Posts Tagged ‘raising girls’

My Little Girl

December 15, 2013

Nora -12

For Nora’s third Gotcha Day (celebrating the day we adopted her) we asked a friend to take a photo shoot of our sweet little girl.  We met in a gated community just before sundown and Nora could not figure out why we wanted her to sit in the weeds!  Hahahaha!  On a blustery Wednesday a week later we met in Target parking lot to exchange the goods.  When the CD went into the home computer and we admired each scene… each smile… each dimple… I realized my little girl isn’t going to be little for much longer.  Seriously, it was the first time I thought those thoughts.  Her face is thinning out.  Her big teeth have almost all shown up for the party.  And she does her own hair now.  Our time with our kids is so short!  And when they arrive at your heart’s door at seven years old, it is entirely too swift of a time until they leave home!

This picture is my favorite of all of them because she is laughing, truly laughing and it shows in her eyes.  It’s so sweet.  Then I took a long swallow and realized that she looks at her Daddy with these loving eyes and that cheery smile, but only for a little while longer.  My stomach did a flip flop and sank as I realized this smile and adoring look will be aimed at her next Knight in Shining Armor in as little as TEN YEARS!  WHAT!  Stop the bus!

Well, she did tell us that she’s not getting married until she’s 35, so we have a few more years than most.  :o)

Hug and kiss your kids!  And make them sit in the weeds!

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Nora Brings Down the House!

May 16, 2013

Every day I need to write down the hilarious sayings from my little Colombian princess.  Here are a few from this week.

Me: (asking my dad) Do you know why the flags are at half mass?

Dad: No.

Nora: Maybe they’re broken.

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Nora: Mom, do you shrink when you are a grandma?

Me: Yes, you get a little bit shorter.

Nora: I’m going to be a mini grandma!

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We were all riding in the truck pacing for my son on his bicycle (who rides behind the truck to practice going faster with drafting.) We went down the same stretch of road twice and then Nora said, “We should let him go first this time!”

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Riding in the back seat of the truck with the windows down, Nora yells, “I can’t breathe. The air is in my face!”

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Nora: Mom, do you know how to dance like a princess?

Me: I don’t think so.

Nora: All you do is point your toes and make your arms go like this (slowly puts her arms out)…. but you also need a prince.

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A really loud motorcycle went by our car and Nora put her hand to her chest and lamented, “I think that broke my heart!”

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Nora helped me make a salad from a bag kit.  She mixed it all up and then asked me, “Do you want me to put on the drussian?”   (I think that might be Russian dressing???)

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Nora caught a whiff of her sweaty brothers after street hockey and said to her sister, “Boys stink!”  Larisa said, “Girls stink too.”  To which she flabbergastedly replied, “REALLY?  I did not know that!”

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Her bedtime prayers make me want to giggle.  She tells God that she hopes he has a good day.  She thanks him for the food and then explains to him that she knows it’s not time to eat but she is thankful we have food.  She often says, “Thank you God for me.”  I love it!

G R A D U A T I O N ! ! !

June 4, 2012

We did it!  We successfully got one whole child through homeschooling.  This is a monumental achievement for a homeschool mom.  We wonder all along if this day will ever come.  We hope and pray that we aren’t wrecking the kids by doing this ourselves.  And that right there is the key…. I never felt like I was doing this by myself.  It was me, and my terribly supportive husband, my co-op mamas, our support group, the state organization (Arizona Families for Home Education) and mostly God, who called us to this way of life and education 12 long years ago.

I have no regrets for choosing homeschooling.  All the sacrifices and tears have been worth it…. every little bit.  I do have a few regrets involving course choices and follow through, which we all encounter our first time.  I have learned from my mistakes and have already made corrections for guinea pig #2 who just finished his first year of high school.

I liken the homeschool journey similarly to childbirth.  The painful memories diminish as the joys grow each day.  Truly my happy homeschool experiences outweigh the horrible ones 100 to 1, for which I am stupendously thankful.  Our family is close and we love each other.  We love being together.  We love playing games together and they don’t end in yelling matches or wrestling fights.  We even love vacationing together.  Secretly, the kids even love learning together, but they try to keep this under raps.

The great news is that I am still looking forward to planning next year!  I still love homeschooling.  I love being with my kids.  I love learning and teaching.  However, it is with great relief in my ever-loving-heart that I have exactly 81 days of NOT homeschooling ahead of me.  They will be busy days of summer movies, packing and planning for college for our graduate, swim parties, a 9-year-old birthday celebration, a marriage retreat, a relaxing vacation to the beach and then Tahoe, the homeschool convention and a visit to friends in Kansas and Colorado.  I have waited for THIS DAY…. June 4, 2012 for a Loooooooong time.  It arrived.  I am beyond elated.  :o)

Homeschool Mom High School Freak Out!

January 7, 2012

This is all past tense freaking out we’re talking about… five months ago was when it occurred.  My daughter was beginning her senior year in high school and she needed a transcript for some such activity or club or other stress-producing avenue for this homeschool mother.  Lots of moms have high school homeschool anxiety… how will I teach chemistry, or trigonometry, or a foreign language when all I know is pig latin from Zoom??? 

I’m a planner by nature, so making the high school plan was right up my alley.  The lovely state we reside in has the high school requirements right there online for us to copy and paste.  I simply spread out the course requirements over four years and BAM… it was done.  Fast forward to the request for the transcript.  WHAT?  You want grades from the last three years?  Of course I kept diligent track of all of them… including electives and P.E. and driver’s education…. somewhere.  Being somewhat organized, I had thrown them all into a file folder AND I knew where it was.  Whew!

Through the first three years of high school teaching, I had also been collecting transcript templates.  They were thrown in a file folder that I knew the location of!  See?  Why was I freaking out?  I guess I had heard of other moms losing it at this point, so I jumped on the band wagon.

Truly, it was no big deal.  One balmy August afternoon when it was WAY too hot to go outdoors in Phoenix, AZ, I sat down at the computer and made my own template for an OFFICIAL HIGH SCHOOL TRANSCRIPT.  Yes, I wrote that right at the top in bold letters.  Looks really official.  I resurrected the high school plan for my daughter… the one with two cute pictures on the top… (one from 1994 when she had a waterfall hairdo and was sitting in her high chair.. and one glamor shot taken by her talented cousin, Whitney) and I filled in the classes as they actually happened.  Bam!

Why do homeschool moms freak out about this??  I’m not sure.  The Lord fills in the gaps for us EVERY time.  The credits added up to more than enough.  The required classes were accomplished.  He supplied teachers for the subjects where I know nothing.  Homeschooling is really about leaving the details up to the Lord.  We wake up every day and pray for wisdom… and then march down the stairs, feeling as unqualified as ever, and rely on the Lord to aid this sometimes weary soul.  I wouldn’t trade one day of our homeschooling adventure…. (I can think of about 10 days I would trade!) … but each day with its trials, joys and triumphs was worth every ounce of my ever-loving-sold-out devotion to God and our kids.

Tonight I copied and pasted Official High School Transcript #1 and filled in the blanks for #2.  And it’s only half way through his freshman year!  Sweet Jesus, I’m on top of this thang now!

That was a RECORD!

July 29, 2011

Two weeks without blogging.  Sorry, faithful readers.  Summer has hit us hard and our schedule has been happily full.  Today marked the end of my first six days of having six children in my care.  Yes, we acquired two extra little girls, ages 9 and 7.  Nora loved having “sisters” to play with and argue with.  :o)  The extras went home today and although they were VERY easy and enjoyable, I’m breathing easier tonight.

Remember my bull-riding entertainment from last year???  Well, the three of us cowgirls got our spurs on last night and hit the Buffalo Chip Saloon again.  THIS time it was for country line dancing lessons…. which turned out to be couples only non-line dancing.  So we sat and chatted and solved most of the world’s problems over diet Cokes.  We also decided to show up again with our partners, so we could participate.  Never a dull moment in the Old West.

Just when I think things are slowing down, another unexpected blip on the radar surfaces.  This weekend starts General Council for the Assemblies of God and it’s right here in our backyard. (That’s because Phoenix hotels and convention centers are CHEAP in the blazing summertime!)  So we have dear friends from aeons ago coming to see us.  Fun with a capital F.

My only “creative” goal this summer was to paint the living room.  It’s been the same ugly brown color for six long years, and I didn’t like the color the day we painted it on the walls.  So BAM!  Time for some renovating!  BUT…. my illustrious plans have been delayed by a sequence of household items breaking…. like the ice maker (not a totally big deal), the vacuum (kind of a big deal), the printer (BIG deal if I’m wanting to print coupons), two toilets (BIG FAT HAIRY DEAL!) and last but not least at all… the washing machine (Biggest deal of all… well, only because we still have one working toilet.)  So, my paint is still sitting in the store waiting impatiently for me to swoop it up.  Some day.  Soon. (I hope.)

Also read The Help this summer.  A great story with laughs and tears abounding.  I can’t wait for the movie in August!!!!!  This is my first time reading the book before the movie comes out.  I’m stoked.

Over and out.  I promise it won’t be another two weeks!  Sheesh!  How flakey.

Locks of Love! <3

February 19, 2011

My daughter has not had a haircut in many years.  But today was THE day!  She has measured and waited and measured and waited for her hair to pass the needed 10 inches so she could donate to Locks of Love.  For those who don’t know about this thoughtful organization, they collect ponytails from generous donors so they can make wigs for kids who have lost their hair due to cancer. 

I was not too sure about the whole thing (as you can tell)…… but of course I supported her unselfish wish to help others.

It was so cute in the hair salon when our friend Donna got out the measuring tape, hair cutting, dyeing and manicures halted.  All the ladies, stylists and patrons alike, silently watched as her hair was brushed and put into the required ponytail before the CHOP!  After the chop happened, all the ladies in the salon cheered and clapped their hands!  So sweet!

And the deed was done.  Larisa’s hair is darling at its new length.  I’m so proud of her for thinking of others!

My Girl’s Pink Dress

April 17, 2010

My 16-year-old found out about a contest called Own Your Look put on by JoAnn’s craft stores where girls ages 14-18 make their prom dress!  She asked if she could enter…. and showed me the prize list…. unbelievably, first prize is $50,000 for college.  I said, “Of course you’re entering!”     Duh!

Larisa has sewn before… but not a prom dress.  She’s made quilts, purses, funky skirts, groovy t-shirt modifications, pillows, etc.  This was one small step for man and one giant step for mankind.  So……. Day #1….a day of prom dress shopping commenced, including lunch at the mall, of course.  She tried on all sorts of dresses and she fell in love with one.  A simple gray number with one rose-covered shoulder and a high waistband.  It fit her perfectly. 

Day #2… shopping for a pattern.  This sounds all easy and fun, and it kind of was.  It was just long and drawn out and we should have gotten ice cream first… or at least some chocolate.  We did locate and purchase a pattern however many alterations would be necessary to build the gray dress.

Day #3…. shopping for fabric, zipper, thread, mask, feathers, etc. etc.  We took Grandma along that time because she took home ec for 14 years.  (haha) As soon as we picked her up, she said we should start with Starbucks!  (See why we brought her!)  We wandered around and around JoAnn’s looking for fabric in the right color and right texture.  We wandered so long that Grandma had to go sit in the pattern book section while Larisa and I wandered some more.  THEN, with the cart full of goodies, Larisa casually commented, “Mom, you know I don’t have a date for prom and I’m not old enough to go alone.”  WHAT?!?  Maybe we should have talked through this little blip before Day #3!  All was finally settled.  She needed the money for college.  We would find a date.  Turns out the homeschool prom allows girls to invite girls.  Good!  (Good grief!)

Days #4-23 were spent praying on our knees before the sewing machine.  (I’m kind of kidding.)  Larisa did a marvelous job sewing this dress!  I did not sew one blinkin’ pink thing on the gown.  All her!  And her hand beading is meticulous and gorgeous. She designed fuchsia flowers, instead of the common roses, with beads hanging out of each one.  Beautiful.  She found a fuchsia drawing online and reworked it to fit the waist band…. I am so proud of her.  She also made a mask, as an accessory for the contest.  Enjoy the photos!

The contest isn’t until summer, but believe me, I’ll keep you posted!  Did I mention that I’m so proud of her!?!