Cuddle Alarm

Cuddle Alarm

Skinnybutt and I don’t get much one on one time together. The last “date” we had was on our anniversary, that we went with a church group to see David Jeremiah. It was an enjoyable time.

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We do put the kids to bed early so we can get one on one time then. But that doesn’t always work. Both of us being in school full time, me prepping school for Thumper and Flounder, and normal housework. Not much time is left for him and I.

Knowing that not putting effort into a relationship isn’t good. And beside God, Skinnybutt is my most important relationship. But its hard to give, when your burnt out from the day. This is a true statement from both of us, we are just burnt out and depleted by the time we have a moment to feed each other love.

Hearing this you might think that we don’t spend anytime together. We do! Oh yes we do! We cook dinner together, ride in the car together, have dinner and all meals together on weekends. We discuss our budget, our kids, our school, his work, my blog, we talk. But we aren’t feeding our love languages.

Skinnybutts love language is by far personal touch. Which, after being touched all day by little humans, I don’t have the energy to fill my husbands love tank. I would cuddle, but it would last for 3.5 seconds, he wasn’t content, I was frustrated, sleeping was a nightmare.

But…. we found a solution! It was by accident, or maybe purpose. Someone likes to set his alarm so he can hit the snooze button. I’m not faulting my husband for this, I think we all still to this day just want “ten extra minutes.” So he went for thirty extra minutes, because well, he likes to annoy me (I really don’t know why, just a guess.)  Because when you don’t need to get up at a set time, WHO likes to hear an alarm clock for 30 minutes to go off every 10 minutes. It disrupts my sleep, and I obliged to tell him this.

Something had to change, I don’t know if it was him or if it was me, but one morning when the alarm went off in the morning someone cuddled up to the other one. I wish I could take credit for it, but I really don’t know who started it. This went on for a while, and then we missed cuddle time. Results from missing one day: Disastrous.  We both noticed a difference in our day! Something was off. We missed our cuddles. Luckily, we realized that this cuddle time was making a difference in our marriage.

Now we set a “cuddle alarm”. Yes, we set it to go off thirty minutes before we need to get up. Then we have another alarm set for when we have to get up. We cuddle for that thirty minutes without disruption of other alarms. He gets his love tank filled, mine gets filled. We start our day off full, from whom we want the love from the most. We both get a better start to the day. And the kids get the benefit of it too.

Pinterest Perfect Husband.

My husband does all the things a perfect husband does. He is perfect and doesn’t have any flaws. Absolutely prefect in everyday, kind of like Mary Poppins but a guy.

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And then I woke up from my dream looked at Skinnybutt and rolled over.

I married him, why you ask? Sometimes I ask myself the same question (which I’m sure he does about me too.) This is why we recently got a dog. This isn’t really the reason but at times it can feel like it.

Some might have the impression that I do have a perfect husband. I’ve been asked to train other husbands before, like they are dogs or something. I can only think this is because I very rarely speaking publicly negative about him.

Its not that he doesn’t do wrong, because he does. Its not that he doesn’t have fault, because he has those too. He even makes me mad! He isn’t Mary Poppins, or the Doctor (or any time lord for that matter.) But I married him for better or worse, and I truly meant it.

Proverbs 12:14 states:
A capable wife[a] is her husband’s crown,
but a wife who causes shame
is like rottenness in his bones.

 

When we continuously speak negative about our husbands, it brings shame to him. He might never know it, but people will look at him differently. And ladies we don’t want that. We should be striving to lifting him up, and encouraging him.

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Good Daddy, carrying for baby, giving mommy a break in Lake Placid NY. 

Skinnybutt is a good husband and father to our children. But if I would go around saying how he doesn’t help me, doesn’t look after his children (he does do both of these things when he is not traveling for work.)  It wouldn’t be good for him or our marriage. People, even kind loving people, would look at him differently. I do not want that for him at all. I do not want to cause him rottenness. When I constantly complain about him, thats what starts to happen, rottenness shows up. We don’t intend for our husbands to be looked at differently, but its that whole cause and effect thing that happens. Lets face it rottenness stinks!

I still say, its ok to have a few close friends who know what is going on if there are problems. Truthfully the Lord is the best person to go to with all of our situations. He shows us how to handle them, with His grace and His forgiveness. Because we can’t do it alone, we need His strength.

The other thing I have noticed personally, when I point out his good qualities to others, I notice the good things more. Its easier to deal with the things I do not like. I also can not change my husband at all, and need to remember that. It isn’t the easiest think for me to remember. Our husbands Heavenly Father, is the only one who can change the man we married.

Pinterest Perfect!

*names have been changed in this post for privacy*

I have a friend who has some struggles going on. Marriage problems, children anxieties, and learning struggles. She has very few people that she has confines in about these issues.

She shared some recent updates with these friends and was told, that “they tell me I need to stop being negative and should only speak positive words about Samuel because that is what God wants.”

She then asked me: am I wrong to think I should be able to confide in friends or does God really want me to pretend nothing is wrong and everything is my life is right and be fake?

I want to focus on the second part of the question first. does God really want me to pretend nothing is wrong and everything is my life is right and be fake?

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Confession time.

“Hi, My name is Vanessa, and I do not have a pinterest perfect life.” Okay, now everyone else do the same thing, but put your name there. Isn’t it freeing?

God, made us each unique. He made us each special. He gave us each challenges, and each victories. It (Bible) does not say that he made us perfect. Only one human to walk this earth has been perfect and that is Jesus Christ.

With social media, we can put it out there that we are perfect. Guess what we aren’t. Now say it again, “Hi my names is _______, and I do not have a Pinterest perfect life.”

Back to the first part of the question Am I wrong to think I should be able to confide in friends?

We should be able to confide in our GODLY friends. But first… we must seek Gods comfort. 

Palms 119:105 “your word is a lamp to my fee and a light to my path. “

We can’t navigate our struggles without His lamp. We can attempt to do so, but please be prepared for a very bumpy unpleasant ride.

Proverbs 11:14 Where there is no counsel the people will fail. But in the multitude of counselors there is safety.

Let us choose the counselors carefully.

Proverbs 1:5 A man of understanding will obtain wise counsel.

We aren’t supposed to pick any Jane, Jim, Jo, or Jerry off the street to give us counsel. We are supposed to look for wise counsel. Here is the part to remember. Wisdom comes from the Lord. Look for friends who look to the Lord for their wisdom, and not the world.

We need accountability partners. Galations 6:1 tells us that, and in Galatians 6:2 is says to carry each other burdens.

So yes it is ok to confine in friends (Godly) and to not pretend that everything is A-OK. When we confined in them, we can have an accountability partner. And not every friend is up to that, make sure that is something that they want to do. Its perfectly fine to be real, be truthful, authentic about a situation. Life is messy and beautiful, and to goes both ways. We aren’t perfect, so we can’t expect to have a perfect life, only one was perfect and look at how the world punished Him!

I want to add there will be a part II to this, to cover:
they tell me I need to stop being negative and should only speak positive words about John  because that is what God wants

 

 

 

 

I feel like we are on track. Then I get on Pinterest, and I LOVE pinterest. I could spend all day on there. Yep, way to much time, its my new Facebook addiction.

I look at those stupid list of what your kid is supposed to know by when. And then BAM all confidence is lost. Thumper knows a lot of stuff, but yes we could say we might be lacking in some areas. One list says to know the directionals (north, south, east, west) from your home! So the front door points east or west? I’m not sure, I don’t pay attention.

WHO MAKES THESE LIST?  WHO SAYS WHAT NEEDS TO BE KNOWN BY WHEN?
(yes I know I’m yelling, but dang gone-it, its frustrating!)

These are the moments when I say I’m done, and when I don’t want to homeschool, cause I feel like I’m missing teaching something to my kids. So now is time for a change of plan. We are going to continue using the curiculum we are using. But I know that has to change. And I need a guide of what I need to teach.

I found a book. Which is essentially another list. But it also lets me know, that every child isn’t the same, and its okay to find the niche that your child needs to learn. She or he will learn everything need be, but you just aren’t going to do it like the schools.

For some reason and maybe its cause I was schooled at school, I think that is what homeschool is supposed to look like. I’m learning its not, and your also taking that journey with me. (Thanks for not pointing out my improper grammar, and incorrect spellings.)

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Its hard to do this change, and remember day in and day out that it isn’t the same as public school, its OUR school at home. Better yet: Its OUR school at OUR home. OUR HOMESCHOOL. And I need to declare this each day. Each and everyday.

We talked about this after school the other day, as Thumper had a meltdown. We were trying to explain that this is our school, and we get to name it and everything. Asking her what she wanted to name it, made her eyes light up! She had decided on Princess School. So she was reminded that she had brothers, and they might not want to attend “Princess School.” New name: Princess and Prince school.

So there we have it, our school is called Princess and Prince school. Which is rather fitting since we are daughters and sons of a King.

2 Corinthians 6:18 (HCSB)
I will be a Father to you, and you will be sons and daughters to Me, says the Lord Almighty.

Why would you say that?

Having four small kids, you hear a lot of words, from a lot of different people. Some good, some bad, some that makes you laugh, some that makes you cry, some that gives you confidence and some that makes you feel like a failure. Words that are said can make you feel a lot of different ways.

Today someone actually said “I’m sorry for you,” when I mentioned that we homeschool. I’m sorry, but please don’t feel sorry for me.

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I’ve been called home, to teach my children. Yes there are days I’m at the end of my rope with them, (yesterday to be truthful.) There are days, that I couldn’t be happier to have them all, and want 4 more! But even on my worst of worst days, don’t feel “sorry” for me.

I have four healthy, rambunctious little kids. Gifts from God, don’t feel sorry for me.

I have enough food to feed them all, don’t feel sorry for me.

They all have their own beds and pillows and blankets and lovies, don’t feel sorry for me.

They have enough toys that they could have 5 more siblings and still have more than enough for each to play with, don’t feel sorry for me.

Please don’t feel sorry for me, because I’m able to stay at home, teach my child, and spend time with them. Precious time, because we don’t know how long we have till we are all called to our true home.

I’ve even been told that “I pity you.” Why do you pity me? Yes right now in this moment, Boo and Flounder are wrestling in the church fellowship hall and shouldn’t be. Mom is ready for bed time (because Sundays seem to not be the day of rest for me as a Mom.) But don’t pity me, because GOD our heavenly father decided I needed four children in less than 5 years apart in age. Don’t worry sometimes I think He is trying to be a comedian, but I know He knows best. I pray I’m doing Him just, in how we are raising HIS children.


James 1:17 (NLT)

Whatever is good and perfect comes down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow.

So please don’t pity me or feel sorry for me, to have GODS children running around my home. Yes, I may need a break from time to time, and that is okay, we all need our rest. So if you do feel sorry for me, offer me a hand of help (I need to take a nap too.)

Why we aren’t going to test…

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Mommy intuition is best, it really is. I remember having the same feeling with her speech as I did with her reading. It was right, at 12 months old, just as it was correct at 6 years old. Something is wrong. The doctor finally listened to me at the age of 2 for her speech and had an evaluation done. She was over six months behind so she qualified for speech therapy. Official diagnosis is “Speech Apraxia.” I’m not an expert in that at all, lets just say, she was frustrated that she knew what she wanted to say, but couldn’t say it. She was so frustrated she hit herself in the head! Her parents were frustrated too, and I’ll never forget her walking out of therapy and finally saying “MOM!” Yes, the angels sang that day.

I was relieved when the teacher who did an eval on Thumper saw the same thing I did.

So mommy intuition did its job again, something was wrong. I knew it, Skinnybutt knew it, and Thumper also knew it. Flounder may have picked it up too, we still aren’t sure what goes threw that boys head. Either way, we knew something had to change. When the teacher said “I can see what you and your husband are talking about.” I knew what it was, but I had no clue how to help her. Which is why I sought guidance of others. 

My first reaction was “LETS TEST!” Find out exactly what is going on. Then, reality hit.

I’ve been the kid who was tested, I’ve been the kid who knew something wasn’t right, I’ve been there done that, and I don’t want my kid to do that.

Part of our reason for homeschooling, is going at our pace. Testing, is just another way to go at the schools pace. Yes, she isn’t with her peers in public school, but does that matter. I’ve been told as long as you make a years worth of progress, your on track. And hey, I’m shooting for that. Her curriculum went way to fast for her, and I see that now. SO, we have adapted that to our needs, our pace, more importantly HER pace.
Testing DOES NOT tell you how to help her. Guess what, the teachers are still playing roulette with what works and what doesn’t. Each kid is different, and that is the other reason we homeschool. We can teach to each child’s needs, talents, and struggles.

Since we homeschool, we don’t need to test. We don’t need that diagnosis to get her help. We need to be adaptive to her needs, and work with how she was made by the Heavenly Father.

Ephesians 2:10New International Version (NIV)

10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

I like to think that, this is one of those Good works that Jesus created me to do, help my daughter. I do my best to remember that she is His handiworks, and not my own.

After the toss

I started this over two weeks ago… 

We threw it out last week, and what an improvement we have seen. That is to say, that it hasn’t been easy figuring out the new routine. I’ve spent time in tears over this!

We went to the school to do testing on Thumper, they couldn’t actually test, but could give their opinion on where she is. She is behind on her peers, and the teacher could see the same looks of confusion or frustration on her face. My heart broke, hearing this.

If you think that teaching doesn’t get harder till the subjects are hard, boy are you mistaken.

Knowing that these are the beginning of a lifetime of learning, and not wanting it to be frustration, for your child isn’t always an easy task. Luckily I have some women that I have met here, who are willing to help me see how to teach her.

So we back tracked. We went way back to where she is now saying “ITS TO EASY MOM!” My response, “thats fine, just keep doing it.”

She never learned word families. She never learned that cat and hat have the same ending. I don’t know how, she can sound out like a pro, but to read a 50 word book takes about an hour. Because its every word she sounds out! We didn’t learn sight words, and we still aren’t. But we are working on those families.

We didn’t learn simple sentences, she has beautiful hand writing. She can copy a proverb like a pro, or a sentence on a work sheet. But to put thought to paper she couldn’t do.

I don’t believe that we have all the answers yet, and in another month I’m going to have to flip flop around again. Eventually we will get to where we are doing some of our curriculum reading agin, in the mean time I will read her the Bible reader.

I do want to say, that if you are homeschooling and finding trouble, stop and regroup. Its not easy to say “This isn’t working and its supposed to.” But sometimes that stop is for the best. The beauty of homeschool is we don’t have to teach one way, we can do as many approaches as needed, even if its watching Word World all day long (Yes we have done this in the past week.)

Update from 1/28/2016

I wanted to share this, incase anyone else needs some help stopping, regrouping, and restarting…

We are still having great success with her reading! She actually read Skinnybutt three books, the other day. This was her choice to do this! No prodding, fighting or tears. She is also, looking at books that are more advanced for her reading level, but looking and trying to figure it out. School takes two hours instead of four since, we aren’t crying for 2 hours, and breaking every ten minutes. I’m not as stressed about teaching her too!