Wednesday, April 2, 2014

It's okay to let them ask!

While we were out to eat last weekend with Grandmama, the brothers were picking on their sister. The weekend is when she is on dishes duty.  Being that we were at the restaurant on a Saturday afternoon, they kept telling her that she had to wash all of the dishes. 

When our waitress came to check on us, they told her about what they said to their sister. The lady smiled and looked at Selah and explained that it doesn't take long to do the dishes at all. She then told them how they wash the dishes. Of course, the kids wanted to see how that worked. And that they did. Our waitress took them back to the kitchen.

I love when things like that happen.

The kids told her that they were homeschooled and that they were learning something new that day. Learning never stops!

The kids are not afraid to ask to see how something works. How else will they learn, is what they say.
Most people are very eager to show them too. They love that kids are interested in what they are doing.

 Let the kids ask. Don't get embarrassed. I used too. I would want to hide under the table when they asked. Now, not so much. I love that they are willing to learn more and more each day. I love that they know that asking isn't a bad thing.

My prayer is that this eagerness of more knowledge will flow in their walk with the Lord. That they won't be afraid to ask the hard questions.  I pray that they will acquire and seek knowledge. To grow closer to the Savior. 

Monday, March 10, 2014

Facing my fears. A 14 hour road trip, with Five kids, ALONE!

A 14 hour road trip, with 5 kids, alone.
Yes, I freaked out for a long time thinking about that.
I was nervous. So very nervous.  Not that I didn't think the kids would do well. But just the thought of a long drive without another adult.
What was I the most nervous about? Driving around Atlanta.  I am a country girl. I am from a place where a tractor is what causes a traffic back up.

The kids were amazing the whole trip.
We didn't drive 14 hours straight. We left on Sunday and made it to Florida Monday night.

One of my favorite things we did was stop at each Welcome Center.

I didn't think about getting a picture in Virginia because we are so used to just getting on the interstate there.

We stopped for lunch in NC.

While in SC we stopped for the night. The amazing Nunnery family put us up, or put up with us. The kids were crying when it was time for bed because they didn't think they would see their new friends again. I love that they can connect with other kids so well and so fast.

Next was Georgia. I really really really didn't want to go around Atlanta. I wanted to GO WAY AROUND Atlanta. I was even thinking about canceling a lunch date with a friend that I haven't seen in YEARS. After praying about it, I knew what I needed to do. I told the kids that we were going to lunch and that I was going to face my fears. We had a great time at lunch. And then it was time. We prayed, programmed the GPS and off we went.  I might have white knuckled it all the way though, but we made it. And the kids got to see a plane land right as we were going under the runway! So Cool!

Next was Alabama. I tried to look for a place to stop but the roads were changing and I didn't see any place to stop. So we sang Sweet Home Alabama at the top of our lungs.

My plan was to stop and continue our trip the next day, but seeing how close were were, my husband encouraged me to just make it to FL that night.

When I pulled into the parking lot of the hotel I started crying.
I did it. I drove from WV to FL with 5 kids, ALONE!
If you would have asked me to do that about 2 years ago I would have flat out said no. But God has been working in my heart and I knew that I could do this. I have HIM with me, ALWAYS.
This trip is something that I will never forget.
The kids are already planning trips that we can take together, now that they know that I can do it.
Wanna know something else?

Monday, February 10, 2014

Never a Dull Moment

The kids keep me on my toes, that's for sure.

Last week, after we returned home from town we were back in town within the hour. 

I was working on supper when my nine year old came into the kitchen holding his wrist and says, " Mommy, I think this needed stitches." 

Of course I was in the middle of supper and this was less than 30 mins after we got home from town.
I glanced at it and told him to hold the cloth on the cut and that I would look at it in just a second.  I went back to trying to work on supper. 
When I took a look at the cut I knew that we would be making a trip to the doctor. The cut was to deep for the liquid bandage I had here.

Now what do I do? Supper was cooking,  my son was bleeding, kids were running around, hubby was out of cell service.

Deep breath.

First check the cut , bleeding is under control.

Check the food that is cooking,  food isn't burning.

Call and see if there is a chance at all I can get in touch with hubby.  Nope.

Call my mom and dad to see if they can come help watch the kids while I take a trip to the doctor. 
 They are on their way.

Check cut again. Still good.

Food. I think it will be edible.

Try hubby again. YES! He will meet us at the doctor.

Mom and dad arrive and we are off.

All of this happened in a 30 min time period.

I didn't freak out, there was no need to freak. But I was looking at where the cut was located and I was signing praises to the Lord. A little to the left, right or even just a little farther down things could have taking a really bad turn. All arteries were missed. And I was thanking the Lord that we were able to go to the local doctor and not the ER.  Praising the Lord that the cut needed to be glued and nothing more.

When the house was quiet that night, after all of the kids went to bed and my mom and dad left to go home, I continued to thank the Lord.
Being a mom is rewarding. But there are days, like this one, where things are just beyond crazy.  I thank the Lord for the doctors that he has blessed us with. For the modern medicine of glue. And for his protection.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

The Journey of Motherhood

After our little lady came down with the stomach bug on Tuesday, Wednesday was much better. She was doing well and so was everyone else.  Things changed on Thursday. All four boys came down with the bug pretty much at the same time.  They kept me hopping.

The older ones were able to make to the bathroom when needed.

At one point I had a child throwing up in the bathtub and one throwing up in the toilet.   But they made it to the bathroom and it was all contained.  (sorry for the graphics)

Even though the older boys didn't "need" my help, they still called for me when they were getting sick.  I would go in, rub their backs and pray for them. They would hug me, say thank you mommy, and then go back to bed.

These are the times that melt my heart.

The times that wipe away the hard days.

The times when I sit and wonder if I am really doing a good job at this mom thing.  

This is my calling.

This is the journey of motherhood.

Wiping snotty noses, cleaning up throw up, rubbing backs while the kids get sick. Changing diaper upon diaper each day. Potty training and cleaning those messes. Cooking, cleaning, washing laundry every.... single..... day.

First words, first steps, first lost tooth. Many, many firsts! 

Being on pins and needles as they climb as high as they can up the tree or making their first jump on a horse. 

Disciplining and discipling.

Kissing a boo boo and making sure they are all tucked in at bed time.

Being a shoulder for them to cry on and an ear for their amazing stories.

Sometimes we feel that we can't go on. We can't take another step. We try to hide in the bathroom during the day just to get a tiny break. (They ALWAYS find us.)  We cry when the bedroom doors close at night because the day was overwhelming. 

It's a journey that the Lord has called us too. A journey that He knew we could handle.

"Your eyes saw my unformed body;
    all the days ordained for me were written in your book
    before one of them came to be."   Psalm 139:1  (emphasis mine)

On  the days when we just can't do it anymore remember the rewards of this journey are priceless.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Three Years Later ~ Fire Story

Three years later.  What do I write?

I still have issues with the smells of winter. Where once I used enjoy the smell of wood smoke, now it's tough to handle.  I have a hard time sleeping through the winter months because of the smell.  We are blessed to be able to heat with wood, but it's still a smell that I can't get the hang of.

I am still trying to make our "new'" house feel, homey.  I am not one that can look at something and say, Hey that will look amazing there. You are more then welcome to come help me if you want.  I still have windows that have no curtains.  Most of the walls in the house are bare.   Maybe one day those things will come together for me.

The feelings of that day are still very raw for me, even though it's been three years. There are times when I think back about the old house. The three steps from the dining room to the living room the kids would slide down on the toy box lid.  Or when they would take a running start and leap from the top step to the bottom. I am sure that my oldest would be able to make it down those steps now with one big stride.

The front door that we said we were going to keep. There was just something about that door. No matter who would come and visit us, when they would go to leave and would reach that door they stayed for another hour (or longer) talking.

Our dog, Gracie. She was the best dog ever and very lazy.  She would lay on the porch from the time we left until she heard us coming up the drive way. Once she knew we could see her, she would run over to the neighbors and act as if she had been working hard to keep the cats away the whole time.  

I am glad to have those memories.

I am even happier that the Lord has blessed us with a new place to make more memories. 

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

I am now prepared

7:30 pm she started throwing up.

She continued until 3:30 am.

I felt so bad for her and so helpless.

I wasn't prepared for a stomach bug.

You might be thinking. Stephanie you're a mother of 5. You should have known there was something like this going around. Why in the world were you not prepared?

Because I have no idea what is going to happen from day to day in our family. Really, in our life.

But I learn.

 Knowing now that there could be a stomach bug, I am ready if others come down with it.

Monday, January 6, 2014

God or Man, Whom am I trying to please?

I took some time to really think about my blogging.

As I prayed about it and talked to my hubby about it, I was meant with some challenges and thoughts.

I looked back at old posts. When I first started blogging.
Why did  I start my blog? It was to write about my family and what we were doing. The brothers were a lot younger and I would put up pictures of them and just wrote.

So what happened?
 I became intimidated. I started going to conferences and meeting so many other bloggers that I felt that I wasn't good enough. I couldn't keep up. I became overwhelmed by the "to do's" of blogging. Am I using the correct words. Do I have enough words. What is my niche?

I have the fear of man. What if someone doesn't like what I write. I want people to like me. Is my content really good enough.
WOW! What pride!

Don't get me wrong. I have learned a lot from other bloggers and from the conferences. They have been  amazing blessings to me.

 The question at hand, Whom am I trying to please?

"For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ."     Galatians 1:10

"Stop regarding man in whose nostrils is breath, for of what account is he"   Isaiah 2:22


 My whole focus changed. I was writing to try to please man and not writing for the Lord. 

This can happen in many areas of our life.

Are we eating the right foods? What new diet should I be doing?  Are we reading the right books? Am I using the best curriculum?  What is so and so doing for their quiet time? What cleaning methods is so and so using.  How should I raise my kids. Am I a bad mom for letting the kids stay in their pajamas all day?  What about family size?

Are the suggestions that people are giving wrong? Probably not.  They can be great resources. BUT, if we are doing things to please man and not the Lord does it matter? 

I want to be like Paul.

"Paul, an apostle—not from men nor through man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead—" Galatians 1:1

Not from men nor THROUGH man, but THROUGH Jesus Christ!