Wednesday, July 26, 2006

The Follow Through

There are several things that I can think of where the words "follow through" are considered to be a very important part of the process. I know in golf, you have to follow through on the swing. Granted, I haven't a clue as to what that looks like, but I HAVE heard it. In tennis, you follow through. If you stop short on your swing, the ball doesn't go where you aimed.

Well, parenting is no different and I became painfully aware of that today. I had to go to Walmart for some stuff and the 4 boys were a bit of a handful. The baby did OK...he's only 1. He didn't scream. He just sat facing the back (or front rather) of the basket. My 2nd son did OK for the most part. He certainly kept reminding me of that fact, as well. No, the problem came mostly with sons #1 and #3. My 3rd son LOVES to push the basket. Being only 3, his strength and aim are serious issues. Since he can't see where he is pushing, he ends up going as fast as his little legs will go. This leaves the baby, clinging to the basket seat, white-knuckled as he knows, instinctively, that the groceries should NOT be a blur. It then leaves me out of breath and out of patience as I remind myself to "Punish in private. Praise in public." *I never liked that...not once does it tell a parent when to beat the snot out of them.

OH GO ON! I DON'T BEAT MY KIDS! (regularly)

Anyway, my oldest son has to have things just so....and that means he pushes....period. He does it right, he's the oldest, he is, after all, in 2nd grade and with that comes all rights and responsibilities to push the basket. Normally this isn't a problem for me...except that #3 screams "My turn.....MY TURN!"

As I was saying, we were in Walmart and had sufficiently distracted son #3 with Cars fruit snacks. (I never said I was above bribery.) Well, at the end of the shopping session, #3 realized he had yet to push. Seeing as how fruit snacks were finished, he decided to go push. No problem, we are about to check out.....except for one thing....son #1. Forget the fact that he had been pushing for the past 40 minutes. was STILL his turn, he's the oldest, he's in 2nd grade....yada, yada, get my drift.

SOOOOO, the normal muttered threats and lovingly hiss of "You are going to get a spanking when you get home if you don't let him push right now. Do you understand me? I said to let go of the basket. You have already pushed. Hey, do you want to help me get some hotdog buns? Yes I KNOW you were here first, but we are almost done......I'll get you some candy. Do you want some candy? I can't believe you are being this ugly to your brother. He is just a baby. LET GO!!!!!" as I pry his fingers off the basket.

We make it out to the FTU in rather good spirits, considering the fiasco of 5 minutes prior. On the way home, #1 starts to hit, kick, punch, scratch and talk ugly to son #2. I told him he would get a time-out. Well, long story short and a lot of disobedience later, I told him he would go to bed for the day if he didn't cut it out. Not for one moment did I think he would continue. I mean, the word of his mother is good, right? WRONG!

So now he sits in my bed for, going on, 8 1/2 hours. It is now bedtime. He has tried everything to get up, including telling me that he can only sleep if there is a movie in front of him.

Do I regret the decision? Yes and no. I hate that it had to get to that point. But, what I'm hoping is that now he will understand that I can, and will, put him in bed all day....that his behavior was, and is, unacceptable.

I hope you have never had to get to that point. But, if you promised it, even in anger, realize that you MUST follow through.


Saturday, July 22, 2006


I'm aggravated today! What aggravates me even more is that I can't tell you why I'm aggravated. Suffice it to say, keep your tongues hinged down! Gossip affects more people than the subject.

OK...onto different things. It has been so hot. But today, we finally had a "cold front" move through. It is only supposed to get up to 95 today. Aren't we lucky?

I bought school supplies yesterday. Almost all of them. I still have to get a clear backpack (on rollers), some long manilla paper and some long construction paper. Other than that, I need nothing else. We start on August 9th. That gives me 2 1/2 weeks to get the rest of the supplies.

I've decided that by the time all 4 get into school I'll either have to be back at work or I'll have to homeschool. It was EXPENSIVE! I figure each boy averaged about $350 for uniforms, shoes and supplies. Hmmmm...that means that by the time prices go up and all 4 boys are in school, the grand total should be, roughly, $1800. YIKES! And that is for a charter school. I can't imagine if we paid for tuition as well.

My 2nd son is SO excited. He'll be starting kindergarten this year. He had to look at all his supplies. A box of crayons seemed VERY different and much more exciting to him than normal. He got a new beach towel. The kiddos use them as blankets during their rest time. He had to sleep with it last night to "practice." HA! He also wants me to serve lunch in his Superman lunchbox so he can practice with that. I think I'll take the boys on a picnic in the next few days and do just that. I'm so glad that they are excited. I have mixed emotions. Two of my babies will be away from me...that makes me sad. BUT, I'll be down to only 2 kids to run around with me. Ahhh, the possibilities.

I hope the start of school is pleasant for all of you. I hope you get involved in the classroom. It makes a huge difference in the performance of your child. I say that as a parent and as a teacher. The students of mine, whose parents were in touch with me, performed much better in the a general rule.

God bless all of you at this exciting time of year.

Monday, July 17, 2006

The News

Usually, my blog entries are about the runnings of our house and family. It's usually a good read...if I do say so myself. Today, however, I just want to talk about a few things in the news.

First off, congratulations to the NASA crew. They returned from their work in space this morning. After the 1986 disaster, and the 2003 disaster, lift-offs and re-entry can no longer be looked at the same. Space travel has never been ordinary...though many have thought so. I just thank God that everyone arrived back to Earth safe and sound.

The heat....YES it is HOT! I do feel sorry for those who are not used to this kind of heat. If you are in the Dakota's or up around there, you are not used to this. You probably don't have the means to deal with heat like this. I feel for you all and pray that everyone stays safe and INDOORS. For those in south-central US...quit your belly-aching! It is SUMMER! We get HOT! I hate that it is on the news. News people are never happy about the weather. Have you ever listened to them? Let me give you an example of one of the things that irks me most:
(keep in mind that we are in the middle of a drought...a SEVERE drought.)

"Bob, can you tell us when we will have a break from the dry weather?"
"Yes, Lisa. When we come back, I will tell you when, in the next 5 days, we can expect rain."

A week goes by...we get MAYBE an inch.

"Bob, we weren't able to have our barbecue this past weekend. Can you tell us when the rain will finally end?"

HELLO!?!?! We need TWO FEET of rain just to get us up to normal. Our lakes are ten feet below.....there are many docks that are DRY! Stop asking for the rain to stop. We should be hosting rain dances everyday!

OK...enough about that.

The big news is Israel. Many of you who read this know how I feel and you agree. Thank God. Some of you don't know, understand or agree. If not, you need to get your house in order. The end is near. The end of what? The end of life as you know it. You may not be a Bible reader/believer, but no doubt, you have heard of Armageddon, the Anti-Christ, the 2nd Coming. Well, things in the middle east are setting up for all of that. Granted, we still do not know the time. We won't ever know until it happens. BUT, what we do know is that we are getting really close to meeting our Heavenly Father. If you are not a born-again Christian (or you are not sure) PLEASE become right with the Lord. You don't want to be forever lost. Please read the following:

Spiritual truth #1 - No one is good. All are sinners

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God -Romans 3:23

Spiritual Truth #2 - The payment for sin is death. If you sin, you have been sentenced to the death penalty, and an eternity away from God.

For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. -Romans 6:23

Spiritual truth #3 - Jesus paid the death penalty for us.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. -John 3:16-17

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. -John 14:6

I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. -John 10:10

Spiritual truth #4 - To accept the free gift of salvation, you must accept Jesus as your Lord and saviour.

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. -2 Corinthians5:17

That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. -Romans 10:9-11

The above scripture says you need to do three things:

Confess the Lord Jesus with your mouth
Believe in your heart
Don't be ashamed

If you are want to be saved and born again, and you are ready to become a new creature in Christ, then pray the following prayer. You can do this right now...right where you are. God will hear you:

Dear Lord, Thank You so much for sending Your Son to pay for my sins, by dying in my place. I accept Jesus as Lord and Savior, and I believe that Jesus died and rose from the dead. Thank You for Your free gift of salvation, I gladly accept it. Amen

If you did this, please let me know in the comment section. I will pray for you.

I will be back in a few days with more of our normal antics.


Sunday, July 09, 2006

Bath time

For the first time in a long time....OK....for the first time EVER, we had a relatively peaceful bath time in our house. Granted, I only bathed 2 of the 4, but it went off well.

Usually bath time is nothing short of chaos that ends in puddles, wet clothes (mine), scoldings, yelling, crying, and exhaustion. Honestly, I would much rather have dirty kids than to go through what I usually go through.

My oldest child is old enough to shower by himself. That helps; just a little. He showers, washes his own hair, soaps up and rinses. BUT, he also stops the drain and when the water is mid-calf deep, he turns off the water to practice making tidal waves. There is usually about an inch of water on the floor. The only reason I don't get on to him to harshly is I can remember doing the same thing...and LOVING it!

My 5 year old isn't quite ready to go solo yet. He's too scared to get anything above the neck wet. It is a pain in the rump. EVERY bath time with him leads to tears. We've done cups, rags, hand, water spout cans, the little hat, towel over the eyes, looking name it, we've tried it. The child always jumps up and starts to scream and stomp around. Well, that just makes me mad and since I want to get over it as soon as possible, I usually just douse him. Kind of an ugly thing to do, I know, but it's less painful in the end for me.

As you may have already guessed, these older 2 boys were not involved in the cleaning ritual. Actually, bath time was only going to be for my baby. He wasn't really that dirty, but a bottom IS a bottom and needs a certain amount of help in freshness. No sooner did I start running the water than my 3 year old came running in, stripping as he came. He was yelling "take a baff, mommom." Before I could prepare myself, he was in the water. So...2 boys in the tub. My 3 year old decided to bathe my 1 year old. The baby had cups of water poured over him several times and never made a sound.

In the end, it was helpful. When I got to where I was ready to clean them up, I realized that soap had been involved. All I had to do was rinse the baby. My 3 year old cleans up pretty easily. I got the water drained and both boys out before too much water was in the floor. And the bonus was that since I was cleaning the bathroom anyway, I just used a towel to use any water to wipe down my floor and baseboards.

Ooooooh, look at me multi-tasking!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

The 4th of July

I love the 4th of July. Not only is the patriotism very important to me, but I just love all the happiness and good cheer that seems to be in the air. I also really like it because to me, it is a sign that fall is approaching...which leads to my favorite time of the year: Halloween through January 2nd.

My boys, the 2 older ones anyway, are finally to the point where they remember the year before and therefore have a TON of excitement for what is happening. When we mentioned the 4th of July, they both immediately asked about fireworks. We have been in such a drought that we weren't sure if we would be able to do anything, so we played it pretty low.

We finally decided, on Sunday the 2nd, that we would buy some of the smaller things that are kid friendly. DH sat outside with our 3 year old and 1 year old. I went in with the other 2. OH MY GOSH! They were both talking a mile a minute. They were SO excited that it was painful. My oldest actually started to walk through the little fence area to separate patrons from the fireworks.

We spent a whole $30....well, $30.52 to be exact. We got small stuff: snaps, snakes, roman candles, roses, satellites, sparklers and a fountain. We also got a "climbing panda." UGH! I HOPE you didn't waste your money on that worthless little critter.

Anyway, after a much needed thunderstorm, we went outside to pop and shoot and light our stuff. We had their attention for about 30 minutes. Soon, my dh and I ended up sitting at the edge of our drive watching the more expensive lights while the others played.

What a wonderful 4th!

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Saturday mornings

I'm a stay at home mom. You would think that everyday kind of runs into the other. It doesn't. To me, Saturday is THE most stressful day of my week. Weird, huh?

I can't explain it. I think it's because we have church the next day. I love church, don't get me wrong. But, having to get all 5 or 6 of us spit-n-shined and out the door on time is a tremendous undertaking. I haven't been able to figure out why, nor have I been able to make it any easier.

We start off our Saturdays with morning cartoons. Is it weird that I enjoy this time? I think every parent does. But, I actually like to sit and watch with the kids. I either snooze or, if Backyardigans is on, actually watch. When the kidlets get antsy, it is usually time for lunch....which is the most stressful time of the day. I prepare whatever is to be eaten and get that taken care of. That is usually when I clean the kitchen.

Between playing outside, running errands, and supper, there really isn't a lot of time before bath time. UGH! Now I usually stagger the times between the 4, but on Saturday night, everyone gets bathed. So, that takes about an hour and a mop job and a load of towels. By the time we get everyone out, dried, lotioned, teeth brushed and in bed, it is time for the grown-ups to prepare for the morning.

It's pretty easy, for the most part. Just find 4 kid outfits and 2 adult outfits.....easy if the laundry is done. Most of you know my issue with laundry...we won't delve into it. SO, once clothes are picked out, I clean the kitchen one last time then finally settle into bed.

Doesn't sound bad, does it? You would think that Saturdays would be a bit more laid back. Oh well.....that's what you get for thinkin'.