these kids….they’re learning

December 12, 2014 in Blog, Family, Homeschooling, Intentional Living, Kids, Motherhood by lindsaymwright

There are a million little pieces of white paper on my kitchen floor.

This gives me goosebumps.

If you know me, you know that floors are my thing.  My crazy comes out.  They must be clean.  I think every woman (person) has their own kind of crazy.  Maybe yours is that you can’t stand having dirty laundry or you can’t seem to filter the things that come out of your mouth or you have to sleep in a certain position or your whole day is off.  I don’t know.  I just know that floors are my thing and having a million teeny-tiny pieces of white paper on my kitchen floor gives me anxiety like no other.

Food pieces (or wet, mushy poop pieces) would be worse.  So today I’m thankful that it’s just paper.

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Clara is learning how to cut.

With big people scissors.

(That’s not a commentary on dwarfism.  Just adult scissors versus small child scissors.)

I drew some shapes on a piece of computer paper and I let her have at it, cutting them out.  The circle I drew came out looking more like a rectangle when she cut it but she’s only four and I don’t think they have any type of scissor-skill competitions at her age so we’re good.  ….For now.  I really should have given her the smaller scissors but I can’t seem to find them in our junk drawer right now.  There’s just too much junk in there (seriously I found a roll of pennies!  Who keeps rolls of coins in their house??  Me.).  I looked in the backup junk drawer and the scissors are lost.  This means I’ll put them on my grocery list, spend $6 picking out the pink pair of kid scissors (because Clara will insist – if they had a glitter pair, I’m sure we’d pick that one), then arrive home and the old $3 pair that I already had will pop out at me and scream, “Here I am!!  You ninny!  Now you own two pair of ridiculously small scissors!!  Ha!”

Story of my life….

Anyway, Clara is trying and she’s getting the hang of it.  I haven’t told you the story of our trip down to Cabbage Patch General Hospital (yes, there is such a place) or about how I tried my hardest to talk her into getting a doll that I’D actually like looking at or about how she quickly slapped that idea right out the window and picked one of the uglier babies at the hospital (when a mama knows, a mama knows) and named her, “Ayizabeth.”  The doll is laying on our living room floor right now, “playing” and “being SOOOOO good.”  “She doesn’t even cry, Mama!  She’s SOOOOO good.”

I smile.

Porter has learned to clap.

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And it’s the most precious thing in the world.  And he KNOWS he’s doing something monumental.  He just lights up with the biggest grin.  The way that children learn is just fascinating.  One day they just DO IT.  They just learn.  He’s also found his “pincher fingers.”  I’ve been waiting.  For a few weeks, it seemed like he might go his entire life just batting and swatting at the Cheerios in front of him (people would call him baseball-mitt hands – this is what I was envisioning) but luckily he just started pinching at things this week.  I think Henry gave him a lesson while I had my back turned (searching for the scissors).  Henry gets a star on his chart for that one.

Speaking of…

Henry is learning to how to put stickers on his chart.

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He has a reading chart.  One sticker for every book he reads.  He’s getting super sly about what he defines as a “book.”  It’s really funny to watch.  He’ll get a book and mentally cut it into chapters (even if there aren’t chapters) then call the individual chapters “books”.  I think I was distracted one day (yes, really) and said that he could put a sticker on for reading only a couple of pages of a book and since then he’s tried to pull one over on me every.single.time.  Like I said, it’s fun to watch.  And oh man, I get the proudest-mom smile when he chooses to read his Bible.  All by himself.  Like my heart just bursts and I want to go shower him in kisses and say “YES!  This is the BEST book!  And don’t you just love Psalms?!?!  Aren’t the poems just beautiful?!?!  And isn’t the story about Moses just the COOLEST!?!”  But I don’t.  Because I want him to want to read the Bible for himself and not because it pleases his mother so I sit back and watch and pray over the time he reads, praying that God will turn him into a sponge and he’ll soak up all the goodness that’s in that book.

So those are the things my kids are learning at the moment.

And those are the things that I am learning.  The mess, the sticker trickery, the joy of clapping.  I get to take a front seat to all of that.

And it’s good.

So, so good.

splendid…lindsay

on stepping out, stepping back and desiring God’s will for our lives

October 22, 2014 in Blog, Faith, Family, Intentional Living, Kids, Marriage by lindsaymwright

You ever get that feeling that you really have no idea what you’re doing?

Like yeah, you’ve got your basic movement patterns down and you can do the day-to-day stuff ok, but sometimes there’s this blaring-obvious-flashing sign that says, “You can’t do this alone.”

That’s me.

(And probably you.)

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(m&m’s help)

I find myself constantly praying this:

“Just show me your will, Lord God.”

Sometimes I’ll even add on…”Just make it REALLY obvious and easy for me to see.  Like take Your big hand and a big yellow marker and mark the path for me.  Can ya do that?!”  I think life would be much easier if it was set up that way – if some of the choice was taken out.  It hurts my brain to make choices.  But it isn’t like that.  We ARE given a choice everyday to either seek His will or to live outside of it.

We have so many choices to make.

What school to send our kids to (or whether or not to homeschool them)?  What’s the best church for us?  What career path should we go down?  Where should we put our energy?  Where should we put our money?  So many questions, so many different paths.  (And I’ve been making A LOT of big ones lately!!)

So how do we know which one to take?!!? 

Well….

We’re told that He has plans to prosper and not to harm (Jeremiah 29:11).  So we know that His plans are for GOOD.

We’re also told that He has a FUTURE and a HOPE for us (Jeremiah 29:11). So we know that those plans are thought through, not by mistake.

Stepping Out

Here’s what I think:  There are many paths to choose from and I don’t think God has that certain perfect path, the only that’s “right.”  I think that He’ll bless any path that you go down WHEN YOU’RE SEEKING HIS WILL.  I believe He’ll shower us with peace and strength when we ask for it, no matter what.  I believe the value comes from our SEEKING and our PRAYING, more so than whether or not we choose the “right” thing.

I think so often we remain stagnant or afraid to take that next step because we’re really not sure if it’s God’s will for us.  Fear of the unknown holds us back. It shouldn’t.   If you’re thinking about taking a big step, make sure you’ve got these four things in mind:

1) PrayerAre you talking with Father and seeking His will?  What does the Bible say?

2) Listening to the Holy Spirit –  You’ve already got a “sense” that this is the right or wrong path.  Listen to that Holy Spirit whisper.

3) Seeking counsel from mentorsAre you seeking wisdom from your husband and/or others in your life who can give you sage advice?

And lastly,

4) Learning from past mistakes (“wrong paths”) Does this new choice look eerily similar to something you later found out was all wrong?  Learn from your past mistakes and steer clear of those things that pull you away from your calling.

Stepping Back

I shared the big Yogurt/Coffee shop news on Monday (go back and read to catch up).  And I also said that if this new venture was too stressful on our family then I’d simply walk away.  THIS IS STEP #4 THAT I JUST DESCRIBED – “learning from past mistakes.”  Been there.  Done that.

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Don’t get me wrong – I’ve prayed A LOT about this new venture and for all the aspects that surround it and I don’t think I’m doing this on accident.  But I’m really not certain yet if this is what God has planned for us long-term.  I just don’t know.  Sometimes you don’t.  What I DO KNOW is that I’m called to be a wife/mother/ homemaker first.  I know for certain that I’ve made that “right” decision.  I also know that when things pull me away from that role and cause too much tension and stress then they probably aren’t right for us.  I’m confident enough in my most important job to know that all the other jobs I might have don’t really matter.

Right now I’m just taking everything one day at a time.  And praying a lot.  And running to Travis.  (and drinking obscene amounts of coffee)

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I write all this to encourage you if you’re facing a big life decision.  You’re not going into it alone and you’re not going to screw up something so bad that you can’t ever be redeemed (unless you murder someone or embezzle a million dollars, then you’re probably going to jail…but even then, there’s grace…I digress. Winking smile).  I also write this all out because it’s really important for me to continually live an intentional, purposeful life.  Writing it out and sharing with you helps me with that.  Cheap therapy.

splendid…lindsay

playing legos

October 8, 2014 in Blessings, Blog, Homeschooling, Intentional Living, Kids, Motherhood by lindsaymwright

I’d estimate that Henry spends an hour (or two) playing with Legos each and every day.  The way that I homeschool allows for free play at various times throughout the day (read:  we school for 20, play for 10) and Henry’s preferred “play” is Legos.  I’ve yet to break it to him that he’s actually learning SO much while he plays.

How Legos provide a great school experience:

  • Lego provides tools that develop lateral thinking in a fun environment.
  • Teaches kids to think in three dimensions.
  • Improves literacy as kids work with instructions.
  • Develops problem-solving, organization, and planning by construction.
  • Improves creativity.
  • Enhances communication and critical thinking.
  • Boosts kids motor development.

{source}

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As a mama who wants all of those things for her son, I’m SOLD.  And Henry is SOLD as a builder.  This kid, you guys.  He is amazing when it comes to building with Legos.  Yesterday (like most every day), he invited me into the front room to watch him build.  I usually brush him off because …you know, I’ve got a billion other more important things to do like play around on Instagram or watch New Girl.  But yesterday I chose a different path and plopped my pajama-clad bottom down with my son.

When you “play Legos” one person is the builder (Henry) while the other person is the helper (me).  The helper simply picks up the Legos that are needed next and holds them in their hand while the builder goes to work.  In being the helper, I was able to just sit there and watch my son’s brain work.

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I learned a few things.

Henry is patient.  He took his time and didn’t become flustered when the pieces didn’t line up correctly or something fell apart.  Twice I noticed he calmed himself down by taking a big breath and refocusing.

Henry has a great memory.  The set we worked on yesterday was one that he’s done probably 10-15 times.  He didn’t need to look at the instructions (but he did because he wanted to make 100% sure it turned out right – Type A like his mother).

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Henry is really fun to be around.  As he built and as I sat helping, he cracked a couple of jokes that made me genuinely laugh.  The kid is six years old and I enjoy hanging out with him.  I know you’re rolling your eyes and saying pat yourself on the back, you like your son….but have you ever met a six year old boy?!?  They aren’t always the best.  But he IS.014

I also learned that if I don’t take the time to be more of a “YES mom” to my kids I’ll be missing out on some really important stuff.  Overall I’m pretty good at being present these days (that’s taken quite sometime to learn if you’ve been following along for the past few years) but I can always use a reminder.

“Playing Legos” – it’s been added to my task list.

QUESTION:  Ever play with Legos??  What was your game of choice growing up?

splendid…lindsay

an easy reader

September 30, 2014 in Blessings, Blog, Faith, Family, Homeschooling, Intentional Living, Kids, Motherhood by lindsaymwright

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The process of teaching a child to read is …. interesting.  A struggle at times but with THE BEST rewards for both mama and child.  The foundations are laid loooong before the child ever reads his or her first word.  I’m already teaching Porter to read.  That may seem silly but studies show that children who are read to during early infancy have a better aptitude for learning letters, their sounds and then piecing those sounds together to form words.

Last year was our first homeschooling year.  I wanted to prove that I could do this – that I could teach my children.  That’s the sad part – there is a level of success that you need to show.  You must beat the critics.  Any homeschooling mom feels this pressure – any teacher feels this pressure.  So with the help of my MIL, I set out to teach Henry to read.  I gave us until Christmas (because I can’t half-ass anything).  Using Sing, Spell, Read & Write and as many workbooks as I could get my hands on, Henry and I set out on this adventure.  He won.  He learned how to read.  I helped but only in the most minute way.  I realize not all learning experiences have that satisfaction – we certainly had our own moments of frustration and angst.  But we stuck with it.  We read book after book after book.  Then we read some more books.  I got to watch his little brain work, sounding out each letter and then forming those sounds into actual words.  Oh my word.  It was (still is) a beautiful, GRATIFYING thing.

A year later and my son is reading chapter books with ease.  Yesterday I came up with the idea that our afternoon assignment would be to create an easy reader book.  From storyline to spelling to illustration, Henry did it allALL!

I just sat back, mesmerized by the grace that God has poured out on this endeavor.  He’s blessing this decision to teach.  To be home during these precious years.  He’s blessing this time.  All I can do is humble myself and lay down all my notions of perfection and the idea that I must prove myself because that’s so ridiculous.  All I can do is open up my arms and ask for more.  Because I have nothing to give.  Read that again: I have nothing to give.  I need more.  Patience, drive, grace, love, desire. 

More God.  MORE.

And He just keeps pouring….

splendid…lindsay

tips for surviving your first mud run

September 22, 2014 in Blog, Goals, Inspiration, Marriage, Races, Review, Saturday Fun by lindsaymwright

Last Saturday, Travis and I ran the Building Bridges Mud Run in Waynesville, North Carolina!  We had a muddy good time!  A FIT DATE, if you will.  Before I get into my tips for surviving your first mud run (this was actually our second), I’ll review a little bit about the actual race in case anyone might want to run it next year (you shouldwith ME!).

Building Bridges Mud Run – My Thoughts

PROS:

Organization

This race was VERY well organized!  All parts, from registration to chip timing to swag bags and the finish-line organization were on point.  Since this was the inaugural year, I was very surprised with how smoothly everything ran (it’s hard planning for 300 people).  There was even a guarded place for personal belongings (which was how I was able to take some of the pictures that I got on my phone!).

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Hard obstacles

If you’re going to sign up for a mud run, you expect two things: MUD and obstacles.  Travis and I were VERY happy with the difficulty of the obstacles.  There was a good variety that challenged us in various ways.  I believe this course had 13 (?) obstacles.  My favorite? The Monkey Bars!  (even though I fell crossing them because they were SO wet…landed with a huge splash in a mud pit!)

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Finish line perks

Not only did the finish line have a fun slip n’ slide to end the course with but we were also blessed with custom soap from the Hazelwood Soap Company, free water, free bananas and complimentary towels.  Perhaps the best part: being sprayed off with the fire truck hose!  My entire bottom half was caked with mud but the fire truck hose helped take almost all of that off (which made driving home much cleaner).

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CONS:

Course Distance

We were told that the course would be 3.5 miles long.  It actually ended up being right around 2.25.  Travis didn’t mind a bit.  While the hills and obstacles made it hard, I did feel a little shorted on the distance.

Course Obstacle Clumping

Nearly all of the obstacles were clumped together in one location.  I’m sure this had something to do with the land owner (they had to create a lot of mud pits on someone’s land) so it wasn’t really a big deal.  The race would have been better had the obstacles been better dispersed throughout the run.

Those were my only two complaints!

Overall, I highly recommend any locals to run this race (the 2015 date has yet to be released).  I know that Travis and I will come back for it! Smile  A big thank you to my mother-in-law for watching the kids while we ran!

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Now for some tips on running your first mud run!  Like I said, this was actually our second mud run.  The first was the 2011 Warrior Dash in Mountain City, GA.  Travis, Katy and I ran that race and had a great time.  A mud run is simply a race (usually 5k, but there are some longer distances) that involves obstacles and a muddy course.  People usually don’t race them for time but rather come for the atmosphere and energy that surrounds the race.  They’re just REALLY fun!  Here are seven tips that you should know before getting muddy!

7 Tips for Surviving Your First Mud Run

1.  Wear TIGHT fitting clothing!

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See those sweatpants.  Don’t wear those.  Worst idea ever.

One of the first “obstacles” was fording a river.  That part was easy.  Getting out of the water and then running with super soggy, non-wicking pants was the tricky part.  It literally felt like I was wearing 20 pound ankle weights (and if calf weights were a thing…those too).  Next time I’ll wear long pants or capris that fit snuggly!  A tight fitting top would probably be best as well – you don’t want it to get snagged on anything.

2.  Wear shoes & clothes that you can throw away.

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If you’re like me, you’ll want to wear items that you can easily TRASH or DONTATE when the race is over!  Sure, you could try to clean everything off and salvage the pieces but I don’t like putting mud into the washing machine.  We went to the thrift store and spent $4 total on our race outfits.  Buy items that you won’t mind getting muddy.  Wear the oldest pair of shoes you have too– many races actually collect the used shoes at the finish line and donate them!

3.  Be prepared to get muddy.

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Seems like a no brainer since you just paid money to play in the mud but you’d be surprised how many people tried taking the “non-dirty” route through some of the obstacles or on the race path.  Travis and I laughed at the start line as people were stopping in front of us to avoid some mud puddles.  Umm….you’re about to spend 30 minutes in the mud but you’re freaking out about your shoes a minute before the gun goes off.  It was funny.  The race will be WAY better if you get as dirty as possible! Trust me!

4.  Bring a full change of clothes + a towel for the ride home!

Even if you choose to keep your muddy race clothes, you’re still going to want a fresh change of clothes for the ride home.  We traveled 45 minutes to the race and I was so thankful for a new outfit (shirt, pants, undies, bra) and a pair of flip flops for the return home.

5.  Don’t wear jewelry.

Travis’ tip.  He wore his wedding band (didn’t want the ladies to get any ideas) and it nearly fell off when it got wet and muddy.  Leave your jewelry/keys/phones at the starting line!

6.  Do it with someone!

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If you can possibly avoid it, don’t race alone!!  The best part of running over tires, jumping over hay bales and crawling through tunnels is doing it WITH someone else!  You laugh, you cry, you get mud in your eyes and then there’s someone there to wipe it out.  Since you’re not concerned with keeping a certain pace or hitting a finish time, you can have fun out there.  Do it with someone else!  <-this is my philosophy on ALL fitness but that’s a different blog post.

7.  Come up with a team name/outfit!

In the same vein, come up with a creative outfit and team name for the race!  Building Bridges actually gave away prizes for the most creative team name and the most creative costumes (we didn’t win – I’m not really sure what our costume theme was.  Maybe ”Sweatpant-astic”?!?  Yeah that works).

Like I said, we went to the thrift store in search of a costume to wear.  It was slim pickins, my friends.  I think if you lived in a larger city it would be much easier to find cohesive pieces for a team costume but all we found were ratty shirts, old pajamas and sweatpants.  We just went with it and took some scissors to everything to “customize.”  Wish I’d had a Bedazzler…..

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Our team name??

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8.  HAVE FUN!

My last and most important tip:  HAVE FUN!!  You paid money to go run in the mud.  Have fun with yourself and your team.  Be silly.  Make up a song or team chant.  Do whatever you wanna do for 3 miles.  I PROMISE – you won’t be the most obnoxious person there.

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QUESTION:  Ever done a MUD RUN???  Any tips to add??

splendid…lindsay

weekend scenes + the home improvement project you don’t want to take on

August 25, 2014 in Blog, Family, House, Kids, Love, weekend by lindsaymwright

Hi, hello and how are you?!?

I sometimes feel like a broken record with these weekend recaps (“it was great…it was short…can we please have more time together”…) but I really enjoy sharing a few pictures of our family time.  This weekend we tackled the home improvement project from hell.  There’s just no other way to put it.  The project?

We painted our basement floors.

Except we didn’t.

We painted like a quarter of what we’d hope to paint.  I’m not sure if you’ve ever done this type of work yourself, but the process of painting concrete is exhausting (and expensive!).  We set out to paint about 1,000 sq. feet of floor (which in hindsight was just way too much) and ended up painting around 300 sq. ft.  <-even this took a lot of time.  I’m sure it didn’t help that we’re inexperienced and have a 70-year old basement floor but I still think it would be a hard project for anyone (or maybe it’s really easy and we’re just wimps?).  The actual painting was a breeze – the preparation work before you can paint…that’s the hard part.  Anyway, lesson learned and now we’ve got this neat little (out-of-place) patch of beautifully painted cement in the corner of our basement.  Hehe.

Live and learn, right?  I’ll try and remember to share the finished look when it’s completed (we still have one last step to do).

Here’s the weekend in pictures (no particular order):

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^^We’ve been having “Smoovie” night every week.  I make a big batch of peanut butter-banana smoothies and we drink them while watching a movie.  It’s the best.^^

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^^Review to come this week– still learning all about this new Polar F60.^^

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^^Had to.^^

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^^On Saturday morning, the Track Stars group completed “Hit The Deck.”  They LOVED it (I think….).

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^^I like to document our group through pictures but we’re kinda running out of poses. Smile^^

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^^Buy these!!^^

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^^Meal prep.  For more time saving tips, go here.^^

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^^Like puttin’ lipstick on a pig.^^

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^^Postpartum hair loss is no joke.  I think this past month has been the worst.^^

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^^I just ordered these.  I’ve yet to put them on.  Have you tried Jamberry yet?^^

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^^This x2 plus allllll the coffee.^^

QUESTION:  Best thing you ATE all weekend???

splendid…lindsay