Monday, February 28, 2011

My little consumer

Kadyn has an issue with using too much of things.  Anyone else have this problem?  It doesn't matter how many times I tell her to use less or show her how much to use, she still uses too much.  Too much toilet paper, too much soap, too much toothpaste, too much lotion, too much glue.  Why can't I convince this girl that less is more?  Her art projects are soaked through with glue and can take an entire day to dry.  The toilet plugs up on a regular basis with TP.  I refill the soap dispenser almost every week and a half, and I am constantly having to delotion her hands as she has too much to rub in.  Drives me nutty!  I hate to admit it, but all I can think about is how much money is going down the drain everytime she over uses these things.  Tonight I had piled a couple rolls of TP on the back of the toilet.  Bad idea!  She dropped two rolls inside the toilet.  Now I realize this is pretty much my fault for putting it there in the first place, but when I looked in the toilet and saw how much she used before the accident I just wanted to cry.  I know, I know, laugh outloud if you want too.  It's only TP right?  Why does TP have to be so darned expensive?

Am I the only one here who has this problem or is this a typical almost 5 year old thing?  I haven't a clue how to get her to stop other than pumping the soap, pulling off the toilet paper, putting toothpaste on the brush, squeezing the glue, and squirting out lotion myself.  Funny thing is, she asked me why I was always frustrated.  Hmmm I don't know.... maybe because I I've asked her to stop doing these things like a thousand times and she never listens.

Hoping this is just an age thing and it will pass with her upcoming birthday.  If so I say siyonara 4 and hello 5.  As Kadyn's 5th birthday starts growing closer I reflect.  Age 4 was definitely better than 3 but not without its challenges.  The dirty looks, rolling of the eyes, lying, talking back, and getting angry at me, excessive use of toilet paper, etc. has been new and I don't particularly care for it. Amazingly, all of this has forced me to become a better mother and person really.  I have learned to control my own anger and frustration during parenting.  I have been able to keep my cool and think of logical and effective consequences that, for the most part, work.  I have tried to use every behavioral challenge she has to teach her about life in general and how to handle herself and deal with her emotions.  It has been tough, but God has put me up to the challenge. I feel like Brennan is going to be so lucky as I have learned how to be a better parent through my trial and error with Kadyn.  Kadyn really has helped me discover more about myself and tap into inner strength and control I didn't know I had or needed.

  I do want to stress that there has been some positive developments this year of Kadyn's life.  I would like to call it the year of independence. I like that Kadyn is almost completely independant from me.  This is a comforting thought for a mother who getting ready to send her child off to school for the first time.  I also like being able to have more intelligent conversations with her and more grown up talk.  She just gets things that she didn't get before like jokes, sarcasm, and body language cues.  She is smarter than ever and able to help me more than she used to which has been a big blessing.  I no longer have to fill her cup for her, wash her hair for her, brush her hair for her, dress her, brush her teeth, nada.  She can stay up a little late and not have any meltdowns the next day for lack of sleep.  She's really growing up.  Drip, drip.  

So here's to my little consumer, may the next year of your life bring you great enjoyment, a continued passion for learning and developing, a thirst for a deeper relationship with your creator and savior, a deep respect for your Mother and Father and appreciation for the love and sacrifice they make for you daily, and maybe a little less toilet paper ;)

Adult Prom

Jeff and I got to attend the 64th annual Chamber of Commerce Black Tie celebration.  It was was very fancy.  It really feels like an adult prom.  Some of the ladies had on dresses that you would literally expect to see at the oscars of something.  Wish I could've taken pictures of the dresses, but that may have been a little weird to take my camera to an event such as this.  Anyhoo...I feel fortunate that I have a handful of formal dresses I've collected throughout the years for concerts, weddings, etc. 

The theme was "Once Upon a Starry Night."  The tables each has a star and candles at them.  The lighting was blue. 

There was a 5 course meal.  The first course wasn't even on the menu, it was a suprise.  It was some kind of tar tar or something of the sort.  Here's the menu for the rest of the night:

Jeff was honored for serving in some things.  See for yourself.

Way to go honey!  It was a fun evening.  We didn't stay for the dance.  Jeff didn't feel like shaking a leg and my shoes hurt my feet.  I know, we're old fuddy duddies.  We settled for going home and having a nice visit with our babysitters/neighbors/great friends Tami and Bo.  So thankful to have them in our lives.  Our girls love them and didn't mind at all letting Mama and Dada have a night out since uncle Bo and aunt Tami were visiting. 

Good times!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Evil One

Another parenting post.  Sorry...I always get wordy in these.

As I was talking to Kadyn about her behavior today I wondered how many other parents share information about the evil one (the devil, Satan, Lucifer, whatever you want to call him).  Kadyn and I have had lengthy conversations about good vs evil.  She knows about angels and demons.  She knows she has a guardian angel.  She also knows there are demons lurking about tempting her to make bad choices.  They want nothing more than to hurt her and make her feel sad, unloved, desperate, hopeless, etc..  I have told her they want to do this to her because she is God's child and they HATE God.  They know when they hurt one of his children, they hurt God.  BUT the evil one also knows that when God is protecting her, he doesn't stand a chance.

So I guess you could say I am teaching her a bit about spiritual warfare.  I've actually read a lot of material on spiritual warfare, and I believe it's very real and present in our everyday lives.  More time should be given to this topic on the pulpit, in my opinion.  In all the parental books I have read, not one of them addresses teaching your children about the principalities we fight every day.  Are we naive enough to believe our children are not impacted by Satan on a daily basis?  Shouldn't we be arming them with the tools to fight back?  No doubt, he will be lurking in some dark corner their entire lives, desperate to tempt them into sin. 

Yesterday I watched an episode of Oprah..  On it was a young boy who from an early age would have these horrible fits of rage.  It escalated to the point where his own parents would sleep with the door locked afraid he would kill them.  This boy is only 7 years old today.  He was kicked out of school after trying to stab a classmate.  He drew pictures of himself murdering his own mother.  His mother said his fits were often unprovoked and came out of nowhere.  Oprah interviewed him privately. The boy spoke of 'negative energies' that took over him.  He spoke of voices that he heard that told him to do these evil things.  He said the negative energies could manifest themselves into whatever they wanted too including his dead grandfather's voice.  He also talked about how now he tries to cover himself in white light when he starts having the negative thoughts or feeling negativity around him.  Now, I don't know about you, but to me this sounds very spiritual in nature.  Never once did the guests speak of this as a spirtual problem, but rather, a mental illness.  I wonder how many of today's mental conditions are not mental conditions at all but rather the principalities manifesting themselves under the disguise of a technical name man has made up.

A couple months ago Kadyn woke screaming. I could tell by the look on her face she was horrified.  She was hard to rationalize with.  She claimed she was hearing something screaming.  We heard nothing.  I know there are such things as night terrors, but part of me wondered if night terrors are really spiritual in nature and we just slapped a name on it to appease the nonspiritual crowd.  She had two more of those episodes in the weeks following.  Finally I decided to approach the problem differently. I decided to take Kadyn around the house with oil and anoint each door and and window together, reclaiming them in the name of Jesus so that no evil may enter through them.  She really got into this and low and behold she has not had another night terror since.  Maybe it was just something that gave her peace of mind and nothing more.  Maybe we did chase away some evil presence, I don't know, but I'm happy we aren't going through that any more.

So I guess my point in all of this is to offer encouragement to parents out there to teach your children about the evil one.  When I speak of these things to Kadyn it doesn't freak her out.   I always try to balance our talks with a lot of talk about God and the protection and love he offers.  I talk of his power over the evil one if we call on him.  After our talks Kadyn seems on fire to combat Satan. Her behavior improves especially when I see her about to make some bad choices and I gently encourage her not to listen to Satan's temptations.  She understands that she isn't a bad child, but rather just a sinner who sometimes lets Satan tempt her make bad choices.  She feels safe, secure, and protected by God. 

So if you haven't already, teach your children a little spiritual warfare.  Food for thought anyways.  I don't claim to know it all when it comes to parenting.  But I do know this, God is holding us responsible to raise our children to know him and equipped to function in this world.  If we want our children to spread the good news and grow up to make good moral decisions, you better believe Satan is going to try to thwart those efforts.  Lets teach them how to protect themselves and arm themselves with the truth about good....and evil.  It doesn't have to be all doom and gloom, but it can at least help them better understand the world we live in.


Since I have started making clothing for myself, I have come to realize how cool adding accessories can be.  It can literally change the whole look of an outfit and jazz ordinary things up so they look much more fashionable.  I have totally fallen in love with scarves, necklaces, earrings, and belts.  When I start a tshirt remake I often times have left over fabric.  So I have found some tutorials on making accessories.  Here's a little of what I have done so far.

A twisty chain necklace made from an old thrift store find.  Jeff calls this one soap on a rope.  
Just a bunch of fabric knotted tshirt necklaces.  I also made some in black.

Ruffled scarf made from one of Jeff's old tshirts.  

See told you I'd make a circle scarf.  This started out as a regular scarf, but I got tired of yanking it around my neck so I sewed two sides together and wala!  Problem fixed.

Another smaller circle scarf from yet another one of Jeff's old shirts.

Can you tell I like circle scarves?  This was just the bottom half of, you guessed it, one of Jeff's old tshirts.
These little flower hair clips are so easy to make and a great way to use scraps of fabric.  I never thought I'd be a wear flowers in your hair kind of lady, but turns out I am.  

We also made a trip to the thrift store last weekend and I was able to get my mitts on several other scarves, shawls, a belt, and fancy sweaterlike cover ups.  It's getting really fun piecing my outfits together each morning. I love making entirely different looks using the same base layers of clothing and different accesories.  One of these days I'm going to get around to taking pics of the other tops i made several weeks ago. 

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Challenge Complete

A week ago our pastor challenged all parents to passionately kiss one another in front of their children for at least 10 seconds.  May not seem like much, but in front of your children it can seem like eternity.  We have never been a PDA type of couple.  Just not in our personalities I guess.  However, we do understand how important it is for our children to see us display our love for each other.  Not sure that should require making out in front of the kids, but it was kind of fun to see what they would do.  See for yourself.  No joke! 

Now I must admit this picture wasn't exactly taken right after the kiss.  There was no way to grab the camera quick enough to catch this.  So....I asked them to reinact their reaction and they did a pretty good job I must say.  I'm sure it was more of Kadyn's reaction and Bren just followed along because she copy cats just about everything Kadyn does these days.  Anyhow, it was funny to see what they would do. 

Overall, I feel we do a pretty good job of being affectionate in front of the kids.  Usually involves a hug, a hold, a snuggle, a peck here or there.  Hopefully all those things added together can add up to one passionate kiss as I can imagine if we do that same thing in about 10 years we may get some pretty disgusted comments and not just shocked looks.  To be honest, I'm looking forward to embarrassing them someday kissing their Dada.  Oh the fun I will have!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Summer Adult Trip

You may (or may not) remember that I told you Jeff got a free airline pass as a Christmas present from the Chamber of Commerce.  I made mention that it would nice for us to get away together and take advantage of that ticket.  Jeff took me seriously.  Next thing I know he's looking up places to go and things to do.  We settled on seeing a U2 concert in Chicago July 3rd.  We will leave on a Sunday and return on a Wednesday.  Grandma and Grandpa B have agreed to drive up and watch the girls for us.

This is a huge thing for me.  The last time we went on vacation alone, together was 10 years ago on our honeymoon.  In fact we have only been on vacation together with each other twice in our entire relationship!  It's time to do it again.  I have never been away from Bren an entire night and I have only been away from Kadyn 2 days when I was at the hospital having Bren.  It pangs my heart to even think of leaving them.  I worry about them and I haven't even left yet.  Then I worry that something could happen to us while we are gone and they wouldn't have parents. Why do we let our minds always go to those dark places?  Seriously, I drive myself nutty sometimes.

I'm sure it will all be fine. I'm really looking forward to it.  I realize that it is important to take time for your marriage and we are committed to keeping ours healthy.  I feel very blessed that our marriage is stronger now than it has ever been. This trip will be a nice blessing for us as a couple.  Maybe a way to recharge our batteries as adults and prepare for what the future holds. Because if we ever do add another little Bilberry, it may be another 10 years until our next trip LOL.

In other news, my daycare break is about to be over.  For the past 3 months I have been watching one child.  It has been such a nice dynamic only having 3 children in the house.  Less squabbling, less meals and snacks to prepare and clean up, just a time to recharge and relax.  Little gal will be returning on Monday and I will be starting another new little girl around the same age that same day. She will only be with me until August when she is able to get into another daycare she has been on the waiting list for.  I'm a little nervous.  The last time I had 5 kids in the house it ended up stressing me out.  I keep telling myself this time it will be different as this new little gal is almost 2 years old rather than a colicky infant who refuses to be put down.  We shall see.  My biggest fear is that the kids will squabble all day.  I think that stresses me out even more.  Although I know it won't all be peaches and roses, I pray that for the most part the kids get along and don't pick on each other. 

I also worry that my kids will start getting sick again.  We have been free from illness ever since little gal left.  This also happens to coincide with the time we started taking vitamins, so I'm not sure if our improved health has been due to decreased exposure to germs, or improved immunities due to supplements.  I suppose we shall see.  One thing is for sure, having a house full of sick children all day is a big stressor. 

Anyhow, here' hoping next week goes smoothly and we all settle into a nice comfort level together as a house of 6 people.  God help me.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


I am a 33 year old woman who still suffers from acne.  I can remember my first pimple in 7th grade. It was such a humiliating experience.  If only I knew at that time that it was the first of hundreds to come.  I eagerly awaited the day it would magically dissappear when I earned the title of 'adult.'  After all, acne was supposed to be a hormone problem, and hormones supposedly weren't supposed to be raging anymore when you reached your adult years.

So here I am....a 33 year old woman.  I think I've earned the title of adult now and here I sit with the same darn problem.  During my 21 years of dealing with this problem I have tried antibiotics and accutane.  Both have helped, but none have cured me of the problem.  The older I get, the more I want to take a more natural approach to my health.  I did a little research and of course there are plenty of homemade concoctions that you can try for acne.  I am currently trying a couple with pretty good success, but tonight I ran into one that I found very interesting.

I have only fasted one time in my life and it was for one day.  I did allow myself orange juice, so it was by no means a hard core fast, but it was enough to know that it is no walk in the park.  After researching it a bit I found the benefits to be very appealing.

-it can detox your body form literally years of build up depending on how long you go
-your organs get a chance to have a break and therefore, heal themselves
-at the end of your fast your body will become more efficient at absorbing nutrients because of the cleanse and repair that it was allowed
-it can help one overcome addiction to food  and stop cravings(good news for my sugar addiction)
-it can help or cure some ailments including  but not limited too skin problems, arthritis, allergies, cancer, etc.
-it can help you feel more in tune with God and grow your relationship with him

There are more benefits, but you get my drift.  Anyhow, it's someting I'd like to try. I 'm not sure when, and I'd love to have someone to do it with me as an encouragement partner.  I truly believe you are what you eat and that perhaps the symptoms of things that ail us are often times our body's way of telling us it's time to clean up or change something in our diet or life.  I often wonder if my problem is just my body's reaction to what I am putting in it.  So if I put nothing in it for awhile and it clears up, perhaps I know I'm on to something.  And you all know I've been wanting to kick my sugar addiction.  To be free  from that would be a wonderful thing.  Sugar has been proven to worsen the symptoms of acne and lengthen the time it takes it too heal.  Dairy also has been linked to acne, and I can't imagine a life without dairy.  This is yet another addiction of mine.  I can't imagine not having cravings. 

Anyhow, I can get wordy on this subject.  Just putting my thoughts out there.  So don't be surprised if you see a post someday soon on my journey to try a fast.  To really detox your body the recommendations are anywhere from 5-`10 days.  Can you imagine?  We shall see.  I think I'll pray on it awhile and see where God leads my heart.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Valentines 2011

Valentines for our family started Saturday when a packaged arrived from Bama and Baba in Garden City.  Inside was two little 'furreal' pets for the girls and a bag of yummy trail mix.  The girls were in love with their new toys and carried them everywhere, even to the grocery store.  Of course they also went to bed with them that night.

The actual day of Valentines started out as normal.  We then made valentine's cards.  Little man made one for his mom and Kadyn made one for Dada since it seemed silly for me to tell her how to make a card for me. 

When the mailman arrived, a special card was in the mail for the girls from Kama and Papa in Colorado.  Tucked inside was a little $ with special instructions to go get icecream.  We'll take advantage of that this weekend.  Yummy!  

Then later that night Dada decided to make a grand appearance to surprise the girls.  Instead of just walking in the door from the garage he went to the front door and rang the doorbell.  When we opened it, there he was standing there with a flower for every girl of the house.  Kadyn had been wanting flowers for valentines so she was thrilled!
We then ate our valentine's meal (breakfast for supper) sweet potatoe/banana/walnut waffles, and veggie/cheesy eggs.  For dessert we all got to to take advantage of the chocolates and candy Dada gave all of us.
Mama and Dada had their valentine's date after the girl's went down. It was a good day.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Birthday dress

I made a new dress for Kadyn's birthday in March.  Took me about two days.  It only costed me 2 dollars.  I already had the skirt fabric, and belt fabric on hand (an old thrift store flat sheet).  I spent 2 dollars at a thrift store for the shirt.  I made it too big, so I took it in at the sides.  I guess the good thing about that is I didn't trim the excess fabric on the inside so I can let it out as she grows.  She loves it.  Not my finest craftmanship, but it'll do.  Last time I made her a dress it was for her 3rd birthday.  To me, turning 3 and 5 are big birthdays.  Turning three is big because they are finally starting to become more like children and less like babies.  Turning 5 is a big deal because they will be starting school soon.  So I guess now that I've set that standard, I'll have to start figuring out what to sew Bren for her 3rd birthday.  At least I have awhile to think on that.

This is the front view.  The rossettes on the neckline are part of a choker I made for her that matches and the matching headband I made too.  

Here is the back.

Now that I look at the pictures, I'm wondering if the flower on the belt is a bit much.  Too froo froo? I put it on to hide the imperfections in the belt.  It was a wee bit crooked and I didn't feel like ripping stitches and resewing.  Oh well.  At least I can check this off my list now.  Here is the link to the tutorial I used.  The flowers are all my own additions.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Let me count the reasons....

...I love the age of two.

#1  Keekees (cookies)
#2 I make woo so hoppy Mommy (I make you so happy Mommy)
#3 Me:  Bren are you dry?  Bren: Yes Mommy.  Me:  Are you sure?  Bren:  No Mommy
#4 I wet juice (I want juice)
#5 I wet waaaaahhhhter (I want water)
#6  I hungee pease (I hungry please)
#7 You so seee eee  (You're so silly)
#8 I pay with my Seany, Seany ( I play with Sean)
#9  I Tuhters giggle giggle (tooters with laughter)
#10 I Buhpees giggle giggle (burpees with laughter)
#11 Kuh Kups  (hiccups)
#12 Food on tobble (food on table)
#13 Guby doo ah U (Scooby Doo where are you)
#14 Dat cockles (that tickles)
#15 Nuggle Mama (snuggle Mama)

And my all time favorite, this as she throws her arms around my neck

"I wuv woo soooo much Mommy!"
"That is so sweet Brennan Thankyou.  I love you too."
"I wuv Daddy soooo much too Mommy."
"I know Brennan.  Aw!"

Oh kill me now.  Is that not the sweetest thing you ever heard?

It's Exhausting

Before I begin here, I just want to say for the record, that I couldn't be more pleased with the progress Bren is making in the potty training department.  Training her, however, is proving to be a bit more exhausting then my experience with Kadyn.  Let me just give you a couple little examples.

#1 Bren sits on the potty and the moment it the flow starts she stands up mid stream and declares, "I did it, I did it.  You can pretty much guess that I had a nice little puddle to clean up. I was never so happy as that moment that she was a girl or I may have gotten it in the eye.

#2  Bren finishes her business and as soon as I get her pants pulled back up she says, "I pee more."  Of course I ask her if this is true and she declares it is so I strip her pants down again and proceed to get her to the potty chair.  She fights me saying, "No, no!"  I was confused, so I say, Bren do you need to pee more or not?  Her reply, "Yes, no."  Sigh!

#3 As soon as Bren spots her sissy standing on her potty chair (it doubles as a stool) to wash her hands, she declares she has to go.  I rush Kadyn off the chair and then Bren fights me getting her pants down.  Turns out she didn't need to go, she just doesn't care for sissy standing on her chair much.

#4  Bren backs her booty up to the potty chair, misses and sits on the lid.  It has some poker things on it and it really hurts her bum bum.  She's screaming and asking me to kiss her bum bum at the same time.  

Of course there's been many accidents, but I can honestly say we've had more successes than accidents, especially since I've been proactive in making her try instead of just waiting for her to tell me.  She has tried to fight me when I want her to try, but I pull the whole, 'You make Mama so sad' (and pretend cry) trick.   That gets her just about every time because as she puts it, "I make Mama hoppy!"  What can I say, I was desperate and it was working.

After our crash and burn tries a month ago I really wasn't wanting to try again until she turned 2.5 this summer, but I thought I saw a sign one day and gave it a try.  Brennan has been telling me for several months now when she has a wet or dirty diaper.  She doesn't like being dirty.  One day she told me and when I checked her diaper it was dry.  Then it dawned on me that maybe she was actually telling me she needed to go.  I put her on the potty just to see if my hunch was true and wala! Out it came.  I can't even begin to tell you the joy that came over me.  We had given it a couple valiant efforts and baby girl just couldn't make it come out on the potty. I'm not usually stumped on anything in the child rearing department, but I had no idea how to get her to release in that potty chair.  I had tried showing her, bribing her, tickling her, running water, letting her sit there for a whole Dora show after a lot of juice, telling her how she was going to be such a big girl, and nothing.  Nada!  She was excited and thrilled to try, but it just wasn't clicking with her what she was supposed to be doing on that potty.  I knew she was physically capable because she could hold it all day and the minute that diaper went back on she'd release.

So after that day, I finally, I had hope that the girl could be potty trained before her third birthday.   She really is doing well and even waking up dry from some of her naps and even some nights.  I'm hoping that the first phase of training will be done within this next month or two (getting ALL waste in the potty) and then we'll move onto phase two....pulling our own pants down and up.  Once phase two is complete it's onto phase three (wiping).  Then onto phase four, using the BIG potty with a different seat.  Then the final stage, using no potty seat at all.  Oh what a glorious day that will be.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Children's scripture devotionals

I promised to list the scripture devotionals for children that our pastor made, if someone requested it.  I got a request.  So here it is.

ABC's           Scripture                 Concept to teach                   
A-Ant,            Proverbs 6:6,                Hard Work
B-Bee,            Proverbs 16:24,            Kind Words
C-Camel,        Matthew 19:24,            Less Stuff
D-Dog,           Proverbs 26:11,            Lessons Learned
E-Eagle,          Isaiah 40:31,                Unlimited Power
F-Fox,            Song of Solomon 2:15,  Healthy Marriage
G-Gnat,          Matthew 23:24,            Avoid Legalism
H-Horse,         Revelation 19:11,         Woman's Beauty
I-Insects,         Psalm  50:11,              God's Ownership
J-Jewelry,        Proverbs 11:22,           Modest Beauty
K-Knowledge, Genesis 2:17,               Obey God
L-Lamb,          John 1:29,                   Perfect Sacrifice
M-Mare,         Song of Solomon 1:9,  Woman's Beauty
N-Naked,        Genesis 2:25,               No Shame
O-Owl,            Psalm 102:6-7,            Never Alone
P-Pig,              Luke 15:16,                Daddy's Child
Q-Quail,          Psalm 105:9-41,          God Provides
R-Rainbow,     Genesis 9:14-15,          God's Promise
S-Snake,         Genesis 3:4-5,              Satan's lies
T-Tree,           Psalm 1:2-3,                God's Word
U-Unicorn,      Revelation 22:18,         Biblical Ignorance
V-Vulture,       Proverbs 30:17,           Respect Parents
W-Wolves,      Luke:10:3,                  The World
X-oX,             Proverbs 14:4              Dirty Work
Y-Yoke,         Corinthians 6:14,          Equally Yoked
Z-Zebra,         Genesis 6:19,               God's Judgment

When you go through these you will discover that some of them are quite deep and will require a lot of explanation; but this could strike up some good conversation with your children and any conversation about God is good in my opinion.  Some verses will require you reference the stories that go with them to completely understand them.  These are not the happy kitty verses that many sunday school kids come home with.  This is not to say that those verses are not important.  All scripture is God breathed and should be taught.  You may want to put some aside to teach when your child matures a little more if you deem appropriate.  If anything, it's a handy resource to have around.  I usually have a really difficult time remembering scripture, but teaching it to the kids, putting my own little tunes to it, has made all the difference.  Last week I memorized 4 of these scriptures with the children.

If you aren't musically inclined, try setting the scripture to familiar children's tunes (Happy birthday, Wheels on the bus, London Bridges, etc).  Sometimes it takes awhile to get the words to flow correctly to the notes, but with a little practice and creativity you can usually figure out a way to make it work and it makes remembering the scripture SOOOOO much easier.  After all, who hasn't memorized the ABC song growing up?  Wouldn't that be hard to remember at 5 years old without that song?  I think so.  Hope you enjoy teaching this as much as I do.

Once upon a time...

....there was a woman who couldn't stand any clutter.  Then one day she had a child.  Shortly after that child was born she started watching other people's children to help make ends meet.  She knew this meant that she had to put up with toy clutter as part of her job.  However, she still picked up all the toys every nap period just for her own sanity as she enjoyed being able to see the floor when she had the house all to herself.  Then one day, some of the children stopped taking naps.  She quickly realized her efforts to have clean floors in the middle of the day were futile.  Little by little she let go of the control and decided that the end of the work day was a better time to dig out and see the floors. 

A few months later her youngest child began to become more mobile and interested in toys.  Unlike her oldest child who didn't seem to mind staying out of the toys during the evening hours, her youngest enjoyed getting them out at all hours of the day.  This of course was exhausting to this middle aged mother.  She finally let go of the idea that her house would be tidy every night before she went to bed.  Gone are the days when ALL toys are neatly put in their toys boxes before her head lays on her pillow each night.  It's not ideal, but it's survival baby.  Life's too short to spend it picking up toys at all hours of the day.  As long as bulk of it is picked up, it is not uncommon to see a doll or two on the floor before eyes are closed for the night.  OK maybe three or four dolls.....and some doll clothes....and...and...and. hehehe.

The end.
OK on a side note, my house does NOT look like this when I go to bed each night.  This particular day the kids literally emptied EVERY toy box up stairs and had it scattered on the floors across the entire living room and Bren's room.  My point is, once upon a time this would've driven me up a wall.  But I've found as the years go buy, my tolerance for this has gone up.  We still pick up ALL toys each night at 5:00, but somehow a few always seem to trickle their way out by bed time.  I just surprise myself that I've finally accepted the fact that keeping a house tidied with 2 children and a daycare is impossible without help.  I would spend all my time cleaning up after them instead of enjoying them.  I would have no me time. And life without those things just doesn't sound fun.  This is not to say that my house is gross and grimy.  I do not, I repeat DO NOT let the house get dirty, only messy.  If it looks dirty, it get's cleaned right away.  And I don't let our stuff take over our lives.  If it doesn't have a place, it get's purged. There are times when I just need my house back, and knowing everything has a place helps me with this. 

I look forward to a day when the only thing I have to pick up off the floor are a pair of Jeff's socks (Jeff always leaves his socks lying around).  It cracks me up how much that used to drive me nuts before kids.  Something tells me, that won't bother anymore when the kids are off to college.  I suppose the hassle of it all, however, is way worth the benefits of having these adorable children in my life.  As long as they're happy, bring on the mess. 

Sunday, February 6, 2011

January 2011 Staycation Part 1

Last weekend we had a real staycation.  The best part was that the entire day was FREE.  Santa put lottery tickets in everyone's stockings this year and wouldn't you know it, we won 50$.  We used that to pay for lunch at Fudruckers and our tickets at Ripley's Believe it or Not museum (which we also got very cheaply I might ad as we get a local discount).  We also had a free one night stay gift certificate to Lodge of the Ozarks where we enjoyed a nice indoor heated pool all to ourselves and ate pizza with a gift certificate (a Christmas present from Jeff to the whole family).  It was a fun day for all of us and it was nice to get out and about during the winter.  The only pictures we took were while we were in the museum and they aren't the best.  My apologies.  We forgot our camera and had to use our phones to take these.

This is the sign in front of Ripleys

This is the museum on the outside.  Kadyn thought it was going to be awful because "the building is falling apart!"

This is a skull and also a picture of two little girls.  See them?

This boggled my mind.  Using only a penny, if you double your money for 31 days you will have over ten million dollars!

This was some sort of mask with snakes.  Kadyn found this interesting.

This was a talking hologram.  Spooked Kadyn a little.  I thought it was so cool!

The funny mirrors were a BIG hit with the girls!

This is a ship made from matchsticks.

Worlds' tallest man.....and little Kadyn.

January Staycation Part 2

People made from junk.

This was possibly the coolest part, a spinning tube.  There was a stable walkway through it, but when you went in you couldn't help but feel like the ground beneath you was moving.  It was funny watching people walk sideways as they went through even though the ground beneath them was completely level.  Brennan LOVED this and insisting on doing it several times.  So many people loved it in fact, that we had to wait in line to get in. 
This was made entirely from jelly beans.
Our experience wouldn't be complete without playing with the silly glasses in the gift shop. 

There was SO MANY MORE exhibits that I would have loved to photograph, but again, all we had was our phone.  It really was a neat experience.  Highly recommend it.  We didn't get any photos at the hotel, but it was lovely. The complimentary breakfast the next morning hit the spot after all that fun.  You can take my word for it.  Looking forward to another staycation already.

Saturday, February 5, 2011


If you keep up with me on facebok you know that we had a trip to Garden City planned to visit family.  My parents were driving there to meet us and to pick up my grandmother who had been dropped off a few weeks ago to visit her sister.  I haven't seen her in two years.  I only get to see my parents once or twice a year.  We are fortunate that we do get to see Jeff's parents more often since they are at least within driving distance from us.  The point is, we were all looking forward to this trip very much.

We knew we were chancing it because of the weather, but we had been checking the forecasts and the forecast didn't actually line up with what actually happened.  We would be traveling major highways, so I figured those would be the first to be cleared.  I usually don't care to chance travel during winter months, but this was just a better time to take a trip because I am only caring for one child in my daycare.  Therefore, only be displacing one family to take this trip.  I will be adding two more children later this month.

Anyhow, we only got about 3 miles from the house and started sliding, did a 180 and then slid into a ditch on the side of the road.  Our guardian angels were there as we stopped only a foot from a tree on the passenger's side door, I think the snow also helped us stop. I really thought we were going to hit that tree.  The hill on the side of it was pretty steep.  Had it of happened a few feet back we may have rolled down the hill.   Anyways, we were all a bit rattled.  Kadyn freaked a little after it happened because it meant we couldn't visit Grandma and Grandpa.  Brennan was quiet until we got dropped off at the house by a kind lady in a truck.  She commented, "That fun!"

 We didn't get a pic of the van before they started towing.  This was during the tow, we were actually right up against that tree there before they started

Funny how it doesn't look that steep in the picture.  Depth never comes through on pictures. The van is facing east, but we were traveling west when it happened.

Here is the lovely tree that was on the passenger side and the large hole that we left behind.  If you look at the tire tracks you can see how close we were to that tree.

Glad we are all safe.  Disappointed we couldn't go, BUT the good news is that my parents are going to come up for Kadyn's birthday in a month and a half.  I'll have to settle for just talking to my Grandma on the phone for now.  Oh well.  Guess we will postpone our trip to Garden until spring or summer. 

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Summer Top

I meant to have a big post of all the things I've made since my last sewing post, but I just haven't gotten my butt in gear and photographed them all.  Since my last post, I have made two circle scarves, some fabric necklaces, some new headbands for Kadyn and Bren, refashioned another two tshirts, and refashioned one of Jeff's work shirts.  I did photo the work shirt, however, for you.  Here is a before pic of a shirt that was the same, just a different color ( I screwed this one up and had to scrap it, live and learn huh?).  Forgot to get a before pic of the actual shirt I redashioned, imagine that.  But this should give you a good idea of what it started out like.

It turned out to be this.

I was dissppointed it couldn't be longer.  Jeff is a smaller man so I didn't have as much fabric to work with as I would've liked.  It also seemed SO poofy so I had to make some tucks on the side and back to take some of that poof down and I added straps to which made the top stretch it up a little and eliminate even more poof.  I also added a rossette to disguise the tuck in the back.
Won't be one of my favorites, but different than anything I've made so far.  Will be a good addition to my summer wardrobe.  Here is the tutorial in case you are interested.

Letting God Discipline My Children

This is a big post, but I think it has some merit.  Kadyn and I have hit a rough patch when it comes to behavior.

I feel like every time she approaches a new age she decides it's time to test her boundaries again.  We are there at this point.  It has been difficult to keep my cool with her at times because she does things that she KNOWS are wrong simply because she feels she won't get caught since my back is turned.

Teaching her to have integrity, doing what is right when no one is looking, is a tough concept.  She has also started making rude faces at me and whispering her displeasure right in the front of me as if I won't notice.  It is blatantly rude and direspectful and I know I have to stand my ground.  The early years are the formative years as we've all been told and I know I have to get control now or we may regret it in her teens.  I find it so ironic that her new behaviors remind me of how a teenager would act.  Makes me fear those years to be quite honest.

My weakness as a parent presently is being too wordy.  I am notorious for being a parent who likes to lecture. 

After reading Parenting With Love and Logic I knew this was something I needed to work on.  It's been very, very difficult.  I have so many feelings and thoughts when my children misbehave and I want them to understand fully the consequences of their actions.  I'm pretty sure there have been times when Kadyn is looking at me with a glazed look not hearing a word coming out of my mouth.

Two weeks ago our pastor was doing a sermon on raising children to know God.  He has been getting very tired of all the resources out there for teaching children about God.  In his opinion they are too "fluffy."  He sites Noah as an example stating how all the lessons about Noah show him smiling on or around a boat like everything is just great.
Those of us who know the story well know better.  I can imagine there was intense sorrow when the the door was closed the first day on the boat because they knew they were witnessing the destruction of all mankind.  The desparation they must have felt as days and days go by with no idea of when it would all end.  I'm sure it wasn't all happy as the children's stories would have you to believe.  

Anyhow, the point is, our pastor wanted to teach his children the truth from the bible.  Therefore, he made up his own devotionals.  He took one verse from the bible that talked about either an animal or thing and used it to teach lessons about God and how we should act as Christians.  There are 26 devotionals.  One for each letter of the alphabet.  So far we have only gotten too letter D.  I have put the verses to song so that they are easier for the children to memorize.  The lessons we have covered involve working hard like an ant (proverbs 6:6), using kind words because they are sweet like the honey of a bee (proverbs 16:24), living on less like a camel (proverbs 16:24), learning our lessons unlike the dog who returns to it's vomit (proverbs 26:11). 

If you've ever done a study on how God speaks to you, you may discover that often times he likes to speak to us through his own word. 

Ever had a scripture come to mind and wonder why? That would be God speaking to you.  That is why it is important to hide it in our hearts.  It allows God to speak to us when we need to hear his voice.  It is important for us to place it in our children's hearts too.  This week I have told myself that I am going to do less lecturing and let God do the disciplining.  I remind Kadyn to be more like an ant when it comes time to pick up her toys.  I warn her not to be like the dog when she is tempted to make the wrong choice again.  I remind her to be a bee and use sweet and kind words like honey when she yells at her friend.  If she doesn't obey, I make her repeat the scripture to me because I believe the more she says it, the more it will stay inside her heart. 

My goal in all of this is not to make her resent the scripture, but to help her remember it and hide it in her heart.  To let God do all the talking.  My hope is that eventually I will not have to remind her to be these things or do these things because God will quicken it to her mind as she makes choices about how to behave.   My dream is that she will start to listen to him rather than my constant rambling about behavior. All this makes for a happier Mama, and a happier Mama makes a happier Kadyn.

I really wanted to post a link to the devotional cards for my readers in case you wanted to get a hold of them for your own children, but it seems our church has already taken them down from their website.  If you really want them, leave me a comment, and I will make another post with all the scriptures for you.