Sunday, December 15, 2013

The Unfocused Life

I do have another post coming... the birth story of my twinkles... but before I forget... :)

Really, that's the point of this post. The quirky, unfocused, extremely intelligent, creative, quick to be bored, life of ADHD. Having recently been diagnosed with ADHD (mostly inattentive type), I thought that it would be good to share some helpful links to information on Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

I should probably share how I came upon realizing I had ADHD, but I don't want to make this post too long. I really want this post to be about the science of ADHD, resources, and things you might find helpful to learn if you know someone with ADHD, or have wondered if have it yourself.

Side note: The technical diagnosis is ADHD. You can have inattentive type or hyperactivity, or both - but they are both ADHD. Some people who don't have the hyperactivity will be termed ADD indicating the difference. The reality is that the H is for the hyperactivity of your brain. Our brains move so incredibly fast, it would make the neurotypical person crazy. And it often makes those of us who suffer with it, feel like we really are. - a 5 minute video summing up ADHD for the neurotypical person who needs to understand what their loved one deals with on a daily basis. CHADD is an organizing for Children and Adults with AD/HD. Their mission statement is: "CHADD improves the lives of people affected by ADHD." - I have found some {short} helpful articles on this website.

Book: You Mean I Am Not Lazy, Stupid, or Crazy?!: A Self Help Book for Adults with Attention Deficit Disorder Kate Kelly and Peggy Ramundo

This is the book I am currently reading... well, one of the 6 books I am currently reading. It's very good and it includes many character sketches just to show you that ADHD comes in all shapes and sizes. I found myself in a few of them. One of them was the "It's better to be bad, than stupid" - which is exactly how I was as a teenager. The other was "the perfectionist" which is exactly how I am now. "If it can't be perfect, it shouldn't be done"...and most of the time, isn't.

It is very likely that if you are familiar with ADHD that you knew I was before I did. :) I really do want to post the background story as to how I feel like the Lord opened my eyes on this issues almost 3 years ago. Like many things, it has been a grieving process and I have had to learn to accept limitations that I have tried all my life to get around or hide.

If you are someone that doesn't believe that ADHD is a true medical issue, I encourage you to research. They have documented brain scans of the differences in brain function and if you've ever had coffee with me at 10pm and wondered how I could fall right to sleep afterward, there's your answer.

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Thursday, November 21, 2013

My {enough} quotient

Before the twins were born I started a class on Big Picture Classes by Stacy Julian - Finding Photo Freedom. I had purchased the book years prior, but had trouble converting the ideas into my digital scrapbooking life. She only offers the class every 2 years, so when the opportunity arose, I banded together with my good friend Brandi and we took the class together - spurring each other on.

Well, as things usually go for me, I got stuck and sidetracked and then the twins arrived. I didn't finish the class. You aren't surprised, are you? Well, I decided to restart the class recently and one of the first things we are to do is come up with our Enough Quotient.

Stacy quotes Jennifer Louden in the handout that she gave us to describe what she wanted us to do. I know nothing about this Ms. Louden, honestly, but these are true, smack-you-upside-the-head words right here.

"Not declaring satisfaction or "enoughness" is underneath all the shoulds and have tos and draining comparisons that are exhausting you." 
Jennifer Louden

We were supposed to come up with some realistic scrapbooking goals based on our current life situations, schedules, and demands. Well, with twins, 6 other children, homeschooling, yadda, yadda, yadda, you can imagine how much time I have for scrapbooking. Stacy describes scrapbooking as anything you are doing with your photos. That means you can count blogging, posting a picture on facebook, texting your teenager, organizing and tagging your photos, or the actual act of putting pixels to paper (digital paper, in my case) as "scrapbooking".

Here is how I am defining my "enoughness" for scrapbooking right now:


  • upload photos to Memory Manager 4.0/Historian
  • Spend 100 minutes organizing photos (may cut this down)
  • Make 2-4 layouts
  • blog including a layout with my post


  • 8 layouts
  • 1 Pixels2Pages challenge
  • upload to Flickr
  • Craft/Scrapbooking night

So all this thinking about Ms. Louden's quote got me to thinking about the rest of my life. The non-scrapbooking stuff. I started realizing how stuck I get because so much stuff in my life I compare to others. I never seem to measure up. Not based on anyone else's spoken opinions of me, but because of my opinion of myself. My lack of "enoughness" gets me in a yucky place where I can do nothing. So I'm either striving too much or doing nothing at all. This isn't what Christ came to earth to do for me. He came to set me free of that junk. Why do I let it hold me back?

I created this layout based on those thoughts and feelings. It is sort of an art journal-y type thing. The kit is from Jennifer Fehr. The journaling is included below. I'm putting myself out here a bit - in hopes that someone else may be able to benefit and see their worth in Christ is already said and done. He is enough. If you are His, you are enough, too.

{While working on my Finding Photo Freedom class I had to come up with an {enough} quotient, which related to how much scrapbooking I wanted to do to feel successful. That started me to thinking about all kinds of other ways where I can find my enough quotient. I realized how much the idea of"enough" really affects me overall. Though Christ has died to set me free from guilt and shame, I feel guilty and am constantly comparing myself to others in so many ways. From homeschool methods and curriculum to how I dress and how behind I am on laundry; never measuring up. But I realize because of Christ's blood shed for me, He declared I am enough.}

I am working on some other "enoughness" goals in homeschool and homemaking. Example: it is enough that my teaching the kids doesn't have be manifest in the 3 R's. I can teach by doing and being and by what Christ is doing in my life. I can teach random or planned non-essential lessons and fun times. I can teach life. I can delegate some teaching responsibilities to Bob Jones DVDs. It is enough that I cook mostly homemade food from scratch. It is enough to do 8 loads of laundry per week. My children will not die pulling clean clothes out of the laundry basket. It is enough to have a mostly decluttered home. 

Still working on all these areas, trying not to get stuck in the feeling of never being/doing signature

Friday, November 15, 2013

Hello and Goodbye

I think it's safe to say that I'm great at writing on my blog... as long as it is only required once or twice a year.

Over the next few weeks I hope to update my blog with just an inkling of what has happened in our lives over the last 8 months, since my last post. Hello.

For now, say "hello" to my little twinkles - Hope and Faith.

They arrived on my birthday, April 4th, surgery free! Praise the Lord!

In this picture, we have no clue who is who. My knee-jerk reaction is that Faith is on the left and Hope, on the right. But you can see the baby on the left has her bracelet showing and we are unsure if they both still had their bracelets at this time. Hope lost her bracelet last. So... who knows? :)

Noelle, Hope and Faith, or Faith and Hope - who knows?

On September 14, 2013, we said "goodbye" to one of the most wonderful men to ever walk this earth, my Daddy. This is one of the very last pictures we have him, and the last one of us all together. My mom isn't in it because she is behind the camera. And we almost didn't get this one, but my mom made him. I will treasure it forever.

My Daddy (age 60), my big 'ole family

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Sunday, March 17, 2013

They are almost here...

I'd say that this post is LONG overdue. Jimminy Cricket - you couldn't have convinced me that it had been almost 5 months since my last post and a full 5 months since my last post about the twins. And everyone knows that it is almost impossible for me to keep anything short and sweet, as much as I try. But, I'm all for trying again, so here goes:

August - Found out we were expecting baby #9, felt excited and uneasy at the same time.

September - Found out we were expecting babies #9 & 10 - absolute miracle - we serve an amazing God Who can do above and beyond all we think or imagine

September - early November - Sick as a dog, day and night - a full 17 weeks of "morning" sickness that is way worse at night, but happy to be puking, even though it used to be one of my worst fears.

November - Find out that we are having 2 girls! Names are picked: Hope Ann & Faith Emilie; Hope & Faith

December - Somewhat of a reality sets in that we may actually get to hold these two babies and I decide that we need to make some changes around home so that I can get off my feet more. Stories of early labor for new moms and seasoned moms put me on guard and I really slow down and limit activity (or so I thought).

Noelle turns 2 - already!

January/February - We start a major renovation on the middle room of our home. Water heater had caused a lot of damage. Room was gutted.

Baby A (Hope) still had not moved head down and I start anticipating and preparing myself for a Cesarean delivery.

Christian turns 17 - man, this is flying by too fast!

February/March - Doctors visit and sono revealed a couple of things: Baby A had turned head down (PRAISE THE LORD) and I had start dilating and having contractions. Doctor admits me to hospital for observation and next day sends me home for modified bedrest. Modified bedrest basically looks similar to what I had been doing, but a little more stringent.

Christian (17) professes Christ as Savior in a real and dynamic way and we see the fruit of salvation in his life!

Landon turns 7 - already!

By God's grace, I overcome my fear of returning to Branson, Missouri, where our baby died. We are actually planning our next trip for October 2013!

March - While I thought reality had set in, it hadn't. Everyday I find myself going "Oh my goodness, we are going to have 2 babies at the same time!" Wow. So excited and the only things that I'm a bit nervous about: nesting from bed; nursing two babies at once. I just can't wait until they are here.

Baby B (Faith moves head down to be face to face with her sister).

Christian (17) gets his driver's license. Ack.

Middle bedroom renovation is finished Paige and Noelle are back in their beautiful new room. Pete and Christian did an amazing job and I'm so proud of all they accomplished. They had little experience but learned and trudged through and walked away going "wow, this is cool."

Wire shorts out in the wall behind where the girls were sleeping and a new project must be started. Pete starts tearing out the wall and prepares to replace wire. Temporary patch will have to work on wall replacement.

My Mom and Sister threw a beautiful baby shower for me and the girls. We were so blessed by our family and friends. Like a regular baby shower times 2! As we got everything home I wondered "where are the babies going to fit."

My original due date was April 19th. My fairly conservative doctor would like me to deliver sometime before 39 weeks. Almost 3 weeks ago, the babies were averaging 5 lb each. Baby A (Hope) was 5lb.1oz. and Baby B (Faith) was 4 lb. 12 oz. I have another Rate of Growth sono this Thursday, so we will get to see their approximate weights then. At this point I have gained 31 lb. total this pregnancy. I easily gain at least 50 with a singleton pregnancy but it has been nearly impossible to gain more with twins. As soon as I eat, they take it up and use it. I have now gotten to the point where it's just hard to eat much at all. I drink a lot of smoothies.

My hope is to make it past March 31st, Easter. Christian is being baptized upon his recent profession of salvation and I really want to be there! It is very very important to me to be there and the Lord knows the desires of my heart. April 1st would be perfect for having twins, I think. :D If they don't come on their own, we are considering induction between April 8th and 12th. I'm 35 weeks now!

Brason is about to turn 9!

And I'll take that opportunity to stop myself. I realize that this post has been mostly about the Twincesses but that has honestly been a lot of our life for the last many months. I feel very peaceful about where we are right now. I'm grateful to the Lord for placing us here and for all the things that transpired along the way as part of His plan. I'm so thankful to Him for putting the friends and family in our life that He has, to support and encourage us along the way. This road has been a new one in so many ways; every turn has been an area of trust to give to Him daily. I confess that I have doubted at times and wondered what is going on, but I know that I can fully trust my Lord and Savior and Friend. He absolutely has covered me and the other 9 of us!

5 weeks
34 weeks


I'll be turning 36!

Aiden will be turning 5 - not kidding!

Who else will we add to April?

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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Amazing website and giveaway

There is a huge giveaway over at The Modest Mom's blog. She has a whole new website, Deborah & Co. named after her mom. I thought that was really really sweet. Paige and I are loving looking at all the giveaway items because I haven't heard of a bunch of these companies. Since we are on this serious debt reduction plan, I can't really spend any more money, so I really hope I win - or Paige wins so we can share. :)
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Saturday, October 13, 2012

Video: Recipe Binder

I took this video a while back for a dear friend. I couldn't send it to her, it was too big. So I'm posting it here. Maybe it will be a help to you.

Update: I am going to have to replace all the dividers because the tabs keep falling out. All of them. Kinda frustrating.

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Friday, October 12, 2012

Walk to Remember 2012

I have a lot of pictures, because there isn't a whole lot to say. At least not words that I can muster up.

In 1988 President Ronald Reagan declared October to be Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. Not that it was to be a month of collecting money to find cures. The reasons for losing babies in the womb and soon after are endless. The awareness is in the fact that these babies are loved and remembered by their families and friends. It's a time to reflect on their short lives and what they mean to us and how they changed us forever.

MEND (Mothers Enduring Neonatal Death) is an organization for families who have been or are going through these exact circumstances. It's a Christian non-profit group based mostly in Texas, though it seems they are growing, and they are on facebook for support. This event was sponsored by MEND and paid for by many businesses in the area. I didn't realize it, but they did one in Dallas and Houston on the same day. This was the 16th annual Walk to Remember in Dallas and the first time we have ever been involved.

Captions below photos to explain the progression of the afternoon.

Me (Mama) & the most amazing husband (Big P)
after check-in. 

Mom, C (16), Big P, P (13), B (8) below P, Kimbo, Brady (my BIL),
L (6), N (21 months), A (4), J (in the carrier, my nephew - 2 weeks)

There was a walk from the church to the field. Firemen in kilts
played drums and bag pipes. It was beautiful.

Some of the kiddos.

Daddy and N

Kimbo & Mom (we were freezing. The temp
had dropped and it was so windy.)

Each family received an ornament for each child they
had lost. One for our baby born/died April 6, 2007 and one for
Jaron born/died May 17, 2012. The walk was held 2 days
after Jaron's due date, which was October 4.

Every baby's name was called and each family got up to hang
their ornaments on this tree. The tree was covered with ornaments
as far up as people could reach. Most families who had lost multiple
children strung the ornaments onto each other and hung one
on the tree branch. It was beautiful and sad. 

Nicole Sponberg of Selah came and sang a couple of songs and spoke. 
She lost her son at 2 1/2 months (I think diagnosis was SIDS). She shared her story with all of us.

We then prepared for a balloon release. I think 1400 balloons were
filled in preparation of this event. Blue for boys, pink for girls, and white
if you did not know the gender of the baby. Each of our family
members got 1 blue and 1 white balloon to release. Some of
us wrote the babies name on the balloon and a little message.

Then we let them go. It was one of the most amazing silent statements
I have ever heard in my life. Our babies are loved and remembered.

We were near the airport, but this is where they have been doing
the celebration for years, so I guess it was okay.

There were many tears and smiles. It couldn't be helped.
I miss the babies I will never hold again, but will one day see.

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