Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Sweet Child of Mine

I love my munchkins, but some days definitely prove to be more challenging than others. It seems like lately my sweet little girl is filled with attitude, bad choices and snotty words. When it gets down to it, I can often discover what is really behind these outbursts- lack of schedule, attention, need for one-on-one time. Yet in the moment, it is not easy to handle.

We tried a rewards system for a while. At the end of the day she could earn a quarter for good behavior. She could also earn coins of smaller denominations (basically whatever mommy had in her wallet) through out the day if we caught her doing something exceptionally good. Helping out around the house without being asked, doing something nice for her brother, etc. However, she could also loose money for poor choices. She could spend the money on whatever she wanted when she earned enough.
She chose this Dream Light. I blame this purchase solely on show and tell at school. I was not going to argue though. We told her she could pick and she has been completely happy with her choice. No buyers remorse here! Yet now that she has it, we seem to be regressing back to the old behavior. Stomping around the house, saying hurtful things and that quick little temper is rearing it's ugly head again.

I find myself with a short fuse and I tend to snap back which are not the reactions I want to be have. I'm trying to focus on new ways to handle this behavior, specifically the way she has been talking to me lately. She can be amazing one day and then the next one can be filled with "I hate you" and "You're the worst mom ever". My newest strategy (thanks to Pintrest) is to completely ignore her when she uses these phrases. It seemed totally backwards to me at first, but I was willing to try it.

This method tends to be difficult and I can feel my blood pressure increase when we're in the moment. I'm working on sending her to her room while telling her in a calm voice that I can not hear her and will only listen once she's ready to talk to me in a kind voice using nice words. I'm not gonna lie- there are moments when I loose it and raise my voice, but when I do it correctly it does seem to be working!

The key is consistency. We're only on day 4. The first few times she would just continue to yell at me. Tell me I was lying, that I could hear her just fine. Now she seems to admit defeat much sooner and head to her room. I think relief may be in sight. And this momma needs it, especially before baby number 3 arrives and rocks our world completely. I'm sure there will be a whole other set of issues to deal with then!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Firefly Island

*Photo courtesy of Amazon.com

Mallory is successful in the business world, working for a senior congressman when she meets Daniel whom she instantly finds herself imagining a future with. After a few short months of dating Daniel is being relocated for a job all the way in Texas. Mallory finds she has fallen in love with this man and his young son Nick. Wondering whether she is crazy or head over heels, she excepts his marriage proposal and they hit the road to start a new life together.
Shortly after their arrival, through many trials, she finds herself wondering if she's made the right choice. Is she cut out to be a mom for sweet Nick and live on a ranch in the middle of no where? She quickly discovers friends in unexpected places. Mystery surrounds their little ranch home. What happened to the ranch owner's wife and son who disappeared years ago? Is her family safe here?
I had never read a book by Lisa Wingate. I have to say, I'll be looking for more in the future.I did not realize this was the third book in the 'Moses Lake' series, but it was not necessary to have read the others first. This story is full of laughter, tears and a bit of intrigue. It's definitely a must read!

Thanks to Bethany House publishers who sent me a free copy. It is not required that I give a positive review, but to express my own opinions of this book.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Great Strides 2013

This past week has shown us that we live in a broken world. The news has been devastating. When innocent people are hurt, lives are shattered, we're often left wondering why? Why did this happen? These things are constantly happing around us, on all scales. People being killed, children being diagnosed with illnesses they shouldn't have to deal with, friends losing family members. I sometimes feel helpless, wishing there was something I could do.

While I may not be able to do much for the people in Boston or take away the pain and suffering people are facing all around me, I can walk. On May 19th our family will be joining Team Elliot to walk for a cure.
Personal Image

Our friends have an adorable little boy who will be 3 this fall. He is a happy, care free toddler who loves his older brother and sister and playing in the dirt just like other children his age. However, every day Elliot battles Cystic Fibrosis. It creates a thick mucus in his lungs and pancreas. He takes five medications, gets nebulizer treatments and chest percussions daily just to stay healthy.

Here is a link to a video of this precious boy and his fight with CF:

GREAT STRIDES is the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation's largest and most successful national fundraising event. Please consider helping me meet my goal by sponsoring me. Your generous gift will be used efficiently and effectively, as nearly 90 cents of every dollar of revenue raised is available for investment in vital CF programs to support research, care and education.

Making a donation is easy and secure. Just follow the link below to make a donation that will be credited to my team. Any amount you can donate is greatly appreciated! If you are unable to donate at this time, please consider adding this sweet boy to your prayers and that a cure is found soon!


Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a devastating genetic disease that affects tens of thousands of children and young adults in the United States. Research and care supported by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is making a huge difference in extending the quality of life for those with CF. However, we continue to lose precious lives to CF every day. That's why your help is needed now more than ever to ensure that a cure is found sooner - rather than later. To learn more about CF and the CF Foundation, visit http://www.cff.org.

Together, we can make a difference in the lives of those with CF! Thank you for supporting the mission of the CF Foundation and GREAT STRIDES!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Love Versus Responsibility

*Photo courtesy of Amazon.com

This a well crafted story about a young girl who is trying to find love in Texas in the 1800s. Molly is deeply in love with her beau Bailey, but is torn between doing what she wants with the rest of her life versus what she feels is her duty to her family. Her parents put immense pressure on her to 'marry up' to a wealthy man who can care for her and, in turn, her family.

When a tall, dark and handsome stranger appears in town he seems to be the answer to all of her troubles. Edward seems quite taken with her and makes his intentions clear very quickly. Molly has to decide if it is worth sacrificing her happiness for the betterment of her family. She makes a hasty decision that threatens to ruin her life forever.

I feel the book was well written, with several twists that made it hard for me to put down. As the story develops you can really connect with Molly. I felt heartache for her and what she has to cope with. This is a wonderful story about grace, redemption and forgiveness. In the end, love conquers all!

Thanks to Bethany House publishers who sent me a free copy. It is not required that I give a positive review, but to express my own opinions of this book.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Sean and Cassie's Wedding

We were able to head to St. Johns this weekend to celebrate the wedding of my cousin Cassie. I was a little concerned we weren't going to be able to make it because everyone in our house had been battling respiratory gunk for the past week, but we pulled through just in time!

Cassie was a beautiful bride and was accompanied down the aisle by friends along with her 5 sisters. I unfortunately missed most of the ceremony due to a certain young man who couldn't sit still after the hour and a half car ride over.
He sure looked handsome though!

Sadly, I wasn't able to get many pictures of the evening since the littles kept me on my toes. Emma had a blast with her cousin Ellie and they tore up the dance floor all night. In fact, it was quite difficult to convince her to leave when it was time to go home.
The wedding party doing the 'Harlem Shake'
Emma and Abbie
Easton and Papa Spence
Emma and Ellie

A good time was had bad all and we were so glad to be part of the celebration. We wish you many years of love and happiness!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Spring Break Blues

It has been a rough week over here. I talked up the excitement of spring break and promised lots of fun things in the schedule. I had several free and inexpensive items on my to-do list. There was the perfect plan in my mind of all the fun experiences we were going to have during the week off.

Then in blew sickness for the everyone but me. Don't get me wrong, I'm thankful I was avoided in all of this. But sometimes it would just be easier if mommy got sick and everyone else is spared. I mean, let's be honest. I can't sit around and whine while everyone needs don't get met and I always remember to cover my cough and wash my hands after blowing my nose.

Our first big outing of the week sent us to the walk-in clinic in Holland because 2 of the 3 doctors at Lakeshore Peds were in Florida. Of course they were, it's spring break! Truly, no hard feeling here though. They work super hard and deserve a vacation just as much ad the next person. However, do they all have to take off at the same time?!? Sorry, I digress...

Emma woke complaining of an ear ache and she laid on the floor crying for 45 minutes before we left the house. She didn't understand why we had to go to my scheduled OB appointment before she could see the doctor. Hard thing to explain to a little one who doesn't feel good. Easton had been dealing with a cough and icky nose for a week at this point so I figure might as well go for the whole full experience and have both kids seen- too bad insurance companies don't offer a 2 for 1 deal!

Of course once we were in the room with the doctor, my child is suddenly chatty Kathy and looks like the picture of perfect health. Argh, why does this always happen? In the end, both kids were diagnosed with upper respiratory infections and ear aches. The doctor decided Emma was old enough to get by with Tylenol until it cleared up, but gave Easton a script. Cue whiny child who doesn't understand why her brother gets medicine and she does not. Why do they have to make that stuff taste good anyway?

Needless to say, we spent most of our week stuck at home indoors, thanks to disease and cold temperatures. We did have one adventure out to the Fredrick Meijer butterfly gardens with my mom and brothers. The kids loved it, although Easton could only handle so much of the tropical temperatures and crowds just like his momma. We also made a stop at Jesters Court to run out some energy before we headed back home. Here are a few pics from our trip.

Someone is such a poser sometimes- she kept stopping in random placing and asking me to take her picture- who's kid is this anyway?
She was our tour guide with her butterfly map.
Getting a closer look at the caterpillars
Grandma and Easton checking out some butterflies
Easton taking a break from the butterfly hothouse with momma.
We even ventured outside to explore the gardens.
Easton couldn't get down and explore with the big kids, but he was happy to take in nature from his seat in the stoller.
Emma taking a short break from play to say 'cheese' for mommy at Jester's Court
Easton having fun in the inflatables too
Spring break may not have gone according to my perfect plan, but few things do. It was a great reminder to enjoy the small things like renting movies and having picnics in the living room with my little loves. We don't have to do 'big' things to enjoy each other's company. And in the end I believe some of those moments will be the ones we remember most.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Another Addict in the Family

Ranch addict that is- I missed the photo op of him drinking it right out of the cup. Keeping it classy over here folks!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Easter Celebrations

Easter morning the kiddos opened their Easter baskets before our day got too crazy.

Then we headed off to church before hitting the road to my uncle's house to have lunch with my mom's side of the family. Of course, more Easter baskets and another egg hunt was involved.
Easton trying to get into everything- little turkey!

Emma and Papa Joe reading
Happy girl with another big basket
I got this cup thing under control mom

Looking for the 'good' eggs
Luckily Lindsey's happy to help Emma out.
Needless to say it was a crazy, hectic day filled with family, tired munchkins and stuffed bellies. We are so blessed- Hallelujah, He is risen!