Saturday, December 20, 2008

The Littlest Star... Smeak Preview

One of my friends posted some photos and a video of the show we were all in last weekend... can you pick the Petersons?! Head over Here to see it and leave her a comment to let her know I sent you! (You can tell her she should make me a jam cake while she's at it, too!) Come back here and let me know which photos had the Petersonclan in them... I just might have to award a prize for the one who can pick them all! Maybe one for those who know us in person, and one who can pick out just from following my blog. Feel free to search my old blog site to find photos for identification purposes... And have fun!

Friday, December 19, 2008

It's all fun and Games, Until it's not.

I have been working hard at creating memories this season. Tree, eggnog, cookies, the works. Eric wants to start the tradition of watching "It's a Wonderful Life", but since I think that is a totally boring movie, I am protesting this introduction. He'll win, though. He always does. ;)

This brings me to the point of this post... just because it makes for great memories, does not mean that it is always fun for the organizers. Anna (age 9) discovered that just the other day as she was making pancakes for the kids to cut with cookie cutters. She leaned her head on her hand and said, "Phew - this is harder than it looks like it would be." I used the chance to tell her that making memories rarely is fun for everyone, that lots of times it is just plain hard work for some, and fun memories for the rest.

It took me 37 years to learn that the point is not that We love it, but that THEY love it. And we love THEM. So we do it.

She's already way ahead of the game.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Children's Shoe Storage

I have 9 children. That makes for 18 growing feet. That's a lot of shoes, people. If I were to have to buy shoes, it would also equate to approximately the ever growing bailout package. (Did you realize that if the government had given the bailout to the citizens we could have EVERY ONE OF US paid our mortgage off and completely gone off grid with water, heat, and electricity?)

Ahem. Anyway. Feet. Shoes. And lots of them.

I am so very thankful for people who hand down clothes and shoes to us. I keep most of the decent condition shoes, as long as I don't have too many in that size and color. I will not keep a white sneaker if I already have one in the same size, but would keep another color.

We used to just throw them into a large trunk sized bin, but that made it too hard to find shoes when we needed a new pair or said child could not go to church because her shoes were too tight. Or worse yet... had Leprechauns stealing only one of them. Amazing how often one footed Leprechauns attack our house in the night.

This last time I did clothes exchange, I organized our whole system, especially our shoes. I got out the brown lunch bags. I labeled the side, and the bottom flap with the shoe information. For example - Girls white church shoe size 5. Put the pair of shoes in, turned them so I could see the flap, and slid them into the bin. When I was done, I had a whole trunk of shoes that I could tell exactly what I had in what size, because I was looking at all the bottom flaps. When Daughter #2 outgrows her size 1 youth shoes, I can pull out the bin, pull out the size 2 shoes, put the size 1 back in those same slots and we are ready to go.

This works for me! Head over to Rocks in My Dryer to see other ideas!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Quick Mercy Update

I know there are many people checking the blog to see about Mercy, so I will relay the info I got briefly over the phone. I'll write a long report tomorrow for those who care...

- Mercy's heart is NOT any worse than it was in Sept. So we will not have to look at Chemotherapy... yeah!

- The ENT is looking at maybe putting tubes in her ears to help with hearing, and to start working on de-bulking the hemangioma around the eye this summer.

- Mercy will have a specially made contact for her which will have a rigid center and a soft outside... the doctor thinks this one will stay in better. That remains to be seen. After we have two weeks of consistent contact wearing, we will start patching the eye up to one hour a day to try to strengthen it.

I think that is the Cliff Notes of Mercy's day. Eric tried to make it to Lexington in the snow, but it got bad, and there was an accident on the highway, and Mercy was screaming her head off, so he exited when he could and is at a hotel until it clears tomorrow.

I'll fill in more details when I have them!

Two out of Three Ain't Bad

This week we have been really busy. 7 of the 11 Petersons were in the church's Christmas play. It was fun to do as a family, but took quite a bit of time. Between that and trying to get to the end of Week 17 of school before Christmas break, wrapping gifts, setting up the tree, and scores of other things... my house has made a downhill slide into cluttered and not been picked up. If you look in the corners of my kitchen counters there are crumbs. Our vacuum is broken, so the house has not been vacuumed since Saturday. One child had not gotten his clothes in the laundry for who knows how long, and didn't have enough clean clothes to go to Cinci with Eric at the spur of the moment. (How's that for Reality Blogging?! I can't believe I just admitted that on the World Wide Web.)

As I sat in my recliner this morning, enjoying the lights on my tree and trying to ignore the mess on counters, etc. I reminded myself of something that I try to keep in mind all the time. TWO OUT OF THREE AIN'T BAD. I am sure you are asking what in the world I mean.

Let me explain.

I have multiple full time jobs...
- Train the children.
- Educate the children.
- Keep the house clean and everyone fed and in clean clothes

The list could go on, but these are my top three priorities in my home. I have found I can do TWO of the three, but cannot juggle all three successfully. I can keep the house spotless and decluttered, and keep up with school, but their discipline gets dropped. I can disciple my children wonderfully and keep up with school, but the house goes to pot.

In this season we are making memories, and trying to get school done, but the house is a bit less picked up than I would like. (That may well be the understatement of the year.)

And as my husband tells me quite regularly, "Get over it."

My children are healthy and happy. Hopefully they will have good memories of growing up in a large family. They are learning the Bible, and learning how to serve God and put others ahead of themselves. I need to get over the fact that my house never seems picked up. We could do all these things, but I would be a wreck if I tried to keep a spotless house too.

So my advice right now? This week? Said to you and also to myself? TWO OUT OF THREE AIN'T BAD. And GET OVER IT.

Forget the pile of dishes, and the desk you cannot see under papers, and go make cookies with your children. Enjoy them this season... it is short. They will grow up and be gone before we know it. The house will be perfectly decorated, and everything will stay exactly where I put it. Of course, Anna reminded me very clearly that by that time I won't be able to remember where it was put anyway, so I should just get used to not being able to find anything. Haha. Very funny.

We're off for a day of baking cookies (didn't happen yesterday), and having cookie cutter pancakes with ice cream topping syrup... shh... don't tell the nutrition police. The girls have decided they want to stay in their jammies all day.

And just for the record, I did not move ornaments from limbs that had four or five on one branch to fill in that big, glaring spot at the bottom which didn't have any at all... I'm getting over it. Aren't you proud of me?!?!

Mercy's Big Day

Just a reminder to ask people to pray for Mercy and Eric today. Our plans changed (as they often do) , when we were informed by a friend of bad weather in Lexington (where I was going to be driving through at o dark thirty in the morning)... and when we realized that if I went yesterday Bethany would have 2 days without me (she really likes her Mama these days)... well, the best decision was to have Eric go up yesterday. He is not sure he will get home tonight, but hopefully he can get to our friend's house a little North of Lexington.

Anyway- I write all that to let you know that I am the one home today, and Eric with Mercy. Please pray for them... she has a big day scheduled. I'll post when I know something.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Funny Nathan Quotes

Yesterday Nate had left his blanket on the floor, and I was trying to motivate him to get it cleaned up. I hadn't told him what I wanted yet, though. I said, "Nate! I need a big helper! Are you 3? I need a big 3 year old to do a mission."

He said, "Big 3 year olds are not big enough to clean things up quickly!"


As reported by one of the church nursery workers:

She asked who they thought walked on water.

Nate replied, "My DAD!"


In other Peterson news, we were in the church play on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. 7 of the 11 Petersons were in it, so we had a grand time. Today is a rainy, warm day, and the children are a bit grumpy from so many nights of going to bed hours late, so we will probably just stay home and chill out. Maybe we should make cookies instead of school today...

Josiah is about to finish reading through the Bible this year. All he has left to read is 2 Peter, 1, 2, 3 John, and Jude. We have told the children that any time they read entirely through the Bible they can go on a weekend trip with the parent of their choice and do something special. He is wanting to go to the Space Center in Alabama. With Eric, of course. I have spent my lifetime allotment in Air and Space Museums.

Angela is close to finishing too. Maybe she'll want to go shopping at the outlet malls or something. They both have been more consistent in reading their Bibles than I have this year.

My theory is that things are only bribery if it is for a negative behavior. If you are rewarding good behavior, it is an incentive. So- "Here, we'll get you this candy if you'll just be quiet" is bribery." Anyone who can say all the verses from the Roman Road will get a pack of M&M's," is an incentive. See the difference?

Tomorrow is Mercy's big day for appointments... we have two eye appointments, an echo cardiogram, a meeting with the cardiologist, and a meeting with the hemangioma doctor. If her heart is worse, we will be set up the start of chemotherapy. If it is stable we will keep watching things for another couple months. Please keep us and her doctors in your prayers! We greatly appreciate every one of them!