Well, it’s a new year. A brand, spanking new year. I have thoughts, lots of thoughts, but I figure its probably best to do a random update of odds and ends. Bear with me as this is going to be ALL OVER THE PLACE. Consider yourself warned…
I don’t do New Year’s Resolutions. I just don’t. In 2008, I started choosing one word that would be my theme for that year. I’m one that likes to wait and see if a theme appears in the first few weeks of the year. Its become quite apparent to me that the theme of 2014 is “Be Present”. Everywhere I’ve turned that phrase has appeared and I wanted to ignore it. Because this is going to be hard for me. The extrovert of extroverts, the social media maven, is going to learn what it means to “be present” in each moment. And I’m a little terrified to see the lessons that lay before me. But okay, I’m willing to do it and I pray that this will become my mantra in the months ahead.
Speaking of “being present”, Jon and I started talking about Lent in early December and what we should give up during those forty days. I’ll give you one guess as to what I refused to name, but it was at the top of Jon’s helpful list of ideas. Social media. So, starting on Wednesday, March 5th, I’ll be social media free. The fact that I’m a little scared of this sacrifice tells me that this is the right move. But please, please check in with me… I’ll still be blogging (probably more so than normal) but I fear for my sanity going cold turkey. (And the fact that I’m only half-joking means I have issues. Serious issues.)
In 2013, my one word was Courage. And it was definitely the year for it. As I look back on last year, I can see many situations in which Courage showed up and took residence in my heart. There’s was even a moment when Jon looked at me and wondered aloud if Courage had been meant for him too. Here’s a small list of things where courage was needed…
- Participating in a Marriage Blog Series with other bloggers.
- The summer of depression, fear, and panic attacks.
- Settings new boundaries for our family.
- Scaling back on Munchkin Land Designs.
- Working with other beautiful, courageous women to plan our IF:Local event.
Over all, I have no doubt that Courage was an obvious theme in Twenty Thirteen. And I so appreciated how I was able to actively search to find where God was asking me to show courage, or was even able to recognize it after the fact. He was so faithful to me this year! I certainly would not have made it without Him.
If you follow me on Instagram, or are friends with me on Facebook, then you already know about this next one. The whining, the temper-tantrum throwing, the fighting, the arguing. Its out of control in our house. As in, I’ve reached the end of my rope and realized something needed to change, because the screaming I was doing back, was obviously NOT working. Enter the Philippians Jars.
I can’t take credit for the idea. This site explains it so much more eloquently than I ever could. But we tweaked it a bit. I’m not doing $5 a week/per child. Um, with four Littles, that’s $80 a month. No, just no. So we’re going to probably do either $5 or $10 a month. This first month, we’ve put $5 worth of quarters in each child’s jar. Every time one of the Littles complains, whines, or throws a tantrum, a quarter comes out of their jar and into my (or Jon’s) possession. It will be added to our date jar. Ha! If there’s a fight among the Littles, the instigator will have to remove a quarter from their jar and put it into the offended sibling’s jar. Whatever is in their jars at the end of the month, they’ll get to keep and spend how they want.
With this in mind, we’re going to be adding the chore jar. Its inevitable that either a) they’re going to run out of quarters or b) they’ll want to add more money to their jars. So into the chore will be real chores, hard chores and a dollar amount. When said chore is finished, they can add that money to their jars.
I would like to add a disclaimer here. I really have no clue what I’m doing with this parenting thing. As I’m more than willing to admit, so much of parenting seems to be trial and error. I’m hoping these things works, but I also realize that each of my Littles are unique. What works with one, often won’t work with another. But as clueless as I am, I’m honestly just trying the best I can.
A couple of other random things to note:
- Reagan was sent home with a “Welcome to Kindergarten” binder. Kindergarten. My third-born is going to be registering for kindergarten next month. Noooooooo…
- Jon’s supervisor retired last month (December), as did two of his own guys. So Jon is not only acting Junior Foreman, he’s also trying to maintain his own job as Shop Foreman, while maintaining his roads without two of his men. Poor guy worked three weeks straight, without a single day off. He is truly one of the hardest working men I know.
- Hudson and Reagan continue to be either the best of friends, or sordid enemies. They’ll either spend hours working on Legos together, or Reagan is telling Hudson “You’re the worst brother ever!” To which Hudson responds “Well, you’re the worst sister in the whole world!” Crying and fighting ensues. See Philippians Jars above.
- I remember when well-meaning family and friends expressed concern about Devyn not crawling (she went straight to walking) and how it would affect her ability to read. I’m happy to report that Devyn is now reading at an 8th grade reading level. In fact, most days will find her happily cuddled up in blankets and a big book. I’m so proud of our girl!
- Well, it happened. Nine years of parenting and we have our first black eye. Well, two black eyes if we want to get technical. Last Saturday, Ashlynn ran smack dab into a wall. It was a nasty goose egg, it swelled immediately. I spent most of the night making sure she was ok by waking her every couple of hours. By Tuesday, the swelling and bruising traveled down her face and settled around her eyes. Slowly but surely, our baby girl is healing. But wow, the colors have been fun to watch.
- Ashlynn is not yet potty trained, and I’m in no hurry. After doing this three other times, I just wait for the Little to show interest. And we’re not there yet. All in due time… But the girl is now speaking in full sentences and is still a ball of sass and attitude. She keeps us laughing!