Water Works: Home Edition

We each have those messy moments as parents that literally take your breath away. Lately I’ve been reminiscing over the “highlights” of those in my mothering journey thus far. Funny that most of those involve copious amount of water. Perhaps you need a laugh today and could laugh with me.

S is now 5 years old, and her water messes have toned down quite a bit the last year or so-but about 1 year ago her worst one happened. (Perhaps my reaction to the WORST WATER MESS EVER made her think twice before splashing away, I don’t know.) We have continued on our “fixing up the house” journey, and the project then involved having the downstairs bathroom walls torn out and all the plumbing exposed. The recently finished upstairs bathroom is directly above it, and they share a “plumbing run”- a wall that is just chock full of pipes, including the sewer vent.  After a horrible wind and rain storm one day we had had a roof leak around the sewer vent pipe, and water had trickled all the way down to the ground floor. After replacing the sewer vent boot and drying out the plumbing run, we thought we were ok against future leaks. The wall stayed open to allow for us to work on the plumbing during our remodeling adventures. This story has to have this background info for you to understand what happened this one calm, lovely day. I was busy working on homemaker-ly things, when I heard what sounded like water dripping very slowly. Because of past water escapades, I have a very keen sense of hearing when it comes to water. So I tilted my head and tried to locate the sound. Several minutes later I walked by the downstairs bathroom again and heard the dripping, still slow… but a little faster. I went into the bathroom and was horrified to realize that there was a slow WATERFALL silently flowing down the last bit of remaining drywall, puddling on the floor, leaking under the wall and into the living room. The drip came from the ceiling, which was quite soaked and looked like it could begin losing a chunk of drywall at any moment. I made a very unladylike screech noise, and about high jumped up the stairs. Sitting on the sink was my adorable 4 year old, sopping wet and looking up from her imaginary world of fun waterworks with wide and frightened eyes. I could hardly speak-and probably a good thing, as my words at that moment were not very constructive or loving. Apparently the one thing on the bathroom floor that we had failed to complete, was caulking around the base of the toilet. The flood of water that was poured onto the floor was slowly finding it’s way under the toilet, across the downstairs ceiling, down the wall, and to it’s final puddling place on the living room/bathroom floor. I couldn’t have been more thankful at that moment that the downstairs bathroom wasn’t finished yet!

I’d go on with more water messes, but I think that’s enough reminiscing for one day. 😉

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Big Announcement!

So…. we just found out we are pregnant with baby #4!!!! I honestly was shocked when we first found out. So shocked in fact, that I took two tests just to make sure. And then it still didn’t feel quite real until we told all our family! Baby is due in October, right after Baby #3’s 2nd birthday. ‘Tis a good time of year to have a baby. 😀 To be quite transparent, I didn’t feel quite ready to be pregnant-but at the same time knew God’s timing in this would be amazing. And it is, of course. 🙂 I have a complete peace now, and am thankful the decision wasn’t left up to me. My concerns were that I still have a little baby weight from last baby, (who is 17 months old…) and our house isn’t finished yet. Two things I was sort of hoping to have checked off the list first. So I have two emotions- one, I’m thrilled beyond belief. So. Very. Excited!! We’re having another baby!!!! On the other side of the spectrum, I’m sad I can’t paint any more walls and I never did get back down to my wedding dress size. 😛 Haha, such harsh downsides. 😉 So excited to hold this new little one and to bathe them in prayer during this time of forming and growing.

We now get to delve into a few of my favorite pastimes….

  • Cooking yummy and healthy food to nourish a growing baby.
  • Searching for the *perfect* baby names!
  • Wearing cute maternity clothes. Seriously, they are the best!
  • Dreaming about this birth. Giving birth is such a special experience, and I’m actually really looking forward to it!
  • Praying for our child. Each baby we have prayed for a specific trait or gift for them.
  • Feeling a baby bounce around inside of me! Eek!
  • Eating tons of iron rich foods to help counteract anemia. (This one may not be such a favorite…. 😉

So far God has blessed us to be able to have wonderful home births and to be surprised by the baby’s gender each time… and we are praying this time is no different. These are truly special blessings. Due to our health provider moving out of the country for missions work, we are seeking a new one for this birth. God has provided for each birth, we are seeking Him on how to move forward, and are looking forward to seeing how He provides for this baby’s coming.

Vacation, and getting back into routine.

I know I’m not alone in this. Picture this scenario with me: you go on a nice vacation, enjoying time to relax and recharge with your family-only to come home to raging piles of laundry, cranky kids from the long car ride, maybe a time change thrown in there, and a refrigerator that yields only condiments and butter. Yep. Classic. We also had company from out of state come only a few days after we came home. I unpacked our suitcases the day they arrived. 😛 Laundry is usually my biggest hurdle to getting back into routine. Today my goal is to do 5 loads of laundry. At least. And do some REAL meal planning-not just a desperate “Get me through the next 3 days without having to run out for milk” kind of planning. What is your worst archenemy to settling back in after vacation, and how do you attack it?

A bad school day.

Those who know me well know I am usually very patient and long suffering. But some things really push my buttons. And it’s usually my kids on a bad day, which doesn’t make for good parenting from me. Let me just tell you about today. 😉

My two older girls were begging to do their school work. Mom’s dream, right?! I was happy, and got out their work books and pulled out pages that are very much in their capabilities-should be a piece of cake for them. I explained the directions, made sure the first one was done correctly, and then left the room to order some pictures and library books. Figured I would have some quiet time to accomplish these needed tasks. WRONG.

They started arguing.

I ignored them. Classic mom move.

They kept arguing, and someone screams.

I go investigate. No school work accomplished. H was heartbroken that S had moved a piece of furniture 2 feet from it’s designated location. I set things straight and set them back down to their school work.

S comes running in and rams into my elbow as I’m making online purchases. Not cool. Of course she says she hasn’t finished her page yet. No, she says she doesn’t need help. Ok, then go do it!

A few minutes later S begins running around in circles singing loudly to bother her sister. H starts yelling at her to stop, and of course that eggs S on even worse. S gets a time out.

15 minutes later H has one word written down. She usually flies through these pages, finishing at least one page every 5 minutes. I have a feeling school today is not going to go well. I love the days when I can tell them what to do, and come back in a few minutes and they are finished and smiling. That is usually how it goes! They are really great daughters and students-I probably sound very spoiled right about now. 😛 Just some days are completely the opposite. Today is apparently one of those days.

I didn’t deal with everything well. I spoke in anger to S, and told her we were done with school work for the moment. I have no idea what the root is behind all the squabbling. No one needs a nap or is sick as far as I know. Maybe after I finish dealing with the online business we can try again when I can give one on one attention…

Thanks for listening, I feel a little more sorted out already.

Queen of England

My girls love all things princess and ballet… like many little girls. They love the special feeling of the outfits and the graceful dance moves. The sparkly pink and purple things, the fancy dresses. Well this past week I showed them a Youtube clip of William and Kate’s wedding. They were astonished that there was a real life “princess” wearing a real tiara and that there was a real queen in attendance! We have since been on a Youtube journey of sorts through history of the royal family and Windsor Castle and Buckingham Palace… they are thrilled that someone lives like that in real life, and can’t get enough of the beauty and splendor. It has amazed me as well-I have been learning so much! I enjoy learning things alongside my children. Their interests spark fun learning curves, and I love encouraging that curiosity and wonder.

I must be patient.

Patience. Every mother needs it. It’s so elusive.

I’ve told my children to get dressed 4 times. I really don’t want to have to start the day out with punishments. It’s looking like that’s what is going to have to happen. I hear them playing rambunctiously upstairs. Sometimes I severely dislike being “mom”.

*sigh*

Here goes nothing.

Fridays, and Why They are Special.

Today, my friends, is Friday!! Whoop whoop! For our family, Friday night is when our rest day begins-we observe Shabbat. So Friday is a day of much excitement, of preparation, and of relief. 🙂 Friday night dinner is the highlight. We usually try to set the table special-put on some candles, or maybe place mats. If we’re going all out (or our daughters get involved) we will use a fancy table cloth and goblets and candles and maybe even flowers. But usually, it’s something fairly simple. The meal is usually fairly normal, sometimes I make a dessert or a special dish. Challah bread is a very yummy egg bread that we sometimes have, or other times matza or an artisan loaf from the local grocery is used. 😉 We drink juice at this meal. We do not usually drink juice, so this is a special thing we look forward to. We often share this meal with family or friends. JE’s family and brother’s family also observe Shabbat, and depending on the time of year, we may go to my in law’s house every week for several weeks in a row, or trade off who hosts dinner. It’s very special and fun! The part I must say is my favorite, is the blessings.

At the beginning of the meal, we bless God for providing us with bread and drink. Then each father goes to the members of his household and blesses each one and serves them by pouring their drink. I don’t know about your background or what you believe, but just stop and think about that. What if your dad had spoken a blessing over you each Friday night, praising you for something you did? Powerful, right? JE usually starts by blessing me, and then goes around to each child by age. Each one eagerly awaits what Papa has to say about them-what they did that pleased their Daddy this week. This is also challenging to JE some weeks if we’ve had a particularly rough time with a certain child, and forces him to look past the temporary struggles and encourage them in some way. Like I said, POWERFUL. A Daddy’s blessing is so huge. This is why this time is my favorite. We bless our heavenly Daddy, and our Daddy blesses us.

Then we go on to eat our meal together, all ’round the table. I love meals where all are “present”. No one is looking at their phone, or the computer, or a TV. We are all laughing and engaging one another. There is much to be said for a family meal time. After dinner we might play games, go on a stroll to see the sunset, sing songs together, or watch a movie or sermon. Sometimes we pray together or just talk about what’s going on in our lives. This moment, this chance to just -stop- each week, give thanks, reconnect with our family, and rest, have been such a beautiful gift to us from the Father.  I’m thankful for the gift of Shabbat.