Wednesday, April 23, 2014
My son, Zackary, too this photo of the St Johns Bridge using his Galaxy phone. I think it's beautiful!
For those of you familiar with Portland, OR, you know that this bridge is often seen in the television shows, GRIMM and PORTLANDIA. To me, it's the bridge I cross several times per day, taking my kids to and from school. It's the bridge that leads me home.
I love it.
Tuesday, April 22, 2014
We normally purchase egg cups and coloring kits at the grocery store, along with a jug of vinegar. This year, we decided to try something different. My husband came across the idea to use shaving cream and food dye for egg coloring, so we bought cheap shaving cream and a box of food coloring.
The instructions were simple enough. Spray about 1/2 an inch of shaving cream into a shallow pan, swirl liquid food dye around, then roll your eggs through the mixture, set aside and dry. It's important not to mix the swirls too much, or you will end up with brown or barfy green shaving cream, not exactly the colors of Easter.
We went through about 7 pans of the shaving cream and dye mixture. The kids had a blast and it smelled really good in the house! Shaving cream smells much better than vinegar.
Then end product! I think they look pretty cool!
Monday, April 21, 2014
My Favorite Facebook Posts this week.
I will be the first to admit that I am really struggling with my parenting skills right now. I'm struggling because the way that I have raised my three younger children is so different from how my oldest child was raised. My husband and I adopted our daughter as an infant, and were fortunate enough to have always been in her life. I gave birth to our two youngest boys. My three babies have always been with me, they have always been a part of me. The bond that exists among us is strong--nothing will ever come between us. It's not just a mother-child bond, but a strong bond among the siblings. They love each other completely, and they protect each other even more completely. I'm not afraid to admit that I am very confident in my abilities to parent my youngest kids. I know those kids inside and out. I know every line on their hands, every scar on their knees, every hair on their heads. They know me, too. They know their Momma will always be here for them. They show me in the smallest ways, how much they love me. I see it. I feel it. There is nothing that could ever destroy what we have together. Our relationships will change over time, but that's the natural progression of time, age and life. They will fall in love and start their own families some day. It's supposed to be that way.
It's not like that with my oldest child.
My newest 'baby' is also my oldest child. He is 19 and I've had zero influence on him until recently. I really don't even know if I've had any influence--positive or negative--over the child's life. He entered our home at the age of 17--which even in the best of circumstances, is a challenging age. I simply do not know how to parent a 19 year old. No clue. Nothing. I know how to parent a baby, I know how to parent a tween girl and everything in-between 0-13, but I do not know how to parent a child raised by someone else. I don't know how to parent a child who has mother/father trust issues due to physical and emotional abandonment. I don't know how to parent a child who tests me on every step of our journey. I don't know how to parent a child I don't fully trust myself.
Once you love a child, you always love that child. You can 'get over' a lost love, but no one ever 'get over' the loss of a child--either physically or emotionally. Emotional loss involves wounds deep within the soul and they don't heal easily, perhaps never. Healing may begin when emotional risks are taken, but the first step towards recovery is hard. A broken child is much like a broken plate. You can pick up the pieces of a shattered plate, say "sorry" and try to glue the plate back together, but it's still a broken plate.
I know how to mend a broken plate but I have no idea how to 'mend' a broken child. At this point in my life, I believe change must occur on all levels--spiritually, mentally, emotionally, physically, fundamentally. I don't even really like using the word, 'change,' because it's not strictly changing, it's growing and developing. For me, it's about accepting my children for who they are, not who I think they should be. It's about me taking a step back, and looking deep withing their souls and my own--finding their spark--and simply enjoying and appreciating who they are. I don't need to continue to protect them from the world, I need to allow them to explore the world on their terms, through their eyes. I can show them the world, but it's their world. My job isn't to make everything right for them, it's about guiding them towards their dreams and goals. I'm here to offer unconditional love and support, to listen, to comfort, not mend, fix and to force my values and morals on them.
There is nothing easy about watching your children make mistakes. It's even more challenging to watch them suffer consequences. It's painful to watch and I think I've ground my teeth to dust trying to keep my mouth shut and opinions to myself. My two older children--both teenagers--tend to learn the hard way. Both are very impulsive and make split second decisions that they end up regretting. Those decisions usually involve lies to cover up inappropriate behavior or actions, more lies, then onto excuses, deflecting accountability, playing the blame game, then finally--after what seems like weeks of denial--admitting to their wrong-doings and making amends. It's exhausting but worth it. It's worth it because they were in control of their destiny, not me and not my husband.
Allowing my children to learn from their mistakes is much better than me enforcing punishment for acts they won't admit to committing and forced apologies.
For my readers: what is one of the most difficult aspects of parenting from your perspective.
Sunday, April 20, 2014
Our son, Zackary James, was baptized on Easter Eve. Now all of our children have been baptized at the same church with the same pastor. Zack's sponsors are his younger siblings; Emma, Connall and Cullen.
My husband and I can't put into words how important this was to our family. We are one--standing strong and together.
We couldn't be more proud of our children.
Cullen, my youngest, really didn't want his photo taken. Neither did Dad.
Can you tell? HAHA!
Dad, Zack and Mom.
My beautiful children. They are everything to me.
I just can't believe they're all mine!
Connall, the ginga, is cracking up! So cute!
These two are TROUBLE!
No baptism is complete without a Guido mug shot.
Can you believe this petite princess threw a chair the other day?
Trouble, I tell ya. All trouble. HAHA!
He's a goofball. A 6'6" goofball.
Saturday, April 12, 2014
Wednesday, April 9, 2014
|My sister and her boys.|
|My grand-niece and daughter!|
|My middle son, Connall.|
|Me and my sweet only daughter, Emma. I played around with the 'Leather' B&W effect.|
|There is nothing cuter than kids playing together! My little guy is in the orange and black shirt. OSU! That's Oregon State University, y'all!|
|My cutie patootie grand-niece with ice-cream face!|
|These two were born a day apart--can't believe they will turn 14 soon!|
|My nephews! Night and day they are.|
|Practicing his '1989 senior portrait' pose, right??? Hahahahaha! What a goof ball!|
|A friendship spanning three decades!|