Friday, October 4, 2013

Laundry Soap and Character

  Jack Frost came for a visit last night....expected (I saw it on the news) and unexpected (you never really truly believe it's going to snow until you wake up to white dusted yard.)
 The kids had to get out in the first snow right after breakfast...I was tempted to say "no" since Tristan had school to get ready for and I was afraid of them all catching colds...but hey...what's the fun in that? You only live once...might as well let little kids be little kids.
 On that note...I forgot how much goes into getting kids ready to go out in cold weather. Just taking Tristan to school was rather challenging this went something like this;
10 boots (and all that that implies...finding socks and wrestling kids down to put them on...)
5 coats
5 winter hats
pants that fit
library books for the kids to read on the way to school
one packed lunch
one school project
emergency lollipops for a crying Finn
red backpack
warm up the car
carseats situated
....and don't forget the baby!
I remembered it all...except after I had driven half way to Koala's school I realized I had forgotten MY purse and phone. Awesome times. I didn't turn around to go get them...I just drove driver's license free - living on the edge.

  Once home we made up a batch of much needed laundry detergent. I like this project because, first of's cheap. But mostly, I love it because the kids love it. Brayden wanted to try grating the bar of soap and despite my fears...he did fabulously.
  We melted our cheese-like soap in a big pot of water, added the other ingredients and called the project done.
  Brady was so sweet to offer for Trin to help stir the finished product. I love the simple triumphs in parenting....a "sharing" success, or a "helping" success...whatever it is, if it's good, I'll take it.
  We celebrated with muffins ....
  and then tackled a little fall project we thought up while at the Dollar Tree this morning. I feel like with it snowing all of the sudden we are going to totally miss fall...but I've been assured by many that this is just the norm in Colorado and the sunshine and warmth will still be paying us a lot more visits before the long winters. I feel like we live in a Little House on the Prairie book when I talk about if we are all huddled up in a sod house for months on end eating only potatoes that have started sprouting. It really isn't that bad - close though.
  There now...isn't that festive? Just a couple dollar packets of leaves and I found a pack of three rolls of jute twine for a buck...I became MOST excited about this particular find, I probably embarrassed my kids with my enthusiasm. But really...there is just something about the word "jute." It makes my mind go quickly to the "commune Alyssa" space - I love it.
  I adore little cozy spots. I love having a house that looks lived in. Note I didn't say "dirty." I do NOT like having a house that looks unfortunately living and dirt kind of go hand in hand. I mean can't survive without dirt now can you?
  Our dinner was a simple bowl of homemade tomato soup...the most perfect end to a chilly day. My kids are wild about tomato soup...I literally just dump a can of organic tomato sauce into a pot, add another can of milk...a dash of salt and pepper and a little baking soda to keep the milk from curdling and then about a teaspoon of sugar to cut the acidity - and's done. No high fructose corn syrup or preservatives like the Campbells but every bit as good, yet cheaper and better.

And I couldn't very well end a post without a word or two about what I've been learning.

 First of all, I heard someone say recently that you will never regret the time you spend with your kids. You won't look back in 10 years and say "wow, I wish I wouldn't have given them so much of my attention." I want to be constant in my kids lives...I want to drop what I'm doing when they need me and when they don't - I want them to be a priority all of the time. I think that is one perk to homeschooling - I know what my littles are looking at, how they are speaking to each other, what they are learning, what they are eating...I can see it all. I can train them all throughout the day in every situation.  This is a good thing (I've had differing opinions on this...I've finally come to the realization that I no longer give a flip. I'ts my life.  :) )
  However, I also am aware that just because I am home with them doesn't mean that I am always present with them. There are days where  I am constantly trying to pull myself away from my worries and my fears and my daydreams, my agendas...just to smile at them and be present. God is challenging me right now to keep him first, others second .... isn't it so easy to not view your family in the "others" category? It is for me sometimes.
 And secondly, I'm just encouraged that He says that if I am delighting myself in Him, He will give me the desires of my heart. I'm realizing more and more how long I haven't really believed this promise because of our struggles over the last few years. I kept feeling like because my life has turned out differently then what I thought ... that my desires...the ones that are deeply seeded in me...wouldn't have the possibility of blossoming or flowering or growing at all.
 My biggest desire has always been to be a mother...a darn good one. I've always wanted to keep my kids close to me, I've always wanted to be used for more, I've always wanted a fulfilling marriage - that's basically it. To some people that might not be a very lofty dream. For me, when I found out that our two boys were autistic I felt like most of that dream would go away. Part of it is because of advice from others about how I would need help, a lot of my kids would need trained professionals to help them.  So, to me...this meant my kids would be away from me, I wouldn't be who they needed....and outside of that - at this point, I really don't know who I would be. Oh I've heard a lot of "well, just think...with your kids gone during the day you could paint, you could run, you could get caught up on stuff at home so that when they get home you can be a better mother to them." It really made me start believing that that truly would be best...I started doubting my capabilities and if I was really just kind of a drag to my kids because I'm pretty tired and a lot. I would try it out in my head...picture what the day would be like. And, after lots and lots of thinking - I'm totally uncomfortable with the whole idea.
 And then, it came to me. UMMMM - I'm STILL the mother. Autistic or not - I'm still the mama bear and I still know these kids the best and God tells me that He will give me strength in my time of need - that I can do ANYTHING with Him. I can teach these kids school...I can. I can spend time with them even though it takes a lot more thought and effort than it does when "hanging" with a typical child. I can love them and give them that sweet good childhood that I crave for them. I can read them stories even though thirty minutes earlier they were in the middle of a meltdown - I can change my day to suite their days. If they need therapies, I will get it for them - but I don't have to give up on my believe system because of them needing a few therapies.
 Our lives our different - we don't have a huge group of friends, we are pretty isolated. Right now, I often feel like I'm not being used or serving others as much as I would love...and then I'm reminded that as long as I am open and giving then God will give me situations that I can help. It might not be a missions trip to Haiti right now or helping to pay someone's rent but that's just because it may not be the season for me to be used that way.
  I'm going to get to the point where I just look at my kids and i have a heart of thankfulness and see them all as huge blessings and I don't see them as a burden or a hindrance to my dream. I want to do this on a daily basis...I want to watch them learn, I want to watch them live --- and I want to do it with hope.  If I delight in Him...He will give me the desires of my heart. My desire , if I'm walking with God and loving Him and talking to Him and letting Him hold me, my desire will be to live the way he wants me to live --- and that means I will live with thankfulness not with fear and resentment, I will live with love and not bitterness, I will be giving and not selfish - my desires will be HIS desires. That's how it works. And for now, my desire is to be with my teach them obedience, attentiveness and self control. So...that's what I'm doing. We may skip school from time to time and eat one to many muffins...but we are doing good and they are learning and I want to focus on building good character in my kids. That's my goal for now.
 So...really, my life is just right. I've been given exactly what will bring me closer to my husband, and I work hard everyday trying to connect with my babies in ways most people will never understand. The challenge for me is to believe this truth on a daily basis...
 And now, I'm going to turn of my computer and listen to the sweet breathing of my Squirrel Girl who is snuggled beside me in my bed...having a little girl slumber party tonight.
 Happy Weekend Friends...

No comments:

Post a Comment