Here i am…in Hawaii for vacation with my family. We’re used to seeing several different places so this is a bit different for us. Jimmy has never been here so he is in absolute heaven. It is beautiful here. We have a great condo on the beach on the north shore. We spent the whole day yesterday on the beach. Got a bit sunburned. eek. But that always happens. Today we are headed out to Waimea Falls for a nice hike. I’ll be glad to not lay out.
We always hear the phrase … time flies. You sort of pass it off as a cliche and go on with your business.
This school year was a big year in my house.
My youngest daughter is moving on to middle school
My youngest son is moving on to high school
My middle daughter just graduated high school.
UGH…where did the time go?
WOW! that was fast. Its been such a whirlwind the past few months that it feels weird to be so mellow right now. It was awkward at first to be sitting with not much to do. I’m settling in though. It feels really good to be home.
So now the holidays are here. I’ve gotten just a bit of shopping done. Major stuff mostly. This year i’ve decided to go lite. last year we were really spoiled so this year we are toning it down. I haven’t done as much decorating this year because Jimmy has been working on the house and every time i put something up…he took it down. Turkey butt. But the house looks fabulous. We painted and redid a bit of the front of the house. We put in a new driveway and added a bunch of rock out front. it doesn’t even look like my house.
We’re having a party Saturday night. So not ready for that either. But getting there.
Jimmy and i decided that we are going to NYC for New Years Eve. We’ve been home for so many years with the kids that we thought this is our chance to have a good time away from home. I’m super excited.
Lots of life going on. Can’t wait to share more.
Peach, Love and Glimmery kisses
i always say i’m going to blog and i really mean it, but something always comes up and i set it aside.
so tonight i will blog. Jimmy is engrossed in some dumb shoot em up movie, Jessa is out for her Birthday dinner with friends, Kelcee is at winter formal, Lexi is at dinner with the Mattsons, Derek is in the jungle of Hawaii and Devin is dead tired from Lacrosse today (and from staying up too late at his friends last night)…so its just me and my blog.
I will do several posts over the next few days since January was such a busy month.
So many good things i don’t know where to start.
Sketch…my loverly kitty. He is doing phenomenal! Walking, moving his tail, potty’ing on his own…doesn’t get any better than that. He has his last check up on Tuesday. If all is good then i don’t have to supervise his every move. YAY me.
New York! The whole family went to New York over Martin Luther King weekend. There was 8 of us. We spent our first day at my uncle’s house in New Jersey. It had been awhile since i had seen him and my cousin. We had such a great time. My cousin took us sledding, we ate pizza and hung out and visited. The kids LOVED Rich (my cousin) and now he’s in contact with my daughters through texting. We told him come visit us this summer. He said he would.
Here are some shots throughout the day. I love the old house and all the snow. GREAT photo ops.
We arrived in Time Square where we were staying Friday night and it was on! We were ready to see the sights.
to be continued….
its been awhile since i blogged. When we got home from vacation life just took over and i didn’t get a free minute. I’m just now getting a chance to sit down and breath.
Vacation was amazing. It was nice to have my dad with us this year. He doesn’t do much with us since he got married so we enjoy the time we get. Him and his wife had a great time. They’ve never done anything like that before. Dad, Kelly, Jimmy and Megan all came on Saturday and we spent the night in Fort Lauderdale. Had a great dinner on the beach and prepped for boarding the ship on Sunday. We were lazy on Sunday so we got a late start. We weren’t going to have enough time to make 2 trips to Miami from Ft. Lauderdale with 9 of us and 16 pieces of luggage. So what do we do? Cram us all into the minivan we rented. OMG…it was freakin hilarious. It was like that Guiness book of world records volkswagon. We did it. I can’t figure out how but holy mack…we did it. My knees were up my nose and i was crammed with the luggage but we made it. The guys at the port were crackin up. I have a picture somewhere…as soon as i find it i’ll share 🙂
ok so back to the cruise…we went to Grand Cayman first. What an incredible place. We got to swim with the sting rays. REAL sting rays!! Right out there in the middle of the Caribbean sea. WOW…words cannot even begin to describe how amazing this was.
Then we spent some great beach time and had a fabulous lunch at Rum Point. YUMMY run too!!
In that shell is a real Conch. We grabbed it right off the bottom of the ocean. AMAZING
Then off to Roatan. I think this was my favorite spot. I would love to go back there and spend a week. Oh Jimmy….i love you honey 🙂 (that always works)
Everyone ziplined in Roatan (except Lexi and me) and then we went to another gorgeous beach.
Ok so this is getting too long so i will do a follow up post tomorrow.
Finally i get to sit down!
the 4 kids and i arrived in Ft. Lauderdale Wednesday morning after a nice easy red eye flight. From there we drove to Orlando and checked into our FABULOUS resort. We stayed in a 3 bedroom, 2 bath villa at Bahama Bay Resort. They stayed and hung out while I went up to Pictures in TIme in Orange Park. Had a great class there and drove back to Orlando. We spent all day Thursday at Disney World. We weren’t impressed. We like our Disney better. Lots more stuff and the rides are longer.
We drove to Cape Coral to teach at a GREAT store…Strawberry Fields. Had the best time.
Back to Miami area on Saturday morning to teach 2 classes at Cherry Blossom studio. Met some awesome girls. I had a fun fun time and i’m really ready for vacation now.
We picked up dad, kelly, and Jimmy on Saturday night. Had a nice dinner. Picked up Megan at 0’dark thirty this morning and….
NOW we’re ready to cruise!!!
Caribbean here we come!!!
oh me oh my! I told my kids they could have facebook accounts so they could play all the silly games. Now they’re addicted. lol Now they’re friending all sorts of people and people of other peoples people. CRAZY kids. I told them only immediate family and a few friends from school and leave it at that. Face book can bring a whole world of drama and weirdos and i don’t want that for them. I really didn’t even want them on facebook at this age but daddy said it would be ok. We’ll see. lol
Summer is here and in full swing 🙂 Kelcee started summer school yesterday and will go 2 days a week. Not so bad. 2-3 days a week are what we call our adventure days. We will set out on adventures to different places we’ve never been or maybe been to before and really liked. Today was supposed to be day 1 of our adventure but daddy ended up with the day off so we postponed today’s adventure until Thursday and everyone (except me) went to the beach. I cleaned bathrooms and vacuumed. Can you feel the joy? It was quiet for a while 🙂 Now they’re back home. Maybe a nice bike ride and then figure out what we will have for dinner. The kids have been each taking a turn cooking from all our new cookbooks. They love doing that. Its been fun to see what each kid comes up with.
We’re all on vacation count down. 28 days. Can’t wait. I’m a little bummed we didn’t stick with the original plan of going to London, Paris, Spain and then cruising the Mediterranean, but that whole ash cloud thing FREAKED me out. So i cancelled it all and re-routed us back to the Caribbean. The kids and i are going 5 days earlier than Jimmy, my dad and step mom and we’re staying in Florida. We’re going to be on our “adventure” and i will also teach at 3 stores. Everyone else flies in Saturday and we board the ship on Sunday for a week. After the cruise we will spend a few days in the Florida Keys. Its crazy making sure everything is in order for 9 people. WOW. But it will be sooo much fun. Can’t wait.
On the scrappy front…classes, classes and more classes. thats all i have to say about that!
<-------------------------------------see them there
peace out homers…enjoy the day <3
I received this in my inbox this morning. Its perfect for today. it hits the nail on the head regarding my 15 soon to be 16 year old daughter. I TOTALLY am this fraidy cat.
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7 (NKJV)
I stood on the edge of the cliff, the slender bar clenched in my hands. An old chant came to mind as I glanced past the rocky threshold to the thin strips of smoke wisping above two live volcanoes.
Fraidy cat. Fraidy cat.
I was in El Salvador working with children orphaned by previous civil wars. Kings Castle was their sanctuary, and after a hard days’ work several children and a counselor had pulled me and others up the cliff with stunning views.
“Jump!” they shouted. The children pointed to the volcanic crater below, its depths inviting but very frightening. The children pointed to a circling boat below, trying to assure me. Then, one after another, childr en grabbed the bars and flung themselves away from the cliffs, letting go and plunging into the water below.
I looked over at my fellow team members. One shook her head vigorously. “Uh uh,” she insisted.
I grabbed the bar, noting that my knees were quaking. I closed my eyes, pushed off and swung through the air, screaming when I let go and plunged downward. I hit the icy cold water with a splash. Several children above me shouted and clapped their approval. But I could barely hear them over my own whoops of delight.
I wasn’t afraid of jumping that day nearly as much as I was afraid of the unknown. There were elements that were familiar, like water and diving, but when you toss in heights and volcanoes, it knocked me right out of my comfort zone.
Sometimes parenting teens is like that. When my three children moved from tweens to teens, suddenly things changed. There were familiar elements, but lots of scary new developments like driving, dating, and re quests for freedom. I wanted to cling to the familiar. I’m the boss, so that’s just the way it is. I don’t care if everyone else has a later curfew, yours isn’t changing.
One day I noticed that my oldest daughter, Leslie, had shut me out, and it hurt. She was 16 years old and I couldn’t have been more proud of her. I treasured our relationship, and so was confused by her silence.
I finally found the root of her problem. It was me. I was parenting out of fear.
Fraidy cat. Fraidy cat.
I said no to her, not because of her character or the trust she had earned, but because I feared poor influences, or letting her go and her free-falling. I saw some of the teens that used to frequent our home making life-altering decisions, and it shook me. So I pulled her in closer, tighter. I refused to let go—even an inch.
Though I had worked with thousands of teens over 20 years, I made a huge mistake with my own. I forgot to parent Leslie ba sed on who she was, and what I knew to be true, and allowed fear to dictate our relationship instead.
Worse, I made her feel that she was untrustworthy.
That day I stepped up the scary cliff of parenting a teen and took a second look around. I noted the familiar. Leslie had made good decisions. She was maturing, growing into a woman. She wasn’t perfect, but she tried really hard to do the right thing, not for me, but because of her faith and her own convictions.
Sometimes parenting is scary. Sometimes letting go a little bit at a time feels uncomfortable, but it’s also a key ingredient in shaping our teens into confident adults of character.
But what if they break the trust? Pull the reins back in. Allow them to take responsibility for their mistakes. Then allow them to earn the trust back.
Today Leslie is a 28-year-old married woman, an attorney, and soon-to-be-momma. I wish that I could say that I never faced fear again as a parent, but that simply wouldn’t be true. But I learned to recognize fear for what it is—an ineffective response that distorts reality and clouds the decision making process. Stepping back and looking at the whole picture allowed me to say yes to the opportunities to grow—opportunities for me as a parent, and for my teen.
Dear Lord, help me to see my child clearly today. If I need to set boundaries, help me to set them with love and wisdom. If it is time to encourage my child to grow, to stretch, give me the courage to let go. Thank You for my child’s destiny. Thank You that You have a plan for my teen’s life. I trust in that today. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Thanks be to God for answering our prayers today and for helping the truth to shine!
My beautiful daughter Kelcee received the Sacrament of Confirmation last night.
We’re so very proud of her accomplishment.
What a truly special moment.
And here is most of my beautiful family…