I'm a redeemed child of God and the momma to four vivacious daughters. I'm passionate about finding hidden blessings in the trials of life, living it out in an honest and open way, while encouraging those around me to believe in better.

1 Aug

thoughts on parenting :: individuality {repost}

This post reminds me that my girls are all different … and to answer my own question, I believe that my job as a parent is to foster confidence and individuality.
{original post 6.4.09}

Yesterday was “dress like your favorite book character” at school.  Fun, no?

Here’s the thing with my girls … they are pretty much their own little individuals.  I use to be harder on what I made let them wear … including Taylor.  Really, mostly with Taylor.  She groomed the way for the little girls.

When Taylor was six or seven, she had on a pair of bootcut pants that were about 2-3 inches well above her ankle.  Seeing that they were bootcut, she sure wasn’t gettin’ away with a capri look!

Anyway.  I told her to change her pants and she got upset.  “You just want me to be perfect,” she yelled said.  Stopped me in my tracks.

Wasn’t so much I wanted her to be perfect, as I wanted others to think she was perfect.  Hmm.

piper on dress-up day

She taught me something.

So now days {and for the last six or seven years}, I pretty much let them have their own style.  In fact, at church this past week, Wynter’s Sunday school teacher stopped me and remarked at what great style my girls have.

Note:  Wynter was wearing polka-dots … a bright pink variety on her sweater {that was probably layered over something striped} and light pink pants with a different polka-dotted variety.

“Gee, thanks,” I said to the teacher.  “They do dress themselves,” I added, lest she think their style was my style!  Right?

Anyway.  So back to today’s theme.

I’ve been asking the girls what character they’d like to dress up as … I had a few ideas of my own!  Ladybug Girl, maybe a Bible character, the classic Cinderella {or one of her princess friends}, and then of course the fallback … Fancy Nancy.  But nah … they had their own thoughts on what they were going to do.

wynter on dress-up day

They had their costumes all picked out and ready to go.  Piper was going to be the Fairy Godmother and Wynter was going to be Fancy Nancy.  They wouldn’t let me help with the costumes at all.  Everything I suggested was either too itchy, or not right.  So I watched as they put their outfits together.

Piper ended up with a really pretty ballerina type skirt with beautiful tulle and flowers; a fairy cape; the purple bodysuit she’s sporting above; and I was trying to convince her to wear her glittery Converse.  So she’s all set.

Wynter picked out a beautiful Cinderella character dress she got for Christmas.  She had the shoes, a tiara … she’s all set.  Oh! and I should mention … she’s not going as Cinderella … she’s going as Fancy Nancy.

They set everything out in their closets and go to bed.  When we get up the next morning, they get into their costumes … and look great.  Whew … all set.

Wait … those descriptions don’t at all match these photos, do they?  What happened?

Individuality, patience, and letting go, is what happened.

They were all dressed and ready to go, when they changed their minds.  They wanted to dress in something different.  Huge sigh from mama … “all right, go change.”

This is what they come back with.  Can you see the stain on Wynter’s dress?  My-oh-my … is it courage I have for sending them to school like this … or stupidity?

Wynter is still Fancy Nancy {did you look at the link folks?  she ain’t lookin’ so fancy … or so nancy!}.  And getta look at her shoes … well, more precisely, the socks!

And Piper, I assumed was still a fairy godmother.  But when we got in the car, I thought I should double check, so asked her what she was … she said she didn’t know.  I thought of a few things, but she said no … she wasn’t that.  She was perfectly happy with not having her costume defined.

wynter's shoes

And I couldn’t resist sharing these photos of Hunter.  She decided it was dress-up day at her school too!  My baby …

hunter on dress-up day

Okay, here’s the thing … I really love their individuality.  I love they are confident in who they are and what they want … well, unless it involves a tantrum in the middle of Target.

But when we got to school and I saw all the beautiful costumes … Harry Potter, Olivia, mermaids, Thing 1 and Thing 2 {a sister team … incredible!} … I had pangs of letting my kids down.

A friend of mine, and fellow mom … asked what Piper was, and I tried to blow it off so I didn’t have to say, “she doesn’t know.”  When she asked Piper directly what she was, Piper answered in complete confidence, “I don’t know.”

I kind of whispered above Piper to my friend, “she just wanted to get dressed up and this is what she chose.”  My friend said, “Oh! It wasn’t a big deal?  Cuz it was a really big deal in our house.”  I felt hurt.  It was a big deal in our house too … but I let the kids have the freedom of being what they wanted.

I got in the car feeling sad for them.  Questioning my parenting style.

Should I have been stronger about dressing them up?  Did I do them a disservice?  Are they sad they aren’t more dressed up?  Or am I just worrying too much about what other people think?  Hmm.

I’ve been pondering this a lot yesterday and today, and I guess when all is said and done … I would prefer they have the freedom to be individuals.  I would prefer they continue to be confident in who they are, what they look like and how they’re dressed.

And now that I think about it … Hunter went to school today in her pajama gown.  Not because I didn’t try to get her dressed … but because she felt like it.

What do you think?  Conform … or foster individuality?

Posted in family thoughts, girls, parenting

26 Jul

lake livin’ …

I’m not gonna lie … we are thoroughly loving the lake life!

Our house came with a pier, dock and boat slip … minus the boat.  So one of the first things I did was get ourselves a boat!  In fact, as I was writing out the check on my tenth wedding anniversary … I thought, “happy anniversary to me!”

Just one glitch.  I’ve never. ever. never. driven a boat before.  True story.

And the thought of it freaked me out a tad.

And then there’s the thought of the whole-motor-under-the-boat-thing.  And it didn’t help that when we picked up the boat, the dealer told us a story of just a few days before a man falling out of his boat and running himself over and losing limbs.  True story.

But anyway.

I took it slow and learned what I could learn.  Like for instance … the boat should be in the water before one starts the engine.  Yeah.  It’s like that.

But once we got that puppy in the water … off we went!  And because the weather’s so warm, we’ve been out on the lake pretty much since we got here in May.

I took these photos of the girls mid-May …

And this past week, we found a new lake activity … wakeboarding!  Three outta four gave it a try …

But only two could get out of the water.  I’ve gotta tell you though … I’m so proud of her for giving it a try!  She tried over and over …

Lastly … here we have our favorite pastime!  The girls could spend hours on a tube!  If you make it to .40 seconds or so, the girls take a wicked flip!

Posted in family photos, girls, movie

28 Jun

a new way to make friends

The girls have recently learned some new card and magic tricks … they’re obsessed … and share with anyone who comes near!  So when they got tired of the same ol’ audience {me, Taylor and Hunter} … they decided to set up a stand at the end of the driveway.  And the best part? they were going to donate their profits to Africa to help build an orphanage!  Love my girls!

Anyway … they didn’t make a profit … but they did make friends!  We had no idea, but 2 girls live just 2 doors down from us!  They saw Piper and Wynter sitting out, so decided to come over {personally, I think they thought they’d be getting some lemonade out of the visit!}.

In the photo below, Piper and Wynter are looking at the neighbor girls walking over … it was sort of mirage and surreal-like.  They’ve been wanting to find other kids to play with, so these 2 girls seemed to drop straight from Heaven! :)

They shared a few magic tricks and then spent the afternoon at the girls house … while I felt the bliss of a grocery store visit – sans kids!

Posted in girls

17 Jun

slip slidin’ away …

And when you’re humming that tune later today, you can thank me!

This was the best twenty bucks I’ve spent in a long time!  The girls had hours of fun on it … and I had one of the best laughs I’ve had in a while after I took my turn!  Let’s all shout a hallelujah that no one got that on film!

Have a great weekend everyone!  I hope you get a chance to do some slip slidin’ yourselves …

Posted in family photos, girls

15 Feb

my adventurous girls

I know, I know … and I can hear you saying, “you’ve told us a million times … yes, we know … your girls are adventurous!”  But indulge me a moment, won’t cha?

On our recent stay in Exuma, the girls did a lot of snorkeling.  A. lot!  They’ve even worked their way up to using fins!

When I was a kid, I was afraid of what was on the other side of our 24 foot pool{and let’s not even discuss what was lurking under the cover that wasn’t pulled all the way off}!  But these girls … they jump into, and swim off into an ocean with no fear!

This trip Huntie was brave enough to give it a try too!  LOVE the yellow fins!!  She climbed into the water into CJ’s arms and stayed there for a cruise around the boat.   In fact, she came back into the boat with dry hair.  But as they went out time and time again … she got braver and finally started looking under.  Don’t get me wrong … she’s turning into an amazing swimmer … but maybe she’s got a little bit of mom in her and is a little apprehensive of that great big ocean!

And yep!  You’re seeing clearly … that’s a real lobster the girls are holding!  Caught right in the Bahamian waters of Exuma.  And my girls gave it some love … right before we had it for dinner! =)

And lastly … a new science experiment!  Drinking club soda through a flower …

Praying your life adventures are always good!

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Posted in exuma, family photos, family thoughts, girls