Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Why Family Matters

I have always wondered why my girls have a hard time telling other people how they feel. In fact, when it comes to other adults they often hide their feelings. For example, when Reagan was taking horse back riding lessons, the giant horse stepped on her little first grader foot and she didn't cry until 1/2 hour later when she got into the car. Why? She didn't want her teacher to see her cry. Rebecca is afraid to tell her teacher when she is feeling homesick or scared about her lunch time surroundings. Today it finally dawned on me. In the crucial years of their lives we didn't live near any family. My children haven't had other adults consistently present in their lives where they would learn to confide in someone apart from Ron and I. Even now we are closer but the relationships are surface at best and still the time we make is not often enough to foster a trust relationship. It makes me wish that our friends from Seattle were still so near. Our families have nearly the same dynamic, same core beliefs and the same interest in seeing each others children reach their full potential. How great it would be to have them be near so our children had other adults to tell stuff to as they grow in case they felt they couldn't tell us. I am, however, grateful that at this point my children share with me what's going on in their lives. I hope that as they grow listening to stories about recess and who threw up today, will lead to stories about more important things. For now I am grateful that our families get to be involved way more than they used to. I know that has great benefits of its own. This parent thing is so HARD!!!!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Did I Teach You That?

It has happened several times now and event followed by floods of tears. Reagan is upset because there was a project to do but she didn't get to participate because the other kids were in the way. Rebecca wants to try something new, but doesn't get a turn because she didn't speak up. Kids say or do things to them and they don't say a word. How did they get like this? My girls are afraid to stand up for themselves and seriously lacking assertiveness. I have always taught them to watch out for those smaller than them, be polite, take turns, don't be selfish, be kind, be careful what you say so you don't hurt another persons feelings. However, some of the message got lost in translation because they are becoming doormats for other children who don't care about their feelings or care if everyone gets a turn. I can honestly say that at this point I have no idea how to teach them the difference between being a nice person and standing up for themselves to be sure they are heard too. I know where it starts, but I didn't think it was obvious. I am a people pleaser. Worried about hurting someone Else's feelings or how they will react at my own expense. My children have caught on to that and I must say it's not what I want for their lives. It's so hard to walk this line between being courteous and being taken advantage of. Especially in this day and age. I don't think half of us realize what our children have to deal with at school. Kids are mean and rude and disrespectful and if you have any concern for those things at all, your young child is swimming up stream against all this nastiness coming their way. I am amazed at how much they have to deal with daily and yet still have to grow and learn what is right when all around them others do whatever they feel like. I am learning to stand up for myself because if I don't show them the proper way to be confident then they will never learn and have the same fate as I. I have never been more aware than I am now of how much we need to pray for our children. They face way more than we ever did and it is scary out there. However, I do believe that our kids can be light in this dark world but they can't do it alone. I get now, more than ever how I need to be the advocate for my kids, cover them in prayer and strengthen them as they face their day. The time is gone for my own selfish behavior and the day has dawned for me to step up and be the woman that my kids can look to for encouragement, strength, grace and courage. Most of all to be those loving arms that hug away a day of mean kids, contradicting truth and a battle that I can only imagine that they face.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

I Will Come Back to You

If you have talked to me in the last couple of weeks you already know that I have been struggling with the kids being back to school. I also realize that most of you think I am insane and I am OK with that. I am used to Reagan being gone all day. Although I hate that I only get so few hours with her and when she has something in the evening it's even less. However, this year Rebecca also started going all day. We've been back for a few weeks and yet everyday at lunch time I get a little twinge of sadness because I know she is not coming home to eat with us. The biggest change has been taking Ryan to preschool. That was my hardest day yet. Let's just say it was a very quick goodbye as I could not hold the tears back a second longer. Thankfully my dear friend Tiphanie was there to the rescue and kept me busy that first morning. So here I am in a new phase of life. I remember counting the days until I would have some time alone and now I look back and see just how fast it goes. So here I sit having zero idea what to do with myself. Well I have some idea, it's called "clean your house" but really who wants to do that when they are trying to redefine normal. Anyway, fast forward to today. At the front of Ryan's school is a fenced in playground. Nothing special but he always wants to stop in and play. So today we went in and played for a while. There is one toy that has a steering wheel some slides and stairs. Ryan dubbed it his school bus. While he was waiting to take his turn driving he sat on the "school bus." Then he looked at me and said, "Mommy I am going to go to school now, but don't worry when I am done I will come back to you." Those words have been in my heart and on my mind all day long. The truth of the matter is that if I am doing my job right as they go experience life and independence they will come back to me. They will come back for support, a hand to help them up with they fall and mess up, encouragement and most of all a soft place to land. If I am doing my job right then my kids will know like the song says that I am in fact the greatest fan of their lives. At the end of the day I am so grateful that it's only elementary and preschool and not college or marriage that I am sending them away to go and do. It means that I still have time to get the most out of every day and every moment. It means that I still have time to get it right, to build a relationship with my children so when they are grown they will indeed come back to me. Here are some pictures from every one's first day of school. Fourth grade for Reagan, first grade for Rebecca and preschool for Ryan.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

History Repeats Itself

School lunches are always a fun and passionate subject around our house. I think almost all of us can remember our school lunches and not appreciate all of them. I for one can remember egg salad sandwiches and my dear mother not caring how terrible it smelled by the time I got to lunch time. I can also remember tossing my lunch and a special squirrel God picked out just for me to dig it out of the garbage. Yes I got in trouble but that is a story for another day. Ron's passion lies in the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches his mom made for him. His working, tired mom that slaved over these sandwiches, filled with love I might add, for her teenage son. (see mom, I've got your back!) Ron insists that every day his mom would make his sandwich and then squish the bread together with her hand. I have heard that his mother has no recollection of this. Anyway, by the time he would get to lunch it would be all mushy and seeping through the bread. I would like to present exhibit A:

This is the peanut butter and jelly sandwich that Ron made for Rebecca this morning. This is the sandwich she found at lunch and could not get herself to even try to eat it. Clearly the apple did not fall far from the tree! Ron insists that he did not smash it but does admit that maybe he put a little too much jelly on the sandwich. I whole heartily agree!!

Saturday, September 5, 2009


Rebecca has become quite the willing model so I was playing around with my camera the other day and got these shots!