wife to Jake, mommy to my 3 crazy munchkins, Lily (7), Jonah (5.5) and Kate (4). Taking this crazy blessed life one day at a time.


Just let them play

Since we are about to make a playroom in the basement, I have been thinking about the kids and their toys.

When we were packing up at our old house to move to our new house, I decided to get rid of all of the kids' electronic toys. I have been very happy with that decision.

Sometimes I think, "oh, it would be fun for the kids to have that electronic toy (like a leapster or something like that), maybe it could help with their writing, reading....". But I am glad that we don't have any those toys.

I want my kids to learn how to entertain themselves, not have something entertain them. I don't want them to be limited by a toy, I want them to find endless ways of playing with a toy, using and stretching their imagination. I want them to learn how to read and write from me or Jake or a teacher at school, not a little electronic device. When we are out at the store, or at an appointment, yes, it would make it so much easier to have a toy like that, or give them my ipod to play with, but I want them to learn how to act and behave in situations like that. I want them to figure out ways of entertaining themselves, with books or games they make up, or something like that. Yes, that makes outing difficult at times, but they are learning.

Yes, the kids do watch TV and we did get a portable DVD player for the car for long car trips, but that's about it.

My kids don't have their own ipod, they don't play on my computer or with my ipod, they don't play video games or the wii.

Of course this will change over time, as they get older. But for now, they are still very young, and they have lots of fun with books, blocks, trains/car/trucks, dolls, tools, arts and crafts and playing outside.

So, if you would like to get them an electronic toy, please check with me first.
(I know one thing that Lily really wants is a digital camera (like this one), and that would be a good thing for her to have, since she loves taking pictures.)

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Sibling love.... not.

Alright. I am in need of some advice, some lovin', some support.

I am an only child. I know that siblings fight. But to what degree is the fighting "okay"? I don't know what the normal dynamic is between siblings, so sometimes I feel like I am going through this blindfolded.

I feel like the fighting, name calling, and general mean-ness is at an all time high between the kids, mainly between Lily and Jonah. And I will be honest. If you take Lily out of the equation, the problem virtually disappears.

It feels like she is constantly bringing Jonah and Kate down. She can be so mean to them, mostly to Jonah. The way she talks to him, the way she fights with him, the way she physically hurts him, the way she knowingly gets him into trouble has me so incredibly discouraged. I want our house to be a positive place, where the kids feel encouraged and feel 200% loved. I want it to be a place where they know that everyone there believes in them and their abilities and dreams.

I know they are still little kids, but I can see her squashing Jonah's thoughts and ideas and I see how crushed he is, and I hate seeing that. It breaks my heart.

I can see a difference in Jonah and Kate when Lily isn't around compared to when she is around. Now, I am not saying Lily is like this all the time. There are lots of times each day when the kids get along great and they are happy and playing nicely together. But many times, more lately, it goes downhill fast and Jonah is usually crying because of something Lily said or did to him.

I don't know what to do. Is this behavior normal? I know that it is normal to a point, but I feel like there are issues here that need to be addressed. I have tried talking to her many many times, but it seems to go in one ear and out the other. I have been really stressing "Treat others how you want to be treated" and I have been trying to catch her right when she is doing something hurtful so that she can see right then how Jonah is feeling and reacting to her, and then talking to her about it.

Any advice about siblings?

Each day I am completely worn out at the end of the day (okay, maybe even by the end of the morning...).

I think school has been really good for her, and Jonah too, but I think that since she is focusing so much at school, that she comes home and just lets it all out. And Jonah is an easy target. Such a sensitive little guy.

Is there anything else I can try, other than just talking to her, to try to get it in her head how hurt she is?

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Random updates

Well, Jake is at academy again tonight. He also has academy for the next 3 Saturdays. Boooo. But he didn't have it last Saturday, so we had a great family day (see previous posts)!

Jake in his brand new gear! His jacket says "Kreyling" on the back!

 We have been extra busy lately now that school has started up. Lily and Jonah have both been loving school so far (and so has mommy!) and this morning I got to spend 2 hours with just my littlest munchkin! It was so good to spend some time with Kate with no other siblings around. She is such a funny, smart and sweet little girl!

Jake has been struggling at work lately. I am not going to go into it much or give any specifics, but please say a prayer for him and his work situation.

Yesterday church started back up in full swing and I finally got my act together and sent Lily and Jonah to Sunday School, which they loved. It was great to be back at church, with the rest of the church body and full choir. The sermon was great too- it was on forgiveness. It brought up some questions that I had about forgiveness and punishment. But Jake and I had a nice talk about it all. Now that school and church are starting back up, I feel more on top of things. We have a schedule, school, activities and church and I feel accomplished getting through the week and making it to everything in our schedule. I feel really good about finally sending Lily and Jonah to Sunday School and finally getting to church every week. Summer months can be so crazy and hectic and we are so off schedule. It is so nice to be back on a schedule.

Now that school has started up again, I am finally getting back into running. I had a great running schedule early in the summer, but once Jake started academy, that all went out the window. But now that the kids are in school in the mornings (Lily M/T/Th/F, Jonah M/W/F), I have time to go running while they are gone. So far I am 2 for 2. Hooray! Hopefully I can keep it up. I still want to get that BOB stroller, since we don't really need the double seat on our Phil and Ted's much anymore. The BOB's are awesome jogging strollers, so solid and sturdy. My birthday is coming up... hint, hint... I've been looking on craigslist for one, and I might snatch one up if I can find a good deal.

Here is a cute picture of my munchkins playing dress up. They are really into being firefighters these days. I wonder why...

Such a cute picture of Lily and Jonah. Don't know why Kate looks so unhappy...

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Afternoon at the Orchard

Saturday afternoon we went to the orchard! We had a great time and we were all really happy that we were together as a family-Jake didn't have academy!! 

Finally a good pumpkin picture!

She was serious about her cider donut!

She was so proud of herself for climbing up on that rock :)

LOVE that face, LOVE that smile!

Lily took this picture!

Sisters :)

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Lily had her first day of soccer on Saturday! She did a great job. She is already excited for soccer this Saturday!

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Jonah's first day

Jonah had his first day of preschool on Friday!

He had a great day and so far, seems to have adjusted very quickly to preschool life.

Since his visit day a little over a week ago, now he will suddenly stop what he is doing, stand up and say "I'm tall!" I love my little guy :)

First attempt at a picture.... what is Kate doing??

Outside of his school- Could he be any cuter?!

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First day of school

Today was Lily's first day of school. She had a great first day and is excited to go back on Thursday.

I think it's going to be a good year :)

Look at that cutie!!

(why does blogger always make my pictures look blurry?? They don't look like that on my computer! Bummer.)

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