Saturday, September 28

my sister. my brother. my friend!

Hailey loves her little siblings...she really is a good big sister! She was dancing yesterday and Maelle wanted to dance with cute is that?! 
Maysen tipped over her chair at dinner and hailey felt so bad that she wanted to snuggle her :)

all the kiddos have been a little sick and they've been picking on each other a bit, but it's also been great to see them all come together to help one another! Jack was crying about his blanket and I told him that I couldn't help him and Hailey piped up "I'll help you, Jack". I just love how she steps up to do stuff like that! 
these 2 are the best of friends...I think there's nothing cuter than seeing them randomly holding hands or snuggling up together.
When Jackson was born it took Hailey almost 3 months before she would look at him or play with him. I was so sad and thinking that my kids were never going to be friends and love each other, but boy was I wrong and I'm sooo glad I was!! Sometimes, even when the "masses" are all melting down and the house is a mess and nothing seems to be going my way- I can thank God that I gave my children the chance to develop deep friendships with one another. I loved coming from a big family and always having someone to play with and I'm glad that I can give that to my own kiddos! 

Friday, September 27

apple picking

Nothing says fall like some apple picking :)
The best part about this year is that we have an apple tree in our front yard! 
The kids and I dragged the ladder out and had some fun picking last Friday. As you can see- the kitties had a good time playing, too. 

I was super impressed that for not doing anything, we got 2 big 5 gallon pails of apples- look at all the yummy stuff we were able to make with them:
all homemade apple cider- my first try at it and I was pleasantly surprised with how well it turned out!
apple butter and was my first try at apple butter and was super happy with how easy it was and how tasty it was! my family doesn't really like it, but it was fun to share with my friends :)

Wednesday, September 18

The peace of God

I thought it may be time for a little update on how peace is coming along in our house...
I have to be honest and say that:
life has NOT gotten any quieter
life has NOT gotten any less crazy
there have NOT been many less tantrums or fits
there have NOT been any less potty accidents on the floor
there has NOT been any less laundry 
there has NOT been any less running
there has NOT been a lot more sleeping 
there has NOT been any less tears 

but, I also have to be honest and say that:
there has been a lot of laughter
there has been a lot of  "swinging" on the swings
there has been a lot of wrestling 
there has been a lot of crafts 
there has been a little bit of baking and cooking together
there has been a lot of walking to and from the mailbox
there has been a lot of gardening
there has been little more resting and relaxing
there has been a lot more grace...which has led to a TON more peace!! 

I have had a lot more peace in my heart and my life...I know that it's because God's grace is making a change in my heart. I'd always been a girl who could "pull herself up by her bootstraps"; a girl who had it all together; a girl who was easy going and could weather anything- but ya'll...I could NOT handle these four kids. I was drowning and all the while trying to save myself- trying to somehow come up with some peace from God on my own. I don't think I "got it" until I read a book "Give Them Grace" by Elyse Fitzpatrick. I realized that it's not about what I do- it's not about how great of a mom I am- it's not about how much I read my Bible- how many Bible verses I memorize- it's not about how much I work at discipline- or my's about resting in Jesus. Taking His yoke upon me and learning from Him. 
I've been loving Lamentations 3:21-24, lately:
"But this I call to mind, and there I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. 'The Lord is my portion,' says my soul, 'therefore, I will hope in Him."

I love that the Lord is my portion- He is my strength, my everything. I actually have no goodness, no ability to be a good mom, no peace, no patience, no mercy, no consistency in my parenting on my own. God's mercy and grace covers me. God's faithful love fills in where my abilities hit their end. God's grace covers my sin- God's grace keeps my kids safe from dangers I don't see. God's grace holds my children in His arms and His hands when I'm at my whits end and don't wanna hold them. God's mercies are new every morning, no matter how many times I screw up one day- there's enough mercy and grace for the next day to be something new and different. I don't have to live in the past, God's forgiveness and love is bigger than that! I have found great peace in trusting God with my children and my parenting. I have found great peace in extending grace towards myself and my children- with being real about our struggles and the fact that my house is never clean, the laundry is never done and probably laying around somewhere, the floor is a mess, the toilets are probably dirty, and at any given moment there may be a kid having an accident on the floor (and if they're not, they're probably leaving their underwear on the floor somewhere) and a mommy getting irritated, feeling overwhelmed and begging God for some patience to make it through the next few minutes. And being real about my kiddos and their shortcomings. I haven't stopped sinning and screwing up- just like they haven't and won't ever. It's a lot easier to be at peace in my heart when I see my kids screw ups and mistakes and fits and tantrums as more than visible signs of my shortcomings and mistakes as a mom. They're just more chances to shower my kids with grace- to bring glory to God in another situation and point my kids to Jesus and the fact that we are all sinners in need of a Savior. It's a lot easier to have peace in my heart when I don't make it all about "me", but all about the God I serve. I can glorify God in mopping up spilled milk on the floor. I can glorify God through the broken tears of a weary mom.

Potty time?!

I don't in any way think the girls are gonna be potty trained anytime soon, but just the fact that they care to do this is a little sad and a little happy...I feel like its the beginning of the end!! 

Tuesday, September 17

It's that season...

...the one where daddy disappears and ends up in the woods ;) 

This year we decided to all go and help him out a bit setting up his stand and clearing some branches around it. I'm fairly certain we were super helpful and he will now have tons and tons of deer at his stand...or we may have ruined any chances he gets for ever seeing deer back there, again, but either way we had a super fun time!! (and that's what counts...right, Korey?!) :) 
I'm pretty sure Maysen and Maelle were having a punching contest through this little tree! 

look, mommy- there's a little stool out here for me to sit on!! 

We sure do have some fun, goofy little kids :) These 4 pretty much keep me laughing all the time! (it's an either laugh or cry house...thankfully they're usually so goofy it's hard not to laugh, even when you wanna cry) :)

Friday, September 13

a mommy's heart

If you would have talked to me before Hailey started school 2 weeks ago I would have said something like, "I'm sad, but I know she'll do great, she'll love it and I'm not worried about that part"
One would think that after 4 1/2 years of being a mom I would know better than to say silly things like that. It seems like the minute I say I'm not worried about something it immediately becomes something I worry about...
If you would have talked to me after Hailey's first day of school I would have burst into tears and said something like, 
"It's just heartbreaking to see my baby struggle. she hasn't slept through the night since her first day of school and every night she wakes up saying, "I just don't want to go to school, please can I just stay home with you" and it breaks my heart to take her knowing she is having a hard time"
Yesterday I left the kiddos at our neighbor's house and went to school to pick up Hailey, alone, so that I could talk to her teacher. I was worried about her. I was really struggling, wondering if we were doing the right thing with her. I was heartbroken, thinking that my little girl wasn't thriving. You see, the smiling picture is what Hailey looked like on her first day of school...the sad, tired picture is the girl I've been living with for 2 weeks- definitely not even close.
I'm not sure what I learned from Hailey's teacher was really what I wanted to hear, but it definitely was what I needed to hear...
Hailey's teacher is a sweet older lady and when I asked her this was her response, "well, she's quiet, which I'm sure you know, but I think she's making some good progress. She does great with all the crafts and she seems to do a lot of watching and observing. I think she's been too scared to talk to anybody, but today she talked to me for the first time, so I'd say that's great progress" I almost laughed. I had NO idea that Hailey would be quiet at school. I would have never pegged her for the introvert in our family or to be the one too scared to talk to her teacher for 2 weeks, but apparently I was wrong. I never realized that she was an introvert at heart. I never realized how hard change would be on her. I never realized that she would be so scared away from home. I should have known, but I didn't. I'm not entirely sure what I would have done differently had I realized school would be hard on her, but I'm so thankful that I can trust in God's grace in picking up my slack. And, I'm thankful that I can trust God to keep me reliant on Him and can trust that God's plan is always the right plan. I don't think that life is always going to be easy or that my kids will have an easy time dealing with it, but I do know that I can trust the God who created them as unique little individuals to know what best way to grow and mature them.
And, I think her teacher is right- I think she is making progress. Last night she slept through the night and this morning she slept in. I guess it's the little things that helps a mommy's heart feel better :) 

Wednesday, September 11

Where we've been...

I feel like I've been absent from the blog a bit lately...
but, here's a little taste, from my phone, of why:
we've been-
hanging out with daddy...wearing camo to match him, after a morning out goose hunting and helping him fix the truck after we get home from school and telling him all about our day :) 
trying our best to keep our little Maelle out of trouble (it hasn't been very successful)

enjoying a little bit of downtime...and a little bit of some crazy views! 

playing and playing some more on the swings

going to baby buddies at our church...and showing up with the twins still in their pj's :)

shopping at Target :)

hugging, snuggling and reading with the twinnies 

packing sweet little lunches for my precious 4k-er :) 
I think food must be a love language of mine...I have always packed Korey's lunch for work and I've really enjoyed doing that for Hailey, too. It's been fun to just have one way to show her my love while she's away all day!  

I knew that life with 4 itty bitties was going to be busy, but I never truly believed that it was going to get busier as the kids got older. It definitely is more fun and a bit easier, now that I'm getting more sleep at night, but it's still busy, busy, busy trying to keep up with these 4!! So, forgive me if you don't see a lot on here :) 

Wednesday, September 4

making the most...

Of our day with Hailey :)
I think one of the biggest blessings about having Hailey away for a whole day at a time is that we all miss each other so much that the next day is sweeter than ever! Hailey and Jack just had the best of times playing and hanging out today...and the m's really were happy to have their main entertainer and interpreter home :) and mommy...well, lets just say mommy is so incredibly thankful for just 2 days a week without Hailey! 
We definitely made the most of our "sandwich day" with Hailey! She played school with everyone this morning. We wrote with chalk after Daddy got home. Rest time was spent outside on our sleeping bags reading stories and playing with dolls and dinosaurs. We played playdoh. We did lots of snuggling and Hailey's favorite- we got to watch Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood. :) And...last, but not least, Maysen and Maelle played peek a boo with each other in a tree. 

Tuesday, September 3

First day!

It's done...and we all survived :) 
Today was Hailey's first day of 4K. 
In some ways it was easier than I anticipated; in some ways it was harder. 
Hailey was beyond excited this morning. I had to wake her and she pretty much bounced out of bed with a smile on her face! I had to force a few spoonful of food into her and barely got a picture before she excitedly jumped into daddy's car and drove which point I cried a whole pile of tears into my coffee cup! The only time she seemed a little sad was when she couldn't wake up jack to say goodbye and when she kissed her kitty goodbye! (I see how I rate...) :) 

Jackson on the other hand shed tears when he woke up and realized Hailey was gone, shed more tears when we didn't pick her up before naps this afternoon and shed even more tears at bedtime when I told him Hailey was going to go to school again. Poor kiddo just had a little bit if a rough time without his little "bestie"! 

All in all the hardest part of my day was as I was rubbing Hailey's back at bedtime tonight and she said "do I have to go back to school, momma? Because I don't want to. It's a long time, I missed you and I'm a little shy without you"! Talk about breaking a mommy's heart. All day she had nothing but good to say, but just those few words whispered in the dark were my undoing! I don't think I've shed so many silent tears for my big girl, in a very long time- actually, quite possibly ever!! I know that Hailey was really tired and that she'd had a super big day, I also know that God is big enough to take care of my girl, I know that He loves her more than I do, I know that He has her best in mind...sometimes I just need to be reminded!

 "Blessed is the one who trusts in The Lord, whose confidence is in Him" Jeremiah 17:7
we made cookies, yesterday, and read the kissing hand and made a little craft to go with it! 
daddy and his little girl on there way to school!
Hailey and Jackson after school