For my girl's fourteenth birthday she got the one thing she really, really wanted. Her own Instagram account. She begged for what seemed like ages for her own account and even said she'd rather have her own Instagram than have her own phone without her own Instagram. Okay then. Seeing as how she wasn't getting her own phone anyway, that made it easy to actually give her what she wanted. I love being able to give my kids what they really, really want occasionally and see the joy on their faces when I do.
On her actual birthday we went to the puppy store, and to Rumba for her birthday dinner with Grammy. She had planned a sleepover with a few friends, but at the last minute one got sick and one got to go unexpectedly on a cruise to the Bahamas so it ended up just being her and one of her best friends going to the mall followed by a sleepover with tons of sugar and movies. Here are a few pics from her special day! Her annual birthday survey is posted at the end!
The Birthday Survey
~How old are you? 14 ~How does being 14 make you feel? Fine ~What do you want to learn this year? Um...long pause...I don't know! I just don't know. Stop typing all this! I guess how to better take care of Buffy, how to groom her better, whatever. ~What was the best thing about being 13?Getting Buffy ~What did you do for your birthday? My party or my actual birthday? Both. Well, not on my birthday, but for my birthday, me and Joy went to see The Greatest Showman and had a sleepover. But on my birthday we went and played with puppies, we went to Starbucks, what else? We went to Rumba for dinner. ~What is your favorite color? aqua blue ~What is your favorite food? donuts ~Who is your favorite person? Jesus. Pick someone alive on earth. Fine, you. ~What grade are you in? 8th, and college, actually. ~What is your favorite thing to do for school? Read ~What is your favorite game to play? I guess probably Uno. I like Uno. ~What do you like to do with Daddy? Um...on Friday nights we go on walks to 7-11 and buy candy. ~What do you like to do with Mommy? Have girl time, watch Gilmore Girls, go to Starbucks, and shop. ~What do you like to do with your brother? Um...I like to watch movies with him. ~What’s your favorite thing to do with the whole family? Movie night. ~What’s your favorite store? Oooh, that's a hard one. I'm going to name a few. Charming Charlie, Forever 21, TJ Maxx, and Ulta Beauty. ~What’s your favorite place to eat? I guess, ahhh, I'm sorry this is taking so long...Dunkin Donuts. ~What’s your favorite book? Ugh, you're going to make me pick? Can I just name a bunch? Sure. I like The Hunger Games, I like Cinder, The Swap, Bounce, Twilight. There's just so many! ~What’s your favorite song? It changes like every week, but right now I like Broken by Lovelyth Band. ~What's your favorite singer or band? I like Ed Sheeran, and Jasmine Thompson~What’s your favorite thing about God? That He loves me. ~What do you want to do this year? Jump off a waterfall. Ha, that's never gonna happen, I guess I don't know, just eat more food. That's an awful answer but I don't really have anything ambitious. I guess make it through my college class. That's what I want to do. ~What do you want to be when you grow up? An artist or an author
~What's your favorite animal? Fox ~What are your hobbies? I like to read, draw, look at Pinterest for hours, shop with my friends. ~If you could go anywhere, where would you go? To like a really, like tropical rain foresty thing with a waterfall to jump off.
I'm attempting to catch up in what seems like a completely futile effort at this point, but I'm going to try my best. Maybe all that time I spend on social media could be spent catching up on blogging instead. I don't know how I had time to write around 100 blog posts a year way back in 2010 and 2011 and somehow now that my kids are older I have no time to sit and write. I'm going to try to make it more of a priority if I can. I blame it on homeschooling and my really uncomfortable desk chair. I seriously need a new chair so badly and I cannot force myself to sit in this awful, back wrenching thing for a minute longer than necessary each day. I look for pretty, comfortable desk chairs every time I'm at Home Goods or TJ Maxx and any other store like that. I really want it to be a pretty chair. I clearly have issues when I care more about how it looks than how it makes my back feel, but I'm holding out hope that the perfect chair exists and I'll find it. Anyway, this is supposed to be a post about December of last year and somehow I've gotten way off track. I obviously am a little rusty with the blogging!
I can barely remember what we did since December was so long ago at this point, but I'm going to zoom through the next few months in hopes of catching up with the present. The few things I do remember doing are because I have photos. I know I took the kids to do a photo shoot for our Christmas card and I know we went to the beach on Christmas Eve, followed by the Christmas Eve service at our church. We got dressed up fancy just because. Then Christmas morning I made the horrible decision to only take pictures with my iPhone thinking that it would be fine and I wouldn't really miss the 'good' photos with my real camera. I was wrong. I really miss the good photos. I'm hoping I don't make the same mistake again.
My brother and his family came after Christmas for a week and I have no idea where all the photos are from that trip, but I do have a couple from when we gave the kids their Christmas surprise, which was telling them about their trip to Disney World! We made them put together a puzzle my brother had ordered. We didn't realize how hard of a puzzle it was! They got it done (even the adults ended up helping) and they were happy with the news. They had to wait til May, so the excitement level wasn't quite what we were expecting but since I took so long to write this blog post I know that they had a great time at Disney and we are super excited to go back in November!
This past year for Halloween we spent the evening with good friends and hopefully it will become a little tradition. The kids all went trick-or-treating and the adults passed out candy in the driveway of our friends' house in one of those neighborhoods that becomes overrun with families by the hundreds in an insane but very fun way! I walked around with my girl and her friends for what was probably the last time (but you never know!) and my boy went around with one of his friends and one of the dads. It was a perfect arrangement. My boy dressed up as one of those crazy blowing things that you see at used car lots. They have a name but now I can't think of it. A lot of the older people he saw while trick-or-treating thought he was Gumby, but of course he had no idea who that was and was slightly annoyed by it. We made his costume from 2 pop up hampers and some fabric. It was so fun coming up with another creative idea with him. My girl wanted to be Belle from Beauty and the Beast. Luckily she decided way in advance and I was able to get an amazing deal on a dress on Amazon that took forever to ship from China. It's nice she can still wear kids' sizes since it makes it easier to find fun, cheaper options. I'm glad she hadn't changed her mind in the time it took to arrive, although she did go back and forth a few times about whether or not it was cool to dress like a princess, but in the end she went with it and she had lots of fun. My niece was here the week of Halloween and we went to a little festival at a park and a bunch of little girls came up to my girl and thought she was the real Belle and wanted a hug! So cute!
Had to do the collage! It's tradition!
I love looking back at all their old costumes! They were so little!
When you make the decision to homeschool your kids, you worry a lot about the things they might miss out on by not going to school. Prom and Homecoming dances were one of those things that I used to be sad about my kids missing out on, but it turns out that the homeschool community has gotten so big that they now have their own dances. Not only that, but my girl has made friends with so many non-homeschoolers that she actually got to go to a homecoming dance at a 'real school' last fall with one of her friends! I love that her sweet friend thought to include her and she had such a great time. I know there were funny stories of boys talking to her (an awkward moment with a senior when he found out she was only in 8th grade!) and the girls thinking one of the chaperones was a student. It makes me so happy to know that she's really not missing out at all, and even though her school experience is totally different than mine and the majority of people's there are still these things that will be similar shared experiences. Here are a few pics from that fun night!
My girl took ballroom dance lessons for about 2 years and I loved watching her every second of it. She has since quit (I'm still heartbroken) but I wanted to write a little about it anyway. She initially started because of her love for Dancing with the Stars. She learned the basics of all the ballroom and Latin styles of dance. She seriously has a gift and it came very naturally to her. She looks so graceful and gorgeous when she dances! She also made some very sweet friends at her dance class and we miss seeing them every week. I know part of growing up is trying new things and discovering your passions and I really thought that dance might be one of hers, but it's not up to me, it's up to her to discover that for herself. Although I will miss watching her dance, it's fun to see what she'll try next! Here are some photos from her fall dance showcase. I did all the girls' hair and they looked so pretty!