Normally, I post all of the fun and exciting things that take place on our Homeschool journey. Let me just say, these things are just the highlight reel! The laundry isn’t always done. The house isn’t always clean. My sophisticated meal plans, chore charts, and homeschool lesson plans are not always executed the way I envisioned. Most of all, I do not always feel that what I am doing is enough. The new reality of my son’s feeding tube is setting in.
Tonight, as I plugged Miles in for his nightly 10 hour feeding, I began to weep thinking about how I felt like I failed him. After having successfully breastfed 6 other children it is a struggle to accept that his diagnosis of “failure to thrive” is not my fault. Staring at the feeding tube and the bag of milk supplying him with the needed nutrients, I ask God where did I go wrong this time?
I hear the enemy and many well meaning “friends” saying this happened because of my advanced maternal age or because I am overweight. My relative even told me that I was now fired from breastfeeding my son, despite the doctors saying this has nothing to do with me.
The enemy whispers once again, “Christel, you are not good enough.”
After 20 minutes of being mentally and spiritually beaten down, the Holy Spirit pricked my heart and reminded me how much God loves me and sees me as good enough. I was reminded of the verses 2 Corinthians 3:5 Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God and Isaiah 43:4 Others were given in exchange for you. I traded their lives for yours because you are precious to me. You are honored, and I love you.
Such a powerful reminder that this journey is not about what Christel is able to do. This journey is about what God does through me. It is not about how my little one gets his nutrients. This is about the love, care, and compassion I give him as I nurture and raise him.
So, tonight, I will plug up my little guy and kiss him goodnight. Then, I will wake up when the machine beeps to be changed and kiss him again just to remind him how much I love him and to remind myself how much God loves me.
What do you do when you feel you aren’t enough? Share your thoughts.
Learn more about how I was Forced Into Self Care after this journey began.
And We’re Off…
The blaring sound of the alarm clock is ringing in your ear! You jump out of bed, run through the halls shouting for the kids to wake, hurry, and get ready for church. As you load up into the car, you notice that one of your lovely children has somehow managed to wear clothing that looks like it has been balled up in a corner for days. Your tires screech into the church parking lot, your children file out of the mini-van like circus clowns, and you manage to make it to your seats just as the first note is played by the worship team. You think to yourself, “Hey, at least I made it, but man we could use some sanity savers to get here!”
Does this scenario sound a bit familiar? Do you find your family consistently just making it to church each week? Are you so flustered by the time you get to worship that you are unable to really receive all that worship has to offer?
As a large family momma, with 6 kiddos still home, this was our normal for so long. I started to dread going to church. It felt like another task and obligation added to my already overflowing to-do list. I was so overwhelmed with the thought of getting there, that I couldn’t even hear God over the silent sound of the chaos that came into the sanctuary with me.
Two years ago, our family moved to a new state. In the process, we also had to find a new church home. Through God’s infinite wisdom, he led us to an amazing new body of Christ.
It was at this time, my husband and I realized that we needed to come up with a new outlook on “HOW” we would make it to church. We were very clear about why we were there, but we knew that we no longer wanted to continue the chaotic mornings.
We prayed, met with our children and brainstormed a list of all the things that created chaos in the morning. Then, the real work began. We knew that it was now or never. We worked together and created a list of 6 Sanity Savers for Getting to Church on Time!
Sanity Saver #1- Pray
When our family first started on our quest to get to church on time, we knew that we had to first come in agreement with the will of God for our lives. Our family didn’t want church to feel like one thing we could check off each week. Learning God’s word is important to us and we realized we needed to treat it that way. We took time as a family and prayed, asking God to order our steps and help us come up with a plan that worked for our family. We knew that this step needed to be the foundation for controlling our chaos. With God’s direction, everything else would fall in line.
Sanity Saver #2- Manage Your Mindset
Saturday nights are notorious for events to take place. Everything from a wedding reception, birthday party, cook outs, family game nights and more, are planned for Saturday. I can’t even begin to count the number of times that my husband or I have woken up on a Sunday morning too exhausted to go to church. We would look at one another hoping the other would be the initiator to get the house moving. It never worked. Our kids are also involved in sports. In our community, a lot of teams would hold games or practices on Sundays, right during the middle of church.
This is where Manage Your Mindset comes into play. After we decided that we were going to make church a top priority for our family. We knew we had to shift how we planned and scheduled our time. Don’t get me wrong, we haven’t stopped going to special events and spending time out as a family. Our kids also still participate in sports and extra-curricular activities. We have just changed our tactics! We no longer stay until the party is completely over unless it is truly necessary. So, instead of leaving at midnight, we now leave an hour or two early. We also have decided that we would not sign our kids up for activities that required participation during church. At first, some of our kiddos were a little upset, but after reminding them about “why” we were making these changes, they got on board.
Sanity Saver #3- Organize Your Wardrobe
When you look in your family’s closet, what do you see? Too many options for church? Too little options for church? Absolutely no clue because things are toss all around. Organize Your Wardrobe is something that might sound like a daunting task. With 6 kiddos and 2 adults in our house, this Sanity Saver lived up to its name. Our church does not have a formal dress code; however, I still like my kids to look presentable when going to church. We decided to go into the closets and pull out clothes that were designated “church clothes.” These items were placed on hangers and put to the side. This allows the kids to be more independent when it is time for our Saturday night routine of pulling out our church clothes. All clothes are taken out and hung on the over the door hook, like this one all the way down to socks, underwear and shoes. When we rise Sunday morning, the hassle of scrounging for clean clothes, matching socks or shoes is eliminated!
Sanity Saver #4- Lend a Helping Hand
With 6 children in our home, we have managed to create an instant buddy system. Outside of being a good sibling, we ask that each of the older siblings helps with one of the younger kiddos. Task can range from helping a little one put on shoes and socks, overseeing morning hygiene, such as washing their face or brushing their teeth, or being a mother’s helper and entertaining the baby as I get dressed. Regardless of the task, the idea is to be a help and not a hindrance to getting out of the door. Ultimately, my husband and I give the kids a once over, but having helping hands makes a world of a difference.
Sanity Saver #5 – Basic Breakfast
When I grew up, my mother would cook an elaborate breakfast on Sunday mornings. I am talking about eggs, bacon, biscuits…the works! It was almost without fail that we were late or really cutting it close to church. Although I love the memory of those great Sunday morning breakfasts, I decided to forgo the Sunday morning breakfast routine. Those Super Breakfasts are not scheduled for Saturdays or days where we have nowhere else to go. In our home, we have a Basic Breakfast using recipes from Easy Kids Breakfast: Quick Healthy Recipes which can range from pre-made casserole dishes, cereal to toaster waffles. I find that this Basic Breakfast makes our mornings run much faster and smoother! I even use an amazing free Recipe Binder that Cara Harvey put together over at A Purpose Driven Mom.
Sanity Saver #6- Plan to Arrive Early
If you are on time, you are late! This has become our new motto for our home. Gone are the days when we say church starts at 9 am. Yes, Sunday School starts at 9 am. However, it takes approximately 15 minutes for our family to find a parking space, take the kids to their classes, drop the baby in nursery, walk to our classroom, and find a seat. If we plan to get to church at 9 am, we are not leaving any time for all the possible obstacles we face, such as, traffic, last minute bathroom breaks, a whiny 4 year, or my favorite, a baby blow out! Although it only takes 10 minutes to drive to our church, we have set it in our minds that we will arrive early. Since I am the one who absolutely HATES mornings, my husband is the gatekeeper to ensuring that everyone is up, moving, and out of the house by 8:30 am.
Being a mom to many is not easy task. Getting us all out of the door on time is an adventure. Regardless of your family size, time management and organization are essential to relieving stress and chaos in your home. Take some time out and call a family meeting. Discuss what is important to your family and develop a plan.
What are some Sanity Savers your family has put in place?
Need Help Getting Started?
New Year! New Vision!
It’s the first day of a new year! Are you looking for a new vision for your life?
Have you made a resolution?
Decided that this year is the year?
I remember the new year’s eve after my 40th birthday. I resolved to finally make this the year that I lost weight. I was 6 months pregnant with my last child and I knew that he would be my last. I made a plan to begin a new way of eating, exercising, and cooking, all in an effort to lose 40 pounds by my 41st birthday. I had plans for our home, our school, and our business.
Well folks! Here I am. One year later and I have not lost anything. I am only 10 pounds lighter than I was after delivering my son. I started an intense exercise routine after being cleared for my 6 week post delivery check up. I made shakes, join the YMCA, and still here I sit. I even ended up in the hospital with my pressure so high, I almost had a stroke. Check out what I realized after that here!
Oh and those plans for our home and school, let’s just say we are still in the trenches and they have been rewritten multiple times.
No! This isn’t a post about how I have now joined a program, started a new diet, or have some exciting new opportunity! In fact, this is the opposite.
What is my New Vision?
This post is about when I realized WHY I have not accomplished what I planned. After much reflection, self doubt, tears and prayer, I realized that all of the plans and goals I had for myself were pointless.
I realized that no matter how hard “I” tried, I would continually miss the mark. This past year, I realized that I created tons of goals for my life, but never checked in with the One who made me. I never asked God to tell me what He had for my life. My purpose and God’s purpose were not lining up because
“I never sought after Him and asked Him to reveal to me anything. “
So what do I do now? This year, I took the time to dedicate uninterrupted time to seek an answer from God. I asked Him to show me my purpose. You won’t believe how clear everything seemed. I mean it was almost instant! I became so clear on what God wanted for my life. I was reminded of the verse,
“…write the vision, make it plain…” (Hab 2:2)
How to Find Your New Vision
I am looking forward to what God is about to do in my life and the life of my family. I am beyond grateful to have a husband who fully supports me and also seeks God for guidance in his life. I am equally thankful for children who realize that seeking God for their purpose is a necessity. We even sat down and had them complete their “Write the Vision” vision boards for the year. (Make one with your kids using the (Write the Vision e-book)
Now I ask you: Have you given thought to what is ahead for you and your family? Have you taken the time to seek God first?
Don’t start this year off without first checking in and asking for guidance!
Come back here often to see how things are going and find out what we are up to.
Happy New Year!
Christel -Chaos Coordinator
8 DIY Christmas Gifts from Kids
Christmas time is a wonderful time of year. It is a time when families come together celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. It is also a time when many people search and search for the perfect gift for loved ones. What gifts can you give to mom, dad, sister, brother, or grandparents that truly show it is from the heart?
As a mommy of 8 children in a blended family, I struggle with finding the right gift for the kids to exchange with one another or to give their grandparents. Contrary to popular belief about home school moms, I also am not a big fan of crafts! In fact, I am one of the least crafty people I know. Go figure.
Last week, I decided to poll my readers about blog topics for this week. Wouldn’t you know it, the request came in for “handmade” gifts from kids. Oh, the irony!!! So, I set out to find 8 DIY Christmas Gifts that even the least crafty mamma could do. I searched and search and was amazed to find some awesome and easy handmade gifts. Check them out!
This cute mug is super simple and sweet for kiddos to give to parents or grandparents. The supply list is short and easy (mug, porcelain pen and paint). You could even add the names of your kiddos under each reindeer. Jen @TheMadHouse just helped peak my interest in getting crafty this Christmas!
Ok! This one is a winner in my book! What grandparent doesn’t love to see pictures of their grand babies? I was able to find the clear ornaments at my local dollar store. My kids are excited about being able to have an ornament with their picture inside. I think this is also a great way to see how much the kids have grown from year to year. Thanks, Kristen @Busy Kids. Happy Mom
Candles are a great gift that can be used year round. Creating a personalized candle allows your kiddos to create a masterpiece and then have it transferred to a candle. The process is pretty simple and really inexpensive. Check out this video on YouTube by ArtCraftCrazy.
#4. Handprint Apron
Kierste, @simplykierste totally gave this non crafty mommy a great idea for a gift. This cute apron is perfect for moms, dads, and grandparents. Pick up a blank apron from a craft store, some paint and you are set. Want to really decorate? Add ruffles, bows, and more to bring out the personality of your gift recipient.
Are you looking for an inexpensive gift for that tween girl in your life? This is the perfect gift idea for a sibling to give. All of the supplies can be purchased at the dollar store and labels can either be printed or handwritten. Lauren @GroovyGlue even suggest socks, snacks, and a gift card for boys!!
Have your kids ever tried playing with Legos in the car or on the go? My kiddos always get frustrated because they have to take their creations apart. This Lego To Go Box is a perfect way to store and take Legos along anywhere. Sarah @ThankYouHoneyBlog.com gives step by step instructions that are simple for your kiddos to make this neat Christmas gift with minimal adult supervision.
Christmas time is a great time to remind others of the importance of a relationship with Jesus Christ. A healthy prayer life plays a big part in developing and strengthening that relationship. Using a few supplies, like a mint box, scrapbook paper, glue stick, and varnish, Laura @AweFilledHomemaker.com offers step by step instructions to make this adorable Prayer Box.
Last but not least….Christmas Story Stones perfectly combines the rock painting phenomenon with the much-needed skill of storytelling. This craft allows kiddos to decide which pictures to paint and then opens them up to the world of imagination. Sarah @Ruffles and Rain Boots made me realize that even this non artsy mom can help her kiddos create a fun and educational gift to give to their siblings.
Alright folks, so if you are running out of gift ideas or time is closing in before Christmas, you now have 8 super easy and cute ideas for your kiddos to make as gifts.
Until Next Time,
Christel, “The Chaos Coordinator”
P.S. Still can’t think of anything? How about a print out of the 12 Stem Days of Christmas and a bag full of all the supplies? Check out the list of activities here.
12 STEM Days Before Christmas
Let me be honest folks! I always struggle trying to keep the kids doing school work during Christmas time. I often find myself running here and there, preparing for Christmas Day!
So, this year, I have compromised a printable to keep me (ahem) I mean the kids focused. Each day, the kiddos will only have a few assignments to complete, including that day’s STEM Challenge on this great FREEBIE.
*Science * Technology* Engineering* Mathematics*
Looking for a complete list of activities that are sure to keep their brains working during this holiday season? Check out this compiled list of activities on this FREEBIE! (#afflinks)
Download ***12 Stem Days of Christmas ***
Advent Calendars are a great way to help your children learn about the birth of Jesus and prepare for Christmas!
Check out our newest resource, 25 Days of Christmas Scripture Cards. They are the newest addition to our home. Each card is tucked inside our Advent calendar with a special surprise. Children read the scripture card which tells the beautiful story of Jesus’ birth.
On Christmas morning, children will have learned the entire story and wake up excited to celebrate Jesus’s Birthday!
Grab Your Freebie Below!
Download —-25 Days of Christmas Scripture Cards—–
Check Out A Video Of this Freebie in Action!
Forced into Self Care
I am sure you have noticed, it has been pretty quiet here at Perfectly Blended and Blessed. It wasn’t because of the holidays or because I was just too busy with finding great holiday shopping deals. In fact, I actually spent the entire weekend in bed.
“I can’t remember a time I felt so scared. I didn’t want to die.”
You see, I spend a lot of time encouraging other moms to take time for themselves. I remind them of the importance of self care while they are being supermom to their families. I tell them to pay attention to their health because they are also important.
Somewhere along the line, I forgot to follow my own advice. This weekend, I ended up in the hospital. I had been running my own body into the ground and almost lost my life. I had failed to take care of me in the midst of trying to take care of the world.
Moms, YOU ARE A PRIORITY!!
This weekend, I was humbly reminded that I can not care for anyone if I do not care for myself. I have to put my life as a priority also. I was reminded that I can’t pour from an empty cup. I was also reminded of how much my children and husband need me. I sat in my hospital bed imagining how broken and hurt my family would be if something happened to me. I imagined them feeling angry with me for leaving them. Then it hit me!
My Health is Important
I have tried many times to change our eating habits or exercise routines, but have always gotten off track for some reason or another. This weekend, I made a decision that all excuses must stop. I have to make some major changes in our eating and our self care routines (don’t forget to come back for those post😀).
I made a decision that there is no better time but the present to start taking care of the temple God has given me. I also accepted the responsibility that I have to teach my children how to care for themselves and see themselves as important.
I am thankful that God saw fit to extend my life. That tells me that my purpose is still yet to be fulfilled. God has a calling on my life and I need to take care of my body so He can use me for his glory!!!
Each day is a reminder that you have a purpose. Are you living that way?
Stroke and Heart Disease are serious health issues. To learn more visit healthythoughtsworld.org