Wednesday, November 18, 2009

If You Can't Beat 'em, Join 'em!!

That is the phrase that went through my head as I collapsed on the couch between two little boys with a baby clamoring to get to my lap. I tried, really I did. It was a valiant effort ~ but, unfortunately, fruitless.

Have I ever mentioned that our closet collapsed one night in the middle of the night? Yeah, that'll wake you up ~ especially when your one year old sleeps in there! :-) Erik and I ran to check on him, and we literally could. not. find. him. We could hear him screaming, but he was buried under layers of clothes. The main rod and the shelf above it fell and left a mess of clothes, shoes, and sheetrock behind. After several frightening minutes, Erik uncovered our screaming baby who was, thankfully, unharmed!! So, for my birthday, Erik got me a new closet!!!!! :-)

And, here it is. . .

This is if you walked in from our master bath. . .


The cabinets match our bathroom cabinets! It was so fun to design our very own closet!!!! :-) Deana B, note the valet rods on his side and my side! Thanks for the idea!! Erik loved it!
This is my side. . .

This is Erik's side. . .

The coolest thing on his side is the pant hanger which pulls out for easy access! And, he has a really neat tie/belt rack, too! Erik is tall, so we had them make the hanging area really tall, so that his shirts wouldn't drag on the shelf or the floor! So, fun!
Now, where were we? Oh, yes, I remember! I tried really hard to get some work done today! Want to see why?
Did you notice that our new closet is empty? Well, let me show you where all the clothes are. . .
In our rooom. . .

I'm still not sure how we will sleep tonight?? But, I'm tired so, I may just crawl on top of all the stuff and sleep! :-)
And, this is where the rest of our closet is. . .
The guest room. . .

Did I mention that we are having Thanksgiving at our house this year? And, that means that we have company coming. . . Monday. Pray that we have a productive weekend!! :-)
And, here are bins of toys that are completely out of order. . .
Erik can tell you what that does to me, and it is not pretty, I assure you! I have let things slide a little, but it is time for the toy Nazi to arise and assert her authority!
And, if that isn't enough, I have this to deal with tomorrow. . .

And, this doesn't include the load still in the dryer waiting to be folded and the 3 overflowing baskets scattered around the house that have been waiting since last Monday (not this past Monday, a week ago this past Monday) to be put away!
Survival. I used to hope to one day get caught up ~ now I just fight to survive!!! I'm in over my head, but I am loving every minute of it ~ well, maybe not every minute, but we're working on that!!!!!!!! :-)
So, after several attempts to put clothes away in my closet only to find that Erik Daniel, my precious helper, had pulled 5 things out for every one thing I put away, I threw my hands up in defeat! I took my little self over to the couch and surrendered to the little people!!!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

My Little Joseph

The weather has taken a sudden dip, and I was surprised by it this morning!! Burrrrr. . . But, right now I am cuddled up in my home with our computer and a hot cup of chai. It feels like December today, and I guess it is about time for that!

Speaking of December. . . this past Sunday night was our church's Operation Christmas Child service! I love, love, love Operation Christmas Child! If you haven't put a box or two together with your child, you should consider it! There are really neat video stories on the internet about children coming to know Christ after receiving their shoeboxes. I played one such video the night before we put our boxes together. I wanted the boys to realize exactly what we were doing! It is such a sweet ministry, and one that the kids can grasp and be a part of!

Here are a few clips of my little Joseph in the OCC program. . .

video

And, here he is singing! Note: Sweet Afton is the dancing angel beside him!

video

Thursday, November 12, 2009

I Need To Clarify. . .

It has come to my attention that one of my sons, ahem, is spreading some not so nice rumors about my parenting skills, and I must clear the air.

A little background info: With Joshua I always felt in complete control. With JCT, not so much, but, I still felt like I had a bit of control over what he would say or do. With Elijah, no control whatsoever, no. none. nada.

For Example: Someone might walk up to my sweet Lijah boy and say, "You are so cute!!!" And, he might turn around with an unfriendly face, hold out his hand like a crossing guard, and say "STOP!"

Yes. He does this sort of thing, regularly.

And, if you know me, you know that even if I am in the middle of active labor, having a long, painful contraction, and you walk up to me and say, "Hi, Erin, how are you? Do you prefer jelly beans or jelly bellies?" And, even if I am thinking that this is not a good time to ask me about candy preferences, I would smile and say, "Both!" Because that is how I was made. You always smile, and you are always nice.

But, not my Lije. And, try as I may, I cannot make him be any way other than the way he is. But, if you know him like I do, then you know that underneath that stern, "STOP!" is a silly smiling heart. It is all a game to him. He likes to act all tough and mean, but under it all he is a silly willy little man. I always tell people that his bark is much, much worse than his bite. He is a unique combination of aggression, passion, and preciousness.

I digress. . .

So, he was in his 2 y/o Sunday school class, and the teachers were discussing being thankful. "What are you thankful for?" they asked the children. No volunteers. So, they asked, "Are you thankful for your Mommy?" And, what did my sweet 2 y/o say? My sweet 2 y/o who I cuddle and bathe and love and hold and rock and sing to and read to and push on the swings and make cupcakes for and kiss his boo-boos and smile when he tee tees, what did that sweet son of mine say?

"NO!"

(And, he could have just left it at "NO!" but he did not, he had to add. . .

"No, my mommy locks me in the house!"

WHAT?

No, I have not nor will I ever lock my children in the house nor out of the house nor in their room for that matter!!! What is up with that?

Well, I'll tell you. Reminiscent of this. . .

It was about two weeks ago now, and I had just picked up JCT at preschool. I was hauling everybody and everything from the van to the house. It was nap time, and I was ready for a little peace. I had Erik Daniel on my hip (thankfully). I took my first load of things inside ~ diaper bag, etc., and everyone followed me into the house. I set my things down and headed back to the van for a second load of things ~ Erik Daniel still on my hip and JCT at my side talking nonstop about all that happened at preschool that morning. As I am shuffling through bags and mail in the passenger seat of the van JCT comes up to me and says. . .

"Elijah locked us outside."

Not again, Lord, not again. Will all my children have to lock me outside?? I forget about the bags in front of me and head straight for the backdoor. I check it. It is locked. Elijah's little red-headed self is smiling his silly, cheesy grin, proud of himself.

"Open the door," I say. Well, he tries, and he can't. I keep asking him over and over. He keeps trying, but can't seem to do it. So, I go look for the spare key. . . not in it's hiding place. My cell phone is in my diaper bag inside the house. We try the other doors ~ with the hope that one of them will be easier for him to unlock. Nope. For a good 20 minutes, I stand there trying not to panic. I wanted to go to a neighbor's house and use her phone, but I didn't want to leave my 2 y/o alone. I knew he was scared, so I stayed and eventually he figured out how to unbolt the door.

Now nearly every time we come home from anywhere, he says as I am unlocking the backdoor, "Mommy, I pwomise not to lock the door. I pwomise, Mommy."

So, there you have it. I was not the one doing the locking ~ Lijah was. And, the funny thing is that things like this happen so routinely around our home that I'm not even sure if I told Erik about it right away. My life is crazy, crazy, crazy!!! But, I wouldn't trade it for anything! He assigned me my portion and my cup, and I love it!!!!!!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

My Baby. . .

I went a little overboard! My mom asked for pictures of Erik Daniel walking, and I got a little carried away! My baby is looking so big!

Thanks to Pop for the cute, cute, cute outfit! I love it!
On his tip toes. . .

Now here he is walking around. . .


My sweet, sweet baby boy! He looks so much like Erik! I am so thankful that God gave him to us!!!


I could not love him more!!!!!!!

Big Middle

I have been thinking so much lately about my "middle men" as I call them. James Christofer and Elijah are sandwiched in between our leader, big brother Joshua, and our cute little baby, Erik Daniel. Several times I have considered buying a book on birth order. I just don't want my middle men to get lost in the middle! This is something I really pray about and work on regularly.

Most of JCT's clothes are hand-me-downs, as well as, his shoes. He has been wearing Joshua's old, torn up, ragged, awful looking tennis shoes since school began this year. And, I have been very convicted about it. Yes, they still work, but they look terrible! I found these great shoes in a Chasing Fireflies catalog a week or two ago, and I knew that they were meant for my JCT. So, I ordered them, and, they came in this week.

So, out of the blue, for no reason at all, a happy came in the mail for JCT!!!! And, he was elated!! "For me??!!!!" he kept saying as he opened the box! And, when he saw what was in the box, he thanked me and thanked me! He was so excited! He loves them so much! Here they are. . .


Perfect for him, absolutely, totally perfect for my dinosaur-loving little boy! And, it felt so good to spoil my big middle man!

I love you, my little dinosaur!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Sea of Leaves

Two things I must say: 1.) Kelly, I can honestly say that I have never quartered a cheerio!!!!! But, your comment made me smile!! At least I know that I am not alone in my irrational fear of choking!!!!! :-) And, 2.) Mary, we are actually doing a Bible study in our Sunday School class by Mark Batterson ~ Chase the Wild Goose! And, I am really enjoying it! I'll have to check out the study that you mentioned! And, I do have a menu plan this week ~ but, it is in my calendar which is in the van!!! Ooops! :-)


Okay, now, my backyard is literally a sea of leaves! And, the boys have been so excited about playing in them. I liken a yard filled with leaves to a yard filled with snow. The leaves are not cold and wet and not nearly as pretty, but the boys jump and play and throw them! They have a blast!
Last night we played outside late in the evening, so the light in these pictures is not great! But, you can see how they have taken over the pond and the yard!!
In a few weeks when all have fallen the man who cuts our grass will come and mow the leaves, and then the yard will look like normal again! It sure beats raking them!!!! But, don't tell the boys because they love to get their plastic rakes and pretend to put a dent in the backyard! Ha! Did I mention we live on 7 acres??? :-)
Sunset through the trees. . .
Our home is pure peace to me as I am sure yours is to you, as well. There truly is no place like home!

Monday, November 09, 2009

Playing Quarterback. . .

We watched a good bit of football on Saturday, so I am not sure what game was on when I heard it. If I had to bet, I'd say Alabama/LSU. Though I was cheering and sorely disappointed when LSU lost, something one of the commentators said about the Alabama(I think) quarterback caught my attention. He said, and this is an extremely rough transcription, "I'm proud of him. He took some risks during this game, and he doesn't usually do that. He needs to take more risks. You can't be a great quarterback if you are afraid to take risks. And, yeah, some of the risks hurt him ~ the ball was intercepted, he lost some yards. But, he has to learn that you can make mistakes and move on. The game goes on. And, you know what? You can even be successful after taking some risks and making some mistakes. You can even be successful after making some mistakes in a game against a team like LSU. And, he needs to know that. He'll be a better quarterback having learned that."

I don't remember what I was doing. I was not sitting and watching the game. I was probably cleaning up the kitchen while taking care of boys, etc. And, I had heard nothing before this little quote, and I heard nothing after, but this commentator had my attention and spoke deeply into the hidden fear-filled places of my heart.

First of all, I don't want to play quarterback. Yes, I would enjoy the accolades that a star quarterback receives, but I am perfectionist, and I fear, terribly, making mistakes, doing things wrong, disappointing someone, shouldering the responsibility, and having regrets. Regrets ~ especially terrify me. But, what if later I wish that I had. . . or what if later this leads to. . . And, so I struggle. Because we all have to play quarterback sometimes. There are some decisions that only we can make for ourselves. It is one of the reasons I love to be married. Erik says, "Jump!" And, I say, "How high?" I love to follow. I actually enjoy being told what to do. I have to watch myself because without realizing it at times I let my little ones order me around. They say, "Juice!" And, I say, "Will that be white grape, purple grape, or apple?" I love to please, and I love to serve ~ but making big decisions, taking big risks? No, not so much.

So, today I find myself in the quarterback's cleats, ball in hand, eyes searching the field for open receivers, and I am about to get sacked. I woke up at 2 last night debating the same age old debate, and it kept me awake until 5. I wrestled, prayed, thought, debated, you know the drill. You've done it, I'm sure. And, now I am worn out, emotionally, physically, and spiritually.

So, why am I so afraid? Why have I not learned what the above quote says?

I'll tell you why.

Because I believe in playing it safe.

I like safety nets. I like seat belts and car seats and air bags and safety harnesses and fire alarms and helmets and knee pads. I'm not a risk-taker. I feel like I am living on the edge and being risky when I cut my son's grapes into halves instead of into fourths.

Seriously.

I have a huge choking fear, but that is not important here and now in my present state of indecision. I'm just saying. . .

I have issues with risk-taking. But, sometimes, you have to do things that might upset someone else. And, sometimes the right thing to do is the hardest thing. And, one of these days I am going to sacrifice the pleaser in me. And, then, maybe, finally, I will be able to see clearly without looking through other people's eyes, but rather looking at my situation through my God-given eyes. Why, oh, why do I worry so about what others think? About failing? About perceptions? About not being perfect?

Maybe this is my game. Maybe this time I will take risks instead of playing it safe. Maybe. And, maybe I will learn that the game will go on ~ good decision or big mistake ~ the game will go on, and I will learn that in the end I'm okay, and my kids are okay, and it is all okay.

But, I'll never know if I never take a risk.

Down. Set. Hut. . .

Friday, November 06, 2009

The Little Boy Imagination. . .

it is such an amazing and wonderful thing! I thank God that I get to sit back and watch their little ideas come to life!!

Here they are sailing the high seas on the upside down lid of their sandbox using play rakes and hoes as oars!

Arrrgghhhh!!!!!!


How much fun they have!!

My love for little boys continues to grow as they do!!!!!

When God gives you Bananas (or 4 monkeys, rather), Make Banana Bread Muffins!

Oh, what a day, and it is only halfway over!! These are my favorite days. . .

Calm, quiet, no where to go, nothing that absolutely has to be done right now!! I love it! I slowly drank 2.5 cups of my morning coffee, and mid-morning JCT and I made banana bread muffins and eggs for brunch! Slow and easy ~ just the way I like it!

Oh, but did I mention that I decided to potty train my little middle (Elijah) this morning! And, ya'll he is almost there! He has gone tee tee over and over in the little potty and even went number two in the little potty once! Yay!!!! He has wanted to be potty trained for a while now. I just wasn't ready, but this morning I decided to give it a try. And, I am so glad that I did!

A little bit ago I took the boys down to the swing set to play. Most of the leaves have fallen, so the yard is nearly covered in crunchy brown leaves. We raced down to the swing set, and the sound of all the leaves rustling made my heart sing!!!! JCT and Elijah got their play rakes and attempted to help Daddy with the leaf raking!!! :-) Oh, and, JCT gave a demonstration of how to tinkle in the woods to Elijah, and Elijah very proudly pulled his pants down and successfully watered the woods just like his big brother! Cute!

And, now I have two babes asleep and one immersed in a TV show. I'm about to make a cup of Chai and smile over its warmth! I'm going to make Chili for dinner ~ a comfort food to me! And, I hate to break it to my sweet Joshua-boy, but we are not going to the high school football game tonight! I have a nice evening planned with games and a movie! We are all fighting a little cold, and there is no reason to drag everybody out in the cold weather tonight! It is a cuddle up inside kind of night to me! I can't wait!!

Monday, November 02, 2009

Settling into the Week ~ Menu

Last night Erik carried my oldest son into our home sound asleep on his shoulder. It was so sweet, and even though they were only away from me for about 30 hours it felt as if I had not seen Joshua in a year! He looked so grown up even if he was sleeping like a baby in his sweet Daddy's arms! JCT and I fell asleep waiting up for them on the couch. So, Erik and I carried our sweet baby boys up to their rooms and tucked them in bed. I breathed deep of Joshua's clothes as I carried them downstairs to the laundry room ~ I missed him so much!
I missed Erik, too! He came home with gifts for us!! Guess what my gift was?? Two bags of candy corn!! I was so disappointed last week when I discovered that our local Wal-Mart was completely out of Candy Corn! And, now thanks to an Alabama Target, I am overflowing with my favorite seasonal candy!!!!

And, then this morning it was back to business as usual! Get up, get ready, pack a lunch, comb hair, check and double check backpacks, and kiss goodbye! I was left standing at the backdoor with two small children at my feet and literally 6 baskets full of dirty laundry to clean!!!!!! And, it is now after lunch and my beloved, ever-faithful dryer, is still going and going and going, accompanied by his friend the washing machine! Will I ever get caught up on things around here??? I am praying that one day this week I will have time to change out the boys' winter and summer clothes, so we can stop living out of bins! My home feels a bit more chaotic than I like right now, but my hands are tied. One day. . . one day. . . that is what I keep telling myself!!

As for meals this week. . .

Today: Since we didn't get to have a big breakfast together this weekend, I thought we'd have breakfast for dinner tonight! Pancakes, eggs, and fruit!
Tuesday: Chicken Enchilada, corn, and green beans
Wednesday: Church night ~ leftovers
Thursday: I have a late afternoon appointment in the medium sized town near us, so I will probably bring dinner home from one of our favorite restaurants!
Friday: Fall football game night ~ sounds like a good night for chili over yellow rice to me!!
Saturday: I bet we go out to dinner as a family this evening!
Sunday: I'll probably make salsa chicken over yellow rice to use up the rest of the yellow rice from Friday night!

I'm hoping this will be a peaceful, restful, catch-up kind of week for us. Let's see how it goes!
My photo
Hi! I live in a sweet country home overflowing with love, laughter, and little ones. I have been blessed to journey these days beside a man that I love, respect, and admire. He is my soul-mate and best friend. Together we are seeking to raise our seven children to be lovers of God, to be wise and discerning, and to be all that our sweet God created them to be. I am in the goldfish and cheerio stage of life, but I am keenly aware that these days are slipping right through my hands. This blog is my attempt to keep our memories safe for years to come.

 

Designed By:

Munchkin Land Designs
 
Designed by Munchkin Land Designs • Copyright 2012 • All Rights Reserved