Saturday, August 28, 2010

*We Are All God's Kids*

Things That Made Me Happy This Week:

Putting baby #7 in a "big girl" bed (only one baby bed, now!)

Making an AMAZING chicken alfredo
pizza for dinner!

Dinner with my honey & some wonderful new friends

My honey was able to go to Washington D.C. for a rally!

Noticing the leaves beginning to turn colors,
then seeing 2 fall very slowly to the ground.

Watching #1 do a "happy dance" when her
grades came back GREAT!!

Setting a goal to lose 2 pounds this week,
and losing 2.2!

Lunch with some great friends.

Finding some very inspirational blogs.
Completing these "ghastly"
pj pants for son #1 (yes, those are eyeballs!)

As you can tell, there are so many things I just feel like I am bubbling over! I truly could keep on going....

Well, life here is beginning to pick up some predictability. The kids are finally easing into the normal fall routine. They all do so much better with routine. Meanwhile, back at home...well, I have just the two youngest girls at home (ages 1 & 2) three days out of the week. Sometimes it is almost overwhelming, I must admit. I am not 21 anymore, and I am so used to other eyes, ears, and hands around all the time that I find that I am busier than I have been in a long time! I feel like a not-so-young mom again! This week, I was getting a bit stir-crazy, and I decided to plan an outing to Hobby Lobby. It went really well! I was so efficient...snacks, sippy cups, it all! So, I pushed my luck and stopped by Wal-Mart as well for a few groceries. Again, it went well...until checkout time. By then, I had pushed us all too far. There was some screaming & crying (but I won't name names), but, in the end, I felt very proud of my adventure. I did learn not to overdo it...for anyone. We were able to go out one other day to Target...that was our only stop. It was perfect! heehee It's the little things that bring the most joy.

In the midst of my week, I posted a humorous bit of fact on my FaceBook page. It went something like this,
"I am glad that #8 is the only one who likes to munch on her siblings. However, I am determined that she will not become a cannibal!"

Well, I received several posts from moms who have "been there, done that, got the bite marks to prove it", which was what I expected. Overwhelmingly, their advice was to bite her back...something that I knew, and would do, if I could ever catch her in the act!

However, one young lady (not a mom, yet) was astonished at this method! She questioned me about the rationale behind it. I told her that I didn't blame DOESN'T make sense, but it does work. She was very polite & didn't want to offend those who had more experience, but she didn't agree.

And that's ok.

But, as I folded laundry & pondered over the discussion, my thoughts turned, as they often do when dissecting parenting issues, to our heavenly Father and His methods of training us. When the girl asked, "So you're trying to teach her NOT to do something by doing it to her?", I replied yes. I explained that it was a cause & effect situation. The baby doesn't know that what she is doing is painful, it is just an outlet for her frustration. Therefore, biting her back shows her that, "hey, this is painful!" The idea is that she will begin to associate the two. However, in order to get her to that stage, we have to (literally) stoop to her very basic level. "Talk" to her on her terms, in ways she will understand.

Isn't our God just like that?

Can you even imagine how He must look at us as babies who just don't understand what we are doing to ourselves & others? How He lovingly takes the time to discipline us, to train us, to teach us to grow in Him & His ways. How much more "beneath" Him could we possibly get?

And yet....He does it!

Just like we, as parents, will stoop to a child's level to get them to understand a concept, using language they will understand because they just aren't mature enough to grasp the idea on an adult level. I began to feel such a humility before God.

So small.

That the same God that created the stars and the moon, and such amazing animal life, such intricate plant life...and an unduplicatable human body...would stoop to MY level & "talk" to me. That He cares enough about me to make sure I "get it". Thank you, God...I can never tell You enough!


I probably should end there. I have tons more that I want to tell you, but it's just about me...nothing much. Just ponder the idea that God loves you THAT much...and go enjoy your day!

Love to you all!!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Readin', wRitin' & Routine

Well, back to school has hit our family. This year, I have 6 of my babies in school! All but one of them were excited to get back, either for social reasons, routine reasons, or maybe, just maybe, educational reasons?!? Probably not.

This year is rather a milestone year for us.
1. The most kids ever for us to have in school.
2. Our oldest is DRIVING them all to school!
3. We have 2 in high school.
4. We have 2 in Pre-K.
5. We have the largest tuition bill we've ever had!!!
6. I only have 2 @ home for the first time in uhhhh.....10 years!!!

I have had mixed emotions about it all...well, a little bit, anyway. I really thrive on routine. I try not to be OCD about it, but I tend to get, let's say, testy, when things are chaotic. I truly did enjoy the summer with the kids right up until the last 3 weeks. Then, they were soooo bored & they drove me soooo crazy! It has been unbelievably hot here. So hot that they didn't even want to swim! Oh yeah, that's HOT!

My 2 littlest guys were just button-busting proud to be finally heading off to school! They both looked so stinkin' cute with their ginormous back packs filled to the brim with new crayons, glue, pencils & such. They have come home each day this week telling me about how much fun they're having. I am so glad for them.

Miss priss in the 1st grade is learning how to read & gobbling it up like really good candy! She sat down & read 53 pages to me tonight! Ok, so it was out of the Dick & Jane book, but, still, she was beaming with pride :) She is probably the one who was looking forward to school for the learning.

The ten year old, pain-in-the-patooty-but-ya-gotta-love-him 5th grader tried to act all casual about going back, but he did slip up a time or two & mention that he was "sorta" looking forward to going back. There have been zero complaints since starting back.

:) I got his number!

We have a FISH in the house this year!!! She has hit the ground running, too! On the second day of school, she came to me and asked if she could work really hard & graduate a year early. My advice...let's talk at Christma
break. Let's see how Algebra treats you.

Last, but certainly not least, is our resident Junior. almost pains me to say that! She's driving, she's looking to the future, she's growing up! I am so very proud of her, though. She truly does not enjoy her schoolwork, but, she still makes great grades. She really puts forth the effort to study & pass. Her mindset is to just make it through, and, well, I don't blame her. LOL She will make it & do it with flying colors...I know. I am looking forward to next year when we get to go on the Senior trip together. That will be my reward for dragging her through the last 12 years of her life. :)

I have all sorts of plans for this fall. I am planning to help @ the school as much as possible. I already have responsibility for a rotating bulletin board with current events, trivia & useless info that seems to be a hit. I volunteered to get the library on track (why?). I also coordinate the field trips for the teachers...something I truly enjoy. Oh, I also will be teaching an arts & crafts class for the 5th graders. I am already coming up with ideas for that. It should be fun.

This fall will also hold lots of sewing, including a retreat where I'll learn more about designing & creating children's clothing. This is something I am very excited about! I also want to really hit the scrapbooks & get them caught, really, I'm serious! :)

This is my favorite time of year. Changes in schedule, changes in the day, changes in the foliage, changes in the temperature. Dependable changes. I like dependable changes. Hmmm...I also like oxymorons, and I think this phrase fits that description.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Final Summertime Musings

Things That Made Me Happy This Summer...
...Staying up late, and sleeping a bit later
...friends & family coming to see us
...Sunday morning swims nights!
...losing 13+ pounds!!!
...developing closer relationships with my kids
...getting rid of 5 out of 6 puppies!!! :D
...learning to trust God even when it doesn't make sense & my hubby sitting in our chairs into the wee hours, reading
& still feeling connected!
This summer has truly been a whirlwind-crazy time! I cannot recall ever having such a packed schedule. I am hoping that it isn't a preview of the rest of my summers!

I will admit to truly enjoying staying up late & fiddling around on my computer or reading a good book (of which I've probably read upwards of 10 since summer began). By nature, I am not a night owl, nor am I one to "sleep in" (just ask my kiddos). I truly enjoy the early morning hours. However, at night, when the house is so quiet, and I know that I have accomplished my self-imposed goals for the day, I so enjoy sitting with my feet propped up & talking with my honey or doing some "mindless" something. While I do enjoy the morning, I cannot sit & enjoy something for myself as my mind is already whirring about what all I need to do during that day.

As our summer winds down, our thoughts are turning towards the new school year which starts in only 7 days! My kids are all ready for the change (except my #1 child, I think). For the most part, they all enjoy learning & school. My oldest will be a junior in high school, and my 2 little guys will both be starting pre-school. We will have 6 in school this year! I am not going to know how to behave myself with only 2 at home! :o)

During the course of this summer, we have had a couple of milestones. Our oldest daughter got her first "real" job & has really impressed us with her determination. It has been a great experience for her in dealing with an employer & even handling sticky situations. Another important step she took this summer was finally getting her driver's license! GAH!!!!

Seriously, I was so very proud of her! She passed on her first try! I will admit to being very glad that she will now be able to take them all to school (yay!), but, the first time she pulled out of the driveway to take herself to work...hmmm...I don't even know how to describe how I felt. Proud? Sad? Excited? All of these, I think. I am SO enjoying watching my kids reach each different step & accomplishing new things in their lives. I remember how it felt to inch that much closer to adult-hood. I am excited for them, truly, I am. I don't feel any remorse for myself...maybe that will change as we get further down the line of kids...more towards the end. I don't know.

We've also had music in the house this summer! Daughter #2 has resumed her piano lessons, and we are all enjoying the fruits of her labor! She really has a talent. I cannot wait to see what the Lord has in store for her.

Swimming also plays a big part in our summertime. Because we have a 4 acre pond, we feel that it is necessary for all of the children to have swim lessons- NOT a cheap endeavor!!! This year, we h4 in lessons...took a bit to get it paid for, but it's all good. Son #1 graduated-he's officially a fish in the water. Daughter #3 is fearless & can do anything...I think one more year & she's done, too. The 2 little guys both started this year & had a blast! I love investing in my kids :)!

Another goal that we reached this summer was potty-training the 2 year-old! First I must advertise...I HIGHLY recommend this site: . It works! I have NEVER been able to get ANY of my kids potty trained before age 3. However, she recommends starting at about 22 months, so I thought, "I'll give this a try." I was skeptical. How could this work? I mean, really! Several of my friends had done it & I was paying attention. So, I set the days, got ready, and we started. That was the longest 3 days of the whole summer! I literally camped out with #7 in the bathroom for 3 days.
We had toys, books, chairs...but, by Wednesday, she was telling me she needed to go & has been doing so ever since (about 3 weeks, now). I will not lie, we've had a handful (or panty-full) of accidents, but not consistantly. The 2 she had overnight were because the baby monitor was turned off & I didn't hear her call out. I have been convinced, and have baby #8 slated for training in January. She will be 22 months at that point. I'll let you know....

I have also been sewing up a storm this summer, and loving every minute of it! I have such a weakness for fabric and I truly enjoy buying a lovely piece & taking it from a flat square to an adorable outfit. So fun! This fun has been compounded by the fact that I've also been able to make some money while doing what I enjoy! Does it get any better? I think not.

One last fun thing that happened in our family this summer was my honey & Son #1's deep sea fishing trip! They had been planning this for several months, and were very excited. They both took along a friend & headed out for nearly 3 days. Unfortunately, Son #1 was very ill, and slept pretty much the whole trip! An expensive nap!!! Between the 2 of them, there was only one "keeper" caught. We managed to make a meal out of it, though. *sigh* :D

Align Center

So, while I will miss my kids, I am ready for our "organized" life to resume. I am a creature of habit. I like things "just so"-no easy task in a family of 10! But I try. I will keep doing the things I enjoy...but maybe not so often. Through the years, my wonderful husband has encouraged me to take time for myself, and, I have told him many times, he spoils me! However, he knows it's what keeps me sane :) hobbies, my schedule & my God!
I hope you have had a fun-filled summer, too. With the start of school, that means that cooler weather & fall fun are only about 3 months away (remember we're in'll be 90 in October) LOL!