Friday, September 26, 2014

Swiper, NO swipping

Let's just put it out there. 
Parenting is tough. 
It is not for the faint of heart, and some situations you just aren't prepared for. 
Where is the rule book that I can follow that my child is guaranteed to grow up and 
be a successful member of society?  
Where are the step by step instructions to get us through this new parenting hurdle?

But there isn't a book or an instruction manual. 
So we do the best we can hoping we don't screw up our kids and teach them right from wrong. 
Our latest parenting hurdle has been stealing. 
Yes, I will admit one of my children stole. 
It wasn't a toy from a friends house,or food out of the pantry or
something from a sibling, it was an actually item from a store.  
Target to be exact.  
I found the so called item while cleaning out their closet and hidden way in the back under a pair of shoes was two of this less than $10.00 item.  
I will have to admit at first I was really upset.  
How did they sneak it past me? 
Why would they do this? 
Don't they know this is wrong? 
Well, obviously they knew it was wrong because it wasn't sitting out for all to see, it was hidden deep in the recesses of the closet.  So at least there is that. 

As far as parenting goes, the first thing I do is talk to the hubby.  
Two heads are better than one, right? 
I am glad I have him to do this parenting with because as usually he calms me down and 
reminds me that he/she isn't the first child to slip something in their pocket that they really wanted. 
And then my ever-wise husband (I don't say that often enough LOL) asked me if I had 
ever stolen something.  

As much as I wanted to shout "No Way", I pulled a memory out of the really dusty part of my memory when I was younger, much younger than I am now.  *wink wink.
I was in our local IGA with my mom and just couldn't resist grabbing a piece of 5 cent Brachs Candy, which I knew my mom wouldn't get for me.  As soon as I got in the van, I slowly opened the candy to not make any sound, but before I could get it to my mouth my mom said "what do you have back there, Lynn?"
Obvious response.... Nothing.  
(I now realize I actually lied as a child too... and I thought I was a perfect angel)
Like any normal mom, my mother obviously didn't believe I was up to nothing and found out I had swiped this piece of candy.  What happened next though, has stuck with me forever.  
I had to go back into the store and apologize to the sales clerk and give the candy back.  
I remember that moment and consequence of stealing, even if it was only 5 cents.  

Fast forward a few decades, I am retelling this story to my wise husband (all this flattery earns me some shopping today, right?) and he tells me what I don't want to admit. 
We have to have them return it. 
Yes, I know this but I don't want to. 
This is where the parenting isn't for the weak comes in. 
I try to avoid awkward social situations and walking up to the clerk and admitting my child stole from them was going to be tough for me as it was for them.  Also, it was going to put a bad aurora around my favorite store in the world... Target.  

I did it though and yes I am concentrating on my side of the story... it was tough. 
It was scary for my kid too. 
On the way to Target, we talked about why stealing is wrong and how you hurt 
yourself and others when you steal.  Hubby sent me a text while we were gone telling me that one of the other kids asked "if they were going to jail?".  So even the kids at home were learning a lesson from all of this. The sales clerk at Target was super nice (maybe she should have been more stern to make this situation more dyer) and the child confessed what they had done and gave the items back.

Trust was lost that day, and they have to gain our trust back.
They are watched more intently while at stores and I have to admit that I look for bulges in pockets now in the check out line, making sure we aren't taking more out then we paid for.

Parenting sometimes mean doing things you don't want to... but no one ever said it was easy.  

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Shoe Cutting Party

In the last two weeks, I have been having a blast hosting two shoe cutting parties. 
If you are confused and asking "what a shoe cutting party is?" 
Don't worry, I had never heard about it either until this summer. 

I learned about Sole Hope through Instagram.
(see Honey, some good can come out of my obsession with Instagram)
Sole Hope is an organization that helps children in Uganda with medical aid for jiggers
(a sand flea that burrows into the soles of feet and lays eggs). 
Their mission is: offering hope, healthier lives, and freedom from 
foot-related diseases through education, jobs and medical relief.  
Anyone can host a shoe-cutting party to have a tangible way to help children walk and spread hope.  
I got a few ladies together over two nights to make the shoe "uppers" out of denim to send to Africa. 
It wasn't all work, I had appetizers and drinks for the ladies to munch on while we cut.  
It made for some fun nights! 
Using only denim jeans that were donated, we cut many pieces of size 13T shoes.  

Now these shoes and other donations of medical supplies will be sent to Uganda to be assembled by shoemakers.  Sole Hope has helped teach shoe making to impoverished women and then pays them a 
fair wage for making the shoes.  So not only is our party putting shoes on children's feet, they are also supporting mothers and their families through jobs. 

As of last night we had 45 shoes!  Thank you to all the wonderful ladies who 
helped with donations and preparing the shoes for Uganda.   
And a huge shout out to Michelle Dobson who made our fabulous Africa cookies. 
They were perfect for the night! 

For anyone who wants more information or wants to host a shoe cutting party themselves 
check out

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Fall Favorites

It's the first day of Fall.  
I love Fall. 
Football season. 
Sweater and hoodie weather.
The Beauty of Leaves changing color.
Everything Pumpkin. 
The warmth of coffee in the morning. 
And scarf season. 

Happy First Day of Fall! 

Monday, September 15, 2014

The symphony of our schedule

We are well into the month of September and all our fall activities are in full swing. 
Each season/year comes with its own sports, extracurricular activities, and events to put 
on the schedule.  Now with everything started our routine is a fine tuned machine. 
This isn't without hiccups though, and meetings mommy or daddy needs to attend to 
that throw our routine off  here and there.  
But for the most part we are getting the hang of our new normal. 
Last week, Rosie had her first orchestra session. 
She has chosen to play the violin.  
When she came home with the paper stating that the child has the choice of being in orchestra or not, she immediately said she was all in,even with early morning practices before school once a week!
It's only been a week, but she has been dedicated to practicing and it sounds really good.
I look forward to watching her perform in the concerts this year. 
Brings back lots of memories, since the hubby and I were both in band.   
 Lil Miss has added her own activities to our schedule this year. 
We have a ballerina in our midst. 
She is super ecstatic to be dancing on her tiptoes and learning what a pirouette is with her best-est friend.

 Is there anything cuter than little girls in leotards? 
This is quickly becoming my favorite 30 minutes of my week.  
School is going well for everyone.  
We are knee deep in homework every night and studying for tests as much as we can. 
I feel smarter every time I quiz the kids and I know the answer. 2 +2 =4 YES!!
15 years out of school and I still got it!
This past week, Lil Miss' school celebrated grandparents day and I happily 
took the place of grandma and grandpa at the party. 
I've been dying to go and see her in action. 
She has grown so much from just the few days she has been at school. 
She has learned how to write her name and even though it isn't all in order, all the letters are there.  
She can point our "her letter" on every sign as we drive down the road.  
Doesn't get old at all.  LOL

Even with all the routine, we still manage to throw some fun surprises into our lives. 
This past weekend, we visited the zoo with the hubby's work and had lots of fun.   
 The monkeys.
Carousel rides.
Tinkerbell Sighting. 
Sporting our scarlet and gray on a football Saturday. 
Every night we have something going on, its the nature of having 4 children all 
in activities and venturing more and more into the sports. 
Tonight is no exception, the boys are off at boy scouts and Rosie is getting ready for basketball practice. 
Sometimes it is just necessary for us to divide and conquer to make it all work.  

Friday, September 5, 2014

The Big Apple

Who doesn't love a three day weekend? 
Add a trip to the Big Apple, a beautiful wedding, and three days with just Nate and I, and you have a combination for an incredible weekend. 
We started our weekend on Friday morning after dropping off the kids with Uncle Neil. 
He definitely gets major bonus points for watching all four kids for us to get away.  
 This was my first time in the Big Apple and the hubby's second time. 
He does not remember much about his class trip to NYC though, so I hardly think that counts.
The hotel we stayed at was in Jersey City just across the Hudson from Manhattan.  
The views of the city were stunning.  
{navigating the subway system}
 One of the things on his "to do in NYC" list was visit the 9/11 memorial.  
The memorial and museum are both amazingly done. 
Freedom Tower standing majestically beside the memorial is a beauty as well. 
At one point in the museum, there was a room off to the side and there was an employee holding a box of tissues.  My heart told me not to walk in that room, but my feet weren't listening and I just followed the hubby blindly into the room where they played the tape of communication from on board United Airlines Flight 93 before it went down in Shanksville, PA.
Let's just say I was a mess and needed a few tissues before I walked out.  
As dark (literally the exhibits are kept dim and help in solemnity of the space) and intense as the museum is, it was uplifting to ride the escalator up out of the museum to see the rebuilding going on outside and then stand under Freedom Tower.  There was happy and uplifting music playing as we made our way up to ground level.  It was a site I was glad to see.  A reminder of what happened on that day, especially so close to its 13th year anniversary.  
 Always the planner, I had a mental list of the things that it would be fun to see in NYC while we were there.  My list for things to do around the city, was just about as long as my list of things to see inside Central Park alone.  Yes, I am a parkspace/plant/tree/flower nut and this to me was iconic of Landscape Architecture.
I actually spent some of time in college actually studying Central Park. 
  Most of my family was not as excited as I was to go to a "park", let's face it I was almost giddy, so 
hubby and I ventured off to Central Park sometime before the end of the Ohio State game on Saturday.  
I KNOW!  He left before the game was over.  It was actually just starting the 4th quarter. 
He really loves me! 
 I actually remembered many of the iconic spaces within Central Park that I studied. 
Bow Bridge -- which movie goers would recognize from You've Got Mail
 Cherry Hill Fountain
 Views of the Upper East Side

 Bethesda Fountain - I will spare you the picture of the guy wading in this fountain trying to find money
 The rolling grass areas, the large mall of majestic elm trees, the many bridges, 
make up hundreds of spaces in Central Park to explore. 
It was beautiful and for all the millions of people who visit NYC's Central Park every year, 
it didn't seem that crowded.  
That night we went out to dinner with my sister and her husband at a seafood restaurant Gina recommended.  It was fantastic.  Lure in Soho, was like stepping into a yacht as you entered the restaurant.  
The boys stuck with american beef, and us girls enjoyed seafood.  
Nothing like fresh oysters!

On Sunday we were all dressed up for the big day.  
I felt very privileged to be doing a reading out of our Grandmother Aggie's bible during the wedding. 
This book that she had marked up with her special notations and filled with lots of supplemental material made her feel very close to us even though she is no longer with us. 

A New York City wedding is so removed from what we are used to. 
The whole day was an experience.  Every location was beautiful and had completely different views of the city. The ceremony was in Jersey with a backdrop of Manhattan and a view of the Statue of Liberty to the south. 
 The wedding was so romantic. 
 We were whisked off on a ferry after the ceremony to a restaurant in the City.  

{the bride and her mother}
 I can't talk about the wedding without talking about the drinks. 
Yes, the yummy drinks.  
There were signature cocktails at every location, and they were all so yummy and how 
cute were the name tags at our table.  Engraved Bulleit whiskey bottles. 
 Then after the lunch, drinks, social hour, we were whisked off again in double decker buses to Times Square.  The views from the bar in Citizen M were fantastic, especially since Times Square wasn't a place we had seen yet.  Gina and Josh took care of every little detail and the wedding was perfect! 

It was a little sad to leave in the morning for the airport because of all the fun we had but I 
was glad to see my babies.  Before you think I am all fancy and classy,
all the drinks the previous day, made for a really horrible hangover.  Throwing up in an 
airport is not what I call fun.  Just keeping it real.  LOL
This stay at home mom from Iowa had way too much fun in the Big Apple!