Wednesday, May 22, 2013

To Ruby: In Honor of Her 7th Birthday

I have a sleeping toddler on my lap who coughs himself awake when I try to lay him down.  I have updated every life event and job I've ever had on my FB account and I'm about blog again... for the third time in 3 days... when what I really need to be doing is cleaning Play-doh off every surface of my kitchen...


Dear Ruby,

Ten days ago you turned 7.  Seven years old!  How is that possible?  You've had a rough year this past year.  We moved 20 hours away from "home".  You had to leave your best friend Ava, your school, the only house you'd ever known, grandparents, the list goes on and on.

Honestly though, we worried about your big brother, who has scars on his face from the numerous surgeries we have now lost count of.  Baby girl, we never thought to worry about you.  You have never known a stranger and your happy smile makes you friends everywhere you go.  But we didn't plan on a brown-haired, blue-eyed bully in your class this year.  We didn't anticipate that one little girl being able to shake you to your core.

Ruby, I wanted to rip you out of school and wrap you in bubble wrap.  I wanted to harm this little girl like she has been harming you.  But then I read something in a book I was reading about forgiveness. Ruby, that book showed me that the answer to your problem will not come by my complaining to your teacher, or your principal, or by ripping you out of another school.  The answer, Ruby, is within you.  You must know who you are.  

There are going to be lots of people who try to tell you who you are Ruby, but none of that matters if you know you are and if you know who you are in Jesus.  I watched with pride as you make a book of your wonderful qualities to remind yourself when days are hard (and sweetheart, some days will be!).

Ruby, you are bubbly, easy-going, decisive, smart, sensitive, helpful, and a good friend.  You come alive when you are singing in a performance.  You are a perfectionist and you love surprising people.  You are a wonderful big sister and a very tolerant younger sister.  Sometimes you loose your sparkle, but it's always in there.  I know it.

I have so many wishes for you, but my biggest wish of all is for you to know who you are and to find the one person at Edgewood Elementary* who needs Ruby as her best friend.  She's there.  I know it!

I love you Lady!


*  Not the real school name!

End-of-the-year Teacher Gifts

It feels like this was just a few days ago...

Yet, here we are, the day before the LAST day of school!

I never seem to get my act together for Teacher Appreciation Week, so I continue to have my kiddos give their teachers presents on the last day of school.

This year, with a little help from Skip to my Lou, I created the perfect teacher present!

I'm going to call it the teacher summer survival kit.  I started with the drink dispenser ($3 in the Target dollar bin).  I went to the dollar store to see what kinds of fun things I could find to fill it up.  I found the cute tote bag, fancy beaded bookmark, and drink mix there.  I then supplemented with the water bottle and sun screen from Target.

For the tag, I printed out the poem (from Skip to my Lou) on the computer and cut it using the circle from my Creative Memories cutting system (Yes, despite having a Cricut, I still go "old school" sometimes!).  Then I cut a slightly bigger circle in yellow.  I used the Creative Memories large square punch for squares to attach to the back to make the sun rays (only showing half the squares).  I added another circle on the back of the square punches to give it a more polished look. I used a hole-punch to punch two holes and attached the sun card to the bottle with yellow ribbon from the dollar store.

Viola!  There you have it-- a fun, useful teacher gift!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Ballet Shoes & Soccer Cleats

My kiddos are (almost) 3, 7, and (almost) 11.  

I don't do "fall back plans" at this age.  Sorry.  If they tell me they want to be a T-Rex when they grow up right now, I will be the first to cheer on their roars and show them how to shove their arms in their sleeves to shorten them.  Too much of our lives are spent being practical; I'm going to let them dream as long as possible.

So when Ruby told me at 4 that she wanted to be a "famous princess ballerina" when she grew up, I encouraged her every step of the way.

This year was her 2nd year of ballet classes.  She has loved them... until the last couple of months.  Not only does she no longer want to be a famous princess ballerina, she doesn't even want to take ballet class next year.  

Don't get me wrong, I am NOT one of those moms living through her daughter.  Personally, I could not care less about ballet, but SHE loved it.  LOVED it!  

And then I looked at these uploaded photos of the performance and she's not even smiling.  She is done.  And it is SO hard to let her be done with her first love, with her only dose of "girly" in a very "boy-y" kind of house.

I have no idea what this spunky girl will choose to do next.  I have a feeling that she's going to trade in her ballet shoes for soccer cleats (like her big brother).  You better believe, though, if she ever tells me that she's going to be a famous soccer player, I will be the first to cheer her on!