A Bushel of Brooks

A Bushel of Brooks
Us as we are ...

Thursday, June 30, 2011

In Touch with His Feelings

Reuben is turning into an outward processor. He must, at all times, explain what is going on around him, attempt to share what he is thinking, and tell us all what we are doing as well. I think it is both a part of him exploring language, but also just a part of this little guy developing more and more of his own personality.

However, with it has come a bit of self pity. Whenever he gets in trouble, or seems to be upset/offended about something, he is ready to explain his sadness. He drums up tears, sad lips, and follows me around, saying: "Mommy, I crying." But, it comes out like this: "Momma, I ka-why-ing". Because it doesn't do to just cry, you have to tell someone you're crying, right? As if I wasn't already aware of the fact ...

And then it usually gets tagged by the WHY of his ka-why-ing. The boys got a slushie the other day, and Reuben got extremely offended that his slushie was finished. The fake tears came, the sad face, and the next ten minutes of driving were filled with "Momma, I ka-why-ing bout my slushie ... Momma, I ka-why-ing bout my slushie"

Yes, my boy. I know you are. But even when you get in trouble: "Momma, I ka-why-ing I trouble" isn't going to get you OUT of being in trouble.

I wish I had a good picture of his conjured up offended face, but I don't! Clearly, though, he is more than in touch with his feelings ... and he is going to have to work on this issue of getting offended at things and people so easily as he grows up or his little life will be full of pity-parties.

Monday, June 27, 2011

My Other Kids and their Amazing R.O.C.

As mentioned in the last post, our youth group did outreach and service projects to our own city last week. They were incredible! I am enjoying getting to know them all better and "bond" more. They worked at the Community Shelter, Boys and Girls Club, Prairie Park Nature Center, and more. With GREAT attitudes and lots of fun! Jonah and Reuben loved being around the "big kids" and those teens were amazing with our boys.

Here's some pictures to snapshot some of our activities:

Our Outstretch Teens are amazing!

Thursday, June 23, 2011


Two minutes of peace are given to me: both boys are in jammies, teeth brushed, and I had promised Jonah much earlier today that at "some point" he would be allowed a short time with video games. And so, it gets handed to him right before bedtime. Today? Busy.Crazy.Insane. And that's how we roll with teens!

Today and thru Saturday, our youth group teens are participating in Reaching Our Community (R.O.C.), in which they sleep and eat at the church, and spend the day serving the community. A mission trip to our own city. Whoop! And as much as I am able, I want to be involved. I have attempted to be involved in the planning and detail work on the front end, and now want to have that relationship-building time with our teens as well. But I have these two little guys who are in tow, right? Makes it a bit more difficult! And so our day was busy and filled with heading here and there, and spending time attempting to occupy them at the church when we were there. It was fun, but really e x h a u s t i n g. I am tired. And the truth is I wish Eli were here to help me do the final tucking in and to sleep beside me tonight.

But he will be keeping the peace with twenty teenagers and few college age staff. = )

The insanity of the next two days will be fun and tiring at the same time. I'm trying to remember to remind myself that it is okay to not do everything, but to try and do "some" things. To ask for help when I need ... but be in a position to offer help when someone else needs a hand. To have a flexible attitude (not my strong point), but give the boys some semblence of regular meals and rest times. Ahhhhhhh, and maybe sleep in there somewhere! And remember to pick up the antibiotics that Reuben got prescribed because we can't seem to kick this cold/allergy junk, and bring extra diapers everywhere we go .... and well, you get the picture!

Slightly insane - interlaced with seeing our youth reach outside of themselves to impact our city. All Worth It.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Weekend for Daddy

Eli's birthday was yesterday, and Father Day was today. Big weekend for him! It has turned out to be a really BUSY weekend all around, and amidst the celebrating for him, we both found ourselves running around and feeling kinda drained. Add in two nights of big thunderstorms which = two little boys waking up in the night ... and we woke up this morning completely empty. I honestly felt like I was walking around in a cloud from the time I got out of bed until worship started at church. It was strange!

Through all that, though, we found laughter in funny things the boys did, smiles in hearing "Happy Birthday Daddy" carefully pronounced by Reuben, hugs as the boys eagerly gave their gifts to Daddy for both his birthday and Father's Day, nd some good reminders of the foundation of our marriage as I wrote some cards to him. Something about handwriting a card and expressing my feelings to Eli can push all those "little" things aside and remind me of what is important in our relationship.

I am so proud to call Eli my husband. He is a man I look up to, trust with all my heart, and adore. He has many strengths that I do not, and I can see how God put us together for a purpose. He keeps laughter alive in our house, and is such a great dad. I could not ask for a guy more involved with his kids, and more willing to play with them, listen to them, and seek to grow their character. These two boys love him:

Happy Father's Day!

Monday, June 13, 2011


Eli and I started reading "Bringing up Boys" by Dr. Dobson together the past couple weeks. Kudos to Eli for pushing for the joint read! Not that I didn't want to read it ... I fully endorse reading parenting books and improving my parenting (you don't know what you don't know, right?). But, I feel like my reading time is so slight already! It takes my concentrated and best effort to get time in the Scriptures each day. Any other reading time is catching up on friends' blogs here and there, and maybe flipping through a parenting magazine on an elliptical once a week or so. Read for enjoyment? I would love to! I was a voracious reader up until my boys were born. And then reading got pushed aside. Which I have learned to accept.

I just felt overwelmed with the idea of having to read this book at the same time together, get it done, finish my Social Work CEU's - which are due by the end of this month - and everything else. But, it's gonna be a priority for me. We've made a goal to read a parenting book together every year. Eli keeps reminding me that although at times things seem okay, we "don't know what we don't know". In other words, we have so much to learn that can improve our parenting, help us to better understand our kids and where their little brains are at, and let God show us how to best raise them up to be caring, loving, strong, respectful boys. Hah! Sounds completely impossible. It is. But with Someone's guidance and us following His directions, we can at least do our best and give the rest to Him.

The book is great so far. But what has been going through my mind this weekend is the incredible responsibility of raising a child. They mimick you. They copy what we do. They repeat my words back to me. They watch all my actions, all my failures, all my outbursts of anger are put on a show. I am to model love for them, teach them to accept others, to be generous givers. I do not want to take what God has given me lightly. As we are enjoying more "freedom" of schedule this summer, I see even more how special the task of being a parent is. Nothing can ever compare with giving birth and seeing the miracle of a baby ... but there is a lot that follows that moment in time, isn't there? I hope not to strive like crazy to be the "best parent I can be", but to see how each day God gives me opportunities to sow seeds in my children's hearts that will grow and grow and point them in the right direction.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

BODYPump It!

My "long" weekend last weekend was busy because I was training to teach BodyPump. I already teach BodyStep at my gym, and went through a 3 day training to start my pursuit to become a BodyPump instructor. And yes, both our families think I'm rather looney with my exercise pursuits. Eli does as well - but he still encourages me 1) because he has seen the physical results/energy I have when I get my exercise in; 2) he agrees it is a great stress relief for mommyhood; and 3) because he is just plain amazing!

It was a long weekend in terms of being gone three days for 9 hours - but also fun because I was with friends from the gym, and got in some good girl time along with sweating it out multiple hours a day! It did, however, re-affirm that I just cannot leave my boys for that long! Being gone all day makes me sad ... and when Reuben wrapped his little arms around my leg when I got home from the first day of training and said "Mommy, miss you", I almost considered not returning for the second and third days! An hour or two here and there is okay ... but not ALL DAY!

Eli was also running a fundraiser for the youth group - so he was gone during the day the first two days. Thank goodness for family nearby who pitched in to help us with Jonah and Reuben so that we could both keep our commitments.

It was Hard. Fun. Challenging. Mentally and Physically Taxing. But having someone critique your form, your cueing, and your coaching is really invaluable. It helps me to be a better instructor, a better participant ... and makes your body work a lot harder!

And it helped to have these girls along to help keep a smile on my face ...

We will get each other through learning more tracks, and prepping to video ourselves teaching to send in for the final phase of certification!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Little Fisherman

Today was Eli's day off. After a long weekend (with a post about that later this week), we decided to head to my Uncle and Aunt's pool for some sunshine and swimming!

Oh ... whoops. They also have a small pond as well. Stocked with fish. Hmmmmm. So, my fishing crazy husband and four year old want to do that as well. No worries on my end. I D.O. N.O.T. enjoy fishing - but Eli assured me that he and Jonah would fish. And that Reuben could fish if he wanted, and then I could relax by the pool in peace for a bit before they got hot and sweaty enough to want to come jump in.

Two thumbs up!

My sister-in-law and neice came along for the outing. We got there, the boys and my sister-in-law got to fishing, and my neice and I headed for the pool. We kept an eye on the fishers across the backyard, and watched them pull in a couple little fish. Jonah headed over to the pool after about 20 minutes of fishing. 90+ degrees and humid! He was ready to play in the water. But Reuben, Reuben kept right on fishing. In fact, he caught his own fish! He was holding the pool, and a fish got hooked, and he started to reel it in himself! He was so proud. Finally, with Joy and Eli were done fishing, they had to drag a protesting Reuben away from his work. He loved it. I was surprised that he had enough patience to stay by the pond in the hot sun and fish away with his daddy ... but I underestimated the little guy. I think fishing trips in the future will now include a two year as well.

This little fisherman will have many trips ahead of him!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

A Good Reminder

Today has (so far) been one of those days that has seem long, hard to maintain patience with the three kids invading the house ... and Mommy feels tired and overwhelmed when looking at the rest of the week and all that it holds schedule-wise for us!
I felt like if I could just make it to naptime! While everyone rested, I could re-charge, and re-focus myself and my thoughts on what is truly important. Not keeping a tight schedule or perfectly picked-up house (which is not possible, but for some reason I'm always attempting), but to give the boys a mom who is not frazzled - therefore easy to push her buttons - but a mom who has spent some time in the Word and ready to enjoy the day, not just "make it thru".

I sent the boys to the living room to put Tirzah down for her nap. Rocked her and took some deep breaths myself = ) Went back out to the living room to see this:

Those little boys who had seemingly spent the entire morning bickering and doing things that would set the other off, climbed up beside each other and were recording themselves singing songs together on my phone (side note: I am ignoring the obvious offense of them getting my cell phone into their hands). Good reminder that they love each other, and even when I might feel like everything is out of control, God gives me something to smile about.