Life with boys

Life with boys…It’s an adventure. This past week especially. Here are some things I’ve learned about being the only girl in a house full of boys.

1. Teach them to clean bathrooms early. Once they start potty training, it’s pretty much guaranteed that you will need to clean the bathroom on a fairly frequent basis. At the very least the toilet will need a good wipe down and most likely the floor around it too. So…since I don’t use the facilities standing up I’ve taught the boys how to clean the bathroom. I haven’t cleaned a toilet for almost a year. In fact, as part of our life skills day today Gabe cleaned all 3 bathrooms by himself and he did a stand up job. (Hehehe). Oh yeah…don’t put the good bathroom rugs in the boys bathroom either.
2. Get used to body humor. I don’t think it really matters how much you try to avoid this, but at some point with boys farts, burps and arm toots become really funny. I would, however, recommend limiting it to places other than the dinner table, public gatherings and church.
3. Save money for co-pays. We have learned to just budget for a co-pay each month. With 4 boys, we’ve spent our share of time in urgent care, the orthopedic office and the pediatricians office. By the way…did you know that they don’t put casts on in the peds office any more? They send you to the ortho office…it’s all just a scam if you ask me, but I can’t do anything about it. In the 8 (almost 9 years) we’ve had our boys…we’ve had 3 broken arms and a broken nose. I’m pretty sure that the count will only go up from there.
4. It pays to have some dermabond (think super glue for skin) around. If we ran to Urgent care for every thing that needed to be pulled together we’d be very poor. Otto seems to be our “laceration/open wound” kid. We have had to take him for staples a time or two, but for most things the dermabond works just fine.
5. I might also suggest being a nurse. Again…cost savings here is totally worth it. Parenting in general isn’t for sissies and parenting boys makes it doubly true. Being a nurse helps me decide if it’s really something that needs to be seen or just a “rub dirt in it and walk it off” kind of thing.
6. Buy livestock. Seriously. We have purchased a whole cow the last 2 years in a row. We have had just a little left at the end of each year. I can’t imagine what it will be like when these guys get to be teenagers. We already have 2 deep freezers and keep them fairly full. I’m thinking that a future in cattle farming may not be a bad investment…except we’d eat all the profits. Oh yeah…consider purchasing chickens (we go through 5 dozen eggs a month easily), goats (for milk…I hear they’re much easier to milk) and possibly 10 acres for a garden.
7. Don’t buy expensive jeans or shoes. They wear them out so fast that it doesn’t matter if you spend $50 or $10 on jeans. Crawling around on hands and knees causes the same wear and tear. I promise.
8. There will be some brawls. Boys are physical. They play and fight and work physically. Everything they do is physical. The throw punches at the same time they’re hugging each other. They jump while they’re counting, folding laundry or eating dinner.
9. They are loving and tender-hearted. Our boys care about each other and other people. They write each other notes, make gifts and generally watch out for one another. Even though they’re busy…they need hugs and kisses regularly.
10. You will do lot of laundry. I mean lots. It will be muddy, dusty and sometimes slimy. I would suggest making sure you check pockets before you put them in the washer, otherwise you’ll end up with a basin full of rocks, sticks, coins and possibly a small creature that didn’t survive the spin cycle.
11. I wouldn’t trade having boys for anything. We get a lot of comments about having all boys and people are always so astounded when I tell them I would take 10 more even if they’re all boys. I delight in our boys. I delight in their activity, in their energy and in their “boyness”. My boys bring me so much joy. They may be busy and active, but they don’t have me running crazy and they’re not a “disaster” or “trouble” like so many fear. My boys rock.
If I’m ever blessed with a girl…I’d delight in her as well, but it’s not like I’m disappointed that I don’t have a girl yet. If God gives me boys for the rest of my life…I’d be thrilled. I figure if I have all boys that I will get my “daughters” when they get married.
Every child is a gift from God, boy or girl. They each have their own unique personality and I really believe that it’s all in your perspective.

Leave and Cleave : Respect – Heart matters

Respect begins in the heart.

Proverbs 4:23

New American Standard Bible (NASB)

23 Watch over your heart with all diligence,
For from it flow the springs of life.

The thoughts we have about our husband overflow into our “real life” and into our actions, our words and our relationships. Respect for our husbands is no different. If we don’t respect him in our hearts, we’re not going to be able to fool anyone into believing that we respect him either.

What if he hasn’t done anything worthy of respect? I can hear the indignant questions from angry wives everywhere. My husband doesn’t deserve my respect. My first question to those women is “what have you done worthy of his love?” I hate to tell you ladies (and myself sometimes) that nowhere does it say to “wait until he deserves it to show him respect” We’re supposed to do it right out of the shoot. Our husbands will answer to God for their actions and choices, we don’t get to say when he’s “good enough”.

Second, I would suggest that we should respect our husbands not because he is *worthy* of our respect, but because we are commanded by God to respect him. Who is your master? Whom are you serving when you’re respectful and obedient to your husband (I’ll give you a clue…it’s not your husband).

Very few human beings aren’t worthy of at least some respect.

I would also encourage you to examine by whose standard are you judging your husband and his worthiness? Are you looking to the world to tell you how a many “earns” respect or are you looking at the biblical standard of what a husband is to be?

One of the first ways we can begin to show respect and be respectful in our hearts is to stop trying to control our husbands. Stop trying to make him fit into a mold that the world tells us he should fit in to. Stop trying to “reform” him.

Many ladies I know seem to think that the man they were dating will magically change to the man they want them to be after the wedding. You know what? Same guy. The best we can do is to grow with our husbands, mature with them. And we can help him grow, we can share our ideas and thoughts with him, but we shouldn’t be critical of his every move and decision.

Our hearts are where respect for our husbands begin. It’s like planting a seed. If we can plant one or two seeds of respect there and nurture them they will spill over into the other areas of our lives.

I encourage you this week to find one or two things you can respect about your husband. You don’t have to say anything to him about those things if you don’t want to. But begin and end each day praising him in your heart. Praise God for those things about your husband. When you want to just smack your man upside the head or roll your eyes at him or say something hurtful…stop. Think about your “respect seeds” start cultivating that attitude towards him from the roots up.

Garden of the Gods trip

We took our first trip to Garden of the Gods this last week as a family.

Mom and her boys. 🙂 The boys were most anxious to be able to climb the rocks.

Pretty view.

Gabe and Otto exploring one of the small spaces only they could fit in.

Titus spent the trip on my back in the wrap so most of the pictures of the boys are of the 3 big boys.

This was their favorite part. We could have spent all day here just letting them climb.

There he is!

Zeke was holding on to the tree root to keep from sliding down the hill.

The views were great!

We went for a picnic at a park close by. While we were sitting there eating, we saw this herd of deer move through just like it were an everyday thing. It was pretty cool.
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Leave and Cleave R-E-S-P-E-C-T

Ephesians 5:33

English Standard Version (ESV)

33However,(A) let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she(B) respects her husband

To tell you the truth when I first thought about respect and why it’s so important to my husband…I didn’t get it. I mean sure, who doesn’t like to be respected and valued, but it is integral in making your husband feel loved. It’s what makes him feel like he’s the man, your mate…your hero.

Over the next few weeks my plan is to talk about respect and how to respect your husband. It starts in your heart, your home and in public. So first let’s talk about what respect is and why it’s important.

By definition respect means to hold someone in esteem, defer to them, to show regard or honor for someone or something. I don’t know about you but I winced just a little when I read that. I know that I certainly haven’t always deferred to my husband or shown him the highest esteem. Ouch.

But why does the Bible command us to respect our husbands? He’s supposed to love us, but we’re to respect him. A lot of women are going to say, “but they’re one and the same…I can’t feel loved unless I’m respected” But they are different.

To esteem your husband means you hold him in high regard. In some ways respect can also be tied to admiration and appreciation of your husband. Kerry (my husband) tells me that in a way respect is the outward expression of our inward submission to him. I’ll get to the submission posts after this series, because I know that’s a tough pill for a lot of women to swallow.

Respect speaks to the heart of a man. Respect lets him know that he is valued and he is admired by someone else. In showing respect to our husbands we are also showing that we believe they are the head of our household and we believe they are totally capable in this role. Respect doesn’t just mean that we hold him in high esteem, but that we care about his thoughts and his feelings.

If a man doesn’t feel he is worthy (or getting) his wife’s respect, he will be dejected, depressed and may seek that respect elsewhere. It doesn’t make it right, but it does make it easier.

I challenge you this week to think about how you can show more esteem and respect for your husband. Ask him what makes him feel respected or honored. You might be surprised to hear the answers.

A good place to start would be pay attention to how you talk about and to your husband. How do you represent him to others? How do you talk about him in front of your children or your co-workers?