Friday, December 28, 2012

Backseat driving my child's education...

These last few months have been pretty crazy in our home. Most days are spent helping mom get things done, or doing them for me, and homeschooling has really not been on the agenda. But much to my surprise, learning has continued and possibly relished even without my scheduled instruction. I have always heard of unschooling, but the views and opinions on the subject are so widespread and diverse that it has been hard to wrap my mind around it. Having life basically throw us into unschooling has forced me to embrace it and acquire my own opinions about it. That being said, I am still understanding, building and shaping how it works for my family and some days are better than others. 
Even at my most relaxed, Braydon has researched, inquired and grown in so many areas. He has learned how to do laundry from start to finish. He has learned how to cook several items on his own, using a gas stove no less. He has researched the muscles, tendons and such in the shoulder to better understand my condition. He has even spent time scouring the internet on several different topics in order to help me in writing new lapbooks. Despite having complete freedom to choose what he watches on TV, more often than not, he chooses to watch educational shows or documentaries. He has spent countless hours teaching himself about hunting, survival techniques and weapons both new and historical.
Granted, after my arm is feeling better we will begin doing experiments and projects again, but I am so impressed with his ability to take his education into his own hands that I am comfortable allowing him to continue choosing what to and what not to learn.

I encourage you, if you feel like something is lacking in your homeschool, to give unschooling a chance. Just take a few months off of form learning, let you kids be kids and sit back and see what happens. Children are always wanting to understand the ins and outs of things, so let them! Let them play and get interested in what they like, then be ready to help them find their answers. After all, can YOU recite all of the presidents in order of their presidency? Is there a time in your life where you needed that information at your fingertips? I believe most of you would say no and in today's world the answers to these questions are just a few clicks away.
The time we are living in offers unlimited resources to our children, wouldn't you rather they learn how to access this information and research what they need to know, instead of pushing them to memorize these facts while stifling those things they are truly interested in?
There may be days were all they want to do is watch TV or play games, but I assure you most days this will not be the case. I would also tell you to USE these days to your advantage. There is something to be learned in everything they do, be it academic or social, there IS something there! This is will also give you a chance to really get to know your child. Invite them to aid you in what YOU do each day, this could spark a love of something they may never have thought about before. I have realized that this broken arm may have put a kink in MY life but it has lit a fire in my child they may very well lead him to a PhD. Give your child the benefit of the doubt and they just may surprise you.

Gabby Moms 2013

I am so excited to have been chosen to be a 
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In depth reviews on some terrific 
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Check back often! 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Empty Schedule, Full Heart

As I pull into the driveway last night around 8pm, I was reminded of how long it's been since I was out after dark for something other than dinner or a movie.
There was once a time when our nights were filled with sports practices, PTA meetings, grocery runs and things of this nature. Our days were so full of doing life that our evenings had become just overflow of that. We were always running around trying to catch up and never slowing down to enjoy the life we were racing to catch.

The last three years have taught me so much about myself, my son, our family and what really works for us. More on this in my nest post, but for now I'll just say that I have learned alot! The most important thing that I think I have learned is that this is the only family I will ever have and I will only have them for as long as the Lord lets me. Why would I want to spend my time rushing through each day just to get ahead on the next when I could slow down and learn everything there was to know about these gifts that God has given me?

How did we get so caught up in things that bear such little fruit? Well, we just went with the flow, like many of you, we just did what everyone else was doing. Breaking away from that was one of the hardest things I've ever done. Removing myself from circles that didn't agree with the changes I was making, stepping down from positions I held in groups and clubs, putting God back into the center of our family and changing our view of education for our son. Collectively, all of the changes brought so much joy into our life.

Nowadays we spend our evenings chewing our dinner together as a family as apposed to inhaling it on the way out the door. We enjoy weekends working together around the house or running errands instead of rushing to and from sports games. Most importantly, Braydon and I spend our days together, we have lunch with my husband every single day, and he is learning how to live life at a speed where it can be enjoyed.

I'm so grateful that I made these changes when I did, before it was too late. Before Braydon had already learned the patterns of a crazy, worldly lifestyle that he would carry into adulthood.

When Randy and I got married I didn't understand "family". I thought our job was to grow up, leave our homes, have a career and get married. Children would come or they wouldn't, parent would be visited or they wouldn't. Even after Braydon was born it was several years before I realized what a precious gift family truly is.

I regret the time I missed with my mother-in -law, I regret not having more kids for Braydon to have a large loving family, I regret alot of things... but what I DO NOT regret is changing my life so drastically for the sake of family!

Love your family and don't rush through life. The only thing better than today is eternity with our Father, so slow down and be blessed by today.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Count Your Many Blessing!

When I was a little girl every couple of months we would have a Sunday evening service that was JUST singing hymns. I LOVED these nights so much! The first few songs were chosen by the minister and his wife to get us started and then the congregation would call out titles and page numbers as each song came to an end. My very favorite song was Count Your Many Blessing, and I can even remember that it was page number 539. As I got older if was kinda of a joke with the adult members who came to KNOW that I would request number 539 every single time.

Well here I am all these years later and once again I'm calling on number 539! 

I had an amazing visit earlier this week with two beautiful women from my church who prayed over me and just blessed me so much! As we talked they suggested getting a few members of the church to bring me meals a couple of times a week, just to take the load off of Randy some. No more than an hour after they left I had already received an email with the line up of meals for the next few days. My heart just melted! The response was such a quick one! I was blown away by these beautiful women who stepped up to care for my family and I.

Later that afternoon I got a call from another sweet friend and member of my church. She too had gotten the call to help out, but was going to be out of town for a while so she asked if she could bring by some freezer meals and a few staples for easy lunches and snacks. All of this was a huge blessing but also hard for me to accept because I hate to feel weak or dependent on others. After all, I'm the helper! I'm the one that makes meals an runs errands! I'm the caretaker! However, I did agree and she was off to the store.
I was at the vet with a sick puppy when she came by to drop things off, and I never expected to see what was waiting for me at home. My refrigerator, freezer and pantry are now full to the brim! I even have snacks and stuff stored on the craft table for now because I had no more room in the kitchen! Can you believe that? I couldn't! I was in complete shock! Braydon was elated! He kept coming into the kitchen saying "Mom, this is just too much!", "Mom, oh my gosh!", "Mom, you've GOT to call and thank her! This is just too much!"

When I FINALLY got everything put away and sat down to call her, she said something that touched my heart and changed the whole meaning of counting your blessings! She told me not to deny others the blessing of helping me. I had honestly not thought of it like that - ever. Those few words gave me such a peace about letting others take care of me for a while! I am so grateful for this precious church family of mine and for the things they are teaching me!

Are you allowing others to bless you when you're in need? If not, I recommend you start. Blessings are not just things you have received but also things you are able to do for others... or let them do for YOU!

Friday, November 2, 2012

He always shows up!

The last few weeks have not been pretty in my little world. I have faced one limitation after another and my morale has been in serious need of a boost! Well let me fill you in on things a little before I go into the blessing that was TODAY!
My doctor has referred me to a neurologist for some nerve problems I'm having in my arm. He will not move forward with treatment until I see the other doctor. Thank God for my cousin Cyndi, because she talked him into allowing me to continue moderate therapy for pain management at least until we know something. So everything has been put on hold until I can go see this new doctor and the soonest they could get me in was DECEMBER! For me that was like a big door slamming shut right in my face. That sliver of light that I once saw had faded and I was slipping into a major FUNK! Not to mention, I am beginning to have problems with my face (nerve related) and have this nagging cold that I just cannot kick.

So last night as my pity party was in full swing, my kiddo climbed up in my bed to comfort me. As he always does, he instructed to me pray about it, and my internal reaction was one I had never felt before.
I thought to myself "I don't WANT to pray!" And I didn't! I didn't want to cry out to the God I was sure had started to tune me out. In recent months I have neglected my quiet time, my prayer time and my time of fellowship. What had not been neglected however, was Satan's hold on me. He had been lying in wait, quietly whispering in my ear and feeding on my lack of interest in ANYTHING! And I was letting him. Just following along down this path of misery clinging to it desperately!

Then this morning, before I had even gotten out of bed, I get text from a sweet new friend at church asking if she and the minister's wife could come an pray over me... WOW! Talk about the nick of time!! I am 100% sure that God had His fingerprints all over that! He knew I was slipping and rather than just waiting around to see if I would pull myself out of it, He took action! I felt like a child, wondering around lost and then out of nowhere came a hand to hold!

Then, this afternoon I made one last attempt to call the neurologist to get an earlier appt. I have called every day for two weeks to no avail, when once again, out of nowhere, He showed up! The office manager told me they had just had a cancellation for THIS MONDAY! If that's not divine intervention then I don't know what is!!

Tonight, my physical condition remains unchanged but I am so grateful for a God that stepped in when I needed Him most! I am blessed to be the daughter of The King and know without a doubt that He is walking beside me, carrying me when I need it and going before me to light the way when I feel lost and unsure!

I pray that you know this God of mine and will allow Him to "show up" when you need Him to as well!!

Friday, October 26, 2012

A Blast From The Past!

This weekend my boys and I are headed to Great Wolf Lodge in Grapevine, TX, were I will be getting caught up on a few projects and they will be splashing down water slides with a bazillion other people who DON'T have broken arms! LOL

As we drive down the Interstate I am taken back twenty, OK thirty something years to a time when we drove this same route several times a year. It isn't the scenery or the road construction that takes me back, although BOTH seem relatively unchanged. No, its the selection of music we have chosen.
As Journey's Great Hits pumps through the speakers I remember sitting in the back seat of my parent's Midnight Blue GMC Safari listening to this exact same... well, cassette tape. LOL My dad has always been pretty passionate about his music and no road trip was complete without a decent selection of Journey, Chicago, REO Speedwagon, CCR and Paul Simon!

I remember "holding it" until my eyeballs floated because my dad didn't like to stop. I can hear my mother's nervous voice instructing us to "put our seatbelts on", anytime we got into a congested area or one where construction had it down to two lanes with chain link and pylons separating the traffic. But mostly I remember the music! I knew the words to every single song and still do. Usually my mom and brother were asleep by the first hour of the trip, so it was just me and my daddy. Listening to HIS music, which later became MY music, watching the passing cars and landmarks that I had come to know. Many of those landmarks are no longer there, some have changed and grown more modern with time, My dad and I have certainly changed, but the one constant is the music. The music that I am now sharing with my little guy! The music that at times doesn't even make sense, speaks of love, loss and living. The music that ties together the days of my childhood with those of my son's.

Road trips with my daddy are few and far between these day, but I can honestly say they aren't much different. There's a little more talking... just a little, but the music is still there. The worse his hearing gets the louder the music is, but that's ok by me, at least we can still listen together!

I'm grateful for those trips and will be sad when they are completely a thing of the past!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

You know you've sunk to an ALL TIME low when you threaten to get rid of the dogs!!

This last week has really been a hard one. Maybe it's because Randy was out of town, or because I did WAY to much, or maybe it was because my appointment with the surgeon opened up more questions than it answered. Regardless of the WHY, it's the WHAT that made an impact.

You see, keeping my house in order has become pretty much the bane or my existence! The boys started out helping in every way, but as time has gone by, and I have gotten a little more mobile, they seemed to be slacking off a bit. The frustration of not being able to do just exactly what I want to do, coupled with the added stresses of the last few days, took me to a place I'm not proud to talk about.

In an attempt to get their attention, I threw that typical "I need more from you boys" mom fit that we have all had from time to time. The difference this time was that it got out of hand and I fought dirty. With Randy out of town the dogs had not been waking me up to go out at night. Instead, they decided to sneak off to the back bedroom to handle their business. Well, I had had my fill of cleaning up doggy accidents so I did it! I said we were getting rid of them. Once it was out of my mouth, the reaction it brought gave me a strange sense control. I have felt out of control for so many months that I grabbed a hold of it with both hands!

Do you ever do that? Not just take things too far, but take them so past far that far is no longer even in sight? Why do we do that? Why is our need for control so overwhelming? Why do we give it so much power?

I'll tell you why... because we are human! Clinging to our own abilities is in our nature, while clinging to God is not something we do with ease. I'm not saying it's foreign to us, because we all have that need and desire to draw to Him, it's just not easy.

**Insert that all too common saying here..."If it were easy then everyone would do it".

Well I disagree, I think it IS easy, it's US who make it hard! Whether we like to admit it or not, worldly desires are very appealing. It takes a conscience effort to turn from the world and all of it's evil. That's right I said evil! The material needs are, in my opinion, the least of our worries when it comes to this world. I believe it hinges much more on pride, and pride is most definitely an EVIL!

Pride will make you do some crazy things and assure you that anything that benefits YOU is good. Well folks, I'm here to bust our bubble! Pride will never lead you to the Father! The only thing that will do that is laying EVERYTHING down at the foot of the cross.

So next time you feel pride sneaking in, whether it's thinking how great you are at a task or how good you are at your career, or yes, even thinking empty threats will give you the power to turn all eyes on you, I encourage you to take a step back and drop it all right then and there.
Then I encourage you to RUN! Run to the Father! Take refuge in Him and let Him remove that pride from you life!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Have YOU soared the skies with dinosaurs lately?

About a month ago we took a quick trip to Lubbock for the weekend to go to the Science Spectrum. This place is three floors of stimulation for ALL of your senses! They also have an IMAX theater that we were all excited to try. Okay, not all of us, I had to really twist Braydon's arm to get him to agree to it. Well, I should have left it alone and just stayed back with him while everyone else went to see it because I DID NOT have any idea what I was in for.
Braydon LOVED IT! He thought it was the coolest thing and wanted to go back to see the next one. I, on the other hand, could not tolerate it at all! I paid the Science Spectrum of Lubbock, Texas $6.00 to take a 45 minute nap!

WOW! While everyone else was flying through the sky with dinosaurs I was ducking my head in my hands hoping not to throw up! I did make it through without losing my lunch though, so I was thankful for that! LOL

We got a great deal on rooms at the Embassy Suites! The rooms were so nice and the inside of the hotel was WAY COOL! The pool was a little small and since it was a holiday weekend it was FULL of kids, but other than that it was great! The free breakfast was AMAZING!! We're talking amazing buffet, made to order pancakes, waffles, french toast and omelets; not your average continental breakfast, that's for sure!!  If you're traveling to Lubbock I highly recommend this place!!

We also ate at Applebee's while we were there too. This was my first experience with an Applebee's and by the looks of the clientele (not a single guest under 60) I did not have very high expectations! But much to my surprise it was TERRIFIC! Apparently, we just hit it right before most of the church goes got there for Sunday lunch and this was just the "Early Service" crowd. I had the Oriental Salad with crispy chicken and it was TO DIE FOR!! I have honestly been craving it since then!

So, if you're coming through Odessa and pass an Applebee's on your way I would love one! hint hint

All and all it was a really nice trip! I can't wait til I'm able to travel and really enjoy it! This arm is really cramping my style!!!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

New life brings new construction... and NOT of the new baby in the house variety!

So what do the Donner boys do on the first cold day of Fall? Dig a holes, that's what!

Earlier this summer we decided to downsize our pond in something a little more manageable with a hard side liner rather than a tarp liner. This served two purposes, one it made it a little easier for me to cleaner; because let's face it, the boys aren't sticking their hands in there and cleaning out the gunky filter, and two, the new location was closer to where I sit on the patio in the morning to have coffee.

Well not long after this picture was taken, the fish proved to have other plans. You see all those awesome new plants we put in there this year? Well those provided great hiding spots for eggs to be hatched and tiny little fish to hide out. In recent years most of our new fish didn't make it past the egg stage, they were just too easy to get to and the other fish would turn them into a nice snack. But with all the new hiding places this year, they were able to grow to make it out alive. Now our pond is teaming with new goldfish and possibly a couple of new sucker fish too! Well this calls for a bigger and better pond! So my sweet boys are digging it out this weekend. We are hoping to have it completed before the end of the month, but that will depend on what my arm will allow. Obviously I can't give them COMPLETE control!! I have to put my touch on it and that is going to be much more difficult than in years past. But for now I'm just thankful for these two amazing men in my life! They both know how much this pond means to me and what a labor of love it has been. So the two of them spending the weekend digging, digging and digging some more is such a sweet thing! I am so blessed! Pics to come very soon of the progress they have made and hopefully pics of a completely new pond won't be too long after!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Can you teach and old dog new tricks?

I guess it's safe to say that I am no longer the young hip mom I always thought I was! Today I was "attempting" to play a video game with my son, emphasis on attempting, and even though he was so patient with my ruining his active game I failed miserably! Video games have come along way from Super Mario Bros. and I just COULD NOT get the hang of it. As I hand him my controller and admitted defeat he says "I guess maybe the saying is right... you can't teach an old dog new tricks". WOW, and old dog? OUCH!! It's true I am not as able to keep up with him as I once was, but seriously. Am I really OLD? My parents are OLD, my elementary school teachers are OLD, but not me... right??

Well I am choosing to say that it's not an issue of age, but rather interest! I know if I REALLY put my mind to it I could figure out how to play and most likely DOMINATE that game! That's just not where my interest lies. I think this is where the communication loss is alot of times with our children. I used to get so aggravated with my mom because she seemed to want us to come in from school and LOOK for things around the house that needed to be done. This wasn't where our interest was though, in most cases our interest was in an after school snack, a couple of cartoons and in later years that all important phone call from someone who now we probably don't even remember.
My mom, on the other hand, had interest in running her household and raising responsible and contributing members of society.
Now I see through those same eyes. So how do we get our children to understand that before they're adults? How do we get them to understand the importance of well placed interests? Well, when someone figures that out I would love to know, but for now I have a few tricks up my sleeve that I think just might be working.

1. I try to always rationalize with my child. My hope is that if he understands that we are all working together for the same cause and that these are things he WILL NEED to know how to do on his own that he will take a more active role in helping out. I don't want him to feel like I'm just barking orders at him with no real purpose other than wanting him to get up and DO SOMETHING. I want him to WANT to help because he knows I need the help and that he is learning to do things on his one that most college freshman are just learning when they leave home for the first time.

2. I always try to respect his time. How often are we involved in a project or activity and know we have a task that we need to do and choose tend to the chore when you get to a stopping point. Well think about how your child feels when they are right in the middle of something really important to them, though not so important to us, and we ask them to stop on a dime and perform a task? I'm not saying I let him choose if and when he will get things done but I like to give him a time frame to get to a place where he can walk away and handle what I've asked him to do. If I always expect him to just put down what he's working on and move onto what I want done, then he will start to feel that his projects aren't important to me. Don't get me wrong, I do catch myself slipping from time to time and forgetting that his work is just that, HIS WORK, and it's important work to him! This is a hard concept for me though because I was brought up to believe that when my parents said jump my ONLY response was to be 'How high?' oh and 'Yes ma'am'. :) Respect is something we want to teach our children to give regardless of the circumstance, but I feel we have to lead by example, as with most character issues.

3. I ALWAYS want to show him my appreciation! It's easy to put together a chore chart and just expect that it get done because "that's his job", but who doesn't want to feel appreciated? This isn't to say you always need to reward them, but you SHOULD always praise them. Even if it's something so small as chores getting done earlier than normal or for doing them with a smile on his/her face, praise shows appreciation and this teaches them not just that they aren't taken for granted but also not to take others fro granted.

Well, there you have them, my super secret, ultra powerful, mom tricks! :) It helps to keep in mind that they are just smaller versions of us, constantly learning and developing what type of adult they will become. It also helps to remember that they will be the ones caring for you when you are older. LOL

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Things that go bump in the night!

The picture you see above is the over-sized chair and ottoman, right next to our front door, that my 10 yr. old has made his bed since I came home after breaking my arm. Of course right now its covered with all of the pillows and blankets I need to pile somewhere when I'm awake but normally it would have a precious little boy sleeping, or trying to sleep, so he can be near his momma.

This is a picture of what my friend Krista called my "set-up" The fan (because that leather is miserably hot), the chair side table that holds my laptop, exterior keyboard and mouse that can be moved to my lap easier than the heavy laptop, the Google TV controller, the ever important back scratcher and a bucket of pens and such for whatever I may be working on. These are all of the things I keep at my side while I wastw the days away in this recliner.

This last picture is one of myself and my sweet Gracie, snuggled up in my temporary bed/office/dining room. Ok, she's snuggled up, I'm spread out across every inch of this silly chair!

You might wonder why I'm showing you these things, well I want you to have a visual image in your mind as I tell you this story.

Several nights ago I am awakened by the sound of my little man getting up off of the chair and walking to the front door. As he begins to turn the lock I question exactly what he thinks he's doing. After several minutes of mumbled answers and my finally getting him to RE-lock the door and lie back down I realize he was sleep walking! He has NEVER done this before and I can only explain it with how exhausted he has been trying to tend to my every need, waking up every time I do and getting me readjusted and back in my chair with every trip to the bathroom overnight. Thinking this was a one time, one person incident we didn't worry too much about it, we just made sure we locked the storm door every night that he can't unlock by himself.

Well a couple of nights ago, after a long day of physical therapy I took two Tylenol PM. I usually take two but I'm guessing I was OVERLY tired this particular night, so it's effects were a little out of character for me.

About 3am I wake up and realize that little black bucket full of pens and markers and SCISSORS, is lying on my chest. A few hours earlier when helping get me settled, Randy had moved the bucket to the end table up against the wall. So in my partially awake state I thought I had been helping him and just fallen asleep with it in my hands. So, I place it back on the table and go back to sleep. Around 5am I wake up to find a highlighter in it's place. Then later that morning when I finally woke up for the day I get up from my chair to find it full of markers!!

What exactly was I doing cuddled up with my office supplies? Who knows! Randy thinks I was trying to get a drink and grabbed the wrong "cup" then fell back to sleep before putting it back on the table.

My theory? I'm not really sure WHAT I was doing but I DO KNOW that whatever it was it would have been amazing! LOL

Needless to say, THE PEOPLE are the things going bump in the night at our house!!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

A Silver Lining

Recently someone reminded me to find a silver lining to all of the time I've had to spend in my recliner. Eating, sleeping, reading, working, family time... all from this silly chair!
Well, finding a silver lining is just what I've done!
I have had time to organize this year's subjects and plan a few weeks worth of lessons, go through piles of paperwork and magazines that I have been putting off for months, make all new labels for our work boxes and the supply boxes in my craft room, as well as dig out all of the important papers I wanted to file in my Mom's Household Binder. Aside from the closets that are in serious need of some attention I feel like a new woman, or at least a better organized woman! I have always said that my predilection to organization was more of a sickness than a gift but in recent months (or years) I have let MY life take a backseat to everyone else.I may have mentioned that I have a problem with saying "No", but what I don't think I've mentioned is that I tend to not just take on too much, but I also allow it to take OVER! If I agree to do something I takes control until I feel like I've accomplished it.
I can't say I'm grateful to have a broken arm right now, but I can say that I'm grateful that it's causing me to put the needs of my own life back where they belong, in the drivers seat!

Monday, August 6, 2012

I swear I AM NOT praying for patience!!

So, how many times have we all been warned not to pray for patience? I know I've heard it a lot over the years. Well, the funny thing about God is that he tends to dole out lessons in areas where HE thinks we need to grow, not necessarily where we WANT to grow! So whether I'm asking for more patience or not, when He decides I need it, I get it!

The latest thing I'm learning about myself is that I am not a patient person! I'm pretty sure I've always known this, Lord knows my family definitely has, but recently it's been brought to my attention almost on a daily basis!

Being almost completely dependent on those around you doesn't just mean you have to let them help you. It means you have to let them do it their way, on their time, all the while remaining grateful for it. One of our family's favorite movies is The Pacifier. The line I quote most from this movie is this:

"It's my way, no highway option."

This statement rolls all that is Candie up in a neat little package. My way is always the best, most thought out, and easiest to accomplish... so I think. Lately though, I'm learning that just because my way is right for me, doesn't mean it's right for everyone! Funny that I haven't already learned this lesson. After all, isn't that part of the homeschool mother's creed? Our children need teaching to their strengths and interests, they need to be treated as individuals, they need to learn how THEY learn!

Well, doesn't the same apply to everything in life? Could I be harboring a double standard? Well if so, surely I'm right about it, surely I couldn't be mistaken!

NEWS FLASH: God made us all different! Not just red and yellow, black and white, but in everything, in our hearts and our habits!

The people in your life may not put the dishes away where YOU think they should, they may not move as quickly as you would like and they may not do the things you ask in JUST the way you had expected, but the bottom line is that they are doing it!

My family has had to help me get comfortable in the recliner again with all 15 pillows every time I get up to go to the restroom. They have had to bring me that exact item from the exact spot I sent them to, even if my memory was wrong. They have had to fix me glasses of water with a full cup of ice because that's how I like it. And they have done all these things with a smile, something I cannot say for myself. I have been short with them, I have gotten frustrated and I have spat out my orders more times than I care to admit.

Yet they're still here, still helping, still taking it. That's not to say they will ALWAYS be here. It's important for me to learn NOW that I should appreciate their help regardless what form it comes in. This is the lesson I think my God is teaching me right now. He wants me to understand that humans are not as forgiving as He is, that there IS a limit to their willingness to help, "under fire" if you will. Not only does He want me to see that He will always be here and will come back blow after blow, but that others may not and it's my job to emulate Him.

That's part of being created in His image. Luckily for me, my immediate caregivers know God's love but will they always remember it? That is something I cannot control but showing my Lord's love and mercy is the beginning to ensuring they won't turn away from Him.

Have you shown His love this week? Let me challenge you to do JUST THAT! And not just to those you think NEED it, but to everyone in your life, especially those who don't always get your best!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Broken Arm ~ Broken Self-Dependence

As I explained in a previous post, I fell and broke my arm a couple of weeks ago. Since then, God has been teaching me alot of things. For those of you who know me, you are aware that I am always on the go. I work several jobs around each other and around my family's needs to allow me to be not only be a SAHM but also to homeschool our son. It's impossible to be this active, crazy busy person without being extremely dependant on yourself, or so I thought. I have spent the last several years building this lifestyle in which I thought I was the only person I could count on to keep going. In recent day however, I have had to start depending on everyone BUT myself. Its amazing how quickly one can go from "doing it all", to not being able to do anything.

So what has this taught me?

Well it has taught me a couple of things... The first and most important is something I already knew but at some point pushed under the rug and chose not to accept. Then late last night in the middle of a "poor little me" melt down my ten year old son reminded me all to quickly that I was in God's hands. That everything was controlled by Him and He would not let me down.

Here I've spent the last 10 days throwing myself the LARGEST pity party known to man and the whole time my God was just sitting back waiting for me to need HIM. Waiting for me to realize that this life of self-dependency will never be a fulfilling one and I will always be hanging onto it with my one good arm. I needed that small reminder from the most precious boy in my life to put me back on track. To help me get my priorities in order once more.

The second thing I have learned is just how lucky I am to have husband and son that I do. I'm also very lucky to have terrific friends who have cooked for us and offered to do anything I need, but my two boys have really had to step up to the plate lately and I could not be more grateful!! While Braydon is at my side for anything I need throughout the day, Randy is working BOTH of our jobs, keeping up the house and the laundry, paying the bills and doing the shopping. I could not have asked for a better helpmate! We all take the same vows when we marry, but so many time I see friends of mine and other women being let down by a spouse that can't see how those vows relate to the needs of his family later in life. I thank God for my husband and the example he has set for our son! Braydon his growing up to be such a strong young man in the Lord and one who is willing to help anyone anytime!

Be sure to stop and tell your family how much they mean to you! I know I haven't done it often enough but that's about to change! Take a minute to thank God for the amazing gifts you DO have and take a break from asking for those you don't.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

KBC Day ??? Immediate Journey HOME

Well the last few days have been a crazy blur.
Monday morning Cyndi and I headed to Rainbow Resources.  This was a very productive day that ended with a delightful dinner with several of the friendly staff at Rainbow.  That night we headed back to Peoria before we began our trip to meet up with the other members of the KBC team.

Tuesday morning started off with a trip to Arthur, Illinois to tour the Amish Communities.  We took lots of pictures and just enjoyed watching how these people with a simpler way of life lived side by side with people in a modern world.  This was a neat stop and very educational, but our trip was about to take a turn for the worst.
Before heading to St. Louis, Missouri we stop to get gas and I tripped and broke my arm.  We then drove a miserable 30 minutes to Decatur, Illinois.  It took us the next three days to get me back home.
Sadly, our trip was cut short and we were not able to meet with Pam and Kim.

I'm praying to be all better before our cruise in September.  But won't see The orthopedic surgeon until Friday.  Trying to schedule that appointment was a fiasco all on its own!  That's a long story so I'll just give you a little advice.  If you're going to break a bone don't do it out of state.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

KBC Day Five Journey To...

Today was a nice relaxing day for the most part. We left Indiana around 10ish heading for Illinois. Once here we checked into our hotel and got a little lunch we spent the afternoon getting caught up on emails and such. We did have a run in with an army of ants but after a small room switching fiasco we were finally in our third room for the day and ready to get down to business! LOL

This evening we had a nice visit and dinner with Leah from CurrClick. Until tonight I had not had the pleasure of meeting Leah, and I am so glad I did!! I really enjoyed getting to know her a little bit. Hopefully next time we will be able to meet Staley as well.

Tomorrow we are heading to Rainbow to work on some more videos and then we will be having dinner with the Rainbow crew! I can't wait to meet everyone!

Hopefully while Cyndi is practicing to be a movie star I will have some time to work on the Respect Character Lapbook.

Until tomorrow,

KBC Day FOUR Journey To...

Today was the BIG day!! I finally got to get my books!! It was amazing! Here they are:

Right off the trimmer!

I also got to watch several other procedures while I was waiting.

 Here are some of our CD's being shrink wrapped.

 Here's Ester hand collating our colored paper.

These are HUGE stacks of KBC books waiting to be bound!  


Then I got to watch them go through each step of the printing process for my books and it was so neat!!

 Here's a stack of the inside pages to my books straight out of the hopper!

The covers printing...


 and binding.

 It's hard to believe my name is now printed on an actual product!!

 Now for trimming.

This was such fun! I truly appreciate Eloise and Chad at Country Pines showing me around and letting me see all of the back end to the production of my books!

We finally left Shoals around 4pm and headed up to Terre Haute for the night. We had a nice dinner and then spent the rest of the evening bouncing ideas off of one another and talking through alot of things we want to do further down the road. So keep an eye out, there are great things in the making at Knowledge Box Central!

Friday, July 6, 2012

KBC Day THREE Journey To...

As we come to the end of the day we are exhausted and ready for bed, but we still have so much work to do. It looks like tonight may be a late one. We spent most of today at Country Pines Printing going over cover images, orders and printing options. Tonight we are working diligently on printing specs for EACH of our almost 200 products to be sure that every product shipped out is the best possible quality it can be.

Tomorrow we are hoping to spend a little more time with them and then begin making our way to Illinois. But before that is the best part... I get to see each of my books for the first time! I am so excited! I will definitely be posting pictures of them tomorrow night!  Not much site seeing for the next couple of days but alot of meeting with other people who help make Knowledge Box so great so that's a good exchange in my opinion!

We will be meeting the wonderful ladies from CurrClick Sunday night for dinner and then it's off to Rainbow Resources Monday morning.

We can't wait to see these folks and tell you all about it!

I do have to say that I am missing my boys a ton!! Braydon is having fun with his cousins so that it makes easier on me. :)  A big thanks to my wonderful sister-in-law for helping out while I'm away!!

Until tomorrow,

Thursday, July 5, 2012

KBC Day TWO, Journey To...

Today started off much like yesterday went, "detour" after "detour". LOL We finally made it to Graceland a mere hour after we had planned to be there, and it was amazing. I got a TON of pics!! My mom if a HUGE Elvis fan and had gone to Graceland back in the 80's but the only camera she had only had a flash setting so she go very few pictures. All this time I thought she didn't get many because they wouldn't let you take them in certain places so this afternoon when I found out the real reason it was a bonus. Now my momma will have all new pictures to go with those memories from so many years ago. The pictures won't just be a treat for me, I know my mom will cherish them as well!

Front of Graceland
 15' Couch in the Formal Living Area

We didn't make it back by The  Mississippi River but are planning to on the way back through next week. When I told Braydon we were going to go back down there to take some pics and I would grab him a rock or something he told me to get a jar with a lid and bring him back some Mississippi Mud! He said it in this guttural smoker's voice and I just died!  LOL I laughed so hard!! Even 1000 miles away he's funny!! 

After Graceland we downed a couple of sandwiches and proceeded on our journey only to get lost take "detours" time and time again... I can honestly say this trip will not be short of stories to tell and laughs to be had in the years to come! 

We traveled through Tennessee, Missouri, Kentucky and Indiana all in six hours today. I have traveled more than 1300 miles since Tuesday morning and after today have crossed 4 major rivers; The Tennessee River, The Ohio River, The Arkansas River and the The Mighty Mississippi! Each one was just as amazing as the last and I am in awe of God's glory!

We finally made it to this amazing little cabin called the Salt Box in the woods of Shoals, Indiana, and I may never leave!! This place is so cute and peaceful! Cyndi and I are hanging out, working on a few projects and just enjoying not being in the car for a few hours.

Until tomorrow,