~Poop On Jelly~

Our Family's Bitter/Sweet Life

Thursday, October 28, 2010

A Precious Moment

On this incredible, exhausting, exciting, scary, amazing, demanding, fantastic journey that is parenting, there are some moments that really bless my socks off.  Most of them involve watching each of my children develop a strong faith for the Lord. 

A faith I never had as a child. 

A faith that is second nature to them. 

A faith that is all their own.

A faith, I pray, they never turn away from.

Last Sunday Bruiser was baptized.  He was so excited!  It was a decision he made all on his own.  It was a decision of obedience and a way to display his love for Jesus.  Jesus, himself, was baptized out of loving obedience to His Father God, and to set an example for us to follow.  Jesus' own baptism marked the beginning of His ministry here on earth at the age of thirty.

I can only imagine the ministry that lies ahead for my precious 7 year old! 

One thing I know for sure: God has special plans for you, Bruiser!

"Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit."  Matthew 28:19

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Perfect Parent

My kids are driving me crazy!

There. I said it.

I am not the perfect parent, nor do I have the perfect kids.

Oh, sure, they are usually a joy... when it isn't really early in the morning, really late at night, time to sit down to any given meal (when at least one of them always whines, "Do I HAVE to eat THAT?!"), or when we are making an exhausted effort to actually get somewhere on time (which practically never happens),  So, basically, that leaves a good hour of pure joy each day.

Lately, our kids have been a bit "off."

My sweet princess has taken to saying, "NO!," lying about the most unimportant things, and disobeying just for the sake of disobeying.  Most of my days are spent correcting, scolding, and speaking words of truth into her life.  Sometimes she listens.  Sometimes I feel like she puts both of her fingers in her ears, closes her eyes, and hums as loud as she can.

My thoughtful middle child has been moody, emotional, and hard to get along with.  All of my suggestions, from the breakfast cereal of choice right down to which pencil to use to complete his homework, are refused.  He has decided to do everything his own way, even if my way is quicker, safer, and uses plain old common sense.

My overachieving firstborn is becoming more independent and very active in extra curricular activities.  He often over commits himself and struggles to manage his time accordingly.  Many nights go far too late as he seems to believe he is capable of doing it all on his own.  He only cries out for help when it often seems too late.

Nurse Boy and I are exhausted.  Each kid has been throwing us curve balls.  We have been taking action to rally the team to support, encourage, and respect one another.  We have prayed for wisdom and peace.

One thing became immediately clear; our middle child was feeling left out.  Nurse Boy helped coach the other two kids' soccer teams this season, causing him to miss several of Bruiser's games and all of his practices.  Bruiser was feeling left out.  Unfortunately, his horrible, ungrateful attitude often made us angry.  We weren't able to see the actual problem for far too long.

Once we realized the cause of Bruiser's bad case of the grumpies, Nurse Boy planned a surprise night out for just the two of them.  As Nurse Boy and I were discussing what they could do together, Nurse Boy (half jokingly) said, "I should just take him where I want to go, since he doesn't deserve it anyway."

Then, it hit me like a TON OF BRICKS:  I am no different than my kids. What am I "deserving" of?

Sure, my Abba Father IS perfect, but I am a mess.  A hopeless mess.  I have said, "NO!," disobeyed, and even lied to myself about my behavior.  I, too, have been grumpy, rude, and ungrateful.  I have also been known to cry out for help when I am overcommitted and I have made a huge mess because I was determined to do it all on my own.

No, Bruiser didn't "deserve" a night out with his father.  It is no different from the daily blessings that I receive.  I don't deserve them.  Any of them.  Heck, sometimes I fail to even recognize them.  Yes, I fall short.  More often than I care to admit.  I am not a perfect child, but I AM a child of God.  I am a child of a perfect, forgiving, merciful, loving God.  A God who has blessed me with 3 kids who continue to show me God's forgiveness and Jesus' willingness to sacrifice it all for God's children.

I KNOW I drive God crazy, yet He still loves and blesses me.  I think I will try to spend more time with my fingers out of my ears, my eyes wide open, and my heart ready to hear all that God has planned for me.

Now, let's just hope my own children will do the same...

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Go Pink or Go Home!

Yesterday I shared some pictures of our recent trip to the Pumpkin Patch.  It was a beautiful day and everyone had a wonderful time.  It was a memorable one, but not because of the wonderful company and nice weather.  Nope.  Sweet Pea pulled a little stunt that made us all laugh.  And, we are still laughing about it.

You see, once we ventured out to the actual patch to pick out our pumpkins, she wandered all over the patch.  She is usually right by our sides, but not on this particular day.  We smiled as we watched her explore the patch, completely unaware that she was on a mission.  (One we would have deemed impossible had we known what is was.)  We kept an eye on her as she wandered farther and farther away.  She was ever-so-carefully looking at pumpkins, touching pumpkins, and picking up pumpkins.  After a while, we let her know it was time to pick out her pumpkin so we could head back.  Finally, she excitedly scooped up a pumpkin and practically skipped back over to us.

The walk was long...

The mission seemed impossible...

She proudly brought forth...

the pinkest...

pumpkin in the patch!

Leave it to this girl to search for a pink pumpkin!  While it isn't pink, I must admit it is the closest to pink I have ever seen a pumpkin.

Can you say, "OBSESSED?"

Monday, October 18, 2010

A Perfect Fall Outing

Last Friday the boys didn't have school and Nurse Boy took the day off. We made it a family day and took the kids to a family-owned Pumpkin Patch. It was the perfect way to celebrate the beauty of fall! We took in some fresh air, got covered in dirt, selected the perfect pumpkins right off the vine, and ended the day with apple cider slushies.

Here they are at the beginning of the day... clean, calm, and cheerful.  (Except for the fact that Bruiser has his arms around Sweet Pea's throat.  Hmmm...)

 I love it when I get all those baby blues looking in my direction.

 They are simply crazy... and they come by it honestly!

Pumpkins and mums... don't they just scream FALL?!

They are keepers.  All three of them.

Leave it to the boys to find the hay bales.

Next, we ran through the maze of hay bales.

And, took a peek at the cows.

Bruiser was in heaven.  He practically rolled in the dirt.

The afternoon was capped off with a hayride out to the pumpkin patch where the kids searched for the perfect pumpkin to carry home.

With the help of that pumpkin, Dimples was officially taller than me.  I am afraid he won't need the help of a pumpkin come next year.

It was a wonderful day.  I am thrilled I got to spend it with four amazing people.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Confession Time

Dear Bruiser,

One of these days you will notice that your first grade plant is missing.  I am not sure exactly how I will try to dance around the truth, but you are smart.  You know my obsession with keeping things clutter free.  You know that the trash can is often the answer to my clutter woes.  You have found out the hard way.  Your plant has not been spared from my clutter free binges.

Yes, Bruiser, I threw away your beloved plant.  It wasn't my fault.  I had to.  It was mocking me.

You see, Mrs. S grew that plant over the course of your fabulous 1st grade year.  She cut off the "spuddlings" and sent each of her students home with a plant of their very own.  A plant to watch grow and blossom just as each one of you did in first grade.  And, grow and blossom you did!  What a wonderful year it was for you.

The plant was supposed to be a refreshing reminder of your 1st grade year.  However, I don't do plants.  Oh sure, Mrs. S assured me that you couldn't mess this one up.  I assured her that if anyone could put it to the test, it would be me.

And, Bruiser, I don't lie.

Yes, son, you were faithful to water the plant. (Most of the time.)  It sat in my kitchen as a constant reminder of me having yet another living thing to take care of  (of which I am clearly not capable).  It didn't die, yet it refused to grow.  It didn't grow taller.  It didn't spawn new leaves.  It didn't blossom and fill my kitchen with new life.  There it remained; one lonely leaf on a short, little pathetic stem.

It was mocking me.  I began to hear it laugh at me as I cleaned around it.  That is when I decided I couldn't take it anymore.  I declared it clutter and chucked it in the trash.

Please forgive me.  While I will never give you the gift of a green thumb, I do hope to give you the gift of keeping a clean, clutter free home.  Right or wrong, I have decided organization is much better than a green thumb.  Mostly because my thumb has failed me for many years now.  I will continue to raise you with the slogan, "When in doubt, throw it out!"  I am sure your future wife will be forever grateful.  And if she isn't, let her do the gardening.

Your Mom
(Who thinks watching YOU grow and blossom is nothing short of AMAZING.  Plants... not so much.)

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Because Everyone Needs a Little Pumpkin in Their Lives...

and in their kitchen. 

I love fall.  Honestly, I love spring and summer, too.  It is the nasty winter I could live without.  Except during the month of December.  I like it to be cold and a little snowy while I enjoy the Christmas lights. By the time January rolls around, I am over it.  And, that is an understatement.

But, at this very moment, my obsession is fall.  I love the smell.  I love the cool evenings and warm days.  I love the mums.  Most importantly, I love the pumpkins.  I like to decorated with them, carve them, and eat them.  I really love to eat them.

Today I will share a SIMPLE recipe that is sure to bring the pumpkin lover out in you.  All you need are 2 basic ingredients... if you can even call them ingredients.  It is kind of a cheater recipe, if you will.  I can be a bit of a lazy baker.  Meet my close friends this time of year:

Yep, a box of spice cake mix and canned pumpkin.  Put them together and you get magic!

Seriously, take those two ingredients and mix together well.  Feel free to add a little allspice or cinnamon to taste, but that isn't even necessary. 

Now, you can do three things with this batter.

1.  You can add 1 cup of semisweet chocolate chips.  Drop teaspoon sized "blobs" (that is a technical baking term, in case you were wondering) onto a greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes.

2.  You can add nothing, drop "blobs" onto a greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes.  Let cool and frost with cream cheese frosting.

3.  Get completely lazy and just bake a cake by placing the dough in a greased 13x9 pan and baking at 350 degrees for about 30-35 minutes.  Let cool and frost with cream cheese frosting.

What's not to love about these recipes?!  I am wrapping some of these up for my kids' teachers tonight.

Happy Fall!  Eat some pumpkin for me...

Monday, October 4, 2010

Monday's Random Musings

It is Monday, yet again.  The boys have the day off, so we spent the day being lazy.  I got "all crazy" and let them play video games... for as long as they wanted.  It amazes me just how long they will sit there and stare at the screen, pushing buttons, and talking to the cartoon images on the TV.  I am pretty sure they lost a few brain cells today.  Oh, well.  We all needed a lazy day.  Mine was spent folding an abnormal amount of laundry.  I think I, too, lost a few brain cells.

Time for some randomness..

* I love listening to Sweet Pea sing "Hallelujah" repeatedly while dancing around the living room with her arms raised to the heavens.

* It is almost as entertaining as me trying to spell "hallelujah."  Seriously.

* Spell check was invented just for me.  You are welcome.

* I may be a "retired" elementary school teacher, but I have never been able to spell to save my life.

* Nurse Boy is of no help to me in this area.  He, too, struggles with spelling.

* Miraculously, both of our boys are awesome at spelling, no thanks to us.

* It is officially fall now that I have some bright yellow mums sitting on my front porch.

* I am celebrating fall by searching for pumpkin recipes.  I simply cannot get enough pumpkin this time of year.  It is my obsession.

* Don't even get me started on candy corn and peanuts.  So good.  And, pretty.

* This weekend we had a garage sale.  I can't even to begin to explain the rush I get every. single. time. someone pays me for something I almost threw away. I LOVE to purge!  Love, love, love it!  The fact that I get to make a little cash makes it even more delightful!

* Some neighbor boys came inside the house today and reported that our house smells like "candy."  I guess my new apple cider candles are actually hiding the cat box smell.  I am always afraid our house smells like a huge cat box.  YUCK!

* Last night, we spent the evening sitting around our fire pit.  Drinking homemade hot chocolate on a crisp fall evening while sitting around a fire with my family is definitely a little slice of heaven.  Loved. It.

Happy Fall, Y'all!!