Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A quick thank you and update...

I honestly had no clue how many people actually read our blog. After my last post, I have heard from many of you "secret" readers. I just wanted to quickly say thank you to each and every one of you who have called, emailed, dropped notes off at the front door, etc. You know who you are and what you've done. Most of all...THANK YOU FOR PRAYING! I can honestly say that this week is going a little better. I'm feeling better about life and really trying to focus on improving the little things.

My focus this week has been to not let frustrations of life come out in any form towards the kiddos. I will admit that there have been times when I am frustrated with life and then one of them acts out and I overreact. I'm trying to change that! It's not their fault that life is rough right now. We do our best to not let them know just how rough things are, as much as possible. I realize that some of you think we should be a little more honest with them about what's going on but we don't feel it's fair to put the burden on them. We just want to love them and use the different situations we are going through, those they are aware of, as teachable moments. We always remind them that ultimately, God is in control! He will care for us and give us everything we need as long as we trust in Him!

Sunday was a good day with my Bible reading...got my three days in! (It meant skipping Sunday School and sitting in the crib room at church but I got my reading in...sorry Pastor Ken!) Yesterday, I accomplished one days worth with three extra little buddies, my nephews, hanging around the house. (We love having the boys here and wouldn't change having them for anything. They are so much fun!) I wanted to do more later but by the time my nephews went home, we got dinner for everyone, got the kitchen cleaned up, the kiddos to bed and I finished the remainder of the tasks I needed to do before today...I was exhausted. I knew that if I even tried to sit down to read I would fall asleep so I opted to just wait for today to do more and be satisfied with getting one days worth of reading in. Today has been busy with volunteering at school and working this afternoon but I have every intention of getting three days of reading in and my amazing husband is going to help me reach that goal by taking care of the kids and kitchen after dinner. Who knows...maybe I'll be able to read four days worth!! My goal is to be caught up by April 15th. Yes, I just shared that with all of you and you now have permission to keep me accountable!

I'm looking forward to this weekend...Resurrection Sunday!! We normally attend Good Friday service at church but this year, not only is it Easter weekend but it's Brenna's birthday weekend so we will be having a birthday celebration Friday evening with her friend and the family will be here on Saturday. We will miss attending the service but look forward to Sunday morning! We have the Resurrection Eggs that we will be using with the kids this week as we talk about Easter and the events that happened that weekend. I'm amazed at how much Ethan is understanding. He is such a little sponge right now.

We hope that your family has an amazing week as you prepare to celebrate Easter. We pray that you know Jesus as your personal Savior and that you too will be celebrating His Resurrection!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Telling it how it is...

I've been doing a lot of thinking and processing lately. I decided to post about some of it so that you would know how to be praying.

For those who don't know, we no longer have our house for sale. We took the For Sale By Owner sign down just over a week ago. I told Jason one night that I just felt like we needed to take the sign down. He gave me a funny look and then proceeded to tell me that he had been feeling the same thing.

We got word in January that our application with Family Life had expired...all applications are only good for 2 years. They would really like for us to reapply but we aren't sure at this point what God is wanting us to do. At this point, we feel like He is keeping us here, at least for now. We would love to work with Family Life and totally believe in what they are doing and their ministry. We have really come to love these people and have one couple that we have connected with and have had to our home. It's been a joy getting to know this couple!

We have also been in the process of working with our mortgage company to get our mortgage adjusted since our income has taken a big cut since purchasing this house. They have told us it could be a month before we hear anything. This would be a huge help financially and a start to getting back on track with a monthly budget that we so desire to live on.

What is it that God is wanting us to do? Are we staying here in Whatcom County? Are we staying here in this house? Is this economy ever going to get better so that we can even consider selling our home and go into full time ministry? Does God want us in full time ministry?

I've also been taking a look at my life personally. Where am I with God? Am I keeping him in the center of my life? Am I the mom that I've always wanted to be? Am I the wife that I need to be for my husband? What kind of a friend am I? It's so easy to let people believe one thing when really, I know what's going on inside.

Normally, when someone asks me how things are going or the usual "how are you?" I'm answer GOOD with no hesitation. Lately, there's been hesitation. Things aren't good. I mean we are healthy and our marriage is great and the kids...well, they are kids. It's hard living day to day and not be thinking about the struggles. My new answer to people is "things are okay." I don't want to think that things are bad but they aren't where we would like them to be.

I really need to start prioritizing my life better. I need to not be so focused on Facebook and being so concerned about what's going on with everyone else during the day. I need to not be so worried about what's on tv that I might be missing during the day. I mean really, how many Baby Stories does one need to watch. They aren't important...I have three stories of my own. And, What Not To Wear. It's not like I'm doing much shopping right now any way so why worry about what's fashionable and what's not. Now, I wouldn't mind Stacie and Clinton coming and cleaning out my closet but I don't need to watch episodes of them surprising other people. And then there's Say Yes To The Dress. Come on...how many people does one bride need with her to purchase a wedding dress and some of those bridal consultants scare me.

Now, don't get me wrong. I'm not just sitting on the couch watching show after show. I am doing things around the house while these shows are on but I could just turn that tv off and get more done. However, there are the days when I have extra kiddos here and I am just sitting on the couch with the babies. These days, I give myself permission to have the tv on.

Lately, I've been feeling really guilty about not being the mom I need to be for my kids. I get myself so busy with other things and I'm not focusing on them like I need to. I make sure their daily needs are met but I know there are times that I haven't been readily available for them.

They are growing up so fast and the scary thing...Brenna starts Middle School next year. I can't believe how fast the years have gone with her. She is 11 in nine days. She is becoming such a beautiful girl and we have been able to have some great chats lately but I want more of those! Alyssa is at an awkward stage. You know, that stage between little girl and big girl. She's not sure that she wants to put her baby doll and all of the accessories away but yet she never plays with it. She bounces back and forth between playing with the younger kids and just wanting to hang out with her older sister. Ethan needs his mommy and all the snuggle time he can get. He informed me tonight that he didn't get his snuggles today. So, I snuggled him a little before tucking him in.

Sometimes I feel like I'm failing my husband as his wife. I will be the first to admit that there are days when he gets home from work and I haven't even started dinner. Of course, he's never offended by that and just jumps in to help but why should he have to do that? He's the one that's been at work all day. I've been trying hard to have meals in the freezer so that I can just go and pull them out in the morning. Still, there are days when I don't make it to the freezer. I've really been trying hard lately to make sure the house is picked up when he gets home and that I have at least put thought into dinner. I want to improve in this area.

And then there are my friends. Have I been the friend to you that you need me to be? I love to help people and to make sure all is well in the world around me. I hope that you feel comfortable enough letting me know if there is something in my life that I need to change or work on.

My spiritual life needs a lot of work. I had started to read through the Bible and wanted to do it in a year. I started in October and was doing fine until the holidays hit. At that point, I fell so far behind. So, Jason and I talked and decided that I just needed to start over with January 1st. So, I did. I did great keeping up for quite awhile and am suddenly 3 weeks behind. It's amazing how missing a day here and a day there quickly adds up. So, now my goal is to get caught up. This means reading three days each day. This doesn't necessarily happen every day but I always try to get at least one day in.

I also need to work on my prayer time. I would love to hear from you moms as to when you get your quiet time with God. I struggle with this. I have tried getting up early, before the kids, but it never fails that Ethan hears me up and comes out, ready to go for the day. I could come up with excuses for all times of the day, Honestly, I think this is the area of my life that I desire the most to improve. Don't get me wrong...I pray and believe that God hears us no matter where we are. But, I'm desiring that absolute quiet time to just be alone with God.

I feel like I have so much to work on and realize that I really just need to focus on one or two things for now. I love that my husband is so amazing and loves me for who I am. He is such an encouragement and doesn't like it when I see myself failing at life. He is always telling me that I'm not failing and that this isn't the way things are going to be forever. I love those of you who have been such an encouragement to me when you know that things are tough.

So, now it's on to bed and to start tomorrow a whole new day and focusing on how to make each moment better. I'm looking forward to going to church and worshiping our amazing God!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Getting old...

So, it's 10:50 pm and I'm sitting here, wanting to go to bed, but instead I'm waiting for the next hour to pass by.

Brenna is at a church function tonight for all of our 5th & 6th graders. They have activities planned until midnight. Of course, I volunteered to be the one to go get her because Jason is exhausted from his long work week...I know, I know...I'm such a loving wife. :) I didn't think I would have a problem staying up long enough to go get her but it's getting harder and harder to stay awake. I'm getting too old for these late nights.

I'm excited to get Brenna and to hear all about her evening. One of the things they were doing was playing hide-and-seek in the church...IN THE DARK! Jason and I had so many great hiding places to tell her about but decided that we better not because she might not be found. I remember playing hide-and-seek in the church, in the dark, as a kid. It was so much fun but felt like forever before ever being found.

Well, I better go find something else to do before I fall asleep staring at this screen. The next 45 minutes can't go by fast enough. Here's hoping Ethan and Alyssa decide that sleeping in tomorrow is a good thing! They are both early risers.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The final Elementary music concert

Tonight, we attended Brenna's last Elementary music concert. I actually had thought of it that way until the Principal had welcomed us and mentioned it being the final concert. I was suddenly sad. Quickly reminded that Brenna is going to middle school next year. How can my baby be ready to go to that BIG, scary, school? Whether I want to admit to it or not, she's going.

Any way, this concert was special! Brenna had been chosen to be a part of a group to open with the Star Spangled Banner. The girls were nervous but did great!http://www.youtube.com/user/jtscheib#p/a/u/0/C67l2OLheCQ
(So I've never embeded a youtube video before and I'm sure there is a better way that I just don't know about yet. If you can't just click on the link to get to the video, copy and paste it into your browser bar.)

The whole night was a lot of fun. Our music teacher is an amazing guy! His hours have been cut but yet his dedication for the kids hasn't changed. He is at the school more hours than he is paid for...now that's pure dedication. He is constantly inviting kids to do something with him musically. At our parent/student breakfast, he was there on stage, playing his guitar quietly in the background. And then, as kids finished their breakfast, he would invite them up to sing (he even had a microphone set up and ready to go).

This teacher doesn't just sit and sing with the kids during the time he has them. No, he actually teaches them to play different instruments and each class performs an instrumental piece during their concert time. Brenna was so excited to get to play the guitar this year. She's been begging for us to give her guitar lessons but knows that that won't be happening until she has a few more years of piano...maybe that will get her to practice piano more! HA!
I also found out tonight that he, and our PE teacher, have been helping out with our 5th grade classes. There are only two 5th grade classes this year and over 30 kids in each class...this is due to budget cuts. I so appreciate these two teachers for stepping in and helping out so our students still have great opportunities to learn, even in these very large classrooms. Keep in mind that this is above and beyond what they are actually contracted to do.

I'm so glad that we weren't saying good-bye to Mr. Woodworth tonight and that we have many more concerts to attend with Alyssa and Ethan. I hope he sticks around.

Family Room Makeover!

I have been wanting to paint an accent wall in our Family Room for awhile now and I knew I wanted the color to be from the "brown" family but I didn't know which brown.

I get these little "home improvement" booklets from Lowe's every other month, they are free! In the last issue, there was a color swatch that I knew I had to get. So, last Saturday, on our way home from Burlington, my sister made a stop at Lowe's so I could get a better swatch of the color. I brought it home for Jason to see and the next thing I knew, we were loading all of the kids up in the van, headed for Lowe's. I was thinking we would get a little $3 test can just to make sure we really liked the color once it was on the wall. Little did I know, my husband had other plans...he went for the gallon-sized can. "What? Are you sure?"

Well, Monday, while Jason was at work, I slapped a few spots up on the wall. I wanted to see the paint in different lighting throughout the day...the wall gets a lot of natural light from the patio door. I was really falling in love with it...good thing since my wonderful husband had picked up a gallon of it.

That night Jason officially started on the project...removing things from the wall, moving the entertainment unit to the center of the room (that made for an interesting time watching tv), and moved in the ladder. He is so good at painting! Get this...we didn't have one drop cloth down over anything...not the carpet, not the couch, nothing. I have yet to find any splatters. He has got to be one of the neatest painters I know and he is quite the perfectionist.

By Tuesday night, the painting was complete and when he came home from work on Wednesday, I had everything make up on the walls and together we moved the entertainment unit back. Project complete in 48 hours! I love it! My kind of project!

The new color, Pine Bark, has made such a difference to the room. It just makes it feel so much warmer and more inviting.

Oh and get this, when we picked the paint up from Lowe's, the guy grabs one of the most expensive "base" cans to mix the color with. I asked him why it had to be the expensive can ($31) and he informed me that it was because I had expensive taste. "What? Me?" Yes folks, the color I picked was a DESIGNER color...go figure!

"Thank you honey for painting the wall!!" I think I will wait a week before asking him to start on the next project.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Best "Auntie Day" yet...

Today is "Auntie Day"! For those who don't know what Auntie Day is, it's when I get all three of my nephews while their mommy goes to work. We don't like to call it Day Care...sounds way too official...ha!

Any way, today has got to be the best day in a very long time with Mr. Weston. For the longest time, he has cried when Tanya leaves and really doesn't want much to do with me. He just runs around like a crazy boy, tearing through whatever Wayne and Ethan are doing, and almost taking out the corners of my walls.

Today, today he wants everything to do with AUNTIE!!!! I'm so loving this and totally soaking it up! He comes to me and just wants to snuggle. He wants to play with me. It's absolutely WONDERFUL!! And, he's actually playing with Wayne and Ethan and not just taking the train tracks a part. He has a train in hand and is pushing the train down the track.

I'm loving Auntie Day!! And, right now, I need to go take care of Mr. Wyatt. He's letting Auntie know that it's nap time. He's got to be the easiest baby around!!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Missing teeth...

Someone in our house has a bunch of loose teeth...that someone is Miss Brenna. She seems to be loosing teeth like crazy right now. Currently, Brenna is missing two teeth on her bottom right side and it's making it a little difficult to eat. The next tooth to come out is on the top left. I was hoping to get it out today but loosing one a day seems to be all Brenna can handle. These silly teeth are really just hanging on by one TOUGH thread. And, I can't believe how much they bleed when they do come out.

You know, the more I think about it, the Tooth Fairy may go broke if she looses more than one a day. Maybe we will just keep that upper tooth in for a few more days. HA!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Guess where I'm posting from?

YES! Finally...I am sitting here, on the couch, with wireless internet finally working. I only hope it continues to work because I thought I had it working this afternoon and then wasn't able to get a connection. I am so excited! It is so nice to feel like I am still spending time with my husband, watching our evening tv shows together, and yet, I am blogging at the same time.

I have spent literally all afternoon trying to figure this wireless internet thing out. I have installed, re-installed, and re-installed again. Finally, I "give up", shut it all down for dinner, get some bible reading in, kids bathed and in bed, and come back to see what I can do. And voila...HERE I AM!!! WIRELESS!

What do you think?

So, I was finally able to make a header that was more personalized and fun. I'm not the most creative person, and not afraid to admit it. That being said, I'm open to all friendly critiquing! Let me know what you think. I'm sure the more I play the more often the header will change...maybe.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

You have to share your brother...

Today is an Auntie Day with Wayne, Weston and Wyatt. Ethan loves these days because he has someone to play with all day. He always gets so excited when I tell him the boys are coming and is completely exhausted when they leave.

So, this morning, I have Wyatt sitting in his Bumbo chair on the floor in the family room and the other three boys are gathered around him. Ethan starts loving on Wyatt...he loves to give Wyatt hugs and kisses! And then, I hear this conversation (or slight argument)...

Wayne: "Ethan, you need to stop. Wyatt is my brother."
Ethan: "Wayne, you have to share your brother."
Wayne: "No, he's my brother."
Ethan: "Wayne, my mom is all done with babies so you need to share your baby with me."

At this moment, I burst out laughing and kindly ask Wayne to please share his brother with Ethan. I then remind them all that they are cousins but that they can love each other like brothers. They eventually left Wyatt alone and took off to play with the trains again.

(Of course, this whole time I'm thinking..."You know it!" But, I need to clarify something. I'm not done with babies, I'm just done HAVING babies! I love holding babies, caring for them when needed, and loving on them but I have hit the point where it is nice to return them to their mommy and know that I will be getting a good nights sleep!)

Okay, I better get back to my busy boys! They are all becoming little lions...roaring at each other and pouncing on each other. LOVE IT!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Preschool Open House

Tonight was Preschool Open House for Ethan. He was so excited for us all to go and see what he's been this doing year.

He loves to play in "Housekeeping". At this station, they get to pretend being whatever they want. Tonight, he chose the mailman's hat. It is a great time to let their imaginations go!
Next, he took us to the puppets. This is another fun thing that Ethan enjoys. He is really into making up stories and coming up with characters for his stories.
After puppets, we headed over to see Ethan's journal. Once a week, the kids color & draw in their journals about different things...the teacher has a different subject each time. It was neat to see the advancements he has made in his drawings. There is a huge difference from September to March.
The last station we went to was the blocks. Jason and Ethan built a tower with the cylinder blocks. It was fun to see how high they could get it and Ethan loved having his daddy play with him at Preschool.
It was fun to listen to Ethan share with us about Preschool. All the way there, he was trying to convince the girls that they had never been to his Preschool. What he didn't realize was that it is the same Preschool that the girls went to but we didn't burst his bubble...we just let him think that it was his special Preschool.

After having him in bed for about 15 minutes...he came out and asked, "Mom, did you think my Preschool was the best?" Of course, I told him it was the best. What mom would say otherwise? He was so excited he couldn't sleep. I love this boy!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

A new "toy" and some digi scrappin'

Last Friday, we received our income tax return. We had planned on using it for living expenses...or at least that's what I thought we were planning on.

We have been looking at laptops for awhile now. 1) Brenna starts middle school next year and will be having to use the computer a lot more for homework. 2) I have started Digital Scrapbooking and having a laptop would make that easier on days when I meet up with the girls for some scrappin' time.

I was pleasantly surprised on Saturday while we were at Best Buy looking at the new inventory...previously, the Best Buy guys had encouraged us to wait on a purchase until the new inventory had arrived. Fine with us because we weren't purchasing then. So, while we were there Saturday, Jason told me that we could go ahead and use some of our tax return for a lap top. We had been researching brands and prices, along with all the important specs, so we knew what we would purchase when the time came.

Once we got the kiddos to bed on Saturday night, I worked on getting all of my digital scrappin' stuff loaded.

So, now, here are just some of the pages that I have completed. It is so nice to be able to sit on the couch with my wonderful husband every night, watching tv, and scrappin'.

Hope you enjoy the pages...

Next purchase...modem for wireless internet but for now, we will wait on that. The girls are excited for the laptop to have internet here at home so they can play on WebKinz together.

So girls...I'm ready for another scrappin' day!

Never before...

...have we ever barbecued this early in the year.
It was such a beautiful day and as I was going through the freezer trying to decide what to pull out for dinner, I came across a bag of chicken legs and thighs. The thought of barbecuing came to mind and the decision was made.

My family was thrilled when they heard we were barbecuing. I really didn't know how it would go over with Jason because even with the sun out...IT WAS COLD! Thankfully, Jason was more than willing to stand outside over the warm barbecue to cook us dinner. What a guy!

Monday, March 1, 2010

A little catching up...

It's hard to believe that the month of February is over. I really have been meaning to sit down and blog but obviously, time has gotten away from me.

It's been a busy month with lots of activities and babysitting. Sometimes I think that I will get caught up on blogging while all of the boys are napping (there's usually 4 extras plus Ethan) but I can't seem to get them all down at the same time. Oh well!

I spent Valentine's Day, or at least the afternoon, with Alyssa's class helping with a little party. The kids were so cute reading their valentines from each of their classmates and getting excited about all of the candy they were finding in their "Valentine pockets." I made Rice Krispy treats for the snack and they seemed to be a big hit.
Sadly, I have no other pictures, than of the party, for Valentine's Day. I can't believe I forgot to take pictures of our family night. We celebrate Valentine's Day as a family. We have a tradition of doing "backwards night" for dinner/dessert. We start out with ice cream for dinner and while we are eating that, we have a heart shaped pizza from Papa Murphy's in the oven for dessert. The kids really look forward to this.

We also had Parent/Student breakfast at school this month. The girls had finished their breakfast and Brenna had left the table with one of her friends and this is where I found her...up on stage singing with friend and music teacher. Thankfully, a dear friend/teacher has her classroom just across the hall from the cafeteria so we were able to quickly get her camera. Who would have thought that I would have needed my camera for breakfast?
We've spent some time with my niece during the past couple of weeks. It's hard to believe that she turned 1 this month. She is such a fun little girl to be around and is so close to walking. She got to spend time at our house the other night and she had a blast playing with my 10-key. I figured she couldn't hurt it and she thought she was "hot stuff" with it.
Sunday, February 28th was a very special day!! Our church had a baptismal service and Brenna had decided that she wanted to be a part of it and be baptized! We are so proud of her and her decision to follow Christ in Believer's Baptism. And, to make the day a little more special, she asked Jason if he would be the one to baptize her. Of course, he jumped at the chance. It was a very special moment for the two of them.
There were 13 people who were baptized on Sunday...two of which were my brother and sister-in-law. That made the day even more special!!

After church, we headed over to my Uncle Deryl and Aunt Shari's for lunch. Aunt Shari had prepared Sloppy Joes for all of us with a jello salad and a "glorified rice" salad (that's what she called it and it was good!), along with chips and a veggie tray. She was an amazing host. I felt bad that she didn't want us to bring anything...she had a lot of mouths to feed.
Uncle Deryl was right there with the kids. It's so fun to watch him interact with them and they love every minute of it.
After lunch, Uncle Deryl started "messing" with Ethan and it ended up in a big game. Ethan kept saying to Uncle Deryl "you can't get me...you can't tickle me." And, of course, Uncle Deryl would eventually take him down and tickle him. It was a lot of fun to watch! And, even though they weren't brothers, Uncle Deryl reminds me a lot of how my dad was with kids and I love it! I love that he and Aunt Shari take so much interest in our kids and really care to take the time to just interact with them. Ethan couldn't stop talking about Uncle Deryl and Aunt Shari the rest of the day.
That gets us to today...Monday, March 1st. It's hard to believe that the month of February is over and that Spring will officially be here in just a few short weeks. I spent my day today with 5 little boys. It was a long day but the boys all did pretty good and we made it through. It's always fun for Ethan to have his cousins here to play with.

The rest of the week will be filled with volunteering at school, working a couple of afternoons, A MASSAGE!, and maybe, just maybe, a date with my husband at the end of the week.

Hopefully, I will be better about blogging during the month of March. I'm not going to make any promises though because I will just be setting myself up to fail. Thanks to those of you who are still sticking with me and checking for updates.