Tuesday, January 22, 2013

{Our FAMILY Values}

A few weeks ago the disrespect, whining, selfishness and general bad attitude coming from our boys was at an all-time high...and I had had it!  It was starting to get miserable to wake up in the mornings to whiny boys only to have them transition into selfish little whiny boys who seemed only to care about getting their own way no matter the circumstance.  It was time for a good old fashioned family meeting!

We all sat down and talked about the biggest problems our family was facing regarding our attitudes and actions, and we all came up with a list of family values to remind ourselves daily (hourly!) of what our family stands for.  We also talked about when one of our values isn't followed that there would be consequences of making that choice.  

Even though the boys can't read yet I think that it is important to have this written down.  I placed it right in our living room so we can refer to it whenever an issue comes up that needs addressing!  I think that it has already helped tremendously, and a lot of the bad attitudes have vanished!  Praise God!  :-)

This whole parenting thing is such a journey, and I'm so thankful for what God is teaching me along the way.


Monday, January 21, 2013

Eli's {First} Hair Cut

(Catch up post)

November 15, 2012 Eli got his first EVER hair cut...poor baby was 2 and a half years old and could barely see.  

Boy oh boy did I ever hate to cut off those baby curls...so I just sort of trimmed it up...

...and left plenty of curls...

...see, plenty still there!

UNTIL now...last week I officially gave him a hair cut, and all those sweet curls are gone.  Over the last two months his hair had gone from cute and curly to straight and static-y...poor boy had a total mullet going on, so it had to go!  He's still pretty cute tho!  :-)


Thursday, January 17, 2013

First Week Back at School

It's our first week back at school after a nice holiday break, and things couldn't be going any better. I sort of adjusted our school schedule to better reflect our lifestyle.  I'm not stressing out about "getting it all done" in any sort of boxed amount of time, rather we are being a lot more flexible and throughout the day we're fitting in "school" as we go about our daily routine.  This approach makes it so much more enjoyable, and learning about all sorts of interesting things is coming quite naturally.  I do have set goals for each day that we try to accomplish in the mornings, then the other school lessons are completed soon after lunch.  There is plenty of room for grace though, and I think that is what is making it so fun!  

This week the boys have been so much better behaved, which I attribute to our newly written down board of family rules/values (more on that later!), spending more quality/quantity time with them, less TV time for them and lots of new fun things that they are learning.  It felt pretty good this morning when I told Eli to go play and he asked to do school instead...so sweet!  And listen to this, most of you know that our little Eli is a fireball...well he actually will sit down at our kitchen table for an hour or more while we're beginning our school day...that in itself speaks volumes about the behavior of our little busy-body!  

Some fun things we've done this week:

-Had our playgroup over to our house Monday so the boys could spend some time with their friends. 

-Enjoyed a snow-day on Tuesday morning, the boys made lots of snowballs...all of which they threw at me, lol, and Johnathan made a cute snow angel.  

-We made pretzel cookies together and had fun counting out the pretzels. 

-Used measuring spoons to measure out raisins, pistachios and other various snacks...hands-on learning is so much fun and we learned addition/subtraction and fractions that way this week!

-Learned about fire and fire safety...we have a lot of fires in our fireplace so we decided to learn a little extra on how to stay safe in the event of a house fire...the internet had a lot of fun games and safety tips for children.  

-Shelled lots of pecans...and enjoyed the messiness of it!

 Every day presents so many learning opportunities, and I'm happy to be back in the mindset of taking advantage of each moment to teach my little boys!


P.S. Eli got his first "big boy" short hair cut this week...waahhhhhh, my baby is gone! ;-)

Thursday, January 10, 2013

{Sweet Gideon}

{I wrote this for our sweet Gideon James on December 19, 2012.  I was unable to post it to my blog at the time so I'm adding it now.}

Sweet Gideon, today marks nine years since you went to be with Jesus...nine years.  I can't believe that almost a third of my life has been spent missing you, wondering what you would have been like, knowing that I would have fallen more in love with your sweet little self every day.  I imagine you would have been a lot like your brothers...energetic, goofy and full of boyish mischief.  You would have undoubtedly loved wrestling around with them and with your dad.  And I'm pretty sure you would have loved getting my hugs just like your brothers do.  I miss you, sweet boy.  I tend to think of you as a baby since I lost you as one, but I can't help but to think that you've grown up in Heaven.  I bet you're an excellent helper with all the other babies and children that live there...especially with sweet little Daniel and your other siblings that are there too.  What a life you must live, every day in the presence of God, living in His light.  We miss you here and look forward to that great day when our family is whole again.  A day when there are no more tears and no more pain.  Until then know that I will keep on loving you, just as I always have.  

Love, Mama. 

Monday, January 7, 2013

"Sad is never seeing your brothers."

Today at lunch I told the boys we were going to take down their little Christmas tree that we've had up in the piano room the last month.

"Isn't that sad?" I said.

"No", Johnathan replied.  "Sad is never seeing your brothers."


"You're right Johnathan", I finally came back with, "we can always put up another tree next Christmas."

Every once in a while Johnathan totally catches me off guard with his questions or remarks about his brothers in  Heaven.  Today was one of those days.  And I want to remember this brief conversation.  Because sometimes it takes a 4 year old to remind you of what "sad" really is.  And taking down a Christmas tree isn't sad, because it isn't final.  There will be other Christmases and other trees.  But you can't get back a brother.  Funny how much you can learn from a seven word sentence spoken by a 4 year old.


Happy Thanksgiving, Merry Christmas & Happy New Year all in one!

I feel like I've really missed documenting some major family milestones on this ol' blog here.  Our old computer got a virus or something and would not let me log onto Google...but my sweet hubby got me a new laptop for Christmas (!) so now I can play some catch-up with what's been happening in our family the last couple of months.  Here are a few little snippets of what's happened since I last posted, and I'll go into more detail (with photos) later.

-Mid November Eli had his first ever hair cut!  Oh how I hated cutting off those baby curls, so I just trimmed up his hair a bit so he could at least see where he was going when he trots around.

-We celebrated Aaron's b-day the day before Thanksgiving...I even made him his own personal sized blueberry pie amidst the other baking I did for Thanksgiving day.

-We enjoyed a beautiful day on Thanksgiving, and ate our little hearts out and loved all the time we got to spend with various members of our ever growing family.

-Early December we visited Corpus Christi to watch Arden perform in the Nutcracker Ballet.  It was beautiful, as always, and Aaron and I were thrilled that the boys actually sat through the whole ballet...that is huge!

-All throughout December the boys and I had fun decorating their own little Christmas tree.  We made homemade ornaments, strung up popcorn, cut out snowflakes and had a great time making our old-fashioned Christmas tree.  And boy oh boy did those little ornaments get rearranged day after day.  It was fun having a tree (in addition to our family room tree) that the boys could do whatever they wanted to with.  Pretty great stuff!  All the jingle bell ornaments we made got played with multiple times daily, the popcorn strands got munched on, haha, and the tree became a nesting place for many a Nerf gun bullet...which we found later when taking out the tree!

-At the beginning of December the boys and I made a "Christmas Wish List" of fun, family activities we wanted to do.  We wrote down about 20 things...like driving at night to look at Christmas lights, making a gingerbread house, doing an Angel Tree project, have a family game night, etc...it was one of my most favorite things about the holidays.  I loved getting to do each item with my boys, and they had fun going down the list and wondering what the next fun project would be.

-We spent a joyous Christmas week with sweet family, including some precious out-of-town guests that stayed with us.  It was a beautiful time, and I will treasure the memories we made for years to come.

-Year 2013 began at my folks' at their annual New Year's Eve party.  Again we enjoyed time with family and friends.

And so there you go!  Pics to follow in the next days and weeks as time allows!  We're getting back into the swing of things here post holidays, and school will be starting up in a couple days.  I love the fun and freedom of the holiday season...but I also crave a little order and organization, so I am super excited about getting back to our "normal" routine!  ;-)

Blessings and Happy New Year!