Friday, October 31, 2008


My Little Princess
My Little Superhero

My Little Pumpkin

The Rock Star and the Princess

The Super Heroes

The Clan (minus two)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Living For

I mentioned in my last post that I have been reading the book, From Fear To Love. This book has been so helpful and has really taken some of my thoughts and feelings and put them right out on paper. I find myself reading along, nodding my head, or thinking, exactly! Page twenty-two:

Learning What's Worth Living For

Our circumstances forced us to evaluate what as most important in life and what was worth living for. We reminded ourselves the God does stand as a sentinel at the gate of our lives, knowing exactly what comes in. We grew to realize that God is more concerned about or relationship with Him than all of our material and earthly pleasures. He came to bring us life in all its fullness. He allowed everything we had placed security in to be stripped away, so that we would find security in a way no earthly pleasure could satisfy.

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. James 1:2-3

In the past eight weeks, life has been nothing close to easy...nothing about it has been "normal". It has been just the opposite of joyous. Something clicked recently though. It's been one thing after another. God has given me no other choice than to throw my hands up in the air and look to Him for EVERYTHING. The only way I know how to describe it is I feel as if I have been involved in a wrestling match and I have finally began to realize that my opponet is much bigger and stroger than I am. I have chosen to stop fighting and allow myself to be pinned. I have no idea when everything will end, but I do know Who is in control. It's not worth it anymore to worry about tomorrow. My God has told me that today has enough worries of it's own and tomorrow will take care of itself (Matthew 6:34). I just need to make sure my eyes are on the One who has and will continue to supply everything we need.

Fear is one thing. To let fear grab you and swing you around by the tail is another. ~Katherine Patterson

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Week Eight - Learning

*Warning: This is very long. My eyelids are beginning to feel very heavy so I am going to skip my usual proof reading. Please remember while reading that this was written after a long day, little sleep, and an empty stomach.*

Well, it's Tuesday and week eight of this learning experience of our lives here. The weeks just keep getting better (written with much sarcasm). Without going into detail or telling you how stupid I am, yesterday I crashed our van on the way home from work. Yep, add another thing to our list. I am beginning to think that people should stay away...this may be contagious. :-) I did a lot of damage, more than it's worth. So, yeah, not so good way to end the week (or start it). Enough of that.

Through this whole experience, I have been repeating over and over to my God : Increase my faith, Lord and help me to learn and grow from this. I decided at the beginning of the week that I was done throwing tantrums. I am tired of the tears and although I did a good crying yesterday, it's God's and He will fix it.

Learning #1

I find it very ironic now, the title of my blog. Every day I am totally living that...feeling more content than ever and clinging to the promise that God will never leave me or forsake me.

Back when I started this and picked the name out, I thought I was content...or at least heading in that direction. Now I know that I was no where near content. Through the events of the past eight weeks, I have learned what being content feels like. Believe it or not, this has stripped away the layers and I have finally gotten real with myself. I have heard Suzie Orman say several times that we are liars when we go into debt to buy things that we cannot afford. Translation for me: I was living a lie. Dan's previous job afforded us so many extras. I didn't have to be on a strict budget and it felt good to live that way...for a while. We live in a house we can afford. Our debt has been racked up on stuff. In the past three years, we began to make purchases with our credit cards and couldn't pay off the balance every month. I craved stuff but didn't like the way the debt felt hanging over our heads. When Dan lost his job, I saw my lifestyle crumble before my eyes. I thought of all the stuff that I wouldn't be able to buy...the starbucks that I wouldn't be able to have, the clothes I wouldn't be able to buy for my kids, the dates I wouldn't be able to go on. But, it was all a lie.

Week two of this thing, we cut up all our credit cards but one. Amazingly enough, since then, we haven't racked up any debt and been able to pay some of it down all on 40% of the salary Dan was making. I am changed. No more lies. I have my sights on being debt free and this time I know it will actually be a reality.

Learning #2

My Father-in-law gave me a book called From Fear to Love (I plan on posting more on this book later). I don't have much time to sit down with a good book lately but I have been plugging along when I can. If I let Satan have his hand in this, he could totally ruin my whole marriage.

If we didn't have money to worry about, Dan and I would be the happiest couple on earth. It has been a huge struggle for me to be nasty to him through this experience. This is probably the hardest we have ever had to work on keeping our marriage on the right track. I am not the most merciful, gracious person. It's black or white with me and I expect near perfection. After my accident on Monday early AM, I was beside myself. I was afraid of Dan's reaction because I knew what my own would be. I walked in the door and through tears told him what I did. I truly saw Jesus in him. He showed no anger at all. He was actually trying to joke about it with me. I was, and still am, blown away by his reaction.

I have always known I have been given a gift in him. In these busy 5.5 years, it's been really easy to forget. Words cannot even express how in love with him I am. We don't need our nights out every week. We are down to the basics and I am seeing that when we cut out all of the stuff, we are left with no other choice than to focus on eachother. Dan, I thank God for you!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Another one to add to the list...

Today, after just four hours of sleep (I worked last night) and in the howling winds, I ran my second 10K. My only goal was to beat my time at my last 10K. The course was awesome...the wind however was terrible! It was great to be out running again! I haven't run more than 4 miles at a time since The Crim so I was kinda nervous about this one. I set out to have fun and it helped that Dan and I were running this with Jeremy and Hollie. I felt great the whole way through the race and finished middle of the pack once again with a time of 1hr 3minutes and 31 seconds. I beat my previous time by about 4 minutes. I have fallen in love with running all over again! Now off to nap time!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Spaghetti Dinner Night!

I didn't have to work Wednesday or Thursday so we tried to pack as much fun in as we could. Thursday night was spent with Dan's brother's family. We had a spaghetti dinner with Red Lobster Biscuits, green beans, and pineapple. To top it all off, Dan baked one of his apple pies. He has it perfected now! Fun, fun, fun!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Carving Fun

We look forward to carving pumpkins every year! It's been a tradition for the past 4 years that I usually go out to Michigan with the kids and we carve them out there. Because of our circumstances, we weren't able to do that this year but we had a great time as a family. Pumpkins at our Super Walmart dropped from $4.98 each to $1.98 so I couldn't pass them up. I pulled Dan's car out of the garage (yes, we have both cars in there now!!), we turned on some music, and got to work. It was a team effort this year. The kids did the beginning work of cleaning out most of the seeds. I finished them up by scraping them clean. Dan got technical this year and had the kids choose a graphic online. He did a great job carving them all. It was a great family fun night!

They've been shot...

It was flu shot day today. We lined them up at our pediatrician's.

First up was Landon. He was all smiles and was so still. After he was done,without shedding one tear, he sat up, gave himself a big horray and said thank you.

Next was Kaitlyn. The look on her face was scared to death. I think she started crying even before she got her shot. She is actually still complaining of the pain. She told Landon in the car on the way home that she wished she could have been like him.

Collin assumed the position with smiles just like his big brother. He did very well and only whimpered a little but totally stopped once I picked him up.

Suckers all around. We are trying to prevent what happened last year...everyone got the flu.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Lucky Seven?

Well, week seven. I skipped a post on week six. I would rather mostly just forget about that week. It was a pretty low week for me. Anyway, on to week seven...

Dan got a call back from the department he tested at. Hopefully this will be a flicker of light at the end of a very dark tunnel. I just want to be able to stay home again. This has made Dan and me so very thankful for the roles we both had before he was layed off. This is probably the only time in our whole marriage that we can both totally sympathize for what the other is going through. I can sympathize with how hard it is to be a stay at home mom, how emotionally draining it can be, how much patience it requires, and what a thankless job it is. Dan can sympathize with working a physical job, having to find a way to balance family life while working, body aching, and being physically exhausted...but hey, I have lost a few pounds and you should see my biceps. :-)

God has continued to show himself. I still have my moments (0r last week, my days) of crying out to Him or looking to Him and asking Him how much longer....a few times last week of asking Him to show himself. On those days, I feel like a wanderer in the dessert, having just been given a feast of manna from heaven but still doubting and still grumbling and complaining. Oh the patience of my God.

Maybe this will be our lucky seven...or rather, our blessed seven. I have never been good at waiting. If God has something else for us, I guess I will get more practice...

Friday, October 17, 2008

I had plans..

I can't help but think where I would be right now if everything was "normal" around here.

Tonight, I was supposed to be flying out to meet my newest nephew and spend some time with my sister and her family and my brother and his new wife. We had gotten the tickets a month or two before the lay off. I was so excited. I was actually at a time in my life with the ages of the kids and everything that I felt comfortable enough leaving them for two nights. Well, I guess it wasn't in God's plan. I requested the days off during orientation, explaining that I had tickets...denied. Then, the kids, especially Kaitlyn, are not adjusting quite well to the new normal we have around here. I needed to stop thinking of myself and all that I would be missing out on and think of my family first.

So, I am sad. Not sad that I am home with my kids tonight, but sad because I am missing everyone out in PA so much. I pray Christmas will find us together.

A Give Away

One of my favorite money saving blogs to check in on is giving away a Baby-so-Real. Just click here to go on her site and enter, but do so by the 19th. Good luck!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Stick

Desperate times call for desperate measures.

My Dad tried to teach me once upon a time. I think he gave up on me. Dan tried teaching me two years ago. I was made to give up my seat after stalling in front of a semi.

The van was taken to the shop today (grand total ~ $650...could be a couple of days...we can't get ahead for anything.). That leaves me with no other option other than to learn how to finally drive a stick to get me back and forth to work.

So, with Dan being home, we set out this morning. Hoping not to return until I had it somewhat d0wn. Pressure. Dan's first requirement before getting into the driver's seat...I had to look hot. So, I put on some make up, got dressed, and put on my sexy shades. :-) Lookin good. It was only by the grace of God that I now think I can make it through the four stops to get me to work. Dan's a great teacher. I just passed. Hold your applause...I take my first drive alone in three minutes.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

My Sister

my sister (at 8 months pregnant) and me

She's been a constant in my life. I don't remember life without her. I actually didn't live much life without her. She has always been there, always been dependable, always listened, always been honest. We are total opposites but we get eachother.

Most of my greatest memories from when I was younger include her. We were always paired together....twins when we were younger then as the "Farmer girls" when we got into Jr High. We were going to live together forever, do everything together. If we did happen to find someone to marry, they would be brothers so that we could have a double wedding and live right next door to eachother.

I would wake her at night to take me to the bathroom. She did it without complaining. She would sit outside the door, half asleep, until I was finished. Somehow, I thought that she could rescue me from the boogie man. As we got older, we would stay awake for hours talking about anything and everything until one of us would drift off to sleep. She was my other better half.

Well, sometimes life doesn't go as planned. I miss her dearly. We live many states apart, see eachother only a few times a year. We didn't marry brothers, our kids don't get to see eachother for weekly playdates, and we don't have the privilege of doing Sunday dinner or going for a run together. The bond is still there though. There will never be another like her.

Happy Birthday, Calist. I can never fully express what you have meant and continue to mean to me. Wish we could go back and be carefree kids together again for a day. Sometimes this adult stuff sucks. I miss you so much and love you even more. Hopefully one day we will be just a car ride away....or maybe we will just have to take Mom up on her "compound" offer.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Out with Daddy

Friday, October 10, 2008

Nice Effort

My middle child has been noticing overweight people lately. He looked at me and told me last week, "Mommy, you are not fat!" Thanks son. Then he went on to name people that were. Kaitlyn went through this stage too. It's like they start noticing the physical differences in people and enjoy pointing them out...this one just happens to be slightly more embarrassing than, "Look that lady has blue eyes."

Well, luckily I haven't had any trips to the store with this little man in the past two weeks...but, Dan has. They were standing in an aisle and a large man walked past. Landon said to Dan, "Daddy, where's that fat guy going?" Dan had to have a talk with him. He explained the basic stuff like that hurts people's feelings when we say things like that about them. Now even though Landon is a wild man and seems very rough, he has a sensitive side. He always makes sure to tell Kaitlyn and me when we look beautiful and is always telling us that he loves us. He gets it.

So, fast forward one week. Dan and Landon, again at the store. This time they are standing in the check out line, some larger people are behind them. Landon's wheels, of course, are turning. It's almost killing him to keep quiet about this one. He looks at Dan and says something like this..."Daddy, I haven't talked about anyone being fat." Almost little man.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

My Faithful One

I find no hope within to call my own
For I am frail of heart, my strength is gone
But deep within my soul is rising up a song
Here in the comfort of the faithful one

I walk a narrow road through valleys deep
In search of higher ground, on mountains steep
And though with feet unsure, I still keep pressing on.
For I am guided by the faithful one.

Faithful, faithful to the end,
My true and precious friend,
You have been faithful,
Faithful, so faithful to me

I see your wounded hands, I touch your side
With thorns upon your brow you bled and died
But there’s an empty tomb, a love for all who come
And give their hearts to you, the faithful one.

Faithful, faithful to the end,
My true and precious friend,
You have been faithful,
Faithful, so faithful to me

And when the day is dawned and when the race is run
I will bow down before God’s only Son
And I will lift my hands in praise for all you’ve done
And I will worship you, my faithful one

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

A Good Ride

Today I said good-bye to my triple jogger. It was not as hard and I thought.

This was a huge step for me, as my husband could probably tell you. It (and my other strollers) was a object of a fight a few months ago. I have a stroller for every occasion basically. I have more than average because I am so active and wasn't going to let the number of kids affect my mobility and my being able to get out of the house. So, I had an umbrella, a single travel stroller, a double stroller, a double jogger, and a triple jogger. Having three kids three years apart, it was a must for me. Well, Dan was getting on me for the space they were taking up. We had a huge discussion over it which escalated into an argument. I think my last sentence to him was, "Okay, then I will sell all of my strollers and just sit around here and get fat." That would show him! :-)

Well, this road that we are walking has had many lessons along the way. On the subjects of my strollers...they are just things and I have too many (which I never realized before). So, today was the day. It felt refreshing to pass it off. Yes, I had many good runs with that took my kids many was purchased just after finding out we were pregnant with the child we would miscarry a week gave me a sense of sanity...helped me shed my baby weight...but, it's an object. Good riddens. It was a good ride.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

It's been 5 weeks...

I sit here and stare at the screen while thinking of how long this time has seemed, but also at the same time how short it has seemed. We are doing okay. I think that both Dan and I are ready to assume our usual roles...mine as a stay at home mom and his as a working Dad. This role reversal thing has been tough and we are still working out kinks.

What I wish people knew...

...not to compare themselves to us if your husband is working. If your husband has a job, good for you. Right now, mine does not. Please don't talk about how similar your situation is to ours unless your husband is unemployed also...there's really no comparison.

...I am working because I have to. I don't enjoy leaving my family every afternoon. I don't enjoy working 32 hours a week. I am exhausted from trying to juggle all my normal duties around the house and also being at work.

...this is stressful on a marriage. Everyone has problems but ours seems to be escalated by our situation and added stress.

...I want this to be over. Yes, there is learning to be done in every situation, wisdom to be gained. But, is it so wrong of me to ask that this would not last more than a week more? I don't want a job that pays as well as Dan's old job...just something that covers our needs.

...most importantly, God has been more than faithful. When people seem to disappear, when this road seems lonely, when the people we thought we could look to for support give none, My God has shown that our hope should not be in people. Even though it hurts deeply to feel like people have turned their backs on us, our provision is from God. When food stops coming, our supply comes from God. I am trying to cling to these:

So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. ~Matthew 6:31-34

Friday, October 3, 2008

He's here!

Well, my sister finally had him! I am so proud of main meds...that's my girl! Asher Josiah was born today at 2PM. He weighs 8lbs 15oz and is 20 inches long. They are doing great and since she had him at a birth center, she will be able to go home tonight. My parents are heading out there tonight and hopefully they will send pics soon. I can't wait to meet him!

Still Makin It

Well, it's been a month since Dan's lay off. I said in an earlier post that the first few days were the loneliest...I was wrong. I think when going through what we are going through, after a few weeks, you find out who your true friends are.

All things considered, we are doing pretty good. God has taken care of our every need this past month and even provided a little extra to take a family trip to Edward's Orchard yesterday (they really did a nice job rebuilding after the tornado last January). It was nice to get out and kinda forget about our situation for a few hours. The kids had a good time and it was nice to be able to treat them to some fresh doughnuts. YUM!

If you think of it (or even right now) please pray for Dan especially tomorrow. He has testing with a nearby police department in the morning. As far as work for him goes, we haven't heard anything from any applications he has filled out. It's been very hard to stay positive and not think that this is going to last forever...being overtired, stressed out, and PMSy doesn't help either. :-)

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Guess it was time...

Tomorrow, Collin will be 14 months old. I guess Dan thought it was time. He took him for his first hair cut today without my knowing. It wasn't a malicious he said. :-) He meant it to be a surprise but I seriously wanted to cry when he told me. All of his beautiful curls, gone. It's cute though. It just makes him look so much older. My baby is growing into a big boy.