Sunday, October 31, 2010

(Patiently?) Waiting and Found a New Church

Buying a House
Robert and I have been looking at houses for the last few weeks... mainly to get an idea of what we want when it's time to buy.  It made us want to start the process NOW and has been making it difficult to be content with where God has us for now.  The transition/waiting process is very difficult.  God has made it pretty clear where He wants us, so we want to just run now and start living there immediately.  But, we are where we are now so that we can be more responsible, save up, and be more ready to move when it's time.  I'm so thankful to my inlaws to give us this opportunity. 

We found a house yesterday that is Robert's dream house (it's an amazing old house that needs some painting, but that's about it!).  It is in the perfect neighborhood, the schools are the best in the area, it's a 2100 square foot house, has a lot of original wood work inside, deck on the bottom and top floors, nice back yard, etc.  The problems are: 1) We don't have much of a down payment yet (because I just started getting paid), 2) the house is over our price range (though it's been on the market for so long that I would assume they would go down on the price!).  The desire is to try to make it work anyway... but we know that wouldn't be responsible.  So, we will sit and wait :).  Either we will find the right house for us when it is time, or that house will still be available when it's time :).  That house has been on the market for almost a year, so it might just be there in 4-6 months ;).  It also makes me wonder if they aren't budging on the price!  I guess we'll see when it's time.  Most likely we will have to get something that's not quite our dream house and make it our dream house ;).  As long as it's in the right area, I can't be that picky!  It'll just be amazing if we are able to get into our own house!

Here are a few more pictures of the house that we want :)

Okay... Moving on. 

Found a New Church

Through the process of trying to decide where to live, we have thought about the fact that if we live in Oak Cliff, we need a community there.  There is no way that we can live there and drive to Frisco for church (though Robert would have to drive there for work...).  Robert isn't required to go to church at Stonebriar, he just has to work every third Sunday.  So, I decided to start searching for churches in the area.  Most of my searches turned up very traditional churches (and one VERY out there church...)... which is fine, but we really don't feel that's where we belong.  Last Saturday during my search, I found a blog and through that blog (long story), found Kessler Community Church.  I contacted them through the website, and received an email back a few hours later from the pastor's wife.  It seemed like an amazing church, so the kids and I checked it out the next morning (Robert had to work... he works every third Sunday).  I immediately felt welcome there and as if I had been going to the church for a long time.  I made friends immediately, the kids were loved and welcomed, and I knew that it was an active and moving church.  I am friends with the pastor's wife on facebook, and she and I have had a lot of contact through phone/email/facebook since last week.  Also, I found out they know one of the elders from the church we went to in Marble Falls, and he told me that they are amazing, godly people!  Which, that definitely helps!  So, even though I have only been there one time, I feel like this is most likely the church that we will call "home."  We will continue praying through it and visiting/getting to know the church, but I'm almost positive this is the direction in which we are headed!  The most amazing thing to me about the church is their heart... heart for people... heart for the area... heart for Jesus.  It's very evident!

Speaking of... I need to stop blogging and go get ready for church! 

Friday, October 22, 2010

Update on Karis and Life

Update on Karis
We cleaned Karis out for several days, and now Karis has a NORMAL urge to go, and she goes in the POTTY now.  She has had one small accident since Sunday... and all other times have been in the potty.  If you know the problems that we've had with her, you would know that that is HUGE.  She is still on a 1/2 dose of the miralax (a daily use laxative), but the doctor said she would probably be on that for a few months.  Our goal now is to really push getting her to try some more things with fiber (especially fruits and veggies) so that she will be able to become more regular on her own without help (her teacher is on a mission to get her to try new things, so that helps!).  I wish that I would have understood her issue a long time ago!  I had no idea that it was uncontrollable!  Now it is obviously clear because with-in a week of treating her issue, she has become NORMAL in this area!  It's hard to explain the excitement... but after cleaning her up from pooping in her pants for a few years, this is something to celebrate! 

Robert and I are exhausted, but excited and at peace with where God has us in life.  We both love our jobs, we're able to have so much more time with our kids since we made the change with childcare (and we and the kids all love the choices that we made!), we have amazing and restful weekends together every weekend, we actually get to work together to raise our kids and do everything, and we are looking to buy a house :).  We never thought we'd be able to even think about it!

I found an awesome store today that I just have to share!  It's about 2 minutes from where I work!  It's called Urban Acres.  It is a brand new store in a really cool part of Oak Cliff (a part of Dallas).  They sell local, organic, and whole foods (as much local as possible!).  They sell low temp pasteurized/non homogenized milk, raw milk cheese, yard eggs, organic and local produce, pastured meats and chicken, pasta, beans, raw nuts, raw honey, etc.  Just about anything that we need.  I told the owner (who is about my age) today that if I could own a business, this is what I would love to own.  He said, well, you can help out here and be a part of it!  He said that if we volunteer to help sort produce for the coop, that we can get food credit :).  I think it would be fun to be a part of a local business!

After I checked out the store, I decided to just drive around and look at houses in the area... and WOW.  They have some beautiful, amazing, old houses in really nice neighborhoods.  Oak Cliff has had a bad reputation, but I'm seeing now that the reputation isn't true for all of Oak Cliff.  Robert and I really want to live there.  It reminds us of San Marcos and the parts of Austin that we love.  I've been looking at houses for sale in that area and there are so many, and at great prices.  We're thinking about buying a house that needs some work (and have a low payment!) and fixing it up.  We love that area and really feel that it fits us well and we feel like there's also a lot of work to be done there.  So, it's the best of both worlds.  I know that God called me to Oak Cliff to work with the kids that I do, and maybe he's calling us to make it home :).  Robert is more excited about it than I am (and I'm pretty excited!).  It would be nice to just be a 5 minute drive to work :).  Robert's drive may be a little bit longer, but it won't be too bad.  And, it's worth it to him.  If we end up living in Oak Cliff, we'll probably find another church so that we can be part of the community there.  Robert isn't required to go to church where he works... he'll just have to work there every third Sunday (which isn't bad at all!). 

Another benefit to living in Oak Cliff is that UNT has a campus there :).  And they have a 4-8 grade education major, which is what Robert wants to do :).  So, to me, I feel like God is just planting us there!  We'll see!

We're just going to pray through all of this and see where God leads us.  He has completely changed everything that we ever thought would happen in our life in the past 4 months (and things are going well, even though it's not easy); we're open to whatever He wants!  We know that His plan is so much better than anything we can think or dream!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Feeling Hopeful

First, I realized yesterday that I, just like most people, tend to be in a great mood when circumstances seem great and in a bad mood when circumstances seem tough.  It's amazing how small my faith can be.  I desire to find my joy in my relationship with Christ and in trusting Him and His plan, but I fail often.  I have been struggling with many circumstanial things (that really aren't THAT bad), and I have completely lost my focus these days.  God has richly blessed us, and most days I don't see that.  I have an amazing family, all that we need, a job that I have always wanted, and Robert is home more than not :).  I'm so thankful for all that the Lord has allowed me to have in my life.  I pray that He is glorified through me and that His light would shine through my human-ness.  Thank the Lord for Jesus, who gives me what I need and gives me the power to fight through the difficult times.

With Karis' issues (that I talked about yesterday here), my mind started going and I started assuming the worst based on stories that I have heard.  I was thinking that I would have to quit my job, take her out of school, and we would just live here at my in-laws for several years... I thought she wouldn't be able to go to school, and we would just have to keep her home forever.  It wasn't the end of the world in my mind, but I don't feel that it's best for her.  She LOVES school and does really well.  My mom and hubby reminded me to just take it one day at a time, and if that does happen, that we would deal with it when we get there. 

Last night I decided to research her "condition" (called encopresis), and I feel so much more hopeful now.  This article  described Karis completely and all that she has been going through. I completely thought it was behavioral, but now I know it is physical and something she can't control.  Also, this article more thoroughly described the steps for treatment (the same as the dr, but it gives more long term goals).  If we work with her, she can possibly be completely treated with-in a few months (which is better than what I was thinking). 
I almost think it is better that it's physical and not behavioral because it's something that we can treat!  I'm so glad that we took her to the dr and that we know exactly what is wrong and exactly what can be done to make it better. 

Our plan for her:
1) Get her completely cleaned out (which we're doing now), then continue her on miralax for a month or so (just a very decreased dose).
2) Give her a fiber supplement everyday, plus increase her fiber intake however we can (which is tough for a girl that despises fruit and will only eat a few veggies!).  We will sprinkle flax on foods, etc.
3) Increase her water intake
4) Decrease her dairy intake (we have switched her to coconut milk which is very healthy and she loves it... cheese will only be given if we cook with it, and yogurt is okay because it has bacteria that helps digest).  I might start making her yogurt with coconut milk... if I have time :).
5) Put her on the potty right after she eats (and I will talk to her teacher about doing this as well).  It's potty training all over again :).  I'm SO thankful that her teacher is very willing to work with me to get this worked out.  She is very sweet and loves Karis!  I love the choice that we made for her!

Robert and Ethan are going to church without us because I don't want Karis to have a messy accident while in children's church (which she usually does in the morning, so it probably would happen).  It stinks because we haven't been to church in a while because there's something going on every week.  Last week Ethan had a horrible cough and Karis was painfully constipated so I was working to try to relieve them :).  I guess we'll try again next week!  I will probably watch my old church (Riverstone!) online :). 

Saturday, October 16, 2010

What a Week

This week started out great.  The kids all went to new "schools."  Karis is at a pre-k at a church down the road from my school, and the boys are at a great in home childcare pretty close to where Robert works.  It has just helped to have them closer to us... the stress has decreased dramatically from that.  Before, the drive for Robert was awful... he would have to drive NORTH of where he worked, come back south, go back north to pick them up, then come back south to home.  Now, the boys' childcare is on the way to his work, and Karis just goes with me.  

It all started going downhill about Wednesday (if you can't handle reading/talking about poop, then I suggest you stop reading now hehe).  By then, Karis had gone a week and a half with only pooping one time.  She was in a lot of pain and wouldn't even try to go (this has been going on for a long time... constipation, pooping in her pants, etc).  Robert took her to the doctor Wednesday, and she told him that its a pretty common problem among girls her age.  She said that they choose to hold it (for whatever reason), then a blockage develops.  The blockage becomes so severe that the only pooping that can be done is because of what comes out around the blockage.  The only way to remedy the situation is to give high amounts of miralax every day (a laxative).  So, now she's having major accidents at school.  Yesterday when  picked her up, she had just had a major accident.  It was coming up her back and dripping down.  It was traumatic... for me and her.  Parents and kids were staring and looked disgusted.  She was crying.  I didn't even have a change of clothes for her (I sent one, but it was already used).  I didn't expect it to get all over her clothes (she was wearing pull ups).  The more I talk to people about it, the more I realize that this might be a long term problem.  In the past two days, I have heard of four different kids with the same EXACT issue, doing this till 8 or 9, one kid was even 12.  If this continues, I am NOT okay with sending her to school to poop in her pants... When I worked at a school in Kyle, there was a child in kindergarten that pooped in his pants everyday, and no body liked to be around him... And the teacher was so annoyed with him all the time. I just don't want that to be Karis.  I realize that I am worrying too much about the future, but it's hard not to when this has been a long, hard road already and I know that it will most likely continue.  We're just not sure what to do.  I know that she won't be pooping in her pants when she's 21, but she very well could be pooping in her pants till she's 8 or 9.  It's not out of the question. 

I'm exhausted, stressed, and feel lost right now. 

I know that God called us here, to this place, to everything that we're doing... I just don't understand some things.  I'm just going to have to trust that He has a bigger plan.

It's also coming up on a year since my brother's death so that brings a whole lot of other emotions...

Okay... I'm going to stop before I get too negative :). 

Monday, October 4, 2010

Trusting God

I've really been struggling lately... As soon as I feel things are starting to line up, something happens to make things feel as though they are falling apart.  Yesterday I was having a great day, then I ate dinner and began to get really nauseous... So nauseous that I went to bed at 7:00... and when I woke up this morning I was still nauseous.  I went to work thinking that if I got up and started moving that it would help, but instead it got worse.  I came home and slept for about 5 hours.  I feel somewhat better, but I'm still not 100%.  I'm praying that I'll feel better tomorrow because this is already my third day to miss (though the other two days were due to Karis being sick!).  I don't want my year to be like this. 

I have decided, though, that because of the fact that I've been feeling bad so much lately, I desperately need to get back to eating the way I know is best.  We've made steps in that direction, but it's mostly difficult because it takes time... and time is something that I don't have any extra of right now.  So, we're doing the best that we can right now.  I need to begin my daily regimen of probiotics, fish oil, whole foods vitamins, and just eating better.  I have become addicted to something that I always told people is so bad... Coke Zero (diet soda).  It's a comfort measure mainly.  And it's pretty common for teachers to be addicted to diet soda, so I just fell into the crowd :).  And I KNOW how bad it is... but it's hard to stop myself :).  I honestly don't have a lot of self control right now!
So, I've decided that all I can do is go cold turkey, so that's what I've done.  I haven't been doing horribly on lunches because I take mine everyday, and dinners aren't awful, but breakfast and drinks have to change.  So, here I go.  Beginning my journey all over again!  I think in a few weeks I'll have more time to spend on cooking/baking.  I'm getting into a routine and it is taking less and less time to get things done.

My mom and dad actually took the kids yesterday and they won't be bringing them back until Thursday.  That's a reeeaaalllyyy long time for me... and I struggled with the idea to an extent, but at the same time, I'm so physically, mentally, and emotionally drained that I needed a break of some sort (and so did Robert).  Also, we're trying to find a new childcare situation, so it helped to have a week to look.  There are a few reasons, but the biggest is that her house is very much out of the way. She lives north of where Robert works, so the kids are in the car 2-2 1/2 hours a day!  It's just too much. 

We met with a lady last night that we LOVE and she is a lot like me :). She cloth diapers her son.  She attempted homebirth (it didn't work out unfortunately, but she loves it!), she feeds her son well, they play outside ALL THE TIME.  I felt like it would be the perfect fit for our boys, though, I wasn't real sure how Karis would do there (because she would be the only girl and Ethan is the next oldest).  So, I decided to call a church that I've heard great things about in the area that I work that has a childcare center. Sure enough, they only have an opening for Karis.  And it's not too expensive... for a childcare center :).  You see, this is really the best situation for Karis because she desperately wants to go to school.  She LOVES learning and socializing, and would be happy if she learned all day every day.  Another benefit is that it would give me more time with her.  I miss time with her terribly, and I feel as though she is affected the most by me going back to work.  We will get to drive together in the mornings and afternoons, and this will force me to leave work right away so that she isn't staying in the childcare center too late. 
So, I am going tomorrow to check it out and most likely begin filling out paperwork. 

I made the decision today that I have to make the choice to not allow Satan to tear me down.  I know that God has called me to all of the things that we are doing (we prayed A LOT and felt complete peace about everything), so I have to trust that He will work out all of the details.  I knew that moving here would be hard... that working full time would be hard... that starting over in general would be very difficult... But I also know that God is with us and allows things for a reason and does things for a reason.  So, again, all I can do is trust Him and His plan.