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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

A New Life

I survived!! Just barely, but I made it through my first summer as a stay at home mom with four kids. Usually life hands you transitions one at a time or maybe even little ones, but for my household it has been a year of nothing but transitions and BIG ones at that!

For those that don't know our story let me fill you in just a little bit. Coming on a year this October we went from a household of 4 to one of 6. We had a 14 year old son and an 11 year old daughter, but we always felt like there was still something missing. As youth pastors at our local church we would see kids in need a lot and always say how we would love to bring them home with us. Eventually the phone calls from children's services did come asking us to give them a safe place for awhile, and we never hesitated. Our philosophy was always to show them love and give them a safe place to stay while they were with us. During this time we had never actually been certified foster parents, but had talked about it frequently. So somehow we decided to fit in the training that was needed ( which was a TON), between us both working full time and having 2 active kids, and we became foster/adoption parents. About a month later a little girl  who was 8 years old ( who is African American and from a larger city) was placed with us. So we became a bi-racial family. In this day and age you would think that it wouldn't be that big of deal, but there were some challenges. I had no idea how to fix her hair ( and she has so much of it), I didn't know there was special oil for her scalp, and not to mention the looks we received and the questions people would ask us! I should add that about a month after we got her the agency placed her 7 year old brother with us. It never failed to amaze us that people would ask us " Where did you get them from" LOL! Really?! Sometimes I would say things like Mars! Does it really matter?! To us they immediately became part of our family. Don't get me wrong there was a HUGE adjustment period ( we are still adjusting today). I had to quit my full time job in order to be available for appointments and emergencies. When your dealing with kids who have dealt with trauma there is also all of those issues you have to deal with. People sometimes have a hard time understanding that your life is one big roller coaster ride when your dealing with kids with RADs ( reactive attachment disorder) which is just their inability to form attachments with people. So while you have invested your whole heart into these kids, they usually don't feel the same. Talk about hard! That doesn't even begin to address the anger issues most kids have at being in foster care. However , even with all the negative things we deal with, the positive influence that we leave with a kid and more importantly what they teach us, far out weigh anything we go through. As we continue on our journey, we try to live keeping these words in mind " Today in this moment, I am to care for these children. I am to love them with no reserve.I am to focus on today and trust God for tomorrow and the next. I know that this lesson will be valuable later in life. Because aren't all children gifts from God that ultimately belong to him?


Thursday, May 16, 2013

Allergy and Asthma Tips

It's allergy time here again in Ohio and for those of you who have kids that suffer with them, you know how miserable it can be. Since May is National Allergy and Asthma Awareness Month I thought, what better time to share the tips I have learned over the years for allergy relief. Here in my house allergies run wild. We have a son with them and asthma so we are always looking for tips that will help with them so he can still have the busy normal life that most teenagers have. Over the years we have researched tips and so I am giving you some of the best ones that we found to help with relief.


Keep Pollen Under Control

To tame pollen, wash bedding every week in hot water. Wash your hair and shower before going to bed, since pollen can accumulate in hair.

Clean Every Surface

Wear a mask and gloves when cleaning, vacuuming, or painting to limit dust and chemical exposure. Vacuum twice a week.

Wash Rugs

Limit throw rugs to reduce dust and mold. If you do have rugs, make sure they are washable.

Keep Indoor Air Clean

Keep windows closed to reduce pollen entering the house. Change filters in air conditioning units and vents frequently this time of year.
While you are cleaning your house you may want to take into consideration that a lot of the cleaners we use, and yes me included, contain dangerous chemicals,such as volatile organic compounds (VOCs). These have been linked to asthma and other respiratory illnesses. They can be found in cleaning products like bleach,ammonia,floor cleaners,bathroom and tile cleaners,air fresheners and other household chemicals. 
After years of watching my son have asthma attacks and struggling to breath I will try absolutely anything to reduce his attacks, as I'm sure most parents would. Here are some of the "Green cleaning methods" we use so we don't have to spend anymore money than we have to.
Kitchens
While cooking, use exhaust fans to reduce cooking fumes and to limit moisture. Keep all food in sealed containers and dispose of expired, out of date items. Each week, floors should be mopped and cabinets, backsplashes, and appliances should be wiped down. Seasonally, wipe down the inside of refrigerators and utensil drawers. In all of these kitchen areas, baking soda is the best option for an all-purpose cleaner.
Living Areas
Use dust mite-proof covers for pillows, mattresses, and box springs and wash sheets and blankets regularly in 130° F water.  When vacuuming, be sure to use a closed-canister vacuum cleaner that has a HEPA filter. Things such as knickknacks and books that may collect dust should be removed from bookcases and shelves and wiped down thoroughly. Also keep windows closed during pollen season.
Bathrooms
Having an exhaust fan is an easy way to control the moisture in the bathroom when showering. Avoid using carpeting and opt for wood, tile, or linoleum floors instead. Avoid use of aerosol sprays such as hairspray or bathroom deodorizers. And, make your own natural and effective bathroom cleaner using a 50/50 vinegar and water mix or baking soda and water paste.

I hope you find this post helpful.




Thursday, January 3, 2013

Oh the Life of a Deer Hunter's Wife: Deer Camp

Well I know it's been a while since my last post, but with it being deer season and all someone had to pick up the slack around the house (just joking honey) lol. Anyway, being a new year always brings  new resolutions for people, and I have made one to write on my blog at least once a week about whatever I feel like saying ( yes that's a very scary thought).

So the subject I chose to write about tonight is about "Deer Camp". It has become a tradition at our house at the beginning of deer hunting season to watch the weirdest movie ever about a father and his sons tradition of deer camp. The movie is called Escanaba in da Moonlight, and it very well could be rated one of the craziest movies you will ever see! Anyway, back to my subject, deer camp comes around "usually" once a year. It's typically an event were a group of guys get together and head somewhere for days of nothing but deer hunting, or so they say! I personally have no problem with "Deer Camp" myself, and I will tell you why in just a bit. The days before the guys leave are filled with so much preparation, and I can tell you that your hunter will never put more time in being prepared for anything more than he will a hunting trip. This is such a momentous occasion that there is even an app for it! How do I know you ask? Because it's an app on my husbands phone! It's a whole check list of things they might need and all kinds of other things  to make sure they are well prepared. My husband, Chad, has gone to Deer Camp for many years and he LOVES every minute of it! Now ladies, it's very unusual that with the role we have in our lives, and I'm talking just about everyday life, you know family, work, and everything that happens in between, that we could take a few days to get together with a group of friends and shop all week. So this is your time to do something that you normally wouldn't do with your husband around.I'm not talking about anything crazy or that will get you divorced, just something small that he normally wouldn't agree with or to. For example, I absolutely LOVE a fresh coat of paint on anything! Chad on the other hand hates when I paint and pretty much puts his foot down and says NO! So every year while Chad is gone for the week I tear apart a room in the house and what do I do? I PAINT! He comes home and I have to explain to him that this is our thing. He goes to deer camp and then I paint something. It's pretty much a win win. An even trade is what I like to call it lol. So back to what goes on at deer camp. I'm not real sure to tell the truth , as much as Chad has gone he has NEVER once came home with a deer!! I get the biggest kick out of it and it makes a great joke! I mean how can you go ALL week long to a place that supposedly has the biggest bucks around and not see anything to shoot at?? I never really understood it, until I heard a story I would like to share with you.

Down where my husband and his friends go hunting, there where these 2 old men who have been going to "Deer Camp" for years and years, and one day our friend bumped into them at  little market. Our friend did happen to have killed a deer that day, and had it in the back of his truck ( it wasn't deer camp then he was hunting by himself of course lol). The older men approached him and asked if he would be willing to sell the deer, so he asked them what they wanted it for. It turns out that every year they tell their wives that they are going to deer camp and every year they buy a deer from someone! They NEVER hunt they just go to hang out with each other all week! I thought this was the cutest story I have ever heard! They weren't doing anything wrong they just wanted a few days to just relax and have a good time. Now I understand the meaning behind deer camp, it's a time of bonding and not having to worry about anything at home.It's a week to pig out on food without someone telling you what to eat, not to forget your meds, and what you should be doing with your time. It's a time of trying to figure out who can come up with the best deer hunting story to tell when you get back home. It's a tradition that should not ever be broken! So this year as my husband gets ready to leave for "Deer Camp" I will say what I always say as he walks out the door," Kill a big one babe", and who knows maybe he will hit one with his truck LOL!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Oh the Life of a Deer Hunter's Wife: Up a tree without a ladder

As  a hunter's wife you eventually come to the realization the you need to expect the unexpected. If you do this , when crazy hunting situations occur you will react the right way. Maybe it would help if I gave you the story behind my thought for today.

It was a dark, cold,and rainy night (no this isn't a scary story, well I guess it could be if you are the hunter aka my husband). Your husband, the great and mighty hunter he is, decides to brave the weather and go hunting. He loads up his truck with all the "stuff" he needs including the climbing tree stand he just had to have, ( and we all know when they have to "have" something, that anything  that goes wrong during hunting season is our fault because they didn't have what they needed lol), and he heads for his sanctuary of peace and quiet, the WOODS.

As a hunter's wife you never really know what goes on from the time he leaves for the woods until he get back. Usually, if it gets about dark time and your phone rings with your husbands ring tone you automatically  assume that he has killed a deer. Well that is not what happened on this cold and dreary night. When I answered my phone I definitely did not expect my husband to say these words....." Honey, I am stuck in this tree and can't get down!" Now here is my lesson for today, if this ever happens to you the proper response is NOT to start laughing hysterically and hang up the phone! This is not a good idea on any level when you have a cold, wet, stuck in a tree husband (it really is funny though)! When I realized he was being serious I was shocked! How in the world does an experienced hunter get stuck in a tree, and what did he think I could do to help! I was definitely not going traipsing through acres of corn just to get to the woods,in the dark and rain carrying a ladder! I hope if your reading this you are getting a mental picture of what that would like. I am barely 5 foot tall and petite. How he ever thought I would manage that is beyond me, and I believe that is the response he was looking for, the crazy man! I in my defense did offer to call the fire department, but lucky for him he was able to get a hold of his dad to help him out. I like to think that if I would have called the fire department that they would have had the same initial response I had when he first told me.

However, in my husband's defense, when he got home HOURS later and explained the situation that happened with the tree stand( for all those who know what a climbing tree stand is, the foot straps fell through the bottom of the stand) it was easier to understand how he got stuck, although still just as funny! Needless to say that though they are more work my husband mostly hunts out of his double tree stand now, and not the climber he just had to have.









The moral of today's installment of " Oh the Life of a Deer Hunter's Wife" is to ALWAYS " expect the unexpected", that way when you get a crazy phone call, you can react the right way, at least in front of him, when you hang up the phone your free to react however you wish LOL!


Saturday, September 22, 2012

Top 5 ways to recognize that "You May be a Deer Hunters Wife"

It came to me in a dream I had last night, ( you will understand why I said that if you continue reading this.....oh and please do), the top 5 ways  to recognize if YOU , yourself , may in fact be a Deer Hunters Wife. I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I did writing it! So if you're ready let's begin!!!

5.  You may be a Deer Hunters Wife if the smell of Doe Urine does not make you gag and you could be accused of using it for air freshener! ( People please do not do this! The smell is HORRIBLE!!!)

4. You may be a Deer Hunters Wife if  you spend hours, and I do mean LONG hours,  at your local archery shop on a Friday night arguing with other Deer Hunters Wives about whose husband killed the biggest buck.


3. You may be a Deer Hunters Wife if you remind your husband he needs to have the garage cleaned out and the rope ready before deer season gets here  so he has a place to hang a deer when he drags it home.
 ( And FYI men this really shouldn't happen in your garage..... Cmon use a tree lol)


2. You may be a Deer Hunters Wife if you wake up in the morning and realize that all you dreamed about were DEER!  You may not even hunt, but for some unknown reason they invade your dreams too! 

And the Number 1 reason is...........


1. You may be a Deer Hunters Wife if you are sometimes tempted to strap a set of Deer Antlers to the top of your head, stomp around, and snort just to get your husbands attention. ( Ladies this is to be done inside the house only, and I still can't guarantee that he won't shoot you when he sees the rack, and I mean the deer antlers LOL). 


As I was writing this I realized that maybe this post should be entitled " You may be a REDNECK Deer Hunter's Wife! Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this and I would love any comments you want to leave!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Oh The Life of a Deer Hunters Wife

Welcome to the first instalment of my series" Oh the Life of a Deer Hunters Wife". This series of writings coming up serves as a "Guide" for women who want to live a successful life as a Deer Hunters Wife". Hope you enjoy my humorous take on the "Life of a Deer Hunter's Wife".

That's right it's almost here, that time of year when  our 2 parent household becomes one, life as a married women becomes the life of a single women ( without all the "extra stuff" lol), and life as I know it ceases to exist for about 3 months! In a couple weeks Deer Hunting Season comes in here in Ohio. This might as well be a national holiday here in our house. Our house turns into a camo nightmare!!! Everywhere I look it's all you see! Now it may seem like I'm exaggerating , but I assure you I am not. Our complete household schedule revolves around hunting. From the time we get up, till the time we go to bed, and everything in between. Now some women may not be able to handle the "Life of  a Deer Hunters Wife" , but let me make one thing clear, I LOVE it, and wouldn't trade places for anything in the world!!! Every year I know what this time of year brings, and although by the end of December I am sooooo sick of camouflage I could scream, it is the one constant thing we can always count on year after year. Now, I would like to take a few minutes and explain all the "extra" stuff being a "deer hunters wife" entails. First, and let me tell you if you mess this part up you will be blamed for a ruined hunting season and your husband will NEVER let you forget that "it was all your fault" that he didn't kill a deer, you have to wash EVERY piece of clothing he will wear in special, expensive soap Next when you dry them you have to make sure and throw in a special fabric softener sheet that smells like dirt ( and ladies let me tell you that the dirt smell lingers YUCK). Now, if your husband works 1st shift you must have everything ready for his shower so he can get to the woods as soon as humanly possible ( believe me if he could have super human powers at this time he would use them lol). Oh, I can't believe I forgot to mention that it is SUPER important to make sure NOTHING is cooking when he gets home till the time he rushes out the door. These are just a few things I plan on mentioning in my book " The Guide to a Being a Deer Hunters Wife" lol.


If you succeed in the mission of being a "Deer Hunter's Wife" , you will feel like the most loved women on the Earth, and that my friend is worth every sacrifice you will make!




So I hope you enjoyed this segment of "Oh the Life of a Deer Hunters Wife", and stay tuned for upcoming episodes because let me tell you "The Life of a Deer Hunters Wife" is very entertaining!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Time-Out




                                                                       

As many of you or hopefully at least a few (lol),may have noticed it has been a while since my last post. There have been so many changes in my life in just the last couple months that i had to give myself a time-out! I went from working maybe a couple hours a day to a full time job, my husband went back to working 7 days a week, we are the youth pastors at our church ( which dealing with 30-40 teenagers is a HUGE job in itself), and our kids being home on summer break, just didn't leave enough time in the day for me to sit down and write. I had to take some time and prioritize the things that were most important to me. What I realized is that I desperately needed to put myself on a schedule! Now this might seem like common sense to most of you, but to me who in all honesty will admit to being spoiled by my husband, I have never been in need of one before now. I am however, very excited to find time to write again, and bring you tons of new giveaways, information, recipes, and LOTS of stories! So a BIG thank you to all of you who have stuck with me through this time-out. You won't regret it! ~ Amanda~