Showing posts with label life. Show all posts
Showing posts with label life. Show all posts

Monday, June 30, 2014

You're Mean, Mom

You're mean...(pause), Mom.

I have been pondering over what to write about these girls. I wanted to share their new pictures, but I figured I had to say at least something. And I've been thinking over what it means to have daughters, to be a daughter and finally to be a daughter of God. Thinking I could in some way end this post with some grand inspirational challenge to myself or to the world wide web.

Instead, Leila comes in my room and out of nowhere says "You're mean...(pause), Mom.
What on earth? 

This happened right after Jada came in and asked me to tickle her edge of her thumb. She didn't so much ask as she just stuck it in front of my face, but I knew what she wanted. (She ripped her thumb nail and it hurts so she has been asking me to tickle it.)

So this is what being a mom is all about? Thumb tickling and being told your mean for no reason.
Good times.

This past weekend a few friends and I were sitting at the park with my mom, feeding off her wisdom. 
I love my mom. She is hilarious. And it's usually on accident. She was raised on an indian reservation and she talks very "up northy." She pronounces things funny sometimes,  says things that come out wrong and sort of blunt,  but it's hilarious and does things like wears two shoes from two separate pairs in a shoe store... on accident.

Ok, that shoe thing happened before I was born, but it's a good example of the kind of things that make us kids laugh all the time. If I gave a recent example,I would probably be the 38 year daughter getting scolded.

I'm convinced parents never stop instructing and redirecting their kids no matter how old they are.
And it should be that way. To some degree. Because they are always making efforts to help them in every other area of life.

Anyways, so my friends, mom and I are at the park just talking and we are kind of in a circle around my mom and she is just simply being "Mom" and giving her input. She cuts to the chase when she is talking and out of her mouth comes a fountain of profound wisdom. I'm so glad I'm not even joking. My mom and I are different in the way we present our thoughts, I guess. But I value her advice and wisdom so much because I know it comes from a place of sound experience and intimate prayer and time spent with God.

And I know that I want my daughters (and sons) to think the same way of me. I'm not just the mean mom who is good for tickling thumbs, but I am the mother they can laugh with (and laugh at), learn from and lean on when they need me, no matter how old they are.

My sister was laughing so hard when she noticed how we were all sitting around her gleaning from her vast river of knowledge and insight. But it's so not taken for granted. I hope she knows that.

I'm watching Jada quickly approach her pre-teen years and it shows in her attitude (not to mention Wesley) and I listen to them and I remember myself at that age. I remember how sassy I was. How disrespectful I was. I was obedient, but had a sassy mouth. Standing on the outside, sitting on the inside I guess you could say. But when I hear my kids talk to me, it makes me nervous some days, because I think back to my relationship with my mom when I was a teenager and I think "Oh brother, they sound just like me..."

I never ever want to hear my kids tell me I'm a mean mom or they hate me.
It's not cute now...and it definitely won't be cute when they are teenagers.

Before I had kids, there was a big part of me that hesitated on even having them simply because I remembered how horrible I was and I see what my parents had to deal with as us kids were all going through our stages of life. It scared me. I didn't want my feelings hurt by my own children, nor did I want the responsibility of making sure they turned out happy and successful once they were grown.

Let's face it, that is a HUGE undertaking. One I am learning now.
And I hope I am doing it right.
What if I'm not?

I am here for my kids. My life is a service to my family. That is who God made me to be. But in return, for the most part, they are adoring me. And I treasure it. They want me, want to be with me, want to sit in my bed with me while I type, want to go to the store with me, want me to snuggle them,  want me to lay with them until they fall asleep. They adore me. And I'm glad they do. Because I adore them.

As much as I love these girls adoring me now and hanging on my every word (even when I'm not talking to them)... my ultimate goal is for them to love and respect me enough to continue to listen to me and adore me when they are grown women. I want to be to them, who my mom is to me. So in turn, they look at my life and the example I set...and want to be that person in their own families.
Does that make sense?

Maybe we will go through some rough spots. Maybe they will sass me now or think they know it all when they are teenagers. But when they become young adult women (and young men) I want them to be able to come to me without being scared. I want them to know I pray for them. I want them to be able ask me things confident I have their best interest at heart. I want them to see me putting God first. I want to set the example of who they want to be like.

That is what I want for my daughters.
They sure are cute now. All my kids are.
And my sister can make them look like little rockstars. And I love it.
But I want them to be happy. Really happy. Temporary happy is fun. And it's fun to surprise my kids with things they want. But as all us grown ups know, what we value now is quite different than what we thought was important as kids.

Photos taken by Joanna Photography.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Ten Weird Things You Probably Don't Know About Me

1. 1. like offbeat characters and actors in movies. Jack Nicholson and John Malkovich are two of my favorites, because the rolls they play alot of times are creepy-ish and weird...and they just kind of seem, well offbeat I guess.

2. I get heart palpitations that are pretty intense. My whole body tenses up, mainly my back and my shoulders and I can't really move or talk when it happens. Sometimes I can predict it about it happen, like when I am laying on my right side and my left arm is sort of pressing against my heart if I'm curled up in a ball. Sometimes, it just happens randomly. I don't like it, but I'm used to it. The thing that concerns me is that usually Jeff is around when it happens and he keeps the kids away from me, because it could last anywhere from 2 minutes to 15 minutes...but if they are fighting or asking me for something and he is not there, I don't really know what I would do.

3. I am addicted to nasal spray. It's the same as any other addiction. The only reason I have to take it is because I can't breathe without it and I can't breathe without it because I've been taking it so long. If I don't take it at night, I have nightmares.

4. Speaking of nightmares, on several occasions I have had "Inception" type experiences in my dreams, where I dream within a dream within a dream. I try to wake myself up yelling (with no sound coming out) for "JESUS!" and when I do, I find myself floating down the stairs once again, realizing I am still in my dream. It's freaky.

5. I am a procrastinator. And I'm not really ashamed of it. I work best under pressure. I can have a weeks worth of work to do on the computer, that would take as little as an hour or two a day, but I save it all for one day, which is usually Saturday or Sunday.

6. I hate to smile with my teeth. If you look at my above sorta fake smile, even with my mouth closed my mouth is crooked and slightly open on one side. It's completely exaggerated if I do an open mouth "teeth" smile for a photo. The only way you will catch me smiling with my teeth for a photo is if I'm laughing, so I have to make weird sounds or jokes to make myself laugh.

7. I hate reading articles online or in magazines that give me information 'about' a person that is apparently newsworthy, unless that article or post was approved of by 'said' person.  I literally cringe when I see people post articles about other people, celebrities, politicians, preachers, etc on facebook of a negative or critical nature. I don't even give those articles the time of day, usually. 
I guess I wouldn't want people writing articles about me without knowing me, so I don't feel justified in sharing or reading information about them, whether what they do or say or believe is wrong or right. It's bad enough I have to see the name of the article and who it's about in my newsfeed, I wonder if people go searching for this stuff online to get the dirty dish on people. 
It's just not my thing, I guess. 

8. I'm in a constant battle with myself with taking responsibility and avoiding responsibility. I don't mean for my past actions. I am fully aware of when I do wrong and am capable of admitting it. But I mean when I see a need at church or if I feel like maybe I should be more responsive in the blogging community or in my personal friendships, I tell myself, "Ok, lets do this..."But then I get afraid if I committ, I will get overwhelmed and stressed out trying to  help others. So I am always trying to find a balance and search my limits and availability. And trying not to be selfish at the same time...

9. Peanut butter apparently gives me heartburn, particularly when I am pregnant, but cookies, bars,  or toast with peanut butter is unavoidably delicious to me, so I suffer through the burn to taste the goodness.

10. I cry at everything. If you have made me cry at some point or another, don't feel too special. I will tear up if someone texts a "K" instead of an "OK." For some reason it makes me feel like you are being short or abrupt with me and I am left wondering why you are such a jerk and what I did to deserve it because I am as sweet as pie... ;)

Monday, July 29, 2013

...And Then I Cried

I've never been one to hide my light my tears under a bushel. I was always the little girl who start crying when it was time to say goodbye to my cousins or my grandma or the several times we had to move when I was younger. No one else cried. No one was sad to see me go. But I sure was sad to leave.  Back then it created a problem for me that was nothing short of embarrassing. The lump in my throat forming. The blinking several hundred times to try and hold back the tears. The attempt to dodge the hugs goodbye and crawl in the car quickly so no one would see me cry, while my parents dragged me back out with a adamant "Julie, aren't you going to say goodbye to Granny?" Uh, well, ooops, I guess I forgot.
Now I embrace my tears. 
I share them with the world...apparently.

I wasn't really shocked to cry my first time speaking in front of people. I knew  because of what I was talking about, it surely would rise some sort of emotion in me. In fact, right before we began, my sister pulled me into the other room to pray with me quickly and as we left the room, I grabbed a box of kleenex and said "I better grab this, because I will probably cry." Her response was "Well, you are my sister."  She said this because she is well known for her tears when she is speaking. Jenny is a preacher.
 So, she's been doing it for a long time. And crying isn't a one time thing for her. Whenever she reflects on the goodness of God or a hurt she had been dealing with, naturally, here come the waterworks. 
And everyone knows it.
We embrace our tears...apparently.

She introduced me, I walked up, not feeling the least bit nervous surprisingly. I was a little unsure of how I'd do, but I felt confident. A little scattered, but confident. The group was small enough that if I messed up, I felt like they'd be understanding. And it was big enough that I didn't feel like a complete loser that no one would want to hear. Plus it involved several friends of mine and women that had known me since I was a little girl, not to mention a few newer ladies at our church. It was a nice size group for me. I felt comfotable.

And then I get up. Introduce myself. "For those of you that don't know me, I'm Julie. I'm Pastor Ted's oldest daughter. I've been married 17 years. I have 3 kids. And before I get into my what God put on my heart, I want to share with you a little bit of where I come from and my story and why I want to talk to you about this."
And then it starts. I just start bawling. I hear the "awwwws," the sighs, gasps. And I start laughing.
You know, the kind of ugly laugh that you laugh, when you are also crying, so it makes your cry even uglier. Yep, that kind.  I went into a few details of my recent history of the past five years, the depression, the obsession, the mental anxiety that led me to feeling suicidal. And although, because I have three little kids who I knew needed me, I don't think I would have ever did anything to myself.  I prayed and hoped that I would die some other way. And the sooner the better.
This whole time of my life I have talked about occasionally on my blog, but never spoke about publicly, other than to a few close friends, so needless to say, I cried.

But it led to my desperation for help. True help. And not just little fixes of meds or therapy or alcohol or exercise or more sleep. Those all can give you temporary relief, highs and adrenaline rushes.  I tried doing lots of things on my own. Trust me.
But I needed something deeper.... permanent help.
What I needed was Jesus. I needed peace in my mind. His peace.

And from there I went into a lot more, completely tearless. And mildly fearless. It was just those first few minutes,that it brought out that deep emotion in me. The rest of the time I spoke, I made them laugh and 
I got lots of nods and "Amens." The picture I am holding is actually one my little sister gave to me last Christmas. I brought it as a humorous example of what my life is like without the peace of God. It's chaos.  Everyone seemed to get a kick out of it.  It was evident to me that it wasn't me, it wasn't by my strength, words, or anything else. It was all him.
But with my personality. Which He gave me. So it was still him.

 John 15:5 "I am the vine, and you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will bear much fruit; for you can do nothing without me."

Thank you all for your cheers and notes of comfort. I think it went just as well as could be expected.
I can't say that I wouldn't ever do it again. It was fun! But, I'm glad the "first time" is over with... 

(Unfortunately, I didn't take any pictures until people were leaving.. Oooops. And my sister only did with her phone, so I did the only natural thing and stole these off her instagram.)

I did record, both video and soon as I get around to it, I will upload it.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013


I read a quote that really inspired me the other day and I wanted to share it for a very specific reason.
Obviously it resonated with me.

The more you fight a feeling, the more it controls you. Don't resist it. Replace it.
~Rick Warren

I am the queen of this. Hiding. Building a wall and covering my ears and blindfolding my eyes, so
that I don't have to see or hear whatever it is that might hurt me or tempt me. I've said before how very
sensitive I am to what other people think of me. This is the reason I decided this past spring to take a long 
break from blogging. Everything I did was to gain the acceptance of others in some form or another.
Even when it came in the form of encouragement. It was sort of subconscious, though.

And I knew that I wanted my reasons for writing to go beyond me.

I even want it to go beyond you. I want it to penetrate peoples hearts with the trueness of Jesus.
Not religion, but Jesus.  And how could I do that if I'm always getting hurt and building walls and
letting it be about me?

The problem was I've closed my facebook and innumerable amount of times, I've stepped away 
from responsibilites because of fear & frustration. And mostly, I wanted to prove to myself  that I was stronger than these "feelings". The very smallest thing, such a texted "k" instead of an "ok" would
have tears brimming in my eyeballs.

I thought avoiding everything and everyone that could possibly hurt me or tempt me or disrupt my peace
was the answer. I thought I could be titanium...just like the song.

It doesn't work. I know for a fact. I've tried too many times.
On my own...that's the problem.

 I don't really  want a cold heart towards others. I don't really   want a heart of steel.
I just wanted my heart to be broken for the right reasons. His reasons. Not mine.

Proverbs 4:23 says Above all else, guard your heart, because everything you do flows from it.

We aren't able to give life to others, if we are empty, or worse... full of fear or hurt or sin or or shame.
And I want HIS life to flow from me, because I'm so full of it. 
SO yes, I must guard it,
but also, isn't part of guarding it becoming strong? And isn't becoming strong  on our
own to no avail? It certainly has been that way in my life.
When we are weak, THEN he is strong through us. We replace those weaknesses with something better.
His strength.

This is where Rick Warren's quote comes in.  
 "The more you fight a feeling, the more it controls you. Don't resist it. Replace it."

We want to build our walls so we don't hurt. 
Resist those temptations so we don't sin. 
Shut ourselves down so we don't feel ashamed.
But what do we fill that empty space with then?
That space where sin and hurt and shame use to lie?

It needs to be replaced with the presence of Jesus. If we don't, in just a short time, we will be right back where we started. Been there, done that. Over and over. (oh, and over and over and over.)
Galatians 5:16 says "Walk by the spirit and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh."
Well, that's a nice obvious hint.

What does your flesh desire? To feel bitter, to feel self pity, to gossip, to be envious, to lust, to greed, to fear, to doubt, to worry? We all have something we battle.
 Fall before him, learn of his trueness, his intense passion for you...and that is where we rest.
We REST. It's simple. We don't build walls on our own. We don't avoid and resist on our own.
We simply rest in the fullness of him.

This is where I have been these past few months. Learning to let him fill me up in 
those spaces I feel empty and broken and ashamed.   Not putting up a wall to block or avoid it, 
but replacing it with Jesus. 
There is nothing on earth like it.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

This One Time...Girl Behind The Blog

Well, here it is!
My turn to co-host Girl Behind The Blog with 5ohWifey
My favorite blog link up on the planet.
I'm so excited. 
You will notice this by the amount I laugh and smile in my video.
Perhaps we should have went with a different topic,
because I am way too happy & excited telling my stories.
You know how I always say, I used to be a really happy smiley girl..
Yes, well here is a good example of that.

I apologize for the crappy quality. Of course the week that I would co-host ,
my camera would break and I would have to use my phone to record..
For the prompt this month, you can click HERE or read below!

Hope you have fun watching, listening, chuckling at my embarrassing stories.

 Today... we invite YOU to get silly and real and share a funny story about yourself. And maybe make a few new friends. All you have to do is follow both of our blogs, post a button anywhere on your blog, and post a short vlog answering the following questions. You'll only have to link up on one of the host's blogs because our links will be interlinked. We really hope you join us. You can grab a button below to put up on your blog. Spread the word and lets get to know each other a little better! Here are the deets... feel free to make your video your own but please try to stick to these prompts and the time limit.

The Girl Behind The Blog- This One Time...
Time limit: Vlogs should be 2-3 minutes long
Introduce yourself and your blog
Tell us a funny or embarrassing story about yourself

P.S. I'm going to be, and my scheduler doesn't work, so I am posting this now...
Sorry, but the link up wont go live until 12:01 PST 11/28/12
Stop back and link up!
<a href="" target="_blank"><img src="" alt="5ohwifey" width="200" height="200" /></a>
check out the Advertise Page for more deets

Monday, November 19, 2012

Blessed: Thankful I Am Alive Today

Welcome to Blessed! A week of being thankful for all we have!
Link up all your Thanksgiving-y posts this week!
Are you talking about being thankful for your blessings this week? Link it up!
My goal is to post something each day this week through Friday.
Thats a big goal for me, since not only is it Thanksgiving, but it's my daughter 
Jada's 7th birthday this week and it's my 16th Wedding Anniversary this week! 
Of course, all things to be thankful for, right? But I'm gonna give it a go!

This is going to sound so cliche' but today I am thankful for my life.
I don't mean just life in general, but I am thankful I am alive today.
A few years ago, I felt like I couldn't function. I couldn't control the way my brain 
would obsess over the details of my pain and confusion.
I wanted to stop thinking. And the only way I could think of making that happen was
to stop living. Fortunately for me, God has blessed me with 3 kids and a husband who are 
so incredibly in love with me. I know how much they need me.
And that is what kept me going. Knowing if I had any value, it was to them.
Of course, now I know differently. I know that I carry value to God
and many others that He has surrounded me with.
Days can still be hard for me on occasion, but the purpose in living is so worth it when I see the 
smiles on my kids faces when I tickle them and chase them or when me and my hubby start
cracking up about his ridiculous jokes.

Lord, I am so thankful you have given me life, you have given me purpose and you
have given me hope. As I turn the next page of my life, enter this new season, now I
know how much I rely on You for strength. And I am thankful you have always been
with me even when I didn't realize it. Today, I am blessed.

Link up all your thankful posts with Tico and Tina and myself all week long. 
Everyone who links up will be entered in a giveaway. We are giving away a $10 Starbucks giftcard PLUS each of us are giving away a one month spot for our "In Post" Ads! 
 That's all you gotta do! Be Thankful and link up!
Oh and lets use the hashtag #ohsoblessed =)


Friday, November 9, 2012

The Mom Connection

  I am teaming up this week with Naptime Review and Two in Diapers for this exciting NEW series about motherhood.
We are always wondering how other moms handle certain issues or dilemmas,
so each week we are going to tackle the questions of motherhood.

Next week we will discuss:
How do you teach your children to be thankful?

If you have some thoughts or advice on next week's topic please email
We would love for you to be part of The Mom Connection!

  Now on to this week's topic!
Siblings and sharing: Where do you draw the line between requiring sharing and allowing for personal space with certain toys?

Here is what a few of us had to say:

Welcome! I'm Julie
over at Naptime Review. I am a mom of 2 wild, crazy and beautiful girls. My oldest is almost 4 and my baby just turned 1. This is how I handle siblings and sharing:  

I really struggle with how to handle this issue around our house. When my youngest turned 1 a few months ago, I really struggled with how I was going to handle sharing. My 3 year old basically hijacked all her toys and wouldn't let her play with ANYTHING! At first, I continually took them away from the oldest then I thought, "This is crazy! The baby doesn't care. She is happy playing with the packaging the toy came in." However, I know as the baby gets older this issue will get worse so here is my plan of attack for future sharing dilemma.

1.Timed Sharing: Set a timer. When the timer goes off the child has to give back the desired object.

2.One Special Toy Off Limits: I would let the child pick 1 toy that is off limits--no sharing required. I think it is important for children to have their own space and not to worry about the other sibling taking over the toy. You could also mark "special" toys with stickers so everyone knows they are off limits.

3.Sharing jar: Every time the siblings share something without a fight or hassle, put a quarter or something in the jar.When it fills up both children can go to the store and pick a community toy for the house. Great way to encourage team work and having fun together!

4. Recognize and model sharing: Continually model aloud sharing such as sharing a piece of fruit or taking turns when playing board games. Also try to catch your children in the act of sharing and make sure to praise him or her.

I know the issue of sharing will always be a topic in our household. Especially, with 2 girls so close in age. I can hear it now, "Mom, It's my turn to sit in the front seat." "Mom, Alice took my new sweater!" "Mom, Averie took my boyfriend." Oh boy! I am in trouble!

Black Dots page break divider

Hi! I'm Cassie
from Two In Diapers , and I'm a mommy to three sweet babies, ages 4, 3, and 18 months. This is how I handle sharing between siblings:

Honestly? Not very consistently.

I'm SO looking forward to hearing what others have to say on this topic, because this is an issue that we struggle with around here! With three children that are just over three years apart in age range, it's very difficult to define which toys are "special" and which toys need to be shared. 

My three-year-old son Bentley is madly obsessed with cars... both the Disney Cars characters and just plain cars. Of course his little brother Grayson, 17 months, is now obsessed as well. Where do I draw the line when trying to decide whether to make Bentley share his cars and letting him keep his very favorite ones {the ones that never leave his hand - even during nap time} to himself? If I let the kids keep "their" toys to themselves, then poor little Grayson would have nothing to play with.

After struggling with this issue regularly and feeling very inconsistent with the way that I deal with sharing, we've mostly resorted to just making them share. But since I really fear that this will give them space issues with their things, we are now trying to switch over to the timer method. Five minutes and then you pass it to your brother/sister. I'm not sure if this is the best way to handle it, but they usually get bored of the time after a couple rounds each, which lets us move on from the situation.

{I should make a note that the extra special items - Bentley's stuffed dog, Grayson's monkey, etc. - are not shared}

So I suppose my answer is - get a timer and please give ME some advice!  

Black Dots page break divider

My name is Julie
and I blog over at Word Web Vocabulary .
I am a mom of three kids. My son, Wesley will be 9 in a month. My daughter, Jada will be 7 in two weeks and my other daughter, Leila will be 4 in two months. Here's how I handle siblings and sharing:

Each kid is so completely different from the next, that's for sure. How we handle each kid actually differs and varies. R eally, sometimes I don't know if I am the right person to go to for MOM advice, because even though we do have specific rules in our house, and it's not a complete free for all, each situation and child vary so much. So sometimes our ways of handling each may vary too.

Depending on if Jada is teasing Wesley, she tells on him for not sharing. But we know her well enough to know that she really doesn't even want the toy, she really just wants to annoy him or get him in trouble and then laugh at him when he starts crying. Or if it pertains to the two girls, their toys are almost always shared. It just comes naturally because they play with the same toys, even if one toy belongs to one girl because it was a gift of some sort, it usually becomes a toy they both play with. When it comes to Wesley sharing, we let him keep most of his stuff to himself, or we tell him to hide it even. Because thing things he likes are expensive. Video games and controllers and such and the girls want to use them for pretend rocks to walk on as they make their way across a lake while they are pretend camping. They mess everything up, so we are understanding of Wesley not sharing particular things that belong to him. And with Leila, she is still at the "It's mine" stage at times. Not all the time, but she will have her moments where no one can touch her doll because it's mine, so I will intervene and it's simple, none the "regular toys" in the house were purchased by them, so they are required to share...again IF the toy is actually something they want to play with, not just to demand that they get their way! It's actually really exhausting. Haha.

Black Dots page break divider

My name is Kristen from The Mrs. & The Momma .  I am a mom of four kids, ages 7 and under...three girls and a baby boy.  This is how I handle siblings and sharing:

With our four kids close in age, sharing is a HUGE part of family life.  Clothes, food, toys, mommy-time, you name it.    When there are arguments about a toy, I enforce the "who had it first" rule.  That person gets it (since they had it first), but then the "challenger" gets it after a specific time period.  It goes something like this, "Okay, you get it since you had it first, but your sister gets a turn in 10 minutes when the timer goes off."  If it is something where more than one can play, we encourage our children to work/play together and actually share.  This method works fairly well with toys that are "community property."

As for personal belongings in our household, if the child received it as a gift, it doesn't matter who had it first.  The "owner" can decide to either put it up for the time being, play with one of the other sibling's toys (like a swap), or no one plays with it at all since there was arguing (Momma takes it).  This teaches them to carefully consider which toys of their own they really care about....and the ones they REALLY care about are usually kept in a smart place.  And if a kid is playing with their own toy, there is no challenger (see above).

We try our best to teach respect, therefore, sharing is expected to go hand in hand with that.   Sharing is tough with kids, especially with littles who think everything is "MINE"...but loving consistency is key.
Hi, I'm Debs from Learn with Play at home and I'm the mother of an almost 4 y/o and a 1 y/o. This is how I handle siblings and sharing:
Currently with one of our children unable to understand the concepts of sharing, fights over toys etc are something that we are yet to encounter. We did recently have our son's first birthday though so it was an interesting time to see how our almost 4 y/o daughter would react over all her brother's new toys!

I believe that there will always be (and should be) some special things/toys etc that each of my children will have that will be special and important to them. They each have a small toy chest at the bottom of their wardrobes where they can keep "their" special things that are just theirs to play with and decide whether they will share or not. I think having some ownership and sole responsibility over certain things is important for them, as is understanding that they must treat other's belongings with the same consideration and respect that they would want for their belongings.

The majority of our toys are considered fair game and are "family" toys. I'm not sure exactly how things will go in the future with sharing but I intend to encourage them to share as much as possible. As far as I'm concerned, if they want to be able to use their siblings special toys then they need to be able to share their special toys too.

I look forward to hearing advice from other mum's who've already had to be tackling these issues :)

Black Dots page break divider

Your Turn:

 How do YOU handle siblings and sharing?
Do you have any tips or advice?
Leave us a comment.
Love to hear from you!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Laugh When Life Rains

This was on my mind last week . I mean, last month it was on my mind last week. 

First let me tell you why.
I woke up about 3 days ago with a swollen eye.
Due to a stye or pimple or something. Although the intensity of pain has subsided,
~and trust me it was tear worthy~
my eyelid has gotten larger(?) since then. If that makes sense.
I have one giant enormous looking lazy eye.
I look like Quasimodo from Disneys Hunchback of Notre Dame.
I wish I was kidding.
(Does anyone remember me posting a Quasimodo pic on Instagram?)
Yes, I did actually take a picture of him me.
Actually I took like 12 of them, because I was thinking this morning as I plopped
myself in front of the mirror, that perhaps one day I would be brave enough
to post one on facebook or my blog, just to use, for I don't know... something.
Sorry girls. Today is not that day. If you want to see a very close replica of what I 
 actually look like while typing this, just google it. Quasimodo.  
As a matter of fact, I can hardly see right now. My vision is blurred.
Impaired. Whatevs. The whole situation ain't cute.
Stay with me here, I have a point.
I plopped myself in front of the mirror this morning, hoping to make myself
feel better by putting makeup on the one normal & functional eye.
(Which by the way didn't work)
However what did work, was to laugh at myself.
I seriously just sat down in front of a full length mirror and kept laughing 
at how utterly ridiculous I looked. And yes, I was alone.
And this is what popped in my head at that moment.
This. Below.

 Um, ok the verse...not the picture...
the picture is just for your entertainment.

 But, how completely true is this? How full of wisdom is our God?
Even in things like this! Laughter! Joy! A Happy Heart!
He knows whats up!
Laughter is the best, isn't it! When you are with your friends and you are on the floor,
laughing so hard at something completely lame...
but it is oh, so much fun!
I was tickling my daughter earlier today in bed and she kept asking for more
and more and more... and I always think to myself, how is it that these kids
want me to keep tickling them over and over?  Being tickled is like torture for me!
But the laughter, oh that laughter~ when you laugh so hard your stomach hurts,
is like medicine. It heals the soul. Sometimes you really just need it.
Sometimes when you are on the brink of tears, and you happen to laugh at something,
you actually start to cry. That proves you need it!
And sometimes, it's a decision we have to make. It really is.
Those moments where life throws an unexpected pimple curve ball right at your eyeball.
Or when your three kids are all asking you for 17 things all at one time.
Or maybe something more serious is going on in your life, a family trial,
a tragedy, a loss, a sickness, whatever it may be~
that is the time when you must use faith and let the joy of the Lord be your strength.
It's odd how the times in life when you have NO strength, sometimes you don't really want joy 
neither. Because I think a part of us likes to sulk and feel sorry for ourselves.
But that is when God tells us to let his JOY be our strength. ~Nehemiah 8:10

We need that to just do life. Right? It energizes us!
We have to CHOOSE to LET his JOY strengthen us.
Sit in front of the mirror. Smile. Make dumb faces at yourself.
Stretch your lips, or your eyelids or something.
Trust me, YOU WILL START LAUGHING, because you're alone.
And it's so silly that you are doing this!
But do it! If you are having a day where you are anxious, stressed, worried,
hurt, sad, bored, lonely..whatever.
Sit down in front of mirror, say "The Joy of the Lord is my strength"
and just laugh, girl. Make it happen. You will feel so much better. 
And the best part is you will have this secret smile that you will
carry with you all day long.
It's between you and God, how silly you were. 
 How much you laughed at absolutely nothing. And how much good it did you.
I need life to be fun. We all do!
P.S. I DID actually write this a month ago, so don't feel sorry for me and my eye. I'm all better now !

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

A Simple Moment Creates A Memory You Will Never Forget

Lately I have been thinking a lot about memories.
Some people choose to forget memories.
Maybe because some memories are bad ones.
Or perhaps they make you feel sad. Because you miss that person. 
That time in your life.
Maybe you think that if you look upon your memories of times
in other places or with other people, that it means you 
will lose sight of what you have,
who you are today.
 The past is in the past.
I see my past very differently.
I look at each experience as a part of what has made me 
who I am today.
Every moment, every memory is a piece of me. 
Not just a piece of my history.
But a piece of who I am right now.
And yes, sometimes I miss those days.
A smell, or a song, or my surrounding will turn me 
into a sentimental schmuck
in just a moments time.

Does this mean I am unhappy with my life today?
Have you SEEN my family? How could I be unhappy?
There have been unhappy moments, sad moments, hard moments...
but all in all my life is blessed.
When I seen my kids playing "nicely" together,
or my daughter asking me to tickle her over and over again,
or my hubby holds my hand or snuggles me in the middle of the night...
I am reminded of the good things in life.
But the good things now do not affect my memories from yesterday.
Some days I miss when I was able to buy myself new clothes,
go out to eat any time I wanted...
Life isn't that way for me anymore.
But that is not really what I am talking about.

 During fall, probably every year, I remember this moment.
I remember my sister and I going to a haunted house. 
I was probably about 18-19 years old.
And we were riding in the back of a car with a guy 
that I had a huge crush on from work. 
On the radio was playing "Far Behind" by Candlebox.
I remember hearing the music, feeling the breeze, the laughter, the nervousness.
The opportunity presented itself to hang out with him.
Oh, the excitement.
Music plays a huge part in so many memories...
Does it for you? It's impacting. I mean, life long impacting!
 My senior year of high school, suddenly I had friends of some sort. 
I mean I had a crowd I hung out with .
Listening to Spin Doctors or Digable Planets in the car
of my friend, Laura.
Listening to the Cranberries with my friends, Kelly & Tasha.
Any sort of grunge music, Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins, Pearl Jam...
brings me back to that year. I still cannot let go of the era of music
to this day.
Maybe that is why I love fall so much, 
every happy moment seems to be engulfed 
in crisp cool air and bright colorful leaves.

Or I think back to when I was 16, lying in my driveway, sunbathing...
listening to all my favorite 'christian alternative' music.
I was changing. From being the girl that was handed to me,
to gaining my own sense of style in music and clothing.
I remember my mom driving me from store to store on Milwaukee's east side,
'The bohemian, artsy' side of town, where I searched out long tye-dye skirts
and combat boots (aka: wanna be doc martens) to wear with them.
Why do you think we take photographs?
So that we can remember these junctures.
The funny thing is, the parts of life I actually DO remember 
that made such a detailed impact on me,
those moments, I have very few photographs of.
And the things that I have photographs of, I have very little real soul memory of.
It's not always the Christmas parties
high school formals
 4th of July get togethers
 or weddings
 that I remember
Yet, those are so many of the types of things I have photos of.
It's the simple moments that are carried in my heart 
that are brought to life
with a scent or a season,
and suddenly I will miss that moment of my life. 

That feeling.
That happiness I felt. I want to go back.
I want to take that walk again with that person.
I want to go to the movies with those friends.
I want to feel nervous & excited when I get a note in the hallway.
I want to have that conversation with that person all over again.
Go to that concert again.
I want to read that letter.
I want to sit in my 'fiance's' jeep until 3 am and make out.
I want to go to the hospital, anticipating meeting my first child.
Conceivably, one day I will look back on my life today, 
and wish I could relive having a 3 year old, a 6 year old, and an 8 year old,
watching the girls snuggle with their daddy
still being able to all play together as a family,
listen to my son beg to have a family movie night,
wishing they were here with me.
But for today, I will love them for who they are,
think back about who I was
and let every moment I have lived through, and will live through
~both sad and happy, 
shape me, build me into who I am to be tomorrow.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

She was 18 going on 19

She was 18, going on 19.
He was 19, going on 20.
Today I look at couples who get married at that age
and I think Do they know what they are doing?
It just seems so, so young to make that decision.
Yet, for me it has been almost 16 years
when I got married at the age of 20.
The excitement of "wedding" was most definitely in the air.
Especially when my dad "discreetly" changed our wedding date
from May 1997 up to November 1996.
Apparently peeking outside into the parked car
of our driveway at 3am every morning made him nervous.
So, he decided "sooner was better than later."
After checking with our flowers, wedding hall, honeymoon, cake...
my dad then checked with me to see if "November 23" was doable.
Talk about a shocker! But we did it!
Honestly, I consider being married as long as we have quite 
an accomplishment in this society.
Things haven't always been easy for either of us.
Life can complicate things.
But you have to remember WHY you got married.
Today my parents celebrate 40 years of marriage.
It's simple. I respect that.
I am in awe of two people who can remain so unselfish for that length of time,
who can still be friends, still laugh and still give out so much.

my granny. missing her so much right now. tears.

just two kids in love.

Happy 40th Anniversary Mom & Dad!
I love you.

Designed with ♥ by Nudge Media Design