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Showing posts from 2009

Moments I Want to Treasure

I will never have a thousand followers on this blog. I will probably never monetize it. I will also likely never make much of a difference with it. However, there is something I want to do with it, and that is remember moments like this: Natalie (while driving in the car completely out of the blue): "Mommy, I love God!" Mommy: "That's wonderful Natalie, why do you love God?" Natalie: "Because he died to save us from our sins." Mommy: "That is true. I love God because he gave us this beautiful world to live in." Natalie: "I love God because he loves me too!" Mommy: "Yes, he sure does." Natalie: "I love God and he loves me. God loves us Megan!" Yes, those are moments I never wish to forget. All through our walk in the mall my child was singing "I love mommy and God, I love mommy and God." I love it!

It's Sticking!

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Natalie this morning was playing with a new horse and cart Little People toy she got for Christmas. She was packing the cart full of other Little People animals, and then she was encouraging the horse to try hard. Here is what she said, "Come on horse, you can do it. I know it is a big load, but you can do it. Trust in God to help you. Praise to God to help you and give you strengf. You can do it horse! Keep going!" So adorable! I guess all of the hours of listening to Patch the Pirate and reading Bible story books are starting to stick!

To Do Santa, or Not to Do Santa?

When I was three years old (or so), I went to bed one Christmas Eve overly excited about the upcoming holiday. My excitement made it hard to sleep (Santa was coming!) and when I woke to see lights on and hear my parents’ voices, I knew it was time. I scampered out in the living room to see what the big red guy had brought, only to find my dad in the throws of putting together my dollhouse. The dollhouse that was from “Santa.” It was then and there that I discovered the truth. Perhaps because I learned the truth so early, the decision about whether or not we would “do” Santa was never really that important. Honestly, I thought I could ignore "Santa" for many years and it would just blow over. Not so much with my literal, observant child. Also, when we joined a playgroup with other moms, the idea that we didn’t “do Santa” was surprising. It caused me to think about it and evaluate whether or not we would use this tradition in our home (Natalie, unitl this year, was young enoug

Tantrums

The other day (was it yesterday?) my eldest had a knock-down-drag-out fit complete with screaming, kicking the wall, and throwing things. It was over something really little, but she was quite upset. It has got me to thinking about tantrums. Tantrums show the sin nature at its worst. The child is having a fit because he or she wants something he or she cannot have. The child is expressing displeasure because she did not get her way. The child is not submitting to authority. Yet, at the same time, the child is still only a child. Self control certainly has not been mastered, and some of these things will come with time. I have been reading Shepherding a Child's Heart by Tedd Tripp for Bible study at church. While I realize that this is not scripture, a lot of people that I respect really like his advice. He speaks against "isolation" (ie sending a child to their room) as a disciplinary tactic. However, in the midst of a fit, this is the only thing that works! I send h

Giveaway

I rarely do these things but i am gonna try this one. MckMama is giving away a computer! Find out more about how to enter here . Good Luck!

Out of the Mouth of Babes

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Tonight we were driving and Natalie was in a talking-a-mile-a-minute mode. She asked me, "Are we Christians?" I usually answer, "Mommy and Daddy are Christians because we asked Jesus to forgive our sins and be our saviour." Tonight I answered differently. I said, "Have you asked Jesus to forgive your sins and come into your heart?" A few minutes later she said, "Mom, I want to pray to God." I said, "You can pray to God any time you want." Here is what she prayed, "Dear Jesus, thank you so much for our doggies, and families, and the snow, and mommies, and daddies, and sisters. I love you so much Jesus. Forgive me of my sins. Thank you for the good day. Amen." Of course, we were smiling ear to ear, but we try not to get too excited outwardly because we do not want her praying for show. We want her praying because her heart wants to. A few minutes later she said, "Mommy, I think I want to pray again. I have so much to sa

Another Natalie Funny

Today we were driving home from running erands. Natalie was listening to her Patch the Pirate CD, and the song that was on was "My God Is a Rock." She pipes up, "But mom, God can't be a rock. He's a people!" I guess we have a little more theological training to do ;)

Natalie Funnies

Once again, it is time for some Natalie Funnies. The other night we were reading a book that was talking about heaven. The artist's rendering of Heaven was of a golden city in the clouds. Natalie asks, "Mommy, why is heaven squishy?" Natalie is obsessed with her sister's dirty diapers. She loves to sneak into Megan's room when I am changing her and peek at the diaper. If she doesn't see it, she will ask to and then say, "Yep, that's stinky all right." We are getting ready to participate in our church's reinactment of the Christmas story, called Journey to Bethlehem. I have been explaining it to Natalie so she will understand. When I told her about it, she asked, "Who will pretend to be baby Jesus?" I told her since the stable portion was outside, and it's cold, Baby Jesus would be a baby doll. She instantly started digging through her baby doll box. I didn't make the connection and asked what she was doing. "I need t

A Change in Focus

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In reading a friend's blog post the other day, I was challenged to change the way I think about my children. I believe all children have perceived weaknesses or character traits that tend to annoy their parents. For me, it is easy to dwell on these. I find myself doing so on a regular basis. I was challenged to think of them not as weaknesses or problems, but rather as something that God gave to each girl that He wants to use for His glory. So, here is my attempt at categorizing that for my girls and changing my focus. I have one child who is fearful and sensitive. The slightest thing can set her into tears, often to my surprise because I do not think it is a big deal. Sometimes deciphering whether she is having a fit or simply truly saddened by what has happened is difficult, particularly when tears are involved. I tend to think she is having a fit, but I am learning that she is just a sensitive soul. While the sudden outbursts of tears are not convenient and can be frustrating

Look What She Did!

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When I picked Natalie up from "school" (translation: Mom's Day Out at an area church) yesterday, I had a big surprise. Can you tell what it is? That's right, she wrote her name. All by herself! We haven't even been working on little letter! She picks up on things so quickly. I couldn't be more proud!

What No One Told You About a Big Baby

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Megan is a big baby. At 15 months she weighs 30 pounds, just four pounds less than her sister. She has never been on the charts since birth, always registering in the +97 percentile. She is on track growth wise and following her own growth curve, so no one is worried. I have found, however, that there are some unique challenges to caring for a big baby. I thought I would write them down before she turns into a preschooler and I forget. 1. Big babies outgrow everything before they should - the infant carrier, exersaucer, infant backpacks/slings, booster seat/high chair, etc. Before she was big enough to sit in the cart at the store, she had outgrown her infant carrier/carseat thingy. 2. Big babies cannot wear baby clothes - they have to wear toddler clothes even before they are 1. Good luck finding a "baby's first Christmas" onsie in size 24 months or 2t. 3. Big babies have a death wish - Megan can pull over things on herself that a normal sized toddler would not have

Tacos A'la Natalie

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Last night we had tacos for dinner. This is not Natalie's favorite meal. She has it in her head that she does not like tortillas. Well, last night I had corn tortillas instead of flour. She saw me giving Megan some tortilla and wanted to know what it was. When I told her it had the same ingredients as a corn chip, she wanted to try it. Apparently, she liked it. The next thing we knew she was making her own corn taco. Here are the ingredients: One scoop of refried beans One scoop of meat One sprinkle of cheese One green bean (yes, we serve her tacos with green beans since she won't eat lettuce or tomatoes, but we never intended them to go ON the taco). Her verdict: "Mmmm, tasty Mommy, very tasty. It's scrum-diddle-y-umptious"

The World Creeps In

A couple of days ago Natalie was cutting pictures from a magazine and gluing them (a favorite activity). She found some princess pictures, and on the back was a Hannah Montana doll. Hannah Montana is definitely not a roll model I want for my daughter. I didn't say anything since she has no idea who Hannah Montana is. She said, "I don't like those girls, mommy, I like the princesses." I replied, "That's good, Natalie. Mommy doesn't really like those girls either." She, of course, asked why. Hmmmm . How do you explain this to a three year old? I responded, "Well, mommy doesn't like the way they dress. They need to cover up more of their bodies." I didn't think going into the whole I don't approve of pop music's culture, not to mention the whole let's turn Miley Cirus into the next Brittany Spears agenda that I see happening as she gets older, really was needed. She has no clue who Hannah Montana is at her young age.

The "C" Word

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A little girl in Rockford is dying today from a brain tumor. I do not know her or her family, but I know several friends of the family. Hearts are heavy today. Praise the Lord she knows Christ as her Savior and so do her parents, so they will see her again. I stated in last night's post that I often have to stop myself from reading about sick kids. Cancer scares me. It scares me because it sneaks up on you. It's not like you can say, "Well, so and so had the flu and played with her last week, so that's why she's sick." It scares me because kids get it. It scares me because we don't eat organic and in the back of my head I have questions that will probably never be answered. It scares me because my kids do eat some processed foods, some canned foods, and all of the rest that "causes cancer." It scares me because I am overweight which is a risk factor for all sorts of adult cancers. Today I have been battling that fear. It has no rationale. It i

I Won Something!

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Thanks to my wonderful friend Janna over at The Adventure of Motherhood (If you haven't read her blog you really should, you can really tell she loves the mommy life!) I have been awarded a blog award. Thanks Janna! My first one. So here it is: In order to get my prize, I must follow the rules, which are: 1. Must thank the person who gave you the award and list their blog and link it. 2. Share "10 Honest things" about yourself. 3. Present this award to 7 others whose blogs you find brilliant in content and/or design, or those who have encouraged you. 4. Tell those 7 people they've been awarded HONEST SCRAP and inform them of these guidelines in receiving the award. Ten honest things about myself in no particular order. 1. I'm not a very good stay-at-home mom. Oh, I love being home with my kids, but we don't stay home. We go places. We hit the library for story time, the park for burning energy, the children's museum for education and entertainment.

Oh the Fighting

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Growing up my brother and I fought. A lot. We fought all the time for parent's attention and because he was just plain annoying. I, of course, was perfect (just kidding!) Oh and then there was the he-is-better-than-me-at-everything jealousy issue. Joey and I are over five years apart in age. I kind of thought that was part of the reason we fought. When I was in High School, he was in elementary. When I was in elementary, he was a baby. We had little in common. That's why I wanted my children to be relatively close in age. I thought that 28 months apart was a good spread. These two little girls, my little angels. They fight. A lot. All. of. the.time. Here is what a typical afternoon is like in my home: I get out the toy or activity of the day and settle them in to play. Natalie sees what Megan has and the conversation goes like this: N: I wish I hand _____ like Megan (approaches Megan to grab said item) M: SCREAMMMMMMM N: Megan, stop that! M: (snatches back toy) N: MEG

Things I Learned on Vacation Part II

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We just returned from a trip to see my grandparents and parents in Missouri. Here are the things I learned. Part 1 was written in August. 1. It will take the entire nine hours of the trip to watch one two-hour movie. (for mommy) 2. My tummy looks old (so says Natalie) 3. Grandma and Grandpa live in a really big house (so says Natalie) 4. A makeover at the mall takes a lot longer than 15 to 20 minutes. 5. Murphy's Law dictates that the time when a relative is offering to buy my girls Gymboree clothing, that makeover at the mall will make it impossible to come to fruition because we will run out of time. 6. Megan knows how to go down the stairs fairly safely, but mommy still gets nervous. 7. Wasp stings hurt a lot and create large welts. They hurt enough for a grown man to throw off his shirt in mixed company. Just ask Tim. 8. The chance to see my children with my grandparents is priceless. 9. Working while on vacation stinks but is a huge blessing - few people have jobs

Getting to Know Megan

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My friend Janna put these items on her blog about her one-year-old, so I decided to copy her idea. Sometimes I think my blog revolves around my more vocal child, so here is a chance to get to know Miss Megan a little better! Dancing Style: I love to get jiggy , and I can bounce with the best of them. I think I am getting some good jumps in, but mommy says my feet are still firmly planted on the floor. Sometimes I get some arm motion any. "The wipers on the bus go swish swish swish!" Eating with a Spoon: I must have a spoon or fork when I am eating. Mommy doesn't give me many liquidy foods since I refuse to wear a bib, but I've got the fork thing down pat! Philosophy of Shoes: I love shoes. Sometimes I walk around the house with a doll's shoe on my toes. If I cannot get the shoe on myself, I will throw it at mommy and stick my foot in her face until she does it for me. Daily Mission: the day starts with finding the doggies and feeding them my cheerios. Once

Watch us grow!

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Every year I get the girls' pictures taken at the pumpkin patch. Enjoy a little trip down memory lane! Natalie's first Pumpkin Patch trip - One year old Two Years Old Three Years Old Megan, three months old Megan, one year old

Daddy's Birthday

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My wonderful husband and our adorable girls. Yesterday was Tim's birthday. He spent the day working and helping me clean the house. I have such a good man. I am so thankful for the godly helpmate God blessed me with. We have been through a few things recently as a family that have allowed me to see his character a little better, and I am blessed. I love you babe! Being Daddy's birthday and Natalie being older now, I decided to see if she had any ideas about his present. I asked her what she wanted to get daddy for his birthday. "Candy." "That's a good idea, Natalie. Do you think we should get him anything else" N: "Candy, and a shirt." Me: "What kind of shirt?" N: "A t-shirt." Me: "What color?" N: "Gray. That's what Daddy likes is Gray." So that was it. She never let go of the idea either. Candy and a shirt. Then a few days later we were driving and out of the blue she said, "MandM

Poop Patrol

With Natalie's recent tummy issues, I am in the process of collecting some stool samples. The doctor (and I) do not think that it is an infection, but we must rule out the possibility . This has led to an interesting conversation in the bathroom. I told Natalie to tell me when she needs to do the deed because I have to catch it, but I failed to tell her how I was going to catch it. I was doing the dishes in the kitchen when I hear "Oh no, mommy, you forgot to catch my poop!" I run in there to find a couple of little poos in the potty. "Do you have more poop?" I ask. My bare-bottomed babe doesn't answer. Instead, she points to the potty and says, "Scoop it up mommy!" Trying to keep a straight face, I show her the "hat" and explain that the poop cannot touch the pee so she has to poop into the special potty seat. I then ask again if she has more poop, to which she replies proudly, Yes! we equip the potty with the seat, and she does th

Out of the Mouth of Babes

Natalie has had a lot of questions about church lately. On this Sunday, the pastor mentioned that next week would be the last week of a Sunday school contest before we "close it down." Natalie piped up (quite loudly) "They're closing down the church? Why mommy?" The same Sunday there was a baptism at church. Natalie is just now at the age where she is in the service for part of the service time instead of in the nursery, so she has never seen a baptism. She asked "Why did he dip that boy in the water?" I told her I would explain after church, but she wouldn't let it go. I had to leave the service to explain it to her because she really wanted to know. Maybe that's not the best parenting method, but next time I will be sure to explain anything "different" before we get to church! She's so inquisitive. I have a concern though. Christmas is coming. We don't "do" Santa . It's just not part of our Christmas. She g

Being a Mommy Is Hard

Being a mommy is hard because you need to know what is best yet don't always know. Natalie struggles with tummy issues, and they are really painful for her at times. I want to fix it, but I don't want her on a bunch of drugs or to put her through a bunch of testing for them to slap a label on it and not give me an answer. The chiropractic adjustment helps, but never solves, so I have decided something further needs to be done. Some have suggested probiotics, and I am going to put both girls on them. Natalie for her tummy issues and Megan for her multiple times on antibiotics. But the "best" ones are expensive and you wonder if the cheaper ones work. I would love to take her to a holistic doctor, but am not opposed to taking her to her regular doctor. I just don't want to traumatize her with testing and specialists if it's something like a need for probiotics or a simple dietary adjustment. The chiropractor suggested making her diet more "natural"

:)

Last night I had a pampered chef party. I didn't know what to do with the girls so I sort of played it by ear. They did great - played with daddy some of the time and hung out with the ladies some of the time. Everyone was saying how good they were, and when I was tucking Natalie in I was trying to compliment her on her excellent behavior. I said, "Natalie, Mommy's friends told me you were such a good girl. It makes Mommy happy when people see you being good. Did you have fun at Mommy's party?" Natalie's response: "But Mommy, they said I was sooooooo pretty!" I guess even at three we have the need to look good as ladies ;)

Toddlers and Preschoolers Praying

Before I go into my post let me give an update on the "why" question - Natalie and I talked and I explained that I get frustrated when she asks "why" and I don't know the answer, so we decided to work together to think of different questions she can ask. The last two days have been so much better, with her asking plenty of questions, but ones I could answer. We are both much more content, but I have seen it helping her because she is actually getting answers to the questions on her mind, which are very real and important to her. Natalie has suddenly shown an interest in praying. We are letting her, but it raises questions in my mind. We have never required her to pray, or even required her to do any "motion" while we are praying. We simply require her to be quiet while we pray out of respect, but I feel that making her fold hands or bown her head could be making a little Pharasee out of her. The question I have in my mind is this: Is it bad to let h

Why Why Why????

Sometimes I feel I get frustrated too easily. This was the conversation we had after we saw a big gorilla balloon decorating a neighborhood (it was part of the Parade of Homes is the only thing I could figure out) Natalie: Look Mom, a big giant monkey! Mom: Yes, that's pretty neat. Natalie: Why is it there? Mom: I don't know. Natalie: But why did they put it there? Mom: Natalie, Mommy knows nothing about the gorilla. All I know is that it is there and it is a balloon. I do not know why it is there. Then we talked about how fun it would be to have a giant gorilla in our yard. On the way home we passed it again. Natalie: Why is there a gorilla there? SERIOUSLY? Does she think I suddenly, magically learned the reason? Mom: Natalie, let me explain this to you. I do not know anything about the gorilla other than where it is and what it is. I do not know why it is there. Natalie: But mommy, why is it there? Mom: I don't know Natalie: Why don't you know? that is

Megan Turns One (A Little Late on the Posting)

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Newborn (yes she was BIG!) I realized I have not posted much about my Megan in a while. She turned 1 on July 31 and started walking about two weeks after that. My 10 pound 4 ounce baby has not slowed down in growth at all! At her last appointment she was over 27 pounds and measured 31 inches, I think (sadly, I forgot the actual measurements) She enjoyed her first birthday party and actually seemed to understand about the presents. Now, she is walking and almost running everywhere! Unless she is tired, hungry, or sick she is a fairly happy baby. She's not talking much yet, but she definitely says Momma, and grrr (which refers usually to the dog but sometimes other animals). She can say Dadda but doesn't do it consistently. She's also trying really hard to learn to use a fork. That will be a blessing when she figures it out because I think she will be much less messy at meal time! One Week Old Megan tries to do EVERYTHING her big sister does. Today I was finishing up a bl

You Never Know . . .

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What will come out of this child's mouth! Especially when she is in the bathroom. Today, for instance. She walked into the bathroom, then hollered out: "Mommy, when I have a baby will I have it in the same hospital where you had Megan a long, long time ago?" Mommy: "Well, if you live here in this town you might, but I don't know where you will live. That is up to God and your husband." N: "Oh. When I grow up, I am going to go to the church and dance, dance, dance, right mommy?" Mommy: "You mean get married?" N: "Yes! And we will dance!" Mommy: "Well, you don't really dance at the church for your wedding. You stand there in a beautiful gown and get married. Your husband will wear a suit." N: "But mommy, suits aren't for getting married. They're for swimming!" Mommy: "Well, a swimming suit is one kind of suit. Go look at mommy and daddy's wedding picture and you will see the other

On a Lighter Note. . .

So my last post was a little melancholy, so today I have a question. What would YOU do with a raccoon? According to Natalie: "Take care of it. I would love it and hug it and pet it!" This is the pet she wants. "I really wish I had a raccoon Mommy" And tonight, Natalie tells Tim, "Daddy, you are incredible!" I think so too baby girl! He is amazing!

Things Aren't Always as They Seem

Ok, I admit it. I am one to take things too personally. I am constantly fearful of what others think of me. I think it stems from the damage that occured to my psyche as nineth grader when I saw a note indicating that I was "the nerdiest" in the class (you know, those lists of "most popular, most likely to be married first, etc.? I was "most nerdy" according to someone whose name I have long since forgotten) Yes, that had a lasting impact on me, and I tend to read way too much into things. I am not proud of this and it is a sin that I fight regularly, but it is who I am and why I am writing this post. I have been thinking lately about some stuff. I am realizing as I mature (I'm not 30 yet, so I still have a ways to go in the maturity department, right?) that things are not always as they seem. That person who brushed you off may be distracted because a family member they love is gravely ill, which has nothing to do with you. The friend you envy because of

Keeping Lines of Communication Open

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My friend Janna is doing a blog series about Shepherding a Child's Heart. I am broke and do not have the book, but I will try to jump in when I can get it. Regardless, one phrase she quoted got me thinking. It was about how most children have emotionally left home by the age of 12. I had a wonderful home. I always knew my parents were there for me and I could talk to them about anything. Literally. I want that for my kids. I asked my mom one time why me and Joey have such a good relationship with them, and why she thinks we always felt we could talk to them. She answered that she always listened, even when we were two and made no sense. So, in light of what i have read from Janna's blog and what I have been meditating on, I have decided to have more open communication with my daughter, and to do so purposefully. Today, Natalie had a rough day. For some reason she was really tired, and she was struggling to be kind and loving with me and her sister. I pulled her aside, and

When Real Life Happens

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As my children grow, it becomes harder and harder to shelter them from real life. Last week we were driving home from the park, and an abortion protesting group was demonstrating near an intersection where we were stopped for a light. While I completely approve of their cause and support it, this particular group had highly graphic images of broken baby bodies, and Natalie was captivated by them. So far, she hasn't asked any questions, but I was heartbroken, because those are pictures I would have much rather not have her see. Those are questions I am not ready to answer. Earlier this week we went to the park with some friends, and Natalie really enjoys these two swings at this particular park. I talked to her before we got there, because I knew I would not be able to keep Megan occupied near the swings for long. I told Natalie we would do the swings last, and that we would let Megan play on the baby things for a while first. I gave her my word. She did not whine or complain abo

She Did It!

Megan took five steps all on her own tonight! I'm so proud of my baby girl! I'll do a post about her birthday and party when I get time but I didn't want to overlook that milestone!

Things I Learned on Vacation

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We just got back from a quick trip to KC. Here is what I learned: 1. Aiden is a good name (so says Natalie upon meeting a baby with the same name as her playgroup friend). 2. When you give a three-year-old privacy in the bathroom, proceed with caution if she is in there for too long. Yep, she pulled down my mom's wall paper. Sigh. I asked her "What did you do in Grandma's bathroom to the seashells on the wall" and she said "I broked them." Three days later. Yep, she totally knew what she did! 3. I have the world's greatest husband! He let me go all by myself to scrapbook with my mom and her friends for a whole day. This was AFTER taking bedtime duty so I could go to the movies and AFTER taking bedtime duty the night before so I could hang out with my friend Janna. 4. There are some people in the world who you will always feel close to even if they live 5,000 miles away. 5. Megan is much more flexible on her sleep schedule than Natalie. 6. K

Mommies - Hug Your Kids

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I have an addiction, and probably not a healthy one. I seem to be drawn to blog stories about sick kids and babies. Recently I have found the story of Baby Stellan . It makes me so sad to see the struggles these mommies go through. Over the weekend I was so frustrated with Megan because she just didn't sleep well during the afternoon nap time. I have a decent amount of work to finish before we leave for KC on Wednesday. I got a little frustrated with Megan one time when she woke up and responded in a less than loving way (Think hollering at the baby for waking up - yeah, not proud of that one). Anyways, these blogs have reminded me that life is but a vapor, even for children. I am going to work harder at enjoying my kids and showing them that I love them each and every day, no matter how crazy they make me! If you are a mommy, hug your kiddos extra tight today!

Mommy Guilt

Ever experienced it? Today I am. Natalie was coloring on her chalkboard in her room and Megan came crawling in saying "mamamamama" (the only thing she says these days). Natalie said, "I'm not momma, meggie (her nickname for her sister) Mommies don't color, they work." Hmmm, I most certainly can color? I admit, work has been busy the last few days as I am earning the money for our next KC trip, but does my child really think all I do is work? Finding the right balance is so hard! Ahhhhhhhhgh! the Mommy Guilt!

A Friend Worth Keeping

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Have you ever made an unexpected friend? I have. You can meet her at her blog . My earliest memory of this gal is from junior high or early high school. She had a perm. I had short, unruly curly hair. We were returning from an infamous "bus trip," either with the youth group or the high school, I cannot remember. I was anxious to get off the bus, but I was near the back. I was trying to push my way to the front of the bus, and this gal had her legs across the aisle. She would not move. I was so very annoyed. I don't remember much of the conversation, but I remember being so very annoyed. Sounds like the great basis for a friendship, doesn't it? But God has a great sense of humor. As we moved upwards in the high school, high school girl pettiness stepped in. I had a good friend, and this gal was her best friend. That meant that she was better than me in the High School hierarchy that we all know is so pointless. I disliked her, but only because she held the covete

Joy

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My children bring me so much joy, and these pictures show that they can experience joy too. We enjoyed a wonderful vacation with my family, and I did take work off for the most part and was able to relax along with them. No sick kids this time either. Neither girl was impressed with fireworks. Natalie Loved the poppers, which is what the picture is from, but beyond that she was not impressed. She was even scared of smoke bombs. I was a very fearful child. I remember forcing my parents to leave a Wild West show at some amusement park because there were guns and I was scared. I wonder what the best way to parent my fearful child is? I do not want to force her to do things she is afraid of, but I don't want her to spend her life riddled with fear. God has not given us the spirit of fear, yet she does not yet know God, so is this promise something to teach her? This is something to pray over, I believe. Natalie's imagination is blossoming. It is so much fun. I love seeing her