Thursday, July 31, 2008

Keeping it real in the midst of life( my journal entry)

My heart continues to be heavy over the loss of my father.

It's like the flood gates of my mind open and all the memories come
gushing out.
I went to see him one last time at the funeral home, they of course
said I shouldn't but I knew I had too.
He didn't look at all like my dad.
The one who loved to aggravate me and call me prissy.
The one everyone said has the "best personality".
The man who couldn't swim but made sure all of his kids could.
The dad who loved to help less fortunate.
The dad who on his final days gave me his last words of wisdom.....

"Moderation everything in moderation".

This coming from a Alcoholic and smoker. I guess he realized a little late.

He had let our kids borrow his GPS system and Tucker brought it to me tonight and
said "Mom it smells like Pops". I took in the smell and sure enough there he was.

He shows up like that in small ways.
A song,
a picture,
or swinging in the swing he bought me.
I don't mean for my mind to go there it just happens
and then you remember that he is gone and there is nothing else, the story has been told and like it or not the final chapters have been written. You're left with a crappy ending.

I grieve for so many different things when I think of my father.
I grieve for his loss... he was 4 months old when he lost his dad.
His mom babied him like crazy, they say, and she died when he was 8 years old.
He went to live with his sister who was only 22.
Four brothers showed up for her to take care of...when her mom died, she was newly married and pregnant herself.
Daddy was angry for losing his mom and never seemed to stop being angry at God.
He made poor choices and lost almost everything because of those choices.
In the end he had only a few people to mourn him...

He pushed so many people away.

I grieve for his missed opportunity's to get to know my children.
I grieve for my children not getting to know their pops..
I grieve for my fathers addiction to alcohol.
This addiction was ugly and abusive and it's grip on his life lasted until the final days.
I grieve for his little girl who never could fill in the blanks for him...Only the Lord could do that..But I tried.........

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Cake Batter anyone?

I love baking cakes...The funniest part is of course when the kids want to lick
the bowl..
I'm sorry but the little girl in me comes out..I always leave enough batter in the
bottom of my bowl for 5 or 6 little spoons..
We can sure solve some of the world's problems over a batter of cake.
I know that not to long from now my batter wont hold their attention like
it does now and I sure will miss that.

Getting the focus off ourselves and putting it to good use for others Part 3

When one of my kids is sick I take this time to teach my children
about the importance of serving. Our life is filled with ups and downs
and teaching our children to learn to cope during those down times is
a huge part of getting them to trust in the Lord.
All of my kids were a important part of Joesph's recovery. My older kids
took turns staying at the hospital with Jo and myself. Keeping him entertained
and holding him when he cried.
After he got home we couldn't go anywhere for 6 weeks and it was rough being in
the house and not being able to go and entertain during the Christmas holidays.
But it was something we all had to do as a family. It was not fun but so much of life
is not the high road. Teaching our kids to be happy and content in all seasons of life
is the gift.
I have met some people in my life who think that their children should be able
to enjoy their childhood without the responsibility of doing chores or helping
around the house or learning to take care of sick little brothers or sisters.
Their reasoning is that this is their season to have fun and be free and that its
not their responsibility but ours as parents.
I agree that it's not their responsibility , but I feel like I am doing my kids
an injustice if I don't teach them about life and about death and about hardships
or learning about rejoicing in the small victories that come our way..
If I only give them the good life they will struggle so much down the road when faced
with adversity.And they will have adversity..We all do.
I want my children to be a light..Now please understand My children are not perfect .
We struggle with attitudes and we struggle with obeying..We just like everyone else
have to stay committed to being consistent. Some days this is easier and others its hard but Scott and I are committed to making our kids understand that Christ has layed out a blueprint to follow and it's our job as parents to teach them to follow God..
To teach them to read the blue print.
Christ said we will have hardships, this is not our home. Our home is in heaven and only when we get there will we have a perfect life....

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Part 2 of getting the focus off....

Look for areas in your kids life that they are holding on too tight to something..Their things, Their games ,it could be anything.....

This is a tough one because for so many of us we strive to give our
kids all....

But selfishness starts EARLY.......

We have all of our boys in the same room. We have a large house but we choose
to teach our boys how to get along with the space they are a bunk bed.
We are constantly getting rid of things and the boys have few possessions
We share everything.....with the exception of a favorite blanket or 'baby'..
Now keep in mind my older kids do have things that the younger ones are NOT allowed
to touch...This teaches them respect for others things. But you have to lose things
before you can have them..
Meaning Your possessions don't come before your relationships..This is a tough thing to learn for anyone..But it's so worth your time.As a mom I'm finding out that I have very few things that don't get borrowed or broken and if I was so attached to my things I would be in a constant uproar..Don't be afraid to take things away from your kids and start over..I have been known to bag up all their things and put them in the attic..

This room idea works for all ages..Taylor shares a room with Channie....It has bonded them so wonderfully..It really just brings your older kids to a whole new level of watching out for the little people in their world.It gives them responsibility, commitment, and a new love for one another.

If you don't have older kids I would move my younger ones into a room together.
If nothing else your kids weaknesses that you need to help them work on will be revealed..If little sister is scared don't call out for me you can comfort her..Tell her a story or just hold her hand...

So, what if your saying to yourself my kids would kill each other..I would shout for
joy for you if you were right here with me...You have a golden opportunity to teach them so much by just keeping them together and training them to love one another.
I would cross their world up so much they wouldn't know what hit them.
I sometimes find my two 2 year olds fighting over their drinks at the dinner table.
I take a mental note and at breakfast I make them share a drink. Now I tell you this is not for the faint of heart you have to be serious about training them to love their neighbor because this could get ugly with a couple of two year olds but they do it. They learn that I'm not kidding when it comes to fighting over something..If they don't share with my instruction and they both are still fighting over and crying over the drink I take the drink from the table..The funny thing is the next time we sit down they share a drink again and I remind them that they need to take turns and if they don't I will take the drink from the table...It's amazing but it works......

Do you have a couple of children that fight in the car so you separate them.
I don't, I sit them next to each other and tell them I will not accept fighting
and fussing and they will learn to love each other ....(crossing their worlds)
In my marriage Scott rubs me the wrong way sometimes but I have to learn to love him
regardless..I can't pull away from him and I can't sit somewhere else..(although I do this from time to time..)hey I'm a sinner...
Teach them to work through personality difficulties and you are teaching them something that will last a life time.

This is something we did a couple years ago at Christmas..We bought a family gift.
We built the kids a tree house. They had to learn to share the
gift and to realize that the gift was for them all..It was a huge teaching moment
because none of them had rights to the gift it was for all..(crossing their worlds)

Sorry this post is so long I will pick up tomorrow..

Talk to me let me know how you cross your children's worlds......

Monday, July 14, 2008

People often ask me what I teach my this is it in a nut shell..

Self-preoccupation, self-broodings, self-interest, self love-
these are the reasons we jar each other.(make each other mad)
Turn your eyes off yourself;
look up and out! They are your brothers and sisters;
they have needs that you can aid.
Listen for their confidences;
keep your heart wide open to their calls,
and your hands alert for their service.
Learn to give and not to take; to drown your own hungry wants in the
happiness of lending yourself to fulfill the interests of those nearest or dearest.
Look up and out, from this narrow, cabined self of will find to your own glad surprise the secret of the meekness and gentleness of Jesus, and the fruits of he Spirit will all bud and blossom from out of your life..

Scott and I try very hard to squish self- pity and selfishness..
If one of your kids is mad or up-set more than likely they
haven't got something they want or they haven't got Their way..
Either way it's about SELF. The same is true for us adults..Usually when
I'm mad at Scott it's because he didn't do it My way....
Usually when I'm mad at others it's because I feel slighted or I feel
like my needs didn't get met.

So what about it..We tend to our children in such a way that they end
up expecting to be served instead of considering it an honor to be served.
So why are we surprised when they don't get along with their brothers and sisters..
Why then are we surprised when marriages don't work out?
All relationships are about giving not receiving. Yet we spend so much of our
time giving to our kids instead of expecting them to give back..
A 12 year old boy in civil war days was proud that he got to help the family or go to war.
It was expected of him..He was trained for that his whole life..
He knew hard work was part of life..
A 12 year old this day and age expects you to let him play video games and watch
tv.For the most part they have no sense of responsibility. We have taken that gift
from our guys....Boys NEED responsibility even if it's (made up)...... "Oh Cullen you are such a huge help to mama when daddy is gone.. Your going to be a wonderful husband one day."
Moms we have to lay down our domineering role and let our boys feel needed...

We have to train them..........This does not happen when they turn 18................

Ok that was way off the point sorry...I have such a passion for the boys in my life it just kinda spills over..

So how do we get our kids focus off their self...
One word.

SERVICE.....Start now in making them help do everything.
Set tables, clear tables, yard work clean out cars..
Make food for someone in need.

Understand they will complain.......Make them work all the harder.
Do not let them quit.

Teach them the skills to get along with others...

#1 rule at our house is we will not and never have allowed our children
to disrespect one another...We do not allow fighting...................
Both parties will be punished and punished swiftly if there is fighting.
Brothers and sisters that are Looking out for one another very rarely fight.

Make your home a home of peace and rest for all who live there.(mostly dad he will thank you for it..)

Get tough mom and know that your influence is the one that is going to change things....

more tomorrow on ways we can help our children take the focus off....

ACTS 20:35
I have showed you all things, how that so laboring you ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

My world feels alittle crazy right now..

My dad died today at 4.30.
Thanks for your prayers.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Rain Rain go away come back another day...

I love rainy days. This little rain storm we had just fit my mood.
I love seeing and feeling the clouds roll in. It's kinda like life.
One minute it is beautiful and sunny and then you notice off in the distance
a few clouds. Then the wind blows and the clouds grow thicker and before you know it
little drops of rain are getting you wet. The storms of our life don't last though and before long the clouds move and the sun is shining again.Just like the kids I can either learn to play in the rain or complain about the rain..I choose to run through it and get wet knowing all the time that my Saviour will dry me off...He will make the rain in my life be a rain that grows me and saturates my roots so that I can with stand the next storm of life.

I love Color.....

Aries and Taylor and Coop made alittle fun on the trampoline
this afternoon.

Aries is so quiet but she has finally warmed up around
the ole White House. Taylor and her have been such a blessing
this week and I'm thrilled that they have become friends.
Just to think that Aries was in Africa just 6 or seven months ago
and now she is here fed and having a blast..
E-man continues to blow the Dr.s mind and our hearts...He is an awesome kid......Well they all are.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Love is in the house and the house is packed........

The White house is full these days.. Our friends who also adopted from Africa came here from North Carolina on Sunday. Emmanuel their 15 year old son from Monrovia Africa has a significant heart condition and he was operated on by a Doctor here at UAB....They also have adopted a 13 year girl from Africa her name is Aries.
On top of that they have two younger boys...It has been a real pleasure having this family in our home..Emmanuel and Tucker hit it off instantly and Tuck ended up going to the hospital with him and staying all day..The surgery was a success and Emmanuel and mom called tonight and Charity E-mans mom said "I'm proud of you " and E-man said "you should be proud of God"....Wow this kid has all of UAB teary eyed over his story.I'm honored and excited that we could be a small part of his story.
So we officially have 9 kids in the house and Lots of love.....

Sunday, July 6, 2008

I'm thankful to be able to honor my father during his last days.

HON'OR, v.t on'or. [L. honoro.]

1. To revere; to respect; to treat with deference and submission, and perform relative duties to.

Honor thy father and thy mother. Ex.20.

2. To reverence; to manifest the highest veneration for, in words and actions; to entertain the most exalted thoughts of; to worship; to adore.

That all men should honor the Son, even as they honor the Father. John 5.

3. To dignify; to raise to distinction or notice; to elevate in rank or station; to exalt. Men are sometimes honored with titles and offices, which they do not merit.

Thus shall it be done to the man whom the king delighteth to honor. Esth.6.

4. To glorify; to render illustrious.

My father is in his final days on this earth. I have spent time with him and tried to be there to make this road easier for him. My dad and I have never been close. He is a very proud man so as I sit next to his bed while his body fails him I'm constantly fighting back the hot tears that are ever tempted to spill over. I have prepared him food and had to feed it to him and this is such a humbling experience.
He has tried to tell me that he was dying but he couldn't. (Although I already know this he thinks I don't.)
I honor him not because of the life he leaves behind;.....
because alcohol consumed him.

I honor him because my Heavenly Father tells me to.

I honor him because I am the person I am today because of him.

I honor him for his fight. He does not give up easily.He is not going down without a
fight..He will not give up.

I honor him because my whole life he would say "If you ever need me all you have to do is call 681-8994" That is my phone number from 20 years ago. He burnt that number in my head....and my heart.

I honor him because even though he never went to church with me he always played gospel music in our home and car.I grew up learning Gods promises through the music he played..I know all the old hymns and it surprises me to know that he put those in my heart..

As I lose one more loved one on this earth I feel the reality of how temporal this place is.

It gives me such a different perspective on the time I spend with my children and husband.
I consider that a great gift from my Heavenly Father because so many people live in the rat race of this life and never get it.

People fill their calenders and their days with meaningless things that rob them of their time and energy..
People work harder to have more things and in the end those things sit around them almost mockingly while they cling to life..

I want to die a poor old woman who has given up everything except the love she has for her family and her Saviour.I want Jesus to be my portion.When I go out of this life I want to have given it all away before I pass....all my material things, but mostly the
life that I leave behind I want it to be the inheritance of God's love that each one of my children will be able to pass down to my grand kids......

Now thats a gift that keeps giving.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Mud fights

As a mom do we allow our boys to be rough and tough or do we mama them so bad
that they wont even go outside without us?

I think as moms we baby our boys to much....We do all of this in the name of just being a good mom..So what we have are little spoiled crying boys that don't resemble their father at all..

I know when Scott gets home and one of our boys is crying and pouting he doesn't think it's cute....

We have got to start raising up our strong arrows..

We as moms have to remember we are not doing our boys any favors when we
baby and coddle them.
Boys are meant to be rough and tough and yes dirty.

As our boys get older I realize how I need to let go and let Scott...
Sometimes I think Scott is harder on the boys then I would be and I have to remind myself that I don't want to raise up sissy boys...I want my sons to love being out getting dirty and love trying new things..Yes they will get bumps and bruising along the way's ok...their boys...
So What are some ways we can start doing this:

1-encourage your husband to wrestle with your boys...(mom you may have to go on a walk if you keep telling your hubby not to be so rough)Let him parent..He is a man and he can raise up our boys to be strong and tough..

2-When they do get hurt if dad is around let dad handle it...(mom you may have to go outside if you keep telling your hubby how to handle this)
We tend to over react...I know that's hard to read but it's the truth.....If hubby is not home. Be calm and if its bleeding just say ok lets go clean it up your ok.....Don't over-react
Be tough and keep your goal of raising a strong confident man in your mind.

3-Get rid of anything they are sucking on.....I'm not talking about a baby here.
I'm talking 3 or 4 year old..

4_Dress our boys like boys...........(mom you may have to go shopping to buy clothes that our boys can actual play in)

5_Read books and biographies about strong men and strong boys......

6_Books on tapes about cowboys..Lou La more is a Great one that we listen to during nap time or bed time..

7_read the stories in the bible about strong boys..David and Goliath.....

8- Let them get dirty. Plan ways for them to get dirty.Some boys hate getting dirty(Cullen) but do it anyway...Encourage but don't beg for them to participate.

9-Make them eat what you cook.(moms you may have to let them go to bed hungry one night but teach them that this life is not always going to be easy)

10-Tell them how tough they are. Our words will do wonders. Have your boys carry in the grocery's.(mom carry the bread yourself) but let your boys know you couldn't do it without them......

11-When hubby is away everyone around here knows that Tucker is the man of the house. He prays at meals and believe it or not he is instrumental in helping me with the little boys.
If their crying he will say "don't cry be tough" ......

Ok just a few of my suggestions Let me hear from you on things you do...
Be of good courage..We can raise up strong confident boys by God's grace and letting our husbands do their thing..


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