Wednesday, August 31, 2011

One Word Wednesday


(cause that's how my brain feels.)

Friday, August 26, 2011

Share Shmare

My middle littles seem to have learned to
beg, sneak, borrow, and...well...fight better those others.
I thought having 4 kids would mean no one in the middle...
no ONE in particular who gets ignored regularly.
But instead, it actually means I have two in the middle.
(and yes there are usually at least 2 kids in this house not getting enough attention.)
When I say FIGHT I really mean fight for what she/he wants or needs.
At least that how it goes around here.
But on the flip side...the middle littles have learned to share well.
Maddy will share almost anything she owns
and she rarely complains about it.
In fact, when I wanna take a bite of someone's icecream,
I usually go for hers because that means the least amount of fallout.
(try to take hailey's and you will lose a body part.
take finn's and he will guilt you to death.
take stella's and she will make her mean face and say, "well that's just rude.")
So....Maddy's icecream it is.
Dang it.
Guess I will have to get my own from now on.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

One Word Wednesday (+ a few extra words)


Today we have to say goodbye to Brigitte. 
The best gymnastics coach EVER. 
We found out 2 weeks ago that she and her family are moving to MI.
  I am heartbroken because she is the
who has
 been so positive and so supportive. 
Makes me wanna cry.

BUT we have to wish her well because we LOVE her.

Hailey made a beautiful scrapbook page for her. 
(all of the optional girls are putting together a scrapbook for her)
As she was working she said,
"I want this to be REALLY good because I don't want her to forget me." 
Made me tear up a little beacause
you have to be REAL speacial to make an impression on that Hailey girl.

So there you go.  Today is a GOODBYE day.
Goodbye to Brigitte and goodbye to summer.   Cause school starts tomorrow!

(Brigitte is also a photographer and she took that photo of my girl up there!)

Monday, August 22, 2011

In desperate need of DETOX

I am feeling really yucky these days. August is probably my LEAST favorite month of the year. Summer is done, kids go back to school, pace of life picks up QUICKLY, and I start eating on the fly again. I am pretty good about feeding the kids healthy stuff but for me...I usually end up eating crappy foods... while I'm driving. And I end up drinking way too much caffeine.
I have been going to a hot yoga class once a week. The worse my diet gets, the harder the class becomes. It's definitely easier when I eat well and drink plenty of water.'s time for a detox. Here's what I'm gearing up for.....

Friday, August 19, 2011

New Engagment?!

Nick came home the other day, told me to close my eyes, and took my ruby engagement ring off.
He then put this pearl ring on and told me to open my eyes.
He said, "I really want you to wear this one instead.
Do you like it? It was my great grandmothers."
So now I have two.
One for each personality maybe??
He told me I could change it to fit the mood I'm in.
(in that case, i may need to change it a LOT. and i am gonna need more rings to choose from :)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

One Word Wednesday


(A sneak preview from my latest photo shoot!)

Monday, August 15, 2011

hello MONDAY...

I have a TON to do this last full week with children home. 
 A TON. 
 So here's how I'm going to get things started...

 Lots of it. 

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Right Now

"When you plant lettuce, if it does not grow well, you
don't blame the lettuce. You look for reasons it is not
doing well. It may need fertilizer, or more water, or
less sun. You never blame the lettuce. Yet if we have
problems with our friends or family, we blame the other
person. But if we know how to take care of them, they will
grow well, like the lettuce. Blaming has no positive
effect at all, nor does trying to persuade using reason
and argument. That is my experience. No blame, no
reasoning, no argument, just understanding. If you
understand, and you show that you understand, you can
love, and the situation will change"

My kids like to place blame on each other.  A LOT.  It's something that I struggle with because I know I've asked the question "WHO DID THIS??" a few too many times.  It doesn't really matter who.  In the grand scheme of things, it really does not matter.  But, I want to teach them to take responsibility for their actions/mistakes.  I don't want to shame them.  I know what shame can do. (just ask Brene Brown.  Excellent book called- I thought it was  Just Me, But it Isn't.) I usually try really hard to coach them through whatever mishap has taken place but what I have noticed that my babes jump very quickly on the defensive tight rope when asked questions about an incident or accusation.   Each one of them gets a look of panic and begins to explain their way out of it...sometimes pulling another sibling into the ring with them.  
All of them...that is... except StellaG. 
She closes her eyes and shakes her head.  OR sticks her little fingers in her ears AND closes her eyes.  She doesn't want to deal with it at ALL.

I don't like blame either.  I never did.  And, I sure used to avoid being responsible for anything.  I could convince any soul alive that I had to do whatever screwed up thing I did.  I don't think I realized how good I was at avoiding blame or fault until I overheard Hailey say one time, "Mom is the worst person to fight with. You can't win.  Ever.  She's too good at it."  See, in my mind, I never thought of it as fighting.  I thought I was just helping someone see my side of things for godssakes.  But I started to realized, that even though Hailey said it respectfully and almost admirably,  I was failing her.  I wasn't teaching her or anyone else  how to actually solve the problems.  Just how to make really good excuses.  She/they need to see me accept responsibilty, too.  Sometimes there just are NO excuses.  So I have tried very hard to relate a little better and admit mistakes.  Use mistakes as a teaching point. 
Things have gone really well for the last couple of years.  MOST of the time, the kids and I will have heated/serious conversations that are respectful and balanced with the right amount of me talking and me listening.  (I have to credit Nick here, too.  He is really good at communicating with kids. The best I have ever seen.  Me included...and I have always thought I was pretty dang good.)   
So as I have thought about all of these blaming incidents, I realize it's not so much the blaming each other...It's  the not wanting to take responsibilty for their part.  They don't want to admit that they have done anything mean or disrespectful because in their minds, that makes them "bad".  And ultimately, they don't want to disappoint me, Nick or Chuck.  Or themselves.

Well hell if anyone can relate to that, I can.  I can't stand to disappoint people.  But I do sometimes.  We all do sometimes.  Sometimes we do BIG things and are acutely aware of the disappoint from others and sometimes we do little things and don't really notice right away.  So now I'm left thinking...How do we teach them to take responsibilty without blaming?  How do I teach the value of making a mistake and learning from it?   How do I successfully guide their freedom of choice so that they know in their hearts that there's no FAILURE in this house? 

I'm gonna keep thinking about this for a while.  It's on the agenda for the next family meeting so I will let you know how it goes. 

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Words to live by...

I love him.  AND  he mentions The Alchemist!!!!!  O.M.G.  One of my favorite books EVAH.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Meatless Monday

Ok. I have been slack this weekend. Had a wedding to shoot and was obsessing over that so I didn't even think about planning meals until this morning. I know of ONE thing I am going to make tonight....and here is it....

Sounds deelish. If it's anything like Earth Fare's version, I will be very happy.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Our Pets

The deer are back.  With babies! 
We have some crazy deer in our neighborhood.  They just walk through our back yards like they own the place.  They will stare straight at you, too.  They watched me on the top deck with my camera..nobody moved for a couple of minutes, and then they went right on with business.  There is a new baby that is PRECIOUS but it was too fast for me and my clunky lens.  It looked like a little puppy dog, it was so little and fast.   Big Buck hardly ever shows himself but I know he's out there somewhere, too.  I heard a gun shot the other night and I can't help but wonder....  In the meantime, I'm going to try and catch them when I can.  I really want a picture of that baby. 

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Getting Ready...

Hailey is getting really excited about her art classes at her new school this year.
She was told by a NWSA teacher that she should be drawing EVERY DAY this summer.
And she has been (minus camp last week in PA).
I will post more of her drawings later, if she will let me...
but what I have always loved
are the doodles and the stuff she does when she is just "messing around".
She usually uses really bright colors and puts TONS of details in everything.
I am always amazed at how much patience the kid has.
She likes collage a lot too.
Maddy, on the other hand, is very excited about school.
  But not nearly as much as she is about soccer.
  And volley ball.
And basketball.
  Here's what she has been "working on" (as in begging for) all summer long...

(I guess we can say her art is colorful too!! Get em girl.) 

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Monday, August 1, 2011

Meatless Monday

For today's meatless Monday meal, we had veggie burgers. I had a Sunshine burger with lettuce, vegan mayo, avacado, red onion and a little Daiya cheese. SO good. BUT the even BETTER (way more fattening) version of a veggie burger is what I served the rest of those people in my house.

I just get the potato pancakes from the grocery store..freezer section. (Trader Joe's version is my fave.) Cook those up (usually with lots of cheese melted on them) and add favorite toppings. Hailey's favorite potato burger consists of two potato cakes, cheddar cheese, sundried tomato spread, lettuce, sprouts and a seasame seed bun. We didn't have sprouts OR sundried tomato spread so she tried something new. Potato cakes, cheddar, lettuce, avacado and a little spicy mustard. SHE LOVED IT.
(Ok Blogger is making me mad today. It won't let me move pix around OR highlight words for links. SOO I can't link or add my last photo. Oh well. I will try to fix it later.)