Monday, May 30, 2011

An Update and New Polish Pottery

Well, an update on the kids brings good news that they are slowing coming around. They still need redirection, but what kid doesn't? School is coming to an end with only 13 school days left. With today being a holiday (thank you to the many soldiers who have fought for our freedom!), we went to a church picnic last night and stayed out late enjoying the sunlight. I am so ready to have that permanently. And I think the kids are too.

Today also brought the beginning of Mike's tdy to Little Rock AFB as he attends training for a month. I am confident that God will take care of us. Yet, I also admit to anxiousness with his absence. I already miss him and he's only been gone a few hours. We'll get our routine established quickly and that will help. There is still no word on whether we will move this summer. But keep posted. We'll write an update as soon as find out something.

In preparation for Mike's tdy, I got to plan a last minute girls' getaway to Poland to buy some of thier famous pottery. When we lived in England, back in 2001, I remember seeing it and not thinkinig too highly of it. However, it grew on me and I fell in love with all the unique designs and the mixing and matching of various patterns. So my friend, Pam,and I drove the seven hours to Boleslawiec on a whirlwind shopping spree filling her car with loads of the beautiful dishes. To make the trip even better, we stayed at a quaint little Bed and Breakfast called the Blue Beetroot. It had the best food, some great tasting fruit-flavored beer (raspberry and apple), and allowed us to indulge in eating desserts while getting pedicures. I was astonished at how little we spent in comparison to the royal treatment we recieved. I'll post pics of some of the things I got. It makes me wonder what kind of dishware we'll eat with in Heaven. Fine china, Polish pottery as unique as each individual, paper plates, or will we even eat in Heaven? I hope we do! If you ever come to our house for dinner, you'll get to enjoy using our new dishes. I didn't want to store it in a cabinet for occasional use. I wanted our family to enjoy God's new provisions for us - every day. Everything is a gift from Him, even dishes!

In Him,

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

It's beyond me...

I must admit that some of the kids are doing better. So I thank God for that. Now I must share our latest update so you can have a good laugh and if anything, pray for me.

Our oldest still continues to amaze me. Her discipline consists of talks and redirections more than anything else. Sometimes I can see that she is agitated for being corrected, yet she controls her frustration and is back to normal in no time. She is also becoming more considerate and thoughtful beyond her years. For example, I asked her one day to switch my laundry (which contained my sheets) from the washer to the dryer after she had pulled her clothes out while I went to a meeting. In addition to babysitting her younger siblings, I asked if she could pull my laundry out of the dryer when they were done and bring them up to my room. I came home and she had put away my towels and made my bed! I was blown away by her thoughtfulness to do that.

Now our second eldest, the one who was bucking the school's authority, is doing amazing at school. Occasionally, she'll have a note saying she needed a little more redirection than normal, but those are so much better than before. The part we are working on now is her social skills away from school and accepting her sister's authority while being babysat. We went over to a friend's house where the boys (the oldest is five) are allowed to play soccer in their room. However, our eleven, almost twelve, year old daughter decided she could play too and kicked the ball so hard it broke a light fixture in the room. Why I have to explain to her the difference between a five year old playing soccer in the house is different from an almost twelve year old is beyond me. For nights that require babysitting, she now has to go to her room for the evening becuase she is undermining her older sister's authority. She asked if two friends from down the street could come over to play knowing it was against the rules to have friends over while her Dad and I are gone. When our oldest told her no, she threw a fit! We told her she has to earn the freedom to come out of her room while we are gone. The blessing is that now she is making a few bad choices that are big rather than alot of bad choices. We are getting somewhere with her.

Our middle child is doing well in school now too. And for the most part is doing well at home too. Her thing is that every now and then, she'll make a bad, spur-of-the-moment decision that has a heavy consequence - like sending a kid to the ER for putting paper in his ear. Well, her thing this last few weeks is that she went over to a friend's house and decided to climb his shed over the fence onto the hood of their nice car! The mom saw it and very kindly came over to tell me what she just did. Why our daughter thinks it's ok do this is beyond me. She knows that is unacceptable behavior at home. I just thanked God that she didn't do any damage to their car and that the neighbors are nice and still like us (I think!).

Our fourth child is doing much better at school too. This is a nice break from all the messages I was recieving a few weeks before. His problem is that same as the other two. He is doing better, but occassionally makes a bad choice that makes you say, "What in the world were you thinking?" Which I know is a stupid question to ask a child because the automatic response that comes back at you is, "I don't know." He undermined his sister's authority one day by telling our youngest that she was wrong and he didn't have to lister to her. He got the same punishment as our second eldest - off to his room while I am gone. They have plenty of things to occupy thier time in there. The kicker story, though, is that our neighbors (the same ones with the car that our daugheter climbed) told us that one morning the mom and son were gone when our child went over to see if their son could play. He found the door open, but instead of knocking, he proceeded to walk right in and starting yelling their son's name over and over not knowing that the dad was still trying to sleep. Again, why our son thinks it's ok to do that is beyond me. He knows better.

And lastly, our youngest, is still having some major battles between good and bad. He gets better for a little while then slips into a series of bad choices that make me ask again, "What were you thinking?" to him all the while knowing the automatic response before I can stop myself. So here goes his story... I have now recieved seven phone calls from the school in seven weeks. The first two and the second two were in the last post in regards to my second and fourth children. The last three phone calls have been about this one. For the most part, his behavior at school has improved alot this year. It's his impulsivity that gets him in trouble. The first phone call came, without his knowing, about him stealing a teacher appreciation gift that another child left on his teacher's desk. He told her he found it, and she politely told him thank you and to please put it back. Well, he decided to eat the treat. When he got home, I asked how he did for the day. He pulled out his folder and showed me a green smiley face which took me by surprise. When I looked closely, he had erased (very well) the big X that crossed it out and the note that went with it. Stealing and deception... not a good combo. He lost snacks for a week and had to buy her a whole box of the treats with his allowance to pay her back. Two days after that, we got another phone call that he "found" his friend's toy and put it in his pocket. He had to give it back. But then when he came home, we heard from our other children that he gave a toy away to our neighbor. That means he stole twice? We got the toy back, wrote a note asking how he got that one too. Turns out that the child gave that one to him since he tried to steal the other toy. My goodness! It's hard to get it all straightened out. The third phone call came because he hurt another child while playing outside. All I can think of is, "Where the heck did he learn to act like this?" And the story continues... Then we found out that he stole, sometime ago, AWANA dollars. AWANAs is our Sunday afternoon Bible club where they earn money for coming to club and saying scriptures. Then they can spend the money at the store to earn really nice things. I had to confiscate all of his money because I had no idea what he truly earned versus what he stole. He watched all the kids buy things this last Sunday. I felt bad for him because I wanted to him to reap the benefits of his hard work in memorizing all those verses. Though I wish those verses would peirce beyond his head into his heart. It's frustrating watching your babies make mistakes and then reap the consequences for their actions. I want to protect them from it sometimes, yet I know it will only make it worse in the longrun. It's beyond me where he feels the freedom to act on those impulses.

So again, we are doing better, but still have a ways to go. I am learning so much through my kids about how God sees us. His love never decreases with our bad choices. Yes, we sometimes have to face the consequences of our actions, but God loves us through it instead of shielding us from it. He disciplines us because He loves us. And so I must discipline my kids because I love them. He never said it would be easy because there is a war going on for thier hearts. I must continue to perservere with love and patience, just like my Father.

Thanks for taking interest in, reading about, and praying for our family!

In Him,