Wednesday, April 28, 2010

the jar & the legos...

another strategy.....

that i am implementing....

seems to be working....

'K' really wants the new hot wheels that he gets when the jar is full of blocks...

i am so not beneath bribing rewarding my kiddo for good behavior...

Monday, April 26, 2010

Not Me! Monday

are you feeling like the only mom who lets your kid have fruit snacks shortly after breakfast? or maybe you let them eat popsicles & wheat thins for dinner because they were having too much fun outside to eat... well don't feel alone!!

Not Me! Monday is all about chatting up our imperfections and getting a good laugh with a large dash of encouragement!! thanks to MckMama for hosting (and creating!) such a fun blog carnival! want to join in? you can click here to link up on MckMama's blog...

well, let's see...

i don't ever stop at the gas station in the morning after dropping off lil'Lou-Woo at school to get a vanilla coffee... never! i cut out calorie-laden coffees long ago when i completely switched over to all organic & all natural foods, so i do not hand over the dollar bills for sugary-coffee goodness... and i certainly would not stop for coffee while still in my pajama pants and old flip-flops, i mean i do have some diginity... right?

i did not blame a rotten cell phone signal for cutting off a business phone call this week. hello!! i am a professional at all times and would not ever think about hanging up on someone mid-sentence (because they were absolutely driving me up the perverbial wall & i was about to give them a piece of my mind... not that i can spare any!) and text them that my signal was bad and i'd call them back later... nope, i am a business woman with more class than that... anyway...

and i am definitely not a huge geek that has started a "grocery store prices" notebook...

i would not be so 'type A' about finding the lowest prices & making sure i'm getting the best deals with my coupons and ad prices to go so far as to find a cute little notepad (i love paper!!!)

and begin cataloging prices from like 5 stores! i have a life, you know!! i have too many responsibilities & obligations to start this project :) which is of course why i didn't!!

whew! now that i've gotten that off my mind i can move on with other things today, like new Avon books that have to go out for orders on Thursday...

now you go link up your Not Me! be blessed!!

Friday, April 23, 2010

late night thoughts....

what have i accomplished & been thinking about this week? hhhmmm....

i did laundry & got it all hung up (it's the hanging it up part that bites when doing laundry isn't it)

i have swept & mopped the kitchen, dining room and living room like three times

i babysat a cute 7 month old; i played on the slides at the park with my 'K'; drew with sidewalk chalk & blew bubbles

prayed a lot; spent much time in the Word

hugged my kids; cheered as 'P' won his basketball games; typed up some blog posts but still haven't published them (can anyone say "procrastinator!"); did a little grocery shopping; sat on the front porch daydreaming about my new home

helped my Man pay bills; helped my Man cut our budget down some more; stopped at sonic for raspberry tea two times (but it was during the half-price happy hour, so it's like i only went once..)

did an Avon order while thinking ugly thoughts about the new distribution center filling my orders :) i know, i'm working on it...

made 4 beds each morning; did the dishes twice a day for several days & wondered how 5 people can possibly dirty so many dishes; polished the stainless appliances once; cleaned all three bathrooms; vacuumed just about every day

questioned my sanity on more than one occassion; argued with my oldest son about something stupid & reminded myself to let some things go

worked in some "work" but didn't really get much done with clients & decided to drop one of the three projects i work with & yet still stress over not getting enough "work" done each day

practiced numbers & counting with 'K' and his Bible verse for the week; worked with lil' Girlie on her multiplication & she achieved her reading goal for the month & explained to me that we are killing the bears by cutting down trees & i reminded her of reality instead of the progressive Earth Day agenda
i calmed my perfectionist-driven daughter that an A- in math on her mid-quarter grades was nothing to freak out about and motivated my son to get his comm arts from a B+ back to the usual A-

i kissed my Man every opportunity i got & reminded him how proud he makes me to be his wife

i asked God if i was where i was supposed to be and how i get where He wants me

i'm thinking about what God is going to do in church on Sunday, it excites me to know He will reveal the Word anew to my heart; i can't wait to teach my class of toddlers that Jesus loves them & desires their little trusting hearts plus i love craft time!

thinking about planning another Sisters Party, who to invite, worried if anyone will come, what project should we do; praying for the coughing & feverish toddler in the next room

i ended each day this week feeling as if i had done nothing! i hate that feeling! after reviewing my week in writing & reeling through my thoughts and actions i know that i did a lot... maybe it's my expectations & goals that need some tweeking

never the less, i influenced and shaped my children's hearts and minds, i held the power in my words & actions to encourage my Man & be a blessing to him...

Lord i am a blessed woman... thank you for placing me here to fufill your purpose...

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

to spank or not to spank...

i am the typical oldest child: type A, over-achieving, perfection-driven, always-to-be-the-leader kinda of girl... it honestly didn't take much discipline to get me to change my behavior, whether i was a little 4 year girlie or when i was 14....

not that i wasn't ever spanked or sent to the corner but it really wasn't necessary (well, at least i don't think... better call mom... ok, she said it was necessary some of the time :) ) because simply giving me that look of total disappointment and telling me that you thought i was so much better than this, well it would just do me in! i'd drown myself in sorrow and create a plan to out do myself with goodness when the next opportunity presented itself.

however,my first or second or third attempts at "goodness" weren't ever truly good enough, because i was still harshly dealt with by my dad whenever it suited him.

his definition of "discipline and guidance" was a belt, sometimes his thick hands, and it didn't just sound scary or painful... it was scary and very painful

being a trimuphet survivor (thanks be to God) of child abuse has always impacted the disciplining of our posse of kiddos: definitely for the good

before kiddos i would have told you there would never be a case for spanking them! post-three-very-different-kiddos i would confess to you that i am an advocate for spanking... if it makes the point within a short amount of time and used appropriately.

our oldest, 'P' , never required more than 3 swats on the hiney as a toddler, that's it 3; our lil' Lou-Woo was a bit more of a challenge with all the drama that comes with having a girl :) but even then, the times she was spanked really made the point and her behavior quickly corrected itself...

however, our sweet baby 'K' is the world's most stubborn, rebellious & defiant toddler! okay he's not... i only know this from first hand experience that my middle brother (and my hubby's middle brother) is still to this day the world's most stubborn person :)

but i digress... spanking 'K' doesn't matter; he'll go right back to what he was doing the 5 seconds before i patted his rear, or giving him the "i'm really getting fed up with your behavior" tone is not long lasting either, and while the "naughty spot" (you might call it time-out) is effective for the moment of teaching & learning to say 'sorry' & talk about forgiveness, but i am still the very blessed mama of a little boy who couldn't do what he is told if i was paying him in M&Ms!!!

which leads me to begin thinking: does spanking truly work?

it frustrates me to no end that a swat on the hiney for throwing a fit in the store or freaking out at 'P's ball games is not teaching him anything (obviously)! why is my babe not connecting the dots here?! does spanking not have the short-term effect to cause my cute boy's brain to register "hey, maybe i shouldn't do that again?" have you had this issue with any of your kiddos? please say i'm not the only one... please!

all my own inadequacies & childhood memories are starting to get in the way too... i don't in any way, shape or form believe that spanking a child is abuse as long as it's not done out of anger and it gets the point across in a few short episodes... but as i've been researching & coming up with new ways to guide 'K's behavior, i find myself remembering the belt, the yelling, my confusion, and the marks that didn't go away and the internal scars that will always be there.

how can people do that to their kids? as parents we have all felt the frustration, those days that all our kids can say is "NO!" and your rapidly fraying rope begins to harshly smack you in the face, but how can people hit their kids and call it discipline?!

my dad always justified his attacks as "discipline".... i always knew i didn't want to ever become that: you know, somehow it's the victims fault or they say "you made me have to be tough" sort of thing. that's not of Christ, not even close

i am flooded by love for 'K' and he is the cutest little man... incredibly smart, funny, imaginative, cuddly, tough & sweet all mixed into a curly-headed boy.... goodness he's awesome, and what's even better he's mine!!! alright i'll share with daddy, but that's it! (giggles...)

i've been praying (lots!) that the Lord will use this head-strong, relentless & dominant spirit to change the world someday. if 'K' is this stubborn about not wanting to hold my hand in the store or so passionate about playing with my breakables no matter what i say, if that is used for God's ultimate glory, then watch out world!! he's coming to tell you about Jesus' love for you whether you want to hear it or not!!

so for now, our battle of wills is going to head a new direction; i will refuse to frustrate myself & 'K' by continuing to spank & not see any changes. i won't buy into what i know some believe which is "spank more and harder and they will eventually get it." NOPE, not gonna do it! in my opinion, that is how parents can cross the line of discipline into abuse....

what direction are we going? well, lots of attention and explaining of why there are rules & mama and daddy love you and it's our job to boss you around & teach you stuff :) hee hee!! i love being the mommy! i still like the 'naughty spot' and if the fits keep going in the 'naughty spot' then it's off to bed to cry it out there when he doesn't get his way. we are teaching him Bible verses about love & obedience... and he is able to tell me his verses, believe it or not!! and i can think of nothing better than hiding the Word of God in his heart to help change his behavior.

as a child, i always hoped that my dad would change, that if i was better that would make him nicer, i wanted him to care about my sports, look at my pictures, spend time doing fun things with me... the fact that he wouldn't made those episodes of violence that much worse

hug your kids today, especially when they are being bad, tell them how much you love them, turn off the t.v. and spend time with them... that way when we have to give guidance & discipline they will know it comes from a heart that is truly devoted to them

Lord please continue to bless me with wisdom & understanding to guide my children, so they will have hearts to love & serve you all their days. i want them to obey not just me but learn to obey you God, to develop a spirit of grace and have an abundance of wisdom from you. make me in to the mom that my children need, that i would be open to your direction & leading, that i will always love them with all that is in me, just as you would! i pray the same for every parent that reads this and is moved to serve you more Lord by loving their kids more. thank you Lord!!in your Name....amen

Monday, April 19, 2010

Not Me! Monday

are you embarassed that your beautiful toddler stomps her foot & spits when throwing a fit? or have you felt bad because dinner last night consisted of cereal & popcorn? no big!! this is what Not Me! Monday is all about, girl!

thanks to MckMama for creating and hosting such a fun & encouraging & humorous blog carnival :)

so what have i not done this week? hhhmmm.....

while cleaning up the backyard before 'K' and i went out to play & mow one afternoon, i was doing the ever fun chore of scooping puppy poop... and as i was shoveling scooping up after the mammoth great dane, i most certainly did not notice one of 'P's bouncy balls in the poop, perfectly intact... nope!! my dog would not ever eat the children's toys, never!

i am always gracious & kind and would never give a hateful look or comment... nope! so while out with my Man for date night on saturday evening, we were purusing for new wedding bands because my Man most certainly did not lose his while yanking a nasty fish out of the river & then also proceed to lose my band doing the same thing a few weeks later; he is the perfect husband and would never lose such meaningful & significant symbols of our commitment & love... ahem...

so while looking at a few bands with a very helpful man at the jewelry store, the woman who was also assisting us kept trying to shove these giant diamond bands at me... well, here's how the conversation went:

jewerly gal:(after i had looked at like eight several rings) this one would be beautiful with your ring!

me: oh no, that's too much "bling" for me, i just want something simple... i do like this one. (it was goregous, thin white gold with the most sparklelicious petit diamonds, nothing huge & goddy... just perfect)

jewerly guy: that is a beautiful choice and the curve in the band is very unique and would compliment your ring!

me: that's what i thought! honey what do you think?

my Man: it's perfect... i love it, do you?

jewerly gal: (rudely interjecting her thoughts) it's so pretty, but you know his new band would cost more than yours.... that doesn't seem right (of course she said this with a giggle & quick smile..) but that's just me

me: (i did not give her a glare and quick response because i am always kind, remember...) that doesn't really matter to me but i'm not shallow, so whatever....

needless to say, i would never think of then putting the ring down, graciously letting my husband get the info about the ring but then quickly leaving... what is wrong with people?! is it too much to ask you to keep your thoughts to yourself or what?!

i also have not just eaten hint of lime tortilla chips and blackberries all week with a side of homemade oatmeal cookies... it can't possibly be the only thing that has sounded good to my tummy this week, i am totally concerned about eating a well-balanced diet :)

okay, now that i have cleared my mama conscience and you hopefully have had a good laugh :) i'm going to go make brownies and start dinner, 'P' has a double-header tonight at the courts so early dinner :)

have a blessed evening and come back tomorrow for my thoughts on disciplining our sweet toddler 'K'.... can't wait to hear your thought :)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

forever & ever & ever

the first time i saw him we were sitting at opposite tables in the student union, supposedly studying for our next classes; it was our freshman year of college. as i pretended to struggle with my honors level trigonomtery just so i'd look cute chewing on my pencil & peeking at him out of the corner of my eye, i would catch him looking at me and smiling.

i can't explain it unless it has happened to you: that one your were meant for, that person that God created for you... but your heart leaps inside you and your souls connect creating a magnificent spark!

it took 11 months from that day before we ever had our first date (yes i remember our first date on December 14th!) and we made many mistakes to cause our relationship undue heartache after, but God was faithful to keep calling us back to Him....

i am immensely blessed to share my life with such an amazing man, my Man!! his wit and teasing is still very attractive to me, it keeps me on my toes; i adore his huge heart for God, for me & for our kiddos

at the end of each day when he comes in the door he wraps his strong arms all the way around me, kisses me & asks the loaded question "so how was your day?" knowing that its never a short answer and i can talk to him for 18 minutes straight about all my experiences & thoughts & he listens attentively with a smile on his face (because he's internally laughing that i can turn that simple question into a non-stop & lengthy response :); i am overflowing with pride for him & how hard he works to take care of our family; he is rational & very smart while that contrasts with my dreamy & imaginative tendancies; he is the leader of our family, our home, and i'd follow him anywhere!

honey, you are my dream man! this marriage we have is a wonderful & beautiful symphony that only God could create... and i give the next 60 years to Him to conduct for us and i trust that He will lead us to even greater places & deeper love for one another

i'm yours forever & ever & ever... happy anniversary!!

Monday, April 12, 2010

party on!!

birthday weekends are extraordinarily fun but completely exhausting.

our oldest kiddo, Master 'P', is now 12 years old... how is that even possible?! i'm really old enough to have a 12 year son?! in baby 'K's words "no way!!"

how could he be 12 when i was just holding him in my arms and patting him to sleep... he used to need me to read him stories, to help him brush his teeth, hold his little hand to cross the street... and now? well not so much.

i know, i know, this is the natural course of growing into being a teenager and eventually into an adult

by God's beautiful grace, P is growing into an awesome young man!!

his sense of humor is witty & on all the time, he is always on the move: riding his rip-stick or bike, he always has a basketball under one arm or is dribbling wherever he goes, he is sensitive to the needs of others and always seems to know when his sister & brother need some attention, he is totally okay being by himself but loves to entertain a crowd with a joke, he is a fan of KJ52 and Skillet, addicted to his PSP, a lover of the Lord, learning his place & purpose, he still gives me hugs and tells me he loves me

i want so much for him...

i mostly pray that he follows God with all that is in him, wherever it takes him, as long as he walks the path blazed by Jesus

while i am thoroughly exhausted after celebrating with his friends at Incredible Pizza (we were there for 3 hours and trust me 'K' was truly mad when i pryed him out of the game room), the next day spent playing on his new mountain bike, then all our family over for a barbeque (whew!! fun but tired...) and some yummy ice cream cake!! and a little Guitar Hero showdown :), it is completely worth it to celebrate that amazing day i became a very blessed mama 12 years ago...

happy birthday kiddo!! the best is yet to come... and i can't wait!!

Not Me! Monday

are you hiding the dirty clothes in the closet because you haven't had time to do laundry? are your children writing "clean me" on the coffee table & tv because the art of dusting as escaped your to-do list? well, get over it!!! Not Me! Monday was the splendid creation of MckMama, as a way to air our imperfections, have ourselves a good belly laugh and know that we are not alone :)

what have i not done this week..... hhhhmmmm.... well,

i did not babysit for a friend of mine this week, her cutie-pie 6month girlie!!, and when cutie babe needed a quiet place to nap, i did not lay her down in our walk-in closet & shut the door to create the perfect napping oasis... nope! i am well aware that closets are totally inappropriate places for sweet little ones to nap.... (i kinda want to crawl in there and close the door right now... aaaahhh sweet sleep)

while grocery shopping on friday afternoon, in an attempt to have a quick run through the supercenter before i had to pick 'P' up from school (his birthday was friday!!! a birthday post coming later today too!!!), my youngest most perfect toddlet did not decide to have a complete meltdown multiple times throughout the store. he is the picture of obedience!! he certainly did not run the opposite direction down the aisle when i sweetly called out to him, nope, 'K' is the model child.

i also would never ever ever just pulled him along by his foot as i stood in the checkout line, NEVER!! he would not throw himself to the disgusting floor, screaming "no, no, no, i don't wanna walk!".... i also did not get judgemental looks from other shoppers to which i responded "i know! i would be ashamed too if i were acting like that!" i am aware that the fellow shopper was insinuating that i should be ashamed, but just couldn't give her the satisfaction.... if this whole thing had happened :)

i am so glad you came by today!! link up your own Not Me! at MckMama's blog so i can check out your perfect week too!!!

later today is the birthday post for Master P.... pictures and all!!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

He knew about me...

the week leading up to Easter i spent time reading in the Gospels (per my pastor's suggestion, bless the Lord for Him!), reading about the week leading up to the Ultimate Sacrifice on my behalf. reliving those last days of Jesus' teaching in Jerusalem, asking God for a new perspective on these verses i have read many times.

i began reading in Matthew 21 and John 12 about Jesus' royal welcome into Jerusalem and the thousands of people gathered at the entrance into town, cheering the King, crying out "Hosanna in Highest heaven!"

wow!! how amazing would that have been to welcome in the Savior of the world, in person?! the Christ! our Redeemer!

even though i wasn't standing among the crowd as Jesus rode into town on the back of a donkey, He knew me...

this hit me like a ton of bricks last week and stuck with me each day as i read over the verses of the Last Supper, the arrest at Gethsemane, the interrogation in front of Caiaphas, the trial before Pilate, as i struggled through the recount of His beating, the carrying of MY cross to Golgotha, the jeers & taunting at His feet as He hung for all eternity's sins, as He spoke His last words before He died for ME... He knew about ME!

Jesus fufilled the Father's will for my disgusting & gross sin... His love for me is a great mystery and totally beyond my ability to understand!

He knew ME... He already knew my name, my hair color, when i was to be born, He knew that i would enter into this beautiful world a cute (that's what my momma says) little bundle of joy but that i was a horrible sinner that would need His sacrifice of blood & righteousness to cover my sins.

if i had to stand trial simply based on my own merits, whoa!! i don't even want to know the sentence for my punishment! i deserved a severe judgement for what i've done and for what i will mostly likely do....

but He knew me...

so because His blood redeems me, because i threw myself at His feet many years ago & confessed what a terrible sinner i was & i surrendered all i am to His will. He loves me so much, more than i could ever earn, more than i will ever know... He knew what He could do with a softened and willing heart.

i broke my heart all over again to read about all those people who had just welcomed Jesus into town that now were screaming for His crucifixtion, not that i am any different, i had cheered His praises and condemned later with my actions...

but He rose again, defeated the grave, God is ALIVE!!

He did it for me.... but He also did it for you!!

it is amazing, breath-taking, miraculous, life-changing, a gift.... it was love

thank you Jesus for thinking of me!!!

Friday, April 2, 2010

i love my girlie

i love this lil' girlie with all that is in me...

i love to sneak up to her bedroom door to listen to her teaching her dollies and the care with which she reads each story.... practicing for her future mothering duties

i love that she comes up to me regularly and whispers "i just feel like hugging you all the time" and i would hold her for all time it i could

i love her creativity and flare for design.... everything in her world is pretty!

i adore that she still sits and makes me & daddy homemade cards, each one specially designed, every brush stroke and sticker has meaning & passion behind it

i see her desire growing to develop her skills: be it playing the piano better or being able to dribble the ball just a little longer than last time

i memorize the moments when her eyes light up because big brother asked her to hang out with him... her desire to be his best friend & confidant is tangible.... she looks up to him

i gush over the times i hear her singing to her baby brother as they lay down to sleep, their beds just 4 feet apart... my heart leaps when i see him search for her hand as we walk to the park, he knows she'll lead him safely to the swings

i am a puddle after i witness a 'moment' between daddy and girlie, when i realize how much she loves her daddy, that he is the man in her life, he is her world... he wouldn't have it any other way, she is everything he never knew he wanted and could never live without...

i crumble when i see my faults in her, we are mirror personalities... i long to protect her from her own self doubt, her perfectionism, her shyness, her anger, her laziness... i pray harder to a great God that has, is and will give me wisdom to shape her into something a million times better that i could ever hope to be

i want the world for her

i pray that she always knows she is my love, my heart, my best friend... her beauty is staggering and her soul is even more breath-taking

she is a child of God, a daughter of the Most High King... her spirit to love Jesus is amazing and i am devoted to planting her in furtile soil so she may grow may in Christ each day

what an honor to mother a daughter... to be hand she holds for support, the arms she clings to for comfort & love, the eyes that she looks to for reassurance....

i love her so deeply that my lil' girlie will never comprehend... until one day she has the privilege to usher in a girl of her own and then she will feel the rush, the love, the pride, the beauty...