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

More Organization and Update

This weekend and yesterday I worked a little more on my bonus room.  It is where I want it for now :-).  I want to eventually do some painting in there but it’s fine at the moment.  It’s cozy and practical all in one.  I spent a total of $39 on the room.  Curtains ($20, Walmart), desk lamp ($6, Family Dollar), curtain rods ($8, Family Dollar), and prints ($5, Dollar Tree)

I also changed a few things around in my bedroom and moved some canvases from my room to Karis’ room because it fits better in there.

I want to get some curtains for my bedroom :-).  One thing at a time.

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On another note…

Robert shot another deer last week.  So we have gotten about 70lbs of axis venison in the past couple of months.  Of course, we have gone through it pretty fast :-). We currently have 26lbs of ground, 3 roasts (10lbs worth), a package of tenderloin (about a pound), 3 large backstraps (at least 9lbs worth), and 4lbs of stew meat.

I love my food storage :-).

 

I am worn out.  I have been going, going, going for weeks now and the night before last I only got 3 1/2 hours of sleep.  Today I slept a lot.  I hate sleeping during the day.  I’m so worried that I’m going to be depressed again.  I try to fight it.  But sometimes I just can’t.  So I allowed myself to rest today.  I’m hoping I sleep well tonight and that tomorrow is better.

I just cannot go back to sleeping all day every day.

I’m a little worried that maybe I’ve been hypomanic and that I’m headed back down again.  But I cannot base anything on one bad day.  So tomorrow I will try to get up early again (when they kids get up) and see how I do!

I am still struggling to come up with things to write about.  I have a beautiful space now to write in, and I just stare at my computer.  I want to type up a bunch of my recipes, write about my journey/story, talk about sobriety, discuss mental illness, friendship, loving who I am, self care, etc and I just can’t seem to get started!  I guess I’ll try again tomorrow!

What are some things that you would like to see more of?  That might help give me some inspiration/motivation!

Finally Thriving, Not Just Surviving

The past 2 weeks have been long and stressful and amazing.  I was in town 10 times in those 2 weeks (either Kerrville or Rocksprings).  Karis broke her arm and we went to urgent care on Monday the 9th, Karis started school on the 10th, choir was on the 11th, we went to the orthopedic doctor on the 12th, the 14th we went to Wild Seed Farms and Robert and I had a date day (amazing day!!!!!), the 15th we went to the Alumni meeting at La Hacienda and I got my 1 year chip (and we picked up the kids), the 16th I went to AA (and Robert took Ethan to the ER that night for asthma), the 17th I went to town to get Ethan’s steroid med filled, the 18th was choir, the 19th Karis met with her partner for science fair at the library, and Friday Ethan and I went to the doc for a follow up and we got groceries.  The urgent care, ER, and doctors were not good (well, the docs and stuff were great but having to go wasn’t good), but the rest was!  And I’m really starting to feel better.  I’m having a few physical symptoms that I’m not sure about, but I’m still just taking it one day at a time.  I might go back to the doctor eventually.  It’s nothing extreme.  And tomorrow I will see my psychiatrist.  That’ll be good!  I don’t think I really need to make any changes.  I feel like things are going better and while I do have anxiety still, I don’t want to take more meds and I think it’s just something I have to live with.  I’ve learned a lot of coping skills and put those into place when I’m struggling.  Things are going well for the first time in a long time!

Tuesday we had “HAF (Home Away From) Homes.”  This is time with our gap year students (well, 3 of them).  We share with our neighbors who we love deeply.  It’s such a sweet time!

Friday was so fun.  I had an entire day with Ethan.  The appointment with the doctor went super well.  We got all of his asthma meds refilled and we’re going to focus on getting him completely stable in that area.  He got a flu shot.  Then we got donuts and got some blood work done to see what he’s allergic to.  We got groceries (I spent very little and am so proud of myself!) and we got Halloween costumes.  Then went to eat at a Chinese restaurant (Ethan’s choice).

This past weekend was so productive.

Saturday I cleaned the house nearly spotless.  It has been a long time coming!  I have just been having the kids clean it and obviously that means that things weren’t being cleaned super well. So I deep cleaned the bathrooms.  I cleaned the floors.  I cleaned and organized my bedroom (desperately needed to be done… I had piles everywhere).  I got caught up on laundry.  Washed some sheets (I need to finish that this week), and washed towels and bathroom mats.  The kids cleaned their rooms (not spotless, but good enough for now).  I did the dishes and cleaned the kitchen.

After the kids cleaned, they enjoyed time with their friends and Levi enjoyed time reading fall and Halloween books that I pulled out :-).  At the end of the day we watched a movie as a family (Spiderwick Chronicles… so good!).

Sunday I did a bunch of food prep!  Mini whole wheat pumpkin banana muffins.  Homemade whole wheat bread (though it didn’t rise real well).  I made lunches for 4 days.  I bagged snacks.  Cut cantaloupe.  Cut veggies for the veggie tray.  Froze pumpkin in candy molds for smoothies.

The kids were out playing with friends this whole time.  The boys went fishing in the river.  Karis played with her friends.  I love that they have each other!

Robert worked, then he had to go pick up the camp jeep because it broke down.

At the end of the day I did a quick pick up of the house, finished the dishes, set the coffee up for the next day, signed the kids folders, and did a little bit of spot sweeping.  I went to bed exhausted and fell asleep pretty quickly!  It was so great!

I really think having all three kids in school is the best for our family.  I feel so much better mentally/emotionally.  The kids are thriving.  Karis is actually doing so much better this time.  She feels somewhat stressed, but she’s handling it very well.  I encourage her constantly and she has amazing teachers.  She’s making A’s and B’s!  A 100 in science and even an 86 in math!  This is HUGE, especially since she came in late in the school year.  Also, she’s doing well writing with her left hand since her write arm has a cast on it!

Yesterday I went to AA (always amazing!), then I had a nice lunch on the patio of Chili’s afterwards.  Then Walmart, then home!  We had dinner with friends last night.  It was so amazing!

I always get my Sonic Coke Zero with lime before AA.  And there’s a dollar there because they take up donations to pay for the fee for using the building, material, etc.  That’s my AA Big Book.  We read “How It Works” last week and this week.  It’s my favorite chapter in the book.  It tells you how to work the 12 steps.

The burger was a Smokehouse Cheeseburger.  It had a special sauce, crumbled bacon, 2 amazing onion rings, and all the veggies.  It was so amazing, and of course I love their fries.

Today I’m hosting ladies’ Bible study here.  It’s always a sweet time of fellowship.

Life is good!!  Praise God for this!!

Happy Monday!


My day started at 5:15.  I love waking up early these days.  I got up, made coffee, woke up the boys, helped them get ready, did my Bible study, planned my day, ate breakfast, and did dishes all before 8:30.

I hung some stuff up in the school room.  I found a map and decided to hang a frame to make less white space.  It feels more cozy now.

We did school (mostly independent but I worked with her on some things such as writing, grammar, and spelling).

 

I did my AA step work for the day and read handouts and listened to audios from my dietitian.

Next up is online AA.

Lots of hard work and self care!

What is your plan for this beautiful Monday?  How will you take good care of yourself?

A Sunday Well Spent and Coming Up This Week!

We didn’t go to church today because Robert is working and we really can’t afford to drive this week (we had about $300 worth of medical expenses this pay check plus counseling, gas, groceries, etc).  Life is expensive.  Especially with mental illness (or any illness for that matter).  I’m looking forward to less expenses this coming check.  We can get through!

The kids touched up the house again and we got caught up on laundry.  I made a big pot of oatmeal for Karis and I this week (she is now gluten free so we have to find whole grains for fiber that aren’t wheat).

I spent most of my time today finishing up lesson plans and organizing binders.  I also enjoyed some time looking at Teachers Pay Teachers for writing and reading curriculum.  It was fun :-).

I’m so excited about the writing and spelling that I have bought (and the reading that I had previously bought).

The spelling is very simple, but that’s exactly what I wanted.  It’s a menu of options for practicing the words on the page.  It was only $2 for an entire year.  Well, we’ll just stop whenever Karis has gone through the whole thing (since we are starting in March, we’ll just continue it after summer).

The writing is my favorite part!!!  I bought a 5th grade informative writing bundle and a narrative writing bundle!  They are so amazing!  I have struggled with writing all along as I’ve homeschooled and this is exactly what I wanted.  I let Karis decide what we are starting, and it will be informative.  This is a research paper (5 paragraph)!  She has never done one, I don’t think.  I already bought 6th grade informative and narrative bundles, and I will be buying argumentative, poetry, and writing a novel bundles!  I have decided that we will just use these formats from now on.  I think she’s going to do really well with them.

I’m also excited about the simple grammar that I bought (decided against what I had from TpT).  It’s called Easy Grammar and it’s just that… easy and grammar.  I printed the sample lesson for this week!

Karis told me this afternoon (while looking through her binder) that she wants to start today!  She doesn’t want to wait till tomorrow :-).

Through planning our history (Story of the World Volume One) the past few days, I’m super excited about it and think that we may actually keep using this instead of moving to Notgrass in the fall.  We’ll see!  I think it’s more what Karis will like because it’s written in story form and has lots of fun activities to go with it.

We’re also going to do morning time again (Bible study, devotional, and poetry memorization) and art.

Karis is excited about it all.

In my binder I have the lesson plans for writing (obviously these were written for classroom teachers, but I will make it work for homeschool):

These are in her binder:

Reading

Writing

Math (this level is WAY too easy for her, but she doesn’t have a good grasp of long division so I went backwards… she should breeze through it and on her level soon!)

Grammar

For some reason my pictures of the spelling and history (maps) won’t load.  The history is just maps and spelling you can see by clicking the spelling link above.

She will have 3 notebooks: A reading response journal, a writing journal, and a history journal.

She and I are both ready!

Robert will be heading to Rocksprings in the morning before I leave to withdraw her.

Her teacher responded to my email and was very supportive and thinks we’re doing what’s best for her.

She’s excited that she still gets to do choir.  She’ll get to see her friends there.

She also has friends here, so she will have plenty of chance for socialization.

I’ll update in the next few days about how things have gone!  Check back!

Self Care Saturday and Planning for Summer!

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Typically I spend Saturdays preparing for the week ahead, but I’ve decided to spend today just taking care of myself and my family.

I slept till about 9:30 this morning.  It was wonderful.  Then I had breakfast and coffee.

I woke up feeling so much better today after a rough several days.  I was feeling almost suicidal yesterday I was feeling so bad.  It’s so easy to allow thoughts to get me depressed.  I need to work on that!

 

Robert and I got the kids up and moving to get their chores done (clean the house).  They dusted, swept, vacuumed, cleaned bathrooms, cleaned their rooms, folded and put away their laundry, did the dishes (unloaded and loaded dishwasher), and cleaned the living areas.  They got to earn some of the things from the treasure box that they’ve been wanting.

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There’s all sorts of fun stuff in this box.  Candy, Jeep cars (for Ethan), Star Wars hot wheels (for Levi), emojis, Shopkins (for Karis… she hasn’t outgrown these yet), and some other treats.  They get the big stuff after they get 15 stickers.  Candy is 5 stickers.  They’re learning to save up for what they really want.  Levi wasn’t willing to save up so he used his 5 stickers for candy.  I was going to be paying them money, but they prefer the treasure box!

We had an easy lunch, and now I’m just having coffee, listening to Bethel Music, next to my “peaceful waters” candle.

I have been chatting with a few friends.  I have been missing homeschooling SO much and I got a few ideas from friends about how to incorporate some things into our schedule to make learning fun for the kids and to kind of get some of my homeschooling fix.  We will have “Sunday Science Night.”  I will make a point to make sure we do our read alouds and devotional readings at night.  I just got a new devotional: Exploring Grace Together: 40 Devotionals for the Family.  

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Karis and I are starting a new mommy/daughter devotional: Between Us Girls: Walks and Talks for Moms and Daughters.

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I also have plans for summer.

I ordered Summer Bridge Activity books, Reading Journals, and we will do science labs from Apologia.  We will have a weekly library time and will play at the park in Rocksprings.

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This afternoon I’m making dinner for a sweet family here that had a baby recently.  Can’t wait to get some baby snuggles!  Whole roasted chicken and roasted veggies (with salad).  I like cooking for others.  I think the fam and I will have sausage and cabbage in the instant pot.

Tomorrow is church!

What are you doing for self care this weekend?

Happy Monday!

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When I was working, I would dread Mondays.  Working brought me terrible panic attacks and anxiety.  I would feel anxiety every single day.  All day.  I felt like a terrible teacher because of it.

Now I feel excited about a new week.  Every day is peaceful.  I go to town once a week now (well two if you count church).

Mondays are the day that I go to town.  Today I will have coffee with my sponsor, go to women’s AA Big Book meeting, then do EMDR with my counselor.  I will be picking the kids up from my dad (they spent the weekend there).  Robert is out of town till Thursday so we will keep things simple.  Tonight we will have leftovers for dinner.

I will share how EMDR went tomorrow.

My self care is all of the above as well as taking my meds and supplements and eating all meals.

What are your plans for the day?  How will you take good care of yourself?

Raising a Self-Disciplined Child

For the past several weeks/month I have been doing a lot of things for the kids including making their beds; cleaning their rooms (ish); washing, drying, folding, and putting away their laundry; and loading the dishwasher.  I do all of this because I’m home and it seems easier for me to take care of everything (especially since they aren’t home much).

Robert and I have been talking and he is worried that I’m enabling them by doing so much for them, and he’s right.

I got this book at the library yesterday; I just started reading it and I’m already motivated!

Raising a Self-Disciplined Child: Help Your Child Become More Responsible, Confident, and Resilient.

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Today I decided to update their chore charts and start sticker charts for chores.  For every sticker they will receive $0.20.  So they will receive $1-2 a week.  Their chore charts reflect what needs to be done, but some chores won’t be done every day.  They will not receive money for homework.  It’s just on there because they like to be able to check things off :-).

I hope to teach them some money management through this.  I don’t want them to grow up like me and spend every cent that they have.  I want to teach them to save, give, and spend what’s left.  Ethan takes after me in many ways, including how he spends money (but he chooses to do extra chores often to have more money).  Karis and Levi don’t really spend.

This is our updated multi-purpose “hub.”  It has our meal planning, events calendar (for the month), chore charts, and sticker charts.  Below it are baskets.  One is for backpacks and one is for library books and it has my lunch box in it.

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I imagine that I’ll learn a lot more as I read.  Ultimately, I have good kids.  They have their days, but when I ask them to do something they don’t argue (well most of the time).  They have good behavior at school.  They are polite.  They include kids that need to be included.  They work hard.  They eat what’s given to them (sometimes they try to get out of it, but they do it).  They do their homework without a fight.  They read more than they have to.

I just want to teach them to be more responsible.

It’ll be good!

In the evenings we have a routine.  They shower (every other day).  We read out of a book (right now we’re reading Wayside Stories) and we sing and pray.  I plan to start reading a Bible book that I got when I was homeschooling called Who Is God? (And Can I Really Know Him?).  I had given it to a neighbor and she’s not using it, so I decided to start it again.

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Life is good.  I’m feeling completely at peace about the final decisions we have made for the kids.  I love the school, the teachers, the kids, and the parents.  I love that they have the opportunities that they do because they go to school there.  I love that they get free meals :-).  I love that they don’t have a ton of homework.  I love that they are thriving!  I went to the school yesterday for their choir and am just so impressed with everything!  The library is amazing.  We made the right decision.  Now I can just learn to live every day here inviting people over, making meals for people, and taking good care of myself!

Simplifying and Organizing

People think that I’m super organized.  And in a lot of ways, I am.  My living area stays clean.

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I have a meal planning “hub” and calendar in my kitchen.  The kids’ backpacks have a place to go and there is an organized basket of books in the kitchen as well (for the boys).

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In the kitchen is a cabinet with our crafts and supplies.

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I have a household notebook to plan my day, help me stay on top of the daily/weekly chores, budget, plan for grocery shopping, etc.

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The boys’ rooms are pretty organized.  They aren’t spotless, but they wouldn’t take but 15 minutes to clean and organize.

The two rooms that need help are Karis’ room and our bedroom.  Karis is a disorganized, creative type.  Our room is a “catch all” for everything that doesn’t have a place.

I have put this off long enough.  For the most part, we are pretty simple.  We have a  small house so we don’t have a lot of unnecessary stuff.  But we have accumulated more over the past almost 2 years and it’s time to simplify and organize again.  So that’s my plan over the next few weeks.

My dresser is a mess and so is Robert’s.

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I have so many clothes that no longer fit me, and I’m tired of holding onto them thinking that maybe one day they’ll fit.  I will go through them and give a lot of them away.

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Since we no longer have an office, our “office area” is in our room and is a mess.  Robert has books on the floor that don’t have a home.

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We have a ton of kid books that will probably never be read because they get books from their library (they do a program called Accelerated Reader in which they test and get points).  I will keep some, but I need to go through them.  I have an exercise ball that I never use.

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I have curriculum to sell still and a wreath to hang.  Yarn and crochet hooks still in a Walmart bag that I need to learn how to use.

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Karis’ room is a MESS.  Stuff everywhere.  Her walls are covered with stuff.  Her closet has stuff falling out of the shelves.  She has a bucket of old toys that she hasn’t played with in over a year (she has outgrown toys!).  Her shelves are full of junk; her dresser, desk, and vanity are all full of junk.  It’s time!  We are going to buy her a new comforter and sheets and simplify the stuff on her walls (for her birthday). It’s going to be so good to help her start out her pre-teen years (well I guess she has already started them, but she’s about to be 11).

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She has a hard time sleeping and she gets overwhelmed in her room.  It’s time to solve that.  I really think it’s going to help.

I’m looking forward to having a clean, organized, simple household.  It will help everyone.

Weekend Prep, January 15th

Yesterday was great.  I spent time on my household notebook… updated our budget page, made my own daily plan page (because the daily docket that I used had quite a bit on it that didn’t apply to me), and updated my routine page (to reflect the changes that I made to my week!).

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I normally do prep on Saturdays, but Robert is working this weekend, so I decided to take the kids out to a movie and dinner yesterday.  It was a blast!  I’m so glad I did.

After the movie (Sing!), we went to Chili’s.  I had a fantastic dinner of ribs with a dry rub, steamed broccoli, salad, and a mini dessert (all for $10!).

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I went to HEB and decided to stock up on coffee because it is only $2.98 each right now!  And I got another 12 pack of La Croix and HEB Coke Zero.  I am set until next paycheck!  I shouldn’t have to buy anything else!

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I updated my variable budget log when I got home.  I think I’m going to move some grocery money over to misc because I won’t spend all of that grocery money and have some more misc things coming up.

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Since we went to town yesterday, we aren’t going to church today (I can’t afford to drive to town any more than I do… it’s about $20-25 every time).  We will go next week!

Because we were in town yesterday, I prepped for the week today!

I woke up super early and couldn’t go back to sleep, so I spent some time doing the dishes and cleaning the living area.  I also got the veggies out to wash and cut for the next two weeks (yes, they mostly last that long in containers in the fridge).

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After that, I planned my day.

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I spent time in the word and prayed in my prayer journal.

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After most of my family woke up, I got to work.

I prepped by cutting veggies (and strawberries), (Robert) made Kodiak power cakes (pancakes made with whole grains and protein… I was going to make Green Smoothie Power Cakes but their website is all messed up!), I made instant pot “boiled eggs, and I baked whole wheat bread.  I also made breakfast taco filling.

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I also pulled some banana chocolate chip power cake muffins out of the freezer for the week (they are great for on the road as snacks and a quick breakfast).

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I made homemade Greek yogurt (best batch yet… nice and thick!) during the week this time around, and we still have some homemade granola.

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The kids “cleaned” their rooms (they don’t do the best job, but I’m learning to let it go) while I prepped, and Ethan cleaned their bathroom for a $1 :-).

I organized our fridge a little bit to fit all of my prepped foods!

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Next I will do a little bit of work on my blog, clean our bathroom, clean the floors, and make my bed.  I ended up missing online AA because I was too busy.  Prepping took longer than I planned (well, I also organized the fridge and I hadn’t planned on doing that).  It’s okay.  My goal is AA in town twice a week and online AA twice a week!

I will continue working on laundry until it is caught up.

Dinner will be fish tacos and homemade coleslaw.  Looking forward to it!