Category Archives: kidlets

Sunshine Thoughts

Once, sometimes twice, a summer my daughters convince me to take them to the local waterpark.  There is a nice big wave pool, a waterslide, a lazy river, and a kids area.  And the place is really clean.  A dream come true for three little girls.

Unfortunately, their mother does not enjoy water parks.  At all.  A couple years ago I put them off week after week until we ended up at the water park the last day it was open.  Last year we actually went twice.

Then there was this year.

It is nice because besides the wave pool, they can go in by themselves and I just have to watch.

Wednesday was our chosen day.  Sue packed the lunches and water willingly and quickly.  They each got their suits and towels and did a great job with their sunscreen.  I even remembered to put on sunscreen this year.

All was going well.  And yet…I was grumpy.  And this year, I totally failed at hiding my disdain for the water park.  The girls were exemplary and the crowds weren’t even overwhelming, but I was just fit to be tied. But the fun must go on.  Sue decided to sit out the water slide and read her new book.

Sue decided to sit out the water slide and read her new book.  Caitlyn, on the other hand, went down the slide several times.  Patrice even got in on the fun and this year was able to exit the slide without going under.

And we had to have some of their massive, decently priced, snow cones…

Patrice had one too and boy did I hear it when she discovered I didn’t take her picture too!!

The girls obeyed, didn’t beg for a thing, thanked me over and over for taking them and were really…perfect…but I, was not.

I managed to get badly burned even though I put on sunscreen twice and I just acted like a brat all day long.  Thing is, I had no reason to.  Believe me when I say the girls couldn’t have been on better behavior.

I got home and was just needing some time, so I went upstairs, laid down on my bed and began to pray.  And I quickly realized there was something I needed to say to the girls.

“Thank you for being so good today.  I know I had a bad attitude about the water park, and the thing is, it had nothing to do with you guys or taking you.  I enjoy taking you to fun things.  And you guys made it so easy today.  You listened, you obeyed, you did what you were supposed to, you didn’t whine or complain, you didn’t beg.  None of my unhappiness had to do with you guys.  I love seeing you having fun and playing.  And you were so sweet today.”

I can’t go back and undo my attitude, but hopefully, I can help them see, I was not at all unhappy with them and how we can handle things when we have a bad attitude.

Hopefully, that will be the memory of this years’ visit to the water park.

School Never Stops

We’ve been having fun this summer.  We visit with friends every week, we play with Frazier, we go to parks, we go for a run when it is cool enough, we play with our cousins, we go to play practice, we play games, we skateboard,

we practice our reading, and math.  Wait, the girls don’t find that last one fun?  I do!!

I love watching them tackle another math lesson or a math game.  It is fun to me to see them not losing the skills of what they learned during the school year.  I love seeing them add to what they learned from Labor Day to June.

I love seeing them compete against each other to read or do more reading activities for the library “Build a Better World” program.  Each of the girls has finished the first booklet of 50 items and has earned a free dinner, a free ice cream treat, and an entry into the big giveaway.

They are about half way through their second giveaway entry.  Sue is flying through the Dork Diaries Series.  Caitlyn is enjoying lots of different books, print and Audio.  Right now she is working on Three Cups of Tea:

The astonishing, uplifting story of a real-life Indiana Jones and his humanitarian campaign to use education to combat terrorism in the Taliban’s backyard

Anyone who despairs of the individual’s power to change lives has to read the story of Greg Mortenson, a homeless mountaineer who, following a 1993 climb of Pakistan’s treacherous K2, was inspired by a chance encounter with impoverished mountain villagers and promised to build them a school. Over the next decade he built fifty-five schools—especially for girls—that offer a balanced education in one of the most isolated and dangerous regions on earth. As it chronicles Mortenson’s quest, which has brought him into conflict with both enraged Islamists and uncomprehending Americans, Three Cups of Tea combines adventure with a celebration of the humanitarian spirit (description taken from Amazon).

Not all of our fun has been that educational.  We have spent time watching tv, playing computer games, cooking,

cleaning the house.

It’s a well rounded summer, right?

Happiness Is

We just finished up Sue’s run of “You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown.”  The last song is “Happiness is” which fit perfectly with my friend’s post yesterday.

We’ve had lots of happiness lately.

Happiness is… watching your daughter blossom just a bit more in her second play this weekend.

 

Happiness is…Getting some one-on-one time with Sue to speak to her what is on my heart,

do you know when I see you the most alive, the most you? When you are at practice or on the stage doing a show. You are amazing. Don’t let anyone tell you any different. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do something, God made you amazing, always be who He made you to be.” She came over to my side and as I hugged her, and blinked back tears, I said, “I know sometimes at home you feel overshadowed by an older sister who is very strong, and a Patrice who is, well, Patrice, but you are strong, smart capable, and amazing. I know there are things that don’t come easy, but there are other things that just make you shine. Walk in them all. Be you, be strong and amazing and beautiful. I had a lot of people tell me what I couldn’t do, what I wasn’t, that I wasn’t strong and here I am, kind of old…some of that I can fix, I can run my butt off, but some I can’t. Don’t let people whether they be family, friends, or random people tell you what you can and can’t do!

 

Happiness is…getting a kitchen full of flowers thanks your daughter’s “stardom”

Happiness is…getting out for a run amidst the business of life and pushing myself to improve bit by bit, bunch by bunch.

Happiness is…feeling pretty every once and a while.

Happiness is…remembering how to do a fun braid your daughter wants in her hair.

Happiness is…a pretty cute puppy and a lovely Easter flag.

Happiness is…finding more things that can be thrown away as part of #40 bags in #40 days.

And Happiness is…my girls looking sweet and sassy.

The days are crazy and full.  I am so thankful, I am here, by the grace of God, to enjoy them all.

*Thank you to my friend Kimberly over at All Work and No Play Makes Mommy Go Something Something for the inspiration for this post.

One Hundred Days!!!

We are 100 days smarter…well the girls are, I’m not so sure about me…

Today was our day to have fun with the 100th day of school.

We did writing activities, decorated hats, and made a paper chain.

HAPPY 100th DAY!!

 

A Bit of Pinterest for Christmas

A friend posted a picture of melted crayon ornaments today. I have seen this many times before on Facebook and Pinterest, but always forget to make them.  There is no other excuse, I mean, we have crayons coming out our ears, I have 3 clear ornaments just waiting for a craft, and there is always our trusty hair dryer that only ever gets used for crafts.

The time was today!

First, you pull the wrappers off crayons, who doesn’t enjoy doing that. then you break them into pieces, put them in a clear ornament and heat.

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Woo hoo, finally did a craft I’ve been putting off…and it took all of 20 minutes…

Stewing

Last night, there was something bothering me.  I went upstairs to be alone.  And started stewing about it.  Then a kid followed me up to my room.  So, I wasn’t alone and I wasn’t making my situation better by focussing on it.  For once, I made a good decision, and headed downstairs to play a board game with the girls–Bible Trivia for Young Readers.

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I figured I was a shoo-in to win.  I mean, I have been going to church for 37 years, I went to Christian Schools for a few years, and I graduated from a Christian College.  This should be a walk in the park… 😉

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Caitlyn was a little upset when she got one wrong 🙂

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Sue had a couple questions give her a challenge.

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And Patrice actually beat us all by one point!

In  my, overly educated defense…the game was set up with a little bit of a twist.  For every time you got a question right, you drew a little card that had a random number of stars and that was your score for each question.  So, I might get a question right and only get one point, while Patrice might get a question right and get 3 stars…and at the end you added up the number of stars you had, not the number of questions you got right…so before you doubt my years of education, I did actually get more right than the girls did, but I had less stars on my cards.

Don’t you feel sad for me?

Either because I lost to my 6 year old by one point or that I am pathetic enough to explain to you how and why I lost…

A Little Conflicted

I love my kids like crazy.  I love being a stay-at-home mom.  I love being a homeschooling mom.

But sometimes, I need a break.

Summers are actually the hardest time of the year to get them.  During the school year, hubby takes them to Bible Club and Pioneer Girls twice a week.  During the summer, these programs take a hiatus.  And so does my break time.

This leaves  my walking time as my time.  But, many nights one or another kid joins me.  I love having them get exercise and the conversation time we have.

But I really miss being alone to think my own thoughts..  It leaves any vestige of myself out of the equation and leaves me feeling very boring and flat.

How do you parents balance that in the summer?  How do you keep some of the me?

P17

 

Funerals And Such

I think we are creeping closer and closer to being a pet owning family again..  Hubby and I each had dogs when we got married, but old age and illness took them from us a few years back.  And while Hubby and I loved our dogs, we have also loved the freedom of no pets to consider when planning camping trips, have loved not cleaning up dog poop in the yard, and the lack of hair in the house.

But I think those days are coming to an end.

Caitlyn, and often Sue, have been begging for a dog for months.  We have put them off during that time by telling them they have to learn to keep their room clean before we consider adding a dog.

Well, guess what…there room is not always clean, but they are doing much better..and they have stopped fighting me over cleaning their room when I mention in needs to be done.

Today they cleaned it all on their to hold a funeral…for Caitlyn’s firefly that passed away at the hand, er foot, of someone in our household.  They have cleaned their room and are making invitations to the service.

Yeah, the whole thing is weird, but I am thinking it is time for a pet with a little more staying power than a firefly.  And we are not cat people.  Or hamster people.  And fish just don’t last.  That leaves us with…a dog.

And now for more parameters.

I am not a big dog person.  I consider black labs big.  I grew up with, and had, a dachshund.  They are cute and small, but can be picky about children.  But that is the kind of dog hubby is thinking he would like for our next pet go-around.

I would like something that doesn’t really shed.  My cousin has this amazing golden labradoodle that is small, affectionate, patient with kids, and doesn’t shed.

So much to consider—like that whole cleaning up poop in the yard…yuck…but I think the day of reckoning is coming quickly…and honestly it is more fun to consider than our current presidential race, so I guess I will continue to think upon these things…

Upon Holding Your Son

Oh my friend, I have so much to say to you, so much in my heart, but I am so afraid it will come out all wrong.

Today, I held a miracle.  Your new baby.  Yes, I know all babies are miracles, I send three to bed in my own home every night, but yours, oh yours.  He is a miracle.

I believe all babies are prayed for–as you know I pray for all babies I know about—but 10 years, not all are special enough to get 10 years of prayers.  I almost cried while holding him this morning, I am crying now, at having held the answer to 10 years of prayers today.

God is so faithful.  In the darkest moments, the hardest struggle, God is so faithful.

As someone said on your Facebook today, motherhood looks good on you.  God created you for this role–the good days, the hard days, He created you for all of it.

There is very little, if any, advice you need.  And you are wise enough to ask when you have questions.  You may not have worn the formal cloak of motherhood for long, but you taught me something today and for that I thank you.  You taught me to give my moment to moment concerns to God–as we talked about checking to see if they breathing, something mothers for generations have done and anguished over, you reminded me we can give even that to God.  I needed that reminder.  Thank you.

I know there is no advice I NEED to give you, but there is something on my heart.  You will, and probably have, heard a lot to enjoy this time because it goes so fast.  I took that so much to heart that I cried when they lifted Caitlyn up on my chest for the very first time; up until this point, she had been all mine.  But now, now people would expect me to share her and expect me to groom her to grow up and leave me.  I had my first panic attack about her growing  up and leaving me when she was 8 weeks old.  I was standing in the store, my first time away from her, hyperventilating because she was already so old.

It really didn’t get better from there.  I spent the next four years growing and having babies.  And having people tell me to enjoy this time because they grow so fast.  I was comfortable in my role as a mama of young, young babies.  I felt like I could handle it.  But what about what came next.  That brought only terror.

I loved being a nursing, cloth diapering mama.

What if I didn’t love what came next?

Thing is, what came next, was coming, was here…and I still loved it.  I slowly loosened my grip on what I saw myself as good at and put my eyes on my children and who they were…and I let myself breathe.

Yes, those early days went quickly–how else do you explain that I am days from my first baby turning 10 and my youngest baby turning 6?  But the thing is–these ages are amazing too.

My girls like to take walks with me.  They seek me out to tell me about their day.  Each one has embraced homeschooling with me.

Each of my amazing girls have interests of their own–Caitlyn loves to craft and do.  Sue is my social butterfly.  She loves people and cuddles.  Patrice is a talker who knows her own mind like nobodys business.  Caitlyn learns like I do, Sue takes in info like  her daddy, and Patrice is still learning how to best absorb her studies.  Each of them blesses my heart in how they learn about and follow after God.  My heart bursts to hear them sing about the Lord, tell me their AWANA lessons, and pray for others.  The hardest part of their spiritual walk for me is following the Lords’ leading to pray for Him to send one of them to Asia for His kingdom.  I still want to keep them close but He is teaching me to let them grow.

My heart cry for you and I as mothers, is to take joy and comfort in watching them grow.   Yes, the early days go quickly–but they are amazing and the days that come after them are just as, if not more, amazing–and the Lord has given us a front row seat.  We are standing right in front of the canvas of their lives watching the Lord choose the colors as He paints His masterpiece in our beloved children.

That is truly amazing.

On the Look Out

There is a golf driving range and miniature golf course on my walking route.  I love walking by it.  It is a nice change of scenery.  Well, during the summer that is.  During the winter it is a pretty drab area of nothing.

Tonight is a very mild night, about 70 degrees and breezy.  There were lots of people out golfing.  And as I always do, I looked through the golfers noting the families, especially the ones with older kids.

Those make me happy, they give me hope.

You see, since Caitlyn was just 8 weeks old, I have been dreading the day they will get older, grow up, and leave me.  I like them close, I like them with me.  I like life the way it is now.  But I know it will change.

I picture this change starting in the tween and teen stage with the girls not wanting to be around us…and only growing until we haven’t seen them in months.

But those people miniature golfing, they, give me hope.  They give me hope we can weather the years together, as a family.  Growing and learning together.