Monday, April 26, 2010

The FInishing Touches

This weekend was beautiful and we were able to seize the moment and fill in the final plantings to complete the backyard.  Well, at least we are down to 95%.  Trying to coordinate 84 varieties of plants and find them at 4 different suppliers has been a challenge.  Next weekend will be the mulch/compost.  One of my new favorites is this Virginia Sweetspire.  This is in full bloom right now and has these long drooping white cone-shaped "flowers".  Another interesting one is this Jerusalem Sage.  It's not at all what I expected!  Cavett's sunflower seeds have even sprouted!  We have also gotten part of our new patio furniture set.  The rest is still on order and I am crossing my fingers that it will be here by the 14th of May. (I'm having a little girls reunion of sorts.)   

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Behavior Adjustment

This weekend one of my dear friends, Adrianne gave me a book.  This is the second book she has given me and I think that God  tells her exactly what book I need at the very point I need it.  Love her for that!   

This one is called The Well-Versed Family by Caroline Boykin.  I'm on page 37, so I haven't even barely scratched the surface of how she does it, but I already took her very first example and used it. 

You see I have become very inconsistent with discipline.  I think if I were to correct every single thing every single time with a time out, I would be going nuts.  I have gotten a little lazy.  But, yesterday when Cavett didn't want to play nicely with others I removed him from the situation and we went to have a talk in his room.  Just going to his room with him was a huge help.  We talked about the problem and found a bible verse that talks about how Jesus wants us to behave.  We memorized it together. 

John 13:34- "This is my new commandment: Love one another.  Just as I have loved you, you love each other."   

It worked perfectly, he went back and played cooperatively with his brother. 

Having been to the BSF Children's training Monday, next I emplimented the BSF version of "time-out," although I still call it time out.  Kendrick was jumping on our new outdoor furniture and I told him not to do it again.  He did and he sat in time out.  We prayed and asked God to forgive him and to help him obey Mommy and ultimately God.  He had a look like "What is happening?  This is new.  We don't ususally do this right now."  Again, he acted like he was going to do it, I shot him a look and it the bahavior was corrected. 

I am loving these new strategies and intend on continuing them and what better way to inscribe God's word on their hearts and let them know they can talk to God anytime.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Kendrick's Speech

Again, back to yesterday's comments about my past blog on worrying and second guessing and blaming....I have been concerned about Kendrick.  About a month ago, his teacher pulled me into the classroom and we had a chat about his behavior and speech and that he would probably benefit from speech therapy.  She assured me that it would be very helpful as he is having trouble expressing himself and is acting out instead.

I had been thinking that he may need speech therapy since about his second bithday last August, but I thought maybe it was too early and he'd grow into his words.  But, after this conversation, I began blaming myself. Have I done all I could to be the best teacher in this aspect?  I haven't read to him as much as I did to Cavett.  He sits in front of the television more than Cavett did.  I probably don't talk to him as much as I did with Cavett.  Not to mention he seems behind in his colors and shapes.  What kind of Mom am I????

But, that day in March I put all those evil thougths out of my mind.  It isn't my fault and I am a good Mom.  Things change when you have baby #2.  Life is busier and the first kid talks a ton.  He has a healthy love for books and will now sit down and read several in a row when he is in the right mood.  I have been more diligent about my conversations with him and insisting on him using complete sentences with consistency.  Now that the weather is more condusive we are balancing outdoor play time with TV time and indoor play time. 

So, today we had Kendrick's evaluation. At 9:30 three women came into to my house and we talked about Kendrick, watched him play and take "tests."  An hour and fifteen minutes later, my thoughts were validated.  He needs no therapy (other than potty training and I'm not paying $75 a month for someone to tell me how to do that!)  His age equivalents are as follows:

Cognitive: 33 months
Communication: 36 months
Social Emotional:  39 months
Physical: 41 months
Adaptive (self care and independence): 24 months (due to not potty training yet)

The speech therapist did give me a chart to help me keep a look out for mastery of certain letters and blends and when he should accomplish this by. She said what I am already doing is exactly what she would recommend me doing. For example: Kendrick says "more milk" and I have him repeat "May I have more milk please?"

Today his real age is 31 months and a couple of weeks.  He's fine and there is no need for concern.  Praise God!  What a relief!

Monday, April 19, 2010

The Reveal Week

This week is the big reveal.  Remember that post a few weeks ago?  The one about second guessing myself and blaming myself and worry?  The next two posts will be the answer to what my concerns have been.

Lately, I have really been missing teaching and singing.  The only outlet that I have had for that is singing a couple of hymns with a piano during BSF, oh and I got to sing the Hallelujah chorus at Easter.  I have had no teaching outlet of any kind other than my kids.  I went to the Dallas Children's Chorus Gala/Concert and realized how much I missed teaching and directing.  I'm taking Kendrick to a gymnastics class that tries to be a SongPlay with gymnastics, but that is very unfulfilling in the musical sense.  I just really miss teaching no matter the age.  So, I have been praying for an answer--some outlet for me to use my God given talents. 

Not more than a week after I posted the previous blog I get a call from my BSF leader asking me to consider being a children's leader next year.  I knew that this was my answer to my prayer, but at the same time I was reluctant.  I had done Vacation Bible School, but somthing this hard core was a bit more of a strech for me, which is why I think God wants me here.  Did I mention the major time commitment, study and preparation involved?  So, I accepted, I was approved and I went to my first leader's class today.  Overwhelming, but I'll take it bit by bit and observe over the next several weeks and I have no dobt God will give me the time to make it happen and the right words to teach these kids about the unfathomable, indescribable love of God our Father. 

There will be no second guessing my decision or my ability.  There will be no worrying about how my house will get cleaned or the flower beds weeded.  I will prioritize.  When God comes first, everything else falls into place. 

Look for another bigger answer tomorrow...

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


Kendrick is a pure joy.  He's fun to watch, he's fun to play with, and he somehow, always makes me laugh even if I should be upset sometimes. 

The past two nights have been beautiful and we have eaten outside.  On Monday after Kendrick finished his dinner, he began walking around the edge of the pool.  (Ok, insert your "OMG-you don't have a net or guard on your pool, how could you dare, kind of comment here".  Thanks, I'm over it. Moving on.)  So, anyway, he was exploring as we have been doing all winter, teaching him about respect for the pool.   This time we had the fountains on.  We let him play in it like it was a splash park.  It was the funniest thing and he was loving every minute of it. 

At the end he realized that he could make foot and hand prints just like at his "Little Gym" that shows him where to put his hands and feet for rolls and such.  After one forward roll on the hard stone, he decided maybe that wasn't the best place to do that.

Love that kiddo! 

Monday, April 12, 2010

The Weekend

It was a busy one at the Hill house.  Friday, Cavett went to school and Kendrick hung out with us.  He was a great help at Lowes where he pulled our cart around and we tried to not bump into the mob of people that were there.  The afternoon was spent working in the yard without sunscreen:  no bueno.  The good part is that the beds up next to the fountains on the pool are complete.  The bed opposite is missing one plant.  The bed on the far end is finished.  We also bought a few sunflower seed which were not in our design for Cavett to plant with his Deigo gloves and spade since he has been studying such things at school this month. 

Saturday afternoon we had a Centenary Crawfish Boil at one of Stephen's fraternity brother's house in Highland/University Park area.  I took our new camera and started snapping away.  I went to look at a pic some time later and realized there was no memory card.  Real bummer.  Afterwards, Renee invited us over to their house for pizza and the kids watched a movie. 

Sunday, church, grocery store and mulch for the beds.

It seems with these 4 day weekends we are EXTREMELY productive, but I am typically ready for Monday morning to roll in. 

Thursday, April 8, 2010

The Mission

Today was deemed Potty Training Boot Camp Day for Kendrick.  I got the wetting baby doll from sister #2, found the book at Half Price Books, took notes on my phone, gathered all the needed supplies (paper towels, cleaning spray, step stool, juices of all sorts and treats of many kinds,) and place his underwear within reach  We camped out in the kids hallway to play where all the games are (and no carpet) and I brought in books and puzzles. 

Kendrick taught the baby doll how to "go."  He really seemed to get into it and like it, surprisingly.  We put on big boy underware and started drinking lots of juice.  After 30 minutes, nothing.  The clock chimes ten times, still nothing.  By this point we have checked ourselves multiple times and tried to go at least 4 times.  Along comes 11:00 and I am tired of sitting on the hard wood floor.  We get up and walk around and he decided he wants to go upstairs and play.  I told him we can't because he has to go potty first.  A couple of minutes pass by and then he says excitedly, "I need to go potty!"  And, by george, we made it and all was perfect and right in the world. 

Unfortunately, that's kinda where it ends.  As we were upstairs time passed too quickly playing and he missed an opportunity being too distracted.  We did all the practicing back and forth multiple times and he was responsible and cleaned up.  Cavett and Dad came home and things got a little crazier.  Naptime came and we put a pull-up on. 

After 2 hours, I woke him up from his nap.  He had gone in his sleep, but we tried anyway with success.  Again, we downward spiral from here.  Accident at 4--practice, immediately following clean up-another accident, immediately following that clean up-another, and that is where I lost it.  It was over for me.  

Ok, the positive: 
1.  He did go more times today than he ever has on the potty. 
2. He can put on his underware and pull them up and down all by himself. 
3. I got to spend a ton of semi-uninterrupted time with him. 
4. He has the right idea and he will have it eventually, I mean the kid won't go to Kindergarden in diapers, I'm sure!  

As for the eldest child, Cavett got to be Dad's personal assistant.  They went to deliver dental gift baskets to several area businesses that send patients his way and he got to visit the lab where they make "fake" teeth.  They had a special father-son lunch at Pei Wei and threw in a little Mario Brothers as well. 

I'm sure it will be a day remembered by all...... 

Easter Pictures

If you're on Facebook, you have seen these.  If not, enjoy our Easter Day.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

The Looks

As this Ressurection Day approaches, I have received some looks.  They are confused looks.  Looks of wonder and shock.  Looks that say, "what kind of mother are you?"  But, I don't care.  Let them say what they want.  But this is the biggest day of the year and I'm not going to puff it into something that it isn't or confuse my kids knowledge and belief of everything I have taught them all year long. 

What I speak of is the hunting of eggs and the Easter Bunny's visit to our house.  I have not actively sought a public place to seek for eggs.  I have not pulled out the plactic replicas for them to hide and hunt.  We haven't even dyed eggs....yet.  (It may happen tomorrow morning before church.)  But again, we will do real eggs, not the plastic, no-new-life kind.  There was no posing with the Easter Buuny.  It's pagan and completely unrelated to Christianity and what Christ did for us on the cross.

Now that being said, the boys did have a "hunt" at school which I found out was not really all that exciting and was more educational than anything.   And, last night we were invited to my sister's sister-in-law's house and had a bit of fun with finding eggs.   Like I said, we may have time to dye some tomorrow, but be assured we will discuss the fact that it is like the tomb that Jesus was laid in, but after 3 days, he was risen and had new life. 

I also made them Easter baskets, but they will know that the contents were from Mom and Dad and Grandmama, but will be reminded that all things come from Him.  To add a bit more fun to the mix, each kid has a rubbery rabbit at their favorite place on the island which is pointing to where the basket is hidden.

A lamb cookie: to remind them that Jesus was our sacrificial lamb.  Rev. 5:12
 In a loud voice they sang:

"Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain,
to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength
and honor and glory and praise!"

Flip-flops and a foam sword:  To arm ourselves in His righteousness.  (ok, so flip-flops aren't that protective, but they needed them.)  Eph. 6:10-18 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.

Monogram stamp:  because He personally prayed for you and me and gave His life so that we may be saved.  Just try substituting your own name for the  "thems and theys" in the next passage. 
John 17:20-26  My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. "Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world. "Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them."
Isaiah 53:5   But he was pierced for our transgressions,

he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was upon him,
and by his wounds we are healed.

A slinky- for faith (this is a bit of a "stretch")  Matt. 17:20 He replied, "Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you."

And also because he strecthed his arms to reform us.  Luke 23:44-46  It was now about the sixth hour, and darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour, for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. Jesus called out with a loud voice, "Father, into your hands I commit my spirit." When he had said this, he breathed his last.

And the token plastic egg filled with M&Ms: because his love for us is so sweet and we should share it with others. I John 3:16 This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.

The God-incidence was, I just went to Target and looked in their dollar bin for stuff.  This is what I came out with with nothing in mind.  It was a lesson for me and He gave it to me along with the second slinky verse from my BSF friend, Becky. 

Praise God for giving us His Son that we may have eternal life.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

New Orleans Cousin

This evening we got to spend som equality time with our cousin, William.  Unfortunately, we didn't pull the camera out sooner.  But, Kendrick and William had great fun pushing each other on the firetruck as well as a great time on the playground. 

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Shreveport Time

W spent about 24 hours in Shreveport on Thursday/Friday.  It was about as much as our allergies could handle.  It seems it really affects Cavett's eyes.  However, we spent some good quality time in the yard and at the park.  Besides, the black eye that Kendrick got on the trampoline earlier in the week, he also got a huge knot on the back of his head.  Poor thing!