Tuesday, November 18, 2014

5 Things You Didn't Need to Know About Me

1) I cannot live without hazelnut chocolate in my life.  *Cue country song, "How do I Live" by Trisha Yearwood.* I am obsessed with any kind of chocolate, for that matter. Except chocolate cake. I can live without chocolate cake in my life. Given the choice, 9 times outta 10 I'll choose vanilla or white cake. I still don't understand it.

2) I get crazy ideas in my head that are completely unrealistic. For awhile I was dreaming about getting my master's degree and becoming a speech language pathologist. Then, I was thinking about advancing my piano training and going for my ARCT. Next thing you know I'm thinking about taking up the violin. Or cello. Or tuba. Or becoming a circus clown that plays the tuba. The last one might be feasible....minus the tuba.

3) I absolutely stink at wrapping presents. If you want to know which gift was wrapped by yours truly, just pick the ugly one.

4) Lately I cannot live without horseradish. I've been putting it on and in everything these days. In fact, I just excused myself from this blog post to go to the fridge and eat a spoonful of it. It is just so delicious.

5) No, I'm not pregnant.

Monday, November 10, 2014

When Your Window Explodes...What Do You Do

So....you are sitting in your van with your family late in the evening, minding your own business, when you suddenly hear a very loud BOOM, sounding like a gun shot. You look at your husband and ask, "What was that?!" Then, the rear window of your van smashes into a trillion pieces and falls out.


1) Panic. Assume you are under fire and shout at your husband, "GO! GO! JUST GO! What if someone's shooting at us? GO! Drive! Just get OUT of here!" Husband drives.

2) Shuffle through the freshly-fallen snow, enter your house, put the kids to bed, while ignoring the feeling that the air inside is a little...crisp.

3) Spend the next three hours cleaning up glass while stressing about the fact that you desperately needed the van this week.

4) Google things like, "Can a vehicle window randomly explode?" and "Cost to replace rear van window."

5) Crawl into your bed around midnight, exhausted. Immediately get back out of bed. You are freezing cold, so you put on your absolute warmest pajamas and your fuzziest house coat, warm up a heat pack in the microwave, and crawl back into bed with your heat pack. Exchange some friendly banter with your husband as he crawls into bed and comments on your "stinky wheat" heat pack, which has long been a hilarious bone of contention around here....LOL.

6) Husband comments, "Wow...it's cold in here. I'm going to go turn up the furnace."

7) Quip, "Yep, that's why the "stinky wheat" heat pack is a most-necessary bedtime accessory."

8) Husband suspiciously questions, "Why does our thermostat say it's 68 in here when it's supposed to hold at 70?" Husband proceeds to turn up thermostat and wait for furnace to kick in.

9) The furnace does not kick in.

10) Fiddle around with a few switches, check thermostat batteries. Try again.

11) Furnace still does not kick in.

12) Spend the next 3 hours attempting to get the furnace to turn on, going through manuals, and looking up troubleshooting furnace tips on the internet.

13) Discuss how a randomly exploding window AND a broken furnace all in the same night has contributed to it being a doozy of an evening.

Throw in the fact that
        1) It's the weekend, so businesses are closed.
        2) On Monday husband is working alone and has no lunch break for making phone calls or running errands.
       3) Tuesday is Rememberance Day, so that means businesses are closed.
       4) It's the first snowy, icy, cold week of the year. Thus, a broken furnace and smashed vehicle window are not exactly conducive to a comfortable, wintery week.
       5) Husband has to travel for work this week on roads that will likely be less-than-ideal.
       6) Car doesn't have winter tires on it yet...because
       7) He was planning on driving the van that already has winter tires, but van is now out-of-commission for long travel due to window exploding and cold, snowy weather.

14) Gather electric heaters and throw on a few more blankets.

15) Crawl back into bed sometime after 3 a.m.

16) Get up with toddler and baby several times in four hours.

17) And...it's 7 a.m. Sunday. Good Morning! Needless to say...we didn't make it to church....

18) Be extremely grateful for a kind and generous relative who has experience diagnosing furnaces and will come take a look at it and try to help, so we don't have to pay an exorbitant amount of money to hire someone to do it after normal business hours.

19) Find out the problem is likely that the circuit board is fried and that the 7 year warranty is 2 months expired.

20) Recall the several power surges that occurred in our city on Friday night and figure it likely wrecked our furnace.

21)Scratch your head, bewildered by what seems to be a series of rather unfortunate events.

22) Remind yourself, "In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you."

Thursday, November 6, 2014

My Potty Training Award

I have just completed 3 days of potty training this mischievous munchkin. I am just tickled pink to announce that I have been awarded the very prestigious potty training award dubbed, "Mother Most Likely to Fail At Potty Training." I have a special place for this award. I'm sure it will look right smart next to my "Mother Most Likely To Give Birth to Babies Who Stink at Sleeping Well" Award.

Cue Applause

This kid...he don't care if he's wet....he don't care if he's dry....he just don't care 'bout nothin' to do with potty training....

I really wish we didn't have so much carpet around here...umm...yucky...

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Blog Announcement

I have recently taken the next step toward a dream I've had for quite some time now....My very own self-hosted Wordpress blog! It's an idea I have been mulling over for almost a year now. On a whim last week, I decided to sign up for a free blogging class that also included a year's worth of hosting (an $84 value!) and my own domain. The blogging class is not normally free (I think it's normally around $25 for the class), but for one or two days, it was totally free. How could my ultra-frugal self pass that up!? So, for the next while, I will be embarking on a steep learning curve as I try to learn how to navigate the Wordpress waters. I'm so excited, though! I've come to realize that blogging really is something that I enjoy doing and miss when I don't do it, so why not dabble a bit more in my interests and branch out a little? I have some ideas for ebooks way back in my mind that maybe, maybe some day I'll end up writing. That's a pretty big maybe, though. And if that day never comes, it never hurts to dream, right!? :-). I plan on keeping the blog very similar to what I'm doing now. I hope to just be a bit more focused and consistent in my writing...and hopefully ensure my writing is "me." It will likely include a lot more tips on frugal living, recipes, homemaking, biblical encouragment, homeschooling, and a healthy dose of my daily, personal life as wife and mom. I can hardly wait! In the meantime, I'll still be here blogging here and there while working on setting up and transferrng content over to my very own .com.

Friday, October 31, 2014

The Stomach Flu

Love these little munchkins so much! 

Thankfully we are all over the stomach flu, which took 9 days to make its way through our whole family. Honestly, I really hate calling it "the stomach flu." I want to rather call it by its technical term gastroenteritis, but then people would just think I'm weird, so I call it the stomach flu. It really bugs me to call it that, though. Like, I cringe just typing "the stomach flu." What's wrong with me? I've got issues, I know. Gastroenteritis The stomach flu meant going through 2 large pots of the most amazing chicken noodle soup. I have finally perfected my chicken noodle soup recipe...Mennonite style. I will share the recipe with you soon. I am thrilled to finally have the spice blend the way I like it. Unfortunately, this *ahem* gastroenteritis seems to have weakened our immune systems enough to allow a respiratory virus to take hold. Sorry, I just couldn't "stomach" the thought of referring to it as "the stomach flu" again....hardee har har. My husband is especially sick and is likely going to need to see the doctor soon if things don't take a turn for the better since it seems he has developed a bacterial respiratory infection. I can feel something brewing in my lungs/throat that I'm not too excited about either. 

As for Brielle's sleeping...no lasting improvement there, I'm afraid.  She is still waking up every 1 to 2 hours. every.single.night. As soon as I'm drifting off, the crying begins. I actually get anxiety over it every night because I just know it's coming the moment I lie my head down. Every night around 11 pm  to midnight, just before I fall asleep my husband hears me whisper, "My night shift is about to begin." It never fails - 5 minutes later, she starts screaming. Every time. How's that for optimism? Sigh. We shall keep trying, although I'm feeling terribly discouraged about it. Obviously. The other evening when she woke up again I let her cry it out for what felt like an eternity. She did, eventually, fall back asleep, but it took a very, very long time, and I felt pretty bad about it. I *think* I could handle it (whatever "it" is) way better if I could get 3-4 hours in a row once a week or so, but that's only happened once or twice in 8 months. Actually, 2 hours of sleep in a row has happened less than 10 times in 8 months...but who's counting. You may think I'm exaggerating the facts. I assure you that I am not. She sleeps worse than a newborn. The sleep situation really is that bad. I feel insanely, horribly irritable all the time....like my skin is crawling. That's honestly how I feel. Believe me, the sleep deprivation is bringing to the surface my ugly sinfulness and reminds me of what I wretched person I really am. Apart from Christ, I am nothing but a mess. Apart from Christ, I have nothing to bring that is of any value. HOW GRATEFUL I am that salvation is not based on anything I do but on  the work of Christ....His grace and faith in Him alone. I have to pray like crazy to not turn into a monster mom & wife and repent like crazy when I fail miserably. When I am tempted to make excuses my attitude and behaviour (which, I confess, I have done), I try to remind myself how tired Jesus must have been, especially the night before He died when He was praying in the garden, and yet He did not sin

I'm starting to sound like a broken record about this whole lack-of-sleep thing. I will try not to say much about it until there's something of great importance I think deserves reporting. I am going to try not to talk/complain so much about it. I will try. In the meantime, please pray for me. 

Moving on....

Our family is beyond thrilled about Prime Minister Stephen Harper's announcement yesterday regarding tax breaks for single income families (in the form of income-splitting) and an increase in the Universal Child Care Benefit. Sure, it's likely a very strategic political move (let's not be naive....how is an extra chunk of cash a few months before the election NOT going to sway some people....But....don't tell me the other parties wouldn't do the same....it is politics, after all.), but we are not complaining about it!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

A Quirky Little Jingle

Going on Day 7 of the stomach flu here. It's slowed down but not over yet, sadly. Staying up for almost 48 hours straight is no good. No good. Last night was not quite as bad, but it was still bad.

When 'da babies don't sleep, 'den 'da mamas don't sleep. 
An'den 'da mamas, 'dem poor mamas,  'deir minds dey don't keep. 

This is the kind of stuff that randomly pops up in my head...and yes, there's a tune to that little jingle. I am starting to realize that I'm an awfully weird person. Well, that's not entirely true. I've actually known it for quite some time now. Those of you who have followed this blog for awhile but don't know me in person probably really do think I've lost my mind and wonder if I've changed. I have a feeling, though, that those who know me quite well in person are not at all surprised that these are the kind of things that randomly pop into my head. They know me all too well. Now, so do you.

My heart is to blog about homemaking, frugality, home schooling, and biblical living. That has not changed. My love for the Lord and living for Him has not changed. But for the longest time, I felt like I was hiding my quirky personality and that my blog writing was not totally "me." I wasn't letting my personality infuse my writing. My values have not changed at all. It's just that in order for me to keep writing on here once in a blue moon, I need to quit worrying about people not liking me or my blog because they think I'm a little strange. The truth is...in real life, I am a little strange. a little quirky. a little weird. Or maybe a lot. I can see my relatives nodding their heads.

We have a substantial amount of life-stress going on right now. How do I deal with this? Well, not all that well all the time. But, really....prayer and reading God's Word. Even in the midst of my exhaustion, if I make the time to read even a few verses, I find that God's Word is balm to a tired body, mind, and soul, which should come as no surprise.

The occasional quirky little jingle doesn't hurt either.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Sleeping...or Lack Thereof

After two nights of sleeping for 3 hours in a row last week, our system kind of fell apart with not being home enough over the last few days. Of course, we had good reasons for not being home :-). We enjoyed some visiting with relatives we don't get to see too often and also celebrated a niece's birthday.

After the 2 nights of semi-hopefulness, Brielle was back to her usual sleepless antics. I am seriously tired, dude. So tired, I'm saying dude. So tired, saying dude makes me laugh like a hyena. Dude is a funny word. Dude. bahahahaha. Okay, now I'm acting like I'm 10. Be quiet, Jenna. Seriously. See, I'm even talking to myself. I'm also hallucinating some days. I was absolutely convinced I saw a mouse scurry under my dryer the other day. Then, I saw something run across the floor yesterday. My first thought was mouse! Then, giant spider! Turned out, I had kicked a cheerio. Freaky little things, those cheerios are.

I fear I look like a walking dead woman most days. I'm afraid to go out in public or have to talk to anyone as all that wants to come out of my mouth is garbled up jibberish that make no sense. Gratefully, my Mom-in-law took my two oldest for an afternoon. Though the house was a disaster, I put Brielle in her crib to play and crawled into my bed for a nap. This morning, my husband offered to keep the kids occupied in the morning, and I had a two hour nap. I felt like a new woman after that nap. I'd like to feel like a new woman every day. Today, I was trying to get her back on track with her naps and bedtime. She ate a huge bowl of food for supper tonight and went to bed at 6:45 pm on her own, so I'm feeling hopeful. But, now she's crying.... Start the timer for 10 minutes. I feel hope slipping away...

In other news, I went to the doctor regarding my neck pain and numb/tingling/weird sensations in my arm. I have a cyst in my wrist that is causing my wrist pain. The neck/arm/shoulder thing is a little weird, but all basic neurological stuff seems to check out fine. I will be trying physio, massage, and chiro for that. It's kind of a pain. Literally. Why am I just so funny, sometimes?

Timer's up. Time to go. Toodles.
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