Thursday, May 28, 2009

"What," you might ask, "is it like to have a baby girl in a family with three big brothers?"

Well, it's a little bit like this:

Notice the pink shortalls? And the pigtails? Notice the very pink baby doll in the toy baby carrier on her back? Ahh. But did you also notice the golf club swinging from her right hand? And the Samurai sword she's brandishing in her left?

Yes. That's what it is like having a baby girl with three older brothers.

A little bit of everything. And so stinking cute and funny I can hardly stand it.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Creation? Evolution? What does it matter, after all?

I may reveal myself as the totally uneducated and uninformed Christian that I am as I divulge the following information here… but I feel compelled to post this just on the off chance there might possibly be other people out there who know as little about the subject of evolution versus creation as I did.

Or maybe I might possibly offend you if you hold views other than those which are presented here.

But I’m willing to take that chance. Because I wish someone else had told me this stuff years ago.

So here goes.

I grew up in the government public school system and though I was raised with a basic Christian upbringing, I never really took the biblical account of creation as the whole truth. But I never really believed that we evolved from some cosmic sludge fifty bazillion years ago, either. As I went through school, I clearly recall the evolutionary model being presented as pure fact – just minus a few key missing links that the text books and scientists were sure to find sooner or later. Every museum I went to, ever book I read, every kids movie I watched, every dinosaur picture book I ever flipped through… it was all there in black and white… billions and billions of years ago, the earth was formed. Somehow, some way… we’re not quite sure how, maybe Big Bang, maybe something else. But that’s not important. But we do KNOW that the earth is gazillions of years old.

And as a Christian (sort of – but not quite scripturally raised) I just knew it wasn’t quite right. But it also seemed a bit farfetched to think that the earth was really created just 6000 years ago in six short days. I mean, the sun wasn’t created until day 4, so maybe a “day” could mean just about anything. And after all, scientists had PROVEN that the rocks on the earth were really, really old. So something wasn’t quite right.

And the whole world wide flood thing? Who knows? I mean maybe the Bible wasn’t LYING per se, but it could be figurative – or it could mean the whole local area of the world that was populated at that time in history.

So fast forward a decade or two and here I am, a full adult Christ follower since 2005, home educating mother of now four children. In my own path as an adult, Christ has revealed to me that the Bible is the truth. Period. I know I do not understand every word of it, and I know that there are parts that might be left out or hidden as part of God’s plan. But I do not believe the scripture is fallible. I just can’t buy that He’d leave behind his one and only physical connection to the generations of people to come after His time on earth and let it get so tainted that His people could be lost for the rest of eternity. It just is TRUE.

But I’ve still been stuck in the same old mindset. Is there a “gap” somewhere in the creation account? What happened between the time when God created Adam and Eve and the moment they ate of the fruit of knowledge of good and evil? Maybe billions of years did pass before they sinned.

But what it really has come down to for me over the past 4 years is that it didn’t matter. I don’t know it all. God does. And that’s OK with me. If He wants me to know just how and when He created everything on earth, He’d tell me when I get to heaven. I’m really OK with that. After all, science is science, and though the Bible must be true, I’m neither a biblical scholar nor a geologist. So I’ll just leave the “knowledge” to others and I’ll stick with faith. And when my kids ask, I can just tell them that no one really knows, even scientists, and it’s all just a guess. But the Bible does say it happened this way, so we can just go with that.

So here is the part where you may be thinking, “Man, what a dummy you are, Benny. Have you never picked up a creation science book or article? Do really not know how this whole thing works?” But bear with me here. This is going somewhere…

So I went to this great Christian homeschooling conference a month or so back and really got so much out of it just in hearing the speakers. But I also stumbled across the Answers in Genesis booth and spoke with a very fascinating man named Mike Riddle. He’s a scientist and a math whiz and a whole long list of other things… but in a nutshell, he’s a very smart and well educated guy.

And the nice Mr. Riddle has a very lovely pack of DVD’s that I ended up buying. I do not normally just buy things like that, but somehow it just felt like something our home needed. I’m not exactly sure what the name of the DVD series is called, and each of the six DVD’s has a different name. But basically it’s a whole set of DVD’s with tons of scientific support and evidence for God’s creation – and a whole lot of discrepancies and falsehoods brought forth in regards to the evolutionary model.

Did you catch that? There are actually major holes in the theory of evolution. MAJOR HOLES.

OK. So I could go on for pages and pages here. I mean there are six DVD’s all an hour+ long just in the one series I purchased. But I have been just awed and amazed at the amount of true scientific evidence supporting both the six day creation about 6000 years ago, as well as the Genesis flood, which would have been about 4000 years ago. Fossil formation. Faulty dating methods. Sea fossils found on mountain tops. Observable evidence from recent earthquakes, floods and volcanic eruptions that make in just days geological changes once thought to have taken thousands or millions of years. The list goes on and on.

My faith has been strengthened by just the two movies I’ve watched so far. And more than that… my husband, who I might have mentioned is not actually a believer, has really been enjoying the series. It has not proven anything to him, but it has really opened his eyes to some major untruths that have been presented as solid fact, and so far he has not been able to argue any of the points Mr. Riddle has made supporting scientific evidence for the Creation account. My Man has even said that if a created earth 6000 years ago were proven beyond doubt, that he would probably be a full believer. That evidence alone would be enough to make the whole rest of the Bible just be true for him.

That is the power that scientific evidence can hold to so many out there who have doubts about Christ and Yahweh the creator. And the DVD’s make so many good points about how Christians who show that same lack of understanding and faith in the creation account that I had can often undermine the faith, because people who do not yet believe see us as inconsistent… if we can’t even prove and support what our Bible says about how the earth was made, why and how can we believe any of it?

So anyway. This is the DVD set that I bought. And it was worth every penny of the $39.99 I spent on it – and I’ve only watched a third of the set so far! I just feel so happy to know that I do not have to disprove science to show that my God did make the world and that His Word is true. True science actually supports God’s creation. And I just think that’s so cool! And honestly, I’m a little peeved at the textbooks and schools that present everything else as hard, solid fact… when it’s really just as faith based as creation… they just have faith in time and chance, whereas we have Faith in a one true Creator of everything and everyone. I think I’ll take my chances on that Faith, thank-you-very-much. ;o)

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A big sigh...

Hot, sunny days are GREAT.

And cool gray hanging-in-the-house-feeling-quiet-and-mellow-after-lots-of-hot-sunny-days-in-a-row days are almost even better.


Saturday, May 23, 2009

Family fun

I just love watching my kiddos play together! Goose and Girly Pie are so cute together right now. She just adores him, and he is completely in love with her, too. It's so cute how now that she's walking, Goose likes to follow her around and hold onto her shoulders, like a little choo-choo train together! Of course it's a bit of a problem since she keeps falling over when he does it. But still, it's cute.

And lately Finny and Goose have started forming their own little friendship. For the most part, it's always been Punky leading the crew, with Finny mostly following him in everything. In the past year or so since Goose has been more of a little guy and less of a baby, he's just happily followed along - only throwing fits when for some reason he can't be in the same room with whatever the big boys are doing. But for the most part, Punky and Finny have played fairly exclusively. They have been the buds, everyone else has just been a third wheel.

But now Finny has discovered the sheer joy of being in charge of someone else! He's found that when he plays with Goose, HE gets to deiced on the game, and HE gets to pick which guy he is. HE gets to lead someone around the house and have someone else hang on his every word. Goose adores him and loves to do whatever Finny suggests, and Finny is shining in his role as leading big brother. And I LOVE IT!

Punky is a born leader, and he very much enjoys that role. But sometimes he's a little... ahem... shall we say... bossy? And Finny has this sort of defeatist attitude about Punky always getting his way. He usually just gives in to his big brother, but as he's grown older and has tried to assert his own opinion and independence, he'll often throw a bit of a fit or just whine insessantly at his big brother to try and be heard. Of course, most of the time Punky doesn't even bat an eye. He seems to not even hear his poor little brother's pleadings. So someone ends up getting upset and timeouts are divvied out and the game ends badly. And I feel so bad that poor Finny never really gets his way. Even when I do intervene, he's just the little brother, so it's just hard for Big Brother to follow his lead. That's just not the dynamic between them.

But now often I'll find Finny happily running around, with Goose hot on his heels, announcing what they'll be playing and suggesting (with surprisingly good manners and kind words) what dress up clothes they should don next. Goose is of course thrilled to not only be allowed in the game, but to actually be getting some attention and say in said game. They are so cute running around in matching Batman suits or Superman jammies or Incredibles gear.

But of course, then Punky comes along and laments that he feels left out now that Finny and Goose are playing so much together.


You just can't win. ;o)

I did take that opportunity to talk to him about the give and take of playing with his brothers. I pointed out how nice it was for Finny to be the leader and to get the chance to choose the game and the details without having to fight so hard to be heard. I said that I was sure they'd include him in their game, if he was willing to join their game and follow them - but not just jump in and take over. So far I've not seen much improvement, and He often goes off on his own to do something else. But we'll see if any personal growth can come from this for sweet, but bossy, Punky.

And then there's the little Princess-with-four-handsome-young-knights dynamic! I have to say it is so very sweet to see how much they all adore that little girl. They all clamour for her attention and love to help her get things to make her happy. Finny and Punky love to carry her around when they're allowed to, and they are always so willing to accommodate for their little sister, even when it's terribly inconvenient to them. They pick up small toys and move games to higher ground. They accept toppled towers and slimy pencils that she has found and slobbered one - all without a single complaint. I have had to restart many a movie after she has pushed the DVD player's buttons mid-show, but they never seem to mind a bit. Stories have ended early from her fussing, games are put on hold until naptime, fun is shushed while she's alseep. But those boys never even seem to give it a thought. That's just something that happens with a baby around. And that's all there is to it.
So life in our home with four little ones really is so much fun right now. I really do so enjoy the gift of watching them all grow up as siblings. I'm sure I've mentioned it before, but having grown up an only child, it's just such a neat and novel thing for me to see them all living and loving together on a daily basis. I feel so blessed to be a part of such a family.

And I think that my kids feel pretty blessed to be a part of one, too.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Just do it

Colossians 3:12
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.

Colossians 4:5-6
Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.

As you can see, I’ve been reading Colossians today. And boy, was in desperate need of that.

I’ve been struggling lately, and though I have found myself looking all around and pointing the finger at anyone I can to excuse my difficulties, I have not done so well when looking in the mirror.

Yes, I have been wronged by people. Yes, there are frustrating situations around me over which I have little to no control. Yes, other people sin constantly.

But that does not make it ok for me to sin, too.

And yes, I am human. Yes, I will fail repeatedly. Yes, perfection is a goal which I can never reach on my own, and even with Jesus’ help I’ll still never reach this side of heaven.

But that STILL does not make it ok for me to sin – and excuse it and feel justified in it.

And as I tell my kids on an almost daily basis, “It’s doesn’t matter what he did to you. You are not responsible for his actions. You are only responsible for your own actions.”

One other Bible verse has been ringing in my head for a couple of weeks now. And it’s one I’m sure we all struggle with from time to time.

Luke 6:41-43 "Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, 'Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,' when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye.”

In short, I’m blindly stumbling around trying to find and remove specks form everyone’s eyes but my own – but I can’t see past the two-by-four sticking in my own eye to do the job properly.

So no more feeling pouty because my Man isn’t making me feel special enough. It’s time I just pour myself into being the very best wife that I can be to him, regardless of his efforts towards me.

No more lecturing my children on serving one another and working with a happy heart. It’s time to just serve them and work with my own happy heart and smiling face. I’m sure they’ll learn quicker by example than they will by my words.

No more looking down my nose at other parents for their lack of discipline with their children or their lack of wisdom in choosing the right path in how to school their family. It’s time to just look to the Lord and follow His lead in how He wants me to raise and teach my own children.

No more getting frustrated over my husband’s lukewarm approach to faith. He’s undecided, and there’s nothing I can do about that. I can however lose him to Christ forever if I continue to mope around when things don’t go my way. Why would anyone want to be part of a faith and belief system that turns out grumpy, unhappy folks who are always pestering and complaining, and pointing out all that everyone else does wrong? I know that was something that turned me off of Christianity before I became a believer. So it’s just time to live out the faith. All I can do is live with the joy of the Lord pouring out of me in every way possible.

It’s time to do as James 1:22 teaches and, “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.”

And the thing is, I KNOW THIS STUFF. I do. Really. And I’ll tell anyone else I encounter all about it. But somehow I’ve missed the point for a while. I thought I was really living out my faith. And in many areas, I really am. But in many areas, I have been falling far short of the goal.

So it’s time to redouble my efforts to make a designated quiet time EVERY DAY to spend in the Word and with the Lord, seeking out His will for me in my life and in my actions. And then, once I’ve read His Word, I just need to do it.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Saturday, May 16, 2009

A Big Day

Finny lost his first tooth today.

And I'm in a bit of shock.

I mean, yes, I knew it was loose. But I didn't know it was THAT loose. And it's FINNY. My BABY. The boy who will never, ever grow up. So how can he be losing teeth already!? That's Punky's job. He's lost 8 already, so I'm used to that now with him. ;o)

So now my sweet five year old Finny has a delightful little gap-toothed smile and he is so thrilled to be the one losing his first tooth, FINALLY! It seems he's been waiting forever for those teeth to wiggle. And now he's had the chance to live that proud and exciting moment, when you first feel that little tooth pop out and land in your hand.

The kind of sad part is that we were over at a friend's house for dinner, totally unprepared for such a major event. So we have no pictures or anything! And we got home late and popped the kids in bed, so all I could get were some quick shots of him in his dim bedroom half asleep and blinking from the flash. So I guess we'll take all the billions of shots of him with his gappy grin tomorrow instead.

So tonight my baby boy gets to fall asleep with the anticipation of wondering what he might find under his pillow in the morning...

And I get to start a whole new collecting of little teeth for my next boy, who is driving home the point that they do all, indeed, grow up... bit by bit.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Home. Sweet home.

We went to the Seattle Science Center today (with Mary Grace and crew) and we had the best time!

Girly Pie did great in her first big outing with the Ergo. ;o) Goose was enchanted with the moving dinosaur models. The butterfly house was a big hit for everyone, as was the science of bubbles demonstration we watched. Finny and Punky had a blast. We really and truly had a wonderful day.

Too much fun stuff to post here in my short time on the computer. But I did come back with a very clear realization...

Yes, the Science Center was great. Sure the kids loved a big day out in the city. Sky scrapers, the Space Needle, taxi cabs and buses with the fancy little poles on top that let them run off of electrical wires in the city rather than diesel fuel... it is all quite fascinating... on a rare occasion.

But as we left the hustle and bustle of the"big" city and drove the +/- hour back through freeways, suburbs, highways, smaller cities, small towns... and the concrete faded away as the green of the countryside where we live took over... I was overcome with a deep gratitude for the simple and beautiful place we are blessed to call home. I was so thankful to turn onto the last highway heading to our house, and to see fields of grass and flowers... and old weathered barns and pastures dotted with cows. The mountains were just visible as daylight faded away and it was so nice to see how dark they all looked, way out there - no big city lights blaring all around us. I had felt borderline claustrophobic in that city. I hadn't realized how on-edge I had been all the time we were driving in the city. It wasn't until I hit the home stretch of our drive home and I looked out at the vast expanse of the valley leading home that I literally took in a deep breath and finally felt myself relax again.

I'll take inconvenient-but-peaceful-and-beautiful-green over in-the-middle-of-all-the-action-gray any day.

Indeed it does take us near half an hour to get to a decent grocery store. And no, my children will not be exposed to a whole lot of opportunities for expanding their minds with fine music and theater and all that other great stuff that I'm sure big cities must offer. But I wouldn't trade our simple, beautiful home for anything.

I like that going into the city is an event... concrete and sky scrapers and big freeway interchanges are something to be marvelled at.

And I love that fields of green are... home.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Benny's Baby Carrying 101

I'm so excited! I've been hinting to my Man (OK, so really I've been downright pestering him) that I really want an Ergo baby carrier.

Mind you, Girly Pie is our FOURTH child and we have made it through three babies with no Ergo. But times are a-changing, ladies. Sure I could make due with the ancient Gerry backpack that was handed down to us from a family I had nannied for. Sure I could just carry her. But darnit, after four pregnancies, 7+ years of carrying my own children constantly, plus a previous 10-12 years of continually babysitting or nannying for other people's kids and carrying them around... my hips and back are just plain shot.

So when I first mentioned to my Man that I was considering buying a new baby carrier he gave me that look. You know the one. The look that says, "NOW what do you want to buy for her?" It's a facetious look, and he's not at all nasty when I want to get something. But it was clear that he thought our collection of baby-carrying items to be fully stocked, and that just one more was clearly wasteful. After all, we're not currently planning to have more children, he reasoned. So why get this for just one baby?

So I got to thinking. And do you know what? It occurred to me that in our seven years of parenting, we have never, NOT ONCE, paid for one single baby carrier. NEVER.

We were gifted a brand new Baby Bjorn for my first baby shower when I was pregnant with Punky. At the time, as far as I knew, Baby Bjorn was the cream of the crop for baby carrying. And I loved mine. Until he hit 12 pounds. I carried babies in that thing constantly. I cooked, cleaned, nursed, walked, played... you name it, all while wearing babies in my Bjorn. But as they hit that 12 pound mark, my shoulders and back gave out on me. So as soon as they were strong enough, I bumped my babies to the back pack carrier.

The back pack was a handed down item from a lovely family for which I nannied. I received two actually, from different families. Both back packs were less than supportive, and I usually ended up with a headache within 15 minutes of putting one on.

I also got a sling from one of the families, but that kind of sling at least just did not fit my narrow frame so I never could wear a baby in it.
Then when Girly Pie was a few months old a friend of mine, Sara, generously gave me a homemade version of the Moby Wrap, which I totally fell in love with. I only wish I'd had that for the first three babies. It was perfect for the slightly older infant - not really ready for a back pack but too heavy for the Bjorn type carriers. I thought for sure that the Moby was all I'd need forever with Girly Pie.

But alas, she did finally hit a weight where the front carry didn't quite work as well, and the amount of time I spent tying the thing into the proper pretzel shape made it really tough to get her in it while we were out and about, especially if I wanted to do the back carry in it. And it was starting to hurt my back a bit anyway.

So that brings us to current. And when I mentioned to my Man that we had never once paid a dime for any of our myriad baby carriers, he was a little less cynical about the idea. Besides, Mary Grace has one and I have tried it out, so I already knew that it fit the bill for a super comfortable and multi purpose carrier for the older (and slightly heavier) baby and toddler. So I priced them out online, and picked out a color I really liked.

And come Mother's Day morning... SURPRISE!!!

Guess what I opened up from my dear and wonderful husband! Yes, that would be this lovely camel colored Ergo baby carrier. Yay!

36 pound Goose was the first to take a spin in the Ergo with Daddy, and he loved it. My Man said he felt really light on his back in it, too.

Then when Girly Pie woke up from her nap I popped her in there and she loved it! She loved it at church in both the front and back holds, she loved it at the park, she loved it today in the yard for a mini nature walk through the woods. And even though my lower back is currently in very bad shape from the hacking cough I have had for a few days (I think I coughed a kink into my back while sleeping one night and I can't quite shake it now) I am still totally comfortable with her in the carrier.

So I'm a happy Momma. I have a feeling I'll be able to tote my girl around in total comfort for a few years yet. As the fourth with three older brothers, Girly Pie is just going to be along for the ride on many an adventure to come for a while. So it will be nice for all of us, I think. And if God has any more children in store for our family, then we'll just get that much more for our money out of it, I guess.

So there you go. The history of my baby carrying career. And in case you were wondering what my suggestions are, after four babies and a whole lot of experimenting, I have concluded that using a Moby-type wrap is ideal for a newborn up to that slightly older and more active baby (I'd say around 6-9 months, depending on their weight). I can nurse easily in it, and they are super close to my skin so that it almost feels as though you are not wearing anything at all besides your baby. It's really adjustable too, which I like. And when they outgrow the usefulness of the Moby, the Ergo seems to me to be the very best for comfort of both Momma and baby. And I love that you can do front, hip or back carries with it. You can do all three with the Moby too, but it does seem to be more of a strain with a heavier baby.

Happy, happy Momma. I'm so tickled to have such a nice gift. What a sweet, sweet Man I have.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

A Year in Pictures

Words escape me.

Happy First Birthday to my Sweet Girly Pie.
I love you.

The real me

I want to explain here that in my last post – the one where I accomplished so many tasks in a day – that is not the norm for me. Actually, that is why I posted it. I felt so good after having had such a productive day that I felt like seeing it all in print.

Just in case you somehow got the impression that I might in fact have such days on a regular basis. Because I in fact do not.

Most days I don’t even know what I’m cooking for breakfast until I’m puttering around in the kitchen at 6-something and seeing what is there to serve up. I’ve started a somewhat consistent breakfast menu for Mondays through Fridays, so I just pick one of five choices, and that has helped. But by nature, I’m generally a last minute kinda gal.

Lunch and dinner are no better. Planning is not my forte.

Most of my days are spent in moving from one necessary activity to another. By necessary activity, I guess I mean whatever seems most important in the moment. In the morning that usually means getting breakfast made, served, eaten and cleaned up. I usually get laundry going in that time, too. Somewhere in there I direct children who might not be on track with their chores, but mostly I just do my morning work and hang out a bit with the two little guys.

Once Girly Pie naps, I do try to get school stuff in with Punky and Finny, but that can be hit or miss, depending on Goose’s mood and the general tone of the day. And then later when Goose naps I try to get some more done. I’ve been trying to get some semblance of history study in, but I’m finding that it might just be a lost cause, at least for my children at these ages and stages of life. So I’m going to make efforts to figure out in the next year what “school” will look like for our family. Though I have loved the idea of Sonlight, this is the second year I have tried and failed at making it work for our family, so for the time being I think it is time to move on and explore new horizons for our home learning experience.

Really, I do enjoy my days, and I feel like most of my energy goes into caring for and loving on my children. I work hard to impart good Godly character in my children, and that does take up a big chunk of my efforts each day. I also try to really get in some time with the babies, because I know how finite their very young months and years are, and I’m not willing to let them slip by completely while I was busy doing other things.

So, lest you think that I have it all together and just get up each morning knowing just what the day will bring and just how I am going to accomplish it all, I just wanted to clearly state that that is not at all the case. I am winging it just as much as anyone. Thankfully, I just happen to very much enjoy what I do, so even when I feel as though I’m failing miserably at any part of it (not good enough with teaching the kids, not keeping the house in good enough order, not making enough one-on-one time with any of the kids, not being on top of planning or organizing ANYTHING) it doesn’t generally get to me. I do have weak days where I feel like I’m failing at everything, and those can be hard. But with good friends (thank you Mary Grace!), strong faith, a very loving and forgiving God, amazing children and a super supportive husband, those blips do tend to wash over pretty quickly. And I always come back to a place of peace, knowing that I am doing just what I need to be doing at this point in our family. That's probably one of the biggest things I have going for me - I just have a pretty positive attitude and genuinely feel blessed to be living this life. The title of my blog? Psalm 118:24? Yeah, that's what gets me through everything. I am just so thankful for TODAY.

So sure, I could do better at any of it, or at all of it. But what it comes right down to it, my kids are happy, healthy and bright, my husband seems content (though it’s hard to read him sometimes…) and I feel pretty good myself. I am blessed to live this life, and when it comes right down to it, I believe that loving others, and loving the life God has blessed you with, is a pretty great place to find yourself.

So there you go - the real, flawed, disorganized, procrastinating, occasionally slothful but always thankful -Me. Maybe next time I have one of those days when I barely keep everyone afloat for the day I’ll have to post that, too.

But hey – it sure is nice when I have those days when I get a zillion things done. ;o)

Monday, May 4, 2009

My Day

Today I (in no particular order):
  • baked a quadruple batch of banana bread muffins
  • froze about two dozen muffins and almost that many mini-muffins for suture snacking
  • washed and dried 6 loads of laundry
  • folded four of the aforementioned laundry loads
  • got math, language and reading done for Punky and Finny
  • learned a bit about Roman gladiators with Punky and Finny
  • fed 6 people 3 full meals
  • made a quick solo run to the library to pick up holds (Hubby was home with nappers)
  • showered (not always as easy to get done as it sounds!)
  • was woken at 4:30am by a cranky, tired little girl who refused to go back to sleep
  • changed 4 poopy diapers
  • bathed two of four children
  • kissed no less than four owies better
  • found time to cuddle with my Man
  • read a bit of the Bible (not as much as I wanted to - But Girly Pie was busy trying to sit on said Bible, so I gave up)
  • emptied the dishwasher
  • oversaw morning chores
  • washed the kids' bathroom counter and toilet
  • got all four kids dressed! (though boys 1 & 2 do that on their own now...)
  • tidied the kitchen and family rooms
  • put away the Littles' clean clothes (also something that often sits around waiting to be done)
  • read books to all four of my children
  • enjoyed a few conversations with Mary Grace over the phone
  • stripped and washed our sheets
  • put the sheets back on our bed (hours before bedtime even! I think that's a record for me...)
  • remembered to take the dog out to potty
  • marveled as my baby girl mastered walking all over the downstairs, even crossing the entire kitchen and dining area without falling once
  • snuggled and tickled Goose because he's so edibly adorable and chunky!
  • found time for snuggles and some one on one time with each of my four kids at different points in the day
  • got about 5 OT activities done with Finny
  • played Jacks for the first time with my boys
  • helped Finny finish his pop-up birthday card for Girly Pie
  • played a couple of levels of Super Mario Bros 3 (the one from 15 +/- years ago!) with my Man and the big boys during their short Daddy hang out time this afternoon
  • managed to stay awake despite the 5 hour night sleep I had - and never really even felt tired (once I was up and moving, that is...)
  • carried Girly Pie around for the vast majority of her waking hours
  • wiped several runny noses repeatedly
  • encouraged discouraged boys
  • rescued a damsel in distress on multiple occasions (every time she climbs on anything - which is always - she gets stuck there!)
  • taught Girly Pie two new hand signs

Tonight between now and bed I hope to:

  • fold the last two loads of laundry in the house
  • do a final tidy on the whole downstairs
  • stuff the pinata for Girly Pie's birthday party
  • watch the rest of our Creation vs. Evolution DVD from Answers in Genesis with my Man
  • be in bed and lights out by 10:30 (if I'm lucky...)

So there you go. And here I thought I wouldn't get anything done with Girly Pie's very sad, very nap-challenged, very teething and cranky day. It's amazing how accomplished you feel just by looking at what you do each day on paper. And I know there are a zillion other little things I did today that didn't even register in my mind when I sat down to write the day out here. It does feel good to feel like I actually did something today!

So much for my plans for the day...

Don’t you hate it when the baby – who has been awake since 4:30 in the morning – gets woken up less than an hour into her much needed nap by the toddler big brother when he clicks her bedroom door open and shut several times by hanging on the knob?

Apparently he was waiting for Mommy to come out – though Mommy was actually in the master bedroom as she told him she would be.

Sigh. No more school. No more big boy game time with Mommy. I guess we’re just in for a very cranky day with Sweet Miss Girly Pie. Poor girl.

And I KNOW that was shaping up to be at least a two hour nap!

Ah well. Such is life. ;o) No use crying over spilled milk (or lost naps, either...).

Friday, May 1, 2009

Lovely, lovely life

It feels like I’ve hardly taken the time to post lately, but I’m really OK over here. Things are going very well, actually.

Last weekend I went to a really amazing Christian homeschool conference with Mary Grace. It was such a wonderful opportunity to really be fed on scripture and encouragement. Not only did I thoroughly enjoy the many uninterrupted conversations we were able to have with two days of childless car rides and conference time, but I was taken aback by the encouragement I felt being in such a place. There were so many good speakers covering such topics as raising daughters to be helpmeets, encouraging courtship rather than modern dating, biblical protection of daughters, biblical support for homeschooling, and tons more. I know there were some other topics specifically geared towards the more educational aspects of homeschooling, but we were both drawn more to the spiritually encouraging messages. I walked away from the conference with so very much to think and pray over. It’s so easy to see God’s work in the world when you go to such a place, surrounded by people who for the most part are making great efforts to daily devote themselves to Him and are giving everything they have to raise up a generation of children devoted to serving and glorifying Him. I admit it was a little bit sad to leave after two full days and walk back into the “real world” where so many people are so blinded by the false riches this world has to offer. But that is what we are surrounded by in this world. So at least I can be thankful to have been filled up for those two days so I feel better prepared to walk along this path God has made for me.

In other news, the weather has finally shown some consistency with sunshine and warmth. Don’t get me wrong – there are still plenty of chilly, gray and wet days. But there are often a couple of days of real spring like weather in between the gray spells. So I’m happy enough with that. ;o)

Girly Pie, my sweet baby girl is turning ONE YEAR OLD a week from today. Wow. Sigh. I think that will be a whole other blog post next week. There are so very many emotions that go along with that milestone in my heart! But she is still just about the cutest little thing in the whole wide world, and we couldn’t be any more in love with that darling little girl. And she’s walking – a lot. But still crawling, too. In the next week or two she’ll make that jump to full blown walker, I predict.

Goose has been struggling with some toileting issues. I’ve not mentioned them much, because, well really, it’s just not something you mention. But somehow after a whole year of being fully potty trained, he just started being terrified to poop. So he just stopped doing it. And if you know anything about the human digestive system, that just doesn’t go over well. But, after much worry, prayer and even a few tears, we found some resources that got us down the road to recovery from what was a very unhappy place for a little boy and his family to be. So now for the most part he’s back on track and does not seem to have any more issues with fear there. Thank you Lord for answered prayers and some really great kids books on the topic! Other than that he’s still just a complete crack up. If he’s this funny at a couple months shy of three, I can’t even imagine the stuff that kid will say when he’s a little bigger. That boy is just bursting with personality!

Finny had been doing really well with his occupational therapy schedule and exercises. But due to no fault of his own, we got a little off track for a few weeks and now are in the process of picking up the pieces and trying to get back into the activity schedule. It’s just a place where I am weak, that whole schedule and structure thing. But when I look at how great he does and how happy he is when I am diligent, versus how helpless and frustrated he is when I find myself slacking off with him, it is very convicting and I know that it’s just something I need to buck up and just do to the very best of my ability.

Punky is just a delight and such an encouragement. He’s the perfect oldest brother to our family. He’s responsible, hard working and always has a super positive attitude. I just love that boy. Seven is really an amazing age. He’s so aware of so much that you would think is beyond him – but then there are times when it’s so clear that he’s just a kid. A plain old “dumb” kid (that is, of course, said with full love and in the nice, happy sort of way… I’m not calling my son dumb!). And I love that. I’m so glad he doesn’t have to be fully mature and grown up all the time. It’s so great to see him just be a goof.

So we’re in birthday mode here. Lots to plan, lots to prepare. I’m very excited for Girly Pie’s flower themed first birthday party. I hope she enjoys it. ;o) Hubby is scheduled to have her birthday off of work, so I think we’ll just find a nice way to spend it all together as a family. He’s so sweet to always schedule our kids’ birthdays off of work. Granted he makes his own schedule, so it’s not hard – but he doesn’t get paid for it. So it’s still a sacrifice. And it’s one that I love him all the more for!

And I’m still pondering ideas for school next year. Two kids at a somewhat schoolish age. Hmmm… the possibilities are endless. And our garden is almost done! As of this weekend we’re hoping to have the dirt in, so we can plant whenever we want after that! Yay!

And that’s about it. Happy stuff. So many blessings. God is so very good. ;o)