Thursday, August 28, 2008

Pre-Teen Angst

I love my Shaggy so much but I am headed into uncharted territory. He turns 10 very shortly and I can begin to see a change in my son. Not horrible or rebellious but a maturity and a desire to become a man. It is such a struggle for him. You can see those moments of youth explode out of him as he plays with his brothers and friends but there are also those moments when he rises up to be a "man". I am having to choose my battles wisely with him because I don't want to squash this individuation that is taking place. Along with that I am also his mama and sometimes on the rare occasion mama is right. So we pray and pray and pray about how to raise this young man of God. He is such a good boy and has a great heart and love for God and others, I just don't want to hinder him but at the same time I want to guide him.

I want him to have wisdom and learn discernment and not memorize a list of rules to follow. Like Rachel Hickson said at a conference a while ago "Rules will be broken, but people don't want to let others trust down." It isn't as simple as telling them no, to putting their finger or other objects in electrical sockets or teaching them to not lash out in anger and bite other children. There is so much more to this world they live in. I also don't want my boys to live off of my Spiritual fumes. They need their own filling and understanding of why they believe in God. So on top of all the other wisdom we are trying to impart and pray for, we are also answering many of their questions with questions. Shaggy and I watched a Discovery Channel program the other day about Exodus and Moses. The program was very interesting even if they missed the mark a few times. The best thing though was Shaggy began asking me what I thought and I turned it right back to him. I asked him what does it say in the Bible? Do you believe that? Why? I might not agree with all his thoughts but he was thinking and thinking on his own. Many times we would look it up together in the Bible and find we were both wrong but it was getting him to realize he needs to know in his heart and not just take my beliefs as his own.

So we are still trying to wade through all of this new territory. Some days we succeed with great victory and other times we crash and burn, but we keep going. I am just thankful that many times the Father works in spite of me and not always because of me. If any of you that have pre-teens out there have any good resources to recommend I would love to hear them. The only resource I would not recommend is James Dobsons Bringing Up Boys. There are many, many things in that book that I personally don't agree with and go against many of the personal convictions I have about the Lord. Anyway, that's a totally different post but if you know of any other great books or suggestions please feel free to comment. The day I stop learning is the day I no longer live.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Coming Closer To Sister Paul

The boys are still praying for a baby sister and I too keep praying. I am not feeling rushed this time but just excited deep down inside that Sister Paul will come home soon. We came so close this time to actually welcoming a new member of our family than we have had in a while. See 2 times in recent years we have been approached to adopt a baby from an unexpected pregnancy. The first time the young women disappeared and ended up aborting the child. The next time the decision was made to keep the baby within the family and it was given to an distant Aunt. But with each time I feel a renewed love and desire to adopt. Well number 3 chance came about 3 weeks or so ago. This time we had only 3 weeks before the baby was due.

We kept praying about it and felt led to let them know we would take the baby. This was big because at the time they did not know if it was a girl or a boy. Wow, I was ready and willing to take on boy #4. 2 weeks went by without any word as applications came in to the mom. We finally were asked would we take a boy. Again back to prayer. 2 other couples were on the list and my heart was torn between wanting to give this precious baby a home with us and also giving one of these other couples the opportunity to become a family. It was shared with us that these two couples either did not have children of their own or had great difficulty having children. So we shared with them that we would absolutely take the baby if a home was not found but we would be willing to let it go so the other couples could get the chance to adopt and experience the joy of being a family. To our surprise we were told we were being put on a waiting list for a baby girl. Our story of how the boys have been praying for a sister was told to them and they want to help us find a baby girl to adopt.

So here we are closer then ever. Before, we were not on any list or with any agency because we were just waiting for the Lord to move and show us what to do. We can definitely see his hand at work with this whole situation.

So maybe sooner or later you will hear of Sister Paul coming home to be with us. What a dream come true that would be for us.

Monday, August 25, 2008

And There Off!!!!

Waiting for the bus. As you can see
I have one very unimpressed 4th

Rocker and DK ready to go. They all picked
out there outfits last night before bed.
DK wanted to wear his Tony Hawk
shirt on the first day. He told me
he looks like Tony Hawk. Maybe
a very young Tony Hawk, I think
he is in his early 40's now.

Again, Shaggy is unimpressed with
all the excitement.

There they go! You see that line of kids, they are
all Kindergartners. We have a huge group
of them this year at our bus stop.

So I am home listening to nothing but the hum of my computer. It still hasn't hit me yet. I get this weird feeling I have to go pick someone up or someone will be running around the corner any minute now. I'll get used to it eventually. Now to go get ready for a lunch date. For the first time in Livin' history (that's a fancy way of saying the last 10 years) I am going to meet my Knight for lunch. Yeah me!!!!!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Home Alone!!!!!

Wow what a weekend! Yesterday we had a fabulous evening with the Ruda family. A most amazing, beautiful couple with the greatest little ones. All night I just kept remembering how it felt to be at Tiffany's stage with the kids. BTW, you are doing an awesome job with the kiddos. You should be a proud mama.

Then to top it off my Knight brought me home bagels and a cappuccino from Panera this morning after going out and having coffee earlier with a friend of his. Then even better my Knight informed me that he and a friend of his from work (Mr. Phill) were going to take the boys out hiking and fishing(here's where my mouth hit the floor). I get the day off!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I have a bridal shower to attend later this afternoon but the boys will be gone all day until church. Wow! So I helped pack everyone up and made lunch for them and made the boys promise not to scare Mr. Phill off. He is this great, single guy that my Knight works with and considers him a close friend. This is the first time he has been around the boys but I could see from the beginning it was going to be a great day. As soon as Phill stepped in the door he found out the boys liked transformers and like me Phill is a big Generation One Transformers fan. He and the boys hit it off. So now to find some relaxing things to do on my own. WooHOoo!!!!!

Oh, the other kicker is I get to be in service tonight at church!! I don't have to work in Children's Ministry. Boy this is a great weekend!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Count Down 5 More Days!!!

So here I go. 5 more days until all 3 boys are in full day school. Am I excited, elated or sad? Actually neither. I am just unsure of what this is going to look like. Let me explain, I am sort of going through an identity crisis. See for the past 10 years of my marriage I have been pregnant or with toddlers. For the first time in a long time it will just be me. Before I was married I was a student at college. I didn't have a career or a job that really defined me either. So here I am now. Who am I?

My identity has been placed in my mothering skills for so long, it's hard to separate myself from that. I don't want to live my life through my kids so this is a good thing for me just not easy. My Knight wants me to take an entire year off from deciding what I should do instead of just jumping into anything, but staying home for no reason is hard too. I am not a homeschooling mom, I don't work out of my home so I feel judged by some for choosing not to work at this time. We could really use the extra money but my Knight is determined that I spend a year with the Lord first before moving forward. I know my kids will still need me and the call of a mom is never over but I now I need to do some soul searching. I have come to the realization that my identity has been founded in what I can do, my roles in life and not who God has called me to be. My Knight is an amazing man of God and would let me do whatever I wanted, if it was going back to school, working or just staying home but he wants me to do the things that give me "Life".

On August 25th 2008 I will begin a new leg of my journey. I guess to many this is no big deal but for me it is. I really look forward to this time which adds to my guilt(does that mean I am a bad mother) and yet I am apprehensive because I have never done this before. It's never been just me.

Here's the fun part, why don't you give me some great ideas to do while I am at home discovering the real me. Let me know what you would do with 6 hours of no kids and maybe I might just take your advise. For right now the count down continues and the days click by.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Back-To-School Supplies

We didn't do as bad as the national average but not as well as Campbell Corner or Natalie with shopping for school supplies and clothes. After adding our totals up and a shoe/clothes shopping spree my spiritual "mom" took the boys on our grand total was $380.00. Now that is all three boys included. So here's the break down. Shaggy had the biggest list because being the oldest we had to get new pants for him this year. Everyone else did really well with hand-me-downs. Unfortunate too our school sends home a list of supplies you have to provide for each grade. I now have 3 kids in full day school.

  • 4 shirts 8.80 each = 35.20
  • 6 pairs of pants 14.67 each = 88.02
  • water bottle = 7.19
  • Glue Sticks = 2.19
  • Dry Erase Markers = 1.14
  • Highlighters = 2.74
  • Post it Notes = 2.29
Total = 138.77

  • Backpack(his old one broke at the end of last year) = 39.99
  • colored pencils =.62
  • water bottle = 7.19
  • Glue sticks =2.19
  • crayons = .17
Total = 50.16

  • Jeans 2 pair 12.00 each = 24.00
  • Pencil Box = 2.99
  • colored pencils = .62
  • water bottle = 3.14
  • Glue Sticks = 2.19
  • crayons = .17
Total = 33.11

We still came in under the national average if it is per child. I am really liking the whole uniform idea. I think my biggest expense with 3 boys in school will be lunches. At 1.75 each it adds up to $105.00 a month. We worked the numbers and it comes out to be the same if they pack or buy so we are budgeting in that extra amount into our grocery bill. We will keep some money on their school accounts and then use the extra to buy groceries to pack. Boy, kids are expensive. Happy Back-To- School to me!!! Now I don't have any money to party with while I have so much free time!!!!! :)

Thursday, August 14, 2008

VBS Is Over!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Preschool VBS ended today so now I will just fall on my bed and enter into a comatose state for the rest of the afternoon. After two VBS's this year and a bizzilion other Children's Ministry events I am taking a break. I am writing this so next year you all can keep me accountable "No more VBS" and I don't mean it like President George Bush Sr's "No New Taxes" statement either.

A whole year off. I will continue to Coordinate our Friendship Station/Special Needs room and finish off Royal Rangers for this quarter but by October my list of activities will be narrowed down. I am so exhausted and ready for a change/break. So keep me to this guys. Especially you who see me at church. If I am working places I shouldn't be give me the hairy eyeball.

OK, now for my coma.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

What Do We Do When Visiting Our In-Laws & Out-Laws?

We go tubing, water skiing, knee boarding, jet skiing & just plain crazy. Sorry no pictures. We took some on a disposable camera that we haven't developed yet and we could not take pictures of my Knight or I because we were either riding the jet ski or skiing behind it.

It was a sheer delight to see my Knight not even a year yet after his accident and major surgery up water skiing on the river. No pain, no problems. God is faithful to heal!!!! I also hustled my sorry self up on the jet ski. You feel it if you haven't done it in a while. It was just good clean family fun.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

A Walk Down Memory Lane

Yes those are pictures of me and my twin brother.

Here I am with my horse Britches.

This is me and my 4-H steer Chuck.

Proof that I actually rode at the Harrisburg Farm Show Rodeo.

My heifer Lady Ebony.

My prize winning pig Hamlet.

And of course my Romey lamb Cocoa.
Boy that was fun, a little scary, but fun!!

Thank The Lord My Kids Like Hand-Me-Downs

I am blessed to have three boys who can wear hand-me-downs. This year two families handed us clothing that their older boys couldn't wear any more. They were in great condition.Hhonestly I am amazed at how well they keep their clothes. My boys tend to destroy clothing. It was like Christmas. They ran around trying everything on and yelling "that's mine, that would look good on you Shaggy, that's definitely for DK..." and so on.

It put a big smile on mama's face. I still have to go out shopping for some more jeans. Last year I had enough to just get by but I realized how much laundry I was doing to keep up with school demands. This year I want to get enough jeans that everyone can get through the week with. Unlike shopping for girls, I go to the store grab the right size and possibly a matching shirt and I'm outta there. My heart goes out to you all who have to go clothes shopping for girls. I have seen the poor moms running back and forth from rack to dressing room piled with dresses and shirts and accessories. I will pause briefly for all of you with girls for a moment of silence...................:)

Boys are much easier but I do miss the pink. Yeah for hand-me-downs!!!!!!!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

A Few Hours With Your Love & No Kids Makes A Big Difference

It's been 3 months since my Knight and I have gone out without the kids. Through all that's been happening around here we were just missing one another night after night. 3 months with no real time to stop, sit & talk and enjoy each others company can compound hard times quickly. Last night we dropped the boys off at West Shore EFree's VBS and headed out to a coffee house. We had dinner and coffee and a lot of time catching up. Boy did we need it! Can I just say how nice it is to have a Children's Ministry event our kids can go to and not have to work our tails off during it. I love that West Shore let's other churches come. It allows us time to be ministered too.

Most of the conversation centered around just catching each other up on our thoughts and feelings. Things were so out of control lately we were just bouncing off each others pain and not taking the time to hear each others hearts. I can't explain how good it felt to get out of the house, away from the kids and go on a date with my Love. I wish we had the opportunity to do it more often but at least we are not going to allow it to go so long next time.

BTW, things are going well. We are getting the Lord's perspective on things, healing and drawing closer. It has been good the last week or so to just focus on us and our family. Thank you for your words of encouragement and prayers. We see where the Lord is taking us as a couple and know this stuff just needed to be removed.