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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

What a Kid! Wednesday ~ Kyndal

It's been a month of What a Kid! Wednesdays, and I have really enjoyed thinking about the positive qualities of my kids and putting them out there for you all to see. I read Eli and Brynne's to them, and they just loved having their picture on my blog. It wasn't coincidental that Kyndal and Dawson's posts happened to be during weeks that they were having a rough time. Kyndal sent me an e-mail thanking me for the post about her. And Dawson just sat and smiled. He told me that my blog is like a story of our life and I should have it made into a book. I do plan to do one of those "Blog Books" you read about, at the end of this year.

These blogs may seem silly to some, but they are a legacy for our families.

Now on to What a Kid!

This week we are back to Kyndal. I am not doing these posts in any certain order, she just happened to show me some maturity this week that I wanted to mention.

Dawson has been going through a rough patch .. call it puberty or whatever, but it's there! Everybody is feeling the effects of it in their relationships with him. Two nights ago Kyndal decided that we should talk to Dawson, and we did. As a result of that talk, he made a decision that he would like to get back into his small group at our old church. To me this is very important because he is at "that time" in his life where he could go one way or another. I've prayed that he would have positive influences in his life, and that it would be his idea to choose those positive influences. Kyndal helped me show him the importance of that.

She also had a progress report that was "not so good". At the beginning of the school year we had prepared a set of rules regarding school work and consequences for breaking the rules. Because of the grades on her progress report, she lost her cell phone until the next progress report in 6 weeks. If you are a 15 year old girl then you know how devastating this is to your life! It's also additionally devastating if your boyfriend lives 5 hours away and this is how you talk to him. Yes, she was upset for a time. But, she has accepted it and even told me that she knows she will learn from this and she won't get herself in a position to lose her cell phone again! (oh, and btw, she has learned how to use a land line phone again .. how archaic!) She also is signing herself up for science tutoring after school on Tuesdays to help with her science grade. I didn't prompt her to do that. I was very proud of her for taking responsibility for her grades in this way.

Then last night I realized at 7:30 that Brynne's dress for her school pictures today was way too big. Kyndal was standing in the kitchen doing dishes (Tuesdays are her night) and giving Eli a bath (I'd been at soccer with Brynne and had asked her to do this for me). When I realized the dress was too big she said, "Go on into town and exchange it. I'll give Brynne a bath." She did all of that while I was gone so that when I got home all I had to do with put Eli and Brynne to bed. She went on to talk on the phone and Dawson and I were able to sit down and watch t.v. together. It was nice!

Lastly, she and I had a really great conversation the other night about our family and our involvement in church and what we really want to be about in our walk with God. She was so mature in that conversation and had some great ideas and insight. I was so proud to be talking with her in such a mature way.

You know, maybe this parenting thing is starting to pay off!

Kyndal ... What a (Mature) Kid!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Simple Woman's Daybook

For Today ~ September 29, 2009

Outside my window... It was 43 degrees when I went to work out this morning. Wow!

I am thinking... that I understand better why my parents seemed to be in an utter state of frustration and exhaustion when I was a teenager.

I am thankful ... that my teenagers aren't as bad as I was at their ages.

I am wearing... workout clothes drenched in sweat because I just got back from spin class.

I am remembering... how old and/or out of shape I really am! I went to spin class this morning and am dying now (I was dying then, too!) I hadn't worked out since last Wednesday. What a difference a week will make! I shall try not to make that mistake again!

I am creating... school volunteering projects, mostly crafts.

I am going... to the craft party meeting at 12:30 today and then going to finish the puppets I started for Eli's teacher a few weeks ago.

I am reading... more fall magazines.

I am hoping... that Rick and I have a really fun time on Saturday night, because we haven't been out together in a while and I'm really looking forward to it.

On my mind... the healthy and most beneficial way to help my teenagers navigate through these muddy waters of being a teenager.

From the learning rooms... Well, the two older kids have lost their cell phones for 6 weeks because of lower-than-normal grades on their progress reports. But, Dawson is doing much better with our new plan of action to keep him on top of his school work. And Kyndal volunteered herself for tutoring to help in one of her classes, which is a positive step. Eli and Brynne each missed some school last week because they were sick. But, Eli brought home his school work yesterday and it was done so neatly that I almost thought someone else must have done it! Brynne continues to be the Queen of Pre-K and she was so glad to be back at school yesterday.We are also doing lots of "life learning" as a family, and really seeking God for his guidance.

Noticing that... I have great kids, and an amazing husband, and I can tell that we are a close family by the way that we sit and talk to each other about life's issues. Lots of kids wouldn't talk to their parents about the things we talk about. And that's why we are able to grow together as a family. I am blessed.

Pondering these words... "We cannot direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails." ~ Dolly Parton

From the kitchen... I sit in the pitch black dark, other than the little light of my desk, computer and coffee pot. It's so quiet and peaceful.

Around the house... We have a bigger backyard than we did last week, and freshly laid sod.

One of my favorite things... is definitely fall. I can't wait to get all of my fall decorations out, and new pumpkins. I wonder if Aldi will have those HUGE ones again this year for $2.99. I hope so!!! I'm really looking forward to taking the kids to the pumpkin patch. I love doing that! I always get the best pictures on that day!

A few plans for the rest of the week... Today is the kindergarten craft party meeting at 12:30 and then I am staying to finish up a project I started. Brynne has soccer at 6:30. Tomorrow the little guys have school pics. And tomorrow night I'm going to take all four kids to Chick-fil-A for dinner to use the free coupons I got from Steph (thanks Steph!). We'll take the older two kids to church and then head to the grocery store. On Thursday Kyndal is going to a football game, but not before her and Dawson study for their tests on Friday. On Friday the older kids and I are doing something fun together. Rick and I have a vendor party to go to Saturday night and I am really looking forward to it! Then Rick's brother, who I have only seen once, is coming into Tulsa this weekend so we are having a family dinner here at our house with Rick's sister's family and his brother. Another busy week!

From my picture journal..

I made this from a fun new website called You can make this and many other really neat things very easily and then save them as a .jpg to print wherever you want. Check it out! It's free!

Get to know other special women at The Simple Woman's Daybook.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

Monday ~ Easy chicken cordon bleu sandwiches, Apples with homemade fruit dip

Tuesday ~ Cheesy broccoli rigatoni, Breadsticks (I might try to make homemade ones??)

Wednesday ~ FFY

Thursday ~ Fried chicken strips, Mashed potatoes, Easy bananas foster (didn't eat last week)

Friday ~ Kyndal, Dawson and I will be gone, so maybe Daddy, Eli and Brynne can go out to eat somewhere fun

Saturday ~ Kids frozen pizza while Rick and I eat out at a vendor's "thank you" dinner (ribs, brisket, sausage, bologna, crawfish ettouffe, shrimp and chicken gumbo, green beans, potato salad, corn, cake, cheesecake, cobbler, eclairs, margaritas, beer and pop .... I think I'll be in heaven and 5 lbs. heavier!!)

Sunday ~ Fish tacos (beef tacos for the kids), Homemade guacamole (didn't get to this last week)

Get other menu ideas at The Org Junkie!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

If You Give a Mom a Muffin ...

Yesterday morning, I had literally just picked Eli's socks up out of the middle of the hall when I sat down at the computer to check my e-mails. Eli and Brynne were riding their bikes through the house (we have stained concrete floors and a full circle path through our kitchen, down the hall and through the living room back to the kitchen). As they went through the kitchen, Eli would stop and take a drink of my coffee.

Then I opened this e-mail from my friend Christy...


If you give a mom a muffin,
She’ll want a cup of coffee to go with it.
She’ll pour herself some.
Her three-year-old will spill the coffee.
She’ll wipe it up.
Wiping the floor, she’ll find dirty socks.
She’ll remember she has to do laundry.
When she puts the laundry in the washer,
She’ll trip over boots and bump into the freezer.
Bumping into the freezer will remind her she has to plan for supper.
She will get out a pound of hamburger.
She’ll look for her cookbook (”101 Things To Do With a Pound of Hamburger”).
The cookbook is sitting under a pile of mail.
She will see the phone bill, which is due tomorrow.
She will look for her checkbook.
The check book is in her purse that is being dumped out by her two-year-old.
She’ll smell something funny.
She’ll change the two year old’s diaper.
While she is changing the diaper, the phone will ring.
Her five-year-old will answer and hang up.
She’ll remember she wants to phone a friend for coffee.
Thinking of coffee will remind her that she was going to have a cup.
And chances are…
If she has a cup of coffee,
Her kids will have eaten the muffin that went with it.

by Kathy Fictorie

Christy said she thought of me when she read it. If you know me at all, you would have to agree! Have a great day!

Saturday, September 26, 2009


Today is a new day free from sickness. Three of the four kids got a small touch of the flu from their FluMist vaccine this past week. But today we are fever free! Maybe by getting a bit of it now built up their immune systems so that when the real flu hits in a few months, they will be able to resist it!

Yesterday I got a new haircut and color. The cut is basically the same, with a tad bit more bangs. And I lightened up the color. Although I always think that I wish I was a brunette, when I look back at pictures during those phases I realize that I look old and washed out. I guess I just need to embrace my inner blonde!

Kyndal and I put into action a new style. While at the OSU game a few weeks ago, I saw a girl with a men's large t-shirt that she had "made" into a dress. So for homecoming this week, the kids were to wear homemade t-shirts to school on Thursday. Kyndal took a large shirt and wore it as a dress. Cute!

Here is a new way to watch a parade ... from the car. We loaded up to go and as soon as we got there it started raining. We did brave it for a little bit, to get enough candy to be satisfied. Then we waited in the car for Kyndal and her friend.

We are getting a new backyard. Our backyard was small with a huge sloping hill. We had a railroad tie retaining wall built along the back of the hill and backfilled it with dirt to make our backyard bigger. Rick is laying sod (again) and moving rocks (again) to finish it off. Now we will have to landscape the small hill behind it. We also have plans to plant some evergreen trees to provide us with some privacy.

Because of some extremely stinky progress reports, I have two teenagers with brand new cell phones sitting on the shelf for the next 6 weeks. Do you think they'll ever learn that if they're not responsible enough to keep up their grades that they're not responsible enough for their cell phones and such?? I'm beginning to wonder what it will take to get that point across.

I guess that's it! Other than really wanting to run out and buy a new fall wardrobe and get new fall decorations put up, I've got nothing else to report.

Have a great weekend!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Rick Rocks ~ Because He's The One God Chose Specially For Me!

Many of you know, I'm sure, but some of you may not, that Rick is my second husband. I was married in my early 20s and my two older children are from my first marriage.

Rick and I have often wondered in the past how God would have brought us together had we not married other people before and become divorced. We have wondered that because we truly felt that we were meant to be together and that God had us chosen to be together right from the start. We were the ones who chose different paths. Had we not taken those particular paths, how would God have brought us together? It seems unfathomable because of the vast distance between our lives back then! It's kind of fun to think about the different ways we might have met. Maybe the way we met was the only way that it could have happened. That's okay, too, just not as glamorous!

Katy Lin, who hosts My Husband Rocks!, said this week about her husband that it is clear to her "how blatantly obvious it is ... that Austin is the person on this earth that God had in mind for me to marry, and how no one else in the world could fill that roll better or more completely than he does."

That's how I feel about Rick.

Rick is not perfect (sorry hon!). He's not. But, he is perfect for me. He's exactly what I need and desire in a husband. There is every likelihood that he would drive some women completely crazy! There are some women who would die to have a husband like him if they knew how he really was. My own sister has even said that every woman needs a "Rick", but that he would drive her nuts.

You have to take the good with the bad. But, honestly, almost every single part of him is so good! And, it's in the little things that I notice it most. And, unfortunately, it's in the little things that I often forget to tell him how great he is!

Like today.

Eli had a fever yesterday, and my plans for the day were slightly altered because of it. Today I had a hair appointment scheduled. You know how it is. You schedule those appointments way in advance. Although Eli woke up fever free this morning, Brynne had a fever! Ugh! My first thought was that I would have to cancel my hair appointment. But Rick said that he could rearrange his day to stay home so that I could still go. Thank you honey! I know that it's not easy for him to do. He probably needed to be at work to get ready for an upcoming business trip. But, he stayed home and waited until I got done and then ran into work to get things in order.

Those things are invaluable in a partner. We didn't have these children for me to raise. They are ours. And, I know so many husbands who would not do what my husband did today, not even offer it. I am thankful for him. I am thankful for him when he says, "You need this. Have a good time." I truly am thankful and blessed.

I don't repay him near what he deserves for the little acts of kindness he does for me. I totally take advantage of him. And for that I am sorry. He asks so little of me.

I know that he would not be the perfect husband for every woman. But,

Rick Rocks ~ Because He's the One God Chose Specially for Me!

And, he is perfectly mine! I pray that I never take that for granted.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Sorry .. Here Comes a Deep One!

Today feels a little like old times. I mean the times when Eli and Brynne were little bitty and it was just me and them at home.

Eli woke up with a fever today, so it's been a day full of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and video games.

I had such a busy day planned for both today and tomorrow, and this sickness threw a kink in both of those days. But, I quickly stopped and reminded myself that this is why I stay home during the day. All of those other things .. volunteer opportunities and such are secondary to being available to my children when they need me.

So, with that theme in mind, I thought this would be a perfect day to post about what's really been on my mind for a while.

I'm planning to homeschool my children ....

.... but not in the way you might think.

I'm actually a huge fan of formal education, either in the public school system or in private schools. I think there are so many benefits to that. Plus, I get over-stimulated easily and am very orderly, so teaching my children full-time would likely not be productive for any of us. So, yes, they will still be going to school as normal.

But I still love the idea of teaching my children in addition to their regular school work. So, I guess I am thinking more along the lines of Enrichment Homeschooling ... teaching them skills in addition to and in conjunction with what they learn at school.

You know .. I don't know how to sew. I really didn't learn how to cook until I was married. There are many skills I wish I had, that I could pass onto my daughters. And, I still want my daughters to learn skills that will carry them through their lives. With the craziness and busyness of this world now, I would love for them to learn how to live more of a life of days of old (maybe without all of the hardships).

For myself, as a mother, I long to " ... teach the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of god." Titus 2:4-5.

As a man and father, Rick is to teach his sons " ... to be self-controlled. In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In [his] teaching, [to] show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose [them] may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about [them]." Titus 2:6-8.

We are to teach these things, among other things.

But, how often do we ... I ... rely on the schools, or church, or youth pastors, or childrens pastors to be the ones to teach the things of God to our ... my ... children? For me, that answer would be quite often! It's not that I don't love the Lord and try to infuse Him into our lives on a daily basis. But, just being transparent here, it's not something I do with intention. Really, I bring God into situations most often when someone is doing something wrong and I use God to tell them how wrong they are.

But I want more for my children than that. I want more than to bring God into our day only when it benefits me.

Oh, and here I go. Here is when I am likely to step on some toes and make some people (people who are really close to me) raise their eyebrows with disapproval. I would like to make a disclaimer .... I am not saying I believe that what I am getting ready to say is right for every person or every family. I highly respect any decision any family makes regarding the spiritual upbringing of their own family, if God's the one telling them to do it. I truly feel, we truly feel, that God has been speaking to us about this for a long, long time. And we know that He loves us enough that even if we haven't heard Him clearly, and we make a mistake, that He will be there to guide us back. We are listening to God every day on this issue.

As a family we have been extremely unhappy (I use that word with caution) in an organized religious and church setting for a very long time. Even though we made a change recently, we do not believe we are where God has called us to be. We have been attending for the sole purpose of our two little ones going to church.

But, why?

I feel like all we have been teaching our children is that we need to get up on Sunday morning and go to church so we can worship, see and/or have an encounter with God. I am tired of going to a building to meet with God, instead of bringing God along to every place we go. We've used the fact that we receive a Sunday morning instruction about God's ways as an excuse not to do it at home. So we talked about just having church at home, with the kids on Sunday mornings, alone. So, I did what I always did, I got right to planning it! I started looking for "curriculum". And then I read an article that asked why, even in our spiritual and religious upbringing, do we assume it has to be done in a "school building" setting? And that really got me thinking.

We have lots of places we want to go! And to go anyplace and do anything, we always count out Sundays because we have "church". For several months Rick has been saying, "I just want us to live!" And I've had a difficult time wrapping my mind around what he has meant by that.

I think God has finally revealed it to me.

I want to take what my children are learning at school, and the things they are interested in, and even the things they don't know they are interested in yet, and learn more about those things! And to go and actually experience it! And while we're doing it, as a family, to bring God along and talk about Him in what we are studying. Talk about the stories of old. Actually read them, and experience like things within them, with a modern day twist, so that they an see that the Bible is alive today in our lives. I want us to live God in our lives!

I don't really know what this looks like, exactly. That's what's so great about it. There's no agenda other than a intention to do it. It will involve everybody's input! We'll have fun! We'll talk! We'll experience! And that will more than likely take us out of a pew on Sunday morning. And those around us will say, "uh oh .. here they go!" And, we won't concern ourselves with that.

Does this mean we will never sit in a church pew again and worship with our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ? I sure hope not! I love to do that .. at times. And, God may lead us back to that regular Sunday morning pew soon. But, for now, I get the feeling we will be absent for a while. The funny thing is, though, that God will notice our presence more than he probably ever has.

Dawson and I have some plans for a family outing, and Rick and I have discussed several more. So, now it's time to get some input from the kids .. to talk about school and what they are interested in, and get to planning some God-led adventures. Doesn't that sound exciting???

We're heading to the homecoming parade today. I thought candy therapy would be good for Eli later this afternoon. So, I'll have a "lighter" post later today.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

What a Kid! Wednesday ~ Dawson

Look at this precious thing.

If you would have told me that in 10 years this sweet child would have man hormones coursing through his veins turning his, and my, world upside down, I would have said "No, not my little Dawson!"

But, yes, it's happened.

I guess it's because I've been through it and knew what to expect out of Kyndal, that made her changes from girl to woman-wannabe seem fairly mild. I guess its because I had no idea what to expect out of a boy that's made me feel shock and panic! It's not like he's really doing anything horrible. But, with a girl you can blame their emotional roller coaster on it being their time of the month. With a boy I guess they are having their time of the month all but 2 days of it.

I hate it that Dawson is pulling away from me, that he seems out of sorts most of the time. I hate it for him as much as I hate it for me. But, I really hate it for me! We've always been really close.

But, every now and then I see a glimpse of my sweet little guy, the one who I used to rock to sleep at an age when he barely fit in my lap. Last night was one of those nights. Rick was at the Y working out and Kyndal was at a football game. We got Eli and Brynne to bed by 8:30 p.m. So, he and I sat down together to watch The Biggest Loser that we had dvr'd earlier in the night. It was just the two of us, in the quiet. He's my emotional one .. the one like me who might cry during a sad commercial. We sat and watched our show and teared up at a couple of the moving parts. We talked through the relational parts of the show. We laughed. I felt so connected to him during that time. He loves it when he and I sit together, alone, and watch a show. (We used to watch Crusoe together every week until it was cancelled. At that time he said, "We need to find a new show to watch together.") During times like that we are at total peace.

Dawson has such a huge heart! He loves people! He cares deeply for them! He hurts when they hurt and he's thrilled when something good happens to them. He is the most loyal friend you could ever have. When he befriends you, you can be sure that he will go to the ends of the earth for you. We've had a rough few months, he and I. But, nights like last night remind me of his loyal friendship and give me hope. I flash forward to when he is an adult man with his own life and family. I can see him stopping by just to sit with me and watch a show .. just like old friends.

Despite the murky waters we are treading through right now, when I think of Dawson I still think ~ What a kid!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Simple Woman's Daybook

*If you saw this before I actually entered anything, you might be thinking I'm having kind of a blank day! Really, I just set this up last night to do this morning but didn't get up as early as usual because of a headache.

For Today ~ September 22, 2009

Outside my window... It is fall chilly, after a monsoon from yesterday!

I am thinking... that maybe it's a natural occurrence that my teenagers are pulling away from me at this time in their lives. I'm not supposed to be their best friend. I'm supposed to help teach them the things they need to know to survive in this cruel world as adults. If they don't like me because of that .. well .. what in the world can I possibly do about that? But, I do want to do my best to make them feel special, loved and valued.

I am thankful ... that I get to see family this weekend and next.

I am wearing... jeans, a brown long-sleeved t-shirt, my brown moccasins and a scarf!! (Yea for scarves!!!)

I am remembering... the only reason I don't like this time of year .. sinus headaches!

I am creating... ideas for our two day Fall Crafting Party we are having at our school for our kindergarten and 1st grade students.

I am going... to have a busy week this week!

I am reading... as many Daybooks as I can this week to hopefully find some new friends with like interests, and as many magazine as possible to get fun Fall decorating and crafting ideas!

I am hoping... the weather this weekend is nice so that my mom and sister get the opportunity to watch Brynne play soccer on Saturday!

On my mind... grocery lists, crafting party, a trip to the pumpkin patch, fall decorating, what to do with all of my kids' outgrown clothes now that I'm not participating in JBF anymore, recycling ideas for the PTO Recycling committee.

From the learning rooms... Wow .. what a week last week! One of my older children is really struggling with school, so we had a hard week of discipline and planning how to do things better. It's a hard time for both of us in getting this all together. On the flip side, Eli's kindergarten teacher changed his discipline system at school so that he earns pennies for completing work instead of having pennies taken away for not doing it. He's getting all 5 pennies every day and is so proud!!! Yea!

Noticing that... I've really been stripped of everything that is comfortable and normal to me lately, I guess opening me up to a new way of living. I guess I'm not ready to know what that new way is yet, because it just hasn't been revealed to me. But, it's out there and I really am excited to know what it is!

Pondering these words... "It can be a challenge, day to day, to make and enforce unpopular decisions. But, you have to think long-term. Parenting isn't a sprint. It's a marathon. Some days are fun and games; others are discipline and chores. Respect has to be the constant." ~ from the article "Mom, I Hate You!" by Valerie Frankel (Good Housekeeping, October 2009)

From the kitchen... I have a huge pile of dishes waiting to go in the dishwasher after I unload the already clean ones.

Around the house... Not one bed is made yet. That is totally not like me!

One of my favorite things... again, is all of this planning I'm doing! This has me completely in my element and I feel like the strong, confident "me" for the first time in a long time! Plus, it's Fall and I am just so happy and fulfilled in Fall. (And my hair always looks great this time of year .. no humidity!!!)

A few plans for the rest of the week... today is grocery shopping and soccer practice (?). Tomorrow I take Brynne back to the doctor to get rechecked on this lactose thing. On Thursday Kyndal has an ortho appointment and then she and I are getting our nails done. After we pick up the little guys from school we're going to the Homecoming Parade. Oh, on Friday! I'm going to a Recycling Committee meeting first thing, then doing copies at the school after that. In the afternoon I'm getting my hair cut and colored (yea!) and visiting a friend who is having shoulder surgery that day. On Saturday my mom and sister are coming. Brynne has a soccer game in the morning. I'm also hoping to get my "Daughtry" tickets ordered for a December 15th concert! On Sunday there is a public dedication of our new school.

From my picture journal..

White water rafting anyone? This was what our rock creek looked like yesterday in the rain. The sound of it was even more amazing!

Get to know other Daybookers at the Simple Woman's Daybook.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

I'm doing a little meal-planning on the fly this morning. I don't know why, other than I've just not really thought about it much this weekend.

Here's what I came up with, though ...

Monday ~ Mac and cheddar with broccoli, Homemade applesauce
** Update: My kids did not like this. It was too spicy with the cayenne pepper. I think next time I'll just stick to my regular homemade mac and cheese.

Tuesday ~ Manicotti, French bread

Wednesday ~ FFY

Thursday ~ Chicken fettucine, Breadsticks

Friday ~ Chicken tortilla soup (didn't get to this last week)
** Super easy! Combine 2 large cans any chicken/veggie/noodle soup, one can rotel, one can mexican corn. Heat through. In a bowl crunch up tortilla chips, dish soup over chips, sprinkle grated provolone cheese on top.

Saturday ~ Fish tacos (and regular beef tacos for the kids) with Homemade guacamole, Easy Bananas Foster

Sunday ~ Mini meatloafs, Party potatoes, Corn on the cob

For other menu ideas visit The OrgJunkie.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Yeah, but I kicked the ball!!!

This morning was Brynne's first soccer game. We were so excited! Oh, and so was she!

None of our kids are really into sports, so to have one who appears to have that in her future is something we aren't quite ready for.

So, we prettied her up (as any good mother would do) because, as we say in our house, "If you can't play good, look good!"

It was a time to catch up with old friends ...

and play with new ones ...

I was actually pleasantly surprised at how these little 3 and 4 year olds played! They only had two practices, and really didn't even scrimmage except for a couple of minutes. But, within a couple of seconds they all pretty much had the concept of kicking toward their own goal and trying to get the ball from the other team. There were only two "hands" violations, and only a handful of times that it was kicked out of bounds. Basically, it was consistent movement of the ball and goals! Fun stuff!

Now, Brynne just wanted to kick the ball.

In fact, when her own teammate got their first goal, she stopped in her tracks and crossed her arms across her chest in anger. She wanted to kick the ball!

She wasn't as aggressive as we thought she would be but I swear she ran 10 miles in that hour. She tried and tried to get the ball, but mostly just ran. Even the first time she got chosen to do the starting kick another one of her teammates kicked it before she did. (She did finally get her chance). But, she wanted to kick the ball down the field!

Then, it was her chance! At the very end of the game, the ball got away from the opposing player .. she swooped in and stole the ball .. she turned it around and took off down the field .. she had the field pretty much to herself except for one defender .. and she kicked ... and it went ... out of bounds! Ohhhhhhh!!!!! yelled the crowd!

See the soccer ball, and the little leg right next to it (behind the ref) .. that's her getting ready for her final kick. Darn ref!

But, she turned around and flashed her daddy and me the biggest smile ever! And then the game was over! She ran over to us and we started telling her, "Great job! It almost went in! That was so close! You almost got a goal!"

But, she looked at us with those huge blue eyes and a smile like no other and said, "Yeah, but I kicked the ball!!"

Yes, that she did.

Goooooooo Rockets!!!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Rick Rocks ~ Because He Provides Me With Perspective

The storm has continued in my life this week. Oftentimes I wonder if I'll be catching a break anytime soon!

Lately I tend to take everything in my life so personally .. like everything that is happening is somehow my fault. I take it all on my shoulders and I immediately crumble.

This week that happened when I learned some unsettling news about one of my children. I immediately started crying and felt panicked and felt as though I had failed my child as a mother. I felt that all of my efforts had not helped prepare my child for this difficult time. I was crushed!

So I called the one that could calm me down. He offered to come home. After I assured him I really was okay, he continued to talk me through the problem.

You see, where I am immediately emotional, Rick is pragmatic. He's able to see beyond the emotional aspect of the situation to try to get to the real root of the problem. He was able to convince me that this issue really is not that big of a deal, that it will not take down my child, that I am not only a good mother but a great one, and that we'll just work together as a family to figure things out.

Whew! I felt better! The panic was gone. I still shed many tears, and he held me while I cried. He knows that when it comes to my children, I have very emotional reactions. And, sometimes those reactions don't foster the best result.

So, this week ...

Rick Rocks ~ Because He Provides Me With (Much-Needed) Perspective!!

Thanks, again, babe for rescuing me from myself.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Open Ended Art ~ Bean Collage/Mosaic

Our bean collages/mosaics may seem kind of gross. But, I get bored doing things on paper. So I try to avoid it whenever possible. I took pizza dough and divided it into three rectangular sections. We used three kinds of canned beans.

I told the girls that they could make their bean pizza designs anyway they wanted. The twins chose to just load up their "canvases" with the beans. Brynne decided to make faces on hers.

They enjoyed doing this.

After they went to play I scooped all of the beans into the trash, added pizza sauce and shredded cheese to the dough, and the girls had their canvases for lunch.

Shannon is now hosting her Open Ended Art blog party at Growing and Learning by Leaps and Bounds. Head over there to see other fun bean collages.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

What a Kid! Wednesday ~ Eli

Oh my little Eli.

He's a quirky little thing.

But his smile lights up a room, and he hardly ever passes by someone without giving him or her a hug.

When he was little, it was obvious that he had some delays. He wasn't talking and he had a lot of anxiety issues, especially around other children. We were very concerned, especially once Brynne came along and we started to really see the delays. They weren't just normal "boy" delays.

We had him tested and it appeared that he might be on the spectrum of autism. We chose not to receive a clinical diagnosis, but instead to just treat the problems. The primary delays were in speech and social interaction. In other areas, like motor skills, he was advanced!

Eli qualified for special services because of the seriousness of his delays, so just a few days after he turned 3 I took him to a real elementary school to start half-day preschool 4 days a week. He even rode the bus home. That was a highlight of his day! At his preschool he was able to get an early start on his education, and receive services for his speech delays.

He attended the developmental delay preschool for 3 full semesters, and we saw him grow by leaps and bounds! Last year he was old enough to start the public school pre-k program and his counselors felt that he was ready to be pushed and mainstreamed back into "regular" school. Although the delays were still apparent, and he received speech therapy two days a week, he continued to grow.

This year I am proud to say that he is in a regular kindergarten class full time. We are so excited for him! He's just like all of the other kids. Well, sort of. He's still quirky and resistant to change. He's like a little old man sometimes with his frumpy ways. But, then on a dime he flashes you that amazing smile.

He still has delays, but he works through them every single day. That requires him to bring some of his work home many days to finish. But, he does it with a smile on his face. He is working so hard!

We are so blessed that he has a teacher who is willing to do whatever it takes to help him succeed. She even changed her discipline system just for him to help encourage him to work hard at school and finish as much of his work as he can at school. On the days that he is able to stay focused and finish his work, he is so excited and proud of himself! I am just so proud of him for continuing to overcome his obstacles and push forward.

He is such an amazing kid and Rick and I often talk about how glad we are that he is not "normal." He has some qualities that are going to take him to amazing places someday! Whatever he ends up doing, it will be big! Whatever it is, I will be so proud of him!