Thursday, April 28, 2011

Following the path

My future has been on my mind probably since Brennan was born.  The desire for a third child at that time was so great I could forsee no other plan for my life.  That desire wasn't so strong in Jeff.  Although he wasn't entirely opposed to the idea of a third child, he wasn't totally on board either.  Prayers were sent up that somehow God would align us in this decision. 

Slowly my heart has been changing.  For the first time I have been able to entertain the idea of moving on as a family of 4without completely melting down over the idea of not having a 3rd child.  Of course the idea of moving on and the ease of life with only 2 children excites me. The thought of never having to be pregnant again is OK with me.  The thought of not having to deal with sleepless nights on end is comforting.  The thought of having more money for the two children we have comforts me.  The thought of having one adult per child when we are out and about comforts me.  At the same time there are moments when I imagine life with 3 children and I catch a glimpse of joy that could bring as well.  I think about how many more experiences and memories we could make with one more child.  I imagine getting to experience my favorite age of two with another human being all over again and that excites me.  I imagine the possibility of having a son and how much joy that would bring Jeff and the girls. 

I am a woman who looks for "signs" when it comes to making decisions, especially decisions that are so big. 
It seems that whenever I get comfortable with the idea of having a third child, another road block comes into our path.  This week I lost another daycare kid.  Suddenly I went from having 4 daycare kids to 1.  The boys are moving to Springfield, and little gal is being moved to a bigger facility as mother is having trouble finding care for her when I ask off for my vacation days (even typically only use 3-4 per year).  Anyhow, I began wondering if God has been giving me signs all along and my heart was just too stubborn to accept his will.

I have begun reminding myself that my identity isn't and shouldn't be entirely wrapped up in being a mother.  I had a career that I loved and can return too with a little preparation.  A career that will be a perfect fit for being able to be the mother and wife I desire to be.  I enjoy gardening, sewing, exercising (to a degree), and reading.  All those things help make and can bring me joy when the calling of "mother" is not so prominent in my life. 

I think for a time I was so involved with being a "mom" as it was my dream and brought me a joy like I had never known.  It just seemed important to prolong the experience as long as possible.  It seemed hard to grasp the idea that anything else could bring me the same amount of joy.  However, my calling as a mother will never be the same as time goes on.  My children will need me less and less and no matter how many children I have, at some point I need to find other things that make me happy.  Perhaps I will never find the same joy that I find in being a mother, but I have to be willing to accept the path that God has lined out for me and know that he has my happiness and best interests at heart and that there is more to me than just being someone's Mom.

Today I looked into what it would take to renew my teaching license and add an endorsement to teach regular Education at the Elementary level.  Our move to Branson meant I had to give up teaching orchestra forever as there is no orchestra program here.  Although I can teach choir, band, or general music, the odds of finding that job in a much smaller town are very limited and I have NO desire to teach band or choir.  In order to be guaranteed better odds, it seems fitting to become endorsed to teach regular education.  Now that I know what it will take, I now have to decide for myself the next step to take.  I think my path is starting to become clearer.  I'm not 100% sure yet. Time will tell.  In the mean time, I will press forward with the life God has given me.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Misquoted scripture

How many times have you heard people say this, "God won't give you more than you can bear?"  Probably most of us have heard it and possibly even took it to heart in order to find some sort of comfort.  However if you reference the actual scripture you will find that this isn't exactly accurate.  The words actually say:

"God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it."  (1 Corinthians 10:13).

During personal study I realized that there is a big difference between saying that God will not give you something you can't bear versus God will not tempt you beyond what you can bear.  So does this mean that God may actually give us more than we can bear?  My personal opinion, yes. Alone it may be too much for us to bear.  We all go though trials and tribulation in this world, this is scriptural.  However, if we are a believer we can get through it.  Consider this verse:

"With God ALL things are possible."  (Matthew 19:26)

Suffice to say, for the believer we can bear anything that comes our way.....but only because we can lean on God as our source of strength.  He may give us things that we can't bear, but that HE can bear.  Why? I think it is to show us his power.  To show us he is in control.  To teach us to find comfort, solitude, and peace in him.  To draw us closer to him.  To increase faith.  And to help us find strength in him.

This makes me feel complete sadness for those who don't know and trust him. What a hard life they will lead when trials come their way.  I would be so lost and scared without Christ.  So the next time your friend sees something coming her way, don't tell her God won't give her more than she could bear.  Simply remind her that with God all things are possible, and this will help her rest assured.

Friday, April 22, 2011

5 Tiny Confessions

1. I don't brush my kid's hair everyday.
2. I sometimes go to bed without washing my face or brushing my teeth.
3. I don't clean dinner dishes until morning.
4. I do not wash my sheets nearly as often as I should.
5. Sometimes I let my frustration get the better of me with the children. And it makes me feel so angry with myself as I know better.

I am not perfect. I am the first to admit it. Praise God that he sent his son to forgive me of my sins and help me when I fail.

Booty shaking

While watching American Idol we caught Brennan doing the funniest booty shake ever.  I promise we did ask her to do this at first it was all her idea, but when she stopped it was too funny to not encourage her to do it some more.  Soon Kadyn wanted in on the fun and we were breaking out the video camera.  So funny!

Untitled from Darci Bilberry on Vimeo.

Brennan counts

Aw!  This was too cute not to share.

Untitled from Darci Bilberry on Vimeo.

The Gang

Yesterday was a early start.  Kids started showing up at 6:30.  I do not function at 6:30 so Mickey Mouse clubhouse came to my rescue.  To give you a mental image of the kids I've been watching.  The littlest one is not picture here.  She came later.

Today is the last day with the two boys on the right of the pic.  Mother is probably going to move to Springfield and I am pretty much at the end of my rope with little man X.  Mentally and emotionally I'm just a ticking time bomb because of all the hitting, pushing, spitting, sassing, kicking, and just plain defiance I have had put up with the last 7 weeks.  I will literally be getting out my paint can to cover up all the nicks in my wall from an angry child throwing toys.  I will probably need to break out my steam cleaner from all the accidents had on my carpets.  (Those huggies pull ups are for the birds!).  I am ready for peace in my home again.  I am ready to feel happy again.  All the negativity from the constant fighting for 11 hours a day has taken a toll. I am so tired and numb.  My enthusiasm for what I do is dissappearing. The joy I get from what I do has been stolen from me. I was determined to make a difference in a child's life and instead I am left feeling broken.  So weird.  I hate feeling this way. 

I do not regret taking on the challenge of these boys as I have learned a lot. It has tested me to my deepest core and drew me much closer to God.  I am happy at the patience I forced myself to use, but also disappointed that here at the end I just wanted to give up and let it get the best of me; my patience somehow escaped me.  I do hope that these boys find care where there are individuals who can really reach them and help them make better decisions.  I did the best I could and knew how to do.  It is time to move on.

I will be taking a week or two off then back to the drawing board to try to find the right child for this daycare.  All I want is a child who respect me and the other children.  Those kinds of kids seem to be rare in this neck of the woods.  Sigh!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

At the end of the day....

This is what keeps me going. 
It has been a blessed day.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Last week

After Friday's post, the day got worse.  I ended the day completely spent and ready to throw in the towel.  At one point I started laughing and then it turned into crying; I just lost it.  I think the stress of watching little man X finally took it's toll.  Dealing with this behavior 11 hours a day was just getting to be too much. Needless to say, I do believe this is the boys' last week here.  Mom said she will probably be moving to Springfield anyways because of a job, so perhaps it is for the best and more of a God thing than I know.  I do not regret my work with him as he taught me how to be more patient and it all resulted in drawing me closer to God to get through.  I do think he needs more help than I can give him, and I pray that his mother finds the help she needs as she is at her wits end as well and wants to have him tested to see if there is something more to his behavior than we know.

I do know I am capable of handling 6 children, I just need those children to be well behaved children. I can handle a little fit here or there. I do not want to have to wage war all day, every day.  Little man X was a full time job all by himself.  Wish I could copy my own two kids and watch some more of them.  They are a walk in the park.  I will be taking small break before I fill a spot.  I literally will have to get out my paint and fill in the nicks on my wall from little man X who decided to throw a bunch of toys and even a chair a couple times Friday.  Just watching my normal four should allow me a little breathing room before I add another child to daycare.  My house, the other daycare children, my children, and I am really looking forward to having it just be the five of us together again.

So anyhow, there's the scoop.  Now to get through one more week.  Taking a deep breath.  OK here we go!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Reverse Pyschology

Little man X has not had a full blown tantrum for a couple of weeks until today.  He was hungry and tired, so I'll give him that BUT....there is never an excuse to me to behave to that degree.  I'm talking full on kicking, screaming, out of control.  I was tempted to try my go to tactic of hiding out in a room until it subsided, but I wasn't in the mood to have him follow us and kick the door on the other side.  I value my doors.

One of the suggestions in the Parenting With Love and Logic  book is to use a little reverse physchology.  Simply encourage the out of control child to put on a show.  It was quite amusing to look at him and say things like:

"Wow you really can scream. That is AMAZING!  Come on do it some more!  You're sooooo good at that.  Come on!  You can do better than that.  More, more, more.  Wow!  Look at you!  You can really scream loud.  More, more, more!" 

He didn't like that too much.  At first he took off and ran to another corner and started screaming some more.  I followed him calmly and kept at it.  After 20 or 30 seconds he stopped and refused to scream and act out no matter how much I begged him too.  I got his attention all right.  Then I was able to have a rational conversation with him and ask him to return to his time out chair to finish what started the whole fiasco in the first place.  After it was done, I showered him with hugs and compliments for remaining calm.  I tell ya, that reverse psychology is a wonderful way to blow off a little frustration.  I highly recommend it.  The look on his face was SOOOO worth it!

Another problem little man X has been throwing my way is stealing toys, hitting, pushing, etc.  When time out after time out isn't working, a person has to regroup and think up something new. I wasn't getting his attention.  He thought it was funny running from me each time I told him to go to time out and laughing about it.  The first few days of this I was furious!  The defiance and pure lack of respect for an adult can really get to a person.  I checked out a book from the library which was a story about how to deal with bullies.  I read it to the kids  I then gathered the older kids and told them I was making a new plan.  Each time little man X showed one of these behaviors, I would call a 'team intervention.'  The whole idea is that bullies will back down when approached in larger numbers.  There is strength in numbers.  So today each time he stole a toy and took off laughing, we would follow him until he was in a corner and couldn't get out. Then we would say as a group "It's not funny Ben.  We don't like it.  You need to be kind!"  He IMMEDIATELY stopped laughing and said, "Stop it!  Stop it!"  To which I replied, "We will stop when you stop taking things from other children.  We just want you to share."  Once he returned the toy, he was then asked to go to his time out chair and we had a conversation about it after he served his time.....calmly.

Which leads me to my new challenge, getting him in the time out chair.  He used to refuse.  I used to have to carry him and he'd kick me all the way there.  It hurt.  He's a big little dude.  That was not working!  So I have now begun making the others leave the room so he has no distractions and calmly talking to him until I have compliance; not having the other kids around, I have found helps a lot!  They hibernate in the room next door and play with whatever toys are there.  Once he does go to the chair, I make him go back and forth to the time out chair for practice 10 times.  I explain that he has to practice if he won't do it the first time I ask.  He doesn't care for that.  It is working....slowly...but it is working.   

It literally is baby steps with this kid.  Some days I just want to pull my hair out, but I know I'm making headway little by little each day.  I know I am making a difference in this kid's life.  I'd like to think that because of my work with him, he will leave my care some day being a much better person.  A person who is compassionate for other people's feelings.  A person who respects authority and wants to be good.  A person who knows what it is to be more like Christ and wants to be more like him.  We shall see. 

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

It's so powerful!

This afternoon I put little gal down for her nap.  She wasn't very happy about that.  Per mother's request, and based on my experience, sometimes the best defense for a baby who doesn't want to go down, is to do nothing at all and ignore the fit.  So....I walked out the door and desparately searched for my headphones and MP3 player.  Crying children raise my blood pressure a couple points.  Suddenly, I'm at a beach in some far off place listening to "Cha, cha, cha ,cha."  My spirits are lifted and all is well in my mind.  One song later, little gal is calming herself and on the way to la, la land.

It got me to thinking about the power of music.  I marvel at music.  It is TRULY a gift of God.  No wonder I majored in music at school.  It's an old friend of mine that always takes me to new heights.


-inspires us to run up a hill we would have otherwise passed out on
-inspires us to add another 15 mintues to our workout
-helps us express ourselves when words aren't enough
-memorize scripture without out it can take weeks, put it to song and suddenly I have it down in one day
-makes just about ANY kid dance, it's contagious
-can make me feel happy, sad, angry
-helps me teach the kids about God in a fun memorable way
-helps me praise my God
-helps convey emotion in the movies
-is the ONLY universal language
-is therapeutic
-helps me forget about my problems
-makes me want to get up and dance, or just move
-helps me get chores done by taking my focus off the fact that I clean up way too much urine in my house.
-helps pass the time in a fun way on a boring drive
-helps me foster creativity in myself
-is limitless
-can drive home a message in a way that words can't
-can take me back to a place and time
-can help me dream my dreams
-can take me to a place far away from where I am...for free!
-makes my heart all giddy and happy when I sing at the top of my lungs in the car, especially with others

I once visited a church that didn't believe in any instrumental music what so ever.  What a tragedy.  All I can say is what a boring life this would be without music, vocal and instrumental.  It truly is a treasure that I value A LOT!

The good news, the bad news

The good news...I'm feeling a little less old haggish since  my hair cut and since I've had time to put on make up and brush my teeth.  I also found two new pairs of pants at the thrift store that fit me like a glove.  Nice to bend over and not have a little crackage showing.  That was really getting on my nerves.  Stupid clothes! 

The bad news....another stressful week of one behavior challenge after another with little man X.  But perhaps that's not news at all, just the story of my life right now.  Part of me says to just give up.  A bigger part of me refuses to be a failure to myself and to him.  I press on. 

Thank goodness I have a man who listens to me go on and on each night about my day and who is more than happy to throw a frozen pizza in the oven because I just can't be super Mom and want to collapse from physical and mental exhaustion.  Who gladly puts the kids to bed because my sister called in the middle of our nightly routine.  I am blessed by him.  I love him.  Thank you Lord for Jeff.  He is my sanity right now.  Oh and the sweet kisses, hugs, and cuddles of little girls who obey me (most of the time).  They keep me going.


Monday, April 11, 2011

She's ready

I am reminded how close we are getting to the day that Kadyn will be leaving me to go to school.  She is so ready.  Her drawings have gotten so good.  She's reading pretty good for a preschooler.  Three letter words are a breeze for her.  Simple addition and substraction is right up her alley too.  She's very social and makes friends easily.  Yes, she's ready.  I do not want to even think about it.  Here she is reading a book to her teddies.

Spring has sprung!

I do not think I will ever get over the beauty of the land I live in now.  Spring has definitely sprung in our little town of Branson.  In our backyard are a few trees that have blooming.  We didn't plant them, they are wild and all over the ozarks.  Beautiful.  Love them!

The flowers that just grow randomly all over the city still blow my mind. So blessed to live here.  Now if we could just remain at a consistent temp, I'll be happy.  All this bouncing around is driving me nuts! 

Sunday, April 10, 2011

God's Judgement on America

My mother sent me this video.  It is 5 minutes long.  I usually don't like to watch anything longer than a minute or two, but when it comes to biblical prophecy and the fulfillment of it, I'm all ears. This video is very interesting.  It ties  9/11 into biblical prophecy.  Very eerie if you ask me.  So if you're into this sort of thing, give it a look.  As the bible says, "He who has ears, let him hear."

Friday, April 8, 2011

So glad

....the weekend is almost here.  Lately, the weekends have been looking mighty nice. 
Does that look like one tired Mama or what?  Feel just about as good as I look here folks a little old haggish.  Just saying ;)  Have a good weekend everyone.  I'm looking forward to some rest, a hair cut, a trip to Springfield, a great sermon at church, nice weather, and time with JUST MY KIDS...and hubby of course. Sigh!  Weekends almost sound like something dreams are made of.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

I want to be... of those people that just let's things roll off her back.  Seems certain little man X is always up for a challenge with me.  I always make sure to win, but the battle can go on for a long time. This is not to say we haven't made progress.  His full blown tantrums seem to be  thing of the past now.  Shew!  I manage to keep my cool on the outside, but inside I just want to burst with frustration.  I would really like to be one of those people that just doesn't let it get to them.  I want to feel just as cool on the inside as I appear on the outside.  I don't mean cold hearted.  I guess I just mean calm.

I'm an emotional woman.  God made me that way. I have NEVER been able to bottle up my feelings, so parenting has really challenged me in ways I never dreamed possible.  When a kid is in the middle of a power struggle with me, it can be very easy to let my feelings about it take control.  So even though outwardly I seem to be in control,  I still have trouble keeping perspective on the inside.

Today I thought to myself what life would be like with children who never bickered.  Seems someone is ALWAYS stealing a toy, hitting, pushing, calling someone names, tattle tailing, yada yada yada.  When you have this going on in your house X 6 it just gets old fast.  Especially when it is the same kid most of the time.   Also, when those who weren't doing such things before seem to be picking up this child's habits, it can just be plain maddening.

But then I realized, that kids will be kids, and some kids are just wired to cause controversy, the real solution is learning how to deal with it so it doesn't affect me as much. I can imagine I will be more effective in my correction if I am in control of my thoughts on the inside.  I certainly will continue to try to correct little X as I am determined to help his mother raise a respectful little man.  However, I know I need to work on keeping my perspective so I don't end my day feeling emotionally, and physically exhausted from all the behaviors he throws my way each day.

Perspective with this particular little man will mean remembering that these behaviors are typical for his age.  It means that I need to remind myself that I am in control because I am the adult.  It means I have to accept that he will challenge my authority until it finally sinks in to him that I am not a pushover.  It means that I need to realize that God made him with a very strong will and I have to show him the healthy way to use that part of his personality.  It means that I need to remember that change is a process and happens in baby steps over a long period of time.  It means that I have to remind myself that we HAVE made progress.  And it also means that since I am a significant adult in his life right now, the way I handle things is teaching him how to handle things as well. I am setting the example, and so I need to make sure I keep my own emotions in check on the outside AND the inside.  Tough, tough, tough.

Working on it though.  Yes, someday I hope I can say I'm a "roll off the back" kind of gal.  Until then...I'll keep trying.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Best Pet EVER

We have a cat....sort of.  You see this little guy showed up one day out of no where.  We thought he was a stray, but we have tried to feed him and he wasn't interested.  Any cat who turns down a sausage must be getting something from somewhere.  He has fleas and sandburs stuck in his furr, so if he belongs to someone, they sure don't do any more than feed him.  He always seems to appear when we go outside and let the kids play.  He loves the kids.  He lets them all pet him and rolls around and puts on a pretty good show for them. They try to feed him grass, and sometimes he will actually eat it.  We have all started calling him Sparky or as Brennan says it "Garky."  Every time they see him wandering around through our windows, they always knock on the window and say hi.  They really love him. 

We first met him last fall.  He somehow survived all the ice and frigid winter weather.  Our neighbor fed him some tuna that time because she felt sorry for him out there in the cold all by himself.  Somehow, this little guy just seems completely content just being a free willy.  And I am completely content calling him our "sort of" pet.  We don't have to feed him, house him, or do anything for him what so ever, but he still keeps coming around the entertain the kids at just the right times.  That's my kind of pet.  I have a special place in my heart now for good ol' Sparks.  He's the easiest 'sort of pet' I've ever had, sure hope he sticks around for a long time.  Maybe then I'll never get the "Why can't I have a pet" question.  As much as I like pets, I like not having the responsibility of not having one more right now at this time in my life.  Cats and dogs are really like having another child.  I have my hands full with 6 kids every day.  A pet is the last thing I need right now.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Means SO much to me.

It's the little things that make me feel so loved by my husband and remind me how incredibly blessed I am to have a man like him in my life:

Every Saturday he lets me sleep in and gets up with the girls.  He fixes them breakfast, snuggles with them on the couch, and watches their favorite shows with them.  This means SO much to me.

We usually get groceries together on Sunday, but sometimes I am just not in the mood to drag everyone to the store and go through the motions.  He is more than happy to go get it done for me.  This means SO much to me.

When he comes home from work, he doesn't get upset if I don't have dinner on the table, or if I have yet to even start supper. He waits patiently and entertains the girls so I can get it done.  If I am just too exhausted to cook and say it's leftover night he doesn't complain.  Or if I ask him to cook (as long as it's easy like hamburger helper) he will help out.  And if I've had an especially stressful day, he'll take us all out.  This means SO much to me.

While I'm slaving away in the kitchen to get supper on the table he usually comes and gives me lots of hugs and a smooch or two.  If I've had an extremely stressful day, he just holds me.  He can always tell when I need one.  This means SO much to me.

As much as I'd like to have a spotless, tidy, spic and span house, there are just times I can't keep up.  He knows I'll get it done at some point.  He doesn't complain.  This means SO much to me.

Sometimes Jeff sees something small that he thinks the girls or I will enjoy and he picks it up and brings it home for us.  This means SO much to me.

He listens to me go on and on and on about the kids and my job and doesn't complain about it.  This means SO much to me.

He tells me I'm beautiful. This means SO much to me.

If I forget something at the store, he will stop by the store on his way home and get it for me without complaining.  This mean SO much to me.

Church is not his cup of tea, but he goes because he knows it is important for us.  This means SO much for me.

He supports me when I need some time off from the kids and encourages me to get out and have Me time.  This means SO much to me.

He knows I have dreams, and wants to help me see them come true.  This means SO, SO, SO, SO much to me.

He works hard for this family and puts us first.  This means SO, SO, SO, SO much to me.

When we are upset with each other, he won't let me go to bed angry.  He makes sure we work it out., and if he is in the wrong, he will apologize.  This means SO much to me.

He may not do the dishes, or vacuum, or clean the toilets, or dust, but he always has his own way of showing his love to me.  I love him SO much for it.  This means SO much to me.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Kite flying finally!

We have tried to fly kites in our little culdesac now for over a year without any success.  We are in a little valley, so we seem to get these little gusts that just don't stay long enough to get our kite high enough to stay put....until today.  We tried three different kites, but only had real success with one.  This particular kite did get stuck in a tree twice, and we managed to get it unstuck twice.  Then some time later the string broke and it flew off into the woods somewhere.  We will not be sending out a search party for it.  I'm afraid it was counted a loss.  But at least we got a good run in there.  It was fun.

Poor Bren got the string around her foot at one point, so it started following her as she took off and it completely FREAKED her out!  She sure did walk around it with caution after that.  Too her, it was this creature that came alive and chased her.  It was hard not to laugh because it was so cute.
At one point I did walk down the little road by our house just to see if I could spot the lost kite.  I didn't spot it, but I did find the most gorgeous flowers growing wild along the road.  I brought them up for the girls and told them they were from God since they were so sad about loosing their kite.  That seemed to cheer them up.  Kadyn said they smelled like cookies.  Bren said they smelled like hot dogs.  Go figure.  I thought they smelled

A pretend night out

This weekend we didn't have anything major planned, so on a whim I made up a pretend night out for the girls and I.  First we ate supper at a sport's bar and grill.  We decided it was a sport's bar and grill because Dada was watching a game on TV.
Next, we hopped in our minivan (aka Vana) and Kadyn drove us to the pool (aka the bathtub). Sorry no pics of fun in the pool. It was Kadyn's first time driving Vana.  After we got cleaned up from all that swimming, I dropped the girls off at a dessert parlor where they worked with Miss Margaret (aka Mama) to make snicker doodles together. Miss Margaret was from France, but she had a very weird accent.  It was like a combo of Jamiacan, French, English, and Mexican all in one (I really stink at accents).

Mama eventually came by and picked up the girls from the dessert parlor.  They paid Ms. Margaret with smiles and hugs and then they were off in Vana again (the couch was our pretend van) to the Pajama Entertainment theaters for their slumber party viewing of Toy Story III.
Bren didn't make it through the entire movie, at one point she just stood up and asked to go to her crib, which I thought was so dear.  Kadyn drifted out at one point, but woke again and finished the movie and then fell asleep in her sleeping bag. I think I fell asleep around towards the beginning of the movie and slept the entire night on the couch.  I think watching 6 kids each week is catching up with me.  I was exhausted.  It was a fun and memorable evening though.  Maybe even better than doing all that stuff for real.  The girls asked to visit Miss Maragaret again tonight as they were putting their PJ's on.  Another time perhaps.

Friday, April 1, 2011


With the addition of two more wiggly bodies to my house, I have had to make and enforce more rules.  Some for the children's safety, some to protect  my house, some to protect each other, and some for my own sanity.  Sometimes I think to myself, "I don't want to rule with an iron fist."  But then I realize that eventually the kids get used to my rules and we hardly have to think about it or even enforce the rules anymore because they just know my expecations and what lines they can't cross. When I am no longer being challenged on rules, I don't feel so Cruella DeVilleish.  So here's the rules we have at my house during daycare hours. You don't realize how many you have until write them out.  Some of them may even make you laugh a bit as I'm sure you can relate.  So here's my top  10 70 rules or as I'd rather call them, top 70 expectations for behavior.  I suppose if you're bored, you might actually read this.

1.  No one is allowed in the kitchen area where I cook EVER.
2.  You can sit at the table and wait for me to finish cooking if you do not want to play, but you can't play with toys on the table or bring them to the table.  If you do, the toys are MINE.
3.  Respect each other's bodies.  No touching anyone elses body.
4.  No hitting, pushing, or stealing toys in my house ever!  Last time I checked, I didn't have "referee" listed in my "contract"
5.  No sassing or back talking Ms. Darci ever!
6.  No questions about what I am doing in the kitchen until I am done. (seems strict, but when you have six kids asking the same questions over and over again, it gets old fast).
7.  No kids in Ms. Darci's bedroom, Kadyn's bedroom, the laundry room, or the bathroom (unless you have to use the bathroom).
8. Use indoor voices when in the house, I have sensitive ears
9.  You must ask to be excused before leaving the table.
10.  You have to use your manners EVERY time you want something.  Ms. Darci does not help kids who do not use thier manners.
11.  Let your yes be yes and your no be no.Ms. Darci doens't play the "I want to change my mind every two seconds game"
12.  Treat each other with kindness ALWAYS
13. Ask for a turn when you want to play with a toy someone else has
14.  When someone asks you for a toy, you must respond with, "I will give you a turn when I am finished."  Then you must make sure to give it to only the person who asked when you are done.
15.  If a particular toy is too hard to share, it becomes MINE.
16.  No playing with ANYTHING in the bathroom.   
17,  No playing with toys during story time, no getting up and sitting in front of someone during storytime, and no interupting Ms. Darci while she is reading.
18.  No tattle tailing unless someone is hurt, going to get hurt, someone is breaking something, or going to hurt my house or already hurting my house.
19.  No listening in on my conversations with children who are in trouble, it's none of your business.
20.  No sitting and staring at people who are in time out.
21.  No riding trikes in the street EVER.
22.  No whining, EVER!
23.  No running into each other with trikes EVER!
24. No throwing toys.
25.Everyone must help pick up toys or they will not earn a "special treat"
26.You have to show Ms. Darci patience when she asks for it, as there are six children and I can't help everyone at the same time.
27.  No walking on the carpet with shoes on.
28.  No getting toys out of the toy box after we have picked up and I am vacuuming.
29.  You do not have to tell me what someone said, I have ears too.
30.  You do not need to get my attention to show me every single little thing you do.  I have eyes.
31.  No crawling behind the couch, someone always gets squished or hurt.
32.  I can only put up with a certain amount of kids running around playing chase.  Someone bumping into someone else three times and crying is about my limit.
33.  Do NOT cop and attitude with Ms. Darci.  She doesn't allow bad attitudes. 
34.  You have to try everything on your plate, you do not have to eat it all.
35.  No spitting.
36.  No picking on someone just to make them angry.
37.  Children who can't get along will have to sit on the couch and hold hands for a couple minutes.
38. No eating after each other.  We do not share food or drinks!
39.  If I say, there will not be seconds, then I mean it, so don't ask for more.
40.  Asking for something a thousand times will not get you what you want, but it will get you in time out.
41.  I don't listen to screaming tantrums. I have sensitive ears.  Tantrum throwers must be alone during their fits of rage.  We will gladly return when you are willing to sit in time out quietly for your crazy behavior and apologize to me.
42.  You must answer my questions.  Do not ignore me.
43.  No lying to Ms. Darci.  God usually tells my heart when you are lying, so you won't get away with it and you will loose my trust thus loosing privelages.
44.  Use your words.  I can't read your mind.
45.  If you have an accident, tell Ms. Darci.  Don't sit on my couch and pretend it didn't happen.
46.  If you pee on my floor or toilet, you have to clean it up.  If you leave it for me, trust that you will be cleaning it up when I find it.
47.  When spinning around to get dizzy, do not swing anything in hands and keep your hands at your sides.
48.  Scissors are only to be used for cutting paper and glue is only to be used put paper pieces together.  Glue and scissors are not toys..  We do not eat paint or play dough.  Crayons are only for coloring paper not for throwing on the floor.
49.   Do not stand on any furniture.
50.  No hanging on my fish tank EVER!  No hitting or slapping the fish tank.  Point at fish only!
51.  My yes means yes and my no means no.  I do not argue, don't even bother trying unless you want to see me be a broken record before your time out.
52.  If God commands it, so do I.
53. I will not converse with you unless you are calm.  If you are related to me, you must get it together in your room before we talk about it.
54.  Look me in the eye when I am speaking to you.
55. Meal times are for eating only, if you play around then I will take your food and assume you are done.
56.Bragging just to make someone else feel bad isn't allowed.
57. Quiet time is supposed to be QUIET.
58.  Light switches, door knobs,  curtains, DVD players, and remote controls are not toys and should be left alone.
59. You must hand onto the handrail and go slowly down the stairs.
60. If you don't appreciate it, then I will gladly let someone else have it who will.
61.  I'm the only boss here.  Don' t try to take my job from me.
62.  Rudeness, what is that?  We don't do that kind of thing at my house.
63.  Only good sports are allowed to play games
64.  Your mothers deserve respect when they come to pick you up after a long day at work.  Show them you care and missed them with a big hug.
65.  If you tell yourself you can't do it, you probably can't.  Only those with positive attitudes can actually achieve something.
66.  I am not your servant and you better not treat me like one.
67.  When you are angry or upset, use your words to get it out rather than cry and throw fits.
68.  Give people privacy during a diaper change or when someone else is using the restroom.  Don't stand at the door and distract them.
69.  The toys are not yours, they are mine.  I only let kids who share them play with the toys, so no going around saying "mine, mine mine."  Minosaurs are not allowed.
70.  Do not stand on, hang on, or try to hurdle the baby gate.   

There you have it.  I have a lot of them, but as I said before eventually the kids test me enough they realize my boundaries and they stop testing them except on some occasions just to make sure I haven't changed my mind.