Thursday, October 31, 2013

M to the 4th Power!

 This little bundle of Joy will be six months old tomorrow. In honor of her half birthday I thought I would share her birth story and how she got her name. It was a fun one!! 

It all started here:




 But don't let that smile fool you. When I found out I was pregnant it was a split second of excitement and then the panic set in. I did the math. If this baby came on time I would have a not quite 3.5 year old and two 21 month olds! Yikes! I am not going to lie. I cried. How in the world would I be able to handle all that? Then came the fear of having twins. If it was twins again I would have 5 kids in less then 4 years. How in the world would I go grocery shopping?! (That really was what I was worried about at the time!) I facebooked my OB and told her I need a sonogram so she could ease my fear of twins. I really have the best OB in the world! She brought me in the next day and reviled that it would only be one baby. 

 This is me at 18 weeks. The belly bump had arrived. I really had a fun pregnancy. I love being pregnant! I love the way my body holds and grows a new little life. I love feeling them kick and move! I am even one of those crazy ladies that loves when strangers touch and talk to my belly!




This is me and my sweet twin girl on my 31st birthday. I was 30 weeks and 1 day.  We decided to keep the baby's gender a surprise. We didn't know who was in there! We had a boys name picked out, but could not agree on a girls name. I was almost sure it was a boy- so I wasn't too worried about the name issue. My best friend in the whole world was the only one who knew the gender. She did an amazing job of keeping a secret. Almost every other day I would try to trick her into tell me who was in my belly!



I think I was 37ish weeks here. My husbands sweet aunt gave us a baby moon one night get away. My mom and mother-in-love watched the other crazy kids so we could go! Woooohooo. Our family rocks!




I had had 2 previous c sections, but was determined that this baby would come out naturally! My OB was not comfortable with letting me try so I asked around and found and OB who said that if the conditions were right, he would let me.  I went in for my sono at 38 weeks to see if I could try for the natural deliver, but my dreams were squashed. The sono tech kept asking me if I had had any fluid leaking and how had I been feeling? I was a little confused because I felt great! I guess after a twin pregnancy, having just one baby was easy peasy! The tech told me to get dressed and meet her in the hall way. While I was standing there I heared her say to the midwife, "I don't see any fluid around this baby." Hum? I thought, 'She must be talking about the mama she saw before me. Everything is fine.' Wrong. The midwife came in a told me just what I had heard in the hallway. The baby would need to come today, by c section. I was in tears, alone and all the way in Arlington!

I called my regular OB and asked if she would deliver me. She told me to come to her hospital and check in. My hubby meet me at the hospital and then we waited and waited and waited! Since I had eaten breakfast (what prego doesn't??) we would have to wait.  At this point I started to freak out about not having a girls name. We had sort of decided on a name, but at this point I started to have second thoughts! We still did not have a name pinned down!  

Surgery time. I was so scared. I was not sure if baby was ok. How long had s/he been without the fluid? Why had I not known that my water broke? What mom who has had 2 other pregnancy's doesn't know these things?

My husband prayed over me as the staff started. In no time our sweet little GIRL was born! "A girl?" I yelled. "What is her name?" my husband named her at that time. And I was so happy with the choice he made!


Love at first sight: 




She was 7lbs and 12oz of pure, perfect Joy!!




I often tell people that she is the happiest baby that Jesus ever made. She is number 4 in our family and the 3rd girl. She is easy and sweet. We are so blessed by her presence in our home. She is only 6 months old but she has already seen lots of 'firsts'. She has had her first trip to the beach, fair, the zoo and the pumpkin patch. She has her first two teeth! Her first bite of apple sauce. 

Even though I was scared at first, I can not imagine our lives without her now!! 
 
We dedicated her to the Lord at our church on October 26 2013. It was a fun night! Both sets of grand parents were there. My best friend came (the one who knew who she was before the rest of us did). One of my brother in laws with his fiancee also came to support us! Our family is truly wonderful!

I am excited to see who she becomes. My prayer for her is that she grows to know and love the Lord. That she is kind to herself and to others. That she will be strong and confident but that she will also know how and when to bend. I pray that she will always know how much we really love her! 


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Favorites from Titus 2sdays Link Up

Here are a few of my favorites form this weeks Titus 2sdays Link Up Party.

Visionary Womanhood  How to Resist Gossip

A Heart for the Home Is Large Family Living Affordable?

The Purposeful Mom Finding Quality Time With Each of Your Kids

Growing in His Glory 6 Steps to Help You Grow in Love For Your Family

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Ode To My Husband & A Wish List For My Girls

Last night my heart ached after hearing the news of the death of Adrian Peterson's little boy. My heart ached and I wept for that little boy and others like him. I thought about how scared he must have been his last few moments on earth. I thought about how a 2 year old boy would have been no match for an angry adult to whom his care was in trusted. Having two 2 year olds myself, I know how hard this age some times is.  But, I can not imagine how one goes through with hurting them. Was it just a bad day? Was the little boy being overly defiant? Was the man who was suppose to be caring for him drunk or on drugs or just selfish? I don't know, and it doesn't matter. My heart ached and I quietly cried.

As I laid in bed, wrapped up in the arms of the only man I have ever loved (besides my own father, of course) my heart also felt something else. It overflowed with love for my husband. I thought about how kind he is. I thought about how our home is peaceful and our children are safe because he is a good man. Sure, he has his vices, just like we all do. But he is a good man, and because of that our home is a peaceful place.

In the last 5 years I have prayed, I don't know how many times, that my husband would be the leader of our home. I prayed that he would: start to pray with and for me, to sing worship songs in church, to have 'bible study' with him. I thought that if he did these things it would mean he was 'leading' our home. Although, I still do hope for these things, I realized something last night. My husband is a wonderful leader! His leadership may not look like what I *think* it should, but the fact remains, he is leading and doing it well!

He leads our home by the fact that he never fails to provide. He gets up 6 days a week and goes to work. He works long hard days, but has never complained! He leads by the way he greets me and all of our kids when he comes home. It doesn't matter what kind of day he has had; he hugs and kisses us all. I call him the horizon. It takes a lot for him to show anger. He is stable and even and consent, just like the horizon. He leads our home by the way he treats me. He doesn't raise his voice or hand to me. He doesn't call me mean names and as far as I know, he doesn't speak ill about me to others. His leadership is one to be admired!

Last night I thought about the others I dated before him and how my life could have been drastically different had I chosen differently. I thought about how God put his protecting hand over me, even before I believed and trusted in him.

Then, I thought about our 3 girls. About how the paths their lives take will largely depend on who they choose to marry. Here is my advice to my sweet princesses.

Pick a man who loves the Lord. The choices that a man makes will depend greatly on if he is a believer. Can one have a good marriage with a no- believer, sure. But he can not lead my girl to the Lord if he does not know Him.

Pick a man without any major baggage. Do not get caught up with a man who will name call, who drinks heavily, who is addicted to drugs or pornography.  All of these things will only tear a relationship apart, not strengthen it. Men who are caught up in these things are not 'bad' people. They are in tangled in sin. Do not trust your heart knowingly to a man who is in tangled in the sin of this world.

Pick a man who exercises good self control. Pick a man who has self control against things like anger or wandering eyes. In the heat of the moment a man can easily say and do things he wishes he hadn't. Pick a man who will do his best to control himself and make wise choices.

Pick a man who will work hard. This life is not easy. One must work hard to provide for their family. Pick a man who will do this willingly.

Pick am man who places low importance on material things. Stuff is just stuff. What is it if a man has lots of stuff but not the means to pay for it?  Pick a man who when you do something like, scratch the new car, he wont blow his lid. It's all material. Sure we want to keep the things we have nice, but pick a man who knows that people are more important then things. 




Wednesday, October 9, 2013

New & Improved House Keeping Schedule

My new and improved house keeping schedule. I have never understood how something is new and improved. Wouldn't it be one or the other?!

Anyway.

Recently I have had the opportunity to share my house keeping schedule at the two MOPS groups that I attend. It was fun because I had actually just redone my schedule and it was working really well! It was also fun to have to think about why I run my home the way I do.

There are many, many things that I am not any good at. I fail on a daily basis at one thing or another- that's life. But, what I am good at is time management. I view my house keeping schedule as just that- time management. I manage my day so my home gets clean but I am also still living life with my sweet kiddos!

I change my schedule up because I realized that I was missing some important things. For example, when we put the house on the market for a brief time earlier this year I realized I had never, ever cleaned my oven. Not once. Not once in 5 years did I clean that thing! Phew- it was a big job to finally get it clean! (My dad actually came and finished the job because he didn't want me breathing all the chemicals. I was 8 months pregnant at the time!) I didn't want to have to do that again. I got some great advice from my wonderful mother-in-love to focus on a room a day! What a great idea!! 

Reasons for having a house keeping plan:

ONE
As a mom, I am not only responsible for how I spend my time, but how my children's time is spent. My kids are still so young that I control everything they do and when they do it. I do not want to be cleaning all day long and have no time for my kids. I also do not want to live in a mess. It's overwhelming.

TWO
It helps the day run smoothly. When you live on a schedule, everyone knows what to expect and when to expect it. Kids thrive on a schedule. Young kids need to know what will happen and what they can expect. It's why my 3 year old asks every night, "Mama, what are we going to do tomorrow?"

THREE
You will never have to ask yourself the question, "When was the last time I cleaned that?!" -You will already know, because you have a schedule!

FOUR
Weekly cleaning = less cleaning. When you clean on a weekly basis, there is less time for the dirt and grime of life to settle in. It will take less time to clean once you have your schedule.

What I do every day:

ONE
Wash dished. We do not have a dish washer, so I wash everything by hand. This means I am doing dishes 3 or 4 times a day. I actually try to wash something as soon as I use it so that the sink never gets too piled up. It doesn't always work that way, but I try!

TWO
2-4 loads of laundry. With 3 toddlers, one baby, one mommy who tries to run/work out at least 5 days a week and a daddy who works construction- we go through a lot of cloths! The laundry keeps me busy. I can not get behind. If I miss a day, it's hard to catch back up.

THREE 
Sweep and wash floors (more on that later).

FOUR
Wipe down kitchen counters.

Weekly Schedule:

Monday- Bath Room
     Includes: mirror, sink, toilet, tub, spray shower curtain and straighten up under sink.

Tuesday- Kitchen
     Includes: Counters, microwave, refrigerator, and oven.

Wednesday- Living Room
     Includes: Straitening piles, removing anything that doesn't not belong in this room and replacing it to its rightful home.

Thursday- Sheets and Bed Rooms
     Includes: changing every ones sheets, washing the changing table pad cover, washing kids blankets (when I am able to distract them from missing their lovie), straightening up in every ones rooms, vacuuming bed rooms.

Friday- TV/Play Room
     Includes: going through kids toys and throwing out any broken toys, removing anything that doesn't belong in this room and replacing it to its rightful home.

Saturday- Make Up Day
      There will always be a day you missed or something that you didn't get to during the week. That is life with little ones! Use this day as a built in make up day!

Still reading? Good! 
Overwhelmed? Don't be! 
On paper (or computer screen) it looks like a lot of cleaning. But like I said earlier, it will actually take you less time on a schedule. Decide what is important to you and make your own list. Your list does not need to look like mine. Our lives and homes are different. It only makes since that our schedules would look different too. Do you want a nice clean car every week? Add that in to your schedule. What about gardening? Set a day aside for that too! Do what is important to you and what will help keep your life in order.

Other helpful tips:

Earlier I said I washed my floors every day. I bought the swiffer wet jet. I normally do not like to spend money on things like that, but the cost to reward ratio is just to great with that thing! It makes washing the floors super easy- I can even do it while holding a baby!! If you are going to try it, just be on the look out for coupons and deals on the pads and washing liquid. Having clean floors makes a world of difference in your home. If your floors are clean- your home will look and feel that much cleaner!!

I have found cooking dinner at nap time to be very helpful. Trying to put a meal together while the kids are hungry and melting down, and I am tired and have had enough for the day is not easy! Many nights I would not even get dinner ready in time- my kids were eating a lot of frozen chicken nuggets. I started cooking at nap time so that all I would have to do is later reheat dinner. Now they were getting the healthy well, healthy-er meal I had planned without the hour of melt downs and mommy losing it! Plus, I now have less dishes to was at night because I did all the big pots and pans earlier.
     

I hope that you find this helpful! What is the one best house keeping tip you can share with me? I am always looking for was to improve my day!


Sunday, October 6, 2013

Mommy 'Unplugged'

Today I got out of the house without kids. Not a single kid went with me! For a mom of 4 kids all under 4 years old, that is an amazing, almost impossible thing.

I have a sweet friend who has 2 kids of her own. Her youngest and my youngest were actually born on the same day (which is the best kind of twins- a mommy for each baby)! She brought her two kids over and watched all 6 kids while I went out for a bit.

I rarely get out of the house without at least one or two kids in toe. In fact it has only happened one other time in the last 5 months, and that was when I was visiting a friend in the hospital, so I was not allowed to take them with me.

I have people tell me all the time that I need to get away from the kids to be a better mom. That I deserve to get away. I just simply don't agree. What I deserve is hell, and only by the amazing grace of God, will I not end up there. I dislike being without my kids and I hate the idea of 'me time.' I recognize that my sweet kids will only be this young for such a short time. My mission field is my home- my husband and my children. If I want to make the greatest impact on their lives, then I need to be present in their lives. I know there will come a day when I will again have all the 'me time' I can dream of.

Well, my friend offered to watch our kids so that my hubby and I could have an afternoon date. My hard working man had to work (on the opening day of hunting season I might add- the best time of year, if you were to ask him).  She offered to still watch the kids so I could do something I would like to do. I struggled with the decision to go out or not. But I really wanted to see a movie. There are a lot of things you can do with your kids and movies just are not one of them!

I spend my days singing songs like:

"Be careful little eyes what you see, 
oh, be careful little eyes what you see. 
There's a Father up above who's looking down in love, 
so be careful little eyes what you see." 

I didn't want to see something that was violent, or sexual, or filthy. I didn't want my little eyes to see something that I wouldn't want their little eyes seeing. Violent, sexual and filthy seems to be all that's out there. Then I came across this little gem, Grace Unplugged. I was so excited. It's about a young Christian worship singer who thinks she wants to try to make it big in Hollywood. Whoop, whoop. I was going to the movies!

I rolled my windows down and turned the radio up! This song has been stuck in my head all week! I have not had a chance to get the CD yet, so I played it on YouTube through the car radio- over and over and over....

The movie was great. It was well acted. They talked about Jesus and sang worship songs. There wasn't a naked body or a bad word in the entire movie! Because I don't get away without kids much, I didn't want to wast the time on something that would have drawn my heart away from God. This movie was perfect to draw my heart closer to Him! 

This world says, "You deserve to be happy. If your marriage doesn't make you happy, get a new one. If you kids don't make you happy, get away from them. If your closet full of cloths don't make you happy, go spend more money." 

We live in a world that says- If you are not happy, then search around for what will make you happy. Shop more, spend more, drink more, party more. 

Friends, listen. The only searching you need to do is for Jesus. He is the only one that can heal a broken heart and can fill a void you didn't even realize you had. People say, "time heals all wounds." They are wrong. Jesus heals all wounds. Bad things happen in this life. They will happen to us all, believers or not. Death happens, car crashes happen, cancer happens, divorces and the betrayal of trust happens.  Gossip and hurt feelings and broken friendships happen. The only difference is those who have Jesus, also have hope.

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.
Hebrews 11:1

Biblical hope is confidence and assurance that we do not face the troubles of this life alone.  If you do not know Jesus, I encourage you to give Him a chance.  He will only impact your life for the better. His love is perfect and His heart is pure. He is trustworthy and he loves you more then you could ever imagine. 

I love the blog Women Living Well. She recently posted this on facebook.

I love this! It sums up what my journey as a wife and mom is. This life is not about me. It's not about me. It's about Jesus and the people I can impact for Him. My choice to follow Jesus will impact generations to come. My good (or bad) choices will affect people who may never even see my face. That is humbling! That makes me want to think of others more and myself less! 

I hope and pray that I am able to bless you though this blog. Please let me know how I can pray for you!