Slow down baby….

I can hardly believe my baby is 11 years old today!! The time sure does fly by and I wish I could put the brakes¬†on. I remember so much of these past 11 years and of course some things I look at a picture and think oh my goodness I forgot that all ready… Pictures people always take pictures…as I get older I so appreciate them all the more.This song hit me ..it said everything I was thinking…take a listen warning grab a tissue ūüėČ

 

I have to admit a small part of me feels sad as every birthday comes and goes because it’s just one step closer to them being on their own. I know I know this is what ever parent is supposed to want and train each child to achieve. Don’t get me wrong I do want my boys to ¬†be able to contribute ¬†to this beautiful world we live in I just want to soak them up a bit more.

At out house it’s tradition for the¬†birthday boy ¬†to pick his favorite dinner….wait for it…grilled cheese, wow I get off so easy…hahaha. We also bake the cake or in Doodlebugs case cupcakes together. So much fun! He picked yellow food¬†coloring( his favorite color) for the frosting and helped measure everything to mix. I tuck this memory away also but for now I am loving every minute!

saying

Happy birthday to my little man, my Doodlebug,budding scientist, lovebug and Boo you mean the world to me and make me so happy and proud…I love all the time we share and love watching you grow and learn and love life….thank you for being you and bringing a big smile to my heart everyday! Love you……mom

 

Be blessed ….

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THANK YOU

The power of words….some say the tongue has no bones but is strong enough to break a heart so be careful with your words.. Some words are used not to hurt us but to build us up, to make us feel appreciated and those are the words I would like to talk about today.

download (1)thank you

Thank you… crazy how those two words can make someone feel so good about what ever it was they did…hold a door,send a card, just be there for a friend in need. They make us want to do better,to help more sometimes even without being asked. Thank you makes us feel good! The two words we teach our kids as soon as they can barely utter a word “Thank you”! Have any of you found that those words¬†are¬†missing from the conversation today? That we take our friends, loved ones, even co-workers for granted. Continue reading

Kindness…is where it starts

It happened again today..yet another terror attack this time in¬†Belgium’s capital. Sadly 30 people have died…many others hurt.

From a moms perspective it scares the crap out of me ,¬†I’m not going to lie. I wonder how many other parents think the same as I do. I wonder every time I go to a mall or a sporting event , am I going to have to plan my escape route ¬†every time I leave my home. Is this the way I want to live or do I want my kids to see me worry ? I’m not sure what the answer is. I know somewhere in Belgium a parent,sister ,brother ,mom or dad ,cousin , co- worker or friend is grieving now because of senseless acts of violence, it breaks my heart.I know they are not the only ones that are hurting it seeps into every area of the world.

My kids ask my how could someone hate someone so bad even when they never met them? Why would someone do this? Who are these people? Why ,why,why……….How do you answer these questions..I’m at a loss.

I do know this our God is bigger! Our God is stronger! Our God is with us! I rest in my faith that even though I can’t do anything to stop these people from hurting others I can pray for them,pray that they find the truth,the way and the life ¬†and they stop this … this hate. I hug my kids and tell them we do better when we know better. It starts with not teasing the person down the road if they are different,not judging someone because they look different or have different customs…..it’s okay to be different . Start with kindness…it takes just a second to smile or help someone who dropped something. It all starts with being kind… so easy…we are not born¬†hating so somewhere down the line things for some change…

Kindness and love,after  explaining the PG version of the days events my lesson to my kids will be  kindness and love .I sure hope and pray this hate and violence ends.

Hug those babies..kiss their toes and hold them tight…spend the extra time reading to them even when they know how to read. Help them become loving ,kind beautiful grownups that will make a difference in the world.

Thanks for letting me vent…big hugs and blessing to you….Kris

The First Ride

Today was a great day….The weather is finally starting to warm up and some very antsy kids were able to go outside. It seems that even if you go outside in the winter to sled or hike through snow it’s never the same as that first day you can bring out your bike.

In the Midwest we will wear shorts at 45 degrees and whine when the temp reaches 85 in the summer with humid days. Kids they don’t care¬†though¬†if it’s not raining and they will not¬†¬†get frostbite we are good to go. But today it was 61 degrees and that is just the right temp to dust off the bike and enjoy the day!

bike

This was the day…the rest of the week it is going to rain or snow some more so today we took advantage of the beautiful sneak peek at what spring will be.

The kids love to ride down to lake and walk around the beach to see if they can find anything cool. My oldest humors the youngest because Boo believes he will find washed up treasures from a sunken ship or maybe even a pirates treasure chest. He brings home rusty pieces of metal and rocks that look like coal or the best a piece of drift wood that of course came off a boat. I love to see him get so excited and his imagination soar.

bike

The beauty of homeschooling is they can take their time growing up, no one will tease him call ¬†him¬† crazy or think it’s just for babies, he will be able to just have fun and be a kid.He can take his time and enjoy being a kid. the¬† innocence, they grow up too fast as it is.

It’s not going to be to long, maybe a few more weeks and this outside play will be old hat, but for today it was so appreciated,needed and very welcomed.

So until you get to smell the first flowers,taste a s’mores from the campfire or just kick back poolside while the kids swim, hang in there the light is shining through.

 

Be blessed

 

17 Years Ago….

17 years¬†ago..I remember watching on TV as all these kids started running out of their school crying and screaming. I remember watching the law enforcement cars and ambulances trucks….I remember the sadness and fear and heartache. I remember crying watching¬†these kids and parents who were searching the parking lot trying to find their loved ones. ¬†April 20 1999 ,17 years ago Columbine High School in Colorado was one of¬†¬†the¬†many school shootings we have had in this country.

 

I watched again as I tuned in to see the interview with Diane Sawyer ,she was interviewing Sue Klebold, the mom of shooter Dylan Klebold. You can see the pain in her eyes and hear it in her voice.She is so sorry for what her child has done.

12 kids and 1 teacher were killed that day and then these boys Dylan and Eric Harris killed themselves……

I know your not supposed to feel bad for the parents of these boys that killed so many..or are we. I do…I can help but feel her pain. It’s not like any of us parents want to raise a murderer. We don’t set out one day and hope our kids will be such ¬†a disgrace to society.She felt she was raising a good kid, she had counselors say the same since his grades were good, he talked about future plans for college. Yes, he was lonely at times ,had some trouble with the law and other issues fitting in….but did she think he would ever hurt someone else much less kill someone? I don’t think so.She has gone over ever inch of his childhood looking to where she missed the signs,how she could have prevented this.

In the clip you could hear other parents blaming her, she I guess had a hard time returning to work and even being in town. Her marriage of 30 years ended in divorce. Now I’m not saying these families of the victims shouldn’t be mad or upset and God know they need to blame someone and since the boys who did this killed themselves the parents are left. I know if it were my child who was killed…I would want to blame too. But my thoughts kept going back to how is a parent to know??

Sometimes there are obvious signs sometimes not..sometimes it may be just a matter of taking some time to listen,ask questions, be noisy and see what they are up to.

I wanted a conversation to start with families not just with the kids who attend school outside of the house but homeschooled kids too. I am so lucky, I have never had to worry when you drop your kids off at the door for school, I have never had to pray all day that they would be okay till I picked them up….I had them at home with me. But all kids go through some tough issues growing up whether at home or at school. Kids need someone they an trust and someone they can turn too. If you think your child needs help don’t be ashamed. We love our kids, we all see the good in them and they are good. They are little pieces of heaven walking around and in our lives so we can shape and mold them and help them be the best they can be….

I don’t want to watch yet another child die from a classmate or anyone else for the matter. I don’t know what the answer is all together . I know I ¬†sat here for two days thinking of all the¬†families¬†involved in the Columbine shooting once again…sad for them..inspired by them. I hope we can solve this epidemic of violence so no other family needs to hurt..

Hug your kids,love on them ,pray for them….I know I will more….

 

Picture Perfect

Does anyone really post about how bad their day was or how the kids were swinging from the rafters and you just can’t take another day before you scream! Your house is a disaster the bathroom hasn’t been cleaned in a week and the laundry …well really do we need to go there? How about the amount of toys or “stuff” we hide 20 minutes before someone is to come over? The fact that little jimmy just clogged the toilet with to much paper or do I even go as far as a toy that¬† he thought would be cool to see if it would swim down the hole??? NO….. People want everyone to think life is wonderful, the kids are well behaved …always… the house is spotless and the dog is trained to get the paper for you in the morning. The truth is no one is always either way,but why do we feel the need to put up this front…make this crazy life seem so flawless?

We all want other moms or dads to think we have all this totally under control…but do we? I know I don’t,¬†some days it’s a miracle I get dinner done by 5 and I feel like I really got it going on when the house is picked up and someone comes to the door unannounced….don’t hold your breath though that only happens once in a while. My luck is usually the door bell rings and I go into panic mode and think ..oh gosh who could it be , please be UPS,did I order something…crap did I have plans?? No it’s the neighbor stopping by ..my hair is a mess ,the house could really have benefited from seeing a dust mop and oh boy come on in!! But I survive and of course solemnly swear that I will for sure be on the ball and never have that happen again….NOT!

So…what should we do? With all that happens every day , all the expectations I guess we have to just relax. It would be really nice if instead of competing we would try supporting, instead of judging we start accepting. Life is hard sometimes we all go through stuff that sets us back or takes us by surprise. Some days are so full of roses that we hate to blink because we don’t want that feeling ¬†to leave, ¬†and other days we can’t wait for the tide to change. I feel so blessed with my kids and husband ,I know how very lucky I am,is my life perfect …no but I don’t need it to be. Without all the bumps and dirty dishes,all the¬†chaos and the noise…I know the days are numbered before the kids are grown and out of the house…so for me I am going to step back and feel the moment enjoy the moment and let the dust bunnies take up residence for a few more years. I don’t want to miss the Legos all through out the living room or the water drops on the floor from the fridge to the table because the glass was just a bit to full¬†all to have everything to someone else’s standards. I challenge¬†¬†all of us to set aside what can wait and focus on what is really¬†important . Enjoy our children..not worry so much about what others think. Before we know it..it will be the last time one of our kids drags sand in from outside because he gets to old to play in the sandbox or we don’t have to scrap playdough off the table because jeez¬†mom that’s for little kids. Sometimes I think it’s just as simple as doing the best we can….doing what we feel in our hearts is best. Until someone brings me the lost instruction manual I’m going to trust my gut and my heart and love this family with all I have!…

 

Thoughts….

Do you ever just sit in the dark and think? Do you watch the ceiling as the shadows dance in the light of the night light or listen when¬†you can hear the the clock tick¬†or¬†the little sounds the house makes when it’s so cold outside…? Sometimes I find my best thinking is done at night when the whole house is quiet and I can just lay my head on the pillow and think….sometimes I replay the days events ,what I would have done different or how I could have been a better parent. Last night as I laid my head down my thoughts were going crazy it was hard to keep on one subject…I talk to myself ….I answer myself….I correct myself…and I shame myself….

I think how in the world can I as a mom, and one I might add ¬†that wanted to be a mom since I was 14 or 15 years old(way to young to start for sure) screw up so much. I think every morning I am going to be more relaxed I wont let all the little things get the better of me,the laundry can wait, sometimes the homework can be a video and the sun will still set if we have cereal for lunch( that actually happens more then I care to admit) . But I find myself every night with my head on the same pillow propped by my arms thinking ….what could I have done better.

I think all of us moms want to do the very best we can…sometimes we give ourselves much to much to handle and sometimes we just expect to much from ourselves. So I pray…I leave my talking and thinking and I am still…listening to the one small still voice that reminds me every day and night that I’m okay…I’m doing the best I can, my kids are happy,healthy ¬†and loving. All the stars don’t have to line up, the dust bunnies will not kill the person who stops by and love is the greatest gift of all…I can do that …love them with all that I am , and you know what…that is enough!

Animal Tracks in the Snow

snow tracks 2

Today it is about 4 degrees outside so it is cold…to cold to play outside for sure but a quick trip around the house to check out all the cool animal tracks in the fresh snow…I can handle that.

I opened the curtain this morning to let some sun in to warm the house up a bit ..as I look down I see these tiny little tracks and a tunnel in the snow…I though how cool then I thought oh…I hope that’s not a mouse coming that close to the house….the only mouse this girl likes has a first name of Mickey! This had me thinking..my youngest loves to go outside,for some reason the cold never hits them this young, why not turn some fun into a great lesson.

As most homeschoolers do we look for the joy in learning something then we look to see what subject this could fall under.Art and science…could it get any better,my kids love these two, so off we go!

This day has¬†turned into a great day of learning! I have managed to teach and learn something and get out and move around(that helps to warm you up for sure) and I haven’t heard the “I’m bored” yet!

animal-tracks guide

You don’t have to stop there head to Pinterst…countless ideas for crafts like hand print tracks with paints or make a mask of your¬†favorite animal you just tracked.Crossword puzzles,word finds connect the track to the animal and so much more.

Want to find out more on the habits or activities of the animal head to the zoo or Library and get a great book that goes into detail. Hundreds of neat ideas await you on the Web…so have fun and see what walks by your house after dark!

 

Is your child’s room like Albert Einsteins Desk?

Did you ever wonder if your child was going to make it from his door to his bed without breaking his neck but somehow managed to easily get there without stepping on a single thing? Been there many times. It’s the strangest thing I have one child who for his whole life (all 19 years…soooo old) has been neat and tidy. If you walk in his room at any time it is always clean. It almost makes me feel guilty because he is more organized then myself. (shh I will never tell him this.) Then you have number two son who could live in the chaos¬†with a smile on his face and think nothing of it.(really)!

So after a trip to IKEA ¬†I was in the mood to do some organizing. I thought to myself hmmm what room needs it the most and guess what, my son Benjamin’s room popped into my head. It really is a all day affair but after Christmas ¬†it was time. Now I have heard all sorts of advice on how to get your child to get rid of things but for Benjamin it just isn’t that easy , so ¬†since he is 10 and can make the mess he also needs to clean the mess.(He was so excited…not) I usually start with taking everything out , then going through to decide keep or toss or donate. The pile to keep for him usually is the largest (my guess is that you already knew that) but we work at it and one by one we get it down to a manageable amount of stuff. Now that will be different for all kids and adults..it’s whatever amount of stuff that works for you. All the bins, shelves,baskets in the world wont help if it is still to much to manage. I like Benjamin to be involved because not only is he in control a bit(or at least he feels this way) of where¬†his “stuff”ends up but I feel he is learning how to handle his clutter for when he is on his own.

brilliant-and-smart-kids-rooms-storage-ideas________________________________________

After some time we did it! Believe it or not there really is carpet under all that mess! Bed made,closet cleaned,floor vacuumed and wait for it …yes we even dusted! I was happy he was happy and the day went on.

The best part of cleaning is you find all sorts of things you thought were missing and you get to use them! Benjamin found all sorts of great cars and trains that¬†went missing in the abyss. After some time had passed and he was¬†quietly playing I peeked in to see how he was doing…..I had to shake my head and smile because he somehow managed to fill the floor once again. He was in his glory having the time of his life ,the enjoyment he was getting in just playing with his toys…how could one get mad, after all isn’t that why we buy them so they play and create and have fun?

 

 

 

albert

 

In the end he does clean up for the most part and that last about a week and slowly the stuff starts to come to the middle of the room and we clean again. All this had me thinking…I remembered reading Albert Einstein once said¬†¬†‚ÄúIf a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, then what are we to think of an empty desk?‚ÄĚhmm and what about that…Benjamin is my creative thinker always thinking outside the box. So I guess for now as long as he keeps it in his room and he is happy I’m not going to stress about it. It’s one of those “pick your battle” moments. It may never be perfect but really,who am I kidding ,neither is mine…we can just hope .

 

organized-craft-cabinet-after

What to do when it’s cold outside

It’s no secret that most of us want to pull our hair out when we hear these words…”I’m bored” “I have nothing to do”!!! I am no exception…A lot of us homeschool moms are home all day with our kids and have a few tricks up our sleeves of¬†great things to do when it’s just a bit to cold to send them out. But sometimes you need some fresh ideas. So what do you do?

  1. In my house everything is fair game to be crafted or made into something(God forbid you throw out the toilet paper roll ,I mean really) so pull out your craft stuff…paper plates,toilet paper roll, construction paper, glue, glitter,¬†stamps, scissors, popsicle¬†sticks, markers, crayons, cardboard, paint….what ever you have and let the kids go nuts and create what ever they like. In the end I like to take clothes pins and hang them on a line to display what they have done.
  2. You see a dining room table they see a camp site out West or a cave they are hiding out in….pull out those sheets and blankets indoor forts are the best… hours of fun!!
  3. Have you ever¬†wanted¬† to see that certain movie but haven’t had the time? Now is it…get that sleeping bag out and pop some popcorn put that DVD in and watch a movie in your pajama’s!
  4. Get some energy out and DANCE!!! Put on¬†a cd and dance like no one is watching…(close the curtains if you are worried)
  5. My kids love science..so when it rains or is to cold these are the days I love to get the science kits out and try some new experiments out.      sciencebob.com or http://www.kidspot.com.au/ there are many more on the web or youtube.
  6. Ever try a treasure hunt…my youngest likes to pretend to be a miner(think headlight,lantern,wagon in the basement) so we take the gems you find at any craft store (they sell them by the bag near the flower arrangements) and hide them all over the basement then turn the lights off so he can use his head gear or lantern and find them…it’s actually really fun to see which kid can find more!

Now if you want to venture out of the house depending on how the roads are(snow plowed) the list is endless but here are a few.

  1. Museums…think dinosaurs..space..natural history…art…maybe something to go with what you are studying.
  2. The library…many have activities you can join or maybe you just want to try reading something new,a mystery,biography.
  3. Bowling…now who wouldn’t be up for a great game of bowling,this is fun for the whole family too.
  4. The local zoo….sometimes the best time to go to the zoo is in the winter…less crowds and animals that are usually to hot to move around a lot are out and about.
  5. Hands on art…many towns have a paint your pottery or jewelry making..check out your local art museum for information.
  6. See¬†¬†what is playing at your local children’s theater .

What ever you do, what matters is that we ¬†get this time with our kids..watch them grow and explore. Remember all the captivating¬†first discoveries . I think learning should be fun and I think if we put our kids in some situations that don’t involve a workbook it fosters the love of learning because they don’t even know they are.

Have fun with your kids …kiss that forehead one more time and snuggle just a little longer…have a great day!