Thursday, May 10, 2012

One Year With A Stay At Home Mom

The following pictures probably for the next week ;) are from our trip last Saturday to the Siesta Key beach.  Do not fret Michael was out of our set up tent area for a short time, and yes we use plenty of sunscreen.  Just so I don't have any worried readers :).

Oh and I found a great cheap way for beach entertainment.  Rather than buy lots of sets of beach toys that break in a couple of minutes.....I bought a couple of sets (with 9 children that is nothing) as well as plenty of cheap plastic bowl and cup sets!  It was great!!!  Plenty to go around, and since they do not cost a lot it was great for me too!  The kids loved scooping water from the ocean and running back to fill  up the containers. 
 So this week marks 1 year since I became a full time stay at home mom.....and my wonderful hubby started working with Meet The Need.  We literally had moved 3 times within a couple of months.  Filed our extra paperwork for our adoption tax credit....believing it would be soon that we would receive it (HA!).  And we moved into another monthly rental here in Tampa area that was 1,100 square feet.  Can we say a wee bit overwhelmed?
 Well, last July we finally got our money from the adoption tax credit- PRAISE THE LORD!  Then God found us a home that works for Jason's job, our family, and it has a salt water pool as a huge bonus!  AGAIN- PRAISE GOD!!!!!!!!!!
 So there were so many new things to learn as a stay at home mom on my own.  You see after college I became a band teacher - which I loved!  Then the Lord called Jason and I to full time ministry and I became a Camp Director at a Christian camp in Iowa.  Then after having a few children (foster care then adoption) we decided to move to Louisiana to another Christian Camp and Jason and I co-directed.  This meant that I was able to homeschool, but still worked part time....and a bit.  You know how ministry goes. 
 Then when we hit child number 8 ummm.....we started to rethink the whole thing.  You see we felt that God had said that we really needed to be true to HIM and the family that HE gave us.  So that is when we moved here closer to family and I became an official stay at home mom with daddy gone (before when he worked it was on camp property so he was never far away and we both worked in our home office a lot too which was very convenient). 
 BIG CHANGES!  Learning how to cook.  Ummm.....Jason did 90% of the cooking at the camp because well he was our head cook and he has the degree in catering- not me!  So I can honestly say I keep it pretty simple.  I would like to try some new things, but it is finding the time ;).  It is ok, but I am not a natural at it.  I like baking breads and cookies way more than cooking.  We do have a grill though and I LOVE IT!
 I have learned to coupon and bargain shop!  It is mostly pretty fun.  Sometimes there isn't time and I have had to accept that.  I want to express that I am NOT an extreme couponer.  I use limited amounts of coupons because I try my best to eat more healthy foods, but even with that there are lots of ways to save money.  I only cut coupons I am using or ones I lay on the grocery shelves  I go to a Christian based site that has all the shopping lists laid out - you click on what you want and they tell you what weeks the coupons are in.  So it takes limited time anyway :). 
 I have learned also that I LOVE BEING AT HOME FULL TIME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  The funny part is when we first got married....I was not excited about that thought.  I never thought I would want to.  I am not sure why??  A built in fear.  A wanting to be outside the home?  A doubt in my capabilities?  Probably all of the above. 
 This does NOT mean I am any where near perfect.  I still have so much to learn about being a good mommy.  About being a good wife.  About loving my family.  About serving them.  About loving and putting the Lord first.  So DO NOT think I have it all together- I don't!
 God has shown me sooo many things about myself and a lot of them are ugly :(.  I can be very selfish!  I can lose my cool.  I can be rude.  I want to be in control.  THANK GOD!  HE can change me....chip away at the things I need to change.  HE ALONE can bring me to be a better wife and mother!  I RELY ON HIM DAILY!!!!!  It is the ONLY way to get through! 
 I mean just look at all the inspiration I have to help me through!!!!!  :)  I want them to know HIM.  If that is my main goal (and it is) then I have to RELY on HIM and the HOLY SPIRIT to prompt me. 
 Jason and I look at our children and we are sometimes very overwhelmed.  What if we mess up?  What if we don't get it right?  Actually it is WHEN not what, but we also know this is what God has given us.  We know that although we are not the picture perfect family (even though our kids' photos are amazing!) God has given us a heart for foster care and adoption!
 We are able to show others that ordinary people can adopt.  Ordinary people can have large families.  Ordinary people can show the world love through making a difference in the life of a child.  It doesn't take a million dollars.  It takes YOU!
One year ago today we started our next journey.  It has been AMAZING!  It has been HARD!  It has been LIFE CHANGING!  It has been WONDERFUL!  It has been TOTALLY DIFFERENT!  PRAISE GOD WE FOLLOWED HIM!!!!!!

***If you have ever thought about staying at home with your children -  I would encourage you to pray about it.  I know not everyone can or wants to.  I also know it is a huge blessing too!  I do not criticize anyone who doesn't, but for those thinking about it wondering if you can.  PRAY!  Ask God to prompt your heart.  I know HE will guide you to where you need to be.  OR ask away any questions :)  I am happy to answer what I can.    


  1. I love hearing stories from moms who never thought they would be stay-at-home moms. I have never dreamed of anything other than staying home with my kiddos and am so thankful that the Lord has provided a way for my dream to be reality! What couponing site do you use? I have kinda burned out on couponing because it can take so much time.

  2. Wow, I can't believe it has already been a year. Time flies :)

  3. What a busy and full life you've got! Awesome family, too. Sometimes I fall into the trap of thinking that being busy at home isn't like being *really* busy, but the truth is, we're up to our elbows in work all day long, aren't we? And what amazing work! Happy coming-home anniversary!