When Words Hurt More than Sticks and Stones

So Eli’s anger.  I can see that we’re getting better at managing it, and though every fiber of my being wants to engage, I have seen time and again that if I don’t his outbursts are shorter lived.  There’s a win.

The problem I’m seeing now is that he is getting bolder with his disrespect.  He flat out refuses to do what I ask, and when I calmly give him the opportunity to choose different words, he repeats himself.

“What happens if I don’t?”
“I’m not doing my homework.”
“What’s another reason why I should?”

What concerns me more … Read the rest

What are You Willing to Live With?

Our days are made up of little decisions.  One after another, we determine what we can live with and what we cannot.  Some days, the “I can live with that” decisions catch up with us.

As a general rule, I need to wake up to a clean kitchen so I can start cooking breakfast at 6:30am.  This means going to bed with a clean kitchen.  THIS is where I struggle.  I don’t WANT to do dishes when I’m ready to go to bed.  So really this means doing dishes immediately after dinner.  I’m sure there are many who do this … Read the rest

Practicing Anger Management

Last month I began writing about Eli’s anger problems in an effort to invite you into my world, but also in hopes to make sure no one is going through this alone.  Here’s where we’re at currently.

After a trip to the therapist, we have some new “tools” to use at home.

1. Calming down is the goal.
When Eli is angry, the goal must be calming down.  It is not giving him a consequence for his anger (which is hard for me), it is not reasoning with him (which is hard for me), it is not threatening him with … Read the rest

Orlikowski Family Christmas Card

I really, really love Christmas cards.  I love picking out the paper, the photos, writing the letter – all of it.  This year it’s just not going to happen.  I decided that if something that isn’t required was causing me stress, I could cross it off my list.

But then your lovely Christmas cards started coming in and I felt so guilty!  So I’m cheating and using my blog :)  So here goes.

IMG_0084Ada is in third grade and will be NINE the day after Christmas.  I can’t even believe it.  My baby is going to be nine.  She is so … Read the rest

Love Your Identities

My identity: momma.  This word carries some weight, am I right?  Sometimes it’s the weight of the world, and sometimes it’s the weight we need to keep us moving.

When I consider loving my identity as momma, I can get overwhelmed.  It’s because there are SO MANY sub-identities mixed up in there!  I’m their alarm clock, chef, chauffeur, nurse, therapist, teacher, maid, referee, activity coordinator, event organizer, AND momma.  Plus more that I can’t remember because I’m tired.

I believe we can settle our thoughts if we focus on the ONE identity we are fulfilling at the moment.  When … Read the rest

Less is More

I tend not to follow trends or what other people are doing just because they’re doing it.  Really sometimes that’s my only reason for not doing something.  Just because everyone else is.  Being stubborn is like a full-time job.

In this particular case I’m talking about my kids’ activities.  Their school activities can get sort of crazy, but manageable.  An hour before school (at school), 10-ish concerts a year, but that’s about it.  Also God blessed us with non-athletic children, this helps.

In the summertime, however, we shut down.  We go swimming, play in the sprinkler, go to church camp, … Read the rest

Being a Substitute Teacher

Last fall I wrote that I was leaving my job, and didn’t know what was next.  If you don’t know, allow me to fill you in.

For almost a year now I have been a substitute teacher in our school district.  There are 50 schools in the district, but I only sub at the two my kids go to so that I can get to know the teachers and administrators there better, and quite honestly I believe it would be too lonely for this relational extrovert to hop all over the place never forming relationships.

When this all started last … Read the rest

Anger Management

Having a blog has been so helpful for me.  I can look back through past posts and sort of get a read on where our family is now and where we’ve been.  Creating a new category called “Anger” tells me something about our current state of being…

I love my boy.  Eli is sweet and intellectual and honest.  He has a great moral compass (as long as his sisters aren’t involved).  But he has always had an anger issue.  I remember very clearly when he was about five, he was mad at me about something.  He glared at me and … Read the rest

Fruits of the Spirit {self-control}

Here I am, at the last of the Fruits of the Spirit.  I must admit, I’m kind of sad.  This has been a good exercise for me to be regularly searching and learning more about the Bible – learning about a topic well enough to explain it to others.  It is good.

Self-control.  This one might be the hardest to exercise on a daily basis.

Proverbs 25:28 says a person who lacks self-control is “like a city whose walls are broken through.”  Without self-control we are defenseless and open to attack.  When my walls are broken through, I am short.  … Read the rest

Our Home Systems

I really love systems.  Stop laughing, Chad. I like to know that there is a plan, if you are not on board I will tie you to the boat.  Enjoy the ride.

I may have reached the systems limit in our home.

Me: We’re going to have a new system for screen time.
Ada: AH!  No more systems!  It’s too much!  We have a chore system.  A point system.  We have to earn money.  We have to do homework.  I can’t handle anymore!
Me: Would you like to hear my system BEFORE you have a freak out?

Morning System
I … Read the rest