oh the sounds of family

it's now quiet. about 2 minutes ago when i finished tucking in my kids for bed they were all crying. (except for rachel, she was already asleep) the story goes something like this . . .

all three girls took a nap this afternoon so we knew they weren't going to be ready to sleep at their normal 8.30 pm bedtime. so at 8 o'clock i took anna, julia and rachel to the store for some milk and snacks. meanwhile deb and danielle stayed home to make popcorn balls and cookies (w/walnuts for me).

anyways we got home about 9.45 pm and now it was definitely bedtime. julia went to bed crying because she was just tired and didn't want to go to bed (normal stuff). danielle was crying because she was in her pajamas already and on the computer when her mom asked her to go to bed. i was putting away groceries. deb was talking to anna (story coming below) and then had to pause again to tell danielle a second time to go to the bathroom and go to bed. after about 3 more of these interchanges i came over to danielle with a 'spanking spoon' and gave her little bottom (which was sticking up in the air) a little swat, told her she had gotten a spanking for not obeying her mother, and told her to obey what her mother had told her. so she went crying to the bathroom and then to bed. i went and consoled her (we always comfort our kids after a spanking to let them know that we still love them and to make sure they understand that the spanking was a consequence to an action on their part, and not out of anger on our part). but nonetheless she was still crying and wanted her mom (the one she was disobeying in the first place but not the one who had given her the spanking -- on a side note: "that's one of many reasons why it's nice to have two parent homes")

so the reason anna was crying was because i went into her room to debrief (some more) on what happened at the store. well it finally happened. i knew this day would come for one and/or all my kids, and today was anna's day. i caught anna in the process of stealing a candy, and lying to me about it when i first asked her. (not that every kid steals candy from a store - but every kid comes to a point where they've done something major-ly wrong which left unchecked will not only make them a 'not nice person' but could land them in jail)

it was from one of those 'bulk candy' bins and after confronting her, i also had her apologize to the cashier. as we were leaving the store i also told her she'd have to come home and tell her mother what she had done. -- (btw, the danielle and julia have started crying again) -- well that process in itself was long and drawn out because she was afraid that her mom would get mad at her. but deborah handled it very well and used it as a time of instruction. so anyways, i was coming into her bedroom to reassure her once more that we loved her and that she understand that it's not okay to steal things from anyone ever. and just the thought of her feeling like she had lost the approval of her parents was too much for her and was what caused her to cry.
:: to my kids ::
rachel, we love you and we're loving getting to know more every day this new little person that God has brought into our lives.

julia, we love you and know what's best for you at this time in your life (a full night's sleep for your body to grow and be healthy). our desire is that we're teaching you to trust us.

danielle, we love you and are trying to develop good character within you. as such, being able to be under God given authority (of your parents, in this case) is necessary in order to ever be in a position of authority yourself.

anna, we love you and want you to know there is nothing that you can do that will make you stop being our child. your life will have many more choices of right and wrong, we pray even when we are not around you will choose the right thing.


// today i'm thankful for:
1. my family
2. the 'envelope system'
3. teachable moments
4. understanding cashiers
5. a wife who loves me!
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