Sunday, August 14, 2016

Fun In Fifth Grade


This has been a week full of emotions. A time of excitement, nervousness, sadness and happiness in others. We quickly went from being ill prepared for school time, to throwing ourselves in full force. I sometimes believe that my Mommy heart feels new to this each new school year, then at other I feel like a seasoned champ. With softball, football, PTO, school, work, and soon to be volleyball and baseball, I already feel as nutty as the ending of May. 


On Tuesday, we finally took the step of getting Charli Beth's braces on. Thankfully she only has the top, and should be able to have them removed within eight months. Should be a breeze, right? Except for my little wallet that's already cringing at the statements. 


Isn't she cute though? It's truly amazing how much her teeth have already changed. They have straightened as well as tightened. 



I could tell that her first day of school was a blast from the excitement in her stories. She was ecstatic over her teachers, and the friends that she has. Of course, we had to celebrate the first day with a tasty sundae for us all to share.

I believe this year may bring her more joy than she ever expected. 


The rest of her week seemed to have been spent having fun and getting to know her teachers fairly well. We slacked on bringing in teacher gift during the first three days of school, but I finally finished prepping and she'll be taking in a summer project of ours. 

Peach preserves. Really? Who wouldn't love something so corny to say that you hope their summer was just "peachy."



Yep... I'm still THAT weird mom. 

Hashtag, forever and always. 


Friday, August 5, 2016

Summers End



Tonight I laid my ten year old daughter down to tuck into bed. I kissed her, told her goodnight and reminded her once more than when she wakes she will be a true fifth grader. At one time her sweet innocent mind called herself a, "no grader" until school actually started. Which I have to admit, that I'm pretty okay with.

It doesn't matter how many times I've been through the process of first day of schools, each one tugs my Mommy heart. The older the more the nerves start working. I worry about her many test scores. How she will befriend others, and how they may even like my tiny little, "mighty mouse" of a daughter. I wonder how she will adjust to a new independent grade level, of switching classes and keeping her head high. If she will find her voice, and become more confident in that area that she struggles most in. 

I could literally worry and ponder all night. 

But this year I won't. 

Not because she's older. But because I know that whatever is thrown her way, she will handle it with care. If she doesn't she'll pick it back up to try again. 

-There's always that one Summer that changes you.-



This hasn't been a fun Summer. It most certainly wasn't an easy one. It was hot, tiresome, aching at times, and down  right heartbreaking the rest. This Summer has been one of many that I've learned things about myself during. Although, my dear girl may not realize it just as I have not in the past, this was her Summer to begin learning things about herself. 

-During the hardest of times, we learn our strengths and weaknesses. -

Summer 2016, showed Charli how much love she has in her heart. That even when she wants to refuse to do something, she will step until she is out of her comfort zone to love another. It may be baby steps, but she inches her way to whatever it takes. She realized that even in the most uncomfortable, awkward, and gut wrenching situations it's okay to be yourself. Not only is it okay, it's a must. 

Her work ethic took leaps and bounds in helping everyone she could. From working in the garden, canning preserves, cleaning a house, or taking care of chickens that we preyed upon. She learned, she conquered and now we both know all she can handle.

I'll never say that this year won't be easy. Or that I won't worry about her confidence, heart or what all is stored in her little brain. I just know that this girl has proven so very much to me this summer and I couldn't be anymore proud. 

---

My prayer for my tiny fifth grader is that she never sways from the qualities that are placed within her heart of gold. That if she were to ever loose focus that she remembers how much more fun life is, when we give a little more than we already have. For, "I know you got mountains to climb, But always stay humble and kind." 

May this school year be wonderful. 




Thursday, July 28, 2016

Peace In The Valley.

On July 8, 2016 the world became a little less bright, as my Dad entered the gates of Heaven and is now healthy resting at the feet of our Savior. Only a week and a day after coming home from the hospital with hospice assisting only twice. One night after his beloved wife was able to sleep by his side for the first time in over a month - by a pop up bed that she frantically waited for FedEx to deliver, just so she could wrap her arms around him once more. Only a few hours after telling his grandchildren he loved them, and joking like his typical self. 

The unknown passing process is scary. So scary that you spend time fretting over it yourself. You wonder about how it will work, and beg God to let the long suffering diminish. But when the time comes and you can truly say that peace was instilled within, it gives you a thankful heart like never before. 

To be able to sit back and literally write my heart into a blog is sometimes negatively looked upon. But this is my place. A place where my heart is open and words sometimes flow more easily than vocally. This is my place to be in the moment. Just me typing and little bits of emotion that I can very seldom show are released into what one would call an online journal. 

I'm not much of a writer, or even a blogger. But I enjoy it, and apparently my Dad likes reading or listening as well. There aren't words to describe our heart, or how the memories already sneak up on us and bring tears to our eyes. But for the sake of my blog, I felt the need to update. 

To share that after two years of fighting, and standing strong within his faith Marcel received his forever home. We are sad, yet so very thankful for his peace in the valley to be forever felt. I may not ever develop the right words to blog about that day, or I may not ever want to share them aloud. But for now I would like to say thank you for the prayers, food, messages and thoughts. Our world may be grieving, but our hearts are brighter from the love that has been shown over the last two years. 


Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Late To Summer

Escaping the reality of school days with the freedom of Summer break really is one of the most bittersweet times of parenthood. Not only have I come to learn this about parenthood, but I've also realized it with the children I've grown to love over the course of the school year. When you're in a preschool class and have children for more than one year, your love for them grows beyond measure. With this year being my second year, I really learned once again how much I love children in general.

This school year literally kept me on my toes from keeping up with surgeries, to my Dad's illness, to the transition of fourth grade for Charli girl. But I could never be more thankful for a rewarding position that lets me be in the school with both of my children. 


Next year will be incredibly bitter sweet in all that we experience with this being Bryar's last year of preschool. I'm not sure how we'll survive school life of being separated, but of course it will be time for little bear to adventure into Kindergarten. 



As you can see there is never a dull moment with this little character. He's learned so much, and his speech has jumped leaps and bounds throughout this year. While we hope to make even more progress this summer while we're home making memories together, I'm loving being able to witness his first experiences with school. 


Boy, are we glad to have the transition of fourth grade past us. It was a lot of ugly, and a lot of great too. Charli Beth has really developed into her own little person but is still insanely passionate about the things she cares about - animals. 

While I don't see her as often as Bryar in the school building, it's pretty great to run into her. I'll always remember this year being the time she was not too old, or too cool to grab me and give me a kiss no matter who is around. She's multiplied friends, and found love in all new things. 

She may not have celebrated being Leader of the Month, or honor roll every nine weeks and that's okay. I'm actually more proud of Charli than I've ever been. Through the struggles, the let downs and the time spent trying her heart out she built character. I hope that I always remember how my parenting style isn't one of perfectionist moments, but one of making sure my children give their best in everything I do - someone remind me of this will I let them create art projects. 

Our Summer has been a slow go, and we are pretty empty on the bucket lists of items to do. But the most important thing I know we will accomplish is making memories with family. 



Friday, June 10, 2016

The Strength of Love

It's 9:00 on a Friday night and I'm sitting in the worlds most uncomfortable hospital chair. Typically, I would complain or move to another seat but right now my site is too precious to be anywhere else. 

I remember days of sobbing because I wanted happiness for my Mom. I wanted her to find that person that we sang so loudly about in our truck to the Dixie Chicks. 
We're probably not the best at carrying a tune, but we all felt that person would come.. and we were right. 



My Mom has had the pleasure of loving a man who surprised her with a wedding on a beach in Florida with family surrounding. She loves a man, who jokes often and works harder than any person I had ever met. While their love story is still going strong, they're still blessing every person they encounter including myself. 

But tonight even though I'm mad at the world for cancer trying to take this man we all love so much. I can never recall a moment of love that is more beautiful and strong to the foundation as I look upon my Mom holding my Dad in bed cuddling him, just to solely give him peace. 

We may know moments of happiness in marriage. Or the fights that break us to our core. But even after five years of marriage to Curtis I cannot even begin to say, that I am half the spouse that my Morher is. Over the past two years, she has loved in a whole new demeanor. One that is selfless, strong, and as hard as she can. She has missed events, stayed up for countless days, cleaned up, prayed over and just simply loved the man that became our Prince Charming. 


While my heart is aching for my entire family, I cannot help but to also be blessed and touched by the love these two share. As we often share within parenthood that the, "days are long, but the years are short." I also am seeing this to be true in marriage as well. While we may not feel like we can even make it through the day sometimes because of an ignorant fight with a spouse, we must remember how precious our years are together. The battles may be fierce, but let your love be stronger than them. Never let a day go by, that you don't thank your loved ones and most of all without loving to your full potential. 

If there's anything in this life that my parents have taught me, it's how to love. I will never forget these looks of sadness across my Mother's face, or the selfless acts she continually shows. If there's anything in this life that my parents have taught me, it's how love as hard as possible. 

As my Dad likes to sing, "there will be peace in the valley," and even through our hurt we are praying for just that. Please pray along with us for our entire family,  and for the comfort of Jesus across my Parents. 


Sunday, June 5, 2016

Charli Beth's Darling Derby Party

Birthdays should be celebrated and remembered for years to come. Life is too short to not have fun and celebrate in a way you wish. In my past life I was probably a party planner, and for some reason events set me into a new atmosphere of happiness. I reluncantly and selfishly say, that I probably enjoy my children's birthdays as much as they do. I mean after all, it is a celebration for us as parents too...


Charli Beth {somehow} turned ten on April 6. It really has been the quickest and most rewarding ten years of my life. She has grown into such a little lady but even though she's growing older her young loving heart has yet to change. Even after all of the years, horses are still her number one passion. Even though she's more of the cowgirl type, she loves anything and everything to do with horses. But being from Kentucky, she has always held an interest in the Kentucky Derby. We also visited a retired race horse farm in Versailies, Kentucky during Spring Break. So as we began party planning for a huge celebration of year ten, she knew this would be the perfect theme. 




To begin with it was more than likely the hardest party to plan. If you're having a party for ten year old girls, in your southern baptist church parlor then obviously that excuses all derby items such as bourbon, mint juleps and betting.  


There are many girls within Charli's grade that are animal lovers and I knew they would love this idea as well. 

It just so happened to work perfectly that the next week fell within Teacher Apprecistion Week and my PTO had a derby themed week. We were able to kill two birds with one stone, and reuse almost all of the decor. 







In saying this, one of my favorite things about planning birthday parties is to make sure you can reuse most items. This is one reason why I always pick to use cloth fabric runners for decoration. These beautiful fabric pieces were picked out by Charli Beth. They are timeless and elegant. She may even want them one day for her future home...gasp.







Our menu: 
Hot Brown Sliders
Buffalo Chicken Dip
Vegetables
Kentucky Caviar 
Tortilla Chips
Derby Pie 
Strawberry Cake 

All Bryer horses are a collection from Charli, even though not all are Kentucky Derby breeds they helped make a perfect touch. We made the cloths from felt that I had left over from previous school projects and added numbers. 


The girls came in and were seated together to start checking their derby knowledge, and of course this consisted of lots of giggles. We then were able to pray together as my Dad blessed the meal, and ate a terrific lunch made at the hands of my loving Mom and Mother in law. After everyone was finished we took turns making derby hats, and doing photo booth pictures. Once the cake was cut the girls are, unwrapped gifts together and celebrated the rest of the time playing. 





It was so fun to see the girls at school the next week wearing their hats in celebration of Derby Weekend. Even though the Bluegrass State doesn't seem to shut down for the derby anymore, we sort of do. Charli has picked the winner the last three years, it's literally quiet amazing. I may not know what the future holds for this girl, but I can sure tell it's going to be amazing.... 


Thursday, May 26, 2016

Convoy Agaisnt Cancer



Coping mechanisms come in all different forms. Sometimes we blind ourselves with happiness, and moments that bring us joys. Others, we distract ourselves keeping incredibly busy for more reasons than I can count. During this season of my life, I've somehow learned to become an avoider of situations. At one time in my life, I shamelessly faced every feeling and heart break right on my sleeve. But with my heart obviously in some form of heartbreak that I don't even understand on most days all for the sake of my parents, it's better to distract myself for the good rather than making wrinkles upon my face.

It's been a while since I've updated on the prognosis of his cancer, and what has been going on in the last two months, I can only apologize. My heart and my mind has really been at a loss for words on how to speak of this. On April 6, after a turn of events my parents were told that the cancer my Dad has been battling has spread to his brain, involving 17 lesions. The day before my sister and brother in law blessed our family with a new healthy beautiful baby boy. My heart was overjoyed but also mixed with many emotions. While I celebrated my new nephew Tytus Timothy, I also longed to help my parents rejoice in someway and to also keep us all distracted from the cancer that is batting on.



On May 14, along with the help of many others I held a benefit auction, BBQ dinner, and Convoy Against Cancer to help with the medical expenses for my Dad. While I never believed that an event in which became so large could be so gracefully laid out, it literally happened and only be the hands of God. During the planning and organization of other events, even birthday parties, I've been anxious and a demon to say the least. But somehow, someway the event just laid our perfectly and the only explanation of this is the many hands of thousands (yes, thousand) of people that helped in some form. This day could've never been a hint of perfection that it was, without their help.


In the days leading to the Convoy Against Cancer, my Dad had only one small request for the day. This small request was to drive a semi in the convoy, leading the way to the Harper Equipment and Auction Building. While this made us worried at the sake of the motions of the rig causing a seizure of some sort that have been cursing him since the beginning of April, we also wanted this day to be perfect for him. Thankfully, my Mom is more of the form of a super woman and was able to ride along side of him to take over driving if need be.



While we thought this would be perfect, we never dreamed of just how beautiful and humbling this experience would be. As many of us stood along side the road and entrance way into where the event would be held, we watched as my parents drove up smiling ear to ear with 41 other semis behind him Some may remember that one of the hardest parts of this journey for us was watching my Dad sell the dream truck, that he loved so much. So, you may also be wondering whose semi he could've been trucking along in, leading the way... While I may not know this persons name, and all who involved in the process it was a truck fixed up in love and friendship for my Dad to drive at some point. These fine men also placed his nickname/CB just under the window, like every honorable trucker would have. I can never thank these men enough, and I'm sure they were able to witness his smile first hand. But I'm not so sure they could see my tears strolling down my cheeks at the thought of just how happy he was in that very moment of being behind the wheel once again.
(You guys are literally incredible.)



Even though we all often say how we have lost hope within the world, I gained so much of my hopelessness back during this day, and the days following. After watching the trucks convoy in, while train horns rolled and thumbs up were given, we all headed in to prepare for dinner.

I literally stood astonished in front of the crowd, not only because public speaking isn't my, "thing" but due to the 600 plus people that came to love and support my parents. We planned for 300 to serve dinner to, not knowing what to expect and somehow we managed to not run out of food. I really shouldn't even try to describe how wonderful the food was, because I'm fairly certain that I will start craving it. At the end of the night, we were even able to auction of nine gallon size bags full of meat. Curtis and I tried to win the bid, but with no such luck it didn't happen for us. Now speaking of the auction, it honestly may fill my eyes with tears to even write about the auction alone. 





It was literally an amazing experience. From the first item auctioned, ( a country ham that was donated by the local Sheriff was bought and donated back at least twelve times, bringing the total of this glorious ham alone to $2,200. I'm still inquiring with my parents on putting this high priced pork on display.) to the last item auctioned almost four hours later. Even Bryar can attest to the amazing job our auctioneers did during this long night, as he has not stated he will finish speech therapy strongly just so he can talk fast like his new found buds.

Exhaustion the next day couldn't have even been close to the way my mind felt. I was sincerely overwhelmed and filled with joy that I still can barely fathom, from the amount of money raised to the loved filled with had. I'm more than certain that none of us will ever experience another day that was this incredible, just like we will never meet another man that is as wonderful as the man that has chosen to be our Dad. If I could ever repay all of the people that helped make this day such a wonderful success, you all would be millionaires. It was more incredible than I can ever describe through this mediocre blog.


We are all overly grateful for the love that you have given, "Marcel." While the days of battling cancer are long for him and my Mom, we continue to ask for prayers. This couple amazes me each and every day with their proof of love, faith and hope through the hardest of circumstances.








Story of Mommy

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I am a Christian, Wife to the man of my dreams and a Mother first before anything. I am the very PROUD Momma of Charli Beth that is a five year old little lady & and a new precious boy Bryar that was born in October! I just hope & pray to be the best mommy & wife as possible! II am a very simple girl, and the little things in life make me the happiest. My heart belongs in the country, and I can never imagine living anywhere else! I have amazing dreams for our family and I cannot wait to see where the Lord takes us on this journey!

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--If you have any questions or just want to chat, feel free to email me! @ paigeleana@yahoo.com --

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