Picket Fence Blogs

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

My thoughts on April 1st, 2014- stability- what does that mean to you?

April is here. Hello 2nd Quarter of 2014! I have had a lot of comments from my kids lately about the amount I work and how I work... and I thought, "yes" the majority of your working adult life should be when you are healthiest and busiest in your 30's. I spent my 20's working outside the home,harder than I do now, to not get very far ahead... 'I be smarter now' so my 30's have been more productive. I appreciate more fully the things that really matter. I know how to help others. 2 of my kids in the past week have friends who wish their mom's could work from home like I do (so they could homeschool)... I told them it was not one and the same and then realized- well, it is. Who gets to work and be with their kids everyday. At every activity I choose & have incredibly 'spoiled' children who know what it is to have mom available. I am building a retirment income in an unstable economy with my 8 children and I take care of other children who I am enjoying also. Hopefully we are a blessing to them all as I have so many blessings in my life. I hope I am teaching them what a WORK ETHIC is! And how you balance family and work wisely!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Patience ? Fortitude while waiting at almost 42 weeks pregnant!

Do you ever wonder why it is so easy to worry, wonder and create more stress? While it can be SO difficult to relax, let life go and trust all will be ok... I DO! I love to listen to others and be calm and thoughtful as to why we don't need to have all the answers yet. But when it comes to our own family life it is more difficult to step back and breathe right away. Be at peace. My continual coaching of self through this 41st week of pregnancy has been...breathe... Enjoy this time. Because last week I was an internal waiting wreck! I was sure that this baby was a July 2nd baby.... and here we are 17 days later. Healthy, active, outwardly calm....wondering what lesson in life we are to be learning. While variance in Estimated Due Date is normal, perfectly normal... for me it has always been very accurate. Hence, I have not felt out of control at that time. Waiting with others waiting on me is probably one of my weakest moments. I stress about everyone else's emotions, needs, lives. They shouldn't be waiting for me! I think of how annoying or troublesome waiting for me is. I think they must need to be able to move on completely and get on with their own life. My last child was born via a C-Section after 2 and 1/2 days at home with people around (yes, waiting for me)and another day waiting for my labor to progress in hospital without endangering baby.... and I felt worse for all wondering than myself. I felt like I was letting others down and disrupting lives. It is rarely about me. Do you think I need more ability to let go? I must not realize what 'Letting GO and Letting God' really entails. My prayers have definitely become more calm and more trusting in this last week. My understanding that baby is just not that ready and I needed that visit time with this little one inside has been a journey. I have friends who are calling, texting, or assuming they have just not been notified. I have friends who are afraid to ask if something went dreadfully wrong. The first week of July to now has been an eye opener for me of research. Much, much more pregnancy and baby knowledge that I never had at my fingertips. I had an internal fight to make sure I am making best medical decisions by not inducing yet. Then I had to be ready to back up my decision with sincere knowledge and not emotion. My instinctive mother heart is STRONG. I do know best for child and myself. BUT, I also know nothing!! HAHA! Absolutely nothing is in my control, or has to be in this beautiful natural process of motherhood. My experiences have made me who I am. Have surrounded me with incredible friends, family, support teams who are intelligent and self aware individuals! WHAT A BLESSING! To see in this experience the quality of people I have surrounded myself with by love and choice. To be able to be thankful that my impatient children speak more and more often to their unborn sibling...and offer words of love, encouragement, excitement. That my 5 year old Knute comes up and kisses his sibling through my belly many more times a day than he was. The human experience of deep love with no return. They cherish this baby they cannot wait to meet... I hadn't noticed how much more precious each day waiting has made this child seem to us! What a gift in my personal growth I can see and feel today! Who knows what wonderful lessons await us all when we can just breathe and let life unfold beautifully, magically around us...complete with all its wrinkles, pains and joys! Be Well and Be Blessed today!

Friday, June 7, 2013

'My Chaplain Cousin' Fr. David's blog from Kuwait

http://soldierofchrist.net/ I thought it would be neat to share this blog. One of my favorite cousins, who I worried about when he was a soldier during Desert Storm and really admire tremendously, is now a priest. Recently a chaplain...and now deployed, he is so talented as an artist and a comedian. I remember when he was accomplishing earning a degree to teach (art and history). Oh, how I cherish memories of him making us all fall off our chairs laughing at him and his brothers as they entertained us until laughing was painful... I hope you enjoy what he has to share as we try to pay tribute to all soldiers all over the world.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

COCONUT OIL, Weigh in on the latest

So I would like to have opinions on this hype over coconut oil. Now don't get me wrong; I love coconut milk, fresh coconuts and all else coconut. But I have learned over the years that since coconut is high in saturated fats and when processed trans fats...I use in moderation. Also if you have a beautiful pure white product as opposed to 'natural-looking' brown...did you know it has been refined, purified and bleached? Is that a necessary part of creating a viable marketable product? Is anyone weighing in on the long term effects of those processes? Also if the very good for you lineolic acid in coconut is effective enough for cholesterol levels (lowers the bad numbers) to counteract something over 90% saturated as a main source of oil. I believe firmly in using what is available or what you can glean, in MODERATION! I am a bit annoyed that every new fad is just amazing or irreplaceable or scary without scientific facts because anything can be written and published online now. It is difficult to sort the fact and fiction, but researching better ways is such a drive of mine that I spend many late hours separating studies, medical journals and personnel ! PLEASE DO respond with some tips, suggestions, opinions?

Friday, May 10, 2013

Saving HOPE in our Falling Economy

I hope you have not been too affected by this landslide of depleting funds, but if you have there is HOPE. We choose our attitude and our work ethic! I have found these two things go far. After watching our traditional business sales fall by almost 25% for a 5th year in a row by 2012, I could see the crunch. Most importantly I could FEEL in my heart the pain of other's who couldn't afford to have necessary work done for their homes and were being forced to sell or return their dreams to the bank, or reach out for public assistance which is incredibly painful for anyone not used to that humbling reality. Back to square one into someone else's small rental to begin again, IF they still had employment. We watched numerous families choose to work by splitting their families apart to find work many states away. We started to feel the need and spent time separated and missing out on family events together as my spouse began to stretch his work area farther and farther from home. Diversification of what we do and how much he was willing to work became part of our lives. It is a time when you want to be involved in all your children's sports and achievements not stuck to the grindstone to work harder not to lose all that you have already worked SO HARD for. As soon as sales started to fall we took some essential safeguarding steps and I would like to share them in case we can help you. 1) We CUT OUT luxuries of every kind. 2) We limited trips to save on fuel. 3) We simply decided to do without any processed food and I went back to cooking from scratch. We grabbed a chunk of money and invested in farm raised beef burger bulk to have a store in the freezer. Then I made sure we only used 1 pound per ground beef meal for a family of 8. We stretched to smaller meals, therefore healthier portions and made do with the healthier snacks of bottling our own water for trips and slicing our own cheese instead of cheese sticks on the road. Something we have always done is used the grocery store for a loaf of bread and simple sandwich makings instead of a restaurant stop. If we have to eat out, we all have a simple dollar item on the fast food menu, hopefully they have a grilled wrap with veggies for my sake! 4) We switched our shopping to safer eco friendly household consumer goods from one store, with an organized system to buy only what we needed, one stop shop a month online to save fuel, time, energy and healthcare costs. (This actually resulted in more savings and health benefits and a new income; better switch than we ever imagined.) We took on more jobs and as a family on evenings and weekends built more product at the family business to sell. We saved and began paying off the smallest debt we had and then the next, and then the next. We were determined to get rid of any payments that were difficult to make. Fast forward and we just earned a Financial Freedom Award for ridding ourselves of all our credit card debt! Our hard work has paid off. We have survived and even prospered when many are looking at a bleak reality of loss. Please have hope and feel free to ask if you would like tips on our system. One crucial element was knowing some of these principles and then reading more from Dave Ramsey. He is very knowledgeable, an expert in his field and you can find him online easily. HAVE HOPE!!! It is the tough times that build character to persevere in us if we choose to be open to change and adjustments from our usual.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Eliminate a bit of stress!

Building your routines and a basic weekly plan will help a long way in getting rid of some of these problems that we create for ourselves. Major issues in everyone's stressful lives are money and paperwork. I can direct you to tools to help you handle wisely what you do have. Overwhelming piles of paper often control our attitude and keep us from being productive. You need just a few minutes on one day a week set aside to pay your bill. Do you have trouble getting to the bill paying even when you have the money? It is called procrastination. Schedule an appointed time to sit down and do them. In order to pay a bill you have to be able to find it. I have an INBOX. You need it by your checkbook, stamps, envelopes and THE ONLY MAIL that goes in it are bills TO BE PAID! When you bring the mail in the house...Open it up immediately; don't set it down thinking you will get to it later! Get rid of the junk mail IMMEDIATELY! Put bills to pay into the INBOX. Then when your bill day (mine is Friday) comes, you will know where they are and that is one less frustrating step that you have to take to pay them. Schedule the day and time into your schedule right now when you are going to sit down with these! Give yourself one half of an hour. On your day sit down and take care of that inbox. Put the stamped, addressed outgoing into the OUTBOX, or take them straight to the mail. ONLY ALLOW outgoing mail in this spot. This becomes routine, a basic weekly plan, taking care of one thing regularly. I know this sounds kind of simple but it really is. You will begin to feel a sense of accomplishment and some of your stress will go away! Your bills will always be paid. **If you have an extreme amount of bills then set aside two 20 minute times in your week. Just be sure to schedule them and stick to it. Here's to you!!