Monday, April 30, 2007


I was just feeling a little bored with old template and thought I'd try something new, something bold! Enjoy!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Temper Tantrum

You wouldn't know it if you were a fly on the wall now, but a mere hour ago our house fell victim to a horrendous toddler temper tantrum.

As I sat feeding Michael in the big comfy chair, Andrew began to get upset that I couldn't get something he wanted right then. He proceeded to bob Michael on the head. When I told him not to hit, his attempts at hitting, grabbing and pushing both Michael and me escalated. Michael got upset, woke up and spit up. While I was attempting to calm Michael down and get him happy enough that I could set him down, Andrew's tantrum got worse and worse. Once I was able to quiet Michael, I set to work to calm Andrew - at which point I discovered a big messy Andrew diaper. This needed immediate attention. That is certainly not what he wanted, but, hey, he was already upset, so why not? It was a very difficult diaper change and probably one of the longest recorded in history. All the while my frustration is getting higher and higher. I could feel my teeth clenching. (Side note: Once a long time ago I saw on Oprah that we all have some sort of physical sign that tells us we are about to explode emotionally. Mine is teeth clenching. If you know these signs you can better keep yourself in check. It really works if you listen to yourself.) I had to make real conscious decisions minute by minute to stay calm. Once we had finished Andrew was so upset, he couldn't calm down and by this time Michael was also crying again. I was having no luck comforting Andrew in my lap, so I got up to pick up Michael. I went to sit on the stairs to try and comfort them both. Michael was easier to calm. Andrew was still so upset. I felt as though I was not going to make it out of this temper tantrum without throwing one of my own. Thankfully I had just been reading Danielle Bean's new book and had a fresh perspective and resolve to persevere. I did. Thankfully the garbage truck was driving by just about then and I was able to distract Andrew at the window. I don't know why it happened. He is kind of tired and a little sick - so that might be it. No matter, I think God was just testing me out after reading all that wonderful encouragement from Danielle.

I made it through. And I feel different. Different than I normally would after an episode like this. This time I was able to resist the urge to break down and react in anger and frustration. As a result, I don't feel like a horrible Mommy afterwards and it was much easier to return to normal after the storm subsided. I don't have anyone to apologize to this time. I am not sweating and wiping tears from my eyes, or anyone else's for that matter. The tantrum is but a memory and we can move on.

Thank you Lord for hearing my prayers as I battled and for inspiring me to be the mother I really want to be. And thank you Danielle (and Michele - bringing me your copy to borrow yesterday couldn't have proved to be more useful!)

Wednesday, April 18, 2007


I have noticed that sometimes God has the knack of sending his messages in the oddest ways. This morning did not get off to a great start. Some of us were involved in a period of fussing, crying and general unhappiness (I will not reveal names). Things did clear up and we are having a pretty good day despite the start up.

The children, while getting dressed this morning, were listening to one of their favorite CDs of Bible memory verse songs. I love these too. I have learned much via these catchy tunes.

As a result of this listening session, Jacob has been singing several verses. One in particular has been repeated more than the others. "Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good." Over and over and over and over again.

OK, Lord, I am listening and I am trying.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Michael again!

I know I keep posting photos of Michael smiling. But I just can't get enough of his bright little grin and how readily he offers it the moment I look at him. I am daily struck by the wonder of this little person I am so happy to know. I just figured you can't get enough of him either.

Someone check my temperature!

Those of you who know me in the flesh will not be surprised to hear me admit this: I am a bit of a neat freak! I like order. Dust - fine. Soap scum - I can hack it. Disorder - aaaaaaah! I do not function well in it on a daily basis.

Now, those of you who know me in the flesh will come running to my doorstep to deliver chicken soup and the like once I relay what just happened.

I was in the den picking up the Hullabuloo game for the 20th time today and scraping up a very large pile of K'nex. They have had so much fun today! I smiled as I gathered. In amongst the K'nex, I noticed a toy knight. Well, you see, I am a big believer in toys having homes and toys returning to their rightful homes at the end of the day. I believe it fosters a greater sense of "Mommy sanity" the following day as the little people I know and love are not required to agonize over a very much needed misplaced toy. Because, you see, they always need that toy RIGHT then.

Well, tonight I did the unspeakable. I looked at the pile of K'nex. I looked at that little toy knight with his sword raised high. I thought about the knight's home in a bucket all the way upstairs. Then I scooped up the last handful of K'nex and the knight and threw them all in the bucket. I snapped the lid and went on my way. Job done!

Oh, the horrors!

Friday, April 13, 2007

A meme about mymy children

Thanks Kris for tagging me! This is a neat meme, I think, because it forces me to sit down and think about my kids and all their wonderful qualities and to be thankful for them all at the same time.

Age: 6 years 3 months
Favorite colors: Green
Favorite foods: Anything with sugar, cheeseburgers, apples, pasta/noodles
Favorite things to do: READ! Create things from scraps of stuff, ride his bike and scooter, color and draw
Favorite sports: Golf
Favorite toys: Games, art supplies, Cars cars
Favorite TV show: Signing Time (but we really don't watch TV shows)
Favorite Movie: 101 Dalmatians
Favorite Read-Aloud Books: ANYTHING Mom sits down with.
Favorite Reading Books: Science books, Nancy Drew, Snoopy, Childcraft Encyclopedias
Things to Remember: I am eager and excited about many things. I'm a talker. My laugh is contagious. I love to create - whether it is crayons and paper or rubber tubing and a juice can lid. I spend most of my days reading books. Several times a day he will be heard saying, "I LOVE books." My sister doesn't always do what I want her to, but even if I don't realize it, she is my best buddy and we have fun playing together. When Andrew was born, I couldn't get enough of him. Now I feel the same way about Michael. I am a bibliophile!
Age: 4 years 1 month
Favorite colors: PINK, PINK, PINK
Favorite foods: Chicken nuggets, olives, pickles, prunes, orange juice
Favorite things to do: Read, play with stuffed animals, write ABCs, math workbook, girl things
Favorite sports: Ballet
Favorite toys: MONKEY, princess dolls, stuffed animals, Bitty Baby, Cars cars
Favorite TV show: ANgelina Ballerina
Favorite Movie: Cars
Favorite Read-Aloud Books: ANYTHING Mom sits down with.
Favorite Reading Books: Angelina Ballerina, Curious George, Madeline, religious books
Things to Remember: I am talkative and bright, yet shy and quiet at times. I absolutley love going to our homeschool co-op. It is so much fun when I get to have girl outings with Mommy. I am very good at sign language and Spanish vocabulary. I can stand on my toes in my ballet slippers like you wouldn't believe. Monkey is my best buddy - we go everywhere together. I scream when I get frustrated and upset, but I am lovely little lady with a precious, sweet spirit and a charming smile. I am a Princess!
Age: 1 year 10 months
Favorite colors: Orange is the first color I learned to identify
Favorite foods: Candy, chicken, chips, corn, pizza
Favorite things to do: Whatever Jacob and Nicole are doing, vacuum, color and cut, ride my tricycle Favorite sports: Anything involving a ball, especially golf
Favorite toys: Any vacuum, cars, balls, shape sorter, flashlights
Favorite TV show: Not interested in TV whatsoever
Favorite Movie: Not much interested in movies either
Favorite Read-Aloud Books: Musical books, Baby Colors, Find the Duck
Things to Remember: I am the sweetest and cuddliest boy, but quite the rough and tough kid as well. I can throw and hit balls like a pro. I am quite cheerful and I make my whole family laugh. I love to get laughs. My speech is really taking off right now. I love my baby brother Michael to death!!!! I have the softest skin anyone has ever felt. No one has ever ridden a tricycle with his feet faster than I can. I am a wonder kid!
Not much to say here except that I am an absolutely wonderful, perfect, adorable, sweet, well-loved baby!

What Jacob learned at Co-op today

When his daddy got home, Jacob was telling him what he learned in his weather class today.

Brian: So, what is lightning?

Jacob: It's electricity. It's when the electrons and the croutons rub together.

And to think all these years I had it wrong!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007


It's blurry, but way too cute - had to share it!!!
Michael at 6 weeks

The Great Adventure?

All right. Enough adventure already. I would really appreciate an uneventful day tomorrow, but at the same time, part of me says, "Bring it on!!!!!"

The past two days have had some interesting adventures:

Monday. 9 a.m.
Nicole skips from the kitchen to the den and skips through the pile of dirty sheets and towels. She falls and hits herself on the wooden end table. I ran faster than I knew I could to scoop her up. Finally, I saw her injury. She had hit her earlobe on the corner of the table. It split the front open and pierced it through to the back AND made a small cut on her neck behind. Brian came home to take her to the ER and they were able to glue her back together again. They gave her lime sherbet and graham crackers, let her watch PBS and she came home in cheerful spirits.

Tuesday. 11 a.m.
I opened the back door to the patio to check on the plants and let in a little fresh air. I also let in a GIANT bumblebee. I am not exaggerating - at least 3/4" long and fat as all get out. GIANT bumblebee. Now, mind you, I was a bit panicky and edgy after a mortal duel with a wasp just last week - he got in the same back door. He flew to the kitchen window and I was able to trap him in the blinds (my trick). But there was no way I could smash this sucker without completely destroying the blinds - he was so huge. I had already mangled the blinds in the kids' room in my wasp battle (I did win). I did the best I could to keep him from escaping. In between frantic calls to Brian, I was able to unlock the window from the inside and raise from the outside. I prayed he would find his way out. He did. To the kitchen side of the blinds!!!!! But he desperately wanted back in the blinds and finally found his way back in - poor confused bee. After a while I didn't hear him anymore - he had found his way to freedom. Praise God! I released the children from their room upstairs and sat down to breathe and wipe the dripping sweat from every part of my body.

After all this, I am a bit nervous to see what Wednesday has to hold. Whatever it may be, I believe God is building strengths in me I didn't know I possessed.

Happy Wednesday!

Monday, April 09, 2007

A Happy Easter

Coloring Easter eggs on Holy Saturday afternoon
Someone in the background seems to be sleeping through this activity
Discovering their Easter Bunny baskets in the morning.
Jacob finds lots of hidden eggs.
Andrew held his half eaten chocolate rabbit in one hand while hunting eggs with the other one.
The older kids show Michael his Easter treats.Our Easter family photo.My dad getting some smiles from little Michael.
Nicole gets to do all she REALLY wanted to do on Easter.
She's holding Snowy, my sister's bunny and our mascot for the day!

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Busted Watermelons and Blessings from the Liquor Store

Earlier today the four kids and I went to run an errand. We had a DVD to return to our local Kroger. Quick in. Quick out. Well, sort of. Near the DVD machine was a lovely display of little personal watermelons. The kids were drooling over the delectable melons. So I suggested we get two (they were a two-fer special) to go along with our grilled hamburgers that Brian had requested for dinner. Jacob and Nicole each chose one. As we headed for the checkout, Andrew noticed he was not carrying a melon, so he headed back to choose one of his own. Then he promptly dropped it. It split open. Then Jacob managed to drop his. It split open. With an air of confidence (?) that only a crazy new mother of four could have, we quickly paid for our melons and headed out. Oh, and we were let off the hook for our broken produce. They know us well.

As we caravanned back to the car, the door to the liquor store opened. A man was exiting with his brown paper bag of purchases. "Well, look at that!" he said. I smiled. The conversation continued. "That sure brings back memories. Mine were all just like that," he said with a smile. "I sure wish my wife could see this! Ours were just like this. And we made it through. Thirty-five years last weekend." I congratulated him and asked how many children he had. He said he had four - a girl, a boy, a boy and a girl. How wonderful. I told him as we got in the van, "You know it's a lot of hard work and they keep us busy, but it sure is a lot of fun!" Then he ended by exclaiming, "Yep! We had a ball!" Amen.

For every negative remark and prying question that parents of large(r) families must deal with, there are the good and positive ones that come our. I wasn't feeling terribly in need of encouragement at that moment, but what a way to brighten my day! Thank you guardian angel! Chalk one up to the good guys!

Happy Birthday Handsome!

Yep! Today is your birthday. And what a special day it is! For you. For me. For the little people who love you. Life is brighter because you were born. I can't imagine my world without you! And to think God created you for me. He prepared you all those years for you to be here, right now, doing exactly what you are doing. I am so proud of the man you are. I love you with all my heart!

Last June on our trip to Arkansas! The smile hasn't changed a bit!

4 months

5 months

3 1/2 years

8 years