Why I want to be just like my kindergartener when I grow up

Ya’ll. This boy! It’s like he’s good at everything I want to be good at. He leaves me with my mouth hanging wide open all the time. That little Daniel amazes me at every turn.

I want to be just like him!

Today I picked him up at school, and his teacher told me she thought he was getting sick.

I waved it off. He’s still getting over this cold they had.

“Mom,” he said, while he waited on the playground for his brothers to get out of school, “I need to go to the bathroom.” I sent him back into school to go to the bathroom.

20 minutes later, I was all, “Geesh, Daniel. You were in there forever.”

What a clueless mom I am.

Daniel handled it all like a champ. He came in, changed his clothes, and packed his suitcase all by himself because he’s going to Nana and Granddaddy’s house this weekend.

I forgot all about his teacher’s warning. I thoroughly didn’t have a clue.

Meanwhile, his fever was getting higher, and he was suffering from some sort of stomach virus.

Finally, he came into my room, laid on my bed, and said, “Mommy. My stomach hurts so bad. I don’t feel good. I might throw up.”

Boy, nothing gets your attention like that sentence does!

I felt him. He was on fire. I took his temp. Yep. Fever. I gave him Tylenol and a smidge of food and drink. I let him lie in bed and watch Home.

I look at his gigantic blue puppy dog eyes and adorable carrot top, and I just think, “Wow. Daniel. I want to be like you.”

I can’t tell you how often I stumble upon Daniel in a room, washing the mirrors or sweeping the floor. Not even kidding. This boy is better than me.

Yes, he is.

He’s a server. He loves to help people. He accomplishes all of his tasks to the best of his ability, and if he is ever lazy, I promise you he must be sleepy or sick.

So yes, I want to be just like him. He’s bold too. There’s a girl in his class that he likes. Does he torture her by pulling her hair and calling her names? Oh but no. Instead, he told her he wants to marry her and always sits by her. Thankfully, she is still his friend! Ha!

 

I love all my children the same. Adore them. They fill my heart with so much love and pride, and I see so much of myself in them. Every bit of shyness. That’s me. Every bit of laziness. Also me. Every bit of hiding in their room to read. So extremely me. Temper? Me.

But this? This sweet, loving, serving, hard-working little leprechaun? Maybe someday. Maybe someday that will be me too.

I love you, Daniel. Feel better soon.

 

 

This Christmas: 1st Year at Home, 1st Non Disaster Story

I guess you know which stocking is mine.

This might have been the easiest Christmas in 14 years of April and Alan family Christmases. We only had to travel two hours, and we woke up on Christmas morning IN OUR OWN HOUSE. Have you ever??? I mean, we had almost never!! Do you do this? Do other people do this every year??  It was so nice!

I mean have you read my other Christmas stories???

Our Nightmare Before Christmas

The Funeral, Christmas Trip

New Years in San Francisco

Well, I’m happy to tell you this is NOT one of those stories. We did go and see our families, but we were able to do all of that and still be at our own house on Christmas morning.

Around 7 or so a.m., we heard Boy #1 begin talking to Boy #2. They simply chatted calmly in bed. Some of the boys woke up the other boys. I don’t remember who got up first, but a miracle happened…..

No one came and jumped on us…..

They gathered themselves in the living room, just the four of them in the living room to patiently wait for their parents to get up.

Whaaa???? We were so pleased with all this that we didn’t make them wait. We went ahead and joined them.

My heart brimmed over with awe at the fact that they were all sitting in the living room, waiting patiently.

I love watching my children open their presents. Christmas is a whole other level of special for children. When is it that we lose that? Let’s get that back.

Caleb, opening a present they WEREN’T expecting: Lego Dimensions

Yes, he’s actually CLAPPING. He’s so excited. There were a few To: Caleb and Daniel presents this year. They may look ages apart, but it’s actually only a 3 year gap. Some kids are tall. Some kids are shorter.

SO HAPPY

Be sure to see the 50 second JD video on Facebook, and share in the excitement.

We all went to church together. It was nice, though nothing topped the Christmas Eve service.

Christmas Eve service

There was something about the meaning in lighting these candles and taking communion with so many fellow believers that made Christmas more real to me this year. We sang Silent Night, and I wanted this moment to never end.

Too quickly, we were all headed back to our houses when so often I just want to curl up at the altar and soak it all in…

But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”       Luke 2:10-12

…But it was back to Christmas as usual, and I can’t help but wonder. Are we entering a new phase of our lives?  There simply isn’t a BABY anymore. JD is 3 1/2 now. No one is a baby. Life is c-a-l-m-i-n-g down. No one wore a diaper, no one carried a sippy cup, and no one got out of their seat. No one even colored on himself.

Wow.

I think I might cry!

No one was sick this Christmas either. JD caught a cold, accompanied by a very pink eye, but even that ended in two days.

OH, and guess what! Once Christmas day was over, Alan took my minivan to the shop, and I now have a clean minivan, with a heater that heats, and a functioning defroster! Somebody get this man a trophy!!

I feel like we just had the perfect Christmas. I can safely say that because Christmas is fully over. Saying Christmas was perfect can’t possibly jinx it now.

Of course, I did find one baby to hold.

Ah, sparkling pretty lights. I may never take my Christmas tree down. Plus, I’m hoping Alan will do it for me. Hmmm…I wonder if Alan is hoping that I will do it. I seriously don’t even want it taken down. Let’s just leave it up until next Christmas!

Hallelujah! And may we never forget what it’s all about. This is an incredible excerpt from the Passion of the Christ. You do have to click the link to YouTube to watch, but it’s so worth it:

 

Wishing you all a blessed 2017! May your kids behave. May your rain be snow, and may all your prayers be answered.

13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”        Luke 2:13-14

“Get help when you need it” is my new motto.

Y’all know it was a rough year for me, physically. Thankfully, everything turned out to be mostly okay. I just have a few chronic conditions to manage, but it’s all under control now, and I have a good outlook.

A brilliant thought came to me the other week, as I was putting on my rain boots, Alan’s rain jacket, and heading out to shut the trashcan lid and bring it in from the pouring rain.

“What am I doing??? Why am I trying to do so much???”

“People used to have lots of children, especially wanting BOYS, ON PURPOSE so that they could have lots of workers for their farm! Here I have all these workers, and yet I’m putting on rain boots to go out in THAT??”

I turned to Caleb, who was playing Monopoly with Daniel, “Caleb, why don’t you put on my rain boots and go bring the trash cans in for me? The lid is open, and remember, Dad wanted y’all to take care of that.”

Caleb grinned—I’m not making this up. I was so relieved!– “Okay, Mom! Let me finish this turn with Daniel. Then I’ll head right out there.”

And he did! I was so excited. I stood at the garage door and filmed him going out in that rain, closing up the can, and rolling them back to the house.

Hmmmm….I could get used to this!

I’ve been looking for more ways to harness their power lately. Did you know that both my 2 oldest are 11 and 9 respectively, and they can both beat me at arm wrestling? I challenged them recently after Caleb proclaimed himself the 3rd strongest person in our family.

What!? I may not be much, but I’m stronger than a 3rd grader!

“Well, Caleb, if you are #3, who is #1 and 2??”

“Dad is the strongest. Then Joshua. Then me. Then you…”

“Oh, really, well, I think we should arm wrestle because I am stronger than you think!”

Yeah….no, I’m not actually, as it turned out.

Joshua can even do pull-ups now. We have a pull-up bar, and he practices incessantly. We had to move it out of Alan’s closet just to get Joshua out of our room.

And guess what Alan did the other week? He couldn’t take my messy, disorganized closet anymore, so he cleaned it up for me:

working hard

And the After:

After. That stack of clothes in the floor are the ones that are only 1 size too small. I’m holding out hope. Roll your eyes, but I seem to go up and down a size every season. Plus my hip swells and un-swells with the pain, so this isn’t unrealistic.

And of course, what would I have done this fall without Nonna and Nana helping when Alan was out of town? I am so over “toughing it out.” Stress makes people sick. Get help when you need it is my new motto!

Nana and Daniel

I also never have to carry my own groceries in anymore. We’ve been training them for years. Now I don’t even have to say anything. I just get home and pop the trunk. Sadly, I’m on my own when I shop during school hours.

Even Dan does his part.

Thank you all for being a part of our village. I hope you will get help when you need it too! That’s what we are all here for, to help each other out.

28 “Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need.”

Ephesians 4:28

 

10″ God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.”   Hebrews 6:10

Merry Christmas! Have you signed up for our newsletter yet? It goes out every 2 weeks and has stories that are not on the blog. This week’s is an inspiring story about this Christmas tree:

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