Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Parenting is kind of hard...

My husband and I discuss our children and behavior patterns quiet often.  He is pretty observant on how the kids and I interact with each other.  Since I am home with them during the day....and evenings, most of the discipline is up to me.  He has noticed a bit too much lately that I argue with the kids...I explain to much to them...and I am not harsh enough when it comes to their discipline.  Of course I have my excuses...has he ever met our challenging almost 4 year old....I keep seeing light at the end of the tunnel...but she is a challenge at times and I also have a 2 year old that doesn't talk very much, so screaming when can't get his way is his preference of communication.  He is home during the last few hours right before they go to bed...and I have been counting down bedtime since maybe 4pm...I am tired...often cranky and the to-do list from 4pm-8pm skyrockets...dinner, clean-up, feed baby, snack, baths, bedtime routine, reading, feed baby again, tuck-in...more often than not I am grouchy because it has been a long day and I haven't had a break to be alone and just off of my excuses....I know child discipline should be at the forefront and I want my husband to see that I am trying.  Trying really hard actually. are a few questions/concerns that I started asking myself lately (well a book prompted me to...more about that later.)

1.  Do my no's mean no...or is it me into it and I might change my mind?

I try really hard on this issue.  Really hard.  Sometimes I feel bad out in public or at a friend's house when I am the "mean mom" in the group because I said no my child can't do/have something...and then the begging starts and I try to stick to my guns, and then the other parent's say it is ok and their kids are doing it and then it all caves in and then my no turns to yes, because the other kids are doing it and so on...hard...but I am really going to work on it.  At home it is a a lot easier because I only have the little voices of my own kids...and well I am in charge...not them.  

What does the Bible say?

Matthew 5:37:  Simply let your 'yes' be 'yes', and your 'no', 'no''; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.
The Bible is right.  When I say no to my should be just that.  When they argue and don't agree it is outright disobeying.  Nothing else about it...disobeying.  Are you a push over?  I sure don't want to be one with my kids.

2.  Am I an effective leader to my kids?

I hope so.  Of course my husband is the main leader in this house, but when he isn't around, am I?  or are my kids?   Look at your own family...who makes the decisions?  I hear a lot of "no" I don't want to go/do "xyz", my response is sorry, that is what is going to happen.  I see more often that not, kids leading their families and telling their parents how it is going to be.  Sad.  I feel bad when I say..."because I say so."  Why should I be though?

The Bible says:  Ephesians 6:1:  Children obey your parents for in the Lord this is right.

It doesn't say...parents obey your children...anywhere.

3.  A look back in time....when I was in elementary school there where maybe a few kids that would act up on occasion.  I don't recall anyone diagnosed with any deficit disorder...what is up with today where there are so many labels?

I don't want to offend anyone by saying this, because I don't know exactly who reads this blog, but why have things changed so drastically in the wrong direction?  Are things really getting that bad with our kids?  Are parents just softening up on discipline and looking for an easy way out (meds) or an excuse for the way their child is acting?  Are we relying too much on new worldly wisdom?  Just wondering out loud why so much has changed.  I see it in our neighborhood kids...disrespect to adults, property, others...I saw it when I was teaching high school.  I see it in the stores and out in public just about everywhere.  It is a really sad world we live in.

2 Timothy 3:16 says:  "All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training..."

Proverbs 22:6 says: "Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it."

4.  Last question...why has the birth rate in America declined since my parents where raised (1950's-1960's).  

My dad came from a family with 6 kids and my mom 4.  It was common back then.  How come it has gone down so much?  Why are people "crazy" for wanting to desire more?  I hear so many excuses?  (I am not referring to those who have prayed and can't have more prayers are with you because I know you are hurting so much).  But I hear excuses of I can hardly handle the one or two I have.  My kids drive me crazy already.  We won't be able to afford their college education if we have more or be able to buy them all cars.  We can't afford daycare if we have another.  What about just being content with how many you have instead of using worldly excuses of not having more?  Maybe I am just stuck on this subject because pretty much on a weekly basis I am asked by my friends and family....are you done YET with having kids?  Frustrating that so many others are concerned that if we have one more or two our world will just cave in.

Psalm 127:3:  Behold children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.

So off my soapbox...just a few things that have been going through my head.  I finished a book last week that I wrote about in at the end of a previous post: here .  It is called "Parenting by the Book:  Biblical wisdom for raising your child."  By John Rosemond.  This book starts off by looking back in time and how things have changed so much.  He then gives many strategies for disciplining your kids in this changing world.  I know some people will not like this book or agree what he says.  Some aren't raising their kids by what the Bible has to say...but instead of what the new age worldly people have to say.  Good luck with that.  Some don't want to hurt their kids feelings and are concerned about ruining their self-esteem.  Good luck with that.  Well I am slowly implementing some of his strategies beyond what I have already been doing...let's just say I think it was a wake-up call for one little 5 year old the other day.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Pictures of summer t-ball!

 Our summer has been pretty laid back so far, but is soon to step it up a notch starting this weekend.  July will be a complete whirlwind of activity, but I am sure it will be fun.  We are heading to Omaha for the 4th of July weekend to spend some time with friends and family.  The weekend after that we are heading to Lake McConaughy, Chadron, Nebraska (for fur trade days--don't be too jealous), the Black Hills, and Valentine, NE to go rafting on the Niobrara.  Should be a fun vacation!  When we come back we are having a surprise birthday party for Katelyn and then hopefully heading to Missouri if the roads open up a bit.  Just thought I would post a few pictures of Jocelyn playing t-ball!  I hope everyone is having a great summer!

Jocelyn waiting and watching
Easton and Kate watching their sissy play
Jocelyn up to bat for her very first time
running to first base for her very first time

My dad and Easton
Sean and Weston

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

To play or not to play...that is the question?

Sean and I have been struggling with a few decisions regarding our kids as they get older.  Jocelyn is getting old enough to start participating in team sports.   We had decided early on that we didn’t feel that the team sport thing was something for our family.  We didn’t feel like spending our weeknights and weekends at a gym or ballpark, was the most productive thing for our kids. Obviously as our kids get older, and since we are their parents, we can change our mind at anytime.  Well we caved on our original decision.  We signed Jocelyn up for t-ball.  Ok…I was thinking T-ball.  Games are one day a week…it is t-ball…for 1st graders.  How hard can it be?  They will probably have practices right before the game…no big deal.  Well we were blessed to have a really great , dedicated, female coach… a coach who also has practices on another nights during the week.   Yikes…for t-ball alone and for only one child, this is a really big time commitment for our family.  Say good-bye to Saturdays….say good-bye to having any chance of going to Wednesday night bible study at our church because of practice.  I can’t even imagine if we had all four kids in baseball/softball at this time….say good bye of any chance of having a summer…or if we were in basketball  or another sport  with four kids…say good-bye to life as we know.  You get my drift.  Jocelyn is more aware of certain things than the others…she has already questioned why we can do such and such on Saturdays…unfortunately the answer is we have a t-ball game during that time.  So for the next season of sports I think we might be re-evaluating things.

So some questions you are asking in your head right now…..I have answered:

Well what if your kids really, really want to be in a team sport?

We have also realized that anything we ask Jocelyn, she will typically say…YES!  I want to do that.  So we could ask her if she wanted to join the Mumbo Jumbo ball league playing you know the mumbo jumbo sport and she would be so excited…only to find out she has no idea what mumbo jumbo is. (only kidding…mumbo jumbo is not a new sport…I was giving an example of how we can say anything and she will want to do it).  Anyways, if our kids are really, really, really wanting to play a sport we will examine it at the time.  We may not even start the other kids in any team leagues, because once you get hooked on winning and competition, sometimes it I hard to turn back.  

Don’t you want your kids to learn how to be a team player?  

Well sure we do.  But is sports the only way to learn how to be a team player?  Say you are on a basketball team.  Are you truly learning how to be a team player for your life?  No, you are learning how to be a basketball team player….how to throw the ball and work as a team to get the ball through the hoop.  Do most kids continue to play sports when after the graduate from high school or get married?  Wouldn’t it make sense to teach them how to work as a team within the family unit?  Teaching them how to work with siblings, parents, grandparents, or other family to get something accomplished like household chores, building things, home repair, taking care of the lawn, garden, learning how to work etc.  

Don’t you want your kids to be around other kids or adults since you are homeschooling?  

Our kids have plenty of opportunities to be around other kids through church and other family related activities.  To be honest with, no I really don’t want our kids to be around other kids or adults for an extended period of time that we don’t know.   Yes one day they will have a boss and they will have to listen to their boss, but we are talking about children…who aren’t at the level of making wise choices on their own.  I am not in any way saying our kids are perfect and well-behaved at all times…right now we are in the crucial child training years and if we are going to have any attempt at keeping them focused on what we are teaching, why turn them loose onto another adult or other kids? We attempted to let them play with a few neighborhood kids last summer...that didn't turn out so well.

Are you saying we shouldn’t play sports?

Um, no.  I am talking specifically about our family.  Not yours.  I am sure you have made the best possible decision for your own kids and your family dynamics.  If you want to spend most nights out and about watching games…that is your life.  I am kind of just venting…really to myself…thinking why on earth did I sign Jocelyn up for t-ball?

A little observation of my own….
This is just my own observation…nothing scientific.  My husband is also a boss to over 200 people.  He is having a really hard time hiring people that know how to WORK.  So let’s say that your child spends most of the day in school, then goes to an activity most nights of the week, then spends the extra little time doing homework…when on earth will they have time to learn how to actually WORK?   Add on top of that technology…tv…gaming…etc.  Just saying.  Ok our kids are young…and I am not expert, but looking at kids who are now graduated from high school that we know who spent their lives playing 3 different sports or who are addicted to technology type things….they don’t know how to WORK.   

I have probably offended someone with this post.  Sorry if I did.  Again, I am just rambling my own thoughts….for our family….not yours.  Don't get me wrong...their are exceptions to everything.

One last thing….I brought up this topic on Facebook and my sweet friend Rebecca recommended that I read the book “Parenting by the Book:  Biblical Wisdom for Raising your Child.” By John Rosemond.  I know not everyone is, or wants to, or even has any clue on how to raise their children according to what the bible has to say.  Rosemond does a great job looking at how children have changed since the 1950’s & 1960’s….changed for the worst.   He focuses on what the Bible says and then gives some great suggestions on how we can apply that in our own lives.  If you read one book..besides the Bible this summer….THIS IS A MUST READ.  A MUST.    Also, if you purchase this book off of Amazon…don’t trust the reviews.  It is quite evident that most of the “bad” reviewers did not read the book.  Rosemond is a psychologist by title, however he has been shunned by the psychology world of today because he doesn’t believe in their hobwash.  He is quiet comical in how he describes things.  I might write a separate post some day about this book.  I could go on!

And the moment you have been waiting for…pictures of Jocelyn from her first few games. will have to wait...blogger is having difficulties...I will post in a later post I guess!...sorry!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Kick Off to Summer Party-- boo for the weather!

My friend Erica asked me if I wanted to help her plan a Kick off to Summer water party at our church.  I was all for it, as I know my kids love to play in the water and love to play with their friends from church.   We set up a date and started planning away.  Note to self-- weather in June-- not very reliable.  Our first date...windy, cloudy, rainy high in the 70's.  Boo!  Our second date....windy, cloudy, high in the upper 70's....40% chance of rain.  Boo!  So at the last minute we scratched the water part and Erica and I scrambled and came up with some fun relay type games.  We didn't take an official survey at the end...but I am thinking it was a hit....hopefully sometime this summer we can squeeze in a water party...maybe a good-bye to summer party?
Enjoy the pictures of the kids!

Kids lining up in age order
Jocelyn doing the running relay

balloon hop
The little ones playing

Jocelyn doing the balloon hop

Getting ready to start the egg on a spoon race
Katelyn doing the egg on the spoon race
Katelyn doing the 3-legged race

Chubby bunny contest

A few friends just hanging out watching their kiddos

Pass the ball with your leg contest

Waiting for the next activity

Easton just having fun

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Happy Fathers Day to my Love & my dad!

First off- -Happy Father's Day to my own dad!!  Love you!
Secondly-- Happy Father's Day to my love...Sean!!  Love both you!
Thanks for all you do!
These are the first pics of making them...grandpa and dad!
 Sean enjoying his father's day present!

Friday, June 10, 2011

It is strawberry time!

One of my most memorable activities last year was picking strawberries with the kiddos.  I could not wait to go again this year...and the kids were just as excited as I was.  We tried a different farm this year....Martin's Hillside Orchard in Ceresco.   We picked apples at this farm and I liked how is was smaller and more quaint than the one we went to last easier to get around with a stroller and little kids.  We met a few friends and enjoyed a beautiful morning picking away!  Jocelyn did a great job...Katelyn chose mostly to socialize and Easton pretty much ate the strawberries like last year.  Weston just hung out and chilled.  Last year we made jams, pies, and strawberry shortcakes.  This year we didn't pick as we just made some strawberry shortcakes and I froze the rest for smoothies.  
Enjoy the pictures!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Playground complete!

Sean finally finished the basics to the kids' playground and they are having a ball playing on it!  He is amazing when it comes to picturing things in his head and then making them come to life.  For no actual plans...I would say he did a pretty good job!  We just need to put some mulch down and fill their sandbox up with sand (maybe...not sure about the sand thing yet) and we will be good to go!  Enjoy the pictures of the progress and the kids on their first day of playing!


Monday, June 6, 2011

Accepting Help

Phillipians 2:4
Not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

I have this problem.   I don’t really know if you even can call it a problem.  I have a problem with accepting help.  I am the type of person that is more than happy to offer a helping hand.  To help a friend out who just needs a break from cooking, their kids, who is in a bind, or just because.  I mull over ways that I can help someone even if they are hundreds of miles away.   Why is it that when someone offers to help me, I often quickly deny them helping me?  I don’t consider myself a really strong person.   I know I can’t do everything by myself, yet I am by myself most of the time with our kids…grocery shopping, activities, shopping, recreational activities, cooking, cleaning, home schooling etc… I guess I have just gotten used to doing most things on my own.    I don’t know why it is so hard for me to quickly respond and say yes I need your help.  I often think that why would you want to help me?  I often feel bad that someone had to go out of their way to help me.  I don’t want to be an inconvenience to anyone’s straight and narrow.  If I have something coming up where I need to rely on someone else’s help, I will stress about it…sometimes for months….thinking about if it is worth asking someone to help me, or if it would be better just do figure out how to get xyz done without asking for help.   I usually opt for the latter.  So today as I am supposed to be resting in bed…kind of hard with little kiddos…my husband graciously offered to stay home from work…my first response was…I can do this on my own…not sure how, but I would figure it out….he insisted…so he is off running around with Katelyn and Easton…and I am trying to rest a bit.  When he gets back I will suck it up and accept whatever help is offered…as hard as it may be for me.  So…if I accept help…just know it was a tough decision for me and I will probably feel bad…just not sure why. 

Friday, June 3, 2011

Happy 7th Anniversary to Us!

and happy it is!  I am truly blessed to be married to Sean.  Sean is the best husband and father that anyone could ask for.  I truly believe that the Lord put us together at the right time for each of us in our lives.  Sean waited patiently a little longer than I had to  :), but once we met, we knew this is what we had both been praying for.  

I could go on an on about Sean.  If you have had the pleasure of meeting him, you will know that he is one of the hardest working, jack of all trades kind of guy.  I call him a walking encyclopedia. His wealth of knowledge about the Bible, history, how things work, etc.... is amazing.  He remembers everything. 

This past 7 years have gone by fast.... 4 wonderful kids....2 houses....3 jobs....2 dogs....lots of adventures....lots of memories made together...forever....

Sorry I am not a good writer or mushy.... but honey....I love you more than words can describe!  Thank you for everything you have done for us!

Here are a few pictures from our special day...June 5th, 2004, our honeymoon, and the second most happiest day of our lives...the birth of Jocelyn.

Sean watching me walk down the aisle
My dad walking me down the aisle
Saying our vows
Our beautiful wedding setting-- Jolly Mill-- Pierce City, Missouri
Our first kiss... just kidding

Sean made this bouquet and corsage....seriously....isn't he talented!  Gotta love Wal-mart flowers!
Colorado mountains
A little fuzzy...but all smiles for a new daddy!