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Monday, May 30, 2011


Memorial day always brings us to the lake - my favorite place for picture taking. I love the light, I love the relaxed atmosphere that brings out the smiles in my kids, and most of all, I love that I have enough time to actually pick up my camera.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Prairie Girls

Bonnets and aprons are so quaint and adorable on little girls.  

It is enough to make me want to study westward expansion for as long as possible.    

Little Fingerprints

We have only one step separating my dining room from the rest of the house, yet we should have installed a railing; a cute little railing at exactly 2 feet high. Because we don't have this railing, my youngest, who is still very unsteady on stairs, uses the wall to steady herself.

Did I mention that this step separates the dining room from the rest of the house? The dining room is the space where people eat messy things like spaghetti or work on great finger-painted masterpieces.

There are sinks in several locations throughout the rest of the house, but to get to any of them you need to go up that stair.

I get to wash my wall a lot.

It reminds me of a favorite poem by Edgar Guest ~

Home ain't a place that gold can buy or get up in a minute;
Afore it's home there's got t' be a heap o' livin' in it;
Within the walls there's got t' be some babies born, and then
Right there you've got t' bring 'em up t' women good an' men;
And gradjerly, as time goes on, ye find ye wouldn't part
With anything they ever used - they've grown into yer heart:
The old high chairs, the plaything, too, the little shoes they wore
Ye hoard; an' if ye could ye'd keep the thumb-marks on the door.
- excerpt from "Home"

I'm keeping a few thumb-marks . . . but I'd still like that railing.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Think of a solution

I'm hungry. ~ It's hot. ~ I can't find any pants. ~ This is too hard. ~ I don't want that book. ~ I'm tired.

My new response to all of these complaints is now "I can't act on a complaint. Think of a solution and ask for it."

I know it sounds mean. Really, what kind of mother won't give their child something to eat when they say that they are hungry? This mother - the worn out kind. I have no problem with feeding the child, but the entitled, negative attitude is getting on my last nerve.

When did my children loose the ability to ask for help? We haven't always been whiners, but somehow the complaint-monster slowly invaded our house and has now infected my sanity.

Think of a solution and ask for it. I'm happy to answer questions. I'm happy to reach your pants for you. I will gladly open a window or give you an apple.

Just ask.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Listening to Mom

I love that my mom is still busy parenting me.
  • When my kids are sick, she calls to make sure that they are improving and to suggest ways to make them more comfortable.
  • She babysits at the drop of a hat.
  • She calls from the store to see if there is anything that we need or to let me know about a sale.
  • She is there to listen when I need a safe place to break down - and to set me straight when I am worried about nothing.
  • She is always so gently leading and teaching me when I need it.
And, best of all,
  • She tells me to take care of myself. "You sound tired. Maybe you should go to bed early tonight."
Aahh... I love those words!

I hear her words, and then I hear them coming out of my own mouth, telling my kids to be careful on icy steps or to speak kindly to one another. It is funny how often I think "Mom would . . ." and it makes me smile. My 6 year old, on the other hand, doesn't always think that my mom's words are as great as I do "You sound tired. Maybe you should go to bed early tonight." Just doesn't have the same ring to little ears.

I guess that is the sign of a having really great mom - when you intentionally think though situations and wonder, "What would Mom do?"

I am so thankful for my mom and her wise yet gentle guidance!