Update On All the Things

I’m thankful for Facebook memories.  They remind me of how hard things were the past several years in the spring/summer.  They remind me of how great I’m doing right now.  They remind me that making the decision to put the kids in school (or keep them in school) was the best decision we could have ever made.  It has been amazing for all of us.

Even so, life isn’t perfect and there will be hard days/weeks.

Sleep

I have been so so fatigued again lately despite falling asleep pretty easily most days, and I feel like it has been getting worse.  I just had lab work done to check my thyroid and it’s normal now. I probably really should focus on movement.  I need to get out and hike more (again).  I feel so good when I do, but it’s so hard to convince myself to just get outside.  I honestly don’t know if I have the energy to make it happen at this point.  But I will try.  I have to remind myself that any movement is a good thing.  So a 10 minute walk to start is okay!  That could be enough to jump start something!

Anxiety

I’ve had a little more anxiety this week as well (though nothing like this time last year and the year before).  I’m trying to remember that there is absolutely nothing that I have to do in my day (well, except for picking the kids up from the bus and leading the 12 step meeting in Rocksprings).  I always want a spotless house, the laundry caught up, etc because it truly helps me mentally.  But I can also let it go for the day if I can’t focus on it for whatever reason.  It’s perfectly okay.

Dealing with kid issues is often what causes my anxiety.  Ethan has always been my hard kid.  In the past, he threw tantrums all day every day.  From a baby till not that long ago.  When he was homeschooled it was really bad.  He struggles badly with relationships and being the “mean kid.”  Sometimes I just don’t know what to do with him.  He is in counseling, he takes medication for ADHD now (started about a week and a half ago, and hopefully it’ll eventually help his impulsiveness), and his teacher and I are working with him.  Unfortunately there are some who can’t see all the work he is doing and just focuses in on his flaws.  But I can’t do anything about that.  So we keep moving forward.  I do need to pray for him more.  That’s something big that will help.  My friend also shared a scripture with me that I can pray over him and share with him each day.

Psalm 19:14 (from the International Children’s Bible)

“I hope my words and thoughts please you.  Lord, you are my Rock, the one who saves me.”

I printed it and will be putting it on the boys’ wall.  It would be a good thing for Levi to focus on as well :-).

Younique

This is my favorite part of my days lately.  It is so so so fun.  The women in the community are amazingly supportive and encouraging (who want to see each person succeed), making videos has become fun and less nerve-wracking, there are ALWAYS fun incentives and perks, I’ve made a little bit of money (and have the potential to make a lot over time), I love the makeup, I love the skin care, it’s so nice feeling pretty, I’m taking better care of myself, it gives me some purpose and something to look forward to, I enjoy sharing the makeup with friends and seeing their excitement for our products (and how they make them feel), and I could probably go on and on! I worked several hours today, and it was fun the whole time!

12 Step Meeting

The 12 step meeting is going really well even though we only have a few people going.  We have a new guy that is getting what he needs from the group.  There are a LOT of alcoholics and addicts in our little town and very few of them are in recovery.  Everyone joins each other in their addiction and do it all together.  I’m hoping that by being consistent and continuing to show up even if we only have a few people coming that we will be a soft place to land when enough is enough.

Unfortunately, everyone has grown up in their environment so they don’t know any different.  Anyone trying to get out of active addiction have a hard time because it’s everywhere.

Yesterday I was 18 months sober!!  It’s such an exciting thing!

Robert and the boys are camping and Karis was at a friend’s house until a little while ago.  I did a lot of work because the next two weeks I have 4 Younique parties!  They will be small, but it’ll be a good chance to learn.  My first one will start Monday!  I have lots of videos, photos and graphics, etc along with doing at least one live video each day.  I hope to do games and activities.

I’ll let you know how they go!

I hope you have a fantastic weekend!

Happy Fri-Yay! It’s Good Friday!

It’s Good Friday and it’s always interesting to me that they call the remembrance of the death of Jesus a “good” thing.  Ultimately it was a good thing for all of His children because He gave His life for us.  Because of this we have a new life and the forgiveness of sins.  We have grace through faith in Christ.  I’m so thankful for His sacrifice.

The kids and Robert have today off.  We came to my parents’ for the night and will be going to my Meemaw’s tomorrow to celebrate Easter.  Sunday we will be celebrating Easter at camp with a sunrise devotional, some traditions at home that we do every year (The Flowering Cross book and cookie cake, Resurrection eggs, and The Jesus Storybook Bible reading… my kids are growing up and they still want to do these things!), and a pot luck and Easter egg hunt (including a scavenger hunt for the big kids) with camp family.  This weekend is going to be amazing :-).  Easter is one of my favorite holidays!  To remember Christ’s sacrifice and resurrection can’t be bad!

It’s also beautiful this time of year in Texas.  It’s in the mid to upper 70s or even in the 80s right now.  The sun shines often.  Right now there’s a slight breeze, and I’m sitting on their huge covered porch.  I had forgotten how relaxing it is here.  I know that the kids and I will be back to spending a lot of time here during the summer.  It’s much harder to be here during the school year!

I don’t have much to say today!  I hope you enjoy this Friday and reflect on Christ’s sacrifice for us!

Thankful Thursday… God Has Given Me Rest

Good morning friends!  Today is starting out with a gorgeous sunrise.  I got to listen to the birds sing for a while as well.  I love being outside.  There’s just something about God’s creation that brings peace and solace.

God is good.  In the midst of the struggle, and in the midst of the rest and peace after the struggle.  Y’all, I have struggle consistently for years.  Like since Karis was born (and even before that, really).  Severe anxiety, panic, depression, losing my brother the way I did, relationship issues, etc.  I have had some good times, but they usually only lasted a few weeks at a time, and I’ve realized that many of those were times of hypomania.  I thought I was just feeling amazing (I know now that it was the feeling of euphoria that I get when I’m hypomanic).  And these times were always followed by depression.

I started a new med at the end of January (it’s actually a very old med and for some reason it’s not used very often… it’s also really cheap).  I’m on a very low dose (in addition to a lot of other meds).  I have been doing great ever since.  I mean, I have low days, but they don’t stay that way.  Usually it’s because I’m overly tired or dealing with circumstances that are difficult (usually involving one or more of my kids).  I have consistently had low anxiety, no lasting depression, have had motivation (but not overly motivated like when I’m hypomanic), and I’ve enjoyed myself more than I have in so long.  I have great relationships with people (I’m not assuming the worst as often).  I spend more time with friends and family.  My family has noticed a HUGE difference in me. They often recall what life was like when I was drinking all the time and when I was depressed all the time.  I slept a lot.  I was really short with them, yelling a lot.

Anyway… yesterday during Bible study we were studying Judges 3:7-11.  In verse 11, it said that the Israelites had rest for 40 years!  I was telling my friends how big that was for me and they said that they could see how that would stand out to me.  This is so big.

Othniel

7And the people of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the Lord. They forgot the Lordtheir God and served the Baals and the Asheroth. 8Therefore the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel, and he sold them into the hand of Cushan-rishathaim king of Mesopotamia. And the people of Israel served Cushan-rishathaim eight years. 9But when the people of Israel cried out to the Lord, the Lord raised up a deliverer for the people of Israel, who saved them, Othniel the son of Kenaz, Caleb’s younger brother. 10The Spirit of the Lordwas upon him, and he judged Israel. He went out to war, and the Lord gave Cushan-rishathaim king of Mesopotamia into his hand. And his hand prevailed over Cushan-rishathaim. 11So the land had rest forty years. Then Othniel the son of Kenaz died.”
So today, my biggest thanks is to God for giving me rest.  I don’t know how long it will last or if it will continue to be consistent, but I will enjoy it today and praise God each day.
I’m also so thankful for the relationships with the amazing people in my life.  I’m especially thankful for my amazing husband and children.  I wouldn’t be where I am without them in my life.  Robert has stood by me and supported me through severe mental illness, dealing with the suicide of my brother, and through my alcoholism.  We still have a lot of growth ahead, but I’m thankful for the growth that has taken place so far.  And my kids have been amazing as we have processed all that has taken place in our family as well.  They have grown so, so much this year.  We’re still working through some things, but overall I’m so happy with the official decisions that we have made for them (especially for putting and keeping them in school).
I’m thankful for the friends that I have in my life.  I have lots of old friends and a few new friends.  I’m blessed with rich relationships.
Other than these things, I’m just thankful for the little things.  My plants, candles, Willow trees, the sunrise over the hills, my Happy Planner, coffee, Coke Zero :-), God’s word (not a little thing), Bible studies that point me to Him, my amazing office, decorating my house so that it feels warm and cozy, all of our needs provided (okay, also not little), my new business venture, my blog as my outlet, hobbies, and so much more.
I am truly one blessed child of God.

Happy Weekend!

I have been trying to blog all week and it just hasn’t happened.  This past week was Spring Break and man was it busy.  Monday and Tuesday weren’t too bad, but Wednesday through tomorrow have been/will be busy.  I have carved out a chunk of time this late morning to blog because that’s the only way to make it happen.

I woke up a bit late today and I’m so, so tired from the crazy week.  Then I did some cleaning, took a shower, worked on this post some, more cleaning, makeup and hair, etc.

She was really spoiled this year and it was necessary.  She has spent years thinking she wasn’t important because I have had to focus on myself because of my mental health issues or on her brothers because they are younger and needed more attention.  I have been trying to spend more time with her and love on her more.

So like I said, this past week has been pretty crazy.

Monday was devoted to focusing on starting my Younique business with an “unboxing” live Facebook video.  I also practiced putting on my new makeup.  I had so much fun.  Here is the look that I created Monday.

Tuesday was mostly just work and chores.  It was a good day over all.  The kids played with their friends most of the day so it was pretty quiet.

Wednesday was a pretty crazy day.  Ethan stayed here with a friend all day.  Karis, Levi, and I went to town.  We left at 9:30 and got home at about 6:45.  We got donuts and pigs in a blanket,Levi had a doc appointment (and he was officially diagnosed with ADHD), we went to Goodwill and Chickfila, counseling (for 2 hours), then Walmart (for a few groceries and Levi’s prescription).  Whew.  Town days are so long because not only do we have to get a lot of stuff done in one day, the drive there is an hour and 15 minutes, then the same home.  It was a good day, though, with my kiddos.  They behaved really well.  One less makes a huge difference!

Thursday was Karis’ birthday which included opening presents, eating food of her choice, her baking all day, cleaning, Bible study at my house (always so great!), then AA.  Another semi-busy day.

Karis made this on her birthday.  It took her like 6 hours.

These were the meals of her choice.

Friday was another day in town.  We left here at about 11:00 (not early).  We met my mom to hand over the boys, then Karis and I spent the whole day “playing” and shopping.  We walked around Fredericksburg for a couple of hours, ate at Chilis (where she was given a treat for her birthday), went to an arcade and spent about an hour there, walked around the mall (which is tiny… we went to Bath and Body Works, Claires, and a random store that reminds me of the 90s), then HEB to get her cake and other groceries.  Karis spent all but $3 of her birthday money!  Haha.  She’s my daughter for sure.  I’m also pretty much out of money after this week between the doc appointment, medicine, groceries, birthday stuff (cake, lunch, etc), gas, etc.  I’m back to living frugally again!

Tomorrow Karis and I are driving to Kerrville to meet my parents for lunch and pick up the boys.

Anyway… all that to say: I cannot wait for routine again.  I have done fine mentally/emotionally this week despite the craziness because I know it will end and routine will happen again Monday.  We all thrive better with some routine which means this summer I’m going to have to make sure we have routine.  Not just for our sanity, but also because I will want to work (Younique doesn’t feel like work, though!) a couple hours a day so I will need to figure out how to make it happen.  Also Ethan doesn’t function well without routine either so we’ll make it happen.  He struggles with his emotions and socially more when he doesn’t have routine.  That’s why he does best at school!

I will still need to get up at the same time each day (though not at 5:30 like we do now!).  Do the same chores each day (the kids and me).  Work certain hours each day if possible.  And the kids will have to be outside certain hours and can only be on electronics certain hours.  They will also have to read every day (and I will have to set aside that time or it won’t happen).  So I will work on this over the next couple of months (summer is coming so soon!).  I’m not always great at implementing these things or being consistent so I will just do my best.

Anyway… her friends just left her party and I would say that it was a success!  It was fairly loud and crazy but they had fun.  I also got to visit with some friends so that was nice.

Alright… going to make Karis some chicken alfredo, pasta, and broccoli!

How has your week and weekend been?

Happy Fri-Yay!

This week has felt so long.  The main reason is that I haven’t slept well this week, and I’m still feeling the affects of my really hard Wednesday.  Yesterday I slept alllll morning.  I did get up and get busy though, so that’s nice.

I work really, really hard to stay out of bed.  It’s so easy to just sleep since I’m home alone all the time and I’m usually really tired, but I know that leads to depression so I fight it.  If I do take a nap, I try really hard to just sleep an hour or so.  But yesterday I needed lots of rest.  I think there’s a such thing as an anxiety and/or panic attack “hang over.”  Just feel so worn.

I am determined to make today good!  I got up at about 6:30 and got my coffee.  I tried to do my Bible study but I was just too tired still to comprehend what I was reading.  I’ll try again this afternoon.

I got up and cleaned up the house.  Dishes, the boys’ room, the kids’ bathroom, picked up things around the house, made my bed, etc.  I have one load of laundry going (I try to do one a day and it makes things so much more manageable… and our whites don’t stay super white because I don’t sort).

I plan to do some AA work (re-typing our script), Younique work, Bible study, etc, etc.

So besides cleaning and working, what is making today Fri-Yay?  Why am I happy?  I am growing every day.  Wednesday was real hard but it taught me so much about myself.  It reminded me that I don’t want to just be a blob on the couch.  I want to have purpose and meaning in my life.  I want to glorify God in what I do and say.  I want to help others be sober and women to love who they are and feel good about themselves.  I want to challenge myself.  I want to get out of my comfort zone.  I feel like these things happen through my blog, through leading AA, and through being a presenter through Younique.  I have the ability to do so much with my life.  So, I can’t work full time.  That’s fine.  I don’t need to.  God has provided for our needs.  Sure things are tight, but our needs are always met.  I have kind of come to terms with the fact that working probably isn’t in my future, but I am learning to be happy with staying home and taking care of our home.

Yesterday Levi got me a blanket and pillow to lay down because he said they don’t thank me enough for making the food and doing all the things.  It was in that moment that I realized what I’m doing is enough.  It’s good.  It’s God glorifying.  Our kids feel safe and peaceful in our home.  Robert doesn’t have to do much when he comes home from work (he works really hard all the time to provide for our family).  They always have clean clothes (they do have to fold them and put them away, but that’s beside the point haha).  They have all of their needs met.  It’s those things that matter.

I know I’ve said this, but I’m so excited about my new business.  I have always said I will never do direct sales/network marketing.  So why now?  I have watched women come out of their shell, become confident, get out of their comfort zone, grown in an amazing team of women, make good money, have their makeup paid for, become confident in who they are, have purpose, grow, learn good business practices, and just have fun in this business.  Younique is about empowering women and I’m just all for that.  It’s about true self care.  Loving ourselves.  I could go on and on.  I haven’t even received my presenter kit and other makeup and tools that I’ve ordered (they had some issues with shipping), but I have seen so much good already just being in my team Facebook group and adding new friends from the group.

God is good.  I have had a lot of hard years, and I know hard days, weeks, and possibly months are ahead.  But I am thankful that today is a good day.

Simple Living

Simple Living

Over the years, due to my mental illness, I have had to simplify my life so much.

I have tried working so many times and can’t; I’ve tried homeschooling (many times) and can’t.

These cause severe anxiety, panic attacks, and depression.  Also, with my bipolar 2, I never know if I’m going to be able to function from one moment to the next.  I haven’t been stable for more than a month at a time for years.

Because of this, I am working towards getting disability.  I have a hearing soon and I’m using a lawyer.

Simple Schedule and Routine

Recently, I decided to get rid of a lot of things and truly simplify.  I organized well in order to keep things easy to keep up with.  I take one day at a time.  I try not to over-plan because I know that that usually means anxiety.

The only things on my plate are:

  • Time with family (though the kids are gone from 6:30 till 4:30 every day, so that means I’m alone a lot)
  • Self care
  • Bible study (personal daily and women’s once a week) and Church (a few times a month)
  • AA (twice a week, at one hour each time)
  • Counseling (sometimes) and kids’ counseling (every other week)
  • Coffee with friends (when I can handle it)
  • Cleaning (I have a daily routine that I keep up with so things don’t get out of control)
  • Cook/make simple meals
  • A few small hobbies as I can handle it (mostly blogging and baking)

That’s it.

Our kids also have very simple lives.

  • Chores (daily they make their bed, fold and put away laundry, and clean up their rooms and living room if they leave things there)
  • School (of course, they are gone a long time every day for school)
  • Homework (very little… reading for 20-30 minutes and math and/or spelling)
  • Play (they spend a lot of time outside and with friends)
  • Play games and read
  • Counseling
  • Church
  • Electronics, limited

Karis does choir (one hour a week), and Ethan does some mountain biking (a few races a year).  No large amount of time doing sports or other extra curricular activities.  This isn’t for everyone, but it’s best for our family.

Simple Planning

I basically just sit down with my Happy Planner the night before or the morning of and plan my day.  It tends to be a lot of the same each day and I’m good with that.  Other than that, I go by my daily/weekly routine.

Simple Eating

We typically eat a lot of the same things consistently.  I try to mix it up sometimes, but pretty much every meal I do is simple.  I use my instant pot a lot, and I usually make meals that don’t take very long.

I have a weekly routine to do some food prep so that things are simple through the week.  I fill my veggie tray to pull out for lunches and sometimes for dinners.  I sometimes make homemade Greek yogurt, but this time around I just bought some.

I try to buy some things that are convenience to be easy to use/eat.  For example, I buy already cut broccoli and baby carrots.  I buy some granola bars and peanut butter crackers.  I LOVE buying pre-boiled and peeled boiled eggs (I hate boiling and peeling them).  The boys just grab a bag and eat a few for snacks. And I eat them at lunches often.  Sometimes I buy pre-made salads but they are much more expensive than buying leaf lettuce.  So sometimes I buy leaf lettuce, tear/cut it, and add some bagged spinach to it.  I have taken a break from salads for a while, though.

I meal plan each week so that we all know what we will be eating.  It helps keep the guess work out of it, and I am able to do any prep ahead of time (like thawing meat, etc).

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We also eat in the dining hall when we can because it’s free, and I don’t have to cook and clean up.  Sometimes I can’t handle being in a loud dining hall, but I’m getting to where I can these days.

The Little Things

I try really hard to enjoy the little things each day.  I have learned to be content with what we have and where we are in life.  I am at peace with where we live and know that this is life from now on (unless God has us move on, but I highly doubt it to be honest).  I light candles every day, and start out with a good cup of coffee.  I have been slowly decorating our home (on a tight budget) because I want to enjoy being here.  Having coffee with friends has helped me to grow closer to others here and it has given me a ministry (other than AA).  I enjoy getting up in the morning now and watching the sun rise.

I love hiking and am so glad that we have the hiking trails right outside our door.  We live on 1400 acres.  We try to take family hikes on weekends as we can.  It doesn’t always work out.  This is basically the only form of exercise that I like :-).

Our Home

I love our home.  It’s not very big (about 1300 sq ft), but it’s perfect for us.  The boys share a room, Karis has her own room (that is so fun and perfect for her), and our bedroom has a comfy love seat in it (that I got for $30 from a Thrift Store).  I have an amazing “bonus room” with my office area, a couple of shelves with books, a chair with side table and books, my guitar (that my brother gave me and I want to learn how to play), curtains (that were $20 for 4 panels), a fun rug ($30 on Amazon), and a bunch of art that I already had or got for $1 at Dollar Tree.  It’s my favorite room in the house.  I also have a succulent plant on the windowsill by my desk :-).

Our living room is so great.  The tree wall was here when we moved in.

I spent a lot of time working on the kids’ rooms recently and it’s so much easier to keep clean.

I love our kitchen and our food storage.  It makes me happy.  I spend a lot of time in there.

This is the view from our back windows/back porch.

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My office and bedroom are my sanctuary.  I just love them.

I just love life and feel at peace with where we are.  I am also excited about our future and what that looks like.

Happy Weekend!

Hey guys!  I hope your weekend has started out well! I absolutely LOVE that I am no longer sleeping my weekend away!  I woke up a little later than a week day but it was still early enough to enjoy … Continue reading

Pursuing What Sets My Soul on Fire (Jesus)

Being in a constant state of worship and adoration, service, gratitude, prayer, and confession are what set my heart on fire. Unfortunately my life has been just one struggle after another and my spirit has gotten lost in all of … Continue reading

Life is Hard, but God is Good

Wow.  This week has been transformative for my body, soul, and mind.  I had no idea what I needed, and I had no idea that my body could lead me there.

Last Sunday I wrote about how I’ve been struggling, then I ended the post with things that I was thankful for.  I felt a huge weight lift after that post.

My family went on to go to town, play at the park, and have lunch at an amazing restaurant.  It was good for our family to spend a day together.  It has been a long time.  So, that was #1 of what I needed.

We didn’t end up cleaning out the kids’ rooms that day because we ran out of time, so I decided to do it during the week.

Not only did I completely clean their rooms out (they were BAD y’all), I also made myself a new, quiet, relaxing, peaceful space.  The kids had a craft room that they didn’t use often and when they did, they left it a disaster!  It was also SO bad.  So, I turned it into my own room!

Our house just needed a lot of TLC.  I have let it go a lot over the past few years… trying to keep up but letting a lot of things slide.

For most people it wouldn’t be a big deal.  But for me it affects my mental health greatly.  Instead of getting up and moving, I would sleep all day because I couldn’t handle it.  I felt like it was impossible to do any cleaning because the back up mess was so bad (if that makes sense).  Then I would feel so guilty because I knew I shouldn’t be sleeping all day but I couldn’t stop.  I was physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually exhausted.

So, I made a point to purge, clean, and organize the whole house this past week.

Monday I cleaned out Karis’ room.  It took like 10 hours at least.  It was so bad.  Trash was everywhere.  I threw away 2 huge black trash bags and a kitchen bag away full of stuff.  I also put 2 tubs of things away in the attic and gave a lot of stuff away.  It is night and day different and she’s sleeping so much better.  She said that it’s so nice to not be tripping over stuff.  I also made her a checklist to help her keep up with it (she asked for one and I also made one for the boys).

Before:

After:

Tuesday I worked on my new office/hobby space/reading/workout (eventually) room.  I also worked on it a bit today (adding some things on the walls and bringing our chair in from the living room).  I am IN LOVE with my new space.  It is just what I’ve envisioned.

Before:

After:

Wednesday I worked on the boys’ room.  They had a black trash bag of trash and I put away a tub of stuffed animals, etc.  I organized their little trinkets and things and they are just in love with their room.

Before:

After:

Thursday I cleaned the house.  Our bedroom, bathrooms, dusting, floors, etc.

Friday I had jury duty and I was selected to be on the Grand Jury!  Luckily we only meet two more times because our county is sooooo small.  Lol!  When I got home I took a short nap, then I picked up the kids from the bus.  That evening I worked on our written routines, rules, consequences, rewards, and kids’ checklists.  The kids are thrilled for these.  They need this structure.

IMG_0627

Yesterday I worked on my office/work out/reading/hobby/etc room (I need a name for it).  I washed sheets and towels.  I did more cleaning.

Here’s a fresh update to our pantry foods:

So right now, my house is pretty spotless and organized.

The beautiful thing… I am starting to wake up early because I’m falling asleep by about 10:00!  And I sleep ALL night.  I don’t wake up at all.

Okay… now onto what I’ve been learning!

Wow.

  1. My relationship with Christ has grown by leaps and bounds this week.  I can’t explain it except that the Holy Spirit has drawn me in.  It wasn’t anything I did.  I have missed spending time with Him for a long time, and I have had a lot of bitterness and doubt.  I have struggled with trust and faith.  I have also allowed other peoples’ beliefs, bitterness, etc affect me.  I have decided to unfollow some people.
  2. I am capable of so much more than I have been telling myself I’m capable of.  So much can happen because of thoughts, in positive and negative ways.  My counselor in Frisco reminded me of that every time we met.  She had me do exercises at home that reinforced that.
    I worked for 8-10 hours most of the week.  My body was sore but my spirit was stronger for it.
  3. My house needs to be clean and organized for my mental health.  Not so that people will tell me how amazing I am.  I have learned that I just cannot function if my house is a disaster.  I also cannot function with clutter, period.  I am working, still, on decluttering.  My counselor reminded me the other day that “environment matters,” and I am a believer in this!
  4. I need to sit at my desk to blog.  It’s my “work space.”  I cannot think to blog at the kitchen table anymore.  I get so distracted by everything around me.  Also my mind is more clear because my house is more organized.  So crazy how physical clutter causes clutter in my mind.
  5. I need structure and routine, and so do my kids.  They asked for the checklists.  The boys’ behavior has improved dramatically.
  6. Ethan got in big trouble at school on Tuesday.  I didn’t freak out about it. I decided in that moment that I need to be more firm with him.  I have been wavering because I have worried about his mental health, but I have determined that wavering is not good for him.  He needs to know what’s expected and that there are consequences when he doesn’t follow those expectations.  He was grounded from all electronics and friends for a week and that truly affected him.  He knows that next time it will be longer and we can always add more consequences.  He is going to counseling today to work on his anger management.  That’s his biggest issue.

…Life is hard, but God is good!