Sunday, April 15, 2007

A "Normal" Day at Church

It has been said:
"The course of our lives is seldom determined by great, life-altering decisions. Our direction is often set by the small, day-to-day choices that chart the track on which we run. This is the substance of our lives -- making choices."

In our family, we choose to go to church on Sunday. We always have, and we always will. It's just that theory anyway.

That said, however, church with four children and a husband at work, is rarely what I would call a "fun" event! And it is an event!

Take today, for example...

Our day (or should I say, MY day) began with a loud pounding sound around 8:15. A faulty doorknob "locked" the kids upstairs and they could not get out. Thankfully, after finally yanking hard enough, I was able to open it; able to provide reassurance to my precious children that they would once again be allowed downstairs. As I rounded the top of the stairs, calming voice and all, imagine how thrilled I was to discover hundreds, if not thousands, of Honey Nut Cheerios strewn all about the entire room!
It was not even 9am...

By 9:45 -- Cannon was in timeout for mouthing off and hitting his sister. A voice message was left for Greg stating, "Call when you can -- so that you can chat with your son about proper behavior!"

By 10:30, I was cussing out Cleveland and it's lovely weather! (Ok, so truth be told, I haven't stopped cussing out Cleveland and it's lovely weather -- ever since we got 18 inches of snow on Easter!)

At 11:42 we started the "Get-your-coats-what-do-you-mean-you-can't-find-your-shoes?" process.

By the time we were seated and church services began at 12:30 -- I was exhausted!

The intial announcements were uneventful...things got lively when Brynnley's underwear fell to her ankles! Ok, so it wasn't actually Brynnley's (age 3) underwear -- she was wearing Addysen's size 8 underwear! She thinks "the flowers are just SO pretty!"
At 1:15, with red crayon on my skirt and slobbery graham cracker 'goo' on my white shirt, B, K and I were in an empty classroom. As it was naptime and lunchtime, the girls alternated screaming and pitching fits. I wouldn't know from actually having heard them, but rumor has it the talks were very good...
2:00 - FINALLY - Three out of four kids were pawned off on their teachers and I attempted to attend the adult class.
2:11 - Kenzie and I were back wandering the halls.
At 3:30, amidst dozens of people gathering coats, hats, gloves and children, a rather portly gentleman walked past Brynnley.
"MOM!" She exclaimed. "THAT GUY IS SO FAT!"
As only a mother can do, I ever-so-quickly grabbed her by the back of her coat and tried to discreetly force her down the hall -- desperately attempting to focus her attention on something, anything else.
It was to no avail.
"MOM! MOM! Did you hear me? Answer me! Why is that guy so fat?"
What do you say to a 3 year-old who is stating the obvious?
Yeah...we make the decision to attend church every Sunday. But, church with 4 kids and a husband at work is not fun. I guess I am just banking on the fact that, "the course of our lives is seldom determined by great, life-altering decisions. Our direction is often set by the small, day-to-day choices that chart the track on which we run. This is the substance of our lives -- making choices."

Monday, April 2, 2007

Embracing the Chaos....One Child at a Time!

My house is a far cry from spotless. I have more than my share of dust-bunnies and crumbs, and windows and mirrors with seemingly permanent smears and smudges. But despite all these shortcomings, I like my house to have…. in a word: order. Although my mother would likely claim otherwise (keeping a mess-free and tidy room was not one of my strong suits as a child), something about having tidiness-challenged college roommates--who would be content to let a spilled drop of grape jelly sit on the counter until it had colonized--assisted in my metamorphosis into someone who wants a house that is neat and orderly. I like things to have their place, where they can be put away (preferably behind closed doors), and clutter is my biggest house-keeping frustration.

When my husband and I got married seven and a half years ago, we both had full-time jobs, and I was going to graduate school – so although I didn’t have an abundance of time for cleaning, neither of us were home enough to really make much of a mess. But when our first child was born a couple of years later, I became a stay-at-home mom. At first I only noticed an increase in the amount of laundry (how many diapers can one child blow through in a given day?!?). But slowly as he grew, and especially when he became mobile, the chaos began….

And now, add a few more years and two additional children (all 3 of them under the age of 5), and I often
feel as though I have lost complete control over my once orderly house. What happened?!? How is it that it seems like all I do is clean up messes, and yet every time I turn around, another mess has appeared? My youngest (15 months) is currently in that “tornado” stage – racing from pulling all the books out of the bookshelf, to digging in the dirt or pulling leaves from my plants, to getting into the box of rice from the pantry and dumping it all over the carpet – and that’s just in the two minutes I get a day to use the bathroom! She’s definitely a whirlwind, and seems dead-set on destroying any sense of orderliness I may create, but she’s 15 months – and doing exactly what she should be doing at her age.

Just yesterday she was dumping out a small garbage can that we keep by our computer with papers and receipts when she came upon a yellow leaf I had just plucked from the ficus plant in our entry way. Two seconds later, she was over at the plant, and just as I was about to scoop her up to keep her from throwing piles of dirt, I noticed that she wasn’t digging in the dirt… She was holding the yellow leaf up to the plant, earnestly trying to reattach it, because she has associated that leaves have a “place.”

Maybe all hope of orderliness is not lost on my children after all...

Sunday, April 1, 2007

A First Haircut Has To Happen Sometime!

I'm not really sure how many times I said, "Be careful with the silly putty...I don't want it making a mess!" However, I know for a fact that the statement, "Do NOT put that in your hair!" came out of my mouth at least 3 times.

But, I was distracted, trying to watch something on tv (General Conference, no less!), and I didn't actually reach out and TAKE the silly putty away from her.

So, who's really to blame for the blue silly putty in the blonde hair?

A first haircut has to come sometime...I guess.

The older kids thought the situation was rather humorous, until they were reminded that putting silly putty in her hair was simply a bad decision made by their 3 year-old sister.

It was a bad decision...and we are all guilty of making bad decisions.

For example: sticking a green bead -- the perfect size of the little hole in his 6 year-old ear...not a great decision.

Nor was it a good decision to stick his head between both wooden slats of the bunk bed. (The same 6 year old did not like reliving the memory of his vaseline-greased head being shoved back through the boards!)

It was also not a good decision for the 7 year old to stick the dog's choke chain around her neck.

Ahh...Life with children.
No matter how you look at it, it was not a good decision to put silly putty in hair.
But...a first haircut has to happen sometime, right?