Wednesday, January 13, 2010


We had to make a very important decision here this week! Can you tell what it might be by this picture???
We are going to start seeing a lot more of this uniform around our house again. My Punkin is going back to our wonderful classical christian school for the last two remaining semesters of 9th grade. She is super excited. I'm super excited for her, but slighty sad for the rest of us. It was a tough decision to make. Our kids are always changing, situations evolving... and we will always re-evaluate what is best for our kids at different times of their lives. She admitted that homeschooling just doesn't motivate her as well as the setting of a roomful of healthy peer competition. She is used to performing at an astounding academic level, and she just wasn't reaching her potential in a homeschool setting. As a mom, in a way I feel like I have somehow failed her, but I know I haven't. Her curriculum was challenging, and she was doing way more than she would in school, but as a high schooler there is certainly something to be said for a higher accountability and the challenges of a classroom setting. I don't regret these past two semesters of her homeschooling - they are times I will always cherish. Stronger bonds were formed by all of us. Her little sisters are so sad to see her leave us everyday. There have been lots of little sister tears shed. But we are all very excited for her too. I feel like she has had a breath of fresh air, her feet are back under her and she is ready to spread her wings and fly again! Now I will have a little bit of extra time on my hands to indulge the 4-year-old of the house in her daily beggings to be taught to learn how to read!!
Our little budding reader!! She is wearing a sweater that was hand-knit for ME by my stepgrandmother when I was just a little girl. It's so sad that she is no longer with us, but everytime I see this sweater I think of her. We have had many conversations about Grandma Barbara around our house lately because of my little bird-lover Banana. She loves to hear me tell her the stories of when I was a little girl and all of the memories of my Grandma Barbara who was a bird breeder!! She had such large bird cages, inside and outside of her home, that you could actually walk inside them!! Banana thinks that is an absolute dream come true. Grandma Barbara's daughter - my stepmother Marion, had asked to see some pictures of Boo in the sweater. All three of my girls have worn it. Marion even taught me how to knit when we were visiting together last time - maybe one day I can knit a sweater too. I have knitted one pot-holder sized's pretty sad. Punkin and Banana have made quite a few scarves however.
When I put this on Boo this morning, it reminded me of all the other handmade gifts that I received as a child by my stepmother Marion and her mother. Things that were so dear to me that I have never even packed them away. I walked around the house gathering the things that I could remember, and they were all very close at hand.
This was in my kitchen cabinet. It was actually a tic-tac-toe board at one time, but the X's and O's have been long since broken. But the tray is so beautiful that I use it often! Marion is an incredible artist and I'm convinced there is absolutely nothing artistic that she is not a master of!
She made me this little stuffed elephant when I was very, very tiny. I can't even remember how old I was when she made this for me. Photobucket
Along with this favorite teddy bear.
And this is one of my dearest treasures. Not only did she hand paint this porcelain doll, but she even wove together the fabrics to make this dress and shawl!! Did I tell you she is incredible? This has a date of 1981 on it.
And this sweet little piggy bank. Not only has it withstood my childhood - but also three more little girls!! This sits on the floor of my walk-in closet and it has been emptied and filled by my little girls more than I could ever count!! It seems to be the "toy" in my closet that they never tire of. It has even survived a fall from the top shelf in my bedroom as a child when one of my sisters threw a pillow at me (and missed terribly), and it hit the piggie (who was almost as high as the ceiling), and came down with a crash on TOP OF MY HEAD!! If only I could remember which sister it was.... Maybe that was the day I had some "cents" knocked into me!! HA!!!
I enjoyed a little trip down memory lane with these sweet handmade gifts today Marion!! The girls enjoyed hearing all the memories too!!


Jennie said...

Boy did that bring back memories seeing those things Marion made.

Wendy said...

Your announcement is 'bittersweet'. I know how much you thoroughly enjoyed having the girls home, but I respect and admire your wisdom, strength and courage to allow "Punkin" to form her own decision and allow her to follow through. We wish all of you the best as you embrace this next chapter.

And, I LOVE how you have all those sweet memories and items from your G'ma. Today would have been my G'ma Davis' BDay--she was very special and is remembered with love today and always.

Deb said...

What sweet treasures.

God is so good to guide you every single step of this parenting journey. Rest in knowing you are following His voice as you walk along the way.

I asked Breanna if she wanted to learn to read this morning. "No!" she said. I asked her if she'd like to learn her letters. "No!" again. Lol.

Heather O'Steen Photography said...

Thanks Wendy - that was so sweet! I can relate to that Deb!! HA! That is funny. My middle girl was VERY much that way and still is!! In fourth grade!!!

Nana said...

I love all the sweet memories. Life is made up of memories. I love the blue sweater on Boo. It looks so good on her. Kirsten is her dad all the way. Hannah reminds me of me. I would much rather be watching birds than reading. You are doing well letting God lead you in what the girls needs are. Each one is so different and thankfully they are getting to learn in the way that works best for them. Pretty much goes with the verse "Train up a child in the way HE/SHE SHOULD GO". They are definitely getting to be trained in the way they should go. All of them will turn out well because they are all so unique with special talents of their own. I sure do love these girls and am so proud of all of them.

Nana said...

And I am proud of their mom and dad too. Great parents.