Monday, February 22, 2010

New Beginnings

So we are turning over a new leaf. I realized that I needed to take my own advice. My advice in short, "You won't die". I suppose that needs some explanation. I will explain it as it pertains to our new overturned leaf. You see we've had some problems sticking to our guns when it comes to parenting. There are so many different avenues one can go down when it comes to "how" one parents. The best way would be a biblical way. But sorting that out and figuring out how that really looks in real life is not always easy. There is one way that I have experienced working. It's called 'tomato staking'. The very basics are that you keep your children with you at all times. You make sure to say what you mean and mean what you say. You need to catch every act of disobedience. The child needs to obey you or there is a consequence. The kicker is that what ever battle you come across you must win! Winning means that the child obeys with a good attitude. You don't give up until their attitude has changed.

This is a lot of work. It is very, very emotionally tiring. It is physically tiring. It is hard. By day three everyone is worn out and you end up letting things slip here and there making future attempts 10 times harder to accomplish. I let up because I feel like I can't survive the suffocation. I can't turn my back on the children. That means no *me* time. Ouch! How can I go on when I can't get any time to recharge?!? Aaahhhh, then I realize I needed to take my own advice. It is so much easier to give advice than take it, isn't it? This really is a great piece of advice. When faced with a tough situation, and you feel like you just can not go on, or that you need to cave need to stop and think....if I can't do what I want (me time in my example) is it going to lead to my death? The obvious answer is, "Of course NOT!" Yet I haven't been living that out. I feel like I might just be crushed by the never ending work and diligence that is needed for this thing we call parenting. Now granted it is a LOT easier starting when children are young. It is going to be a long few months around here to see some much needed attitude changes in some older children. But I need to keep remembering when my *wants* are being drowned out.....I won't die. I can keep doing what needs to be done, right now, today. I don't need to think about tomorrow. I don't need to think things like, "this situation will never change."

So we are off. I started right in the middle of the day. I knew there would be no 'good time' to start. I need to be willing to put all life on hold in order to follow through with the needed consequences. As a matter of fact we had our first clash with 'life' and 'follow through'. Saoirse was refusing to cooperate. So life stopped. And because we didn't back down until her attitude changed she ended up missing her first soccer practice. Ouch. But that has been my weakness. I have let life get in the way of what is most important in children's hearts.

So things will be busy around here. Very busy. I will say that great strides have been made with Jed and Jonah. By evening both boys were coming when I called them. I am sure there will be some needed reminders tomorrow, but I am happy to see some success the first day.

Along with this change I decided to do more photos of our days. The good and the ugly. It is so much nicer to write about the good things that go on around here. I don't plan on sharing everything, nor photographing everything. But I would like to try to be more 'real'. It will sort of be like, 'a day in pictures'. But I know that I will not always be able to photograph everything we do, as a lot of what I do takes both hands :-) But I will try to be mindful this week and take lots of photos. So here is my start:

Yeah, isn't that a site?! This is the real deal. Right before I sat the girls down to have a talk about how things were going to change around here, I decided to snap pics of where we were starting. One of our weak points is not having routines. Clearly we need some cleaning routines. The above is a bucket of dirty utensils awaiting the dishwasher.

Of course my days are not complete without Jed's homeopathic remedies. Here is his first remedy of the day. The jelly bean box is where I store his remedies. On the other side you see the line up of Dixie cups. His remedies need to be given in what we call 'dosage cups'. Too long to go into now, lets just say it takes a lot longer this way. BUT it makes a huge difference in his reactions (or lack there of) to the remedies. He is a much happier camper this way. Which makes the rest of us happy :-) A non stop screaming 3 year old is not a pretty site.

There's plenty of this around here. One of those never ending chores. Sometimes I'm master and sometimes its master over me. Right now I'm losing!

Oh, look, we even have work to do outside! Those are our two garden beds. We will be trying the no till method this year. Mostly because I'm lazy! Not really, but I do have other things that need tending to than having to tend to weeds.

Tonight's scene. I was off to bathe the boys and came across Saoirse 'painting' her nails (that's lip gloss she's using). Jeremiah was in charge of the girls while I tended to the boys.

Some cute boy getting a bath this evening. They love the water!

Coming back to the living room I caught Moira just hanging out. She and Isabella were reading.

I had to print out some pictures for Flannery to write some thank you notes on, and was surprised that Jed wanted some too. He sat right down and got to work. I was totally shocked to come out from putting the baby to bed to see that Jed was coloring his picture the whole time. He colored in the whole thing!

Flannery and Saoirse coloring. It was a coloring fest on the living room floor :-)
That's it for our day. I have a couple of other odd ball pictures I wanted to throw in.

I really loved how Jonah's eyes match his shirt! And what a smile!

This was just too cute. Next to Jonah is my newly crocheted hat. I use it as a night cap of sorts. Well he loves to touch it and pull on it and such....when it's on my head. But he stays clear of it when it's off my head! Too funny. I wanted to take a picture of it on him.....not a chance!
Have a great day. I'm looking forward to tomorrow :-)


Lisa said...

Keep on keeping on....
Isn't dying to self a wonderful thing? No, you won't die, but you will grow up!
Who needs "me -time" when one has the Lord?
Something that has helped energize and encourage me has been to truly believe that the Lord is indeed right here with me, the silent listener to every conversation, the unseen observer of all my parenting, and the knower of my heart at ALL times. Do I really live like I believe in His omnipresence?
How liberating for me! No more doing what I feel like doing. Just do what He is telling me right now, through the Holy Spirit, and tell the children as it is going on, "Nope, Scriptures clearly teach that we are to do all things without complaining or arguing.... and the way you replied was in argument form. Let's try that again, five times over.... "
Not what I really feel like doing, when I'm in the middle of an algebra problem with one, wiping the nose of another, pouring tea for a third, and getting lunch in the oven, while yet another is trying to slink away, hoping he won't notice he's gone and might get out of math....
But I call him back, pour the tea, direct an under-utilized child to get lunch in the oven, send drippy-nose on his way after prompting him to say 'Thank you', sigh with relief as Algebra child says,"Oh, I see now!", and turn my attention to those five trial runs of how Offending-one needs to address sibling in a Christ-like manner. Meanwhile, several pairs of ears are hearing and learning along with him, and watching Holy Spirit work, not the sinful mother.
Yes, it is all a matter of putting ourselves away, and letting Him work. Without Him, we can do Nothing!
Love you!
Nice pictures! My Canon AE-1 (ca. 1980s) just gave up the ghost and for the first time in my life I am camera-less! Have to borrow my childrens'.... funny!

turtlepros said...

Hi Kerri, We struggle with the same kinds of things. One verse which encourages me, when I'm fretting over not having "me" time, is 1 Tim 6:17b. "...but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment." HE is the one who provides us with enjoyable moments, in His timing. We don't have to take them for ourselves. He is a loving, gracious God, and will provide not just the necessities, but needed refreshment, as well. Denise

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