Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Packing Highlights

As I carried a box out to the kitchen, Eli said "You know, I can carry that for you, mom!" He said it in his most macho, strong-man voice. I hesitated just a second, because the box was rather heavy. But, not wanting to disappoint him, I said okay. He put out both arms, and I carefully handed him the box. He stood there for a second, surprised at how heavy it was. He didn't take a single step, he just stood there. He scrunched his face all up. He bit his tongue. He started to turn purple. There was steam coming out his ears ;) Every muscle in his body willed him to carry that box to the living room.

But alas, it was just no use. He sat the box down in defeat and looked up at me with a sad look on his face. I rubbed his head playfully and said "Don't worry, Bud, it was just awkward, that's all." He smiled happily and said "Yeah, I'll carry the next box!"

And I was reminded in that moment how much he wants to protect and take care of his Mommy. And I also remembered how important it is for me to let him protect and care for me right now. Like when he proudly carries two bags of groceries in on each arm. Or when he holds the front door open for me with a smile and then closes it behind me.

Some day, my little boy may grow up and have a wife and a family to protect and care for. And I am his 'practice run'. It is often said that a girl should watch how a man talks to and respects his mom, because he will treat her the same way.

I remember watching my husband when we were courting, and it was obvious that he loved his mom. He treated her, and still does, with the utmost respect. He viewed the work she did in their home as a great gift and 'calling' that his mom had. He would often say things like "Nobody makes pie like MY mom", or "Well, I know mom does it this way....", or "I remember helping mom....." And today, he treats me in the same way---with love, respect, admiration, etc, etc.

And in that moment, as I stood there watching my little man try so hard to carry that box, I saw a bit of his Daddy shining through. And let me tell you, nothing makes me happier :)

Monday, September 27, 2010

Room clean-up, Eli and Cosette style

Eli style:

"Hey Eli, please go get started on cleaning up your messy room before dinner time."

5 minutes later "Eli, are you cleaning up your room?"

Eli: "OH, did you mean right NOW?" (As if I had been speaking French or something)

Ten minutes later: "Eli, are you cleaning up? You're not cleaning up, you're playing with Legos!"

Eli: "No Mama, I'm cleaning up, I'm just driving them each to the bucket"

Ten MORE minutes later

Eli: "Mama, Did you mean my WHOLE room? I can't do it all by myself."

Ten minutes later

Eli: "Mama, I'm done!"

Mama: "Eli, cleaning your room does not mean stuffing everything in the corners and under your bed. Now, let's try this again. Hang up your jacket. Okay, now, put your cars in the basket. Great, now, please throw the paper scraps away.......

Twenty minutes later:

Mama: "This room is finally clean!" (And I think to myself that teaching your 4 year old to clean his own room is almost as hard as pulling teeth)

Room clean up, Cosette style:

Mama: "Cosette, please go clean up your room before dinner"

Five minutes later:

Mama: "Oh, I see your room is all clean now, AND you vacuumed your carpet and organized your desk! Great work!"

Don't tell ME there's no difference between boys and girls.....

To Eli's credit, he IS getting much better at this....it's just not his natural gifting :)

Sunday, September 26, 2010

And so it begins

Our move, that is :) Our big 'moving day' is now scheduled for the 9th of October, with closing happening this Friday, and lots of painting at the new house next week before we move in.

My living room currently looks like this :

But it's all good :) I can live in chaos , as long as it's only for a short amount of time!

But before I end this post, here's something weird I learned this week:

  • Big white hairy caterpillars can bite your poor unsuspecting four year old when he is only trying to be their friend. Nasty thing. Funny thing was, when I tried to get rid of it for him, he was all concerned: "Be careful, Mommy, Don't hurt it!"

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Cosette brought this letter out to me this morning. I found it highly amusing! I will 'translate' at the bottom. Enjoy!

What I am foolish
about in my life!
1. I like to watch too much t.v.
2. I yell at my mom when she tells me 'no'
3. I disobey when my mom or my dad calls me.
The fourth thing that I like doing but I think I waste my time on this --I like to write. Do you think I am a little foolish about that? Well I do it a lot so I better let you go now.

I have no idea where the whole 'foolish' theme came from, but leave it up to my five-year -old first born to write a paper like this! :)

Sunday, September 19, 2010

In honor

Everything I know about mothering----I learned from my mother. (Well, okay, not how to make bread, I learned that from Joel's mom----but I suppose that's the same kind of idea ;) But seriously---how to keep a home clean and organized---learned that from my mom. How to plan meals and grocery shop----learned that from my mom. How to keep a budget and balance a checkbook--yep, all mom. How to teach second grade math while checking kindergarten reading, all while NOT burning the soup on the stove---yep, that was my mom's lesson too. How to love a little girl and look in her shining eyes and say 'I love you, my sweet-pea'. Yep, that one definitely came from my mom. How to stand bravely when your three year old pukes his dinner all over you, all the while not freaking out, and giving him a big hug, puke and all----oh, YES, this is not my gifting at all, so the lesson from my mom must have kicked in last May when this actually happened with Eli. I was so proud of myself, and so was mom :) How to snuggle under a blanket with your children and enjoy The Cricket in Times Square, Stuart Little, and Little House in the Big Woods----- yep, many happy memories like this with mom. And finally, how to immerse yourself so deeply into God's Word and His Love that it is totally and completely HIM pulling you through each day. Yep, that one came from my mom.

In other words, I am, as a mom, completely and utterly the product of what I experienced in my own mother growing up. And someday, I imagine, Cosette will say the same thing, as will all my children. And I hope and pray every day that the memories they have, the lessons they learn, will be just as sweet as the ones I have from my own mom.

I was cleaning out my e-mail inbox this afternoon and found a letter that mom had sent me over five years ago, right after Cosette was born. It contained a poem-type essay that she had read somewhere. It was like hearing my mom's voice in my head all over again, so I wanted to share it with you all:

Somebody said that a child is carried in its mother's womb for nine months.>Somebody does not know that a child is carried in its mother's heart >forever.>>Somebody said it takes about six weeks to get back to normal after you've >had>a baby.>Somebody doesn't know that once you're a mother, normal is history.>Somebody said you learn how to be a mother by instinct.>Somebody never took a three-year-old shopping.>Somebody said being a mother is boring.>Somebody never rode in a car driven by a teenager with a driver's permit.>Somebody said if you're a "good" mother, your child will "turn out good.">Somebody mistakenly thinks a child comes with directions and a guarantee.>Somebody said "good" mothers never raise their voices.>Somebody never came out the back door just in time to see her child hit a>golf ball through the neighbor's kitchen window.>Somebody said you don't need an education to be a mother.>Somebody never helped a fourth grader with his math.>Somebody said you can't love the fifth child as much as you love the first.>Somebody doesn't have five children.>Somebody said a mother can find all the answers to her child-rearing>questions in the books.>Somebody never had a child stuff beans up his nose.>Somebody said the hardest part of being a mother is labor and delivery.>Somebody never watched her "baby" get on the bus for the first day of>kindergarten.>Somebody said a mother can do her job with her eyes closed and one hand >tied>behind her back.>Somebody never organized seven giggling Brownies to sell cookies.>Somebody said a mother can stop worrying after her child gets married.>Somebody doesn't know that marriage adds a new son or daughter-in-law to a>mother's heartstrings.>Somebody said a mother's job is done when her last child leaves home.>Somebody never had grandchildren.>Somebody said your mother knows you love her, so you don't need to tell >her.>Somebody isn't a mother.

(This poem is Salmon-colored in honor of my mom )
Let me encourage you all----if your mom is still alive, go and give her a hug today. Tell her how much you love her. I know it sounds cliche, but you honestly don't know when it will be the last chance that you have. A mother is way too good of a thing to take for granted :)

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Day # ???

Okay, I lost track of what day I'm supposed to be on :) Oh well.

I wanted to show you what has ended up being probably my wisest pre-Leanna purchase. Before she was born, I bought this snuggli-wrap blanket at WalMart for ten bucks. It is so nice, because it has a little pocket in the bottom that you put the babies legs and bottom half in, and then the top has two panels that fold over the babies arms and stay in place with Velcro. When all was said and done, she looked rather like a little papoose. She has slept peacefully in this thing every single night since the night we brought her home. It has given me many, many hours of most welcome sleep :)

But alas, all good things must come to an end (that's a dumb saying, by the way), so tonight begins the 'no-snuggli' trial. She has outgrown it. And the past couple of nights, I've heard her wiggling and trying to get out of it, so I don't think she likes it anymore, either. *sob*

But anyway, here it is, the best 10.00 I spent getting ready for Leanna:

And here's a picture of Eli and Leanna, mostly because I like his bare feet sticking out from under his jeans :)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Day #15

I walked out into my living room today to find this, and had to take a picture:

Because they had put themselves there, and were just.....sitting there....being good. My boys have a lot of, um....energy, and I often find myself helping them to channel it the right way :) But this precious 'brothers' moment, it just had to be recorded.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Day #14

The highlight of our day:

MMMmmmm........ enough said :)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Day # 13

Well, I DID pick up my camera today to take a fun picture, but---aahh!!! There were no batteries in it. I couldn't find any of the right size around the house, either. So I'll have to describe the picture to you instead....

It was going to be a picture of our dining room table, right after school was done for the morning. You would be amazed. There was the expected pile of notebooks and books, pencils and crayons, scissors, colored pencils, glue sticks, construction paper clippings, etc. But then, there was ALSO Noah's end of the table. You see, Noah's 'school' is to play with play-dough happily while the big kids do their work. He plays with it for a while, and then he crumbles it all up and drops it, and rolls it across the table, and throws it across the floor. So this, added to the normal 'school' mess in my kitchen, made it look like a mini tornado had blown through. But honestly, there was quality learning and education going on here :)

Oh, and I might note, to my own delight, that our new house has a school room. *Contented Sigh* Pure bliss!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Day # 12

I didn't get a chance to even pick up my camera today, so...

Today, I'm trying a little experiment. Try imagining my 'picture thought' in your head. Here it is: Imagine me picking up toys. And more toys. And then some more toys. And then, just for a change of pace, I cleaned up some legos. And then it was back to toys. Lots and lots and lots of toys, 'till I thought I was going to lose my mind.......enough said. And we don't even HAVE all that many toys! But somehow, I spent all day picking them up.......or so it seemed. Forget a bachelors degree in piano performance, or any writing skills I may have, or any other intellectual thing I've ever persued....I just picked up toys. And that's my 'picture of the day' thought :) Tomorrow will be better, I'm sure.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Day #11

Leanna Rose was dedicated today. When we told the kids that we were going to have her dedicated, Cosette asked what that meant. Joel said "Well, it pretty much just means that we're giving Leanna back to God." Cosette got a worried look on her face and said "But, that means she won't be ours anymore" :)

We were blessed to have several relatives there today, and we know we have our whole church family backing us up and supporting us. It was a difficult thing to do though---we felt the absence of my mom very strongly today.

I do have to say, though, that the highlight of the dedication was when, up on stage, in front of the whole church (about 150 people), Eli announces "Mama, I have to go potty!!" and down he goes, running back through the congregation in the middle of the dedication to 'go potty' :P Never a dull moment in our family!

So anyway, today we dedicated our Leanna Rose to the Lord--simply a symbol of our desire to raise her in a way pleasing to God.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Day #9

Picture thoughts for the day: Just plain cuteness :)

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

I have decided not to post today or tomorrow. Today would have been my mom's birthday, and tomorrow is exactly one month since we said good bye. Reflecting, missing, comtemplating, praying......Will return on Friday.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Day #6

What's so amazing about this photo? The fact that he's sleeping, and not painting his toenails pink, or writing on my kitchen floor with permanent marker, or dumping out an entire bottle of vanilla, or using his brother's toothbrush, or breaking his Daddy's flashlight....Seriously, this little guy has been giving me a run for my money lately! Oh wait, this job of 'mom' is strictly on a volunteer basis---hmmm, well, he's been giving me a run for his love, then :) Because, in spite of all of his antics and craziness, the love he gives back is amazing.

Monday, September 06, 2010

I missed posting pictures for Day 4, and now I have no pictures for today either. Oy, what a slacker I am :) More pictures to come tomorrow, hopefully.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Day 3

Have you ever visited Enjoying the Small things? If you haven't, you really, really should. She is like a breath of fresh air. She makes even the simplest things, like a week-end of reading books and drinking hot coffee, sound exhilarating. I always leave her blog feeling challenged to 'be more', to get more out of life.

You see, I am a typical first-born. I have my 'to do' lists, and I'm usually very organized and on top of things. My house is usually very clean and organized, and I know how to get four kids ready and out the door and still be at church ten minutes early. But you see, sometimes I let my 'to do' criteria rule my life a little bit too much. I don't take time to stop and 'smell the roses'. I'm working on it, I really am. I had a bit of a melt-down last night. Joel was gone for the night, and Noah was having an especially trying two-year-old evening. He was into everything. I could feel myself getting more tense as the evening went along.

So, today, we decided to 'savor the moments'. We forgot all organizing or packing for the time being and went on a family bike ride. SO glad we did!

Because there's no group of people I'd rather spend a morning with than these guys:

The soft sound of a flowing river in the background, a cute two-year old cuddled up beside you, peanut butter sandwiches.....I forgot all my aggravation of the night before and just... you know...breathed :)

Who couldn't relax in a setting like this? Looking at these two little people riding their bikes on the bike trail for the first time ever, and thinking "Wow, those are MY kids"---I wish every morning could be as nice as this!

Any guesses as to whose little toes these are? :)

Stop and savor the moment. Hear the river running behind you. Listen to the crunch of the fall leaves beneath your bike tires. Smell the 'fall smell' in the air. Watch as your kiddos ride their bikes and say 'hello' to everybody who passes. Glance over at your husband and smile, marveling again that this is your family. Live in the moment. This is the moment that God has given you, and it is far more important than any 'to do' list. Forget that you're a 'first-born', (or whatever else is holding you back), and go on, find the pleasure of enjoying the small things

Friday, September 03, 2010

Day #2

Okay, so you get more than one picture today. Because life in our house can hardly be documented with just one picture a day---it's too lively around here for that :)

Joel had the kids last night while I went to Bible Study. They were begging him to make masks for them. Actually, Eli wanted a whole tiger outfit, but Joel informed him that a mask would have to do :) Isn't he a cool Daddy? Oh, and apparently Cosette wanted a princess crown, not a mask.

My little lady's favorite sleeping position. I think she looks like a little frog with her legs like that!

And finally, Eli's sun-dial that he made. He's studying the sun in school this week, so he's been doing all kinds of 'sun' experiments. On Tuesday, we put out grapes in the sun to watch them slowly turn into raisins. But a certain little brother ate the experiment before it was finished. Fortunately, this experiment had a better turn-out :)

Thursday, September 02, 2010

30 days

I loved Jen's idea to blog a month of their life with pictures. I'll try to do the same over the next month---to document our beginning of school, move to the new house, etc. And strangely enough, I thought that for the first day, the easiest way to give you a 'peek into our lives' was to show you our 'catch all' dry erase board, messy as it may be. So, contained on our dry erase board is..........

.....the on-going documenting of our Scrabble games, showing Joel's won 23 and I've won 8--enough said; a note that panini sandwiches are a great quick dinner idea; areas left to clean before we move--our list is growing smaller!!; Cosette's skip-counting--it's 6's for this week; a sloppy list of school supplies left to purchase; a reminder to e-mail a friend and get my piano's serial numbers to another friend--a task I've been meaning to do for about a week now; Eli's 'words of the week'--Jesus is the Light of the World', along with his science study--the sun; a reminder to make Leanna's four-month shot appointment at the end of September, and a picture of the reading club photo that was so ironically in the paper the day of my mom's funeral. Yes, my mom is in the picture also. As you can see, our dry erase board is pure randomness , if that's a word :)

And that is our 'current life issues' in dry erase board format :) More pictures tomorrow, hopefully :)


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