God's Not Dead!

God's Not Dead!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Help I have a techno beast in my house!


Ok... so as I type - My kids are all engrossed in tablets and phones. So happy that their dad bought them cell phones, tablets etc etc... Feel the love... I want to scream. PLAY OUTSIDE!!!!! USE YOUR TOYS!!!! I am so sick of my kids faces in screens. In desperation I signed them up for sports. But while one plays, the others occupy themselves waiting with - you guessed it. Tablets, screens.

Last week we had a homeschool kick-off picnic with friends. In discussion with the other moms (hi Emily and Jetaime ::::Waving::::) I hung my head in shame hearing how their energetic kids have nice little time limits on electronics. I excuse things by saying - well Alyssa has reached that pre-teen age where all they want to do is be in their rooms. Sure she is reading, drawing and more... but deep into the night hours, the glow of her phone while she surfs the web make me cringe. I know I know. All the internet dangers out there when kids have internet access in their rooms... that actually isn't my battle yet. yet. I know it is coming soon. So now I am begging myself, God and anyone who will listen - to help me tame this beast that has invaded my home now. Because once this battle is done - I know I have others I will have to move on to. But for now... Time. That is my issue.

I am so tired of having to TELL the kids what to do. What to play and set up their toys for them. Because if I don't they just - don't. Or fight or just annoy me until I let them back to their games and happy our house is. Oh don't act like this is a shock. It is just me being honest.

Sure my kids are still awesome and if given situations - they don't act rude or uninterested. But problem is - computers are so easy to be sucked into and while I do my morning stuff - Breakfast, devotions, dishes, laundry, bills, life... I look up and realize my 5 year old has been on the computer Minecraft for 5 HOURS! And it is just Lunch time! Well... I will make him get off after I am done cooking lunch... cleaning up lunch... bedtime!?!?!?

Help me Jesus. Please. Please.

So... I am annoyed I have to plan things. Tell them what to play. etc... But I realize this is a problem and just saying - ok no more you can only play so long... doesn't work. Cuz right now I tried that... and two hours later the boys are still on things... And frankly - I don't have the energy to set up toys, get ideas and things out and make them get off. I am tired. I am alone in fighting this battle. I worked all day and Just flat out DONT WANNA!!!!! WHINE WHINE WHINE POUT POUT POUT! It's not fair.  Can't someone else fix this monster of a problem? I flip out. I shut off routers. They look at me like - moms lost it again. And the next day - same life. Same technology. Same problems...

AHHHHHHHH ok... so Guess even though I don't have time. Effort. Or the will to do this. I have to fix it myself. And the only way is to break the habits. And fill time so much full with other things that they don't realize they are not on the computer as much. So much I pay 3 times my Internet bill as "going over my usage fees" Blah.

So composing a list. I have to schedule my kids to play! This stinks. This is silly. But this is reality. And Frankly... Booooooo.

(Can you tell I am really annoyed at this and frustrated!?!?! my kids can tell. But yelling and lecturing and grounding hasn't fixed my problem. So here goes a game plan)

Things to do to fill our time:::::

1) Color (this only works for Alyssa and Wyatt. Tristan is NOT an art kid... sigh)
2) Playdough... See I can fill WYATTS TIME! And this kid just wants someone to play with him!!!

What to do with Alyssa and Tristan... Pray first cuz I just had to pause to yell at the boys again for fighting over a video game... But here lies my issue. Now Tristan and Wyatt are wrestling in the living room and I want them to STOOOOOOP before a fishtank gets knocked over!

3)Monster Slime
4)Ninja Stress Balls
5)Chain Reaction Popsicle Sticks
6)Pound Nails into Wood
7)Snap Circuts
8)Legos
9)Badmitten
10)Dominos
11)Laundry (yippee!!! I like this one) - from start to finish - gonna work on teaching them to load, unload and work on the laundry.
12)Marble Bowling
13)Make Plastic from Milk/Vinegar
14)Cup Stacking
15)Nerf Gun Shooting Range
16)Bowling with Cups
17)Plastic Fork Catapults
18)Ice Play
19)Drawing with wet chalk
20)Make a Marshmallow/PomPom Shooter
21)Mess Free Finger Painting  
22)Styrofoam Painting
23)Water Gun Painting
24)Dominoes
25)Skylanders Pop It
26)Stamps (rubber stamps and paper)
27)GAMES - we do have a lot. Don't spill the beans, kalide, uno etc. Funny how new these games are... not used more than a handful of times themselves. 

ok... so I gotta go put the kidlets to bed. Perhaps I can think of some more things to keep us busy tomorrow. Baby steps. I have a feeling tomorrow will be better because it is a full day of homeschool then Baseball. But today with work and no school, kids outta wack, mommy tired. No routine. I felt defeated. but Tomorrow. Tomorrow is a new day! And a few ideas to start I can guide the boys to some of it to keep me sane and feeling like they are not turning into zombies.  

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Just needed to host some pictures for a min. ha ha ha

 Ok so here's the reason for a post today. I needed some pics online so I could link to them! And since I deactivated my facebook account (In April and never been happier) this is where I am placing them. So new blog post here I come.

While I am on I might as well update in case anyone stumbles across and sees a post. Update: We are homeschooling again this year. Happy to be back. Already got together with an amazing group of friends who will be joining us for field trips this year. I have decided my life is too busy for a co-op but friends to do trips with is what we need at this time. And thanking Jesus for bringing them to us! We had a back to school picnic this week and my kids had a GREAT TIME! I hope they said the same once we left.... eeks. Anyways. Here are a few pics from a week or so ago at McConnels Mill. Alyssa got Glasses as you can see. And then I added on at the bottom of our Dr. Who Night at the Theater that was last year. Just because - I wanted it on here. So thats that. Be back soon!





Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Brigittes Spinach Salad



Homemade Salad Dressing

3/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp garlic powder
3/4 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp pepper
3/4 tsp season salt
1 Large tsp salad supreme
1 Tbsp Parmesan cheese
2 to 3 pinches of oregano
1 pinch of basil
2 tsp sugar (or splenda if you like that icky stuff - ha ha ha)

Mix all that stuff together.
Then add
Garlic Flavored Red Wine Vinegar to the vinegar line,
water to the water line and
Extra Light Olive Oil to the oil line.

The Main Salad

combine:
2 bags of cole slaw mix
1 bag of baby spinach
 
cook (but be careful not to burn):
1 Large Bag (or 2-3 small) of slivered/sliced almonds
half stick of butter
2 Tbsp of Sugar

Put the toasted almonds on top of the salad. Serve the dressing seperate so it stays fresh and not wilty. 











Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Something about the Rain


Tonight - I decided to just sit out back while it rains. Just softly enough now that the birds are still singing, the air has cooled and the evening just seems so fitting to my mood. Inside my kids play, the commotion of paths of whirlwind destruction from their games is sure to be a big job to clean - but for now I am ignoring it all and just enjoying time alone to think and blog.

Beside me is the plant I received for Mother's Day... and I observed it as the rain fell on the buds and it just beckoned me to take a picture..


Tonight I feel like my plant. If I was a tree huggin hippy (love you guys!!!) I would say - I feel one with my plant. ;-) It just reminds me of ... me. Despite sounding completely corny I thought about it.

When I brought my plant home on Mother's Day it was too cold for it to be outside. I didn't water it because I assumed my dad had. He is good like that. Two days later the flowers had all fallen off, and the leaves were dropping over the side. My kids were mortified. It got warm enough and I took it outback and gave it a huge drink of water. Immediately it perked back up. (Phew!!! Cause I swear my kids were about ready to cry!)

Now as I sit here looking at it, there are a few open flowers and many many many buds. As I watch the rain pour on  the leaves it makes me think of the rain I often feel.. I can hear the thunder in the distance. Seems like I have been going through my share of showers...
But without the rain the buds will never open.

Today was a sweet day. I had a nice morning but I had way too much time to think. About me. About what I am doing. About where I am going. About what I want.

And what I want DESPERATELY is to see the rain that I feel way too much - bloom what I have in me. I have so many dreams. It is a hard road to have dreams, a future and then feel like it was stripped away from you in an instant. Crushed and stopped in it's tracks. The life I had so comfortably made - God transplanted me smack dab into another over night almost. Ok... it was years in the making... but the actual GO... seems like a blur.

So many years of dreaming and blooming... building my garden... and now what? Its a struggle to just go day to day and provide for my kids in this world of economic craziness. And yes, I am well aware that I am not alone. That EVERYONE has their mountains. (but its my blog - lol)

I am a list person. I am a goal setting person. I was told by a past friend that I never am happy unless I am working on something. When she met me I was working on planning my wedding. As soon as that was done I was working on planning to get pregnant. Then there was figuring out what was happening in the womb at every second and stage. How as my delivery gonna go. Now I got kids - lets start with breastfeeding, homemade baby-food, cloth diapering, then as they grew on to homeschooling. Buying a house, remodeling the house. Plans, lists, deadlines, stress and I LOVE IT ALL!

Now I sit - Pinteresting all my dreams. Who invented Pinterest!? You hate me don't you!?? You know I can't avoid a place where I can ORGANIZE pictures and websites and ah it is HEAVEN for a control freak like myself!

... Rain... I know I need it. I know it sustains the very life I live. But it doesn't make it any easier... I need to refocus. Stop looking at the thunder and lightening and focus on the rain. What is God doing? And what is so amazing is that even when I try so hard to avoid His rain and pruning, he doesn't let me whither and die. I might feel like a day or two without water and feel the drooping... but then he is there. Whispering to me to keep coming back. Know what I have to offer. What I can be.... and stop picking at my own leaves. (Yes - add that to my illustration because I found myself nervously picking the plant when I was feeling confused... poor plant. I am sorry. lol) But I need to stop being destructive to what I can be.

I know it seems silly but it is amazing what God talks to my heart about when I sit and listen. Tonight He was talking to my heart with the sweet rain on my flowers. Thank GOD it didn't take him talking to me through Lightening ;-)

Thursday, May 16, 2013

A super long post about caring what others think about me... so you know what? I don't care if you think it is too long! So there!

This is a ramble post... Just one of those feeling how I am feeling and way too long for a Facebook Status update.

I am having one of those nights where I am feeling like I will never measure up and then trying to decide if I even want to. Not sure if I am sad about things or content. So here I am to blog it.
And then that brings me to my blog. I am not a super awesome with words type of girl. I do not demand an audience with every letter typed. Is anything I say interesting to anyone? Probably not.
But I blog anyways because it makes me feel good. :0) And then I get tons of email spam in my inbox alerting me to the fun hackers/spammers hope to gain from commenting links on my page. Gives them something to keep busy I guess.

But anyways... here I am. 33 years old. Trying to find my place as women attracting someone and single mom of three. And I find myself continually beating myself up for who I am. Watching other people as their lives scream - awesome - adventurous - you want to be with this girl. And mine screams - pick up the Nintendo Controllers, Sweep the pine needles from the kitchen and clean the tub ring from the showers so if someone looks in they don't think I bathed a pig in there and left it for show.

I do not trot the globe going to all kinds of exciting adventures. Nope, I am here. In my own little world because one - my kids are here. Tied for years to this place as result of having another parent who might not be so excited if I swoop his kids off and away. Then there is the little thing called $ that makes it not even an option. So oh you have never been ... anywhere? yep. Not since I have been an adult. My life pre marriage was pretty exciting. I have been to Poland/Germany, Panama multiple times, always beach vacations... then I grew up. ... And Erie PA has become once again an exciting outing. 3 hour car ride - a vacation!

Then lets talk about my cultural experience. What? Wreck it Ralph is not a classic movie? The Steakhouse that still allows us to throw peanuts on the floor is my ideal restaurant because one, I love the food... but two - my kids can scream all they want and no one notices.

But... the truth is... I do not want to be... I am me. I will slop something on my shirt. Heck my kids think fine linen is when I have on a nice shirt that they wipe their mouths on. Even without my kids - I am out of my element when I can't tell what I am ordering on the menu. And it makes me nervous to be so far outta my comfort zone. Sure I like new things... but reality is I am so happy at being out that I do not want to waste it not not liking something. The experience is not something I get every day and to be disappointed is not the outcome I am willing to shoot for. Not to mention my taste palette stopped developing at 12.

I am so thankful for technology. I hate when people use big words and movie or book quotes to talk. Truth is - I have no clue what you are saying. If it wasn't for google on my phone I could not join in half the conversations I try to engage in. I have not heard that line, I do not know what you are talking about and you lost me. Not impressed at how stupid I feel and it better be worth the time to look it up.

My favorite moments come when I am surrounded by my friends. As kids yell and act all silly crazy, run up and slug you, laugh and run away. As we try to engage in adult conversations, broken by pauses to get Captain America down from the fourth limb up (good throw!).

Where once our hot tub was turned up to a scalding temp - we enjoy a warm bath water feel because our fun is invaded by little swimming crazies who want to join us. Sexy fun? HA. No way. But loving every second and seeing the excitement of getting to hot tub with the adults.
Camping Bonfires are more centered around smores and making sure no one steals all the chocolate and helping rotate the odd shaped marshmallows.
Card nights  are interrupted by can I help you play that hand? please teach me to play! ... and we do. Stop playing 500 bid and lets get out the Apples to Apples... and its ok.

I wonder if I should try harder... Sometimes I feel like the excitement I get from working at the kids Cafeteria is crazy and juvenile.  Why don't I want to finish my degree of Computers and strive in the corp. world making $$$$$? I know I should. But I adore going to the school, making the lunch room inviting and smiling at each kid asking them if they want apple sauce, peaches or pears. I love smiling at the kids and seeing how happy they are at PCA. And I know that I do not care about a computer, I care about those kids. And helping them open their juice pop. ... but I struggle because it doesn't feel like I am striving to be who the world says I should be.

And I facebook. About my silly days. What ketchup we like best. Our trip creek stomping and soaking ourselves in a waterfall. Burning two dollar snakes and snapping snaps and having a perfect evening with it. Nothing exciting but completely awesome to me.

But I feel the weight of it all... when I look out and think about wanting to be known for me. I am more than Disney Channel and Macaroni an Cheese. I do have a mind and it is full of thoughts and opinions.  I love to debate. I like to know what is going on in the world - just don't always have the chance to if I am not filled in. Because my life moves so fast, even when it is stalled with sick kids keeping us cooped up. The demands are heavy. More than I can bear at sometimes. But to the outside... seems so ... nothing.

I don't have a history of good music. I don't experiment with breaking rules so my experience with anything makes me seem naive and clueless. I am the one who chose to use her paycheck on my car and savings instead of smoking and had AMAZING friends who wouldn't let me anyways. I think it was because they wanted me to cover drive thru while they went for a smoke but they claim it is because they cared about me...

So I struggle... I LOVE ME. I love my life. I like my childish ways. I love swinging on swings. I love drawing and jumping on trampolines. I love watching fantasy movies. I like singing teenage songs with clean lyrics that make me happy not feel like death. I adore rodeos and walks in the woods. I like going to a place I can get a milkshake and set traditions around mint ones.

The thought of going to a play or place of class freaks me out. I do not shop just to shop because it is not something I can do and it does not make me happy to feel like I am outta place. I just would rather not go.

If you want me to come up with ideas of fun... my mind goes to roller skating and kayaking. If I have to dress up I want to cry. Not because I do not like it. Because I have nothing to wear. I am a mom remember. If I did have something nice - I wore it and it is not grease stained or shrunk. And my body can't handle class either. I am stuck in that odd spot where I want to be 20 forever and that is my style... but my body is old and I can't (never could) but to wear what works for me - I feel twice my age and just depresses me more. So I would rather stay in my camo pants and batman tshirt and stay home. I want my gorilla glued combat boots and you can take these heels and go out with someone else.

I am shy around new people. I love to entertain my friends and welcome them to my home. I love to crash their places too... but the ones I am crashing... ask me how long I have known them. 16 years... So if you want to come crash my place - please do. But if you mention the fingermarks on my wall or pee on the seat I have yet to see because I have 3 bathrooms and do not spend every second of my life following my boys in there. But I do get it after they zonk out for the night. So if you want to see my house good - come at bedtime. or first thing in the morning. After that - just don't come if you are faint of heart.

I struggle... do I even want to let people in my world? Letting people in means displaying yourself and holding your breath to see if you are good enough. And facing reality that for most of the people you do - the answer will be - sorry. Not what we are looking for. And that is raw. As raw as it can get. The outcome could be awesome.. but the odds are not good. And the more time and experience that comes... the more I wonder... is it even worth it. Because I like me. And each time I figure out that someone doesn't it makes me question my worth.

So that's how I am feeling tonight as I go to bed. I am not depressed and sad about me. I love me. I think I am super awesome. It's just what goes through my mind... all the time. All the time.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Super Simple Cereal Bars

I needed to whip up a snack for kidlets simple and easy. Of course I always loved when my mom would make fruity pebble bars (twist on rice krispe treats) 
So I decided to go with that. Here is the recipe - simple and easy. 

3 tablespoons butter
4 Cups mini marshmallows
6 cups cereal of choice

First melt the 3 tablespoons of butter in a big pot over low/med heat. 


 Stir in the 4 cups mini marshmallows.


Stir over low heat until melted smooth.


Remove from heat and add in the 6 cups of cereal of your choice. Today I used fruity pebbles and then did a batch of chocolate lucky charms. Because I had big boxes of them and wanted to use some - that's why.


Stir to coat.
Then dump onto a spray buttered cookie sheet or in to a 9x13 pan. I just did a cookie sheet cause it was closer. :0)
I like to spray my hands and press down to flatten, push together. But you can use waxed paper if you don't wanna touch the food.


Let cool. Cut into squares and enjoy! Simple, easy, kids love.

Birdseed Feeders for little ones.

I will be making little birdseed feeders with my preschool kids tomorrow at our local Homeschool Co-op. 

I like to use ricecakes because then the birds will eat the entire thing - leaving only the string behind. 

To string up the ricecake you will need to poke a hole in it. This part is the trickiest because if you are not gentle you will crack it right in half. 
I chose to use a straw and wiggled it gently back and forth with a little pressure to make my holes. I broke 2 outta the 12 pack. Not too bad. 


 Next use yarn or ribbon to string the feeders. You want to do this now because once the seed is on - they are messy!


To adhere the seed to the ricecake the traditional way is to use peanut butter. But since we have a highly allergic little one in our class, I am choosing to use vegetable shortening. (Crisco) 
 


Spread on both sides. 
Then gently press the ricecake into a bowl of bird seed. 
 

Cover both sides - pressing on it with your fingers a little to make sure the seed is sticking. Then find a nice place outside to hang it up! 


Beautiful and fun. The kids love watching how much the birds (or squirrels -  yes they like them too) have devoured them. :0)

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Its Spring!!!

Man it felt good to take down the plastic from the windows and open them wide today!

I was in full spring cleaning mode. Rearranged my entire living room. I love change! Well... in the house. I love change in the house. Other things  - I am more a creature of routine and habit so...

I got my walkway to my house all prettied up. My roses and moms are showing signs of life and my tulips are growing. I have one spot where I put a mum that is just not working. Last year it never came back up. I then dug it up and got a new one. I thought perhaps a kid was trampling it or it got frosted. But this year - same spot, no return. So I have a feeling it is just the ground there. Oh well for the small price they are, I will keep it in that spot and just regrow it each year. Sad but it is right where I WANT it to be. So I will do what I have to do.

It is also that time of year again where I am working on getting back into my walking and running. I use the C25K app on my iphone and it takes me slowly up to running a 5K. But since I went into winter hibernation and this year didn't keep it up at the Gym ... (had to cut costs) I am back at square one.

But I have to keep my butt going because my friends and I signed up for a Dirty Girls Mud Run for Breast Cancer in June. Super excited about the 5K Obstacle course... the mud??? well.... ok super fun too. Just kicking myself because I just threw away my old tennis shoes I used to keep for Tubing. I am not so sure if I will buy a new pair of running shoes and kill the ones I have. I really like my running shoes though but buying new shoes for this run to kill... wonder if I can find a friend with an old pair of decent (gotta run and climb in them) size 8 or 8.5 they want to let me trash.....

My dad is pondering taking back his garden! I think we might convince him. He sacrificed for a few years his garden space as the only level spot in his backyard to give my kids a trampoline. I am super grateful for that but this year... I WANT A GARDEN! ... :0) And so does my daughter. The boys are bucking the idea. I LIVED to garden with my dad when I was little. It was our special thing each winter. He would let me draw and plot the garden. Make a map and that spring he would use my design and plant. Always tons of peas around the edges. Love peas! Cucumbers, Kalahari... those were my garden favorites as a kid. Now that I am older I want to add in spinach, lettuce, and ok the tomatoes, onions and peppers can be there too. I don't really like those but :0)

Anyways.... Spring is here! I love it! love it love it! Time to kick this winter crap out! Anyone else been sick ALL Stinkin Winter!?!?!? Yeppers. That was us too. Ready for a fresh new season. 

Monday, March 11, 2013

My super awesome online friends and Oil Pulling

Ok, so I have these crazy amazing friends I love with my entire heart. My online friends of 10 YEARS! And crazy as it is - we have stayed together through many site changes and as all of you that know - online friends are the BEST!!!

So these crazy people I have found have introduced me to many many amazing things over the years. I feel like I have grown up with them. I found them the year I got married and they have really helped make me the woman I am today.

I have learned how to cook from them. Yep. Want to know a kid tested recipe, how to do it step by step, they are here at the click of a button. Now ten years later the swipe of a finger on my iphone but I regress... I found passion for Homeschooling and support when I want to crash and burn. Found the love for crazy products like my Diva and cloth pads. Babywearing. Breastfeeding support. They introduce me to awesome entertainment : Doctor Who!  They are computer support learning more that I did from my COLLEGE classes by just asking and gaining from their knowledge. I have learned money saving tips, got closer to God with their support, and survived divorce!

So all that big intro... to say - My newest crazy adventure.

Introducing my try at Oil Pulling! Woot woot!

So what crazy thing am I trying now? Easy Peasy. Swishing a gob of organic coconut oil around in my mouth for as long as I can stand it. 15-20 mins.

Why??? Well cause my girls told me to and I trust them. Ha ha. No really. The benefits sound good. I will let you know. It is to detox your system and makes healthier teeth. Ok I hear people saying how can a mouth swish detox your system. I believe it. With all the cautions we get with dental care on heart problems and when my son was going through Leukemia active treatment he wasn't even allowed to floss due to it could be bad if the germs enter his blood stream. The mouth is access to the blood people. Trust.

So day one : 

I about died putting the gob in my mouth. ICK ICK ICK. Mine is no taste no smell kind but  I have a STRONG gag reflux! First gob was spit out in three seconds. Try two. I got it to melt. After it melted It was ok. I took friends advice and did it while I showered so that got me through 5-10 mins. 
My problem came when I was getting out of the shower and dressed I just couldn't do it and I spit. And unlike I was told, it made it to the sink not toilet. Opps. Better luck tomorrow. 

So then I did the rinse and brush. My teeth feel AMAZING clean right now. So no matter what happens next - if no more benefits come - this is going to be something that will definitely go with my oral routine for now. 

I will keep you posted to how I do! 

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Ricky the Remarkable Raccoon - a bookcrash review

 Ricky the Remarkable Raccoon - by Peggy Roger-Carey is a great book for families who have been touched by adoption. Ricky is a Raccoon who is looking for his forever home. He has such high hopes of it being with a family of humans. Ricky soon finds out that sometimes the plans we have are not to be.
 Ricky finds that there is someone perfect out there for him, and he is perfect for them. This book that journeys to Ricky finding his home at last is a great book for kids who have friends who are adopted, siblings or perhaps have had that experience of their own.
I think the pictures of this book are very impressive, colorful and holds a childs attention well. I think this would be a great book to use as a tool or just to have in your collection. I would recommend it to friends.

I was given this book free for review from Book Crash.com and was not required to give a positive review.