Eenie, Meenie, Miney, & Mo

  So Wednesday night Dale calls and asks me if I am ready for some Chickens……

I ask: “Chicken, as in for supper tonight, or ChickenS, as in the egg-laying kind?” 

   The egg laying kind. 

  Well, I thought we were going to wait until this Spring and get some Bantam chickies, but I guess we are doing both, because he got an offer too good to pass up for 4 chickens.

  I decided not to tell the children anything more than “Daddy is bringing you home a surprise.”  Destiny thought for sure it was a dog, so as to not promote tears later, I told her that “No, it is absolutely NOT a dog.  Or any kind of pet for that matter.”  I told her to think of it more as a future chore that daddy was bringing her.  (She later informed me that I was wrong, these chickens ARE pets!)

  Daddy backed the Tahoe up and brought out a HUGE box.  They all gathered around and TA-DA……

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Chickens!

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Avery wasn’t too sure about petting her. 

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But, once she did, she was very proud of herself! 

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  One of them tried to escape, but Dale quickly took care of that…..SUPER FARM BOY, to the RESCUE! 

And in no time, we were introducing them to their new home…… 

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  We named them Eenie, Meenie, Miney and Mo. 

Hope they don’t mind if we just say, “Hey You!”, cause they all look alike to me!

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All of a sudden, Avery bursts into tears………

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“It’s too STINKY!  I want out!”

  Ok, ok, out you go;  no worries! Go keep Paxton company.

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  We are feeding our new feathered friends organic chicken feed.  Once we can trust them not to try to escape, we’ll allow them to roam around at their leisure until evening each day, so they can be “free range”.  My hope is to not only have enough eggs for us, but eventually have some extras to sell to others as well.  Then I’ll have “Egg Money” to spend on my family, just like in the olden days! 🙂

  The kids were very worried about leaving the chickens outside in their coop tonight.  Dale had to explain they were safe and warm, and that was their home now.  They are SUPER excited to go visit the chickens in the morning, when they go with Daddy to gather the eggs.  046Notice he didn’t ask ME to do it?  (YET)  Dale has been married to me long enough to know how these things work.  Baby steps Tonya, just take it in baby steps. 

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Here’s to some yummy omelets and baked goods in the days to come!!!!

~T  egg

 

 

Good-bye Pushover Parenting, Hello Happy Kids…Part 3

 Just tuning in? Catch parts 1 & 2 here: Starting Discipline and The Rod  

As Destiny has gotten older, we have started giving her the responsibility of choosing her punishment.  One especially difficult evening, Dale had enough of her disobedience, and told Destiny that she had until the end of supper to make a decision:

  • Lose a new Christmas toy for an undetermined amount of time

OR

  • Get a spank

    Her meal was spent in silent contemplation, as she considered her choices.  And boy, did that last bite sit on her plate for a looong time.  We could really tell she was struggling with her decision.  Dale decided since it was a first offense and the first time we had offered such a decision, to show her grace, this time.  He told her so and clearly layed out what would occur the next time around.

  Later, she left him this note:

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To Dad:

It was a hard decision. Thank  you for showing me grace.

Love: Destiny

  Think she got the point? 

  Yup. She sure did.  From start to grace, she got it.  And it hasn’t happened again, not yet anyway.

  We also have some “back up” disciplines for more minor offenses:

   We have a “Boo-Hoo Bed” for whiney, tearful children. They must go sit on their bed until they are ready to be happy, then they may choose to come out.

  We also have “The Toy Prison” on top of the fridge.  If toys are fought over, they become mine and I hold them hostage on top of the fridge until they can play nicely together with that toy.

  “The Trash Monster”, this is a giant white trash bag that comes out after the timer goes off, signaling clean up time is over.  Any toys not cleaned up or not put in their appropriate home after the timer goes off, get eaten by The Trash Monster and stay in his tummy until further notice.

  As our children get older, we plan to implement some of the following “Creative Discipline” techniques we’ve adapted from Focus on the Family: (Click this link for full article series, it’s a good one!) 

Messiness

  • For every article of dirty clothing left on the floor rather than placed in the hamper, have your child make five trips from the place where the clothes were dropped to the hamper. The child must pick up the clothes, walk to hamper and put the article in, take it back out, return to where it had been dropped, drop it again, pick it up again, and then repeat the cycle.

Throwing a Fit

  • Does your child slam the door when she’s angry? You might tell her, “It’s obvious that you don’t know how to close a door properly. To learn, you will open and close this door, calmly and completely, 50 times.”
  • If your child likes to stomp off to his room or stomp around in anger, send him outside to the driveway and tell him to stomp his feet for one minute straight. 
  • If your child asks for something and then argues or throws a fit when you tell her no, tell her that no matter what she asks for, from that moment on the answer will be an automatic no until she can accept the answer “no” respectfully.

Controlling the Tounge

  • You’ve heard the reprimand “Hold your tongue!” Make your child do it — literally. Have her stick out her tongue and hold it between two fingers. This is an especially effective correction for public outbursts.
  • Kids can lose the privilege of talking when necessary. Explain that being able to express yourself is a gift. If they abuse that privilege, either by hurting someone’s feelings, speaking inappropriately, or just making needless noise, they cannot speak for a predetermined amount of time. This is especially painful if during that time they have something important to say. It underscores the privilege of speaking and makes them think more carefully about their words.

Bedtime Battles

  • Adjust bedtimes according to our children’s behavior that day. For each infraction, they must go to bed five minutes earlier, but if they’ve been extra good, they can earn the right to stay up an extra five minutes.
  • Having a struggle at bedtime? Try this: Next time you’re dealing with the usual bathroom trips, cups of water, giggling, and talking, call off bedtime. Declare, “Nobody has to go to bed tonight!” Inform them that they may stay up as long as they like — the operative words being stay up. Then have each child stand still in the middle of a separate room of the house. Their warm, comfy beds will look awfully good after just a few minutes of standing alone.
  • Down time with your husband in the evenings is important, we put our kids to bed very early compared to their friends’ bedtimes. For instance, as a Destiny gets old enough, we may continue to put her to bed at seven, but she’ll be allowed to stay up and read until eight. If your child is notorious for leaving her clothes on the floor, however, try this: For every piece of clothing lying on the floor when mom comes in to say goodnight, the reading time is reduced by 10 minutes.
  • If you have trouble enforcing the “lights out” rule in your house, make it easy on yourself with this rule. If you put your children to bed, only to look down the hall and see the light shining under the door, simply unscrew the light bulb until they can learn to appreciate the privilege of responsibility.

Mealtime Madness

  • Does your child tend to act up during dinner? Try sending him, along with his plate of food, into the other room to eat alone at the dining room table until he can settle down.
  • If you have a chair tilter, or a child who can’t seem to stay seated to eat, the child is required to remove it from the table and finish her meal standing.

Forgetfulness

  • If you have a child who continually forgets to turn off the lights, make her go a day without using anything that requires electricity. She’ll soon get the point.
  • This correction works well if you have a child who is constantly leaving his jacket, backpack, or any other personal belonging behind: Require him to baby-sit the item for the rest of the day. It must be carried during mealtime, playtime, bath time, and bedtime. If your child is caught without it at any time, an additional day is added to the sentence, beginning when they arrive home from school the next day.
  • Destiny is constantly taking out her headband or hair bow and leaving them at school.  We charge her a dollar a day for the forgotten item.

Rowdiness

  • When the kids run up and down the stairs after having been told not to, have them crawl up and down on their bottoms. Use the same principle for running through the house, only have them crawl on all fours to get to where they were going in such a hurry.
  • Kids intuitively know that we’re reluctant to correct them in public. Call their bluff. The next time your young one starts acting up in a restaurant or store, warn her first that if she doesn’t straighten up she will have to stand in a corner in public. If she doesn’t believe you and continues to misbehave, point to a nearby corner in the restaurant or store and require her to stick her nose there for five minutes. It’s sure to make a lasting impression!

  Help your kids grow into healthy and godly adults, by balancing love AND limits!  You’ll never be sorry, and life at home will be so much better!

Goodbye, pushover parenting! Hello, happy kids!  🙂

~T

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 Some good reads about this subject:
Cleaning House: A Mom’s Twelve-Month Experiment to Rid Her Home of Youth
Have a New Kid by Friday: How to Change Your Child’s Attitude, Behavior & Character in 5 Days

“The Rod”…..Part 2

 You may not agree with what you are about to read.  And that is ok.  You  need to find what works at your house. My job today is to simply introduce you to the way we choose to discipline our children.

 Meet “The Rod”….

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   You know, as in “Spare the rod, spoil the child.”

(Adapted Proverbs 13:24 “Whoever spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him.”)

Phase II of our Discipline is introducing “The Rod”.  

  Here’s how it goes down at our house:

  #1 The child makes a wrong choice and needs help making the right one.  Or needs help getting wrong behavior or bad attitude under control.

#2  We send said child to their room, to think about their actions, while they wait to be disciplined.

#3  After we have taken a moment to gather our thoughts and be sure we are not disciplining in anger, we enter their room, take them over our knee, and discipline them.  Usually a swat will do. Not hard, just enough to sting a bit.  Try it out on your own leg if you are unsure.

#4  We immediately take them in our arms and love on them, discussing why the spank was given.  We talk about God’s Word and what He asks them to do, based on the offense. 

#5  The child by this time is done with their sad tears, and apologizes to us and to the Lord, asking for forgiveness from both. 

#6 The child leaves the room to go apologize to any children who observed the wrong behavior, or the child that was hurt by the wrong behavior.

  It’s quite affective!  Disciplining out of love, not anger is the key.  AND, always always pointing them back to the Word of the Lord.

  The best part is, by establishing this early on, our kids RARELY get spanks anymore.  It’s awesome! 

  In fact all I have to do is open the drawer where “The Rod” lives, get it out and set it down near-by, and we go from this……………..

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To this…………….

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  By doing our footwork early, and helping our kids understand that there are rules and they don’t change, we don’t have to use this form of discipline very often at all!

  Our job as parents is to not only discourage wrong behavior, but to encourage right behavior.  For this we use Sticker Charts…..

This is Destiny’s Cheerful Heart Chart.  The verse on the bottom says: “Do everything without arguing or complaining,  so you may become…children of God.”  (Phil. 2:14) 

  She is filling hers for the 2nd time.  When she filled the chart, she got to pick a reward.  She choose to get a pedicure with her cousin, Julie.  

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Here is Tylan’s chart. He is half way done with his.  His chart is an Obedience Chart.  He says when he gets to the end of his chart, he is going to pick to go to Destiny’s school to eat lunch with her.

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Here is Avery’s first chart.  I just recently got around to making her one.  With her, we are working on FIRST time obedience, so it seemed fitting that her chart would be about that.

 

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  Here is how it works: you obey first time with a cheerful heart, you get a sticker.  If you obey, but with arguing and complaining, you do NOT get a sticker, but a verbal reminder from mom or dad to have a better attitude next time.  If the wrong behavior or slow obedience continues, the child is asked to remove a sticker from their chart, which is quite dramatic! (but oh-so effective)

     Tomorrow I will post about some of our other discipline options we choose to use, and tell you about the newest stage of discipline at our house.  There are 7 years between our oldest and youngest, so that’s quite an age difference when it comes to methods of discipline and it’s effectiveness!

Proverbs 23:13: Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you punish him with the rod, he will not die.

~T

 

 

Starting Discipline….Part 1

Paxton

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Avery

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Tylan

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Destiny

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   In our family, starting solids is not just a new stage for our babies to experience.  It’s not just funny faces and messy mouths.  We take it very seriously, because as soon as our children are old enough to sit up in a highchair to eat their baby cereal, we start a WHOLE new chapter in their lives……..

   We start teaching basic manners and we start to discipline them. 

  We are on kid number 4, but this method started 7 years ago with Destiny, and since it was so affective, we have chosen to continue this with the other 3.

  We pick 6 baby signs to teach them:

Drink, eat, more, thank you, please, and all done.

( Here is a link if you want to research what these signs look like, the only one it doesn’t list is “all done”.  That can be found here.)

  At first, we just sign to them: Do you want More to Eat?  (signing more and eat)  Or, Drink Please!  But before long, they are sighing to us. What a moment! That moment when your baby looks at you, takes that sweet chubby hand up to their mouth to sign “eat please”!  Super exciting!  🙂

  With some of my kids it was around 9 months when they’d start to sign back, with others, around the year mark.  Either way, it’s a very effective form of communication, one we love to teach and use!  Already Paxton has looked at his water after I sign and say “Drink?”  His eyebrows go up and he gets so excited! 

  On to the discipline part…..

  High chair discipline is very easy and very necessary.  It’s the basis of all discipline to come.  We choose to use a firm “NO” and a hand squeeze with simple phrases of:

“NO. We keep our hands on the tray.” 

“We don’t throw food.”

“You may NOT put your hands in the bowl.” 

   There is a natural transition in the severity of the punishment.  When the hand squeeze stops working, we flick the hand.  Usually at this point, it’s the hand getting them in trouble during feeding time!

  As they become mobile and get into things, we transition to a spank on the hand when they don’t obey our first firm NO!  You would be amazed at how affective this is already at this age.  They know! They know FAR more than parents give them credit for.

  In fact, it gets to the point where we just make the “Ah ah ah” noise as they are approaching the “no-no” (a plant, the remote etc.) and they will shake their little heads no and crawl away. (Or, if your name is Avery, touch it once, while looking at Mommy, JUST to be sure she is serious.) They know what comes next if they touch it!  They know they get a hand spank, and they know they don’t want that.

  As they become toddlers, we introduce a spank on the diaper, transitioning to a spank on the leg around age 2. 

  We use phrases like: 

“I need FIRST time obedience from you.”

  •   This means you CANNOT count!  You know what I am talking about……

  “You obey mommy!  By the time I get to 3, you better be over here cleaning up, or ELSE!  ONE – TWOOOOO – TWO & A HALF – TWO & THREE QUARTERS….THREE!” 

This is the part where they ruuuun over to you to start cleaning up, and from them on, will wait until “3” to obey, because they can!  My mom did this to us, and we TOTALLY waited till 3 on purpose!

  •      This truly only gives the child 3 more seconds of blatant defiance and disobedience to you, and does nothing but allow for that child to know that you don’t mean what you say…at least not right away!
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“Slow obedience is no obedience.” 

  • We expect our children to obey and obey promptly.  We tell them…..

“The Bible says ‘Children obey your parents…’ It makes God happy when you obey mommy and daddy.” 

  •   Ultimately, our goal as parents, is to teach our children to live in a way that honors God and obeys His Word.  In saying that, we want our kids to obey us, because they know that is what GOD wants, not just because it is what WE want.  
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  Children are happiest when there are clearly boundaries set.  They may push and test those boundaries once in a while, but only to be sure the safety of those walls are still there. 

  Discipline is hard on parents, but life is harder without it!  When my mom used to say “This hurts me more than it hurts you” I thought she was NUTS!  But its true, it is hard to discipline.  Its work and it takes time, but it’s so worth it and  it’s straight from God’s word.

“If you refuse to discipline your children, it proves you don’t love them; if you love your children, you will be prompt to discipline them.” Proverbs 13:24 (NLT)

  My word has to be gold to these kids.  It has to be true and pure, it has to be firm and real.  What I say needs to be what I do, and PROMPTLY, as the verse above states, or they will question the sincerity of every word from my mouth.

  There are times I have spouted off “Fine! If you don’t finish your supper, we will NOT go to the party.” 

  Guess who had to stay home from the party?  Yup, me and the naughty one. 

     You better believe it will make a lasting impression on that child and if you are like me, it really made me think before I threatened my children in the future.  Saying what I said, meant a bit of a punishment for me as well, it was no fun watching the rest of the family go without us!  But I said it, so I HAD to follow through or forever more be doubted!

  Tomorrow I’ll tell you about Phase II of Discipline at our house and introduce you to “The Rod”.

Work hard today to say what you mean & mean what you say…..little ears are listening & learning!  

 Stick to your guns Momma, and be consistant, consistant, consistant!

~T

Things Heard in My Home

Tylan to Avery: “O-M-O-M spells Mom.”
Tylan then asks me: “Is that how you spell it in cursive?”

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Avery: “Hey Nana! Watch dis!!!!”  (Nana is talking to Avery on the phone.)

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Tylan:  “Ow, ow, ow, ow, ow!” 

What’s wrong buddy?

“My finger is hurt! OWWWW!”

Let me see.  Oh my goodness Ty!  That’s only marker. 

 Very disapointed…..”Oh.”

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Avery with an accent: “Ima cowboy.  Howdy DUDE!”

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Avery: “Ho-ly Cooow!” 
Ty: “Avery that is a bad word.  Bad words break God’s heart……Mom, do we say holy cow?”

Yes Tylan, you can say holy cow. 

“What about Holy Moley?”

Sure, you can say holy moley.

“Oh.  Never mind Avery.  You can say it.”

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Tylan: “Can we listen to Michael Blueberry?”  (Michael Buble’)

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Avery:  “Mom. Mom. MOM. MOMOMOMOMOM.”

WHAAAAAT?! 

“You my best fwiend.” 

<Total guilt> Awww! Thanks baby!

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Ty: “M-ooooom!  Avery’s not looking at me!”  

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<Avery slinks by totally in the buff>

Avery Lyn! Where are your clothes?  

Avery shrugs: “I need to be naked.”

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Ty! Did you swallow your gum?     

“No, I just chewed it in my tummy.”

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Ty: “Mom, I want to be a doctor when I grow up so I can help people.”

That is great Tylan!  How about you Avery?  What do you want to be when you grow up?

Avery: “Awee, supa man gwrl!” (Avery super man girl)

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Ty: “Mom, I know how to spell 7!!” 

 Oh yeah?  How?  

Ty, super excited: “5 & 2!!!!!!”

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Ty at prayer time:  “Dear God, thanks for PopTarts, Bars & Bla-nana’s. A-men!”

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Ty, clean up your toys.

Cheerfully says: “Yes mom!” and walks away. Looks up and quietly adds, “Yes God”.       🙂

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That’s it Avery!!  You are GROUNDED from Rice Krispies! 

(Don’t ask! Loooong story)

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Ty: “Mushrooms are healthier than carrots.” 

How do you know? 

Ty sheepishly shrugs:  ” I don’t, I just made it up.”

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That’s it from my house, until next time…..
~T

P.S.

Here are the same 2 kiddos a year ago hanging out in the same location……Can you BELIEVE the difference a year can make?

Mommy’s Big Helper

  Friday’s are always a bit lonely without Tylan here.  He attends Obee School’s “3 School” program once a week.  I suppose its good practice for next year when he’ll be gone 5 days a week.   And he ADORES it, so I can’t say much.  I just have to cry a little inside, when I think that this is my LAST year with him at home with me in the morning.  Ok, ok, I have to move on, I am tearing up!!!!

  Anyhow, having the “big kids” gone gives me great one on one time with Avery.

  She loves to be my big helper and this morning, offered to feed her baby brother.  She did pretty darn good considering she’d never done it before!  🙂  Paxton had no complaints.

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  I try to do something special with her while Paxton takes his morning nap.  But before we knew it, it was time to get Paxton up, so we could go pick up big brother from school.

  Man, I love it when baby’s get to the stage where they coo and play quietly in their crib, as they wait for you to come get them out.  So precious! 

  Paxton is particularly fascinated with the paisley on his bumper, attempting over and over to grab the red one.  Check out these pics, I bet you can tell when he first spotted Avery and I watching him!  I love how excited he gets! 🙂

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   That’s a peek inside my world today, now here is a glimpse of the beautiful outside the Lord has blessed us with…..030

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  I gotta tell you, before I had kids I was just dying to leave town and move somewhere warm, but there is something so cozy about being holed up at home with my little family.  It just blesses my heart!  I LOVE to experience all the seasons, and I love to see the beauty of the Lords handywork in each and every one of them.

Have a fantastic weekend!  And stay warm!

~T

Chocolate Oatmeal Cream Pie Cookies

These cookies are gooey and chewy in all the right places! YUM! I just had one for breakfast, cause Oatmeal is a breakfast food, right?!   (Don’t judge me.)

Choc oatmeal cookie

CHOCOLATE OATMEAL CREAM PIE COOKIES 

(click title to go to Tasty Kitchen’s website for a printable version)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Butter, Softened
  • 2 cups Sugar
  • 2 whole Eggs
  • ½ cups Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 3 cups Oats (quick Cook Or Rolled)
  • 1-¾ cup Flour
  • ½ cups Baking Cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • ¼ teaspoons Salt

Filling

  • 2 Tablespoons Corn Starch
  • 2 Tablespoons Baking Cocoa
  • ¾ cups Water
  • ½ cups Sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • ½ teaspoons Vanilla Extract

1. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, cream and vanilla. Combine the dry ingredients: gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well. Drop by tablespoons onto lightly greased baking sheets. Bake at 350* for 10 minutes. Cool on wire racks.

2. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine the cornstarch, cocoa and water until smooth. Stir in sugar and butter. Bring to a boil over medium heat; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla. Cool and spread on bottom of half the cookies, top with remaining cookies.

3. Store in an airtight container until serving. Refrigerate if necessary.

Makes at least 2 dozen cookies.

 

Happy Baking!

~T

This recipe linked up to Lark’s Country Heart Made it on Monday.

Goosberry Patch

Mommy Morale

After staying home for 7 days, while one after another of my sweet family (Ty, Avery then Dale) got hit with the dreaded flu bug last week, you can imagine my delight, when we were invited over for a Tea Party at “Gramma Esther’s” house.  She always plans the NEATEST things for the kids!  It worked out perfect, it was Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, so Destiny had no school.  

  Avery promptly announced she wanted to be Snow White for this Tea Party, so the others followed suit and I ended up being the chauffeur to 2 Snow Whites, (1 a Queen and 1 a Princess), a Fire Fighter King and a Teddy Bear Baby.

  The kids enjoyed the playroom, and then we had a nice soup lunch, followed by…tea! 

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My kids adore tea, and tea parties with COOKIES make things even more exciting…..

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Esther had this DARLING tea set, look:

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  Thanks for a GREAT time, Grandma Esther!!!!

  Tuesday was Destiny’s day to celebrate her half birthday, which as you recall is a BIG deal in Elementary School!  And, I wanted to be the one to deliver her treats.  However, I had no desire to try to walk into Central, wielding 2 Tupperware’s of cupcakes, an infant, 2 toddlers, a camera and a diaper bag, so Dale stopped home between appointments to let me go alone.  Thanks babe!  🙂  Destiny was in bed when I decorated the cupcakes, so she was excited to see them….and me! (better enjoy being “cool” while I can) 

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  I sat and visited with her class as they ate, a teacher called Destiny up so the whole lunch room could sing to her, and then it was time for me to head back home to relieve daddy and put the little ones to nap.

  Isn’t it funny what those little breaks can do for a Mommy’s morale?

~T

The Return of Random Things

Random Things

1.  We haven’t owned a microwave since ours died 6 years ago.

2.  Close your mouths, it IS possible to live without the microwave.

3.  We reheat using our toaster oven or the stove top.

4.  The microwave is a terrible contraption that kills your food.  Seriously!

5.  I once saw an article written on a plant study: regular water vs. microwave water.  The microwaved water plant DIED people!  DIED!

6.  If you touch my belly button, I will instantly gag, and quite frankly, might accidentally punch you in the face.

7.  Why God would install this gag button on me, I’ll never know.

8.  Dale scared me so bad once, my legs gave out from under me and my eyes cried.

9.  Jerk.

10.  It wasn’t my fault I had mouthed off to him right before walking out of our bedroom, towards the dark kitchen, to get a drink.

11.  Or, that I was smugly enjoying that last word, when I heard a thumping noise behind me.  As I turned, I saw a giant ferocious beast leaping over the coffee table behind me.

12.  It was the first time in my life I had ever seen someone move in slow-motion through the air, like the bad lion in the Lion King movie.

13.  Thus, the jello legs and teary eyes.

14.  Jerk.

15.  He found it extremely funny, and I bet to this day it’s his favorite story to tell about me.

16.  Hardy har har. Big strong man scares innocent helpless female.  Never heard that one before!

17.  We were privileged to go to Maui for 7 days for our honeymoon as a gift from the family I nannied for at the time.

18.  It’s paradise, just like they say.

19.  Sometimes I look at those photos and wonder:”Who ARE those people?”

20.  It’s probably because we weren’t just “Dale & Tonya” for very long.  We had our first baby, Destiny Joy, 15 months later.

21.  We then proceeded to get pregnant 7 times more after that, for a total of  8 pregnancy’s in 8 years.

22.  We’ve finally figured out what causes this….

23.  We have GOT to change our water filters more often!  Who knew?

24.  I always said I wanted 4-6 kids, but now that we have gotten the “water filter issue” figured out, we have  purchased a “4 & No More” policy.  (And we have the bags of peas to prove it!)

25.  I always wondered how I would know when I was “done.”

26.    Yeah, there is no question.  When you know, you know!

27.  God once provided $1500 in unexpected checks in the mail when I was believing, in faith, for money for Destiny’s school tuition. Anniversary-Sticker

28.  God is SO good!

29.  Cool random fact: There has been a Bontrager descendant at Central Christian for 52 years now.  Destiny started the year after the last Bontrager cousin graduated, so the tradition continues.  Cool huh?!header

30.  Destiny used to think the Fruits of the Spirit were: Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, PEOPLENESS, Gentleness and Self-Control.

31.  Despite my best arguments, she could NOT be convinced otherwise.

32.  She is stubborn, just like her daddy.

33.  She just now figured, years later, its Faithfulness, not Peopleness, and sheepishly told me so the other day.

34.  Aren’t kids great?

35.  Dale once came to bed painted in pink calamine lotion.

36.  In ONLY pink calamine lotion.

37.  Needless to say, Dale will think twice before ripping mysterious vines off our light pole and then taking a pee.

38.  It was extremely funny.

39.  I doubt he agrees.

40.  The grossest thing I have ever made was a Portobello Mushroom soup.

41.  Sounded yummy, tasted like dirt.

42.  Destiny is scarred for life.  She still to this day asks: “Mommy, you’ll never make that brown soup again, riiiiight?”

43.  Poor, poor child.

44.  Dale and I did not repeat a recipe for the first 6 months of our marriage.

45.  Thus was born, my love for trying new recipes. That and the fact that my mother LOVED to repeat recipes over and over and over and….you get the idea. (Love you mom) 🙂

46.  I currently have a stack of  about 300 pages of new recipes, just waiting to be tried. 053

47.  It makes me so excited to fill out our monthly menu’s!

48.  Apparently, I need to get out more.

49.  I once filled Dale’s toothbrush with Orajel.

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50. I found it much funnier than he did.

51.  Word to the wise if you do this to your hubby, better have a new toothbrush handy.  The old one will have to be history, or forever more numb the mouth of your loved one.

52.    So. Worth. It.

53.  When I was a little girl I would run as fast as I could from my bedroom, past the storage room door and up the stairs to the kitchen.

54.  I just KNEW there was a monster who would reach his long stringy arms around the corner from the storage room and try to grab my legs.

55.  There was also a little mean crab who lived at the bottom of my bed, that would pinch my toes if I didn’t sleep curled up in a ball at the top half of the bed.

56.  I still sleep that way to this day, although there is no little crab residing at the end of my bed, just my dog, Sophie.

57.  I currently have 4 pillows I sleep with.

58.  No, I am not high maintenance.

59.  Why would you say such a thing?

60.  2 are for my head, one is for protecting my poor, recently broken tailbone from Dale’s giant knee, and the 4th, I hug.

61.  It’s quite cozy.

62.  For some reason, Dale thinks we need a King size bed?

63.  I just couldn’t understand why, until I once saw him sleeping with his arm on the nightstand to keep him in bed.

64.  Oops, maybe its time to lose a few pillows.

65.  I have been trying to kneel down on our kids level when talking to them.  It totally makes a difference in their response!

66.  I wonder sometimes, how I must look to them, as I tower over them shaking my finger and scolding.

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67.  It’s hard being a mom.

68.  Tylan once took his toy shot-gun to the window to shoot the turkey’s in our yard.

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69.  Avery stood next to him bawling her eyes out: “No Ty! Turkey’s NICE.  Turkey’s NIIIIICE.”

70.  I quickly learned there was a difference between raising boys and raising girls when I had my first son, Tylan.

71.  Every morning, I knew when he was awake based on the noises coming from the bassinet……

<Stretch…….TOOOOOOT>

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72.  I looked at Dale, in both shock and horror, “You mean that stuff is HARD WIRED into you guys?!?!?!?!”

73.  I was going to write something here.  Maybe even something profound, but I got distracted by a kid, and now the clever thought is gone, never to return.  Sorry.

74.  Moving on….

75.  I give my children spit baths.

76.  I SWORE I would NEVER lick my thumb and clean my child’s face like my mom did to me. Ew!

77.  How is it that until you step foot in the church parking lot, there is no breakfast present on your child’s face?

78.  Step out of the car at church and Bam!  Crusty milk and toothpaste from ear to ear.  Thus, the spit bath!

79.  I also swore I’d never say “Because I am the mom that is why…..”

80.  Yeah, got over that one a LOOOONG time ago.

81.  Journaling used to be a passion of mine.  I have 12 journals dating back to my Jr. year in HS.

82.  Used to meaning, I still love to, but who has time for that now?!

83.  This blog is now my version of journaling.

84.  Brace yourself people, you never know just what you’ll read!

85.  When I was in high school, I used to hang my bratty little brother over the upstairs banister and wonder why he freaked out.

86.  There was a MARBLE floor below, people.  MARBLE.

87.  What was I thinking?!

88.  Now, the wedgies, he totally deserved, and the punches in the arm too! But I admit, hanging him over the balcony, although humorous at the time, now makes me sick to my stomach.

89.  Sorry Chaddy.

90.  Guess being a mom kinda changes your perspective on things a bit.

91.  Dale once had an entire conversation with himself in his sleep.

92.  My favorite part was when he did both the high lady voice and the low manly voice.

93.  He is really going to hate this blog post, I must be in a “Dale story” kind of mood, cause I have divulged quite a slew of them this time!

94.  I hate backing up a vehicle.

95.  Always have, probably always will.

96.  It makes me carsick.  Bleh.

97.  I once crashed into our mailbox with the Tahoe.

98.  Ok, that was a lie.

99.  I did it twice.

100.  In the same year.

101.  Well, it just jumped out in front of me when I was pulling up to get the mail!

102.  BOTH TIMES!  HONEST!

103.  We still to this day can’t figure out how our short little mailbox ended up on the hood of our very tall Tahoe.

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104.  Twice.

105.  Guess I am just talented like that.

106.  Sorry Dale.

107.  I really am a good and safe driver.  Really, I am!

108.  I AM!!!!! 

109.  I can never manage to find our house phone when it rings even though we have 3 handsets.

110.  Either that or it rings at the WORST possible moment when 100 other things are occuring….LOUDLY!

111.  But, if you ever need to talk, you can call me.

112.  There will be screaming in the background, and I’ll have to hide in the closet to hear you.

113.  It’ll be awesome.

 Happy day to you and yours….

~T