When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they will not overflow you. Isaiah 43:2

Friday, December 19, 2008

The Unintended Haircut

So, I have been completely exhausted the last few days. Wyatt is sick with some sort of whining virus--no really, whatever the bug is, it has not only given him a fever, but the uncanny ability to whine ALL DAY LONG--oh and sometimes just flat out scream at me for absolutely no reason other than I don't understand his toddler language. The only thing that has ever calmed him is a good ol' bottle of soymilk, but not now!!!! NOTHING soothes other than his "lovey" blankie and Curious George--over and over Curious George--the movie, not the show...and his way of telling me? Stomping up and down and making monkey noises. Ah yes, OF COURSE I was supposed to understand that the first time he did it!??
OK, so my point...today, I fell asleep without meaning to while taking a moment to sit on the couch. Caden and Wyatt were sleeping and Kya was quietly working away with her "arts and crafts" because "Wyatt is sleeping mommy so I can GLUE!!!"
Suddenly Kya's sweet voice was whispering in my ear, "I cut my hair mommy. Look and see." My body shook awake in shock as I looked at the ground, seeing several of my daughter's long golden locks laying there all limp and sad...oh dear oh dear oh dear...

So, I told her why we don't cut our own hair and why only adults can cut hair (this was not well reasoned considering my frustration at both being awakened and seeing my darling girl with what could only be described as a mess on her head.) And I was actually pretty calm about it all considering. I took a deep breath as I cut off a whole lot of hair to make it all even. My heart beat fast and I actually got tears in my eyes...ah, such depth--crying over hair.

But I got myself together and took her in the kitchen where I gave her a bob just above her chin. It's a good thing she's cute and can pull of this look!!!! :)

Monday, December 15, 2008

Complaining is a "home destroyer"

I read this today and it really touched me. I know in our home, the more I am complaining, the less happy everyone is. I hope it helps some of you too!

Part 4

Philippians 2:14-15, "Do all things without murmurings and disputing: that ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God without rebuke,in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world."


Psalm 106:25, "They murmured in their tents, and hearkened not unto the voice of the Lord." Read the story in Numbers chapter 14, especially verses 2 and 27.

Where were the people complaining? In their tents, which were their dwelling places in the wilderness. Where does most complaining happen? In the home. But what does it do? It tears down the home, whether we complain about our circumstances, the work we have to do, or our husband. Not only do the walls of our home hear it, but our children hear it--and God hears it!

The children of Israel murmured and complained against Moses and Aaron, but when God heard it, He said they were complaining against Him. God says in Numbers 14:27, "How long shall I bear with this evil congregation, which murmur against Me? I have heard the murmuring of the children of Israel, which they murmur against Me." Stop press! Help! When we murmur and complain about all our problems, God hears it as murmuring against Him.

The ten spies had returned from spying out the land of Canaan. It was a land flowing with milk and honey, but they complained about the fortified cities and the giants they would have to fight. It looked impossible! Even after all the miracles of coming out of Egypt and provision in the wilderness, they did not believe God could help them. They blamed Moses for bringing them out of Egypt. They complained that all their children would be taken as salves.

What happened? God told them, "Get back into the wilderness..." He told them that they would all die in the wilderness and their children who they complained would be taken as slaves would be the ones who would go into this magnificent land. Where do we end up when we complain? In the wilderness.

Wives and mothers,
we take our families into
a wilderness journey
when we complain!

The root of complaining is unbelief. "Can God furnish a table in the wilderness?" The Israelites cried out in unbelief. (Psalm 78:19). "How could we ever have another baby?" you cry out in unbelief. "We can hardly make ends meet now!" "How can we afford to educate our children?" "How can I put up with this little house any longer? I need more room" And so it goes on.

Here's a good habit to start. Change every sigh into a Hallelujah! Every time you are tempted to complain, turn your heart to the Lord and acknowledge His power and His presence. "Thank you, Lord, I trust you. I know that you are ordering my footsteps. I thank you that you are with me in these circumstances." It will take time to establish this new habit, but keep at it.

It doesn't mean that your circumstances will necessarily change, but you will change. God promises in Isaiah 43:1-3 that when you pass through the waters, that "I will be with you. They will not overflow you." God says that when you go through the fire that "You will not be burned, neither shall the flame kindle upon you."

What is our confession? "I'm going through a fiery trial. I don't know how I can make it." Or, "Thank you, Lord, no matter how hot it gets, I will not be burned because you are with me!"

I remember when complaining as a young child that my mother would immediately direct me to think about those who were poor and suffering in the world and didn't have all the blessings that I had. It's not a bad idea. There are millions in the world who live in abject poverty, without running water, adequate food, shelter or any of the basic amenities of life which we are used to. My husband, who has ministered in the slums of India and many third world countries, often says, "Just to live in a tent in America makes you a millionaire!"

I think about the Karen people, the displaced people of Burma who have been fighting a genocidal war against them from the Burmese government for over 50 years. We complain about keeping up with homeschooling. The Karen try to school their children while they live in hiding. We complain when things are not just as we want them when we give birth. Many Karen mothers give birth while running from the enemy. No time for recovery. No time for relaxing with their baby. No gifts. No excited calls from family and friends.

The wife the founder of the "Free Burma Rangers" shares about the love, forgiveness and generosity of the Karen, even in the midst of suffering and hardship. She says, "The gifts they gave were of themselves--their time, energy and love. In my experience in the West it is easier to go to the store and buy a trinket as a gift. For this reason I have chosen to raise my children in this war. The influence of these people is something I have never experienced anywhere else."



"Oh Lord, I find it so easy to complain. Please give me strength to create a new habit of praising instead of protesting, gladdening others instead of grumbling and being content instead of complaining. Amen."


"Not for the lip of praise alone,
Nor e'en the praising heart
I ask, but for a life made up
Of praise in every part!"

Horatius Bonar

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Decorating the outside tree

This morning, it was so coooooold. So we put some garland on our pine tree and then ran back in the house...

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Tree Trimming with Toddlers

Today we got out the ol' artificial tree (donated by fabulous friend Aimee) and trimmed it without daddy. :( Daddy is busy runnin', whistling and waving his arms around this time of year as high school basketball season is underway. (As most of you know, he's a referee.) So we are often here at the Haner home fending for ourselves--some more than others.
I had to smile at the way the kids' eyes lit up when I opened that big tub of garlands, ornaments, santa hats, snowmen and angels. Seeing Christmas through Kya's eyes especially has given me the renewed energy (WHICH I DESPERATELY NEEDED TODAY) to face Christmas head on and with joy and fervor.

As a sidenote, my energy issue stems from one small person who has taken to being awake every night from 2:30 to 4:30 AM (Caden), and my choice to continue abstaining from coffee to avoid any digestive disturbances in said small person. Diet Pepsi just aint cuttin' it. (Where does the apostrophe go in the word "aint?")
OK, so back to the tree...we got it out, decorated it, and marveled at it...together!! Did you know that small children do not understand the need for decorative balance? If you visit our home and see our tree, you will notice large clusters of angels and other ornaments on just two or three very droopy branches...I tried to explain, "Kya, some of these other branches might be lonely and need some angels and snowmen to keep them company..." This creative explanation fell on deaf ears...so be it, the year of the lopsided Christmas tree...

You'll also note Wyatt spent much of the "decorating time" in the Xmas tree box.
But it's done! We have our decorations up, the wreath on the door, the Grinch and Max atop the entertainment center, and all is well...to tell the kids about Santa or not...now that is the question...

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

How to not sound so ANNOYED with your kids...

Well, I haven't actually figured that out yet, but I'm going to try...

So, I have kind of been listening to myself lately as though I were a third party hovering above the chaos of my home and I found myself to sound dreadful! I sound constantly annoyed and impatient when I talk to my toddlers. "Did you seriously just write on the floor with a purple Sharpie?" "WHAT are you thinking cleaning the mirror with bar soap?!" "WHY do you feel the need to push and scream at your brother all the time?" "WHY oh WHY did you spill the poopy fish water all over the counter? (during this last comment, I was thanking God every minute the little fish didn't spill out with it!")...

Hence (isn't that a fabulous word?) I am going to try for the next 24 hours (and perhaps longer if it goes well) not to raise my voice or be "annoyed sounding" (or sarcastic--which is completely lost on toddlers and though witty and amusing to my husband and me, terribly unappreciated by the younger set).

I'll let you know how it goes. My poor kids need my voice to be music to their ears not a harsh tearing down of their little self esteems...Pray for me.

In the Kitchen today

YESTERDAY's GOALS: Accomplished all but one. I did not get to my thank you notes, so today, I will do four thank you notes. My sweet hubby accomplished the laundry goal FOR me while I was at Christmas bunco, which was SO fun!

Inspired by the beautiful home I visited last night, I am doing a little redecorating today. I am starting in the kitchen with the following goals:

1. Declutter all surfaces.

2. Thoroughly clean all surfaces and floors.

3. Make sure all dishes are clean and put away.

4. Clean crock pot.

5. Start dinner around 4:00 and make a delicious dessert.

6. Write four thank yous.

7. Start secret sister gift and make present for Ilona's birthday.

8. Touch up paint in the kitchen and add one decorative element.

I received a special gift from my MOPS secret sister last night--a new mug and some Lipton Mango green tea. YUMMY! I am starting the day right with a little caffeine (only 12 mg) and a delicious warm beverage to help my demeanor be calm and loving (we'll see how long that lasts! Everyone is still sleeping; LOL!)

Monday, December 8, 2008

Goals for the Day

1. Clean Kya's room.
2. Do one complete load of laundry including putting away (this is hard for me).
3. Make cookies for daddy.
4. Write and send two thank you cards.
5. Spend fifteen minutes of learning time with Kya individually.
6. Spend fifteen minutes reading Wyatt a book by himself.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Caden's birth

On November 11, 2008, Veteran's Day, at 5:59 a.m., I was lying in bed next to my sweet husband when I felt a contraction rip through my body. "Whew! That felt like the real thing," I thought to myself as I began to breathe again. I decided to wake Scott if I had just one more such contraction...three minutes later, the second contraction rocked my body. "Honey, it's time." Through a bleary eyed haze, Scott got up and mumbled something about calling Debbie, our babysitter. He slowly but decisively got all our things together as I brushed my hair and teeth, steeling myself against the every three minutes of intense pain. I would wait til one passed and then run around like a crazy woman thinking, "I only have three minutes to..." I found my way to the already running Volvo in the cool of the morning and sat with my hand familiarly on the handle of the window staring at the digital clock. My dad drove up in between contractions and I said, "Hey dad, I can talk to ya for the next one and a half minutes!" I felt happy and calm and excited and anxious all at once.

We arrived at the hospital at about 7:00 AM. I had one contraction in the parking lot, one in the elevator, and one in the hospital room while changing into my gown. They were coming faster now and I reminded Scott that I needed the rail up on the bed so I could assume my "usual" position on my right side, breathing "hee hee hoo hoo shoooooo shoooooo" while holding onto my little stuffed animal, this time a small fluffy ducky. A nurse came in to check me and get my vitals. After doing so, she quickly said, "Don't push!"

Dr. Ynostroza arrived shortly after (that guy is amazing!) although my sense of time had slowly faded into the blackness of my focused breathing and searing pain. I vaguely heard a nurse say, "She is very controlled." Little did she know that a mere ten minutes later (I think) I would be screaming in agony as my 10 lb. 2 oz. baby lodged himself in my pelvis facing sideways (babies are supposed to come out facing down with the smallest portion of their head coming through the birth canal first). Caden was coming with the fullest width of his little head first and he was stuck and it HURT!!!!

Dr. Y was patient though and eventually with one of my screaming pushes, used the vacuum to suck his head right out...but now his shoulders...oh those shoulders...broad and strong like his daddy. They were stuck too and they wanted to me to push AGAIN! "I CAN'T!" I wanted to say, but I dutifully pushed and screamed a few more times and out he came. Dr. Y smirked when they put Caden on the scale and it registered 10 lbs 2 oz. "He would have been 10 lbs 4 oz. if he hadn't pee'd on me," Dr. Y said.

And so arrived our little linebacker at 8:05 AM after two hours and five minutes of labor. He spent two full days and nights in the hospital due to low blood sugar and battled weight loss for the first ten days of his life (mama couldn't quite keep up the supply for such a big baby's food demands.) But now he is well and gaining weight. He is exceptionally mild mannered and seldom cries. He sleeps soundly and wakes only to eat and be changed and look around a little now and then. He even smiles occasionally, so far exhibiting at least one of the Haner-McQuerrey dimples. :) He is quickly outgrowing his 0-3 month clothes and newborn diapers as I try to soak in these fleeting moments of newborn-ness.

Motherhood is grand. I am beyond thankful for my husband who has watched and cared for our other two little ones during this time of constant breastfeeding and attention I must give Caden. Scott Haner, I am one lucky woman to have you as my husband, friend and father of our kiddos. Thank you for giving me these amazing little blessings who have changed my character for the better.

Feeling Like an Invisible Mom?

You may have seen this in an email. I received it today from a friend and thought I would post it for all the mommies out there building great cathedrals...

"It all began to make sense, the blank stares, the lack of response, the way one of the kids will walk into the room while I'm on the phone and ask to be taken to the store. Inside I'm thinking, 'Can't you see I'm on the phone?' Obviously, not.
No one can see if I'm on the phone, or cooking, or sweeping the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner, because no one can see me at all. I'm invisible. The invisible Mom. Some days I am only a pair of hands, nothing more: Can you fix this? Can you tie this? & Can you open this?
Some days I'm not a pair of hands; I'm not even a human being. I'm a clock to ask, 'What time is it?'; I'm a satellite guide to answer, 'What number is the Disney Channel?' I'm a car to order, 'Right around 5:30, please.'
One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of a friend from England . Janice had just gotten back from a fabulous trip, and she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in. I was sitting there, looking around at the others all put together so well. It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself. I was feeling pretty pathetic, when Janice turned to me with a beautifully wrapped package, and said, 'I brought you this.'
It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe . I wasn't exactly sure why she'd given it to me until I read her inscription: 'To Charlotte, with admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees.'
In the days ahead I would read - no, devour - the book. And I would discover what would become for me, four life-changing truths, after which I could pattern my work:
No one can say who built the great cathedrals - we have no record of their names. These builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see finished. They made great sacrifices and expected no credit. The passion of their building was fueled by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything.
A legendary story in the book told of a rich man who came to visit the cathedral l while it was being built, and he saw a workman carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam. He was puzzled and asked the man, 'Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that will be covered by the roof? No one will ever see it.' And the workman replied, 'Because God sees.'
I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place. It was almost as if I heard God whispering to me, 'I see you, Charlotte . I see the sacrifices you make every day, even when no one around you does. No act of kindness you've done, no sequin you've sewn on, no cupcake you've baked, is too small for me to notice and smile over. You are building a great cathedral, but you can't see right now what it will become.'
At times, my invisibility feels like an affliction. But it is not a disease that is erasing my life. It is the cure for the disease of
my own self-centeredness. It is the antidote to my strong, stubborn pride.
I keep the right perspective when I see myself as a great builder. As one of the people who show up at a job that they will never see finished, to work on something that their name will never be on.
When I really think about it, I don't want my daughter to tell the friend she's bringing home from college for Thanksgiving, 'My Mom gets up at 4 in the morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she hand bastes a turkey for three hours and presses all the linens for the table.' That would mean I'd built a shrine or a monument to myself. I just want her to want to come home. And then, if there is anything more to say to her friend, to add, 'you're gonna love it there.'
As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot see if we're doing it right. And one day, it is very possible that the
world will marvel, not only at what we have built, but at the beauty that has been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible women.
Great Job, MOM!"

Thursday, November 13, 2008

A New Haner Comes Home

Caden Michael Haner was born 11/11/2008. He was 10 lbs. 2 oz. and 21 3/4 inches long! More birth story to come... Mommy and her VERY big boy!
The kids were so happy to have their brother home.

Daddy holding new son. :)

Monday, November 10, 2008

My Indigo Girls

Connected from the first moment they met...these two are kindred spirits.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Is tonight the night?

All signs point to tonight for this baby's arrival. We'll keep you posted. :)

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Happy Halloween from the Haner Fam!

We almost canceled Halloween this year what with ear aches and fevers, but everyone pulled together and seemed almost healthy for a few hours as we made the most of our lovely Fall evening. We are so blessed to have great neighbors (who put up with roosters crowing and babies screaming!) who give out extra special love and goodie bags to our kiddos. It still fascinates me when vans full of folks from other neighborhoods drop off their kids here to trick or treat, but while others are annoyed, I feel thankful and complimented. Here are the pics (mostly of kitty Kya since doggy Wyatt was busy running running RUNNING everywhere!) Scott and I dressed as referees (with whistles and all!) but we forgot to get pictures. I was accused by one rogue trick or treater of "eating a soccer ball." No contractions on Halloween praise God! One on April Fool's and one on Halloween would have been rough.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Menu Plan

Menu planning has not been my forte lately, but with the baby's arrival imminent, I thought I'd better prepare something for those who have bravely volunteered to watch "the other two." I just have to comment on this picture. OK that child cannot be more than what 15 or 16 months right? If that were my child he or she would be DIVING into that mixture and as I tried to restrain him or her, we would both end up crying over the flour, sugar, and eggs that spilled everywhere...not to mention the burns that would have been inflicted on the child who lunged too near the gas stove or opened the oven unsupervised...hey, it happens! My kids help make cookies when it doesn't matter if the end product is edible and when I'm able bodied enough to run interference (read "NOT nine months pregnant") and that's about it. :) Sometimes we make playdough or finger paints though and that is always fun (well, not when I am NINE months pregnant)--did I mention I am nine months pregnant?


b- Cereal (Frosted mini wheats) with blueberries and/or raisins and sliced banana
l- Mac-n-cheese with ham chunks w/ fruit cup
d- Ham, buttered rolls and green beans (canned)


b- Scrambled ggs, pumpkin muffins
l- PBJ sandwiches (on rolls if fresh bread not made) applesauce and cottage cheese
d- Bush’s baked beans, pork steaks, green beans


b- Pumpkin Pie spiced pancakes w honey, banana slices
l- Tuna (plain) and cheese sandwiches on rolls, fruit cups or applesauce
d- Pork chops and potato bake, frozen veggies

b- Cereal and yogurt
l- Lunch meat sandwiches with meat, cheese, lettuce and tomato
d- Chicken Nuggets and chicken broth pasta with frozen veggie mix


b- Oatmeal with blueberries and brown sugar; fruit smoothies
l- Leftover ham, cheese slices, and oranges
d- Home Made Pizza (or takeout if coupon) with cherry tomatoes and mozzarella pieces


b- Scrambled eggs, buttered toast and bananas
l - Leftover pizza and cherry tomato mixture
d- BBQ Pork Steaks, baked beans, salad, homemade bread


b-Out (Cindy’s or McD’s)
l-Applesauce, cottage cheese and leftovers (if none, then PBJ)
d-Spaghetti Carbonara, cherry tomatoes & mozzarella pieces w/ basil and olive oil, and buttered bread

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

She's gonna blow!

It looks like I ate the whole thing, and I probably could have, but I didn't. I am my own planetary mass though...as one dear friend said, his coffee was fuller on one side of his cup this morning as my belly pulled it west (he's in Missouri). Note to self: Horizontal stripes don't help.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A Visit to the Pumpkin Patch

Wyatt and Kya both fell asleep on our journey out to the Taft Highway Pumpkin Patch (Banducci Farms) so it took a while for them to appreciate the majesty of all those glorious pumpkins! Ahhh I love the Fall--although it was like85 degrees at the Patch! LOL! We came home with far more pumpkins than we needed, but we had a nice time and got to meet some new friends, friends of our adopted auntie Debbie...Jennifer and her three rambunctious sons...whew! Only one of them is pictured below with Kya and Wyatt. He was only in the wagon for a split second until he ran off to the next thing!Wyatt contemplating the patch.
Kya lookin' around at the pumpkins.

Nathan in the wagon with Wyatt and Kya (Kya none too pleased about it).

The kids together finally enjoying the patch!


Kya ran into the house this evening dripping chocolate push up ice cream all over the floor saying, "Mommy, come outside with us..." and so I went stomping out to find that "supervising" father of hers! I said ever so sweetly, "Scott, your daughter just dripped chocolate ice cream all the way through the house!!!" He responded that he was so sorry and that he had told her to come get me because he had seen something exciting...since he was coming from the side yard, I figured, it wasn't anything really exciting, BUT IT WAS!!!!
It was our first egg!!!! We got rid of that mean ol' rooster and those hens finally relaxed enough to lay an egg!!! Oh man I am so excited! Totally worth cleaning chocolate ice cream out of the carpet--hey, it's better than poop, right?

In the picture, you see Scott's pretend egg (Titleist brand) that has been in the nesting box for a month trying to teach the girls where to lay. :) Isn't it cute?

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Enter a Guess

Enter your guess about Baby Haner #3's birth details and you could win a prize! Here's the link:


The Rooster Chronicles Part II

OK, so after a week of constant crowing during daylight hours, Scott decided we would try to keep the poor bugger, but keep him in the dark until WE were ready to let him see the light (and hear him crow). Why would we keep him? Well, first of all, he is gorgeous, and second of all, we will eventually need new chicks to replace our hens when they are finished laying...aaaaand we are just sentimental around here and we don't like to see our family farm broken up. (Sigh.)
So, Scott created a rooster suite...basically a box with a hinged front door, a roost inside and some pine shavings. The kids helped out a tremendous amount and the whole family had fun. Note Wyatt's "oh so 80's" hair and shirt-- (Hey! I figured they were farm kids today and I didn't want their nice clothes gettin' all chicken poopy!)
So, that night, Scott ushered rooster into his suite. Scott left at 6:15 the next morning and we had yet to hear him! Success! Ah, but at 7:00, despite the box, he began to crow...and thump, and crow...and thump. But at least the crowing was slightly muted???? ANd at least it wasn't 5AM?
A week later, I posted a listing on Craig's List for a free rooster. We received TONS of responses, but finally settled on a SAHM that lives just down the road and around the corner from us (not to worry, she is keeping him at her folks' ranch which is out Round Mountain Rd.). It was sad seeing him go (in a Huggies Diaper Box nonetheless! LOL!), but his new mama promises to keep in touch and update us on his well being. Ahhh tomorrow promises to be a quiet morning...

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Rooster Chronicles Part I

So, as many of you know, my dearest husband and I determined that we would get some chickens back in June. Upon making this determination, we did extensive research about the ordinances in our city and zone as well as the types of hen and coop we wanted. The first decision we made after this extensive research was that we neither wanted nor would it be legal for us to house a rooster on our residential property.
We then went to the Round Up, a local feed store, to pick out our HENS. No one mentioned there was any chance we would be getting anything other than females. Well, it is now October and we have invested hours of love and attention in our six hens, Kya naming them all Disney princess names. We have anxiously visited the coop and nesting boxes each day hoping for the first egg.
Saturday morning, at about 6:15, a rare morning when our children had not yet awakened by this hour, Scott and I both opened our eyes and looked at each other with that, "did you hear that?" look on our faces. A soft, but distinct, "cock a doodle doo" resounded yet again as first light broke over the mountains outside. "That's odd," we thought, and rolled over and went back to sleep until the kids got us up about 7.
Each morning since (going on six days), that crowing has gotten louder and stronger...
On Tuesday, Scott asked me to change the water for the hens. No big deal. Run in the coop, get the waterer, wash it out, put it back. I had an OB appt. that morning and we were running early for a change, so I buckled the kids in and headed for the coop to do my requested duty. WELL, I was in for a surprise. The largest of our "hens" was on top of one of the others...hmmmmm, I thought...well, I will ignore that little scene and go about my duties.
Our sweet border collie Jake followed me as usual, and promptly upon entering the coop, the large "hen" began attacking my legs and feet (I had on new sparkly silver flats.) It became obvious that I had interrupted the activity in which he was engaged and that he didn't like it. I screamed and in my surprise I allowed the large hen and its partner to escape. They then startled as Jake ran up to check them out. So they began to attack Jake. He yelped, and I yelled, "Run Jake run!!!!!" I grabbed a board from the wood pile and shooed the large hen back into the coop. The other hen was still outside the coop and I couldn't leave her out there! So, I held my breath and mustered all my courage and picked her up. I was already covered in muddy water and chicken poo, so it couldn't get any worse. She was surprisingly soft and sweet to me. I gently tossed her back in the coop.
I locked the coop and ushered Jake to the backyard, and then got into the car, poopy sparkly flats and all. I breathed a big sigh as I sat in the recently cleaned driver seat of our Volvo thinking perhaps I am not such a country girl after all. Kya asked innocently, "How are the chickens doing this morning mommy?" I answered her by saying, "Well my love, I think we have a rooster..." and I heard a faint "cock a doodle doo" as I pulled out of the driveway.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

A Week with the Tummy Flu

This week in the Haner home, there was lots of throwing up! It started Monday when Wyatt threw up every 15-30 minutes from about midnight on. Then everyone seemed fine all day Tuesday and Wednesday.

Wednesday night, Kya started throwing up around 9:00 PM and Wyatt again around 10:30 PM. They alternated (which I thought was nice of them--simultaneous vomiting would have been difficult to catch and clean up. LOL!) every 30 minutes. So we set up their little mattresses in the living room surrounded by towels and I slept on the couch nearby hoping and praying that daddy Scott could get some sleep in the bedroom (and that my pregnant belly would fit on our couch (it did!)). All was well all day Thursday and Thursday night and Friday day.

Then we decided to go to dinner at Mimi's cafe (LOVE their honey oat bran muffins!) for a family night out to celebrate the end of the tummy flu and Wyatt promptly upon being seated, threw up all over the table and booth. GROSS! Poor little guy. So, since he is usually OK for about an hour in between spit ups, we cleaned him and the booth up, changed his clothes, and stayed for a nice dinner.

A few hours later, Wyatt threw up some more and Friday night was spent much the same as Monday night, but just he and I in the living room. Today is Saturday and so far so good. We are excited to try some oh so yummy Pedialyte popsicles for dinner tonight! YUMMO!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

A Sad Goodbye to a Good Friend

Tonight, we came home to find that our beloved dog and friend Maggie had died.

Maggie girl, we love you so much and we are so sorry we could not be there with you in your final moments. We have had many priority shifts since you first joined our family in November of 2002 and we have not always been the best owners. For that, we are so full of regret and sadness. You always had a loving tail wag or sweet little nudge waiting for us when we arrived home and were always so excited--especially to see daddy Scott. You would stay right in our yard and never leave our home without first checking with us. What a good dog you were.

As we say goodbye to you with tears falling, we remember the good times and pray we can learn much from your forgiving nature and sweet submitted personality. We will remember you always. Rest in peace our faithful friend. -Your Family

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Learning, Enduring and Becoming A Patient SAHM

So, one of the few things a stay at home mom does that is "measurable" is keep house. A measure isn't really necessary, but for my personality, I just want to be able to look around and SEE something I did. Kids don't really work that way...Sometimes I can smell that they are clean after a bath or observe that they have learned something I taught them, but it's not the same. No one ever really looks at my kids and says, oh Tara must have done X Y and Z today.

In my previous life, everything I did was measurable, by praise from superiors, bonuses, salary, grades on tests, etc. This life is very different and I think about that a lot. I like to have something to show for my day. Parenting requires a selflessness I'm not sure I will ever possess though I am learing every day to sacrifice more of myself and actually enjoy this. I am not quite there yet.

Lately, in my enlarged state (only one more month!!!), I haven't been keeping up with housework and it has really been bumming me out...so much so that last night after husband's well-meaning comment, I sat in the garage (for surely no one would look for me there) and cried. Why did I cry exactly? The well-meaning comment indicated something along the lines that he was glad we had gotten to a point where we were "OK" with a lower standard of cleanliness in the house--this after he spent some time at a neighbor's "spotless home" (did I mention she has two children under four as well?). He couldn't have known I have spent countless hours this month scouring books, magazines, and blogs for helpful hints on keeping a home organized with little kids, or that I had just that day made a cleaning chart (AGAIN) to help keep me on track with laundry, meals, and household cleaning. He couldn't have known because I don't like to tell him when I am feeling unworthy or subpar--I just reasearch and fix it.

Only, this time, I have been researching and trying to fix it for a loooong time...without much improvement.

Here are some of the selfish thoughts I had while I was crying:

1. I have been trying to figure out this balance of cleaning/household management/parenting/playing/teaching/menu planning/ministry/time for "self"/time for God as a stay home mom for over three years. I am NEVER gonna figure this out;

2. I am hopelessly lazy and undisciplined and will never be able to keep house like my friends;

3. How in the world am I gonna ever get better at this with THREE little babies running around the house? I just got used to two!

4. Why am I the only one who feels like this?

So, after my little pity party, I realized that most of these questions are not all together rational and that I am nine months pregnant and probably a little hormonal and that I need to cut myself a little slack. But I also got some great perspective as I scoured the kitchen til 11 PM.

Kids make messes. I can help them learn to clean them up, but I can't prevent them. If I did prevent them, I would not be a very good parent and my kids would be terrified of playing and enjoying themselves. I don't want that. But, I also don't Wyatt to someday tell his wife what a horrible housekeeper his mom was...so I am looking for balance.

I am no longer crying about it. Scott let me sleep in this morning (until 7:45!!!) and I got a nap...and it's cooler outside. But I still want the house to be clean, and I'm still gonna work on getting better at balance...and realize that these issues in the scheme of "troubles" are pretty minor. We have our health, a house, our family and friends, financial stability. This is when the reader should say, "Quit your moanin' and get on with it!"

Thanks for reading.

Isaiah 40:28-31 NKJV Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the LORD, The Creator of the ends of the earth, Neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable. {29} He gives power to the weak, And to those who have no might He increases strength. {30} Even the youths shall faint and be weary, And the young men shall utterly fall, {31} But those who wait on the LORD Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.