the time henry hiked a mountain

December 31, 2014 in Blog, Christmas, Family, Kids by lindsaymwright

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If you’re a long time LL reader, you’ve surely seen this hike before.  Siler Bald.  It’s my very favorite.  Only 20 minutes away, an intermediate climb and the view at the top is seriously one of the best I’ve ever seen (and that counts Colorado hikes too so you know it’s good).  My family and I have hiked Siler Bald every Thanksgiving Day for the past 6 years….except for this past one.  It was pouring rain.  Waaa waaa.  I knew we just had to get up there soon and the day after Christmas proved to be the perfect time (what is it with the warm weather??).

Since we now have three kids and are outnumbered, Henry had to hike on his own.  Five miles on his own!!  It took us much (much) longer than usual but Henry’s little legs carried him up and down that mountain.  You should have seen his face at the top.  It was….perfect..and it goes down in the “proud mama book.”  There are times when my kids will do something like commit a Bible verse to memory or give a hug to someone who looks sad or pick up litter and throw it away and my heart will just burst and I can’t help but smile and SEE (really SEE) the people that they’ll become.  Kind, loving, strong, amazing people.  This hike, Henry’s spectacular feat, was one such time.  He planned for the hike, packing enough water and snacks for a 3-day journey.  He picked out his own hiking clothes, knowing that he’d need some longer socks and a jacket.  On the hike, he took the time to look around and examine all.the.things (which is probably why it took an hour longer).  He just did it right, ya know.  He knew it was a big deal.  And you better believe that Travis and I made it a SUPER big deal too.  That’s what you do.

He wants to do it again tomorrow.  With more snacks and more sitting-down-on-log breaks.

splendid…lindsay

merry christmas from mine to yours

December 25, 2014 in Blog, Christmas, Family, Kids by lindsaymwright

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MERRY CHRISTMAS from the Wrights!!!

splendid…lindsay

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