Taking Care of the Girls

I walked up to my room tonight, 10:19pm, and noticed my lamp beside my quiet time chair in the corner of my room was still lit. My bible and journal lay open on the chair with my blue blanket strewn over the arm of the chair.

It was many hours ago when I was interrupted by the girls this morning, both feeling so bad. This nasty virus that Mack conquered at the beginning of last week had now gotten each of them. I left my quiet time to tend to their needs. Ice water and ibuprofen. Warm showers, then blankets and pillows on the couch. Then off to disinfect their room and their bathroom and every door knob in our home.

And then there was Mack—feeling great and full of energy. Confused by his having to do math while the girls “just lay on the couch.”
How quickly he forgot what he was doing last week.

There were eye drops to be given, crackers and grapes to be served. Chicken noodle soup to be prepared.

I tried all day long to be so patient and kind and loving. Mostly it came just fine, but then around 5:30 I was feeling tired and done with all the servant business. There’s a reason why a nurse works 12 hour shifts…anymore and she is liable to throw the meds in the patient’s general direction. So, here I am looking around for relief and then remember that Josh has a 6:00pm meeting and then another “quick” meeting at Starbucks to give someone something.

8:30pm rolls around, and we are all over the sickness now. Ruby comes to the kitchen for some more medicine and she starts to cry and says, “I am so sorry I am sick. This is getting old. Thank you for taking care of me.”
I get teary-eyed, too. Such a sweet little girl. I hugged her and told her that there is no where else I would want to be than right here helping her get to feeling better.

I remember Ruby as a toddler very vividly. When she was sick she did NOT like medicine. She would cry and wail and refuse to open her mouth. Though she will drink (slowly) ibuprofen, she will put up a fight about anything else I ask her to take. The eye drops were an ordeal every. single. time. today.

Molly does pretty good with the medicine, but she is much better at taking care of others when they are sick than at being the one taken care of. She would ask Mack to do something for her and if he didn’t understand her the first time—-watch out! I had to remind her several times to take it easy on us…we were trying to be helpful and caring…she should be nice to us.

  
I am thankful for being able to be here to take care of the girls today and serve them in all the little ways they requested….not the least of which was multiple episodes of “I Love Lucy.”

I am also thankful for Josh who told me to go take a shower while he read out loud to the kids at bedtime. He worked hard all day, even closed a nice deal today and then came home to read LITTLE BRITCHES to the kiddos and get them all tucked into bed. Be still my heart.

But off and on today I was tempted to think how the kids being sick kind of gets our schedule off track as far as school and stuff. But that is not true at all. Will we have to do some extra work here and there? Yes. But I will not be “behind.” This is my schedule! This is my school and my kids. What is most important is that I loved them well today…whatever today brought our way. Did I do it perfectly? Unfortunately, not. But I tried! I hugged and served and cooked and cleaned and rubbed backs and gave medicine and fluffed pillows and brought books and crayons and watched “I Love Lucy.”

Though the day wasn’t what I had envisioned and planned for, I know all of God’s ways are perfect. He was with me all day and loved through me. What more could I possibly ask for?

Grace for My Failures

I laid in bed last night recounting several moments of less-than-impressive parenting.  “I wish I wasn’t so harsh with Molly and her busy hands and feet and her mind that never stops with ideas.”  “I wish I had made more eye contact with Ruby when she scooted over next to me on the couch last night.”  “Tomorrow I am going to try and remember to ask Mack if I can build something with him out of his legos.”

Truth is, I have this little conversation with myself too often while lying in bed.

I am a do-er, especially around my house.  The little chalkboard in my living room boasts of a quote from Ann VosKamp….“More important than a clean house is a CLOSE FAMILY.”

A-hem.

Of course I know that is true…and yet…it is hard for me to overlook stuff out of its place. It is a challenge to not have a project on my mind.  It could be as simple as cleaning out a drawer or as complicated as conquering my linen closet.

This morning as I opened my eyes and stretched, I asked God to please speak to me this morning and remind me that He will be to me what I am not able to be on my own!  That is what the Christian life is about.  Christ in me.

I am reading in Exodus and started the morning in Chapter 12, but not before reading “My Utmost for His Highest.”  Oswald Chambers was explaining that many of us are drawn to the idea of giving up something BIG.  We want to be sort of heroic.  And yet, “God is telling you of some tiny thing; but at the back of it there lies the central citadel of obstinancy:  I will not give up my right to myself–the thing God intends you to give up if ever you are going to be a disciple of Jesus Christ.”

My “tiny thing” consists of giving up how I want to spend my day versus how God wants me to spend my day.  He actually has an opinion about whether I sit and listen to Ruby or scroll through Facebook.  He knows what the best use of my time is: bake a cake with Molly or try to entice her with a movie so that I can actually be quiet somewhere else in the house.

And I am not saying a mama doesn’t need some time alone.  Of course she does!  But I tend to want to guard it with everything I have and when I start feeling suffocated, I freak instead of pray for God’s eyes to see my situation.

So this morning when I read Exodus 12, I was encouraged!  God was telling Moses and the rest of His people that now that they were freed from slavery, “This month shall be unto you the beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year to you.”

Wow!  God restructured the Israelites whole calendar on this very important day of freedom.  Wow!

It was like God was saying to me, “Kristy, today can be a new beginning for you…a fresh start, like a new year!”

Here is what G. Campbell Morgan said about it:

GOD IS EVER THE GOD OF NEW BEGINNINGS IN THE HISTORY OF FAILURE…..

…All such new beginnings are founded on plenteous Redemption, conditioned in persistent Righteousness, and issue in perfect Realization.  God had redeemed His people from slavery.  The dawn of their new year was ever to be radiant with the glory of His bringing of them forth from cruel bondage.  God had brought them to Himself, that under His law they might realize the meaning of life, and fulfill its highest purposes.  God had admitted them to a fellowship with Himself, which meant for them , the supply of all need; and for Him, an instrument in the world for carrying out the program of His infinite grace.”

I don’t know about you, but I have a history of failure, and I need God’s grace for new beginnings more than I care to admit.  I need plenteous Redemption, His persistent Righteousness, and a realization of my highest purposes.  He will supply all of my needs, and I can be an instrument in the world to display His grace.

Happy New Year (to me)!

Don’t Be Jealous

So, evidently it’s Fall Break ’round here. A quick perusing of facebook shows sun and sand or Disney. 

So in an effort to make some others feel better about their “Fall Break,” let me see if I can review ours. 

Monday–Mack went to the doctor for a horrible sore throat and fever that ended up being a virus that must run its course. And it did. The girls and I did school—math and language arts. And laundry. I organized my linen closet. Fun times. 

Tuesday–More school. History and Math and Language Arts. A trip to Woodstock Market in the afternoon AND I got my ring appraised, which turned out to be a great thing. I asked them to help the platinum get back to being shiny instead of scratchy and dull. I felt like I got engaged all over again….except Josh was no where around. And the kids weren’t that impressed. And I painted a side table with the paint I got from Woodstock Market. Seaside….I like it. 

  
Maybe I won’t wait 15 years to get it shining again. 

Wednesday–We took a field trip to the mall to see the Lego exhibit. Kids loved hanging out with friends and eating at the mall. The Legos were impressive. And the kids got to spend time with their friends!

   
    
    
 
   
    

    
    
 
Then, I washed my couch cushion covers.

I know.  Fall Break has never been more glamorous. 

Tomorrow we’re planning for more school. And more laundry. And maybe a trip to Bahama Bucks for the kids. I mean, it is Fall Break!

In all seriousness, I am enjoying the week. I love being home and feeling productive in my domain. I paid bills today, negotiated a gas rate, and loaded in some numbers in our budget.

I’m reading a new book, and I love it. 

  
It’s very practical and just a great read for a mom!

So here in the Dorminy house we aren’t really having a Fall Break at all. Just doing the usual. Ruby tried to have a pity party tonight, so I reminded her of the fun trips we have coming….so she turned her frown upside down. And we turned on “I Love Lucy” episodes on amazon prime. They love those shows. 

Thankful for the break from football and piano and sewing and Timothy classes!  It’s been a great week!

Weekend with The Iveys

We had a fun-filled weekend with my sister and her family.  It was so great to be with them and to have the kids playing together.  Mack was thrilled to have a boy around to throw the football with and play swords and stuff.  And the girls also had fun with Renn sleeping in their room with them and having another person to go to the concession stand with at Mack’s football game.  I didn’t take as many pictures as I wanted to…like I meant to get a picture of Marcy and Jesse with the puzzle all completed.  They worked on it while they were here and got it all finished late last night.  It was a group effort all weekend….and it reminded me of how much puzzles bring people together.  (I may or may not have said that off and on throughout the whole weekend to remind everyone what a great idea this table in the living room was!)  And we celebrated Vance’s 9th birthday with cake and ice cream, too.  It was just a nice weekend!  I am so glad that they came to see us.

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In addition to the puzzle, we played a couple of games.  Molly enjoyed watching Uncle Jesse learn how to play “Apples to Apples Junior.”

The cousins also got to go to Sunday School with Mack and see the girls lead worship in Kidzplace, so that was super fun!

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Thanks for visiting us, Iveys!  It was a terrific time!

And I have to add this one little story.  Vance and Renn are not used to seeing curly hair in all it’s glory in the morning, so when I came down Saturday morning in my pajamas, Vance looked at me with a smirk and said, “I like your hair,”  He later added that my hair was “wild.”  So funny.  I suppose I should have warned them about my hair before I made my entrance.  Wild and crazy is an understatement when referring to this mop.

Let’s Try This Again

Mack has spent many, many nights sleeping in the same room with his sisters. It has been very sweet and allowed for much sibling bonding. Lots of memories and late night giggles and story times.

However, Ruby claims Mack talks and acts up til very late into the night. She also says as soon as he wakes up, he starts “whispering” their names to see who is also awake.  He also does NOT respect the girls’ privacy. And he has yet to understand the following: “Don’t walk around naked…especially when your sisters are upstairs.”

And while I LOVE that he LOVES to be in the same room with them at night, let’s just face the facts—my kids spend a ton of time together. I don’t think it is too much, but it’s borderline too much. They need some space.  So we’re trying this whole, sleep-in-your-own-bed-at-night thing again.

Hoping these superheroes will be enough to keep him in his own bed.
(And I know I have had a lot of posts about the little man lately, so I will be sure to spotlight my darling daughters very soon!)


  
  

Remembering 1983

The other morning I was sitting with The Lord….I had been praying about some things on my mind and then I was sitting and listening and just being in the presence of The Lord.  And for some reason, I started picturing my Kindergarten Sunday School class.  Earlier in the week someone on Facebook posted a picture of my old church where I went in elementary school, Bayvale Baptist Church in Augusta, GA.  I had thought of Mrs. Dorn then, but for some reason here I was with the Lord bringing it to mind in my prayer time.

I pictured the short hallway and the doorway to the room.  It was a large room.  I remember the kitchen play area.  I loved it over there.  Pretend refrigerator, stove, mixer, table and play food.  I remember vividly the art area where we would put on aprons and stand in front of a huge (to me as a Kindergartener) easel with paints galore.  These weren’t referred to as “stations,” as they are today.  This was just how she had the room set up because she knew and loved little children.

One Sunday she had an overhead in the room and used it to project our face outline on the wall.  Then, she traced our faces and cut them out on black paper so we each had a silhouette of ourselves.  No doubt she told us how very special we were to be made in the image of God.

Such absolutely precious memories.  I believe the year was 1983. I can see myself as if I am there right now sitting in the small wooden chairs that were arranged in a semi-circle for Bible Time.  Short curly hair, wearing a blue sun dress with a red anchor stitched on the skirt. White fold down frilly socks with patent leather shoes that buckled. And Mrs. Dorn front and center, sitting with her Bible and felt board to the side.

But even more than the room and the things in the room, I remember Mrs. Dorn.  She had a such a warm, loving smile.  Always.  A soft, kind voice. She is a little bent over in my mind because I am sure she was usually leaning down to be closer to the little kids that were in her class.  But her loving, caring, kind demeanor is what rises to the top.  As an adult I now know that she invested much of her time into the kids who came into her class.  Only the Lord knows what all was going on in that child’s home or the needs that child had that Mrs. Dorn met with the love of God flowing through her.

I am so grateful for Mrs. Dorn and many other loving, caring Sunday School teachers that the Lord has allowed to be in my life.  I got saved around this same time…I knew Jesus loved me and died for my sins.  I knew I needed Him.  I am confident Mrs. Dorn helped teach me that Truth, week after week.  Hug after hug.  Smile after smile.

PSALM 77: 13-14

“I shall remember the deeds of The Lord; Surely I will remember Your wonders of  old.  I will meditate on all Your work and muse on all Your deeds.  Your way, O God, is holy; What god is great like our God? You are the God who works wonders; You have made known Your strength among the peoples.  You have by Your power redeemed Your people, the sons of Jacob and Joseph.”

 

Football!

It’s that time of year again! 

  
Gotta love these faces. I know I do!  Mack is so excited to play flag football again this year. He has such a good time. He still asks about when he can wear the “real football uniform.”  Bless his home schooled heart. 

Nevertheless, he has fun…and I count it as PE!

   
    
 
   
   
Fun times!  Go #11!! Razorbacks!

Sometimes you need a doughnut….

I admit, I have been focused on school and on our checklists.  I have done my best to keep the kids focused and diligent.  I have called them out on their laziness and messy handwriting.  I have been less-than-impressed with their chore results, which will soon show up in how little money they receive in a couple of weeks.  I try to smile and enjoy them because I know these days will be gone before I know it.  HOWEVER, I still feel very responsible for educating them.  I feel so responsible for helping them learn to love to learn.  I feel so responsible for making sure they aren’t lazy complainers.  And I have laundry to do and three meals a day and friends to chat with or text with and bills to schedule…blah, blah, blah…So it’s hard to find a good balance between mom and teacher sometimes.  Maybe I am the only one….gosh, I hope not.

But I am their mom.  And I want to be a fun mom.

I do.

I want to laugh and smile and bake cookies regularly for the little munchkins and serve milk with a smile and a hug.  I want to cheerfully help them with the problems they miss in math.  I want to snuggle with them while they read. I want to joyfully sit and listen to Ruby play her piano.  I want to let Molly use my laptop to use fun2draw and watch her create funny little drawings.  I want to build things with legos with Mack.

But there is a lot to do.  I need them to get the math lesson today so we can move on.  I need them to read quickly because if I sit still for too long, then I am going to fall asleep.  And I can’t fall asleep because Ruby has piano at 2:30 and then worship practice at 4:45 and we have to eat in between because Ruby also loves Wednesday youth group.  Or Molly has sewing at 3:00, but if we don’t finish this Science lesson and make sure they study their vocabulary and hang our timeline figures on the timeline for History and do the math lessons (that never end), then we will be behind.

I could go on, but I will not bore you.  I did decide today that we would do some math and then go to Krispy Kreme today….because sometimes the kids need doughnuts from their mom….with a smile and a hug.

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We also went in Sprouts to check out what they had to offer.  It’s a great little grocery store.  All of us enjoyed it.  And we even did a little school.  Molly weighed the Honey Crisp apples, which were only 2.99/ pound and figured out how much they would cost.  Ruby and Mack spotted a flower and identified the stamen and carpel and saw pollen…all of this went right along with what we are learning in Science.  Yay!

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We also went to deliver some doughnuts to a friend and see her new baby boy!!  Precious!!!

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So we did have a fun day.  And we did get school done!  Yay for us.  Here is to hoping that we all survive this homeschooling gig and still love each other when it’s all said and done.

Naps are Necessary Sometimes

Naps can fix a lot of things. I remember when naps were a daily part of our routine. Morning and afternoon naps, even!!  My how times have changed. Usually if anyone takes a nap in the afternoon anymore, it’s me….not the kids.

On Tuesdays the kids get up at 7:00am and get ready for their two hour Language Arts class. I get two hours to myself each week–doesn’t seem like enough, but it’s the truth. When I went to pick up the kids from class, they entered the car immediately asking if they could NOT do school today. I told them we were doing school today…of course. They were not happy and fed off of each other’s bad attitudes. By the time we made the five minute ride home I had already decided to call the principal.

I put Josh on speaker phone, and he reminded them that school work is what they do everyday and it should be done with good attitudes. He goes on to tell them how wonderful their teacher is for giving up her life for their betterment. And I smile at them and nod my head while he finishes up his speech.

The talk did some good, and we finished most of our school before Mack had a break down. He isn’t usually so touchy, so with football practice tonight, I decided we would read on his bed together.  It’s my way of having him lay down and take a nap without actually saying the word nap to my 8 year old.

He did his best to fight against laying still until I told him all he had to do was lay still for ten minutes.  We had a discussion about how long ten minutes was, and he agreed to be still. “But only for ten minutes!!!,” he insisted.


And here he is. Ten + ten + ten minutes later.

I’m feeling confident the evening is going to go much smoother than our morning!

Thank the Lord for naps!