Our Blessed Chaos

My hubby + a 1st grader + twins in kindergarten + 4 critters..... Yeah it is chaos, but we are blessed!

Today's Verse

The message of this book is really quite simple – use common sense to raise your children! This book takes us back to a parenting style that created well behaved and respectful children.
• Back fifty years before psychology messed up the common sense concept of parenting. And yes, John Rosemond is a psychologist.
• Back to when parents raised their children with the Bible as their guide, and yes, John Rosemond is a Christian.

My favorite lesson learned from this book is that it is perfectly ok, and even preferable to use the phrase “Because I said so!” This comes down to showing leadership, parents are the leaders of the home, and they are the authority. I need to speak as if I am in control and have confidence that when I speak my children will obey. If they do not there are consequences. Yes means yes and no means no – every single time!

My least favorite lesson in this book is that I am causing the chaos in my home! Yes, I did go back and read that page a couple times to make sure I was reading it correctly!!! It is my least favorite because it means that I have work to do! As I adjust my thinking, my reactions, and the way I discipline I am coming to understand more and more how important this book is for my family. And more importantly, how important the Bible is for me and my family.

My favorite quote is on Page 197 “Make Proverbs 22:6 Your Vision Statement. It is about your child’s character, not his achievements; manners, not skills. Besides, people of good character figure out how to share their gifts with the rest of us.” Our focus on developing character and good manners is increasing!

If you are a parent, you need to read this book. It is that simple!

I review for Thomas Nelson Book Review Bloggers
This book review has been prepared for
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Christmas Day 2009

The kids woke up early, but were too scared to go down on their own.  Fine with me, I got to go down first and capture their faces as they came down the stairs. Priceless!

Santa brought brand new bikes!!!

The bikes are a bit too big for Ben & Carlee but they should be fine by summer.  It didn't matter much to them though, they were still very excited!

Sam is thrilled with his bike!  He must have put on 10 miles riding up and down the hallway turning around in the school room and round and round the island in the kitchen!  I am grateful for Magic Erasers!

Then hubby opened his present from Santa, I did not know it would be so funny, at my expense!

Next the kids found that Santa had left them stockings that were overflowing with stuff!  Unfortunately this was another year that we are not with our families on Christmas morning, I am disappointed that they do not get to see this.  So this year I took a bit longer video with the intention of posting it here.  I apologize for the poor quality and all the moving around, but there was alot going on! I hope you enjoy this 5 minute peek into our Christmas morning!!!

Santa always seems to remember to bring socks and underwear!  This is another one of those things that I truly hope they are always this excited about!

After breakfast we started opening presents.  They did so well taking turns.  It was as if it was just as exciting to see what everyone was getting.  We also had a pretty good day with not too many fights or meltdowns.  Must be the magic of Christmas!

I had found these CAT toys for the boys months ago, before I made the realization that non-battery operated toys are so much better.  Anyway, I had them so we gave them to the boys.  Of course they loved them!

Check out this level of concentration!  You don't get that from battery operated toys. It was the final thing that made me determined to never get them battery operated toys again!

I love that my kids are just as excited, and maybe even more excited to get books as they are to get toys!

Even though we only had a couple of presents each, we opened them one at a time and managed to stretch it out so that we opened presents all day! What an incredible and fun day to spend the entire day in our Christmas jammies and open presents! We didn't even have to cook because this year we had our big turkey dinner on Christmas Eve with some very special friends. So for Christmas Day we just simply heated up the leftovers. So simple, so yummy, and so almost perfect! Only being with family would have made it perfect.

Of course the very best part of Christmas is making sure that our kids understand that we have Christmas to celebrate Jesus' birthday.  Christmas is so special to us because Jesus is so special to us.  Even though we should be doing it all year long, the entire Christmas season is an opportunity to remember to be grateful to God for sending Jesus to us, to be thankful for what Jesus did for us, and to share that gratitude with others around us.

I hope that you had a blessed Christmas.  We did!

We have started a tradition that on Christmas Eve we open our gifts from Mimi & Papa, and it is always new Christmas jammies!  I truly hope that they are always this excited to get new Christmas jammies on Christmas Eve!

It is hard to see the look on Sam's face, but he is thrilled with them!

Hubby was excited about his shirt that said "I told Santa what I wanted for Christmas but he washed my mouth out with soap!"  LOL I love to hear my hubby laugh!

Sam Mama, why do you have long hair?
ME hmmm, I don't know. Why do you have short hair?
Sam (thinking for a moment) I guess God gave me short hair.
ME Oh, well I guess God gave me long hair.
Sam And I guess God gave Daddy none hair!

I am so glad that Daddy was in the room to hear this conversation! LOL

Here are the photos of the kids helping me bake Christmas Cookies. It was quite a day and they had a blast!!  Of course they all wanted to help, but it was difficult to get them all close enough to the bowl, so when Ben (of course it was Ben) started to climb on the counter to get closer, I thought "Well that works"!  So I told them that they could sit up there only because we were making special Christmas cookies.  They thought it was hilarous.

Here Ben is singing Jingle Bells LOL

Then I said it was time to lick out the bowl.  Carlee got the beater and the boys got the bowl.

Not exactly what I had in mind when I said "lick out the bowl" but they took it literally!  (of course it was Ben that thought of it first)

Sam tried a different variation!

And of course, whatever the boys do, Carlee has to try it too!

I know I have not posted anything in a long, long time. I promise I will get back to blogging and update you about everything in the coming weeks! But today I could not resist in posting about the winter storm. We heard it being called an "Epic Storm"!! Well it was!

I certainly do feel like I woke up and have been magically transported back to Saskatchewan!! It literally snowed all day yesterday. My best guess is that we got at least 2 feet of snow, maybe more. Here are some of the photos I took this morning. Remember that a little more than 24 hours ago there was no snow at all!

We are all dressed up and ready to go out to play in the snow. Of course getting into all of these winter clothes is not a usual occurance at our house and we had a few problems. The biggest was that we did not have enough pairs of good winter mitts, which caused a huge fight over the pink pair. I talked Carlee into wearing a pair of stretchy gloves under a pair of little purple mitts. This pleased her because she got to wear two pairs! And Ben was thrilled with his big pink mitts!! Problem solved! At least until Ben is a teenager and I show his friends hehehe.

We were encountered by a few problems getting out of the house! This is a picture of our back deck and screened in porch. The snow was blowing so hard that the entire screened area is covered with snow! There was no way we were going to get out this door!

We managed to push enough snow aside from our side door to squeeze out the door. It is a good thing because I don't think it would have been very easy to get out the front door either!

This photo should give you a good idea of how much snow we got. This is our driveway and is not drifted! Notice the tricycle handles sticking up out of the snow. The two lumps that you see, one in front of the horse and one behind the front tricycle are their battery operated jeeps!

Here is a short video of them finding their bikes! Carlee is being so helpful trying to dig it out! It is hard to hear, but Carlee yelled at Sam to bring her a rake. Sam told her that rakes are not for snow. And I crack up every time I hear Ben saying "I am almost here!"

After digging them out a bit, Sam & Carlee immediately tried to ride them!

Ben was thrilled to find his dump truck! Until he realized that he could not get it out!

As I took this photo I was debating going to check the mail from yesterday. I decided it could wait!

Meanwhile hubby located our one and only shovel! I think we are stuck here for awhile!

I think he knew that too, because instead of shoveling he started throwing snowballs at the kids!

Then I tripped over my much too large snowpants! Thankfully I was able to keep the camera out of the snow which my hubby grabbed and started snapping pictures. Nice of him don't you think. I am so grateful that he captured my fabulous fashion sense with my cute orange hunting cap that beautifully matches my red parka!

But I did take advantage of not having the camera in my hand and showed the kids how to make a snow angel. I haven't made one of those for years!

I realized that I had not made a snow angel for quite some time when I had trouble getting up. Of course the kids thought it was hilarous to keep pushing me back down into the snow!

We have decided that living in the snow is in Sam's blood. He had a great time and I think he would have stayed out all day!

Ben, not so much. He did have fun but that was combined with quite alot of complaining.

Carlee had so much fun digging in the snow. Quite a change from last year when she would not even step on any snow! Here is a cute video of her singing while she worked!

But when she decided she'd had enough, that was it! She was done!!! And so,this is really our first Nor'easter experience. Boy do I miss the weather in California!

Several years ago Donna introduced me to her family's Christmas ornament tradition and I loved the idea so I began collecting Christmas ornaments every year as well. When we had kids we started that tradition for each of them as well. Last year I had realized that they would each have enough ornaments to start decorating their own trees, so this year that is what we did.

The kids each had their own tree decorated with their own ornaments. It was a bit stressful because they were so excited and not real careful, but in the end they were thrilled with their trees.

The big tree was decorated with mine & hubby's ornaments. The big tree was interesting, the very breakable & very precious ornaments were all at the top and the rest were all at the bottom. I loved the coziness of this room with the trees!

There are no words, this is simply Ben! He was on an adventure, which explains the binoculars. But I don't know about the swimming trunks combined with mitts and a snowhat (In Canada I would call it a touque!)

Ever wonder what it might be like join us for Thanksgiving dinner? Well, this is a short video of what occurred soon after the kids were done eating. Do you think maybe I might have put too many marshmallows on the sweet potatoes or too much whipped cream on the pumpkin pie? I am wondering if the level of sugar increased the noise level.

I find it so interesting to see what kinds of things they come up with. This particular day they were pretending to be kitties. We had just come back from North Carolina where they spent alot of time playing with the stray kittens.

We made a couple visits to our house in North Carolina this fall. I am not looking forward to cleaning up all those leaves when we move back! The kids had fun playing outside though.

Well, except for some of Carlee's attitude, but that ended when the kittens showed up. She absolutely adored those kitties!