Large Family Happenings, Life or Something Like It

Baby Shower, Bridal Shower, Birthdays, Bathrooms

Baby Shower, Bridal Shower, Birthdays, BathroomsBaby Shower, Bridal Shower, Birthdays, Bathrooms

Can I just say that I can sometimes overwhelm even myself?  Well, I do.  More times than not, I get myself into more things than I should.  So, now I’m in the middle of a Baby Shower, Bridal Shower, Birthdays, Bathrooms.  In between November and the end of March, and (of course) the holidays, there is a lot happening.  We have about 12 birthdays and anniversaries.  Then there is my first grandbaby that will make her appearance.  Now, we have to slap in a baby shower, bridal shower, and a 5-day hospital stay and you have my life in a nutshell.  All birthdays went very well.

Baby Shower

With that being said, a baby shower is a must.  Due to covid restrictions, we did a virtual baby shower at my house.  My sister came and my kids.  We ate, she opened gifts, and we had fun.  She got a ton of stuff for Charleigh Mae and they are very thankful.

It is so surreal to see your daughter pregnant with her first daughter.  She is so beautiful.  This pregnancy has not been easy for her.  She has struggled with all-day sickness, loss of appetite, and all the other fun things that happen.  Yet, she has handled it beautifully.

She is going to be such an amazing little mama.  I can’t even contain my excitement.  Who would have ever thought I’d be excited to be a grandmother.  Honestly, who ever thought I was mature enough to be a grandmother.  Yet, here I am.

Bridal Shower

We had scheduled the shower for a week before the wedding.  I just couldn’t get it all done in such a squashed amount of time.  Sadly, Alyssa got really sick before the shower.  We knew she didn’t have covid19, so we assumed it was a bug or the flu.  Since we weren’t sure, we decided to postpone it.  If it was a stomach bug, Arkie could have gotten it and there are a lot of immunosuppressed people in our lives.

Arkie never got sick, but other things ended up happening.  We had a hospital stay (Hunter) and a snowstorm because that is just how things roll.  It got pushed back to the day before the wedding.  We were trying to get a date that his mom could be there, but due to the storm, it just didn’t happen.

It got done and they had a good time. We were all tired but the kids seemed to enjoy opening their gifts.  Luckily, we got great pictures that I will send to his mom.

Rehearsal

That was something as well.  It seems nothing wanted to go smoothly.  This snowstorm just threw a wrench into all the things.  His family was not able to travel to the rehearsal because they got more snow than we did.  I hated that for them.

We were able to get in and get a lot of decorations done.  Most of the people who were in the wedding was able to come.  I’m so glad there is a trial run because that’s when I got all of my squalling out.  Those songs she picked.  Geez.  I was crying, my mom, the girls…it was a cry fest.

We ordered pizza and just came back to the house to eat.  After eating, they opened gifts.  Then, we cooked for the wedding.  It was a long and crazy night.  After all that was done, we snuggled for a good long time.  Sigh, that girl has my heart.

Bathroom Remodel

To add to our fun, we decided to do a remodel on our bathroom.  A few years ago, my boys got into a scuffle and things happened.  One boy aggrevated another boy.  Then, the other boy pushed the one boy.  That boy’s butt went through my wall.

I have not used that bathroom in a long time because I get so mad that all I see is his full butt print.  There are 2 cheeks and a crack.  I bought stuff to redo it, my way because we weren’t getting it done any other way.  Bart stepped in and did some work.  Then, he made some phone calls.

Once that happened, all the things happened.  We now have a new shower, the toilet was already fairly new, bought new flooring.  Our friend ordered new closet doors.  The next big thing is to get the sinks out, new ones bought, and installed.

Go Big or Go Home

So, all this stuff, at my house, happened with a torn-up bathroom.  That and a front closet FULL of Charleigh Mae’s gifts, a corner in the living room FULL of Alyssa’s gifts, and birthday presents.  Upstairs was full of wedding stuff.  I mean, there is stuff everywhere and I haven’t known which way is up and which way is down.

Honestly, I wouldn’t know how to do something 1/2 way.  I have got to do it all the way and then add a little spice.  It’s what dreams are made of.

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Family Update February 2021

Family Update February 2021Family Update February 2021

Here is our BUSY Family Update February 2021.  For the shortest month of the year, it *feels* like this month lasted 428 years.  So.  Very.  Busy.  That meme cracks me up.  I’m not sure if it is my guardian angel, my mama, sister, or therapist.  Maybe all of them do that when I tell them something new.  Tis my life.

School

Still, Job Corp is not open.  I believe, to date, one has opened, so that is progress.  Right?  Noah got accepted into MSU and got his financial aid going.  He is figuring things out, so I don’t have to.  We’ve decided that Hunter will have his therapies at school.  Virtual therapy is STUPID.  It is seriously the dumbest thing ever.  He will only be at the school for an hour and a half.  Physical therapy, Occupational Therapy, and Speech will all be done weekly.  Maybe we will see some progress.

As for the boys, Jude is doing well.  He is learning to take his time.  The school gives him the ability to redo his assignments, but not tests or quizzes. He is learning to ask questions and study.  It has been a journey.  Daniel is struggling.  With FASD, it is hard.  Teachers “see” one thing (virtually), yet life is another.  We are going to take him 2x a week for tutoring.  After much back and forth, we adjusted his 504.  Praying that is going to help.

Happenings

There have been lots of birthdays this month.  Grayce, Hunter, Alyssa, Mimi, daddy, and several nephews have celebrated.  Also, we had a wedding shower for Alyssa on Hunter’s birthday.  That is one way to crunch it all in.  Originally, we had a separate day to do their share. Sadly, Alyssa got the flu or a stomach bug.  She was pretty pitiful.  We were not certain what she had, so we canceled until the 19th.  That would be one day before her wedding.

The rehearsal didn’t quite go as planned because there was a major snow/ice moment.  We considered postponing the wedding.  It was touch and go.  Alyssa was a wreck.  Arkie was a rock on the outside, still unsure of what lies beneath.  We got that done, without Arkie’s family.  Sadly, they got more snow than we did and just couldn’t make the trip.  I know that was a hard decision for them to make.

Once home, we did their shower.  Luckily, both my moms were here.  Hannah and Savannah were here.  Once the parents left, we started cooking.  We were all so tired but got it done.  Then, my girl came and snuggled with me until about 2 am.  Sigh.  Worth it all for that moment.

Wedding

All in all, we got it done.  My daughter was breathtaking.  Simply breathtaking.  Arkie.  I tied his tie and saw this sweetness in his eyes.  He really is a sweet boy.  Change is just hard.  Alyssa.  Stunning.  His family was able to come home.  The sun was shining.  Her pictures will be so beautiful with her flowers and the snow.

My mom knocked it out of the park with her flowers, doors, and all the things she creates.  She is brilliant.  My other mom was so helpful.  I’m so thankful my aunt was able to come.  The boys kicked in and helped clean up.  The food was good, the company was good.  Alyssa was so full of joy.  Arkie was so excited about his apple pies.

Health

Big Daddy was diagnosed with diabetes.  He has lost a lot of weight and his sugar levels are really good.  My plantar fasciitis sucks pond water.  That is in my right foot.  In my left foot, I’ve lost feeling in a couple of toes and the top of my foot.  It is due to a bone spur.  Eventually, when I lose feeling in more toes, we’ll address it.  My essential tremors have calmed down as have my psoriasis.

We have some upcoming appointments with Daniel to have him assessed for autism.  Honestly, we have always suspected it but as he gets older, things become more prominent.  Also, we have some upcoming appointments for Jude.  We are hoping to get some help with his FND.  Hunter had a massive treatment that I will address in another post.  So, stay tuned.

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Psalm 42 & Proverbs 11

Psalm 42 & Proverbs 11

Psalm 42 & Proverbs 11

Psalm 42

As the deer longs for streams of water,
    so I long for you, O God.
I thirst for God, the living God.
    When can I go and stand before him?
Day and night I have only tears for food,
    while my enemies continually taunt me, saying,
    “Where is this God of yours?”

My heart is breaking
    as I remember how it used to be:
I walked among the crowds of worshipers,
    leading a great procession to the house of God,
singing for joy and giving thanks
    amid the sound of a great celebration!

Why am I discouraged?
    Why is my heart so sad?
I will put my hope in God!
    I will praise him again—
    my Savior and 

Section 2

my God!

Now I am deeply discouraged,
    but I will remember you—
even from distant Mount Hermon, the source of the Jordan,
    from the land of Mount Mizar.
I hear the tumult of the raging seas
    as your waves and surging tides sweep over me.
But each day the Lord pours his unfailing love upon me,
    and through each night I sing his songs,
    praying to God who gives me life.

“O God my rock,” I cry,
    “Why have you forgotten me?
Why must I wander around in grief,
    oppressed by my enemies?”
10 Their taunts break my bones.
    They scoff, “Where is this God of yours?”

11 Why am I discouraged?
Why is my heart so sad?
I will put my hope in God!
I will praise him again—
my Savior and my God!

Thoughts

Ooooh, verses 9-11, I have *felt* these things so deeply.  Logically, I know that God is my rock but I have been so heart by circumstances that His presence was not felt.  I know it isn’t He who turned His head.  It was me turning away.  I was so deceived into looking at these horrific and scary events that I could not look past them into His eyes.

In times like these, for me, it is so important that you place people in your life that can see past all of that.  Those warriors that will hold your arms up when you do not have the strength.

Thankfully, I have these people.  They hurt me and they encourage me.  I do not hear “well, you have sinned and this is the result” or “you know better than to think/say that.”  All I get is fervent prayers until I am lifted out of that miry clay.  Hope.

Proverbs 11

The Lord detests the use of dishonest scales,
but he delights in accurate weights.

Pride leads to disgrace,
but with humility comes wisdom.

Honesty guides good people;
dishonesty destroys treacherous people.

Riches won’t help on the day of judgment,
but right living can save you from death.

The godly are directed by honesty;
the wicked fall beneath their load of sin.

The godliness of good people rescues them;
the ambition of treacherous people traps them.

When the wicked die, their hopes die with them,
for they rely on their own feeble strength.

The godly are rescued from trouble,
and it falls on the wicked instead.

With their words, the godless destroy their friends,
but knowledge will rescue the righteous.

Thoughts

We are dealing with a pride issue, dishonesty, “rich” people, and people who rely on their own strength.  There is an issue that is so hurtful to one of my children that it is hard to see the pain in their eyes.

As we were talking about things last night, my son was repeating what he told this kid.  “I’m going to wipe the floor with you.  I am so much better than you are in basketball, I will show you.”  Those types of comments.  Not bad, but not a good representation of who my son is in Christ.

Frankly, he is fed up with this kid.

He is bullied, made fun of, demeaned, embarrassed by the things this kid says.  What I’m trying to impart on my son is that when he trash talks this kid, he is stooping to his level.  My son now becomes a face in the crowd instead of a city on a hill.

We have done role-playing on how he can better and effectively deal with this kid.  If it gets any worse, Bart and I will have to get involved.  I’m trying to see if my son can handle this on his own without losing himself.

Parenting is hard.

Section 2

10 The whole city celebrates when the godly succeed;

they shout for joy when the wicked die.

11 Upright citizens are good for a city and make it prosper,
but the talk of the wicked tears it apart.

12 It is foolish to belittle one’s neighbor;
a sensible person keeps quiet.

13 A gossip goes around telling secrets,
but those who are trustworthy can keep a confidence.

14 Without wise leadership, a nation falls;
there is safety in having many advisers.

15 There’s danger in putting up security for a stranger’s debt;
it’s safer not to guarantee another person’s debt.

16 A gracious woman gains respect,
but ruthless men gain only wealth.

 

Section 3

17 Your kindness will reward you,
but your cruelty will destroy you.

18 Evil people get rich for the moment,
but the reward of the godly will last.

19 Godly people find life;
evil people find death.

20 The Lord detests people with crooked hearts,
but he delights in those with integrity.

 

Thoughts

Awe, there it is.  The word “integrity.”  Integrity means “the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness.”  That is what I try to teach my kids.  Be a man (or woman) of integrity!  The Lord delights in that!

Section 4

21 Evil people will surely be punished,
but the children of the godly will go free.

22 A beautiful woman who lacks discretion
is like a gold ring in a pig’s snout.

23 The godly can look forward to a reward,
while the wicked can expect only judgment.

24 Give freely and become more wealthy;
be stingy and lose everything.

25 The generous will prosper;
those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.

26 People curse those who hoard their grain,
but they bless the one who sells in time of need.

27 If you search for good, you will find favor;
but if you search for evil, it will find you!

28 Trust in your money and down you go!
But the godly flourish like leaves in spring.

29 Those who bring trouble on their families inherit the wind.
The fool will be a servant to the wise.

30 The seeds of good deeds become a tree of life;
a wise person wins friends.

31 If the righteous are rewarded here on earth,
what will happen to wicked sinners?

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5 Unexpected Ways Starting Over Can Make Your Life Better

5 Unexpected Ways Starting Over Can Make Your Life Better

5 Unexpected Ways Starting Over Can Make Your Life Better

These are the 5 unexpected ways starting over can make your life better. After a *rough* start (and finish) to my day, I decided to just begin again.  As I sat in my bed, crying, I felt the Lord impress on me.  These are some simple things that I (and you) can do that can make my life (and the lives of my children) better.

  1. Hug your difficult child.
  2. Give encouragement, even if it is through gritted teeth.
  3. Pray often.
  4. Smile more.
  5. Begin again.

Choose to start over.

A new book.  Chapter 1.  Page 1.

It is NEVER too late to begin again.

Do NOT feed into the lies of Satan.

You are NEVER “too far gone.”

NEVER too old.

You will not be sorry.

God.  Is.  Bigger.

Thoughts

You can go to Inspirational and Encouraging Bible Verses and find some encouraging Scripture in the Bible.  I do this, just to read Truth.  Our days are all-consuming with lies from social media.  It is so hard because we all compare ourselves to what we see in those little squares of life.  There is no perfect person in this world.  Remember that.  Only Jesus was perfect.

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Corraling The Chaos of a Large Family

 

Corraling The Chaos of a Large FamilyI do believe I may have found my tiny ship of order….at least for the time being.

Corraling The Chaos of a Large Family

Corraling The Chaos of a Large Family.  I have kids. Lots of kids.  There are also my extra kids.  Kids are everywhere.
I don’t see myself as having a “mega” family because I don’t.  When I think of a “mega” family, I think of the Bates family or the Duggars.  I’m just a snowflake in a blizzard compared to those families.
I have 7 kids.  Also, I have 2 bonus girls who come around.  Oh wait, I also have a son in law. That’s it.
Just Big Daddy, me, Bug, Peach, Gigi, Boo, Catfish, Little Man, Zebra, Hannah, Morgie Loo, Eye Candy, and Black Bart.  I don’t feed them all, every day…on max, I feed about 9 people a day…again, this is a small family, to me.

I do not believe in giving a kid a cell phone until they are 16 and driving.

Yes, I’m the oddball out, and yes my kids have received backlash for my decision, but seriously…what does a 10 yr old need with a phone.  Granted, some circumstances require a younger child to have a cellphone (a divorced situation, latchkey kid, etc.), but we are a 2 parent family, and I’m always home.  My 11 yr old is not going to text me while he is in the bathroom needing toilet paper and I’m in the living room.  It is as simple as that.

All that being said

I have a daughter who is married…which yields me a son in law (gasp and sigh).  A son who works and a daughter who is old enough to have a phone, but lost that privilege (yes, if I’m paying for it a cell phone is a privilege, not a right)….then there is Big Daddy and me.  Our schedules are nuts, especially with a medically fragile child and another child in a traveling baseball league.  I never know where everyone is at.

Forgetfulness

I forget to tell the kids about important doctor’s appointments. Sadly, I always forget baseball (thankfully his coach sends a reminder text).  Also, I forget appointments that are not in the realm of my medically fragile son.  I’m getting older, so I just merely forget, and the kids (and Big Daddy) are tired of telling me the same thing 500 times.  To the kids, however, the most important thing they want to know is what our menu for the week is and if they all want to come to eat here.

TimeTree

I have *finally* found my saving grace.  I LOVE it.  The kids tolerate it, and Big Daddy doesn’t pay attention…but it helps me, and that’s what’s important 🙂  It is a SHARED calendar called (so sad I have to look at the name because I forgot it) TimeTree.  It is free, and it spans across iPhones and Android phones.  All you have to do the primary person (me) has to set up the account, and then I invite everyone else.  They accept the invite, download the app, and we are good to go.  I have titled our calendar as “Family Calendar” because you can have other ones on there as well.

Organization

In this calendar, we each have a color and our name (mine is Eagle Eye LOL).  We add to the calendar all our appointments, work schedules, and mainly my menu.  If the kids see something they like, they text me and say they are coming for dinner.  Once a week, I give a kid a night, and they choose the menu for me.  So, I’m guaranteed one night a week with all my kids.  They are thrilled, and I’m excited I don’t have to figure out what to cook once a week 🙂  We add birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, and our upcoming “cake eating” preparations days.
In my opinion…I freaking love it!

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That Moment When You Have Had Enough

That Moment When You Have Had Enough

That Moment When You Have Had Enough.

When you have stood all that you can stand?

When you have had enough of doctors who think they are God?

When you are tired of your kids fighting?

When did you think you are going to run down the road naked, screaming at the top of your lungs if you hear or see one more piece of craptastic news?

When you don’t have the strength to care if anyone is fed?

When you have just had it?

This is That Moment When You Have Had Enough

Instead of flipping out…I put on a seaweed anti-stress mask.

Did it help?

No…it made my face itch.

But…I am still a looker!

Am I right or am I right?

**Side Note**

My friend, Donna, always said to me, “Brandi am I right or am I right?”  As I was reading this tonight, I could hear her raspy voice.  Her voice, her facial expressions, and her being in a rigor.  Normally she was fussing about the children, animals, or money.  I miss our late night talks.  Sadly, I can’t watch car detailing videos anymore.  She would call and I would walk her through each one.  She would listen.  Donna, I miss you.

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Debt Free Plan for 2018

Debt Free Plan for 2018Thoughts on our Debt Free Plan for 2018.  The holiday’s semi-killed us.  We had allotted, at the beginning of the year to spend $100 on each of our 7 children.  We added some extra money for the extra people we buy for.  I’m a super frugal shopper, so I feel like I did really well in my budgeting …. but ….. I spent about $140 per child.  Unexpectedly, we had 2 extra boys along with the regular people we buy for.

I think I did well with that, for the most part.  What I need to account for THIS year is FOOD!  With Thanksgiving, then V’s bday, then Christmas, and then New Year’s….food is what did us in.  I went to my mom’s for T-giving, but I also cooked T-giving for my kids who could not be here due to work schedules.  I also do Christmas baking, which is getting quite expensive.  So, with all that being said, I’m going to go ahead, with our tax refund, and allot for $120 per child for Christmas (with a little extra for extra people), $60 per child for birthdays, and then a certain amount for the holiday food rush.  That will help us out, tremendously.

We will also take out our house taxes, vacation amount (though we did not go on one this past year due to Hunter’s condition, so that amount will likely carry over), Vehicle Taxes, Fire, the cost of my blog, and the cow/pig (we buy a whole one every year).  These will go in their respective “envelopes” so we can just pay for things as they come.  We will also get our emergency fund back up to $1000.  That is so important.

Surprise Wedding

Our extra surprise for this year is that we are planning a wedding!  My oldest daughter has decided to GET MARRIED right in the midst of birthday season.  So, much of Big Daddy’s OT will cover that.  I’m blessed with talented people in my life that are helping me.  They are loving her through this all.  Thankfully, they are extending lots of grace.  I will do a separate blog post giving a shout out to all those who are helping and their respective sites!  This will also be mixed in with monthly trips to Louisville for Hunter and his treatments, homeschooling, and all the other fun stuff that goes on.

Goal #1 Met

As far as our debt, we paid off our van in 4 mths (before the projected payoff was 3 years, I believe), so we are still going to take that payment, add it to our next lowest amount owed bill (my student loan), our “Uncategorized” monies leftover at the end of the month, some OT, and a few other little bits of monies (ie envelopes, kids payments, etc) and we will start tackling that loan.  My goal is to have this $20K loan (projected payoff is 2030) paid off by February 2019.  My SUPER goal is to have it paid off by November 2018.  *If* we can get it paid off in November, we will take off the month of December.  This will give us a bit more freedom.

Beginning Again

Then we start again in January with our next debt.  This is our home equity loan.  We will roll our paid-off van payment into our regular payment.  Also, we will roll our paid off student loan payment into the mix.  When you add that to our current home equity payment, this will help us knock this debt out.  After that, Lord willing, it will be our house. So many things can happen in between.  I find comfort in having a plan.  When we paid our van off, I have a light at the end of the tunnel.

Good luck on your journey to financial freedom and prayers appreciated for our Debt Free Plan for 2018!

Large Family Happenings, Life or Something Like It

Time is Slipping Away

Time is Slipping Away.

I find that the end of the day has rolled around and I have nothing to show for it.  Sadly, Time is Slipping Away.  That is the thought that swirls and twirls through my mind.  In reality, I know that that isn’t true, but I look around my house and think “how can it *still* smell like pee?

Yes…I said that.

I’m looking at my brand spanking new carpet cleaner, right now.  It is perched in the corner of my living room.  It is so sparkly and shiny that I don’t want to dull that shine with the muck of filthy carpets and dog hair.

Plus…I am sort of famous for catching 8 vacuum cleaners on fire…within 6 months of each other.  Don’t ask cause I just don’t know.  I think they all get together and decide they can’t handle the 6 kids, Big Daddy, and all these dogs….so they just sacrifice their little lives and self combust in a last-ditch effort to being used too much.

I feel like that, someday….that I just need to self-combust and call it a day.

Sorry, squirrel moment.

The reality is is that child one is rarely home.  She flits in and out of this house like a bandit, in the night.  When she is home, she talks so fast (to catch me up on life) that I only catch every third word.  I find myself, more times than not, just nodding and smiling.  I have no idea what I’m nodding and smiling to..but it is my effort to try and listen.

Child Two

Child two is 17 and is finding her way.  She is busy right now with finishing schoolwork, babysitting 4 days a week, volunteering one day a week and she just got hired, part-time and that training will be starting this week, as well.

Child Three

Child three does well to just manage her behaviors and her choices.  I’m proud to say that she is caught up and doing well in her schoolwork and she has been on an upswing, lately..which for a child that struggles with RAD, this is a good good GOOD thing.  There are still moments and those moments suck the life right out of all of us…but we are learning (after 8 years) to manage, admit poor choices, don’t blame others, apologize, and move on.

Child Four

Child four has baseball two to three times a night.  In one town, while child six has baseball two to three times a week in a separate town. I can’t even begin to describe the logic behind that decision because it is too complicated.

Child Five

Child five has just completed his Special Olympics track event (he won first in the 100m dash and 2nd in the softball throw). That practice was weekly and the Regionals was an all-day event.  He has qualified for state, but probably won’t be attending because it is a three-day event in June and I don’t want him to go unattended.  He will be starting karate, soon…so there is another couple of nights out of the week.

Large Family Busyness

So, between therapy, doctor’s appointments, hearing aid appointments, cooking, schooling, cleaning…I know that I have not been idle.  It is just this house.  This morning, I was looking at the MOUNDS of paperwork yet to be filed because…well…I just haven’t had time (or the desire), so I’ve been piling it up for far too long.  I was determined, today, to tackle that project.

As you can see, because I’m blogging, I didn’t get too far.  I do have it sorted and maybe sort of (completely) strung from one side of my bedroom to the next.  It is organized chaos.  I will get it done.  I know I will.  Eventually, I will get it done.

Blogging to Pass Time

For now, I sit here…blogging…looking at my sparkly carpet cleaner smiling at me.  I have about 4 unfinished projects because I can’t focus long enough to get one completed.  I have our vacation looming over us and I’m nowhere near prepared for that undertaking (first massive vacation taken as a family of 8…for 10 days…God help me).  Speech wraps up for kid five, this week…we have a couple of weeks off and then it will a two-week trek to therapy where I will sit for 2 hours while he works.  Go ahead, covet…I know you want to.

My dog smells like fish.  The carpet smells like urine.  Alas, my toenails need to be painted.  Sadly, my bedroom has been overtaken by paperwork.  Lola ate my recipes (literally), and I have snot.  Lots and lots of snot.

I’ll get something finished today.  I will and I know that eventually, I will.

Large Family Happenings, Life or Something Like It

Confabulation vs Lying

Confabulation vs Lying
Epically.  Sucky.
Confabulation vs Lying.  Today started off, a smidgen after 8 am with my oldest freaking out because of the unexpected snow and the fact that she had to drive in it.  She called her daddy.  The crisis averted cause the roads weren’t bad.
Then another kid comes running upstairs when I have one eyeball open and announces that another kid is screaming in his ear and calling him names over cereal.
Cereal.
Arguing over how pathetic it is that he is eating cereal.
I tell one kid to leave and eat his breakfast.  I call the name calling child upstairs.
This child has not even fully entered my door before wails and tears and screaming occurred.
It is now 8:05.
I stop this child mid-diatribe, and I tell this child just to put her nose in a corner until she can pull it together enough for me to utter a word.
Now, I am praying for the Lord to gird me up.  Gird.  Me.  Up.  Cement the armor of God on my body where no RAD crowbar can pry it off.
By the time I finish my prayer and tell her to come.  We try again to get her to calmly LISTEN to me.  This is not working because she wanted to speak….loudly and with enthusiasm and hair flipping.
I tell her only to answer yes or no.
“Did you scream at the said child?”
“NO…*snot tears hair flipping*.”
“Did you raise your voice and yell at this child at close proximity?”
“YES…*foot-stomping, hand on hip, straining to get out another tear. I told this child that he was PATHETIC.”
“Were you going to eat the cereal?”
“No, I was eating something else!  But he……*stopped her right there*.”
“So, you were standing close by, screaming he is pathetic over cereal that you were not even eating.”
“Yes, but *stopped her right there because now we are talking about how dad isn’t fair amongst the kids and how she doesn’t like to do chores and that no one loves her.”
“Okay, so here is the thing.  The cereal wasn’t in your hand, in your mouth and you were eating something else when you decide that though you don’t want it, you don’t want this child to have it because someone else might potentially, in the next week or so want that particular cereal and you hollered….calling names.
Discussion Over
I will not discuss any other matter.  We are discussing this matter.  You will go downstairs, apologize, do your chores, do your homework and then earn 500 points for not being nice.  There will be no stomping, spitting, name-calling, dirty looks, door slamming, or dish crashing.”
…she left…
Then another kid didn’t want to do his work.  He sits there and says he would rather run up and down my stairs, do chores, OR stand in the corner.  I put him in the corner.  I gave most of the kids’ permission to go outside and enjoy the snow while I talked to my M.O.M. while cooking my kale chips.
Then
Boo comes flying in soaking wet from what looks like rain.  It wasn’t rain, it wasn’t snow, he didn’t jump into the pond….the pipes had burst in the pump house.  My M.O.M. quickly said call me back.  I call Big Daddy *furious* and then I go on the hunt for not one, not two, not three, not even four but FIVE breaker boxes to figure out which breaker turns off the pump.
Kale burnt.
No luck.  Looks like Old Faithful with Boo standing there helplessly going “mom….the pipe pieces are everywhere.”  (Let’s not negate the fact we just had the whole thing replaced last summer with a guy that looks like Dog the Bounty Hunter.
“Dog” must have *really* liked me because about a month after he fixed the well (costing an arm and a leg), he called me at like 7 am on a Sunday morning asking me to go to P-town with him to pick out lingerie cause he wanted to touch my boobs.  I merely told him to hang on a second, and he could ask my husband if he minded….conversation ended real quick.  Apparently, he didn’t want to talk to my husband about touching my boobs.
Gross.
A friend comes and finds the breaker and turns it off.  It is horrible….nothing I can do about it now.  I tell the kid who doesn’t want to do his schoolwork to take dogs out and eat lunch, then he can go take a nap, and after a nap, we would finish his homework.
He took a nap.
Then he did something stupid.
Hysteria occurred.
Kids scared.
I am scared.
Friends are scared.
Son scared.
My mom has called a half dozen times (after the fact) and is still crying.
It was sucky and horrible.  Thankfully, it is now okay.  God is still good.  I am calm now and I drank a route 44 coke.  My life may not be perfect and I may seem like I don’t know what I’m doing.  You would be correct.  I may also appear a little crazy.  Good call.  Oh, and confabulation is real and it sucks pond water.
Off The Recipe Track for a Moment
Those who have never jumped in my skin and walked around in it and never had life issues that I have had (or am dealing with)….do not judge me.
Do not look at me like I’m unfit or question my parenting.
Choose to love without judgment and with grace.
Leave the rest to Jesus.
For those who stood (and continue to stand) by me, in the journey that I am walking, thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Remember, those who stand in the judgment, one day, I may be holding your hand through the ashes because I’ve already been down that road.
I may already have the scars to prove that I’ve been down that road.  Consequently, I may be the only one who loves, stands by you, supports, and doesn’t judge you.  Through the grace of God, I may lead you from ashes to beauty.
Keep that in mind.
Off the soapbox and back onto the healthy living.

Weeping may come in the night, but joy comes in the morning.  Psalm 30:5

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Courting Questions

Courting Questions

Courting Questions on Faith

Courting Questions is a list of questions with some Biblical support on each.  We have used this to help in the “dating” world of each of our children.

What are your habits with regard to Bible study? Bible Study

What is your opinion of personal witnessing? Witnessing

What would you say is your spiritual gift(s)? Spiritual Gifts

Do you show a regular willingness to serve others?  In what ways? Serving Others

Do you tithe? Tithe

What is your practice regarding personal prayer? Prayer Life

Also, do you tend to be more of a leader or follower in life?

In making decisions, what role does God’s Word play? God’s Word

What are your thoughts on family worship?

What would be the key attributes of such a practice in your home?

Describe a typical Sunday in your life from start to finish.

Family

This set of Courting Questions is all on the family.  When you marry a person, you are marrying everyone!

Describe your relationship with your father?

Do any mental or emotional illnesses that could affect your children run in your family?

Describe your relationship with your mother?

Can you describe your relationship with your grandparents?

Can you tell me your thoughts on how a man should protect a wife and children?

How do you see your future relationship with your in-laws working out?

Are there any unsettled issues with your parents?

Friendships/Relationships/Commitments

Now we come to the Courting Questions of friendships and relationships.  This can be a sticky topic sometimes.

Can you describe your relationship with your friends? Friendships

Have you ever had to deal with a broken relationship? If so, please provide the details of that relationship, how long ago, the situation, and how did you handle it? Relationships

Men & Women, what is your attitude towards them?

What is their purpose?

Can you talk about your prior experience with dating and romance? Dating

Have you ever kissed or been physically intimate in any way with a girl/woman? If so, explain the circumstances. Premarital Sex

Are you consistently faithful in fulfilling your commitments? Commitments

Self

These Courting Questions are all centered around you, as a person, and how you handle things.

In what ways is self-centeredness expressed in your life? Self-Centeredness

Are you ever manipulative of others? Manipulation

What kinds of situations cause you frustration?  How do you respond? Frustration

What circumstances might make you impatient or angry? Impatience

How do you handle anger? Anger

Have you ever been violent?

Do you raise your voice when angry?

Are your spending habits disciplined?

What is your discipline in studying?

Do you read regularly, and if so, what?

Who is your favorite author?

Outside the Bible, what would be your five favorite non-fiction books?

Five favorite fiction books?

What are your habits regarding sleeping?

Are you lethargic?

Are your sleep habits irregular?

Do you follow a regular schedule?

Are you organized?

Would you consider yourself neat or messy?

How do you feel about guns?

Do you use offensive language? Speech

What is your attitude toward pets? Indoor? Outdoor?

Do you have political leanings?

How is your general attitude toward the civil government?

Favorite sources for news?

Do you have any interests, hobbies, talents?

What do you value most highly in life? What next?

In your spare time, what do you tend to do?

Do you prefer to live in the city, suburbs, town, or country; farm, seaside, mountains, or desert? Why?

Describe a typical weekday in your life from start to finish.

Describe a typical Saturday in your life from start to finish.

Health & Social

Here are some Courting Questions on health and social aspects.

Do you have any physical or mental disabilities or diseases?

Any allergies?

Prior or current health problems?

Do you drink alcohol? If so, what and how often?

What are your views on alcohol?

In addition, do you smoke?

What are your views on smoking?

Do you watch television, R-rated movies? PG-rated movies?

What were the last five movies you watched?

Is there a kind of music you prefer?

Do you find any music offensive?

Money & Work

The next set of Courting Questions revolves around money and work.

What is your view of debt? Debt

Do you have any financial debt? If so, explain the extent and the circumstances.

How would you describe your work ethic? Work Ethic

Do you have a high standard of excellence?

Do you tend to be either slothful or a workaholic?

How many hours per week do you work?

What are your income-producing (vocational) skills?

Marriage

Now, we face the Courting Questions on Marriage!

How have you prepared yourself for marriage? Preparing for Marriage

In what ways do you think you may need to grow before marriage?

What does “leave and cleave” mean to you? Leave and Cleave

Are you prepared to put your wife first, before all others, including your parents?

What are your views on women working outside the home?

Can you tell me your thoughts on how a man should provide for a wife and family?

What is your view on the role of a spouse? Role of Wife Role of Husband

What are your views concerning divorce and remarriage? Divorce

Do you have a personal timetable for marriage? If so, what is it?

What type of education are you hoping that your future spouse will have?

List the five most important characteristics of a spouse (for you personally).

List any characteristics or personality traits that would bother or irritate you in a spouse.

Parenting

Typically, parenting comes after marriage and these Courting Questions are important.

How do you relate to children?

How often are you around children?

What are your thoughts regarding birth control and family planning? Birth Control Family Planning

How many children do you hope to have?

What is your attitude toward adopting children? Adoption

What are your views on child training, including corporal punishment? Discipline

What are your views on homeschooling? Homeschooling

If “your” daughter were marrying “you,” what cautions would you have?

What are your thoughts on alternative medicine?

What are your thoughts on immunizations?

Hot Topics

These Courting Questions are a little bit more personal.  Remember, regardless of the answer, God loves you!

When you fail someone, what actions do you take to rectify the situation? Forgiveness

Are you honest? Honesty

Do you ever slant the truth for your own benefit? http://www.openbible.info/topics/lying

Have you ever been in trouble with the law? If so, explain the extent and the circumstances.

What tendencies do you have toward prejudice or racism? Prejudice Racism

Have you ever had periods of rebellion? If so, explain the extent and the circumstances.

Have you ever been exposed to pornography? If so, explain the extent and the circumstances. Pornography

What are your views on homosexuality? Homosexuality

Do you currently use any type of drugs? Have you in your past? If so, explain the extent and the circumstances.

Courting Questions Conclusion

Realize, these questions were first found at Your Sacred Calling.  However, I edited some of them and I added Scripture.  This is an amazing group of questions that can help you or your child.  Also, this is completely Biblically based.  In addition, you must realize that God loves us all, regardless of the answers to these questions.  We are called to love everyone, in all situations.  God is our Judge.  We are called to love and bring joy to others.

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