Monday, October 22, 2012

Some of my blessings

 My blessings for today:

 ~my family
~my friends
~freedom to worship at my church yesterday, and worship God everyday
~my boys sleeping in right now
~this amazing fall weather (I love fall)
 ~me feeling great after procedure Fri.
~awesome day yesterday (out to lunch and time spent outside)
~my new/old relationship
 ~still working appliances (thankful every time I do another load of dishes or wash and dry another load of laundry)
~my cozy bed, and a good nights sleep last night (I got my 8 hours)
~having more than enough

What are your blessings today?

Saturday, October 20, 2012

I read this blog written by a fellow single mom of four kids who is attempting to provide some semblance of a normal life for her children, while being unemployed. She has a great ETSY shop that you should check out here.

Even if you can not buy anything from her at this time, can you please pray for her and her children? Also like her page on facebook and share her ETSY store on your facebook, blog, twitter, or any other means possible?



Friday, October 19, 2012

Prayers appreciated

Today I am going to hospital for a minor gyn procedure. I would appreciate prayers for me to be calm, for the doctors, and for my family watching my boys and driving me. Thanks.


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The present

My last post was pretty much a sum up of the dating I have done for the past 20 years. This post is about the present.

I have mentioned my first boyfriend a few times on this blog, and in my previous post as well. It was 16 years ago that we parted ways. I can still remember the day actually. Over the years we have kept in touch, actually at one point asking each other for forgiveness for the past. (Which was a pretty amazing conversation.)

We had a few phone conversations, letters, and one meet up since then. That was until this summer.

This summer he moved back from out of state, where he had been the past few years. In June, before he moved back I was talking with one of his sisters and felt compelled to write him a letter (I still prefer handwritten letters to texts and emails.) The letter ended up being returned to me. I held onto it from some reason.

Fast forward a few weeks and we struck up a facebook conversation. I mentioned the letter and after more time just having casual facebook conversation we actually met up again and I gave him the letter.

Since then we have continued talking through facebook, texts, phone, and in person. We have spent time together going out to dinner, movies, and doing other things. He even came to our church.

It is strange getting to know someone you once knew. You sort of expect they may be the same, and in some ways he is, but I also see how much he has grown up and matured. He is not that same broken little boy who thought he was a man anymore. He actually is one. He is funny and makes me laugh. He listenes to what I have to say. He thinks about what I would like when planning an activity. He opens up the car door for me. He never lets me pay (you have no idea how hard that one is for me.) 

It has been really nice to get to be a grown up, and do things without the kids, and get to focus on me a bit. (It also has been a challenge to arrange sitters and play dates for my boys, all while still doing everything else I normally do like work and such. That is a topic for it's own post, I am sure.)

Their are still some hesitations. Is he really this nice? Can he really never drink again? (He has not in years.) And my mom, sister, and brother, who knew him and our relationship all to well way back when, have hesitations as well. I know they love me and want only the best for me, and have seen me heartbroken by all my past bad choices, so they have valid opinions. They don't think he has changed (although they have not seen or interacted with him all these years; although my brother may have seen him over the years.) My sister, especially is adamant that people can not change. I do not believe that. I have changed. And we all can change because of the blood of the cross.

Plus how many of us are still the same as when we were 15, 16, 17, 18, or 19?  I thank God I am not that girl anymore. I loved her and she was cute, but I am so much more now. And he is not that person anymore either.

So what does all this mean? I do not know. I am just using this time to get to know him better. I also am getting to know myself a little better, which is pretty cool. And have even challenged myself a bit by agreeing to and not being completely scared of watching a scary movie. (I have not watched a scary movie since I was 12, Pet Cemetery, it literally haunted me for like 15 years.)

I like who he is now. I want to continue getting to know him and spending time with him.


                                                                 Jay and me recently

My past dating life

Since having my first son at the age of eighteen, I have not had too many dates or relationships. My son's father was only the second guy I had ever dated. We dated a few months before I got pregnant, and we tried to stay together, but were just too young and immature to really understand all that a relationship required.

I spent the next two years devoted solely to raising my son, and providing for our lives. And some much needed growing up. When my son was about two years old I actually dated a nice guy for a few months. That didn't really work out. Fast forward two years and I started dating my ex husband. We married about nine months into the relationship.

You all know how that ended (just in case you don't when I was eight months pregnant he left me, in another state, with no car; my mom came to my rescue.)

Anyway, I spent the next four years not dating, just getting my life back on track and raising my boys. In 2007 I met this guy online, who lived out of state. We had a bizarre relationship for about two years. He was so wrong for me, I should have ended it after our first meeting.

But eventually I did end it and spent the last three years coming to contentment that I was single and may stay that way for the rest of my life. I finally had peace about it. I turned to the blessings I did have and once again put all my energies and focus into raising the boys (as somewhere along that time I had begun homeschooling as well.)

So in my entire life I have only dated five guys. (Not counting any he's my boyfriend from like grammar school of course, I do not consider those dating.)

You may have gleaned a few things about my first boyfriend, if you have been reading my blog long enough, or if you are family you may already know too many of the details.

We dated from 7th or 8th grade (1992-93) until I graduated high school (June 1996.) We did break up on occasion, as most teens do I am sure. We had an interesting relationship to say the least. But from what we understood love as, we did love each other. Yet we both were so young and so broken. I was longing for the love of my father; he was dealing with his own family issues. I turned to him to fill my longing; he turned to drugs and alcohol. This was not a healthy option for either of us, of course.

We both ended up hurt and eventually parted ways.

I carried that hurt right into my second relationship and beyond. It took coming to know the Lord, time, and much therapy to see what healthy is and to be content with myself and my life.

But despite all the pain and heartache of my past, I am grateful for it all. My past has shaped me and helped me become who I am today.

I am grateful for all the relationships I have been in (ok, maybe not the last one.) I learned something from each of these relationships. And I have my boys from two of these relationships as well.

Of course, I have made many mistakes, and also do not want for my boys to have give a part of their heart to anyone who will not be their spouse. (Yes, that is a natural consequence of having relationships outside of God's will.) I hope to spare them much of the heartache I have had.

But I can look back and hold onto the fond memories of each relationship, and let go of the harsh memories.

So that is my past dating life. Anyone want to chime in on their past dating life? Or thoughts on dating in general?


p.s. Now, as a christian, and a much older and wiser me, I think dating at such a young age is a bad idea. Not even sure I agree with the whole idea of teens dating at all. I like the idea of courting.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Homeschool Update

Last Mon. (10/01/12) was our first day back to school. We went into Aug. with last year, so we took off half of Aug., and all of Sept. as our summer break.

Our first day was a bit of a disaster as Josh was in an extremely rare angry mode (he had dye the day before and this really effects his behavior, I try to have him avoid dye at all cost because of it) and Jason was upset that he actually had to do schoolwork on the first day.

But it is getting better as we attempt to settle into a routine. Right now our biggest struggle is getting started by 10am. Jason, who was getting up at 9am for most of Sept., is once again struggling to get up in the am.

I am up before 8am everyday, as I am taking a little girl to school each day (and also picking her up 3 days a week.)

I drop her off at school by about 8:25am and then Josh and I take a walk about 45min. Then I jump in the shower and make breakfast.

We should be starting school by 10am, but it has been more like 11am.

Each day we start with prayer and bible time. I write down one praise, prayer for another, and prayer for our self from each of us. Then we take turns praying out loud. For Bible we will be reading through the entire Old Testament this year. So each day, we listen to Jason's iPhone as we read along in our own Bible's (this was Jason's idea, so I went with it.)

I take notes while we listen, and then at the end of each chapter ask questions based on these notes. It has been interesting hearing the boys responses and thoughts that I did not even think of myself.

So far we have read up to Genesis chapter 24.

After family bible time we split up and each reread what we just read and have our quiet time with God.

Then the boys attack their daily school lists. Josh and I usually start with Language Arts, since it is completely teacher led (he can not do on his own.)

At some point the boys are demanding lunch so we eat. We have eaten lunch together at the table every school day. I have really enjoyed that, and they seem to as well (surprisingly.)

Josh's daily assignments are:

Bible / Math / Language Arts / Science / History / Art / Piano / Gym
Still have to add in Spanish and Cursive (we do Reading together at bedtime)

Jason's daily assignments are:
Bible / Math / Language Arts / Reading / History / Science / Piano / Gym
Still have to add in Foreign Language

They boys have to do daily chores after schoolwork, and if they complete all schoolwork and chores, plus have good behavior they can have electronic minutes. They can use the minutes to play the computer, play Wii, play Xbox 360, or play PlayStation 3. They can not earn or play more than 60 in one day. They have only had like two days so far that they actually got to play since school started up again.

Usually the boys are doing school work until about 3:00pm (usually later for Jason.)

My goal is to have all schoolwork done by Thur. night so Fridays after my am cleaning job we can do field trips.

If not, we may still do the field trips and also do school on Saturdays, since I really value the field trips (and so do the boys.)

How is school going for your family? (homeschool, public, or private school)


First Day of School

Jason 9th grade

                                                                Joshua 4th grade


                                                                    Kaiden preschool

Monday, October 8, 2012

Praise God

I was able to catch up on all bills. All my bills are current, and all utilities, taxes, insurances, and mortgage payments are paid up in full. This is such a relief.

This month I am also on target to pay all my monthly bills as well.

I still have debt, but all the monthly payments are current.

I am praising God as it is all His money. Also praising my church, family, and friends for all their support and prayers.


Thursday, October 4, 2012

The post about let down

Ever since I was little I would always get really excited about a holiday or my birthday or just a special day. Once the day came and went though usually my expectations were not met and I would feel let down.

Yesterday was my 33rd birthday. It was a great day. Josh made me breakfast in bed. My mom also brought breakfast. Jason's grandmother brought lunch. I got flowers from my friend delivered via a florist. I was spoiled.

Yet still I found myself sad at the end of the day. I actually went to bed having a good cry (doesn't every girl need one of those now and again.)

I do not want to seem ungrateful, because I really am. I am so blessed. I have so many amazing people in my life who love me so much.

Yet I still get these over the top romantic ideas in my head about how things are supposed to be. It is like I am wearing rose colored glasses half the time.

One of the things that did upset me is that my son Jason did nothing to acknowledge my birthday. No homemade card, no sweet thing (like Josh who made me breakfast in bed.) He actually said a few times yesterday, that he forgot it was my birthday. Now I am not sure what I expect from a 14 year old, but it hurts me like he does not care. Even though I know that he does.

Another thing that made me upset is that is was a Wed. and thus no celebrating could actually happen (like going to dinner or out to do something fun.) It was just a regular day for me with work, and homeschooling, and even some chores.

In my life I have set things up to fail many times just by my expectations. I expect if I plan a field trip the boys will not fight that day. I expect that if I clean my house it will stay that way for longer than 5 minutes. I expect a holiday to be all fun and loving and perfect.

But even I know their really is no perfect. Besides my idea of perfect is not the same as someone else's idea of perfect.

One thing that helps me with my let down is to be grateful for everything I do. Also to help and do special things for other people really lifts my mood.

Turning the situation from about me to about Christ is really the best thing to do. I should have cracked open my Bible last night instead of having a pity party. I should pray about each day and seek His will and not my will for each trip, vacation, holiday, and special days.

Do you ever get let down about situations?


Monday, October 1, 2012

In an Instant



In mid Sept. my mom and stepfather treated us to a family vacation down at the Jersey shore. They rented the cutest beach house and bought tons of food. A week of relaxing, bike rides, board games, swimming, boogie boarding, and lounging around in the sand was planned. The above pictures, I think are from the first day.

The second time we attempted boogie boarding had different results. I think it was the second full day of vacation, I was up at the house making lunch. My sister was in the house reading. My mom had Kaiden down playing in the sand. My stepfather was boogie boarding with Jason and Josh. Apparently they all got caught up in a rip tide and ended up being pushed sideways and out to sea. Jason managed to use all his strength to  swim back in and run up to the house. He could barely talk as he tried to tell me to call the police. Once I realized it was not he who needed immediate medical attention, I ran down to the beach to watch helplessly as Josh and Scott were managing to stay on boogie boards but without actually coming back to shore. Someone else had already called the police and an off duty lifeguard at this point.

I have never felt such fear and helplessness in my life. I was staring into my son's face, and thinking if Scott can not get him back in what could I do. I began to pray and hold in the tears. Finally (I think they were about there about 12 minutes total) the lifeguard used a surfboard to bring Josh in. He just fell into my arms in tears. I had to continue to fight mine back. I walked him up to the house and he stayed holding on to me for a long time.

All three were exhausted from the ordeal. We did nothing else that day. After Josh was calm and Jason was resting I went into my room and bawled my eyes out. In an instant I could have lost my boys. Praise Jesus I did not. Having lot my cousin Cristie and then Eric made this ordeal all the more haunting, all the more real. A new day is not guaranteed to any of us. Today is all we may ever have.

So this incident sort of halted our vacation. No one wanted to even go near the sand, let alone in the water (except Kaiden, who was blissfully unaware of the entire ordeal.) I know that we live near the ocean and bay and we will get back in, but immediately after was just too soon.

By Thur. we decided to just cut the trip short and go home. (We were supposed to stay until Sat.) It was a relief for us all just to leave the nightmare behind.

This trip could have had a different ending, and I am so grateful it did not and that we all came home safely, just with a new respect for the ocean.

I am grateful my for stepfather, Scott being there and keeping Josh calm and safe. I am thankful that Jason managed to swim back in on his own (and I am quiet proud of him as well.) I am thankful I have a family who wants to vacation with us. I am so blessed.


us exploring the beach on our first day (Lady was there too)

                                                  I was there too, with Josh and Kaiden

                                            the backyard of the beach house we rented

Financial Update

Here it is Oct. 1st. I have not posted too many financial updates, because I have been behind on everything for some time now.

I am currently all caught up on:
Car Insurance
House Insurance

I am behind on:
$200 Water bill (this is like for 4 months)
$160 Phone/Cable/Internet (this is 2 months behind)

My debt is higher than it was, but all monthly payments are current:
$700 Mastercard
$400 Kohl's
$1,000 Amazon

I have had to ask my church and family for help to get the stuff that I caught up on. It is very humbling and frustrating; but for July & Aug. I received no child support from Jason's dad, which really impacted my budget.

The Mastercard was used for Lady's grooming and unexpected vet bills and medicine as she was sick last month. I also had to fix a van that was given to me and register and get plates for it; all went on the Mastercard.

I should be able to pay all my regular monthly bills this month. I will not have any extra to throw at past due water and phone/cable/internet bills, but I should be able to make one full payment to each, avoiding shut off on those items. (By the way I am required to have a home phone for in home daycare, or I would just cancel it completely.) Hopefully Oct. will not have any emergencies that once again blow my budget (we have had so many in past 6 months with sewer backing up into house, multiple car repairs, Lady getting sick, and so on.)

I am so thankful for my family and church for helping me from falling off the edge. I am so blessed.

How is your budget?


p.s. I know that I should have an emergency fund. I did at one point, but it is all depleted. Right now, even though I work over 40 hours 6 days a week, at numerous in home and out of the home jobs my income is only just about my bills. Their is barely money for our needs, let alone wants. Praying for no more emergencies for now is the best I can do.

p.p.s. I just paid my entire past due water bill. Now the only past due bill I have is my cable/phone/internet bill which is $160 (since it is 2 months behind.) Praise the Lord!!!