Monday, July 16, 2018

How to maximize your mornings

You have to start the night before. I am not a morning person. I wake up every morning fighting the desire to lay back down and go back to sleep. But if I plan ahead and use my energy the night before it makes getting up easier.

Wednesday, May 09, 2018

Are you too busy for Jesus?

The story of Mary and Martha gives us a great picture of giving and receiving hospitality.
One sister rushes around the house doing all the things, her hands full and her mind distracted, while the other sits by Jesus and soaks in His every word

Friday, May 04, 2018

My Role as a Pastor's Wife

My role as the pastor's wife is to be here to encourage him when he needs a shoulder to cry on. I help him as he struggles behind closed doors when things get hard. When he questions his

Friday, April 27, 2018


I recently had a large group of people in my home and I was pleasantly surprised at how quickly my homemade granola bars disappeared from the pan. Everyone LOVED them! I have been making them for years for my children but to see how well others liked them motivated me to share the recipe.

(For a regular thin cookie sheet)

In a large bowl mix the following dry ingredients:
3 cups of quick oats
3 cups of rice cereal
1/3 cup chia seeds (optional)
1/3 cup of flax seeds (optional)
1/3 cup of wheat germ (optional)
1/3 cup quinoa (optional)

In a small pot on the stove mix:
1 cup honey
1/3 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup brown sugar

bring to a boil for 1 minute

add 1 cup of peanut butter & 1 tsp vanilla flavoring and mix it well, melting the peanut butter

pour the wet ingredients onto the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly

once all the dry ingredients is moist dump it on a lightly greased cookie sheet
spread it out evenly and flatten with the back of the spoon. sprinkle with mini dark chocolate chips

cover with wax paper and flatten down with another pan or cutting board

refrigerate for a couple hours before cutting

***IF you have a bigger cookie sheet just add an additional cup of quick oats and rice cereal and maybe an extra 1/2 cup of honey

Thursday, April 05, 2018

When You are Down to NOTHING!

Being broke is humbling. It makes us rely on God when there's nothing else to rely on. We don't have money to comfort us and keep us safe. We don't have savings to help us feel in control of our future.

Barely paying

Wednesday, April 04, 2018

Pointless Perfection

I don't understand why we try SO hard to be perfect. If you are a Christian you know that God doesn't promise us a perfect life here on earth. We are promised a perfect life and body once we get to heaven.

The comparison battle is

Tuesday, April 03, 2018

Are you on a diet?

Last week a 5 year old child asked me if I was on a diet?
To my surprise she thought I should be because her mom is....
Its very sad to think that parents are

Wednesday, February 28, 2018


"And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way and when thou liest down and when thou risest up."
Deuteronomy 6:7

In order to homeschool and spend very little on curriculum I have learned several websites that I can print from for FREE.

My older boys use a Christian Curriculum on the computers starting in 3rd grade.

So beginning in kindergarten or even preK I have found ways to teach them at home for little to nothing.

So if you are thinking about homeschooling or struggling to find FREE resources this is the best websites I have found over the years.

These websites are easy to navigate and have more than enough lessons for your children to learn all the basics.

All you need is a printer or you can go to your local library and use their printer during the summer to plan out your whole year in advance.
If you want to teach your children how to be an efficient typist than you can give them this website and they will learn the basics for FREE   ~Dance Mat Typing~

"If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him." James 1:5

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Addicted to Drugs!?!

We don't want to be addicted to drugs. We really don't want to be addicted to anything. And we don't want our children to be addicted to anything either. So we decided a

Why I love Homeschooling

Monday, February 05, 2018

Comfort Outside of My Comfort Zone

I am so glad when God asks us to step outside our comfort zones He sends the "Comforter" with us.

Moving from Georgia to South Dakota was THE HARDEST

Saturday, January 13, 2018

What NOT to say to a Homeschooler...

Here are some suggestions on what you should NOT say to a homeschooler when you meet them.
Maybe you are concerned and not sure how to react. I get it, its different, its weird. I know "Why would anyone want to homeschool?" But what do you say to them?

"Aren't you worried about

Tuesday, January 09, 2018

What is YOUR gift?

God gives each one of us gifts to use for His glory.
I believe God gifted me with the ability to sing.
{I know what you are thinking. "That sounds

Sunday, January 07, 2018

5 Habits of a Woman Who Doesn't Quit

When things get hard and life brings struggles we CANNOT give up!

The devil would love to see us fail. He walks about like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour.

I don't know about you but I am

Saturday, January 06, 2018

Examining Expectations

I want my boys to behave and {almost perfect} most of the time.

If I'm honest, I just want them to NOT embarrass me. LOL

But I have to remember they are human. They have the same sinful nature as I do.

I cannot expect any more from them that God does from me.

I fail daily. I make mistakes. He forgives and loves me through it all.

My expectations are too high most of the time then I am disappointed when they make mistakes.

I try to remind myself God feels the same way when I mess up.

If we don't expect perfection the mistakes won't hurt so bad.

Maybe we should just EXPECT our children to mess up,

God knew we would do things we shouldn't but He sent His son Jesus to die for our sins anyway.


"But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."  Romans 5:8

Friday, January 05, 2018

The Stuggle Is REAL!

Parenting is THE HARDEST JOB in the WORLD!
Training children is a repetitive EXHAUSTING process.
I get so tired of repeating myself EVERY DAY!
I know I'm not the only mom who struggles with this.

"Why can't they remember the rules?!"
{I think to myself}

"Do my children speak English?"
{I often wonder}

Then I remember how much my parents had to repeat things to me when I was a child.

Our children will only be with us for a short time compared to our entire lives.

For example if we are married 50 years, we only have our boys for about 18 years of their lives.

Time is short when you look at it like that.

My window of opportunity is closing in. We are trying to train them up in the way they should go before they leave.

Teaching them life lessons and hoping I didn't forget anything.

I want them all to grow up to be good husbands one day and good fathers.

Mothering is a daily sacrifice of myself, my time, my energy to pour into my children DAILY.

The Struggle Is REAL!

Thursday, January 04, 2018

What REALLY matters?

Winter time is the time of year we tend to get colds and coughs. We sleep less and cough more. I've been using the diffuser for my essential oils daily. Boiling water on the stove keeps moisture in the air. Also using a humidifier upstairs.

Nose bleeds are my new normal. Blowing my nose is scary because I never know when it might start pouring blood.

My homemade remedies for cough, vicks and sore throat soother are used daily.

Its too cold to play outside and everyone just wants to cuddle up on the couch and watch movies.

Then there is the mom guilt. I try not to beat myself up when my kids aren't as active or when I don't keep the house clean.

I have learned over the last 19 years of being married that a clean house doesn't mean I'm a good wife or mother. It just means we live here. "People are more important than things".

Who cares if the laundry stays in the basket a few days?

I have relaxed a lot over the years about the housework. I used to stress out SO BAD about keeping things spotless.

Prioritizing things in order of importance helps me decided what I have to do NOW and what can wait until later.

Here are the order of things in my mind:

Everyone is fed
Everyone is clean
School is done
Dishes are done
Laundry is folded

On the days I have a headache or I'm just too tired the laundry and dishes are neglected.

I try to remember that its not going to kill anyone if the dishes sit in the sink all night. LOL

My husband is great about that too and never complains or fusses about things left undone.

He understands me and knows I will do it all eventually.

Not sure if I could do this life with anyone else....He just knows me.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Finding Encouragement

When I feel discouraged and down about life I go to the Bible. I search for verses to lift my spirit and comfort my heart. 

"And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not." Galatians 6:9

There are days like this when I don't want to do anything and I get sad or lonely.

The feeling of isolation can be overwhelming at times. The devil really knows how to kick us while we are down. 

I have posted scripture all over our house in cabinets and on mirrors to encourage us.

Being the wife of a pastor is not easy and the pressures are stressful.

I know that when I call of the name of Jesus that satan has to leave me alone.

When we are weak He is strong.

"And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness, Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me."  2 Corinthians 12:9

So when we call on Him in our times of weakness He can reveal His strength and help us through our difficult situations.

Learning how to apply this to my daily life has been a very hard lesson.

There is no comfort in this world for a Christian. This is not my home.

I am longing to go to Heaven and be done with all the pain and heartaches of life.

"For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory."
2 Corinthians 4:17

Monday, October 30, 2017

Perspective Problems

Life is really 10%  of what happens to us and 90% how we react!

Perspective is VERY crucial in our lives. You can let struggles ruin you or you can learn from them.

I believe God allows us to go through things in our lives to teach us things. We learn how to trust Him more and rely on Him in times of need.

When someone says something we don't like we should not allow that to ruin our whole day.

People come into our lives as a blessin or a lesson :-)

Whatever we focus on will shape our perspective.

Image result for perspective pictures

Just because we don't always agree or see things the same as others that doesn't mean they are wrong.

Image result for perspective picture of 2 ladies


Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Breaking Up With Perfect

I have always wanted everything to be organized and clean. I like things to be in order and always presentable. BUT keeping up with that image is EXHAUSTING!!!

Sometimes I just want to be lazy and not care so much. ALWAYS looking presentable is HARD and I don't always feel the way I look.

I put on make up to try to cover up my flaws on the outside and cover my mood on the inside.

Why do we always feel the need to impress or perform to make others believe we are ok?

I just want to be comfortable in my own skin. Accepting my flaws and learning to be myself no matter who I am with.....


I am breaking up with perfect. I AM DONE!

That is the best advice you can give any young woman....BE YOURSELF!!!

Don't try to impress or deceive. JUST BE NORMAL.....

Being real means being vulnerable.....letting people in and showing your true feelings.


Wednesday, October 04, 2017

Worthy & Wanted

Everyone wants to feel needed. We all have the desire to be appreciated and excepted.

When things happen in our family and we all want to help, it doesn't always work out.
So many of us want to lead but few want to follow.

I enjoy doing behind the scenes things to make it all come together nicely. I don't want to be front and center of attention. I don't want credit for anything just like to be helpful.

Some may not feel worthy to help or participate. Others may not feel wanted to join in.

But we ALL have the desire to be accepted. No one wants to be alone and never needed.

Community is a basic human need. We need connection with others for emotional and mental support. 

To be isolated from everyone and to never have eye contact or friendship is depressing.

So when we realize how lonely it can be and how it makes us feel we should consider that there are others out there who feel the same way.

Instead of being critical and competitive why don't we encourage each other.

Befriend mom at the library who looks exhausted with a toddler.

Start a conversation with a new mom in the line and the grocery store.

Everyone needs that human connection. The brain actually releases dopamine when we make eye contact with other. It really does make us feel important to see others care.

So make someone's day today and smile at the cashier. Talk to the lonely mother at the park. 

Don't every ASSUME that people are ok. Looks can be deceiving. I have battle some depression and one way I try to cover it up and cheer myself up is by putting on make up. It might look like I'm ok but inside I might be sad, lonely, depressed or worse. 

Be Kind to the Unkind people, they need it the MOST!

Friday, September 22, 2017

Creatures of Habit

We are all creatures of habit. Whether you realize it or not you probably do a lot of the same things every day. Most of us like our routines and don't like change. We drink the same things every day and we like to eat the same foods.

We watch the same shows and use the same products for years. Some may call it getting stuck in a rut. Others call it routine. Its really just perspective. I enjoy my routine and I feel like I work better with a schedule and a plan.

My children like routine and seem to do best with a schedule.

I don't like surprises. Knowing what to expect before it happens in comforting.

When you are raised a certain way and taught a specific religion most have a hard time forgetting what was instilled in them.

Ways of life and eating habits are formed at home as a child. I believe instead of saying obesity is hereditary maybe doctors should look at the lifestyle of the parents and grandparents.

It is our nature to stick with what we are taught. To not step outside the box. For the few that decide to go against the grain and blaze a new trail....they will never forget what they were taught as a child.

"Train up a child in the way he should go; and when he is old he will not depart from it."
Proverbs 22:6

Maybe that is why abusive parents raise children who abuse their children.
Maybe that is why obese parents raise obese children. (they are taught bad eating habits)

Instead of labeling everything as a disease or a disorder maybe we should consider it a lifestyle that was taught as a child.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Hurt People.....hurt people

When we change the way we look at people it will change the way we respond to them.

Have you ever been hurt by someone else? We all have at one point in our lives.

Everyone has a past and things we don't like to remember. It effects our personality and they way we behave today.

If we can put on glasses of compassion and pity instead of critical ones, we might be able to relate rather than react negatively.

As Christians we need to be aware of the suffering of others. Try to see past the sarcasm and façade. They are obviously trying to cover up some deep pain and hurt.

Those around us often become the victims of our harsh tones and fits of rage.
We take out our frustrations on others instead of taking our burdens to the Lord and

Our emotional pain causes us to suspect wrong motives of other peoples actions and words.

It really all goes back to treat others the way you want to be treated.

"And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise."
Luke 6:31

Instead of taking our frustrations out on others we need to be nice and hope they will be nice in return. Pray for those who seem grouchy or snippy. Maybe they had a bad day or they were fighting with their spouse. Maybe they had a rough night or they are having cronic pain.

Just BE NICE!!! Our tone of voice makes a WORLD OF DIFFERENCE!!!

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Faith? or Foolish?

While walking through this life there are times we have to learn to have faith in God. 

Trusting He is going to provide for us. Some may think this is foolish to believe in something we cannot see. Others may call you crazy for waiting on God to come through.

I know that God gave us common sense to be safe and logical. We know what the Bible says about faith. 

There is a fine line between FAITH and FOOLISHNESS

Praying for His guidance during the difficult times and believing He is able to take care of you.

We all try to do things on our own. We want to fix things our way, right away.

Learning to wait on God and truly BELIEVING He is able 

“Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,” Ephesians 3:20

Running out of groceries? Can't pay your bills? Need new tires?

I have see God provide in ways we never expected several times over the years.

Pray before using a credit card maybe something is coming in the mail. Don't live above your means. God will not allow His children to go hungry.


Saturday, September 16, 2017

Does God Make Mistakes?

No He does not. Sometimes we may not be able to see the reason things happen. 

I believe God knows exactly what He is doing and everything happens only because He allows it. 

The lessons learned from each trial make us stronger and we learn to rely on Him more.

If our lives here on this earth were always perfect without troubles when would we ever call on Him for anything?

Why would there need to be a Heaven? If there wasn't any sickness or pain, sadness or death, life would be perfect and we would never pray to God or trust Him for anything.

So when God allows things in our lives we need to learn to trust that He has a purpose for it all.

He's trying to teach us a lesson. Maybe get our attention. Humility is truly the best teacher.

We cannot do everything on our own. We must be humble for God to use us.

1 Peter 5:6 - "Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may
exalt you in due time."
We are not promised an easy life. 
"These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." John 16:33

Sometimes God allows things to happen so we will acknowledge Him and his strength in our weakness.

James 4:6 - "But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble"

Friday, September 15, 2017

Fresh out of Amazing!

Have you ever met someone who does it all?!
They seem to have a it all together.
The looks, the brains, the perfect children....

It seems like every time you talk to them they are so busy with all their academic achievements and goals. Their children can do no wrong and maybe they have even said to you

"We are all over achievers"  I was in SHOCK when those words were spoken to my face.

No matter what you say or do some people just think they are better.

"Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall." Proverbs 16:18

And like I mentioned in my last post I am not competitive. So instead of try to do better and compete or try hard to live up to those standards I just want to crawl in a hole and hide.

Sometimes you just want to be yourself.....Well all the time really I just want to be comfortable in my own skin and I am while I am at home.

But the second we leave the house and step out into the world it seems to game is ON!!!

I am NOT amazing. My husband is not amazing. My children are not amazing.

I have a hard time bragging on anyone. People will fail you. I make mistakes all the time.

If we put people up on pedestals and constantly praise them, when they do make mistakes they fall will be that much harder to accept.

So one of the many life lessons I have learned is not to put confidence in man.

"It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man." Psalm 118:8

Thursday, September 14, 2017


Why do so many feel the need to compete with each other?
Always trying to have a better car or nicer clothes?
I don't understand why we feel the pressure of others around us to compete and compare.
By nature I am not a competitive person at all. I just want to have fun!
Being set apart from the world is the goal not like everyone else.
Being no respecter of persons is the goal. We are all on level playing ground
No one should be treated or respected more than another.
No matter what your skin color is or how small or big you are.
Everyone deserves respect.

I tend to befriend the outcasts. The ones no one else wants to be friends with. I pity the lonely and always put myself in others shoes maybe to a fault at times.

Nobody in this country should go hungry. We all have too much and could probably stand to miss a few meals. 

Instead of always competing with our neighbors and trying to look better or act smarter than everyone maybe we should consider each others feelings. 

Most likely the insecure thoughts you have are also things your neighbor struggles with.

We are built for community.
People need encouragement.
This is a battle we are in NOT a competition!

It's a spiritual battle and when we can acknowledge the struggle is with satan not with each other we might be able to win the battle. Fighting against our friends, spouses or neighbors will only hurt each other. This is not a competition.

We are all made different for a reason.

Our gold standard is to compare our lives to Jesus. He is the one we are supposed to please not anyone else. God is the one who will judge us.

Thursday, September 07, 2017




Children's Craniofacial Organization

Children's Craniofacial Association is a national, 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, headquartered in Dallas, Texas. Nationally and internationally, CCA addresses the medical, financial, psychosocial, emotional, and educational concerns relating to craniofacial conditions.

This organization has helped our family SO MANY times over the years. They have gotten flights, hotels and helped with meals. We love them and we are so thankful for all they do.

Please consider donating to this organization or at least get a raffle ticket to win the JEEP!!

Children's Craniofacial Organization

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Cancer Causing Toxins

Over the last 15 years of being a mother, I have learned that we are surrounded by toxins. I have gradually been decreasing the amount of toxins in our home ever since. It all started with denying vaccines for our children. Then I learned about food coloring contributing to hyperactivity. So I made up my mind to teach our boys to love water not juices, sodas or Kool-Aid.

I always knew organic foods are best but have not always been able to afford it. I buy organic when I can to limit the number of pesticides we ingest.

I have been making my own deodorant, toothpaste and face wash for a while now. I also have been trying to stop using plastics for our food storage. Avoiding the microwave as much as possible and drinking more herbal teas and tinctures for natural healing.

Decreasing the amount of chemicals that I absorb in my skin by using the most natural shampoo & conditioner and soap for my hair and body. I also bought a chemical free laundry soap.

As the mother of my children and primary meal provider it is my responsibility to offer our children the most healthy options. If one of my boys get cancer I want to have a clear conscience knowing I did the best I could do to protect them.

Years ago I determined to avoid bug sprays and sun blocks also. I have gradually been finishing the make up I have and replacing it with more natural and organic make up products.

I always try organic medicines and home remedies when we get sick before we go to the doctor ONLY as a last resort.

I learned about 10 years ago that garlic is a natural antibiotic so when they get ear aches I put a couple drops of garlic oil in the ear and they don't have any more pain.

Trying to avoid antibiotics at all costs.

If you did the research on all the chemicals in your home you would be SHOCKED at how many are CANCER causing TOXINS!

Monday, August 28, 2017

Devastating Distractions

There are so many things in this world that can become distracting. Our phones, computers, tv's.....

We forget what is most important in life when we get sucked in to social media, video games, movies, and more.

Its only when someone we love has been diagnosed with a terminal illness, we are acutely aware of the value of life. Our perspective changes immediately in every area of our lives.

Why can't we live every day like it was our last, appreciating the little things, Enjoying our children, loving our family with every part of our beings.

" Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away." James 4:14

We must remember not to let the idols of this world distract us from the most important people in our lives. No matter how many things in this world we acquire we cannot take any of it with us when we die.

Trying to be like everyone one else and keep up with the "Jones's" does not have any eternal value or purpose. We should do everything with consideration for eternity.

I am not saying this because I am perfect at it. But I am saying this because I am the least materialistic person you will ever meet. I prefer to buy used and have no desire to compete with anyone. COMPARISON IS A TRAP FROM THE DEVIL!

How devastating would it be if we missed our child's first steps because we were watching TV or playing a video game. I wonder how many have died because of distracted drivers playing or texting on cell phones.

Often times we get offended by something that is said and we let it ruin our day or week thinking about it and focusing on that one thing. How silly in the grander scheme of things. How childish to allow one persons opinions or comments to control our feelings.

"Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye." Colossians 3:13

We have to remember this is a spiritual battle. The greek word for offense is "skandalon" which means the part of an animal trap where the food is hung. Traps are set by the devil to distract us from what really matters.

"Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour" 1 Peter 5:8

We need to learn to how to ignore the naysayers and trust in the Lord.

"Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them." Psalm 119:165

Keep your eyes on the main goal of telling others about Jesus!

Thursday, July 06, 2017

Most Vulnerable person in Church

Everyone who goes to church can be helped or hurt while they are there. No matter who they are, saint, sinner, preacher, old timer, newcomer or child. Everyone is vulnerable and should be treated respectfully.
The pastors wife is not excluded from this and yet many churches treat her as an (unpaid) employee. She is almost always a reliable helper as well as under appreciated. You might not think so but she is the most vulnerable person in the building.
She is the most likely person to be the victim of gossip, impossible expectations and pastoral frustrations. The pastors wife can be hurt in so many ways-attacks on her husband, her children and herself. Her pain is magnified but one HUGE reality: She cannot fight back. She cannot tell them how she feels when they criticize her husband or children.
She has to take it in silence, most of the time. It takes the best Christian in the church to be a pastors wife and that's the problem: she's really just like everyone else. When the enemy attacks it hurts her too.
The pastors wife holds no position and was not voted on by the church. And yet, no one person is more influential in making the pastor a success of failure. She is expected to dress modestly but not too ornate. She is expected to be the perfect mother with well behaved children, her husbands biggest supporter, prayer warrior, attending all church functions and of course a great cook.
She is expected to understand he husband could be called away at all hours of the day. If she complains about him being on call 24/7 she can expect no sympathy from the members. If she does say anything they will only remind her this is why they pay him a big salary. "Well you married a preacher what did you expect?" The pastors children usually suffer in silence as they share their daddy with all the church members and can do little about it.

How can you help your pastors wife?
-Allow her to be herself and to serve where she is gifted. Don't tell her how to raise her kids. Do not try to get to her husband through her with your helpful suggestions.
-Show her love and appreciation.
-Pray for her and the pressures inside the pastors family. Pray for her as she supports her husband. Pray for protection against the adversary, their health and safety.
-Offer help with her children or extra funds for a family vacation.
-Sometimes she just needs a friend to take her side. She will be criticized and to some she can't do anything right. Be the voice of appreciation. Most people won't say anything when someone is criticizing the pastors wife, but you can speak up for her.

Most wives to pastors feel inadequate. They want to be supportive, keep a clean house and have perfect children. But there are only so many hours in a day and she is not superwoman. They feel guilty for being tired and worry what others think about them.

Be an encourager. Find the good things in others and pray for the rest. Remember how hard it is to change yourself before you start trying to change others.
This is a spiritual battle we are in and we cannot allow the devil to steal our JOY!

Sunday, March 05, 2017

When life gets too hard...

I have been trying so hard to not be a negative person. I really want to focus on the the positive things in life and not allow the devil to steal my joy.

Although, when all six of us got the flu last month, I would be lying if I said it was easy. I found it really hard to see the good in that week. Trying to figure out what God was trying to teach me was not easy.

I really just wanted to cry every day and prayed we could just get some sleep without coughing ALL NIGHT.

Being sleep deprived, without an appetite, and very little energy is depressing. I tried so hard to think of anything good that might come out of this.

After lots of thought I came up with this.....

We saved money on one had an appetite.
I did not have to cook every night.
We did not do school that week.
So many things were not happening because we were all sick.

I wanted to find JOY in this very difficult time.

God has been SO good to our family.
Through all of our struggles...


I want to try and acknowledge the good parts and ignore the bad times. I don't like to give the devil credit for all his works. I try to recognize difficult things happen and they didn't come to stay....

So when life gets hard.....CHOOSE JOY!!!!

To many people miss the silver lining because they are looking for gold.

Find the beauty that God gives us BECAUSE of our circumstances.

Focus on living the best life with what you have in the moment.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Covenant Eyes

There's a service we use called Covenant Eyes. It is an accountability service that keeps track of everywhere my family goes online. We get Internet reports for everyone in our house who gets online - we can even have others hold us accountable. It has been a great help to us - it keeps everyone in the home honest so there's no room for secrecy about what's happening online.
You can cover several devices for one low price per month. Raising 4 boys can be a challenge and with all the garbage online we feel safe knowing our children are protected by
Covenant Eyes
You can even add filtering to block the bad stuff.

Anyway, I thought it might be something you would benefit from. You can check it out and sign up for the service here.

PS: They are running a refer-a-friend program right now. If you sign up I get a $15 USD credit on my account!

Monday, August 22, 2016

1st Day of School

 Jacob got a desk for his room and loves having his personal space. He's always first to wake up in the mornings and get started without me telling him.
 Jaron does not like school and has to be reminded when to start. (He takes after Mommy)
 Justus was so excited when Daddy brought home a desk from his job at the Elementary School. He just did not know how he was going to start kindergarten without a desk.
 Jonah loves school so much he did not want to stop. His first day he wanted to keep going all day.

I am so proud of our boys and how they are growing and learning.

Here is another awesome thing Daddy brought home from work. It's a puzzle and they loved it!

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Bone Graft Surgery~ The full story

Jaron and I flew up to Boston Wednesday July 20th.

 He had a speech study on Thursday. They put barium in his nose and had him repeat sentences all while watching his soft palate move in the X-ray machine. We wanted to see if air is escaping out the nose when he talks, resulting in a more nasal voice. It is a little short but no rush to do a pflap surgery. It's optional.
Friday we had pre op visits at the hospital 
Being silly while we waited
Therapy dog came to the hospital to visit the kids.
Then I decided to take him to Lego Discovery center Friday afternoon. Knowing he was about to go through something very uncomfortable I was trying to make this weekend before, as fun as possible.
After a couple hours we were looking around in the gift shop and one of the managers asked me if we needed any help. I proceeded to tell him what Jaron wanted me to buy but I could not afford it. Then I told him we were here in Boston for his surgery. He asked me if we got free tickets from the hospital to get in that day. I told him no, I had to pay full price. He asked me to give him a receipt so he could refund my money.
...then he went to the back room and came back with these two boxes of Legos for Jaron approximately $75 worth of toys given to him for free!
It was $35 admission. When we walked out the door Jaron said "mommy this is the best day ever!"
Saturday and Sunday we relaxed in the hotel room chowing down on all his favorite snacks before surgery Monday morning
We had to arrive at the hospital at 6 AM Monday morning so we got up at 5 AM and called a taxi to come get us. 
All weekend he never said that he was nervous. Then we got to pre op holding Monday morning and he starting feeling nervous about the surgery. They gave him some liquid medicine to drink to calm his nerves. 
He finally went back for surgery at 8 AM and I was updated by the surgical liaison every hour and a half about his procedures. Dr. Padwa was done with the bone graft after about 3 hours. Then Dr. Mulliken stepped in and corrected Jaron's deviated septum. He also took some tissue from Jaron's hip incision and added it to his upper lip for some fullness. They came out to get me about 1 PM and said he was asking "how was mommy?" 
The first night he did not complain of pain. Only discomfort from the nasal packing. He is only allowed clear liquids for 3 days. No chewing for 6 weeks. 
Swelling peaks after 48 hrs
He walked some ~ but short distances. His hip is sore but not terrible. 

We did go outside to the hospital garden a few times and got out of the room as much as possible. 
After staying 2 nights in the hospital we were discharged back to our hotel.

 We will be staying in town for a few post op visits before we fly back home to South Dakota.
We are so thankful for all who prayed for us during this difficult time. Please continue to call his name in prayer as he recovers and struggles with only puréed food for 6 weeks. If you would like to make a donation please click on the link below. 

Friday, June 24, 2016

Preparing for Surgery

Its just going to be Jaron and I going for 13 days total. July 20-Aug. 2. He has a speech study and pre-op before surgery. We also have to stay in town a week after surgery for post op visits. So it's not going to be cheap. Staying at a hotel in Boston is expensive and we definitely cannot afford 6 plane tickets for the whole family to go or a hotel room for all of us to sleep comfortably. 
It would be about $6000 for all of us to go.

This will be the first time I have been away from my kids that long. I think Jonah is going to have the hardest time with it. Jaron has never been away from his brothers that long either. They are all so close because we homeschool they are like best friends. Its going to be very hard emotionally. I think having family there would be good moral support for us. Chris has to take off work to stay home with the others. I wish there was a way we could all be together as a family.

After surgery he will not be able to chew anything for 6 weeks! We will have to find a store before surgery to buy him some soft/puree foods that he can eat post op.  I will also be bringing my mini blender with me. We are just praying God provides all our needs for this trip. I have applied for Miracle Flights to get mine and Jaron's ticket. (they only cover the patient and one parent)
I also applied for assistance with hotel and meals with Children's Craniofacial Association.  

I am really trying not to worry about the money. This is a necessary surgery and I am taking Jaron to the best doctors in the country. This is his face, his smile, his future. People judge us by our appearance. First impressions mean a lot in getting a job, making friends and one day finding a wife. I just want Jaron to live a normal life and not feel different or like an outcast. I want him to also be able to chew his food properly and getting this bone graft is going to enable the doctors to make room for more teeth and proceed with the next step in aligning his teeth.

 If you would like to donate to help out with our travel expenses just click on the link below. 

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Dental dilemmas....

When we left Georgia all 4 boys had a cleaning at the dentist and Justus did not have any cavities. Then we moved out here to South Dakota and he started getting a black spot on one of his teeth and saying it was hurting. So I took him to the local dentist in Chamberlain and he said he had several cavities but did not feel comfortable working on a 5 year old so he referred me to nearest pediatric dentist in Pierre (1.5 hrs away)

So we drove out there in April and they did X-rays then informed me Justus had 7 cavities and needed 5 silver crowns!!! I was in tears feeling like the worst mom ever! They would not fill the one that was hurting him that day. She scheduled to have him put to sleep and fix them all at once.
(First Available is June 24th!!!) we left that day with no relief!

So while we waited for his upcoming "surgery", Jacob started having pain in his jaws in the back like his wisdom teeth. So I found a regular family dentist in Mitchell (1 hour away) to get Jacob checked out. We liked him so I asked if they were willing to work on a 5 year old. They were more than willing to try.

So I scheduled Justus an appointment with him to try and do a filling and avoid getting put to sleep. Last week we took Justus to his first appointment and he was a little nervous but the laughing gas helped out a lot and he was able to fill the biggest cavity, so we made another appointment to do some more.

Yesterday we went back to Mitchell for Jaron's orthodontist appointment. Since he got the expander put in his mouth he has lost 2 baby teeth and its making the expansion nearly impossible. So he removed the expander for now and said we need to wait 6 months for him to lose the rest of his baby teeth and hopefully his permanent teeth will grown in for the ortho to anchor a new expander to them. Needless to say Jaron is very happy to have that annoying thing out of his mouth. After his orthodontist spoke to the surgeon in Boston they decided he still needs the bone graft surgery July 25th. Please pray for us as we try to prepare for this trip.

Next, I took Justus back in for another filling and he did even better this time. We also cancelled the "surgery" for the pediatric dentist in Pierre as I felt it was a little extreme and unnecessary. The dentist in Mitchell agreed with me that he didn't need 5 silver crowns.

I am not sure why his teeth are doing so poorly since we moved here. Maybe he's eating more candy, not likely, or maybe its something different in the water. All the boys drink is 99.9% water.
{I think its the water-it leaves spots on everything-evidence of sediment}

Monday, June 06, 2016

Florida Family Fun

My stepmom Tammy was turning 50 and my dad wanted to make her birthday special so he flew me and the boys down to Florida and we surprised her. She had NO IDEA we were waiting for her at her house when she walked in from work that day!
 The plane rides were fun, it was Justus' first time on a plane.

 We got to visit my grandparents Mimi & Papa.
 They swam a lot in Aunt Tonia's pool.
Justus was practicing swimming with Pepe
 The plane train in Atlanta was fun too! We had a 5 hour layover there so my mom and stepdad came to visit.

 They boys also got to meet their cousin December and Uncle Travis from New Hampshire.

 We are so thankful for the opportunity to visit with family and celebrate Meme's birthday with her. It was quite an adventure!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016


The way we talk about other people is evidence of how we feel in our hearts. Constantly pointing out other peoples faults and all their past mistakes is not the way to make yourself look better.

We should try to find the good in everyone we meet. I want to befriend the one that everyone else shuns. I like to be friends with the people most would only talk about. I have a heart for those shy people or the outcasts. It breaks my heart to think of someone being left out. I never want to make someone feel like they are not good enough. I try to always put myself in the other persons shoes and how I would feel it I were in their situation.

The guilt I have when I do for myself is overwhelming at times. If I were a millionaire,  I would probably give it all away. I cannot pass a homeless person without giving them something to eat. I cannot pass a crying child in the store without trying to cheer them up. When people come over I cannot let them leave unless I give them something. The feeling I get from doing for others is indescribable.

What is so disappointing is when I am not given the same respect.

{don't get me wrong I am NOT PERFECT by any means, just very compassionate}

I wish everyone would consider others before themselves.

I wish we could all learn to think before we speak and not say things if they aren't necessary.

Life is hard and talking bad about people will only make things harder.

Be an encourager.  Make someone smile. Go the extra mile. Do unto others...

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Homemade Scented Play Dough

I recently got creative and wanted to make some all natural play dough for the kids. This is scented with essential oils and smells SO GOOD!!!