Friday, November 26, 2010

TWO!!!


Eli, Eli, Eli,
What can we say?? You are hilarious, adorable, and have a mop head of hair (our fault, I know.) You whine about everything and throw a minimum of 10 tantrums a day, but your smile and laugh can light up a room. You are such a great talker, and you love playing with your big brother, Justus. There is not a day that goes by that you and Titus do not get into a fight, but I have a feeling the two of you will be partners in crime as you get older. You love to have your shoes or rain boots on in the house, but when we go outside you prefer to be barefoot. You love water, but do not like taking baths. You love playing in the dirt, but protest quite loudly when it is time to clean that dirt off. As you can see, at two years old, you are keeping us on our toes.



I cannot wait to see how the Lord is going to use your sense of humor, your sweet, loving touch, and that precious smile to draw people to Himself. Lord, touch this little boy's life and heart at an early age. May he feel your love for him, and may he accept the mercy You extended at the cross. Keep him strong, faithful, and pure as he grows and matures into who You have created him to be.



Happy birthday, Monkey :)




Monday, November 22, 2010

A Justus Funny

Justus is getting so big, so smart, and so funny. Sometimes, he is the funniest when he doesn't even try to be. I tell myself at least twice a day, "I should write that one down." This conversation occurred at lunch today:

Justus: "Mom, what does (whispering the word) stupid mean?"
Me: "Well, it means 'not smart.'"
J: "Not smart?"
M: "Yep. Justus, you know there are some words Daddy and I don't want you and your brothers to say, because they are just not nice words. There isn't really such a thing as a 'bad' word. The word 'stupid' is even in the Bible. Sometimes, adults can use words like that, because we know the correct time to use it."
J: "So what can I say if someone isn't smart?"
M: "Well, you don't really need to say anything about it if someone isn't smart. You should always speak kindly and with love."
J: "Well, if someone isn't smart, I can just tell them, 'It's okay, you'll get used to it.'"

Sunday, November 21, 2010

All I want for Christmas

If I could write a wish list
for each and every one
for all of my four children,
yes, each and every son.

Transformers, games, and gadgets
cars and trucks and blue airplanes,
I would certainly change these things.
Each list - too much contains!

My list would be quite simple
I wouldn't ask for much
our toys and clothes and all that junk?
Can go to such and such.

What I truly want for them,
they cannot touch or see
but, oh, how they will know the joy
if they will just believe.

I want my children to know the Lord,
in a personal kind of way.
Oh, dear Lord, save their souls
Be real to them, I pray.

All I ever want for Christmas,
I'll ask again each year,
Become their Lord and Savior.
I know my "wish" You'll hear!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

More Advice

...but don't tell me it's unsolicited advice, because you don't HAVE to be reading this :) We all dislike that kind of mothering advice, don't we?! If you have been reading my blog for awhile, you might remember this post. Well, a year later, we have added another child to our family. Things have changed a bit for us, and I have gained more experience and advice in this mothering adventure that I wanted to share. Do you have something you can add to the list? I would love to hear from you and glean from your wisdom as well!

1. While the baby (or babies) still sleep in cribs or other confined bedding, do not go to them when they first wake up from a nap or wake in the morning. This, apparently, causes those children to be early risers (ahem, our firstborn.) The 3 children we have left alone in bed for a little while all either sleep in most every morning or at least will play in their beds for awhile by themselves. It is a blessing, to say the least.

2. Keep the baby in the room with you while they are still nursing through the night. We have co-slept with all but one of ours (Your first is such a guinea pig, you know?!), but I know some are not comfortable with that. We also have an Arm's Reach co-sleeper that we love. Whichever method of nearby sleeping arrangements you choose for you and your baby, you will be a happier, more rested mom. At least, that's how it is for me. (like when my baby woke up at 5:30 this morning ready to play? I turned on the flashlight for him, which kept him very entertained while still in the co-sleeper, and then I nursed him back to sleep once he seemed tired again. I didn't have to leave my bed once.)

3. Get a wrap. Period :) (I have this one.)

4. Give your kids alone time every day or at least every other day, starting when they can crawl. I am talking about time by themselves aside from nap time. Baby-proof their room and give them a "new" box of toys that is special for that time. Start out with about 5-10 minutes and go in before they are crying or calling for you. When you go in to let them know "room time" is over, sit and play with them for a few minutes and help them clean up before coming out. This way, they will know it wasn't a TIME out, but just a time for playing. You will be glad you did this when you have kids who no longer take naps. I use room time for my shower time or when I need/want peace and quiet in the kitchen while making lunch or dinner. It also helps when you need some quiet to get the baby down for a nap.

5. I would love to have a TV-Free home, but the next best thing for us is to have a set TV time. Since Justus gets up so early in the morning, he watches TV while Derek showers. After that, though, my kids don't even ask to watch anything. They know that after quiet time, they will have TV time. It is just part of their routine. When we're going somewhere right after quiet time, they don't have TV time that day. They don't ask to watch TV when we get home later, but it's also nice that that option is still there if I need to use it as down time for making dinner.

6. Speaking of quiet time, people often ask me if I can get all of my kids to nap at the same time. The short answer to that is no. Justus doesn't nap anymore, and Josiah is not on a schedule yet. On occasion, the 3 nappers' naps will overlap by about 30 minutes. (If that happens, we drop everything and do some concentrated school work.) How do I get some down time, then? I start by laying the 2 middle kids down for their naps at the same time (right after lunch.) Josiah is usually waking up from his morning nap around this time, so I feed him and bring him into the school room. Once we finish school for the day, Justus has his quiet time, and I have time to take care of the little man and get some things done. At this point, Josiah doesn't interrupt me too much :) Titus' naps are getting shorter nowadays, so usually by the time he comes downstairs, Josiah is getting cranky again. It's TV time for the big boys, and naptime for Josiah...AND quiet time for me! aaah What's the advice here? Figure out a way to give yourself a break during the day. Whatever you have to do, do it. It's crucial :)

7. Grocery shop by yourself whenever possible. You buy less junk, spend less money, and it goes much faster. (and if you're like me, you actually will have room in your grocery cart when the kids aren't with you :) )

8. Have a family night. We have been doing this the past few months, and if Fridays weren't already exciting enough, this seals the deal. It doesn't have to be a big deal, but work something in on a regular basis.

9. Plan to have a messy house. I try (read: try) to stay on top of the dishes and the laundry and the ridiculousness that accompanies both of those, but as far as dust and dirt and toys everywhere? I am learning to embrace it. I know I will one day miss the many sights I see everyday, and I will WISH I could trip over toys and walk through sand tracked in by the many small feet we have running around :)

10. Lock yourself in your room sometimes. Not just when you need a quiet place to talk on the phone, not just when you're hiding out from a screaming toddler (but certainly for those things, too!) Just do it on occasion, because you want to. Go in, lock the door behind you, turn on the radio, and take a few minutes for yourself. It will remind you that YOU, too, are important and have needs. It is okay to meet your own desires, and sometimes...it's okay to put them in front of your children's!

11. Realize that all of the above is useless and a waste of time if your children do not know Jesus Christ. Pray for them and with them, talk about Jesus all the time, quote Scripture in times of encouragement and times of discipline, sing worship songs in the car and songs with Bible verses (we love Seeds Family Worship cds), and teach your kids they were created for God's glory. Our pastor uses the analogy that we are responsible for putting down the "kindling," and if the Lord chooses, He will light the fire.

Friday, November 19, 2010

See what I mean? :)

Do you see the resemblance?




**sorry about the other picture earlier!! haha I obviously didn't look at it too closely before posting it. Just did a quick search for Ace Ventura with that hair slicked up and chose the first picture :) Eli often wakes up with that hairdo, and I always think of Ace Ventura :)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

I love seeing these smiling faces every morning!



Doesn't Eli remind you of someone??
Can you guess who I'm thinking of?
Tune in tomorrow for the answer :)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Confession time

I'm going to share something out of a dark closet today...
except, it's not really a big secret if you are a mom.
We all go through this on an almost weekly basis.
I want to share with you what I lovingly like to call accurately have dubbed
"Catch up on laundry day"


What you see here is the exact reason behind my "one load of laundry a day" rule.
Except sometimes, that one load of laundry doesn't happen, and (over time) THIS massacre takes over our playroom.



I used to have a "laundry day" that occurred once a week. I would drag our laundry baskets into the laundry room, wash and dry everything in as many loads as were necessary, and fold and stack each person's clean clothes in birth order on top of the couch. (Derek's, mine, Justus', and Titus') See how I stopped at Titus' name? That's because once we had a fifth person in our family, I quickly realized doing laundry once a week was not a good idea. It was overwhelming, to say the least. Now that we have SIX people in our family??!



I'm beginning to think I might need to establish a "2 loads of laundry a day" rule. Maybe then, THIS sight would be a rarity.


Want to know something even more depressing? There are at least 3 stacks of folded clothes on top of my dresser in our bedroom downstairs, and at least one FULL basket of clothes needing to be washed in the laundry room as I write this.
Read: We have too many clothes.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Taking a sick day...

Poor little Eli was sick today, throwing up and sneezing a ridiculous amount of times in a row (with the snotty nose to prove it, I might add!!) In an effort to make this day as easy as I could, I put up the baby gate and confined him to the kitchen and garage. The irony of it all? The kids had a blast, because it was such a change from our typical routine.

Playing in the garage

He's cute even when he's sick :) Notice the apple and "sick juice" (Pedialyte) in the cup holders behind him? I had him on the b.r.a.t. diet all day!!

(side note: See the shirt Titus is wearing? We went clothes shopping for Justus the other day, and apparently Titus, wanting to be included in the affair, took matters into his own hands by tossing this one into the cart after I told everyone that we were JUST shopping for Justus. Don't worry, I did pay for the shirt...just didn't know I had bought it until we got home and emptied the bags!)

Painting



(Titus being a rebel very creative artist)

and Playing with anything and everything he could find in the kitchen

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

60 Minutes

tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick...
It takes...
1 minute to ***
5 minutes to take a really quick shower before my kids notice I am missing and decide to come looking for me
10 minutes to clip 80 nails on the fingers and toes of my freshly bathed little boys
15 minutes to whip up a quick lunch for 3 kids (probably less than that if I'm really in a hurry and children are crying at my feet)
20 minutes to get to Bible study on Tuesdays and MOPS on Fridays. (Two of my favorite destinations of the week!!)
25 minutes total a day to start a load of laundry in the washer, switch it to the dryer, fold and put it away when it is dry. This is when I actually KEEP to my "one load of laundry a day" policy!! I very much prefer this method as opposed to having a "laundry day" like I used to. THAT took me about 5 hours when all said and done.
30 minutes to eat my own lunch, clean up the kitchen from the boys' lunch, check my email/facebook/blogs I follow, and enjoy a little time to myself while the big boys have TV time in the afternoon.
35 minutes to get all 4 boys into shoes, in the car, buckled in, with all of our cups of water, diaper bag full of necessities, toys for the car ride, and out the garage on the way to a destination. Okay, okay, it doesn't really take that long. Sometimes, though, it sure feels like it!
40 minutes to watch a 60 minute TV show online. (Gotta love the absence of commercials...totally worth not watching it when it originally airs on TV.)
45 minutes to drive to church NO longer!!! We are officially only 10 minutes from church and LOVING it!!
50 minutes to think up, write out, and post a blog post like this one.
55 minutes to get ready for bed, finish up my nightly "chores," and fall asleep in bed. Roughly 30 minutes of this is me actually laying in the dark room trying to go to sleep. And for the record, Derek is asleep about 1.5 seconds after his head hits the pillow.
60 minutes to put Justus, Titus, Eli, and Josiah to bed when Derek is not home. Read: WAY too long!!

***I really, truly racked my brain and could not think of anything that takes just one minute. Really?! Is there nothing that only takes just one little minute? No, when kids are involved (especially with a 3-year-old who likes to do EVERYTHING himself and at his own pace), I think not.

I know, I know...technically, that wasn't 60 total minutes. Would you really have wanted to read that much???!!


Monday, November 1, 2010

Last night, I WAS Supermom :)

Call me a hypocrite if you must...the boys were all superheroes, and every superhero must have a Supermom and a Superdad, right?



The boys were so excited about tonight. We played games, visited with friends, ate popcorn, candy, and cotton candy at a Fall Festival, and then went trick or treating. What a fun, imaginative night for kids!! The boys dress up in these costumes (which we simply pulled out of our dress up box) all the time at home, but there was apparently something very exciting about getting to wear them out in public. They loved seeing everyone dressed up in different costumes, and oh the excitement when they saw someone else dressed up in the same costume they had on themselves.

Justus was Optimus Prime





Titus was Iron Man


Eli was Spiderman





Josiah was Batman

And Titus' monkey even got to dress up for part of the night :)

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