Monday, October 31, 2016

Spelling Pack for Sale by The Thinking Tree!

(This is a pinned post - please scroll down to read the current days writing, thank you!)

I'm excited to bring to my readers a neat sale of some of The Thinking Tree books. Sarah has been so kind to allow me to sell a Spelling Pack!
The Thinking Tree
This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure.
Here's what's included in the Thinking Tree Spelling Pack:
You get all 5 books 20% off the original price - plus FREE SHIPPING!  To purchase these separately on Amazon you'd be paying over $100!!! 

U.S. Residents only and payments are made via paypal.

If you have children of all ages this would be a great Spelling Pack. You can have the 5yr. old using 100 Easy Bible Verses, 8yr. can start with the Fun-Schooling Spelling Journal or Spelling Time or Bible Time, while your 10yr. old can start with Master the Top 150 Words or Bible Time.
If you only have one child then you'll be set for the next few years! Or use one yourself. I'm currently using Bible Time and I have one for four of my kiddos ages 11, 13, 14, and 15!

You can read my reviews for some of the spelling books:
If you have any questions regarding the Spelling Pack please fill out the contact form using the words Spelling Pack in the subject line.

The Thinking Tree

Friday, June 24, 2016

It Works! Skin, Nail, Hair 90 Day Challenge ~Day 4 (Haematococcus Pluvials (providing 50 mcg astaxanthis) Whole Algae Extract)

Today I thought I'd post pictures of how I normally wear it my hair and with some leave in conditioner.
Sorry, not the best pic!
I usually wear my hair down so my scalp will completely dry. If I put it in a ponytail when it's wet the area where the ponytail is, is still damp at night. I don't like that.

Later around 11:00 or 12:00 I put it up unless it's been hot (like lately it has) then I'll just put it up with a claw clip.
Picture taken Friday ~6/24/16
I also put some sort of leave in conditioner. Right now I am not using oils to condition my hair, just Morrocco Method stuff like the Blood of the Dragon Gel (watered down) and/or the Diamond Crystal Mist.

In my Day 2 and Day 3 post I shared some pretty interesting ingredients. The reason being is when I went searching to find out more about It Works! Hair, Skin, Nails, is I found that all the reviews would list and explain the more known vitamins like ~Vitamin C, E, B6, Biotin, Zinc, Selenium, and Manganese which most people already know the benefits. Then they would list the rest without any explanation, so I thought I'd share some of the more unknown ingredients.

To see a list of ingredients click Here. From the It Works website it's suppose to help with:

·         Boosts your natural collagen and keratin production
·         Supports the body’s defenses against free radical damage
·         Moisturizes while enhancing skin’s elasticity and flexibility
·         Promotes healthy cell growth, strength, and shine

Today I thought I'd share abut the amazing--> Haematococcus Pluvials (providing 50 mcg astaxanthis) Whole Algae Extract. HP Whole Algae extract has astaxanthis, this is part of the carotenoid family which like the other two ingredients that I shared on Day 3 & 4~are great for the heart, has powerful antioxidant effects, and boost the immune system to name a few. To find out more please visit this website and this one as well.

It Works! HSN has 50 mcg of which converts to 0.05 mg if my calculations are correct. From the site I linked it mentions that it's safe to take up to 6mg per day.

This time I attached a quick video about Astaxanthis and how it's made from Haematococcus Pluvials.

And again, I was not asked to write anything about It Works! Hair, Skin, Nails nor am I being paid to write this. I am paying the regular loyal customer price of $33+ shipping.

I took the pictures in a different location today. I also put a book on my head so y'all would know that I am not bending my head down to make my hair appear shorter and/or up to make my hair appear longer. I got this idea from another blogger. Wish I would have started using a book from the beginning.
As you can see I still have that embarrassing gap of hair!!!
Forward facing
This is how my hair looks when I try to pull it forward. I'd love for it to drape down my shoulders.
Hair pulled back in a Flexi clip :)

Ponytail using a Flexi Clip.

I hope with all the pictures you will see that I'm not 'staging' anything, making my hair appear shorter than longer. I would certainly love to give you all a glowing report that my hair grew 3-6 inches but if that doesn't happen I'm okay with it. I'm (like many of you I'm sure) am a little skeptical. If it works, great! If not, I know that I'm taking a good vitamin supplement with some great health benefits. It's win-win either way.

From here on out I'm going to take pictures with what I use in my hair which is Blood of the Dragon Styling Gel (watered down) and a conditioning mist

I have noticed that my skin is softer. When I rub my arms and legs they are much more smooth I don't know if that can happen in 4 day with using It Works! HSN but that's what I've noticed. 

No skin issues or rashes either, yay! I was kinda of scared about that. 

I'll be slowing down eventually with It Works! Hair, Skin, Nail post. With the first two though I want to give you all an idea of how long my hair is up, down, sideways, etc. Not just one before and after picture. As you can see my hair is kind of weird with it being shorter one day and longer the next. So again, from here on out I'll only be putting my MM gel and leave in mist conditioner.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

It Works! Hair, Skin, Nails 90 Day Challenge (Day 3) Olive Leaf Extract

Wow, I didn't know there was such a thing as Olive Leaf Extract. I knew about olive oil. Olive Leaf Extract is another ingredient in the proprietary blend of It Works! Skin, Hair, Nails ~Olive Leaf Extract has a compound known as oleuropein which has the ability to lower blood pressure and help with supporting the cardiovascular system and immune system!
Day 3 ~Thursday 6/23/16~hair pulled back
Again, like with Fo ti root there hasn't been a lot of study with Olive Leaf Extracts and pregnancy so it's advised to ask your doctor before taking it.

Who knew it could be so beneficial? I didn't. The three areas that Olive Leaf Extracts helps the most is with antimicrobial, antioxidant, and heart benefits. You can read more about Olive Leaf Extract HERE and HERE.

Today's pictures and I must say I'm having a very, very, very, hard time getting the before picture. I'm on day three and still don't have one. I'm going to just have to pick from my batch of photos. My hair is so uneven which isn't helping at ALL! It's quite embarrassing actually. I haven't seen anyone body else whose hair (if you google It Works! Skin, Hair, Nails images) as um, ugly as mine.
 I mean look at the big gap where there is no hair. I don't know what is going on there. My poor distributor is probably thinking, "Who have I let do this challenge!", ack! I seriously didn't know I had a whole spot of missing hair.
Going forward I'm not going to sue the marking as the before mark because it's not accurate. I'll use it as a gauging place. I think that will be a good visual point.
Here is my hair pulled back. Please excuse the mess in the left corner. I really need to clean that corner out. It became the catch-all when clearing off the table. Ugh, but it's what happens when you live in a small house and there isn't a home for you lunch bag and popcorn bucket, hehe.
Here is my hair down. I normally don't wear my hair down so another thing is I need to get a good picture with how I usually wear my hair. 
 This is how I usually wear my hair most days, up! I know hair grows from the top not the bottom but this might be another way to see growth.
 The backside with my hair up.
Here I am holding the bottle of It Works! Hair, Skin, Nails the wrong way, bwahahaha.  This picture is to show how my hair doesn't drape over my shoulder how I'd like it to.

Maybe with picking a before picture it will be best to wait until the after picture is taken too. Maybe my hair will look better and fill in the gap (praying).

When I'm done with the 90 Day Challenge I think I need to have my hair trimmed so it's all even. 

In all the pictures I am looking straight ahead not up or down. I am going to take a sideways picture so you all will know I'm not cheating =)

I'm happy to report, no acne, itchiness of the skin or rash. Those are some side affects that I read can happen.  I am drinking up to eight 6oz cups of water which I'll share another day about. 

Read Day 1 and Day 2.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

It Works! Skin, Hair, Nails ~90 Day Challenge Day 2 (Fo ti (he shou wu) Root)

Houston, we got a problem! My hair is way above the line from yesterday. Eeeks!
Day 2 with taking It Works: Hair, Skin, Nails
I was afraid this might happen, that's why I took a picture today. I wanted to see where my hair was at because some days it can be shorter and other days longer. Not sure why. I guess curls are unpredictable.

Fo-ti (he shou wu) root is one of the property blends in Hair, Skin, Nails. It's anti aging, can actually reverse gray hair (I don't know how much is in HSN so I'm not holding my breath on this one :), and anti aging benefits. There's not a whole lot of studies done but it looks like it's a heart healthy ingredient too.

Because there's not enough studies it is recommended not to take while prego. The anti aging herb is considered part of the buckwheat family. This herb is native to China but it's also grown in Japan and Taiwan. It gets the name 'he shou wo' which means 'black haired man Mr. He' because legend has it that Mr. He took Fo ti to survive when a famine struck his village and he was to weak to leave. He survived off of  Fo ti (and I'm sure other plants too) and his gray hair turned black again, his complexion brightened and he fathered a child. Pretty interesting legend.

Here are two side profiles.

 A picture with my hair trying to come forward. I would love to be able to pull my hair to the side like in the picture except it stay there. As you can see it's too short to stay draped over my shoulder.
Not a good hair day. Like in the first picture my hair was more pulled up today meaning it didn't reach the line that Josh made on my shirt yesterday.
So as much as I like the t-shirt idea it might not be the best way to gauge if my hair grows or maybe it will. We'll see. 

Maybe it's because today was my Zen Detox day that my hair didn't reach the line on the shirt.

Pictures taken 6/22/16
Read and see Day 1 Pictures.

Some pictures of my hair before starting the challenge.
I'm seriously having trouble finding pictures with my hair down. I just don't wear it down that often because it's so frizzy and out of control. Hopefully MM and HSN will change all that.
Here's one (above) that shows my length at its longest.
Hopefully the photos will give you an idea of how my hair doesn't grow much, even with most of them being year old photos.

And lastly here are some recent video. You don't have to watch them of course but it shows how long my hair is.

And my mad woman one.

These were taken June 15 and 16th just before starting It Works! Hair, Skin, Nails.

Again, hope these pics and videos give you all an idea of the length of my hair. 

It Works 90 Day Challenge Picture

My It Works: Hair, Skin, Nails post was getting a bit long I thought I'd separate it a little.

In the photo below my son Josh marked where my hair ended. He marked it at the very tip. I'm wondering if he marked it too low, hehe.
Day 1 photo taken ~Tuesday 6/21/16
I did say to mark where my hair ends and boy did he mark where the last strand is. Made me laugh. Hopefully it won't be a problem in the 90 Day It Works challenge, (me laughing here).

It Works 90 Day Challenge

Last week I wrote about me switching exclusively to Morroco Method products and mentioned that I'm taking the 90 day It Works: Hair, Skin, Nail challenge. I had never heard about It Works: Hair, Skin, Nails until just a few weeks ago.

My friend offered the 90 day challenge on Facebook and it came through my feed. I ignored it for a while. Then just last week I decided I'd try it. Why? Because I have always wanted long hair (smile). My hair has never-ever grown longer than how it is right now. NEVER, sorry, not yelling, just getting my point across. Actually in this post if you scroll down to the Bella picture it is a bit longer BUT that's about as long as it's gotten (and there might be a coconut oil thing going on helping my hair to elongate).
Day 1 picture. There is a little dot on my shirt. This is the length of my hair when I'm holding it forward)
I am paying $33 for each container for the next three months plus another almost $4 to ship. Now that's a lot for me but I have another reason for taking the challenge that I'm not going to share just yet.

I want this to be an honest review for you all. After accepting the 90 day challenge I looked up reviews on It Works: HSN and was surprised to see a lot of mixed reviews. Some stating that only reps are giving reviews and only positive ones. I'm here to say I'm not a distributor. I am not getting Hair, Skin, Nails for free, and I don't get a percentage of sales or anything like that.

Now for my background. I always think it's a good idea to know a little bit about the person like what are they eating, using on their hair, and so forth.

Diet: I've been living a fairly healthy lifestyle for almost four years now. I live a low carb lifestyle. I try to stay away from processed foods, msg, and dyes.

Hair: I think it's been more than 6 years now that I haven't used regular drugstore/Target/Walmart shampoos. I went no poo than started making my own using raw honey, homemade rosemary shampoos, etc.

I also don't use mousse, hair spray, or gel (only Morrocco Method gel). Instead I use
  •  coconut oil
  • avocado oil
  • aloe vera gel
  • essential oils
  • and so forth
So as you can see I don't use a lot of chemicals in my hair.
My hair has only a little bit of MM Blood of the Dragon Gel. No heavy products weighing it down.
A few years ago I found Morrocco Method and used their products then stopped because it's expensive. I recently started using all MM products because of a scalp issue. 

Almost three weeks ago I used the Zen Detox from MM and am absolutely amazed with it after one application. My hair is so soft, less frizzy (although still frizz), and just much more manageable. 

A MM person recommend I do the Zen Detox once a week for three weeks then monthly. This week I'll have completed the once a week for three week detox.

I have noticed since doing the Zen Detox that I am not combing/brushing out so much hair. I use a wide tooth comb in the shower and always had lots of hair in the comb. I often wondered how in the world did I still have hair. So right away I noticed less hair loss. I think part of it is because my hair is not so tangled anymore.

Health: I am not on any mediation and think I'm fairly healthy. I can always improve of course but at age 44 ~and not taking any meds is a good thing.

Brushing: again, the past three weeks I've been brushing more. Not daily like I should but at least three to four times a week using a bamboo brush. I love that my scalp is being massaged almost daily now.

Vitamins: I'm not as diligent as I should be with taking my vitamins. I take them regularly for a while then something happens and I stop. Sometimes I take some of them and other times I'm taking none for a few weeks.
I'm looking straight a head, trying not to look up or down. 
Right now I'm doing pretty good with taking (affiliate links below):

So there you have it. In a nutshell before taking It Works! Hair, Skin, Nails:
  • Zen Detox 3 applications (the 3rd one a day after taking HSN)
  • Using Morrocco Method shampoos for 3 weeks before taking HSN
  • No sudsy shampoos for over 6 years now.
  • Use natural hair care or homemade product for over 6 years.
  • Vitamins off and on
  • Diet- watch what I eat, low carb, no sugar, I stay away from a lot of wheat products
One last thing. I also read reviews where some people were saying they got acne so I'll keep you all informed with that too. Just for the record. I hardly ever get pimples. Maybe every few months one or two will pop up (like last week I had one on my chin). 

And I think that's it. So let the fun begin and we'll see if It Works! (haha, pun intended). I hope it does I really, really, would like to have my hair a few inches longer.

FYI: Pictures taken Tuesday the 21st ~2016 around noon give or take 15 minutes. I'm going to try and take pics weekly around the same time. Washing my hair using MM and not putting anything (other than a bit of Blood of the Dragon (watered down in a spritz bottle) Gel.

I'll take a few more pictures tomorrow too. Maybe a side profile (but I don't like my chin, ack) and one without my headband. I just noticed while adding the pictures that I'm wearing a headband. Yikes, do you think that's an issue?

P.S. I'll also keep a journal of how Morrocco Method is working for me. 

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Figuring Out 8th Grade for Ethan

I'm still trying to figure out 8th grade for Ethan. Here is what I have so far (I know, I know, I should have this down by now, bwahahaha).

History: Uncle Sam
Writing & Grammar: ACE English  
Spelling & Vocabulary: Word Hunt  and  Word Building
Science: Let the Rocks Cry Out by Queen Homeschool
Reading: (aff) Reading Time by The Thinking Tree
Extras: How to Make Money (aff, link) about 2x a week

I also have Writing Essentials that I wanted him to finish but am not sure because ACE includes writing so that is up in the air. Twice a week I'd love to add some fun creative writing using Story Starters.

I'd also love, love to include the Thinking Tree's Timeline of World History but am not sure if that would be too much considering my boys are allergic to school even if it's Fun-Schooling (sigh).

This year its been fun with having the boys use their Thinking Tree journals. I'd love for them to use (aff) Travel Dreams this year as well but knowing my boys ~I'd have to do a lot of it with them. They are so unmotivated when it comes to anything not related to LEGO, Minecraft, or video games. I have a hard time just getting them to read! It's really quite sad for this book addicted mama.

Since my boy love minecraft I thought I'd try Make Mods Make Codes. My thought is might as well have him learn as he plays.

I thought Uncle Sam would be a great ending to his Jr. High School years because the first two years of high school are usually about world history and geography.

For years I have thought about using ACE but because people are always saying it's not challenging or it's just filling in the blanks I've always shied away from it BUT this year I'm going to take the plunge and get it for some subjects with Ethan. If it will get done than I'm good with that.

With science I wanted something a bit more Charlotte Mason-ish and fun. Ethan is not one to go research on his own or dig deeper so he needs something that will guide him.

Travel Through the Bible looks like a good program for Ethan. He is in AWANA but to tell you the truth he is not memorizing like he should and not digging deeper into the Word. I know I could use it to sit with him and make it a Bible program. I really lke how Travel Through the Bible goes into how our attitudes affects others, following the example of wise men, understanding freedom and responsibility and so forth. I might use this with Lance at the same time.

With the assigned literature that goes with Uncle Sam, I want Ethan to record what he read in his (aff) Reading Time journal.

How to Make Money is not only a great way to understanding professions but will get his mind understanding them and prayfully help him figure ouit what he wants to do. I love that he'll learn about different jobs. I also like that he will have to research too!

Math Genius will be fun. I have a few other fun supplemental books that I want to get but will wait. My main focus is having him do 40 minuts of CTC Math (his main math program) and twice a week Are You a Math Genius?

That's what I'm thinking I'll use for Ethan. 

I plan to not review as many products this coming year so maybe I'll have more time to write about our school days. Now that the kiddos are getting older it's also getting harder to take pictures of them and lately I haven't had time to just sit and write what they do. It takes a good hour or two to get a blog post done about their school day. 

Friday, June 17, 2016

Morrocco Method for Hair, Scalp, and Face

Oh my word, is all I can say about using Morrocco Method Zen Detox on my face and hair/scalp. Last week I did a hair/scalp mask and put some on my face too. All I can say is this stuff is amazing!!!
Morrocco Method
My hair feels so soft and so does my face. The main ingredient is volcanic ash. Millions of years old or as I like to think flood old. I am not a believer of the millions of years old theory. My thinking is, maybe it's the ash from the flood.

I am not an affiliate nor was I given a review sample, I'm just a happy customer.

Once I did the Zen Detox on my face I'm not kidding, my face is the softest its ever been (since babyhood I'm sure). I splurged and purchased their new Feng Shea Facial Scrub. They sell this in a trial size-ish for $5.95 and regular 8oz size for $19. Knowing the quality of Morrocco Method's products I went ahead and ordered the regular size and LOVE it. I use this at night and their shampoo to clean my face in the morning.

Ever since I did the Zen Detox and have been using the facial scrub my face has been so soft. I normally put some sort of moisturizer whether it be an oil combination from Hopewell Essential Oils or any other natural cream, I haven't used any. I don't know if this is good or bad, haha but the detox/facial combo has been amazing with keeping my skin soft and moisturized too! It's weird. I'll have to post an update in a month or so to see what's going on with the whole moisturizer thing.
Morrocco Method
I normally wouldn't spend so much on my hair with the Zen Detox. $19 for a 4oz container is A LOT (to this mama of 6) but with that said, I'm glad I did get it. With my medium length and curly hair I'm able to get 3 uses out of it. But the reason I bought it is because I'm having scalp issues that I don't really want to write about to the whole world just yet. My dermatologist prescribed a shampoo that cost $100 out of pocket so instead of buying that I'm trying the Morrocco Method (my excuse to try some of their products that I couldn't 'afford' before, my weird way of saying it's "okay" to spend the money).

I'm going the whole mile with Morrocco Method. I purchased the Floating Lotus Conditioner, Blood of the Dragon Gel that can be used as hairspray too, and the Travel Size Shampoos that I rotate. Each time I shampoo my hair I use one of the shampoos -eventually using all five.
Morrocco Method
The shampoos are concentrated so I do a 1:1 ratio with water & shampoo, but might increase it to two parts water and one part shampoo for more distribution. When using all natural shampoo there is no suds so it feels like it's not all over the hair and scalp. I haven't used grocery store products on my hair in years so I'm pretty use to the no suds.

With the conditioner I also do a 1:1 ration with water. I do this again, to make it easier to distribute through my hair. I also use a wide tooth comb and comb it through. When I'm paying what I consider a lot of $$$ I want to make sure I'm not wasting any of it so by adding water it's easier to spread and I feel like I'm getting full hair and scalp coverage ~ otherwise I'd go through the conditioner way too fast.

Another thing I'm doing is I purchased a ~aff bamboo brush. I love, love, the boar brushes but I don't have the time to first use a wide tooth comb to brush out tangles (20+ minutes) then flip my hair upside down and brush (using a boar brush)my hair from the nape of my neck down to push all those good natural oils through my hair (30+ minutes), then flip my hair back up and brush (20 minutes) and repeat three times a day. Nope! Not going to happen.
The boar bristle didn't get the tangles out and are not made to detangle hair. My hubby continues to use an all boar brush from Morrocco Method.I now use a ~aff wood paddle brush. Before purchasing the bamboo wood brush- because the boar brush wasn't working for me, I was only brushing my hair in the shower with a plastic wide tooth comb. My scalp wasn't being massaged. I knew it needed to be but NOT with the boar brush.

So after a year of not 'brushing' my hair (other than in the shower) I finally bought a bamboo brush. It works great. My scalp is now being massaged at least once a day if not every other day. I love my bamboo brush. In fact I purchased ~aff smaller ones for each of my boys, they have thick hair. These work much better for them as well.

Lastly I'm taking It Works ~Skin, Hair, and Nails. My friend Michelle sells these and I'm using the loyal friends club, taking the 90 day challenge. Basically I take a picture of my hair before taking It Works ~Skin, Hair, and Nails, and an after picture so stay tuned for that =)

I'll give you all my honest review (yes, I'm paying for a three month supply) after the three months. Praying for good results :) I've always wanted my hair a bit longer than what it is now which is a little below the shoulder.
Morrocco Method
And of course I'm eating the best I can afford. I eat lots of gelatin. I stay away from processed foods (not saying I NEVER eat it but compared to the average SAD diet eater it's a huge difference). I stay away from dyes and chemicals in my food (again as much as I can, not 100% but I can say this week I haven't had anything with dyes. I did eat a non organic apple so pesticides there but I do wash my fruits & veggies).

I'm praying with the Morrcco Method shampoos & conditioners and the detox along with the vitamins and good food ~that my scalp issues will go away.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Thinking Tree Journals and Flashcards

Do you own lots and lots of cards like flashcards or have some leftover from a lost card game? You hate to throw them out because they have useful information but are not sure WHAT to do with them?

Got maps! Particular the U.S.A maps with tidbits of information about a state or country?

Do you want the kids to keep on learning through summer break (homeschooling or not) BUT don't want it to "look" so much like school? Or do a lighter load over the summer.
Use Flashcards with Thinking Tree Journals
Well dust of those flashcards and get the maps out. Here is another way (and you don't even have to purchase anything) to use the Thinking Tree journals.

Use the cards in place of books. Have your child use the cards for Spelling Time, Reading Time, and Nature Study pages.

Have nature cards, use them on hot summer days instead of having your child go outside. Depending on his age and abilities he can draw and write about nature from one of the cards

Use Flashcards with Thinking Tree Journals

Write a Story About Something that Really Happened, use your history cards. It really happened. Maybe not to you but it did happen (smile & wink).
Use Flashcards with Thinking Tree Journals
Have your child read the back of the card and summarize it!

Copywork, gotcha covered there too with some cards.
Use Flashcards with Thinking Tree Journals

Creative Writing page, done!
Use Flashcards with Thinking Tree Journals
Have your child pick a picture card and write about it. Make up a story and illustrate it.

Reading Time Page: have your child select four cards and write, illustrate, and/or draw what they read.
Use Flashcards with Thinking Tree Journals

So find all those old flashcards and have your child start using them with their Summer Thinking Tree journal (or any journal).

Watch my 3 minute video ~sorry about the mad woman look, hehe.
To see more Thinking Tree videos visit my YouTube page and/or click on Thinking Tree Videos to read/see more ideas here on my blog. The videos I try to keep short so my written post usually have more information. 

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Growing Up & Growing Older

Can I be real with y'all right now? Like no judging real? I'm having a hard time letting my babies grow up. Not hard has in letting them spread their wings. I mean in my heart. This is emotionally heart-hurt if that helps you understand.
If you would have told me (an moms did) when I had six kids under the age of 6 that they grow up so fast I wouldn't have believed you (didn't believe). With so much wonderful chaos going on with diapers, poopy all over the crib, things being flushed down the toilet, and the running around like a mad woman aka. loving mama, just trying to keep her kids safe! I didn't always stop to smell the poop, I mean flowers. 
Looking back, and I can't get caught up in this because it can rob me of joy, joy that I need today with my kids now =) - but looking back I can see many areas that I'd do so differently. I'm not going to dwell on that because I can't. It's too much. But every-so-often I do then I have to tell myself to get-over-it and see all that I did do like stay up all night with my babies. How I took the time to play with them and make them laugh. The times that we chased each other with the water-hose. The times that we just laughed because someone snorted.
I guess I'm just missing the littleness of my kiddos. With Joshua graduating this year and knowing the whole dynamics of our home will be changing because of it. I have more children in high school than grade school now. 
Knowing that one after another (stair-step kids) they will be graduating and finding their place in the world is not easy on this mama. I'm there for them, not holding them back, letting them make their mistakes but like I said, it's hard stepping back and letting them be who God wants them to be, allowing them to grow up. It's so easy to shelter and make all the decisions for them but I know that's not how God intended it to be.

And can I be even more real. The past two years have been really, really, hard for this over 40 year old mama! My heartaches to hold onto my children. I see my life zooming so fast. In the light of eternity it's a little speck of time I know. I look into the mirror and see an older woman now. One that can no longer bear children. I'm starting a whole new chapter too. I'm growing up or should I say older :)
I need to embrace this new woman and it's hard at times. I want to be young again -chasing toddlers. Again I know I must not dwell on this. I can't go back  to those days. Slowly I'm embracing my 40's. I'm almost half way through them and I'm ashamed for wasting that time wanting something I can't have. 

I'm thankful for a super hubby. He's always telling me how beautiful I am and that we are growing older together. He loves each new gray hair, extra roll (lol), and what gravity has done to my body, haha. He's truly encouraging and huge support to me during this time for me (crazy hormonal woman!). Sometimes I do believe he got the short end of the stick as they say. 
I'm thankful for the wonderful relationship we have. Lupe still dates me. He takes me out every Saturday. He still opens doors for me (except through the toddler years when we had three car seats going). He treats me like a queen, even though we've been married for almost 20 years. He still calls me his delicate butterfly.

Most of all, I'm so grateful that my Sweets loves the Lord. He's a true blessing. Thank you Jesus for my hubby. My children will grow up and move away but my Sweets will be here still, loving me through the hardness of letting my babies go. His shoulder will be the one I cry on as we wave our last goodbye (not forever goodbye, just they are leaving the house goodbye).

Currently I'm so happy I still have kids at home so I really need to get off this computer and go tend to them while they're here. Loving that they still like hanging out with there mama playing Bananagrams and having read aloud times. 

Thank you Jesus for my hubby, my babies, my life!
They are growing up!

 I'm growing older.
 With the LOVE of my life =)

 So thankful for my little ones who are not so little anymore.
I'll survive because of my Jesus & my beloved. 

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