yup, the cold bug hit the babies, now :( That's what we've been up to lately...wrangling 2 crabby monkeys, while trying to console 2 cranky alligators! Yesterday I ended up calling my mom crying and begging her to come to my rescue. Thankfully she did and the last 2/3rds of the day went so much better than the first 1/3. There was much less crying and whining and bad attitude (and that was just from me...the kids were still @ their "best", even with Nani around) I was absolutely loosing it, yesterday morning, and I'm so thankful that God always provides a help for me when I'm at my worst. And, I'm praying my heart out that this bug passes more quickly through the babies than it seems to be going through Hailey and Jackson!
Tuesday, July 31
Sunday, July 29
Finally us Konietzki's are on the other side of whatever sick bug it was that hit last week! This is what the kids looked like Friday morning...
this is Hailey Friday night...I don't think she's sleeping, but I'm not entirely sure she's fully awake, either! On Saturday, late afternoon she actually said to Korey, "I can't wait until I can go to bed tonight"
whatever this cold and flu bug is that we got, I'm certainly thankful it's almost done. Even I took a nap two days in a row and that's basically unheard of!
Jackson had it the worst...poor kid is still not back to his old self, but he's well on his way- thankfully! This morning he had an absolute fit about his chair being in the wrong place and then wanting a different color straw for his smoothie and who really even knows what else- all I know is that it was completely out of character and it lasted over an hour and it left all of us praying that he feels a ton better after he wakes up from his nap!!
Thursday, July 26
AHHH! The girlies are 8 months! I missed it yesterday :) They've been up to so much that life here is moving 100 miles a minute!
Since they've been eating a lot of finger food and "feeding" themselves (aka smooshing food all over themselves and their highchairs) it's been easier to just stick them in the sink instead of trying to wash them up with a wash cloth, so they've been getting a lot more baths than usual!! So, they've been pretty much eating everything that Hailey and Jack are- the crusts of pb and j sandwiches, bananas, frozen yogurt bites, noodles, green beans, anything smooshy and small :) but both of their absolute favorites is saltine crackers or graham crackers!
When i went to take pictures of the girls today, I put Maysen on the floor and let her crawl while I got Maelle ready...she proceeded to chew up her sticker...oh well, she was cute while she did it :)
Maelle wasn't a huge fan of sitting and looking at the camera- Hailey tried to get her attention, but it's hard to wrangle a 3 year old so that she can wrangle an 8 month old ;)
these little girls are moving all over the place!! They are crazy busy all the time...I spend so much time just following them around, pulling stuff out of their mouth! Today they celebrated their 8 month birthday, a little late, by working together to get Maelle's diaper off, taking the poop out and eating it! (yes, you did read that right...) gross, huh?! :( blech!! I almost threw up, but they didn't seem bothered by it. I think we're really in for it as they get moving more and more...
They finally have enough hair so that I can put the clips right onto their hair, instead of putting a headband on first! yay for more hair :)
My two precious ones!
The girls weigh in at:
Maysen- 14lbs 8oz
Maelle 14lbs 3oz
(at least that's what our scale at home says) :)
they're taking 2 good naps a day- one @ 9am and one @ 12:30, sometimes the second one is even over 2 hours!! woohoo for nice naps!
go figure- Maelle is sick, again, this month! poor thing...
they go to bed at 7 and play in their bed for about 1/2 hour
they nurse about 5 times a day and are working on sippy cups, but haven't quite fallen in love with them yet! (and, yes...I am still nursing- no plans to stop, yet) :)
we're all loving these little ones.
In Hailey's words, "thank you God for our twinnies"
Wednesday, July 25
I have been humming and singing one of my favorite praise songs, today.
You are beautiful beyond description,
Too marvelous for words,
Too wonderful for comprehension,
Like nothing ever seen or heard.
Who can grasp Your infinite wisdom?
Who can fathom the depths of Your love?
You are beautiful beyond description,
Majesty enthroned above.
I stand, I stand in awe of You.
I stand, I stand in awe of You.
Holy God to whom all praise is due,
I stand in awe of You!
Today is one of those rough days that I just need a reminder that God is awesome and powerful! That in His infinite wisdom and grace and love He showered His blessings upon me with each of our 4 beautiful children. That He continually amazes everyone we come into contact with our two identical little people- two little girls who came from a single egg, but have separate and unique personalities, desires, and needs. That He graced my life with one bouncy, crazy, wildly sweet little boy in a sea of girls. That He saw fit to give Hailey such a big personality and a laugh big enough to handle it. And, that He gave me and Korey the amazing and awe-inspiring job of parenting, raising, guiding, loving and cherishing these 4 precious little dears. All I can do is stand back- marvel at His goodness and stand in awe of Him!
Monday, July 23
I think for the rest of my life I'm going to marvel at Maysen and Maelle's relationship. They are just so "close" and they definitely have a bond that I can not even begin to fathom. Hailey and Jackson love one another and they will sometimes snuggle or wrestle, but never do they play like the m&m's do. The girls chew on each other, climb over each other, sit on each other, lick each other, scratch each other, stick fingers into each other's mouth, nose, eyes and they don't even seem to bat an eye! I think it's because they got so much practice "wrestling" in mommy's tummy, but I still can't help but marvel at it. We all call it wrestling and giggle at them, but to May and Ellie it's just normal play- they don't think anything is different or funny or strange about climbing over each other to get to a toy that's on the other side! They think nothing of climbing on top of each other to get the toy that the other one is chewing on! They don't think it's weird or mean to pull the nuk out of their sister's mouth and pop it in their own. And, much to my chagrin, they don't even think it's weird to shove the other one out of the way so that they can nurse on that side! These girls are just plain crazy and I love that I have been blessed enough to be able to watch this relationship develop :)
Sunday, July 22
Friday, July 20
I have found that one of the best things about having all your kids really close in age is the amount of fun that you get to have! We seriously have tons and tons of fun over here these days. (and get less and less done around the house...) The m&m's are getting to be big enough to go for longer between feedings, take only 2 naps a day and enjoy people watching. Hailey and Jack are finally big enough to do stuff. And, Korey and I are loving it like crazy! 2 Fridays in a row we did fun things and 2 Fridays in a row we got our kids put in bed, looked at each other and said, "is this our life?? that was too easy and actually fun?!" woohoo (as Hailey would say) I love our busy, crazy and super fun little life!! (oh yeah, and in case you think we do amazing things...our "fun stuff"=taking a family trip to fleet farm, picking out a treat and heading to the park for a picnic and playing on the swings and slide) ;)
Wednesday, July 18
...no matter how many psalms I sing
no matter how many cups of coffee I drink
no matter how many times I say, "it's not always gonna be like this"
no matter how many times I remember that I begged for children
no matter how many times I praise God for my life
no matter how many kisses and hugs I get
no matter how many thank you's and sweet smiles come my way
no matter how many walks we take
no matter how much sleep I've gotten the night before
sometimes no matter what...
I just gotta admit it-
I'm worn out!
I can only change so many diapers
listen to so much whining
answer to so many, "mom look at this"
rock so many kids
have so many dance parties
pull so much stuff out of my babies' mouth
break up so many fights
correct and discipline so many times
sing so many lullabyes
nurse so many babies
take so many walks
carry so many kids around
make so many meals
hold so many tiny hands
clean up so many messes
get so many glasses of milk
answer so many "demands"
fulfill so many needs
before I just gotta admit it-
I need a break...
and I'm going to Target :)
good luck, honey!
Tuesday, July 17
this is what I think my life looks like- all my kids nicely sitting on the floor, having a nice little snack and reading books together...
in reality this is what it looks like more often than not- 3 girls crying and screaming and whining about something and 1 little boy just doing his own thing (and a random dog just hanging out looking for leftover food to clean up) ;) Ok, really, Maysen and Maelle are fairly happy babies and usually Jack is right there along with Hailey throwing a fit about not getting the sippy cup he wants or the snack that he chose...but, there's usually a kid or 2 crying or whining around here :)
does your reality always match up with what's in your head?? I'm thankful that what my mind sees is better than my reality...sometimes it's nice to be a slightly naive mom, don't ya think??
Sunday, July 15
On Friday night the Konietzki clan invaded the balloon rally and it was a blast!! When Korey and I got in the car on the ride home we were shocked...we could NOT believe how wonderful all our kids behaved, how much fun we all had, and just how relaxed about it we both were! AMAZING!!!
It was a little sad that it was too windy for most of the balloons to blow up, but we did get to see one, and the kids didn't seem to mind at all! We did get to ride ponies, jump in a bouncy house, watch pig races, and see a nemo balloon! (not to mention navigate the fun and adventurous sport of checking out the porta-potties numerous time- Hailey went in one and said, "mom, let's choose a different one- it's gross in here!" too bad it doesn't get any better, Hailey) ;) My favorite part of all, though, was when Hailey got too tired of walking and decided that she'd hold Jackson on her hap and ride in the stroller with him. It was incredibly precious seeing them all snugged in there together giggling and having such a great time!!
usually Hailey is our huge horse lover, but after Jackson's first ride I think he's hooked, too! He laughed and giggled and just had such a great time the whole ride. He was so cute. He even said to me, "I touch it, momma??" He just loved his horsey ride so much!!
that's exactly what I was when I came up from feeding the girls this morning and was greeted with this- completely and utterly speechless!!
Saturday, July 14
and hearing that your friend is pregnant is definitely one of them! I love babies. I love holding them and cuddling them and kissing them. Even just hearing about a "mom to be" can make me wish, albeit for a second, that I was going to have another one, too- that's how much I love babies! Even more special than just hearing a friend is expecting, though, is hearing that a friend is adding their 4th baby to their family!! That makes my heart so happy. I love our big family and I love the fact that I'll be able to share some of the unique and special things that only parents with 4 kids get to experience, with these friends! I've never had the privilege of having 3 children, so I don't know what that is like...I don't know if its easier, harder, or how different it even is than having 4, but I do know that going from 2 to 4 is a pretty big difference. Just the fact that when you're on your own you're outnumbered 4 to 1...that's a pretty big ratio that's not in your favor! I also know that not many people (I have yet to meet anyone, actually) are going to have 4 kids in 2 1/2 years, so there are some struggles that might just be unique to our family...but, I am going to share on here some things I've learned from my 7 1/2 months of being a mom of 4, for my friends who are embarking on this special journey soon! :)
(all my love, girls!! showers of blessing and tons of hugs sent your way)
these aren't in any specific order...just put them on as I was thinking of them...
1)lower your expectations...of yourself, of your kids, of your husband, of your house, of your laundry. Just let it go, now. It's not gonna be the same, so don't even expect it to be!!
2)enjoy and appreciate the little things...not the little things like a massage or a pedicure, a new haircut or a new pair of shoes- the little things like- drinking a full cup of coffee without reheating it 5 times first, having all your kids resting at the same time, 5 minutes of quiet where you can pick up your Bible (even if that's the middle of the night), buying your favorite yogurt or splurging on a special creamer on grocery day! These little things might not seem like much, but when they're all you've got- they'll get you through :) (seriously, some days I "reward" myself with putting the twins to bed, my older kids on the chairs with books, setting the timer and sitting in the kitchen with my cup of coffee and my Bible for 10 minutes- no cleaning or organizing or picking up allowed- and it works like a charm for everyone)
3)date nights are sooooo overrated! ok, I know that everyone is gonna be jumping down my throat on this one, but, honestly, when you have to get all your kids fed, pump bottles for your babies or time feedings "just right", get your kids jammies out, clean up the bedrooms enough so that you don't have to throw your kids to their beds from the doorway, go through the work of finding 2 sitters that can both babysit on the same night, keep all your kids healthy and then get dressed in actual clothes...it just seems like more work than it was worth!! Korey and I just put our kids to bed early, popped in a movie and watched it together, all snuggled up on our own couch and often just fell asleep together. It worked perfectly and was so much less stressful than actually leaving our children in someone else's care!
4)be patient! It took me 7 months before I actually felt like myself and felt normal and felt like I could handle ordinary day to day life! Maybe you'll be shorter...I pray it is so...maybe it'll take you longer...I pray that isn't the case, but however long it takes you don't feel bad or guilty about it. I felt so much pressure from myself to be "fine" sooner than I was, just because other people around me were, but each of us are different and each of us has a different "row to hoe" as my Grandma would say :)
5)say "no" to help if you want to. In the first 6 weeks of our twins life we had so many people offer to come over and "thankfully" it never worked out. Our babies were sick, their babies were sick, life just got in the way. whatever it was, I think it was God's blessing (in a weird way). I think God knew that having 1 or 2 or 3 more people in my house was going to put me over the edge-stress me out more and make me even more exhausted and tired. God knew what I didn't- I needed to be able to say "no" and not feel guilty about it. Everyone had told me never to say no and I felt like I couldn't, but I'm giving you permission to say no, if you wanna.
6)ask for help when you need it! even if it's just asking the neighbor to take the kids for a few hours, asking for meals from your friends, asking your mom to take them overnight, or paying a babysitter to come and take the kids to the park. Getting some sort of help and support will help you when you feel overwhelmed.
7)wear pj's that you won't mind answering the door in. I still am often in my pj's at 2 in the afternoon and you don't wanna be answering the door for the UPS man in what Hailey would call your "sleeping dress" :)
8)LAUGH...when you wanna cry- laugh; when you wanna scream- laugh; when you wanna run away and never look back- laugh! watch funny movies, have your kids dance to music, dress your dog up in aluminum foil socks...do whatever it takes to get some laughter and some fun into your life!
9)hug, kiss, snuggle and rock your older kids! Even if they don't want to, even if you don't think you have time- just do it! You'll all feel better about it. One of my sweetest memories stemmed from one of our worst days. Hailey had gotten out of bed for what seemed like the 500th time and I was feeling at my whit's end with her...I was stressed to the max, but through her tears she begged me to rock and sing to her, which thankfully I did, because as I sang and rocked the stress of the day melted away for both of us...we both relaxed and I had the beautiful privilege of rocking my then 2 year old to sleep and having a beautiful and sweet memory to take away from an awful and stressful day!
10)create a Bible verse book, write Bible verses on cards and stick them around your house, use your pregnancy to memorize new verses...do whatever it takes to put the Word of God at the forefront of your mind. There will be times that you're going to need "a word" and if it's easily accessible and at the forefront of your mind it will be able to quickly be put to work in your heart and your mind.
11)find a friend or 2 to be completely honest with. Pour it all out on them- let them be your "keepin' it real" girls (or girl) and then lie to everyone else! yes, that's right- I did just condone lying :) If you tell everyone the truth then you just may be in tears all the time and that's not good for you or for anyone else. It's not dishonest not to tell the whole world that you feel like you're loosing it!!
12)give yourself a break! Do whatever it takes to survive and don't let anyone or anything make you feel like you're failing, regardless of what "survival" looks like in your family!!
13)remember that I will be praying for you...for your family...and for your future babies! I love you, my dear friends, and am excited for you to embark on the wonderful world of being outnumbered 4 to 1!! :)
Thursday, July 12
usually bathing the twins is a dreaded chore for me...you see, it starts out all cute and fun, but then it slowly disintegrates. While they're in the water they're so cute, so fun and they really love it! That's where the bad part comes in- they HATE to get out! Good thing I took some pictures of them in the water instead of the screaming and crying and carrying on that went on after they came out, huh?! ;)
these are both of Maysen- Maelle didn't want her "single" photo taken- she kept looking away from the camera :)
|look at this little tongue. isn't it cute? Maysen has been rolling her tongue all around, these days, and it's absolutely adorable :)|
probably the only pictures cuter than babies in the bathtub are babies while they're sleeping :)
Tuesday, July 10
Jackson loves to "make" with Daddy and today he decided to help daddy out by "making" the deck for him! Korey's been working so much that he hasn't had time to work on the deck and apparently Jack is sick of it and decided to take matters into his own hands!! You just gotta love this little boy- he's too cute for his own good! :)
waiting for the garbage truck :)
Jack was getting bit by the mosquito's, so Hailey got them blankets to cover up with :)
Monday, July 9
We took Maysen and Maelle on their first trip to the beach on Sunday and it was a blast for everyone!!
(sorry that there are more pictures of the babies than the other two...Hailey was hard to catch "still" and I was mostly worried about Jackson not drowning) :)
I'm pretty sure that Maelle had more fun eating the sand than anything else!
Jack even really enjoyed the water...because of all the warm weather the water was fairly warm and he could touch a long ways out, so it wasn't so intimidating! The best part was that he went around on his hands saying "swim, swim, swim" as if that somehow made him a real swimmer ;)
Hailey was absolutely adorable- she kept calling the beach a big swimming pool with a sandbox :)
I love nothing better than a fun family day!! (especially when it involves tons of sand and water) :)
Saturday, July 7
None of us go into parenting hoping to be an angry mom. Not many of us can believe, when we're rocking our sweet precious newborn that they could ever do anything to make us completely loose our cool with them. We've all heard or seen those parent's at Walmart screaming at their kids and we've all thought "never me. I'm not gonna be that mom" (I could write an entire post about "I'm not gonna be that mom" things I've said and later regretted, but I won't bore you with that, now) :) But, somehow each of us loose it. The sleepless nights catch up, the constant craziness gets to us, the mess begins to takes its toll on our sanity and we just loose it! You know what I mean- the irrational screaming over who left the tiny barbie shoe in the kitchen for mom to step on, the gritted teeth use of the full name to get a child's attention, the huff of irritation when your son had the 15th potty accident on the floor, the desire to punch a hole through the cabinet door after your daughter spilled an entire gallon of milk on the floor or maybe you just wished you could take each plate very carefully out of your cupboard and throw them against the wall in the garage just to watch them shatter and feel a little relief from all the pent up anger and irritation in your heart...I think anger manifests itself in so many different ways, but I don't think there's a mom out there who hasn't experienced it. I always said I didn't want to be an angry mom. I always said that I wanted to deal gently and lovingly towards each of my children - all the time, even when I was mad at or upset with them. I thought, when Hailey was a baby, that I was doing a good job. I thought that just because I didn't get angry when she cried all the time or irritated with her when I had to get up in the middle of the night that I had somehow managed to conquer the "angry mom syndrome" in my life. What a naive woman I was, because, once again, God was laughing at me. I had no idea, then, that in a few short years I would read Philippians 4:5 and be incredibly convicted about my anger towards my children. You see, I can justify so much in my mind, but when confronted with the truth I had to face the facts- I have not been dealing with my children very gently.
Philippians 4:5 says, "Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand" and that verse cut me to the quick. Maybe it's because the day before I had yelled at Hailey and saw her spirit get crushed...maybe it's because I now have a little boy who is going on 2 and testing me at every moment...maybe because I have 4 kids and am getting nervous about the other 2 getting older and starting to talk back and fight and get into trouble...maybe because I know that the chaos that's swirling around me really isn't going to get "better"...whatever the reason, when I read the commentary on this verse I realized that I needed a change in my heart and my life- when it comes to my children. I don't ever want to get to the point where I am so bitter that I start to wish they had a child just like them, to somehow get back at them. I never want to get to the point where my kids say, "oh, yeah, my mom yelled a lot". I never want them to have a hard time understanding that God's love is unconditional and that God doesn't keep a record of wrongs, because their mom always did. I want to get a hold of my "angry mom" tendencies when they're young and the infractions are small so that someday- when the infractions are big and the stakes are a lot higher I deal graciously with them.
I have a John MacArthur study Bible and this is a paraphrase of what he had to say about these verses: God encompasses us with His presence. Therefore, we need to treat others with mercy and leniency and gracious humility. We need to act with generosity towards and contentment with each person we come into contact with.
In my mind I envisioned God in my house...and asked myself- would I still behave like this with my kids if He were really, truly standing in this room with me?? I had to answer NO! And, that hurt me. I love my kids- I love them more than life itself and I can't even think about hurting them or wounding them on purpose without tears popping into my eyes- so why would I let my parenting be ruled by irritation and frustration? The answer may lie in reading new parenting books, working harder on potty training Jackson, getting on top of my kids the first time, or making my babies cry themselves out at night...but, I don't think it does. I think the answer lies in my heart. You see, all those things are temporary and are going to be replaced by other things- bigger things- and if my heart hasn't learned to deal with my kids in a gentle way then I'm not going to handle the bigger challenges any better. One of my favorite verses is Colossians 3:15 and it says: "and let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts" and that is precisely what I have been trying to do- let my heart be at peace, regardless of what my circumstances around me look like. I can guarantee that my circumstances look anything but peaceful, if you were to see me in the store or on my way into the gym, or even if you were to stop by our house at any given moment, but I hope and pray that as I grow and mature the times where there isn't peace in my heart will become less and less! Today is the perfect example...I needed to go to the store and buy some fels naptha to make laundry soap, because I was out and I forgot to pick some up while grocery shopping last Friday. Well, Korey was working, so I decided to pack up all 4 kids and head out, so I could do some laundry this afternoon. All was going smoothly and as well as it can with 4 kids and 1 mom in Target- until I realized that they don't carry the soap, anymore. Then the irritation set in...we finally picked up some other laundry soap and headed to the check out where Jack proceeded to throw a HUGE fit about the fact that he wanted to put his ball up on the belt to get "checked" and instead I asked Hailey to...irritation started growing. Then, we headed out the door, ball in tow, and Jack refused to hold Hailey's hand...irritation creeping higher and higher. Then, we get out to the car, everyone buckled in and Maelle starts screaming bloody murder and won't take her bottle...irritation on its way up. Then, Jackson has a small accident in his carseat and says he still has to go and Hailey says she has to, also...I hate to admit, but I almost lost it. I wasn't sure if I should cry or pound the pavement in irritation! I grabbed both carseats and both kiddos and set off back into Target, all the while Jack was crying about having wet shorts. As we reached the bathroom- God got a hold of my heart. (who knew that the bathroom at Target would be a great place to meet God ;)) In that moment I realized that I had 2 options- 1 would be to continue my little tirade and possibly even wound my children's hearts with my unkind words and looks and irritating little huffs or 2 would be to get it together- realize that life happens and consider myself thankful that at least Maysen wasn't screaming, also, and Hailey hadn't had an accident! Thankfully, in His graciousness, God brought me to the place where #2 was the option I chose and as we set off back to the car, we were able to play and laugh about trying it again and when Jackson threw a huge fit about not holding Hailey's hand I was able to get down on his level, talk him through it and set off to the car without any major catstrophes. We were even able to drop some clothes off at a new mom of twins house and then had to make an emergency stop at a friend's for more potty breaks, but since God had got a hold of my heart and my mind, earlier, we were able to have a "nice" little chat and a visit and I wasn't all irritated and huffy about my life!! I'm so thankful that God doesn't allow this angry mom to stay in the same spot. I'm so glad that He is getting a hold of me and refining me and doing what it takes to bring me around more and more to His way of thinking each and every day!! If you think about it, or have time, would you pray for me or even ask me how I'm doing with this. I know it's not as if I'll never be angry again or that I will somehow be cured from my angry attitude- I just want to keep striving and keep moving towards dealing with my children with gentleness in each and every situation!!
Friday, July 6
we've all been there...that mad dash to the bathroom when you leave your kids unattended for what feels like an eternity, but is, in reality, about 5 seconds. My kids are kind of over achievers and while other kids may get into some trouble while their mom is gone- my kids excel at trouble and cause as much as humanly possible in the few seconds that I'm missing in action. So, I've amassed quite a collection of "things you never wanna hear while you're in the bathroom" and I thought I'd share a few of them with you...
(hard to believe these sweeties ever get in to trouble, isn't it?!)
*jump Jack, jump
*color here, Jackson
*oh no, Hailey, oh no
*I think the babies are awake, Jack, lets go check
*I'll get you some milk
*ear piercing screams followed by, "I think the baby is sleeping on the floor"
*it's ok, baby, I pick you up
*get me some wipes, quick, Jack
*oh look, baby rolled off the couch
*no jumping off the steps, Jack
*Jack went poopy
*there's poopy on the couch
*momma I'm all wet
*that's my barbie shoe, ellie
*you sit here, on the couch, baby
*my tools, baby, followed by a smack and crying
*let me touch that, Jack
*wanna see something cool, Jack
*look at this, Hailey
*let's sneak up on the babies
*giddy up, baby
*you wanna be airplane, baby
*and the worst of all...absolute silence! Nothing gets a momma out of the bathroom faster than having the chatter of her children abruptly end!!
Thursday, July 5
a few days ago I posted that I had chosen a verse for each of my children and had written a prayer for them, to go along with it...but, I only posted Hailey's, so in case you were thinking that I didn't care about the other 3 here are the prayers and verses I chose for them :
for Jack, my sweet little boy, who is so afraid of monsters and lions and shadows and snakes and alligators and all sorts of other "scary" things that keep him up at night, keep him from walking up the stairs by himself and keep him in "bondage" to being around the rest of us all the time:
"The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?" Psalm 27:1
Lord, I pray for Jackson, that You would take His fears far from him. That he would cling to You and Your promises when he is afraid. That he would know that You are his light and salvation. That You give him strength to overcome any scary situation.
for my precious little twinnies I chose the same verse. I know that they are different people and have different personalities and someday soon they will each get their own verse, but for now, I feel like the thing I would pray for both of them would be the same thing, so they're sharing this time!
"Be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you" 2 Corinthians 13:11
I pray, Lord, for Maysen and Maelle- that they would be a good comfort to one another and to those that they meet. I pray that they will be of one and the same mind- including their eating and sleeping schedules. That they would be at peace with one another. That they wouldn't fight, but let God's peace and love rule in their relationship with each other and their relationships with others.
Tuesday, July 3
6 years ago when we bought an older house in an older neighborhood in a quaint little town we had no idea how blessed we were! We bought our house from a little old lady, who's daddy built the house for her and she gave us a good deal because we were a young couple, just starting out and she envisioned us filling it up with children! :) (good thing she saw what we didn't...) We thought that was the biggest blessing- boy we were wrong. The biggest blessing is our neighbors. First we met the ones accross the street- Dave and Terrae. Turns out that their kids are all around the same age as Korey and I and we just fell in love with them. Dave introduced Korey to duck hunting- which I'm not sure I'm happy about...but, Terrae introduced me to her wonderful daughters and one of my best friends, another neighbor- Sheila.(who also happens to have 2 sons, the older of which my children LOVE) Sheila has driven me to the hospital while in labor, taken thousands of pictures of our family, allowed me to cry on her shoulder and watched my kids on numerous occasions. (not to mention the fact that they have a pool that we get invited over to use often) Then, there's the people next door, who Hailey and Jack love to watch- they actually sit like little birds on a little bench saying, "Hi Tom! Hi Marlene" and updating us on what they are doing in their backyard :) The best thing Tom and Marlene have is a grandson named Garrett (at least if you ask Hailey)! Probably the best couple we met, though (for our kids), are the neighbors behind us- Uncle Bob and Karen! They absolutely LOVE Bob and Karen and I'm fairly certain that the feelings are mutual!! :) Hailey and Jack just love Bob's garden and the fact that they keep snacks for them in their fridge, programmed nick jr into their favorites on their tv, own a four wheeler and a riding lawn mower and whenever mommy needs a break they invite the kiddos over for an hour! It's wonderful for all of us! They've babysat for me when I'm in a pinch and Bob is a retired lineman, so he understands Korey's job and how hard it is to be a mom left on your own. Here's Bob with 2 of our little princesses :)
God really knew what He was doing when He led Korey and I to this quaint "older" little neighborhood! These neighbors have been an incredible blessing in our life and I hope that we have blessed them as much as they have all blessed us!
Sunday, July 1
maybe for cute little smiles...or the chance to buy and play with cool toys...
maybe for the sweet "I love you, mom" from your son...
maybe for the ability to paint- to bring out your inner artist...
and create cool tattoos...
maybe because you then have the excuse to play outside and not work on hot summer days...
or have picnics on the lawn and watch the cars go by without seeming super weird...
maybe so you can play silly games, wrestle around and not appear to odd to the public...
Ok, in all seriousness, none of these are truly good reasons to have children!
I've had a few conversations in the past few weeks with people- either who don't want children or who don't want a second or third one...most of them say it is because they want to have life more "established" first or they feel like life ends after having children and aren't quite willing to take the plunge to "ending" their life, yet. Obviously, I don't feel that way, since I'm a mom of 4! We didn't plan on having twins, but we surely planned Hailey. And, while we may not have planned the exact timing of Jackson or the twins, we knew we wanted more children and having just 1 child was never in our "plan"! We both wanted children and even before we were married we talked about how we both wanted a larger family! In fact, 4 was always my ideal #. :)
All these conversations, though, have really gotten me thinking about our kids and about my life and even thinking if I regretted any part of it. And, as crazy and chaotic as the first 6 months of the twins life were- I can say in all honesty, that as of right now, I don't regret a thing! And, I definitely don't regret having children. I did "live life" (if that's what you wanna call it) before I had kids...I went to Europe, I finished college, I lived on my own, I worked at a camp...I did a few fun things, but all of those things that seemed so fun and so cool at the time pale in comparison to having children. I don't consider graduating from college to be the greatest accomplishment of my life- I consider carrying twins to 37 weeks and then delivering them naturally a way greater accomplishment than that! I don't think that traveling to Europe was the most fun and exciting part of my life- I much prefer the small excursions I've taken with my children and the snuggles we've had in the mornings in our bed way more exciting than seeing the Eiffel Tower. I don't think that living on my own is that amazing of a feat or that great of a thing- I actually remember being lonely and bored much of the time when I was all by myself! I don't even see cooking at a camp for 200-300 people as that awe-inspiring when compared to putting dinner on the table for 6 people while simultaneously wrangling 4 crabby kiddos!
The life lessons that our kids have taught Korey and I are way more exciting, amazing and inspiring than anything else we did before we had them!
In case you still aren't sure why you would have children- here are some true reasons:
1) you learn that time doesn't really matter. If it takes you a day or a week to complete the project that's ok...it'll still be there in a week!
2) you learn that your kids don't care what your house looks like and neither should you and that you have better things to do than worry about cleaning your house all the time.
3) you learn that you have "bigger fish to fry" than a lot of things
4) you learn to laugh at yourself and at life. nothing like a good dance party in the kitchen to get rid of all your inhibitions :)
5) you learn to slow down and to enjoy the simpler things in life. taking your daughter fishing all the sudden becomes a whole day affair and you don't mind because you realize it's the most fun you've had in your whole life!
6) you learn that $ isn't really that important. your kids don't care if their toys came from a garage sale or grandma's attic or even if they only get to play with sticks and daddy's hammer- they're perfectly content with a little and they help you realize that you should be, too!
7) you learn that with God nothing is impossible and that you can only accomplish anything with His help! I never have had to rely on God as much as I have had to once I had children. It's a humbling and amazing thing to see God work so greatly in my life and my children's life- without my help!
I absolutely love my life and wouldn't change it for anything in the world! I hope and pray that the people I had conversations with in the past few weeks will get to experience the amazing-ness of having children and having more than just one! Could God have taught me and Korey all these things without children? possibly. Could He have taught us them all with only Hailey? maybe. He chose not to. He chose to teach us these lessons and to bless our life at the same time. And for that, I'm eternally grateful!