Sunday, April 29, 2012

Creating Calm

In today's busy world, it is hard not to get caught up in the fast paced lifestyle. We have done the five sports' practices a week with a weekend full of church obligated activities and it was hard on the kiddos and us.

So, in the past few years, we have scaled back and taken a cue from our kiddos, relaxing and enjoying life rather than pushing through it, hoping to catch a glimpse of it in the drive thru or on the side lines. We no longer push the kiddos to be involved in extra-curricular sports. Instead, we encourage them to be involved in school related activities, like orchestra or chorus. And our son recently joined Cub Scouts. Those activities are normally once or twice a week, right after school and they do not necessesarily push them to be competitive and harried, but are teaching them discipline, manners, life lessons that we want them learning, that we are teaching them at home and are glad they are being reinforced.

We are encouraging them to be more active at home by taking family walks and bike rides that foster relationships within our family instead of trying to compete against someone. We are finding that we are more relaxed and enjoying life more now that our weekends are not packed and our weeknights are spent around the dinner table doing devotions and having family game night rather than in the stands or driving to the next even.

We know this season of calm may not last as our children are entering the preteen stages, but we hope to be able to encourage them to continue to not overbook their schedules and choose activities that inspire them, not overburden them. It has not been easy as my husband is a die hard sports fan and I loved seeing my daughter dance, but it has strengthened our family to slow down and live life at a slower pace*.

*Another thing we've done is taking time to read as a family and as individuals. We just finished Because of Winn Dixie. I am looking forward to reading Little House on the Freeway  as it seems to be a great resource from Family Matters that gives families a look at slowing things down and even has a section for "101 Ways to Give Rest to Your Family".

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Welcome Kiyah

Still working through the comments from my UBP12 post and am excited about adding some blogs to my linky love tab. I didn't get to check out as many blogs as I wanted to last week as I was in the midst of baby shower preparation. I was so honored to host the shower for my granddaughter's beautiful momma. My sister, who is an amazing photographer took pictures during the shower, while I snapped a few of the preparations. I had so much fun decorating and making the food. It ended up being one of my all time favorite parties to plan and host. I may even have a few parties in the works. If it ended up being a side business I would be thrilled!

A lot of the ideas I had for decorating came from pins I pinned on Pinterest. I especially love the duct tape around the water bottles. So easy, cheap and fun! My kiddos have loved taking the extra bottles to school this week. 

I have not been feeling well since the shower, so I have been heading to bed early. I am just trying to get through the work week and make it to Saturday, so I can take the math portion of the Praxis I test. It will be my first step to getting closer to my state certification. I am a bit nervous about the test, but looking forward to being finished with it.

Then it will be time to wait for Kiyah to be here and for Kaysen's 2nd birthday. I am not planning on throwing him a party, but would definitely be willing to help if Ashley asked me. I love me some party planning! 

I am hoping to get to everyone's blogs that left me a comment last week. Thanks for visiting and come back when you can. I have not been too good with updating daily, but am going to try to be better. Hope to see you back soon =)


Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Ultimate Blog Party 2012

Ultimate Blog Party 2012

I am trying something new this year and linking up to The Ultimate Blog Party 2012 . I am trying to stretch myself and expand my readers and encourage myself to write more, so.....

This is me.....

Although, my hair now a new shade of reddish brown, per my husband's request

These are my people who I primarily write about here since this is a family blog where we try to keep in touch with family in various states and sundry places....

I also have three other children, but they do not live at home anymore.....

Oldest son and grandson

Oldest daughter and littles

   Middle son currently living in TX

I have started a new blog to begin recording my story, A Tapestry of Words and enjoy Pinterest probably way more than I should. 

I am a teacher by trade and am currently working in a public elementary school as a student assistant with a third grader with learning disabilities. I am working on getting my state certification, so I can teach in the classroom again. I am also contemplating homeschooling my children in the near future.

I love sleeping in, scrapbooking, spending time with my family, singing (especially praise and worship music like this song), my grandson, Jesus and chocolate.

I hope you will visit again and enjoy the Blog Party!!   

Sunday, April 01, 2012

Time Flies When You Forget to Post

I always intend to update at least weekly, if not once a month and then a month or two passes and I am frustrated with myself that I have forgotten to blog.

Well, January brought about Cody's birthday, lost teeth for Noah and finally finishing up a project in the kiddos' bedrooms. Cody is still in TX and celebrated his birthday there, not accepting any calls from us or the kiddos, but he did accept the birthday gift we sent. Noah lost both front teeth and was a bit unnerved about it.

And he always writes the tooth fairy a letter asking that she leave his teeth and the cash. LOL He is so creative!

When we switched the kiddos rooms, we talked about painting their names on their walls. We finally finished and it only took 6 months!

In February, Kari participated in a clusterwide classical music festival with local elementary, middle and high school students. It was an all day event and she did great!

The kiddos also started swimming lessons in February. It was an experience for them as they are just used to freestyle swimming and they were learning strokes and specifics. But, they loved it and on the last class Noah even conquered his fear and went down the giant slide.

Kari also had an awards assembly for receiving Principal's Honor Roll and Perfect Attendance for the second quarter.

Noah's Blue and Gold Banquet was on February 25. He received his Wolf badge. Rob and Jane White even came down for the banquet. 

And to round out the month, Rick sold the Cruiser and bought a red 2000 Mustang convertible with tan interior. He definitely tapped into his midlife crisis and got a sportscar!

In March, the kiddos had Spirit Week to usher in MSA testing. One of their favorite days was A Day at the Grammys. They looked really sharp.

We also celebrated Josh's 21st birthday. I made a mint chocolate chip icecream cake and Kaysen and Ashley hung out for the day.

Kaysen came over another day when it was really warm and enjoyed blowing bubbles. He also blew kisses to all of us and just loved being out in the yard.

I took a leap of faith and love and dyed my hair red a few weeks ago. Rick loves it and I really like it, too. Definitely fun to take a chance and do something you are afraid of doing.

And yesterday, we ended the month with Noah's Pinewood Derby and I got to attend the Women of Faith's One Day Event in Baltimore. I got to hear Patsy Clairmont and Andy Andrews speak again and Angie Smith for the first time. I even got Angie to sign my book and take a picture with me. It was a long, good day.

This week we are on Spring Break and are looking forward to going to DC, swimming at the aquatic center and maybe even doing some painting in the living room and dining room and pulling up the old carpet. We'll see if we get anything domestic done, though. 


I am not sure how it started. I guess maybe it was a genuine illness at first. Then the teenager babysat a little late on a Saturday night. ...