Tuesday, August 11, 2015

How to Eat Ice Cream...

I have four children ranging in age from 8 months to 8 years old. As you can imagine, this makes it incredibly difficult to sneak a bowl of ice cream when I need a little "me time." 

Sure, I could dish out a bowl for each child in perfect, Pinteresty scoops with sprinkles, syrup and and smiles, but who has time for that? Sometimes I just want to eat ice cream alone- and I have found a way that works for me:

Step 1: Distract the children. Video games work nicely. 

Step 2: Choose an unassuming container. I prefer a coffee mug because the kids know I drink coffee at weird times of the day and they know they can't have any- so they typically ignore my coffee mugs.

Step 3: Quickly pull out ice cream and scoop and cover them with a towel. It helps if you can back them up against a wall or a messy area so they're not as noticeable.

Step 4: As soon as no one is looking, scoop your little heart out! If anyone interrupts, pretend like you're writing a grocery list. The older children (if they are like mine) will run so they won't be forced to practice their handwriting. 

Step 5: Fill the cup and flatten the top so nothing can be seen. Insert a spoon. This works wonderfully if you usually leave a spoon in your coffee anyway. When the children look at you, just stir.

Step 6: Find a quiet place to hide. I like the couch in my room because it is covered in pillows and I can quickly & easily hide my treasure should the children come calling. The bathroom is also a good spot, if they haven't figured out how to pick the lock.

Enjoy! Remember, patience is key. You will be interrupted. You will be bothered. You may have to stand up to eat just so they can't see in your cup. It will probably melt. But it's worth it!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Parenting: Slow like Ketchup...

Coffee. I love it. I love it dark, smooth, sweet and FAST. Several years ago my mom gave me one of those amazing machines that makes a perfect cup of coffee at the push of a button. As I reached for my mug today I thought about some parenting struggles I've been facing lately.

I love fast coffee.

I love coffee.

I love my children.

I wish my children were as fast as coffee.

Let me clarify. My children, some would argue, ARE as fast as coffee- they run circles through my house as if someone slipped a little espresso into their Carnation Instant Breakfast! But that's not what I meant.

These days I can push or tap a button for almost anything.

Want coffee?    *PUSH*  Coffee!!

Wondering what the weather will be?  *TAP*    Forecast!!

Need cash fast? *ENTER PIN*     Money!!

Want your kids to stop arguing and treat each other with love & respect?

    *PUSH*    Um...

   *TAP*    Uh...

   *TAP! TAP! TAP! TAP! TAP! TAP!*   Still nothing!!

It doesn't work that way.

Sometimes I expect my kids to straighten up with one word. Usually, they do. In our house, that word is "Two". That's because if I get to three they get a consequence, and I shouldn't have to say "one". But all that does is get their attention to temporarily straighten them up. It doesn't reach their hearts, only their behavior.

No, parenting is a much slower, much more involved process.

Like Ketchup.

Do you remember the old Heinz 57 commercials? I am sure they're on YouTube if you look. The one that stands out to me is when a guy put a ketchup bottle on the top of a skyscraper, ran down several flights of stairs (it took FOREVER), held out his burger and still had to wait for the ketchup to land on the bun.

That's parenthood.

You set it up. You work hard. You hold out the target and you hope with all of your heart that the lesson lands on their hearts.

No buttons.

No quick fixes.

No CTRL ALT DELETE in the middle of a temper tantrum.

It can be exhausting work, but so, so worth it. If I were honest I would tell you that most days I don't feel much like waiting around for lessons to sink into their tiny hearts. But I love them with everything in me, and I want to do all that I can to help them become amazing adults who love God and love people and use their talents and personalities to make the world a better place.

And so today I am writing a reminder to myself. Be intentional. Set up the lessons. Take advantage of teaching moments and try not to be so frustrated when the push-button fixes don't work.

I have a sticky note on my refrigerator that I read every day. On it I wrote, "You are cultivating a culture within your family. Be intentional." It serves as a reminder that the lessons I try to teach my children are not push-button, quick-as-coffee lessons. They are slow like ketchup. They are hard. They are worth it. And when they finally land on their hearts, when our children finally grab hold of those lessons; like the man who took a bite of his burger and smiled with pure delight, the results are incredible.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

I realize it's been a while since I've posted, but we've been super busy around here! A sweet lamb has come to visit us for the Christmas season. His job is to help us learn about the real reason our family celebrates: Jesus! Check him out at my other blog, www.lammypajammy.blogspot.com .

And just for grins, here are a few pics to show what we've been up to lately:

 Baby dedication!
 Gearing up for Christmas!!
 We've had a lot of PJ days lately. It's been so cold!
 Courtney is loving 1st grade!
 While Courtney is at school, Matthew and Kaitlyn have been spending some quality time together.
 Kaitlyn learned to crawl!
 Do you see the face in this pic? Look carefully- it's on EVERY tile in my shower. Creepy.

 Mailing letters to Santa!

 We took Christmas pics at an old historic home down the street.
 Halloween- Courtney was Olivia, Kaitlyn was Snow White, and Matthew was Jake (from the Neverland Pirates)- but he refused to have his pic taken or wear his costume. Now he wears it every day, naturally!
 Katilyn is eating solids and has just started eating tiny finger foods.

 I've been working on my Photoshop skills. It's my "me time" go-to.
 Keith & I have been trying to do something fun with the kids every few weeks. This was our movie night- we made a huge tent that stretched across the whole living room.
 I did my first ever non-family member photo shoot! I had so much fun!! (Their little girl's flips reminded me of just how excited I was for the opportunity to take their pics!)

We took a family vacation to Hot Springs this summer- it was a blast! The only (I mean ONLY) cool weekend of the summer... it was perfect.