Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Sweet Pea's Top Ten Toys

Top Ten "Toys" That Are Better Than Items Truly Meant for Babies:

1. Jake - What's better than an adoring Golden Retriever?  Fur to pull, paws to suck on, eyeballs to poke!

2. Pens - Mommy's busy grading schoolwork, while Sweet Pea's busy getting Mommy's pen. 

3. Keys - Mommy's busy bargain shopping, while Sweet Pea's focused on digging the keys out from inside Mommy's fuzzy scarf and putting them where they "should" be, in Sweet Pea's mouth!

4. Wash Basket - A colorful piano, linkadoos and taggie rattles are all left behind for the amazingness of a Wash Basket.  What a remarkable invention!

5. Furniture - The world's largest teething toys.

6. Crinkly Wrappers - Sweet Pea takes our Thou Shalt Not Litter law seriously... except the offending litter, goes straight to the mouth!

7. Watch - It's shiny.  It feels good on the gums.  Deal sealed as baby toy. 

8. Tablecloth - Would Mommy just LOVE to hold her plate in her lap instead of on the table?  Sweet Pea thinks so.  Yank.  Done.

9. Measuring Cups - Mommy flatters herself that this is really the love all things culinary beginning in little Sweet Pea.  It worked for Skeeter, Scooter and Skipper, didn't it?!

10. Paper - Schoolwork, bills, scrap paper, books, it doesn't matter... fascinating and definitely tasty!

And with only 56 days to Christmas, we'll buy her snazzy new toys and she'll play with the wrapping paper I'm sure!  Perhaps, we should rethink this...

Monday, October 28, 2013

Halloween & Tact

Let's start with the fact that I love the holidays.  And by that, I mean Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's.  I mean, I can definitely celebrate

- giving thanks
- rejoicing over Christ's birth
- giving to others
and
- new beginnings!

But, I just can't find anything good to celebrate in Halloween.  (I can say that without even going into the awful history and traditions of Halloween.)  For a Christian, a follower of Jesus, the One Who came that we could have life abundantly, I just cannot love a holiday that is all about

death,
witches,
spells,
goblins
and ghosts. 

I just don't get the obsession with Halloween.  And, I'm SO sick of it.  Even my daughters are like, "Why would you do that?"  They were referring to the fake graveyard set up in somebody's yard.  Death and darkness are nothing worth celebrating.  Death is a reality, not a joke.  I can't find anything good to celebrate in Halloween.  But, aside from you all who are listening to my thoughts on the matter, I say very little about it.  It really doesn't come up a lot in our daily lives.  Sometimes, random people in Walmart or the doctor at the Blossoms' well-checkups will say, "So, what are you going to be for Halloween?"  Most people don't really care all that much.  It's just a standard ice-breaker, as common as what is Santa bringing you for Christmas?  And, I try to model tact for my Blossoms.  Those folks don't need an eloquent theological response.  In fact, that's usually a turn-off triggering the gag reflux for them.  I usually go with, "Oh, we're not big Halloween people."  Sometimes people ask why.  They may really want to know.  Then, I realize that there's genuine interest there and I'm free (and ready) to respond.  The Word does say to be ready to give an answer. 

So yeah,

We're not big Halloween people. 

Friday, October 25, 2013

Thoughts on Where the Blossoms are at

Sweet Pea is thriving... she sprouted two teeth over the weekend and has started crawling.  She's everyone's baby doll.  Her smiles and giggles are like gold to us.  The Blossoms literally argue over who gets to hold her first in the morning.  She really is the main attraction. 

Skipper's latest kick cracks me up.  She was learning her address and a little geography too.  The result: Daddy brought her M&Ms home, to which she replied, "You're da best Daddy in A-mair-I-cuhhhh!"  And now that's the way she shows her affection.  "Mommy, you're the nicest Mommy in America..."  (Balm to Mommy's soul, considering her other experience)  "Sweet Pea is the nicest sister in America..."  She emphasizes each syllable in a way that only a 3 year old can with those little chipmunk cheeks and rosebud mouth.  Bliss.  (stifling giggles)

Scooter is blossoming into this willing, industrious helper that fills up Mommy's love bank by choosing to dustbust under the couch cushions out of the blue.  The fact that she realized she'd get a prize from the prize basket may have had something to do with it.  Suddenly, Mommy looks around and sees bookshelves extra tidy, cupboards ship-shape and other such wonders occurring.  It makes Mommy want to visit the dollar store to fill the prize basket with trinkets galore... actually, I did have to make a limit of one prize, per day, per contestant.  But, it's had a wonderful effect toward more voluntary excellence in our home.  And, Scooter seems to respond very well.

Skeeter has been interested in 4-H.  Since Mommy & Daddy have finally convinced her that a horse isn't happening any time soon, she's rerouted her enthusiasm to RABBITS.  She's working on a research paper on Raising Rabbits.  We all get to hear about it.  All day.  Every conversation.  Each and every breath... with a gleam in her eyes.  Daddy says she must have Mommy's drive.  I like that, (Thank you, Daddy for that compliment) but it is interesting to see your own traits in your children.  It can also be exhausting.  I think it's safe to say that she's learning about rabbits though.  Mission accomplished.

What a beautiful, diverse life this is... changing... growing... evolving... Thank God for the grace to embrace it and keep pluggin' away. 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Cannon Ball... Thud.

THUD.

"Scooter, please do not cannon ball into the tub." 

(Apparently, the rare bath is a treat and required some form of celebratory entrance into the bathtub.)

Well, at least, nobody was hurt.  (Pardon the Ernest Goes to Camp reference.)

Monday, October 21, 2013

Struggling with Nice

Speaking of "Being Real" (see previous post), I had a Mommy Date with Skipper the other day.  Daddy had taken the "big Blossoms" on a bike ride, that was too long for the "little Blossoms" to participate.  So, the day was spent as a Daddy date for the big Blossoms and a Mommy date for the little Blossoms. 

Skipper got to paint her nails.  All.  By.  Herself.  I don't like messes.  And, it is fun to paint little girlies' toenails, (it's a perk of having all girlies) so I usually do the painting, but Skipper is an independent fanatic.  She LOVES to do things by herself.  She'd rather do something all wrong, all by herself, than do it right, with help.  I have to remind myself that this is actually a wonderful trait.  Anyway, so Skipper got to paint her own toenails as many times as she wanted.  She also shared a Brownie In a Mug with Mommy.  And, I can't even remember what else we did for our Mommy date.  Oh yes, I looked her in the eyes and listened to every story and rabbit trail she invented.  She looked up and said, "Why you being so nice to me today, Mommy?" 

Pain. 
Really.

I like to probe for the truth behind the Blossoms' words.  They rarely say things that don't mean something. 

"Isn't Mommy nice to you other days?" 

"No." 

I separated the 3 year old truth from the other truth.  When Mommy says, "No" and doesn't let her jump on the couch or pester Sweet Pea to tears, Skipper doesn't think I'm very nice.  I understand that. She can't see the long haul that I see.  That she has to learn boundaries.  That she has to understand authority.  But, behind that, I could see her point.  Mommy had been struggling with anger and patience.  A firm voice, but a nice voice (not that get-out-of-my-face-I-can't-take-anymore-whining voice)... more saying yes to what I can say yes to.  Yes, it hurt to hear that from our little Blossom, but I tried to take it like a woman.  I tried to listen to the voice of God, speaking through our child.  May His Holy Spirit work real change in my heart and daily interactions with the girlies.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Is Blogging Ever Real?

Is Blogging ever real?  Ever?  I was wondering this.  In one way, you're getting info straight from the horse's mouth.  But, on the internet, a lot of folks can be whatever they want to be, just by fancy words and nice pics.  And you don't ever have to see the dirty, yucky home stuff that we'd all like to hide.  As I was sweeping the floor, I was thinking of my commitment to never manufacture this Super Woman/Perfect Life fa├žade.  It's never been my goal to radiate a sort of perfection here.  After all, I will answer to God one day for the words I speak and the words I write.  I thought that many people's blogs would be much more accurate if someone else blogged about them.  Then, I wondered, what others might blog about me. 

Here's what I would want someone else to blog about me and our life here at home:
- She really loves God.
- She truly loves her husband.
- She definitely loves those Blossoms and she works perseveringly to train them up God's way.
- She is committed to an excellent schooling experience.
- She keeps her house tidy for real. 

In the end, what I really want to hear about me is,

"Well done, you good and faithful servant."

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Will They Turn Into Their Mother?

On Monday, I shared my happy thoughts of daily life here.  My mind took it a step more.  I'm turning into my mother - my habits, my ideals, my convictions and my "happinesses." 

What will the Blossoms be like if they turn into me? 

What habits will they grow into?  What convictions will be theirs? 

It's another, further call to holiness.  It's true; I can't manufacture a holiness, so they grow up and be Godly.  I'd only pass on hypocrisy.  But, it's something to think on as the Lord searches my heart and shines His light on the things that need to change. 

Monday, October 14, 2013

I'm Turning Into My Mother

I sit in the dim morning stillness in my bed and I read the Word. 

I'm turning into my mother.

I bake up a coffee-cake on a chilly morning, to warm and cozy the kitchen. 
Then, I sit contented with our Blossoms around the breakfast table and chit-chat.

I'm turning into my mother.

I pass the dining room table and can't resist the Thomas Kinkade puzzle in process on it. 

I'm turning into my mother...

It's my childhood, being repeated and it's beautiful.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Noise is Treasure OR Love the Racket in your Nest


I love the new happy noise that we have here in our house.  I'm reminded of a sermon I once listened to by R.G. Kelly from Liberty Faith Church.  (Sadly, I was unable to find it online.)  It was called, "Treasure in the House of the Righteous" and referred to Proverbs 15:6,

"In the house of the righteous is much treasure:
but in the revenues of the wicked is trouble."

Even the noise here is a treasure... signs of little children, learning skills, loving life and singing out in joy.  Hearing Skeeter play "Lavendar's Blue" takes me back to my childhood when my sister was learning that very melody.  We sang that and other tunes together, just as Scooter and Skeeter sing together over the piano.  Right now, Skeeter's playing "London Bridge."  We've learned to recognize the tune of "Go to Sleep, Little Baby," a tune that Skeeter wrote and taught Scooter to play.  I'm reveling every day in the beauty of their childhoods.  It's the treasure in this house.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Glamor and Grammar

"No Scooter, you may not wear sunglasses
while writing your field trip journal entry."

Monday, October 7, 2013

Mommies Must Adapt!

In this post, I wrote to keep trying.  A Mommy cannot give up on the things that are important to her, just because what she is currently doing, isn't working.  I was referring to things like devotions with children, teaching them to work, having a tidy home, etc.  In our own lives, the itty, bitty baby Sweet Pea stage is a new season.  And, what worked in the previous season, isn't necessarily working in this season.  Devotions with the Blossoms are one of those things.  We were doing devotions together at breakfast.  Right now, Sweet Pea wants to nurse at breakfast time.  (Cuz, hello, people getting food, means Sweet Pea should be getting food, right?  It's part of the baby code!)  So, juggling breakfast, devotions and Sweet Pea just wasn't working.  Every morning, though, the Blossoms dive into my bed for a little cuddling with me and Sweet Pea.  So, we've adapted, devotions are happening before we ever leave this end of the house.  And, it's working for us.  We're back to being consistent with Blossoms' devotions.  That's VERY important to me.  I can't give up on something.  I MUST ADAPT.  And, I must adapt quickly.  I've said it before, dry seasons and discouragement have often come because I fail to adapt quickly.  ADAPT, don't give up.  ADAPT.  Change.  Tweak.  Do what it takes to perform the things that are important.  The eternal reward makes it all worthwhile.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Helping Children with Grammar

I was using the song, "Ain't it grand to be a Christian" to teach Skipper the days of the week...

"Ain't it grand to love your sister, ain't it grand?
Ain't it grand to love your sister, ain't it grand?
On Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday
AND ALL DAY SUNDAY!
Ain't it grand to love your sister?"

Skeeter quickly pointed out that I told them not to use the word "ain't."  Good point, Skeeter.  :)  Mommy was caught. 

Anyway, now that the Blossoms are learning correct grammar, Skeeter often says to me, "Mommy, that was what sounded right!"  Usually she has the correct answer.  The importance of speaking correctly has become very obvious to me.  Regardless of what her textbooks say, she is answering the questions based on what "sounds right."  Somewhere, deep inside her brain, are all the words and sentence structures we've spoken to her... and that's what helps her figure out what sounds right. 

I can take this whole thing a step further.  I can preach and teach Christianity all I want, but what I do to her and model to her every day of her life will be what she falls back on.  It will be what "sounds right."   God give me grace to be the model You've called me to be.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

On Thankfulness and Too Many Cereal Choices

My sister and I were roommates back in our Bible College days.  And, we both loved cereal.  No joke, we had what we called, "A Cereal Buffet."  On any given day, there were 10 boxes of cereal to choose from for breakfast.  And, we didn't believe in finishing a box, to open a new box.  They all eventually got eaten.  I've carried on this delightful college tradition.  But it went awry this morning!  When Skipper got the last of the precious Frosted Flakes... Two Blossoms were on the verge of tears... They scanned the FIVE (no exaggeration) open boxes of cereal and said, "There's nothing else to eat!"  Mommy almost melted down... in a righteously indignant sort of way. 

"There are children in other countries who are thankful for a bowl of OLD, MOLDY rice.  I think you can pick something to eat out of these FIVE remaining boxes of cereal!" 

I think we'll be working on thankfulness in the coming weeks.