Monthly Archives: November 2015



I woke up this morning and my throat was hurting. Not my throat, exactly, but my neck. I’m not sure what’s going on, but it has been hurting since I stopped taking the antibiotics for the throat infection I had when I was at the hospital. Odd, since it really wasn’t hurting while I was on them.

Anyway, it was a rough start. I ended up sleeping for a couple hours after I got home from taking the kids to school, I was so tired! We were playing a game on the XBox (CSI – I know, silly) and I couldn’t keep my eyes open! It was ridiculous.

I did feel better once I woke up from my nap, and because it was an early school day, I had to get my poop in a group quickly to go pick them back up!

For now, dinner is done, meds are taken, scripture is read, and I did a load of laundry. I also worked on an afghan that was commissioned before the housefire. I feel horrible that I haven’t finished it yet, but I did have to restart it. I have struggled to maintain any level of sanity since the fire on August 1, I wish that I could have a re-do.

That’s the downside of anxiety and depression, though. You never know how it’s going to rear it’s ugly head, who will be in the crosshairs, and what will have to be put aside so that you can just breathe.

And, so, that’s what I will go do now. Just breathe.



Putting the Printer to Work


This morning I got up early, and decided to get some things done. I have been complaining a few things, and it’s time to actually do something about them.

Scripture plan: A friend of mine shared a post on Facebook from Life 88.5, and it was perfect for what I was looking for! This 31 Day Scripture Writing Plan is thoughtful, easy, and beautifully laid out.

I also had a list in my head of projects that need to be done around the house, and I really needed to start writing this stuff down. I found this Project To Do List from My Love For Words that works great! I also did a Workshop from Living Well Spending Less that isn’t available anymore (sorry.), but she has a ton of other great material on her site!

One of the things that is on my list is working on bow orders. I had a huge order that I was waiting on some ribbon to come in for. The rest were already in stock, but I finished these up on Friday. I’m pretty excited about them!

Of course, if you would like to order bows, please visit my FB page Hook N Stick Designs.

Now, it’s time to get the rest of the house up and moving, and get one of my freezer meals in the crock pot. I’m pretty excited about this one!

Chicken Broccoli Alfredo from Six Sisters Stuff!



My new planner arrived! I don’t know about you, but a new planner is like a brand new start for me. Fresh, shiny and perfect! I went back and forth about which cover I liked better, and this one won out. I love that it has areas each week for priorities, prayer requests, and notes. There are monthly goals for each month, and I like how the days are separated by AM/PM.

I decided to use the middle bar for my meal plan for the week, and put my 3 top priorities for the month. I also ordered cute little pens, and they zip right into my planner easy peasy. I think I will also add a bit about blogging. I don’t know if I can commit to every day… but at least a few times a week! 

Between choosing a meal plan each week, I’ve found that my biggest challenge is remembering to actually use my planner. I’m trying to actually make it a habit, so that it becomes second nature. I used to be so much better at this!

In other news, I was down for a few hours with a migraine. I feel bad for Dave because he had to referee all the hoodlums, I mean kids, but I couldn’t even get out of bed! Thankfully, it’s down to a dull ache, but at least I have dinner in the oven (Shepherds pie for Grayce’s 10th birthday). It’s starting to smell about done, so I think that’s my cue to be done with my post.

Have a great Saturday night! Hug the ones you love.

Chaos Returns


I love my kids. I love his kids. But holy crap they are chaotic! Just the sheer volume – 7 kids all together, plus 4 (loud) parakeets, a few cats, and a needy dog – whew. Yes, it is as crazy as it sounds.

And in general, I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I could do without the he said/she said, name calling, and indoors tag games, but I’m trying to mellow myself out and just let them be kids.

The hardest part, I think, is that the way that I raised my boys is different than the way that Dave raised his kids. We value different things as parents, and that’s ok. Rules are different in our home than they are in the other parent’s homes, and even though I disagree with that, it’s ok, too.

My goal as a parent is not to raise “good kids”, but to raise healthy, well adjusted, functioning, kind, loving adults. I want them to do for themselves, think for themselves. I won’t be there to hold their hands when they have to do dishes in their future homes. I don’t intend to vacuum their living rooms when the floors get messy. They will have to cook their own meals, clean their own clothes, shop for their own groceries.

These are things that I can teach when they are young so they don’t turn into a 30 year old still living at home because he can’t balance a checkbook. Grocery stores are teaching moments – how to compare prices, how to use coupons, what to look for in vegetables. But I digress.

These little joys can be trying at times, but they are learning. I just need to learn to lower my expectations until they do learn. They are kids, after all.

Full of Thanks


Football is on in the living room, and I hear my sweet husband snoring away on the couch. We went fishing last night, I came home at 1, he went back out with his son and came home at 6:30. Since we had to be at his folks by 1 with a rice pudding in hand, he only had a few hours of sleep.

The kids are at their other parents houses, and I do miss my boys terribly. We have our big family back together tomorrow evening, and I am looking forward to the chaos. But, for now, I am relishing the silence. And snoring.

I have been accomplishing some of my goals – laundry is mostly caught up, and we have been following a meal plan. I haven’t been doing my devotional, but I have been taking my meds.

I did make a thankful list, though. It’s sarcastic, and pitiful, but absolutely truthful. I’m thankful for the health I have left, the family I have left, and the friends I have left. I vow to make the best of all of them.

So, for now, I bid you Happy Thanksgiving, and may your hearts be as full as your bellies.



I’ve been trying to compile a list in my head of what I am thankful for. It’s hard, it’s been a hard year. It’s been a hard few years, actually. I want to be determined to make the coming year a million times better, but I struggle with the gumption to do anything about it.

Gumption. Funny word, that. My lack of gumption is a combination of lazy, tired, overwhelmed, depressed, poor, and feeling sorry for myself.

Maybe that will be my thing this year. Gumption.

In a spurt of gumption last week, I made a list of goals that I want to accomplish each day. They include at least 1 load of laundry, reading my Bible or doing devotion, take my meds – morning and night, and checking in with the outside world.

Oddly enough, laundry, my arch nemesis in a houseful of so many people, actually calms me. It makes me feel like I’m getting something accomplished. My challenge with it is making sure that the kids put their clean stuff in a dresser or closet instead of on the floor or in the dirty clothes. It’s a learning process.

Gumption, maybe everyone could use a little more of it.


Freezer “Cook” Day


I wasn’t really planning to do my “cook” day until after Thanksgiving, but we went to the meat market today, so instead of just putting away the meat I decided to do up the bags for the freezer. I call this a “cook” day because there isn’t actually any cooking involved. I chopped 2 onions, 4 carrots, 4 potatoes, and a pepper. Yup, that’s all the “work” involved. We have a total of 7 in our family – 2 adults, a teen, and 4 under 10. Every other weekend, we add another teen and 9 year old that eats like a teen!

The Plan: 6 meals for $35

The logic: My meat market has amazing deals on awesome meats. $1.99 per pound for boneless skinless chicken breasts (one breast, not split, will feed our family of 7) and $1.99 per pound of ground beef if you buy 10 pounds or more. I only used 2 pounds for my “cook” day, so

Mexican Chicken Taco Stuffing and Ranch Chicken and Potatoes from (I added 2 pouches of potatoes because, well, 7 people)

Chicken Broccoli Alfredo and Beef Stew from

Beef Strogonoff modified from Meatball Beef Strogonoff from

I was also going to make a batch of Man Pleasing Chicken, but the store didn’t have any real Maple Syrup or red wine vinegar.

The results:

$23.24 Meat Market: 2 pounds of ground beef, 1 pound stew beef, 6.5 pounds chicken (that’s 3 breasts… told you they were big!)

$17.84 Save A Lot: everything else

Total: $41.08 for 6 meals. If the stew beef wasn’t quite so much, I would have done better, but not too shabby! I made one each of the above for the freezer, and have a beef strogonoff in the crockpot now. 6 meals, $6.85 each – I’m pretty proud of myself! It’ll get better once I get back into couponing, but for now, I’m happy.


Working My Way Out


As anyone with depression and anxiety can tell you, it’s an ebb and flow type of disease. I go through very long periods of down with occasional ups until I can finally pull myself out of the hole I’ve crawled into. So much has changed since June 5 (!!) that I don’t know where to begin.

~I had a housefire August 1 that destroyed 98% of mine and my family’s belongings, followed by a month of homelessness, fighting with insurance people, and finally getting a settlement that was less than half what it should have been.

~My Mom passed away about 3 weeks after the housefire. It was a long time coming since she suffered from COPD for nearly 5 years, but it was completely unexpected. No one in their thirties should bury their mother.

~I got married! We had it all planned out to get married November 21, but the housefire destroyed my dress and the decorations I had been making, and our venue lost their lease and we would have had to move anyway. So, we decided to get married September 13, and even though my Mom wasn’t there (nor really anyone that I care about besides 3 best friends and my boys), it was as nice as we could make it. It was cheap and quick, but I just couldn’t spend more time waiting to get my happiness; I had learned too quickly that waiting is worthless when you don’t know if you have tomorrow.

~I turned 40!

~The night of my 40th birthday, I ended up in the hospital, and stayed for 3 nights. Followed up by another stay 2 weeks later for another 3 nights. My heart is not doing well, it is very weak and only functioning at 1/3 of normal. Short term will probably be a pacemaker, long term will probably be a new heart inside of 15 years.

That’s my last few months in a nutshell. It’s been hard, and I’ve been fighting like hell to get out of this hole. Meds help a little bit, but the high level of stress combined with the low level of energy equals baby steps to being normal again.

I’ve been back on Pinterest to get some sort of organizational pathway set – printing lists, printing a devotional (desperately needed!), menu planning. I ACTUALLY have a plan for a freezer meal day! I call that a win. I ordered my planner for next year, and some pretty nifty markers, and I WILL use it. I have to have a plan, a schedule, a “normal” so that I can make myself get better.

I will make a plan to actually blog more often than twice a year, because I felt my healthiest when my home was clean, my freezer was stocked, my lists were in place, and my blog was active. I need to get back to that place.