Sunday, July 13, 2014

Selfies by Annabelle

Annabelle likes to take pictures with my phone and 98% of them are pictures of her feet!  I cannot tell you how many foot pictures I have deleted off my phone of Annabelle's FEET!  That is, until I noticed that each foot picture actually tells a little story.  It's kind of amazing how much information a foot selfie can contain!
1. I am a sucker for a little girl in cowboy boots   2. I can tell this was taken on the day of Annabelle's first dance recital by the glowing pink taffeta   3. This was taken at one of Barrett's baseball games evidenced by the Sonic cup, zippy cup, keys, and red dirt stained shoes - I remember this well because she played in this awful red dirt and was completely covered in it...we had to wipe her down with baby wipes before she could get in the car!  4. At Target in the grocery cart   5. Annabelle sitting in my lap in my bed   6. The jelly shoes means this is summertime and I see beach toys below, and a $5 bill...this was taken at the beach, probably in the Publix parking lot just after she bought the sand truck and bucket.  7. At the doctor's office   8. Pink polkadot suitcase, Teddy bear, those crazy socks to keep her feet warm...this was in the airport on our way to NYC in March.   9.  On the way to dance class.

I don't know where she gets this....

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Fourth of July

We had a fabulous time with friends celebrating Independence Day!  We had all kinds of Red, White, and Blue foods, hot dogs off the grill, watermelon, and firecracker popsicles, and then we topped it all off with a fireworks show over the lake...Good times with good friends!

Kyle helped me paint these cute Ball Jar vases!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Smile and the whole world smiles with you

Sometimes we get in a funk.  We see life though the filter of our attitude.  If our attitude is dark and negative we will only see the bad.  If our attitude is positive, we will see the good side.  It has been hard for me to accept that with 5 people in this family, there will almost never be a time when we are all in a good mood at the same time...and I may never give up that hope. Which is why I have come up with some silly games to turn bad attitudes around quickly.  

The Smile Contest:  Studies have proven that smiling, even fake smiling changes the chemistry in the brain and actually makes you feel happier.  So if one of the kids is sporting a grumpy face for a prolonged period, I will often challenge him to a smiling contest.  It doesn't matter who wins, because everyone wins when people are happy.

The Don't Smile game:  I tell them, "Okay don't you smile." in a fake stern tone while pretending like I'm doing everything I can not to smile/laugh.  As soon as they start to crack, bust out laughing and throw in a snort or every time.

The Show Me How You Feel with Your Face game: I ask the kid to show me how sad or mad they feel with their face either by looking in the mirror or taking their picture and showing it to them.  They can't help but to laugh when they see their outrageous facial expressions, no matter how hard they try.

The At Least... game:  We take turns pretending something bad happened like "Oh man, I broke my arm and now I have to keep it in a cast that sticks straight up in the air!" Then we make up an "At least..." follow-up statement such as, "At least I'll be ready to jam out at a rock concert."  or "At least I'll always be ready when the teacher asks a question." or "At least there will always be someone to take the blame for the odor in the air." The crazier, the better.

I understand that everybody gets down sometimes and I'm not trying to get them to stuff their feelings.  We all need to let off some steam every now and then.  I really only use these games when I can see that the attitude needs to shift from "woe is me" or "everything bad always happens to me" and not when they are legitimately upset about something specific.

“A smile costs nothing, but creates much. It enriches those who receive, without impoverishing those who give. It happens in a flash and the memory of it sometimes lasts forever.” - Dale Carnegie, How to Win Friends and Influence People.

Here's Kyle playing the Don't Smile game after we had already had a Smile Contest.  Two minutes prior, he was grumpy...and maybe a couple of the other dwarfs too. 

Thursday, June 26, 2014

My sweetheart

I belong with you, you belong with me, you're my sweetheart.
~  Ho Hey by The Lumineers

We took family photos on the beach and then my plan was to get some more shots of all three kids, and some candids of the kids playing on the beach.  Sadly, the boys had other plans that did not involve taking pictures.  I would have loved to have more pictures of them both.  I guess that's boys... here are the shots I got of Annabelle. 

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Make it a Beautiful Day | Bonfire on the Beach

I'm gonna wash the dust off my soul
I'm gonna listen to some rock n' roll
No cares, come what may
I'm making a beautiful day
I'm gonna drive my car to the sea
Swim out far cause I believe 
that the waves will wash the gray away
I'm making a beautiful day

~ Beautiful Day by Joshua Radin

To my kids (when you read this in the future),

We have enjoyed many beautiful days together... and I'm not talking about the weather.  On this day, we had a bonfire on the beach.  We brought some music and your daddy brought his guitar.  All three of you danced 60's style like you were in the movie CLAMBAKE!  We roasted hot dogs and s'mores, flew a kite, watched the sun set over the sea.  It was a beautiful day.

Wherever you are now, MAKE it a beautiful day.  Dance, sing, let loose, do something new, and know that I love you!  


Monday, June 23, 2014

No Matter What | Some beach 2014 photos

I'll be the sun, you be the shining.
You be the clock, I'll be the timing.
While I was feeling such a mess, I thought you'd leave me behind.
While I was feeling so upset, I thought the sun never shine.

Then I found Forever
Hey! Hey! love!
We've been best friends forever darling.
That's' what's up!

No matter what!
You've got my love to lean on darling.
That's what's up!
You've got my love to lean on darling.
No matter what!

~That's What's Up 

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