Tuesday, July 28, 2009

One Thing I Hate...

is duplicity. I cannot stand people who put on airs when their actions do not match their words. I don't like it when people talk to me in a condescending manner and treat me like whatever they say concerning life, love, parenting is *the answer* and *only way* to do things. It bugs me greatly.

In my heart of hearts I really hope and pray that I don't do that to other people. Let's look into today as a snapshot of what really happens around here...

I have 15 million things on my to-do list and I don't even know where to start. I am attention deficit when it comes to house cleaning - I hop from one job to another and at the end of the day I have lots of little unfinished projects instead of a clean house. And if the project is close to being done, I'm good about thinking, "oh that is close enough" and will leave it incomplete until one day I wake up and find it's driving me crazy.

I have tons of ideas as to what I should do with the boys and what routines we are going to get into and I will often declare, "from now on, we are going to..." fill in the blank... and yeah, it never gets off the ground. Or it does for about 2 weeks and then I get sidetracked (can I please blame attention deficit???) and then the routine is all but forgotten. A great character trait to teach my kids...

I'm supposed to be keeping up with everything here at the house, all the stuff involving the kids, and all the work that is piling up at the church and instead I just am so tired that I sit around and often can't even put two thoughts together in a logical sequence. I can make to-do lists but they are so long and the tasks build upon each other so often that I can't do this until that is done and I can't do that because I have a 16 mo. old totally determined (ok, I just sat here for 3 minutes trying to remember the word determined) anyway, totally determined to pull things out of cabinets, climb onto table tops and eat things she finds in the trash can. Needless to say that I get distracted then... and the tasks do not get accomplished... instead they sit around half finished like everything else.

So never, ever sit here reading this blog and think that I am so put together and organized. Never, ever think that I always know how to handle every situation that my children dish out. Often times I am found yelling, "Don't yell at your brother that way, you shouldn't talk to people so rudely!!!" Yeah, that's just great parenting right there.

I hope to get to so many thoughts and happenings that have gone on around here lately, but there are just not enough hours in the day nor is there enough energy in this body to keep up with everything. Any spare time I get really just ends up going into sleeping... oh nap time, if only you took up the majority of the day - so many of my problems would be solved and I could be the organized, wonderfully peaceful mom that I should be.

Monday, July 27, 2009


To dispel any myths that I have become a super organized ultra homemaking mom since moving out here to the "country"....

Today, I am taking my grandma on a trip to see her cousins for lunch. I will be taking Lillie with me but the boys will stay here at the house with their grandma while I make the trek. I bought a chicken at the grocery store last night and decided that I would put it in the crockpot and let it cook overnight while I slept and then wake up to cooked chicken and broth to use in a casserole for their lunch today... so that they wouldn't have to worry about lunch... because it would already be cooked and prepared for them... and it was a great idea, so very on top of things, so very organized and I smiled to myself the whole time that I prepared the crockpot last night.

I stopped smiling this morning when I discovered that I never turned the durn thing on!! Yes I woke up to raw chicken sitting in water. Not so good for the casserole. But maybe a trip to Sonic down the way would be a good afternoon activity for them.... or there is always peanut butter sandwiches - the staple meal of the unorganized.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Golly Goodness...

where does the time go??? I just don't have many moments to sit here and put two thoughts together to expound upon what we are doing....

I have to take my boys to ballgames...

Go to the zoo to pet stingrays...

Take fish off of hooks for Isaiah...

Not to mention go to the county fair, clean the house over and over again and also feed these children every. time. I. turn. around.

I promise, I will try to get back to a routine at some point.... like anybody is really reading this anyway! Surely my kids will appreciate this running log of nothingness... :0)

Monday, July 20, 2009

Ummm, Yeah...

I'm still here. Still trying to figure stuff out - still don't seem to have the time, and more like the thought-process or energy to sit here and bust out a great post (like there were very many of those in the beginning).

But we are getting settled into our house - here are a few things I've learned so far....

*I move more slowly out here - it's like the country is rubbing off on me a little bit. When I walk out the door, it's so quiet and peaceful and slow that I find myself moving slower as well.
*I'm getting braver with the creepy crawlies. I don't jump every time something buzzes past my ear. I look for creatures hiding in the grass at my feet. I have no problems (ok, a little bit of a problem, but not as bad as it was...) in pulling ticks of my children.
*The kids have not had another case of poison ivy since we have moved in (knock on wood). Steven hasn't fared as well, but the last case was so bad that he went to the doc and received magic cream that clears the stuff up super fast - needless to say we stocked up.
* I enjoy putting the laundry on the line - go figure - guess it has to do with the slow-paced mood.
*We have lots of bluegill in the pond, we haven't caught anything else yet (except a turtle).
*I still worry about Avery being outside by himself (the wanderer of the family).
*I am slowly becoming more organized. I don't leave the house everyday - I did when we lived in town, just felt I had to get out and get going. Now I plan the trips and I plan the week's menu so that I know what I need to do. Cooking a lot more from scratch too - means more dishes and more time in the kitchen, but really it hasn't been too bad.
*I'm scared of the winter to come - the mice especially - please, please, please, dear Lord, don't let us have an infestation. I think I can handle one or two rogue mice, but not a whole family. I am also kinda scared of getting major cabin fever.
*We discovered blackberry bushes in our backyard - just in time to harvest their fruit!
*A house in town that's not selling can be rather stressful and savings account depleting.... I have to turn this matter back over to God just about 327 times a day.
*Especially when I walk into our school room - it's an unorganized mess because I have no funds to buy anything to organize it. It's not a huge problem and I want to wait until I can afford to buy exactly what I want anyway - just causes a bit of frustration when I think, "Oh I should start Huston on his reading... and where is that book??"

I really hope to get some more alone time in the near future to organize many areas of my life - specifically work stuff and the home schooling stuff.

But we have been busy doing other things that I need to post on - church camp, a ball game and then this week we have a trip to the zoo planned. So hopefully I will get to it sometime!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Cue Daunting Music...

It's again time to tackle the potty training of the world's most stubborn little boy. If they had potty training schools that I could send him to for a week and the boy be trained without any effort on my part I would find a way to dish out whatever price they were asking... no matter the financial sacrifice.

That being said I must now tell you that before, when other moms would talk about potty training in the dread-filled, exaggerated moans and groans I didn't get it. That is until Avery came along. Now I'm not saying that Isaiah and Huston were a walk in the park - we definitely had rough patches. But the key was I had waited until they had decided that it was time to learn. They initiated the process, I jumped on it, and it was oh so much easier. But they were a little older than 3 when they broached the subject....

Avery will be 4 on November 1st. For the other boys I had never before been so anxious to get them trained as I have with this one. I think it's the thought of having only one of my 4 children in diapers - you know the light alerting me that the end of the diaper stage is in fact near. But if you would ask me today, I would swear to you that Lillie will end up being the one trained before Avery.

It is also the age - the thought of having an almost 4 year old still in diapers sickens me. Really he could do it... but here's the problem, can I be blunt with you, I mean we are adults. Come closer if you want to and I'll whisper... he's scared to poop. Not only is he scared to poop, but he was born with a stubborn head and great muscular control if you know what I mean. (wink, wink, nudge, nudge)

That child can withhold for days!! I feed him whole grains, vegetables, fruits and juices. I even pulled out the prune juice this round. I let him wander the house nudie and he will sit on the pot and not poop for hours... I'm not exaggerating. See...

That, my dear friends, is my Avery sitting on his potty chair in our living room in front of a movie. That is a glimpse of the lengths I have gone to accommodate this child and his refusal to do what God had intended. On Monday he sat like this almost all day (now, I gave the boy some breaks people - trust me he doesn't have a permanent toilet ring on his bum...). He has the easy part of potty training down - he could pee all day long in the potty, but toward the afternoon, when the food waste is building up, he becomes more and more resistant to sitting on that seat.

Now you need to know a bit of background on this kid's bodily functions - this kid poops after almost every meal. He could have up to 3 or 4 dirty diapers a day some days (not everyday, but some). So when it gets to be day 2 and 3 of no action I begin to worry.

So I am really ready for advice here. If you have a child like my Avery, please reassure me that 1.) these type of kids do eventually want to get out of diapers... and/or 2.) he's not going to blow something inside if I go head to head with his day upon day of withholding.

I gave in this morning after over 48 hours of no poo. I just didn't have the mental fortitude to deal with it anymore. Where's that potty school??

Friday, July 10, 2009

The 2nd Grader and the Kindergartener

Well, officially the school year is upon us homeschooler of Missouri. The go date is July 1st around here. And no we haven't started. Last year I started very soon after the 1st and plugged along at it little by little all year long.

This year I would have chosen to do the same, but right now our school stuff is still all boxed up or it's en route to our house because I finally got around to ordering everything last week.

Here's the line up for this year...

Huston - the Kindergartener - He will be focusing on basic stuff of course. Reading and numbers primarily. Isaiah will be building upon what he started last year as well as trying a few things differently.

I ordered from Math U See this year for both of the boys. I've heard great reviews from a number of moms (ha, that's punny) that it's a good program. Hands down, Isaiah and I went head-to-head in math the most often of any subject. Our brains think differently with it I guess, I really don't know what caused the strife. With this program they will watch their lesson on dvd and then apply it through manipulatives and worksheets. I'm hopeful.

We will use Teach Your Child to Read with Huston for the obvious. I think I am going to experiment with adding Avery into these lessons - just to see how he does. He gives signs that he could really be open to instruction at this time, but I'm not going to push him. One of the major reasons we are home schooling is so that our kids are able to be simply kids without the pressures of academics so early or so often.

We will continue with Story of the World, Vol. 2 - the fall of Rome to the Renaissance. Isaiah is very excited about this. I will also introduce him to American history through learning about each state using Highlights Which Way USA. I've been collecting them for the past year and I am hoping that the kids will have a lot of fun with all of the puzzles and maps provided in these kits.

Science will come through exploring our backyard I think. We have a pond and started gardening and have a lot of critters that pass through - so I think we will just let the findings lead us where they may. I will also throw in a couple of units involving electricity, weather and magnets.

I also ordered a unit of curriculum from YWAM following the biography of a famous missionary - I believe I settled on Eric Liddell, but to tell you the truth I can't remember! It will be a surprise to all of us when we receive it in the mail, I guess. Anyway it looked like a unique way of building faith within the boys.

So I guess that's it (and that's plenty for me thank you!) We'll see how it all ends up - I'm praying that they love it all and beg to do their lessons and we're done by March... hey, it's worth hopin'.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The Best Laid Plans...

this time around may not work out at all. Today was to be "town day" - we were going to go pick up a few things needed, take Lillie to her check-up, work at the church and to top off the day Grandma was going to come by and pick up the kiddos from me so I could stay in town and have an evening with a couple of friends... one of which just returned from a month long stay in Australia.

But last night around 12:30 am Huston started in with a stomach bug. I will save you the gory details, but needless to say we aren't venturing too far from home at this point. Appointments canceled. Plan B implemented. My fun evening maybe screeching to a halt.

Oh well, I'm tired from a very restless and often interrupted sleep last night and secretly glad to have the morning to sit around and hopefully catch a nap. I'm crossing my fingers that Huston catches a nap too and perks up this afternoon so that I can still go out this evening... we'll see.

I must admit, I'm really, really ready for a break.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

The Kids

I feel compelled to do an update on the kiddos - especially since I bashed them in the last entry and especially since this blog's purpose is to keep track of what they're up to. It's not the let - mom - rail - and - complain - about - everything - blog... (been kinda, sorta getting off track with that lately...)
So anyway - we will start with the lady.

Lillie is now 15 mos. old and she is into everything! She loves to scavenge in the trash cans, go outside and dig in the dirt, flirt with total strangers and friends alike, wrap her brothers more tightly around those chubby little fingers and she tries everything she can do to get into... I mean do... what they are doing.

She loves sucking her thumb, snuggling into your chest or rest her head on your lap (for just a brief second), and is beginning to say a word or two. She's kind of a late bloomer in that realm (I guess). Isaiah was too - I remember when he was 15 mos. having multiple people cooing over him and asking me what words he was saying and I eventually just began to lie and tell them the simple words he was *supposed* to already know... I got tired of seeing their worry-stricken faces every time I answered the truthful "none." But he very quickly began to speak and seemed to leap into having conversations in complete sentences. So I'm not worried... and I digress.

Lillie is saying "mama"... a lot... repeatedly... to the point that at times I am thinking of changing my name. She also says a form of "Isaiah" that comes out kind of like "eye-ya" - and she seems to use it interchangeably for all her brothers.

When we moved into the new house we left the crib at the old place and she went straight into a twin sized bed with rails and also got a bunk mate - Avery. And it's really working out well. She usually lays right down and doesn't attempt to jump out of bed multiple times like some other brothers we know that shall remain nameless *lipread Huston and Avery here* But Avery has been a bad influence upon her. the two of them play and giggle and jump on their beds until we pop our head in to tell them to stop - and then the moment we open the door to administer discipline the two little monkeys fall flat to the mattress and pretend they had been sleeping the whole time! It is so funny to watch Lillie look up at you with those great big awake eyes hoping to convince you that she is in fact sleeping.

Now onto the bad influence - Avery.

He has taken on a lot more of the big brother role. While his heart has softened tremendously toward his baby sister (he used to simply repeat no, no, no every time she crawled near him) he also will be the first to plain ol' knock her down and tackle her if she's getting into something that's off limits for sister. But for the most part he does show lots of loving-kindness to that little gal and calls her Lillie Frances a lot which I think is very sweet. I anticipate that they will be great buds.

Avery also loves to draw and will finally sit down at the table and do something quietly for a good chunk of time and really the drawings he comes up with look like what he calls them. He also writes the initial letter for his name and the name of all his siblings... here are some examples of his work...

A turtle

A dragon


the letters... H, I, A, and L

He is a very sweet boy and loves to tell stories, loves to sing songs, and loves to give his mommy lovings and I love that!

The next in line - Huston.

Huston is a very considerate boy. He is the first to pick me a flower or offer me a drink or out of the blue come by to give me a hug. I wouldn't say that he's up to tons of new stuff right now. He is my even-keel kid when it comes to the day-to-day development stuff. (not necessarily even-keel when it comes to coping with day-to-day sibling issues though!) He will begin Kindergarten in the fall (or since we home school, officially he's in kindergarten now). He easily makes friends and has a few good buddies that he likes to visit with... and come to think of it he actually is a magnet for people in general.

Huston is getting braver with the swimming thing which I am glad to see (especially since we have that pond now...) I am thinking that he will need another round of lessons though just to convince him that he can do more than he thinks he can. I will be sitting down with him and maybe Avery as well to see if we can tackle this reading thing. I think he is ready - just needs me to give him the attention that he needs. And let me tell ya he loves having attention and will talk. your. ear. off. if you get him one-on-one and his ultimate goal is to get you to laugh.

The firstborn - Isaiah...

and he's growing up way too fast and I need to figure out how to stop that. He is going to be in the second grade this year (ummm... when did I have a second grader, really) and is beginning to become quite an independent reader - I will tell you a trick that I have concerning/promoting that in another post....

He will attend church camp this summer... without parents, staying overnight, and will be gone for two days and his response to all of this was... and I quote... "I just need to get away from you guys for a bit." Well sir, get away you shall! (Can I take a trip somewhere just so I can get away from these guys a bit... please...)

He is a really good big brother and God knew what He was doing when He made Isaiah the oldest. I know that he helps me out a lot. He and Huston are now sharing a room again here at the new house... remember his solitude was our gift to him at Christmas - but he hasn't batted an eye at all and has transitions back to having a roommate really well. Truthfully I think he was more lonely at times than relishing his space (but now he does feel the need to escape to church camp to get away from us....hmmm).

Anyway, that's the kids in a nutshell - and from now on I will try to be better about documenting their strengths along with their... I mean my... weaknesses!

Friday, July 3, 2009


Sorry for my strong language. I am so fed up with childish behavior and I know that is simply me reaping what I have sown (or lack thereof) over the past couple of months. I have been so busy (too busy) to focus on the kiddos' behaviors... now?

Now I have Isaiah that has difficulty following any sort of direction, no matter how small or insignificant... "Isaiah please get forks for everyone for supper"... we sit down to no forks. "Isaiah, go into the top drawer of Lillie's dresser and bring me her pants"... he comes back with socks that he found in the box on top of the dresser because he never pulled open the top drawer. All the way down to him not doing the chores I've asked him to do on a daily basis without me hounding... er... reminding him to do so.

Huston is throwing a fit about everything. Everything is a huge deal - he has no coping skills at all. He couldn't find his sword - so he cried. Isaiah said the wrong thing to him - so he hit him. I asked him to stop playing to come inside - he stomps his feet and slams the door. Tears, whines, screams, stomps, gnashing of teeth... and that's just my reaction. Ok, not really, but such things can certainly cause me to raise my voice!

Avery is still acting like he's two when the boy is closer to 4 years old than I care to admit. He still is not potty trained, he still manipulates others with his throw down fits and he still requires very little sleep and therefore has very little quite time. The boy need to learn to be quiet at times. and to stop screaming. and to ask for things in a polite manner. and to develop some coping skills as well. and the list could go on and on.

Lillie? She's just into everything. The toilet, the trash can, the cabinets, climbing onto table tops, fitting herself into small places, trying to keep up with the big boys.

Ok, I'll stop now. I just looked over my shoulder and Avery has climbed into the play pen with Lillie and she is totally snuggling into him like he's the best brother in the world and Avery is putting his arms around her telling her that she is "so cute." My kids aren't terrible. They are just kids. Children act childish sometimes.

Oh wait, like right now, Lillie has stopped snuggling an is now slapping Avery on the belly.... yeah, the training continues.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

I Am Slowly Returning...

won't be long now. I have in my possession the final few things that I needed to organize the last few areas of the house today. The last few areas have been the closets... you never realize how much you use your closet until you have no pole to hang things on.

I am slowly getting used to this living out of town stuff too. I can tell it will be quite a transition. But we stayed home completely yesterday and everything I ran across that I needed or needed to do I wrote down. Then this morning I gathered all my stuff together, got the kids in the van, had my list, snacks and drinks for all in hand and we set out. Then we went 1/2 a mile down the road and we returned for my cell phone and checkbook. I told you I'm learning.

We are also slowly returning to a meal routine as well. Right now my biggest pain is breakfast. I hate getting up to fix breakfast. I have so many issues with this meal that's adding to the difficulty.

  1. Steven is with us at breakfast now. Which is fine. But I had tried to train the kids to wait for breakfast until all children are awake - this would prevent me from cooking/fixing/assembling what seemed like all morning long. Now Steven sits down for his breakfast and the early risers are begging for scraps. So if he feeds them, they then eat at a different time than the later risers... they eat something different than the later risers... and not all the children like what daddy fixes so I can't just hand the job over to him.
  2. As you could tell in the above dilemma, the kids all wake up at varying times. The younger ones are awake by 6:00. And they pretty much are ready for food immediately. The older ones will sleep until between 7-8 and Huston especially is just not hungry first thing. So that would have me cooking almost 3 different breakfasts spanning a time frame of almost 3 hours. ugh. This non-morning person can't take it.
  3. Breakfast never lasts. If the kids eat cereal they are hungry again in less than 2 hours which either pushes lunch up very early or it causes them to want to snack so then I'm fixing breakfast starting at 6 - then snacks as soon as I'm done with the last phase of breakfasts - and then lunch soon after snack - I feel like I never leave the kitchen.
So I'm thinking of things to rectify this terribly frustrating situation. I'm trying to think of protein filled foods that will stick with the kids, helping them to make it to lunch without starvation setting in and will be simple enough that I can just plop it on a plate.

Here's what I got so far. I've tried baked breakfast foods: baked oatmeal, sausage balls, and the like and so far my kids like none of them! Frustrating. Today I mixed up a sausage/egg casserole that I will pop in the oven as soon as the first child wakes up in the morning. This will cause the early risers to wait until the casserole is done in order to eat - pushing them back to eat with the late risers. We'll see how it works.

The other thing that seems to work well is peanut butter something - peanut butter and honey sandwiches or this little recipe that I got through Huston's preschool last fall - banana butter. This is easy to spread on an english muffin or toast and it seems to stick with the kids for awhile.

Banana Butter

2-3 ripe bananas, mashed
1/2- 1 cup of peanut butter (depends on if you like a stronger peanut butter or banana flavor)
cinnamon to taste
it also calls for raisins and coconut flakes... no one in my family is fond of coconut, and if you add the raisins in the initial mixture by the time you use it all they have plumped up to a strange texture so we add these as we eat.

This also makes a pretty good fruit dip.

So anyway - you never knew breakfast could be such an ordeal did you. If you all have any suggestions, I'm all ears. I am hopeful that the phase of the children making their own breakfast is not that far around the corner. *sigh*