A girl's first love

Valentine's Day is all about love and romance right? Not around here.
Around here Valentine's Day is all about school parties, and Valentine boxes.
I truly admire those moms who let their children make their own boxes and Valentines.
One day I am going to give up creative control to my kids...one day.

Whenever February 14th rolls around I am reminded of a special Valentine's Day about seven years ago.

It was a Saturday morning and I was busy cooking and exercising.
Just kidding, I was sleeping in as usual.

It was a tradition every Saturday morning for Dean to go out early to help his Dad
with the chores and then to his parents house for breakfast and conversation.
 Letting me sleep in.
But Dean came back home earlier than normal that day
     and excitedly announced from the back room
              that he had a special Valentines present for his favorite girl.
I was naturally excited and ready for my well-deserved gift

then Dean bent down to Lauren (five years old at the time) and said ...
"guess what...Daddy bought you a pony!"

I was a little taken aback, but still happy.

We all loaded in the truck and drove to a little farm down the street
where Lauren's new little pony was waiting.

It was love at first sight. Truly.

Lauren named the pony "Rudy" after the movie because he was also short and spunky.

Lauren and Rudy spoke the same language
 and Lauren took pleasure in the fact that she was the only person who could catch him.
                                      Through the years he was good to her and she to him.
Lauren would sing to him and curry comb him and not let anyone make fun of him.

Rudy was an old pony to begin with
and soon after we got him he started to hobble around as most Shetland ponies do.

          One gloomy November morning last year after the kids left for school,
I noticed out the back door that Rudy was lying down.
          I watched him for a little bit then decided to try to get him up.
I tried and tried, and he also tried to get up but couldn't.
He kept rocking back and forth in the dirt breathing heavily.
             He was a poor creature.     I called Dean to come home.

When Dean took a look at Rudy he said
                       "he needs to be put down, you better go get Lauren"

So I went to the school to check Lauren out.
She was so lively and bubbly - I hated to break the news to her,
but I knew she would want to say goodbye to her old friend.

Lauren stayed with Rudy for a while comforting him.
She curry combed the dirt out his mane and clipped a little hair for a keepsake.
She cried and thanked him for the good times they shared.

Most little girls have a first love.
a puppy...a kitty...a teen idol...a neighbor boy etc...

For Lauren's first love it will always be a tie between her Dad and her pony.
And that is just how it should be.


Parenting Tactic #1 – Withhold...then Reward

We have never been very good at fasting on Fast Sunday

Mostly the day just comes and goes…we give it a good try, but not really.
It's usually my fault.
I am in such a hurry to get home, get dinner over with and get my nap.

I get tired of fighting everyone…
and I lack a whole lot of discipline myself

Last Sunday I decided to start.

On Super Bowl Sunday of all days.

The second biggest “Food Day” of the year after Thanksgiving.

The older kids did great all day.

I didn’t require much from my little ones.

After church as we all prepared "the feast” it took our minds of eating. 
The grumpiness level was kept to a 4,
and there wasn't a constant chorus of " mom...I'm starving!" 

Weird huh.

So just after kickoff we said a prayer,
filled our plates...
and sat down to eat & watch the game.

I even relinquished the “no eating in the living room” rule for the afternoon.

You would think that I just Okayed the kids to get tattoos, and body piercings.

They were so excited to be eating and watching TV at the same time.

It's nice to see my kids really hungry for once
Typically we come home and eat right after church and I realize that nobody is really hungry because of all the fruit snacks and Sunday treats they get at church.

The kids ate and ate.

We all ate and ate.

Too laid back for a Sunday afternoon you say?

Sacrilegious you say?


I am still trying to obtain that balance between keeping the Sabbath Day Holy and ...

our usual hedonistic,
TV watching,
                                                                                                         nap taking,
                                                                                                         kids teasing,
                                                                                                         lazy Sunday afternoon ways.

So withhold...then reward - It makes a person humble and hungry.


growing up too fast - Photo of the Week

DATE: October 2006
SUBJECT: River Jane (age 3), Salem Pond

Today in the car…driving home from Kindergarten,
River asked me if she still had time to grow her hair long before she got married.

Apparently this a concern in her little six year old brain.
Her hair is a cute little short bob now, my favorite little girl haircut.
I told her she wasn't getting married for long time.
She needed to graduate from High School first,
then go to college,
then go on a mission...travel the world,
and then maybe if she finds a perfect guy...
maybe then she can get married.
I wonder when she will discover that I was married at nineteen
and had three kids by the time I was twenty five...?
shhh...Don't tell her just yet.


(a two minute video of the girl who needs to be everything)       So far my hobby has been micro-managing my kids and as rewardi...