Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Sweet little bundle

#3 has been such a source of delight for our entire family. I enjoyed so much watching my parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and even our little nieces enjoy holding her. She is not the least bit partial to whom she shares her laughs, coos and big smiles. We were out of town for 7 days and never saw her in a bad mood. She is our little social butterfly and just loves people. What a blessing and perfect addition...two loving, adoring precious brothers and one sweet bundle of joy!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Friday, December 15, 2006

Blogger Tour of Homes


I was in a mad rush to take these poorly made pictures and post this rushed entry. But I did want to mention our favorite books and activities/traditions with the kids before showing my house.

Books:Jacob's gift, Alabaster's Song, Who is coming to our house?, The Tale of Three Trees

Activities:What God Wants for Christmas kit, Adornaments, acting out/using our Playmobil nativity to dramatize the story of Jesus' birth, spending the night after Christmas in sleeping bags under the Christmas tree *Before I tear it all down and kick the tree to the curb! :)


What a fun idea to be able to see everyone's decorations! I've never participated in anything like this on my blog, but here goes! Here is a blurry picture of our tree. We are still hanging in there with a real tree. I'm sure one day we'll surrender to the artificial tree, but not yet!

This is a picture of our mantle. I haven't gotten #3's stocking yet. The Christmas topiaries are one of my favorite decorations in the house.

This is what our dining room table looks like. The placemats are red velvet from Pottery Barn, I am proud to say that I paid $2 a piece for them at a yard sale. The angels are all from my first bridal shower, a Christmas shower given by my sorority sisters. Actually, 90 % of my Christmas decor is from that shower.

This is my only Christmas collection. My husband started collecting the Dickens village for me beginning with our first Christmas together. My kids love to light it up in the dark.

Gotta run! Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Smoochy poo



Today we walked in the kitchen where #2 was eating Ritz crackers. He noticed Rachael Ray on the back of the box. He was giving the box little peck kisses. He caught us watching him and said,"She's pwetty." I can only imagine what life will be like with him as a teenager. With those blue eyes, his affectionate/"touchy feely" personality and his charm I shudder to think! We've call him our "smoochy-poo" because of the dozens of kisses that he plants on #3. Hopefully girls will begin to intimidate him before long. A mommy can only hope!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

A little snip-it from last year

Today I was looking back at my journal from last year. I found this entry which I wrote during the midst of last year's holiday season. Our entire family had the stomach bug and one day later my marriage came under major fire. Any way, here it is. I hope it can encourage someone out there who is bogged down and weary.

December 22, 2005
Choosing joy...that's the theme of the day. Yesterday I was prepared to enter a very negative blog. I was struggling with so many heavy burdens, one of which is another virus creeping through our family. I am weary from sickness.

But I woke up with a fresh perspective. My family's wellbeing relies much on my attitude. "If mama ain't happy ain't nobody happy!" This quote is very true under our roof, especially when someone is sick. I definitely set the tone. I have found that when things are particularly yucky and everyone is down, I make or break the day around here. Yesterday I was sulking. I was asking God, "Is it too much to ask for healthy kids?" and "Please...Give me a break!!", etc.

This morning I realized that the here and now, sickness and weariness, this is where God has chosen to put me, and he asks me to be full of joy, hope and love towards Him and my family. If my happiness hinges on my comfort and getting my own way, then I need to realign my heart with God's. He has never promised me physical comfort or my own way. He promises me joy upon joys if I can rely on Him and remind myself of who I am in Him, what He has done for me by saving me, and the blessings he has given me in sharing my journey with my children and husband. Really, His grace is so amazing.

I guess through the cough syrup, vomit, Motrin and countless hours of backrubs and Thomas the Train movies, I have found the meaning of Christmas. The wonder of feeling completely loved and honored among circumstances that are bleak and out of my control. Doesn't God work in mysterious ways? I love him so much! Merry Christmas
!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

I thought I was feeling kinda icky...

so I went in to the doctor this afternoon, which is very rare for me. I don't like to take medicine and I don't like to waste my time going to the dr. If my hubby is going to babysit, I would rather be shopping alone or grabbing a Starbucks with a friend! Any way, good thing I went. My little aches and pains turned out to be strep throat and a urinary tract infection. The upside is that I spent 5 quiet hours in the bed which was so refreshing, even with the aches and pains. I think I'll go back to bed. Back to my busy, wonderful, hectic full-time mommy job tomorrow!

Monday, December 11, 2006

86 shots

Today was my first attempt at taking the kids to get a professional group portrait. The morning started out pretty smoothly. The kids were all in great moods, the boys got fresh hair cuts, the baby was grinning from ear to ear all morning, her nursing schedule was working out great with the appointment. Then we left the house...

Long story short, we got lost. There is a 20 minute grace period which we did not make. So we sat in the lobby for an hour to be "worked in". I laid my head down and prayed the entire time. We were counting on these pictures as Christmas presents for half of our family! One lady even asked me if I was sick! Thankfully, an hour later I heard our name called. Thank you, Lord! The baby was in a great mood during the photo shoot, but did not crack a smile because the photographer was squeaking toys and dancing like a fool, and she was perplexed. You should have seen me changing all three kids clothes during the middle of the session. Funny thing is that after all of that trouble I hated all of the pictures in the second outfit! My #1 was the most interesting model. He was embarassed of his snaggle tooth. He's only lost one top middle tooth. He was doing the most bizarre smilish crazy faces. The photographer even asked, "What's up with his tongue?" I think he was trying to use his tongue to hide his gap. I never got a decent shot of him.

After the photo shoot, we sat at a computer screen to order the pics. #3 needed to be nursed so I proceeded to breastfeed right there in front of my 20ish year old male photographer. Meanwhile, #1 wiggled persistently and #2 asked me 15 times to help him with his shoe. It turns out that out of 86 shots I only really loved one. And then I don't even have the energy to post the ordeal we went through during the next hour getting the photos. We also had an interesting lunch at Moe's while we waited which consisted of lots of napkins. Blah, blah, blah. I actually heard a women in the phot place whisper to herself, "He is late again! (I'm sure she was referring to her husband.) If she can do it with three kids, I can do it with one.) It was my only moment of pride all day. Maybe the circumstances were nuts, but I did it all by myself. And so what if it took 86 shots to get one good picture of the three of them! And so what if afterwards I felt like I had run a marathon! I'm laughing so hard right now recalling all of the chaos. Life is so funny in retrospect.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

My kind of weekend

This weekend I only had 2 of my 3 little birds in the nest. My #1 was inducted into pre-manhood...he had his first hunting trip with his Daddy and Poppy. He hasn't gotten back yet, but Daddy says they had great success. He rode a four wheel ATV for the first time and he spent lots of time in the woods and saw at least four deer and other animals. He learned how to "fart" on command or at the pull of a finger. (Nice) He ate lots of "meat and potatoes". He slept in a sleeping bag beside his Daddy. He had a blast!

Meanwhile, #3 and #3 and Nana and I enjoyed a more feminine weekend here at home. (Poor #2, he was outnumbered 3:1)We went to the mall, ate out and let the house get as messy as we pleased. We enjoyed quiet nights with the Christmas tree lit and a fire in the fireplace while we recooperated from the shopping. My mom (aka Nana) and I had a margarita together at dinner on Saturday and #2 ate pizza and pbj sandwiches all weekend. We were all thrilled.

Today my mom left early this morning. I only had two little ones to get ready for church and my sweetheart was not here to tempt me to sit and drink coffee with him. It was amazing how easy it was to just get two of us ready and out the door! We had to stop at the gas station and still got there early. Then after church #2 and I had a date at Chili's, followed by a trip to Home Depot. We got more paint! Paint for the boys' room and for the dining room. The little week between Christmas and New Years is going to be a painting week in our house! Okay, little #2 is begging me to play trains with him...more later!

Friday, December 08, 2006

Balance

I am so frustrated with myself right now! I have just discovered (or rather God has revealed to me once again) a sin pattern in my life that needs fixing. It's the cycle of the Christian walk I guess, but frustrating none the less. I am an extremist. What I mean is that I find life hard to balance. I have struggled with perfectionism for a long time, well since I can remember. I don't say that light-heartedly like some women do. Many women call themselves perfectionist and what they are really trying to say is that they like to be neat or win games or whatever. When I say that I am a perfectionist I mean that when chaos begins to ensue, I seek order and will go to great lengths to achieve it!

Right now I am feeling that way about housework. I am looking back on this week with regret because I spent so much time trying to create the perfect house. I cleaned up toys multiple times a day, knowing fully well that the boys would create new messes. I just needed a little time to look around and see order. I put the baby in her seat or swing more that she needed to be just so that I could make sure my bed was made, each pillow perfectly fluffed and placed. Deep down I knew no one cared or would see that bed and in addition, my little guys would eventually jump on it and my work would be in vain. I told my sweet little #2 three times this week that I didn't have time to play with him when there could have been time, but I wanted to organize something or get just one more thing done that wasn't really necessary. I am frustrated with myself.

So here I am again, at the foot of the cross, asking my Savior for forgiveness and my children for forgiveness. If there is anything that I want to accomplish in life for the sake of Christ, it is raising children who know the Lord and who know that they have a Mommy who values her time with her family more than anything else in her life. I want them to grow up knowing how precious and unique they are , and the only way that will happen is if I am spending time with them and finding moments to communicate that to them. (Not just at bedtime or mealtime, but during the real life moments when we are living together!) I want them to have balanced memories of Mommy working as a housewife, Mommy playing and laughing and hugging them, and them playing alone or together. If I parented them during their entire childhood like I did this week, then none of these goals would be accomplished! And I doubt they would look back on that type of childhood with joy. I don't think any adult says, "I had the best childhood! My mom blew me off constantly, but the yellow in our kitchen was a beautiful color and our clothes always smelled of lavender!" Sounds ridiculous, but when I prioritize like this it is just that silly!

Lord Jesus, give me balance in my life and help me to let go of the control I want to have. Help me to find order in knowing I am doing your will and not in my own selfish desires. Help me to treasure the beautiful blessings that you have given me in my children.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

A few all-nighters

This week has been quite a challenge. My husband has been very sick since Wednesday. I never realized how much I rely on him until he was completely unavailable! Whew, I went to bed EXHAUSTED every night this week! Tuesday, the night before he came down with this awful virus, I got up at 3:30 am to feed #3 and decided to stay up and devote 20 minutes to each room. Somehow the house was out of control, and then we had pulled out Christmas decorations and only half decorated. It took me until 6:30 to catch up and make each room look like I wanted it to. (Keep in mind on the main floor we only have 3 rooms that I could work in...living room, dining room and kitchen!) I thought I would catch a nap the next day or sleep in and let Daddy take over. Then he got sick!!

But now I feel rested and I am ready to do another silly all-nighter. My precious husband painted our kitchen for my birthday present last week. Sadly, I do not like the color. I picked it out, so his feelings aren't hurt. But I am insisting on re-painting it myself because I feel so badly about it! I picked a coffee brown. I thought it would be rich and soothing. I have a Tuscan-type painting with brown, blue and yellows. It turns out the brown doesn't remind me of yummy coffee or fresh bread, but more of poop! Maybe I've changed one too many diapers, but I can't stand it! So I am going to paint it our tried-and-true yellow. It's my favorite shade, "Arizona Tan" by Behr. I love it. It's a bright, warm yellow. Not a butter, but a warm tone. I plan to use the coffee color in our bedroom. And we are also about to paint our dining room a pumpkiny, rust color. I found a great piece of art at Kohl's today for the dining room...49.99!

Why have I chosen to do house projects now?? I just had a birthday and my generous family all caught my hint that "I don't really need any thing...but if you must, I'll take cash for home decor." We moved in this house at the end of July when I was 8 months pregnant and I haven't been able to really make it mine. Well, between my sweetie's family and mine I received over $400! And I thought birthdays were a thing of the past by 30! (I am currently 31 and loving it!) So I am ready to decorate. I have always been one that has no problem putting back savings, but once my spending money is allotted...I spend!

But I will say my timing is foolish, I know it and I can't stop myself! Trying to buy all of the Christmas presents with 3 kids, decorate for Christmas, homeschool, cook and be an at least adequate homemaker has proved to be a big challenge. And then this week I was frantically doing all of this while trying to be a good nurse for my sick patient. I was lysoling and febreezing every time he left the bed or the couch in hopes of not spreading the virus to the rest of the family, particularly the baby. I literally looked like a chicken with my head cut off running around. I don't think at sat down for a single meal for three or four days straight! I was praying so hard for my sweet Savior to give me a fulfilling sense of worship and purpose as I served Him in serving my family. Many tasks were done with just feeling, but I will admit I secretly dropped a few four letter words under my breath as well. I am and always will be a work in progress, this side of heaven at least!