Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Playing With Picasa

I tried softening the edges and I think it looks fairly decent. I love this look, but forget to use it often.

I love this one of her chewing on her dress!
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I'm a Cowgirl! Lily at Six Months

Jacob put this cowboy hat on Lily. She actually kept it on for quite awhile. We all agreed that she is the cutest cowgirl in these here parts!

Lily wearing one of Jessica's old dresses. She LOVES the grass!

Yes, I need to mow my lawn, but I can't because one of my children (a.k.a. Jacob) decided to take the oil cap off of the lawnmower and put rocks into it. I'm hoping that we can get it fixed somehow. I can't put the oil dipstick back in because of the dirt or whatever that is in it. I managed to tip the thing over and get two rocks out, but it still won't go in. We just bought this mower last year because of another child (a.k.a. Andrew) decided to do the same thing to our other mower. Talk about frustrating and expensive!
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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Soccer Season in Full Swing!

So far, Lily is doing very well with all of this activity. I found this little hat that is perfect for protecting her from the sun. The strap is great for those windy days.
Fellow soccer moms, Rachel and Toni! These are some of my favorite moms in the whole world! I requested their sons be on the same team as Marcus and so far it has been such a joy to watch all of our boys play together! Of course, we chat the whole game through. This is probably why I'm liking soccer so much this year! Love you, girls!
Andrew in his uniform. He looks very handsome, but soccer just isn't his thing. He is a great trooper though, and likes to hang out and eat snacks with grandparents. He is such a snuggle bug.
Marcus found this five leaf clover right before his first soccer game. He said he was "extra" lucky! It must have worked, because they won their first game!
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Monday, September 28, 2009

Seeing Some Fruit

I know I am not the only mother that hates to see her children fighting and picking on each other. There has seemed to be a pattern for awhile of Andrew not getting along with his sibs. He is just at that annoying four-year old stage. He wants power, and he knows how to push his sibs buttons!

Yesterday, out of the blue, Marcus came up to me and told me that he had apologized to Andrew for being mean. I asked him when this latest incident happened. He said for about two years. Ooooh! He said Andrew had forgiven him.

I then inquired as to what prompted this apology. Marcus told me that God just wouldn't leave him alone about it. Hmmmm, sounds like the Holy Spirit is working in my child's life. I just couldn't contain myself and gave him a big hug and a "good job, son"!

Now that is fruit! Real, tangible and delicious fruit. This was something that this mother needed badly. Last week was pretty rough. Lots of attitudes, disciplining and a general sense of being overwhelmed by all that needed to be done in my children's hearts, housework and homeschooling.

A few minutes after this apology, I watched Andrew spontaneously run up and give Marcus a great big bear hug for no reason. I met Marcus' eye and gave him a knowing smile. I know it made Marcus' day and he could see that following and obeying God is always the best way.

Mmmm, life is good.

One last thing. I shared my bad attitude about soccer a few posts back. Well, God is doing a work in my heart. I have never had so much fun on the soccer field as I did last week. I realized that I had truly enjoyed myself. It was relaxing and the kids were great! It felt wonderful to be outside in the fresh air and sunshine. Only God can do a work like that!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Marcus' Birthday Tea

I promised Marcus that I would take him to tea for his 9th birthday. We had a pleasant time and stuffed ourselves with Bev's goodies! I'm glad that Marcus likes to go on "dates" with his mama. This is so good for us. Marcus is very strong-willed and we have to keep a tight reign on him. Anytime we can pour something positive in his life, is a good thing. This child thrives on one-on-one attention. That is the way God created him. It is hard to be the second oldest of six children. He is classified as one of the "big" kids, but still has to wait to do things that Josh gets to do because of his age. We sometimes has a lot of conflict because of some of these issues.

During tea we discussed some of the things he would like to do when he grows up. Before he wanted to be an author, but now he is thinking that he wants to be a math teacher. Our neighbor, Loren, is a retired math teacher and has been a mentor to Marcus lately. Loren has taught Marcus so many things, chess, carpentry (I'll share pictures of his table and bench he helped Marcus make) and now how to make train whistles. He is a homeschooler's dream!

Most people wouldn't know it, but Marcus has a real sensitive side. He has a very caring heart, especially for the lost and hurting. Last night, we got into a conflict. At first, I didn't listen to him, but was convicted. I was wrong and told him so. I apologized to him and asked him to forgive me. You could see the pain on his face. He didn't want to forgive me, but knew he needed to. We were able to hug and make up and move on. He is getting frustrated with me, and for good reason. I need to speak less and listen more. I make so many mistakes, but God is good and He forgives me and we are able to move on.

I remember my dad getting angry with me, sometimes even so mad that he would cuss a little. I would be so upset, but he would always come back and apologize. It made such an impression on me. I knew my dad wasn't perfect, I would get so angry with him, but when he apologized he pierced my defenses and I would just cry and we would hold each other. I love my father and we have a very good relationship. Even if we hurt each other's feelings, we can talk about it and things are OK after that. I'm so thankful for that.

I guess what I'm trying to say is this: I hope that even though I blow it and yell at my kids sometimes, I hope that they will remember all the times that they saw me repenting, asking forgiveness and trying to change the behavior.
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Friday, September 25, 2009

Running a Dynamic Household-Part 2

Here is more on the book by Mark Chanski called, "Womanly Dominion:More than a Gentle and Quiet Spirit". It has challenged me as a mother, and I hope it speaks to you as well.

"A woman of dominion will strive to maintain an orderly household. An overgrown yard, ransacked rooms, and a sink stacked high with dirty dishes do not glorify the God who loves things being “done properly and in an orderly manner” (1 Corinthians 14:40; also numerous Proverbs).

Oh, I suppose a mother could keep things “neat as a pin” if her goal was to have just one or two “low maintenance” children of the “sheltered” variety to whom she selfishly communicated, “Just go to your room and don’t bother. “ But if a mother is bent on raising up mighty children, capable children, bold, brave, daring, adventuresome, God-fearing, dominion-minded children, then she needs to “kiss goodbye” any aspiration of immaculate tranquility. Oxen who go out and turn the soil over, and children who go out and turn the world upside down, make messes. But the woman of dominion is willing to pay the price of domestic upheaval for the prospects of kingdom profit.

There will be more corner cobwebs than you’d like, because instead of obsessively cleaning, you’ll be nursing, teaching to read and ride bikes, and telling bedtime stories. Your front lawn may be blemished with dandelions because your husband assigned your thirteen-year old son (who needs to learn responsibility) to spray weed killer on the grass instead of Dad doing it perfectly himself. Because you let the children finger paint and do Play-Doh today, your kitchen won’t pass the white glove test. Your Lord’s Day mornings aren’t as tranquil as you’d like, because it takes time before it takes time before Sunday School to find a matching sock, help polish the memory verses, and get the munchkins all into the car on time. And now that we’ve mentioned the car, it’s not as new as you’d like, due to the dollars and time poured into feeding, education, nurturing, and rounding out the kids.

Yes, you do want well-rounded kids. You’re not content to have them aimlessly kicking up dust in the back yard, sitting around playing computer games, or sequestered away in their bedrooms, That’s why your calendar may be cluttered with soccer, basketball, or baseball games, 4-H, and or music lessons.

A selfless mother of dominion will be willing to endure decades of “upheaval.” God willing, she will be able to watch from the grandstands the “increase” of her thoroughbred training. Look how her high-spirited and accomplished horses run the race in such a way as to win the prize! The breathtaking sight brings to her a fullness of soul that causes all the years of “upheaval” to evaporate into a fleeting vapor. She is able to feast all winter long on the “fruit of her hands” (Proverbs 31:31)."

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Running a Dynamic Household-Part 1

Running a Dynamic Household

Proverbs 14:4 provide moms with lots of encouragement. It says, “Where no oxen are, the manger is clean, but much increase comes by the strength of the ox.”

The book, “Womanly Dominion-More than a Gentle and Quiet Spirit” by Mark Chanski says, “Step into an “oxless” barn. Look, there are no muscular beasts which do the great work of plowing up a field for planting. But it’s immaculate here. The manger is clean, no feed slop, corn dust, or beastly saliva. In fact, everything is spic and span. You could eat off the floor-no hay or mud. There are no unsightly hoof prints, manure piles, urine puddles, or buzzing flies. The smell is antiseptic and fresh. Everything is in perfect order.

But there is a downside to this tidiness. Outside the barn, the acreage is overrun with weeds. The fields are untilled and uncultivated. The grain cribs are empty. You see, there’s no ox to cut open the soil with the plow blade. And so, no seed was hidden, and no harvest was reaped. There’s no “increase” here. Poverty reigns and the cupboards are bare.

Now step into the “ox-inhabited” barn. Whew! The manure. Urine, hay, mud and flies make it anything but fresh and sweet in here. Here comes Farmer Elimelech with a shovel over his shoulder to clean up the mess. He’s late this morning. He was up at two a.m. to help deliver an ox calf. It’s a huge task to feed, house, and look after these enormous beasts. Why does he put up with all the grief, messiness, and aggravation? It’s as the Proverb says, because “Much increase comes by the strength of the ox.” “Increase “ is revenue, yield, income, harvest, or gain. These mighty plodders knife open the soil, enabling the nestling of the seed in rows, resulting in the eventual swaying of wheat and barley, the overflowing of barns, the rolling of full wagons to the market place, the piling of the kitchen table high with bounty, and the providing of riches of one’s family and heritage.

Sure, the barn is not very tidy, immaculate, or fresh smelling, but the yield, the increase makes it a far better barn than the first.

In a nutshell, Proverbs 14:4 teaches that enduring and worthwhile gain comes only at the cost of draining upheaval. The modernized version is: "No pain, no gain.”

Derek Kidner entitles this proverb, “Neat but Negative.” Think of the dear woman who dreams of an immaculate house, uncluttered by the tramplings and inconveniences of a small or large herd of messy offspring. Kidner comments: “Orderliness can reach the point of sterility (uselessness). This proverb is not a plea for slovenliness, physical or moral, but for the readiness to accept upheaval, and a mess to clean up, as the price of growth.”

"With the oxen of children in our domestic barns, an immaculate lifestyle will prove illusive."

More tomorrow...

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Magic Mom! WWII Party Part 4

Here is a shot of Andrew with his dog tags at the party!
Mom in her pretty purple cast! She got the cast put on the day before. I think we all know what color of shirts she'll be wearing for awhile! She is all about matching colors!
Look how happy she looks! She was having so much fun here showing the grandkids her new magic trick. My mom just loves magic! She has a captive audience when the grandkids are available. Look at my grandma on the couch in the back of the pictures. Doesn't she look so cute?
Here is the captive audience! They all just LOVE their Grandma Kricket! She loves to have fun and she has a heart of a child. My kids are so blessed to have her in their lives.
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Monday, September 21, 2009

WWII Party For Boys Part 3

The boys with their cake.
My BIL had some extra MREs and gave one to each kid at the party. For dinner, they decided to try them out. They were so cute discovering each one. They are were all different! It was like a "grab bag" dinner.
Josh had a beef ravioli dish. Ugh!
Marcus had a veggie burger. Extra ugh! It was the perfect touch to a very WWII day! Talk about an awesome homeschool experience! I love immersing them in history!
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WWII Birthday Part 2

Josiah pretending to have been shot. Jackie and Michael bought him this real helmet and Swiss Army bag. He just loved them. Diana bought the helmets for our boys for Christmas and they were a huge hit. Vision Forum has some great deals on some of this kind of stuff.
Jackie is explaining what is in the treat bags. We put in a stick of Wrigley's Gum, a Hershey bar, dog tags and some other cute things. It was perfect!
Josh and Marcus had bought these little WWII figures from KMart and I can't tell you how perfect they looked on this "battlefield" cake. I had them set it up with a little supervison and they had so much fun!
Lily enjoyed watching all the action!
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WWII Birthday Party For Boys Part 1

I just love this picture of Josiah shooting from behind this tree. The boys created their own reenactment. They planned their battles and we watched. It was too cute!
Josiah getting into his position.
These water balloons grenades were the cutest idea!
Jacob was in love with Josiah's Indiana Jones hat.
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War Brides For WWII Party

For Josiah, Joshua and Marcus' birthday, we put a WWII party on for them. It was so much fun! Jackie is always into dressing up. She looked beautiful in this vintage 1940's dress that she bought for $5 from a little old lady that was getting rid of all of her old clothes at a flea market.
We pinned her hair and curled it under for a 1940's hairstyle.

At the last minute she pulled out this other vintage dress she had and convinced me to dress up as well. She is wearing heels and I'm wearing flats, that is why she looks so much taller than I.
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Sunday, September 20, 2009

Fire/Safety Fair

We went and visited Dad at Home Depot where they had a fire/safety fair. The kids love to talk with the LifeFlight pilots and I'm sure scare them to death when they get in that chopper! There are lots and lots of buttons!

Firefighter Hal is Andrew's favorite firefighter (besides his daddy). They both just dig each other! I got this sweet picture of them together.
I took the kids to the Fire Engine park the other day while we were waiting for Josh and Marcus to get out of A.C.T.S. (Acclaiming Christ Through Sports). All my kids love this old-style fire engine.

Talk about a crazy day! It started at 6:30 a.m. when we got up and I quickly got the kids ready to leave Jackie's and made the three and a half hour trip home this morning in time for soccer (we had to take three potty/nursing breaks). I fed them sandwhiches (praise God I made bread before I left for the weekend) and then rushed them to soccer. We had two sets of grandparents with us today which helped soooo much! Thanks guys! It was awesome having you there! Mom even made it up with her pretty purple cast. Larry is so sweet with her. He is such a great husband.

We decided to take Andrew out of soccer. He just doesn't want to play. If he falls down he cries, if he gets pushed he gets angry and then he won't go back into the game. He just falls apart. He is very different from the first three and is very much a loner. Team sports are probably NOT going to be his forte. We might try it again next year if he really wants to play. His coach was so patient with him. I really appreciate her help. He's just a little stinker and that is all there is to it. That's my Andrew! He is as unique as they come.

I'm going to finish unpacking from our fun weekend with my sis. I'll be posting pictures soon of our WWII party. I'll try to beat my sis! It was awesome!
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Thursday, September 17, 2009

Look Who's Sitting Up!

Oh my, how time flies when you are having fun! My little Lily is almost six months and is sitting up on her own now. She loves it!
The kids and I think she just looks so stinkin' cute when she is happy, sitting up and talking with them.
I took the four littler ones to the part on Saturday and let Lily sit in the grass. She was trying to eat it!
Jessica just can't leave her alone. Where there is Lily, there is Jessica!

Well, I'm off on a road trip by myself with all the kids (My second time). I am going to go visit Mom and then we are going to my sister Jackie's house for a triple birthday party. Josiah, Marcus and Joshua all have their birthdays within 8 days of each other. It's kind of crazy! We are planning a WWII party this year. We have loaded up the van with WWII helmets, coats, and weapons of all kinds.

Please pray for a safe trip and that the van will run good. It made it to Bend and back, but we keep finding little things wrong with it. I'm hoping all the kinks are worked out. I also just bought two new tires for it. I should be good to go!

Please also pray for strength for me this weekend. I came down with strep throat a couple of days ago and am on antibiotics. I am feeling better, but still not up to par. I'm hoping for a good night's sleep tonight so that I can be well rested for the weekend. It's a big weekend and lots of activities. I have to wake up and rush everyone out of the house on Sunday morning to take the three hour drive back home (that would be without stopping). We have a five hour day on the soccer field Sunday afternoon. Like I said, busy! Have a great weekend everybody!
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