Category Archives: Sue

The Balance

Three girls.  I have three girls.  I have no idea how that happened–well, okay, I know HOW it happened, I just can’t believe it did even 10 years into this mom gig.  I had given up on marriage and kids, but God had other plans.

These plans.

I have three girls, I homeschool three girls, they are pretty much my constant side kicks.  They see how I handle, and don’t handle, life.  I am completely aware their eyes are always on me.

Sometimes, I can handle it with grace, but much of the time I am second guessing how I handle it all.  I want my reactions to be balanced and healthy.  I am used to finding that difficult with the Bipolar in my life, but recently it has gotten complicated for another reason…sports.

My girls (2 of them anyway) have joined the world of sports–cross country to be exact.

It is the one sport I sort of, not really, know anything about and is truly the only sport I have ever enjoyed.  Seeing them get to run at practice reminded me how much I love to run and has me back out there pounding out a few miles.  I love having them run.

One, is a little older than the other, a little more serious about life, and a little more interested in running.

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She even joined me on my Sunday morning run last week.

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I am so proud.

Now, don’t get me wrong, Sue is also going to practice, never complains about it, and seems to have fun, but she just hasn’t caught the running bug.  She’s there for the socializing; Caitlyn says, “I want to run, that’s what I am there for!!!”

I am so pleased with both of them, but I want to just gush all over Caitlyn.  I love her can do spirit, she never gives up, I love her desire to run, I love her determination.  I like to talk to her about running.  I am seeking out help from others who run to help Caitlyn become a stronger runner.  I’m not kidding, I could go on forever about how proud I am of Caitlyns’ running.

But I don’t want to discourage Sue.  I want her to grow to love it, if it turns out to be her thing.  I want her to work hard.  I want her to know I care about her skills too.

Balancing the two is hard!!!

How do I encourage them both when their experiences so far are very different?  How do I let Caitlyn know how pleased I am without seeming to diminish Sue’s progress?  How do I show my pride in Caitlyn, without making Sue feel like she has to prove herself to me by running?

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I sincerely don’t know how to balance it all.  I catch myself when I feel like I am going overboard.  I try to remember to speak highly of both of them within their hearing.

I try.  I really do.

A Broken Record

As I have mentioned a million times, I love running.  I had to give it up for a while due to foot issues, but that didn’t change my love.  I am done with physical therapy and was given the go ahead to start running again…slowly.  I told the therapist, “at 41 the only running I do is slow” but I knew what she meant and actually got scared about starting and hurting my feet again.

Then, a fellow homeschooler found a cross country team for homeschooled kids starting at Caitlyn and Sue’s ages.  I could not wait to get home and sign them up.  I know other parents say they don’t want to push their kids, but I will fully admit, I am being pushy when it comes to running.

I had no athletic abilities whatsoever growing up.  T-Ball was a bust, ping pong and volleyball were a disaster.  I had nothing.  And it it was hard.  I watched other kids get acceptance and acclaim from sports, but it never happened for me.  Ever.  As much as we say brains are more important, or at least as important, they aren’t, not when it comes to approval.

I never found anything I could do until my 30s when I started running with Wii Fit and then decided to try running for real outside, and I could do it!!  Now, I don’t set any records, but each running goal I have set for myself I have reached, except the half marathon, I am still reaching for that.  And the runners high–I fell in love with it early on.

Call me selfish, I want running for my girls.  Jr. High, er Middle School and High School would have been so much more bearable if I had running.  I want that for them, I do.  Yes, I understand, they may find another sport that suits them better, but for now, I want to give them a place to start, something they can enjoy, something they can excel at no matter what.

I want that for them.

A Compliment

Except for this for my Sue when she learned how to read a challenging book,2014-06-02 09.22.41 2014-06-02 09.26.16 2014-06-01 14.13.35 2014-05-31 22.22.22I have never colored my hair.  I’ve always been proud of it’s color and was afraid if I dyed it, what I had when the color grew out would not be what I have now.

I was born with red hair, but after that was a blondie.  And have always considered myself a natural blonde.  There are times my hair looks pretty brown, but if I dry it with a hair dryer or let it dry naturally before I pull it back, it is primarily blonde.

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I was once at a hairdresser getting a cut and a lady walked by me, pointed at my head and said, “I want her color.”  My hairdresser told me a lot of people come looking for what I sport naturally.

That has stuck with me.  Obviously.

And it got me thinking about our words.  That whole conversation took place over 15 years ago.  And I still think of it.  That one compliment still impacts me.  15 years.

What will my girls think of my works in 15 years?  Caitlyn will be almost 25, Sue almost 24, and Patrice almost 21.  What will stick with them?  Which of my words will matter to them?

We Went We Saw

Four years ago, we headed a few states over for a family wedding.  We did some camping along the way.

Turns out, I remember very little of it.

Patrice was one years old.  I don’t remember her being there at all.  Hubby tells me she was very good about camping and the wedding, but if you ask me, she wasn’t even there.

And sorry to my niece who was getting married, I don’t remember the wedding at all.  I am sure it was just lovely.  Really lovely, but you see, I was very sick with the postpartum depression and bipolar at the time.  Life at that time was really hard and so very foggy.

But time has passed and my meds are better…and my mind is allowing me to think and remember.

So this trip to a wedding was very different.  It was very nice.  We went to our nephews’ wedding and then headed to Lake Michigan to relax and even visit Chicago for a day.

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A waterfall in Wisconsin we visited with family before heading to Lake Michigan2016-06-08 07.36.48 2016-06-08 07.38.41 2016-06-08 09.24.22 2016-06-08 11.54.49 2016-06-09 10.28.58 2016-06-09 11.20.57 2016-06-09 12.29.25 2016-06-09 12.32.43 2016-06-09 15.09.42 2016-06-09 15.19.48 2016-06-09 15.50.44 2016-06-09 19.28.26 2016-06-10 13.37.00 2016-06-10 20.41.52 2016-06-10 20.53.07

Meeting another warrior mom was a huge highlight of the trip!!!2016-06-10 21.42.05 2016-06-11 08.21.03 2016-06-11 09.31.27 2016-06-11 12.10.21 2016-06-11 19.01.13 2016-06-11 20.51.33 2016-06-12 08.35.53This trip was fantastic and I am hoping to remember it for a very long time!!!

Annie Jr. on our Doorstep

“It’s a Hard Knock Life,” for our little Sue and a couple hundred other kids!  As I have mentioned on Facebook, Sue is in a local production of Annie Jr. (If you are local our little ham will be performing March 18-20).  She is one of 244 kids in the show!!!  It is the biggest show this theatre has done in its years of productions.

Having Sue in Annie paid dividends here at home this week.  There was some mud to be cleaned off the kitchen floor.  She willingly got down on her hands and knees to scrub it if I played her song:

I’ll take it!!

Cookies

What one does, the others must do.  Even when it comes to cookie baking.

Catilyn can now bake almost completely on her own.  She does a great job with very little input from me.  Sue and Patrice want to do it too.  But their skills are at a different level, there is a great deal of fighting, and they are younger, so mama has to be a lot more involved.

And I don’t wanna.  I’ve gotten spoiled.  I’ve gotten lazy.

But here I am.  I’ll expect my mommy of the year award any moment.

Right now Sue is telling Patrice they can’t use the mixer because they are making old fashion cookies and doing it the old fashion way.

Well, okay then.

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And Sue just realized she put in one too many eggs, so I am doing some quick math in my head to try and fix it (okay, not such hard math, but hey, it’s my blog, I can sound as amazing as I want, right?).  My goal is to have her do all the reading and hopefully she’ll start to understand why she needs to read well.

It’s a darn good thing the baking process will kill germs introduced in the mixing process.

And the flour is everywhere.  Yippee, we get to mop when we are done!

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And cookies.

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All the Pretties

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Two of My Three Daughters

I know you are not supposed to compare your kids to other peoples’ or each other.  But it is hard not to.

Can I get an amen?!

I have three girls, ages 9, almost 8, and 5. My nine year old is uber responsible.  My third one is still the clueless, cute 5 year old.  My 7 year old.  My dear 7 year old.  She’s just on another planet.  She is clueless on how to do many things her sister was doing at her age, she is struggling in areas Caitlyn sailed through without a pause.  She is still working on learning to read and Dear Lord, you can just assume she is going to lose anything you put money into and keep anything that is righteous garbage.

I am not sure what to do.  Now to be fair, she did decide last week to start doing the laundry (not including folding) without prompting and did a great job.  I am hoping this continues into next week.  I can forgive a lot for a kid who does the laundry.

In the meantime, I feel like I am always yelling at her.  Always scolding her, always correcting her.  I worry she will see the difference between her and her sisters when it comes to my fussing.  I hate how frustrated it makes me feel.  And how frustrated it must make her.

I have to bite my tongue often to stop myself from saying, “why can’t you be more like your sisters?”  I know, no matter how tempting it is, I must refrain from ever saying that to her.  Not only because it would not feed her spirit, but also because I don’t want to change her spirit.  I don’t want to change her.  I just want to know how to get through all the glorious fun chatter, dancing, singing, and merry making that is Sue in order to teach her skills and behaviors she needs to know.

So I will keep trudging along saying,

“I will not compare.”

“I will not compare.”

“I will not compare.”

Preparations Underway

True story?  I don’t know if I already wrote this post.  But I thought it was time to share our homeschooling plans for the year.  I am just about done putting together several binders for the girls to work from.

We are doing a lot of projects called lapbooks.  In lapbooks you use file folders to arrange information using booklets, wheels, glued in facts, whatever it takes to help the information to stick.

We will be doing these lapbooks for American History, Science, and Art.  It is a nice blend of facts and hands on work.

Caitlyn and Sue will continue with handwriting, hopefully cursive for both.  Patrice will start with printing.  We will also continue with Explode the Code for phonics and Fred for math with Sue and Patrice.  Caitlyn will be working with Teaching Textbooks for math.

Patrice will begin with learning the last few of her letters, Bob books, and then Life of Fred early readers.  Sue, Caitlyn, and I will chose their books based on level and interest.  Right now Caitlyn is working on the Cupcake Diaries and Sue the Critter Club.  We picked them up at Costco today.  Quietest trip ever through the store as they had their noses buried in the books.  I kept having to tell Sue to be careful or she would get clobbered by another shopper, but honestly, I was more than willing to keep my eyes open for her if it kept her reading!!!

We will also continue with our beloved co-op where I will be teaching for the first time–Heroes of the Faith.  Caitlyn will be in the 4-6 grade group, Sue the 1-3 grade and Patrice Kindergarten.

I am very excited about our coming year.

What do you look forward to with your kids?  What do you like to see them learning/excelling in?

 

Reading Reading Reading

 

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This weekend has been a fantastic time on the reading front here at our abode.  Caitlyn read Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein in less than a day.  Sue had her first turn at reading to the dogs.  She read Pinkalicious School Rules to her furry friend.  She did it flawlessly.  Caitlyn once again read to a canine friend.  She chose another Shel Silverstien masterpiece, The Giving Tree.