Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Sibling Sentiment

Many days seem to be full of endless squabbles. Hitting, throwing toys, disrespectful words abound. While this behavior is not tolerated, I also struggle to find the line of where to step in. They need to learn to work their problems out themselves. As long as no one is in danger they need to master how to maneuver their thoughts and actions in these settings .
Playing with the 'make-up' kit I made
Yet when name calling begins I tend to referee. No one is being physically harmed, but little souls are. Elissa picks up on the words being carelessly thrown around. She may not understand their power, but she has no trouble using them when she is upset. It's what her siblings do. Which makes it even harder to deter her from using their language. She simply doesn't understand.

After particularly hard days I find myself wondering if I am doing things right. I have no idea what I'm doing when it comes to raising multiple children. Most of my life I was an only child. Even after my mom and step-dad adopted I was already out of the house and starting my own family. Self doubt is easily compounded with no thanks to the endless internet venues available at our fingertips. Facebook. Instagram. Blogs.

I know I've said this before, but it is SO easy to hide behind todays technology. Many times we don't see a glimpse of real life. It's easier to share the rosy snap shots outside of the trenches. Even if we don't have photographs to share, we certainly don't talk about what we may consider our 'parenting fails'. But those endless days, the temper tantrums, the unruly threenager? How we handle those moments shapes their tomorrows.
'Washing' windows for me
I am certainly not saying I have all the answers or I always make the right choices when, say, faced with a defiant six year old. I am trying though. When I realize I didn't help the situation by my reaction I ask for forgiveness. Our kiddos need to see that we make mistakes too. That we can own up to them. I also have to forgive myself. Make a conscious effort to react differently next time.

Cause in the end, no one is an expert. Whether you have one or six. Each child is different. We are all learning as we go. There is no textbook with all the answers. And when I see my kids playing together peacefully, if only for a moment I try to capture it. So I can remember that they do love each other. I'm doing something right. And you never know how long it will last!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Ringing in the New Year

Last night we had a super low key celebration with our neighbors to celebrate 2015. We had lots of snacks, laughs and all around good time. I love how well our little ones get along too.
This is a whole lot of adorable with a little bit of trouble mixed in :)

Max is such a good buddy, this pic is to precious
I am the only night owl in the group and with a load of littles you don't want to be out late. We had everyone tucked in well before the ball dropped and I didn't even stay up to watch it this year. After a good night of sleep we had a low key day ahead of us.
In the afternoon we met my mom so Emma could go have a sleep over at her house for a few days.
 This is how Emma greeted me in the morning. Jammies still on, backpack packed and ready to go!
 I am so thankful for technology available to us! I was able to tell my sweet girl goodnight via Skype before she called it a night. I know she will have a blast, but it is so weird not having her here to tuck in at night.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Christmas Day {2015}

Merry Christmas! As you can see, our children did not get a lot of rest last night, the one downside of traveling during the holidays. Combine that with sensory overload, lots of presents and a less than balanced diet is a recipe for disaster. We started off the morning at my mom's like we always do.

 Hugs for grandma
 Someone got caught hiding with the iPad
 The boys got 'World's Best Uncle' shirts
Elissa relaxing in her new rocking chair
 All the kids watching a movie while breakfast is made
Around nap time we loaded up for round two at my dad's house.
 These kiddos love their papa Spence
 Emma opening gifts
 Ready to go shopping now
 Daddy and Easton working on the new combine
Elissa got a new set of wheels from papa
It was an extremely busy day, but we are so grateful to have wonderful family in our lives to celebrate the season with!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Christmas Eve 2015

As like every year for as long as I can remember, we went to my grandma's house for Christmas Eve. Each year it's a little crazier, a little louder, a little more crowded. And I love it! We have dinner, hold our own Christmas service by candle light and open gifts. Wonderful memories for my kiddos! Of course I wasn't able to capture any pictures while the kids opened their present- it becomes complete chaos trying to keep track of it all.

Grandma has a lap full
My hairy hubby

When I was a younger, we always had to get the dreaded pics in front of the Christmas tree. All of the kids hated it. We would run and hid. If the adults forgot we certainly wouldn't remind them. Now I'm putting my kids through the same torture. Someday they will be thankful to have them. Even the ridiculous outtakes.
We are so thankful to be able to celebrate the birth of our Savior!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Christmas Chaos

Christmas is crazy. Every year. Between finding the right gifts for everyone on our list, prepping, wrapping, it all gets a little chaotic. Having large families further complicates things. Parties to attend, kids' schedules to work around, traveling. But I wouldn't trade it for the world. I feel truly blessed to have so many people to celebrate the holiday season with. This typically means we are not home on Christmas day. So we tend to do family gifts on a evening near Christmas. The kids get 4 gifts from us: a want, a need, something to wear, something to read.

 Emma was more than happy to climb under the tree in order to find all the goodies.

Reading the card she made for her little brother. She is such a good big sis!

 Easton sporting the new bracelet his sister made him

 Opening a new truck with daddy
 Elissa loves unwrapping her presents this year, so fun!

 Can you tell she got want she really wanted?!?