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.