Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Treasure Pondered: Lessons on Grace

We are currently going through the book of John with Treyton for his reading/Bible. He reads several verses and then Tim or I (whoever is reading with him) will exposit the verses with him. Treyton's goal is to read the book of John this year, and he's made good head-way thus far. We've just read to chapter 9. 

IMG 6512

This morning as we were reading in Chapter 8 Jesus was talking to the Jews about who their father was - they claimed it was Abraham, but Jesus said that it was the devil. 

Treyton was a bit more curious about this section and as we began talking we got off on a little "bunny trail" on grace and true salvation. 

We talked about how the Pharisees were the people that Jesus confronted the most. And they were the "best" church people. They were the ones that everyone else looked up to as how to live. They were really good at keeping the rules. They listened really good to their mom's and dad's and the commandments that God had given them. BUT their heart wasn't right. In the end, they cared more about what people thought about them, and LOOKING good, than they did about God and living a life set apart for Him. 

I explained how going to church and being good really means nothing for our salvation. Those things are good and are gifts for us, as His children but they are not WHY we are His children. 

Treyton looked at me and said "I have a really hard time remembering this. I know it. And when I'm bad, it's easy for me to remember how much I need Jesus, but when I'm being good, that's when it's hard." 

I said "Wow, Treyton, I know exactly what you're saying because it's the same for me."

"The Bible is like a reminder book." He said. 

"It really is." I agreed

"The first time you read it, it's like a teaching book, and then if you read it again it's a good reminder."

"That's absolutely right, the BIble is a living book, God made it so that every time we read it, it has the power to change us and teach us. 

"Wow, that's really cool, huh mom?" 

"Yeah, it really is." 

I Traded "Me Time" for "Us Time" and It Was Worth It!

Yesterday, okay this entire week, has stretched me in a lot of ways.

For whatever reason Titus has decided, not only is he not going to sleep at night but that he's going to spend 1-2 hours a night screaming for, what appears to his parents to be, no apparent reason. It's crazy, he is his normal smiley self all day long, but the sun goes down…. 

IMG 6510

If you know me at all, you know I need two things consistently, and without them, you wish you didn't know me. It's really not too much (I don't think) just the basic necessities. 

Food. And Sleep. 

I've never done well without these two things. If I'm hungry, watch out, and if I haven't slept, you might as well just get out the way! My husband and my kids know this. It's one of the reasons why we live in such routine (compared to some) at our house. Because of me. Because I just don't do well without these things. 

So all of this to say, I've been without a good nights sleep for over a week now, I hope someone out there can imagine what this might mean - NIGHTMARE, pure nightmare! Though I must say, the Lord is gracious and His mercies truly are new every morning. As bad as I feel and as close to the breaking point I have been claiming I'm at all week, He has been faithful to provide me enough grace to get through each and every day. Not more. Not less. Just enough. 

IMG 6492

Yesterday, was some what of a hectic day. Not a bad day, just a little crazy, little things consistently throughout the day. By about 4 o'clock all I wanted to do was to curl up and read my book. I wanted a little "me time". 

I deserve that, right? 

"Deserve"…. hmm I don't like the sound of that coming from my thoughts. 

I stopped. 

I looked around. 

Audrey had just waken up from her nap, Alexa and Treyton were down stairs watching 'Super Why', I was bouncing TItus. 

Sigh. 

IMG 6520

My ultimate desire is for my life to be a drink offering poured out every day for my Lord, I want to serve my husband and my children constantly. I want to develop and nurture a relationship with my kids that will last our entire lives, I don't want to miss this time or waste it on "me time" when I should be stewarding "us" time. 

I called downstairs for the two older kids. 

"Hey, you guys want to play a game?" 

Of course, they did! 

We played a game together. 

And it was fun. 

A lot of laughing. 

A lot of cheering. 

A few pouts. 

A few discipline moments. (Life isn't perfect, right?) 

And last night, as we were getting everyone dressed and ready for bed my oldest came to me and said "Mom, thanks for playing a game with us today, I really liked that." 

How many more of these moments will I get? How long will my son want to play board games over watching TV or going out with his friends, or even playing a video game? How long will his dad and I be the people he wants to be with the most? Only the Lord knows. 

I pray I take advantage of every moment I get. I pray that I push through my selfishness to be selfless, if even for a little while, as I'm called to steward these little lives loaned to me. 

Thank you Lord for that moment of clarity, it was better than any book I could have read. 

IMG 6519

 

* Disclosure: I am not against "me time" there are times that, especially stay at home mom's, but all moms really, need and should get some "me time". We must be filled up to be able to pour back out. However, this was not one o those times, and I knew it. 

* Side note: for those of you that care TItus slept GREAT last night. He woke up at 1am and ate, 2am he just needed his pacifier and at 5:30 only his pacifier, 6:30am up for the day. My man is amazing, I didn't hardly wake up at the 2 or 5:30 times, because he handled them. 

Monday, February 25, 2013

A Glimpse Into Our Day

After lunch, Treyton and I were finishing up some school. The girls were playing with baby dolls in the living room. 

All of a sudden Alexa cries "NOOOOO Audrey, that's the baby's potty, not yours!!" I look into the living room and see Audrey with her pants down standing next to the (fake) baby toilet. I run over. There is in fact liquid in the (very small) toilet.

I said "Audrey did you pee in the baby toilet?"

Audrey says "No." 

I look closely and it isn't yellow at all, so maybe it's water? I don't waste too much time with the details, I dump the water, clean out the toilet with soap (just in case and move on). 

About five minutes later Audrey was starting to get a little testier with both Rustie (the puppy) and Alexa, so I figured it was time for her nap. I told her to go potty, as I grabbed Titus from his swing to change his diaper (if you're going to do one, you might as well do two, right?) 

Alexa asks if she can let Rustie outside, I say "Yes, but you need to keep an eye on her." 

When I sat down on the floor to change his diaper, I am looking into the bathroom…. I see water…. LOTS of water, covering the floor. 

"Ummm, where did this water come from?" 

I walk into the bathroom to find various baby bottles and toys spread about.

I guess I got my answer.

I grab several towels and start mopping up the water when I hear Alexa yell "Rustie's running!!" 

"What!?!?!" I say as I run out of the bathroom, jumping over Titus, who still lays in the middle of the floor awaiting his diaper change. 

"She's running away!" 

By this time I can see Rustie, she is in fact running away from the house, but not too far, and not at an intentional run-away pace. She's at a more frolicking in the snow type pace. So my heart begins to calm. 

I go back to the bathroom and finish mopping up. I get diapers on both Audrey and Titus. Lay Audrey down, pick Titus up (from the middle of the floor) and head back to finish working with Treyton on his handwriting. 

I sit down and Alexa says "Mom, Rustie has paper in her mouth." 

I look down as Alexa extracts what seemingly looks like poopy toilet paper/paper towel. "Ewwwww." Alexa says as she plops it in my lap. "That's poop!!!" 

"Where did this come from?" I ask. No one seems to have any answers for me. 

Now for the record this is the second mysterious poop incident of the day, and I am now well aware of the fact that either a bag of cleaned up dog poop or a well-intentioned kid has landed astray somewhere that Rustie is aware of but that I, apparently, am not. 

I go into the kitchen to grab hand-sanitizer and cleaner, when I look over to Rustie's dish where there is literally dog food ALL around the bowl, but with none (not a single pebble) in the bowl. Audrey, I know, likes to feed Rustie her food one at a time, but is clearly faster at taking them out of the bowl, than Rustie is at eating them up which has led to (more times than once), piles of food all over the kitchen floor and a spotless dog dish. So I clean up the food, clean up the poopy paper towel, sanitize my hands, Lexie's hands, the floor where Rustie was sitting and anywhere else I can think of, but still…. I have found no poo. Hmmm…. I guess it will continue to be an unsolved mystery for now. 

I make my way back to Treyton, he has finished his handwriting, and it looks pretty good. 

"Whew", I think, "feels good to have another subject down!":) 

Thursday, February 21, 2013

They're Just Saying: February Links

Do Christian Parents Have a Fundamental Right to Homeschool? This post is truly frightening 

How's Your Bible Reading Going? 

Free Family Lent and Easter Devotional by Ann Voskamp found on her blog at A Holy Experience. 

Children and the Culture of Pornography - what is this world coming too? It breaks my heart to realize what my children will face way before their ready. 

Will We Live By Formula or Faith? by Sally Clarkson - so encouraging to be a young mom reading her (and her husbands) writings and encouragement. 

New Child Seat Law to Take affect 2014 

The Truth (About Abortion) Will Set You Free by John Piper 

Thursday, February 14, 2013

All About the Kids

IMG 6409
Life has been insanely busy the last couple of months. Not only are we still adjusting to being a family of 6, but we've also become a lot busier not only serving but participating in more church activities. We have different commitments (including BIble Studies, church, Piano, and Dance) on 5 out of 7 nights of the week. I tell you all this, mostly as an excuse of why I haven't been blogging more. I of course, love blogging, but my priority is and always will be my "real" life, and if that means I don't get to blog as much as I want to, so be it. 
Okay… so moving on to why I was really posting…. I haven't updated on the kiddos lately and it's time.
 IMG 6325Let's start with our newest addition:
TITUS
TItus is now almost 5 months old. I seriously cannot believe how fast it's going, it gets faster with every baby! He is 10lbs and 5oz (but who's counting?) He's been gaining about a pound a month, which is what we were told to expect and hope for, so this is a good thing.
IMG 6288
He is an energetic, happy little boy that loves to be talked to. Anytime anyone takes the time to talk to him he "rewards them" with the biggest baby smile you can imagine.
Yesterday, he learned how to blow bubbles with his drool, so that's been pretty cute to watch. :) (Words only a mother would say, right?)
He finally enjoys his baths.
IMG 6316
He LOVES his brother and sisters. Particularly Alexa, but I'm pretty sure that's mostly because she is constantly talking and/or singing to anyone who will listen, and let's face it, Titus is a captive audience. The relationship is a perfect match.
We recently attempted to put him in his Johnny Jumper, which he seemed to like, but he's still a little small for it. In time I think he'll love it.
He no longer likes to be swaddled, so he's sleeping on his tummy. Which also reminds me, he can roll from his tummy to his back and from his back to his side, though not all the way to his tummy yet. It's just insane how fast he's growing.

AUDREY
Audrey is…. complex. She is a handful, that's for sure, but she's also sweet and lovable and precious. 
We have recently tried, AGAIN to get her to stop sucking her thumb, but we've given up… AGAIN. We actually succeeded for a couple of days, but she seemed to go through an array of emotions we didn't really expect (anger, sadness, sullenness), so we've given it back to her, clearly she isn't ready to live without it. 
Audrey is learning a lot of new things - she has begun matching her colors, counting (to 3 understandably, though I think she can go higher, I'm just not positive because of her speech), bead sorting, number puzzles, do-a-dots and cutting (which is probably her favorite school activity). 
Her speech is slowly continuing to improve, meaning Tim and I can understand her, but not necessarily other people. She can say: Hi, bye bye, mama, Daddy, Tre-te = Treyton, Duc-duc = Alexa, Ti-te = Titus, Baby, Uk= yes, no, wotty = water, potty, pee, poop, yuck, two, three, purple, puppy, owie, mine, moon, momm-ee = mommer, papa, Aun Oni, Ta-tu = Thank You, Please, Nana, I = Skye, Bible, book, pa-pe = paper, nack = snack, dove = love, air = hair, ot = hot, nose, eye, mouth, teeth, cheese, ite = light, elp = help. 
IMG 6305
I'm sure there are a few more, but that's what I got off the top of my head. She likes to tell stories, which are almost completely non-understandable. Sometimes she won't even "try" she just goes ugh-uh-ugh and points and "acts it out" (which can obviously be hilarious). 
Audrey is very goofy - she is funny and loves to make people laugh. She loves music and to sing and dance. Her favorite song to sing is "Christmas Bells" (to the tune of Jingle Bells) which she sang for the Christmas performance at church. She sings this song AT LEAST once a day. IMG 6339Audrey loves shoes and dressing herself. She is a layer freak (like her mama). One day I caught her wearing 5 pair of underwear OVER her pants. She also loves bags and purses and it is not uncommon to find her walking around with a bag full of little toys and gadgets (always our little hoarder).
IMG 6302

She has recently started to climb on everything. I don't know where she's getting this from, but it's something I plan on squashing as quickly as I can.

ALEXA
Alexa continues to grow into a beautiful young woman. She has a very nurturing spirt and loves people. She thrives in relationship. Her best friend is Treyton, but she loves all of her friends. She talks about them all the time, and gets a little "excited" the minute she sees them. I often see her at church walking around with her friends just talking up a storm, like she's 16!!
She loves school, particularly reading, she wants to read to me all the time. 
IMG 6413
Alexa talks ---- ALOT, and I mean ALOT, sometimes she's just talking to herself, just because there isn't anyone around to listen doesn't seem to be reason enough to not talk, so she continues on. She also loves to sing and dance - we recently put a CD player in her room so she's able to listen to music more without blaring the rest of the family out. :)  IMG 6430
She is a great worshipper and pray-er - she is often singing praises to God and can pray like no bodies business. She simply shares her heart and feelings to God and it's a beautiful thing to witness. 
She is dramatic and theatrical, easily making a big deal out of nothing, but also feeling strongly for others as well.
Alexa is a very easy-going gal. She can make a good time out of anything.
IMG 6299
Her new favorite colors is purple, then pink, then blue (or so she tells me).
She is a compulsive nail biter, and I have no idea how to get her to stop. But then again, who am I to talk?
She has decided to take T-ball this summer instead of soccer and has already asked when swimming was going to start again.

TREYTON
Treyton is growing into an incredible young man, that I am proud to call my son. He is a deep-thinker, often thinking of the smallest details and asking questions well beyond his years. IMG 6298
A home-body at heart, he is slowly adjusting to being out and about more, and actually seems to enjoy it (some) :)
An incredible big brother, he's one of the most helpful seven-years olds I have ever met. The other day, I found him in the pantry organizing the cans because he had heard me tell Tim I had wanted to clean it out soon. He is a great cleaner, and likes to keep things organized and in there "right places". He has or will have a system for everything, and once he finds something that works, it's not easily changed for him.
As he is getting older, he wants more and more to be a part of the "adult" conversation, and is often asking "What? What does that mean? Is that good or bad??" in an attempt to understand the bigger picture of the world around him. IMG 6310
He loves to be outside - even when it's freezing cold. He goes out nearly every day, and plays some type of sport or newly made-up game. If he can't be outside, he likes to go to our basement playing basketball. He usually creates some type of game scenario - he'll be some team (like the Wisconsin Badgers) playing against his opponent (like Ohio State) and it's almost always "the biggest game ever".
He has recently started greeting on Wednesday nights at church, his fellow greeters even got him a name tag, to make it official. He's so proud to be serving and really enjoys welcoming people to church.His dream job is to be any kind of professional sports player, or at the very least he would settle as a sports announcer (which he tells me, he practices while he plays the sports) - did I mention what an incredible multi-tasker he was ;) (LOL!) 
Everything is a competition with him. I don't know many people who are as competitive as he is (except maybe his Dad or Aunt Autumn).
He loves the Lord and is beginning to study (with mom and dad) apologetics, which I believe will be one of his greatest interests as he grows in the Lord and his faith.


So hopefully this is a good recap of all that's going on right now, I'm sure I forgot something I'll want to add later, but better to get this post actually published, rather than perfect. :)