Showing posts with label the drama queen. Show all posts
Showing posts with label the drama queen. Show all posts

Monday, January 14, 2013

A Letter to My Seven-Year-Old

 Dear Gabi,
     God has blessed me with four amazing, undeservedly-wonderful children.  You, my sweet girl, are one of those blessings that I thank God for daily.  You are the one that changed me from wife to momma, and although I love you and your siblings equally, there is just something special about the firstborn.
     With you, darling, I have experienced all kinds of momma firsts.  Together, we have navigated our way through growing and losing teeth, tantrums and sweet first words, reading and playing together.  I cherish the relationship that you and I have, and I hope it only grows stronger throughout the years ahead.
     I am humbled and inspired by the person you are at age seven.  I want to tell you about these things that I admire about you because I want you to hold on to these things and make them a part of yourself always.
    1.  First, you have such a tender heart.  When things aren't right between you and someone else, you can't do anything else until that has been resolved.  I hear it in your earnest prayers to God and in your conversations throughout the day.
    2.  Secondly, you exhibit such a spirit of kindness, especially towards your brothers and sister.  I rarely have to remind you to share - you are always a step ahead of me, volunteering your things to others.  Even at seven, you recognize that your autistic brother needs more kindness and understanding than most, and you freely offer it to him without expecting anything in return.
    3.  God has blessed you with an overflowing well of love.  Our days are full of hugs, kisses, and "I love you's" from you.  I hope you know that every time you give Daddy one of those hugs and kisses, you melt his heart and strengthen his resolve to be the best daddy he can to you.  Never stop sharing your love.  Unfortunately, there will be people in the future that make you want to hide and hold love back.  Resolve now to love openly, despite others.
    4.  We named you well, Gabi!  You and I have dozens of conversations all day, and though I may not always look like I am paying complete attention, I am savoring the fact that you trust and love me enough to share what you're thinking.  I pray that you will always feel free to share your heart with me.  I love to listen to your thoughts - it makes me marvel at the lovely young lady you're becoming.
     This weekend of celebrating your seventh birthday will be forever engraved in my memory.  Spending time with you shopping, getting your ears pierced, and having the privilege to get your your first American Girl doll were all priceless experiences.  I am so proud of you for getting your ears pierced!  I know that your fears often get in the way of you having some great experiences.  I totally get how paralyzing those fears can be, no matter how silly they may seem later.  I know every fiber of your being didn't want to go back to the earring store to get your ears pierced, even though you wanted it so badly.  But you managed to find the tools to overcome that fear, and I can see how happy you are that you went through with it.  I will be reminding you of this victory time and again as you face more fears in the future.
    For this year of your life, I have two wishes.  First, I pray that you will grow in leaps and bounds in your relationship with Jesus Christ this year.  Also, I hope that you will be able to make some new and wonderful friendships this year.  I know this is not your strong point.  You hide behind your shyness and wait for others to make the first move.  Ask God for courage, my sweet love, this year to speak up and to be the one to introduce yourself.  You can do it, and you will reap the benefits of good friendships for a lifetime!
    I love you, Gabi!  Happy happy birthday to you!  I can't wait to see what wonderful things this year will bring for you.
          all my love, always and forever,

 {happy surprise!}
 {Daddy's girl always}
{happy chocolate cake}

Thursday, May 31, 2012

We Made It!

If you are thinking that the girl in the photo is looking entirely too grown-up these days, I am in complete agreement!  The Drama Queen is 6-going-on-16 some days, I'll tell you!

We started off our first year of homeschooling as a kindergartener.  I took photos of her on her first day of kindergarten, because that's what grade she was supposed to be in.

However, I had purchased first grade curriculum since it seemed a more appropriate subject level for her.  The girl flew through the curriculum with ease.  Therefore, we are considering this past year her first grade year after all.

Her favorite subject was arithmetic for sure.  She learned about money and measurements;  she memorized addition and subtraction families up to 13.  She learned how to carry when adding large numbers, but most importantly, she learned how to apply all her new math skills to real-life situations.

Her least favorite subject was handwriting.  (I love handwriting, but I am pretty sure I am in a very small minority there!)  I had decided to teach her cursive mainly and work on her manuscript on the side.  In retrospect, I think I might have skipped the whole cursive thing.  It was taxing, trying, and agonizing to say the least.  But hey!  The girl can write in cursive now.  Her manuscript letters do need some work; so I know what we will be focusing on this summer. 

The best part of the year for me was watching my little reader blossom!  She started off the year faltering through her favorites like Amelia Bedelia and the Berenstain Bears;  now she eagerly devours anything readable in her sight.  Yesterday she read several pages to me from her new book about the human body, pronouncing words like immune, system, and disease with no trouble.  I know that learning her special sounds in phonics helped a great deal; but I would be remiss if I didn't mention video games as an important tool also.  If the Drama Queen had a productive (and non-whiny) day of school, oftentimes the Nerd would reward her by playing some Legend of Zelda with her in the evenings.  For any of you that may have played this game "back in the day," you will know that it involves a lot of reading the screen to find out what you have to do next.  At first, the Nerd mostly read the directives out loud as they played; now she reads them and excitedly tries to solve whatever problem Link is facing.  She adores the Legend of Zelda (hence the shirt in the picture!) and has branched out to other games as well.  Our local library allows us to borrow select titles for the Wii - I think she has benefited most educationally from the Build a Bear game and the Jump Start game

For our first year, I mostly stuck to the curriculum (A Beka Book) that we had purchased.  Now that I have had a little experience with this, I plan on branching out, putting together a curriculum that works best for my three oldest and trying to be a little more creative with my resources.

I plan on having the kids do some review in math, reading, and writing over the summer, but for now we are on "vacation."  Of course, the Drama Queen is busy right now rounding numbers to the nearest ten on her Jump Start game...

(Just realized that it might look like this post was sponsored by the game companies I linked to.  No such luck - I just put the links up in case anyone reading this post wanted to find the games we use.)

Monday, April 16, 2012

Something's Cooking in the Classroom

Today the Drama Queen helped me make a fantastic homemade potato salad and bake hamburger buns. We worked out problems with fractions as we measured the flour and sugar. We talked about the parts of an egg and where eggs come from as I showed her the proper method to hard-boil an egg. She practiced her reading with the recipes we were following. As we rolled out the dough, she tried to think of as many adjectives as she could to describe the texture and appearance of the dough. "Squishy, sticky, smooth, tan, stretchy," she chanted as she used an empty tuna can to cut out the buns. We practiced important life skills, such as cleaning up the kitchen as we used various utensils and being aware of the dangers of hot stoves and sharp objects.

All of this was my attempt, in part, to rethink my homeschooling methods and make school "fun again" for my little girl. In the past few weeks, I have received a lot of resistance from the Drama Queen when it came down to getting schoolwork done. Math papers that should have taken minutes stretched out over hours, with tears and sighs and lots of distracted behavior. I would get frustrated and try everything I had in my arsenal to "hurry her along" and get the schooling done for the day.

But I came to realize that the success of homeschooling is not measured by how many worksheets a child does in a year, or how many books she has read, or how many painstaking sentences she has written. No, one of the main reasons we chose to homeschool our daughter this year was so that we could capitalize on her passions and help prepare her to live life armed with the skills that God has already put inside her. My daughter loves helping out in the kitchen - who knew it would be such an easy and natural "classroom" for us today? And with this new restrictive diet that our family has undertaken for the Beast's sake, I am spending more time in the kitchen anyway preparing the foods that we are able to eat.

Tonight, our entire family sat at the dinner table, savoring homemade ranch burgers and delicious potato salad, while the Drama Queen regaled us with all the details of just how she had made the buns and how Momma had let her use a knife to cut up the potatoes. I smiled at her eagerness and watched her little legs swing away under the table as she polished off all her food and asked for more. "Momma, I hope I get to go to cookery school again tomorrow," she announced. "It was so much fun!"

Sunday, March 25, 2012

T is for Truck Drivers and Tutus

I was unsuccessfully trying to pull a dress over a squirmy baby's head Sunday morning when a very chipper Drama Queen twirled into my room, still in her pajamas but with a red tutu rakishly perched on top. She chattered away on random subjects, the kind the you half-listen to while attending to a million tasks . I finished packing the diaper bag just in time to hear her say "Hey, mom, even if I were a truck driver, I would still wear a tutu!"

Ha ha, kiddo. Yes you would. I'm not sure the world is ready yet for your amazing and colorful sense of style. I am a little concerned about your future career goals, but hey, we've got plenty of time for you to change your mind a billion times over.

Until then, wear your tutu, sweet baby girl.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Rough Week

****a bright spot in a very yucky week****

We did manage to get in the scavenger hunt for the kiddos on Valentines' Day, and the Nerd brought home some sweet stuffed animals and balloons for them as well. Other than that, this past week has not been much of a celebration. Here's a little timeline:

2/11 at 7:00 pm - the Spud develops a fever and severe diarrhea. He has to run to the bathroom often and needs assistance when doing so. Therefore the Nerd and the Spud set up camp in the living room for the night.
2/12 at 9:30 am - I head off to church with the other three kiddos, figuring that whatever bug the Spud's got, it'll pass over soon.
2/12 at 8:00 pm - It appears that the fever and diarrhea are not going away any time soon. It's my turn to stay up with the little guy, and his lack of eating and very pale face worry me.
2/13 at 3:15 pm - After many calls, I am able to get my little man in to see the doctor. She does a thorough check while he flirts with the nurses and tells them he is going to marry his mommy. :) All the usual things are ruled out, even a urinary tract infection. While we are waiting for some test results, Spud makes another run to the bathroom. This time it's bloody.
2/13 at 8:00 pm - I get to stay up with the Spud (and the baby!) again. This night is made even more fun by the fact that I have to collect three stool samples from one very stubborn and uncooperative little boy. ugh. gross.
2/14 at 8:00 pm - The Spud's fever is gone, but he is still very weak and sick. The Nerd offers to take the night shift so as to give me some rest.
2/17 at 6:00 am - The Drama Queen wakes up, complaining of stomach aches and chills. Oh joy - she is running a fever too and has the same bathroom issues. And I call her the Drama Queen for a reason - that girl is no fun when she's sick!
2/18 at 6:00 pm - I get a call from the doctor to inform me that one of the Spud's stool samples has grown a bacteria that looks like salmonella. I am surprised by this and wonder why it took a while to infect the Drama Queen then. I tell the lab tech as much and he puts in an order for samples for her too. I am becoming a pro at this. Meanwhile, Little Sprout has had a low-grade fever all day and has been very grumpy. It's hard to tell if she has diarrhea because she is only 2 months old.
2/19 at 5:00 am - I wake up with the same bathroom issues as the other kiddos. No fever thankfully, but miserable and definitely not able to go to church. The baby seems better, but the Drama Queen is still pretty sick.
2/20 at 9:00 am - I change Little Sprout's diaper and find a tiny amount of blood. I freak out and call the doctor. Well, I call a representative that puts me on hold forever and then finally get a hold of an advice nurse. After several more phone calls, my doctor and Little Sprout's doctor both decide they need samples from us too. Sigh.
2/21 at 7:00 am - I wake up completely overwhelmed. The baby is screaming, and I have to warm up a bottle for her because I can't nurse her right now due to the fact I could be passing salmonella on to her, which is very dangerous for babies. I desperately need to pump, the Spud (who is finally back to his normal self) has raided the kitchen again, the other kids are demanding me to make breakfast and kill a scary spider, and I still need to do these other stool samples.

Yeah. It's been fabulous. The Drama Queen does seem a lot better today; so I am hoping the baby somehow avoided all of this. And the Nerd. I can't have him getting sick too!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Sibling Love

On Crazy Kids and Angry Birds

The Drama Queen turned six on Friday. Six going on sixteen, if you ask her. Suddenly my little girl wants to be treated like a grown-up. Still, she did not hesitate to put her new rainbow hair clips in and jump around in a circle to show me how high the curls could bounce...
She requested an Angry Birds cake. I had received a Cake Pops book from my mom for my birthday and had wanted to try my hand at them for a while now, so we decided on Angry Birds cake pops.
As usual, I ended up staying up way too late to try to make them perfect and agonizing over every crooked eyebrow and beak askew. The Drama Queen liked them just the way they were and gave me her Angry Birds face in approval.
We took the cake pops to John's Incredible Pizza and happily ate a variety of pizza and pasta while watching Curious George and Inspector Gadget in the cartoon room. And of course, our Drama Queen was showered with gifts from us and her grandparents.

Then we braved the noise and crowd chaos of the game room, playing game after game and trading in our tickets for silly little prizes. Totally worth it when a beaming, not-so-grown-up-after-all face looked up at me and said, "That was the greatest birthday ever, Mom!'

Friday, January 13, 2012


Yesterday I posted the birth story of our newest addition to the family. Today I am thinking about the time six years ago that we headed into the hospital to have our first baby girl.

It was the day I first became a mother and the day I truly realized what deep unconditional love was.

Today we are celebrating our firstborn's sixth birthday. She is incredibly excited!

She woke up to find a bunch of Hello Kitty balloons from her daddy tied to her breakfast chair and a whole set of Disney Princess school supplies from mommy.

She chose rainbow sprinkle pancakes for breakfast and played happily with her brothers all morning. ( no school on your birthday in this house!)

Tomato soup is her all-time favorite food so it starred for lunch.

The afternoon promises some fun at Grandma's, and the evening will be spent at John's Incredible Pizza with several varieties of gourmet pizza, Angry Bird cake pops, and lots of arcade games.

This girl is so grown-up lately. Sometimes she amazes me with her maturity and profound thoughts. She surprises me often with her offers to help and her "second mommy" role in our household. She has become Daddy's favorite video game buddy and my favorite artist and crafter. She still retains a lot of child-like enthusiasm and giddiness over the smallest of things, and for that I am grateful.

May God bless this next year with our beautiful daughter!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Three Little Pumpkins - Soon to Be Four

We made our annual visit to the local pumpkin farm last weekend. The day was cool but surprisingly not rainy; so we had to take advantage of the weather. There are dozens of pumpkin farms to choose from in our area, but we started going to Lee Farms when the Drama Queen was just a year old and have made it a tradition. I love that most of the activities are geared towards younger kids, but let's face it - the real reason we love going to Lee Farms is to eat their phenomenal pumpkin and apple cider donuts!
It just so happened that on that same day, Old Navy was running one of their "one-day-only" sales on their puffy vests. Since the kids needed some new winter wear anyway, we stopped there first and scored cozy vests for the whole family.
The Spud got his tractor fix.
The Drama Queen was sweet and helped her brothers find pumpkins before she chose hers. She is getting so grown-up these days!
The kids eagerly anticipated their apple cider donuts.
I enjoyed waddling all around the grounds, watching the kids excitedly choose pumpkins and run through the hay maze. It will be really fun next year with four kids!
We have the kids pose here every year. Mr. Beast is catching up to the Drama Queen in height and has already passed her in weight. Makes me want to stop time for just a little while. . .
Face painting was a first this year. The Spud decided half-way through that he was finished; so his pumpkin looked a little funny.
And this is my absolute favorite photo of the day. It was such fun to see the Beast enjoy himself without getting overwhelmed or having a meltdown. It is usually really hard to get him to pose for a photo anyway, and I love this candid shot of my little man.

So pumpkin carving will be in the near future for us. We can't do them too far ahead of time because here in rainy Oregon, carved pumpkins rot much more quickly.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Round-Up Sunday

Rainy day. Dark day. The Beast tossed and turned all night. His noises and crying kept the Drama Queen awake. I had to drag both of them out of bed at 8:45 am in order to get the Beast to school in time. One look at the Drama Queen's tired, grumpy face and I knew that homeschooling would be futile. And that's okay - we all need a break now and then. I've got 150 white chocolate truffles to make for a ladies' conference anyway. And stacks of laundry are awaiting folding and sorting. Not to mention that a certain preggo momma that got up several times during the night with the Beast wouldn't appreciate a nice nap.

So with that, I leave you with some pics of the family all dressed up in our fanciest Western duds for Round-Up Sunday at our church.
Foam/suedeish hats from the dollar store. Matching plaid outfits were bought last year at Crazy 8 for our visit to the pumpkin patch.
The Beast
The Drama Queen
The Spud
Momma and all four kiddos - Little Sprout made it impossible for me to button up my shirt all the way, heehee. Believe it or not, this is the best pic we got of all of us.

the not-so-little baby and I - love that little man!
Yeehaw! Off to pretend I'm being productive. . .

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Iphone Photo Phun - short and sweet

Taming Insanity
As I am a little late in jumping on the Iphone Photo Phun bandwagon this week (don't look at me like that - I am thirty weeks preggo and a bit busy!), I'll try to keep the captions for this week's photos short and sweet.
Little Miss 5 1/2 finished her first reading book yesterday - all 126 pages of it! She must have a pretty awesome teacher.
While these two did break a lamp and my favorite Coca Cola drinking glass today, there are moments of sweetness and love. They may be few, but they do exist.

I discovered this week that I have two chicken lovers in my house. As in, "Please Mom can I have another drumstick? I promise to eat all my vegetables too" while stuffing face with broccoli and corn.

Cutest dinner dates ever!

The kids got to spend some time at their great-grandparents this weekend. :)

Time to get some dinner on! Sorry kiddos, we've had chicken enough this week - looks like it's going to be savory sausage soup.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Time for

well. It's going to be fun working the blogging in along with the homeschooling thing. I used to blog first thing in the mornings, and now that school occupies that time space, I will have to figure out when I'm going to get me some bloggin' time.
Until then, here's some tidbits and pieces of what's been going on around here.:

1. I won my first fantasy football game of the season, 106 to 64. And that was with Peyton Manning as my main quarterback, who of course is injured for pretty much the whole season. I had to play my back-up QB, who basically just held down the questionable title of quarterback with a lousy seven points. Thankfully the rest of my team carried me through. Go Fightin' Frogs!

2. I just spent my evening reorganizing my coupon notebook and planning a couple of grocery store trips for tomorrow. Yes, I have a coupon notebook. Go ahead - call me a grocery geek, if you will. I am NOTHING like those extreme couponers on TV but let's just say I keep our food budget pretty low. :)

3. Yesterday (September 11th)'s significance provided me the opportunity to have some very deep conversations with the Drama Queen. Today our history lesson just happened to be on the significance and meaning of the American flag. I was able to link the two things together and really start teaching our daughter the meaning of being patriotic. The Drama Queen changes her mind daily about what she wants to be when she grows up, and it was very sweet of her to tell me, "When I'm bigger, I want to be a missionary to New York and help all those hurting people."

4. We found out at the Spud's doctor appointment today that he may have allergies which cause his heavy breathing and constant stuffed sinuses. I am hoping this is the case - if it is, he will just need to take some allergy meds to keep his breathing clearer. However, if he does not have allergies, it looks like his tonsils/adenoids will possibly need to be removed through surgery. Ick. Both the doctor and I are definitely hoping to avoid any surgery for the little guy if possible.

The lesson plans are waiting to be set out for tomorrow. I guess that's it for now. Happy Tuesday everyone!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Iphone Photo Phun - Don't Be Fooled

Taming Insanity

I am making the switch from Wordless Wednesday to Iphone Photo Phun, hosted by Taming Insanity. (No there are no coincidences in the fact that we both have the term insanity in our blog names and we both are currently preggo!) This is much more fun because let's face it - I ALWAYS have my life, er Iphone, with me and thus record a lot more of our family's shenanigans with it than my beautiful, expensive, large-and-doesn't-fit-well-into-any-purse-I-have DSLR camera.
We went to the coast a couple of weekends ago to visit grandparents. The Drama Queen rejoiced in the sand beneath her bare feet.
The boys bravely took to the water, which was body-numbing cold.
I took this self-portrait when I got bored of watching the kids do the same old cute things. Don't be jealous if you can't get that same wind-in-your-hair look. For some of us, it just comes naturally. . .
We enjoyed hamburgers at the Nerd's company picnic on Saturday. Never mind that the hamburgers were larger than the Spud's head.
Here is a shot of the "Chair Lift of Terror" I talked about in my previous post. How I had the presence of mind to ever pull out my Iphone and get this picture will forever be a mystery.
The kiddies got to drive around on mini-go-carts. The poor Drama Queen crashed into the siderail at every turn, hitting the gas instead of the brake. She is destined to be as great a driver as her mother. (and by the way, the Nerd gets to teach her how to drive when she turns sixteen. I'm not getting in the same vehicle as her when she starts driving!)
Here's a photo in which I tried to persuade the kids to pose sweetly together in front of Mt. Hood. yeah, don't come to this blog if you're looking for stunning family photography.
Free pony rides!

The Spud was a pro - "Mom, I don't need you! I can do this myself!"

And that was our week or so in Iphone photos. Of course I didn't take photos of the Spud stealing cheese from the fridge and placing several bitemarks in said cheese before returning it to the fridge. I also did not choose to capture a photo of the boys shredding a wet diaper and then strewing it all over the living room. Nor did I wish to record in picture form the memory of the boys smearing glue stick all over the living room furniture. Just in case you were fooled by the photos above and thought we were a "normal" family. . .

Saturday, August 06, 2011

Thinking Back

A year ago, I was blessed to take my daughter on a fun mommy/daughter trip all the way to Ontario, Canada, to visit my sister, her husband, and her new baby girl for two weeks.
We snuggled up on the airplane while the Drama Queen talked about anything and everything . And I got to listen - and revel in this time I had to devote to just one child. I had no idea that within a year she would no longer be my "only daughter." It makes me doubly glad we splurged a little to take this special trip - just me and my girl.

The time I got to spend with my tiny baby niece and the time that my daughter got to spend with her tiny baby cousin was priceless. It makes me excited to see her interact and bond with her baby sister in just a few months.

The relationship of a mother and her daughter is so precious. For a long time now, it has just been the Drama Queen and I, holding our own in a house of boys. Although we are extremely excited for the arrival of Little Sprout, I want to treasure these last moments of "just me and her" before we add another girl to the mix. This past Thursday night I surprised her and took her to Movie in the Park for a mommy/daughter date, armed with homebaked chocolate chip cookies and a warm blanket.

Here's hoping for many more sweet moments like these!