My name is Andrea and I grew up on the east coast. I met my husband while in college (I worked for him, achem). He is from the north east. This is the story of 2 Yankees creating a life and finding out their home is actually in the Midwest. We have 5 amazing kids, one whom has some special needs and another with 9, yes N-I-N-E, food allergies. There is more to that story, like we can link each of her allergy to being hereditary, so be sure to follow and you will learn about it all! I also homeschool my lovelies!
Meet my crew:
~Mark my soulmate. He is fairly quiet and it is hard to ruffle his feathers.
~Bug my 12 year old son. Bug is a major book worm who has a love for almost all animals (he doesn’t like snakes). His desire is to work with penguins.
~C-Dog my 10 year old son. He is my special kiddo. He loves cooking and army men (those little green plastic toys). He wants to be a midwife, chef, soldier when he grows up!
~Elf my 7 year old daughter. She is a sensitive soul. She also is an elf. She works for Santa at the North Pole and will tell you in detail what Elfville looks like and what her job entails.
~Princess my 4 year old daughter. Sassy with a passion for living, she is my girly-girl dancer but watch out for her temper!
~Zen my baby son. He is a year old. His purpose is to bring joy. He is laid back, happy, and will make the meanest Grinch smile.
~Sunny Day our chocolate lab. Her litter was abandoned and we rescued her when she was teeny tiny. She is about a year and a half right now and can still be annoyingly puppy. She chews everything, will lick you to death, and has a tail wag that will bruise. She brings much joy to the children and despite her annoying puppiness (she forgets she is over a year!) I really do love her 🙂
This is my life unfolding.
I noticed you were looking for summer dresses for your girls. I have an Etsy shop and sell them. But I would be happy to make you a couple to add to their growing sizes and collection. Take a look and get back to me on what style you think they would like. I sew for my granddaughters all the time. I have patterns too if you are interested in doing some for yourself. Just give me a clue. I saw a patchwork flair to the ones they were wearing on the news. But then again I have similar styles. Just Google Midcoast Miscellany and then contact me from there. My treat! OK? 😉
Sorry no boy’s clothes…yet! But I have another grandbaby coming so I may have to rethink what I sew!
A Fellow life learner from Maine!
I sent you an email. 🙂 Thank you
Not to steal your thunder, Danita, but I also make clothes for children. Andrea, I’d be more than happy to join Danita and treat your boys! 🙂 Honestly, I do make more girl stuff — seems to be more popular in the “boutique” fashion world — but I also do some boy items and recently added some more!
Check out my Facebook shop: http://www.Facebook.com/sweetpeachildrensboutique Let me know if you see anything you like, or custom order! 😉
Fellow East Coast transplant and working (and out of work) parent!
(And Danita, I “liked” your Facebook, too! Cute stuff!! (= )
Erin, That would be awesome! I see you do vests….My boys love vests.
Yes! I do vests! 🙂 What size/colors?
Your story has inspired so many. I found your story through a link that actor Jim Beaver shared on his Facebook page 🙂 I am a NY based children’s artist (who also fell in love with the Midwest when I went to college in Kansas City) and I have an idea for a possible collaboration with you and your family. I linked to my site so you can see what I’m about–I would have done this privately, but I can’t find a link to your contact info! I’m sure you are weeding through endless pages of emails, but if you DO happen to read this, please get in touch with me.
Take care, and many, many thanks for your bravery, humilily and inspiration. Stay strong.
Aly, I will send you an email from my blogs email address. Thank you!
I think that this is a wonderful story of kindness however, have you also tried to find work? I understand that you home school and have a special needs child– but since times are tough you may want to reevaluate your choice. I too have a special needs child, I would love to homeschool, but I need to work to keep a roof over our head. Just a thought, you may want to consider contributing to the family income until things get better. I am not trying to be judgmental, I just think it would be good to consider thus as an option
I am sorry, I understand your well meaning intention here and I am not upset, but you need some advice. You cannot possible suggest I not homeschool. You cannot tell anyone how to school their child as every family has to find what is right for them. I am thankful to live in a country with a wide option of schooling choices. You are seeing a VERY, VERY small glimmer of my life so suggesting any changes lie that is presumptuous. It is never helpful to “gently” suggest this. Please read this in the kind spirit it was written. I am not angry. I just know those kinds of comments can really hurt other people, they are not helpful at all, and are in fact quite discouraging.
On another note, yes I have look for jobs. Do you really think I would allow my 5 kids to suffer if I could change that? I have next to zero qualifications I didn’t even get hired to clean a library. Yeah, that felt real great, but thanks for reminding me of my failures at helping my family. See, you never know the whole story. Maybe a word of encouragement would be better next time?
That was an incredibly kind, considerate, and well-thought-out response to a comment that was none of those things. Bravo.
I agree gracious is the word I would use. Funny how well meaning advice givers use an alias or fake gravatar when posting their well meant suggestions. But I didn’t come on to find your blog to do anything other than bring positive thoughts♡ prayers going out to you and your family♡♡
But how does a college graduate have zero qualifications? Now that your post went viral, you might think about ads on the blog, too.
For what I am qualified to do there are no availabilities and for everything else I applied for I have not gotten. I assume I am simply not qualified in their eyes. I cannot fathom their reasoning so I am have idea why you are asking me this. Ask them. Not that I will disclose that information to anyone. That is private.
As for ads, that has been suggested and I am weeding through the offers to help me get it situated. I have no clue how to do it on my own.
Are you trying to be snarky or helpful? I really can’t read your tone. Genuine question, I am not trying to be rude
Well said Andrea…. you are where you need to be…. you are giving strength and love and doing all that is humanly possible…given the world right now…. I just wish it were possible to get hold of you, to tell you ‘don’t give up’ ‘stay strong’ that ‘you are loved and needed’…..that I am humbled by your honesty, your struggles on a daily basis, and your ongoing hope for a better future for you all. Do you have a Facebook page Andrea ? I do believe a village of people can make a difference, I don’t have a spare house, but I’m sure there’s something I, and I’m sure, many others would be only too happy to do to help you…..People are good, people want to help, just meet us so we can meet you. Hugs to you, and your family, and believe it will get better. It will. Julia xxx
I have a FB page associated with this account. My own page is very personal and not even all of my family is a part of it 😉
Thank you so much for your kind words. They truly help me
Oh, and Belinda. I said “NEXT to zero” meaning my qualifications are limited to a very specific area
It is so hard for even the most qualified to find a job, in this economy. And unless you had someone to care for your kids for free, you would have to be a NFL football player to afford daycare for 5 kids! There are so many people in situations like you, because the job market is so awful these days. Your kids, no doubt find you inspirational. And if they don’t yet, they will when they grow up. I will pray for you and your family to get through this hard time, and persevere. You will.
Thank you Brittany. You are very right. I originally stopped working when I had my second because of day care costs. I then returned to work after my third was born because a friend and I watched each other’s kids and we rotated shifts. After I moved away I have never been able to justify going back and we were financially OK so it was never an issue until now.
I happened upon your post, and thought I’d throw this out there. I was looking for a way to contact you, but it looks like the only way might be a comment.
I have a feeling you’ve had some viral posts, your writing is beautiful. Also, your deflection of some negativity was brilliant 🙂 (high 5)
I have supplemented my income while staying home (I teach during the day, but I don’t want to be gone at night TOO)
I sew eye pillows for yoga studios, and I distribute Young Living essential oils, which I started after I saw some amazing results using them with my son.
It has grown to where it pays the bills. If you’d like to give it a shot, you can email me and I can give you a voucher I have been saving.
At the very least, you’d be able to try out the oils with your fam, and without taking on risk or getting obligated into doing something.
I personally feel blessed to have the oils for a number of reasons I can share privately.
In any case, HAPPY 2016!!!!
I hope your sweet family has lots of fun and less n less stress.
Andrea, I am incredibly inspired by your story! This to me gives me encouragement to continue the path my husband and I are on. I also have 5 kids (all girls) ages 15, 14, 14, 12 and 4. I also homeschool. I used to work for a NPO but left my job when my husband had to travel around the country for his work (it just made sense to us) and paying for childcare would reduce my income by over 50%. Anyway, continue to do what you do because your family is most important.
Thank you Maggie! I agree. My family is my back bone. ❤
I wanted to leave you a word of encouragement in response to the above comments … You totally have qualifications! You seem to be an amazing writer from what I’ve read, and you do it in a very easy to relate kind of way. Keep going with it, because the truth is, a lot of people are making a lot of money from it. I know a couple of women who make a very decent living from their blog. Good luck!
When I say I do not have qualifications I mean in the eyes of those I apply with. *I* know I have worth. *I* know I am capable. I have held jobs before and been successful. Thank you so much for your words of encouragement. They mean so much and I treasure them ❤
I agree with Anna. You have a wonderful talent. Find someone to help you follow this through.
Andrea…I read your story and was moved by it. I was even more impressed by the genuine love that flows from your heart to your family and your attitude of gratitude. Certainly transitions can be tough and messy, but if you hang in there, everything will work out just as it should in the end. I read some of your blog and, girl, you have writing skills that you may or may not realize. On thought of that, you may want to write a book about your life and your family and pass on some of your encouragement and joy to others. (I’d be the 1st to buy it) :). You are strong! Don’t give up! Keep the faith! God bless you and your sweet family.
I haven’t read all of the post, but if your husband can work outside have y’all thought of him relocating to work in the oil fields of North Dakota or Texas? There are jobs waiting to be filled. He might be gone for awhile, but it would improve your situation.
Thanks. I will pass this information onto him 🙂
GIRL! YOU ROCK! You inspired me and im so proud of you for everything on this blog and how well youve responded to comments 🙂 As a blogger myself, its tough to deal with scrutiny. YOU GOT THIS!
Thank you Ellen!
Your story has truly touched SO many; especially your East Coast pals… Namely those at the TODAY show! I am a producer at TODAY and would love to talk with you more about your story and the amazing kindness you have shown and been shown.
My e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org.
I look forward to hearing back from you!
Thanks Brittany! I look forward to talking!
You shall be in my prayers this week, as you perform the most important job a woman can have….mothering! Your children are blessed to have you and Mark as their parents, it seems. You are giving them something money could never buy!
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As a displaced Mainer, same time zone though, I have enjoyed your posts. I was drawn to them by a fb “like”. Reading through the comments, I see that everyone has an opinion! I might have an opportunity for you both. Strongly emphasize might. Please email me. This is not a fly-by-night post.
I wish you the best!
I sent an email to you 🙂
I have enjoyed reading your blog. I’m so sorry that you and your family are going through this difficult time, but your kids are very lucky to have such a strong role model in their life.
I was reading through the comments and noticed you mentioned you have tried looking for work, but haven’t really found anything. I actually work as a recruiter for a retail marketing company in Texas, but we employ people all over the US and Canada in a variety of part time retail jobs with various schedules. If you’re still interested in finding something that will work with your schedule right now I’d be happy to try and help. Feel free to shoot me an email: email@example.com.
In the meantime, your family is in my thoughts and prayers, and I wish you all the best!
Megan, I will email you this week!
I read your blog the other day via a link on the Huffington Post about your angel in disguise.
I have kept your family in my thoughts over the last couple of days and one thing I noticed after reading your blog is dispite everything you manage to keep the most positive attitude.
I noticed a commenter mentioned about your husband looking for work in the Oil Fields in North Dakota and I don’t know exactly how to start this off, but please let me introduce myself. I am Lexie DiQuinzio I am a Human Resources Specialist at UPS in North Dakota. (And to touch a bit on my personal side) Also the wife of an oil field worker who picked up everything and moved here 5 years ago in search of a better quality of life.
ND is constantly growing and there are more and more jobs in almost every town every day. In some areas the unemployment rate is at 1.1%! Now you may see where I am going here, being a recruiter in a booming area it is rather difficult to find employees. I have the opportunity to meet many people from all over the country and hear many stories. Most people move here for the cash, not a career.
From the sounds of it your husband may be over qualified but I am looking for Delivery Drivers (yes, the men and women behind the brown trucks 🙂 ) it is a Full-time permanent position with a guaranteed 40 hours per week, great benefits, pension, 401k, paid vacation, and many other great things.
I wanted to leave you my contact information if case you or your husband wanted to get in touch with me. If at all interested I would love to give either of you more information on careers at UPS. Or if you are considering ND as an option I can extend on to you my experiences and information on what this place has to offer.
My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org – like I said please reach out for me if you are at all interested.
Please stay strong, good things come to good people.
I read a lot of your blog and have been so inspired! I love and believe in the pay it forward method of life 🙂 I am writing because I have an offer for you but would like for it to be private… If you could email me that would be great!
Also I love that you homeschool your children 🙂 I work with kids with special needs and enjoy them like they are my own but have witnessed some being treated not so nice also! Please email so I can give you my offer 🙂
Congratulations!!! I’ve nominated you for the “Sunshine Award” because reading your blog brings a bit of sunshine into my life! Check it out here:
Exciting-soundin’ clan and crew!
Hi Andrea! I just saw your blog featured on ABC News! I perked up when I heard Oakland City, I am from Gibson County. I co-host the Hot 96 Morning Show 96.1 We’d love to chat with you, could you please email me. Thanks!! Liberty
Hey Liberty Dewig! I am sorry I never responded. I didn’t have internet in what seemed like forever and then I had so much catching up to do I am just now getting to this! I am no longer in Indiana. We were there one year and are very happily back in Missouri. I am willing to talk about all the wonderful people we were blessed to meet in Indiana. Y’all raise people right ❤ I will send this same message to your email 🙂
Why did you stop writing?
I haven’t really. I just had to take a break. We had some things come up that required my time so writing had to take a back seat. I was hoping to start again the beginning of November, but it looks more like December 1 instead. Hang with me! I have lots to tell!
Could you please tell me how I would go about subscribing to your blog?
Hi! I came across your blog from huff post. I believe you are doing the most important job a mom needs to do. You are blesse with five children and you homeschool them. That’s a great inspiration. You are giving them the most important gift of life, your time ^_^. Wish you and your family all the best!
Just found your blog … Wondering if you are still in Mo or have you moved?? Having trouble putting it all together reading and catching up … LOL
This is our run down from marriage to present….MA, NY, MO, IN, MO. We are in MO and have a nice rental that is cozy. We pray to sat here long term as we are very happy.