Sunday, February 28, 2010

My Protector

I don't like it when Allen is gone. He is my protector. I instantly feel safe when he's here. Last night after checking the doors 3 times to make sure they were all locked and startling myself at the sound of the ice maker in the kitchen and peering thru the blinds to spy on the strange car parked at the vacant house across the street, I managed to work up quite a stir in myself. As I checked the door one last time, just tightening the dead bolt as I walked away, someone scratched at the door. I didn't know what to do! I had 3 little girls freaking out in the frontroom, Brian snoring away and Wyatt running to open the door. Lord help us! I ran to the door to barricade it with my body. Then I heard it again along with a faint "meow". Translation: Let me in, it's cold out here!

Thank you Lord that you gave me Allen. Even though as we discovered with little ones that his hearing is defective at night and if someone did ever break in he would never know, but at least I could push him in front of me.

Perfect

Aren't they perfect when they are asleep.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Do You Enjoy Your Children?

This was the question posed to me. I have to admit I was taken aback. "Of course" was my answer. But inside my head was whirling. I hadn't thought about this ever before. In all honestly no. NO I was not enjoying my children at this point in life. I was exhausted, frustrated and annoyed most of the time. I had stooped to only bossing and yelling and refereeing the kids as they were bossing and yelling. I was sick. This was not the mom I wanted to be. But I didn't know how to break the cycle.

With some guidance from some other much better skilled moms we made it thru. But I find myself back at that point again recently. Which frustrates me even more because God is doing some awesome things in our lives, yet the core of my life, what I do...mothering...feels like a failure. I am not one of those moms that is gifted with motherly loving wisdom and always knows the right thing to say or do. Which also causes stress. I look at the clock now as I'm typing and it is 11:11. A friend refers to that as a time when God is saying a little reminder that He loves us. I know He Loves Me. So why is it so difficult for me to really LOVE my own children unconditionally at times? Why is it difficult for me to just enjoy them some days? It's not that I don't love them, but what kind of mom gets so frustrated with her kids? What causes these little day in and day out pieces of life to feel overwhelming?

Expectations. My inconsistency to follow up or follow through.

I was reading thru a book that made a huge life change in my parenting with Brian and I am devouring it again with Wyatt. I guess I'm a slow learner.

As I sat reading I came across this paragraph and as I let the words sink in the tears just stung my eyes.

"Sometimes parents know what to do, but are simply unwilling to do it. They expect their children to behave perfectly with little or no effort on their part. Or they expect their children to just stay out of the way while they proceed with their lives as if their children didn't exist. They let their ambitions, housework, or hobbies come a higher priority than parenting, and they begin to view their children as annoying interruptions. This attitude guarantees failure, frustration, and anger. Only by reordering priorities and recognizing that parenting is a highly demanding, full time job will there be any hope for decent results and the absence of frustration. Give up everything else if necessary, and undertake the world's most important and fulfilling job to the best of your ability. Expect it to be a demanding job at times, but look forward to the challenge instead of resenting it. Parenting will be fa less frustrating if you learn how to do it well, and if it is not competing with everything else for your time and attention."

- "And so, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion , kindness, humility, gentleness and patience..." Col 3:12

Lord help me keep my priorities your priorities. Help me to be a loving gentle mom and consistent so that life is not unfair or frustrating for the little ones either. Give us a renewal as Spring is here. Allow for time to just be a family and grow in relationship. Give me wisdom Lord and may my own shortcomings be wiped from their memory of youth. Grant me an unending supply of love and grace for these blessings so that they may see You thru me.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Welcome Home

Last year I posted about our financial downfall and I never thought that this would be the follow up I would be posting this year.

March 26, 2009, our home on Carl St. was sold back to the bank. I know that most people would not be impressed with this 100 year old home, but we loved it. The kids knew it as home and even though we saw the hand of God on us during that difficult time, we still ached every time we drove by. The kids still asked when we'd move home, getting upset that no one was taking care of the yard, feeling like they "lost a friend."

One Sunday I had a vision of a specific couple buying the house and renting to us, but that's not something you call and ask someone to do. Two days later, this same contractor called us and asked if we were interested in moving back home. A couple days after that, he called back and his offer was accepted on our home and he closes March 26th.

We had supper with them and we are doing a lease to own.

I am overwhelmed. Literally weak. I feel like this is a big deal and want it to be special in the way of announcement. I thought about sending out welcome home cards with our new address or have a open house BBQ and house blessing. I want to "speak of the glorious splendor of His majesty and wonderful works". God is a God that gives and takes away and is the God of restoration. He does things that are impossible for us to accomplish so that He will be glorified.

There are no coincidences so what do you call it when the house was suppose to sell 4 other times and hasn't and then 1 year to the date we get to move back in?

In addition, while we were living there previously we had a bad experience with the neighbor boy and he was no longer welcome to come over. A couple of weeks ago, a friend said he had moved. While it just seemed like information then, it seems like one more preparation for our return to be welcome and safe now.

As with any old house there are always projects to complete, but this time I'll be thankful to finish painting that room I was in the middle of, thankful for the yard work, and thankful to patch that floor. This will be the 1st time since we drove away that last time, that I won't feel like we are trespassing when we drive by.

I am just amazed. But neither would I give this year back. My husband has softened and his faith renewed. The kids got to see The church in action by way of the body of Christ. They also had a difficult and hurtful experience but got to see God be there at every turn and now will see Him do it again.

I think about the Israelites having their tent mindset and continuing the tradition of taking their families every year for a week to camp out to remind them that their homes are just temporal, we can live anywhere. And I kind of view this home we've been in this last year as just that.

We are still praying that if at anytime this is not the direction we are to travel, that the doors will shut. I know the other couple is praying about it as well. The bank has stated that they are not taking the house off the market until the final papers are signed as they are waiting for better offers to come along and have a right to back out at any time. We feel at peace and know that God is in the midst and in control.

I am overjoyed and feel so humble that He continues to love us in tangible ways.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

What Not to Eat

On the way to Shooting Club practice someone had remembered to pack sandwiches, drinks and snacks for all the kids but forgot to include myself.

So as I whip into Taco Tico, Brian yells out, "Mom, no! Go to Taco Bell! They have a diet taco."

I kindly respond, "Thank you Brian, but this is the closest and last stop."

And then he proudly tells me, "That's called a hint, huh?"

Yes. Yes it is. Now just to work on the tackful!

(Although in his defense, diet talk has been open discussion this last week at our house as well as meal planning for such, so he really was trying to help.)

Monday, February 22, 2010

Birthday Boy's Cakes and Gifts

Wyatt's turned 3 and as you can see, I was not joking about the cake disaster. My prayer for this kid this next month is to get him potty trained, which I'm paying the kids to do. I have been buying diapers for almost 10 years!

Some friends had us to their home the night of Brian's birthday and I took the cake that was designed by the 7th year old himself.

What a wonderful hostess we had, not only did she call ahead of time to find out Brian's favorite meal, but she had ice cream, party plates and the family had gifts for him. It really made him feel special. Although his favorite part of the night was hanging out in the basement with his new found friend playing the Wii racing game.



And yes, all 10 kids belong to just our two families. :)




Aunt Gina sent Brian the gift he has been asking for and now we all are getting it! We know that when we hear "It's Nerf or Nothin'" that we had better take cover. And they do sting!
I love you boys.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Birthday Boys

Yesterday my baby turned 3.
3!
I just want to keep him little forever.
We didn't have a party as this is the last year I'll have with him not having a clue what the cake is even for. Plus, I am on a 3 day migraine so the cake I made for him, well, left much to be desired. In fact, since 1/2 of it stuck in the pan, rendering it next to impossible to ice, I served everyone a slab of cake with a side of a spoonful of icing along with their 1/2 price Sonic hamburgers.

I don't know if the migraine continues from all the crying (good tears) lately, which I'll share more soon, or from the terrible smell of smoke which awoke us in the middle of the night coming from the furnace, which seems to be fine now, but I find myself a little antsy to fall sleep. Which also gives me the option to blame the lack of sleep the last couple of nights.

Brian's birthday is tomorrow night and we are having supper with some friends so I'll have a chance to redeem myself with cakes this week. My friend Mary had called to see what Brian would like to eat for his birthday supper and he replied. Cow...heart! Yuck! Don't ask. But his 2nd choice was spaghetti. Wonderful!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

4-H King



My name is Brian Griffin and I am 6 years old. Last week I was voted as King of the Bloomfield 4H group. As King it is my job to help collect donations this year for 4H. All the money goes to the Benton County 4H groups. There are many activities to participate in and learn. One of the events I am involved in is the shooting club. We are learning gun safety and target shooting. I really like being part of our 4H group and would appreciate any donation amount you could support us with. And if I collect the most money of all the other Kings from other groups I will win King of the Benton County 4H. Thank you.
What is 4-H?
4-H is the youth development program conducted by the University of Arkansas, Division of Agriculture, Cooperative Extension Service. 4-H members can select from many activities in 82 project areas ranging from automotive to clothing to space camp.
Adult leaders, trained by county Cooperative Extension Service Faculty, teach projects to children using the "learn -by-doing" method. 4-H teaches leadership, citizenship, and skills children will use through out their lives. Each year Arkansas 4-H youth receive more than $80,000 in college scholarships at the state level for their 4-H work. Some scholarships are available at the county level.
4-H Mission
The mission of 4-H is to provide opportunities for youth to acquire knowledge, develop life skills, form attitudes, and practice behavior that will enable them to become self directing, productive, and contributing members of society.
4-H Is:
An nonformal educational program Community based and locally determined Primarily group focused and family oriented Volunteer operated Coordinated by professional Extension faculty.
Emblem
The 4-H emblem is a four-leaf clover with the letter "H" on each leaf. The letters in the emblem stands for Head, Heart, Hands, and Health - the foundation of all 4-H programs.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Little Escapee

How can a 2 year old get in the front yard when we have a chain on the front door?


Those are the cushions off the couch.



























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