01-21-18 A Good Day

Last year was a really crazy year for our family, but one of the many blessings we found in it were the people in our church. They stepped up and prayed for us when we needed it the most. Early in the year I was asked if I would like to be a part of the Secret Sister’s ministry as an Honorary Secret Sister. I had never been involved with them before, but as I was given more information it seemed like it would be a good experience. We were fresh in our grief and trying to regain some normalcy, so I gratefully accepted.

Over the course of the past year, there was a different woman praying for me and my family every month. Sometimes my secret sister would leave me a gift, but the time I know she spent in prayer was the most valuable gift she could bestow. They prayed us through some tough decisions, a multitude of illnesses, and transitions that we experienced as a family and I could not be more thankful. This afternoon, my secret sisters were revealed to me. Some of them I knew, and some of them I didn’t- but each woman deeply impacted me. What a blessing to have been a part of that over this past year. ๐Ÿ™‚

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01-20-18 The Day After

You know what is the worst part of being on the periphery of a slumber party? It’s really hard to decided, actually, because so much of it is horrible! I knew going into last night that the night might be rough, but I hadn’t prepared myself for the girls not falling asleep until 11:30 pm, and I certainly did not expect them to wake up before 5am this morning!! I also hadn’t factored in that the boys would get me up 4 times between those hours, so it all added up to me getting pretty much zero sleep. So, today was pretty rough. The kids were all very cranky, and honestly, so was I. There were multiple epic meltdowns, and I think we all let out a sigh of relief when it was time for everyone to go to bed this evening.

We had a birthday party this morning, which we didn’t even stay the entire time for because the meltdowns had already started.ย The afternoon had been rough, with a mandatory nap that the kids were not happy about. When we woke up, I decided to get them out of the house and after we discussed it, they wanted to go to the candy store and then the beach, so that’s what we did. Baby E had a total freak out at the beach that I was making him wear his coat and things didn’t get much better. Even in sleep, I hear Baby E tossing and mumbling his disappointment.

So acknowledging a certain amount to defeat, I’m going to put this day behind me and pray that a good night’s sleep will help us all. ๐Ÿ™‚

On a happy note, C had a great time with her cousins and I am very glad they did the sleepover. However, if they ever do one again at Grandma’s house, I’ll be bunking in somewhere else! Ha! ๐Ÿ™‚ย 

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01-19-18 The Sleepover

There’s a sleepover going on in the room above my head. There have been plenty of giggles, laughing, and the last time I checked they were covered in hand drawn tattoos. C and three of her girl cousins came home with their grandparents and have been bouncing off the walls ever since. It’s a girls’ night in and my boys were pretty disappointed that they were banished to the basement, but I didn’t mind, they will have their turn too. The boys and I watched tv, ate a ridiculous amount of pizza and junk food, played hide and seek, and rounded out the evening with some books before Baby E passed out in his bed.

C spends her time around boys, her brothers being poor substitutes for the imagination of a seven year old girl, so the chance to spend time with her cousins is incredibly special to her.

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After I picked up the boys this evening (and before our junk food binge) we dropped by the beach. The weather was beautiful today and they wanted to play on the pirate ship. Interest in that didn’t last long because it was much colder and windier by the water, but we did enjoy watching the icy waves trying to push their way onshore.

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Oh, and it’s 10:15pm and the girls are still giggling. It’s going to be a long night! ๐Ÿ™‚

01-18-18 A Lunch Visitor

I didn’t tell this big kids this morning that their daddy was going to be visiting them for lunch at school. He’s had a crazy schedule lately, and I didn’t want to get their hopes up in case he had to cancel, but I was thrilled when he called me and told me he was on the way. I imagined the kids spotting him in the hallway or cafeteria, and throwing their arms around him, and from what I understand, that is pretty much what happened. They were both so excited to see him and my heart warmed as I listened to them recount their day when I picked them up.

We met daddy at the library and then home for some pizza, playtime, and (of course) story time. They sifted through the books as they sat on the bed with daddy, and finally landed on three books to conquer tonight. I snuck in a bath as Tim tucked the kids into bed and now the house is quiet. What a special day!

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Of course, as I was about to hit ‘publish’ I heard Baby E scream. Well, it was a nice couple of hours of quiet while it lasted! ๐Ÿ™‚

01-17-18 Silence is…

They say silence is golden, unless you have a toddler. After years of toddler experience, I confirm this to be true.

I handed Baby E his toothbrush this evening and he wandered out of the bathroom. I usually insist they stay in the bathroom while brushing their teeth, but the two big kids were arguing about something and he just walked out. I didn’t think much of it until I noticed that it was quiet, so I decided to track him down.

I found him next to our kitchen table, ramming what I assumed to be his toothbrush rhythmically down on the bench. But then I noticed the sound… it didn’t sound like the bottom end of a tooth brush hitting plastic. It sounded like somethingย puncturing plastic. How could his toothbrush be doing that?!? And that’s when I realized his toothbrush was dangling from his mouth.

Oh no. I stepped forward, trying not to look alarmed and asked him what he was doing. He looked up, smiled at me with a tooth brush between his teeth and a knife in his hands.ย He was stabbing the bench with a knife!!!

I felt a lump in my throat, but I calmly asked him to stop and to show me what he had in his hands. I mentally sent up a prayer that he didn’t try to throw what he was holding, and he let me get near him and take the knife away. I stared at him, relieved that he was fine, and I looked at the bench and noticed about a dozen knife marks spread about.

I set the knife out of reach and held him, my heart pumping fast as I thought of whatย could have happened. I told him how dangerous the knife was and we talked about never picking up something like that again.

I had used the knife earlier in the evening to open up a bag of cheese, and while I thought I had placed it far back on the table, apparently it wasn’t far enough and he had gotten ahold of it and gave me a mommy adrenaline rush that I won’t be forgetting any time soon. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

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a survey of the damage

The kids got an unexpected day home from school today, as it snowed some last night and we woke up to about a half inch on the ground. The back roads must have been bad because what started as a two hour delay turned into a full day off. Of course, I hadn’t heard about the closure untilย after I had gotten the kids up, fed, dressed, up the hill, and strapped in their carseats ready to head to the daycare. So I unstrapped them, and got them back inside and they stayed with grandma for the day and played with some cousins. And while I wish I had a snow day too, I was glad they got the chance to have some fun and play in the snow! ๐Ÿ™‚

01-16-18 Four Bible Stories for Kids and Grown Ups…

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4 Bible Stories for Kids and Grown Ups

By C.ย 

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Page 1

500 million years ago (or less or more) Adam and Eve was born. God loved them. One day Adam and Eve disobeyed God, filling the world with darkness.

Page 2

One day Jesus was born to save the world and he was born in a stable.

Page 3

One night Jesus died on a cross to wash away our sins.

Page 4

Three days later a miracle happened and Jesus rose from the dead.

 

01-15-18 Remember the Mummy-Monster

By now you have no doubt forgotten about the incident this past fall when Baby E had an unfortunate encounter with a ‘mummy monster’ at the local CVS as we waited for our turn at the minute clinic. While you might have forgotten, he certainly has not. The Mummy Monster has become a regular in our bedtime routine as Baby E’s number one reason for not wanting to sleep in his bed. This evening, he murmured the dread name between tearful gasps as he begged to sleep in my bed. Now I really don’t mind one of the kids finding their way into my bed in the middle of the night, especially if Tim isn’t home, but I insist they start in their own bed at night. I laid with him for awhile, explaining that the Mummy Monster was not real and it was not going to get him, and Big E even agreed to let Baby E wake him whenever he needs to to make sure there’s no monster nearby. Big E beamed with that big brother pride that told me he looked toward to his new responsibility.

With the long weekend over, we slip back into our routines again tomorrow. We enjoyed our visit out to the new house. The kids played video games with Aunt Julie, and did their own fair share of hide and seek. We didn’t do much running around, opting to stick close to the house and rest. The ride home this evening was uneventful, and bedtime went smoothly, with the kids reading a whopping 13 books before brushing their teeth. That brings their total up to 47. ๐Ÿ™‚

I’m so grateful for the long weekend and the chance to spend it with my family, and I’m also looking forward to short work week ahead. ๐Ÿ™‚

PS- Bring on the snow!!

01-14-18 The Community Center

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We sat in the car in front of a nondescript community center. The website had told us that this is where the church would be meeting, but a glance at the parking lot made me realize that this was going to be much different than what we are used to. There would be no blending into a crowd here, no sneaking in unseen. With only a couple of dozen vehicles in the parking lot, we would not go unnoticed.

The last time I searched for a church, I was in my first year of college, but since we will eventually be moving too far away from our home church to visit weekly, we decided to get head a start by looking into local congregations. This was our first stop.

As I walked the halls of that community center, I wondered how non believers do it. I knew every step was taking me closer to a room full of strangers, but as fellow believers, I was confident that while I might not know them, we carry the same heritage.

It’s moments like these that it helps to have small children. While we had sent the older two with my mom and sister to their church, we had Baby E with us, and I figured he would be a great buffer. After all, if there is a lull in the conversation, someone would be sure to ask about him.

We were greeted by smiling faces, eager to show us where we needed to go, and encouraging us to take Baby E into the service with us if that made us more comfortable. It made him more comfortable so we did. Some of the songs weren’t familiar, but their tunes and melodies were easy to pick up, and while we sang I surveyed the room in front of us. We had chosen seats near the back in case Baby E made a fuss, and I watched the people around me, realizing that I was the only one not wearing a coat. It’s cold, I noted, before hearing the pastor mention that the heat had stopped working.

When the songs and communion were over, the pastor got up to speak. He opened up the Bible to a chapter in James and went verse by verse. My mouth nearly dropped open as the sermon directly corresponded to the very things Tim and I had been talking about last night in the parking lot outside the grocery store. It always amazes me when that happens.

After the service, the pastor and his wife greeted us and we chatted for a little while, Baby E providing the common ground of parenting experience to bridge any awkward moments.

While I went in nervous, I came out encouraged by our experience. We will visit more churches in the months to come, but it was a good feeling to not strike out the first time we tried. The people seemed kind and the preaching was solid. It was small, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. I would be interested in seeing how the kids would integrate, but all in all, I think it went well.

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We promised Baby E a donut if he behaved well during the service, and he did great. In fact, he actually fell asleep in Tim’s arms for most of the sermon, so he more than earned his donut. We took him to Dunkin Donuts after church and he chose out his own donut and soaked up his one on one time with mommy and daddy. ๐Ÿ™‚

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10-13-18 Date Night

One of the most important things that Tim and I can do for our children is to invest in our marriage, and tonight we did just that. With my parents and sister watching the kids, Tim and I snuck away for a movie night. We went and saw Star Wars, which was very fun, but the highlight of my evening was sitting in the car outside a 24-hour grocery store taking about our lives- our fears, our hopes, and the things that lie between.

01-12-18 Reading Progress

The children and I read eight books this evening, which brings the big kid’s totals up to 33 books each. On the way out to visit our new house in the morning, we will return them and pick up some more for the weekend. The kids are really enjoying all of the extra reading time that we have been doing, and I get great kid snuggles out of it, so I’m on board! The one they liked the best this evening was “Please open this book!” which is a kind of interactive story along the lines of “There’s a Monster at the End of This Book.” It was the only one they asked to read again.

I’m a huge Mo Willems fan, having just read Nanette’s Baguette for the first time this week (we are regular Elephant and Piggie book readers), but I hadn’t heard of “Hooray for Amanda & Her Alligator,” but that was pretty adorable.

Last night we read “The King of Quizzical Island” which is the closest book I have found to my all time favorite children’s book “The Emperor of Absurdia.” The King had the same kind of light hearted and silly adventuring that the Emperor has.

I speed read through “Jumanji” because I didn’t really find that one very interesting, but Big E seemed to like it. He said he had read it in school before. “Dear Yeti” was not terribly interesting, however the illustrations were adorable.

As for me, I finished another book last night, and if I count the audio book I finished the other day, that makes 5 novels since January 1. I grabbed another book off the shelf this evening to start on. I’m hoping for a few quiet moments this weekend to make some progress on it. It’s a book of short stories, which isn’t typically my purview, but I like the author so I thought I’d give it a try. ๐Ÿ™‚