Everyone knows that my first child is graduating in the 2016-2017 school year. As any parent knows, milestones in our children’s lives can lead to a mix of emotions for the parent.
And I’m no different. I am feeling excitement and sadness and everything in between for the end of the school year when my son walks across the stage to receive is diploma.
My next-in-line 15 y/o son has reached another milestone in his life causing close to those same emotions flowing through me.
He attended his very first formal school dance, Snowball, as it is called where we live. This is a BIG deal to me, even though he says it’s not a big deal at all.
As much as it saddens me to see him growing up, it makes me just as happy. I am so proud of the wonderful young man he is turning into. He doesn’t give a lick about school, but he is so smart. He’s kind. He’s loving. He’s responsible – he’s held his first job for almost a year now! He’s got the biggest heart of almost anyone I know. He gives the best hugs! He’s got the most beautiful blue eyes and a wonderful smile. He doesn’t talk much, but he can always make me laugh. He doesn’t eat fruits or veggies — meat and potatoes kind of guy. He’s already making his mark on the world and I am blessed to call him my son.
His date for the Snowball dance is a beautiful little lady whom I adore. She’s a sweet girl who really cares for him. And that makes me happy. She and I have discussed the issue of fruits and veggies and between the two of us maybe, just maybe, we can get him to eat some 😉
I am one lucky momma ♥♥♥
More boys coming up in the house, but tonight I was at the first home game of my Picadilly’s last year of high school football – senior year.
First, before the mushy tribute to my 2016-2017 graduating young man, I’d like to say how exciting this game was. His team lost, but there were some very thrilling highlights. And, of course, it was awesome just being there to watch my son play!
Now for the mushy……
All the many years ago, when this little guy was still just a wee-wittle guy (crying all the time which could have been colick or the nerves/patience of your parents), my mind never looked to his future. Not because I didn’t envision a future for him, but because I was so busy — busy trying to get us both through those first couple of years (looking back, maybe I was more anxious than I realized), busy loving him, caring for him, raising him. When his dad and I broke up, I just got busier being his mom because time with him became limited as he lived/s with his dad. Over the years, I’ve watched him grow and change, throw fits and get mad, laugh and cry. I’ve watched him succeed and fail. I have watched him take what his dad and I have taught him to heart and to fine tune those teachings into what makes him who he is — his values, his convictions, his strengths and weaknesses, his quirks, his views. I watched as maturity began to set in. No, I am under no illusions that he’s as mature as he will ever be….only time and life experience can do that, but he’s as mature as any other kid his age.
I’ve witnessed his hurts. I’ve held him through his tears. I’ve nursed his broken heart episodes. I’ve bandaged his boo-boos. I’ve spent 17 years building a relationship with this softer-than-he-will-ever-admit soul who changed my world. I wholeheartedly and happily admit he’s the momma’s boy in our home who isn’t so momma’s-boyish that it hinders his growth (as I’ve personally witnessed with some of the male species I’ve met). I have been cause, a time or two…., for some of his sadnesses, angry outbursts, tears, smiles, and laughter. I’ve prayed endlessly for him. I continue to pray for him, his life now, his future – whatever it may be. I’ve been there for him and I’ve been selfish. I wasn’t there with him on his first day of grade school, but I volunteered in his classroom numerous times through his grade school years. I haven’t made every game of every sport that he’s ever played, but I’ve tried to make it to most of them. I’ve been his biggest fan his whole life, but I haven’t been the most visible one at times. I’ve sat quietly, for the most part, in the background – greedily taking all the time I could have with him. Throughout the years, that time has been consistent although at different points more frequent. Whatever it was, it was every bit appreciated and cherished. As with any parent, I have years of memories that we’re created sitting tucked away and safe in the Picadilly vault that comes built within every parent for his/her child.
And now we are here – his senior year.
I am not sure about most parents and their feelings about the first senior, but me….
Me – I am excited and sad. I am anxiously awaiting the impending date of his graduation. Anxiously, I say, because my heart is heavy with the thought of him beginning his life as an adult, stepping into this big world without a thought of what is to come. Anxiously because my heart is full of joy at the young man he is now, the young man he is becoming, and the future for him. I have all the doubts of any mother. I have all the hopes of any parent. I have all the dreams (my own and ones he’s talked about) for him. I am trying to convince myself that he’s ready to be in this world. However, the confidence that his dad and I properly prepared him is somewhat lacking.
Then, I have to remember, my dreams for him are not as important as his dreams for himself. My fears are big, but his are just as big, possibly bigger (although he will never admit it). As I sat to watch his first home game of his last year of high school football – his senior year, it took me back. Back to my senior year. Back to his father. Back to that moment in time, senior/junior year, when his father and I found out we were going to become parents.
Never, ever, ever have I regretted the decision to bring that precious little boy into the world. In fact, nothing else but delivering a healthy baby ever occurred to me when I found out about this wonderful bundle of joy. I have never regretted the relationship that allowed him to be created. I have loved every moment (even the hard ones and being a young mom there were plenty) of being his mom. As I sat and watched the game, I watched my ‘little’ big young man out on that field, willing him to enjoy every moment of this year. I said a prayer to the Lord, as I sat cheering in the stands, that he would make this year one of his most memorable ones yet, but one in which he remains safe and continues to make the right choices. As I sat and watched my not-so-perfect, but oh-so-perfect son scuff his cleat through the grass with some disappointment after a dropped ball , I witnessed – one more time – his strong personality, strong as it can be for his age. I looked at him to see what I’ve seen a million times over – my little boy who is now living in an almost full-grown body (a little more growing yet, I think).
My little boy.
My little boy with a heart of gold.
My little boy who cried at the boo-boos who now brushes off the boo-boos.
My little boy who gets anxious when something changes in his routine — I wouldn’t ever believe the anxiety if I didn’t witness it myself. (I am not an anxious person ??? – at least I don’t think so – and I am not sure about his dad as the years since our break-up are many).
My little boy who wanted to be just like his daddy when he was still a little boy, but grew up so different from his dad in so many ways, yet, not so different really at all.
My little boy who seems so gruff and cocky at first meeting, but who’s heart melts as he scoops up his little baby sister in his arms, to give her loves after not seeing her throughout the week. The very same little girl who’s nails he painted when she asked.
My little boy who has made mistakes because we all do, but never been in any real trouble. He’s shown much maturity and responsibility in his teen years. One thankful momma right here!
My little boy who shows much bravado, but a little boy who I know the ‘real’ him, that part of him he only shows to the people that mean the most to him.
My little boy who is so fiercely protective of those that he loves.
My little boy who’s never been in a fight with anyone other than his brother/s (that ever popular sibling fighting/wrestling), who (I’m hoping) tries to avoid fighting, but who would (I know) stand his ground when needed, who would defend someone who needed defending, who doesn’t anticipate a fight (encourage a fight) but would defend himself in a fight without succumbing to fear.
My little boy who deflects uncomfortable situations with trying to make others laugh.
My little boy who likes to be ‘in’ the attention at times, but who also likes to give the attention at times.
My little boy who shows strength, character, selfishness, love, laughter, forgiveness, rudeness and/or opinionated-ness, and kindness.
And I love each and every part of who is. I love the kindness in his heart. I love the love he spreads around him. I love – don’t always like, but always love – the stinky attitude he gets. Chalk it up to some rudeness just because, teenage angst, and being a boy (yes, because he’s a boy! wired completely different than me – a female counterpart 😉 ).
My Picadilly, this is written especially for you, for the first person I fell in love with without expecting anything back – the epitome of love. I was but a child when I had you who grew into a young woman, a mother, overnight. Being pregnant was the first step in my motherhood journey, but you made me into a mom. You have taught me a lot about myself, about life as a parent over the course of your life. I love you, buddy. I love you more than you will ever know. And I am so very proud of what you’ve accomplished thus far and of all the future accomplishments you are going to achieve. I am so very happy that I was blessed to be your mom, to bring you into this world, to watch you grow, and get to continue to be your biggest fan, now and in the future.
I am praying that you will make this a great year. In fact, I am demanding that you make this an awesome year. As they say, you only get this year once. When it’s over, it’s over. You can’t go back. You can’t undo. You can’t relive. So live it. Stay out of trouble but don’t be afraid to make mistakes — small ones ;). Enjoy this year because being a senior is a BIG stepping stone into the adult world. After this, you are pretty much accountable for every action you take, every reaction you make –even more so than in these previous years because when you graduate, the law (maybe not the world and never me, but the law) will see you as an adult.
Love mom ❤
One mushy writing down, a few dozen more to go.
Happy Senior Year, My Picadilly. I love you to the moon and back ♥♥♥
By definition, murmur is a soft sound made by a person or group of people.
ex. Eliza heard the murmur of the crowd inside the gymnasium as she drew closer to the door.
One can also reach a little further to conclude that when a person falls in love, the heart murmurs softly as that love reverberates through his/her soul. Maybe a little far-reaching, but hey, it sounds romantic enough and I am nothing if not a hopeless romantic ♥
But then we have something completely different when speaking of murmurs of the heart. These murmurs are scary.
A medical prognosis: Heart Murmur – sounds during the heartbeat cycle (such as swooshing or swishing) made by turbulent blood in or near your heart. Read here for more information because I really suck at explaining medical jargon. Basically, a heart murmur is a sound in the heart that shouldn’t be there, either considered an innocent murmur or an abnormal murmur. If innocent, the murmur can go away on its’ own or last a lifetime without ever causing further issues. If abnormal, the murmur could pose serious heart problems right away or later in life.
When I conjure up images of murmurs of the heart in my head, the images always have an aura of romance…cuz you know, that’s me.
Never in my wildest dreams did my daughters’ face appear before my eyes when I thought about murmur.
But alas, my little girl….my sweet, innocent little 6 y/o daughter so full of life and excitement is scheduled for an echocardiogram coming up soon in order to gain further understanding of the heart murmur (according to the doctor) discovered during her well child check-up.
And this mama is as nervous as all get out. You see, my sweet little girl was born with a heart arrhythimia. Thankfully, it went away within the first couple of weeks after she was born.
I have always considered myself pretty blessed in regard to my children’s health. Outside of my twins who spent 3 weeks in the hospital after they were born, none of my children have had any major medical concerns other than the normal ‘wear and tear’ of childhood: bumps, scrapes, bruises, a concussion, stitches, a couple broken bones…..none of these issues have been as serious as they could have been. I’ve been thankful for that. Very thankful.
Now, I am completely inside out with worry.
So, I’m going to step outside of my ‘normal’ (I’m kind of an ‘in-house’ problem solver) and ask of all who read this
Please, please, please say a prayer for my little girl.
It would mean the world to us.
Thank you ❤
One popular comment I hear when I tell people about the number of children we have is:
“Oh, you must be so busy.”
For a very long time my conclusion was this:
“If you have more than one child, the number doesn’t really matter. A mother with only two kids can be just as or even more busy than me with 8 children.”
Pretty much all my time is spent with my children, taking care of my home, or doing something family oriented. Times away from them include date nights with my hunny, trips mu husband and I have taken, or visits with friends or family when my hubby is home. Then there’s the times that my hubby takes the children with him which is something that happened most recently. He took five of the eight kiddos with him for the day to the county fair. I knew it was going to be a long day with no rest time or reprieve for the young ones so I decided to stay home with them.
Turns out that two kids for the day was very simple. I reached a new conclusion:
Yes, I am busier with 8 children than I would be with 2, 3, etc. etc.
And that got me to thinkin’…..
I have grown so used to having all the kids with me pretty much all the time because that’s what my husband and I have decided is best for our children. And I love it! I am so very thankful that I am able to stay home with them. The day he had most of the kids with him, I felt……I didn’t quite know what to do. The girls and I enjoyed that time together. Reading, coloring, playing, going for a couple of walks, visiting my sisters….it was a great day. It wasn’t different than our run-of-the-mill days except there were only two kids and I realized how much quieter it was in the house. Less arguing, less door slams from running in and out, less food to prepare……just less work in general and this brought to mind my early motherhood years when I had my first child.
I enjoyed that day when it was just the two girls and I, but I appreciate having all my kids. I wouldn’t change it for all the gold in the world. For anything. I would have each and every one of them all over again if I was given a re-do.
Still in the midst of raising children, I find myself often questioning how I’ve handled something, my response to different things, my actions, my choice of words….whatever it may be. I question, I wonder, I doubt my parenting skills and not because I feel like I’m doing it all wrong, but because I know that I am human. I make mistakes as I am still learning as well. Each child is different. Their actions, their words, their thoughts, their reactions, their priorities….all different. Age is a factor. Mentality is a factor. Personality is a factor. Second-guessing oneself is really the pits.
Recently, I met someone a consider my friend. She’s a really great mom. She always acts so calm and collected. She never seems to lose her temper and has the patience of a saint. I know that we shouldn’t compare ourselves in any facet of our life with anyone else because I realize each on of is created exactly how God intended us to be. Sometimes, when I’m feeling like the worst parent in the world, I admire the kind of parent my friend is. However, I realize that although she may be a good parent to her children, she may have the patience of a saint, she may have it all together, I don’t know her story. I don’t live in her home so comparisons are moot. And I know that God has blessed me with these wonderful children because He knows I am who can give them what they need, which is true for any parent. At the same time, parents must reach their parenting potential with their children.
Below is a list of just a few things I’ve learned over the years:
- When speaking with children, speak to them on their level (height-wise). For a long while now, when I speak with my kids, I make sure to have their attention by either sitting down so we are face-to-face or standing with them as some are close to my height. The ones that are taller, are teenagers and pay more attention when spoken to.
- Discern where the problem is exactly before dolling out punishment. For instance, if my girls are pushing one another or screaming at the top of their lungs, the first thing I do is find out where the problem started so I can walk them through solving the problem. For instance, one took a toy from another (let’s face it, this happens constantly) so she who lost the toy slaps the one who took it and chaos ensues. By determining the problem, I can then explain that one shouldn’t take toys, but it’s also not okay to slap or in any other way cause harm to another. Knowing the ‘why’ for the behavior helps to remove the behavior.
- Redirection works pretty well in most situations. I have found that the more stubborn a child is, the less redirection does work, but with some coaxing it will.
- A big cause of concern for me over my years of parenting is bribing children. This in no way teaches a child anything. Yes, it does get the behavior that a parent is looking for, but a child walks away learning that he/she only has to act in an unreasonable manner to gain the reward. The child is not learning the behavior is wrong. The child is not learning the proper behavior. The child is not learning self-control.
- Most of all, it’s not the quantity of time spent with a child, it’s the quality. How a parent engages with their child is much more important than how much time is spent with the child. In a half-hour outing, fully engaged (talking, playing, focused interaction), a parent accomplishes so much more than the parent who sits ideally with their child for a whole afternoon, each focused on their own thing (tv, computer, yard work, etc). Both times spent with child benefit the child, but the more focused a parent is on time spent the better off not only will the child be, but also the parent-child relationship.
Children are blessings from above. A parents’ responsibility to raise these blessings in a way that is pleasing to God is a responsibility placed upon us that He knows we can fulfill.
Today, one of my children had an appointment in town so we were up there for about 4 hours. After the appointment, we got a bite to eat and then drove back home. When I say town, I mean the bigger town that we go to quite a bit that is 60 miles away. It’s quite a hike. With summer here now, the road crews are out in full force. At least half way to town is under road construction and has two different stops (one lane traffic). These stops, I swear, take 10-15 minutes of waiting, if not longer. The ride home was quite. I only had my girls who were sleeping in their car seats. So, it was me, the radio, and miles of blacktop.
I couldn’t help but think on the ride, how thankful I was for the peace and quiet. Time in which I could just focus on my driving and nothing else. It’s amazing how much one can notice of his/her surroundings when your mind is at ease and peacefulness envelopes you. As I drove, I noticed as we got closer to home, storm clouds were darkening the area. It sprinkled here and there. It didn’t downpour or anything, but it was enough to need the wipers.
I love a good storm and where I live, we don’t get the storms like down south where I’m from. And I miss them.
When we arrived home, I got the kids in the house and settled down. They are always extra rowdy after the long drive….bundles of energy stored for the moment they jump out of the vehicle. For about half an hour, I just kept repeating:
- close the door.
- stay off the road.
- quit running in and out.
- close the darn door!
Finally, I got them inside with a snack and settled for a short movie, which the two youngest watched for only about 5 minutes and they were off again to find the next burst of trouble they could get into.
My time of peace had been replaced with energy….lots and lots and lots of energy. I totally wish I could bottle that energy and save it for myself 🙂
And then I looked out my window to notice my kids’ bike in the neighbors yard. I opened the door to go outside and it was pouring. Hard, heavy rain. I giggled to myself because I still had to get that darn bike.
Then, suddenly, I just felt a giddy kind of peacefulness all over again.
I called to the girls to come outside because we were going to play in the rain. When only the two youngest came outside, they didn’t want to step outside but they laughed when they seen me dancing goofily in the rain. Finally, I was able to draw them both out for a short moment or two…very short-lived.
I stood out there in that rain, letting it drench my clothes, and danced like an idiot.
But, you know what?
I didn’t care. Not one little bit did I care about how silly I must have looked because I felt such joy and it made my children laugh with happiness and silliness.
And what more to be thankful for than the giggles of two beautiful little girls. It’s these moments in life that remind me of the great Love of God and how thankful I am for that love.
Well, I borrowed this from a FB post a few days ago. And since I am a woman, I guess I find it rather important to let women know they make a difference and
Yes, You Are Everything…….
everything needed to make a house into a home, for your home to run smoothly, to encourage and build the self-esteem of your children, and to meet the needs of your husband as only a wife can (in most facets of his life). He still needs God and possibly alone time as well as time to hang out with his buddies I suppose. However, to help fulfill those needs you only have to encourage your husband to hang out, talk to God daily, and take a couple of hours to himself just doing whatever men do.
I am so excited! I have been nominated to do the 3 day quote challenge and I think it’s going to be tons of fun. I love quotes because they so eloquently put into words exactly what I am thinking or feeling at any given moment, much like a song.
Since family is so incredibly important to me, today’s quotes will focus around family. Words are used as encouragement, to express most any emotion, and to just hold conversation. They can build a person up, tear a person down, and can have connotations beyond the understanding of some while others catch the meaning rather quickly.
Before I start with today’s quotes, I’d like to thank Good, Beautiful and True for the nomination. When I got it in my inbox this afternoon, I was super excited! Good, Beautiful, and True is a very inspiring blog that focuses on incorporating fitness into her life along with her family and her faith. Again, thank you for the nomination.
Without further ado, here are my 3 quotes of the day:
As I said, since our lives are led by God and we live in a Christ centered home, my first quote goes to God. Without him, nothing in our life is possible.
God is in the sadness and the laughter, in the bitter and the sweet. There is a divine purpose behind everything — and therefore a divine presence in everything. – Neale Donald Walsch
Beyond God, family is the most important thing in my life and since I happen to be a wife, my husband is the focus here. He’s my friend, my lover, my childrens’ father, and the leader of our home.
A home with a loving and loyal husband and wife is the supreme setting in which children can be reared in love and righteousness and in which the spiritual and physical needs of children can be met. – David A. Bednar
My vocation as a mother is what takes up most my time and as to be expected, the kids get all of my attention during the day. So, this quote if for them.
We aren’t perfect people, but with the grace God supplies, we’re doing our best to raise our children in an atmosphere that is heavily seasoned with grace, mercy, compassion, structure, wisdom and love that we believe find their source in Christ. – John Stange
Such words of wisdom and truth that encourage me to be the best I can be in each of these areas: Child of God, Wife, and Mother.
My 3 nominations for today are:
Side note to the nominees: Please don’t feel obligated to participate if this isn’t your thing. It’s fun, but not required.
As many of you know, my last day at my job is coming up soon, one week to go. However, since I was only working part-time, I actually have have 3 workings left. I’m very saddened about it. We had our monthly meeting today and as I sat in that meeting, listening to my supervisor go over the important information of the upcoming month I just watched my co-workers who surrounded me. My heart was sad and tears threatened all day long. Although, I know I am resigning from my job to devote my time to motherhood which is the most important thing I will ever do, it’s still very hard. I will miss my friends. I will miss the camaraderie. I will miss the money. I will miss being part of a team. I will miss that small part of me that was something other than mom for a few hours on a couple different days of the week.
But, I will forever be thankful for the short time I was able to give to that company. I am thankful for the friends that I made. I am thankful for the job that I was able to contribute to. I am thankful for what I learned during my short employment with them. Mostly, though, I am thankful that I get to return to my vocation of motherhood. During all the years I’ve been a stay home mom, it became almost monotonous, able to carry on without much of me. Being employed for that short amount of time really opened my eyes as to the importance of being a stay home mom. I already knew it in my heart, but as the days, the weeks, the months, and the years kept coming and going, it seemed the beauty of it, the significance of SAHM goes unnoticed. This leads to the monotony and the need to feel like you’re making a difference, hence, the job I acquired. Being a working mom put being a stay home mom back into perspective and that I am thankful for.
She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. -Proverbs 31:27
From this moment forward, I will continue to live each day as it comes, take complete advantage of the blessing bestowed upon me from God to stay home, and accept responsibility for encouraging a faith-filled, God-centered home for the family that has also been a blessing.