Ms. Blue be Ocho

When Lillie was born, I would think about the years to come. I would imagine my two little women playing together, giggling, loving and yes, fighting. I imagined a certain age. Both of them at certain years. It was 10 and 7. At the time it seemed so far away. You know, when you are rocking them and wondering if you will ever sleep. Well, you wake up one Saturday morning, and you have surpassed that "so far away" year. By an entire year!
They are 11 and now 8. And it is awesome.:) Trust me when I say, the best is yet to come. They are a hoot. And yes it is definitely not all giggles and bows.

You are 8 years old today.
You have been very concerned this week about
when we are going to get your gifts.
Funny. You are funny.  

You are beautiful, My Lillie.
I hope I tell you enough. 
How much you mean to me.  
How much you mean to your daddy.
How much you mean to your Ainz. 
I love you so much, that sometimes, it catches my breath. 

My heart flutters when I think of what is in store for you.
I can see nothing but amazing things.

You make us laugh.
But, not at you.
You would not have any of that.
You make us think.
You don't even realize it, most of the time.
Always, looking ahead, you are.
You are a breath of fresh air.

This big sister of yours.
She loves you with all of her being.
She told me you deserved anything you wanted for your birthday.
Anything, well, because you are a great kid.

Happy Birthday, Lillie Blue.
I love you more than you'll ever know. Forever and Always. 


Lesson Learned: Volume 2

Learning. It is an on going event. You must work harder at it, I believe, as you get older. Who wants to become that older person that is "set in their ways". Not me, that's for sure.
Learning has been pretty hard core for our little women, lately. Hence, this post.
So the learning curve for Ms. Ainzli lately, has been that dang iPod!

It all starts at Best Buy. I am looking at possibly taking advantage of my upgrade. So I let the girls browse. They told me they were going to look at movies and then the tablets. Great, I say. Don't think a thing about.
Fast forward about a week and a half later.........
Our home phone rings at 11:00. In the pm. I am like, who the heck is calling at this hour! Right? Nothing good is coming from a call at this hour.
It is Riley's mom. You know, the little boyfriend. Oh golly! She proceeds to inform me that Riley got some extremely explicit text messages from Ainzli's iPod. What? How? What time? Tell me! My heart is in my throat. I am asking her all sorts of questions. She tells me what they are. She informs me that she KNOWS that they are not from Ainzli. She tells me it seems like she may have been hacked. They talk about unmentionable things. About goats. About body parts. About Best Buy.? Hhmmmm.
I tell her thank you so much. We talked for a couple minutes. I now know that this is a mama that I can talk too. Awesome!
So I grab the iPod and I read the text messages. Oh! My! Gosh!
I wake up Ainzli. I don't let her read them, but I tell her about it. She said, "Oh Mom, I am so embarassed." Good! Great! (Didn't say that, but I was thinking it). Ok, so how did this happen. We talked. We were brain storming. Then it hits me. Best Buy...........

Me: Ainzli, did you log 
into one of the tablets at Best Buy?
 You know, last week when 
we went there for my phone stuff

Ainzli:   No.....

Me:  Best Buy was mentioned in the texts. Think.

Ainzli: Oh my gosh. Mom, I logged into the iPad mini.

Me: Well, Sis, did you log out? I am guessing no.

We changed all of her passwords that night. I called Best Buy in the morning. And sure enough, her iMessaging was up and all exposed. Nick logged her out. He restarted the iPad mini. Thank you, Nick.
That morning we had a major discussion about public technology.

Me:    You never log into anything personal on a public device. 
You never even log into your personal stuff on a friends device. 
It only takes one time. 
Even your closest friends could think a joke is innocent and it goes horribly wrong.
 You can use your personal accounts on our home computers, your Dad's device, my device and yours. Do you understand? 
You need to take stock in this experience. 
You need to always remember this. 
Please always be careful. So much more is said on social media than most people would ever say face to face. Always, Always, Always be aware. 
I love you, Ainzli Isabel. 
Do you understand what I am telling you?

Ainzli:  Yes, Mom. I understand.

Holy Crap!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
She apologized to Riley. He was so gracious. It was sweet.
I think it sank in. I surely hope so!:) 


Lesson Learned

Wow. This has been a week of lesson learning around these parts. And given this being a Tuesday, it was truly jam packed into 1 day. Bless you Monday, July 8 and all of your infinite wisdom.

The story starts, at a local supermarket, on July 5. We were rushing around. Seems like we are always doing that. We, the little women and myself, were checking out. I did notice Lillie playing with a slap bracelet, but didn't think twice about it. I just thought it was one of those toys she would put back as soon as we left. Right? Wrong! Ainzli gets the van all loaded up, it was like a monsoon out, so all actions were extra rushy.  We are cruising down the road and Ainzli asks Lillie where the bracelet came from? Lillie said that someone left it at the checkout. Huh? So she thought since some other child left their toy at the store that it now becomes hers. Oh golly! Very calmly, I told her that they sold them at the store. That one just happened to be by its self at the checkout.
Tears ensued. As well as hysteria. She freaked out. She yells, "I didn't steal it!! I didn't know!!" She asked why we were yelling at her. At this point, neither myself nor Ainzli had said a word. We kind of let her go. You know, so she could get it all out. Then we could talk.
I told her that I believe her. I do. I told her that I was proud of her reaction. That feeling she has in the pit of her stomach, it is a wonderful gift from God. That she should always listen to it. If she starts to stifle that little voice it will become harder to hear.

So the bracelet stays in the van, until yesterday. It must be returned, along with an explanation. That is what honest people do. That is being Christ like and showing Jesus and anyone else that we own up to our mistakes. We talked about the return. There were numerous tears again. There were questions about why I couldn't be the one to tell the manager. About why, it had to be this day. She was scared. I don't blame her. She and I got out of the van. She started to tear up. I told her she would be able to talk better if she didn't let them fall. She was strong. None fell. We approached the Customer Service desk and I asked for a manager. He came. He looked at us. I said hi. Lillie handed me the bracelet and I handed it right back. I told her to go ahead. She told him:

"We were shopping at the other store. I saw this bracelet by the checkout. I didn't know that you sold them. I thought someone had left it. I took it. I am giving it back. I am really sorry."

He was dumbfounded. He just stared at her. He finally, after like 30 seconds, said thank you. Then he smiled a big smile. I said thank you back. My Lillie Blue and I walked, hand in hand, out of the store. I was almost in tears, I was so proud of her. I stopped to hug her and she calmly told me, "not here."  We did not talk about it afterwards. She is funny that way.

I love being a mama. I love giving it my all. I did not want my Lillie Blue to be so upset, it broke my heart, but I knew this is what had to be done. I hope this lesson sticks with her. I hope she goes the distance in honesty and integrity. I love you my Boo. I love you so much.


Let Freedom Ring

I love you Independence Day. I love what you stand for. I love reading about the men who were willing to die of treason for what they believed in.
So we celebrated with sparklers, M5000's, snappers, an old Halloween costume and a bike ride to the Fallen Heroes Bridge for our local fireworks display.

This is Raggedy Ann in it's former life. 
It is now the red, white and blue for the Boo. 

 Thumbs up says the man of the house. 
Bike riding is so much fun on closed streets. 


Hopefully, one of these years before they are too much older, I will bust out the tripod for some good 4th of July photos. Until then these will do.


Growing in Grace

Shannon just said last night, "That girl is going to be the death of me." His comment was not in, "She's a brat. She doesn't listen. She's bad." sort of way. It was in a loving way. I hope that makes sense. Ainzli is kind, wants to make everyone feel included, conscience of other people (except for her sister, sometimes) and beautiful. At this stage, she is a scary combination for her parents. In a good way. I/We could not have special ordered a better kid. 

I went to church camp last week for 3 days with Lillie. It was awesome (more to come). I get home on Friday night, after everyone else has gone to bed, and I am looking on Instagram. You see, Ainzli, has an account. I am psycho Mom, checking it all the time. Monitoring it. Following her. Following her friends. Just doing the best I can with this little bit of freedom we have allowed our 11 year old to have. I am starting to figure out what all of their lingo is. Oh my goodness, is there some crazy lingo spilling out of tweens! Hash tags, chopped up words, crazy names. I have run across some pictures from other kids, Ainzli and I talk about them. Almost always has to do with modesty. What is acceptable in our home. She gets it. We have had one hiccup with her. Shannon addressed it. We have moved on. So far, so good. 
So anyway, back to the Friday night. I look in her profile area and it says, "Taken" with a little purple heart beside the word! I know what this means from being a psycho browser on other kids accounts. I know who he is too. I check his account profile and sure enough, "Taken" with 2 little purple hearts!
How do I handle this?
God, give me the words to handle this.
I want my daughter to know that I will not be the blow up parent.
May wisdom flow from my mouth, my actions, and my heart.

Saturday morning rolls around. Shannon is at work. Everyone is up. Nothing. I have given her the chance to tell me. Heck, she could have text me while I was at camp. You see, that is not Ainzli. She has some "sneaky" running through those veins. 
It's afternoon. I am going for it. I ask her if she has something to tell me. She looks at my in puzzlement. So I just straight up ask, "Do you have a boyfriend?" I can feel that little bit of flutter in my voice. The small twinge of hope that maybe they both typed wrong on their accounts.  She looks a little awkwardly and says, "Yes." Ok, good. Not "good" as in, she has a boyfriend. "Good" as in, she told me. I had to ask, but she told me. I said "ok." And left it at that. 
We had a discussion later about how it all came about. Of course, it was all through text messaging. The boyfriend is Riley. We have gone to church with his family for 5 years. They recently moved into our school district. He seems like a nice kid. You know, all of the two words I have been able to pull out of him since I have known him. Anyway, he is Ainzli's first little crush. She has never been the boy crazy little girl. Never. So this past school year, I asked her if there were any boys she liked. You know, not Braxton or Luke (these two boys are her friends.). She told me, Riley. Ok, cool. He was never interested, apparently, until this summer. So, friend formerly mentioned, Braxton, text Ainzli about still liking Riley. She does. So then, Riley started texting her. Texting ensued. "Taken" status is where they are. 

Ainzli and Riley text, occasionally. 
It is cute. 
It is innocent. 
It is a first for us all.

Here's the other kicker. I had to tell Shannon. She says it feels weird to talk about it with Daddy. Ok. I get it. I told her that I understood, but that he must know. She said, "I know, Mom, (like I was an idiot. Thank goodness) but you tell him." So he knows now. I just told him last night. Hence the comment, "that girl is going to be the death of me." That is his girl. His love. His heart. And she is growing up. 

There are all sorts of things that are always running through my head. We are the parents of a fifth grader. A child who is getting ready to embark on her last year of elementary. A child that is earning more independence all the time. A child that is slowly, but surely, growing more beautiful on the inside and it is shining on the outside. 
Things in life are forever changing. Change is truly the one constant in all of our lives. And really, this whole boyfriend thing is not a big deal. It is her just being a kid. What is does make me realize, is that we cannot do this parenting gig alone. Nor do we have too. We have to give it up. We must pray daily for guidance, for wisdom, for His words to flow from us. Not our own. 
Be calm. 
Be firm. 
Be loving. 
Be His and He will show us His way. 


"Thank you, God, for guiding us as parents. For revealing to us, your will, in our parenting for her everyday. Thank you for giving her a heart for other people. She truly is a blessing from you."