Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Everybody Falls Down

If anyone ever suspected that I was the perfect mom, I would just laugh at them. I really don't think there is even such a thing as a perfect mother. I think there are some very good moms out there, but everyone falls down sometime. Yesterday was one of those days for me. I don't even know what the problem was exactly, except I was very short tempered and a bit moody.

Last week we baked a cake for Gabriel's kindergarten teacher, it was surprise. We planned on driving it over to her house yesterday, and saying "happy birthday". I think I might have been stressed over that, since I don't know her extremely well. I knew it was something I wanted to do, that God wanted me to do, but sometimes those things just aren't easy. So we're getting ready to pack up and head to car when I did the ultimate thing for me, I yelled at my kids. That doesn't always mean that I yell loudly, I just sometimes take on this tone of voice, and I speak down to them. I hate when I do that.

I was trying to instruct Gabe on how to carry the cake so it doesn't fall off the plate. He takes one step out of the kitchen and one of the sunflowers falls to the ground. Sometimes it's so hard to remember that they're just children. They don't need to be treated like adults, or talked to like you would an adult. I could see that my words had crushed him, and even my daughter. That's the thing with kids. You can't yell at one child, without the other one hearing what you're saying and seeing the same flaws in themselves. The trip was not off to a good start to say the least.

So we pull up in front of the teacher's house, and all the kids slowly make their way to the front door. Gabe is still holding the cake, and Ariel's trying to ring the door bell that's actually just a knocker. I was able to muster up a little more patience because we were all on display for the neighborhood to see. I was still really frustrated over the morning, for what reason I still didn't know. We stood there for several minutes and finally realized nobody was coming to the door. I had the dilemma, do I leave the cake or take it back home. After seeing Gabe's tears, I decided to leave the cake on her steps; it was at least a little shady there. I got the kids buckled into the car, and we took off. Gabriel was crying, "I didn't even get to see her. I wanted to see her when I gave her the cake." Zech was screaming because he didn't get to go inside the house. And Ariel was just sitting in the back quietly, a little overwhelmed from the morning, and just waiting for the trip to be over.

As we drove away I couldn't keep my frustrations in any longer. I started to yell out at God. "please help me today! I can't deal with this right now. I don't know what to do with these kids or myself." I started to have second thoughts about leaving the cake behind in the sun, figuring it's not going to be good for anyone to eat so we might as well go pick it up. I told Gabe we would try to knock on the door one last time, but if she wasn't there we would have to just take the cake home and have our own party for Mrs. Mannell.

We made our way around the block, and came back to the front of her house. The cake was gone! The air in that car got so much easier to breathe. The tension was released, and Gabe was happy again. He said, "I knew it! This was God who did that. I prayed all the time that she would find her cake, and God did it. He answered my prayer."

God really did do it! Sometimes you just need to call out to God, and he comes running. I just wish that I remembered to call on God a little sooner. He is always faithful to meet you just where you are. As we made our way home to have lunch I knew that I needed to make a few apologies. Our pastor has a saying that I like to remind myself of when I've done something I'm not proud of. "When you Mess up, Fess up, Clean Up, and THEN MOVE ON." So often it's easier to just wallow in your guilt, instead of actually doing something about it. I sat each of my children down on the couch and explained to them once again that mom isn't perfect. I make mistakes just like they do, and sometimes don't obey God. I shouldn't have yelled or said those mean words to them, and I needed forgiveness. Gabe got some tears in his eyes, and said, "I forgive you." And as soon as he said the words, it was over for him. His next question, "can I go back and play on the computer now?" Children are so forgiving, and they don't hold grudges. I understand completely when God says we must be like a child.

After lunch I told the kids I had a surprise for them. All three kids put a blindfold on and I drove them to McDonalds where we all got ice cream cones. It was a beautiful end to a not so great morning. And as soon as we got home from McDonalds, my cell phone rang. It was Mrs. Mannell calling to say thank you for her birthday cake. She loved it!





Thank you, God, for your forgiveness and your faithfulness. You are always there when I need you. I just have to be willing to call out for help. And you come running. Thank you for my children; they are such a blessing to me. I know I don't deserve them, but I sure do want them. They are a constant reminder of your love for me.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Cake Decorating

The kids have many favorite things, but I know they really look forward to cake decorating! It's a time when they get to let their creative juices flow, and put together wild and pretty creations. And what better way to be creative, than to be able to eat it when you're all finished!

Gabriel worked on his own cake today. This morning we baked a German chocolate cake, and frosted it with pink icing for a very special lady. This coming Monday is Gabe's kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Mannell's birthday. We are planning to drive to her house, and surprise her with this tasty cake.

Gabe was very diligent in putting all the finishing touches on the cake.

These sunflowers are leftover from a wedding cake that my mother made a month ago. The nice thing about that kind of icing, they can last for months and months. Although they never really are very tasty.
sunflower cake

Mark and Cynthia were busy putting some grass on their cupcake so their sunflower had somewhere to grow!
Ariel was very pleased with her cupcakes, and she even made them all by herself. She named each of them, and thinks they are good enough to go on display at Daddy Cakes.

flower patch cupcake
flower garden cupcake
Zechariah really wasn't too interested in decorating the cupcake, as he was in eating the icing. He licked that cupcake clean! He didn't like the cake part, but he definitely enjoyed the frosting.


Gabe was another hard worker, who planned on displaying his cupcakes at Daddy Cake's. He had a great deal in mind for people too, only 10 cents for the cupcake!

sunflower cupcake

I couldn't leave our friend, Josiah, out of the pictures. He worked hard crawling around everyone's feet and pulling himself up into a standing position. What a big boy!

Our completed cupcakes... don't they look good??
sunflower cake
These are the ones I made for Titus and myself. An Owl City one for me, and a guitar for Titus.
owl guitar cupcake
We'll probably all be eating a good dinner tonight so we can spoil ourselves on dessert!


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Kids Say the Darndest Things

This morning, I had a rather deep conversation with Gabriel. We were both doing our cleaning jobs and Gabe started talking about getting in trouble the day before. He had been told to vacuum and refused to do it.

I explained to him that even when he’s in trouble, and not obeying, I still love him. Nothing could make me stop loving him.

He smiled back at me and said, “Sometimes when I get in trouble and have to sit on your bed, it kinda breaks my heart. But then after we talk about it, and you give me a kiss, my heart grows back together.”

Simply put, but so true. It always helps to have that assurance that even when we do wrong things, we’re still loved, and hurt feelings can be mended. The same is true with God. No matter what we’ve done, God will always love us, and mend our broken hearts.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Beauty Day

We do so many fun things in the summer, I wish I had enough time to post something about every day. We love life, and don't waste very many seconds of it. Earlier this week, we experienced beauty. It's so important to feel special and pampered that we set aside a day to do just that with the kids. It's also an opportunity for us to teach them about taking care of their bodies. This is our fun way of showing just how soapy you need to get your hair when washing, and how long do you really need to brush those teeth. The kids love it!

We always start our day off with a special bag of stuff. You just never know what you're going to get! The girls got a new bag to hold their lady things, as they soon will be growing into young women. The boys got a gift bag full of manly stuff, including some Spider-Man tattoos.


beauty day
beauty day

The first thing on our schedule was haircuts! Both Zechariah and Gabriel were blessed to have their grandma cut their hair. It should help out with the hot humid weather we've been having!




One of the most important parts of getting ready is the shower. We made it fun for the kids by letting them run around the backyard in their bathing suits while they lathered up their heads in soap. On a hot day this is the ideal shower. This time for Beauty Day, Shaun was able to join in our fun. He was the one spraying the hose!



I'm going to have to explain this picture a little. Gabriel was pretending to not want his shower, and when running away from the hose, he managed to step on a bee. He was stung on his big toe, and screamed for an hour. That still didn't keep him from participating.


Another favorite part of beauty day is the foot spa. The kids always end up wanting to spend most of their time soaking their feet. My mom and I also give the kids a little foot massage too. We have some foot scrub and lotion that we apply to each of them.


As you can see, that foot rub is very relaxing!

For the girls, we applied some nail polish to their fingernails. Zechariah did not understand why he couldn't have some too, so I let him play with some of my flash dry. It's supposed to help the polish dry quicker, and it leaves no color or shininess behind. He was actually very good at applying it!


Tattoos! What we figured would be equivalent to painting the girls fingernails.



Lots of beauty fun!



Shaun spent most of his time taking photos, except when Gabriel had the camera here. If you remember Gabe likes to click click click.

One of the last things we did at our beauty day was brushing our teeth. We made it a little more exciting, and told the kids we would see who could make the most bubbles with their toothpaste.






Zechariah was enjoying using his OWN deodorant!
deodorant
Now we're ready to go out and face the world!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

SALSA

This is a new family favorite! My mother brought this salsa to our Graduation Luau a couple weeks ago, and we love it! I've already made it twice since. It's very easy to make, and has a nice fresh taste to it. I wanted to share the recipe with you.

1 & 1/2 pounds of tomatoes, chopped
1 cup of frozen corn, cooked
1 jalapeno, finely chopped
1/4 to 1/2 cup red onion, finely chopped
handful of cilantro, chopped
1/4 to 1/2 cup Zesty Italian dressing

Mix it all together, and you have a wonderful, delicious tomato Salsa.
delicious tomato salsa recipe

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Alphabet Hunt

Another week of summer is behind us. We are enjoying the beautiful sunshine and all of God's creation. This week we went on an ABC hunt through the museum trails. We marveled at the little creatures we saw, and we were fortunate to even spot a deer running by. As we made our way through the grassy areas, we looked for letters in the nature around us. And to make the trip a little more exciting we had to find the letters in order, and we could not use the same things we did last year. Some letters were difficult to find, some were obvious, some were funny, and some were extremely creative. I was very proud of all the kids this year because they really put their mind to it. My mother and I would provide a little help, but the kids really worked hard at coming up with the letters themselves. I hope you enjoy our little walk through the woods.






A is for AUNT AMANDA
B is for BUGbug on flower
C is for CHAMPION

D is for DEAD leaves

E is for ELBOWS

F is for FLOWERS
flowers
G is for GREENERY

H is for HOLEbird feeder
I is for INSECT
insect on daisy
J is for JUMPING JOYFULLY
(very similar to just JUMP from last year, but different)

K is for KING

L is for LIMBS in a LINE

M is for METAL

N is for N (made by Ariel)

O is for ONE room school house

P is for the PRINCESS going to the POTTY

Q is for QUIET
(Zech is supposed to be saying "Sshhh")

R is for ROCKS

S is for SQUIRREL beans(this was Mikaela's handiwork)

T is for TIE-DYE

U is for UNDERWEAR
(not appropriate to photograph... of course...)


V is for V (found by Ariel again)

W is for WATER
(Zech is saying, "water" while Grandma "signs" it)

X is for X

Y is for YELLOW flowers
yellow flowers

Z is for ZINNIAS

(We're pretending that's what these are)
flowers

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