2 Corinthians 12:9 "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness."

Thursday, December 20, 2012


Last week, the unthinkable happened...

20 children were murdered in their classrooms...

6 adults, including teachers, a principal, and a guidance counselor were killed trying to protect the students...

A mother was killed in her sleep with her own weapon... By her own son...

There are many unanswered questions and many theories floating around. 

We are wondering about gun control and mental health issues.

We are wondering how and why...

We have few, if any, answers.

20 families don't have their children with them for Christmas, not this year or ever.

6 families also lost a loved one and even though they are adults who died, the loss is just as painful.

There are also 2 men who lost a mother and a brother/son and have the added grief that their loved one is the cause of this tragedy and the profound grief that HUNDREDS, if not THOUSANDS have to go through...

The children who survived and will at some point have to go back to school, if not in that building then elsewhere...

The teachers who saw a killer's face or heard the gun shots in the school and have to continue to teach with that fear in the back of their minds...

The police who responded to the unknown and quickly realized it was like nothing they have ever seen or imagined...

The medical examiner and his staff who had to perform too many autopsies on too many young people... and the officers who had to view those autopsies as well...

The firefighters at a station so close to the school who comforted family members for hours into the night...

The EMT's, doctors and nurses who were waiting and hoping to care for the injured but instead could only helplessly hear that there were so few injured...

The police and crime scene techs who processed a crime scene for hours in a location that should never be a crime scene...

The parents, siblings, friends, family, neighbors, co-workers, students, community...

So much grief, so much hurt, so many unanswered questions...

Monday, December 17, 2012

2012- A Review of Our Year

This is the time of year where many people look back at what has happened over the year and then they look ahead to the coming year....

This blog post will be a review of 2012 and in a few days I will post a look at 2013, including some new goals I have...

Here are some highlights for our family in 2012!

  1. If I had to sum up our year with only one word, it would be... Adoption!  It consumed our time and energy from the 1st of January until the 31st of December.  We made many trips to meet the boy who would become the newest member of our family, logged many hours and miles in our van to transport for our weekend visits, we experienced many meetings and lots of paperwork and rules.  But we wouldn't trade it for anything!  Not only did we experience the process of adoption, we were also able to see that process in the lives of at least 4 of our friends!  What a vivid example of what God did for us when He adopted us as His children through Jesus' death and resurrection!
  2. A phrase that makes me think of 2012 is new friends!  Through a variety of circumstances, I've made some new friends and have enjoyed getting to know them.  It's nice to have people to support you and for you to rely on, to laugh and have fun with, and to support and encourage.
  3. Another thing I learned this year, whether through my own experiences or through my friends, is trust!  Here's the important part... That trust needs to be in God, not in people.  People WILL let you down and disappoint.  God is ALWAYS faithful and His ways are ALWAYS the best.  So whether you're dealing with marriage problems, health issues, needing provision, having family or children issues, problems at work... Nothing is too big for God to handle!
  4. Support is another word that sums up our year.  I have a great support system in my homeschool group, a core group of close friends, and some other ladies that live the LEO life like we do and understand those stresses on a marriage and family.
  5. Last but not least, Life is hard!  God NEVER promised us that we'd have enough money, no sickness or no hard times.  In fact, He did promise us that we WILL experience trials of many kinds.  The good news is that whether life is easy or life is hard, God IS always with us!


Monday, December 10, 2012

I'm a Fan of "Not a Fan"!

It seemed to take me forever to read this book that should have taken me 2 weeks or less to finish.  But it seems that these days of school and soccer don't leave me much time or energy to focus on reading... (And on a sort of related side note, it took me OVER 2 months to actually finish and post this!)

Now that I'm finished with "Not a Fan" (written by Kyle Idleman), I can say that it was worth the time!

This book really makes you look at whether you are REALLY following Jesus or if you're just going through the motions.  Are you REALLY willing to do WHAT He says, WHEN He says?  Is He your ONLY priority or one of your priorities?  

Sure, it's easy to read this book and start thinking of the people you know who NEED to read this book because you know they are going through the motions at best.  But when you put those thoughts to the side, you realize that YOU really need to read this book because we ALL go through the motions at one point or another.  We ALL need to be reminded that Jesus needs to be the one in charge and we need to be following what HE says, not what our friend says or what we "feel" is right...

A line in the book that I love is "They (fans) want to be close enough to Jesus to get all the benefits, but not so close that it requires anything from them." 

That should make you think of whether or not that statement applies to YOU!

What do we think are some of the "benefits" of following Jesus?
  • Good health?
  • Enough money to pay our bills AND have extra?
  • A job we love?
  • Stuff?
  • Vacations?
  • Well behaving, academically gifted children?
  • A thriving ministry?
 But what if the TRUE benefits are:
  • Strength to get through an illness or disease?
  • Faith to get through a job loss and bills to pay?
  • Comfort when our friends and family abandon us?
  • Wisdom to deal with rebellious children?
  • Patience to deal with a special needs child?
  • Encouragement when dealing with a failing marriage?
Sure, sometimes the benefits of following God ARE tangible, but sometimes they're not.... Regardless, do we ONLY want those benefits that are pleasant or are we willing to follow so hard and so close that we WILL go through hard times as Jesus promised us several times in the Bible so that we can experience God in a way we never have before?

That is just one of the questions you will ask of yourself as you read Not a Fan.

Even though the questions you are asked in this book can be difficult, it is well worth the read and the look into your life to see just where you have put God in your life!

I recommend reading this book and be prepared to search YOUR heart!


Thursday, December 6, 2012

It's Hard To Believe!

I'll warn you in advance that this is a long post.  We've got a lot of ground to cover.  So, get comfortable, get a cup of coffee, and enjoy!
This month marks the 17th anniversary that my husband has been in Law Enforcement...

That gets me thinking back to those early days...

- With no cell phones (how in the world did we live without them?)...

- With no clue as to the life I would be leading...

- Just married, with a baby on the way, in a new city and about to buy a house...

It's hard to be newly married to start with.  Then you add in starting into a life that is like few others.  I knew only one other LEOW and she worked so we didn't get to spend too much time together.  My husband's job was stressful, his bosses were terrible and I was a bit too self centered to be a helpful wife.  Sure, I took care of the house and the baby, but the long hours (14 hour days between the 12 hour shift and the commute) and the lack of a schedule (he was often called into work at the last minute) led to a very difficult first 2 years of marriage.

Thankfully, my husband was able to get his dream job at a different agency in our same area.  The boss was better, the hours were a little better (still 12 hour shifts, but less of a commute) and he was called into work less on his days off.  He spent a year with a "regular" schedule- 8am-5pm Monday-Friday.  That was lovely with a 2 year old and a newborn!

After that first year in the new job, he was transferred to patrol, with 12 hour days and a shift that rotated between days and nights.  Even though he had worked those hours at his first job, it was a hard transition back to that with 2 young children.  I didn't handle it very well.

I now knew NO other LEOW's and that was difficult.  There was no one to encourage me when we had no family dinners, no one to help me with dealing with crazy schedules, no one who understood what it was like to have their husband work all night and sleep much of the day...

Fast forward more than a decade...

- I have branched out and now know several other department wives and I am friends with a few of them.  

- I still get frustrated with schedule changes and long shifts, but I can manage those things better now.

- We make more of an effort to have a monthly date night.  Some months it is impossible due to my husband's work hours, but it still happens more frequently than it did when we were first married. 

- We were not able to have dates very often when the kids were younger because of money to go out and get a babysitter.  Once I found a very good friend with kids my age and a husband in a nearby agency, we traded off childcare and we were both able to have more regular date nights.

I've also learned that this career can change a person...  I can't imagine seeing and experiencing everything my husband has seen and experienced... In his 17 years in law enforcement, the following is a short list of some of these things, the good, the bad and the ugly:

  • He's been threatened several times, mostly by drunk people he was arresting.
  • He's been cyberstalked by a lunatic.
  • He's witnessed several autopsies.
  • He's investigated a murder the kids and I called the "freezer man" case... There's nothing like hearing of a man who was killed by his teenaged son, decapitated and stuffed in a freezer in the basement for a year and a half...
  • He held a man in his arms for his final breath before he died of gunshot wounds.
  • He has investigated several terrible murders.
  • He has been on quite a few high speed chases and foot chases.
  • He has pulled at least one 24 hour work shift... No sleep, just working.
  • He has missed more church services, soccer games, Christmases, Thanksgivings, birthdays, and anniversaries than I can count.
  • He has missed many hours of sleep.
  • He has lost 4 co-workers; 2 in on duty car accidents, 1 in a line of duty murder, and 1 to suicide.
  • He has made a few lifelong friends.
  • He has gotten an excellent reputation due to his work ethic and personality.
  • He has gone from the courthouse to patrol to property crime to person crime to Sgt back on patrol.
  • He has been tired, grumpy, stressed, excited... 
  • He has loved every minute (well, maybe not EVERY, but close!) of his 17 years!

So, as I look back over the past 17 years, I see how I was not at all prepared for this life.  It took me several years to figure it all out.  In many ways, I still don't have it ALL figured out.  Once you think you do, it changes... So, even with as rigid as I can be, I've still learned to be flexible.  The hours WILL be long, the stress WILL be there, the schedule WILL change.  I may not like it, but I DO have to live with it without making myself or my family miserable!

It's hard to believe that my husband is able to retire in 12 years.  Will he?  Who knows...

Monday, December 3, 2012

Holiday Plans and Traditions

My goal was to post on this topic BEFORE Thanksgiving, but a little "distraction" called Pneumonia changed those plans...

Here's a little peek into some Holiday plans and traditions at our house:

  • We always watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade while eating yummy appetizers.
  • We usually have my parents and one set of my husband's (divorced and remarried) parents over for an afternoon dinner.
  • We put up our trees and decorations either a few days before or the day after Thanksgiving.
  • We rarely open gifts ON Christmas Day... Honestly, I'm the one who can't wait that long!  Last year, we would be away on Christmas so we opened our gifts on the 22nd.  
  • We have appetizers for lunch while watching a Christmas movie, playing with our gifts and cleaning up.
  • We usually spend the day with just our family.
  • For the month of December, we've had a Christmas Chain- green and red construction paper links with a fun activity for each day of the month.  We usually have things we're already planning on doing and then fill in on other days with things like watching a Christmas movie or roasting marshmallows.  Now we have a "house" with numbered doors and have activities printed out inside each door.
  • We go out to eat with my parents to celebrate my mother's birthday at a wonderful local restaurant that decorates beautifully for Christmas.
Now for the reality of this year....
  • My husband had to work Thanksgiving this year for the first time in probably 5 years so we had to change a few things up.  In fact, he worked Monday-Saturday of Thanksgiving week so there was no time to postpone the big dinner to another day.
  • We continued the parade and appetizers tradition.
  • We waited to have our Thanksgiving dinner with just the 5 of us until my husband got home from work.  Thankfully he was ON TIME for the only time all week so we were able to eat around 6:30.
  • We put our trees up the day after Thanksgiving.  I decorated less than usual, partly because I was still exhausted and also because my dining room, foyer and living room looked so beautiful from my friend helping me decorate that I didn't want to mess with it too much.  So, instead of taking out my 10+ nativities, I brought out my favorite few and used only those.
  • We still have quite a few trees: the tall one in the living room, the police one (blue lights and police ornaments) in the dining room, a table top with colored lights and JESUS ornaments in the living room, a lit tabletop "Places" tree in the kitchen and unlit tabletop in our bedroom, and one in both kids' rooms.  Technically, that's 7 trees!  But we love them all!
  • My husband is working Christmas Eve and Christmas Day and every weekend in December.  We have to rethink our celebration time as a family as it's now greatly diminished from other years.  We'll still have fun, though, because we like spending time together.
  • I imagine we'll open presents on Christmas Eve so that my husband can be there for it... If he gets home from work on time!  Hopefully even the criminals will decide to take Christmas off!  ;)  I doubt any of us will complain about opening presents early!
  • We'll probably have a low key day on Christmas.  I might see what a fellow LEOW whose husband is working that day is doing and maybe we'll meet up sometime that day... 

With my husband working so many holidays this season (he's also working New Year's Eve!), we will have to adjust some of our traditions, but we'll still have a wonderful holiday season spending time together as a family when we can!


Thursday, November 22, 2012


Thanksgiving is just another day in our house this year as my husband will be working a 12+ hour shift.  He hopes to come home for a brief snack at some point, but who knows if that will actually happen.  So, we'll just eat our Thanksgiving dinner when he gets home near dinnertime.....

Meanwhile, here are some things we are thankful for this year!

Troops that are stationed overseas, as well as their families that are at home without them...

Helpful parents, especially when I was sick this month and my husband was working...

Adoption!  What a perfect picture of what God has done through His redemption of those who are His children... We've been able to see this up close and personal this year...

New friends...  I've had the privilege of making several new friends this year and it has been great getting to know them better...

Kids!  Mine are pretty cool, as are their friends!

Special times with family.... We are blessed with the time we are able to spend together....

Great husband of mine!  He's definitely not perfect, but he's exactly what I need!

Internet... Just as with most things, it can be a good thing or a bad thing... But to consider the resources at your fingertips in only a few seconds, it sure can help in certain situations...

Verse by verse preaching in our church!  They are NOT afraid to speak God's Truth...

It's our great country, America!  Yes, we have faults, challenges and problems, but we still live in the BEST country in the world, with freedoms that others can only dream of!

Next year... I know I probably shouldn't look ahead just yet, but we've got a LOT of fun stuff coming up in 2013 as well as several changes that will take place...

God's grace, mercy, forgiveness and redemption... What more can I say than that?


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Second to the Job?

I follow a page for wives of law enforcement on Facebook.  It's helpful to get updates and support in a line of work that very few outside this life understand.

I saw a comment recently that made me stop and think.  A wife said that LEOW's (Law Enforcement Officer Wife) need to stop complaining about not getting to see their husband and that an LEOW will always be second to her husband behind his job.  She pointed out that her husband thinks he needs to check in at his department, even on his days off, and that means that he's passionate about his oath...

That comment made me stop and think....

Is it right for a husband to put his job above his wife?

My husband is a hard worker and when he is on shift, he is there 100%.   He trusts me to take care of things at home in a way that I don't have to "bother" him with things that I can take care of on my own.  

But when he's off duty, he's OFF DUTY.... Sure, he works extra jobs when they are available to him.... Yes, he takes phone calls from work when he's not on shift.... Of course if someone with rank higher than him asks him to do something on his days off, he does it...

While he has a great reputation at work and does his job with excellence, he doesn't for one minute think that the rest of them can't function without him.  

When he is on duty, he is there to get the job done.  But if I need him, he does his best to be there for me.  It's not always possible to even get in touch with him while he's working, so many times I have to take care of something because he's simply not available.  If I'm sick, or one of the kids has an important event, or we are wanting to go on vacation, he has no problem with trying to take the time off to be there for his family.  

I'm hoping I misunderstood this woman's comment.... Hopefully she meant that her husband is into his job 150% and not that she is content with always being second to the job.  I don't think I could ever be content with being 2nd to anything in my husband's life other than God.

I'm thankful to have a husband who loves his job, does it well, is thought of highly by his co-workers, but who also loves his wife and children MORE than he loves his job!



Thursday, November 15, 2012

5 Things I've Learned or Confirmed From the Election

You'd have to live under a rock to not know the results of the Presidential Election this past week.

It seemed to me that this election season was extremely bitter.  I learned and/or was reminded of a few things during this time...

  1. The mainstream media IS in fact biased against conservative candidates...  When you have misspoken words on the conservative side taken out of context and given days upon days of coverage, but you have misspoken words on the liberal side barely being given a day's worth of coverage.... That's called BIAS!  BOTH sides misspeak!  BOTH sides lie!  The only fair thing to do would be for the mainstream media to hold BOTH sides accountable for those words in the same way!
  2. Our country is VERY divided... I think I remember President Obama in his first Presidential campaign talking about bringing people together?  I understand that this takes BOTH sides, but I have felt very little from President Obama in this regard.  I pray this changes in his next term as America so desperately NEEDS to work together for the good of this country!  BOTH sides need to compromise to make the changes this country needs!
  3. Millions upon millions of people in America STILL don't understand what an incredible right and freedom we have in this country to VOTE!  There are countries in this world where you CAN'T vote!  There are countries in this world where you can "vote", which just means that you can check the box of the ONE person running because you have no choice or say!  I don't know what it will take for Americans to wake up and realize this and exercise their right to VOTE!
  4. It still makes me sad that so many in this country care more about their paycheck, vacation, new car, pets than the fact that MILLIONS of innocent human babies have being slaughtered in the name of choice.  What potential world leader, cancer curing researcher, doctor, teacher, parent was not given the chance to LIVE because of "choice"?  It just makes me sad...
  5. People can be MEAN!  This happens on BOTH sides of the political spectrum and it makes me sad.  It has gotten so bad this election season that I didn't even want to post about the issues because I didn't want to receive any more rude comments about the opinions I have.  We can NOT make generalities about people we've never met based on their opinion!  And yet I saw name calling from both sides of an issue.  I was called and idiot, ignorant and.... this one is my favorite.... "rich or married to a rich man"!  THAT one made me laugh!  Just because you disagree with me doesn't mean I have the right to call you names.  I have many friends with opposite political opinions from me and yet we show each other respect.  We CAN all get along, but we DO have to be tolerant of people with opinions different from ours!

I am thankful that this election is over and we can move on with our lives.  While the results of the election are not what I would've liked, it is reality and we have to work with what we have.  If we don't like the election results, we need to pray even harder for God to change the hearts of our leaders!

Monday, November 12, 2012

How NOT To Spend Your Week!

We made it through October fairly well, considering the CRAZY schedule we had...  Why did I assume November would be uneventful?

I was happy to spend some time last Monday afternoon with a good friend who was helping me redecorate my dining room.  We had lots of fun shopping and then sewing and decorating and the rest of our families joined us at our house for dinner that night.  The dining room, foyer and living room look GREAT and we have some more plans for a few things that are left in the dining room as well as work on the master bedroom.

Tuesday my husband took off work.  We at first had thought of heading downtown for a little field trip but we were all slow moving that morning so we decided instead to get milkshakes at Chick Fil A (Peppermint Chocolate Chip- YUM!) and run a bunch of errands.

I woke up that morning with a little tickle in my throat but didn't think anything of it.  Sometime in the afternoon I started feeling rundown and by the time we got home near dinner, I had a fever.

I stayed in bed for days feeling absolutely ROTTEN!  My fever got as high as 103.3 and along with that came the aches and chills.  I felt just absolutely terrible.

I had a meeting regarding foster care and adoption in my home Thursday afternoon that could NOT be rescheduled, so I managed to shower and get ready (in some sweats and the entire process took hours) and sat in my chair to get the meeting done. 

We tried to get some medical care Thursday night.  One nearby Urgent Care had a 2 hour wait.  At the second Urgent Care, we learned that apparently where I live, you do NOT need an ID to vote, but you need one to receive medical care!  Who knew!  They wouldn't even let my husband show his id and insurance card and sign something accepting responsibility.  No, instead they rudely told me they couldn't see me and we left.  Apparently the lady we spoke to is often rude, as the security guard told us when we left.  We are following up with a complaint.  I can understand the rule, but I can NOT understand treating someone in such a rude and nasty way!

So, we tried again on Friday morning.  The CVS Minute Clinic had a 1 hour wait so we went back to the first Urgent Care we tried the night before (NOT the rude place, we will NEVER go back there!).  We walked in, filled out paperwork and were in a room very quickly.  After an examination and chest xray, we had a diagnosis of Pneumonia!

You wouldn't think someone would be happy about having Pneumonia, but with how badly I had felt the previous 3 days, I was "happy" to learn that there was in fact something wrong and a way to fix it!

I had some side effects from the antibiotic the first day- a horrible pounding headache for hours and trouble sleeping.  Thankfully, I also had a cough medicine with codeine for the nighttime so I was able to sleep.  I spent the weekend on the couch and in the bed, resting up for the coming week.  I surely need to get caught up on some things and prepare for a Fun Family Weekend coming up!

My older kids took very good care of me on Wednesday while my husband had to work.  They kept the house in order and gave me some peace and quiet.  My daughter helped the youngest before and after school, which was a HUGE help.  My neighbor, who usually does the afternoon carpool was able to take the boys to school in the morning so I didn't have to get out of bed.  My parents watched the kids during our failed attempt at medical care on Thursday night, took the kids out on Saturday while my husband worked so that I could rest AND brought us dinner that night.  My husband was also a BIG help in cooking, cleaning and running errands.  I know he did NOT enjoy doing all of that, but it was all worth it when I ventured out of my room Saturday morning to a CLEAN kitchen!  :)

I was not able to exercise at all this past week but I did lose a few pounds from not eating.  I'm sure those will come back along with my appetite as I start to feel better.

I am so looking forward to feeling 100% and getting things done and spending time with my family.  I'm trying hard to NOT feel like I am behind on things.  Even though all I did from Tuesday night until Saturday was write the grocery list, attend the meeting in my house, go to the doctor and watch tv, I am confident that I can catch up next week and I'm thankful I don't have to put the house back together because my family took such great care of it while I was sick!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Early Voting

Where I live, we are allowed to vote early... So, my husband and I made a date out of it... Lunch out and then we voted!

The line was fairly long, but it only took 20 minutes start to finish. 

I am so thankful to live in a country that, with all it's faults, allows us to choose who will represent us at the local, state and national levels.  This is not true for so many people in this world.  And yet somewhere around 50% of registered voters vote in each election.  I find this mind boggling!

We live in a time when we have access to information about the candidates, their views and their actions.  There is no way we can honestly say that we don't know enough to vote.  And even though we are "busier" than ever, I really think we all have an hour or 2 on Election Day to exercise our rights and vote.

If you live in a state that has Early Voting, then you have even LESS of an excuse to not vote!  Instead of one day, you have several days in which to cast your vote for the candidates of your choice!

In some countries, citizens face possible imprisionment or even death if they even dare to vote... 

In some countries, if you don't vote for the "right" candidate, your vote doesn't count.

In some countries, only one person is on the ballot in each race.... Some voting "right" you have there!

But in America, we can vote, sometimes without even having to show ID (I do NOT agree with that, but that is for another post!) for whomever you want!

I don't know if you're going to be one of the almost 50% of registered voters who isn't going to vote for whatever reason you have.... If you are, then I BEG you to reconsider and to exercise your RIGHT to vote!  I don't care WHO you vote for, that is a personal decision... I care that you VOTE!

You've all heard the saying that if you don't vote, you have no right to complain about who won.... If you don't even bother to participate in the process, you really have no basis to make a complaint.  Your vote, and countless others, could've created a different result!

 So, as Election Day approaches, make plans to VOTE!  

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

It's Been Awhile.....

I was doing so well at blogging once a week...

But then came the fall....

I've had several stretches of 2 weeks in between blog posts....

Not that it's a bad thing or anything, we have just had so much going on that I haven't had time to sit and blog and/or my brain hasn't had enough energy to even THINK about what to write!

I started a "book review" of one I just finished, but seriously my brain said STOP!  So, I'll finish that when things calm down just a little bit.

We are right in the middle of the "beginning of the end" week.  We had our youngest's birthday, my husband is 50 hours into a 135 hour stretch of work, we have our last soccer practices and tournament of the season, and the kids are trying to stay current in their homeschool work.  We have seen my husband very little, but are still sane.  He is absolutely exhausted, but he'll make it through.  

We are looking forward to having some time together next week when soccer is over and my husband's bizarrely crazy work schedule is a memory.  We won't have nearly as much time as we think, as the schedule is already filling up, but at least we will be able to have dinners together with the FIVE of us!  That is something that we enjoy doing but hasn't happened much at all in the month of October.

And the "funny" thing is that once Thanksgiving comes, our busy time is just about over!  I actually don't mind the "busyness" of Thanksgiving, Christmas and what follows for us: 2 kids' birthdays and then my husband's.  Once we get through the fall, we are good to go!  



Thursday, October 4, 2012

Same Old, Same Old....

It's been 2 weeks since I last posted...

I've been finding it hard to blog because it feels like we do the same thing every day and every week since September started...

Public school, homeschool, soccer, regular shift for my husband, off duty work for him too, soccer, homework, church, meetings, appointments....

Repeat... And again...

You get the idea...

How exciting can that be to read about?

With all of those things going on each week, things can get a little crazy around here.  There have been periods of time due to my husband's schedule where we haven't seen him for more than 30 minutes in over 48 hours.  And we all survived!  It was a good preview of what October could be once he starts working off duty at our State Fair.

To ADD to the craziness of the above list of things going on in our family in the fall, we add several more things in October: 2 soccer tournaments, our anniversary, and our youngest's birthday (and first with our family...and during the Fair).

But this schedule is really not that much different from many other families.  We are ALL busy...

EVERY fall our family experiences this same craziness...

EVERY winter we have Thanksgiving, Christmas, 2 kids' birthdays and then my husband's birthday...

EVERY spring we get a little break from the busy and look forward to finishing out the school year...

EVERY summer we get a little time to rest and plan for the upcoming school year...

And then there we go again...

I'm not complaining, REALLY I'm not!  

I LOVE soccer season, even though we rarely get to sit down to eat dinner together as a family.

I'm used to the off duty work that piles on in the fall for my husband.  He is at the point in his career where he has little opportunity to work off duty during the year, so we don't turn down the chance to work it in the fall, even if it does mean adding in an extra week's worth of work every month.

So, that is the routine, boring, same as last month update from our family!  And to be honest, I kind of like it this way!  ;)



Monday, September 17, 2012

One Year and Counting!

I posted my first blog post just about 1 year ago, on September 6, 2011!

SO much has happened since then!

Every year I write a newsletter that I send out with my Christmas cards and family picture where I recount all the important things that have happened in our family over the past year.  So, I thought maybe it would be fun to do the same for my blog.  

Here are the TOP TEN things that I blogged about this past year!

  1. Family: No big surprise there... My family is pretty wonderful, both the ones who live with me and my extended family.  We try to spend a lot of time together and with my husband's schedule, my teens' increasingly busy schedule and our youngest schedule, it's getting harder and harder to do.  But we still do our best!
  2. Life:  That's a pretty generic category, I am realizing now.  It includes posts about our vacations, how we celebrate the holidays and various miscellaneous things.  Sometimes I have a little pity party and think things are tough, but when I REALLY stop and think, my life is pretty easy and very blessed.
  3. Home:  This goes along with life, and since you can tag a post with multiple category, I'm thinking these have overlapped.  But I can see from this that HOME is very important to me.... I am a stay at HOME mom and I HOMEschool our kids.... and yet I find that some weeks it seems like I am never HOME!  My home is a haven for my husband, so that he can unwind after his long, stressful days at work.  There's no other place we'd rather be than HOME!  Ok, we love the beach and mountains too!  ;)
  4. Adoption:  I thought this one would be first.  It has seemed to consume our last year.  I've enjoyed updating everyone on the process and all of our visits and now with how we're adjusting... And who knows, maybe there will be more updates in our future?  We'll see what God has planned for our family...
  5. Marriage:  I have a pretty darn good marriage... Sure, we have our problems, mostly because I talk a lot!  ;)  But we haven't gotten to the point of a good marriage without some HARD WORK!  We've both learned that it's not about us being "happy", it's about the commitment we made before God to stay together no matter what and to work at this as harder than we work on anything else.  We love our Dates and we love to spend time together!
  6. Homeschool: I didn't want to blog too much about this because it can sometimes be a sensitive subject.  I don't want anyone to think that our decision is what everyone should be doing or that my kids are any better than any others.  This is simply a lifestyle decision that our family has made that we have never regretted....
  7. Missions/Ukraine:  This was a BIG year for us with my husband and our oldest son going on a 10 day mission trip to Ukraine.  I have been on a 3 week mission trip in college.  Our daughter hopes to also go to Ukraine in the next year or 2.  Now, I don't think you should go on only 1 mission trip in your life, but at this point, my job is to keep things going at home while other members of my family go on these trips.  We've have changed our spending so that we can save for mission trips.  We were going to start saving for a Disney trip, but realized that for us, sending our teens on mission trips was more important.  Now hear me on this- I'm not saying that a trip to Disney or any other vacation or fun spending is wrong!  For our family, we can't afford to do everything, so the choice we made was for missions.  We'll go on vacations, but that Disney trip is on hold for awhile.
  8. Exercise:  This has been hit or miss in my life this year.  I HATE running so that didn't last too long.  We joined a local gym for 2 months and that was nice, but we just didn't have the time to continue it long term.  A friend of mine gave me an exercise bike for free and I was doing well with that, but school, soccer and sickness set me back a little.  I'm hoping SOON to get back into it and make it a regular part of my rountine.
  9. Books: I had a lofty goal of reading a bunch of books over the summer and into the fall, but life got in the way.  I still plan on making it through my stack, but it's definitely going to take me into 2013 to get it done!
  10. LEO Life:  Oh, wow... How embarrassing!  It's been such a terrible year for law enforcement but I didn't want to talk about it too much and annoy people.  I don't think that law enforcement is any better than any other person, but I realize the stressful job they have and the disrespect they encounter from both criminals and law abiding citizens.  I also know that my friends and family are VERY supportive of our crazy life.  Not every LEO family has that and so I am thankful that we do!

I have enjoyed this last year of blogging and am looking forward to this coming year and seeing all God has in store for us!


Monday, September 3, 2012

First Week of School, Part 2!

Last week was the week that our youngest started public school.

I knew it was going to be a CRAZY week, but I didn't realize just how crazy.

My husband was finishing up night shift, I was recovering from a virus and then my daughter got sick overnight Monday into Tuesday.

My son had a soccer game Tuesday.

I got very sick (the virus must have come back, but this time it was WORSE!!) on Wednesday so the guys went to church that night and the girls stayed home to recover.

Thursday I was once again trying to recover, my daughter had science lab in the afternoon and my son had an away game that evening.  I think we ate dinner at 8:30pm.

On Friday, I was STILL trying to catch up from the week and got a little bit done.  My son had another soccer game.  The guys were playing VERY well and were winning 2-0 in the 2nd half.... Then a player on the other team collided with his goalie.  It was a LOUD hit that we heard on the sidelines.  The player was down on the ground for a long time and the goalie was obviously in pain as well.  Thankfully, the mom of one of our players was a nurse and the dad of another of our players teaches first aid and CPR so they were both out on the field to give assistance.  After a bit, the coach decided to call for an ambulance as the player was having neck pain.  It seemed to take forever, although I'm sure it was the right timeframe for a 911 call and dispatch to a volunteer department, but the ambulance arrived and took the player to the hospital.  The game was called at that point.  We later heard the goalie had some torn rib muscles and the other player was released from the hospital with a concussion.  We're glad they weren't hurt worse!

My husband took the youngest, our daughter and her friend to a minor league baseball game with some free tickets so my oldest and I were hanging out at home.  At some point I started to think about a young friend of mine that I met at church a year ago and how I hadn't seen her on Facebook much in the last month or two.  So I decided to go on her wall and see what was up..... That's where I had my BIG shock of the week...

My friend was dead!

She died in early July, just a month after turning 25.  She leaves a 1 year old daughter and 3 year old son.

I'm so sad....

She and I had been trying to find some time in December and January to get together.... Between Christmas, birthdays, her schedule and mine, we couldn't find a day that worked.  Then all of our adoption stuff started and I kept forgetting to get back in touch with her.  When I'd remember, I was usually too tired, so I'd tell myself that I'd message her or see her "soon".... "Soon" turned into months.... And then it was too late.

I enjoyed getting to know my friend this past year.  I met her just about a year ago to be exact.  I held her baby most Wednesday nights and talked with her and got to know her a little.  I enjoyed her hugs on Sunday mornings.  I will miss her...

I really never want to go through all of those things again in one week's time.  It was a tough week: busy, stressful, shocking...



Monday, August 27, 2012

What a Weekend!

I knew ahead of time it was going to be a crazy weekend... But I didn't plan for this kind of crazy!

My husband was on night shift, working 6pm-6am all weekend.

My son had a soccer tournament over an hour away Friday evening and Saturday morning.

My daughter had to babysit at our house Friday evening.

Our youngest had Open House at his school Friday afternoon.

I thought I had it ALL planned out... Who was going where, when and with whom...

And then it hit!

The stomach virus!

It hit our youngest mid week, but we had no idea that it actually was a virus.  We just thought it had to do with some eating issues we were addressing.

But then around midnight on Friday, we realized it was something more and that he needed to go to the doctor on Saturday.  And that no one would be able to take him without a drastic change in schedule.

When you realize this at midnight and have to wake up at 5am to go to a soccer game, it's not like you can get in touch with the parent of a teammate to arrange transportation.  I was going to have to go to the tournament, which I was fine with since I had missed the games on Friday.

But the youngest HAD to go to the doctor and that left my husband, who would not be able to work until 6am AND take him to the doctor.

So, my husband came home at midnight, picking up a few things at the store on his way home.  I know he was conflicted about it; he had no problem helping out at home, but he knew he'd be leaving the other working supervisor in a bind by himself... But father duty called and won out that night!

After waiting up for my husband to come home while doing a load of laundry at midnight and hand washing my son's uniform, I figure I got about 3 1/2 hours of sleep that night.  

And I think that's what did me in...

I came down with the stomach bug on Sunday morning!

We had already decided we'd stay home from church so that the youngest could be all better for the first day of school, so at least we weren't headed out the door when the pains hit.

Around 11am, I had to kick my husband out of the bed to sleep in the bonus room so that we could both get some sleep.  The older 2 kept up with the youngest and things went decently.

My husband did his very best to take care of everything when he woke up that afternoon... He cooked dinner, hung out with the kids, cleaned up a little, as well as got EVERYTHING ready for the youngest kid's first day of school.  Since we haven't sent a kid to school for 9 years, neither of us really knew what we were doing.... But he has his lunch and supplies and hopefully that was all he needed!  My husband went into work a few hours late to get the youngest in bed and everything else settled for the night...

To top it all off, I didn't know how I'd feel in the morning, so my husband also had to cover that... So instead of coming home at 6am and going to sleep, he worked until 7am and stayed up to make breakfast and take the youngest and our neighbor's child to school.  

In the midst of all this craziness, there was (at least) one good thing...

My biggest concern with starting school during night shift was the lack of time that the youngest would be able to spend with my husband.  The older 2 and I are very used to this crazy schedule and not getting to see him, but the youngest is new to this and needs to see Dad whenever he can.  Because of this crazy weekend, he was able to see Dad more than the rest of us did!


Monday, August 20, 2012

Let's Do It!!

We're approaching August 31st... Does that date hold any significance for you or your children?

Perhaps it means your child will have just started the new school year.  You've finished spending quite a bit of money on school supplies, clothes, maybe even a new computer.

Maybe your child is in a year round school schedule and is approaching the first track out period where you're looking forward to doing some fun things together.

Depending on your area of the country, maybe that date means only a few more days until the new school year starts and you're making preparations and finding out who their teacher is, etc.

But for 16 year old kids in Ukraine, that date has an entirely different meaning.  

That's the day where they are on their own...

August 31st signals the day when orphanages in Ukraine send 16 year olds out the door and into the world on their own...

With a backpack and a bus ticket...

No parents or mentors...

Little to no job skills...

Barely any life skills, beyond fighting for your basic needs...

NO chance at adoption...

Into a country that considers orphans the worst of the worst...

Within a few years, while these kids are still teenagers, 80% of them will end up in poverty...

In a life of crime...

As prostitutes...

With an addiction...

In prison...

Or dead...

So, why should we care about kids halfway around the world, you might ask?

Why should we care when there are kids in our foster care system who need our help?

These are good questions... and I might just offend some people with my answers...

Why is it one versus the other?

Why should Americans help only those in Ukraine (or China, or Africa, etc) and not those in the US?  OR

Why should Americans help only those in the US and no children in other countries?

Here is my question...

Why can't we help BOTH?

There are many people who wonder why families want to adopt from foreign countries when there are many in our foster system who need help... That is a legitimate question IF the person asking it was in fact doing something to help children in our country...  

You do NOT have to adopt from either the US foster care system or a foreign country to show your care and compassion for orphans. 

Sometimes it's as simple as buying something!  

Think of what you might spend money on this week:

Groceries, clothes, gas, electricity...

ALL good things...

But maybe, just maybe, there is room in your budget so that 2 orphans can have a FAMILY?!

Yes, you have probably figured out that I am blogging about my friend April, whose family is adopting TWO orphans from Ukraine who desperately want and need a family.  Who am I to sit in my comfortable house in my easy life and deny those children the chance to have a family?

MANY of my friends have stepped up for April in different ways.  Some have donated items that are being auctioned on her Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.484762421535164.114868.482330258445047&type=1)... Some have bid on those items... Others have asked for donations from friends and family... Others are praying... I'm sure some have even donated money (http://www.eliproject.org/families-in-process/the-mclaughlin-family/)

I'm trying to get the word out so that April and her family can bring their children home quickly.  One more day in an orphanage is TOO long!

So, I'm asking for your help!

Can you give?  Bid?  Share?

Of course, I am asking for your prayers as well, because we know this is GOD's battle and HE desires these children to have a forever family.

Please ask yourself what you are able to do... And then DO IT! 

Monday, August 13, 2012

First Week of School, Take 1!

Last week my older kids started their homeschool year.

It was quite the blur of a week.

Not only did we have something going on every day- soccer practice, soccer game, orthodontist appointment, doctor appointment, team meeting for foster care/adoption, hair appointment.... But my husband also was on night shift for half of the week!

I also did about an hour of school with our youngest, who will start public school later this month.

I am sitting here and typing and literally not remembering much of last week except that I feel like I didn't see my husband more than an hour total Weds-Fri.

Since my older kids are both in high school, they are very good at getting their work done independently.  

My oldest, who is in 11th grade, is finishing up his Algebra 2 as well as studying Chemistry, and is looking forward to Russian History next semester.

My 9th grader is finishing up Algebra 1 and starting Geometry, as well as studying Physical Science.

Both kids are also taking US History, Russian, Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace (for high schoolers) and will be writing research papers.

It should be an interesting year, that's for sure!

And so today we start another week where we have something(s) going on every afternoon- doctor appointments, soccer practice, soccer games, etc... This will be our life for the next 2 months so I better get used to it!

While it's busy, it's nothing new.  In 2 weeks when our youngest starts public school, that's when things will get CRAZY!  I don't know how we'll get homework done AND have any kind of time where he'll be able to see his dad for any length of time.  It won't happen on Saturdays as my husband works practically all of them from now until the end of November.  We'll definitely have to be deliberate and creative.  It's only for a season and we'll get through!


Thursday, August 9, 2012

What Are You Willing To Do?

Another one of my friends is adopting!

April and her family are in the beginning stages of adopting 2 siblings from Ukraine.  They are filling out their paperwork and getting their physicals, fingerprints and homestudy done.

But the hardest part of this journey could just be in the funding of the adoption...  This adoption will cost them at least $30,000!

I'm sure some of you wonder why they would spend that much money to adopt... Let me tell you, if you meet an orphan who so desperately wants and needs a home and you have a home... You will do whatever you need to do to bring those children home!

Not every family can adopt... If you are a family with a heart for orphans, but you are not able to adopt, you have the privilege of helping April and her family adopt 2 from Ukraine!

Here is the link to their donations page:

If you are able to give, that is greatly appreciated.

If you are able to link this to Facebook or send in an email to some friends who might be able to give, that is also needed.

I have seen an outpouring of support from my friends (who have never met April!) as they are donating items to the online auction April is having to raise money for the adoption.

Let's help bring these children home to their forever family!

ANY amount, large or small, is welcome!


Monday, August 6, 2012


We have been fortunate this summer to take three trips, all with free lodging!  That's how I love to travel!  ;)  Actually, it's what allows us to travel!  As a single income family on a government salary, there's simply not enough at the end of the month to save for Disney or a week at the beach. 

So in June, our family of 4 traveled to Charleston, SC to visit with our family friends for about 5 days. 

Then in July, our new family of 5 spent 2 days at a beach a few hours away and were able to stay in a house for free!  That was SO much better than cramming into a small hotel room!  :)

Just last week, we spent 5 days at a friend's house in the mountains.  Ahhh, how I LOVE the mountains!  There was less humidity and the weather was cooler.  We slept late, slept with the windows open (and were even too chilly a few nights!), went on some short hikes and watched the Olympics.  

There were 2 highlights of the trip... The first was tubing down the river!  This river is pretty shallow in most points and all you have to do is sit in your tube and let the current drift you a few miles back to your car.  It was so nice!

The second highlight was getting to visit with friends of ours who were staying with family about 30 minutes away.  So after a 30 minute drive up and down and around, we were able to roast hot dogs and marshmallows with our friends.

There were also 2 lowlights on this trip... The first happened over our first night when a 23 year old deputy in the next county was murdered in the line of duty.  His wife is due any time with their first child.  Thankfully, another deputy on the call was able to shoot and kill the murderer.  It sounds weird to say "thankfully" because that man also has a family left behind, but that can be the price you pay for murdering Law Enforcement.....

The second lowlight was that our oldest came down with a high fever on our last night of vacation.  A few days later it was gone and we're glad it didn't interfere with our trip and that it was nothing more than a virus.

So, yes, we did take several trips this summer, but we needed that last trip as a family of four and we needed that first trip as a family of 5.  Plus, we wanted to take "W" to the beach for the first time.  It was all good bonding time as well as time to kick back and relax and take some time away from appointments, housework and work.  It was needed because we are entering the "busy" season around our house... Where into our "normal" life we add homeschool, soccer games, public school, off duty work for my husband which will take him out of the house an additional 7 Saturdays beyond the 7 he's already working between now and the end of November.  We needed that family time because it will be scarce by the end of August when "W" starts school.

So maybe when things get busy and stressful these coming months, I can remember the beauty of the waterfall we hiked too, as pictured below...


Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Testing, Testing...

Sure enough, we have been tested!

After about 3 weeks of all of us getting used to our new family of 5, we finally saw it.  An entire day of testing!  

I won't go into specifics on it, but none of it was horrible, it just was constant.  It was as if he was saying "Let's just see how much of it they can take and STILL love me!"

Thankfully, my husband was home from work and he was able to take care of it.  There are rules we have to follow on how we can and can't discipline and we do follow them.  Time Out and removal of privileges is working well and in reading back through his bio, it has also worked well in the past.  We also talk with him about proper behavior and why he needs to listen and obey.

We are all realizing just how much patience we will need to have during this adjustment period.  What I think is funny, is that I seem to be fairly patient and I would consider myself one of the least patient people in the family!  Perhaps it's because I've read and re-read enough of his history to understand his limitations.  I am constantly reminding my older children that they will have to be patient and will have to explain things many, many times...

We are making a few adjustments to our night time schedule to allow the older kids some time to re-group.  Bedtime for "W" has been moved earlier and this has worked well for all these last few days.  Now that he's eating and sleeping well, he needs to catch up on all the sleep he's lost in the past few years and he hasn't fought us at all (yet?) on this new bedtime.

"W" does like us reading his Day By Day Bible to him each night.  I have enjoyed my Read Through the Bible in a Year plan and his Bible goes through the entire Bible, but in a format that is easy for kids to understand.  It keeps Truth intact while allowing for kids to follow along well.  I think we'll be reading this Bible over and over again through the years!


Wednesday, July 25, 2012


I have a friend who is on a two week mission trip to Uganda.  He is experiencing something that is not seen in churches here in America.  When he described it on a Facebook status, it caught my attention:

"We taught for 6 hours straight and they begged for one more teaching.  It was hot and crowded and most people stood and yet they wanted more.  You can't get Americans to sit still and listen for 30 minutes without looking at their watch.  Help us, Lord!"

It made me think about how I view my church experience.  

  • Do I want the worship to entertain ME or am I really listening to the words and singing them to God?
  • Do I look for topical or surface sermons that I can shake my head in agreement to or do I want the preaching to be deep, even if it's not entertaining to me?
  • Am I looking at my watch after the preaching has reached it's 20 minute mark because I'm ready to move on to the next thing?
  • Do I really want MORE or am I just saying that because it's the "right" thing?
  • Can I even comprehend sitting standing for 6 hours, without complaining... and then wanting MORE?!

My friend followed up the above statement with another one...one which I agree with 100%:

"America has a big problem and it's called spoiled."

How true that is, especially in my own life.

Can I even imagine spending six hours in church, not listening to our awesome praise band, but in hearing preaching from the Bible without complaint?!

Honestly, I can't imagine it...

When was the last time I spent 6 hours listening to a preacher, reading my Bible, truly studying it's words, spending time in prayer?

Sure, we're busy.... There ARE things we have to get done... But the point is that we would probably gladly spend 6 hours:

  • Playing golf
  • Watching our favorite sport
  • Shopping
  • Spending time with friends
  • Planning our next vacation
  • Researching a cause dear to us
  • Reading the latest bestseller...
As I was writing this, I was thinking of all the ways I am spoiled... There are MANY ways!

I am challenging myself, and anyone reading this, to really take a look at how time is spent in the coming week.  Take a look and see if there is anything you need to give up or get rid of in order to spend more time in prayer and Bible study, learning more of who God is and what He expects from you.

This doesn't mean we never have fun, never read a book, never go places.  It might mean we read less, watch less tv, spend more time studying the Bible, spend time mentoring a young Christian (this will challenge you to study your Bible more!)...  It might involve repenting to God for our prideful and selfish attitudes... It might even mean turning to God for His free gift of salvation...

Do you think you are spoiled?  Could you stand in the heat for 6 hours and then ask for more?  

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

A Rollercoaster Week!

I can't believe we survived last week!

Thankfully, "W" continues to adjust well into our family...

Here's a brief look at some of the craziness that happened within the first 3 days of last week:

  • My husband was on night shift... Which is normally hard... But he had to start work at 6pm, which means I needed to have dinner ready by 5pm.
  • My son had two nights of soccer practice... Which started at 5pm...
  • "W" had an appointment that kept us two towns away at the moment that my husband needed dinner AND my son needed to be at soccer! 
  • Knowing the schedule for the coming 2-3 weeks would also be very busy, I was determined to get the house cleaned... I just was hardly home for two days in a row so it was virtually impossible to do...
  • I forgot to put dinner in the Crock Pot on that same night, so there was not hot meal for my husband to eat before he left for work.
  • The AC unit in our upstairs bonus room stopped working over that weekend, so add a visit from the repair man in to an already crazy day!
  • I tried to register "W" at his school and was told that since the school year had technically started the day before, I would need to drive 45 minutes away to register him... I'm still trying to figure out when we can add THAT in to the schedule!
  • On the first night my husband didn't have to work, he had a meeting at church that was longer than I expected, which meant he was gone for over 2 hours when we all had seriously not seen him for much more than an hour total over the previous 72 hours. 

In the midst of the crazy moments, there were just as many times of wonderful!
  • My husband is so low key that not only did he not mind eating a slice of 3 day old pizza and a hot dog leftover from lunch for his dinner when I forgot to make it, BUT he also cleaned our bathroom for me while I took "W" to his appointment!  All after working all night and sleeping through the noise we were all trying so hard NOT to make!
  • My friend and her husband went out of their way to transport my son BOTH WAYS for one of his soccer practices since both my husband and I were unavailable. 
  • The bonus room losing AC was the best case scenario since it is an optional room for us.
  • My husband sleeps so well on night shift that he didn't hear us trying not to make noise!
  • My daughter and her friend made dinner for us on the night I forgot about the Crock Pot... Mac and Cheese and Strawberry Smoothies never tasted SO good!
  • We were able to go on a tour of "W's" new school and he seems to be really excited, although I'm still not thrilled about spending 3+ hours getting him enrolled sometime this month.
  • "W" was invited to a birthday party of a boy he knows from church and had a wonderful time with his new friend at the pool!
  • Our family of 5 was able to spend 2 days at the beach... Thinking we'd cram into a hotel room... But ending up being able to spend the night in a 3 bedroom, 2.5 bathroom house with a pool and hot tub... FOR FREE!  It was 15 minutes from the beach and "W" LOVES the ocean!  I think we'll go back next summer, maybe even for the week!
  • "W" continues to adjust well into our family, bonding well with us all.  He is starting to test us some, but it's nothing unexpected or all that bad.

So, last week really had MORE wonderful than it had crazy...

Looking forward to the coming weeks of wonderful and crazy!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Facebook "Break"

After several days on vacation with only Facebook access from my phone (and poor coverage so I really wasn't on much)... And with a long list of stuff to do the following week... And some much needed family time as we grew to a family of five...

I decided it was time for a break from Facebook...

It wasn't a complete break, just a serious cutback.

When I am home, it is SO easy to have Facebook up on the laptop.  But then I find myself lacking in self control and wasting countless hours on there.  This is one major reason I REFUSE to get on Pinterest... For me, it's just another way to waste time!

So, I had to have some accountability and semi-drastic measures.

Our Wi-Fi has very good internet security and parental controls (Open DNS- research it and give it a try- it's FREE!).  We have 2 teenagers, so internet security is a MUST!  I don't know if it's growing up in NY or having an LEO husband, but I'm over cautious when it comes to the internet.  That's why I don't post my husband or kids' names on my blog and why my Facebook page is tightly secure (or so I hope...).  My kids don't have Facebook and neither does my husband.  Sure, some might see that as being a "helicopter" parent, but I see it as keeping them from a lot of stuff they don't need to see quite yet.  Before they leave the house, they can have Facebook, but not when they're 14 and 16.  I don't care if your teens have a Facebook page, just PLEASE make sure their page is secure!  I can't tell you the teens that I am not friends with but I can see everything on their page!  If I can, then the pervert can too!  Protect your kids on the internet!

But back to the point....

I asked my husband to block Facebook on our Wi-Fi for the last week of June and he did.  Because my smartphone internet access runs off of Wi-Fi when we're home (to save my data plan), I didn't have Facebook access from my phone unless I turned Wi-Fi off.  Yes, I did that sometimes and I checked Facebook while I was out of the house, but I can tell you the time I spent on it was much reduced. 

And I have to say I survived and enjoyed it too!

So, my husband and I have a deal... 

When he's off of work, he'll block Facebook in Wi-Fi...

When he's working, I'll pick 1 or 2 days/nights that he will unblock it.

I'll still have limited access on my phone.

This plan will help me with the amount of time I spend on Facebook and the computer in general, and during a time when I need to focus my time elsewhere.   

Hopefully I'll learn some self control on my own, but until then, I like this plan!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

One Book Finished!

I have finished one book in my stack of books I want to read this summer and fall!  

It definitely helped that I was reading this book with a friend and so we had a schedule of what chapters to read and when to have them read.  Accountability is a good thing!

I can imagine that "The Excellent Wife" by Martha Peace would be seen as 'controversial' by many.  After all, it talks about biblical submission, a topic that not many churches even want to discuss.  When we don't have a correct view of biblical submission, we are scared of what we think it could mean.

Peace is clear that a wife's submission to her husband does NOT mean she is inferior to him.  It also doesn't mean allowing her husband to walk all over her.  If he is doing that, he is in sin.

For me, the focus of this book was not in changing my husband but in changing ME!  After all, I can't control anyone else, especially not my husband!

When my thoughts, attitudes and actions are negative toward my husband what I need to do is change those things in me.  Obviously (and this is clear to those who know me!) I can't do this by myself.  I need God's help to change into the wife He wants me to be.

There were several helpful chapters in the book that showed what is a sinful thought, attitude or action that I need to "take off" but it also showed what godly thought, attitude, or action that I need to "put on" in order to work toward that change in my life.  I can't merely stop acting a certain way, I also need to begin to act more godly, whether my husband is doing right or not.

Personally, I have found that when my attitude toward my husband is positive, those little (or big) things he does that annoy me aren't so important anymore.  There is a lot more forgiveness in my heart toward careless actions when I am aware (and repentant of) those same actions in my life.

One thing is for certain, becoming an "excellent wife" will not guarantee a lasting marriage.  There are two people in a marriage and we can only control the actions of one of those people.  Our husband is responsible before God for his actions, something that we are often very aware of.  But are we just as aware that WE are also accountable to God for OUR actions?  I know many times I conveniently forget that.

So, while I know there are many women who wouldn't like this book, I enjoyed it.  It's hard to have to look at ME and see where I fall short.  It's much easier to look at my husband and point out his faults and where he needs to change.  But nagging him about that will not change him and it certainly isn't being a godly wife.

Both my friend and I agreed that we enjoyed reading and discussing this book and we will definitely use it in the future as a reference when we need those reminders of how we need to act in our marriages.

** I am reading two books at a time to get through as much of my list as I can this summer and fall.  While reading "The Excellent Wife", I was also reading "The Fitting Room" with 2 friends.  We should finish that by the end of July and I'll blog about that one too... It's another GOOD book.  So, right now I'm reading that one and trying to finish up "Authentic Spiritual Mentoring" before moving on to a book I think my husband will be happy that I am reading.....  ;) (It may not be what you think it is.... More to come on that soon!)