Monday, November 30, 2009

Not Me Monday!

I was not going to play along today, but....

I just have to say that it was totally not me that just rushed into the kitchen, put a pot of water on the front burner, turned the back burner on, and then rushed back out to finish the project of bringing the boys dressers downstairs. Nope.

So, it was not me that just extinguished a flaming turkey painting and 2 (yes, there was not 1 but 2!) burner covers.

Yeah, dinner smells delicious...or not.

Play along or just enjoy all of the other Not Me confessions over at MckMama's blog!

Friday, November 27, 2009

The Ugly Side of Thankfulness

I was thinking, yesterday, about all of the things I am thankful for. Imagine that.

I feel so very blessed. I had wanted to sit down and just write out all of my blessings. I started the list in my head.

I'm thankful for my family. I'm thankful for the relationship I have with my Mom. I'm thankful that we are healthy, that we have a warm home and food on the table. I'm thankful for our church family.

As the list continued to grow I realized that my thankfulness goes so much deeper than the obvious blessings in my life.

I have thankfulness in the ugliness too.

So, I'm skipping the usual sappy-Hallmark-card-side of thankfulness. I'm going to share the ugly side of thankfulness.

When my 12 year old is acting like a fool and then becomes shockingly disrespectful...I am thankful for a God that will show me my sin that I can repent and accept His forgiveness.

When my 7 year old is throwing a diaper bag and burying his head into a chair over...are you ready for this? One dollar. I am thankful for a God who is patient with me and has chosen to love me unconditionally.

When I try to get things done with 2 hands instead of one (read: when I put Emily down for 2 seconds) and my sweet little 6 month old girl gets sad, I am thankful for a God who is always with me.

When I have to spank my 3 year old for climbing into the new dryer (which she told me was "hot and cozy") I am thankful for a God who is our protector.

When I watch my 8 year old loose his temper all the way to his room, and then hear something heavy hit the floor at the bottom of the stairs, I am thankful that Jesus took my place that I can enjoy God's love instead of His wrath.

When I look at my marriage and see that our little family has a wonderful Spiritual leader, I remember when it didn't. And I'm thankful for a God who reconciles relationships. Not just my relationship with my husband, but more importantly, our relationship with our God.

I want everyone to know the God I know. The God who created this universe. Created us. The God is so holy that He cannot be in the presence of sin. Who chose to send His Son to die in our place. If we believe that Jesus is God's Son, that He came and died and rose again, and if we confess that we are sinners in need of a Savior, if we ask God to forgive us...He does.

I am thankful for a relationship with my Creator. My God. My Savior.

Can you say that too?

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Farewell Old Friend

We will miss you. You were a very special part of this family. I remember when we chose you. We were just a little family of 3 back then. Over the years we've grown and you just kept up with all of us. Never complaining when every couple of years we added a whole new wardrobe to your work load. That's how I knew you were not well. The moaning was so unlike you. You always smelled so good but now? You smell of burnt toast. That just can't be good. So, it is time. If you weren't so big, I'd bury you out back next to Buster. But that would be ridiculous.

Today, the men will come with your replacement and take you away. I hope you will not be hurt that we are replacing you so soon. You'd better not be hurt, you left me with 2 wet loads of laundry, what do you expect me to do? There are 7 people in this family! We have to have dry clothes, we can't just go around naked you know!


Farewell, old friend!
Thank you for your 10 years of service!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Just Some Thoughts

We have been blessed to have avoided the flu bug that went around recently. Was it the dreaded H1N1? Seasonal flu? Who knows. I do know that our schools experienced insanely high numbers of absences just a few weeks ago.

I am thankful that we did not get the flu. However. The cold that we passed around our family was awful. It lingered for weeks, just making everybody feel miserable. On top of not feeling well, our house was, well, not pretty. Well, pretty trashed, maybe. It was not good. Not good at all.

Today I woke up feeling good! And I realized, at 11, when I had accomplished quite a bit, that I have been sick for the last 3 weeks! This was an amazing revelation. I had not once considered that I was sick and needed to rest and that the house would get put back together when I felt well again. I had been feeling like a failure for not being able to keep a clean house.

What a relief it was to let go of that feeling of failure. Why, oh why, didn't I do it sooner?

And now that I am back to feeling well, another member of the family has fallen ill.

My dryer.

He's not well. Of all the chores that I accomplished today, laundry was not one of them. I managed to wash 2 loads of laundry. But the first load is still in the dryer. I vacuumed and checked the outside vent tonight after Awanas and now (after I blog, of course) I will see whether or not my poor dryer is feeling up to drying my towels.

Several quick prayers were said today that went something like this, "God, please don't let my dryer die!" And sometimes just "God please?" It got me thinking about prayer. There's not a thing wrong with those quick emergency prayers and God wants us to come to Him with everything, even small things. But is that all my prayer life is?

There have been seasons of my life when that was the only communication I had with God. My relationship with Him was nothing more than me running to Him when something went wrong. He gave me a picture of my prayer life years ago during one of those seasons.

I was watering one of my houseplants. I think I only had 2 of them (for reasons you will know in just a moment). I had noticed it was wilting, so I filled a large cup with water and fed my starving plant. And that was the only time I ever watered my plants...when they began to wither. And the truth is, they were starving even before I could see them withering. Just like my prayer life. Those plants needed to be watered daily not just when I could see them withering. I needed communication with my God daily (or hourly!) not just when something went wrong.

And my communication needed to be so much more than just simply a wish list. He taught us how to pray in Matthew 6:9-13.

9"This, then, is how you should pray:
" 'Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
10your kingdom come,
your will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
11Give us today our daily bread.
12Forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.'

We need to praise Him. We need to thank Him. We need to confess our sins and seek forgiveness. We need to seek His will. And we need to come to Him with our needs.

If we only come to Him with our needs, do we really have a relationship with Him?

UPDATE: My dryer is alive and well! Thank you God! And apparently I was very tired last night when I wrote this post..."Just Some Thoughts"? That's the best title I could come up with? I love coming up with titles. I could have done better. Oh, well.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

You're Gonna Miss This...Moment...#4

I'm a day late for this blog carnival, but I love playing along and don't do it often enough. So, better late than never!

This year, I am homeschooling Rachel for preschool. As crazy as it is to have 5 kids I am definitely enjoying our time together. Just me and the littlest girls. On top of being very exhausting, Rachel is a very entertaining girl. So when I think of things that I will miss someday, all my time with Rachel definitely tops the list.

On Thursday, we shopped with Grandma for carpeting. Being part monkey, Rachel was enjoying climbing out of the cart at Lowes. Fortunately, her Grandma was right there to teach her a valuable life lesson. "This floor is concrete and if you fall you will crack and bleed from your nose and your head..." Well, it went something like that, maybe not word for word.

Later in the day, she and Garrett were playing at the park while we waited to pick Aidan up from piano lessons. They had both climbed to the top of the rock climbing wall and Garrett informed me that I needed to help her get back down. As I stood at the bottom and directed her what to do so that I could get her safely down, she informed me that "I can't go down all by myself, I'll crack and bleed."

On Saturday, we shopped for bunk bed lumber at Home Depot. I had Rachel in the cart but I turned my back and when I turned back around she was standing on the floor looking proud and stating, "Look! I didn't bleed out my nose!"

Did I mention she's part monkey?

But the best little Rachelism from last week was on the way to pick Aidan up. We commented on how gorgeous the sunset was. The sun was a brilliant orange ball in the sky and half covered by a cloud. I said to the kids, "Isn't God amazing?" And Rachel asked, "God did that?" When I told her yes, God did that, she thought for a moment and asked, "with a ladder?"

If you want to join this blog carnival, or just want to read about the moments other moms are going to miss, check out Pam's blog!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Just What This Mom Needed

We had school conferences last night. Just to keep a long story short, I'll recap the evening in numbers.

1 evening.
2 different schools.
3 conference times.
4 books to find and buy at the book fair.
5 kids in tow.
6 near meltdowns.
7 ice cream cones to celebrate the end of a busy, stressful, full of fun evening!*

*Yes, I realize that we only needed 6 ice cream cones because Emily can't have one yet. The extra cone had to do with the 1 actual meltdown that I did not list with the 6 near meltdowns. And that's all you need to know.

And the teacher's comments?

Well to sum up:

Aidan? His teacher loves him! Which is such a nice thing to hear after being warned for the last 3 years that there is concern that he'll become a class clown. But don't take that wrong...we have loved all of his teachers but Aidan has a big personality and a great sense of humor, he's just been lacking the maturity to handle it :o). His grades are wonderful, as they always are, and his behavior has been too! That was an excellent way to start the evening!

Aly? Her teachers love her! She has adjusted to life in middle school just great and has even begun to improve on the things she struggled with a bit in 4th and 5th grade! Aly's struggle has been that until 4th grade, school was easy. She just never needed to truly work. This year she has really started to show self-motivation and has been willing to put forth more effort. I was very happy with how Aly is doing!

Garrett? Well, I wasn't worried a bit about what I would hear from his teacher...until she opened with, "I've been a teacher for a lot of years..." I got a little nervous! But she was only making the point that she has had lots of experience sizing kids up at the beginning of the year and Garrett completely surprised her! In a good way...whew! He is doing so well and really showing off how smart he is! I was so proud! I also took the opportunity to let her know that when he comes to school with the same pants on several days in a row, that it is only because I have to pick my battles and that one is just not worth it! She agreed. So we're good.

Rachel? Her teacher just adores her and loves all of the "Rachelisms" she hears on a daily basis. So much so that she posts them on facebook for all to enjoy. Oh, I should mention that I'm homeschooling her :o). Concerns? That's a whole other post...or book...if you know Rachel. It would be nice if she would put on a little weight so that we don't have problems like we did last night. As she ran across the lawn to the book fair, her jeans fell down around her ankles. But she just kept running! Thank goodness it was dark out.

Emily? Well, she's just the cutest little baby there is. Everyone falls in love with Emily! Three weeks ago she started pulling herself around the room and now she is rocking on her hands and knees! I'm not quite ready for all of that, she's not even 6 months old yet! And the hair. I so love her hair! But what to do with it? I'm at a loss. She looked adorable with a fountain on top of her sweet little head but it only lasts until nap time so I haven't bothered doing that again.

Well, that pretty much wraps our hectic, hurried, humor-filled, just what this mom needed, night.

I love my kids!

And a special thank you to Grandma for the ice cream cones! :o)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Dear Emily,

We really need to talk. As you know, I can not resist your sweet smile. I find you irresistible. And your pitiful cry gets me every time and I just have to hold you close.

But from 3 til 5 in the morning? Really? Is this necessary?

Here's the thing. This schedule isn't working for me.

First, I don't mind getting up with you in the wee hours. Really. I actually enjoy our time together, just you and me. But I can not start my day at 3 so I have to go back to sleep.

Now, I've been trying to make this work. I've been hanging out with you until you fall back to sleep at 5 and then going back to bed myself. But you are not an only child. You need to think of your brothers and sisters. To be honest, they are starting to get tired of me running into their rooms at 7:10 yelling "I over-slept! Get up! You're going to be late!" And I would really prefer to feed them a nice breakfast at the table instead of throwing pop-tarts at them as they are running down the driveway to catch the bus.

Okay, so I'm being a little over dramatic, and I don't remember the last time I bought pop tarts, but let's not change the subject.

I'm putting my foot down, young lady. No more staying up til 5. Here's how it's going to be, I will feed you at 3 and you will go back to sleep at 3:45. Okay?

And yes. I am totally bluffing. I will cuddle you whenever you ask, sweet girl....but could you consider changing up your schedule? Just a little?

With Love,

p.s. About this hands and knees business you've started...I'm really not ready for you to be crawling. I'm still having a hard time with the fact that you started pulling yourself around the room before you were even 5 months old. Well, we can talk about that later.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Not Me Monday!

I haven't played this in quite awhile so I thought it would be fun! MckMama over at My Charming Kids hosts this and it's fun to read what other mom's are not doing. Head over there and check it out...well, if you don't mind, read mine first.

Last week, I absolutely did not agree to watch my friends kids on Friday (there was no school here) and not ask what time she would be picking them up. That would have been foolish because my boys had dentist appointments at 2. So, I did not panic at 1 and call a friend to take Aly because 7 kids is 1 too many for my van. Nope. (Of course, if I had done that God would have taken care of all of the details, as He tends to do, and my friend would have picked her kids up at the dentist and when we were done we would have met my other friend at the store we were planning to go to anyway, and pick up Aly there...God is so good.)

And last night, I was not doing the happy dance because my new bedtime routine for the kids went so swimmingly that by 9 Emily had been fed, Aly had helped Rachel get ready for bed, I had read Rachel a bedtime story and she was asleep! The boys had quiet time reading in their beds while all this was happening and then I spent some time talking to them and saying our bedtime prayer. Aly then stayed up later and realized that she should have listened to me earlier when I told her to get her homework done because it would have been more fun to stay up late if she didn't have to do her homework...imagine that, mom was right.

It was not me being ecstatic over this new routine because, of course, I am so organized that I have had a bedtime routine all along. I have not been letting Rachel stay up til...whenever, and sleep...wherever since before Emily was born. Not me! And I have not been so overwhelm and under organized that a routine at bedtime has fallen by the wayside. Nope. Having little miss #5 has been a breeze and I have been Super Mom. Or not.

Hop on over to MckMama's blog and play along!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Exhibit A

Proof that Rachel is having no issues what-so-ever, sharing her things with Emily. None. Really.

(And that was a 6/9 month snowsuit. I'm guessing it's at least a 12 month now :o)

A Little Dusting

So. It's been awhile. I've been a terrible blogger. Which is fine because I'm not really a "blogger."

I've also been a terrible housekeeper these days. And really, that's fine too. Because I'm not really a "housekeeper."

So. Who am I?

I am sinner saved by grace seeking to serve her Savior.

So. It's okay if I neglect my blog sometimes. It's okay if housework falls by the wayside.

But. I have not been in the Word lately. And that is terrible!

So. I'm doing some dusting.

I'm thoroughly cleaning my house. Motivated by the fact that we desperately need to start building a couple of bunk beds or Emily will never get to move across the hall to the girl's room. (Which I am totally conflicted about, by the way...what happened to my newborn baby girl?)

I'm dusting the cobwebs off my blog. Motivated by the desperate need to write! I love having this record of all that is going on in my home, and in my heart.

But most important, I am cleaning out all of the excuses from my vocabulary and returning to a daily quiet time with my God. In His Word. Right where I am supposed to be.

Martha must retire. It can't all get done anyway.

Mary is ready to sit at Jesus feet again.