Mother’s Day 2013

Happy Mothers Day flowerpotPrayers and blessings to Mothers everywhere!  You are a special gift to those you care for.

I must say that I’ve had a wonderful week-end and a decadent Mother’s Day.  I am so blessed! On Friday, when our boys got home from school, my husband, Travis, and I were still working in the yard.  Camden (one of our 7 year old twin boys) came to the backyard to keep me company, while twin brother Austin chattered happily to his Dad in the front yard.  Camden was my sweet little helper buddy for a while, and then Austin came to the backyard, too.  At that point, both boys began picking flowers and bringing them to me, telling me that they love me and that they were bringing the flowers to me because it was almost Mothers’ Day.  They picked tiny yellow weed flowers and larger (half dollar size) white flowers from a flowering bush.  Since neither of them can keep a secret, they could not wait to tell me about the gifts that they had made at school and at church.  “I’m not supposed to tell you, but….”, they would say.  I heard all about the paper tea pots with a tea bag inside that they’d made at church.  Camden informed me that he had added paper “steam” to his teapot’s spout and that he wanted to share the tea with me since he likes tea.  From school, Camden had brought home a laminated placemat that he’d made for me.  It was already on the table.  Apparently, that was the first thing he did when he got home, since he was in the backyard with me in just a few minutes.  🙂

Austin's Paper flowerpot gift

Austin’s Paper flowerpot gift

Austin told me that he had made a paper flower pot with flowers that pull out.  It was already on my bed when I came upstairs later (to shower after my yard work was finished).  Each flower does pull out, and he had written on the stems his “I love you because…” reasons.  The orange tulip stem said, “You are nice.”   The blue one says, “You by me toys.”   The pink tulip’s stem proclaims, “You take care of me.”  The red one says, “You are sweet.”  And, finally, the purple one says, “You help me lern.”  I can just see him concentrating and cutting out all of those flowers with his little first grade hands.  His phonetic spelling and the way he sometimes forgets to put space between words just makes it even sweeter.  🙂

The frame our boys made at Respite, with a photo of all 6 boys

The frame our boys made at Respite, with a photo of all 6 boys

On Saturday, our younger 3 boys went to Respite care at our church (for special needs children and their siblings).  They came home with a Mother’s Day picture frame that they had made.  Our two biggest boys, Jared and Zach (ages 19 and 13) had helped us while the younger boys were gone to do some furniture moving, which we desperately needed to do.  Some furniture and musical equipment came down 2 flights of stairs, and some went up a flight.  Rooms were cleaned and re-arranged as we all worked together.  Having them willingly help their Dad and me with the heavy lifting was a great Mother’s Day week-end treat for me.   Having our younger boys so well cared for at Respite for several hours that day was also a great gift from all of the volunteers who help with that ministry.  🙂

Happy Mother's Day, Mom!  I love you!

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom! I love you!

I got to talk to my Mom on Saturday afternoon, and the beautiful card she’d sent also arrived that day.  Of course, I’d planned to call her this week-end, but Mom is always the early bird.  She called me before I had a chance to call her.  While we were talking, she told me how she so often thinks of her own mother, my Grandmama Tinsley, who passed away due to cancer when I was 3 years old and my brother was a newborn.  I wish I’d had the opportunity to know Grandmama, but I feel that I know her to some extent from the stories that my Mom has told me.  Her name was Pearl, and she had a broad twinkly-eyed smile in every photograph I’ve ever seen of her, including one in which the family is celebrating my first birthday.  Pearl raised 8 children, passing away when her youngest, my Aunt Sandra, was only 13.  My mom has talked about wash days with the big iron pot in the front yard over a fire, improvised child gates made from chairs laid on their sides, the quantities of food that Mom’s 5 brothers would eat, and the way that her mother sang as she worked.  That “working song” gene was definitely passed down.  My mother often sang hymns or songs like “Love is a Many Splendored Thing.”  (Come to think of it, I often sing as I work, too.)  🙂

eggplantGrandmama Pearl was inventive and hard working.  She kept her family fed and cared for during the great depression and throughout the rationing of World War II.  These are all things that I already knew, but my Mom told me a story on Saturday that I’d never heard before.  She said something about living in Florida and totally surprised me.  I only knew about her family homes in Ft. Mill, Liberty, and Easley, South Carolina; so I said, “I never knew you lived in Florida!”  Then Mom told me about how her father was promised a job as a construction foreman on a bridge build and moved the entire family (5 children at the time, I think) to Florida.  When they arrived, the job and the pay were not as promised, so they lived in Florida less than a year and experienced some very lean times.  At one point, Mom’s oldest sibling, her brother Ansel, was sent to a nearby field to glean some produce (legally) after the harvesting had already been done.  He took a flour sack to carry his gathered food and came home with it full of eggplant.  As my Grandmama Pearl would later say when this incident was discussed, “We ate eggplant rough and eggplant tough until we’d had eggplant enough!”  🙂

The front of my Mothers' Day card from Mom

The front of my Mothers’ Day card from Mom

My own mother learned from Grandmama Pearl and could stretch a grocery dollar until it whimpered.  Somehow, we always had all that we needed, even when my Dad was in graduate school.  My Mom is still a wonder is so many ways, carrying on bravely after my Dad’s passing in 2004.  She sold their condo, bought a house on her own for the first time, had some remodeling done, lived there for several years, and sold the house to move cross country and be near my brother and sister and their families.  She lives in a senior adult apartment complex that has a lot of common space and great amenities, and she always has a busy schedule keeping up with all of the activities and outings with friends.  She just joined the church she’s been attending, and she is still at work blessing the lives of others.  You can’t beat her to a phone call, and you certainly can’t ever out-give her.  I love my Mom.  🙂

????????????????????????On Sunday, my husband, Travis, who is a Minister of Music and Worship, went to church early, as usual. Our six boys and I were only two minutes late for early Praise Band/Praise Team and Orchestra rehearsal, which was great.  I was actually the first Praise Team member there (by just a few seconds, though).  Our oldest son, Jared, age 19, went to his Dad’s office during the early rehearsal, where he and I would later have our own Sunday School class. (I am studying with him through the gospel of John.)  Our son Zachary, who just turned 13, went on upstairs to the youth department.  During rehearsal, our four youngest boys were really good in the Worship Center.  They were just a little active, running around through the pews as the worship team rehearsed.  It was a little ironic to be singing a worship song about waiting on the Lord that began with the words, “Be still …” while watching their constant motion.  Even that was a blessing, though, knowing that they are healthy and happy.  🙂

When it was time for Sunday School, I took the four youngest downstairs to their classes.  Logan’s class had combined with the class that Austin and Camden are in for their “Muffins with Mom” breakfast, so Austin brought me orange juice and then Camden brought me a muffin.  It was sweet to watch all of the children serving their Moms and then sitting down to eat with them.  Logan was roaming around the room a bit.  He has Autism, and sometimes he just needs a little time to be Logan.  He was in a very good mood, though.  Camden and Austin gave me the paper teapot cards they had made, with the teabags and a hand-written “Happy Mothers’ Day” message inside.  🙂

Mothers' Day teapot card from Camden

Mothers’ Day teapot card from Camden (with steam!)

Camden stressed to me once more that he wanted to share the tea with me, so we’ll have to do that some time this week.  Logan had made cute little owl magnets.  🙂

Mothers' Day owl magnets from Logan

Mothers’ Day owl magnets from Logan

After attending “Muffins for Mom” with our 3 youngest boys, I went to Braden’s 3rd grade Sunday School class for more “Muffins with Mom”.  Braden was a sweetheart, as usual.  I didn’t need another muffin, but he presented me with a gift bag that had some fragrant hand soap and a printed bookmark that had been personalized with Braden’s answers to some questions about me.  Here are the statements, with his answers underlined.

My mother looks beautiful when she wears a white shirt with sparkles.

My favorite meal that my mother makes for me is macaroni and cheese.

I enjoy spending time with my mother when we work around the house together.

hug even tighterI feel most loved when my mother hugs me.

My mother teaches me about Jesus by telling me.

I love my mother because she prays with me.

I show love to my mother by hugging her.

🙂  Isn’t he the sweetest 3rd grader ever!  🙂

After attending the Mother’s Day “Muffins with Mom” events downstairs, I went back upstairs for Sunday School in Travis’ office with Jared.  We had a great lesson.  It’s always good for me to hear his thoughts about scripture and how God’s word relates to life.  I must say that even though I have a little bit of tech savviness, I am still getting used to the fact that his Bible is on his phone.

Both of our teen-agers were sweet with their Mother’s Day greetings.  When we were at home, Jared gave me a big hug and told me he loved me and “Happy Mother’s Day!”, and Zach did all of those things plus he gave me a kiss on the cheek!  It’s always good when teens appreciate and show respect and love for parents and for others who are helping them through life.  🙂

We had an incredible worship service at church.  To me, it seemed a victorious and hopeful service that really lifted up the Lord and brought glory to His name while also ministering to people (including me!).  Mothers were honored at one point in the service by having all of the Moms stand up.  There are so many wonderful women who attend our church, and I am so blessed to know many of these amazing Moms as well as other wonderful women who love the Lord and love people.  Some of the incredible ladies I know don’t have children of their own but have such loving and nurturing qualities that they bless the lives of everyone they know!).  🙂

Our twins, Austin and Camden, at a Firehouse Subs in Arkansas in 2010 (on the way home from a trip to Oklahoma).

Our twins, Austin and Camden, at a Firehouse Subs in Arkansas in 2010 (on the way home from a trip to Oklahoma).

After church, our family went to Firehouse Subs for lunch.  Their sandwiches are so good, and our boys love it.  (Me, too!)  The best part is that the location closest to our home currently has a “kids eat free” promotion on Sundays, which is great for our large family (Mom and Dad plus 6 boys).  Our boys enjoy picking out their own bag of chips and then getting a drink with the fountain machine that will mix your personal choice of soda.  When we first started going to Firehouse, we would come home with 5 of the plastic firehats.  They’ve almost outgrown that, but Austin and Logan still got a hat on Sunday.  What a joy it is to be with my family and hear their conversations.  I realize how much they have grown and learned.  They are such awesome boys!  🙂

The back of Braden's handmade Mother's Day card from school

The back of Braden’s handmade Mother’s Day card from school

When we got home, there were more gifts and cards.  I don’t deserve all of this, but I sure am blessed!  The sweet card that all of the boys signed says, “There’s only one of you for all of us, but that’s okay…  you always have plenty of love to go around.!”  Camden drew a stick figure Mom holding out a big heart.  🙂  Braden also had a bag of gifts that he had made from school.  There was a hand-painted flowerpot, some seeds, a laminated bookmark with a poem about mothers and a picture of Braden and Travis on the back, and a card that Braden had made that says, “Moms make children blossom.  My favorite part of that card was what Braden wrote on the back.  🙂

Logan had a gift for me in his backpack, too.  He had written a gift card himself (the first time he has ever done that), and it said “For Mom, Love, Logan”.  That is huge for him.  The gift his teacher put together was so sweet.  I will scan it like I have several of the other things and post the photo below.  It is a black and white photo of Logan, holding a heart that he had colored, with the words “I Love You” written on the heart.  Logan had written “Mommy” on the mat above the photo and his own name below in pink crayon.  The photo was in a black frame, but I did remove it briefly for scanning.  Here it is!  🙂

Logan loves Mommy

Logan loves Mommy

Our daughter, Meredith, is older than the boys.  She is married and lives in Oklahoma, so I didn’t get to see her.  She sent me an online greeting with a “Happy Mother’s Day” graphic and a message about how much she loves and misses me.  What a blessing it is to be able to communicate!  We can say, “I love you” through the internet or during a phone call and talk to each other as though we were in the same room.  Even though we are far apart, we can still stay close at heart! 🙂

Mothers Day graphic sent by our daughter as her e-card

Mothers Day graphic sent by our daughter as her e-card

ice cream freezerThe day was far from over.  I had not slept well the night before, so I actually had the luxury of taking a short nap Sunday afternoon.  Travis had an idea for a Mother’s Day treat for the whole family, so he went to the grocery store and purchased ingredients for home-made ice cream.  We had not made home-made ice cream in several years, so it was fun to see and hear the excited reactions of our younger boys to the process.  Travis made Butterfinger ice cream, and it was a very decadent treat after supper.  Travis cooked supper (grilled), and then he cleaned up the kitchen.  I was a totally spoiled Mom.  🙂

For me, it didn’t take expensive gifts like clothing or jewelry or flowers to feel loved and appreciated.  I enjoy all of those things as much as anyone, but the home-made and spontaneous expressions of love always mean the most.  Those tiny yellow weed flowers (blue-bell shaped, but I don’t know what they are called) were more beautiful than a professionally arranged bouquet because they were given with the purest love and a little boy sweetness, with a desire to say, “I love you.”  The hugs and the help and the “queen for a day” treatment were better than a spa day to me.  There have been past Mother’s Days when doing anything was an afterthought (as in a trip to the grocery store to buy a card after returning home from church), and there have been times when there were nice gifts that were given.  But whether my hubby was so busy giving of himself to our family (as he does all of the time) that he was a little late on preparation for Mother’s day or whether there were flowers and gifts or homespun treats, these Boyd men know how to let me know they love me.  When I get a little overwhelmed with all of the maleness around here, it’s a good thing to remember the loving hearts that go along with the messy footprints and stinky laundry.   I love them all dearly!  🙂

I know that it is a bit indulgent to share all of the details that I’ve shared in this post.  For me, it is definitely a story about the blessings of life and love, home and family, and a special day now and then.  Since I stay so busy with all of the chores that must be done, I don’t get as much done as far as keeping a chronicle of family memories as I should, so this is say to my family that they are awesome and that I love them all dearly… on Mother’s Day and on every day.  🙂

🙂 🙂 🙂  And, oh yes, I am blessed!  🙂 🙂 🙂

Happy Mother’s Day and every day to all of the Moms out there! 

Count your blessings, sweet friends!  So many loving and nurturing women never have the opportunity to become a Mom.  You are so blessed!

A wise friend once counseled me to enjoy each stage of my life, even with its difficulties.  She said that too many people effectively put off their own happiness by saying or thinking, “I’ll really be happy (or glad) when _______________ .”   Fill in the blank.  Are you waiting for a developmental milestone or for more independence for your children, a career boost for yourself or your husband, a move to your dream house or anything else before you really claim the happiness you could be enjoying today?  Don’t wait!  Take charge and determine to be happy right where you are, at this time in your life.  Don’t waste another day missing what you’ve never had.  Be thankful for what you do have, and move forward with such a contagious joy that you lighten the load for your entire family.  You can do it!  🙂

Happy Mothers Day photo pink azaleaHere’s short verse for you, Mom!
(from Braden’s bookmark made at school)

“Thank you for watering me with love,

feeding me with encouragement,

and nourishing me with time and energy.

I am growing beautiful because of you!”

Amen!

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These are the days

These are the days of scattered sneakers, backpacks, hoodies, and homework. backpacks and hoodies

This is a time when super heros and cars that have names and faces inhabit our household.

This is a time when every moment is characterized and enriched by the tangible evidence of life and health and six active boys.

For example, our homework helper baskets include crayons, pencils, markers, scissors, rulers, glue sticks, and large erasers.

Dirty socks multiply under the furniture in the den.  Little toys and treasures and pieces of toys migrate everywhere.

Someone keeps un-screwing the knobs on cabinets, drawers and furniture.

Keeping the pantry full is a constant endeavor, thwarted by six hungry boys.

Laundry overflowingLaundry overflows the hampers like lava flowing down the sides of an active volcano.

Pocket treaures must be extricated before washing clothing.  (Actually, those tiny postage-stamp size DS games still work once they dry out.)

The boys’ bathroom upstairs is decorated with monkeys….even when there are no boys inside.

Said bathroom is generally not pristine.

Our garage houses no cars but does shelter 7 bicycles, an assortment of water guns, and outdoor play gear of every description.

Family vacations are not a vacation at all for Mom and Dad, but they are worth it!

Keeping some semblance of order and sanity is an ongoing challenge; but we wouldn’t have it any other way, because these are the days.

Yes, these are the days…

These are the days of sweet handmade gifts

*  little boy hugs

* *  sticky fingers

* * *  laughter and silliness

* * * *  report cards and learning

* * * * *  Bible stories at bedtime

* * * * * *  big boy hugs

* * * * * * *  fervent prayers

* * * * * * * *  lessons from life

* * * * * * * * *  learning to follow, learning to lead

* * * * * * * * * *  and boys in the process of becoming men.

Our six boys with Dad

Our six boys with Dad

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Thank you for spending your valuable time reading the contents of this page.  We hope that it has been helpful to you.   If you or someone that you know is looking for answers about life, we hope that you will visit our page called “Do You Know Jesus?”.   The links provided on this page will help to answer life’s deepest questions.   Here is the link to “Do You Know Jesus?”:  http://www.familysong.wordpress.com/do-you-know-jesus/

Please feel free to share this URL with anyone who is looking for answers about life and eternity.

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The End of an Era (Almost)

“We tried child-proofing, but….”

I considered several different titles for this post…

“Adventures in Child-Proofing” was one possibility.

“To Insanity…and Beyond” had a certain ring.

Another option involved the simplicity of sticking to the facts, with

“We Survived Three Junior Houdinis!”

(I want the t-hirt!)

Sticky boo bear Camden

All of the possibilities listed above have the “hanging on by your toenails” chaotic edge that captures a bit of the reality of our life at the Boyd house for the last few years. But, alas, none of those catchy titles had the other element that all parents recognize as one childhood phase is ending and another begins: an odd combination of giddy relief and totally dramatic nostalgia. The symptoms are common. As you regain your sanity after realizing that the pre-school years have truly passed, you may find yourself looking at photos of sticky little boo bears sitting in a high chair and wishing you could go through half a tub of wet wipes cleaning up a squirmy little cutie pie’s face and hands just one more time. You watch a video of the holidays and realize how joyful it is to see wonder and delight through the eyes of a precious little one. Or, you see something that your child would have just loved as a pre-schooler… and realize that you don’t have anyone to share those kinds of things with any more. The feeling of treasuring all of the short-lived sweetness of the baby and toddler years lingers long after the outgrown clothes and toys have found a new home. Ah, sweet memories!

Let’s not forget the flip side of forgetful nostalgia, though. I don’t have to view many sticky boo bear photos before remembering all of the milestones that moving forward represents. There are no more diapers, no more potty chairs, no more sippy cups, and no more baby gates. Ah, yes. It’s all coming back to me now in a flood of the aforementioned giddy relief.

No more diapers means: no more changing diapers, no more buying diapers, no more waiting for the stall with the nasty changing table to become vacant, and no more wet spots in your lap.

No more potty chairs means: no more cleaning potty chairs, no more 50 yard dash through a crowded restaurant to a potty that your suddenly persnickety toddler refuses to use, and no more wet spots on your couch (even worse than on a lap).

No more baby gates means: no more parent wipe-outs after the “I think I’ll just step over it this time” syndrome claims one more victim.

And, finally, no more sippy cups means: no more frantic treasure hunts for the elusive favorite cup that fell out of the stroller somewhere on the ten block walk from your car to the arts festival (and then finding the missing cup two weeks later under the seat of the car after searching for the source of noxious fumes in your vehicle).

Are you giddy yet?

Our four pre-schoolers enjoy a moment of stillness during the sippy cup phase. Believe me, it was only a moment.

Braden is the oldest of our four who were all in the pre-school phase at once. Here’s just what he looked like back then. Isn’t he a cutie?

If you are still overtaken with parental nostalgia, allow me to refresh your memory with a tale of aging parents totally outnumbered by four adorable and clever pre-schoolers plus two older boys. Travis and I were experienced parents before we had pre-schoolers times four. We had a daughter who was married, a son in junior high, and another son in elementary school. We’d dealt with all the issues of child-rearing previously, but the years between our oldest three meant that we were dealing with the baby or pre-school stage one child at a time. At least, that was so until the four youngest Boyd boys came along. Braden, the oldest of the four, was three years old (almost four) when his twin brothers, Austin and Camden, were born. In the middle of the pre-school pack was Logan, who was born about half-way between Braden and the twins. So, by the time that twins Camden and Austin were fully ambulatory at age one, Logan was two and a half and Braden was four (almost five). At that stage, we were child-proofing like crazy. We had all of the usual outlet plugs and cabinet latches, but we quickly discovered that we needed to go much further. Though Braden was past the age of getting into everything, he was fascinated by the toys belonging to older brother Zachary (then age 6) and by oldest brother Jared’s Star Wars lego structures. If Jared forgot to lock the door to his room, Braden discovered it and was inside in a heart beat, destroying the complicated Lego builds. The force was with him. In the room that Braden and Zach shared, Braden left most things alone. However, he loved to dump out the baskets and bins of sorted toys (like hot wheels, super hero figures, monster trucks, construction vehicles, and duplo blocks) that were stored in the closet. To prevent all of the small toys from being out at once, we did place locks on the closet doors. Even with the force, Braden could not defeat us. We were undaunted. It was a hassle getting into the closet when we needed something, though.

Precious little snoozers Camden, Logan, and Austin needed a red flashing warning light on their foreheads that said, “Recharging” !

Co-conspirators Austin and Camden

The three youngest pre-schoolers shared a bedroom out of necessity, so at first we had two cribs and a toddler bed in the room. Later on, we had three toddler beds. Yes, we used all of the conventional child-proofing stuff with these three, but we were forced to go far beyond the norm time and time again. Our three sweet-faced toddlers might have looked totally innocent, but these little guys were amazingly resourceful. What one didn’t think of, another one would. Then, they would work together to accomplish their dastardly plan. Logan was our fearless climber. There was no such thing as “out of reach” where he was concerned. Have you ever seen a pre-schooler totally dismantle a lamp, leaving the shade totally torn apart down to the framework and the base of the lamp dismantled (miraculously, without breaking the light bulb)? Logan did. We gave up on having a lamp on top of their chest of drawers. As with Braden, we had to use locks on the closet for Austin, Camden, and Logan’s room. They would even pull clothing off of hangers and drag out all of the linens stored inside if we accidentally left the closet door open. In addition, Travis had to drill holes in every drawer front and install key locks on their chest of drawers. Otherwise, they would pull the drawers out and use them as a ladder to climb to the top of the chest. They would also pull out all of the folded clothing and have a good ol’ time throwing it everywhere in their room. If Mom was in the utility room trying to start a load of laundry, it was amazing how much destruction they could create in just a few minutes. Twins Austin and Camden also had their own twin language. This is not uncommon for twins, and it was quite fascinating. We never figured out what they were saying, but they understood each other perfectly. I think they were conspiring to pull off their next daring feat of destruction.

Logan, our most skillful escape artist and climber, enjoys a moment of pure toddler joy.

One thing that our three little Houdinis did was to repeatedly figure out ways to escape their room. They had plenty of play space and toys, and their room was right next to the kitchen, so we often had them playing in their room with the baby gate to keep them confined to one area and safe. After a while, they figured out how to climb the gate. We got a taller gate. It worked for a few days. It was like watching a military obstacle course in basic training. They were over the top in no time. In response, Travis built a smooth, half door to take the place of the gate. It was rather tall. with nothing that could be used as a foot-hold. That worked for a long time, but Logan eventually learned to scale the sheer cliff face of the half door. What would appear to a little fellow as a rather imposing structure, significantly taller than their full height even on tiptoe, was no match for our little escape artists.

With three toddler beds and three pre-schoolers all in one room, the only time their room looked like this was when Mom picked up while they were all at pre-school.

Then, there was one thing these three did that I have never heard any other pre-school Mom mention. They would not leave their beds intact, no matter what we did. That drove me crazy. Every single day, the three of them took off their sheets and mattress pads. Camden and Austin started doing this when they were still in their cribs. Logan thought they had a great idea, so he was soon dismantling his bed as well. Then, they started taking the mattresses off. We finally wound up purchasing a bunch of luggage straps and strapping the mattresses to the bed frames, with the latch for the strap down below the slats inside the enclosed frame. One luggage strap was not enough. Each bed had to have one strap in the middle and one at each end. Have you ever heard of such a thing? I’m telling you, when those three little boys worked together, they were very strong. We tried everything to get them to stop doing this. We tried praising them when their beds stayed together for any length of time. We did time outs, we removed some of their toys and their favorite blankies, and even tried a little diapered bottom swat to discourage our miniature slumber demolition crew. Then, they figured out that if they all pushed, they could move furniture! Unbelievable! We literally had to fasten furniture to the wall with anchors and “L” brackets and whatever else worked. This kind of determined and systematic dismantling of their beds and their room continued for almost 3 years! Even when they could go anywhere in the house, they still were a wrecking crew in their own room. We finally abandoned using sheets for a while. It was pointles to keep trying since the sheets never stayed on. They all slept on their plastic covered mattresses in their toddler beds for a few weeks. Finally, one day, they asked for sheets. We put them on, and they have never gone back to the daily bedding battles. Whew! Finally!

Room decor genius or toddler graffiti?

Sometimes I wondered if the older brothers were supplying contraband. No matter how we tried to make sure that all coloring was done at the kitchen table or on their high chair trays, a marker or crayon would sometimes wind up in the little guys’ room. You may have seen what one toddler can do with a writing implement. Multiply that times three, and we’re talking graffiti on an epic scale. Walls were not the only target. They also ‘decorated’ furniture, the windowsill, and the window itself. Thank goodness for Mr. Clean magic erasers!

It was such a blessing to have a handyman husband during those childproofing battleground years. Travis was constantly having to come up with new strategies to keep them safe, reconstruct things they broke, and maintain some remnant of sanity for the rest of the family. They actually pulled the door knobs off of their closet doors four times, stripping out the screw holes each time. To replace them, Travis would turn the knob a new direction so that the screws would be in a different place. The knobs are on the doors now only because Travis found a super strength filler that allowed him to re-use the stripped out holes. One day not long after we moved to our new home in Georgia, I looked up to see Camden (who had been sitting on the couch watching a pre-school program just moments before) climbing over the stair rail and catapulting himself onto a table below. It was one of those hide-a-tables (with a plywood top and three spindly legs) that you cover with a floor-length tablecloth. The table was no match for Camden. As soon as his little bottom and the force of his toddler exuberance hit the table top, the whole thing collapsed, with Camden on top of the heap. That incident may have been life-saving. It scared Camden (and his brothers) so much that no one has ever climbed over the stair rail again. To fix the table after this incident, Travis built a rectangular box with a shelf, adding a base for stability; and it became the new support for the table top, with the bonus of some hidden storage. Who else do you know who has an industrial strength hide-a-table? What a man!

A couple of weeks ago, a significant rite of passage occured. The final piece of toddler furniture in the Boyd house has now been donated to Good Will. We had been talking about purchasing a bunk bed for the room shared by Austin, Camden and Logan so that they could finally all have a ‘big boy’ bed. When I found a great deal on a used bunk bed with the sturdiest metal frame I’ve sever seen, we bought it. Austin and Camden now share the imposing structure, and Logan has his own twin bed. The last remaining toddler bed is finally gone. I must admit that I did feel a little wave of nostalgia when we were removing the toddler bed from the room. After all, this toddler bed frame is the one that Travis made after the boys tore up Logan’s two previous toddler beds. The white, metal framed toddler bed that had served us well for Jared, Zachary, and Braden bit the dust when the welds connecting the bed platform to the headboard began to fail. We tried to get it re-welded, but none of the local welders we tried wanted to mess with it. So, we purchased a new toddler bed with a metal frame and molded plastic legs, headboard, and footboard. They destroyed the molded plastic parts of that bed within less than a year. Our final toddler bed was a super sturdy wooden one that Travis made, with rounded corners for safety and total overkill on the strength of the frame and the bed platform. It lasted for as long as it was needed, and we closed the door on nostalgia when it was carried out to the pick-up for transportation to Good Will.

Travis and all six of our boys pose after a visit to the Georgia Auarium in late December, 2011.

Through the years, Travis and I have shared so much joy with our bunch, even during all of the craziness of the pre-school years and constant child-proofing. Each of our six boys is incredibly awesome. We are so proud of them and so blessed to be their parents! If we had been blessed with more than our six sons and one daughter, we would have loved them all and found a way to make it through. Our little guys were not the only ones who knew how to be resourceful. We are just thankful to have survived and to see our boys well on their way to growing up strong and living a life that honors God. We still have locks on the closet doors in Austin, Camden, and Logan’s room, but we don’t have to worry about them climbing on the chest of drawers anymore. Logan has special needs; and he still can be destructive, but we are working on that. He and his twin brothers all keep their sheets on now, and they are growing up. So, goodbye to toddler beds, baby gates, strollers, sippy cups, high chairs, potty chairs, diapers, child-proofing devices of every description, and pull-ups. All of the baby and toddler gear served us as well as possible, but we don’t need it anymore. Those years are behind us now, but we’ll always have a special place in our hearts for memories of all of the love and craziness of those fun-filled and exahausting times.  We’ve loved our little guys through every stage and laughed at all of their antics; but now the three littlest Boydinis are moving on, and so are we!

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This post was written by Cynthia A Boyd.   It was originally published on our primary blog, which addresses the subjects of life, ministry, worship, music, and discipleship.  You’ll find many other posts on our original blog which are not on this blog at http://www.boydbrainmusic.wordpress.com

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DO YOU KNOW JESUS?
The decision to ask Jesus to come into your heart and life as your Lord and Savior is the best decision you could ever make! The one true God is ready to give you forgiveness and eternal life as soon as you understand your need for Him and believe on the name of His only Son, Jesus, for your salvation.
Here’s a blog page link to help you find the answers to your questions about Jesus. http://www.familysong.wordpress.com/do-you-know-jesus/
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A Little Boydie told me…

Just a reg’lar Mom in a house full of boys

praise4ever

praise4ever

I'm a busy wife and mother of 7, with 6 incredible boys still at home and a beautiful married daughter. Our boys range in age from our 10 year old twins to our 22 year old. We have 2 in Elementary School, 2 in Middle School, one in High School, and one High School grad. They are all incredible and special. One of our boys has special needs. I'm a musician, singer, writer, composer, blogger, and teacher. I'm thankful for our home and family, for Travis, my amazing husband of 39 years, and for family and friends near and far. Most of all, I'm thankful for God's grace and mercy and that He has given the gift of salvation through Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior.

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Giving a Song to say “Thank You”

Travis L. Boyd / WorshipSounds Music

Travis L. Boyd / WorshipSounds Music

As a follower of Jesus Christ, a husband and a father of 7, and a Minister of Music and Worship, I am very blessed. For a total of 32 years, I have served as a Minister of Worship for some wonderful congregations in the states of Oklahoma, Texas, and Georgia. It is a joy to lead God's people in worshipping Him through music, and I am very blessed to serve at First Baptist Church of Duluth, Georgia. I'm also a composer, lyricist, arranger, and orchestrator, with choral anthems, songs, and orchestrations published by Shawnee Press (now with Hal Leonard), Lorenz, Choristers Guild, and Lifeway. My web-based music publishing site, WorshipSounds Music (formerly Boydbrain Music), offers Choral Anthems, Orchestrations, Congregational Praise, and Vocal Solo music. Our worship blog has become an extension of worship ministry, and it is a privelege to share information and inspiration with other worshippers. My desire is to glorify God through my life, ministry, and composition work. I believe that music is a wonderful way to communicate the truths of God's love and mercy and to glorify Him. My wife, Cindy, and I have been married for 36 years. We have 7 children. Daughter Meredith lives in Texas. Sons Jared, Zachary, Braden, Logan, Austin, and Camden range in age from 7 to 19 and are still living at home.

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