Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Wildlife Wednesday

A single moment, capturing God's amazing creation. I met this fungi in the woods while walking the dogs this morning. It's a path I take every single day - only just noticed him today. Friends, if we don't slow down, we will miss opportunities to connect with the wildlife around us.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Grandma Sayings, MASHUP

"Mommy, Nana says that if you stare at the microwave, it will catch on fire."

So we all went in the kitchen to try it.

After nothing happened, I assured Whitby that what Nana probably said was, "If you put metal in the microwave, it will catch on fire." And also, "If you stare at the microwave, it will hurt your eyes."

This led to a hilarious rant for the children and I about Grandma sayings and how we might get confused if we are not really careful.

I made up a few:

If you swim 30 minutes after eating, children will starve in Africa.
If you step on a crack, you will break a mirror.
If you cross your fingers behind your back, they will stay that way.

And how about this doozie:

If you let your baby crawl under a ladder with wet hair before opening an umbrella, will you tell if it's a boy or girl, or stutter, or be struck by lightening twice? And if at first you don't succeed eating an apple a day while planting your garden on Good Friday, will you catch a cold or will it stunt your growth?

Friday, August 23, 2013

Book Club, anyone?

IF, perchance you are located in the Tuscaloosa area.....

My daughter and I are starting a book club. We want to encourage girls, age 9-11 to join us on our deck overlooking the creek. The book club is called "Mighty Girls". We will explore the lives of Mighty Girls throughout history, both non-fiction and fiction, both in America and abroad. We will focus on values such as: Leadership, Overcoming, Creativity, Justice, Exploration, Adventure, Freedom, Culture, and Becoming the mighty girl/woman that God created you to be!

After we gather interest, we wil pick a time that works for everyone and get to reading! Moms are welcome to drop off, or stay with your daughter and observe.

Message me if you and your daughter are interested. We look forward to hearing from you. We are both super-exicted to get started!

Below are a few options we are considering for our first book:

If you are not in Tuscaloosa, but would like to give your input on each of these books, I would greatly appreciate it! I have not read them all, but have scoured the internet for book reviews.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Taming the tongue: Gotta start young.

Go up to the lifeguard and say, "Boobies!"
I don't like the game Truth or Dare because it never ends well.

The "dare" always ends up being something inappropriate, and the "truth" is inevitably used as fodder for ridicule.
On this particular day, the game ended as my daughter came to me crying because her brother embarrassed her in front of the other kids. During her turn, someone asked the question, "What is one thing you can't live without?" My son blurted out, "I know this one! Daddy Panda!" Daddy Panda is her favorite stuffed animal. As the kids laughed, my daughter came running to me at the other end of the pool, and my son knew immediately what he had done.

After he contritely apologized for betraying her confidence, the two proceeded to tell me all the kid-gossip. That girl is scared of the deep-end. So-and-so likes So-and-so, and one boy said "boobies" to Miss Britney.

We got home I called a meeting to further discuss the days' events. I thought of James chapter 3 and explained the idea of "taming the tongue".
James 3:7,8 All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue.

We talked about how the bible has lots to say about our words and how we can use them for building up or for tearing down. We discussed definitions of words and phrases. What is gossip? What is a rumor and how is it different or the same as a lie? What is meant by "betraying confidence"? What does it mean to tell secrets?

We brainstormed a few tongue-taming rules:

If something is discouraging rather than encouraging, or you think it might hurt someone's feelings, don't say it.
If it's not your news to share, don't share it.
If you don't know that a story is true, don't spread it.
If it is inappropriate or potentially embarrassing, don't let it come out of your mouth!

Finally, we looked up some verses in Psalms and Proverbs.

"Whoever of you loves life and desires to see many good days, keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking lies."
(Psalms 34:12-13, NIV)

"Your tongue plots destruction; it is like a sharpened razor, you who practice deceit."
(Psalms 52:2, NIV)

"A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy man keeps a secret."
(Proverbs 11:13, NIV)

"A perverse man stirs up dissension, and a gossip separates close friends."
(Proverbs 16:28, NIV)

"The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to a man's inmost parts."
(Proverbs 18:8, NIV)

"A gossip betrays a confidence; so avoid a man who talks too much."
(Proverbs 20:19, NIV)

How true it is, that taming the tongue is a lifelong journey. Reading these verses aloud reminds me that NOW is the time to bust out those bridles. While current content of kid-gossip seems mostly harmless, that beast will only get stronger and the stakes will only get higher, and the word *boobies* will be the least of my worries.

Friday, August 16, 2013

This Moment

We had a Roo for only 3 weeks. He is a black jersey giant - gorgeous. Wonder what these little tykes will end up looking like....

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The language of our virtues

The sidekicks and I were strolling the Black Worrior River after the farmers market, and my daughter said, "Mom - you're the best mom a girl could ever have." Blushing, I replied, "Well I don't know about that, but thank you very much." She immediately called me out about that. "Don't invalidate my feelings, mom (I kid you not, the 9 year old said that). If I say you are then you are - - in my opinion, you are. I mean. You are such a fun mom. You are energetic and creative. You are a self-starter and a problem-solver. You're never lazy and you never gossip. And you always treat us with respect."

Wow. Totally blown away by this girl. She rattled off 8 or 9 virtues in the blink of an eye.

I did not mean for this post to rabbit trail on my qualities as "the best mom ever". I certainly have more blind-spots than I can count. But I love how the language of our virtues seeps into their everyday vocabulary.

My point is: Our children learn what they hear and see. I talk to them and (try to) model particular virtues in everyday life. They listen and practice and experiment with the virtues we present to them.

What are the virtues that are close to your heart and soul?
What virtues did you learn either directly or indirectly growing up?


Everything yes - unless of course, harm.
Yes, only when and as long as.
No hinders, haults creativity.
No stifles, sabotages confidence.
So, yes.
The answer is yes.
Examine all angles, exhaust all possibilities with wild imagination.
Now, how?

One of my goals in coaching my children is helping them problem solve. Push through to the next level to find solutions. How can we help our children be problem-solvers if we are always taking the easy route of saying (or barking with furrowed brow) NO!
Rather, the higher road, as exemplified by my friend/mentor Vicki, is to word our correction in a way that encourages free thought and exploration of ideas. Does this take more work? Yes. Do we still provide consistent boundaries for children?
The answer is yes. Now, how?

Sunday, August 11, 2013

My summer with beverages.

Looking back at all my moments captured in Summer 2013, I notice a trend weaving in and out of the photos. That trend: Me enjoying tasty bevs with some of my favorite people. Obviously I had a super summer.

Beach beverages
Gulf Shores, AL
My Chelsea's birthday

Blue Moon while operating a 2-wheeled vehicle.
Watercolor, FL
Cold draw Blue Moon, con mi esposo, y naranja
Watercolor, FL

Followed by more margaritas...

Starbucks date with my man in June.FaceTime with Sarah the week before her wedding in July.
Girls night coffee in August.

And last but not least, Wine.
Wine and home improvement.
Wine with a view.
Wine in a cougar-town-rivaling GIANT glass.


Friday, August 9, 2013

This Moment

Love our 1/4 mile trail. And the sweet deck my hubs built. I take the dogs on a walk around the property twice a day. It is so great to experience the sights and smells of the woods. I love connecting with nature and these guys love it too!

Somehow, I got all the dogs to pose for a pic.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Expanded patio and future home of outdoor kitchen!

We practically live outdoors. For the last two years we have been clearing, cutting, shaping, chopping, digging, planting - - and dreaming about what our backyard could be. One year ago, we planted 40 pallets of sod which is flourishing and still looks beautiful! Only there is one stubborn spot on which we can not grow grass! It has multiple obstacles - - shade, water and traffic.

Our solution: Concrete it!

We could not have made a better choice. Since we spend so much time outside anyway, expanding our patio area makes perfect sense.