Thursday, April 17, 2014

Throwback Thursday Stories: Strong

I'm not sure if it's the story I've been sharing in the library (Baseball Saved Us by Ken Mochizuki), or the fact that she would have been ELATED about Kyndall's baptism,  but I've been thinking about Mamaw West a lot lately.  I wanted her story to be the first I shared in participation with The Mom Creative's link-up.


Oh, this woman.  My heart swells with pride as I look at this picture and I don't even know where to begin with the telling of her story.  Great-grandmother to my girls. Grandmother to my husband.  Mother to 4 boys (God bless her soul).  Braves Baseball Fan.  STRONG.  Faith-Filled.  Selfless.

One of the earliest memories I have of Mamaw is Sunday lunch at her house.  I had finished my plate and drink and was sitting there, listening to the stories being passed around.  Mamaw insisted on refilling my drink, even with my adamant proclamation of not being thirsty.  That little memory EMBODIES her.  She was a doer.  A helper.  A servant at heart.

And, oh how she loved my girls.  (She loved everyone, but for the purpose of this story, we're talking about my girls.)  When we visited, she would light up and sit and talk and bask in all that was my girls.    Even when she was sick and I would hesitate in visiting, afraid the wildness and energy from K & L would wear her out, she asked for us.

When Libby was born, she would never take a pacifier.  We wanted her to, just as a comfort measure.  One of Mamaw's favorite stories to tell was the day she introduced Libby to the paci.  I'm not sure if it was the timing, or the approach, or just the presence of Mamaw.  One day, in her arms, Libby started taking her paci.  It was a saving grace for us at the time.  (Months later, I joked with Mamaw that since she was the one responsible for the paci habit, she needed to be the one to take it away.)

She had a face cream recipe that I swear is a miracle.  It should be marketed.  I have it written down, and one day when I start the face regimen that I need to have, I'll use her cream.

She survived the Japanese war camps, and while I'll never know all the parts of that story that my curious heart craves, knowing this makes her the strongest woman I've ever known.

Even as tiny as she was, she had such a commanding presence.  Justin's favorite memory is the way she 'scolded'.  When he and his brothers would be fighting, she would squeeze between them repeating "Say! Say!"

She was famous before being famous was cool.  A radio interview and a newspaper article were produced about her.  Both called her a "war bride", even though she loved to say that wasn't technically the truth.

She was part of the greatest love story I'll ever witness, and that is a story in itself.

She was, and is, such an inspiration to me.  I am forever grateful to this sweet lady, and the family she raised.  Her legacy lives on.  Through the slanted eyes and tanned skin of my husband.  Through the memories he has that he passes along to our girls.  Through his faith, which was very much influenced by her life.  I knew Mamaw for only eight short years, but I am forever thankful for each and every minute of that time.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Farms, Eggs, and Field Trips

Libby's class went on a field trip to a local farm the other day. (We took this same farm field trip with Kyndall when she was in Kindergarten.)  Libby is such a girly-girl, and I wasn't sure how she would like it.  Animals, insects... mud!  She completely surprised me and loved it!

 Our first stop was the henhouse.  Everyone got to gather an egg and then pet the baby chicks.

Then we went to the petting zoo.  Libby's favorite was the miniature pot-bellied pig.  It's name was Sweet Pea and it was precious.  She even enjoyed riding the ponies.

MY favorite part was when she milked the cow.  I wish I had recorded it--her face was priceless.  She didn't want to do it, and then she asked if she could wear gloves, but in the end she just did it.  When I asked her about it, she said the cow's udder felt like a baby's bottom.  (When she has felt a baby's bottom, I haven't a clue.)

Fishing happened.  I had to bait her hook and pull the algae off for her, but she enjoyed herself.  She didn't catch a fish (no one in her class did) but she tried really hard!

After lunch, we took a hayride to the playground back behind the farm.  They had a HUGE slide made out of pipe, a horse-drawn buggy ride, and a playground with tire swings.  Libby and I raced down the slides--she cheated and won.

After all the farm excitement was over, the farmhands hid eggs for ALL of Kindergarten to hunt.  Each student found 6 eggs and brought them back with them.  

I have been to this farm several times in the fall, but it was SO neat to go in the spring and see all the new babies.  Definitely a fun place to field trip!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Project Life Tuesday

If you read this Project Life post, you know that I started last week on PL 2014.  That meant I had some catching up to do.  This week, I was able to go back and finish Weeks 10-12, along with our current Week 15.

Week 10.

Journaling, left side bottom:  We had a VERY busy week! It was book fair week in the library and Read Across America week.  Monday was Hat Day for the entire school.. Kyndall finally pulled the tooth that had been loose for what seems like forever.  We had a special visitor at school on Tuesday.  Author Michael Finklea spoke to the students and both girls received signed copies of one of his books.  On Wednesday, we had a groundbreaking for the new addition at our school.  The girls were able to take part and scoop a shovel-full of dirt.  Kyndall even got to wear a hardhat.  On Thursday, Libby wore red and her class dressed as “Things”.  Libby was #14.  Friday night brought a trip to Build-A-Bear--a reward for the girls sleeping in their own beds.

Week 11.  This week is very much a "Kyndall week."  Sometimes layouts focus more on Kyndall, sometimes Libby.  I don't try to keep them even, because I'm telling the story of our life.  Life happens unevenly, and so do my PL pages :)

Journaling, left side bottom corner:  1.  Kyndall’s class took a field trip to the Soil and Water Conservation.  I snapped this picture of her with her ‘besties’.  2.  Our field trip tour guide was scooping up crawfish and passing them out.  Kyndall didn’t hesitate to hold out her hand, but I think she might have regretted it!  3.  Harrison turns 8 on the 30th, but his party was on Saturday.  We celebrated at the bowling alley.  4.  K getting some regular Max snuggles.

Right side, top square:  Instagram post from this week:  Libby’s class was still celebrating Dr. Seuss week.  This picture shows Wacky Wednesday--two different shoes, backwards shirt, inside out jeans, and crazy hair.  Same beautiful smile.

Right side, bottom square:  Sunday afternoon, we picked buttercups at GraGra and Pops’ house.  The girls made too many bouquets to count.  It was a good thing we had such hand-some men to help hold all those flowers!

Week 12:

Journaling below date card reads:  Out with the old, in with the new!  We switched out our old, maroon bedding for a new, fresh spread.  I love how it brightens everything up!  Next move- painting.

Journaling left side, below photo 1:  On Saturday, we headed to Orlando.  It was a long 12 hour drive, but we hit the park at Universal Studio’s wide open on Sunday.  The Butterbeer from Harry Potter World definitely lived up to the expectation.

Journaling, left bottom corner:  1.  In Mrs. Stephens class, Arthur makes home visits with each student. This week, we had the pleasure of his company.  K’s job is to take a few pictures with him and write all about their fun time.  2.  Kyndall is also learning all about letter writing.  Each week, she writes a friendly letter to one family member.  On Thursday, she wrote to Libby.  Then, she insisted on helping Libby write her back!

Journaling, top right corner:  1.  Frozen debuted this week and Aunt Mal made sure to get you a copy right away.  2.  Justin’s back has been hurting for a few days.  It helps when he lays on the floor. We put Frozen in for a home viewing and everyone piled up in the floor to watch.  3.  After putting the girls off for weeks, I finally agreed to take the girls to the movies.  We loaded up Kyndall, Raegan, Shaylee, Libby and Brook-Lynn and watched Mr. Peabody.  The movie was followed up by a trip to Ulta.  Fun times!

Week 15:

Journaling, right side:  On Monday, the girls went to a new gym to ‘try’ gymnastics again.  They loved it, so we went back on Tuesday for our first official gym day.  Kyndall went on a field trip to the movies and the park and her pen pal went.  Excuse her silly face in this photo--she does not take pictures seriously anymore.  Ever.  Saturday, we ran some errands in town and stopped for lunch at Chili’s, courtesy of a gift card from my parents.  (We’ve started this whole budget thing, so the gift card was great!)

Journaling, left side:  This week, Libby’s class learned about oviparous animals.  She made  a paper mache egg and then ‘hatched’ it at school.  Friday night the girls went to the Huntsville Stars baseball game with Blake for his birthday.  They had so much fun.  Kyndall was even given a ball from the pitcher.  I took the girls to a painting party on Saturday.  Sunday after church we attended the 12th annual Terry family Easter egg hunt.  As usual, we all had so much fun!  After the egg hunt, we went to Meme and Papa’s for an early dinner.  The girls loved Meme’s new kittens.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Conversations with K & L

On what Justin and I could do while both girls were gone to Blake's birthday outing.
Libby:  Daddy, you should take Mommy out to dinner.  And pay for it, because that's romantic.

Libby:  Mommy, I really want two brothers.  One for you and Daddy and one for me and Kyndall.

When playing with Kyndall the other day, she blew a dandelion and made a wish, not knowing I was hearing.  She said "I wish I had two brothers."  (<--this girl is stuck on the two brothers thing.  whew!)

While walking though Disney a few weeks ago, Libby licked her finger and wiped it on GraGra's face.  She said "I just wiped spit on you."  As if this wasn't awkward enough, Libby doesn't pronounce her "SP" sound very well, so her "spit" sounded JUST LIKE sh*t.  So it sounded like she said "I just wiped sh*t on you."  Oh, the hilarity!

On Minecraft:
Kyndall:  Libby, let me show you how to donate your TNT.

In other Minecraft news, K was tested for TAG the other day.  Thanks to this game, she knew exactly what an inventory was.  Guess that game is useful for something, after all.

When leaving Chili's the other day:
Kyndall:  Libby, put your hands on my shoulders and let's do the TONGA.

After gymnastics this past week, I was showing K how to do bunny hops.  It was right before bed and I had already removed my bra (sorry if that's TMI) and so I was holding my hands up to support "the girls" as I was jumping.  I looked over to see Kyndall bunny hopping EXACTLY as I was--with her hands up over her chest =)

Friday, April 11, 2014

Project Life, Take 2

I started Project Life last year and was very passionate about it for the first 15(ish) weeks.  I'm hesitant to even share this post, because I may fail, again.  If you're not failing, you're not trying, right?  I'm going to try really hard to finish this time.  I LOVE digital scrapbooking--it is a creative outlet that never fails to de-stress me.  And I LOVE having scrapbooks that my kids can enjoy.  So this week, I sat down and did the last few weeks layouts.

This time, I'm limiting myself.  One of the major issues I ran into last year was having too many options.  This year, I purchased the Kraft edition core kit (you can purchase it through the link in the sidebar).  I plan to use ONLY this kit, to make things a little more simple for me.

Week 13:  March 22-30

Journaling at top right reads: We started our week at Epcot (Disney).  Our original plans didn’t include a stop at Disney, but thanks to a friend of Aunt Mal’s, we got a major discount and were able to stop in to see Anna and Elsa.  For the record, it was worth every minute that we waited in line! On Tuesday, we went to Universal Studios.  Wednesday morning we made a second trip to Islands of Adventure and ended the day at the outlets before heading home on Thursday.  Friday was a big girls trip to the movies to see The Single Mom’s Club, Saturday was a laundry/chore day, and Sunday was BAPTISM day!

Journaling at top right is this blog post from March 30th.

Week 14:  March 31-April 6

Bottom right journaling reads: What a GREAT week we’ve had!  We played outside almost every day, enjoying the gorgeous weather.  Chalk art was made.  Bicycles were crashed.  Ice cream was eaten from teeny-tiny cones.  Spelling tests were aced.  Cursive handwriting was practiced.  Somewhere in the midst of all this, Justin tackled a home improvement project--our TV.  Then, to top it all off, we went to the CIRCUS.  It was a whole-family adventure and we had a blast just being together.

Keep my accountable, ya'll.  I have a few (12) weeks to catch up on, in addition to staying current, but I think I can do it.  Fingers crossed :)



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