If you are just dropping by my blog, every Monday for the next couple of weeks I am running a Cherish your Cherubs project here on my blog. A project to help us appreciate and adore our children a little more and a way to record and remember them in our lives.
I don't know about you but I totally loved all of the posts that were linked up last week. What gorgeous, wonderful and inspiring cherubs you all have. Your words were so heart felt and it was a pleasure to have a sneak peak into your lives and your hearts.
This week the theme and topic is REMEMBER. It is to spend some time remembering a special moment that relates to your cherubs. A time that touched your heart and helped you to feel closer to your children. It could be:
* your birth story
* a treasured memory of them when they were little
* a great achievement they made
* something you observed them doing
* a first achievement they reached
* a quiet moment you had together
So here is what I would love to share with you.
Nathan - One moment that always stands out in my mind was the day that Nathan decided that he was going to take 100,000 steps in one day. To say I was shocked was an understatement. He set himself this goal as part of the Global Children's Challenge and as a mother I was worried that he really would not make it. I kept preparing myself of what I would say to lift his spirits when he got to the end of the day and had not made it. Well, shame on me. He proved me wrong and you can read about it HERE. That boy can set his mind to anything he wants in life and has the determination and inner strength to achieve it. He. Blows. Me. Away.
When Nathan was born I was really surprised to have a son. I always thought in my mind that I would mainly have girls...like have 6 girls and then have a son or something. When I had a son born as my second child it kind of threw me. A boy! I was not ready or prepared to raise a boy! How wonderful it has been to have Nathan as my oldest son. He has always been kind, always been very motivated and just brilliant with what he can do with his mind. He has amazed, astounded me, and taken my breath away so many times on what he can achieve and with how intelligent and insightful he can be. He has helped me strap on my running shoes to keep up with him as he has blazed his own path in life and I have loved every moment of it.
Remembering this awesome meal he made for us!
Harmony - One moment that always stands out in my mind with Harmony was shortly after she was born. I had an Emergency Caesarian with Harmony and therefore was not able to immediately have her with me. As I was stitched up and made ready to go to my room she was taken away and cared for elsewhere. During this time she was not fed and so when they took me to my hospital room she was quickly brought into the room for me to feed. I remember really clearly laying down in the bed, opening up my gown to start to feed her, moving her close to me and being shocked that Harmony with speed and natural instinct, without any help or guidance, opened wide her mouth and latching onto to me and started drinking perfectly. She knew right away what she wanted, she knew what to do and went head on into it! At that moment I remember feeling that this is what her personality was going to be like and that we were in for a fun ride.
We love that every year we have a special day to help appreciate Harmony even more besides her birthday. Here in Australia when we celebrate Harmony Day, in the Ellis house, we also celebrate and appreciate our own Harmony. They day is about celebrating that Everyone Belongs, which means all Australians are a welcome part of our country, regardless of their background. It's also about community participation, inclusiveness and respect – celebrating the different cultures that make Australia a great place to live.
We use this day to celebrate our own personalities and differences as a large family. With Harmony being child number 4 - right in the middle with 3 children above her and 3 children below her it is great to have a day to remember that we are all unique, we are all special and we are all different. So often I feel that she can miss out on attention and this day helps us all remember how awesome she really is.
Celebrating Harmony Day at school.
Eli - One moment that stands out in my mind with Eli was the day I felt inspired to save him in our swimming pool. Kind of a weird moment to share but it is etched in my mind forever. As a family we swim in our pool for many months of the year. Our whole family had been in the pool having an awesome time and all the children were safe and well when I decided to get out of the pool to help Liberty.
I went inside to a room right next to the pool and helped her get changed. As I was finishing the task of putting on her nappy, I had a clear thought/impression in my mind to look outside at Eli in the pool. I thought to myself, he is alright, I will go out and check him when I finish putting Liberty's pants on. As I started to put her pants on, once again I had a clear thought/impression in my mind to look outside at Eli in the pool. This time I decided to listen.
I looked up and over at Eli in the pool, surrounded by all of the rest of our family, which is lots of people, to see him face down in the water. He was wearing a life jacket at the time I have to add, but he had somehow lost his balance and was fighting and struggling and could not lift his face out of the water. Lets just say that it was one of those times in my life where I actually moved like lightning and I ran and jumped in the pool and got him out of there as fast as I could. I had no idea how long he had been like that and was Oh! SO Thankful that after a little spluttering and coughing and crying that he was perfectly fine. I KNOW that those impressions where sent to me from a loving Heavenly Father and I am so grateful and thankful every day that I listened to that prompting and impression.
Eli is so loving and funny. He loves technology and together we have made our way through all of the Angry Birds levels. It has been our little thing that we have done together and so often I remember how we sat close together, we praised each other, we got frustrated, we kept trying and we made it to the end. He has an Angry Bird gift I tell you! Not the best gift to have in this life but he sure knows how to fling those birds.
Building his own Angry Birds game out of blocks.
Liahona - One thing I always love to remember about Liahona is her gift for dancing. As a young girl when people would come over she would dance for them and they would be amazed. She has an natural freestyle dance ability and just makes up awesome dances on the spot. I would simply play any song and she would just go for it. I remember one day playing the song Voodoo Child, which has a little more of a rock beat, and sitting back and watching her as a little girl dressed in a ballet tutu absolutely rock on hard to that song. I laughed my head off through the whole routine as she is one cool rock chick!
I remember when she was born I was shocked that she had a full head of black hair. With Chelsea being born with red hair and Nathan having very little hair blonde it was so great to have a massive head of dark hair to love and adore. It stuck up high in the hair and on many days she looked like she had an Elvis hair style. As a 5 week or 6 week old baby people would often ask me if I had styled her hair. Ummm....NO! It just naturally went that way.
Liahona loves to dress up, to perform and I so love it when she comes to me smiling to give me a hug. She is a delight to have as a daughter and so funny to observe when she gets in one of her drama moods around our house. We all just laugh and have a hard time holding our tongues on all the hilarious things we could tease her about. Alright...I have to admit I am not very good at holding my tongue!
Dressing up for me to take her picture. So gorgeous.
Chelsea - When remembering Chelsea I always, always remember the day she shaved her head for the World's Greatest Shave. I can still clearly hear the roar of the kids at school, the shy smile on her face and the shaking hands of her teacher as she shaved her head. I was emotional, I was teary and I was so proud of this incredible decision that she had made herself. You can check it out HERE.
I also remember how much of a great help to me she was when I was pregnant with all of our other children. I remember when she was 5 years and I was pregnant with my fourth child Harmony. I was very sick and spent most of my days in bed throwing up and my other three children had run of the house. It was very hard for me to walk into our kitchen as it would set me off into a long throwing up episode every time I went near it.
During this time Chelsea would go into the kitchen and get out the bread, the butter and the honey or vegemite and very happily make three sandwiches for everyone to eat for lunch or for a snack until I could get to a state where I could enter the room. She always did an awesome job and it was such a great help. She was also excellent at reporting to me at different times during the day. She would tell me such things as...Nathan is filling up the toilet with toilet paper or Liahona is putting things in the DVD player and I would pull myself out of bed and go sort out the situation. I am so thankful for her kindness and caring towards the rest of our family and towards me.
Awesome big sister to all of our cherubs.
Liberty - This little bundle of spunk has provided me with many wonderful memories. She has been such a delight to have as my last child and we have an awesome time hanging out together whilst all the other kids are at school. With two big brothers above her she has pushed herself to keep up with them in just about everything that they do. She sees herself equal to them in all the activities that they do has even managed to learn to do somethings before they have.
One skill that she taught herself early on was to be able to swim. As I mentioned earlier we spend a lot of time in our pool as a family. As the youngest child she spends a great deal of time watching her older brothers and sisters learning how to do things. This allows her to observe and see how to do a skill and because everyone else is doing it she has no fear to give it a go. I have strict rules in our home with the pool. No one goes in the pool area unless they are wearing a life jacket or they know how to swim really well. I am always around when they enter the pool area to make sure everyone is safe. The kids hate waiting for me to be there but safety comes first in our house.
One day last year one of my older kids opened the pool gate before I gave my word that it was alright and all of my cherubs ran and jumped in the pool. Liberty stood up, followed them and jumped right into the pool before I had the chance to stop her. I had not yet put her life jacket on. Lets just say once again that this was another one of those times that I moved like lightening and rushed to the side of the pool to get her out. Imagine my surprise when I found her swimming all by herself as a two year old around our pool. I was so shocked and stunned. She did not need the life jacket after all. She had taught herself to swim before one of her brothers and I this is what she looks like swimming below:
Sam - This child. What can I say. He has given me so many heart attacks over his short life I just do not even know where to start. Sam is the sort of child who has to touch and taste everything. Amazingly he is still alive today and has no really bad scars to prove what trouble he has gotten himself into.
One delightful memory I have of Sam was when he told me he was going to learn to ride a bike. I told him to wait and that we would take him out on the weekend somewhere to practise and that Matt would help him out on what to do. Sam decided that this was too long to wait. He wanted to learn to ride a bike then and now. As I went about my daily activities during the rest of the week I would see Sam out in our backyard every night after school trying to learn to ride a bike.
Imagine my surprise when I walked through our kitchen and saw Liahona and Sam with his bike and Matt's toolbox spread all over our kitchen table as a work bench where they were busily taking Sam's training wheels off of his bike. I tell you, my kids don't wait for anything. Sigh!
So after that task was done they then headed out into the backyard once again where Liahona helped Sam get his balance right and very shortly afterwards learn to ride a bike with no training wheels. I was so impressed that he just went ahead and taught himself. That he roped in his sister to help him and felt that he had enough skill and ability to learn this task without the help of his parents. We never did take him out to teach him, Matt never had to spend hours coaching him...he just went ahead and did it. As much as I am proud of him I am also sad we were not there to help him. Sob!
That face and smile has saved his from so much trouble. Lucky he is cute.
Well, if you have made it this far down. I am impressed. Thanks so much for making it to the end of my remembering my cherubs. They are an awesome bunch of kids and I feel so blessed to be the mother of them all. Now to share with you what I would love for you to do for Week 3. Interview.
The reason why I would love you to interview your cherubs is to take the time to listen to them. To sit down, to give them all your attention (as much as it is possible as a parent and a mother!) and to chat to them, to ask them questions to listen to what there little minds or big minds are thinking on certain topics.
To try to find out how they are feeling. As a mother some days I get so busy trying to keep my house running that I forget to pay attention to how my children are feeling. I some times forget that they have feelings. I know how I always feel but I do not stop enough to see how they are feeling. So this task is to try to connect with them and to try to do more listening than talking. If you are like me...this is going to be a difficult task!
So when interviewing your cherubs you could ask them:
*What do they love?
*What makes them happy?
*What makes them feel sad?
*What makes them feel angry?
*What makes them scared?
If you are feeling really brave...ask them:
*How they think you are going as a parent or mother?
*Is there is anything they would like you to do better or more of?
It may surprise you what they have to say. I cannot wait to share with you what answers I received in my house. Always an eye opener when I ask my cherubs these type of questions and I love that they are honest with me.
Now for the fun part. Time to link up your Week 2. Remember moments you have to share. This can be a new blog post or an older blog post. Anything that helps us to learn a little more about your cherubs or family. I will leave the link open for the rest of the week incase you want to link up with us here. I hope that if you do decide to link up a post that you will take the time to read and comment on a few others to spread the blog love. If you are just finding out about this project you are most welcome to join in at any time. You do not have to start from week 1.
I am so looking forward to reading what you have to share and to seeing what is in your heart in relation to your cherubs. Thanks so much for joining in.