May 6-12, 2019

I haven’t done a week in review in a very long time.

Paul has been encouraging me to step back into blogging.  I told him I just wasn’t sure I had words anymore. He said, “just start.”  So, here I am.  😀  (Even though it is a week behind, lol.)


“The Monday Reset”

For as long as I can remember, I have told my children it would be easier to keep the house straight when we didn’t have babies in the house. For the most part, that is true- though toddlers sure make a huge mess, too!

The Monday reset is when we take the time to reset the house to a place of being straight after the rush of the weekend. We generally stay on top of the mess on Saturday, but something happens on Sunday- it takes a while on Monday to clean it all up!

Monday also means we are back to our school week. We are trying to wrap up our school year. This has absolutely been the most productive school year we have ever had. I shared a while back that Paul had encouraged me to take last summer off to get my plans made, have copies ready, and just rest.

I’ve never taken a summer off because I always feel so far behind. I’m so glad I did! It has made such a difference in our school year. For the first time, I feel good about what we have gotten done.

I’m planning to do the same this summer. Monday, I spent time printing everyone’s spelling assignments for the entire year. I will try to share later this week the filing system I used this last year. I also created You Tube play lists for us to use each morning for our morning time a couple of months this year, that include all sorts of things I want my children to know. It thrills my heart to hear my youngest children singing the colors of the rainbow, facts about planets, and old, beautiful hymns.

Monday night, I spent time beginning to organize the play lists for the 2019-2020 school year. Each month has a hymn and a poem. I am adding in other memory work I want them learn. 

I’m hoping to have this next school year planned and ready BEFORE the end of June so I can have a couple of months off- REALLY OFF.

I have some big projects I would like to tackle over the summer for Christmas. It would be so great to devote time to those things, and to just enjoy the summer months with these precious little people that seem to grow as fast as I blink!

Tim and Ben have been out driving with Paul today. They are both on the edge of being licensed drivers. They drive all over the place with him.

They are both amazing, funny, and hard-working young men.  Something happens around 8:30, or so, at night. They are cracking jokes and laughing hysterically. On one recent night, one of them had lined up exercise balls across the living room and went surfing across. I think the whole thing got a little out of hand and he almost sailed straight into the piano. O_O

They have joyful hearts. I pray they never lose those. 


We never really know where life will take us. The Lord has our days numbered and planned before we were born.  That is the thing I cling to- He is ALWAYS in control. Nothing is outside of His hands.

My life has taken twists and turns I never dreamed it would these last several years. There have just been so many painful, heavy things happen. Through it all, I have gotten up and faced every day, but the weight of it all has really taken a toll on my health.

I was first told I had fibromyalgia. Though the symptoms and factors surrounding my illness did fit, the more I researched, the more I learned that diagnosis is given to countless women every year. Many just accept that label and never try to find out why they are having the issues they are having.

I figured I was going to find out I had some type of auto-immune issue, and maybe it was fibro, but it was worth getting more information.   

I started seeing a functional medicine specialist who ran a ton of tests to find the cause of the numerous issues I seem to be experiencing.

(I’m interjecting here that Owen is sitting next to me listening to gospel music this afternoon on my ear buds. He just asked if it’s almost Christmas. <3 …not quite, sweet boy.)

My tests revealed a few really big things going on with my health. Praise God for doctors who REALLY listen. I’m thankful for her! I’m already beginning to feel some better, but I have a long journey ahead of me, I think.

On a funny (sort of!) note, of my many tests was for food sensitivities and allergies. I’m apparently having issues with grains (including oatmeal), dairy (especially cheddar), eggs, almonds, coffee (yuck!), shellfish (yuck!), mushrooms, tomatoes, sesame, and I’m sure I’m leaving some things off the list.  

Hilarious is that sugar is NOT on that list, but when you take away grains, eggs, dairy, and oatmeal away, what is left to add the sugar to that will even taste good, lol? 

The new diet restrictions have resulted in some weight loss (which needed to happen anyway). That is a really good thing! 

Paul decided not to have me go on this journey alone.  We sit in doctor’s offices and he waits on me through IV therapy once a week cracking jokes and laughing like we did so many years ago.  He is my best friend and I’ve forever thankful for him.

Tuesday evening- more school work.

Tonight, Paul is teaching our evening devotion on James. We are in the latter part of James 3. It was a great reminder to watch the words I use and how I use them- oh how I want to be wise. I want to draw ever nearer to my Lord-  I’m thankful for these times when the family gathers and we dig into His (LIVING, NEVER-CHANGING) Word.  God is so good.

Today, I’m thankful for little people who are so precious. I realize most people my age don’t have littles wandering around their home. They ARE pretty energetic. They are so full of life, and keep Paul and I laughing constantly.

I’m also thankful for my ‘not so little people’. These that are becoming young adults are always amazing to me. I love to see the Lord at work in their lives. I love watching them develop friendships and learn the things that I know will take them into their adulthood.

They are beautiful, and individual, and talented, and so adored. I pray the Lord will guide their every step and call them to Him.  (OH! How that is the prayer of my heart!!)

That is actually the prayer I whisper in the morning. It is what I pray for each of them as I go through the day. It is what I whisper into the dark as I talk to the Lord when everyone in this house is sleeping, and the house is quiet.


My day started with Toby walking into my room before the sun came up to say good morning. He wanted a kiss and to go potty. 

He is such a sweet little man. If this is the last little one that I am to have on this earth, he sure has been a blessing to his mama. He has big thoughts and ideas. He likes to choose his own clothes and he gets very upset if I don’t find him for kisses before I leave our house, even if it is just to walk outside to the car or mailbox.  I love watching him with his little friends who affectionately call him “TobyJudy”.  <3

This afternoon, we worked on school assignments and then Paul has had the big boys helping him build a coral of sorts for my forest of Christmas trees downstairs so they can have their own little space in the basement without just laying in the floor. 

We live an exciting life, lol.

The weather has been just beautiful this week. Everything is blooming. We have had fresh flowers in the house every single week for quite some time now. 

This is a hydrangeas my oldest son and his wife gave me for Mother’s Day a few years back. These flowers bring back the best memories. <3

I can tell I’m feeling better than I have in a very, very long time. The laundry is ALL done. All of it. In the entire house. Washed, folded, placed away. The socks are all matched. The basement is clean. The winter clothes are completely packed. We’ve taken bags and bags to the thrift store and I’m made lists of what the children all need. I have not felt like doing these things in so long. I would make efforts but never quite get it finished. Sometimes, not even close.  It is so nice to have it done, and I’m thankful for my family that has been understanding beyond measure.

Tonight, is our mid-week church service.  Paul stayed behind with our littles while I’m taking the older children. Most of our littles have had a cold except for sweet Darby. She is staying because she found a patch of poison oak in our yard and it is all over the bottom half of her face.  Not all of us are allergic, she is one of the fortunate few.

She is so sweet. She is such a feminine little girl, but amazingly strong. She will take on these big brothers in a heartbeat while dancing around in a tiara and twirly skirt. This little girl has my heart! Poison oak isn’t stopping her from doing every single thing she wants to do!

Paul is repairing our kitchen cabinets today, AGAIN. This kitchen is on it’s last leg, lol. We keep trying to breathe a little more life into it. We have worked so hard- we are only four (FOUR!) months from having our house paid off completely. Then we begin remodeling again.

We started this countdown chart when we had been in the house a while. We had paid off some on the house, but decided we needed to get aggressive with the remainder of what we owed.

I. Can’t. Wait. 

God has been so good to provide for us and allow us to make extra payments, especially with the financial responsibilities we have. He is in the little things, and He is in the really big things. He is faithful.


The boys are out driving this morning again with Paul. Just when I was enjoying the beautiful sunshine, the weather is supposed to turn pretty wet this weekend (and for the third straight grocery day!).

We have still been attending little events where we have been invited to sell soap and bread. We started trying to create dip mixes (made partly with herbs we grow and dry here), a few years back.  We have really added to those and continued to work on them until the folks here have a hard time not opening the packets to eat them.  (I think that is a good sign!)  Paul even has his own steak seasoning that completely sold out at the last event we worked.

This morning, I had to take a cottage food law class so I would know how to keep our little businesses working legally. I learned a lot and passed my certification. We also received our grower’s permit to work at the farmer’s market this year.

I was SO nervous. It has been many years since I took a class and was tested. Thankfully, I passed my test and we are all legal now.

An unexpected blessing- I ran into an old acquaintance. We sat and giggled about all sorts of things. She has a sweet heart. I went for the class. I walked away feeling like I had spent the morning with a friend. <3     

As I was leaving, my oldest wrote to ask if I might like to drop by today. She was on my way home and I got to play with her little fella. It made my afternoon to spend time there.

As the afternoon has gone on, I’m realizing I haven’t eaten much of anything today. I’m really having a hard time figuring out what to eat that doesn’t take me an hour to cook. I do know that I HATE gluten-free bagels. I also can’t stand the brand of dairy free shredded cheddar stuff that I tried. Those things I know. I also can’t stand the Never Any! apple sausage at ALDI. I have no idea why…it just doesn’t taste the way I thought it would when I purchased it. I’m sure at some point, I’m going to find my groove and be better at figuring out what I can eat. For now, it isn’t much.    

As it turns out, the rain came a little earlier than expected. This afternoon has become a calm, restful rainy afternoon. I can’t stop myself from just watching out the window. The air smells fresh and the trees and grass are a vibrant green. It’s just beautiful.

My thoughts have lingered this afternoon on Acts 20:24:

“However, I consider my life
nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord
Jesus has given me- the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace.”

May the Lord strengthen me to keep my focus on the task He has given to me in this life.

My favorite part of today- watching one of my little people eat corn on the cob after having lost one of his top front teeth. The second is also wiggling. He fought with this corn and he won, but it was with a struggle.  

My least favorite part of the day- a certain 5 year old flushed the trash he was supposed to empty into the big trash can down the toilet. We are forever grateful Paul keeps a stash of wax rings now. Looks like he will be using one tonight.


Grocery Day!

Groceries are a big, big project for this family. I spend a part of the day figuring out what we need for the next two weeks, then I write out the ingredients needed for the menu. After that list is complete, I divide the list up between everyone in the house to go and check our panty, storage shelves, freezers and refrigerators to see what we have and what we need.

We shop between several stores. This is one of the times when I hope I might one day be like the Proverbs 31 woman. That whole verse about bringing her food from afar, would definitely fit.

Our grocery list is divided between the restaurant supply store, Dollar Tree, Walmart,  Sam’s, and Aldi. I also needed to find dress shirts for one of our little boys and a couple of clothing items for two of our girls.

It is an all-day thing- especially when you get through the first part and realize someone didn’t take the car seats out of our car and we don’t have room for all the groceries (*facepalm*).  I should have checked before we left.

We also dropped my wedding, engagement and anniversary bands off at the jewelry store for cleaning. She asked me how old my engagement diamond was and I told her 30 years. She asked a little more about Paul and I and then teared up. She said she hears the best stories in that store. I’ll bet she really does.

After talking to her for several minutes, she asked if she could send my rings off to be polished, cleaned up, re-coated and have my diamond re-tipped.  It’s going to look all shiny and new when I get it back!

My grocery day is one of the tasks that made me realize how much better I have been feeling. A few months ago, I could not do all of our shopping in one day. I would start going to sleep while I was out. It was not good. I knew I needed to see a doctor. I’m so glad to get all that shopping done and still have energy!

Bad is that I arrived home to find out that Emma had tripped while I was gone and her arm was hurting. She had ice on it, but it is obviously swollen. 


Family Project Day, I think.

We woke up with Emma coming to tell us her arm was still hurting. She was carrying her right arm with her left.

I’ve learned a couple of things in my years of parenting all these littles. It is still hurting through the night, and they are saying things like, “I can feel my heart beating in my arm”, and when they are carrying a limb with another limb, well, that means we need an x-ray.

Paul headed out with her to get an x-ray. I started laundry and got my kiddos starting on the house cleaning, then I started an order of 60 pieces for Bath Bomb Lady that need to ship this week.

It wasn’t long before I got the call that they did indeed see a break- both bones in her arm.

Poor girl. 🙁

She came home with a pretty purple cast until we can have her seen by an orthopedic doctor on Monday.

She’s spent the day mostly on the sofa watching old Disney movies.

After I had filled my day with soap and bath bombs, Ben asked if he could buy my ticket to see the new Avenger’s movie for Mother’s Day. He, Tim and I took off for the theater. It was a good movie, but honestly, more entertaining was when the family walked in 10 minutes late with the flashlight on their cell phone on trying to find a seat. There were people yelling at them from across the room. Then they would yell back.  It was pretty crazy.

I do wonder why movie producers feel the need to add so much language to their movies. 

It really adds nothing to the movie, and will keep me from buying them to watch again.


Mother’s Day. <3

We thought Emma was to be baptized today, but her arm changed things.

Courtney, Daniel and Ollie came to the house that afternoon. They brought me a basket of goodies, and this little gem:

Matthew came to attend church with us. It thrilled my heart to see him walk around the corner in front of my SS room window.

Joshua and Kylie brought their boys and gave me another beautiful hydrangea for the yard. 🙂

Those boys are so handsome and growing so big. I love to just sit and listen to them. They have BIG thoughts.

I guess that is it for this week.

This Week I’m Thankful For:

  • Life
  • Friends that walk alongside me through dark places sometimes
  • My husband. I grow ever more awed at his strong shoulders. The things that man carries sometimes is back-breaking. He doesn’t complain. He doesn’t grumble. He walks forth in faith that God has it all figured out and he won’t worry about what he can’t control.
  • Children who are honest with me and tell me I need to go look in the mirror one more time before I leave the house.  (Well, they weren’t quite that tactful, but I’m still thankful. I’m sure I will laugh about it one day.)
  • A very sweet young friend who brought me the most beautiful roses and a card for Mother’s Day. I know she doesn’t know (and will probably not read this), how much it meant to me. The Lord has a way of comforting our hearts in the most unexpected ways. I find myself walking by and smelling them in my living room several times a day.

Prayer Requests

  • Please remember my dear friend, Sheryl. She is a precious woman. I love her so much.
  • There are many other folks we pray for each night as we meet in our living room. We would be honored to pray for those who may be reading this.
  • And finally, a song I have grown to love—
  • Sometimes, I just don’t have the words and I do feel like dry bones, but the Lord knows my heart, my hurts and every single tear.  I’m so thankful I’m not alone, and neither are you. <3    

God is faithful.  God is good in all things.

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