"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy;

I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly."

John 10:10

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Life Lately

:::Remember when I twisted my knee the day we moved in to this house?  It never really completely healed.  This past Wednesday I had a knee scope to remove the loose cartilage floating around in there.  Since then, I have been out of commission.  The first day (OK, maybe two) of laying around were nice.  But now it is just annoying.  I am ready to get up and do something.  

::My middle sister and my college roommate are both ready to pop out a new baby any day.  I can not wait to meet the little guys.  

::We are loving the warm weather.  The girls have been bike riding fools.  And how lovely is it to head out the door and simply slip some sandals on the little feet?  

::In Urbandale we had twin girls right next door that were Madeline's age.  Here, we have twin girls that are Lydia's age.  It often seems that there are six girls in our family instead of four.  Chloe and Kennedi are sweet girls and we'll take them.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Sharin' the Love

If you can't tell from my recent posts, there have been some tough days around here lately.  They are not all like that.  Even in the midst of the frustrations, I love my girls.  We have a lot of fun together!  My cup overflows more than it runs dry.  Let me tell you about...

She is up at the crack of dawn (literally), smiling and ready for some eggs and bacon.  She goes hard all day, then dives into bed at night.  Anna snuggles under the covers and sighs, then is out.  
Yesterday Anna came in to our room about 6:00 AM and asked me how many days there are until we bake gingerbread boys for Christmas.  
The other day I was asking the girls what they want to be when they grow up.  Madeline wanted to be a spy for the President, Lydia wanted to be a weather person.  Anna wanted to be a bus, house, or car.  
Anna's voice is fairly deep for a little girl.  It has been that way since she was a baby.  I can't help but feel my heart melt when she says "Happy Mudder's Day."  

We have been having a blast with Cora lately.  I realized that when Lydia and Anna were her current age, I was either very pregnant or had a new baby by now.  
Cora's hair is really curling up, just like Madeline's did.  This was her hairdo this past week when it has been hot and humid.
Cora has rounded the corner from baby to toddler.  The proof?  When she finished her lunch today, she said "More ketchup please."  
She copies everything we do and say.  When we got out of the van and the wind hit us, she said "Woofta."  Amen to that.  

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Not for the faint of heart

It has been one of those days here.  
I hope my girls remember the happy days of their childhood instead of today.  

Here is what happened all before 10:00 AM...
Cora dropped her bowl full of oatmeal and honey on to the floor.  
Anna spilled her cup of orange juice.  
I decided I need to steam clean the kitchen floor.
Anna was disciplined for yelling at her sisters.  She then embarked on a major meltdown, including throwing apples and pears across the kitchen and knocking toys off her dresser in anger.  
After I was cooling down from the frazzle of Anna, I panicked when I realized I didn't know where Cora was.  A quick search of the premises revealed she had accompanied her other sisters across the cul de sac to the neighbor's yard.  This was after I gave the older girls explicit instructions to keep Cora in the backyard.  

Woofta.  I was exhausted, frustrated, crying overwhelmed, feeling like a failure.  

Parenting is hard.  

I get annoyed when people suggest raising girls is so much easier than raising boys.  Girls are different than boys, but it is still a struggle.  I am surprised when people ask if I get overwhelmed.  Yes!  Every day I get overwhelmed at some point.  I recoil for a moment when people compliment me on how well behaved and calm our girls are (in public).  They are still kids who act crazy most of the time, and it is hard work to teach them how to behave.  More days than not, there is crying, anger, and quarrels.

I have to tell myself everyday that patient perseverance is the best way to train these little sinners.  If they were perfect, they would not need me or their father.  I love them too much too avoid the tough situations where they need me to lead them.  Giving of myself is my ministry to my children.  

It is humbling to see myself in my children.  My Heavenly Father gave himself for me, even though I make a mess of His beauty, follow my selfish whims, and do not obey Him.  
But He will not give up on me, and I will not give up on my children.  

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day to My Mom

If you don't know my mom, she is fabulous.  If you do know my mom, you already know that.

As I get older, I realize more and more everything that she has done for me to make me who I am.  

Thank you for showing me what it means to be a mother.  I know that even today, my well being is more important than your own.  Thank you for loving me and doing your best with me.  Even during your Aldi shopping days when things were not easy, you decided to make Dad and us girls your top priority.  I never questioned whether all was well at home.  You and Dad are committed to each other.  You are committed to your children.  And now you are committed to your grandchildren.  
I have always felt that I was cut out of the mold of Dad more than you.  Yet in these past couple months I am discovering more ways that I am like you.  I know that I received a love of hospitality from you.  We minister to others through service.  You are an introvert, becoming rejuvenated through a book alone in the quiet.  As do I.  
The legacy of motherhood that began before you is continuing on.  Thank you.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

She drives me crazy, ooooh ooh ooh (remember that song?)

That girl does drive me crazy.

Although she has been potty trained for well over a year, the girls still potties and poops in her pants.  It is not every day, but definitely at least a couple times a week and sometimes more.  It has pretty much been like this since she was officially trained.  
A couple months ago we felt really bad about punishing her when it ended up that she had a urinary tract infection.  So the next time she started the multiple potty "accidents" I took her right in to the doctor.  Nope.  No infection, just choosing to potty in her pants.  And so it goes.  Her reasons?  I was playing outside.  I was in my room for my rest time.  Aagghh! 
Our latest creative attempt to cure the situation?  She has it in her head that she wants to go to McDonald's.  So, we cut her a deal.  If she can go five days in a row with no pottying in her pants we'll take her to McDonald's.  This afternoon she went poopy in her pants.  She was on day three.  She has been on day three two times before this.  
She cries when we give her spankings.  She cries if we take something away.  She cries if she is sent to her room.  But, she does it again.  I have no idea how to handle the situation any more.  She is just about four.  This should not be an issue.  What do I do?  Have you had a child like this?  I need your help.  What would you do?