Wednesday, September 24, 2014


I haven't written in FOREVER, but just had to do some writing tonight. This is more for me than anyone. It's not written fancy. It doesn't have great flow. It not worthy of being in a magazine or being highlighted and shared on every social media site. But it's real. And it's what I needed to get out right now.

I am struggling with feeling like I am enough. Like what I do is enough. Like what I have is enough.
This world we live in today is amazing in so many ways. We can look up information on anything we want--boom, information in an instant. A quick texting conversation keeps us in contact with friends and family. So many conveniences are ours for the taking.
But entwined in the benefits are pitfalls. Snares.  Embedded in the daily connection of Facebook is a world of competition and envy. Oh we love seeing pictures of our family members in different states and keeping in touch with friends far and near. But we see what they are doing, the exciting things they are doing with their kids, the new "toys" they are buying and it's next to impossible to not have some envy.
Why do her kids sleep through the night but mine don't? I wish I could afford a new car/house/purse like they have. Their 4 year old can read better than my 8 year old. Her house looks so clean in every picture she posts. She's such a fun mom. She must be a better mom than me because she cooks healthier foods. I wish my family was as involved as theirs. Etc. The list in unending.

Another pit of ensnarement I have found is Pinterest. Not for it's often noted "time-wasting" abilities. No. I have found it to be a source of greater problems. It is way too easy to pin ideas for anything under the sun, and then what happens when you take a look at one of your boards? Sure you can see a list of possibilities. But I often see a list of things I want but will most likely never have. How depressing! It's one thing to see things in the store, things we can avoid looking at or even walk past, things we don't see every day. It's one thing to think about things we want. But to have pictures, lists, plans, detailed instructions with pictures right in front of us available to dwell on night and day is just plain torture!

Do you want to hear some of my thoughts I am struggling with? Well, one that's on my mind right now is about baby food. I want to make my own. I have been pinning ideas for a while now with recipes and health info. But if I use jarred baby food, is that enough? Will I still be a good mom? Will I be doing my child a disservice?
I want to read to my baby, well, all my kids really. But so often I feel like there just is not enough time. Or I'm tired. Or whatever. Am I messing them up for the rest of their lives? When they're grown up will they blame their lack of love of reading on me? If they struggle through school will it be my fault because I didn't read to them enough as little kids?
Another one. My children don't listen to me. At least not as often as I'd like. They ignore, sometimes on purpose. They do the opposite of what I instruct. They seem to enjoy getting away with it. Where have I gone wrong?

I guess I just have this overwhelming feeling of "I should be more." I should keep the house cleaner. I should go shopping more often. I should make better/healthier meals. I should make sure the kids get bathed more often. I should do more big chores (lawn mowing, recycling, house painting, garage clearing out) so my husband doesn't have that to worry about. I should keep the laundry caught up. I should launder everyone's bedding more often. I should do general housekeeping things that NEVER get done (i.e. clean windows, dust furniture, scrub shower, wipe down walls and baseboards). I should compost everything possible. I should build my own garden and tend it faithfully. I should learn to groom our dog and do it regularly to save us money. I should keep better track of our finances. I should find a way to make money to help pay bills. I should keep in touch with family better. I should do more fun activities with the kids (camping, trip to beach, amusement park, zoo, skating, bowling). Etc.

Monday, January 14, 2013


Just another night where I feel like I have failed as a mom. So many days, my nerves are so frayed and my mood so sour that bed time ends up cut short and I walk away feeling like crying. Upon reflection tonight of my rotten attitude and the tears threatening to burst forth, I realized it wasn't the kids that upset me so. It isn't the lack of obedience, the unmade beds that had to be made when kids should already be tucked in, the arguing, the defiance, the last minute chit-chat to avoid having me leave or any of the other hassles that every mom faces.
No. The depressed feeling, the knot in my throat and the pit in my stomach, the tears pricking my eyes are all because of me. My attitude. My reaction to the hassles. My anger instead of patience. My exasperation at the endless questioning instead of responding with pleasant words. I come down the stairs with the sound of crying following me. I wish I could crawl in bed with each child and hug and hold them and talk for an hour. To leave with happy memories and sweet little kisses still upon my cheeks. But I am so tired and spent at the end of the day, all I can think about is getting each one in their respective beds and turning off the lights.
Where have I gone wrong? Why have I failed? I don't want to feel like I am giving in to the disobedience. I don't want to be a sucker. I want my kids to respect me and follow directions, which should, in turn, make the routine flow smoother.  Am I asking too much? But I end up feeling worse. I end up feeling like a disappointment and a failure at the highest calling I could ever have. I want to be better. I want to be the best. I want to have my kids look back on their childhood with fondness.

I would say I hope I am not the only mom who faces this "monster mom" in the evenings. But I also wouldn't wish this on any mom and her children.
I would wish for you peace in your heart and smiles on your face. That you would have energy and joy as you go through the nightly routine of tucking your sweethearts in. I would wish you patience to deal with each last request and stall, each book that is read night after night, and each song sung with a chorus of little voices. I would pray that as the light is shut off and you whisper your "I love you"s, that your heart would be full to bursting with love and an ache to make the world right for your angels. I would pray that when your child sneaks out of bed, you would be willing to give that hug that is needed, and not feel bothered. And when you finally make your way to your own bed, that you would have no regrets, have a clear conscience, and a peace about tomorrow.

Sweet dreams, wherever you are. You are a great mom. You are succeeding at this job called motherhood and are raising darling children who will raise up and bless you. You are the one chosen to mother them, and you will do so with grace and mercy, strength and dignity.

Live with love. Have no regrets.
Sweet dreams.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Moments to Remember

     As Christmastime is now upon us, I feel joyful and bubbly. I love the typical Christmasy things: Nativity set, stockings, tree, candy canes, presents, etc. But more than that, it's the memories, and the opportunities to make memories, that I love. 

     Each year when we head to the tree farm to choose and cut down our Christmas tree, we have a silly little tradition for the kids. When we finally decide on which tree to get, we have to make sure there's no chipmunks living in it. We shake the tree, we look for "chipmunk food," and oftentimes, Daddy leads the kids on a chipmunk chase to ensure the little critters "don't find the tree again." This has it's roots in a Mickey Mouse and Pluto cartoon. 
     We also are diligent in putting out our cookies for Santa and carrots for the reindeer (Rudolph gets a cookie though, because he is picked on so much!).
We craft Christmas countdown paper chains and faithfully tear off on paper link a day.

     And last year we began a new tradition of attending our small town's tree lighting "ceremony." The kids get to visit with Santa and have a picture taken. There's cookies to decorate, a coloring contest with awesome potential prizes. And free hotdogs, chili and hot chocolate. All the while there is live music and dancing, and just has a real homey feel. 
     We attended this year's tree lighting tonight, and had a wonderful time. This was my moment to remember. My children looking so sweet and festive. Cold air, but warm spirit. Family. Friends. Involvement. Tradition.

The boys visiting with Santa.

My little princess was perfectly comfortable with the jolly man.

Mmmmm, chili! He declared it a new favorite and asked if I had the ingredients to make some when we got home.

Yummy hot chocolate.

This little one had been waiting for her candy cane all night. And she loved it!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Our Schedule (so far)

Not Back to School Blog Hop

We were planning on starting our school year on September 5, to give more time for prep. and all that. But I figured I had all the curriculum, and we were probably as ready as we'd ever be. So this last week we started school!

Here is the basic schedule for our day. But we're pretty relaxed about things, so if we need to adjust times it's not a big deal.
Kids get up between 6:3- and 7:30. We have breakfast, get dressed, make beds and brush teeth.

8:30--Start of the school day with handwriting. For the most part it's pretty simple and hopefully as we get into the year a little more, the boys shouldn't need our help quite so much with it.  At this point, dd *A* is playing with dollies or something.

9:00--Each boy does a few math pages. So far they've been doing pretty good with this, and I am finding out more about each one's learning styles. *DS2* you just show him the page, he tries to figure it out by himself and once you explain what to do, he's off! *DS1* is so smart, he could probably read the directions himself and do it, but gets very easily distracted. He needs someone with him every step of the way, keeping him focused and praising his efforts. If I were to just put the sheet in front of him and explain the directions and expect him to complete it...we'd still be waiting for him to finish at lunch time.
**After they finish their math pages, we have a break. The kids can play with legos or toys upstairs. This is my time with *DD1* also. We have read books, put blocks in the shape sorter, played with little matching tiles, etc. She loves attention of any kind.

10:00--Bible. On Mondays we read our bible story and lesson. While I'm reading, the boys are coloring the coloring sheet that goes with the lesson. *DD1* also has a little wipe-off book she can color in. The following days have activities and games that reinforce the main point of the lesson. This is one of their favorite classes so far, which is exciting.
11:00--We have either science or geography. This is a very relaxed class. For science this week we did a few pages in a dinosaur sticker/learning book. The boys LOVED it. We also have one about animals that we'll be using. We'll be learning about our bodies (muscles, bones, organs, etc.), and also doing some very basic, introductory sex ed.
For geography we'll be using our Little Passports as a base and learning about the country for each month. This month's country is Brazil, so we'll be looking up books about Brazil at the library, maybe color the country's flag, and make a recipe familiar to that country.
**This is where *DS2*'s day ends, since he's just in kindergarten. He was given a set of BOB books for his birthday that we started on, and he is SO excited that he can read the book by himself. He has a great phonics base from preschool that is proving to be a huge asset this year.

1:45--The 2 younger kids go down for a nap after lunch, and *DS1* has 3 "English" classes left.
First we work on spelling, which he is loving right now. He loves segmenting words and has breezed through the first 4 lessons in one week.
Next is language/grammer, which is focusing on nouns right now. This is a pretty simple class, and he likes that there is no writing to do in this class. :)
Finally is writing class. He has been learning what makes up a complete letter at beginning, period at the end. This is a bit tough for *DS1* since he loves to write everything in capital letters, but it's been good practice for him.

Then we're on to dinner at 5, baths, pjs, stories and winding down for the night. I shoot to have the kids in bed around 7pm.

So, this is our day so far. The formal learning part of our homeschooling. We also figure that every moment of every day is a chance for learning, so we'll be throwing in tidbits of knowledge where ever we can.
The kids have been having fun so far, loving that they can play in the backyard on recess, and be in the comfort of their own home. I love this part of homeschooling for them, although it is harder to complete my to-do list each day.

I love to see *T* loving to read.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

(Not) Back to School Photo Share

Week 3 of the Not Back to School Blog Hop is happening now, and we are sharing about our students. Well, technically it's a "(not) back to school" photo share, so I'll try not to write too much. :) We haven't officially started our school year yet, so these pictures will have to suffice.

My oldest DS is *M*. He turned 6 last month. He is full of energy, and enthusiasm, and loves to learn and understand new things. He has a great knowledge base already from 2 years at Little Clipper, a private Christian pre-school/kindergarten. He is already reading and I'm sure he'll breeze right through a lot of his 1st grade school work. And probably have difficulty with other parts I'm sure!

  My younger DS is *T*. My newly turned 5 year old is a ready to learn kiddo who isn't as self-conscious as his older brother. He's not afraid to make mistakes, which in turn helps him learn easier. He did one year of preschool at Little Clipper before we decided to home-school, so he doesn't have quite the head start older brother did, but he is very ready to start kindergarten! He is reading simple words already and can count well past 20, and do simple addition/subtraction.

I also have a DD *A* who will be 2 in September. She is a bundle of energy who loves reading books and being a "little mama." She takes care of her many baby dolls with much love, and when a doll is not handy, any stuffed animal or even action figure will do!

 It's going to be a great year!!!

Not Back to School Blog Hop

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Our School Room

This month I am linking up with Heart of the Matter Online for their "Not Back To School Blog Hop." Each week focuses on a different aspect of homeschooling (curriculum, school room, students, and scheduling), and bloggers are encouraged to link up their personal blogs, and then read what everyone else has blogged about also. Mariposa Mom saw more traffic last week than ever before, and it has been wonderful to read all the comments left by fellow homeschooling moms.

This week the focus is our school rooms. Right now, our little family will be using our dining room table as our desks. Each boy gets half the table. I'm sure we'll do a lot of reading on the couches, but it's so much easier to write sitting at a table or desk, I imagine most of our time will be spent there.
We have a mid-height long 6 drawer "dresser" by the table which houses our supplies. I need to still clear out some of my books and things from a few drawers so I'll have somewhere to keep our curriculum when the rest of it gets here.

When we move to our new house, we will have a separate family room, 1/2 of which will be made into our school area. We have desks already, and bookshelves, so we are pretty much set to go when we move. I will be able to decorate it like a classroom, have more space for projects and things, and just have a more permanent location for things. I can't wait! We even have a mini desk for our almost 2 year old daughter.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Getting the Hang of It?

My last blog detailed what curriculum we will be using for this, our first, year of homeschooling. I am SO excited about everything, and in true mom fashion, I believe that we may even breeze through some of it so quickly that I'll be ordering next year's things before this "school" year is out. We'll see.

I was unsure which math curriculum to use. I thought I had found the one, but as I looked at the sample pages more, I realized it just was too "text-bookish" for us. My boys like workbook pages, activities, movement and fun. Not sitting and listening to explanations that even Mom doesn't understand.
So, through other homeschooling mom's blogs linked up at the Not Back to School Blog Hop, I found many great ideas we could use. And our Math curriculum, Mathematical Reasoning.

I have been reading through the All About Spelling teacher's text. It's one of 2 subjects that we have received already, and I'm liking it more and more. At first I wasn't sure about it...seemed hard to understand. But each lesson ties together, with much review and slow progression. I believe this will help the kids retain what they are learning SO much more. And it uses different modes of learning to really engage and create learning pathways... speaking the sounds/words/phonograms; seeing them in print; and using motion and writing to tie it all together.

I am really happy that the rest of our curriculum should arrive within the week. My goal is to read through each one, map out general goals, and be ready to start school around the first of September. Chris has his vacation that first week, though, so we're not sure if we'll take the opportunity and try to get away for a small family vacation, or get a head start on school while Daddy is home to help out. We'll see.

Thanks for reading. And to my new followers, WELCOME!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Homeschool Curriculum Choices for Year 1!!!

This is our first year of homeschooling. We are nervous. We are most likely over-analyzing. We are trying to find out all that we can before we actually get started. Overall, we are super excited to begin this journey of home educating our kids and instilling in them a love of learning and all good things.

After blog hunting and researching and taking into consideration our boys' unique personalities and abilities, we have found curriculum that will hopefully be fun and act as a good springboard for activities and extra learning. We want to take lots of field trips, be library regulars and do lots of hands on learning.

Our boys are 5 and 6, so will technically be in kindergarten and first grade. The classes we have chosen can be used for both boys, and adjusted to meet the age needs of either kid.

Our curriculum choices are:
A Reason for Handwriting Level A
All About Spelling
Little Passports(for geography)
Story of the World: Ancient Times (history)
My Body: grades 1-4 (science)
Telling God's Story (Bible)

We still are unsure about a math curriculum, so if you know of a fun, easy to understand program, let me know! Both boys are actually really good at math, and I think it's going to be hard finding something challenging and new without being difficult and boring. We'll have to shop around.

Other than these classes, we will be doing some child led learning. If they express an interest in a subject, we will use that as a means to learn all sorts of subjects. An interest in construction trucks isn't just about "boy stuff." It can be a way to make reading fun by reading truck books, learn math by measuring different trucks and comparing, etc.

So that's it in a nutshell. Wish us luck on our new, exciting adventure! We're Off!!!

Not Back to School Blog Hop

Saturday, July 9, 2011


Just some things I've been thinking about as my oldest had his 6th birthday and the younger ones are coming up on theirs also.

Number of:
Years I've been married: 7 (almost)
Years I've been a mommy: 6
Children I have: 3
Birthday parties I have "thrown": 11 (with 2 more coming up)

I love birthday parties. I love the preparing; organizing, shopping for supplies, planning the details, inviting, decorating, etc. I love being with the people we love, and getting to know them better. I love marking the milestones of my kids' lives with something memorable.

DS1's 6th birthday party was today, and it was a gloriously sunny day! Warm, a bit windy, but just perfect. The kids played a couple silly, easy games, the b-day kid opened presents, there was popsicles and ice cream cones for the kids and cake and drinks. Just perfect!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Ball is Rolling!

The land is ours!!!

Officially, in paper, by contract, it. is. ours. We own a piece of property! How amazing is that!? And not only that, we are beginning construction on our very own house. Home. Dwelling. Amazing!

This has been such an amazingly quick process, it's hard to believe it's really real. In March we happened to see a house for sale that we liked a few miles out of town. It was old, but BIG. It had charm. It had a big yard. It was quirky. It needed a LOT of work. least $80k worth of repairs. It would have needed special financing, the bank would have had to take a SUPER low offer on our part to even make it possible for us. It was not working out.

My mom and I happened to attend the Home and Garden show about that time, and passed through a booth for Adair Homes. I was intrigued. Even more so when my mom mentioned that my aunt and uncle built an Adair home over 30 years ago, are still living in it and love it. Awesome.

DH and I didn't wait for Josh, the coastal Adair rep, to call us. We called him. We filled out the preliminary paper work to see what we'd be approved for, he followed through, and that's the beginning of how we got here today.

We have gotten bids for electricity, excavating, water, etc. We got to choose which house plan we wanted (and fit within our budget). We have been in sometimes daily contact with various (for the land), financial services, Josh, and title company. It has been work, and a big time commitment for Chris especially, but it's all worth it.

As soon as we were told the property was ours,
DH convinced his dad to bring his tractor/mower out and cut the grass (thanks FIL!) had grown to well over 3 feet tall! Our boys could very easily hide in it. DH has been raking like a madman, weed-eating along the edges, and quickly making friends of our neighbors. We met both of our direct neighbors, and he said the retirement home next door was very happy about all the work he was doing. I imagine a nice trimmed lot is much more pleasant to look out at than an overgrown mess. *Special thanks to my dad for driving in his trailer and hauling off the grass after DH fills it. And to my little bro for helping DH finish the raking just this morning.*

For those that are curious, our house will have 4 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms, a living room & family room, and a garage. All in a total of 2080 square feet!

Now that we own the land and the funding has gone through, we are all set to officially map out where the house will set on the land, have the excavator dig the spot for the foundation and a ditch for the water pipe, and have the driveway graveled. Then I believe it's on to foundation, building permits, and... we'll see!

They have said it will take a maximum of 4 months to complete from the pouring of the foundation. We are overly optimistic that we could potentially be at least moving in to the house by Christmas. It just depends on SO many factors, it's hard to say for sure.

If you are interested in building an Adair home, we'd be happy to help you get started. Kind of point you in the right direction, and offer any advice we can. The people at Adair have been wonderful to work with, and very helpful.
If you do decide to build, be sure to mention that we referred you right at the beginning. There's a bonus incentive included for referrals.

Thanks for reading, and be sure to check back for more updates as we get moving!