Tuesday, March 30, 2010

You Know What I've Been Thinking Lately?

"You know what I've been thinking about lately?" This is usually the question Josephine asks me right before she boggles my mind. Today at lunch she proceeded to tell me "Every moment counts!" She didn't exactly spout philosophy about taking each moment and making the best of it, but her little brain came up with that phrase to describe time passing. To explain her point, she began tapping the table, "See, this moment...and this moment...and this....they all add up. And each one means the sun moves a little bit closer to night." Isn't that the truth?! Try wasting time when you have a six year old giving you that kind of reminder:-)

Monday, March 29, 2010

Emotions on Video

Here is tiny snippit of Adela, dumbfounded by a Barbie computer question:

Here is Josephine, excited over yummy Moe's:

Here is Eben, hungry and helping himself:

Thessaly saying her Judges:

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Battle Scars for the "Mother" Land

Yesterday as I was showing off my latest scratches from Eben's sharp little claws... I mean, fingernails...John compared my marred self to that of our new favorite TV series' star, Jack Bauer.  We've recently been checking out the 24 series from the library and until now, I didn't realize just how much me and Jack have in common.;-)

Jack is a government agent who time and again puts himself in harms' way for the love of his country.  He is often turned upon, rejected, and doubted by the very ones he is trying to protect.  In every season thus far, he is in some way injured and makes countless sacrifices, but rarely is he acknowledged or thanked properly for his devotion.

The comparison?  You guessed it...I am a government agent....great, my secret is out....no, seriously...I am a mother who time and again goes thru torture for the love of her family.  I have the battle scars to prove it; there's scratches and bruises, stretch marks, wrinkles, and gray hairs.  Often my children turn on me, reject me, and doubt me, even though my warnings, scoldings, and strict directions are trying to protect them.  Just last week, Adela decided to fly out of the van instead of climb out as usual, and what were the words raging from her mouth as she splatted on the concrete?  "MOOOMMMM!!!!" like it was my fault.  Thessaly tripped on my foot as she ran past in the house where she knows she's not to run, and immediately, her stern look turned on me, "MOMMMM!  Why you do that?!"  Even as I type, Josephine sits pouting on the couch because she wants to play outside but I said not now since it is raining and cold.  How dare I?!
This message isn't written to toot my own horn, though...or call myself a hero (although my 24 hour days might give Jack a run for his money:-). 

Once again, I think of the One who did all the suffering for my sake.  He has the wounds to prove it.  Yes, His body was often broken for me, but how many rejections and accusations have I made that have caused Him pain?!  How many times has He put Himself in harm's way for me?  How many times has He made those tough warnings, scoldings, and strict directions only trying to protect me?  Rarely do I stop to give Him the thanks He deserves. 

As I go along this motherly walk, may I think of the wounds I have inflicted on Him, and grow to appreciate all He does for little old me.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Praying in Our Own Language

Adela asked me today, "Does God speak all the different languages?"  Thankfully, He does...even that of a child.  I always love listening to the prayers of my children as they say exactly what is in their hearts and on their minds. 

The other night before bed, Adela prayed "Thank you for sisters, brothers, mothers, and dadders."  Amid the muffled snickers from others, I'm sure God knew exactly what she meant and treasured her thoughts.

Last week Thessaly prayed, "Thank you for letting mommy not be grouchy anymore!" at which all eyes peeked at me to see if I would become said grouch, but again God understood and listened.
And Josephine has often begun to add to her prayers, "I know there's more that I don't know how to say right now, but You already know it."  Ain't that the truth?!

If only I could become as a child in my prayers:
-Say what I want to say, even if I mess up the words.  He'll know what I mean. 
-Speak what's on my heart, regardless of how it sounds.  He'll understand and listen.
-Admit there is more, trusting Him to know my heart and help me along.
I stand amazed at what those sweethearts are continually teaching me.

Friday, March 26, 2010

The Neediest Time of a Day

Having children has brought to my attention the fact that the neediest time of a day is the 10 minutes right after getting in bed. It never fails that the 10 minutes after putting my kids down to sleep, they suddenly are in need of a zillion and one things. I guess when you finally cause them to lay still for a moment, their minds kick into overdrive and recap the day and all of their needs and/or wants. Here's a montage of various ones I get:
I need socks. I'm hungry.You know what I'm gonna dream about? Do you think a spider will crawl into my bed? My leg hurts. I need my nails clipped. Remember you were going to tell us that story. I need a drink.
It's too dark. It's too bright. Don't forget to come check on me when you go to bed." The list goes on and on.  Sometimes I patiently listen to their concerns, but often I get frustrated and remind them that they need to address these issues during the day when we can discuss them and not wait until the last second to bring them up.  Truth be told, they often are just thinking of reasons to stay up, or tp get my attention a little bit longer.  The times I really don't mind dropping what I'm doing, coming back up the stairs, and listening to them are the times when they want me just because they love me.  Josephine called me back the other night to thank me for something I'd done with her during the day and tell me how much she loved me.  If that were the case all of the time, I'd fly up those stairs again and again with a great big grin.  I can think of no better way to close out a day than saying "I love you" before closing your eyes.
So, what do I do when I go to bed?  Well, those 10 minutes right after I get in bed, I recap my day and all of my needs/wants and pour them out to my Father.  He listens, I know He does, but shouldn't I have been addressing Him throughout the day instead of saving them up for my tired and worn out last moments?  Perhaps those final last minute prayers should be spent addressing him with thankfulness and telling Him I love Him before closing my eyes.
Tonight when I'm climbing those stairs for the umpteenth time, may I exhibit the same patience He does with me during my neediest time of day.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Tenderhearted Thessaly is Three!

Sometimes in life, we question "Why Me?" Why is this happening to me? Why does God think I can handle this? Why, out of all the world, ME? Usually, with these thoughts, are worries and pain. Today, I ask the question in awe and praise. Why Me, Lord? Why am I so richly blessed in being Thessaly's mother?!
Three years ago today, Thessaly was sent to live with our family. What a beautiful day it was! What a beautiful life she is!

Thessaly is our doll baby. She is our cuddle bug. She is our sweet, sweetheart, Thessy! From the day she was born, she has always been a constant joy. As a baby, she never cried (honestly, she didn't!). She slept through the night by 2 months and to this day is our best sleeper. Thess was born with a pure and tender heart, always thinking of others. From the beginning, she could sense peoaple's moods and know just what to do. If one was tired, she'd bring her blanket. If one sneezed, she'd bring a kleenex. If one was sad, she'd curl up in their lap and just be with them. Her first words were to make sure everyone else was taken care of; if you gave her a snack or a hug or anything, she'd immediately ask, "And Mama? and Jo? and Dela? and Dada?" making certain we all were as happy as she.
For some reason, God took a look at our family and chose to grace us with this precious child. Who can help but smile when they take a look at her loving eyes and pinchable cheeks?! Thank the Lord for three years with our Thessy!!!!

To see a slideshow of our sweet Birthday Girl, click on the side picture.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Scary Fun

This winter we spent a lot of time indoors.  At first, there was plenty to do...school work, playing with toys, reading books, even housework.  But winter lasted several months here, so after all of our regular thrills, we had to get a bit creative.  We learned to sock skate on the kitchen floor, play scoop ball between the living room rugs, and cooked up all sorts of fun recipes (a favorite was snow cream).  One of the most popular past-times the kids came up with was "Scare Mom!"
"Scare Mom" is this wonderful game where children hide out in a place they know mom is coming to, and then jump out and frighten her to the point of almost causing a heart attack.  At the beginning of the winter months, I thought it was funny to hear the little footsteps run ahead of me, or the muffled giggles right before one of the girls jumped out.  But as the months tolled on, the little ones became masters of strategy, and I became less fond of this game.
One morning I took a shower and got ready for the day (by myself and yes it is marked on the calendar, thank you:-), as J had the kids downstairs.  As I hummed away blissfully selecting an outfit with leisure,  I thought I heard scratches coming from near my bed.  Being that we had recently suspected an unusually large rodent was camped in my room, I looked around several times.  Finally deciding it was my imagination, I went on with my lolly-gagging.  Suddenly, a large head pops out of the laundry basket, growling, "I'm a rat who is fat!"  My dear daughter, Josephine, had been hiding out in my room, in my laundry basket, for who knows how long...just for the purpose of terrifying her mother to the point of hysterical screaming.
Another day, the house was unusually quiet, which undoubtedly means someone is up to something they should not be up to.  In calling to the girls, I went about my constant cleaning, picking up clothes off the floor, shutting open drawers, and pushing storage boxes back under the bed.  One box wouldn't fit under, so I gave it several kind taps (okay, hard kicks), while politely reprimanding (okay,hollering) to the kids that they needed to clean their room better..."There's so much junk under your beds these boxes won't even fit anymore." With that being said, I got down on my knees to do the junk sweep myself only to discover a bruised up Adela lunging out at my face.  She was proud of her battle wounds, for she had once again won the game, "scare mom" nearly to death. 
Even little Thessaly has mastered the game.  While changing Eben's clothes, I casually open the closet only to be attacked by a knee-sized Thessy with her pink blanket over her head, shouting, "Me scare You!"
Not to worry, Eben is surely making notes for his future roll in the game.  For now, he is usually present, jumping nearly as high as me, but not sharing in the petrified screams that come with this fantastic game.
Now that summer is finally here, I look forward to the new games that are created, and hope for a little reprieve from "Scare Mom" for my poor heart's sake.
p.s. I have my own version of this game, on occasion...and you know what, scaring kids is just as fun :-)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Adela, Five Years and Counting

Five years ago today, we were blessed with a baby who would change our lives forever.  Looking at our dear Adela now, you would NEVER guess the delicate condition she entered into this world.  She was born with several heart defects and was in need of immediate heart surgery.  God watched over our dear little one and brought her home healed and healthy.  Now she is our "bundle of energy", our "little character", our "spirited one", and our "precious gift."  There's never a dull moment with our Adela Bella around.
Praise God for allowing us the honor of being Adela Breanne Weaver's family!
For a glimpse, check out the slideshow I've posted on the sidebar.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Jesus said....

"Out of the mouth of babes!" is a phrase I hear all of the time.  With all of these little ones running around here, I'm bound to learn a lesson at least once a day.  Around the dinner table the other night, the family was sitting, eating, and doing our normal dinner conversation - highlighting the events of the day, filling in daddy on any mishaps or findings, hearing of his adventures on the New York City subways, when someone (who shall remain anonymous) passed gas (to put it in polite terms).  Little Thessaly looked around in disgust, and with her little furrowed brow past judgement, "Jesus said, 'Don't Do That!'"
Granted, I don't recall a chapter and verse on this one, but after the hysterics died down, I loved her way of thinking.  What would one do differently if Jesus were sitting there at the table with us?  How would one behave if our Savior was ever present?  He is there, with us, watching us, and loving us.  I pray He would have little to reprimand and not have to use as stern a voice as our sweet Thessy found necessary.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Conquering the Germ

Not long ago we took a homeschool trip to a Natural History Museum that had a special hands-on exhibit dealing with germs.  The kids learned all about germs -how to properly cover a cough with a sleeve, how long is long enough to truly wash your hands, not just get them wet with a dash of soap, how microscopic "bugs" can make you really, really sick.  It was a wonderful exhibit that made a lasting impression. 

Already, we are very Germ Conscious.  I'm that cooky mom that pulls out the hand sanitizer whenever we're at restaurants, in the van on the way home from events, and even on the bench directly after Bible Class.  It's not that we're paranoid about getting sick...well, ok, yes, we're paranoid about it...but it's just that with a family of so many little ones, once germs get in, it takes forever for them to get out; it starts with one little runny nose, and within a week we've used a mega-pack of Kleenex boxes and each one of us has a red nose to prove it.

This winter has been especially rough for us.  I guess moving to a colder climate has exposed us to different kinds of colds/flus than our immune systems were already used to down south.  It seems we've had more sick days than well during the last couple of months.  In fact, I almost seem giddy when people ask how we're doing and I can reply, "We are all healthy and happy!"

With all of the "germ" talk going on in our house, I became painfully aware that our Father warned us over and over about a different kind of "germ" - that of sin.  These "germs" come in all shapes and sizes.  The most contagious ones around here are anger, bad words (Thessaly insists that she heard Eben say "poopoo" just last night), and selfishness.  They can sneak in unnoticed.  They start off small, and fester into a full blown illness.  They are contagious and are easily spread to our companions. I started taking a look at our family, and wondered what other "germs" we've allowed to creep into our home.  

"If mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy" is SO true.  If I start the day off with a frown and complaint, my irritableness spreads to the kids and we are all exposed to that "germ." If I answer in wrath and say cruel things, it won't be long until I turn around and hear those precious gems speaking to each other in that same "germy" voice.

The hard part about being sick, is that once you've let it into the house and you all have it, it takes great effort to get it out.  Everyone must do their part to not spread it any further.  Mom becomes a broken record with instructions to "Cover your mouth, Use a Kleenex, Wash your hands, Don't drink after each other, Don't wipe that on the"....well, you get the drift.

My goal this week is to take a look around our house to find those hidden "germs" that are contaminating us, and to do whatever I can to cleanse this family, and get us back to health.  Lord willing, our immune systems will be better prepared the next time these "germs' come our way.
But for now, I have to wonder - which will be easier, cleaning our acts or cleaning this house!?

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Profound and Not so Profound

Sitting at the table yesterday afternoon, eating our thrown together sandwiches, Josephine began to ponder time - not just clocks, or reading them, but the real passing of time. She announced to us all, "It's funny to think that this morning happened, and will never happen again.  Thessaly will never be sitting here banging her fork on the table with Adela singing super loud and Eben eating Cheerios again...well, okay, they will do it again, but never just like this, and not just now."  Whhhhaaaa!  The girl takes my breath away.  And Vivi kept all of these things in her heart:-)

Then going to bed, Thessaly reaches out, "Mommy, can you hold this for me?" handing me an invisible object in the dark.  Thinking she's pretending something precious, I take it and ask, "Oh, what's this, honey?" 
"Just a booger." Whaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!  The girl took my breath away.  And Vivi ran for a tissue a.s.a.p.

This roller coaster of child raising sure is fun!  You never know what they're going to throw at you.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

All That's Left

We've all seen the articles that list the many roles of a mother. They give an estimate of what her income should be by counting all of her duties and jobs (a cook, a counselor, a pharmacist, a referee, a teacher, a chauffeur, etc.). Of all the many, many duties mothers have, I would say the role of Disciplinarian is one of the hardest. Contrary to what my children believe, I do not find joy in saying "No!" I do not think it's fun to correct their mistakes, or guide them to the right when they err from the way multiple times in a day. However, I do know that it is absolutely necessary to train them to be who God wants them to be, and to guide them to their true potential. I can witness the results of sweet, precious, and well behaved kids in the long run; and what a wonderful feeling that is!

Just when I feel we are at a calm and things are going well in that department, new trials arise. This past week, colds have entered the household. This of course makes emotions raw, and being cooped up in the house helps to contribute to everyone getting under each other's feet.

After losing several privileges and various items, Adela looked up at me with those big teary eyes and cried, "All that's left is my heart!"
Talk about guilt trip. On one hand, I know she needed the restrictions; on the other, it broke my heart to see that she felt stripped bare. It got me to thinking how the Lord disciplines us. He tells us what He expects, He guides us to do what's right, and yet we disappoint Him time and again. It's those times when we hit rock bottom and "all that's left" is our hearts that we truly turn to Him and strive to do better. He doesn't enjoy saying, "No!" and doesn't think it is fun to correct our mistakes, but in the long run He knows we can do better and become who He wants us to be.

My goal this week is to discipline with a loving hand, as He does...to be consistent, firm, and loving even when I feel I'm going to pull out my hair or blow my top. At least the heart is left, and isn't that the best part of us - we'll just take it from there!