Tuesday, July 15, 2014

How I lost my 'SuperMom' title...

A few years back, My hubs and I prayerfully considered Homeschooling.
It was such a great adventure and I enjoyed that time with my kids, watching them grow and learn and being there alongside of them.
Recently,  we also, prayerfully decided to send our 3 oldest girls to a private, Christian school here in our town. One my husband and his dad attended growing up.
Although, I know I'll miss my kids beyond belief, I really feel at peace with this decision...well, until I opened my mouth and started telling fellow- home school moms.
I wasn't expecting what I got.
It wasn't just the subtle. Like, when I posted a fb status about our excitement for the following school year and how the girls would be attending school and maybe 1
of my HS Moms could comment with a 'congrats' or even dare hit 'Like'. I got the hint.
I had betrayed EVeRytHiNg we stood for. I really didn't,  but hear me out.
It was more of the "Why on earths!" And sheer stunned looks of panic that I was literally throwing my innocent, pure of heart children into the mouths of rabid wolves.
Oh! I know! It kind of reminded me of when we first told people years ago that we were Homeschooling! Ha! Funny how everyone has an opinion, I guess I just didn't expect it from woman who claim encouragement and that their kids are better off in their care, because they can teach them how to be better people.
Of course, part of that is teaching them if you don't HS, you're half a mom as everyone who does. Right?
Thats the vibe a lot of HS Moms are throwing out there.
It doesn't matter if you prayed about it, you really should've considered how this makes other HS Moms look. Of course I'm kidding. But let's be honest,  some of you are thinking it.
I just want to clarify, I didn't sign any documents in blood when I started. I didn't barter with the devil over my soul. I did however,  realize there are things I can do relatively well, and HS is not one of them, so instead of jipping my kids on education and not being  able to help my kid who struggles, because of HS pride, I prayed and Gods guidance helped us with our decisions.  I'm not explaining this as a defensive mechanism,  because I could seriously care.less. about what people think. I'm explaining it so next time a HS family decides to send their kids, hopefully, some quick to judge comment or causual defriending won't be our knee jerk reaction. Hopefully,  encouragement and an extra prayer for that family making tough decisions will go up.
I haven't closed the book on HS. I want to better educate myself on how to teach incase the opportunity arises again, but for now, this is our aWEsoMe decision.
{& p.s. Thanks to the very few HS Moms who have loved me through this decision with prayer and encouragement.  May we all be more like you!}

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

My constant, fervent prayer...Dear Jesus, please dont let any unexpected guest stop by right now. Amen.

Pick a day.
Any day.
I feel 5 loads of laundry behind!
I am in constant "prayer" ( maybe more like 'pleading'!) With Jesus as I go about my day...
some of them go like this...
" Please help HER to not end up in juvie!"
" Help me not to yell. Help me not to yell. Help me...StOp fIgHtInG gIrLs!!!...please forgive me for yelling."
" I'm just asking you to return in your glory before I have to try to figure out what to make for dinner."
"Help the money to miraculously stretch until next pay day...which is only 9 days from now!"
" Please help HIM not to get sick from licking his fingers after he touched that turtle."

Please tell me as a mom you've offered some of these classics up?
I find myself really praying one doozy over and over again.
"Dear Sweet, wonderful, merciful Lord, if you REALLY love me, you will direct Un wanted visitors past my house. It's a disaster. I'll be embarressed. They'll think all kinds of terrible things of me. I haven't even gotten my makeup on yet. The kids hair needs brushed. Please Lord. Hear my cries!"
The other day I was praying this incredibly selfish prayer,  maybe even this Baptist girl was praying it in tongues, it was a blurr. I just know there may have been promises being made to the almighty about offering up my first born as a living sacrafice if he kept PeOpLe aWaY!
When it occurred to me how ridiculous I was being,
The verse,  " Come to me all who are weary and heavy burdened and I will give you rest." ( Matt 11:28) if my take on serving others was more like Jesus' I wouldnt be so fReAkeD out about it they seen my house messy,  or if I was a MESS. It would only matter how I loved on my company, offering rest,  like Jesus.
Now Jesus meant this in a different way.  He can carry us.  He can give us rest.  We can rest in knowing he saved us and is fighting our battles and taking all our needs into his hands.
Even the fact that I'm worried someone might stop by and see my messy house?
uhm. Thanks God!
I sometimes forget that I have 5 kids living here,  and on any given day,  extra cuties running around with them. Along with a small farm of critters! There is never a spotless, perfect moment to be at my house! Even though I wish that,  so people could stand back,  as I conquer the world and be marveled at in my Superwoman Cape and super sexxy tights ( Oh yeah! I have great legs in this vision, too!) And be in awe of my...well, awesomeness.
But, back in reality. I'm a mom. Doing the best I can, praying many prayers, recieving Gods grace in truck loads as I usually don't get it right or Mark my checklist off in a day, but rather a month! And that's ok!
So, stop by anytime!
Messy OR not ( it will be messy, don't worry!) ALL are welcome and gonna get loved on while they are here!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Lazy Discipline { public humiliation}

The latest trend in public humiliation...er, I mean 'discipline' has got to be talked about!
If I see one more child holding a sign on the street corner,  or one more video of a loud mouthed mother,  chasing her kid through thier junior high,  ranting and raving about how "dey be misbehavin', so I'm here to get dem' in check!" As they make more of a disruption and disturbance than all 800 students, I'm going to lose it!!!
Here's the thing,  in very rare cases, if the child is disciplined at home,  taught respect for others, taught compassion, taught OBEDIANCE,  in the HOME, chances are, you won't have to earn your "Mom of the Year" award from your Youtube followers,  for humiliating ( disciplining) your kids for the first time in front of thier peers.
I get that you may do all these things,  and STILL Have issues and discipline problems.
I get you may need to sit in on a few classes with your kid, or take a bus ride with your kid, but I bet you would have a better impact if it didn't involve you hootin' and hollerin' with a big, old blabber mouth about how "naughty" your child has been!
And I can almost 100% guarantee, if you do choose to humiliate your child infront of thier peers, you're relationship with them is as good as DONE.
Let's put it this way, if when Jesus was dying on the cross, for you're evil, nasty, selfish sins, and he started naming them...loudly... infront of everyone you admired or were a friend with, would you be seeking out a relationship with Him 3 days later when he rose again?
"HEY! Shaylyn! You're so selfish! You should be a better WIFE! I heard you yell at your kids,  what a joke!!! And oh man!!! I totally seen your middle finger pop up at that guy who almost ran you off the road the other day!! Haha!!! That reminds me, when you lied to your bestie about looking good in her new jeans, when you were thinking,  'muffin top!!' You're an embarressment!!! I'm so ashamed of you!!!!"

Yeah.  I'm gonna guess the magnitude and love sacrifice would NOT have had such a profound effect on man kind, had Christ screamed our offenses at us.

Annnnnd, isn't that what you want your kids to know?
The Great depth and unconditional love of Christ?
Hmmmm... aren't you the one God has entrusted with teaching them that?
So, put yourself in your childs shoes, think about the verse, "Love covers a multitude of sins" and cover.
Now,  I'm a firm believer in consequences. Sin has them. But,  in the HOME.
Not being paraded on a street corner, holding up a sign, while the 'loving' mother figure videos it.
And all the lazy parents cheer her on. Because had you taken an effective role in sin and consequences while they grew up, you would not feel the need to vindicate your parenting skills by smearing them acrossed the Internet,  screaming about how naughty they've behaved.
And lest we forget,  kids make mistakes. A lot of them.  Heck! I do! And I'm a BIG girl now!
Do you think putting it into the forever viral world shows forgiveness?

" OH,   I'll forgive you.  After I humiliate you, post it to Facebook, so everyone can see what a big stinking brat you are!!" Uhm. Nope.

It truly breaks my heart to see these learning,  growing kids,  that are going to make foolish choices,  wrong turns, and BIG mistakes get put in the guillotine,  in the town Square for people to throw tomatoes at!
They're kids. Naughty kids, yes. Kids who probably had LAZY parents who didn't discipline them when they were young,  and now the easiest way is to embarress them.
still LAZY. Yeah,  I said it. LAZY.
Make discipline intentional.  Make growth intentional.  Make your relationship intentional.

Try a few of those and you probably won't have the urge to cause humiliation submission in your kids.
Because,  although it may change the surface behavior,  it won't change the heart.
I've been embarrassed by my kids plenty of times in public for bad behavior.  It's part of growing and learning.
Deal with it. As privately as you can. Then get over it. Like Jesus did with you!

Friday, January 3, 2014

My BIGGEST disability

This may seem more like a 'tell all' journal entry, but I don't care. ( Have I ever cared?!)
As I watch the serious decline in the preservation of all life, unborn, born, elderly or handicapped, I am reminded that there was a time when all life wasn't so precious to me either.
Growing up, both my parents had many siblings, which led to many cousins and so on!
I was actually blessed with quite a few mentally challenged or disabled family members.
Everyone unique in thier own way, was a special part of our family, but at the time, I think I was a little embarrassed.
I'm so ashamed to admit that now.
I was not viewing Gods creation, the way he wanted me too.
God doesn't make mistakes. We've all heard that. And I think I believed that, for my 'perfect' little self!
Can we all just say, I was a selfish idiot?!
It was easy for ME ( key word here!) To be embarrassed or un comfortable with certain people or situations because it didn't fit my 'normal'. It was easier to make fun of, or avoid someone that might not be up to my standard of perfection.
I don't think I realized it at the time, but BOY! Oh! Boy! I see now.
There is NO one to blame but myself.
A turning point came, when I was about 20 years old.
My mentally impaired Uncle Ricky, was killed in a tragic car accident.
His funeral~
Off the hook!
He was involved in a lot of things, one being the amazing organization of Special Olympics.
So many of his special friends piled in to say Good bye. And they wasted no time telling us stories and memories of my Uncle.
Yes, in high school I helped teach kids with disabilities how to swim and I loved it, and yes, I wouldn't have called myself someone who 'shyed away from the handicap' ( ugh! I hate that word!!) But, at my Uncle Rickys funeral, I realized I never saw him the way his friends did...normal.
I never got to know him the way I should have,  or listened to him intently or reached out to him like someone who actually was proud of what he had made of his life.
I was the one who half heartily listened to his 'ramblings', cared more about what was going on in my life to wonder what he had been up too, and who would turn red when he tried to sing a long ( loudly and off tune!!) During church... making a joyful noise to his Creator, his Daddy in heaven, his savior, his ALL.
My sweet Uncle.
If I could do it again, I would.

Its been almost 13 years since he died,  but he still lives in my heart.
I view PEOPLE, not thier handicap, as gifts, thanks to him.
I think,  as a parent, if you are chosen by the Almighty,  to be blessed with a child who may need you for help,  everyday for the rest of your lives, YOU are BLESSED.
Not everyone could handle such a task. But God picked you.
What an amazing GIFT.
Yes, I said GIFT, because ALL good and perfect things come from our father in heaven.
So, whether you are dealing with autism, mentally handicapped, physically handicapped, or anything that our world says, " Toss IT! No one can LOVE that!!!"
Don't listen.
know, there are mom's like me,  who see you struggling in the grocery store, who see you wore out and exhausted, who see you frail under the weight of the confusion and heartache of the 'what ifs' and are screaming from our hearts,  " You are amazing!!!! You can do it!!! God be with her!!! God give her mercies new every morning!!!! Bless her, Lord for chosing LIFE!!! Thank you, Jesus for earthly angels in the form of mothers with children with special needs!!!" We are rootin' and praying for you,  O' blessed, among woman!
Don't give up.
And thank you.
No body else could do what you're doing, thats why God.picked.you!!!!
These Children are precious and loved and you are an example of selflessness.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Meet My First Baby Boy { Animal Lovers Only!!}

It really does seem like JUST a short time ago, when I was begging my new husband for a puppy. Some friends of ours had an " oopsie" litter of lab pups, but just being married for only a month, in a rental that said NO DOGS, Jared said NO.
So, I did what any Shaylyn would do...I tricked him.
we went out for a 'drive'...right to our friends house with the puppies. And there in a sea of pooch breath, soft fur and pure adorable-ness, was just ONE chocolate lab, with all his black brothers and sisters!
Even Jared couldn't resist.
The plan worked.
We took home our first baby.
Now to name him.
We examined him and decided from his sturdy features and BIG paws he would grow to at least 120 pounds.
Nope. His brother, Buck did. But, he never tipped the scales past 77.
So, a Future - big - dog , needs a BIG name. Kujo.

You see, Kujo added a lot to our lives.
Mostly in the form of messes and trouble.
He would cry all night, so I would take him to the couch, read him "101 Dalmatians" until he would fall asleep.
He would poo in his kennel and walk through it. And in our couch cushions.
More than once he chewed through doors and trim and carpet, and toys and shoes. And...and, anything that could be chewed.
He humped more visiting friends legs than I care to recall.
He jumped from the bed of our pick up truck...while Jared was driving.
Must've seen a squirrel.
He was so much bad, it was hard sometimes to see his good...
until last night.
12 and a half years later...
I needed to get into a specific room in our house to do something,  and there he lay sleeping, infront of the door.
I asked him to move.
He looked at me.
I encouraged him again.
He shifted his weight.
I looked into His cloudy, old eyes, and surveyed the big patch of white around his muzzle, and it hit me.
Its not that he didn't want to move, it was that my dog, whom we called the 'Energizer Bunny", that never slowed down a minute of his life, couldn't.
I got down next to him, hugged him, told him I loved him and that he was the best dog ever, and that he didnt have to move, because it wasn't important.

It actually was, but it would wait.
The last couple years, as he's aged, my patience with him, has grown so thin.
He can't hold his bowels and has an accident almost every night in the house.
He can't see or hear well, so he barks at everything...and the neighbors complain.
He panics now when we leave and chews our house to shreds.

But, in my frusteration, I remembered some amazing things about him.

He follows my kids outside and keeps a close eye on them and lets me know if anything gets within a 100 yards of them.
He knows his left paw from his right paw, how to dance, crawl and speak!
All those nights he kept me up, all the poo and puke I cleaned up, all the things he ruined, weren't because he needed me.
He never did.
I needed him.
I needed him to teach me some patience. And that nothing here is eternal. You cant take beautifully stained trim work to heaven with you, so dont get mad when a dog chews it off the wall.
He taught me to worry. Because he found himself hurt more times than not, for his mischievous mind would wander him to bad situations.
He told taught me how to love something even when it acted like a hopeless fool.
He visits our neighbors almost everyday.
He actually dives off the dock, grabs the rope swing in the air and swings from it over the water!
He barks ferociously at the UPS man...never has bitten him, but also has never taken his treats.

He really, truly prepared me to be a mom to my five ( human!!) Kids.

Without him I would not have had all these, sometimes awful experiences to learn growth from.
He has pushed me to my limits, like kids can.
He follows me around, attached to my heal when hes scared. Like kids can.
He's always happy to see me.
Has a guilty look of wrong doings, before I even know what hes done.
He is obsessed with his tennis ball. A.K.A His Girlfriend.
He hates to be cuddled,  but hates to be alone.
Hes a constant fixture in the room, keepin watch over our house and keeping to himself, and suddenly I feel like he might not be there much longer, and it breaks my heart.

As much trouble as hes caused,  I could not imagine the last 12 years without his crazy antics and trouble making.

So, to the "Marley & Me" in my life, you're the best,  most energetic,  nutsiest, craziest, most protective, loyal, sweetest, smartest, naughtiest, cutest dog I could have ever been blessed with.
Thanks for letting me smother you, when I know you hated every human, physical touch we made you endure.
Thank you for peeking in the car seats, ever so gently, everytime we brought a new baby home from the hospital. And thank you for sitting quietly at my feet, while I cried, when our baby didn't make it home from the Hospital.
Thank you for being excited for all the Christmas presents I wrapped for you and made you open.
Thank you for snuggling the cats on cold winter nights...yep, I seen that :)
Thank you for being excited about me bringing home groceries, because you were certain I brought you home a treat too.
Thank you for Pre-wrecking my house, so I wouldn't get mad at my kids for wrecking stuff.
Thank you for being my first baby boy.
You would've been you,  no matter what home you ended up in, because you never really needed me.
It was me who needed you.
Never forget that old boy.
So, I'm gonna make sure you get rewarded for all the life you've added to our years, for the rest of your days.
I'm sorry in the chaos, your antics drove me nuts. You did a lot of good that got over looked.
I can't imagine what that day will bring when I kiss you good bye for the last time, so for every moment until then, I'm going to spoil your tail off. Because you deserve it.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

How having children SAVED my marriage!

I am sure NONE of you have picked up on the fact that I am SELFISH.
SO, when I thought " I'm gonna marry this boy and he will surely CHANGE to better me!" You probably wouldn't have been surprised!
Well, when that plan didn't work, what was I left with?
Sure he's a frickin' stud. But, dang. He is TOTALLY missing the MARK OF PERFECTION, I had expected him to reach by NOW! * StOmPs fEeT!*
What's left to do when you finally wake up and realize this?
( Other than the OBVIOUS ~ I needed to change!)

Have babies. Right?

Actually, Right!

I'm not gonna lie, babies are hard. The hardest.thing.ever.
They push you. They drain you. They scream and POOP a lot! A LOT!
But, they grow you and teach you.

In our culture, television soley focuses on the fact that kids are what 'causes divorce'. Now, I am sure there are certain situations where this may be true. Very few,I would venture to say.

Children can add stress. So can a job. or a puppy. Don't go there with me.

Children can add chaos. But, so can relatives for Christmas. Or driving in Wisconsin snow.

Children can add challenges. But, so can everyday life. And if you're reading this, you haven't stopped that yet! ( So glad, by the way!)

But, here is something TV won't tell you when they are complaining that the old 'ball and chain' is too tired for sex and that the kids ruined something, yet again, or that they are sick of changing poopy diapers or that they are broke because Junior needs braces...


They are simple. They are amazing. They are what you and Baby Daddy created together, with a big old helping of Jesus Christ making it happen. They won't tell you that when you have your first baby things get different, but thats because you see your husband in a way that causes greater love to grow between you. You feel closer to the heart of God. They are so pure in heart and innocent. You start to see the world through their big blue eyes...forgiving. Kind. Colorblind. Accepting.

Which in return, helps your marriage.

There are sacrafices. But, when you make those as a couple, you appreciate, so much more the impromptu date nights and the cuddling on the couch when for one blissful moment they are actually playing peacefully together, or as I like to call it, ' probably doing something they are not supposed too!'

Not to mention the laughter! Laughing as a couple is awesome, especially at your kids...that doesnt sound nice, but it is! Kids are hysterical! If you don't laugh about the things they say or do in public ( Like the time my daughter so loudly pointed to a man wearing a patch over his eye, in the grocery store and said, " Look Momma! A pirate!" He was not amused!) you will surely go insane. So laugh about these things ~ with your spouse!

And the nights when they are up sick, be thankful your husband sleeps right through the puking and diareha, as you wage warm against germs and bacteria...wait...just kidding. Poke him in the ribs, get elbow deep in the stuff together! There is no ' I ' in marriage...well, not that kind of I anyway :) (tEaM wOrK)

If I hadn't had kids, I would never have seen just how horribly selfish ( still working on that!) I was and how amazingly wonderful my husband was. We are BY NO MEANS perfect. We still have arguements and disagree. We still can bother each other, and get on eachothers nerves. But, theres no way he's getting rid of me! I'm in it for the long haul!

PLUS ~ I could NOT handle these crazy, five monkies on my own !!! Haha!

p.s. Note how I didn't pick the picture perfect family photos! This is the real deal, folks! Babies crying, middle child making grumpy, disinterested faces, first born lovin' up the camera! Oye! God is so good though! And my husband still has a few hairs left to boot! :)

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Packing the FUN stuff! When you're on your way to have a BABY!

Ah, Baby day!
What an awesome day!
You've been waiting to meet little Junior since the moment you peed on the stick and a little PLUS sign appeared! And then peed on another 57 of them...just.to.be.sure.

I see a lot of " What to pack for the hospital" blogs ( usually done by Moms on their second babies. Still aWeSoMe, but let this seasoned birther give you a few extra hints!) and I am surrounded by GLOWING pregnant woman ( a couple happen to be my SISTER IN LOVES!!!)
I wanted to share with you a few tricks of the trade for NEW mommas!

It does not matter if you forget EVERYTHING else. These woman may be wiping your rear end as you push, may get YOUR amniotic fluid in their face, may get thier knuckles brooken by you squeezing their hands, may have to smell your pickle relish/ cheese curd/ peopperoni pizza breath and we all know they WILL see you Va- Jay! Jay!
So, please, be kind to these woman ( and your DOC, of course!) and bring in donuts, cookies, candy, whatever sweetness deliciousness you can find, BRING IT!
It will make changing your messy bedding easier for them :)

2. Sport a nursing tank!
When I checked in to deliver numero 6 ~ I asked if I could wear a nursing tank.
The Nurse said, " I think you can wear whatever you want!" JaCkPoT!
I delivered my chubby, precious, cutest baby boy ever created in that, and started the nursing ASAP! And it was so comfy and great to know that when visitors came, I didn't have to worry about those dang hospital gowns ( which all ready are a fashion NO NO!) slipping open and revealing my beautiful new nursing boobs!

3. Bring treats for the LITTLE visitors!
In my family, I am BLESSED with 8 nieces and nephews, then throw my 5 munchkins in the mix and you get A LOT of teeny visitors! Plus friends with kids!
I made this little tootsie pop treat thingy! I just painted up a little flower pot I hand't used in a while and put a styrofoam ball in it and poked tootsies in! It worked great to help subdue little's in a small room!
Other times, I have brought in a basket of color books and crayons, small cars, dolls, bubbles, etc! Just go to your Dollar Tree and fill up on those things that keep them pre- occuppied!

4. Bring yourself some snacks!
The cafeteria in our hospital closes and then, no more food. That can seem daunting to you when you are nursing, because after you go through labor, and start nursing you may feel like your appetite increases even more so than when you were pregnant!
So - pack some healthy snacks and some chocolate...

5. Fun Family Picture Stuff!
Before I had my son, I made numbered shirts for the kids to wear to the hospital to meet him for the first time! They turned out cute and made for great memory photos!

6. I'm sure there are A LOT of other important things, like camera, toilteries, babys first outfit, babys leaving hospital outfit, nuks, blankies, video camera, your husband ( don't forget him!) but, I'm pretty sure you know all the basic stuff. So, I just wanted you to know the ' other ' stuff that made the stay easier. Oh! Oh! You can bring a CD player, too! I liked listening to music, rather than having the TV for back ground noise while I stayed after the dellivery ( Yes, I need back ground noise! Do you remember how many kids I have?! Its essential!)

So, Don't forget the important stuff ~ but remember all the fun memory makers, too! 
Have fun giving birth :) 

xoxoxo Shaylyn
( and Baby Michael, without whom, this blog would not  be possible!)
 P.S. Sorry about all the spelling errors! This Blogger is NOT letting me go back and correct for some reason...reaon may be that I'm computer illiterate and am probably just not doing it right, but, I'd like to think  it was the bloggers fault :)