Sunday, October 30, 2011

Picture of the Week - October 30

And the dressing up continues ... I knew those capes would come in handy one day. But I never knew it would be in the form of 4 free Chick-fil-a kids' meals on Super Hero Day!

Thursday, October 27, 2011


I never thought I would be the parent who used bribes to get my kids to do things. I remember being in stores and hearing parents plead with their children, "Please just stop screaming and I'll buy you this cookie!", and thinking that would never, EVER be me. I was too tough for that. I wasn't going to bend and break down. If my child wanted to have a screaming temper tantrum on the floor of the store then he could just have it. I knew he'd stop having those tantrums once he realized Mommy wasn't going to give in.

Fast forward a few years and I have to admit that I was utterly and completely wrong. I work hard at disciplining my kids effectively and consistently, but I definitely do not win all the time. It's a lot easier at home when you don't have the eyes of others watching how you react when your 2-year-old emits a blood curdling scream while simultaneously writhing on the floor. I've tried the walking away tactic ... you know, just start walking away when they start a tantrum out in public. But inevitably the offender will then start screaming, "Mommy, don't LEAVE MEEEEEEEEE!", and I start to get worried that people think I am actually abandoning my child. How do they already know how to work a public place like this at so young an age? Some people have suggested that I just leave the store/public place (with the kids) if a tantrum occurs but do you know how long it takes to get me and four kids dressed, ready, into the car, and to the store? I am not about to give up all that work to just turn around and leave.

I've also tried bribery. I know, I know, something I never thought I would do. But many times it does work. I've learned that the key is to bribe BEFORE the tantrums / yelling / meltdowns ever even start. Preventative action. For example, if we're about to go into the grocery store I'll say, "OK, Mommy needs to get a few things from the grocery store and if you're really good and stay with me and don't yell or scream then we'll get a (wait for it)  ...... COOKIE when we're done (it's more effective the longer the pause and the higher the eyebrow raise when exclaiming, "COOKIE!"). So we go into the store and the whole time we keep talking about how they're going to get that cookie if they stay with me and don't yell. If a tantrum creeps up, I just remind them about the cookie and all quiets down. And then, at the end of the gloriously easy and tear-free shopping trip, they get a cookie!

Sometimes I feel like a failure as a mother because I have to resort to these tactics (I swear it's not all the time ... they don't get cookies for brushing their teeth or going to the potty). But this stuff works for us right now so I'm going to use it. The key has been using things for bribery that I was already going to give them anyway. Like that cookie. They don't know that I was planning on getting them one anyway while we were at the store, but they don't need to know! Bribery with everyday things ... I love it! Now excuse me while I go and get the kids up from their naps ... I promised them that they could read their new library books if they would go and take a nap first!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


Great words from one of my favorite authors, Don Miller. This is an excerpt from his book, Through Painted Deserts.

Here is something I found to be true: you don’t start processing death until you turn thirty. I live in visions, for instance, and they are cast out some fifty years, and just now, just last year I realized my visions were cast too far, they were out beyond my life span. It frightened me to think of it, that I passed up an early marriage or children to write these silly books, that I bought the lie that the academic life had to be separate from relational experience, as though God only wanted us to learn cognitive ideas, as if the heart of a man were only created to resonate with movies. No, life cannot be understood flat on a page. It has to be lived; a person has to get out of his head, has to fall in love, has to memorize poems, has to jump off bridges into rivers, has to stand in an empty desert and whisper sonnets under his breath:
I’ll tell you how the sun rose
A ribbon at a time . . .

It’s a living book, this life; it folds out in a million settings, cast with a billion beautiful characters, and it is almost over for you. It doesn’t matter how old you are; it is coming to a close quickly, and soon the credits will roll and all your friends will fold out of your funeral and drive back to their homes in cold and still and silence. And they will make a fire and pour some wine and think about how you once were . . . and feel a kind of sickness at the idea you never again will be.

So soon you will be in that part of the book where you are holding the bulk of the pages in your left hand, and only a thin wisp of the story in your right. You will know by the page count, not by the narrative, that the Author is wrapping things up. You begin to mourn its ending, and want to pace yourself slowly toward its closure, knowing the last lines will speak of something beautiful, of the end of something long and earned, and you hope the thing closes out like last breaths, like whispers about how much and who the characters have come to love, and how authentic the sentiments feel when they have earned a hundred pages of qualification.

And so my prayer is that your story will have involved some leaving and some coming home, some summer and some winter, some roses blooming out like children in a play. My hope is your story will be about changing, about getting something beautiful born inside of you, about learning to love a woman or a man, about learning to love a child, about moving yourself around water, around mountains, around friends, about learning to love others more than we love ourselves, about learning oneness as a way of understanding God. We get one story, you and I, and one story alone. God has established the elements, the setting and the climax and the resolution. It would be a crime not to venture out, wouldn’t it?

It might be time for you to go. It might be time to change, to shine out.

I want to repeat one word for you:


Roll the word around on your tongue for a bit. It is a beautiful word, isn’t it? So strong and forceful, the way you have always wanted to be. And you will not be alone. You have never been alone. Don’t worry. Everything will still be here when you get back. It is you who will have changed.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Picture of the Week - October 23

Welcome to the world Graham Woodward Lintner! Nothing better than a new baby nephew to snuggle! Congratulations Meghann and John!

Thursday, October 20, 2011


Sam: "Mommy, look at my BIG airplane!"

Me: "Wow, Sam, that sure is big."

Sam: "Mom, do you want to fly on my airplane?"

Me: "Ok, sure."

Sam: "Alright. You can sit HERE (pointing to one of the seats in the front of his airplane)."

Me: "Great!"

Sam: "And Mommy if you need to go to the potty, the potty is waaaaaaay back here (indicating the back of the airplane)."

Me: "Ok, sounds good."

Sam: "And Mommy, if you need to throw up when the bumps come you can throw up in the potty back here too."

And I thought they wouldn't remember much about our Colorado trip last winter ...

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Fall Carnival

We had another great time this year at the kids' preschool fall carnival. We are so lucky to be at such a great school that has parents ready and willing to volunteer to make these great events happen. This preschool is one of the things I love the most about Winston-Salem! I can't believe that next year will be the triplets' last year here.

We broke out the costumes for the first time for the event. This is the first year that the kiddos have taken an active interest in what they want to be for Halloween. The boys went all criminal justice system on me when they decided to be a policeman and a "sherf" (translation: sheriff).

I know they don't look very menacing, but these boys took their jobs seriously.

Needless to say, I was issued my fair share of traffic citations that day.

The girls, echoing the sentiments of most 3 year old girls I know, decided to stick with something pink, purple, and sparkly that necessitated a crown.

Specifically (and nowadays everything is very specific with almost four year olds), Adah was "just a fairy" and Peyton was the Tooth Fairy. I really have no idea how the girl knows about the Tooth Fairy already, but she does. She is dying to have her teeth fall out so that the TF will bring her a surprise. I don't have the heart to tell her that she's still got three or four more years to wait. Patience is a virtue, right?

After costuming, it was on the the carnival! We got to play a bunch of different games and earn lots of sweet treats. The highlights were the doughnut walk (they were giving out Krisy Kreme doughnuts so I kept trying to get the kids to play this one multiple times), face painting, and the ever popular bounce house.

What a great day to get us all in the mood for Halloween and fall! I think we may keep coming back to the carnival even after the kids graduate from preschool. Events like these always help to remind me how short and sweet these preschool years are and how quickly they will be gone. But on this day, it was just a time for a policeman, a sheriff, a fairy, and a tooth fairy to eat some candy, laugh, and just enjoy the magic of make believe for at least one more year.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Friday, October 14, 2011

Football Saturday

If you live in the South, you know that Fall = Football. It's just common knowledge around here. There's nothing better than a Saturday spent outside with the leaves changing all around you and weather cool enough to wear jeans and some highly fashionable boots. So instead of watching the scene unfold on ESPN last week, we decided to do it ourselves.

My parents were visiting last week and we are lucky enough to live an hour from my (and my husband's and my dad's) alma mater, Davidson College. We loved our college days so much and it's been great to now live so close. The kids  have already been to a basketball game, but this was their first time to the gridiron and I think they enjoyed it!

As you can see, pom poms were a necessity. We hit the student store before the game and I counted myself lucky that we escaped with only these (and some new t-shirts, of course).

Bogey and Marmee met us for the game as well, so we had plenty of adults on hand to tame the masses. The adults actually outnumbered the kids for once!

Getting settled (that didn't last very long ... the being settled and seated part).

Although Davidson is one of the smallest schools in the country (around 2000 students) to participate in Division I athletics, the football program is still non-scholarship. This made for a great kid-friendly environment and was the main reason we took the kiddos. They were free to go up and down the stairs, roam the sidelines looking for the Wildcat, and watch the cheerleaders up close and personal (don't get any ideas Sam and Luke).

What's the score, Bogey?

Watching the players leave the field.

It was such a fun day with family and friends and we can't wait to do it again. We're hoping the kids will be able to make a few basketball games this year as well ... only another month until tip-off (not that I'm partial towards a particular sport or anything)!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Mask

We went to one of those Halloween stores this weekend that magically appears in a previously unoccupied building once October rolls around. The kids were already pretty settled on their costumes for this year (this was the first year they actually cared about picking their own costumes) but we still needed to accessorize if you know what I mean.

I've never really frequented these Halloween stores and I have been missing out! They have everything you could ever imagine or want in a costume. I'm serious, I was really debating whether or not I should dress up myself this year with some of the stuff they had. We got what we needed, but not without sampling a bit of everything in the store.

I about died from laughing when I came around the corner to find all four of them wearing these masks. They thought it was hilarious and we spent the next half hour trying on different masks and checking ourselves out in the mirror. I'm sure the shop owner was glad to see us finally leave.

And in case you're wondering, the masks are not indicative of our costumes this year. You'll just have to wait and see I guess. Here's a little preview of what the girls are planning to be ...

I know what you're thinking ... "how original." Don't worry, there are some details that I'll wait to reveal, but I think it must be a requirement of every 3 year old girl that a crown or tiara is part of her costume!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

New Post on 25 Hours A Day

Check out my newest post on 25 Hours A Day HERE!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Picture of the Week - October 9

I love visitors. There's always more hands to hold.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

New Blog

I have a great new blog you all need to read. 

(And I promise that's it's NOT because I'm one of the writers for it).

It's called 25 Hours A Day and it's a parenting blog with posts from bloggers with all different points of view on parenting. These parents have kids of all different ages and there are many varying points of view. The one thing that they all have in common is that they are awesome bloggers who bring unique and varying perspectives to their posts.

(Again, their total awesomeness has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that I'm one of the contributing bloggers to the site).

Go and check it out when you have a chance. I promise you won't be disappointed!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


My boys are obsessed with any type of moving vehicle. Obsessed. Schools buses, motorcycles, bikes, garbage trucks, everything that moves. But their true guilty pleasure is  any type of construction vehicle. I never thought I'd be able to tell (or care about) the differences between a bulldozer, a front end loader, or an excavator, but I can now differentiate between the three in a heartbeat. We have been know to park our car at constructions sites, roll the windows down, and watch the activity for hours. Not exactly my idea of a good time, but the quiet that it brings is intoxicating.

So, as you could probably discern, the boys have become experts at identifying and then screaming out the name of every vehicle (including it's accessories) as we pass by. Sam has recently become interested in all of the paraphernalia that hangs on the sides of a fire truck. He was flabbergasted to discover that the firetruck (one of his great loves) actually has a hose (another of his greatest loves) attached to it. He now looks for the hoses on the firetruck every time we see one. The following conversation happened the other day as we passed the fire station by the kids' preschool ...

Me: "Sam, there's the fire station."

Sam: "I know Mom. The fire truck is still there so there must not be a fire."

Me: "That's good. Can you see all hoses on the truck?"

Sam: "Yeah, Mom. I can see it. But Mom???"

Me: "What, buddy?"

Sam: "Mom ... where can I find some hoes hose?"

I'm thinking we're going to postpone any trips for Sam to Las Vegas in the next 30 years.

Sam and Luke also have the unique ability to make up names for trucks that they can't identify or that they haven't seen before. For example, the truck that the men sit in to work on the power lines has been dubbed a "liffer" (I think they're trying to say "lifter"). It makes sense, I guess. It's a truck that lifts people. My kids get straight to the point.

This summer, Sam saw a truck while we were at the beach. He'd never seen one like it before, so he wasn't sure what to call it. When this happens, they tend to name the truck after it's most obvious or dominant feature. For example, on this day Sam exclaimed ...

"Look, Mommy!! It's a hooker!"

Try explaining that one to the people sitting near us at the beach.

Monday, October 3, 2011

If I Were A Pumpkin

For the last two weeks the kids have been asking me when it will be October. Their little brains have figured out that this is the month when the magic begins to happen. From now until the New Year it's an endless jumble of apple festivals, pumpkin spice candles, candy, turkeys, pilgrims, sweet potato casseroles, mistletoe, reindeer, snow, advent calendars, nativity scenes, and that jolly ol' St. Nick. They can hardly contain themselves.

So we started out the best three months of a child's year with our annual trip to the pumpkin patch. Lucky for us, it's right down the street. The weather cooperated for us as well and we got a great fall weekend of cool temperatures and sunny skies.
How do kids innately know what to do at a pumpkin patch? I have a working theory that the pumpkins emit an odorless gas that causes children to light up and run around with boundless and joyful energy. Kinda like what the annual re-introduction of the pumpkin spice latte at Starbucks does for my soul.

We always let the kids choose one small pumpkin of their own and together we choose a couple of  larger "family" pumpkins that we carve on Halloween.
However, this pumpkin selection method has caused the kids to make a direct correlation between the pumpkins and themselves. They assume that since they are little, they pick a little pumpkin (somehow as a representation of themselves). So you know what this means about the other pumpkins that get picked ...

Yup, those pumpkins (according to them) are meant to represent Matt and me. So how did we fare this year??

Well, Daddy's pumpkin is tall and proportionate without many blemishes. And mine? Well, mine is squat, mottled, and ridden with bumps and imperfections. I guess you can't hide your true self from your children! But how did Daddy manage to pull the wool over their eyes???
Happy Pumpkin Picking!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Picture of the Week - October 2

This weekend we broke out the jackets and broke in the pumpkin patch.