Tuesday, May 27, 2008

No place like home

Oh my kiddos are so glad to be back home. It's 3:10 and all four are still napping. I just walked to their room to make sure I saw little chests rising and falling. Success - all are alive and breathing well. We just made it home yesterday from a fast, fun trip to Dallas. I'll have to share pics from the trip when I get a chance to upload them. The focus for the next few days is laundry and cleaning house. Don't fret if I'm away for awhile. I'll be back when this house gets back in order.

Friday, May 23, 2008

more father - son bonding

My baby A has got lots of Daddy love headed his way. Andy absolutely adores his son. Don't get me wrong, he loves his little girls, but he feels a different bond with his son. He can't quite explain it to me, but I think it's wonderful.

I got out at nap time today to run a few errands. The girls were already asleep, but A was up playing. I left instructions for Andy to put A down for a nap when he got a little fussy. I wasn't expecting to come home to this! The kids never nap in our bed! It was such a sweet sight to see father and son sleeping peacefully side by side. How precious. I love it!

Sorry for the crumbs on Andy's tummy. It's not food - it's much worse. He just got his cast off today and hasn't had a chance to shower and remove all the dead skin. Quite disgusting - and on my side of the bed! YUCK!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

So blessed

One section of our attic is filled with containers of clothes. I rarely ever buy clothes for any of the kids. At least once a month, someone gives us an assortment of clothes. With four growing little ones, we can put almost any size to use. I'm able to take all the donated clothes and catergorize them according to the containers. We have clothes set aside for C when she'll turn 8 - another 4 years from now! God is so good. This is just another example of how He provides. And a great reminder that many times He uses us (people) to fulfill His plan. Sidethought - are you allowing God to use you to be a blessing in someone else's life?

Well this morning I was once again reminded of His provision. A's growing, and needed his 12 month clothes from the attic. Check out all of his "new" clothes! (Any clothes coming down from the attic are called "new" by the girls.) There's a good chance he won't get around to wearing some of this because he's got so much. How many pairs of shorts does a 7 month old need?! I even set some aside, in the good chance that we may have another boy before God's done birthing life through me.

So thank you to all those who pass along unneeded clothes. We gladly wear them. Hand me downs are the norm around here. That reminds me of a conversation between C and M that I overheard the other day. It went something like this:

M: "Oh C. That is such a pretty shirt. I wish I had a shirt like that."
C: "It's okay M. You will have a shirt like this one day. When I get too big for it, you'll get to wear it!"
M: "Oh Oh Oh! That's terrific!" while jumping up and down squeling.
J: "I so essited!" with hands covering her mouth. (She's so excited about everything these days.)

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Laundry's Done!

What a beautiful site - empty laundry baskets! It's Wednesday morning. The laundry's done. It's a great week.

The girls took advantage of the large empty baskets. This morning they pretended the baskets were cars. Each girl is going somewhere - C to work, M to the park, and J to the zoo. Each brought along a purse, complete with keys, wallet, cell phone, and lipstick. They also have babies - each with a different age, name, and story. Make-believe. It's what we do around here, all day, every day.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


This morning we're working on counting. For some reason, C and M both think that it goes, "ten, eleven, twelve, thirteen, fourteen, fifteen, twenty!" I think they just get so excited about getting close to twenty, that they race for the finish line. So we had a long talk last night about how there is only one right way to count. No, my precious four year old, you can't say whatever random numbers you like, and expect to be an accurate counter. That was a hard lesson. But Andy and I both believe that it's important to teach our children that there are absolutes in life -- right and wrong does exist. And when we're wrong, we need to work hard to get right.

So we're working this morning. We got out our counters, and worked our tails off. (I knew those pocker chips from college days would come in handy!) After they mastered getting to twenty, and even well beyond, I let them play with the chips. I was so impressed with C's tower! I don't think I have the patience and determination to make one that tall. Way to go girls! One more success in life to add to your resumes. I'm so blessed to have such beautiful, hard workers.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Father and Son Bonding

We had so much fun playing with A yesterday afternoon. When we get home from church on Sundays, he is so pooped due to missing his morning nap that he sleeps for about 4 hours. But when he gets up, he's in such a good mood. It's amazing how happy little one's are if we'll just leave them alone and let them to get enough rest.

Andy was making faces and noises, and it was cracking A up. I couldn't resist catching it on film. I decided to make a little video to send to my big brother, Jim, who's expecting his first son in early June. Here's the video.

Well, the video is causing problems. I'm not afraid to admit it. I'm nowhere close to mastering this blog thing. I'll try again later. Sorry.

Maybe this will work. Keep your fingers crossed!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Camera test

So we have two cameras. One for pictures, one for videos. Funny thing is both cameras do both functions. The video camera takes horrible stills, but I've never tried the other for videos. So I wanted to try it out this morning and needed a model to shoot. J has been singing songs all morning, so I thought I would ask her to sing for the camera. She chose to sing "Here I am to Worship." She's such a doll. It's adorable. But now I know the digital camera takes horrible videos! She was too cute to not share though. Enjoy! Make sure you listen long enough to hear her sing the high note "wonderful to me."

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Sleepy Time

I recently got to enjoy a precious moment with my son. When I am training my babies to sleep through the night (which begins day one around here), I don't allow myself to cuddle them to sleep. It's so hard to deny myself, but it's the main reason why they have been able to find such success at an early age. It really is better for them, but it's so hard on me at the time. Especially when my past two babies have been such little snuggle bunnies.

Anyway, the other morning the girls woke up early and headed to the play room. They know not to bother Mom until 7am, but A doesn't quite get it yet. He usually falls back asleep after they leave, but this morning he was up and ready for Mom. At first I was upset because this particular morning was supposed to be a rare "sleep-in" morning for Mom. But I decided to make the most of the interruption. I grabbed A and his sippy cup and headed back to bed. He laid beside me, guzzling down breakfast, while I rested. Then we got to snuggle a bit. My memory gets a little fuzzy at this point, but the pictures testify that it was a beautiful moment. He slept, I slept. It was a perfect "sleep-in" morning.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Fun pics

This morning I was working in the kids' closet while the girls played outside. I could hear them laughing and playing, having so much fun. I just had to get in the action, but I knew I couldn't afford to stop what I was doing. I was in the zone - organizing their closet. If I stopped then, it would have been worse than when I started and who knows when I would have the opportunity to get back in there. So what's the solution?

The WINDOW! I opened the window, which brought them running to see me. I was able to continue working, but enjoy playing with them as well. We had lots of fun laughing and making faces through the screen. I was able to catch a few fun pics. Enjoy!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Trip to Nana's

We made a trip to my Mom's this weekend. My Mom is the greatest. It was a spur of the moment trip. She was in a meeting all evening so we weren't able to get in touch with her to announce our arrival (aka ask permission to crash her place). She came home to a house full of uninvited critters! But she's so accepting of us, it's like she loves surprise visits. And she has gone out of her way to make it easy for us to visit. She keeps a full supply of diapers, wipes, formula, toothpaste and brushes for the kids. I think she has a better supply of rubberbands and barrettes than we do! She even has sets of PJ's for each of them - summer and winter seasons. She also makes sure Andy and I have all the necessary toiletries. No honestly, she went as far as asking us to write a list of all the products we like/need to groom ourselves. And she keeps these items supplied in the back bathroom. She's absolutely amazing. No wonder my husband loves going to visit his mother in law. Thanks for letting us crash your place Mom. We love you!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Going Public

I've finally decided to let the word out. Even if I quit this blogging adventure tomorrow, I've collected posts that I know others would be interested in reading. But as of right now, noone knows about this. Wait -- that's not exactly true. My husband does know. I mean, he's the one who asked me to start this journey, and we live together. He obviously sees me posting at times. And my dear friend Suzi stumbled upon it. How crazy for her to randomly type my address into her browser the same week I created this blog? She's good, real good, almost freaky good.

So I've been thinking about how to go public. I thought about who I'd like to introduce to my blog. And do you know who first came to mind? Jim, my big brother.

I've always looked up to my big brother. No matter what problem, situation, drama - he's there and can fix it. I love how he's always watched over me and protected me. Now don't get me wrong, we've had our brother/sister fights when I honestly thought my life was in danger, but what's childhood without sibling wars? What didn't kill me, has certainly brought us closer. And he's always been there. This is the man I email with a computer problem, and before I can get up from my desk, he's calling with a solution. This is the man who when first meeting my (then future) husband said, "If you hurt her, I'll kill you. No seriously, I'll kill you." This is the man who will spend all his time and energy fixing my car, knowing his could use a tune-up as well. This is the man who supports our church financially simply because he loves us and believes in us. I could go on and on. Thanks Jim. You are such an encouragement to me and Andy. You don't even know it, but so many times your words are what keep us going strong. It's such a relief having you on our team in life. Oh how I wish you were living here in Lafayette! I'm so proud of you and Kara, and can't wait for Jim 4.0 to arrive. You are precious to me. Your new family is precious to me. I'm so enjoying getting older with you, sharing life with you.

So Jim, here's my blog. It's not much, don't ever expect much. But you should get a laugh at times. The "Uncum Jim" fan club can be quite entertaining. I love you Jim!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Great start

Well this morning was a little strange. C and J woke up at the regular 6:45 am. I was up early, creating a little breakfast surprise for them -- freshly baked, warm biscuits. But where were M and A? C said they were still sleeping. I quietly walked to the bedroom, and yes, they were out cold. I decided to take advantage of the slow morning and make a memory with two of my little girls.

We took breakfast onto the front porch. C and J sat and ate breakfast in the rocking chair, enjoying the cool, crisp stillness of the morning. They loved it! And I got to plant my caladiums! It was so nice to be outside doing physical labor without the hot sun beating down on me. Not even a drop of sweat! And of course the excitement of finding worms was almost too much for the girls to handle.

A slow, pleasant start to the day - a great accomplishment - what a great morning!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Three's a Crowd

When I was growing up, I had two best friends. We did everything together and loved being with each other. But as we got older, I could easily see that 2 was company, 3 was a crowd. Two of us were always closer with each other rather than the third. And it would shift at times, according to seasons in life. It certainly wasn't intentional for any of us to leave the other out. Nothing was ever said about it, we didn't talk about it, but there was an understanding. It was the natural ebb and flow of our relationship, and we each adjusted accordingly. Looking back, it's amazing we had the maturity to understand and deal with this at such a young age. Or maybe not confronting it head on did deeply scar us since our relationship didn't survive the high school years. But that's another story for another time.

But I'm seeing the same pattern with my girls. Rarely will they all three play well together. Even if they are all in the backyard, C and J will play ball, while M colors with chalk. Or M and J will play with the cars while C swings. Or any number of combinations of sisters with play. But rarely do I catch them all three engaged in the same activity. At times they do try, but it usually results in lots of tension, screams, and occasional bo-bo's.

This is what we're experiencing today. It's so bad that I have sent two outside to play, and left one to play alone in the playroom. It's amazing how drastically the atmosphere changes, just with the removal of one person. We went from total chaos, to quiet and peace in a matter of moments. (So much peace that I am able to sneak away and blog about it!)

So will I be experiencing this 3some drama throughout their teenage years? Thinking of the future trials we will endure makes me smile. I love my family. I love my girls. I love being with them every step of the way in this crazy journey to maturity.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Laundry Day!

Today is just another laundry day around here. You would think that with a family of six that I'm always doing laundry. But it's actually not all that demanding or time consuming. I've created a plan, and if I continue to work that plan, it works for us.
The plan is pretty simple. Tuesday morning is a heavy wash day. I try to have the first load going before the kids wake up. The goal is to have ALL the laundry done by lunch on Wednesday. By the way, completing the laundry doesn't mean just having clean clothes -- those clean clothes have to be put where they belong. Then I do absolutely no laundry on Thursday or Friday unless, of course there's a special need. (I do still live in the days of blow outs.) Saturday morning I make sure to wash my husband's clothes. This isn't absolutely necessary, but I do like for him to have all of his clothing options available for Sunday morning.
So that's that. It's pretty simple, and works well for us. I don't feel burdened by a mountain of clothes, and everyone always has something clean to wear.
It does help that I have a few special helpers. My girls love laundry days! And as they get older and older, I'm able to allow them to do more and more. They really are a great help, and I have fun working with them.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Jumping the gun

This picture is quite disgusting.

What's more disgusting is that messy pile is still on my back patio!

What is it?! Hair.

So I think I've jumped the gun. But I felt like doing it and thought I better take advantage of the moment. I gave the girls their summer hairdos. They all turned out real cute. This was J's first haircut! She did such a good job being still - even better than her big sisters. (I think she was terrified I was going to cut her. She kept saying, "Not my ear.")

The bulk of the task is complete. I'll spend the rest of the week, shaping here and there as needed. I've learned to do the cut on Monday to leave time for "tweaking" before our public appearance at church on Sunday. This makes it a lot easier on the girls, and it takes the pressure of perfection off of me. Hair - it's a work in progress.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Big oops

I must admit, I hate disorganization. I hate clutter, chaos, and messes. (Isn't it quite ironic how God has blessed me with four little ones, the oldest being 4?)

I can't stand it when I miss out on life and great moments because my life is disorganized. I've been hurt when others haven't kept their word, so I cringe at the thought of me hurting someone by not keeping my word. I always want to be where I said I'll be, when I said I'd be, with the gear I said I'd bring.

But alas, I have failed. (It's certainly not the first, and unfortunately won't be the last.) And it's a doozy! I missed little A's 6 month well baby check-up. And we know how important it is to stay on your pediatrician's good side. I just blew it. I have a wonderful excuse, but no excuse ever takes the place of breaking your word.

So to little A, I'm so sorry. We're going next week bud. To the pediatrician, I'm so sorry. I am committed to never letting this happen again. I hate that my character has been tarnished in your eyes. I will do all I can to rebuild that trust. (Lucky for me I have lots of chances with all my kiddos appointments.)

Friday, May 2, 2008

Family Fun Day

Friday is Family Fun Day at our house. It's the one day that Andy and I take off. We consider this our Sabbath. So how do we "remember the sabbath?" First, we turn off the phone and answering machine. Second, we turn off the email. You would be amazed at how Satan uses these two forms of communication to derail us from getting relaxing, refreshing rest. Third, I don't do the dishes! This is so key for me. I cannot allow myself to "keep house" on Friday. This means that I have to make special arrangements on Thursday to prepare for the sabbath. And fourth, we do all we can to keep our schedules clear on Friday. This means even if someone calls with something fun to do on Friday, we rarely commit. We want Friday to be a day of rest, doing what we want to do, when we want to do it. It's really important to us to protect the sabbath. And since it comes only once a week, we don't feel bad about hiding and disconnecting. It's what we need to do in order to be effective the rest of the week. I'd much rather have six days of powerful, fruitful living, than a full week of mediocre living.

So what's up with the picture? I try to include a picture with each post. I wondered what would come up with a google search for "family fun day." TADA -- you got it! Just FYI, I know nothing about Pontrhydyrun Baptist Church. I don't even know where Croesyceiliog is. And I certainly don't want to be part of any assault course!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Gas and Toots

I hate to reveal such sensitive information about my little girl, but it's just too funny to not share. My precious little M has lots of gas. No seriously. I'm not exaggerating. She toots all the time. If you tickle her, be ready for the toot fest. If she's sitting on the hardwood floor, she's going to toot at least three times in a row, all the time exclaiming, "Oops. Excuse me. I'm so sorry." And the funny thing -- she's in no way trying to be crude or rude. She just has an excessive amount of gas. Honestly, she must toot 20 times a day, easily. (I'm probably underestimating it, for her sake.) We don't laugh or make a big deal. We just know that M's got gas. I'm afraid I hear that phrase a little too often.

So the other day I asked M why she has so much gas? Where does it all come from? She just stared at me, not able to think of an answer. Then her big sister came to the rescue. C said, "Oh Mom. It's because when Dad fills the car up with gas, she likes the smell. So when she smells it, it gives her lots of gas." To which M said, "Yep, yep. That's it. I smell the gas."

What?! But in their little 3 and 4 year old minds, it makes perfect sense.

Yesterday as we pulled up to the pump I heard C tell M. "Make sure you don't smell the gas M. It'll give you gas." I just had to sit back and smile. Some things aren't worth explaining just yet.