Thursday, June 23, 2016

Lets Talk Over Laundry ...

Right now, my children are all exhausted little humans with no schedule and no bed time.

Anybody else?

Don't get me wrong, I'm loving watching them play basketball in the backyard until they can't see anymore. And I'm loving letting them watch movies at random times during the day and using the pool to be considered "clean". 

But when the exhaustion sets in, the bickering begins. Like the really, really petty kind.

So here was me about 2 weeks ago. Sitting in my bedroom floor during nap time surrounded by about 7 loads of laundry that needed to be folded while the 3 larger of the 5 tiny humans played outside. Cue the backdoor slamming and the bickering. About what? I have no idea. And I really could've cared less. Because here is my rule: if they're you're not dying or bleeding, you are not allowed to interrupt precious nap time.

I heard the door, cringed and trotted down the stairs to resolve the issue.
And it was like this lightbulb went off. 
Clearly they needed some counseling. Some therapy. Some time to talk out the problems. 

And what better way to accomplish that than over laundry. 
All 7 glorious loads. 

So while they folded, I sat on the bed and read my book. 
And while I read and they folded, they were forced to work together as a Team and talk out their problems. It took them well over an hour to fold, hang up and put away all the clothes. 

Some tears were shed from frustration, there was some pointless rolling around in the floor and some pointing out of who was doing more work. But at the end of their first Laundry Therapy Session, they saw how much they got done when they pulled together and worked, when they encouraged one another and by the time they were done they had talked through the fight that brought them inside in the first place. 

So now, when the squabbling starts, all I have to do is say the word laundry and they turn around to figure it out on their own. 

Parenting Win. 

P.S. We have had more than one Laundry Therapy Session.

Like, we just had one today that included Kollin and Kruz. About what? I don't know. But at the end of the Laundry Therapy Session all was right in the world again. 

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Another Green Thumb ...

Some of my most favorite childhood memories happened in Gardens.

Growing up, at the top left corner of our yard held our Family Garden. And every year I'd watch my Daddy till the ground, make the rows, plant the seeds and I'd watch it grow. 

I can remember the compost pile and having to run potato scrapings up there after my Mama would make mashed potatoes for dinner. I can remember running through the corn stalks and playing hide and go seek in them, picking okra and watching the tomatoes go from green to red.

Then over at my Grandma and Grandpa's house stood their garden and in my eyes, it was always so grand. And might I add, it's still there today. They're 86 and 91 and still grow their garden every year. Talk about Life Goals! 

I can remember going to Grandma and Grandpa's house and sitting in a circle while we all shucked corn and Grandma at the sink cutting it off the ears to make her Cream Corn. I can remember walking with her, scissors in hand, to cut fresh gladiolas for our kitchen table. I can remember watching my Grandpa, squatted down, picking his crops. 

A few years ago Travis built us a Box Garden and that first year we had it, for the space we were given, I actually did pretty good. I had tons of okra, zucchini, cucumbers, squash and bell peppers. All of our favorites! 

The second and third year were blah. Heck, I didn't know you needed to fix the soil and add more to it and not plant the same plants in the same spot two years in a row and yada, yada, yada. Obviously, I had a lot to learn! 

I was determined to get my green thumb out again this season and get some homegrown food. And what do you know? Kohen is obsessed with our little garden. Reminds me of me. Every morning he helps me water the plants, checks to see if our squash grew, counts the prickly cucumbers and watches the tomatoes turn from green to red. 

This was one thing I always wanted to be a part of our household; knowing where food comes from and being able to watch something go from a tiny seed to something on our kitchen table. And I'm thankful we're doing just that ...

Kohen's love for Gardening goes from the crops in the morning to the flowers in the evening. Give that kid a water hose and he's as content as can be. 

It's like ... our Bonding Time

My heart gets all mushy from memories and he gets all excited and we end up hugging it out and he says, "I love you Mommy" and then makes those kissing sounds and his adorable little fishy lips and then its the perfect timing because it's usually bedtime after the flowers get watered and everybody is in a lovey mood and I think maybe for a split second he isn't an Emotionally Unstable Toddler and ... I'm runnin' on here. But you get the picture.

Gardening and Flowers and Kohen are good for my Soul. 

The end. 

Monday, June 13, 2016

Starting Summer Off The Right Way ...

It happens every year. Sometime in April it hits me that Summer time is coming.

And that I want those next couple months to be E P I C. 

And usually by the time I blink, it's September and we're already back in school. And there I am kicking myself for still being pale as a ghost, not having used the heck out of our Neighborhood Pool and wondering where the heck time went. 

And so this year, as usual, I wanted it to be a good one. But unlike the other Summers, I'm actually doing a pretty good job at keeping the good times rollin'.

We kicked off the Summer with vacation and really there is no better way to do it than that. 

Since we've been home from Florida, we've spent lots of time with Auntie Am and our cousins Haley, Macey and Brooks. Turns out, for this Planner Mama, that last minute trips to Slices for pizza and the playground can be great for the soul.

 And of course, we've had Pool Dates too.  

The Summer keeps getting better and better! 

We've had more Pool Dates with more friends and the boys look like little Indians with white hair. 

And I'm not pale.

And Khloe has THE most adorable bikini tan lines ever. 

We've already skipped more nap times than I can comprehend and just played until dark. 

The boys did Vacation Bible School last week and as nervous as I was that Kohen would not stay since he is a bit of a Mama's Boy, he left me hangin' every morning with no kiss and no hug, just a Bye Mommy. I was undecided as to whether or not to be happy about this. They had a blast like they do every year. We are so thankful for First Baptist of Locust Grove and all they do to make each year better and better! And in an effort to make the Summer E P I C, we made a special trip for donuts their last morning to celebrate the great week they'd had!

We've had popcorn right before dinner and bed times have gone out the window. I was reminded of that as I listen to the boys yelling on the couch watching the NBA Finals Game 5. Basketball is the newest obsession around here. Lord help me. 

We've Road Tripped it to Tennessee. And maybe this is all kids - I don't know - but for mine, staying in a hotel for a night is like, the best thing ever. So this past weekend, we were like the coolest parents ever. 

So yea. So far, we're killin' this Summer. 

Working on making it one for the books.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Time to Admit I'm a New Creature ...

I'm sitting here behind my computer picking at my nails, staring at the keyboard and peeking up at the blank screen like everything I'm thinking is going to just put itself there. Because, it's like, I don't know how to pick up something after having left it for so long. 

I've changed over the past year. Something about nearly losing your Dad, having to put on your Big Girl Panties to make some major adult decisions, deciding it's okay to dream again and making the changes to start doing that, losing two cousins who are your own age in a month of each other and turning 30 that'll do that to you. 

My friend Nicole turned 30 before I did and I remember her telling me how much changes. All the feels. All the ways you stop caring about some stuff and start caring way more about other stuff. All the ways you realize what is really important and just how brutiful this life thing is at it's core. All the ways you quit giving a rat's behind about other's opinions and start focusing more on the people who mean the most. All the ways you realize who your real friends are. All the ways you realize as a Mother that You matter, like You - not the Wife-You or the Mama-You - but just You

At 29, I thought she was crazy. 

At 30, I realized it's all true. I feel like over the past year, I've become a New Creature. I have learned to make my marriage more important than I ever have. I have learned to only value the opinions of those who matter most to me. I have learned that my Walk and my Relationship with God will not look like everyone else's and that's totally cool with Him. I have learned that not everyone will agree with me. I have learned our Family Dynamic is different than most of those around us and that's okay. Because here's the thing: they're not me. They're not Travis' wife. They're not Kollin, Kolt, Kruz, Kohen and Khloe's Mama. Nope. That'd be me. 

I have no idea where any of that just came from. For real. My intention was to get on here and be all blubbery about how much I miss this dang blog. But maybe though I'm just having a hard time starting again because a lot in me has changed and I needed to acknowledge that. 

Or maybe I'm just Hormonally Challenged these days and I don't blog anymore simply because it isn't written on my beloved To-Do List. Either one. 

Really though, I do miss this blog. I miss it enough that this will be my third attempt at jumping back in. 

I miss sharing my messiness, my victories, my favorite recipes. 

I miss venting. 

I miss letting all of my crazy show and forgetting until I see some of y'all in public and think, "Oh Dear".

I miss having something to go back and look at when it comes to how fast my babies are growing up.

Seriously though, now that I'm thinking about it, maybe I should put this sucker on my beloved To-Do List. That might just work. Because for real, if "Feed the Kids Breakfast" wasn't on there, they wouldn't get fed. 

I'm just gonna totally flip the script on ya and say all of these pictures are from Memorial Day! And yes, Kruz was there. He's just such a little fish that I couldn't catch him on the camera. 

Monday was good. My feels were a little way more there this year than the Memorial Days before since we lost my Cousin Bradley back in January. He served our country for several years proudly and at 29 he left us.

I made sure we sat the kiddos down this year and told them about Memorial Day; the history of it and why it is so much more than a day off of work and being at the pool all day. We talked about the difference in Armed Forces Day, Memorial Day and Veteran's Day. We talked about Bradley and others in our family who have served.  We talked about soldiers and their bravery, their sacrifices, their families and how some give their life for our Freedom. We talked about Pearl Harbor, September 11 and Operation Iraqi Freedom. We talked about why I made them dress in Red, White and Blue for church the Sunday before. 

And before we were done, we circled around one of the Toy Soldiers our church gave out the day before as a reminder to pray for our military and we did just that. We took turns praying for our soldiers, their families and our country. 

Alright Y'all. That's all I got. 

My babies were worn out by the Pool today and it's so quiet here, so I'm off to read! 


Sunday, March 27, 2016

Those Sweet Glimpses ...

Do you ever see glimpses of your childhood?

I did today. 

This year our family has endured too many losses. And as much as I hate to say this, it took those losses to shake us to our core and decide to spend more time together as a family.

Growing up, Easter was always, always, always spent at Grandma and Grandpa's. With a juicy ham, too many deviled eggs to count, okra and sweet cream corn. And of course there was always the Egg Hunt. I can remember having to hide in the back bedroom while the eggs were being hid, oh the anticipation. I can remember filling my basket and retreating to the living room to dump them all out to see what goodies I got. 

And this year, I was so thankful to watch my babies enjoy that same tradition. It's been, only the Lord knows how long, since we had Easter at Grandma and Grandpa's. There was ham, okra, deviled eggs, sweet cream corn, the list goes on and on. And there was the Egg Hunt.

I'm just gonna say this. My generation has blown the last generation out of the water in offspring. Good Lord. I lost count after 25. You try countin' kids while they're all runnin' around lookin' for eggs.

I am so thankful for my Grandma and Grandpa. Good Lord, look what they've done!

All these kiddos, what a blessing they are! Drive ya a little crazy, but a blessing still!

Sugar Lump wasn't feeling too swift this weekend, so her Daddy's arms was where she wanted to be. No Solo Egg Hunting for her this year. 

I think this was my favorite picture of all from today! I just love those sweet smiles from Kohen.

 This Easter Season has been a doozy for us. Lots of sickness shenanigans, last minute shopping, yucky weather. But this. This is what is important. Family coming together, loving on one another and having some fun. 

I am so thankful for this big family of mine! My Grandma is 85 Years Old, my Grandpa is 90. I have 5 Aunts, 4 Uncles and 14 Cousins and remember, I lost count at the Second Cousins. We are crazy and country and strong as all get out. Plain and simple, I am thankful to call them mine. 

I am excited for the years to come, for the future Easter get togethers, to see my children enjoy this tradition like I did!

Happy Easter Y'all!