A Day To Remember!

October 11, 2015 by

I’m standing here, rocking Miss Ellie (8 months) to sleep, at the end of a long day.  Mr. M has been working very long hours.  He was working all weekend long and he’s still at work, in fact.  He loves his job, which makes me so happy because it makes him so happy. Last week, he edited some beautiful pieces for Dancing With The Stars – this one about Bindi Irwin was a highlight, for sure.  So beautiful!  Please watch it if you get a moment, it really says something about grief and loss, and the journey we take in this life as we say goodbye to those we love.  I’m immensely proud of Mr. M, so I have to share:       At the end of each day, I’m amazed by how much happens in my...

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Up A Tree!

July 27, 2015 by

    We’ve been going to the park/playground pretty much every day!  Some days we drive, and some days we walk!  I know you can’t tell in this picture below, but Ellie is having her very first ride in the stroller.  Ginger (6) gently pushed the stroller all the way to the park, and Ellie was SO excited!  Ginger is a very responsible little mommy.  Ha!       Meanwhile, Violet (3) rode on my back! She’s been loving that lately – and it’s a great workout for me, too. 🙂     At the park, and pretty much wherever we go, Ginger climbs trees. Even on the walk to the park, she has to stop and climb the trees she sees on the way. Her favorite place is at the top of a...

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DWTS Finale Week and WWJD?

May 18, 2015 by

    As I mentioned last post, this week is DWTS Finale Week – which is a big time of stress in our house.  🙂  Well, stress and anticipation because after Tuesday, Mr. M will be home for a bit on hiatus before he starts working on Bachelor in Paradise (his summer gig). We are holding down the fort here at home.  Ginger caught my mom’s cold she brought from the plane, and then it spread to Violet (3) and Ellie (3 months).  I don’t know if you can tell in that top picture, but Violet was pretty miserable that day (Sunday).  We had been stuck at home for days because of Ginger being sick, so then when Violet and Ellie came down with it – I was like…OH REALLY?! I had to escape our house – I was...

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Mother’s Day 2015!

May 11, 2015 by

  (Before bedtime selfie of me and the girls, Mother’s Day 2015) In case you hadn’t heard, today was Mother’s Day! Mr. M had to work – he always has to work on Saturday and Sunday when DWTS is filming. My family lives in Indiana – so, these holidays are always just me alone with the girls.   I used to feel sorry for myself a little but now I don’t!  I know it sounds silly, but I just made a decision to be happy on these holidays no matter what. I wrote about that on Easter in a blog post where I mentioned my formula for enjoying (any) holiday: 1) Low expectations 2) Let go of guilt 3) Stay away from social media 🙂 First: That means for Mother’s Day, I did not expect...

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Patience In The Hard Seasons

January 30, 2014 by

  Patience is not the ability to wait – but the ability to keep a good attitude while waiting. (Author unknown) I don’t know how to say this delicately – but anyway, here goes! Ginger (my beloved Ginger) – has always had a way of doing things the HARD way. Over the past few years, and especially since Violet (2) was born, Ginger’s personality has been especially spirited, sensitive, reactive, defiant, and well…quite moody. I can’t pinpoint the exact moment, but I think that when Violet was born, it kind of broke Ginger’s heart to give up her status as the baby of the family. It has been a hard couple of years for her (and us) – trying to come to terms with that. Don’t get me wrong, she LOVES her baby sister....

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Do You Believe In Magic?

December 5, 2013 by

  This Christmas Season is especially beautiful (and bittersweet) because it’s one of the few we’ll have when all of our kids believe in Santa. I know Paprika (age 7) – has her days numbered with the belief in Santa and the Tooth Fairy.  How sweet it is that she still believes! Earlier this week, Santa’s sleigh came by our house! 🙂 Every year in our town, Santa comes to each block and the kids can jump on the sleigh for a private audience. Ginger and Violet did not want to see Santa, so I held them on the sidelines while Paprika jumped on the sleigh to have a little chat with him.     Earlier that day, Paprika had been telling me that she wanted to sell her pet rocks she painted so...

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Letting Go of Guilt and Perfectionism...

October 6, 2013 by

Hello, friends! I stumbled across this post in the archives and felt led to share it for today’s post in my Positive Parenting Series. Since this article was originally published (11 months ago), I am happy to report that we’ve added three more sponsored children who we write to on a regular basis. Some months we write often, and some months we write just once. I would dare say it’s not perfect, but it’s something. I hope this post encourages you today. I’ll be back tomorrow discussing Margin and how purposefully leaving space in my life has made for both happier parents and children in my home.     One thing that has been on my mind lately is how my need for perfectionism can sometimes stand in the way of a giving spirit. ...

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The Magic of Ordinary Days

October 1, 2013 by

    “I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.” ― L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables   Today I am reminded to take joy from the ordinary days.  I have always said that I blog for myself.  I mean, yes, I love that others read my words.  But after seven plus years of blogging in this space, the greatest joy I have is going back and reading about the ordinary moments that I would have definitely otherwise forgotten. Whether written in short bursts or painstaking detail, those old posts transport me back to another time.  In an instant, I remember the immense joy I felt when I became a mother.  Or the incredible darkness I felt after Vivian and Annemarie died – when I thought I might never emerge...

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Life Imitating Art!

September 26, 2013 by

  This past week we’ve been slacking on our homeschooling. Mostly it’s because we’ve all been sick.  I started our homeschool year on July 1st just so that when we needed to take breaks, we could. This past week has been a little break for us, and you know what? I think we needed it! But the funny thing is that even though we haven’t been “hitting the books” in the traditional way, children learn ALL the time…no matter what. You can’t stop a child from learning! I had to laugh because we were practicing piano the other night, and Paprika was procrastinating big time. She loves piano – but she also loves to goof off, too! 😉 She started making these faces and then asking me to guess what famous work of art...

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A Simple Way To Say I Love You

September 21, 2013 by

  Awhile back, I started doing something very simple with my children that  doesn’t cost anything and in an instant makes us closer, more connected, and lets my kids know that I’m always on their side.   What is this magic thing, you ask?   I started saying “I love you” to my children in sign language. And they started saying it back to me.     It’s a simple thing, really. If I’m sitting in the next room, and I glance over at Ginger (age 4) while she’s reading or playing Legos…I don’t have to interrupt her.  I don’t have to say anything.  I just flash her “our” little sign and instantly, a smile breaks out across her face.  She flashes it back to me and instantly, we connect. When Paprika (age 7)...

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The Invisible Twin Mom

September 20, 2013 by

Today I’m linking up with Kelly’s Korner Show Us Your Life – the topic is:  Moms of Multiples.  I almost didn’t link up because…well…my identical twin daughters went to Heaven.  But even though they’re not here on Earth, I still consider myself a mom of twins – even if most of the rest of the world doesn’t see me that way! I hope this post encourages and inspires someone today – and  I want other moms of babies in Heaven to know they are not alone. This post was originally posted on Mother’s Day 2012: —-     I must admit, I have been in a pre-Mother’s Day funk the past few days. You would think, since my life revolves around raising small children, that Mother’s Day is MY holiday and one that I look forward...

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How To Raise An Artist

September 17, 2013 by

    All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.  – Pablo Picasso   Today I’m talking about creating a home that encourages creativity and art!  I get asked ALL the time how I promote Art in my home – and here are a few very simple and easy things that I do to create a home that welcomes creativity and expression. I hope this encourages you!  Let me know what you do to promote art in your home!     1) Have Quality Materials Available – Always: I heard once that the way to encourage your child to play piano is to place the piano in the center of the home.  That way, the child sees the piano as something of value, and will be...

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Best Toy Ever!

September 14, 2013 by

    We got the BEST TOY EVER this week.  Can you guess what it was?   It was an airplane.  A rocket ship.  An alien space craft.  A fairy house.  A hide-and-go seek spot.   Oh, and a Clubhouse.         How much did this toy cost, you ask?   Well – the short answer is:  Nothing.  Nada.  Zilch.  Zippo!  (Is Zippo a word?  Not sure…)   It came to my house with my monthly order of toilet paper, vitamins, diapers…you know…the stuff I could buy at Target but instead I have the Amazon man deliver it to my door.   And little did I know, that this awesome toy would be included…for free!   I didn’t see it at first…to me, it was just a box to recycle.   But...

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Oh Happy Weekend!

September 13, 2013 by

(Linking up here and here)   We had a great week in our homeschool this week.  Here are the highlights!   First up, Paprika:   All of the girls spent a lot of time making their own crafts and costumes.  Here is Paprika’s “Halloween witch” costume she made out of construction paper and tape.  This was one of...oh, eleventy billion creations she made that day.  We were all cracking up as she put on a little show for us:       Paprika started at her Theatre Class – it meets once/week for three hours, and at the end they put on a big performance (Beauty and The Beast).  She has been busy practicing  – mostly in front of her stuffed animals.  Every night when she goes to bed, she reads the script until I turn...

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Beautiful, Ordinary Days!

September 12, 2013 by

  So, this above picture pretty much sums up life with a toddler!  😉 All day long, all she does is CLIMB!  Is it any wonder why I put all the chairs outside before breakfast?  Otherwise, she pushes the nearest chair or stepstool over to the spot where she can have the most fun! This week I pulled her off the counter and dryer top on multiple occasions – one time, she took an entire can of baking powder and dusted all the food in the pantry – and of course, the iPad was nearby and it got coated in baking powder, too!  Nothing is safe with her around!  Love that she’s so inquisitive, though… My front porch with the chairs outside:     Paprika started back at Piano Lessons and Swim Team and...

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In Over My Head!

September 5, 2013 by

On days when I feel IN OVER MY HEAD, I remember this little day back in January and I think…well, it could be worse!  Haha! *************** On Monday, THIS HAPPENED…   And it gets better. 😉   After I picked up Paprika at school, I had a short window to get the girls snacks and get Violet down for a nap before we needed to be at Paprika’s piano lesson.   So, I set Paprika and Ginger up with a movie to watch and a snack, and went about the work of getting Violet to sleep. After much rocking and singing, Violet was asleep…on my chest. The girls were 8 feet away in the next room watching a movie, so I thought I would just relax with Violet. I was sure if I put her...

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It’s All Just Stuff

September 4, 2013 by

  This morning, I was planning on writing about how to teach your child Computer Programming when you know nothing of the subject yourself. (It’s what’s going on in our house at the moment, ahem!) Instead, I wanted to talk about a little thing that happened in our house 12 hours ago. Violet – this beautiful little troublemaker – decided to throw my cellphone into the bath with her last night…and well, I lost ALL the pictures on my phone. Four thousand or so. Not backed up photos. Gone forever.     My phone is GONE. All my contacts, texts, notes, and the fifty million other things stored on my phone.  (Geez, when did the phone become command central of my life?) Now,  I am not someone who is GLUED to my phone. Technology...

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5 Simple Ways To Connect With Your Child...

September 3, 2013 by

    With a VERY active toddler in the house, lately it feels like ALL my time is devoted mostly to JUST her. My older girls get a piece of me – not the whole me – because no matter what…my eye is always on the lookout for the next disaster my little toddler tornado leaves in her wake. I know it’s just a stage of life…right? Right?! But I miss those natural moments of one-on-one connection with my older girls. There are no “natural” moments of one on one time anymore – since having three kids, it’s definitely a zone defense game around here! Ha! But without those alone times with each child, all of our cups go empty.  I know they miss these moments alone, and I do, too.  I used to...

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Last Place Winner!

August 29, 2013 by

  Tomorrow, Paprika will turn 7 years old! Today is her last day of being 6, and I’m feeling a little nostalgic.   One of my favorite Paprika stories from this past year happened last Fall – and I don’t think I blogged about it, but I wanted to write it down now because for me, it was something that sums up so much about life and how I want to parent (and also, just how I want to live).   First thing you should know is that for most of my life (until Paprika entered my world), I was very competitive.  It was always important to me to be the best at everything – better than I was the day before, and better than others.  I did pretty well at this.  I graduated...

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The Gift – Five Years!

July 13, 2013 by

So, today is Vivian and Annemarie’s 5 Year Birthday. It is also the birthday of my cousin Stephen, who died tragically almost three years ago in a car accident at the age of 21. It is also the 7 year birthday of my friend Kimber’s daughter, Kambry, who died five hours after she was born. Heavy stuff. I have thought many times about what to write today – and while I could write something poetic and sugary, instead I am going to provide a few glimpses into the mess of life and what the past five years have taught me. Here goes: A few days ago, I took Paprika to swimming lessons, and Ginger wanted to go home immediately and let me know by yelling that she wanted to go home NOW. She also didn’t...

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