Sunday, September 30, 2007

Hi ho, hi ho it's off to work they go...

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Chores. Do your kids do them? How much do you expect? How little? How well? These are the questions swirling around in my little mind. Obviously chores vary based on your child's age, maturity (or lack thereof...), what actually needs to be done or not done, etc...

I went to a mini-conference this week where the mom talked about chore management and household management and truly I'm a sucker for management anything (sigh). So I sat through a seminar or two, bought a book, and I'm working on a "set" set of chores for the kids. She has a great system that I am in the process of putting together (you can see more on the book here to get an idea on the product). Her household scheduling is amazing too, but even for me a little too much. I tend to get a wee bit sucked in and over-attentive to the schedule, so I amazingly didn't buy it (despite my sweaty palms and fast heart rate).

But I'm curious about your household. Do you have chores for your kids? How do you divvy them up? Do you pay? Don't you? I'm interested in hearing your stories and getting some input from you all, so please post away!!

Saturday, September 29, 2007

There is Nothing...

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I found this quote tonight while bopping back and forth on different blogsites and websites....it seems that even in web-land I'm ADHD like...can't stay in one place for long. :)

Anyway, as I'm sitting here in bed gearing myself up for sleep - Rick is snoring (sorry, honey!). Not bad, just his little bit. And it just makes me ever so glad that he is here. Right next to me.
And snoring and all, I love him and am discovering the truth in this statement more and more each time that I do pray for him...



The Daredevil boy...

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Today I got a little glimpse into our future with Zachary. Not that every day isn't a new adventure with him. Just a new day. New fun. Just Zachary.

We took the kids for a bike ride around the cul-de-sac (and around and around...). I was riding with Kaleb in his seat and stopped to watch Zachary who is riding McKenna's old bike like a pro. As he flew across the cul-de-sac he lifted his feet up and put them on the handlebars. Where did he learn THAT? The big boy in him is just itching to get out! Not even a minute later I turned around and he had let go of the handlebars and taken his feet off the pedals and was "wheeeeeing" across the street. *sigh*

Of course, not to exclude the comical moment of the evening...Rick is trying to teach him how to use the brakes on the bike and keeps telling him to pedal backwards. Rick turned around to start talking to one of our neighbors and I kept watching Zachary. He stopped the bike with his feet, looked at Rick and said "I can do that!" He got off the bike, sat on the bike backwards and tried to pedal. Gotta love him! :)

If it doesn't move, I might tag it...

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We're having a yard sale this weekend. Right now I'm beginning to think, "What was I thinking?" I at least had the common sense to change the start time from 7am to 8am. Mainly based on the fact that Rick and I were sitting at the breakfast table and could barely see outside at 7am - too dark. I suppose it might be difficult to read prices, not trip over things, etc... at that point in the morning, huh?

It is amazing to me though how much STUFF we really have. I will be glad to get the piles of things out of my basement that I am hauling out of my closets and the deep dark crevices of my house. And yet there is still STUFF everywhere!! Too much stuff. Where do I draw the line? I know we have four kids, but seriously. Birthdays and Christmas are coming up and I'm beginning to think that if one more toy enters my house.....we just might explode

***It's Saturday afternoon now - our computer/internet service has been down the last few days, so I wasn't able to finish posting. The yard sale is complete...we sold quite a bit, but yard sales really amaze me in some ways. What is it that makes someone pick up something and not another? :) I'm not defending my stuff, but... it's comical to me when you watch someone look at something, pick it up, ponder it in their mind - and then put it down - when it's 50 cent item...or they put it down without ever asking if you'd take less.

Or the items you think - wow! this is such a great deal - and not one person even gives it a second glance....hmmmm... just interesting to me. :) So, it does appear that Rick will be able to purchase a chain saw now - yeah for the boy toy. Of course we still have to buy all the safety equipment to go along - just so he can keep all his body pieces in their places and not leave them lying in the woods somewhere... hee hee...

On another note, our lack of tv/internet for 2 days has shown me (sadly) how much I use the computer and rely on it for just the littlest things...weather, hearing from friends, just to "veg out" for a minute. Turns out some cable in our backyard underground is bad - good thing for us is we don't have to pay for them to fix it (YEAH!!!) and they were nice enough to run a temporary cable line for us since it will take 2 weeks to fix. Deep sigh of relief. So...I'll be back soon and blogging more over the next few days I'm sure.

Momsense Full Version

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Here is the video link again. Go figure. Mine gets pulled and there are 10 other of the same on youtube.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Total Momsense

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Just a fun video clip to watch. How many of these have you heard come out of your mouth? :)

Deep Theology

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This morning the kids were talking at the breakfast table. Apparently this is the place for deep theological discussions. :) The girls were talking about Jesus and McKenna decided to tell Zachary more about him.

M: Jesus can live in your heart. Did you know that Zachary? You can ask Him to come live in your heart.

Z: No. Jesus lives in HEAVEN!

L: No, Jesus is all around us. He is everywhere. Right now He is sitting on my head. And your head. And McKenna's head. He can see us, but we can't see Him.

A brief pause.

L: The whole universe or the atmosphere can fit in His hands.

M: Yeah. When it's nighttime, He puts His hands around the world and closes them so that it's dark outside.

Who knew? :)

Monday, September 24, 2007

Sweet, sweet McKenna

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After a crazy busy day at home - water leak in the basement to which I am enormously grateful that I was unable to get the corner off the drywall as planned...apparently the leak wasn't in the wall, but squirting from a pipe TO the wall...that would have gone over well, eh? Kids are, well, my kids... McKenna is having issues lately with the finger-in-the-nose issue. She claims that it itches. Apparently a lot, based on our witness. So, in desperation I told her that the next time I caught her doing it, I would make her immediately put her finger in her mouth. Her shock at the thought was appropriate. Case closed....Zachary was soaked from head to toe (literally) because he just loves the water spicket outside...so, by the time all is said and done today...oops...dinner. :) So, we went to Cracker Barrel to use up our gift certificates that expire this month (pay attention all you Grace Covenant moms! :)

Anyway, we couldn't get food into Kaleb fast enough. Apparently we are going to have to start saving now for groceries in the future. The boy (and yes, he's only 10 months), ate 2 biscuits, a bowl of applesauce, a chicken tender, green beans, a carrot, a bunch of macaroni and cheese...and some milk before I was able to divert his attention to something other than food. Me? Didn't eat much at all. I tried here and there, of course. In between cutting food, spreading the vegetables around, playing "I Spy" to keep the other kids busy...my food is now in the fridge waiting for me tomorrow. :)

The kids truly did remarkably well. Remarkably. Other than forgetting over and over about the indoor voice thing. :) They even did amazing in the store after dinner while waiting 10 minutes for me to pay. So, when we got in the car, I turned around to let them know how proud I was that they were so obedient and well-behaved in the restaurant. At this point, the conversation went a wee bit off course.

McKenna: "So did you or didn't you see me pick my nose?"

Umm...hmm...Rick and I know what the real answer is supposed to be...but we saw nothing. Lovely. Who did? ***me trying not to giggle now...Rick sighs***

Me: "Hmmm...is there something you need to tell us? Did you?"

McKenna: "Well, yes. And after I was putting my fingers in my food."

Ahhhhh. Super nice. Good visual...good thing I didn't eat much.... Lovely.

McKenna: "Next time, I'll just stick my fingers in my mouth instead."

YUM!!!

Anyone have any anti-nose-picking ideas?? Anyone? I'll give you a moment to stop the gag reflex and let you get back to me on this one...

Friday, September 21, 2007

Pictures from our field trip

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Thank goodness for digital cameras! We would have spent a fortune developing the 85 pictures that I took yesterday. The slideshow was having issues, so I just posted a few of the pictures instead - sorry, Mom!

The kids had a great time with the many, many "stations" that they had around the farm: bowling, mini-golf, bean bag toss, a hay maze, petting zoo, rubber duck races, a John Deere track, a sound garden (pots and pans), a "cow" tractor ride, and of course, the corn maze and pumpkin patch. Lovely part too - we were the only ones there. So we got some wonderful special treatment!!

The Proverbs 31 Woman

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My devotional this morning encouraged me to read the passage from Proverbs 31:10-31 and reflect on how I am (or am not) like the Proverbs 31 woman. While this could turn into a 'bash myself over the head' situation, I started reading it and just laughing...here's why (I'll start in vs 13).

  • She finds wool and flax and busily spins it...I find pieces of yarn, paper, and other unidentifiable craft objects on the rug and pick them up so the baby doesn't ingest them.
  • She is like a merchants ship; she brings her food from afar...yes, if Walmart is too busy, I will go the distance and travel to Kroger.
  • She gets up before dawn to prepare breakfast for her household and plan the day's work for her servant girls...zzzzzzzzzzzz - oh, I'm up! and if I would have known they were my servant girls....well, don't they have a thing coming!!
  • She goes out to inspect a field and buys it; with her earnings she plants a vineyard...I go outside to ensure that my children have picked up every remote toy so that the lawn can be mowed without another toy run-over incident.
  • She is energetic and strong, a hard worker...I do put on a good front, but collapse at the end of the day...or mid-day...or morning, depending on if I've had a cup of coffee.
  • She watches for bargains; her lights burn late into the night...YES!! score 1 for me!! of course the lights burning have nothing to do with working, unless fiddling with the html on your website counts...
  • Her hands are busy spinning thread, her fingers twisting fiber...I wander around the house, following the thread trail left by my son, slowly winding the thread back onto the spool.
  • She extends a helping hand to the poor and opens her arms to the needy...I willingly welcome any other poor mother into my house so that our children can play and we can look at each other and know that other mothers do exist (i.e. big people).
  • She has no fear of winter for her household because all of them have warm clothes...which are strewn all over the house during the "changeover period" due to children's excitement over new clothes.
  • She quilts her own bedspreads...I do have a quilt started...ummm...well, the fabric is cut...has been cut for 7 years now.
  • She dresses like royalty in gowns of finest cloth...I do consider any shirt that doesn't have spit up, dried food or slobber on it or doesn't require ironing the "finest cloth."
  • Her husband is well known...for chasing around a toddler most Sundays, Mondays, Tuesdays....
  • She makes belted linen garments and sashes to sell to the merchants...I have made an occasional tunic or two for a Christmas program.
  • She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she LAUGHS with no fear of the future... :)
  • Her words are wise, and kindness is the rule when she gives instruction...Yes, you can get permanent marker off your table top - just a little baking powder/water paste and a little elbow grease...that does sound wise, doesn't it? And if you need the full PBS schedule, surely that counts towards wisdom...
  • She carefully watches all that goes on in her household and does not have to bear the consequences of laziness...I do have to watch Zachary VERY carefully, because otherwise there are consequences...
  • Her children stand and bless her. Her husband praises her...My children do stand...on the table, the couch, any possible object...and my husband does praise me (and thanks the Lord that HE gets to work every day...I love you, honey!).

Should I go on???

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Got Milk?

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Let me explain. No, seriously, I can! We went on a "field trip" today to the corn maze and they had a cow you can "milk" - a wooden cow, that is. The kids all really enjoyed it. I could see this coming, but just couldn't bring myself to stop it, despite the fact that I had seen the nasty water (and had poured it myself into the top of the "cow"). He just can't help himself. Deep in my mind, I was just picturing Zachary living long ago and milking a real cow and bringing little milk inside in the pail because he would be doing just this to a real cow...


Under Construction...

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You might notice that my page is changing almost every 10 minutes. Well, I suppose that would depend on how often you check it, right? Today I have officially started messing with the html on the page and trying to edit it. Some of you are hearing "blah, blah, blah..." Impressed? Don't be. I have absolutely, truly, no idea what I am doing. So you will notice that as I am fudging around with numbers in the code, deleting things, etc.... things are changing on my site. One template. Another template. One header...but it's not all good in html land...

For example, if you scroll down, you'll notice that my lovely picture is really only half of my face now. Why? Well, when I figure out what number I changed (or need to change), I'm sure I'll look much nicer and you will then be subject to my entire portrait.

So, I am hoping that I can get something a little different, fun and more "me" in place sometime in the near future. I guess we'll see, eh?

Jolanthe

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Lunchtime Conversations...

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While I was feeding Kaleb in the kitchen yesterday, I overheard the other three kids sitting at the lunch table and listened in to their conversation about heaven.

- Clothing is optional: In Heaven you don't wear clothes (a very happy thought for one of my three which invoked lots of giggles). Jesus apparently doesn't wear clothes either.

- Worship is different: You don't need to use your mouth to sing. You can sing with your nose. (Did you know that? Apparently nasally sounding singing is a OK! :)

- Need a potty? All you have to do is think about it and a potty will magically appear. (Wouldn't that be nice!)

Fun stuff. :) Just thought you might like to know...

Jolanthe

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Goals or Desires?

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Having Rick gone this weekend and having a little time to myself had me thinking about a few things in our marriage. It is so easy for me to be quick to jump on every little thing that I think he should change about himself, our relationship, life with our kids...when the problem might not be him...but me (gasp!). I'm realizing that there are too many instances where I am expecting so much from him, showing him little appreciation for all he does do, and taking him for granted. I need to appreciate more and expect nothing...but how?

Larry Crabb has a quote from his book "The Marriage Builder" that I really liked. You can click here for a little more in depth read on it. He says:

"Problems in communication generally involve a
confusion of goals and desires. What we desire from
our spouses becomes our goal. We insist that our
partners treat us a certain way, and when they don't,
we express our negative emotions to them either
as revenge or to change them."

The answer is there. A goal is something that I can set for myself. If I want to read a book a month, that is a goal. If I want to get in better shape, I can exercise every day (haha) - that's a goal. Read a chapter a day in my Bible, try a new recipe a week, go to bed at 10pm...they all are things that I can control.

Desires. Hmmm....desires are things that I want for or from others. I want my husband to rub my feet each day, play with the kids every night, cook a meal a week, cuddle on the couch with me before bed...the list can go on. The thing is - I can't control those things. I can't control how my husband lives his life. When I try to make my desires into my goals...problems start cropping up. I'm setting expectations that are not going to necessarily be met. And in the process that begins to affect my relationship with my husband. Then I start thinking he should be doing (fill in the blank) and when he doesn't, I get upset. I pout internally. I get frustrated. I treat him badly. And he doesn't know what I'm upset about, but he gets frustrated too. And the problem doesn't lie with him - but with my desires. :::sigh:::

So, how do I stop? Maybe I can set some different goals for myself. Like quit nagging my husband to do (blank). Say "I love you" first thing when he walks in the door (instead of shoving a child in his arms immediately). Laugh more. Let it go. Ask nicely. Be a little more patient. My list could be endless. :) But are you catching my drift?....

This Blog is Rated....

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I found a funny little link on a friend's blog site that had a little "rating" on it similar to the ones that you see for a movie rating. So, I clicked on it and figured I'd see what the rating on my blog would be. Her's was rated "G" - and I'm not that risque, so I figured mine would be the same.

Wrong!

My rating came back as PG-13!! Why? Here is the sum-up:

This rating was determined based on the presence of the following words:

poop (8x) and gun (1x)

To my defense, the word gun was used in the sense of "radar gun" (i.e. speeding) and poop, well, that is non-defensible. :) The thing that truly amuses me in all this is if our movies were rated on the same scale, it would truly change the way we let our children view them. Because some of the words I've heard on Disney movies aren't ones that I necessarily want my children repeating.

So procede with caution through my site - you never know what you are going to find!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Another Day...

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Another layout today (this one at least from a fairly recent event!!) - I'm tempted to work on more tonight, but last night I couldn't fall asleep - and I even tried to go to bed early (well 10:30). Despite the fact that Rick's been talking in his sleep and elbows me frequently, apparently I can't sleep unless he is doing that - so I laid there and twiddled my thumbs until 12:30...




With Rick gone today, my dad helped me take them to the museum (i.e. keep track of Zachary). Thanks Dad!! We've been going there about once a week - a membership there was the best thing that we invested in this year. We have definitely gotten our money's worth there - rainy days, hot day, crazy days... :)


It' almost quiet again now (I say almost because the kids are all in bed, but Kaleb is making noise occassionally to which Zachary is shushing him, which makes him cry more...), so I am posting some pictures today from out in the backyard with the kids. You might notice that there is now actually a picture of me on the sidebar. I got brave this afternoon and let the girls take 2 pictures each. They were way off center and rather comical, but with a little editing...it's a passable picture and proves that I exist, right? Of course I don't like it that well, but it'll do for now. :)


Here are a few pictures of the kids playing. Kaleb doesn't usually get to play in the grass, since he tends to graze otherwise, and as fiberous as I'm sure that is - well, I'll pass.










Friday, September 14, 2007

When My Husband's Away...

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I get to play with my scrapbooking stuff a little more. I found a few more pictures that I never got around to putting on pages, so I officially finished my first album tonight!! If you look at the pictures - it's only taken 4 years to get these in an album! Now I need to finish a few more layouts for the second and third albums...and then...well, truly it never ends. Because the kids keep having birthdays, and there is always something fun to scrapbook, right? But, two down...lots more to go!

I Never Thought....

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....that I would ever hear the following two phrases uttered out of my mouth:

"No, you cannot eat dogfood." and "Where else did you put poop?" and all within the time span of 20 minutes. I swear, people must think that I just let my children roam free and just throw them food when it's feeding time. Perhaps I'm just overly inattentive - I'm not, although from the things that happen around here...

Zachary thinks he can apparently change his own diaper now. Well, he is almost three. He wears underwear all day until naptime - and then he can't be trusted (as seen in previous posts). His own odor was too much for him the other day, so he decided to change himself. I came in to get him after nap and the smell in his room about knocked me over. So I asked the obvious: "Did you poop in your diaper?"

"I'm not wearing a diaper!"

Right. I forgot. He's wearing Pull-ups. My bad.

"Did you poop in your Pull-up?"

"I'm not wearing a Pull-up!"

Surely my brain hasn't retired so much as to forget to change him from his underwear into a pull-up for naptime (although it is a distinct possibility).

So - I did the obvious. I checked. He wasn't wearing either.

He smiled. "I changed my diaper all by myself!"

So, I turned around. There's (gagging) poop stains on the carpet...where is the rest of it? Shoved with all the wipes he tried to clean himself with into the over-flowing diaper genie. Lovely. And then to one of the questions I never thought I'd hear myself say: "Where else did you put poop?"

Out with the clorox wipes, carpet cleaner and misc other cleaning gear to take care of yet another lovely mess.

On the bright side, I am certain that my son will not be 14 and still in diapers. Right?

Frozen Pancakes

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Around our house, there is a little person who keeps getting into things. Apparently we don't feed him enough because on any given day we can find him hiding somewhere and the telltale signs of food consumption are all over him (or around him). Banana peels randomly thrown as he attempts to peel it, grab it, shove it in his mouth, and hide. Holes in saran wrap as he digs out chunks of brownies. Or pie. :::sigh::: But the other day he hit an all time low. Do I not feed my children enough that they are driven to take not one, but TWO bites of FROZEN PANCAKES - and then politely return them to the container? Pitiful but true.


Thursday, September 13, 2007

How can I keep from singing?

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Singing and praise are my "outlets" of sorts. I will happily pop in a cd, crank it up and just belt it out along with the cd. Right now Chris Tomlin has an amazing song out called "How Can I Keep From Singing".

Every now and then I have an "anthem" song - one that just sticks in my head and is one that I can listen to over and over again without really tiring of it (my family may differ on this!). Whatever is going on in life at the time gets associated with that song. So for a few months this is it. When I first heard it, something just struck in me. Here are the words to that song:


Life hasn't been extremely difficult for me, but there have been times when I haven't known exactly what to do: when we found out our first little boy, Aaron, had died inutero; miscarrying twins a few years later; Zachary's bout with meningitis, my pregnancy with Kaleb - all times that weren't "comfortable" as it was, and when all I knew how to do was just worship and praise God. Despite a part of me thinking, "Worship? Now? Seriously!"

But I worshiped.

And as I worshiped there was an unmistakable peace over me. Peace like I don't generally feel. Despite my circumstances. I was being cared for, held, cradled, and loved by Him. He knew all that I was going through. He wasn't going to abandon me. And despite my circumstances I could only praise Him. Even now as I write this I am so emotionally overwhelmed by the grace He continues to pour over me. Over each of those memories and times when I needed Him more than anything.

When Zachary was diagnosed with meningitis I knew in my heart that he would be okay, but seeing his usually energetic little body just limp was difficult. Rick and I had a radio in the hospital room and just started playing worship music and it was AMAZING the change that came over him. Right away he opened his eyes, started moving his little feet, and started perking right up. Thinking about that just makes me smile and cry at the same time.

I wrote a quote in my Bible by Warren Wiersbe - "Worship is the believer's response of all that he is - mind, emotions, will, and body - to all that God is and says and does. It is a loving response that is balanced by the fear of the Lord, and it is a deepening response as the believer comes to know God better." The emotions. Got that. It's my mind and will that have the most difficulty. Too distracted at times. Focused on other things and not on the One I should be focused on.

Sometimes it's easy to worship. Especially in those times when I feel nothing but broken. Nowhere to go. No One else to run to. No One else to respond to.

I love hearing and watching my children worship. And they do. Zachary loves to sing. Constantly. Our van is generally filled with little voices praising. And on any given morning before he gets up, I will hear Zachary in his room singing some worship song with all of his might. The girls love to dance and praise. And they have no inhibitions in doing so. That's just the way it is. There are times when it truly brings tears to my eyes and I wonder in those moments how it affects the heart of God. If it's affecting me - how does He see it? They have no inhibitions. No worries. They just do it. Oh to be more like my children in that sense. To constantly have a song in my heart and be ready to sing it and not worry!

We were created to worship Him. To be in relationship with Him - and bottom line - to worship. No matter what our circumstances are. And He meets us where we are. Isn't that amazing? When we worship - He meets us and we are pulled into Him. "I can sing with my last breath, sing for I know - that I'll sing with the angels and the saints around the throne."

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Are You Talking to Me?

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You know that feeling you get when you are just merrily driving along, paying little regard to other things (your speed, for example) and then out of the corner of your eye you see a police car with a radar gun pointed at you. You look down. Gulp. You look back up in your rear view mirror and see the nose of his car work it's way out onto the road behind you...and that's when the feeling hits you. That sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach. The one that is part butterflies, fear, dread, anticipation, and "Oh, Lord, please...not me!"

For those of you who know me well enough, I didn't get pulled over. Or get into another accident. Take a deep breath. I just read my Bible and did devotions (please don't fall off your chair).

But that feeling did hit me yesterday while Meandering Through a friend's blog (oooo - that was good, eh Christin?) and today again while I was doing devotions. Christin recently borrowed a dvd set from me - my favorite show Grey's Anatomy and her post references that (click here to read the post). As I'm reading her post that feeling starts creeping in. But of course I must push it back. Phew. Good thing that God was talking to her and not me, right? I'm good. Really good. Because truly, that's not what I focus on.

This morning dawns nice and pretty and I sit down in a moment of peace and quiet and open up a devotional book to read "Mom...and loving it!" The chapter for this mornings conviction..."We've been mediatized. How the media affects contentment in women." Surely I must be reading a book meant for someone else. :::SIGH::: Here's a verse (paraphrased from the Message):

__________________________________________________________
"I'm doing the very best I can, and I'm doing it at home, where it counts.
I refuse to take a second look at corrupting people and degrading things."
Psalm 101:3
__________________________________________________________
There's that feeling again. I'm not going to be able to avoid this one. The authors go on to talk about the traps of various shows (soaps, sitcoms, movies, etc...). Even though many may seem to be just fun, they can give us a false impression of how things should be and encourage us to think negatively towards our family: husbands, children, and ourselves (image anyone?). While there are some shows that I know for sure fall into this category I started thinking about how some of the shows I watch affect my life. Reality shows even. I am a person who tends to get caught up in a show. I remember watching one of the seasons of the Bachelor (which truly now is just a joke because I'm wondering how many more bikinis can you fit in a hot tub). Anyway, I was pregnant with one of our kids and it was the night before the big finale - who was he going to propose to? I was up rather frequently at night and when I would lay there trying to fall back asleep those thoughts would start flying through my mind. "Who is he going to choose? He really should choose... What if he makes the wrong decision?" And sad (but true) I actually remember praying he would make the right choice. Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying I shouldn't pray for someone, but seriously. The bachelor? When I have a lovely man who comes home every night and works ever so hard, sleeping children in the next room, one growing within me and I'm praying for his spouse and decision? Perhaps my prayers might be well spent on my own family, eh? :::sigh::: While watching tv isn't bad, I am feeling convicted to really track my time. I get very anxious when I don't feel like I have enough time: my house is a mess, laundry is piling up, things need to be done...and yet I'm sitting on the couch absorbed in a show that isn't helping with any of the above problems. I don't need more time in a day, I just need to learn how to manage the time that I do have much better.
__________________________________________________________


"The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light.
But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!"
Matthew 6:22-23

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While it may seem relaxing and freeing to watch whatever I want (or read whatever I want) I need to be careful. If it is going to make me discontent, frustrated with what I have, and make me see my present circumstances through glasses that I don't need to be wearing...I need to change what I am doing. My focus belongs on one person ultimately. When it is on Him and my mind is being filled good stuff (Philippians 4:8-9) I have time to focus on the blessings that He has given me, dwell on what I am thankful for, and be content in all that He has given me.
My challenge for myself? Go on a diet. :::grins::: A tv diet that is. I'm starting there on trimming off some of the excess and fat that really needs to go and will use that time instead to do - oh, I'm sure I'll find something to occupy my time!

Monday, September 10, 2007

A Reward?

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We've finished the first six weeks of homeschooling: Bible lessons, math, reading - you know the basics. :) The Bible curriculum we're using (Positive Action) has the kids memorizing a verse a week. The girls each work on their own and also end up learning each others. The last few weeks the verses have been from Ephesians 6. I'm sure you moms are familiar:

"Children OBEY your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother..."

Laurianna has learned the first three verses and McKenna the first one. And I'll remind them of that too!

"What does the Bible say?" Yep. It's in the Bible. You HAVE to obey me. God said it. Better do it. Got it?

Today's verse for McKenna hit a little closer to home for me. I try to put all the girls verses on 4x6 cards and into a little picture album for them. Her verse was Psalm 27:3 "Children are a heritage from the Lord. They are a reward from Him."

Immediately my mind started racing. Kaleb is screaming. There are blobs of yogurt and peanut butter stuck to my clean floor. Cheerios are scattered everywhere over the house from one of the kids. There is soap squirted all over the bathroom from a certain someone who tried to wash his own hands. And two of my children are literally streaking around the house naked with streams of toilet paper sticking out of their bottoms because they are pretending they are tail feathers (I seriously can't make this stuff up!).

This is a reward? My reward? Can I talk to the One is charge for a minute? hmmm....

Life in my house is definitely not picture-perfect. I am not either as I've mentioned before. I know this verse goes so much deeper, but just at face value I have to laugh and think some days God has a great sense of humor. :) especially with me. Even on the days I wonder what I am being rewarded for...sigh...

On the serious side (yes, I can be serious) I do know that my children are a blessing - a heritage - and a reward. Children are a blessing in that they are weapons in the armory of God to protect the spiritual heritage of the Christian family of faith. "As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth." As we raise our children and teach them about God and to become men and women of God, they become straight arrows; they are shot out into the battle of faith, fit to do war with the enemy. This is what I want for my children!! I want them to be willing to give an account of their faith and give praise to God for all that He has done in their lives.

Even when my children are not responding how I envision them or responding how they should, God is showing me something: His grace. His undeserved grace. My salvation depends on that. And truly, if I think (and not too much) I know that I am so incredibly undeserving of His grace towards me. And I have horribly abused that grace. I still do not respond to God always the way that I should. :) Hmmm...my children, me...wonder where they get it from. It is a part of our nature and God is showing me how my relationship with my children parallels my relationship with Him - but He does have a lot more grace and mercy. :) That I will admit.

My relationship with my children is doing a wonderful thing too - it's literally driving me to my Father. I can't do this alone. Four kids!!! There are incredible moments of joy and there are incredible moments of frustration. But my children definitely are a reward to me from a loving and merciful Father.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Mom

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A friend sent this to me awhile back and I just watched it again. Sometimes, this feels like my day - all day. :) I'm sure you moms can relate!

Saturday, September 8, 2007

And you know this because??

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Zachary woke up from nap a wee bit stinky (truly putting it mildly). I put it off a little to get everyone their snacks and finish feeding Kaleb. The girls tried avoiding him like the plague, but because he is two and their brother, the stink followed them wherever they went, despite their objections. So, after finally chasing him down and getting him still for more than 2 seconds I started changing his diaper.

Before I even had his shorts off, he offhandedly says, "My poop is green." And I didn't really pay much attention at that point. I opened up his diaper. He was right. It was very green (why is this again??). My mind flips back a few seconds prior and I asked him how he knew his poop was green.

"Well, I put my hand in my diaper and it was green on my hand. Under my nails and on this finger."

What?

He's been up for how long now? I will remind you that he has already finished his snack.

Because there is no remaining evidence on his hands. Period.

GROSS!

A Picture of Me...

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I don't have one decent picture of me. Not really a recent one that I can find. I think the most recent one I have that includes me is from Easter. Why is this you ask? Generally I am the one taking all of the pictures in my house. Not that there haven't been offers. Three of my four children have graciously offered to help out and take a picture, but I hesitate thinking that they are 6, 4, and 2 years old and I would like the camera to last for quite a bit longer - much, much longer. If I tried taking a picture of myself holding the camera out, that would more than likely be a cheesy picture - and well, what's the point.

This is not to say that Rick isn't able to take pictures. He can. But as a practice he doesn't. He's much more content to let me. Then at least too I know I have all the pictures we need (especially as I've more than likely already scrapbooked them in my head and he doesn't live in my head...).

So, my goal for the week is to sucker someone (other than my children) into taking a picture of me (maybe 10 so that I might actually/hopefully also LIKE one of them), find clean clothes to wear in the picture (that do not have any form of food or stain on them) and post this picture and print it off (should it be nice enough!!) for my husband to prove he has a lovely wife that can smile at him. :) I do smile. I do....

Friday, September 7, 2007

My Buddy Map

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At the bottom of this page is a "Buddy Map". Just thought it would be fun to add it to the map and when people visit have them "sign" it so we can see where people are visiting from. So, if you are visiting, pop a dot on the map. Eventually, the map may look like this:



And, yes, babies that are nursing and 3 months old and supposedly getting mommy's antibodies, etc.. DO get chicken pox. This was Zachary about 2 1/2 years ago - he looks much better now, especially when he's all prettied up....heehee... And as to how a 3 month old can get chicken pox when none of his siblings did...your guess is as good as mine, but in our house - anything is possible!!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Laurianna's Lost a Tooth

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I'm trying this out to see if this works. It appears it actually might! I think I'm actually beginning to impress myself with this blogging stuff. Definitely not as hard as I thought it would be. Laurianna lost her tooth about a month and a half ago, but I needed some pictures to share with you all to try it out!

The Missing Tooth
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Loud Time, not Quiet Time

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Rick's alarm didn't go off this morning, our kids did. They are up like clockwork. The reason his alarm didn't go off? I would assume one of two little people that abide in our house ...hmmm... shocking, I know. Generally I have time to shower and eat breakfast and do a few other things around the house before the kids get up, but as of yet I've only eaten and actually gotten up (waking up hasn't fully happened yet). I'm listening to the kids in their rooms playing and I'm trying to have a little "quiet time" with God. Not so quiet really. On the bright side, I don't have anyone thumping on me, screaming in my ear, pulling on me, or trying to push the majority of buttons on my computer, so it is a little easier.

I'm reading a book called "Mom...and Loving It!" (wonder why I pulled that one of the shelf??) I do love my children, but I will be the first to admit that there are times that I don't always love every moment of being a mom. If you've read any of my other blogs, you might recognize some of those times. There are times when I wonder what in the world I went to college for - I don't recall studying how to get baby powder out of carpeting, marker out of my curtains, yogurt and crayon drawings off of walls...you catch my drift. There are more times than not that I would just like to have a moment alone. A quiet moment. One without someone asking for the 15th time "Can I....?" When I can read a full sentence...type a full sentence...

One of the things that really caught my attention today was this quote:

"For moms, it's usually not a 'quiet' time. The kids don't have to be asleep for you to spend time with God. Sometimes it's 'loud' time, but no less precious when it's time spent with the Father. It doesn't have to be an hour either. Fifteen minutes can change the outcome of your whole day."

The times that I do have time to sit and read/feed my mind really DO make a difference and refresh me to be a better mom. I, however, tend to feel they have to be completely quiet - which, truly does not happen in this house until long after the kids are in bed, and by then I'm just exhausted. I'm not a perfect mom :::gasp::: but I do want to be a better mom. A little more patient. A lot more fun. And a whole lot more like Jesus - especially to my family. I'm responsible for showing them so much more than how to tie their shoes, how to color in the lines, and making sure that their teeth don't fall out because they think brushing for 5 seconds qualifies those teeth as being "clean". There are more times than not that those thoughts scare me to death. "How much have I already missed on? Why did I do this? Why didn't I do ..." The only thing that I can do is learn, keep going, and ask God to help me - in those loud times. :)

Monday, September 3, 2007

Nap Time or Play Time?

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Ahhhh...naptime. The blessed moment in most mother's days when there might be, for just a brief moment in time, a small respite from the chaos that generally ensues in the household. What are those quiet moments worth? What do our children do during those quiet moments. Generally, we hope and pray that they are sleeping. Generally, we assume that they are sleeping. Unfortunately, they many times are not sleeping and are otherwise entertained.

Below you will see some pictures of today's entertainment brought to you by Zachary. Yes, I should have known that there was trouble brewing. We'd been playing "open the door, close the door" for far too long. I just hoped he'd actually finally fallen asleep - which, mind you, he did after his little "fun time". Rick was home today and went to get Zachary up from his nap so I heard "Hon. You'd better come and see what your son did." My son. Yeah. Must be good, right? I had already started giggling before even getting to the room. Rick was standing there with his hands on his hips and just staring into the room. So I did what every good mother does. Turned around and went to go get the camera.


I entered the room:



Zachary had climbed on top of the dresser, grabbed a bottle of medicated baby powder and apparently went to town. After he had finished his dumping, to his credit, he at least did try to clean the mess up - with baby wipes no less. So the lovely powder mess on top of the dresser turned into a powder smear all over the top, the sides, and the front of the dresser. The rest of the room was just a bonus. Spots on Kaleb's crib, Zachary's bed and of course the big pile on the floor. After taking pictures, I hauled all the cleaning stuff out and cleaned it all up. Sadly, a vacuum cleaner can only suck up so much powder and there seems to be a permanent area of powder residue now (unless someone knows how to get powder out??? anyone?). On the bright side, the room does smell rather lovely now.

Once the room did get clean, here are a few other things Zachary decided to do:

5:20 play in the kitchen with mommy

5:25 empty the silverware drawer of all spoons and hide them from mommy

5:30 return spoons to mommy once she figured it out

5:32 pull the vacuum cleaner out of the closet mommy forgot to lock, plug vacuum cleaner in and try to vacuum up younger brother

5:34 help put the vacuum cleaner away

5:38 find the camera mommy used to take pictures of mess made and try to take a few of my own pictures

5:41 try to pick up my little brother

5:43 hide in bed with some of the cleaning supplies mommy forgot to put away

5:44 give mommy back the cleaning stuff

5:49 take a jar of jelly and climb into my brother's crib (fortunately I found him before he OPENED it)

5:57 Mommy changes Kaleb's diaper, opens up the wipe container and discovers all the wipes I used to try and clean up the powder

must I go on?

Sunday, September 2, 2007

You'd Think

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....after having four children and nursing them all, that I would be a little more aware of things and remember certain things (i.e. nursing pads, etc...), but alas, no. Today I took the girls grocery shopping with me and they were wonderful. McKenna was so happy to buy a basket for her bike with her own money - and put it on her new "early birthday present" bike (which we forgot was in my craft/homeschool/business room downstairs) and sent her down there in search of something. "Umm...Mom? What's this?" - duh! Laurianna also had earned some more money and came along in search of a kickstand for her bike. These two are "tricking" up their bikes rather cutely. Laurianna has great plans to buy a special seat cover for her bike next...who knows...it's her spending money!!

Anyway, after a fairly successfull trip to Walmart at an incredibly busy and hectic place (forgot JMU is back and it was payday and Labor Day - Ugh!), waiting in line forever to put my stuff on the checkout line, letting the girls buy their items each separately and pay for them (sorry if you were in line behind me while they figured all that out!), I realized that there was something wet on my shirt - what? I tried to figure out what in my cart I held up against me and then realized - not that - it was me! So, how do you discreetly cover a growing wet spot on your shirt while in the check out line and rearrange yourself (again discreetly) while the store is TEEMING with people and it is ever so hard to be discreet? :::sigh::: yet again - four kids and you'd think I'd have this covered.

Today my girls were talking and one of them yelled to me "Mom, she said the 's' word!" I had a moment of panic since the other night I had just read a friend's post and then tried to figure out where in the world they would have heard that word! I went to their room and didn't want them to repeat the word and it finally dawned on me - that the 's' word is STUPID! HA! so - not nice, but huge breather for me!

So, McKenna is in heaven with her new bike - hot pink - and Zachary is thrilled that he has a new bike (McKenna's old one). If anyone has any suggestions on how to take the old bike (which is teal and hot pink) and make it a little more "manly" looking, we'll take your suggestions and do our best. Zachary had to run outside during movie time tonight just to ride his "two-wheeler" and practice with the brakes again. We put the training wheels on it for him and he thinks he is the biggest kid now!
 

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