Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Day at the pool

Overheard today

Titus: I'm having a birthday party, want to come?
Justus: Yeah!
Titus: I'm going to make some cake.
Justus: Cake?! yuck, cake freaks me out. I want to eat healthy food.
Titus: ????
Justus: I only like healthy food, not junk food.
Titus: Well, we have carrot sticks!
(me: rolling my eyes at how unrealistic this scenario is)


Eli: We're gonna fly on an airplane?!
Mimi (on the phone): Yep! Justus, Titus, Eli, Josiah, Mommy, Grandbob, and Mimi are all going to fly on an airplane!
Eli: How 'bout that?!


Titus: meow, meow, meow, meow
(for about 30 minutes straight...That kid can turn into a cat and not turn back into a little boy for ANYTHING!! He will meow when I talk to him, lick his plate when I serve lunch, and not answer me when I'm calling him to see where in the world in the house he has gone to. It kind of drives me crazy, but he's a pretty cute kitty :) )


(Josiah drops his spoon on the floor at lunch)
Me: Uh oh!
Justus: Siah, can you say, "Uh oh?"
Josiah: Uh uh
Justus, Titus, and Eli: aaaaaaahahahahahahahaha
Titus: Siah, say, "Uh oh!"
Josiah: Uh uh
Justus, Titus, and Eli: aaaaaaaaaahahahahahahaha
(repeat overandoverandoverandoverandover.................)

Monday, May 30, 2011

The Big Picture

~A little treat for good eaters~

Friday, May 27, 2011

Just another day at the park

We went to the park today :)

It was a much needed reprieve from our time spent in the house lately! We have been home wayyyy too much for all of our sanity. We needed sunlight, we needed a change of scenery, and quite frankly, we needed a break from being in close quarters with each other!! :)

We climbed,

we sat,

we played basketball,

we slid,

we rode on the swings,

we walked,

and we ate lunch!

Then we came home for a nice.long.nap!! :)
I love park days!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Raising Real Men, part 11

Chapter 14, "Firing the Arrow"

What in the world is this chapter about? I'll jump right in with the quote for this week as it is the summary of this chapter, in my opinion:

"(Psalm 127:4) 'Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one's youth.' We don't aim to hold on to our arrows all the way to the target. They're not push-pins, they're meant to fly. Our job is to shape and prepare the arrows so when they are released, they fly straight and true on their own." (p. 222)

Wow, I just love that. This whole book is really about preparing boys to BECOME MEN, but this chapter deals with specifics. How do we prepare our sons for the privileges and amazing responsibilities they will face when they are no longer under our wing? The Young's offer incredible thoughts and advice.

My favorite from this chapter was an idea to have a special celebration when your son reaches the age you consider him to be on the UP side of maturing. Gather friends and family, make a big deal about your son now growing slowly into a man, and allow those gathered to share advice, encouragement, and special gifts to commemorate this occasion. Mentoring relationships might be established here, but most importantly, the focus is shifted in everyone's minds (namely, the boy being initiated into manhood!)
(What boy would refuse a party like this, right? :) )

Here are some main points we should focus on, according to Hal and Melanie:
  • diligence
  • dependability
  • respect for authority
  • initiative
  • determination
  • financial savvy
(among many other things)

This chapter deals with college, apprenticeship, Christian vs. secular universities, and other decisions that we are not even close to making in our stage of life...but ones I certainly need to keep in the back of my mind. The Young's offer advice on many of the avenues available after high school. It is worth the read for sure!!

Well, folks! That's the end of my Raising Real Men posts!! It's been a blast, I hope you have enjoyed it. (*crickets chirping*)

On to blogging through another book...orrrrrrr not. I think I'll take a break from that for awhile ;)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

We just do things a little differently! (sleeping babes)

When people hear that our 8/9/10...12 month old is not yet sleeping through the night, they often drop their jaw to the floor in astonishment. "WHAT?! Your 10 month old isn't sleeping through the night yet? WHY?! Oh my goodness, you poor thing." (etc.)

This is one of those times I find myself saying, "We just do things a little differently!" so I thought I'd post about it :)

Let's start with this: I don't have big babies at birth. Our two biggest were 7 lbs. 4 oz...whoppers I tell you :) That is to say I never had the experience that some of my friends with gigantic babies have...a baby who "sleeps through the night" from night #1. (Although, can I just say that doesn't even make sense to me. Wouldn't a big baby need to eat MORE to fill their large bellies? Also, I never even gave my babies a chance to sleep through the night, because I was always advised they needed to be woken at least for some stimulation....ANYWAY, my kids, my decision.)

So what do we do differently? Well, since I just mentioned it...I wake a newborn (through about 2 weeks old) up in the night to nurse. If they don't want to stay awake to nurse, then that's fine. I undress them, change their diaper, maybe use a wet washcloth to wake them if I feel like they really need to nurse, and then lay them back down. I am not afraid of nursing to sleep. In fact, I am a huge fan :) It hasn't ruined any of my children so far! (Ironically, they usually quit wanting to nurse to sleep before I am ready for them to!)

Anyway, I could write a gigantic post about newborns and sleep and nursing, but it would be just that...a GIGANTIC post. I'll stick to the "sleeping through the night" issue at hand.

Josiah is almost 10 months old, and we just moved him upstairs (out of our room...or ahem, our closet.) My opinion is this: You'll know, as the mother, when your baby is ready to sleep through the night. When I say "sleep through the night," I'm not talking about the medical idea of STTN (which is 6-8 hours.) I'm talking about for the ENTIRE night...from when you put them to bed until they get up for the day. (In our case, that means from 6:30 or 7 until 6:30 or 7.)

How did I know Josiah was ready to sleep through the night? For a long time, Josiah had been waking up around 11 pm and then again at 4 or 5 am to nurse. He ate a great amount at those feedings, so I knew he still needed them. During the last month or so, Josiah has started eating 3 square meals a day, and his night feedings were becoming very sporadic. He would wake at 9 pm one night, 6 am one morning, and 3 am the following night. To me, that meant he was rearranging his sleep cycles (and possibly with the 9 pm wake time, dealing with a full belly/digestion stuff.) When I would nurse him, he wouldn't eat as much, might even fuss or yell at me for getting him out of bed.

Time to sleep through the night, big boy!

Here's the best thing about how we do this: there is barely any crying. We moved Josiah out of our closet into a bedroom upstairs, so the biggest change is going from pitch-black darkness to a room where he can actually see his surroundings. He stays awake a little longer than he used to when I put him to bed or down for naps, but all in all, the transition was smooth.

So yes, our almost 10 month old is just now sleeping through the night, but I feel good about being in tune with his emotional and nutritional needs, and I didn't have to use ear plugs or even turn off the monitor ;)

Monday, May 23, 2011

The Big Picture

~Going for a walk~

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Dear Diary, I'm a sinner, but God is good

I had to apologize to my kids today...and then I had to pray and ask the Lord to forgive me. It was awful. But also sweet and awesome at the same time.

I have been working in the yard like a dog lately. Derek has been as well, but when I do my stuff during the day, I am on my own with the kids.

(insert unsolicited advice here: Don't try to do tough yardwork when you are in charge of four small children. Wait until the weekend.)

(meet my small yet obvious problem if you know me very well: obsessive personality. Once I set my mind on something, I have a hard time quitting!)

Today I was laying a row of bricks to outline a flower bed, and on top of my frustration with trying to get the bricks in a straight line and level with the ground, my kids were driving me NUTS. The arguments amongst the three of them, the disobedience, the little ears that were ignoring my yelling from the flower bed...(ahem, my lazy parenting)

I yelled, I got up to discipline, I sighed, I got up to help someone, I huffed and puffed, and finally I dropped my shovel and level and declared, "That's it! We're all going inside."

On the way "inside,"

Titus fell off his skateboard and gashed his eyebrow...blood everywhere. I soothed him, cleaned him up, gave him a paper towel and told him to "hold this here," and went to help the other boys clean up their bikes and balls.

We discover a bird in our garage, and it won't leave. Apparently, it doesn't know how to get out, because it's flying around frantically. Great, now I have to help a helpless bird!

We open the door to go in, and the dog we are dog-sitting runs out. She's about as obedient as a toddler...no, I think she's worse. Regain possession of dog, let's try this again...

Enter the kitchen and hear Josiah on the monitor crying. He's up from his nap. I'll be there when I can get there, poor baby number four.

View the dirt covering the kitchen floor, send Justus and Eli out back, go get Josiah out of bed, and proceed to sweep the floor while holding him.

Titus falls asleep on the bench at the kitchen table...at 5:30...in the evening...2.5 hours before his bedtime. Lovely! Move sleeping child to living room couch, so we don't have anymore injuries to deal with when he decides to roll over in his sleep.

Justus comes in and says he needs to get something from the garage. Opens the door, dog runs out again. UgH!!! Josiah reminds me he is hungry, so I scoot the dog in with my foot and

push Justus in the door and say sternly, "GO BACK OUTSIDE!!!"

"Why are you mad at ME, Mom??" he asks

"I'm not mad at you, buddy, I'm just frustrated and stressed, and I need to feed Josiah, and I'm tired from working in the yard, and I haven't even started dinner yet, and I have to take care of everyone ALL the time, and it's just tough being a mom."

And after those words proceeded to go in his left ear and out the other, I thought to myself, "Oh, man. I'm going to have to apologize for that."

Fast forward to dinner at 7:30, yes I said 7:30...

I had to apologize to my kids today...and then I had to pray and ask the Lord to forgive me. It was awful. But also sweet and awesome at the same time.

"I'm so sorry I wasn't patient with you guys today. I was tired, and I shouldn't have yelled or gotten mad at you. Will you forgive me?"

(big smiles on their faces, "I forgive you!")

"Lord, thank You for blessing us with this food. Thank You for forgiving us of our sins. Thank You for sending Jesus to die on the cross for us. Please forgive me for behaving the way I did today, Lord. I need Your help. Teach me patience, love, and kindness. Bring Daddy home safely to us. In Jesus' name. Amen."

and Amen!

Raising Real Men, part 10

A few MOPS meetings ago, one of our speakers gave us a couple handouts about speaking to our children about purity, physical privacy, respect for our bodies, remembering that our bodies are temples, and of course, sex! She also gave us a gigantic packet called, "Talking to Your Kids about Sex." Throughout the past year, I have learned that children are finding out about all kinds of aspects of sexuality at much earlier ages.

I am not typically a worrier, but I have to confess that I have many fears in this area...talking to my kids about sex, explaining the need to remain sexually pure, the privacy issues I need to teach them about starting NOW, etc. I worry that I will not do or say enough to protect my sons. I worry that I will not convict them enough or that I will say something to push them away (possibly to rebellion.) (I have a lot of faith in my influence, don't I?! :) )

Chapter 13, "Love and War," discusses this topic as it relates to young children all the way through marriage. I'm just going to hit on the younger side of things, since that is the stage my sons are in right now. The Young's must have felt or heard fears similar to mine, because they point out that often those fears are based on the fact that we don't have a clue what we're doing or what we're going to say about sex (etc.) (I would definitely say this is true about me!)

Based on Raising Real Men, the speakers at MOPS, and the informational handouts we were given at the meeting, the general idea is this: Make discussions as frequent, natural, and laid-back as possible! (Easier said than done, right?!) I'm sure we have all heard the quote, "You are your child's first teacher." As far as this topic goes, though, that might not be the case. Unfortunately, many parents tend to skip over this subject, and their children end up learning about it from peers at school...leaving the parents with the nasty clean-up duty! (Which end would you rather have this discussion on, because it's bound to happen one way or another!!)

Let's get straight to the main points for teaching our YOUNG children (not as in Hal and Melanie's kids ;) )

1. Watch for teachable moments (again, a common piece of advice I heard and read in all of this information.) If your kids bring something up, go with it. I loved that one of our MOPS speakers said that often our children want to know less than we think they do. (In other words, don't go into more detail than they were looking for!)

2. Don't have THE talk...have many discussions as they present themselves. Make your child feel comfortable in their curiosities, and allow them to ask questions when they come up. If you can't answer right then (especially if you don't have a good answer), tell them you will talk about it at dinner, for example (and make sure you follow through.)

3. Call things what they are. I have always cringed when people use "cute" names for various body parts. Why NOT call things now what they are going to need to call them as they get older (and with a doctor, if needed!) It seems silly to me to make it into a childish thing if we are going to have serious discussions about what God intended us to use these things for.

4. Be positive! God designed sex for our pleasure and for having babies, and there is nothing to be ashamed of or worried about if we follow His design. Our American culture has so twisted and cheapened many things about sexuality. It is up to us to lead our children in the way of the Lord, in all things!!

I could keep going...this packet (from Christianity Today International, copyright 2009, www.Kyria.com) is so full of good things!!

The Young's book deals so wonderfully with how to help your older sons with temptations, traps, and "the battlefield of the mind (p. 205.)" As a mom, I sometimes wish I could move out into the country and never allow my sons to even experience these temptations and trials. (That would obviously be ludicrous on many levels!)

"Unfortunately, if we don't recognize how much temptation is already burdening our children, we may take a false hope in simply withdrawing them from bad company. What they need is help dealing with the temptation they carry within." (p. 198)

Prayer, lots and lots of prayer and leaning on the Lord to lead me and guide my boys through life are the only two things that are ultimately going to get us all through this!!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Monday, May 16, 2011

The Big Picture

~Breakfast at the Frye's~

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Raising Real Men, part 9

Ah, yes "KP Isn't Women's Work." I am a living witness of this truth. My wonderful husband does more cleaning in our kitchen than I do. I am so grateful for him, and I can't wait until our sons can take over that duty for him :) (Don't worry, I am training them already!!)

So how do we distinguish biblically between what women "should" do and what men "should" do as far as housework is concerned? (or more appropriately based on our topic, what should our boys be getting trained in?) In the Bible, men are seen doing the sewing, cooking, and taking care of children. (not that they were the ones in charge of these things, per se...but they certainly participated, and at times, took on the roles alone!)

Obviously, there are things women can do more easily if the husband is at work and the wife is at home with the children all day. The point, though, is to see that some of the roles we typically view as "women's work" is not necessarily so. We shouldn't be afraid to teach our boys some of the things that their wives might be taking charge of one day, because husbands can certainly take on those duties or at least help (not to mention the fact that OUR boys are living in a family of six...and they need to help care for the house we have been blessed with!!)

Here are some of the suggestions from the Young's:

When your son is helping cook in the kitchen, make a big deal about the fact that he is being the "head chef" for the day. Make a point to mention how he is helping to provide and care for his family. (and if he is going to wear an apron, by all means, make it manly ;) )

When you give your son chores around the house, talk about his "authority" over those certain areas (the fact that he is "in charge" of that role for the day/week/etc.)

Make sure you properly train your sons to do things the way you would like them done, and continue necessary supervision. (And certainly don't expect perfection. Encourage, praise, encourage, praise!!!)

"Our sons need to learn these tasks to take care of themselves when they leave our homes, and they need to understand them as a crucial part of the family's mission now." (p.194)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


Monday, May 9, 2011

The Big Picture

~Not an empty seat in the house~

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