Saturday, December 24, 2011

And they were 'sore' afraid....

So proud of my Sam. Another boy was supposed to do the scripture reading at today's Christmas Eve Services. He wasn't able to make it, so last minute - Sam got the gig. He did so good. Afterwards, he said, "That was scary!" The kid fooled me! He's a natural, that one.

Merry Christmas. May you remember in 2012 that Jesus came FOR YOU. God, my friends, is FOR YOU.

Merry Christmas!

Love,
The Jackson 5. I mean....the Britton 7 !

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Sing With Me Now!

(To the tune of 12 Days of Christmas)

All in a day in the Britton Family.


ahem....me me me me me me me.... ready.


All in a day in the Britton family,
1 Mom yelling insanely

All in a day in the Britton family,
2 loaves of bread and 1 Mom yelling insanely.

All in a day in the Britton family,
3 loads of laundry, 2 loaves of bread, and 1 Mom yelling insanely.

All in a day in the Britton family,
4 times we've shoveled, 3 loads of laundry, 2 loaves of bread, and 1 Mom yelling insanely.

All in a day in the Britton family,
FIVE KIDS AT HOME! 4 times we've shoveled, 3 loads of laundry, 2 loaves of bread, and 1 Mom yelling insanely.

All in a day in the Britton family,
6 days off school (so far), FIVE KIDS AT HOME! 4 times we've shoveled, 3 loads of laundry, 2 loaves of bread, and 1 Mom yelling insanely.

All in a day in the Britton family,
7 o'clock practice (for worship team), 6 days of school, FIVE KIDS AT HOME! 4 times we've shoveled, 3 loads of laundry, 2 loaves of bread, and 1 Mom yelling insanely.

All in a day in the Britton family,
8 minutes of quiet, 7 o'clock practice, 6 days off school, FIVE KIDS AT HOME! 4 times we've shoveled, 3 loads of laundry, 2 loaves of bread, and 1 Mom yelling insanely.

All in a day in the Britton family,
9 times I told you so (or umpteen, whichever is greater), 8 minutes of quiet, 7 o'clock practice, 6 days off school, FIVE KIDS AT HOME! 4 times we've shoveled, 3 loads of laundry, 2 loaves of bread, and 1 Mom yelling insanely.

All in a day in the Britton family,
10 wet snow boots, 9 times I told you so, 8 minutes of quiet, 7 o'clock practice, 6 days off school, FIVE KIDS AT HOME! 4 times we've shoveled, 3 loads of laundry, 2 loaves of bread, and 1 Mom yelling insanely.

All in a day in the Britton family,
11 trays of cookies, 10 wet snow boots, 9 times I told you so, 8 minutes of quiet, 7 o'clock practice, 6 days off school, FIVE KIDS AT HOME! 4 times we've shoveled, 3 loads of laundry, 2 loaves of bread, and 1 Mom yelling insanely.

All in a day in the Britton family,
12 inches of snow, 11 trays of cookies, 10 wet snow boots, 9 times I told you so, 8 minutes of quiet, 7 o'clock practice, 6 days off school, FIVE KIDS AT HOME! 4 times we've shoveled, 3 loads of laundry, 2 loaves of bread, aaaaannnnnnd 1 Mom yelling insanely.

I love my life....but I won't say it isn't tiring.
Thank you, and good night.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Tidy and Polite Children Gone Wild

I wrestled with if this blog post should take root here, or over at the Adoption blog. Maybe it doesn't matter. I decided to nestle in here for a bit.

Can we talk about parenting? I must admit, I had it in my head before we adopted Kira that we already had four kids, "what's one more". WOW. Okay, well, one more is five. And five kids is a lot of little people. I'm so blessed to be called, "Mom", by five of the most amazing children on the face of the planet (and I can actually say the planet). But I can also tell you that I'm wrestling with how to live it out well.

Everyone keeps asking how we are doing now that Kira is home. She's doing amazing. But yes, we are in the midst of some hard stuff as we adjust to life with five.

Pop quiz to make sure you are paying attention. How many kids do I have?  :)

Kids and spouses have the ultimate ability to bring out the best in us. And by the best, I mean the worst. There is nothing like children to bring our sin struggles to the surface. God has an amazing way of using such small beings to refine us in some of the biggest ways. With each child we have added to our family, it's been this same story - just the next chapter.

Chapter 5.
I've been convicted by how much I lack what love is. I know I joked about it in our family photo post, but it's true...I'm falling short in patience and kindness. I am rude - insisting on my own way. I'm irritable and resentful. But the one that has side swiped me is my boastful and arrogant spirit. This spirit is one which is incapable of loving for pure reasons that flow from a servants heart. Rather, the boastful and arrogant spirit does what needs to be done for the glory of self.

Again, I know I joked (while still being serious) about my desire to look like the perfect family. (Not so much desire but more so idol.) All kidding aside....it's true. God has used one more child in the mix to reveal this ugly idol to me. It's a funny and sad little twisted reality that I live in.

I want to go in public and have well behaved, kind, loving children. Because it makes me look like a good mom. At home I want my kids to keep their rooms clean, share their toys, eat their dinner respectfully, and love each other well. Because it makes me feel like a good mom. Sure ... there is a corner of my heart that genuinely wants these things because I know it is a better life for them. But I'm feeling very convicted that my driving force behind such desires is not their hearts, but me. These desires have grown painfully obvious as we now parent a new six year old who doesn't know the rules, acts out in ways our other kids know to be unacceptable, and lacks the social skills that our kids have grown up in. All of a sudden I realize I have to step up my serving, and die to my NEED for the LOOK of perfection as I lovingly train this child in JESUS. To train all of them in Jesus.

Train this child in Jesus. Wow. What does that even mean? Well, thankfully, someone wrote a book about it. A good one. Y'all know how I feel about parenting books. So if I'm going to read one, it better be well worth my time...and it better be dripping with gold nuggets. I believe the book I just dove into is exactly that.

The book is called, "Give them Grace: Dazzling your kids with the love of Jesus", by Elyse M. Fitzpatrick & Jessica Thompson

Here's a glimpse:

"Most of us are painfully aware that we're not perfect parents. We're also deeply grieved that we don't have perfect kids. But the remedy to our mutual imperfections isn't more law, even if it seems to produce tidy or polite children. Christian children (and their parents) don't need to learn to be "nice". They need death and resurrection and a Savior who has gone before them as a faithful high priest, who was a child himself, and who lived and died perfectly in their place. They need a Savior who extends the offer of complete forgiveness, total righteousness, and indissoluble adoption to all who will believe. This is the message we all need. We need the gospel of grace and the grace of the gospel. Children can't use the law any more than we can, because they will respond to it the same way we do. They'll ignore it or bend it or obey it outwardly for selfish purposes, but this one thing is certain: they won't obey it from the heart, because they can't. That's why Jesus had to die"

Love. I'm only 4% into this book (yes, 4%. I'm reading it on the Kindle, and I'm not sure how to find out what page I'm on) and she just nailed it on the head all that I'm feeling right now - both about my children, and my own selfish heart.

All that confession that I just vomited on the world wide web...and now I want to end by asking if anyone wants to join me in reading this book? This blog wasn't written with the desire to be self-loathing, or fishing for compliments from anyone who wants to tell me I'm kidding myself - my children are perfect. It's just true....we're in a hard little season of parenting. In our society where perfection (or the look of it) is praised - I fairly confident that I'm not alone. (And hey, if I am alone, my new BFF is Elyse Fitzpatrick since she apparently is with me on this one.) So that said, I would love if some of you want to read along. Maybe we'll make a one time online book-club out of the fun.

I'm so thankful for this timely treasure in book form tonight. My spirit needs this. And Lord knows, my kids need my spirit to soak this in.


***I do want to be clear that this blog post was not intended to bash on my children. My littles are truly good kids. I know they are. But they are still kids. And it's ME that is having a hard time with that.***

Friday, December 2, 2011

Pinecones and Pinterest

Now don't get all excited thinking I'm turning this blog into a craft blog .... reminder, I am NOT a crafty person. But thanks to the newest online time sucker .... I mean, social networking sight - I was inspired!

I've seen pinecone wreathes in the stores (and by stores, I mean Pottery Barn catalogues). Me want. Me can't afford. (They're like, $50. Ouch!) So I thought to myself, surely this Pinterest thing would have a tutorial on how to make my own pinecone wreath. Ah-ha! Yes, indeed. I modified it a bit, and actually made a {gasp!} CRAFT. Hot glue and all.

I was going to just buy the pinecones, but they are up to about $5 for a small bag now. The how-to site I was following told me to take my kids on a nature hike for the fun of it and for free pinecones. So I obeyed. Who cares that it was below freezing. Bundle up kids! It's time to make some memories! So up the hill we drove. And I'm so glad we did!

We started out with a picnic lunch. Only these 2 thought it was a bit too cold to eat outside. It was.

Miss Eden on the search.

Provi was considering a Polar Bear swim instead of helping in the search.

Kira was so proud of every cone she found - but she especially loved finding the tiniest of the tiny ones.

These 2 guys didn't help search, they are just really cute.

Even Sam joined in a bit. He was the daring one to climb the hills that none of us girls would.


I was on a mission!

After the fun was over, my mom told me that I needed to dry the pinecones out. So I laid them on the back porch for the sun to do it's work. They were nice and dry, so I put them back in a bag and set them out front until I could get to my little project. (Don't want those Rocky Mountain bugs in my house, thank you very much.) Then it snowed. And my dry pinecones were no longer dry.

I did my project anyway.

Step 1: Get a wreath at your local craft store. ($4.50 at Hobby Lobby) The tutorial I was following said to get a white Styrofoam wreath and spray paint it green. Uh, I say skip that stupid step and buy the rustic looking twiggy ones. (See, I'm so uncrafty that I just referred to the wreath as a "twiggy one".)

Step 2: Lay out pinecones. Yes, yes I did lay them out smallest to biggest. The earlier image of these boots inspired me so much that I felt I had no choice.


Step 3: Glue. (Caution, hot glue doesn't feel great if gotten on ones hands. Never accuse me of not giving a full tutorial, thank you.) The how-to I was following said to line them up nice and neat, 3 in a row. I didn't find that to be possible at all. She must've had all the same size cones. Besides, other than the boots, since when is anything in my house nice and neat? The pinecones would be no different. I was going from random beauty.

Step 4: I added some fake pearly-looking things and a ribbon to hang it. Then I hung it. (Don't forget to hang it!)


Step 5: Put all remaining pinecones in a cute basket to display at some random spot in your house. Throw in some cinnamon sticks and call it potpourri if you want.

All done! I'm so happy with my little wreath. (And basket of leftovers.)

Twiggy wreath thingy - $4.50. Hot glue - $2.95. Savings from Pottery Barn - $42.55 (plus shipping and handling). Memories of collecting pinecones - say it with me..... PRICELESS!