Happy 1st Blog-Birthday, 4 little Fergusons!

  Yay! It’s our Blog Birthday!!!!  1 year ago today, I obeyed the Lord and wrote my 1st ever blog post entitled Hello World.  This was after a year of praying for a ministry that could be done from home, and a good month of me saying “No Thank you” to the Lord’s prompting to start a blog.  Why would I blog? What would I say? How can that be used for God’s glory?

One night for fun, I jotted down some blog names and went on the web to scope them all out.  See Lord, they are all taken. It’s a sign. No blog.  And I went to bed.

  Needless to say after a totally out of the blue email from my cousin, (who is now dubbed my “Fairy Blog Mother”) bright and early the VERY next morning, I knew the Lord was speaking.  She wrote:

 “I woke up thinking about you this morning and you know what, I think you should start a blog…”  she went on to list why, but I didn’t need to read past the first sentence:  I got the hint.  Ok.  Gotcha Lord, that’d be a HUGE neon sign flashing that I could not miss:  so I hopped on wordpress and here we are: 1 year later already! 

 This week we’ve been counting down the Top 20 posts for the year. 

The final 3 ARE……..

3) Go Big & Go Home!

After a successful trip to Walmart Monday night, I decided to write a bit about the method to our madness. Dale and I are firm believers of once a month shopping. Our motto is this:

“Walmart: Go big & Go home.”

(And do NOT return for a whole month.)

((Unless you forgot the eggs, then by all means, send Dale on the way home from work.))

We budget $450 a month, for our family of 6, and that has to include diapers, light bulbs, shampoo etc. This total does not include meat purchases, since we get a side of grass-fed beef once a year instead. It has worked out great!

We just, in the past year, increased our monthly budget from $400 to $450 because of 2 in diapers and our kids eating more. On average, the government figures $100 per person in your home, per month, so that lets me know, we are still doing good. I think the $400 range is a good one, and hopefully, I’ll never need to go over that by too far, as our kids grow up. Just think, before I know it, my two littles will be potty trained! Right, AVERY the STUBBORN, who is almost 2 1/2??????????? That will give us $60-$80 extra, that used to be spent on diapers! Hurray! 🙂

Read more here….

2) Project Laundry Room

  9 years ago, as Dale and I were preparing for our new life together as a married couple, we began praying for a rental we could afford, BUT, I had a big wish list too. So, I started praying VERY specifically.

If you know me, and know much of a planner I am, this will not surprise you.

Lord, we need an affordable place to live, and I would love to live in a home with big windows, a nice sized yard, a kitchen with a view, big laundry room, 2 car attached garage and room for our family to grow. And Dale wants to live in the country, and I am not sure if this city girl could handle that, could you help us find a nice compromise? Oh, and unless you know something we don’t, we can’t spend more than $400 a month in rent. Thanks Lord, may your will be done…

Pretty big wish list right?!

Nope, not for the Lord.

He provided us with a 1940′s ranch-style house on 17 acres with 3 bedrooms and 1 1/2 bathrooms. It even had the outbuildings Dale wanted, although he didn’t actually add them to the prayer wish list. That’s the “The Lord knows the desires of your heart” part. 🙂 Its only 3 houses off of a paved road, 5 minutes from church, 5 from both our mom’s and 10 from Walmart….

Country AND city.

Thanks Lord!

Read more here….

You surely want to know how the Laundry Room turned out, right?! These didn’t rank as high as the first post, as they were posted MONTHS later, but here they are:

Project Laundry Room Continued

The FINISHED Laundry Room – YAY !  🙂

And the NUMBER ONE blog post of ALL TIME ISSSSSSSSSSSSS………..

{Drum roll please}

NOT Big Blue Ball.

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  What do I mean, not Big Blue Ball???

  Well, see BBB received the most visitors ever in one day, coming in at 2,142 hits, but that is ONLY because it happened to be the day I had a recipe featured on Tasty Kitchen’s Step by Step Blog. TRUST ME, had I KNOWN I was going to be featured, I would’ve written something WAY BETTER! 

  Guess the Lord does these things to keep us humble, right?!?!?! That way the people that stuck around were because of HIM, not me or my writing.  🙂  Anyhow I do NOT count this as number 1 because it was a fluke deal, but super cool that it happened on my 100th blog post. 

Now, I give you the REAL number one without further ado…………

1) 4 Little Fergusons, 4 Big Miracles

As I held Paxton in my arms today, I was reflecting on my life, and the journey it took for us to get to these 4 little Ferguson’s that fill our home with giggles and grins……..

After many trials and much heartache…..God has answered my hearts desires, and I am living my very own dream come true! I often think about my 4 babies in Heaven, and look forward to the day when I can kiss those sweet faces. Until then, I know they are safe in the arms of their Abba Father, their Daddy in Heaven, and for that, I can be truly thankful.

“No one else knows the strength of my love for you. After all, you’re the only ones who know what my heart sounds like from the inside.”

Read more here…..

  With nearly 1700 views, this post has taken the lead by a LONG shot!  I am amazed at how the Lord is using one of the darkest, most hurtful times in my life all for His glory!  It just makes it all seem worth it, you know?!

  This has been such a great year full of learning curves, ugly food photos, self discovery, tears at 4 am, sharing from the heart, taking photos CONSTANTLY (and loving it) and the best part of all?!

YOU!

  I have LOVED getting to know you and the amazing network of believers that can be found on the good ol’ http://www.  Who knew!? 

  You encourage me on my down days, you pray for my family when we struggle, you make me giggle with your comments and stories, you build me up with your positive words….and boy, do I love to hear what your family thought of the recipes you try!

  From our humble beginnings of just 70 daily views and 70 on the weekend to today, growing to around 500 daily views with another 400 over the weekend.  God is moving and 4 little Ferguson’s is growing!  I praise the Lord for the growth this blog has seen in it’s first year and I commit year 2 to Him as well!  I stand by the motto:

Chosen in Christ, Called to Serve. 

  Happy Blog Birthday, 4 little Ferguson’s!

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You are 1 now!

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The Lord has blessed me through this blog more than I could have ever imagined…..

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To Him be the glory!

~T

 

4 Little Fergusons Top 20: #9 – 4

  If you are just tuning in, I am counting down the top 20 blog posts this week, in honor of 4 little Fergusons blog turning 1 tomorrow!

Get caught up here:

Part 1

Part 2

  Today we count down 9-4:

9) Welcome to Tonya-land

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When you visit my blog, you have crossed under the rainbow and entered “Tonya-land” where the weather is mostly sunny, the birds are always singing, lemons most often come in the form of lemonade and we all throw our arms around each others shoulders and sing “Kumbaya” at that end of each day.

003 Now Tonya-land has its bumpy roads, don’t get me wrong, but when you try to keep your glass half full, you usually can just keep on trucking, despite a pot-hole or two. But, every once in a while, my journey through Tonya-land comes to a screeching halt.

Recently, my rainbow tipped over, my lemonade tasted a bit more like straight sunshine-for-a-mlemons and a series of pot holes made me trip and fall. The birds are still singing though, and the sun will come out tomorrow, right Annie?

Apparently, this blog is a little too sunshine-y for some folks, a little too “fake” I believe was the word…

Read more here….

8) Confessions of A Stubborn Child of God

It’s Mother’s Day week. Once again I am bombarded with emotions I can’t always sort through. This may be the epitome of bitter-sweet.

I wonder how many years the sad will collide with the happy this week:

I am the Mommy to 4 beautiful little miracles here on earth.

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I am the Mommy of 4 little ones in Heaven.

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It was the Thursday before Mother’s Day, when I lost my 4th baby.

It was the Thursday before Mother’s Day that everything changed for me.

It was the Thursday before Mother’s Day, that I became free from a heavy heavy burden I had strapped on my own shoulders.

It was the Thursday before Mother’s Day, that my arms were freed from the buckets of cement I had been dragging for 2 long, emotionally exhausting years of ‘trying’.

Trying to make a baby.

Trying to keep a baby.

Trying to let go of all my preconceived notions of what I “deserved”, what I had dreamed of my WHOLE life, but never really doing it.

I spent nearly 2 years operating within my own will.

Read more here and please continue to parts 2 & 3 or click the links below.

Part 2: Hope for the Hopeless

Part 3: Heaven Is For Real

7) Date Your Mate, Even If It’s Tuesday

When you have little ones, date night starts to naturally take a back seat to the chaos called ‘life with kids’. In fact, the MORE little ones you have, the less you even think about date night. It’s a thing of the past, a distant memory of days gone by. Besides, how could you want to leave a face like this?????

Heck, even if you WANTED to go out, you are often too exhausted to even think of making the effort to take off the spit up smelling sweatshirt & coordinating sweats.

You know, the ones with snot crusties about knee height? Yup, those. (This is precisely why there is an entire “Home clothes” section of my closet!) And put on full makeup?? What’s that? IMPORTANT, that’s what. No, no, not necessarily JUST the makeup part, the whole shebang…you know, the getting fixed up and going on a date part!

As a stay at home mom who lives in baggy shirts with snot crusted pants and house shoes, its important, even if I am too tired, to get fixed up once in a while, get a sitter and go out to dinner with my hunny. Yeah, it’s a lot of work and effort. Yeah, we usually sit and talk about the kids anyways, but I am investing in Dale, in my relationship with him outside of the children we share. I am giving him my full time and attention. I am reconnecting with my best friend. I am dressing up and leaving the “home clothes” section of my closet behind! 🙂 And, even though he says he doesn’t care if I do makeup or not, I know he appreciates it, that when we go out together, I get fixed up for him. I want him to be proud to have me on his arm!

Read more here….

6) “The Rod”

This one got a lot of hits due to it’s contraversy. It’s actually part of a 3 part Seires on Discipline, linked in order below:

Starting Discipline: Part 1

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Avery

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Tylan

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Destiny

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In our family, starting solids is not just a new stage for our babies to experience. It’s not just funny faces and messy mouths. We take it very seriously, because as soon as our children are old enough to sit up in a highchair to eat their baby cereal, we start a WHOLE new chapter in their lives……..

We start teaching basic manners and we start to discipline them.

Read more here…..

“The Rod”: Part 2

Meet “The Rod”….

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You know, as in “Spare the rod, spoil the child.”

(Adapted Proverbs 13:24 “Whoever spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him.”)

Phase II of our Discipline is introducing “The Rod”. This occurs when a spank on the leg is no longer affective.

Here’s how it goes down at our house:

#1 The child makes a wrong choice and needs help making the right one. Or needs help getting wrong behavior or bad attitude under control.

#2 We send said child to their room, to think about their actions, while they wait to be disciplined.

Read more here….

Good-bye Pushover Parenting, Hello Happy Kids: Part 3

As Destiny has gotten older, we have started giving her the responsibility of choosing her punishment. One especially difficult evening, Dale had enough of her disobedience, and told Destiny that she had until the end of supper to make a decision:

  • Lose a new Christmas toy for an undetermined amount of time

OR

  • Get a spank

Her meal was spent in silent contemplation, as she considered her choices. And boy, did that last bite sit on her plate for a looong time. We could really tell she was struggling with her decision. Dale decided since it was a first offense and the first time we had offered such a decision, to show her grace, this time. He told her so and clearly layed out what would occur the next time around.

Later, she left him this note:

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To Dad:

It was a hard decision. Thank you for showing me grace.

Love: Destiny

Read more here….

 

5) Seeing God’s Provision: Part 2 of 3

 It’s funny to me how one post in particular of a 3 part series, draws substancially more than the rest. 


Seeing God’s Provision

  When I ended yesterday, God had just provided Valentines and Laundry detergent for our family. He was teaching me to rely on Him and Him alone to provide for ALL our needs, and even some wants, like the Valentines. Something that seemed so trivial to me, but something that screamed PROVISION on the Lord’s part.

During month number 3 of waiting for our check, and choosing to continue to refrain from grocery shopping, the supplies in our pantry and deep freeze were rapidly diminishing. Again, God provided in a way only HE could. He is SO good to provide for my every need before it even crosses my mind to ask Him for them!!!!!!!

I owed a promised photo order to a friend and had to call her and apologize that I was unable to place my order with her or pay her, until we received this illusive check. She was very gracious and gave me an extended time to take care of it. We hung up, and I felt much better about it all.

Not 5 minutes later HER MOTHER shows up at my door toting bags and bags of groceries for us.

I was blown away.

I just stood there and WEPT, as she brought in load after load of food for us.

Here this precious woman, who only knew me through her daughter, was allowing God to use her, to provide for a need of ours. She told me that just yesterday, she was looking in her cupboards wondering why she had so much food for just her husband and herself? She instantly knew why, when she heard of our situation. She was going to share her food with us, asking only for prayer in return. What an amazing moment! It was food for my soul as much as for my families tummies!

It was right after this that the Lord started showing me verses about the Sparrows not worrying about what they will eat, or what they will wear, yet my Father in Heaven cares enough to feed them. He also reminded me that He wanted me to rely on Him to meet my needs for today and today only.

Period.

Read more here….

Part 3 of the series, God Loves Me Too Much To Leave Me As I Am is found right after it by clicking to the next post.

4) Once Upon A Time, Part 1 of 4

I can hardly believe it, but today is Dale & my 9th Anniversary! Time flies when you are having babies, I mean fun!

Happy Anniversary, Dale! I am so blessed that God allowed me to marry you, the man of my dreams! Just when I think I couldn’t possibly love you any more than I already do, I see you scoop up one of our children in a giant daddy bear hug or stoop down low to kiss an owie knee. When you loving stroke the cheek of our baby as you lay him in his crib, or come up behind me and kiss my neck while I am doing supper dishes, my love for you grows a bit more. Not just any kind of love, the forever and ever, till death do us part kind of love…… A love that lasts a lifetime. Happy 9th Anniversary, honey! I love you! xo ~T

In honor of our 9th anniversary, and seeing as how this is my blog’s first year and we are all still getting to know each other, I’d like to tell you the story of how Dale and I met.

Let’s start waaaaaaay back at the beginning………..

Once upon a time, when I was a little girl, I loved fairy tales, LOVED them, as little girls seem to do. I played bride and princess and dreamed of my very own Happily Ever After………..

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My little brother, Chad, made such a lovely Maid of Honor! 🙂

But more often than not, I played Mommy……

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Read more here….

Look what still lives in Dale’s wallet 11 years later…The Original Phone Number. 🙂

The rest of the story may be found by clicking the next post after you are done reading. (They are also linked below if you’d like to access them that way instead.)

Summer Love: Part 2 of 4

Letter From God

Letting God Write Your Love Story: Part 3 of 4

My Very Own Happily Ever After: Part 4 of 4

Tune in tomorrow for the TOP 3 Blog Posts from my 1st year of Blogging…

~T

4 Little Fergusons Top 20: #14 to 10

In honor of 4 little Ferguson’s blog turning 1 on Thursday, I am counting down the top 20 posts based on blog stats.  Go back to yesterday’s first post to get caught up……

14) Ladies Man

What can I say?

Paxton is a ladies man!

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They just um, “flock” to him.

Check it out:043

Read more here….

13) 4 Eyes Are Better Than 2

Guess who had to get glasses?

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Nope, not Avery. But she sure looks cute!

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Nope, not Ty either, but he sure was sad that he couldn’t take his favorite blue pair home. (not pictured)

It was Destiny!

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Read more here….

12) “Child Safe” Scissors?! Riiiight….

Avery loves to have “cutting time”. Cutting is a great thing to learn around age 2. I promote it! I am glad she enjoys it! It’s great for their developing motor skills!

Avery is grounded from scissors until further notice.

Avery decide to use said scissors to saw off a chunk of her hair.

And I do mean saw off.

They are Child Proof Scissors. They aren’t supposed to cut anything but paper. They are dull as all get out.

Exhibit A:

Guilty face. Nervous giggle.

“Uh, momma? I cut my hair.”

It sounded more like “uhmommaicutmyheyo” in I’m-in-Big-Trouble-so-I-am-Going-To-Mumble Avery speak.

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See the smirk? Oh my word she is naughty. Waaaaay different than the other kids. They’d already be bawling at this point from sheer guilt!

Read more here…

11) The Story Of Paxton

I am madly in love with this little man:

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And there is not a day that goes by that I don’t scoop him up in my arms, bring him up to my cheek and just breath a prayer of thanksgiving for his life here on earth with us. He is a gift straight from my Heavenly Father.

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Read more here….

10) What The 4th Baby Taught Me…

Every child teaches you something new. My first baby taught me patience and delight, confusion and coordination. My second taught me perseverance. My third taught me that every baby is unique, that not everything comes painted in black and white, that lovely shades of gray exist in between. My fourth taught me that life is fragile, God is huge and can do great things if you trust in Him!

 

With two children, it is easy to label them “easy” vs. “difficult” and “creative” vs. “academic.” The third and fourth babies peel away the labels, because opposites only have two sides, and suddenly there are four to cover, all with very unique qualities and traits.

The 3rd baby, my strong-willed one, taught me that even if I could strive to raise my children “perfectly,” they would still fall short and make mistakes. The 3rd baby taught me I could do everything “right,” even by my own standards, and still not have a perfect child. My third baby taught me how to re-parent all over again, with her ornery ways and temper tantrums.

The 4th baby taught me to treasure baby things and baby ways. With children two and three, babyhood fled rapidly, scooted along for convenience’s sake. 17 month apart babies, and big sis in school, tend to create a survival of the fittest mentality.

I want the babyhood of my 4th to last forever. I want to cherish his sweet breath on my neck when I snuggle him, every sigh of contentment as I feed him, every face he makes when he is nursing, that no one else will ever see, every grin and giggle, the joy I feel in my heart, when he turns at the sound of my voice, and the feeling I get, when only I can stop his incessant crying because I am mommy, and for now, I am his EVERYTHING.

But I know babyhood cannot last forever…..

Read more here…..

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Come back tomorrow for our count down from 9 to 4!

I am having so much fun re-reading and re-living these old posts! 🙂

~T

4 Little Fergusons: Top 20

   Guess what?!  The 4 little Ferguson’s blog turns 1 on the 20th!  Awww, my baby blog is growing up! 

  In honor of this occasion, I have compiled a countdown of the Top 20 of your favorite blog posts this week. Click on the title or “read more here” to be taken to the actual post to read it in it’s entirety.

Today we count down from 20 to 15:

20) All Aboooooard!

Today, a train arrived in my living room. Apparently, it was headed to the library….

AND Willy Wonka’s Chocolate factory.

Books & Chocolate?
Count me in!

Meet the Conductor…….

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Read more here….

 

19) Things Heard In My Home….

A peek (a listen?) into my home……

“No, you may not have TV time until all your chores are completed.”

“Avery, quit picking your nose, it’s gross.”

“Destiny, repeating “Hey mom” 20 times to tell me something, will not get you the kind of attention you are seeking.”

“Ty, quit honking your pee-pee.”

“Paxton, why are you fussing? Here, have a binky.“

“Avery! I can tell you are still picking your nose, even if you turn your back to me.”

“Ty! Quit! Do you have to pee or something? Go potty!”

“No Avery, I do not want your “booder”, go get a Kleenex and wash your hands…..”

“Oh my goodness, who dumped out all the clean, folded laundry in here?”

“Tylan, don’t come out of the bathroom with your pants still down.“

“Paxton! Seriously, quit spitting your bink out…….Oh, its past the 3 hour mark, no wonder you are so fussy, it’s time to feed you, again!!!!“

“Tylan! Go wash your hands. We always wash after we use the bathroom.”

Read more here….

 

18) What I Would Tell Them

WHAT I WOULD TELL THEM……

If I knew what to say.

You are a miracle, straight from the hand of our Heavenly Father.

I have to love you this fiercely, so that you can feel it even when you are sitting in the Time Out Chair.

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Or after you leave for school each day.

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Or even while you are asleep.

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After your childhood becomes a memory, I want you to remember my love for you….

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Read more here…..

 

17) Afternoon Scooter Parade

It was such a beautiful day today! We decided to go visit my Grandparents after school. Tylan wanted to drive his scooter with his Great Grandpa, so we loaded up 2 scooters and a trike, and headed over…..

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Read more here…..

 

16a) Random Things 

I love to make lists. Usually it’s a list of To Do’s, but today, it’s a list of Random Things. What can I say, it seemed like an easy blog topic for the day. 🙂

1. Being organized makes me happy.

2. I have to eat my Skittles sorted by color, and eaten from least favorite, to favorite.

3. First, yellow, orange, green, and then, red & purple can be switched depending on my mood.

4. This is precisely why I don’t get Skittles at the movies. Too dark to sort, and just too much work.

Read more here….

 

16b) The Return of Random Things

Random Things

1. We haven’t owned a microwave since ours died 6 years ago.

2. Close your mouths, it IS possible to live without the microwave.

3. We reheat using our toaster oven or the stove top.

4. The microwave is a terrible contraption that kills your food. Seriously!

5. I once saw an article written on a plant study: regular water vs. microwave water. The microwaved water plant DIED people! DIED!

6. If you touch my belly button, I will instantly gag, and quite frankly, might accidentally punch you in the face.

7. Why God would install this gag button on me, I’ll never know.

8. Dale scared me so bad once, my legs gave out from under me and my eyes cried.

9. Jerk.

Read more here…..

 

15) The 4th Trimester

Well, it’s official.

Today, I leave behind me……..the 4th Trimester of my pregnancy.

The Trimester I refer to as: ‘The Trimester OUT of the Womb.”

It’s quite a ride, that 4th Trimester; your body is recovering from labor, and you can’t help but wonder when life will ever be “normal” again.

Somebody once said it takes about 6 weeks to get back to normal after you’ve had a baby……somebody doesn’t know, that once you’re a mother, normal is history.

Read more here….

 

Come back tomorrow for Posts 14 to 10….

~T