Sunday, August 29, 2010

Are you nervous? Don't worry, I know you check my blog everyday to see when and if I posted! However, this will be my last ever post! I SAID, don't worry... its just the last one on THIS blog! I just can't do it anymore... the webaddress for this one is zech-n-lily-r-blessings... well, that is true, but I have a new blessing, and she HAS to have equal rights on my blog. I just can't handle her name not being there. I tried to change it to theciskekids... but it still haunts me that it comes up with only two of my three blessings' names! So I am starting over. I will be posting on my NEW blog... same me, just new site. So since I KNOW you have me bookmarked, or you follow me... you will have to start following the NEW me! I hope you still like it (it looks just like this one! hehe)
So come on over and I'll see ya there, where ALL my kiddos are present! :)

Friday, August 06, 2010

A Mother's work is never done...

Meet the Ciske family...

This may not be the Ciske family you've seen in portraits, this is the everyday Ciske family. And in response to a creative project prompt "A mother's work is never done" I'd like to give you a few (just a few) snapshots into our day. Keep in mind that a momma's day is VERY busy and its just way too hard to stop and take a photo of EVERYTHING we do. This is just a glimpse.

First of all, the youngest of the Ciske clan has decided its tremendously fun to wake at 5am. So before I hit the day, I hit my knees, however quick it may be, I make sure I ask God to get me through... even at 5am!

Of course this is me, what do you mean it doesn't look like me! man, I just woke up, I may not look perfect, but I do the best I can!

So for the next two hours I try to get Ruby BACK to sleep, or at least to lay still so I can go back to sleep. It rarely works. So I begin my daily routine. Sometimes I clean while everyone sleeps.

Yes, I live in a castle!

When I don't clean, I lay around... ya know, doing nothing. And that's okay, I mean, its only 5am. But then all of a sudden its 7 and I realize I have a very limited time to shower, brush my teeth, get some clothes on, and dress my three beauties. Today is grocery day, and I've seen a sale on crayola crayons at K-mart (25cents!) so I MUST make a stop there, and I've promised we'd go bowling. So I hazily grab clothes for the kids to wear (remember how I got up at 5am?)

Sometimes Zech dresses himself, and even if he looks like Diego, I'm okay with that just so its one less thing for me to do.

I attempt to dress Lily, who always has an opinion on what she wears. If I had gotten enough sleep last night I may have had the stamina to go 3 full rounds with her, today, I let her wear her favorite outfit... a bathing suit and tights
of course, she really, in real life, wore a denim skirt that she LOVES but that is 2 sizes too big for her, but for the picture purposes, I had to stay real to the character!

By the time I get the first two dressed, the third fed (bottle and bananas & Strawberry cereal that I pureed myself) I have barely anytime to get myself ready for the day. So I ask Dave, the superdaddy to please dress Ruby.

I really try not to micromanage my husband, so I swallow the words I have to say to him, and allow him to dress my daughter as a ninja! (And really, in the real world, he would never do this... he'd ask "What is she wearing today" knowing I'd never let my kids go out looking like Diego, strawberry shortcake, and a ninja!)

So, I have decided that my body may need a shower, but my hair does not have time for a thorough cleaning and style. I take my extra short 2 min shower, throw on some clothes and we are off to drop Superdaddy off at work.

Yes, he's superdaddy. One that goes to work everyday so I can live the life I live!
***And for a DUMB reason, this picture is originally landscape, not portrait, so it looks like he's flying... but it wouldn't allow me to rotate in this blog... stupid blog, so tilt your head and look at it the right way, would ya... now YOU look stupid! hehe***

We them begin our errands. Driving from bowling, to k-mart, to lunch, because we all know you can't get groceries hungry, nor can you take three STARVING kids on an hour long errand with you and still stay sane!I used this coach for this part, well, because its missing the horse, and if you ever rode in our van you may think its missing something too, but we treat our trusty van like a royal coach, it is the van we have, and the ONLY transportation we have.
***and for all my super safety conscious friends, remember this is pretend pictures, and in real life my children all sit in age appropriate/ state regulated/mom approved carseat... all of them!***

At lunch my super husband tries to convince me its a bad idea to add groceries to the already full day with the kids. He suggests I go home and put the kids down for nap and maybe see if I can take a nap as well (see, he's superman!) and maybe get groceries when he is home in the evening. Great idea, except he has worship practice so that means groceries start at 8pm! I play it over in my head, envision 3 tired kids helping me get groceries, and decide to take superman's advice! We head home, I put them all in bed, and try to tidy up the castle a bit more.
Yes, like I said, I live in a castle!
The nap doesn't go well, and Miss Ruby is awake but doesn't really WANT to be, so she's crabby, and needs some Mommy time. And really, I wouldn't mind sitting on the couch and lounging with her...
I decide a mommy really can't sit and just lounge, there is always more that needs to be done, so I do what every mother does... multi-task. I rock my baby girl while I read "The Joys of Teaching Kindergarten" because in less than a month I will be a kindergarten teacher! Even if it is only to one kindergarten, I want to be as prepared as possible!
Ruby wants to read too, the book is taking up too much of Momma's attention! And the book is all over the place, but since I am somewhat of a SUPER multi-tasker, I attempt to bounce the baby WHILE reading... But it goes something like this...

And eventually, I realize: She is only going to want to be on my lap for a short time, I love her soft hands, her bouncy personality, and I don't want to blink and it be gone! I can stay up until Midnight (like I did the night before) and read... this is Ruby time!
even if she is dressed like a ninja... and kicks like one too!
Once she is fed, and seems like it may be nap time, I try to take my superman's ideas and take a nap (I mean, I am a submissive wife as well as a momma!)
Sometimes nap time doesn't work! But if I lay down and let them talk AT me, and crawl ON me, maybe I can get some physical rest while they get some mommy time! (Don't judge me!)

I decide that I will attempt the grocery shopping before I pick up Superdaddy from work, if they aren't going to nap anyway, might as well. I give the older two notebooks with the 4 food groups written inside. I tell them they will need to keep track of what I buy in their nutrition journals and make sure we are being healthy. They LOVE the idea, and I love the idea that maybe they will be focusing on this instead of focusing on driving me nutso in the store. (It worked for about 2 isles and then the notebooks became swords! But hey, it was better than nothing!)

I go get Superdaddy from work (you'd think he could just FLY home, but hey, his royal carriage trekked on to pick him up.

We get home, I want to crash, but want Superman to unwind as well. So I fix dinner

Don't worry, I made it for everyone, not just two... you HAVE to give me a break on these pictures, people, and enjoy the CREATIVITY of them! hehe
SuperWorshiper has to go to the church for worship practice, so I am at home with the kids. Trying to get them bathed, teeth brushed, read to, played with, and loved on before bed.
Finally, they get to bed, and SuperWorshiper is home! and its US time!

Superman loves couple time, he is praising the Lord for it even as the picture is taken! And I get to sit! The day is finally coming to an end.

Keep in mind that even writing this I am still a momma! So I can't give full accounts of all that went on that day, I mean, I still have kids to feed, play with, be a trampoline for, love on, and encourage. So for times sake, i will leave you with the way I end my day, the same as I begin...

A Mother's work is never done. She must start her days on her knees and end it in the same position. Without it, the work is all in vain. I consider my "work" as mother/wife a calling, and I dare not venture into that lighthearted. (no matter how silly this became).

And there you have it!

Thursday, August 05, 2010

The Joys of Teaching Kindergarten
I have one month left before kindergarten starts. I'm nervous when I think that his education is in my hands. Everything he has to learn he needs to learn from the experiences I can give him. However, I'm excited that his education is in my hands. I'm excited that everything he has to learn he gets to learn from the experiences I can give him. And I am taking my anxieties to God. I've been reading an old textbook about the kindergarten experience, and although I may not have the same techniques, or teaching styles as some of the other homeschooling moms out there, I am picturing a great learning experience for the kids. I love how I can take my worries to God and I can see Him working in me to calm my nerves. As I read the book I have my highlighter and postits marking things I want to implement in the "learning experience"... but as I read, I am also getting tons of ideas and envisioning all kids of ways to teach this or that. So I jot them down inside the book. I never studied like this in school! I am enjoying it, looking forward to it, and praying over it! I've got a big job ahead of me, and although I see so many doing this homeschool journey, its new to me. I'm learning as well! I can't wait!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

On your knees, cleaning up messes?

We had an incident in our home recently that God really used to speak to me. My 3 year old LOVES beads. She loves to organize things, and make patterns, so to give her a bag of tiny beads and a leather strap is like candy; A HUGE TREAT! So, I had been watching her for awhile and saw how she was very responsible with her beads, how she placed them in the perfect spot, kept them clean and orderly, and how she truly enjoyed the experience. So I went ahead and let her take the beads to nap time with her. Surely she would daintily make gorgeous necklaces, bracelets, and doze happily off to sleep. Instead at the end of nap time I enter her room where there is not one crevasse untouched by beads. She had scattered beads ALL OVER her room. Under her bed, in the corners, on toys, in her bed, in her pillow case... the beads were everywhere... NO jewelry in sight! I was SO disappointed! I trusted her! And deep down I went against my first feeling of not letting her in her room with the potential mess makers. I told her to begin cleaning up. To put the beads in a cup and bring them to me to dump into the bags. I left the room. Came back 10 minutes later and saw a crying crumbled mess... of a three year old. No beads picked up. I gave her another 10 minutes with a punishment looming over her if beads were not picked up. 10 minutes later it became very clear that the mess was too big for a 3 year old to clean up. I sat down with her, showed her where to begin and guided her in cleaning the big mess she had gotten herself into. Then it dawned on me. This is the way God deals with us many times in our lives. He gives us something, entrusts something that we think we love and adore only for us to mess it up, leaving ourselves in a crumbling mess wondering how we will ever get it cleaned up.

I did not clean up Lily's mess while she sat and watched. I showed her how to clean, I guided her in getting it done. I got to the pieces she couldn't reach alone. God won't come in and miraculously clean everything up. God is our biggest supporter when it comes to cleaning up our lives. He equips us, guides us, teaches us, and stays with us until the mess is cleaned up (and lingers even when its done!) He works deep within us to clean the mess that we can't get to. And reminds us when there is more to clean up.

There are many times in life that we get ourselves in a mess that we ourselves can not get out of. And what is our response? Do we crumble in a heaping sobbing pile and stare at the mess? Frown faced, broken spirit, helpless? Or do we cry out to God for help. Do we let our pride get in the way of receiving the help we need. Just as I sat beside Lily until every bead was picked up, God will do the same for you. He will be there, he will see it through the end. There are no beads left in her room. I do not have a looming punishment over her anymore. (God probably never had one!). But I guarantee she learned her lesson. She won't be scattering beads all over her room, the mess taught her it isn't a place she wants to be.

If we let God get us through, and let him teach us for the future we just may realize that it was no fun to be in the mess to begin with!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Wanna Blog!
Yep, I WANT to blog... I have lots to say... but no time! Its hard to blog with one hand to type! Oh wait, you may need to know WHY I have no time, and only one hand! Its certainly not because of any kind of hand disease, or amputation. But more of a total and complete blessing that has happened in our lives... here let me show you...
Ruby Grace arrived Jan 4th at 1:40pm weighing 8lbs 13oz and was 20.5 in tall. She is perfect! So content, so easy (so far) and so loved! We are working on routines and how to get everything done. So far I want to nap when all three kids nap, and still need to figure out time to clean house and do the homeschooling... so blogging is... well, not on the front of my mind at all times.
So, soon I will put out one massive blog to catch up (not sure if anyone reads this or not anywho!)
But I leave you with a few more gorgeous pics of her! (She's just so cute!)

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

2009 in Review
Wow, what a year! I understand I have one more day left in the year, but who knows what tomorrow will bring, I figured I'd finish the year out now!!! As in 5:17am on Dec. 30th! I start my days early now... really early! Just like it did with Lily, sleep doesn't come easily for me this pregnancy. But I have come to enjoy the early (EARLY...sometimes 2 or 3am) times of quietness.
Ruby is scheduled to arrive on January 4th. And although her actual birthday will fall in 2010, I have to say the theme to 2009 for me is RUBY! Its been quite the ride for me, and it has all kinda revolved around getting Ruby.
Starting the year off, Dave and I had made no real resolutions (other than the normal, lose weight... which we purchased a bike and wii fit to aid us!) but we had made a mutual decision that we wanted a baby in 2009. And right away, realized we were pregnant. I will never forget taking that test at midnight (maybe it was 10:30) and laughing with such delight! I was SO excited! October was going to bring us a new baby! For two months all I thought about was this baby that was coming. I enjoyed the idea of being pregnant even though a majority of the time (just like with the first two pregnancies) I did not feel pregnant. Then I remember in March telling Dave I had a bad feeling and could I really call the dr based on a bad feeling? However, that bad feeling was my body telling me that the baby wasn't ganna make it. And we found out by the end of March that the baby had passed a few weeks earlier. I faced a decision then. I could mourn and blame, and protest, and throw a fit... or I could CHOOSE to trust in God. choose to believe that HE was in charge of this life I was given (and the life of the baby) and if I was going to say I lived for Him, I needed to do so in the midst of my heartache. And although it was a very tough time for me, I learned something VERY useful and wonderful that will always stay with me. God is a graceful god. A God that WANTS whats best for me, even if that means he has to allow a bit of pain to my current situation. He desires whats best... and for whatever reason that baby (who I named Julianne Rose) was not the best for us, and I have to trust Him andbe okay with that!
Shortly... VERY shortly after, I realized I was pregnant again. And this time, I'd had a great time with God before finding out and was confident that God would allow me to hold this baby. My connection was SO strong from the very beginning. Not that it hasn't been with the other kids, but it is VERY different. Its like I'd speak to her in my mind, and she'd respond... I know seems strange. But I asked for morning sickness... how odd is that! And She gave it to me! hehe. If I hadn't felt her move in a bit I'd just have to sit back and kinda telepathically tell her to move...and boom, she'd give me a good kick in the ribs. And although I know those things come from God, I believe he is creating a bond between us through these little quirky things.
The year has gone by VERY slowly... yet kinda quickly as well. My kids are growing so fast, and going through two first trimesters (with the last one pretty hard on me) and a non energetic 2nd trimester, and now a VERY painful 3rd trimester, I have to say that 2009 hasn't been the BEST year for anyone in this house. Dave's had frustrations from work that he's never faced before. The kids are getting older, picking up on the stress, and figuring out how to cope with it as well.
But there is so much to be greatful for within their lives as well. I feel like 2009 was a year of learning and growing for them. They both have bloosomed in homeschool, and are growing up to be very fun and smart kids. I know they are only 3 &4 years old... but a momma knows!
So back to my THEME... Ruby... not just a name, but what she represents. When times were rough, and honestly there were lots of rough times, emotionally, stressfully, physically... There was a jewel growing within me... not just in my belly, but in my heart. God really began to design a gem in my heart. Allowing me to persevere, and see His works even in the midst of trials, frustrations, and even heartbreak. And Grace. whew! What a year of grace! He saw my pain, greived with me, and comforted me in a way that no one else could ever do. He reminded me that His grace is sufficient for me! That He is ALL I need! So, Ruby Grace will bring in the new year for us, and I can't wait to see all the things that come along with her, and the new year.
Zech and Lily are SO excited to meet her. I can't wait to hold her, smell her, kiss her, thank her!
But even outside the realm of motherhood, I believe 2010 will bring about some changes that Dave and I will be very excited about. And I look forward to every moment... and I mean EVERY moment. I don't want to miss a thing, God!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Am I reading my little ticker right? 23 days... when I should be scheduled for 7 days earlier than that... that means SIXTEEN DAYS!!! Oh, my, with Christmas and new years nestled in those 16 (SIXTEEN) days I think Ruby will be here before I know it! I can not wait! The back pain and leg pain, and hip pain, and contraction pain hasn't gotten any better, however, I am handling it! I know that God knows this baby girl's birthday and I trust it will be the right one.
Soon and very soon! I can't wait to meet her!!!

Colossians 3:17

If your ganna do something, DO IT RIGHT! Glorify HIM!