Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Great Shorts for Little Girls to Wear Under Dresses and Skirts

I don't know about where you live, but where we are, it has finally decided to settle into warm weather every day.  I love that my girls like to wear dresses and skirts often, but it gets too hot for leggings under them and my girls are active, bar flipping, monkey bar swinging, climbing girlies, and I do not want their panties showing to the entire playground!

So, I've always had my girls wear soft shorts under their dresses if they are not wearing leggings.  A few years ago I bought several perfect ones at Target, super soft and the right length to not hang out the bottom of the skirts.  But, then my older daughter outgrew them and I couldn't find anymore at Target.  Thankfully, last year I discovered the Cartwheel Shorts at Children's Place and they are still selling them this year!  During a 40% off sale, I stocked up in various colors for my girls.  Just be warned, I order a size or even 2 up because the shorts seem to run small, that or they are just designed to be super skin tight, but that would not be comfortable for my daughters.  I size up and they are great, loose enough for easy walking, but tight enough not to fall off their waists! 

Anyone else a mama to a girly girl who loves dresses but also loves the monkey bars?!!


Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Attempting To Get An Easter Photo of My Four Children

Honestly, I think brokering a peaceful end to the Russia/Ukraine conflict would be easier than photographing my 4 children!

Take 1 ("Very funny, very funny, kids, now cut it out!"):

Take 2:

Take 3:

Take 4 ("Why are you guys linking arms?!!"):

Take 5:

Take 6 ("No pushing your sister!  And Little Girl, your hands do not always have to be on your hips for pictures!"):

Take 7 ("Nobody feels sorry for you, 3rd Child, even if you can make the most pitiful face"):

Take 8 (My 6 year old son is fairly normal-looking finally, but now Little Girl is NOT happy!  We call that face the "Ethiopian scowl" and it definitely conveys a message!):

Take 9 (we're happy now, but could we get a little less happy?):

 Take 10 ("No, 3rd Child, still not the face I was hoping for"):

Take 11 (Look at my younger son's face, as if it's all sheer torture -- "Torture for me, Buddy, not you!"):


"I GIVE UP!!!!!!"

Monday, April 21, 2014

Does Easter Change Anything?

I've been studying Revelation with my Bible study group since September.  Every verse read, examined, and reflected upon.

As odd as Revelation can be at times, mostly what I've been left with is HOPE.  I knew of the hope we have as Christians before, but now it is more real to me.

Just a couple weeks ago our memory verse was what I called "the longest memory verse in the history of memory verses".  It was acutally 2 verses and I had to write them several different times as a part of my Bible lesson that week, so many times that my hand actually began to ache.


"I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, 'Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God.  He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away."”  Revelation 21:3-4

Do you hear the hope in those verses?  No more death, nor crying, nor pain! 

I really cannot even bear to think about Jesus's mother watching him be crucified.  Such tremendous pain!

I think of all the great pain that is in our world today.

The mothers who cry out in anguish as their children's bodies are pulled from a sunken ferry boat.

The mothers in Ethiopia who watch their babies die of starvation.

I think of the evening recently when I had to sit down next to my 11 year old son and tell him that the teacher he loves so much who left his class 2 months ago when her twin babies were born very prematurely, that one of her baby boys, who we prayed so hard for and cheered on over a month in updates from the neonatal ICU, had died.

And some days it just feels like too much.

But, those are the days our great hope in Jesus is the most important to cling to!

I read the Rev. 21:3-4 verses to my son as he blinked back the tears.  And also, Isaiah 65:19-20, "I will rejoice in Jerusalem and be glad in my people; no more shall be heard in it the sound of weeping and the cry of distress. No more shall there be in it an infant who lives but a few days, or an old man who does not fill out his days, for the young man shall die a hundred years old, and the sinner a hundred years old shall be accursed"

And I got to tell him, "It won't always be this way!  God tells us there will come a time when babies will not die!"  Oh how glad I was to have those Bible verses to share with him!

We traveled to Oklahoma for an Easter celebration with my husband's side of the family and on Saturday, that day between the anniversary of Jesus's death and his resurrection, that time that must have felt so dark and painful for Jesus's disciples and loved ones all those years ago, my husband picked up the decades old Bible that belonged to his grandmother.  He flipped through pages not finding many markings, but when he got to Revelation 21, there it was!  His grandmother, who is no longer with us, had marked the great hope of Revelation 21:4!

Today, the Monday after the Resurrection Sunday, it is tempting to go back to life as usual, to live with my to-do list in the forefront of my mind.  But, as I walk the halls of the nursing home with my own mama, she is no longer able to talk to me and yet she smiles occasionally in response so I know she is still there buried under the dementia that claimed so much of her life at too young an age, I help steady her steps and smile back at her with the great hope that things will not always be this way.  There will come a day when the pain of this current world will be no more!

Our Savior lives!  And that same power that raised Him from the dead is bringing heaven to earth where God will dwell with us! Rev. 21:3

Hope changes things!  Easter changed everything!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

What Dyeing Easter Eggs Looks Like At Our House

Madeline, the Goldendoodle, sees to it that she is a part of all the interesting activities that go on around our house, especially activities involving food!

So, it really was not a surprise that she managed to make her way right into the middle of the Easter egg dyeing!




Thankfully we did not end up with a pink or green or blue dog, although, I don't know, maybe that would have been kind of cute!



And, no, our eggs did not turn out like this:

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

My Son Is Doing His Own Wash!

Do you know what has changed my life lately?

I taught my 11 year old son to DO HIS OWN WASH!!


I cannot even tell you how awesome this is for two reasons!

The first reason is obvious -- less wash for me!!  Before when I'd go collect the kid wash after going a few days without doing it, it would be overflowing and equal more than one washer load full.  Now, with the oldest child's dirty clothes going into HIS OWN HAMPER, when I collect the kid wash for the remaining 3 children, it now fits into one washer load!  It's not even just one less child's wash to do, but my 11 year old's clothes are the biggest.  Three pairs of his long jeans is a lot of washer space!  Also, he wears a second set of clothes on the days he goes to his swim team practice because they do dry-land workouts before they swim!

The second reason him doing his own wash is awesome is that it is a chore that has its own built in consequence!  Other chores like assigning him a bathroom to clean or picking up the dog mess in the backyard he can skip and not really feel any pain from not doing his chore unless I give him a consequence for not doing it.  But if he doesn't do his wash, he DOESN'T HAVE CLOTHES TO WEAR!  It's as simple as that!

My kids do not have a ton of chores, but I do feel it is good for them to have jobs around the house to learn responsibility and cut down on that attitude of entitlement and the idea that mom is there solely to serve them!  And besides, doing laundry is a life skill, and he might as well learn now when I'm there to coach him on fabric softener and water temperatures!

Find more Works for Me Wednesday here.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Watching My Daughter Complete Her First Triathlon

This past weekend my 8 year old daughter participated in a kids' triathlon.  For her age group it was a 100 yard swim, 3 mile bike ride and then 1/2 mile run.  It was her first triathlon and I was so proud of her for wanting to do it!

She amazed me so beyond what I even imagined, though! 

Setting up her bike and stuff in the transition area before the race all by herself because parents were not allowed into that area:

Heading off to start the first part of the race -- the swim, in a pool we'd never even seen before, much less swam in:

All smiles running out of the pool area and heading into the transition area to get her bike:

Getting her stuff on to do the bike part:

There's that smile again as she pushes her bike up the hill to the part where they can get on the bike:

And smiling again at the end of the 3 mile bike ride:


She was too fast on the run part, I couldn't catch her to get any pictures but here she is, THE FINISHER!!


I'm so proud of my girl, really I almost cried at a couple different parts of the morning!  Not only was she able to do all three portions of the athletic event with no problems, she had this confidence I've never really gotten to see in her before that was awesome!  Also, she wowed me with her good attitude rolling with all the logistical things required of the kids (like arriving at 6am, which meant waking up at 5am -- I thought she'd wake up grouchy or whiny, but she was happy and excited!) to do such a large event (there were over 2000 kids participating).  

She finished in 32 minutes which was really good for her first one and the best indication of a successful first anything --  she's already talking about doing another one!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Would it surprise you to know that my life is not conducive to high heels?

I climbed into the car today to drive Little Girl to preschool and saw this little scene in the way back (3rd row):


Little Girl was thrilled with herself for strapping in her 4 babies.  And she immediately assumed I'd babysit her band of babies while she was at preschool.


Wrong-O!  Don't tell Little Girl, but I just left them strapped into those car seats all morning!
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The other assumption my kids wrongly make is that the meat we are eating for dinner is chicken.

The other night I made pork loin and one child said, "Mom, this is good chicken!"  To which I replied, "It's not chicken, it's pork, but I'll take the complement, thank you!"

Then several minutes later a child that was not listening during the previous conversation about the dinner meat whined, "Mom, I don't really like this chicken!"  I replied, "Well, it's not chicken, it's pork, so no wonder you didn't like it if you were expecting chicken.  Try another bite now that you know to expect pork."  That coaching worked out about as well as you would imagine it would!

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Talking about chicken reminds me of a funny story that happened recently when we were actually having chicken for dinner.

I had ordered a new pair of sandals from The Internet, specifically these:

Now, mind you, I have not worn anything with much of a heel since, hmmm, I don't know approximately 2003 when my first child was born because carrying an infant or chasing a toddler or preschooler just never seemed like a good thing to combine with high heels.

But, the wedge sandals are very in this spring and I thought those were especially cute and I reminded myself that my kids were not babies or toddlers anymore and ordered the high heel sandals with high hopes.

Fast-forward a few days, I'd finished dinner, my husband and oldest son were at his swim practice, and a couple of the younger kids were being pokey eaters.  I got tired of sitting at the table waiting on them so I got up to get the box I could see by the front door that had been delivered.  It was the shoes!  I set about trying them on.  I got those high heels all buckled onto my feet and walked to the far end of the house where I could look at them in a full-length mirror.

And that's when I heard them.  The shrieks from the children in the dinner room!  "The dog ate the chicken off my plate!  She got the whole chicken leg!"

Since chicken bones can be very dangerous to dogs, I attempted to race back to the dining room, only it wasn't easy in the high heels.   I managed to make it to the dining room and found the dog scarfing down the chicken and had to literally wrestle the bone out of the 35 pound dog's mouth while still wearing the heels.  Then after I'd fished the bone out of her mouth (or at least some of it) she began gagging like she was going to throw up, so I whisked her up into my arms and carried her out to the backyard ALL WHILE STILL WEARING THE HEELS because it was  an emergency and I hadn't time to sit down and unbuckle them to get them off!

Really, it was the most absurd thing!  I couldn't wait to unbuckle those suckers and pull them off my feet.  They went right back into the box they came in to be returned to the store because as it turns out my life is not yet conducive to high heels after all!

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Happy Friday, y'all!


Half-Past Kissin' Time
Half-Past Kissin' Time