Monday, September 26, 2011

Young Love

And I'm takin' REAL young.

Back in July, our family attended a conference in NJ, at what our girls call "the New Jersey church". From her first class with the other 4 yr. olds, Maddie began talking to us about a little boy in her class named Nathan. We didn't think it was at all unusual for her to make a friend who was a boy, since she tends to gravitate toward playing with boys. Out of her 15 cousins, only 2 are girls and she rarely sees them. So she often plays with boys.

As the week went on, however, some unusual things did come out of her mouth.

"Hey Mom, you know my friend, Nathan... he's cute."

Hmm... that's a first. Babies, kittens, outfits. Those things are cute for a 4 yr. old girl. A boy? No.

And then, later, "Mom, Nathan is a KING!"

Wow. This little guy has made quite an impression.

Just so you know, we're not really big into the boyfriend/girlfriend pretend stuff for little ones. Sometimes I joke with friends of mine who have boys the same age as my daughters and we arrange their betrothment, but I never joke with the girls themselves about having a boyfriend. But I also didn't want to make much ado about nothing, so we just kind of smiled and nodded whenever Maddie talked about this cute, kingly boy named Nathan.

By the way, I never did get to met Nathan. So if you live in New Jersey and have a 4 ys. old boy named Nathan, kindly send me his picture and bio for a background check.

Now, here we are in September, and with ZERO prompting from us (believe me!) Maddie continues to bring up Nathan. Just today, she was reading a story and the character's name happened to be Nathan. She stopped reading and grinned at me, "Just like the boy at the New Jersey church that I fell in love with!"

Um, excuse me?

"You did not fall in love with Nathan."

I take partial blame for this: I used to term "fall in love" once when explaining to Maddie why so-and-so were getting married. Now I know I should have said that they were getting married because he worked a good job and her daddy said it was okay.

"But Mom," Maddie insisted, "I DID fall in love!"

"No, you did not".

"Why not?"

"Because 4 year olds aren't allowed."

So at this point in time, Maddie is planning a wedding to a boy named Nathan, Seth is sharpening his knife collection and I'm wondering how is it that we are having these conversations so soon.

I think it's time to introduce Maddie to harsh truth of cooties.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Fall has arrived.... and neat videos

I know... who says "neat"? It's right up there in the list of terms no cool people use like "swell" and "dandy". But I just have a soft spot for out dated exclamations so I will continue to use them freely.

You may have guesed it by my lack of posts: I'm a busy girl these day. I've thoughtof post ideas a hundred times but lack the time to sit down and share. In no particular order, here's what's been keeping me from my keyboard:

cooking food
cleaning up food
buying food
teaching Maddie K
keeping little ones busy while I teach Maddie*
decorating for fall.... mums + pumpkin + my front porch = smile
revival meetings at church
weeding through closets to get the right size/season for all these people who live here
scrubbing basement walls to "dry lock" them (well, okay to be fair Seth has done all that)

Exciting things:

Leila walks. Not far and not steady but she does.

We have a pool table... awesome lil' story. Seth, who has forever wanted to have a pool table in our basement, was approached by an old neighbor/friend who wanted to know if we'd take a pool table of his hands. It's beautiful and they just wanted to clear the space so... um yeah. Jolly good!

Finally making progress with Maddie's asthma/allergies. New doc., new meds, no dust allowed in my house. No mold either, which is why the dry lock in the basement. Now if only my neighbors would all kindly chop down their oak trees and if Congress would please out law rag weed, we'd be all set. I'm sure rag weed is the only thing left for Congress to meddle with. =)

*And now, to share some DVDs I've loved and wanted to let you all know about.

The complete set of 8 is available here.

My sweet friend sent these to my girls a while ago and they love them. The cartoon stories about different heroes of the faith are done in such a great way. They are entertaining and teach great lessons. The DVD special features have GREAT documentaries that Seth and I enjoyed a lot too. We actually showed one of the documentaries at church. They are geared for school aged children but my 3 and 4 yr. old seem to be able to follow the plots easily enough. Some stories have scary parts (Jim Elliot's martyrdom, for example) but, in my opinion, it's not done in a graphic way. Mostly, the feelings of danger is created with music. One DVD, of Amy Carmichael in India, has a scene with a little girl being left at a temple by her mother and that is actually the scariest for my girls so we fast froward it.

Anyway, if you're like me and always looking for something safe and helpful for your kids to watch, here is an idea for you.

And that is all. Have a great day!


Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Can't hardly believe it!

Tonight, I picked out clothes for my daughter's first day of school.

I have a school aged child.


And no, she is not wearing the above outfit. Just the most recent picture of her.

She is SUPER excited. She doesn't get to go the school every day, since there is not enough staff to handle Kindergartners. But she is going for the first day "Opening" in which mean ol' Principal McCoy (aka Daddy) lays down the law, has a few contests, treats them to donut holes and other first day exciting activities.

All day long she has been saying to us, "Don't forget to walk me up early early in the morning for school!" No matter how many times we assure her that we will have her up and ready in time, she seems to be really anxious over us forgetting that it's her first day. And I just loved when she throw in: "Mom, we better remind Dad because you don't get up in the night time morning like he does."

While her and I decided what she'd wear tomorrow, I told her the sweater she'd picked wouldn't work because it wasn't in dress code because it has writing on it.

"What's dress code?" Oh man. So much for her to get accustomed to.

"It's like the rules for what you're allowed to wear to school, and if you aren't in dress code you get a demerit." I said.

"What's a demerit?" She wanted to know.

"You get a demerit when you do something against the rules."

"And you get put into jail?"


"No... you don't get put into jail.

"Do you have to pay money?"


"Do you get hit on the head?"

"NO!" What in the world? Where'd that come from? Kids are so weird.

By now, I'm thinking nothing much actually does happen when you get a demerit. You just get one. Nothing quite so bad like jail, or fines, or whacks on the head.

"You don't get to play when the other kids get to. And you get 3 in a day, you get in BIG TROUBLE."

None of this seemed to lessen her excitement for her first day. ☺

I'm excited for her. But amazed that it's here already. She is no longer a baby, or toddler or preschooler. She's a school aged kid. *gulp* Just a little ways away from being a bonefide Big Kid.

This parenting thing is intense. And hard and exhausting. But it seems to be going by so fast, that I know it'll be over before I know it. Not that there'll ever be a day when I'm not a parent. Because of course, each of my children will buy homes on my block and come eat dinner at my house every single evening for the rest of their lives. ☺ But even so, the days of discipline and teaching and training and punishing them, or bathing them, dressing them, nursing them, feeding them, or 24/7 care and responsibility for them will one day end. And I want to have no regrets. Which is probably an impossible goal. But how about few regrets? The days are passing quickly and I want to give it 100% while the window of training is open.

Maddie will never be a prechooler again. Never again a baby or toddler. It won't be long before other milestones are reached and I'll say good bye to her childhood entirely. So I'll mother the 4, almost 5 yr. old that she is now at full capacity, not mourning the days gone by, because I lived in those moments fully, nor to eager for the next phase for it will come in time's relentless fashion.

When it's all said and done, and my girls are all grown up, living right next door, and come check in on their elderly, yet mysteriously youthful looking mother, as she pets the pampered little lap dog that Daddy finally conceded into buying for her, complete with pink satin bow regardless of the dog's gender... I hope I can look back on these playful, tiring, messy days with satisfaction that I held nothing back and that my girls knew they were loved by a big God and a kooky mommy. 


Sunday, September 4, 2011

Baby Prayer

Children praying = pure listening enjoyment.

Today, this was Maddie's prayer before eating her lunch. (Background: "Aunt S. is having boy #5 at the end of the month, and two other ladies at church are expecting... one for sure a boy and one unknown).

Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you for this food, please bless it to our bodies (said very fast).
(Now, more emphatically) I pray for all the mommies having babies. Please keep them safe. Please make the babies healthy. I pray that some will be girls and some will be boys.
God, I really wanted Aunt S. to have a girl but she is having a boy.

Good thing God has Maddie around to fill Him in on these things. ☺


Friday, September 2, 2011


In solitude, where we are least alone. ~ Lord Byron


Thursday, September 1, 2011

How To: French Braid Around the Head

I thought I would share this pretty but functional (as in... actually stays put longer than 3.4 seconds) french braid idea. I do this on my girls a lot and I think it's pretty stinkin' cute.

 In Maddie's pic above, I stop the braid on one side and connect it with another braid below the ear. Dutch braid meets side pony tail. On Eden's pic, you can see that I wrap the initial braid all the way around. Very darling. Stick some flowers in it and she'll look like a cherub. Excpet not naked. The first idea (on Maddie) does hold up better while the chickies climb trees and jump off furniture.

I made a (cheesy) "how to" video on you tube. My husband (graciously) served as camera man and was in a bit of a hurry. {What, my dear? You DON'T want to spend all evening videoing me french braiding? I suppose the manicure session I had planned for later is out too.} In the video, Eden thought a fly was going to attack here, and claims child abuse for every slight tug at her hair. And Maddie was chatting away to herself in the background. But Leila was good and quiet. One of out of three. That's the best I hope for these days. ;) (kidding') Anyway, hopefully you can figure out what I was doing. And at the end, you may want to take a comb and smooth out any funky looking hairs on top (I forgot that on the video).

If I make no sense at all, have no fear. Pony tails will always be in style.



It's nice growing up with someone like you. Someone to lean on, to count on... someone to tell on!

I'm famous

In case you missed it, I did a guest post on Raising 4 Princesses. Didn't know I was a blog celebrity, did ya? ;)

Maria's blog epitmoizes why blogging is fun. You make new friends, you keep in touch with old friends, you learn new ideas. You share your own hair brained ideas. You're inspired to flex your creative muscles. You're encouraged to get through another day. And now, you'll get a silly method to make a mundane week night dinner a little more fun. ☺

Thanks for askin' me, Maria. It was fun!