The Toy Graveyard.

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As a parent, do you ever hit a breaking point? Where the kid’s have pushed you too far and you find yourself getting desperate for a way to get their attention??

Here is a typical evening in the Moore house. We eat dinner around 5pm and start cleaning up the kitchen right away. While I am cleaning the kitchen, the little ones are in the bath and ThomasWade is doing his homework. I try to bathe all three at the same time. Most of the time this works out great, but then sometimes they act as if they are in a sinking ship and are trying to throw all the water out of the tub to save their lives. So then I clean the kitchen and the bathroom from the flood and look over ThomasWade’s homework. The little ones get into their pj’s and start to play while ThomasWade is in the shower. Around 6:30 they are all in the boy’s room playing with EVERY toy they own. They play for around an hour and then we ask them to start picking up the mess.

This is when it all goes down hill. Everything has a place and container, so this should be an easy task. I usually have to set the timer and then walk out. Well, night after night this timer has not phased them one bit. They dodn’t even hear it. Even after reminding them of the time getting closer and closer. I usually am so frustrated and ready for bed myself that I just go in and clean it all myself. Trent isn’t a fan of this at all, apparently this takes away the point of the timer when I go in and clean it for them!

So the timer goes off and I go to check out the room. As usual, there has not been one toy picked up and they are still playing. They didn’t even look at me when I walked into the room. So I walked out of the room and took a deep breath. Now let me remind you that Trent is the calm parent and I am not. I walk right past Trent and get the trash bags from the kitchen. He is standing there not saying a word, just watching the craziness unfold. I go into the kids room and without saying a word I start putting everything off the ground into the trash bag. It gets ugly. If it was on the ground, then it went into the bag. They went nuts. They start crying and screaming. Grabbing for things I haven’t gotten to yet. I never stopped, I simply remind them that I asked them to clean their room and they ignored me. I walked out with two full trash bags and left a room of hysterical children.

I am not sure how I thought they would have reacted, well honestly not a lot of thought went into my plan at all. Once I started, I couldn’t stop. I felt like they needed a wake up call. And this was for sure getting their attention. I placed the trash bags outside of the house and braced myself for the aftermath. When I came back in, the boys were in shock. Trent and I had a long talk with them about listening and picking up their room. That night we tucked three very sad little boys into bed. They assured us that they would listen and value their toys next time. After they fell asleep, I brought the toys inside and put them in the back closet. I mean, what kind of mother would I be if I actually threw away their toys!!?? ha. I am not sure when they will get the toys back, but for now they are “gone”.

Moore to the Story: This isn’t one of my proudest parenting moments, but it got their attention. We have had a couple of times where we have had to remind them about the toys going in the trash bag. Now when we ask them to clean their room and they decide not to listen, then they are choosing the result. Our toy graveyard is growing, but so are the lessons… Hopefully!

Different… Not better.

Last night ThomasWade offered to clean the kitchen after dinner. ThomasWade is the one that we have to remind to put his plate by the sink and throw his trash away after almost every meal. So I was pretty shocked when he offered. Now I know that really the only reason he offered was because he wanted a few stars on his chart. When the chart is full, then he gets a SnoCone. So, he is really wanting to fill it up fast. Anyway, yesterday was a very LONG day of no electronics and honestly my nerves were shot. So I welcomed the idea of not cleaning the kitchen.

But here is the problem…. I am not OCD by any means, but I do have a small problem letting ThomasWade do tasks without trying to micro-manage the situation. This has always been an issue. I don’t do this with the little ones, just with him. I am not sure if it’s because he is the first-born or what, but I struggle with just letting him do things. So last night I was exhausted and decided to let him do it his own way. I stayed distracted talking to Trent and entertaining the little ones. After a little while he came over and announced that he was done. Any other time I would have gone over and talked him through “better” ways of doing things. But not last night. I gave him a huge hug and a big kiss. I looked him in the eyes, told him how thankful I was and proud to have such a helpful son. Then we marched to the star chart and gladly gave him 3 stars. Although he thought that would have earned him FIVE stars, he was still so happy.

Moore to the Story: This morning I opened the dishwasher to find that it was all wrong. The bowls were on the bottom… plates laid at the top. So, I started to grab the bowl to re-organize it, but then I stopped myself. Just because I would have loaded it different doesn’t mean that it was better. It would still get clean. I got a flash of ThomasWade’s big smile that night and decided to LET IT GO. Yep, smooth started singing Elsa at 8:45 in the morning while I put in the detergent. You should try it! It’s very liberating and the little ones got a good laugh. I hope that I can continue to let little things go, it’s a great feeling.

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I missed it.

I am a stay at home Momma. There are a lot of pros and cons to this profession. Yes, I said profession. But that is a whole other post. One of my most favorite PRO’s is that I get to attend all the school field trips. My Nolan started pre-k this year and has been on so many school trips. I have had the pleasure of attending almost all. It’s not really possible to arrange a sitter for the little one’s, so they tag along with me. This sometimes can be a little tricky because since they are all so close in age, they feel like they can do everything that Nolan does. So, they have had a hard time sitting back and watching Nolan.

This particular field trip was to the children’s museum for an egg hunt. This is Nolan’s first egg hunt at school, big deal right! They would do a craft, play and have an egg hunt. So I get the idea to bring extra eggs and candy for Sage and Gentry. That way they can have a few eggs themselves and won’t throw a fit when they see Nolan with eggs.

So, on our way to the field trip, I stop at Walgreens and let the little ones pick the eggs and candy. We load up and head to field trip. I am running a few minutes late, but I am always late. Like ALWAYS. This time I am not as late as I usually am, so I am patting myself on the back for almost being on time. Then I get a text from Nolan’s teacher. She is always so sweet to text me pictures of Nolan when he does cute things at school. Well, I look at the picture and there he is with his basket full of eggs. Yep… I missed it! I missed his FIRST SCHOOL EGG HUNT!

Ok… Wait, let me just paint a picture of how all of this is supposed to go… After we are at the museum for a little while, I sneak outside with a group of parents. We carefully hide the eggs and I throw a few of the eggs I brought to the side so my little ones will be pre occupied hunting those eggs. Then the class comes out to hunt eggs. I eagerly follow Nolan around with my camera taking pictures of every egg he finds and his perfect little excited expression. Well, you can see how I was so disappointed. I had missed the whole egg hunt! No side eggs for my little ones, no hiding eggs with parents, no excited expressions, and most of all NO PICTURES!!!!

I am not proud of this next part, but I called my Momma and cried. Like a baby, I cried hard. I had done all this extra stuff to try to make it be the best day for the little ones and Nolan. I had missed it. Why was I even a stay at home mom? How could I miss it? Why can’t I ever be on time? Nolan is never going to forget that I missed it! My Mom didn’t even know what to say. The longer we stayed on the phone, the worse I got. My mom knew that there was only one person at this pity party. So, she simply said, “I’m sorry.”

I sadly walked into the museum and was quickly greeted by Nolan who was so excited that we were there. I made it just in time for the craft. He told me all about the egg hunt and never asked where I was. I apologized to him for missing it and he said, “Don’t worry, Mrs. Shelley took a picture!” Yes son, I know Mrs. Shelley took the ONLY picture of you hunting eggs for the first time at school. I was able to work through my disappointment and actually enjoy watching Nolan with his friends. A little later Nolan told me that he was so glad I was there with him! It was still such a fun trip, even if I had missed the egg hunt.

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Trent was so sweet to me afterwards when I told him the story of the day and how disappointed I had been… but then later that night he admitted to me that I might had overreacted a “Little”. Who ME??!! Ok so, I guess maybe I did… Just a little. I had to call my Mom and apologize for my pity party.

Moore to the Story: I am sure there are many lessons that I should have taken from this day about time management, lowering expectations, not freaking out about little things, and much more. But on this day I was just disappointed. I had built it up too much in my head and it all came crashing down with one text. But I see at the end of the day, the actual egg hunt wasn’t a big deal at all. Nolan even went back outside to recreate a few of these shots. So, I guess I didn’t miss it after all and I got my pictures!

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Trent Moore…. My Person.

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Here he is folks, my husband. Trent Moore. Where to even start describing this amazing man of mine?

For starters… I fell in love with Trent almost minutes into our first date. I have never met anyone like him. He is so confident, but not in the cocky/obnoxious way. He is just very sure of himself. Trent is so very handsome with those blue eyes and long eyelashes. His smile is perfect! Trent makes me laugh, like really laugh.

Trent has the most magnetic personality. He never meets a stranger and can make anyone laugh. He has passed these traits on to all four of our kids. Trent is very hardworking. Anything he does, it’s 100%. He always strives to be the best at everything. I love this about him. I never have to worry that something wasn’t done right. If Trent was in charge, the job always gets done the right way.

Trent is an amazing Daddy to our kids and loves each one so dearly. You can clearly see the bond that each one have with him. He is so gentle and patient when it comes to the kids and has a much more calm approach to situations. He can always get them to go right to sleep and eat their food without a fight. How does he do it???

Trent and I are a good team because he is calm and I am NOT! ha. When crazy things come our way, Trent always says “Everything happens for a reason.” This honestly drives me nuts. But when I am freaking out (which happens a lot!) Trent is always quick to remind me to take a step back and breath.

Trent works so hard for our family, so I can stay at home with the kids. This is something that I don’t ever want to take for granted.

Trent and I just celebrated our 10 year anniversary. Yes, we celebrated. Let’s face it. Marriage is hard. We have had our struggles and continue to learn more about each other everyday. Our marriage hasn’t been a fairytale, but at the end of the day we choose each other and we choose our family. I love Trent with my whole heart and can’t imagine life without him. He is my person.

“Can I have your phone??”….Easter Edition

Are my kid’s the only one obsessed with my phone??? They ask for it all day long. They have so many electronics of their own, but there is just something about my phone. I did read an article on the internet one time that the reason children always want their parents phone has to do with the amount of time I am actually on my phone. But everyone knows that you can’t believe everything you read on the internet!!! ha.

So on to the story. On Easter Sunday, ThomasWade, Nolan and I were in the Easter play “God’s Not Dead.” My parents came into town to see the performance. We have been practicing since January and have worked so hard. I have been so impressed with Nolan especially because he was actually learning and singing all the songs. I was the Mom in the play and had ALOT of lines. After many practices and dress rehearsals, We felt like we were ready! So as the play is starting and the kids are singing their first song, Nolan is getting really antsy. Even though he was singing he kept going up and down the steps of the stage and sitting down. But we make it through the first scene without any trouble and things were smooth sailing.

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During the kid’s second song, I make my way to the front row right in front of Nolan waiting for our second scene. Nolan spots me and comes wandering down from the stage. He whispers in my ear, “Can i have your phone??” Good Grief. I quickly tell him that if he sings the song that he can have it, but he had to go back on to the stage. So he goes back to his spot sings and few lines and comes back down. I didn’t want to cause anymore disturbance, so I send him to sit with his Nanny and GranDad on the back row. When it is our turn to do our second scene, I go to my spot on the bench at the front of the church. The spotlight is on me as I turn to sit and there he is…. Nolan is standing right in front of me asking for my phone. It is time to say my line and he is demanding my phone. I have 2 problems here. #1… I don’t even have my phone. It was in my camera bag on the back row. #2 The spotlight is on us, It’s time to say my line and Nolan is steady digging through my purse determined to find my phone. I look over at Trent and he is crying he is laughing so hard. So, the show must go on. I put Nolan on my lap and go on with the scene. Nolan happily pulled out some money from my purse and was counting it. Thankfully he was quiet and we were able to finish the scene. The kids that were in the play with me were so awesome and weren’t even phased by our extra cast member.

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Moore to the Story: After the spotlight was off, I shuffled Nolan back to my parents. He didn’t make anymore appearances the rest of the play and everything turned great. I was so proud of ThomasWade. He sung his little heart out and was worshipping in his own way. It was so special that my family could be apart of something that ministered to so many people and I believe made an impact on the kingdom. Although I have a feeling that another electronic detox might be in my kids near future!

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“Sage Do IT!!!”

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Look at how sweet these two are! Gentry and Sage have loved this weather and they ask to spend the entire day outside. This is a great plan most days, but I am a photographer. I decided to shoot 29 sessions in two days and only gave myself a 2 week window to edit. So that means HOURS in front of the computer. It’s getting close to my deadline, so we have been inside the past few days. They were going crazy, so I had the idea to move my computer to the kitchen table. From there I can see under the car port and in the backyard. So I got them all dressed and stayed outside with them for a bit. They were so sweet while I took these few shots. I explained that I would be sitting at the kitchen table and would be watching them. This was such a great idea!

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They played so great for a bit and I was really making some progress on my work. I am watching them at the corner of the house, when Sage starts screaming. I immediately assume that she is in ants because of the way she is moving. I take off running out of the house to grab her. When I come around the corner, I see what is really happening. Gentry, my sweet GiGi, is laughing so hard as he has the water hose on full blast spraying her. I yell for him to stop and I must have startled him because he jumped. This caused the water hose to fly up and sprayed her all in the face. Keep in mind that it is freezing cold water on full blast. Our backyard has very little grass and is a mud pit for the most part. It was finally getting dry from the monsoon rain that we have had the past few weeks. And here it is all muddy again. So, as I am picking up Sage I lost my balance and slipped down on the mud. This causes me to lose my hold of Sage as I am picking her up and she falls backwards into the mud. Gentry is just standing there swinging the water hose all around saying, “Sage do it!!!” I dash to the hose to cut it off, all while trying to explain to Gentry that I know he is clearly telling a story and can not blame is sister because he is clearly the one HOLDING THE WATER HOSE!

Moore to the Story: Although our day started out so great with the kids playing outside and I had a new plan to finally get my work done, things changed. The same boy who was so sweetly giving his sister flowers was only moments later laughing hysterically while he sprayed her with a water hose! I was off schedule and covered in mud. I found myself blaming Gentry for my day being off. Just like he said, “Sage Do IT!!… I was saying, “Gentry DO IT!!” I went into the living room, scooped him up and gave him extra hugs. I was actually just frustrated with my plate being too full! Gentry wasn’t the problem and wasn’t to blame. Although, I was sure to explain to him the we don’t attack our sister with a water hose!

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Chick-fil-a Streaker!

I am interrupting the usual bio’s of my family for a quick story about our day yesterday! Don’t worry, I will be introducing Trent and I in the coming week.

Yesterday the boys were out of school for parent/teacher conference day. Our appointment was at 8:30am. Trent is out-of-town, so I had all four kid’s at the conference. Yes, I was THAT MOM. Is anyone surprised?? ha. I did give the teacher the heads up that the crew would be tagging along and she was so sweet about it. Have I mentioned how much I love Nolan’s teachers!!! Anyway, back to the story. I promised the kid’s breakfast at Chick-fil-a if they were quiet during the meeting. Yep, THAT MOM again! But just between you and me, we were going anyway because I love Chick-fil-a!

So after the meeting we headed to Chick-fil-a. The kids went straight to the play area and I ordered the food. Grabbed the plastic place mats and set the table. The food came right on time and I got everyone’s place set. I went to get the kid’s from the play area and they came running right to the table… NO FUSSING! I walked from the play area patting myself on the back, so proud of our morning so far. We had a nice breakfast and good conversation. Then the kid’s went back to play and I ordered a cup of coffee to enjoy while they played a little more. Another mom came up and complimented the kid’s and she said the usual… “I could never have 4 kids…. I don’t know you do it… You sure have your hands full…” and I said the usual…”Thank you… yes, they can be… Wouldn’t have it any other way…”

As she is walking back to her table, I see Nolan running out of the play area. He yells out as he runs past me… “I gotta potty, I do it all by myself!” Side note: Nolan thinks he as big as ThomasWade and wants to go the “boys” bathroom. He gets very upset when I make him go with me to the “girls bathroom”. Being that there were only a handful of people at Chick-fil-a, I made the quick decision that he would be ok. I stalked the door, making sure he was only one in there. But then my attention was taken away when Gentry comes screaming and crying running out of the play area. I head over to him and figure out that he has fallen and hit his head. Gentry has been in need of extra Momma attention, so I was really trying to focus on him and listen to his story.

As I am calming Gentry down, I see something out of the corner of my eye…. It’s Nolan…. Hopping towards me… His underwear and shorts around his ankles… His shirt tucked under his chin… Yelling, “Momma ….WIPE MY BOOTY!!!” Dear Lord…. REALLY??!! At this moment, I mentally froze. Why is the bathroom so far from the play area and he had made it all the way to me! I quickly pulled up his pants and shuffled him back to the “girls” bathroom. He put up a little fight, but it was easy to ignore over the sound of my pounding heart and red face. We had a quick talk about modesty, that I am sure he didn’t hear a word that I was saying.

As I am walking out of the bathroom, I see that my coffee was ready. As I am fixing my coffee at the counter I decide I better see how much damage control this is going to be. I take a deep breath, look around and see that only a few people actually saw the “Chick-fil-a Streaker”. I went to apologize for the site. They were very sweet and a table thanked us for the laugh.

Moore to the Story: I made my way back to our table and proudly watched the kid’s play. It’s so true…. I wouldn’t have it any other way…. Although, next time I will insist on the “girls bathroom”!

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Tanner…. Her Dog.

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Trent and I decided that the kids could get a dog when we made the move from the apartment to a house. So after living here for a few months, we started the search. After trying a puppy a few years back, we knew that we wanted to adopt a little older dog that was already kennel trained and knew was good with kids. We hung out at PetSmart and Petco on Saturday’s letting the kids “try out” the dogs that they would bring from the shelters. We talked to several friends that were very experienced with dogs and learned that a lab was the bread we wanted! One Saturday we connected with a lady from PAWS. She really wanted to find us the right dog and I was so glad. Later that week we met her at the park for a “play date” with a black lab named Tanner. When she brought him over to us, I couldn’t believe how big he was. I thought that the kids would be scared of this huge black dog. As soon as Sage caught site of him, she crawled over and began petting him. He was so gentle with her from the start. We played at the park with him for an hour. The lady asked if we wanted to keep Tanner for a few days as a trial. As soon as we brought Tanner to our home, we knew there was no way we were giving him back! We went to the pet store and got everything he needed that night. The kids were so excited and proud of their dog, Tanner.

Even though he was house and crate trained, he would always run away when he went outside. He also chewed A LOT. After we fixed these issues, he has been the best dog. He is so protective of the kids, but still so gentle and sweet. We got him for the boys, but he quickly became Sage’s dog. When you can’t find Sage, she is chilling with Tanner. She constantly reads him books, talks to him, gives him hugs and kisses. It is really the most precious thing. Tanner loves to fetch anything you throw! He is so fast and has so much energy. His favorite thing to do is going to the park with the kids. He climbs all over the play set and goes down the slide!

I highly recommend adopting a pet. The people at PAWS take the time to help the animals get put into the right home. Tanner was a perfect fit for us. He has special place in all our hearts, even though Trent won’t admit it! ha.

Surprise… Our Sweet Sage

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Our Sweet Sage just turned two years old. She is our last baby. Gentry and Sage are 15 months apart. When I was pregnant with ThomasWade, Trent and I had agreed that if our baby was a girl that we would name her Sage Brooks. After hearing “It’s a BOY!!” three times, we were certain that the our fourth would be a boy. I had a few issues at a routine visit, so they wanted to do an ultrasound at my 16 week appointment.. I was by myself when she told that “she” (the baby) looked great. I sat in silence for a very long time. I was mostly relieved that all was well, but then it hit me… “SHE!!!!!! The doctor called her SHE…” I am sure that it was just seconds, but it seemed like I couldn’t even react. I was in such shock. Trent had about the same reaction when I told him. It seems so silly now that we were so surprised, but then it seemed like I had no idea about what to even do with baby girl, since I only had boys. I spent most of my pregnancy anxious about having a girl, but then she was born. All my fears vanished when they laid her on my chest. It was the most amazing feeling. I didn’t know how much I wanted a girl until I met our Sweet Sage.

Sage has totally stole the heart of all her brothers. They all are so sweet with her and already are so protective. From the first day we brought her home, they have all wanted to take care of her. She is never overlooked or left out by them. They are so proud of her, especially ThomasWade. He wanted a sister so bad and cried every time they said “It’s a BOY!” She is a Daddy’s girl, and I am ok with that. She runs to the door every day when she hears Trent pulling up in his truck and calls out “Daddy here!!!”. She gives him the biggest hug EVERY DAY! I’m pretty sure that is Trent’s favorite part of the day.

Our Sage never meets a stranger. She is friendly to everyone. She gives the best hugs and kisses. All day long she tells me that she loves me. She loves to play with baby dolls and read books. We have a dog, Tanner. He is her dog. These two are best buddies. At some point in the day, you will find them cuddling. It’s just too sweet. Sage has the best smile and funniest laugh. Gentry can really get her to laughing. Sage has no idea that she is only TWO. Anything she sees the brothers doing, she is right behind them trying to do the same. She is rough and tough, but also wants to be held and loved on.

Although Trent and I didn’t plan any of our pregnancies (yep, you read that right!), finding out we were pregnant with #4 came as our biggest surprise. This was such a crazy time in our lives. We were taking a huge leap of faith with Trent going into management, selling our house, and moving to Bossier away from our families. The Lord’s timing was perfect and Sage is just what our family needed. Our sweet girl has completed our family of 6.

Number Three… Gentry Randal

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Our “Baby Boy”, Gentry Randal! Gentry came just 13 months after Nolan and fit right into the mix.

Gentry is three years old and is finding his voice! As a baby, Gentry was a breeze. He would sleep anywhere, anytime as long as he had a bottle. He would rarely cry and would eat just about anything. Seriously, the BEST baby! Gentry walked at 10 months trying to catch up with his brothers. With Nolan starting school this year, it’s been interesting to watch this little guy find himself. He has started talking so much more and has a lot to say. I love to see him interact with Sage, they are getting so close. My Gentry is just so sweet. He will always give hugs and kisses! He tells me that he loves me all day long. If I am sitting down, he wants in my lap. He loves to throw balls and has great aim. Gentry runs on his tiptoes and climbs on EVERYTHING. Everyday he asks to ride his scooter and go to the zoo. He loves trains! Gentry has the cutest dimples. His blue eyes and long eyelashes are a lethal combination. He already knows how to use them!

Gentry is very sneaky and the first one to make a mess. He is always into something and if he is quiet you should worry. He has to figure out how things work. Since he is the third child, he is sometimes overlooked. It’s something that we really have to watch. He does have a little temper because he gets frustrated with not being heard.

I love this picture, because this is Gentry! He is always silly and can make you laugh when you least expect it. Gentry brings so much love and joy to our family.