Archive for April, 2011

Quote of the Day

“Mom. Look I learned to hot tangle,” declares Ben.


“You know hot tangle.”  He then proceeds to show me this baby car with a steering wheel that honks, and then takes out these two wires from the broken wheels and flick them together which causes the horn to honk.

Yes. My son “hot wired” a car and was proud.

The other part of this story was that when I told Chris, he beamed with pride.  The sun was dim compared to that smile that radiated off of his face. I think we may be in for a repeat of Christopher.  As a boy he would always take things apart and then “attempted” to put them back together.  I think I am going to need more sleep to prepare me for more episodes like this.

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I know that Madie is special.  She is brillant.  In Chris’s words, “She is scary smart.” And of course, with every fiber of her being, she declared to me yesterday that, “I get my smarts from Daddy” (when she’s right, she’s right.) She has so many gifts and talents.  One of her “gifts” (or curse) is that she wants to be so perfect at everything.  She becomes extremely agitated if she is not perfect at everything she tries to do.  (My mother would say that both the agitation and perfectionism unfortunately can be genetically linked to her mother.)  One of her gifts is not athleticism.  And soccer is not her forte . . . yet.  She is really trying though.  Tonight as we are walking to the car she pulls back from the rest of the pack of puddles and asks to speak to me. She wants to know why she is not very good at running especially in soccer. We talk about how every body has gifts on her soccer team and that she may not be the fastest runner but she has other gifts that she brings to the team.  And most importantly . . . you can’t be good at everything.  “Yea. I guess you are right,” says Madie, but not with much conviction.  I don’t think I won her over with that argument.  Soon we were at the car and the time for the rest of this conversation was over.

I wish I could convince her.  We have talked about this before. How she is really great at her school work and always makes straight A’s.  How she is a great big sister to both Ben and Ainsley.  How she has a wonderful understanding of her faith and loves to share with others. How she is a great helper to all adults.  How she is respectful of others. How when she wants something she works really hard until she accomplishes it.  How she is so dependable at home and at school.  How she has such a vivid imagination and is so creative.  She has such a beautiful soul.

So tonight after the littlest puddles had gone to bed, I wanted to talk to her some more.  I wanted to make sure that her self-esteem was intact. That she feels good about herself. We crawled into bed to read some stories.  And as she is crawling up beside me she says, “Mom.  I’ve been meaning to tell you something. When I am 12, you are going to need to drive me to Los Angeles because I am going to try out for this singing contest called . . . I just wanted you to know so that you won’t be surprised when I ask you to take me.”

I was stunned and thrilled at the same time.  I want my daughter at the age of 9 to have hopes and dreams like that. I want her to do everything that she ever wants to do.  I want her to be the first pastor/vet/librarian/singer/emt/teacher/mother that there ever was.  I worry so much about her future.  I worry about how her zeal for perfectionism will affect her self-esteem.  I also worry about other people in this world taking out chunks of her self-esteem one comment at a time.  I thought my job used to be to just protect her fragile soul from the world outside. But now I realize that my job is that and to make sure that I keep building her up so that when those chunks come out we can glue it back together.  So she is ready to face the world again tomorrow.

I think I have done good for today.  She is going to bed ready to deal with the world tomorrow.  The hard part is that I can only really deal with the here and now.  I can’t protect her forever.  I can’t “take out” every person who would do her harm. Having children is hard. Having girls is really hard. What I want to do is send them both to a cloistered convent in rural Canada.  Far from everything bad. But I can’t do that.  So we try every day to be good parents.  To not just teach her right from wrong, but to teach her just how special she is.  Only time will tell if we succeeded in this endeavor.  With prayer and hope . . . I think we will.


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Quote of the Day

“I am going to try kissing him one more time to figure out whether I know him or not,” declares Ainsley.

A new boy came over with our neighbors to play with the kids.  He swears he met Ainsley last year and Ainsley is not so sure. Apparently this is her way of figuring out whether she knows someone or  not?  Oh, boy.

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The giant huge church garage sale to raise fund for camp is finished.  We raised over $3700.  Which is really good for a garage sale.  The kids busted their “you know whats” to help.  It was so wonderful.  It takes a lot of money to send over 20 kids to church camp.  It was a solid week of really hard work, but it was so worth it.  What a worthwhile experience.  I didn’t hear one kid complain about anything.  All I heard from anyone was “What can do to help?”  Even Ainsley, who isn’t going to camp, insisted on being useful.  She sat by the register so she could have a turn to carry items out to someone’s car.   Sweet.  When I used another child before her (eventhough she waited patiently), she got really mad.

The day was good.  We have been blessed by the community of Conroe who were customers in our sale today, by our children who had a wonderful attitude and work ethic, and by our parents who truly stepped it up to make this great day happen.

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Quote of the Day


“Daddy!!  Daaaadddddyyy!  I’ve been waiting for you to come to my room.  I didn’t go to sleep at all because I was waiting for you!!!!! You have to check my room for snakes!  DAAAAAAADDDYY!”  screams Ainsley with her eyes closed.

Truthfully . . . Daddy did check but she had already fallen asleep. He tucked her back into bed and she never moved.

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It is 1:15am.  I am going through my first box of baby clothes to send to the garage sale.   Chris has pulled down 6 more boxes of clothes for me to do.  I told him that I couldn’t promise anything.  We have already taken one minivan and three truck trips to church to take stuff.  All of the baby stuff is going (except a few items for Gracie to play with when she visits).  Unfortunately, we have two large rubbermaid totes for every size of children’s clothing up to size 7/8 (sometimes, especially the girls, I have two or three large totes).  I just don’t think I have time to do it all and still get some sleep.  We emptied half of the attic (over the garage).  He should be happy with that, but I think his goal is to all traces of baby stuff must be gone.  I am busting my hinny, but I’m not sure I can do it all.  Plus it takes a little time to go through all of the clothes and match the outfits together.  The good news is that there will always be another garage sale next year.

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