Thursday, August 20, 2009
Training and discipline is such hard work but oh so necessary. I've noticed that my babies have all started displaying a strong will of their own around six to nine months. Of course I see traces of, "I want what I want" from the get go but a defiant. "I'll do it anyway" attitude has typically taken center stage with them around six to nine months. With our first baby it was hard for me to REALLY believe that she was being disobedient. I remember times where I wrestled with, "Does she really understand?" Well, I have since learned that YES they do understand. With our first I made a good attempt at teaching obedience early on, however, I know the Lord is teaching me as time goes on. Now with number four it is soooo obvious that she KNOWS when she is doing wrong. She tries to sneak and watch to see if I am noticing or if she can get away with it, and then she puts on the cuteness act when she gets caught. Hmmm, I have to admit the cuteness act is tempting to cave into, and it does not help that her siblings think these scenarios are hysterical. They fully see through these cute little antics. They are well exercised in them themselves. ;) I must not do that though.
The other day I was playing the piano while Abbie Joy was playing on the floor. The stairs, which she knows are a no no, looked so appealing to her. I could see her crawling towards them and looking over at me to see if I would notice. I called her away, and she decided to just glare back at me with her BIG eyes and HUGE smile. It did not help that I had actually taken the time to dress her up extra cute with hair bow and all. So, she sits there just smiling at me with her little chubby hands perched up on the first step. I stare back and tell her, NO NO." After a minute she builds up the courage to perch one knee up all the while just looking like an angel. The struggle in me was something like, "I know I need to deal with this and teach her obedience" versus "Oh My GOODNESS! She is sooo cute; I just have to laugh." I knew what to do and thankfully did the right thing, but I couldn't help thinking about how hard it can be as parents for us to faithfully teach and train our children. It is always easier to laugh things off, be too lazy to get up, just want our kids to like us, etc. I thought about how my children are a gift entrusted to me by their Creator. He expects me to be a faithful steward of what He has entrusted me with. He will not think it is cute or funny if I, as their mommy, do not teach them obedience. If they are not obedient to their earthly authorities how will they know how to be obedient to their Father God? Sometimes the training takes so much time and energy, and I want to just grow lax. That, however, is neglecting the work God has called me to do. You see, I do not think the Lord gave me my children just for my enjoyment or to make me happy. They absolutely do give me great joy and much happiness, but the deeper issue is that the Lord has called me to give my life to train them to walk in His ways. This is my calling in life. The question is will I be found faithful. I have often heard it said that to him who has been given much much is required. Only through daily dependence upon Jesus can I be found faithful of the gifts entrusted to my care. I hope one day to say that "I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth."
-3 John 1:4
My sweet Lauren is blossoming into a young lady and developing her home making skills. She has recently become a big fan of frying tortillas. She loves to stand at the stove and watch them bubble up and then flip them over. It is a huge help to her Mama and gives me joy to see her learning to take care of a home and family. Unfortunately many girls in this generation are not learning how to manage a home. They may participate in five outside activities but do not have time to learn how to care for a family. One of my big goals for my girls is that they learn the almost lost art of homemaking. I myself still have much to learn on the subject of running a home efficiently, so with God's help Lauren and I are learning together.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
This morning we worked a puzzle of all of the presidents of the United States. We have a song we sing at Classical Conversations that goes through all of the presidents. We were singing the song to help us along with the puzzle. It was super cute to see that when I stopped singing, in the middle of the song, Annagrace just kept right on going with the next few presidents. She absorbs so much just by hearing what I am teaching her older siblings. That is one of the beauties of home schooling. It gives the little bitties a big head start. People ask me when we start home schooling, but my answer is that we are home schooling from birth. Abbie Joy sat in on much practice with our history time line, latin memorization, etc. when she was an infant. It is not always easy, but it is wonderful living, learning and growing as a family.
O.k. fourth babies do not always get the leisurely baths that the others got, however, wouldn't you say it is time??? This girl loves to eat and loves to enjoy herself while eating!!! She usually does get a nightly dip in the tub out of necessity!
We have been working on a major job around our house. After over four years of little ones making our carpet less than sanitary, we are finally laying laminate floors. My wonderful husband has been working very diligently for weeks on this project. Gabriel has been his assistant some of the time in the prep work pulling up nails and tac board. I am posting a before picture of the family room and later will post some after pictures. Basically Matt is redoing the flooring throughout all of the house with the exception of the stairs and the wet areas. It is a very l-o-n-g project, and I am incredibly thankful to Matt for his hard work for our family.
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Some weeks back I received our order of home schooling books for this year. The UPS man delivered a HUGE box, and it felt like christmas as I poured over our new books. We are trying a new program called My Father's World this year. I have been hearing about it for years with rave reviews. After hearing the author speak on a cd Matt and I both felt we should give this curriculum a try. The curriculum is a combination of different approaches i.e. classical, literature based, Charlotte Mason, chronological, etc. I will be doing a study of Geography with all the children and then a first grade program with just Gabriel. His study will be wrapped around an overview of the Bible while making sure his foundations in phonics and writing are solid. I am very encouraged about this program and excited to get it started. Hopefully I can blog about some of what we are learning. The children and I will be taking an imaginary trip around the world learning about different cultures and missions work being done in various parts of the world. Part of the program involves reading missionary biographies set in some of the countries we study. As usual I am sure Mama will be learning right along with the children. That is one of the beauties of home schooling.
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Sniff, Sniff. My Little Abigail is nine months old today. She is growing up so quickly. We will be celebrating her first birthday before I know it. She is an absolute delight to our family. She is so funny how she tries to be like the older children. Whenever they get loud she just starts squealing/babbling to fit in with all the noise. So far her words are Mama and Ba-ba for her bottle. She is cruising a little bit holding onto things. Notice the cute diaper she is wearing? I NEVER thought I would do cloth diapers, but never say never!!! There are some seriously CUTE cloth diapers out that are a breeze to use. They are definitely not your Mama's cloth diapers. These things have snaps and can be tossed into the wash with little work involved. Maybe I'll post about my cloth diaper system later. Sometimes we use them and sometimes we don't. I love that they are chemical free on her skin and save money. Not to mention they are super cute. Well, I better get back to work while the little angel is sleeping. ;)
Yesterday Lauren and Annagrace said funny things I need to document so I don't forget. Having four children I tend to forget a lot of those funny moments, so I need to be blogging them so I can look back and remember. :)
Lauren was working in the kitchen and noticed a roll of paper towels that had chili peppers on it. Being the perceptive girl that she is she asked me why I had bought towels with chilis on them. You see, she knows her Mama typically gravitates to towels with flowers, tea cups, coffee mugs, bistro tables, etc. I told her that the roll was a part of a package, and that is why I had towels with chili peppers. Well, her response was, "I'm not so sure they are cute." I thought that was hysterical. The paper towels were not cute. Maybe she is developing her Mama's taste.
Secondly, I was pushing Annagrace and Abigail in the stroller last night. I told Annagrace that I had been missing her and praying for her while she was away at her Grandmother's. She thought about that and then said that she did not want to go in the clouds and look for Jesus. I guess my words about prayer made her think about Jesus. She knows He is in heaven, and so that is what was clicking in her little mind. It made me think about how important it is that I am teaching her truth so that she is processing things and building a solid foundation for her faith to rest upon. I guess she is slowly piecing things about God together in her little mind and this is where her development is at this stage. I pray for her that she will come to a fuller understanding and receive Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior.
Monday, August 10, 2009
Well, after making our own laundry soap I decided to make some homemade dishwashing detergent. Here is the recipe I used:
One and one half cups of Borax
One and one half cups of Baking Soda
One half a cup of Salt
I just poured it into a dispenser and shook it up real good. The Borax is toxic if ingested, but so are other detergents. Just keep it away from little explorers. ;) Also, it is recommended that you scrub the food off the dishes before washing, but we always do that anyways.