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Monday, August 6, 2012

New Adventures

I haven't posted in a while, even though there has been a lot going on I felt that I had nothing to say! Just to kind of do a bullet point quick run through of the last year...

  • Feb 2012 - decided to get a little more serious about looking for land/house to maybe someday start farming and living a more self-sustaining lifestyle. Found a house and property right away, went ahead and took the plunge!
  • Listed our current home for lease purchase, only took 9 days to have someone sign papers!
  • FINALLY closed on farm end of March after 2 months of headaches with a HORRIBLE mortgage broker. 
  • March 2012 - Moved to 21 acres in Northeast Georgia!! 
  • March 2012 - Moved 2 hours away from family, friends, church... :( 
And now it is August and we've been here right about 4 months.  Lots of changes have taken place because of moving.
First, I will tell you I'm a generally very organized person but I had to shift into overdrive when we started packing and moving. We moved from a 3,600 sq. ft. house to a 1,600 sq ft. house. And might I just say the previous house was over flowing with closet space in every room, hallway etc. Here we have 2 total closets for the whole house!
One for clothes and the other for general storage (mainly school supplies!)

How did I make that work? Well I got rid of A LOT of stuff. We had a couple weekends of massive yard sales. When I started cleaning out closets I started noticing that we were keeping a lot of things just because we had someplace to put them, like towels! I must have gotten rid of 2 dozen towels at least. I will probably do another post at some point on how I went through things and decided what to get rid of and how I fit 5 peoples clothes into 1 closet.

We went from 4 bed/4 bath 2 story house to a 1 story ranch with 3 small bedrooms and 1 bathroom. I know that sounds drastic and some days I doubt our sanity on the bathroom issue alone, BUT it has been great to see the changes in our family and lives since moving to the country.

Our first animals on the farm were ducks and they have been providing us with about 1/2 dozen fresh eggs every day since. We're on the lookout for some calves but needed a tractor and some other big things before we can purchase more animals.

I had started doing menu planning several years ago at least loosely, but now I've had to really be strict on it and very organized because of how far we are from the grocery store. We do have one store about 10 miles away but it's not one I like to shop at and generally only go in every once in a while. "Town" is 35 miles in one direction or 45 miles in the other. I will do a post later on about my menu planning and shopping as well.

I'm hoping to update more often with family and farm updates!


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Is God still good?

In August we found out we were expecting our 4th baby and we were so excited. Our youngest was about to be 2 and after having dealt with infertility before having kids we'd started to worry about going through that again.
I had been pretty sure I was pregnant for a couple weeks, but didn't take a test until that Monday morning. It turned positive right away and I was hit with a sense of awe and thankfulness. I also knew that I was going to be having a little girl.
Tuesday evening, my husband got off work a little early so we ran some errands and had supper. Later on at bed time my stomach started hurting, thinking it was just upset from the food I laid down and had this sharp pain shoot through my stomach. I spent all night sick and sitting up in the recliner. The next morning (Wed.) I knew I needed some sleep before the kids woke up so I tried to lay down on the bed and screamed in pain. My husband immediately called someone to come watch the kids so he could take me to the E.R.

This was also the morning of my daughter's 2nd birthday. So before their great-grandparents got here we let her open her present and I took a couple pictures. Thankfully I did because once I left the house I wouldn't be seeing my kids again for 3 days.

We arrived at the E.R. right at 8 a.m. I was walked back to a bay and almost immediately starting having these intense episodes of pain. It was so excruciating I can't even describe it. But I've had 3 babies and this didn't compare at all. Even though the E.R. wasn't very busy it still took hours before I was seen by a Doctor, I was screaming whenever one of these pain attacks would come on and also unable to lie down. They hooked me up to an IV and gave me pain meds but they just didn't work at all.
Originally, the thought was gall bladder attack which can be common in early pregnancy because of the surge in progesterone. So they did an ultrasound and she said the gallbladder was normal. There was really only one other thing this pain could be...  an ectopic pregnancy.

 Throughout the day I was singing a song in my head from Psalms... Psalm 56:3 When I am afraid I will trust in you, in God whose word I praise. I was singing this over and over again. The song is from a Steve Green CD called Hide em in your heart that my kids listen to. I had taught them to sing that when they are afraid and it was what came to me in the hospital as well :)

I was unable to be super emotional about this at the time because I was in so much pain and so exhausted. If I would start crying or moving or anything I'd have the pain attacks and then a panic attack and it was bad so I knew I had to stay calm. It took a couple hours but they finally did another ultrasound and said there was blood in my abdomen. Turns out the pain was coming from the blood filling my abdomen.

They had a gynecologist come in and talk to me. She said my pregnancy wasn't viable and she could give me medicine through the IV to terminate the pregnancy. NO WAY was I going to do that. She had already told me it could just be a ruptured cyst not a tubal pregnancy anyway. The other option was exploratory surgery... she wanted to do it right then but we just felt like it wasn't the right thing because she wanted to go in and do a D&C and everything without even having any indication of a miscarriage.
So she said we could wait and do another blood test in the morning and go from there.
I was admitted to the hospital and given pain meds that actually worked and finally had some relief after 12 hours in extreme pain. 

It was such a blessing to have a friend from church come as well as our Pastor and his wife. They stayed with me while Anthony went home to help get kids in bed and grab clothes and things. At this point we were thinking we would be leaving hospital the next afternoon at the latest.

The next morning the HCG test indicated I was miscarrying. It was a shock to me because I was so sure everything was going to be okay. We had been praying and so had our church and families, surely God knew we thought this baby was a blessing?! Don't get me wrong I wasn't upset at God I was just trying to understand the purpose in being pregnant for 4 weeks and then losing the baby.

My surgery was scheduled for 3 that afternoon and I was told I would be getting discharged afterwards. Before the surgery we met with the Dr. and told her we didn't want to do a D&C which is essentially scraping out the uterus, she said she'd respect our wishes unless it was absolutely necessary. I went in for surgery with the knowledge that I could possibly be losing a tube or even have a complete hysterectomy done.
Thankfully before I had a lot of time to contemplate being sterilized I was put under and prepped for surgery. The surgery lasted longer than normal because of the massive internal bleeding. I, in fact, did have an ectopic pregnancy that had burst and shredded my left tube.
I did lose a tube but that's it and she didn't have to do the D&C. Because of the blood loss and long surgery time I was kept another night and discharged the next morning.

It was quite a journey and now 6 weeks later I still cry thinking about the little baby girl we lost. But I am encouraged by the fact that someday I will get to meet her and also by the thought of her being taken care of by Jesus. My 5 year old remarked about a man who died in our church the next week that he would get to know what God named our baby before we did. :)
I am thankful for the time I had her and thankful that she'll never have to experience all the bad this world has. I would have loved to have carried her longer but I know God is good and I know that He can take better care of her than I could anyway.

There is a sense of peace over me that I can't explain. I am still sad about losing my baby but I also know that I live in a sinful fallen world and that until we're in heaven we can't expect to not have pain or bad things happen.  But God promises to be our comforter and I can definitely say that He has been for me.
Be encouraged that God is with you no matter what. Call on Him when you're in trouble and He will answer. The answer may not be what you want but it can be used for good in your life. I have been blessed beyond measure through this experience in the outpouring of love from our family and friends and church family.
I will definitely be able to look at this experience as one of the defining moments for me. It really gave me an opportunity to stand behind what I believe for real and still say God is good!

Psalm 34:18
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit

One final verse that sums this all up:

2 Corinthians 4:16-18  So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison,  as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.



Wednesday, June 1, 2011


What do you think of when you read that word? I don't think of anything good! I think of broken promises and a lack of integrity.Unfortunately, I think of my time in high school and my laziness in doing my school work :(

But what I want to associate with cheating at this point in my life is something entirely different. I have a confession to make, I have started having someone come in and clean my house every other week. Whew! I said it and it didn't kill me!
I saw an article posted the other day on Facebook that talked about our lack of openness about this topic in particular and it has started me thinking. I honestly feel like I'm cheating by having someone come in and clean my house! Ridiculous? maybe but mainly just honest!

I almost talked myself out of it... I only have 3 kids and I'm home all day why can't I get it all done, and so on and so forth. BUT, for right now this is working for me and helping me not feel so discouraged. It really had motivated me to get some deeper cleaning/organizing done. I'm generally pretty good about sorting through clothes and toys and clutter but with 3 little ones changing sizes every other day it is a big job to stay on top of.

We also have over the last 5 years been working towards more whole, non-processed food. While that may seem like a simple change it basically means we don't have any convenience foods available or pre-packaged snacks or quick meals. So, that does take quite a bit more time but it's worth it in my opinion to know we're eating higher quality food.

I don't see this as a permanent fixture in our lives just something for now. I am so grateful my husband has a great job that he loves but he works 60-80 hours each week so I'd rather not have him need to help me catch up with housework the evening he isn't working. I have trouble relaxing when there are so many projects that need doing so having someone scrub my bathrooms every other week and scrub down the floors and kitchen has really been more helpful than I thought.

And you know what? I don't know that it is cheating... As a keeper of my home I need to be wise in the use of my time. Obviously someone else can't help me a lot of the things I have to do so if I can delegate then I should. I certainly won't feel bad when the kids are older and we split up the chores. Why do I feel bad now because I'm paying someone to do it?

Just being real...

Monday, December 20, 2010

disciplining too much?

I had a conversation tonight with a family member and had sort of an epiphany... this may not be a novel idea to y'all BUT to me it was like a light bulb went on!
If I'm spending a lot of time disciplining, maybe just maybe, it's because I'm not training my children properly.
WOW!  Isn't that true though?

I have to remind myself that my children are blank slates, that they can be trained (and should be) but that I can't just discipline for the bad behavior. I have to intentionally train them in how to act, they won't just automatically know what the opposite of being mean to their brother is.

Oh, if only I could remember that during those moments I want to scream. 

I'm not only need to be teaching my children the correct social behavior (who says I know that anyway LOL!) but way more importantly the correct spiritual behavior. As a follower of Jesus I am commanded in Scripture to

...impress these things upon your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.
Deut. 6:7

Training can be accomplished a lot of different ways. I think that is why the Bible instructs us to talk to our children all the time. The biggest way I see training happening in our home is through relationships. If our children think they're a burden to us why would they care what we have to say? We do a lot of talking around my house about all kinds of things! My kids KNOW that they are valued and loved and so they seek us out for wisdom.

Being a parent is such a huge responsibility. I'm so thankful the Lord is gracious to me and doesn't throw the whole impact of the load at me all at once. He doesn't expect me to do what I cannot.
Personally, I'm learning that being a parent is a whole lot about trust. Trusting that the Lord knows what He's doing, with the personalities of our children, with the gender, and maybe even with giving them to us in the first place! I also have to trust that as much as I love my children He loves them more.

I'm committing to putting my children first before all the other 'good' things in my life. Filling their little lives up and then worrying about the unimportant things. My children will only be little for awhile... I will only have their hearts by default for awhile, then it will have to be because they trust me. 
I can't just expect them to turn out right because I take them to sunday school and don't let them watch certain shows. Mothering is a massive commitment and one that, if allowed, can grow us into godly women who radiate Jesus' love to everyone around us.

If I will just stop worrying so much about my rights I could actually do a better job with my children. I'd be able to take the time to train instead of just disciplining if I would discipline myself instead not to turn on the computer, or pick up the phone call, or just do busy work.

The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Galatians 5:22


The heart of your home

This blog has so blessed me and encouraged me with posts coming at just the right time! I had to share this today. Please go visit her site to read the rest of the article, here is an excerpt:

I think of the great mother heroines of the past and admire their strength. Back then you had to work hard or you didn't eat and mothers made sure they worked hard to make sure their families had food. They learned to stretch the food and didn't take what they had for granted. Resources were scarce and they lived by the motto: use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.

So mothers, wherever you are today, I hope these little glimpses into others lives are an encouragement to you. I pray you are doing all that you can in your family---to hold it together, to love them, to care for them, to give them your best even when you think that there is not much to give them. Remember, that this is a lie from pit of hell to think that you cannot give anything to your children. A mother is the anchor of the family and when the father is gone all day she is the one who creates the home, cultivates it and nurtures and loves people there. She helps the fabric of the home to be strong with her unwavering fearless spirit, courageous faith and brings refreshing life to it, for if not for her a home would just be lifeless walls that echoes emptiness. 
She is the heart of the home. If it were not for these mothers who lovingly and purposefully sacrificed her life to this purpose her home would be broken and dysfunctional, the poor children left to themselves with the wicked world raising them. And know, that just like her-- you are the heart of YOUR home.

So take heart, mothers, and set your eyes on Him. Pick up your armor and put it on. Get about your work at home and be busy making it the most loving place on earth.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Are you making the most of your time?

This video is pretty neat. Really puts priorities into perspective for me! I want my children to KNOW they were loved and cherished, not just rushed through being little because it's inconvenient for me to hassle with them sometimes.
Remember, our children are ALL a gift from the Lord and should be viewed as such ALWAYS! :)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Tea time

UPS just stopped at my door and delivered a package of loose leaf teas I ordered from here.

They smell so good. I brewed myself and the boys some of the creamy pumpkin tea and added some honey and cream. It's actually pretty good. I'm not a huge tea person but I'm trying to find alternatives to cokes. I'm praying this will work!