Thursday, January 31, 2013

Our parenting style

My family is extremely important to me.  As a matter of fact, my children will laugh if they see anything with the word "Family" on it because they know I am contemplating buying it.  I feel extremely blessed to be my children's mama and my husband's wife.  I seriously sometimes think about my life and feel like I should pinch myself.

Does that mean everything is always perfect?  That would be a big NO!  Do we get on each other's nerves from time to time? Yes, yes, and yes!  

From the time my children were little, people would comment on how lucky my husband and I were because our children behaved and were polite.  While they meant it as a compliment, it always made my skin crawl.  My husband and I weren't "lucky", we just invested a great deal of time into our family.  This comment always made me sad for the person's child who was standing there listening.  I believe there are no "bad" children, just uninformed parents.

As my children have grown, people will ask us questions regarding parenting.  Comments are made about the behaviors of our children and our relationships with each child.  Listed are the things my husband and I have done, and continue to do, in our family.

  1. We use if/then statements.  Our children know they will receive a consequence for wrong and inappropriate behaviors.  For example, we may say, "If you don't stop_________, then you may not use the iPad for a week."  Our children know we will follow through with the consequence.  
  2. We respect their feelings and we never make something about us.  For example, my nine year old son didn't want me to attend his class Christmas party.  He is my third child and wants to feel grown up.  He wanted to hang out with his friends only.  I completely respected his decision and request.  Rather than getting my feelings hurt, I told him I understood and respected his choice.  He gave me a big hug and said thank you.  He didn't have to feel guilty.  The party was about my child, not my appearance.  When he got home that afternoon, he once again told me thank you for letting him be grown up and proceeded to tell me EVERYTHING about the party.
  3. We NEVER use sarcastic put down humor.  I despise this type of interaction.  There is nothing good that will ever come out of it. 
  4. We spend a lot of time together.  We enjoy playing family games, playing outside, etc.  We let them know how important they are by the time we invest in building relationships and memories.
  5. We sit down at the same time each night and enjoy dinner together.  We don't have the TV on.  Some of our best conversations, confessions, and laughter comes from the dinner table.
  6. We have always had a schedule.  I truly believe it makes children, and adults too, calmer.  People know what to expect and when.  
  7. We speak to them as we would want to be spoken to.  Just because they are children, doesn't mean they should be talked down to or talked to rudely.
  8. We say we are sorry and ask for forgiveness when we are wrong....even though we are the parents.  We listen when our children feel wronged and try and understand where they are coming from.  
  9. We hug....a lot!!!!  
  10. Most importantly, we put God first.  Our children know that if it's not acceptable to God, it's not acceptable to us.  
Here are some pictures of my sweet family.  They melt my heart!
When Emmy was little we called her Boo.  She reminded us of Boo from Monsters, Inc.  
 Barry always helps with math homework.  Math is not my strong point!!
 Luke can be so silly.  He was cracking up about brushing his teeth the other night. :)

 Barry really enjoys playing basketball with the boys.
Barry and Luke decided to jump into the hot tub last night.  This picture melts my heart.

One of the best books I have read regarding parenting is "Parenting by The Book" by John Rosemond.  He offers great biblical wisdom and truths.  

Enjoy your families and remember to find something to laugh at each day.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Busy, busy, busy...

Our family enjoys imitating Mr. Hinkle from Frosty the Snowman.  We sometimes run like him and, often, if we are busy, we will say, "Busy, busy, busy...."  I have felt like a busy Mr. Hinkle since Friday. :)

On Friday, Emily, Jorden, and I left for College Station.  Emily had a volleyball tournament all day Saturday. We had so much fun driving to College Station.  My kiddos like to make fun of their old mama who doesn't see as well at night.  I have to wear my glasses and they think that is so funny.  I told them that they shouldn't laugh too hard, they have my genes!! We laughed and talked the entire drive.  They are soooooo much fun!!

Barry and Luke stayed in Houston because Luke had two basketball games on Saturday.  Luke said he was really excited for us to leave because he was looking forward to spending time with his daddy.  When I told Barry he said that, he asked if I was just playing with his heart.  I told him Luke really said that.  I think Barry did a happy dance! It melts my heart that they have such an awesome relationship. :)

Once we got to the hotel, they pulled out their iPads.  I think they used up all of their words in the car!!

On Friday night, we met some of Emily's team at Spoons Yogurt near the A&M campus.  Aren't they precious!?!  They all get along so well.  It is so neat to see them support and encourage each other.  They work so well together, regardless of what the score is.

Emily had to be at Read Building at 8am ready to play at 8:50.  Jorden and I decided to start our morning off with a deeeelicious cup of coffee from Starbucks.  I sent him in with my credit card to get our coffees.  I noticed him at the counter talking it up with a cutie pie of a girl.  He came back to the car and I asked for my credit card.  He had put it into his wallet because he didn't want the cute girl to think his mama was buying the coffee.  I reminded him that MY name is on the card.  He laughed and said that hopefully she thought his parents gave him a girl name to toughen him up!!  Yea, I don't think so stud muffin!!!! :)

Jorden and I had so much fun cheering our girl and her team on.  He said that he was really proud of her.  Awwwww!!!!!!  

We set up a table outside of Read Building so the girls could grab lunch between games.  They giggled and played around the entire time.  I took Nutella per Emily's request.  One of her teammates tasted it for the first time and asked it where it had been her whole life.  I guess she liked it!!!

My handsome boy!!!  I love him so much.  I was so very happy that he went with us to College Station.  He is a hoot to hang out with.  He has a dry sense of humor at times and can cause me to belly laugh.  I consider that an ab workout!!!  Wouldn't you agree??

On Sunday, Jorden and I drove quite a way to decide if we wanted to add another dog to our family.  We took Rudy with us so that he could meet the dog.  He was not happy at all.  He sat at my feet and put his head down.  He kept looking up at me with sad eyes.  Jorden and I left the home so we could discuss it.  We both had a bad feeling about adding the dog to our family, so we went home with just our sweet Rudy.  Our family has decided that we are not going to add another dog at this time.  Our sweet Rudy is 7 years old and has always been an only dog.  

Despite the long drive, Jorden and I had the greatest time.  We talked the entire time and laughed a lot!  I wouldn't trade that for the world.  :)

I hope everyone had a fabulous weekend!  Much love my friends.... :)

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Be careful little eyes what you see...

(I found this on Google Images)

My husband and I try and teach our children the ways of the Lord.  We talk about Jesus and try and model behaviors that He instructs His children to do.  Often, we are very much in the minority, but we stick to our guns because we know at the end of the day, it is Jesus that matters.  People have told us that we need to relax our ways a bit so our children will fit in and not feel left out.  We want our children to stick out for Christ!  We NEVER want to go against Christ so our children will fit in with the world.  

Our diligence in Christ is certainly beneficial for our children.  They do not feel they have to have a significant other to be worthy.  They are secure in their worth in Christ.  They are not worried about fitting in or going along with the crowd.  We have had teachers and adults tell us what leaders our children are and how polite and respectful they are.

Our oldest son will leave for college in a year and a half.  He is already looking forward to joining a Christian fraternity.  He knows he must surround himself with believers in Christ and those who want to further God's kingdom.

I tell you all of this not because we are perfect.  We are anything but perfect!  We mess up and ask for forgiveness often.  I tell you this because I am heartbroken and a tad angry at what my children have been telling me lately.

Did you know that the movie Pitch Perfect is the rage among children and teens??  

I will be honest, I haven't seen the movie.  I haven't had the desire.  Here is a portion of what I found on

These a cappella competitions aren't just about singing. There're also about dancing, with some of the moves falling into the bawdy/suggestive category. One oversexed Bella is particularly fond of running her hands over her breasts and toward her crotch, but she's far from the only one guilty of suggestively touching or gesturing to certain areas of their bodies. Amy, during one dance number, rips open her shirt to reveal the undergarment beneath.

Lyrics, too, can stray—particularly during one "riff-off" where contestants are asked to sing songs explicitly about sex. The tunes range from Foreigner's "It Feels Like the First Time" to Rihanna's "S&M," which includes the lyrics, "Sticks and stones may break my bones/But chains and whips excite me."

Beca is solicited for the group while taking a shower. We see shoulders and backs; we hear discussion about covering "junk." Leader Aubrey initially hopes to sign on "super-hot girls in bikini-ready bodies." A woman's nipples (comedically enlarged) are visible under her shirt. We see girls in bikinis and guys in Speedo-style shorts.

One of the Bellas is a stereotypical lesbian who sometimes ogles or inappropriately touches her fellow singers. Another singer is known for her promiscuity. And much is made of Beca being visibly attracted to a guy in a rival group. Three of the girls are kicked out for sleeping with them.

Many more references are made to either having sex and not having sex. We hear about herpes, body parts, confused sexuality and "sluts." Beca is given a rape whistle when she arrives on campus. "Don't blow it unless it's actually happening," she's told. A girl's breasts are (lightly) punched. A female announcer says of an all-female a cappella group, "Those girls could turn me."

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Yippie for....

I am so thankful for many things.  I truly feel blessed by God.  I struggle with things, but at the end of the day I know Jesus never left me.  What a great truth!!

These are the things that are making me say YIPPIE today...
1.  My kids playing around with each other.  It does this mama heart good to see her sweeties enjoying each other.

2.  A teacher who calls me because a grade wasn't indicative of my child's usual grades.  Seriously....I was so grateful!!  She even took the time to go over the test with me.  I am so glad that my child has a teacher who truly cares about success and each individual child. :)

3.  A husband who took me to lunch today.  I was so happy to have a yummy lunch with my honey.

4.  Friends who are sweet, uplifting, encouraging, and funny!!  God has truly blessed me with the friendships of some amazing women.

5.  Starbucks coffee....I am craving a soy vanilla spice latte as I type this.  Who knew a cup of $5 coffee would make me so happy!?!

6.  Our Valentine's banner.  I am in love!! :)

7.  My running shoes.  I am really enjoying lacing them up and hitting the pavement.  

8.  The absolutely gorgeous weather we are having in Houston.  It has been around 70 degrees.  

9.  My camera!!!!  I loooooooooooooooove it!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I am having the time of my life learning how to use it.  Yesterday, a friend told me that she had to talk to her daughter about idol worship.  I opened my purse and revealed my camera that I had wrapped in a baby blanket for protection.  I asked if I need the talk too!

10.  I saved my biggest yippie for last.  My daughter and I are going to A&M this weekend for a volleyball tournament.  The boys are staying home because Luke has basketball games and Jorden has a debate tournament.  Jorden told me yesterday that he spoke to his debate teacher and she said he could sign up for the next tournament and miss this one.  He said he really wanted to go to A&M with me because he rarely gets to hang out with just me. Emily will be on the court with her team and he and I can hang out.  It melted my heart and made me want to do a happy dance.  Yep, we are going to have some fun times!  He makes me laugh hysterically and he is one of Emily's biggest fans.

What is making you say yippie this week?

Tuesday, January 22, 2013 we get another one???


Our dog, Rudy, will be 7 next month.  It seems like we just got him!  We got him when he was 10 weeks old. He was a teeny tiny peanut, less than 2 pounds.  He is a Maltese.  Yes, I know he doesn't look like one. We keep his hair short.  His mom was 5 pounds and his dad was 4 pounds.  He was supposed to be little, but his body had other plans.

Luke had just turned 3 when we got Rudy.  Luke adored him and wanted to carry him EVERYWHERE.  He did not like when anyone else held him or played with him.  The joke at our house is that Rudy is no fool.  He purposely grew to 16 pounds for mere protection from a little determined 3 year old! :)

The question circulating our home lately is should we get Rudy a playmate.  We are considering rescuing a dog from a shelter.  We wouldn't want one larger than 20 pounds.  Also, we don't want a puppy.  We think a puppy would drive Rudy insane.  Rudy has tons of energy, but we don't think he would take too kindly to a puppy who was insistent on nonstop play.

Rudy has always been a great dog.  He potty trained super easy.  He came to our family already crate trained.  He has never chewed on furniture, walls, etc.  He knows to stop something when I say his name a certain way.  Once, he went out the back gate that had been left opened.  He had been hanging out on the back patio relaxing in the sun. He is an inside dog, but enjoys some fresh air on occasion.  We had no idea he had gotten out until we heard scratching on the front door.  He could not get back into the gate (it had shut on it's own due to wind) so he was smart enough to go to the front.  He's just an awesome dog.

We just can't decide what to do.  My husband is even on board with getting another one.  That alone tells me we should because he did not welcome Rudy as lovingly as the rest of us.  He tolerated him at best.  Now, he really does love him.  

I would surely appreciate any and all advice!!  Please share your stories with me.  :)  

Monday, January 21, 2013

Truth...I suffer from anxiety

I have wanted to write this post for a while, but shied away from it because it is so personal.  Writing this will expose my heart and that can be scary.  I kept feeling the Lord tug at my heart to tell my story.  I have decided to be obedient to His urging.  I pray that my story will touch those that need to hear it.

I suffer from anxiety.  At times, it is almost debilitating.  I will have panic attacks and have trouble catching my breath.

When faced with something (usually concerning my children) my mind fires off millions of what if questions. I become buried in fearing the worst.

When this consumes me, I become frustrated and even depressed.  My heart is on fire for Jesus.  Why on earth do I fear the worst rather than trusting Jesus?

The guilt will then set in.  Am I a phony Jesus lover?  Will I pass this on to my children?  Do I drive my husband insane?

Here comes my true honesty...

I know why this happens to me.  It breaks my heart and has caused me much shame, guilt, embarrassment, and tears.

I have a fear of rejection and abandonment.  I have never had a parent who didn't attach strings to their love.  My parents have always chosen themselves over me.  My father has had nothing to do with me my entire life.  He claims he didn't and doesn't want to interfere in my life.  Great concept, right?  My mother has always put other things above me.  I have no idea what true parental love is.  I love my children like crazy.  I know that they are gifts from my Father and I am to love them wholeheartedly.  My love for them will sometimes take my breath away.  They are truly precious in my sight.  I have expressed this to my parents and begged for a love like that.  I am told I'm judgmental.

Deep down, I feel there must be something wrong with me to cause both of my parents to lack parental love.  I used to think if I was perfect, they would love me.  I used to think if I took care of their emotions and let them be victims, they would love me.  These things only made my life crazy.

I know in my head that it is not my fault.  It's my heart that has trouble getting it.  I know there is NOTHING my children could ever do to make me not love them and have a strong desire to be in their lives.  However, I guess I still wonder and sometimes think I must not be good enough.

I am afraid on some level that I deserve to feel pain.  I am afraid that I will lose my children and no longer have them here to love.  

My head knows this is not how Jesus feels.  Why is it so hard for my heart to get it at times?

As I sat with my family on Maunday Thursday, the Lord spoke to me so loudly I could have sworn His physical body was sitting next to me.  He clearly said, "I am not here to hurt you."  I get chills just thinking about it now.  He loves me and isn't out to hurt me.  His goal is not to reject me, abandoned me, or hurt me.

I am working on this.  There are days that are better than others.  I went through a long stretch where I was in complete peace.  I felt so free.  It was wonderful.  Then some things happened over Christmas that caused me to slip a bit.  On top of that, I received a cruel letter from my father telling me how disappointed he is in me.  Nice, right?  He doesn't even know me.

I will continue to pray and trust Jesus.  I will continue to hear His sweet words in my head.  I know that no matter what, Jesus is continuously with me.  

Psalm 146:7
The Lord frees prisoners.

The Lord is with me even when the clouds of life seem too thick to take.  His glory and light will forever shine through.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Sick Weekend

We had planned on having an eventful weekend filled with a basketball game, lots of outside time, and a family restaurant night.  A nasty cold had other plans for our family.

Luke got off of the bus on Friday and immediately said he wasn't feeling well.  His nose was runny and he looked like he wanted jammies and a remote control.

Thankfully, he hasn't had any fever.  Whenever he gets a cold he tends to breath funny.  When he was younger, he dealt with asthma.  He was actually hospitalized twice for it.  We are so grateful that he doesn't have to deal with it like he used. to.  However, he still gets pretty winded and coughs like a smoker when he gets a cold.  

Needless to say, we spent the weekend at home.  He is still coughing, but seems to be a bit more perky tonight.

I laced up my running shoes for the first time since before the holidays.  I found myself so busy during the holidays that I didn't find/make time to run.  I was so happy to get back into it at the end of last week.  Hitting the pavement always makes me feel so refreshed.  Unfortunately, it has also left me walking a tad funny!! :)  My muscles are rebelling....I'll show them whose boss!! ;)

Here are some pictures from our weekend....
 Emmy LOVES french fries.  I cracked up at this picture taken on Friday night.  She was eating a french fry.
 Emmy spending time with her sweet dog, Rudy.  Rudy will go into his crate sometimes to chill.  I think he is looking for his me time!
 My sweet Luke just doesn't feel well. :(
 I love Jorden's sweet smile.  :)
 My sweet boy chillin' on the couch.

 Luke walked around all weekend with a tissue....

 Jorden was a great big brother.  He played video games with Luke a lot this weekend.  Luke just loves the times his big brother spends with him.
 Emily's favorite all time food is....candy.  I think she's really an elf!!  Notice how she separates them into groups.

 Barry handles my camera happy hands quite well!!  He's getting used to being photographed!
Rudy, too, is used to being a model! :)

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend.  We are excited that there is no school tomorrow.  We will definitely be sporting jammies into the afternoon!!

Friday, January 18, 2013

You know you're old when....

Lately, I have been getting smacked in the face with how old I have become.  I will be 41 next month.  When I was a child I thought 40 was ancient.  Now that I am in my 4th decade, I think 40...umm, I mean 41... is hip and happening.

You know you are old when....
  1. You hurt yourself while you are asleep.  Yep, I sometimes wake up with a pain that I did not go to sleep with. 
  2. You fall asleep on the couch before any of your kiddos are in bed.
  3. Those pesky grays don't want to stay covered for long.  Seriously, I think I need highlights every six weeks. 
  4. Gravity takes hold of the booty area no matter how many miles you run. 
  5. You dress for comfort over style.  Who says workout pants aren't stylish!?
  6. Wrinkles appear no matter how much anti-wrinkle cream you slop all over your face.
  7. Older people at the store call you ma'am. 
  8. You are around the age that your mother-in-law was when you and your husband started dating.
  9. You can't eat what you used to without your body severely punishing you.  Why can't I eat dessert every night like I used to?? Growl!!!!
  10. Your eye doctor tells you for the FIRST TIME EVER that you need progressive lenses...the new word for bifocals! 
Yep...these all describe yours truly!!  Thankfully, I am laughing at myself.  If you no longer can find tissues at your local store, it will be because the laugther got old.  Okay, now I'm laughing at my dumb humor. :)

Have a wonderful weekend full of great laughter.

Our children deserve better

Deuteronomy 11:19
Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.

Deuteronomy 4:9
Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live.  Teach them to your children and to their children after them.

Recently, I was talking with a friend about her visit with her sister and her family over the Christmas holidays.  She told me a story that has cut me to the core.

My friend's niece is 17.  While my friend was sitting with her niece, the niece texted a boy she likes.  Her text read, "Wasup" (What's up for us oldies).  The boy texted her back, "My d***".  My friend was horrified that a boy would text that to her niece.  She immediately told her niece everything wrong with the text.

Her niece told her it was no big deal and that is just the way kids talk to each other these days.

Upset, she went to her sister and conveyed what had just happened.  Her sister told her the same thing her niece's just the way kids talk these days.

My friend was still upset about the text and reaction to it when she went home.  She has a friend who is a school counselor and she asked her about the incident.  

The school counselor told her the same exact thing her sister and niece's just the way kids talk these days.


That is not the way respectable, God fearing people, regardless of age, should be talking.  AND....that is not the way a person is to be treated.

There are so many things wrong with this...
  1.  Where is the respect for women and self?
  2. Why does a parent think a child should be talked to this way?
  3. Why does a school counselor see this as ok?
  4. Where is God in all of this?
I could write a post a mile long on why this is harmful to our children and our society.  I won't though.

I will say that as parents, we must teach our children to live for God in everything they do.  We must teach them that respecting others and ourselves involves our speech, actions, and behaviors.

If my daughter was ever talked to this way I would be horrified.  I wouldn't be able to get to the boy fast enough because my husband would beat me to him.  My daughter knows how a man is to behave....she sees her daddy.

If I ever heard my sons speak (or text) in this fashion, they would lose every privilege ever given to them.  They would be escorted by me and my husband to the girl's home and apologize not only to her, but her parents as well.

Our children deserve better.  They deserve to know their worth in Christ Jesus.  

Ok, I'm jumping off of my soapbox now.  Here are some pictures from our week that I just love...

 I walked into Luke's room and he was playing with lego figures.  This picture melts my heart because his hands are still so little. He is still so young and I adore him.
 Be still my heart.  Emily and her daddy saying goodnight.

 Luke really wanted these basketball socks and I surprised him with them.  He was so excited!  He didn't want to wear his basketball shoes to play outside though...they may get messed up he said.
 Emily is in the air right after a volleyball serve.

Luke begged me to take a picture or a two of him dribbling the basketball between his legs.  Emily photo bombed it.  He had no idea!

Enjoy your weekend!!  Much love to everyone...xoxo