Sunday, May 26, 2013

Strawberries

Molly and I headed to my favorite strawberry patch on Tuesday.  Nana, Dodie, and Emily came with us, too.  It was a little overcast, but it did not rain.   Isn't it beautiful? 




My little strawberry inspector.  She waited until the very end to start sampling. 


Don't you love the boots the girls decided to wear?  So cute! 


"Mommy, this bucket is heavy!" 


When we got home, Molly helped me make strawberry jam.  She was such a fabulous little helper.  She did every single step.

She washed the strawberries.


She cut the strawberries.


She poured the sugar and pectin.


She stirred it up.


And measured the jam into each of the containers.  She even put on the lids. She felt so proud of herself, so very grownup.

I know there are a lot of pictures of a very simple moment, but I don't seem to have as many of these with Molly as I had with her brothers.  I feel most days that Molly has a very different mom, a very different life than her big brothers had when they were 4.  I don't have as much time with her as I want.  We don't paint as much, the play dough isn't pulled out as much, we don't visit museums as much.  I don't accept as many invitations to play with her.   I feel like I have to work really hard to carve out time to be with Molly in the moment.  And when the moments happen, I want to cherish them, live in them wholly, and freeze time. I want to notice all of the little details.  The pink boots that she feels are the perfect accessory for any occasion,  the strawberry stains on her yellow shirt, the spilled sugar on the table.  I love my dear little Molly.   I pray that the Mommy she has is enough.  Because she is amazing and I stand in awe of her sweetness, her nurturing instincts, her spunky sense of humor, and her newly discovered talent of making strawberry freezer jam.  I am determined to be better, to pause more, to accept more invitations to play tiger, and to enjoy every moment of her childhood.  

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Grandmother Stone's 75th Birthday Party

My Grandmother Stone, my dad's mom, celebrated her 75th 29th birthday today.   My aunts threw her a lovely surprise birthday party.


All five of her children were able to attend the party.


Five of her siblings were also able to be there to celebrate.  As well as many of their children and members of her church family.


Several of her grandchildren came, but not all of us were able to make it.  Don't I have pretty (and handsome) cousins?


And of course our family was there with my dad.  We missed having my sister Shana and her family.


Andrew asked Grandpa Bud to play ball with him while we were there.


Ryan also had a fun time playing.


Molly just wanted to pretend she was a baby leopard.



Grandpa Bud had come in town Friday for Saturday's party, and took Molly and Ryan to Chuck E. Cheese as their birthday presents.  They had a great time!






Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mother's Day 2013

I was blessed to spend Mother's Day with my lovely mother, my Nanie, and my darling children.  I am blessed with the best Mother on the face of the earth.  I am the luckiest daughter in the world. I have two amazing grandmothers and incredible aunts who love and have set Christlike examples for me my entire life. 
  
I am also grateful for my wonderful Mother in law and the wonderful son she raised.  I missed seeing her today and my other grandmother and aunts.  

My cousin took this picture of the four generations for me today.


I love this picture, even though or maybe especially because, I am still 40 pounds over weight and Molly is still doing her crazy face in all of our pictures. But here in this moment captured for my posterity, they will know that we were real people, with personalities who loved and laughed and that I let my daughter wear pink polka dotted rain boots with her dresses when it was sunny outside.  

Here is my mom, her mother, and two of her sisters, my Aunt Linda and Aunt Annie.  I admire and love each of these beautiful women in our strong Matriarchal family.  I come from a line of strong and courageous Southern women.   (I only wish I had inherited their cooking skills).

And here is a pic of just my beautiful 92 year old grandmother.  I hope I look this good when I am 70.


One of my favorite parts of the day was getting to skype with both of my sisters.


My children and hubby spoiled me rotten today.  Chad and the children surprised me with an iPad mini.



Molly gave me a sweet card she picked out at the store with a castle and princesses.  She gave hugs and kisses all day long.

Here are Ryan's gifts and cards to me that he made at school. He is quite the artist.  I love this daffodil picture!


This interview with Ryan was so sweet! I loved his answers! Andrew had just done a measurement project for school where he had to write down the entire family's height after measuring each of us.  And yes, cuddling is my favorite thing to do!  But please don't break Ryan's heart and tell him that Chad is actually my favorite cuddle buddy.


This is a portrait of me my little artist made at school.


And his sweet letter to me.
 "Mom, I like it when you cuddle me.  And took me to violin.  And take me to restaurants, and to get desserts.  And get me presents."

I am pretty sure Ryan's love languages are physical touch and gifts.  :)

Ryan also went up on the stand today and stood up tall and sang every word of the three songs looking and smiling at me the entire time.  This is a huge deal for my very shy little Ry-guy.  At Easter, he hid and looked at the floor the whole time.

Andrew made me a card with 4 parts....and left it at school.  Here is the one he recreated at home.


The first was a Mother Acrostic Poem.
Magic
Optional
Terrific
Heroic
Energetic
Ripe

Not sure how I feel about being called optional or ripe. But I will take the rest!  Especially energetic.  Oh how I wish that saying it would make it so!

6 reasons I love you.
1-Kind
2-Gentle
3-Nice
4-Playful
5-Energetic
6-Awesome
7-Loving
(I said, "Andrew, it says 6 reasons on the title, but you wrote 7."  He answered, "Mom, that is the funny part!")

Top 3 places you have taken me
1-Disney
2-Sliding Rock
3-Myrtle Beach

Mothers by Andrew S.
Are a light in the darkness
A warmth in a frost
and a mask in the shadow.

Andrew painted a pot at school and planted a marigold.  He painted the Japanese symbols for light, night, frost, and shadow on the pot that correspond with the poem he wrote.  He did not want me to see the present before Mother's Day, so he hid it in his book bag.  The whole thing dumped out and he had to have a little help from his dad to re-pot it.  The little marigold blossom was a little worse for the wear. It was bent and drooping.  But the little blossom was still yellow and lovely on Sunday morning.


 My life is so full today, so happy.   10 years ago I yearned for and prayed for the life that is now mine.  I know it might be a bit dramatic to say so, but my heart overflowed with gratitude when I saw this droopy little marigold today.  I thought of the love and care my eight year old boy took to try and hide his gift from me, so that it would be a surprise.  I could not help but think of the black and dead and brittle marigold I received for Mother's Day 10 years ago. How sad and hopeless I felt that day, and how perfect my joy is today.  Today, three beautiful children went to the front of the church with their primary friends and sang Mother's Day songs to ME, smiling and waving at ME the whole time.  Three beautiful children made ME cards, gifts, and breakfast.  And most importantly, three beautiful children call me MOMMY.  The most beautiful sound in the world.  I am grateful for the amazing gift that is mine,  and pray that I never forget to thank Heavenly Father for the blessing of Motherhood.  I wish I could freeze time.  The moments are going by so quickly.  Childhood is so fleeting.  I am not ready for this season to slip away.  I promise to be grateful while it lasts, to enjoy each magical moment, and try hard to live each day so that when they are no longer little and bringing me marigolds, I have few regrets.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Disney World Day 7: Orlando Temple and Church

On Sunday, we took the children to walk around the grounds of the Orlando Temple, then we attended church at the LDS chapel across the street.  I love being able to visit other LDS congregations when we are on vacation, so that our children can see that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the same, no matter where we go.  


After church, we headed back to the resort to eat lunch and to spend the rest of the day together, enjoying quiet family time with Grandma and Grandpa in our condo.   It was nice to have some peaceful down time before we had to drive back on Monday morning.  And it was a good opportunity for us to teach our children that Sunday is the Sabbath Day, even when we are on vacation.

On Monday morning, we packed up the van and headed home.  It was hard to leave.  And hard to come back to the busyness of our reality.  I miss vacation.  I miss having my children and husband be my only responsibility.  We tell our kids, "Scribners pray hard, work hard and play hard."   We played hard.  So now it is time to work hard, again.  :)

***I know I have a lot of friends and family who read our blog who are not members of our faith.  Here is a link to a brief description about our belief about the Sabbath Day, in case you are interested.  Our family is not perfect at this, by any means.   But we do strive to follow these guidelines, to the best of our ability, and have received many wonderful blessings from the Lord when we keep Sunday a Holy Day.

  


Disney World Day 6: Downtown Disney...With $$$

We gave the children an opportunity to earn their own money to spend at Disney.  They worked very hard the two months before our trip and earned quite a bit of spending money.  They also shrewdly negotiated an extra $5 each by choosing NOT to buy pizza on pizza day at school each month.  A lot of these jobs are normally part of their responsibility charts and they do not receive any payment for them.  But we shook things up a bit for the sake of the learning experience.



Each had chosen to spend some of their money during the week at the parks, but the bulk of their savings were still available for them to spend during a quick trip to Downtown Disney, after the Magic Kingdom on Saturday.

Molly debated back and forth between a Jasmine play set with little figurines and a tiger.  Then she spotted her leopard.  And there was no question what was going home to NC with us.


Ryan had chosen to buy a sword at the Magic Kingdom, but still had enough left over to build his own light saber and buy a Hero Factory toy from the Lego store.



Andrew has not chosen to willingly spend any of his own money in over two years.  He earned quite a bit of money, and then brought some of his savings with him to ensure he had enough money for what he really wanted....The Ninjago Temple of Light.  He also had enough leftover to buy a Chima set with his Disney money.



We ate dinner at the resort and let Molly take a nap.  She was exhausted (and maybe just a teeny bit, okay a lot cranky).   I am so glad we did not have to go out to eat with the children any this week.  They were so grouchy by dinner time.  It was nice to just hang out at the resort.  When Molly woke up, we went back to the pool for one last time.  Molly and Andrew loved the water slide.  Molly spent the entire time she was at the pool each time we went on the water slide.  Ryan did it once, and decided once was enough for him.





Disney World Day 6: Back to the Magic Kingdom


The Magic Kingdom is way too big to do in one day with three little ones.  It really is too big to do in two days.  I wish we had been able to go there three times during our trip, but none of our feet would have endured it.  The kids all had their favorite rides in mind that they wanted to try again, and some new ones we had not made it to on Tuesday.  It was a Saturday and it was the busiest day we were there.  It made me so grateful that we had chosen to take the kids out of school and not visit during the summer.  (Can you believe that I, Danielle,  am the one saying that?)



I did an absolutely horrible time capturing memories on camera our last day, but I did a fabulous job being in the moment with my children.  For which I am truly grateful.  I am kind of sad though that there are no pictures of several of the really fun things we did, now that we are home.

We rode the Astro Orbiter for the first time and then rode Space Mountain again.  Next we raced over to Barnstormer.  This time, Molly gleefully skipped on.


Molly really wanted to ride Dumbo again, but the boys were not interested.  So they were the ones who waited for once.

Everyone was excited to ride Buzz Lightyear again, too.



I had read the children an abridged version of Tom Sawyer before our vacation.  They enjoyed exploring the Tom Sawyer Island, especially the fort with the cannons and rifles.




We headed to ride Thunder Mountain Railroad and Splash Mountain, next.  Grandma and Grandpa rode Splash Mountain, then headed out to do some shopping.  Molly was too short for both of those rides, so she and I rode on the train around the park.


Next we all rode the Pirates of the Caribbean Ride.  Ryan bought himself this sword.


It was so crowded, we couldn't find anywhere to sit down and eat our lunches.  We settled down on a corner of a bridge, and as we were finishing, the Steam Boat came rolling by.  That was pretty neat.


We had used swap passes on the two mountain rides, so I took the boys back on them while Chad took Molly to this fun Laughin' Place playground.  When we arrived, this cute little girl walked right up to Molly and said, "Oh, Snow White, you are here to play with me!"  She took Molly's hand and lead her all around the play ground the entire time. There was also a little boy who fell down.  Molly walked over, scooped him up, and kissed him.   It was very sweet.



Chad then took Molly to ride the Carousel, her favorite thing the whole trip.



We ended our day at the park watching a show on the castle steps and eating Mickey Mouse Ice Cream.


Here is another picture of Molly in front of the castle.  Isn't she sweet?



And here is my very favorite picture from the entire vacation.  Here is her crazy smile she has been doing for us the past few weeks, only PERFECTED!  One eye closed, tongue out to the side, hands in the air, and see through dress.  All we said was, "Molly, give us your best fancy smile."  You are welcome.


Then we headed back to the hotel, exhausted after 5 straight days at the parks.  We ate dinner at the hotel and went swimming.