Monday, December 31, 2007

Holiday Wind Down and "Sweet Spots"

I tried to post an update on Christmas a couple of days ago but I had to stop and never got back around to it. We had a good time, amidst vomiting from the kids and emotional issues from a family member. Such is the holidays it seems. It would be nice just to have a peaceful, God-glorifying Christmas without all the drama though. I thought we had gotten rid of the icks after the last episode with Summer(on the drive home-yuk!) but it seems Alex has it now. He was up all night last night vomiting. He seems better today so I am hoping we will sleep good tonight. Andrew slept great! I guess he was letting Alex have a turn with us in the middle of the night.Andrew has been really fussy lately though. I think he got spoiled after having been held by his Daddy for several days. I am doing ok, I have my good days and bad. I am hopeful for the victories that the new year will bring but scared of the challenges. I struggle immensely with learning to handle the stress that 6 kids and an ed can bring. God has used his word a lot in my life lately. I am grateful. It's amazing what comfort his love, presence, and promises can bring. Sometimes I just want a big hug from him though, you know? Do you ever just want to be held? I get held a lot by Jason but I would love to be squeezed by my heavenly Father! I just recently finished a Beth Moore study called Breaking Free. It was awesome! I highly recommend it. I would LOVE to head up a study like that in Church. Maybe one day when I get old enough..:) I am now reading "The Cure for the Common Life". It's really good. It talks about finding your "Sweet Spot". I have heard this phrase before. I was singing in the praise team at Springwell when our director talked about this. I was up there, praising God soon after and felt that at that moment, it was my sweet spot. That was what I was supposed to do. I don't necessarily think that singing on the praise team or wherever is what I am "supposed" to do as much as at that moment, that was it. I think God gives us "Sweet Spots" all throughout our life and they may differ depending on the season. Right now, it seems God has put me here to raise these littles. I know that I can do more than that but I have not been given the opportunity as of yet, and may not ever again. But, I am preparing for the day, whether it be praising in the pew next Sunday or singing on the praise team in three years for God to use me for his glory. What do you do to prepare to be used?

Friday, December 21, 2007

A few cute pics

This is Summer recently. Too cute!

This is Charlotte cuddling Andrew. She loves him so much.

The Stink bomb

This is Jason trying to get through wiping Toby without gagging. We hadn't had beans in a while and you could tell his little system wasn't use to it!

Calming the Storm

I was reading today about when Jesus calms the storm. We are all familiar with the story but for some reason I was able to see it in a different light. I used to think of this passage as Jesus being able to calm us in the midst of the storm, and this is true. However, he first told the waves to be still and then the storm died down. How many times in the Bible do we hear "Be still" to us? We so often want to "do" something about the storm. Make it STOP!!! Take action. I think God is trying to tell us to be still, know that he is in control, and listen. How many times have you just quieted your mind and sat down. I know for me, not very often. My mind is racing while I do dishes, give kids a bath, and so many other things. I usually do not just "Be still". I know, this is so hard to do with a lot of kids. I think it is worth it though. I am going to work on being still before God. I am sure that's probably what would happen if I met him face to face- I would bow down and not be able to move! :)

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Andrew update

Andrew had his well visit today. He looks great! He is above 95% percentile in height and weight and he is 70% percentile for his head. He is really getting big! He was only in the 50% percentile just a month and a half ago. Wow! He is doing better regarding his fussiness. I don't know what was wrong with him. He has been waking up about one time a night, which is great! The kids love to make him smile. I can't wait till he gets a little older and starts laughing. That should be interesting. He is getting a bouncy seat for Christmas and I think he will really like it. I hope so anyway. It will give him a better view of everything. I am looking forward to this weekend! I wish we had a big enough van to go together to places but I am grateful for the one we have and for my Mil who is going to help us get from place to place. This should be a great weekend though. We are celebrating the girl's birthday together on Sunday. I'm not sure where yet. Probably a pizza place. If it's nice outside we will have it at a park. It's times like these that I really would like to live closer to family. Not my will but thy will....

Monday, December 17, 2007

Training Your Child the Spartan Way

I know you must be thinking I’m crazy to train my child like the hard non-emotional Spartan mothers did back in Ancient Greece. Hear me out. I know most of you remember reading in school about the strict training that the Spartan boys received and how “horrible” it must have been to live back then. They were trained and prepared from infancy to fight. They were not swaddled so that their limbs could grow nice and strong. Not only were they trained physically. Mentally they were trained to believe they were indestructible and that their sole purpose in life was to fight for Sparta. The daughters were also trained but in a different way. They were trained physically to be strong so that they would birth strong sons. The Spartans were so strong and fierce that other city-states were too scared to attack even though the army was around 8000 men. They protected their beliefs by simply banning all foreign trade and travel. They were completely self sufficient. Now fast forward to today. Think about what we can learn from them. Instead of training our children to fight other people, why not train them to fight for truth. “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” Ephesians 6:12

Do you see where I am getting at? Do you train from infancy? I believe that if we trained our children to fight for truth with the same passion of the Spartans, we would raise up an army for Christ that would knock the socks off of the enemy! So let’s do a rundown of what we can learn from them.

-Train from infancy

-Mentally instill that we are put on this earth to glorify God and edify the body of Christ. We are but his servants and should be prepared to fight against the powers if darkness.

-Protect our beliefs by guarding who we or your children hang out with.

-Rely on God for he will supply all our needs. Teach your children that they don’t “need” the luxuries of this world (best clothes, entertainment 24/7, etc…) *I am not suggesting that you shouldn’t have luxuries, only stating that you don’t NEEED them. When you do get them, recognize that it is by God’s grace that he has given us what we have.

I know that for me, I need training myself! How many of us really fight against the rulers of the darkness of this world? Do you fight or do you just “surrender” because it seems like his army is too big. If God is with us, who can be against us? He CANNOT defeat God! Isn’t that an awesome thing to realize? You can’t lose if you’re on his side. Let’s train our children to stick to God’s army so that they will always triumph through him who strengthens!

Sunday, December 16, 2007


Today has been nice. Church was great as usual and we even got to eat at the visitors luncheon. Things were hectic of course with all the kids but we had a good time. I am really feeling that we need to train the kids better when it comes to meals. They are really good but I have allowed them to get up when they are done and ask for seconds before everyone else is done. This is fine at the house but when we are somewhere else, it causes problems. Therefore, I think I am going to have to train them in this area. We just finished up parenting class at church and it was really good! One of the books was Don't make me count to three. It has been helpful. I recommend it strongly! We are trying to get the kids used to "delayed obedience is disobedience" but it's hard! We need to remind ourselves that delayed punishment is disobedience as well! It's hard to drop what we're doing and deal with a child that is being disobedient. I received a lot of great advice from this class that I will blog about in the coming week.

***Stay tuned tomorrow for a great way to win a free book from Vision Forum!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Fussy Baby

Well, Andrew has been REALLY tuff the last 2 days. He is constantly crying. I am supposed to go to quilting day at a friends but I really don't want to go if he is going to be like this. I don't think they would appreciate it either-him crying constantly. I'm not sure why he's doing this because I don't think he is sick. I would say he was spoiled but he still cries even if I pick him up. What to do??

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Enable me

God, today is a "normal" day. Nothing exciting or special to remember it by. The same things are happening today as they always have. I woke up, tried to prepare myself by getting encouragement from you. I cried out "Enable me, dear God" to "Wake my family up with a smile and hug". Later on as I was preparing breakfast amidst the whirlwind of needs I cried out "Enable me, most holy and merciful God, to give you this anxiety." Through school today, lunch, and quiet time I pleaded to you "Enable me, show me what I need to die to. Show me what I need to give to you. Show me how I should praise you. Teach me what to put off and what to put on."
Isaiah 43:2
When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Schooling update

I forgot to mention that I got a Moms devotional Bible from my Mil for my birthday(15th). She also gave me a 30 gift cert. to Belk. I am going to wait until after Christmas to use it.

I wanted to update what we are currently using in our home school.
-Keys for kids-for devotions
-Story of the World
-First Language Lessons
-Animal Kingdom
-Handwriting without Tears(cursive)
- Kingfisher History Encyclopedia
-A read aloud(right now it is Heidi)
-Art lessons-"Feed My Sheep"
-Each has to read a book for silent reading
-Horizon Math
-100 easy lessons for Toby
-Sewing and piano
-Listen to story books on tape

I think that's it for formal stuff.
Yesterday was nice. My Mil came down and watched the kids for Jason and I. We got some time to talk and go over everything that has happened this year. It's been a busy one! We are praying that this coming year will be a little more relaxed but it seems that whenever we think things are going to calm down, they just get crazier! We do know however that this will be a seed planting year. Yes, that means work. Sacrifice. Long suffering. All those words that you find yourself praying for strength for in the middle of "bad" days. It's not so bad though when you kind of expect not to see the fruit of your hands until a year later. Maybe God will bless and we will reap the harvest early but I am not getting my hopes up. Some would tell me to pray "big" prayers. Some would say that my faith is small. Some would say that I am planning too much. I simply know that God doesn't often throw the harvest into your lap. Most often it takes work. This doesn't mean I think he is a small God, by no means. I just think and hope that he wants to continually grow me. Growth takes time and sacrifice. Growth takes place in the seed planting year. When everything is ready, than and only then do we reap the rewards. I guess sometimes we do grow during other times, I am not denying that. But, you get my point.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

The Island of Misfits

Do you ever feel like you are on the island of misfit toys? I do! I thought we had found a church that we "fit" into because I was under the impression that there were alot of large families. I found out that I was wrong. There are not alot of large families and it feels like we are an inconvenience. Don't get me wrong, these people have really tried hard to accommodate for our family and they have shown us love like no other church family has. I just feel so sad that we are the only ones with this many kids and therefore special circumstances must be arranged. Do they mind? I feel that most of them do not. I have seen however a few of them seem like they resent it. Am I mad at them? NO WAY! I might feel the same way. It's hard dealing with so many little ones when you're not use to it. It's hard keeping them quiet when all of the other parent's of mostly older kids want to talk. I feel sad that we don't have like minded people encouraging us with having so many littles. It makes me resent the fact that I DO have little ones. It makes me long for the day when they get older. Is this wrong? I don't know. But it does make me feel that way. Does this change my belief that God sees them as blessings and not an inconvenience? Of course not. But it doesn't stop me from feeling that way some times. I want to apologize to all those people who try to help us but what would I be apologizing for? For being given the opportunity to be a vessel in which to bring a life into this world? For contributing to the body of believers for Christ? Is this my only reason, to populate the earth with Godly men and women(if they grow up to actually be a godly man or woman)? No, I do it because I believe in the sovereignty of God. I believe that he creates and destroys life. I believe in the all knowing, all powerful God of the universe that chooses whether or not to breathe life into an embryo. Yes, this is why. Does my faith waver? Of course it does! During the morning when I have 2 that need diaper changes and 2 that need to potty-all at the same time, I question my maker. When I am cooking dinner and have to stop to help someone and I end up burning everything, I question his sovereignty. When after I give everybody their burnt dinner and hear endless yuks, I question the freedom of choice. However, when I see all of them playing together and laughing, I say thank you for blessing me. When I see one kissing the baby, I praise Him for his sovereignty. When I hear "Don't worry Mom, I will eat the burnt one. Waffles are good either way.", I realize my stupidity. So what does being "normal" really mean? It's the feeling one gets when you can associate with others because of what you believe. Do I want to be normal then? YES! But I want to associate with God, what does he believe? He believes that children are a blessing. Therefore, I may be an outcast to this world but it doesn't matter. This is not my home. I can't wait to "fit in" in heaven!

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Forgot to mention..

We are sick! Yes, sick just like last year except it came a week later this time and we were able to have Thanksgiving with family. I am greatful for that! I just hope things clear up soon. Andrew has an ear infection and Alex has a rash that is supposedly contagious but noone else has gotten it..yet.

Tree Decorating Time

Well, it's that time again. Time to put up and decorate Charlie, our christmas tree. We refuse to buy another one to replace him-too many memories. My only regret is that Alex was asleep and we didn't get any pics of Andrew because he was asleep. Oh well. So here's a few.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

We uploaded a video to youtube!!

How neat is that? Go to our website at and go to the videos section. You can watch it there without having to see anything else from youtube. We had so much fun doing this!

I have a new nephew!

My nephew was born on Nov. 28 at 1 a.m. in the morning. His name is Simon Gabriel. He is adorable and looks so much like his older brother. My sister did wonderful through the labor. She pushed him out in one contraction! Go Brina!!! i will post some pics as soon as I get them. I forgot my camera so I have to wait for my Mom's pics. This weekend will be a laid back one because we all have colds and can't go to church. Alex also has a weird rash that the doc says is contagious but not anything major to worry about. I really hated missing church this Sunday because we didn't get to go last Sunday. Bummer. My associate pastor let me borrow some cd's and books that are on anxiety and worry. They were really good! Have you ever wondered HOW to cast your anxiety on Him? Well, this has been a question that I have had for many years. One of the books said that YOU can't do it! You have to ask him to enable you to do it. So, that's what I am struggling/working with right now. When I came back from seeing my sister give birth(I was gone for 2 days) it was REALLY hard to function. Within 2 hours of being back, my chest started tightening and I had a panic attack. I was amazed at how obvious this stress became. I am trying to be more aware of the buildup of stress so that I can fight it off or "cast" it off before it gets too bad. I am so thankful for the weekend! Weekends are so rejuvenating. Thank you God!