Friday, April 29, 2011

The Biggest Detail of THE CALL!!

Okay, I was going to do a longer post, but I'm completely worn out, so there will be at least a part 3 (and possibly 4 or 5) to the referral story.

But, I don't want to leave you hanging any longer about her age! The big unknown we've had since going on the wait list requesting a girl anywhere in the 0-30 month range:

She's 30 months old! A perfect two and a half!

She's adorable with beautiful eye lashes and a really sweet smile (All along I'd prepared myself that when we got the referral and saw the first pictures of our daughter she may not be smiling because I'd seen solemn referral pictures from other people who had very smiley kids once they got them home! But she is smiling in a few of the pics!).

It took about 25 minutes after hanging up the phone with our caseworker for the surreal to wear off and with that came the momma bear feeling of "I want her home!"

We love her already and are daring to pray for the huge miracle that we get a court date before the Ethiopian courts close for the rainy season from early August until early October. If it doesn't happen (and it is really, really a long shot), God is still good, and His ways are not our ways, they are better than anything we could dream for ourselves! Three years ago if you'd told me I'd be staring at a picture right now of a 2.5 year old Ethiopian girl that it took my husband and I about .5 seconds to say "Yes! We don't need days to decide. We want her as our daughter!" I would have said that's crazy, but again, God's plans! We know God can do big things and even wants us to ask Him for big things, so we are daring to pray for a court date this summer!

The Phone Call of a Lifetime!!!

Just wanted to do a quick post to let everyone know we got our adoption referral call today at around 3:45 PM. A very crazy time of day considering all 3 of my kids were talking to me at once and I was getting 2 of them ready for swimming. But, we are so excited and really the whole thing seems very surreal right now!

My husband came home from work and I dropped off kids at swimming, asking another mom friend to watch them for me, and then we called our caseworker back and got to see the pictures and hear all the info. they have on her.

We want to share the information on her age with our other children and family before we share it here, so come back later to get the details (sorry we can't post photos, though, but she's absolutely precious)! I just know from personal experience it is wonderful to hear as soon as possible that someone got a referral!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Just so you know . . .

The tornado news and the adoption news is just too depressing to write about tonight, although both are constantly in my prayers right now, I'm going to focus for this post on the lighter sides of life!

Just so you know, I will not be getting up in the middle of the night to watch the royal wedding.

But, I did for a few seconds think about setting my DVR to record it and then I remembered I don't have a DVR anymore.

We canceled our cable a year ago and with it went the DVR. And do you know what? This is honestly the FIRST TIME in the entire last 12 months that I've wanted to DVR something and not been able to. How is that possible? Because I have zero shows I watch! Zero.

And I'm not really even disappointed about missing the royal wedding. I'm sure there will be enough clips floating around the internet to more than satisfy the 45 seconds of attention span I have for the big event.


Speaking of celebrities, I saw Wonder Woman in person last week. And can I just ask, "What's up with the skimpy outfit?" Maybe it's because I had my 3 children with me that I was more sensitive to it, but wouldn't it be easier to fight all those bad guys in, I don't know, yoga pants?!!!


If I have to dig one more plastic Easter egg out of my puppy's mouth I think I'm going to go completely nuts. Seriously, it's been a busy week and we got home late last Sunday, so the kids hadn't even opened all their eggs and have been gradually doing so all week, but the very second one falls on the floor (And those eggs? They roll!), Madeline the puppy is on it and she takes off running with the egg as if it is a fine prize. I have to catch her, pry open her clamped tight mouth and dig the slobbery egg out before she crunches it and swallows some sharp pieces. So, first on tomorrow's agenda is definitely to get rid of all the eggs!

My kids, the little packrats that they are, have deemed a few of the cooler plastic eggs (like the ones that look like sports balls) treasures they want to keep forever in an "egg museum". My oldest even has plans to charge admission for people to come visit the egg museum. So, there are going to be some unhappy campers when they realize all the eggs have been packed away!


My daughter had to get an allergy shot today, and while there my 3 year old announced loudly (if you've ever been within a couple miles of my 3 year old you know he's LOUD) to the entire very crowded waiting room that he had to go poop! As I was gathering my purse and other child to take him to the restroom, I shushed him which only caused him to say in the same loud voice, "But I need to go poop!" Every eye was on me as I escorted him out to the hallway restroom. Good thing I don't have a shred of pride left. Motherhood does that to a person, doesn't it?


Last week some asked what the going rate was that the tooth fairy pays for a tooth. Well, our tooth fairy pays $5 in gold one dollar coins for the first tooth lost and then either $1 or $2 (again in the gold coins because the tooth fairy is fancy like that!) for subsequent teeth lost. I truly can' t remember whether it was 1 or 2 dollars. And honestly, our tooth fairy is doing good to remember to show up at all. For first teeth she's pretty reliable but after that big event it's kinda dicey.

My kids have told me stories of friends at school getting $15 for a tooth from the tooth fairy. I just said, "Well, I guess their tooth was worth more than yours. Maybe they brushed it more!"


Mommy's Idea

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

While He's Still 3

My baby will turn four very, very soon, but for the short while he's still three I'm choosing to enjoy the fact that he refers to dessert as "bazert".

And this week has taken to whining "Mom, I'm boring."

When he really means, "Mom, I'm bored."

I'm even choosing to enjoy (although still consequencing with no ice cream after dinner) the fact that he ate half of an entire chocolate bunny (equivalent to at least one large chocolate bar) from his Easter basket without permission about 10 minutes
before dinner tonight!

Want to know how I knew he'd eaten the rest of the chocolate bunny?

That face plus the disappearance of said bunny from his plastic bunny box on the shelf higher than the dog could reach!

And when I confronted him with the crime, do you know what he said?

"But two chocolate bunnies would be worser."

I didn't bother correcting the grammar, on a future day he'll learn to use the word "worse" correctly, today was the day to learn the lesson that if one eats half of a chocolate bunny without asking his mom before dinner, one will not get to eat ice cream for bazert! No, not even 31¢ ice cream!

I'm thoroughly thankful for the joy of a three year old! Even when they're terrible and annoying, they are hilarious and lovable!

Find more Thankful Thursday here.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

We really scream for CHEAP ice cream!

Want to know what works for me?

Nearly free ice cream!

Wednesday, April 27th is 31¢ scoop night at Baskin Robbins.

I will probably let my kids get 2 or 3 scoops!

And I may even call it dinner!

Find more Works For Me Wednesday here.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Can't Stay Clean!

We were out of town over the weekend and our puppy Madeline had her first stay at the vet kennel. After picking her up this morning I gave her a bath, brushed and blew dry her massive amounts of fluffy fur.

So you can imagine my surprise just a few hours later (5 minutes after my kids asked if they could try out the new water guns they got in their Easter baskets) when I walked outside to see this!

The kids had apparently had a fine time squirting the dog and she'd had a fine time helping them refill at the faucet and then wildly rolling in the dirt of a nearby flower bed!

There was nothing I could do except bathe her again (and perhaps whine and moan a bit about it, which I did, too)!

My own hair did not get blown dry today. I had to settle for an air-dry. Why? Because I didn't have time to blow it dry.

The dog, however, got 2 baths and 2 blow dries!

Good thing I actually missed the little rascal while we were gone! Yep, I dropped her off the night before we left since we needed to get away early the next morning, and it wasn't 5 minutes before I missed that puppy that drives me so crazy!

What did you tackle today or re-tackle?

Find more Gratituesday and Tackle it Tuesday, Wordful Wednesday, Wordless Wednesday, & Not So Wordless Wednesday.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Not Our Referral, But Still Exciting News!

My 5 year old daughter came home from school today wearing a tooth necklace with her first tooth she's lost inside! She has been wiggling and wiggling her loose tooth for weeks, so excited for it to fall out, and today it finally did! And to make it all the more exciting, it happened at school and when kids lose teeth at our elementary the teacher sends them to the nurse who gives them a tooth necklace, kind of a tooth locket, that they snap their lost tooth inside and wear it around their neck the rest of the day!

My 2nd grader has talked about the tooth necklace many times during his 3 years of elementary and this year my kindergartener has talked about it a lot, too, but we've never gotten one to come home to our house before because all my 8 year old's lost teeth have been at home!

And then there were excited conversations about the tooth fairy. My daughter said, "I wish I could see the tooth fairy. I want to see if she's small like a fairy or big like a person. I know she's a girl. The tooth fairy has to be a girl! I want to see what color hair she has and what color skin and what clothes she wears and if she has earrings."

When she put her tooth in her tooth fairy pillow and under her pillow, she insisted on including this note:
Note reads: "Dear Tooth Fairy this is my first tooth."

I think she's lobbying for extra money!!


And for even more exciting news there's this:

Oh yes He is! And that is amazing news to be celebrated every day!


I got some candy and a water gun to fill each of my kids' Easter baskets, and I was going to get them a bigger present, like a Barbie or Lego toy, because that's what we typically do for the Easter baskets. But, I didn't actually get around to buying the slightly bigger gift for the baskets, and then I got to thinking, "Why am I stressing about buying my kids gifts for Easter, it's not like they died on the cross for my sins and rose from the grave on the 3rd day sealing my fate for eternal life with God if only I choose to believe?"

I ran the issue by my husband and we decided for our kids' Easter present we'd give 5 ducks and 3 rabbits to children with true need! We donated the animals through World Vision and I was even able to print cards out for my kids with a sweet picture of a child holding a bunny and a child holding a duck. I'm so excited about this Easter present!


Happy Easter!

Find more Friday Fragments.
Mommy's Idea

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Any Guesses?

The day my older kids filled my 3rd child's crib with tons of random stuff during naptime was admittedly not my finest parenting moment, but a pretty funny memory none the less!

As that toddler in the picture approaches 4 years old, it feels like it has been so long since we've had a crib set up in our house (going on 2 years), but before that it was set up constantly for the previous 6 years straight. The day the crib came down was bittersweet, the end of a busy, blessed era. We still have that crib in the attic, and throughout this adoption wait we've wondered if we'd need to set it up again or if we'll be matched with a child old enough for a big bed. We truly will be thrilled either way, people don't believe it when I say I don't have a preference infant or toddler, but there are pros and cons to either!

We are keeping the faith that we will get our adoption referral soon (we're just learning to re-define the word "soon"), but in the mean time I thought it might be fun to log some guesses. Anyone want to guess how old the little girl in our referral will be? Remember we are requesting a girl anywhere between the ages of 0 to 30 months.

Find more Thankful Thursday here.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

What if?

Have you heard this new song from Laura Story? It's awesome! And the lyrics are amazing!

As so many of us wait longing to bring home the children we're adopting, this line resonates with me, "What if my greatest disappointments or the aching of this life is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can't satisfy?"

When you look back over your life, haven't you seen great blessings come from the rain, the hard situations, the things you just never would have chosen for yourself?

But God in His infinite wisdom and mercy chose them for you.

"What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know you're near?"

What if?

Whatever hardships, difficulties, anguish you're having, I'd be willing to bet God's going to do something amazing with it all, if you'll let Him. And by amazing I don't necessarily mean something that is going to make your life easier or more comfortable, but something that will bring Him glory and in the process bless you more than anything you could imagine for yourself.

P.S. I have no idea why I'm using the word "you" here in this post, it should be "me"; I'm preaching this message to myself tonight!

Monday, April 18, 2011

It's empty!!

I can't wait to show you this. It is something that has not existed in our house in a long, long time!

My in-box (the one on the top) is empty!

Remember what it used to look like?

So how did I tackle it?

Well, unfortunately there was no secret trick. I had to go through each item one by one and toss it, file it, put it away where it went, act on it (as in RSVP to it, mark it on the calendar, sign and send to school, pay it, mail it, call with a question about it, schedule the appointment the reminder card was to remind me of, etc.) or in the case of a catalog, resist the urge to sit down and thumb through it!

So, it was not fun, but so worth it! And it got easier because as I got closer to the bottom of the stack, most of the papers were so old they related to an event that has long passed so they were easy to throw away. It's great to be free from the nagging feeling of that pile and worrying there was something urgent in there.

I'm hoping the pain of the cleaning out process helps motivate me to tackle this little chore daily when it's just that, a little chore!

Find more Gratituesday and Tackle it Tuesday

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Good, Better, Best!

Coloring Easter eggs is a good thing about Eastertime!

Even better? An Easter basket that doubles as a purse!

But the very, very best thing about Easter is a savior who died on the cross for my sins and yours and rose from the dead that first Easter morning! Jesus is alive! And through Him we can have eternal life with God.

1 Peter 1:3-4
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you,"

Thursday, April 14, 2011


Apparently I'm losing the war against allowing the puppy on the couch. Notice my husband is not pushing said puppy off the couch in this picture but rather cuddling with the puppy on the couch!


And as a bonus nudging our puppy towards the "Best Pet Ever" status, I caught her drinking out of the toilet tonight. "Really?" was all I could think to ask her when I saw it.


Years ago, before I had children, I ran a marathon. 26.2 miles! There was great crowd support with people cheering, entertaining, and handing out goodies all along the route. As I approached mile 23 the crowd began yelling, "You're almost there! The end is so close! Keep going!!" They were chanting those words to all the runners, trying to be encouraging. But, not having run the marathon course before, I believed them, like literally thought just around the next curve was going to be the finish line!

For 3.2 miles!

3.2 miles that included some hills, I might add!

I was able to finish strong, but looking back the last few miles were way harder than they'd have been if I hadn't thought the finish line was closer than it was.

The past 2 weeks waiting on our adoption referral has felt like that last 3.2 miles. Each day thinking, "Surely today!" and each day ending without "The Call". But, we're pressing on, just not carrying our phones absolutely everywhere with quite the same excitement and gusto we had days ago!

Today my 3 year old used the term "LED light" appropriately in a sentence, so now I have to record some of the funny things he says before he grows out of them and I forget!

the dining room = "diving room"

scuba diver = "scooper diver"

restaurant = "restronk"

and this week there was Open House at his preschool, only I don't think he understood "Open House" being at his school because he kept referring to it as "Open School". Like, "We'll have dinner and then go to my Open School."

I'm sure I'll be thinking of many others to add to this list!


Have a wonderful weekend!

Mommy's Idea

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Let the Fingerprint Fun Begin Again!

In honor of the fact that our adoption documents are expiring and we have appointments to be re-fingerprinted next week, I thought I'd re-run the Unclassifiable post from last year.

But, this year? I'm prepared, thanks to Kathleen who generously shared her tricks and products!! Seriously, you can imagine my glee the day I got these babies in the mail!

Bring on the fingerprinting!! And for the record, just what exactly did I know about adoption hurdles a year ago? My 2011 self could definitely tell my 2010 self a thing or two about hurdles!

**The following was originally published by me here on this blog March 25, 2010.**

Unclassifiable! Yes, unclassifiable! As in not able to be classified.

That's what U.S. Citizenship and Immigration (CIS) finally deemed my fingerprints after I went in 2 different times to let them take my prints.

These fingerprints are crucial for our I-600A, which is the approval to be able to bring the child we adopt from Ethiopia into the U.S.

It sounds kinda cool to have unclassifiable prints, but in reality?

Not so cool.

Especially if you are not trying to live a life of crime, but rather trying to adopt a child from a foreign country!

So, after gathering police clearances (which was a whole adventure in and of itself) from 2 different police departments representing the 2 cities I've lived in during the past 5 years that stated I was not a criminal, I headed in today for my appointment with CIS (which falls under the Dept. of Homeland Security).

At 9:30 this morning I got to see my 3rd Department of Homeland Security office in my city. I had no idea we even had one before beginning this adoption journey and now I've been in three in less than three months.

And I'm here to tell you, the Dept. of Homeland Security? Doesn't mess around! You would probably be glad to know that such an important office to the welfare of our country has tight security and elaborate, specific procedures around their offices. But, should you actually have to go to one (or three), all the security and elaborate, specific procedures just serve to stress you out!

There are tons of signs posted everywhere, which are just printed out on white pieces of paper and taped up, explaining the various rules and procedures. They say things like, "Place bags here to be x-ray scanned, even sunglasses must be sent through the scanner." "Turn off your cell phone." "Turn in your appointment form here." "Stand here and wait to be called. Do not approach the window until you are called." "Have your picture idea ready." "Fill out only the highlighted areas" "Exit this door."

I graduated from a university with a degree, but somehow I am still not smart enough for these offices. I did tons of things wrong each time.

Today, there was a no food rule (which I don't think the other 2 offices had) and because I had my toddler with me, I had packed several snacks in my purse, all of which were confiscated at the security checkpoint by the scanner guy! Sorry, I must have missed that sign!

But, praise God, the actual appointment didn't take very long. And after swearing under oath that I am not a criminal and providing police department proof that I am not a criminal, I think they may actually believe I am not a criminal. And hopefully we'll be getting the final approval in the mail soon -- the last document we are waiting on before we can be on the wait list for a child!

At least I don't have to gain 30 lbs for this child, but if these hurdles keep multiplying I am gonna need an epidural!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Gift of Togetherness

Saturday morning after breakfast, all 3 kids headed upstairs and were happy and content for a while. I went up to put away some laundry and found them like this:

All 3 in the single bottom bunk, my daughter in the middle reading aloud to a brother tucked on each side of her.

Priceless, precious moments!

Wordful Wednesday, Wordless Wednesday, & Not So Wordless Wednesday.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Outsmarting Target

***We got some more good news from our adoption agency on Friday and are currently in any-day-now mode for getting our referral, but no call today! Actually that's not true, there were 2 calls to my cell phone today, both of which made my heart beat out of my chest when I heard the ringing, but they were not THE call! And the call from a relative of mine who lives in the same 817 area code as our adoption agency from a new cell number that my phone didn't recognize -- so not funny! I really, really thought that one was THE CALL! So, in an attempt to gain just a bit of sanity for myself, here's a post about shopping and sewing!!!****

Several months ago when my daughter turned 5 years old and outgrew the toddler section at Target, I wrote the following letter to the Target store in my head:

Dear Target,

I must first say that I love your store and shop there quite often. I've even been known to make a trip to a Target store 3 times in 1 week! Over the past 5 years I've loved shopping your baby/toddler girl section. I've been amazed at the cute, quality dresses and other adorable things I've been able to get for my daughter at such reasonable prices!

However, my daughter is now five and has outgrown your toddler section. I've looked in your "Little Girl's" section, but seeing as how I do not want my 5 year old to look like Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus, I'm afraid I cannot find many clothes there I'd buy for my little girl. Please consider carrying over some of the same cute, sweet styles from your toddler department into the little girl's section, and save the black lace and cropped t-shirts for your lingerie department.

Almost your biggest fan

I have no idea why I never actually wrote and mailed that letter. Instead, for the last several months I've walked by the toddler girl section and just sighed at all the cute things that I couldn't buy and snarled at the mostly tacky selection in the little girl's section. But recently, I realized I could buy a toddler dress for my daughter and then just add a bit of my own length with an extra ruffle of coordinating fabric!

I bought this dress minus the bottom ruffle for about $10, and then just added the ruffle.

I even made some coordinating ruffle pants!
A custom-looking outfit that was super easy and cheap!

And the best part? I now again have a reason to shop in the Target toddler girl section!

Find more Gratituesday, Tackle it Tuesday, and Works for Me Wednesday

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Random Ramblings

We've had tremendous beautiful, warm weather here for several weeks, but there was one day this week that turned chilly, so for afternoon snack we had homemade hot chocolate with whipped cream and sprinkles. One last hurrah for winter!

And remember what I said last Friday about you guys getting a front row seat to enjoy all the chaos without having to clean up from it?

Well, the hot chocolate fun ended as pretty much all good things do around here, with a mess!
But, enjoying hot chocolate with my 3 most favorite little people at 3:30pm on an April day? Was so worth the mess!!


This next story is just to illustrate the level of tolerance my husband and I have developed for the chaos. The kids have a police motorcycle ride-on toy in our playroom. It has buttons to push and it spews out messages, and at random points over the last 7 years we've had the toy, it will start broadcasting the messages even though nobody is pushing the buttons. The first few times it happened it was spooky because it always seemed to happen late at night when all the kids were asleep and we'd go investigate the noise expecting to find a child out of their bed but there wouldn't be one! We finally figured out the toy was just malfunctioning and taking the batteries out and putting them back in would fix the problem for several months.

But, the other night around 10pm while my husband and I were downstairs, the toy was shouting out, "Calling officer! Report to headquarters!" over and over again. And we both just ignored it, didn't even comment about it, worry that it would wake up the sleeping children, fight over who was going to go remove the batteries, just no acknowledgement at all! I don't think either of us even flinched. Finally after about 45 minutes of the crazy, I looked at my husband and said, "I can't believe that thing has been going off for a while now and neither of us has done anything about it!" And then I sent him upstairs with the screw driver!


I made these homemade granola bars this week and they were super easy and super yummy, endorsed by our entire family!


If you're an Ikea lover or a dog person, this YouTube video is hilarious!

Too bad it's a joke, because our puppy Madeline would really like a highchair!

Happy Friday!

Mommy's Idea

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

25 Years Waiting!

I don't need to whine again that our adoption wait has gone on way longer than expected. You all know!

What I've found myself asking God the last few months is, "Did we hear you right?" "Is this your plan for us?" "Are we totally on the wrong path here?"

Because we didn't choose adoption. God led us to it in tons of clear and specific ways that spans years of time. The last year leading up to our signing on with an agency was so full of obvious God speaking moments that it truly became comical, the "coincidences" piled up and were happening to both my husband and me. And even through the first few months of our adoption paperwork, God's presence was really felt.

But, the past few months, as the wait has drug on and the bad news has rolled in, it feels like God has gotten quiet on the adoption front. We've felt Him lead in other areas of our lives, though.

And just this morning I was asking God, "Do all these delays mean this is not your will for us?"

Then early afternoon during my 3 year old's nap, I started working on my homework for my Thursday Bible study group, we're going through Colossians, but the first question I came to today had us reference Gen. 17 which features Abraham and God again promising to make him a great nation although Abraham had not one son yet.

I've heard the stories of Abraham and Sarah many times, but today the math struck a different chord in me. Abraham was 75 years old when God first promised to make him a great nation (Gen. 12:4) and he was 100 years old when his first son, Isaac, was born (Gen 21:5).

That equals 25 years of waiting!!

Kinda makes our 1 year adoption wait seem like a cake-walk!

And did the long years of waiting mean Isaac wasn't God's will for Abraham and Sarah? Of course not! Their delays didn't mean God wanted them on a different path (remember the Ishmael debacle!).

The years of waiting just meant God wanted them to wait!

And so we wait.

(Some days more patiently than others. Yesterday was an impatient day, today was better. Praying already for tomorrow.)

Find more Thankful Thursday here.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

A Puppy in the Sandbox!

In addition to Madeline the puppy's exuberant love for the bathtub and kiddie pool, this week we discovered her love of the sand table!

The fact that it is an elevated sandbox didn't stop Madeline, no problem jumping right in and doing some wild digging!

Wanna know what her nose looks like when she gets out?

Don't let her sweet face fool you, she's worse than a 2 year old child, this dog!

Wordful Wednesday, Wordless Wednesday, & Not So Wordless Wednesday.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Super Easy Homemade Syrup

I shared here about my quest to shorten my grocery list by making more things from scratch and I have something new I'm making from scratch.

Well, technically it's not new because I've been making it for months and completely holding out on you guys by not sharing this sooner because it is by far the easiest thing I make from scratch.

Maple Syrup!

We eat pancakes and waffles fairly often around here and my husband and kids also like maple syrup on cornbread so I was buying the Aunt Jemima Syrup quite a bit. Until one day we ran out but I'd already made pancakes, so in a panic I searched for a homemade syrup recipe and found one that can easily be made with three (Yes, count them up 3! And 1 of the items is water!) items you likely already have in your home!

I love it, my kids love it, it is so easy to make, and syrup is FOREVER crossed off my grocery list!!

Here's the link to the recipe.

Find more Gratituesday, Tackle it Tuesday, and Works for Me Wednesday,

Sunday, April 3, 2011

A Tale of Two Soccer Players

I never cease to be amazed at how different my 3 children can be from one another. Same DNA, same parents, same home environment, yet 3 totally different kids!

This spring both my 8 year old son and my 5 year old daughter are playing soccer, they're on different teams with different practice nights, but in the same league. It's the first time for them both to be doing the same sport and it really highlights some of the ways they're different.

Here's my 8 year old son playing soccer:

As he gets ready for practice I have to remind him about every step and sometimes re-remind. Change into soccer clothes, shin guards, cleats, find your soccer ball!

Then I hand him his already filled (by me) bottle of ice water to take to practice.

Me: "Ball and water bottle. Those are the things you need to keep up with at practice and make sure they make it to practice and back home again. Okay?"

We drive exactly 2 minutes to practice. I park, unload all 3 kids out of the car to walk the 8 year old into his practice area a couple fields over, usher kids across parking lot making sure everyone is holding hands (Is it just me or is there just no good way to do this when you have 3 kids and only 2 hands?). Then I look down at the 8 year old.

No water bottle and no ball!!!

Me (trying not to sound exasperated): "What are you missing?"

Him: "Oh yeah, they're in the car."

My 5 year old daughter playing soccer:

Her (as she gets ready for practice): "Mommy we have to get my shin guards on and my cleats. Here I'll get them, I know right where they are. And my ball. And my water bottle! We can't forget my water bottle! Here it is in the cabinet, I'm going to fill it up!"

Me: "Good job remembering, I almost forgot about the water bottle!"

And needless to say she made it out of the car and into practice with both her ball and water bottle with no reminders or trips back to the car!

I'm thinking I'm going to have to practice some tough love on my 8 year old and maybe let him show up to practice without his water bottle or ball or shin guards a couple times if he doesn't get them himself. It worked with his homework for school. After the one time when I made the hard decision not to rescue him and take the homework folder he left on the table up to school, he hasn't forgotten it again and I don't even have to remind him to put it in his backpack!

So are the differences in my son and daughter boy/girl differences or just their personalities?

One more last funny note about both of them playing the same sport. At her age my daughter's team rotates all the players through all the positions so she got to play goalie at her game on Saturday and I snapped this picture:

When he saw she'd been put at goalie, my 8 year old son had to jump up from his seat on the sidelines (his game was after hers) and go behind the goal to give his little sister some coaching. Doesn't she look like she's thrilled to have his instruction?!!