Awwww Monday 9.10.18

Meet the newest member of our family clan. He’s a 9-week old border collie that has a home on Entrepreneur’s parents’ cattle farm. He’s yet to be named, but leading the list is: Scout, Laddie and Duke.

Just going to leave this cuteness here for you all this morning. Blog hopping today with Comedy Plus for Awwww Monday.

Hope everyone has a wonderful week.

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The end of an era

I’m not going to cry. I’m not. I’m not. I’m not.

Okay, yes, I cried.

Today is the first day of Pre-K for Twix. And, I’d be a liar if I didn’t admit this is a bittersweet day for both Entrepreneur and me. She has been with us since the day she was born. We were at the hospital when she arrived three weeks early, one day ahead of a February snowstorm.

She came home to our house when our daughter and Peanut were living with us. We were right there with her Mama when there were concerns about health issues stemming from her premature birth.

After our daughter went back to work, I transitioned to working my job from home so she didn’t have to worry about child care. And so my journey  with our second grand girl began.

Twix’s health issues improved and she flourished with so many caregivers watching over her. I made her baby food and she went everywhere with me. She took her first steps in our home and it was here she said her first words.

Even when they bought their own home and moved out, she continued to show up Monday through Friday at 7:30am while Mama went to work and Peanut went to school. We watched her grow from an infant into an inquisitive toddler…and now into a precocious preschooler.

I know she is, technically, not my daughter, but she has become such a part of me over these past four and a half years.

And now we have to let her go. As hard as this is for me, I believe it’s going to be doubly hard on Entrepreneur. She’s been his little shadow ever since she could walk, and a shining light in the middle of a very dark time for him.

She has her new backpack, new first day of school outfit, Nana-made quiet time blanket, pillow and small luvie. She is ready.

I’m just not sure I am.

Blog hopping with Happy Tuesday from Comedy Plus and Pictorial Tuesday from Peabea’s Photos ‘n Scribbles

Blended Beginnings Part 2

Last week (or so) I shared with you all some pics from our oldest daughter’s recent wedding in June. Because of a few issues during the day, the bride and groom didn’t have the opportunity to have the traditional “formal portraits” done after the ceremony.

Add to the chaos the fact that Peanut and Twix were leaving for their six-week summer visitation with their dad the following week. Because of that schedule, we had to postpone photos until (ugh) August when they returned. Hot, sticky August in middle Missouri. Perfect.

We chose the local botanical garden and I went and scoped out backdrops a few weeks before the shoot. Because of the August heat, we decided on a 9am meet time to try and finish before the heat and humidity set in for the day.

First, we began with the bride.

Then, we added the groom.

A base of love and commitment established to begin the art of blending.

The rest of the brood is added.

Blending a family has been quite the challenge with five children. Yes, count them…..f.i.v.e. all between four and (almost) ten years old; three girls and two boys. No chaos or drama here, right?!

Getting used to the new “normal” for blended family kids can be a little unsettling. It takes a while to establish trust and stability with the new parent and situation.

So Peanut and Twix now have two brothers and another sister. Each of these children are uniquely different so finding balance in a new family situation can take some doing. Boundaries are being set as well as expectations and responsibilities.

It’s been quite an adjustment but they are working on making the transition as smooth as possible…as smooth as you can with a (almost) 10-, 9-, 8- and two 4-year-olds!

Two children is enough of a handful.  Three can be challenging. Keeping track of and up to speed with five is completely beyond my comprehension. Patience will need to multiply exponentially.

It’s estimated one third of all remarriages form blended families.

Sibling rivalry, attention issues, discipline challenges will all be things these parents will deal with as they present a unified front and lead by example. Bonds won’t grow strong overnight, but as they do more things as a “family,” relationships will strengthen over time.

Expect conflicts. Extend grace. I hope and pray this is the attitude adopted by everyone as they experience these growing pains.

The only steps in this house
is the staircase, and
the only half in this house
is the half&half creamer.

~Al Hodson

Blended Beginnings Part 1

Earlier this summer, our oldest daughter and her man made the decision to tie the knot and blend their families together.

Nothing extravagant. It would be outside in their backyard with a large maple tree as a backdrop for the ceremony. Parents, grandparents, siblings, aunts and uncles would be invited to witness their families officially uniting together. Sounds simple, yes?

Unless you live in unpredictable Missouri. The week prior to the ceremony called for varying percentages of rain/storms for their big day. Nothing like stressing out the bride a week before her wedding. Plan B went into effect on Thursday when there was 90% chance of rain on Saturday. Entrepreneur and I transformed the lower level of our home into a chapel for 40 attendees. The arbor they built initially for their backyard was set up but the wall behind it did nothing to make it acceptable. Add borrowed sheers and some Christmas twinkle lights. Voila!

This was not the first wedding for either of them, but there was no less anticipation and excitement. It was a DIY wedding in almost every way and on a tight budget. My kitchen looked like a florist shop and bakery the day before the ceremony. They built and decorated the arbor, she put together all the flowers for bouquets and boutonnieres, as well as made the centerpieces for all the reception tables. I made program fans (because it was to be outside in the sweltering Missouri summer heat) and sewed reception table cloths and the aisle runner. Every tablecloth I owned was hauled out, cleaned and ready for duty.

The morning of the wedding was like any other. Last minute preparations and adjustments were being made. The dresses and suites were ready. The pre-wedding toast with champaign and sparkling grape juice was waiting.

 

Wedding attendants were their children, which I thought was a beautiful touch. Peanut was her Maid of Honor. His sons were the Best Men. The two four-year-olds were the flower girls. The rest of the photos in this post are a mixture of mine and the photographer. It was a lovely, intimate ceremony, filled with emotion and happiness for this new, blended beginning. Enjoy these captured moments and I’ll catch up with you at the reception.

 

After the “I Dos” the new Mr. and Mrs. moved the gathering to……our garage for the reception. Transformed from a lowly garage to a reception hall took some doing, but when you hang a few curtains and shoot photos close up, you can’t really tell, right? 🙂 Oh, and BTW…..it rained early in the morning and not a drop the rest of the day. Typical.

 

Our driveway served as the setting for those special first dances.

And, I could hardly see to take this one because my eyes were leaking. Thank heaven for auto focus.

It wasn’t the wedding she’d envisioned in her mind, but I hope it was one that will make both of them smile when they reflect on their special day. The pastor’s message was awesome, encouraging and perfect. Yes, there were a few hiccups, but when it’s all said and done, they made promises to each other in a room filled with the people who love them most. And, I can’t help but believe that Jesus looked upon the scene and gave his blessing as well.

For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.
~Matt: 18:20

Blended families
Woven together by choice
Strengthened together by love
Tested by everything
And uniquely ours
~Author unknown

Awww Monday: June 18, 2018


Summer will end soon enough, and childhood as well. ~George R.R. Martin

Seems strange to talk about the end of summer when it’s only mid June. But, by this time next month, school supplies will be in the stores and Autumn decor will be everywhere…if not sooner.

Summer began with a bang as our oldest daughter got remarried (more pictures coming soon in a separate post). Originally set to be in their backyard, the day’s forecast was for rain and severe storms. So, it was relocated to the lower level of our house! And, in typical Mother Nature fashion, there was no rain during the day.

On the heels of that, our church’s version of vacation bible school on some serious steroids took another week. And, just because we hadn’t had enough fun, after that we took the grands on a mini vacay for a few days.

Peanut and Twix have now left for their summer visitation with their dad halfway across the country. I should breathe a sigh of relief for the break in child care responsibilities, but it’s always a bittersweet time. Entrepreneur and I need some down time to focus on us for a while.

Yes, time is flying by at warp speed….not willing to pause and allow anyone to savor the moments. All we can do is try and make the most of each day….whether child or adult!

Blog hopping with Sandee at Comedy Plus for Awww Monday.

 

Thankful Thursday

Trying out a new blog hop today called Thankful Thursday. I probably need this hop to actively remind myself to look for the positive things in life since so much of my last few months have been spent in the company of anxiousness, stressfulness, irritation and frustration. They are really not good company and even worse influences on others.

But, semester is (mercifully) finished, grades are recorded and school is officially out! All my college seniors are scattered to the wind to take on the world…God help them AND the world!

So now, I’m thankful for time spent with our two grand girls before they leave to visit their dad 12 hours away for the majority of the summer. At nine and four, they are handfuls, and they can test the patience of Job….but for Entrepreneur and I to be an integral part of their lives is a blessing we simply cannot overlook.

So, today I’m linking up with others for Thankful Thursday.  A big thank you to Sandee at Comedy Plus for introducing me to this worthwhile weekly opportunity.

I hope life settles a bit so I can participate in more of these hops in the future!