this helped my children stop complaining.

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It’s the sigh I hate most.

I don’t know why it always grabs me the wrong way, making my tongue want to leap out of my mouth like a snake–

When they complain.

It’s the fastest ticket to this mommas nerves. I don’t know why. Sometimes I think it’s because I have a go-getter attitude, “get it all done yesterday” =) Or perhaps because I’m an adult and I see a need and meet it.

However, as sure as the sun is rising this morning my little heart whispers to me, yet again:

“It’s your flesh”

Ah, yes. That sneaky ‘ol thing again– trying to ruin the sweet fellowship between me and my kiddos.

Sometimes it’s a quick trip to the table for sentences. Right now, it’s the complaining jar.

As soon as that sigh or words of complaint come from those sweet lips of theirs– my tongue doesn’t have to whip out like a snake, I have a plan.

A solution.

I think as a parent, most of my frustrations, doubts, and sleepless nights come from having no plan– no solution. So then, I am left to worry and parent out of fear, rather than love. Fear of what consequences they will face as a result of their choices. Such as, complaining when someone askes for their help.

Now, I know your children don’t struggle with this, they do twirls and sing hymns while they gladly help with everything you ask.  And my kids do that too– when we’re on our way to get ice-cream ;)

For when we are at home and I’ve asked maybe one too many things– when they give me the sigh, (my littles mostly) I simply reply:

“Oh, you just complained, I’m sorry– you have to go to the complaining jar.”

And then this little momma has to follow through with the consequences =(

 

But when they choose Grace–oh happy day!

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One day, it will all be just a memory.

Breathe deep today, mommas. Remember, they’re all here now.

And they’re watching you. =)

Holding my tongue daily,

Kati

Have you heard how to trick your kids into love? Oh yes! It works too!


 

Some of you have asked how to receive posts in your email: it’s simple. On the lower right hand side of the screen there should be a “follow” button. Click and enter your email. It’s totally safe.

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Um, yeah… is there an ad below here? A creepy ad  (yes, directly below here, some strange video, perhaps?) I didn’t put it there = / And I didn’t choose what it will advertise. Sorry about that.

Could my bad mom moment help you?

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We all have that child.

Well, at least I tell myself we all do. Maybe it’s only me.

In this home of half a dozen children- the “that child” always changes.

But lately? It has been the same one.

over

and over

and over

again.

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Last night, all of my kiddos were tucked into bed.

Sneaking one little guy a banana I thought, maybe I should give his brother one too.

“No, he doesn’t deserve a banana.”  I thought.

He yelled at me.

He hit his sister.

He did that thing he does- again.

Then I heard it.

“I’m watching the way you treat him.”

It came all over me like a flood. You know, the way God does? Just says six little words that rock your world?

Yeah. That God of ours. He did that.

Again.

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Compassion, Kindness, and Love.

Within five minutes, all of my littles had a banana; all giggling under their covers at the idea of a late night, sweet snack.

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So, I wrote it down. Right there in the hallway– where we write prayers.

He’s watching.  And He notices when it’s hard. He hears when you pray again out of frustration. He is planting little seeds in my little man’s heart each.time.i.choose.to.love.

no matter what.

Sometimes, I don’t deserve the Fathers love. But He gives it still.

May we be a person with the mind of Christ. To love even when we’ve been wronged. Even when they’ve done it again. Even when it seems like they’ll never change. May we sneak a little bit of sweetness into their hearts so they know we love them still.

Because He’s watching the way we love them. And the thought of seeing my Father look upon me with a smile of satisfaction?

Well, that’s beautiful.

Learning Daily,

Kati

A winning way to reward kids this summer (and always)

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Everyone likes to be noticed.

Especially kids.

Especially when they do something right.

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Each day, the kids do checklists. Checklists keep this momma sane.

When they finish their checklist- they get tickets. Finish first? You get the most tickets. Finish last? You get the last, lonely ticket.

If I catch them loving – I notice.

“Judah, that was very kind… go get a ticket.”

If I see they picked something up in the yard or off the floor– just to be a help.

I notice.

You get the picture.

We never, ever take tickets away.

We draw a winner each Sunday afternoon.

There is a grand prize winner box and then the five remaining children have numbers drawn and get to choose from the runner up prize box.

The grand prize winner throws all of that weeks tickets away and we start new on Monday.

It’s fantastic.

You know what? (you’re fantastic too!)

Loves,

Kati

PS: A special thanks to all of you who have contacted me about my dad and his fight for life as mentioned in this post. Strangers and friends alike, you have blessed my life by your sweet words and prayers. He is still fighting.

Making sweet love on a bad day

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“Finding myself, this morning struggling with the beginning of my day, I was reminded of a story from a few years back. From a time when my littlest one was usually naked, and my oldest one was still learning multiplication and I did the usual thing  I do when I’m struggling. 

Lost it. In one way or another.

If you are finding yourself like me this morning, or any time at all, really… struggling to get yourself together – perhaps my broken life can lend a little hope to yours, and help your day shine bright.”

February 2011~

Today was a bad day. I was a very cranky momma.

Oh, it’s hard to pin point the exact reason. I started the day out “by the book,” up early, before the kids. Time in the word, time with my man, I made a sweet little homemade breakfast, read to the kids. It should have just worked out right; right?

Wrong.

And looking back, I can’t quite figure out what finally made me snap. Oh, it could have had something to do with the three hours it took one of my children to be ready for her day and start school; just too many rabbit trails to find herself on. Or, it could have something to do with the extensive handwriting lesson one of my other children had to do because her brother almost suffered a concussion when he hit his head on the coffee table during a fun pushing game.

Or it could be the 100th phone call I knew I had to make to AT&T because they can’t seem to bill us correctly and they like to make me sit on hold for 20 plus minutes each time. Maybe it was because I am crazy and allowed my children to get three kittens for Christmas?

Perhaps, the wonderful cold snow isn’t so wonderful anymore; or maybe it’s because we just moved to the town I grew up in and I’m secretly afraid someone will knock at our door and see that it is absolute chaos, and I’ll have to use the line… “Hey, at least we’re learning.”

But then again, It might just have been one. of. those. days. But, perhaps I could just chalk it all up to a girl thing and blame it on my psycho thyroid and the fact that I have yet to find a doctor down here to get it under control.

Whatever the reason may be, I lost my temper, yelled at the kids. Felt the sweet momma in me run dry and went into my room and cried.

So then, I dried my eyes, gave myself a little pep talk, realized that I’m a total worthless parent without God and continued on with my day, teaching Judah the letter X, helping Jordan read the word, frog; again, talked to Alli about how Italy is shaped like a boot, and put Emmyn on her sweet “big girl time blanket” to play with blocks.

At lunch, we talked about Making Sweet Love.

As the children ate, I put before them, four little cups.

One overflowing, three empty.

We talked about the marshmallows, how yummy and sweet they are. They resembled our sweet love. The love we have to share with others. I asked the kids, how can “Mommy share this love with each of you?” They said things like,

“snuggle us”

“kiss us”

“read to us”

“take us places”

with each thing they said, I gave them some of my “love.”

Eventually, their little cups were full of love and mine was empty.

I said, “Oh, no… look! Where is mommy’s love?” (Of course, Judah reaches into the bag of marshmallows, grabs a big handful and says, “Right here, mommy!” But the girls understood. “You’ve given it all out to us.”

Then I told them about how a mothers love is like Jesus, it never runs out. But unlike Jesus, mommas get tired and need some love.

I perked up, “SO! Who has some love for momma?”

“I do!”

“I do!”

“Here is a kiss”

“Here is a thank you”

… the list went on and on, they were racing to see who could fill it up quickest. All of a sudden we all had plenty of love, to equally share. And we were all happy.


And Jesus Said, 

My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.  John 15: 12-13

Oh, The day carried on like normal, we got on a good track, the house was a complete disaster, we learned, played, laughed, got in more trouble, made really delicious chicken and noodles, and after we were all finished,  sat and rested a while during tea time.

We sipped on coffee, nibbled on egg whites, and enjoyed a glimpse of summer with delicious juicy oranges while we listened to a story, my very favorite story of all.

I haven’t read it since March. Unable to handle the truth of it all, afraid I would come unglued. Each time I read it, silly I know; but I feel like it was written just for me.

And I was right, my eyes filled with tears, my mind filled with thoughts and it was almost more than I could handle.

I. read.very.slowly.

Breathed.very.deeply.

Max Lucado writes:

“He deserves lots of dots,” the wooden people would agree with one another. “He’s not a good wooden person.” After a while Punchinello believed them. “I’m not a good Wemmick”, He would say.

Judah asked, “Momma, those real tears?”

I paused, “Yes, Judah they are real tears.”

I continued the book. Reading about Eli, the Maker.

Eli explains, “The stickers only stick if they matter to you. The more you trust my love, the less you care about their stickers.


“I’m not sure I understand”, Punchinello says.

I understood today.

I asked the kids, like I always do, “Do you ever feel like you have a lot of grey dots?” I continued, “Mommy does.”

I said, “Like when momma yelled today…” “You see,” I said; “When momma does that kind of stuff, I spend the whole day feeling terrible,  like I am not a good mom, like I’ve let God down in the job he has trusted me with.”

I continued, “But, that isn’t the truth is it? That isn’t trusting God’s love, is it?”

Oh mommas, it is a hard day sometimes. Always wondering if we’ve made the right choice, always regretting something we’ve done or said. Battling things from the past, hiding emotions we are having and putting on smiles for our little ones. It isn’t always easy, and it doesn’t always happen. And when our little cups run dry of marshmallows and we cover ourselves with gray dots… all we can do is fall back into the arms of our Maker and let him stand us back up straight ready to right the good fight for one more round.

Eli smiled. “You will understand, but it will take some time you’ve got a lot of marks. For now, just come to see me every day and let me remind you how much I care.” 

-Max Lucado

Alli whispers to me afterward, “Mom… thanks.”

And she gives me a wink.

A trick to help siblings get along this summer.

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“Words have the power to both destroy and heal. When words are both true and kind, they can change our world.”

The Buddha


 

I have six kids.

Two are boys.

And they are all boy.

They fight.

Sometimes for fun, sometimes not so much.

One more thing? They’re dirty.

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Well, most of the time.

This, however. THIS is for certain.

When those boys of mine decide it’s “fun” to poke fun, fight, or be just.down.right.mean; there’s this thing we do.

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Words.

I sit my little boys down and have them write 10 things they love about each other.

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Then, they read the list to each other.

“I like his smile. I like the way he laughs. I like how he plays basketball. I like how he dresses…”

“I like his skin color. I like his missing tooth.”

The silly list goes on and on.

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And it does– what sweet words always seem to do.

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Words make everything better.

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From one momma of boys to another,

Kati

 

 

Slow down, your kids are watching. A 13 year old’s view of a busy mom.

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A few months back, I was drowning.

There I was. A wife to one, mom to six. Between homeschooling, work, several different kid activities a husband in full time school–I felt the world closing in around me.

I never knew she was watching.

At the peak of my despair (can we call it that?) I felt the lord gently telling me [well, actually more like, scream at me] “Let it all go, live simple, love big and sit more.”

So, I did it. We stopped swim-team, stopped packing the days full of activities, I made a better shopping schedule — to keep from spending all week in the car running back and forth to the store; and we even sold the puppy.

I started sitting more. I started saying no. I looked at my phone less. I stepped away from social media. I stopped trying to be everyone’s savior.

A few weeks after this change had become the new “me”, my Alli, just a teenager read me a poem she just so happened to have laid on her heard during the night.


Slow Down, Your Kids Are Watching

Why is life so busy?
People to see, places to go,
Someone to call, to text.
Gotta update my Facebook status,
I should Tweet  that.
Why are my kids always
Asking for food?!
Homework, bills,
Deposits, withdrawals,
My boss is mad again.
She just had a baby,
What should I cook for her?
I need to get them a wedding gift and
Wish them a happy honeymoon!
Happy Birthday to you,
Here’s a card.
Sorry about my handwriting,
I was in a hurry.
My husband and his job,
He’s never home anymore.
Prom, seriously?
Time to mow again,
Should probably water my garden
it’s close to dying.
My glasses broke,
She needs braces?!?!
Summer’s almost over,
School starts soon… school supplies.
New shoes! Guess it’s time.
I need groceries!
Soccer, football, basketball practice.
Doctor’s appointments on Monday.
Please feed your fish.
When does church end again?
The crock pot beans should be done soon
I have an email to send before three.
Library visit, okay!
Almost out of gas.
Sick? Wash your hands!
Go take a shower now.
Did you brush you teeth?
Are you ok?
Get well soon!
Remember the old days when life wasn’t as crazy as this?

~Alli Gibson

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Wow. Only God knew she saw my good intentions as just another stressed out momma.

A good little reminder maybe? A reminder to live simple, love big and sit more. We only have this life, and they are watching.

From one busy momma to another,

Kati

The reality of mothers day.

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Walking from my bedroom into the kitchen I find this:

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Curious to what the surprise may be–I grabbed the bell.

I walked the hallway ringing the bell.

Smiling big.

From the closed bedroom door peeks my oldest daughter.

“Don’t come yet- mom. Triston peed his bed and he’s in the shower.”

This.

This is Mother’s Day reality folks.

Happy day!

:-) Kati