I haven't blogged much on "life" in a while, so here goes!
Where to begin?!? I'll just start rambling and see where this goes...
As some of you who read regularly may know or not, we have a house-full! Jeff and I brought in a girl from youth group back in the fall because her sister (whom she lives with) moved to Kalkaska for career reasons and Briana wanted to finish her senior year at Concord Academy (which I don't blame her!). So, we've worked it out so that her sister usually comes to get her on the weekends and she stays with us during the week for school and such. Briana has had a "turbulent" childhood. Her mom died of Lupus when she was eight years old, and her father is an alcoholic, so therefore she's lived with her sister most of her life since. Her sister recently got divorced (a couple of years ago now), and has some serious financial problems due to the divorce and trying to support her daughter, who is 14, and Briana...not to mention she was recently in a relationship with a guy and they had a son together but the father of the boy is not in the picture any longer. (I'm just trying to draw a picture here for you readers, not place any judgment on anyone!) So, needless to say, Briana, her sister and niece and nephew have moved so many times, I can't keep track anymore!
Then we have my niece, Kara, staying with us and her new baby girl, Alyssa, which I have many, many pics of on my blog (LOL). Her baby's father is not in the picture either for various reasons. When Kara moved here from New Mexico earlier last year, she stayed with my mom. Well, my brother and his wife and 3 kids, have serious financial problems as well so they ended up moving in with my mom too!!! She only has a small 3 bedroom modular, and when Alyssa arrived it was too chaotic and crowded at my mom's so Kara's been with us since Alyssa was just a couple weeks old (she is now just over a month old.) And I love it! I love having the baby around and I love having Kara AND Briana around.
What I don't love is that way before Kara came to stay with us, Kaleb went over to his dad's and had decided to stay with his dad ever since. He hasn't said how long he's going to stay over there, but I don't hear him saying he's coming back to my house anytime soon, even though I've reassured him that he is welcome to come back anytime, and that we'd figure out rooming arrangements upon his returning. Right now, Kara and Alyssa are sleeping in his bed, and Kara is feeling like she's pushed Kaleb out, even though she hasn't and he made the decision to stay at his dad's long before she came to stay.
All that being said (whew!) We need a bigger house! LOL (not really LOL...we DO need a bigger house, but that's not the point of this paragraph...LOL.) The point of this paragraph IS why I want to help these girls out, and in the mean time, pray that Karlie is grasping all that I'm trying to teach them, so she doesn't end up making the same mistakes or feeling like she has to live a life of regret. Yesterday at church was Communion Sunday, like every first Sunday of the month. Jeff is on days this week, working weekends, and Brandon went with Chelsea to Walloon Lake Church, so it was just "us girls"! Well, after we took communion, "us girls" prayed together, with me leading the prayer. I started to pray and burst into tears! I have such a heart for these girls and I so badly want to teach them how to live an amazing life for God and to let God transform them so they don't have to live "defeated" or victimized" by their pasts and "generational curses". And I want them to be strong, confident women of God! Something I am working on too, my self-esteem and confidence. So, after praying with them, all of us wiping our tears, we sat down and listened to the message by Pastor Steve. During the message I got an idea. I thought why not have a bible study with just the four of us??? And I thought we could read and discuss the book "The Confident Woman" by Joyce Meyer. On the way home I suggested it to the girls and they all agreed they would like to do that, so we set the day for Thursday evenings. I can't wait to get started!!! I've started reading the book a while back, but haven't finished it, so it will be good to start over, especially with the girls. So, on the way home from church, we stopped at Wal-Mart and got a few groceries and I got each of them their own copy of the book so that they can mark in it and makes notes, or whatever they want. I also let Chelsea know that if she wanted to join us she could, but she would have to get her own book...lol. Just be praying that these girls really learn to let go of their pasts, and let God transform them into the beautiful young ladies that God created them to be!
On another note, I started a soy protein diet! I am going to Africa the end of March for a mission trip with 6 others from our church and really felt the need to get on the road to healthiness before going. So, I was praying and thinking about how to do it and considered some other plans like Jenny Craig and Nutri-System, but then I realized I had some stuff already at home to get me started. Jeff used to be on the auto-ship program for Revival Soy protein shakes, and we have tons of it at home! So one day, I pulled down a box and opened it up, a viola, there was a book in it by Dr. Tabor, the Christian Dr. who created Revival Soy Protein products and developed the diet plan to "save" his mom. I was so excited! I've read about half way through the book now, and ordered a supply of soy products, and started "the diet" Saturday. Basically, I have a shake for breakfast, that I mix with milk (you can mix it with juice or water too) a yummy soy protein snack like soy chips or soy nuts for a mid-morning snack, either a shake or a soy protein bar for lunch, another mid-afternoon snack, a sensible dinner and an evening snack. I tell you what...I am not hungry, yet I don't feel bloated or over-stuffed, and the shakes, bars and snacks are yummy!!! Really yummmy!!!! I got a variety pack of shakes, bars, chips and nuts to see which ones I like and which ones I don't. So far I haven't found a shake I don't like, or a bar. And of the chips I've tried (only a couple of flavors) I've only found I don't like the plain ones. They are a little dry and bland. But, of the flavored ones I've tried so far, I like them all. I've only tried the yogurt covered nuts so far too, and they are good. So, I'm excited!!! I found something that I truly love, that tastes good, and I can lose weight on! And it's truly good for me! The research that Dr. Tabor did shows that soy protein is the most complete protein! In addition to the weight loss, it even improves your hair, skin and nails. And it helps balance out your hormones, so whether your pre-, peri- or post-menopausal, it will help you feel and act better...lol. So, if you are interested at all, here is the link.
Let's see, what else I can update you on since my blog is becoming so long now...lol.
Alyssa is just over a month old now. She is so cute and I do have some pics I took on her one-month birthday, but I, of course, have not been able to load them on the computer at home yet or onto flickr, but hope to soon!!! Ethan was over that day, I think it was that day, and so I got a video of him kissing her! It was so cute!!! I will get that posted on here too, again, as soon as I get it loaded!!! Oh, all these time consuming tasks, but I wouldn't know what to do without all of today's technologies!!!
I think I'm going to end this blog now, and maybe start a new one on a different subject! Stay tuned for further updates...lol!
I haven't blogged much on "life" in a while, so here goes!