Friday, February 18, 2011

A New Direction

I'm looking forward to the weekend and getting a bit of a break. You know, I've been thinking and praying a lot about what the right direction is regarding school--for both myself and my children. I've felt stretched really thin between classes and housework and family. To be honest, I was completely burned out before this term started. The past year has been really tough. I was right in the middle of my anatomy and physiology sequence when I found out I was pregnant with William. Last winter term is when things got really crazy. I was pregnant, morning sick, and going to classes full time. David was working out of town for weeks at a time and as a result of not being able to take it easy, I had to get my cerclage re-done. That made two surgeries in one term of full-time classes! Two weeks into spring term, the girls were in the middle of a bout of pneumonia when David had to leave for yet another week out of town. I was in the hospital with a second failed cerclage by the end of that week, where I remained for 7 1/2 weeks. While I was in the hospital, David and the kids moved into my parents' home, but most of the unpacking waited for me due to the fact that David was still working full time, visiting me at the hospital, and caring for the kids. Thank God for my parents. We would not have made it without them. After that, I came home on bedrest for a few more weeks and then unpacked the house, finishing right before William came. When he was born, I got my tubes tied since it was advised that I not try for another baby; it would be too difficult to make it full term again. Right around the time I was starting to feel physically better from that, I started classes again. It was just too soon with him being only 6 weeks old and just recovered from childbirth and surgery. I'm thankful that I made it through that term, but it was too much on my family and my sanity. Something had to give.

At the end of Winter term, we moved into our new rental home and now we're settled into our own place again. It definitely feels like home now. To cut down on the stress level and help out our finances, this term I have cut way back on my course load, taking only a Spanish class (that is mostly online) and two one-credit weekend classes. But it still feels like it's too much to keep up with. Weekends should be spent with my family, not trying to get homework done and studying for the next test. I want to keep serving on the worship team at church as well, but I am only one person doing too many things. I need to take care of myself if I am going to be a good mommy... and our marriage needs to be a priority as well. We've decided to be coached by a couple at church using the Marriage Team materials. We'll meet once a week for 8-10 weeks and the church is helping out by paying half of the $160 course fee. I think it will be a really good tool to get us back on track after all the stress. We're also feeling like it's a good idea for me to stay home with the kids from now on. It's not worth being away from my family and going into debt with daycare costs. I'll try to make some money from home as I can get freelance writing experience. But for the most part, I will hopefully use my doula training to get that business built up when William is a bit older and we're able to find a reliable on-call babysitter. Staying home should be a good move that will help me get a much needed break. I say "break" loosely, simply because we all know that staying home with 3 small children is no easy task! In addition, I am considering homeschooling the kids, so any advice in that area is always welcome.

So, that's where we're at as a family. In a month, I will (most likely) not be taking classes any more as I focus on my God, my home, and my family. This will also give me more time to figure out ways to be more frugal and natural so we can pay off debt and live a more healthy lifestyle. I'll talk more about some of my goals with that as things progress.

Thursday's Tidbits
B: Eggs and toast.
L: Broiled whole wheat bread topped with spinach dip and swiss cheese. Sliced oranges on the side.
D: Whole wheat buttermilk chocolate chip banana pancakes and spinach/fruit smoothies.

Friday's Feasts
B: Yay for leftover pancakes and milk!
L: Chili with cheese, sour cream, and organic blue corn tortilla chips. Applesauce on the side.
D: Butternut squash soup, chicken, spinach salad, and whole wheat honey cornbread muffins.

I've fallen in love with this whole wheat pancake recipe and have played around with it some (making additions, adjusting amounts) to make it even more tasty. I'm currently trying to figure out how to tweak it to add cornmeal since I love me some cornmeal pancakes with molasses. Anyway, we made these for dinner last night and the kids were still asking for them this morning. Dorothy actually giggled when she saw the chocolate chips in them. I don't have to tell her that they're healthy other than the sprinkle of chocolate chips ;). This makes a lot of pancakes, so you will have leftovers unless you have a large family.

Whole Wheat Banana Chocolate Chip Pancakes

3 c. whole wheat flour
3 tbsp honey
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
3 c. buttermilk or plain yogurt (I make my own buttermilk with 1 tbsp lemon juice per 1 c. milk and letting it sit for 10 min)
2 tbsp oil or melted butter
3 lg eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 c. chocolate chips
1 lg banana, chopped

Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, mix buttermilk, eggs, and oil. Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients with a wire whisk until smooth. Add vanilla, chocolate chips, and banana and mix until combined. Spoon 1/4-1/3 c. batter onto greased or nonstick griddle (about 365 degrees). Pancakes are ready to turn when bubbles form on the top and edges appear cooked. Serve with butter and maple syrup. (I put honey on mine and it was really good that way, too).
This has been linked to The Grocery Cart Challenge

1 comment:

Johnlyn ~ Frugality and Homemaking said...

God will bless you with your decision.

Having worked fulltime until my kids were 3 and 5, I applaud you for doing the right thing for your family.

There's no amount of money that can buy that time back.

I am glad that I worked, but of course if I had to do it over again, I would do many things differently

When your kids are older then you can make different choices.

Good for you! Fun to read what you've been up to on your blog.