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Grandmas in general are very important to the circle of life. They become even more important when that circle of life ends. When you're with them you never want it to end and you always want to come back for more. Their stories of history. Their stories of people you've never met. Their stories of how they prayed and took care of the loved ones in their life. Their stories of how life treated them during times that we will never encounter. Their stories about their families. All the stories and experiences I've heard from my grandmas are embedded in my mind for the rest of my life. The wisdom they teach in every area of life. We just need to listen and learn. Some grandmas lives are short and others you think will never end. Either way they always impact your life, even if its in the smallest of ways. 

It's time for us to carry Grandma's legacy of selflessness and family. It's time to deal with our differences and go on. This life is too short to harbor unforgiveness because in the end, all that's left is family. I love the times we've spent together Grandma and I miss you already!


What can we learn from the Amish?

I've even reading this book about the Amish. The book is Amish Values for Our Family: What We can Learn from the Simple Life. I'm fascinated about them and their standards and morals. However, I do not agree with their religious philosophies. They are a works based religion where they believe that to have salvation, you must do certain things and abide by certain rules. They portray Christ in such a manner that it makes you want to try it their way to see if it works. The interesting thing about the Amish belief is Christian Charismatic belief also came out of the same rebellion against Roman Catholicism back in the 1500's. So they're not too far from each other but they the fear of losing their salvation and turned it into a way of life by working towards it. It's a religion based on everyone else but themselves "How can I help you today" instead of the American philosophy of "how can I feed my selfish ambitions today." It's such a self sacrificing religion that I think we could really take a lot from. They are very church community and family based. They do everything together as a community. If someone needs a barn built, then they build it together. If someone's cows get out, then they all help round them up and get them back to the pens. It's amazing! Another thing is that the elderly and in-laws usually live on the same property when they are of age. When a couple gets married, they spend the weekend at her parents house then every weekend after, they go to different friends and families home to collect gifts and announce they are married. Then they build their own house and barn with the help of their community. It's so different and simple and it works!

I've started incorporating some of their traditions in with ours and I love it. For starters, I've started talking differently to people. I'm trying not to be as harsh but more loving and kind. I'm trying to change my way of thinking by asking how can I help you today. This has been super hard for me with my oldest. I'm not sure why. She's so responsive to the soft tone of my voice compared to the  loud and bossy voice. The Amish really respect that other person for who they are and they don't try to change them. They respect ideas and conversation.

We started praying before meals and waiting on everyone to get to the table before anyone eats. That's hard with kids. I started a devotional with them first thing in the mornings. They love it and listen very carefully to it.  

How kind they are to people and they are successful. Their kids are the same way! I strive to be that way as a person!


Reading! Why some love it and some hate it.

I'm not sure how some kids like to read and others do not. I've just now started to like reading, but only on my iPad. And mostly because no one is making me do it. I don't have to take a test later and if I miss something, I can go back and reread without someone hounding me about why I didn't get it the first time. I honestly hate to read real books, except for a few crazy vampire books. I'm weird like that! My oldest loves to read but I'm not sure where she got it because her father and I do not like to sit and read. My mom told me that she used to love to read but then later in life, she went back to school. She told me the other day that she is just now getting to where she was slightly interested in reading a book again. It's taken her years because she read so much in college. Everyone is different! Questions to ask your kids if they're struggling with reading are... Do they like to read and why? If not why? Honest answers. Did someone make fun of them while they read because they were having a hard time with a word or sentence like friends at school, teachers, even, like me, maybe you have and didn't realize it? Do they like to read easy books? Hard books? Do they know what they're reading? Do they sit still for any length of time? Maybe they could get an activity book that shows them how to do stuff but they have to read the instructions to do it. Do they struggle with pronunciation so therefore it's a struggle with the desire to read? Read to them at night or at breakfast. Short easy books. Ask them questions about the book and let them tell you whatever they got out of it. Even if its far fetched. Ask them why that's their answer. Try not to laugh because some of them are really funny! I used to have a problem with sitting still to read. I still only read a few sentences and/or page then go do something. I come back and read a little more and repeat the process. Visit with their teachers to see what they might suggest. These are my thoughts. Yes they learn from our example but sometimes there are other issues involved that need to be addressed. And some will never like to read.


Fear and Anxiousness

Well this isn't exactly how I wanted to welcome the month of March because waking up at 3:00am hasn't always been my desire. Ask anyone that knows me; I'm not a very nice person when my sleep has been disrupted. But here's why I'm up and writing.

Do you ever wake up in the middle of the night shaking and startled at something you just dreamed; thanking The Lord that it was only the dream? As you try to go to sleep you can't shake the dream, and it just keeps going even when you're half awake? Well that's what I did last night. My biggest fear isn't that CPS would take my children away because of my stupidity. My biggest fear is that something horrible would happen to my kids that I can't control and they would be gone forever. I could probably speak for most moms, if not dads, that this is how 99% of the parents out there feel. However, how do you cope with such fear in the middle of the night? How do you go back to sleep not thinking about the worst thing that could happen?

Here's how I take care of it. I start praying and asking God to take the dream away. I pray that He would protect my babies because, in reality, I can't. I can only train them to be alert of whose around at all times. Along with fear, at least for me, is usually anxiousness. This is where after the fear, my heart races and I can't be still and I think of more things to be afraid of, etc, etc. It's just a downward spiral. Gotta love the pair - fear and anxiousness. Oh how I loath both! I've struggled most of my life with both, so I guess fortunately and unfortunately, I've figured out a way to take care of it as soon as it starts. If I don't, it gets worse and worse. If I can't shake it with prayer, I get up and read my Bible. I have scripture verses memorized that deal with fear and verses memorized that bring me peace and rest. I sing songs of thanking The Lord and praising of His great name. Believe it or not, these are all things that were taught to me when I was young. I remember learning these passages wondering why and if I'll ever remember or need them. These are the things that I try to instill in my kids so that when they are old they will not depart from it. I'll talk about that in a later post.

Scriptures to combat fear
Psalm 91
Ephesians 6:10-18

Scriptures for peace
Romans 16:20

Scripture to pray over our children and family

Taking Care of My Family

When I was younger, I wanted to be a teacher. I love and I'm so thankful for my friends that are teachers, but I'm afraid my students would be hanging by their toenails, and I would've been fired after the first day. It's just not for me! Then as I grew up, I wanted to be a wife and a momma. That's all! I wanted to stay home with my kids and be there to support my husband in his endeavors for life. That is still my desire today. It's one that took a while to get to but I wouldn't trade the waiting for anything. It taught me to be more thankful for the place I'm at in life now. I'm thankful for the desire to want to be around my kids and watch them grow. I'm thankful for a husband that works, not just a full time job but also a part time job just to support our family. I'm thankful for the two cars and house we own. I can't say enough about my happy place. I take pride in it, as if I were getting an actual paycheck for it. I work hard to make sure my husband's hard earned dollar is stretched and my kids are well fed and clothed. I have a lot to be thankful for and we would be here for years if I continued!

What are you thankful for? Lets take our eyes off ourselves and think about it. We are so spoiled by our stuff that it clouds are view to be thankful. If you want to share the extra wealth go over to my in-laws ministry to Nicaragua. Looking at these kids will definitely put your priorities into perspective. http://saviorstear.com/

For those of you who have to work, please don't take this post the wrong way. This is just where I am right now in my life. It's not directed at you. Peace and love!


Savior's Tear

Have you ever looked at someone and saw the pain that they feel or have felt? Have you looked at their surroundings to see why? Maybe their father is missing. Maybe they have no parents. Maybe they have a grandmother who took them in to love on them because their mom was a drug addict. Maybe they have two loving parents who can't afford to provide for them and decided to give them up. Maybe someone rescued them from an abusive situation.

After observing in my very short amount of time such children and people, my heart began to mourn for such things that we take for granted. It's such a pleasure to be able to provide for my children by staying home and relying on God and my husband for provision. It's a passion and desire to see each one of these kids taken care of to the best of our ability, one kid at a time.

Please come sponsor a child or two at http://saviorstear.com/donations/. Your donation of $30 a month covers one child to eat twice a day, give them a Christian education, two sets of uniforms for school, and school supplies. One $12 purchase of a bag of Nicaraguan coffee (beans or ground) feeds one child, one meal a day for seven days. Of course all donations are excepted and are not limited to the above amounts.


Practice What You Preach

When you become a parent, you don't realize the impact you have on your kids until they start picking up on your bad habits. Of course they pick up on the good ones as well but the bad ones really stand out because you see yourself in them. You see something they're doing that you wish you could change. So I guess it's one of those things that you have to choose to change. You must humble yourself and ask your kids for forgiveness and tell them you are choosing to change. And most importantly you must follow through with your change by setting a good example.

Sometimes in life we have the desire to change and sometimes it's out of necessity. Both are vital to us and the people around us to improve us as an individual. When you take a long hard look at your life, what have you been wanting to change that you just haven't taken the time and energy to do? Why? When you figure that thing or those things out, figure out a plan and follow through. Keep it simple! Make a bad habit turn into a a good thing by using self-control and discipline. I can do all things through Christ Jesus who strengthens me. Phil 4:13


The Increase of Knowledge

I haven't written in a few days and I'm not sure why. I can't really say it's writers block because I don't consider myself a writer. However I guess you can say there's a block called life's little distractions. My honey left on a guy's only trip so I've been making sure he has clean clothes and what-nots. Waking up at 4:00am to see him off took its toll on me and by 6:00 that evening, I was wiped out so I went to bed when the girls did at 7:30. I was really tired! So I've just focused on my family the last couple of days and rested. I have however increased my knowledge by reading several blogs about cooking and ways to help my kids increase their knowledge about life. The next thing I want to learn is how to garden. When I was little my parents had a huge garden that was the size of an acre. Huge!!! I didn't understand any of the process or what went into making a garden happen but I remember my mom canning after the harvest. Two things I wish to figure out and do on a smaller scale - gardening and canning. There is a ton of information out there that helps with making sure you succeed. I just need to narrow it down to what helps me get started and my garden to flourish so I can "can the goodness"!

So to sum this up:
1. I'm going to start prepping my meals different by doing more crock pot cooking. Thanks to my friend for sharing this lady's website! I've already started collecting the ingredients to start this process of freezer cooking.
2. I'm going to put my new found knowledge to use with my kids. I've got to figure out an easy way to do this without freaking them out! :)
3. Gather my info about gardening. The cool thing is, someone has already gifted us with seeds for a garden. I just need to put them to use.
4. Lastly, after my gardening info is collected and my garden is producing, I will learn the basis of canning. I need to start collecting my canning items also.


What's Closest to My Heart

This post is about religion and God. So if you choose not to read it, I understand. This is not a post to try to convert you into believing the way I believe. We all have to find our own way. It's only purpose is to express my opinions and my heart. To some of you, I might sound crazy but to those who believe in my faith understand what I'm trying to express. Please continue reading if you so desire.

I want to talk about what's closest to my heart that sometimes can be a controversial topic amongst a group of people or even two close people. Religion or as I like to call it, my relationship with my Lord. Let me define them for you according to me. 

Religion is sometimes a thing that people feel they can't live up to and honestly you can't. Religion makes you do things you question which usually turns people off and turns them away from even being with people they love and know well. Religion is a dirty thing that most people steer clear of talking about because they don't want to be talked into believing that person's religion - confrontation if you want to say. 

But in my life, religion is not part of me. I like to call it a relationship with a spiritual being that resonates in every part of me. I sleep, breath, and eat it up when I can by listening to teachings, through praise and worship, etc. I spend time with this spiritual being as if He were sitting right next to me all the time. I love Him so much that I would do anything He tells me. I learned at an early age to trust Him with everything because I had nothing but the bare essentials that He provided. Later in life, I learned that we didn't know where our next meal would come from then all of the sudden it was just there, anonymously. God used people to help us. I'm ever so grateful. They touched our lives in ways they have no idea. My momma always said to be thankful for all things, even the tough ones. I learned to rely on Him when things at home turned to chaos. I would have night dreams of crazy things happening. I would wake up hoping it was only a dream. Unfortunately, it would happen the next day. He always prepared me but only because I chose to listen to that still small voice. Despite the crazy and chaotic life I learned to live in, He was always there to listen and provide. When I was angry, I would hear that sweet whisper to forgive and go on. I would be obedient despite what my flesh wanted to do. He has never let me down. Some call him Father. Some call him God. Some call him their Lord. Some call him their Friend. Some call him other things that mean so much to them.

What do you chose to lean on in times of trouble and chaos? Is it a friend, God, spouse? I charge you to look at what you run to in these times and to run to Jesus when things happen you don't understand and thank him in the good and bad times. Take him as your Rock when everything else is falling apart.

All Worth It

So this morning, I woke up with the desire to hang out with someone. Anyone. Just someone to talk to. Not about anything in particular but just to ramble and talk. For me these days are few and far between but when they happen it's necessary I fulfill that desire. And I also needed to get out of my comfort zone to connect with others, as this is something I've been trying to work on. So my adventure begins. Showers are so important, as we don't want to run our friends off, now do we!!! So I thought I should start there. Then I had to run to the bank that was closed yesterday and run my love's lunch to him because he forgot it in his rush to work this morning. So I texted one of my friends before I left the house but she had a sick kid, so that was out of the question. Praying she and her other kids don't get it. Whatever it is, we don't want it at our house. So I texted another, hoping she was available but with her crazy full schedule was unsure if it was possible. As I was dropping off my husband's lunch, I saw her and she said that today was the only day this week. Awesome! I picked up lunch and we enjoyed a few hours of slightly but sweet interrupted time from our dear children. However, the time spent today was worth it all. Just to have that connection has fulfilled that little thing in me that says to connect even when it's sometimes the most uncomfortable thing you'll do today. I can whole heartedly say that my time was well spent. Thanks for an awesome time my friend!
As we all know, the first step is always the hardest. But then we realize that it wasn't as bad as we thought. So get out there and call a friend that you've been wandering about for a while. They probably have been thinking of you too. Be the first to connect with them. They won't forget it!

Now on to a subject that I've tried hard to practice what I preach: not eating grains. I have NOT done so well this week, at least so far. There has been gluten/grains in everything I've touched this week. But I'm reminded of a quote from A Day in the Life of a Minimalist, "None of it happened overnight; it took time. And it wasn't easy; it took consistent action - incremental actions that morphed into habits over time." This is something I have to remind myself multiple times through the day. I'm always trying to change bad habits overnight then I feel like a failure when I fail one time. So it's time to pick up my feet and try again tomorrow when the day starts fresh. It takes seven days to make a habit and twenty-one to break a habit. It's definitely not going to be an overnight thing for me!


What a Day...

As some of you know, today is my birthday. And when you get older, the day just doesn't revolve around you anymore, especially when you have kids. Well that's how my day was today. It didn't start off very well as I had been up at 3:00 am and fell back to sleep around 6:00. However I had to be up around 6:45 to make breakfast, especially coffee, for my family. I love my family so it doesn't bother me. I had some errands to run and my oldest was out of school for Presidents' Day. She wasn't exactly excited about running around town so that kind of set the mood. My little one woke up on the obnoxious and loud side of the bed along with being a grump. So as you can see they were both a pleasure to be around as our day started off. My first errand was the bank. I get there and it's closed. Never even crossed my mind that they were closed for Presidents' Day. Then we go to Walmart and they were out of some stuff so we had to go to a different Walmart. I have a love/hate relationship with Walmart anyways so this didn't help at all. As you can see my day was shaping up to be yucky and this is putting it nicely! I realized, leaving the second Walmart, that I wasn't going to let this day go on like this. We got home to unload and I told my oldest to find something quiet to do, and I put my baby in her bed and shut the door. Sometimes you got to do, what you gotta do! So I decided to decompress by filling my new desk with all of my favorite things. I love my new desk. It was a gift which makes it even better. Around noon we went to eat with my love and our friends. That always helps brighten the day. After, all of us took a two hour nap. It was awesome! I never take naps so I must've needed it. Then we went to eat with my mother-in-law. Good conversation with good company over good food. (Note to self: find a different adjective other than good!) So despite the horrible start to my day, it ended well and relaxing. Thanks for letting me vent and share my heart! 

Thanks to those who remembered my birthday by sending me texts and/ or cards. You brightened my day too! I love you all!

When do you decide that enough is enough? How do you decide?


As This Day Comes to a Close

As this day comes to a close, I reflect on my time with my friends. They are such wonderful people. But something bothers me about myself. I turn shy and quiet and inward. I want to know why I have these behaviors of not letting people in unless it's convenient for me. Why I can't seem to express myself in the way that I want. It seems so strange for me to have these thoughts and feelings when I'm so comfortable with this group of people. Forgive me for rambling. I loved listening to them talk amongst themselves and hearing what's going in their lives. It's amazing to me that we are all doing and going and being because that's how our lives work at this time and that's how we're made. So obviously there is room for improvement for myself in this area. How can you contribute to your friendships that will improve the relationship? What strange reactions do you have when you feel the most vulnerable?

When we got home, it took everything in me to not bark orders at my oldest to get ready for bed. It was late and I knew she was tired but she asked me to read to her. It's one of her favorite thing for me to do and I have to admit, I don't do it often enough. So I read her the Ugly Duckling. It's such a cute story filled with plenty of simple life lessons. I think as a parent we wander if we are being heard. So tonight instead of harping on her about taking her time to get to bed, I decided to listen as she gave her her interpretation of the story. It was so sweet to realize she does listen to her mother every now and then! My heart is delighted to say the least and I'm very proud of her! These are the times that make a difference in my child's life more than anything else I have to offer. What can you do to improve your relationship with your kids? Spending one on one with them? Remembering their favorite thing to do and actually doing it with them?

My Observations Without All the Distractions

Oh what a rarity it is to enjoy the sunlight on my skin in the middle of winter in the Texas Panhandle on this beautiful, breezy day. As I sit here listening to my neighbors wind-chime and the traffic go by, I see the ants and flies start to come out and enjoy the sunshine too. Of course, my crazy grass covered, brown labrador runs around whining and tossing the ball is also enjoying this rare beautiful day. I see spring starting to show it's beautiful face as the grass has started to green-up and the trees start budding to their hearts content. I can't wait to sit out on our patio enjoying what God's created and watch my kids play.

I look forward to visiting with our group of friends tonight to see what they've been up to and see what's ahead for them this week. Now to figure out what to make for them.

Date Night with My Love

So my endeavors of spending more time with my love started out great last night. We were able to send the kids to their grandparents house so we could go on a date. A rare occasion that I hope to change. We had great conversation over good food from Hoffbrau. We ran a few errands after then settled in to watch Pitch Perfect. (Hey Jack - date night is an exception to the entertainment rule. Don't you agree?!?!) Although I've enjoyed my quiet time with my honey, I miss my kids. They may drive me crazy sometimes - okay most of the time-, but that craziness satisfies my craving to love them more. So we're off to run a few more errands then pick them up. Until next time...


Where to start...

So you might be asking yourself where in the world is she going to start making these changes. I'll tell you that they'll be subtle and slow but hopefully permanent and life changing for all of us. I hope you join us, not just by reading my blog but in your own personal lives.

* What goes in our eyes, goes into our minds and hearts, and comes out our mouths. So we are starting with the entertainment in our lives - TV, phone, movies, and internet. I'll be using my phone to answer calls and texts but nothing else and I'll be using the internet for my blogging, by pouring my thoughts and heart out for ya'll to read. Some of my friends would admit that this is a bit crazy. But they know that I'm just crazy enough to experiment with it. Who knows. It might just change our lives. So that's what we're doing. Starting today. My oldest has already asked me three times to watch tv. It's only 10:00 in the morning. This has to change. I told her that she had a room full of toys, a closet full of project stuff, and the top of the closet is full of games and puzzles. I also told she needed to make a choice. We can get rid of everything in your room except her bed and clothes and watch tv or we can get rid of tv and keep everything else. As most of your know, when I give an option, I'm dead serious and I don't waver on acting on that decision. Of course everything in me hoped she chose the second option, but you never know. Ding! Ding! Ding! She chose option two. That was a close one! Wise child she is! I explained to her that we are on a new adventure and relationships are more important than wasting our time with useless information.

* Relationally: As I mentioned before, I want a true connection with people. Please don't hound me, but I'm really bad at saying let's do something and not remembering or canceling for this reason or another. Life happens so there is grace but I want to have time to spend with my friends and family. Which means I have to use my time different.

My Best Friend: I want to spend more time with my husband. He's my best friend and I cherish that relationship. I love him with every fiber in my being. I'm making room to do this first.

My kids: I want to "date" my kids. I want to shape and mould my kids into young adults who can be mentally, physically, and spiritually healthy and be successful at life. I want to give them a home-base and safe place. So that when life happens, and it will, they can come "home" to recover and be encouraged. I want to know them so well that I can answer their questions before they know the question. How am I going to do this? Spend time with them. Play with them. Be with them. And do it all over the next day then the next.

My friends: I love them and cherish their relationships I have with them. But as many of you know, I like being alone. I like silence and I am completely okay with being with myself, alone. However, we were not created to be alone. So as much as it will get me out of my comfort zone, I'm going to invite people for coffee, lunch, play dates, etc.

My family: My parents, in-laws, etc. Some I talk with on a regular basis and some I haven't spoken to in months. That's not the way to have a relationship. I take partial responsibility in the fact that I have not spend my 24 hours in a day very well. I also cherish these relationships and I vow to try harder at getting to know them. You are definitely going to see more of me. Are you ready?

What changes can you make in your relationships? Where can you invest your time better?

* Food: This is going to be a hard one. As Americans we have been brainwashed into thinking we need to eat grains in order to get our B vitamins and folic acid. But what happens when you feel yucky eating grains? You then ask yourself, why eat them? Is it a habit? So what happens when you stop? So our first step is to slowly, I mean slowly, eliminate grains, except rice. So that means changes for all of us. Here we go! My entire menu and way of grocery shopping will need to be updated. All of our meals including snacks will need to consist of vegetables and fruit. Usually with the elimination of grains usually means the elimination of sugar. But let's take one step at a time. I still like my occasional piece of chocolate and coffee creamer. :)

As for me personally, I love food but not so much to call myself a "foodie". I think that's such a strange term! However, in my discovery for my love of food, it makes me uncomfortable and miserable about myself to eat certain things. So for me, I'm being conscience about eating to live and not living to eat. Looking at everything my body intakes - drinks, food, vitamins, etc. Listening to my body to see what it likes and what it doesn't like. Food is only a life source to sustain us and it's not for us to indulge in to the point of it hurting us.

So to sum this up. I want to make investments into things I know will be beneficial to us, to me, and not tear us down. So by spending time with the people I love and cutting back on those things that don't matter, we will simplify our live yet it will become enriched with those things that matter most to us.

A New Start...

Friday, February 15, 2013, I read "A Day in the Life of Minimalist" by Joshua Fields Millburn. Here is the website. It's changed my life and most importantly my thinking. I've been wanting to simplify my life but wasn't sure if it was possible or even how to do it. I see now it's possible and I'll start slowly integrating changes in our life. It's possible! I laid in bed thinking of where to start and how to get there - the plan. So here's where it begins and I hope you enjoy!

Saturday, February 16, 2013:
Today is the first day of not being glued to my phone. It's liberating! Is it convenient? Absolutely! Is it distracting? Absolutely. I'm not proud of this, but has it caused me to miss out on a few things? Absolutely! But the freedom to not be controlled by the mini computer is amazing. Life is not about that little thing. It's about what's in your face NOW! My kids. My house. My dog chasing her food around and burying it. My kids playing and enjoying each other with no routine and they both have full bellies. My house. I love my house. It's my safe place. It's where I work the hardest yet enjoy the fruits of my labor. My husband. I love him! He waited patiently as his ride was late. I kissed him a couple times to say good morning and to say good-bye. It wasn't enough! As he left, I hugged him. Both kids hugged him and the little one said "bye-bye". We all love him but I love him the most! He's off to learn more about dealing with the "crazies".

Getting back to the simplicities of life is a lot harder than I thought. I didn't realize how they consumed me. Enjoying time with my baby as she can't figure out what's bothering her. She sits next to me and calms down while playing with her toy baby. My oldest - as she skips around the house, she's cleaning her room and desk all without a routine or pressure of an over-committed schedule.

I'm realized that stuff is just that - stuff. The emotional attachment is all in our heads and it boils down to just stuff. Why do we have so much of it? Because we work hard and want it to show. Take our television for example. You can tell it's an issue when you constantly think about what you can watch next, and it's even turned off. When your oldest child plays for ten minutes and asks to watch it. Then again, it's only just stuff and can be replaced. I'm going to enjoy the things that matter most - God, family, and friends. I want to have more "dates" with people. Get into their lives and get out of mine. Connection is what I desire.