Thursday, February 21, 2013

What have we been up to?

YI realize that I have used this blog as a venting space for a bit so I thought I'd write about what we have been up to.

She wasn't so sure about this fire truck business

This weekend while "J" was off at her normal Saturday activities, Sweet Pea, the boys and I took in a winter carnival in a nearby town.  With friends of course.  As  we walked up to the school where the carnival was. a fire truck pulled up and the nice fireman asked if we would like a lift.  Riding in the firetruck was the main reason for us going and we thought we'd have to wait in a line.  How fun was it that the fire truck picked us up before we even got to the carnival!  The boys were especially excited.  Sweet pea however had some reservations about it but with the promise that I would not let go of her, she was okay with it.  (You know that meant that I had to climb up into a big truck while holding a 3.5 year old.  A tricky task to say the least!)

I love this picture because she's putting on a smile but she's really still not so sure.
The older kids got to hang out in the back!

They even got to sound the siren. "I" was the only one that looked back at me so I could take a picture!

After the fire truck ride, we went inside the school and the kids decorated cookies, played with balloons in the gym, got their faces painted and the girls had their nails painted.  It was a great way to spend part of our afternoon.

After the carnival, we went back to our friends house for some play time.  The kids usually see these friends every week but with all the sicknesses we have had this winter, we haven't seen them as much and they have really missed them.  It was great to have everyone healthy so we could finally have some play time.  We even made arrangements for Jeff to pick up "J" from gymnastics and come out so we could all have supper together. Beth and I spent the afternoon talking homeschool resources and planning supper.  

For supper we decided to play around with some egg roll wrappers that I had Jeff bring from our fridge.  We made cheeseburger egg rolls and they were so delicious.  Here's what we did!

First we cooked up the hamburger with some onions.  When it was cooked, we added ketchup, mustard, and bbq sauce.  We also added in some chopped up dill pickles.

We then rolled the meat into the wrapper.  It took me a few times to get it perfect but Beth got it the first try!   As you can see from the picture below.  The first two rolls were mine.   

Once we got them all wrapped, the only thing left to do was to put them in the oven.. oh and to make this amazing looking salad!

Take the egg rolls out of the oven and a perfect supper!  We also made some spicy fries to go along with it.  Unfortunately I forgot to take a picture of my plate.. I was too busy scarfing down the deliciousness.  I did get a picture of the egg rolls after they came out of the oven.. don't they look delicious?

On Sunday, we braved a storm to make it out to my sisters house to celebrate this little guy's first birthday!

The rest of the week has been spent at home... I haven't been feeling well... My asthma has been acting up and it's been making me feel very weak.  Thankfully I have a doctor's appointment tomorrow for it.  Plus we had two storms this week that would have kept us home anyway.

OH I did want to mention this.  As you know from my previous posts, I have been at my wits end trying to get Sweet Pea to make good choices and to keep her glasses on.   So I fell back on an old trick that I had used when "J" was this age.  A good choices chart.  When I see her making good choices or even doing nice things for others, she gets a heart.  It also works the opposite as well, when she makes bad choices, is defiant or mean to anyone she loses a heart.  When she gets 10 hearts she gets to pick something out of a treasure box that Jeff and "J" put together.  What a difference it has made.  It took her a while to get to 10 hearts the first time.  Understandably since she didn't quite grasp the concept of the reward at the end but she finally did reach ten hearts after about a week and she was soo proud.

She got to pick from the treasure box and she chose a pencil case with a ruler, eraser, pencil and sharpener in it.  

Once she realized the fun of getting the reward, her behavior has been extraordinary!   The next morning, she was dressed and had her glasses on before anyone even asked her to.  Her only requirement is that we clean her glasses whenever she needs them cleaned.  Which is acceptable to me even though she needs them cleaned three thousand times a day.. I don't mind so much if I know she's going to put them right back on!  

This chart has really saved my insanity!  It has turned us around.  I used to lay in bed in the morning strategically planning how I could get her to put her glasses on and how I could avoid meltdowns.  Now I lay in bed in the morning trying to catch a few more winks of sleep! lol

Anyway, that's been our life these days.  Now the kids are ready to start school and so our day begins!

I wanted to leave you with a song that has been really speaking to me lately...

Kari Jobe ~ You Are For Me

I am weak all the time.   God is strong...  What a wonderful thing to remember....

Friday, February 15, 2013

Friday night

I'm sitting lingering at our supper table. Blogging on my phone. The boys and Jeff have wandered off to the boys room to clean up the Lego. The girls are still here with me enjoying the last remains of their supper.

What's for supper you ask? Nachos! A classic Friday night meal. We will round it off later with some popcorn. Yes I know, not so healthy but fun for the kids and we all need some fun once and a while.

I just wanted to talk about the feeling I got while we sat around the table. As the kids get older we will have fewer moments like this. As it is, on Tuesdays and Thursdays both older kids are running off to various activities and I as the usual chauffeur am running as well. Supper time is hurried and split up.

So to have a meal time together is like a treasure possession. I cherish it. I looked around the table as we talked about our day and laughed as we tricked "T" into getting his picture taken by pretending to look at something else with my phone. I listened to the noises of the two littlest ones who make the cutest noises as they eat things that they enjoy.

Then it hit me. This is my life! I can't hardly believe how wonderful it is. How did I get so lucky to have such a kind caring and oh so funny husband. Two smart, handsome, funny boys who take after their daddy. Two beautiful, creative, clever daughters who love each other so much. These people. These are my people!

This is everything I dreamed of from the time I was very young.

I have to tell you that it wasn't luck. I believe that I am the daughter of The King of Glory. That makes me a princess. Why shouldn't I deserve good things. Why wouldn't my Father in heaven want to give me good things. It's hard to always believe that sometimes. But I know that it's true. It says so in His word.

Matthew 7:11 (NLT) says "So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him."

It's right there in the bible. I once had someone tell me. There is no sense in doubting God. It's all right there in the bible. Just read it. Just do it.

I began this blog post telling about how wonderful my life is and how much I love my family but I think what I really want to tell you is how much God loves us and wants us to seek him. He is like a daddy who is just longing to spend time with us. I am pretty sure that he is feeling the same way looking down on me as I do when I look down on my children. And there are times when my children disappoint. When they don't make the right choices. I can be disappointed in their choices but that does not mean that I don't still love them with everything that I have. After all they are human just like me. We all make mistakes. Nobody is perfect. The great thing this is that God knows that. We can beat ourselves up for the choices we make but Jesus keeps on loving us. Me? I will just keep trying to make the best choices possible and ask forgiveness for the wrong. Anyway. I'm off to spend the evening with my wonderful family.

Here's some fun pictures we took at the table tonight.  Sorry about the quality.. they were taken with my phone.

"T" hates getting his picture taken.. We tricked him by pretending to look at the picture on the phone already

My sweet boy

The little princess

My big girl stuffing her face!

And Jeff, looking up non acidic foods on his ipod while eating some pretty acidic foods!  haha!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Bible stories that end with a hug ~a tyndale book review

I'm very late with this review.  I received this book from Tyndale the day I was leaving for Africa, Sweet Pea flipped through it right away and enjoyed the pictures.  We didn't get a chance to pick it up again obviously until after I got back.  So here is the review!

This book is best suited to kids between 1-5.  SP liked it the best.  It has 74 bible stories that are 2 pages each.  Each story is in a language easy to understand and engaging.  They are broken up into paragraphs so I can interact with her as I read.  It also has questions to ask your little one.  In every story it ends in giving the person  you love a hug.  That is the fun part.

It's a really great little bible story book.  It has cute pictures and is a joy to read.  "J" loves to read this to her little sister.  And Sweet Pea loves to be read to.  I'll definitely be putting this by her bed for bedtime every night.

This book was sent to me by Tyndale publishing for review.  I was not required to give a positive review in exchange for this book.

Thursday, February 7, 2013


Isn't it amazing how parenting can be so up and down? It is down right crazy at times. I started out this morning pretty good. I was still running on the highs of yesterday which was a pretty good stress free day. Still so proud of my "J" who got some solo singing parts in her musical theatre class and my boy "T" who rushed out the door to help our neighbor shovel her driveway.

Even proud of myself as I had been successful in avoiding meltdowns from a certain little girl.

We got through the schoolwork really easily and I even managed to have supper made with homemade French bread all before 4:30.

Imagine how I felt!! I have to say the pride-o-meter was pretty high. Boy I had it all together today. HA!

No mom has it all together. Just when we think we do, the rug gets pulled. My rug was in the form of a two hour long meltdown from a very screamy spirited girl. By the time the hubby came home from work, it was all I could do to throw my beautiful supper on the table and give him "the look"

You know the look. The one that says, if you don't step in right at this moment.... I will scream. This look my husband knows well. He took his cue like the awesome husband and dad he is. He took on the screaming one (who by the way had moved her meltdown from the bed room to the supper table). He hugged her and soothed her. Things I had been trying to do for the last two hours. There is something to be said about being held in daddy's arms.

I needed to do that. I was tired, worn out and in need of daddy's love and comfort. I left the house for some much needed alone time. I went to my dads (who wasn't home) and quietly painted the dresser I was refinishing for the girls room. I soaked in my heavenly fathers love. Then, even though I didn't really feel like it, I went to the women's life group that I go to every Wednesday night. Once again as we shared and talked about faith, I was reminded of Gods love. The way that he places people in our paths to encourage us, to lift us up when we are down and to love us.

Father thank you for wrapping your arms around me tonight. For helping me through the rough spots.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Thoughts going through my mind.

I have just re-read some of my latest posts. I realized that lately I have labeled my girl to the whole world on this blog and on Facebook. Even in talking about her to friends. I have called her a challenge, stubborn, defiant, demanding, unpredictable & explosive...How can those words with such negative connotations do either of us any good. These traits are the kinds of traits we look for in an adult. As adults we call it being assertive, committed, flexible, analytical, perceptive & dramatic. Those words bring a more positive light. Don't they? The problem is, these traits that are so desired as adults make for difficult child raising.

So what do I do? Well first of all, these traits are all traits that I want her to retain as an adult so I will try to view them in a more positive light from now on so that she knows that they are not bad. I will try harder to help her to manage her outbursts into more positive forms. I will apologize to her for labeling her. She is a smart, sweet, persistent little person. This doesn't mean that she won't see some discipline in her life. How else will I help her learn to channel those traits. But I will listen to her, show her some respect and I will pick my battles. We will come out of this. She is a good girl and I am a good mom. I will constantly remind myself that she is not doing any of the things to annoy me or to get a rise out of me. I do believe that she is testing her limits and I need to place those limits there to make her feel safe and secure.

I am not a perfect person. There are going to be days where I fail. Where I lose it. Where I need to vent about her. When those days come, please remind me of this post. When I feel as though I have failed. Tell me that I haven't. When I say something negative, remind me of the positive. I have come to realize that I need people. That everyone needs a helping hand along the way.

I have had people say to me that they have read my blog and realized that they were not alone. If you are reading this and you have felt alone I want to say you are not alone. Your child is not the only child to fall apart over their cracker being broken or their sibling touching them. My child does too. Sweet pea has completely fallen apart over "J" giving her a spontaneous hug and kiss. There are millions of moms & dads who go through these same things everyday. Just take a step back and breath. Tell yourself that they are not out to get you and that you can do this. You are a good parent. Be consistent and your child will grow up to be a successful adult.