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I'm so happy you dropped by! Stay and visit awhile and please leave me a comment- it's so encouraging to hear from you!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

When nothing goes as planned.....

"Let's sell the house, move to the suburbs, and put the kids in public school!"
"That's a great idea!  Let's do it!"

This was us in January.  We had it all figured out, didn't we?  Lots of conversations about downtown life, motivation, and community led us here. We knew where we wanted to go (still in Birmingham), what schools we wanted to be our kids first after homeschooling for 9 years, and we were ready to put in the work to make it happen.  A few weekends of fixing upping and the house would be ready for a bidding war the likes of which Crestwood had never seen!

Then came March.

Nothing will put a screaching halt on life plans like getting laid off.......especially if only one of you is employed! NO PROB- Andy will get a job in no time!

We regrouped. We mourned the plans we made.  We got to work.  Andy and I put in some intense hours of labor (along with a few friends) and finally had the house ready to put on the market......July 26! Yes, we grossly underestimated the amount of work and time it would take to make Cainberly presentable on the real estate market while job hunting! Then we waited for the bidding war to commence the very day she went live online......then we waited the next day- on the edge of our seats......and the next, and the next, and the next.  Completely dumbfounded, we lowered the price and finally got our first offer with the most perfect family who LOVED the house AND the trains. We were thrilled!

Then it fell through- and I was officially done- done with owning a home, done with selling a home......DONE.  And a week later we had another offer- this was the one.....almost exactly one month after putting it on the market.  No bidding war- oh, and still no job and no hopes of staying in Birmingham. And suddenly the feeling of loneliness started setting in.

I'm sure you're asking yourself, "How could she possibly feel lonely? She has two kids AND her man at home every single day!" But it's true.  In March I just knew God had an awesome plan for us and He would reveal it and we would just cruise on. By the end of July, I was feeling like the seven year old version of myself that got separated from Momma in the Mercer Mall- I knew she was there and wouldn't leave me, but for the life of me I COULDNT FIND HER!!! Where was God? And why couldn't I find Him????

To make a long story short......I'm still looking for Him.  I've caught a few glimpses of Him- a job interview, a second job interview, a passed inspection, a chance meeting with the buyer of the house......He's there and hasn't left me!

We close September 15 and will quite literally be homeless.  Everybody chuckles when I say that, like it's cute or a joke.  It's not.  But rather than let our story be a drama, we're making it an adventure! We're hitting the road! The pooches are getting a vacation in Indiana (Thank you Joey and Carly!) and we're going, by way of Niagara Falls and Saratoga Springs, to visit Momma in Vermont! I have never seen Andy so excited about a trip! Fall in Vermont- it really just doesn't get any better than that!

Or does it? Maybe He has other plans.

Monday, April 20, 2015

An Origami Owl Raffle!


HOORAY for an awesomely generous sister!

As many of you may know, my family (all 4 of us!) is heading to Hungary on a mission trip with our church June 18.  All of us, save Abby, have had the opportunity to go and fall in love with the country and people. We are so thrilled to not only go together, but also to see her reaction to all that we have been sharing with her from our hearts!  We will be partnering with the Paulus Movement- a ministry of Hungarians trying to reach their fellow countrymen with the Gospel- to help with a soccer camp outreach to the children of Budapest.

We have raised most of the support we need and we're down to the last $1000! (Yes! God is so good!) My fabulously amazing sister, Beth, has put this beautiful necklace from Origami Owl up for raffle along with 4....YES 4 $25 gift certificates!!! She's drawing the winners in 10 days and, don't tell her I told you this, ticket sales have been a little slow so your odds of winning something are REALLY GOOD! 😉 Would you consider buying a ticket or two or six to help send us this summer?  Your support would mean the world to us!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

When Creativity Comes Calling

 



I almost feel like Pinterest has taken the place of Blogdom.  Don't get me wrong, I started down this "Sincerely Home" road a long time ago so that I could let my spread out family and friends keep up with us- it was never intended to be an awe-inspiring work of blog art!  Some years blogging was easy.... the kids were growing and changing and inspiring me to take lots of pics and write about their shenanigans.  Some years blogging was impossible....my home life was difficult.  I was difficult.  I was........sigh....uninspired.  I just couldn't find the sweet spot.

Some years- I was so inspired I felt like Mrs Creative Domesticity was knockin and I was answering! 

Do you ever go through a dry spell?  It may be a parenting dry spell- when you're just on auto pilot hoping that there's creamer in the fridge for your coffee tomorrow. It may be a marriage dry spell- where you guys pass in the house but before you know it, you've climbed into bed and he's watching TV and you realize you haven't spoken to each other yet today.  It may be a spiritual dry spell- where nothing seems to be going right and you feel so..well...alone.  Or it just may be a creative dry spell- the laundry is done and the house is liveable (not clean...but liveable!) but the hobbies and crafts that you were once so passionate about have been forgotten because at the end of the day.....you're just spent.

That's where I've been.  But I'm so glad to assure you that if you've been there too- don't think it's a permanent residence.  It's a cycle.  At least it always has been for me.  And oh!  Happy Day!  I feel like I'm coming back around.

But now back to the whole Pinterest comment.  I completely stopped looking at all of my favorite blogs because of Pinterest.  While I find great IDEAS on Pinterest, I find great RELATIONSHIPS through blogging. 

I wonder......what's your take?  Pinterest vs Blogdom?

Thursday, December 12, 2013

When the goin gets rough......

the battered stop blogging.

It has been a rough five months.  I did not get to go to college.  The admissions office dilly-dallied so badly that I couldn't get admitted in time to register for fall classes.....thus began the downward spiral.

I know you don't care to hear all of my unpleasant junk, so I will spare you.  But I will say that, as always, God has been good and taught me a very valuable lesson.  Here it is......

Only He can satisfy the desires of my heart.  HE has a plan for my life- and I may think that I can order things the way I want but the truth is that if it's not in His plan for me, it's not going to happen.

It took a lot of prayer and submission and quiet- but I think I'm coming back around to myself again.  There are still a few issues that God is working through.  But little by little I think I'm coming back.

Also, I became very ill the week before Operation Christmas Child National Collection Week.  For those of you who know me, this was the worst possible thing that could hit me.  Y'all- I'm serious.....I WENT to the doctor and ASKED

I SAID ASKED

for a shot!!!!  No good.  2 rounds of antibiotics and five weeks later- I'm about 80% and very happy!

So during this nasty bout with gosh only knows what, God brought in the most amazing harvest of shoebox gifts! 

39,235!!!!

That's 5,227 MORE than last year! Praise God!! And the even better news is that OCC is seeing similar numbers all over the country!  I'm just astounded!  Thank you to all of you who packed shoeboxes this year!!!

Ok, now you're all caught up.  I will hopefully be back to posting.  I wandered over here because I saw someone had posted a comment that needed published.  I started clicking around and realized how much I missed Sincerely Home.  She's so therapeutic and good for my soul.  See you again soon.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Did ya miss us?

UH MAY ZING vacay!  3 weeks and one day of food stuffin, pop guzzling, Momma huggin, travel lovin goodness!


First morning with Momma.....



and she treated us to a yummy breakfast.


Vermont is so beautiful!


One of the highlights...Almanzo Wilder's childhood home.  Read Farmer Boy?


Ya gotta love a company with a sense of humor!


Lake Champlain


The Vermont Teddy Bear Company- their bears are guaranteed for life! This one needed some help!


And we're off on our adventure!


Always dreamed of coming here! So excited to do it with my Momma.


Walker's Point- and they said George was in!


Off to whale watch with the kiddos!


Thaaaaaar she blows!!!!!


Paul Revere's home


Abby got a violin- it changed our lives! (For the better!)

Ok, so I know that was quite a few pics- but let me tell ya.......that was just a drop in the bucket!  The highlight reel, if you will!

New England is amazing and if Andy were offered a job there tomorrow, I'd be ready to move by Wednesday! I love the history that swallows you up- to the point that you suddenly don't even realize that you're standing on a dock that is 400 years old!  I was in a boat in the same waters that the Pilgrims parted as they landed in our brand new baby country! The very beginning!

Astounding.

Anyway....back to reality now!  I took the rest of this past week- after getting home- to unpack, tidy up a smidge, and get my bearings back.  Yesterday I gave my first presentation on my trip to Africa and it was exhilarating to talk about it.  Lots of laughing.  Lots of weeping.  Hopefully very effective.  Tomorrow I have committed the day to working on my quilt that I began 2 years ago!  Momma took me to the Vermont Quilt Festival and it was very inspiring!  Laundry and quiltmaking.....that's ALL that's happening here tomorrow!

NEXT weekend is our yearly trip to Atlanta for the Southeast Homeschool Expo.  It's the one day Andy devotes to talking to me about curriculum as long as I want!  We don't do workshops- only the vendor hall- and I feel like a kid in a candy store!  This year I have completed 95% of my curriculum shopping- so I'll be looking at French curriculum and fun stuff like Jim Weiss and Miller Pad & Paper!  Next post I will fill you in on what my homeschooling plan for next year is!  Middle school.....sheesh.  Oh, and a trip to Six Flags on Sunday!  Then.........

Good-bye, Summer!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Second guessing....

I have always loved being from "Momma South"- the porches, the sweet tea, gentlemen holding doors for ladies......

but I gotta tell ya, from the bottom of my heart, I think I was meant to live in New England!  I've been in Vermont for a little over a week and, though I miss Andy terribly, I just don't want to ever leave!



Now I know some of you nay-sayers are thinking, "Just wait until winter hits!  She'll change her mind!"  But I was here last winter and it might have been a bit different but it was certainly not enough to deter my thinking.  I HATE hot weather.  HATE it!!!  I'm the person that schedules vacation for the end of October in Nova Scotia so that it will be cold and we can have a fire!

Having said ALL of that, I miss my bed.  And my pillow.  And my dog.  And my cats.  And my garden.  And my chair.................

Thursday, June 20, 2013

It's official....I'm a college girl!

 
For some unknown reason, this line was the first thought that went through my mind as I read the letter.......
 
Dear Marla,
  Congratulations!  You have been admitted to Jefferson State Community College pending receipt of all required documentation.
 
Why am I not freaking out?  Why am I not worried about educating the children AND myself at the same time?  What about Operation Christmas Child?  Why does all of this seem so easy?  Grace.  God's grace.  That accompanied by the fact that I still, after all of these years, love learning.  But, let's get back to the God part....
 
Sometimes, and this may sound silly to you, I feel God tell me to be an example to my kids.  I know!  Crazy, right?  How can this apply to returning to college after 17 years?  Well- we are struggling with a bout of under-achieving at Cainberly Academy.  My children are capable of WAY more than they are producing currently.  A lack of discipline on all of our parts has lead to some poor work habits and an all around sense of "get-by-it-ness". (Ya like that one?  Totally just made that one up!)  So, what is a mom to do?  Lead by example.  I have 15 hours required to fulfill the 6 I need for my AA degree.  Time to show these kiddos what it means to study, take pride in your work, and do your very best!  And to FOLLOW THROUGH to the end- that may be the biggest lesson.
 
So, for the next year, if you need me, I'll have my nose in a book.......of some sort........