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Thursday, May 30, 2013

The Hunt Continues

We have been searching for a van now for a few weeks.  It's exhausting.

We've been out-right lied to, insulted, spoken to like we are uneducated, hopeful, disappointed, and frustrated.  But we want to be patient.  We don't want to get a car just so we will be done.  And I've been praying God would make it very clear which van is for us.  So far, He has...every time we found what we thought was a deal, for one reason or another, it didn't work out.

But that doesn't mean the process isn't frustrating; overwhelming at times.  

I can't remember who I talked to about what van when; what all the specs are and for which van it's for and if it's a good deal.  Whether or not a certain year is better than another - maybe on one van but not the other.

I keep finding papers and small notes I've jotted down as I could laying around the house.  I'll be so glad when we can throw them all away.  :)

In the mean time, the girls and I have been going on walks a lot lately.  For one, it's a stress reliever for me - being outside, getting some exercise, welcoming treasures my girls find.  Plus, with not having a car, it gives us something to do.

This is about what Ri would wear every day if I let her

Some good ol slip 'n slide fun is always a nice way to end the day too.

I know we will eventually find the van perfect for our family.  And it will be worth the wait.  And honestly, being stranded at home with no car hasn't been terrible since it's been warm enough to play outside with water.  Plus Septtro will be done with school and out for the summer after next week.

And so, the hunt continues.  I have a lead on a van I'll call about in the morning.  We shall see!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

It's Almost Here!!

Summer is right around the corner - I can smell it!!!

In the mean time, we have been enjoying the warmer weather as much as possible (even though our well water is quite cold, the kids don't seem to mind!

**this has been especially helpful since I am typically without a car during the week until we find a van**

I got a few new water toys (in addition to the clearance ones I got from my favorite places - drug stores) with some money I got from selling some old baby stuff we don't need anymore. To my surprise, the kids were very much entertained for over three hours!!!  

getting ready to jump into the pool with cousins!

a Walgreens deal from last season - on clearance for $3!

sharing popcorn

Let's be real, since we live where we do and because we are still so young, who needs a swimsuit some days right??
These were two for $9 - well worth it (durable and a kid favorite!)

I would actually prefer a pool that's hard plastic.  We tend to go through one each year.  Although I can typically find a new one for a few bucks when they go on clearance at drug stores, it'd be nice to find one that's large enough and cheap enough to last several years.  Any moms found one like that??

playing with cousins

she's really not this dainty usually :)

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Making Room for Baby

Well, since we are expecting a third lil blessing fairly soon, we have been looking to find a larger vehicle.  We almost did this when I was pregnant with Kaylee but then realized it was very doable to drive our Malibu with just two kids.  Plus the car was paid off.  So we waited.
a little over two months before Kaylee was born
I'm not certain if our Malibu can handle three car seats in the back.  It is a fairly roomy vehicle.  But we have decided now we would like to get a larger vehicle.  

So we listed our Toyota Corolla for sale on various sites.  We asked people to spread the word.  And in less than a month, God brought us a buyer!!  And he brought us a private buyer who paid what we were hoping to get!! Dealerships had offered us much less.  

I really loved this car!!! So long Corolla!
I had been praying that God would make it obvious that He was orchestrating us getting another car for our family.  He began with bringing a young girl to us via Craigslist who had gotten into an accident (with a Corolla that was a year older than ours) and still had a loan.  The loan officers gave her certain parameters for her purchase of a replacement.  She had a rental car for just a few more days.  And our car fit all the loan requirements as well as her wishes.

It was a bit weird, but she actually didn't even turn the car on when we met. She briefly looked inside the windows.  That was it.  I guess we look really trustworthy?  Maybe having both girls with us at the time helped.  :)  Septtro and I were both surprised at how easy it was.  She didn't even really try to negotiate.  And because she was still making payments on her previous vehicle, everything took place at a bank - which also happened to be our bank. We got a cashier's check and I immediately deposited it into our account.  

Bye Corolla - we'll miss you!
So now we look for a van.  That's right folks.  I'm just too stinkin practical to not get a van.  And I'm SO excited!!!  

I'm also quite excited to see how the Lord will bring us the right van for our family.  We are still trying to decide which "perks" are most important.  Any of you moms out there have any advice on your favorite things on your family vehicle (doesn't have to be a van)...and possibly things you wish you did have and why??  Ri has requested a blue van with a tv.  Not sure if we will be able to pull through for her on that but guess we will see what God decides to do for us.  :)

Tuesday, May 14, 2013


Ri has always loved her thumb.  I've always thought it was quite endearing.  

But alas, now we feel it's time for her to stop the habit.  She will be four in September and usually by this time, kids who use pacifiers have already given those up.  It's just a bit harder when your pacifier also happens to be your thumb.  Her dentist has asked us at the last two appointment how it's been going.  We had stopped her thumb-sucking in the car and just when she had nothing else to occupy her.  But she still did it every time she went to bed (naps and at night). So we decided to try to help her stop all together.

I wasn't trying to get there all at once.  But one day, she asked to see her chart I had printed out for her.  Then she wanted to put stickers on it.  I told her how she would earn her stickers and she agreed she wouldn't suck her thumb.

Before rest time following our discussion, I let her pick a special toy to take to bed with her.  She chose a small rubber duck.  **I know from experience that thumb suckers need something to occupy their hands/mouth when not sucking their thumb.  Perhaps this is why I eventually picked up nail biting??  :) 

The first time she went to sleep for nap time without sucking her thumb, I took her to the Dollar Tree to pick out a special price...whatever she wanted.  She chose chocolate covered raisins.  

After that, she woke up excited to tell us that she hadn't sucked her thumb each morning and afternoon after naps.  We would put another sticker on her chart and eventually told her she would earn a bigger prize if she could go three days straight.  She worked really hard for that but she did it!

I know there's really no way for us to know for sure if she's not sucking her thumb.  We can check on her but we don't have a video monitor.  And one morning before Septtro left for work, he told me she was still sleeping and sucking her thumb.  But when she got up, she told me she didn't suck her thumb.  I know she could have been lying but I also think she may subconsciously do it.  She has struggled when she went to bed later than Kaylee.  I'm not sure if that was because Kaylee usually keeps her company and occupied or if Ri was just over tired and really didn't care about stickers or prizes anymore - she just wanted the comfort of her thumb at the moment.

We aren't pushing her to quit all at once as of now and I'm about to start a new chart for her and offer another prize (I find some really good ones for cheap at a nearby thrift store).  So we will see...maybe by her 4th birthday she will no longer be a thumb sucker.

Next up: this one...

Saturday, May 4, 2013

The Job That Never Ends - Part 2

So the last post has been on my mind a lot.  I've done a lot of thinking, praying, seeking, etc the past week or so.  I'm still struggling with how to balance everything.  But the Lord has been good to reveal some things to me.  Here's what I've realized and what the Lord has revealed to me:

Schedules scare me

  • This is quite funny to me, actually, to come to this realization because I've always considered myself a Type A personality.  But maybe I'm not - or not as much as I thought.  Schedules scare me because life happens most times and I can't  follow or keep to a schedule and then I feel like a failure.  I set expectations to high with most schedules or get too detailed and don't allow flexibility.  I suppose I'm more of a perfectionist than Type A  ;) aka prideful
I don't like to fail - or think about failing
  • I'm sort of a competitive person.  I haven't always been a huge fan of card games or board games or even video games.  Why do I think that is?  Because I might not win.  Or not do well.  So I won't even put myself in that position.  Maybe this is why I don't like schedules.  :) (again, perfectionist??)
Decisions were easy for me when I was working full-time.  My day was already planned for me.'s much different.  And I can get overwhelmed with the "freedom" of the day and knowing what to do and not to do - and how to be flexible while also having a plan.

Here's what I plan to do:

1.  Get up earlier (about an hour before I am now) at least twice a week.  Do devotions.
  • This is very hard for me.  I am NOT a morning person. I don't like to talk for about the first hour after I'm out of bed.
  • As I become consistent doing this twice a week, I will strive for doing it every day.  And I will give myself grace if there's a night I didn't sleep well and need that extra hour in the morning.  
  • On days I'm not getting up earlier, I'll pick a verse to read with the girls during breakfast.
2.  Plan time each day to give my kids my undivided attention
  • I think this will help them not get too bored and try to get my attention other, not so appropriate ways
  • Because I usually don't have a plan for each day, I can easily see a million things in the house I want to do and try to complete those without spending time with just the girls - reading, playing blocks, doing puzzles, coloring, etc.
3.  Plan time each day for my kids to play on their own in some way 

4.  Plan time each day to allow myself at least one house chore besides "normal" dishes, laundry, etc
  • I do still have a house to take care of.  I can involve my girls in chores as much as possible.  They already enjoy helping "fold" laundry and switching from the washer to dryer.  
5.  Talk to Septtro more about what he feels should be my goals each day and help me prioritize those
  • God gave me a wonderful husband who can help take the pressure off a bit.  If what he feels is important to do each day isn't what I'm doing, then it's an easy decision!
6.  Plan for times away from the kids by myself and with Septtro

God gave me a verse and a song at church last Sunday.  Well, he's given me several verses.  But this one was Hebrews 4:16:

"Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need." (emphasis mine)

And we sang a song that really hit home with me too.  This was verse 1:

The depths of Your grace who can measure
You fully supply all I need
You restore my weary soul again and again
And lead me in Your righteousness and peace

I am honestly scared out of my mind about having another baby.  As it gets closer, I continually second-guess how I will manage it all.  I feel so lost now sometimes with just my two.  But God has equipped me with "everything that is good that I may do His will" - Hebrews 13:21a  And as I continually seek him, spend time in his Word, seek the counsel of my husband as well as other moms who have walked through this, He will grant me wisdom and peace.  And His will will be accomplished.  So I will take comfort in that.  :) I wasn't meant to figure this out on my own but it's when I try to do that when things seem to unravel.  

So...time for some changes!!