Sunday, December 29

To my friends...

If we were sitting at my sticky dining room table, I'd clear you a spot, pour you a cup of coffee and share a little piece of my heart...

*I feel like my kids are at a hilarious's just not always hilarious to be their mom 
*I wish I could laugh more often
*having two 2 yr olds is kicking my butt...literally some days I wonder if I will survive the day
*I love waking up to a clean house, but most times I just don't have the energy to clean it after the  kids go to bed and it's just plain depressing when it gets messy again so fast
*sometimes I want to hire our babysitter just because she leaves the house sparkling clean when she leaves :)
*most often my grand plans end up with someone in tears- and often it's me
*I try not to make too many plans
*I love playing and being just often doesn't feel worth the work
*I'm feeling kinda lonely...the kiddos have been sick, we've been busy and I am missing my friends
*I'm feeling kinda lonely for God...the kiddos haven't been sleeping well at night, they haven't been sleeping well at naptime and that equals not much quiet alone time for mommy and her Bible
*I often find myself at the end of my rope, with nothing left to give...that's often at 9 in the morning
*I feel like a failure as a mom
*I haven't cooked a "real" meal in weeks...possibly close to a month- I think even the kids are getting sick of frozen pizza, mac 'n cheese, hotdogs and pancakes for supper
*Korey's been working so much that I almost cried tears of joy when he said no to work to go grocery shopping with me last night
*my husband is pretty amazing...who gives up work to go grocery shopping with your wife??!!
*I haven't been caught up on the laundry in years, but I did finally get some towels and washclothes washed before we ran out about a month ago...since then we have run out a few times!
*my toilets desperately need cleaning...every single day
*I'm so excited to get a fireplace, but the thought of one more thing I need to "tend" to during the day seems overwhelming
*there's nothing that makes me feel less equipped than parenting...
*there's nothing I want to do better than be a mommy
*I feel like I've given up so much...but I still find myself irritated about small, seemingly insignificant things
*for 5 minutes my life feels so overwhelming and I just wanna sit down and cry...5 minutes later its so different...I wish I could remember that better in the rough times.
*I scrubbed the floor 2 days ago...since then we've spilled milk, coffee and juice. squished playdoh onto it and eaten numerous needs it again already! 
*I can't seem to keep my kids noses wiped...they're always walking around with snotty faces and sticky faces
*I can't tell Maysen and Maelle apart when they are wearing the same clothes and both have their hair down...maybe that's why they've been taking their ponytails out every chance they get- they like messing with me
*sometimes getting my kids to help around the house and do chores doesn't seem worth the work...other times it seems like an awesome help
*Jackson finally learned to put his jacket and boots on himself...that feels like an amazing accomplishment
*my twins make me laugh so hard. they take all the fun parts of 2 year olds and double them
*Hailey is struggling with her hearing...we have no idea what is causing all the fluid on her ears and making it hard for her to hear, but it is driving all of us nuts! I feel like I'm constantly yelling things at her :( (She's only struggling with the "soft tones", so she can hear loud noises and little kid voices)
*I took my christmas tree down on the 26th...I couldn't wait to be done with it and all the needles and the twins continually playing with it! 
*today I struggled to get my twins to stay in their bed for almost 2 hours at naptime...that depresses me, because I really thought we were done with that
*I'm leading a women's study on a book called "Give Them Grace"...I feel like the least equipped person to lead a bible study
*Jack has been begging for a little brother...we do feel kinda bad that he's the only boy- surrounded by girls
*Ephesians 4:29 is my prayer for me and the kiddos this year "let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear" 
*I heard this said about that verse on a program on the radio- it's like giving them a silver present with a beautiful bow each time you talk...I was sadly convicted that my words aren't always beautiful gifts to the hearer (and wish I'd had time to listen to the whole thing, but got interrupted, so that was all I heard)

Friday, December 27

Tea party time!

We had a little tea party today and the kiddos were so cute that I just had to take some pictures! Maelle was adorable! 
It was definitely a nice little way to relax after a few days of running and no naps and cranky kids! In Hailey's words "this is the best tea party ever" :) (it was pretty much the first tea party we've ever had, but I'll take "best") :) 

Wednesday, December 25

Merry Christmas!

We had some of the most fun moments at Christmas this year!! 
(and some of the not so best leading up to it...)
Captain America and his 3 sisters went shopping with me to pick out my mind it would have been fun and exciting- a sweet time where they chose good presents for the people in their lives...turns out that it wasn't actually that fun....the day ended in tears for mommy and 3 of the 4 kiddos....but, we did get some presents :) 
The rest of Christmas was much more delightful and sweet! 
Christmas Eve at Grandma and Grandpa K's
We had our first Christmas morning at home this morning and it was so much fun to put all the presents under our tree, fill the stockings, wait excitedly for our kiddos to wake up and drink coffee in our pj's while they opened presents!
Hailey was the first one up- she was so excited and could barely wait for the rest of the kiddos to wake up- she had seen that the biggest present was hers and just couldn't wait to see what it was! 
 Macy and Elli were so funny opening their presents- Macy was so careful and slow at opening her gifts and after she opened one she just sat and played with it and basically left the other ones for her sister to open. Elli on the other hand ripped into present after present, discarding them as she went.  
 we had some friends join us for breakfast and we all had a great time! we laughed a lot, we played a lot and we were really loud- the kids put on a screaming show on the platform that Korey built for our new fireplace :) 
in the midst of all the girlyness going on in this house Jack got some truly "manly" things for Christmas- a hulk mask and smashing hands and his very own shaving kit :) He was fairly cute trying out both of them!
I hope that your Christmas was as wonderful and relaxing as ours was today! 

Thursday, December 19

Christmas love

Sweet little Christmas "loves" :) 
My heart just loves seeing this little boy with his daddy- especially snuggled into his arms! We went to Hailey's Christmas program at 2 in the afternoon and poor Jack desperately needed more of a nap! 
My heart loves the fact that this sweet girl made a sweet little friend at school. It was so special to see them excitedly run to each other and pose for this picture together. It's always good to have a buddy to help you navigate school and life and I'm glad that God provided one for Hailey. 
My heart loves this precious maelle. She has such a big personality that I can barely think about her without smiling. She's so spunky and full of energy...not to mention goofy. I don't think any kid makes us laugh as much as our little 4th born does! 
My heart loves my sweet Macy. She's probably the most mellow and easy going of all my kids and that just makes her so "easy" to love! Today she and elli were having more fun playing than sleeping and I went into their room for the fourth time to see elli playing and as I put her back into bed and sternly told her no more and I looked over at Macy and she was squeezing her eyes shut so hard that her eyelids were shaking. It was so cute and precious. She's just such a sweet girl. 

Saturday, December 14

The flu bug bit!!

A few days ago I read this amazing quote by Charles Spurgeon and fell in love with it
"To a man who lives under God nothing is secular, everything is sacred...The Lord has cleansed your houses, he has cleansed your bed chambers, your tables...He has made the common pots and pans of your kitchen to be as bowls before the altar- if you know what you are and live according to your high calling. You housemaids, you cooks, you nurses, you plough men, you housewives...your labor is holy if you serve The Lord Christ in it, by living unto Him as you ought to live" 
I loved the idea that doing my dishes, cleaning toilets, floors, laundry and serving my little family is holy work unto God. 
Then- a day or two later the whole family, except me, came down with the flu! As I climbed back into my bed in the middle of night 2, I burst into tears and was feeling so overwhelmed, frustrated, exhausted and just plain wore out. All I could think about was that first line in the quote "nothing is secular, everything is sacred" and remembered that even cleaning up vomit out of my girls hair, changing sheets, doing endless amounts of laundry, wiping sweaty little brows, getting ice cold water, holding and rocking cranky babies are all sacred acts unto The Lord. Knowing that doesn't make a momma less tired or the vomit less nauseating to clean up- but it does give a momma a lighter foot in the hallway as she moves from room to room, more joy in her heart as she folds the laundry, more grace in her speech as she says "no snacks or food" to her sick little babies. There is something encouraging about doing your tasks as unto The Lord, regardless of what they are! There is a "lightning" of the load that occurs when I know that it's me and God in this together :) 
No one seemed very energetic or happy today! All the girls are still running fevers- poor kiddos are just not themselves. 

Thankfully, everyone finally held down a few puffs and crackers before bed tonight! 

As soon as I wrote this momma came down with the flu :( And the little ones started in on the diarrhea...ugh! this is like the flu that never ends!!

Wednesday, December 11

my 4 kids

having 4 kids, 4 and under can be exhausting, overwhelming, and frustrating. it can reduce a momma to tears faster than anything else...but the thing about these 4 kids is that they laugh, they giggle, they smile, they dance, they are goofy, they are wonderful. We have all been feeling pretty good over here for almost 2 weeks, now, and it feels like life has been one glorious beautiful fun day after another!! I had almost forgotten how much fun our kids can be when they feel good and I'm not exhausted from numerous sleepless nights. We still don't really get much done, our house is still trashed every night, we still don't get a full nights sleep most nights, but life has been so much more manageable and fun...I was so proud of myself the other day because for probably the first time since Maysen and Maelle were born I washed and put away a load of towels before we ran out of them and were drying off with washcloths or washing our faces with hand towels :) (it's the little things, people) :)  It's those kind of things that have me marveling about our life, these days. I've always felt like our life will never get better, or it'll be extreme chaos and mess for the rest of our lives, but I'm starting to see that yeah, we're gonna be busy, yeah, we're gonna have days and weeks where our kids aren't on their A-game (or their parent's aren't) and are are sick and out of sorts, but that kind of "survival living" isn't going to define our lives and for that I'm so grateful. I know that we can find peace and joy despite our circumstances(and there is a sweetness in snuggling up and watching movies and reading stories all day with your kiddos), but it sure is a little easier when you have a sweet little respite from the storm of cranky kiddos and sick parents!!  
Here's a few of the "new" things we're all learning:
Hailey is pouring herself (and her siblings) milk and juice
Jackson is putting his pants on the right way almost every day and getting himself dressed each morning ;)
Elli is going potty on the toilet without too many accidents (and a little bit of pooping on the floor...speaking of- shouldn't it be that kids are "afraid" to poop on the toilet because they like the security of a diaper?? not maelle...nope, this little girl refuses to poop on the toilet, but will squat on the floor and poop in the middle of the dining room)
Macy is getting herself dressed, most days and can put her own boots on
all the kids are putting their own clothes away
Hailey is helping me vacuum 
Jack is feeding the animals each morning and night 
Macy and Elli have a lot of fun helping me unload the dishwasher
Jack has been praying for God to help him obey and help him sit quietly during rest time
Hailey has been praying for Macy and Elli to ask Jesus into their heart
Macy is jumping "real jumps" off of furniture
Elli is starting to talk in sentences and be more understandable
Mommy has been trusting God more and stressing about life less
they have all been better at entertaining themselves and playing nicely together-sometimes that involves pulling all the toilet paper off the roll and into the bathtub or sneaking all the sprinkles out of the cupboard and eating them very quietly in their bedroom...but, it's been so fun to see them all play together better! I've been so impressed by Hailey. I always knew she was a born leader, but I love to watch her organize all her siblings to put on "shows" and dances and little singing recitals. It makes my heart happy to see her shine and use her God given gifts for good things- it truly shows that God is at work in my little girls life!! 

One of the verses I chose to memorize this year was 
Romans 15:13
 "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit"

I have found that this verse has been defining my life, lately. I've always thought it was "working harder and doing more" that was going to calm my heart and transform my mind, but what I really need is to trust in God, trust His gracious plan, trust that He can take care of my kids, trust that He will give us wisdom and strength, trust that He knows what will bring about mine and my children's ultimate happiness- even if it seems painful and overwhelming at the time. I have been learning to rely more on God's grace and allow Him to fill me up, so that I may overflow into my kid's lives. A quote out of the book I've been reading (Give Them Grace by Elyse Fitzpatrick) is "It is only grace that is sufficient to sustain and transform us. Grace is stronger than all our work and all our weakness and it is made perfect when we humble ourselves before God's desire to glorify His Son and not our great parenting" (pg.64) We learn this in practical ways, each when our son screams his way out of church on Sunday morning or our daughter poops on the floor or our oldest says mean and hurtful things to her brother or our oldest twin throws a little hissy fit in the grocery store (or, to be honest, just taking two 2 year olds and one 3 year old to the grocery store...if you've never done it you should- it's a very humbling experience) But, it is such a great reminder- that what I don't need is more great parenting, more rules, more lists and more organization- I need more of Jesus in my life! I need to say Yes to Jesus more and No to myself and my desires for an easy day, a clean floor, less laundry, no potty accidents, clean bathrooms, a day without fits or temper tantrums (or, to be honest, even just 5 minutes without would be nice), a trip to school without at least one kid crying all the way there...all these things are what I want and I desire for an easy stress-free day, but all these good things don't always bring glory to God- they bring "glory" to me- they elevate me and my "great" parenting, rather than making less of me and more of God! I guess that's why God gave me these 4 precious gifts- to continually remind me that I need to become less and He needs to become more. But, my favorite part is that God doesn't become more by me working harder and harder to make Him more- He becomes more by me trusting and resting in Him, so that He can overflow out of my life! that's a great plan that I can totally get behind- anything that calls for resting and trusting in someone other than myself is a perfect plan for this stressed out and often weary momma!! 

Thursday, December 5

A Christmas party!

Korey's work had a family Christmas party tonight- complete with Santa, a decorated bucket truck, cookies, balloons and treats! It was so much fun! No one enjoyed themself less than Macy. The poor girl just hated the truck and wanted nothing to do with Santa. She did sit on his lap, with Maelle, but not for too long. Jack and hailey truly had the best time! They were so cute and hilarious- just running around, decorating cookies, eating cookies, talking to Santa...all sorts of fun stuff! Jack told Santa that he wanted a dragon for Christmas. :) Maelle was pretty quiet- just sitting there nibbling on candy cane after candy cane! I think her plan was to be as quiet as possible and hope we didn't worked and I think she's gonna be on a sugar high for a while :)

Monday, December 2

O Christmas tree

O Christmas tree, how lovely are thy branches! 
We got our tree this weekend and it was a blast! Hailey is such a party girl and such a little go- getter that she helps make everything fun. She picked the perfect tree- thankfully we didn't have to traipse all over before she choose one! :) (she can be a little indecisive at times...)  

Saturday, November 30

Cutting firewood

We are getting a fireplace put in at the end of December, so Korey is trying to make some wood while the weather is still decent :) we all decided to help him out this morning...we were super helpful! Macy and elli each carried a few small logs- then they needed to rest on the woodpile :) not surprisingly, hailey and jack weren't even that helpful :) 

Friday, November 29

so much to be thankful for!

I love Thanksgiving. I love the holiday and I love the chance to look back on our life and think of what I'm thankful for. This year I just couldn't shake how thankful I am for Maysen and Maelle. It just seems like this year is so much easier than last year and soooo much different than Thanksgiving 2 years ago. As a family of 6 I feel like we are complete and happy and content. There are rough days and rough weeks when they all get sick...but, for the most part life isn't too incredibly overwhelming or hard. The last 2 weeks were rather hard with the croup going around our house, but this week has been so different and I am thankful for that. 2 Thanksgivings ago, I had no idea how overwhelming life would be with 4 kids so young and so close...and I am glad that as the twins grow life gets easier and easier- I keep a lot busier trying to keep up with them, but it's just not as weary-ing as it was when they were tiny babies. 
I'm so thankful for my sweet family and for laughter and giggles.
 I'm so glad that we can laugh, even when we wanna cry.
 I'm so glad we can giggle over sleepless nights and crazy antics.
 I'm so glad that when our kids are whiney and naughty and life seems to be falling apart all around us we can dissolve into a tickling match and all is well in the world. 
I'm so thankful for these 3...especially, for how proud this little girl is of her daddy's deer- how cute is that! 

Happy Thanksgiving!! 

Monday, November 25

Happy 2nd Birthday!

My two littlest princesses turned 2 today!! 
To think that in a blink of an eye they went from this:
to this: 
I can barely handle the thought these two girls are so babies aren't babies anymore- they're really truly toddlers! I can't help but reflect back on what the last 2 years have been crazy, how sweet, how exhausting, how special, how overwhelming, how wonderful they were!  
My life was incredibly changed for the better when these little twinkies entered my life. Korey and I often say that we aren't even close to the same people we were before these twins were born and I'm so thankful. Not that we were horrible people before...just that God did some great work in our lives thanks to these precious girls. I'm so glad that God saw fit to bless me so much to be their mommy. Not a day doesn't go by that I don't look at their sweet faces and thank God for them. They bring so much laughter and joy and cuddles and snuggles and chaos to our house. They are truly a double blessing for our little family! 
My favorite part about these two is that they do everything together- it doesn't matter if it's trouble or sweetness---it's always together! If one baby wants to go to bed- the other one follows. If one baby takes a bath- the other one follows. If one baby climbs up on the table to read a story- the other one follows. If one baby cries looking at the birthday cake- the other one gets sad, too! They look to each other, they depend on each other and they definitely, without a doubt love each other with a love that I can't even comprehend. It's the sweetest thing that a mom could ever witness. 
Happy Birthday, sweet girls! I love you! 

Thursday, November 21

Grace is...

An "I love you, momma" whispered in the dark
An "I'm praying for you" text from a friend 
A phone call saying "don't pack up the kids, we're on our way to pick up hailey and take her to school"
A hug from my man
A sweet sleepy smile as I kiss my sleeping daughters forehead
A crying baby pointing to the rocking chair
A full nights sleep after a week of sleepless ones
A warm packy snow
A nap for momma 
A hot steamy mug of homemade applecider
A night out with girl friends
A 3 hour nap for all 3 babies
A momma not getting sick until her kiddos are getting better

After a long week of sick kiddos God has been so gracious to this momma! 

Wednesday, November 20

nothing says November...

quite like a little buck and a snowstorm. 

Snot and giggles

There's been a lot of snot in our house. A lot of coughing. A lot of getting up in the middle of the night. A lot of prayers heavenward. A lot of grace being showered on a weary little momma. A lot of napping. A little bit of throwing up. A few breaks to the woods, for Daddy. A little coffee break for momma. A few tears. A few meltdowns. A few days of high fevers. 
All in all it's been a week of snot, with sunshine and giggles thrown in.   
I read a blog the other day about one mom's Unthankful Thankful List  for the "unthankful" things in life and I loved that...and needed that reminder- to count my blessings and be thankful, even in the midst of a snotty, coughy, cranky week :) so, here's my un-thankful, thankful list:
for being stuck at home, because it give the perfect excuse to make some quick and easy treats to lift a momma's spirits :)
for endless showers, because clean half naked babies are so cute...and we have hot water to give them showers in and money to pay the electric bill when it comes (yes, I have been draining the hot water heater a couple times a day for them) :)
for kiddos that aren't quite "playing" in water and helping mommy scrub the floors and do the dishes is about all the excitement that they can handle before naptime!

mostly and above all else, I'm really truly thankful for giggles and cuddles that come with snuggly sick kids. Our kids aren't the most snuggly and they rarely want to just sit and cuddle, but when they're sick they all want to be on their momma's lap. It gets a little tricky to figure out how to get four kids on my lap at one time without having too many meltdowns about who's touching who and who can't see the story and who wants to be on my lap, but has to sit next to me...but it is kind of fun to be able to all pile on a chair and just have legs and arms and heads all over the place! I know that it's a memory that I don't want to soon forget! 
I'm thankful for crabby kids so that I look forward to bedtime and start the routine early...we've been remembering to do a lot more teeth brushing :) 

I'm even thankful for squabbling siblings...because someday I'm gonna use this picture as blackmail :)
(that's just how mean I am...I made them link arms until they could be nice to one another...took a few minutes of crying to get there) :) 

Saturday, November 16

Cute little sickies

I feel like there has been a whole lot of cuteness going on at our house, lately. A lot of sickness, a lot of crankiness...but a whole lot of cuteness. 
Poor Jack, everytime he gets sick his little body gets so wore out and he just falls asleep anywhere and everywhere. It sure is cute, but seems so sad!  
Hopefully we won't spend this whole winter visited by sickness, but I'm trying not to have my hopes up too high, for fear that I'll spend the whole winter depressed that we're sick again and again and again! 

Tuesday, November 12

A special day!

This sweet boy asked Jesus into his heart this morning at the breakfast table. The kids sweet friend, Norah, had prayed and asked Jesus into her heart yesterday and her mom brought special cupcakes to celebrate and as I told the kids what they were jack asked "have I ever asked Jesus into my heart?" I told him he could, if he believed that Jesus died on the cross for his sins and if He rose again to give us His goodness. And he said he wanted to! 
I am truly convinced that there is no greater privilege as a mom than to be the one to listen in as your child says "dear Jesus, please forgive my sin and come into my heart to live forever so that I can go to heaven and be by you" I cried happy tears and hailey cheered and clapped- then burst into tears at the thought of her brother going to heaven and not staying at our house forever. :)
"Thank you, dear Jesus, for dying for me, for my boy and for my girls! Thank you for choosing jack to be a member of your family and for calling him out! Thank you for the work you did in preparing Jackson's heart and the work I know you will continue to do for the rest of his life! Thank you that it is by Your grace that we are all saved" 
For by grace you are saved, through faith, and not of yourselves, it is a gift of God, not of works- so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8,9

Wednesday, November 6

Vacation time!!

this past weekend we went on a little vacation with friends and had a great time!! 
all packed and ready to go-
the cutest luggage ever :) 
we had tons of fun...whether it was eating cereal on the couch out of coffee cups, wearing upside down sunglasses, running up and down the halls, teasing the poor scrapbooking weekend ladies about running a daycare, enjoying our gorgeous view, snuggling together in bed, jumping on the couch, standing on the coffee table, wearing your brother's swimsuit, taking baths in the huge jacuzzi tub, filling a room with pack 'n plays (ok,really I made them sleep in the huge bathroom, but brought them out so the ladies could clean in there) :) 

our favorite thing to do was go swimming! I'm pretty sure that Hailey and Jack would never have willingly left the water. they loved it and the place we stayed had a perfect set up- a kiddie pool with a water slide, fountains and a water fall! We did go in the big pool twice- but it was a little more stress than this momma enjoys taking on to try and keep track of 4 kids that can't swim! 
Maelle probably had the best time out of anyone- she loved the waterslide so much! You can't see her very well in this picture,but she was sliding down on her tummy...I think this girl might be the death of me- she is way too adventurous for being the 4th child in a family! 
my dear friend, Nikki, and her sweet baby Drew!

my sweet family

best friends in the making :)

the aftermath...

It was so much fun to be gone, but it's always good to be home...and, we were all a little wore out :)