It’s not you, it’s me…

If I had a penny for every time I could say that to my kids…

Let’s be honest. My children are not angels. Most of the time they do have something to do with the situation, but by and large, it’s my attitude problem just as much as theirs.

“It’s not you (that dropped food all over my freshly mopped floor), it’s me (being so caught up in my irritation over wasted time that I don’t see your  eyes welling up with tears).”

“It’s not you (who asked me the same question 10 times while I was trying to get a cranky baby calmed down) it’s me (who was worn out and frustrated with something that had nothing to do with you, and finally exploded with, “What is it?!…“I just wanted to tell you that I love you.”).” 

Yeah. I’ve had some up and down parenting moments recently. And one thing that I really believe God has been convicting me with lately, is: what am I teaching my kids about life, family… God… by my reactions to them? Reactions to their failures or successes.

Yesterday was a rough night for me on the parenting front. Michael wasn’t feeling well, so he went to bed early, after I insisted, and I tackled bed-time. I felt really good about myself before we began… I’d been working on being more thoughtful in my reactions lately, so I was sure I could knock this one out of the park.

You know where this is going… strike after strike after strike. I was not loving, or patient, and ended up spending most of “bed-time” handing out apologies and hugs. (On a side note, my kids blow me away with their ability to forgive my screw-ups!)

So tonight, Michael was gone and bed-time was approaching. I ushered four wild and wiggly children upstairs with fear and trembling. As I was kissing the girls goodnight and getting ready to pray with them Kelsey looked at me and said, “Mommy, I’m just not good… it’s so hard to be good!”

My heart broke for her, because I knew exactly how she felt!! So we talked for a while about how Jesus loves us even when we aren’t good, and how daddy and I believe He is the only one who can help us to do good – not so that God will love us more, but for our sake, and the sake of the people around us. We talked about how that doesn’t just come by trying really hard to do the right things, but by spending time with God and learning how He looks at things.

And while I was trying to encourage my sweet girl with the fact that I’m walking right with her, and working through some of those same things, it was like God was reminding me, “It’s not you, it’s Me. Trust me. Follow me. Walk with me. Know me.”

Good Moments

I’ve been pondering “good” things lately. What makes a moment good? Can we still have good moments even when life in general feels just “bad”? What do “good moments” look like? In light of this, here are a few of my “good moments” of family from the past few days:

~ Snuggle time. Always.

IMG_8940

~ Watching my children run and play on a beautiful, breezy morning.

~ An apology and forgiveness. From me, to my kids. I’m not a fan of the mommy-that-needed-forgiveness, but reconciling is always a good moment.

~ Bed-time kisses.

~ Family reading time. My favorite. Especially on those days when Riley “reads” something to the rest of us. One day she read Green Eggs and Ham. I can still here her little voice, “I DO. NOT. wike SAM AN’ HAM!!!!!!!”

IMG_8929

~ Any moment that the kids demonstrate a genuine desire to do something for their siblings. Like when Kelsey offered to let Dylan play the Ipad first today. So sweet! And slightly shocking.

~ Baby smiles.

IMG_8869

~ The moment where you realize you’ve succeeded in teaching them something! Something good that is.

~ Hugs IMG_8921

Lessons from the Kitchen Counter

I stand at the counter, quickly peeling apples for the apple butter I plan on making today. I have to be speedy because I have a short window of opportunity – it began when baby went to sleep and ends when she wakes up (which is sporadic at best at the moment).

I’m feeling good with where I’m at, making some headway when, “Mommy? Can I help you?”

I stop for a moment, and consider the ramifications of my answer. I said no last time I was making something because I was in a hurry, and the time before… but if I say yes, it will take so much longer!

I take a breath,  “Sure, come on over.”

IMG_1669

It sounds like I’m a terrible mother doesn’t it? But that was me this afternoon. Here’s what I had to relearn from it: The finished product isn’t always the most important thing.

I so wanted to get that thing checked off my list. Give myself a pat on the back, feel like a good, “home-makery” wife for making that apple butter. My daughter threw a potential wrench in my plans by offering her slow, but sincere help.

As I stood there peeling and chopping apples with her, we started chatting away.  “What do you want to be when you grow up? Oh that sounds like a cool idea. What if you…” “Make sure you don’t go too fast or you won’t get all the peel…Don’t worry, it doesn’t have to be perfect. That’s what practice is for.” And it struck me how much I would have missed out on if I’d hurried through the job on my own.

I would have gotten it done sooner, no doubt. But I wouldn’t have gotten to hear about a future rancher lady and her numerous horses, or been able to recommend that she use her ranch to help kids who have a rough home life. Or given her a few lessons on a more effective peeling technique. Or gotten a couple sweet hugs because, after all, we are the best team. I would have missed the opportunity to spend time with my girl.

This afternoon reminded me to slow down and make more of the opportunities I have to live life alongside my kids. It reminded me of how blessed I am to be a mommy.

This is one of our past kitchen family endeavors. They are so cute!

This is one of our past kitchen family endeavors. They are so cute!

When my daughter looks up at me from the apple she’s struggling to peel and asks, “Am I doing a good job? and I say, “You’re doing awesome.” I know it makes all the difference in the world to her. Because I’m her mommy, I’m proud of her, and that’s pretty special.

IMG_1971

Am I the only one who often catches myself rushing past the important things?

IMG_1975

Ready to enjoy the fruits of their labor.

A Few Words

I’m pretty sure that 2-3yr olds have the best “isms” around. With every one of the kids, about this time I’ve wanted to follow them around with a recorder.

Here are some of our latest and greatest Riley-isms:

“Megamilk” (Her way cooler word for “oatmeal”. She’s now got us saying it as well. Don’t ask me how she came up with it)

“Attending” (Her version of pretending. “We attending that monsters are coming mama!!!”)

“Baputer” (Her version of computer. It made me smile this morning when she decided to show me her “attend baputer”)

There's our little talker. Looking like the little angel she can be.

There’s our little talker. Looking like the little angel she can be.

 

In other news, you can tell that Riley has a few siblings and is used to watching (or helping) them get into trouble. Now there are definitely times where she has a legitimate complaint against the older two, but we’ve also heard this on more than one occasion…

*Wailing coming from a room that is unoccupied aside from Riley*

“What happened Riley?”

*sobbing* “Dylan hit me!!!”

…”Riley, Dylan is at the store with Daddy…”

“What?”

“He’s not here.”

… “Oh.”

Oh indeed.

A fun afternoon of sun, water and squealing kids!

A fun afternoon of sun, water and squealing kids!

 

Gotta love this girl!

 

The Plunge

I’ve finally done it. I’ve taken the plunge… 3littlecreechers – the blog, is “3” no more.

Since I am almost completely technologically inept (I was proud of myself for being able to complete the monumental task of changing one number on my blog name after all) I have no idea if I’ve done a good thing or a bad thing by getting rid of the old address.

If it causes problems for anyone, I’m sorry!!

That said, hello! It’s been a while. Don’t worry, I won’t try to catch you up on everything that has happened, but I’ll just touch on the past year’s highlights.

We moved to Missouri! (After overcoming a surprising amount of initial culture shock, I have to admit that I love it…or maybe just the people.)

We had a baby! (Aaaand it’s only taken me six months to admit the need to change the blog…)

Kelsey graduated from 1st grade! (That exclamation point doesn’t mean I’m shocked that she graduated; just that she’s almost 7! Not fair)

Dylan experienced his last year of preschool. (I’m trying not to view Kindergarten as the enemy at the moment)

Riley, oh my dear, darling, testing-her-boundaries, Riley… is almost 3. Let’s just leave it at that shall we?

Picture time! Just a few, more recent shots of the kids since we’ve actually been taking pictures this summer. Go us!

The irony of this picture gets me every time. Dylan-the antithesis of a thug

The irony of this picture gets me every time. Dylan-the antithesis of a thug

Sweet, sister moment. Riley only wanted to go into the water if Kelsey held her hand... Awww

Sweet, sister moment. Riley only wanted to go into the water if Kelsey held her hand… Awww

She gets held way too much, but with a face like that can you blame us???

She gets held way too much, but with a face like that can you blame us???

And Then There Were Four


Well friends, I have  a perplexing problem… What am I going to do about this silly blog name? I thought it was a brilliant idea, never anticipating that at any point in time the number of creechers would change!

And yet it has. Three became four, and on Jan. 14th at 9:24 p.m. we got to meet our little fourth.

Brynn Elizabeth Creech was born weighing in at 8 lbs. 6 oz. and measuring 22 in. long. Of course she was beautiful and of course we immediately adored her (and forgave her for not being a boy). Although in all honesty, Michael and I have looked at each other a time or two since she was born and commented, “Three girls…. what are we going to do…?”

Batten down the hatches and get used to dealing with drama I suppose! We wouldn’t trade any of them for a drama free life that’s for sure.

 

Dylan took the blow that he was going to be the only boy quite manfully, agreeing with me when I told him that he was going to have to work really hard with his daddy to protect all of their girls. He is THE SWEETEST older brother any girl could ask for, and Brynn couldn’t want a better protector.

IMAG0640

 

Kelsey, we knew was going to be smitten with “her baby”, and she lived up to expectation. She immediately took on the responsibility of holding Brynn whenever the opportunity presented itself. The only problem is she has a very hard time sharing. I love to watch them snuggle together.

IMAG0660

Riley was the wild card. I wasn’t truly worried about her not adjusting, but I’ll admit I was curious to see how she would react. She’s just as cute as her brother and sister. “Baby Bynn” easily took her rightful place as one of Riley’s favorite people, and her delight over watching her sister sleep or her sweet little voice saying “I luf you Bynn” melt my heart.

IMAG0593

However, all of those wonderful and adorable things aside, I still have a problem… what am I going to do about this blog name now??? (Yes I know… such a priority!)

Suggestions welcome.

When I Grow Up…

The other day I was talking to the kids, and they were asking me why we had to move away from Wisconsin. Why we were down in Missouri, and why mommy and daddy were going to school too…

I told them that we were doing it because there are people in the world who haven’t had a chance to read or hear about Jesus, and we are learning how to go to those places and people, and tell them about Him.

This prompted an interesting conversation. Kelsey began it by saying, “When I grow up, I’m going to be a missionary.” Dylan then of course decided that was his future as well. I told them if that is something that God wants them to do when they grow up, we would be very happy, but we’d be happy no matter what they do as long as it’s something they believe God wants them to do.

So Kelsey’s story changed a bit.

“I want to be a pilot. A missionary pilot. And a nurse!”

Dylan then decided that he wanted to be a missionary pilot as well… “and I will fly around and help people who don’t have food and money mommy!”

I was thinking over what they said again today, and I realized again just how much we impact our kids through our lives. Michael and I take opportunities to talk about Jesus with the kids, and are pretty up front about what we want to do with our lives and why, but we aren’t preaching missions at them constantly. We try to be very careful even now, about pressuring them as to what the future might hold for them.

Still, they see our lives, they see what we’re passionate about, they see what we’re focusing on, and it affects and shapes their dreams and goals to a certain degree.

It was a challenge to me. I want my passion to be missions, but more importantly than that, I want my passion to be Jesus. I hope and pray and look forward to the conversation that I may have one day with my kids where they say, “I’m not sure what God wants me to do with my life mom… I don’t know specifically, but I do know that I want to honor God with my life no matter what I do.”

I pray that I can become a mother that clearly communicates that passion to my family, more than any other. I guess if I had to make a New Year’s resolution, that would be it.kids on bridge