My funny little valentine

Not to be outdone by her younger brother, K’s class celebrated their last lower school Valentine’s Day with a party. Shh, don’t tell her that she won’t be having class parties in middle school. We will break it to her easy because, like her mama, she’s doesn’t take change well. Good thing she has those dimples, my funny little valentine.

 

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My funny little valentine via  grateful simplicity

 

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Happy Valentine’s Day

A certain little 5 year old is determined to fill lots of love buckets today. In fact, time to quickly head down to his class party but in the mean time here’s a little love for YOU.  Middle child had some cute airhead themed valentine which, in true middle school fashion, I neglected to photograph. The struggle is real.

In an attempt to redeem myself from having used the same bug-themed valentine for R for the past three years, I opted to have Etsy help me out this year with his baseball valentines– an extra shout out to wal-mart for putting valentine supplies front and  center so that scattered moms like me couldn’t help but see it and remember what today is.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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This is my story, this is my song

This is my story.

On Sunday morning, we awoke to mild temperatures and I gently reminded my children, “Get dressed. We’re going to church.”  Then came the response from Unnamed Child 1, “What?! Why do we have to go to church!” Looking at me as if I must be kidding. Or had two heads, I couldn’t quite tell.

 Kidding? Me?

But it got me thinking. Perhaps the joke is on me.  We miss enough Sunday morning services, for this excuse or that excuse, and suddenly my children are asking me, as if it were an option, “why do we have to go to church?”  When we consistently attend worship service, they do not question but rather come to expect. And maybe even look forward to it.

After I did my best job explaining the why we go to church, we get into the car and begin driving towards downtown when suddenly Unnamed Child 2 points to a fancy car in the adjacent lance and nonchalantly tells me the make and model. While there is nothing wrong with knowing that information, it just did not sit right with me. She can recite a luxury car model, but can she name many bible verses? She knows the lyrics but does she know the scripture?

Have I been I falling short in my mission to teach my children?

As we were walking up the sidewalk in downtown T-town, towards the sanctuary, Unnamed Child 1 now asks, in a whiney voice I might add, “why do we have to sing in church?”  Once again, I did my best to explain to her The Why. Incidentally, it was ‘music Sunday’ at our Methodist church the sermon was geared towards worshiping through music.  

There’s your sign, sweet girl.

I am reminded of this book which I loved, and lessons still apply today.  Every now and then, I need a good reminder.  We will be more intentional with carving out the first part of our week for worship. It sets the right tone, gives praise where praise belongs, and shifts priorities back into focus.

This is my story via grateful simplicity

This is my story via grateful simplicity

“This is my story, this is my song.”

Hankering for salt air

Happy New Year! Lots of talk about resolutions this week. Typically, being the list girl that I am, there is a list I’ve put together by now with all the things I hope to accomplish in 2017. Didn’t do that this year. Instead, my goal is one simple thing. Go a little easier on myself. If I can’t lose weight, attend church every Sunday, drink more water… than that’s okay. Most day’s we’re all just doing the best we can do so why know go a little easier on ourselves.

In other news, the salt air was calling my name over the break. I don’t know how to describe it other than it was a hankering. An urge, a need, a want to walk along the coastline, breathe some salt in into my lung, and take in all the beauty. So we did– and we brought along some of our favorite little friends too. Though not fancy, this place is one of my favorite places in all the world feeling much like home. I love that our children love it too. While I love the coastline Mr. Robinson has an adoration for the sea having taking our children out on the boat as young as 6 weeks old (disclaimer: it was bay side for a sunset cruise as Kenley laid up in her bouncy seat with head propped against her little bouncy seat head rest).  Although the drive is not but 50 minutes from our home, it had been nearly 6 months since we had been down there. Such a shame. But… it’s a new year so I am going to let it going and go a little easier on myself.

St. Teresa Beach, FL

St. Teresa Beach, FL

Hankering for salt air via grateful simplicity

You win some, you loose some.

You win some, you loose some.

 

Hankering for salt air via grateful simplicity

 

Hankering for salt air via grateful simplicity

Hankering for salt air via grateful simplicity

Hankering for salt air via grateful simplicity

Hankering for salt air via grateful simplicity

 

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Hankering for salt air

Christmas 2016

I try to keep myself in check. I really do. Attempting to give our children 3 gifts, just like the three wise man carrying gift. Santa also brings three gifts (excluding books and clothing).  Either their mama can’t count, or my kid’s Christmas list have gotten more expensive over the years because they made out big time this year.  And by big time I mean they have had a lot of down time, slacked some on their chores, slept a little later than usual, oh yes- and had a great Christmas morning to wake up to.

I struggle with this a bit but try to remind myself that my husband and I do not buy much for them (relatively speaking) throughout the year. Britton will tell you, matter of factly, that she purchases most of her clothing, makeup and “wants” herself.  And darn it, they are good kids whose daddy loves to give them things he wasn’t able to have growing up. Isn’t that what parenthood is all about? Giving our kids the best life possible? Be it experiences, gift, education, or love?

Christmas Eve was celebrated with Mike’s mom and step-dad, “Gan,” at our house for lunch followed by Christmas Eve at our church where Kenley served as crucifer (acolyte). For the past 35 years we have gone after church to the Hanley’s house. We’ve missed this tradition only twice in 35 years– and one of those times was when my dad was dying. It’s just not Christmas Eve if not with our dear friends and family at the Hanley’s house. We missed my life-long friend MHH (aka Mary Heather Hanley— yes, her real name is Mary Heather Lines now but she will always be MHH to me) this year who had baby #3, Ellie Grace, just a few weeks ago so she was not able to fly cross country from Seattle this time. She gets a free pass this one time. Once.

After listening to Santa’s sleigh bells on the drive home, the kids open their one gift (Christmas pajamas) finding out which wrapping paper is theirs. They then all sleep together, have their Mama threaten them not come out of their rooms, and count the hours until 7 am Christmas morning when they’re told they can wake us up.

Oh Christmas 2016, we don’t want you to be over. I stand in protest by continuing to play ‘Contemporary Christian Holiday Radio’ on Pandora. Just ask Alexa.

Christmas morning

Christmas morning

Christmas 2016 via grateful simplicity

Christmas eve pajamas for the kids (well, technically shark slippers for Raynes who has been able to wear the same Santa pajamas for three years strong now)

 

Christmas 2016 via grateful simplicity

 

We then made the annual trip over to Sassy and Pops– a whole one mile drive– to see cousins and create chaos.

Christmas 2016 via grateful simplicity

 

Christmas 2016 via grateful simplicity

New braces for B. Merry Christmas, kid.

 

After opening gifts, but before afternoon naps, we drive the one mile back him before we return a second time for the ‘big’ family dinner at my parent’s house with Mr. Robinson’s parents, Meme, aunts, uncles, cousins, and three french hens.

 

Christmas 2016 via grateful simplicity

Nana is doing great and has recently graduated from the wheelchair to the walker, and is a healthy weight now as well. She enjoys spending time with her grandchildren and having conversations (and laughter!) with them. They enjoy her company as well!

 

 

Roast beef. Need I say more?

Roast beef. Need I say more?

Christmas 2016 via grateful simplicity

 

My Aunt Deborah's ticket into Christmas dinner. Her annual Yule Log. Goodness knows how long this takes to make, but it only comes once a year and it is well worth the extra 6 (plus!) lbs I know have to loose come January 1st.

My Aunt Deborah’s ticket into Christmas dinner. Her annual Yule Log. Goodness knows how long this takes to make, but it only comes once a year and it is well worth the extra 6 (plus!) lbs I know have to loose come January 1st.

Christmas 2016 via grateful simplicity

My brother-in-law’s mother, Leslie, bakes the best Christmas cookies and decorates each and every one. My kids are lucky if I manage to make slice-n-bake cookies.

 

Not bad for almost 91 years young?! Her secret? Scotch tape on her brow every day. Think I'm kidding? Walk into her room any weekday and you will see what I mean.

Not bad for almost 91 years young?! Her secret? Scotch tape on her brow every day. Think I’m kidding? Walk into her room any weekday and you will see what I mean.

The Sisters. A proper noun.

The Sisters. A proper noun.

Christmas 2016 via grateful simplicity

Merry Christmas 2016 to you and yours!