I love you despite!

Posted by Unknown | Labels: , , | Posted On Tuesday, June 23, 2009 at 12:04 PM

Oh my Eli! I love you despite the turmoil of not so nice words you have said lately, and despite your fussy whiny attitude. I love you even though some days I just want to not discipline you because you are just driving me crazy and instead I would like to put you in time out for 10 hours. What has gotten into you little fellow? I love you when I have to discipline you in ways I wish I did not and I love you even when you call me a bad mommy, which makes me cry. I love you even though you make some ugly faces at me and I love you when you say you are sorry and give me the sweetest hugs and kisses ever! I love you my little boy and I am so thankful that the doctor said that your little chest is alright and that is just how you are growing. Boy, I worry about you. But I know you are God's little boy before you are my little one! I love you Elijah Blain Phelps, if you only knew maybe you would be more pleasant to mommy and her feeble attempts to discipline you with love!


Posted by Unknown | | Posted On Monday, June 22, 2009 at 10:56 AM

Booma is the newest addition to our family. Booma was awarded to our oldest child after he received 10 stars on his board for doing good deeds without anyone telling him to and shining like a star.  (Philippians 2:14-15) Anyhow, for Father's day we took Page, aka Daddy, to Cracker Barrel for dinner since the boys told me that was his favorite restaurant. We went swimming at the public pool, which I really think is our summer weekend routine these days, it is a lot of fun and everyone loves swimming. So after swimming we all went to dinner and while we were at dinner in Cracker Barrel the kids saw Booma. Now Booma is one of those little ferret looking toys with the ball attached to it and it is battery operated and wherever the ball goes Booma goes. Well, Maggie Beth thinks it is the funniest thing ever, Eli is not too sure about Booma but wants to play with it just because Hezekiah has it, and Hezekiah really thinks Booma is real (I think). Booma is spoken to like he is a real pet, Hezekiah says in a soft voice, "No, no Booma you cannot go in there. No, Booma do not go under the chair. Oh, Booma are you hungry? Look Maggie, Booma is so soft." It is cracking me up! I am thankful Booma really is not real because ferrets kind of weird me out, but it is good practice for perhaps really owning a pet one day.
Booma by you.

Maggie Beth

Posted by Unknown | | Posted On Friday, June 19, 2009 at 10:50 AM

Pictures of Maggie Beth that Page took the other night when we were
trying to get the kids to take some more formal shots. These are cute!
She is such a sweet little baby girl!

Caught Red Handed

Posted by Unknown | | Posted On at 10:39 AM

Painting and finger painting with Maggie Beth and the boys.

Oh, What should I call this one?

Posted by Unknown | | Posted On Wednesday, June 17, 2009 at 7:23 PM

What a day! Today we started with swim lessons as we have all this week, tomorrow will be our last lesson of the week and then we will start all over again next week with our last week of swim lessons. Now, swim lessons would not be so bad for Mommy if it was like 20 degrees cooler outside, but it is not and I am a puddle of sweat by the end of each class and classes are from 9-9:40 a.m. and it is too early for it to be that hot, seriously! Anyhow, I just finished taking a shower from my hot sweaty day of a day and I am starting to feel much better.

After lessons we came home so Maggie Beth could get a brief but much needed nap and the boys could eat a snack of which there was not much to offer since I had not been to the grocery store for, I do not know, a while.  So I offered my children prunes, cashews, and a cheese stick and they were content and happy with what I offered them! Then we were off to friends for a swimming time, which was super nice because it is HOT! So now I am sweaty, have 2 layers of sunscreen on myself, and chlorine, and my hair is so super nappy and we are on our way home at which we arrive at 1:30 p.m. a half an hour late for naps, but all is well and everyone goes to their quiet places and all is good for 2 hours.

Then we are up,  had some nice time with Page catching up on his day for about 15-20 minutes and then 2 boys are out of their quiet places and want food, so I break a cookie in half and give them water and they were happy, so I am happy too. Wake Maggie, feed Maggie, off to work-out so Page can practice for church tonight, acoustic guitar (this way no one is standing on his music, eating his music, taking pieces of his music to another room, or trying to help him play guitar.) So, off I tote my 3 young ones to Kid Fit, all have cheerios and water, all is good. Just let me remind you I still have not taken a shower and I really saw no need since I still had to go workout today. So, I really do not think I even put deodorant on today either, so I really am not very pleasant I am sure. I know too much information, but I know you all have been there. You are not kidding me!

So, I go workout, come home eat dinner. Spaghetti, everyones favorite and Page cooked it, since he had to practice his guitar for worship practice he was able to make us dinner! Thank you Page! After dinner then Page has to run to practice and I really need to go to the store because we need essentials, well a couple essentials. So, I load up all children yet once again, thankfully for the last time of the day and head down the street to our neighborhood Wal-Mart store. I pull in the parking lot and am excited to see that there is someone pulling out of an ideal parking spot (one close to the entrance and where there is a buggy parked right beside so I can load children into parked buggy). As I put my car in reverse, I look to see no one is behind me, I back up and somehow run into someone, a car that is. Thankfully, the man was super nice and I asked him if I did anything to his car and he just said to me gruffly, "Look in your rear view mirror!" I was just thankful he walked away and I did not have to like get all insurance cards and stuff out and wait with 3 children for someone to come look at our cars with no marks on them.  So, said a thank you to God and listened to my boys ask a bunch of questions about what just happened and why did that man blow his horn at you mommy and a bunch of other things and I just said patiently and quietly, (with God's help of course or really it must have been His intervention) let's just go get our groceries boys.

So I load my children in the cart and have one hanging off the side of the cart, which usually results in him trying to flip the cart over with his weight. But we made it into Wal-Mart and we started on our way. So we are in the middle of Wal-Mart and I have broken my rule of having everyone go to the bathroom before we go to the store obviously I forgot and Eli stands up in the cart and says, "Mommy, I have to go pee pee!"  So I tell Hezekiah, drop whatever you are holding and we gotta go, Eli has to go potty. So we all with the cart make a mad dash to the bathroom. Thankfully, our neighborhood Wal-Mart takes into consideration the mommy with children and has a family bathroom, only a cart with 2 kids and one hanging off of it really does not fit in there. So knowing that children have no shame I just leave the door open with Hezekiah and Maggie Beth in the cart standing in the doorway.  Now, Eli does not have shoes on, another rule broken by mommy because he was just suppose to stay in the cart right? Right. But, he had to pee. So no shoes. Yes, I know but he had to go. Again thankfully the bathroom smelled and appeared just cleaned. So, yes, I let Eli stand on the floor barefoot and go potty. This disgusted me, but I really had not choice and I tried to shield his bum from anyone that was outside the open door. Oh my being a mommy makes you have so many conflicting thoughts that really go through your head, like I really cannot believe I am doing this.

So, like I said we are getting some essentials and for mommy this means we need some stuff for that time of the month (again I know too much info), but you will understand as I try to end this blog. So I am weary from trying to keep Hezekiah from tipping the cart over, trying to steer the cart with him hanging off one side, and also weary from trying not to run Hezekiah over when he is walking beside me trying to touch everything in the store. Well, we get to the check out area and since there were no treats left in the house I told the boys they could pick one when we got to the check out. So they are looking over all their choices, and Hezekiah chooses Fun Dip and Eli chooses a Push Up Pop. Maggie Beth chooses Mommy! So, I start putting our stuff up on the conveyor belt and I put the essential items we need but notice that there are Peanut butter M&M's, Ice cream cones, Ritz bits, crackers, Oreo cookies, and just a lot of JUNK. Crack me up. And I said to myself, "But aha, my cashier will understand why I have all this junk when she reaches why I had to come to the store this evening, for the essentials!" And I really just started to laugh on the inside of course because who would think that any lady with 3 children or more in Wal-Mart would just be laughing out loud for no apparent reason when her children are really quite honestly being really well behaved.

So I laughed. And I continued laughing as I got home and saw my 5 year old with blue lips eating his Fun Dip, and my 3 year old shake his booty all over the place since he was licking a sugar filled Push Up Pop and my baby girl just reach for her mommy as snot falls out of her nose. I just had to think to myself, I am blessed in every way, every day! And I am thankful for the sweet cashier who opened her line for us even though she turned off her light, I am thankful for her sweet smile and how she told my boys they had nice manners, and for telling me that my children are beautiful..........because after my day God used her to remind me of how much I need to be thankful for! And well now I am thankful for my shower and for being clean at least for a few hours.
Good night!

P.J. Picks

Posted by Unknown | | Posted On Saturday, June 13, 2009 at 10:41 AM

We had the children all dressed nicely to get pictures taken at home
since Page had some gear here, instead it seems the Pajama pictures
turned out the best. They are too funny these kids, chaotic, crazy, and
funny! Enjoy!

Kitchen Bible School

Posted by Unknown | | Posted On Wednesday, June 10, 2009 at 5:04 PM

So I am finally getting around to blogging this week, the house is a little quieter today since Hezekiah is at a friends house. He was so excited to go. Hezekiah has also been at what we now call around here Kitchen Bible school each morning this week as well. So Eli has had mommy all to himself during Maggie Beth's nap time. Anyhow, while we were getting ready to head out the door Monday for Hezekiah to go to Vacation Bible school, Eli says to me, "I sink (think) they learn A, B, C's at Kitchen Bible school." I started laughing I just thought it was too cute. So Vacation Bible school will be forever known now as Kitchen Bible school...........which in all actuality I think that I know some people who may want to use this motto to start their own Bible in the kitchen with cooking show. CMU!!! (Crack me Up) On Monday when I dropped Hezekiah off at Kitchen Bible school I was super hesitant. He had never been to Bible school before, I have taught many and have always had a good time, but he had never been. Thankfully Kitchen Bible school is where he went to preschool and also his little buddy, thank you Lord, is in his class because I was not sure he was going to stay or if mommy was going to be able to let him stay. It is just one of those mommy moments.........you know what I am talking about......the moments where you first put your child in the nursery, or the first time you take them to school, and this overwhelming feeling comes over you like you just cannot do it and you have to rescue them before little tears start to run down their face or yours. And your heart is just pounding and your mind is racing with all the options of what to do. But, I persevered and knew that he would have a great time, especially when his buddy got there! So, I decided to take Eli and Maggie Beth into the welcoming ceremony time and keep an eye on my first born baby to make sure he would be alright and I left soon after and came back to a little guy that was so excited and said to me, "Mommy, I was a little shy about Vacation Bible school at first, but I had fun." With a big smile I just gave him a hug and told him how proud I was of him. Oh, the joys of being a mommy and also the apron strings that have to be loosened at times to allow your children "some" freedom from mommy or maybe some independence.........which for this mommy at times is hard. Eli has enjoyed some time with me this week as well as with his little sister who is very playful these days. It is so cute to see Eli and Maggie Beth just interacting and playing together and he tries to tell her what to do and she just says, "Yep." Because she says, "Yep," to everything these days. I also had just gotten Eli, my little drawer, some new markers and he has been busy making rocket ships for daddy. I also took Eli and Maggie Beth to see Kung Fu Panda. Maggie Beth's first trip ever to the movie theater and she did take a nap there, which was unbelievable. I thought for sure we would need to leave the movie in half way and I told Eli ahead of time just to prepare him in case. We met some friends there and Eli was excited because it seemed that the day was all about him. So cute. Well, yesterday afternoon I found Eli napping in his bed. The picture above is of him napping. He sleeps with a pair of my pajama, the bottoms of my P.J.'s so we call them his britches. Anyhow he had put one of the legs of the britches on his legs and this is how I found him and I had to take a picture. CMU!!! Too cute! Disclaimer: Yes, even though there are a bagillion toys in his bed, he still naps and sleeps at night. How? I do not know. But he has learned this from his brother. Insane huh? And yes, I do make them clean their beds! :)

What is a friend and a helper?

Posted by Unknown | | Posted On Friday, June 5, 2009 at 11:26 AM

A man who has friends must himself be friendly, But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. Proverbs 18:24

"Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness." And he was called the friend of God. James 2:23

Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends. John 15:13

Let brotherly love continue. Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels. Hebrews 13:1-2

Man looks at the outward appearance but God looks at the heart. I Samuel 16:7

Hmmmm, What is a friend and a helper? Well, here is a definition I found on-line:


1. A person whom one knows, likes, and trusts.

2. A person whom one knows; an acquaintance.

3. A person with whom one is allied in a struggle or cause; a comrade.

4. One who supports, sympathizes with, or patronizes a group, cause, or movement: friends of the clean air movement.

Added here is the history of the word: A friend is a lover, literally.  The relationship between Latin amcus "friend" and am "I love" is clear, as is the relationship between Greek philos "friend" and phile "I love."  In English, though, we have to go back a millennium before we see the verb related to friend. At that time, frond, the Old English word for "friend," was simply the present participle of the verb fron, "to love." The Germanic root behind this verb is *fr-, which meant "to like, love, be friendly to." Closely linked to these concepts is that of "peace," and in fact Germanic made a noun from this root, *frithu-, meaning exactly that. Ultimately descended from this noun are the personal names Frederick, "peaceful ruler," and Siegfried, "victory peace." The root also shows up in the name of the Germanic deity Frigg, the goddess of love, who lives on today in the word Friday, "day of Frigg," from an ancient translation of Latin Veneris dis, "day of Venus."

So how do you teach this to befriend and to be a friend? Today we had a Bible study on Hebrews 13:1-2, I was telling my boys about loving others and we also talked about their Sunday school lesson last week on Elisha and the family that added a room for him so when he was in town he had a place to stay and how that must have made Elisha happy and feel welcomed. So anyhow, I thought to myself..........I want my boys & Maggie Beth (but she was napping) to have genuine friends and friendships. And you know as defined above most friendships are merely #1 - a person whom one knows, likes, I am not going to the trust part just yet, because most friendships are an acquaintance and I do not really trust acquaintances at first. And sadly enough, this is where we spend most of our time in "friendships" and not really moving past that to a deeper level of sympathy, or be allied in a struggle to create a more intimate relationship with one another. It seems that we wait to see if we feel "safe" with that friend/acquaintance in order to perceive their "realness" factor and if we can trust them. When I see in the Bible that Abraham was called a friend of God, I think to myself wow, now that must have been the ULTIMATE friendship.........but Abraham I am sure let God down, being imperfect and all. So I think also one thing I need to teach my kids is to remember to accept the imperfections as they befriend and align with another as a friend. I too as an adult have to remember to accept those imperfections. So what are the qualities I want to teach and portray as a friend: trustworthiness, reliability (something I feel is lacking among my generation), willing to help, asking God to help me and my children to not look at the outward appearance but at the heart, to have pure motivations, to love unconditionally, to not judge, to be there. I am sure I can come up with more things, but that is a pretty good list for now. Why these qualities because I think they make a good friend. Hopefully, with God's help I can portray these things to my friends and to my children.  Thank you Lord for being my best friend. And thank you for the friend I have in my precious husband. Thank you Lord!

Sock puppets, Planting wildflower seeds, & Throw a rock at a word

Posted by Unknown | | Posted On Thursday, June 4, 2009 at 10:51 AM

Alright to keep our days updated we made sock puppets for our craft day on Tuesday. Today we planted our wildflower seeds and played a game I cannot take credit for, Hezekiah's preschool teacher gave me this idea to wet your drive way and then put sight words on it and throw a bean bag on the word, we do not have bean bags ........... I guess we could make that next craft day ......... anyhow we used a rock and I told the boys we were going to play a game, and they were like, "What's it called?" And well, "Throw a rock at a word," came out of my mouth. CMU! I also took 3 children to our neighbors pool today for an hour or so, all by myself. I was kind of scared I must admit because well I have never done that before. Anyhow let's just be thankful for swimmies for Eli, Hezekiah can swim on his own, and a little swim ring for Maggie Beth. So those inventions made my life more at ease with 3 in the pool. The boys CMU (crack me up) because they said, "Mommy, you have to be the shark and we are going to be the Diver Dans." So I chased them around the pool. By the way Diver Dans are also known as Scuba divers in our house. So, I proceeded to tell them about playing countless hours of sharks and minnows as a kid every summer, every day at Forest Hills Country Club! Yeah to good fun memories!

The not so quest for perfection

Posted by Unknown | | Posted On Wednesday, June 3, 2009 at 11:25 AM

So this has probably been going on for centuries and centuries, but since I am in this stage of mommy hood, I feel that most mommies I know, feel as inadequate as I am in this job called mothering or household wife. The problem is that there is really no job pre-requisites for being a parent and also there is really no job description that you can go by to really say well you know I am stinking good at this or I really stink at this......because some days we just feel both ways about it. I sometimes think that most of us mommies compare ourselves WAY to much to so and so, who "seems" like they have it all together. Right? But really who has it all together? And whose kid does not cry or throw a royal fit when they do not get their way or get hurt or whatever? I think it is funny at times because I too have felt smug when my children are behaving in front of friends and family, but I know how they really can be at times, do not let me fool you. Have you ever felt smug yourself, oh I know you have I have seen it on your face (not really)? SHAME ON YOU, because you know how they really can be sometimes huh? So do not think yourself better or less than ........... because you are a mommy who by God's grace has given you this quiver of one or quiver full. It is life, and life throws you some crazy kids every once and awhile and life throws you some not so fun things to do around the house at times as well. So, anyhow this is for anyone whoever had some crazy assumption that I, Gretchen Phelps, was perfect...........because I am not and if you thought that then let me just tell you that thought is a myth and a lie! So please do not ever think that I have it all together, because well..........most days I fly by the seat of my pants.........and come up with things to do at random. However, granted sometimes I do plan ahead. So in this quest of parenting and being a "perfect mom and wife" let's just remember we will never be perfect. I think instead we should be on the not so quest for perfection, just doing my best in life quest. So let's just get rid of that word "perfect" all together and be thankful that God has just given us children to parent and a husband to love. So I am over anyone comparing their children, marriage, or home to mine or me to someone else, because I am different and have different opinions as well on how to do all this stuff. And just let me put this out there: if your child is at my home and you are visiting and they are not so pleasant, do not worry.........I understand and I have been there. This is the verse that I have always loved even before I had kids and before I was a stay at home mommy, Colossians 3:23, "Whatever you do, do with all your heart as working for the Lord and not for men." So please join me on this not so quest for perfection! P.S. Oh, by the way some good books I have read lately and would highly recommend are The Lies Women Believe and the Truth That Sets Them Free and the Birth Order book. Anyhow, really good reads and great times of reflection.

Swimming at our "Vacation" Pool -- CMU (Crack me up)

Posted by Unknown | | Posted On Tuesday, June 2, 2009 at 10:39 AM

We went swimming last evening and this morning at our neighbors, they
are letting us use their pool while they are vacationing. So that is so
super nice of them. We are having fun. Hezekiah cracked me up
yesterday, he must have been like watching them pack their vehicle
because he said, "Mommy, they moved, they moved!" Meaning that they had
left for their vacation and now we could use their pool. CMU -- Crack
Me UP -- (this is my new code or text for crack me up.........because I
do not understand all the lol, omg, ttyl, stuff.........so I am making
up my own). Anyhow, we are having a good time at our vacation pool.
Not sure if we are actually going to go on vacation anywhere this summer
or not, since Page went to Ecuador............but hey it is nice to use
our neighbors place til Friday! :) I like these pictures! Enjoy!

Monday Morning with my Kids

Posted by Unknown | | Posted On Monday, June 1, 2009 at 10:55 AM

Well, we are all different in our quest for entertainment and time together with our families this summer and making use of our time at home is a fun thing I think. Since we have swim lessons in a couple weeks at 9 a.m. for 8 days I want to make our mornings a lot of fun at our home. I guess I just think it is important to not go places just to go places because I really want my children and me as an adult to find my home a fun place to be. Also, I do have a little girl who naps each morning for 1 1/2 hours so............naps are very important still in the morning in our home . . . so things definitely could change in a year or so, but I really really want my kids to always enjoy being here at our little house. I hope in my journey as a parent that I as well as Page just pass on to them the enjoyment of play and most of all they feel loved, mostly by God and that God somehow teaches them that through this vessel He has given me. So yep, it is all up to Him and me being obedient :) ! Anyhow, this morning we have had a fun time. Eli and Hezekiah built Maggie Beth and I a castle out of blocks. One game we really like to play with the blocks is "CAN YOU BUILD WHAT I BUILD" and Hezekiah and I go back and forth building structures and he builds what I built and I build what he built and Eli makes his own buildings and Maggie Beth chews on the blocks, so that is fun for everyone. We also have a friend who is having a birthday today, so the boys helped me make her a cake for her birthday, they mostly enjoyed the icing of the cake and the sprinkles...........but baking is always fun mainly I think because we get to try out what we make! Our neighbors gave us a big box for playing caves and spaceships, so the boys began decorating the box today, I helped them put on some controls and reflectors with aluminum foil. They named their spaceship DHEL, I thought they were spelling Phelps and I was like, "Oh, that is really cool you are putting the Phelps spaceship together." And Hezekiah was like, "UH, no the name of our spaceship is DHEL." So, I was wrong, but thought the name interesting. I also cannot imagine not having kiddie pools in my backyard.........because I literally use those almost everyday but our water bill does reflect that! I love it and all the kids love them too...........we had sometime out there already today. We are excited though because we get to use some friends' pool this week while they are away, so it will almost seem like we are on vacation...........I am super excited about that and hoping too the boys improve with their swimming skills, Hezekiah is able to swim half way across the pool where he was doing lessons and coming up to take a breath and keep swimming. I have also found these really great workbooks for the boys one is Pre-K and the other is a Kindergarten book that teaches them different skills and they are really enjoying them too, I found them at Toys R Us. So, these are some things we have been doing on our summer days so far. Here are some pictures of our morning. If you have more ideas to fill my mornings with fun, please leave me a message or e-mail me. I can always use ideas and am always looking for something different to do! Thanks