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!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


Oh, the joys of summer! We took an overnight trip to Shawnee lake for some camping. The weather was sunny and HOT. It may have been a little uncomfortable at times, but I think we all loved every moment of it. One of the best parts of our camping trip, Jaime came with us! I think a person is very fortunate when you have a great friend, that it doesn't matter how often you see each other, you can always just pick up right where you left off. I know Jaime and I will always be lifelong friends.

This was what I call an adult playground. Three stories high is a little much for a two year old, but Zech loved it just the same. The other kids, some very big grownups, had fun on it too!

No matter where we go, my husband will always be there for us to grill our dinner. We actually chose to camp at Shawnee Lake because we love our husbands and daddys so much we wanted them to be able to eat some dinner with us, and hang out for awhile before bedtime.

We are not afraid of putting our kids to work! We made sure they all had a job in cleaning up the dishes. As you can see, they had a little fun with their jobs too.

Smores!!!! We made them with Reese's peanut butter cups, very yummy!

Rise and Shine! It's 6:30a.m.!
Poor guy was still half asleep. He woke up in the night crying for "water, water". Somehow we left his sippy cup at home, so he was a little out of sorts when he couldn't wake up and get water out of a sippy cup, and fall back to sleep. He had to really be awake and drink out of a cup. I think all of us lost a little sleep over that.

Good morning!

An early morning sword fight, just what everyone needs

After a wonderful breakfast of pancakes and eggs, we headed off to the lake for a swim.

And the tent must come down sometime.. it was a fun trip! Ariel mentioned several times she wished we could stay there forever.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Happy Father's Day

"Any man can be a Father. It takes someone special to be a Dad." -- Anonymous

Gabriel worked very hard on this card for Titus!

Ariel made this card, and she even made a special poster for her dad!
Zech was so excited to give his card to his daddy. The funny thing, when Titus got it he asked Zech, "did you make this for me." And Zech's answer was, "No, Mommy did it." He just kept pointing at the heart and saying, "Mommy did this. Mommy did this." He wouldn't take any credit for his coloring. And I didn't not color it all by myself. Zech did too help!
The kids had a fun day planned out for their dad. This was completely their idea. We let him open his presents first, then Ariel and Gabe made some pudding for Titus for dessert. While the pudding was in the fridge, the kids had a checkers tournament with him, which he won. And then we all ate our pudding and watched "Monk" together, Titus' father's day gift! I thought it made the day even better knowing that the kids put all the work into it.

Happy Father's Day!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Kids Say the Darndest Things

Usually my stories are about Gabriel, but I thought I would share one today about Zechariah. For the longest time Zech was trying to tell us something, and we never could figure it out. He doesn't always enunciate very well, and what he was saying went something like this. "I O Shoe" He was saying it all the time crying and crying because we couldn't figure it out. Then one day a few weeks ago, it just came to me because he was holding up his arms at me. He was saying, "I hold you." There are lots of times I'll say that to him, "can I hold you, Zech? Please, Please?" And he would laugh and I would pick him up. This morning we were leaving for the Farmer's Market, and Zech wanted his daddy to "o - shoe" him. He was so pleased after Titus picked him up that he said, "Daddy, o - shoe, me!" Translated, "Daddy hold you me" He was so glad his daddy was holding him!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Kids Say the Darndest Things

Tonight we were all relaxing together with an old favorite movie of mine, "The Love Bug." We have the new "Herbie: Fully Loaded," but this was the first time my children have seen the original movie. I wasn't really sure what their reaction was going to be. They thought it was fantastic! We all laughed so hard, and enjoyed it thoroughly. In fact, I don't think I've heard my kids laugh that much in a movie before. As the movie was drawing to a close, Gabe coined a new phrase that had me laughing. He said, "Well, I'm all cracked out now." I think that means he was "cracking up" over the movie a little too much!

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!
Now we're ready to go out and face the world!


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