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

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

weekend scenes (plus #15minutesforyou WINNERS!)

August 18, 2014 in #15minutesforyou, Blog, Family, Happy Birthday, Kids, weekend by lindsaymwright

I kinda feel like I need another weekend to rest from the weekend.

Ever feel that way??

Sometimes Henry will wake up for the day and come and say to me –“This is a BIG day today, Mom.  A big, BIG day.”  The day might not hold anything spectacular but he craves those “BIG” days of excitement.  I’m afraid I disappoint him 95% of the time.  Smile  Anyway, we had a BIG weekend – Clara turned 4!  Saturday we had her party and another birthday party to attend, we went to a special breakfast, had birthday pedicures, and made everything Clara-themed.  The weekend slipped by in an instant and now I’m wondering how on earth it’s already Monday!?!

Here’s everything I caught on my phone from Friday through Sunday – not a lot – I tried to stay present as much as possible!  Enjoy!

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^^Muscle Ropes sent me these battle ropes to review.  We used them Friday & Saturday during Track Stars – a great training tool!^^

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^^I talked Travis into something.  Stay tuned….^^

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^^Mom watched the kids while we had a date at the track (we’re training for an upcoming mud run!).  We did this workout and again, it whooped my butt.^^

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^^Our best “Arnold”…except it’s all wrong and we have no idea what we’re doing.  Birds of a feather.^^

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^^I order this pretty much every Saturday morning: eggs, bacon and tomatoes.  Salt goes on everything.  Coffee on the side.^^

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^^Part of her “birsday” present:  a trip to the salon.  She’s all girl and loves getting her nails painted.  After much debate (probably 7 minutes worth), she chose silver glitter.^^

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^^For almost 6 years now, we’ve had a cupcake bar at our parties.  I can’t take any credit – Katy does all the baking.  She makes bottoms and icing and then we just let the kids go to town, decorating their own cupcake.  Always a hit!  Katy also made Clara her very own heart-shaped cake you saw above!!^^

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^^I’ve been eating ice cream like it’s going out of style.  But that’s impossible – ice cream will always be stylish.^^

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^^A friend sold us this table seat for Porter and he LOVES it!  We just don’t have room in our kitchen for a high chair plus the Bumbo was just way too small for his thighs.  Here’s the one we got.^^

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^^I think I had more fun playing with Clara’s presents than she did.^^

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^^Planning out September and we’ve already got a few too many activities for my liking.^^

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^^Nursing and snoozing.  Our favorite.^^

QUESTION:  What’d you do this weekend???

splendid…lindsay

P.S.  The #15minutesforyou Challenge winners are K. Daniels (Arctic Zero prize bundle) and Sarah (Onnit gift card)!  Congrats ladies!!

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back to school with finish line

August 11, 2014 in Blog, Homeschooling, Kids, Review by lindsaymwright

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Clara:  Shirt and shoes, Nike. Backpack, Under Armour

Henry:  Shirt and shoes, Nike.  Backpack, Under Armour

Finish Line recently sent us some goodies to help the kids’ back-to-school wardrobe.  One of the perks of being homeschooled is that you can literally sit around all day in your pjs, but I still try to make an effort to get us all dressed and ready for the day even if we’re not leaving the house.  (Which in all honesty rarely happens.  I am the stay-at-home mom who never stays home.)

We took a couple of weeks off from formal school during our beach trip (and the week after) but start back up again TODAY.  Armed with coffee and some freshly sharpened pencils, we’ll start Henry on his first grade assignments and Clara on some Kindergarten fundamentals.  I’m using a mish mash of curriculums (Sing, Spell, Read & Write, Reading Eggs, Math Seeds and a few Kumon workbooks) and I actually have a PLAN for how this year will look.  This same time last year, I was so sick with Porter’s pregnancy that we struggled through a lot of the first few months.  Luckily my children just went along with the ride and retained a TON of information – Henry learned to read chapter books and Clara can do most anything I ask of her.  (Except to stop singing “Let It Go” off key.  She most definitely will not stop doing that.)

I’m truly excited to see what this year of homeschooling will bring!  Exciting times ahead for us Wrights!

QUESTION:  If you have kids, when do they start back to school?  How old?

splendid…lindsay

*I received free product in return for a review. All opinions are my own. 

conversations with clara – episode II

July 25, 2014 in Blogging, Conversations with, Favorites, Kids by lindsaymwright

Well – tonight WE DRIVE!  My feet will be in the white sand tomorrow!  (pray, pray, pray that we make it down to Destin in one piece!)

I leave you today with a conversation with Clara.  Travis has a knack for capturing her that I just do not (in fact, he has a way communicating with her that I haven’t fully mastered).  As I watch, she seems SO grown up to me (here’s the last “conversations” video that I posted!).  I just pray every day that I can be the perfect mother FOR HER (and Henry and Porter) – so far, that equates to listening much more than I’m used to (and doing ALL THINGS GIRLY, which is also a stretch for me).

I have some posts scheduled for next week so please check back in!  I’ll be taking my digital detox but will have some vacation pictures to share when we get back.  Have a wonderful weekend friends!

a day in the life

July 14, 2014 in Blog, Blogging, Family, Intentional Living, Kids, Love, Marriage, Motherhood, Rambles by lindsaymwright

I looked and it’s been SO long since I’ve done a “Day In The Life” post.  Like 2 years ago long (seriously.  go look at how little my kids were!  crazy how time flies!).  And after taking all the pictures that you’re about to see and then sitting down to type out the day’s events, I remember WHY I seldom do these posts.  They take so much effort!!  Constantly snapping shots = me wanting to throw my phone into a bush by the end of the day. 

This was last Tuesday.  A good mix of the normal, mundane and the exciting.  Grab a snack – this is a little long.

Here’s how it went down:

A Day In The Life

4:02am:  I hear something.  Poke Travis and he hears it too.  I make him get up and go through the house to see if there’s a burglar (am I the only wife that does this?!!).  There isn’t.  It’s just Porter kicking the bottom of his bassinet.

4:10am:  He finally wakes all the way up, hungry.  I nurse him in bed, return him to his bassinet and fall back asleep myself.

6:30am:  I vaguely remember Clara and/or Henry coming in the room.  Travis saves the day (as always) and hops up.

7:10am:  Porter wakes me up, hungry.  I nurse him in bed and play on my phone.  He doesn’t nurse well – too sleepy.  Since I want this to be his “official” wake-up time for the day, I unswaddle his arms and start talking to him.  He begrudgingly plays along.

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7:25am:  I make my way through the house, starting with my own bed.  Then Clara’s room (make bed, straighten up) then Henry’s (the same).  Start a load of laundry.

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7:40am:  Since Porter didn’t nurse well, I pump off the extra milk.  I’m going to work out real quick before the day starts so I drink half of my Spark.  Kiss Travis goodbye as he leaves for work.  Tell Henry to dress himself.

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8:00am:  Change Porter’s diaper and outfit – lay him in the middle of the floor with stern instructions for H & C to let him be.  I let Clara pick the movie (Henry picked yesterday) and she turns on “Three Little Pigs.”  Change into my sports bra and a pair of Travis’ boxer briefs.  Head downstairs to work out.

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8:10am:  We got a new (old) rower!!  I come up with a really quick basement WOD and work up quite a nice little sweat!  (LOVE that I can go downstairs anytime I want (within reason) and get a great workout in.  It’s really the best and we’ve got a list of other fitness equipment that we slowly want to accumulate.)

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8:30am:  Come back upstairs.  Drink the other half of my Spark while pouring cereal for H & C.  They choose Crispy Rice (that’s the Rice Krispy off-brand) and Golden Grahams (for which I haven’t found an equal-in-taste off-brand).

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8:40am:  Change Porter’s diaper.  Swaddle him and put him in his crib.  Hop in the shower, get dressed, put hair in messy top bun and do minimal makeup.  Put clean laundry into the dryer.

9:00am:  Make breakfast for myself (eggs, spinach, nut butter, granola and local honey – it’s good – promise!) and coffee.  Sit down at the computer.  Read some blogs.  Respond to emails and then work on the Blend thank you card.  Start dishwasher.

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9:35am:  Porter wakes, hungry.  I nurse him – the first half sitting, the second half walking around the house getting H & C ready to leave.  I know we’re going to the pool later so I tell Henry what items we need and he helps me pack a bag.  <-one of the perks of having an almost six year old.  Take Clara potty.  Dress her.

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9:50am:  Once Porter is finished nursing, I notice that he’s pooped.  A lot.  All over himself …and me.  Quick outfit change for the both of us.  Tell H & C to put their shoes on.

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10:00am:  We’re late (always) but we somehow make it to the car without forgetting anything or anyone.  Drive to the library while listening to this cd (a favorite).

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10:10am:  Luckily we live in a small town and everything is close.  We arrive at the library for a special children’s hour called, “Nursery Rhyme Animals,” where the Balsam Mountain Trust brought in a few animals for the kids to see and touch.  H & C LOVED it!  Porter and I watched from the sidelines.

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11:20am:  After the special event ends, we head to pick out some books.  When we try using the self-checkout scanner, the computer rejects us.  This might have something to do with the $4 late fee that’s on my account.  Luckily I know the head librarian (small town, remember) and she lets me check out the books.  I feel like a rebel.

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11:30am:  We’ve got 30 minutes until our next appointment.  I snack on some almonds and an apple in the car while running errands.  The bank, the post office and then to see Travis.  Porter naps while we drive.  H & C shout and sing and be as loud as they possibly can.

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12:00pm:  Clara gets her teeth cleaned for the first time!!  My mama is a dental hygienist and has cleaned all of our teeth for…forever.  She kisses on only her prettiest patients.  Clara does SO well in the chair and comes home with a bag of goodies (like floss and toothbrushes…not candy or money).  I nurse Porter while we’re there.  Change his diaper.

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12:45pm:  We’re late for a pool date so the drive-through it is – cheeseburgers and fries for the kids.  Katy calls and says she’s picking me up a Gazebo salad!  Thanks sis!

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1:00pm-3:00pm:  We SWIM!!  A good friend invited Katy and I over to her pool so we happily obliged.  Porter naps the entire time we’re there, leaving me with freedom to splash and play with H & C.  Henry works on his jumping.  Clara works on her tan.  I eat my salad and then a Quest bar.

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(AD:  I charged my phone poolside with this Motorola Power Pack.  Holds up to two full charges – fits Droids, iPhones and other devices.  It was almost too easy.  The perfect pool bag accessory.)

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3:20pm:  We arrive home.  I immediately put Clara down for her nap.  Nurse Porter.  Change Porter.  Lay all of our wet suits out to dry.

3:40pm:  While Porter plays in his swing, I sit down with Henry to do some schoolwork.  We found this trio pack of Star Wars workbooks and he loves them.  While Henry works, I eat about 58 handfuls of the best popcorn ever.

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4:10pm:  Travis comes home to watch the soccer game (Brazil vs. Germany) and takes Henry with him across the street (he watches most of the games at his parent’s house).  Clara is still sleeping.  Porter and I have some quality one-on-one.  We sing, make funny faces and work on our belly time.

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5:00pm:  Change Porter, swaddle him and lay him down for a nap.

5:10pm:  I take my second shower of the day and rinse off the chlorine from the pool.  Make note to clean shower sometime soon (uh huh).  Sit down to download pictures and type up some of this post.

5:35pm:  Clara wakes up from her nap.  Take her to potty.  She asks to play games on my phone – I say sure and we both lay down on my bed.  Wake up about 15 minutes later – lots of drool on the pillow.  Later, I find this picture on my phone.

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6:00pm:  Henry and Travis come back.  Germany has beaten Brazil by the largest margin in World Cup history!  I feign excitement – soccer really isn’t my thing (unless we’re talking little kid soccer then I’m majorly concerned).

6:15pm:  Travis asks what’s for dinner.  Crud.  After evaluating the fridge, I make a quick trip to the store.  I could easily amble around in there, in a daze, looking at all the products – it’s one of my favorite things to do when I don’t have kids pawing at me.  This trip is quick though – in and out – and with not a thing for dinner.

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6:40pm:  Arrive back home with enough to make a cereal-almond salad.  Travis and the kids are watching some instructional swimming video (Henry’s learning for our upcoming beach trip).  I’m pretty sure he needs actual time IN the pool but I keep this to myself.

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6:42pm:  Reheat some leftovers for Travis and I (enchiladas) and make the kids a quick quesadilla.  Knowing that Porter will wake any minute to nurse, we eat pretty fast – talking about the day and all those animals we saw earlier.

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6:55pm:  Porter wakes, hungry.  I nurse him while Travis cleans up the table.

7:10pm-7:45pm:  Hand Porter and the kids over to Travis.  Start after-dinner chores which tonight include:  unloading the dishwasher, loading with tonight’s dishes, swiffering the floor and wiping down the counters.  I also cut and cube the cantaloupe I bought earlier so we’ll have it ready for breakfast the next day.  During this time, Travis has been reading “Fox In Sox” and playing hide-and-go-seek.

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7:45pm:  Give Porter a bath.  Lotion him up, dress and swaddle.  Give H & C a bath.  Brush teeth and put them all to bed.

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8:10pm:  My #15minutesforyou today consists of laying on the bed and reconnecting with Travis.  Tonight we need 30 minutes.  We talk and laugh and look each other in the eye – it’s wonderful to just BE PRESENT with my best friend.  I decide to put the phone away for the rest of the night –> sorry, no more pictures.

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8:40pm-10:15pm:  Cereal and TV are musts!  Not needs…musts.  We watch “The League” and “Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee” while eating a hearty mix of Golden Grahams, Honeycomb and TJ’s Fiber Twigs.  Porter wakes up to nurse.  Nurse him, change his diaper and put him back to bed.  We soon follow.  I’m exhausted and the bed feels amazing.

As I lay there I remember the load of clean laundry in the dryer.  Oh well…first thing tomorrow.

Where the new mercies are found.

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QUESTION:  What’s one thing that happened in YOUR day yesterday??

splendid…lindsay