So glad you came to visit today! Here at my little corner of bloggy world I share a little bit about everything--family, parenting, goals, struggles, photography, recipes, n more! So curl up with a cup of hot tea {or not} and feel free to peruse around my site! Check out my sidebar for links. And come back again!

Friday, April 30, 2010

Answer Me This: First Babysitter

Lately it's becoming more clear to me how much I want to establish a "babysitter" for our kids. Because of Kevin's rotating work schedule he's not always available to watch the kids when I have weekly things like Bible study at the church or whatever and it's something that pushes past the kids' bedtime. I hate to have the kids go to their friends' house those times and then keep them up past their bedtime too, and beyond that it's hard to think of people to watch the kids for me (usually because the people I know are at the same event I'm at!). Wouldn't it be so nice to come home from Bible study and the kids already be in bed for me instead of getting home at 9pm and rushing around?? Ahhh... Then there's date nights. Same deal. If the kids are at a friends' house then we have to be back by bedtime, and around here there 'aint much to do in such short time. I'd just love if Kevin and I could have time together on a somewhat regular basis. I think we'd feel so much more refreshed and we'd all be happier for it and our family life would be so much more peaceful. So I want to find a babysitter, but I'm nervous to make that step. To trust some high schooler with all three of my kids. Three is a lot of work, especially for someone not used to the juggling act. And right off the bat I can't really think of any young girls at our church that are quite old enough. A couple friends have referred me to their babysitters, but that just makes me nervous because I don't know them! I've never done this before and don't know how to take the first step! So what's your experience?? When did you get your first babysitter? Who is she and where do you find her? And how much do you pay??

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Spring Cleaning 2010

Ah, I FINALLY found my planning notebook that's been MIA {in the way back, under the couch} for several weeks now!! And here is my spring cleaning list that I've been waiting to find!

1. Take a box load to Goodwill.
2. Print pictures for playroom clock.
3. Clean porch.
4. Clean the shed outside and sweep up all the hay that's in there for the cats. It STINKS and I hate it!!
5. Take and print family picture for office frame.
6. Take a box of kid toys to Paul and Holly's house for whenever we're there.
7. Pass on or donate all maternity clothes.
8. Scrape loose plaster, mud, and repaint upstairs bathroom with special bathroom paint because with the lack of ventilation in there we've got mildew issues!
9. Paint master bedroom.
10. Vacuum van.

So what's on your big list this year??

Monday, April 26, 2010

Monday Meanderings

Bible Study - Mission of Motherhood (thanks, Julie!)

Memory Verse - Proverbs 31:27
"She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness."

Husband Encouragement
* try really hard and use time very wisely to keep a clean home
* clean up our bedroom now that I've moved Carter out and into the guest room
* have patience with kids
* go to bed at the same time
* date Friday night!!! in the city!! (thanks to Paul and Holly)

Train Them Up
* I've been laying Carter down for naps and he does very well going to sleep on his own for at least one of the naps during the day. He doesn't always sleep long (usually barely an hour) but he does go to sleep, that's a start! Also trying to sit up feeding up in the night so I can lay him back in his bed instead of staying in bed with me. Still working on moving his bedtime to 9 instead of 10pm. (It's a little hard to do because after putting the older two in bed around 8pm, we're just finally starting to be done with that and relax and then 9pm comes and I don't feel like waking Carter up just yet to get him ready for bed.)
* Eli's doing a GREAT job asking for things in just a normal voice without any whine to it whatsoever! Before we'd tell him ask for something nicely, and he'd say "Can you help me please?" but there was still this whine to it, but not really enough you could correct him for it. I dunno. Anyway, the last couple weeks I've been telling him, "Can you say it in just a normal voice like this?" And he DOES!! That's a big deal for Eli, and he knows it makes me so excited so he gets excited too!
* Printing the kids a picture grocery list for today's shopping. It's been a long time since we've done this!
* School time, letter G, but I'm having trouble coming up with a theme to do. Any ideas??

Personal Goals
* Hang up new pictures in our bedroom.
* Hang up the kids' new clocks. Now for batteries...
* READ in my books! (I'm sooo bad at finding time to read but I love all the great things I learn when I do!!)

* Pay bills.
* Mail package. DONE
* Finish Beth Moore make-up lessons. DONE
* Return Nannie's bowl.
* Get an oil change in the van. We're 1000 miles past due. May schedule this for Saturday?? They were booked for Saturday so we'll have to do it another time.
* Mow the lawn. At least get it started since Kevin doesn't get home 'til 7pm. Even with kids not napping well at all, I still got it all done!

Zone - Laundry away.

Menu Plan

M- roast with veggies, homemade bread
T - grilled cheese variation, salad, fruit
W - chow mein, oranges
Th - French dip sandwiches, fries, cooked carrots
F - Omaha date night!
S - Omaha with Kevin's fam!
Su - TBD

* MOPS play date and potluck at the park on Tuesday
* Friday date night in Omaha plus we get to see Paul and Holly in the process and hang out with them part of Saturday
* Meeting Kevin's family while in Omaha on Saturday!

3 Things I'm Thankful for Today:
1. I got up and showered before the kids were up this morning.
2. Going to have a movie with this kids this afternoon. (I ordered Ice Castles from Netflix, and since Kevin is NOT interested in this one LOL and it's PG the kids can watch it with me while Kevin's still at work.)
3. We took a break from the dining room project Saturday afternoon and just got away for some family time. It was much needed!

Join me! Blessings on your week!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Monday, April 19, 2010


This is the kind of dog I would want someday. The kids and I walked/triked around the pond tonight after dinner, and we came across the same lady with dogs that we saw a week or so ago. This time when saying Hello I asked what kind of dog it was. A golden doodle - retriever poodle mix, medium-sized dog. Isn't it adorable and so friendly looking?? {And no, that's not the actual lady's dog, just a Google picture I found.} What do you think??

Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Sabbath.

"If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath and from doing as you please on my holy day, if you call the Sabbath a delight and the Lord's holy day honorable, and if you honor it by not going your own way and not doing as you please or speaking idle words, then you will find your joy in the Lord, and I will cause you to ride on the heights of the land and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob." Isaiah 58:13-14

Came across this verse a few weeks ago and it's still been ringing in my head. I wrote it in my journal so I could go back to it. And lately I've been thinking.... wondering if we should make changes in our life to keep the Sabbath a holy day. Like no Internet or TV maybe? I already try to avoid doing groceries n such. So I'm curious...

What do you do to keep the Sabbath a holy day??

Monday Meanderings

Bible Study
I'm reading certain passages along with The Love Dare devotional.

Memory Verse
1 Timothy 6:6 "But godliness with contentment is great gain."

Husband Encouragement
* I'm convinced "tools" is my husband's love language. LOL So I'm going to try to surprise him with a couple things this week.
* Do you ever get into such a routine about something that you forget to think about whether the routine makes sense?? Well, I realized this week that except for Kevin's days off we never go to bed at the same time. And I determined that instead of feeding Carter at 10pm and going to bed at 11pm, I'm going to try to change Carter's schedule so I feed him at 9pm and hopefully I can go to bed at 10pm with Kevin. It will probably affect Carter's nighttime wakings a little, but who cares.
* I'm trying to help with our dining room renovation as much as I can, whether it's holding a flash light or the dummy end of the tape measure or stapling up insulation! (oh yes I did! LOL)
* Love Dare for this week: "Lord, teach me what real love is and make me a loving person."

Train Them Up
* Carter - changing his schedule as mentioned above, try getting him to nap in his bed even if it means starting by rocking him to sleep first for now
* the older two are responding so well to one-on-one story time before naps!
* print off new responsibilty chart for the week. I'd kind of quit doing it.
* IF we have a nice day this week (Wednesday maybe?) I want to bring the tricycle to town so Eli can ride around the pond and we can feed the ducks.
* I've got some school lessons planned for us to finally do this week.
* Ever since reading THIS POST I've been adding the "Lord bless you and keep you , the Lord make His face to shine upon you..." verse as a blessing over the kids at the end of our bedtime routine.

Personal Goals
* get up before kids
* find my planning notebook - it's driving me CRAZY that I cannot find it!!!!
* at least look at the pattern for my skirt

Absolutely MUST Do
* actually I can't think of anything that absolutely HAS to be done this week! wow!

Zone - guest room.

Menu - Kevin's working nights Monday-Wednesday so those will be simple meals (since it's just kids and I those nights) or something he can easily take in with him the next day.

M - cheddar potato soup, oranges
T - Kids Nite - lil' smokies, mac n cheese, green beans
W - chicken nuggets, cooked carrots, apple
Th - dad's spaghetti, garlic bread, peaches
F - breakfast nite - French toast and sausage links
S- PWs perfect enchiladas, pears
Su - roast with vegetables

* Because of work getting done at their house on Thursday, my pregnant SIL Holly is coming down to stay with us all day and night while whatever-it-is-for-their-bathtub airs out enough for her to safely return home! Fun, fun!
* MOPS steering meeting Friday

Things I'm thankful for today:
1. Our wonderful church family.
2. My hard-working husband. He's been spending all of his time off working on our dining room renovations.
3. Time with friends this weekend.
4. The little baby sleeping on my couch right now.

Join me with YOUR weekly plans!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Mommy Math

Do some math with me here...

40 + 30 + 15 + 10 = 95

That's approximately 95 lbs of stroller weight when we go for walks like this!!!! Eli's weight + Hannah's weight + Carter and his seat weight + stroller itself, not to mention any wind that we might be pushing against or children that might be moving around! So Jillian, don't you dare tell me that's not a workout!!!

Preschool Devotions

I've already posted how much I love THESE BOOKS. They answer so many great questions children might have about God, Jesus, Heaven, Angels, etc. I have all of them in the series, I think, and just love them. And the pictures are absolutely adorable, as they're drawn by the same illustrator as the Care Bears! Anyway, last week I ordered the devotional for preschoolers. We've just done the last four days and I'm loving it! Click on that last link to see what it's like inside: it has a short devotion, Bible verse, and a short rhyming prayer. And then after we've read those I try to come up with a little activity that applies to the lesson. April 11th was about telling the truth so I explained what a lie is and then said some things (ie: We went to church this morning. Or There's a cow in the living room.) and had Eli tell me if I was telling the truth or a lie. Then he said some things and I answered whether it was the truth of a lie. Then we talked about lying vs pretending and that some things are okay even if it's not true because we're just playing. April 12th was about thanking God, so we went around and each person (except Carter and Hannah) shared 5 things we're thankful for. April 13th was about angels. We read this right before bed, and I couldn't think of a quick activity or discussion thing to do with it, so we didn't. Today's devotions was about our mansion in Heaven that Jesus has prepared for us. So I'm having the kids "draw" a mansion. So yeah, loving this new book, and if you're looking for something like this I would definitely check it out!

Eli's drawing of a mansion. Big house with windows, a door, and trees on either side. 4/14/10

Monday, April 12, 2010

Monday Meanderings

Bible Study
word study on words

Memory Verse
1 Thessalonians 5:11 "Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing."

Husband Encouragement
* cheerful attitude
* try to dress up more
* picked up The Love Dare devotional at the store today when I was shopping, so I'm excited to start reading this!

Train Them Up
* daily devotions (stay tuned to find out what book I'm using for my little ones)
* continue one-on-one time before nap
* try to get back to school time

Personal Goals
* stay off computer. keep it plugged in at the desk instead of letting it sit on the couch all day where it's too easy and convenient and tempting to log in online every few minutes

Absolutely MUST Do
* write two birthday thank you's
* mail two packages
* prepare info for MOPS newsletter
* finish preparation for tomorrow's MOPS meeting

Zone - garden. really hoping to get it tilled and then plant right away this week before the soil crusts back over. Still need to buy seeds to plant sunflowers by the barn. The garden is completely planted, thanks to my amazing, hard-working husband!!

Menu - need to use up diced ham, green onions, hot dog buns, shredded cheese, spinach salad, tortillas

M - brats, mixed veggies, orange
T - ham and cheese quiche, peaches
W - soft tacos
Th - breakfast for dinner - breakfast casserole, fruit salad, muffins
F - margarita pizza, salad, breadsticks
S- kids meal - corn dogs, mac n cheese, green beans
Su - herbed pasta (thanks, Holly!), salad, Italian bread w olive oil

Dessert of the week: 1 Dish Blueberry Raspberry Cheesecake

* My friend Angie had her baby Saturday morning! Welcome Gabriel Bennett (hope I spelled that right). He's having some tests run in NICU for a low resting heart rate, so we're praying he clears them!
* Kevin's day off is Tuesday and then the rest of the week is training week so he's home a little bit earlier!
* MOPS on Tuesday
* My SIL Holly's first ultrasound on Thursday! Holly's family has a long history of twins, so we'll find out if they're having twins! Either way we're equally excited, one baby or two!!
* Holly is coming to visit for a little while on Friday!

Things I'm thankful for today:
1. beautiful weather
2. a great start with AdvoCare last week! I think I've lost 2-3 lbs!!
3. Kevin's going to be home today so hopefully we can get a few things done around the house --mow the lawn, work on the dining room

Need some more organization for your week? Need help keeping priorities in check? I've found this planning list to be very helpful in making all areas of our life purposeful! Join us!

Blessings on your week!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Ultimate Blog Party!!

Ultimate Blog Party 2010

If you're coming via the blog party over at 5 Minutes for Mom, then Welcome!!

My name is Sarah and I'm a Christian SAHM, married to my high school sweetheart Kevin for 5 years with three Littles. We recently got out of the Navy life on the east coast and are now living in rural, small-town Nebraska 3 hours from our parents and loving the country life right outside of town. Our life is very busy "just" raising our family but (most of the time) we're loving it!
Eli is our 3.5 year old. He's very active and rowdy, a train lover, and a blondie like his daddy was as a boy.
Hannah is our Valentine's surprise 2-year-old. She tags right along with Eli and wrestles with the rest of 'em, but by nature she is calmer and loves to "draw" in little notebooks and sit and "read" books. She looks a lot like Mommy and Grandma with her brown hair.

Carter is our 3-month old, smiley people person. He's fairly content so long as he's not left out of the action. He has a very reddish tint to his hair so it will be fun to see how he develops. He's my sweetie and cuddlebug!

About Me. I love photography and through following blogs and playing around with my camera, I am learning so much more about this art! But mostly I'm just a mom with a nice camera trying to get better at taking pictures. =) I post most of our family pics at our family blog here, but I post several pictures on this blog too, more coming soon actually! I love the outside--going for walks, playing games, camping, grilling, hiking. You can learn more about me by reading my list of 100 Things About Me followed by the 50 MORE Things About Me post.

Here at this blog
I post about my daily ups and downs, favorite recipes, preschool crafts and memory verse songs, photography, what I'm learning in my walk with Christ, and I host Monday Meanderings. So thanks for the visit, have a look around, and enjoy yourself a {virtual} fruit smoothie!

Thursday, April 8, 2010


I've had two good days now with a much better attitude toward the kids. I've been calm, and they've been calm. Really, I think much of their behavior has so much to do with how I'm responding to them throughout the day.

After many of your emails and suggestions {thank you guys for your all your encouragement!! you're great} I'm trying some new things with our parenting....

Eli reacts in tears about EVERYTHING. If his blankets aren't on right, if his door isn't open ALL THE WAY at night, if something breaks, if he can't get his shoes on right, if he pees his pants, if Hannah starts playing with a toy he wasn't recently playing with, if he's having troubles with a toy, etc etc etc. His first reaction is to cry and then talk while he's crying. It's ugly and irritating. But lately instead of saying the same things I say all day long, like "use your words" "talk in a nice voice" blah, blah, blah, I just say "I don't listen to crying" and ignore him until he starts using a nice voice. It's seeming to work faster and more effectively than me trying to tell him to stop {when he should be asking for help}. We'll see.

Instead of just rushing the kids off to nap as I sometimes do, I'm going to try having them playing independently in their rooms for about 15 minutes and then I come in and read a book or two individually with each of them before tucking them in. Gives them so one-on-one time with me and hopefully encourages them to wind down before sleepytime. THEN I'm going to try not stressing about whether they're sleeping or not. They must stay in their beds, but if they're still not sleeping after 45 minutes I can bring in some books for them to look at for the remainder of their "rest time".

So that's that on the parenting front.

Yesterday Eli and I visited preschool for the morning, 9-11:30am. It's a Lutheran preschool and all very Bible based. He was SO EXCITED all morning, and in the van on the way there, he said, "Oh Mom! I forgot my backpack!" haha The kids have little backpacks they play with at home and all the time pretend they're "going to school". It's cute! Obviously he didn't need his backpack, but it was so cute that he was thinking of it! He did pretty well throughout our visit. He was very shy and for much of the time clung to me, mostly for the large-group activities like songs time where they were playing instruments and dancing around. But the other times he got right in there and played and he stood in line right with the rest of them for a drink at the water fountain and for wash time, he sat at the table for snacks, and at the end of the day during book time he was excitedly sharing answers about butterflies. It was cute to watch him settle in throughout the 2.5 hours. We were observing the 4-yr old class since that's what he'll be going into next year, and now at the of this year all those kids are 5 and 6 already. I was pretty amazed to see the difference in behavior! All the kids were so good! {based on just yesterday's visit} there were no tears, no fits, no fighting! The kids just did whatever the teacher told them to! And they were so nice to Eli too! I heard one little boy say early in the morning when Eli was still being so quiet, "He doesn't talk yet. He's still a baby." haha! They'd ask him to play with him or say to each other "I think he's really scared." It was cute. I'm excited for Eli! I think he'll settle in nicely the more he gets used to it. I'm still a little uncertain about whether we should homeschool or not after that But we're going to take one year at a time, and for next year I think it'll be good for him in helping him gain confidence in social situations and learn how to play with others {who aren't his own sibling}. It'll be fun to see how it goes.

I'm also excited that my order arrived yesterday I'm starting AdvoCare products today in attempts to help me lose this baby weight QUICKLY since I fit in hardly any of my regular clothes at this point and refuse to buy bigger sizes. I don't have time to work out as much I would need to for rapid results, and because I'm nursing I can't crash diet either. So I'm trying this. Another friend of mine sells this and she's nursing too, so it's all safe and healthy. I'll let you know how it works for me!

I've gotten out my ol' guitar again lately and have been enjoying playing. And since we live in the country I can play out on the porch and not be embarrassed. I'm not that good. I can only play in two keys, I think. D and G. But most songs can be found in those keys or I can transpose them so they are. All in all it's fun and worshipful to play.

Yesterday was cold (39 degrees), cloudy, and light rain, but today is sunny and in the 60s again. It's beautiful out and I'm excited for a new day!

But also today I'll be praying for...
~ my friend Kathy who's 4-month old daughter Nora is having tubes put in her ears.
~ the family and friends of our old friend who committed suicide last week. the funeral is today.
~ my friend Angie and hoping she has her baby SOON!!!! =)

Enjoy your day, friends! And share with me, what's in your mind lately??

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Thinking of...

...getting a pattern and some cute fabrics and making a couple skirts like this style:
After reading this post, I feel inspired. Dresses are a little complicated right now since I'm nursing, but skirts are fun and casual!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Not Me! Monday

I would never eat over my 2-month-old baby's head while nursing.
And if I did and should happen to spill a big blob of pimento cheese out of my sandwich and onto the little guy's face, there's no way I would just wipe it off with my breast pad because it was the only thing I had near me!

Read more great stories over at MckMama's!

Monday Meanderings

Bible Study
Not sure yet.

Memory Verse
"For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks." Luke 6:45

Husband Encouragement

Train Them Up
* Library today. We haven't been there since before Christmas!
* try to do some one-on-one time with each of them

Personal Goals
* I was really trying to get up at 6am before the kids, but now Carter keeps waking up right before then.
* Start AdvoCare system.
* Do 30 Day Shred 2 times this week (trying for a goal that's realistic, especially since the kids and I have been doing a lot of walking)

Absolutely MUST Do
* pay bills
* vacuum upstairs - we've got a lot of buggies around! We vacuum downstairs nearly every day but the upstairs is more like once in a blue moon. Well, it's that time again!
* fill out preschool registration form
* send out MOPS postcards and finish lesson plans
* get garden tilled and plant seeds right away

Zone - diaper bag. I need a different bag or carry two smaller bags or something. All I know is I can't find a darn thing ever and have to unload the whole stinkin' thing just find my wallet, or checkbook, or phone, or kleenexes, etc. because they get buried underneath the diapers, wipes, spare underwear, spare outfit for Carter, burp cloths, nursing cover, and sippy cups.

computer desktop. I have a LOT of pictures that need imported to iphoto right now!

Menu -

Monday - ham steaks, sweet potatoes
Tuesday - grilled Italian chicken, oriental salad
Wednesday - mac n cheese with ham (thinking of doing a mac n cheese variation every week??)
Thursday - taco pizza
Friday - TBD
Saturday - TBD
Sunday - TBD

* After this incident I've asked Kevin if I can puh-leaase go grocery shopping by myself this week.
* MOPS planning meeting on Tuesday
* Eli and I get to visit preschool for all of Wednesday's class time.
* Kevin's off Tuesday thru Thursday this week.
* My best friend Angie is having her baby very soon!!

Prayer Requests
* That I would have peace and patience with my kids, particularly Eli who cries in reaction to everything and I just don't know what to do about it any more.
* I just found out last night that someone we knew from our church in Virginia checked himself into a hotel room and then shot and killed himself. He was a young husband in his 30s and a chiropractor. Marital problems, I hear, but it had to have been much more if it led to that. Just pray for everyone surrounding this situation. All his patients, friends, family, wife. Suicide leaves everyone else with a lot of questions, I imagine.

Things I'm thankful for today:
1. a lovely, somewhat last-minute Easter celebration with family! because Kevin had to work, my parents came down, picking up my brother and his wife on their way! We had an Easter egg hunt, picnic dinner, and a little bit of Bocce ball!
2. God knows when we really need a break. The kids were so good at church yesterday. Since Kevin was home sleeping, I had to manage them on my own for the Easter breakfast we had there, and the kids waited patiently at the table while I went through the food line. Carter slept THE ENTIRE TIME--through breakfast, through the short message after breakfast, and through church service and almost all the way 'til we got home! And after church the kids stayed right with me and we left right away so I didn't have to chase them down when it was time to go.
3. Redemption through the blood of Christ!

Join me!! Blessings on your week!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Roller coaster ride

Parenting young ones is quite a roller coaster ride, and friends, I do NOT like roller coasters!

This is a long post, but each detail shows how every little thing just rolls into something else....

We were having decent morning. A little rough because I was too tired to shower late last night so getting one this morning was a challenge, but we got through it.

And then we were ready to go to town for another lakeside walk. It was a lovely walk. The kids sat nicely and we enjoyed exploring pine cones, pine needles vs leaves, feathers, beavers, the difference between ducks and geese, ducks sleeping, and people fishing. It was great.

Then after seeing all those people fishing I decided I wanted to go ahead to Pamida and get Eli one of the cute little kids' fishing poles they have there right now. On the way we saw friends from church out walking so we turned around so we could drive by them and say Hi. Then we continue on to Pamida and on the way realized if we were getting something for Eli, then we should probably get something for Hannah too. So once in the store we quickly found Eli's little Spiderman fishing pole and then went to the toy section to find something for Hannah, preferably some kind of outside toy. We found a pink princess smaller-sized rubber kickball type ball and went with that. While in the toy section we saw a grandma looking through the toys and she asked what a 2-yr old boy would like so I said, "Well, Hannah's 2 right now. A boy would probably really like a dump truck for the sand!" And we carried on towards the front of the store to check out. As we got there I saw that there were the cheap sand dump trucks up front by all the Easter stuff so I went back to find the grandma and told her there were dump trucks up front. After the kids and I went to the office section to try to find a stapler, we went back to the checkout area and I saw the grandma carrying around a dump truck, and I felt so good for having helped her. Then we checked out and left Pamida.

I told the kids we were just putting our purchases in the car and then going next door to the grocery store for a few things. Well, Hannah did great putting her new pink ball in the van, however Eli decided to fuss about it and kept trying to climb into his seat even though I'd told him more than once that we were going into the grocery store. Kept fussing, finally I got him to leave his fishing pole and climb out of the van. I awkwardly got the cart put away while at the same time not trying to keep my older two from getting run over by cars in the parking lot. Did it. Then we went into the grocery store, and I pulled out a new cart. Both kids stand on the side of it and the whole flippin' thing starts to tip over. Mid-fall and while trying to get Carter's seat in, I catch the cart and place it back upright. I get Carter's seat clipped in but the cart is broken a little, so even with the back of his seat clipped in, the front was still hanging high in the air. So I switch to a different cart, lift Hannah into the basket part, and then Eli starts fussing that he wants in the cart too. He's really heavy for me to lift that high, we're just getting 3 things right up front in the produce section, and he has a freshly skinned knee from the parking lot, so I told him to just walk this time. Doesn't want to. After Eli fussing at the van, the cart tipping over, and now this all in the last 2 minutes I've had it and we head straight to the bathroom for discipline. I spank him and he starts to pee his pants. I very frustratingly and quickly yank his shorts down and plop him on the toilet since it was right there. He's already peed his shorts enough they need changed, but I don't have any new underwear or pull-up in my bag today because I just recently cleaned it out some since I've been overwhelmed with how much I carry around all the time and I can never find anything. SO I made him put on one of Hannah's diapers, and you can imagine how he felt about that. Meanwhile Hannah's been playing with the sink and got her coat all wet. I get Eli dressed again, we grab our cart and just leave. Didn't even get anything from the store. I couldn't take a single minute more. This time heading into the parking lot we saw someone else from church. She rolled down her window and said, "Oh you got the little ones today!" I replied with a smile, "Yeah, I wish I didn't. We're going home now." She says, "Okay! See you later!" Now I feel bad that I was so rushed with them. We get in the car, go home, get lunch, and then nap time.

For whatever reason Hannah would NOT nap. 5 times I went in and spanked her. 6th time I sat in her room until she was almost asleep. But as soon as I left she started talking again. 7th time two hard spankings. 8th time, daddy went in, leaving her with a gaspy cry. A little while later I heard her still crying and calling for me, so 9th time I went in and rocked her, my 2 yr-old, and she went to sleep.

I went downstairs and Carter was awake and crying.

And this is my day. Wow. WOW.

Friday, April 2, 2010

TRIPLE Stroller!

Look! It works! I tried this the other day going to Walgreens because I knew they have tiny carts there that would barely hold Carter's car seat, let alone another child, and I try to avoid having two loose children in the store. It was a little hard to use in the store because of all the tight turns and the heavy weight of three children on it but out in the parking lot it was fine, so I thought to myself hey, I'm gonna try this in town for a walk where the turns are very gradual.

Now that spring is finally here, I've been pretty desperate to get out walking. I love it, I love the exercise, I love the fresh air. But I've been trying to figure out how to do it with three kids now, more than what fits in our strollers. And I don't super-love the pouch just yet so I'm not sure if I want to put Carter in the pouch while I push the other two. Who knows. But for now I tried this--all three kids on this double stroller. We have this neat little pond/lake in town with a nice sidewalk all around it.
So I'm hoping, if I get myself up and ready before the kids in the morning, so we can get up and going before Carter's first nap of the day, we can make a routine of going to town walking several laps around the lake and then feeding the ducks.

And then after the ducks I could even bring the kids' tricycles so they can ride around a little bit (since we really don't have much space to ride out at our house). And maybe even pack a picnic, though by then Carter would need another feeding. So fun though!

Oh I'm so excited about the possibilities that spring offers!!

Take up your cross

"Then Jesus said to his disciples, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.'" Matthew 16:24

Picture taken tonight about a mile from our house um..while driving.

Preschool Craft: Easter Cross

I saw this idea in a catalog and figured we could do basically the same thing at home with what we already have. Finally gave me an activity to use some of the pretty tissue paper from Carter's baby shower. Only had to get some fresh pink from my pack of new tissue paper.

Draw a cross shape on paper. Cover it in glue. Then wad up tissue paper and stick it to the glue.

Eli did very well with it. And Hannah didn't do so bad either considering I was just letting her do her thing instead of instructing her. I noticed she picked up on Eli wadding the paper and starting to do some like that too. Very good! Don't they look nice! I'm excited to hang this up on the kids' art wall in the play room! It's about time I actually got them framed and hung up!

Eli'sMine. I did one too to resist the urge to insist the kids do their perfectly. I'm kind of like that. But this way they could watch me if they wanted. And it gave me something to do so I didn't overcorrect them, and instead just give them freedom to create.

Preschool Easter Songs.

Songs I've made up that we've been singing this week....

(tune: Muffin Man)

Do you know Jesus Christ
For all my sins
He gave his life.
Do you know Jesus Christ
He gave his life for us.

John 3:16

(tune: "For He's a Jolly Good Fellow") listen here

For God so loved the world
For God so loved the world
For God so loved the world
He sent His son to die

He sent His son to die
to free us from our sins

For God so loved the world
He sent His son to die
so we could live with Him always
John three sixteen

Thursday, April 1, 2010

The joys of toddlers

Okay, if you've seen my last couple posts, you probably understand the need for this post.  Today I'm leaving the house for a few minutes and taking some time to reflect and "take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ." (2 Cor. 10:5, this week's memory verse)  by seeing my children as the blessings that they are!  The kids are watching a show, and Carter's still asleep in his car seat right here next to me.  So right now I want to think about my children and the great things about them being young, the great things to enjoy right now while I still can!

* Their zest for life and excitement over little things-- pancakes with whipped cream, park days, picnics on the living room floor, picnics OUTSIDE, new books, trains going by, combines in the field, baby chicks, tricycles, puddles, rainbows, apple slices that look like rainbows, cheese slices cut with a cookie cutter, tiny Spaghettio's, those little tiny "baby grapes" that didn't actually grow into a full-sized grape, Lunchables, play dates with friends, lawn mower rides, swimming pools, coloring with markers, opening presents, putting pennies in their piggy banks, etc
* They're SO PROUD when they learn how to do something all by themselves.
* I can still snuggle them in the rocking chair before nap and bedtime.
* They actually believe that kisses make boo-boo's all better.
* Birthday's are THE BEST and all year long they ask about when it's coming.
* They stand on the end of their beds pretending they're riding fire trucks. Closets are elevators.  And the stairs are bunk beds. A pile of blankets is something to splash in. And a ball on top of a cup is an ice cream cone.
*  Bedtime routine means so much to them that they melt to tears if they didn't get their goodnight hug.

Seriously, why do I get so upset about silly little things that mean the world when you're a little kid???!  I'm going to try to do better about every day doing one thing (at least)  that will bring delight to my children, because that in turn is what brings me delight too!

5 minutes of peace.

I wanted to go to town for a walk this morning with the kids.  But as I was switching their car seats from the truck back to the van I realized it's really too windy for a walk.  Since we were already outside and ready to go I decided we'd just go for a drive instead.  I really wanted out of the house, some fresh air, and a to-go trip so hopefully Carter would sleep a longer nap this morning.  About 20 minutes from our house and hidden in the middle of cornfields is a beautiful lake.  (here are the pics from last fall)  So we headed there.  While there I parked the van and told the kids to wait a few minutes in the car and just look at books or something.  I put on the radio for them and left them for a few minutes of solitude.  I found a spot right down by the water and just rested in God's presence,  telling Him that I'm really struggling, and pleading for Him to help me through my days because I can not do it on my own.  I prayed for God to wash over me with strength... and patience... and peace.... Then I closed my eyes and just listened to the water splash against the shore..... I sat there in the quiet taking it all in.... Ahhh.... Then I walked back to the van and we drove home.  5 minutes of PEACE.  A QUIET MOMENT WITH GOD.  Just 5 minutes.  And just what I needed.  Away from it all.

Today I encourage you to find a special place that brings you peace.  A mid-day bubble bath during naptime, down by the flower garden, out on your porch swing, at a park, wherever it is...Leave your kids (even if it's in the car like I did), leave your to-do list. Go there.  5 minutes.  Be with God.  Be renewed.  

"Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.  Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me.  Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me."  Psalm 51:10-12

I am still tired.  Those 5 minutes didn't give me a 180 or anything, but man, did it feel good and enough boost for me to get through today