Showing posts with label family. Show all posts
Showing posts with label family. Show all posts

Thursday, September 20, 2018

My weight loss journey........was a brief and prideful one............................

I like to look at this picture of my family from Mother's Day 2018. It makes me proud. Those men are so good looking! Yes, the Gman and I produced those handsome boys. But who is that lady with the double chin sitting with them? Yes, that's me. 

Now my oldest, the writer has a wedding coming up. It's been quite stressful thinking of mother of the groom dresses. I'd love to say that I wanted to lose weight because I want to be healthy for the long awaited grandkids. Or at least because my body is the temple of the Holy Spirit and heartburn was not dwelling in the same place. But the truth of the matter was....some awesome photo opportunities will be coming up in October and I can't look like Shamu. 

Pride, yes, thank God for pride. Not the one that causes one to fall, but the motivator pride. The kind that makes you lick your finger and quickly wash your kids face at the pediatrician so they won't think you are a bad mom. I was able to pull out the emotion exactly three months before the wedding. Serious times caused for serious measures. I joined an expensive health club, actually showed up faithfully and accepted their so called "food plan" which in reality was a 2 page chart with the most mundane deprivation diet ever. This was planned on the week that Little Guy was away for camp at Gordon College. The Gman was on his own for meals.

The first week included an evil trainer named Amy who yelled, swore and called me by my last name, sort of like boot camp 3 days a week. I had to nap a few times just to get out of my misery from eliminating sugar. I googled it. They liken it to a flu when you are detoxing. Of course it didn't help that I downed a ton of sm'ores the night before I started this journey. But I survived the week and lost 4 pounds. Hmm, if I keep this up, I may even get my money back, from the fitness challenge. Amy said she was proud of me even though I was a pain in the....There's that pride word.

I actually stuck like glue to the food chart, worked out or walked killer hills and each week weighed in. It worked! In just over the 10 weeks, I lost 24 lbs, feel amazing and am super happy with the dress I picked out. It was very simple. I stuck to it with the exception of one evening, I cheated one night while taking clients out to dinner and I felt terrible. 

So people noticed, and it was exactly like when I came to Christ.......the responses:

1) You look awesome, you inspire me................ What must I do to be thin/saved?
2) Oh you were fine, you didn't need to lose weight.....You weren't fat(lies) weren't too much of a sinner(oh yes, I was/am)
3) I love my sweets/junk food too much...........I love my sin too much surrender to Christ.
4)You'll probably gain it back after the wedding.................This is just a fad(yes I've been on this Jesus trend since 1986)
5) I don't have time for all the food prep and exercise.......My life is too busy for God.

Now that I have experienced the transformation I was looking for, I have to be careful not to become prideful. Or self righteous................. And that's another battle.

So I may have collectedly offended all 5 of my readers in one post.  I've taken my terrible habit of stress eating and focused on taking care of myself.

This was my old belief:

The Gman still can't believe he hears me leaving early for a morning run even in the rain. I wish I could market this weigh loss plan with a flashy name and sell it to the many Americans who spend so much money on weigh loss products. 

Veto diet
The die diet
yes to the smaller dress diet

Hmm.....the possibilities are endless. Stay tuned for an after picture.

Thanks for stopping by,

Looking back at homeschooling from the rear view mirror......and missing writing like crazy.

Lately, I have been thinking about almost obsessively. We've had some adorable little ones in our home lately, and it just pulls me back. I have no regrets at only having four boys, but I see my friends gushing over their grandkids and it's fresh in my heart. But that's not what I planned on writing about. 

Since my blog is called accidentally homeschooling, I think I need to speak to the ones who may be in the process of homeschooling. I have a million things to say but I'll try to condense it down... maybe a good old fashioned list.

1. My boys thank me...often...for homeschooling. As they figure out the world, who they are and where they are going, the conversation comes back to this. Thanks Mom. Oh that warms my heart. The moments when I was convinced I had chosen a crazy path and who did I think I was....are just lies. They truly are life long learners, always sharing with me something new they have learned.

2. Now that I work full time, I realize, I could have managed my time so much better. The kids grow so fast...cherish the times.

3. I've finally passed on most of my home school books. I kept thinking I'd save them just in case what?...someone asked me to teach their kids or I have grand kids. I won't be homeschooling my grandkids. I'll be eating sweets, indulging, shopping and taking them on trips. They won't be sitting on Nana's lap studying prepositions, history or quadratic equations. 

4. My oldest is getting married in October....Grandkids may be in my future.

5.  Paperboy owns his own home, is a landlord and is studying for his electrical exam. 

6. Random is a licensed real estate agent who is pursuing his dream. 

7. Only Little Guy is left at home. He's morphed into an amazing kid. My blog readers remember our struggles and the Feingold Diet. His high school education is outsourced, he plays sports, is in drama and competes in Martial arts.

8. Blogging was a great therapy to me, I am finally encouraged to come back to it. I have so many ideas swirling in my head.......keep subscribing. Let me know if you still read my blog, I'll be writing anyways, but having a reader or two will warm my heart,

Thanks for stopping by,    

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Happy Father's Day 2013

"A good father is one of the most unsung, unpraised, unnoticed, and yet one of the most valuable assets in our society."
-- Billy Graham

I am blessed. My dad is not only a great father, he's also a strong Christian. He's known as a kind, generous, hard working, and funny guy. Maybe someday, I'll follow in his footsteps.

Happy Father's Day, to the guy who always smiles, even when he may not feel like it.

This Arizona Guy was a little chilly, but smiling.

Lots of love to you,
your favorite daughter,


Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Ten Things: Where have all the blog posts gone?

Czech Girl came for lunch today. Of course, we laughed like crazy. When the subject of blogging came up, I couldn't ignore the urge. I started talking about it. Urging her to try it. Then it hit me, I remembered how much I love to blog. I analyzed, why had I lost the desire? It used to be my typing could barely keep up with my thoughts. My thoughts now are lost before I find my laptop. Now I only have posts swimming in my head. Nothing makes it to my keyboard. I though I''d blog 10 things that hinder me from blogging.

  1. The pirates have kidnapped me and there is no wifi on the deserted island.
  2. Pops came in for a whirlwind visit. We only had 5 days together. I didn't want to take the time to blog. 
  3. Family was visiting. It was great seeing all of the cousins playing together. Now we have 7 teenagers in our clan.
  4. Teenagers who don't drive alone. Paperboy has his learners permit, but we still have to chauffeur him and his brothers.
  5. I had a funky allergy thing we call Cape Cod Crud. It's like a sinus infection, but not that bad. I forgot to add sinus infections to my list of things that will be in Hell. Home improvement projects, bladder infections, dentist drills and sinus infections will be prevalent in the everlasting place of torment. That's my pet false doctrine. Hell will be still be H-E-double hockey sticks.
  6. Work. I am still a working mom. 'Nuff said.
  7. My iPad. I am still figuring out which apps I love. So my time in front of my computer has greatly decreased. I should just blog on my iPad.
  8. I'm reading more than usual. I decided to stop reading so many work related articles and get back to reading for pleasure. John Grisham and teen fiction are my latest brain snacks. Random and I are plowing through Sonlight's summer reading program. O.K. I take that back. He is strolling through it. I'm plowing.
  9. My house is cleaner than normal, but still needs attention. Frequent blogs=Messy house
  10. I'm playing games with Little Guy, who isn't really little anymore. He just turned eight, but looks like he's ten. He loves Uno, Skip-bo, Bananagrams and Jenga. 
Do you take time away from your blog? Will you still follow a blogger who neglects her blog? I hope you will. 

Thanks for stopping by,

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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: The Dorky Christmas Photo Tradition Continues

Merry Christmas!

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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Pour Your Heart Out: Christmas? Bah! Humbug!

Things I Can't Say Today's post is linked up to Pour Your Heart Out from Shell at Things I Can't Say. That's a regular feature where bloggers let it rip. They blog about something that has been weighing on their mind or just plain irritating them. It's like a regular therapy session without the bill. If you read the other posts, you may actually start to feel better about yourself. You might say things like "Thank God! I'm not married to him." or "She did what?" or you may think to yourself. "She hit the nail right on the head. I feel the same way too!"  Anyhow, here's my little whine pour your heart out.

It was the night month before Christmas and all through the house...
I've been thinking about Christmas and I've readied my home for the decorating tonight, but I am far from prepared myself. And I don't think I'll gather enough spirit for the holidays. As a grateful Christian, I should be excited for this glorious time. But no....There are a few three specific things that are standing in my way of this holiday joy.

The beautiful family cards have started arriving in the mail. Everyone clean, smiling, in the same location and looking happy. I love those cards. But they remind me of my failures. The only time this year we were dressed nice and together was at a funeral. Not the Kodak family time. Now that I, the pro-procrastinator, finally have time to consider the photo. Things are in place. Vika has returned to the States. But my hormones have left their mark on my face. The current pimples on my face resemble Mt. Vesuvius. When covered with make-up they look like the snow-capped Andes Mountain region. If I was so inclined I would learn some better make-up techniques from this sister-in-the-acne-trenches. But who has time? At this point my loved ones will receive Christmas wishes only. Maybe a New Years Card?

What to get the little darlings for Christmas? As I descend in the depths of the basement, I observe the piles of unused gifts from the past years. I wonder how I got sucked into this American consumerism and became such a greedy person who hoards so much. I get a little green, not with envy, but with a sudden urge not to add more garbage to the planet. I see the excesses and the waste and almost get sick thinking about it. I think a purging and cleaning of the basement would be a great Christmas gift. I can re-gift the gifts to a different child. I can reload the stockings with knick-knacks. Oh wait, they're much to sharp for that trick.
But my thoughts of re-gifting and cleaning the basement are quickly clouded.

Not A Creature Was Stirring Not Even A....Mouse. I've discovered there are well-fed mice in my basement. They have neatly devoured a whole bag of cereal. I am not scared of rodents. I am scared of their droppings. The thoughts of them feasting on my pantry and dropping wherever they please gives me the eeby-geebies. My zeal for my basement overhaul has just been squashed. After the Gman rids the basement of the varmints, I will revisit that thought. It's not a very Christmassy thought. But it could become a tradition.

SO I will put the gifts and the photos out of my mind. Tonight, I'll focus on the fun of decorating. Maybe next week I'll get excited about the Christmas Season. If I can just get the thought of mice droppings out of my mind.

Thanks for listening,

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Sunday, November 20, 2011

Marriage Monday: An Ode to my Mother-in-Law

1st Monday Every Month at Chrysalis

I was thrilled when I heard this month's topic would be in-laws. In my usual state of confusion, I forgot to post this a few weeks ago. With Thanksgiving coming up, perhaps now is the right time. If you will be spending time with your out-laws or in-laws, treasure it.

My mother-in-law died of cancer in 2004. A few weeks before Little Guy hit made his dramatic entrance into the world, I was unable to travel for the funeral because of my advanced pregnancy and a nasty sickness. I clearly remember going to a doctor I had never met, getting a throat culture and blubbering like a baby to him about how much I would miss her. A few weeks later, I had the opportunity to assure him that I'd be o.k.

Now don't get me wrong here, I understand the victory of death as a Christian. I knew Anne was through suffering and in the presence of God. I was just crying for myself. My sister-in-law asked for a letter or a memory for me to send along. This was my pre-blogging life. I was long-winded. I needed to remember her and write it down. I'm posting it unedited except for name changes. 

To my Mother-in-law:

I want to thank you for all you have done and shown me in the 12 years I have had the privilege of knowing you. I married your only son and therefore I inherited the title of favorite daughter-in-law. I am blessed, my close friends even admitted their jealousy. They loved you and wished to have you for their own mother-in-law. When you visited us, we did everything together. You took the time to get to know all of my friends. You joined us for concerts, sporting events and even let us take you on almost every tourist attraction in the Northeast. You never mentioned if you were too tired or if we were pushing you too much. You gave of yourself unselfishly.

You had your priorities right. You wanted to be with your family. You invested your time into your family. There was always time for another story to be read to the boys or another game of checkers or Uno. You showed me motherhood, in your sharing the tales of raising my husband. You loved him unconditionally. You encouraged his passions. You have shown me tolerance, not for sin, but for adventure. You told me how you cringed while driving from the mice factory with a car load of mice so the Gman could feed his snakes. But you did it! You let the Gman develop his interests without your inflicting your own opinions. Because of you, I don’t say no when Paperboy and Random find a snake. You let him pursue boyhood interests while growing into a man. You raised a son that knows how to enjoy his family.

You showed your commitment to Christ to my family. You were faithful to read Gods Word daily. You prayed. You prayed for your family continually. You were committed to your church. While visiting us you joined us in our commitment to our church. You desired to know our family of believers. You and I would take time to go out with the ladies when you visited. On the telephone, you often would ask how is so and so. You showed concern for my friends even as your health was failing. You had also showed Len and others Christ’s love in action daily. When Len had the stroke you were there for him. You were such a hard worker. You got up early enough to get him dressed and ready before you had to get ready for work. There were bills to be paid and you faced it. You comforted him in his last days.

You had the gift of diplomacy. You were the peace maker. You had the kind words to soften the situation. You had the ability to smooth the awkward conversations. You also had the spunk and the certainty of your faith. On your trips to our home, we had many hours while the Gman was working to reminisce, share and even debate. You had the skill of discussing issues without letting them get personal. We could debate politics or doctrine and still remain close. You could artfully change the subject, you knew neither of us would change our minds, and you made sure there were no hard feelings.

Another way you demonstrated your love for me and my family was in your thoughts. Each trip north, you would bring a small gift for me and the kids. Just to say “I was thinking of you when we weren’t together”. You even showed my brother’s wife, and their children that same thoughtfulness. Your small gestures of love touched her life. You are already missed. But you have left your many gifts with us. I will guard them as treasures. I will try to pass on these qualities to your grandchildren. I will keep them fresh in my mind, when facing another parenting obstacle. I will think of you as I read in Proverbs.  “Her children rise up and call her blessed; Her husband (also), and he praises her: Many daughters have done well, But you excel them all. Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.”

You were a wonderful mother-in-law and I thank God for the time He gave us together. I will love and miss you, but I know we will see each other again because of Christ.

Love always, Terri

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Sunday, October 30, 2011

Who would win? Gee, I never thought of that!

When a child begins to think outside the box, it is a blessing when mother can take time to observe it.

Little Guy has compelled me to slow down. Although, I was cleaning because I wanted to bless my family of company coming, I forced myself to stop and play checkers. Now, I can't help but stop and write his words. I know if I don't, I will forget this moment in our life. No, it is not the great achievements, I will write about. It is the preciousness of discovery and thoughts, deep thoughts. Funny thoughts. Thoughts of a future archaeologist. Thoughts of a child discovering this world through reading and photos. Thoughts of the child who once announced, I hate books.

I am so grateful to come downstairs in the morning to find him on the recliner with a book in his hand.

I praise God as his eyes light up while he retells 'My Father's Dragon'.

He anxiously awaits the opening of the library on Monday, I give thanks for that.

On Thursday, when my week had gone on too long, I let everyone know. "I keep thinking this is Friday." Little guy who appeared to be engrossed in a video game looked up and gave me some sage advice. "Go to sleep now, wake up at midnight and for the next 24 hours you will be right."

I was tempted to do just that.

I laughed a deep belly laugh when he announced he was King Kong after getting his pajamas on.

I told him I was Fay Wray. When he learned who she was, he belly laughed and still wanted to be King Kong.

"I need to wear these because my feet get cold at night."

The daily questions continue...

I always stop to answer questions. The day will arrive when they don't ask as many.

I soak them in.

"Which one would win ankylosaurus or a komodo dragon?" Oh, you have stumped me. I need more information, son. Of course, I have never really thought about that. Besides, I have never seen and ankylosaurus operate. "Can you give me some more information?"

"The komodo dragon has a secret weapon, a poison, that can kill in 30 minutes."

"The ankylosaurus has an armored body and has a club tail. It is even safe from a tyrannosaurus rex."

I guess the ankylosauruas. "Wrong!" he says. "It would be a tie."

You can learn much from little ones.

I may not have my lizard and dinosaur facts strait, but I am fascinated by my little instructor.

Thanks for stopping by,

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Friday, July 15, 2011

The Not So Happy Camper

In case you were wondering if my blog has joined the ranks of inactive blogs, you can stop. I've been busy being an unhappy camper. Literally.

We have a very nice tradition in our family. Every year we camp at beautiful Nickerson State Park in Brewster, Massachusetts. The excitement of this trip begins in the snowy month of January. I say that because you have to make your reservations 6 months in advance. The process took me about 5 days to secure one of the best sites(in my opinion) in the park. Each morning at 9:00, I would line up our laptops and frantically click on sites trying to be the first to reserve the coveted sites. Why?

I don't really know.

I do know.

I am a mommy to 4 boys.

They need to camp. Their friends need to camp.

They need to inhabit the woods for a few weeks.

They need to commune with nature and get very dirty.

They need to conquer the mosquitoes, the fish and build fires.

Normally, I am enjoying all of these things alongside them.

This year, I am not a happy camper.

Perhaps it was the babies crying in the night, no the toddlers crying during the day. I felt like crying.

Maybe it was the weird boy peeking in the windows at the showers.

Or the sunscreen that didn't work.

Or the mosquitoes that worked overtime..

Or the man who had to land his catamaran right on the beach where we were swimming.

Perhaps, it was the boys bickering in the tent.

And the smelly fish that were caught.

And the stifling heat.

And the torrential rain which I missed..

I missed my blog.

And my bathroom.

And my husband, who was called away to work.

Then I was called away to work.

I was thankful to be needed elsewhere.

My air-conditioned office became my safe haven.

The urgent needs of others delivered me from my vacation in the woods.

I decided working isn't so bad.

Camping, I will give you another chance next week.

I know, I am a glutton for punishment or someone with serious short term memory loss.

It's for the children.

I'll keep telling myself that.

I am redefining myself by the moment.

I think I'd enjoy glamping.

How about you? What kind of camper are you?

Thanks for sticking around.
I missed you all,

If you aren't always a happy camper, join me in my misery,
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Sunday, July 3, 2011

The good, the bad and the ugly

 Good! I live in a serious tourist town that normally frowns upon flashy attractions. Bad! They approved this one on the road leading to the transfer station a.k.a. the dump. Ugly! Yes that is the first ride you see as you drive up. Very Ugly!

Good! The nice man that held the whole line up so we could get this photo shot!

Bad! The speed at which my iPhone snaps pictures. It does not keep up with the action here. Where are the kids?

Ugly! Yes this ride is super ugly. It does not fit in with the historical New England town I live in.

Good! The obstacle courses were a good way to add some competition to the day.

Bad! Sometimes they picked up so much speed they fell out onto the hard ground. 

Good! The was a great variety of sports themed rides.

Ugly! There were no seats for the parents to sit while they waited a mere two and a half hours..

Good! The cousins took turns winning the races.

Bad and Ugly! My finger in front of the lens ruining my great shots.

Good! The way my kids are sleeping so soundly right now.
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Saturday, June 11, 2011

Snake Oil, Prayer and Feingold

A Modern Fairy Tale...with a happy ending.

Once upon a time there was a woman who had a degree in early childhood development. She had years of experience teaching children, potty training children, birthing children and raising children. She and her amazingly patient husband were blessed with a 4th little boy. This little boy always seemed "different" from her other children and her friend's children. She was puzzled. She tried everything in her power to figure out what made this child tick, explode or find joy. He had numerous quirks about him that were affecting her whole family. He cried at every bath, grocery shopping trip, in cold weather, in loud noises, and was generally miserable throughout the day. He was angry, he bit people, he pulled hair, cried randomly, potty trained late, avoided eye contact and had many repetitive behaviors that worried his mother. Mealtimes were mini-nightmares, food was everywhere but in this child's mouth. She wondered, would he ever grow out of his highchair? His mother prayed, read books, sought out experts, asked friends, and endured months of what, why and how to deal with this?

Her best coping method was agoraphobia. It was much easier to never leave the house. That got old very quickly. Her husband was a skilled shopper, at least they had food. Going to church was a major effort. They always sat in the back row, in case they needed a quick exit. Getting babysitters became a rare event. Dates with her husband were reserved for really special times, like anniversaries.

After reading numerous books and eliminating autism, she finally found a name for this: Sensory Integration Disorder or Sensory Processing Disorder. The names have changed, but the symptoms are similar. This little boy's nervous system reacted differently to external stimuli. Cold, heat, pressure, noises, and transitions caused him to loose control of himself. Things sent him into fight or flight, which put him in danger daily. His worried mother learned to navigate the triggers that brought upon the 'melt downs'. She and her husband prayed. They were desperate. They were seeking out what was best for this child. Did he need expensive therapists? Did he need a special classroom? Did he need medication? Could we cast this out in prayer? One thing his mother did know, is she didn't want to fall for any false cure or 'snake oil'.

When the neurologist suggested further testing for the alphabet soup diagnosis that he suspected, she balked. The thought of her little 3 year-old in the hands of psychologists and therapists for a total of 9 hours, just didn't put her at ease. When her pediatrician recommended counseling, she lost faith in him. She couldn't grasp how any 3 year-old could be counseled not to have outbursts. She knew if she could talk a three year old into not behaving a certain way, she'd be on Oprah. She would be famous and sell millions of her books about how to make your three year-old obey every time. 

She argued with insurance companies, and eventually realized: Just like when she took her older children's education in her own hands, she was on her own with this, too. After learning about the benefits of occupational therapy, she faithfully did activities from the books, The Out of Sync Child and The Out Of Sync Child Has Fun. She religiously gave him omega oils. She was rigid about sleep times and getting outside for fresh air. She enrolled him in a private preschool as not to isolate him from others. She never denied that there was something going on, yet she held him to a standard of behavior. She didn't use his 'issues' to excuse his numerous mischief exploits.

She bit her tongue when well meaning loved ones said, "He's just a boy." She knew boys, this was more than a boy issue. Admitting that your child has something wrong was scary and liberating for her. Naming the elephant in the room was the first step in getting it out. This elephant began controlling her life. Every decision, plan and move made was done in light of  "will this work around the elephant?" Her faith and determination were not enough. Something had to change.

With all of the efforts she was making, she still felt, she was going backwards. Why were some days great, while others made her want to curl up in a ball and cry? She started to have a vision for the future and it wasn't hopeful. At times, she found comfort in the word of God. 2 Timothy 1:7 was her promise. She had a little hope, but still some rough days.

She came across a homeschooling forum with a post discussing a diet called Feingold. Some posts strongly talked against it. Some couldn't say enough about it. She went to the website and began reading the first fifty pages of their book for free. Because she was too cheap to order the book, she found it at her local library.

It took some humbling for her to even check the book out; "Why Can't My Child Behave? by Jane Hersey. She was a Christian mom who believed in training her children in godly character. She was a failure in the first few years, no parenting tactics worked with this little one.  Nevertheless, she devoured this book about allergist Benjamin Feingold and his discovery of an allergy diet that helped children with other problems besides food issues.

Stay tuned for part two, the happy ending. This is the first of a series of posts as I share our experience with the Feingold diet.

Thanks for stopping by,

I share some tips about starting the diet here.

***Disclaimers Galore***
Any similarities to people in this story are purely intentional. The identities have been changed to protect the guilty and the innocent alike. If you can relate to the nice lady in the story, I encourage you to visit There are testimonies of families who have been greatly helped by this diet. I am not being paid by the Feingold Association for this story. In fact, I lifted this image below from their website while hoping they won't mind. This post is not to be construed as medical advice, I am a nursing school dropout who reads books. I am not qualified to offer any medical advice, the only thing I have in common with  physicians is messy handwriting.

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Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Father's Day Early Edition

Hi Dad!

By the way, my dad reads my blog, so feel free to wish him a happy Father's Day. 
Thanks for stopping by, 

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Sunday, May 15, 2011

Choices: I choose to be a place of rest

Today's post is part of The Christian Home. This online eZine is hosted by fellow crew member, Mrs. White from The Legacy of Home.

I enjoyed the most incredible nap today until my sleep was jarred by 5 teenager's laughter. For that I am thankful. I have always wanted my home to be the place where they wanted to be. I have my own fond memories of my neighbor's hospitality when I was young. I sat for hours with my friend's mom and savored long conversations over plates of food. She always had kind words that lifted me out of my situation.

I have wanted to be that type of Mom. One who was not avoided, but one who the kids were drawn to. We joked today about my finally becoming a 'boy magnet'. A friend couldn't believe how I spend my Sunday afternoons. Some day, I will have quiet Sunday afternoons and longer naps. But, I am choosing this instead.

I choose not to get frazzled at the wrestling, the weapons, the video games, the nerf wars, and the non-stop hunger. Seeing the speed in which Statueman grew up, I choose to savor this over complain.

I choose to look at the bright side. One great thing about hosting teenage boys in our home is the lack of pressure on the hostess, me. My lame offering of hot dogs and French fries are devoured happily. They don't notice the floors that need vacuuming. If they do, they aren't saying anything. They are easy house guests. Blessings.

I choose this, I had many reasons not to, everyone would have understood. But I am so glad I did. How about you, did you have any great company this weekend?

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Sunday, March 27, 2011

A sweet way to earn money at home?

There is still time to enter "the Crossmaker" giveaway. 
Click here for details. I will be drawing the winner on Friday, National Atheist Day.

This post is part of The Christian Home, an online magazine hosted by Mrs. White at The Legacy of Home. Please visit her site to read more of The Christian Home.

I wrote a few weeks ago about the ways I have earned money at home. This can be both a blessing and a curse, since many of my 'jobs' have taken their toll on our family and my peace of mind. I've come to the conclusion that sometimes the best way to make money at home is to avoid parting with the income you already have.

Proverbs 14:1 
The wise woman builds her house,
but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.

Today, I will share with you something that did not work for me. Will you join me for a trip down memory lane? Fasten your seatbelt for a ride down Terri G.'s Rocky Road to income from home.

Cake Decorating or 
My recipe for disaster

When I only had one child, this seemed like a fun way to bring in a few dollars. My friend and I attended the Wilton cake decorating classes at the local craft store. I was eager to try my newfound skills. I am not crafty, I just have the ability to read and follow directions. Paired with a steady hand, cake decorating can be successful.  For me it was, somewhat.

I quickly was able to sell my cakes, please brides and the word spread. I charged about $1 to $2 a slice and did wedding cakes while charging between $120 to $450. It sounds like a large amount for just making a cake, but in reality, it wasn't.

Because I have never functioned well without adequate sleep, I always paced myself. My weeks with cake creations looked like this:
  • Tuesday purchase all of the supplies.
  • Wednesday, bake and trim.
  • Thursday ice cakes.
  • Friday decorate cakes.
  • Saturday, pray while you drive with the precious cakes, deliver and assemble, and stress over if the bride will love it.
During cake jobs, my family ate poorly and I was a grump. Pizza had to be ordered by Friday night. My back was sore from hunching over the cakes. Weather hampered decorating. Weekend traffic freaked me out. I was a slowpoke menace on the roads for fear of stopping short and ruining my creations. And these were the easy times.

See the pregnant lady with the fake smile? She spent the morning abusing her husband.
Then enter the blessing of new babies, Paperboy and his brother, Random, seventeen months later. The home is no longer a great setting for a bakery.

I remember my last wedding cake. 

The one in which I lost control. The one for the lovely couple who had married in Paris and wanted their perfect stateside family wedding, near the ocean. The cake with little shells on the sides. I had broken a few rules. I took an order over the phone. I envisioned what they wanted. I had hoped my vision was theirs. There was a nagging feeling the whole time, I think this is what they wanted. The weather was 80 degrees and humid. The frosting disobeyed. The cake didn't fit in my refridgerator. I had to air condition my bedroom just to keep it fresh. That probably cost me half my profit in electricity. 

The morning of the wedding, I had found myself screaming at the kids, again. "Stop running by the cake", "You're making the whole house shake", "You'll have to wait for breakfast." Didn't they care? At that point, I was possessed.

The final straw came when it was time to load the cakes in the car. When I looked at one of the layers, I wanted to cry. "What was this stuffed dinosaur doing in the cake?" This was not the bride's vision. My vision began to blur through angry tears.

Thankfully, Paperboy has blotted out this memory of his scary mommy. Paperboy, at two years old, survived my temporary insanity. Only because God in His grace had made him the second born. There was a witness to my meltdown. As my temper tantrum was in full force, I realized my oldest son was watching me screaming, while contemplating hurting my toddler.

What am I doing? This is insane, he is a two-year old and it's only a cake.

I was frightened at how much rage had gotten a hold over me. I was taking my stress out on my family. What if I had acted on my feelings and struck my son with that angry spirit on me? I am thankful to God, that in my terrible state, I was able to hear His voice. I was able to repent, in time. 

I repaired and delivered the cake. No accidents, no ordeals. 

The bride loved it, she begged me to stay for the reception.

I had to decline, my family needed me back.

Even though I was at home all week, they missed me.
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Thursday, February 24, 2011

Thrifty Thursday: Just how can I really make money from home?

This post is part of the fourth issue of The Christian Home, a weekly Blog Magazine posted every Monday morning by Mrs. White at The Legacy of Home.

Making money from home ads are everywhere. Who can you believe? How can you earn money while staying home with the kiddos? Here's a list of ways Terri G. has actually made money. I can honestly say I am not doing any of them now, but they have worked for me in the past.

  1. I have raised chickens and sold eggs.
  2. I went door to door in  my neighborhood selling Avon, pushing my baby in a stroller.
  3. I have decorated and sold wedding cakes.
  4. I have hosted home parties and sold Discovery Toys.
  5. I have run a licensed daycare out of my home.
  6. I have answered telephones for a landscaper, very short-lived.
  7. I have set up appointments for Electrolux vacuums, another shot-lived job.
  8. I have sold Usborne books the year I first began homeschooling.
  9. I have filled out surveys in exchange for Border's bucks. You must be thinking, "she will do anything to support her habit", almost.
  10. I have sold clothes to a consignment store, my aunt would supply the clothes, I would wash and press them.
  11. I have sold things on eBay.
  12. I have sold books on Amazon,, and used homeschool curriculum sites.
  13. I have held a few yard sales.
  14. I have sold cookies in a jar.
My sons have done the following things to earn money:

  1. One is currently working as a busboy and a dishwasher, see paycheck above!
  2. Sell handmade sports pillows.
  3. Assist a quadriplegic man at scrabble and bridge tournaments
  4. Sell newspapers.
  5. Work as an electrical apprentice.
  6. Mow lawns.
  7. Sold donuts.
There is an interesting article from Bob at Christian Personal Finance on making extra money at home. I have tried a few of his ideas, in fact, I think I have been involved in about 7 of them. Stop by this website, it has oodles of great articles to encourage a thrifty lifestyle. On Fridays, they have a special feature, free stuff Fridays.

How about you? Do you have creative ways to earn money? I'd love to hear about it. 

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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Wordless Wednesday...My idea of a happy birthday

On my special day, I pick the pizza.
Nine guys celebrating and I take the pictures.
my secret identity...ssshhh
Verizon couldn't have timed it better.

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I welcome reader comments with open arms. I also understand if you aren't the commenting or hugging type of person, you can drop me an email at