Friday, August 27

Father Knows Best

 

Linsey, my five-year old, was extremely quiet one night.  "Mama," she asked thoughtfully, "how come when I pray, God doesn't give me everything I ask for?" 

"Well, does Mommy always give you everything you ask me for?"  I asked, crossing my fingers and hoping for a right answer.

She thought for a minute.  "Umm…no," she finally admitted.

"And why don't I - am I trying to be mean?"  Again, I was mentally preparing myself for sabotage.    

"Well, sometimes you think it's a bad idea, or I ask for stuff you don't want me to have.  You know better." 

Phew!  What an answer!  I went on, "Well, God is the same way.  Sometimes we ask for things He doesn't want us to have, or He knows something we don't know, and so He won’t give us what we asked for.  But sometimes God waits to answer, because He wants us to learn to have a good attitude when we don’t get what we want right away."

I've thought of that conversation a lot over the past few days, and it has convicted me.  It's so easy to tell someone else that what they desire may not be God’s will for them, or to keep praying and God will honor their persistence...in His perfect timing, of course.  I know all the right answers.  But when it's me asking?  I want an answer NOW.  And when I don’t get my way, having a good attitude is often the furthest thing from my mind.

I think that’s why God waits to answer our prayers sometimes– He wants to test our response when things don’t go our way.  God is much more interested in our spiritual growth than He is in our comfort.  After all, every parent knows that giving a child everything he demands will ultimately hurt that child.  Learning to deal with disappointment is an important part of life.

It's easy to serve God when our health is good, our families are happy, and the cash is flowing.  But being a mature Christian means staying faithful to God even when everything isn't going our way.  When we lose a job…or a loved one.  When we pray for a week, or maybe a year...and nothing seems to change.  James 1:3 tells us that “the trying of [our] faith worketh patience,”  and verse 4 says this patience brings spiritual maturity.  It’s through those difficult times that our spiritual lives are strengthened, and we become a little more like the person God created us to be. 

So the challenge is this:  The next time God doesn’t give you what you pray for, will it rob you of your joy and cause you to doubt His love?  Or, as hard as it may be, will you respond with childlike faith and say, “That’s okay, God, because You know better!"

Wednesday, August 25

Will Work for Food

When Hannah was little, we called her "Moose" because she ate so much.  I don't even know what to call #3 - she's an eating machine!  She'll eat her food, then finish Hannah's, then try to take food off of Linsey's plate, who sits beside her.  And if there's no food, she'll move on to napkins...Maybe "Trash Compactor" would be a good fit, but that could be embarrassing when she's older :) Here are a few of my favorites from this summer, a couple you may have seen on previous posts:








Hope you have a great Wednesday, and remember, "A smile is worth a thousand messes!!"  At least, to me it is :)

Linking up with these fun blog hops today:






Monday, August 23

Miscellany Monday

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

Hiya! Linking up again with Carissa, who has a great blog, for some random thoughts from our neck o' the woods:

1. I have been super blessed with lots of generous friends and rarely have to buy clothes for any of my girls. One friend has twin girls several years older than Linsey, and she gives me a lot of matching clothes. Since Linsey and Hannah are so close in size, they can actually wear a lot of the same stuff, like these cutie dresses they wore to church yesterday:


2. We're starting our second year of soccer with Linsey, and she was heartbroken that she outgrew her pink shin guards from last year. So we've spent the morning decorating a second-hand pair from a friend...she's definitely my creative one! Too much fun :)


We used the end of a birthday candle to make polka dots :)

3. I don't spend much time talking on the phone, because that's when the girls tend to get into trouble. But my sister says she loves to call because hearing me makes her thankful for her life :) Yesterday, while catching up with each other, she was amused with things like, "Don't stick your head in anything that people might sit on!" and "No - don't eat THAT! Come back here RIGHT NOW!" Frankly, I don't see what's so funny...

4. The time has come - I love putting my girls in those Bobux-type soft-soled shoes when they're learning to walk, but Nattie is officially past those and into regular shoes...I love baby shoes, but I HATE putting 'em on!! Anyone with me??


5. And this totally made my day.  Not long ago, I woke up to a special note and flattering portrait:


Linsey told me later, "It says 'I love you' a bunch of times because I love you a whole lot, Mama!" Now that's a keeper :) Hope you have a great week!

Wednesday, August 18

Future Nerds of America

For Summer Bible Camp this year, we were blessed with lots of donations from local businesses, such as NASA and McDonald's.  Each child got a pair of these funky glasses one night, which our skit team dubbed "night vision goggles." 

ALL the kids loved them - my daughters wore them for like 3 days straight!!  I assumed at least Linsey knew they were pretend, until she asked me to get something in her room one night.  I told her it was dark and just to get it when she went in (the baby was asleep), and she said excitedly, "Don't worry, Mom!  You can borrow my new glasses!!"


 


Tom's brother Eric fit right in!




 I <3 Wordless Wednesday@ The Miller Racing Family!

Monday, August 16

Monday Mayhem

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

It's the start of a brand new week!  Here are a few random tidbits from our lives lately:

(1)  I am so, so excited!  Up until today, both sets of grandparents have lived in the Midwest, and the girls only got to see them once or twice a year.  But my in-laws are on my way to their new house (about 30 min from us) right now with the moving van!  This is one of those things I've prayed about for a long time for my girls but never actually thought would happen...Thanks, God!!

(2)   Logic to a three year old: 
Me:  Why are you out of bed?
Hannah:  I have to go pooootttty!
Me:  Ok, why were you playing in the bathtub?
Hannah:  Because I'm thiiiirrrrsssttttyyyy!!
Me:  Go to bed.  Now.


(3) Someone gave us two miniature tea sets that my girls absolutely love.  The cups hold about a tablespoon of tea.  What is it with little girls and little, tiny toys??  Littlest Pet Shops, Polly Pockets...I guess they like having things that make them feel big :)



(4)   We are officially kicking off homeschooling this fall!  We've chosen to go with the K12 program, which enrolls Linsey in a virtual charter academy and makes me her moderator/teacher.  It's supposed to be very thorough and similar to Hirsch's core knowledge program.  I'll be posting lots more once we get started, can't wait!

(5) We have discovered the BEST snack EVER this summer!!  It's from our Vacation Bible School.  It's a s'more, only there's no melting involved.  Are you ready??

Super-Easy S'More's
Ingredients:  Graham crackers, chocolate frosting, marshmallow fluff, chocolate chips

Directions:  Spread chocolate frosting on one graham cracker, marshmallow fluff on the other.  Sprinkle a few chocolate chips (regular or mini-size) on the corners and in the middle to hold sandwich together, and enjoy!!!  Dangerously delicious :) 

Saturday, August 14

Shopping...with Children!

Shopping goals yesterday:  groceries for our family (we haven't been to town in 3 weeks), groceries for my in-laws who are moving here this week, and 3 sheet cakes for church into a van with a broken hatch

The Challenge:  shopping by myself with 3 kids in carseats who all still wear pull-ups at night because they lack bladder control, and making everything fit into our van with the broken hatchback (it doesn't stay open on its own)

I do this pretty frequently, and it's always an adventure.  Here are a few ideas I'm working on:
1) Prepare for the trip ahead of time.  This one I did pretty well on.  The girls all had snacks, toys, and drinks to tote along for the hour car trip, and I remembered my iPod to listen to while they watched Max and Ruby in the car.  I also drank my coffee, took my vitamins, and prayed for God to give me extra strength.  Even an optimist like me knows I'm going to need it!


2)  Choose your stops wisely.  You lose energy fast when you make a million little trips and have to drag everyone in and out.  If you're shopping with small children, consolidate your errands, or consider bringing along someone old enough to sit in the car while you, say, drop off the dry cleaning or mail a package.  Our big stop was Costco today, which I love, because they have a) free samples, and b) those huge carts that seat two little ones up front.

3) Get the kids excited, or you're in for a l-o-n-g trip.  Sometimes I promise them a small treat if they behave well, or I'll get something for them right away and keep it in the cart as a reminder (even something you were already going to buy for them will work, like shoes).  This time, our first stop was the food court, and the girls got a frozen yogurt to eat while I shopped.  This was a great distraction and met two needs at once - hunger and the need for diversion.

4) Make sure you have an extra diaper in your purse.  I put one in yesterday morning, so I didn't double check at the store.  We went to the bathrooms right away and I got the older girls into stalls and whisked off the baby's diaper, tossing it into the trash like a pro.  I reached into my purse and found...a sanitary pad.  I thought briefly about putting it on her, but decided against it. 
    So I put her little pants back on her and prayed, "Please...don't pee on me."  We all ran around the corner to the diapers and got a HUGE box of Huggies, which I wasn't going to get.  I went to tear open the package to pull one out, when I saw that someone else must have also been in my same predicament, because there was one missing already.  Only they didn't buy the box.  So we ran BACK (still praying) to the Huggies section and got an unopened box this time.  And thankfully, no weedling occurred in the meantime.  :)

5) Laugh it off.  We got the cart with the wheels that squeaked, I chose the milk that leaked, I had the kid that shrieked (happy shrieks though!).  My cart got so full that we had to wait in line, check out, load the groceries into the van with the broken hatch, then go back and do it all again to get everything we needed.  Mishaps will happen, and you can go through your errands stressed and yelling, or you can have fun.  We sang "Deck the Halls" all through Costco and ate every sample we were offered.  That's what memories are made of!!

6) Above all else, stay calm.  To round out this fantastic experience, as I was putting away the food at my in-laws' new (empty) house, a snake slithered right past my foot and under the hot water heater.  The girls were sweetly coloring a card for Grandma at the table.  I wanted to scream and run, but I was afraid if they knew about the snake, they'd never want to go to grandma's house again.  Instead, I said with forced sweetness, "Okay, girls.  It's time to pack up and head out... now!"  They complied pretty easily, and I squatted down to keep an eye on that snake from across the room.  Did I mention I HATE snakes?!?

7) If you make it back alive, reward yourself!  Shopping is an all-day event for us, so I try not to schedule anything else on those days.  My wonderful husband even took us out to dinner later, then he took the girls outside so I could get the house straightened up and we chilled the rest of the evening.  He's the best!! 

Daddy baby-sitting <3

Friday, August 13

Mommy Confession...


My kids get dirty.  There. I said it.  I try to be a good mom - we wipe all visible body parts before scooting out the door, we often bathe multiple times a day.  But somehow, my kids wind up...dirty.
And truthfully, I care a lot more about my kids being clean than the way they get clean.  Again.  So we've gotten a little creative lately:

Hannah has designed her own personal spa,


and Linsey loves bubbles.


Get them splashing... 


get them dancing...


let them wipe themselves (bad idea)...


I don't care, as long as they're c-l-e-a-n!!


And as a bonus, aren't they so cute when they're all bundled up??



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Wednesday, August 11

Stuck in the Box


Wouldn't it be fun if diaper boxes came with little prizes?  You know, like cereal does.  I can see the new Huggies advertisement now:  "Free surprise in every box, loaded with fun!!"  Maybe my box was special, but I've found a few surprises in there lately.  Now doesn't this just make you want to run out and buy a big box of diapers...or even two??

 




 
No, thanks, we're sending this surprise back!!

 

There!  That should do it...

Happy Wednesday!!
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