Thursday, December 29, 2016

Tradition Stress

As much as I count down the days and wait dearly for the holidays, to be spent with family and friends, lets be honest, it can create stress beyond belief. Everyone posts their adorable pictures of gift opening in front of the tree, smiles from ear to ear and 'still' faces of joy of everyone around. What we don't see is the stress and chaos that the holidays can bring. Everyone has their own ideas for the holidays, their own traditions, their own wants and needs. So when the time comes for bigger families much_like_ours to come together and spend a good amount of time together, the odds are someone is bound to get upset or be unhappy with something.
I am a sucker for traditions, I love the traditions I had as a child and want my kids to look forward to their own traditions that we have. Traditions that they may or may not keep with their own families as they get older. I love having a big family, I always dreamed as a kid that I wanted a huge family that was really close...and for the most part, I got it.

BUT, with so many people, so many ideas and so many traditions...things_can_get_messy!
We broke a couple traditions this year and I hated it, but it's not all about me. When you throw everything into the mix, sometimes you just have to go with the flow and hope_for_the_best!
 The tradition of having our family Christmas on the morning of Christmas eve, started three years ago and the kids love it! They love being able to wake up and spend the morning opening presents in their pajamas. Just the six of us, the do and two cats. It is quiet (for_the_most_part) and relaxing down time to start our holiday festivities. 


Stressful or not, we get to spend the holidays with the ones we love and in the end, that's what matters. Traditions come and go with generations and I guess I'll just have to learn to go with the flow and remember that new traditions might just be more fun than the old ones.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

114 Pencils!!

Yes, a total of 114 pencils is what my 4 kids are asked to bring to school this year.
48 for 1st grade, 36 for 4th grade and 30 for 5th grade!
(I am pretty sure my kids don't even go through 5 in the year)

Boxes and Boxes of Kleenex's, tons of hand sanitizer and Dixie cups too! 
Multiple all the school supplies, by four kids to buy for and one could go broke.
I’ll be honest, when I saw the school list this year I admit I rolled my eyes in the amount of things that they are asking each child to bring. There’s no way my child will go through all of the required things…
…but someone else’s child {that can’t afford it} won’t have some or all of the school supplies that are needed for the school year. Not to mention, teachers spend a ton of their own money on their classroom supplies and school supplies throughout the year. {As a daycare provider, I spend a ton of money on supplies, crafts, new learning stuff…etc.} Our teachers are already underpaid! Think about it this way….no profession is possible without teachers. They are where everything stems from.
School supplies might seem expensive at the time, but if you spread it out over the school year, it isn’t a whole lot, considering what you’re getting in return!

We all know the need for Kleenex’s during the school year. Whose kid doesn’t get a cold and use more than their fair share of Kleenex’s?!  It is our job as parents to make sure they have the things they need. Antibacterial wipes and hand sanitizer are a must for the winter months. {I know personally I am a hand washing Nazi} What’s the next best thing to hand washing…sanitizing! Kill_those_germs! 

I know out of personal experience that donating things or bringing things in unexpected is always appreciated. Even if it is a coffee now and then, an extra package of Kleenexes in the peak of winter, a bag of chocolate to get through the week…etc. Teachers are under appreciated and need to be recognized more. Think to yourself…can I handle 25-30 students, 5 days a week for 7 hours a day?!
I do daycare for 12 kids (including my own) and there are days that is stressful! You have to be a certain person/personality to be able to work with multiple children daily.
So…though it may seem like the school supply lists are getting crazy…think about it this way, there is a child out there, less fortunate than yours that will gladly accept school supplies that are donated to them.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Compliments Please!

Why is it so hard to take compliments?
THEN: Before kids, I could take a compliment any day and welcomed them! Who wouldn’t like a guy ‘oogling’ over them at the bar or telling them they looked good? In my eyes THEN, I had no ‘flaws.’ I was proud to show off the body God gave me. I was given a compliment and I smiled and said ‘thank you,’ sometimes it even led to talking more with someone.

NOW: 15 some years and four amazing kids later, unfortunately my grace in taking compliments, is no longer present. My husband compliments me all the time, ‘you look gorgeous,’ ‘those pants make your butt look amazing,’ ‘your hair looks cute today,’ I_could_go_on! I usually just brush it off, laugh and give him an eye roll, or give him a halfhearted ‘thanks.’  The truth is, he is going out of his way to tell me what he thinks, I should at least give a ‘thank you’ and a hug or kiss or look at him and tell him I appreciate it.
The same goes with my friends. I met up with a longtime friend that I hadn’t seen for over 15 years for some drinks. When we greeted each other, he said ‘you look great, you haven’t changed.’ In my head I was thinking, yeah right, no way is he serious! Out loud I chuckled and said, ‘oh thanks!’ Another day I was at the gas station and I heard someone whistle. I looked around to see who it was and who it was directed at. Come to find out, the guy in the gas lane next to me staring at me and smiling. He said, ‘man mama, you look good!’ I didn’t know what to say as a response, so I leaned my head in my car and started talking to my kids. Why_couldn’t_I_just_say_thank_you?
It all comes down to how we see ourselves. Back THEN I saw nothing but beautiful…NOW I see how much I’ve changed. I’ve had four kids and man_do_they_take_a_toll_on_your_body! Not only that, but I am never going to snap back to my 110 lb body from THEN!

Here’s the things, I know I am grateful for; being able to have kids, for being able to exercise and for others to still feel the urge to compliment me. It comes down to the way we see ourselves vs. how other see us. We should try and see ourselves through the eyes of others. They see how far we’ve come in life and the obstacles we overcome. Sometimes our eyes only see what’s close and in the current picture frame.

THEN                                                   NOW

How are you at taking compliments?! Does it come natural and easy for you to proudly accept them?

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

It's been too long!

With all our stress that comes along with moving, we haven't had a family camping trip yet this year! 
Our family loves camping and it has definitely been tough, but we are packing for our first summer trip! 

Each year we make a list for camping, to make sure we don't forget anything. We have our necessities in our camper, but we still need to refill some things and add things to each trip.
One would think with how organized I am, I'd have a master list for camping...but_I_don't!

I always make sure the kids have plenty to do. My kids love the outdoors, so they make their own fun, but I make sure to bring lots of stuff for them to play with. Also, we can't forget inside stuff to do if it rains.
And we surely can't forget the food. I mean....what is camping without junk food!
{I may need to go on a serious diet after all this goodness!}

With how dirty the kids get, while they are deep in their play, we definitely need a change of clothes too! These bags make it so easy for the kids to grab their outfit each day and still stay organized. I love Thirty One bags...for everything!

Can't forget sunscreen and bug spray! With being outside most of the day, we go through a ton of all this!
 {again...organized in a Thirty One tote}
Someone knows that I'm packing for camping and he can't wait to go!

Monday, August 1, 2016

108 Months!

How did my first baby girl grow up so fast?!
9 years ago my life took an amazing change! I brought my first daughter into the world. Though sometimes I remember being so scared, since all I knew was having a boy, I knew everything would be okay.
Having my own expectations so high, wanting to be the perfect mom that she can come to with whatever she needs, wanting her to be dressed to a 'T,' and wanting the 'cool mom' label, are pretty high standards. I'd like to tell you all that it's been roses and cherries...but_I_can't!

Raising girls is tough, drama filled, lot of tears, tons of giggles, a little bit of screaming, lot of eye rolls, a few too many 'whatevers,' lots of snuggling and uncountable shopping dates!
As tough as it can be, I wouldn't change it for anything and it only makes me stronger and my relationship with my girls grow.

Am I a perfect mom!? 
Do I try my best and learn from my mistakes?!

I hope to have that relationship that my girls can come to me with ANYTHING! I'd like to hope that I would be happy that they are asking me and not sneaking around trying to figure out their world for themselves. We don't always get what we hope for, but I can try my best to steer them in the right direction! Positive...positive...positive direction!

My precious 5 lb. 12 ounce little girl has made me one proud mama! Her kindness towards others and her love to care for others and put them before herself is amazing! She has many talents and tries her best at whatever she does! We have definitely had our differences and she is more like me than I like to admit, but one things for sure, I love her and will support her...ALWAYS!

A soccer game birthday party...just what she wanted! 
All her friends and her favorite sport together!

Happy 9th birthday sweet girl! 
I love being your mom and can't wait for all the fun and learning years to come!

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Looking Back

A year is a long time! When I look back at the blog I follow and see all the kids that have grown up, the families that have grown, the newly marrieds....

I can't believe it! Time files!
So, I though I'd give an update on my family!

 Everyone has a little more on their 'personality plate' than a year ago!
We all know of those 'fun stages' in life?! Well, I am pretty sure all 4 of my kids are going through one right now! 
I've gone as far as starting up a new behavior reward system {which_seems_to_be_working}
(more details on that later)
I have heard enough back talk to save my life! I haven't gone a day without whining in countless months! I have witnessed enough sibling rivalry to start my own war! I have yelled to many times to even have a voice! I have taken enough toys away to give Toys R Us a competitor!
Let's just pray these stages are quick and this upcoming school year gives us all a break! 

Don't get me wrong...I_LOVE_MY_KIDS! 
They just know how to push my buttons some days and make me go crazy other days!

Chase is almost 11 and becoming very independent! He played his first year of travel basketball last winter and was on a team that really challenged him. Not being the best on a team, makes him really work harder to be better! He had a lot of fun, learned a lot and can't wait to play again this year! He also played his first year of traveling baseball. Lots_of_traveling_this_year! He absolutely LOVED it and his love for baseball keeps growing. {not sure that's even possible} He was on the AAA team and they got to play in 2 state tournaments. If he could play baseball year round, he would in a heartbeat. Too_bad_we_live_in_the_frozen_tundra!
He is did great in school last year and can't wait to have his last year at the Elementary school this year! {Big Changes in middle school for him next year!}
He is an amazing help with his siblings and cousins and is pretty good about asking if there is something that he can do to help. Ringing in at only 60 lbs., he is following right in his dad's footsteps of waiting to grow till High School. He will still give me hugs and kisses, sometimes even around his friends! I_don't_want_that_to_change! 

Abby just turned 9 this month! She is our actress of the family! She has a love for pets and babies and really wants to be a veterinarian. She likes pretending she's injured or that her pets and babies are injured and helping them. She has the kindest spirit that she will be sure to let you know when she doesn't want to use it. She started travel soccer this past fall and it's her favorite sport! She got more goals this year, than all her years in soccer combined. I_love_being_able_to_coach_her!
She will be everyone's friend with her outgoing personality and does her best to include everyone to omit hurt feelings! She is a great helper with her siblings, house work and taking care of her cousins! She reminds me a lot of myself, now if I could just get her to take after my cleanliness! 
She loves to bake, do any kind of art project and make silly concoctions!  {If I get asked to make slime one more time, I might go crazy!}

Kenzie is my sassy little 6 year old...going on 13! She has a heart of gold, a smile that will make you want to say 'yes' to everything and an attitude that will make your head spin. I_think_she_got_that_from_me!
She idolizes her old sister, who is not always accepting of that, and loves to do exactly what she does. She has a love for dance and just finished her first year on the pre-performing dance team. She did competitions this year and really surprised us! She has determination to be able to do the splits by the first day of school. 
 She loves school and has been asking when it's going to start again. She loves doing school workbooks and practicing her sight words. She's_one_smart_cookie!
 Though she can throw her attitude about a mile, she is also very sweet and loves shopping with mommy!

Blake is our 4 year old 'energizer bunny'. He has enough energy to run a city! His goofy toothless smile can always make you laugh, even when there's trouble behind it. He is a very talented little guy, with an endless love for his big brother. They can always be found playing sports together, video games, Nerf Guns or building something. He used to love basketball, and still does, but has a new found love for baseball. He_can_actually_rip_the_ball!
He loves Nerf guns and watching videos of other kids playing them. He can tell you the name of just about every Nerf gun we own.
He has been in the ER, more than all his siblings combined and luckily is one tough cookie.
He loves shoes, Legos, Tom & Jerry and playing outside!
He definitely keeps us on our toes and is the perfect finishing touch to our family!
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