A Day. Meet Morning.

Morning starts with the creak of Sammy’s bedroom door. “Morn’n time Momma?!”

“Yes Sammy. You can get up.”

And the pounding of his feet as he makes a mad dash to the bathroom.

Next I hear squealing coming from across the hall. It’s Baby Silas. Little chubs wakin up happy. I peel back the covers and throw myself into morning. I open the door and cross the hall, a streaker passes by me- Sammy- on the way back from the bathroom off to go get dressed. Sammy, three, is always first dressed.

I go in to see Silas, His legs THUMP THUMP against his crib mat in excitement at the sight of me. More squeals emanate from his mouth.
“Morning Squeeky!” I raise him up to my lips and satisfy their need to kiss. We head for the change table in the room as the Princess stirs in her bed. My five-year-old pushes her self up in her bed with a halo of wispy blond hairs sticking up all over her head.

“Oh… I just fell asleep! I was awake ALL night…” she always says.

Funny how I retrieved the screaming baby 3 times in the night from her room and her body stayed cocooned in blankets and sleep. Hand dangling from the edge of the bed in a deep slumber.

“Morning Elise.”

She shrugs off her ‘sleepless night’ and pipes up “I can babysit Silas for you while you get dressed!”

Finishing with the baby I deposit him into the depths of the pink and purple sister bed. Where he is fawned over in high pitched squeaky tones and thoroughly entertained. I love having older helpers. Certain things ARE easier with more kids.

I cross back through the hall into my own room, as all the bedrooms are nestled close upstairs.

I don’t have to worry about waking Jonas. Sammy does a thorough job of that each morning as the two share a room. You can hear them chatting to eachother and joking around between the slamming of their dresser drawers.

We tend to all meet at the neck of the stairs and funnel our way down to the kitchen where breakfast commences.

Breakfast is a tad chaotic.

In the center of the storm my six month old sits in his Bumbo on the island pleased with all the busyness, occasionally opening for the spoon of banana that comes his way, but always seeking after everyone else’s food.

I go though spurts of trying to remedy the breakfast crazies. But for the most part it stays unorganized and filled with too many food options.

After breakfast, however, Jonas goes and gets our bible study, and we read the word of the Lord. It brings things back to order, and encourages us for the day. For without Jesus at the center, I fall short. By a long shot. Sometimes I get carried away in the morning with the baby, laundry, messes, breaking up arguments, or diving into projects that need to get done.
And things unravel.
I need the memory verses we learn from the bible to get me through the day, just as much as the kids.

Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
Ephesians 4:32

Sometimes my FAIL at what were learning IS the lesson of the day.
Me-“I’m sorry, that wasn’t very kind or compassionate what I said… was it? I should have told you how to do that better without saying those hurtful things. Will you forgive me?”

And they always do.

God never called me to homeschool because I got my crap together. If anything it was to show me that I would drowned in my own strength.

From the ends of the earth I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
Psalm 61:2

Jesus is that rock. I have to daily cling to Him and pray that he uses me, unaccomplished and a bit of a basket case at times, to impart wisdom.
And that’s the crazy cool part.
The kids learn really amazing things. And it’s not from all the mad skills their teacher has. It’s cause Jesus uses that weak teacher to show his glory.

Yep it’s a pretty sweet deal.


****Stay tuned for how our average school day unfolds****

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Mr. Bubbles

Right now my baby is really drooly.

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Silas five months, and baby those teeth are comin.
I’ll be eating dinner, chatting with someone, or teaching one of the kids school and glance downward at my arm. It will be dripping with drool and there gumming my flesh is a cute little sucker fish.
He can be found teething on my finger, my chin, my shoulder or slobbering happily on my neck. I once caught Jonas (my oldest) with his foot in Silas’ mouth.
“What, Mom? He likes it.”

Seriously. Anything.

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The other day I took my daughter to gymnastics wearing a black shirt.
Sitting with all the other parents, I suddenly became aware of my appearance.
I was like a homemade birthday cake iced while still warm. Puke and drool drizzled about my body. Like Eve in the garden of Eden, my eyes were opened and I suddenly became embarrassed. So I made a shot at improvement, and did what any mom with little ones would-
pulled out a baby wipe.
But seriously, generally I really don’t mind the wet gifts.
He’s my fourth baby- I’m way past changing shirts from puke.
Besides, breast milk smells sweet, he’s just senting me sweet kisses!
Oh and he’s so yummy, squishy, and wonderful. So what if he’s also a bit wet?
His bubbles make me laugh.
I was at a ladies book group and my baby blew bubbles through the whole TWO HOURS. Its really hard to pay attention to serious topics when someone keeps making farting noises. He was like the whoopee-cushion that just wouldn’t quit.

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He makes the other children squeal with laughter when he reaches out to them and crams some part of their body into his slobbery little mouth. They all want his kisses, and are more than happy to help wipe away bubbles through out the day off their little brothers face.
Jesus says the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to the little children, and that we should change and be more like them (Matt 19:14, 18:3). Although he’s probably trying to tell Adults to have faith like a child, so trusting, believing, and without doubt….
Who knows. Maybe when we get to heaven their will be a whole lot of people

blowing spit bubbles.

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Seasons of Getting Changed

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There are certain things as an adult you take for granted. As a total given. You might not even realize it… Till you have kids.
Like when you wake up in the heat of summer- you don’t wear a sweater, pants and socks. Or if you wake up and see your breath, shorts and bare feet shouldn’t be your choice for the day.
Why do children struggle with the change of clothing for seasons?!
Or is it just mine?
No, I remember my brother clomping in his winter boots to elementary school with me in May. Wearing his down winter jacket and shorts. It drove me mental and I tried arguing how stupid it was. But he did it anyways. He was even the fastest kid in the school despite the winter wear attachment.
My own kids are just as bad.
Summer heat hits and I’m having a zipper war with my toddler who won’t lose the sweater. Or a  full out melt down about the shorts I wrestled onto his angry body. I find socks like Cheerios- everywhere. The house and yard are littered with them because their feet get hot minuets into the day.
So I have to make a rule that they aren’t allowed to wear socks. And hide all their pants to avoid the morning meltdowns.
Finally the kids basically get it. They flip flop around in bare feet. Sport t-shirts and shorts, and of all the seasons- Summer has the least prep when your headed out the door with four.

And it’s… Fall.

Sweet mercy, why are those hated shorts so special now?
And why is that sweater as much work to get on as it was to get it off?
We go to get in the van and what? Nobody has socks?
“New rule, don’t come down the stairs in the morning without socks on your feet.”
“But MOM you said never to wear socks!”
(I cast my eyes upward to my most compassionate Father.)

You think age might help. But then you hit that boy age where just getting CHANGED in general a problem. Or bathing. (But that’s another topic)
Driving home from my sons first soccer night this week; my almost seven-year-old said, “Mom, I think my cleats are too small. My feet are soooo tight.”
“But we just bought you those this spring! Maybe it’s cause they were sinched up from you wearing them with no socks in the back yard this summer.” (cause he was too lazy to put sock on).
“Ya maybe.” He’s quiet for a while, then “Or maybe cause I didn’t bother taking off my regular socks and just put my soccer ones on top.”
“What!? Seriously?! Your wearing two socks in there?” And I went through the “Don’t be lazy speech.”
Then last night I went to tuck him into bed, and he was clearly wearing a bulky shirt crammed under his pajamas.
“Are you wearing your shirt to bed again?” We had had the conversation that at night you change out of your cloths into pj’s. You don’t just wear your dirty shirt to bed and hop down the stairs in the morning “dressed” in it.
“This ones clean!” He quickly announced.
I looked at him like he was crazy, and began to straighten out the bulk around his cuffs to let back the blood flow. “You put on a clean shirt, then your pj’s?”
“Ya. Then I don’t have to change it in the morning.”
Time saver for sure.
??
He’s the kid that went Hunting with bare feet in gumboots, spent the day hiking, and got a billion blisters. Went for a chilly walk with me and had to borrow my finger gloves to hook on his ears so that it looked like I was walking a moose.
He spent the beginning of this Fall wearing shorts and t-shirts, denying being cold, then protesting when I wouldn’t let him stay cocooned in a fleece blanket for the remainder of the day. “Can’t I just bring this blanket outside?”

IMG_2584My daughter? She just struggles with not wearing party dresses and tights to the occasion of it being daylight. Also I understand her predicament that jackets may be warm, but no one will see what I’m wearing!

When you have one kid, or even two, you can still dress them to head out the door to go somewhere. But by the time you hit four kids you basically throw in the towel and let them fend for themselves. You call out helpful reminders from your nursing chair, but the coat rooms around the corner. You just hold on to hope they chose something your not going to hear about in an hour.
Or you grab arm loads of sweaters along with your diaper bag and car-seat.
I should really have a spare pair of socks in my purse.
Why not? I have everything else in there.

We moved somewhere where Winter is the longest season by far. So if you think of me…

with 4 snow suits,
“my feet are wet”,
“I have to pee and you just dressed me”,
“this sock feels weird”,
“my huge dress won’t shove in”,
stubborn zippers,
scratchy toques,
soggy forgotten gloves,
and CLOMP CLOMP SLOSH across the kitchen floor “Momma can you get the snow out of my neck? I have my mitts on….”

Please pray.
But on a thankful note, this year I can bend down and put my own boots on with ease;)

Little Sis

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Youngest to Oldest: Isaac, Ben, Kyle, Me, and Derek

I think we figured the last time we were all together was at my brother Kyle’s wedding.
Somehow we all ended up camping at Chubb lake last weekend for Church camp.
We played and sang around the fire like old times. Even dug up the song Bare Necessities from Jungle book, rattling off the lyrics crammed somewhere in our brains from childhood.
The crazy part? We have some kind of bond siblings do. Past memories. Family jokes. Same long toes, and love for music. The poke- push- Love that you learn to accept as snot nosed kids, and somehow still take as adults.
Best part? We’re all Friends.
From gum chewing in the back on burlap scratchy van benches. To driving our own mini vans and motor bikes.
From being kids to raising them.
Love you guys and miss you already.
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Tempers Past

“Do your kids ever do that?”
I’ve been asked that a lot lately. From parents with kids reaching age 1 and a half or the early two’s. Being in a new town, they didn’t know us a year ago.
Yes, my kids had temper-tantrums. Lots.
Yes they screamed “No!” to everything I said.
Yep, they were stubborn too.
I found this old post of Sammy, exactly one year ago to show you;)
With love, discipline, and perseverance it will pass, friends. Hang in there and enjoy the sweet times when you get them.
Here’s my post:
Date with Sammy

Fat Babies

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My baby is a chub.
That’s a cute way of saying Fat.
I have to undo the top button of his sleeper to make way for his chin.
The other chin.
He’s also my fourth chubby baby.

Fat babies are easier than skinny babies.

Skinny babies you jiggle and rock when they’re fussy. You make them hold out till their scheduled next feed. Ignore your aching arms. You persist.
BUT…
When fat babies don’t settle- you feed them.
They suck away peacefully with their little fist wrapped around your finger.
You wipe the warm milk from their content lips and they sink back into a full belly slumber.
You do dishes.
Wipe bums.
Make dinner.
Scoop up loads of laundry.
Break up scream disputes.
And
Sit down to feed your little dough ball again.

So ya. My baby is fat.
And Happy.
On nutritious Momma milk.
I call him Little Chub Bub, just as i did the rest.
(And they turned out lean once their legs could carry them.)

We’re Six

Been meaning to announce our newest family member to my blog for sometime… but as he is my fourth, things have been busy. Yesterday, however, my little babe turned 4 weeks old and I realized just how fast time has flown by.
So meet Silas Davies Born July 2nd
IMG_0185Jonas my six year-old illustrated the big event
IMG_0203Those black things are my shoes- cause you don’t wear shoes in bed.
Oh and I’ve adopted this next drawing as my “after birth” picture, because I look way cuter here.
IMG_0209We all love Silas with a forever love that runs real deep.
IMG_3906IMG_0199IMG_0181And we went ahead and bought a truck with a front bench seat so we can all fit. (Well, that and my hubby needed it for work)
So now were six.
Feelin pretty stoked about it too.

Combos

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It’s the combos that do me in. No not the yummy ones you find at restaurants.
The ones that go like this:
Too little sleep. Crying. Temper-tantrums.
poop. poop. poop.
Three poops for the 3 bathroom catastrophes Sammy, my two-year old,  gave me today.
“Mommas not gonna clean it up” I told him the last one. As I stand at the door of the bathroom with the baby strapped to me. “Momma’s all done cleanin up your poops.”
“ohhh” he groans with his pants around his ankles. And gives his butt a swipe with his hand.
He pulls his hand up and groans more as he sees its covered in poop. This is terrible- so he slides his hands down the sides of his face in distress. I call out that there is poop on his face now and he grabs his hair… then leans on the closet.

I hate poop. Why can’t it just stay where you want it too?

I can see this isn’t gonna get any easier and put down the baby.
I clean. And then like I said- I don’t do combos well. I cry.
Sammy stares naked at me sitting on the lid of the toilet bawling. Naturally about stinky poop and my loathe for it and “Why? oh why??”
He looks concerned. He says “sorry Momma.”
and I say,
“I forgive you”. And as I speak the words, I try.

Today I read to the kids from the Bible that God is kind and compassionate and slow to anger. I told them- “not like Momma who gets mad easy”.
I wanna be a better Momma. One who is those things.

The good news- I can say “God I’m sorry”. And he says ” I forgive you child.” and…
He doesn’t even have to try.

Bed Rest

My new view….

20150604-150019.jpgBed rest again.
Only this time (compared to Sammy, my 3rd pregnancy) it’s not in the bleak of Winter.
Its summer.
The birds are chirping, I can sit on our deck in the sun and watch the kids hunt caterpillars.
I can count butterflies instead of snow flakes.

Yesterday, my dear hubby took the kids out all day to help with Dr.s orders.
At first it was very relaxing and restful. I slept on and off recovering from the contractions at the hospital the night before. I finished my book, folded all the laundry I could reach, and only had one lunch to prepare.
Then around noon the silence got to me.
I missed the chattering children.
There was no one to bring me useful things to do…
There was too much time. Time to think about “ME” and wallow in the long days to come. I felt bored and broken and sad.
And I realized just what a gift my children are.
That for all my complaining about how much work they cost me- that work keeps me sane. They’re my dear little friends. I experience life with them.
Moments that rock me, and leave me struggling with change- barely ripple their pond.
To see them carry on as normal, somehow helps me to carry on too.
To remember everyday is for playing, reading books, and sharing snacks.
My three little gifts are helping me through the wait for Gods fourth gift. Who’s health is more important than clean bathrooms, and a dirt free floor.

We’re all pitching in.
With my husband strong at the front taking the brunt of the work. My kids as my elf helpers and chatty companions. Our dear new friends at church lending hands and food. And my Jesus, filling my mornings and low times with his words of encouragement reminding me that he goes before me and I’m not alone, and  neither is my little one.
Were gonna make it.
All of us.
As a team.
And hopefully…

I won’t have to eat another hospital ‘sandwich’ till ‘Show time’.

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Stormin

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Cariboo storms.
Sunny and hot, sitting in a lawn chair watching your kid play soccer.
Outdoor lunch in the yard under the sparkling sun.
Then Thunder and lighting.
Rain like a waterfall curtain.
Hail.
Clouds of steam billowing from the hot pavement, and the tin roof pounding like urgent drums.
The temperature drops, and cups of cocoa find excepting hands.
Beneath an umbrella, Jonas runs out a basket of cookies and a thermos of cocoa to his Dad and Uncle in the garage.
Then with light and cracking it moves.
The storm passes.
The sun shines. It’s incredibly green. Impossibly bright and new.
“Mom! There is the HUGEST puddle at our house. Can we use the umbrella to float across?”

Bikes, Boots, Soaking cloths, Footprint trails,
Bath.