just in case you are wondering....
i am going blog free this week.
my sweet sister is here and i am just needing to put blogging out of my mind for a week.
so, for now, i am blog-free.
no posting and no reading.
do you think that is crazy?
it's not.
it's great.
you should try it.
i'll be back soon.



'round here- insta-friday

what's been happening in the reed life?

sand toys
birthday parties
grocery shopping
"yes mom"
swimming lessons
indiana jones wii
the park
summer cereal
lost bathing suits and flip flops
a little sleeping room for her
dirty faces
a giant full box of lucky charms spilling on the kitchen floor (as i type this)

(ok ok, one NON-iphone pic)

happy friday!
reedo is off today and we are going to the beach....



sunday night: 3 snapshots of the weekend

this guy is a treasure.
today was his first time out in the water on his own surfboard.
he's had it since he turned five (over a year ago) but has been so freaked out of the water that he couldn't use it.
well...that says it all.
and finally joining the "big kids" who float 15 feet out (away from the little guys)...priceless.

(it is hard for me to look at these photos without tearing up)



a frosty adventure!

some of our best summer pals took us to their favorite ice-cream stand this week!
you know me, i can't resist bringing my camera to adventures like this...it gets me every time!
the kids were wild and sweet as usual.
with the exception of my ella (as usual) who doesn't need an excuse to bring out her pout.
yep. even at an ice-cream stand with a cup of rainbow sherbet she can be "mad"
she's all mine 
(and reedo's, actually)....

thank you lena and your sweet munchkins for the delicious adventure! 
and thank you amy for the new editing tips!


{virtual} coffee and ice-cream and popsicles and cookies with my friend amy...

i am deciding to make this post right to amy...but you are not imposing!
join right in!

hi friend!
so glad we could meet today, but i seriously really wish that i could be having real coffee at your house.
i'd drink whatever you were serving even if i'd never tried it before.
and i'd be grateful.
i'd  also want you to to take me on a tour of your beautiful area.
maybe some antique shoppin' and some ice cream???
pretty please?
then i'd want to see the how tall the corn is compared to me.
oh and see fireflies!
i've never seen fireflies...ever.
i wish for that.
i guess i'd have to wait for night?
so maybe it'd have to be night coffee.

are you kids driving you crazy yet?
or are you guys still super into summer?
it seems like you have done a lot of the things on you summer list, huh?
we've done a few and i am starting to regret putting a few of them on there.

oh, by the way, i meant to tell you that i like my alone time at my house too.
sometimes having more kids in the mix really rocks the boat and disturbs a delicate balance...
how's it going with "neighbor boy" today?

well, even though lots of times i feel like that, sometimes it's nice to have some company.
i know you feel that way too.
yesterday Leslie came over to our house with the kids and we had more than our share of junk food and let the kids swim/splash in the blow up pool that is on it's way out (2 days left?) because of holes.
our boys do swim lessons down the street, so before and after that we just had reed house hang out time.
we did some water coloring and ate popsicles
and leslie cut up veggies to dip in hummus and made me a quesadilla in my own kitchen.
isn't that the best?
THEN we made cookies and made the kids eat um all on a picnic blanket so i could take pictures of them...
this is my favorite one.

to make the popsicles that we had  you just have to make
this non-alcoholic recipe for brazilian lemonade.
this is "freak out" good to me (leslie wasn't a fan...though i think you should listen to ME)
i make it and keep it in the fridge.(and spiked with some coconut rum it's not too shabby as a "mommy after hours treat")
in fact i'm having some now.(without rum....promise. it's only 4pm.)

and then fill your popsicle molds 1/3 full of sliced strawberries and then fill it up with that limey fabulousness.

it. is. so. good.
the kids loved um and so did i.

someday we will have a little party of our own i hope, right?

ok, i better go.
i am taking the kids to see mr. popper penguins tonight since reedo is working late.
we just finished the book and they are so pumped up to see it!
i'll let you know how it is....if you haven't seen it yet.

see ya friend!



mommy boot camp

mommy. boot. camp.
i didn't think of people.
other, much wiser and a bit more seasoned mothers did.
and really who FIRST thought of it?
it's just re-training yourself and your kids with good parenting, right?
it's not being lazy.

so here's how it goes...at my house.

1. make up a sign of rules and a new job chart to get the summer off to a good start.
they don't  have classroom responsibilities, so they can certainly help around here!

2. pump them up about how you will be expecting them to listen to you and obey you during mommy boot camp.
by the time the first week of summer came here, my kids were so exited and actually anxious to get started.

3. make GREAT summer reward systems and restraints.
this is key to keep your sanity.

FIRST THING is that mommy boot camp is MOSTLY about MOMMY!
mommy must stick to her guns, dude!
follow through EVERY TIME.
it's better for everyone...you know it's true.

my rule is that my kids must listen and obey me when i'm talking.
basic right?
and also they need to respond.
with "yes mom"
(are you cringing?)
that's how i grew up.
and it avoids the more attitudey, "OOOKKKKKAYYY"
and when they don't.
i don't get mad (ideally)
they get a calm penalty box.(same as time out: removed from activity and talking for as many minutes as they are old)
a consequence.
no lecture 
(they knew it was the rule, they are not babies anymore)
no browbeating or yelling.
(this is KEY. you are not doing anyone a service by freaking out)
just serve your time.
it's boring. 
when you misbehave, you are rewarded with boring.
if i do this.
really, do it and don't give in or get lazy....IT REALLY WORKS!

this summer we have tickets.
tickets buy extra cartoons, time on my ipad or phone and wii time.
they earn tickets by my good grace.
if someone does an extra chore without being asked.
if someone is especially helpful or respectful.
if someone handles a conflict well...
you know, when they do what's right.
they get a ticket.

they can also get tickets taken if i am at a place where i can't do a penalty box, but this is not a threat i want to bark (oh, but i have failed at times)
it is a simple consequence whispered in an ear.
and an encouragement to earn it back ASAP.

grace has it's place here.
how can your child see what grace is unless you first set the boundary.
they need to see what's expected and see the consequences for disobedience and then when you feel, in your heart, that you are called to show them grace they will know what that means.
they will know what they deserve and what they are NOT getting this time....that's grace.

we also have LEGO/ princess bucks (respectively)
they are for a day of chores accomplished.  
that evening if people have done their family jobs 
(teeth, bed made, room clean, dishes taken in, clothes in the wash...the basics) 
they get the lego buck.
if not, not.
and also extra bucks can be given for a CRAZY good thing.
(like babysitting your 3 year old sister while mommy applies first aide to the 6 year old)
so, there.
the bucks add up, baby and they use um to get.....LEGOS or princess stuff! surprise!

here are my boys reaping the benefits....

my kids are not perfect.
neither am i.
but these first few weeks of summer have been better for all of us with MBC 
they are happily responding with "yes mom" (most of the time)
people are exclaiming about them at antique stores. 
( i only went for ONE THING with all three kids, i'm not crazy!)
people give them free stuff at stores.
it's weird and crazy the response you get from strangers when you are really parenting.

jake asked if we could do it ALL the time after the "free stuff" experience...
my kids thrive on a certain amount of predictability and reasonable expectations and this provides it... and is somehow fun for them.
they are proud.
i am proud.
and grateful to God for putting other mother's in my life to go before and alongside me.
for giving me a mother who showed me how to behave and gave me boundaries and then loved me no matter what.
i want to do that too.

the very last rule is

grace to you little mommas and daddies.
you won't be perfect at this.
i am not perfect at this.
i am trying my hardest to be a good mom.
and sometimes i really stink.
but then i give myself a break and get back on track.
if you fail, don't let that be the excuse to give up.
don't get sucked down into shame...
you can do it!
your children will thank you...someday.



surfer girl

hold on to your beach hats and get ready to enjoy ella's first time on a board with her daddy....
they are both so so happy.
how can you NOT smile?



she found her long lost brother.

remember this lovely little lady?
(if not click here or here.)

well, on a lovely (hot) trip to the flea market on sunday, i found her long lost brother.
i wasn't looking for him.
and maybe i should have been since my sweet little ty is always trying to sit on the red one and he has to get down.
 that one is sorta ella's since she is the smallest and needs stools more,
but really there is only a few inches  of difference between them....
i found him one!
and i gotta say, it's exactly the same stool.
with different paint, but still.
here he is....
can you believe that peely paint!?
with red underneath!?
he inspired a little photo shoot with the owners of the stools, of course
be warned, they were in rare form....

i know. i know. what in the world?

now he we just need to pick a number for me to put on it.
he's thinking 8.
(which is the age jake is turning and therefore ty's favorite number)
i'm thinking 6.

also, don't you think it'd be lovely if my kitchen had this now?

so the kids can eat cereal on their stools at the bar part (on the other side)
yah, i am dreaming of that.

linking with heather....better late than never.