Thursday, September 16, 2010

Guest Post by Jennifer from Family of Seven

As most of you probably know, this pregnancy is kicking my butt! I am tired all the time! After working all day, doing  homework with the boys, and getting dinner on the table; I do not have much energy left for blogging. That is why when Jennifer from the blog Family of Seven contacted me and offered to write a guest post, I jumped on the opportunity!

Jennifer has a houseful, with 5 children, 3 dogs, 2 puppies, 2 gerbils and a hamster. When you have a family  that size the expression, "When it rains, it pours!" does not even begin to describe the chaos that ensues when...

How about I just let Jennifer tell it?

A Typical (Stormy) Day

Recently we got hit with a bad tropical storm. Rain pelted our rooftop while the wind howled and screamed. Outside, tree limbs fell like leaves in the fall, and the wind was a visible entity. Inside, we may have been warm and dry but things were far from calm.

Usually, we take the dogs out as soon as we wake up. Well, on this particular morning, they stubbornly refused to go out. We opened the door, they both started out until they saw the lake that was steadily forming in our back yard, and the deluge of water falling from the sky. Our Doberman puppy, Izzy, and our old girl Tessa, spent the entire day curled up on the couch, not eating or drinking…just so they wouldn’t have to endure the rain.

In the meantime, I was trying to work while David was attempting to rein the kids in. Our five children, who are used to being able to run outside to release some pent up energy, were going stir crazy. This was not conducive to a good work environment, I can tell you.

Then, right after lunch, the worst thing happened. Or, at least it was the worst thing considering we had five stir-crazy children, 2 camels holding their bladders, 3 other dogs shaking water and mud everywhere, a frustrated Daddy and a Mommy trying desperately to get some work done!

Our power went out.

For the next 4-1/2 hours we tried in vain to keep the children occupied; however, this is not an easy feat with 5 diverse personalities. We brought out board games; they argued. We finally picked one for them and they started playing. The older children yelled at the younger children for not doing it right. We advised them to try teaching the younger ones how to play instead of yelling…and of course we had to reiterate this several times.
We consoled the younger children by telling them that they would play Monopoly Jr. next, but by the time they finished the first game, the older ones didn’t want to play it. To be fair, we told them that they had to play with the younger ones because they played their game first.

By this time, David and I were getting extremely frustrated. We sent the older 2 kids to bed, and played Monopoly Jr. with the younger 3, the entire time wondering when our salvation would arrive. When would our power be turned back on?!

Luckily, our power came back on in time for dinner. The rain eased up for a while, and we were finally able to take the camels…I mean dogs…outside to use the facilities. We were blessedly free from excitement until the middle of the night.

About 1 a.m., I was lying in bed listening to David snore and reading a book on my iPhone. The storm outside was again raging; this time the thunder boomed so loud it kept me from sleeping. Apparently I wasn’t the only one.

I heard a knock at the door. I knew this was coming…the thunder was so loud, it sounded like a train was rumbling through our back yard! I got up and answered the door. My 11 year old daughter stood there, crying.

“I’m scared.”

Inwardly sighing, I asked her if she wanted to sleep with us. When I got up to let her in, my 8 year old was also asking to sleep with us. Closing my eyes, I pictured my queen size bed overflowing with limbs…
“Yes, baby you can sleep with us.”

I slid over against David, and the two girls climbed in. We snuggled up, ready to weather the storm together. Unfortunately, we still couldn’t sleep. About an hour later, another little monkey jumped onto the bed…this time, the 3 year old.

I didn’t get any sleep that night…in fact; I was still awake when my alarm went off at 5 the next morning. The start of yet another uneventful day!

Read more about life in a large family at Family of Seven

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - Our Little Peanut

Here is our little peanut at our 6 week ultrasound!

See the little peanut-shaped blob? That's our baby!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Letters to God

One of the most important tasks we are entrusted with as parents is teaching our children about God. A strong faith in God will help your children to get through many difficult situations. Religion helps guide parents to teach there children proper moral values.

It can be difficult, at times, to teach children about God in terms they understand. That is why I am always looking for fun and creative ways to teach my children about God.

Last weekend, my mother came to visit and brought this book as a gift to my boys. I LOVE this book. It is about a little boy named Tyler who's father had taught him to talk to God when he needs help.

On this particular day Tyler needed help finding a compass to take on a fishing trip with his grandpa. He decides to write a letter to God asking for help. As he walks to the mailbox, he passes other people who are in need of help. Each time he stops and adds to his letter, asking that God help the other people.

It is a very sweet book that teaches children how to talk to God and how to pray for themselves and others. It is very basic and easy to read. The reading level is probably from about 1st to 3rd grade (my boys are in 2nd and 3rd and both had no problem reading the book aloud).

At the end of the book there is an envelope with a blank letter. It says "Dear God" at the top and "Love," at the bottom. This is for your child to write their own letter to God. After reading this book, both of my boys were very excited to write their own letters to God. They spent the biggest part of an hour on their letters! To preserve the book, I made copies of the blank letter for them to actually write on. That way they can write more and more letters to God using the template from the book.

This blog was not a paid review and is not in conjunction with a giveaway of any kind - I just LOVED this book! If you are interested in buying your own Letters to God book here is the link to buy from Amazon.