Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
"Sure I will. But, on his tail? How about around his neck."
"No. On his tail. and make one side of the string short and one side long so that I can swing-swing-swing him around and smack people's faces. Smack! Smack! Smack!"
Needless to say, the string did not make it on the kitty's tail.
Sunday, December 28, 2008
February 16, 2008
Some days I wake up and I feel like I've fallen behind before my feet hit the floor. Like I hit the snooze button one too many times and I've missed the window for my shower, and the whole day is shot. I will never catch up. The kids argue with each other and I don't know how I will handle the conflict -- but no sense dealing with that one, because another one is fast on its heels. And the picky-eater-teething-feverish-toddler won't ... read more and comment here.
Friday, December 26, 2008
Monday, December 22, 2008
Friday, December 19, 2008
FACT: Thinking about needng to feed a newborn WILL cause your milk to let down.
FACT: Wondering when the last time it was you fed your newborn WILL cause your milk to let down.
FACT: Showering, even immediately after nursing your infant, WILL make your milk let down.
FACT: The process of changing out of your day bra and into your sleeping bra WILL make your milk let down.
FACT: Blogging about your milk letting down WILL make your milk let down.
FACT: That's too much letting down. Where is my pump?
Saturday, December 13, 2008
It is just so much fun. Really. Really. Fun.
Here are a few examples of Davis' writing. Mrs. Baker encourages the kids to write about real things, and his little stories are the making of an elementary school blog:
I playd socr. We wun 3to8.
I korvd my pumpkin. It wus sceree. It was mad (made) wot uv triagles. Frst we brot in the pumpkin and thean we wosht theam. We got sum newspaper and poot it on a table. We poot the pumpkin on the table. Dad cut the top off and we rethe into the pumpkin.
SO much happens in just six weeks!!
Friday, December 12, 2008
And the update is that it is working AMAZINGLY. I use the technique throughout the day, but the one area it has impacted me the most is getting ready for bed. The two oldest boys have responded in earnest, knowing (via a stinging bun or two) that they must heed my request. It comes at them with kindness and patience (oooh! its so easy to be that way when you only have to ask once!), and they delight to show me they can get it all done without being hounded ("Come on!! Get those jammies on! Did you brush your teeth? Are your clothes put away??"). Really, with two other kids to tend to (ages 2, and 2 weeks) I can't- CAN'T - spend a half hour tending to what should take seven minutes.
And thanks to The Crack Down I don't need to.
And now it is time to crack down on little Weston. He totally gets the notion of obeying. And he is actually pretty good at it... but he currently is testing the waters of non-compliance (read: ignoring Mommy completely). So The Crack Down trickles down to my baby, who is no longer the baby. And the area of obedience I will concentrate on for him is getting from the car to the house. We park the minivan in a carport and getting his outdoor-loving tooshie into the house with a baby carrier and diaper bag weighing down my upper extremities is no small feat. So I will use this scenario to teach and train him to Obey Mommy The First Time.
This should be fun!
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
"Well, He needs to be with his Mommy all the time right now," Lori responded. "And besides, he sleeps pretty much all day long."
To which Caleb (the 7yo) responded: "Is that because he is NOCTURNAL?!?"
Thankfully, Caleb, he is no longer nocturnal.
Sunday, December 7, 2008
It took all day long to get the single load of laundry done (shocker!) so that evening after all the kids had gone to bed I was folding it. It just so happened that this laundry load was the first ever containing clothes belonging to all four boys. I don't usually do the big boys' laundry, but I needed to add to the relatively small load so the big boys got spoiled, I guess.
ANYWAY, I was struggling to keep the piles straight ("Let's see... this is Jackson's shirt, and this one is Weston's shirt - no wait, these are both Weston's shirts... and this pile I started is who's? Oh, Davis'. Right. Now where is the Drake pile? Here - no, HERE it is. Oh. I guess he has TWO piles..." And so on and so on). It was during the laundry folding/pile sorting process that it really sunk in: I HAVE FOUR KIDS.
And I tried not to panic.
Saturday, December 6, 2008
Really, son? Why?
"Because that way I wouldn't have to work so late."
Boy did I feel conflicted. On the one hand I thought, Yeah. Working all day long, every day is no longer my idea of a fun way to spend my week. Boy am I glad Ryan does that instead. And then pretty much before I even had the chance to finish that thought it occurred to me, WAIT! I work all day long, too, and all night right now, too. Jackson, dude, I think you might be ok being a boy. The grass sure is greener on the other side at times.
But boy or girl, we sure do work. And hopefully it is to the glory of the Lord.
Friday, December 5, 2008
I love you with all my heart. I am so blessed to have you in my life, in my town, and around my kids. I am thankful for our differences and thankful for our similarities.
Have a wonderful birthday, sis!
p.s. can we count it as an extra bonus birthday gift that Weston's seventh (or is it ninth?) word, said yesterday, is "Mingy?" It was a gift to me, that is certain.
p.p.s. Isn't this picture fun? It is from her junior high days... or maybe early high school? I am not sure now that I type it. Megan, you will have to correct me. Anyway, once a year, in December, we ladies: Megan, Mom and I, get all dolled up and go to a fancy restaurant and see a play. What a fun tradition it is. Hopefully we will resume this tradition (and include Jenna and Elsie) soon.
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
The boys came and visited at the hospital. They were all so sweet and excited.
Jackson could hardly put the little guy down. And the questions he has asked are so cute. Like, "Can he live with US?" and "Does he have ears?" and "Why is his cheeks so soft?" jackson's big brown eyes were just HUGE all day. I LOVED watching him with Baby Drake. What a treat.
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Monday, December 1, 2008
Sunday, November 30, 2008
Davis asked this evening, "I know you don't KNOW when the baby will get here, but what is your prediction?" (I love it when he uses grown-up words.) And I told him that my prediction is 5pm. So, we shall see how close I come to being right. Believe-you-me, I hope it happens sooner.
You can join me in praying that the hospital has room to keep me (you know how they do that annoying thing of turning non-laboring women away in order to accommodate those pesky women who go into labor all by themselves). And I am also praying that the baby comes through the delivery safe and sound.
Hopefully the next post you read from me will be from my sister!
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Funny thing... as my husband's stomach is tied up in knots and he is saying, "Come on, Jenne, let's just get to the hospital," I actually paused by my computer for a moment, wondering if I might take a quick moment to blog. I would have, had Ryan not been so anxious to get us there. He would have killed me if he had to deliver this child on the side of the road because I insisted on first posting a "little something" about labor.
And as it turns out, I would have had to retract my post anyway. Oh well.
Friday, November 28, 2008
These retailers planned, strategized and concocted ways to entice crowds of people to come shop at their store on Black Friday. They advertise amazing deals with amazingly small quantities to drum up a frenzy in the hearts of shoppers. But its a two-way street, isn't it. Those retailers KNOW that when it comes down to it, ugly greed will course through the veins of their fellow humans. They will do anything to beat out their neighbor and grab up that deal before someone else does.
This 37 second video is an example of the store-opening-rush:
At Walmart in Long Island New York, a greeter was killed as crowds rushed in. A Toys R Us in Palm Beach had a shooting that resulted in two deaths. All for some Must Have Thing.
I am utterly disgusted.
No need to feel bad if you got up at 4:00 AM and made it to the 1/2 off sock sale at Freddies or whatever. Chances are that YOU TOO were disgusted by the bahavior you may have witnessed in your fellow man. I don't like to make big statements that have the words "always" or "never" in them because they tend to come back to haunt you, but I am completely turned off of Black Friday Shopping. I'd rather pay full price with a clear head and no gunfire.
Thursday, November 27, 2008
In no super-particular order, I am thankful for...
1. My sister. I am so blessed by her in so many countless ways all throughout the year.
2. My husband. He has graciously put up with my raging, unpredictable mood swings for these last 9 months.
3. My oldest son, Davis. His kind and tender heart is quick to forgive and patient with his brothers.
4. My middle son, Jackson. His constant supply of hugs and kisses, plus his spunky take on life make me smile.
5. My youngest, Weston. (He won't hold the title of "youngest" for much longer.) His sweet little demeanor keeps me laughing, smiling, and guessing!
6. My baby. Come out, little one! It's just about time, and you would make Thanksgiving a REALLY, REALLY WONDERFUL DAY if you picked this one to make your appearance...
7. Naps. enough said.
8. My kids' Grandparents. They love on our kids to no end.
9. Barry, our pastor. I am grateful for how he (together with our elders) leads our congregation and loves us. And that he plays guitar for our Family Sunday School.
10. My fellowship group. Those ladies mean more to me every time we meet.
What's YOUR list?
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
So I informed the kids Saturday night that a new order was in place. With a calm, patient voice I explained that I will ask them once to get ready for bed and that I will not ask again. If I see disobedience, they should expect a spank rather than a reminder. The reality is that both my older kids are more than capable of getting themselves totally ready for bed but I have allowed them to be distracted, goof around, and take three times longer than necessary to get the job done. The end result, of course, is that I end up frustrated, exhausted, and raising my voice. It is generally a terrible way to end an otherwise lovely day.
And thinking forward a week or so, I know that I am not going to have "the luxury" of such close monitoring. I will be nursing, or bopping, or whatever, a little one. I will need my kids to be responsive to my voice at the first call. And I really need them to understand that non-responsiveness will not go well for them.
The really good news is that these past couple of nights have gone amazingly well. I remind them of the new way things are, give them their instructions and then ask little distractable Jackson (4 1/2) to repeat back to me what I have asked him to do. Both evenings he has been unable to repeat it so I feed him the words, "Jackson, say, 'I am going to go straight upstairs and getting all-the-way-ready for bed.'" I know he knows what his task is, and that gives me the freedom to follow through with the discipline if needed. And so far, it has not been needed (proof of their competence!).
It feels great to regain some control and expect of my kids what I KNOW they are capable of. With only days to go before delivery day, its about time!!
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Thirty minutes before 8AM, I vaguely heard Ryan put Weston in the tub (a favorite activity of this toddler). I fell back asleep and awoke at 8AM to Weston half-yelling, "Uh-Oh" and "Nayah!" Those two words in succession are a good clue that something must be addressed in short order. I got up and found Weston standing in the tub, pointing to the water.
You already know what I found. The question is, was is solid or not? The unfortunate answer is "not." Floating in and amongst our modest supply of bath toys was a copious amount of poo. While Ryan hosed Weston off in the other bathroom's shower, I spent the next little portion of my morning scrubbing, bleaching, and sanitizing the toys and tub. Of course any toy that had cracks or crevices automatically earned a one-way ticket to the garbage can. So now our bath toy collection includes only cups. All the cute little fish that, when you pull the cord make a swimming motion have been sacrificed in favor of poop-less-ness.
I easily return my thoughts to the part of the morning where I was sleeping and can say that the morning - despite the poopy tub - was a good one. Thanks, Ryan, for letting me catch those extra Zzzz's.
Friday, November 21, 2008
According to folklore, the doll is thought to worry in the person's place, thereby permitting the person to sleep peacefully. The person will wake up without their worries, which have been taken away by the dolls during the night.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
"I used to be Jenne Snodgrass, but now I am Jenne Glover," I tell my kids. They snicker, like every kid I grew up with did when they learned my last name. In almost defense of my proud heritage, I added: "And Megan's last name used to be Snodgrass, too."
Davis replied with a puffed up I-know-I-am-about-to-be-right, "Yeah, but now her name is Ming-y Wood!"
Meg, I guess it is official now. You might as well change your birth certificate.
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Friday, November 14, 2008
Thumbs up, Jackson draws his pumpkin face design.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
A comment like that might provoke a couple of answers:
1. something modest, like “well, they are really good kids”
2. something insulting to the kids but tongue-in-cheek, like “this is unusual – they are usually monsters”
3. something more helpful, like “I just try to be as consistent in my parenting as possible and expect a lot from them…and read lots of good parenting books. My favorite these days is…”
4. something “godly” that may come back to bite me in the bum the NEXT time that person sees me, like “I spend lots of time with my kids, bring them to church, and we memorize lots of scripture, and when you do all those good parenting things, that’s just what happens…” (you know that the next time that person sees you, your kids WILL embarrass you).
I have probably used each of these answers in the past - granted, I had many more opportunities when I only had 2 kids to manage. Fewer complements have come since adding #3, and even fewer since being pregnant. (smile)
So, I thought about it and if I EVER receive a complement like that again, I think I would like to have some sort of better answer ready… And the truth is that sometimes my kids are really good, and sometimes they are really hard. Sometimes I look like a mom who has it all together, and sometimes I am a laughing stock. The truth is that parenting is really, really hard. How do I do it? Honestly, I cling every day to the promises of my God - especially on the harder days. And because of that, I have hope. And because of that hope, I can do another day. Even when the day ends in a blizzard of tears and yelling, I wake up the next day with a renewed hope (God’s promises are new every morning!). Without my God and my Hope, I couldn’t do it.
That’s a long answer to someone who might just be looking for a quick “thanks” from me. What’s the shorter answer that might still give God the credit? Maybe something like, “How do I do it? With the help of my God and the husband he has blessed me with!”
Did you think about it? What would YOUR answer be?
Sunday, November 9, 2008
You know my kids are FAR from perfect. But today we were at the end of the soccer season pizza party, and my kids were being really good. (for a nice change.) They were staying seated where I asked, they were eating with their utensils, etc... in stark contrast to MANY of the other kids who were running around like TV stars from "Nanny 911". One of the Moms said to me, "I don't know how you do it." Soooooooo, My question is.... What do you say to that?
I was REALLY blessed to think about this overnight, so before I give my answer, I thought I would give you the same opportunity. I would love your comments, of course, but at the very least, give this some thought and then come back in a day or so if you want to hear how I answered (I don't promise it to be life-changing or anything, just something to read).
Thursday, November 6, 2008
The sermon, a little more than an hour long (seems long, but really that's just two episodes of The Office), is primarily about the process of leading your child to Christ. He is big on NOT having a formula, so if it is a formula you are looking for you will be disappointed. What he does do is answer tons of questions about the process of leading your child to Christ. Questions like How young is too young and how old is old enough? and Is it ok to allow my child to ask Jesus into his heart multiple times? and How much information do I offer into those young ears? and Where do I start?
Really, this is a must-hear for all of us parents. There were so many times while I was listening that I was assured that I was doing alright, and many times when I thought to myself, "I am SO GLAD to know THAT!!"
You will be encouraged by this sermon, so I hope you consider listening. And if you do, come back and comment. I would love to hear you listened and maybe what you appreciated about it.
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
It really is an interesting line to walk with the kids, when we do not like the authority placed above us… a new kind of example to set, a new layer of life’s complexities to reveal. If you would permit me to look on the bright side for a moment, these next four to eight years should be full of good parenting opportunities.
The Lord has allowed this man to be in authority over us whether we like it or not. It is important that we not praise this man and it is important - I believe - that we not show outright disrespect for him either. Even more critical, it is appropriate that our school-aged kid understand a small bit of why we did not vote for him. He will, afterall, be in the position to defend his beliefs at school today and in the future as well (he revealed to me that he voted for McCain because "he doesn't think killing babies is ok, and Naddy voted for him because she felt sorry for him because he was a soldier prisoner"). I tried my best to prepare him for conversations he might have at school that could lead him to show respectful disagreement. We talked about one good thing (first black president and the significance of that) and one bad thing (supportive of abortion) about Barack being our next president.
A seven-year-old mind can only grasp so much when it comes to politics but one thing he can grasp onto with great strength is how we, as parents, respond to an authority over our lives with which we disagree strongly. He can watch us pray for this man, he can watch what it looks like to disagree with an authority yet still show him respect, and he can watch us distinguish when we are to go against human authority (when that human authority asks or demands us to sin against God) and when it is appropriate to obey that authority.
I ended the conversation, telling him that "Two things are for sure, Davis:
- God knew a long time ago that Obama would be our President. God was not the least bit surprised at the election results.
- And God is still God. He is still in total control. So we can trust Him no matter what."
"I KNEW you were going to say that!" He responded.
Sunday, November 2, 2008
I have not slept well for some time now. My belly, back and bladder wake me many times at night. Couple that with my almost two-year-old who often thinks 1:14 AM and then again 4:35 AM is morning and you can imagine how frustrated and hopeless I can let myself feel on any given morning.
Being awoken at 4:30 AM has too often lead to the complete end of my night's sleep as my body is just too sore to lay down any longer. And so I have prayed many times that the Lord would give me uninterrupted sleep. I tell you the truth: I cannot function without beautiful sleep: "Lord, just let Weston start sleeping every night through the night. Please! Before the baby comes at least! And, Lord, give me a couple nights in a row just to catch up so I can be the mom you want me to be." But on one of those prayerful, sleepless mornings the Lord allowed me to see something new: Sleep had become my idol. I had begun to believe that no amount of God would help me become the mom during the day that I knew I needed to be - only beautiful sleep could do that. God wanted me to trust in HIM and what HE can do more than I trusted in SLEEP.
Upon being shown this, my prayer quickly changed, asking instead that regardless of how much sleep the night brought me, that I would depend wholly and solely upon the only One who could get me through my day to His glory.
I wish I could say that after this epiphany - this lesson that God was trying to teach me - that He then gave me night after night of sleep (since, after all, I had finally learned what God was trying to reveal to me). No. He has not. I now am being asked to live in this new understanding, testing my faith and providing me many opportunities to trust in Him for what I need in a day.
While I do still love sleep, that is not a bad place to be.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Up to his room for a timeout, he sat on his bed with these words from me in his ears: "You are in a time out because you were treating Lindy so unkindly. You may not treat people unkindly. When you are ready to treat her with kindness (and apologize!), and when you are ready to clean with a cheerful heart, you may return to the task of cleaning the playroom."
A good number of minutes later, I went back to finish what I started with him. He informed me that he was ready to move on. But he said these words that made me thankful, so thankful, that I intervened: "Yes, I am ready (to treat Lindy kindly and clean with a cheerful heart), but my heart is still black."
So upon HIS prompting, we were praying together for his sins to be forgiven. A real repentance, from my view. And then answering his next question actually brought tears to my eyes, "But what if my heart is ALWAYS black?" Oh, sweet child. That is the beauty of the work of the cross. "That is the best part, Jackson. Our hearts need never stay black. God will ALWAYS forgive us when we ask. THAT'S why Jesus died on the cross for you. We can go to him whenever we need to and ask him to clean our heart and he is GLAD to do it."
"Is God mad?"
"When we sin it makes God's heart very sad. But when we ask him to forgive us, it makes him very, very glad." He wants to forgive you! You just need to ask!
Just yesterday I was reading this post on Angie's blog about her "difficult child" (if you have one of these, I encourage you to read her post. It is so encouraging). This was the comment I left on that blog:
It is discouraging to see little progress in areas all the other children moved past quickly. But how right you are: these (difficult children) are the children who will be leaders, who will be passionate, who will do great things (our other children will do great things, too, of course). But these little guys do need a totally different kind of parenting, don't they!!!
I know the the Lord will do a great work of grace in this child's life. He will understand grace better than your other children. While our other children who are "followers of all rules and laws" struggle with pride and even understanding what the significance of the work of the cross is to them (since they rarely do the wrong thing), these passionate children of ours will have a stronger grip on this area of faith. And while the process to get there puts trepidation in my bones, I know that God will redeem and bless our efforts to properly, faithfully parent them.
What a wonderful grace God offered me today in seeing a deeper piece on my son's heart, like a glimpse of a promise fulfulled. I pray you encounter some encouragement in your parenting like I did today.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
I, of course, had nothing to entertain them with, hardly any way to contain them, and was honestly more interested in shoving food in my own mouth than chasing them. No chaos elimination up my sleeve. (I did have a helpful husband who did his best while chatting with old college friends.)
At one point, the people we shared a table with, bless their heart, said, "They are not bad, just 'active.'" Ok, you can't fool this mama: "active" is nothing more than code words for "rambuntious" and "you should have left them at home."
It was at that moment that I felt the embarassment. There were other kids in the room doing much the same things as my kids, but that mattered little to me because I had nothing up my sleeve to prevent things from spinning further out of control. (In all fairness, they were not out of control, but I felt a serious lack of control with my big-pregnant belly and massive fatigue... pregnancy is not known to cause a woman to think more clearly, you know.)
So anyway, my chaos eliminator #15 & 16 comes out of my failure to plan on that night and it is this:
- Always, always, have a plan, and
- never, never, go to a wedding and reception with three young boys while you are in your third trimester.
Monday, October 27, 2008
Friday, October 24, 2008
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
- Abstain from voting (i.e. turn off my brain on this one)
- Write in Huckabee (would it be throwing away my vote or standing on principle - or both?)
- Vote for Palin/McCain (I do generally like her politics from top to bottom - experienced or not)
- Vote for Obama (at least he will end the war and maybe protect us from our country's devastating financial practices, so he says)
And no, I am not going to tell you how I am voting. But jumping over to Randy's blog will be all the hint you need, if curiosity gets the better of you!!
Jackson was not the only one to grow up right in front of my eyes yesterday. While the lesson was in full swing, the phone rang for Davis. His first female caller. His slightly sheepish grin, coupled with the fact that he did not understand a word she said in the 45 second conversation they had took me by surprise. Little love notes from another girl have come home in his backpack this month... back off ladies, he won't be dating until another couple of decades pass... Twenty-seven seems reasonable to me, don't ya think?
And we must also mention little Weston, who doubled his near-two-year-old vocabulary this week with the addition of "plop" and "pop" (distinguishable to the discerning ear only). Oh, and he began jumping off the second step of our staircase, and walking up the stairs without his hands.
They all grow up SO FAST!
Monday, October 20, 2008
Without skipping a beat and with a smirk to one side, he replies: "Oh, you mean cotton candy?!?"
"Yes. That is what I mean when I say Tostada Casserole."
I hope he is not too disappointed...
Thursday, October 16, 2008
It is a very intentional thing I have to force myself to do when I sit and watch my kids play. And it is even a very forced thing to me when I "play with" my kids. I mean, I read to them and hug them, and teach them, and talk with them and interact with them on all sorts of levels, but I don't often sit and run the cars over the carpet, or stack the blocks, or build the train tracks.
I have marvelled numerous times at how GOOD the woman who takes care of my kids while I work is at playing with my kids. She thoroughly enjoys getting down on the ground and pushing those cars. The woman reached sainthood, as far as I am concerned, when she played Monopoly with my four-year-old who, by the way, understands nothing about money or property or purchases or anything much beyond moving pieces around a board and taking turns at a game. And little Jackson's eyes light up with delight at the notion of playing another round of the never-ending-game-that-he-doesn't-even-understand.
A part of me knows that I am not alone in this: that plenty of moms stink at that part of mothering. And the other part of me wishes that I could be excellent at everything mommy-related to all my kids. I can't, of course. None of us can be everything to every child we bear. We can try and do the things that do not come naturally to us - we must try. We are never excused from doing "the hard work of mothering," but I think it is also worth noting that we are not designed to meet every need our children have and that living in the context of the body of Christ means we can feel the freedom to search out others to come alongside us and help get those needs more fully met. And we can do this without feeling guilty or like a failure.
Librarians, teachers, coaches, grandmas, nannies, aunts, counselors, pastors, friends. No particular order of importance in that list. It is just good to recognize our limitations and our children's needs and seek out others to help. I hope there is some level of encouragement here for you.
Sunday, October 12, 2008
Monday, October 6, 2008
I think I would have been better off not having that realization.
Friday, October 3, 2008
Not so with Jackson. He is a thinker, I think. And he processes a ton in his head before anything makes it out of his gums. (He gets this from me - poor Ryan suffers in our marriage because of this trait of mine.) For a while now I have been trying to collect a handful of my little Jackson's crazy questions. I had a really nice list of them and then - sadly - lost that list. I only have two now. And of course Jackson seems to be in a phase of asking fewer-than-normal questions so I have not been able to start a new list. But I will treat you to the two I do remember:
"Are cars better than rocks?"
"Can you still walk when you are flat?"
Even if I have a hint of context (which i usually do not), HOW ON EARTH do you go about answering him? I usually say something brilliant like, "I don't know, what do YOU think?" or, "Hummm...GOOD QUESTION."
middlest son, he contracted Shingles this week. After the bumps had shown up, but before the pain was severe he showed me the bumps saying, "I think maybe its leprosy." Leprosy, huh? We laughed about it but then later the pain hit. Poor guy. This is not a fun one to get. We went to the doctor on Tuesday to check it out. Before I go on, i just have to say that I am not one to take my kids to the doctor (I know, I know, we earn a living off the medical field). The last time he was at the doctor was easily a year ago. I pretty much assume that whatever ailment is circulating, it will blow over. "Here, drink a couple glasses of water. That will help. And soak in a hot bath to get your pores to sweat out toxins." That's pretty much my solution to everything. But Jackson - active, playful Jackson - did not unbend his little leg all morning. Did not even attempt to walk, for the pain was too great. After four hours of this non-activity and strict adherence to the no-leg-straightening routine, I figured he was not exaggerating the pain and I took him in.
Thanks Lori and Lindy for encouraging me to do that.
I gave him his first dose of antiviral medicine, he licked his lips, looked up at me and, with his big brown eyes filling with tears, said, "My leg STILL hurts!!" A little earlier in the day he asked if we could pray to God to heal him (I was ashamed that I had not been the one to suggest prayer of some sort). We hugged as we prayed and when we said our Amen's he was TERRIBLY disappointed that his leg was still so painful. What a tough thing to try and explain to a tender and trusting heart.
Today he is finally back to his usual self (only with 500% more energy than usual since he has laid low for so many days). "My shingles are going out of me!! God is healed-ing me!!"
Thank you God, for "healed-ing" Jackson, and for making the people that came up with that marvelous antiviral for my little boy.
Friday, September 26, 2008
But the only way to grab up these critical opportunities is to keep those kids in your sight. (It is hard to effectively teach when you are not certain of what caused the problem in the first place. Does Susy really need to learn generosity, or is it that Emily was using her brawn instead of her words.) If you have a good suspicion that leaving siblings or friends alone in a room to play together will result in some traumatic tear-filled episode, then one or both of those kids have not earned the privilege of unsupervised play. There is more teaching and training to do!
But the payoff is incredible, when you can leave a room and trust that the child or children left there will do the right thing most all the time.
When Jackson and Jenna were going through a stage where they got into naughty mischief whenever they were together (something not normally in either of their patterns of behavior) we had to rescind their privilege of unsupervised play and watch them carefully to correct them. The last thing we wanted was the two of them to establish bad habits of play that would stick around! After a relatively short amount of time of supervision we were able to re-establish the privilege. (Whew!)
The bottom line is that we humans have the responsibility to treat others in a certain way, and the big bad world teaches us that when we don't, we lose friends, freedoms, jobs, relationships (i.e. privileges). It is a grace we give to our kids when we apply that same real-world principle in our homes. Correct me if I am wrong, Tiffany, but that is a classic example of doling out logical consequences.
One little kiddo-caveat: When my boys were between 18 and 30 mos or so, I did a lot of "protecting and preserving" of sibling relationships. It is REALLY HARD when you are three or four years old to play with a two year old. They are destructive and lack an incredible amount of understanding. So in the interest of staving off the terrible and innumerable negative interactions between siblings, I frequently saved the older child from "the wrath of the two-year-old." And when that two year old does play with the four-year-old brother, they play under my close supervision. I can teach my older child patience and kindness when reasonable, but then when the younger one tries to trash the entire train track that the older one pain-stakingly built, I can quickly mitigate that situation by swooping in to the rescue. And as far as the 7 year-old interacting with the two-year-old, he has matured enough so that those two CAN play unsupervised. It is a beautiful thing.
Anyway, I encourage you to keep your kids close. Be close by so you can teach them over and over again what godly responses look like. It can be tedious and exhausting at times but you will not be sorry you took the time early on to train your kids in these character qualities.
Thursday, September 25, 2008
I needed something that would do two things: force me to sit down and also keep my hands busy. In other words, I snack-snack-snack every chance i get when i sit down (bad habit that started in childhood), so the way to usually avoid snacking is to keep moving, but I HAVE to spend more time sitting and resting because of the big-belly thing I have got going.
And can I just be honest for a moment and say that I have already gained all the weight i care to gain in this pregnancy but sadly, more will come no matter what i do from this point forth. (Plenty past the "twenty-five pounds" they estimate one ought to gain. PLEASE! Good for you if you stuck pretty close to that number.)
So at the very least, i will avoid sabotaging myself and CROCHET EVERY CHANCE I GET. And then when the baby is born and I am burning more calories just sitting and breastfeeding that i could do in an hour-long spin class, I will enjoy one-too-many helpings of Tapioca Pudding (can you believe THAT is what I crave immediately after giving birth? Random. I know.
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Praise Him! Praise Him! He is merciful and mighty to save.
Thanks to everyone who prayed for us today. I needed to be held up in prayer.
So today I am focusing HARD on the promises and truth of God because my heart is a deceitful thing.
Ah Sovereign Lord, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you.
Oh great and powerful God, whose name is the Lord Almighty, great are your purposes and mighty are your deeds. -Jeremiah 32: 17, 18b-19
When I am afraid, I will trust in you. In God whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid. -Psalm 56:3-4
He is sovereign. He knows my fear. He hears my cry. He is faithful to show mercy. I need not be afraid. He is my rock and my hiding place.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Jackson: Mommy, is Jesus for pur-tends?
Me: Oh no. Jesus is not for pretends at all. Everything you know about Jesus really, really happened.
Jackson: Oh. I just thought he was a book.
Me: No. He was really a man that lived on earth a long time ago.
Jackson: Oh. I never knew that.
Really, it is in the spaces that life is lived and parenting is done.
Monday, September 22, 2008
Sunday, September 21, 2008
So I used a little tid bit from Tiffany and started wiping him with a bit more vigor and intensity than necessary. Nothing torturous or painful, just a bit harder than that sensitive area prefers. "OW-OW-OW! Mom, why are you doing it too hard?" Because that's how a mom wipes a four-and-a-half-year-old that already knows how to wipe himself, sweetie.
And let me tell you, it did the trick. The very next day I asked him, Do you want me to wipe you, Jackson? I'd be glad to!! "YES! Wait. Are you going to do it hard? No, nevermind. I can do it, Mommy."
Yes, you can. You are such a big boy!! Independence is a very good thing, my love!!
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
In most cases of nagging, it is very difficult to deal calmly with a child that is wearing you down. One way I have found to get the nagging to stop (aside from giving in) is to raise my voice, get angry and make my kids sorry they asked for the eleventh time. But ah-ha! I have found another rhetorical option. In this approach, you calmly give them a point of obedience, and if they disobey you, you can enforce it as you would enforce any other obedience issue.
Kids, at 9:30AM: "Can we have a treat?"
Mom: "Yes, you may. AFTER lunch."
(two minutes later...)
"Mommmmeeeee, can we have a treeeeeeeet?"
"I already answered that question. Do you remember what the answer was?"
- If they don't, then repeat the answer and then ask them to tell you what you just said (having them repeat the answer will cement it in their brain and give you the assurance that they have heard and will likely remember the answer next time they ask).
- If they do remember, have them tell you what the answer was and then praise them for remembering.
Using these words takes a behavior that is otherwise just annoying and tiresome and difficult to discipline for and turns it around into a very simple obedience issue. Sneaky, huh?
Monday, September 15, 2008
So, we went away for a little less than 24 hours (thank you Maryann and Lindy for making this possible by We went to the beach. Romantic balcony room on the water. Jacuzzi Spa in the room. (This post will remain rated G, readers.) Suffice to say that we had a marvelous time alone together.
In the weeks leading up to our anniversary I would have to say that we have been in a season of nit-picking. I think I have done 87-92% of the picking. I am pregnant, after all, and have lost my mind. I have KNOWN in these nit-picking weeks that if I would just LET STUFF GO that we would both be so much happier, but alas, I had not the self control to make this happen. And when a man is being hen-pecked 92% of the time, what husband would be motivated to change his behavior either? So we were driving each other crazy for days and days, weeks and weeks on end choosing to fight every battle, all for the sake of simply being right.
But in the 36 hours before we went away (we argued about every detail of going away, by the way), we were both sweet like sugar to each other. And it was not a fake sugar. No aspartame or splenda here. We were both choosing to NOT fight battles that did not matter (something that my un-pregnant self can do usually much better, and something my unprovoked husband is GREAT at). In those glorious 36 hours, life around here was so nice.
I pray that in the next three months before this baby comes, and in the weeks following birth when my hormones REALLY wreak havoc on my mind and body (gotta love waking up drenched in postpartum night-sweats) that the Lord would comfort my husband who might just need it. More than that, though, I pray that I would not fight every battle, that I would find ways to build him up often, and that he would be blessed.
Saturday, September 13, 2008
It has been a rough adjustment, mostly because I chose to start him sleeping on a toddler mattress on the floor. It was just too easy to slink off to sneak a toy or book. He already takes FOREVER to fall asleep so this added temptation did not help. I have spent many hours so far sitting in his room while he tries to fall asleep. I finally moved him to a twin bed and box springs but before I could do that I had to break down and buy a bed rail (I had previously just borrowed them but that dear friend gave hers away leaving me high and dry - just kidding Lori!). Sleep since then has been improving.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Raising Godly Tomatoes by Elizabeth Krueger. The best book out there for godly instruction on the yearly years of child training. It is an excellent book for a mom with an 18-24 month old and beyond. One caveat that must be mentioned: She advocates keeping your children isolated from the world. The decision to do or not do this while your children are young is one that must be left up to how God leads your family. Regardless of what your family chooses, the help in this book is unmatched for its parenting advice.
Parenting the Heart of Your Child by Diane Moore. Great book for getting a big picture of the various stages your kids will need you to coach them through, as well as some tips for where you are now. Good for mom’s with 3-4 year olds and beyond.
“Don’t Make Me Count to Three!” by Ginger Plowman. An excellent resource for learning how to biblically teach, train and discipline our kids. Great for Mom’s with kids around 4-5 years old and beyond.
What are YOUR top picks?!?
Friday, September 5, 2008
Jackson loves The Roller Coaster Way. Loves it. He excitedly asks for it whenever we near the intersection to turn onto it. Davis, on the other hand, has developed a distain for going this way. In my opinion, he has no reason to hate it other than to annoy his little brother. (Let me add, in all fairness, that this is such an unusual position for Davis to take on an issue.) As Jackson is yipping "turn! turn! turn!" Davis is yelling, "NO! We ALWAYS go that way and I HATE THAT WAY!"
What a predicament I find myself in. I can please only one in the car. If I am to ever get home, I must choose one way or another and no matter what I choose, one of my boys is completely devastated (no exaggeration, here). What is a mother to do? I suppose I could keep track and go straight one day and turn the next day. Or I could listen to the first voice I heard and go that way, or I could even use my popsicle stick method...
Instead, I have solved this dilemna with this phrase: "Davis, it is my good pleasure to do this small thing for Jackson and I delight to give him this simple thing each and every time he asks kindly."
"BUT THAT'S NOT FAIR! YOU KNOW HOW MUCH I HATE IT!!" He says through tears.
"Yes, you have made it very clear how much you hate it. And I understand that it even is not "fair" to you. But this decision is not about you, my love. It is about Jackson. There are many times when I base desicions purely upon the fact that I delight to please you, and this is one decision that I make based purely upon my delight to please Jackson."
Of course, before I could say this to him, I had to come up with an example of this that applied to Davis. I actually had to wrack my brain a bit but came up with a perfect example: Every night (well, not EVERY night) after I read to D and J, I send Jackson off to bed. Then I pull out a chapter book that is right at Davis' level and read only to him - this is a routine I do purely because I know how it pleases Davis. In fact, it means the world to him. And even when he has been a pill and does not deserve it, and even when he really should go to bed early that night, I still do this small thing for him.
And upon explaining that to him, he settled down a bit about The Roller Coaster Way.
It reminds me of the verse that tells us how good a gift-giver our God is, "If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him! (Mt 7:11). And it encourages me to seek God's wisdom in parenting rather than our own limited "wisdom." I hope you are equally encouraged.