Thursday, July 28, 2011

Red, White, & Blue

I realize that it is actually the end of July and that Independence Day has already come and gone.  However, the Witherspoons have had a red, white, and blue week this week, so I thought I would celebrate here on my blog - even if it is a little late!

The BLUE came on Monday and Tuesday when we painted Rachel's room.

The RED also came on Tuesday when we picked up our new minivan. 
Yes, I know it is actually maroon.  However, according to the manufacturer, it is "Dark Cherry Red Pearl."

The WHITE will come on Friday.  That's the color of the plane David and I will be boarding for a much needed weekend getaway!!!!!


Now that's what I call a successful week for the Golden Spoons!!! :)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Rachel's Birthday - Part 1

Rachel's 9th birthday is coming up in two weeks.  She has made two requests for her birthday.

One of those requests was getting her room painted.  When we moved into this house a little over a year ago, her room was a pale yellow that was pretty newly painted and perfectly livable.  Several months ago, though, she started asking if we could paint it her absolute favorite color - a bright light blue shade that leans toward teal.  In fact, she is a little bit obsessed with this color.

At first, this seemed like a fairly simple request.  Then I began to figure in our crazy schedule, a husband that travels a lot, and three kids running through wet paint.  So, I put it off again and again.  Finally, a couple weeks ago, I decided that, since it was so important to Rachel, it was something I needed to find the time to do.  (Considering it part of her birthday gift was an added bonus!)

Well, she loves it!  It has been quite a while since I have heard such joyful giggles from my oldest daughter who is usually way too mature and stoic for her age.  But that's what I got - giggles, smiles, and hugs.  She just went on and on about how beautiful it was and how much she loved it.  I was amazed how such a simple thing (relatively speaking) could bring her such joy.  I was also a little ashamed for having put it off so long for the sake of convenience.  As the saying goes, "Hindsight is 20/20."  If I could have known how happy it would make her, I would never have waited so long!!
We also took the opportunity to rearrange the furniture a bit (something else she has been asking to do) and to redecorate a little with her own personal touches (i.e. horses!).


By the way - her second birthday request is to get her ears pierced.  That will require a blog post of its very own!!!!!!!


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Friday, July 22, 2011

Zooming Out (And a "Lessons" Addendum)

This week I took my girls and headed to my parents' house for a visit.  We had a great time.  We went to Blowing Rock and Grandfather Mountain, and spent lots of time with my brother's family (he has 3 kids that are the same ages as mine.)  It was fantastic and long overdue!

One thing I love about visiting my parents is having good conversation.  I enjoy just chatting with them about everything from politics to parenting.  I respect their opinions and I usually learn something new.

Of course, I also took lots of pictures - pictures of my girls, my nieces and nephew, the scenery.

Now, good conversation and photography may seem unrelated, but I put them together in my brain and came up with this analogy.

You see, twice during my visit, my mom casually made a comment or gave me parenting advice that was like a light bulb for me.  Each time, it was a different parenting issue that has been weighing on me and each time I was very thankful for her fresh insight.  It made me realize that parenting is often like taking a picture.    As we all know, if you zoom in too far, you don't get the whole picture in the frame.  Often, though, as parents we are too "zoomed in"  - too caught up in the busy, day-to-day survival of it all - so that we don't can't see the whole picture.  Sometimes, we just need someone else who is a little more "zoomed out" to help us see the whole picture - or, at least, help us focus from a different angle.

I am very fortunate to have many wise, "zoomed out" people in my life - my parents, my in-laws, and great friends.  My wonderful hubby is also very good at this.

A few months ago, I posted Lessons I Want to Teach My Daughters.  In that post, #12 talks about knowing your limitations and not being afraid to ask for help.  I think I might also need to add this one:

#17 - Surround yourself with good people.  You cannot choose your family, but if they bring you joy and peace, embrace them.  Turn to them in times of need or anxiety - big or small - and they will give you the insight and comfort that you need.  You can choose your friends, so choose wisely.  Surround yourself with positive, supportive, intelligent, morally ethical people with whom you share a mutual respect.  Choose friends who see your beauty (inside and out) and who make you a better, happier person by bringing you joy, laughter, insight, and peace.  (Remember, too, that your eventual husband should be your absolute best friend.  If he is not a good friend he will not be a good husband.  He should bring you joy and peace as well as romance and love!)

 That was a pretty round-a-bout way to get to a pretty serious point, but the peace and serenity of visiting with my parents, relaxing, and enjoying a small piece of God's beautiful world always give me a new kind of clarity.  I just hope that peace and clarity will last until my next visit!!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

VBS Hoopla

Well, I have made it through another week of Vacation Bible School.  I taught Emily's class this year - 4 year olds (Can you believe she is a rising 4 year old?!?!).  When I originally saw my class roster, 3/4 of which were boys, I was a bit wary.  However, it turned out to be a fun group of kids and actually a nice change from all of the usual girl drama in my life.

So, in honor of FPC's VBS, here's my list VBS pros and cons:

Things I Do NOT Like about VBS
1.  Our church always has VBS in mid-late July.  This means my girls (and I) have already had half the summer to get used to sleeping in.  Dragging them out of bed by 7:30 on VBS mornings is no easy task.  It leads to whining and grumpy attitudes.  The kids aren't very happy about it either.  (Parents of early-risers, please don't hate me.  My girls do sleep in, but this is not always a good thing, especially when school is in session!)
2.  I spend 4 days in a t-shirt that is 2 sizes too big and, inevitably, a color that is highly unflattering to my complexion.  One year was neon green.  This year was bright yellow.
3.  A table full of delicious snacks for VBS teachers that I have absolutely no willpower to avoid.  (Since our VBS ends 12:00 noon, couple the snacks with grabbing a quick lunch somewhere and I've gained 2 pounds this week.)
4.  The fact that the VBS songs will be stuck in my head until I learn next year's VBS songs!  (Love you, Mr. Tom!!!)

Things I Like about VBS
1.  Because our VBS is in July, it breaks up the monotony of summer and give us something do to with ourselves for a week.
2.  It gives me a chance to see lots of my church friends that, usually, I haven't seen or talked to much since the end of the school year.  Oh yeah - my kids get to see their friends, too.
3.  VBS gives me a chance to get back to being a teacher.  Teaching is something I love and something that just comes naturally to me.  Put me in front of 16 preschoolers and I am "in the zone."
4.  The reason I love teaching is because I love the opportunity to watch the children learn.  I love to see the joy in the eyes of the kids when they learn something new.  At VBS, the kids are learning about God, which just makes it even more joyous.

Of course, it all ties together - fellowship, learning, and worshiping God.  The positives ALWAYS outweigh the negatives and VBS is ALWAYS a wonderful experience for the kids and the leaders & volunteers.

Here's one way I know it was a success.  Rachel is NOT a morning person.  Monday I had to threaten her to get her out of bed.  She proceeded to yell at her sisters, refuse breakfast, and stomp out of the house.  Tuesday and Wednesday got a little better.  Today - our last day - she was the first one up.  That, my friends, is immeasurable success!!!

    

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

A Different Perspective

One of the blogs I follow is called Momicillin.  Several different moms write for this blog and each has her own history and family situation.  Today's post was from Linda.  I loved it and wanted to share her wisdom here on my blog, mostly because it is something I really want to remember myself.


I hope you will go read Linda's post yourself, but here's a summary.  She begins by talking about how her 17 year old daughter's personality is so different from her own.  Then, she recounts a concert experience she had with her daughter that highlighted just how different they are.


She ends with this last paragraph - some wisdom imparted to Linda by her Aunt Marie:

"My Aunt Marie once told me that seeing your children for who they really are is like pulling chocolate cake from the oven when you prepared cherry pie. The good news, Marie explained, is that you like chocolate cake—in fact, you love it. So you need only accept this little surprise as the gift that it is."


Isn't that a wonderful way to look at our children?  When they are so different from us, so different from what we expected them to be, we can often get frustrated or even disappointed.  Sometimes we just need to shift our minds in order to gain a little different perspective.  Sometimes we need someone else to state it more eloquently that we could have ourselves.  Sometimes we need to get past the frustration/disappointment and see the gift that has been   so graciously given to us.  Sometimes we need to think about chocolate cake!!!


My chocolate cakes!!
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Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Caterpillar

Emily is almost 4.  She is not much of a baby anymore.  Other than the blankie situation, she doesn't often do many babyish things.  Since she is my youngest (and last), though, it is sometimes hard to let her grow up.  That's why I love it when she says caterpillar.  She gets the syllables mixed up in the cutest way and it comes out as "callepidder."  When she says it, I am reminded for a brief second that she is really still little.

video

Isn't she cute?!?!?!

Monday, July 4, 2011

I'm Awesome!

It's July 4th!  We slept in this morning and I made Cinnamon Rolls for the girls for breakfast.  Cinnamon Rolls from a can, that is.  I happened to have some blue & red sprinkles in my cabinet, so I added them in an attempt to be "festive."  My kids thought I was awesome.  I know this because they told me.

Cinnamon Rolls from a can + sprinkles = awesomeness!!!  Who knew?!?!

Sometimes this motherhood gig is just too easy!  (But most of the time it's not!!)

Happy Independence Day everyone and an extra special thanks to all those, past and present, who have fought for the independence we celebrate today!!!

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Saturday, July 2, 2011

Time Flies . . . .

You know how when you are young, older (& wiser) people always tell you how quickly time flies???  Well, I guess now I'm one of those older (and hopefully wiser) people.

We got home today from a week long beach vacation.  Spending a week at the beach is a Witherspoon family tradition that I married into.  (Not that I'm complaining, mind you!)  Each year is a little different.  This year we went to Sunset Beach - the five of us, plus my mother-in-law, my father-in-law, one of my brothers-in-law, and one niece.

We had a great week. The weather was great for most of the week.  The beach house we rented was wonderful.  The girls kept their fighting to a minimum.  As the saying goes, though, all good things must come to an end.  So, today we headed home.

After we got home, I began unpacking and putting everything back in its place.  There was practically nothing in the refrigerator and little in the pantry.  I knew a trip to the grocery store was necessary, so I sat down to prepare a grocery list.  I grabbed my calendar so I could double check what was happening this week that might affect our dinner plans.  That's when it hit me - hit me like a ton of bricks:

IT"S JULY!!!

Seriously.  One month of our summer vacation is already gone.  As I looked at the calendar, I realized that the entire summer will probably be over before I have a chance to blink.  This week my hubby is home (for a change) and Megan has a long-awaited, big stakes doctor appointment on Thursday (I'll have to blog about that later) - there's one week gone.  After that it is Bible School and then a trip to my folks' - two more weeks down.  One week after that and then it's August.  Around here, August is birthday central with DW, Rachel, and Emily all having birthdays within a one week span.  By the time we survive all that, it will be time to get ready for back to school.  I haven't even mentioned all the playdates I had planned to have or the projects I had planned to get done.  That's because I haven't "scheduled" them yet and really have no idea when (or if ) they will happen.

Maybe I'm just getting older.  Maybe I'm just busier than ever.  Maybe aliens have altered the time-space continuum here on Earth.  Whatever it is, time certainly does seem to be passing by faster and faster these days.  Once it has passed, we can't get it back.  That's why I am thankful for memories - like the ones we made this week at the beach! :)

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