Wednesday, April 26, 2017

My Name is Mandy and I struggle with ANGER

It was a surprising day for me when I found out about all this anger and bitterness that was rooted deep inside of me.  It just sprang up out of me all of a sudden.  I never thought that my own children would be the catalyst in me expressing just how angry of a person I was, but they were.  I taught 6 and 7 year olds, a lot of them, all at once, in one small room.  It was like a circus all the time.  I often felt like I lived in crazy town when I taught and while I did get mad and irritated at times, I never remember seeing my anger explode out of me like I have with my own flesh and blood.

I remember the first time I got really angry as a mother.  Ava was maybe 8 months old and would not eat.  She refused anything I would give her.  After a few days of this, I started to get worried and my worry can often come out as anger.   Anyway, I remember being so rude to this sweet little 8 month old and I remember thinking that she was being defiant.  I had even convinced Curtis that she was trying to drive me crazy with her not eating because she knew how important it was for me as a mom to have her eat and she wanted to be disobedient.  So, a few more days passed and she still wasn't eating.  I took her into the doctor and she had an oral virus.  She wasn't eating because it hurt to eat and I was being so hard on her and not a nice mommy at all.

And then, I had Sally.  She tops the cake.  No-one can get me angry like this child.  She is stubborn and so strong willed.  I know those of you who talk to me on a regular basis hear me say this all the time and I know most of you will see some of her behaviors.  But, you only see a glimpse of what life is like with her.  She is hard.  Hard.  Haaaaaaaaaard.  She cries or whines the majority of the day, and waking up to it and hearing her go to bed like that is not pleasant.  Noises never seemed to bother me, not in a chaotic classroom filled with 25 different little voices all needing something at the same time.  I mean, I never thought noises bothered me.  The bunches of toys that the girls have that all talk or play music or whatever, those don't bother me.  But the whining and nagging and crying sound of Sally's voice really grates on my every. last. nerve.

I know that isn't a nice thing to say.  I wish I didn't feel that way.  And I have felt that way so much of the time.  Too much of the time.  Most of the time.

And that is when I get angry.  And it isn't pretty.  I hate it about me.  I don't even really know where it truly stems from.

Today has been brutal.  This week has been brutal.  It has been depleting.  I have tried really hard to absorb my mind, eyes, and ears with all things pleasing and good and godly and I feel like all I have done this week is fail.  One miserable failure after another.  I cried out to God today telling Him how upset I was, how hopeless I felt, how I felt like maybe I wasn't cut out to do this mom thing, after all.

I am not sharing this for anyone to feel sorry for me.  I am writing this because I am tired of being "fake".  I am tired of the fake ness all over social media.  I am tired of pretending things are perfect, which I have never really done, but there is so much perfection that surrounds me and I can't take it anymore.

We all are broken some where and in some way.  We all have our sin nature.  Anger happens to be one of mine.  And I know I am not alone.  When Revive our Hearts does a 4 day podcast on "pitchin a fit" you know that you are bearing this struggle along with other moms and dads.  I don't say that to justify my behavior.  While I know it is ok to have the angry emotion, it is not ok to act out sinfully in anger.  When Sally is having one of the millionth moments in a day, I get so angry and when I think about what I am angry about, I think about how long will this be my life and my experience with her?  Will this ever end?  Will God use this for His glory?  I am ruining her for life?  And the list and thoughts go on and on.

I am sharing my struggle with you all so maybe others will find comfort that they are not alone.  That it is ok to be real.  To be honest.  It is ok that we all have brokenness. My brokenness can be and will be made beautiful in God's perfect timing.  If I weren't broken then there would be no need for Jesus, and we all know I desperately need Him.  He makes His Power perfect in my weakness.  Where I am weak, He is strong.

I want to share one other thing with you.  I am working really hard to get to the root of these issues.  I don't want to live my life angry, I don't want my anger to be the majority of the experiences my family has with me, and I don't want to give this part of me to my kids.  I am in recovery for my anger and have begun a step study through Celebrate Recovery for it.

This week has been a doozy.  I know we are all muddling through something in our lives.  I know I am not alone.  Shed some light on your brokenness.  There is beauty to behold there.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Evie 14 months

Evelyn, 14 months old and you are just growing and growing.  I really LOVE this age.  It is a lot of fun.  You are super curious.  You are super sweet.  You are super fast.

I really slacked off this month on getting pictures of you.  I am sorry.

Here are some fun, cute things about you this month:

  • You are the cutest when you walk towards me with a big smile and your arms outstretched.  I melt.  
  • You love to go play and then come in and check on me with a tight hug around the leg.
  • You love to dance and try and sing to music. 
  • You love the song Feel It by Toby Mac.  
  • You love to escape with remotes and phones.  
  • You chew on everything.  
  • You put everything in your mouth.
  • You ate potting soil the other day.
  • You love your new independence with playing in the playroom.
  • You are clingy to mommy and prefer to be held by mommy.  
  • You are drinking from a sippy cup, but you like a bottle to have your morning milk as soon as you wake up.  

You are eating pretty much everything you are given.  You do have an aversion to several green things.  You aren't a fan of peas and cucumbers. But you will eat broccoli.  You ❤️ LOVE ❤️ grapes🍇!!!!  You love bread and crackers, cheese quesadillas, peanut butter sandwiches, breakfast bars, milk, turkey and many other things.

You get pretty bad eczema.  So, we have to lather you down every night with aquaphor.  Because of your skin issues you get a bath every other night.

You are getting lots and lots of teeth.  But you have been a trooper about it.

This is one of your favorite hanging out spots.  

playing in the cabinet with Sally Jean

Love your squishy face!

We are so blessed to have you.  You are a mess.  But a lovable one!  I don't know what I would do without you.

March-April 2017

Wow! March was certainly a month that will not be forgotten soon.  I think we have had almost 5 full weeks of someone being sick.  It all started with Curtis, then me, then Sally with several things, then Ava, and now Miss Evelyn.  I keep wondering when and if it will ever end.  We are totally looking forward to an end here hopefully soon, but if not, God is still there.

One thing I have learned through all this is how He does provide you with what you need to get through any and all circumstances.  I have had mostly positive thinking through all this.  He has kept me grounded and thankful.  There have been some days that were more difficult than others because being isolated is not my favorite.  He did provide some moments for me to get out here and there and I am truly thankful for that.

In this house, with the kids so small and touching everything and everyone and not understanding boundaries, it is only a matter of time until the sick one passes it on to the next and so on.  I am hoping and praying for God to put a shield around me so I don't get the sickness the girls have had because I  think it would take me out for a day or two and I need to be rested and well to take care of the girls.  Anyway, so far I have been protected.  Hand washing has become my best friend and my worst enemy.  It has kept me well, but my hands are so dry right now.

In other news, the girls and I used our time at home wisely diving into preschool.  We did many things this month,  We did some activities that were dealing with Dr. Seuss.

We started learning about the letter K and snakes because Ava had snakes on the brain.  We made snakes and decorated them, painted them, and did one with a pattern (except Sally.  I just let her decorate all her snakes.) We also put a snake in number order starting at one and ending at 10.
Ava did an AB pattern with flowers and hearts.
Sally had fun decorating with foam stickers.

Number order snake
We love Letter of the Week from Confessions of a Homeschooler.  We did the kite activity.  Ava had to put the number of kite bows on the string that matched the number on the kite.  We also did the Big and Little Kk kite sort.  

Ava also used the Letter of the Week from Confessions of a Homeschooler to graph.  She had to count the number of bows on the kite and color in that many blocks.  

Here they used the Letter of the week from Confessions of a Homeschooler to dot paint the letter K and trace the letter K.  They trace the letter at the beginning of each day.  I usually get Sally on board with anything involving dot paints, stickers, glitter, glue and scissors.  So, she loves the dot paints.  

We do Calendar and Circle time each day.  We sing the Days of the Week song, Months of the year song, a couple others.  We go over our shapes and numbers.  We also are beginning to learn about coins.  We are currently working on recognizing them and knowing their worth.  Soon, we will begin counting pennies.  We also learn a Bible verse during this time, read a Bible story and read a few others stories.  We always read a book for fun and one that is about whatever we are learning about.  So this week, it was snakes.  

Ava is learning scissors skills which are a lot harder to teach than I realized.  My students always came to me knowing how to do this.  I give the Preschool and Kindergarten teachers praise for teaching this to the kids.  It is not an easy motor skill for them to grasp (at least not overnight).  

Ava is working on some sight words.  This is her least favorite thing to do at school.  I am currently working on some ideas to make this more fun and interesting for her.  
 I found this pattern sheet from  Ava loves to work on patterns and is starting to get the hang of it.

Some of their work from Dr. Seuss and St. Patricks Day. 
Hung our snakes on the wall. 

Ava traced her hand all by herself and added
rings to each finger.  

Some of their snakes they decorated.  

Next week we will begin working on the letter L and doing some spring and Easter activities.

Hoping we are on the other side of all the sickness soon!