thoughts on daily life within our family of SIX....each child in her own phase of childhood....

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Merry Christmas!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Merry Christmas from our family to yours!

Many Christmas blessings to your family from ours!

Monday, December 3, 2007

The Heart of a Child/ The Heart of the Mama

Holding each of my children moments after they were born, watching my sweet angels as they sleep, thinking about the funny things they said today, ("God, please bless the turkey, and make it CLEAN."), cuddling up with them and a good story, hearing that joyful laughter, (squeals, really) nuzzling their little necks and faces, sharing eskimo kisses and puppy dog kisses....these are the best parts of being a mama.

The worst part? Hmmmm.......let me think......In a word--discipline. Yeah, without question, that's it.

When each of my children was born I could only think about how perfect they were, what a gift each of them was, how over the moon I felt. Of course, in that honeymoon phase, I could never envision (even though I knew that it would come) the time when that little cherub would need any correction or---dare I say it---the naughty spot? (GASP!!!!!) Oh, it hurt my heart to think of that!

Yet, time marches on, and each of my three little angels eventually reached the point in his or her life when to do as told was just too much to bear. And each time that this has happened, my initial reaction has been a timid, "Can this really be?" kind of reaction. "Maybe that was a mistake; I'm sure my little darling didn't mean that....." But before long, the cherub would clear it up for me, and I'd be faced with the daily challenge of disciplining her (or him).
Honestly, disciplining a two year-old is easier to me than disciplining an older child who has the power of reasoning --because sometimes their reasoning is just so......childlike! ("Mom, why do I need to keep my room clean? I mean, it's MY room.")

Sunday, November 18, 2007

The Family That Plays Together.....

I am a busy mom. I hate to say that and hate to feel that because when I am busy (which is a lot of the time), I often find myself not being able to stay present in the moment. I find myself looking at my watch--or at least thinking, "Okay, I have this many more minutes to read this story" or --what's worse--not sitting down to read the story or take the little one outside to cut the grass or walk the dog. How many times have I said, "We'll do it when you get up from your nap," or "After I load the dishwasher...., " or just, "Later...."?

Which one of my children, when getting to spend some fun time with Mama will mess it up through sassy talk or direct disobedience? (Okay, sometimes...but rarely.) Lately, I must say, discipline has been much more difficult with all three of my kiddos. By difficult I mean that I feel like I am walking through drying cement. Even the little one, who is usually pretty easy, has been directly defying me time after time. What is it?

I'm sure that there are several factors at play (no pun intended), but I cannot get away from the fact that there has been too much work and not enough play in our family. Too many "have-to's" and not enough time to laugh or just sit or read bedtime stories about Frances the Badger or bend down and look at the grass and leaves. Not enough time to collect acorns and leave them on the stepping stone for our squirrel and not enough time to have each of my children help me cook dinner and talk about when I was a little girl instead of rushing them through their "have to's" of setting the table and clearing it after we eat.

Today there were dishes in the sink, and there was laundry to be folded. But my boy and I stopped and played ball in the foyer. Over and over we threw the ball and giggled when we didn't catch it--or when we did. Over and over, my boy said , "Mommy,--you--are--playing--wif--me! Mommy,--you--are--playing--wif--me!"

Saturday, November 10, 2007

My Kids Are Away, Let's Go Out To Play?

My kiddos are all with their grandparents for a long weekend. It's an exciting time to spend with my husband, but there is a little tingle in the bottom of my heart. I spend every day with my good times and in bad, in sickness and in health, for richer or for poorer. You'd think that for three or four days, I would be doing the Mommy Boogie all up and down the street just because I could. You'd think that we'd be dancing 'til dawn without a care in the world. You'd think, wouldn't you?

When I was a teacher and Christmas vacation rolled around, I would come home and honestly not think about what my students were doing until time to go back to school. There was no tingle in my heart, no nostalgia about the last things that they said to me, no holding their favorite things to my cheek. To me, they got on the school bus that led them away from school and ceased to be for the next two weeks. I was a good teacher, but I was their teacher.

Now I am a mom. MOM. That is who I am now, and no matter what else I ever do in my life (and I do hope that I still have things to contribute to life on our planet), there will be no greater title than those of Mom and wife. And so while my kiddos are away, of course I wonder what they are doing and who they are with at the moment and if they miss their mama. I've even been known to cuddle a teddy bear or deeply sniff their a sweater or two... It thrills my heart when my oldest calls several times a day just to say, "Hi. Whatcha' doin'?"

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Happy Birthday, Angel Boy!

What is it to love a little boy? I'm admitting now that for most of my life I had no interest in boy babies or little boys. It seemed that little boys were always holding something unsavory in their hands....or wearing it somewhere or dripping something out of their noses or making some kind of rotten smell. In contrast, little girls smelled sweet (or in my mind they always did) and brought flowers in their chubby little hands, and they stayed away from moist, crawling things and most certainly did not keep them in their pockets.

And then, on this day two years ago, I gave birth to our sweet angel boy, and everything I ever thought about little boys went out the window. For the first time I began to notice the sweet smell of a little boy. The nape of his neck was just the most perfect thing. I began to see all of the things that are totally different in little boys....from birth! This really was the way that God made us...different from birth and different for a reason!

Today I held his hands and asked, "What will these hands do?" He looked innocently at me as I asked him if they would build things, if they would drive a car, if they would cut the grass (his all-time favorite thing to do), if they would hold a baby. As he answered "uh-huh" to everything I asked, I had a glimpse of the future, of the man that he will become and of the legacy that his daddy and I hope to leave behind through our children.

How blessed am I to be the mother of this little boy who is all little boy who has been intrigued with lawn mowers and weedeaters from the first time that he saw them. How fortunate I am to have him in my life and to have the opportunity to teach him right from wrong, to love him and pray for him as a little boy and for the man that he will one day become.

What in the world have I ever done to deserve such blessings in my life? My suspicion is that I have done nothing to deserve them, but I have been blessed with them all the same. I am overwhemed with the richness in my life because I have not earned it, but it is what I have wanted and more.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

My Project Is Due on Friday!

Last time that I checked, today is Wednesday, and we, I mean, our oldest child, has a project due on Friday. This is her first actual "project" involving some writing and a little tad of research on her own. The project was supposed to be about a mammal. Any mammal. That should be a piece of cake.

S picked "rat terriers" since we have one. Since we have one, all of the information should be easy enough to gather. She and her daddy went to the library and requested a book about rat terriers. It came in quickly enough, but it was very long, and you probably did need a college degree (or at least some sort of diploma) to sort through which information was relevant, and which information could be left out.

Did you know that a rat terrier, even though she has papers from the American Kennel Club, is not a pure bred dog? Thinking about it, that makes a lot of sense. They don't all look alike, lots of breeds are mixed in (that was a big clue to me), but you know, I just never really thought about it before. Never even wondered. Our terrier belonged to my sister before she passed away, and my parents said something once or twice about her having papers. "Really?" I think I asked. But then I never really gave it much more thought. Admittedly, most of my time and thought goes toward the three squiggly, giggly human bodies that run through my house and need to be fed and bathed and changed.

Back to the project. I ended up reading most of the relevant information to S and then saying, "This is important. Write this down." S and her daddy and I looked for pictures of rat terriers on the internet, but most of them were small and printed in a very fuzzy fashion when blown up large enough for her poster board. So today, while S was at school, I scrambled around through bookstores and more internet sites looking for better pictures of rat terriers. Her little brother waited patiently (okay, he tried....) in the stroller while I thumbed through every dog book on the shelves looking for a picture of a rat terrier because a book solely about rat terriers is apparently a very rare thing, indeed.

In all of those books, I found two pictures of dogs that might pass for rat terriers, and I did find some good pictures on the web. Then I went outside and tried to coax our own nervous, can't sit still because I'msogladthatyou'reouthere;you're goingtopetmeandletmelickyouinthemouthandruballoveryourwarmlap,aren'tyou,aren't you???????rat terrier to sit still and pose for my camera. That's why S picked rat terriers. Because we have one. So this should be easy.

I finally got a couple of good pictures and printed them up. I put those, along with the gold letters that I picked out when we stopped by the teacher supply store, on top of the black poster board that I picked up when I printed out her first internet picture at Office Depot. Later, I'll set up the printer and print those sentences that I dictated to S. Can't wait to see the grade that we, I mean, I can't wait to see the grade that S gets. You know, this is her first real project....

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Missing the Big Event

Tonight was a big night in our house....the official beginning of the Girl Scout year and the investiture ceremony. Our oldest is starting her third year of Girl Scouts (she's a Junior), and our five year old is beginning her FIRST year. She's a Daisy! We were so excited to get dressed in Girl Scout uniforms this morning.

To our Junior, it was old hat. To our Daisy, it was spine tingling! She had been watching her older sister go to Girl Scout events ever since she could remember, and it was finally her turn! We dressed her up in her brand new Daisy apron and her special Daisy shirt and pants. Of course, she was SO cute. After she was dressed, I continued to run around getting ready to take the kiddos to school. And then it hit her--the first wave of nausea. Our Daisy was wilting...

Before I knew it, she had thrown up. But, according to her, she felt better. "Can I still go?"
Is this the difference between a kindergartener and a fifth grader? The fifth grader would already be back in her pajamas, propped up in our bed with the remote in her hand. The kindergartener was begging to go to school!

Well, things did not get better for our little Daisy until much later in the day. After several throwing up sessions, she napped and seemed to feel better, but there was no mistaking the fact that she was truly sick. There was no way that she could stand on that stage with the other Daisies and recite her little Girl Scout pledge without exposing them all to some pretty ugly germs. A sad ending to all of the excitement of the morning. However, our Junior did get to participate, and she was proud to bring home her sister's Daisy headband and a paper angel with our Daisy's face glued on top. Sisterly love. It's a sweet thing....