26 August 2014


I Can't Keep Silent

I posted a few articles that I read on my Facebook page regarding the Ferguson tragedy.  We all know the story of the unarmed18 year old who was shot dead for stealing from a convenience store.  We have seen the looting, we have watched the news, we have looked at the autopsy reports, and we have heard countless opinions about the "rightness" and "wrongness" of the entire situation.

It leaves such a sore spot in my heart.  I can't even explain it.  Something that hurt me even further was people who I thought were close to me, people who I thought were my friends posted things on my Facebook page that were so ugly and rude, and let's just say I had to take down what I posted because it got so out of hand.

One thing that stood out for sure is that we are so slanted by what the media portrays to us.  To me, as a Black woman, and as a mother, I don't care what the autopsy reports showed, I don't care if he stole from the convenience store, I don't care if it was a pack of gum, a cigar, a soda can.  What I do care about is that a family is without their son right now.

I care that a mother had to bury her 18 year old son.  It doesn't matter to me if he was Black, but it does matter to the police, and racial profiling and hatred DOES take place.  This was a city where 2/3 of the population was Black, and guess how many cops on their force are black.......ummmmm not even 5.

Am I saying an 18 year old should get away with stealing? Absolutely not.  I would be the first person to take my son or daughter back to that store to return what they stole.  I would be the first person to say he deserved a consequence for his behavior.  But did the police officer take this too far?  I believe he did.  I believe this young man did not have to die for stealing.  His gun should have come out as a last resort.

The looting, the riots...necessary, no!

But why?  Why do you think this is happening?  Because people get fed up when they are treated like garbage.  People act out, people do stupid things when they are hurting and angry.  Should military force have to come into play?  Do we use tear gas on innocent people?  Only if they are Black apparently.

I do not have a rebellious bone in my body.  I follow the rules of the law.  I do it because God says to do it.  I can not fathom stealing from a store and not getting into serious trouble.  However, when did it become okay to shoot people who are unarmed, and only a "threat" because of the color of their skin?

People on my Facebook wall used the word THUG to describe this 18 year old kid.  I would just call him a lost kid.  Isn't it sad how we label people of color.  The people who wrote them SEVERAL times on my Facebook wall and then defended themselves with photos, let me tell you something, how would you like it if I called the white cop a derogatory term?  Wouldn't it slant my view?  Wouldn't it appear to be more racial?  THUG is another way of calling this young man the N-word.  And white people don't get how much that word hurts because they didn't have to deal with years of slavery and oppression in this country.

I have never been a fan of cops.  They make me so nervous.  When I am driving I am always fearful of being pulled over.  And I have gotten pulled over a number of times for no reason at all.  And with shaky legs and sweaty palms I have done my best to give them all the necessary info they needed.  I obey authority because we are told to, but authority in this country is sometimes abused.  And if you are white you may never have experienced it.  And so you will never understand how it feels to be a person of color, regardless of whether one is an "upstanding citizen" or not.

Ferguson police have been known to have had "black days" where they go out of their way to pick up black men and women and arrest them.  They have made comments like, "let's make our prison a little more "colorful" today."  And to me, that is just sickening and sad that in the year 2014 we are still stuck being judged and profiled by our color.  This stuff is just to real and sad to be made up.  This happens.  Not all cops are upstanding citizens either.

As a mother, I mourn for this 18 year old young man who will never have his dreams realized.  He had his whole life ahead of him.  And it was taken away by a cop who was too quick to use his weapon.


21 August 2014

Four Days til Our New Home!

Joyce Street

Goodbye, Joyce Street!

I can't believe in a few days we are moving! I am beyond excited. We've lived here in this home for 8 wonderful years.  We brought home our puppy, and our three kiddos here.  We celebrated Christmases, birthdays, anniversaries and so many other special events.  And honestly I never knew we'd move, and not so quickly either.

The house is packed except for a few kitchen, bathroom, and laundry supplies, and plenty of fun toys for the kids in the basement that will be easy to grab up and place in the car.  We are moving about 25 minutes away from here, just a few towns over.

I think I will miss the hot tub, the finished basement where we had plenty of New Year's Eve parties, family nights, girl nights and birthday parties.  I will not miss the mosquitoes in the backyard though (I'm hoping since we will be farther away from the ocean we will have less bug bites).  

I'm excited for the extra bedrooms and space.  Our new kitchen is really appealing and when John and I picture having 4 teens at one point, and since everyone congregates in the kitchen I'm glad to have one that will be so much more roomy and spacious.

The new house has a much bigger front and backyard, we will own a half acre.  And I am so thankful that all my kids will have their own space upstairs, although Mark and Micah will be bunk bed buddies and share a bedroom.  Julia and Amelia will have their own rooms since Julia is the oldest, and since Amelia will be a newborn and I'm a firm believer that newborns need their OWN room to start good sleeping habits.  Plus I can't wait to have a rocking chair in a room again.

Something I'm excited about is the new house has a fifth bedroom that will be our guest room/school room.  We are going to place our pull out couch in their for guests, but the kids desks, bulletin boards and school essentials will finally all have a home!  You wouldn't believe how much space home school supplies require.

I am so thankful for our MC (missional community) group at church that has volunteered to help us pack the trucks on Sunday after church, since our Walk Thru is on Monday.  

The only concern John and I have is...

Well, the only request we have is....

Amelia, can you please not make your debut during the move?  Pretty please with a cherry on top?

Keep us in prayer!  Lots of changes (all good) are in store for us.  God has been so gracious, His timing has been so perfect, and He has provided a great group of family & friends to support us and care for us and help us!

I will not be posting anything for awhile.  

Life is in session.


20 August 2014

Barefoot and Pregnant

38 Weeks

I never thought I'd make it this far.  Not with everything going on with packing the house and running after three energetic kids, but here I am at week 38 and still pregnant!

This is the point where pregnancy is no longer comfortable or cute.  This is the point where you are like, "get out! get out! get out!" And taping eviction notices on your belly.

This is the point where people at the Mall, at the grocery store, at the cleaners congratulate you and ask "When are you due?" Which really means, "How the heck are you still walking around with that belly?"

I'm talking sleepless nights...

I'm talking very little energy...

And lots of waiting, waiting, and more waiting.

This is the point when you want to beg your doctor to induce you, because you are tired of being pregnant.  You just want your body back and your baby in your arms.

My big kids come in my room every morning expecting me to not be pregnant anymore and expecting Amelia to magically appear in a bassinet that we do not even have set up yet because we move in 5 days.

This is when people start to tell you what to do to have your baby:

1. Eat spicy food (check)

2. Get a pedicure (check)

3. Have relations with your spouse (double check)

4. Go for a walk (seriously? I have 3 kids...all. I. do. is. walk/run)

People seem to forget I've done this a few times and I kind of know what to do...but I guess everyone wants to be helpful.

This is when everyone texts you everyday: How are you feeling?

I want to text back: Tired. Cranky. Fat. Over it. But I usually just say, "I'm fine."

It doesn't matter that I had Julia at week 37, Mark at week 38 and Micah at week 39...this baby is going to come when she wants to...and there's not much I can do about it.  (I kinda hate that)

Okay, still pregnant, gotta run.  I need some peanut butter.


18 August 2014

How To Get Your Child To Enjoy Bedtime

The 4 B's in our Bedtime Routine

Here are 4 Ways/and my reasons to ensure that your child not only sleeps through the night but ENJOYS bedtime in their own room, and in their own bed.

Listen, when you got married there was an unspoken rule that it would just be the two of you in bed together.  Can you imagine if John and I didn't have that?  We would have 4 kids in bed with us by 2014 if we didn't expect our children to sleep in their own beds!  How romantic can it be with 4 kids in bed with you and your spouse? Not.  At.  All.

Being a teacher, and John being a Taekwondo instructor (on the side, you all know his main corporate job is a financial advisor) we are pretty strict about certain things, and we really try to honor the routine and keep the structure in our home to promote safety and well being for all of us.

1. Start the routine when they are young.  Now, if you have older children it's never too late to start a routine, but remember any habit takes at least 30 days (give yourself a month).  We started our bedtime ritual with Julia, our oldest, when she was a newborn.  It was honestly one of my favorite times of the day, not because she was going to bed, but because we spent quality time together and snuggling was a part of it.  We did bath time after dinner or her last feeding, and then we headed into her room for pajamas, a clean diaper, books in the rocking chair, and we would place her in her crib while turning out the lights and we always put on either a music CD, or a children's book on CD  I would give kisses and hugs and close the door halfway.

2. As your child gets older have them choose their books.  Even now, Micah is only 16 months and he picks out the books he wants at bedtime and crawls right into our laps.  And usually we have to read certain books more than once.  But this is the beauty of bedtime.  Your child is enjoying hearing you read to them, they are choosing their favorite books, and repetition is so good for them to build their vocabulary and grow as readers.  I love hearing Micah crack up laughing at his favorite books.  He loves "Caps for Sale" and those silly monkeys (we of course use silly voices) and he loves, "No, David" (because David is super naughty and I think Micah feels bad for little David who is always getting into trouble).  I can still remember Julia's favorite book in the bath tub which was all about fish, and her favorite book in the bedroom was "Good Night Moon" and "Pat the Bunny".  Mark always loved the Spot books because he liked to open the flaps and turn the pages.  You can learn so much from your child by the books they like.

3. Promoting Safety and Well-Being is so important as a parent.  Our children need to feel safe in our homes.  I can remember growing up in a home where I heard my parents argue at night.  I can remember laying in my bed and being so fearful and praying they would stop yelling.  When John and I got engaged one thing we discussed was that if we ever had a disagreement we would never ever raise our voices or let the children hear us argue.  It was so important to me to be the safety keeper for my children and create a home that they felt loved in and safe and secure.  I wanted them to always feel the love between us and that is why we hug and kiss in front of our children even if they say, "Ewwww, gross!"  I know secretly it makes them feel at ease knowing how much their parents love each other.  Creating a routine that you stick to every night (there will be exceptions, like when a new baby comes, or a child/parent is sick), is so comforting to kids because they know what to expect!  They never have to wonder...what is going to happen next, they know the routine and can easily adapt to it.  And trust me by the time they are 2 they will be reminding you of the routine and any parts you skip!

4. If your child cries at bedtime be consistent with your mode of action.  If you are starting the bedtime ritual now and trying to get your child to sleep in their own room, own crib, own bed and they are resisting, fear not.  You are not alone.  So many moms/dads struggle with bedtime.  I hear stories all the time.  Especially from frustrated parents who can't get their child to sleep in their own bed through the night.  We talk about this at my MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) a lot.  It can be a struggle, especially with a strong willed child, or if a new baby has been born, or you move, or you got into the habit of falling asleep with your child.  So, I use the 5-10-15 method.  John and I use this when Micah (our most strong willed and stubborn sleeper) starts to resist going straight to bed.  He loves the bath and book time, but sometimes puts up a fight when it's time for the crib.  So we let him cry for 5 minutes, go back in, lay him down, rub his back, and leave.  Sometimes that does the trick, sometimes we have to leave and hear him cry again, we wait 10 minutes the next time and go in rub his back and leave.  Eventually they go to sleep... they get tired of the fight and they see you are consistent.  If you watch Supernanny she does something very similar to that method but actually stays in the room, not talking and waits for the child to go to sleep.  The first night near the bed/crib.  The second night by the door.  The third night in the hallway.  Usually it takes 3 days for them to finally just go to sleep on their own.

We call it the 4 B's

1. Bath or Shower
2. Brush teeth
3. Bathroom 
4. Books and Prayer

This post is dedicated to my best friend Cinzia who inspired me to write it!


15 August 2014

My Mother in Law...My friend

Happy Birthday, Mom!

She's the type of woman who puts everyone else's needs first and she loves to spoil those she loves.  We gave her her birthday gift early this year because we weren't sure when Amelia would come, and guess what Mom does with her gift card?  She has Julia sleep over for the weekend and takes her shopping with it and buys gifts for Mark and Micah too!

My Mom is a snazzy dresser, and I would say quality time is her love language.  She loves spending time with our family, and I don't think she can ever get enough hugs or kisses from the grand kids.

We appreciate all that she does for us.  There are many times she allows us to have a date night or time alone and in a marriage with 3 kids those times are truly precious.

Thank you Mom for loving us the way that you do!  WE love you so much!  Happy Birthday!

Julia and Mark send you their love too!

Thank you for giving me the best gift of all...your amazing son!

Micah loves you too!! xoxo

11 August 2014

TWO Weeks

Life As We Know It...

It is super exciting to think that in just 14 days life as we know it will be completely different.  We will be loading the UHaul trucks and sleeping on mattresses on the floor, and on a Monday driving those trucks to our new home and maybe even with 4 kids instead of 3.

Julia told us tonight that she did not want to move.  She said, "I like this house."  And for the past 8 years, this house has been such a blessing to us.  And I hope we have used it to host and bless others.  I think the room I will miss the most is the basement because that is where we all hung out as a family the most, that is where we had movie nights, girl nights, couple's nights, birthday parties, new year's eve parties, so many fun memories.  

The boys are oblivious to the move.  But Mark is excited to see the new house and see his new room.  But he never really talks about it.  And Micah's only one, so all he does lately is smile, run, and say "no!"

It's all in God's hands now...

There's a little packing left to do...just the essentials like the pantry, fridge, kitchen, and laundry room...things I was leaving for the last minute since we use those rooms so much.  This weekend I finished the closets and the bathrooms.  My buddy Christy is coming over to help me.  I can't wait!

And then there are the weekly doctor appointments because my days being pregnant are drawing to an end (YAY!)...''

Tomorrow we head to the dollar store and teacher store for some school supplies and we are going to start our little mommy homeschool to keep us busy while we are here.  Julia and Mark are really starting to not like the lack of structure...there's been a little extra teasing and fighting, which, as a mom, I know it's just because they are bored.  I'm so looking forward to just settling in.  

Check out my Back-to-School Pinterest Board...we are going to be doing lots of fun things once September hits!  I'm waiting for us to be in the house and in our "school room" (the 5th bedroom downstairs) before we do certain things.  And our Classical Conversations starts on Sept 3rd!


09 August 2014

The Lie

Parenting is Heart Work

It was bound to happen at some point, right? None of our kids are perfect or beyond correction.  And all of them watch our behaviors and we are not perfect.  I shouldn't have been surprised, but yesterday while giving Micah's his nightly bath in our Master Bathroom, Julia came in, lip quivering, and ready to confess.

I'm not one of those people who enjoy drawn out confessions, and I hated seeing her in such agony, but I knew this was going to be one of our "defining mother/daughter moments."  Isn't that weird that I kind of knew that before it even happened?  Call it mommy tuition I guess.

So the conversation went something like this:

"Mommy, (I feel like it's always "Mommy" during humble moments) I have to tell you something...because it's always (lip quivering, hands shaking) good to tell the truth."  very long pause, starting to cry.

"What Julia?  What is it?  Just tell me."  She was all the way at the door and I was all the way at the tub so I put my arm out so I could draw her close.

"Remember the time you said you could smell nail polish in my room?  Well I lied about not using it...and I used it (totally losing it now)....

"Julia, what did you paint?!" panic was in my voice because in less than two weeks we leave this home and I was starting to freak out about nail polish on the wood floor or walls...

"My American Girl Doll!!!!" (bucket of tears)

Ok, so this was my moment to either flip out, discipline her, ground her, start lecturing about honesty, and the fact that American Girl dolls are a million dollars and not to be ruined with scissors, water, or nail polish impulses!

But for some reason, I didn't.  (This was God.  No pats on the back here)  I was actually so relieved it wasn't on the house or her furniture.  I just hugged her and said how proud of her I was that she told me the truth.  And then I said, go bring me and show me the doll.

So as she left the bathroom and as I let the water out of the tub and finished up Micah's bath I knew I wasn't going to punish her.  I knew that in my heart of hearts she was dreadfully sorry, and that it was probably torture for her (a first born) to admit such a failure.  Especially when American Girl Dolls are our thing and we really try to take extra special care of all of them.  And I tell her all the time if she doesn't take care of the ones she has she will not be getting a new one at Christmas or for her birthday.

Of all the dolls she painted the nails on, it was her Bitty Baby...the one Grandma Judy got her.  And actually she did an amazing job!!! I even told her that.  

"Julia, you were so neat.  Please don't ever do this again, but you actually did a great job on her."

"I just wanted her to have the same nails as me.  I won't mom."

So for the rest of the night this girl was so proud of herself for telling me the truth.  During her bath time she just kept talking about it.

"Mom, I was just going to tell Dad, so I wouldn't have to tell you, but I knew that you are in charge of my American Girl Dolls (where did she get that from?) and that God really wanted me to tell you the truth..." and on and on she went.  I could tell it was like a turning point for her.

After bath time she even told Mark the whole story.  Then she asked Mark, did you ever lie to mom before mark?

"Nope, I just tell her the truth." He stated very matter-of-factly and proudly.

"Yea, you do tell the truth." Julia said (almost in a sad way, like, man, why can't I be more like that).

When John came home, and she told him, his reaction was very different than mine (we hadn't discussed it and I think he was shocked and appalled that she would "ruin" her doll...although he didn't see how good she did it).  He gave her a bit of a lecture and she goes...

"Dad! You weren't even proud of me that I told the truth!  You weren't supposed to be mad!"  To which I totally stayed out of that one because I felt like those two needed to talk it out.  John just told her that he was sad she lied to me.  I could tell she felt really bad about it still.   But I thought it was good for her to see the different reactions, because when we do something wrong it affects all different people in different ways.  And that's a good lesson for her to learn too.

Our first American Girl tea party in NYC (I was pregnant with Micah)
I have always wanted to be a safe person for Julia to come to.  Sometimes I feel like I am too hard on her because she's the oldest, because she is a girl, because of my pride, because I want her to be the best she can be...and tonight I just let her feel comfortable to be vulnerable and mess up and I just let her know it was okay and that i still loved her.  After all, it was just a doll, (even though it was an expensive one) and yes, she did lie about the nail polish smell but the fact that she confessed, knew it was wrong, felt God tugging at her heart to apologize and did, I really felt that it was a great moment for us.  I hope she always feels she can come to me with her failures and know that I will love her no matter what.  

So, that was our evening.  That was our "mother/daughter defining moment"...I hope I did okay.

That's the difficult part of parenting, you know?  You wonder, which battles should be fought?  Which talks should be had, and when is the right moment.  To me, this just felt right.

"You shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free."

I could see how relieved she was to get the truth out.  And it felt good to watch her be so grown up and own her mistake.

Julia's 5th birthday in NYC at American Girl Doll


08 August 2014


Our Anniversary

Each year of our marriage has marked something brand new for the both of us...first it was buying a town house (it was so small, but for three years it was so perfect for us...two bedrooms, a backyard, a small kitchen and laundry room, living room and dining room and we LOVED our fireplace, and I remember how much we enjoyed our garden and landscaping the front of our town home), then we began to travel.  Our first Christmas as a married couple we headed to Florida for Disney Land.  As the years went on we got to see places like Dominican Republic, Mexico, Rome, Barcelona, Paris (and use my 6 years of French), London, England, every Christmas break we went away for a week, and every summer we traveled away for a week.  It was amazing.

Next, our first over seas missions trip for a month to China, then it was our first real home with 3 bedrooms upstairs, a huge backyard, a gorgeous basement with an extra room for an office, a kitchen, a living room, dining room, laundry room, and a reading room that we now use as a playroom/schoolroom (I remember how we loved buying furniture for each room especially dreaming big and holding hands and going to Ethan Allen).  Then it was me graduating from graduate school.

Then our first puppy, and two months later we found out some pretty awesome news...after 4 1/2 years of being married...we were finally pregnant!  The last 6 1/2 years have been busy with not only our first child Julia Star, but our second child Mark Ciro, and our third Micah Justice...and in the next 3-4 weeks we are awaiting a beautiful little princess Amelia Susanna our beloved last addition to our family that we like to call Team Mac.

And this month we will leave the home we brought all of our children home to as newborns and we will move into something a little bigger and newer, and Lord willing it will be perfect for our growing needs.

These last 11 years have been completely filled with a lot of joy, a lot of lessons, some heart ache, but always tons of laughter and love.  God has been beyond faithful.  I have learned this last year that God sometimes throws you curve balls so that you can trust Him more and learn how to thank Him in advance for what He is about to do...not my favorite, but I have never felt so close to Him.

And there has always been love between John and I.  We are like a fine wine...we get better with time.  I feel so completely blessed to call him my man.  We have been through it all and we always come away from scary situations stronger and better than before.  I believe there are two things in life you have absolutely no control over.  (I learned this from Dr. Doug).  And these two things will impact and change the rest of your life.  1. Who you marry.  2. How many children you have.

John and I look at each other at night and we say...how did we find each other? and how did we get so blessed to have 4 kids?!  I always figured we would have two...but 4!?  This is beyond what I would ask or think possible.

On August 8, 2003, our lives were changed forever.  And I am so glad God put us together.  Because I can't imagine my life without John Michael McInerney in it.

Happy Anniversary my love...here is to many more years to come!  No one loves you like me!!!


07 August 2014

Discouraging News At The Dentist

The Tiny Cavity

I didn't over prep the kids at all.  I told the kids over the weekend that this week they had their 6 month check up at the dentist.  I am always most concerned with Mark's response (5 years old) because he is the most nervous/cautious when it comes to doctors.  But at our last visit he did great and this time the mention of the dentist was no big deal.

We headed to Old Bridge, Kidzdent, literally the best place for pediatric dentistry.  My husband and sister in law used to go to this place and they still have fond memories.  In hindsight I probably should have gotten a sitter for Micah.  The big kids both did amazing and they even got their teeth X-rays done with no problem, but after 45 minutes Micah was D.O.N.E. with being there.  It was also my fault for not bringing in snacks and a carriage but you know what? I can't do it all, all the time and sometimes these kids have to learn to just behave!

Super nice hygenist!

What I like about the visit was that both big kids were done at the same time(first part: cleaning, second part: X-rays).   What I didn't like was that the actual dentist who was going to do the checking of the teeth (the third part of the visit) was talking in the kitchen area of the office and hamming it up with the hygienists while I was carrying a crying baby and waiting for him to hurry up.  I think the hygienists saw my frustration and finally got his attention and then he finally saw both Julia and Mark.

This is when he spotted the tiny dark spot on one of Julia's back molars. (sniff sniff)  We had stopped eating fruit snacks for 6 months to avoid this!  He said it was super small but that he would have to fill it at our next appointment.  My poor baby!
The hygienest gave me a list of things to avoid with the kids:

Cavity Causing Foods/Snacks

1. Gummy Candy
2. Raisins
3. Orange Juice
4. Juice boxes
5. Craisins

Our Game Plan

* After we get settled in our house in 2 weeks and after Miss Amelia is born we will visit the dentist in Sept. for the filling and sealants.

* The kids will no longer be allowed to have candy or gum.  At.  All.  I already texted the grandmas and aunts about this.  I need everyone on the same team.

* John and I will not be buying any more juice boxes at Costco or Grocery Stores.  We will only give the kids water or milk.  And Orange Juice will only be at breakfast on Saturdays when we have pancakes and eggs.  I will not give them OJ every morning.

* No more raisins or Craisins in our oatmeal or salads... I think this makes me the most sad.

* No more sweets at the bank or cleaners.  Everyone loves these kids and is always doling out sugar.  I have to put a stop to this.

Lord willing at our next 6 month check up in March we will have much better news!


04 August 2014

Childlike Faith

Angels are Rejoicing!

We were really blessed to be able to attend two Vacation Bible Schools these past 2 weeks.  My own VBS at Jacobs Well, and a VBS at Crossroads Assembly of God church in Englishtown (it's where we go to MOPS during the school year).  The benefit of VBS is for 3 hours your child is hearing God's word from different teachers, learning Bible verses, making crafts pertaining to the lesson, meeting new friends, and singing song praising the Lord.

Two weeks of VBS back to back means that you have heard a lot about Jesus and chances are your teacher has brought up how you can really know Jesus more, have a relationship with Him and follow Him each day.

At the beginning of this week when John was putting the kids to bed Mark started to ask him questions about heaven and following Jesus.  But Mark wasn't ready to make any commitment and John didn't want to push the envelope.

By Friday, on the way to the last day of VBS (our drive is about 25 minutes) Mark brought it up with me.  "Mom how can I get to heaven?  I want to follow Jesus."  These were his exact words.  I wanted to pull the car over right then and pray with him but when I started to answer his question and explain it to him he got shy and said he would do it later before bed time.

Once we pulled into the parking lot I had him come up to the front seat and talk with me.  I told him how proud I was of him and that he was making a huge decision to follow Jesus.  I told him that I would pray with him right now and help him if he wanted me to.  "No, I will just pray it in my heart."  I said, "Mark, I think it would be best to pray it out loud so we know for sure you made this decision and so you know for a fact that you prayed this way today."  I just felt like it was time to seize the moment.  I do think he was a bit shy because Julia was in the car, but he was really brave and prayed his own prayer (he would NOT let me help him, which I was glad he wanted to talk to God on his own).

I really wanted to burst into tears of joy at this point but I knew he'd be like, "MOM!!!" (aka don't embarrass me).  I have always wanted my kids to initiate this talk.  We talk about making good choices, honoring God, and sin, and heaven and hell a lot.  Julia made this decision at 3 1/2 years old but then again she has always asked questions above her age level and she pushes things.  Mark is more of a laid back kid and he just takes it all in.  Sometimes I don't know what he is thinking, whereas Julia lets it all out.

I've always prayed that my kids would come to faith at a young age.  So have many of my friends and family for my kids.  I am so very thankful that this happened.  I feel like now we can continue talking more about how to obey and honor God with our life especially since now they both WANT to do so.  

After we prayed Mark looked at me and goes, "Mom, now all I have to do is follow Jesus, right?"  How simple is that?!  The child like faith and trust is just astounding.  I think we adults make it way to complicated when really salvation isn't.  The ABC's of salvation:

A. Admit that you are a sinner in need of God.
B. Believe that Jesus Christ died and rose again for your sins.
C. Confess Jesus Christ as Lord of your life.

Marky, on August 1, 2014, you asked to be a follower of Jesus!  I'm so proud of you buddy!  Praying that you continue to grow stronger in Him, in love and in humility buddy.  You are such a great little guy!


01 August 2014

The Mommy Guilt

Doing Your Best To Give Quality Time

I love having a big family.  I do.  But the hardest part for me is spreading myself out to each member of the family in equal amounts.  And since I'm always pregnant (well, that's how it feels) I am constantly learning how to juggle and re-juggle balancing out quality time with everyone all the while meeting the demands of a little one.

I can't help but feel some sort of sadness once my pregnancy draws to an end (I didn't feel this way after Mark because he was already almost 4 years old) because I know that the youngest child will somehow get slighted when it comes to getting attention.  Today as the big kids were away at VBS and I got to spend yet another day one on one with him at the library I started to feel that sadness that feeling knowing that he will no longer be "the baby" but will have to learn to wait, and share, and sometimes need me and I won't be there just when he does.

Mommy Guilt

The Mommy guilt creeps in and I start to panic and wonder, how will I manage with ALL FOUR KIDS?  How will I nurse Mia, run after Micah, and homeschool Julia and Mark? How?!  I start to doubt everything I have learned these past 7 years raising the first 3...and I start to worry about raising the fourth.

But I am reminded that I am not the first Mom to have kids close together, there are moms with multiples, moms with kids 11 and 12 months apart.  Moms who have way more than 4 kids.  Moms who balance it all.  After all there is nothing "new under the sun".  Just because something is new or foreign to me, doesn't mean it has been done, done well, mastered, and conquered.

Obviously, God knew I would have four kids.  Obviously, he has equipped me to raise and teach them.  No, it's not going to be a piece of cake, but I will just have to work at it and find my own rhythm and just do my best.

I'm sure in a few months I will be blogging about how I survived life with a new baby, a new house, and homeschooling through it all.  When I do, remember that it wasn't easy.  Remember that I had lots of guilt, lots of doubt, and many concerns.  

I'm sure Micah will be a great big brother...even if he is only 1 1/2. I know that him having to learn how to wait, be patient and share is a part of life.  He can't be the baby for ever...although those lips and cheeks and chubby thighs make me believe he will be.  

I'm really thankful for this family God has given me.  And I just pray that I can be a good mom.  A woman who is faithful, patient, loving, firm, fun, and balanced.  I want all of my kids to secretly think they are my favorite because I loved them lavishly.  Even though I do not have any favorites.

My Mommy guilt is starting to disappear...

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