Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Cleanse - Day 5

Boy am I glad this is only a 5 day cleanse. I don't think I could push through many more days! Down .2 this morning again like on day 3. I'll wait to publish this post until I weigh in tomorrow morning for the total. I'm so surprised that I don't wake up hungry or get hungry during the day. I really have to remind myself to drink the Balance Complete. Crazy!

Big day today...finished these:

Wahoo - that means the end is in sight.  Hubby brought home some little apples today that looked so good so I ate one of those, otherwise, I stuck with the no snack plan. It's weird to not be hungry! I've learned how much I snack out of boredom or just mindlessly. I'm not hungry, just want to grab something as I walk by. Total habit and not need. I'm thankful for this week to make me aware of that!

I also realized how much of our life centers around food. I didn't feel like sitting with the family and watching them eat each night so busied myself other places and missed out on sitting with the family and eating/talking with them each night. I'm ready to get back to that now. We made a menu and have a plan to keep eating healthy and keep working out. This isn't a 5 day fix of all your eating/health/weight problems. ha

OK, final weigh in this morning was another .2 pounds gone. Total of 3.6 pounds and a good start on getting back to my goal. I'd like to lose 5-10 more pounds before our trip. I started this am writing down what I eat. I did this a few years ago and the accountability of having to write it all down makes me stop and think before grabbing a handful of peanut butter filled pretzels just because I was walking by the kitchen. HA. I have a few meals left of the Balance Complete so after taking a few days break, I'll add those in for one meal a day until it's gone so I don't waste it or have it taking up space on top of the fridge for years.

Thanks to those that followed along and encouraged me to keep going. And thanks to my family for being understanding when I was griping about keeping going. lol. I'm glad I stuck it out and finished it. And enjoyed my oatmeal for breakfast this morning more than I probably should have. ;o)

If you want to try this cleanse for yourself, let me know and I'll help you get started and cheer you on as you go! The set is still out of stock but the individual products are each in stock so I imagine it will be back soon. Or you can get them individually and I'll send you the info for the plan.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Cleanse - day 4

WooHoo! One more day...I think I can, I think I can. I was so excited to be down 1.8 pounds this morning (3.2 total) that I didn't even complain too much about having to get up early to get my pill and drink in before church. I've found that in the morning, about 20 minutes after I drink the shake/NingXia, I need to not be driving somewhere or out in public...better to get everything cleaned out at home, if ya know what I mean. The other two "meals" don't hit me like this but the morning seems to this time around.

Today is the day that I just can't make myself drink this anymore without holding my nose. It's me, not you, yummy drink. ha

All was well today. I did the afternoon sunflower seed snack like yesterday because it worked so well yesterday. ha I also mixed my after lunch NingXia Red with a couple of ounces of kefir. Yumming!!

I spent an hour or so today looking up healthy (or healthier than we are used to!!) meals and making a menu and shopping list. Hubby will pick up the groceries tomorrow and we will be ready to start eating better Tuesday morning. I'm so glad I pushed through and didn't wimp out on this like I wanted to several times. Finishing something is a good thing!

4 days down. ONE TO GO!!

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Cleanse - day 3

Today was such a fun day! Karen Hopkins, Royal Crown Diamond with Young Living, offered a free class to learn how to give the Raindrop Technique. This is something I've wanted to learn how to do for a LONG time so I jumped on the chance and two friends and I spent the morning and early afternoon learning. So much fun that I forgot to be hungry or anything. lol.

She talked about how digestion takes up so much of our body's energy. This renewed my will to finish this cleanse and keep giving my digestive system this little break so my body can aim that energy other places.

I did the normal cleanse protocol all day, except that she gave us NingXia Zyng and Nitro and it would have been rude to not drink it. ;o) I  normally drink Zyng every morning and have been missing it this week. It's a fairly new product to YL so I bet if they redo their cleanse protocol, they will allow it since they allow NingXia Red and Nitro...or so I'm telling myself so I don't feel like a cheater, cheater, Zyng drinker.

I also had the afternoon snack today of sunflower seeds....just because I could. ;o)

Down .2 pounds this morning so I striped and weighed again...it was the same. ha Better than up .2 pounds I guess. LOL!!

Officially over 1/2 way done! 3 days down, 2 to go! Not going to stop now!

Friday, January 27, 2017

Cleanse - day 2

The first thing on my mind when I woke today was "I wonder if I lost any weight yesterday?!?" Ha. I did! 1.2 pounds down. That gives me the motivation to do this again today. I know the goal is to be healthy and toxin free, but seeing the scale budge in the right direction helps keep me going.

Quick summary of the day...

Up and had pill and delicious breakfast of a Balance Complete shake and NingXia Red. Yum. Ugh. I remember day two last time where I chose to just skip a shake bc I couldn't make myself swallow it. I'm there again. I'd rather just not, but I will keep doing it. I'm not hungry at all this morning and my tummy finally stopped making freaky, alien sounds sometime in the night. Woohoo.

Yesterday, I didn't work out at all but today decided to see how it goes. I did 20 minutes of taebo, but not high cardio (10 minutes butt/legs and 10 minutes abs). Still feeling good.

Ran errands with Trenton today. I felt good until part way through his shoe shopping. Oops. I should have waited longer after "eating lunch" before running around. Came home and took an hour nap and felt better.

Dinner was same-same and I had a cup of grapes while watching TV and waiting up for all the kiddos to get home tonight. Not that I was hungry, but more that I was bored. Lol.

2 days down....3 to go. Almost 1/2 way done. I like how quick this is!!

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Cleanse - Day 1

I think I'll blog about this the next few days. When I was deciding if I was going to do it, I searched for other bloggers who had done it and enjoyed reading about their experience.

So...Day one....Let's do this!

Woke up at 1 am starving. I know the hunger is all mental as I generally don't have a midnight or 1am snack. Also I was signing Taylor Swift's "Mean" in my head, but that's not really related or important, just randomness.   Woke at 4am with Shirley Temple's "Animal Crackers in my Soup" song on repeat in my  brain. This relates a little more to this post than the first song but both show that I clearly have issues. Hahaha. Slept terribly, but woke at 8:07 with my alarm (I know exactly how many minutes we need to get little miss ready for the bus and don't get up a minute too early!)  and was fine, and ready to tiredly start this day.

Took my first Digest and Cleanse pill at 8:30 with a Yeti full of water and got ready for the day. Had my first shake at 9:15 and the first taste was a wave of "oh yeah....the cleanse." haha. The flavor isn't bad, but isn't a chocolate milkshake from Braums or anything. I'm super dooper picky and the taste doesn't bother me. Last time I did it, I added in a drop or two of citrus oil to mix it up after the first day because I get bored. Washed it down with 2 oz NingXia and went on my way.

I had a ton of errands to run today and Paige and I didn't get home until about 1. I took the pill then and by 1:30, I was ready for my Balance Complete! Maybe that's the trick...make sure you are really hungry. ha I'm allergic to almonds so use rice milk in mine. Sometimes I mixed it 1/2 rice milk and 1/2 water when I accidentally bought the vanilla rice milk. The Balance Complete is sweet enough without adding sweet milk. With the unsweetened, it's really good. And NingXia is something I drink everyday normally and love so it's a treat to get to drink it all day instead of just once a day like I normally do. :)

OK - my tummy has been pretty noisy this afternoon/evening but no...ahem....trouble and I feel fine. I had my last pill, drink, and NR for the day about 6:30 and am feeling good. I picked up a few legal snack things today in case I need them but I'm not going to jump into it just because I can.

I upgraded from drinking it straight from the Blender Bottle and poured it into a glass for dinner. Fancy. Trying to shake things up a bit to keep from being bored. ha

Thoughts from the day...While I feel fine and am not starving or anything, I'm kinda already over this. One thing I notice is how often during the day I normally snack. Just grabbing a chip or few chocolate chips (yum!!) as I walk through the kitchen. Every. Time.

I don't drink pop/coffee/tea. I don't eat big meals. But I do snack all freaking day long. When I'm bored, I snack. When I'm happy, I snack. When I'm not happy, I snack. haha. It's really not a big snack either...just a bite of something here or there and here and there and here again. Man, I like snacks. So for now, I'm back chomping ice and going to push through. Hopefully this will break the snacking habit again for a while.

One day down....Four to go.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

I thought I'd never do a cleanse...

And here I am about to start one again. I did the Young Living 5 Day Nutritive Cleanse back in September and survived....and didn't even have to spend the 5 days in the bathroom, which was always my excuse to not cleanse - that's one train I didn't want to start, for fear it would never stop! My family tends towards digestive issues and I was scared if I forced things, it would start something in motion that I couldn't reverse. Yikes! (tmi?)

I was pleasantly surprised when I had no tummy trouble at all during this 5 days. It's totally gentle. I was able to go about my normal life and wasn't stuck at home. Ain't nobody got time for that! I felt great actually. I wasn't tired. I don't think I was more cranky that any normal day - ha - might need to check with the hubby and kids to verify that one though. I really wasn't even hungry. I think I did the optional snacks maybe 3 times in the 5 days. It says you can do it between each meal if needed but I was so full from the protein drink that I never needed it.

My only complaint was that I missed chewing my meals...thankfully I was pretty anemic for the last few years and ate ice like it was a paid job (like I literally bought a 20 pound bag of my favorite ice and singlehandedly finished it every 4-5 days. I never left the house without ice. I would take a cup of it in the shower even. I was an addict. It wasn't pretty.), so I was able to crunch away whenever I wanted to. Currently, I have my body back full of iron and can't understand how I ate so much ice the last two years. Man, I was a weirdo! I don't eat it at all now. I might have to try this week though to get my chewing fix.

Also, I normally take MultiGreens every day and I need to reread, but I'm not sure I can take it this week. It's in my pic, but I might have to skip it, which I do think gives me more energy normally. But I can have NingXia Nitro, which I like too, for a energy boost.

Why am I cleansing, you ask?

Well, let me just tell you.

The good/PC answer is: I want to sort of reset my body. This cleanse gives your body a break from foods to allow your digestive system to clear out all the toxins that get stored up from our everyday life. What we eat, breath, wear, etc can fill us up with toxins. This clears those out and resets things to start back working normally.

The truth is: We are celebrating our 20th anniversary in May and going on a cruise. I want to jump start the weight loss that I keep meaning to do before I have to (get to) swimsuit up. Last time, I lost 5 pounds and haven't put that back on. I'm hopeful that I'll lost another 5 and can keep adding on with better diet and exercise and get to where I want to be before our trip and before summer.

I'd love to lost 10-15 pounds in the next 100 days and be back at my fighting weight, as they say. I know I'd feel better and have more energy and it would be nice to be able to fit in the clothes that are filling 1/2 my closet that I refuse to get rid of just yet. #denial I think I can do it if I stay focused. Paige and I had been doing Tae-Bo (yes...from like 1990, but I love it!) but slacked off the last few weeks. I started that back tonight and will keep that up. Caleb is teaching me some weight lifting things to help tone this old body. He was saying the other day that he has put on 9 pounds since joining the gym for Christmas...not exactly a selling point to most, but he's pumped. He's a machine. I made him promise that he's going to help me go the other way. If I gain 9 pound this month, I'm going to be ticked! He's great at researching and loves working out and weight training and I love him, so enjoying that he's helping me.

Saturday, January 21, 2017


This has been a busy week and I've already slacked on blogging (it's harder when Big Daddy is home and he's been off all week...I'll do better.). But one thing I didn't want to skip over, so we have it in our memories later.

Our new President was sworn in yesterday. #45 There has been an insane amount of drama surrounding this day and the days (months) leading up to it, but all that aside...our nation has a new President and that's a pretty big event.

I'm not sure why, but we haven't ever sat down as a family and watched the inaugural day events in the past. Maybe it was the day of the week (Fridays are lighter school days for us) or that Caleb and Big Daddy were both home, or that we were just really curious how it would all go down this year, but whatever the reason, we all plopped down on the bed and watched.

And talked.

And learned - thank you, Siri, for helping me answer many of the questions that I didn't know, including the age difference between between the POTUS and FLOTUS, which was asked - ha. Also, did you see how the White House staff busts their tails during the inauguration to move one family out and one family in in a matter of hours? I'd like them to come help us if we ever move!

We talked about nation's history and our nation's future. It was good, even if the first time Trenton was impressed was when the Obamas boarded the sweet helicopter - that got his attention and he wants to fly that one day! (not fly IN that...he wants to pilot it!)

We pray that President Trump will lead our nation on a good path, surrounding himself with wise and Godly people.

Regardless of your opinion on President Trump as a human, please pray for OUR President. He's what we have now and being cranky pants over it won't change that, so let's pray that he impresses us all and truly does makes America great. As Americans, that happens to benefit us greatly and we can use this to bless others. ;)

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Ice, Ice Baby

Thankfully our ice storm wasn't as bad as they predicted it would be, and just left us with a pretty view this morning.

Paige went out barefooted and came back in saying it felt like walking on Legos. ha.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Few words Wednesday

That's more like it.

We have a prayer "tree" in our living room that we put an ornament on for each of our foster kiddos (also one for each of us and Rwanda). Our newest ornament came in this week. YAY!! I love it. It was hard to find something to represent Little Miss but when I saw this, it fit. :o)

It's a visual reminder of us to pray for each other and for those little ones that have come in and stayed with us for a time.

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017


Those that know me on a real-life daily basis know my feelings about Tuesdays. It has its own hashtag around here even. Like whatever happens can normally be explained with #tuesday and sometimes a bonus poop emoji for good measure. 😉 Some people don't like Mondays. I like them just fine...but I often feel like Tuesday could possibly be the death of me most weeks. It's the day we have to run around to activities and are down to two pieces of bread and some eggs to share between everyone because I'll basically starve before going to the grocery store on a weekend and Monday is spent on school. We also tend to deal with cranky kids (maybe they are hungry - ha) which leads to a cranky momma on Tuesdays because we are trying to balance school and home and appointments and anxiety and all that jazz.

Today is definitely a #tuesday.

 - Hubby is on his way home FINALLY after working in Florida since the beginning of October. We are excited. He's excited and sick of driving already after a full day yesterday to get him to Alabama. About an hour into his drive today he gets a flat, which leads to a 2 hour setback on time, partly because the first stop to buy a new tire after getting his tire changed didn't take credit cards. really. Hello, Fulton,  Mississippi...let's get with the times! #tuesday

-T and P have guitar and choir this morning so I get to sit in the car for an hour and wait when I could be doing a million other things. #tuesday

-I got to see my favorite dentist today, who I genuinely love to hang out with, except twice a year for cleanings. ha. She's great....dental work isn't my fave. #tuesday

-Woke up to the dishes (that I have rerun several times assuming we forgot to put soap in there or something since they are coming out wet but dirty) being still dirty. Looks like we need a new dishwasher...and get to hand wash three days worth of dishes. #tuesday

But as hubby and I were talking today, he brought up first world problems. All of these things are totally first world problems. Nothing else. I need to change my hashtag and stop whining and count my blessings. Thanks for the reminder, hon! Now get home....we miss you!!!

Monday, January 9, 2017

update on fostering...

Another thing that has changed but stayed the same for our family since I last blogged is foster care. We felt called about 4 years ago to begin taking foster kiddos into our home and it continues to bless our family as we provide a safe, loving home for different children. We have fostered 6 different kids so far and currently have a wonderful little girl living with us as she waits for her forever home.We have also been able to help others and do respite care for quite a few little ones for a few days up to a week.

It's not always easy and dealing with "the system" couldn't BE anymore frustrating, but we have to remind ourselves that we don't do this for DHS or even for the parents, we do it for the kids. It's totally not their fault that they drew the short straw on parents. I get so fed up with these parents that only think of themselves. We visited with our kiddo's attorney this week and he said it best as he was talking to our little one, "I don't want to sound rude, but I really don't care what you mom wants. She's a grown up and has had years to make her choices. I care what YOU want." This is exactly how we feel. It's not fair that our little one has been here over a year waiting for her mom to get her act together. It's too long for a child (or anyone) to live in limbo. We have some big decisions being made in her case this month and appreciate all the prayers you can spare. She's an awesome kid, who deserves way better than to live in foster care, even if we are a pretty fun place to live - ha. We are temporary and she knows it. She was asking me one night if we could adopt her and then said, "Oh wait, you all just foster." (Insert my heartbreaking in a million pieces!) Yes, baby, we just foster. :(

The kids made our family picture this week and nailed it.

I was looking back on here to see when we actually started "just fostering" and saw this post about our little Buzz. Funny that I said I had just met his grandparents and already liked them. Today, almost 3 years later, I just got off the phone with Memaw, who has now become family. I don't like them...I love them!! We got to see another little one for Christmas and I talk to her mom several times a week still. I love it!! Our very first foster daughter was only with us for 10 days but her grandma still texts me a few times a year with updates. I'm so thankful!

Fostering has definitely grown our family, and not just through the kid's and their families. It's also grown through the foster community. We have several friends that foster that we have grown closer to over these years. It's nice to be able to talk to people in the same situations as us who get it. We also have wonderful friends that don't foster but love the heck out of our fosters with us. This isn't an easy road to be on so it's nice to have friends on it with us.

Friday, January 6, 2017

TGIF...and thank goodness for YouTube!

Caleb got up at 4am today to go to work but his car wouldn't start. I told him to take my car and I'd check it out later...and tried to go back to sleep. Then he called and said no one was at work (they were supposed to be doing inventory today so all coming in at 4:30...he doesn't normally work that early) so he came home and set his alarm for 5:30, which he slept through until after 9. oops.

So back to the car. It has been stuttering when it started for a while so we assumed it needed a new battery. Big Daddy is traveling so I looked up a youtube video and Caleb and I set out to take the battery out and go get a new one. It only took the video guy 3 minutes...how hard could this be?

Took a little longer than 3 minutes (ha) but we did it. Woot. Feeling pretty proud of ourselves and very thankful for youtube! He's back in business and headed into town to the dealer to get the code to make his radio work again. I think he's more annoyed with that than with the battery being dead. lol

When we brought the battery in to be tested and to get a new one, it had fallen over and was upside down in the bag so the fluid was dripping out. The guy explained why batteries have to stay right side up and Caleb says, "So if I roll my car, I'll need a new battery." ummm yep. You will. The guy said to try to sell it and just say it has good tires, but will need a new battery....and frame. lol ;o)

It really wouldn't have been bad if it wasn't 19* out. Brrrr... but thankful for the fire to warm up next to and NingXia Zyng to pep me back up when we finished.  :)

Have a good weekend, everyone.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Can I be real?

Or maybe that should say, "Can I be real and you still like me?" or "Can I be real and you not judge me...out loud?"

I hope you answered yes, 'cause here goes.

I'm lazy. I look for ways to cut corners that aren't life changing. Such as.... buying only clothes that can be "ironed" by being rerun through the dryer with a damp washcloth. Or cleaning the shower while I'm in the shower. No need to come back later and clean it.

I also have narrowed down the clothes that actually need to be folded and take total advantage of the ones that don't. I don't fold socks, undies, or pajamas. Why would you? It kinda goes along with making your bed everyday. Why? But anyway, I decided yesterday to dump out my mess of a sock drawer and match and fold my socks. I love winter because it truly doesn't matter if your socks match bc they are hidden in boots or under jeans. It's a little trickier in the summer but I discovered slip-on Converse this year and between those and flipflops, I didn't wear socks all summer. Score!!

So as I'm folding my socks yesterday, Paige comes in and asks what I'm doing. I told her and she acted like I told her I had discovered the a new planet or something. "Oh wow!! So you can just reach in and grab a set." 😬 She's almost 12 and I've never mentioned that normal people match their socks in the drawer. I've failed as a parent. This is like the time Caleb came home from a friend's house and told us "Did you know you can eat INSIDE Arby's?" He was in 1st grade. I had apparently never taken my kids inside a fast food place. I preferred to drive through and eat at home...where it's clean. Ha.

So now the cat is out of the bag that socks can, indeed, have a cozy match tucked inside of it. I hope she doesn't start expecting me to do it. This is likely a one time gig here. 'Cause...lazy.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

"Wordless" Wednesday.

Those that know me know that I don't do well with rules. This is one reason I'm a terrible cook...those recipe books are so bossy.

Wordless Wednesday, like a cookbook (wrote "recipe book" above and it didn't hit me until now that those actually have a name...hahaha!!), seems so bossy to me too. Like, why can't I use a few words? What will it hurt? It's my blog and I'll use words on Wordless Wednesday if I wanna use words on Wordless Wednesday.

So here's my first "Wordless Wednesday" post of 2017...with words.

Little Miss came home yesterday from visiting family for Christmas break. So we spent last night getting her ready to start school back up today. I'm still completely terrible at this, but she thinks I'm pretty darn good and I'm definitely better than I was a year ago (which isn't saying much!). Love this kiddo!! I should have taken a finished pic. It actually turned out pretty cute when I tied these braids up into pigs.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Going unplugged.....ok, or not.

Do you ever get so sick of everyone being completely tuned in to their electronic device and ignoring the world around them that you want to throw them all out the window and unplug everything (throw the devices, not the people out the window...just to be clear)?

Well, if I'm being honest, I want my kids to throw theirs out but let me keep mine and not give me that judgmental look when I just glance at Facebook or chat with my sisters for 30 minutes after I just threw a small fit that they are online too much. Ha. Total double standard in my dream home's electronic usage, I know. I'm not proud.

So here we are...new year, new plan. I decided that we can't exactly give it all up in this day and age and join an Amish community. I would be 97.5% suckier as a homeschool mom if I didn't have all the information in the world in my pocket at all times. And how would I immediately know if Baja Jacks has any artificial colors in their food if I hadn't instantly been notified that they replied to my message? This is important, right? I deserve to know these things...instantly, right? Ugh - total addict!

Last summer, we purchased a Circle with Disney device (#notasponsor ... or an affiliate link, but only bc I don't know how to do that or I'd totally affiliate ya up - ha.) and I love it. It gives us total control over the wifi in the house. We have assigned each of our devices to their owner and allowed different levels of access, times of access, and duration of access...all controlled by a handy dandy app on my phone. If a kid's friend comes over and logs into our wifi, I get a notification (on my phone and watch..see, I need it!!) and can set their parameters too. We can pause the wifi on one person's account or on the whole house with the touch of a button (useful when we've said to do something and they didn't listen bc they were in the middle of a Netflix binge of Cake Boss or something equally as educational).

The Circle is fantastic...but doesn't control non-wifi electronic use.  I've found that if I cut someone's wifi, they just move to a different avenue to get their electronics "fix" and it's making me nuts. I guess an app that cuts the electricity to one person only hasn't been invented yet. I'll get thinking on that!

So, I've typed up this bad boy that we started on the 1st and we will see how it goes. Basically, they have to earn their wifi each day by completing the things on the list BEFORE I'll unpause their wifi or let them use any electronics. I had to specify "except for school" so they didn't use this as an excuse to not do math or type a paper bc those use the computer. ha. I try to stay a step ahead, although more often than not, I probably just think I'm a step ahead.

We will see how this goes. It's just for T and P right now as C seems to get his stuff done and, quite frankly, is 17 and needs to learn how to manage his own time and all because momma won't be there policing him for much longer. He is on the Circle and limits are placed on his wifi content though. I'd rather he learn to fly here, than crash when he leaves because he didn't get to learn about time management through trial and error in a safe environment where the stakes aren't really that high...yet. 

Worth a shot. As for me? I'm just making more of an effort to leave my phone back in the bedroom or my purse more and not carry it around with me. I've temporarily missed calls and texts but you know what? We all survived and it would totally be ok for me to have not seen Moriah's spectacular  NYE performance until a little later than everyone else.  It will still a train wreck wrapped in a hot mess as it's replayed for years to come. Bless her. It's ok to not reply as soon as a text comes in. Life will go on. I never answer the phone anyway so that won't change...haha.

Here's to hoping this helps us all be more productive and more social in person and not just social online in 2017!

Monday, January 2, 2017

Change can be good...

I think I'll take the next few days to elaborate a little on the only different part of our "same-same" life that I mentioned yesterday so you know where we are now.

I'll start with homeschooling these cuties.

 Many have asked what we are doing this year so here's a nutshell version:

We are in our 10th year of homeschooling. Woah! A decade of this? Who'd have thought?!

Like I mentioned yesterday, we decided as a family to change up our homeschooling this year. It was a huge decision for our family and we didn't make it lightly. Caleb was just over what we were currently doing and it wasn't worth the fight and risking our relationship to force him to do something he hated each week. We could have. And he would have. But it wasn't worth it to us as there is more than one way to skin a cat, as they say. ;)

We sat down and talked about what we wanted to get out of the year and where we wanted to be when the kids finished their Junior, 8th grade, and 6th grade year of school. We had also homeschooled our foster daughter from Jan-May 2016 and got her caught up and ready to take on 1st grade in public school and really, I was just tired.

The last 7 years, I had been so busy doing "good" things (fostering toddlers, fostering and homeschooling a 6 year old who had been in 4 kindergartens already, directing CC, etc) that I was neglecting my family, my home, and myself. So we decided to just stop. Keep all three kids home and give them my full attention - divided by 3, I guess...so giving them each 33% of my attention? ha. It's still better than the approximately .05% of my attention that they were getting! And they needed it.We all needed it. Taking this time to slow down and just focus on the kids has been so beneficial for all of us. I'm LOVING this year!!

We meet up with another like-minded (hope I didn't just insult them!) family each week to keep each other rolling on this crazy journey and help each other where one is weaker. I can teach English and Writing in my sleep thanks to teaching Essentials for 5 years (please ignore that I don't like to take time to proofread my blog posts and use ellipsis way...too...much. I could be proper if I wanted to be, but wouldn't that be dreadfully boring?) Then there's Advanced Math. I'm so thankful that friend is willing to teach Caleb that for me bc I was considering just putting him back in PreAlgebra because I pretty much rock that. ha. Sharing the load has been great, and fun too.

Caleb also is taking Spanish with a local co-op where Trenton is taking guitar and Paige is in choir. Paige is also still dancing, Trenton is active in Civil Air Patrol, and Caleb loved playing football again this year and is at the gym everyday working out. They really don't just sit home and enjoy the 33% of mom that is available to them. Although some people probably think we disappeared, we are still venturing out, and quite often. ;)

CC was exactly what we needed when we needed it and I'm thankful for those years. After so many years of CC, it has been a huge change, but I can honestly say that I haven't regretted our decision to pull in closer as a family for a second. We have all grown and are all enjoying school again. We no longer fight every Sunday night when we realize that I hadn't checked in with the kids in days and they weren't going to be ready for Monday. Now, I'm with them all day and call them out when they try to slack off AS they try to slack off on it. Our bonus kiddo is thriving in school and it gives us the time without a young one around to focus hard on school and be done when she gets home so we can enjoy our evenings together.

So, while change is never easy, it can be good. And for us, this year has been very good. I'm thankful.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Testing...Testing...Is this how this works? Happy New Year!

I know I've completely dropped off the bloggers face of the earth for two years, but I'm contemplating jumping back in for 2017. I found myself reading through old blog posts recently and realized that I don't remember 1/2 of what I posted from 2009 (heck, the kids were talking Friday night with friends about this funny part in a movie...I asked what movie it was and they said it was the one we saw earlier that day. haha  Memory issues much?!?!) I'm so glad I have blogged so often over the years so I can have a record for the kids one day. Unfortunately, they will have only pictures from 2015 and 2016 with no story to go with them.

But oh the pictures they have....so...so...many. Here's one from Thanksgiving. Aren't they cute?!?

Haven't changed a bit from the header here, right?

Anyway, what better time to start something "new" than a New Year?!? New Year's Day is one of my favorite times of the year. I haven't screwed up anything too terribly just yet and the possibilities are endless. I really could have a clean house in 52 weeks (just have to actually read those emails I signed up for) or lose that baby fat before summer (shut up that my baby is almost 12, k?) or not yell at the kids (not todayyyyyy!) or ruin their education (do all homeschool parents worry about this?) or be addicted to my phone (hang on, just got a text....).

You get the idea.

The potential for 2017 is there...waiting for me to snag it. So I'm going to jump in with both thumbs...and the other 8 fingers too, unless I'm blogging from my phone, then it's all thumbs, baby and document our circus we call our lives.

I hope you'll visit me and chat with me and keep me accountable when I get busy and forget to write about it.

As a quick update......we still homeschool, foster, travel, oil up, and love Jesus. So really, like the kids' picture, nothing has really changed. As my fave saying from my time is Cambodia goes, our life is "Same-Same...only different."

same - different

homeschool - We no longer do CC, which we was a huge part of our lives for 7 years,  but homeschool at *gasp* home with the help of some good friends who we join up with a few days a week for accountability and some social time...cause you know we don't get much socialization as homeschoolers.
foster - We are on our 6th child, who we have had for one full year as of Dec 28th! And before you say my pet peeve...yes, it will be hard to let her go. ;)
travel - We are so blessed to be able to travel. Big Daddy travels for work often so we like to schedule intentional time together vacationing and making memories. Since I've blogged, we have been to Disney, Colorado, a Cruise, Branson, Georgia, Alabama, New Orleans, and Captain C and I even got to go to Rwanda, Africa!  We love traveling and are looking forward to our adventures in 2017.
oil up - We are still daily users of oils and love them. I've learned so much in the last three years of using them to improve and maintain our family's health and continue to learn more each day.
love Jesus - This won't change. Jesus is it. Yesterday, Today, and Forever! He is our reason for everything!

So there ya go. Life goes on. Kids grow up. Things change but also stay the same. Looking forward to this new year full of new fun and learning. And maybe by blogging again, I'll actually remember it.