Saturday, February 20, 2010

answering part 1.

What great questions. I have to admit I was a little nervous when I posted my question and answer announcement. Nervous that there would be no questions. Really-- who am I that anyone would have a question for me except a Mommy who is constantly learning and growing in the wife and Mommy department? Yes, I love my children and being a wife, but let's be honest, I still have a lot to learn. Anyway, lets get started...

With the children so close in age & so young how do you find time for yourself?? I mean like a creative outlet, crafts etc......

Short answer: taking pictures & blogging
Long answer: Honestly, I don't think I really have those daily moments to find time for myself outside of the home. I do consider going to the boy's sport events and getting really pumped up during the games, going to church {3x's a week}, drinking a cup of coffee and reading my bible before anyone else wakes up, jumping on the computer in between my day, and reading books all the time to be 'outlets' or should I say 'times of recharging' for myself.

The great thing about having more than two children is that they have become their own best friends and playmates. This means that they do NOT require every waking moment of my time and as the oldest children grow up, not only do they become more and more self-reliant, but also more capable and helpful as well. Back when I had only one child, I was his only friend and he would follow me around the house demanding my attention even when I had other responsibilities to attend to. Besides, I think it's more developmentally beneficial for them to play with other children rather than just me all the time. The little guys are probably more fun than I am too!

One real hobby (that I've kind of gotten away from) is gardening. I really love working in the garden while the kids play in the yard or work alongside me {picking dead flowers, pulling weeds, raking out leaves, and pruning rose bushes}. There are also those few {very few} days when I can get out of the house alone to do a little shopping-- but even then, I usually want to take someone along.

Can you do a post about your daily routines about everything and how do manage to be slim after 7 blessings oh and how do you organize your home with 9 souls under 1 small house .

Questions...What kind of routine do you have? How do you stay organized? What do you do to stay looking so fit after all those babies? (I have 4 and look like a hot mess!) What hobbies or things do you like to do just for you?

I'd be interested in how you run your house with so many small kids, while being able to home school them all. I only have two little ones but I feel there are never enough hours in the day to get anything done.

Even as recently as a few weeks ago, I was feeling overwhelmed and spinning out of control, so in addition to praying, I began to rewrite my daily schedule breaking it into (almost) half hour intervals. Now, it doesn't matter exactly how I do it, because everyone has different issues to address throughout their days, but I will say this-- if you want it to happen then it must be penciled in or else you can forget about it. All I know is that everyone has to be pretty much ready to go out the door by 8:30am. Older kids get dressed and help younger ones, cereal bowls and breakfast needs to be put in the sink and cleaned up, teeth need to be brushed and beds need to be made, and on and on...

This is what HAS to happen in my house, although in yours, it may not be that important to you. The main thing that I would stress is the actual strategizing and planning which must take place in designing your schedule. The needs in my house necessitate that I have a schedule which I try to adhere to. This is not to say that I have perfected my routine either-- it is subject to change depending on the circumstance. Next fall, I will reflect on what worked and didn't work, and I'll go from there. But one thing's for sure-- a plan will have been made and implemented. {Where there is no vision, the people perish... Proverbs 29:18}

Thanks for the compliment! I don't exactly consider myself to be slim anymore since I'm about 40lbs. heavier than when I got married-- although my husband will tell you that I was too skinny to begin with! Looking back, it seems that I wasn't able to shed my baby weight after Pearl
{baby # 5}. I'm not really a workout person, but I did spend a good deal of time on the treadmill while pregnant with our last child. However, I haven't gone back to the gym since she was born... uh oh.

Home organization: Everything must have a place and if it doesn't, you either find one or get rid of it. With the help of my husband and compulsive nesting instincts that take place during the late stages of pregnancy I have learned to prune away the dead branches of my life. I guess that means both materialistically and spiritually speaking. The truth is: we all have way too much stuff. Hey Honey, get rid of it!!

I am the type of person who thrives on organizing {I don't think I'm to the point of being neurotic or obsessed about it but...} I am kind of a neat junkie. Just ask my Mom. But I figure that everyone has something that they're good at. My sister in law cooks better than I could ever wish too. My MIL is really good at delegating. My sister is really good at being socially outgoing. My Mom is really good at being hospitable. All because I am good at keeping my house in order most of the time does not mean I'm good at all the other important areas. One of the things my husband has taught me is to have the children clean up before naps and bedtime. This has really helped me maintain my sanity.

Your schedule... from when you wake up till you go to bed. I have 3 kids and it's like I'm still trying to perfect a routine. Also, if you could hit on other general topics like cooking, cleaning,etc...and how your able to fit them in.

I will forever be perfecting my routine-- kids and life are not always entirely predictable. Prioritizing life really helps clarify things. Example: What's more important-- that you got the house cleaned or you sat down and had lunch with your kids?

Cleaning never gets done completely to my satisfaction, but when I die, will I wish I had had a cleaner house or spent more time with my kids? That's like having millions of dollars, but all kinds of health problems. The two are even in the same realm as far as what's most important.

I would love to see some more wedding pics! I love the one on your side bar, but it's so small.

My wedding was on regular film, but if I can figure out a way to post them I will. I loved everything about my wedding and my pictures turned out great. It was one of the happiest days of my life.

You are a pastor's wife I see so please explain to me what it means where it says in I John HOW CAN WE SAY WE WALK IN THE LIGHT YET HATE OUR BROTHER?

I'm not exactly sure what you're asking me, but it does sound like you have a bone to pick and somehow you're trying to justify your own personal shortcomings by blaming them on God. Of course, I may have misunderstood you and if that is the case, then please forgive me!

By the way-- this is what the scripture actually reads: "Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates his brother is still in the darkness." {1 John 2:9} There is also a related scripture which similarly says: "If anyone says, "I love God," yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen." {1 John 4:20}
==> I think it's pretty clear: If you hate people, then no matter what you say, how you pray, or what church you attend-- the truth of the matter is: you don't love God. People who have held grudges toward family members for years, those who harbor unforgiveness and bitterness, racists and others who discriminate against others because of ethnicity or social status-- these people cannot possibly love God.

The bottom line is that God loves people-- a real lot! And if you don't love people, then there's no way you can even begin to establish a relationship with Him. This doesn't mean that we aren't hurt by the words or actions of others, it just means that we're willing to forgive those people and put them into God's hands. Usually when you have hate toward someone-- they go about their business completely unaware and carefree of the ill will you wish upon them and meanwhile, you're the one who's suffering, having swallowed the bitter pill of hatred which just burns you and eats you up from the inside out.

==> Now, what I really think the question was getting at was this: If you claim to be a Christian and walk in the light, then how can you 'hate' other people and condemn them for what they do?

First off, if you tell someone that what they're doing is wrong and that they need to change, does that mean that you hate them or that you care about them enough to take the risk that they may not like you for it? If I really did hate someone, then I wouldn't take the time to even bother-- if they were on fire I wouldn't even stop to spit on them to help put them out. If someone is living in sin {you can fill in the blank about what that might entail...} and you're supposed to be their friend, but don't tell them they're wrong with God, then what you're really saying to them is "Go to hell". If you knowingly allow them to remain ignorant about what the consequence of their actions will result in, then you really aren't much of a friend, are you? If you know that your friend was getting into a bad relationship, and you didn't say anything to at least give them the opportunity to make an informed decision, then you really don't care about them-- as a matter of fact, you could say: You hate them. Or I guess, you were just too afraid to care.

It is our duty as Christians, not only to live a pure and upright life, but to tell the truth to others as well. This involves two things-- first, the result of sin and one's separation from God because of it, and second and most important, the awesome opportunity and gift every single person has to get right with God through His son, Jesus, and to leave that life of sin behind entering into a new and infinitely more wonderful one as a child of God. If you really do love God, then you'll love people.

What denomination are you? I saw in a previous post y'all attending a Greek Orthodox church for an event, but I didn't get that from other posts...

We are a non-denominational, pentacostal, full gospel, Holy Spirit filled church. My husband's paternal side of the family is from Greece and most are still Greek Orthodox. In the post you were referring to, we attended a memorial service for his Yiayia {that's his Greek grandmother}.

I'm curious how much time you put into your church, if any? Like helping your husband and stuff. Do you lead any ministry programs?

I feel like we put in a lot of time in our church, and that can be hard, especially while trying to raise our family of 7 children. Yet on the other hand, there are areas where I feel we can always improve like having people over more often for meals or fellowship. It can all be very hectic and very rewarding, but we're always trying to keep it balanced with family being the most important. Without our family being healthy and in order, it would not be right for us to remain in ministry.

From the beginning, my husband and I both agreed that we would never sacrifice our relationship with our children for the church or our ministry.

Prioritization of life's relationships starting with the most important: God, spouse, children, work, ministry. They must remain in that order or instability will ensue.

That being said, would you be willing to reveal where you live? I don't mean too specific, but maybe your county and state. If I had to guess, I'd say somewhere in southern California (where I live!). Your rain days fell the same time as mine, unlike the snow other blogs post about.

I honestly get freaked out sometimes about weirdos on the internet {not you} so because I have many little children the most I will say is: Southern California.

By now, I'm sure your eyeballs are burning, so I'll continue with the rest of the questions I received within the next couple of days. To be continued...


Amanda Sikes said...

I didn't get a chance to ask on the other post and maybe it has already been asked but would you share what your monthly grocery budget is with your size of family and then how much normal items like milk and eggs run in your area as a reference to how they are different than mine. Thanks!

Marilyn said...

So glad you answered my question.... You know, I have learned many things from you over the time we have blogged. I raised 2 children & one was a special needs child. I have one now who is 40 & one nearly 39. I wish I had done it different.... I wish I had had the religious beliefs you do now. I would have been a different & better mother.
I so admire you Sweetheart... I admire your dedication to your Husband & Children. You may not see it but there are many of us who love you & think you are someone who we wish we were like!
Love you Both....((Your little cupcakes too!!))

Kathi said...

I never posted a ? before (except about the suits:) here's mine:

How much money to you spend on decorating your home?

I've been reading a lot more blogs lately, and I have to say...everyone seems to have Beautifully Decorated Magazine-ish homes! We do not. I have broken lamps (my 4th set since we've been married), no real pictures on the wall, no beautiful vase, rugs or window treatments...I feel very alone and dumpy:) We are just, just starting to have a little extra $cash$, and I'm just wondering what would be an appropriate amount to put aside for home decorating/furnishings?

Silly, I know, but that's my ?

thechattymommy said...

Thanks so much! I love all the answers to the questions. I have one more if I may be so bold. If it is too much, just erase my comment. lol
Do you make money off your blog? I would love to be able to make a little "pretty wife" money and strive to be that Proverbs 31 woman, and have been wondering if blogging is where it is at.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for answering all the questions on this post.I enjoy reading about your family.I would not want people knowing where we lived either.Thanks for sharing your lives with us.I love seeing all the pretty things you find at thrift shops too.We love to decorate that way too.

Vivian said...

I loved reading every word...!!

Melinda said...

Enjoyed every minute of this...very enlightening, and inspiring! I didnt ask a question because all those that I had wanted to ask were already ask, but I did get the answers to things I too had wondered about. Hats off to you girl! You are obviously a well balance and strong woman!

Tami said...

i second the grocery bill ? and the recipes/menus

No Ordinary Me said...

I noticed that you said you have try to be out the door by 8:30 am. Do you still homeschool? Or do you homeschool somewhere else? Or are you talking about Sunday's?

Thanks for sharing. Fun read. I always feel such a great sweet spirit when I visit.

The Mama said...

Thank you for answering the questions so openly! I enjoyed them all!

I sure didn't want to "freak" you out with the question about where you live and am so sorry if I did. I think I just decided to "go for it" when you offered open questions. Not in any sort of weird way was it asked, just hoping to find one of "like mind" possibly near me! I'll continue to enjoy you from your postings and hope you'll forgive any misstep on my part.

By the way, pink is my very favorite color and hydrangeas are my favorite flowers!! Said with a smile from my computer!

The Fullhousemama

Pink Slippers said...

----No Ordinary Me.
To answer your question....
I home school in the house but a few days out of the week I have errands. I really like to do my errands first thing in the morning.