Family Update

Yes, yes, another LONG overdue family update. It feels like ever since we moved to Tennessee that we’ve been going at high speed without a break in sight. We are constantly on the move, working on projects, there’s never any rest and this momma is BEAT!

J is doing great at his job, it’s of course stressful and very busy, but he seems to have a great staff. And even though the company is selling all of their nursing homes this year, we have high hopes that whatever company takes over will be exactly what the nursing facility and staff need to continue caring for their residents. J is also doing a lot of work around the house, current project is painting the interior, and then on nice days we are working on the backyard. We have definitely decided that this is not the home for us and will be listing it in 2019 and moving closer to Justin’s facility. Until then, we are just knocking out projects to update the house!

Boogie is almost done with her first year of “official” homeschool – she is going to be a kindergarten graduate! How crazy is that? She is a phenomenal reader, she’s already reading advanced chapter books and sometimes I can’t get her to stop reading! She’s grown so much this past year, sometimes I feel like she’s grown too much. This move has aged her in a way that I didn’t know was possible. She’s such a good big sister, she adores Bear. She is trying very hard to get along with Bubby, but they really butt heads… a lot of that has to do with his sensory stuff though, and she’s not sure how to handle it. We’re working on it though! Boog also loves her sister, I love the relationship I see blossoming between the two of them now that Bird can communicate and play more as a big two year old!

Bubby has come a long way since the move. He too has grown a lot, and the move affected him in good and not so good ways. We are very thankful that this move did bring us to an amazing occupational therapist. She is such a blessing to us, she’s able to reach Asher when I can’t. He’s learned so much from her and adores her, he even looks forward to going to his therapy now. He can now write his name all by himself, he’s identifying more of his ABC’s and he’s learning to identify numbers as well. Some of his behaviors he was exhibiting this time last year are almost entirely gone, while others have popped up. He’s trying so hard though, I know he’s hurting and stressed. I know he is anxious and still feels unsettled. He constantly asks when we are going back to our old house, which of course makes us feel awful and part of me wonders if we should have rented it out instead of selling it so we could go back someday. I’m praying that the next six months shows more growth and maturity, that not only he will learn to cope with some of his sensory needs but that I will learn better ways to help him as well.

Bird… oh Bird. She is a sassy pants. Welcoming Bear into the world completely disrupted her “baby” life and I think it threw her for a loop. My sweet girl has picked up on some of her older siblings less desirable behaviors, so we are trying to nip that in the bud real quick. Her red hair has definitely been showing, but let me tell you… she’s also the sweetest two year old and she has her daddy wrapped so tight, he cannot tell that girl no! She seems to be a lot like Boogie when it comes to learning, she has been following along with Bubby’s school work and picking up on her ABC’s. She really is precious and I hate that she’s growing up on me so quick! She loves picking out her clothes and she HAS to have a bow for her hair every day. She’s also rotten and sassy sassy sassy like I said and a whole lot of mess, but we all adore her!

Bear, oh sweet sweet Baby Bear. This boy is a delight. He is literally my sunshine when the rest of the world seems gloomy. On my hardest days parenting the older three, he makes everything seem better. He sleeps y’all. Like REALLY sleeps. He doesn’t stay attached to me wanting to nurse 24/7 like the big kids, he is content being worn and sucking on a pacifier and only wants to eat when he’s hungry or super tired. He’s always happy, he’s always smiling, he is so incredibly precious. He’s got these big beautiful blue eyes and they just melt me. I can’t even describe to you how much he has blessed us, he is literally the PERFECT last addition to our family. He IS our mic drop. I can’t wait to see his personality blossom and get to know the little man he is becoming.

As for me, I’m tired. Very, very tired. This move has exhausted me mentally, physically, spiritually… emotionally. I’ve been feeling a little lost amongst the chaos of everything, a little lonely, a little regretful and maybe a little overwhelmed. Okay… a lot overwhelmed. I’m not really sure where I fit into our world these days, I’m always busy doing something. I’ve had to step away from things I really love so that I don’t just go insane. You’ll probably see less giveaways and reviews on my blog, I have a few up right now but two of those are actually made by a sweet blogging friend from Mama Banana Adventures. We just have so much going on getting the house updated, parenting away from our families (i.e. less date nights and breaks for mommy), homeschooling, etc etc. It’s just a lot on my plate! Pray for me? Hoping that as we get closer to our one year anniversary of moving that I will feel more settled and relaxed about everything.

I’ve got some ideas to implement on Mustard Seed Mommy, I would love to start sharing more of our homeschooling journey with you. If you have any prayer requests just post a comment below, I would be happy to lift you up while you do the same for me! God bless!

Good, Good Father

I’ve really been struggling these past few weeks, feelings of discontent, guilt, anxiety and weariness. I’m not even sure if that covers my emotions lately. Obviously being pregnant can cause a woman’s emotions to be all over the place, but I think all of the changes our family is going through have just overwhelmed me and taken a toll. I’m incredibly happy to be in Tennessee now, I think in the long room it was the best decision for our family.

However I can already tell you that we won’t be staying in our new home for an extended period of time. We know we will outgrow it before long, it’s inevitable. And despite our long conversations on the matter, both J and I know that we can’t continue forever with his long commutes. It’s just not for us. By the time he leaves and returns from work, he’s gone for almost 9, sometimes 10 hours a day. That doesn’t leave much time for us as a family.

I can also tell you that I am really struggling with the fact that we can’t seem to find a church that fits our family’s needs. I know we are being picky, our home church is amazing, I hate that we can’t be there and live in our new home at the same time. We have a great church family back in NC and considering J and I are both kind of anti-social these days, it’s really hard finding a church that feels like home here. We have at least found a church that offers ballet classes for Boogie and a church that offers Awana for her and Asher as well. But we haven’t been able to visit the church with ballet for worship services yet, and the other wasn’t a good fit. Between illnesses and traveling we just haven’t had the opportunity to visit many more.

We are starting our first official year of homeschooling, Boogie is a kindergartener this year and I’m trying to get into a good routine so that we can stay on top of things. It’s much harder than I anticipated, I didn’t think I would still be suffering from this awful “morning” sickness and I wasn’t expecting to have to be running around town so much while my brother was staying with us. So we are yet to be on any kind of schedule and it’s been hard on the kids and myself. I’m also worried that I won’t be able to keep up or provide the best education for my kids, I know this isn’t true, but it’s hard to not think this when there’s so many other things piling up on your shoulders.

Blogging isn’t as fun as it used to be either. I’m not enjoying it like I used too, now it feels more like a job instead of a hobby. Which I guess, technically it is now. I can’t decide how to continue on as Mustard Seed Mommy, but it just doesn’t give me the joy that it once did. Lately I can’t find anything to fill my personal time with, when I have personal time, that is something just for me to do. My life revolves around housekeeping, laundry, parenting, cooking, errand running and trying to be the best wife that I can be. I just can’t figure out where Sarah fits into that.

Are you still with me? The one thing that keeps me going, that keeps me from collapsing into a heap on the floor is knowing that my Father is here. He’s holding me up and keeping me going, His love will never waver, He will never doubt or forsake me. He is a constant in my life that I can completely and totally rely on. I am so very thankful for that. So, now that you’ve made it through my super depressing post, could you be praying for me? Pray that things will turn around a bit and that I can find some contentment in where we are right now in our lives? Pray that I can find confidence in my role as a mother and teacher to my children?

Until next time, here’s my song, the song that brings me to tears every time I hear it. This song is my heart’s cry.

Validated

I was planning on writing a fun post about our Disney vacation before I wrote any other personal posts, but I think this one needs to be written first. You may have noticed that my blog has been missing a lot of personal posts this past year, year and a half. I’ve written a few here and there, but there was so much going on in our lives that I chose to not post what I really wanted to post.

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Almost 2 years ago we started noticing that Bubby’s behavior was very unlike his older sister’s at his age. We brushed it off because they’re not the same person, they are two very different people and all kids are different! Then, as time went on it just got worse and worse. Screaming fits that would not stop, meltdowns that could last for hours, his loud outbursts, and more…. no one really believed me. No one thought anything was off, everyone said, “Oh, he’s just being a toddler! He’ll outgrow it!”

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Fast forward a bit… this past year we’ve seen more behaviors that confirmed in my mind that something was not right. Bubby was completely potty trained, but going into a public bathroom was (and still is) a nightmare. All the noises of the automatic flushers, the hand dryers…. all of that overstimulated him and he would throw himself on the floor, cover his ears and scream. He would go into these meltdowns over the smallest things at home, and there was nothing I could do to help him, I would sit in the floor and wrap my arms around him and just hold him until his tiny body relaxed into mine…. but even then it could take an hour or more for him to fully calm down. There’s a lot more than that, but if I continued listing the things that we were noticing I might not ever stop writing.

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My fears and concerns were validated this month, Bubby has a sensory processing disorder. A hypersensitivity disorder to be exact. I thought I would be more prepared for an official confirmation of this, but I wasn’t. I knew something was wrong, and I was proven right…. because let’s get real, mom’s know. They just know. Processing all of this is hard, my sweet boy struggles with things that other kids don’t. He has to work harder at coping with emotions and things around him than other kids do, and I hate that. I hate that so much.

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When you learn something is different about your child, I won’t say wrong, because there’s nothing wrong with him, your heart breaks. You can’t fix it, you can help them cope with it, but you can’t fix it. You question if you did something wrong, if there was something you could have done differently during your pregnancy or in his infant months that could have prevented this. You question God, you ask Him why He would allow your child to face a hardship like this. But I’m also thankful. I’m thankful that it’s not something that will take his life, I’m thankful that he is healthy and thriving. I’m thankful that we know now what he is going through and that there are things to help him deal with everything.

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So, if you’ve wondered why I’ve not posted very much… this is why. Please pray for us, please pray that during these next few months I can help him cope with this big move, that I can help him learn to handle everything around him and that I can show patience and understanding on the hard days.

A Little Bit of Crazy

I thought we might be past due for a classic family update, I haven’t been doing many of those lately and while I have said over and over again that I was going to get back to writing about our family I just haven’t! There are many reasons for that but most importantly I’ve been spending more time with my kids and less time blogging. Anyways, I have big plans for this little blog of mine this year. You’ll learn more throughout the next few months, including seeing many reviews for some awesome products, and a big giveaway to celebrate my 8 year blogiversary in April!

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Anyways, things in the Mustard Seed house have been crazy and LOUD and adventurous to say the least. J has been working a lot (including staying over at work for a few days this past weekend and a few weeks ago due to poor weather) and he started his second semester of school a few weeks ago. He’s doing great, he’s tired, but I’m so proud of all the hard work he’s putting into this job and education. We are working on some projects together as well, we have really gotten into wood working since building our king sized bed last spring. We made some monogrammed ornaments for our family for Christmas, some picture holder signs for our mom’s, a coffee table, and we are currently working on loft beds for our kids! It’s so fun and a great way for us to bond when we otherwise don’t have the time or energy to do much of anything, including going out.

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Boogie has been working on some kindergarten curriculum this semester, she finished her Big Preschool Workbook last semester so we moved on to other things. We are halfway through Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons and she LOVES it. She’s already able to read a lot of her favorite books, with some help with the bigger words, seeing her face light up when she realized that she could read was AMAZING. Homeschool for the win! We are also using Earlybird Kindergarten Mathematics that I purchased from a friend a while back, it’s no longer in print, so I’m hoping to find more similar to this as Boogie really enjoys this particular book. She flies through her school work and is hungry to learn more and more. I will have to find some easy ways to teach her all the fun things she wants to learn – she’s super interested in the human body, animals, and baking/cooking…. so I’m planning to include those in our studies these next few months.

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Bubby is growing up so fast, I was astounded to discover that he is now in a size 4T pants when we were trying on clothes for this coming year last week. His 3T pants weren’t too short yet, but I guess I’ve been in denial because the 4T fit him perfectly! We are trying out different ways to handle Bubby’s behaviors, I haven’t really posted about this much, but our sweet boy is quite a handful. Our hope is that we can help him learn to handle his emotions a little better, that’s all I really want to say about that for the moment. Bubby loves being a “big boy”, he’s officially potty trained, though he does need to wear a pull up at night as he doesn’t wake up to go potty. But he’s done a great job being independent about changing back into undies the next morning. He is super into everything super heroes, so that includes being wild and crazy all the time as well! I’ve tried some preschool/tot school stuff with him, but I’m going to have to be more creative with how I go about teaching him. That child can’t sit still for more than 5 minutes unless he’s got something to munch on or his favorite movie is on! He wants to be like his big sister and sit for school, but he just can’t handle it. Any suggestions would be great! 😀

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Bird has been the perfect addition to our family, she is a breath of fresh air. She’s definitely a toddler now (I will not cry…. I will not cry…) and is showing her desire for independence but is also very much a clingy, mommy milk loving baby still. She loves to run around with her siblings and “try” to play with them, she is not afraid to let them know she wants to play or when she doesn’t like something they are doing. She loves playing with her babies, Bubby’s super hero action figures and anything that rolls. She loves being outside and still sticks EVERYTHING in her mouth. So that’s super fun. We are still bedsharing with this sweet girl, but she’s learning to sleep in her own bed as well. As of right now she sleeps the first few hours of bedtime in her own bed and then wakes up around 1-2am and sleeps the rest of the night with us. It works for us, so we don’t mind! And let me tell you, that baby likes to sleep. If she could sleep in in the morning, she’d probably sleep until 10!

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As for me, I’m planning some fun things for Mustard Seed Mommy and I have some dreams I would like to pursue in the next year… if I can save up the money to do so I would love to sell Lularoe. If you haven’t heard about Lularoe you’re missing out. Two words…. butter pants. Check it out, you won’t regret it!

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Anyways, that’s it for now. Life is crazy and hectic for us, we are always busy and I can’t believe how big my babies are. Having a 5, 3 and 1 year old all at once is an adventurous journey. I wouldn’t want it any other way! God bless!

Family Movie Night with Hotel Transylvania 2

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #MakeItAMovieNight #CollectiveBias

Family Movie Nightwith Hotel Transylvania 2

Our family really enjoys having movie nights, we have started making Friday nights our official family movie night. We make fun finger foods or pizza, gather around the living room and watch a great new family movie. This past weekend we watched Hotel Transylvania 2! This is such a cute movie, all of us (young and “old”) had a good laugh watching the antics of Dracula and his friends.

Before our movie night began we ran to Walmart to purchase our movie, we also picked up a 6-pack of Coca-Cola, Orville Redenbacher 6 pack Movie Theater Popcorn, these adorable containers of M&M’S® Chocolate Candies (we made a skillet cookie with these, you’ll find the recipe at the end of this post) and of course, our movie! Walmart has a great display for Hotel Transylvania 2, you can buy it in a few different formats.

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Our snacks and drinks were in various other places throughout the store, the M&M’S® Chocolate Candies were the last item we picked up – conveniently located at the cash register!

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I mixed and baked our M&M’S® Chocolate Candies Skillet Cookie and prepared the popcorn and we were ready to watch our new movie! It doesn’t take much to have a fun family movie night. You just need a few simple snacks, some yummy beverages and a great movie – and the best part? Quality time with your significant other and children!

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Don’t forget to purchase your M&M’S® Chocolate Candies so you can make this super yummy skillet cookie for your movie night!

M&M'S® Chocolate Candies Skillet Cookie
 
Ingredients
  • 1¼ cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened (+1-2 Tbsp for greasing skillet)
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 (3.5oz) containers of M&M'S® Chocolate Candies, divided
  • ½ cup peanut butter chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 350F and grease a 9-inch cast iron skillet with 1-2 Tbsp butter. Set aside.
  2. In a medium sized mixing bowl combine your flour, baking soda and salt.
  3. In a separate mixing bowl (I use my stand mixer so I use the bowl attachment for that) combine brown sugar, white sugar, butter and peanut butter. Blend 2-3 minutes. Add vanilla and egg to wet mixture until combined.
  4. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients (low speed) until just combined - don't over mix!
  5. Stir in 1 full container (3.5oz) of M&M'S® Chocolate Candies, then ½ of the second container. Set the remaining ½ of the second container aside. Stir in peanut butter chips.
  6. Scrape cookie dough into your greased skillet and top with remaining M&M'S® Chocolate Candies. Bake for 25-30 minutes until it achieves a golden brown color. The edges should be nice and crisp and the center soft and cooked through.
  7. Allow to cool for 15 minutes and serve warm. Enjoy!
Have your own family movie night, we highly recommend Hotel Transylvania 2. You can find some more great ideas for your movie night HERE, and purchase all four participating products you’ve seen in the above photos at Walmart between 12/22/15 and 2/2/16. Submit a photo of your receipt displaying all four products to uploadreceipt.com/movienight to receive a $10 Vudo movie code* by email! *While supplies last. Limit 1 per person.

What’s your favorite meal or snack to make on movie nights with your family? Share them by commenting below! I’d love to hear from you!