Saturday, May 30, 2009

Specific Jobs for Specific Children

There is a good reason that I give specific jobs to specific children. Each night after dinner, each son has a particular job he has to do in order to help me with the clean up. Martin is responsible for clearing dishes. Aaron is responsible for clearing the silverware and the cups. Jonathan is responsible for gathering up our napkins and taking them over to the washer. (we use cloth napkins to save money - and it's surprising how much easier than paper napkins they are for young children to use!)

All I have to say to Jonathan is do your job and he starts scrambling for the napkins. He's very energetic . . . and enthusiastic about his job. . . sometimes so much that he'll try to steal Martin's napkin before Martin is done with it. (Yep, Martin is always the last one eating)
Sometimes Jonathan's enthusiasm goes overboard and he tries to take over Aaron's job. The other night, he did his own job and then ran back to the table and started to grab silverware. . .and then ran back into the kitchen to put the silverware away. He then went back to the table for another fork . . . and this time . . . thankfully, I was able to see exactly where he was putting "away" the silverware. I had mistakenly assumed that he was putting it in the dishwasher . . . oh no . . . that would just be too predictable for Jonathan, now wouldn't it? No, Jonathan was putting the dirty silverware back in the silverware drawer. He sees it come out of there everyday, so why wouldn't it need to go back in there when we were done with it? Sounds perfectly logical, doesn't it?

Well, Jonathan now knows where to put silverware after we use it. But we are certain that we are going to keep Aaron on the silverware job for the time being.
(Jonathan had just thrown the napkins in the washer when I snapped this picture! I suppose it's a good thing that he puts our dirty napkins in the washer . . . and not back in the napkin drawer!!)

Friday, May 29, 2009

Hawaiian Outfits

My dad goes to Hawaii every once in a while on business. (I know . . . tough job, but someone has to do it!) Usually my mom goes with him, but this last time he went, I needed my mom with me because I was about to have a baby! :)

Dad came home with Hawaiian outfits for all the grandchildren!! Martin and Aaron love their little outfits and have worn them a ton. Almost everyday since March, I have asked Jonathan if he'd like to wear his. And I don't know . . . maybe it's because I suggested it . . . or maybe the clouds weren't lined up just right . . . but he always says no.
Today, Martin and Aaron came running downstairs in their Hawaiian outfits, so I took another shot at it, and asked him if he'd like to wear his. Sure enough . . . he said yes, so I got him dressed in his outfit . . . and since I had 3 little Hawaiian boys running around downstairs, I had no choice but to put Rosalie in her Hawaiian dress. Picture time!!! Finally all 4 of the Holland children in their Hawaiian attire!!! And it only took about 3 months!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Planting a VERY small garden

Rich planted a small garden a couple days ago. I must emphasize the word small. He planted a couple tomato plants, green peppers, and zuccini. We hope to have a very large garden some day . . . maybe when our children aren't as small. But for now, the children are very excited about our plants that are growing out in front of our house.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Jonathan Potty Update #3

I realized this time around that when enough time passes, you forget how you potty trained your last one. When I started potty training Jonathan a couple weeks ago, I felt as though it was my first time, even though it was actually my 3rd time. In many ways, I think this is a good thing. Jonathan is completely different than my other two, so how much could I really benefit from remembering how I did it with Aaron?

Anyway, Jonathan is completly potty trained now. Well, maybe not completely. He is night trained and day trained for both #1 and #2. It didn't take long to train him. It could probably be argued that it took longer with Jonathan than my other two. However, by the end of that first week, he was 100% out of diapers. (By day 4 he was sleeping in underwear at night)

The hardest part for Jonathan was going #2 on the potty. I did make him a sticker chart for going #1 (with paw print stickers), and a chart for going #2 (batman stickers) He responded well to the chart, but honestly, it seemed to me that he only cared about the chart because his brothers made it a big deal. He seemed to be the most motivated by not making a mess in his pants. He did that a couple times, and it disgusted him to the point of tears. And he didn't want to do that again. Once he went the first time in the potty, he was good to go. . . and never turned back.

So, why do I NOT consider him fully potty trained, if he's doing both consistently, not having accidents, and night trained as well???

Because he still requires my assistance to help him get his pants up and down. (even if he could do it himself . . .his stubborn little self wants my attention and wants me there with him everytime). And he won't use the big potty yet. He only wants to use his little potty.

Those two things will work themselves out, so I am not too concerned. HEY, I am not changing his diapers anymore!!! WOOHOO!!! Okay, so I am not changing his diapers, I am still changing diapers!! LOL

Admittedly, I do look forward to him being able to take care of it all himself!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A typical conversation with Aaron . . .

We had an interesting conversation with Aaron tonight at dinner. (I call it typical, because these types of conversations with Aaron are common)

Aaron: I want to stand next to mommy.
Daddy: Why do you want to stand next to mommy?
Aaron: Well, because I love her.
Daddy: Really? Well, do you love Martin?
Aaron: Yes
Daddy: Do you love Jonathan?
Aaron: Well, yes!
Daddy: Do you love Rosalie?
Aaron: Yes!
Daddy: Do you love me?
Aaron: Yes.
Daddy: Well, then why do you want to stand by just mommy?
Aaron: Well, it's because I love mommy the most!!

The honesty of a child. . .

Controversial. . .

I know this topic is a controversial one, but I've been thinking alot about it lately, and thought I'd share.
I have an 8 year old niece, named Lauren. Lauren is autistic. She is beautiful. She is sweet and caring. She is smart. She can talk and she can understand many things. She has been throwing tantrums since she could walk. You might imagine, having ever dealt with a tantrum, how tiring it must be for my sister and her husband to deal with this on a daily basis. Jonathan is my third son, but my first to throw tantrums. I can tell you that it wears me out. . . and I struggle with keeping my cool when he breaks out into tantrum mode.
Interestingly enough, Lauren is one of the many children in the United States of America that has been permanently injured by a vaccine. In her case, it is most certain that it was the DTaP vaccine that began her downward spiral. It was given to her at 2 months old for the first time, after which she had a pretty typical vaccine reaction. There was a slight fever and some swelling at the injection site. Both of those reactions are typical. However, she also had a reaction that was less typical. Following the vaccine, she slept for 15 hours straight without waking. . . and she went over 8 days without a bowel movement. My sister didn't know it at the time, but this was indicitive of a bad reaction to that vaccine. The DTaP was repeated at 4, 6, and 18 months old. She was showing signs of autistic behavior at 18 months, but at that time they didn't realize it. They thought that she was just slow in developing expressive skills.
I became pregnant with my first child when Lauren was only a couple months old. Being the researchers that my husband and I are, we started researching the vaccines. We had friends that alerted us to the topic and suggested that we research before having our baby vaccinated. Rich started the research process and immediately found information on how several vaccines are cultured by using human diploid cells from an aborted fetus. We immediately decided that we would not agree to any of the vaccines that contain human diploid cells. We knew that we did not want to benefit from something that we so adamantly oppose.

"The following vaccines are grown on aborted fetal tissue - rabies, some mumps, rubella, chickenpox, hepatitis a, smallpox (some), ipv. One of the single measles vaccines is further attenuated in diploid cells
This can be seen in the package inserts - referred to as diploid cells"
( )

So, at first we looked for an alternative to those vaccines. We weren't sure yet that we didn't want to vaccinate, so we searched for vaccines that did not use those cells. But the more that we researched, and the more time that I spent researching each of the ingredients in the vaccines, the more I knew that we could not vaccinate our children. All of that happened without even knowing that a vaccine is what caused Lauren's autism. Many will be skeptical that vaccines cause autism. After all, the CDC says that vaccines DO NOT cause autism. I won't speak to that. I have spent hours upon hours of my spare time researching vaccines down to the individual ingredients in each of the vaccines. . . and the side effects . . . of not only the vaccine as a whole, but also possible side effects of each individual ingredient. A bit much??? Maybe, but I make it a point to know as much as I can about everything that goes into my children's bodies. (including the food that they eat)
When I started researching the side effects of each of the ingredients of the DTaP vaccine . . . I slowly became sick to my stomach. It seemed as if they were describing what Lauren had experienced. She was tested at about 2 1/2 years old by a doctor in Richmond, VA who specialized in childhood autism. They took many viles of blood and a hair sample down to her very roots. They actually confirmed that they believed (based on what was present in her blood sample and her hair sample) that it was the DTaP that caused her adverse reaction.

Before I have too many readers getting upset with me, I will say that I am not suggesting that you choose not to vaccinate your children. I advocate, to any parent, that you do your research. Don't choose to vaccinate because you trust your doctor. Why would your doctor suggest that you vaccinate if it isn't safe, you might wonder? I can assure you that most pediatricians don't have time in their lives to research every vaccine down to the individual ingredient. And besides, they don't have the vested interest in your child that you do. The pediatricians also get paychecks from the pharmaceutical companies who are peddling the vaccines. Bottom line??? Choose to vaccinate your child because you have researched it and believe it to be the best decision for your family. . . not because the pediatrician thinks that you should. I suggest that if you do vaccinate, that you do NOT follow the schedule that the AAP suggests. Delay the vaccines if possible, and then follow your own schedule, getting only 1 or 2 injections at a time. I'd also suggest that you carefully read the insert that comes with the vaccine. Make certain that the vaccine does NOT contain thimerasol.
In the past 20 years, in this country, we have not seen too many cases of the childhood diseases that you and I probably had at one time or another. (measles, mumps, chicken pox, whooping cough, etc.) However, in the past 20 years, we have seen a rise in chronic conditions. So, I am just wondering if we are trading a week of the measles or chicken pox for a lifetime of a chronic disease, like autism - among many others.

"Fisher concludes, "I've always argued that public health is not measured only by an absence of infectious disease. It also is measured by the absence of chronic disease. By that score we get a big fat 'F.' So we don't have measles and mumps, but look what we have now. " ( )

The link I provided to the article is about taking mercury out of the vaccines, which I do believe to be a good thing, however, mercury is just one of the many toxins in vaccines that should be eliminated.

I am not sure who will be reading this post, but I do want to answer a question that some of you may be thinking. "Are you afraid that your children will get one of these childhood diseases?"

Stay tuned . . . I'll answer that question soon! :)

Monday, May 25, 2009

Pre-Game Skate - HOCKEY!!!

Thanks to the Julie Brown we discovered the Pre-game Skate for the Carolina Hurricanes!!! My daily blog reading has come in handy!! I read on her blog that they had attended a pregame skate . . . and had to find out how we could do that too.

Rich is an avid Hockey fan. Specifically, he is a Pittsburgh Penguins Hockey fan. Thanks to Rosalie Konecheck, otherwise known as Grammy, Rich has been following the Penguins since about 1991. His grandmother, taught him the game of Hockey . . . and there was no going back. He was hooked. Rich is from Pittsburgh, so he will forever be, a Pittsburgh fan.

Our boys are well aware of Rich's love (and obsession) with Hockey, so they were super excited to go to the arena to see the players practice! (Our baby Rosalie was there too, she was just not available for picture taking. . . she was in my arms under the blanket) Carolina and Pittsburgh are playing each other for the Eastern Conference Title. (I probably said that wrong) They are about to play game 4, and the winner of this series will play for the Stanley Cup. Sadly, we didn't get to see Pittsburgh practice, but it was so exciting to be up close to the ice and see the hockey players in action.
Aaron has declared that he wants to be a hockey player. Martin enjoyed watching the practice and said confidently, "there were HUNDREDS of pucks on the ice. . .were there(with less confidence)?" And Jonathan . . . well what can I say? If any of my boys are tough enough to play Hockey, it would have to be Jonathan!

Fun little field trip for the Holland family!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Sunday Inspiration

Psalm 51
1 Have mercy upon me, O God, According to Your lovingkindness; According to the multitude of Your tender mercies, Blot out my transgressions.
2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, And cleanse me from my sin.
3 For I acknowledge my transgressions, And my sin is always before me.
4 Against You, You only, have I sinned, And done this evil in Your sight—That You may be found just when You speak, And blameless when You judge.
5 Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, And in sin my mother conceived me.
6 Behold, You desire truth in the inward parts, And in the hidden part You will make me to know wisdom.
7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
8 Make me hear joy and gladness, That the bones You have broken may rejoice.
9 Hide Your face from my sins, And blot out all my iniquities.
10 Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me.
11 Do not cast me away from Your presence, And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, And uphold me by Your generous Spirit.
13 Then I will teach transgressors Your ways, And sinners shall be converted to You.
14 Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God, The God of my salvation, And my tongue shall sing aloud of Your righteousness.
15 O Lord, open my lips, And my mouth shall show forth Your praise.
16 For You do not desire sacrifice, or else I would give it; You do not delight in burnt offering.
17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, A broken and a contrite heart- These, O God, You will not despise.
18 Do good in Your good pleasure to Zion; Build the walls of Jerusalem.
19 Then You shall be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness, With burnt offering and whole burnt offering; Then they shall offer bulls on Your altar.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Bike Riding

Today was an exciting day for Aaron. He learned to ride a 2 wheeled bike. NO TRAINING WHEELS!!! I was so excited for him! What a huge accomplishment for him. He has been riding his two wheeled scooter like a pro for several months now, so I knew that he would be able to handle a 2 wheeled bike. I was just waiting for him to be confident enough to try it. He asked me to remove the training wheels, and I did. And I got him started, and off he went. He had it down immediately! I ran inside for the camera so we could remember this day! Here he is riding his two wheeled bike! (I think it may be time for a new one . . . he's about outgrown this one!)

He is so proud!

He can't get that smile off his face . . .and was still smiling about it when he went to bed!

Here is Martin in action . . . he was a very proud big brother! He was genuinely excited for Aaron's accomplishment. Martin loves riding his bicycle and has passed that enthusiasm down to his little brothers!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Singing to my baby

Rosalie is 3 1/2 months old now and taking several naps each day. It has been my tradition to rock and sing to all of my babies before laying them down for naps, and Rosalie is no exception. It has gotten harder and harder with each one to have that private moment, since there is always someone needing me somewhere else. However, I treasure any moment I can get just rocking and singing to my sweet baby.
Those who know me, already know that I love to sing. I have been singing since before I could talk, or at least that is how my parents have always said it. It just so happens that I have a Bachelor's degree in vocal music, and spent my younger years traveling and singing in churches all over the United States (even Alaska), as well as the Bahamas, Bermuda, Holland, Germany, Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. I have had amazing opportunities to sing and took full advantage of those opportunities. Once I graduated from college, I was a choral director, and spent my time teaching others how to sing.
You may be wondering if I am going to drive home a point, or if I am just tooting my own horn, so to speak. My point is that I've had a great deal of experience singing in many different venues all over the world. BUT nothing compares to the tender moments that I have shared with my babies, sitting in my rocking chair and singing to them songs of worship to the Lord. I don't know what their memories will be of those special times, but they are memories that I wouldn't trade for anything in the world.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Reading Time

Reading Time has become one of my most favorite times of each day. I have been homeschooling now for 3 years. I think that I am finally figuring out my style, although it seems to have taken forever. I have finally found a curriculum that I hope that I will love.

It is a largely literature based curriculum. . . and is also biblically based. There will be lots of hands on learning and lots of read aloud time. I will be starting Aaron in Kindergarten in the fall with this curriculum and Martin will be doing a little bit of 2nd grade and a little bit of 3rd. (depending on which subject)

In anticipating all of the read alouds we will be doing this fall, I have started doing read alouds during Jonathan's nap time each day. It has become a treasured time for Martin and Aaron. Admittedly, it has become a treasured time for me too.

We started a couple weeks ago with an old book by Beverly Cleary called Runaway Mouse. The book is literally old, with yellowing pages that are falling out of the book. It was a book I had and read as a youngster. Mom saved many of the books that I read all those years ago, and I am now reading them to my own children. Well, both Martin and Aaron were completely hooked after I read the first chapter. We'd curl up on the couch each day and I would read to them a chapter. We'd talk about what we read and in the midst of reading we'd talk about words that they'd never heard before, therefore adding to their vocabulary. This is the best book club I've ever experienced!

We finished Runaway Mouse yesterday. (There are 3 books in this series, and Runaway Ralph is the 2nd of the series) I didn't realize it, but I had the 3rd one already sitting on our school bookshelf. When I was looking for the next book for us to read, I saw Ralph S. Mouse sitting there on the shelf!! I showed it to the boys, and you would have thought it was their birthday! They were so excited that we'd be able to start that book the next day!

This morning when Aaron got up, he ran straight for the bookshelf and pulled Ralph S. Mouse off the bookshelf and started begging me to read it. Too bad he had to wait several more hours before we could open the pages!

If this is any indication of how are new approach to schooling will be, I CAN'T WAIT!!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Daily Schedule

Here is a little glimpse into our daily schedule.

6-7 AM - wake up time
7-8 AM - breakfast - usually a hot cooked breakfast per our daily breakfast schedule
8:00-8:30 AM - Coffee with Rich (best time of the day!)
8:30-9:15 AM - Get dressed and morning chores (mostly mine) laundry, beds (everyone participates in this one, except Rich), cleaning the bathroom(s)
9:15 - 11:30 AM - Work/School/playtime (depending on the person)
11:30 AM - 12 PM - Lunch
12:00PM - Jonathan naps/Rosalie naps depending on what kind of schedule she's on for the day
12:30 PM- Reading Time with Martin and Aaron
1:00 PM - P.E. Exercize time for me and the older two boys
2:00 PM - Jonathan usually wakes up and they get to watch a show.
2:30 - 5:00 PM - outside play time/inside play time/more chore time for mommy
5:00 - 6:30 PM - Dinner/Clean up time (everyone has specific chores, even Jonathan)
6:30 - 7:30 PM - Play/baths/pajamas/snacks
7:30 PM - Bedtime for Aaron and Jonathan - prayers and songs
7:45 PM - Bedtime for Rosalie
7:30-8:05 PM - Webkinz time for Martin
8:05 - 8:20(or so) PM - talking and praying time with Martin
8:30 PM - unload dishwasher - fold clothes - any undone chores of the day
9:00 PM - I get to sit down and relax for the first time! (not including nursing the baby throughout the day!)

This is probably a fairly uninteresting post for all reading. It is more to serve as a reminder to me what my days are like in this stage of my life. :) Obviously things change depending on the day, but this is an example of what most our days look like. On Fridays we have Co-op in the afternoons, so Fridays look a bit different. And when we have to run errands, we adjust.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Anyone tired of potty updates yet?

I always have lots going on around me at once. I am sure you can imagine that with 4 children life can be pretty crazy. My youngest is only 3 months old, and is nursing lots during the daytime. My second youngest is potty training, and that can be extremely high maintenance. I am homeschooling my oldest. My second son is my only non-high maintenance one at this point.

So, the update on Jonathan is a pretty good one. He's completely daytime and nighttime "pee" trained. He is underwear 100% of the time now. Last week I dealt with his iron will and we literally were taking hundreds of trips to the potty for him to just sit there for 1 second and say "all done". Lots of pee-pee dances, and eventually a successful pee in the potty.
NO MORE OF THAT (for pee-pee, anyway). Now, everytime he has to pee he goes to his potty, and pees right away. No more doing the pee-pee dance. He's got it down.
Now on to the #2 issue. Now when he has to go #2 . . . we make hundreds of trips to the potty, and he sits for about 2 seconds (hey that's progress, right), and he gets up and says "all done". Then he dances around, makes more trips, and eventually goes in his underwear. At which point, I am so thankful that it came out, I could care less that it's in his pants. Honestly, the trips to the potty are wearing me down. JUST GO ALREADY! Go somewhere . . . go in the potty, go in your pants, JUST GO!
No, I am not frustrated at all! LOL
We have made a great deal of progress in the last week. He doesn't wear diapers anymore! That means I don't have to spend anymore precious dollars on those paper diapers that we just use once and then throw away!!! WOOHOO! He is completely #1 trained. He even woke up last night at 10:30 PM, and told me he had to pee in his potty!! YAY!!! So, he went immediately, then went back to bed. No accidents. I am so thankful for the progress that we've made. I am tossing around, offering a reward for going #2 in his potty. Real chocolate, for instance. The ghiardelli real chocolate chips . . . are a huge treat to my children, since we don't do the candy thing.
I've never done that before with potty training, but willing to try it. I'll let you know if I resort to that. I hesitate on several levels. Generally, I just wonder if it's a good idea to offer rewards like that for something that he just has to do in order to survive in life. There are many things that I require of my children on a daily basis that they have to do just in order to be a functioning member of this family. They don't get rewards for doing it. It's just expected of them. But I keep thinking that if it would speed up the process . . . I am all for not cleaning up poopy pants!
I'll let you know what I decide. And of course, before I do anything, Rich would have to approve of the method, and I have a feeling that he's not going to want to go that route.

Friday, May 15, 2009

A Jonathan Potty update

I started potty training Jonathan on Monday morning. In my previous post, I mentioned that Jonathan is particularly difficult and strong willed. I could have waited longer like I did with Martin, but I pretty much knew that it was going to be difficult to potty train him whether I did it this week or waited another 6 months.
Many of you also know, that I cloth diaper my babies, and that I make all the diapers myself. It just so happened that in the month that Rosalie was born, Jonathan outgrew all of the size large diapers that I had made. You can imagine that with 4 children, and especially a newborn, I did not have time to sew another set of bigger diapers.
So, Jonathan has been wearing disposable diapers since Rosalie was born. Okay . . . I have been cloth diapering for over 4 years straight with one child or another, so I have huge issues with having to spend money on paper diapers that are extremely smelly from all the chemicals, that create far too much waste for our landfills, and that I have to throw away after just one use. However, we had 2 major life changes in the last 4 months. First, we had a baby, thus pushing Jonathan out of his baby status, and second we moved. So, as much as I wanted to dive into potty training, I knew that I had to get through those two things before I could get him out of diapers. So, once we had a couple of weeks in the new place and he seemed to be adjusted quite well . . . we made the plunge.
So, Monday was pretty frustrating. I put him in underwear straight away. It's my opinion that pull ups do more to confuse the matter than help. So, I put him in underwear and we were on our way. He is very stubborn, so we had some accidents as I expected. Accidents actually help them to learn. I have put all three of my boys straight into underwear and I have noticed that they were able to learn their body cues better and it was a pretty quick process.
We managed to get through Monday, though without too many tears. I put him in a diaper for naps and night time. I understand the benefit of putting them in underwear for naps and nighttime too, and I know that people have much success with that. I just don't have the nerve to do it! I really don't want their sleep interrupted. So, Tuesday morning comes, and Jonathan woke up happy. When I told him it was time to get dressed, he was still happy. When I pulled out the underwear, he freaked out. He threw a tantrum, but we managed to get the underwear on anyway. Once it was on, he paraded around showing everyone his underwear. Hmmm . . .so what was the tantrum all about anyway?
He had a couple of accidents and a couple of successes. I decided to put him down for his nap in underwear. He woke up dry, and even went #1 in the potty when he woke up. So, I am thinking, wow, this is going really well! Then the rest of the afternoon was spent going to the potty hundreds of times it seems, for him to sit on the potty for 1 second(no exaggeration), and then get up and say "all done". He seriously held it for hours - about 5 hours to be exact. So, there were lots of trips to the potty and lots of dancing around holding it, but no release! Yikes! We discovered at some point during this process that he had a splinter, or what we thought was a splinter, in his hand. So, Rich went to work on it, and he was so traumatized by it that he release came and the floodgates opened! I was so relieved that he finally went that I could care less that it happened to be all over the floor!
After that I put him to bed, in a diaper, and he slept off the trauma of the day.
Wednesday morning comes. He wakes up happy and happily puts underwear on for the day. His diaper was slightly wet. It was not full or even nearly full. We take lots of trips to the potty and no success. He dances around holding it. He finally goes at some point, but to be honest, I have no idea if it was on the potty or an accident. . . or a little of both. I remember it being a very stressful morning, however. I put him down for a nap, and he wakes up from his nap dry and spends the afternoon much the same way, dancing around and holding it.
I am now convinced that he is completely ready to be potty trained. He COMPLETELY understands his body cues, has no trouble holding it, but has no desire to give me the satisfaction of going on the potty. We manage to get through this day, somehow. Some successes came and we did a lot of praising.
Thursday morning was hairy at best. Jonathan got his underwear on without a fuss, and he started being difficult about something completely unrelated to potty training. (I think he wasn't happy about his breakfast) I knew he had to go #1 because he'd been up for almost an hour and hadn't gone yet. But he was throwing a tantrum over breakfast and needed to be disciplined, so I disciplined him and the floodgates opened on the kitchen floor. Whew! At least he went!
A little later, he was being disrespectful toward me, so I disciplined him again(unrelated to potty training, but we happened to be in the bathroom at the time), and during the disciplining, he started peeing, so I put him on the potty quickly where he finished! YAY!
He went down for a nap, woke up dry. (The boy has an iron bladder! It matches his will!) About 45 minutes after, he woke up from nap, he told me he had to go, and he went. That's right! It was that easy. He didn't just sit there for 1 second and get up. He sat down and stayed there, and he went. I was so encouraged! Then we spent then next 4 hours going to the potty and not doing anything. More dancing around and more holding it. But finally after our family walk, he came inside and he went! YAY!
Bedtime came, and I still used a diaper for him. He woke up this morning dry as a bone! So, we took off the diaper put on the underwear and I waited for him to tell me he had to go. And we made several trips with no successes, and finally success!!! He went. Then about an hour and half later he went again!
What a week! Depending on how today goes, I am considering putting him in underwear tonight. My plan was to wait on night time training until he showed full signs of submitting to daytime training. So, I still might wait a few days before I try nighttime. We'll see. If you managed to make it this far, thanks for reading.
Admittedly, I have had moments this week (several of them), that I allowed my frustration to get the best of me. I've never had a child like Jonathan, who is so stubborn and strong willed. I just pray that we can control that strong will in such a way that it will turn out to be his greatest asset. May God bless my sweet Jonathan!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Potty Training for the first time . . . I mean 3rd time!

Well, the time has come for Jonathan to be potty trained. In case you havn't been following my blog, Jonathan is my very intense strong willed child. I have potty trained my 2 older boys and it was very easy. Martin was completely trained in a matter of a few days. It was so easy, that I didn't think it could get an easier than that. But it was even easier with Aaron. With Aaron, I pretty much just told him we were done with diapers and he had to be potty trained . . . and he was! Piece of cake.
Jonathan is, as usual, a whole different ball game. So, here we go. The adventure begins. I do hope to report good things in a few days. But I don't anticipate it being easy with Jonathan. Nothing ever is! LOL

This iron strong will of his is going to be an asset to him as he grows older, but it sure is hard for his momma right now!

Monday, May 11, 2009

So fun to have a girl!

So, I dream of having a gentle, quiet, sweet, mommy pleasing girly little girl. Silly, I know! What are the odds that I will have all that from a girl that has 3 big brothers! I can dream, can't I?

Everytime I put a new outfit on her, I feel the need to pull out the camera and take a picture of her in it. And of course, I parade her around and make everyone tell me how adorable she is. I know, I know . . . I am creating a little monster that will most definitely have "princess syndrome". I'll just try to get it all out of my system before she really knows what is happening

And of course, I have to share a few pictures of my "princess".

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Sunday Inspiration

Proverbs 31:30
Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.

I am overwhelmed at the words of Proverbs 31. I have many moments when I feel completely inadequate as a wife and a mom. I see clearly the areas that I need to improve and yet another day goes by and no improvement is made.

I hear my children grumble daily about this or that, and repeat myself by telling them "do everything without complaining". Then not five minutes later I catch myself grumbling about this or that. Hmmmm . . . do I ever need to wonder where they learn to complain?

I am humbled to now be raising a daughter. Somehow the stakes seem even higher now. I know they aren't really higher. But I do hope to raise my sweet girl to be a wife and a mother who serves her family with joy and delight . . .and without complaining! It's such a privilege and joy to be a mother, and I know that I cannot be thankful enough for all that God has given me.

Happy Mother's Day to all!! I wish you the best!

Friday, May 8, 2009

And he still sings. . .

A very tired mommy at the end of what seemed to be a neverending day marched up the stairs with a couple of her sons to put them to bed. Aaron and Jonathan share a room and go to bed at the same time. Martin has a somewhat later bedtime, and was finishing up in the shower at the time. Rosalie was with Daddy. I sat on Aaron's bed to pray with my 2 younger boys, and listened intently as Aaron prayed for God to change the age on a class that he wanted to take and as Jonathan prayed for his train to come down the tracks. Then I asked each boy for their choice of bedtime songs for us to sing. They chose the same two songs we always sing. We start singing Aaron's song and it goes off without a hitch. Then we start in on Jonathan's song . . . and from behind me I hear the sweet voice of a newly 7 year old singing that familiar song that we've been singing since he was a tiny baby in my arms. Yes, that's right. He was singing songs with us.

I guess he's not too old to sing bedtime songs afterall! :)

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Aaron and Elephants

While looking over my posts over the last few days, I realized that I had left Aaron out.

So, today I am going to talk a little about Aaron, my 2nd son.

Aaron turned 4 in December. He's such a sweet little boy.

He is the best of friends with older brother Martin.

He did Awana Cubbies this past year for the first year and it quickly became his most favorite thing to do . . . EVER!

His favorite part was playing Bible Storytime with Ms. Tara.

Aaron will be starting Kindergarten in the fall.

It's not uncommon for me to overhear Aaron explaining things to older brother Martin.

He recently started wearing glasses.

Aaron is very attached to his new sister Rosalie.

Oh . . . and just so my post makes sense. . .Aaron loves elephants! LOL

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Jonathan is all boy . . . and then some!

I have had people look at me with sympathy in their eyes when I tell them that I have 3 boys. That's right. I am not kidding. I never understood it either. . .

. . .until Jonathan began to exercize his boyhood. . .

Jonathan is wild, crazy, energetic, dare devilish, tough, and so much more. He has enough energy for all 3 of my boys put together. So, I suppose I can understand those sympathetic looks if those people who gave me the looks were thinking I had 3 like Jonathan! I think the Holland family can only handle one like Jonathan, so it's a good thing the other two are a little more mild mannered.

Anyway, I just thought I'd share pictures of my "all boy" Jonathan(complete with dirt smeared all over his face). He's a joy!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


Rosalie is an enormously sweet baby. She is so easy going. I have said many times that she is an example of God's Grace and Mercy on my life right now. With 3 very busy and active boys, it's so nice to have an easy baby thrown into the mix.

I spent over 3 years between Aaron and Jonathan not sleeping more than 2-3 hours in a row. That's right . . .I am not kidding. Aaron and Jonathan both were terrible sleepers. Aaron was almost 2 before he slept the night through, and Jonathan was about 15 months . . . so add that up and it's more than 3 years in a row for me. I was so sleep deprived!

Rosalie was 3 months old yesterday, and is already sleeping all night!!! I have no explanation because I haven't done anything different with her than I did with my boys. She just loves her sleep. I hope that she keeps this sleeping pattern up, but at least I know from experience that if she doesn't . . . I will most certainly survive!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Celebrating Martin's Birthday

He got up early Saturday morning and went out with daddy for the morning. When he got home, his presents were all wrapped and sitting on our dining room table. So, he went ahead and opened them all up. (Thanks nanny and pupup for the fun gifts ... he especially loves his amazing spiderman pajamas . . . and doesn't prefer to get dressed in the mornings!!) The rest of the afternoon the children played. I made the dinner meal that he chose. (Plain rotini pasta - not very exciting - but his choice) Then we had cake and ice cream complete with 7 candles.
When I put everyone to bed that night, he told me that he was too old for singing bedtime songs. So, he just waited quietly on his bed for me to come and pray with him. I wonder if he'll change his mind about the songs?

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Sunday Inspiration

Serve your husband with joy. Spend some time this week trying to understand your husband on a deeper level. Look for ways to serve him and bless him. When things get stressful for him, figure out a way that you can help to ease his stress. Pray for him. Be thankful for him. Submit to him. Respect your husband and let him lead your family. Give him the respect he should be given just because God chose him as the leader of your family. Submit to him as the leader of your family. God will bless your obedience!

Don't spend even a second of your time worrying about how your husband treats you. Focus only on how you treat him. Treat him the way you want to be treated and do so with joy in your heart.

If you married him, he must be wonderful!!! Treat him like the wonderful man that he is!

And at the end of this week, do it again next week. :)

Saturday, May 2, 2009

My new gas stove

In our new place we have a gas stove. Most people who know me . . . know that I spend a lot of time in the kitchen. I used to watch lots of cooking shows in the days before homeschooling and 4 children. . . so, I always knew that all the "pros" used gas cooktops and ovens. And I figured that if the "pros" used them, they must be superior in some way.

I'll admit to being intimidated by the cooktop when we first moved in to this place. In fact, Rich used the stove several times before I did. I paid close attention to the method and finally took the plunge. . . and used my new stove. WOW!! I am stunned at the difference. I am sure that my family is bored of me rambling on and on about how amazing my new stove is. So, I figured I'd blog about it and bore the cyber world about it.

I'll start with my bread. I was so worried that I would have to spend months tweaking my bread recipe to get a decent loaf of bread here in my new environment. But my bread is so much better baked in my gas oven. It has a lighter color to it and is much "fluffier" and moist. What a difference! And we are enjoying it so much!

After dinner last night, Rich even said that my new gas cooktop was making me a better cook! LOL In case I've never shared this with you before . . .Rich is actually the one who taught me how to cook. And he still steps in the kitchen every now and then to give me cooking tips. Since he's taught me so much about cooking, I do listen to his tips and appreciate them very much!

So, now I simply hope that I will never have to return to an electric range. After 1 week of cooking on a gas range, it's all I can ever imagine having!

Friday, May 1, 2009

My baby is 7!!!

Martin is going to be 7 tomorrow. Why is it that 7 sounds so much older than 6? Martin was born May 2, 2002. I am so thankful for the little man that he is becoming. He is a wonderful big brother who loves his brothers and sister so very much.

I can't believe that he's already 7. I thank the Lord daily for my children and only hope that I can shape their characters and lead them to a lifetime of full devotion to our Lord and Savior. What a blessing our children are. My sweet Martin is such a blessing to me!

Here I am in labor:

Here he is as a newborn:

At not quite 1:

At 2:

At 3:

At 4:

At 5:

At 6:

Here he is today: