Monday, December 29, 2008

Lesson From Potty Training

"The low points in motherhood are potty training and driver's training."

I think that my friend's mom has it right. At least the potty training part. (Thankfully, Zachary's not old enough to learn how to drive!) There are so many theories and methods for potty training a mom could get lost. I would love to do infant potty training, but for some reason we've never really given it a go. I just read another article about it that made me wonder if Eleanor is still little enough to try it with.

When I was first gathering information about potty training Zachary I asked a friend who has many kids what to do. She wasn't really sure. I thought that was funny considering she had five or six kids who seemed to be pottying by themselves! Now I understand what she meant. I have three kids who are pretty much trained, and I don't feel like anything I did made a difference at all.

Zachary took forever, and then suddenly was trained after being pretty sick soon after he turned three. Quinlan got trained on accident in less than two days two months after he turned two. I was quite hopeful when I had heard that girls are easier. But Veronica has taken Zachary's path of foreverness and is only just now going potty consistently. Of course, with each of these, there's a longer story!

It seems that no matter what I do or try, this is something that is out of my hands. If I needed yet another reminder that I don't have control over anything, I think this would be it. God has taken everything in my life and used it to show me over and over again that He is in control and I'm just along for the ride. No matter how hard I try to make my will happen, God's will is stronger and overrides my own desires.

That doesn't mean that I get to stop trying! I am still responsible for doing my best to train them. He uses me in their lives and the lives of others. But it does mean a thought and attitude shift as I go about my day. I can look around for the opportunities God has placed before me and submit my will to His larger plan each and every day.

I think that the Lord is trying to show me that this is how He works in other areas of my children's lives, as well. I need to pour my time and energy into them. I need to train them and discipline them. I need to love them and hug them. But in the end, how they turn out is all God's doing. I can try to take credit myself, or I can give Him the praise and glory for how He's working in my children's lives. And I can learn this now before those teen years!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Photo Shoot

Today we dressed all my kids up in matching outfits and embarked upon a photo shoot with cousin Lucy. We took over 100 photos, and I think we might have ten good ones :) After three hours, we had our photos taken, had them uploaded, and had a collage made. I spent a little more time playing with the collage maker and we get to pick up our prints later tonight. Technology is awesome!
Lucy is two months and Eleanor is six months. They were never happy at the same time. And when they were happy, they weren't looking in the same direction. My sister-in-law said that if they would even both cry at the same time, that would make a good picture. But that never happened, either!
It was amazing how many times we'd have all the kids set up for a photo, and one of them would turn their heads. And that's not even taking the babies into consideration! I think we need to have more photo shoots like this throughout the year, so that when the time comes, my kids will hold their poses, look at the camera, and smile normally.
For some of the better pictures, check out the album Christmas photo shoot on picassa.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Still Thankful

I've been meaning to post about Thanksgiving. Can you believe it's been a week already? We've so quickly moved from a time of being thankful into a season of being greedy. I'm trying to hold onto the spirit of thankfulness a little bit longer this year. We still don't have our tree, yet, so it's a little easier not to get sucked in!

We had a wonderful time Wednesday night with our homegroup. Even with our guests the kids still outnumbered the adults (18 kids 16 adults). One unique thing about our group this year was the international flavor. Moh Yin (from Malaysia) brought a new friend from China. There were also eight of the nine Egyptian neighbors. When we got home (around ten) we spent some time on the computer showing Zachary a map of the world and where we people were from. We compared everything to how long it took to drive to Aunt Donna's house (Nevada). Did you know that it would take roughly two weeks to drive to Egypt from Nebraska? I wonder if anyone's tried it?

The definite hightlight of the festivities were when our new friends sang traditional songs from their countries. I, of course, drew a mental block and could not think of a single song! Even if I could, I'm not sure my kids would have known any. I mean really, how often do we sing "Johnny Appleseed" or the like?

We spent Thanksgiving in Blair. I was really worried about not being able to eat any dairy (Eleanor has an intolerance). Can you name a Thanksgiving dish without butter or cream cheese? The hardest part by far was passing on Paula's french silk pie. (I attempted to make one with margarine for Greg's birthday- that doesn't work.) We had a wonderful time with friends and family. We watched a slideshow of a honeymoon in New Zealand- it made us want a digital SLR and new passports!

The rest of the weekend was spent lounging around and watching football. We made an advent wreath and are preparing our hearts for the celebration of Christ's birth.