Friday, April 30, 2010

I had no idea

When they asked if they could have some dish soap to make some bubbles...

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Like Only God Can Do

I remember the total exhaustion of having preschoolers and babies who required just about every ounce of me every moment of every day. Those days were never ending (literally). I would fall into my bed at night knowing that in three hours or so it would be time to start all over again. Diapers. Hugs. Walks. Tucks. Feedings. Baths. Bed changes.

Life was a predictable ferris wheel coming back around to show me the same scene over and over again. Yet, there was a sense of control on my part. I knew what to expect. I knew how to fix the problem. If something was not working, I'd surely have a chance to tweek the routine a bit. Then, I'd just jump back on the wheel and life would go along smoothly.

Life has changed a lot. That oh so familiar Ferris wheel has taken the form of a roller coaster. Each day is a series of ups and downs. Each child is taking their own twists and turns as they come into their own. It's no longer answering the cries of a helpless child. Now it's answering the hard questions as the tears fall. "When will I have a best friend?" "What am I good at? What makes me special?" "Who will I become?"

I've found myself being at a loss for words when faced with these all important issues. For some of my kids, the answers are evident. For others it's a journey that can be hard for me to watch. I want to give them the answers and point ahead, yet it is in journey that the answers are actually found.

So I pray. A lot. I pray for the grace to know what to say when these questions come pouring out. I pray that God's answers to come to them individually in His time and in His way. Sometimes it feels like I'm sitting on my hands. I have to stop myself from jumping in and fixing it my way. Surely I could manipulate the situation to make it a little less painful. I've tried that before and my solutions fall far short.

Today was a watershed moment for me as a mom. I watched as Lydia was awarded the opportunity of a lifetime. I stood in the wings and shed my own tears of joy knowing that this was an answer to a question that she's been struggling with this past year. It was God's answer to her. I had nothing to do with it.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Salvage Grocery Stores

When we were first married and both full time students, we would not have eaten were it not for the salvage grocery. We were able to fill two grocery sacks for less than ten dollars each week. If you aren't familiar, this is the store where damaged boxes and cans are sold as well as items that are recently past the sell by date.

We were back in Tennessee for Spring Break I was thrilled to visit some discount groceries and find gluten free products on the shelves. For instance, Betty Crocker gluten free cake mix which normally sells for $4.49 was marked down to $.89. As you can guess, I bought them out of all of their cake and brownie mixes.

In our quest to eat a more whole and healthy diet, I assumed discount groceries would be out of the picture since they carry mostly boxed and processed items. Until... my friend, Jennie, pointed me to Angelo's Railroad and Truck Recovery. They have just begun carrying organic and gluten free items. Here's a sample of my first trip there as well as the regular retail price:

Que Pasa Organic Tortilla chips- 1.25 bag $1 vs. $5.71

Rice Dream 32 oz- $.50 vs. $3.99

Bakery on the Main Gluten Free granola bars $1.00 vs. $5.89

365 Organic Coconut Oil 14 oz. $2.89 vs. $6.99

Ghiradelli Organic 100% Cacao chips $1.99 vs. $6.00

Vans Wheat Free Frozen Waffles $1.00 vs. $5.95

Apple Gate Uncured Chicken Hotdogs $1.00 vs. $5.39

Trader Joe's All Natural Turkey Breast 7 oz $1.00 vs. $3.99

365 Organic Black Beans $.69 vs $1.69

Mother's Organic Rice Cakes $.33 vs. $2.95

Lundburg Organic Rice $1.08 vs. $3.99

Raw Agave Nectar $2.89 vs. $4.99

Free Range Organic Eggs $1.50 vs. $3.99

and my favorite purchase....

25 pounds of Breadshop Organic Granola for $12.50. This normally sells for $3.59/lb. I have been making our own granola and have had to become the granola Nazi in order to make it last longer. It's expensive to make and they can't seem to get enough.

I'm so thankful that have found this local treasure. By my estimates, we paid one fourth (if not less) of the price we would have spent retail. Some of these things I would not have purchased, but would have made from scratch. Most of these items, however, are on my regular shopping list. The kids were literally jumping for joy (especially the gluten free ones) at the thought of having convenience foods like "normal" kids. I was just as excited for them and for our grocery budget!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

They keep me in stitches

We were watching Little House on the Prairie and after much sweating and agonizing the neighbor lady gave birth. Ma came out and announced, "It's a boy!"

Rebekah: "How does she know if it's a boy or a girl?"

Joseph: "Well, there are two ways to know for sure. First, take off their clothes... and... you know. Or look at their hair."

Rebekah: "Oh."

What do you do with clearance Peeps? Roast them, of course.

We had a little family pow wow in the kids' bathroom trying to get to the bottom of who keeps plugging up the sink. After plunging and digging for about 15 minutes, Sean retrieved two marbles and a Clorox wipe from the pipe.

Sean: "Who knows what happened to the sink? Who knows the story?"

John (3): "There was a little boy...."

Sean: "What was his name?"

John: "Big John."

John went on to tell us all how the little boy somehow managed to stuff them all in the hole.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

March 2010

It's seems like a year since I posted, yet it's only been a few weeks. Sometimes life just gets in the way of blogging. So, in a nutshell, here's what's been going on in my world.

1) I'm finally recovered after a month long of illness that started with strep and ended with bronchitis. I almost made it to Spring healthy, but alas.

2) We said good-bye to our smaller van. Water in the engine is a VERY bad thing. We were fortunate to be able to use Sean's mom's car until he we got hit. The car was totaled, but he only sustained minor injuries for which we are thankful.

3) After much praying and asking the Lord for guidance, we were at a loss. In our commitment to live debt free, we were getting used to the idea of being a one-car family. I spent a Saturday morning crunching numbers and came home discouraged with the reality of it all. Within an hour we received a call from my oldest sister. She and her husband had been praying for a few weeks themselves. By the end of the week they delivered one of their cars to our home and sold it to us for $1. Neither Sean or I will drive that car without remembering how God provides.

4) We were able to spend Spring Break in East Tennessee in a cabin at the top of a very steep hill. We had a great time showing the kids where we used to live as well as completely reveling in the beauty of God's creation. It was just what we needed as a family. No schedules. No interruptions. Just us.

5) I'm enjoying a season of reading. This comes around about every few years. But I've got a stack of books by my bed that I'm digging in to. I look forward to posting a few reviews in the future.

6) We are in the home stretch for homeschooling this year. Some of the kids are finishing up their books already and getting extra time outside in this beautiful weather. I find myself getting a little more sentimental each day as Hannah approaches her last days of homeschool. *sigh*