Wednesday, April 18, 2012

A Recital and Deep Thoughts

Brooklyn did an excellent job at her piano recital last week.  Despite the practically-daily-after-dinner-battle to get her to practice, we are very proud of her and all she has accomplished in the last year.  

However, all those after-dinner-piano-battles have got Brett and I mulling over this question (its a doozy of a parenting question that has really got me thinking)... 

As parents, how do we know when to push our children to stick with something in order to develop self-discipline and commitment (not to mention the skill itself), and when to concede to their wishes and just let them quit.  

How many times have kids joined the soccer team to quit after the first season, or ballet after the first recital, or piano after the first year (or in my case 5th year)?  We definitely don't want to raise quitters.  Hanging in there though the hard times develops character and perseverance, qualities far superior than knowing how to hit a baseball or do a handspring.  Qualities that benefit them their entire lives. 

But, we definitely don't want to be Tiger moms (or dads), pushing too hard for the wrong reasons.  This kind of pressure not only stresses us out of our minds, it is incredibly hard on the little ones under our paws.  We also don't want to breed resentment over hours of forced art lessons,  flute practice, or endless gym workouts.  Not to mention all the time of just being a kid that is lost to these hours of training.

Our desire is to cultivate the gifts and talents God has blessed our children with.  But as everyone knows, cultivation is not an easy process. It requires work and sacrifice.  And in this case the effort and sacrifices are required of both parents and children.  At these young ages, they aren't capable to seeing the long term benefits of the practice, effort, and work that they are putting in know.  It is our job then, to help them develop the self discipline, drive, and vision to take the small daily steps that will lead them into a successful future. Even if it means we're pulling out hair out sitting next to them as they reluctantly plunk out the notes. 

Monday, April 16, 2012

Dr. Leighton

 Maybe she'll be a doctor.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Super Specs

Ellie got glasses today.  I kind of suspected she might be having an issue with her vision after her recent physical at the doctor when she pretty much failed the eye chart test.  So we headed to the optometrist who did a full examination last week.  We found out her left eye is not functioning like her right eye is, and she has to wear glasses...all the time.  She was apprehensive about going to the eye doctor for fear of having to get glasses, so you can guess how she feels about the reality of wearing them all day, every day.  She is a roller coaster of emotions ranging from loving them to detesting them all in the span of a few minutes.  She keeps asking, "Do I have to wear them forever?"  To which Brooklyn responds, "No Ellie, you don't have to wear them when you sleep or swim or take a bath."  Her words of encouragement are sweet but not what Ellie wants to hear.  The middle picture pretty much sums it up her take on the situation.  But we're hopeful (and praying) that she begins to love them more and detest them less.  Any ideas?

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Little Mommy

 Meet Ka-tie and Mikaela.
Leighton's babies.
She named them completely on her own.
She pays with plenty of other dolls, but these are the two privileged enough to be named.
They must each have a bottle, blankie, passie, and a rattle. 
She takes them on walks in her stroller, 
carries them on her back,
 or ties them around her waist with an apron.
She washes their faces with a q-tip.
But never dresses them.

Today she told me, "When I grow up I want to be a mommy."  
I asked her, "How many babies do you want to have Leighton?"
She said, "Twelve.  I want to have a whole bunch."

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

egg hunting

Egg Hunting
Moms buy the candy.
Dads hide the eggs.
Kids find the eggs.
Moms hide the candy
from the kids
and themselves.


Sunday, April 8, 2012

colored eggs

egg dyeing. 
totally remember this as a kid. 
newspaper on the table. 
3 excited kids on their knees, leaning in. 
always paas. 
smell of vinegar. 
little colorful tablets. 
individual color cups. 
the wire egg dipper/lifter. 
waiting and watching colors grow deeper. 
invisible words magically appearing.  
dipping and redipping. 
half pink half purple. 
stained fingertips. 
oh how i love making the same memories with my girls.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

babies in blankies


Most days we run a nursery around here. Leighton and Ellie are constantly caring for their babies.  They have been known to be mommies to Woody, a stuffed cheetah, barbies, numerous stuffed animals and and even an actual doll.  They prop them in the high chairs and feed them bananas.  They nurse them under a blanket.  They change their diapers.  They push them in the shopping cart and strollers.  They take them to the doctor for a check up.  They throw them in the crib for a nap.  And now thanks to Grandma Judy they have new blankies to swaddle them in. Love the prints (must have come from Judy's secret stash!).

Friday, April 6, 2012

insta week

 free fro yo with my girls

napping together


valley friends visit

lunch date with my man

 friends forever at the safari park

 " I want my OWN!"

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Free Rider

I'll admit... I had my doubts.  
I didn't think this girl had the desire, drive, or coordination to master the two-wheeler.  
She proved me wrong.  
And she is thrilled to be a free rider. 

For any of you who are trying to teach your kids to ride, you must try this method.  It worked like a charm for Brooklyn.  The key is to break down the tasks of cycling and to teach them one at a time.  First, for balance remove the pedals and lower the seat all the way so that they can ride the bike like a balance bike.  Sounds strange I know, but it really helps them gain confidence and control.  Practice on a slight decline until they can ride for several yards without having to put their feet down.  When they have mastered the balance element (it took Brooklyn a couple of hours), put the pedals back on and raise the seat.  At this point they need to be taught how to get them self moving so working on a decline helps with this as well.  You will be surprised at how fast they progress from here, and you will have your own free rider in no time.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

flower power

The girls and I got to spend some time this weekend welcoming spring and beautifying our church for Easter Sunday.  The girls had a blast digging, placing, and planting.  
Now I've got to get them working on our own yard!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012


My sweet niece Sklya turned one this week and had the most adorable Alice in Wonderland party.  
I couldn't resist making her own Alice...dreaming of Wonderland. 

Monday, April 2, 2012

Dancing with Daddy

Could a daddy love his daughters more?
Could any girls love their daddy more?

One of the highlights of the girls' young lives has been the father daughter dance.  Getting all dolled fancy dresses and shoes...curls in their hair...dancing the night away... and having all of Daddy's attention on them. Who wouldn't love such a special night?  This year Brett braved the dance floor with all three of his little ladies.  I don't know if he ever pictured himself being the father of three girls (or wearing a matching pink striped tie), but I'm pretty sure he wouldn't change things for the world.  I love how he loves them.