Saturday, March 31, 2007

Fun with cousins

My brother, his wife and their kids came down from New York last night. They came to meet Patricia. They're spending the weekend at my dad's, so we didn't actually see them until this morning. Bright and early we all met at a nearby park to enjoy an Easter egg hunt.

Here is my son, Seth, waiting patiently for the call to begin:

I guess it's more like an egg gathering, as opposed to an egg hunt. As you can see, there wasn't much hunting going on:

Fabio (my brother) having fun:

Tabitha with her cousins: Willik is behind her and Phoenix is the silly guy in orange:

Thursday, March 29, 2007

My rainbow

I know I'm a bit biased, but I think my Princess Patty looks fabulous in every color she wears...

Windy days

I had a really bad morning with the kids. I think it's been hard for me to be in with them all day, every day by myself. After I apologized to them we made a trip to Walmart. We bought a few things including a couple of $1 pinwheels. It was fun to see the kids play with them as they had never seen one before. It happens to be a nice windy day, which makes them all the more enjoyable. I love watching them learn, even if it is a small thing such as how wind can make the pinwheel spin.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Wise Complaints

There is a church in Kansas City, MO which started a campaign in an effort to stop complaining. The idea is to wear the purple bracelet, pictured on your left, for 21 days. During that time you're not supposed to complain at all. If you catch yourself complaining switch the bracelet to the other arm and start over. It takes three weeks to establish a new habit and this could be counted as a beneficial one. I ordered my free bracelet today. It takes about a month to get here, more or less. I love trying new things, so this is right up my alley. I'm hoping to see a significant difference in my attitude and that my example will have a positive impact on my kiddos.

My other big news is that I spotted my fourth grey hair today. For years I had just one. The other three seem to have appeared within the last couple of months. I'm kind of excited. I like how gray hair looks. I'm glad I don't have hundreds of them yet. That day will come and I'm sure I'll be ready for it then. Does this me I'm slowly gaining wisdom???? :D

Obedience is the very best way to show that you believe

Tabitha has frustrated me so much lately with her disobedience. Some days she is such a princess. She doesn't resist and does what you ask her to do. However, she knows how to put up a fight over little things.

Yesterday she was trying to wipe my mouth and I told her "no" three times and pushed her hand away. She reached over again and wiped it. She got into trouble and started crying. She said, "but I did it gently." Then it dawned on me. She doesn't know that disobedience in itself is wrong. She knows that lying and hitting are wrong. In her mind there's nothing sinful about touching her sister's face or turning on the t.v. even if mommy said not to do it. I took this opportunity to explain to her that disobedience is sin. She seems to have understood. There hasn't been any earth shattering changes in her behavior, but I have seen some improvement.

Unfortunately I think this is one of those "learning on the job" incidents that Tabitha had to suffer for. She would've gotten in trouble far less over the past year if I had just told her this simple truth. Now I have to examine my own life and see where I am failing in obedience.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Choose your habits wisely

Some of you know brother Craig Shakarji. He spoke on Daniel chapter 6 yesterday. One thing that he noted was that Daniel was in his 80's or 90's when this incident occurred. Can you imagine?
I want to mention one verse that he spoke on. Verse 10 says, "Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went home. And in his upper room, with his windows open toward Jerusalem, he knelt down on his knees three times that day, and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as was his custom since early days." It was Daniel's habit to pray three times a day. Craig explained a habit as being something that is easier to do, then to not do. It was easier for Daniel to pray then for him to skip prayer. Some habits can be our down fall, but some can push us in the right direction. Some habits many of us have, which are beneficial, such as giving thanks before meals and going to the meeting every Sunday.
I would really like to get to the point where reading the Bible is done at a certain time daily. Right now I read whenever I find the time during the day, which usually ends up being at night when I am tired. It would be so nice when it's easier to read in the morning then to skip reading.

Monday, March 26, 2007

...Even as Christ also hath loved the church

I wrote about myself, my kids and now its time for my dear hubby. He makes me feel so loved and secure. I'll write about just a few ways he makes me feel loved.

When we first got married he had a pretty good paying job, but that wasn't good enough for Enoch. He wanted to provide well for his family. Within 2 years he more than doubled his income by learning more programming languages. I know we were the inspiration for his hard work and that is touching.

I'm not one to buy new things for myself, so Enoch showers me with nice gifts on occasion, like a new coat, an expensive dress, a stylish purse. For Christmas this year he knew that I really wanted a freezer, so he was happy to get me one with his bonus check. That was too practical of a gift for him, so he also bought me a beautiful amythest necklace.

No matter how I look or what I do to myself, Enoch tells me I'm beautiful. As a matter of fact he tells me I'm the most beautiful woman in the whole world. The funny part is, I think that in his eyes, I really am. He only has eyes for me. How could I not feel loved?

Yesterday he did something extra special for me. We've been keeping all of the kids away from outside activities until Patricia is 2-months-old to prevent her from getting sick again (she spent 2 days in the hospital when she was three-weeks-old due to a cold). So, I haven't been to the meeting in over 6 weeks. Yesterday, after Enoch was all dressed and ready to go, he realized that I needed a break. He watched the kids, including Patricia, and let me go to the meeting. I felt refreshed and encouraged. I love my tall, dark and handsome prince.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

My kids' strengths

"Thank you for having us." If you invite us to your house this is something you will likely hear coming from the lips of 3 1/2-year-old Tabitha. She is one of the most polite and grateful people I know. If you give her something, even if it's a twenty five cents bouncy ball, she will thank you at least 10 times and tell you that it's the best gift she has ever received and that you are the best. She thanks me at every meal and tells me I'm the best mommy and she loves me so much, simply because I provided her with a meal. A hug usually accompanies the compliment.

Tabitha is so helpful. She loves to help set the table or fold laundry. For me, the most helpful thing she does is getting herself dressed in the mornings. Every day she wakes up happy and excited (and stays that way all day, mind you) then picks her outfit all by herself and completely gets herself ready. She even is able to button and zip!

She's a comforter. When I was in the hospital after giving birth, she came up to me and said in a serious, gentle tone, "It's okay mommy, you'll be alright." She patted my arm for extra comfort. I wasn't actually in pain at the moment, she just remembered that I told her it would be painful.Seth is a cheerful giver. He willingly lets others play with his toys. I often catch him bringing a toy to someone, saying, "here". If I give him 2 cookies I never worry about him being greedy. He immediately runs to Tabitha and hands one off to her.

If you're feeling like no one loves you, Seth is the one you should encounter. When there's a group of people he makes sure he says hello to everyone, looking them square in the eye. A couple of strangers have told me that he's the next great politician. If there is someone in the crowd who is sitting off by themselves or looking a little sad, Seth will go out of his way to spend more time with that person, bring them toys, do whatever he can to make them smile. Their age doesn't matter to him when doing this. Seth is 22-months-old.
Patricia is our six week old princess (in the pic she's 2 weeks). When she was born I said to myself, "okay, I can do this for one more year, nursing round the clock, whenever she wants." I was shocked to see her immediately put herself on a schedule. She nurses about once every 3 hours and sleeps very well at night.

Meals are actually a breeze. I can prepare supper and then sit down to eat it without ever once being interrupted. I didn't even know that was possible.

She's such a cutie. She coos every time she smiles and she has the chubbiest little cheekies.

Friday, March 23, 2007

A new Doo

A few weeks ago Enoch asked me if I'd be willing to get my hair cut short. For the majority of my life it's been long and thats the way I prefer it. However, I was ready to chop it off. Lately it always seems frizzy and no matter what I do it's full of split ends.

I finally got around to making an appointment. The best part was... I never told Enoch. Can you believe I kept a secret from him for so long?! My neighbor was more that willing to watch the 2 older kids for me. I brought Patricia along and she was her usual content self.

I am very pleased with how it turned out. In the picture it's straight, but I will probably be wearing it curly/wavy on a regular basis. Tabitha thinks I look like her. Enoch was speechless when he saw me. I think I took his breath away.

This was the first time I tried this salon, but it's a keeper. Several months ago Enoch said to me that I need to find a hairdresser. I thought, "how in the world can I just find a hairdresser?". Wouldn't you know it, when I dropped Tabitha off at her preschool I found out that one of the mother's is a color specialist and her husband is a stylist. They're a great couple and they do excellent work. It's too bad I'll have to tell Sonja (the wife) that I'm looking forward to going grey. I'm sure she doesn't hear that too often :D

The best part about my adventure is that they were able to donate my hair to Locks of love. Sonja couldn't hide her excitement. We were both thrilled that my hair would be put to good use.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Judge not, lest ye yourselves be judged.

I used to think that it was wrong for married people to prevent pregnancy. I still do to some extent. I often passed judgment on other couples: "Why didn't they start having kids yet? Or why did they stop? Don't they know children are a blessing? A reward? A joy?" I thought that it was all a matter of trusting in the Lord and most people simply had the wrong priorities.

Well, here I am three kids later and at the end of my rope. Physically, my body seems to handle pregnancy quite well, although the thought of delivering any more babies makes me cringe. The whole process, including recovery, is painful and becomes more painful with subsequent pregnancies. Emotionally, I am a wreck. My hormones have sky rocketed and plummeted almost constantly since Enoch and I married. I've been either pregnant or breastfeeding (or both) from one month into marriage until now. That causes frequent emotional outbursts. The kids are constantly getting yelled at, which usually results in me crying. My poor husband comes home from a long day's work and has to deal with his feisty Irish/Cuban wife always ready for a good argument. Oh, did I mention how my brain has ceased functioning? Or what about the fact that I'm tired? I cannot tell you how many times people have told me to enjoy each moment with the kids, because they grow up so fast. I am mentally well aware of that, but because of the above mentioned conditions I have a hard time doing so. Don't get me wrong, I love them with all that I have, but that doesn't mean I enjoy my daily shouting matches.

Where does this leave us for the future? We made a decision not to have any more children. We really don't know what will happen. Maybe we'll have an "accident" some day. There is always the possibility of adoption. Who knows, we may even change our minds. Whatever the case may be, I know there are still people who think the way I used to. I am comfortable with the idea of others judging us for our decision. Right now, the only approval I'm concerned about is the Lord's. I have peace with our current decision and I don't think it's unbiblical.

On another note, my throat hurts today because of how loudly I screamed at my kids. I know that's not how I'm supposed to treat them, but my emotions got the best of me today. It's okay, I understand if you decide to judge me for this, I know I'll do the same some day, too.

Recipe for Cole Slaw

Whisk together:
  • scant cup of mayo
  • 1 tbs sugar
  • 3 tbs lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp salt
Toss in one 16 oz bag of shredded cabbage. Refrigerate for 1 to 24 hours.