Tuesday, October 30, 2012

It's Official!

After two Parent Teacher Conferences, one great and one pretty good, I took the first big step and told the teachers we are not coming back after winter break.  That's right, I told them I am going to HOMESCHOOL!!!!!!  I even went to the secretary Gloria, whom I LOVE and talked to her about it. She gave me withdrawal forms making it feel VERY official.


This has been on my heart BIG TIME since last Christmas and through lots of talk with Chris, research together, advisement from homeschool friends, and LOTS OF PRAYER, I made the decision in my heart at the end of summer.  I have "toyed" with the idea of homeschooling for a couple of years but only seriously started thinking about it for about a year. Through lots of research, reading and going back and forth with Chris I feel SOLID in our decision.  Do NOT get me wrong, while I'm very excited, I'm also very nervous.  It's the "unknown" that gets me. I *know* my children and because of this, I *know* it will be wonderful for them.  How much luckier can I be? I get to be with them all day!  I get to be the main influence in their lives! I get to watch them grow and learn as individuals without the institutional guidelines and demands based solely on "testing".

Christopher is in 1st grade and is pretty sharp.  He LOVES to read and is an advanced reader and problem solver.  His handwriting is terrible, LOL, but we will work on that of course!  He is my little explorer and I can't wait to see where his curiosity takes us!  He loves to draw and "create"!  He is thrilled to start homeschooling primarily because we can do LOTS of stuff "outside" he told me.

Adrianna, my sweet angel, struggles.  She hates to read. She has major confidence issues and unfortunately has been overlooked during a couple of pretty crucial years of school while I was unaware just how serious it was.  She is in 4th grade and behind.  She's at a 3rd grade reading level and struggles to grasp math strategies and problem solving.  She LOVES to create. She LOVES to work with her hands.  She is the girl who wants to paint with her hands and not a brush.  She loves to write songs, sing and perform for us.  Her mood over the past year has gone a little south. She is stressed and I feel like I'm losing a part of her.  THAT I will NOT let happen.  She is the primary reason I first thought about homeschool when she was in 2nd grade.  I decided to stick it out through 3rd since I knew she would have a wonderful teacher. BUT then came STAR testing and stress and anxiety....she had ENOUGH! I had ENOUGH!  She is thrilled to start homeschooling and asks me ALL THE TIME how much longer! I think it's just because she likes to SLEEP IN, LOL. Kidding, well a little, but really I think she is going to love being with ME, learning with ME. She is inspired by ME.

I have nothing negative to say about public school.  I hardly know ANYONE that was brought up "homeschooled".  For our family, this is our personal choice.  I've had lots of people ask me about "socialization", and in fact was discouraged by very close friends when I had this on my heart last year because they thought "I" would not do well being home all day restricted to teaching my children. Worst part is that I believed that and now know that couldn't be farther from the truth.

I CAN'T WAIT to start!!!  My "I" personality, the innovative, initiator, people lover along with my "D" personality, likes to be in charge, driven by challenge, great leader . . . . knowing these high points of my personality and how it can be used in a HUGE way to educate and lead my children is a HUGE blessing!  I am not antisocial so of course my children won't be either.  This is going to be A FUN learning environment. Structured and organized of course, but also FUN!  Creativity all around will be a must!  We will learn and grow together.  I can't wait to see how God uses my 3 most precious gifts to help me grow as well!

I have SO much to say and so many thoughts to share but if I did that I would never get this post up!  I'm reading "The Mission of Motherhood" right now by Sally Clarkson with "Free Range Learning" by Amanda Grace Weldon in queue next!  Also going to add in "Dumbing us Down" by John Taylor Gatto after I finish with Sally Clarkson.

This past year of INCREDIBLE change, tons of heartbreak and stress has all been for a reason. Our family is moving in a direction, following God's voice, that many people just won't understand. And that's okay. Yes, you heard that right! I said "That's Okay"!!!  I am done being Gina, the "People Pleaser". I want to please God, following the direction HE is leading me and for the first time in a long time, I feel in my gut that I am doing just that!

So here's to the beginning of our new Journey . . .

Monday, October 29, 2012

Keep Your Head Up

I've heard this song SO much recently and just LOVE it!  The lyrics hit so close to home for me with some stuff we've been going through.  I was talking to a friend yesterday and realized, we ALL have tough seasons, followed by AWESOME seasons!  Just like Andy Grammar says, it's a circle, circling around again.  It's only because I make the choice to "LIVE OUT LOUD" that people see my ups and downs, but we all go through it, it's life.  Some people keep those "downs" more private is all.   I have a big heart full of love and passion and have always been up front with sharing it ALL.  Nothing will change that.

Menu Plan Monday

Monday:  White Chicken Chili

Tuesday: Crockpot Orange Chicken

Wednesday: Mummy Dogs

Thursday: Breakfast for Dinner

Friday:  Pizza

Saturday: Sliders, Fries, Broccoli

Sunday:  Spaghetti and Meatballs

Sunday, October 28, 2012

First COLD Run!

Today was my first COLD run of this season and I LOVED IT!!!  Well, let me rephrase that....I LOVED the way I felt when I was done.  LOL  The recovery from cold long runs is much better than the hot long runs. You don't feel dehydrated, nauseous or shaky. You feel refreshed and sipping on that hot cup of coffee afterwards, thawing out your fingers is just heavenly!

Kim and I started off the season training for Dallas but with so much going on in our lives recently we decided to push out to Austin instead. So we printed up our pretty little Higdon plan and are on week 2, 16 weeks until race day.   This will most likely be my last marathon here in Texas so I want to go out with a bang! Hahahaha!!!  I'm  not sure just how easy/tough the training will be in January if we end up moving in March, but I am going to stick to this race!  I ran in in 2011, my first and only marathon, and can't think of any race or any person I would want to say goodbye to Austin with than with my Kimmers and Austin Marathon!!  So here we go...."let the games begin!!!" Ha!

What I LOVE about my BRF (best running friend) is that she is ALWAYS there, even as creepy as it could be, sitting on my doorstep texting me "Boo", I can always count on her and I LOVE her dearly!  We started it all with our first 5k and our friendship has developed into something I've never had before.  She has seen it ALL and heard it ALL and is still here. She is a constant and I love her for that.  We've shared so much together on our runs....sweat, laughter, and tears.  Moments I will NEVER forget!!!

I got emotional this morning waiting for her, walking out to her van, thinking.... "If we relocate to Colorado (this is NOT final, YET), HOW will I get my ass out there in the cold by myself???"  I can see going out for runs in the daylight or early evenings but running will be different for me and never mind training...that will be tough!!!  I told her this morning I could just run with a bluetooth and we can chat just like now, LOL!!  I was "half" kidding!

This is a crazy season and I have found peace with alot of issues at hand but dont' take for granted at all my very special friend!  As soon as the decision comes to a head, I WILL set up our very first "Destination Race"!!! Thinking Disney????!!!!

Happy Running!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Another "Bump" in the Road....

Life isn't perfect, in fact, life IS HARD.  Perspective is EVERYTHING, Faith is a MUST, and finding joy and peace in the midst of a storm is CRUCIAL.  We have been in the midst of a STORM the past couple of months with friendships coming to an end, leaving our only ever church "home", potential job change coming up and it came to a peak yesterday with Chris's surgery.

Just coming up for air right now and want to blog so I can look back at how we came out of yet, this too, stronger as individuals, as a couple, and as a family.  It's hard to see a light at the end when you are dredging through a dark tunnel.  I am far from a pessimist or a cynic, in fact I usually look not just on the bright side, but at all the endless hope and possiblilities out there ahead for us, but right now, it's hard. Hard.

Chris has struggled with sinus infections since the summer and has been MISERABLE.  Ever since we moved to Texas he has struggled with allergies and his asthma. It's been something we just "got used to" being part of our lives.  No big deal, right? Right.   Well, last week after having such bad headaches and not being able to breathe through his nose STILL, after rounds of antibiotics, he decided enough was enough, went back to dr. and got a CT scan.  The scan revealed polyps in his sinuses and could easily be removed through surgery.  Okay. No big deal. Right?

He was referred to a specialist that looked over his scan and went up his nose with a camera to check things out.  Yep, polyps. Endoscopic Surgery scheduled.  Okay. No big deal. Thousands of people get these "surgerical procedures" done. Right?

This is nothing compared to what other people deal with as far as health issues go so my thought was, stay positive and optimistic for Chris, that's what YOU DO Gina so, no worries.  In and out, simple.

So we get to the hospital at 7:00 and he gets the surgery started at 8:15. I sit out and wait catching up on Facebook, reading my Kindle, pinning and pinning on Pinterest, all is well.

10:00 rolls around and I start to get anxious as my battery starts dying on the Kindle and my bars are disappearing on the phone, I realize, WHOA, they should be finished in there by now and then the phone rings at the volunteer's desk.  It's the surgical nurse telling me there was more in there than they thought and it will be a little longer.  Ohhhh...kay. I go down to get a coffee and start pacing, WAITING.  My mind is wandering and I start to worry.  "Did the dr. hit that "floating" artery?" " Did something happen with his asthma and breathing with the anesthesia?"  "WHY is this taking SO LONG?"

I start to panic.

I watch all 6 of the other people *waiting* with me get called by the volunteer and taken back to post op to see their family member and I still sit. And wait.  Then, out comes the doctor asking me to go into a private room for "counsel".......I FREAK....tears are rolling as soon as I stand up, dizzy as hell, following him in completely numb.

"Is he alive?"  was all I could say before he even shut the door.  He eased my mind immediately saying he did just fine.  But there were some concerns that he didn't foresee on the scan that we need to discuss.  I stare at him blankly, tears just rolling down my face as I try to focus on questions, facts, etc.  It was HARD.  He told me that the bone between his frontal sinus and brain had eroded away, it was gone and his Dura Mater was exposed in there.  THE DURA MATER??!!!!!   Uhmmmmm that's part of the brain, what??!!!???!!!  Scary to hear and confusing as all hell.  So I listen to him explain how badly the fungus in his frontal sinus was and that he believes he was able to remove it all, which is why it took so long. But, he is concerned with the dura "hanging down" and infection, tears, etc....

My head spins. What?  How is this dura going to be protected or supported if the bone is permanently gone?  He proceeded to explain about the scar tissue and hopefully it grows in the way to support the dura and protect it.


Chris's AFS, is something that will most likely reoccur and is something else we will have to live with, and yes, I KNOW there are much more serious diseases out there, but I am STILL SCARED.  We go back to the doctor on Thursday and for now I just need to keep him in bed RESTING.

I know we will get through this and am thankful for the people in my life here now to support and love on our family as we move forward.  My eyes were open to ALOT yesterday as I sat "alone" in the hospital. All of the drama, and NONSENSE I've been working through will get NONE of my mental energy from here on out.  I am done. My focus will be inward, taking care of my family FIRST.

I thank all of my family and friends for your genuine prayers and concerns.  They are so very appreciated by Chris and I both.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


Hellooooooo BEAUTIFUL!!!!

Say hello to my new shoes!!  I went to Rogue today and tried on quite a few pairs of shoes that were not Nike.  I tried on Asics, Saucony, and Mizuno.  Like the salesperson said to me, it's not about the "brand", let's focus on the "type" of shoe for you.  I have been wearing Nike Structure Triax for the past couple years and thought it was time for a change. These *new* shoes are symbolic to me in this new season of my life, but that's another blog post completely! LOL  As Mr. Runner was explaining the difference in support levels,  cushioning, heal heights, minimalists, etc. etc..... I was floating on cloud 9! You know that feeling...

"I'm a runner",
"I rock",

Then. He. asked. me. to. run.

Once I got past feeling *awkward* I focused on my feet and FELL. IN. LOVE. with my new shoes, because I couldn't feel them.  Yes, you read that correctly, I couldn't feel them.  I have had a moderately supportive shoe for a while now, coming from a really supportive shoe before that and would love the minimalist shoe but he said that would be breaking the 2step rule!  You never step down or up 2 levels of change when it comes to a shoe so he put me in a less supportive shoe than my Nikes but not quite a minimalist shoe yet.

All I can say about Mizunos (these are my first pair) is the UPPER is AWESOME!!!! The material and feel is unlike any other shoe....WOWZA!!!  I can't wait to get them and go for a run!  I couldn't afford the $125 plus tax BUT found a coupon online (of course) and got them with expedited shipping for $89!!!!!  YAY!!!!!!

So here's to another *new* beginning....a NEW start....my NEW shoe!!! YIPEEE!!!!!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Weekly Menu Plan

Keeping it SIMPLE this week!  Daddy will be in Dallas Wednesday and Thursday night and Tuesdays are piano lessons at 4 so mommy has to take it easy on herself this week, LOL!  Lasagna soup recipe here. I'm using ground turkey instead of sausage since we just had sausage with our Sunday pasta last week and will make a couple other small tweaks here and there to make it my own.

Meatloaf was AWESOME last night!!! Tried something new....

  • put 2 carrots, 2 celery stalks, 1 small onion and two cloves of garlic in food processor and minced them VERY small, almost to a paste. Added them to the ground turkey
  • 2.5 lbs lean ground turkey
  • 1 cup homemade bread crumbs
  • worchestershire sauce
  • garlic powder
  • Mrs. Dash
  • Lawrys Seasoning
  • 2 eggs
  • ground pepper

Mixed it all together and baked at 350 for 1 hour....it was AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!! Served it with brown gravy and it was a hit! YUM!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Takin' it Back

This crazy lady gets all these different ideas and jumps on them. Try this new blog, try that new blog, but this summer has taught me one HUGE lesson, keep it simple!  So instead of trying to come up with "the next new thing", I'm takin it back to where I began.....Sunday Morning Sauce!  My friend Amanda first introduced me to blogging and helped me come up with this title wayyyyyyy back and through the years a LOT has happened but I'm ready to get back to the basics.


I've had lots of issues, well let me rephrase that, "people" have had lots of issues with different blog posts I've written and I've felt convicted here and there over some of my *shared* feelings in the Cyber world but here's a reality, I'm not perfect. This is my blog.  If you are that affected by the things I write, please don't read it.  I write to share my feelings.  I hope that my shared experiences and feelings don't hurt people, I never set out to do that. But here's the thing, I like to blog and am going to continue to do so!  At least for now, seasons change, life gets busy and Facebook makes it OH SO EASY to just stick a few quick blurbs and post pics.

Here is to a new season!