Friday, September 23, 2011

And I can ride my tricycle!

Last night, I was talking to the girls about how fun it would be to ride our bikes as a family to Culver's and get ice cream next summer. Let me first be clear about what that meant inside MY head--Bella would be competent enough on her big girl bike without training wheels the 2.5 miles, and the twins would each ride behind a grown-up bike on the tandem attachments. When I mentioned my idea, they all got excited, Bella responded, "Next summer, I KNOW I will be good enough on my own bike to do that." Alli, piped in with, "and I can ride my tricycle!"
She is my child who is so happy in her comfort zone. In order for her to reach each new milestone in life, we have had to rip her from her happy place and force her to face her terror and try the next step. This summer, it was taking away the water wings and facing her fear of water. Next summer, we WILL sell her tricycle. It will be traumatic, but she cannot go to college riding a tricycle! This year, it is moving from preschool with her best friend, twin and confidence, Milana, to kindergarten alone. It is, as usual, gutwrenching to watch and be a part of. But, the joy that bursts from that child's heart when she stops panicking and soars is unbelievable to witness! Next year, I will probably have a good laugh about her transition to kindergarten. This year, I just may cry before it is over!
As is common when I am mulling over the challenges of parenting, I thought about what God must experience with all of us. We agree to follow Him, tell him we trust Him, and yet, we have such a hard time leaving our comfort zone. Sometimes it is a nudge we need, sometimes a shove, and sometimes a hug. But when we finally face our fears and follow his urging, I bet He loves to watch us soar!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Best day of summer!

Jen (no, I am not taller than her--I had to stand on the ledge with the children in order to be seen in the picture, while the rest of the grown-ups stood below. go ahead and giggle, it was funny) and I started our morning early with a jog--best way to start, if you ask me. It was a short and easy jog--just enough length to get a chat in! After that, we each went home, woke up our families and packed a picnic lunch. Off to Devil's Lake, near Baraboo, for a hike, swim and lunch. The weather was perfect! Blue skies, a bit of a breeze, and plenty of shade in the woods as we did the steep incline into the bluffs. To be honest, all four of us were a bit worried about how the girls would do. I mean, what are the chances that 6 girls between the ages of 5 and 7 would complete this pretty challenging hour plus hike?! Couple that with the fact that we allowed our twins to put crocs on (as we laced up our specially formulated hiking/tennis shoes). It made sense for the beach anyway!
Well, the girls all did great! The views were spectacular, and we saw tons of wildlife--Bella won the contest (started by her, of course) to see who could find the most animals. My favorite, an adorable tiny toad. So cute! Once we finished the hike, the 6 girls stripped down to their suits as they tore down the path to the lake. It is so amazing to see your kids happily enjoying nature, with inquisitive and open minds to the amazing beauty that God has gifted us with. Absolutely perfect day. Maybe next time, we can end the day with a successful camping trip....

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

let's go fly a kite....

We finally got some air movement today! It has been muggy hot and still, it seems, since the twins got kites for their birthday from Grandpa Gary and Grandma Cindi. So, while it is still quite warm, there is enough wind for their very first kite flying experience. Hilarious to watch. Mike gets Ana's airborne and she takes off, too fast for it to stay up long--buzzing Mike's head with her kite! While Ana's is still up, Mike helps Alli's get airborne--she stands and squeals, letting the wind do all the work. Meanwhile, Mike has run over to untangle the string from around Ana's feet so that hers can get up again. And, the wind calms and Alli's is down as well. Too funny! I wonder how long this kite flying will last :). I love watching my girls with Mike--they are such lucky kids!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Riding this heat wave

You should have seen the hot messes our children were when they peeled themselves off the vinyl bus seats and dragged themselves to the front door at noon. It was a far cry from the smiling children, running with arms wide open that we usually see. As they came in the house, Mike told them that he had picked up the dog poop in the backyard (a necessary prerequisite) and the sprinkler was on if they wanted to run through it. They were ready to suit up that instant! I took one look at their crumpled, sticky dresses and said, "why don't you just run through the sprinkler in your dresses?!" They all looked at me like I was CRAZY, but when I smiled and nodded, they were all cheers. Boy did they have a blast getting soaked in their clothes!!! We had to drag them inside for lunch an hour later. Now THAT is what summertime is all about!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Janesville Farmers Market

So, this last weekend, while Mike was working, the girls and I met Nonna Dede (Mike's mom) at the Janesville farmers market. I thought the girls would enjoy a market, but was not ready to work the crowds with the three girls at the Capital square market in Madison. Janesville's one block market was perfect for us! I gave each of the girls $1 to spend at the market. So fun to see how each of their little personalities handled this. Bella quickly asked me to hold hers for her so she didn't lose it, while Alli and Ana insisted on holding theirs. Alli then dropped hers in the wind as we crossed a bridge--fortunately the railing caught it just long enough to grab it. I then convinced them both it was a good idea for me to hold onto it, but they could have it when they found something they really wanted. Alli asked me at least 4 times over the next hour to show her I still had her dollar. When I asked if they wanted a treat, they all said no--until I told them I would buy it with my own dollars, then, they were all hungry :). Ana found some cut purple coneflowers that she really wanted as soon as we entered the market. I talked her into buying them on the way out if she still wanted them. We found a lady who makes ceramic pendants and she had a basket of $1 pendants. Alli had to take each one out of the basket and look before she decided that she liked her dollar more (which she again needed to check in and make sure i still had). Bella decided before we even finished looking at everything that she would rather save her dollar and put it toward something bigger later. Alli wanted to go to a toy store or garage sale and spend her dollar after we left. Ana ended up keeping her eye on the prize of cut flowers. So, she gave the lady her dollar and asked politely for a bunch of cone flowers. The lady was so sweet--she asked her if she had enough or would like a few more. Ana thought maybe a few more. So, she put a few more stems in the bag, and asked if she was good or wanted a few more. Ana said, no, I am good, thank you. Then the lady said, "no, I think you need a few more." She also threw in some black eyed susans. Ana told me that she would share those with me at home since they are my favs. Ana asked if she could carry her huge bag of flowers (they were at least 2 feet long stems and there was a grocery bag full of them. I told her if she needed help to let me know. After a block or two of carrying them herself (I so wish I had a picture of this as she could hardly see around them to follow us), I reminded her to tell me if she needed some help. She then said, yeah, thanks mom, these flowers are kind of attacking me and the leaves are in my nose!
What a fun morning we had, watching a child juggle and giving him change, watching the group singing and dancing, checking out the wares and looking for dollar worthy treasures.