Monday, January 16, 2012

A the winner is....

Alright, the BIG day of excitement has ARRIVED!!!  I've entered the names and chosen a winner...actually, Alayna did the drawing;), and the winner is......

Sharon Weidemann!!!

Congratulations Sharon!!!  I'll be in touch with details on how to get you your, well deserved, prize!

Here's what coming your way, just as a reminder... ;)


Thanks for everyone who entered:)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Coffee...a "NEED"...

Good dreary Thursday morning friends!!  It's cold and rainy outside...and I wish I could say I was cozy on my couch, with coffee in hand, posting on my blog...BUT I can't.  It's a little more like this...of course it's still cold and rainy out...i'm mostly cozy, coffee is getting colder and I'm standing in the kitchen working on this post, with a noisy little, nerf gun shooting 2 yr old sitting (on the counter) next to me:)  Such is my life! (and I'm not complaining).

Regardless of the current conditions, inside or out, today is a GOOD day because I've been encouraged to do a "give-away"!!!  I know, I know, you can't contain your excitement...and that's ok, let it out, do a little dance in your one will care:)

This post & give-away is totally, 100% centered around one of my FAV things...COFFEE!!!  Who's with me?!?
a Christmas gift from my parents one year...and now my FAV's so cheery!

So, would you say coffee is a "NEED" for you? or do you just simply "want" it sometimes?  Due to the whole lack of caffeine inducing headache thing, I consider it a need;) although sometimes I simply want it, for it's soothing deliciousness!! 

What's your coffee of choice?  I don't have ONE particular brand, or favorite, although DD and Starbucks rate pretty high, in my opinion.

A recent great deal at a local grocery store....LOVE those deals!

Now for some other fun coffee shots....

my little "friends"...

...along with my big friend  :)

Finally, let's get to the give-away.....since most likely, that's the reason for your visit today:)  With a simple comment below, you will have a chance to win a bag of the deliciousness pictured above (and below)!!!  For another chance to win, (or having your name entered twice in the drawing), simply share this blog on your facebook page...let's see how many coffee lovers want to visit here, for their chance to win!

Here's the prize...

THIS could be YOURS!

Don't forget to comment and share....*here's to hoping*!

P.S. If you'd love more info on homeschooling, OR to just connect with some awesome moms, head on over to this blog:, and check it out!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

It's begun!

Good morning sweet friends!  It's a typical Tuesday here...and really just a typical day.  A computer/coffee morning before feeding the 4 hungry baby birds...

I had mentioned a post or so ago, to fill you in on our homeschooling adventures and how/why we decided to start!  I thought I'd start with a bit of it now;)

It all started late spring/early summer 2011.  With just a thought.  While we had talked about homeschooling even before our kiddos were born, the timing was just never right.  We were always in baby having stages;)  With our oldest now 7, and youngest now 2, the timing has just gotten better.

So as thoughts would pop into my head, I'd share them with Glenn...we'd talk about it, disagree about certain things, agree about other things...but all the while never deciding TO homeschool.  The topic would just KEEP coming back to me/us, every couple weeks.  I know it was the Lord, because of the way, and frequency, the subject kept popping up.

After a summer of continued conversation we decided, with little hesitation, to send our girls to public school.  We're so fortunate to live in a good school district, with a great elementary school and even better teachers!  The girls had a great first day, great first weeks and even great first months.  All the while, homeschool thoughts lingered, and even continued to "bombard" us.  So, after months of casually discussing it, we finally felt the Lord nudging us to consider it more seriously.

I told Glenn I felt like at the very least, I thought we should start to look into homeschooling, and what exactly it would take, how we'd start, legalities that needed to be dealt with, when we'd start, cirriculum we'd use, etc, etc, etc....

So we did.  We researched.  We talked.  We prayed.  We thought.  Then eventually after we were fairly sure it was a good choice for our girls, we asked them.  After a few questions from them, and conversation between all 4 of us, they agreed and we decided to do it!

There was just one small topic of disagreement...timing...WHEN to start.  Glenn wanted to wait until the following school year, I thought we should start after Christmas.  Again, after prayer, discussion, and just thinking it through, we decided that some adjustment time would be good for all of us, before starting homeschool in 3rd grade for Mayah, which is a known tough academic year.  That is primarily what led us to our decision of taking them out of public school mid-year.

Some of our reasons for pulling them from public school are:

   desiring a Christian education for them, without paying Christian school prices (which we  couldn't afford)...

   allowing our girls more time to be kids, vs being in school equivalent to a full-time job/40hr a week

   having a say over the cirriculum and what they're being taught & exposed to

   US being the ones who get to spend SO much time with them, vs other adults (who are practically strangers to us)

   having the time to teach them valuable life skills...we're working on getting them more involved with chores and helping around the house (this part is especially exciting for me) :)

   providing more sleep time for them!  they were waking up everday shortly after 6, to catch the bus at 6:55...which was just waaaay to early for them, ages 6 & 7!

There you have it!  We've made our decision, made the transition and currently have a whole 9? school days behind us:)  I suppose my next post will have to include how it's going so far...because I'm sure you're dying to know;)

***Guess what? It's after 8:00 and Mayah is STILL SLEEPING...ahh, the perks***


Friday, December 9, 2011

the changes we are making...

Well, reading back, I realize it's been since summer when I last posted...and thanks to a friend, I've been inspired to catch this blog up a bit:)  This time, it won't be just about me...because frankly, that's not my life! 

I added this picture of my 4 loves because well, I'm SUPER proud of each one of them...AND because much of this post has to do with them!

I'm writing today with thoughts of our new, soon to begin, adventure in homeschooling!  It's been a process of getting to this decision, one in which perhaps I'll share another time when I'm more motivated to write 10 pages, lol:)

After today, our girls only have 10 school days left...and they can't go by quickly enough!  We are all so excited to being homeschooling.  The most immediate, yet shallow, part we're looking forward to is getting to sleep a bit later in the morning!  Currently the girls catch the bus just before 7...the alarm goes off just before 6...*yawn*.  Weekday mornings can sometimes be less than enjoyable with little grouchy grouches to arouse, get up & moving, coerce into eating breakfast, brushing teeth, getting dressed, and ready for the bus' arrival at 6:55.  While it's frustrating at times, they're lack of desire to jump out of bed, I get it completely...because I've already "snoozed" 2 or 3 times before getting up myself.  SOO, while a very minor reason of homeschooling, it sure will be a majorly joyous change.  Another reason that we're so excited to make this change, will be the great flexibility in our schedule!  Again, sorta minor in our decision...but majorly more suited to our family.

Even though I basically have little idea of what "exactly" we're getting ourselves into, I'm also not niave enough to think this journey will always be fun, easy and stress free.  I'm (trying to) prepare myself for the days when I only WISH I could put them on the bus at 6:55:)  Hopefully those days are few...

We desire a school setting like this for our children because WE can choose what they're learning...WE can teach them at their pace...the LORD will be taught in mostly every subject...certain behaviours that we deal with, can be worked on much more frequently...our children are in our care 40 hours a week, vs. the school systems care...and *hopefully* our family will just grow much more close-knit as a family unit who loves just hanging out and living life together!!!

All of the above will come at a price though.  The price will be time, patience, stress, growing pains...but our children's lives, their learning, their learning to love's all worth it...we hope and pray! 

Here are our first students...2nd grade and Kindergarten:)
And here are the 2 little monkeys....
                                                                                             And me, the teacher:)
And my hot teacher's assistant!

...then end...

Friday, July 22, 2011

He's still working on me!

I'm sitting here thinking about "attempting" another blog post...but not so sure if I can through everything...with a fussing 2 yr old by my side.  Ironic, based on what I want to blog about (as you'll hopefully read).  I should just close the laptop and play with him, right?!  Well, he's only fussing for me to hold him and reality is that my life doesn't quite revolve around him so...I'll try moving to the floor and he can just play around me.  Or ON me, ok Judah, whatever works!:)

So I REALLY feel like I'm being worked on, changed, challenged, the way I 'mother'.  It's been a week of so many different, exciting, scary, uncertain thoughts but I sense them from the Lord and so mostly it's just exciting (ok, and scary).  *Judah is currently on my back, sticking a pen through my braid, which is pulling my hair, but hey, at least he's no longer screaming, right?  These are the things I'll be enduring, and learning to love, more often.*

Let me just start by saying, for those of you don't know me, that I have 4 amazing children.  Mayah just turned 7, Alayna will be 6 in Sept (they're 15 mos apart), Jakob is 3 1/2 and Judah just turned 2.  We didn't quite plan on having 4 kids in 5 years but hey, this is what we've been given!  *Judah's on to hammering on his tool set now, too bad Glenn's trying to sleep in prep for working all night, but it's so much easier typing sitting up, without a 2 yr old my your back!*  Where was I?  So, we've had baby's for the past 7 yrs really and just NOW starting to get out of the baby stages.  And with Jakob (finally) potty-training, we're down to only ONE in diapers...vs. having two in diapers most of our parenting years:)  All of that to explain that we've mostly been in "immediate-care" mode.  This includes all of the daily needs of dependent children:  feeding, clothing, bathing, wiping, teeth-brushing, hair-brushing and doing, playing with, reading to, disciplining, putting to bed and getting out of bed, teaching, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc, get the picture I'm sure!  I FINALLY feel like we're somewhat getting out of that constant-ness of doing everything for everyone.  Mayah can shower herself and Alayna is well on her way so now we're mostly down to just bathing 2 kids vs. 4.  It's the little things like this that is moving us into a new stage, and me into a new way of mothering!

During most of the past 7 years, my focus (I'm saying "my" because this is my blog post, BUT please know that Glenn is right in this with me) has been the primary care of 4 kids, of their physical needs MUCH more than their other needs.  I'm so thankful that the Lord is opening my mind and heart at this very time, when it's so badly needed, to change my focus from primary care to spiritual nurturing!!!  I feel like up 'til this point I've been fairly apathetic regarding their well-being.  Like I just haven't invested ALL that they need to grow in the Lord, grow into godly characters and grow into who the Lord wants them to be. 

Believe me, I'm not claiming to know how to do this well's just what the Lord is stirring up in me, what He's giving me a passion for.  My passion in life, as a young girl, was to be a wife & mom, and a nurse.  I am all 3 of those.  My passion has still been nursing, even though I haven't worked in that field, really since Mayah was born.  During a recent sermon at church, that pastor spoke on how we should align our passion in life with furthering God's kingdom, because most likely he puts a passion in us, a burning desire in our hearts, for what we're GOOD at, for what HE can use us in to enhance HIS kingdom.  I felt so strongly that day that since my passion is, was, always has been nursing, that I should pursue that again.  I even cried that morning, having felt such a stirring from the Holy Spirit.  (And I don't often cry, since I'm on zoloft...just throwing out more honesty):)  I even went so far as a meeting with a nursing counselor at HACC, applying to and being accepted to school there, in hopes of furthering my nursing degree.  Then reality, once again, set in and I thought "how in the world can I go to school right now? with my kids in the stages they're in?"  So I decided to put that off for some more, not sure when that right time will be....
But is the Lord changing my passion?  Is HE giving me a new passion?  Is all of this part of the work He's still doing in me???  I don't yet know but I have some suspicions;)

One of the biggest things I've been pondering this week is how to be the kind of mother that the Lord is calling me to be, calling us as Christian moms to be.  There are 1001 (plus a few) ways that we can read on how to be the best mom to our kids...secular views and "christian" views alike.  There are even MORE pressures put on us as to what kind of woman, parent, wife, etc, etc, etc to be.  I feel like most of these very ideas are what causes so much of my guilt, my lack of self-worth, my frequent doubt in how I mother.  All of this is right where the enemy wants me, wants us...having a little pity-party for where we are in life.  Well, to this I have been given an idea (I believe from the Lord).  I am going to TRY to throw pretty much all of that by the way-side and listen no more!  You might be wondering what advice I'm going to learn from now then, in how I mother?  Good question and here's my answer....GOD and HIS WORD!  I'm starting to study what the Bible has to say about what kind of mother (& woman) I should be, and try to make those things my new standards, NOT what the world says, and not even necessarily what other believers have to say (especially if it contradicts God's word)....ok, feel free to gasp in horror because I said I won't even listen to christians anymore***I won't be able to hear you:)  Seriously though, while I feel like, and I know, that there are many godly woman who have MUCH godly advice to offer on this topic, even THAT adds undue pressure.  I think to myself, "well if that woman said/does/teaches/disciplines/dresses/acts/decorates/meal-plans/mothers THAT way (and she's just SO amazingly awesome) then I too must say/do/teach/discipline/dress/act/decorate/meal-plan/mother that way too!"  duh, kendra! 

That's sorta the old me.  I say "sorta" because we don't change overnight, or even in a week, but it's a process and THESE are things that are running through my mind lately.  I only have to align my mothering with what the LORD says, not what anyone else says, right?  RIGHT!  How freeing of a realization this is for me!  Now to research just what the bible DOES say about I'm to mother.  Well today is just the beginning of some of my "research" and as you can imagine, there have been just a few interruptions.  Oh well, that's my life and I'm finding JOY it in:)

One of the verses I came across this morning is Deut. 6: 6-7.    "And you commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands I am giving you today.  Repeat them again and again to your children.  Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up.  Tie them to your hands and wear them on your foreheads as reminders.  Write them on your doorposts and on your gates." 

Vinyl wall decals anyone?:)  I just picked up 3 at Berean yesterday at 50% off.  I'll share some pics in another post...

May the Lord TRULY bless each of you mother's today, in some way that's clearly evident to you!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Brutal honesty

So I have decided to change my blog, in which I've rarely written in anyhow.  My new title is "Simply Me".  You'll find out that it'll most likely be about MANY others, besides myself, but I've chosen this title because it's simply what I think, what runs through MY mind.  Perhaps sharing some brutal thoughts will encourage, challenge and interest some of you...time will tell!

Unfortunately today most likely won't be the encouraging post, this is a time where I just want to/need to journal some of my thoughts.  I could easily choose to journal them privately but I thought that since I'm struggling with MUCH, others might be as well and perhaps realizing that "we're" in the same boat could bring us some (sick sort of) comfort:)

My life is mostly crazy these days.  Glenn works 12 hr shifts, often leaving me during the dinner hour when my exhaustion from kids starts to kick in.  Afterwards I still am left with clean up, baths, bedtime, bedtime DRAMA, etc, etc....however, he DOES only work 2 or 3 days in a row so every few days I have him home for a few days!  Did I mention he works nights?:)  He's a cop too and so adds on the worry and fear of losing him some day.  It's such a dreadful, morbid thing to think about but some night when I'm REALLY tired and sad, I imagine this with such realistic thoughts, I've almost convinced myself that someday it WILL be my reality, my children's reality.  Then I tell the Lord that I CAN handle anything, THROUGH HIS STRENGTH....while also begging Him NOT to take my husband from me prematurely.  What is prematurely anyways?  I don't know, I guess while our kids are still so small and exhausting....

I think I'm having a bit of a pity party for myself today, so feel free to stop reading this at any time;)  Beyond being responsible for my kids, alone, often, there's the dreaded house responsibilities.....UGH!  I've never enjoyed cleaning, although I have heard of such people!:)  If I'm cleaning someone elses house, alone, uninterrupted and getting paid, well then I don't mind it but MY house?  no thanks!  However, after I get STARTED, it never ends up being so bad and the end result of much needed-cleanliness is a great reward.  Mostly though my house is either clean and messy, or dirty and picked-up...hardly ever clean AND picked-up though.  In some ways I'm learning to just live with/deal with/be okay with this because it's just our way of living right now.  With small kids there will by toys, and spills, and messes, and crumbs and clutter and stuff....mostly everywhere.  Currently an ant community lives on my dining room floor, due to 24/7 source of food, a.k.a. crumbs from the table!  And guess what?  I'm OKAY with long as they're not venturing TOO far into the kitchen and into food and dishes.  About 2 weeks ago I decided rather than dragging the vacuum cleaner out of it's closet 3 times a day I just needed to keep it right near the dining room table, for easy & frequent access.  Although the thought of it sitting in the dining room all the time didn't sit well with me either...(extra clutter).  So I revamped a picture collage/room divider thingy and added current pictures to it.  Now it sits in the corner of the dining room, displays family pictures and kids art work, AND hides my vacuum and steam mop! 

Enough about cleaning, now on to laundry.  I think laundry is my biggest enemy of life, well fairly big at least!  I don't think I have to say much about this stressor because the work LAUNDRY pretty much speaks for I right?!:)  It might be clean but it lives folded in baskets, more than put away in drawers!

Cooking and meals is another area that gives me headaches.  I think my kids eat some combination of peanut butter, jelly, butter sandwiches about 5 out of 7 lunches a week.  I'm just thankful that peanut butter is a protein!  I've been in a meal rut for about the past 6 months.  I love the ideas of meal planning, recipes, shopping and cooking from sale flyer's, etc...but I just haven't found anything that sticks.  Yes, I've also tried E-Mealz (in case you were thinking of suggesting it).

I guess that last BIG area is finances.  Why wouldn't it be?  Not that it's out of control (yet) but bills/bookwork/'s just one more area that weighs on my mind, leading to a great sense of being overwhelmed.

And THIS is the description of ME lately...OVERWHELMED!  I've mentioned all of the above because it's these very things that make me feel this way...and it's a feeling TOO familiar, and TOO frequent.  Insert GUILT as well!!!  Feeling this way makes me feel even MORE guilty, isn't that dumb? it hardly makes sense!  As a young girl, my greatest desires in life were to be a wife and a mom!  God has SOOOO greatly blessed me with Glenn, Mayah, Alayna, Jakob and Judah....I feel so grateful and thankful that this desire is now reality.  So then I can't figure out why I struggle with the responsibilities that my dream/desire involve?  Shouldn't I be happy to be doing all that goes with marriage and motherhood?  Okay, I realize that not EVERYTHING would earn my happiness (like who would be happy about cleaning up vomit, or even being puked ON?)....but I should at least enjoy my "jobs" somewhat, right?  I think so....I wish so.....

Don't get me wrong, there are moments when I totally see and feel the blessings and awesome moments in my life, I do!  However, mostly I just feel overwhelmed, exhausted and stressed by it all.  And that's my reality right now (at least that's better than a reality without Glenn)!

Maybe I'm bipolar because tomorrow I may feel totally different......

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

amazing sales

Hey friends! 

Well I rarely shop at Target because there just isn't one so close to me...BUT last night I made the trip because the sales were totally worth it!
See Target's website to print coupons that you can use WITH manufacturer coupons for even more savings.  Use those coupons on items already on sale and get things for nearly free, or FREE!
For example, print target's coupon for $5 off denim, use that with a pair of women's jeans that are marked down to $4.98, and get FREE JEANS!!!  I'll post a link to Target's coupon page!

Again, posting a link to my fav website, forthemommas, to detail great deals at Rite Aid this week.  This is another store I don't normally shop at BUT couldn't resist the FREE Johnson & Johnson baby products there, this week.  Again, with them being on sale, getting $2coupons back with each bottle AND a manufacturer/printable coupon, you can get them for free.  See forthemommas, under the Drugstore tab, click on Rite Aid.  She spells all of these deals out VERY well....

So these are some of my favorite deals this week!!!
***I think I've spent about $20 this week between Target, Rite Aid and Giant...this is what I've bought:
-3 pair women's jeans
-5 bottles Tide Stain Release spray (from Giant, normally priced $3.53, used 5 $3 off coupons=$0.53/each)
-4 Seventh Generation cleaning products
-16 bottle Johnson & Johnson baby wash and lotion
-5 pack M&M's (saving up for rewards for when Jake finally decides to potty train!)
-2 Finish Automatic dishwasher dispensing systems
-4 bags Halls cough drops
-3 3-packs Dentyne gum
-2 Purex laundry detergent
-2 Old Spice deoderant
-2 packs Pepperidge farms deli flats
***The crazy thing is, at original price, 1 pair of jeans from Target would've been $20!***