Choices, choices, choices…

January 21, 2012

I know,  I haven’t written since Monday.

And, sorry, I don’t have pictures for you today.

I’m under the – I don’t know where my camera is again- blues.  I’m sure it’s around here somewhere.  I need to remember to put it back in it’s “home”.


We’ve been dealing with choices the past few days.

Well, more the kids than us.

You see, we took away their choices.  Not completely, but almost.  The older two were freaking out over the littlest things.  A cup or bowl color that they wanted and didn’t get, even what direction to put a comforter.  It’s something I’d expect from my almost 2 year old, not my 4 and 6 year old.  So we’re trying to teach them, not only that they can’t get everything they want, but that choices are a privilege, not a right.

I suppose to some, this might seem weird.  Especially in our society where we can “have it your way”.  We have so many choices!  I mean, you go to store to get a loaf a bread (never-mind that you have to decide not only to get bread verses make it, but which store to go to) and you reach the isle to decide on which kind of bread (wheat, white, rye, ect) and millions of brands to choose.  I just want bread!

Caleb had the “I want it my way” the worst, but Hannah wasn’t far behind.  So, I let them keep a very few toys in their room and then put the rest up for “rest time”.  Which in our world, generally means quiet, alone, play time.  I’ve also limited the choices of toys downstairs and am thinking about doing more.  The kids have been so much easier to live with without all choices.  I think we get choice overload and kids especially don’t have the maturity as yet, to handle it.   Sometimes I’m not sure if I can handle it.

In the end, it’s just stuff anyway.  Caleb very rarely asks for toys specifically.

Speaking of Toys…

Here are the toys I tend to keep around and are played with the most often:

1. Cars: as in matchbox type, but also as in the movie

2. Duplos Legos

3. Little People

4. Bouncy Balls

5. Play food & dishes

6. Dolls & doll clothes (yes, even the boys have A doll.)

7. We also have a number of Laurie Toys: The Color and Shape Sorter, Tall Stacker Pegs and Pegboard, Number Express and the Toddler Tote.  I love all except the Pegs & Pegboard for when we go out to eat.  I like the Pegs and Pegboard, but because of how the kids generally play with it, they need to be able to move around a bit more.  For instance: when we visit someone in the hospital or when we visit my grandma in the nursing home.

These are always out and almost always played with.

I also have:

1. Blocks

2. Lincoln Logs

3. Regular Legos – because we seem to always have toddlers and younger, these are more special occasion or rest time toys.

4. Puzzles – we have a variety of different kinds because of the ages of our kids.

5. Dinosaurs and other plastic animals

6. Tinker-Toys

7. Magnetic Letters

Anyway, THAT was a rabbit trail…

I also have tried to find out the kids 7 – 9 favorite shirts and leave it at that.  Kids honestly wear that many anyway if you keep up with laundry.

Which I’m not always so good about doing, but that’s beside the point!

Another good tip (that I don’t use often, but DOES help) is to have your kids pick out their clothes the night before.  Then there’s no or little arguing right before you have to push them off to catch the bus or get to your MoPs/Bible study meeting/ect on time.  It also makes sure you have what you really want clean and you are wearing two matching shoes… 🙂  And if you sleep through your alarm, it’s less you have to think about.  If your kids are old enough, it also helps them to know what to wear and maybe, just maybe get dressed themselves without you having to tell them to do so.  (It happens, really, just not very often here.)

Of course, if you homeschool like we do, you don’t have to get dressed.  You can hang around all day and do school in your pajamas if you want to.  It’s just of the perks of homeschooling.  I just get more accomplished if I’m dressed and have my shoes on.  (Thanks, Flylady!)  I think my kids are slow to get dressed in the morning because they’re hoping I’ll let them have a pajama day.  We don’t do it often, but they cling to the hope.

When we feel the kids can handle choices again, we will give the privilege back to them.  As nice as it is to live with them right now, they need to learn to be well rounded adults that can make wise choices.  We feel that our job, as parents, is to help them learn how to make those choices.  At first, it’s making those choices for them and then, it’s teaching them to do it themselves.

Anway, thanks for choosing to read this!  🙂

May God bless your socks off!





Monday, Monday…

January 16, 2012

It’s Monday.

We went to Des Moines this last weekend and didn’t take any pictures.  So I have no pictures to show you.

We were going to go to the Omaha Zoo and than to the wedding of one of Tim’s cousins.

Then the kids got sick.

So… The kids and I stayed in Des Moines.

Sunday, I got sick.


So, today is Monday.

I feel better.

Thanks for asking.

But no pictures today.

Perhaps tomorrow.

May God bless your socks off!


Christmas Children’s Choir

January 12, 2012

It’s snowing today (FINALLY!) and I have a seemingly impossible task in front of me of cleaning the office.  I’ll see if I remember to take pictures… I’ve decided to make it into a library.  I just need to find the floor.

So here are pictures I took after a Children’s thing at church before Christmas.

You see that red spot right in the middle of all that white.  Yeah, that was Caleb.  We came late and then I didn’t realize until after he was up there that he was in the wrong group.  Oops!  Oh well.  He knew the songs…

Here’s Hannah.  She’s so small she almost always gets put in front.  Of course, she looks even smaller because she’s a step down from everyone else.

At the end everyone went up to sing one last song.

When it was all said and done and we were on our way out, I decided to take a shot by the Christmas trees.

They were majorly cheesing it for the camera.

I have no idea why Caleb had his hands on his head, but he did that through every picture I took of him.

Ethan was home with Daddy this night.  We didn’t think he’d enjoy it and Tim wasn’t all that excited about going.

We had a lot of fun that night, the kids and I.

(I think Daddy and Ethan had fun too…)

May God bless your socks off!



January 11, 2012

This is Noah.

Noah is our “first born”.

He has the bad habit of getting outside.

Then this last week, he had no desire to get outside.

So we took him to the vet.

No, really.  We did.


Poor guy had a temperature on Monday.

You ever tried to give a cat medicine?

It’s worse than a toddler!

He’s better now.

And back to trying to get outside.

Oh well…

God bless your socks off!


The Christmas Train

January 10, 2012

Last month we were given the opertunity to ride the Christmas train.

I didn’t get any pictures of the train.


I have no idea!

Maybe because it was cold and rainy that day.


In December!

I don’t like rainy Decembers.

Just thought I’d share.

The boys loved the ride!

Hannah did too… (but sat too close or out of range)

Proof that Hannah was there!  🙂

After 2 hours in the train (to it’s destination and back) the kids were ready for something else.  Ethan was VERY ready for something else.

So we had free Christmas cookies, hot cocoa, and coffee.  Then we paid for chili and hotdogs.  For a cold, wet day and after a long ride.  It was GOOOOOOD!

After eating Hannah, Caleb and I went to go and do the kids crafts.  They were pretty easy but cute.  It was basically a lid from a can with a hole in it. Then the kids decorated it with stickers and put a pipe-cleaner through the hole to make something to hang it with.  I think we came home with 5.  Caleb made one; I made one; Hannah made 3.

This is what Tim and Ethan were doing while we made the crafts.  🙂

The kids were all tired and cranky when we finally left to go home, but it was certainly worth the ride.

Extra special thanks to Brad and Jen who gave us the tickets!  THANK YOU!!!

May God bless your socks off!


Reflections – Hannah

January 9, 2012

By now, if you’ve been following along, you’ve seen my boys.  Now it’s time for a little pink.  🙂

Hannah Elizabeth was named for Hannah & Elizabeth in the Bible who both have similar stories.  Hannah (in the Bible) became the mother of Samuel, the prophet, and Elizabeth became the mother of John the Baptist.  Both were influential men.  Both women had all but given up on God and yet God remembered them.  God’s plans are not always our plans and His timing are not always our timing.

All the pictures we took of Hannah right away had one of us in it… So… in this one she’s about 2 weeks old.  No longer red, but still bean like for the most part.

6 months old and already knows how to pose.  We put her on her belly and she put her hands in this position.  This was the second attempt at pictures.  At the first attempt, she would have nothing to do with sitting still and looking cute for the camera. Forget it!  Oh well…

1 year

18 months… I loved the way her skirt poofed up when she sat down.

I’m sure we had a better picture of her at 2, but this works.  Her birthday dessert here was cookie cake.

3 years.

4 years.  This also was her flower-girl dress for my mother’s wedding.  Cute, huh?

5 years.

6 years.

Ok… Rehash

Baby Hannah

Not so baby Hannah.

Waaaaaaa!!!!!!!   <sniff, sniff>

Ok, I feel better now.

May God bless your socks off as he has mine!


Reflections – Ethan

January 8, 2012

I’m doing a short series right now on my children.  I figured I’d do Ethan next since he’s the one that got me on this series with my realization that he’s not a baby anymore.  <sniff, sniff>

We named him Ethan Jeremiah.  No, not after the furniture store and the bullfrog, though my uncle did ask.  🙂  Ethan was the name we’d picked out even before he was born.  Afterwards, it seemed even more fitting as it means strong.  For he had to be strong as we found out that he had had a very tight knot in the umbilical cord and had we waited any longer, probably would have died.  We named him after Jeremiah who, in the bible, followed God even though it seemed a fruitless task.  Be strong in the Lord, little man, for Jehovah is God.

It’s still hard to believe that he was this small.  This picture was taken a couple days after he was born.  He needed an oxygen “hood” for a short time right after he was born. (He was born 5 weeks early due to no amniotic fluid and little movement.)

This is when Ethan was 6 months (almost).  He’s with his aunts on Daddy’s side.  🙂  Aren’t they beautiful?!

1 year.  He’s such a happy boy…

18 mos.  I had just taken Caleb’s picture and he sat down on a pumpkin and said, “Cheese!”  So… I got a cute one of him too.  Only now he doesn’t just smile for anybody.

So let’s rehash…

Baby Ethan…

Not so baby Ethan…

Waaaaaa! <Sniff, Sniff>

On that note.  🙂

May God bless your socks off!