Most of my friends with children are all out of the diaper, potty training, naptime troubles, sleepless phase. Most of their kids are older and are much more independent. At 2, 4 and 8, my boys need a lot of attention and help. I sometimes find myself wishing away these crazy times when I focus on the negative. Days when I am so tired, but there is no sleep or rest to be had. Days when it seems impossible to be patient and calm. Days when there is so much whining and crying that I want to just join in! Waa-ahh! But then… I look to my God for the right focus and He shows me the abundant joys I have right before my eyes! So often He is the last place I look to for help, when He should always be the first!
Those nights when I am awakened by a sleepy little munchkin for whatever reason; THOSE are precious moments I may never see again. When I am snuggled up in my 2 year old’s bed at 2:00 a.m.trying to calm him or get him back to sleep and he rolls over and says, “Isn’t this fun, Mama?” or “Wanna snuggle, Mama?” I may not think the loss of sleep is so fun, but sweet, cuddly moments like that are slipping away even as they occur! Oh, to take a mental picture and breathe in the loveliness of those moments!
A couple of weeks ago as we drove down the road, my 4-year-old read a billboard sign to me! What? Who taught him how to read? :-) Sure enough, we came home and pulled out some of our beginning readers and he could slowly but surely sound them out and read several sentences to me! We had not yet begun to formally teach him reading, but okay! I guess it was time? :-) To witness those moments of discovery and joy; to cuddle up on the couch and dive into stories of adventure; to watch him experience them for the first time, in wide-eyed wonder…Oh, what wonderful moments!
I think of my 8 year old…in another eight years he will be sixteen!! These first 8 years have flown by! The days may often seem slow, but those years, HOW THEY FLY! If he moved out at 18, my time with him would be almost half over now. OH! That thought makes my heart sink! He has so many thoughts and questions and ideas to share. If I wish my time away now and do not listen to the cares of his heart…I will never get a second chance. I need to be here for my children today, whatever phase they are in, whatever frustration or joy I am dealing with…the time is now. I cannot plan the future or live in the future! God gives us each new day to enjoy…not to wish or plan away! TODAY I can enjoy these beautiful moments. For tomorrow has enough trouble of it’s own…
Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of it’s own. (Matthew 6:34)
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Do you have trouble laying out a schedule for your family’s day? And if you are able to put together a schedule…do you have a horrible time sticking to it?? That’s me…guilty as charged! I have tried and failed countless times to get an effective schedule going in our household. It has either been met with resistance or works for a few days but then I hit a bump in the road and that’s the end of it.
So…NO MORE! I had to come up with a solution because we have been living in constant chaos. We have had the worst time getting into a routine since we moved, so many changes day in and day out, plus all the visitors we are having. Hadn’t had a normal day and wasn’t even sure what that would look like, so I needed something flexible. AND here it is!
A HUGE in your face kind of schedule! Little doesn’t work for us…if I can’t see it, I forget about it! So this is in the center of our living room screaming at us all day long and I need that!
Foam Board, Post-It Notes, Marker, Pencil, Yardstick
I needed 5 columns across for my family of five and I wanted 20 rows of time slots for the day. Being a bit of a perfectionist at times…I drew my lines with a pencil first, but if you are adventurous, jump right in with a marker.
I made a list of all the things I wanted to include throughout the day and chose a color for each family member.
Once all my lines were drawn and names and times completed, I was ready to start plugging in my list. For events that took up more than one time slot, I used a whole Post-It Note and for one slot, I cut one in half. I love the ease of use! Before, when I have tried to implement a schedule, if something wasn’t working and I had to change it on the computer…it would never happen. But ripping off a Post-It? Yup, I can handle that! So I played around with it for an afternoon and this is what I came up with:
So how is it going, you ask? Well, day one was a very successful morning and I was feeling very proud of myself until a naptime incident that included POOP all over the carpet…ugh…pretty much disrupted the day. Why, why, why do toddlers do that??? Anyway…day two had less bumps in it, so there is hope! And life with kids can’t be completely scheduled anyhow, can it?! How do you keep up with all you have in your day?
Coming up, I have a series of Spring Cleaning Posts leading up to Earth Day and a Giveaway! So stay tuned in with me on Facebook! Find me linking up here!
I was sitting in my younger boy’s room tonight, just listening to the sound of them breathing. In and out, softly, peacefully…with the occasional snort of a snore. So calming, so lovely, so comfortable, such a gift.
Somehow, all the cares of the day drift slowly away…all the craziness is forgiven and forgotten…and nothing is left but LOVE. Of course, the love is always there, it’s just harder to notice sometimes in the madness of a house-ful of boys.
How sad it would be to miss these moments! How easy it is to miss these moments. How quickly they will be gone. How quickly I get sucked into the frustrations of the day. Never quickly to get back out.
Slow…breathe…enjoy…savor. Come back to reality, come back to truth. Don’t be deceived by the lies of this world. They are constantly fighting for your attention and they will devour you once they have it.
Your Source of Peace is God alone…you will find it nowhere else, your endless search will never satisfy. Start with HIM, end with HIM.
Breathe in His life to truly enjoy this life. So calming, so lovely, so comfortable, such a gift…your soul will find rest in Him alone. ~Kelly
As requested by my sister …I have six simple Easter crafts for you today! My boys were busy last week and over the weekend!
Painting With Plastic Eggs:
Choose your favorite Easter colors and paint with plastic egg halves on cardstock egg shapes.
Washi Tape Wooden Eggs:
Use the back of small wooden plaques. Layer stripes of patterned tape to cover the wood. Paint with a coat of Mod Podge to finish.
Paper Mache Glitter Eggs:
Paint paper mache eggs (mine were pre-made), cover the entire egg. While still wet, roll around in a box of glitter.
Baby Chick Sock Puppets:
Glue google eyes, beak and feathers onto a yellow sock. My boys goofed and chased each other around with these for quite a while!
Tissue Paper Chicks:
Cover a cardstock circle with Mod Podge or school glue. Wrinkle up small squares of yellow tissue paper and cover the entire circle. Glue on the paper beak and eyes.
And perhaps the most simple of all…
Use a yellow stamp pad to make thumbprints on paper. Use a black marker for the legs and eyes and an orange marker for the beak.
Happy Easter crafting everyone! ~Kelly