Wednesday, April 16, 2014

What Dyeing Easter Eggs Looks Like At Our House

Madeline, the Goldendoodle, sees to it that she is a part of all the interesting activities that go on around our house, especially activities involving food!

So, it really was not a surprise that she managed to make her way right into the middle of the Easter egg dyeing!




Thankfully we did not end up with a pink or green or blue dog, although, I don't know, maybe that would have been kind of cute!



And, no, our eggs did not turn out like this:

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

My Son Is Doing His Own Wash!

Do you know what has changed my life lately?

I taught my 11 year old son to DO HIS OWN WASH!!


I cannot even tell you how awesome this is for two reasons!

The first reason is obvious -- less wash for me!!  Before when I'd go collect the kid wash after going a few days without doing it, it would be overflowing and equal more than one washer load full.  Now, with the oldest child's dirty clothes going into HIS OWN HAMPER, when I collect the kid wash for the remaining 3 children, it now fits into one washer load!  It's not even just one less child's wash to do, but my 11 year old's clothes are the biggest.  Three pairs of his long jeans is a lot of washer space!  Also, he wears a second set of clothes on the days he goes to his swim team practice because they do dry-land workouts before they swim!

The second reason him doing his own wash is awesome is that it is a chore that has its own built in consequence!  Other chores like assigning him a bathroom to clean or picking up the dog mess in the backyard he can skip and not really feel any pain from not doing his chore unless I give him a consequence for not doing it.  But if he doesn't do his wash, he DOESN'T HAVE CLOTHES TO WEAR!  It's as simple as that!

My kids do not have a ton of chores, but I do feel it is good for them to have jobs around the house to learn responsibility and cut down on that attitude of entitlement and the idea that mom is there solely to serve them!  And besides, doing laundry is a life skill, and he might as well learn now when I'm there to coach him on fabric softener and water temperatures!

Find more Works for Me Wednesday here.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Watching My Daughter Complete Her First Triathlon

This past weekend my 8 year old daughter participated in a kids' triathlon.  For her age group it was a 100 yard swim, 3 mile bike ride and then 1/2 mile run.  It was her first triathlon and I was so proud of her for wanting to do it!

She amazed me so beyond what I even imagined, though! 

Setting up her bike and stuff in the transition area before the race all by herself because parents were not allowed into that area:

Heading off to start the first part of the race -- the swim, in a pool we'd never even seen before, much less swam in:

All smiles running out of the pool area and heading into the transition area to get her bike:

Getting her stuff on to do the bike part:

There's that smile again as she pushes her bike up the hill to the part where they can get on the bike:

And smiling again at the end of the 3 mile bike ride:


She was too fast on the run part, I couldn't catch her to get any pictures but here she is, THE FINISHER!!


I'm so proud of my girl, really I almost cried at a couple different parts of the morning!  Not only was she able to do all three portions of the athletic event with no problems, she had this confidence I've never really gotten to see in her before that was awesome!  Also, she wowed me with her good attitude rolling with all the logistical things required of the kids (like arriving at 6am, which meant waking up at 5am -- I thought she'd wake up grouchy or whiny, but she was happy and excited!) to do such a large event (there were over 2000 kids participating).  

She finished in 32 minutes which was really good for her first one and the best indication of a successful first anything --  she's already talking about doing another one!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Would it surprise you to know that my life is not conducive to high heels?

I climbed into the car today to drive Little Girl to preschool and saw this little scene in the way back (3rd row):


Little Girl was thrilled with herself for strapping in her 4 babies.  And she immediately assumed I'd babysit her band of babies while she was at preschool.


Wrong-O!  Don't tell Little Girl, but I just left them strapped into those car seats all morning!
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The other assumption my kids wrongly make is that the meat we are eating for dinner is chicken.

The other night I made pork loin and one child said, "Mom, this is good chicken!"  To which I replied, "It's not chicken, it's pork, but I'll take the complement, thank you!"

Then several minutes later a child that was not listening during the previous conversation about the dinner meat whined, "Mom, I don't really like this chicken!"  I replied, "Well, it's not chicken, it's pork, so no wonder you didn't like it if you were expecting chicken.  Try another bite now that you know to expect pork."  That coaching worked out about as well as you would imagine it would!

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Talking about chicken reminds me of a funny story that happened recently when we were actually having chicken for dinner.

I had ordered a new pair of sandals from The Internet, specifically these:

Now, mind you, I have not worn anything with much of a heel since, hmmm, I don't know approximately 2003 when my first child was born because carrying an infant or chasing a toddler or preschooler just never seemed like a good thing to combine with high heels.

But, the wedge sandals are very in this spring and I thought those were especially cute and I reminded myself that my kids were not babies or toddlers anymore and ordered the high heel sandals with high hopes.

Fast-forward a few days, I'd finished dinner, my husband and oldest son were at his swim practice, and a couple of the younger kids were being pokey eaters.  I got tired of sitting at the table waiting on them so I got up to get the box I could see by the front door that had been delivered.  It was the shoes!  I set about trying them on.  I got those high heels all buckled onto my feet and walked to the far end of the house where I could look at them in a full-length mirror.

And that's when I heard them.  The shrieks from the children in the dinner room!  "The dog ate the chicken off my plate!  She got the whole chicken leg!"

Since chicken bones can be very dangerous to dogs, I attempted to race back to the dining room, only it wasn't easy in the high heels.   I managed to make it to the dining room and found the dog scarfing down the chicken and had to literally wrestle the bone out of the 35 pound dog's mouth while still wearing the heels.  Then after I'd fished the bone out of her mouth (or at least some of it) she began gagging like she was going to throw up, so I whisked her up into my arms and carried her out to the backyard ALL WHILE STILL WEARING THE HEELS because it was  an emergency and I hadn't time to sit down and unbuckle them to get them off!

Really, it was the most absurd thing!  I couldn't wait to unbuckle those suckers and pull them off my feet.  They went right back into the box they came in to be returned to the store because as it turns out my life is not yet conducive to high heels after all!

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Happy Friday, y'all!


Half-Past Kissin' Time
Half-Past Kissin' Time

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

This Girl

This 8 year old girl of mine can be a bit wacky, as evidenced by all the pens she hooked onto her shirt earlier today:



But, she can also be quiet and reserved in some situations.  She's my baby that had the hardest time with separation anxiety, lasting until she was 4 years old.  She's the one who I could have kept tightly by my side, she'd have happily stayed right there and her temperament is pretty similar to mine so she's pretty easy for me to have around.  I could have home-schooled this girl, kept her tucked comfortably close under my wing.  

But, I didn't and that girl has ventured out of the nest and grown in ways she never could have at home!  She still happily runs back into my arms at 3:15pm but not without smiles and excited stories of all the adventures from her day!

She gives presentations in front of her class, complete with a curtsy at the end that she wrote in for extra measure.  She volunteers to give the announcements to the whole school over the loud speaker when it's her class's turn and the teacher asks for volunteers.  She reads the jokes I send in her lunchbox to all her classmates sitting near her in the cafeteria.  

When she bounded out of school today, this sometimes labeled "shy" girl was so excited for her 3rd grade musical tonight.  She was jumping around free from any anxiety or nervousness about the performance.  Then tonight she sang every song and during her group's dance, she was in the front row on stage and did every part of the dance.  She later told me the music teacher let them pick if they wanted to be on the front row and she and her partner wanted to be in front.  I couldn't believe it.  I would have guessed she'd have chosen the back where she could hide, I know I would have!  But this girl is growing into her own confident person and looking back on these past 4 years, I can say public elementary school has definitely played a big part in that, pushing her just enough outside her comfort zones!

The pirate-themed 3rd grade musical:


It is a blessing to watch her grow up!  I can't wait to see what God has planned for her life!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Little Girl Writes Her First Chapter Book!

My 8 year old daughter and 6 year old son are always writing books, currently the 6 year old has a "superhero" book going where he's created several unique superheros and the book describes the powers of each superhero.

Well, of course, Little Girl, my 5 year old, has begun writing stories, too!

But, today was special.  Today she wrote her first chapter book!  She was super proud of it! 



 I complimented her on how hard she was working on it.  And then over lunch I had her tell me what it was about (because although I could read words in her story, I needed a translator to really understand).  A close-up of page one of her book:


Chapter 1 (as she read it to me):  "The cat is lost.  It can't find it's mommy.  It is looking everywhere, looking, looking, looking, but it still can't find it's mommy.  The cat bumps into a tree and then another tree but it still can't find it's mommy.  Then it bumps into another tree, but looks up and it wasn't a tree but it's mommy!  It wasn't lost anymore!"

And Chapter 2:  "The cat is lost under water.  It can't find it's home!  But a mermaid comes to help it.  Then the cats brothers and sister come and help it find its home."

Hmmmm, I'm no child psychologist, but considering Little Girl was adopted as a 3 year old into our family (that happens to include 2 brothers and 1 sister for Little Girl), anyone think the little cat just may be her?  At least chapter 1 and chapter 2 ended happily with the cat finding it's mommy and finding it's home!


The theme of her stories overwhelms me anew with the privilege and responsibility God has given me by allowing me to be Little Girl's mother!  We are so blessed to be able to share in her stories!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Not A Lot of Sleeping Going On


I'm tired so this is going to be short, very short.

I'm not sure if the tiredness is from sleeping in a tent with my family of 4 kids (one is not pictured above) on Saturday night, where as you can see, there was not a lot of sleeping going on, 

or 

the hour I spent in MIDDLE school today! Oh yes, I know, now if that is not 3 years of everyone's life they are not eager to re-live then I don't know what is!  But, I am about to experience it afresh starting next year when my oldest goes to middle school and lasting for the next NINE YEARS when I will have a child in MIDDLE SCHOOL.  Now there's a reality that makes me hyperventilate just a bit and need a nap, preferably one that does not involve an air mattress!