Friday, February 26, 2010

Things I've Learned from my First NJ Winter

- If you leave your trash can lid at the curb to pick up tomorrow, you won't see it again until the Spring.

- When running errands with four children, "No snow angels!" must be specified or everyone will be drenched within the few seconds it takes to get from the front door to the van.

- If you slip into your "cute" boots with no traction to just make a quick run outside, it will triple the length of time it takes to get back inside (plus your knees will be soaked from crawling back up the hill several times).

- If you think you will be the only one in the grocery store on the first day of the blizzard, you are sadly mistaken. You'll just be the one circling the parking lot looking for a spot.

-Just because Atlanta-life comes to a screaching hault with merely the threat of snow flurries, it doesn't necessarily imply that New Jersey slows down with snow-icanes.

- If you think a spider is dead just because he is frozen solid, most likely you are wrong.

-There is a muscle that runs from under your arm and wraps around your back and up through your neck. It can easily be discovered and exercised by shoveling huge amounts of snow.

-Your shoveled driveway is magically recoated after an hour long trip to the store, and will need reshoveled to allow re-entrance.

-Never turn the wipers on when they are frozen solid. A long piece of plastic will then rip off and dangle, making them basically worthless.

-Black squirrels and seagulls still come out in the dead of winter. They just look more intimidating with their extra 3 layers of fur and feathers.

-During winter months, for each load of laundry completed, another two have developed.

-Static hair and static-shocking is a non-stop form of entertainment/torture depending on one's mood.

-If you plan many exciting events for the same weekend, the harmless cloud on the radar will suddenly morph into a "paralyzing blizzard" headed your way.

-When forcing a door to the outside open against the impacted snow, the door gives out before the snow.

-Snow makes everything look more beautiful and enchanting.

-Winter is much more tolerable, and even enjoyable when your kids come in with their rosey cheeks, teary frozen eyes, runny noses, and chapped grins shouting out all of their wonderful adventures in this new land of New Jersey snow!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

What's a 4-letter word that Makes or Breaks a Day?!

The answer is N-A-P-S!!!!!!

I remember before I had kids how one of my dear friends scheduled everything for in the morning or in the late afternoon, all because of this new little guy who needed his naps.  I didn't understand why NAPS had to come at one particular time, each and every day.  Couldn't there be an exception?  Now, I GET IT!!!!

I like to go with the flow, and be flexible, and roll with the punches as much as anyone...but take away naps or push them ever so slightly later, and beware - the world might truly fall apart.

We now schedule everything for the morning, or afternoon, and try with all our might to have the little ones in the laying down flat pose no later than 2 (and trust me - that is pushing it).  Every now and then I feel adventurous and think, "Hey, I know...we'll do something exciting and interesting, and they'll be having so much fun they won't even realize they are missing NAPS."  And then, a day like today happens and reminds me....I am truly insane.  Little Thessy Angel literally turned into the Hulk, green with bulging veins and growls the size of a giant, and sweet Lil' Eben became a red screaming Banshee.  Jo sat plugging her ears with stress written all over her face, and Adela was actually quietly looking out of the window (which is nearly unheard of).   Finally after a 30 minute drive of this, precious Thessaly takes a breath and just sighs, "Mom, Me just too tired!"

This concept of rest, and naps seems so foreign to us grown ups.  We feel obligated to fill every waking moment with as much as we can cram in, because if it doesn't get done now, it will get pushed to overloaded later.  Yet, the Lord carved out this time for Himself and His people.  After creating the world, He rested.  His people were commanded to take not only a day of rest a week, but weeks were designated for this purpose and sometimes even longer.  When the Son was here, He went away to rest, and to meditate.  There is wisdom and calm when a part of the day is carved out and designated for rest!

So, that being said, the kids are all tucked in and quiet...I think I'll go grab a rest:-)

Monday, February 22, 2010

Wagons Ho!

So, we are off on the Oregon Trail.  We've been building up to our journey for quite a while now.  I found a site that takes kids of all ages on a virtual Oregon Trail, giving us fates, chats, and fun ideas (  We have been checking out books at the library, reading biographies, keeping a journal, and even making a lapbook.  To make it even more fun (for me...and the kids, of course), we play The Oregon Trail online.  If you are anywhere near my age, you may remember the old computer game played in elementary school in the computer lab.  This is the one where you see a little ox taking pretend steps and then find out you didn't pack enough supplies, and die of starvation or cholera.  As we've loaded up the family and taken them on the wagon over rivers and miles and miles of emptiness, we've been mapping landmarks, counting change while buying supplies, rationing food with subtraction and division, measuring depth and length of rivers for crossing, and having a gay-old-time.
It's such fun to see them getting so excited over learning something. 
Josephine (or should I say, Rachel Jackson, her Oregon Trail character) has especially surprised me.  She is devouring biographies now.  Everytime we go to the library, she is pulling 4 or 5 off of the shelf...and we're talking hunking big bios.  So far, she has read Laura Ingalls, Amelia Earhart, Fredrick Douglas, Rachel Jackson, Narcissa Whitman, Robert E. Lee, and I can't even remember who else.
Adela is having a blast.  Her main attraction on the trip is the illnesses and the tombstones.  She loves to find out what the symptoms are for each disease and figure out how they got it.  Her favorite is typhoid fever, which is caused by consumption of contaminated food/water with "poo."  You've got to know Adela to see that one coming:-)
Thessaly enjoys giving daddy the nightly report (about how someone stole supplies or we saw Indians) and she loves making the grub.  Her favorite is the bread.
I can't help but note as we study how I don't think I would have survived back then.  I'm thankful that I was born in a time of running water, heaters, washers and dryers, microwaves, phones, and automobiles.  . Having four babies so close together, traveling daily, stopping them from eating dirt or getting bit by a snake, feeding, cleaning, and just surviving would take an enormous amount of strength and about having your hands full!
As you can tell, we've been having a lot of fun...and we've only been on the trail 1 week!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

So This Was Why

This morning I spent running around getting all four kiddoes and myself ready for services, as is the normal way I start off a Sunday morning, only stopping to catch my breath and gulp my coffee once we are all buckled in the van and on our way to services.  John had to lead singing today, so I knew things might get a little harry if I had to take Eben out.  Sure enough, I ended up in the back juggling a talkative baby while John was in the front of the building and the three girls sat their on our row by themselves.  As I stood there, expecting the worst, I realized this Lord's Day has been a long time coming.  There sat my handful, behaving, listening, and being perfect.  How many times have I tossed up my hands at the end of a Sunday, thinking I've heard nothing, and we've gotten so little out of the service?  But now I was all for this.  All of those rushings, and disciplinings, and trainings were for this...for the Lord.  I'm not saying we have it all worked out, but I am saying....I see how my true goal is being reached....instilling a love and respect for God in my children's hearts is slowly but surely coming to pass.  I ended up getting Eben to sleep, Thessy to sleep, heard a sermon, and read my Bible.  The Lord truly is gracious!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Here Goes Nothin'

Well, here is my first official entry on my first official blog. It's nothing profound or worth sending to everyone, just me starting off.  Honestly, I can't believe I'm starting a blog.  I'm hoping this will be a better way for me to keep up with the daily happenings of our chaotic, yet beautiful life.  I'm wanting to record those significant moments, cute sayings, and even those pull-out-my-hair kind of days.  I'm wanting to write down those little things that happen that years from now I know I'll want to read and remember.  I use to keep a journal for each of the kids, but with moving, homeschooling, and adding a little one to the mix, I just can't seem to get it together enough to keep up.
Sooooo....that being goes my blog!