I Have Four Small Children and a little trouble getting to Solla Sollew!!!!!!!!

Educational Games for 2-8 Year Olds

I guess toddlers are kind of like cats.  Put a box down, and in they go.

 Today little John David turns 3 months old.

I have no adorable new photo to post.  Check out Tuesday’s post for that.  He still looks the same.  ; )  I have no exciting new milestone news to share, and  I have no energy.  I DO have a horrible case of hay fever.
      Do you know what’s harder than taking care of four small children?  I do!  It’s taking care of four small children when your head feels like it’s going to explode.
….There was a moment today, there was a moment where I really could have lost it.  I’m quite surprised that I didn’t lose it, but I guess not much shocks me anymore.   I just want a moment of peace.  Maybe because I’m sick.  Maybe it’s because we’ve already been through so many antics already.  Maybe it’s just too much to ask….
     I was in John David’s room, changing Daniel’s poopy pull-up, John David was in his little floor gym crying, and Joshua and Caleb were jumping on the trampoline, in their swimming trunks, with the water hose.
As I shouted out the window for them to come inside and turn off the hose, I also noticed that Caleb’s only school shoes were beside the trampoline, drenched.  Then Joshua proudly announced that he was bringing me back my (only) salt shaker (empty and wet), and it had killed that slug “real good.”  Nice.

   Just yesterday I was thinking I was pretty much done potty training Dan.

He’d gone two days without wetting his underwear.  He even went #2 on the potty.  Today I made the mistake of letting him wear a pull-up all day.  I guess the sickness clouded my thinking.
  This has just been one of those days that beats you with a stick all day long.
  Every day I send the older boys to school.  It’d be a lot easier if they stayed home, and I could send John David and Daniel to school.  Those two are WORK.
  So anyway, it’s been three months.  John David is precious.  He’s a very good baby, and he’s super sweet and sociable.  His brothers all adore him.  At this particular moment, he’s a little cranky.  Caleb woke him from his nap as he went stomping up the stairs.
 Apparently Caleb didn’t approve of our making him clean up the backyard mess that he made.
  Fourth babies learn very quickly that the house just doesn’t revolve around them.
All of this reminds me of a really wonderful book by Dr. Seuss called I Had Trouble in Getting to Solla Sollew.
Best children’s book I’ve read in a while! Here are some quotes from the book:
“And I learned there are troubles of more than one kind
Some come from ahead and some come from behind”

First he tries to prevent problems from happening by standing guard:

“I’ll watch out for trouble in front and back sections by spinning my eyeballs in different directions.
I found this to be quite a difficult stunt, but now I was safe both in back and in front.”
….So he meets a man who tells him to move to Solla Sollew, where there are no troubles at all, or at last very few….and he encounters serious troubles in trying to get there, until finally he gets there and finds that he can’t even get into the town b/c the town is having trouble with the lock to the town, so the character finally decides:
“Then I started back home to the Valley of Vung
I know I’ll have troubles.  I’ll maybe get stung.
I’ll always have troubles.  I’ll maybe get bit.
By the Green-Headed Quail on the place where I sit.”
“But I’ve bought a big bat.  I’m all ready you see.
Now my troubles are going to have troubles with me!”

………….So the lesson here is that what I need is a BIG BAT!  Haaaaaa!  No, but really, I thought this was a great lesson for us all about facing up to our troubles, and right now I would say that I do have a few.
Here’s wishing you all a great weekend.  May none of you even need your bat.  I’ll have mine right here beside me.  ; )

“Even a child is known by his doings…”

Bargain Wednesday:
3 boys’ shirts, 2 pairs of boys’ shorts, 1 pair of tennis shoes in new condition, 1 pair of roller skates, and 1.5 bags of Swim Diapers ………..ALL FOR $24…….Hurray!

  Daniel and I had a morning out on the town today.  He is such a great sidekick.  I love that when I go out with him, I get compliments on how well behaved he is.  Of course, that’s not too difficult with only one child.  It’s when you have two little boys, wrestling with each other in public, that’s when it gets hard!!  I guess I have a couple more years before I have to do that with ‘littles’ again.  

  First, we went to Game Stop, priced the used Nintendo DS’s (still overpriced, if you ask me), and bought the boys a used game they can play on the PSP.  It was to fulfill a promise I’d made to Joshua….

   Be careful what you promise.  They never forget a word you say, when it is to their benefit!
***Best Library Kid Award***
    After Game Stop, we went to the library and picked out 12 books, at varying levels and interests to cover the wide variety of children we are accumulating…  Even at the library, Dan was a hit.  There was one two-year-old in the back throwing a fit, another one that fell and then screamed and screamed, and then there was Daniel…..sweetly putting together a puzzle and then pushing around his stroller, nice and quiet, as usual.  : )   
   I won’t lie.  It sure was nice to be the one with the sweet toddler b/c I have been in all of those other situations as well!!  I used to leave Caleb at my parents’ house every time I took Joshua to the library, when Caleb was Daniel’s age.  ……and that’s why living near grandparents is a DO!  
**Bargain Shopping with Dan**
  After the library, and a quick stop at Burger King b/c Daniel kept saying “eat”, and I had no food….we donated some items to the thrift store and did a little shopping as well.  Daniel played with lots of different toys at the store while I shopped, but he didn’t ask for a single, solitary thing.  LOVE this boy!
**Book Recommendation**
  Alan’s been wanting me to read Shepherding a Child’s Heart , by Tedd Tripp, for a while now.  Unfortunately, I hardly ever read anything these days, so I just now got around to it.  I had read the first few chapters and hadn’t seen any earth shaking ideas, so I was rather surprised when I got deeper into the book and it turned out to be AWESOME.

ALL parents should read this book.  But don’t judge it by the first few chapters.  Those are good too, but the practical, application part, is in Part II of the book.

  I’ve had a lot of trouble with Joshua and his attitude lately, but thanks to this book, I have a solid, uncomplicated, plan on how to deal with it!  I may share more about this book in a future blog post.  It’s that good.

my thank you note from Caleb.  : )
The picture is a little blurry for you to see the great details Joshua put into this picture he drew in Art class.  Alan and I were impressed.  They had to draw an illustration based on a book they read.  As you can probably tell, the story did involve the character becoming a major news story.  Those are reporters set up on the lawn, as well as news cameras flying overhead.

…And this is Joshua’s space rocket, from the Cub Scout Space Derby.  He named it “Knuckles Story Hey” (He spelled Hey ‘ha’).  The character drawing is of Knuckles, a Sonic the Hedgehog character.
Speaking of the Space Derby, my friend Amy sent me a really good picture of Joshua, Xavier, and Jack at the Space Derby.  However, it’s not available to upload from iPhoto….which reminds me of a new computer thing I’ve learned!  I have to restart my computer to view newly downloaded photos.  Isn’t that weird?  But at least I know how to fix it now.  I’ll post that photo next time, I guess!
Oh!  And last but not least…..Alan’s cousin, Alyson, came for a visit, and we had a great time.  Don’t let her young face fool you, Alyson is also a proud mommy of two littles, and she’s a GREAT mommy at that.   Thanks for taking time out of your trip to visit with us, Alyson!!

 Caleb’s monkey, Monkey Monkey, came along for dinner.  He’s had that monkey since he was 1 1/2.  Nonna bought it for him at the Pine Mountain safari place.

 No idea what was going on here…..but Daniel is admittedly cute…..not my most photogenic moment though…ha

 hehe  We love those crazy little boys!

Gardening Day

How cute is my most willing little helper!?

  I have mentioned before that my favorite parenting book is Large Family Logistics.

Two things I like most about this book:


1.)  It serves as a great reminder of the need to involve the children in chores.  It’s so easy to forget to do that, and there is literally more work at this job than I can do myself.


I actually had to remind the boys of that today at chore time.


“Joshua (he’s our whiner of the day), do you remember this week how you ran out of all your favorite pants to wear and how that made you feel?”


Joshua nodded pitifully, and I said, “Well, that’s what happens when no one helps me with the chores.”


Caleb and Daniel both dutifully did their chores with quickness and no complaining, so I of course also made sure I praised them for this, where today’s whiner could hear me.


I learned that in my short teacher’s training that I did in Texas:  the importance of praising the children doing the right thing, and you will quickly see the other children trying to follow suit.  It WORKS!


Now I do say TODAY’S whiner, b/c they each take turns with their whining.


Once Joshua calmed down, each time I gave him a task, he seemed to almost enjoy his job.  The hard part was getting past the fuss he put up.  So my goal for this week is to work Joshua well and get him past this whining and complaining problem.


You know, God doesn’t like whiners and complainers either.  Just think about how he handled those murmuring Israelites, wandering in the desert!



#2. The other thing I like so much about that book is the concept of assigning major tasks to each day.


Monday:  Laundry Day.  Obviously, in a ‘large’ family, you have to do 1-2 loads a day anyway, but laundry day helps you catch up on the laundry you’re behind on.


Tuesday:  Kitchen Day.  Extra cleaning and cooking in the kitchen


Wednesday:  Office Day:  filing, organizing office space, etc.


Thursday:  Errand Day:  the day for appointments, shopping, and various errands.


Friday:  Cleaning Day:  You still do basic chores like tidying up, dishes, and laundry everyday.  But cleaning day is when the vacuum and dust rag get used all over the house.


Saturday:  Gardening Day:  love this day, but still feel guilty about neglecting the mess in Alan’s office that needs to be addressed.


“You have no office,” you say?  Yes, you’re right.  We don’t even have a desk, so Alan has turned my dining room into his office, and he is constantly bringing in papers galore and leaving them on the very decorative buffet, you know, right where everyone who enters our house can see.


I have GOT to find a place to set up a desk for him before I go batty.  I already made him a huge drawer for all that stuff, and yet it’s all still on top of the buffet.    Therefore, no matter how much I straighten the house still looks messy.


Another goal for this week:  find solution to the Alan home office problem.


Today’s Gardening Day Fun:

I just added those hanging ferns a couple weeks ago.  And don’t you just love azalea season!?


This corner of our yard desperately needs some decorative plants, so I bought these three azalea bushes.  Now if I could just get Alan home during a daylight hour so he could help me dig the holes for them!  We don’t even own a shovel, so it’s not easy.  I dug half a hole today with a trowel.  I made Joshua help.




I think the concrete and the storage building got the most water, but the experience that he had from it was right on target.  : )

That was the most productive hour of our day.  Now it’s time for us to go to Joshua’s baseball game, followed by me taking the boys to a birthday party, while Alan studies for the Sunday school lesson he has to teach tomorrow.

   …..By the way, we bought a boat…..and yet we’re not sure when we’ll ever have time to actually use the boat.  Does life ever slow down?  We could really use a slow down!  I’ve kind of hurt myself a little, carrying Daniel around so much and just doing my job.  Therefore, I have come to a very unpleasant conclusion that it’s time for me to be more careful with this giant belly condition that I have and train Daniel to walk more.
    We’re still praying for all our family members in time of distress.  We love you!

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