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Friday, July 30, 2010

I'm a BFF! Really?!

Today is a special day! A couple of weeks ago Shell emailed me and asked if I would be a BFF(Blog Friend Feature) on her blog. I was so excited extremely nervous! My response was, "Shut up"! I really could not believe it! I was flattered that she would think of me and want to share my post with others. Her blog is one of my absolute faves. I've only 'known' her for a short time, but I know she's someone I would want to be friends with IRL. She's sweet and honest, and I love her approach to blogging. So thank you, thank you, thank you, Shell!!


If you're stopping by for the first time you can learn more about me HERE, and you can read some of my favorite posts HERE. When I was looking through my posts yesterday I realized how many of my faves are PYHO posts. Thanks for having such an awesome meme, Shell. It truly is my free weekly therapy!

If you've dropped by from the BFF post, Thank you!
I really cannot wait to meet you!


On a side note:
Since my traditional post is really on Shell's site
 I thought I would have some fun here, so...
I'm linking up to Holly for Tickled Pink and Heather for Fabulous Friday!
Well, obviously I'm Tickled Pink over my BFF post, and
I had a great run at the grocery store yesterday.
I'm Tickled Pink that I got everything in this pic for $26!
I saved $57 and spent only $26.
Not bad considering I got 6 boxes of tampons!!
(glamorous, right?)
Those alone would have cost me over $30 w/o coupons!


I'm also Tickled Pink about this Etsy Shop I found.
The boys got me a Kindle for my birthday a few weeks ago.
Best present EVER!
I guess you could say I was Tickled Pink about that too!
(i heart you, kindle)

I was looking around last night online
and found these adorable handmade kindle covers.
You have to check them out!
I so need really really want one of these!

Elizabeth David Designs



Aren't they adorable?

I’m Tickled Pink at 504 Main





Happy Friday Everyone!







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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Pour Your Heat Out-Before Homeschool

It's my favorite day of the week.
I'm joining Shell at Things I can't Say for Pour Heart Out.
If you haven't checked this meme out before do it today!
This morning I'm pouring my heart out homeschool style!





My oldest son is going into 6th grade in just a few weeks. Yikes! I can't believe I have a middle schooler! He's such a great kid. He's getting so big, and time is really flying with him. I was watching him yesterday and began thinking how much he's gone through in the past years. He's so much happier than he used to be. I love his smile. His demeanor is more calm (he is still an 11 year old boy), but I can tell he has a peace on the inside he didn't have 2 years ago. His confidence level is up, and I'm so thankful I have my son back!

I really want to share our homeschool story with you. I also want to give you the background behind our decision to homeschool our kids. I feel like it's long(sorry), so I'm going to break it up into two posts. Sort of a before and after...

Part I (BEFORE)

Last year was our first year homeschooling. My oldest son has always been a challenge in the classroom. From 1st grade to 4th grade teachers just did not know what to do with him. Each year his frustrations about learning in the classroom setting revealed themselves through different behavioral problems. My oldest is extremely intelligent. Sometimes shockingly so. Believe me, I'm not one of those moms who drones on and on about how smart her kids are, I'm really not. But, the fact is he is very smart, and that intelligence in turn causes somewhat of a disability for him.

In 1st grade his struggles began. He used to act out emotionally. Sometimes kicking his desk, going and sitting in the back of the classroom and putting his head down on his knees. He had trouble working in groups. And our first concerned teacher called us in for a conference. She was so nice, and loved our son. She was more intrigued by him then frustrated. She always gave him extra work to do, and made sure his desk was filled with extra library books. When he was done with his regular work (which was always extremely fast), she kept him busy in positive ways. However, he struggled with emotional breakdowns, sitting still, he hummed a lot. He would make repetitive noise. Sort of comforting himself, but distracting others.

After a year of conference after conference we made a visit with a psychologist. He did some tests with S, and told us he was on a 6th grade level(in 1st grade). He told us he has some ADHD characteristics, and it can be attributed to boredom. He suggested we try to find a gifted learning program for him, so we did.

Unfortunately our public school system doesn't offer special programs in every school, so we would have to pull him from his current school and enroll him in new one down the road to participate in the program. After much prayer and consideration, we decided it was best to try it. So we moved schools.

We did not know who his teacher was going to be until the first week of school, because the school had not hired one yet for this position. It was a new program, and after school started we found out that this particular gifted program was experimental. It was a "blended classroom" with students ranging in age from K-2 grade, and the teacher was a first year teacher in her late 60's! By the time open house came around (almost 8 weeks into school) we realized this teacher was not going to get it together. After 8 weeks of school she still had most of her classroom in boxes. Nothing was structured, and she had this take on teaching that was sort of ridiculous. Her attitude toward teaching was, "Well, they're gifted, so we can be free and love each other, and if they want to do spelling they can, but if they don't want to, then that's ok". WHAT?! CRAZY!

All this did was further push S into a hole. Here he was in program that was supposed to make school better for him, and all it did was increase all of his problems. He needed structure, and this lady and this "program" were not going to offer it. We had some other problems with the administration and such, but I am trying to keep this as short as I can. So needless to say, we moved back to his old school.

Now it's 2nd grade, more new teachers that don't understand my son, more conferences, more visits with psychologists, more, more, more of the same. Meanwhile, my son's confidence level was shattered. He had even more trouble in school. It was like he had been labeled, and anything he did was a problem. He would forget his belongings, he was unorganized, and couldn't sit still, and was extremely frustrated when he couldn't answer a problem on a test. They began teaching standardized testing skills this year, and the concept of skipping a question and going back to it later was something he could not understand. As smart as he is, it's as though there's always a barrier there. The smallest things confused and frustrated him and meltdowns would happen easily. I think this was his hardest year.

We were told when we came back that this class was handpicked to be a perfect fit for him, and it wasn't. The teacher he had didn't understand him, and didn't want to. She was often angry with him, and I could tell that she was in our conferences. She ended up retiring at the end of this school year. Another poor fit!

He would get in trouble for the most ridiculous things. Can I just tell you one?

One day the class was learning about polar bears. She mentioned they had fur, my son raised his hand and told her they don't actually have fur. He tried to tell her that their fur is actually tiny tubes that look like fur to keep them warm(this is actually true). He got sent to his desk, and reprimanded in front of the class for being a disruption. She called me to complain of this "outburst". she said it was a distraction, and he always is. I asked why she couldn't just say something like, "That's interesting S, why don't you tell me more about that after our lesson", and then move on. I get it! He's distracting. But you're the teacher, and he's just a kid! A sweet boy who used to enjoy learning until he was sent to school!

3rd and 4th grade was more of the same. We did have some great teachers, but at this point he was so broken and his confidence level was so low. His breakdowns still occurred. They were few and far between, but when they did happen they were alarming! In 3rd grade he'd gotten in trouble for interrupting, and lost his clip(which basically meant the teacher was going to have to talk to me after school). He was so upset that he had a breakdown so bad he locked himself in the class bathroom. This was scary. 4th grade was more...we were constantly being told he needs medication for ADHD.

I have always been a sceptic of medication. Don't get me wrong, I know there are many children who benefit from medication. I have a nephew who has ADHD, and the medication he takes helps him excel in school, and he is like a different kid(in a good way) when he takes it. But, I also know there are many children medicated that don't need it. Children that are misunderstood, and parents teachers don't know what else to do with them. So they medicate them.

My son makes straight A's. He never get less than 100% on every stinkin' test he takes. He can sit through a test and not make a peep, and he does all of his work. Yes, he can be challenging. He asks a million questions that have nothing to do with the lessons, he gets off track easily, he struggles with social skills, and he forgets his lunchbox every.single.day. But, he's not a bad kid. He's loving and kind, and all he wants in the world is to please these teachers. I was so sick of people telling him he was a problem!

So here I was one of those moms...telling teachers and myself that he's bored, he's extremely smart and needs more stimulation. And we were stuck in a school system that didn't offer anything for him. No teacher in the public school system has time to deal with an above average child. Although he may need some more enrichment to challenge him, or a change in the learning style, no one can waste their time on him because they have 30 kids in a classroom, and the children that are falling behind need every bit of attention the teacher can offer. They don't have time or programs for a child like my son.

After another year of problems we even tried ADHD medication. It had been years of struggles and I didn't want to keep something from him that could help him. What if the medicine helped? So we tried it. We found out very soon this was so not the answer! It didn't help anything. In fact it made everything worse. He became depressed, anxious, and short tempered. He lost a ton of weight, and I lost my son. His eyes were empty.

That was the summer before 5th grade. We decided he wasn't going back. We would homeschool.

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Friday, July 23, 2010

My boys-my plan

My boys are amazing! They are happy and content wherever we are, and no matter what we're doing.
You see, I'm learning from them.

This week has been challenging. We had a flood at our house on Tuesday night, and we've been at a hotel since then. For me the last few days have been exhausting and stressful. When we found the flood I immediately tried to stay positive, and proclaimed that this must be a blessing in disguise. Well, three days later...I'm sorry, but this is just one GIANT PAIN in the you know what! It has been a nightmare!

Dealing with my insurance company, mortgage company, flood recovery people, 10 industrial fans, 3 giant dehumidifiers, phone calls, faxes, emails(all from a dinosaur laptop that I'm am posting from right now), and no parties involved have been that great to deal with. Ugh! Sigh...

This is the thing. I was sort of already at the end of my rope due to a million other things hubs and I have going on. Things I'm just not quite ready to blog about yet, but believe me, our plate was more than full pre-flood!

I'm trying to keep my eyes on God, and remember his plans for me are good (Jeremiah 29:11), but I won't pretend that I'm not discouraged. I'm confused and frustrated with God, and I'm unclear what his plans are for us. It's a time of our lives where things are a little crazy and uncertain. Nothing is set in stone, and plans and decisions change on a daily basis. It's a pretty frustrating time.

Please know this: I'm fully aware of the blessings in my life, and remain faithful that God has a plan. I just have NO IDEA WHAT IT IS!

But, last night I was down at the pool with my youngest at 9PM. He was having a blast! I decided it was our last night in the hotel before we go home to our concrete floors and wait for construction to start(which will take forever due to the ridiculous process my mortgage company has!), so I figured to just have fun while we were here.

He was jumping in the deep end. He just learned how to do this last week, so when he jumps in he goes under, and then his sweet little head pops up out of the water with this enormous look of satisfaction and accomplishment. His smile was bigger than I can describe, and he just kept doing this over and over. I couldn't help but smile.

My boys have been so wonderful through this whole thing. They really don't even care about the flood. They are happy and content as long as we're together. The night of the flood they went to stay with my in laws. It was a spur of the moment decision, and I had a little anxiety when they left. I always get a little separation anxiety when we part, but this was different. With everything that was going on I just wanted my babies with me. They were gone for most of the following day at the beach. I had checked into the hotel, and found myself waiting. Waiting for them to come home back to the hotel.

They finally got back around 6pm, and then...I could breathe. Maybe this is unhealthy. I don't care. My point is that my boys are my constant. They are my smile, my breathe, my joy, my heart. They are my whole life, and my purpose on this earth right now is being their mom. Without them, I'm lost.

I wish I could take their picture right now to show what I'm talking about, but my camera is at home with the concrete floors. You'd see that they are sitting together side by side in their undies playing games, and watching funniest home videos.

They've asked when we're going to walk down and see what's for breakfast. They want to jump in the pool, and they could care less that our house is in shambles, and they know nothing about any of the other stresses in our lives right now. They are perfectly content.

Paul says in Philippians 4:12 that he has learned to be content in every circumstance. My boys helped me remember this today.

Although, I may not know what God's good plan is right now, I do know that my job is to be my kids' mom. Not a mom that is distracted by life, or overwhelmed by things that I cannot control. I want to focus on my boys, and make this time in their life wonderful. How awesome will it be when my boys look back at this time of their lives and remember it being the best years ever? You see, hubs and I will look back at this time period, and probably remember it as hard times, stressful, and uncertain. I am determined to make sure my boys look back at it, and remember it being the best years of their lives. A time filled with memories, laughter, and good times. Years from now they will look back at this week and say, "Remember when we had that flood? That was so fun!" That is my goal in this life. Not just this week, but always.

I can only do this with God! So even though I'm frustrated. I will remain faithful, and focused on Him! I may not know what the future brings. Only God does. But I know he's already blessed me with one plan that remains constant. Motherhood. Today he's telling me to focus on my boys.

He's saying, "That's your job. Now let me do mine."


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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

10 Reasons why it stinks to be a woman!

The week is here. The one week a month where I turn into a mega momzilla, gain 5 lbs of water weight, cry for no reason, remain easily irritated, have a sensitivity to light and sound which make it impossible for my family members to move breathe without me getting aggravated with them. That week!

So in the spirit of all things..."Whatever, I'm on my period" here are the top 10 reason why it stinks to be a woman!

Disclaimer: I'm cheating.
This is officially my 31DBBB DAY 2 post, and I'm also going to link to Shell a day early(I don't think she'll mind-I see she does stuff on the wrong day all the time-I'm winking at you, Shell).

Take the Problogger Challenge with SITS and BlogFrog



10 REASONS  WHY IT STINKS TO BE A WOMAN!
(Well, really 11 reasons. Somehow I ended up with 2 #5s so there's 11 reasons, and I'm leaving it just like that in the celebration of not being perfect. Bonus!)


1. We only get one good week a month. Two weeks are spent recovering from the week I'm currently in, and the other week is spent preparing for it. That leaves one good week! Most of you (well, all of you!) are familiar with PMS. I have my own acronym for these 3 little letters. PMS (or pre mentral syndrome) is also known as Prepare for Mom to Snap! This is a week of mental preparation for the whole family. During this week you begin to make excuses for irrational behavior. It's a free ticket to be smack crazy! Even though your right mind may still be in there, we just assume it's all about to turn into mush, so why put in the effort. So you start talking about how you have PMS, and begin with the routine somewhat early just because you know it's coming.

The two weeks following the period are known as the recovery weeks. The first week after is the good week. Enjoy it while it lasts. You can think again. Just like the Claritin commercials. Everything is clear. There might be some clean up to do. Maybe a straggling blemish (but nothing a bit of cover up can't handle). Overall you feel good. You can wear your jeans again. You begin to examine your life and make the list. The I-need-to-change-these-things-about-myself-because-I-can-think-clearly-now list. But, then...

Things start to get hazy. Wait-my good week went to fast! You're not quite sure what it is. You can't put your finger on it. It can't be PMS. You just got off your period. Hmmm...weird. You begin to have thoughts of pursuing counseling because it can't be PMS that's causing this mood you're in. Maybe you're really crazy?

Then you sucumb to the prepartion. It must be PMS. At least you know PMS is coming, so you might as well get ready.

Then before you know it...you're there. THE worst week has come, and all your hard work is thrown out the window-AGAIN!
And so the cycle starts again...recovery, preparation, the crap week, and the one good week...

WHATEVER!

2. Our list means nothing. Ya know that list I mentioned above. The one where you make a metal note of all the things you want to do to make yourself a better person, wife, and mom? Well, you make some headway throughout the month. Things are looking up, and then WAM! The bad week comes, and all the effort you put in is scrapped! Back to the drawing board. You worked so hard to control emotions, be patient, loving, kind, blah, blah, blah. Then you have one bad week where you cannot control yourself, and it's like the nice mom and wife was never home. Nobody remembers her. Sigh...

How can I say this next one with class? Maybe I can't...

3. Men think we should dish out favors during our worst week. What is up with this? The one week I want to be as far away from my husband as humanly possible is the week he thinks he should get something for nothing (I'm trying to be tasteful. Can't we all talk about this stuff? I totally would if you were my IRL close friend, so whatever! I'm talking about it.) I'm not going to go into detail, but I think you can follow along. This is annoying! If we had the flu or a fever they would not do this. Husbands, please leave us alone. We don't feel good.

4. Men get hotter, we got older! Why, God? Why? My husband is looking hotter than ever. He's pushing 40. I'm only 32, and I swear I need a face lift. My metabolism has decided to take a dive into senior citizen mode, and I am having to learn new eating habits, work out, and actually make an effort to be healthy. All of this just to feel good, not actually look any better.

5. Cooking! I can cook. I actually like doing it for other people that do not live in my home. I just would rather do something else M-F. It's exhausting. My kids are too picky have always had too many choices and therefore don't like anything that's good for them, and my husband can't eat anything that has cholesterol(which is EVERYTHING), and I would just rather starve then make 4 meals. Take out, anyone?

5. Cleaning! Just know this: I usually hate to say "sucks". My kids are not allowed to say it, and I don't like to use the word either. I'm kind of a prude when it comes to bad words, and so forth. But sometimes there just isn't a better descriptive word. Some things just suck. Like cleaning! No one will ever pick up after themselves. Everything I clean will be dirty tomorrow, and I will wake up and do it all over again. Why?

6. The pressure to be a perfect wife, mom, cook, and housekeeper sucks. During my mentally healthy weeks week I take great pride in my homemaking skills, and consider it a job I love and enjoy. Today, not so much. I try to honor God in making my home a happy place to be. I am kind of a perfectionist and this can be my worst enemy here at home. Things just never seem clean enough, organized enough, calm enough, structured enough, and it's all my job to change it. The pressure can be too much sometimes!

7. There are no jeans for us! The days of being a zero are gone for me. I'm OK with my body(most days). I would love to wear my old jeans for the sole purpose that they cost me hundreds of dollars, and I don't have time or effort OR money to find new ones, but that's not going to work b/c they no longer fit me. However, jean shopping is down right depressing! I don't want mom jeans, and I would also like to keep my butt crack to myself. Impossible! Why has our society grown to accept butt crack everywhere. Seriously. I can be leaning down to tie a sweet little shoe lace, pull down on my overly lengthy top, which doesn't help, and unbeknownst to me-bam! Butt crack. No one seems to care though?? It's totally acceptable. Why???? Please someone design a jean for us.

8. Our bras are a hoax! At least mine is. Instead of a boob job I wear a Victoria's Secret Bra that holds form, and just looks like I actually have breasts. Anybody?

9. We have to be the link between our family and our husband's family. Why don't men talk to their own parents and siblings? If it wasn't for me we would never see or talk to my husband's family. I'm the communicator, the link. It can be a big job. I have my own extended family to deal with. A little help, please?

10. We are our own worst enemy. Sometimes it seems like noone dislikes us more than ourselves. Annoying! Come on, ladies. We have got to love ourselves. Love our hips, love our hair, love our boobs, love every flaw, love our whole selves. When does that start happening?


When I come back, I'll be in a better mood.


Take the Problogger Challenge with SITS and BlogFrog


Monday, July 19, 2010

31 DTBBB DAY 1: Write an Elevator Pitch

Take the Problogger Challenge with SITS and BlogFrog

Well, this was a challenge.I immediately thought: "Great, now I have to have someone redesign my header and link bar". Because to be quite honest, my blog has already started to take a different direction from where I thought I was headed a few months ago.

I found out about the world of blogging when I started couponing. I found great coupon blogs where I found coupon match ups, tips, and all sorts of ideas and helpful uses on saving money. So then, I jumped right in (of course), and decided to make my own blog. But, it needed something. Then I jumped right into getting a "blogover" and some (just a little) focus, and now few months later my blog has turned into something totally unexpected.

It has become a place where I can use a voice I didn't know I had. I have always had a passion for writing, and this gives me an outlet. An unexpected much needed outlet! A place to meet and connect with other women and moms. Although the direction is swerving from where I thought I was headed, my intentions have never changed.

Early on I was inspired by Hebrews 3:13. Encourage one another daily. I thought I could be an encouragement through sharing money saving tips and so forth. Although I blog less about coupons these days, encouragement is still my goal.

I hope to encourage others through sharing a piece of myself with all of you. Not just posts that are all me, me, me, but really sharing a piece of myself that leaves me vulnerable. Being honest with you about things I experience as a mom, wife, and woman.

So, then I realized, no. I don't have to redo my blog and start from scratch. All that matters is that I found my focus. It's always been there, but it's as if I'm being reminded of it.


My Elevator Pitch:

It's straight to the point.

Encourage one another daily. Hebrews 3:13

I'm not sure what Problogger would say about having different areas of life I want to share in the hopes of encouraging others. i.e, my link bar is a mix. I've read the two schools of thought on this. Some hate a mixer, and others like the variety. Given that I already had it designed, and don't feel like changing it enough to deal with it, it will just stay that way(for now anyway). Besides, I know the minute I take off the coupon link I'm going to have some amazing run at the grocery store to share with you. I'm too indecisive to completely narrow down my interests, so I will remain a mixer. I'm probably a mentally mixed person for life anyway!

However, my goal was and is to encourage others!


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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Quality vs. Quantity

 
Have you heard about Pour Your Heart Out?
No? Go here.


I have the blogger blues. I'm in between the feeling of being proud of a good post and being really bummed I have nothing profound to say. Almost depressed. Is this normal behavior? LOL

I posted something last week that was from the heart, and you were all very supportive, and I thank you so much!

But now what do I do? I am in a blog funk(or maybe it's PMS?).

I've been thinking this past week. Why the pressure to post something amazing everyday? Is every post going to grab the attention of new followers, and spark something in a current follower?

Probably not. But, it would be cool if it did.

I've only been blogging for a few months , but I've learned one thing. It's quality not quantity. I've seen a lot of blog hops, follow backs, and other techniques to gain followers, and I've participated in some of them. But what I've learned really gains a new follower is a post from the heart.

When I step out on a limb and put something out there that makes me a little nervous to share, or is truly a peek at my feelings or life I not only feel good when I hit "publish post', but something happens. In me.

See I know it's a good post before you comment. When I publish it I have a smile on my face. My heart feels warm, and I'm sort of proud. It made me feel good to have said it. The fact that others might like it will be a huge bonus. One I hope to receive, but I feel good about this post before I even hear from you.

Now comes the bonus, you like it too! I gain a follower. Not just any follower, but a follower who didn't just stop by, but a person who actually read my post, and relates to it in some way, and hopefully wants to read more. Someone who follows me for me.

I have truly enjoyed meeting all of you, and have really appreciated your support. I try to visit or comment back on every comment. I'm not perfect, but I've been trying.

Side note:
I finally figured out how important setting your account to receive emails is. If you are "no-reply" you should change that, because being able to reply to your readers in an email opens up a whole new world of connecting with your followers. I really do like to reply to your comments(in fact I think I may have even gone overboard on some of my replies-sorry if that was you), but sometimes I can't because of the whole "no-reply" thing, so fix that.

But, it means a lot to me that I have been able to connect with all of you. Some of you actually like my posts. Your comments have meant a lot to me, and have encouraged me to share more of myself with you.

I really can't stand it when someone comments to a post, but doesn't mention it's content. Not because I think my posts are worthy of hundreds of comments, but because I'm usually nervous about what you'll think of them. When I hear crickets, I get all nervous. Worse, when I read a comment that has nothing to do with my post I think, "man, they must have thought I was crazy". Weird, I know. Some of you know I have struggled with co-dependency.

The no content comment is something like "just stopped by, and come to my blog at blah, blah, blah.com". Don't get me wrong, like I've said, I have participated in some of these hops myself, and still will from time to time. But I read the posts! More importantly, I won't follow the blogger if I'm not interested. Imagine that.

I want to be able to connect with others, and actually read their posts and vice versa. Is that asking a lot? Are my blogosphere expectations too high?

I have been feeling pressured to get the numbers up. Write a ton of posts and find a bunch of followers.

But today not so much. I do hope to gain more followers, because I love you, and I love hearing from you!

But, I hope to gain real followers. People that will visit me again because they actually want to "read" me again.

It isn't all about the number of followers you have. It's about finding your voice on here, and sharing it. Sharing it in the hopes of encouraging others, getting something off your chest, or for whatever reason, really sharing a piece of yourself.

For me it's been amazing finding my blog voice, and I really can't wait to see what else she has to say. I'm sort of getting to know her myself.

I also don't feel the pressure to post everyday anymore. If I feel like I have to post everyday, then some of my posts are going to be fluff instead of me. I don't want to do that. I'd rather leave a good post up for a few days rather than have 7 lousy posts. So like I said, I've learned it's not all about the quantity. It's quality.

Quality posts. Quality followers.

And so far, I've been blessed with all of you!

Thanks for following!

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Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Sewing lessons

Thanks to Mama Kat, I vowed to learn to sew this summer.

I had my grandmother over for the day, and it was so fun. She lives with my parents, so we drove over and picked her up, and brought her back to our house for a day of sewing. We got to sew, visit, laugh, and I cook dinner. We all sat down and enjoyed a nice meal together. She was in heaven, and so was I!

I spent the first 5 years of my life with my grandma. That's a blog for another day, but she raised me and my sister until I was 5. Those years are crystal clear memories for me, and I love every one of them! She's a sweet and caring women, and I am cherishing the time she is still here. I hate to talk like that, but she's 85, and I know she'll leave this earth one day. Too sad for me to even think about, but true.

She really enjoyed this day. When I took her home we stopped at Walmart, and I swear we were there until 9:30PM. It's pretty sad when your 85 year old grandma wears you out! Here's a few picks of the day, and my pillows that still need to be finished up, but it's a start. I was totally scared of the machine, so I'm glad I got any sewing done at all!

BTW, my sweet 85 yr. old grandma picked up my Twilight series while she was here, and she cannot put them down! Too cute!






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Monday, July 12, 2010

Mommy Confessions Monday-Break time!

It's Mommy Confessions Monday!
If this is your first visit go here.
Then come back and link up!
 
There's only one rule. That is we only comment to encourage, and not judge. Opinions are definitely welcome, but keep the point of posting to lift other mommies up, not tear them down.

Be sure to share if you're going through the same struggles or situation. This is safe place for us to unload!

Please grab my "Mommy Confessions Monday" meme to post along with your confession. Thanks!



Do not let an unwholesome talk come out of your mouths,
but only what is helpful for building others others up according to their needs,
that it may benefit those who listen.
Ephesians 4:29


 
STORIESFROMTHESHOEBOX

 

I need a break! I realized yesterday I need a break from my kiddos. Not just a little one either. I need at least a full day of no one calling my name. Most of the time the kids call my name, and they have nothing to say. When I hear "Mom", I have to stop what I'm doing, and turn my attention toward whoever is calling me. It's frustrating when they have no idea what they want. "Mom" is no longer a name for me, it has become a word to say when they have nothing to say. Why do they say it over and over?

I want to not care who's placing orders in the "restaurant" today. I'm tired of cooking 3 different meals 3 times a day. My kids are super picky, and I'm a short order cook. Yes, I'm that mom! If you're annoyed by that, believe me, so am I.

I don't want to hear their tattles, or "problems" about who's turn it is to play a game. They have a time limit on video games, and somehow the 2 hours they are allowed to play is dragged out all day long. they stockpile their time, and play 5 minutes here, and 5 minutes there, and somehow it's a day long discussion that I have to be a part of.

I don't want to know who's not following fake rules for a make believe game. Which by the way fake rules for make believe games change constantly to accommodate the person making them. They never quite work out for anyone. This is always never fun.

I don't want to watch cartoons. If I hear spongebobs' annoying laugh this morning I might cry.

Pretty soon school is going to start back up for us, and I will have to put my homeschool hat back on, and I'm not prepared! Mentally, that is. I need to get my head clear. I have a list a mile long of things that need to be done, and I can't focus on one of them.


My husband runs and A/C business, so he's super busy this time of year. The chances of me me getting a break are slim. I'm going to have to figure something out! It's for the welfare of my children that I miss them a bit.

My breaks usually consist of grocery shopping alone. Grocery shopping without kids is a total treat. However, that will not do this time!


I just need some alone time. Some real time. I just need to renew myself, and I need to take action on fast!

To be continued...



Do you need a break? what would you do if you had one?






Link up!


Wednesday, July 7, 2010

I'm here AGAIN?!

I walked into the room and immediately felt uncomfortable. I was here again. Even after everyone knew how he’d treated me, I was here. We were here. Together.

I felt embarrassed and proud at the same time. Maybe they would see that it would work out this time. He was here wasn’t he? Insecurity reaped its head, and I immediately went into social mode to make up for the lack of confidence. Smile. Fake it, right?

I was good at that. I didn’t really care what anyone thought. The decision was mine. I can handle it. I don’t even really care how things work out between us. Live for today. Don’t worry about tomorrow.

Is she shows up, I’ll just play it off. I won’t even care if he looks at her, or talks to her. I’m a laid back kind of girlfriend. No jealously here. As I talked my real self into my new self I went straight to the bar and grabbed a drink. I would need to relax a little to get through the night. Captain and Coke. That works. The heat of the drink began to put me at ease. We came together but we don’t have be by each other all night! Mingle.

I talked with friends. No one brought it up. I was glad. I had a good time. I didn’t drink too much. I was responsible. I wanted to keep my head. After all, my real self knew I needed to make sure I was safe at the end of the night. I nursed the Captain and Coke for hours. It kept me relaxed. Not so much the drink itself, but just having it in my hand. Even though I didn’t care pretended not to care what he was doing I could see he was drunk already. He stood hunched on the bar for support slobbering over...not her, but the nameless blonde bartender! As he does this he looks at me giving me a glance every once in awhile to assure me he was mine. 

Everyone seemed to pay no attention to him, as his behavior was nothing new. No one seemed to call attention to it either. My close friends kind of gave me a look as if they knew he was letting me down again, but what was the point of saying anything. I wouldn’t listen.

As I watched the bartender lean over the bar to kiss him on the cheek, and plant a folded napkin in his shirt pocket I looked the other way. Really? Did I just see that? We haven’t even been here for two hours! He’s never going to change. He’s always going to be this way.

I could leave. Leave him. I’m sober. I drove. He's not even sober enough to care where he ends up tonight!
That's what I'm going to do. Leave. Quiet exit, no goodbyes. Just leave.

As I was considering my options he began walking over to me. He looked at me with those gorgeous eyes, and smiled. As if to assure me in some twisted way. After all, we don’t actually talk about any of this. All of our communication is physical. Always physical. It's left to body language, eye contact, touch…left for me to decipher the meaning without words. So frustrating! I just want to go. I’m just not sure how much more of this night I can handle. He leans in to kiss me on my neck, and I read this slow and gentle kiss to be one of the many ways he tells me he loves me.

But, I’m always wrong.

Then I hear someone I don’t know…a child. He’s yelling. “MOM, I wet the bed!”

What?

“Mommy, help me get up.”

I opened my eyes and realized.

Thank you Lord for this life.

Father God, protect my dreams, and heal me from past hurts that don't matter anymore.







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Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Summer School

A big thank you to Tennessee Mom at Days on the Creek for sending me the Sunshine Award!


I am supposed to pass this on to 12 other bloggers.
Although there are definitely 12 bloggers I love, I just want to pass it on to one.
 Doesn't it mean more that way? It just seems more personal.
So, I am passing this award on to Tina at Life without Pink.
Tina has a super cute blog, and we both share a testosterone filled world!
I really enjoy reading her blog. If you aren't following her yet, go check it out!
Thanks for a great blog, Tina!

I also want to thank Mama Hen for sending me this award...



The rules of the Cherry on Top Award is to thank the person who gave it to me.
Thank you so much Mama Hen! You are always so supportive!
Write three things about myself that I love.
I love that God made me a mommy.
I love that I am a SAHM.
I love that I'm healthy.

I am passing this Cherry on Top award on to
I love Cassandra's blog,
and I love reading about her family and journey as a blogger.
 Her blog is inviting and real. Be sure to check her out too!
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Last week I realized my boys were off the chain! They are without their "regular scheduled programming" and starting to flake out on me. I don't know about your kids, but mine need routine! They need stimulation, and regular activity. They began turning into extreme gamers as I got my housework and to do list summer reading done.

So I realized they needed some regulation  parenting. I guess I was going to have to snap out of it. I'm really not that bad, but I was being pretty extremely laid back. Letting them go nuts with video games, and TV. Staying up late, and so forth. That's ok! I figured I have been working hard, and mom needed a break too. I still plan on enjoying our summer, and making sure I enjoy myself a little too. However, my sweet boys need a little brain kick, and a routine. They started getting moody and difficult. Shocking, right?

It's always been important to me that they keep up with their reading and math skills over the summer, but it seems to take on a whole new meaning when you homeschool. I know I'm the one who's going to pay the price if the kids don't get any summer practice. My youngest is five and started reading last year. I don't want him to forget!

My oldest is moving into Algebra and he really needs to keep his basic skills sharp, so the harder math subjects aren't so challenging this year. I'm blessed to have two very bright kids, and they would be fine either way. But I want a smooth transition into the school year, and they need the healthy brain work over the summer.

There's a couple of websites I really like for reading and math practice, and they are FREE.

http://www.starfall.com/
http://www.mathfactcafe.com/

Flashcards are the old faithful tool. They are great for math and sight words!

Encourage your kids to keep reading this summer! Borders and Barnes & Noble are offering summer reading programs. Your kids can earn free books!

I don't plan on going nuts. I want the boys to have a break. I want a break. But, I want to keep their skills fresh, and their attitude positive when it comes to learning. Making time for summer practice will definitely make our start to the school year smoother!

What do you do with your kids over the summer to keep their academic skills fresh? Do you hate the summer packet your teacher sends home, and throw it in the trash? Where do you stand on this one?

BWS tips button



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Monday, July 5, 2010

It ain't easy being a big kids' mom!

It's Mommy Confessions Monday! If this is your first time go HERE first.

There's only one rule. That we comment to encourage, and not judge. Opinions are definitely welcome, but keep the point of posting to lift other mommies up, not tear them down.

Be sure to share if you're going through the same struggles or situation. This is safe place for us to unload!

Please grab my "Mommy Confessions Monday" meme to post along with your confession, and be sure to link up!

Do not let an unwholesome talk come out of your mouths,
but only what is helpful for building others others up according to their needs,
that it may benefit those who listen.
Ephesians 4:29



STORIESFROMTHESHOEBOX


 


My confession this morning is that I really struggle being a big kids' mom. My oldest will be 12 in September, and I'm just going to come right and say it, he's driving me nuts! If any of you have gotten to know me over the past month or so you know I have a heart for my kids, and love them more than life itself. However, I just feel like pulling my hair out over my oldest every day minute of the day!


My oldest is the most loving, caring kid you could meet. He's absolutely brilliant. I know he's mine and everything, but he really is. His intelligence is almost a disability for him. Last year, he was diagnosed with ADHD. After being in the psychiatrist's office for all of 45 minutes I was not convinced, but we decided lost many nights of sleep trying to figure out the right thing to do. We made the choice to try medication.


Let me just add this disclaimer: We didn't base the choice to try meds solely on this visit. We have had years of struggles with him since 1st grade, and going into 5th grade facing the same problems we thought we needed to try to see if that was a solution for him. We found out very soon it wasn't!


(Can I just say I HATE FLIES! There's one buzzing around while I'm typing! UGH!!)



 After a short trial period of meds we noticed only negative side affects, and saw that most of the concerns we had were not being helped. We felt like he's an active boy, with mega smarts, and YES needs stimulation, and has ADHD traits. But we can live with that. We wanted our boy back(who went away fast with meds).

I felt like I'd much rather have a happy, hyper kid, who needs to learn some self control, than a zombie. Don't get me wrong. Every child is different, and I'm not implying that all kids who are medicated are zombie-ish. This is just what happened with my kid. I do feel that when kids are medicated and don't really need to be the proof is evident. For my son it was very clear that meds were not the answer.

So a year later I still have a super smart, active, lacking self control, and maturity kid. LOL I love him to death! But, I need to figure out how to be a big kids' mom! I feel like all I do is get on him. He's constantly pushing my buttons, and at times my 5 year old has more self control than he does?! I know he's reaching the age where his hormones are out of wack, and he has mega mood swings. One minute he's sporting a perma grin and the next minute he's flying off the handle, and crying about something. HELP!

I want to soak up every minute I have. I'm blessed that he's not tired of me yet. He still wants to hang out with me, and spend time with me. Pretty soon he's going to forget I exist. So how do you get through this stage?

The age gap between the boys is no help. My expectations for the two of them are so different. With 6 years apart, I'm sure they always will be, but I think that's hard for him to understand sometimes. I see that he tries to get away with 5 yr. old behavior a lot. And a 11 yr. old acting like a 5yr. old is just not ok! It's a tough balance for me right now.

I want to be patient, kind, loving, and offer him grace all day long, but mostly, I just yell.

I want to raise him up with confidence, and I hate that I feel like I'm "beating him down" all the time.

Lord, Help me be the mother I need to be.

Now link up and share your confessions!


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Friday, July 2, 2010

Impossible Possibilities

Why do things seem so impossible sometimes?

Today I’m feeling inspired! Hubs and I sat down and watched Alice in Wonderland last night with the boys, and I can’t get the theme out of my head. This is not your mama’s Alice in Wonderland. Kudos to Tim Burton! I loved it. I really did. I know it's a bit corny, but I went to bed thinking of those 6 impossible things…

Alice goes through the 6 things that she knows are impossible, but have happened anyway.

This video is not that good, but it’s the only I could find on You Tube.


I started thinking of impossible possibilities.

Sometimes I feel defeated. Sometimes I feel like certain things ahead seem impossible.

Then I remembered this verse...For nothing is impossible with God! Luke 1:47

I'm not looking to sleigh a dragon, but I have my own list of impossible possibilities. Here are my 6 things. 

#1 There will be enough time in the day.
#2 Financial freedom is attainable.
#3 My boys will save themselves for marriage, and that will be cool!
#4 My boys will not be affected by the evil in this world.
#5 I can save my family enough money couponing to go on vacation!
#6 One person can make a difference.

What's your impossible possibilities?


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Thursday, July 1, 2010

Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop-My top 10

Mama's Losin' It


I’m taking the easy road this morning. I wanted to go with a different prompt yesterday, but this morning I needed some fresh reminders of what makes me smile. We all need to remember the things in life that bring us joy, so I’m going with my top ten today!

10 things that bring a smile to my face:
1. Hearing “Mom, I love you.”

2. Seeing a smile on my childrens’ faces

3. Blog Friends-I’ve met some really amazing people over the past few weeks, and your comments, encouragement, humor, and transparency have really made me smile.

4. RL Friends-I have a few of these too, and quality girl time with quality girls cannot be replaced!

5. Growing up enough to stick up for myself! It’s taken me 32 years to get to a point in my life where I just might have found my voice! This makes me smile.

6. My Kindle! Happy birthday to me! Thanks hubs and sweet boys!

7. God’s Word. Nothing makes me feel more at peace than the written word of God! I love the examples of people in the Bible. They’re not perfect. I like that! Being a child of God, and being as messed up as I am really makes me smile.

8. Playing with the kids. Not just absently being present. But really playing with them. Listening to them, focusing on them. That always makes me smile! It always make me wonder what I miss when I'm distracted.

9. Hearing my youngest read out loud. So sweet!

10. Making this list! I’m smiling. :)