Discipline, Integrity And Hope

The best lessons for building our integrity are learned from the trials that we go through. I’ve had to face my share of difficulties; and I suppose it’s a necessary part to the whole life experience. Building our integrity, through discipline, brings hope.

Part of the growing process that comes from these difficulties, is having to work our way through them. At first, it seems like a hopeless task. And we certainly don’t get through it independently! But for the grace of God.

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All these things, as true as they are, still don’t make what I’m going to say next, less bittersweet. I’m not doing my kids any favors – in fact, I could end up stunting their growth – when I attempt to play Supermom and rescue them. As human beings we’re prone to making mistakes, and we have to learn from them.

“But that’s my job – It’s my purpose!” Yes, I know that’s what we train ourselves to believe, but we cannot be more wrong. I don’t allow them the gift of seeing they can overcome their hardships without Mommy taking over. They’ll never have an opportunity to see that they don’t have to fear failure. Messing up isn’t something to be afraid of; it just provides an opportunity to keep trying.


A Habit Of Hope

Hope requires some practicing. Once it has become a habit, it’s possible to attain true joy. While they shouldn’t always be reliant on me to get them through difficulties, they will always have a guide in God. That IS His purpose!

He’ll never let them down, because He loves them and will continue filling their hearts with His love.

I Survived!

I’ve survived summer! The early mornings of getting asked what we’d be doing a million times, and the going to bed late (early?), to enjoy as much quiet time that I could. Those days are outta here!

It’s hard managing the kids on just the weekends, sometimes. So, I knew that it’d be an interesting summer. Kind of like attempting to make my dogs “shut uuuuuup” after somebody rings the doorbell. I know that it’s pointless, but I proceed doing it anyways.

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To provide you some insight, my 5-year-old was less than thrilled (unlike my teenager) about not getting to see her teacher and friends over the summer. I had to be persuasive about this being a great time to enjoy the sunshine, and to do lots of swimming.

Pretty much like the rest of my life, I survived by coming up with a warped plan to be creative (which is the bone I’m missing in my body), and embrace the laziness of the months ahead. I say embrace, because of how my nerves get shot by even the suggestion that I march to the door with the kids and get out. The moments before our excursion, I mentally have to check off the things needing to be done first: are the meals accounted for; are their entertaining devices with them? I try to minimize all of the potential issues, that way we’re ready to make the best of our time.

So, here’s some of what we did:

One With Nature
I had visions of the yard looking spectacular while the kids were playing in it, appreciating the beauty of God’s work. Them investigating the different species of bugs (instead of step on them, while yelling “Got ya!”). Ok, ok..that last part’s my own fault! Bugs haven’t survived my shoes many times, either. But at least leave the rollie-pollie’s..and ladybugs!

I’m blessed to be married to a man that does the gardening, with our daughter, since I haven’t picked up the skill yet. I like to still put in my requests for what I’d like the next season, though. I don’t want to avoid participating in gardening completely!

Coffee Beans–

I’m required to drink coffee everyday. Seriously! I mean, that aroma, it’s a little piece of heaven. What I’d like to know is, is it possible to grow coffee in a regular, run-of-the-mill neighborhood yard?? I wouldn’t think it’s too difficult! I’d certainly use whatever we grew. My dessert creations even had coffee in them, for crying out loud! Question: Can you grow it inside, to enjoy the beautiful fragrance?

Blueberries–I know that this grows on bushes..right? The obsession for blueberries is real in our house, so this would make total sense! The healthy stuff is taken where I can get it (if the hubby hasn’t eaten it first). We grew strawberries before and they were magnificent! The gardening thing started with my hubby making the decision to start making a raised bed one day, and BOOM!


–My mom grew tomatoes in the front yard awhile back, and so many were produced! Plus, they survived way past the season. I think I’d like to try cherry tomatoes next! Man, these vegetables attract bugs, though. (“Got ya!”) But I do love salads. I’ve never made tomato sauce, but it’s on my list to do! We certainly eat enough Italian food.

Here’s some dishes I did, with my little assistant by my side):

How I Survived With Sanity Intact


  • Ho Ho Punch
  • Painkiller – This drink consists of rum, pineapple juice, cream of coconut, orange juice and nutmeg. It makes you feel like you’re on an island somewhere! Delicious.
So tasty!
Rainbow Layer Cake

The Kitchen

Most of the time, I’m at home with the kids, while my husband’s at work for 10-hour days at the office. I picked up food for our meals frequently over the summer, to simplify my life. The fast food thing has run its course, though! Now, with school back, I’m preparing to be back in the kitchen.

God knows, that I wouldn’t have survived this season without H-E-B..my second home.

Unfortunately, I didn’t use the Ibotta app as much as I would’ve liked to, but I can barely remember the stuff I need when I’m by myself. Give me a 5-year-old, who’s asking for stuff left and right, and yeah..it just wasn’t happening! This app’s such a HUGE money-saver, though!! (And just so you know, it can be used AFTER leaving the store. I had a scattered brain though, so I had trouble remembering to do it.)

On days that I was truly a glutton for punishment, I sparked the kids excitement, by letting them know I’d be baking some goodies during the day. I didn’t even get to make all the ones I was planning! They’re still going to get done, though. What’s coming next is:

Fun at Home

If you don’t already know, I’m an introvert..to the core. My favorite place to be is our home (I’ve survived 4 kids, but dread the chaos). I’ve got Disney movies, things to do on various apps, and then simply flipping through the channels to provide entertainment. At least, for awhile.

When the intense heat that we get here in Texas would give us a break, we’d head to the playground or take walks after dinner. We had fun playing games, too!

For our outside entertainment, we’d go break the hose out!

We’d hose down the dogs, the kids; we’d get out the plastic, reusable water “balloons”; start drawing with the sidewalk chalk, and of course, do some (dead) snail collecting, to bring amusement. And it was all within the comfort of our own neighborhood!

On the rainy afternoons, (considering we’ve been in a drought, there weren’t many) I’d bust out the watercolors for some artwork to take place. Of course, there was always hide and seek, also!

I found this amazing little hole-in-the-wall bouncey house place, towards the end of summer as well as some new walking trails to explore. After all, wearing the kids out is the name of the game!

Hanging at Chuck E. Cheese’s


(Right about this time, envision my drooping eyes and my twitching legs. It wasn’t pretty, friends. Not in the slightest!)

I’ve been so mentally spent, that there’s been nothing left for me to give by the end of the day. My brother and sister-in-law closed on their new house last month, so it’s been awesome to at least have them around! Hopefully, they don’t get sick of us “being around”, anytime soon. Don’t worry guys, I’ll bring adult beverages and desserts!

I love how there’s no forced conversations with them, too. We freely talk or silently chill, and it’s perfect! (Yep, I’m that girl, who grimaces at the ringing phone – unless it’s work related or a call I’m expecting. I’m completely about that texting life!)

My mother-in-law took a couple days out of her schedule, to get my daughter and her cousin together for some play-dates.

They went to The Aquarium and Morgan’s Wonderland, and it was much appreciated on my end!

Just because I’m a homebody, certainly doesn’t mean my kids are! So, I started researching some events on Facebook. This turned out to be pretty awesome! We found some really neat things to do!

My husband, on his day off, would take them to the movies , which would give me a break. Let me say, I fell in love with him all over again for giving me that.

I’m a real estate agent, and I mostly office out of the house, so that’s been both a blessing and a curse over the summer!

My task was picking which times I thought I could be most productive, which was while the kids were heavily involved in some activities. It’s gotta be said..I’m stinkin’ tired. And when I was in the midst of negotiations for some clients? Forget about it! My friends, family, heck – even my husband (sorry, hon!) – wouldn’t likely be getting a response to any messages they’d be sending.

As worn out as I felt, my guilt wouldn’t allow me to do nothing. Especially in regards to the 5-year-old, who had little time with kids her age and desperately craved any activities or playtime! As much as I’d have loved time NOT worrying about being put together, I couldn’t do that to her. I’ll go ahead and say it again – I’m tired.

My pep-talk: “You can do this. Actually, you did do this! It’s finishing up. Maybe you haven’t been calmest or coolest, but you got to see lots of radiant smiles on your babies.”

That’s it!

We’re wrapping up the summer, and this mama made it through. I’m thinking most of you made it out alright, too.

We survived!

My kids are alive and kicking! All of us are.

How’d you fare with your kids? Post in the comments how your summer went!

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