Finally, she was legally aloud to cross the white line

My daughter finaly steps on the soccer field

and she loved every.single. moment!

My little girl loves to play soccer

At the beginning of the half one of the coaches asked if she was ready to stand with her on the side.  Her response, “No.  I want to play!” 

three and a half year old soccer girl

And play, she did… scoring 2 goals!  (plus one in the other teams goal)

three and a half year old daughter scoring a soccer goal

Her smile truly radiated the entire time she was out there.

Happy young soccer star

I L-O-V-E being a soccer mom… being HER soccer mom!

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Last week I mentioned on face book that I love how Scott makes me a pot of coffee every morning.

And, I do.

Makes me smile each morning when I come to the kitchen and pour myself a cup.

And I smile again later that morning as I go back to top it off.   Again… and again.

Thursday, however, I had to laugh when I went to pour my cup of coffee. 

Seems he forgot something when making my morning “I love you.”

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While he did put the coffee beans in the grinder, change the filter, add the water, and turned it on, he forgot one very important step.

Putting the coffee pot back into the machine.

I wonder if perhaps he too could benefit from a morning cup of caffeine.

The time had finally come for the tooth to be pulled.   While our son was  more than ready for it to come out, Dad was secretly uneasy about the venture.  “He trusts me” Scott confided to me in the hallway, “What if I hurt him?”   Then Scott got another one of his moments of sheer fatherhood brilliance.

“I’ll let him do it,” he declared.

He tied one end of the dental floss to his light saber and the other to his tooth.

The girls gathered around eager to see the tooth pop out.  I stood by with the video camera rolling and the epic light saber battle began.

Father and son wielded their sabers.

The floss flew out of his mouth and out popped his tooth.IMG_9877

The look of pure glee on his face when he looked down and saw his tooth hanging there was priceless.

March in Maryland is always fickle.  Short sleeves one day and winter coats the next.

You always know when the first “jacket less” day arrives, that it is just a tease.  And try as you may to simply embrace and enjoy it, the next day when you have to scramble for your winter coat and hat, it is always a bit disappointing.

Having lived in Maryland for most of my life, I know this and expect it.  I don’t put away the winter clothes till the end of May.  And our drawers bulge for the month of April with both sweatshirts and shorts.

But, this year, this year seems worse somehow. 

This year I find myself yearning for spring more than ever.   I am so tired of having to worry about coats and hats on top of shin guards and cleats.   It is March…. the end of March…. I want flip flops people!!   And yet today I read this forecast .  “Light snow is expected to arrive late Saturday night, with snow continuing through early Sunday afternoon. With warm ground temperatures, snow will have a difficult time sticking to the ground. High temperatures Sunday are only expected to reach the mid to upper 30s” 

Yea… so much for flip flops… looks like my girls are going to be wearing winter coats and hats for their first soccer game. 

Cruel, I tell ya cruel….

Quick! I gotta get to the bookshelf to have some fun before one of my siblings notices and tries to stop me.

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I know that book is around here somewhere… I just gotta throw some of these papers out of the way first.

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Don’t tell Mom it was me, kay?  I’m just gonna sit over here and pretend those books were like that when I got here. 

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She’ll never suspect a thing…

Those of you that have been visiting the circus for awhile now, know that I am a big wimp.  Particularly when it comes to driving.  I don’t like driving AT ALL.  In fact on all of our grand driving vacations as we go gallivanting around the country, I have driven a total of 0 miles.  Scott always drives, I am always the copilot… I know it’s very 1950s of us.  But it works.  I hate to drive and he finds life in the passenger seat incredibly boring. 


One place around here that I particularly hate driving is over the Chesapeake Bay Bridge.  By combining my great dislike for driving with a fear of heights, the Bay Bridge is 4.5 miles of pure torture


Chesapeake Bay Bridge


Thankfully there aren’t many reasons for me drive over the bridge as Scott will gladly take the wheel.  I only drive over if I have to pick Scott up from a sailing race. 


Last week, after my blog post,  a friend told me about a Family Friendly St Patrick’s Day parade taking place on the Eastern Shore.  Since Scott had to work, our going would depend solely on my driving us over and back. 


I really didn’t want my fear to force us to miss out on an opportunity for fun.  So, I invited a friend to caravan with me and made plans to take the circus crew over the bridge.


Unfortunately, if you go in the Easy Pass lane it forces you to go on the side of the bridge that faces oncoming traffic.  SO, in addition to driving on this high bridge with not so sturdy looking guard rails on one side, you have oncoming traffic coming at you on the other side. 


Oh what fun.


I thought as we were driving across that I could use this teachable moment to “be real” with my kids, to share my fears and show them how even grown ups get scared, but I was not letting my fear control me and I was trusting God.


Perhaps next time, I will save my testimony for after we cross the bridge b/c I was then hammered with questions such as, “Why are you scared Mommy?”  “I bet I know… I bet your scared of driving into the water.  Are you afraid of driving into the water Mom?”  “Mom, are you more scared after that tractor trailer drove off the bridge into the water?” “Mom, do you see any tractor trailers?”  “Mom which do you like worse, the water or those cars coming at us?”


“Mom?”  “MOM??” “Mom, why aren’t you answering us?”


Thankfully we made it across the bridge with my sanity in tack and enjoyed a fun time in Easton at the St Patty’s Day Parade.  Afterwards it was time to head home. Me with the kids at st patties parade


On the return trip, I though it best not to risk any "teachable moments".

Round here our fairies do more than just fly around sprinkling pixy dust.

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They dribble soccer balls and don football jerseys.

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When my son asked if he could bring his light sabers or guns to his sisters first soccer practice, I said no.   Because sometimes it is awkward to deal with the whole gun issue out in public.


Obviously I forgot that little boys will turn absolutely anything into a gun.IMG_0635


So today I said what the heck, bring the gun.  


Which apparently translated to, go crazy, carry a gun in each hand and a concealed weapon… Heck, why not wear the entire uniform!


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So much for flying under the radar… that is something the circus fam just doesn’t know how to do.

I asked Scott to explain Pi to the kids yesterday as we ate our Chicken Pot Pie in celebration of Pi day (3/14).  I knew he would do a better job than I, as I would have probably just showed them the symbol and told them it equaled 3.14

Because folks, that pretty much sums up what I know about Pi.

He however drew them a picture of a circle, taught them about diameter and then went on to tell them that you need a little (.14 to be exact) over three strings the width of a circle to make it all the way around the circle.  And that special name for the exact number of strings you would need is called Pi. IMG_9500

In actuality I am sure our eating pie for dinner while having this discussion only served to further confuse them, but it is my goal that years from now when they learn about Pi in middle school some sort of light bulb will click in their brains and they will say, “Oh, I get it, that’s why mom always served pie to us on the 14th of March!” 

And I am pretty sure I will not be the one teaching them when that light bulb goes off b/c the thought of trying to explain Pi to someone makes my head hurt and scares the bejeebers out of me. 

To be honest, I had no idea that cool fact about the diameter and the distance around the circle.   In fact as we went to bed last night I asked Scott, “So what is πr2?  (Secretly I was kinda proud of myself for even being able to recall that mathematical sequence even though I can recall nothing about what that equation equals)

And as he went on to explain it to me, my brain got all fuzzy like it typically does when in times like these.  I hear the words that are being said but no matter how much I focus on them, I am still not fully comprehending what they mean.  And don’t even think of asking me to explain it back to you.

Which, of course, sent me into a kind of depressing little panic attack as I realized there is NO WAY I can home school our kids past elementary school.  I always kinda thought, well perhaps if things were going well, we could think about middle school when we get to middle school.  Sure, there is lots I don’t know or remember but it will be kinda fun to relearn those things with my kids. ha ha… geography and world history maybe, but math is a whole other can of worms….

And so,  today, I was so grateful to have Pi behind us as we tackled counting by twos and double digit subtraction…an area I felt much more competent in.

You know me, I love a holiday.  A reason to make a fun meal or dessert, perhaps a craft or two.

This year I started getting excited about St Patty’s Day months in advance.  I found an Auntie Anne Home Pretzel Kit at BJs and bought it for March 17th… Shamrock Pretzels and Mint Choc Chip Milkshakes sounds like the PERFECT St Patty’s Day lunch to me!  In all of my excitement, I even asked my Father in Law 2 months ahead of time if he’d babysit for us on the evening of March 17th.  I thought it would be fun for Scott and I to wear green and hit an Irish Pub in Annapolis for some live Celtic music, and some authentic cuisine. 

As March 17th approached, I eagerly pulled out the circular in the paper listing all the pubs and all of their festivities.

And that’s when it hit me.  We can’t go to a pub on St. Patties Day!   The real St Patty’s Day isn’t just about wearing green, making Soda Bread and drinking a beer or two.

Every single event in the paper was talking about the pubs opening early (like noon) for people to pack in and party.  As I read event after event, I suddenly realized…

St Patrick’s Day is a drinking holiday! 

Apparently, I have been living under a leprechaun shell all my life.   I mean I knew about the green beer and all and figured we’d get a Killians or Guinness or something, but crowding into a pub with hundreds of people that have been drinking since noon was not what I had in mind.   Time to rethink the plans…

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Lately I have found myself biting back tears and praying for wisdom as I work with my daughter on obedience and respect.  These battles leave me tired and stretched and yearning for some chocolate chip cookie dough and a bottle of coca cola classic.

One battle area for us has been over her having to wear her eye patch.  Seems the novelty has faded and she really doesn’t like wearing it.  I have told her that while I understand that and I know it stinks, no amount of kicking and screaming is going to make it untrue.   And yet she tests me.  Finally, about a week ago, I sent another of my SOS e-mails to my wonderful husband telling him, I was quite tired of this daily battle and I needed help.  He offered to take over the battle for me.  So each day before he leaves for work he has her get her patch and he puts in on her.

There hasn’t been a single fight over the patch since he took it over.

Until yesterday when somehow in the crazy morning rush, the patch didn’t get put on before he left.    When I had her get it for me, the battle resumed.  After much kicking and screaming, the patch was on and she was sent to her room where she proceeded to scream at the top of her lungs for a good 5 minutes while I sat outside her door praying.  When she came out we talked about her behavior and I asked her why it is that when Daddy puts her patch on she doesn’t scream but with me she argues and screams.

Her response?

“Well, I don’t get to spend as much time with Daddy as I do with you and I don’t want to waste that time screaming.”

I was shocked.

It was brutally honest and in a sorta twisted way, kinda sweet.

I then told her that even though she sees me more, she can’t treat me meanly and disrespectfully.  I explained that it wasn’t fair to me and it hurt my feelings. 

My daughter and I have had some great heart to hearts lately as we have discussed again and again  respect, self control, anger, patience, and not getting your way…  Some days by God’s grace, I have had the patience to wait out the storms and talk through the heart issues.  Some days I have relied on my own strength and snapped or yelled in frustration and exhaustion.  Both days I rely on God’s grace as I seek to parent my children.  I love my daughter.  I admire her compassion, her competitive drive, her hard work ethic, her easy going attitude and even her strong will.  I just pray that God would enable us to shape that will into one that glorifies Him with her life, and not break that will in the process. 

Exciting things are happening round the circus parts this week and it’s only Tuesday!!

Sunday, I ran a half marathon with my FIL.  My friend, who had to run a h2011-03-06 BandA 1-2 Marathon 1alf marathon in order to see me in real life, also ran but she was so stinking fast that I am glad I caught her in line for the potty before the race, b/c there was no seeing her after that.   Dad and I ran at our own pace and I felt much, much better about this race than my last race.  This time, I felt prepared and when I finished I didn’t feel like I was going to die.  Last time I knew I wasn’t prepared and it felt AWFUL!   As an added treat a friend of mine surprised me and ran the last 3 miles of the race with me.  She was a true cheerleader and burst of enthusiasm and I was touched that she went to so much effort to surprise and encourage me.   Joc, you rock!

Monday, I could barely walk…see above…but I did get a night out with my friend Megh.  We grabbed dinner and went shopping for jeans…in a size I haven’t worn in YEARS!!  That’s right folks, I am happy to share I am now at the size I was before I got pregnant with my son, over 7 years ago!!  Wahoo… I am super psyched about that!  And I truly appreciate the time to catch up with Megh as well as her help in answering such baffling questions as “What is boot cut?”  and “Do I want dark jeans or light?”  These are the things I am clueless about and I always appreciate her insight.  She willingly comes along with me when I need a night out of shopping sans kiddos and I love that we can just pick up where we left off, filling each other in on our lives and chatting about movies and TV shows.  We’ve never really been in the same stage of life ever in our friendship, but I truly appreciate how she just sorta rolls with my crazy chaotic life and accepts me for what I am. 

While out with Megh, I got a text from Scott which read “Looks like someone has his first loose toothSmile  I was so happy for him b/c he’s been waiting for a loose tooth since early Kindergarten.  When I got home a few hours later and went in to peek on all the kids, he was still up and was super excited to show me how it wiggles!  Here’s a picture of his smile before it changes.  IMG_9448

Races, New Jeans, Great Friends and Loose Teeth… Oh My… the excitement here at the circus is mounting and we haven’t even reached Hump Day yet! 

How’s your week been?

“Momma, don’t we look beautiful?”

As I praised them for their lovely fashion choices and snapped picture upon picture of their dress up fun, it dawned on me that this was an opportunity to reinforce what true beauty is. 

Ya know, I said.  To be truly beautiful, you have to be kind and loving to others.  In fact, you can be wearing the prettiest dress ever, but if you act mean and unkind to others, you aren’t beautiful. 

“Really, Mom?”

AND… you can be wearing plain, normal clothes, but if your loving and kind in your heart, then you sparkle like a princess. 

I am not sure if the message sunk in or not, but I realized today, that it is a message I need to speak to them often.

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“Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.” 1 Peter 3:3-4

I want to start praying that my girls grow into truly beautiful ladies that sparkle from the inside out and that they may always be confident of their worth as daughters of the King.

Container of dish soap:  $2.00

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Chip in my favorite coffee mug: $10.00

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Keeping 2 sisters happy and entertained for an hour:  Priceless

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Look at those chubby hands stuffing his face

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I seriously couldn’t stop clicking the camera

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Oh, little man, you have captured your Momma’s heart

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There are all kinds of people in the world.  Some morning people, some night owls.  I truly think your propensity towards one or the other is an inborn part of your personality.  True, you can work on becoming more of a morning person (and society pretty much dictates this to some degree), ones natural inclination, I think,  is innate.

For a glimpse of this, one must simply observe my two daughters.

Both raised in the same household, by the same parents.  Both even sleep in the same room and go to bed at the same time.

Both, however, do note wake up the same way. 

Take this morning as a very typical example.

My three year old woke first and appeared in the dining room with a smile on her face.  She instantly asked for Cheerios and chocolate milk (as she does every morning) and as I got them for her she began chattering to me about the birds she heard singing out of her window. 

While I set about cleaning the kitchen and packing Scott’s lunch she eagerly began coloring a picture in her coloring book.  She does not need any time to wake up or adjust.  She wakes up, “On” and ready to seize the day.

Thirty minutes later her sister appeared in the dining room.  Her eyes are barely open, a literal snarl on her face, and while she is standing in our dining room, she is by no means awake yet.  When she wakes up, she doesn’t want to talk, she merely wants to crawl in Mom or Dad’s lap and sit. 

It’s a wonderful time for snuggling if you seize the opportunity.

About 10 or 15 minutes after she appeared in our dining room she utters her first word, “banana”. 

I can tell she is going to be my coffee drinker.

After eating her banana and sitting on Daddy’s lap for a good 15 minutes, she is ready to climb down and face the world.

While I have known she is not a morning person for awhile now, I have not figured out the best way to get her up and dressed on the mornings we need to get out the door by 8 am. 

In my ignorance, I have let her sleep as long as possible with the hope that she will wake on her own and thus wake in a better mood.  Only recently, have I realized the folly in this approach.  Even if she wakes on her own, she still needs at least 15 minutes before she can start thinking about moving along.  If I let her sleep until 7:45 or worse yet, if I WAKE her at 7:45, it is only going to be a battle of epic proportions to get her dressed and out the door in 15 minutes.   I know b/c I tried this for weeks on end and it was not a pleasant start to the day.  Recently, we learned that if you wake her up earlier, give her time to sit and snuggle, eat and THEN prompt her to get dressed and ready, she is much more amicable. 

Hmm…. is it actually better for a non morning person to wake up earlier rather than later?

This is interesting.

This week I tried the same approach on myself.  I would attest that Scott nor I are morning people.  And as such, our most productive time of day seems to be late at night.  Mornings we like to sleep in as late as possible than race around the house to get everyone out the door.  We often run late in the mornings.  

Yesterday my youngest woke at 5:30.

A.M. 

I decided to go ahead and feed him so that he would be fed and set until after we got home from dropping his brother off at the tutorial. 

I then decided that since we had no bread in the house for breakfast or lunch, that perhaps I should just stay up and make some.  Thank you Sarah, for your quick beer bead recipe, which doesn’t need time to rise.   With the bread in the oven, I decide to go ahead and work on my homework for Bible study, which I was dreadfully behind on.   Then, it was 7 am and I hopped in the shower. 

I have tried setting my alarm and rising early in the past.  I typically hit snooze and roll over till the last minute possible.  I think, much like my 5 yr old, I need time to wake up.  I can not wake up and hop in the shower.  I need to come out, sit on the couch, read a little facebook, grab a cup of coffee, sit on the couch and do my quiet time, AND THEN shower and get ready to start the day. 

I don’t know how long I can keep this up.  Old habits die hard and I am not one to rise early and meet the sun.  BUT, I will say that the last two mornings I have greatly enjoyed the time of quiet to prepare the kitchen, the house, and my heart, for the day ahead.   I like starting the day feeling like I am some what ahead instead of racing around feeling rushed and guilty and very much like that mom. (Ya know the one with all the kids who is never on time and didn’t even shower or put together a somewhat respectable outfit).

Perhaps my switch to the dark side this fall was a preparation for such a time as this…