Tag Archives: big families

The Challenge Heard ‘Round the Neighborhood

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I woke up to a glorious Sunday morning, the sun was shining the birds were chirping and there were four wild children laughing, wrestling, and yanking the covers off of me in an exhausted attempt to get me out of bed. Honestly though, who doesn’t want to wake up to the contagious sounds of little giggles? These are the moments I know I will one day miss.  This is the first Sunday in four weeks we haven’t had to rush around and get six monkeys ready to spend the day at the football field watching the two oldest play games. Nope, instead today we got to lounge around while waiting until this evening to rush around getting the six ready for the games. Why is it that the more time I have to get ready the more I find myself rushing around to get everybody ready right before we need to leave? I’m hoping one day I can find an answer to that question.

It’s days like today that I find myself evaluating my life. Such as the choices I have made, the path I am on, the way I parent, the kind of wife I am and the list goes on and on and on and on. I like to make a mental list of everything I need to work on and I usually get pumped up to change, be better, be healthier, be more frugal, be, be, be, be……….. You know it’s amazing how quickly a leisurely day can become exhausting!

It never seems to fail that when I get in these moods Snookums is experiencing his own version. He usually wants to declutter something and if any of you reading this are like me when the husband wants to declutter you find yourself wishing you had drawn up that emergency exit plan! When Snookums starts cleaning, he wants to throw it all away and hem and haw about how I am border line hoarder. Let’s just say it’s not my kind of fun. But today was different. Today our house felt a little zen. Just a little, not a lot, our house could never be a lot zen. Nope, definitely not!

So as Snookums and I were downstairs enjoying our zen morning cleaning. All of the kids were upstairs cleaning their rooms. We could here them laughing and carrying on together and I’m not sure how Snookums felt but I was feeling pretty good about the dynamic of our family. It was in this moment that I decided to challenge Snookums to a whole month of no yelling. My pitch went something like this….”Hey Snooks, I’ve been thinking and I think that you and I should challenge ourselves to a whole month of no yelling! Let’s see what happens when we refrain from yelling at the kids for 4 whole weeks. I really think we will be surprised at the outcome! I think maybe we’ll be happier and experience a good change!” He of course replied with an enthusiastic “Ok.”

I for one, am a screamer and I hate that about myself. The more stressed I get the louder I yell and for no reason really. I swear sometimes I think my neighbors can probably hear me! This is something that I come back to often. Something I beat myself up for and constantly try and change. I always seem to complain that my voice is not heard. Does anybody have this problem? You talk and talk and talk to your family and after your finished one of them looks up and says “what?” AAAAAGGGHHHH!!!!!! It’s so frustrating and I wonder why I yell all the time! I’m getting loud in my head while I’m writing this! I’ve spent a lot time thinking about this and how this is probably the number one thing I want to change. I would imagine my children get tired of hearing my voice holler, heck I get tired of hearing my voice! I know it’s annoying, hahaha! I think sometimes maybe if I stop yelling they will start listening. Maybe they are tuning me out. I’m sure what they hear is Charlie Brown’s mom…”Wah- Wah- Wah”

The worst however, is when I hear them yell at each other. My first thought is how rude, I can’t believe they are being so disrespectful to each other! And then I fall back to earth and it hits me….why would I expect anything different from them when this is what I do! Children learn from experience. They do what we do. They say what we say and they act the way they see us acting. If we want our children to be more respectful then we need to start having more respect for them. This is what brought me to my decision to do this challenge. I want to raise respectful children, so I need to be a respectful parent. Does this mean I am not going to discipline my children when they act out? Absolutely not, I’m just not going to scream in their face to make myself feel better.

So imagine my elation when Snookums said “ok” to doing the challenge with me. This is going to be great I thought. I mean really how hard could it be, I thought. All I will need to do is remember their smiles and laughter when I feel the need to scream, I thought. And then it happened, no more than five minutes after we agreed to the challenge. We heard a blood curdling scream from upstairs, followed by a few more cries and then running footsteps coming down the stairs and of course more screams.  As I walk towards the staircase I repeat to myself don’t forget the challenge, don’t forget the challenge. “What’s wrong?” I ask. “Waaaghhhh, *sniff*, *sniff*, aaaahhhhggghhhhggaahh, akdfja kdjflakjdf” is what I hear coming from Sporty McGee’s mouth. “Sporty, what happened?” I calmly ask him. Why for, not far behind Sporty interjects “It was an accident mom! Oh man I’m so sorry, I’m a terrible brother! I thought he was trying to scare me, I didn’t mean to throw the toy so hard mom!” As he finishes up his account of what had happened, Sporty smiles at me to show me his big, beautiful, glorious, broke, FRONT tooth! Did I mention permanent tooth? I turn to look at Snookums, praying that he remembers our challenge, and I see him walk away to another room in response to this catastrophe. My response was a quiet, deflated “go to your rooms now” as I am burying my face in my hands. But guess what?! We didn’t scream at them!!! We remembered the challenge!!! Now if we can just get through the other three weeks and six days……and the rest of the days of our lives with six awesome kids! In the words of the great, Little Engine that Could…I think I can, I think I can….

Oh…. and Sporty is the SECOND child of ours to break off a front tooth in the last three months!

Thanks for reading!! Please share my blog and tell all your friends and family to check it out!! If you like what you see here click on the Top Mommy Blog Approved link to cast your vote for my blog! Don’t forget you can vote for me once a day. Have a bless day and remember the giggles because one day they are going to be gone and enjoying their own little gigglers!

XOXOXO~

~Mommamamom~

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Soccer Balls, Cleats, and Shin Guards Oh My…We are All Precious In His Sight

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Soccer Balls, Cleats, and Shin Guards Oh My…We are All Precious In His Sight

It has been a busy season in our household! Out of six children we have four of them in a sport. The oldest, “Why For”, is in swimming year round and at the moment football, the second in line, “Sporty McGee”, is currently playing football and within the next week he will be starting basketball, the fall season that is, because where we live you can play any sport in any season! Number three, “Butter Bean” and number four, “The Challenger”, are both playing soccer. Soccer…I have come to realize is not just a sport but a lifestyle, at least it is where we live anyway. You know a person would think that this town would be all about football considering we live in a town with a University that has one of the top football programs in the nation, but in the world of parents and children soccer is THE sport here. We are blessed to have a wonderful soccer association that organizes games for over 1400 children every Saturday in the Fall and Spring, and that’s just in the recreational league!

When Butter Bean decided he wanted to play soccer last spring my first thought was “aw man…soccer” and not in the “WAHOO” way but in the “DARN” way! I know I can speak for Snookums on this too, soccer was not our forte. In fact when it comes to sports I am completely inexperienced, I’m learning right along with my children. Snookums on the other hand was Mr. Athleticism while growing up, even now the man doesn’t lose in a competition! So when Butter Bean said “I want to play soccer” I knew we were in for a loooong season of ball watching. Neither myself nor Snookums knew a thing about soccer. But of course like any good little parent I signed him up and payed the small fortune for his name to be thrown in the bowl with about a thousand other kids just to be plucked out by a random stranger. A random stranger that our family would have to be closely involved with several times a week for the next ten weeks, give or take. As you can imagine we were bubbling over with excited anticipation. I was so excited when I finally got the email from Butter Bean’s soccer coach giving us the details of what our lives would consist of the next couple months. When I read the coaches name I discovered our first hurdle…I wasn’t sure how to pronounce his name. Living in a college town for almost a year now I have grown very accustomed to the diversity that this world has to offer. In fact I am in aw of how well this town seems to blend together. That brings me to the point of my story. Different cultures, backgrounds, colors, religions, names… those things do not matter when you have one common goal.

Previously I wrote a post about how we have lost the love of the game. The story was written specifically about baseball but the idea could be applied to any sport. Well I am excited to report that the love has been found, I found it growing and nurturing children on a field composed of little grass, a few stickers and a lot of dirt! This last weekend Butter Bean played his first official game in the Hispanic Soccer League. One thing and possibly the most important, I got out of our first of many games played at this field was how much these children truly loved this sport. Not only children of all ages but their parents too. I’ll be honest I was a little nervous. I was nervous to be taken out of my little box of comfort. My little box where everybody spoke the same language, a language that I understood. My little box where the soccer fields were nicely trimmed and all the jerseys matched. Another lesson I learned from our first game in this league was how boring and small my little box was! Why do we imprison ourselves? We box ourselves in nice and neatly with almost no wiggle room, and by doing this we miss out on so many wonderful experiences. We seem to forget that there is in fact a world out there, and a rather large one to be honest, that doesn’t revolve around us alone!

Let me go back to our last spring season, the season that started our soccer experience. Our random draw for a team couldn’t have worked out better for our little Butter Bean if we had personally selected his coach. He ended up on a team with a coach that moved to the United States on a soccer scholarship from Argentina. Not only does this coach know the game, respect it, and love it but he also has a way of teaching these children how to truly play and enjoy it! I can see that Butter Bean has a God given talent for this sport and God has given him a coach and a team perfect for him. Watching these children play together is nothing short of amazing. They have been taught to play TOGETHER and at this age that is a huge accomplishment. I have seen so many times children playing team sports for themselves. What I mean by this is they are taught to worry about how they look and how they play individually. Our little soccer team has been together since the start of last spring, they got together a few times throughout the summer and kicked the ball around and started back into regular practice times shortly after school started in preparation of the start of the fall season. In that short amount of time they have been taught certain team skills and soccer skills that take some, years to develop. I accredit that to the natural talent all these boys have, their dedicated coach and of course all of us parents that put our time and effort into making sure they are where they need to be when they need to be there.

Our team of eight little boys is made up of four different cultural backgrounds…American, Argentine, Honduran, and Vietnamese. This makes me so happy. One thing Snookums and I want for our children to know is that the world is bigger than they can imagine and it is there ready for them to grab a hold and run with. How can we ever teach them that if we don’t show them what’s out there? People learn best from experiences. I may be the only parent on the team that sees it this way but I believe that our children are learning a lesson far beyond how to kick the ball, they are learning to love each other despite their differences. They are learning that different is good. They are learning that as different as they may look they are more alike than anything. They are learning that not every child has the opportunity to play on finely manicured fields. They are learning that in order to play the game you don’t have to have the best equipment, field, etc.. you just have to have a mutual love for the sport with others. They are learning that language barriers can be broken easily when you have two goals on each end and a ball between you. Further more these children are teaching me that the view of this world and life I have been taught can be changed. Despite all the hate we see on the news and in everyday life we can live together and love one another the way God tells us too. We just have to step outside of our little boxes and experience life. I am so proud of Butter Bean’s team. I am proud of the message that I see being broadcast to everyone who is willing to open their eyes, ears and heart and listen. Boys from different backgrounds and cultures playing together like brothers. The brothers God intended them to be.

“There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Galatians 3:28

Thank you for reading, I hope you enjoyed it! Please share it with ALL!!! Have a Blessed day!!

~XOXOXO~

~Mommamamom