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Easy Summer Days

Much has changed since I last posted. Prior to our road trip I was becoming a negative person. I knew I wanted something but I didn’t know exactly what that was, or how to go about getting it. Our life was in a constant state of change and it became a roller coaster we couldn’t get off. During our road trip some things became very clear to our family. We were able to prioritize and set goals to check off some of the dreams for our family.

Our family found a charming little house in a very diverse community. By charming I mean about 900 square living feet. (Has an unfinished basement) Originally I was not too thrilled to come see this house. I wanted a smaller house, but the square footage of this one scared me some. When we walked in I loved the hard wood floors, open floor plan, big fenced in back yard, and fireplace in the kitchen. The bedrooms are a tad smaller than I would like but overall I fell in love with the house the moment I saw it. “Tad” as in you better not put anything outside of the necessities, or you will need to climb over it.  Our home fit the requirement of perfect for a minimalist lifestyle and inviting. This house has quickly become home even though our first few months here have been nightmareish and we have been in constant contractor revolving door mode. The night we moved in we found out our pipes were cracked. I was sore after moving all day and was looking forward to a long hot bath which I enjoyed, however, when I pulled the plug I heard what sounded like a shower below me. That shower was the pipes spraying water all over the basement. The fireplace needs to be replaced as the flue, trap etc is broken. Our sink leaked and toilets ran constantly. Not long after moving in we had a bad storm which caused a tree to take out our fence, and we found our roof was leaking in two spots. Another storm and we found our garage flooded, window broke in the basement, foundation is shifting which is causing water to come into the basement and our gutters need replacing. It’s old and weathered but its home.

We wanted to be more involved in the community and our passion is kids. We have always wanted to get into foster care but felt called by the Lord to look into an organization called Safe Families but from here on out I will address it as SF. It is an organization that believes in neighbor helping neighbor. Typically, they do not deal with abused or neglected children but they offer a hand up to those in need. In America we have many children living on the streets or in cars. Many of the families that come to SF come from a extreme poverty conditions. We researched and decided to volunteer as a host family. If you have an extra bedroom and want to get involved, check it out. As I said it is volunteer, you will not get paid. They need help in many way and are nation wide. Since we joined SF we have had 9 kids (not all at once) in our care over 6 months time. I won’t go into detail of the cases for privacy reasons. Being a host family is rewarding and challenging. Biggest thing is kids need love, food, shelter, and consistency. We love each and every little person we have had the pleasure of having in our care. Until we became a host family our faith was strong, but we have grown so much more through this process. It is clear to us that growth happens when you are uncomfortable. Our lives are finding passion in things that didn’t matter that much to us before. We are excited to see what the Lord has in mind for our family and the road we will be led down.

We continued homeschooling our children for another year, yet our focus has changed some. Our lesson planner is the guide but obsess about checking all the boxes every day. We have decided to focus on their hearts rather than their brains. That doesn’t mean we are ignoring their education. We have chosen to take a more minimalist. We tossed out the thrills of bright colored fill in the blank curriculum in exchange for a more black and white approach. For math we stuck with Saxon homeschool. History we purchased through Notgrass Press. Science we are using Apologia. I love Apologia in the older years but the younger years have really caused me to twitch in frustration. I recently have been exposed to Rod and Staff science and I love it for the younger years. For English and Bible we are using Rod and Staff. I love the straight to the point content. Having the christian content is a bonus.

There is a new addition to our family. We adopted a little lab/pit mix from our local no kill shelter. We named him KC and he is the sweetest little thing. I started obedience training this week and he is the smartest little thing even though he has a mischievous side to him. Then again what puppy isn’t mischievous? The kids love on him like crazy and like any puppy he isn’t going to shy away from attention. Teaching him the rules has been a little challenging having little people running around that can not help enforce it. The older girls have been taking on a good amount of responsibility, which is a blessing. Our goal with him is to have him fully obedience trained with CGC. If we can use him as a therapy dog even better. It’s another way we can be involved in the community.

This year I decided to take on less and have a less crazy schedule. It backfired some when I told the kids they could each pick one activity. We will continue to be on the go 7 days a week. sigh. I may need some more boundaries. I keep saying I am going to take time to do more for me and I will…. someday.

 
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Posted by on August 21, 2014 in family

 

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New Year, New Changes

We welcome the year 2014 with excitement and anticipation. 2013 was full of ups and downs. I can count it all as joy because it has been a year The Lord has used to grow me. I questioned my faith, who I was and my purpose here on earth. If I really want to be honest, The Lord has been teaching me lessons for a few years without me knowing I was getting one. The biggest lesson over and over has been to trust. Trust The Lord knows has a plan for my life. Trust that he has me in his care. Trust that he knows my needs before I know them. It has taken several bricks, bible studies and some major life changes but I got the lesson. The last lesson being my husbands heart attack. Through the entire event I could see God’s hand at work. He had every step planned out even though, (if I am really being honest here) I was still questioning my faith. My path.

I don’t question his plans for me anymore. I won’t lie I still have so much learning to do, but the biggest lesson I learned in 2013 was trust. I can trust The Lord and count the path as joy. A lot of people make New Years resolutions. This year I have just one. Only one but it is a biggie. See the joy in all things. Joy.

I am a little nervous about my goal. It’s a biggie. I am control of my actions, thoughts and feelings. However, LEARNING to control them outside of my “bubble” will be the test of strength. I need to put up some bigger boundaries with others. I think if we don’t have enough boundaries it can be hard to be joyful. Some people can suck that joy right out of you. I have to find that boundary that allows for kindness, and joy but is respectful of myself. One way I am going to have to show myself respect is being careful of certain friendships. I have some “red-flag” friendships and some that clearly mean more to me than to them that I really have to put some walls up. I need to invest in the relationships that want it and the others can either die off or if my “friends” really want to have a relationship they will actually act like it.

The end of 2013, I read 2 really awesome books. I didn’t find the classes very helpful but that is just me. I do better in a bible study situation. “How we Love” by Milian and Kay Yerkovich. I have a love- hate relationship with this book. I think in a group situation it is uncomfortable, depending on the level of discussions. One on one with your spouse in the comfort of your home working through the workbook is perfect. I have a love for self help, psychological style books but I am noticing a trend in books lately that are all about blaming the parents. I tread carefully with these books as the bible says to honor our mother and father. I found at different parts of this book getting angry with my mother. I think their has to be a level of control used with books that take this direction.

The other book “‘Boundaries with kids” by Henry Cloud and John Townsend. Okay, this one has some of the “blame it on your parents” mentality and the “it’s your fault” undertone, but this book is my favorite. Seriously, my favorite!!! We have been going through some growing pains with our oldest and this book has saved us years of destructive behavior. Big Daddy and I are so proud of all 3 of our girls, but our girls are still normal kids. They have their moments they find trouble, are cranky or down right difiant. They are not perfect as we as parents are not perfect. After reading this book, we had to change the way we did things, which was really tough! I’m going to be honest here- Taking the advice from this book and implementing it has been really tough. WAY tougher than I thought. The idea is simple and relaxed yet complex for follow through. Seriously, if your a parent get this book. Unless, your that perfect parent with perfect kids that never make mistakes or step out of line. We are not doing our kids any favors by pretending they are perfect.

So regardless of trial or triumph I want to be able to count it all as joy. Welcome to 2014! Praying for another great year for our family.

-Copycatmom

 
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Posted by on January 2, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Our Break…..

In the middle of writing our road trip, I felt the need to take a break. I will resume writing about our trip down the road, but for now I decided to rethink sharing it and just savoring it for a little while. I have been planning and living on a schedule for some time. Always running from one thing to another but never living in the moment.

I am a planner to my core, and I am not sure anything can take that out of me. I have spent the last year always in the future. Homeschooling became such a CHORE (like scrubbing the toilets kind of chore). I couldn’t put my finger on why everything was becoming so lifeless when my calendar said I have an amazing life. I was at the point of living frazzled and becoming depressed. Daily I was asking myself “What the heck is going on?”.

The 4th state on our road trip route turned the lightbulb on. I had my nose deep into the road atlas, following our route on the GPS, planning stops, meals, and things to see, when my entire family started oohing and aweing. By the time I looked up I had missed something amazing. I felt like crap. Here I thought I was this awesome road tripper planning things and I was missing everything.

It was that moment I decided to be in the moment. That included putting the blog down and just living my life. It’s part of why I am still not fully back. I believe God used this road trip to teach me a few things. I still have a TON to learn, but I am taking this lesson eyes wide open and applying it in other areas.

I certainly won’t be writing every day or every week. Not for a while anyways. I have spent the last few months savoring the time with my girls, reading some good books and checking out curriculum for the next year. The girls are growing like little weeds. My oldest has changed so much in the last 3 years, it is almost like she is a little adult now. She is an amazing young lady. So, for now I am taking this time to cherish life.

 
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Posted by on September 25, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Day 3: Utah!

Hello Salt Lake City!!! It’s my birthday and I am in the most beautiful state I have ever been to. Seriously, Utah is beyond amazing. We arrived quite late and had some drama at our hotel but everything is fine. Just a floor full of silly kids thinking they dare to be kids ;). I am all for kids being kids but in appropriate places. I am slightly less tolerant after many hours of driving.

We haven’t had the chance to explore the city but we did go out to dinner to this little place called “Ruth’s Diner”. Forget the food, the location of this place is beyond aw inspiring! The food isn’t great, or horrible. Honestly nothing about the food stands out other than the price. It’s very overpriced. Be warned ahead of time they are not known for their service either. I would have rated their service one of the worst I have ever been to, which sucked because you know it’s my birthday and all. A little effort would have been night. The drive into Utah was long, HOT (record breaking), it was my birthday and overall it sucked. I didn’t even get cake! Anyways, this place is hidden in a less known area. If you choose to eat their be warned, but you really should see this amazing location!

I’m so thankful for my family but I think I’m salty and feeling a bit jipped! I don’t know why I feel this was or what I exactly expected. Maybe it was just a long day and I was looking for this amazing birthday in another state. A nice waiter and good food would have fixed it I am sure!
I don’t like wishing today’s away for tomorrow to come but today I am……I need tomorrow. Everything will be better tomorrow.

 

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Day 2: Wyoming

Cheyenne Wyoming is the most charming little old town I have ever scene! We took the trolly ride tour in downtown Cheyenne. Future travelers- save yourself the boredom,torture and money. If you wait at the trolly stop there is a FREE horse carriage tour that picks up in the same spot as the torture trolly. Ok so the trolly wasn’t that bad. The driver “tries” to be funny but rather than actually riding it is more of stop and sit to the point of dying of heat. I would rather at lease have open spaces.

One of the best things we did in Cheyenne is this free little children’s garden. It has a high educational value if you take the time to use it. It’s quite appealing on the eyes as well. I also really enjoyed the Wyoming state prison. (No joke!) it was full of history and I liked the extra fact it scared my kids a little bit.

Wyoming may have given me a small train obsession. I just love them! Apologies in advance if I overload you with train photos!!!

If your looking for a nice place to stay we highly enjoyed little america. Hope you enjoy today’s photos!

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Day 1: Nebraska

The first journey of our trip was from Kansas City, MO to Kearney, NE. We have traveled parts of Nebraska for dance competitions but it was nice to see another side. We didn’t do much on our stay as we arrived to our hotel super late, and left fairly early.

We made sure to stop at the Buffalo Bill Trading Post and Museum which we thought would be as educational as it sounds. It’s not. It’s an overpriced decked out gift shop to sucker tourists like ourselves. They had some cool stuff in the store but it was not what we were hoping for and honestly felt very mislead by it. Yes, I am a little salty. I hate parent traps. More so when this trip is to be educational. They should have to add gift shop somewhere in there!!!!

What else did we do? Hmm, we got to see great sunsets and sunrise, met some nice people and my husband broke a tooth at old Chicago. Technically, he busted a crown out. The bread was hard as a rock and he bit down only to break the tooth. Thankfully, the manager was awesome and didn’t charge us for meals. Worst part was he had job orientation, benefits meeting etc out in Cali in a few days. We tried to find a dentist but at the cost of out of pocket expense ( would be reimbursed) we decided super glue worked good for short periods of public interaction. As his wife- I can’t wait for Big Daddy to get his tooth fixed for several reasons!

Even with the rough starts and giant mishaps we enjoyed the Nebraska leg. I hope to explore what else Nebraska has to offer in the future!!! Here are a few photos from today. Bringing the blog to you live from my IPad so things may or may not come out the way they should.

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Packing up “bob”

Life has changed drastically for us since my husbands heart attack. Our values have changed in many ways yet have only confirmed some of the beliefs that were starting to form. We decided to use my husbands new job and need to get to California for training (and the recent events of his heart attack) as an excuse for a family road trip. Things are always more enjoyable when you can see them from sunny side up.

We packed up “BOB” (aka my car) 5 days ago and headed for Cali. Did I mention I got a new car? It is a Ford flex. I love my new car!!! We packed a backpack for each person, 4 favorite “to-do” items per person and headed out. Life is a journey. You can’t change things but you can change how you view them. More from the road in a few days!

Because of the way life has changed for us, we have realised even more now then ever how important it is to experience life, relationships and interact with people. I don’t want to let things rule our lives anymore. We are going drastic. With the heart attack I think everyone in the family felt the “near death” reality.

I came across this blog http://www.theminimalists.com/21days/day1-2/

I love these guys for the record. I love what they stand for and their ideas. We decided to take their packing party challenge. It will be more complicated for us because we have 5 people but it is important to us. I pray this road trip will show how the stuff you own should have a purpose and should give you joy. You should not sit around feeling frustrated by all the stuff you own and how much time you have to set aside in your life to clean and organize that stuff you own.

Before planning our road trip we decided as a family to pack up the entire house. Just like if we were moving. We are currently trying to accumulate boxes but I will update you on the process.

 

 

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