Welcome and Blessings!

Thank you so much for stopping by! I have named this blog "Running to the Cross" because that is what I often find myself doing...running to be with my Lord Jesus! I often cover many aspects of life on my blog, as it is my journal. I used to write things down in all sorts of notebooks, but my writings would soon be lost. So I decided that it was time to start a blog and share my thoughts and ideas with others. Many topics you will find here are prayers, homemaking and organization, children and pregnancy, funny stories, and the challenges of parenting and motherhood. If you enjoy my blog and leave me a comment, you are likely to have me visit! I love meeting others and gleaning from the lives of others. May you be blessed! Your friend in Christ, Heather

Friday, May 30, 2008

A Walk to the Beach

And off we go...I am walking (pushing the stroller) while everyone else is riding down on four-wheelers (and in the cub cadet wagon).

The road is edged with moss...
Me!!! I dropped my camera and took a picture of the inside of my nose, but decided that wouldn't be appropriate...

The marsh...you will find loads of frogs, birds, and minnows here...
The pier & floating dock...my bunch is already fishing...
Lots of folks were out on the water this day (Memorial Day).
This was a very fun day indeed. The older children fished, while the younger children got wet...they all ended up getting wet though...that just means more laundry! Oh, and baby girl snoozed the entire time!

Blessings this weekend!

First Time Obedience Chart

To get your First Time Obedience Chart go HERE.

Then, once you are there, click on Download in the upper right hand corner. You will then get a list of different options...I recommend downloading it as a PDF...otherwise, the program manipulates and distorts the document. Unfortunately, it will tell you that there are 2 pages. There is only one page, so just tell it to print page 1.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Architectural Beauty at our Home

Upon entering our driveway, you are welcomed by stone pillars with stone baskets of fruit.

The Bell Tower...yes, the bell works!
The stone barn with beautiful archways...
Next photo blog entry...A Walk to the Beach.

Updated: First Time Obedience Chart...Made Public!

Updated: Get your First Time Obedience Chart HERE.
Thanks Mama!

Original Post: Jessica,

I would love to share the template for my First Time Obedience Chart, however, I am not quite sure how to put that form online.

Can anyone help me with this?


Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Thanks for all the Advice!

I appreciate everyone's comments (although I don't always get them published right away!)...I did read them and ponder over them for quite some time.

Normally laundry, dishes, and floors are all that I get to...that is the floors downstairs.

We have been blessed with a large house...at least large for me.

On the first floor there is a large mudroom, a large eat-in kitchen, a somewhat large living area (broken up into a living area & piano area that houses the home school books), a screened-in porch which serves as our second eating/home school area, a hallway/stairway/closet area, an office, and a bathroom.

On the second floor is the bedrooms: girl's room, boy's room, master bedroom, and guest room; then the linen closet, bathroom, and hallway.

The basement isn't much to talk about as water streams through it when it rains, but it has the "extra" junk, the freezers, a refrigerator, 2 washers & 2 dryers (one of which I am waiting for my husband to hook up), and our stove that has the broken door (broken during our move). NOTE: I am thrilled to have both washers hooked up as my dear hubby hung some clothesline up just the other day...I am able to attack the laundry with a vengeance daily...

I am getting a game plan together so that I can attack this home with a vengeance...so far, I have attacked the hallway/stairway/closet area but it needs to be tidied again, the kitchen which is always in need of tidying, and the living area which always needs tidying, and the laundry (never ending task as my children love to play in the water all summer long!)...

We have company coming over on Sunday, so I must keep attacking the house...I DO plan to get as much done as possible.

Again, thanks for all the advice!

So far, here is what I have done with it:

  1. Yesterday I employed all of my older children in the kitchen, I washed the dishes, my younger son rinsed, my older daughter dried, and my oldest son put the dishes away...then we, as a team, attacked the floors, counter tops and table.
  2. I DO own a copy of Teri Maxwell's Manager's of Their Homes, (which is what the Duggars use) however I have not yet read it all the way through...BUT, my children usually buddy up like this: two middle daughters, oldest son with second youngest daughter, youngest son with youngest daughter, oldest daughter is my cleaning angel...she goes behind me after I have swept up a pile and cleans it up.
  3. Laundry, dishes, and floors are just about all that I get done daily...at least the floors downstairs...we have a BIG problem with sand here, it's not good for the floors but it gets on the children's clothes everyday. I am unable to keep up with all the sand, but I am trying to get a routine that works.
  4. Standards, standards, standards...we all have them. We have our "standard" about what we think is clean...mine are somewhat high, but I have achieved them in the past. I'm not getting any younger, nor am I getting any less busy...so my standards need to be lower, but as I teach and train my children to clean, I can raise my standards as, "Many hands make light work".
  5. My own advice...I have a First Time Obedience chart for each child. I am using this as a tool to encourage my children to do the job the first time and diligently. It seems to be working as my children are always anxious to see how many stars they have earned so far.
And, if any of you have been wondering where I disappeared...I have been on Planet Laundry...I did 4 loads on Monday, 5 loads on Tuesday, and 6 loads today....ugh...The laundry still isn't done,
but that is no thanks to the beautiful weather that called my children outdoors to play in the water on Monday and Tuesday... ;OD I love the warm weather, but I don't love the laundry it creates, LOL!

Well, I'm off again to find SOMETHING to clean...it's getting there. Once most of my laundry is folded and put away (& winter things in temporary storage...my closet), I will be 75% there. (O;

Have a great day! & Blessings!

Friday, May 23, 2008

How DO you do it?

Thank you ladies (Leanne & Hadias), for your concern in regards to keeping on top of things in my home...yes, it is difficult and yes, I have learned that it is IMPOSSIBLE to keep things spotless all the time. In fact, if my house is even remotely tidy, I am thrilled.

I know that I need to lower my standards...but in a sense, I just can't. I DEEPLY desire to be a good steward of my home. I DEEPLY desire to please my husband with a tidy home...he really needs it to be that way. Although, I have never been able to keep it clean for long (at least not since I had my 5th child), I have tried. So if you are wondering, YES, I did keep it clean when I had 4 children (all under the age of 5)...now it just seems like a dream.

I guess part of the reason why I want to get it clean is because I once asked a born-organized individual for some tips on keeping my house clean and they looked at me, shook their head and told me, "I don't know how you can be disorganized." Ever since I have backed away from asking others (especially the organized) how they do it.

However, I am going to be brave today and ask again...HOW DO YOU DO IT?

What kind of cleaning schedule do you keep? Do you get everything done on your schedule? If not, HOW do you fit the undone tasks into the rest of your schedule?

Now, I know you folks are out there...I have visited your blogs and seen your clean and tidy homes. I have also read your comments (at other people's blogs). Although, I dare not ask you on your blog how you do it...I will here (that is, ask you that very question).

Keep in mind, I DO have seven children...ages: almost 11, 9, 7 1/2, 6, almost 5, almost 3, and almost 10 months. Also, I NEVER get a full night's sleep...I wake up exhausted, but I try to get up around 7 or earlier. My children DO help...as they have assigned tasks. They also help with the baby, holding her and such...

If you were to give me some advice, what would it be? I tend to stress with schedules because I NEVER get it all done, but I am a list maker. I know how well menu plans work. AND as a homeschooler, I know that usually when you have 5 children under the age of 10 to school that you find yourself overwhelmed (esp. with NEW curriculum)....

Anyway, enough time spent...if you have some kindhearted advice (not criticism) and would like to share, I am all ears. If your are one of those who can keep on top of everything (in the home)...what a gift you have! If not, I'm with you on that!

Have a blessed and wonderful day and weekend!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

First Time Obedience Chart

Spending time every morning with God has definitely been a challenge. You can find a dozen other things to do.....change babies diaper, make breakfast, get clothes for children, clean up spilled cereal and milk, start a load of laundry to keep the laundry monster at bay, check email, fix girls hair, make coffee, sweep up crumbs from last night's dinner (if you were busy the night before in the garden), feed baby, break up a squabble, turn off the TV, begin homeschooling, etc. etc. etc.....

However, you can find a way... Just the other day I approached my husband about this dilemma...I told him that Family Worship in the evening was fine but oftentimes we have things to finish outside late in the evening in the spring and summer. So, instead we need to start our day out with God by having a morning devotion. Since he works from home, he doesn't need to rush off to work, so this is the perfect way to start our day.

Today we read from Mark 1:1-20. Our lesson was on obedience...first time obedience. Jesus called to Simon and Andrew and they immediately stopped what they were doing and followed Him. Then he came upon James and John, again calling unto them to follow Him, and once again we find them immediately following. NO QUESTIONS ASKED.

We need to enforce this in our children. They need to learn first time obedience without commenting on the required task. Simon, Andrew, James and John didn't ask, "WHY?" so why should we...

After finishing our devotions, I sat down and made up the chart above. Each child will receive one and each time they do a task the first time, they will get a sticker...if they don't do it the first time, they get a sad face. If I have to ask them to do a job more than twice they will get a number next to the sad face...

So a star = first time obedience.
A sad face = not obedient first time.
A sad face with a number = not obedient # times.

May God grant you grace with your children and husband today!

Friday, May 16, 2008

My Kitchen

*NOTE: The previous resident took the piece of corian off of the island before he moved, thus my husband hasn't had a chance to replace it.

I wanted to post pictures of my kitchen online so that I could look at it CLEAN... I struggle daily with keeping up with everyday tasks as it always seems that someone needs me, or my help, or my arms to hold them, or my kisses for their boo-boos...etc., etc., etc.

My goal is to look at this post every time I get discouraged or need motivation to keep things maintained. I know there will come a time when I get behind AGAIN for the thousandth time, but I am striving to get things in order around here so that my home is "guest ready"...

As I go through each room and clean it over the next several weeks, I plan to post a picture of each room so that I can go back and look later on when I feel a bit overwhelmed. Again, a "guest ready" house is the goal...it will take weeks, as I still have much organizing to do and many children to undo my cleaning, but I am aiming for an organized home that I can MAINTAIN.

Thanks for sharing my clean kitchen with me! I am so thrilled that it is clean!

Have a blessed day in the LORD!

Monday, May 12, 2008

No Time for ANYTHING...

Lately I have been so busy with everything, that I don't have any time for anything...I know it doesn't make any sense, so let me explain.

This whole year has literally FLASHED before my eyes....Just last week I found myself claiming that it was Wednesday, when in truth it was really THURSDAY!!! I lost a whole day! I mean I was really convinced that everyone else was wrong (that it was Thursday) and that I was right (that it was Wednesday)! I kept thinking, where did Wednesday go? I am sure that I didn't miss the whole day...but I found myself realizing that, in truth, I really DID miss the whole day. It literally "flashed" before my eyes and I missed it altogether, or so it seems.

So to get to the point, as I don't have all day, I have really lost my focus. My focus on what is really important in my life. I have been so busy with MY LIFE that I have not had anytime for the most important person in my life....my LORD and Saviour, Jesus Christ.

I realized my fault after reading an article on this very thing...refocusing your life on Christ so that you have more time for the everyday tasks. All in all, taking the time in the morning to pray and meditate on Scripture...and listen to what God has to say...

Have I been living for Christ this year? Truthfully, NO....

Can I change the way I have been living? Not without the LORD's help...

So, through Christ, I am going to make a change....

No more am I going to lean upon my own strength to do things...the LORD knows that I can't do it and He has taken the entire year to show me this.

So any who are dealing with the same thing...I urge you to:

  1. Change your focus....don't focus on YOUR life, YOUR duties, YOUR struggles for in those darkest times, YOUR LORD will carry you...if you put your trust in HIM and not yourself (note: this is mainly for me...)
  2. Begin your day in the Scriptures and in prayer.....that's where you will find your energy and the time you have "lost".
  3. Remember, you are but a mere human, but "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me..." (a verse from Philippians)
  4. Get your children involved, our job as parents is to train our children in the way of the LORD. We can't save souls, but we can show them the path to Christ.
  5. Be ever fervent in prayer...praying without ceasing...
  6. Finally, don't forget to pray for your husband...his job, as head of the household, can be quite stressful at times and one way you can ease his load is by turning to Christ and seeking strength and renewal for him (your husband)...

In Christ Alone,


Monday, May 5, 2008

My Nursing Cape

Here is a picture of my nursing cape...you'll have to excuse the color as it was a test pattern for a nicer nursing cape. Unfortunately I have not yet done the nicer cape, but I plan to and when I do, I will provide pictures and instructions to all my readers.

Here I am nursing below...really nursing my baby! What I like about this cape is that you can't see anything! I have NEVER liked nursing in public, but after having seven children, I decided that I must find a better way, especially since I had babies that liked to nurse every 1 1/2 hours. I don't usually supplement formula to my babies mostly because it is to expensive to buy formula.

If you are afraid that you might show something under the cape OR that your baby may lift up the cape, you can tuck the cape under the baby's head assuring that NO part of your body will be exposed.

There you have it! I will try to follow up with instructions on how to make one of these capes. I just LOVE mine and I use it for church, in restaurants, at the park, and in the presence of company!

SO GLAD to be HOME!!!

This is our first full week back from our fast-paced trip to the midwest...St. Louis, MO area. We drove over 2000 miles!

My sister got married and boy were we BUSY!!! BUSY helping her set up, and make sure the wedding went smoothly. Everyone stayed pretty healthy, as our last trip was plagued with throwing up and sickness. I did have to deal with the sniffles, watery eyes, sinus conjestion and cough...but all in all everyone stayed quite healthy...

UNTIL Monday night, we were on our way home...we had stopped in Cambridge, Ohio, a midway point and that night, I found myself plagued with the stomach virus. I tossed and turned all night, had hot and cold sweats, and tossed my cookies in the process. Needless to say, the last half of our trip home was no piece of cake for me...I just wanted to lay down on a soft bed and sleep...and that I did the following day.

Then, Thursday everyone else started getting the same thing. I think it is past now. All but one of our children got it, my husband even had it.

This has become a pattern for us. Everytime we travel, we get sick. I think it may be something about the stress of trying to get ready and then going all over the country and being exposed to EVERYTHING AND EVERYONE.

Now I have a huge task ahead of us...GARDENING, SCHOOLING, and SEWING, not to mention getting my home into good order so that we can host several families for their "mini-vacations" and such.

I am stubborn though, I WILL DO IT, with God's help, of course.

A plan of action is forming in my busy brain. I don't yet know all that it will entail, but I must find a way to get it all done....NOTE: I am not a superwoman...nor do I claim to be...

It is interesting though, when you go to restaurants with my troop, people automatically think that you must be super-organized and have it all together (which I don't). My children are simply well behaved because we fight our battles at home. I am not outwardly organized, but organized in my brain...I have to know where things are and not forget this and that, you know. Maybe you have been somewhere before and your child had an accident, or an allergic reaction, or you needed to nurse in public...things like that I AM on top of...I have to be.

Oh, and by the way...someday I will show you a picture of my nursing cape...I find it quite handy when I am nursing in public...

Anyway, I am rambling on...

I must go and do now! Have a blessed day, week or month...however long it takes me to get back to this thing...