Sunday, April 29, 2012

Tightening the reins at our Home on the Range

We've been hit hard with attorney fees and unexpected major home renovations in the past couple of years in order to accommodate our three littlest blessings. As a result, I have been learning to lean on God's provision in a whole new way. Looking for any avenue to cut expenses, a dear friend introduced me to and my quest to stretch a dollar became a little easier. I've even been able to convert a few friends and family members into couponers. Saving around 45% on groceries is such a great feeling, although I've never quite been able to do some of the "Crazy Things" I've heard about on the Extreme Couponing shows.  I've never seen the program personally, as we did away with everything except Netflix, but I am intrigued.  It seems some of them are also candidates for Hoarders, but NOTHING goes to waste here and I struggle to maintain an adequate "stockpile" because our family of 14 blows through grub with great gusto!  Hmmm, maybe that's why we never have enough toilet paper either.  lol.  Oh, dear, I'm going to have to go to time-out for potty-talk...
We are looking at ways to live a more sustainable lifestyle and dream of buying the 36 acres behind our house. The land has a few small ponds where the kids love to go fishing and we already have some fence built from when we leased it from the previous owner.  Our horse and two goats would have find a new home if we can't find a way to turn our dream into a reality.  I cannot articulate how badly I want to spare my children yet another painful loss.  I am clinging to hope and being as pro-active as possible to make this happen for our family!!!

Ideally, we would raise our own organic veggies in a large garden, plant fruit trees, and have a small family farm of sorts. Our children would not only eat healthy organic food, they would gain a greater appreciation for its source. Also, getting in touch with nature and working with animals is Therapeutic which would help them continue to heal AND give them valuable life skills.  We have even talked about participating in a local Farmer's Market.  Just think of all the young Entrepreneurs in training...

Hippotherapy in our own backyard...awww, a dream come true and truthfully, I could use it myself.  I have chronic lower back pain from being hit by a drunk driver a few years ago.  I was in the process of recovering from major back surgery when we were involved in the head-on collision.  An officer at the scene said it was the worse, non-fatality accident he had ever seen.  As completely grateful I am that we ALL survived, I honestly struggle with anger and depression at having to live with pain daily. Therapy using horses may be the answer to help me both physically and mentally.  After all, I MUST be "crazy" to have all of these kids. ;-P lol.

I have recently stumbled across a fund-raising site,  Has anyone had any experience with them or sites like this?  Or, do you have any other suggestions to help us reach this very lofty goal?

Friday, January 21, 2011

Let it Snow.....INSIDE!!!

I'd have some great pics to share from last night, but instead my older kids were able to "be little" and play without the fear of being caught on film having fun with...gasp....their family.  We sat together in a circle and ripped some newspapers as we shared things that made us angry or frustrated.  The pile of shredded paper grew to a mountain right there in our living room.  We could see it, feel it, and we were talking about things that all too often keep us from those most important to us.  Then, in a mom moment I can actually be proud of, I pulled out the trash bag from Christmas that I had been saving for this very occasion.  Gift wrap was saved so we could then reflect on the blessings in our lives.   The mountain of worries was slowly covered with praise.  Slowly, because it was more difficult to think of the good especially with all of our frustration symbolically right there in front of us.  Hmmm, true to life...I'd say so. 
Any idea what comes next?  We had a huge "snowball" fight with all of that shredded stuff while "ice skating" in outrageous fuzzy socks on the hardwood floors.  It was so FUN.  Music blaring, giggles, dancing, conga line, sneak attacks on Daddy, raking it all into a big pile and starting over....and over.  Sounds loud and crazy fun, huh?  Well, it was and then Jason and I slow danced, as our children showered us with "snow" and laughter as we kissed.  Yep, all in all an awesome evening.  Silly AND romantic.....Bliss.

Oh, yeah, Jason made fried chicken using whole wheat flour that was seriously the best I've ever eaten.  Yummy....sigh.  Ahhh, perfection.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Making Home a Haven

After finding much inspiration at Women Living Well, I decided to take the plunge and participate in my first ever bloggy challenge.  One of my deepest longings is for a peaceful home.  Some who have been to my house and probably those who haven't but know I have 12 kids under the age of 12, may think peace for me is a far-off dream.  I have hope.  A little.  Sometimes.  There are moments when we are gathered around the table when peace reigns.  Of course, it could just be everyone's mouth is too full to talk. 

Monday, September 27, 2010

Famished for Fall

Ok, so I have this weird theory that I have only shared with a few close friends.....until now.  So many of us are hungry...all the time in the fall.  I think we are biologically wired to fatten up before winter.  Summer is over as is the desire to look good in a swimsuit....which never has worked out so well for me anyway.  It's almost like we are trying to insulate ourselves with a nice layer of blubber before the first frost.  That is my rationalization for eating homemade ice cream by the gallons.  It is pretty sad that my husband shakes his head and laughs as he cranks up the freezer for my 13th "last" hurrah of the summer.  Soon, pumpkin pie will be my weakness along with Carmel apples and warm sticky cinnamon rolls fresh from the oven.  Fall desserts oh, how I love thee.....

almost as much as cold, creamy ice cream.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Again a moment with Sassy Pants...

"Mom, I was downstairs and then my stomach was hesitating!  Really, it did.  I, like, don't even know what that means, but I think my whole body was just hesitating."  I try to keep a straight face and decide this warrants a call to my dear sister, Aunt JoJo.  Unfortunately, she was in the shower and Uncle Marc answered the phone.  Insert girlish giggles, lots of them.  You see, Uncle Marc married Aunt JoJo when her two children were 10 and 11 so he didn't "do" the baby thing.  Sassy confounds the most experienced of mommies and teachers alike.  This is awesome!  We explain the situation to dear Uncle and he seriously doesn't quite know what to say.  Then more giggles as he almost whispers, "Does she need to....ummmm....poop?"   This from the man who has yet to pass gas in front of his wife, or anyone else for that matter.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

News Flash Via Miss Sassy Pants

Oh, my darling little Brenna.  She delights and frustrates me all the time....really ALL the time.  She was dancing around on her fawn like legs enacting the famous scene from Bambi when she declared how very happy she would be when winter finally arrived.  "I can't wait to wear my pajamas all day and never leave home"  I gently explained that she couldn't wear pajamas to school......devastating news for her, right?  She immediately pops off that she would not be attending school in the winter because she is allergic.  Huh?  No, she is not allergic to school, but to winter itself.  She was quite certain this was indeed the truth because she "always gets sick in the winter, duh, mom."  What?  It is true.  I guess I need to get her allergy information updated.....

So what creative excuses have your children given to get out of school?