The 15 Best Things About Having All Boys

The 15 Best Things About Having All Boys

The 15 Best Things About Having All Boys

This week I happened upon a super cute post by Janine Huldie titled The 8 Best Things About Having All Girls.

I had to read it! I needed a sneak peek into what that world is like because, mamas, the view over here, in my house of many little men, is a whole lot different!

Janine wrote a great article. You should totally go read it.

The 15 Best Things About Having All Boys

Things I stumble upon while the boys are at school. I feel certain there is a very important conversation going on here.

Naturally, Janine’s list inspired me to type out my own best things about having all boys, a life I never dreamed of having. Never in a million years did I plan to be a mom of all boys. No, I was not a tom boy. No. I never played a sport, unless you count cheerleading or church league volleyball, or gymnastics…….okay so really it would be more accurate to say I was never into sports.

I don’t fish, touch worms, or laugh at bathroom jokes, and I love everything sparkly and glittery. My toy of choice was Barbie dolls, and I’ve never made a mud pie in my life.

I was never a wuss either. I grew up climbing trees and doing bicycle stunts, and by the way, I killed a snake once.

But oh man, this world of testosterone I’m living in now is a unique ADVENTURE. Here are the 15 BEST things I could think of about having all boys. 

15 Best things about having all boys

#1. Their clothes are cheap, and you don’t have to buy that much.

It’s so easy. For setting my oldest 2 up for spring/summer, I bought them each a new pair of tennis shoes, gym shorts, a pair of camo shorts, sleeveless tees, one nice shirt a piece, and that was it. I was done. The others have handed down clothes.

#2. All boys want to be Batman.

Not even kidding. They have all gone through the Batman phase. They have all worn the costume. It’s universal, and it is the cutest thing ever.

15 Best things about having all boys

#3. The Hair

Wet it. Comb it. Done. So easy. Very little room for drama.

#4. Going to the Bathroom Alone

Once they are fully toilet trained, and they have a big brother to escort them, you are done.  Will you ever see me in the bathroom with a little person sidekick? Nope. Am I the one who has to take them to wash their hands at restaurants? Nope. All Daddy. And when Daddy isn’t there, I send them in pairs, with my oldest son. I’m a free woman.

#5. Bug Squashers

They squash the bugs for me. Never have I had to hear someone flipping out because they ran across a bug. They live for getting to squash pests. I’ve seen them kill spiders with their bare hands.

#6. They don’t expect me to play with them much.

Does that sound mean? Don’t worry. I promise I do play with them sometimes, a little. I’ll play board games or occasionally jump on the trampoline, and I love to read to them. But no one asks me to spend a bunch of time at a tea-less tea party or dressing a Barbie doll. I’ll even color, but thankfully, no one expects me to play pretend, which is a relief! They know my interests are a little different than theirs, and they play basketball or super heroes without me.

 

15 Best things about having all boys

#7. Boys love their mama.

“I’m riding with Mom!”

“No! I want Mommy do it!”

Mom. Mom. Mom. We are still at the golden age where it’s still all about mom.

#8. The hugs!

I’m sure girls are very affectionate too, but I just adore the way little boys are so physical. That means lots of wrestling with their dad, but lots of hugs for mom.

#9. The laid back atmosphere!

When you are dealing with a house full of dudes, the approach to social functions, free time, vacation, etc., etc. is seriously laid back. There’s not a person in the house that cannot get up and ready in just a few minutes, if necessary.

#10.Their toys are simple.

Hot Wheels. Action figures. Trains. Baseball cards. Skylanders. Done. No need for a billion tiny Shopkins pieces. No need for a $200 doll with a $40 dress.

#11. Hand-me-downs

I have 4 boys, but I actually only have to buy a full wardrobe for 1 of them, and then I get quadruple my money’s worth out of each item they don’t destroy.

#12. Body guards

I do feel extra safe already when I go walking with one of my already-over-5 feet tall and 100 pounds pre-teen boys. Just imagine how much more like a body-guard they will be in just a couple more years! We strut across those parking lots like we own the place.

#13. They’ve made me less prim and proper.

Yeah…. I can say “Everybody get their butts in the car” as loudly as I want because frankly, they love the word butt. It makes them soooo happy.

Me, showing off all my newest Crimson Tide jewelry.

#14. I get to focus all of my fashion efforts on my OWN wardrobe.

Who has the cutest Lula Roe leggings outfits in this house? Yep. It’s me.  Who has pretty colored hair clips? Again, me. And until the boys get married, I get to be the prettiest girl in this house.

and last but not least…..

 

#15. No crafting requirement

I don’t craft, nor do I ever have to craft again. A friend of mine, who is a girl mom, said that the girl moms make bows and do crafts at play dates. I don’t know if that’s true, but I was horrified at the idea of doing anything other than laughing loudly at playdates.

I hope you got a couple of good chuckles out of this list. Being a boy mom is a treasure. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. Whatever your situation is, it has to be THE BEST, because we only get one go at life. Might as well enjoy it.

Are you a boy mom or a both mom? Be sure to check out Janine’s list if you’re a girl mom! I enjoyed her insight.

 

 

Hobbies

hobbies

I love hobbies, and I love seeing how each of my children have different hobbies that they enjoy.

We do a lot of different things around here. Work pays the bills and can be very satisfying, but there’s something about a hobby that inspires people. Sometimes you are lucky enough to find a hobby that becomes your work, but even if you don’t, you still need a good hobby.

Hobbies are the spice of life. We have a wide variety, and I’ve noticed everyone has been very active with their hobbies around here lately.

 

3 hobbies in one pic: badminton, hanging out with friends, and RVing. I love it all.

Okay, no, actually, I think I’d be incredibly nervous on an RV. They look fun, but I don’t know. I’ve never done it.

He dressed up as a Star Wars character. I told him, “You might want to change because you have to go inside with me to pick up John David, and there will be lots of kids there. But you can wear that if you want to.”

“Yes! Yes! I want to wear this!”

….And then we pulled into the parking lot, and he chickened out. I had to stand and wait for him to pull the costume off. He had his regular clothes on underneath.

This is the same kid that went to a basketball game in full Batman costume, so I didn’t put it past him to wear the storm trooper outfit.

There’s something special about baking cookies with your mom. This was an activity my brother and I did a lot when we were growing up, and I’m so thankful we did because I was well prepared to spend my life in the kitchen feeding all these boys!

I found this shirt at the local farmer’s market. Does shopping count as a hobby? Well, supporting my favorite baseball player does, and I don’t mean Bryce Harper. I do mean my Daniel.

This is a hobby I was completely unfamiliar with until Caleb came along. I don’t even care to learn really, though I’m sure eventually I will, for Caleb and Daniel’s sakes. Amy was a good sport and played with the kids.

Reading has always been one of my personal favorite hobbies.

Testing phase of his parachute. No, he didn’t jump with it. He didn’t make it for a person, he made it to send down small things.

Caleb is my inventor. Does your family have an inventor in your ranks? He never ceases to amuse me with the things he creates with paper, tape, and staples.

When they put a suction cup on a toothbrush, this is obviously what that’s for.

When I see this, I know that my inventor is busy at work, and I’m also thankful that he hasn’t lost my tape yet. I can never find my tape. You see why.

My stapler was also missing for like 2 months.

Dynamite

They are so different from me. I have never invented a single thing in my life. When Joshua came home with that diorama book report assignment, I wanted to cry. April doesn’t make things, at least not inedible things.

50 worms. All made by him

We had an agreement. He can play Playdoh as much as he wants as long as I don’t have to make things. He makes the things.

Chalking Woody

Drawing on his toys is his passion in life. I kid you not.

Now this is a hobby I WILL be joining them on this summer. Yes, I can’t wait. Totally serious.

a Caleb creation. This wasn’t even a set. He designed this himself. He is a Lego and video game genius, in my humble, motherly opinion. Haha!!  

And oh, how I love to sit or walk and marvel at the beauty of God’s creation. Stand in awe of God. Creation restores my faith when I am down. 

That photo was taken at Yosemite. Every nature lover needs to eventually make it to California.

What about you? What are your hobbies? Any other slip-and-sliders out there? 

 

 

5 Ways We Teach Our Children About God

5 Ways we teach our children about God

Our number one priority is that we set our children off on the right track spiritually.

We aren’t training them to live to please just their parents, society, or a set of rules.  Once you’re an adult, those things all become mushy anyway.

We’d rather they have a relationship with God. It’s not about religion; it’s about knowing how to pray, knowing why they believe, having faith, and making these choices on their own. It’s about feeling responsible to a being higher than ourselves.

We want them to know that through any crisis in life, and the good times too, they can cry to Jesus, to our Heavenly Father. Alan and I will eventually die. Their brothers will too, so they need someone who will always be there. That’s what they can find in their relationship with God.

5 Ways we teach our children about God

Here are 5 super simple ways we foster their relationship with God:

 

#1. We teach them to pray.

From the time they are babies, we pray with each child individually before they go to bed at night. Sometimes it’s just Alan or me, but usually it’s both of us with each boy. When they are babies, I say all the words.

By the time they are talking, I let them say their own prayers, and I give them ideas for what to say by having them repeat after me. I change it up, not saying the same old thing every night.

For example:

“Thank you for this day. Thank you for my mommy, my daddy, my brothers, and (whoever else comes to mind). Thank you for my toys. Thank you for my house. Thank you for my food. Please help (insert sick relative) get better. Amen.”

By the time they are 3, they rarely repeat after me. They say whatever is on their mind, and sometimes it is adorable, and sometimes it is downright hilarious.

One of my boys used to say, “Thank you for

my mom and dad. Thank you for polar bears. Please help the polar bears. Thank you for badgers, raccoons, sun bears, grizzly bears, dolphins, beluga whales…” and he’d go on and on and on naming every animal he knew. So precious.

As they get older, we add in teaching them about praying for forgiveness when they’ve hurt their brother or disobeyed.

 

 

5 Ways we teach our children about God

Daniel, proudly displaying an award he earned at church.

#2. We take them to church.

It’s so much work when they are little to get them all cleaned up and dressed and to the church on time, but it’s so incredibly worth it. Hearing these Bible stories from another adult, hearing about how God loves them, and getting another Christian’s perspective on walking with the Lord is powerful. 

It backs up everything they are learning at home, encourages them in their faith, and exposes them to other leaders and kids like them. I have had so many mentors over the years that were my Sunday school teachers and other Christians who enhanced my understanding with their unique experiences.

 

5 Ways we teach our children about God

 

#3. Talking about what the Bible says

I should actually do this more. I tend to remember when I discipline the boys. I tell them, “Hey, Mom doesn’t like to punish you, but it’s my job. God tells me to. The Bible says an undisciplined son is a shame to his parents.” And well, we all know that’s true.

I try to remember to use Biblical examples when I’m coaching them on how to handle difficult people or situations or jobs.

#4. Modeling good habits

Feel free to laugh at me here because I guarantee you I’ve taught about as many bad habits as I have good…ahem…

But that’s okay. Kids need to know that people aren’t perfect, and we have to love and accept all sorts of people and be very forgiving.

We all know “more is caught than taught.” I want my children to see me reading my Bible, see me praying, see me helping the poor, and know that I am a kind, loving person who truly believes what I’m teaching.

For example….

I remember when I was home-schooling. Caleb and I were both going through a phase where we were having trouble with our out-of-control emotions. His was probably the result of my BAD modeling because I was going through a difficult time, but at least I was able to coach him on how to control his own emotions, by learning from my own mistakes.

I said, “Caleb, you may not ever be able to master your feelings on your own. When you feel that anger start to rage, and you want to give in to it, immediately stop and pray. Pray for God to help you keep it together.”

So one day, one of my boys came in, all upset and indignant, to tell on Caleb.

“Mom! Mom! I accidentally (did whatever), and Caleb got mad, and he HIT me, and then he just got down on his knees and started PRAYING!” said the flabbergasted and deeply offended brother.

I was so happy I could have soared with the birds.

“Oh, wow! That’s wonderful!” I joyfully answered.

“What! Wonderful?? What! He HIT me!!”

“Don’t you see? It would’ve been much worse for you if he hadn’t stopped and prayed. He stopped and prayed to keep from hitting you any more. Be thankful!”

 

$9.94 on Amazon. The Story Traveler’s Bible by Tracey Madder

#5. Using illustrated children’s Bibles to teach them God’s Word.

Reading the Bible to the boys goes over a whole lot better when we use a book with mesmerizing pictures, like this one. You should’ve heard the weeping and gnashing of teeth we used to hear when Alan would make our 7, 6, and 2 year olds listen to an entire chapter of the KJV Bible straight up.

Bible time should not be torture. We’ve come a long way since then.

Allow me to introduce you to a fabulous new children’s Bible that our family is currently enjoying reading:

5 Ways we teach our children about God

Includes 85 Bible stories

I love the details of the Bible stories that it includes.  Plus, it’s so helpful how she includes these memory verses in the margins!

5 Ways we teach our children about God 5 Ways we teach our children about God

The boys love the brightly colored illustrations by Tim Crecelius.

5 Ways we teach our children about God

In fact, for a week I could not find the book, and I thought I’d looked everywhere. It finally turned up in my nine-year-old’s room, in his little reading corner.

Now that’s good silent reading material!

5 Ways we teach our children about God

Look at these beautiful pages:

5 Ways we teach our children about God

In this book, 3 modern boys and girls travel through time and visit all of these old Bible stories and places.

5 Ways we teach our children about God

the Samson story

Can you guess why I’m showing you so many details about this children’s Bible? Well…..if you guessed “because it’s our newest giveaway,” and I want you to see how awesome it is, you are correct!!

Don’t you just LOVE a giveaway? This giveaway is sponsored by Tracey Madder, the author of The Story Traveler’s Bible.

5 Ways we teach our children about God

 

As usual, this one is easy to enter. Just log in below, and choose one an entry option listed here.

Best of luck! I’ll announce the winner in 1 week: May 2nd! I always email the winner well within 24 hours of the end of the giveaway.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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You can also order it here, for $9.94 from Amazon.

I hope you got some ideas or found some of this helpful. If you have any ideas to add or questions to ask, comment below.  Good luck on the giveaway!!

 

 

My Most Important Job

 

My Most Important Job

This morning was a struggle. Everyday is a race, but this morning was extra nerve-wracking. The trouble started at 7:40. The two oldest wanted to leave by that time so they could “be there early”. The middle boy was still brushing his teeth, and the youngest was still eating a waffle.

Somehow we managed to leave the house at 7:48. No idea how.

There was a short award ceremony this morning for AR readers, so we did that. I love getting to support the boys. Then we came home, just J.D. and me.

That’s when the struggle got real.

Why? Because I thought I could get work done with my 3-year-old at home. hahahahahaha

I have a giveaway I need to run, but the photos aren’t ready….because I haven’t taken them yet…I have an affiliate that I’ve promised paperwork to.

And I haven’t posted since Sunday, and I’m starting to feel like I’m on a treadmill set on 6.0 and I only have one leg, a feeling many of us know well.

Hilarious, isn’t it? Did you know that bloggers have work stress? Well, yes, sometimes we do.

Also, it’s sheet day, the day I wash sheets, and I am behind on housework as always. 

But I wanted to put my three-year-old first.

I wanted to be a good mom. Instead of working on all those things, I colored with him first. We traced letters, and we colored about 10 different pages of Peppa Pig. (We love the Pig family.)

I thought I’d filled his little love tank enough and I could move on to dishes, Bible reading, and checking email. People are always ridiculing me for not having read the emails they sent.

J.D. let me do the dishes and read my Bible, but once I sat down to do email, all productivity brakes were hit full force.

“I’m hungry.”

“I’m hungry again.”

“Can I watch Toy Story?”

“Not the one with the blue one. The one with Zurv.”

The one with Zurg is broken, so that was out.

“Okay, then, the one where Andy grows up and becomes a dad.”

I guess that’s what he thinks “goes to college” means…

Toy Story 3 was nowhere to be found. He went overboard with the whining. I had a moment….. By this point, the Benadryl I’d given him for his runny nose was in full effect. He was crying. I was whining and out of patience.  I sent him to his room.

He had his broken-heart face on as he sat in his rocking chair and cried. Gets me every time. I felt bad for the sweet, tiny person I’d offended. I went to his room, I picked him up. I comforted him, and rubbed his precious forehead.

And he fell asleep.

I rocked him, and I admired his sweet angelic face. I thought about all the times I’d gotten so worked up about stupid jobs that would earn me a few dollars, when here was this baby, this person who depended on me for everything. They need me to train them into successful, hard-working men.

But today he’s only 3 years old, and he and his brothers are my most important jobs. I can have a few less dollars and be fine.

Those blog jobs will just have to wait.

We can get a week behind on washing the sheets.

Priorities. If juggling 4 children, the military life, and my work has taught me nothing else, it’s the importance of priorities.

We only get one shot at our children. They grow right in front of us, and we can’t even see it.

My Most Important Job

back row, far right. “Singing” at church.

They are our most important responsibility. Our marriage is an even more important relationship, but our children are our job. If we don’t love them and meet their needs, probably no one else will. If all children were loved as they should be, there would be far less crime and hurt in this world.

My Maw-Maw, one of my favorite people in the whole world, wrote this poem. I bet she wrote it when she was around my age. I don’t know exactly. She was taken from us way too soon, at the age of 56, by untreated breast cancer that spread to her bones.

She spent many years as a single mom. You know my Bible journal? Yeah, she had a library of about 120 of those. She’d take poems, quotes, and Bible verses pair them with a pretty picture from a magazine or greeting card, and compile them into scrapbooks, organized by topics. They ranged from “love”, “God’s will”, “Humor”, to “Gossip” and “Life”. 120 different topics.

Here’s a poem she wrote about the dangers of neglecting our jobs as moms.

Please understand that my Maw-Maw was not against women working. She worked several different jobs over the years. She worked in a sewing factory, a grocery store, and she even owned and operated her own book store, Beth’s Books, not all at the same time, of course. She was a lovely, inoffensive person, who always smelled like Avon perfume and never left home without her false eyelashes on. She loved nothing better than reading a book with a cigarette and a glass of unsweet iced tea.

 

 

My Most Important Job

Beth

What’s Happened to Motherhood?

 

You compete with the men

And an equal right you demand

While you leave your children in the baby sitter’s hand.

The pleasure of motherhood

Is a gift God gave to you.

Giving birth to a chid

Is something no man can do!

The hand that rocks the cradle

Rules the world, you say,

But stop and think;

Who’s rocking the cradle today?

What’s happened to motherhood?

Is it old-fashioned or out of style?

What could ever be more important

Than caring for your child?

Sure, you love your child

More than you could ever say,

But have you taken time

To teach him how to pray?

When he has a problem

And needs to talk to you,

Can he come to you any time,

Or wait ’till your day is through?

While you work hard to achieve your goal

Your children so quickly grow.

And saddest of all is

What you’re missing you’ll never know.

~by Beth H. King

 

 

 

I know that poem may ruffle a few feathers, but I share it because

1.) I miss Maw-maw so much, and reading her poems brings her back.

and

2.) I think it’s a valid reminder of what is our most important job as moms.

 

We might as well enjoy this gift of motherhood. Love y’all. Have a great weekend!

 

How we got banned from the library and my plan

I love to study. Sometimes it baffles me when children in this house do not share my desire to pour over books and take notes. I love it. This is what I do. It’s what I have done my whole life.

When JD, at 2 years old, would wake up in the morning, pull up a kitchen bar stool, and say, “Let’s study shapes, Mom!!” my heart would swell with pride. This is my boy.

When Joshua memorized all the species of whales at 3 years old, and checked out every single library book on badgers at 5, I knew that this apple was not falling far from the tree. (These days he memorizes sports statistics instead.)

By the end of my own kindergarten year, the library was my favorite place. It’s sad that all these years later we are banned from the library.

I know what you’re thinking. You are thinking it’s my kids’ fault, or my fault for not controlling my boys. But that wasn’t it at all. My boys love to go to the library, and while they are sometimes a little rambunctious, they have never actually caused any problems there.

It was me. I’m the reason.

In 2015, I paid $250 in library late fees, which included some fees left over from 2014.

In 2016, I paid ~$80 in library late fees, because I was trying harder and being more careful.

In Monterey, I could keep it under the radar. The librarians there were cool with us. Who doesn’t want the lady who donates $250 to the library?

But here in the South, I made the mistake, hefty mistake, of signing up for text alerts for when my books were due. I think the texts also went to the email account that I share with Alan, the same Alan who is very sensible with his money, maybe a little more sensible and organized than his wife…

Alan soon realized that I don’t bat an eye at returning a book a week overdue and continuing to use my library account.

I figure if the library lets me, I’ll just put it off until later, and they do always let me carry a balance. The library here is kind of far away, and I have trouble remembering where it is exactly and how to get there….

Poor Alan. The stress was too much. He was all calling the library to make sure we’d returned them all, going by there and paying all the late fees, and then he said it. He did.

“Can you please stop checking books out from the library?”

At least I think he said it. If he didn’t say it out loud, he was surely thinking it.

So I said it: “Okay. I know. I was wrong. I’m sorry. We will never check books out from the library again.”

I can be dramatic like that.

Alan was all, “Phew!!! Yes, I mean yes, obviously, you should not.”

Sigh.

And that was how we got banned from the library, and how I started shopping more at Book Fairs, Scholastic store online, and Amazon, so I’m not altogether sure we’re saving any money, but we do get to keep the books now…..which is actually sort of a storage problem.

And that is why the library is part of my New Year’s Resolution for 2017.

Yes, I’m aware that I didn’t actually make any New Year’s resolutions back in January, but I’m making one now. Right here, in the month of April, or as you might say MY MONTH.

I am getting my organizational act together!

I have actually been writing in and checking that planner that I bought. This is a BIG DEAL for me.

Every 2 to 3 years, we get completely uprooted, and I have to basically start life all over again, so maybe that helps you understand why I do not have the deeply engrained schedules that you may have. For a military wife, life changes drastically constantly. In 1 more year, we will probably move yet again.

Sometimes I’m guilty of feeling like why bother.

But you know what? I’ve got a lot of kids’ schedules to figure out now, and the older they get the more activities they have, and I’m going to have to get used to writing all this stuff down.

To be fair, it’s a lot of people to keep up with. 😉

So here’s my plan to lift the library ban.

  1. Look at my planner every single day.  I’m going to do that as soon as I finish this article.
  2. Take my planner with me, and write down each upcoming responsibility down on the calendar so I won’t forget.
  3. Check out 1 library book, write down the due date in the planner, and see if I can get it back to the library on time.
  4. If that works, I’m going to check out 2 books the next time!!!

 

So what about you guys? Have any of you ever paid $200 in library fees? I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’ve also lost books and had to buy the library new ones. I didn’t feel like this made me a bad customer. I felt like it just made me a frequent flyer, and these things were inevitable. Right? I say yes.

Have a FUN weekend, y’all. Life’s too short to not.

“Much dreaming and many words are meaningless. Therefore stand in awe of God. ” Ecclesiastes 5:7

 

“May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed. We will shout for joy when you are victorious and will lift up our banners in the name of our God. May the Lord grant all your requests.   Psalm 20: 4-5

 

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