Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired

So far in 2011 I’ve already taken three sick days. What in the world? Desi has been laid out twice with a stomach bug and now the flu. I had a sinus infection and stomach bug. Abbie’s had pretty much all of the above. We’re kinda worn out right now. We need to rest up and heal up.
Except the boys. They are raring to go every day all day. They’re like little fun bombs ready to go off at any moment – totally great when you’re ready for it, but not so much when you can’t lift your head off the pillow. Thankfully, Desi and I haven’t been sick yet at the same time, so we’ve been able to cover for each other although I’m starting to wonder how long that’s going to last.
2011 has gotten off to a bit of a rocky start for BrownTown. However, here’s the good news – none of us are really sick – just annoying sick. We’ve got plenty to eat and money to get more when we need it. Clean water flows right into our house when we want it to, and doesn’t when we don’t. We can sit at breakfast and read the Bible together. We’ve even got great friends who dropped off tasty soup to help with the healing process. All in all, I wouldn’t order this up, but I’ll take it. God’s been unbelievably good to BrownTown. We’re thankful.

Not That I’m Keeping Count

This past week we’ve had one busted eyebrow, one busted lip and a broken lid to a toilet tank. Not that I’m keeping count! Looking forward to what crazy things will be possible with 4 boys. Wondering if we can purchase a padded rubber house.

Watermark Baptism Photos

[flickr-gallery mode=”photoset” photoset=”72157624143673520″]

Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center

If you’re in the Dallas area and looking for something a little out of the ordinary on the weekend, check out the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center in Athens.  It’s about 90 minutes from Dallas and well worth the trip.  Your kids will love all the fish exhibits and the alligators, plus they can go fishing in a pond where they are almost guaranteed to catch fish. The price of admission is low – about $5 for adults and $3.50 for kids, I think, and there’s a lot to do.  Pack a picnic and drive over there one Saturday, it’s really fun.

When you go, make sure you get there in time for one of the Dive Tank Shows.  It’s informative and kind of neat.  Our kids got a big kick out of seeing the man in the fish tank.  Great times.

SURRENDER

Sleep does not come easy in Brown Town. My children have learned from the Master of all Sleep Fighters on how to dodge getting sleep at all costs. Although I know I do this myself, it’s hard watching them avoid rest when they are so exhausted they are miserable. This past Monday, Paul climbed up on the couch and surrendered to what his body so desperately needed, sleep. He didn’t fight it, he just surrendered.

I used to joke that the reason God has blessed us with children back to back was to bring me to my knees. Well, the joke is over, that’s exactly what He has done. God has Given me four amazing blessings and He’s using them to teach me to surrender. Just like Paul laid down and was quiet and still enough to surrender to sleep, God wants me to surrender.

Up until this point I could do this kid thing on my own. I could even continue to do this thing on my own. While talking to a sweet friend at the park today though, I realized that the past couple months I’ve just been surviving. Some days have been better than others but it all goes back to just surviving. I could probably do this for another kid or two but why? God doesn’t want our family to simply survive. He wants us to thrive!

I keep thinking that if I cut just the right thing out of my schedule then everything will magically fall into place. I know I could use some more wiggle room in my weekly schedule but this is not the magic pill. I need to just give it up and surrender to God. Admit that I can’t do this alone. This for so long has equaled failure in my mind. If I can’t raise my kids by my own might then surely I am an unfit mother and do not deserve more. On the contrary, I am now realizing the ignorance of this. It takes strength to know when to ask for help. It takes wisdom to know when to surrender.

What does all this mean? Are we scraping adoption? Are we done having kids? Of course we’re not!! My four little blessings are being used to bring me closer to the Lord everyday. Of course I want more! By surrending to God and admitting I need Him, I’ll be even more equipped to help Brown Town once again start thriving. Bring on the babies!

Note To Self: It All Comes Back To Love

Yesterday was one of those classic days that I’m sure most people envision as they see me rolling up with four small children. One mom at The Walmart with four children, two of which are having massive meltdowns. Why I continue to step foot into Walmart ceases to amaze me. I don’t particularly like that store even without a screamer or two.

Yesterday was a trip to The Walmart that I probably won’t ever forget. Paul, our passionate child, had probably one of the biggest fits I’ve ever seen in my life. (By the way, toy makers, you and your Buzz toys are my nemesis.) As Paul’s mega fit unfolded I went through several different shifts in mood myself. My first stop was irritation. AKA my Dude Come On, Suck It Up mood.

Luke was done with his brother upstaging him so he decided to test out his windpipes too. I then entered stage two. You know the stage Moms. The “this looks poorly on me” stage. For me personally it’s the stage where I’m confident that my children are proving to everyone that anyone with four small children should be committed immediately.

Paul’s fit began to escalate and God began to soften my irritated heart that was concerned about the approval of others. Don’t get me wrong I still wasn’t happy about all the fit throwing and caterwalling but I no longer cared about others or trying to control my children. I was given eyes for my children in that moment and it all came back to love.

Abbie had caught on to this long before I did. During Paul’s mega fit she tried to comfort him and encourage him. Paul eventually calmed down (weird that happened when I did) and Abbie even tried to convince me that Paul deserved some of HER icecream. Abbie gets it. She doesn’t remember all the time but she gets it all comes back to love.

It’s not about how I feel or what others think about me. It’s not about being perfect or having the family people say we should or shouldn’t have. It’s not about all the other crazy or silly things that are a constant distraction. It all comes back to love and when we center our lives around that we always hit a homerun. I hope this is the one thing I can teach my children. God’s using them to teach me this everyday.

Welcome To BrownTown!

Thanks for checking us out.  This blog will soon become the hub for all things BrownTown.  If we get a great video of the kids, it’ll end up here.  Twelve inches of snow in 24 hours in Dallas? Pics of our bundled up kids will be right here. Something new on the adoption front? We’ll write a post about it.  I think you’re getting the idea.

Look for updates on the adoption process and general BrownTown merriment soon.  We’ll also be filling out everybody’s individual pages as well.  This thing’ll be chock full of great stuff really fast so keep coming back.

See you around Town!