Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Eve

The boys were excited to be able to open their pajama presents tonight as it is time for bed.

They all eagerly await the blessings that God has provided them tomorrow. G1 and G3 will get home for brunch and then we will have a devotion on the birth of Jesus as we do every year.

This year we are going to have the french toast casserole for brunch. For supper Nana, Papa and Uncle Marc are coming over. And anybody else that wants.

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

G1 & G3's Christmas Song

G1 & G3 had a little short Christmas performance last night at our local library. Their band director was the special guest and he invited several of the bands students to play. It was quaint. For the students there was the experience of playing for an audience outside of school. For the audience, we were able to see up and coming talent. This is G1's 6th year on the clarinet and G3's 3rd year on the tenor sax, she also played the alto sax for 2 years. Hope you enjoy! Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Strength and Peace

From Charles Spurgeon's "Faith's Checkbook"
Gift of Strength; Peace to Bless December 7

The Lord will give strength unto his people; the Lord will bless his people with peace. (Psalm 29:11)

David had just heard the voice of the Lord in a thunderstorm and had seen His power in the hurricane whose path he had described; and now, in the cool calm after the storm, that overwhelming power by which heaven and earth are shaken is promised to be the strength of the chosen. He who wings the unerring bolt will give to His redeemed the wings of eagles; He who shakes the earth with His voice will terrify the enemies of His saints and give His children peace. Why are we weak when we have divine strength to flee to? Why are we troubled when the Lord's own peace is ours? Jesus, the mighty God, is our strength; let us put Him on and go forth to our service. Jesus, our blessed Lord, is also our peace; let us repose in Him this day and end our fears. What a blessing to have Him for our strength and peace both now and forever!

That same God who rides upon the storm in days of tempest will also rule the hurricane of our tribulation and send us, before long, days of peace. We shall have strength for storms and songs for fair weather. Let us begin to sing at once unto God, our strength and our peace. Away, dark thoughts! Up, faith and hope!

From the Faith's Checkbook Mobile Devotional Android app -

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Getting Ready for Christmas

Sitting down after a busy weekend of holiday preparations. Decorating the house because we did not get it done Thanksgiving weekend. Doing the needed shopping. And the list goes on.

This past Thursday we were able to enjoy B1 and the rest of 4th and 5th grade give a holiday choir concert. It was cute and he sang his heart out. I was not in a good place for pictures considering the school could use a bit of an expansion.

This week the high school band (G1 & G3) perform Tuesday, the choir (G1) performs Thursday and the band marches in the Christmas parade on Saturday. It is good to be busy though, makes us appreciate the quiet times more.

The kids are also excited because we do a special devotion on St. Nicholas eve. We do this so that they understand where the myth of the man in the red suit comes from. For our family this works best. B3 with his thought process and G2 and B1 having problems separating fact and fiction prevents the 'typical' santa approach. We want the kids to understand that God is our provider and Jesus was and is God's gift to us. Our Christmas presents are brought by Jesus.

What do you do for Christmas and the holiday season?

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

I am going to be honest and admit that I wish we were having a huge family get together at some point this weekend, but we aren't. We are having a Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow with two thirds of our immediate family. G1 and G3 are with their dad for the holiday.

I have decided to look at things positively. It's the only way really. This year has been rather difficult with the wreck back in June and myself and hubs going to the chiropractor and such to attempt to get back to where we were six months ago.

  • We get to enjoy a small family dinner at home.
  • Do not have to rush out to all the sales Friday morning.
  • Get to enjoy a long weekend around the house cleaning, organizing, and possibly decorating.
Of course these things can be looked at as positive or negative. I am choosing to be positive. We will spend quality time together as a family. And that is a good thing.

I am thankful that my kids are healthy.
I am thankful that my husband is responding well to medical treatment after the wreck.
I am thankful that God provided us with a replacement vehicle after the wreck.
I am thankful that I was able to continue school this semester. It has been trying, but worth it.
I am thankful that I won't be stressed out on Friday morning with all the Black Friday shopping.
I am thankful that our future is bright.

I pray you all have a blessed Thanksgiving. Remember to be thankful in all things.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

G1 is growing up!

G1 in front of the Library at O'More
This past weekend reality kicked in. My precious G1 visited her first college as a prospect. I did not realize it would affect me as much as it did.

G1 will be 17 next week! She's a junior in high school already. Aside from the whole thought process of myself not being old enough to have a child this old, she is looking into going to college. Where has time gone to?

We visited O'More College of Design in Franklin, Tennessee this past Saturday. It is a beautiful campus and I was ready to see about transferring there myself. The Visual Communications Department is very inspiring. Creativity abounds on the downtown campus.

The department chair was very friendly and encouraging. The workshop we attended was for the students to build their portfolios and it was free.

As I said, we loved the campus and the potential. It was beautiful.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

French Toast Casserole

bb 228My kiddos could not wait for breakfast this morning! Not that I blame them. I must thank my friend Jen for posting the recipe on Facebook a week or two ago.

It really is delicious, and we made it dairy free so B3 was able to enjoy it too.

There are customizations that you can do to the recipe too that makes it even better.


1 loaf French bread(10 oz.) cut up into 1” cubes
8 eggs
3 cups milk (we used Almond Milk)
4 tsp. Sugar
1 tsp. Vanilla extract
3/4 tsp. Salt (optional)


2 TBSP Butter cubed
3 TBSP Sugar
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
Maple Syrup (optional… I used powdered sugar)

1. Place bread cubes in a greased 13x9x2 pan.
2. In mixing bowl, beat eggs, milk, sugar, vanilla, and salt (if desired).
3. Pour over the bread cubes making sure to cover all the bread.
4. Cover and Refrigerate for 8 hours. (This is REQUIRED)
5. Remove from fridge 30 minutes before baking.
6. Dot with butter. Combine cinnamon and sugar. Sprinkle mixture over the top.
7. Cover and bake at 350’ for 45-50 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean.
8.Let rest for 5 minutes before serving. Can be served with maple syrup or powdered sugar.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Boys will be Boys

B2(8), B3(6), B1(9) after school one day
As parents to three very different boys, it can be quite trying at times to get them all to get along. (the girls not so much) They are so close in age that they end up being around each other all the time. Let's face it, sometimes siblings need alone time.

While our boys have a lot in common (Hot Wheels, Transformers, Card Games, etc), they have very different personalities. B2, the tallest in the group, is compassionate and submissive as long as he is happy. B3, our angle boy, with his list of diagnosis we have to work with him because he processes differently than the other two. Then B1, he has a HUGE sense of justice. And he let's us know if B2 got one more cheerio in the bowl at breakfast.

We are continuously learning how to raise our boys as we go.

It is very difficult to teach one that because he is older he is more accountable for his behavior, when the younger one is doing the exact thing. Both are corrected, don't get me wrong. It's like when B1 grabs a crayon from B3 and B3 grabs it back. The both of them are corrected because we do not grab things, but B1 has to step away because he is older and should know better.

How do you handle discipline with your kids? Do you have this type of situation?

Friday, October 21, 2011

Dancing of the Leaves...

As the leaves are falling around us, I notice the passage of time.
What feels like merely minutes, has been days, if not weeks.
As our children grow and our bodies age,
Sometimes we just have to focus on family.


Sorry I have been scattered. I am working on a few posts now, so hopefully we will get it back in gear. :)

Monday, September 05, 2011

Laboring Away…

It is very easy to get caught up in the day to day activities to the point that we are constantly busy. Especially when you add in fatigue and doctors appointments.

These last few months have been a drain emotionally, I keep wondering when things will get better and have no idea when.

Our family keeps thinking that maybe next week things will get back to normal. Only next week comes and dad is still suffering from pain and fatigue, mom’s migraines are horrid and they make her cranky. Yet, the kids still have band, jrotc, taekwondo, friends, and such so we have to press on. And somehow we do.

blackberry 072The hardest part is when the kids talk about how “Last year you were at the games” and “Are we doing belt testing yet?” then there is also, “I don’t understand why y’all didn’t come to the (fill in the blank)”. Life is not fair and we are re-learning that as we go. It’s hard sometimes.

I would love to go about life the way we did, but you know… in retrospect, I think God is using this wreck that could have killed any of us to open our eyes. Just not a hundred percent sure as to what yet.

What I do know is that we are blessed and I keep focusing on the good. Things are slowly working out. Hubs and I are making progress in recovering, we are very hopeful in the steps we are taking right now and just praying we stay on God’s path.

Just remember, sometimes looking back helps you to see how far God has brought you.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Back to School Backpack Organization

Having half a dozen kids in school can make it tricky when it comes to keeping the homework and backpacks where we can find them.

We have left the teens to their own devices on this one -mostly because they should know better by now.

Our three boys are in 1st, 3rd, and 4th grade and they are more focused on playing than keeping their school supplies together. We have realized this was going to be a major problem two weeks into the school year so we came up with a solution.

In our 'mud' room (laundry room technically with the back door in it) we hung up a coat rack for their backpacks and enough hooks for them to also hang their jackets when it gets cooler. We are on day three and it already seems to be making things so much better for them..

Monday, August 22, 2011

Team Work: Not an Option

B1 & B2 working together
A family is very much a good synonym for a team.

Think about it. A healthy, functional family works together. They are a team. The kids do chores and help out around the house. The parents are involved in the kids lives but there is still room for them to breath.

Now, I know this does not always happen. Frankly, in our home it rarely happens. It is an issue that we have had to face many times and it is mostly because we are a blended family. It only takes one person to rock the boat if you know what I mean. One child decide they are not going to do their part and next thing you know, nobody wants to do anything.

As our family has matured we have tried many different ways to keep the team work alive. It is a struggle with teens that want to do their own thing. We are looking for inspiration with the teens. Their main motivation is electronics and money, neither of which happen to adequately available for them.

When the girls were younger and even with the boys, a chore chart worked wonderfully. Listing the chores and then putting stars by the ones completed on the day they were done. Then at the end of the week, add the stars up to see what incentives were earned. Which, the incentives do not have to be costly. You can make an incentive chest and fill it with pinata filler toys rather inexpensively. (We avoid rewarding with food 98% of the time.)

We have thought about purchasing giftcards from our local Kroger that way we earn the fuel points from purchasing the cards and end up saving money on gas (which we REALLY need to do with the Expedition).

The other thing we have done is tickets. Each chore earns a ticket and then there are things the kids can do that cost tickets. (i.e. 3 tickets = 30 minutes TV, 10 tickets = trip to the playground, 30 tickets = movie theater, etc)

When the family is on the same page the results are wonderful! There are days that all the kids are eager to help out Mom and Dad, and those days are great.

How do you get your family to work together?

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Heavenly Peace

Have you had those moments where you are almost positive that the situation will not end well but then a complete sense of peace comes over you? That is how I wish I always felt. That complete sense of peace, knowing not an ounce of fear and knowing that the Lord God Almighty has everything in control.

There has been a few times in my life when I have felt that encompassing peace. Yet, the Lord has not given us a spirit of fear. (2 Timothy 1:7) It makes us question why it is so easy to be anxious and afraid.

When our family was in a really bad wreck. It was one of those incidents where all of a sudden everything seemed to slow down and that quick scream of "Oh God!" translated to "Oh heavenly Father, protect my family Lord please!" and the answer was instant peace.

The days and weeks after the wreck as my mind processed everything that happened and how the kids were doing. This is when I realized that our youngest has God's peace all the time. To him the worst part of the wreck was that our vehicle is no longer red because we had to get a different one. This is our same child that can not wait to go to heaven so he can see Jesus face to face. (He DOES NOT want to die, he just wants to go to heaven.) I have realized that the reason B3 does not have the fear is peace God has given him the peace and he holds on to that peace.

God wants us to have His Heavenly Peace all the time though, not just in life and death situations.

I keep reminding myself that if I can change things then change them according to God's will, if I can't worrying or being afraid is not going to do anything but waste my time and energy. What do I mean by "according to God's will"? It means stay in the Word and be prayed up so that I, or you, know what His Will is.

Be blessed!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Early to Bed, Early to Rise

This week is our getting ready for the new school year week. You know, when the sleep schedule gets re-adjusted for school.

It has been quite difficult this year to get the schedule on track. We had attempted to reset last week and came up short. Of course, isn't that why we start adjusting before school starts? That way the kids will have one less adjustment on the first day of school.

Being early to rise has had its share of problems. Hubs gets up super early for work and I am having sleep problems, so it is easy to turn off the alarm for when the kids should be getting up.

The one thing we have been consistent with is bedtime. The boys (9,7,6) go to bed at 8 and G1&3 go to bed at 9 although they like to push it towards 10. G2 is our only middle schooler this year so she gets 8:30 right now. Now if only the cats would comply. Haha!

What time do your kids go to bed? Do you keep sleep schedules the same all year long or relax during summer break?

Monday, July 25, 2011

How Ya Doing?

How ya doing? Simple question right? Simple question without a simple answer.

Since the wreck on Father's Day I have had many people ask me how I am. To be honest? I don't know.

Physically. I think I'm doing pretty good. The hematoma on my leg has gone down some. Still can't wear my tennis shoes though. I am still achy in my back and hips but I think on most days it is getting better. I only have unexplained migraines on the days I don't get at least six hours of sleep. (So I guess they are explained huh?)

Emotionally? I have a lot of anxiety if I am in a vehicle smaller than an Expedition. I have flashbacks and nightmares of the wreck. I blame myself for the injuries that my husband is having to work through. I am grumpy, I blame the fact of me not writing because I lost my glasses in the wreck and I don't read to relax for the same reason.

Spiritually my soul sings. God saved us from being injured worse. God has provided us with a replacement vehicle. The four kids that were in the wreck with us are fine aside from one or two concerned about being in another wreck.

My concerns come in when people think my husband is fine. He's not. He has uncontrollable tremors when he gets stressed, fatigued, or hot. He is on medication to help with it so he could go back to work but he has a long road. I wish people could understand the extent of the damage brain trauma can cause and it takes a lot of time to heal. We believe that God is healing him, it's just taking time.

So, how ya doing?

Monday, July 11, 2011

Life Can Change In an Instant, Are You Prayed Up?

On an ordinary Father's Day with only the intent to run in to the city for a nice dinner we were unaware of how our evening would be spent.

As we prepared to leave the house I said my customary prayer asking God to put angels around us to protect us. (We have seen many near misses in traffic, plus going into the city tends to put us more at risk) One year when two of the kids were going through some things we all memorized Psalms 91:11 'And the Lord will command His angels to watch over you'. As a family, we have held on to this verse.

It was to be a 45 minute drive from the house to the restaurant we were going to eat at. When we were not even ten minutes away a car did a u-turn in front of us. We were doing the speed limit in an Expedition, they were in a Saturn. The only thing that can explain what happened is that angels protected us. The collision hit in the 'right' spot to prevent an explosion or instant death. Neither vehicle flipped. An eyewitness described the driver of the Expedition to have 'cat like reflexes' in regard to the accident. My opinion is that the angels watching over us moved the truck.

We still are praying for the girls in the Saturn. We don't know how they are, but we pray that they know Jesus.

The four of our children that were with us are doing well. G2 had seatbelt bruising and bruised her arm when the truck spun. The boys had seatbelt burn. We praise God for this, He protected all of us.

Hubs and myself are still dealing with our injuries, but the Lord is with us.

So, before you go anywhere or do anything... Are you prayed up?

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Happy 4th of July!

Our family would like to wish your families a very Happy Independence Day. May you all stay safe and enjoy this time of family and friend gatherings.

We pray the Lord protect you.
- The Johnsons

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Please Pray

Those that have kept up with us on Twitter know that we were involved in a bad car wreck Sunday evening.
I ask all of our friends and family to please pray for the teen girls that were in the car. They are young and one is fighting for her life. It just shows how one mistake can change the entire life of an individual.

Myself and hubs were banged up pretty good. He has a slight concussion and we both have bruising and soreness. G2 has soreness but being three days after she is feeling almost back to normal. We are praising God that the three boys have no injuries other than seatbelt burn on the neck.

Our family needs prayer for provision. Hubs is off work for the week. He does have vacation time to take as long as his boss let's him use it. We need a replacement vehicle that is compatible with the needs of our family. There is also a matter of our finances being covered. We live on a tight budget.

We believe that God is FAITHFUL and that He is our HEALER and our PROVIDER.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Quiet Around the House, nah... Not Really

This week our three girls are at Youth Camp. I made the mistake of thinking that it would result in having a quiet and non-eventful week. I can chuckle at myself for that now.

I did not take into consideration that B3 will not sleep in his room unless G3 is home. This means that he has been sleeping on a pallet in our room. Which is sweet, I understand the change up throwing him off. B3 is very schedule oriented to the extent that he gets in a routine and does not like to change out of that.

We have not done that much this week because it has been raining here and there and with B1 having summer school any trips to the lake or zoo have been nixed too. This leaves three little boys vying for attention and for some unknown reason deciding to not get along. Hubs noted that since the girls are away he thinks the boys are trying to make up for the lack of silliness. lol

B1 and B2 have gotten to do Tae Kwon Do with B3 twice this week and that is a treat for them. B2 found out he made All Stars with Baseball, those practices start tonight.

Overall it's been a laid back week, just having to intervene in the boys playing at higher intervals than normal.

Summer Fun :: Bowling

B3 and G3 getting ready to get some bowling on!
This past weekend we took a visit to our local bowling alley. We were able to do so because of the Kids Bowl Free program. We learned about Kids Bowl Free last year and discovered it was a great deal! 

With Kids Bowl Free, the kids get two FREE games of bowling. All we have to pay for is the shoe rental. Then, for just $24.95 we can add up to four adults and then we all get 2 games free every day of summer. 

The kids really enjoy the bowling. In order to keep our "sensory" kids happy, we go during the day so 
B3 bowling! WooHoo!
it's not too loud for them and they can have fun too.

 We really appreciate that for B3 he is able to use the ramp so he does not get worn out so fast. It's great family fun.

Kids Bowl Free have several participating centers all across the United States. So if you haven't already signed up with them, you should definitely look into it. has not provided any compensation for this post/review.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Summer Fun :: Eating

Tuesday Nights 5pm-close Kids eat free at Applebee's
The Applebee's in Dickson is running the Kids Eat Free on Tuesday Nights from 5pm to close. Limit 2 kids meals for each adult meal purchased.

Applebee's is also running the 2 for $20 special with select meals and includes an appetizer.

It would be very possible to eat for about $25 with a family of 6. *Don't forget drinks are not included with the adult meals.

Friday, June 10, 2011

That Time of Year Again

For those that "know" us or follow on Twitter, you know that we have two students in band at our local high school. There are always fundraisers to go with being in band and we participate in as many as we can because, as you can imagine... we like to stay cheap.

With that said, the first fundraiser for the 2011-2012 Marching Band Season is upon us.

We are selling Sonic Community First Value Cards. They are $10 a piece and have a value of $27. Of the $10 you spend, $5 goes to the student's band and trip fees while the other $5 goes into the general fund for the School Band.

If you are interested in purchasing the cards from us, please leave a comment with an email and I will get in contact with you. Thank you!

*we do expect to be selling the Smart Card in about a month also.

Do you "like" us? Please "like" us.

Did you know that we have a Facebook page? It's just one more way that we can interact with you!

We NEED at least 25 people to "like" us at our Facebook page in order to get our shortened URL. Would you help us do that? Go to and click like. And if you don't mind share with your friends!

As a reminder, most of our posts are family based and we also post about things going on in middle Tennessee.

You can also follow us on Twitter! Mom's Twitter name is @faithfullove

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Summer Fun :: Eating

$1.99 Happy Meals on Monday Tuesday and Wednesday
You might want to check your local McDonald's for this one. The one in White Bluff is running this while the one in Dickson is running this or cheaper.
We don't go to McDonald's a lot, but when we go, we look for a deal. Considering B3 always wants the Chicken Nuggets, this is a deal!
Plus, the McDonald's in White Bluff has an outside playground for the kids.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Summer Fun :: Swimming

One of the kids favorite things to do is to go swimming or just play in the creeks. Living in the country makes it easier since there are creeks everywhere it seems (gotta watch for snakes though!)

Last week we went to the swim area at Montgomery Bell State Park. The boys loved splashing around and playing, while the girls took in some sun.

For those in middle Tennessee, the park is on highway 70 in Dickson County. The swim area is free. Do remember it is a lake. There are fish and geese. You can bring a picnic, just no alcohol or glass containers.

We love going to the park because there are hiking trails, playgrounds, campground, creeks, etc. (Me and the hubs got married at the church there even!) It's a beautiful example of God's artistry.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Big Busy Weekend

This was a big BUSY weekend for our family.

G3 had her 8th grade prom Friday night. I got to chaperone since the storm hit right as we went in (I don't drive in storms and this one had hail). It was fun. They took tons of pictures.

Saturday the schedule got crazy!

B3 had his Tae Kwon Do testing at 11am. He was excited and anxious, and did good. His sparing looked great, he even blocked most hits. The moment that really tickled him was that he broke a board.

B2 had baseball rescheduled for 4. He did great playing 3rd base for the first time. At his third at bat he hit a double bringing in 2 runs and then got a run himself too. He was on cloud nine!

G1 and G3 had their band banquet. There was a lot of fun had by all! The high school band really has a lot of talent. G3 was excited because not only was she the only 8th grader to be in the marching band this year, her section was voted Outstanding Section. (Saxophones)

Leaving the band banquet early G3 had a softball game at 8. In. The. Rain. On. Muddy. Field. The teams rocked it. Our girls were ready and a real team. The opponent did good too. Playing the last inning due to time, we were at bat with a tied score. Two batters got on base and G3 was up. On the first pitch she hit an in the park game winning homerun!. (She's still on cloud nine)

Now, Sunday is our day of rest. Much needed rest.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Thankful for So Much

For those that read that April 17th post, you know it was rough here for a bit.

It always seems that when we are not prepared that everything bad that can happen does. The answer that I keep getting reminded about to this predicament? Be prepared.

There are many ways to be prepared though so I feel I should clarify. By being prepared, I mean to be prayed up. God is our provider. Our family has learned that so much and it seems we are much like the Israelites in forgetting about it at times. God will brings us through something and things go well for awhile, then something else happens and we freak out not knowing what to do.

Personally I have learned that God cares. He cares so much that He gave us a playbook. I can hear the sighs now, what play book? It's the Bible. An interesting thing about the book of God's Word, it is the Living Word. See, when you are prayed up and staying in the Word, the answers come to you. It's not like a crystal ball or magic. God reveals Himself in the Word.

To get back to the topic of this post? I am so very thankful that my freak out when crisis hit was short lived. Even in the middle of the freak out I was praising God that it He was taking care of it. He guided us to the right people to call and He reminded us how quickly payday was coming and He provided for all of our needs even when it looked like we were in trouble financially. 

I am also thankful that I survived another semester in college, and even managed to do better than I thought I would. It was a rough semester, but the Lord brought me through it.

Thinking about Motherhood

Being a mom is a privilege. Not everybody that wants to be a mom can, and not everybody that can be a mom wants to be. 

I remember when I was planning my life and my career that I had decided I was not going to have children; I was just going to go in the Navy and achieve my dream position in Norad. Obviously, “MY” plan for my life did not come about.  

When it came time to talk to my parents about what I was going to do once graduating high school I was told no to the Navy. The part that surprised me was that I listened. It may have been the only thing I listened about in those rocky teen years, but that obedience has put me where I am today.

I can honestly say that if somebody had told me seventeen years ago that I would have six children that call me mom and that I enjoyed it most of the time, I would have thought they were crazy.

Being a mom is not easy. There is the sleepless nights, the fixing boo boos, therapies (for special needs kids), sporting events, band concerts, being there when they are disappointed, and the list goes on. However, there are also snuggles and cuddles and the goofing off times that far outweigh the hard times.

While I can mope about not being a perfect mom, I choose not to. Instead, I choose to seize the day and enjoy my kids. And looking at my calendar, I will have many opportunities to do so!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

My terrible, rotten, no good, Praising God anyway day

This past Friday was a really bad day for me. I woke up with body aches and a migraine in which the meds that usually help took an extra long time to work. Slowly, I pressed on. Thankfully, my awesome husband got the kids moving and we were all getting ready for work/school. We ended up being rushed though and that's when things got complicated. As we were preparing to leave, B3 couldn't find the exact jacket that he wanted. We tried to talk him into another one but that just exasperated the little guy. (Quick reminder, B3 has Sensory Processing Disorder) B3 was not happy with the tension of having to hurry up and leave along with not getting the jacket he wanted.

My sweet 52 lb 6 year old went into a full meltdown that ended with him turning his gravity boots on and feeling like he weighed a ton.

G3 found the jacket and got B3 to calm down, a huge Praise God! My meds had started kicking in, another Praise God! This was not to be the end though.

I went to check and make sure the toilet water was clear because the boy cat likes to drink out of it and I notice its backed up and a funky color. Tried to clear it and it resulted in a mess I couldn't deal with while trying to get out the door. Saving specifics, I realized we had a blockage in the septic lines. I start crying as I walk out the door and call hubs since he had already left for work. (Also forgetting to grab breakfast or my water bottle)

Did I mention it was storming Friday morning??

I got the kids safely to school and was not too far of schedule for myself to get to school on time. Hubs said he would take off at lunch to see what he could do and we went from there.

I made a fast food stop for breakfast and then searched for a parking spot on campus. Just as I found a spot, the rain virtually stopped. Praise God I didn't have to walk to class in the pouring rain! Class even went well.

Things were turning around, we just had to figure out what to do with the septic. Another Praise God because Hubs had comp time built up and was able to take off and locate the blockage. Subsequently we found a local repair guy that would let us post date the check.

The moral of this experience is that even though things got stressful and chaotic, we still praised the Lord and it all worked out. Things are MUCH better today!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Updated:: Nashville Zoo pass... $12 discount!

Living in middle Tennessee one of the things that our family absolutely loves to do when the weather corporates is go to the zoo. This could be an expensive venture considering gas to get there, admission, parking, food, etc. However, if you get the pass, you save money after just two visits. (For our family it is cheaper to by the pass than to pay for all of us to get it.)

 The Nashville Zoo has several options for membership, I invite you to look them over. (Membership Levels) Pick out a level that works great for your family, and then... do the following when you sign up to get the $12 discount. I will list my reasons for buying a year pass below.

Use this code at the zoo or on the phone ROARR62647
For online orders the new member must enter
Promotional Code: ROARR
Member Number: 62647

This discount code is only good until May 31, 2011... so hurry! 

My family's reasons for purchasing the pass, and it's not just because of the costs!
  1. FREE admission and FREE parking (once you buy the pass)
    Admission = $14 adults, $9 kids 2-12, $12 seniors and $5 parking.
    Membership pays for itself in two visits
  2. Exclusive Member Nights 
  3. FREE admission to most Zoo events.
  4. 10% discount on food and gift shop purchases.
  5. And the boys, and the girls, favorite is the Jungle Gym
The Nashville Zoo is a wonderful attraction for tourists, locals, and especially home schoolers! There is an actual home school program that the zoo does for special trips (Home School Days). There are also camps and many other programs available.

Another thing to remember, if you are not a member it now costs $5 to park per vehicle. Members get free parking!

Use this code at the zoo or on the phone ROARR62647
For online orders the new member must enter
Promotional Code: ROARR
Member Number: 62647

This discount code is only good until May 31, 2011... so hurry! 

 If you get your Nashville Zoo pass quickly you can use it April 23 for the EggstravaganZoo! It's a big Easter celebration that puts ordinary Easter Egg hunts to a shame. (I could be partial) The Zoo egg hunt is also special needs friendly if you need to help your young child that has a special need.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Snow... Again? You Can't Be Serious

Isn't it a funny thing? Living in the south wishing we would get beautiful snow and never getting it....

Then all of a sudden it feels as if it is constantly snowing. Don't get me wrong, the area has only gotten about 12 inches of snow total. (For Nashville, at least) But the snow days. Our county has 11 built in and we have used them up. We have lost President's Day, an inservice day and 2 days off of Spring Break. Plus we are expecting significant (1-3inches) today.

Kind of reminds you of the old saying, "Be careful what you wish for."

The snow has given me something to think about though. There are many attitudes that there have been a few days where they shouldn't have closed school or should have started late. I see that those individuals do not take in the big picture.

Our county is good sized. This last snow fall the county ranged from .5-5". There are people that didn't get hardly anything to people that are still iced in. The district takes that in to account and acknowledges that it is safer for children to miss school and stay home.

My question is do you take in the big picture? or just how things affect you and your family?

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Anybody else having problems keeping their kids on a schedule?

Sounds a bit controlling perhaps, it really isn't. See, B1 and B3 both of sensory processing disorder. Plus, we have had eleven snows days eaten in the last six weeks. Mind you two of those weeks was Christmas Break.

Needless to say, my sweet and compliant little boys (*cough*) have been a little more difficult than normal. If you think about it, who wouldn't be? We have school, no we don't. It is indifferent if we keep the home schedule the same, because the school schedule is what is throwing them off.

It was not a surprise yesterday when we got notes from both of their teachers saying they were having the same problem. Neither of the boys were able to sit in class and do their work. B1 was getting up and walking around the class, distracting others. B3 was playing with the glue, crayons, and drawing. Neither of them were having a good day.

B1 was reprimanded by having to do his classwork during recess. (Not really sure how I feel there since recess is when he gets the tension out and activity usually brings him into focus.) Missing recess really upset him, after an emotional release he got his work done though. So in all he was handled pretty well.

B3 was not dealt with the same way. To be honest I am not sure what the teacher did. Her note stated that B3 wouldn't do his work unless she stood over him. We have similar issue at home where B3 wants to go play his DS or play robots with B2 or even read with G3.

We spoke with both boys and encouraged them a lot to get their work done in class. B1 we asked the teacher to communicate a little better with us because she had indicated that it had been a problem and just got exasperated. B3 is a different story in that we have had a hard time getting the school to even acknowledge that he has sensory processing disorder, even with the diagnosis.

I contribute both of their behavior to the snow days and the winter break. How do you keep your kids on a form of schedule when there are circumstances that change it?

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

February is Heart Month ... #CHD

The month of February is Heart Month. In lieu of this, Benji's Broken Heart will be featuring post about families that have been affected by Congenital Heart Defects and also featuring some of the resources and advocacy groups that are available for CHD.

You are invited to visit Benji's Broken Heart and get to know about this condition that affects so many.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

One Day at A Time, Sweet Jesus…

That’s all I’m asking from you. Lord help me today, show me the way, one day at a time.

I hate getting caught up in myself. Do you know what I mean? As a mom there are the children to keep to a schedule, as a homemaker there are chores that have to get done, as a wife there are duties. Getting all wrapped up in the label of what we are tends to make us forget who we are. 

In fall of 2009, we felt the call for me to go back to school. Big step. At that time the kids were in pre-K, 1st, 2nd, 6th, 7th, and 9th. One of the factors weighing into the decision (aside that both of us felt it was God’s will) was that B3 was almost five and the doctors had told us that he would most likely have to have valve replacement surgery when he was around ten.  Financial aid fell into place and God provided all that we needed to fund my emersion into the life of a non-traditional college student.

With starting my fourth semester a couple weeks ago, my schedule went crazy. Things have gotten quite chaotic.  See, I have mom guilt. Last semester and this semester require me to be on campus 45 minutes away from home five days a week. For simplicity one could say it’s like I am an outside the home working mom. The difference is I have homework. 

My point in all of this is that, I don’t know just how I will get everything done. I do know that the Lord will show me the way. Instead of worrying about tomorrow, I need to focus on one day at a time.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

My 16yo wants her learner's permit...

It seems to me that teens get their permits and driver's licenses so much earlier now. I know it's not the case really, different situation kind of thing. I am not really against teens driving, just against carelessness and recklessness.

Must have been about two years ago when we started talking about if we would let the kids get their permits and then their license. At that point we decided that the individual would have to have good grades (requirement by the state), show maturity and be responsible.

The oldest turned 16 in November. She has neither a permit nor a license.

G1 has become resigned to the fact that she probably will not be getting it anytime soon either. The responsibility to get her school work done is not there, so how can we expect her to be responsible enough to drive a car? This bias comes from myself being a good student and still doing stupid things once I got my license a month before my 18th birthday.

Her protests made me rethink as to just why I stuck to my guns. Then it hit me. Driving is a privilege. Even for adults, driving is a privilege. There is no requirement saying that we have to let our kids get their license. So I am sticking to my guns, even if I am a 'meany'.

Return to Academia!

I am starting my fourth semester of college today. I am not worried about the classes to much. I know I have to buckle down and study now, life knowledge is not going to cut it anymore.

I am excited to be around my college friends again. Getting away from the stress of mom helps me.

I am NOT a super mom or a wonder woman. Academics actually relaxes me for the most part. (You know, minus finals.)

This semester I am taking some interesting classes.

  • Intro to Ethics
  • Physical Geology & Lab
  • Intro to the Internet (required for my major, haha)
  • Latin 2
  • Intro to Sociology
Latin is just a continuation from last semester and I am going to have to REALLY study a lot. I understand that Ethics can be difficult too. The other classes will be like a surprise, I will discover as the classes get underway! Hubby did laugh about the Intro to Internet, and I probably could have gotten out of it I just didn't want to.

So, if you do not see me on Twitter as much, or my postings here get few and far between, you will know why. I am hoping to be diligent about my schedule and including posting.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Snow vs. Teens

We have three teen aged girls. They are 16, nearly 14, and 13. We live in the country. We are essentially iced in this week.

It is humorous to me that the girls are moody. They want to go to school. Why? Not for academic endeavors. It's because texting and being on facebook is not enough to keep in touch. They are bored.

I had not realized how non-active my girls have gotten until now. In their defense though, it is cold.

Last month we had four snow days before winter break going back just for the half day. Then we had the two weeks off around Christmas and New Years. They went to school last week and took exams. So far they have missed this week, and given that it is snowing now and we are still more or less iced in, it does not look promising for tomorrow and Friday.

How do we keep these girls happy? They have been watching movies (while texting) and complaining of being bored. Do not misunderstand, they have chores. Chores just aren't fun and interesting. The good thing is the homework that they brought home is done.

So the mantra from the girls? "Snow, Snow, go away... I want to see my friends, so we can play."

Monday, January 10, 2011

Back to the Basics Week 2

Do you find that when you try to get your family on a new routine that chaos tends to find you? We completed week 1 with little problem, had to catch up on one day; but I think that is acceptable when there are 6 kids with different schedules.

Last week was to get us thinking about how Jesus differs from us. The fact that He is God incarnate would be the reason. We traveled from the prophecy of His birth, to is birth, to the arrival of the magi, to Jesus in the synagogue, to the reveal of who He was.

For me one of the biggest realizations was how those that saws Jesus grow up did not accept that He was the Messiah or even that He would have knowledge in the Word. The people mocked him and practically ran Him out of town. I knew this before, but reading the passage reminded me.

This weeks scripture is:

Week 2 : A Power to Be Reckoned With 
  1. John 11:1-46
  2. Mark 2:1-12
  3. Matthew 8:2-4; Mark 1:40-45; 5:12-13
  4. Matthew 14:22-23; Mark 6:45-52
  5. Matthew 8:5-13; Luke 7:1-10
  6. Matthew 12:9-13; Mark 3:1-5; Luke 6:6-11
  7. Matthew 8:23-27; Mark 4:35-41; Luke 8:22-25 
We are staying with the same memory verse this week...

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God.” John 1:1 (NIV)

Monday, January 03, 2011

Getting Back to the Basics, Focusing on HIM

As change has been forced upon us, we are looking to the positive. One of these positives is that we need to really center our family on God.   As parents, it is our responsibility to “train up a child the way he should go (Pr 22:6)”.  This ‘training’ includes teaching and instilling God’s Word into the hearts of our children. 

Our decision is to return to the basics and go back to family devotions that we strayed away from. We know that there may be evenings when we might not be able to get them done or not all of the children will be home when we do them. That is okay. The important thing is that we get the routine going so that every evening there is scripture being read and the Word of the Lord being placed in our hearts.

In addition to the family devotions, we are also doing a weekly memory verse.  This way we can “teach them to your children and to the children after them (Deut 4:9)” be teaching the scripture of the Lord.

For our family devotions we are using the reading schedule that I found in an old Bible of mine, The Everyday Bible.  For the first week the following schedule is listed:

Week 1: His Life … My Life                      
1.       Proverbs 8:23-31; Isaiah 7:14; 53:1-12; John 1:1-18
2.       Micah 5:2; Matthew 1:18-25; Luke 2:1-38
3.       Hosea 11:1; Matthew 2
4.       Psalm 110:1-7; Luke 2:39-51
5.       Matthew 3:1-4:17; Luke 3:1-4:13
6.       Luke 4:14-5:11
7.       John 2

Our chosen memory verse for the week is John 1:1

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God.” John 1:1 (NIV)

If you care to join us we would be honored. Our discussions about the devotions will use the hash tag of #backtobasics on Twitter and the discussion about the memory verse will have the hash tag of #memoryverse on Twitter.