Sunday, March 20, 2016

I had the chance to take my kids camping with a fun group of people this spring break! We ended up only staying one night but the day and a half we had there were worth the work and the trip!

                           We did it! We hiked to the top of "Old Baldy" at Garner State Park.
                             Nathan is a trooper! He hiked right along with the rest of the group!
 The whole group-we did this neat thing, we asked some other hikers to take our picture as a group. No selfie stick needed! (I'm not a fan of selfies or selfie sticks)
                            Look at this girlie! At the top and energy to climb the tree too!
 The other kiddos went back a different route that was shorter, but Nathan and I wanted to see the cave! I didn't end up going in, but he did! (There were more people than I wanted to be in a cave with LOL)
 Nathan and Haley playing in the river. They are cuh-razy! The river is called the Frio River. It's always cold, but it's doable when it's 95 outside...notsomuch when it's 80 in March! Brrrr!
Nathan is getting brave! As the baby of the family, and maybe just his own personality, he's always been more timid-you know, "I'm not dipping my toes in that water without my life jacket." We didn't have a life jacket this time as I REALLY didn't think those crazy kids would get in that cold water.
 My pretty girl and me on our hike! When you look up to where we were from down below. *gasp* It is seriously straight up. Or down.

This kid! Seriously. That tree is not short. And I don't know if it will work as a video (but I'm no longer letting technical difficulties stop me from blogging!!!!) but he was doing some pretty fancy tricks off of that rope!!!! At one point I couldn't find him *gasp* (he is almost 14 and he was with a buddy but still...water, kid missing...ugh!!!) and when I finally found him...he was climbing that tree to jump off. Ummm. I might have been less scared when I couldn't find him! All's well that ends well though!
We saw some pretty amazing lightening on the way home (I miss that from growing up in Missouri!) and we got some video but I haven't figured out how to change that to screen shots.

Monday, March 14, 2016

There Is This Boy...He Stole My Heart

And he calls me mom. <3 p="">

Jared is almost 14. He is such a funny guy. And a hard worker-not always for me, but I *always* get told what an amazing worker he is by others! He's always loved to invent things. He draws very well but rarely shows anyone what he draws-we're working on self esteem.
He's good with little kids. (Again, lest I give you the impression he's faultless and therefore fall into the "fakebook" trap, he pesters his siblings to no end and they drive him crazy too). We have some friends that have a 3 year old and he will swing her and talk to her and listen. It's beyond sweet.
He's working towards his Eagle Rank in scouts (yes, at 13, he's ALMOST there--he has his Eagle project planned and the funds are ready! He has a few badge requirements to finish up on other required merit badges. We fully expect him to have his Eagle at 14!) despite the fact that many of the merit badges did not come easy for him...that picture above where he's giving a speech? That is beyond hard for him. We might have pushed him a little, but he got it done!
Do you see that puppy in the pictures? He supports that puppy. We don't pay for his upkeep. Jared does!
I'm so proud of this boy.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

My Baby!

Ok, so they're not babies anymore. But they were and they're still my babies! So I get to call them that.

So, I just have to say it. Isn't she beautiful? And she's beautiful on the inside too! (Don't get me wrong, we have our issues- I don't want to play into the fake "everything is awesome" way of living that social media encourages. We don't always get along. We had a disagreement today!)
We are coming up on 16 years with this girl. She's loves God, is funny, responsible, fun loving (that child will swing herself off of any zipline-see above pics-the longer and higher the better!), nerdy, and an amazing saver! She has more sense in her little pinky finger regarding boys than I had in my whole being at that age. Love my girl!
This year is so big for her and therefore for us! She is turning 16 and has worked hard to save for a car of her own. I feel 100% comfortable with her ability to drive and make good decisions. She has also been invited (by a boy!) to go to prom. Not the homeschool prom. The public high school one! *gasping emoji face* and we are letting her. With all the warnings (you know, if you have to leave your drink for one minute, don't drink it when you come back, get a new one; if you feel uncomfortable for ONE minute, CALL us. You will not be in trouble!) and the worry. We will worry. But we're letting go, one baby step at a time.
I think I'll do one "baby" at a time. Each one deserves his or her own post. <3 div="">

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Tough Stuff and Teens

So, you see, as your kids grow up the issues get a little heavier.
When my teenagers were little I tried to remember not to freak out about everything. I tried to parent with this in mind, "will this matter in 5 hours? 5 days? 5 weeks? 5 months? 5 years?" If the answer was no to the weeks, months and really wasn't a battle I needed to choose. In other words, if it wasn't a character issue or a moral issue or a spiritual just really wasn't an "issue".

When they become teenagers it seems as if everything really will matter! I mean, who cares if they eat a little extra junk food, that doesn't matter....the movies they watch, the music they listen to, the people they hang around, the websites they visit...those all matter. A LOT. Are they being responsible? It matters. Because in just a few short years, they will be responsible for their own life-ready or not. A good work ethic? Matters so much! They cannot hold a job and take care of themselves if they are not good workers. (And let's be honest, it's pretty great to get compliments on your child's work ethic. To have people hiring them to get a job or two done even at 13 or 14!)

What if the kids they are hanging around are a bad influence? Or make them feel like they have the weight of the choices the friends are making on their shoulders? Like, feeling responsible and drug down by other people's bad choices. That's super important. It matters now and could very well matter in 5 years. And beyond.

I don't know what I've done right or what I've done wrong in this whole parenting gig...I mean I could have been more loving and less rule-oriented. I could have given more hugs. I could have sat on the floor and played with them a little more. Prayed with and for them more often for sure. But darn it, I must have done something right.

My beautiful daughter who is on the verge of turning 16 (wow! yeah, that proves that the days are long but the years are short!!) comes to me when things are heavy. She shares things with me that I imagine many (if not most) teenagers do not share with their old mamas. We have our differences, this child and I. But when it matters, she knows I'm here and that I am trustworthy. And that she can bounce ideas and concerns off of me.  We spent some time talking tonight and she has some concerns. I can't tell her exactly what to do about these concerns but we can talk it through and hash through ideas. I can sneak in a little, "remember when we talked about this or that? Do you see how this situation shows what I meant by that?" <----that a="" and="" anyone.="" appreciated="" appreciates="" as="" awesome="" be="" d="" discipline.="" discipline="" do.="" especially="" get="" have="" i="" if="" in="" is="" it.="" it="" moment.="" moment="" not="" nowhere.="" p="" parent="" rules.="" same="" sees="" she="" so="" sure="" t="" teenager.="" that="" the="" think="" told="" way="" we="" weird.="" why="" will="" with="" wouldn="" you="">
Keep talking with your kids and teens. With them. Not at them (I'm very guilty of this at times!). It will pay off. I've also told my kids more times than I can count "I'm not your friend, I'm your mom". At times I think they thought it was a mean thing to say. But I meant it. They can have 1000 friends (I mean, at least on facebook they can!) but I'm the only mom they have. Just one. I have a job to do. Sometimes it's a stinkin' hard job. But then I get to see the rewards.

The rewards are rich. So maybe I was the right amount of "rules oriented". The right amount of not being their playmate (I didn't want them to always be dependent on someone else-even me-for contentment or entertainment!). The right amount of discipline. Or else, God took my best, my good intentions and turned them into just what was needed.

P.S. There could be some gorgeous pics of my "little" girl if I had taken the time to put pics on my new computer! But I haven't. You'll just have to trust me.

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