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Saturday, February 26, 2011

The Love Day-Day 11, Love Cherishes

Okay, so this is the longest 40 days ever. I told you it was going to be hard for me to do this in 40 straight days, and I was right! It's been an interesting (to say the least) couple of weeks here at the shoebox. I was going to lump several days together in one post to try to catch up, but Day 11 was special to me, and I don't want to take away from what I learned, and where it lead my heart to go.
I'm picking up where I left off...
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Day 11-Love cherishes

THE DARE:
"What need does your spouse have that you could meet today? Can you run an errand? Give a back rub or foot massage? Is there housework you could help with? Choose a gesture that says, "I cherish you" and do it with a smile."

This day's reading focuses a on the fact the a husband and wife are one person. When we mistreat our spouse, we are mistreating ourselves. I often just treat my husband the way I treat him. Not that I treat him poorly, but I just don't think about it being "me" that receives the treatment. The truth is, we are one person. One unit. We have to parent together, make financial decisions together, get through this crazy thing called life together! I want to treat him better. I want to cherish him.

This really motivated me in my role around here. I took the time to sit down this past week and make some much needed changes in the way things run at the shoebox. I know a lot of the things I tackled are stress triggers for my husband. I figured by handling them on my own, without talking to him, would be an act of love sent his way. Things are chaotic right now. Such is life, but what could I do to make our home a refuge for my man?

So, in an attempt to gain some loving harmony around here, I have put a ton of planning into meals. It may seem simple, but a house that smells like dinner when my man gets home puts a smile on his face. I've cooked dinner every night this past week. That's a small miracle for me! My son actually inquired why I was making so many "gourmet meals" lately. Haha!

Just simply making the time to think about my man when I'm at the grocery store by really planning meals for him makes him so happy. He snuggles up to me when I'm cooking. Kisses me on the cheek and says things like, "It smells good in here, babe." It takes the stress off of the entire evening when dinner is well thought out. It gives both of us a sense of certainty in the midst chaos.

It gives him something to look forward to when he comes home to know that the kids are bathed, dinner is cooking, and the house is picked up. He can come home and just relax. It's like an invisible "Welcome Home Daddy" sign is hanging on the door. That's what I want for him. Because the truth is...I do cherish him, and he deserves to know it.

When I fist started staying home with the boys I embraced my new role as a SAHM with such joy. I was so happy to be here. After all, it's what I always wanted. I took my role as a homemaker much more seriously than I do now, three years later. I wanted to get back to the heart of my home.

It's been nice. I've always cooked, but not like this! I'm gonna keep it up! I know it's one way I can cherish my man. I also put a lot of time into making a schedule for the boys. My kids need a lot of structure. Especially my oldest. I put a lot of hours into mapping out or daily schedule and weekly activities. As a homeschooling family, we have a lot of freedom. Sometimes that's awesome! Other times, the kids need more structure than I give them. Then when hubs gets home there's a lot of "homework" going on, my oldest may be still working, and I'm puting an end to that!

Many hours of tedious work later, my oldest knows exactly what to do and when to do it. It's taken  stress off of me and hubs. Not to mention it REALLY helps my son. He has a schedule posted in two main areas of the house, and he checks it all the time. He needed that.

NOTE: I'm not some crazy mom who never cooks and lets her kids run around unschooled, but we needed to get a kick into the right gear, if you know what I mean.

My youngest has started a chore chart, and he's doing fantastic with his new responsibilities. I can tell that hubs likes the control I've taken here. I can tell he notices and appreciates it. That's what it's all about!

These tasks with the kids may not seem like ways of loving on my husband, but they are! By keeping a controlled and peaceful home, my husband can enjoy it more! Period.

And because, I've been talking much less through this love dare process(remember: he has no idea I'm reading the book), my husband didn't have to hear about the things that ran through my mind as I initiated them. I realized men don't even hear you! They respond to actions. They don't want to hear what we're going to do. That's like Spanish. They respond when it's done. That's their language. Had I sat down and talked to hubs about all of the above, it would have totally ruined it!

Note to self: think out loud less.

Some of things I've been making...

Citrus chicken salad and cheese crisps
(his new favorite salad)

Lasagna (the recipe is in my head-no need to link lasagna, right?)

Rosemary Pork Tenderloin with carrots and onions
(This made the whole house smell amazing!!)

Calypso Shrimp w/ Black Bean Salsa

Beef Stroganoff Casserole


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***Read about why I'm taking The Love Dare HERE. Wanna join me? Come back and comment with a link to your post. I'd love to hear about your journey! To read any of the other Love Dare posts just click on the label "The Love Dare" at the bottom of this post.

Take the Dare!




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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

under the microscope

I link up most Wednesdays with Shell for her Pour Your Heart Out meme. It's one of my favorite days of the blog week. Last week I came across something special I wanted to share with all of you fellow PYHO participants.

Trust in him at all times, you people;
pour out your hearts to him,
for God is our refuge.
~Psalm 62:8

As soon as I saw this verse, I knew I  had to include it in my post! :)

I'm linked up today to share something that I find hard sometimes.



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One of the hardest things about being a wife to an unbelieving spouse is feeling like you're always under the microscope.

My husband is loving and supportive. He probably understands me better than any one else. He doesn't hold my faults against me. ever. He's just not that kind of person.

But, that being said, I know he's watching me. It's only natural to observe someone who says their life is different because of Jesus. Well, what's so different? I wonder if he ever thinks that?

Even though he never throws anything in my face, I still feel like I can't make mistakes. It's perfectionism. I've always struggled with that. I have a heart to be the best wife and mother I possibly can be.

But, the enemy plays with my weaknesses, and gets me in the area of guilt over and over.

My actions don't always reflect my heart. Sometimes I fly off the handle. Sometimes I act like a jerk. Sometimes I yell and scream, cry for nothing, complain about the job I love...

After I calm down or snap out of it and realize I was in the wrong, I always feel awful that I didn't act like a good "christian" wife. I don't have a quiet spirit. I wish I did. I yell too much, and I can be pretty argumentative. I lack self control. I know these things are given freely to me. (Galations 5:22-23), I'm just learning how to use to them. I'm no pro!

1 Peter 3:1 tells us to "submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives." 

Sometimes I feel like I drop the ball here. 

I don't want to be too hard on myself. I know I do a great job in many areas.

I just hate messing up.

When I do, I feel like all of the good I've been doing gets canceled out.

It's hard feeling like you're being observed. It's hard feeling like you always have to be an example. It's hard to feel like you're under the microscope.

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If you've missed any of the posts I'm sharing about my journey as a devoted wife to an unbelieving husband you read more below:

A Spiritual Mismatch

Some Mismatched History

Church Shopping

Change is good

For even more posts on this topic you can click on the label "unequally yoked marriage" at the bottom of this post.

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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

5 things I bet your daugther never says!









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Only Parent Chronicles

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Picking myself up and dusting myself off!

The past couple of weeks have been a bit overwhelming. There were some days I feel like I might have checked out. It just seems to be one thing after the other around here. I recently blogged about feeling unsure if I am giving my son everything he needs and announced an upcoming move that's bittersweet.

I've been talking to you about my marriage and how I sometimes struggle as a devoted wife to an unbelieving spouse, and I have to admit I have completely dropped the ball on my love dare project. I haven't even picked up the book in over a week. Well, actually I have picked it up, and then put it right back down. I just haven't felt like doing any lovey dovey things...

The kids are sick, tension is high, and this past week has been less than desirable.

Then I got a call yesterday that my grandmother is in the hospital with shortness of breathe, low blood pressure, and fluid in her lungs. She's 86, so anything scares me. Sigh..I honestly just cried and cried yesterday. Some days you just have to cry.

But, I'm picking myself up and dusting myself off.

Many areas of my life remain uncertain right now, but one thing remains true. God has a plan for me and my family and I know it's good! (Jeremiah 29:11)

I know he's bringing me through each of these experiences one by one, so that I might begin to learn how to fully rely on Him and nothing else. He wants intimacy with me, and He's willing to do anything to get it. He's bringing me through the wilderness, so that He might receive all the glory when I reach my promised land.

The Israelites traveled in the wilderness for 40 years in search of their promised land. I guess I can handle my journey.

In her bible study, One In A Million, Priscilla Shirer writes, "The Israelites probably left Egypt in anticipation of a fairly short journey. The highway along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea would appear their obvious and most efficient escape route. From Israel's present location on the east side of the Red Sea to southern Canaan was approximately 150 miles, which, had the people gone directly, would have taken less than a month to traverse. Knowing this, the people surely prepared mentally and physically for a camping and hiking adventure lasting 30 days or less."

But God chose another path for them. Through the wilderness.

"...God did not lead them by the way of the Philistines, even though it was near; for God said, 'The people might change their minds when they see war, and return to Egypt.' Hence God lead the people around by the way of the Red Sea; and the sons of Israel went up in martial array from the land of Egypt." ~Exodus 13:17-18 

God chooses a "wilderness" path for us too. Why? Had God lead the Israelites through the easy path they had expected, he would not have been able to show himself to them through the miracles he had planned, and they would have never learned to depend on him. So instead of letting them choose their own way, he directed them through the wilderness, where he showed himself mighty and powerful over and over again.

He parted the Red Sea in the wilderness.

He provided springs of fresh water in a dry desert.

He rained down Manna and Quail from heaven every morning.

Just like the Israelites I moan and complain when things are tough, even though he has given me plenty of reason to remain faithful in tough times. But, just like He lead them through the wilderness, he's leading me(and you maybe) too. For the same reason.

We must go through the wilderness with God, so He can show himself to us. So we can learn to depend on Him and Him alone. So we can grow for His glory and for NO other reason. I do feel like I'm in the wilderness right now, but, I know He is with me, and he will not let me fall.

"Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall." ~Psalm 55:22

"When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you." ~Isaiah 43:2

"My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken." ~Psalm 62:1-2




P.S.
Look for THE LOVE DARE updates next week.

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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

moving on is bittersweet

If you plan to judge-skip over my blog today. If you're an IRL creeper who knows me personally and doesn't admit they read, you're in for a treat of personal information. Enjoy. Not everyone agrees with my topic today. Oh well.
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Six months ago my husband and I sat in our attorney's office as he told us it would be in our best interest financially to include our home in our bankruptcy. My heart sank. That was not an option!

We've been hit hard by this economy over the last few years. I lost my job as a title agent in 2007. It brought me home to my boys, but it's been hard. My husband works in construction, and that has been one crazy nightmare after the other. I don't have to go into all the details of this economy. Many of you face the same struggles.

Very long story short, we decided to seek counsel on filing for bankruptcy this past summer. We made the appointment with the intentions of wiping out debt we had no means to pay anymore, and starting over. We did not expect to get the advice we got. Which was to make the choice to include our home in the bankruptcy as well. There was no way I was going to consider it. This is our home.

My oldest was only four when we bought it. It's the only house he really remembers being in. We've spent almost ten years here. My husband proposed to me in this hallway. We brought our youngest home from the hospital and layed him in his bassinet in this livingroom. We've celebrated milestones, birthdays, nursed sick children, giggled with well ones, shared life here, shared every memory I can think of here. This is our home. How could I let it go? Just like that.

As the attorney started rambling on about the financial side of things. I just couldn't focus. All I could think about was...no way! He continued to advise us that including the home is the smartest thing we could do financially. We owe 120K, it's not worth more than 40K. That's right. You heard me. $40,000.00!

It's old, small, and in need of repairs we do not have the money to fix. The septic is shot. There's all sorts of problems. If we included this home in the bankruptcy, we would be able to purchase another one down the road. One that's newer, bigger, and worth what we pay for it. Prices are so low, we may find something much better and still pay off before we would have paid this one off. Our current mortgage is a 30yr. term. We'd still be sitting in this shoebox, flushing our septic out for the four-hundreth time, by the time we could pay off a newer, nicer home.

Sure, we've outgrown this shoebox ten times! Sure, I would love to get out from under this mortgage. Sure, lots of things...

But, this is our home.

I get that it makes the best sense financially. I get that it's probably a very wise choice.

But, it's our home.

After months and months of prayer, thought, and torturous decision making, we've decided to let the house go. It was probably the hardest decison I've ever had to make. We've faced humiliating truths, and judgement from family members. We've gone through a roller coaster of emotions every day. We've broken the news to the kids. They took it really well! I know in my head that it's the best thing we can do for a our financial future. In my heart, I just don't even know.

We've been discharged. It's time to move on. For the first time in almost ten years we will rent. My kids are going to have to experience a move. I know they're going to be fine. I've had a lot of time to get used to the idea. There's a lot of pros. It could be fun. I know we'll have more space. I know we'll find the perfect house to make a temporary home out of. It's just going to be hard to leave.

A new chapter is beginning. Sometimes that's exciting. But today, it's bittersweet.

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If you're not familiar with Shell's Pour Your Heart Out meme. Check it out!

Friday, February 11, 2011

The Love Dare-Day 8,9, &10

Day 8-Love is not jealous
THE DARE:
"Determine to be your spouse's biggest fan and to reject any thoughts of jealousy. To help you set your heart on your spouse and focus on their achievements, take yesterday's list and discreetly burn it. Then share with your spouse how glad you are about a success he or she enjoyed."

Well, I was nervous enough writing a list about the things I don't like about my husband, much less "discreetly" burning it. How do you discreetly burn something?? We do not have a fireplace or anything like that, and making time to burn something (away from kids and hubs) is not likely. Therefore, I opted to mentally burn this list.

The list I didn't write on a separate piece of paper because I'd hate for him to find it. He wouldn't be mad or surprised, but it's just the point that I'm making lists about him. It would be awkward. Plus, keep in mind. He has no idea I'm doing this LOVE DARE. It would be weird for him to find a list. Who does that? I kept thinking of that episode of Friends when Rachel finds the list Ross wrote that says she has fat ankles...

So this task was sort of dramatic for me. I get it. Think positively about your spouse, and by making a list of all the wonderful things I see in him it helped me focus on those instead of the few things that are not within my control.

There was no discreet fire. Just a thought process. I'm fine with that.

Day 9-Love makes good impressions
THE DARE:
"Think of a specific way you'd like to greet your spouse today. Do it with a smile and with enthusiasm. then determine to change your greeting to reflect your love for him."

Keep it simple stupid. I got up early, beat him to the coffee pot, and made a cup of coffee for him. I greeted him as he came out of the bathroom with a fresh cup of coffee and a smile and kiss.

As he squinted his barley awake eyes and scratched his head he said, "What do you want?"

Geez...I just said, "nothing" and walked off smiling.

It's a nice way to start the day. Thinking of him. He liked it too.

Day 10-Love is unconditional
THE DARE:
"Do something out of the ordinary for your spouse-something that proves (to you and to them) that your love is based on your choice and nothing else. Wash her car. Clean the kitchen. But his favorite dessert. Fold the laundry. Demonstrate your love for them for the sheer joy of  being their partner in marriage."

I had to laugh as I read the list of suggestions. Yesterday, I washed my car (something he would usually do for me), and I always clean the kitchen, fold the laundry, and buy his favorite foods. I'm just sayin'...

So, I resorted to sexual favors. Again! I'm such a cheater.

Whatever. This is a selfless act that "demonstrates" my love (check!), and he would like nothing better. I'm sure of it.


***Read about why I'm taking The Love Dare HERE. Wanna join me? Come back and comment with a link to your post. I'd love to hear about your journey! To read any of the other Love Dare posts just click on the label "The Love Dare" at the bottom of this post.


Take the Dare!




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Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Am I giving my child everything he needs?

Do you ever wonder if you're doing the right thing as a parent?

Do you ever wonder if the choices you're making today will have a negative impact on your child's future?

We have some behavior issues with our oldest. We've always had them. He's not your average kid, and that's fine. He's a little different. Not everybody gets him. Most days, I don't even get him.

He has always struggled with behavior in the classroom and at home. In his younger years he struggled a great deal, and some of those disturbing behaviors are still present. Some days I just wonder if I'm doing everything I can to give him what he needs.

He has come a long way, and I know that's partly due to homeschool. The stress of being "different", was just too much for him at public school. Teachers did not understand him, and most students didn't either. He never struggled academically, and always made straight A's and high test scores, so he was pretty much just a nuisance to teachers. The student you don't have time to work with because he's not failing. He's just a behavior problem, nothing more. Not a great kid who needs someone to understand him, not a child who has loads of potential, just a distraction. I didn't feel like that was fair. He was a great kid who was always in trouble. He needed more than he was getting in the classroom setting.

So we decided to homeschool. But, some days I worry if we made the right choice. I've posted before about our decision to homeschool, and most days, I'm so glad we're doing it. But, it's hard. He's acting out again, and I just wish I knew what the triggers were.

We've never really been able to pin point the root of his behavioral issues.

We've seen psychologists, therapists, neurologists, and psychiatrists over the years. He's 12 now. We had our first visit with a psychologist  when he was 7. We just never really got anywhere-with anyone!

It's exhausting to see these specialists and feel like you get nowhere. It's hard for him too. It makes him feel awful to see this person or that person to try to figure out what's "wrong" with him. Especially, now that he's older. He's embarrassed. Going to appointments like that make him feel bad about himselfself. I hate puting him through it. Especially when we have never really gotten any solid results. What's the point?

For the last year or so, we decided to just chill out, and focus on the positive. He's a great kid. We thought we'd just embrace the challenges. Except the things that were hard, and love him no matter what.

Is that like denial? Am I doing a disservice to him. We're his only advocates. What if he needs something we're not giving?

Ironically, his social behavior is like NIGHT AND DAY (in a good way) since we've been homeschooling. He has blossomed more in that area than any other. I'm so proud of him! He's building relationships, and his overall social interaction skills are wonderful compared to a couple of years ago.

Many people have the misconception that your kids are at a social disadvantage when they are homeschooled, but it's not true! He's been able to really build relationships in the past year that have been wonderful for him. It has given him the chance to have more time than the lunch room allows to build friendships. He's not able to connect that fast, and it was hard for him to make connections at school with such a limited amount of social time allowed.

He's an awesome kid! He's brilliant, funny, caring, loving...did I say FUNNY? 'Cause this kid is a a hoot!

But most days, he feels bad about himself. Because he's struggled with his day, or had an outburst or meltdown. There are days when I run out of patience, and wonder if I'm expecting more than he can give me.

No one can ever really give me solid answers that help.

Because he has a hard time focusing sometimes, and has some other ADHD tendencies, that's always the direction the pro help leans toward. We're not against that theory, at all! But medication didn't help him, and in fact, it made his behavior WAY WORSE. It didn't help him focus, and had no positive side effects. Needless to say, we stopped.

I have this gut feeling that there's something else. I've wondered is he has a mild form of autism. I've asked about this, but I just get shrugged off like the hated mom who does her own research online. Maybe I'm way off base? Maybe there's nothing going on. But, perhaps he's so below spectrum that it's just being shrugged off as ADHD? He has other symptoms. But, I feel like all people ever hear is "lack of focus".

He has senstivity issues, OCD tendancies, sensory and processing can be a problem sometimes. Sigh...why doesn't anyone ever hear those things?

It depends where you go. If you see a psychologist, he'll tell you he's "gifted", "his intelligence causes a disability for him", blah, blah, blah. If I take him to a psychiatrist, he's diagnosed with ADHD in 5 minutes.
I just don't know.

Other pros have said he has anxiety, depression. I believe that, but I also think the anxiety and depression stems from a lack of being able to cope with whatever the REAL problem is.

I know we've tried medicine and it doesn't work. We've tried weekly therapy to give him coping and life skills. We've tried just plain old love and understanding, but we're missing something.

It's the worst feeling.

Most days, I believe his attitude is his biggest road block, but sometimes I think he's really trying and feels like a failure. I hate that! One of the reasons I began homeschooling him was to help build his confidence back up. I think it has some, but he has a way to go.

Sometimes I feel ill-equipped. Does he need more than I can give him?

Part of me feels like no one knows him better that me. The other part of me realizes I know nothing!

I've had days when I'm questioning whether or not homeschool is the best thing for him. We go back and forth, and always end up with a "YES", and deep down I think we're right. When hubs and I sit down and really talk about the alternative, we always end up realizing that this is best right now. If we put him back in PS, we'd still have the same problems, and most likely they would increase. He would regress emotionally for sure, and any progress we've made would be canceled out. It's not really a matter of where he goes to school. It's a matter of figuring out how to help him, no matter what setting.

Not to mention, we didnt get the guidance we needed when he was in PS.
Not to mention, he doesn't want to go back!

I hate when family members (none of which really truly support homeschool) ask when he's going back to public school. They see his progress socially, and think, "Oh he's fine." But, they have no idea what we deal with everyday. They don't really KNOW my child. They don't really KNOW what PS was like for him.

Sometimes I just wish I could get an email confirmation.

Dear Mr. and Mrs. X:

Thank you for your interest in our All-knowing Parenting Program. We are sending you this email as confirmation that your son will in fact go to college, succeed in life, grow to be a productive member of society, have a job he loves that also provides for his family, marry  a sweet girl who treats him right, be an excellent father and husband, and will thank you for all of your hard work, love, and care.

Your confirmation number is: GHF1259JL

Please print this for your records.

Thank you for your inquiry.

We look forward to working with you again,
The All Knowing Parenting Team

Since this will not be coming to my inbox anytime soon, I will rest assured knowing I'm doing everything I can. In the big picture, I expected things to take a few years to see any real positive changes. I've already seen some.

I will just have to be patient. I love him with all of my heart, and only want what's best for him.

It's so hard making decisions that will affect our children.

It's so hard to think they need our help, and we just don't know how to help them.



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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Day 7-Love believes the best

THE DARE:
"Today get two sheets of paper. On the first one, spend a few minutes writing out positive things about your spouse. Then do the same with negative things on the second sheet. Place both sheets in a secret place for another day..."

Love believes all things, hopes all things. ~1 Corinthians 13:7

Making these lists was a pleasant task. There are many things I love about my man! Then there are the things I can't stand. But, those are the reasons I'm doing this whole thing. I want to learn to love him-all of him. In some ways I have to learn to love the things I hate. I have to love the things that I know cause trouble in our marriage, because those are the things that will lead to our marriage being evidence of God's grace and power. I know I have to go through this to get to where God wants me. To see what he has planned for our marriage.

If love believes all things, then I have to believe even the things I'm not happy about are in God's hands. I have to believe in my man! Because the truth is. He's wonderful! It was nice to take time to recognize all of the reasons he's easy to love. As far as the other list...I believe God will move.

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***Read about why I'm taking The Love Dare HERE. Wanna join me? Come back and comment with a link to your post. I'd love to hear about your journey! To read any of the other Love Dare posts just click on the label "The Love Dare" at the bottom of this post.

Take the Dare!




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Monday, February 7, 2011

change is good

This church was different. There was something special about it. The evidence of God's hand in the lives of the people that were there was so clear. I began to really learn about God's word. Not just sit through a sermon, and go about life Monday through Saturday, but really learn. I began to have my eyes opened to what God wanted for my life, and the life of my family. I began to learn of about the unconditionally love he had for me.

I knew this was the perfect church home for us. The kids loved their classes. I loved the pastor and everything about what they were doing in the community, and I also felt like it was the perfect fit for my husband. I knew that he would have a hard time in a traditional stuffy setting (I would too!) and this was the total opposite! Even though my husband wasn't totally jumping on board with the whole Sunday morning thing, he was supportive in me finding a place that the kids and I could go to. Of course, I wanted to find a place where we could all go eventually, and I had.

It wasn't long before I got connected in a women's Bible study group and met some incredible ladies. Women that I believe were strategically placed in my life for a purpose. I learned very quickly that I was not alone on the quest of being the spiritual leader in the family. Many women I crossed paths with had different stories about their marriages, husbands, and awesome evidence of God's grace and power in their lives and in the lives of their children and spouses.

I started really building a relationship with the Lord through study, prayer, and life changes. It was like I had a new glasses. I saw things differently. I was excited to bring my children up in a home that served the Lord, and I was on fire for Him!

I rededicated my life to Christ in the summer of 2007, and made a commitment to walk with Him. No matter how hard it was going to be. I wanted to start fresh.

My husband has been right there along the journey with me. He just sort of observes from the sidelines. He is usually pretty supportive of my beliefs, and was right there with me on the day of my baptism. Even though he doesn't get it. He gets me. He doesn't understand this faith based realtionship and I can't always share my spirtual journey with him. But he's there. Watching.

There have been tough times. Times when we've argued because we just don't see eye to eye. Times when hurtful things are said out of anger. Times when my flesh gets the best of me and I fear my husband thinks I'm a total hypocrite, and times when I just plain screw up as a christian wife and mother.

Then there are times when I see God's hand in my marriage. Times I see he's working in me. Times I see my husband's heart is softened. There are times when I get it right. Times when I can praise God with my husband even if he thinks I'm a crazy Jesus freak.

I think he likes the changes in me. The changes in our home. He playfully picks on me and calls me "square" or "Bible banger". We can laugh together about our differences on good days, and I know that God is with me on bad days. 

The past few years have been hard at times. I made a commitment to live my life differently than I had in the past. To raise our children differently. To parent differently. But I also made a commitment to be a different wife than I was. To honor God by making my marriage work and loving my husband like Jesus does. No matter what. There are a lot of things that are different since I began to rebuild my relationship with Christ.
But...change is good.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come, the old has gone, the new is here! ~2 Corinthians 5:17



If you've missed any of the stories I'm sharing about my journey as a devoted wife to an unbelieving husband you can click on any of these links below:

A Spiritual Mismatch
Some Mismatched History
Church Shopping

For even more posts on this topic you can click on the label "unequally yoked marriage" at the bottom of this post.

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Saturday, February 5, 2011

Jean Straps Giveaway!

Hey Ladies!

I'm a Florida girl who has been enjoying warmer weather, albeit clouds seem to have taken over the skies today, it has been beautiful lately. I've enjoyed sitting in the backyard soaking up some Florida Vitamin D a few times, and I am getting ready for spring. Mentally. Definitely NOT physically! This body needs a makeover. Anyway...

I do realize that many of you are still enjoying winter. AND boots! I love a good pair of boots. They bring an instant sense of style and attitude that no other pair of shoes can offer. I wait every year for the weather to be cold enough to enjoy my boots.

However,  I run into a road block sometimes with the whole "skinny jean" thing. Every boot wearing girl needs a few pairs of these suckers just for boots. I cannot pull this fashion rewind off with flats like many do, but they are necessary for boots. The problem is, my body type just doesn't work with skinny jeans. I'm short! I have a J-Lo booty. I'm 5' and rather cute (if I do say so myself). I don't hate my body. It has it's disadvantages, and it's certainly needs some working out, but whatever. I don't hate it. I do hate shopping for it though! It can be tough. Especially when it comes to jeans!

So after some Googling this past winter I found several tips and tricks on pulling off the jeans tucked into boots look. I am not lying when I tell you that I actually Googled "I can't wear skinny jeans and want to wear jeans tucked in boots". When I found this site: http://www.jeanstraps.com/.

After looking around their site, I thought this is perfect! So inventive! Long story short-They offered to let me review the product and give one of you a pair of your own. Jean Straps are removable stir-ups for your jeans. They hold jeans down when putting on boots, minimize bunching, and attach to ANY jeans. Genius, right?

Check out how easy they are to clip on to your jeans.


I have to tell you that these straps are not made for someone that is below average height like myself. Once I clipped them on (which was so easy!) I couldn't wait to pull up my jeans and see how they worked. The problem was, I'm too short. Really! My jeans are so long on me that the straps don't actually catch under my feet like they would on most people, so I don't get the benefit of keeping my jeans from bunching.

Bummer, right? Nope! Not for you!

I contacted Jean straps and let them know I loved their product, but unfortunately would not be able to do an honest review because I felt like I couldn't really test them out. I could see how great they would be for someone of average height, but they just didn't work for me.

They were thankful for my honest feedback, and still wanted to let me give a pair to one of my readers. So, as someone who is too short to enjoy this fabulous product, I think you should be able to!
I think they would have been awesome! So as I continue to search for creative ways to enjoy jeans and boots, you no longer have to!

Win a pair: One of you will have a fabulous, no fuss solution for the jeans and boots look! If your email is not visible in your profile, please leave it with your comment. US only, please. Giveaway will end at 9pm on 2/12.

Entries: Please leave a separate comment for each entry

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*Tweet it! "Do you love the jeans and boots look? Enter to win a pair of these with @AdrienneSFTS! http://bit.ly/hndH2C @jeanstraps are so inventive!"

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I was sent a pair of Jean Straps for this review and giveaway. All opinions are my own.

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Thursday, February 3, 2011

thirty something

This past week I have been reminded (a memo to self  for no apparent reason) that I am in fact thirty-something. As I pondered whether or not I look anything like the cast from that early nineties sitcom, I couldn't help but laugh. I remember when thirty was old.

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Remember them?

I remember thinking these people were nothing like my parents, who were in fact in their late thirties when the show was on air. They had more drama then we did. At least to my knowledge, anyway. Or maybe it was that they had a TV show, and we just had real life. TV is automatically more dramatic. It's funny that my parents were actually thirty something when thirtysomething was on TV. I wonder if they watched it? Did they relate?

How weird to know that my husband just celebrated his 39th birthday. I'm still able to claim early thirties, but how could it be that I'm thirty anything much less thirty something?

I don't feel old or anything like that. In fact, I'm loving my thirties so far.

So here's a list of the things I love about being "thirty something".

1. I finally do not care what you think of me.

2. I no longer keep my feelings or opinions to myself to save face.

3. My priorities are no longer about me. They have everything to do with my husband and children. I like that the pressure is off to accomplish this or get that done. It's simple right now. Raise kids. Stay married. I still want things in life, and I still have dreams I will fulfill, but right now I like that it's not about me.

4. Deep down I don't care if my house is dirty when you stop by unannounced. Even if I do cordially exclaim that you should "excuse our mess" as I make the courteous gesture to grab that last pile of folded clothes off my couch. I realized deep down, I still really don't care. 

5. I embrace the fact that I'm just not good at certain things, and own it. I'm late. A lot. I stink at schedules no matter how many calendars I purchase in a year, I will probably never take up sewing, and both of my bathrooms need to be scrubbed as we speak! (or as you read, whatever.)

6. I finally stopped buying books, and actually started reading them!

7. My parenting is a little more lax. I still have my worries, but some things are out of my control.

8. I am real no matter who you are.

9. I can say that my parents are my friends even if I don't agree with the majority of what they think. I've made it through that heart wrenching twenty something stage where you cut the ties and then try to build new ones. They're not that bad. We don't have to agree. It's nice.

10. I'm different than all of my siblings, and I'm fine with that. I actually quite like it.

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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Mom means business if...










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