Thursday, January 29, 2009

Sacred Saturdays

One of my greatest desires in 2009, as I watch my children grow and mature, is to make a priority of spending good quality family time together. Yes, we are together a lot, but often it is just living life, ie. doing house work, yard work, eating dinner, reading books, running errands. All of this is fine, and it is family time, but I'm more interested in designated, planned time together. Basically, I want to try to keep our Saturdays (or Sundays) sacred. We have been doing very well thus far in 2009. Earlier this month on a Saturday we took our annual pilgrimage (30 minutes away) to The Ponce De Leon Lighthouse, the second tallest lighthouse in the nation...175 feet high. It is Florida's tallest lighthouse...and we have quite a few! This time we took Dad with us! Can he make it all the way up?

First we started with a picnic lunch. You can see that I'm more willing to place myself on the other side of the is difficult, but it is another one of my 2009 goals.

Mike never has a difficult time with the camera. He we are still eating!

Don't worry too much about Kyle's face here....he was doing that on purpose....we haven't even gotten to the lighthouse steps and we've already taken about 10 pictures!

Look out boys don't fall! Yea, no we are just at the bottom! Anxiously awaiting the 213 step flight up the very narrow stairs.

Always well worth the non stop heart pounding trip up! I could do this every day...seriously!

This shot above is about midway up the steps.

Here we are, enjoying quality time together! I just love it!

In the Light Keeper's home there were a few fireplaces. Shane was impressed...He asked Brendan if "Santa could really fit down this fireplace?" Kyle was explaining that the fire place just gets bigger as he makes his way down. "No Really....I saw it on a movie!" Thanks Kyle!

We ended our trip to the light house with a small hike through some trails on the property. All in all we had a blast. Loving and laughing together...who could ask for more?

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Oh Thank You Lord!

I laughed when I read this post (reading my old blogs has been a blast!)....I remembered this day so well! This was written in June of 2007. Life has changed quite a bit since two years ago. There is definately a benefit to journaling...if for nothing else to see that things to get easier. I do not have days like this very often anymore...probably because children do get a little older (when this was written my kids were 5, 5, 3 or just turning 6, 6, 4). Rereading this was like when the Ghost of Christmas Past took Ebenezer Scrooge looking into his past, except it just made me realize that it does get when I'm having crazy days now, I can remember the day and feel so much better! Enjoy!

This was entitled "A Day In The Life..."

Regarding my last blog post, one of my dear friends says to me "welcome to the insanity". I have lived there since my third son was born - (two 2-year olds and a newborn). Insanity is not new to me. Allow me to welcome you into my home for just a moment. It is 11:30 am today - Friday! It started off wonderfully, 8:30am - we watched a woman give birth - yea I know odd for my age children (no gross parts I promise) - but it was amazing. 9:00 we were building robots, 9:30 - Kyle had to have pancakes (perfectly symetrical I might add - it has to be PERFECT!), Brendan had to have a toaster strudle (he made his own) and Shane had to have a waffle ("syrup down first and then peanut butter on the top"). So far so good, hectic but ok. 9:45am Kyle's pancakes are found to be less than perfect (well 2 out of five of them were undercooked - my bad - it happens I guess when one is in a rush making 3 different breakfasts). Oh no, then the syrup ended up on his pants and his hands. Someone call FEMA please!

10:00 started laundry as husband is out of work clothes and tomorrow is too busy of a day. 10:10 play dough time. Oh but you can't have play dough without the traditional knives, spoons, chopsticks and scissors (they have a whole bucket of cookie cutters but who wants that!). 10:11 phone rings - I talk to my friend while doing laundry, while hunting down scissors for Shane who is in desperation mode! I find scissors, hand them to child and continue to talk on phone and do put a new load of laundry into the dryer. Pop is frantically looking for the cat! Pop finds cat in my room where piles of laundry have made my room look like, well you can imagine. I go out to find out what everyone was laughing about - (after all laughter is wonderful, but can be signal of danger when you have three boys at this age). Yes. 10:30 - I scream in horror! Hang up phone. I thought my son Shane was trying to circumcise himself again as he was naked at the table with scissors in his hand looking very guilty. I looked at each of my children and they all had the guilty look. Yes, they decided to cut their hair! Fortunately, they are boys with buzz cuts anyway. However, the scissors went all the way down to the scalp of my son with the darkest head of course. So, I out comes the buzzers - I have to shave Brendan's head. I shave Brendan's head, give him a shower only to find that my water in my washer has overflown - I forgot I was filling it up when the scissor incident happened. Ok clean up hair from dining room table (Kyle is crying because he got hair in his white playdough and now it is not plain anymore), clean up laundry room. Kids are now playing superheros. It is around 11:30 and I'm putting costume on each child (except Brendan can do it himself) and of course my other ones can't decide so they keep changing. First he's a Jedi, then he is a doctor, then one is Batman, then the other wants to be Spiderman, then the other wants to be Mary -- (that is another blog)! In the meantime, I am trying to change the sheets in the house. I despise bunk beds!!! No need to say anymore on that subject. I try to get some breakfast in at about 11:45 - simple - oatmeal in the microwave. Yea! Real simple. Interruption #57, child falls off ladder in bunk bed while other is locked in the bathroom looking at the potty! Great what went into the potty. Other child needs icepack --- I rush to the fridge --- OH POOP!!! -- My oatmeal exploded everywhere all over the microwave! Yea!!! I try to clean that up when someone comes to me and says I'm hungry! OH MY GOSH!!!! I just fed all of you! It is my turn. Oh yea (thanks Lorrie), somewhere in all of this, my children decided to make themselves some chocolate milk. Brendan can handle this with a gallon of milk, but Kyle and Shane can not. So somewhere in this timetable, I had to clean up a gallon of milk off of my table and floor. That should smell yummy in a day or two.

Don't you want to leave my home now. Yea, I live here in the state of insanity. Sometimes I can take it other times it takes me. So, I am no stranger to this, I just really love the moments that are calm, wonderful and peaceful, that is why I blog about those. Who wants to remember chaos! Ok, well, that was my morning. How are you sitting down to type this.....Seriously....this has taken me about an hour to the meantime each of my children gave birth to a baby (one is an actual toy doll, the others are car and a wooden spoon). But they all had labor pains and since I'm the grandma, I had to be interupted for each birth.

Hope you enjoyed a day in the life of Lisa -- and it is only 1:00pm.

Oh yea, please don't post advice ok! Encouragement welcomed, sharing in my pain welcomed, laughing with me welcomed, even pity welcome, but advice, well I've got every book known to mankind so.....let me just look it up! :)

Thursday, January 15, 2009

A Necessary Reminder

This is a repost from December of 2006 from my other blog site. It was so good for me re-read this...actually I think I need to be reminded of my own convictions more often. Ironically enough since this writing in 2006 Kyle has undergone some serious testing....I do not know what his IQ is, I learned that he is severly learning disabled, however, I definately see my boy growing and learning every day and we still measure (and always will) Kyle by Kyle. Interestingly enough, when I learned about his "extreme learning disablity", and knowing he has other issues as well, (sensory integration dysfunction, speech and language issues, OCD) I did get a little discouraged. It is amazing, the power of words, which is exactly why I wrote the blog below two years ago. So, with that said, it was simply a reminder to myself that indeed motherhood does not come with a manual, but indeed I do have Emmanuel! God is with me on my journey to raise my boys!

This was entitled "To Be or Not To Be? Is that REALLY The Question?"
Recently someone asked me if I knew the IQ of my children. Well, I do not. This person specifically wanted to know the IQ of my child who is developmentally delayed. The reason this person asked is because she too has a disabled child and was concerned with the score on her child's IQ test.

"Originally, IQ, or Intelligence Quotient, was used to detect persons of lower intelligence, and to detect children of lower intelligence in order to place them in special education programs. The first IQ tests were designed to compare a child's intelligence to what his or her intelligence "should be" as compared to the child's age." Encarta Encyclopedia

Did you notice that the words "should be" are in quotations? Yes. I have come to realize so much with having to deal with a child who is developmentally delayed. Number 1, I hope he never takes an IQ test ever. I have learned (and am continuing to learn) to measure Kyle by Kyle and not his brother or his peers. Do I get nervous sometimes? Absolutely. Do I cry sometimes? A lot actually. What will an IQ test show me? More than likely it will show me that my son is developmentally delayed (below average). (I already know that). But what it will NOT show me is every day he could get a different question right. Every day he learns something brand new that he didn't know yesterday. Two weeks from now he will have new ways of communicating and will have conquered something monumental. An IQ test cannot show this to me.

Another thing that IQ test will give me is a "reliable predictor" of academic and financial success. Do I really believe that? I don't think I do. Because what the IQ test cannot give tell me is what my definition of success is. You see all the gray areas.

I admit, it is very hard to not get caught up in the whole report card thing and grades and intelligence. Especially hard when I have twins and they are polar opposites. One is delayed and one is gifted. Hmmmm? But, what is really important here.

My closest friends know that I once took an IQ test and they know the outcome. We chuckle! I am a stay-at-home mom and I haven't mastered that yet. (My best friend says it is only because motherhood does not come with a manual.) Not exactly what my "predictor" had in mind for me. But it is what my Creator knows is success for me at this time in my life. You see motherhood does not come with a manual, but in my case it came with Emmanuel. Success in His eyes is very different.

One thing Mike & I decided to help each other with focusing on when it comes to our children is this. We will help them be all that they can be in any way, but when it comes right down to it – all that really matters is that they know Jesus personally as their Savior. Because they can become doctors, lawyers, teachers, but they can't take their stethoscope, law books, and rulers with them when there time is up. So when it comes to Kyle, his success will be measured based upon his very own achievements and his relationship with Emmanuel. "With God all things are possible", so who knows Kyle could be an astronaut if that is what God would have for him, or maybe not, either way, if he knows Jesus he will still have his "mansion just over the hilltop" and will have success like none other! No IQ test will ever predict that! But we know it is so! Amen!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Another Delicious Reason.... live in Florida! Kyle, Brendan and I went to my sweet friend's home and shook down her trees yesterday! We laughed and laughed as I tried to hold Kyle and Shane on my shoulders to reach the grapefruits. Anyway, we took a whole bunch of oranges and some grapefruits....we felt a little like criminals because my friend was not home....but we managed to escape with out the authorities being called.
The oranges made a delicious afternoon snack (and for you Weight Watchers out there...its only 1 point and quite filling!). As you can see, we truly enjoyed my friend's know who you are...thank you!

Monday, January 12, 2009

I've Gave Birth to Monkeys

Well, not the monkeys above.......the monkeys below!

Yes these! Seriously, it must be a boy thing. These boys climb and jump and run all day, every day. In our tree at home...constantly...when we used to have our trampoline up....on any rope or pole you could possibly find. If you know my boys, they are just like monkeys. I didn't have a camera handy the other day when Brendan and Shane were "monkeying around" in the living room....all I heard as I was cleaning my kitchen was "OH MOM!!! THERE IS A LOT OF BLOOD!". Oh yes, in the process of Shane pretending to be Santa..looking like this...

Brendan yanked the beard out of Santa's mouth and managed to pull a "NOT LOOSE AT ALL" tooth right out of Shane's mouth. UGH! Shane, being fearless and having a freakishly high threshold for pain, simply cupped his hands under his mouth as I escorted him the the bathroom. No tears....from Shane...just Brendan (who wears his incredibly gigantic heart on his big 7-year old sleeve). Needless to say...Shane now has yet another tooth out and is $1 richer. Never a dull moment in my neck of the jungle!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

It's Almost Been a Whole Month

Yikes. I don't think I've gone this long without blogging before. I think what happened was, I was violently ill the week after Christmas (food poisoning) and then school started again (which means homeschooling was in full force!) So much has happened since December 23rd....I think I felt a little overwhelmed with information. Well, let me recap. Christmas was wonderful! God showed up in a big way for us this year! (Actually, HE is always faithful to show up in our home!). We celebrated Jesus' Birthday with homemade cupcakes made by the boys. Meme traditionally comes over and has Christmas Eve dinner and joins in the celebration. Lots of tradition on Christmas Eve! I love it!

Christmas day was wonderful. I make a traditional sweet bread every year! (Thanks again Denise)! We spent some of our day with family, and the very next morning we were off to Jacksonville to spend the next two days with my family. Ilene and Jim!

We had yet another Christmas at their home, went out to dinner and the next day went to the Jacksonville Zoo! OH WHAT FUN! Here are some of the husband is quite proud of his photography skills!

Cool Crane huh?

Below you see Shane feeding the giraffe....check out that tongue!

We had a fun filled day! We drove home that night....stopping to get a bite to eat on the way home. I was the only one who had a salad.....I was also the only one with food poisoning! UGH! It hit me so suddenly and so violently. I was resting for a week. Just fine with me though. We had a blast just hanging home! All in all, December was busy-busy! I baked like a mad woman, watched tons of children and still managed to sing carols every night and keep up with all of my treasured traditions. January is a welcomed month, one for new beginnings, new friendships to be made, new milestones to be met and new dreams to come true.

So I end this with a quote by Gloria Gaither "Lovely, complicated wrappings sheath the gift of one-day-more; Breathless, I untie the package--Never lived this day before!" Happy New Year everyone!