Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Greeting Lily

Everyone missed Lily so much while they were at the beach. I love this picture of her daddy holding her.
The kids went crazy when they saw her. They thought she had grown up so much!

My aunt Deb took this picture of Lily and I. I just love her little outfit and her smile matches it perfectly. I am SOOOOO enjoying dressing up a little girl again!

Recording Breaking Scrapbook Camp

Jackie poses here with her 80+ pages (on the right) and my 73 pages (on the left)
We both had never gotten this much done before! It felt so good. I'm fried now, as far as ideas. Lily is completely caught up and so is the family. I even put them in their albums yesterday so the kids could see them.
Lily and I get ready to go to tea. Jackie said she looked like a little tulip in this outfit.
My beautiful sis, Jackie at the tea parlor. We went shopping and bought matching shirts. That's always fun to do when you are a twin! It really freaks people out!

Steve came home and the kids just went nuts over Lily. They missed her so much. She rolled over for the first time two days ago. Jessica went with Aunt Jackie to visit. We'll meet up this weekend when we go camping. I miss my big girl, but I know she loves to be with Jackie's kids.

So about the scrapbook weekend. It was great to be able to spend so much time with my sister. I feel like we really got to catch up. Mom brought the Wii, so we spent sometime playing that. I had never seen one before. I did some yoga, bowling, tennis and soccer. It was interesting. I don't know if I want one though. I'd rather just do it on my own then in front of a TV.

I realized how blessed I am this weekend. How many people in the world would be able to take 4 days off and just scrapbook? I have the best husband who was willing to take five kids (plus a cousin) to the beach because he knows how much I enjoy scrapbooking. Thanks, Steve!
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Monday, June 29, 2009

Good and Angry (Part 2) Dealing With Bad Attitudes

Dealing With Bad Attitudes

Dear Mothers,

When you have six children, you deal with a LOT of bad attitudes daily. Living in a large family requires work. You simply CAN’T be selfish for very long. One person’s selfishness affects the whole family (parents included). My goal for my children is that they would WILLINGLY accept instruction. Instead, I feel like sometimes it's likepulling teeth to get them to do something for me. Their attitude shows me what is in their heart.

When I ask a child to do something, many times I get an “Okaaaay, Mom!” After reading “Good and Angry”, I finally know what to do about this bad response.

“Good and Angry”, written by Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller says this…

“When you have asked your child to do something and they respond with ‘Okaaaaay, Mom!’ you know your child has an attitude problem. The response reveals some important things about a child’s heart. Silence can mean too many things. A child may comply while harboring anger, rebellion, resentment, or defiance. Teaching children to answer after an instruction gives you a window into their hearts to see if they’re responding well to the instruction. If not, a parent has the opportunity to help make some adjustments.

Some children develop patterns of arguing or making excuses when you ask them to do something. If your daughter tends to debate instructions, the underlying problem may be that she doesn’t want you to tell her what to do or doesn’t want to stop what she is doing to do something different. Another child may resist because he dislikes the task or shies away from anything that looks like work. Children sometimes view instructions as an intrusion into their lives. (This is so my oldest son!) If they like the instruction, they’ll follow through. If they don’t, they resist.

If a child begins to argue, complain, badger, whine or grumble when you give an instruction, stop the process. Don’t continue to talk about the task. Instead talk about the way you’re relating. Give a consequence if necessary, but don’t allow poor relating patterns to go unchecked. It might be necessary to get out the door or leave the store first, but don’t just let the problem of arguing go. Take time later to talk about any negative patterns that your child is developing.

Sometimes kids respond to an instruction by arguing because they believe they have a better idea. Parents can get caught up in these debates, believing that having these “discussions” is an honoring way to respond. After all, our children can have some valid points. Discussing alternatives can occasionally be helpful, but parents who encourage it too often end up with kids who can’t follow the simplest instruction without a dialogue. These children grow up to make poor employees and weak team members.”

After some of these discussions, I felt like I was on a debate team! Sometimes practicing “not arguing” is just what my children need. For example, I will say to Josh, “Please load the dishwasher.” If I get a big sigh and a rolling of the eyes, then I will tell my son to go on a break in his room until he is ready to talk about his attitude. When he returns to me and we discuss the bad attitude, I have him sit or stand in the exact spot that he was at before I gave the instruction. He has to respond to me with a good attitude or he goes back on break. I’ve done this 10 times in a row before my son finally changed his attitude and spoke respectfully. It was work to do this, but the results were so worth it. I have seen a huge change in him in regards to instruction because of these “practice sessions”.

I know that if I practice these concepts of getting the “heart of my child”, they will hopefully someday consistently follow directions without arguing and complaining. “Many children benefit from the structure of a routine to help them respond appropriately to instructions.”

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Three Generation Tea Party

I love these pictures of Mom, Jackie, Lily and I. Mom took us to the ANZAC Tea Parlor for lunch. We had a wonderful time trying hats on Lily. The white hat makes Lily look like she's wearing a lamp shade. We had a wonderful time getting all dressed up!
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Lavender and Lilies

Lavender looks great with the purple allysum surrounding it. My cosmos in the background are doing great!
Orange and yellow day lilies.
I love daisies! They are so cheerful and happy!
These yellow lilies are simply delightful!
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Friday, June 26, 2009

Scrapbook Camp Pages (Part 1)

This weekend Steve took 5 of the kids to the beach and left me with Lily so that I could get caught up on my scrapbooking. Do I have an amazing husband or what? Here are a few pages that I have done so far. The title on the first page is "Mother of Six".
The Title on this one is "Tiny Fingers, Tiny Toes". It also has a Bible verse on the side.
"Lily's Birth Story"
"Affection" is simple, but I love the open space and the coordinating papers. I've probably done 15 pages so far. I'm almost done with Lily then I will start to work on the family album. My sister and I got to go to a Hawaiian BBQ restaurant that was yummy, and then we went shopping. Lily has been so good and I'm getting a ton done!
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Thursday, June 25, 2009

First Tae Kwon Do Stripes!

I'm so proud of my three older children. They started Tae Kwon Do in January and just received their first stripe on their white belts (one of three). They can always practice more, but I am impressed how they have picked up on the Korean language and can remember their forms. Marcus was praised by his instructor for his work on flexibility.
Josh has been promoted to First Student and seems to have good form.
Jessica got one for trying hard, but was encouraged to practice more.
Here they are in class. Jeremy has high expectations and is very much in to discipline. My children really need both of these things from someone other than their parents. I didn't want to do Tae Kwon Do at first, but I think it is working out just fine. Congratulations, Guys! Mom and Dad are proud of you!
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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

"Ah, Rasperries!"

It's officially raspberry picking time! This is the first time Jacob has been a part of it. He LOVES them! He eats more than he picks, but that's OK. They are so good for you.
As you can see, I have three rows of them. The four children are busy picking away. Snickers, of course, has to always be in the thick of everything. They are selling them and saving the money towards church camp. We don't spray them, so they are "organic". We have 8 gallons or so spoken for. I always pick 3-4 gallons for jam to last me to the next year. I'm so glad my kids like raspberries!
I love Jessica in her dress up "Flamenco" dress from Spain. She loves that dress, Ethel!
Here are some of our beauties! Every time I go down to the patch, I always think of "Little Rascals" when they say "Ah, Raspberries!"
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Father's Day Recap

Steve had to work on Father's Day, so I asked Diana to meet me at the fire station so we could do a photo shoot with him. The kids did real well and Steve was pretty cooperative. He hates to have his picture taken! I love this picture of them all lined up on Engine 7.
Here are a few cards I whipped up on Sunday morning! Yeah, I'm real prepared aren't I? I love the paper and the buttons. Fast and simple. No stamping required!
Here is another variation using some of the same materials. I forgot to call my FIL and my step dad. I remembered in the morning, but thought I would let them sleep in. The day just escaped me after that, so I called both of them on Monday morning and apologized. I barely even saw my father (Russ) at church. It was crazy there too. It's hard to visit when you are trying to gather and herd six children out the door! What is even more frustrating is that is where people like to give me stuff! My hands are already full with papers, diaper bags, craft projects, Bibles and children! I have a great idea! Follow me out to the car or better yet, throw it in the back of the Suburban. It's never locked! I appreciate the stuff, but my hands can only hold so much. OK, I'm off my soap box now.
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First Relay For Life

Steve took the four older children to participate in the Relay for Life (raises money for cancer research). Cancer has struck not only our pastor but one of the firefighter's wives. Casey had to undergo chemo and a double mastectomy. The fire department had a team this year and it was neat to have the kids be part of it.
Jessica walked for a solid hour. She said she hated it, I think it was pretty boring, but I'm so proud of her that she finished.
Andrew walked 7 laps or so.
This Andrew and Wade (another F.D. kid). They seemed to hit it off!
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Sunday, June 21, 2009

Commander Mom

Commander Mom

Dear Mothers,

Are you a “Commander Mom”? What in the world is that, you say? A “Commander Mom” is a mother who barks orders at her children all day long and expects instant obedience. When she doesn’t get the obedience, she ends up angry and frustrated. She then becomes a hostage to her anger, which results in a lack of peace in her heart and her home.

I am guilty of being a “Commander Mom”. I have been more interested in obedience then I have with building a stronger relationship with my child. I’ll get into this “efficient” mode and start ordering a child to do five things at once!

A wonderful book called, “Good and Angry” by Scott Turansky andJoanne Miller, says this…

“The way you communicate an instruction is important because it often influences how the child will respond. Yelling breeds more yelling. Irritation encourages defensiveness. When you see a problem, take a moment and ask yourself whether your child is ready to receive an instruction so that the process can go well. A good parenting routine for giving instructions begins before the first words are spoken.

When a child continually demonstrates resistance to instructions, it’s time to decide whether you need to emphasize relationship more or you need to discipline for a lack of responsiveness. Training is work and some children need to learn how to demonstrate genuine responsiveness when someone wants to talk with them. If you ask your son to come help in the kitchen and before you finish your instruction he’s whining and complaining, then stop the process. You may have to postpone discipline for a time because you need to get the table set or food out in order to stay on schedule, but don’t just let it go. After dinner, talk to your son and confront him about his poor attitude. Explain the importance of cooperation and that you’re going to have him help you with dinner every evening for a while. Increasing the workload to give more opportunity to practice may be just the constructive consequence need to build a cooperative attitude.

Sometimes you must ask your children to help right away, and they need to be able to respond quickly. When you arrive home with a car full of groceries, you don’t have the luxury to consider the timing. You may have to ask your children to stop their computer game or take a break from talking on the phone to help unload the car. When the relationship is generally strong, however, interruptions are easier for children to accept.”

With this new approach, I am learning to defuse my anger. Instead of getting mad that they ignored my instruction, I let it go (they think they got away with it) and then after I intentionally think about the best consequence for their behavior, I confront them. This way, I’m not “parenting off the hip”.

“Good and Angry” goes on to say…

“ No one likes to be ambushed when coming in the door or just getting out of bed in the morning. It takes patience and self-control for me to hold my tongue and wait for a more appropriate time to launch into the jobs that my son needs to do. Timing is important. I want to let my son wake up to our relationship before I move to instruction.”

Just give you children a little warning! I’m trying this and it is producing amazing results! For instance, my child is coloring or drawing a picture. The laundry needs to be folded. Instead of yelling at them from the kitchen, “Josh, please come fold the laundry!” I go over to him, lean over and watch him draw for a while. I’ll talk with him a bit about the picture and then say, “Hey, Josh, after you get done drawing that ship, will you please come fold the laundry?” He will cheerfully say, yes! He wasn’t ambushed and he gets to put closure on a project that he is trying to accomplish.

Remember, Relationship is more important then getting the job done!

That’s all for now. I’ll be posting a series based on the book "Good and Angry". So stay tuned!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Hair Cuts/Garden/Friend

Lily kept pulling my hair, so I decided to get it cut shorter. It's not my favorite length, but it will have to do. Jackie says I look like a mom again. Hmmmm, not sure how I should take that! LOL!
Jessica got her hair cut, too. She wants it long, but she has hair like me...THIN! Poor girl. It looks so stringy when it's long.
My friend, Helena, came over twice this week with her children. This was quite a treat. We don't get together very often. We had a very nice visit both times. She just loves Lily!
Andrew came up with this idea. He hung a pot in one of the trees. I looked at it and thought, "That is really cute!". So I bought potting soil and some petunias and we planted these pots to together and hung them in our cherry tree. It made him feel so special!
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This Week's Happenings

It's been a weird week. Nothing has gone the way I have planned it. It's been good though. We have had lots of company and was even invited over to Jeremy and Cheree's house for a BBQ last night. It is rare that people ask us over. I think they are intimidated by the size of our family. That's O.K., though, I understand. I might be if I were in their shoes. It's just the way it is. We had a very nice time and Jessica took some pictures, so if they turn out, I'll post them later.

Yesterday, I had a scare on my blog. I lost EVERYTHING on my sidebar! I just wanted to cry! All that work, gone. After much prayer and "counseling sessions" with my sister, we finally figured it out by using HELP. Boy, was I relieved. Thanks, Sis!

I'm trying to get rid of my baby tummy by doing crunches. Exercise is not my favorite thing. I also, started Yoga again (just in my living room). I'm hoping it will help me with my hip issues. I do not meditate, only stretch and try to relax as much as possible.

I've cleaned house a lot (you wouldn't know it) by how dirty it is again. Today will be busy running people around places. Steve is taking Jessica, Josh, Marcus and Andrew to do the "Relay for Life" fundraiser. After Jessica does her walk, I will get her and take her to MaKenna's slumber party. She is so excited! I think this is her official first slumber party. My daughter is part fish, so when she found out they had a swimming pool, she got pretty wound up!

I have really been working on my parenting. I decided to read "Good and Angry" again. I felt myself starting to slip back into old habits. This book is already helping me tremendously. It has been much more peaceful around here and I'm not parenting from the hip as much.

Raspberries are coming on, so that will keep up busy for about three weeks. I'll post pictures of the patch soon, so you can see what a huge task it is. I'm so glad the boys are old enough to really be of some help in this area. They have been spreading the last load of bark chip for me, too. I pay them a dollar per load. I'm going broke, but I'm not hurting my back anymore.

I haven't homeschooled (officially) this whole week. It is so nice to take a break when the weather is nice. They are still learning tons, even without the bookwork.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Seeing Us Serve

Seeing Us Serve

Dear Mothers,

The other day my son was watching me prepare food. I had been working all morning doing my normal chores when he said something that really got me thinking. He said, “Mom, you work really hard don’t you? You don’t play a lot, do you?” Then he asked, “Mom, are you a slave?” It caught me off guard, but I thought this could be a real teachable moment. So, I agreed with him, “Yes, I do work hard and no, I don’t get to play a lot.” I went on to explain that I am a servant not a slave. Although I do not have a job outside the home like his daddy, my job is here in my home. I told him that it is hard work caring for and feeding my family, but that is the job that God has given me. After this conversation I really started thinking about how my children view me.

Are my children seeing me serve them with a resentful, unkind attitude? I want them to see me serving my family with a loving, kind, and patient heart. I want to be like Jesus and show them that service is what God has put us on this earth to do. We are commanded to serve one another!

This concept of serving starts with our families, doesn’t it? How are we doing in this area? Are we serving our husbands with this same attitude? When he asks us to do something for him as he walks out the door to go to work, are we going to obey cheerfully, or are we going to grumble and complain about it or choose not to do it at all?

Are we going to start resenting that mountain of laundry, that pile of dishes, and those dirty floors? Mothers this is our job. We need to except it, stop trying to get out of it, and move on! Let’s commit to the Lord to do the best we can do. That is all He requires. He doesn’t say that we need to have a home that looks like it could be in a magazine. Our homes are lived in!

God has given us these precious children! Are we training them to serve with a cheerful heart? I think of a little song that I learned in Sunday school, it says, “If you want to be great in God’s Kingdom, learn to be the servant of all.” Let’s pray that we can be the best example that our children see of having a surrendered, serving heart like Jesus. Now that would be “service with a smile”!

From one Mom to Another,

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