Saturday, January 7, 2017

Hope

A pessimist sees the glass as 1/2 empty.
An optimist sees the glass as 1/2 full.

Hope is seeing Who holds the glass.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Dear Gracie girl

Sweet Gracie girl, you are growing up so darn fast.  Today, as I listened to you praying at lunchtime, I heard you pronounce all the words correctly.  Even your "f" sound.  No more "plip-plops" and "ping-ers."  You can say flip-flops, floor, food, Father, and fingers just fine.  If I call you my baby love, most of the time you correct me and tell me you are my big girl now.  You tell me that Sweet Pea can be my baby love if I really still need one.  You sleep in the same room as your sisters and definitely want to be one of the big kids.  You are nearly as eager as your sisters to run down the street to play with friends.  And this morning I noticed that you actually put your shoes on the right feed without help!

You know a ton of songs and sing all day.  I think one of my favorites right now is "Good morning God, this is your day.  I am your child, show me your way."  When I asked you about this song I had never heard before, you proudly told me that you learned it at bible study.  You love going to bible study (BSF) with Grammie!  And you are learning verses in Awana.  A few weeks ago, you even asked if I wanted to see Jesus.  You quickly lifted your shirt and pointed at your chest, saying to me, "See? He's right here, Mama!"  I love your sweet heart!  May you never lose that tenderness for Jesus.

In spite of you being the caboose to our family and not getting a ton of help on counting and ABC's, you have learned to count to 10 and recognize your numbers.  And to my surprise, last week, you correctly identified multiple ABC's.

You're crazy tall for a three year old (just like your sisters!).  And your hair reaches your waist since it's never been cut and you don't want it touched.  It looks gorgeous in braids though! You are an amazing little mama to the legions of baby dolls in this house.  It's not uncommon for a doll highchair to be found next to your seat at the table, or a baby strapped to your back as you go about your day.  The doll stroller you got for Christmas was a slam dunk.  You had the best reaction when you opened it, knowing immediately it was the one from Costco that you've been eyeing for months.

You are growing so fast.  Sometimes I just want to rewind the clock and gather you into my lap as a little baby.  I want you to snuggle in and fall asleep on my chest.  But the days are going to keep flying by.  So I better hurry up and cherish each of these precious moments.

Playing "Sandwich Stacker" together

Friday, November 11, 2016

Library Disaster

This summer, I was reminded of just how important our words are. With social media, I think we often forget to sensor our words as much as we should. And maybe because of that, we also forget to sensor our words as much as we should in public too.

We go to the library a couple times a month usually. I've taught my kids that the library is a place where we use our quiet voices. I don't care how loud the other kids there are being, we will use our quiet voices. Even little Gracie girl, who just turned three a couple weeks ago, approaches the library with whispers only. 

So when we were half way through checking out our stack of books and she started screaming about who knows what in rage, I was caught off guard. But I knew I had a couple choices. 1. Walk away. Just leave all the books there and run. 2. Finish checking out the rest of our pile, then grab them all and leave.

I opted for option two. I was at least half way done, and when I attempted to pick her up, she screamed more. So I figured  I'd just be quick and get us out. Well, apparently I wasn't quick enough. As I finished up, a library volunteer approached and informed me more than once that people werecomplaining. A lot of people were complaining. And that it was obvious trying to take three children to the library was more than I could handle. She suggested they if I really felt it necessary to return with my children, I probably needed to bring others to help me with them. 

Ugg. Really? 

I informed her as nicely as I could muster that we do visit regularly and have not had this issue in the past. I also assured her that we were leaving. I was, after all, actively picking up our stack of books when she approached. She did offer that on another day, she would take my little girl out of the library and read to her elsewhere. 

Umm..thanks but no thanks. 

It's funny. I was feeling really good about my mom abilities that day. I had arrived at the library with an extra child in tow. (The mom met us there.) All the children were well behaved and relatively quiet. They were certainly not the loudest ones there. At least until I was half way through checking out. 

But it wasn't like I was ignoring what was happening. I had tried unsuccessfully to calm her down, so I was trying to get us out of there as fast as possible. Trust me, I wanted out of there as fast as possible too! I knew the screaming was disruptive and wanted to do whatever I could to end it as quickly as I could. 

I guess we don't always see things as others do. The volunteer sure didn't see where I was coming from. And I'm sure there are plenty of times when I don't understand where others are coming  from. It's a good reality check for me.   I so often don't know the situation, so I need to refrain from judging. Both verbally and mentally. I don't want my kids to see me do to others what this woman did to me. They saw how it affected me, which was important. They saw how broken I was afterwards. And hopefully that will help them learn how important their words are too.

May I love well, no matter who the person may be or what their situation might look like. 

Thursday, November 10, 2016

To Room 7

This week, Honeygirl gets to be "Star of the Week" in her class.  She got to take a poster she made about herself and share something special from home with her class.  She got to share a poem, and chose who she got to eat lunch with.  And her teacher asked that I write a letter to the class about how special she is to me.  So I don't forget, here's what I wrote, and I mean every word.


Dear Room 7,

There are so many things I could tell you about Honeygirl!  She really is a special girl.  She’s funny, a hard worker, smart, artistic, a good leader, and caring.  If you need to visit the health room, she’ll walk you there.  If you don’t have someone to play with, she’ll probably play with you.  If you need some encouragement, she’s really good at giving kind words.  Need help with your art project?  You’re in luck! She loves art! And if you’re having a hard day, chances are she will pray for you, as well as make you a card.  She’s really great at stuff like that. 

But I also wanted to tell you some things about her that you might not know.  She loves tacos.  I mean, really loves tacos.  And watermelon.  But not together.  She has a huge extended family.  There are about 50 people just on her dad’s side of the family, and she loves to spend time with all of them.  She’s the oldest kid in her family, and the oldest of all her cousins.  She’s super at helping with all the younger kids.  And they all love her! When she grows up, she might want to be a nurse like her grandma and me (her mom).  And if she does become a nurse, I think she would be excellent at it because she has such a compassionate heart for others, and is intrigued by medical stuff.  But if she chooses to do something else, that’s totally fine too.  Lastly, after getting some new clothes, she went through her closet and picked some things to give to the kids at an orphanage her aunt and uncle work at.  She told me that since she had received some things, she thought she could share some of her other clothes with the kids who live there.  I love that she cares so much about others and is willing to share.  At our house, we talk about shining for Jesus, which really means showing love to everyone.  I think Honeygirl does a great job at that. 

When I asked her this week what she’s thankful for, she told me she’s thankful she gets to be in Mrs. S's class this year.  You know why?  Because she loves being in the only split class at your school with all of you.  I’m so glad you get to spend the year in the same class as Honeygirl!


Love, Honeygirl's mom

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Egged

To the person who egged my house last night:

I understand. You were hanging out with friends and looking for something to do. It was late and no one was making the best choices anymore. Someone suggested egging some houses. Maybe you were even the instigator. But somehow you found yourself walking down the street, eggs in hand. I don't know what made you pick our house. I'm guessing there's a pretty good chance you have no idea who we are. Or our neighbor across the street that you also egged. I'm guessing you didn't really put any thought into what you were doing. Because if you did, you might have though about who lives in the houses you egged. You make have stopped to think that while you are a teenager, not all houses are filled with teens. In fact, the houses you chose both have small children. One has a baby that hasn't been sleeping well. That was the baby's window you hit, by the way. The other house- my house- also has small children. And unfortunately, the littlest had woken up just minutes before you happened by. I had just taken her back to her room when she heard a terrifying noise. She's already fearful of "punder" (thunder) and windy nights. But last night we heard something repeatedly hitting the window. Was someone breaking in during the night? Her little self was shaking in terror. I quickly figured out we had been egged on both upstairs windows (and in the morning we discovered the other  place you hit), but no amount of reassurance was adequate for my 3 year old. She wouldn't leave my side. And even curled into my side, under my protective arm, she continued to shake. All day she talked about whether someone was going to come back with eggs to get her. She doesn't want to sleep at home because she is scared. And I get to be the one dealing with this.

My husband and I got up this morning, cleaned the windows, cleaned the screens, and picked egg shells from all the little nooks and crannies they were in. My husband climbed on the roof to spray off all the eggs. And we will pay to replace the screen you put a big hole in. But I will also repeatedly try to reassure my little one that no one is going to get her and that she is safe. Because she has a steel trap of a memory, I'm not sure how long it will take for her to let it go.

I'm sure if you knew all this before, there would be no way you would have egged our house. There would be no way it would have still seemed worth it. But you didn't know and you didn't think. So do me a favor- next time, take a moment to think about your actions.  Think about how it could affect someone.  Hopefully, it will prevent you from doing something like this again.

And for the record, of everyone on the block, I'm still glad it was us. I'm glad you didn't get the neighbor in a wheelchair. It would have been really tough on that elderly person to clean up the mess.  I'm glad you didn't get the neighbor with heart problems and a very large dog. You better be glad you didnt get them too! Maybe someday you'll have a family if your own. A few little kiddos. And a careless teenager will egg you. And then you'll know. You'll know what really happened the night you egged a few houses with friends.

-the mom of 3 little kiddos 

Monday, July 11, 2016

Reasons to eat chocolate

My dear momma gave me a new flip calendar recently. You know, the kind where there is a different quote or whatever for every day of the year. This one is 365 Reasons to Eat Chocolate. She knows me so well!  I've been getting a kick out of it. Not that I really need more reasons to eat more chocolate, but there are some winners in here, let me tell you!  

Today's quote is "If your friends are worried about eating too much chocolate, eat theirs."  Sounds like a good plan to me! But here's my favorite so far:


Now there's a solid plan. 

Until next time...
Anna

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Flying with littles

As I write this, we are flying home from our longest vacation ever. Twelve days. Holy shmolie. It's gone incredibly well. No complete disasters. Overall, attitudes and behavior have been good.

Being a family of five, and no longer having "lap children" on the plane, we can't all sit right next to each other. So we have tried out different configurations for this trip. At the moment, my dear husband and the older two are sitting right behind me. This works out well for him, because they are willing to sit and watch a movie even though he's got two out of three of the kids. And when they do need something, or course they poke their little fingers between the seats and jab at me. Even though the answer is probably "ask your dad."  Because I'm the mom. Gracie girl is sitting between me and a gracious business man who has put up with a lot of singing and feet in his side. Not to mention, the girl has terrible gas. Sorry to everyone near us! Gracie girl is reveling in having my full attention for hours on end...I don't think we've gone more than 20 seconds during the entire flight when she didn't want my attention for someting, or need something. Jeepers. Thankfully, our seat mate didn't notice when she pulled up her shirt, tucked her baby close and announced that Baby Maggie was "hungry por mommy molk." We covered Baby Maggie with a blanket while Gracie rocked her, and wiled away at least three minutes of the flight. And then there was the moment out of the blue where she said, "Mommy, I luz you so berry much!"  This flight is feeling forever long right now, but these little moments are priceless!