Thursday, December 18, 2014

Last Day of "Normal"

Today is my last day of "normal".
Princess P just got on the bus and Hubs left for work.  This is my last day of just me and the boys and a guaranteed "quiet time" this afternoon.  However, this also means that this was the last crazy morning of shoving kids in coats and scrambling to find socks to make it out the door to catch the bus.  This was the last morning of throwing food in a lunch box and debating school appropriate outfits. 
Tomorrow Hubs starts a glorious 9 day "staycation", which is perhaps the best Christmas present he could have ever given me.  Tomorrow he will be home to help me wrangle our crazies and a week of leisure will begin.  When his staycation is over, our new homeschool venture will begin and a new "normal" will begin.  I'm equally sad to see my normal leave and excited to see what new normal looks like.
Now, the big decision is; what to do with my last afternoon of nap? workout? wrap presents? eat lots of cookies?

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Seeking help

Princess P "helping" daddy carry the tree

I've been praying this past week that God would show me opportunities to help others around me.  This season is full of helping programs, from Operation Christmas child, to Toy for Tots, to Adopt a Family.  While I fully support these programs, I know there is need right in front of me.  My prayer is that I would take my eyes off of myself and see the need that is often starring me right in the face.

Yesterday, just 30 minutes after praying over this, I got a text from a friend that just made me stop.  She asked if she could take my kids for a morning so I could go Christmas shopping by myself.  Sounds so simple, yet it spoke volumes to me.  I was just praying how I could help someone and here someone was asking to help me. 

But sometimes, letting someone serve you is a bigger blessing to them.  This is a lesson that has taken me a long time to learn.  It would be easy for me to respond with "You're so sweet to offer, but I don't need any help".  My pride shoots up when someone offers to help and sometimes I'm embarrassed that they recognize my need for it.  But the truth is, letting someone help you is allowing them to love you.  Opening up a vulnerable space in your life can be a blessing to their life too.

Now, seriously.  I need to see opportunities to serve because my kids need a big dose of "Christmas is not about YOU!".  Would appreciate your prayers :)

Saturday, December 6, 2014


You know a tornado is sick when he stops moving.  He laid in this spot all afternoon...not talking or eating, just sipping water and watching Curious George.


Bubby thought it was great because I let him watch insane amounts of George.  I, on the other hand, hate sickness.  I suppose there isn't a mom out there who loves sickness, but I believe I despise it more than the average person.  I definitely overreact.  A slight fever or sniffle and my brain goes into overdrive.  
"Who have we been in contact with in the last 24 hours?" 
 "What plans do I have to cancel"
 "Should I take them to the doctor?"
"What if the doctor thinks I'm crazy because nothing is seriously wrong?"
"I'm sure the doctor sees far worse than this."
"Maybe I should give him lots of juice to keep him hydrated.  But what if all that sugar in the juice makes him more sick."
"Maybe I'll just call my nurse sister and ask her for the millionth time what I should do."

Sickness makes me feel like a failure.  It's sad, but true.  And, as much as my rule follower Princess drives me crazy, I'm the same way and it kills me to cancel plans.  There's the ugly truth.  So if you make plans with me this winter, you can pretty much guarantee that I will have to cancel on you.  I wish I was more laid back and went out with sniffles like the rest of the world.  But I don't.  I feel like if you aren't feeling well, you need to respect your body's way of fighting germs and give it rest.  I also feel like you should respect others by not infecting them with those germs your body is fighting...just my 2 cents.

The silver lining to a not so great sick day:
I made ham and cheese melts, roasted broccoli, kale chips and pomegranate for dinner.  Charlie at 3 bowls of kale chips and perked up.  It really is a superfood!

Plus, I must get some kind of brownie points for feeding my kid kale chips.  Nevermind that it was in front of the millionth episode of Curious George.

Also had to soak in the fact that all 3 of my kids love watching George.  I know this will pass quickly.

Princess P devoured her dinner that night.  She said, "I'm eating extra fruits and veggies so I don't get Charlie's sickness."  She's a smart one :)

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Raisin' a Tornado

I've started to feel like I'm raising a diva, a turtle and a tornado.  Have you ever tried to dress a tornado?  Or take a tornado to the library?  I dared my husband to take our tornado to the grocery store, when his speed ramps up to high volume.  He has a fascination with grocery carts and if he can get his hands on one, he'll push it full force into the nearest object.  Just yesterday, while I was paying for our groceries, he grabbed the woman's cart behind us and rammed it into her.  Good times.  This morning, I was attempting to buy some Christmas decorations and he jumped on the side of our cart which tipped it all the way over and completely blocked the entrance of the store.  This is one reason why I run...I have to keep up with a tornado!  THEN, add a turtle next to the tornado and you have this momma going in two completely different directions.  One is slowly meandering along and one is sprinting away.  THEN the cherry drops.  The diva enters and sighs exasperatedly.  "Mom, would you stop embarrassing me?"

I am constantly reminding myself that God gave me these 3 completely different children for a reason.  He gave me a tornado for a reason.  Maybe He's trying to teach me to be more fun.  Or maybe I would be too lazy without having to chase after him.  All I know is that I am thankful for them and thankful for the momma that they make me.

Any advice to keep tornadoes contained in grocery stores?

when you give a tornado a cup of milk...

Monday, December 1, 2014

The intentional mom

I mentioned that I've been reading more books, since my break up with social media.  One particular book really hit home for me.  It had been sitting on my shelf for years and I know I read a little of it at some point, but saw it in a whole new light this time around.  The book is called 'Regret Free Parenting' by Catherine Hickem, LCSW.  As with marriage books, I am weary of parenting books because they can leave you coveting a picture perfect life.  You can be a mom for 1 day and realize that there is nothing perfect about it, but I loved this book and it was a huge eye opener for me.  I wanted to jot down my favorite points as a way to remind myself later the things I learned and a cheat sheet for other momma's who don't want to read the whole book :)

The biggest lesson I learned from the book was about being an intentional mom.  I was reminded to not coast through motherhood, but really work at this job that the Lord has given me.

~When I follow Christ, His purpose becomes my purpose.  His purpose for me is to be intentional in loving my children the way Christ loves me.

~Believe that God loves me and He will be my confidence in motherhood.  Intentional moms understand that their purpose in being confident is to create an atmosphere of value and love for their children. 

~Be intentional in telling my kids positive things.  Tell them that they are kind, gentle, loving, funny, wise, friendly, patient and with God's strength, they can do anything.  Tell them every day that God loves them and I am so thankful He gave them to me. 

~Study my kids.  Know them and tell them what I like about them.

~Don't fight the differences and difficulties in my kids.  God had something in mind when He gave them to me. 

Charlie-2,  Bubby-4,  Princess P-7

I was really challenged on this one.  So often I live in daily survival mode instead of looking at the big picture of my children's lives.
~What characteristics do I want my kids to process and how will they develop these?
~What do I want for my kids/what vision do I have for them?:
-no entitlement
-delay gratification
-love reading
-be in the Word
-communicate openly
-servant hearts
-grateful, humble, generous

~"Sometimes mothers allow pride, selfishness and other people's opinions to override what their children need most; unconditional love."  Pride is our attempt to cover insecurity and most of our  insecurity is in how our kids behave.  Selfishness=idolatry of ourselves.

~Teach them in the midst of mistakes, not just reprimand them.  Allow them to make choices, even if they have natural consequences.  Don't get frustrated when they are having a problem, but take time to talk and understand.

~Be consistent, lovingly consistent in discipline.  Don't get upset or argue and show grace.  Let them know that you will love you no matter what.

~Praise in public, correct in private.  Do not a perfectionist on how they should behave.  Kids need to be praised and lifted up instead of always put down and felt like they can never measure up.

~It is normal for children to test limits and be ornery and disobey and it is not a reflection of me!  My attention needs to be on my child, not how others see me.

~As you keep the focus on the best interest of your children, you will find yourself making better decisions about yourself.

~*Pray for help in all situations

~The more I depend on God, the more I enjoy mothering and the less I care about others opinions.
1. Enjoy quiet time with the Lord
2. Have a thankful heart
3. Get to know God's heart
4. Find time for praise and worship
5. Pray for another mother
6. Practice the presence of God.  Look for Him everywhere

~My interactions with my kids has a greater impact on their future relationships than my words.

~Give them time to talk...uninterrupted time to share their heart.

~*Be present!  Don't be distracted by other moms at events.  True presence means you're fully engaged emotionally, listening intently, and respectfully interacting.