Wednesday, January 14, 2015

My crazy beautiful life


In the course of our morning routine which normally includes changing diapers, feeding the masses, getting the littles settled in the nursery, and the bigs started on school, we were blessed with a few variations. Don't be fooled by that statement, most mornings we are blessed with plenty of variations, however this morning told the tale of our patched together family perfectly. All three of the babies woke up with dirty diapers that also messed up their pajamas. I just add that to the growing pile of poop laundry in the laundry room. After that I had conversation with my almost 4 year old about which kids came out of my belly and which ones didn't, and can they all STILL be her brothers and sisters please because she really loves them all. "Yes love, they will always be your brothers and sisters even until you are as old as mama!" Finally everyone was settled but then a big kid came downstairs to say that there was a fight going down in the schoolroom. While getting to the bottom of this argument I find underlying feelings of "I just need to be good and play the part so that they will love me" in one of my boys. Every time I see this it hurts like a knife to the heart. We talked, he opened up and seemed better and I sent him back to school. Cries came from the nursery, I go in to find that Lyric has smashed her finger in the toy box and it's bleeding, I fix her up but she just wants to be held and cried again while I ran to comfort Lottie who had just face planted while pulling up on the toy kitchen. Both of these babies are still crying when the phone rings and I answer "Hello?" I can't hear what they are saying. I run to the other side of the house as I say "I'm sorry, I didn't hear you".... I hear "Yes mam, I'm the new social worker that has just been assigned to your case..." Seriously?! Another social worker?! These boys have had NO LESS THAN 8 different workers since they came into care! I answer kindly "Yes, hello!" And then he says what I KNEW he was about to say "Can I come out today?" To which I answer "Sure! But I'm not going to put on a show for you! Haha! If you are going to drop in you will see a lived in house!" He seemed to like my honesty and said he will be out soon. I run back to the other side of the house and scoop up the still crying babies, one in each arm, and hold and kiss them. Another big kid needs help with a math problem, we work through it. I sit down and take a drink of my now cold coffee, but I don't care, I learned to like cold coffee at least three kids ago. I start thinking again about how I can encourage my boy to be him and not who he thinks we want him to be, my heart feels sick in moments like this. Why can't he just be free to be a little boy?! My eyes begin to fill up as I send up a petition to my father, and I hear another kid coming down the stairs.....I quick get my game face on and turn to find another broken little boy, this one eleven years old, one that did not come from my belly, holding a note that says "I love you mom". Okay Lord, I'll press forward! YOUR Grace is sufficient! This life that I have been chosen for will never be easy, but those moments when you have earned the love and trust of His "least of these" will always make it worth it!



Tuesday, September 9, 2014

The Stuff!

My kids have been waiting for two weeks for their belongings to be shipped from their last foster home. They came with clothes and school supplies, that's all. Today was the day! A huge Fed Ex truck pulled up and a big, tough looking guy came to the door "ma'am I need you to sign, I've got five big boxes for you." As I signed his tablet I yelled "Guys y'all come help! The boxes are here!" Nine kids (some being carried) came swarming out of the house and met him at the door of the truck as he walked back. I could see the look in his eye, I was bracing for a few possible questions (questions NEVER offend me by the way, but I do send up a petition for God to give me gentle answers so that we can be a witness) he looked back and forth at them all confused...about that time he handed out the first box and the kids enthusiastically passed it to the porch assembly line style. He seemed surprised and gave me a confused/questioning glance. I answered his look with a smile and "Their things finally came from their other foster home!" As he passed the next box his face was bright, smiling, and I caught him brushing away a tear. That's the stuff. He saw them before he saw their label, he simply saw happy, excited, playful children, not what the world says you will see. Those precious ones ministered to him today, as they do me everyday. This is the STUFF!!! What life is really about! I am one blessed mama! And Praise God my cup is overflowing!!!!



Sunday, August 31, 2014

We've Grown!

After a 17 month long paper trail Lyric's brothers are finally with us as foster children!!!! We picked them up from the airport on Wednesday and we are so happy to have them here! They are AMAZING kids! Please pray for us through this transition. xoxo, Sam


Friday, July 25, 2014

Let me be...

Trying to focus on this today!!! I pray this encourages other mamas in the trenches of motherhood as it did me. xo, Sam

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Moms need Grace! And lots of it!

I think everyone that knows me would agree that I'm a really good mom. I am. I'm not being cocky or self absorbed, but that's what I was born to do and I have worked very hard everyday for almost 13 years to be good at my job as mama. Now let me tell you a story, about Mother's Day when my third child was about 18 months old. The week before I had been bragging about how I could "NEVER!" leave one of my precious children in a hot car!!! What kind of mother would do that?! I mean what could be more important?! Some selfish idiot obviously. I mean I was an expert mom at this point ya know, THREE whole kids, a natural birthing, breastfeeding pro, my dear children had never been "harmed" by a SINGLE vaccination, I was a natural/attached parenting guru before it was even cool! I knew it ALL! Co-sleeping, extended breast feeding, growing our own food, we built our own home, had acres and acres of land, planned to homeschool, and after all I was 25 for heavens sakes! I had been a mom for FOUR whole years!! So this Mother's Day I pridefully walked out of church knowing I deserved everything that this amazing day had to offer! The kids started whining to ride to my moms house (only a block away) with my mom and dad and I said sure. I was talking to a friend outside the car when I saw my dad (out of the corner of my eye) walk up, open the door and walk away. In the back of my mind I assumed he had grabbed a booster seat. My friend and I finished talking and I got in, she wished me a happy Mother's Day (which I obviously deserved) and being the perfect mom that I was THEN I drove away glancing into the back of the van. No children. I got to mom's, hopped out, and went in ready to eat! The kids were already in the spare room changing, I could hear them giggling, and they came out in their play clothes and my mom said nervously "Where is Maddie?!" I said "She was with you." My dad's face dropped "No I put her in your car because we didn't have her a seat!" My heart dropped as I ran. How long have I been inside? Why didn't I see her? What was I thinking?! I got to the car and opened the door to a sleepy toddler with sweat beads all over her precious little face. I grabbed her hot little body up and squeezed her to me! Then it hit me, I'm. that. mom. On Mother's Day, I'm that mom. I don't even deserve a Mother's Day! I deserve to die! In a hot car! What kind of monster am I?!?! You see, it was a misunderstanding, my dad didn't know that Maddie's car seat was the middle seat, not the one behind my seat that he had put her in. He didn't know, I didn't know she was there and didn't see her, he thought I saw him, I didn't. I was so afraid, disappointed, upset, angry, sorry, oh so sorry for my baby. What if?! What if?! The fear!! I learned a very valuable lesson that day....I'M HUMAN. An imperfect human. I need grace. I learned another important lesson that day too.... I'm still a good mom. Actually, I'm a better mom, friend, and wife, because now I try to extend the same grace that was extended to me that day by my loving savior! Now I have seven children, four of those precious little souls can't unbuckle themselves. We have a buddy system, we double check, triple check, and then look again when we get out of the car. I do everything I can to be always mindful of where my children are and what they are doing, but I'm human. I still make mistakes. Boy do I make mistakes! And oh the misunderstandings that can come along when there are so many little people needing your attention. My kids get hurt, climb on furniture the minute my back is turned, get choked no matter how small I cut things, fall with me right next to them, even while holding my hand! Now, even more than then, I NEED GRACE!!! I'm a good mom, that needs grace, and guess what....You do too, and so does the mom you just read about in that Facebook article, or the one you saw in the grocery store, or the one at the park. She needs it desperately, she loves her kids just as much as you do, and she's probably a really good mom that needs a bit of grace. Please be kind to her. xo, Sam



Thursday, June 26, 2014

Henna Crown Ministry

I captured her beauty and bravery...she captured my heart.....



My heart has been called to start a new little ministry to help cancer patients feel beautiful. My plan was carried out for the very first time this week and it filled my heart to the brim!! The idea is to let them put on their favorite outfit, help them with their make-up, give them a henna crown, and then do a photoshoot! I was so nervous for my first experience. I prayed, had friends praying, and felt all inadequate, I mean what if I say the wrong thing? What if it bothers them? What if I mess up? What if they hate it? When I saw my new friend Margaret for the first time, all of those fears melted away. And God linked our hearts immediately, and the woman I came to minister to, ministered to me. Isn't that the way He works? Her bravery, faith, and inner beauty were astounding! The next day she got the news she has been waiting on...."remission" from breast cancer! I've already got a few more friends waiting on crowns and I can't wait to see how God can use this ministry!! xo, Sam

PS. Any ideas what I can call this ministry? I'm coming up blank! We need a name.


Wednesday, June 18, 2014

It's good to be missed!

(Taken by the lovely Melissa Lyon West)

While I was away with baby Lottie on my trip a couple of weeks ago (4 nights!) Ben and the kids sent me this video! Bwahahahaha! Enjoy!! xo, Sam

PS. I can't upload the video to the blog because it was made with a video ap, but you can See the video HERE!



Sunday, June 8, 2014

Vintage Hippie Mama

Yay!! Our first Instagram sale went great!! So we are going to do another!! If you want to join in the fun hop over to Instagram and follow me vintage_hippie_mama! I will also have more handmade bibs available. :)
I'm thinking of selling henna kits that would include everything you need to do countless batches of henna at home! The henna powder, the essential oil, the applicator bottles, and my all natural recipe. Every hippie mama needs henna! *All you would need to have at home is lemon juice and sugar, things most of us keep on hand. :) So talk to me! Would you pay $30 for a henna kit/supplies that would last you countless batches? The one time kit at craft stores costs $12 and the applicator bottle isn't great. It also uses tea tree oil which is super stanky. I use lavender and it's also safe for kids. To buy all of this separately online cost much more because you have to pay for shipping for each item separately.
It's so good to be making again!!! xo, Sam

Thursday, June 5, 2014

I'm. Back.

No really. I'm back!! I've been dealing with some pretty serious depression that peeked after Lottie was born, but I didn't ever realize that I was depressed until very recently. I struggled and struggled to overcome but I just couldn't, I didn't know what I was dealing with, and to be honest, I didn't have time to think about it! There was also a lot going on that I couldn't really discuss which made it worse. I needed a reset. And this past weekend I got it! My beautiful sister and I left 11 of our children (we took the two nursing babies with us) and flew to Baltimore for a crafting weekend with my precious friend Melissa West and 6 other sweet mamas. Our dear sweet husbands!!! Bless them! It's the first time in months (almost a year) that I've been really relaxed. Icame home so refreshed!!! I'm the old me again!! And I miss this place and feel like I can write again!! *sigh*
For months I have been talking about opening a new shop. Realistically I can't design more patterns right now, my littles need me too much, but I do need a creative outlet. My friend Melissa encouraged me to get my feet wet with an Instagram shop! Yes! It will be a handmade/natural mama shop where I will list things as I make/get them. The shop opens tomorrow or Saturday!! I have had so much fun with this, and most importantly, I'm feeling so much better! If you want to check it out follow me on Instagram @ vintage_hippie_mama!
I'm so glad to be me again!!!! Thanks for sticking with me friends!! xo, Sam

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

We are Safe

UPDATE: The second round of storms weakened and we were able to have a peaceful night with no tornadoes or scary stuff! Praise God! Thanks so much for the prayers!!

We are safe! Tornadoes ripped through our town last night. Birmingham, AL is now 3rd in the nation for deadly tornadoes. So, we prepare! The best we can anyhow. Last night I was more scared than I ever remember being in my life. Ben as an emergency worker, was at the fire station. I was with my seven babies, soaking wet, in my neighbors basement. Fear gripped me as the "freight train" passed over us. I started telling my kids to pray and that I loved them, I was losing it! Then Maddie lost it and I had to get a handle on myself! I looked at Molly and she said as calm as anything "God's got this." I looked at the others and said "Just pray!" All of you! Pray out loud! And they did! God protected us, it touched down not far from us but didn't stay on the ground, it just skipped through. Praise God!!!!

Now we are bracing for round two. It's supposed to get bad again in a few hours. I'm praying for protection and PEACE!! My children are still shook up from last night. It's almost time to hunker down, but I will check back in soon! Thanks for the emails and prayers sweet friends! It means a lot to us! xo, Sam

PS. Because I got quite a few questions on our shop Facebook page....I write in permanent marker on each child's arm their name and Ben's cell number (my logic for the arm is that if something happens emergency workers will start an IV, the arm is a good place), then on their thigh or back I write their name, number, age, "Mom: Samantha", and then any health issues (asthma). During times like this families get separated, in different hospitals or shelters...just having a name is like gold in those situations.