Last Thursday, I had the great pleasure to go on my fourth, an final First Christian Pre-primary, annual pumpkin patch field trip! It was a bittersweet day, because I knew I would never again be a mom to a preschooler, and go on one of these fabulous fall outings!
First off the kids got to play for a bit on the hay fort...
Then off to line up wash hands, and get ready for a snack!
This is Meritt's little friend Elsa. She is 3 days younger than Meritt. (although she was supposed to be a month older ;)) They were in the hospital nursery together - now look at them all big and four!
I am AMAZED how well the teacher get these 16 spirited little individuals to behave. They lined up nicely for a class photo!
Of course the kids want to see what the picture looks like!
Then finally snack time - homemade cider donuts and fresh pressed cider... YUM! I got a snack too!
Off on the wagon we went to hunt for the perfect pumpkin!
Friends gathered together in the front of the wagon, to ride back to the farm, and say 'see ya later alligator!'
It was the most perfect weather I have ever had on one of these trips... it was great!
Wow, October has come and almost gone...
I haven't even posted pictures of the girls starting school, or of our yearly pumpkin patch trip. So, this is the post folks to play catch up in photos... Here it goes:
Fall blew in like a breeze (hurricane) that I wasn't expecting and blew me right on over... September began the school year. Here is Miss Bella starting her 3rd grade year of school. I was allowed one photo (no more) it happens to be blurry, but I was also reminded that we get what we get and we don't get upset... (so there ya have it!)
Unlike her sister, Meritt Rose was more than happy to ham it up for the camera! Starting your second year of preschool is BIG business don't you know.
What a cheese ball... take another picture Mama. I'm going to soak that up as long as I get it! Because apparently in 4 more years you will be too cool for me! :)
Meritt is indeed having roaring fun in the 4 day 4's. She is doing so well. If you would have told me a year ago, what a year could bring, I would have told you that you were CrAzY! She is making friends, she is excited each and every day about school, and she loves both of her new teachers...
Seriously, look at that smile - could she be any more excited? This was her first official day without mom (the first day is a short meet and greet with Mama's by their sides!)
She requested I take her in, and we got there, and I got a --- bye mom, see ya later...
(a bit different than a year ago...!)
Each day I pick her up, I love hearing all the stories. What fun to be four years old!
The Pumpkin Patch...
Something we do every year, is go out to the pumpkin patch...
This year I put my big girl (mama) panties on and took the kiddos by myself out to my hometown, for some good old fashioned fall fun!
There were piggies to pet (okay watch sleep)
Goats to feed...
Meritt loved this part a lot... she made friends with the boys (as she called them)!
We took a hay wagon (tractor) ride through the corn to the pumpkin patch...
What a beautiful day we got. What a lovely place.... sometimes I miss the country and itty bitty city I came from!
tromped through the field to check things out...
Smiles were all around...
I said hello to the egg laying chickies...
Then we found a Daddy pumpkin, a Mama pumpkin, a Bella pumpkin, a Meritt pumpkin, and 4 small animal pumpkins... our porch is filled!
Can you believe September and October have come and almost gone already??? I'm in a bit of disbelief!
I've shared here a bit that I have been struggling with one of my kids, and that it has been affecting our entire household immensely. Last week was sort of my bottom. Couldn't deal with all of it anymore. By Friday I resorted to leaving home the moment Matt got home from work. I needed out of my house, out of the chaos, I needed to spend some time quiet with God. So, I did. I prayed. I breathed. I at McDonald's french fries (better than going out and doing drugs!) I prayed for peace. I desperately needed that for our home, our family, my soul. I went home that evening, and crawled into bed... got up Saturday and went to work, the next day we went to church as a family. I was still praying for some direction on how to break the terrible cycle we had gotten into.
I had remembered a book I had seen at the Bible book store one day when I was there. I had judged the title, thinking what a horrible name of a book. I still sort of feel that way. It kind of is a terrible name. I didn't want a new kid, I wanted my kid to be the best she could be, and I needed some help to find her inside of her attitude and fits, and temper. I needed help how to not meet her attitude with my own. How to learn how to respond instead of react. (a really hard one for me!)
So, out of my desperation I bought the book. The book I judged, but must have somehow remembered because I went and walked in to the Bible book store and bought it.
I am here to tell you, what a difference a week makes. Whoa. There is peacefulness in our household again. I have taken back the reins... and while everything isn't perfect (let's not be unrealistic here) things are improving beyond my expectations.
Each night Matt and I are reading this, and implementing Dr. Kevin Leman's strategies into our parenting, and our kids are blossoming because of it.
I just wanted to share this with you. Maybe you too are having a hard time?! What I love about his book is it's for kids from 2- 30! So helpful, and right to the point. I like that a lot. No beating around the bush. He calls a spade a spade. He starts with the parents, and then we work on the kids. We're working on the relationship with our kids, and for the first time in a while I can honestly say I am enjoying my kids again. I am finding Joy in them. We are laughing, and talking. There is no more yelling... ahhhh, yes I do believe there is PEACE! We still have a few days to go.... I'll keep you posted!
There are so many seasons in life aren't there. Some we can't wait to get through, and others we wish we could savor forever. I happen to be in one of those seasons of life as of late that I just want to get through. I am ready to figure out how to get through this rough phase and move forward...
As a mama, I want to delight in my children. Find JOY in them. Enjoy our days. I want them to look back on their childhoods and remember me as cheerful, gracious, and loving. Some days I am certain they are going to remember me as an impatient, angry, yelling monster.
Lately this is harder said than done. Ever since school started this year, or maybe two weeks before, it seems like life is in total chaos. One of my kids has dumped over the apple cart of our family, and it affects the entire mood and vibe of our home. I am finding it incredibly hard to stay consistent, and positive.
The dreams I had of motherhood seem like an absolute joke during these times. It seems as if the only volume of my voice that is heard is when it's at a roar. I am tired. I am feeling broken at this moment. Like I am failing somehow and I am totally unsure how to mend things so that this season doesn't last forever. The job of raising children into grown people is tremendous, and I don't want to screw this up. I want to get past this. I need to. We all do.
Here's the truth... I haven't had anything joyful to share with you lately. I apologize. It's a season of life, and I hope it passes quickly. I have had plans to post back to school photos and other happenings, but keeping up with life is all I can muster, and in the quiet moments, all I want is quiet and peace.
Please pray for PEACE in our family. We are struggling right now. We'll be fine, please don't panic, but we could use your prayer to get our kiddo through this phase of life that is making for a hard season of life for our family!
It's pretty late in the afternoon, and I feel spent. It's been a long day. Tears are at the very surface, waiting to pour out at any moment, although I have been doing pretty well today all things considered holding it together. I think! Our sweet Addie-kat had to go to the vet today. I discovered that she had gotten sick all over the basement last night, sometime after I got the girls off to school. I knew with one look at what had happened all over the rug in the night that I no longer could blame age for all her ailments. Off we went, her and I to see what comes next...
We are now waiting... waiting on test results to tell us what to do next. I am pretty sure I know what they are going to tell me, and I'm not sure I'm ready for that.
She has been a constant in my life, for the last 13 years, and I'm not sure I would know what to do without her around. Matt and I got Addie the month we graduated from high school. My neighbor Bob had a litter of kittens, and told me as a graduation present that I could pick which ever one I wanted. So, I did. Little ball of fluff we brought her home. First to my house (my dad's allergic) parents were less than thrilled. Then she went to live at Matt's house. There she stayed until we got a place of our own. Then she moved with us for a few more years, like nomads on a journey. We added a pug Emma next, then two daughters, then a boy cat named Buddy that she was less than fond of, and then another dog. None of which she was altogether all that found with. I am pretty sure she would have traded being a nomad forever if only she could stay an only child.
As most things do, it's got me thinking. Pondering, really. Does she know how loved she is? Why did I shoo her off my lap last night when I was busy. Why don't I take more time to enjoy what I have when I have it... Why is life so often like that? Why do we appreciate the things/pets/people in our lives far more once we know what it's like to live without them, or at least the thought??? Why are we humans so that way? Why do we not know instinctively to enjoy things more, to slow down, breath deep and savor moments. It could be our last. Or our loved ones last... kind of a sobering thought.
My piece of advice for the day... Live in the moment. Kiss your loved ones. Enjoy what you have when you have it... it could be gone tomorrow.
Funny how a cat can make you think such deep thoughts huh?
I guess love can do that.
Love comes in many forms... that's for sure!
I'm Mandy. Mama, Wife, Daughter, Sister, Friend, Lover of God... Each day is a journey. Life is an adventure. At this point in my life, I try to go one day at a time, enjoying the moment I'm in, because today is a gift that will be gone tomorrow. I hope this can be a place to share the joy that can be found in everyday simpleness, watching kids grow, enjoying those you love, and this crazy little thing called life!