Sunday, May 31, 2009

The All-Mighty Jayce

Edited with picnik
Just look at that strength as he tries take on the bars of steel!


Friday, May 29, 2009

I like to smile. Smiling's my favorite.

Edited with Picnik

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Family Life

A quick update on the kids:
Jayce and Reagan are continuing to grow and be happy. Jayce draws on a daily basis, mostly scenes from his favorite movies or a picture of a Superhero or two. He's becoming quite a proficient reader and writer.

Reagan has enjoyed playing outside daily now that the weather is nice. He's also been learning how to write letters and words though he's not reading yet.

Reagan's reflection and his note to Mom

Landon is a very active little boy who is getting into everything! He's been slower than the other boys at walking; he's been taking a few steps here and there but prefers his method of speed-crawling to get places quicker. He has yet to say any words but communicates through a few sign language words such as eat, cup, more, please and thank you. We're curious to see when he'll take a developmental leap and actually be comfortable walking and talking like a typical 17-month-old. Landon's been spending a lot of time in his outdoor swing and loving it. Whenever his older brothers are out there playing, Landon sits in his swing and watches all that going on while drinking up the sun and fresh air.

Landon climbing on the piano and falling asleep in his swing

Lauryn just recently turned 17! For her special day, she decided she wanted to take a trip to Old Port in Portland, ME with Mike and I. It was a fun day, and it ended with her opening presents and blowing her candles out on a homemade Kiwi-Strawberry Pie.

Crystal & Lauryn in Old Port

Lauryn is trying to finish up her homeschooling for the year though she'll continue with some studies on into the summer such as French, math and sewing. She has plans to attend summer camp with her youth group from church as well as take a fashion design course in Boston later in the summer.

Anyway, that's it for now! Back to the daily grind...

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Blue skies do I see

Edited with Picnik
I really do love this photo. Makes me want to go lie on the grass and cloud-watch. See any shapes?


Thursday, May 21, 2009

Blue skies smiling at me

Edited with Picnik


P.S. Can anyone guess what song the title of this post belongs to?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

I've had a thought

I've always been interested in photography, so why not share the pictures I've taken here? I want to try to post a weekly (or daily) picture with you all starting with this one:

Original picture

Edited with Picnik


Monday, May 4, 2009

Easy Peezy, Lemon Squeezy - NOT!

I came across a blog that discussed the misconception of the "Easy Kid" and made me want to address it myself and shout "Amen!". Everyone who knows our family intimately knows our children are, for the most part, well-behaved and "good kids." Strangers have complimented us on our kids when we've been out in public. Others have actually come into our home and commented on the peace and harmony we've achieved and what a halo of love and warmth our home is. (Can't you just hear the classical music playing in the background while the candles glow brightly around our cozy home? Please hold while I contain my guffaws...LOL) Though our children were seemingly born with compliant spirits, they are not by any means "easy" children. Each one was born with a sin nature and a desire to be masters of their own world.

"Let me give you a news flash. I’ve never seen an “easy” kid. Even those who don’t challenge you directly, have their own quirks and problems that result in much work on the part of parents. Just take note, right now, there are no “easy kids”. There might be kids who pull wool over their parents’ eyes, kids who are hard for a time and then easy, kids who are easy for a time and then hard, but every person at some point in their life, must confront their own sinfulness and conquer it and it’s the job of parents to do their part.

But back to insults. There is nothing more frustrating to a parent who has put hundreds or thousands of hours investing in their child, working through character flaws, training in obedience and godliness, only to have that effort tossed in the garbage with a thoughtless, “it must be nice to have easy kids.”1

There are certainly flaws in each of us, including us as parents and in our children. There are always things to work on and through. There are regrets I have and issues I worry about when it comes to parenting my four children, but not once have I thought parenting was made easy for me. Many people forget my initial training ground was being a young, single mom on my own - learning myself how to grow up while rearing another. Now that was hard. Even now many years later and with much more wisdom gained, I don't recommend everyone use my parenting style as each family, each mom and dad and each child is different. Even the Bible says, "Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it."2 This indicates specific and unique training for each individual. It's hard to tailor one's training to one's own child. It's harder still to advise others on how to train their children. I have a few theories about what's right and what's wrong with some of today's parenting, but that's another blog for another day. Simply put, parenting is hard for all!

"Why do people recognize all the work that goes into an exquisite painting, a masterfully played sonata, or a hand stitched quilt but if a child is well behaved, it must be because he’s “easy”. Why do people think that “good kids” just “happen” to run in families? Wouldn’t it make more sense that they’d be sprinkled a bit more evenly through the population?

Do hard working moms everywhere a favor. Next time you see a well behaved child, make a positive comment about the child or their behavior. Please don’t tell the mom how nice it must be to have an “easy child”. It would truly be kinder if you slapped her in the face."1

All of our children have been true gifts from God, and we wouldn't trade them for the world. Are they good kids? In my humble and biased opinion, yes. Are they compliant children? Maybe it seems that way. It takes much tiresome, hard work, a dash of good parenting, and tons of God's grace to get to where we are today with our children. Do I still have questions, struggles, fears? Of course! I'm far from done with my parenting duties even with Lauryn, but seeing who they are and how they've turned out (so far anyway) carries with it some reward. I thank God every day for the beautiful spirits I am honored to help Him shape in each of my children. But this is no fairytale, and I'm no Nanny McPhee who can change my children's behaviors with the tap of a magical cane. If my children go to bed when they are told, get up when they are told, get dressed when they are told, listen and do as they are told 3, it's because I've told 'em...with loving expectation that I'll be obeyed. If my children learn the true meaning of Love and obedience, I'll have been successful as a parent.

1. From
2. Proverbs 22:6, italics mine
3. The Five Lessons taught by Nanny McPhee