Category: Parenting

What I choose to remember.

What I choose to remember.

The Holidays…when our social media accounts fill with photos of happy families, beautiful Christmas tree’s, and perfectly decorated houses. And no, this article isn’t going where you think it is. I’m not going to tell you it’s all a lie. I’m not going to tell you that those people are just trying to create an illusion of perfection. I’m offering a different perspective.

Last week we dug the Christmas decorations out of the attic. Let me tell you…it’s a job. We don’t have nice pull down steps. We push an outdoor ladder up to a hole in the hallway, and the Bearded Man pushes heavy totes of Christmas decor down to me, and I just hope I don’t drop and break everything in the process. The kids get impatient. Decorations and glitter start flying everywhere . The Bearded Man and i might fight a little. We may have yelled at the kids while Christmas music blared on the T.V.

This is what I posted on Facebook that day. My beautiful tree, decorated first by my kids, then later, rearranged by my loving (and OCD) Husband, once the kids went to bed. Then rearranged again by my two year old. Was I trying to create an illusion of perfection? Nope. That was just what I chose to remember from that day. I chose to not let the stress, fighting, and grumpiness win. That moment is what I wanted to share. To see a year from now. That moment is what I chose to remember.

The other day, my sweet boys fell asleep on my lap. None of us had been feeling well, and we sat in the chair and conked out. I managed to slide out of the chair, and had to snap this precious picture. Was I trying to imply that my boys are perfect little angels that nap like this all the time? Nope. It had been a rough day. There had been weeping and gnashing of teeth. I’m pretty sure the living room was messy. This moment is what I chose to remember.

Pictures where all 3 children are smiling can be rare. This one was actually spur of the moment. That day, we had been playing in the leaves. The kids had been arguing over how the leaf pile should look. I had been trying to be productive and happy, as the dark cloud of anxiety weighed heavy on my shoulders. Maybe to you, it looked like like an attempt to be fake. To look perfect. To me, it was a bright spot in a week that I was really struggling. This moment is what I chose to remember.

Even pictures of food are a big debate. Post a picture of your meal, and it looks like you’re trying to be all braggy and rival June Cleaver. Let me tell you, I love your food pictures. It inspires me to get in the kitchen, even on days where I don’t feel like it. Some days, pushing past my exhaustion to cook a homemade meal feels like a huge triumph. Sitting around the table laughing with my family, as they fill their tummies, makes it worth it. That’s what I choose to remember.

So friends…this season, keep posting those pictures of your smiling families, pretty Christmas Tree’s, crafts, and yummy meals. It doesn’t mean any of us are trying to feign perfection. Lets reassess why those photos may bother us. Could there be seeds of envy or discontent in our own lives? Do we struggle to be happy when others seem to be happy?

Maybe we are all just looking for a glimmer of light in those days that can seem dark and heavy. Those little glimmers are what I want to remember a year from now. They are what I choose remember.

We’re Still Here! 

We’re Still Here! 

It’s amazing how a few weeks of not blogging, turned into a whole year. Whoops. As I type this, I’m using the keyboard on my phone, because our iPad is old and slow, and our laptop not much better…maybe even worse. I still find myself making mental notes through the day of things I want to post. Or Keira will suggest I post certain recipes. 

Anyway, whenever I consider giving an update of our lives, I talk myself out of it, because nothing “spectacular” has happened. I’m not pregnant. We’re still doing life in this tiny little house. Still praying and waiting on God for so many things. Just trying to hold our heads above water with all the craziness that comes with raising children. 

However, if you asked my kids, you’d probably hear a different story. 😊

I so wish I could be like them, and see the wonder in the day to day. 

Yesterday we took a “nature walk” in our backyard (which is hard to do when you don’t exactly live in the woods). Matthew immediately found this little creature and took a picture. I was impressed how he did the fading in the background, which was pure accident, but still pretty cool. In their minds we had really gone on this adventure and they were beaming for the rest of the evening.

Keira has been studying Ancient History for school this year, and I love seeing her excitement about everything we are learning. She was showing me how the Mayan Number system worked last week, and I told her how impressed I was. She replied, “Yeah, that’s what happens when you have a daughter way ahead of you!” Did I mention how humble she is? *cough*

And let’s not forget this little guy. He makes life an adventure. His vocabulary has exploded, and I love hearing tidbits of what’s going on in his little mind. Keira and Matthew like to zoom down the lane on their bikes, leaving Elijah in the dust on his tricycle. He’ll sadly say, “Everybody leavin’ me….” That’s Elijah in a nutshell. Small, but determined not to be left out. 

I’m hoping to get back in the habit of posting more regularly, even if it means using my phone until we get something better. My life may be a yawn for some, but if you’re like me and smack in the middle of the mundane, maybe you can get a laugh, or an occasional cry. 

I’m off to another day of teaching, cleaning, baking, folding piles and piles laundry, and little backyard adventures, and I’m perfectly ok with that! 

The Family Rule that Ticks People Off

The Bearded Man and I have a rule in our home that ticks a lot of people off. You know what? I don’t care. In light of my newsfeed being filled with a sickening news story of a woman being raped, and the joke of a sentence the man received-I realize more than ever that we’re right to implement this rule. 

What’s the rule? 

Our kids don’t have to give hugs. 

No matter how much a well meaning friend or family member begs. 

They don’t have to put up with tickling and unwanted touch- even if playful. 

You wouldn’t believe the looks and snide comments I’ve received because I won’t make my child give a grown up, “One little hug.” Mainly because their pride and sense of entitlement gets hurt. 

What does this have to do with a rape case?

I’m teaching my kids that, “No means NO!” 

It goes both ways, for both genders. 

Nobody “earns” their right to touch another human being without their consent. 

Nobody owes another person a hug, a kiss, a tickle. 


Can I ask you a favor before you go begging my child (or any other) for a hug? 

Let them hug you first. My kids aren’t denied affection. They aren’t weird. When they’re in the right frame of mind, and comfortable with you; they’ll come running up and put their pudgy little arms around you. You won’t have to beg or bribe. 

When my daughter is on a date(you know, when she’s 30), I don’t want her to feel as if she “owes” her date physical affection because he bought her flowers. 

I would never want my sons to believe they have the right to force a horrific act on a woman because she was wearing a short skirt, or because they have never grasped “no” and that none of us are entitled to anything. 

Maybe you think I’m being dramatic. I don’t care. This stuff is serious business, and it starts when they’re young. 

My son is going through a “big boy” stage where he doesn’t want Mommy to kiss him goodnight. 

Does it make me sad? 


Am I going to force him to allow me a kiss goodnight just because I’m his Mom? 


I don’t care that he’s only 3. I don’t care that I’m his Mother. It’s his body. Besides…I would never want to force physical touch on someone that didn’t want it. The thought of that just makes my skin crawl. What makes other adults think it’s ok to force hugs and kisses on a child that clearly doesn’t feel comfortable? 


Do me a favor. 

Before you buy my child a toy, an ice cream cone, or anything kid related, and do it with the intent of receiving a hug or kiss…put the stupid toy back. I’ve taught my children to say “thank you” and write a note, or make a card. But that’s it. They don’t “owe” you physical affection.

If you start in on our kids, begging for hugs, or giving unwanted tickles, we will kindly remind you of our family rules. If you continue after they decline, we tend to get a little hot headed .

It’s my job to protect my children, not to make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. 

No means no. 

Maybe the other person isn’t vocally saying “no” out of fear, intoxication, mental challenge, or simply being 2 years old and unable to speak. But their body language certainly isn’t saying “yes.” That still means no. 

How sad that we live in a world where the lines of things that should be so obvious are constantly being blurred. Where “no means yes” and where even Christians justify wrong so as not to hurt anyone’s feelings. 

To end my rant, in case I didn’t say it enough…

Whether you’re 3 or 23. 

No means no. 

Whether someone says it with their voice, their face, or their parents are about to slap you six different ways to Sunday. 

No means no. 

I’m a bad blogger, so here’s some randomness. 

I’ve been a terrible blogger lately. All I can say is, my kids have needed me. For the past week and half, I’ve had at least 1 sick kid in the house. We’ve dealt with fevers and puke buckets, and rainy day after rainy day. We somehow trudged though. 


The sun finally came out too. Hallelujah. I try not to whine about the weather too much, because the weather isn’t up to me, it’s up to God. I’m glad that rain spurt seems to be over though. That’s not whiny, is it? 

My kids did manage to be well enough to be in Mom’s wedding last week. Once she has seen all her pics, I want to do a whole post with tons of pictures about the wedding. It was absolutely beautiful! Here are a few pics of my family from the big day.

My little family!
Beautiful Babies!
My sister(Sara),Keira, and me!
It wasnt’t our wedding,but we sneaked in a few kisses!

We finished school for the year! Keira is a second grader! We will be doing some light review and fun reading this summer, but other than that, our mornings will be laid back and fun. Keira needs a break. Mama really needs a break. 

I was able to enjoy coffee on the porch this morning with my kiddos, without stressing about starting school. The kids watched our neighbors bale hay. It was my kind of morning. I stepped inside to grab something, and turned around to this;

Keira has a copy of “Pride and Prejudice” she’s been carrying around and “reading” for a couple days. She’s been trying to put together sentences and finding Mr. Darcy’s name. Funny, I always look for him in the movie. ❤️

Speaking of movies…to pass the time while Keira was sick, we watched the Anne of Green Gables movies. She has been listening to the audio books, and was tickled to see what the characters are supposed to look like. I’m going to get really corny, but there is so much wisdom in those movies. I seriously might do a blog post on all the awesome lessons I overlooked from Anne Shirley in the past. 

Elijah has decided he hates his crib, and the floor is the place to be. I stuck a clean, unused wash tub in the living room, and he loves it! It keeps him off the floor, and reduces the risk of getting trampled. When he gets sleepy, he climbs on up in there and falls asleep. He’s a quirky little fella!

Hope you all have a great Memorial Day weekend! I’m working on a list of recipes I want to post next week! I’m hoping for a productive weekend and healthy children! 

This year, like every year, we talked big about how we hate Air Conditioning, and we weren’t going to put it in this year. It only took a couple days of it hitting 86 degrees in the house to change our tunes. We always crack by Memorial Day. It’s like a Sours Memorial Day tradition now. Looks like tomorrow we’ll be dragging AC units out of the building. We know how to party. 

Sorry for the randomness! If you know me, you’re used to it. If you don’t know me, get used to it! 

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Mother’s Day blessings for an imperfect Mom. 

Mother’s Day blessings for an imperfect Mom. 

I hope everyone had an awesome Mothers Day! The Bearded Man really outdid himself this year! I noticed early last week, that he was doing a lot of texting. I kept asking what was going on, and he would just ignore me or tell me not to worry about it. The thing about me is, I don’t let stuff go. I kept on prying, until I got it out of him. He and my friend Christine’s husband, were planning to send us out for Mothers Day. 

We ended up going to get pedicures. We are some of the most cheap and practical women on the planet, so spending 30 dollars on our feet doesn’t happen often. I hadn’t had a pedicure in over 7 years. It was a fun, semi-embarrassing experience! I realized later on, that we spent most of the time talking about our kids. Anyone else do that when you finally get out? 

After our feet were finished, we left and went to a festival going on in town. Walking around without the kids sounded exciting. Once I got there though, I wasn’t sure what to do with myself. I’m so used to pushing a stroller, or lugging a baby on my hip. We kept pointing out things that our kids would like. We were in line to get ice cream, and saw a man walking around with a pet monkey on his shoulder. That’s when we decided to call the Dad’s. We just needed our kids to come see the monkey. 

Once the Dads and kids arrived, we were comfortable and in our elements again. We came to the conclusion, that life is so much more fun when you view things through the eyes of a child. Kids make things even more fun than they already are. So I finally got my hour away, and that was just enough to make me realize how much I enjoy my kids. They know we love them, but they also need to know that we enjoy their company. That’s something this sometimes grumpy Mama doesn’t convey well. 

We had dinner at McDonald’s, because sometimes you just need some of their awesome french fries. Somehow I never realized that the kiddy cones are free? Can I just get 10 kiddy comes, please? 

Sunday morning, I was greeted with doughnuts for breakfast, and a card made by Keira. What I loved the most about this card, is that she utilized the cursive we’ve been working so hard on this year! That was the best Mother’s Day present of all. She even made a pocket to slide her baby picture in, and included a piece of candy. I love seeing their little love languages come out as they grow! 

We went to Church and then came home to do some landscaping. We laid down newspaper in the flower beds to hopefully prevent weeds?! We’Il see 😉 We then planted flowers and mulched. The kids used their gator to haul mulch to us. It was a fun and tiring afternoon. 

When we were cleaning up the yard, Matthew hopped in the truck with Rich and I could see him looking out the window, grinning from ear to ear. Just sitting in the truck with his Daddy made him the happiest kid in the world. I got a little teary eyed watching the two of them. Sometimes when I watch my kids play, I get overwhelmed at how incredibly blessed we are. 

Before I had kids, I imagined being the perfect Mom. I wanted to do and be so many things. Here we are, fighting the battles of sleep, eating vegetables, and chores. I go to bed so many nights feeling like I failed my kids. God knew I wasn’t perfect when He blessed me with them. He did it anyway, and I’m so grateful. 💜

Fancy Day 

Fancy Day 

My little girl is turning 7 tomorrow! It’s unbelievable to me! I remember being on the way to the hospital 7 years ago today, and I was a complete bundle of nerves! Here she is, all grown up and such a sweet girl! 

We have a Fancy Nancy book, where they have “Fancy Day” at school. We decided that we would try that when it was our turn to host Homeschool Group. Her Birthday was the perfect excuse to give it a go! I was out of my comfort zone, as I tend to be a bull in a china shop, but I made it work! 

We broke out the beautiful tea set my Mom gave Keira for Christmas a couple years ago. 

Our menu included mint tea, sausage cheese bites, pizza rolls and pink goldfish crackers, because we’re refined like that. 

We did have some little pink miniature cupcakes! Perfect for a fancy afternoon of tea drinking! We sang Happy Birthday, and Keira was gifted with two new lovely dresses and an adorable pocket book. 

We had an amazing time, as we always do with these special families. 

Pride and Parenting

Would you believe I’m a month into my blogging adventure, and I haven’t received any hate mail yet? Well, after today, I may get some. That’s ok, because my friend Christine said she loves hate mail, and can’t wait to read mine. We are kindred spirits, that’s for sure. Christine, any hate mail I receive, will be forwarded to your inbox for your viewing pleasure 😀 *

So here goes. Every afternoon, I watch Stacy Myers on Periscope. She’s a funny, Godly woman, but she doesn’t take any crap. People can get a little offended at her approach. People love to be offended. Today, she did an entire scope on why she doesn’t let her kids watch Periscope. If you’ve ever watched a scope, you know that there are lots of trolls with no lives. They liked to type in random F bombs and nasty comments. Stacy doesn’t want her children viewing that stuff. Some people were concerned, because her kids are going to be exposed to garbage and obscenities one day anyway…why not let them see it and just “explain” it to them now? Thats when my blood started boiling. I’m serious, my neck is red at this very minute. First off, they are HER children, so no explanation was needed. Second of all, I am about tired of hearing how we need to “expose” our kids to stuff, and just explain to them what’s going on. We are living in a world where wrong doesn’t repulse people anymore. We’d rather accept it, and then cram it down our kids throats. 

In the evenings, the Bearded Man likes to watch “Person of Interest” while I answer work messages, or conk out in the recliner. I’ve seen enough to know that there is a lot of violence and killing. Should I let my kids stay up and watch it because there is plenty of violence and killing running rampant in the world anyway? Absolutely not. Am I a hypocrite because I watch it, and don’t let them? No. Here’s why. I’m almost 30 years old. They are 6, 3, and 1. Their little minds don’t work like an adult mind does. They can’t fully grasp right/wrong and cope with scary situations like an adult. Should I let them watch explicit shows because they are going to learn the wonders of sex one day? Ummmm…no. They are little. Now whether you agree with me or not, is your business. That’s cool. I’m going to protect my children’s innocence as long as I can. I’m not going to compromise my views and beliefs, or what I feel in my heart is best for my children to spare your feelings. We do discuss what we feel is necessary with our kids, but it’s never followed up with, “Go ahead and take a gander at this filth.”

It’s amazing how once we procreate, we all become experts on other people’s children *insert sarcasm*. When parents see other parents dealing with their own children differently, they will go into fits of rage and borderline harassment. I’ve been there. It’s ugly. I don’t get it. If we’re quite honest, it’s not even about concern over the child. It’s about pride. Ugly, stinkin, pride. All because someone disagreed with you, you went Into a hissy fit fueled by pride. 

There are certain things I don’t agree with, but I move on. You’ll never see my kids playing with electronics for hours on end. In fact, my daughter’s tablet has been sitting with the battery dead for over a month. That’s just how we roll. But I’m not going to get up in your grill because your kid is always playing a game or has their nose in a screen. I have friends whose kids aren’t allowed to watch most Disney movies, or eat a lot of sugar. I’m a little more relaxed in those areas. I don’t lose sleep over what they do, because I like sleep, and what they do is none of my business. 

Can I make some suggestions? If you find yourself constantly bad mouthing and worrying other parents(or even me) about how they handle their children and what they choose to “expose” them to, here are some better options:

1. Take a walk.

2. Read a book.

3. Cook a healthy meal. 

4. Fold laundry.

5. Take up a hobby.

6. Clean your house. 

7. Worry about your own kids.

After all that, you won’t have the time or energy to worry about other peoples parenting choices, or send nasty emails, because you were so busy being fulfilled in your own life. You’re welcome.**

The Bearded Man and I love our children dearly. We pray about our choices. We have many Godly friends we seek parenting advice from. Once we have made a decision, it’s our decision. Not yours. Not the trolls on the Internet. Not the UPS man, or the old lady in the grocery store. Ours. We answer to God for what we decide to expose our kids too. I’ve had people debate with me over the “What ifs” and “What if they see this or hear such and such.” Well then I’ll have to pray that God gives me the grace I need to handle those situations. I could come up with 1,000 scenarios of things that “could” happen to my kids. That doesn’t mean I will purposely expose them to garbage for “just in case.” If you’re offended by this…good. You’re probably a repeat offender and should re-read the above list of better things to do with your time. I hope you sleep ok tonight, because I sure will. 

*I will be answering hate mail after the hours of 9 p.m. and before 7 a.m. Please know that all hate messages will also be read by my friend, Christine. Any emails with terrible spelling and or grammar will be trashed before I finish reading to avoid a headache on my part. Thanks for your understanding. 

**If the above list doesn’t keep you busy enough from meddling in other people’s affairs, I can email you a complete list of things I need done at my house. I will provide the mower and cleaning supplies. 

Stacy, if you’re reading this, keep being your awesome self and doing what you do! 

On a totally unrelated note, we ended up getting this ball pit out of the attic and passed it off as a Birthday present for Elijah. He loves it!! 

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