Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!

For He has done great things for me, and holy is His name.
Luke 1:49

Much love--Justin, Holly, Gramm, Brooklyn (on left) and Vivian

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Help! I need Christmas gift ideas!

Hey friends-- The twins are rounding the corner to three years old and are often bored with many of their toys. I need suggestions for what to get them for Christmas. They have a play kitchen with dishes that they love, plenty of outside toys, dolls and other random stuff. Any tips on what to get little girls who are 2 years and 9 months old? We already got them some dress up clothes, but that's about all I had as far as good ideas. All tips/suggestions are welcome! Thanks!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Special Date Day

I took Gramm to see the Nutcracker today. The twins were at home with a sitter and my sweet boy and I went on a little date. As the music began and the curtains were just starting to open, I looked down at my five year old. He was looking up at me, clapping, and smiling the most joyous, precious smile. I cried. I did. And I'm not ashamed to admit it. Something about his lit up face reminded me to thank God for my son.

Minutes before this special moment, I'd been wrangling my son and struggling with feeling embarrassed and frustrated by his behavior. The people pleaser in me dies a very, very ugly death every single time my son offends another child. It has to die. If I let the people pleaser rear it's head when Gramm embarrasses me, I end up punishing him for what I think he did to me. The thing is, when he sins, he's not doing it to me. He is sinning against God. It took me a loooooong time to not take Gramm's behavior personally. I was angry at my son for behaving in ways that were inconvenient, embarrassing or annoying to me. I now see that this anger was fueled by the fact that I care(d) so stinking much what other people think of my son and my parenting skills. I mean, really, if I were just a better mom, my son wouldn't repeatedly poke a complete stranger, he wouldn't hit anyone, etc. Right? Right? Wrong. My children will sin. They are fallen from birth, just like me. They need grace, forgiveness. They need Jesus. Just like me. And, they need loving discipline. Not the teeth gritting, threat making, flustered, unkind Mama I've been in some not-so-great moments. I am so thankful that His mercies are new every morning. We didn't make it through the entire ballet, but we enjoyed it nonetheless. :) And, by God's grace, I stayed calm. Here's a pic of the two of us:

These are two of our favorite peops who just happened to be there; Julie and John Isaac. I have such a kind, non-judging, loving friend in Julie Majors. Btw, that is not her normal expression. Tehehehe.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Kitchen Help from Kiddos

Long before my now five year old son, Gramm, turned two, I began letting him help me in the kitchen. This was such a fun time for us! I would let him play in the tupperware, or I would put dry beans or rice in a 9x13 pan and let him "cook". It was a great bonding experience and it kept him entertained while I cooked dinner.

My twin girls, Vivian and Brooklyn, are nearing three and I've just started letting them help me in the kitchen. They really aren't much help at all, but I don't think they should have to miss out on time in the kitchen occasionally just because there are two of them at once. And, you know if the twins are cooking, Gramm has to help, too. Having six little hands in the kitchen at one time while I'm trying to cook can get a little crazy. Along the way, I've learned a few things that have helped make our time in the kitchen enjoyable.

First off, get over my bad self and let the kids make a mess. Below is Gramm at 16 months in the kitchen.

Secondly, don't freak out about knives. Seriously, Gramm started using a rounded-tip steak knife to chop vegetables when he was 4. He cut himself one time and it was just a little scratch. I am convinced this helped with his fine motor skills. He still cuts a mad carrot. And, he grates cheddar like it's his job.

Brooklyn wielding a butter knife and showing the mushroom who's boss.

Vivian concentrating hard:

Thirdly, pretend to be Julia Child and explain to your children every single thing you are doing. Gramm has always been very articulate. I've done my pretend cooking shows with him on a very regular basis from birth till now. And, it won't be long till one of my little sweeties tells me "don't crowd the mushrooms!"

Fourthly, it's okay that I don't let my kids help me in the kitchen every time I cook. Helping me is a privilege, it's not a given. It does take more energy from me and I need to be sure I'm in a place where I can tolerate messes being made and children in my kitchen while keeping a smile on my face. I have a strict 'no cussing in the kitchen' policy at my house. If we're in the kitchen, and you're gonna make me cuss, then you gotta get out. :) But, of course, this little man never makes me cuss....this picture was taken in July of this year.

Lastly, enjoy the process. Let your kids be kids, even in the kitchen.