Monday, January 26, 2009

Baby Bella Goes Home

Another sweet RTS baby went home to glory on Sunday night. She struggled long and hard in her 23 months and I had the honor of praying with her mom, Monica a few months back when Bella was having a rough go. Once again, my gratitude is overwhelming. Please lift this family up today and give each of your kids a special kiss in memory of Bella.

Can't wait to see you, sweet Princess Bella. We love you.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Chuck E. Jesus

"No fingers, no thumbs, we go to Chuck E. Jesus!"

My husband in his infinite wisdom (and I am not being sarcastic, here) decided to challenge my five year old and my three year old to eliminate the need for oral soothing during the day. He told Soph that she needed three days without the fingers and we'd head to the place 'where a kid can be a kid,' and where parents carry hand sanitizers in holsters on their belts.

I was furious. Not because of the challenge, but because he initiated this feat without consulting Mom. I knew that as soon as the challenge was made that I would have to become the Finger and Thumb Commando. I knew that I would hear about Chuck's place four thousand times a day and that I would have to keep telling them no. I knew that glances in the rearview mirror in the Honda would take on a whole new responsibility and the quiet time spent there in their own little places of bliss would come to a screaming stop. And so would mine. Ugh. Personal responsibility. Parenting. Progress. Patooey!

The first day, I think I wanted to absolutely move out of my house. I knew Soph was going to have a tough time. I hate that. I hate that she would be uncomfortable. And I am really okay with the fingers most of the time. But a wise man (Scott Baugh) once said that God is more concerned with our character than our comfort. Ugh. I had to be more concerned about Soph's health and well being than her comfort. I was not ready for that. I'm the Mama.

But, much to my surprise, my little girl - I mean my big five -was ready. And my middle three was ready, too. With only a few reminders, they were pretty successful. This is why there are no random trips made to Chuck E. Disease's. They are all well planned and used as currency in this house. You may see it as a bribe, but we see it as cognitive behavior management. By the second day of the challenge, we decided to use the trip for an even greater need in our home: Charley's early morning freak outs. She started this about six months ago, I think. She just wakes for different reasons and comes crying into our room. Like a robot, I get out of bed, get her what she needs and get her back in bed. It was every night. So we decided to up the ante and make that part of the condition for the trip to Up Chuck's.

My husband is a genius. His faith is astounding. His love for his girls is astonishing. Though I doubted, complained, murmured and rebelled, his plan worked. Though Sophie still has to be reminded 'fingers' during certain times of the day and Charley woke me last night to put her pants back on, we are seeing the fruit of the challenge that he initiated just a few days ago. Not to mention the reward we get to be a part of. The helicopter bike was a huge hit and got at least 20 of our tokens.

So, here's to future trips to the place with games that only cost ONE token (sweet), overpriced pizza that looks great but tastes terrible, the Deal or No Deal game that I won FORTY TWO TICKETS on, the football game that Alex won FIFTY tickets on, the prizes that are broken before we even make it to the car, and the amazing smiles and sweetness that the Keefe girls bring us upon arriving.

Now we just gotta get Edie potty trained.