Saturday, February 25, 2012

This Season's Priorities

Yes, it has been quite some time since my last blog post, which is becoming quite normal around of the few things that I would classify as "normal" around here.

At the beginning of this year, I took some time to evaluate my priorities.

I love a new year. I buy a new calendar, new "to do" notepads, fill up my home organizer with cute templates, get really psyched about all the new things I want to do this year, and begin to fill up my daily schedules with these ultra-important tasks.

The closets need to be organized.

The bookshelves need new, bright bins with handmade, adorable labels on them.

I need to have a cleaning routine....oh, and I need to use "green" cleaning products...that I make myself.

I need to blog about all of my fun ideas or interesting days.

I need to exercise.

And I lead a few Bible studies, so I need to have some "quiet" time somewhere in my day to talk to and hear from God.

My kids need to have really cute lunches waiting for them after school.

But I can't sit down and eat with them because I need to organize my meals for the week on my awesome meal board I made myself. 

Here lies the dilemma. 

I have tons of creative energy bubbling around inside of me. Pinterest makes me weep with joy. My hands literally shake while I walk around our new house and dream of all the possibilities. I love organization. I love cute.

This is what I want to do. 

But my 4 precious children don't like organization as much. And they can do without cute.

They just want me. 

They want my eye contact. They want my undivided attention and uninterrupted time. They want me to take on the persona of a 2-year-old baby, cashier, or a steam engine.  But I must be able to rapidly return to MOM to get them their juice for the ever loving fifth time this hour.

A few weeks ago, I candidly told my MOPS group that I really didn't enjoy playing with my kids. I don't like playing dollhouse, crawling around on the floor pushing trucks, digging in the dirt, or making hotdogs out of playdoh.

But I do love my kids.

And I love the sparkle in their eye when they know I am completely tuned in to them.

And they know. 

I love the squeals they make as I chase them around the playroom pretending to be a giant or when I serve them up a giant plate of playdoh spaghetti.

Am I saying that you cannot do organization or cute with young kids? Of course not.

I'm just saying that your kids must be great nappers. :)  Mine are not.

My oldest 2 have taken their afternoon naps, wrapped them up real pretty, and thrown them in my face. No more naps for them. (at least not on a regular basis). And the twins think it's hilarious to tag team all day. Put one down to bed, the other wakes up...all day long.

In case you didn't know, mothering requires selflessness.  We are called to put someone else's needs and desires above our own.  These children are God's.  He has given them to us for a season.

Does that mean our needs and desires are never addressed?  Absolutely not.   If I never addressed my true, personal needs, I would end up being tired, short-tempered, depressed and overwhelmed.  (which is why I  have a date tonight with my husband, and a lunch and massage scheduled this week with a sweet friend!)

But I think the point is addressing my true needs, as opposed to my desires and wants.  I really want to spend all day long browsing the internet and coming up with fab ideas for my house and implementing them right now!  Trust me.  It would be fab.  But that's not a true need for me right now.

So, for now, and for me, I am taking some of my personal desires and putting them on the shelf.   For a season.

And that has caused me to condense my priority list for this new year. Here it goes.

1. God 
2. My husband 
3. My children 
4. Home responsibilities: Feeding and clothing my husband and children 
5. Outside responsibilities: MOPS and Bible studies
6. Friendships 

There you go.

Now, I must run.  I am working at Walmart this morning and have a sweet 4-year-old customer with a full cart. Oh, and my hubby just announced:  "Clean up on aisle 4."


Wednesday, February 8, 2012

One of Those

Last week was one of those weeks.

And today was one of those days.

 Mr. Stomach Bug rudely invaded our house last week. He started with Eveley, got Caleb really good, beat up on the poor little twins, whacked dad, and then decided to circle back and begin again. 

He was ruthless.

 There was poo and puke everywhere. My hubby even coined a new verb, pook. I'll let you figure that one out.

I was begging for mercy and praying for the clock to tick by at rapid pace.

Finally, Monday came and the cloud lifted. Praise God! Hubby went back to work. All 4 kids were well and happy. And I steam cleaned every inch of my house. It was awesome.

Now the kids' energy has returned with a bit more attitude. My 4-year-old is -- how do I say it -- L I P P Y.

I am currently leading a study on Grace Based Parenting by Tim Kimmel. I highly recommend this study. Like no other parenting guide, this book really rocked my a good way. It all comes back to grace, really. And that sounds wonderful in black and white. It makes sense, is supported by Scripture, and feels right in my soul. Yet, grace can be a bit tricky when push comes to shove.

And push came to shove.

This morning, we were taking Eveley to her first kindergarten tour at a local private school. Bob and I are simply perusing the options which, given our small town, are incredible. And incredibly overwhelming at times.

This school was top notch. Eveley would spend the day at their Junior Kindergarten while I was given the tour by the Admissions Director. I tried to prepare Eveley last night and make her feel at ease to spend the day at a new place. She loves her current preschool and was very sad to miss a day. So I treaded very lightly. We talked about manners, eye contact, playing well with others, listening, and obeying the teacher's instructions.

I guess I forgot to mention the part about her refraining from throwing a holy fit in the school's lobby.

I chalk most of it up to the fact that she ran down the stairs screaming with her brother this morning at 5:45. I had been awakened by little brother at 4:45 and was taking advantage of a little quiet time in the family room. But a mere hour later, I was joined by Eveley and her brother asking for some waffles. Seriously?

A strict morning wake policy is heretofore enacted...and has been communicated to the hubby along with demands for his assistance in the enforcement. I have purchased a children's clock that will glow at a specified time. The children are not allowed to leave their room until they see the glowing green clock. This better work.

Anyway, the visit went well. The school was very impressive, and Eveley enjoyed her time...well, until the teacher told them it was rest time. Eveley told her teacher that she did not like to take rests and wanted to leave. When they brought her to me in the lobby, I smiled and tried to calmly inquire about her day. The Admissions Director was right beside us.

Eveley said, "I'm going to the playground and went to walk out the door." I grabbed took her hand, said she couldn't run into the parking lot, and asked about her class. She then pulled a Veruca

and began to whine loudly. The admissions director extended her hand and said, "It was very nice to meet you, Eveley." Eveley looked at her and gave her five.

I said thanks and gently pulled Eveley to our car. All the while, she is yelling, "I'll be good if you give me a treat." WHAT??? Toddlers and Tiaras anyone?

So, my grace-based response was to bring her home, feed her lunch, and put her to bed. We can all be a little fussy when we're tired.

And as I am praying for these days to pass quickly, I am reminded how quickly they indeed pass. Too quickly. In spite of the craziness, hassle and headaches, I don't want to miss a thing. (cue Aerosmith).

Here's a little blast from the past, looking at February from the past 4 years.

February 2008

February 2009

February 2010
look at that party in the back

February 2011