Wednesday, October 3, 2012

I've Moved!

So, it's time to make the move, from Blogger anyway.  

As you know, I've run out of free memory and have decided to make the move to Wordpress for more free memory...

no offense, Blogger, but a poor girl has to do what a poor girl has to do!

Click the link below and head on over!

Living thru faith,

Friday, August 24, 2012

I Need Help!

So, I finally decided I was going to switch over to wordpress because they offer more memory for free and I could also have 
a little more flexibility in the design of the blog.

Yeah, not so fast...

Livingthrufaith.wordpress is already taken.  
Oh, and should I mention that there is only one post...
which was posted in 2011...

So, I had to ask myself "Do I want to buy my own domain?" 

Decisions, decisions...

I decide to bite the bullet for $18/year.


It had said was available, but alas it is not. 
That one was started in April, but no posts have been made.


I could use (still $18/year), but now I'm wondering...

are there too many?

will it get confused with the others?

should I keep the name?

should I change it?

if I change it, what do I change it to?

does anyone even care? 

Please help me!!!

What do you think?  Keep it, change it... 

Got an idea on a new name?

Living thru faith,

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

I have a problem...

a memory problem to be exact.

(other than the one in my head)

It seems that I have used up all of my free memory space and now I cannot upload anymore pictures to the blog.  At this point, it looks like the only way around this is to purchase more memory for a monthly charge.  

I have so many new pictures to share with you! 

 Hopefully, I will get this figured out quickly 
(with a little help from my hubby, of course!). 

Until then, I think this pic (from a previous post) sums up how I'm feeling right now.

Living thru faith,

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Learning to Homeschool

Tomorrow Matt and Sarah have their first day of school and Monday Daniel starts the first day of homeschooling.  I've spent the last several months trying to prepare for this new journey.  I've gone through moments of panic, being overwhelmed, and moments of feeling completely lost.  Thankfully, I have had many homeschooling moms to help me along the way and last night I went to my very first co-op meeting.

I think I learned three main things about homeschooling.

My friend Cindy taught me that on days when life happens and things just don't go as planned, it's ok to hit the beach.  (Of course, the commute from here to her place is a tad bit long, so mine will have to be a metaphorical beach.)

My friend Amy taught me that I don't have to be the one to teach them everything.  It's ok to let someone else teach them some areas.  It's a win for both of us.

And last night a homeschooling dad taught me that I don't have to try to teach them everything they should know.  They mainly need to learn how to learn.  I don't have to worry about missing something.  They'll continue to learn as they walk their own journey.

There is still a lot for me to learn and some thoughts of logistics still cause moments of panic, but, with lots of prayer and patience, I think we are ready to take the first step. 

Living thru faith,

Monday, August 13, 2012

My new best friend

 While Brian was at a conference the first part of June, the latch on the dishwasher broke.  I knew it was coming.  I was just holding my breath waiting for the inevitable.  

And then it happened...the piece flew across the room.

So then came the dilemma.  Brian discovered we could order a replacement part for $40.  However, the thing was not washing the dishes well and it was getting noticeably worse.  So, the next question was how much longer was it going to last anyway.  

It was a dishwasher, not a washing machine.  We could do it the old fashioned way.  However, it soon became clear that being a family of five with a crazy baseball schedule on top of the other miscellaneous things going on and trying to keep up with the dishes was adding to my stress level.  My patience was wearing thin.  

So, I went shopping....

I went to at least six different places over the course of several weeks, not to mention looking online.  Finally, I found the one I wanted.  It was on sale and using our Sears card saved us an additional $54 AND our electric company was offering a $50 rebate on energy star dishwashers!  

Brian pulled out the old one and his friend Phil was drafted to help install the new one.  Phil never imagined that his trip "across the pond" would include dishwasher installation!

I love my new dishwasher!!  It washes the dishes so much better than the old one and is much quieter, too. 

It looks pretty nice up against the refrigerator, too!

Momma is one happy camper now!

Living thru faith,

Monday, July 30, 2012

Friday, July 20, 2012


I was a little surprised when I was pulling away from Target one morning and saw this sweet little duck family making it's way across the parking lot.  (Not to mention I was also surprised I actually had a camera with me!)

Momma Duck made it up over the curb without a problem, but some of the little ducklings struggled more than others.  She waited patiently and eventually all six babies made it up.

Getting down proved to be another challenge and after Momma Duck came back to give a little encouragement, the little duck family was on it's way for more parking lot adventures on their way to their destination.

Living thru faith,

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Life in Pictures

Here are just some miscellaneous pictures from life this summer 
that I haven't shared.

Matt's birthday dinner at Abuelo's in June.

Sarah attended her first dance camp in June.  It was a princess dance camp.  They put their hair up each day and painted their nails one of the days.

On the last day, they all wore their own princess dresses and performed the dances they had learned.  The lighting was really bad because of the large windows, but I managed to get this one.

Before we went on our Nashville trip, Matt decided to take 
Sarah out to wash the car.

She was so excited!  
She couldn't wait to get her swimsuit on and head on out!

There has been more to our summer than just these pictures show, but I wasn't really good with remembering the camera.  I think it must have been sitting in the heat watching baseball.  It fried a few too many brain cells.

Living thru faith,

Monday, July 16, 2012

My Latest Step in Being More Frugal

So, I've been trying to cut costs and be more frugal since I quit working.  I've succeeded in some areas and failed miserably in others.   I still can't seem to get control of our food budget.  My mind seems to have gone to mush in that department, but I have been saving some extra "dough" on our electricity. (Sorry, I just couldn't resist that pun!)

We purchased a portable clothes line and I've been using that as much as possible instead of using the dryer.  Even though I am not sure exactly how much it has been saving us, we definitely believe it has made a difference.  With the high temperatures, the ac has had to run much more than normal even though we try to keep it up as high as we can comfortably stand it.  Our bills the last two months have both been just at $100 and we expected it to be much higher with temps above 100 for so many days.

We ended up going with a portable umbrella style, although it would not be my first choice.  For one thing, we hated to put up a permanent traditional one and take up the room for the kids to play.  We didn't think having someone run into the line or a pole would make for a fun afternoon.  We thought about a retractable one, but that still meant putting in a pole somewhere since there are currently no great surfaces to attach one.  We also considered a permanent umbrella style to keep it out of the way, but the only good place for that was visible from the street and that really didn't look so good for curb appeal.

So...we found this one that got good reviews and it was only around $40.  I have to say that I definitely prefer the traditional line style, but this is still working out very well.  The traditional style allows for better air flow and I think the clothes probably dry faster.  However, I am learning better how to attach clothes to this one that does allow for the air to flow through the clothes more and in the heat we've had lately it really doesn't take long for the clothes to dry.  Another bonus is that since it is portable I can even use it inside if the weather doesn't cooperate.  I have actually only done this a few times since it does take up so much room in our little space, but it works!

Do you see the brown grass!!
I still do use the dryer, but try to limit it to loads like undies.  We do have neighbors on all three sides that probably would prefer not to see our "unmentionables".  :-)  However, having this has cut our dryer usage pretty much in half, and I seem to actually get through the laundry quicker - believe or not!

So, score 1 for the frugal quest!  

And, of course, you know who had to have her picture taken, too.


Living in faith,

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Water Needed

I really can't remember the last time it rained here.  We've had it around us, but somehow it always seemed to elude us.  Until Sunday night!  We were all so excited that we had to open the door just to watch it.  We had forgotten what it looked like! 


With the lack of rain for so long the grass has turned crunchy and brown and the flowers are struggling not to do the same.  So, we've done the only thing we could do...water.  Without water our new plants (and the old ones) would die.  So we provide water for them to live.

Just like the plants, our bodies need water to survive.  We can survive for a while without food, however only days without water.  Without water our bodies would surely die.  So we drink water in order to live.

However, as I was thinking over all this I was reminded that there is something else that needs watering.  Something else that would cease to live without water...our souls. 

"Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst.  Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life."  John 4:8

Our souls need a special kind of water.  Not the water that comes out of the tap, but a living water.

Just like our bodies become dehydrated without water, our souls shrivel up without the living water.  My soul has been thirsting of late because I haven't been drinking enough living water.  I haven't spent enough time visiting with the one that gives the living water to provide my soul an adequate amount to nourish it.  I have been tasting enough to keep from shriveling up, but not drinking enough to keep from wilting like the plants outside my door on these hot summer days.

"As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God.  My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God."  Psalm 42:1-2

I think it is time to sit and drink a tall glass of living water.  Oh, how refreshing to my soul!
Living thru faith,

Monday, July 9, 2012

Sweepstakes and Giveaways!

A few months ago I won a $50 American Express card from through beneathmyheartThere was a long list of projects to choose from, but when we found this fan on sale we decided to use the money to purchase it for our bedroom.  It is a Hunter fan and was regularly $129.  We got it for $85!

The one that had been in there was really too small for the size of the room.  Sarah's room was the only bedroom without a fan and we had already decided that when we did replace ours, we would put that one in her room. 

 (I had originally planned to spray paint the brass parts, but the way the filter was installed for the motor I wasn't able to.   Spray painting that particular piece would have clogged up the filter and caused the motor to overheat.)  

Recently I received an email about a sweepstakes on their sister website Apartment Guides and was asked if I would be willing to share it with you.  Who doesn't love a chance to win $10,000! :-) 


From now until August 14, visit to vote on the room design you like the most and be entered for a chance to win a $10,000 grand prize or one of eight $250 weekly prizes.  You can vote once each day through August 14, so be sure to stop by and cast your vote for a chance to win!

Now through July 17, you can vote on the dining room.  

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Sweepstakes ends @ 9:00 PM on 8/14/12, subject to Entry Periods outlined in Official Rules. Must be a US legal resident of the 50 US or DC and 18 years of age or older. Sweepstakes subject to full Official Rules available at Void where prohibited.  

You can also find various design and decorating tips from 
HGTV host Kim Myles.

If you want a chance to win a $100 American Express gift card in association with the sweepstakes, be sure to check out Traci's blog.

(Apartment Guide and owner Consumer Group, Inc. partnered with bloggers like Traci to promote their sweepstakes.)  

Have fun!

Living thru faith,

Friday, July 6, 2012

A Mix of Emotions

All I can say is that I'm SOOOO stinkin' frustrated!!  Not to mention angry, saddened, overwhelmed, anxious, and scared...

I gave Daniel a placement test this week to determine which level of math we should get for the upcoming year.  I knew he was behind.  That was one of the main reasons for taking him out of the middle school and homeschooling him.  

Because I suspected he was behind, I was a bit anxious to find out where he stood.  I was not, however, expecting to discover that he was still on a 4th to 5th grade math level!  Which means the last two years of math were pretty much a waste.

First, I have to say that Daniel is not stupid.  He is actually very smart.  Unfortunately, he is also very lazy.  He doesn't want to spend much time on figuring something out or working through a problem.  He wants an easy button!  So, part of this issue lies on his shoulders.

Second, I know many wonderful teachers and admire their dedication and love for their students.  I also know that there is no way in this lifetime I could stay in a room full of kids all day long 5 days a week (not and keep my sanity).   I have great respect and admiration for teachers who love what they do and do everything they can to help each child succeed.

So, with those things said....

I'm frustrated and angry at his teachers for not noticing or communicating his struggles to keep up, and at the public system for not providing the help teachers need to teach their students when they have to spend so much of their time trying to maintain order and discipline in the classroom.

I'm angry at myself for being so busy and tired from work and other activities that I didn't invest the time to make sure he was getting what he needed to succeed.

I'm saddened that the public school system is in such a state that teachers aren't given the freedom to really teach and see the joy of a child's face light up when they finally understand.  They no longer get to spend the time making if fun to learn.  They have to make sure they get to everything that will be on the test so the school can get high enough test scores.

I'm overwhelmed at the task before me over this next year trying to get Daniel caught up and ready for high school (whether that be at home or somewhere else).

And I'm anxious and scared at the prospect of now figuring out where to begin and how is the best way to teach him math. 

But I also take comfort in knowing the first step to take...pray and have faith that God will direct our path over the coming year.  God got me into this homeschooling thing.  I know He will get us through it.  

(Even though there are times I do still wonder...what in the heck was He thinkin'?!)

Living thru faith,

Tuesday, July 3, 2012


We were in Nashville this past week and weekend for a baseball tournament.  As much as we love watching the boys play, I thought 
we were going to melt away.

This wasn't the hottest!  We saw 110 and 113!

How the boys could stand out there in that heat and play ball is beyond me.  But they never complain and are always ready to go. They played 3 games of "pool play" Wednesday and Thursday, and then 2 games of tournament play on Friday.  They won their first game, but lost the second one.  Since we had a free place to stay we decided to stay in Nashville through the weekend.

Brian and the boys enjoy watching "American Pickers" on the History channel, so we went to the store they opened in an industrial area of Nashville.  It was in an old automobile warehouse, which looked really cool.

We also spent some time at the Opry Mills Mall, ate lunch with friends in the beautiful downtown area of Franklin, and drove through several college campuses.  We finished off the weekend with great worship at our friends' church and a wonderful time visiting before heading back home.

Now to catch up from being gone and get ready for the next tournament....

Living thru faith,

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

"I Miss My Pillow!"

(On the way home from her check up for kindergarten.)

Sarah:  When are we going to go see your sister again?

Me:  I don't have a sister, sweetie.  Who are you talking about?

Sarah:  You know.  We went to her house and I left my pillow.

Me:  Oh! You mean Ms. Cindy in Florida.

Sarah:  Yes!  We need to go back there to get my pillow.

Me:  You have a new pillow.  I told Ms. Cindy to give your pillow to someone who needed a pillow.

Sarah:  Oh, no! I want my pillow back!

Me:  But you have a new pillow.   We gave your other pillow to someone who didn't have a pillow.

Sarah:  But, I didn't want to give my pillow away!

(Repeated over the next 5 minutes through sobs and crocodile tears.)

I miss my pillow!

Oh, my pillow!

My fluffy, cuddly pillow!

I'm thinking we really could have used a nap!

Living thru faith,

Monday, June 25, 2012

The Back Fence

We knew when we bought the house that the back fence had been damaged over time by termites and would eventually need to come down. We also knew that we couldn't afford to put up a new fence, so we just left it up.  

One day while Brian and I were sitting out enjoying the shade from our new umbrella, I got the idea to just take it down and fill in the areas with tall plants to provide some privacy.  There is actually a wire fence on the other side of the wooden one that lines our neighbor's long driveway.  Growing in between the two fences were trees and weeds.  

Brian wasn't sold on the idea, but the more I thought about it the more I liked it.  So...he left town and down it came. :-)

I sent the boys outside and about 3 minutes later half of it was on the ground.  

It took a little bit longer for the other half to fall, but in about 15 minutes everything but the posts were on the ground.

As we tried to take some of the larger sections apart to stack, Matt and I suddenly heard buzzing coming from inside the wood.  

Turns out we had carpenters bees burrowed into the fence AND the posts.  It was just a matter of time before this thing would have just fallen down on it's own!

Slowly but surely I am getting all the weeds cleared out and the trees trimmed up.  The posts are proving to be harder to get out than anticipated, but we will win that battle...eventually.  I usually only have about 30 minutes or so later in the evenings to work on it, so it is definitely a slow process.

My plan is to get it cleaned up and mark out the new line, then, in the fall, lay out mulch and possibly some bushes when they go on sale.  In the spring we can till up the new bed area and add whatever plants we decide on.  I don't know if that is the way you are really supposed to do it, but it makes sense to me.  If someone has a better plan, let me know!  :-)

Living thru faith,

Friday, June 22, 2012

Closet Turned Office

Our closet really needed to be organized, but we also had bigger plans for the closet.  So, if you're brave enough take a look at the before pictures.

It was a mess!  There used to be a dresser on the back wall, but we had to move that to Sarah's room because she was outgrowing the small chest of drawers already in her room.  All the stuff that had been in the dresser, plus all the stuff that had been piled around it was just thrown in the back of the closet.

There were boxes of stuff on the shelves that have just gotten moved from place to place over the last few moves...always with the intention of finally going through it before the next move.

Our other problem was that Brian's desk was in the bedroom.  We've had desks in the bedroom before, but never his main work area.  He had always had some other space to study and write.  It really wasn't working as it was.

So we finally bit the bullet and got to work.  Everything had to come out of the closet and, of course, there was no where for it to go but the bedroom.  Each day the bed got covered up and each night we had to clear off what was left. 

Before we could move Brian's desk into the closet, he had to have an outlet.  Thankfully, he found a video online and was able to do this on his own.

It took several weeks, but eventually we tossed, sold, organized, or gave away everything that had been in the closet. 

(No, I haven't cut the tags of the new boxes...)

There are still some things to go through and organize like pictures and warranties, but overall it's done and those projects are now more manageable when I do get to them.

Having the desk in the closet has worked out really well.  Brian can close the door and have a little more quiet or work after I have gone to bed.

Matthew decided we should put a lock on the door (from the outside) and lock Brian in until he finishes his dissertation.  As tempting as that is, I guess we will let him go in and out freely.  ;-)

Living thru faith,