Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Shaggy spent yesterday afternoon sorting his college recruitment mail.
There are some big decisions coming up in the next year or two for my boy.

He was smart. Doing it poolside.
He gets that from me.  :)

115 different schools represented.
Multiple copies of many recruiting materials.
And he kept them all.
He gets that from The Boss.  :)

So many choices.
And some of the ones he is MOST interested in
aren't even represented here.

And knowing Shaggy, he is developing
a "system" or a plan
for investigating ALL of his options.

Wordless Wednesday is rarely wordless.
Here or at any of the participating blogs
that link up over at 5 Minutes for Mom.
Come check it out. Wordless or not,
it's lots of fun to visit new blogs and
meet new moms!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

You Can't Do It Alone

This morning, amid the intermittent showers and occasional rumbles of thunder, I hosted a pool party for the moms of our church family. Everyone brought snacks or desserts or drinks and we ordered some cheap pizza for lunch. As early as 11 a.m., kids were jumping in the pool, laughing and splashing each other. Some of the moms were in the pool with their kids, some of them were sitting pool-side snacking on veggies and dip. All of us were chatting, commiserating, and generally catching up.

As we were enjoying the time together, I was struck by the one common thread that ran through every woman's conversation. We were all so glad for the chance to get together and hang out with each other that none of us really cared about the forecast.  For the next several hours of our time together, I kept hearing the same thing, over and over: "It's so nice to get out of the house for a little while,"  or "I'm so glad I came, even though I worried about the storms."

All of our conversations today just reinforced one of the most elemental truths I've learned about parenting since I came home full-time (oh, so many years ago!) to parent Shaggy.  We are not meant to do this gig alone. And by "we" I am speaking primarily to moms. But be certain, NONE of us are meant to do this molding and shaping and character building (in them and in us!) work alone. In the early years of my parenting journey, I was incredibly blessed to have some really great BTDT moms in my daily life. I was privileged to observe their parenting journeys. To be in their homes and around their kids. To sit in on their teachings and to be able to ask them questions after question after question. I learned pretty early on that no matter how much I knew about babies and child care, I really knew very little about parenting. These were women who taught me that. But they also taught me how to learn about parenting. Some by parenting me to various degrees. Some by letting me in on their lives. Some by coming alongside me in very tangible and practical ways. It was humbling, to have their wisdom and excellence pouring into my life. And even more humbling to realize just how much I needed it. Needed them.

Later, as Shaggy grew and the others came along behind him, I was honored to be part of two teams that worked intentionally to be that kind of friend to the other, younger moms who were coming up behind us. These women were hungry to learn more. To do more. To provide more. To share more of what had been shared with us as we were stumbling along as new moms.  As our leader used to say, "Moms need moms."  And we honed our focus to that mission. Young moms needed to be mothered by the older moms. Young moms needed peer moms who were "in the trenches with them." Young moms needed to give to other younger moms - to feel as if their experiences were counting for something in the life of another adult. And we found ways to make that happen - for the new moms and for ourselves. For we all, as a team, recognized that we hadn't arrived. We still needed other moms. We still needed to learn and to grow.

It is because of these experiences in the early years of parenting that I have such a heart for the moms in my life. I want to see them grow. I want to see them improve and pursue excellence. I want to see them have a bit of holy discontent in their journey. Just enough that they aren't satisfied to rest on their skill set and accomplishments just yet. I want to see the moms around me dig in and desire to learn at the feet (so to speak) of the older moms in their circles of friends.  I will be the first to admit, I am still getting used to the fact that I am now one of those "older moms" that the younger ones turn to for insight or support. But I will also freely admit that I DON'T have it all together and I'm still gleaning and learning when I can. When I feel stuck or at a loss for a creative way to take my parenting to the next level.  I want to always feel like I need other moms in my life to spur me on to growth. To nudge me into healthy change and positive progress in my parenting journey.

One of the best resources I have recently found is the book called, Raising Great Kids by Cloud and Townsend.  It's an older book, written by the two Christian psychologists (of the Boundaries series fame) specifically to support and resource the M.O.P.S. ministry that has found a home in so many churches across the country.  The video series was great, but the chapter book is so much meatier and more helpful.  I've been enjoying the wake-up call it gives me toward certain character growth I can be seeing in my Gang. I've been chagrined to find some things I could be and should be changing. But the thing I've enjoyed the most?  Is their emphasis that you can't do this parenting thing alone. You can't and you shouldn't.  From the very first character trait they address through till the very end of the series and the book, they point over and over again to the fact that God made us to be IN RELATIONSHIP with others. With Himself. We can't do this alone. The journey of life, of marriage, of parenting - it was all meant to be in the context of community and of relationships that are meaningful and intentional.

So today, if you are struggling in a particular area of your parenting, can I remind you to buddy up? You can't do this stuff alone. Parenting, whether as a single parent or two-parent family, adopted children or biological children, blended family or even extended family, is too hard to go through alone. You need a friend. You need another mom who has made it through what you are experiencing. You need a fellow-mom who is in the same trenches you are in right now. And you need a mom who needs your experiences and your wisdom. Each of these kinds of relationships bring something different to your life, things that you need to receive and that you need to give. 

"Moms need moms."  It's a truth you can't escape. You can't do it alone. Nor should you.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Sunday Snapshot

Sunday Snapshot

Good Monday morning, my friends!  I'm joining in Sunday Snapshot a teensy bit late, since we had such a busy weekend of catching up and getting the house "back on track" for summer break. Today begins our first "real" week of summer time, as last week The Boss and I took off for three days to re-connect, refresh, and relax alone together. My brother and his wife and their cutie patooties moved in for those three days to hang with The Gang, which allowed us to enjoy our time together, worry-free! I was especially proud of Li'l Empress: this was the first time since she's joined our family that both The Boss and I were away overnight, immediately on the heels of Momma being away for two nights for a women's retreat. It was a big unknown, how she'd handle that, but thanks to her big security blanket named Shaggy, she really did quite well.

Today's snapshots are some of the beautiful flowers I have growing in my yard. You might remember that last year The Boss, Dr. D, and Shaggy took on the huge project of cleaning up, over-hauling and re-landscaping our gardens.  This year, I'm so grateful for their hard work - the gardens look so inviting and lovely.  I still need to spend some money and time to get some color out in the pool area, but I think I might actually be able to get to that this afternoon. If I do, I'll share those pretties, too!

Tucked in here...

and here...

are several bunches of these lovely ladies.
So pretty and dainty,
yet so hearty - surviving some pretty serious rain
and even hail earlier this month. 

These exuberant gals greet folks
at the end of our driveway.
They are so vibrant and enthusiastic!

They seem to be cheering on these little ones.
"Dahlias, come on out to play!"
It looks like very soon, the dahlias will be
joining their enthusiastic friends across the sidewalk.

I'm especially proud of these beauties
(just slightly past their peak).
I found 6 pots of salvia, withering away and forgotten
on the clearance shelves of my local L*wes.
For $1 each, I grabbed them up last summer,
fed them, nurtured them, and prayed for them to
root strongly and surely. (Yes, I pray over my plants.)
They've grown so much this year, I may need to
trim them back and split them in the fall!

filled by my dearest friend in all the world?

Well, it has really taken off and now greets our guests
at the front door, looking lush and full.
And showing no signs of slowing down.

There's something so refreshing and rejuvenating about a lush garden. I love how it forces me to slow down and notice the intricacy and detail that God has wrought into each bloom. I can't help but wander around the spaces with a heart full of thanks and adoration, for a God who loves me so much that He created all this. For a God who KNOWS how beauty recharges my spirit. For a God who knows ME so well that He made all of this beauty accessible right here in my own space.

Go, wander around a garden today. Yours, or maybe even a community park nearby. Drink it in. And be grateful. In the craziness and chaos that often is our busy world, I'm pretty sure you need it. I know I do.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Sunday Snapshot

Sunday Snapshot

We had a lovely family day yesterday, celebrating Father's Day with my dad, my brother-in-law, and my brother and The Boss. We also celebrated LadyBug's completion of elementary school, with a "graduation party" of sorts. There was grilled chicken, hot dogs, veggies and dip, fresh watermelon, pasta salad and some amazing chocolate cake. There was swimming and laughing and lots of hugging. The house was full and I was happy!  It was a good day for all!

LadyBug opening her new stereo,
complete with a docking station
for the iP*d she's saving for....

 She got a beautiful necklace
from Grandma and Grandpa to remind
her of her faith in Jesus.
And some other gifts to help her save
for that iP*d :)

See, it was a full house!
And that's not even all the bodies
that were in the room... 

Come on over and join the fun
of Sunday Snapshot. Leave me a note
and I'll come by to say hi to you, too!

Friday, June 17, 2011

The End and The Beginning

Yesterday, my LadyBug finished her last day of 6th grade. And with that, she ended her elementary school career... It's so hard to fathom the speed with which this precious gift of ours has grown from a little girl to a young woman.

Here's one of my favorite pictures of her, shortly after the end of her first grade year. We weren't digital before that, so I have no idea where the picture from the first day of school is filed :)

And here she is, waiting for the school bus on the first day of 6th grade. The whole year of change and growth and adventure was spread out before her and she was so excited to get it all underway!

And NOW look at her. It's unbelievable the changes and growth we've seen - in her appearance, in her character, and in her personality.  I can't believe that now we only get teensy tiny occasional glimpses of the baby girl that she was!

With her beautiful homeroom teacher

She's proven herself over and over this year to be a loyal and compassionate friend, sometimes even at the cost of fickle friendships. She learned a lot this year about being true to herself and about standing up for what is right, even when it is hard. It was a hard year for this class, with some major life changes and events for several of her classmates and she felt their pain deeply. Our relationship really grew as she would come to me quite frequently for counsel and support while she tried to navigate these tricky situations that cropped up all year long.

We are so proud of the young woman she is becoming and can't wait to see what junior high will bring this girl of ours!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

"I hohdin' da chicky!"

Soooo cute and fuzzy

"I'm watchin' t.v. with my chick."

"Yeah. Chicks dig me."

My sister and her hubby recently got 12 little eggs to incubate.
On Monday, 12 little chickies hatched. All healthy and strong.
After 24 hours of drying out and getting steady on their little chickie feet,
the kids were able to hold them. I missed the fun since I had a meeting to attend.
But The Boss caught these really fun moments for me.

For more Wordless Wednesday fun,
head over to 5 Minutes for Mom.
If you've come by here from there,
leave me a comment and I'll drop by to see you.
Sorry, I can't bring the chickies with me when I do!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Red Shirt

Last night, I was showing Shaggy a nice collared shirt I picked up for him on my second run of the day to our local consignment store. I thought it would go nicely with the shorts he'd purchased that morning and wondered why he hadn't seen it when he was looking himself. After all, we were there for quite a while with our friends earlier.

Shaggy answered my question: "Oh. I think I did pick up that shirt and look at it. That's when that random guy hugged me."

"WHAT?! A random guy hugged you in the middle of the store?" I went into Momma Lion mode.

"Yeah, he was an older, mentally disabled guy who was shopping with his mom or something."

"Oh. Were you okay with that?" I inquired, wondering how it all transpired.

"Yeah. We were looking through the racks and all of a sudden he was right there. He asked us all our names and when I said, 'Hi, I'm Shaggy,' I stuck my hand out to shake his. He pulled me into a hug before I knew it."

Cracking a smile, I asked Shaggy what happened next.

"Then we were in another part of the aisle and I was looking at that shirt. When I turned around, he was right there behind me again. He said, 'Hi, I'm Frank. What's your name?' with his hand stuck out to shake and I said, 'Hi, I'm Shaggy,' and I reached to shake his hand." Shaggy stuck his hand out and made a tentative squinty kind of face, showing us how he was reciprocating Frank's shake.

Laughing fully by this time, I waited for Shaggy to continue...

"He hugged me again."

Somewhat sheepishly, he continued, "I was so rattled, I put the shirt back."

Although it was a funny re-telling of what I know was an awkward couple of moments for Shaggy, I'm so proud that he recognized the connection Frank was trying to make and that he responded with compassion far beyond his own comfort zone to offer Frank that connection.

And yes. I cried while I laughed.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Please Pray

Please pray for our community. Earlier this week, a father tragically shot his son in self-defense. The young man died in their home. He was a junior at our local high school and the father is a police lieutenant in a neighboring community.  There is some evidence that the son was really struggling emotionally and mentally. I don't know the details, except to hear that the parents were very committed to helping him and loving him through this. The family is well-respected and loved and part of an active church family.  Since it happened, I've been very heavy-hearted and deeply sad in a way that I can only liken to the news-making school shootings that happened in Colorado so many years ago. I can't even imagine the pain and the grief that the parents and siblings and other family and friends are experiencing right now. And will be walking through in the days and months ahead.

While we didn't know the family directly, the ripple effects of this week's events are hitting the community hard. Our kids are not unscathed by it - one of the cousins of this young man is in one of my kid's class.  Another layer of innocence has been stripped from my child's heart and mind because of the relationship with this cousin. It breaks my heart. I know my child has the tools to deal with what has been shared and exposed, but it still feels oh, so young to have to have that conversation with them.

We've been lifting the family up in prayer for the last three days, and we know that only God can minister the things they need right now. I'm asking Him specifically to send people across their paths that can BE Jesus to them in healing and hopeful ways. Please pray with us for that.

Our kids are messy. Fallible. Flawed.  But so are we.  Put aside the messy and embrace your kids today. While you are hugging them, pray for that mom and dad who will never hug their son again.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Respect The Wiring - Part 3

If you missed Part 1 or Part 2,
head back to Tuesday's post to catch up :)

So, as I was saying, I was reminded by the Lord on that cold Saturday afternoon to Respect Dr. D's Wiring and let HIM to the work and lead Dr. D to Himself. What's even more surprising to me (and at this point in my parenting journey AND my faith walk really shouldn't have been!) is how settled and peaceful things became around here when I let go of my fears and my questions and watched God work.

Dr. D is a fierce competitor and had a good track season this year. But because it was his first year with the varsity team, he struggled to put up the stats that he'd hoped for after his last season at the middle school level. On our rides to the high school every afternoon, I'd encourage him. And on meet days, I'd pray out loud over him and his teammates while I drove into the lot. I'd focus on praying for his own personal stats to improve and for his demeanor to be one of encouragement and morale-building among his teammates. And, being the non-risk taker that I am, I'd of course pray for safety from injury or accident. Silently, I'd pray over my own fears and my own concerns and choose to walk beyond them in my life as his mom.

It was a new thing for me, in a sense, this digging into his world and learning about steps and rhythms and cadences (he's primarily a long and triple jumper, with some sprinting thrown in for good measure) but I found I enjoyed our conversations and CERTAINLY I enjoyed the time with my boy, even as short as it was. It's nothing new to me to be my kids' biggest screaming cheerleader on the sidelines. But this spring, there was something different in me. I mindfully chose to Respect The Wiring.  And you know what?  I loved  every single minute of it.

So when our church offered the opportunity for Water Baptism and Dr. D decided he was ready, I was ready too. I was really ready to hear what he would say about his journey.  I had the confidence in my heart, after these last several months of watching him grow and go after God on his own, that whatever led him to this decision would be a great testimony of resolve and determination.  And I was right.

Forgive the quality of the picture, for whatever reason, my video function on my camera yellows out in overhead lighting.  And forgive the shaky screen. It's hard to sit still, holding the camera steady when my eyes were streaming down my face.

Darned allergies.

Yeah, right.

Parents, I don't want to be preachy here. Nor do I want to sound as if I have it all together with my Gang. LORD knows that is the farthest thing from the Truth about who I am here and in real life.  I wanted to share all this with you here because I know that sometimes it feels as if our kids might never get it. It feels as if they are always tuning us out and going on auto-pilot when we start talking to them about their character or their growth to adulthood. 

I want this story to stand as an example of God's incredible faithfulness to grow ME in the midst of my worries about how Dr. D was growing. He grew my trust, He grew my confidence in our family mission, He grew my faith that His Word is always true and always working for His purposes in the lives of our kids.

And He will do that for you. For your kids.
For your husbands. For your journeys.  He will.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Respect The Wiring - Part 2

If you missed Part 1 of this "Respect The Wiring" series, go to yesterday's post and catch up.

So. I left off telling you what changes we've seen in Dr. D over these last two years.
And how that surprised us as we saw it unfolding.
I'm looking back on it now, seeing the hand of God
over these last two or three years, as we have learned
to step away from our pre-conceived ideas
of who and what he was and let God
lead us toward who Dr. D was becoming... 

It's not that he was necessarily (and still isn't) craving the spotlight or grabbing attention in an obnoxious or showy way. He's not really a show-off. But when he had something funny cross his mind and he shared it, he was learning that the rush of making folks laugh was really a great feeling. I have to admit, this was a tough stage for me. I am HUGE on manners, respect, and appropriate behavior in public. (Probably, as I'm looking back on it all, too concerned about it sometimes. I'm trying to work on that!) I would get so frustrated when he'd tell me how he made his whole English class crack up or how his Social Studies teacher was laughing too hard to correct his interruption to the lesson.

I knew in the back of my mind that the timing issues of his humor and wit were largely a maturity issue but I was still worried that he'd be labeled a troublemaker or class cut-up. Frankly, (and I'm not telling tales that Dr. D hasn't already dealt with) it's a big part of why we brought him home to do cyber-school. I thought he could have a safe place to mature through some of the appropriate time-and-place issues of his obviously natural gift of wit.  Believe me, we had plenty of other good reasons to bring him home these past two years, but this was one that I prayed over more than the others. For example, we also knew that schooling at home would enable him to pursue his grand passion for sports and still have the time to just "be" that his temperament seems to need.

Over these past two years of cyber schooling, I have had more laughs with Dr. D than I ever remember having before. He is one seriously funny kid. And I'm so proud of the times that he's learned to temper his tongue and aim his humor at being truly funny, without hurting anyone in the process. He has grown tremendously in his sensitivity and compassion and empathy for others while he was home. He's also learned some great time management skills as he's juggled a busy football or track season with a really crushing load and pace of work his school perpetually put on his plate. (That, my friends, is another whole story. If you have questions about cyber school, I'm happy to share my experiences. Contact me privately!) 

But we've also had some really tough times - times we held the reins too tightly. Times that he really struggled with submitting to his situation here at home. Struggled with submitting to the "student" job description and all it entailed. It was in these tough times that I began to struggle in my heart and mind with the state of his heart. I found myself fearing another whole type of predator than the ones I worried about when he was a really tender, trusting little guy.

At this point, I must say that I think every mother has one or two particular areas of concern with the individual temperaments of her children. If she is being brutally honest with herself and God, it's been my experience that each mom has something that really drives her to her knees on behalf of a particular child. For me, in this season of Dr. D's life, it was his walk with Christ.

As I said, I saw some great growth in his two years at home in his time management, work ethic, and  comedic timing and sensitivities. But I think that, because he is so different than me in so many areas (except that extrovert thing and maybe the quick, sardonic wit), I had a harder time understanding his process and trusting that it was actually going somewhere good, somewhere eternal. Some days, I really wondered if he would take the faith in which we'd raised him as his own. I was really seeking the Lord regularly and trying to find that balance of letting go and holding tightly. It is a delicate balance, is it not?

It's at this season, when I was battle-weary (from battling myself, the Lord and my son's individual process) that I heard "Respect the Wiring" whispered in my ear that rainy and cold Saturday morning. And, excusing the pun, it's like a light bulb went off when I finally stopped and asked the Lord to explain why it kept ringing in my mind over and over.

My job as Dr. D's momma is to raise him in the ways of the Lord, introduce him to the Savior, give him the support and resources needed to follow the Lord, and let him DO it. But the key was in the LETTING him (and HIM) do it. In his process. In his timing (and the Lord's but surely not mine!). In his way. I needed to Respect the Wiring.

See, when we were trying to key in on his needs in his early childhood for positive role models, we were respecting the wiring that God put in his little heart and mind. Even then, God was wiring him to need to be looking up to someone, following someone worth following.  And when he started getting crazy-rabid-nuts about the Eagles, he was acting out of a need to belong to something bigger than himself. When he was seeking out loud, thrash, scream-o metal music, he was expressing the stuff inside of him. When he started delving into rap music, he was connecting with others' stories and finding a way to tell his own. When he chose rappers who are paraphrasing The Word in all they sing, he was filling his heart and mind with eternal principles and trying to live them out and express them in a way that felt relevant to him.

So, while we were doing some things really well to respect his wiring, I was being reminded gently and clearly that those very things could be the things that would be and, in fact were, leading him to a faith all his own. All my worry and fear was borne out of my lack of trusting. My lack of respect for his wiring. Somewhere in there, I had seriously gotten my wires crossed.

Come back one more time, when I wrap up
this big word picture God has been walking me through!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Respect The Wiring - Part 1

I love home improvement shows. I love watching folks take charge of their own dreams for their home and make them come alive. I really love learning about new ideas and styles and trends. And I especially love watching folks learn "on the job." On one particular cold and drippy Saturday, I was snuggled up with my coffee watching a show about a family who was kind of stuck in their ability to proceed with an unfinished project. They had plateau'd seriously with any forward movement because of finances and lack of expertise. That lack of expertise just so happened to be in an area of home improvement that scares me every.single.time. The Boss has to mess with it: ELECTRICAL and WIRING.

The contractor/host of the show was giving the home-owner a very basic and simple lesson on re-wiring. I sat, cringing, and expecting someone to get zapped.  And when it happened, I jumped. When he was sure the home-owner wasn't seriously hurt or too freaked out to continue, the host went on to explain the concept of crossing lines, stripping lines, checking for live wires, and so on. But all I heard over and over in my mind was "Respect the wiring."  I don't even know, now, if the host said it or if I'd heard it along the way somewhere in our many, many home improvement journeys. But I just kept going back to "Respect the wiring."

You see, this has been a hard year in parenting for me. I've made a lot of mistakes. I've lost my cool more times than I care to count. I've butted heads with my kids, I've steam-rolled them some times. Other times, I've felt steam-rolled by them. It's been hard to flex and change and grow with the stages they are experiencing and let growth and independence come appropriately and safely. Safely is a big thing for me, I'm learning about myself. I am not a risk taker, and I prefer that my kids not take risks that put them in harms' way. I happen to like them in one piece, bones intact and faces arranged as adorably as God made them. Crazy, I know.

But I digress.

I think the reason that "Respect the wiring" spoke to me continually over the following days was really that the Lord was trying to give me a concrete illustration for some parenting dilemmas I was feeling angst over. When I sat and thought about it and asked the Lord to really show me what He wanted me to see, I felt like He gave me a great example in the life of my precious Dr. D.

Bear with me, as I try to flesh it out for you.

My sweet, clever, exuberant Dr. D is something of a surprise to me in these last few years. As a little one, he was a total home-body, preferring the company of his family over almost any other persons. He attached strongly and intensely to the men in his life. He really, really looked to these men for connection and identity. Now, as a Momma, I was more than happy that the majority of the men in his life were family: The Boss, his grandfathers, his uncles, a couple friends, and so on. But as I thought and prayed over him, I recognized that that trait could also spell big trouble for a vulnerable and seeking young boy. So I prayed. And I guarded. And I prayed. And frankly, I fought regular battles with fear. You know what I'm talkin' about if you are a parent. 

We intentionally chose not to fall prey to those (very real and unfortunately all-too-possible) fears, and instead surrounded him with good role models. As he grew and became more and more interested in sports, we intentionally sought out godly sports figures to learn about. We keyed in to his love of music and although we couldn't necessarily fall in love with his preferred styles, we researched. The Boss checked lyrics and sometimes even back-stories on bands. We allowed him to pursue his interests in teams like our beloved Eagles, purchase music from groups like DiscipleAs I Lay Dying, and so on. Recently, his tastes have turned to Christian rap. I have to admit, I do enjoy listening to some of it with him. Thanks to LeCraePettidee, and Tedashi, my son is bouncing around the house singing the Gospel. Even if it's a hard driving beat and in urban lingo, you can't really fault that, now can you?

Anyway, he's definitely been growing and changing and we've tried really hard to keep up with it all these last few years. And we noticed as we kept going out of our own comfort zone with him in these specific ways, he was getting really comfortable in his own skin. I've said before that he is probably the LEAST self-conscious teen I've ever known. He was growing into his own man in many ways. But he was also becoming more extroverted. He was still witty, but was figuring out the power that his wit had over a crowd. This was the surprise for us.  If you had told me when he was 2 that my almost shy and home-lovin' little boy would end up being the life of the party at 13, I would have totally laughed you out of the room. Really. Ask any of our friends who have known him since he was a baby. Sweet, mischievous, silly, but NOT an extrovert. We're still a little surprised, and it's been several years now that he's been coming into himself like this!

Come on back tomorrow for the part 2 of this parenting tale....

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Sunday Snapshot

Wow. It's been almost three weeks since my last post. A LOT has happened here at The Gang's House. I figured posting a pictorial tour of the last 17 days would be a waaaay more interesting way to catch us all up. I say "us" cuz I feel like I need a good reminder of just what I've been headlong into before my memories fade! So, buckle up and here we go...

Li'l Empress has, for several months now,
told us repeatedly that she wants to be
a piggie when she grows up.
Imagine her delight when these cute
p.j.'s came out of the summer clothes bin.
Oh, and check out the 'tude - hands on the hip
is the new "thing" around here.
I let it slide when she's just being funny or sassy.

We enjoyed our traditional Memorial Day weekend
with my "best friend since kindergarten" and her family.
Well, minus her oldest daughter,
whose presence was sorely missed.
Li'l Empress needed a bit of coaxing for the first
swim of the season. It was a tad chilly at first, but
warmed up nicely by Monday.
The weather was perfect for all the grilling and swimming.

My sweet friend also blessed me by filling
my porch planters. And now, every time I look
out onto my porch, I see all this beauty
and think immediately of her.
Everyone should have a friend as steadfast
and deeply beautiful as Stacey.

Shaggy purchased his first car!
A peppy little '89 Honda Accord LXi.
It's a five-speed, which he will have to learn to drive,
but it's going to be a great first car for him.
I'm so proud of him - every single penny came from
his own savings. He's a hard worker and very frugal, to boot.

Always happy to indulge her little sister's cute
pre-occupation with piggies, LadyBug made this
curly tail for Li'l Empress. She wore it off and on all day.

My two girls got hit this weekend with a nasty summer cold.
But gosh, even all feverish and drippy and hoarse,
they are still so pretty. Don't you wish you looked
this cute when you felt that cruddy?

Oh. Look. There's the 'tude again!
She followed Daddy up and down the stairs
all afternoon, "hepping him" make the closet
door frame. "Hepping him" hang it.
She's gonna sleep good tonite, after all those trips
from the bathroom to the garage and back again.
All that's left in there is for The Boss to trim it
all out, touch up the paint, and finish the closet door.
I can't wait to start organizing!

There you have it. A not-so-brief summary of the missing weeks.  It's my way of easing back into the discipline of blogging. I so miss it when I don't do it, but the pace around here and the STUFF we've been working through to get to this point has been too draining for me to come up with interesting and witty posts. The good news is that the school year is DONE for Shaggy and Dr. D. Hard-fought, long hours, and lots of essay and project proofing, but DONE. DONE. Can I get an AMEN from my peeps?! They are so excited to have two full weeks of downtime before their younger sibs - I've had to tame the gloating and the ribbing to a dull roar. Especially since I still have to get up to a stupid alarm clock WITH the younger ones!

I'll have to sit down this week and share Dr. D's other great news with you all later. It deserves its own post but I'm waitin' on some details to come together. Suffice it to say, as busy and crazy as the last three weeks have been, there have been some very special moments in it all.

Click on the button below and join in the Sunday Snapshot fun.  It's a great way to kick off the week and to capture some great memories for your gang.  And if you come by here to take the tour, drop me a comment. I love visitors :)

Sunday Snapshot