Friday, July 25, 2008

Rainy Days

It has been raining here most afternoons, usually around 4:00 or so. A couple of days have been rainy all day long. It creates a few unusual phenomena. This is how you know the rain needs to move on:

1)Your toddler keeps bringing you mushrooms he picked from your flower beds. Sweet, but poisonous. No good.

2)When you let your children hang out outside with their shirts off for any period of time, the next day you find yourself frantically looking them over because you think they have the chickenpox. In actuality, they just have that many mosquito bites.

3)And the third way you know the rain and muggy humidity have got to go - When one of your children touches the outside glass of your french doors with food residue on their fingers, within twelve hours you have fur growing on that spot.

We love Florida!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Link to a Cool Site

A friend sent me a link to a mom website (Thanks, Christen.), and after browsing for a while, I found this blog post.

I thought it was really good and encouraging. I'm always interested in ways to battle the crazies I sometimes feel when things just get to be "too much". And it was also confirmation for something that God had already told me about praise bringing peace. Check it out!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Some Little Things I Want to Remember

Eli has gotten pretty good at letting me know what he wants. If he wants a drink, he goes and gets a sippy cup. Food, stands at his highchair. Nose wiped, wrinkles his nose. Movie, hands me a movie cover repeatedly until I finally understand he's not just giving me a gift. Bed, arches his back toward his bed (if we're in his room) or lays his head on my shoulder. It's really funny. He does say a few words. He actually said, "Amen", the other day at the end of the blessing. He said it so clearly that Luke looked at me with his mouth wide open in surprise and laughed.

Eli has been sucking his thumb since he was a few months old. Kris and I have been really wanting to discourage it early so it's not a longtime habit. I decided to start "speaking death" to the habit. So, whenever he sucks his thumb I say, "Eli, sucking your thumb is yucky. You don't want to suck your thumb. You don't need your thumb for comfort. Your comfort comes from the Lord." Honestly, I have seen a pretty major improvement. At first I had to pull his thumb out of his mouth and distract him, but now he'll often take it out himself. Before, he had his thumb in his mouth ALL the time. When he was walking around the house, in the car, when I was holding him. Just all the time. Now, he usually only does it when he's tired or hungry. So, I'm going to keep speaking death to the habit and life to a little boy who knows where his true Comfort lies!!!

Luke has been asking for us to "Kiss it" whenever he hurts himself. This morning he bumped his head, and rather than saying "kiss it", he just leaned his head into my leg and waited. I kissed his head and he said, "No, this one." and pointed to a different spot.

I always know when Luke's being mischevious because when I come in the room or he comes in the room where I am, he gets a naughty smile on his cute face. The thing I love most about it is that rather than seeing that as him being bad, I see it as him recognizing that there is right and wrong and knowing that he's done wrong. I love the Holy Spirit I already see in him.

A Run Down of Our Weekend

We had a wild and fun weekend with Kris' cousins in town. On Friday night, there were 11 adults and ten children at our house. We went to Blue Springs earlier in the day to swim, and then everyone came back here to eat pizza and soup. It really was fun.

Saturday night was the 47th Street Reunion. Kris' parents grew up on 47th Street in Hialeah, so there was a reunion for all of the "kids" they grew up with, and many of their kids and grandkids were in tow as well. It was fun to see the friendships that had lasted for so long. Luke and Eli were both so sweet, in spite of the fact that we didn't get home until 10:00 that night.

I stayed home with Eli yesterday morning and Kris took Luke with him to church. The two boys and I have had colds, and I figured the nursery workers at church wouldn't appreciate me putting Eli in the nursery considering the fact that he was up so late the night before and he had a continual stream of snot running out of his nose. Sorry, that's gross, but it's totally true. I got the whole house cleaned and all the clothes washed. It was fabulous.

We're exhausted and glad to have nothing to do. I'm tempted to take the kids somewhere this morning just because the house is clean and I would like it to stay that way, but I think we need to just rest.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Teaching Peace

When Kris and I decided to have our boys so close together, we could only see how sweet it would be for them to be best friends and play together all day long. I had images of them being like little puppies, wiggling around together, cuddled up in a pile together on the couch. I guess I forgot about the term "dog fight". Oh, they are puppies, all right. And they pile up together. Unfortunately, Luke is always on top. He's beating Eli up on a regular basis now. As long as Luke is just laying on top of him, Eli laughs like it's the best thing ever. Eli seems to love it until Luke gets really worked up and gets too rough. Luke doesn't have an "off" button, unfortunately. He just gets more and more revved up until body slams are inevitable. I don't mind this when it starts out fun. I just have to give a time out. It's when it begins because Luke is irritated about having to share or just about having Eli around.

But in Luke's defense, Eli is the master button-pusher. He knows exactly what things will tick Luke off, and he is very intentional about doing those things. He will sneak up and take Luke's lovie and shake it to make sure Luke knows he has it. He loves stealing Luke's cup and drinking out of it. He has to make sure, though, that Luke sees him drinking out of it or it will just get tossed to the ground. I know that he really just wants action and interaction with Luke, not to make Luke angry. I guess he's just figured out this is one way to get Luke to chase him.

I don't remember us fighting as kids. I think we knew that if we got caught Mama would put us to work, so we kept our fights very quiet. So help me out here. How do I teach Luke (not quite three) and Eli (14 months) to love each other? How do I teach them to prefer each other over themselves. Is it possible to teach peace at their young age?

They do enjoy each other, when they're not tyring to kill each other or, at the very least, annoy the heck out of each other. They play well together for the most part. I just would like to alleviate, if possible, my biggest struggle in my day. Hah, like the "Easy" button on that commercial. Any ideas that work for you?

Friday, July 11, 2008

A Promise

"So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what He has promised." Hebrews 10:35,36

I love the promises that God gives us in His word. I claim them for myself and Kris as we're trying to teach our boys God's ways. I believe that when we "have done the will of God" by following the Spirit's instruction to us, we "will receive what He has promised." I believe that when our boys are grown, they will follow the way of the Lord, loving Him with all of their heart and every ounce of passion in them, choosing Him and His ways FIRST. I believe that no words of life that we have spoken and will speak over their lives will ever be wasted. I believe God's promises to me. I believe.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

July 4th Weekend

We were at the lake this weekend with Mama and Daddy. Kate, Chuck, David and Rae came on Saturday to play with us, too. It was tons of fun and completely exhausting. We can't wait to do it again.

Blowing bubbles with sweet Rae.

David and Eli loving the Slippin' Slide.

Rae and her one pigtail. Not sure what happened to the other one.

Aunt Kate reading to David and Luke. What sweet boys!

Cousins loving being together.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Learning to Breathe Again

From labor pains to looking at my babies for the first time to watching them sleep to hearing them say "I love you", being a mother has taken my breath away.

And it's time that I learn to breathe again. LITERALLY.

I find myself holding my breath all the time. I'm holding my breath, waiting for someone to wake up, someone to fall and hurt themselves, someone to do something totally gross (aka. put their mouths on the toilet bowl scrubber container - Oh my gosh, I want to throw up thinking about that incident.), someone to throw a tantrum in the middle of Target while another mom with two small, well-behaved children looks on, patiently waiting for my child to finish so she can have access to the shopping carts we're blocking with our traffic-stopping display. (I have healed from this experience and since had a successful Target shopping trip. I have not yet forgotten the trauma, however.)

Isn't it funny how a little experience is so educational? Perhaps "funny" is not the most accurate word. It's not at all funny at the time, but I am so much wiser. I now KNOW that my boys WILL wake up early, fall and get hurt, shove disgusting things in their mouths, throw tantrums at the most inappropriate times, have accidents involving all types of body fluids and create all kinds of opportunities for me to learn to walk in humility and just enjoy the moment.

And, if I will let them, while they are enjoying life right in the middle of all the things that I'm, for some crazy reason, hoping won't happen, they will teach me to breathe again.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

His Love

Do you ever have those days (weeks, months, maybe even years - in the words of Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh)that you feel like you can't get it right? And by it I mean pretty much everything. You feel like every deficiency in you is being highlighted with a big neon sign for all the world to see. So you try to move faster, do better, speak more eloquently, parent wiser, be funnier, just BE better, all to feel even more miserable about everything wrong in you.

I'm in a Bible study right now. Have I mentioned that? We're doing Beth Moore's study on the fruit of the Spirit. Since day one of this study, it seems that all the "fruit" in my life has shriveled up, I mean like a raisin. I know that God has a way of putting His finger on the places in us that need to be changed. And I so want that. I want to be more like Him in every way.

I know that it can be painful when He's pruning us, and I'm not afraid of pain from Him. I crave it, simply knowing that it will only make me a more beautiful offering to Him in the end. The hard part is the overlapping of the pain I'm experiencing from His pruning and the pain I experience when I just forget who I am. They are totally separate, but inevitably, they happen at the same time. He puts His finger on the places I'm not trusting Him. At the same time, I fall into fear of circumstances. He puts His finger on places I'm not loving myself the way He loves me. At the same time, I fall into a well of agonizing self-criticism. He wants to show me what's deficient so He can show me that He is All Sufficient, and He is ready to be so in me. But rather than focusing on His All Sufficiency, I start focusing on me.

I want to see myself the way He sees me. I want to love myself the way He loves me. His love, so unbelievable, more difficult a concept to grasp than the Trinity. So beautiful. Amazingly, the moments when I get a glimpse, I love me more than I think possible. I stop trying so hard and just enjoy being me, not worrying so much about what's wrong with me and actually seeing all the beauty He's creating in me. Christ in me. That is my hope for glory.