8 YEARS OLD!!!
Somehow tomorrow we will have an 8 year old....I can't believe how quickly she has grown and continues to grow. She is an enthusiastic, strong willed, intelligent, beautiful and quite funny young girl. We are so thankful for the gift of being her parents.
I interviewed her (I love to do this on their birthdays). It makes a great keepsake for them too. So, here it is my interview with my 8 year old daughter!
1. Who is your favorite person in the whole world? I can't narrow it down so Mommy, Daddy, my sisters and God.
2. What is your favorite color? That's easy Purple, well Pink too...so two!
3. What's your favorite television show? Hmmm...Jessie and Good Luck Charlie
4. What's your favorite outfit? Ohh...my tankini and shorts (with laughter)
5. What sport do you like best? Gymnastics of course!
6. What song do you love? Trouble by Taylor Swift and Locked out of Heaven by Bruno Mars
7. What's your favorite cereal? Honey Nut Cheerios
8. Who is your best friend? I have three...Elizabeth, Audrey and Lia
9. What do you want to be when you grow up? A Doctor...or a Popstar, maybe both, we'll see
10. What is your favorite book? Moonlight on the Magic Flute
11. What are you really good at? Making up dances for songs
12. What is your best memory? My Grandmom's surprise party
13. Where do you wish you could go on vacation? Disneyland in California and a cruise
14. What would buy if you had $1000? A Mansion
15. What vegetable do you hate the most? Easy one Mom, Broccoli
16. If you could have a wish, what would it be? To be in a movie
17. What is your favorite flavor of ice cream? Mint Chocolate Chip of course....YUM
18. Who is your biggest hero? Mommy
19. What do you like to do best with your friends? Swim at the pool
20. What do you hope you'll get to do before your next birthday? To reach my goal of saving up for Sage, American Girl Doll of the Year.
If you can give your child only one gift, let it be enthusiasm.
I don't know about you but there are some days where I am really struggling with the 3 o' clock funk. It actually comes around 2 o' clock for me because that is usually when I am up to my eyeballs in toys, "Mommy, Mommy, Mommy" and lately my lack of energy. I was in a phase when I was having a hot cup of coffee around 2 and that helped a lot. It perked me up for the rest of the afternoon and just enough time at night. Well, now it is getting warm here in SC. Soon, it will be WAY WARM. So, I have now moved on to iced coffee. Can I tell you I have discovered a new love. Yes, I make it myself but I will let myself splurge every once in a while and go to Starbucks. Most days though I am home at this time and wow what an indulgence.
Today I am sitting here on the porch. It is an absolute beautiful day outside. There is a slight breeze and I have a nice big glass of iced coffee. Nothing is bothering me right now. The girls are even playing on the porch and being extremely loud, but I am not letting it phase me! At this moment I am not letting anything come between me and my 10 minutes of serenity before #3 comes home and it is even louder. It's my little slice of heaven right now, just me and my iced coffee!!!
Do you have a little indulgence that can sweep you away?
This is the beautiful blue sky and my view today. I love it...
Everybody should believe in something. I believe I'll have another coffee.~Author Unknown
I sit here watching my children play on this beautiful sunny afternoon, and my heart is so heavy for all the victims in Boston and their families. It is hard to grasp the event and make sense of it at all. Myself like many of you feel helpless and fearful. How do you possibly begin to explain this to your children? We have chosen not to at this time and although some people may not agree with this; it is what is right for our family. I cannot get my mind around it and therefore I cannot begin to talk with my children about it until another time.
It is hard to think that this is our reality and we need to teach our children to be aware of everyone and every little detail around them. Living and working in NYC after 9/11 was so difficult. I was paranoid. I did not want to take the subway, I did not want to be around a large crowd etc. With time this became easier, but here we are again facing another horrific act in such a family friendly event.
Right now I don't want to explain terrorism to my children...I want to hug them, kiss them and be thankful for my time with each and every one of them. Events like this make us all stop and think about how in an instant life can change FOREVER. Please go tell those in your life that you love them and hug those kids like you never hugged before. May God Bless those in Boston and elsewhere that are grieving and suffering. We will prevail because that is what Americans do.
Then join hand in hand, brave Americans all!
By uniting we stand, by dividing we fall.
I wasn't going to write again until after Easter, but I am feeling compelled to put some of my thoughts down while I can. We all know we need to do things when we find the quiet time!!!
While I write this my throat feels like I am swallowing razor blades...yep, I caught strep throat UGH!!! I am sure the antibiotics will kick in and soon I will feel back to normal. Today though, I feel as if I was run over by a truck. I am so darn tired. I am lying in bed and hoping for a nap! Thankfully, two of my children are at school and my two year old is enjoying the snuggle time with Mommy.
As I sit here, my little girl is next to me looking at books and momentarily watching Dora. Every once in a while she will respond to the TV (she cracks me up). Here in this moment, sore throat and all I am once again reminded of God's presence in my life. Yes, I wish I was outside playing with my daughter, but here we are together. We are quiet and tired but when she smiles at me BAM there it is...God's Grace.
I am teaching First grade Christian Formation class this year and one chapter covered how we receive God's Grace in our life through Baptism. I read through the chapter with the kids and we discussed it, but it really takes moments like these to realize HE is always there if we WANT him to be. Even though we may not feel great or we may not be having a superb day, all we have to do is pause and take a moment to look around. Look at all the blessings in our life (sometimes this takes a long hard look) but they are there. They are all around you. Whether it is the cardinal perched peacefully on your deck, the beautiful blue sky despite the cold breeze, the glimmer of sunshine through the clouds, or your two year old runny nose and all snuggled up against you making you feel like queen of the world. These are all moments of grace. Cherish these moments and take these with you always.
Life gets SO busy and moments like these remind us to slow down a bit. Enjoy what HE has put in our lives (good and bad). With it all (good and REALLY hard days) comes a lesson if we let there be one.
I wish you and your family a wonderful Easter filled with love, good health and JOY!
This time I keep my word...I will be back next week. I am going to enjoy these next few days with my hubby and children. HAPPY EASTER
God understands our prayers even when we can't find the words to say them. ~Author Unknown
Hello y'all. I hope everyone had a great weekend. Ours was fun and of course busy. The girls went to our neighborhood Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday. It rained...and I mean RAIN!!! It was unbelievable. The younger kids were moved inside but they still had the older kids hunt their eggs in the rain. (Not too sure I agree with that decision...I felt like they should have split the time or something besides having all the kids out in the cold, rainy weather)....Anyway...it was fun.
I am really looking forward to the upcoming long weekend. The kids and hubby are off Good Friday so it will be extra nice to have another day together. This week is such an important week for us as we prepare for our Easter celebration. Does your family have any traditions at Easter? We will dye and decorate our eggs on Friday, then have a fun egg hunt of our own Easter morning. Since we don't live near family, we will have a small yet nice family dinner (I don't dare say quiet haha!) on Easter. What do y'all have for Easter dinner?
Our parish does something I absolutely love for Easter Mass. It is held outside in the garden. It is such a moving service. It is also family friendly which is a huge bonus. Everyone brings lawn chairs and blankets and sprawls out to listen to God's word. Attending church with little ones is a difficult feat. We normally put our 2 year old in the nursery. I don't believe they have the nursery this week for Holy Thursday or Good Friday so we will do our best. Do you find it difficult to go to church with your children? What do you do? Any ideas for helping little ones learn to stay quiet in church?
Well whatever traditions you and your family have for Easter, I hope that you enjoy them. If you don't already have some maybe you will make them. I hope you all have a very Blessed Easter! I'll see you back next week.
And he departed from our sight that we might return to our heart, and there find Him. For He departed, and behold, He is here. ~St Augustine
Have you ever wanted to change something? Your hair, your home's decor, your wardrobe etc? Spring is a great time to renew and start fresh. With the grass turning green, the flowers blooming and the sun shining bright it is hard not to feel new beginnings all around us.
One of the things I am starting anew is in the way I schedule things throughout the day. I've decided that I need to make more time for quiet and stillness in my morning. I've noticed that on the days that I get up early (before the kids) go downstairs and sit by myself (even if it is only 10 minutes) those are the days that I seem to handle things more calmly. I have begun taking these very precious quiet moments and turning them into my time with God. Sometimes I will read scripture. Other times I will pray for strength to get through my day with energy, patience and joy. Sometimes I just sit and enjoy the silence.
Having these quiet moments is so rejuvenating to the soul. For the rest of my day I am surrounded by noise (whether it is laughter, crying, whining, loud voices....) it is noise. So, taking a few minutes each morning is one of my new beginnings this season.Of course with spring comes beautiful gardens hence yard work! I bought a new garden flag that has the words "Believe in a beautiful tomorrow" I love that...I enjoy sitting outside on my Battery bench (if you are from Charleston, you know what these are) and watching the kids play and feeling the warm sun on my face. Every time I read the phrase on my flag I think about how powerful it is. To me, spring is a symbol of rebirth; a time for fresh beginnings and a time to take in the beauty God has blessed us with. I hope this season you find some "beautiful" moments and treasure them with all your heart. Expect to have hope rekindled. Expect your prayers to be answered in wondrous ways. The dry seasons in life do not last. The spring rains will come again.
—Sarah Ban Breathnach
Hello everyone!!! I hope that you are having a fabulous week. Spring is here and I am so happy! It is officially flip flop weather here in South Carolina. I have discovered (especially with three little ones) that a girl can never have enough flip flops =) Well, there certainly is a lot to love about spring time. Later this week I will be talking more about what spring means to me and how I love this time of year. Today, we have a special treat.
This is a guest post written by Kristin. She is a Mom with two active young boys. She also likes to be outdoors and has a passion for writing. I am so happy to have her do a post. I hope you enjoy reading it. It has a lot of ideas to get ready for spring. Enjoy and I will be back this week!
And Spring arose on the garden fair,
Like the Spirit of Love felt everywhere;
And each flower and herb on Earth's dark breast
rose from the dreams of its wintry rest.
~Percy Bysshe Shelley,
Hopping into Spring!
As the weather begins to warm and the crocuses start to bloom, more and more signs pop up that spring is right around the corner! While everyone looks forward to the changing of the seasons from winter to spring, there is certainly plenty to do. Here’s a checklist of “to do’s” to help keep you organized. Change seasons; change clothes:
It is time to put away the bulky sweaters, hats and scarves and take out colorful tops and the kid’s light weight jackets. Go person by person through the house to help stay organized. Anything that might not fit or is getting tired in your wardrobe, pack up and donate to your local Goodwill store. Spring cleaning:
Make spring cleaning a family activity. Give each person their own assignment based on their age and ability. Put the toys away for the little ones; vacuum for the teenager; window cleaning for the husband. But make it fun. Blast the music and sing. Make it a family event. By splitting up the assignments, things will get done much faster! Then reward everyone for a job well done. Get pizza and a movie or have ice cream outside on the porch. Get ready for Easter:
The Easter holiday is early this year, so make sure you are ready. Welcome the Easter season and spring by making photo Easter cards from Shutterfly
of the kids. Then have one at each spot of the Easter dinner table so everyone gets a new photo of the kids and can see how much they have grown over the winter! Take it outside:
One of the best things about spring is that it is finally getting warm enough to enjoy sitting outside. Make sure to take out and clean the outdoor furniture, power wash the sidewalks and deck, and get rid of the cobwebs. Don’t forget to clean up the bird bath for your feathery outdoor neighbors! Get the garden ready:
Remove any dead branches from trees and shrubs and get rid of any weeds or other debris from flower beds. Prune trees and shrubs so new spring growth can begin!
There certainly is a lot to do when the cold of winter turns into the warmth and renewal of spring. However, by keeping lists and working step by step, everything will get done so you can enjoy all that spring brings!
Life is hard. We are striving each and every day to help our children become responsible young people. In the midst of it all, do you take a moment to sit and think quietly about your life, your relationships, your dreams?
How about where you find your strength to tackle the daily grind? Do you have a best friend that you confide in? Do you belong to a Mom's group or another supportive group? Do you and your spouse talk on a daily basis about things going on in your lives? Do you talk with your own parents? Do you turn to God?
Lately I have found myself relying on scripture to help me face daily challenges. As I come across words that speak to me I write them down. Then when I feel like I need a pick me up I read the words. It really has a soothing effect on me and my attitude toward my daily challenges. I was thinking about how busy Mom life is and how important it is for us to truly take a few minutes each day to be still and quiet. For me it usually comes once the girls are in bed. Maybe for you, it is first thing in the morning...whatever the time or whatever the process take a few minutes and sit in peace.
There are some days when I feel like the noise level in our house is way off the charts. I have three daughters that LOVE to sing. I love to hear them sing, but some times I just need for it to be quiet. My four year old wakes up singing, sings most of the day and goes to bed with a lullaby each night. Maybe she has a future in music???
We play this game in the car (they think it is a game) for me it is a slice of heaven. It is called "the quiet game." Yeah...the name says it all folks...they are to be quiet for a given amount of time...usually 3-5 minutes. They can't make it much longer. It works...sometimes. Even if it only lasts 2 minutes, those 2 minutes are SO NICE. My one daughter has been taught in school that when she needs to be quiet, she is to put a bubble in her mouth. I like this one too!!! I will say "Ok, Mommy needs you to have a bubble for a minute while I think...." It works...they like the idea of having a bubble and then letting it blow out. Most times we end up laughing because somehow the bubble likes to escape!!!
It's fun to get creative with "quiet time" activities for the kids. If I REALLY need to concentrate, read something important or just have some peace and quiet I have to get it at night time. I hope whatever way you get your 5 minutes of quiet...it works for you. That is the most important thing. Do what is best for you and what works. I would love to hear how you get your quiet time in.
Faith is not without worry or care, but faith is fear that has said a prayer. ~ Author Unknown
Hi y'all....happy, happy Friday. Wow, am I glad it is the weekend. We've had a rough week in our household. My youngest has pneumonia and well, it is not fun for anyone. My heart aches watching her be in pain. She is doing much better today and has been asking to eat...praise God!!! She was not well at all yesterday and well Mommy instinct kicked in and thank goodness I took her to the doctor. Now, after a few doses of antibiotics and a lot of sleep hopefully we are on our way to a happy, healthy toddler!
So, I feel like I am being tested even more so since I have started listening to the parenting cd's. This morning was a great example. Mornings are hard...especially 6:30 in the morning. I know it's not easy getting up and being out the door that early, but well it has to be done. Some days go smoothly and all is calm. Today started to take a turn for the worse and then I remembered what I am supposed to be doing (even at 6:30 in the morning when my eyes are barely open and I haven't had my morning coffee yet! ) My daughter was not pleased with the pants (she choose last night) to wear to school today. She asked for another pair. Now....I had two choices here...give in and let her get another pair (easy peasy...not arguing) or I could stick with our rule we made about no changing outfits because she already had a chance to choose it last night. We can't fool around in the morning and then miss the school bus. So, I politely said, "No, I'm sorry that is what you choose for today." Then it started...that's not fair...blah, blah, blah. I calmly said, "you are responsible for your choices" then I walked away for a few minutes. When I came back she had the pants on but still wasn't happy. She then made some comments that were not so nice or respectful. I calmly stated again, "You are responsible for your choices...be respectful." This time I walked downstairs. She came down and got her things and went to the bus. There was no back and forth, no whining. I almost fell over!!! It worked...it worked....I wanted to jump up and down.
I'm sure it is not always going to be smoothly but today it did. I kept my cool, I was in control and therefore she was too. I know with time and practice we will get to the point of no disrespectful comments...Thank you Kirk Martin!!!
Another thing I am learning about is patience. Have patience with yourself....these behaviors take time. If you are consistent and follow through your children will learn you mean what you say. Another idea they suggest is to embrace tantrums....yes you read that right. This gives us as parents the opportunity to show our integrity. Don't back down from your rules. Your child wants to see if you will follow through and keep your promises. (If you disrespect me, you go to your room for 10 minutes etc.) Remain calm (not always easy). If you lose it as the adult, it shows them you are not in control. Kirk mentions trying this...do not react to your child's arguing. If they seem like they are just trying to test and pick a fight (I feel like he is in my house sometimes....because we go through this a lot). He says sit down and say, "You know what...you're right" or give a compliment, "Wow, your eyes are so beautiful." This will stump your child so much that they won't know what to do or say. They are used to you saying, "I am your parent you will listen to me" (or whatever you say) during an argument. Kids are sometimes just looking for a reaction from us. If we are calm and positive, no negative reaction will come from them. Then, you can conquer the situation in a positive manner.
We all know this but he also mentions that exercise is so important. It helps stimulate your child and reduces anxiety. If your child is having a rough day, make them go outside for 10-15 minutes and run around, ride their bike....anything that will calm them. Then come inside and talk calmly about the situation. A friend of mine told me they use the treadmill. Their daughter is a bit older, but when she starts to fade and become disrespectful, she runs. They make her do a few minutes and she usually thanks them because she feels better when she is done. I know I love how I feel after I am able to exercise...why would it be different for our kids? It's not folks....they need stimulation too. A lot of kids come home from school and sit in front of the tv, computer or a game system. This is not stimulating them....yes, it's fine for a few minutes, but kids need physical exercise. They just like us need to get up and get moving. So, maybe switch your afternoon routine around a bit. If your child normally comes home and does their homework, but you find this is not working for you. Let them come home, have a snack and go run for 10-15 minutes. Then come in, do homework and go back outside. I am going to try this now that it is getting nice outside. Hopefully, it will eliminate some of those dreaded afternoon attitudes. Good luck, I hope some of these tips help. I will continue to share as I learn more!!!
Sunday is St. Patricks Day-remember to wear your green =)
Two of my favorite Irish blessings: I dedicate these to my Irish family!!!
May you see God's light on the path ahead
When the road you walk is dark.
May you always hear,
Even in your hour of sorrow,
The gentle singing of the lark.
When times are hard may hardness
Never turn your heart to stone,
May you always remember
when the shadows fall--
You do not walk alone.
Wishing you a rainbow
For sunlight after showers--
Miles and miles of Irish smiles
For golden happy hours--
Shamrocks at your doorway
For luck and laughter too,
And a host of friends that never ends
Each day your whole life through!
Sometimes there are so many thoughts yet we find it so difficult to put it down on paper....so I leave you with this today.
Memory is a way of holding onto the things you love, the things you are, the things you never want to lose. ~From the television show The Wonder Years