Oh my how long it has been, since we lost computer access. temporarily back on fil's laptop while we get our "new" to us pc up and running. It is second hand but has a new hard drive and as soon as we can get it hooked up we will.
Friday, December 28, 2007
Saturday, October 27, 2007
I am temporarily unplugged. Am I happy, not on your life. Our computer contracted a virus due to the wonderful protection provided by our ISP(hear the dripping sarcasm). Our hard drive is TOAST!. I am at the library typing this. I had a 3 word entry and everything for blogmammas but our computer crashed and I can not post it. In any case, I have learned that I am much more reliant on my computer than I knew. I will log in through our local library when I can. I do not know when I will be up and running again. Hopefully, not to long. So until I can get back up, I will miss you all and miss blogging. don't give up......I WILL be back!
Posted by Thelma Strobl at 11:05 AM
Sunday, October 21, 2007
7 years ago today, our lives changed forever. Our lives changed because one little bundle of blessing came into our lives at 6lbs 11 oz and 19 inches long. The 28 hours of labor, c section, preeclampsia, failed epidural and genereal anesthesia I endured was all worth it. I looked into that little face and he looked into mine. There was a connection beyond description. He looked at me as if to say, so you are the one I have been listening to all this time. He was an on the go baby from the moment he came into this world. He held his head up and looked around the nursery, checking things out. He hasn't stopped being inquisive yet. The nurses even commented on how strong and observant he was.
The first year of his life, was hard. Unknown to us, he was deathly allergic to all dairy. Nursing was a nightmare because I didn't know he had an allergy. He would scream in horrible pain every time he ate for hours afterwards, then it would be time for him to eat and it would start all over again. The doctor said nothing was wrong with him and that I was a nervous new mother. At 7 weeks he spent the night in intensive care because of a reflux and choking incident. That scared me senseless! The year rocked on filled with a baby who was so miserable he rarely was content. Oh how he tried to be content. He was such a happy, content baby those moments he had no pain. Finally, at 12 months we received the diagnosis and took him off all dairy. The difference was like night and day. To this day, I believe that horrible first year is what gave my son aversion to foods and textures of foods which caused an oral sensory issues. On his birthday he had his first asthma attack and we spent the night in ER. His life has been filled with ups and downs. We have almost lost our son to death on several occasions. He is tiny and petite and his challenges with asthma, allergies and sensory issues continue. But our son's spirit is phenomenal. He is a child who keeps on trying no matter how hard things are for him. He has a faith beyond his years. He has compassion and respect for others. When he is naughty, he is repentant. Oh, he can be sassy and cantankerous like any other child but he has a desire to do the right thing. He already professes faith in the Lord Jesus and accepted the Lord as his Savior when he was 5. He said he wanted Jesus to live in His heart cause he needed Jesus to help him not sin. His issues are challenging at times and I lose it at times. But my little boy is a blessing. He thinks everyone loves Jesus. He thinks everyone deserves love. Once when he was little and he saw coverage about Iraq he said:
"Mommy, I know what their problem is"
I said what
He said they need a mommy and daddy that love them and they need to be told they are naughty and to play nice.
It was so sweet. Because when it boils down to it, isn't he correct? Perfect love cast out fear. Jesus said the greatest of all things is love. If people loved with the pure love of a child, our world, would be a better place. So today on October 21, I celebrate 7 years of blessing. My son, my heart my child is a treasure. He has a great future ahead of him. He is bright, articulate and filled with faith and compassion. While I am proud of his smarts, I am most proud of his faith and compassion. When he sees someone get hurt at school or teased he tries to comfort them. He cries if his sisters get hurt. He can't bear to watch them get shots and usually ends up in tears when they cry out. I praise God for my 1st little blessing. When God gave me my son, He made me into a mother. Oh I am still learning how to be a mother, but my son is a great teacher.
So to my first born, I say, you are a blessing. You have great potentiality in Jesus. NEVER ever give up your faith. Never ever give up your perseverence. You made our lives richer because you came into it. God knew just the little boy we needed and he gave us you. Never doubt we will always love you, NO matter what. I love you my son, Happy Birthday.
Thursday, October 18, 2007
Robyn, from Overflowing Grace (blog) gave me this idea. If you haven't done so already blog about what you were doing 10-20-30 years ago and leave me a comment and I will read yours too.
10 Years Ago: I was single but talking with this "guy" online and the phone and becoming friends. Little did I know he was the man God intended for my life. I was 29 and thinking I will NEVER get married. I was a foster care counselor and learning the system does not truly work to protect children enough. That the limits to what the government can do to help,protect, and heal children in catstrophic situations are endless. I learned that often the system hurts more than it helps. I was very depressed and in Christian counseling. But unkwown to me God was doing somethign HUGE in my life and bringing me to a place of healing and restoration by forgiving those who had hurt me deeply as a child.
20 Years ago: I was a freshman in Junior College. My parents had just gotten divorced a few months before and my sister, my mom and I were struggling just to survive on the little income we had. But God was ever faithful. I was anorexic but was in denial. I weighed 75 lbs, thought I was fat and ugly. Thanks to an observant, caring pastor's wife I began my road to recovery because she held me accountable. She helped build me up in places that were torn down. She helped to save my life.
30 years ago: I was a 9 year old. Busy with dolls and school and life in a home that was less than stable. However, because of a prayerful mother I was a stong Christian and life was okay despite the chaos. I was a peacemaker and took on worries and jobs that were not mine to take. My beloved grandmother, the prayer warrior of our family was weeks away from her death of cancer. She was my rock, my everything. She was my sunrise. I loved her so much. I could tell her things I could not tell my mother. She loved me so much. She prayed with me and adored me. OH my, how I miss her. She would be so proud of me now. She would love and adore my children. She sewed seeds of love and faith into my life that undoubtedly helped me face some things that were horrific. My mother was doing the best she could in an abusive marriage. We were poor, very poor. I knew what it was like to go to bed hungry. But God was ever faithful even in the storm.
My life has been made richer because of some of the things I survived. The storms I came through because of my Lord made me stronger. I learned to be a survivor. I learned to depend on God in the lean times. I learned that just because you don't have the latest gadgets, gizmos and fashions, you can find joy in the journey. I may not have known that per se then, but somewhere in my heart and soul I knew.
My goals as a mom are pretty much the same as they have always been. Yet I am still stiving to achieve them. I want to have a deeper walk with God. I want to spend more time with Him in the Word and prayer. I want to pray more with my children and read more of the Word to them. I fail too often in this area because of our schedule, bed time and a myriad of other excuse. I don't play with them as much as I used to either. I want my children to know God in a more intimate way. I want them to know Mommy is not to busy to build leggos with them or play tea party. Like Paul said what I want to do I do not do and what I don't want to do, that I do. Too often I am quick to snap, I have to finish this, go play. As I grow in motherhood I seek to find ways to make a difference in their lives and the lives around me.
So for the next week I am going to try and do the following:
1. Get up and do my devotions and prayer time BEFORE the kids get up(not always easy for a non morning person).
2. Do chores quickly and effeciently.
3. Do preschool time more consistently.
4. Read the Word to and with the children DAILY.
5. pray with the children daily other than saying grace and nighttime prayers.
6. Spend more time building up their Daddy and encouraging him.
7. Make a schedule and stick to it.
8. Play with the kids, get down on the floor and play with the kids.
9. Play praise and worship music or Christian Radio in the house.
10. Be more consitant in helping Christopher with his Junior Bible Quiz.
11. Spend some one on one time with each child.
12. Read more to Jennifer, just Jennifer so she can take the time to point at the pictures, instead of rushing through the story for the older kids who want to get to the next page.
Posted by Thelma Strobl at 10:53 AM
What I am thankful for most of all is my salvation. I am also thankful for my husband and my children. Too often I don't let them know how truly thankful I am for them. However, we do have a tradition in our family. When we put our children to bed, or during odd moments throughtout the day, we tell our children "You are a blessing to me". We let them know that no matter what they do or say, we are thankful for them.
We have good children. They really are good. Oh they can be naughty but they are so good for the most part. They see life through faith filled eyes. They are an inspiration to me because if I say I have a headache they drop what they are doing and say "Let me pray for you Mama". It is so sweet. At the tender young age of 7(well Sunday he will be 7) and 3, my older two children are so open to the Lord and see faith as a vital part of their lives. Watching them grow in faith, teaches me faith. When I make a mistake as a Mommy, and I ask for them to forgive me, and we pray, they always say "It's okay Mommy, I love you, no matter what". Their first reaction to trouble is prayer. Yet, we dont force feed them the word or have them down on their knees at all hours of the day. We just live our lives to the best of our abilities and try to be good examples. So I am thankful that what we are doing is sticking. As the faith light grows in their eyes, I see mighty potential for His kingdom.
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Monday, October 15, 2007
Motherhood is quite humerous when you stop and think about it. I mean after all moms are the greatest multi taskers in the world. Why today alone, while getting breakfast for my oldest before school; I also made his lunch because we all know it must be made fresh and not the night before. After all it will taste better. I also helped him listen to and practice his Junior Bible Quiz questions, unloaded the dishwasher and supervised him getting dressed, all in the self same hour. Then the girls got up and I gave them breakfast after changing the baby's diaper twice, and picked up toys with my toes they had already taken out, while carrying the diapers and the baby to the kitchen. While the baby ate and alternately flung food to the floor to see if it would bounce back, it didn't, I made toast and coffee and talked to dh about the day and our plans. Then I loaded the dishwasher, picked up the living room, then vacuumed all while entertaining the children, sending some email and wiping icky noses and supervising a certain 3 year old's potty time, since she likes to play in the water. Oh I must add that sometime during the morning I actually got a shower with the self same 3 year old. I washed and soaped her , then I got washed while discussing with her the finite details of why one must keep one's unmentionable parts clean. Then I got her out and we got dressed. Oh and dh was "supervising" the baby while the 3 year old and I bathed. Finally it was lunch time and time to start the whole kitchen routine again. While we did lunch I tried to find a new doctor online, then set up an appointment for the baby's checkup and dusted all at the same time, well almost at the same time. This while supervising the baby in the highchair so she did not try and unbuckle to see if she could fly. And kept the 3 year old from doing a science experiment on what happens when you shake up sprite in a cup with a lid on it. Then I mopped up the sprite she spilled while trying to keep it from getting in her lap. Finally it was NAP TIME. What wonderful words for mom.........Naptime, wonderful naptime. Oh did I not mention the laundry that was done this morning and the clothes that were sorted so the summer clothes could be put away. Oh and naptime, it is just for children. Because somewhere it is written: Once thou becometh a mother, thou must not have a full sleep again. For thall shall not slumber or sleep so thou may appreciate what your creator puts up with from His creation. And thou may never sleep again until thy children have children of their own." For as soon as I try to rest another task jumps out at me. After all toys leap from their baskets when you are not looking. Laundry and dishes breed. For it seems as soon as 1 basket is empty another is filled, the same with the sink! After nap the oldest child comes home from school, then there is homework, supper, bathtime and bed. AAAAAAAH yes, bedtime......but guess what the laundry and dishes have been breeding again..........
Posted by Thelma Strobl at 8:05 PM
Today I was surfing and found a blog about a family who lost their sweet little baby girl after a week to Trisomoy 19. I lost the link because my internet explorer closed down. Anyway, they relished every moment, every coo, every cry with their baby. They knew they would not have her long. The fact she made it to birth was a miracle in itself. But this little girl breathed on her own, and even fed a tiny bit on her own, without a feeding tube. This is beyond a miracle. They talked about their sorrow but also their joy. It put my struggles with my children into perspective! Yes, I face my own hurdles with my son, but the hurdles I face with him are survivable. Yes, I have almost lost my son, but he survived. So, when I complain about his childish, disobedient, stubborn ways, what am I doing. Complaining about something some families would relish in. My children are happy, relatively healthy, growing and prospering. They bring me joy everyday. This family never lost their joy in Jesus throughout their ordeal. Even as they watched their child's life slip further and further away, they relished in the beauty of the gift God had given them in her life. It makes me thankful that God gave me the children He chose to give me. He knew that at such a time as this, Thelma needed, Christopher with all his issues, Hannah with her jealousy and Jennifer with her sleeping troubles. He knew that He could help me be strong to handle each of these small things with His help. But I have to choose to lean on Him. I have to CHOOSE to find joy in the journey. The journey is not always easy but then again, it is not as hard as the journey some people face. I know we all face struggles in our lives as women, mother, women who struggle to even become mothers or mothers whose children live in heaven. I have a child on the other side, lost to early miscarriage. But I am just as much that child's mother as mother to the rest of my children. Yet, in the grand scheme of things there is nothing on this earth I have faced that is as heartbreaking as when the Father looked down on His Son, and had to turn His back on the sin He bore for us. The Son bore it all willingly and the Father turned His back upon the sin because He could not look upon sin. But the joy of a risen Savior far outweighs the sorrow of His death. So I must walk in joy even when I don't feel like walking in joy. My perspective needs to be faith based instead of fear or frustration based. Faith chooses to see the positive despite the circumstances. Faith chooses to see the answer is on the way, even when it doesn't feel like it. Faith is choosing to be thankful for the answer even when it is different than the one you wanted. Perspective, God has a way of changing it and teaching you how to look at things a different way, if you will just let it happen.
Thursday, October 11, 2007
Short stature is refers to any person who is significantly below the average height for a person of the same age and sex -- specifically, the shortest 5% of the population. The term may refer to children or adolescents who are significantly below the average height of their peers. also known as idiopathic short stature........
This is probably one of the reasons Christopher is so tiny. He is less than 3rd percentile for height and weight of children his age. The girls are tiny too for that matter. It runs in families which is seen especially on my side. I am only 5 feet tall. My great grandfather was 5 feet tall and my grandmother was 4 feet 11 inches. Both of the girls are growing less now than they did as babies.....that is one of the symptoms, that they fall off the growth curve......Hannah has and Jennifer has always been on the small side. Neither of them have sensory issues or allergies so they have less of an impact....I think. I am telling you all this because we have had a rash of people asking us if we are going to put Christopher on growth hormone shots.
No we aren't and here is why:
1) He would have to have an injection daily for 2-4 years.
2) It does cause some side effects, including but not limited to edema(swelling), carpal tunnel syndrome, hypoglycemia, joint pain and possible poor appetite in some.
3) it can cost up to 100 thousand DOLLARS for therapy.
4) He would only gain 2 inches over whatever his adult height might have be naturally, so that comes to approximately 52 thousands dollars per inch.
5) Most insurances will NOT pay for it. Or even if they did, we still would have to pay 20 to 40 percent......do the math...that is big bucks! Okay for 2 inches it is not worth subjecting my son to daily injections and possible side effects.
He is smart, energetic and happy. He may have issues with his height later but if we teach him how to handle it, he will be well adjusted.
Why is it in this nation people think you have to be a certain height? Why do people who dont really know us want to know if we will put him on growth hormone? What is wrong with someone being short?
Improving his diet would help if we could get past the allergies and sensory issues. It astounds me that people want us to put our child on shots to give him only two inches! 4 years of shots for 2 inches, I dont think so.
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
From time to time I post scriptures that have specific meaning for me that day. So today, is one of those days. I have a scripture box that I can pull scripture cards from. On one side is a scripture, on the other, a prayer. I am going to list a couple that touched my heart today. A day I am tired and weary. A day, that the burdens of life seem to be overwhelming me in the light of bills, problems with my son's eating issues and more. So here are my scriptures for today, may they minister not only to me, but to someone else.
"Cast they burden upon the Lord, and He shall sustain the: He shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.". Psalm 55:22
The prayer on the card: Our Trust is in Thee, O God. Let us never give in to discouragement.
My thoughts: I did give into discouragment this morning where my son's eating issues, due to his sensory disorder is concerned. I really think part of his problem is all in his head. He thinks he will have a problem so he does not even try. In, my sleep deprived state (the baby didn't sleep well). I gave him pears instead of fruit medley. He ate his toast but did not touch the fruit. I asked him what was wrong, he said "that's not medley, its pears". I for the first time in my life, tried to force him, I am ashamed. I did get some pears on his lips but of course not in his mouth. Then I smacked him and yelled. And honestly I really have had it. HE has to decide to eat. I can't make him. Although, today I tried. When I saw his face I was ashamed. I promised myself I would NEVER EVER do that. Today, I reached a limit I didn't know I had and I tried to force him. Did it help? No, of course not. We were both in tears and I had to calm down before I could speak to him. I said I was sorry for losing my temper, held him, rocked him and cried with him. Then we prayed. I prayed over him that God would heal his mind so he will eat and prayed much more. I need to cast this burden on the Lord. It is too heavy for me. I can't deal with it anymore. I am tired of the eating issues. I usually just leave it up to him and he goes hungry. I am tired of him going hungry when he has a perfectly acceptable choice in front of him. If he would just TRY. So I must cast this burden on my Lord. Cause I can't do this anymore. No one will help him cause it isn't a learning disability. We can't afford therapy for this disorder, like he used to get. So we only have the answer of Jesus. He is the One and only One that can do this. I am done, I surrender.
"The Lord is my strength and song, and He is become my salvation."
the prayer: Lord, order my steps today. Make me strong, not for the sake of possessing strength, but to make me sufficient for the crisis moments in my life and in the lives of others who reach out to me.
My thoughts: I need His strength. I can't live this life without Him. I need his strenght to face our financial needs and burdens. I need His strength not to worry about not having children to babysit to help the income. I need His strength to deal with the baby not sleeping, Christopher not eating and Hannah going through this jealous mean stage with Jennifer. I can't do it alone. I am weak but He is strong.
"Be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord they God is with thee whithersoever thou goest." Joshua 1:9
the prayer: When I feel alone, Father, help me to remember that you are with me and I have nothing to fear.
my thoughts: Even though somedays are overwhelming and my son's needs seem like a huge mountain, I am not alone. When I feel most alone, He is with me. I don't have to fear my son will never be normal. God will heal him. And one day I will look back and see what God has done.
Tuesday, October 9, 2007
Mike and I watched our wedding video today and Hannah kept asking where she and her brother and sister were. I told her they weren't born yet and she was not satisfied. So I told her you were all 3 twinkles in mommy and daddy's eyes. She BURST into tears and sobbed. She said:I dont want to be in your eye, I want to be in the video. So we tried to explain, but she was NOT happy in the least that she was not part of the video.
We tried to explain that God hadn't chosen to give her to mommy and daddy until later and that you had to be married first etc etc. She was not convinced and she was not happy........and is still discussing how she didn't want to be in our eye.
I can only say 1 word: PRICELESS.
Posted by Thelma Strobl at 5:55 AM
Monday, October 8, 2007
I have had this blog up a while and thought perhaps it is time to let people know more about us for those of my readers who don't "know" me.
My husband and I have been married 8 years(well tomorrow...is our anniversary). He works at a pharmace as an assistant manager and is also a licensed pastor but we do not have a church to pastor at the moment and left our 1st position as associates in July. (LONG story, not important at the moment). He is a loving husband and father and loves the Lord. He is human, forgets where the sink is and that dishes can acutally be put IN the dishwasher. But hey he does a mean load of laundry.
Our firstborn is a son, Christopher. He was born October 21, 2000. He has life threatning allergies to any kind, form, component of dairy, eggs and peanuts. He has asthma and has an oral sensory disorder that further limits his diet. He is very small. Part of this is simple genetics and part due to his diet. He is still wearing 3t-4t clothes, weights about 32 lbs maybe 33 if we are lucky. He is short in height as well. Most people think he is 3 years old, until he opens his mouth. He is very bright, very energetic and has more faith in his little finger than I can describe. We have almost lost him to death on several occasions due to his medical issues. But God raised him up and returned him to us. He loves school, hotwheels, robots and all those little boy things.
Our second child, Hannah, was born November 14, 2003. She is all girl. Thankfully she has no medical issues. She likes to play princess and tea party. She likes to pray for people and sing praise songs. She loves church and her favorite song is Jesus loves me. She is very verbal and carries on long elaborate converstations with people. She used to be really shy, and while not quite as outgoing as her brother, she is friendly and gregarious. She makes friends easily and has deep compassion for others. She wants to be a nurse teacher princess when she grows up. She loves learning and wants to attend school so badly, but wants her school to have sparkles on it. She too is like the sunshine, so bright and happy and full of life and love. She is small as well and (at almost 4) wears a 2T-3T.
Our 3rd child and last, was born July 8, 2006. She is a power house of energy, verbalosity and mischief. She can already speak in some sentences, which quite frankly freaks your brain out. She is a good mixture of the other two and thinks she can keep up with them. She has had minor health issues and had her adenoids removed this past July. She is petite as well and wears 3-6 months and some 6-9 months clothes. She is a drama queen and will probably win the academy award for tantrums when told the word NO. She is shy with strangers and prefers mommy and daddy to all others, especially daddy. There is NO ONE like her daddy to her. She loves babies and animals and will stop in her tracks when she sees either. In the nursery, if another baby, and it is crying she will try and comfort that baby. She likes both boy toys and girl toys and really LOVES her brothers toys if she can get into them. She is not afraid of heights! Not necessarily a good thing cause she is turning into a real climber. She walks....no makes that runs everywhere.
All 3 of our children are very loving and generally obedient. They are respectful of others for the most part. They all love church and the Lord(well as much as they can at thier respective ages). They bring joy to our lives.
My husband and I hope to pastor a church some day where he is the head pastor. We are letting God bring that about in His time.
We have a happy, normal marriage with life's ups and downs. I am a stay at home mom which makes the income even tighter. But we trust God. I tend to be a worried and God is working on that in me. God has brought us through so many harships and trials. The key word is THROUGH. He is our source, our strength and the center of our home. Without our Lord I do not know how we would make it in the world we live in. So there you have it, a tiny snap shot of our family.
I had an arguement with someone close to me, not my husbands or kids but still close to me. The details aren't important. What is important is that while I still believe my position was correct the way I handled it was wrong. All of us have the ability to react in ways that are wrong. Apologies only go so far. Repentance before the Lord and others is hard at times. Feelings get in the way. I feel bad because I reacted wrong. I still believe that what was happening needed to be addressed but I also know I handled it wrong. Why is it that with people we care so much about we have a hard time, at times, handling things the right way? I love this person and would never intentionally hurt her. I am trying to pray about the whole situation before I approach her again. I don't want to go down the same road of misunderstanding fueled by deep heartfelt feelings. The Bible says to be angry and sin not. That is a lot easier said than done! As I grow in God I know I must correct the matter. The Bible also says when their is ought with somoene you must go to that person and ask forgiveness and mend it. In this situation, I am not sure how, if that makes sense. It could make matters worse, just by bringing it up again. We did talk calmly afterward and in a way settle things to a degree. A small degree. Yet I no longer feel I can address the issues that need to be addressed with any manner of effect. I am perceived incorrectly and what I want to say obviously comes out all wrong and is perceived as a criticism. I was accused of being holier than thou, but I never said it or implied it. I never said this person wasn't on the same level or anything. She tends to feel things deeply, always has. She is a precious person who loves God but takes any form of direction, even given in love as criticism. I need things in my life corrected, we all do. I have learned over the years to take such guidance, as just that, guidance. But I fear she does not see things that way. I was asked for help yet it wasn't percieved as help, I guess. All I know is my heart hurts. Cause what I said was done out of love and a real desire to help. I did't mean to hurt her. I did get angry because of some things said to me, when I should have remained calm and that is where things went downhill. I tried not to talk to her while I was mad, but she inisted. I am the type of person that must process and calm down before I speak about issues I am mad about. I am not excusing my behavior. I was wrong. But I desperately need to calm down before I talk. Yet, I was not allowed to do this. I am no longer angry, but I feel something changed between us. Like I can't be totally honest about my feelings and I must walk on egg shells. This morning, I don't even know how to pray about it. All I know is I need God to fix this. My heart is hurt because of things said to me and I am sure she feels the same way. I make mistakes daily. I fall short of His glory every day. I want to walk in HIS love but yesterday evening I did not do that. I reacted. I don't know, I just hate anger, frustration and arguements. I hate conflict and usually avoid it at all costs. This has probably been coming to a boil for a while because I do try and avoid conflict. So it boiled over. That causes problems. When we hold things in til they boil over, people get burned. So now, this morning here I sit, in agony because I let my mouth get the better of me. Yes, I know apologizing is the answer, and normally I would agree. Yet, I fear it will be perceived the wrong way as well. I need to pray, just pray for God's wisdom in how to handle this. I am exhausted and drained and my love for this person will never change no matter what. Yet, I fear even going to her about it. Because if I sit down to apologize, all the issues will come right back up again and dredged out again. sigh. That is my fear. I ............I...........don't know what else to say..........sigh.
Posted by Thelma Strobl at 11:16 AM
Sunday, October 7, 2007
Christopher's cousin, Mara was playing with a small transformer airplane of Christopher's and the tail came off. My mom said, "I think Mara broke Christopher's airplane". I said it's okay mom, that toy has been having problems.
Christopher piped up and said
"Nanny don't worry about it. That toy was made in China"...........rofl........
we all burst out laughing.............LOL LOL LOL
The Rainbow is a sign of God's promises. He promised Noah to never flood the whole earth again was the original sign of the rainbow. But to me the rainbow speaks of more of God's promises. The rainbow always comes after a rain or a storm. In our lives when we are going through hard times, we can know that somewhere there is a rainbow. That His promises are new every morning. In a world filled with bad news, politics that turn ugly, wars, the need for our soldiers to come home to their families, poverty, government waste of our resources, all manners of evil things people to do to each other, hunger that goes unresolved and so much more; we need some rainbows. I have to watch world events now, trusting God has the answers because in all I see there are no answers apart from Him. No one seems to have any answers as to how to make our world a better place, more caring, more compassionate, and more understanding of our fellowman. People are so busy trying to push agendas, make money, spend money or solve conflicts they have no real idea about they forget about compassion. In a world where hearing about bombings, earthquakes or murders is just another day of news, we need some rainbows. People are attached to every news story. People's lives are being torn apart and we spend far to much time judging them or trying to do armchair resolutions to the issues. We don't get involved, we don't pray and we often have forgotten the latest news story by the time the next show comes on. Instead, what I need to do is pray for my government, the Lord knows they need some divine help. I need to pray for the people whose lives have been changed in catastrophic ways. I need to pray for people, yes, Brittney Spears. Has anyone ever taught her how to be a mother? Does anyone love her for who she really is on the inside, the lost little girl? Does anyone care that she probably cries herself to sleep at night, grieving for the life she can't control and can't get ahold of? Has anyone really tried to help her without judgement or taking pictures? She needs a rainbow. She needs love and compassion. I see so many stories that if these people just had some love, compassion and tender loving care, perhaps their lives would be better. It is easy to judge the events of the world and know how you would do it better, but it is harder to have compassion in the circumstances to pray for those involved. I too am guilty of judging and assumptions when I should be down on my knees praying for these people. God forgive me for not praying. Maybe we can be makers of rainbows by spreading some love, compassion and prayers around. God will honor that. When we humble ourselves and pray, He will heal our land. That is what the word says. All I know is we have a war where people are dying, on both sides of the conflict and all those people need prayer. We seem to have a government run amuck with no answers to problems here or abroad and they all need prayer. As I watch the candidates line up for 2008, I have no idea who I will vote for at the moment. But I can pray. I can pray that God will somehow bring about a change that will help and not hurt. A change that will be lasting and beneficial for everyone and not just the wealthy. So I plan to spread some rainbows, even if it takes shedding some tears while I am on my knees in prayer.
Saturday, October 6, 2007
How is it that this sweet little cherubic face, shown here at around 18 months or 2 years (not sure as I am having a mommy moment)?
Can turn into this at almost 4?
Ony with much less hair(she still has little hair). The child can go from 0 to 190 in 10 seconds or less. I am not aware of some clause written into childhood that demands a little girl turning 4 must throw whing ding temper tantrums. She is a good little girl for the most part, but cross her by putting her in time out, or GASP, telling her NOT to pinch the baby and she goes ballistic. She threw a fit this morning because I told her it was jammie day and we were not going to put on church clothes. The child loves to dress up, and takes any chance she can get and more if I let her. I thought, silly Mommy, it would be fun to have a jammie day. But she was the only one NOT thrilled with the idea. Oh she got over it, but in the mean time, I needed ear plugs. So it is a right of passage for turning 4 year old little girls? So if you hear a sonic boom, it is probably only my Hannah breaking the sound barrier with the velocity of her tantrums, only this time it is because GASP............I put bubbles in her bathwater and should have known she did not want them tonight!
Posted by Thelma Strobl at 12:40 PM
Friday, October 5, 2007
To find one template that worked. I don't know if it is me or the templates I tried. I am not totally satisfied with this new look. Any fellow bloggers that can direct me to some good, easy to copy and past sites with inspirational or sweet, or cute templates befitting my style, let me know. I will check them out. From my blogs, you can probably guess I am pretty much conservative and like cute whimsical, or pretty and classic, or awe inspiring inspirational. So any ideas out there....just post a reply and let me know. My blog was in need of change. Change is good.
Posted by Thelma Strobl at 8:43 PM
If I had known it was the last time I would speak to you, the phone call would have lasted longer. If I had known it was the last time we would hug, I would have embraced longer. So many times we go through life, busy and in a rush. Never realizing that we are taking each other for granted, or to be more precise, taking life for granted. Tomorrow is not a guarantee. What do I want the people I love to know? My husband and I make it a point to always say I love you if we leave each other for even a short trip to the grocery. Because you never know what will happen. Those little things my children do that are irritating; I try hard not to let them get on my nerves. There are so many mothers who wish their child was healthy enough to be naughty. There are many mothers whose empty arms ache to hold a child gone to be with the Lord. There are many women whose hubands will not come home because they are soldiers or policemen or in some way laying their lives on the line for others. There are people who just take a run down to the grocery and don't come back. Not trying to be morbid, just trying to say life is precious, life is short. We need to not just make the most of it, we need to make the best of it. We need to sew seeds of love, compassion and kindness. We need to let our friends and family know how much they mean to us. We need to get past our embarrassment and say "I love you". Too many times I get irritated with my children and tell them to stop annoying me. Then I have to repent, because while their behavior is annoying at times, they are not annoying. They are precious, sweet children who are just that children. They act like children, the speak like children and they do childish things. They are supposed to do that. Even with my husband, I realize I let the little annoying things get in the way; instead of appreciating the little good things he does. He changes diapers without even thinking. If he sees it needs to be changed he just does it. Sometimes, no, he can't seem to find the dishwasher, but he NEVER fails to say I love you or give me a pat on the bottom as he passes, or a quick kiss. He is loving and kind. He adores me and his children. He never calls us names or berates us like I have seen some men do. He does not demand that I "serve him" but does try to make my job easier. So instead of complaining about the little things I need to appreciate them, because who knows when I will wish "If I had known".......I would have done or said something different.
Posted by Thelma Strobl at 8:24 AM
Wednesday, October 3, 2007
it was....................Jennifer's reflection in the head board mirror........LMBO. She couldnt sleep so we put her in bed with us cause we were in a strange place. Then ever so often, she would sit up and scream bloody murder. Dh ended up sleeping with her on the couch.......LOL. Finally in the wee hours just before he moved to the couch we figured it out. They have a small mirror inlayed in the head board of the bed we were in. She would catch a glimpse but it was too dark for her to see it was herself.......she only saw movement...and it scared her...she kept checking and it kept scaring her. poor baby...but oh how funny...........LOL
Friday, September 28, 2007
Posted by Thelma Strobl at 8:36 PM
Thursday, September 27, 2007
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Posted by Thelma Strobl at 10:31 AM
sshh....we dont want to wake up. and Yes he eats the fruit medley baby food out of the jar, he likes it, he isn't allergic to it, he can handle the texture, and it is healthy. But we don't tell ANY of his friends he eats "baby food".
Posted by Thelma Strobl at 10:19 AM
Monday, September 24, 2007
Someone told me I needed to be more than a mom. That by being so focused on being a sahm I would lose myself and my ability to carry on intelligent, thought provoking conversations. But seperating myself from my self as a mommy is an impossibility. I once read we should live our passion, be true to ourselves. My passion is my family. I find true joy and fulfillement from being a wife and a mother. Now I am not saying it is always easy. No one likes to get up in the wee hours of the night and hae a miserable baby, or a diaper explosion to clean up. However, knowing my family is loved and well cared is like the biggest thrill to me. I guess you could say I am addicted to my family. When my family is happy and well cared for, I feel "high" so to speak. Watching joy and contentment on their faces brings me great joy. Teaching my children about God, their world and so much more is like music to my soul. Just as a great artist paints a beautiful piece of work; my children, my husband, my family, my home is my canvas. I can choose what I put into it. I can put in joy and peace with the words I say and the actions I do. Or, I can put in fear and darkness the same way. Oh I make mistakes and I have to go back and work to correct the mistake or start over on that section of the canvas. But one day when I look back a masterpiece will come together. With the help of my Lord I am able to do things I didn't think I could ever do. He gives me strength on the days I dont want to pick up the brush. So despite naysayers, I am a stay at home mom and I love it. It is my passion, it is my art, it is my calling. I am more than a mom because what I put into my children, my family and my home requires so much more of me than just being a mom.
Posted by Thelma Strobl at 12:35 PM
Friday, September 21, 2007
Posted by Thelma Strobl at 1:34 PM
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
I can't believe she is almost 4!
This was taken when she was 1 week old.
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
If you give a baby a cookie then she is going to need two because she must have one for each hand. If she gets two she is going to need a sippy cup of milk to go with it. When she gets the sippy cup she will try and carry the cookies and the milk into the other room. When she gets to the other room she will have to lay one cookie down while she eats with one hand and plays with another. She will need to go from one toy to the other spreading crumbs and stickiness. She will then remember her milk and go back to it, pick it up, throw her head back and take a swig. When she throws her head back she will see the rocking chair and decides she wants to eat and rock at the same time. She will climb into the rocking chair spreading cookie gookie as she goes. When she gets into the rocking chair she will remember she forgot her milk and will point at it and "ask" you to get it for her. When she gets her milk, she will see her sister heading for the cookie she left behind. This will cause her to squeal and scream and she cries out for her forgotten cookie. She will scramble down and grab the cookie just as her sister goes to eat it. This will cause her sister to protest that the baby wasn't eating it(despite the fact she already ate all her cookies). You will explain that she cant have the cookie. This will make the baby stand in front of her sister and triumphantly cram the whole thing in her mouth. When she has finished her cookies you will try to clean her up with wipies. But this will remind her she does not like being wiped down and she will try and get away and she will see the cookie crumbs she dropped at the same time her sister does. This will cause an all out cookie riot and you will have to sit each girl down and clean up the mess. The baby will then see her milk and want that again. You will hand it to her as you go back to the kitchen and she will follow you. She will see the cookie bag and chances are.......if she sees the cookie bag she is GOING to want a cookie for each hand.
Monday, September 17, 2007
Momy, my world is upside down
Cause I am sad
Why are you sad
Because I ate that mystery air head, that makes me sad, cause I dont know. (note he had been sent to bed and did not get to finish his movie).
I was Shark boy but now I am sad boy.
Tell me about Harper
What is special about Harper
She is pretty. She plays with me. She doesn't tease me. Her hair is blonde. Her eyes are blue. And she is my girl friend.
I like God. He tells us about math, science, social studies and what to do. He helpsme learn all that. He helps us think about happiness and sometimes I get sad. He makes me happy. He tells me that "you are great". Jesus does a lot of things. He died on the cross for our sins. He makes us smile real big. He rose again on the third day.
I like what we do in our family. Playing together, eating together and telling stories. We do family time and that is my favorite. My sisters are wonderful. I like what they do. They are real fun. And they are pretty.
Daddy: Daddy can play army with me. He is on my team on the army game and he can work for us to give us money so we can live, eat, and take care. My favorite thing about daddy is he helps me feel better when I am sad and he makes me laugh.
Mommy: Well, she helps me walk to the bus stop. It is fun to play with her. And we like to have these conversations and she smiles beautiful. She is my favorite mommy. My favorite things about mommy is she helps me with my work. She helps me with my reading. And she helps me with being good. Mommy and Daddy help me, Hannah and Jennifer pray, and Mommy and Daddy love us.
Hannah: She helps me be friends together. She helps me smile. She does what I like. She helps me, like this, well, now, she hugs me, she kisses me, she watched shark boy and lava girl with me. She was lava girl and I was shark boy. And she watches me play Kirby. I love Hannah cause she is so beautiful.
Jennifer: She cracks me up. She says goo goo ga ga. She laughs when I laugh. I crawl with her on the floor. She plays with me, like, babies and she does a lot of great things, like she talks very good. She walks very good. She plays very good. I love her cause she is so cute.
Take two children, one mommy and homeschool preschool time and mix, what do you get, in the words of Forrest Gump, Preschool is like a box of chocolates you never know what you are going to get. Hannah and Douglas approach preschool at completely different angles. Both are very bright and energetic but both have such different styles. Douglas(my nephew) is about 8 months older than Hannah. He is inquistive and fun loving. He enjoys the songs, calling out the names of the letters as I point to them and the action games. Hannah loves it all except for calling out the letters because she does not recongnize as many letters as her cousin. She tends to back off during this part and Douglas takes the lead. However, when we do a worksheet or a craft, Douglas can not focus beyond a couple of minutes and wants to see exaclty what Hannah is doing instead of paying attention to his paper. Today I had them trace the triangle shapes on a sunshine. He would try and do his WHILE watching Hannah. She went busily about hers and finished. Then we cut it out, glued it to construction paper and used white chalk to make clouds. They were so cute. With Douglas I had to keep prompting to finish and he kept saying is this good, is this good. I assured him, he was doing fine and he only has to try his best. But it is obvuios he does not like the paper work part of preschool. Hannah loved it. She was so detailed. We also traced their names. Hannah did hers in all different colors. Douglas did his in all one color but did a great job as well. Watching their learning styles even at this age is astounding. Both loved stories and songs, but one likes the paper and art activities and one likes the group recitation. (well I guess two is a group). I am amazed at how they both did enjoy it. And although I had to redirect Douglas a lot; he did enjoy it and he is learning from me. Both of them were very well behaved and engaged. They like the story I chose about a caterpillar turning into a butterfly. Both liked singing the Alphabet song and adding their own motions to it. Their creativity knows no bounds. When they play together they think of elaborate story lines for their pretend play. Both may be destined for drama one day. I loved it. I felt like I was in my element. Teaching and watching young minds grasp, grow and learn is amazing. Sometimes, I wish I had gone into elementary education instead of social work. But I plan to use my degree one day to launch myself into teaching preschool or kindergarten. When Jennifer starts school I plan to look for work in teaching. All I would need to do is take the state licensure test. So as I launch into teaching Hannah and Douglas and helping them learn despite their differences, I also launch a dream. It was a great day and we all finished with smiles on our faces and joy in our hearts.
Posted by Thelma Strobl at 7:50 PM
Friday, September 14, 2007
You remember what you were told as a child when you were teased:
"Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me". We who were teased realized pretty quickly that is so untrue. Words do hurt. Teasing for the sheer aspect of putting someone down and belittling them hurts. The "kids are just being kids and playing" excuse doesn't wash. Because "fun" kiddind around isn't hurtful. Teasing is hurtful. As I watch my son make his way through public school and see the teasing that has begun. My heart twists within my body. The last few weeks I watched his usually sparkling eyes began to lose their sparkle and be downcast. Then the final straw was when I heard him crying in his sleep "I am not to little, I am not too little" as he wept in his sleep in utter and complete misery. My heart broke within my mommy body. We comforted him and prayed with him and reassured him that being small is NOT a bad thing. Then I emailed his teacher. She acted appropriately and quickly. Yesterday, he was teased again and the teaser was quickly put in his place. They also did a whole class discussion with first graders about teasing. I was impressed at how quickly they acted. At his school they have a no tolerance policy. That being said, my son's experiences brought back hard, painful memories for me. In my day, teasing was seen as child's play. It was seen as a "right of passage" all kids must travel through. Yet, while yes, I guess I did become stronger, it created scars that lasted for years. People think teasing is nothing as long as the child is not physically harmed. I have even had people say or imply this. Yet, the unseen, emotional scars can be just as painful. Those first few weeks of my son being teased, I watched him began to question his place in his world. Even though he heard from us how special and precious he is. He heard from peers, that he was different and strange, simply because he is small. It quickly began to have an impact. That is how powerful words are. Words, seem so insignificant in a manner of speaking but words can start wars, destroy lives, or wreak havoc in any number of ways.
Yes, words have that kind of power. Just think about our blogs and how the words people write can inspire us to be better or become angry or have peace or joy. Words, never forget their power. So sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can break a heart, so always use them carefully because they leave a lasting imprint wherever they land.
I really haven't done preschool stuff since the first day. I haven't felt well and the baby hasn't either. So everything has been put on hold. I know that is one of the benefits of home schooling but it still makes me feel bad. I wanted to do it at least 3 days a week. However, this week I just didnt feel like it. I was in pain and miserable and the baby was sick and not sleeping, so add to that lack of sleep and I did not get anything done. Today was the first day I felt well in a week. So hopefully, Monday, we can start fresh. I also have not blogged much and wanted to blog daily.
The good thing is, I went to Ladies Bible Study today at the church. It was so good! I am hoping I can go each week, which means readjusting my preschool schedule, but Mommy's soul needs to be fed as well.
Posted by Thelma Strobl at 4:05 PM
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Our first day at doing homeschool preschool......went well yesterday. Hannah and Douglas LOVED it! We sang songs, practiced recognizing written numbers, saying our colors and recognizing written letters. We read nursery rhymes and a Bible story. They drew pictures of monsters on the back of old desk calendar pages. I had them tell me a story about their picture and wrote the story for them on the paper. We only did about 90 minutes of actual stuff but they also played together well. Then I gave them lunch and a nap since both were tired yesterday. It was fun. I am going to do preschool stuff according to their needs for that day. Some days it may be more play than others. Kids learn best by play anyway. Tomorrow we may go to the play park and collect leaves and stuff for a collage......I dont know if it is bad or good, but I have no real structured "plan". I am teaching them the basics, colors, shapes, numbers, letters and how to print their names but am using whatever I have at hand. I am making up my own curriculum. I am using their play to teach them and our environment. Hopefully this will serve them well. However, I am going to do things in the same order each preschool day. Songs and Bible story first, letters and numbers etc next, free play, art/craft, outside time or dancing inside etc.....so they can kind of get used to a schedule of things and know what to expect. But at the same time I will be flexible. Hopefully this will work well. Tomorrow we are going to collect some sand as well to make a "sand picture" of their name. I hope. LOL. according to if the sand is dry or not...it has rained a lot last night and today.....(which we needed).
So just sharing how it went and what we did. Any homeschooler moms out there....feel free to add any advice or critiques.......thanks for listening.
Saturday, September 8, 2007
Lately there are things that I am discovering about my childhood and myself that quite frankly is hard to deal with. As I face the abuses I suffered as I child and seek deeper healing I discover many things. First, I am more aware of myself as a parent for fear of making the same mistakes. Secondly, abusive words even done in error can cause a lasting effect. Third, the person who used some of this negative language may not even be aware themselves what they have done to you. Fourth, forgiveness, true forgiveness is a choice and happens in layers. God only gives you what you can handle. So He may not reveal to you all things at once but will slowly uncover what you are ready to handle. I have done some things in the past that quite honestly came from ignorance and as a result of my path. Luckily, I stopped myself before I verbally hurt my children or when I did react harshly, I apologized and reevaluated the situation. Just the other day in frustration I said something to Christopher that was wrong. I realized it and began to cry. I asked him to forgive me and said it wasn't his fault and reassured him I love him, despite my mistakes. He took it in stride. I do not want to repeat the mistakes of my parents or people who did damage in my life on my children. To do this I must be aware of what I am saying and doing. I am doing a study on Love Is a Choice. It has helped me realize some things in my life that need healing and things that I can do better with my own children. We all make mistakes but it is what we do with those mistakes and how we make it better that counts. I am sure every parent on the face of the earth has said things or done things to their children that were hurtful or wrong...BUT...it does not have to become a pattern or a lifestyle. As I overcome what happened in my past, I break a cycle. My parents did the best they good for the most part with what they had to do with. The knowledge they had, the things they suffered as children and/or the mistakes they recognized or did not recognize. I don't hold blame against them and I don't hold a grudge. It just makes me want to be a better parent. I tell my children daily I love them and try to show them in ways that are tangible. For example, playin tea party or reading them a story when I don't feel like it. Stopping myself from snapping at them when they aren't listening. And most of all, learning to WALK AWAY when I am mad. I am discovering that just as children grow, so do parents. We don't automatically know how to do it. It takes time and growth. I am discovering that I am stronger than I thought I was and that I am a survivor. I am an overcomer because of what Christ has done in me. And the key to it all, the key to healing, the key to victory, truly is forgiveness. As God peels off this layer He is working on in me right now, it is not comfortable but oh how much more clearly I can see. I choose to walk in love and forgiveness. I choose to sow a heritage of love, patience, kindness into my children. I choose to be the best parent I know to be and learn more about being a better parent. I choose to give my kids memories filled with love and joy instead of grief. I want them to see their childhood differently than I see mine. But it takes work on myself and willingness to admit my mistakes. It takes WANTING to change the things that need changing and asking for help. That ALONE is hard. But I will with God's help be that Proverbs 31 Mommy. Today, on this day, God is doing a new work in my heart and I am being healed to a greater depth than ever before. Simply, because God knew I was ready. God knew I could handle it now and God knew I wanted to change. My prayer is that I show my children Jesus in all I do, say, believe and feel. That they will learn it is okay to make mistakes, it is okay to forgive and it is okay to admit you screwed up. Perfection is not attainable or expected but trying your best is. Learning from the past and your mistakes helps you grow and become stronger. And most of God is able to do great and mighty things when we let Him. And He loves us all, just as we are. He does not expect perfection because He is made perfect in our weakness and He will give us the strength to grow, become stronger and learn a better more Jesus like way. If we rest on Him and His promises, He truly will get us through. So I, the imperfect mother that I am, realize God loves me just like I am, so do my children and my job is to do my best and keep striving to learn new and better ways to live this life with the love and compassion He places in my soul.
Posted by Thelma Strobl at 9:41 PM
This week in school Christopher had a class called guidance. In guidance they talked about faces, feelings and apparently share personal stories. And my beautiful son shared his faith in a simple, yet profound way without even realizing what he was doing. Trust in God comes natural to him, just like breathing. He told the whole group assembled about Allie(his little friend in Florida) when she jumped in the pool without a life jacket and how she almost drowned but God helped her get better. When he told me about it I was blown away. In his simple, childlike faith, he believe everyone knows and loves Jesus. So when he talks about people being sick or needing something he talks about prayer or asks people to pray. He also his first week of school asked his teacher to pray for him. He did not realize that "prayer no longer is allowed in public school". He only knows when you ask for prayer, people pray, or at least in the world he has known until now it has been that way. His teacher told us about it. She told him, she couldn't pray for him now but would at home. He was satisfied. So you see, sharing your faith does not have to be huge. My son is small and tiny, but his candle burns brightly and he is NOT ashamed to say he loves God and that God answers prayer. He is not ashamed to say grace or call on Jesus, even at school. I only hope we keep fostering that faith and his candle burns brighter and brighter. Oh if we adults only let our candles burn so openly, so freely and without hesitation. My heart is filled with awe because of what Jesus does through my little boy. God is using him mightily and he is just a little boy......what promise he holds in the Kingdom of God. Hannah too, she prays at the drop of a hat, without question. They are tiny but they are mighty in their faith and truly the warrior is a CHILD. I praise God for what He is doing in my children.
Friday, September 7, 2007
Is to attempt homeschool preschool with Hannah and my 4 year old nephew, Douglas. I am working this weekend on lesson plans and activities and the like. I am going to try this 3 days per week from 10 to 2 with a snack and a lunch break. Right now I am surfing the net for ideas, free curriculum and the like. I find a lot of sites that offer one free thing and the rest for astronomical prices. So the search is on. I have some stuff already and lots of ideas. I hope to keep a blog entry going about it and it will have the following heading:
This way if one wants to read it, they can or if they want to bypass the blogs on my preschool adventures they may.
I plan to start on Monday and we will see how it goes. I plan to have a lot of hands on stuff and fun because kids learn best through play.
Thursday, September 6, 2007
Okay, who ever thought moving through 2 states to arrive in the middle of the state of your final destination of the 3rd state would be easy and filled with butterflies and rainbows.....was wrong just plain wrong.
It all started on packing the truck day. My plans to have it all complete were not met. But for the most part it was done. We only had 3 other peo0ple show up to help my dh and 61 year old father in law pack the moving truck. It was a long, back breaking day. At one point, it looked as if we would not get all our stuff on the truck. But my husband rearranged and it went it with no problem. So we get to our first hotel that night and there was a problem with the Penske truck we rented to move with. My husband could not drive OVER 45 miles an hour. NOT good for a move from Florida to Tennesse. That is too long of a trip to be stuck at 45 miles per hour. My husband called the company and they sent out a mechanic who told us we might have to be sent another truck and have it repacked! I DO NOT think so. I told my husband you better tell them that is NOT an option, and they better find a way to fix it or his wife would take it up with them. Uh, they did listen. I did a lot of praying! Finallly, they fixed it and the next morning we were on our way. Still could not go over 65 because of some kind of governor they had on the older trucks. The kids did pretty well actually because somone GAVE us a dvd player for our van. I started ou in the van with the children and my inlaws while Mike drove the truck. My inlaws forgot what it is like to travel with children and did not figure in the length bathroom stops can take. And they chose Cracker barrel to eat at for almost every stop. Now I like Cracker Barrel but after 2.5 days of non stop Cracker barrel.....uh no.....over it. Finally, Mike put his foot down and said NO more cracker barrell. We also once stopped at a Waffle House but did not stay cause it was so DIRTY! Okay so the trip wasn't that bad but it was tiring. At some point I decided to get in the truck with my husband and strap the baby's car seat in the truck with us. Worked out pretty good but made gas up stops more intersting because they would not take the kids potty unless they asked. Unlike me who makes them try every stop. So, consequently 5 minutess after getting back on, someone would need to potty. My inlaws wanted to take long leisurely lunches, nice but not good for travel. I am greatful to them, don't get me wrong, they had just forgotten how it is to travel with little children. Once we got to more hilly regions travel slowed way down because of the truck trying to climb the hills. We went swimming at one hotel and Hannah scared me silly when she went face down in the water and I could not get to her very fast. She held her breath good and the life jacket thingy kept her afloat til I could get to her. But still it freaked me out, after my friend's daughter almost drowned. Then I noticed, I could not find my purse anywhere....we tore the van and truck apart to no avail. It was gone. I was freaking. We arrived in Tennessee on the hottest day in the region in YEARS! NO ac had been left on in our new apartment and it wa so hot. We only had 1 person to help my husband and my father in law could not help as he was feeling the effects of the heat. So my husband, myself and one football player sized teen unloaded the truck. We were exhausted, the kids were cranky and we had no food in the house. But we were done. The trip was over. The next morning my husband called the hotel in GA and they HAD my purse. They mailed it to me, completelyi intact! The phone company took from the Monday after we moved in to today to get our phone and dsl hooked up correctly and numerous phone calls and complaints. It has been an adventure not all bad, not all good but nothing major. In the middle of it, Christopher's asthma was flaring and we ran out of meds so we had to find a peditrician after we first got here. I never ran so much between all the things we had to do. We have gotten plugged into a wonderful church and are enjoying just being able to worship without any responsibility. So.....even though it wasn't all butterflies and rainbows it was filled with laughs admist the panic and groans. So I draw from the laughter and move on. Moving with 3 children, and 4 adults......really makes for family togetherness......LOL.