Choices

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 I am sitting here this evening thinking about choices I have made in my life.

One of the choices I struggled with the most was whether or not to go to college. Of course, I felt I should since that is what most people do these days. However, I was uncertain about what I wanted to be, well, that’s not totally true. I knew I wanted to be a wife and mom.  I spent a lot of time my senior year in high school praying about this decision. When I shared with my mom that I really didn’t think college was what I wanted to do she suggested that I at least commit to one year and see how that year went. So, that’s what I did.

I spent one awesome year at Bethel College. I made some wonderful friends and am now married to one of those friends. I was challenged spiritually in new ways. However, I still struggled with what I would do. I prayed  a lot that year as well (just ask my roommate). Then, it was time to schedule classes for the next fall. What to do?

One evening in church about this time I remember breaking down (at the end of service). I don’t even remember the topic, I just know it really hit me. I may have even left the service a bit early because of the tears. My mom and another precious woman from church came and we all talked and prayed. I finally made the decision once and for all. I said it, “I’m not going back to college.” Wow! Those were some hard words to say, but at the same time so refreshing. I felt like a huge weight had been lifted from my shoulders. I also remember at some point during my time at Bethel I was talking to a friend about this and I remember her telling me that it was okay to want to be a wife and a mom.

Have I regretted the decision to attend Bethel? NO WAY! If I had not gone to Bethel that year I would not have met Dave. And no, we did not date until after I had left. I made some great friends, had some wonderful experiences that I wouldn’t trade for anything.

Have I regretted the decision to not return to college? NO WAY! I can honestly say that I have not regretted this decision. I had no clue what major I would choose and I didn’t want to go just to go (Bethel costs a bit too much to do that).  I have just the job I always wanted. Wife and mom. And just like any job there are good days and not-so-good days.

One of the other reasons I can look back on this decision without  regret is because a HUGE amount of prayer went into the decision. It was not made lightly without thought. I knew it could affect what I did later in life, but I was willing to risk it.  When we feel God calling us to take a step of faith that is what we need to do. Is it easy? Not usually…hence the faith part of it.

Last summer I spent 2 months working full-time and a few more working part-time. It was HORRIBLE. I missed being wife and mom. Oh, I still did those jobs too, just not in the way I was used to doing. It did help me appreciate that I have been able to stay home with my family and not be pulled by a job as well.

No matter the path we choose, we need to be in prayer and be certain that it is where God wants us to be. He will always, always provide if you are in His will. Psalm 37:4 says “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.”  He doesn’t want us to be unhappy with what we are given. If we choose to find our joy in Him, He will pour out His blessings upon us.

Let’s find joy, this week, in what we are doing. No matter how big or small the “job” may seem.

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Star Wars Night

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Fridays require naps? Why? Because these boys love to watch Star Wars: The Clone Wars. It starts at 9 pm, which is past their usual bedtime. In order to watch, they must take a nap on Friday afternoon. Ok, so I have to admit that it is also a great way to convince them to take naps…lol!

Tonight as I lounge on my bed with 3 little boys I am also joined by quite an assortment of others who are “watching” with us.

Here’s Daniel. I thought I caught him with his finger in his mouth…working on a loose tooth.

This week started out pretty rough. The boys have improved in the last few days. It’s times like these-surrounded by boys who are fighting over who gets to sit next to me-that make up for those rough days.

Oh, another update: Joshua has not worn a diaper to bed the last 3 nights and has been dry every morning! YIPPEEE! I was thinking today that with him out of diapers that is probably saving us about $1 per day! It’s hard to believe my baby is getting so big! Now I just need to figure out a way to help Isaiah stay dry all night. Anyone have any tips on that?

One of those days…

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Whew…all I can say is I’m enjoying the fact that 3 precious boys (yes, I still think they are precious) and sound asleep in their beds! They are precious, yes, but their actions today? NOT so precious. I can’t say how many times I heard “I NEVER get….” or “I don’t want to”. Did I ask anyone if they wanted to pick up toys? NOPE. I told them to pick them up. I’m learning that I cannot request help, I have to make it a statement-a demand, if you will.

“Could you please pick up your toys?” Hmm…that is usually met by some unwilling comment.

“Please pick up your toys.” That may still be met with an unwillingness to do so “I don’t want to.” My reply? “I didn’t ask if you wanted to, I told you it needs to be done.”

Anyway, I guess I am just blowing off some steam.

Am I ready to throw in the towel? NO WAY, NOT ON YOUR LIFE. I LOVE being a wife and mom, but not everyday is a perfect day. How can it be when there are 5 humans involed? I love those boys. I love seeing the new things they are learning. We had a good discussion during supper tonight about the difference in knowing about God and having a personal relationship with Him.

I am so grateful that I am able to stay home with these precious boys, that I can watch them grow and learn and mature. My prayer is that they will serve God with all their hearts! Days like these really don’t happen all that often around here, which makes me even more thankful that it is not the norm.

I’m thankful today is over and that we can start fresh tomorrow. I’m so thankful that God is a God of forgiveness and that his mercies are new every morning!

Diminishing Diapers!

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I’ll start by saying YAHOOOOO!!! 

I have been buying diapers for 6 1/2 years, sometimes for 2 boys at a time. And now…I’m starting to see the light at the end of the  diaper tunnel, or should I say the piles filling the landfill.

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Joshua is doing an AWESOME job with potty training. I decided a few weeks ago to give it a try. I would put undies on in the morning and try to remember to take him to the bathroom every so often. A few times I would forget (usually while he was playing outside) and he would be wet. I put a diaper on him at naptime and soon he was keeping that dry. So, I stopped using diapers at naptime probably close to two weeks ago. He is now keeping his diaper dry at night. This morning was at least the 6th day in a row that he has been dry at night! Can I say it again? YAHOOOOOO!!!! I feel like I put almost no effort into training him and he is doing amazing. He only had a couple poopy accidents in his undies and is now doing great with that as well.

Next, we’ll need to get Isaiah out of diapers at night. He is still wet most days when he wakes up. I’m not super worried about it and would rather use diapers than deal with a wet bed in the middle of the night. We told him Joshua is beating him, but I don’t want to do that too much and make him feel bad about it either.

I’m trying to decide how long I will keep putting a diaper on Joshua at night. I’m thinking I will wait til he goes 2 weeks of being dry every day. Again, I do NOT like to have to change sheets in the middle of the night.

Produce Auction

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Ever heard of a produce auction? There happens to be one about a mile down the road from my grandparents’ house.  Monica asked Val and I if we would be interested in taking a break from making applesauce to check out the auction. The plan was to find some mums and pumpkins. What fun we had!

About 10:40 we created a stopping place in our sticky applesauce making. We arrived at the auction a few minutes before it was to start a 11:00. We scoped out the produce that was there and then Val went to the office to get a number and find out how things worked. She came back with our number and explained that the auctioneer would tell how many items you are bidding on and then the bidding would be for the price of each individual item. It has been a lot of years since I have been to an auction, so it took some time to get accustomed to that process again and trying to stay on top of the bidding. We had decided on how high we were willing to go on mums and pumpkins.

There were lots of mums and pumpkins as well as other fall produce including sqash, grapes, all types of decorative pumpkins and much more.

A wagon filled with moms was pulled into one end of the building and bidding commenced. The mums were good sized and we started to bid. We ended up winning 2 lots of 8 mums at $3.50 each.  Then another wagon pulled in with boxes of pumpkins. There was a box with 30 pumpkins which was a number we could handle (some boxes had 50-70 pumpkins or more). Once again, we began bidding and won our boxes of pumpkins for $2.00 each. YAHOO! We also purchased 6 more mums and 6 asters.

We went to begin loading our mums and were shocked at just how big they were. Here are some on the wagon as we began loading. We kept going on and on about how huge they were and how wonderful that we only paid $3.50 for them!

Myself, Val and Monica with a cart of asters. Can you tell we were having fun??

Our grandparents were getting a kick of how much we bought and how excited we were about it.

Val’s grandpa was kind enough to come with his truck to get our pumpkins.  It was SUPER windy that day too. (Sorry Monica, don’t hate me for this pic..it was the best one to show off the pumpkins). 

Here is my van loaded up to go home:

(that is just two mums in the back!) I had to make a trip to Indy to take Monica the remainder of her mums and pumpkins. She didn’t have room in her car to take 5 mums and 5 pumpkins, applesauce, carseat and luggage. LOL! I was glad for an excuse to make the trip to spend more time with her and to see other friends.

Adventures in Applesauce

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We spent Friday at my grandparents’ house making applesauce. “We” includes 2 of my cousins, myself and my boys…and of course our grandparents. We tackled 6 bushels of apples. Here is part of the stack of apples:

Notice I said 6 bushels. Val had arrived early and was already tearing into the 2nd bushel when I arrived at 8 am.

Let me start out by apologizing for these pictures. I am not a photographer.

First, the apples need to be washed

Then, we used and apple corer/slicer to cut them. Here is Val slicing/coring the apples:

Look how fast she is, you can’t even see her hands. Haha!

Isaiah even did pretty well at this. Even though it made his momma a little nervous!

Here is Monica (check out her fun blog Quillquips) and Grandma slicing the apples once more and putting them in the pans to cook.

After the apples are cooked they are put through the strainer. Grandpa and the boys did most of the turning on the strainer.

Then the applesauce is poured into two larger containers where sugar is added and it is left to cool for a bit. And then it’s put into containers to be frozen to enjoy until next fall (if it lasts that long).

We had a great day together. We were quite pooped by the end of the day, but it was great to see how much all of our hard work paid off. I think I ended up with approximately 36 quarts of applesauce.

We also took a break from applesauce to check out the produce auction that is just down the road from my grandparents’ house. That was great fun and we scored some awesome deals…more on that later.

P.S. These pictures are some of the worst I’ve taken in awhile…wonder what happened??

Decorative Jars

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Thursday was a full day, but we managed to squeeze in a little craft project at the end of the day. But first, we went to see those new little twins.   I’m sorry to say that I did not take my camera. We weren’t going to go because they had other company, but then my SIL let us know the company had left…so I threw the boys through a shower and headed out…no camera in tow. Mom got some pics so maybe soon I can get some from her.

We got home about 8:30, but I decided to go ahead with the project. All had naps and had been in good moods, so I figured it would be okay. I was right this time, thank goodness. They did an awesome job working on this and with very little mess.

Here is the set-up:

Working on the layers of “ingredients”:

We used dry black beans, pinto beans and a mixed bean soup, brown rice and split peas. My only suggestion would be to skip the mixed ones. It doesn’t make for a very nice layer, since it makes it look like some layers got mixed up. I was also afraid the rice would fall down into other layers, but it seemed to stay pretty well.

Here are each of the boys with their completed project:

And, yes, Joshua did his own. I basically just told him when to pick a new “ingredient”. I think they will make great fall decorations. They are on the dining room table right now.

Check back in a day or so to hear about Applesauce and a Produce Auction….

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