Tuesday, February 26, 2013

There's An App For That...

Ok, I have just recently upgraded from a slider phone to an i-phone...I know, that sounds ridiculous...but honestly, I didn't really NEED it before, I was home a lot, I could jump on and check emails, Facebook and blog, anytime, so I didn't really feel all that disconnected. With entering into carpool lines and different after school activities, practices and games, I was feeling like I NEEDED to be able to check my email on the go. Finally while we were in the hospital with Ava Jane, my silly phone stopped receiving or sending text messages and that was the straw that broke the camels back. I marched myself up to Verizon and bit the bullet, and to be quite honest, I'm not really sure how I went this long without it, but now, there is certainly NO.GOING.BACK! It has really made life simple for this Mom on a mission, and I'm oh so grateful!

So since I'm new to all of this, I've been exploring different apps (photo apps, apps for kids, scripture memory apps, weather, maps, all kinds of things!) But the one that I'm most excited about happens to be a really practical tool, for myself and for the life of my kids! Its called Wise Words for Mom's and its $1.99, but worth every cent!

I found out about this app through my Bible study group at church several weeks ago, our small group leader couldn't keep it a secret and I'm so glad! We've been doing a study called "Don't Make Me Count To Three" by Ginger Plowman. It's been a great study and has very practical advice! It's centered around "a Mom's look at heart-oriented discipline" and it's truly phenomenal! It's been both challenging and a humbling as I have read her thoughts and approaches, and as I have tried to implement and change areas that I need to work on.

After all, biblical discipline is not "merely after outward actions, but inward cleansing. We are after the very hearts of our children." Our kids may know the right actions/answers and they may do them, but inside they may be boiling over with anger or maybe they don't do the right thing at all...I have to remember that my goal in parenting isn't so that my kids will always act right, talk kindly, be "perfect" for the sake of "being perfect"...my goal in parenting is to find what will motivate and spur their little hearts toward godliness, to instill God's word in their hearts so they might not sin against Him, and to teach them how to react and respond appropriately. (Insert a sigh...) All that's so much easier to type then to do!!

Like I said, this book has been both challenging and encouraging. There's definitely things that I feel like I've done well, but there's many things where I need improvement and a complete "do over"! The thing that Ginger focuses on, is naming the problem (whether its complaining, whining, being argumentative, etc) and using scripture to teach the child to "put off" the wrong behavior and showing them how to "put on" the right one. I know some scripture, but am not well versed in calling out references and the exact, word for word of verses for each action that needs disciplining. I've tried to do this, but in the moment I find myself getting flustered as I try to stay calm and deal with the scenario as well as trying to rack my brain to pull up the right verse with the correct reference to the wrong action/reaction that my child has done. So, she brilliantly came up with "an app for that"!! It might sound crazy, but I have used it on a number of occasions and have found it to be really helpful! The way its laid out is she lists different types of wrong behaviors; she offers Heart Probing questions for you to ask your child; she gives verses that speak to what we are to "put off"; verses that encourage what we are "to put on" as well as other verses that go with that specific topic/behavior. Honestly, in the heat of a moment I have trouble not getting flustered, so this really helped me...I was able to take a deep breath, look at my phone and calmly ask the heart probing question and talk through the verse and what it means. Thankfully its been really useful so far. I would highly recommend the book and the app.

I would love to hear your experience with the book or app so leave me a comment if you give it a try!!


Thursday, February 21, 2013

God Answers Prayers, Even Small Ones

A few weeks back, I had my third laptop fail due to a virus (in one year, yes, I know that's crazy ridiculous). I'm not a techy person, so the loss of the computer wasn't the problem, it was all that was saved on my computer that was so upsetting. I'd copied some of our family pictures onto CD's but I had no where near all of them...that was an EXTREMELY sickening feeling! I had some saved to Flickr because I use it to blog, but oh my goodness, it was heart breaking to think I had NONE of Lawson's baby pictures and only a few of Emerson's.

I slowly got over the loss and began to move past it...what else is there to do? To be quite honest, I don't even know that I actually prayed out loud for the pictures to be recovered, I don't know that I trust/trusted God with this kind of small thing, but He does/did already know my hearts desires and longings (even the trivial ones).

Then about 2 weeks ago I got a call from the computer company who'd worked on my laptops, and it turned out, they'd stored ALL...EVERY.LAST.ONE.OF.MY.PICTURES on their company's hard drive and if I wanted to bring my MacBook over, they'd put them back on my computer!

A-MAZ-ING! I know its a small thing, but I felt so relieved and honestly, felt overwhelmed with the fact that God DOES care about the small things, the trivial things. He longs to be involved in the daily mundane moments, if only I'd bring EVERYTHING to Him, I could save myself the sickening, worry that seems to plague me sometimes!

So here's a few comparison shots at the 5 month mark:
Peyton at 5 months

Lawson at 5 months

Emerson at 5 months

And last but certainly not least, our Angel Baby, Ava Jane

Is she not adorable?? (And just a little bit sassy?!)

Oh, my heart swells as I look at these sweet little blessings that God has entrusted to me! What a privilege, what a pleasure (most days)! I cannot believe how fast Peyton has gone from those sweet nakey shots to such a big boy...I know its so cliche but my the time is flying and it seems to have happened over night!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Pumpin' and Dumpin'

Ask any nursing Mom, and she'll tell you how precious a commodity her breast milk is and she will undoubtedly call it "liquid gold"...

To have to pump and dump is actually painful...to have to pour it down the drain is truly awful! But what's even more awful, is when you have to pump and dump because, hold onto your stomach friends...you have been diagnosed with SCABIES! Yes, it is true and very disgusting!

"Scabies, you say?" Yes, "scabies!" What is it? Well, its extremely disrupted my life as of yesterday...its honestly been disrupting my world for about two weeks now...but as of yesterday I finally got a diagnosis for what's been itchy red bumps/spots ALL.OVER.MY.BODY! Just talking about it (or reading about it) will probably make you start itching!

Its a skin infection that is caused by little mites that burrow under your skin and the red bumps are an allergic reaction to them...DIS-GUST-ING, I know! They are transferred through clothing, so the Doctor's first question to me was, "have you been trying on a lot of clothes?" To which I answered "no"....hadn't bought any clothes lately. He explained how the little bugs work and I thought for a second and remembered recently buying some new sports bras, exercise tops and yoga pants from Target...apparently, that's how I got them. Note to you (and myself)...NEVER.EVER.EVER. rip a tag off ANY piece of clothing without first washing it, I have this bad habit of ripping a tag off and wearing my new clothes almost immediately. I hate washing new clothes, cause they never quite look the same again. Well this lesson was learned the hard way, I will ALWAY.ALWAYS.ALWAYS pre-wash items before wearing them, and if its a nice top or pants, I will send them to the dry cleaner before ripping that tag off and wearing it.

The treatment is the part that is quite disruptive. EVERYTHING, and when I say EVERYTHING, I mean E-VER-Y-THING, has to be washed in HOT-HOT water and dried in a HOT-HOT dryer! Literally all clothes in the closet, all towels, sheets, etc have to be washed. We had to get new pillows, a mattress zipper bag, a new set of sheets, etc...see what I mean about disruptive?!! Who wants to spend their day washing ALL.OF.THEIR.CLOTHES.

I used the very expensive cream last night; you have to massage it into every last inch of your skin from the tops of your ears to the bottoms of your feet...you have to sleep in it and in the morning rinse it off. The chemicals in it are quite toxic, so that's why I have to pump and dump, the Pharmacist initially said I needed to wait 3-5 days before starting to nurse again, but then they called last night and said that 24 hrs should be plenty of time....so that's a good thing!

Here's hoping the spots and bumps go away quickly...that the itching subsides remarkably, and that no one else gets it!!!

It's all worth it for my sweet, sweet girl! Isn't she an angel baby? We had a little Mommy/Daughter time this afternoon while Peyton was at school and the boys were at MORE time at church. Oh how I love her!


Sunday, February 17, 2013

Playing Catch Up

Boy, life has seemed like a whirl wind the past two weeks, honestly, haven't had much time to think let alone blog! Life has just been slammed for us...partly because of my trying to do "everything" and partly because its just a busy time of the year and life for that matter!

Here's a quick update from a little bit of what we've been doing:

We celebrated the 100th day of school, with Peyton dressed as an "old" man wearing short (high water) gray sweatpants with black socks, slippers and glasses. Here, he is with Mrs. Shelton.

He enjoyed the ice cream party that followed the 100th day celebration!

Every Saturday morning at 9 or 10 we've been at Agape, cheering on the Gazelles! Bo-Bo the monkey made an appearance and totally freaked Emerson out, he was not interested in looking at or talking to the monkey!

We attempted a trip to Home Depot, all we were going for was two new toilet seats and a couple of under the counter lights, it was "in and out" but not without incident! Lawson, decided to push a button at checkout that set off an alarm that the register attendant could not turn off, so there we were I was apologizing (as always) for the ruckus and Adam was trying to quickly push them all out! On the way to our car he said, "I can't imagine why you don't like to take all of them to the grocery store?!" To which I responded, "Yeah, me neither, can't imagine why!!" (Insert heavy sigh and lots of exhaustion!)

I snuck a peek at my sweet girl during nap time and she'd completely lost her bow and was using her headband as an eye mask...she is a doll baby!!

She's done lots of firsts in the past few weeks, she took her first bath with Emerson, which was a success, they had a lot of fun in there together. Then she started on rice cereal and loves it!

Is she not beautiful?!

We celebrated valentines, we've been to several birthday parties, and life seems to just be gearing up...pretty much every weekend from here until the end of April is booked up and then we'll also be starting t-ball...Life is certainly busy and very full, but I like it that way! I like "being" and "doing" I'm just having to learn how to prioritize what's really important versus what can go by the way side. Doing a lot of things and doing them all well is next to impossible, I will continue to try and hone these skills.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Honesty...the best policy

I just have to brag on Peyton, this is a little late in coming up on my blog, but better late then never!

While we were in the hospital with Ava Jane, he was recognized in the Kids With Character Assembly at his school. The character quality that his teacher recognized him for was "honesty". What a wonderful quality to have exhibited to his teacher and in his classroom.

We often talk about being honest, and telling the truth, at our house. And its one of those qualities that I've been praying for Peyton to own and exhibit, so, what an answer it was when we found out that he was being honored for displaying that character trait!

Here's my honest boy...

Getting up on stage in front of a lot of people is hard for him, but here he is, receiving his award...

Standing on stage with the other recipients...

I will continue praying for this quality to develop in him, because honesty is one of those fundamental, foundational things that can alter the trajectory of our entire lives if its not learned! My prayer is that as he learns to be honest, he will also be growing his character in the areas of integrity, taking responsibility and speaking the truth in love.

Peyton, Mom and Dad are so proud of you! You are learning and putting into practice the things we have taught you and the things that God is convicting you of. You are a precious little boy and we are so thankful that God gave you to us!!

I have to send out a HUGE thank you to Holly Schimmel, a wonderful Mom, that I haven't had the pleasure of meeting yet, but who knew Ava Jane was having surgery, so she took pictures of Peyton for me in my absence!! Thanks so much for your thoughtfulness Holly, I truly appreciate you sending these to me!!

Lake Day With Friends

Back in March, Adam and I began setting aside weekends on our calendar to go to the lake this summer with friends and family.  It felt a lit...