Monthly Archives: October 2007

Halloween has officially begun…

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Answering Amy’s question…

I was thinking about this post over the weekend and wondering if parenting teens, with those “memories of ringlets and Cinderella dresses with tennis shoes” makes you parent Alli differently than the girls as toddlers. I know you were in a completely different situation with them, but just wonder if the new perspective changes the way you look at the one who is still little.

Posted 10/28/2007 7:37 PM by southkona2
 
The quick and easy answer would be NO. 
 
The honest answer is – I was already parenting Alli differently, and not much liking it. 
 
Until Brittney was 4 (and Sarah 3) I made ALL decisions about parenting by myself.  And with the girls, Ralph still hasn’t had much input over the years.  My parenting style, the choices that I make even for myself, has competely changed over the last few years.  I was probably one of the strictest, pickiest, most anal parents in the whole school when my kids started.  I was picky about food, music, movies, TV … ALL of it. 
 
And you know, I said no, but maybe the answer IS yes ???
Maybe having teenagers DID support some of the changes I made.  Two years ago when we had so much trouble with Brittney one of the BIGGEST issues was that she was looking up music lyrics on the internet and listening to songs that I didn’t approve of.  Up until that point we had a rule in our house that the ONLY music allowed was Christian based.  I actually took her radio away for listening to STAR 94 because she falls asleep with it on – and as if the content wasn’t bad in the day (IMO of course), the middle of the night content is even worse…and on top of that, the morning show can be out-right crude !!!  It was just this constant battle for so many years.  The girls would come home from school singing songs I’d never heard and saying their friends had taught them.  One day it just HIT me.  How will I know if it’s good or bad if I don’t check it out myself?  So one day in the van, I just turned it on – the girls immediately started singing along with a song, two songs later Sarah says…hey momma, you might want to change the station, that song’s kinda bad…. I flipped over to the Christian station and they went right on singing along.  Guess what?  They knew right from wrong….
 
So now…. we listen to a lot of stations.  Christian, country, 80’s, love songs, classical, modern – I draw the line at songs that I can’t understand the words.  Alli will grow up differently.  I guess it remains to be seen if that will be a problem.  ??  LOL. 
 
The above example seems to be a common thread in all of my parenting.  We often have candy in the house (though it is still limited), the TV stays on most of the time that there are children are home, we watch Sponge Bob (SHOCK AND HORROR !! … I do NOT like it though.)  And the obvious topic lately…I’m going to allow my daughters to date.
 
Another rule that has drastically changed, and a lot because of technology, is phone/computer time.  My parents had a strict rule of only 15 min phone conversations and only one per hour with a limit of 3 per day.  As much as I hated it I thought it was a good idea and implemented it when the girls were in around 4th/5th grade.  It cut down on TONS of phone time – and I still got to receive phone calls.  Again, it was a constant battle.  We were always grounding one of them or yelling at them or watching the clock for them or setting the timer so I wouldn’t forget.  It was driving me insane.  I mean, I’ve got more to do in my life than to time phone conversations for 2 kids.  I didn’t really say anything about it for awhile, I just stopped handing out punishment.  Brittney finally came to me, all humble and sweet and said…Mommy, Sarah and I have been abusing our phone time because you forgot to tell us not to, I’m sorry…..   At which time I told her that as long as she was respectful of other people in her house, promised to ALWAYS answer the call-waiting line, promised to NEVER tie-up both lines and to ALWAYS give messages then the phone limit was off.  We had a few days right after where both girls wanted the phone, they were screaming about it LOUDLY and I told them to work it out or phone rules went back to the way they were.  They worked it out.  We did keep one rule from my childhood…. the girls aren’t allowed to call boys – EVER.  Now if a boy leaves a message for them I will allow that call to be returned. 
 
Anyway – that’s probably more than y’all wanted to know. Time to go back to work. 
 
And Amy asked the question in just the right way because parenting Alli differently from the girls is one thing, parenting boys – that’s a WHOLE different story.  Sometimes I wonder why God thought I was fit to parent boys?  More than that…WHY do I have 3 of them?  yeah, well………….  

Handle with grace?

Thank you all for the sweet comments about my way of handling things.  Honestly – I used to dread it, the dating, the boyfriends, the phone calls late at night.  Somewhere along the way I think I just accepted it.  Brittney was boy-crazy early (like 3rd grade!) and that’s when I was all freaked out but now…. well, now I trust her, I taught her, I loved her, I tried my best to show her the way…and it’s her turn to make the choices.  And again I feel like they are wise choices.

As for Ralph – I think he is having a hard time with it but he doesn’t say much.  Last weekend Brittney was with Caleb Friday night for the game, Saturday night for the dance and all afternoon/evening on Sunday at his house for a family party.  Ralph asked me if I thought she was spending too much time with him…I said yes.  BUT – she is doing chores at home, keeping good grades and is present for family time when we have it.  Funny that we both had the same conclusion at the same time.  While we really like Caleb and his family, we understand that this is probably not the only boyfriend she will ever have.  We think that Caleb is setting a very high standard for the boys that will follow.  He is mature even for his age which makes him a LOT more mature than the boys HER age.  Because he has had previous girlfriends we feel like he is past the “firsts” of kissing and stuff (yeah, we’ll leave it at STUFF ’cause my mind can’t wrap around any other term !!!)  He and Brittney are completely cool with the fact that they have seperate lives – they often are in the same room and with two different groups of people. 

So – while it may appear that I’m handling this all with grace, the truth is, SO FAR, we have been incredibly blessed with daughters who chose friends and boyfriends wisely. 

AND, the dialogue that you will read below almost put an end to the whole dating thing completely.  It is the first time that my heart has actually STOPPED beating.  It is the only time that I have wanted to grab my daugher and put her hair in pigtails and push her on the swing and have her back in my lap asking me to read a book….sniff, sniff.  My baby isn’t a baby anymore.

Me: What perfume are you wearing?

Brittney:  Pear Blossom, it’s Caleb’s favorite and it’s almost gone.

Me:  ah…well that would be a great gift for Caleb to buy you for Christmas

Brittney:  yeah….but we’ve already talked about and he’s getting me more lip-gloss – mine’s almost gone and he likes the way it taste.

Me:  speechless

 

 

….

 

 

still speechless

heart starts beating again

urge to kill Caleb is slowly going away

yeah…..

I did finally regain my voice and was able to laugh at her and tell her that THAT was WAAAAAAAAYYYYYY   too much information for a mom. 

sigh….   and there is the doorbell.  Caleb is here to get Brittney for a “date” – they are going out to eat with his mom and then the 3 of them are going to something at the History Center in Gainesville.  Guess I need to get back to my laundry and try to stop the memories of ringlets and Cinderella dresses with tennis shoes….

 

Homecoming JHS – Oct 21,2007

 What a crazy day it was!  We spent the morning being lazy around the house and I finally headed out with Alli around 10:30 to do a bit of shopping.  I picked up a baby gift and as I was leaving Target the florist called.  Seems that they close at noon … ummm, excuse me?  it’s a major high school dance day and you close when?   Thankfully she took my credit card over the phone and left the flowers for me outside.  I went straight there and picked up the boys white rose boutineers (sp?).  I rushed home, wrapped the gift, put Alli down for a nap, gave the kids instructions for chores and rushed out to the baby shower.  I got there JUST in time for the food, lol.  Yummy stuff like pumpkin dip with ginger snaps, homemade pita chips with warm spinich dip, cucumber sandwiches, marshmallow dip with fruit and of course petifores…SO beats a CAKE.   I kissed the mommy to be and headed out soon after the food.  The girls cleaned out the van while I rested for a minute and then it was time to start make-up.  I did Sarah’s first and then Lee’s mom came to get her at 4:30.  Then I started on Brittneys hair.  A set and a half of hot-rollers in and then started on Ashley’s hair.  Don’t think I mentioned this before….  my best (and longest) friend, Amy, moved to Memphis in August.  All of our children are friends and Ashley and Brittney have been really close for a couple of years. The move has been hard on all of us.  I have planned 2 different trips up there and both had to be cancelled.  The family had to come home this weekend for a wedding and Ashley spent the majority of time with us.  I was privaleged to help her get ready because both of her parents were at the wedding – we had so much fun!!   From there we got Brittney dressed and Caleb came to get her.  He lives really close and I knew his parents would want to take pictures and all so I allowed them the 3 min trip in the car, lol.  Here they are leaving my house:

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I finished getting Ashley ready..right down to the flower in her hair and then her friend LeeAnn came over to ride with us.

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My other friend Amy (I have 8 friends named Amy…sometimes it gets confusing!!) came along to be my dinner date and we headed out.  First to Calebs house….they were SO ready to go too, lol.  Got a mile down the road and Ashley realized she had left something at the house, turned around and went back then headed to Lee’s house.  Took a few minutes there getting pictures:

hc4  Aren’t they ADORABLE????

From there we went to Longhorns for dinner.  There were a lot of other formally dressed kids there so it was a fun atmosphere.  Brittney and Caleb sat alone, Amy and I sat alone and the other 4 sat together. 

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It was nerve wracking for me wondering if these 13 and 14 y/o’s had enough knowledge about dining out to do this.  Lee paid for Sarah of course but I still don’t know if any of them left a tip.  hahaha…the things we moms worry about….

We rushed out of there and headed for the dance.  We got to the school and I lined them all up for a group picture only to realized that I didn’t have the camera.  The BRAND NEW camera that I had borrowed from my mother.  I called Longhorns and thankfully someone had turned it in.  We sent the kids in ….  Ashley then calls to ask me to bring her her corsage that was still in my fridge at home so Amy and I went back there to get that and then back to the school where we snuck into the lunch room to spy…giggle..  All the girls and Lee were having a great time.  Caleb, along with a LOT of other guys, was standing around watching college football on the provided TV’s.  It was such a funny scene.  Amy and I have decided to chaperone the next dance – looked like a TON of fun. 

From there it was back to Longhorns and then over to Starbucks for people watching.  We had just got sat down good when the kids started texting me asking me to come get them.  I put them off until the designated 11 and finally got them.  We all went back to my house so that Amy and Larry could see them all dressed up…they were EXHAUSTED from the wedding but we had a few laughs.  At one point 5 of the 6 were in ONE chair in my house….this is a close up of Lee who was still smiling even though he was on the bottom…

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Acouple of shots of Caleb and Brittney being all ooey-gooey-sweet-loving…

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And one of caught of them on the couch waiting for me to take everyone home: (this was about 12:30am)

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It was a fun night and makes me look forward to many more.

So much and so little

 I wouldn’t even know where to start with my busy life.  School started in August, Ralph’s new job started, all 6 kids are away from me most of the day.  It’s a whole new world no doubt.  Some weeks I do really well getting the laundry caught up on Fridays when I’m off and some weeks there’s just not time.  I wrote a chore chart for the older 3 and that has saved us immensly on the liveable house front.  Though I have totally given up on having a company clean house ever again.  I just don’t know how working moms do it. 

Catch up on the kids:

Alli Brooke:   She needed and “indian” name for school that represented her character, we chose Babbling Brooke …. LOL – she talks non-stop and to just about anyone.  Everywhere we go we get the “she’s too young to talk that well, what a smart baby”.  Then I have to humble myself and explain that’s she’s a short, no-hair, 2.5 y/o. Here she is getting ready to sass me at JumpZone a few weeks back. alliplay4

No new pictures of the boys – I’ll have to get on that soon.  They are all growing up.

Nicholas is back at public school and surviving.  He is moody and disrespectful at times and yet can be the most helpful, thoughtful boy I’ve met.  It drives me crazy !!!  He will be playing Upwards Basketball in January and we are looking forward to that.

Jacob is in 1st grade and really working on reading better.  Adorable is a common word but no-doubt his hair is truly red.  When he loses his temper there is little holding him back.  We’ve really had to get on him about being rough with Alli.  I try not to allow ANY physical contact out of anger…though with all 3 boys it seems to slip in there a lot … it’s hard for Jacob to change gears and think “this is a baby girl” or “this is my mom” – he keeps losing precious computer time though and I think he’ll learn the lesson.

Samuel.  My snugglebug is growing up.  He’s almost completely stopped sucking his thumb.  He LOVES pre-k and is excelling at everything they put in front of him.  He is only 1/2 inch shorter than Jacob but looks SO much like Nicholas. 

The big girls….. are maturing.  Both of them have a steady boyfriend and we are dancing around the dating issue to where my tummy is dancing with the butterflies every few hours.  At 14.5 I feel like Brittney has made some wise decisions and would be able to handle herself in most situations.  However, trusting her life into the hands of an almost stranger just isn’t going to come easily.  I mean – LOOK AT HER !!

brittney

Caleb, her boyfriend is absolutely precious.  And here is where you will all LASH ME with a wet noodle….He’s 17, a senior, has his own car, lives less than a 1/4 mile away, is 6’3, blonde hair, blue eyes, a Christian that spends 4 out of 7 days doing something church related, AND is head-over-heels for my daughter.  He respects my rules and is humbling himself enough to allow me to drive them to the homecoming dance on Saturday night. 

Sarah Beth is getting SO tall.  She is easily 5’4″ now (that’s 4 inches taller than mom!) and I swear her eyes get bluer every day

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Some of you will likely remember that she had a “serious” boyfriend early on.  Jake was every mothers dream… I’d take him back into our world in a heartbeat (along with his whole family!!).  BUT, the new guy, Lee is measuring up pretty well.  Lee is 13 like Sarah but he is extremely intelligent and skipped 4th grade.  That puts him a year ahead of Sarah and in High School already.  I thought for sure that the two of them at different schools would end the whole thing but it hasn’t.  He’s good friends with Brittney so he’s comfortable hanging out with our family.  His mom is adorable too.  She called earlier this week to ask if she could “do” Sarah’s hair for the dance on Saturday.  Yep, another lashing, I’m letting my 8th grade daughter go to a high school dance.  [If anyone runs into that mom that I used to be could you PLEASE send her and her common sense back this way !!!]   Again, I will be the chaffeur for the dance, both couples PLUS an extra two girls just to make it fun.  That’s 6 teens, all formal dress, my “bus”, dinner at Longhorns and a nervous mom for 3 hours until I pick them all up and talk them out of eating at Waffle House. 

In other big girl news…(and most of my readers already know this but I want it here anyway)… Both girls participated in the Miss Johnson pagent again this year.  Sarah looked REGAL in her wine-colored dress and simplistic style:

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Both girls had a lot of fun dressing up and being sisters:

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Brittney honestly had the time of her life.  From the moment she arrived at the gym she was flitting around like a little butterfly from one group to another:

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Hard to see her dress well in these pics but it was a beautiful aqua sequin mini-dress with a soft skirt wrap.  She was having so much fun….she WON !!!  Here she is with first-runner-up friend Amy:

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And in all her glory:

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I am one proud momma !!