It’s facebook’s fault. And maybe instagram’s fault too.

iphone pic warning…seems to be all that I have time to take anymore.

I hate how I never blog anymore. I really do. It bugs me. I blame facebook. And instagram. I put everything there so I feel no need to put anything here. I’ve really thought lately about ditching facebook and just getting back to blogging. Ditching facebook would probably seriously improve my quality of life. Maybe one day I will. If I do, don’t be shocked.


Anyway, things are going really pretty well around here. I’ve got three in school all day Monday-Friday. That’s awesome!! Katie is stuck here with me quite a bit and we’re trying to learn how to deal with one another. It’s slow going, but maybe we’re making progress. Hard to tell most days. She can be so funny and clever, but the regularly seasonings of crying and whining and tantrums just wear on me. I know she’s three and I know things will continue to get better. I know that, but that still doesn’t make me any less tired and frustrated. Just keeping it real.


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As of right now, Jack is making straight A’s. I’m hoping he can hold onto that for a few more days so that he can finally get straight A’s on a report card. He’s done very well in school since going back mid year last school year, but he hasn’t pulled straight A’s yet. He went to church camp last weekend and had a great time! He’s just a good kid. I don’t have many pictures of him…poor guy.


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Mikey is doing pretty well in school. I love his teacher and she’s great at communicating with me. He’s had a few bad days, but nothing too extreme. He’s learning to read so that’s been fun for all of us. He loves reading to his siblings. Even Jackson will sit through his early readers and cheer him on. He finally got a haircut that is totally different than the haircut he’s had his entire life! That was his choice and he loves the new do.


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And Brittany has become the most mellow and easy going of the four kids. I can take her anywhere. She’s pretty much always in a good mood. She has moments, but for the most part, she is seriously just a sweet, easy kid! I can’t believe how far she has come! She’s doing great in school and just seems to enjoy pretty much every situation she’s put into.


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After almost getting rid of (or worse) our dog, Scott, I’ve decided for now to let him live in the house and I have to bathe him far more often than I’d like to. But he’s a pretty good dog and we rarely even know he’s around. Now that he lives inside again, he’s totally stopped digging out of the yard and running away. I think he was on some kind of suicide mission there for a while. It’s nice to not have to sweep up food as often.


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So that’s pretty much all I have for an update right now. Things are good. We are in a pretty simple season of life right now and I just seriously can’t, or shouldn’t, complain.


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Anger management.

I struggle with anger. Just anger and irritation over stupid stuff. It’s mostly just with my kids and electronic devices. I’m not proud of it. I’ve got mounds of patience for other things, but for some reason when it comes to my kids and electronic devices, I am a hot head. I’m trying really really hard to overcome it, but it is a daily struggle.


So here is a thrown together list of some things I do that help me to get over my anger. Maybe you’ll find some of them useful, maybe you won’t. Maybe you’re cool as a cucumber and never lose your temper. I commend you!!


– Listen to James Brown and The Beatles. I can’t be mad while listening to James Brown and The Beatles. And I can be fuming mad and listen to Drive My Car and by the time the song is over, I’m fine.

– Walk away. Go outside. Take a breather. Count to ten or 100. Just. Take. A. Break.

– Write what I’m mad about. That’s why I write about Mikey so much. He drives me crazy. I love him, but he sets me on edge…a lot. But as I type out whatever he did that made me angry, it usually becomes funny. Seeing it in print takes the edge off.

– Surround myself with happy stuff…happy colors, happy pajama pants, happy sunglasses, happy pillows, happy coffee mugs… I can only be so mad wearing rainbow striped pajama pants and drinking out of a mustache cup.

– Smell Phillip. I know…gross, but burying my face in his neck or chest is like a drug to me. He instantly calms me. But you can’t bury your face in Phillip so step off.

– Clean or organize. If I’m really really mad, I clean. Yesterday I ferociously cleaned our master bathroom shower.

– Call or text a friend and tell her what I’m mad about. Hearing my feelings put into words usually makes me realize it’s not that big of a deal. And having a friend who will validate you, but not let you stay stuck is such a gift. I have many great friends I can call, text, or email any time and I know I won’t be judged.

– Chocolate. I know it’s not “vegan” but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.

– Pray. I don’t do this nearly often enough, but I should put it on the list anyway. But to be honest, praying doesn’t usually occur to me when I’m really mad.


I’m sure there are more things, but that’s all I can think of at the moment. Have any other ideas for me?? Just don’t tell them to me when I’m mad.


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Ketchup.

Okay, so here are some of the things that have been happening in our world lately. And I know there aren’t any pictures of Jackson, but I promise he’s still cute and still awesome.


At the beginning of May, Mikey had a festival and program at his school and I tied his bandana wrong. He was the only kid among all of the kindergarteners whose mom tied his bandana like an ascot. Oops.


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I caught them all with no shirts on outside. They are rarely wearing shirts and pants at the same time. And they are never all four completely dressed unless we’re going somewhere.


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Mikey has a loose tooth on the bottom. It really needs to come out, but we’re not messing with it. We learned our lesson about that with child #1. Mikey FREAKS out when he bleeds even a drop so I’m sure this whole loosing teeth thing is going to be exciting.


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Katie got glasses!!!


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Brittany turned FIVE!!! Birthday party to follow. It was delayed due to Katie having pinkeye. Fun times.


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And just this week, like yesterday and today in fact, the three little kids got a room makeover. We were thinking about moving, but we decided to stay for now and make this house work. Jack needs his own room so we bunked the three little kids. They love the new room!


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And with that, I bid you all goodnight.


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Confessions of a SAH Mom

I’ve read blog posts about the lives of stay-at-home moms. I may have even written one or two myself. I don’t remember. But anyway, most of them describe a life so difficult and impossible and filled to the brim that it just makes you exhausted even reading it. And I’m sure for the most part, they are true. Perhaps slightly exaggerated truth, but still truth.


But SAH moms…can you even imagine if you had to go TO a job, like an additional job, Monday through Friday?? Like a typical work week? Can you imagine doing that and still having to do your other mom stuff? Because I really can’t.


And so this is meant as a shout out to all of the many moms who work outside the house! You are amazing! I have no idea how you do it. Seriously, no idea. And I think that there may be some of you who think quietly or not so quietly, “What do stay-at-home moms do all day?!” Well, I’m going to confess to you what I do from 8:00-3:00…now that my two oldest are in school all day. I can’t speak for other stay-at-home moms. I can only speak for myself.


I get very tempted by my bed. Because it’s here and I have to walk past it so many times. And I take naps. Not every day, but like 3 out of 5. It’s true. I also take like 30-45 minutes baths while my kids play or watch t.v. Again, not every day, but most. I read. I watch t.v. while I fold laundry. And sometimes I fold it slower on purpose. I blog when I should be cleaning the kids’ rooms. Like right now. This is me avoiding work. And I don’t do all the cute little SAH mom things like go to the library or play groups or make crafts or whatever. I seriously just don’t. I complain on facebook about the things I should be doing rather than just doing them. It’s true.


Now, I do work hard. Don’t get me wrong. It’s not like it’s pure leisure all day. But I’m just honestly saying publicly that there is empty space in my day. Empty space where I am not productive. In theory, my house should be clean because I have time to do it, but I just don’t want to. And it is hard having kids home all day, but my reality and the reality of many of my friends, is that our kids aren’t home all day, every day. It’s true, ladies. You know it’s true.


So working moms, if you’ve ever felt judgement or insensitivity from myself or any other stay-at-home moms, I’m sorry. Seriously. Not that it’s like a competition for who has the more difficult task, but I honestly have no idea how you do it. Just being a mom, regardless of whatever else we have to do, is a very busy job. We all probably rock in our own right. But to the ones who have themselves and their kids fed and dressed and out the door by 8:00, go to a job all day that they may or may not love, and then pick up kids, get dinner ready, help with homework, baths, etc., etc. etc…. YOU are superheros.


And don’t ever let some stay-at-home mom, who probably stayed in her pajamas until 11:00, tell you any different.

My church My life

I saw a yard sign this morning that said, “My church is changing my life.” I honestly don’t even remember which church is changing this person’s life because I got stuck on the statement. And I’m sure some of you reading probably go to this church. So you can either choose to get offended and defensive or actually think about what I’m saying. Either way is perfectly fine with me.


My church is changing My life. It wasn’t bold on the sign, but it might as well have been. How about The Church is changing my life? Or Jesus is changing my life? Or maybe even My church is changing lives? I still don’t like that one, but it’s better than the original. Or how about The Church is changing lives? But that’s not specific enough to one certain church.


Because the point of the sign is to get people in the door, right? Get them there and then their lives can be changed. And while I think this particular sign is a blatant and tangible disregard for The Great Commission, I have to say that I think most church attenders, members, and staff feel the same way. This church was just bold enough not to hide it or disguise it as something else.


Church, we have to do more than just get them, whoever they are, to come to our church building. If that’s all we care about, we are totally missing the point. And if we only want to sing praises to our church, denomination, preacher, building, or programs instead of to Jesus Christ, for our changed lives, then we are making The Church our church. We are taking The Body away from whom it belongs to and making it our own.


And if you say our church doesn’t do that, then you’ve just proven my point. And while some church cultures may be more outward focused than others, there is still the underlying thought that they have to come to us to for life change. And I’m just as guilty of it as the man or woman who put that sign in their yard. If we’re honest, really really painfully honest, I think most of us can see that most churches exist for the attenders who go there, not the community that surrounds it. But The Church, the body of believers, are called to be so much more than people who occupy a building.

What if?

He’s so funny and sharp witted. He is creative. He’s beautiful to look at. He loves to cuddle.


But he’s also angry…a lot. He spends much of his time angry. Angry because someone said something “wrong.” Angry because someone touched something they “shouldn’t have.” Angry because someone is singing a song he doesn’t like. Angry because he doesn’t like what we’re eating. Angry because he doesn’t like where we’re going. Angry because he thinks someone is making fun of him and they’re not…or maybe they are. Angry. Angry. Angry.


He’s almost always angry, near anger, just over being angry, or we are wary of the impending anger. I watch him. I look for signs that it’s coming. I try to ward it off. I try to keep the peace. But the peace doesn’t keep. Never for very long.


And since he’s angry a lot and since I tend to match his moods, I’m angry a lot. When he gets angry, I typically get angrier. When he gets loud, I get louder. When he loses his mind, I lose mine even more. I match his crazy. And honestly, it works. It works in that it keeps him from escalating to a point that we can’t handle. It keeps his “spells” in the realm of 3-10 minutes or so. And if you’re the parent of a child who has anger or behavior issues, then you know 3-10 minutes isn’t really that bad. But it re-occurs ALL DAY LONG.


But what if, instead of matching his anger for anger…what if his anger was matched with gentleness, kindness, self control? What if I parent him the way God parents me? With a quiet calm. Unwavering. Unreactive to my selfishness and immaturity. With undeserved patience. What if being met with these things rather than anger actually helps him control his anger?


And yes, perhaps this is a no brainer, but when you’re either in the storm or the eye of it almost all the time, it’s really hard to see a solution. And we’ve been in some form of storm with him most of his life. My post yesterday opened my eyes to this even though I didn’t intend for it to open my eyes to anything.


So I’ll let y’all know how it goes. I’ll let you know if I can do it.

Just. Obey.

All day I tell him, “Just obey.”

Just. Obey.

I know what he needs. I have his best interests at heart. All he needs to do is listen to my voice and obey. But, he can’t. He won’t. My voice gets clouded out by the other stuff in his head. He questions me. He doesn’t trust me. He doesn’t always think that I love him. He thinks he knows better. He argues for the sake of argument.

Oh, please. Just obey.

He has to have a plan. He has to know what is next. He has to have it laid out. He worries that something will go wrong. He has to be in control. He decides how the day will go before it’s begun.

Through tears…Oh, Buddy. Why are you this way? Please, please just obey me. I adore you. Please listen and obey. Can you even hear me at all?

Can you even hear me at all?

You should have no other gods before me. Just obey.

 

But, God, you don’t understand. My kids aren’t gods. I have to take care of them. They have to consume me, don’t they? I don’t worship Phillip. I don’t worship my stuff, God. I don’t do that.

 

Whatever you did not do for the least of these, you did not do for me. Obey.

 

But God, I’m doing the best I can. You don’t know how hard this is. You don’t know how much they frustrate and try me. How can I care for anybody else when I can barely care for the ones in my home?

 

Oh, please. Just obey.

 

But God, I’ve asked for things in your name and you’ve never answered. I’ve prayed for blessings that you never delivered. I deserve more than this. Do you even love me at all??

 

Whoever can be trusted with little can also be trusted with much.

 

But, God. You don’t really know how it is. You’re not even making sense.

 

Why are you this way? Please, please just obey me. I adore you.

 

I need to know your plans before I can do them. You lay it out for me in a way that makes sense, and if I think it’s doable, then I’ll do it! I will say ‘yes’ to you if you just prove to me that I won’t fail. The ball is in your court, not mine. I’m done.

 

Please. Just. Obey.

 

But something might go wrong.

 

Can you even hear me at all? Why can’t you trust me?

Please, just obey.

Getting Valentiny

So since I waited until the day before Valentine’s Day to actually think about the Valentine’s treats for my kids’ classes, I found myself (again) in a bit of a bind. Last year I *only* had 40 kids to get goodies for. I prepared ahead and made these and put lollipops in their hands…


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I could just go get the paper Valentine’s from the store, but I really wanted to do something cute without spending much money. So I decided to use our left over candy and fabric from Mikey and Katie’s bday party to make little goodie bags. So that’s what Katie, Britt, and I have been doing this morning while the boys are in school. I will let Mikey help with his this evening when he gets home. They’re cute, but they’re a pain. So we have done a whopping 14! We only have 43 to go. Ugh. I better get back to it. At this rate, I’ll finish by tomorrow morning.


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