Sunday, October 23, 2016

It's Been A While...

It's been a while since I've posted anything on this blog and that's putting it mildly. I've played around with another blog or two but never with the consistency and effort I put into this one for so many years. I suppose because this blog started with a way to share my family, a place to keep photos and memories.

I had to laugh, a bit in shock, just a few weeks ago when Gabby asked me how to get your picture on Google. She had googled her name while at school earlier that day and of course, did not see any photos of herself. I'm sure part of that is because the school has firewalls and security measures in place to limit Google search results but also, I'm not sure I ever tagged any of these photos with her name.

As I explained to Gabby how all of this works - to the extent my own knowledge would allow - I realized she and Samantha had no idea this blog even existed. I am certain I had showed them at some point back when I was regularly posting but they were so little and really had no idea what I was showing them other than photos of themselves on a computer monitor.

Later that evening we hopped on the computer and browsed as many posts as time would allow. Samantha could finally see that yes, hundreds, thousands really, of photos do exist of her as a baby and toddler. I always feel guilty when the girls drag out photo albums and browse through the two albums full of Gabby's photos - only to ask, again, and be told, again, that I don't have any of Samantha's photos in an album. One day!! I promise, one day I will get them in an album. But hopefully after Samantha got to see the photos on the blog here she felt a little better, knowing I did take lots of photos and we did have lots of fun when she was a baby and toddler too!

There is no way I could ever get this blog caught up, to fill in all the empty spaces of what we have been up to since my last semi-regular posting. The girls continue to grow up so fast!! Our family has changed so much. We have moved and changed schools. We lost our Mattie-girl and cried but gained our first fish Sapphire and smiled. We continue to be a dance family which has become a full time job. Oh yeah, I also have returned to the workforce full time. Life has been good. It has had its ups and downs but no complaints. It is far from perfect, but I love our life and I love our family and I of course look back on the photos and posts from the days of little ones running around, spreading their messes and sticky fingerprints, and I sigh because those days went by so fast (yet at the time so slowly!!) But I also, when I slow myself down enough to take the time to notice, how great my little girls and my time with them is now. They are growing up and I am so proud of them. They are smart and beautiful, inside and out, talented, and loving and kind. They are a handful and then some.

So maybe I'll be back here again soon...who knows, only time will tell!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Snow Day #2

As expected, schools are closed for the second day in a row. Our first makeup day has been scheduled for this coming Saturday. Other makeup days I guess will be decided once we see just how many days we'll be out this week. Some have said we'll be lucky to return to school on Friday.

My ideas for yesterday went pretty much as planned. The girls watched some television and played some video games but we also went outside for a little walk - a very cold little walk - and we also got some crafting and some baking and some hot chocolate in our day as well.

The children catching snowflakes craft turned out pretty cute. I have them hanging on our sliding glass door today. They are certainly unique!! Look at those mouths full of teeth!!

I made blueberry muffins - two batches. There are only two muffins left so it is safe to assume we have done our share of eating as well. I also made chili. A whole lot of chili. Apparently I thought I was feeding the neighborhood or that we would want to eat chili for every meal for the next week. Good thing I have an extra freezer!

I doubt we go outside today even though it is supposed to be a tad warmer. It also is a lot wetter and muddier today - both I would rather avoid.

Unless we make a quick run to the grocery store for a couple of items, today will most likely be a stay in, stay warm, watch tv (for the girls), read (for all of us), catch up on work (for me) kind of day.

The cold is apparently planning on sticking around a while. Our forecast...

Brrr...I get chills just thinking about it. It looks like it is going to be a fireplace, hot chocolate, soup, lots of layers kind of week around here!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Snow Days

Schools are releasing early today, grocery stores are packed with people getting stocked up on milk, bread, water and the fixings for soups and chili - and probably junk food, all in anticipation of the winter weather forecast to hit our area late this afternoon.

Will we get snow or will it be mostly sleet and freezing rain?

It is less a matter of "if" but more accurately "how many" days will school be cancelled? Which leads us to "how many Saturday plans will be ruined due to school makeup days?"

This will be our first experience with making up school on a Saturday having just recently moved to a year-round school schedule. The girls were less than thrilled with the news. So far we love year-round school. Having to go to school for even a half day on a Saturday will most likely be the biggest negative. 

My plans for the next day or two are fairly simple. I have a couple of items to pick up on the way getting the girls from school. I have a short list of recipes to make, preferably all this afternoon to be warmed up as needed the next couple of days, and a hope to get laundry caught up.

I am sure the girls would love to spend the next 24-36 hours at home in front of the television exhausting all of their Netflix shows or playing the Playstation but I refuse to let them spend the entire time in front of a screen. I decided to do a quick search of some simple winter crafts and activities that would not require a trip to the store for supplies. I think I found some good possibilities!

And how cute are these portraits??

Hopefully in between cooking and cleaning, supervising arts & crafts with the girls and of course the work I will have to do from home, I'll find the time to get some reading in as well. It is an exciting week for books for me!! Probably the one I am most excited about is Jessica Turner's "The Fringe Hours"

I preordered this book and assuming this weather doesn't interfere, it should be delivered tomorrow. I cannot wait to get started.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Raising Children

There are moments - like when the girls are fighting and fussing or just completely ignoring any and all instructions and directions given them by me or Ed - when I think to myself "What am I doing wrong? I must be a terrible parent!" During these moments it is so easy to want to throw my hands up in defeat.

And then there are moments like this morning when I attended a Kids of Character breakfast at Gabrielle's school. Each month, the school recognizes students for a particular character trait. One student is chosen by their class to go to a special breakfast and receive a certificate in recognition of this trait. This morning Gabrielle was recognized for the trait of "tolerance." The school counselor explained the kids chosen for this trait were kids who treated everyone with respect and kindness. Everyone equally, regardless of any differences. I elaborated to Gabrielle this meant whether she agreed with someone or liked the same things, she respected their opinion and the person and that she showed love and kindness to them.

I have always tried to instill in both girls that they will not agree with everyone, they may not even "like" everyone, but everyone deserves to be treated with respect and kindness and love. That's what Jesus tells us to do. To love one another just as he loves us.

And I guess Gabrielle was listening. She may not always demonstrate at home these traits but I'm happy - and proud - to know she is indeed living these things out in the world.

Let's face it, in reality I think most kids act out at home in ways they would never imagine elsewhere. We get to see the "worst" but how comforting it is to be reminded of the best and to know that maybe I'm not that terrible of a parent and just maybe I'm doing something right.