...at blogging. I tell you. I feel like I was just in survival mode this past semester. I think to some extent I'll remain in survival mode until Drew is a little more independent. :) I thought having a third child turned our world upside down, but it's actually the fourth!!! :) Whew! There's a lot of days I'm not sure if I'm coming or going. :) Sometimes I still can't believe that we have FOUR!!!! Okay enough of that. I'll try to post some updated pics, and hopefully it won't take me over two months to do it.
I have to share that the Monday after Christmas we left our corner of Northwest AR, and headed to Enid, OK, to spend a few days with awesome friends of ours--the Edwards'. They also have 4 children, who are relatively close in age to our four. Their oldest is about 9 months older than our oldest, and their youngest is 5 days older than our youngest. Can I just say that, "WE HAD A BLAST!" with them. I do have to be honest, though, I wasn't sure how it was going to go with 8 children in the house, but I was greatly surprised. We even extended our trip a couple of days longer than originally planned.
As we welcomed in the new year together I started immediately reflecting on resolutions I wanted to make for my new year. I don't normally make resolutions because I usually break them. So, I usually figure, what's the use. I have really had a desire to make this year a better one for me and our family. The key ingredient is going to be DISCIPLINE, and not the spanking kind we give to our children. :) So, I have made some real efforts in that department. Before too long I hope that most areas of my life will show some sort of discipline. I'd like my house to be clean a little more consistently so that I'm not embarrassed if someone drops by. I want to lose about 50 lbs--or more--this year. I don't want to always feel so behind in my job. And more importantly I want to have a better relationship with our heavenly Father, and be more diligent in tithing this year. All of these are going to take DISCIPLINE. It has been a slow start, but I'm gradually adding more discipline to the mix. As in the movie, "What About Bob," I'm taking baby steps. :)
Okay, enough about me...on to the fam! I'm sitting here at the kitchen table typing and looking out the window at the ice covering everything. So far no snow, but plenty of ICE! I absolutely love our windows, and always enjoy the view out to my backyard and beyond.
Okay, onto the family, for real this time. :) We are going to enjoy a snow/ice day together. Andy isn't going to try to go in to work till later. We've seen some cars travelling on the roads, but not many.
Anne is doing really well at school. She made all A's and B's this past semester, and loves to read and do word searches. She is well behaved at school also, but at home likes to be Mom #2 as far as rules go and making sure Naomi and Melanie aren't getting into her stuff. :) She is me through and through. Heaven help her! :)
Naomi is also making leaps and bounds in improvements this year as well. She is repeating Kindergarten this year, and I'm so proud of the strides she is making. At the beginning of the year the teacher was really having an issue with Naomi trying to "teach" the class. Then Mrs. Edwards found out that a high-functioning autistic boy responded well to Naomi. So, now Naomi sits at the same table as this student. Whenever he begins to have a melt down or feels "stuck" she redirects him and he responds to her! She is called the Autistic Whisperer by her teacher--too cute! Naomi is more prone to getting into trouble--of all kinds. :) She is also the polar opposite of me, I think. A lot of times I just throw up my hands because I'm not sure what to do with her! :) Except, love her, of course, with all that I can. She plays with Melanie quite a bit. They both have good imaginations.
Melanie is almost potty trained!!! We've been really working hard at it these past couple of weeks. Since she has two older sisters she knows what to do and how to, it's just getting her to actually do it! :) She is tons of fun, and mommy's little helper. She's talking so much more and more plainly all the time. She can be the comedianne of the bunch, which is typical of the 3rd child, I guess. She wants to do things like her big sisters. She calls Anne by her name, but has a difficult time saying Naomi. So Naomi is "Sissy" to her. She has no problem saying "Andrew." She also loves to play with dolls! She's going to be such a good mommy someday!
And Andrew, our little Prince Charming. He has stolen this mommy's heart and run away with it, I think. Andy warned me about my bond with Drew being different than with the girls. He was right, and I'm not afraid to admit it! :) Maybe when some girl has turned his head enough to cause him to marry her I can start a 12 step program of my own. :) I think he's going to be phlegmatic (laid back) like his daddy. He can roll over from tummy to back, but really doesn't have a desire to do so. :) He sits up really well, though. He says, "gu," and "dada." He also loves to put things in his mouth. Lately he has been really sick. I just took him to the doctor the other day and he has an ear infection in his right ear and bronchitis. So is on antibiotics for the ear and a nebulizer for the bronchitis. Last night I felt a tooth poking through on bottom so I'm hoping relief for him is in sight. I'm not sure how long he is, but he now weighs 21 lbs!! Just a cutie!!!!
The ice has now turned to snow!! Can I just say again how much I love my view. It's not awe inspiring, but it's mine. :)
Andy continues to be busy at work. He was promoted last year, and I'm ever so proud of him. He's also an awesome daddy. He tries to make sure he plays with the kids in the evening. He is very helpful to me where Drew and Mel are concerned. If I've had to get up in the middle of the night with Drew, then he makes sure the girls leave me along when they get up in the morning so I can get a little more sleep. Of course this only works out if it's the weekend and not during the work week. :) I don't always give him enough credit, but he definitely deserves it.
Our house for the most part is done. We still have some closet organization to do and furniture to buy to fill it up with, but it's ours. This time last year we were still living in the two bedrooms--ugh! Actually during last year's ice storm we were at mom and dad's. Thankfully their power didn't go out. Ours did, but only for a couple of days. I warned my mom yesterday that if our power went out and theirs didn't that we were coming over! :)
As for me...I'm teaching part time at Washington Junior High in Bentonville. I love being part time because then I get the best of both worlds. I've discovered that I don't make a great full time stay at home mom, but do great part time. I've always felt that teaching is my calling by God. I love it, and the kids that I get to teach every year. Bentonville is one of the top--if not the top school in AR. I'm sure my Bentonville collegues will quickly let me know. :) I'm torn as far as what to do next year. If my principal were to offer me a full time position there next year I would gladly take it, but I would also love to work back at Gentry since my girls are there. I just keep it as a matter of prayer. God knows what's best. He's got me through this far. I have learned where jobs are concerned that it's best to let Him take the lead--not me! So much more going on in my head, but I'll give it a rest for now. I'd apologize for this post being so lengthy, but it's been long overdue so forget it. :)
Love to the extreme few of you who read this!