Hi everyone :)
It's lovely to be back blogging again without pressure and just being able to share and record the things that are happening in our life.
Well the last couple of days have been filled with lots of stuff! I've had such strong (what i know think are Braxton Hicks) and apparently some other friends of mine have had them too with their 4th, 5th and 6th kids very early on. I keep asking the Lord to protect this little child of His and I know He is. I have an ultrasound lined up next week and we will be finding out the sex of this baby. More then!
I've had a lovely time of fellowship and friendship with Mel and Ally yesterday. It lasted the whole day and was such a breath of fresh air! Mel and I have a special friendship and I feel like Ally has been sent to Titus 2 me! Titus 2 speaks of the older (agewise and older in Christ too) who will instruct the younger women in the ways of living, householding and rearing children in the ways of the Lord. She has an amazing family; one like no other i've ever met and i felt God's holiness and presence in such real tangible ways as we sat together, ate lunch, chatted and then prayed. Thank you Lord for such life!
I hear the boys giggling right now and they are out on the swings laughing and chatting!
A couple of exciting family changes we've been making lately which I would love to share with you...
I have started reading every afternoon to the kids. Most days we start off with some picture books which Liji and I have been borrowing from the library. The TV is off and no one is allowed to speak. They can ask questions at the end. We have to be full on with this rule right now because we need to train them in understanding that is important to be silent when mum or dad is instructing. It is working! Praise you Lord! And the best part is of course that the kids love this time. I set up a reading room where the bookcase is very accessible to the kids, where the futon lounge is big enough for us all to snuggle up next to each other.
I am starting to read some of the 'classics' now to Stassi. At present we are reading Heidi. We have read the Golden Book version and the kids all loved it. But Stass wanted more! It's been a lovely time where the two of us snuggle on a pillow and I read to her. Sometimes the boys listen too and I stop and explain big words as I read them and pause and make sure she is understanding what the text is saying.
GOOD CHOICE BOX
The good choice box is a little Decor box that is separated into four small sections. I got it for $4 from Coles recently and its been a real gift! It is filled with safe treats each day like plain sakatas, plain small meringues, jatz biscuits, snow peas or carrots and other things like that. Because food is one of liji's real 'special interests' we have found that it is the perfect motivator! So when I see the kids making a good choice as their FIRST choice, then I invite that child to come and choose something from the good choice box. If they are making several good choices in a row, they will get a big cuddle, a high five or something else instead of a food choice. Is it bribery? It might seem that way but we look at it as a great teaching tool to help our kids learn how to naturally and automatically make a good choice the first time round. I would love to have not had to have introduced this box but the fact of the matter is that this has been such a huge struggle for us and since we started it, we have seen less intense fighting, more coming and asking for help and more times where the kids are able to play together. Praise you Lord God!
SCRIPTURE INSPIRED DRAWINGS
We have only just started this but I loved the suggestion when I heard it and the kids have enjoyed being apart of it. We took a passage that Stassi had been looking at in Sunday school in Judges. As I read that story out loud from the big Bible (not the kids version) we gave the kids each a paper and some coloured pencils and asked them to draw anything about that story. They drew some fantastic pictures and I think it is so great to get them involved on this level. Ethi drew circles and that's ok too! Because he is being apart of the family and joining in. We are wanting to do this more and more. I wrote the name of the verse on there with their name and the date so we can look back on it down the track. I purchased a ring binder folder thingy yesterday and are keeping the drawings in plastic sleeves in there at the moment.
In addition to our family time at night which might consist of a Bible story from the picture Bible, some worship songs (the kids playing their instruments) and then each person taking a turn to pray out loud...we are started to read Psalms out in the morning while the kids are eating breakfast. I explained that there are 150 psalms and so they can choose a number between 1 and 150! They think that's a great game and so they each take a turn at choosing a number and then me or Brett reads out that Psalm. We ask them to listen carefully and get ready to each tell us one thing about what they just heard. The Word of God is going in and is becoming more and more real to them! The other fantastic benefit of reading to them over brekky is that it seems to really cut down the fighting and squabbling!
The down side (in a sense) to all this is that because i am spending more time with the kids, the house is becoming a little more untidy. But you know what, I am ok with it! I have to let that go because this stuff is so much more important right now! This is eternal life stuff! Keeping order in my house is important (and it is still happening) but i am choosing to not feel like i have to be on top of it ALL the time so that i can sow into my precious charges right now. One day they will be gone from this house and need to know how to raise their own children. I want them to remember this stuff and be able to do the same with their kids.
The thing about all these things that I have shared is that we are not under law with any of this. By that I mean that if we don't feel obligated to do these things but we want to. There are some days when we don't and then we just pick it up the next day.
MY NEW LIFE VERSE
For right now anyway is this great verse that I read today in Colossians 2:6
"So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness"
5 things I am thankful for today:
1. Our whiteboard in our bedroom
2. That hot chips are semi-safe for our kids!
3. Our bookshelf
4. The swings
5. Casting Crowns music
Love and blessings to your family,