March 20, 2016

Promises to my Strong Willed Child

You're a dreamer.
You're a fighter.
You're a princess.
You're a pirate.
You're unpredictable.
You're talented and so unbelievable quick to learn.

Some call you a pistol.  Some call you a handful.  I call you mine.
(My Brynlee, so you with a little dirt on your cheek.)

There are days I want to hide and scream and cry.  You confuse me.  I cry and wonder what I did wrong?  After 3 other children who are reasonably calm and easy to handle.  I have you.

You learned to run at 10 months.  10 months!  And before that you perfected climbing stairs and grills on our veranda that went all the way {straight} up to the next floor!  Yes, darling, if I have any silver hair it's from you.  Always so busy.  Someone had to have an eye on you at all times.  They still do.  The neighbors learned your name quickly because I was ALWAYS yelling, "Where's Brynlee?!?!?!"  As a toddler you could watch someone do something once and know how to do it yourself.  Daddy didn't believe you turned the water hose on in the yard.  But I know it was you.  I found you on the roof of the house twice!  {still makes me shudder}

At 5 years of age we do your school lessons and you are so quick to read the words but your mind is always ahead of the lessons.  You can read  "the.. truck... is... blue."  But WILL you read "the truck is blue????"  Not if you want the truck to be green.  How many times have you refused to write your name and decided to sound out another better name?    Or tell me that you did write your Chinese.

I've seen your heart.  I've seen the compassion you have towards those you love.  I've seen how you stand up for what you believe in.  Yes, at 5 you are very opinionated!

Last month you decided to start a propaganda to raise awareness that ladybugs are not bugs.  You told us many times, {and I quote} "Ladybugs are not bugs they are animals with feelings!" Woe to the one who squished a bug in your presence.

You never wanted to be the baby.  You always seemed to try to grow up too quickly.

I used to wonder why God gave you to me?  How can you fit into a house full of people when it takes everything I have to manage just you?

How can I raise this little kid with pigtails...a big mouth, a big heart and such a free spirit?  To be....just to be?

I'm thankful for the day the Lord showed me that I truly needed you.   I Desperately needed you.  You keep me on my toes and tick me off and make me cry and make me learn more about myself.

You are so much fun.

So my promise to you, my strong willed child is this.......

#1 I won't try to change you.  That's God's job.  I can mold you and rub off your rough edges.  But, seriously if the Lord gave you this much spunk it's for a reason!  And who am I to douse your fire?  I realized that God made you this way because He has an extremely important plan for your life.  I have no clue what it is but I can promise you this... it won't be dull and boring.

#2 I will try to smile at your sharp wit instead of yelling at you to listen to me.  So I'm looking for the humor in my days with you.  I expect respect to be shown to your elders but I value your opinions and ideas.  Since I decided to do this, spending time with you is a hoot!  Seriously you crack me up.  Some might think I let you get away with more than your siblings.  I probably do.  But I'm also harder on you in other areas because I know what you can take.

#3 I will not compare you to your siblings.   Your siblings immediately {mostly} listen and obey.  While I deeply appreciate their willingness to please me and do right.    You question.  You want to know why.  You most often do the opposite just to see what happens.  We've butted heads on this during your toddler years and I refuse to spend the rest of your time in my nest challenging each other.  We made a promise to each other a few months ago to never lie to each other.  You understand many things like someone way beyond your years.  Each time you question me I remind you of our promise.  You can trust me.  I got your back.

#4 I will never stop cheering for you.  When other mother's look at you as if you have something catchy and their darling little angels are gonna learn a bad habit, I smile sweetly {as if I have a great secret} and say, "God has big plans for my Brynlee".  How can they argue with that?   If anyone ever tells you that you can't do something remember ...I said you can.  Because I know you better then they do.

Darling, never give up on your dreams and what you so deeply feel is right.  You are born to be a leader.  An inventor.  Someone's hero and inspiration.  I know you love deeply and have a tender heart under that sober expression.

I'm so proud to be your mama.

January 23, 2016

Jesus Gives the Best Hugs

Sitting on a little bench trying to conquer the imposing mountain of laundry.
Little man came over and help his arms out.
"I'll help, mom."
So sweet...he still thinks putting laundry away is fun.
I couldn't help myself and leaned over to kiss his soft cheek.
Miss B didn't want left out and came over quick to get a hug.
I acted surprised and said, "Oh, you give the BEST hugs."
"No, Jesus gives the best hugs," she said.

Out of the mouth of babes.
The best gift I can give my kids is siblings.
Now if I can only teach them to treasure and appreciate this!

Count Your Blessings
#13 rocking chairs
#14 story books
#15 phonics

January 14, 2016

Louisiana Carrot Cake Recipe

at first the kids said,
"a cake made with vegetables?!?!  no, thanks, mom"
and that soon changed to....
"please, cook all my vegetables like this."

Memaw's Carrot Cake Recipe
Here's the groceries!
2 cup sugar
4 eggs, beaten
2 cup sifted flour
2 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tbsp. salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 1/2 cup cooking oil
2 cups chopped pecans
2 cups coarsely grated carrots

(Feel free to read the next part with a Louisiana accent....just like my darling, Cajun mother-in-law)

Add sugar to eggs, stir well.  In another bowl combine your flour, soda, salt, and cinnamon; reserve a small amount of your flour.  Add your flour mixture and your egg mixture, alternating but beginning and ending with flour mixture.  Dredge your pecans with reserved flour then fold them and grated carrots into batter.  Pour into 2 circle (greased waxed paper-lined) layer cake pans.  Bake at 350 for 30 to 40 minutes.  After removing from oven let cakes sit for 10 minutes before removing from pans. Cool thoroughly on racks.

Count Your Blessings
#10 vintage dishes 
#11 carrots
#12 hairspray

January 7, 2016

How to Hatch a Baby Chick

I saw her mischievously sneaking around the corner of the house.
  From the direction of the chicken house.  
Her coat as wrapped tightly around her but there was a small bundle
 held awkwardly in front...hidden...too small to be a chicken.
(that happens a lot)
Miss B. tried to bypass me but thankful she lies as good as her mom and I knew something was up.
She sheepishly showed me Lavern's {the chicken} egg.  Still warm.
And lovingly wrapped up in her coat so the "baby" would stay warm 
while Lavern decided to stroll around the yard.
How to Hatch a Baby Chick?   by Miss B. (age 5)
"1. Ask the mommy chicken if you can have an egg
2. Hold it in your hands very carefully
3. Keep it warm
4. Don't run with it or shake it
5. Watch it very carefully until it has a crack
6. When the baby comes out you can sleep with it
 to protect it from the raccoons"

I love this tiny window into her thoughts 
and see that inside this ornery little outspoken girl is goodness and love and selflessness.
The sweetness to take care of an unprotected little egg.  
God has great plans for you, Miss B!

Count your blessings
#7 chicken eggs
#8 imaginations
#9 chicken wire

January 3, 2016

throwing confetti

just leaving the festive, jovial, glittery fun of the Christmas and New Year Holidays.
Always sad to pack away the tree and the lights.
As I was sweeping under the couch I found some teeny {tiny}
 bits of paper that were left over from the merriment.
Remember, my loved ones, how much fun it is to throw a handful of that fluttery stuff?

Remember also, to make a difference in those you meet today.  
Kindness is just as fun to throw around, I promise.

count your blessings
#4 warm heavy quilts
#5 lemon hand lotion
#6 rocking chairs

January 2, 2016

Grandma's Cranberry Journal

Where to start?  hummmm {clicking the keys}

sitting here trying to focus my thoughts are swirling around in my mind.
I have the excited little girl feeling.

Almost like when you have something you dearly loved but have misplaced for months and then you find it again.  You are thrilled and joyful {squeal} to have it in your possession again  You hug it to your chest, spin around, and wonder how you lived without it.?.

So now...  How to begin again?
I blog for my children.  To preserve those moments that I can't dwell on each day but want to tuck away for the future. I write and record my thoughts because it's in me to do so.  All because I have have a Grandmother named Alberta.

When I was a teenager, my grandmother Alberta gave me a small old {red} journals.  This delicate book became priceless to me as I poured through the pages.  I realized that carefully documented were my grandmother's thoughts and experiences in her first few years of marriage.  I blushed and smiled when she talked about her love of my blue eyed Papa.

Tears welled up in my eyes when she realized she was expecting her first baby and the stories of the little baby boy that grew up to be my father.

I loved learning that her and papa weren't perfect but quarreled at least once....but made up the same day.  I laughed to learn that she recorded her love of rearranging furniture....I come by that very honestly!

Priceless and irreplaceable.

I purposed in my heart and made a promise to myself to create something like that to pass on to my children.  Something similar to Grandma Alberta's cranberry colored journal.

Another memory of Grandma that is to precious not to share is her ever present bandana.  She was rarely without a red or navy bandana tied around her dark hair.  Maybe only when she was at church or a wedding. She always told me her grandmother was full blooded Indian and that's why she had such dark hair and deep brown eyes.  So for this reason I will always own a bandana and feel closer to my Grandmother when I tie it around my hair.

I dream of my own daughters or granddaughters reading these words years from now and knowing how much they were loved and cherished.

count your blessings
#1 snow banks
#2 old wooden sleds
#3 warm waterproof mittens