Good Day! Hope everyone is happy, healthy and active during this time off from regular activities. We all know what is happening around the world as we try to contain the spread of this invisible threat. I am confident in the God of everything. If you haven’t already, read my previous blog post Finding Comfort in Psalm 91 here.
So, today, I will share my favorite Brain Exercises for children ages 3-8. If you don’t know, I am a teacher specializing in the education of small children. These are all YouTube channels I have tried and found successful in my home. To read about my home school journey, click here.
Education is an essential journey of our lives. You can’t do much of anything without math and reading. I have been privileged to teach my children and seeing them bloom is a very rewarding accomplishment. Today, I will like to share some of my favorite reading resources that I have grown to love. Read More
It’s been eight beautiful years here in Texas. We’ve had a bunch of experiences that has shifted the way we do life, experiences that matured our faith. One of the most valuable lessons we’ve learned is raising our children. Our family is our biggest asset and nurturing them and teaching them to become responsibility citizens and stewards with what they’re blessed with. The journey isn’t easy, but well worth it. Read More
I hope you are enjoying this series so far.. Today, I will focus on blogs I enjoy reading and supporting. As you may have realized, I am very conscience to what I read. I am intentional about life and what I allow in it. Read More
Let’s be honest. We all want to be better and with every good intentions, we try our hardest to make life and relationship meaningful. Even if that means, reading. Read More
New Year. New You. We have all heard this phrase, maybe even declared it ourselves. But I have concluded that you becoming has nothing to do with a new year. It is actually a mindset. I’ve tried to get on the bandwagon of changing or becoming better at the turn of a new year, but fail miserably. My mindset or my will to do better must change in order to see change. Perfect example… I want to lose weight. Well, if I’m not willing to give up the cheesecake, I don’t see that happening any time soon ?. BUT I’m working on it! But in all honesty, I want to become more intentional about my goals and purpose.
With the ways of the world and our timelines flooding with others “successes” it can become daunting to even focus on your goals because we’re driven to compare ours with what we see others succeed in. Well in this season, I’m letting go of the status quo and am choosing to become more intentional with my life and how I live it.
“Intentional living is the art of making our own choices before others’ choices make us.”
One of my main focus this season is to spend more time in the Word and journal. I know I have said this before, but I’m a witness that journaling and writing, in general, is a great time stamp of what you’ve read and heard. I became more intentional about writing in 2017 during my church’s year-end consecration. God spoke to me and I wanted to be sure I didn’t forget what He said concerning me so I wrote it down. What I failed to do was keep that notebook to just journaling and not grocery shopping lists and child drawings. This time, I will be transferring my notes to a new notebook dedicated to journaling alone and disciplining myself not to use it for any other purpose. If my thoughts are organized, my life will benefit from it.
My life is hectic and that is my doing. I am a home school mom. I am also a dance mom and TaeKwonDo mom six days a week by choice. My children are thriving in their extracurricular activities, but I need balance. Although my children have committed this year to their activities, I need to keep in mind of my own goals and duties. Because I can’t change their commitments this year, that means I need to use the time I have, for my own sanity. This means waking up early and completing tasks that will be impossible to accomplish while dealing with my children. Easier said than done, huh?! It is so easy to stay in bed til 7 even 8 am, but I have already began my days early and I can say, I’ve gotten a look of work done. Organizing my life intentionally is the need of balance and rest. It is easy to fill up my day with things to do, but taking care of self is most important.
Because things are so hectic this extracurricular year, I’m looking forward to resting and better time management. With that being said, this year, saying no will be my anthem to a lot of people and opportunities. And I AM OK WITH THAT. I am ok with living my life with less and in return gaining so much more. My calendar does not have to be filled with unnecessary business. I will be focusing on my goals. Spending more meaningful time with family and close friends and making memories. You can’t get much simpler than that!
How can you make your life more simplistic? Minimalistic? Start now with making your life more meaningful. Before every action, there is a moment given to process the reaction. Make sure those moments given are used wisely and thought through. That short moment will determine the outcome of your journey.
“An unintentional life accepts everything and does nothing. An intentional life embraces only the things that will add to the mission of significance.”
John C. Maxwell, Intentional Living: Choosing a Life That Matters
Welcome to my blog!! I haven’t been very active this year and it’s for a really important reason!
I am officially homeschooling my children. I’ve been fighting this for over 10 years and circumstances has brought us to the very important choice to home school our children.
I am very appreciative of the teachers that helped make learning fun and I am quite grateful for the experiences (good and bad) that help make my decision easier. But it was very hard to remove my comfort zone… public education.
After obtaining my degree in Education, I knew that I wanted to be a teacher. I wanted to change lives and mold great citizens. For over a year and a half, I’ve been hearing “Be the Change” and I was certain I knew what that entails. Not until recently, I was faced with situations that can easily be taken care of at home or for that matter would have never occurred. As a mom, my first reaction is to protect my children from outside influences, to guard their “gates”. I became offended by the remarks and excuses educators gave when it came to my children. Comments like, “Your child has become very distracted and uninterested in class. Their grades are amazing but I’m feeling that their lack of interest would do more harm than good.” This comment I have been hearing all year!! I would hate that my A students would be labeled as interested and possibly an issue for future educators.
We are big on education and to know that this simple comment can make or break my children in the future wasn’t a risk I wanted to take.
Although I kept receiving calls and emails and my uninterested children, my parenting and home life was questioned but I still tried to pursue teaching. Twice I’ve attempted to pass my certification and both times was unsuccessful. I truly believe this was my way out. My husband sat down with me and he made things clear for me. He said, obviously teaching in the public school isn’t for you, this is our chance to home school our own children. Then, it clicked, to be the change, it must start at home! I cried! To make things even more emotional, the first day home after I resigned from co-teaching at a public school, my youngest walked up to me (not knowing what I was thinking about) said, “I’m important too. I need you too!”
I dropped my insecurities about failing the certification (and to me failing at life) and started my research in home schooling again.
Then… the questions began to fill in my head….
“Will I have the patience for this?! I mean that 5 kids at all different levels in education!!”
“Am I being selfish for wanting my time alone during the day?”
“Can I do this?!”
“I think I will give up easily! Public education will eventually become my backup plan!”
Then it dawned on me… Patience for MY kids?! Are you serious!? I was willing to teaching 24 kids at a time with different learning styles and levels but I can’t teach my own FIVE children?!
There’s always time for myself if I’m willing to make time! YES I can do this and I will!!! I became my biggest discouragement! I refuse to fail!
My children need me and I will do this!! So the decision was made! So my kids will be home schooled!
BEST DECISION EVER!!
I’m a month in at home schooling and NO it is not easy and YES it will get better!! I am constantly changing my lesson planning and even trying out higher grade levels for my children. I know how easily bored children can become so the great outdoors and trips to the library make teaching and learning fun for all of us. Right now, I’m home schooling my youngest three. The oldest girls will begin this summer!
Home schooling is convenient and we can get a lot done in a short time. Vacations can be whenever we feel like it and no one will ever be absent! I am grateful for the opportunity to teach my children and I look forward to all they will do!
Be the change starts at home! I am the change my family needed and it begins with a “yes”. Yes I am willing to do what it takes to make my children successful. Yes I am willing to give them opportunity to explore and be kids! They deserve that much!
Stay tuned for more home schooling updates and curriculum suggestions!!
If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. – James 1:5
I am 30 years old and at the young age, I’ve been told I have an old soul. Honestly, I took this as an insult in my prime, but now, I appreciate it and take it has a compliment. My husband and I have seen God work in amazing ways and we have grown together and individually in Him. Experience can definitely put a perspective on life and things we either take for granted or put too much effort in. Wisdom is a gift and we should be careful how we use it as with any gift. The title of this post is “Wisdom is a Choice” and believe me it is.
I remember when my husband and I were newlyweds and received the news that we were pregnant, it was definitely a joyous moment. At the time, we were in an apartment in Chicago where strange activity took place daily. We were convinced that we could not raise our children in Chicago and we were determined to move far away from the city as possible. Instead of doing what we thought would be great for us, we listened to people around us and got into severe debt. Yes, we bought our first home at 20, but we were not wise to know how to keep it. My husband was a pretty successful and reliable journeyman plumber, but our money management, well there was no managing. We were miserable! My husband would be gone 20 hours a day and some days he didn’t come home just so we can stay afloat. We had 2 mortgages, HOA fees and a bunch of bills….at 20 years of age! We were becoming a statistic! We lived in debt as if we had no other choice.
We failed to realize that God was our source and everything else is just a resource. We realized that we were wasting time trying to maintain a look rather than being a resource. After 5 years of struggling and digging holes we could not get ourselves out of, God provided a means of escape! It was wisdom to know that it was God leading us out of our situation. We have a mind for ministry and missions and God moved us to Texas so we can focus on the Kingdom…not the hustle of the “American Dream”. God told my husband if he focused on Him, that God would do the rest and I can say today, we are mortgage free and own property. People look at us and wonder how we manage to do it. It was God! We’ve realized that money is only a resource. People always put money on this pedestal and think if they make a certain amount, that they will have financial freedom. Wisdom is to know that God owns everything and if you are doing your part (paying your tithes, not spending recklessly, etc), God will take care of the rest. Of course we’ve experienced hardships, but we never viewed them as that. When our home was flooded, lost vehicles and animals… when we were evicted, homeless with 3 children, pregnant with the fourth and our oldest having a seizure all on the same day…. God was still providing. We never missed a meal or a bath. He always provided.
We see young couples struggle to keep up with their appearances and this “look” and we look on sorrowful knowing that they can do it God’s way and live beautifully. Wisdom says that everyone isn’t looking for God to work on their behalf in such a way because that means for them to change.
So how to obtain wisdom? Like the scripture I typed above, it states to ask God! The bible is filled with scriptures about asking and receiving (ref: Mark 11:24, Matthew 7: 7-11, John 14:13-14…just to name a few)
To obtain wisdom is to endure trials with joy and faith knowing God will provide. So how is wisdom is a choice? Well, the opposite of wisdom is folly or foolishness. The bible also characterizes both types of people. the book of Proverbs has to be one of my favorite books! I’ve used the bible as my example in my youth and as a newly wedded wife because I just couldn’t find people I an open up to or who would be honest with me. So I told myself that I will be an open book to everyone I meet because there are people who were like me searching for truth and honesty. In my case, I am glad God had given me all the knowledge I desire in His Word. But, Proverbs 12: 15 says The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise. Some people will only do what they feel is right, there’s no way to talk any sense into this type of person unless God do a work in them.. otherwise you’ll be foolish. When I first read this scripture years ago, I was so naive and thought why would I not talk to someone who don’t know they are drowning…. I should continue to reach out to them…to me, that was longsuffering. Boy, was I wrong. Wisdom is to know when enough is enough. Proverbs 26: 4 says “Do not answer a fool according to his folly, Or you will also be like him.”
To know wisdom, is to know your need. You must know your need in order to ask for a resolution or help. In our situation, we noticed the need to raise our children in a safe and wholesome environment and to let our lives be used for ministry and Kingdom building. We knew that in order for God to use us wholly and completely, He had to move us out of our situation. But when you think about it, if it wasn’t for our previous situation, we wouldn’t have known the need to get away. Our situation would have been comfortable…but God!
“Is it really?”
“You don’t really mean that.”
“Why would you do such a thing?!”
“But, you’re such an awesome mother!”
“Did you talk to God about this?!?”
“The bible says to “Be fruitful and multiple…” “
Yes. It is definitely the end to that phase of my life and I’m perfectly okay with it. Everyone has their opinion about the decisionsÂ made and that’s okay! People will guilt you about your decision to stop having babies but you have to be confident in your decision.
My husband and I sought the Lord about the idea of not having any more children. I was almost afraid to make that request but I asked Him to bless my womb and give me as many babies as I can get.
(Back story) I come from a very large family and I know with all of the experienced I’ve gain, I knew I would be a great mother. God has blessed my womb even when I was told at the age of six that I would not conceive because I ate some of my mother’s birth control. Well, fast forward to 2012, we found out we were pregnant with our fifth child. We were excited as always but we knew we were coming to the end of our stage of having more children. It just felt right to end at baby #5. As with our other children, my husband waited for God to reveal our baby’s name. One morning, he woke me up and said “Rebekah”. So we began to search the meaning of the name and it means “Captivating; knotted cord”. When we saw the meaning, we knew God gave us the OK to let Rebekah be the last child of our little family. So, March 2013, 2 months after her birth, I knotted the cord… well Essured it.
What is Essure? How does it prevent pregnancies? The small Essure inserts are placed into your fallopian tubes by your doctor. These inserts work with your body to form a natural barrier that keeps sperm from reaching the eggs, preventing pregnancy. While the natural barrier forms over time, another form of birth control must be used.
I’ve heard mostly negative reviews about this form of contraceptive (ongoing pelvic pain, pregnancy or even ectopic pregnancies) Â but after 3 years, I’ve had no issues. I guess to each its own. But don’t get me wrong, having an Essure doesn’t stop me from getting the occasional “baby fever” especially well my emotions and hormones are all out of wack (menstruation)! 🙂
So why stop having children? I enjoyed each pregnancy and raising my children, but I feel it was time to actually enjoy the journey of motherhood by watching my children grow and remember each significant milestone. I can recall my children’s milestones, but to me, I feel as if I jipped my children one on one time with me because I was either pregnant or had a newborn…almost as if my children wasn’t allotted time to enjoy childhood. My children are still children, but if you’re a mom of “stair-steppers”, then you get what I’m saying!
I also feel that now, I have the opportunity to enjoy my husband. Now that my children are a little older, we (my husband and I) go on dates more frequently then ever before. I’m actually learning my husband outside of the “daddy role”.
I had time to revisit education and now is pursuing certification for teaching. I believe that my nurturing and encouraging children doesn’t have to be exclusive to my children, but I can help mold and cultivate other children as well…in a classroom setting. So beginning August 18th, I’ll be embarking on a new adventure…teaching! No, I don’t have my own classroom just yet, but I wanted my first year in education to be under an experienced teacher who loves children. I am so excited and to top that off, ALL FIVE OF MY CHILDREN… even the youngest will be in school full time!! *insert shout music*
Parenting does change you. FOR THE BETTER. I’m much more focused and goal oriented than ever before. I have always been a go-getter, but being a parent gives you that extra umph… that sense of urgency to teach and send out learners and leaders into this desperate land that’s in need of influence and hope… spiritually and educationally.
So, if you’re the mom who’s considering wrapping things up or even clipping 🙂 know that your purpose goes beyond your womb. Cultivate others, encourage other moms and train the children (biologically or not). You hold the seed, now it’s time to plant them and watch them grow!
April 15, 2016 my life was….enhanced a bit! 🙂 I got a breast augmentation! Yup!!
Let’s backtracked a bit though….
In 2013, I birthed my last child and nursed her Â until her 1st birthday in 2014. I enjoyed each pregnancy and every breastfeeding session with my fab five! Well, good things must come to an end and now that my children are older and vibrant, I figure it was time to repair what was broken during those most precious moments. No! I do not regret nursing my children nor do I regret having them, but I do have so work to do because of the decision my husband and I made. Shortly after my youngest first birthday, I sat with my husband with the thought of getting a breast augmentation. I was happy that he was so supportive of my decision to fix my heavily damage breast. When I say it was bad…IT. WAS.BAD!!!
I had to do something! I asked for advice from close friends and they said do what I feel needs to be done! In the meantime, I tried bras, exercises, massages…nothing worked. Â I even asked readers of my blog on Facebook…here are some responses on what they thought about cosmetic surgery:
“I think it’s up to the individual. Many women after child birth experience drastic changes to their bodies. But plastic surgeries are really serious. Many women have died during and after procedures. Make sure it’s worth the pain and risk.”
“I don’t see anything wrong with it.”
My husband even chimed in. I will post his entire opinion HERE.
So, I went in for a consultation October 2014. I fell in love with the knowledge and experience of the surgeon, but didn’t follow through with the surgery until March 30!
I went in for a re-consultation and booked my surgery! April 15, 2016 my life was changed! Now at 3 weeks post operation, I am pleased with my decisions and results! My husband is as well!! 🙂
So let’s take a walk through my experience…
The prep the night before and day of surgery was pretty simple. Drink plenty of water and do not eat or drink anything after 11 PM the night before. So when I tell you I was starving… I. WAS. STARVING!!! I also showered the night before and cleansed the surgery area in Hibiclens and the morning of showered again in Hibiclens. I also had to put on loose fitting clothes with the anti-embolism stockings (very uncomfortable BTW) to decrease the chance of clotting and swelling.
So how I did feel?!?!
The day of my surgery, I have noÂ idea what happened after I laid on the operating table. It is a complete blur! MyÂ anesthesiologist told me while he was drugging me 🙂 that I won’t feel or remember anything…he was right!! I don’t remember coming out of surgery… being dressed or getting home!! Luckily, my sister recorded the aftermath of being on anesthesia when I made it home. 🙂
There wasn’t any real pain. I was extremely uncomfortable and exhausted. The next day, the soreness continued and I had my husband to fill my muscle relaxing meds. I took one muscle relaxing pill and 2 Tylenol onÂ Day Two and realizing the discomfortÂ wasn’t managed, so I figured I can go without it. After Day 3 and beyond, I took no medicine for pain and dealt with the soreness…it is comparable to being engorged. Crazy, right??!! Who goes through surgery without taking pain medicine?! I did!! I slept propped up for the first week and after that, I was able to lie on my back. Sleeping was a challenge the 2nd week because I have to get use to the weight of my new breast but this week was a breeze… I can even sleep on my sides! The past 2 days, I’ve been experiencing some itching… I cannot stand the itchy feeling but I’ve researched that I shouldn’t scratch it but rub and relieve the feeling with warm towels.
My husband made my recovery a success by taking on all of the household responsibilities and children’s needs the first week. He even prepped and cooked breakfast, lunch and dinner! (Dinner wasn’t pictured, but he made homemade marinara and spaghetti with homemade garlic knots) Friends also pitched in and made dinner for us!
How Did They Look After Surgery?!?!
Oblong. Swollen. VeryÂ Weird!! I was very swollen and bloated after surgery. Day 4 the swelling began to go down and my breasts began to take shape. Although I have a few months before they actually “drop and fluff” I am very pleased with the way they look. They are becoming mobile and if I move a certain way I can hear them! 🙂 Because I had so much loose skin, my surgeon warned me about the possibility of having a breast lift in the future… after the surgery, he said the chance of having one now is ZERO!! I am glad about that! My surgeon also mentioned that my case was one of his most extreme and my results are in his top favorites! Yeah, I’m sure he says that to all of his clients, but I truly believe compared to before and afters I’ve seen from his practice, I’m on the top of the list!!
How BIG did I go?!?!?!
Well, my goal was to look as natural and full as possible. My plan was to be the size I was when I breastfed my children (36D). With all the loose skin that remained, that goal was more realistic than I thought. My surgeon Â agreed that any bigger would look fake and to never go smaller than my goal. we wereÂ with him 100%! So on my left (and worst) side, he implanted 510 CC of saline (I went with saline by the way) and on the right side 480 CC of saline. I chose saline because if anything were to go wrong, it would be easier to detect as well as replace. The cost of saline implants are approx. $1200 cheaper than silicone. With the price and the risk being smaller than with silicone, saline was my best choice. So, did I meet my goal!??! Oh yeah!!! I am excited and so proud that I did this!
What are my results?!!?!
I still have some dropping to do, but I am very please with the results. I am happy I made this change and I’m also happy with the support to make this change. I was never the busty type and getting my breast augmentation was not to make me busty, but more womanly. After having five beautiful children, there was a great chance of breast damage and I thank God for doctors who studied years into complimenting the bodies of women in such an awesome way. No my confidence wasn’t shot neither was I pressured into doing this surgery. I simply wanted an upgrade to the already fabulous me. I’m 30 years old and this change by far has been the best birthday gift I’ve ever received but it wasn’t the only one…my hubby surprised me with some awesome things for my 30th and I am grateful!
If you choose to enhance your beauty or not, it’s your choice! People get cosmetic surgery everyday… veneers, breast, tummy tucks, etc. It happens daily, so don’t knock someone for doing what makes them happy. If I were to listen to the naysayers, I would be miserable! If I listened to people who know about my surgery and hear them send me to Hell because of it, I would regret my decision..but I won’t! My intentions are pure and I am not looking for attention. My husband is perfectly fine with my body… pregnant, engorged and shrunken…he loved it all and love it now!
So the moral of this blog is do what makes you happy! Point. Blank!