Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Remember the boys from the projects that our boys play with? Well they're still coming around. It's been a test for me, but I've adapted to them. They feel more like my own kids now. I can't discipline them (although I'd love to most of the time), but I do make them use manners, show kindness to each other, and follow our house rules. Yesterday was Jacolin's birthday. He turned 6. So I thought it'd be a great idea to through a "family" party for him. He wanted a Hulk cake, so I made a green cake with white icing and tons of green sprinkles on top. My boys and I went to Walmart to get balloons, noise makers, and even a present. Seriously, I expected him to be at least a little grateful. Nothing. In fact, he complained about everything. He came in and stomped on all the balloons we had just blown up, didn't like the cake, and wanted money instead of a present! He even made a lasting impression on Gabe. He must have left his attitude at our house and Gabe picked it up! On the bright side, I have seen an amazing difference in his older brother, Kewan. He is 8 and his attitude has changed drastically. When we first met him he was very rude and angry. I have been working on him a lot. Now he is respectful, mostly obedient, says he is sorry without us making him, and almost always hugs me and says thank-you before they leave. I'm actually starting to like them!
A couple of days ago, I started reading this book called "The Spiritual Power of a Mother" by Michael P. Farris. I'm only in the first chapter and am already feeling empowered! I wanted to share a few ideas and perhaps empower you as well (if you are a mom, that is). If you are a dad who is supportive of your wife's call to mother/disciple your children, you will be encouraged to continue to go before her to make the way possible. The feminist movement strives for power essentially for self-centered reasons - career, control of one's own time and body, politics, opportunities, money, etc. A feminist woman has to strain, push, and make the way possible for her to get that power. A true mother's power, however, is hidden. It comes the opposite way - the way of self-denial and sacrifice. She is mostly seen and heard by her children, who are not capable of giving her the credit she deserves.
Ultimately, power is found in the ability to influence the decisions and actions of others. This is what I call a mother. Few will be willing to follow a leader who is committed to selfish gain. Eventually, she will prove that "I come first" and leave her followers behind to fend for themselves. We trust a leader who sacrificially shows her commitment to our well being. We willingly follow a leader who has convinced us of their genuine love.
This is so exciting and challenging to me! I want to first of all make sure I am not a "feminist" mom who never truly accepts a life of sacrifice. Being a mother doesn't automatically make you a giving or sacrificial person. No, that happens at the cross, where you allow Jesus to take away your pride and natural "me first" attitude. The truth is that one day my boys will know if I had their best interest in mind, or mine. They will know by the little things I did, the time I spent with them, and how I treated them when I was tired or frustrated. Second, I want to make sure I purpose in my heart to be the leader they need. I do want to have a great amount of influence over my boys. I want to shape their opinions and world views to be Biblical ones. And when they are grown, I want them to honestly respect me as a godly woman, not just because they have to, but because I deserve it. There is real power in being a mom, but it's up to you to get it!
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Remember that show? The one Bill Cosby hosted? Actually I've seen one before that's from the 60's. I love the way those boys fixed their hair! Anyway, today we went to Chuck E. Cheese's. Not the best experience I've had there. I went next door to K-Mart to do a little shopping with Isaiah while the boys got settled with Aaron and waited for our pizza. Every time I think Isaiah has thrown the biggest fit ever, he surprises me with another level. Yep. Today was definitely the biggest fit EVER and I really hope it doesn't go up from there. He didn't want to be in the cart but I wasn't about to chase after him with a huge cart AND try to shop. So I threw him in the back and he literally laid down in the cart, started kicking his legs, flailing his arm, and screaming louder than I've ever heard him scream before! I didn't have a spoon or a binky, so I raced the cart over to the kitchen isle and we settled things there if you know what I mean! He calmed down for the moment, but still didn't want anything else in the cart nor did he want me to touch the cart. Those were his words for the day. This morning, however, while we were getting ready to go, Judah couldn't wait to see Chuck E. I wasn't sure why, because he hadn't ever shown interest in him before, so of course I asked. He said, "I'm gonna show him my new underware!" I'm sure whoever is in that suit would love to see that! Then after the boy's bath tonight, I had to give Gabe a spanking for deliberately disobeying me. As we were talking it over, I told him how he has to learn how to obey me and his dad because one day he's going to have a boss or a Pastor who he will have to submit to even if he doesn't want to. And of course there's God. How can he obey his still small voice if he can't obey mine (which isn't as still or small as I'd like it to be)! His response to me was, "Mommy, I won't have to submit to a Pastor because I'm gonna be the Pastor." It was the first time I'd ever heard him say anything like this, so I was surprised and said, "Wow! Really?" And he said (totally seriously), "Na, I'm gonna be the Easter Bunny instead."
Thursday, August 20, 2009
It's funny how life has a way of feeling like a roller coaster, or at least mine does. Sometimes it feels like we're so busy I have to keep track of my own head so I don't loose it. This summer was like that and I'm guessing from now on with three boys the next 20 summers are gonna feel like that! Then, there are days like I'm in now. I feel like Eeyore. Not that I'm depressed, but I've been home all week with nowhere to go. No one to see. Nothing to do. On top of that, it's been raining or cloudy almost everyday, so that makes me feel sleepy. I do like a good rainstorm with lots of thunder and lightning though. That makes me feel energized! I've been checking the forecast everyday and it looks like more rain ahead. On the flip side, I think it's good for the kids and me to relax, take naps, bake cookies, and make tents.
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
A few weeks ago, we were in the van with Creed (the band) blaring from the speakers. It was so loud, I couldn't hear anything going on in the back seat. I glanced at the rearview mirror to check on the boys and there was Judah with tears streaming down his face and his mouth wide open as if he was dramatically crying. Gabe, sitting next to him, had a sneaky smirk on his face while shaking his head "No." This was a definite "LOL" moment (laugh out loud). Being more curious than concerned, I turned down the music to see what was going on.
Here was the very short conversation:
Me: "Judah what's wrong?"
Gabe: "He wants to be the guitar, but I want to be the guitar."
Me: "Judah, you can be the drums."
After laughing again, I turned the music up and we all played the guitar as Judah sobbed. Actually I think Isaiah was the drums. He pretty much does the same thing every time.
Sunday, August 16, 2009
We finally finished our intense potty training weekend. He was so excited to give Isaiah his baby diapers and put on his new Cars, Wall-E, and Buzz Light Year big boy undies. Judah had tons of candy, gum, and chocolate milk. After going through 5 pairs of undies and two accidents, he's on his way to being diaper free. Don't ask me why 5 undies. I don't even remember! And really those two accidents were kind of my fault. I knew I should have put him on the potty but got distracted for a few minutes and he couldn't hold it any longer. The first time, he ran to me with soaking wet undies, so I knew there had to be a pee trail somewhere. Sure enough, I found it in the kitchen. To my surprise, he was sitting on the table looking at his treats. Needless to say, it traveled down his legs, onto the table, trickled on the side of the kitchen chairs, and pooled onto the floor. The second time he had a huge chunk of poo sitting in his undies! That was nice. Overall he's getting it and we're continuing our potty training adventure.
Saturday, August 15, 2009
Today is the day. Gabe and Isaiah are at their grandma's. Judah is saying goodbye to diapers and we're never looking back! It's an intense day of checking if he's "dry and clean" every 30 minutes. If he is, he gets a small treat (candy). We wait a few minutes and he goes to sit on his new little potty. If he goes, he gets a double treat (a big piece of candy, gum, or a small toy)! If he stays dry and clean all day, he gets a really big reward (a Hot Wheels monster truck)!! Then here is the real kicker - he LOVES movies, so if he has no accidents for 5 days, he gets a Disney Sing-A-Long DVD with Peter Pan!!!!! It's nothing but pee and poo for me and Judah this weekend!
Friday, August 14, 2009
"Wise Words for Moms" is a 3 page, calendar sized chart to help you drive out the foolishness bound up in the heart of your child (Proverbs 22:15). It is organized in 5 columns: Child's Behavior (what they did wrong), Heart Probing Questions (to get them to think and talk about what they did wrong and why it was wrong), Reproof (what sins to "put off" or stop doing), Encouragement (what actions or attitudes to "put on" or to have, both accompanied with a verse from scripture), and Additional Verses (to look up or have your child look up depending on their age). You, as their mother, can help them see and confess the sin in their heart. By reading and explaining scripture to them, the Holy Spirit convicts them and builds a standard in their heart. My goal is that they are convicted by the Holy Spirit, not me, every time they sin, whether people are looking or not. Basically forming character in them so that they do the right thing when no one is looking. Sometimes I wish I got spankings like this!
Thursday, August 13, 2009
After meeting with my friend (the one who is a Youth Pastor's Wife), who had the blueberry coffee, I had to get my own. From the moment it starts brewing the smell of blueberry hits the air. I got it at gevalia.com. They have a different flavored coffee for each season and I can't wait to get them all. Spring is Pecan Torte, Summer of course is Blueberry Creme, Fall is Pumpkin Spice, and Winter is German Chocolate Cake - which I really can't wait to get!
P.S. Thanks Kwon, you're the best!!
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
My friend told me about a book called "21 Rules of This House" written by The Harris Family. This is Josh Harris from "I Kissed Dating Goodbye." It is the coolest thing to go through with your kids to teach them the rules and values you want them to have, but done on their level. The whole thing is illustrated and each rule is a color sheet with the rule written on the bottom. The idea is that you take a week to go through each rule, so it takes 21 weeks. Each day, you do something different to reintroduce and talk about it. Thank God I have an HP Photosmart. It's gonna help me so much in homeschooling. It can print, scan, and copy. I copy the rule of the week on Monday, let them color it, and post it on the frige. While they are coloring, we talk about what they see happening in the picture and what it means. I ask them as many questions as I can think of to help them fully understand it. The hope is that they memorize the rule after going through it so many times, but I'm lucky if Judah is even paying attention while I'm explaining it. Most of the time he is talking to himself or singing a song. Gabe gets it much faster and likes to interact with me, especially if I'm asking questions. He even memorized the first one on the first day! I also find a story in their Bible. The one we have is called "The New Bible In Pictures For Little Eyes" by Kenneth N. Taylor. It's the best kids Bible ever! Each story is also illustrated. The stories are very short and to the point, about a paragraph long. After each story, there are 3 comprehensive questions to see if they understood it. If they didn't get it, I use that opportunity to clarify. It also helps us get into a discussion about what we are reading and how they can apply it to their lives on their level. I find two or three stories pertaining to the rule so they see how it plays out in other people's lives and what God thinks about it. You can also use their own personal examples of how "yesterday you didn't share or show love to your brother" or "when you took out your blocks, you didn't put them away." Then have them reenact what they should have done or said. They also get excited to show visitors and their daddy the new rule. I ask them to try to explain it to them to see how well they understand it. After we have gone through each rule, they know what is expected of them so there are no more warnings for discipline. I don't like warnings anyway. The more I warn, the more frustrated I get. That is how you can discipline in anger instead of love. If you're a mom with young kids you definitely want to get this. You can find it on amazon.com and it's very cheap. It helps me not to second guess myself when I feel they did something wrong. I also just bought a guide to use while giving a spanking. I've used it a couple of times already and I love it. Stay tuned for that!!
Thursday, August 6, 2009
We're back home and everyone was so glad to see each other this morning. We arrived home late last night so the boys were already in bed. They were all very rambunctious for a few hours after reuniting. Before I get to today, I need to finish telling you about the rest of our trip. Monday was our official tourist day. We saw the entire city of Chicago from a Double-Decker bus and got an even better view from the top of the Sears Tower. Officially called Willis Tower now. After lunch we hit the shops on Michigan Avenue (my favorite part of the trip)! The next day the group went out to a water park while Isaiah and I stayed back to rest. I was able to spend personal time with the Pastor's wife of Living Stones who, by the way, has EIGHT kids! Needless to say I had tons of questions. I walked away with the importance of dealing with the heart of your children throughout every age and stage of their lives, not just their actions. The day ended with a Life House vs. Living Stones volleyball tournament where we kicked their butts! Actually I didn't play. I went to sleep early for the long ride home the next day. But I was very excited to hear about it! The biggest news is the accident that happened at a Rest Area on the way home. Isaiah fell on a window sill and split his cheek open. We had to go to an ER while the rest of the group ate lunch. One hour later, he had four stitches in his cheek. He hardly cried when it happened, but screamed angrily while getting the stitches. I'm usually very calm when serious accidents happen, but this was the first time I had to watch my child in pain. I teared up a little, but over all I had peace. He is much better now, just looks pretty roughed up. Though the boys were excited to see each other, my older two were very careful of Isaiah's "bo-bo." Today, Aaron and I spent the day with the kids at the bowling alley, going grocery shopping, and cleaning the house. Come on tomorrow, I am ready for you!!!
Saturday, August 1, 2009
In my opinion, this mission's trip is perfect. It's got it's suffering feel and it's vacation feel. For example, our hotel looks like the Bates Motel. It's not disgusting, but there is a sign screwed into the door on the inside that says, "PLEASE USE THE CHAIN FOR YOUR SAFTEY." The neighborhood looks shady, but we found out yesterday from the locals that it's not a bad neighborhood, it's just old. At the same time, Chicago is beautiful. We spent the day at Lake Michigan on the beach handing out Chicago style hotdogs and waters. Friday, I felt like a tourist walking down the streets of different ethnic neighborhoods. All of the signs were written in foreign languages, ethnic restaurants and grocery stores everywhere you look, and people wearing their traditional native clothing. Walking into the shops and passing the people on the streets makes you feel like you are actually in their country. While we are in Chicago, we will be eating at a different ethnic restaurant each day. Friday night it was Thai, last night it was Mexican, and today for lunch will be Middle Eastern. Tonight we will be eating Chicago style pizza. We experienced it the last time we visited. By far the best pizza ever!!! After dinner the group has been going out to do more witnessing and I've been coming back to the hotel to put Isaiah to bed for the night. Friday afternoon he lost it. After 11 hours of sleep that night, he was in a much better mood for Saturday. Then last night before I went to bed, Aaron walked in with Starbucks and a French strawberry crepe. Not bad for a mission's trip!