Mother’s Day Gifts

There are some really cute, thoughtful, AND inexpensive gifts available right now over at Jane.  The Circle of Love necklace is one of my favorites!  It would be perfect for Mother’s Day!




*This post contains my affiliate link. You can read my full disclosure here. 

Did I Hear You Right, God?

Do you ever deeply long for an answer to a situation?




Do you pray to have clarity?

Do you sometimes think you hear the answer but then wonder if you made it up yourself?

Those are the ways that I’ve felt for the past six years regarding the schooling of the girls.  Since having the twins, I have felt the deep longing to home school.  I knew for years that there was more that I was supposed to be.  However, by the time that I got done teaching and they got finished with school, we were all too tired to connect.

So, we started thinking of how I could stay home.  We did the budget.  It didn’t work.

We did it again.  We tweaked.  Not much had changed.  We were super frugal.  We still needed to come up with some additional income.

We heard a message at church one Sunday last fall that just stuck with me.  Sometimes, you don’t get the blessing until after you’ve taken a leap of faith.  It was a message for me.

In February, we decided that I would quit my teaching job and home school the girls.  Keep in mind that the girls were in one of the best schools in the state.  People would think I was crazy.  I did not really share this information with many.  If I said it out loud, it made me anxious and doubtful.

Time ticked on.  In May, I finally did it.  I quit full time teaching.

The first few months of summer were spent in anticipation of what school would be like.  The first week in August, we started getting our classroom ready.  The girls were SO excited!  While everyone else was posting back to school pictures, I was posting a relaxed morning with my kids sleeping in.

Image may contain: indoor

We started school on August 8th!  We had an incredible week!  We felt immediately that we had made the right decision.

This picture was taken on Friday, August 12th.  Everything about this was peaceful.

 

Image may contain: one or more people and people sitting

The following morning, all of that changed.

Image may contain: outdoor, water and nature

The entrance to my neighborhood is right past that La Quinta on the right.

My classroom is a little lower than the rest of that house and was the first room to flood.   Two days later, it looked like this.

2016-08-15_204851750_8d0db_ios

I said out loud to God, “God, did I hear you right?  I really thought this is what I was supposed to do!”

Five weeks later, the girls’ desks, still neatly labeled with their name and grade, were hauled away with the rest of our home’s contents.

20160914_180216

As I stood watching, I was sad.  Those were my honest feelings.  I haven’t been sad very much.  I wasn’t sad for the desks (although those suckers are not cheap on Ebay)!  I was sad because I needed to hear God’s voice of reassurance.

This is what I’ve learned from this situation.

God is here.  He is good.  He cared that I cared about those desks.  He has reassured me more than he needed to over the past weeks in many ways.

He has blessed me with people who have restocked my home school supplies.

He has sent many, many encouragers along the way. I am making new friends with people that I already have grown to love in a very short time.

He has calmed my heart.

We have an apartment for now.

Little things don’t upset me much.

My body feels better than it has in years.

He is growing my It Works business and blessing me financially.

My husband and I are a team.  We grow stronger every day as a unit.

My girls still love our version of school.   This week at co-op, my eight year old looked up as we sat together on a picnic blanket and said, “I love this.  I love everything about this.”

If your dreams are being rearranged and your “desks” are being thrown out.

Believe this with me:  God has good things in store!  He does for YOU and for ME!

I didn’t hear him wrong.  I just didn’t know the path it would all take.  And that’s okay.

 

 

Day 3 – Can You Find Me a Boat?

This post is a continuation of our experiences during the flood of 2016 in Louisiana.




Day 3 – Monday, August 15, 2016

Henry and Haigan woke early this morning to attempt to meet a friend of a family member who had a boat.  By the time they reached the interstate, the water had receded from the ramps and they were able to drive a short distance toward our neighborhood.

This day was so strange.  They got into the boat on Oneal Lane.  Getting into a boat and riding down the highway just seems unreal.   The water was receding so fast that many boats ran aground before returning to their entry points.

2016-08-15_150145339_78c26_ios

Henry describes the entire event as “eerie.” While on the way, they saw an alligator in the neighborhood.  Knowing this caused me to doubt that my poor Cry-baby kitty would ever survive.  Below are some of the pictures that they took as they maneuvered around mailboxes and moved through our neighborhood.

2016-08-15_145334013_756c6_ios

The boat pulled right up into our carport.  You can check out the water line on the house to see the actual height of the water.  Yikes!

2016-08-15_145327210_fa1f7_ios

 

The gentleman with the boat was so nice to allow them to have time to check on our cats.  As expected, they were scared and out of water.   Sven and Emma, our indoor cats, were nowhere to be seen upstairs in Haigan’s room.  The kittens were so happy to see their people.

2016-08-15_141944666_95baa_ios

They also filled trash bags with those precious beanie boos.  Yes, of all things…..they loaded up a boat full of stuffed animals!!

They took a few pictures to show me the condition of the house.    The water was receding quickly.  It left behind a yucky, slick film on everything four feet and below.   Even after seeing those pictures, I really couldn’t imagine what it would really be like when I went “home.”

The entertainment center was now in the center of the room and the couch had taken its place.  Our television was under the couch.  I imagine this to have been just a floating whirlpool of furniture that came to rest this way.  Even now, I would love to get that blanket and snuggle up on my couch as I had just three nights prior to this mess.

2016-08-15_144404682_2b253_ios

The girls’ bedrooms were some of the worst areas.  This one especially.  This is a picture that she will never see of her room and her sweet things.  Her headboard was an antique mantle that you can see propped onto her bed.  Her beloved Buddy did wait on the bed after all.

2016-08-15_144055117_ac8f0_ios

The twins’ beds had floated away from the walls and landed toward the middle.

2016-08-15_144343900_0fe4c_ios

Our dresser, which was very heavy, had floated and landed sideways.  Our mattress had obviously floated and did not land back on the box spring correctly.

The rocker makes me sad.  So many nights were spent rocking babies there.  I will replace it with another but it won’t feel the same.

2016-08-15_144045371_ad142_ios

Every kitchen drawer was filled with water and the pantry was a disaster.

2016-08-15_235300171_f66b4_ios

It still amazes me that the water was so powerful.

They returned back to Holton’s with two large black bags filled with wet stuffed animals.  Thankfully, Holton’s washer and dryer had a sanitize cycle.  For the next 24 hours, the girls would run and giggle to the laundry room when the machines “sang” that another load was done.  It was so, so sweet.

It was only a few loads into this routine that they started to notice that some were missing.   “Frights, my kitty cat.  Moma, where is he?” asked Amelia.  I left him on my bed right beside my pillow.  “Where is Gallops?”  He was there, too.

They had no idea that nothing was where they left it.

My new mission was to ask about their special things until each one was recovered.  But that needed to happen quickly.  This water wasn’t a leaky pipe.  It was filled with sewage, bacteria and fungus.

Coming up….We wade back to a mess!