Just normal shenanigans…

I don’t even know how to explain this one

Or this one

I have a love/hate relationship with napkins. I love that they love them, but some days I’m all out of ideas. That’s when I enlist Brian to help:

Or Berkley, who drew Beckham Zelda from heart

IMG_8396

Becks read something in a book about “Bubble Tea” and said “I wish that was a real thing and I could try bubble tea.” Well Bubbie, in this case, your dreams have come true!

This cat comes inside in the morning and goes straight to SP’s bed to crash. 

I’m not a fan of Little Debbie snacks, but the kids always ask for them anyways. They went on sale, each box for $1, so I went ahead and bought one of each and we had a taste test!

Sundays are for baking and dressing weird?

It’s so true. Kids just want the box.

We have the STEEPEST hill that leads to the creek by our house. These 3 went exploring and then called me to come drive them up the hill. But they were so muddy they weren’t allowed in the car. Our solution was to drive them home like this: 

Jiffy Pop day!

  

Berkley asked me to buy more glue gun sticks and tape and I told her to write me a reminder note. Here’s what I got: (it says “snort”)

March 2017

Then you “open” the paper plate card to this:

March 2017

Beckham’s soccer game isn’t riveting for the girls, so they made a friend and played Barbies!

  March 2017

Arts and crafts class face painting (insert that emoji of the bug eyes…)

 March 2017

Beckham and I were waiting for the orthodontist and playing on SnapChat. We were peeing our pants at some of the filters!

  March 2017

Although this was my fav…how I do get eyelashes like that??

March 2017

St Patty’s Day Shenanigans

If we learn that green food coloring is harmful, the Hough house is in trouble. We had A LOT during St Patty’s week. “Green everything!” was the motto! So if it wasn’t green naturally, I dyed it. Problem solved.

Real St Paddy's Day Cupcakes for Small Group tonight.

First stop on real St Patrick’s day: Varsity for green donuts. Except Berkley the party pooper who doesn’t like raised donuts or icing.

Next stop: Library, where they had a fun craft!

They also had a Beauty and the Beast craft time. This pic weirds me out.

And Beckham climbed the wall. Random. Yet impressive.

Then some other random stops for photo ops.

We wish they would cut that tree down! It’s such a cool painting and it’s half covered. Sad story.

Welded welder welding a welded mailbox…

Then rode bikes to the parade!

Berkley packed a BOOK to read. Nerd.

We saw lots of friends in the parade! That’s always our favorite part!!     

T-Rex on a bike gets me every time!

Yet so does anything in a parade with a toilet in it…

Beckham climbed more walls…

 

I can’t take these guys anywhere…

 

Sadie Piper’s Skip Day

Day started off with Varsity donuts

Sadie Piper Skip Day

Sadie Piper Skip Day

and Apples to Apples!

Sadie Piper Skip Day

Then we hit up the mini golf course.

March 2017

None of us has ever been to the one in town before, so that was a fun adventure!

March 2017

March 2017

Brian kept score so the loser could “buy lunch” (that would be me!)

March 2017

That was a hole in one!

  March 2017

We also threw in a little light rock climbing!

March 2017

The other option SP had was FootGolf. Which is exactly what is sounds like- golf with a soccer ball. They have one hole you can try it out on so we did. (Fun, but more for adults and soccer players). So we skipped that…

Sadie Piper Skip Day

…in favor of the batting cages!

Sadie Piper Skip Day

She has THE BEST “brace for impact” face!

Sadie Piper Skip Day

Brian can’t go to the cages without getting in on the fun!

Sadie Piper Skip Day

Lunch at Chick-fil-a. This girl knows what she likes and rarely branches out!

(I obviously thought we were making funny faces, but SP gave her cute smile…oops)  Sadie Piper Skip Day

Then straight to the bowling alley! She loved it!

Sadie Piper Skip Day

Bowling rolled right into a milkshake from Baskin Robbins!

Sadie Piper Skip Day

Then to pick up the Bs from school, and poor girl was again the middle child! 🙂

New (old) strategy

Parenting has been hard these past few months. Hard in that we feel like we are trying so hard, yet failing every day. Failing to get to the hearts of our kids, failing to help them see and repent of their sin, failing to show them the joy in obedience.

It’s not that we weren’t trying. We were. We were trying with our loud words. And with our threats. And using our ability to manipulate. You know, all the things that when kids grow up, they look back and think “Wow, my turning point in life was that time my mom yelled at me. It really changed my heart.” Said no one ever.

Praise God He frustrated us. Praise God He knew what we were doing wasn’t working to shepherd their hearts. So we thought and prayed and talked long and hard about what was going wrong. The conversations started with what was “wrong” with each of the kids. We know their weaknesses and struggles. We know what pushes their buttons. Our conclusion: They are the problem.

Yet God didn’t stop there. He graciously showed us, sure, we have sinful kids, but that’s not the problem. Every kid is sinful. And we are called to disciple that sinful heart and show it the joyful blessings in repentance and obedience.

The problem was us.

Our kids have horribly sinful parents. That’s the bigger problem.

We’d let selfishness rule our parenting: I just want y’all to stop fighting cause the yelling is driving me nuts. What do I need to do to just make it stop?

We’d let laziness rule our parenting: I don’t want to get up to help you. I want to sit here and read my book. How can I solve this problem from the couch?

We’d let hurriedness rule our parenting: We are running out the door, I don’t have time to stop and deal with this right now. How can I yell so you just hurry up so we aren’t late?

And we were expecting our children to react differently than we did. See, we flew off the handle when something didn’t go our way, but I expect them to stay calm and cheerful when something doesn’t go their way. Shocker this wasn’t working!

In short, without meaning to, we wanted kids whose hearts who had be shepherded well, but we were tired of doing the shepherding. We’ve been at this for 11 years now. Yet there’s no sabbatical in parenting, no summer break; Where’s the rest?

We were running on our own strength, our own initiative. And that runs out. We weren’t leaning on Christ for our strength. We weren’t loving sacrificially. We weren’t discipling our kids.

The “obsolete” definition of discipling is “to teach; train.” Well, that’s not obsolete in our world.

This clicked with Brian. We aren’t teaching. We are expecting them to do things we’ve told them once (“load the dishwasher” “treat your sister how you want to be treated”), but that’s not how people work. They need us to SLOW DOWN. To teach them. To get up and engage the argument they are in and work through it patiently.  To show them how to clean the sink well. To show them what we mean when we ask them to vacuum. Again. And again. And then again.

Everything is an opportunity to engage them.

Even shower time.

We told Becks to take a quick shower. I even told him “Set your watch timer for 5 minutes. Be out in 5 minutes.” I made the expectations very clear (so I was pretty proud of myself). But I missed something. Yes, he knows how to take a shower, but does he know how to take a quick one? (this is where I get frustrated, so does Becks and the whole thing escalates to us both being mad.)

That’s where Brian saw my deficiency and stepped in.

To teach.

He patiently walked him through each step in being an efficient shower-taker (for instance, skip the step where you stand under hot water for 10 minutes).

And the boy was out in a minute and half! 🙂

IMG_7894

We’ve slowed down. We’ve moved our own entertainment down the priority list. If we need to stop everything and deal with something, we will. A broken relationship with any of our kids isn’t worth the 10 minutes I “gained” in my day by rushing something that could have been an opportunity to grow with them.

I’m thankful to God for showing us our sin. It stung. It’s hard to be the problem when you want to be the solution. It’s hard to know in a few months we may (we will…) fall back into our selfish and lazy parenting.

BUT GOD.

But God will again call us out in His loving kindness, we will repent and He will restore our energy and patience and kindness and faithfulness…for His glory!

 

My newest obsession

I make fun of Brian for getting stuck on things…but it’s actually one of my favorite things about him. You wanna know about NASCAR, random baseball facts, the history of soda, the different types of bicycles, -the list goes on- he’s your guy.

But recently it’s my turn to get obsessed.

With this:

Screen Shot 2017-04-17 at 2.04.59 PM

This Garmin Vivofit Jr went on super sale right after Thanksgiving, so we got one for Becks for his birthday. I thought it would be fun mostly for him. I think I love it even more than he does though!

Best parts: it’s waterproof AND the battery lasts a year. This means he never has to take it off, which in turn means he never has to forget to put it back on! It counts steps, but it also counts “activity minutes.” So at his 11 year well check when the nurse asked if he gets 60 minutes of play time a day, I could tell her with certainly, “actually he does!”

March 2017

It has a fun game on the app that he collects facts and animals for every day he hits 60 min of active time and I thought he may be too old for that, but he really loves it (this is also due to his love for animals though)!

AND it also tracks sleep, automatically. This is probably where I’m most obsessed.  I can look and see how he slept every night. So when the doctor asked how much sleep he gets at night, I could also tell him that.

March 2017

Yet another great feature: it has a timer on it. I can tell him, “set your timer for 5 minutes and then we are heading out” or “read for 30 minutes, set your watch.” Brilliant I tell you. I’m actually shocked that this is the only kid activity tracker out there. It seems like an untapped market. Kudos to Garmin!!

 

Saturday Adventure

On warm days we adventure outside. On cold days we huddle inside and wonder what we should do today.

But this day it was warm, so we headed out!

First stop, the Manhattan signmanhattan_hill

But instead of driving up to it we heard there was a hiding trail.

Rocky Ford Fishing Area

Not gonna lie, it was a tad steeper than we anticipated. Our kids were old enough, but don’t take littles on this one.

Rocky ford fishing

Then we went fishing. Yes, it was only like 70 degrees and yes it was March, but you can’t let that stop you.

Rocky Ford Fishing Area

And yes, we didn’t catch a single thing.

Fishing

Lucky for us, that wasn’t really the point!

 Fishing

Brian and I have a deal: I don’t help with fishing. (it’s more of an unspoken “rule” in that really by the very fact that I can’t carry the container of worms cause it gives me the eebies thinking about live worms crawling in there…eek…that he just does it all for the kids and I just watch.)

It’s a good deal.

If you are me.

Which I am.

  Rocky ford fishing

They are sweet to each other when they aren’t fighting with each other…

 Rocky ford fishing

Fishing

Rocky Ford Fishing Area  Fishing

What is Berkley doing?? Pretending she caught a big fish maybe?

 Rocky ford fishing

“Smile Berkley!!”

 Rocky ford fishing

“Keep your pole to yourself Berkley”

Fishing

This is as good as we are going to get:

Rocky ford fishing