Stinkin’ cat

Mr Nubbers stays exclusively outside.

Until one day we noticed we hadn’t seen him outside of his bed in the garage for a few days…

…and then when I did he was only using 3 legs.

UGH!

So we took him to the vet, and turns out he got in a literal cat fight. (We later learned there’s a new family down the street with an outside cat too, and Nubs was protecting his territory!)

All that to say, I was a softie and let him come inside while his leg healed. The kids took great care of him: 

That’s Berkley’s frog that she gives people when they are sick!

Poor cat was too gimp and/or drugged to care. He just slept through it all.

It looks like a gravestone, but it’s actually a feather of a turkey on a “Thanksgiving turkey.” Sadie Piper’s preface is pretty great!SP 4th grade

We hate leaves.

IMG_1271Picking up leaves in the Fall isn’t something Brian and I grew up doing. No, not cause we had landscaping people do it…cause we lived in Houston and there isn’t such thing as Fall! More over, we lived in north Houston, so the vast majority of our trees are pine, so they are evergreen!

But we’ve learned to put our big kid pants on and get outside and do it. (Except you have to do it multiple times, ugh!)

Berkley’s pose is so much different than SP’s above! 🙂

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This girl!

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Playing in leaves is more fun than picking up!!

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Brian was using the blower (that the trick the Youngs taught us!!) and for some reason Boo was just burying herself… IMG_1271

Snapshots

Just some random-ness!

This was THE BEST!

July 2017

Kids made masks at Beach Art Museum craft class. Beckham was a gargoyle!

July 2017

All I wanted was a cute picture of her in her cute helmet…

July 2017

We’ve implemented “House Elves”…everyone has 2 nights a week that they are my dinner helper. And there’s a uniform (yep, real pillowcase!)!

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Kids notes from Brian’s sermon on Mary and Martha

Berkley’s:

July 2017

Sadie Piper’s:

July 2017

Beckham’s

July 2017

Went to the grocery store this summer, but Berkley was  clearly low in her love tank (aka “touch”) and hung on me the whole time

July 2017

Berkley made me a penguin bookmark! It’s my fav!

  July 2017

This just made us laugh!

Aug 2017

Snack time in the cemetery!

Aug 2017

Taught kids how to play “Kick the Can”…and then schooled them!

Aug 2017

Girls made trophies out of paper. We won best parents!

Aug 2017

Found a fun playground in a small town!

Don’t even remember taking this, but there are so few of just the two of us!

On Post MPC lunch at the Curry's

$1.50 scoop days at Baskin Robbins makes not having Blue Bell just a little easier!

Aug 2017

Stick it to me!

Brian threw his dirty sock into the corner (aka- the place dirty clothes go and then magically appear again clean in a drawer a few days later! 🙂 ) and his missed the corner but hit the wall…and his sock STUCK! He threw the other one, aiming for the wall this time, and it stuck too. So he used this newfound sticky wall to try to “decorate”.

So I recently discovered socks stick to the brick wall in our bedroom. #astros

In our house, the “fun director” isn’t also allowed to serve as the interior decorator (conflict of interests), so they came down immediately via the “fun hater”…aka, me.

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

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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

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! 🙂

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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!

 

Family picture, photoshop style

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Brian did some awesome Photoshop to add himself into this pic. But we learned to maybe spread the kids out, cause it definitely looks like everyone loves me most!! Haha! Who’s the fun parent now?!!?!?