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I wanted so much for my next post to be announcing that we finally have travel dates, but God is still teaching me. I am apparently a very slow learner.
I am trying to make the best of that torturous wait though. I have three beautiful children home right now who need time and attention. When I had my oldest I remember being so stressed that I was going to do something wrong as a parent and ruin her forever. I am sad to say that 8 years later I have done ever so many things wrong. I am glad that God is my heavenly Father and that He has filled her with a love for Him in spite of my failures, but I definitely see things where I have been lazy in my training of my children and the fruit is coming in season now. So I've decided to take a step back from other things and really focus on setting those foundations with my children.
Teaching them patience with one another with love.
Teaching them to be busy, dependable workers.
Teaching them to be grateful for small things.
This week I started the week with the intention that I would rid the house of toys. WHAT?! What kind of a parent am I? (I'm certain this is what the neighbors were thinking when my oldest was outside screaming bloody murder because I took her toys away) Well, I have noticed that if children are given the choice between playing the computer or reading a book they will pretty much always choose to play the computer. If offered to play with a big box of toys that require little imagination or go outside and play in the backyard they will choose the toys or to take the toys with them to the backyard. Our children are losing their creativity and their brains are literally turning to mush because so little is required of said brains. (Thank you Nancy Thomas who has the technical science to back this up) My children are capable of amazing things and I have loved seeing my daughter walk around the house with her nose in a book this week. She has actually barely noticed that the toys are gone, (except that cleaning her room has gotten much easier) and I have found that they are more apt to help me with things like organizing the craft box. Do I need their help to reorganize? No, and sometimes it would be much easier to give them a box of toys and do the work alone. However, we have been spending this time TOGETHER and it has given me so many more opportunities to teach and train up my daughters to be the rare jewels that is the Proverbs 31 woman.
I've also taken this time to practice "baby wearing" with Louis. If you are unfamiliar with this term you can learn more about it here. I have always held my babies as much as possible for as long as possible and spoiled them endlessly in that way. This means that they are slow to roll over, crawl, and walk because they are rarely put down. I know. I have been to the pediatrician several times before and I know they scoff and tell me to give them "tummy time" and would be appalled to learn that my middle child didn't start crawling until she was 1. You know what though? They learn! At some point they do get down on the ground and roll around, the do start crawling and walking, and they are smart! My 3 year old has the Apostle's Creed memorized along with some of the commandments and several other points and verses in the catechism. So anyway, (sorry for that rabbit trail) I have a woven wrap, which is basically an enormously long strip of fabric, that my little one gets wrapped up in for a few hours during the day. He loves it! He plays and smiles at me and is happy as a clam until he falls asleep in it. Wearing a 25 pound baby who doesn't hold himself up does get tiring so I take breaks, but I really wish I didn't have to. We both love the bonding time and I can make dinner, do laundry, do some of that organizing...or whatever pops into my head to do all the while he is getting cuddled.
These are some of the "Foundation" things I'm working on before my oldest boys get home - whenever that may be. I know that having well rounded, attached, loving children is one of the best gifts I can give to any of my children. My earnest prayer is that this time spent now will help make the transition once Lance and "Drake" are home a little easier.