Friday, January 29, 2010

That it may impart grace.

"She's got three children and she's about to issue another!" Thought the entire crowd at Walmart as if I had seven children under the age of 4 and were about to give birth to triplets right there on the floor. Honestly, it's four children people, not a reality show! I've heard so many one-liners the past few months, now that the belly is out there. On the tame side: "Wow! You sure do have your hands full." One the bold, brazen and someone-put-a-muzzle-on-that-woman side: "Haven't you figured out what causes that?"

I'm a pretty laid back person. I'm not easily offended and don't get riled up about things. This subject has been pushed to the forefront of my mind due to a couple of things (other than the constant flow of comments from complete strangers who feel the need to pass judgement on me so freely and openly): as usual, I read another blogger mom-of-four who is dealing with this issue; and I saw a movie about motherhood (but I'll address those thoughts in another post).

To address the first point: why do people think they're opinions and their judgements should always be expressed? Obviously they think that those of us who don't share their opinions and don't posses such "good judgement" would benefit from their wisdom and that we are encouraged by their dirty looks and comments. Well, they're wrong. And, it's not like I was dragging three fit-throwing, snotty, ratty-haired, foul-mouthed children through the store. Baby girl, sat happily in the basket and the big boys were holding hands and walking beside me while they jabbered quietly to each other about super heroes or something. I wasn't sweating or breathing hard or struggling in any way to get my children and our purchases through the store. And even if I were, dirty looks and comments are less than helpful.

These tend to happen whether your a mother of one "It must be nice to have so much free time on your hands,"!?!? or unmarried at 31, or married for seven years with no children, or home schooling, or working or not working or long-haired or short-haired or ... the never-ending list goes on and on with reasons others can judge you because you're not like them.

My husband's funny answer to rude comments is, "I always say nice things about you." Ha ha. In truth, there's not a whole lot I can say. I generally smile and keep going if at all possible. I think of the witty retorts later and I'm glad I didn't come up with them in the moment - no need to incite violence - ha! But for myself I can strive to speak encouragement to others rather than judgement of their choices or the life that has been dealt them.

"Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers." Eph 4:29

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Closet Space

I just read a post on organizing your wardrobe. Tips like: only keep clothes that currently fit, and store kids' clothes clearly labeled in boxes.

I'm in a situation that I currently can't stand! But what's to be done? I'm 6 months pregnant so my maternity clothes, including the ones I'll eventually (and sadly) grow into, are crammed into my husband's closet. My after pregnancy clothes are stored in a box in the garage along with the baby girl clothes. My REAL clothes are in the coat closet because I had to move them out of the big sister's closet to make room for the little sister. At some point we will either stop having babies or get another closet!

At least we have clothes, right?!

It's 10 pm and David just went out to get me some ice cream. I didn't say, "Honey, I really need you to go get me some ice cream." This is how great my husband is. All I said was, "Man, ice cream really sounds good." And, he's sharing his closet with me. :)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Date Night

The dinner slot on my meal plan for today says, "date"!!! We try to plan these pretty regularly, but things get busy and kids get sick and babysitters are generally teenagers with other things going. Today David is taking me to my doctor's appointment and then out for some time together before the ice and snow hit tomorrow while my mom watches the kiddos. (Last week it was in the 60's and I cleaned out the flower beds only to discover my daffodils blooming! This week = snow and ice, of course!).

Our dates generally involve whatever is relaxing to me. David is out and about all the time and gets to eat out on a pretty regular basis. I get my fill of PB&J and leftovers from dinner, so eating out is special to me, plus I don't have to cook or clean up. I could give or take movie theaters. As a large, pregnant woman, my own home is much more comfortable for movie watching (and pausing so I can go visit the lady's room when Ellie Peaches gets to dancing!).

We try to be pretty efficient with coupons and discounts and splitting meals, but on the other hand, it's our special time out and it's easy to lean toward indulging. At least today, they'll weigh and measure me before I indulge :) Any favorite spots or activities for your dates? Leave me a comment with your fabulous ideas and suggestions!

A picture update:
Beautiful blue eyes squinting at the flash.

The boys are way into playing "chase" with daddy. For some reason it's more exciting when your shirts are pulled over your heads?! I just love the little bellies poking out underneath.

Me and my girls!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Kid Stories

Since Christmas, Alayna has had a slight obsession with Mary and "Joe-fuss." Mary Had a Little Lamb is the new favorite song and she searches the picture Bible for the Christmas story. She has named all her little people Mary and Joe-fuss. Strangely, babies are still babies, but any man with a beard is Jesus and we see one version or another of him every where we go!

Pierce got a Play Mobile pirate movie for Christmas complete with dancing skeletons that sing a song. This is the conversation I overheard a couple of days ago.

Hudson: Pierce, did you know we have skeletons inside our skin?

Pierce shakes his head: I don't have a skeleton in my skin. I just have a bwain in my head.

Hudson grabs Pierce's arm: No, Pierce. You really do have bones. See, there's a bone inside your skin.

Pierce comes to me crying: Mom, Hudson said I have a skeleton in my skin!

No explanation was good enough for Pierce who is still positive that he doesn't have a skeleton. :)

Friday, January 15, 2010


I pulled out the clippers Wednesday to cut the boys hair. They both started whining and even crying. "Boys, what's the deal?" I said, "It's just a little haircut!" They both, at the same time, put their hands on their foreheads and pulled their hair back and exclaimed, "We don't want you to cut us bald like you do daddy's hair!" They have only seen my cut David's hair a couple of times because we usually do it after they're in bed. They were obviously pretty sure I was the one making daddy bald in front! After lots of reassurance and wiping away the tears, they settled down and were both very happy with their haircuts in the end.

Alayna admiring the haircuts - sweet kids.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

When Fly Lady Doesn't Fly

David and I have decided to pick a room every Saturday to clean from top to bottom - reorganizing and fixing whatever needs to be fixed. Last Saturday we did Alayna's room. I cleaned out the closet and made room for all of Adelle's little things. I haven't actually pulled out the baby clothes yet, but there's a spot for them when I do. I washed the drapes and he dusted and cleaned out the vents, etc. I decided I could pick a room for the week to work on as well - it feels like bonus.

I have a pretty good cleaning schedule going that I downloaded from Motivated Moms. I love checking off boxes and keeping my house in order all week long, not just the overwhelming, one fell swoop, all or nothing cleaning frenzy. The schedule I keep now includes meal planning and Bible reading and I LOVE it.

My most hated job in the whole world of housecleaning is the shower, David's shower in particular. We live in an older house (built in the 50's). It's got "character" and I love it, but I despise that shower. First of all, it was part of an add-on. It has very little storage (as is true with our entire house) and poor lighting. The shower is HUGE and there is no light in it at all. The tiles on the floor of the shower are one inch squares. That's a lot of tile and a lot of grout. Ugh! I'm not complaining, just stating the facts. Okay, maybe I am complaining.

I'm supposed to clean the bathtubs and showers on Tuesday's according to my list. Admittedly, I often skip David's shower. I know, bad wife. However, David's bathroom is my "room for the week." With that motivation in my face I did it - I cleaned the shower floor. That was all I could do. I'll do the walls today sometime. My green friends would be so proud too - I used a baking soda and vinegar past to clean to tile and peroxide to clean the grout. After you apply them you just leave them on for a few minutes before applying a little elbow grease. My husband was thrilled.

One other website that has boosted my January to a new level of organization is a blog my friend Christy hooked me up with. Check it out - the whole month of January is on organizing!
If that Motivated Moms link doesn't work just type into your browser

Thursday, January 7, 2010

The Belly

January is the month that class numbers spike at the Y. Snow, ice and frigid temperatures do not keep away those with new year resolutions to exercise and shed the pounds.

So, I walked into class tonight for the first time in four weeks due to sickness and holidays. From week 19-23 the belly has grown quite a bit, but I get to look at it every day. So, it's getting bigger, that's what belly's do that are stretching to accommodate a growing little person.

Anyway, walked into class and heard audible gasps and one girl seriously said, "Wow!" Out loud. To which I replied, "Yes, a pregnant girl is about to teach your class and it's your job to keep up!" Just kidding, but that's what I thought. I just smiled. By the end they were sweating and panting and begging me to stop - not really, but it was a good class and there were several very surprised first-timers who got a good workout from the pregnant girl.

Without further ado, the belly full of Ellie Peaches ;) at 23 weeks.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Good Intentions

I love the New Year because it feels like a fresh start; a new mercy that brings with it new goals, refreshed priorities and good intentions. However, my ambitious endeavors are often side-lined because I have children!

This morning my alarm went off at 6 am. I hoisted my pregnant body out of bed and pulled on my tennis shoes. Mentally and physically prepared to hit the treadmill (not that it's doing me a whole lot of good - someday I'll post a belly shot). In the thirty minutes that I walk (uphill at 4 mph - be impressed!) I read my Bible and work on my memory verses and pray in the quiet of our little back room. It's the perfect start to my day. When I get done I make the coffee and the oatmeal and David's lunch. I feel like I've already accomplished so much. But, back to this morning, 6:08 to be exact, I hear that one word that drives all my plans into the ground. "Maaaaa-maaaaa!" I opened the door to Alayna's room and she holds her arms out to me from the crib. "I hold you," she says. I picked her up and she laid her head down on my shoulder. "Rocky," she says. So, instead of sweating it out on the treadmill and getting a jump start to my day, we rocked and sang and snuggled.

The truth is, man plans his ways, but God directs his steps. Good intentions are what they are even if they never amount to anything. Don't be like the guy who says, tomorrow we'll go to this town or that town and do business and make a profit (James, the Bible). You do not know what a day may bring forth.

I talked to a guy last night from my water aerobics class. He's always had back trouble and it had been bothering him a lot of late. When I asked him how he was feeling last night he said the MRI revealed a tumor on his spine and he was going into surgery the next day. This man just recovered from prostate cancer and has lost three family members in the last year to cancer. You never know what a day may bring forth.

From one extreme to another - God is still in complete control. Wherever you are, in whatever circumstances - whether frustrated because your morning plans were "messed up" by a toddler or something more extreme, rely on the One who is in control.

"It is through problems and failure, weakness and neediness, that you learn to rely on Me. True dependence is not simply asking Me to bless what you have decided to do. It's coming to Me with an open mind and heart, inviting me to plant My desires within you." --Jesus Calling, Sarah Young.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

I'm a mom, that's what I do ...

Pierce got a tool set for Christmas from Mimi and Papa. He was pretty sure he looked awesome.
This is supposedly his "awesome" face.
I said, "Smile with your teeth." Nice.

Cute kid, but seriously, don't tell him that. During Christmas at Grandma's this year one of my cousins told him he was cute and he burst into tears. "I'm not cute! I'm awesome!" Alayna is the cute baby girl, Pierce is the awesome big boy - don't get the two confused. It's about the height of insult for him.

Last night he and Hudson were playing "bad guys." In his deep, scruffy, voice he yelled, "Cwiminals awe on the woose! Wun for your wives!" (Translation: criminals are on the loose, run for your lives!). He keeps me smiling.

Yesterday, Hudson and I played countless games of Go Fish and about a 4-hour game of battleship (thank you Aunt Epsie!). He's at a pretty fun stage because he can read pretty good and his ability to think strategically is pretty sharp.

Alayna plays a new game where she lines up all her babies, wraps them up in blankets and sings songs to them. Most of the time I have no idea what she's singing. Yesterday I made one out. Sadly it was, "Scooby-dooby-do, where are you?!"

We're pretty set on Adelle for baby #4. Pierce would like us to name her Ellie Peaches. Hudson is pushing for Alexandria as a middle name (his middle name is Alexander). While we haven't settled on a middle name yet, I think Ellie is a pretty cute nick name.
I'm a mom, that's what I do. I was at a party in December where I heard a girl say that all her mom ever wanted to be growing up was a mom, and now that the kids are grown, she doesn't know what to do with herself. My own mother has echoed the same thoughts. Maybe most moms are in that boat, especially when you have young children that require so much physical, hands-on energy. Time for things outside of mothering is just not there. So, as I wrote out my schedule and goals for the remainder of this school year and the rest of the year, I put a little thought into who I am and what I want to be now that I'm grown up.

This year will be somewhat monumental (I say that very lightly). We celebrate 6 years of marriage in February. Adelle arrives in May. I turn 30 in September. I'll be home schooling a first grader and a pre-schooler (with two baby girls running around).

Right now, in my "spare time," I teach aerobics, crochet, read, write, etc., among the mommy/wife duties of caring for babies and home and husband. I don't want my priorities of God and family and home to become mediocre efforts because I'm focussed on ME. So, I think, while I plan on keeping things pretty much the same, in the back of my mind I'm going to keep thinking about what I want my life to look like in 10-15 years, when the babies are big and the mommy has a little bit more time on her hands.


About Me

My photo
I am the wife of an awesome man known to his friends as Fred :) The mom of four incredible kids, Hudson, Pierce, Alayna and Adelle. We homeschool and I teach a few classes at our local YMCA. Above all we love and worship Jesus Christ as Lord and this blog is a peek at our journey to raise children who delight in the Lord.