Sunday, July 31, 2011

Fishing is fun?

I have to admit, my sterotypical idea of fishing has been sitting for hours and hours with nothing to do but watch the water drift past.  I haven't done much fishing in my life and haven't been more than a few times with Kurt since we have been married.

I don't know if I'm just becoming more at peace with sitting in a beautiful place and getting quiet, or that everything is more fun to me because I can watch how much my children are enjoying it, or that this fishing is just so good and the fish bite so quickly and the scenery is so beautiful that I'm ok with it.  Whatever the reason, all I know is that as a family we spent the day yesterday at a newly discovered lake about an hour and a half away and loved every single minute of it.  Everyone caught at least one fish (several were too small to keep and a few got away as we were trying to grab them), and everyone had a chance to do what to them was what they wanted to do most (for Clark this included sitting by the side of the river for 45 mintues and throwing rocks in.  My job was to keep the rock pile supplied well with large rocks.)
It was officially a wonderful day! 

Kurt and I both found it funny that Emma caught the two largest trout, especially since she didn't want to be in a photo with one or hold it.  Chrisitan was aching to catch a big one but his got away at the last moment when Kurt was trying to grab his line.  I suppose we will need to return soon and do more fun family fishing! 

Flying Lessons

Lesson 22:
Use a soft voice.
I find it amazing how the way that I say what I say has a massive impact on how it is received.  I've been watching my tone of voice and the volume of it pretty closely and found a couple of things:
1.  I'm a naturally loud person.
2.  When I make sure to soften my voice it softens my edges a bit and helps the entire situation.
3.  It is easier to convey love with a soft voice than a loud one.

I want to show more love.  I also want to be firm when necessary and to teach when it is a teaching moment.  I do all of these things with a soft voice.  I feel better, they feel better, and we all feel love.
Why does it take me so long to learn these lessons?

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Flying Lessons

Lesson 21:
I make the Rules
This is a lesson that I had to re-learn at Brave Girl Camp.  I went through the early part of my life with a set of rules that I had created for myself.  I knew where I wanted to go to college, what friends I wanted, what situations I was and was not willing to be in, who I would date, and so on.  In order to achieve these things I had RULES for myself that I followed.  And then I got married and had a family and I've just been so busy with LIFE that I haven't stopped to set out my new rules.  Some rules I believe are set by GOD and those rules never change.  Other rules I have set for myself and they are a result of defining what I want my life to be - how I want my time spent and by what rules will I decide how I spend my time, who I spend it with, and how happy I am.

I have NEW rules.  I made these rules to help me stay focused on what really matters in my life.  There are a lot of people who expect a lot of things from me; some of them have a right to expect from me and they should (like my children) others expect things from me which I am not in a position to deliver, or I don't want to meet their expectations because that is not who I am.  There is a great sense of freedom that comes with having rules - now when something comes where I have a choice to make I know what questions to ask myself to help me arrive at the decision that is right FOR ME.

Have you seen that movie Secretariat?  I love that movie.  I especially love the part where Penny Tweedy is at a press conference and they ask her if she feels stressed by the pressure put on her to guarantee wins and she says something like "It's just like every other million dollar decision us housewives make every day."  I like that because it really is true.  However small some choices may be in my home each day, the results down the road for my family are HUGE.  The choice might be do I committ more time to the pta or do I spend more time one on one with the kids?  This is a million dollar decision.  No, I don't have to worry about guarantees I've made for Triple Crown winners, yet in my home happiness for our family and our life is infinitely more important than the triple crown.  I'm so happy to be re-focused on what matters most to me.  Happiness matters, memories matter, doing what is morally RIGHT matters.  Raising a family matters.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Back and better than Ever

Well what was to be a one week excursion to Brave Girl Camp turned into a two week stay, including bringing my Madeline and Savanna up to Idaho to join me for the mother daughter brave girl camp.  It was wonderful.  I am so blessed and I am so filled up.  I have much to share; my favorite being a few of these photos.  Happy day!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Going Unplugged

Tomorrow morning I am going out of town.  All alone.  I'm stressed about everything being ok at home and excited and worried and everything else.  Last summer I attended Brave Girl Camp.  It changed my life.  This year I have the opportunity to go back as staff and watch more lives change as I continue to work on myself.

I will be unplugged all week - no internet, no email, no phone.  I thought about scheduling some posts but I want to be truly 'gone' this week.  I'm closing for a week for improvements.  Have a great week and I will be back energized and ready to be a better me.
Sailing on,

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Good times

We had such a wonderful 4th of July weekend.

The fun was never ending and the bedtime was late so it still feels like we are trying to catch up on our sleep!  It was delightful to have one of my brothers with his wife and daughter in town from Mississippi.  He showed us a new backyard game 'cornhole' which we loved and played for hours.  We partied at my parent's pool to live music and free popsicles (after a while I lost count on how many my children ate in place of lunch).  We watched two great firwork displays, attending our church breakfast and bicycle parade, the children all had a pony ride, grandpa and grandma passed out fantastic glow sticks, we barbecued delicious food and had an all around wonderful time together.

These are great memories I will not soon forget, thanks everyone!


Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Flying Lessons

Lesson 20:
Time is my most precious commodity.

I continue to learn this lesson again and again.  Which begs the question, 'how well am I LEARNING it?'  There are so many ways I can spend my time.  There is so much to do - even so many GOOD things to fill my day with.  There are also things that are major time wasters that I have taken out of my life.  It may sound funny but here are a few things I've done:

-Removed any game (especially fruit ninja) from my phone
-Stay away from facebook and limit my time on the computer in general -- checking my email only 3 times a day max (even though I can check email on my phone I only do it at home).
- Don't watch TV.  We haven't had cable in 11 years and I don't remotely care or miss all of the tv series and shows that have come and gone in that time.  That isn't to say that I don't enjoy a movie every week or two when we have our late night dates at home after the kids are asleep.
- Make lists about what I need to do in specifics:  ie - when on the computer go here and order this and go here and post on my blog and then check email.  This keeps my from aimlessly browsing the internet and missing out on all the fun things my children are doing in the backyard while I'm at the computer.

I feel like I have a long way to go.  I'm not even mentioning reading because I LOVE to read and I think it keeps my mind sharp and teaches me new things all the time.  That could also just be my excuses for spending time on reading.  I do feel that I choose books that are clever and uplifting, historical books that teach me, books on gardening and money -- but again, I love me a good novel as well.  I find that if I keep a book in my van and a book in my house that its amazing how many little pieces of 5 or 10 minutes I can steal away from what would otherwise be sitting time (waiting in line somewhere, waiting at the doctor office, waiting in line to pick up my kids from school, holding a sleeping little one on my lap...)

I'm still a great time waster - I know I waste plenty of time on garage sales and junking.  When I'm out at a store by myself, I wander the isles just enjoying being in a store alone.  I waste time looking around at Goodwill, hoping to find a treasure.  I know I have a million more ways to improve, little steps at a time.

What I do like is that I feel emotionally present in the moment.  I'm sad to say this has not always been the case.  In years past as soon as I got the kids in the car to go somewhere I knew they were safely restrained in the back seat - I would give them something to play with and then get on the phone doing business calls.    I had a few expereinces that made me realize that even by NOT listening to my children while driving in the car, I was missing out.  I was not present and there with them in the moment.  I was distracted and irriatated if they became uphappy.  I'm trying so much harder these days to answer YES more often; yes I can come pitch to you, yes I will go outside and help you ride your bicycle, yes lets go down in the basement and do art together, yes I'll read you a story, yes I would love to play cars with you, yes I'll help you set up your playmobiles, yes lets make cookies together.  I'm not telling anyone that tv or games are bad - I just know that for me, when I say yes to spending more time with my children, to listening to them (even if the conversation does not include me), yes to being totally mentally and emotionally present when they are talking to me - it makes us all happier.  It makes them feel important and know that I care.  And I DO care.  About all of it.
Sailing on,

Sunday, July 3, 2011

I love this boy

For so many reasons; one of them being he is just completely adorable to look at and watch run.  Love him.

This past week has been monumental for him.  He moved into a big boy bed AND had his binkie taken away.  Ouch.  We have had some brutal nights and wailing for the binkie.  I know I've already allowed him to have it for too long but give me a break, every time I was considering taking it away he was back in the hospital and it was the one thing that he always wanted to comfort  him.  So I gave in.  Not anymore.  We have been pacifier free for one week now; as well as going to sleep like a champ in his big bed.  I think he actually gets out of bed less than when he was jumping out of his crib constantly.  Out of all of my children, he is the most sensitive to anything that is loud.  Watching some fireworks the other night he really enjoyed the show -- but wouldn't take his hands off his ears.  He does the same thing when Emma cries and tantrums (not that I blame him, I'd like to do the same thing and if you ask me she is way louder than a firework display).  
I think his blonde hair and deep brown eyes are an absolute stunning combination and I'm getting used to the scars he has as well.  His voice is so sweet it's ridiculous what he can get away with asking for.  He melts my heart.  He can climb ANYTHING and is capable of opening any lock and any door or window.   He never tires of Lightning McQueen or Kung Fu Panda.  He does get tired of the constant asthma and coughing yet he is a sweet as can be about doing his nebulizer treatments every night.  Don't you wish you had one just like him?  Sorry, he's mine!  :)

Saturday, July 2, 2011

4th of July Weekend

I have to say I love having the 4th be a monday, it allows us to celebrate all weekend long.
We kicked off the celebrations at our house this week by painting or traditional flag on the driveway.  Call us a bit bold, but we love it!

I hope you are doing something fun to celebrate,