Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A Break

Yesterday morning my dh looked at me and said "take your computer, and a change of clothes and go away" It is amazing how he knows just what I need. Although I didn't plan on staying away over night, I did. A sweet friend offered her guest bedroom in her beautiful home to me, and I am so thankful that the Lord gave me enough insight to say YES. I slept an entire night without waking. For the first time in MONTHS. It was beautiful.
My whole day was beautiful. A sweet gift from God. I got to spend time with friends, and have sweet conversations.I got to eat burritos. And pizza. And drink coffee. I got to go to Book study where I was encouraged to die to myself and walk closer with Jesus who HAS GIVEN ME EVERYTHING I NEED. And... a sweet nugget of truth from that time that I took away:

My rock star friend Rebecca said something that really is at the forefront of my mind today. She said that years ago God really convicted her to look at how she measured the success of her days. She said she had been measuring her days by how well behaved her kids were. If they were good, she'd had a 'good day'. If they weren't...well...she didn't. She said that God showed her that her job was to train her kids in righteousness, and that when the opportunities came to shine His light on their hearts, she should take it. That having a 'good day' was measured by...get this... HER RESPONSES TO THIER SHORTCOMINGS. She learned to see their disobedience as an opportunity to teach and train them. It is a blessing when we get the chance to see what is in thier hearts and shine God's truth on that. It isn't about making our life easier... It is about shaping and molding their character and turning their hearts to God now...while we have a chance...while they are little.
OH. HOW TRUE. HOW CONVICTING. And that is why I love her. And hate her. ;) She always points me back to Jesus. It is HARD to hear, but it is what I NEED to hear. I love comiserating with friends about how 'hard' it is. I love to be understood. And to be able understand others. It is a gift that HE has given to have friends to walk through this with. I am SO THANKFUL. And, I am so thankful for His word at work within me. It cuts like a knife. And it hurts. But, it also brings healing and joy.
Here's to you... and the opportunities you have today to teach and train your little ones!!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

High 5's


A sweet friend and fellow homeschoolin' momma, Rebecca (the cute one with the red hat on the left...the other cute one is my sweet friend Dawn), has all these fun little names for the things they do each day... for example...they don't call chores 'chores'... they call them 'gratitudes' instead. Things they can be grateful for...things that God has intrusted them to take care of... Great perspective, eh?
Well, last night I stopped her and asked her to tell me about thier morning routine and to explain to me their High 5's. Here they are, in all thier cuteness:
1. Get up and dressed
2. Make your bed
3. Brush your teeth
4. Help unload the dishwasher
5. Do your Up Ups... (push ups, sit ups, run around the yard twice!)

I think this is brilliant. So this morning, right after I called her oldest son Cade to ask what the 5 where again, my kids and I implemented the name High 5's this morning, and each gave me a big High 5 when they were done. It worked magic. Funny how something we already did each morning (minus the Up Ups and, if I'm honest, the brushing of teeth every morning, (cough cough) ) was so much more fun when given a cute name, and a hand slap at the end.

Thanks Rebecca!! I'll be calling Cade again to ask about 'gratitudes' and the other quirky-cute things you do! (ie: morning munchies!)

What about you? What makes your day with little ones fun and manageable? Share your tips in the comment section!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Trimmings






We just got this sweet book called The ADVENTure of Christmas: Helping Children Find Jesus in our Holiday Traditions and love it! (It is written by Lisa Whelchel...remember her? She was Blaire on The Facts of Life! There are so many cute ideas for celebrating the days leading up to the celebration of the birth of Jesus!! (i bought it from banrnes and noble, but i just saw that it is cheaper from the author's website, and she'll autograph it for you (or your kids!) and send you a free advent calendar, too! wish i would've seen that yesterday!)
The illustrations, by Jeannie Mooney are so sweet. I will be so happy to pull this out each Christmas!!
One of the sweet ideas is to make these count down calendars! Count down to christmas by cutting off a hershey's kiss each day. Your child is supposed to give you a kiss, then you cut of the hershey's kiss and give it to them. They are simple and fun to make, too! We made one for each child...but next year I might just bundle 6 of the kisses in each link and make ONE bigger one.
To make you need:
plastic wrap
ribbon
hershey's kisses (25 for each member of the fam)

Lay out the plastic wrap and have the kids line up 25 kisses in a row down the middle of it.

Fold the plastic wrap over, and twist between each one. Tie a ribbon between each kiss. Your done! :) Cut off one each day in December! Yum!! How sweet is Jesus?!
Happy Saturday!!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Jesus at Starbucks


Yes. It's true. He met me there yesterday morning.
I woke early, and headed out the door, into the cold cold morning, and found my way to my favorite red chair. At Starbucks.
I ordered my cuppa somethin' warm, and found my way to my spot...cracked open my journal and poured out my heart to my friend, Jesus. I confessed my attitude lately, and my 'unwholesome' talk, I asked Him to show me how to live, how to be an encouragement to those around me, specifically my husband and kids. I asked Him to show me how to get off of the sled that was speeding downhill at mach speed...to hop off that sled, and change the direction of our family, when we start to descend.

I was so delighted when Jesus met me there. It seemed as though, as I opened His Word, he sat down in the empty matching chair beside me. He handed me his letter of response. It was right before me, on my lap, in Ephesians 4:17 through Chapter 5.
'Don't live like you don't know me, Angela.'
'You have been taught who I am. Live like that'
'Don't let crud come from your mouth' (it exposes the ugliness in your heart, remember, friend)
'Don't let your anger lead you to sin'
'Get rid of the anger, and all the other stuff that keeps you from living purely'
'Let the words that come from your mouth be an encouragement to others'
'Be kind to one another. Tenderhearted. Forgive each other, as I have forgiven you.'
'Let my life be your example. A life of sacrifice... be like me.'

It was a sweet gentle rebuke. A spanking...for which I am grateful. He loves me enough to discipline me. To not let me continue on the downward slope. To encourage me.To tell me once again, that HE gets it. He knows where I'm at. And he meets me there... even if it is at Starbucks.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Please Pray...

Just a quick note to ask you all to pray for sweet Maegan...
Her eczema has gotten so bad over the weekend that I can feel the heat of it through her clothes. She's literally bloody in places all over her tiny body. She's been running a fever all weekend, and is more miserable than ever. My heart just breaks for her, and I'm in tears as I type this. Please, please pray for her. Obviously she won't be at Options school tomorrow. :( We are going to try to get her into the doc asap tomorrow and are asking for a referral to some specialists at National Jewish. Please pray that God would point us to someone who can help her! Thanks so much!


***update... Mae was put on 5 days worth of oral prednisone (a steroid) and was referred to National Jewish. I didn't even get a chance to ask our doc for the referral before he said 'I think she needs to be seen at National Jewish. We are so thankful for a hospital so close to us that specializes in treating eczema, allergies, asthma, etc!! Praise God. He answers prayer! Her appointment isn't until January, so we are hoping for her to somehow be able to get in sooner. She was doing A LOT better, but has began to get worse again, breaking out and itching. Please continue to pray for our sweet girl! Thanks!!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Rules


photography by William J. Meyer Photography


I was talking with Maegan and Ryan this morning and asking them how many house rules they thought we should have. I asked them if we should have 15, or 32 or 75...or just how many they thought we should have. (I was thinking I would take them to the Bible and show them the 2 'rules' that Jesus talked about: Loving God and Loving Others...and that everything else would fall into place if we could just do those 2 things) Maegan said 'ONE.' and I thought 'hmm...okay, i'll just combine love God & others into one rule and that will work!'
I asked 'what do you think that one rule should be?'
she replied 'water the plants'

i think we have some more training to do. :)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

To my sweet friend


To my sweet friend who can relate to me... (and to you, too...if you can relate) :)

i'm doing better... i think that posting notes all around the house of verses on anger, as well as having people pray for me, has really helped. staying on top of discipline has helped me, too... i've been so much better about discipling right away and not giving a ton of warnings and that has helped tremendously.

a friend said the other day that a friend told her that she feels like she turns a corner, and then they turn another corner, and pretty soon she realized that they were just going around in circles. It reminded me of the cycle that they talk about in Shepherding a Child's Heart, by Tedd Tripp, have you read it? I think you have. I haven't read it in years, but think it would be good to go back to again...

It gives me comfort to know that we aren't alone, or going through anything different than others before us!

It also reminds me of

1 Corinthians 10:13
No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.

Stay strong! I love you!!

Angela

Sunday, November 16, 2008

He Gets It.


photo by William J. Meyer Photography


On Friday, I laid down for a bit after getting the smallest 2 kids down for naps and the bigger 2 settled for their 'alone time'. I pulled the covers over my head, and began to pray, asking Jesus to show me again how to live. The passage from Ephesians popped into my head...the one on the fruit of the Spirit. I began to recite them over in my head:
love
joy
peace
patience
kindness
goodness
faithfulness
gentleness
self-control

as I went down the list, I did a mental check off.
loving? no
joyful? not really
peaceful? um. riiiiight.
patient? not usually.
kind? sometimes...but not as the norm
good? 'sinful' more accurately describes me, i think.
faithful? i need to think more about this one...
gentle? a little bit. every once in awhile.
self-controlled? yeah... something to strive for.

It all seems so impossible in the midst of raising 4 little humans. and, i think for me, it IS impossible in my own strength.

Case in point? As I was doing this mental checkoff, I was interrupted about a zillion plus 2 times...

'so-n-so is doing THIS'
'I need THAT'
'so-n-so wet herself. again.'

"OH LORD", I thought. "Just a couple minutes? I'm SO angry. I just want to be left alone with YOU. Can't everyone just leave me the heck alone so i can be with Jesus and learn how to be nicer, darnit! Lord, show me how NOT to be angry. Show me HOW on EARTH to serve you, and love you and show love and mercy and grace to my kids. Show me how to live in peace. Not with an angry heart, but one full of love."
(I cleaned up my thoughts for you to read...they weren't that sweet) ;)

I got up, cleaned up the wet one, and sent her back to bed... and went for my Bible. Laying next to it was a Bible study that I'd started 4 years before and only gotten to week 3. I thought, why not? and picked it up and took it back to bed with me. I opened it to where I'd left off. And the lesson? You guessed it...it was on ANGER. I began to cry...literally tears ran down my face. I don't know why I continue to be surprised when God meets me right where I am, but I am. He surprises me. He IS our ever present help, and He met me through a dusty book, that I'd neglected, until the time was right for me to learn from it. How cool is God?

I took some time yesterday to write out each of the verses on anger that God used to speak to me, and to post them around my house, at eye level. (I want to take pics, but my batteries for my camera are dead again...)

Then, last night, I checked out THIS. They had a different service last night, where there were 6 different stations around the room. Some with slideshows, candles to light, communion, write a letter to God, etc. Each were for the purpose of reflecting on the beattitudes... Again, God met me there. He continues to let me know that He understands where I am, and He is here with me, walking through it.
I'm so thankful that...He gets it.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

LOVE this


I love this blog, and this haircut... could i pull it off? be honest. it's daring...

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Thanks William J. Meyer Photography!!






If you live in the Boulder/Denver area and you are in need of an amazing photographer...look no further!! Go HERE. They are amazing! :) And... they are using their photography to help pay for thier adoption! :) YaY!!

Friday, November 7, 2008

What spoke to me today...

Prov. 14:1
The wise woman builds her house,
but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.

I've been so angry lately and I'm trying to figure out "the whys" of it all... something to do with my own selfishness, and lack of wanting to sacrifice, I'm sure.

Yesterday, one child slept for 30 minutes at naptime before SCREAMING and waking up the other young one... while this was happening, the older 2 were not so innocently watching a movie upstairs in the guest room... they'd found a red jawbreaker and got it all over the white down comforter and white chanille bedspread. When I had the oldest bring that down to the wash, one of the younger ones showed me they'd peed on their bed (not in their sleep...just because they wanted to). It was a hard day. I wasn't 'happy mom' that could handle it with a smile of servitude. I was 'unhappy-why-me-God' mom. My kids weren't respecting me... they were disobeying in little things at every turn. I realized somewhere between the hours that I was on the pillow last night and at the breakfast table this morning that it was really MY fault. That I've been 'checking out' by 'checking my email' and that I really need to stay ON TOP of things. Discipline every time it is needed. Right away.
Instead I was giving warnings, and more warnings, and doing a lot of loud talking (smile) and not a lot of follow through. I think that in this whole process, I've felt like I can't discipline the youngest the same way...they don't have the same experiences... but... somewhere between yesterday and today, that changed. They are my kids. They are all 4 OUR kids. They should all 4 be treated the same way. And, so instead of threats, today, there was follow through. And...we've had a great day. (Not without lots of discipline...but without lots of 'angry mom'.) I've been 'happy mom' today. They've rose to the challenge of obediance, as I've enforced the rules. I needed to write it down, cause in a few weeks, I'm sure we'll be at a different place in the cycle and I'll need to remind myself that the problem isn't my kids... it's ME. And, I'll get back on track, once again...

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Ryandomness...

Ry: Mom...I have to tell you something...
Me: Okay. What do you want to tell me?
Ry: Listen. HAROLD...Hair...HAR-OLD starts with HAIR.

it's fall ya'll...





Sunday, November 2, 2008

We Have Another READER!




Ryan learned his phonics at the same time he learned his alphabet. I credit it to THIS VIDEO that you can buy at Target for under $10. It's awesome... So, as a 2 year old he would say 'look mom...it's a '/t//t/ /t/' anytime he would see a 'T'...and I would say 'Yes...what letter says '/t/'?' and he would answer 'TEEEEEEEEEEE' (He did that with all of his letters...) Several months ago he started putting the sounds together to sound out words. He's been writing MOM and DAD on every picture he draws and is pretty good at sounding out short words. The other day he brought me the book Hop On Pop and said "LOOK MOM! I can read this book!" Sure enough, word by word, he can! It is soooooooooooooooooooooo fun to be able to watch this happen, as his mom. When I was student teaching, and later, substitute teaching, it was my favorite part of the job to see the light bulb turn on when they 'got it'...how AMAZING that I have the awesome privilege to now witness it in my own kids! So so so fun! YAY for reading!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

My big boy


so sweet and silly...and, obviously, talented...

Playing

around with the look of my blog... Be patient with me, while I play... ")

Sunday, October 12, 2008

update

A co-worker and family friend emailed me today and asked me this question:

"How are your babies? The new ones and the 'old ones'? How is the transition?"


I thought you might be wondering the same thing, so after I typed out my re: I copied it to post here. This is what I had to say:

The oldest 'old one' Maegan...just turned 6 last week and is 'doing great. I've been so impressed with her big sister skills, and her love for her sibs!! She's done GREAT.
Ryan, who has been the baby for 4 years, is having a HARD time. He even pee'ed on the floor in the toy room, and on maegan's bed, right after marrty had changed her sheets, and made her bed... He is the sweet, soft hearted, but very BOY kindof boy, that is what (another friend) used to call a 'warrior poet' type. He needs to wrestle, and be all boy, but he is very sweet and kind and is an internal processor... He's having a hard time knowing where he fits. I have some extra things planned this week for just he and i to interact...Hoping that helps!
The new ones are doing well...especially Tony (2). He is such a lover and loves to hug and kiss me all day... he doesn't warm up easily to others, which is actually a GOOD thing attachment-wise. Addie (3) is doing good, too, but we have to work more with her on attachment type stuff... she still 'shops' for a mom when we are around other women...hugging strangers and friends she just met, and crying to go with whatever person just dropped off the meal, if she thinks they'd be better. We are working on it... not letting others hold her, for example, and being intentional in hugging and snuggling with her, and even doing some things they call 're-parenting' like feeding her, or holding her like a baby and making good eye contact while rocking her, etc...
It's work...and we are exhausted, but it is amazing how God has intrusted these little people to us... they are all 4 amazing...and though its hard, we are so blessed.
Thanks for asking!
So...how are all of you? Leave me a comment and let me know! :)

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Our Sweet Pea is 6!





Seriously?


How many lives does a SPIDER HAVE? I think I kill this spider in the bathtub every.single.day!
(Spider loving friends, don't hate me. There is only so much that a momma who has doubled her amount of children in the last 2 weeks can do...and walking up the stairs and out the door with a spider each day isn't one of them...)

Sidewalk Paint!

Maegan's friend Kierra gave her sidewalk paint for her birthday. What fun!!






Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Monday, September 29, 2008

We're BACK!!!

And we have 4 kids under our roof!!! Wow!
Okay... HERE they ARE! :)




I'm having a hard time keeping up with both blogs, and since no one ever hardly comments on this one (HINT HINT) i'm inviting you over to the other one to see TONS of new pics of our babes!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Sweetness

Mae and I had a date tonight. We went out to dinner... it was such sweet time with her. LOVED it! This girl LOVES Red Lobster, and since I told her she could pick, she chose that. What is her favorite dish you ask? Shrimp Scampi. None of that kids stuff for my little princess. It's so hysterical to watch my tiny girl wolf down as many shrimp in garlic butter as she can.

She also had her annual hearing eval today. She loved it. It was fun for her and she had a great time raising her hand at the beeps... she beamed each time the audiologist gave her a wink and a thumbs up... so cute.
On the way there she said "Mommy, are they going to help me hear out of my left ear?"
Oh, honey... I wish they could. I'm sorry.
Praise God, she does so well. I guess unilateral hearing can hinder speech development, and can cause problems when one is learning to read... so far, she's been ahead of the curve in both areas, so we don't have to worry. What a relief.
Keep praying for my little sweetie. Today she said "I'm THE ONLY ONE who has scratchy skin, AND I can't hear out of my left ear...and I'm the ONLY ONE!"
We talked about how she is the only one in our family, but there are a lot of kids out there who have scratchy skin, and who can't hear in one or even in both ears, and that she isn't the ONLY ONE. That seemed to help, although she still thinks "it was mean of Jesus to make her this way' and that 'he can heal ANYONE if He wants to...so why doesn't He want to?'
Oh...my little theologian. I hope she shares the answers with me, when she discovers them.

Monday, September 1, 2008

A Sunday Treat...









Puppy Chow! Yum. The kids had never had it before, so we had a great time mixing and chowing down on this yummy treat! Some call it Muddy Buddies, but I grew up calling it Puppy Chow, so that's what we still call it... we should just call it "good". :)