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Posts Tagged ‘children’

I love November. I love the weather, the warmer clothes, the leaves, the anticipation of our yearly trip to Mamaw’s, and I love being reminded everywhere I look to be thankful for all the things we take for granted. Being a blogger (albeit, an inconsistent one), I was eager to join the ranks of all my other blogging, instagramming, pinning, flickring friends and post pictures of my thanksgiving advent tree. Us crafty types take pride in our creative, usually all-natural ways of inspiring our children to act out gratefulness during this season. Verses learned, goodies baked, moments remembered, simple acts of kindness, all done by little angelic faces and hands, make perfect blog fodder in this season of thanksgiving.

I mean really . . . .

      

Melt your heart, right? Moments like this make you say, “ah, that’s why we had kids!”

So naturally, I’ve been attempting to fashion moments where the gratefulness in their little hearts can pour right out.

Well, there isn’t any.

Today was day four and not once have we had an advent tree activity that hasn’t involved, whining, arguing, crying, complaining or pouting. Yesterday’s was so bad, we didn’t do it. We were supposed to do something nice for daddy to show how thankful we are for him. We couldn’t settle on something and we didn’t have a TON of time, so I suggested we drag the trash can back up from the curb for him because he always does that. It’s a tiny little thing, but when he sees it done, he’ll feel special, etc. Nothing doing. They weren’t going to buy it and thought that it was a “lame,” “not very good,” “how the heck is that thankful?” idea. How the heck indeed. After many long, exasperated moments, I guilted them into doing it, but every inch of the way was riddled with complaints and grunts and groans of difficulty and dissent. It didn’t end well. I sort of got mad and told them to forget it and get in the house while I not so patiently dragged the trash can up the drive, stormed into the house and declared that clearly no one was really thankful for daddy and some other guilt inducing, law infused, grace bereft remarks that ended with everyone in a crying heap.

SIGH.

Maybe my advent tree is broken.

Honestly, ever since I read Ann’s book last year, I’ve seen so much more clearly the lack of thankfulness in my home both in myself and in my children. I did my 1000 gifts and went through this really great season of genuine gratitude, but once the rush of all that died down, it’s been so hard to get that momentum back. There’s ungratefulness everywhere and I know that I can only teach it to my children by demonstrating it in my own life, but it seems the harder I try to do it, the more I fail at it. It’s so discouraging to be trying to teach thankfulness and end up angry (clearly, unthankful myself). How confusing it must be for them to see me flounder so much in this area. I don’t know how to get out of it. I can’t just generate thankfulness in this broken heart.

On a lighter note, I really am thankful in this moment that the Thanksgiving advent tree is still standing (even though Gillian suggested tossing it out the window). Tomorrow’s another day.

 

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That’s me. Seriously. The worst.  My son is at that stage where kids are losing teeth right and left. Blood stains all over the house, his face looks different every time you see him and there never seem to be enough dollar bills at my disposal. Half the time I forget there’s even a tooth waiting for me under the pillow, so the next morning he comes out with this sad little face and a pitiful lonely tooth in his hand rather than the dollar he was expecting (and what’s up with that!? I got a quarter! Stinking inflation!)

The first time I forgot about his tooth I completely screwed myself too because I told him that the tooth fairy was just on vacation and it was okay because you get double when she doesn’t show up. I said this of course assuming that I would get my act together and remember from now own. He has now gotten paid double for four teeth and has more spending money than I do!

The other day he yanked one out at church (not at all distracting the people sitting behind us). Somewhere between there and home he lost it. I told him it was tough luck and that the tooth fairy had to have something substantial to trade. He put this note under his pillow that says,

Dear Tooth Fairy

I lost my tooth at church. I hope you can still give me a little treat.

Love, Liam

How sweet is that?! How could I say no to that?! So I made a deal with him. I told him the tooth fairy could give half in exchange for the note. He gladly accepted, telling me that since the tooth fairy was two days late he would get half times three, giving him $1.50 for his note. I feel so swindled.

He knows it’s me too. He doesn’t believe at all that there’s a fairy who comes at night and swaps out his nasty old tooth for cash. He just blandly goes along with it, humoring me in this condescending way that only a seven–almost eight–year-old can have. I know this because he’ll say something like, “hey mom, you forgot again–oh, I mean, the tooth fairy forgot again. Too bad for her she has to pay double!” What was I thinking!? I wasn’t thinking–I was surviving, and sometimes the survival instinct misses the little details that get you in the end.

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Well I “finished” this project a couple of months ago, but I  put off this post because there were a few tiny details I wanted to get to first. What do you know, but life just keeps happening on me and I’m not getting to them, so I’m just gonna post what I’ve got and have to be happy with it.

Liam came up with the color scheme for the most part. He loves Clemson and sort of wanted that, but I didn’t want to do a sports room, so I told him he could have the orange and we would pick another color to go with it. This blue is what he chose. He picked out the curtains too. My always handy, ever so talented brother in law built the bed/cave. He and Andy laid down the new floors (LOVING my new floors! So THANKFUL for my new floors!!!). I’d like to make the boys a rug like Gilly’s if I can find the material and want to get a couple of orange bean bags for the cave. There are plans for monkey bars under the bed at some point and more painting to be done on the walls of the cave hopefully.

Right now I’m having a love/hate relationship with the room because every time I go in there I have to clean guinea pig mess off of the floor. Apparently well adjusted guinea pigs do this hopping thing called “popcorning,” which means they’re happy, sending hay and bedding and poo all over the place. I’m glad they’re happy, really I am, but I wish they’d keep their happiness in the stinking cage. (I think I just hijacked my own post. sorry.)

Picture time!

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Mom, I Want A Dog

Over and over. The begging, the hinting, the bargaining, the reasoning. Not gonna happen. I’m not a dog person. I like dogs. I love to pet them and cuddle them. I like it when they lick my hand. I’m fond of the wagging tail, but that’s about it. It’s not even that I so much dislike all the other things about dogs, it’s just that the like isn’t strong enough to make up for all the extra work having a dog would create for me. So, sorry pups, no dog.

We’d get a cat if we could. We LOVE cats. Andy and Liam are allergic to cats. Boo.

So a few weeks ago on a hike, the boys caught a bunch of frogs. Liam staked a claim on one of them but I wouldn’t let him bring it home because we had nothing to put it in. Thus we found ourselves at PetSmart looking for amphibian habitats. I still wasn’t liking the idea of a pet, but Ando didn’t want me to just get them a little vented plastic box wherein the frog would probably die after about a week. Long story short, we didn’t come out of PetSmart with an amphibian habitat, or an amphibian at all. Instead, we came home with this:

 

     and this    

This is Alice.                                                                   This is Ariel.

                       

It only took a week for me to regret it. At least they aren’t asking me for a dog anymore.

 

 

 

 

 

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Longest. Hike. Ever.

Okay, so not really, but for someone who’s been slacking off on her fitness routine the past few months, this hike totally kicked my butt. It was something like 2.5 miles.  I know, I’m a wuss. I DID have Eliot strapped to my back the whole time, but that doesn’t really exempt me from wimpy status, does it? There were 5 moms, 19 kidlets, 4 frogs, a zillion lizards, 2 kids who couldn’t hold it and had to poop in the woods, 1 scary she-man who passed us on a bike, 1 cotton mouth–oh, wait, no, his eyes weren’t “slanty,” maybe it was just a water snake, and ZERO (amazingly) serious injuries in 3.5 hours. It was AWESOME. When we reached the end Liam asked if we could go again. The moms all but screamed NO! Did I mention that the oldest of those 19 kids was 8? We must be crazy.  Anyway, here are the pics. Good times. Beautiful day. God sure makes pretty stuff.

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Finally finished! Whew! I feel like I’ve been off the grid for weeks working on this stuff. We’re 3/4 through the projects, taking a small break before finishing up with the boys’ room. I’ll post more pics of that when finished. for now, here are a few shots of  Gill’s room and I’ll do some floor shots soon too. I should also put up some night shots so you can see how soft and lovely the branches and white lights look in the dark. It’s a yummy space! Hopefully these will excuse my long absence. They aren’t really in any sort of order and I don’t think there’s much in the way of explanation needed. A few things were Pinterest inspired, of course, some my own ideas. I’m really pleased with the results and thankful that Gillian is too. She’s not always an easy one to please, so I’m glad she likes it. I think I might like it even more than her though. I like to just go and sit in there and pretend I’m a little girl again.

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It never ceases to amaze (and slightly frustrate) me how God uses situations with my children to remind me of the truth I know. It’s so blaringly obvious too, not just this subtle, “maybe that could apply to me as well.” No, it’s this in-your-face declaration of “you do know you’re behaving like a two year old, right?”

This morning Eliot decided he didn’t want his banana and breakfast bar cut up. He was perfectly content to eat those things, but for some reason, cutting them up defiled them in his mind and he’d have nothing to do with it. When he realized it was that or nothing, he broke down into hysterics. Not just the forced, dry eyed whine, but genuine, face soaking, snot running, wailing. His little heart broken over such a silly matter. What’s the deal? What’s the difference? He’s still getting what he needs. He’s still being fed. The flavor isn’t even going to change. The end is still the same. He will still be filled and fed. As I stand over him, listening to his keening I shake my head in disbelief and wonder at him.

That’s the first mistake! I’ve learned that I shouldn’t wonder, shouldn’t ponder, shouldn’t even think really about my children’s behavior if I don’t want to be convicted. Conviction follows my little monsters everywhere they go.

Anyway, as I wondered why in the world he had to freak out over a cut up breakfast bar, I couldn’t help but think about me and Andy right now. We’re not getting what we want. Not in the way we want it at least. We know were getting the best, we know the larger story is being written by a good Dad that we can trust, but we’re stuck looking at a cut up breakfast when we wanted the whole thing in our hands–our way.

And I don’t know where to go from there, because we’re stuck in that for a while. Not sure how long. Hope it’s not too long. It’s not the happiest of places. Just trying to rest in Him while we’re here, be in His presence and accept that HE is our promised land, not his stuff, not his easy gifts. That’s not always easy to remember, but it helps when I see Eliot, smiling face, full tummy, the trauma of his mutilated breakfast forgotten.

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