Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The chaos of Christmas break

Yep, it sure is. Chaos. The kids are all home.


The kids have now been home for a whole 5 days straight.  And they are blessing me with their boredom. EVERY-LAST-ONE-OF-THEM. Have I mentioned they are all HOME.  5 days straight now?


I've heard the declaration that the "floor" is covered in snow.  Now to all you (normal) folks that means the ground.  And it's snowing here.  Chloe is thrilled and yelling, "Mother, the floor is covered, why didn't you tell me?" 


As if I am her personal weather informer?  


So far Chase has stripped his bed, adding to my laundry work, of which he declared, I needed to do the laundry as it was piling up? WHOA, guess who put a halt to big boy's demands?  Yep, that'd be ME.  Put him right in his place.


He doesn't like that too well, but I will not allow him to push me around.  And he will if allowed. As much as I love him, I will not allow him to bully anyone. 


And in many ways he tries to bully us all, sans DAD, because it's how he was used to living in the past. And it's a hard habit to break him of, so I deal with it often:(


Chance is very happy today, they have a party for the teen church group today at our neighbor's house. He was telling me earlier the girls who recently moved up to his Sunday School class make him crazy, that they like to pick at him because he is the ONLY boy in the class now.  POOR BOY.  


Does he REALLY think his momma doesn't know he's LOVIN' all that attention? Mother wasn't born yesterday Son- shine.


Yesterday my mother came to visit and brought the kids gifts.  So in addition to Camden, who must TALK the whole time he plays games on his electronic toys, she brought them remote controlled cars.  2 of them to be exact.  Noisy things, that you have to yell to be heard over.


THANKS A LOT MOM.  I'm thinking this is another pay back from my childhood?


So imagine this--- Chloe is yelling the "floor is covered", Chase is hounding me to do wash, Chance and Camden are running remote cars all over the place, Kat is fussing that we don't have the certain kind of noodles SHE wants, and mother, well, mother is slowly (or fast) going nuts.


Bonkers.  Not used to all this noise during the day. But it's a good bonkers, because I love these crazy kids of mine.  They might drive me nuts, but I'll be right there with them:)


And just so you all know, I'm sporting blue glittered nails. I even have tiny pink hearts on my little fingers. Via Chloe, who wanted me to SPARKLE for a change.  Did I mention how much I love that girl?  How much fun she is?  Well, if not then you all need to know that.


 'Cause she is FUN.  I mean, who else is gonna make me laugh telling me the "floor is covered?"  I'm just sorry we can't possibly clone any of these clowns, oops, I mean children and bless all of you with their fun.  Share the craziness is my motto.  


Maybe I should rent them out?  Sooooo who wants them tomorrow?- Ha ha. Just joking ( No calls MOM)

Sunday, December 25, 2011

And it came

Christmas Day.  It sure did.  Early- 6 a.m., although Camden was up at 3 waiting:)


The kids were thrilled with all. They are having a blast.  Chloe said Santa was "very electronic" this year. And he WAS.  


To their delight.







I'll let the pictures speak for themselves. Although the last one of Chase is quite funny, he is asking dad what the purple rabbit's foot (from Kat to him) is for?  It's a key chain:)


We enjoyed church, where we had a birthday party for Jesus.


Blessed, so very blessed.  Our God is a wonderful Father.  We are so thankful for this year, this home and our family.  


Merry Christmas  to you all!!



Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas cookies

It's not too often I get to sit on the sidelines of a not-so-favorite chore of Christmas, the cookie baking mess.  But--- Malaree is home on college break and her and Chloe decided to break out the cookie dough.  


They got busy baking away, all kinds, shapes and flavors.  Yummy smells coming from the kitchen. Some good sister bonding, as Kat is "helping" more like asking 5 million questions and saying she will be more than happy to be the official taster of the cookies:)


Chloe, as well as all the other kiddos, love having Mal here, they really look up to her and she is such a super big sister.  Always patient with their questions and teaching them new things.  


Chance has been very funny this week, his poor ESL teacher has been drilled all week.  "Is there really a Santa Claus?"  He wants to know.  He knows that parents have to pay Santa to bring gifts (our way to keep their requests reasonable) and he thought he had her when she said she didn't have to do that.


  But I furthered his uncertainty when I told him she didn't because she only has one child.  (He also told her not to be a "bad girl" and to tell him the truth.) Is he funny or what?


But we told him only parents of many have to "help" Santa financially.  I *could* say I don't want them to believe in Santa at all.  Sure, I could. But honestly, to give them something that is a childhood dream, the expectations of the magic Christmas is, a gift.


We feel along with many ways we respect and honor the Reason for the Season, Jesus, it's something we are able to gift to the teens.  The wonder.  The anticipation. And that's not something they have had an abundance of in the past.  So for now, we are keeping them "in the dark" and letting them be kids a little longer.


I even invited Chance to check out the attic to see if anything was there, since he thought some loot was hidden there.  Nope, nothing. He asked  Santa for boots and a Holist*r jacket.  Nothing too big.


The kids had half a day today and are now officially on vacation.  I think I got enough grub to get them through the holiday.  Seriously I bought 14 boxes of cereal!  Among other things.


We're watching The Grinch now, and have watched Elf about 20 times now.  I *think* we're really ready for the big day.  Camden has asked what time they are allowed to get up, and it's been made official--6 am.


For now we are smelling the yummy cookies, as Chloe keeps a close eye on them from her "spot" in front of the oven.  


And we are thankful  to see everyone who answered God's call to help bring another little girl home, Matt and Mandi bringing home Kalia, thanks to those who love God, love His orphans and made ALL the difference.  What a joy Christmas will hold now forever for that little girl:)

Monday, December 19, 2011

HELP

Help is needed.


We are all wanting to make a difference in this world. We all look for ways to honor our Lord for His upcoming birthday.


We know of a GREAT way ---


Help a child of God, one of His orphans, become an orphan no longer.


Matt and Mandi need a miracle, one God can do. Through His followers. His people who love and care. As He calls us to do.


We have seen this miracle before.  It's completely possible.  


I urge you to hop on over to meet Kalia, a girl with a family who needs our help. The Journey Continues


We gotta get this girl home.  Please, please, help another treasure find her way to her new family. 


Every $1 will add up, you all know this, it happened to get the boys home, $1, $5, $20 every dollar mattered to add up to what was needed.


Let's watch the mountain crumble, a Christmas miracle happen.  Oh the FUN!!


And if you want, I am SURE you could place an order for a dress that Mandi could work on  once she is home WITH Kalia.  


She made this custom,  adorable dress for Miss Kitty:)  Yep, we have donated what our family can, we wanted IN ON the miracle of Kalia.  


We want to see Kalia meet her family on Christmas Day.  Don't YOU??


Let's get 'er done.  Let's make the Lord smile in JOY- let's bring that total to DONE.  

Sunday, December 18, 2011

6 days till Christmas

The kids are really excited:)  Only 6 days  till the best birthday of all, Happy Birthday to Jesus.


I love what our church does since our Christmas program was today, they do a birthday party for Jesus next Sunday, we wrap "gifts" in the form of needed items for the church, tissues, paper towels, hot cocoa, coffee, supplies for the kids classrooms, etc.


Then the kids all go up front and "open" the gifts for Jesus.  Another way to celebrate the reason for this season:)


We had a guest this weekend, a little guy who was sure to make us laugh.  Mr. Stink, as we call him, our honorary "grandson" spent the night last night.  He slept on the floor  in Chloe's room, don't ask us why she has a brand new bed but chooses to sleep on the  floor??  But Stink likes to sleep on the floor with her so he went right in and went to sleep.  


She was off having fun, so he was a surprise for her when she got home.  The teens had a big day yesterday, they all went caroling, cookie baking, shopping, visiting the elderly yesterday with their youth group.  They left at 9 am and returned after 9 pm!  They had a blast.


I guess they used up their "good mood" stash, because all but Chloe were GRUMPY this morning.  Chase refused to smile in my requested required picture of them, although Camden smiled enough for the both of them:)  Guess it all works out in the wash, huh?


Chloe had a blast with Stink, he is a funny little guy. When I let out the doggies this morning and then they came back in I told them to "Sit" to get their doggie treat. 


 And Stink SAT.  Right in between the 2 dogs:)  We laughed but he got mad when I refused to give him a doggie treat.


Then I went to get Kat ready for church and Stink wanted a hair accessory like hers.  Chloe said he would make an adorable girl, but I told her she couldn't do that to the poor lil' guy.


Kat did great in the play this morning. Just great.  She was nervous, but did fine.


Camden on the other hand, has gotten sick over the course of today.  He is feverish, complaining of nausea and worried he will not be better by Christmas.  He is sleeping right now, which is good, since when awake he tends to moan  non stop he is male after all which does absolutely nothing to make him feel better but he seems to think it might?  


 I do hope he feels better soon, it's no fun having sickness make it's way through this house.


Still keeping you all in my prayers, those of you who asked for prayers.  Hoping each situation has gotten better, and if anyone else needs prayers I'm still available to spend time with the Lord for you. Just let me know, okay:) 

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Not just me

I was in the store the other day, saw a woman I have known for years.  A wonderful Christian woman.  Wonderful.  And she said to me, as many people do "Hi, how are you?"


And the "pat" answer that I have been taught to give "Fine, and how are you?" refused to come out of my mouth. I said "I'm not great, I'm struggling."  And I saw the understanding in her eyes. And I knew I was MEANT to share with her, I'm having a hard time right now.


My issue is pretty much one thing, although other "things" add to it.  It's the Season.  I care so much about my God, about honoring Him, that this season hurts.  How commercialized it has become, how lost we have become from the purpose of even celebrating this holiday.  


This is for Jesus. His Birth. The miracle that was and IS. That God sent this Son to live here among us, to feel what we feel, live as we lived, to teach, to perform miracles that strength us to this day, then to go on and be hung on a cross for OUR sins, DYING for US.  I get chills just writing this! So incredibly special.  God knows how much we love our children, how much we see them as a gift, as He felt this way about HIS SON.


Oh, How much our Father LOVES us. YOU.  Lil' ol' ME.  


He sees my hurt for this season gone off course (in my opinion) where we feel we have to buy more, bigger, better, and we get LOST in the hype.  I've really struggled with this for years, and just never put it in words.


It comes to me once I have everything done, all gifts bought, most wrapped, our Christmas ham in the freezer.  I have concerns- will the kids enjoy their gifts? Did we get enough? Did we get too much?  Do we have enough decorations?  Who will come for dinner?


This is when it hits me.  The sadness.  The wrongness of hearing "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas".  Knowing we are supposed to be rejoicing in the birth of our Savior, yet people are hurting.  It's hard to be M-E-R-R-Y.


But then I realize even though I am hurting, others are too.  I shared with the friend I ran into, that the season wasn't being treated for what it should be, an HONOR of our God.  And she agreed and told me she struggles with this too.  We left each other with a hug, and a renewed sense of what the season means to us, as Christian women. 


That we can find in each other, the meaning.  It's not money, gifts, glitter and fanfare. It's not about kids who may not be happy with what they got.  It's not worrying about the finances of Christmas. 


It's about the miracle that happened so many years ago, when God sent us His SON, the birth of this precious babe, in a stable, no frills, no decorations, no wrapping paper. BUT the greatest gift He could give US. 


We need to get back to that miracle gift. To remember the season is about JESUS, His birth.  And as such, that God loves us as His children.  Each of us. We are soooo special to Him.  He knows how many hairs are on each of our heads. He knows our strengths, our weaknesses, He forgives us, He knows our hearts.  


I'm so glad for the sharing of your needs with me. It's made me feel like I can do something important, something that is meaningful in this season gone wrong- something that gets ME back to where we should be.


Praying for others. Caring.  Knowing God is with us, walking beside us and even carrying us when needed. His Arms are around us.  His love for us is unending. His miracles do continue, we have seen it in our own family with the miracle of the boys coming home to us- reuniting with their sister. It was ALL His doing.


My spirit is renewed for this year, I will be focused on the true meaning of Christmas.  
I will be praying for all of you who left comments, and hoping more will share because I am praying and God hears each of our prayers.  EVERY SINGLE PRAYER.  He knows the needs. 


 He can and WILL be there for each one of us.  Doesn't matter who you are, where you come from, how big or little your issue is, what you have done in the past, what you are doing wrong today.


 It can be something tough, or even a JOY that He has done for us.  God LOVES prayers of thanks, of joy.  He's there for it ALL.


I'm humbled today to be one of HIS children. 

Monday, December 12, 2011

Monday morning

Where did the weekend go? Whoosh. Gone.


Friday was a hard day, so I was glad the weekend was uneventful.  It's those older kids this time.  Worrying this momma's heart, which doesn't know quite how to stop worrying about them even once they are "legally grown."  
They seem so- well, immature still. Will they ever grow up?  Guess it's a mother thing. I won't name any names, but it's a grown girl and a boy, not Derrik or Brandon.  Figure that out:)  Our "girl" is not happy at her college, and is considering a change. Change is scary, an unknown, not fun for anyone.  But we are praying and supporting her to find the place that she is happy, enjoying her college years.  It's hard to see her struggle with this and I am glad she is off from school for a long break as of today:)


The son. WOW. I can't begin to tell you the fear this "boy" has given me over a number of years.  Wondering if he will make it through some of the things he has pulled.  Children are such a blessing but they also come with very different personalities and free will.  (I really don't like that free will thing now that I'm the MOM) 


This son was a gentle little boy, with doe eyes and a sensitive heart.  It's a heartache to see him struggle so.  As I totally believe 100% in the power of prayer, that God can and will get these 2 on their feet and on the right paths for each of them,  please send a prayer up for them, will ya?


Miss Kitty went off to school this morning, as grouchy as could be.  I never know what I'm going to get out of her, some mornings it's kisses and love, but more often it's dirty looks and tears. Girlfriend is SOOO not a morning person. I've tried earlier bed times, waking her up earlier, later, nothing seems to make a difference.


  She must think I like the surprise each day of not knowing what I'm going to get out of her?  She'd be wrong about that. (Mom do not say she is just like me and I deserve this)


Chance spent a better part of Sunday pouting, he was mad that he got in trouble for crawling under a pew in church and then had to sit next to dad.  He is also not happy that he has lost microwaving rights, he was warned about messes left by him in the microwave and must have thought I was joking? Nope.  Not at all.  Hope he enjoyed those spilled over noodles and hot cocoa while he got them, 'cause he's banned now for a week.


It's not like he is the only one who got in trouble this weekend, Miss Kitty tried calling Camden and Chloe, who were spending time frying their brains on DS games- actually playing together quite nicely, "idiots." Not sure where she got that word, (no mom I do not call anyone an idiot, not even hubby)  but it's certain to get Kat sent to her room. And she knows it but does it anyway?


Even the doggie is a goofball here, Teddy took the pad out of the kennel, drug it over to the patio door, put it on TOP of Tommy, who still has stitches in his neck, and laid down.  Not sure why the kennel didn't suit him, maybe wanted to sun himself?


Today Mal and I are off to help make peanut clusters, one of the last fundraisers for Chloe's Costa Rica trip.  Chloe will join us after school to help.  Since I firmly believe chocolate can fix pretty much any ailment, problem, issue, I will TRY hard to not eat the profits, but it's gonna be tough. Ha ha.


I feel the need to ask, do any of you need prayer? Is there something you are struggling with? I feel as though God is telling me someone out there needs some prayers. Can I spent some of my time, helping you in prayer for your issue? Whatever it may be?  If so leave me a comment, nothing is too small or too big for our God so don't be shy.


 I would love to spend some time with God for you:) 

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Ouch?

It's been an interesting week so far.  Sadly my interesting is in the form of "not good".  First the doggie, that fluffy white one?  Well dummy, aka Tommy, decided to go after the neighbor's St. Bernard, who is 13 years old and was not amused by said 7 lb fluff ball barking like mad in her face.


And she bit him.  He's lucky to be alive, since she could've picked him up and shook him, thus ending his barking in her face quite efficiently.  I'm very thankful she did not, although the emergency trip to the vet, 6 stitches in his neck and a hefty bill later made me wonder more so why she did not just end him there. (No, mom I'm not sick, I love my doggies, I don't love their stupidity)


So now we have injured doggy who we hope has learned his lesson but I wouldn't put any $$ on it. If I had any $$ left after that vet bill-- ha ha.


On to the  2 legged ones of the house, Kat stayed home from school today.  She did her usual when she doesn't feel good, can't sleep, is scared, anything at night.  She comes in our room, stands over dad and stares at him till he wakes up with her little face right in his. Scary as all get out.


Don't think we have not tried to tell her she is itching to get screamed at, even accidentally hit by scaring us out of sleep this way.  But nothing changes.  She does the same thing every time. It's funny when you are awake, but not so much when it's YOU she wakes up this way.


She threw up twice last night, and slept most of the day. I decided she was feeling better when she told Camden "TNMP" and I was looking quite puzzled thinking- time now mom prays, too nuts mom posts, but dad cleared it up for me.  THAT'S NOT MY PROBLEM. TNMP.


Okay then,  when you come up with that and throw it out there at your brother, you clearly are on the mend. At least that's this mom's take on it.


Chloe came to me last night and asked if she could stay home with her BFF Hannah since she was sick. I told her "no, even though you were the one who hacked all over her and got her sick." Chance and her got out the thermometer, which BTW, they refuse to use under their tongues? 


They want it in their arm pit, of which I take offense to them doing as the rest of the kids use it under their tongue. Get my drift? Gross. But they thought they were going to have fevers? Nope, not at all, so off to school they went.


In other news, wrapping of the loot is almost done.  Christmas cards addressed, at least most of them.  Lost my address book in the move, not good. Sad that I only need it once a year, but there you have it. I have Winter Trail Mix to make, but otherwise feel somewhat positive we are well covered for the upcoming holiday.


Chase had a blast at the semi formal dance.  I constrained myself barely from saying "I TOLD YOU SO" and informed him they have prom later in the school year.  He was asking if they "did this again next year?" 


 I did have to instruct him to walk the girl to her door, he tried to tell me "she not my girlfriend" and I said I wasn't telling him to kiss her, but he WOULD walk her to the door. OIY. 


It's been raining and I hear some snow is expected.  We are keeping warm and so thankful we are in our house.  It's very much a blessing to us all.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

A first

Life indeed does have to go on.  From our losses we gain- realizing we have to enjoy each and every day.  That no one is guaranteed tomorrow. We are grieving but also glad for the life lessons we learn.


Last week I got an e-mail from the ESL teacher. A girl wanted to ask Chase to the semi formal dance as a friend. Not girlfriend/boyfriend.


I thought this was a wonderful thing for him.  He wasn't so sure.  First he did not want to go because he thought it meant they were girlfriend/boyfriend.


 So once we explained he could go with someone as a "friend only" he still was unsure.  Knowing my son like I do, I knew it was the "unknown" factor keeping him from what is sure to be an enjoyable evening with his friends.


So I told him he had 10 seconds to tell me a GOOD reason he didn't want to go and "I don't know" didn't count. When he came up with nothing (besides I don't know) I told him he was going.  And it was obvious he was glad to go because he went and got his  dress clothes and tried them on right away.


So this evening, off they went.  His first high school dance:) He looked so sharp and she looked just lovely.  So pretty:)  Her mom drove, we are picking them up.  And I hope he has a blast.  One more step forward for our son.


Other news of the week.  Got a tick off Kat's head, YUCK.  Another joy of living in the country.  It wasn't there long.  But it freaked her out.  


Chloe got a haircut.  Oh does she look cute.  We call it the "Dora" look, it's so much better than the ponytail and side bangs hanging in her eyes every day. I got her some neat barrettes, for the top and she just looks adorable.  She had this cut once before and it really suits her.


Camden and Chloe are both still coughing from being sick.  Camden sounds worse than Chloe.  I hope they get over this soon, it's been over a week and both have done a round of antibiotics.


I took the kid's picture for our Christmas card.  It was tough, Chance couldn't find his tie, so we ended up with the boys tie- less but they look good anyway. (not sweating the small stuff)  I decided the hat for Kat would cover her bangs, still not grown out from the mystery shortening, and it worked well.

It's our first weekend in some time with no visitors.  Seems odd.  It's been fun to share our home with many.  But we are spending the weekend quietly together, no big plans. Just enjoying our home, our kids, and counting our blessings:)