, Little Bit's class dismissed early. :)
I'm sure I'll have much more to share as our school year continues!
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
He's so cute!
Thursday, September 3, 2009
All 3 of them had decided to get out every gel, mousse, hair serum, and lotion they could find and proceded to apply it to their (previously clean) hair. I realize that in the pictures their hair just looks wet. Soooo not the case. That's all gel and lotion. Lovely.
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Either because of this or simply because of her place in the line of kids (last), the girl just refuses to talk. Now, before you start thinking there is something wrong....she CAN talk. I have heard her say a variety of words, but on rare occasions. She is just a grunter and evidently it's working well for her. It's so funny to watch her try to get her message across.
Her latest form of communication is her own form of sign language. She will tap my leg and walk across the room to tap the refrigerator. She'll repeat this 3-4 times until I get up to get her what she wants. She is willing to wear herself out going back and forth instead of just uttering a word. That would just be too easy! She's got this game down pat. We're all at her beck and call. Smart girl if you ask me. :)
(in the bathroom giving everyone baths tonight)
Wyatt: "Ow! Ayda pinched my pee pee!"
(Mommy notices Wyatt is standing and thus has it right at her eye level and laughs.)
Wyatt: "It's not funny! It hurts my pee pee!"
Then, he realized it got a laugh and was so proud, he started shaking it in faces.
Fun time was over.
This summer, my children attended Vacation Bible School at our church. Vacation Bible School is such a great week. The songs are fun, and the kids get to learn movements to go along with them. It's just an exciting week. I was surprised, though, that the one song my kids couldn't get enough of was the slow song Believe. They couldn't get enough of it. In the song, the plan of salvation is laid out very clearly. Admit to God you are a sinner, Believe that Jesus is the Son of God, and Confess your faith in Jesus as your Savior and your Lord. My son Wyatt just really took a liking to that song.
It made me think about how simple salvation really is. Since VBS, any time Wyatt sees a cross, he says, "That's a cross. Jesus died on the cross and rose again so that we can go to heaven." He understands that at 3 years old. It's just that simple!
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Don't get me wrong--there is nothing, let me repeat, NOTHING wrong with women who do that. Let me just say it again, though--I'm NOT that kind of girl! I'm just an average, run of the mill gal who loves her kids and wants to provide the best life I can for them. In fact, I may homeschool, but I've compiled a list of things that seem to be common amongst many homeschoolers that I just don't see myself doing....ever:
1. I can not and do not want to sew or make clothes. I prefer rummage sales!
2. I do not can food, nor do I have the desire to learn how.
3. I could not make it a week without the t.v. and cable (the DVR is a huge plus)
Having said that, however, I have also realized that there are a few things we do that may let the mouse out of the bag that we are homeschoolers:
1. My kids are rarely found with shoes on (unless we're going to church or the grocery).
2. We have started gardening.
3. I recently made the switch to cloth diapers for my youngest.
So, maybe you could have picked me out and labeled me early on as one of those crazy homeschool moms, but I doubt it. I'm just an average woman trying to obey the command in Deutoronomy 6: 7 "You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up."
I believe God has called me to homeschool my children and I am being obedient. It's that simple. At just the mention of the word "homeschooling," most people immediately become experts and advocates of public school. It's as if they are truly concerned for my children and their "socialization." Those who know me well, however, know that I would never do anything except that which I think is best for my children. So, having said that, don't expect me to try to win a debate with you on homeschooling vs. public school. Believe me, I could go on and on, but I won't. I am simply doing that which God has called me to do. Period.
Mom (that's me): I am a 30-ish year old woman. I have been married for nearly 6 years to my wonderful husband (you'll hear about him later). I have held many positions in my life including nanny, telemarketer, daycare director, and high school English teacher, but none of them have been as rewarding and fulfilling as my current position as the keeper of my home.
Big Daddy: Most people think that "good ol' boys" are a thing of the past. Big Daddy would prove them wrong. He's just one of those guys that when you meet him, you know he will be a great husband/father. That's why we met, dated, got engaged, and got married all within 10 months. When you know, you just know! He is a strong, protective provider for our family and still makes my heart flutter when he comes in a room.
Miss Priss: My oldest daughter, Miss Priss, is 4 1/2 years old and is the daughter I never expected to have. She is everything I'm not. She loves dresses, make-up, having her hair done, getting her nails painted, and anything else "girly." That's how she got her name; she's a girl through and through! She's the mother hen of this house--keeping me organized and making sure everyone follows the rules.
George: Ah George...you just have to love him. He's named after his prototype Curious George because as they always said about George, "He was a good little monkey and always very curious." I couldn't have said it better myself! George is 3 1/2 years old and from the time he could move, he has somehow always known how to find trouble. He's so charming, though, that he gets by with a lot (Of course, it doesn't hurt that he's the only boy either!).
Little Bit: And then there's the baby...Little Bit. She has picked up this nickname because somehow in a family of all tall people, she is just littler. She's still tall for her age, but just shorter than the average family member in this house. Little Bit is a ray of sunshine in all of our lives. She always smiles and never seems to meet a stranger.
So, that's us! We are a family of FIVE striving to be more like the ONE who gave His life for us.