happy friday

 happy holiday weekend! two weeks into the school year and i already need vacation! :) we plan to be on the lake... as much as possible.  it's still 100 degrees in s.c. and jeff is already talking about winterizing the boat! say what?!

labor day peanuts! 
so easy and so good! 

i also whipped up one of our favorites. don't judge ;) it's lunchroom PBJ. remember vegetable soup, a carton of milk and obj on super white bread? i loved those sandwiches so much, that a few years ago i googled the ingredients.  i was guessing honey and peanut butter . 

 it was as simple as a jar of peanut butter and a jar of apple jelly.

HELLO, i could eat you by the spoonful! it's so delicious that it even makes my cardboard gluten free white bread taste good.  (it's mandatory to pair with nutritionally bankrupt white bread ;)  

it's also an apple dip to die for!
 and there you have it!
a not-so-pintrest, quick lunch on the lake! :)

happy weekend!

say what?

i love #tbt
(for my mom, this means "throw back thursday")
an excuse to swoon over old pictures!
 this thursday, my throwback goes out to my strongest willed child. (say what?) it may be hard  to believe now, but when anna katherine was younger her temperament was summed up best as defiant! she wins the family trophy for "the most time spent in the corner" and "the most spankings for defiance."   

that sweet face asleep in time out, reminded me of the exhausting days spent "shaping her little will."

i lost count of the number of times anna katherien sent me frantically searching for dr. dobson's words. 

Shaping the Will (from The Strong Willed Child)

A child who behaves in ways that are disrespectful or harmful to himself or others often has a hidden motive. Whether he recognizes it or not, he is usually seeking to verify the existence and stability of the boundaries.
With that said, let’s hurry along now to the how-tos of shaping a child’s will. I’ve boiled this complex topic down to six straight-forward guidelines that I hope will be helpful, the first of which is most important and will be dealt with in greater detail.
  1. Begin teaching respect for authority while children are very young. The most urgent advice I can give to the parents of an assertive, independent child is to establish their positions as strong but loving leaders when Junior and Missy are in the preschool years. When that nose-to-nose confrontation occurs between generations, it is extremely important for the adults to display confidence and decisiveness. Nothing is more destructive to parental leadership than for a mother or father to equivocate during that struggle.
  2. Define the boundaries before they are enforced. Preceding any disciplinary event is the necessity of establishing reasonable expectations and boundaries for the child. She should know what is and is not acceptable behavior before she is held responsible for it. This precondition will eliminate the sense of injustice that a youngster feels when she is punished or scolded for violating a vague or unidentified rule.
  3. Distinguish between willful defiance and childish irresponsibility. When accidents happen, patience and tolerance are the order of the day. There is another category of behavior, however, that is strikingly different. It occurs when a child defies the authority of the parent in a blatant manner. She may shout “I will not!” or “You shut up!” or “You can’t make me.” When mothers and fathers fail to be the boss in a moment like that, they create for themselves and their families a potential lifetime of heartache.
  4.  Reassure and teach after the confrontation is over. After a time of conflict during which the parent has demonstrated his right to lead (particularly if it resulted in tears for the child), the youngster between two and seven (or older) will probably want to be loved and reassured. By all means, open your arms and let him come! Hold him close and tell him of your love. This is a teachable moment, when the objective of your discipline can be explained.
  5.  Avoid impossible demands. Be absolutely sure that your child is capable of delivering what you require. Never punish him for wetting the bed involuntarily or for not becoming trained by one year of age or for doing poorly in school when he is incapable of academic success. These impossible demands put the child in an irresolvable conflict: there is no way out.
  6. Let love be your guide! A relationship that is characterized by genuine love and affection is likely to be a healthy one, even though some parental mistakes and errors are inevitable.

every parent should be required to read this book! 
at least TWICE!

some of her stongest battles were over:
*wearing shoes! *not eating candy *staying in her carseat *staying in her bed *washing her hair  *brusing her hair *clipping her fingernails *taking a bath *putting away her toys *and most of all, not telling her mom and dad no!

rule number one: as a parent, you have to win. every time! giving in out of exhaustion is losing the battle. and boy was i tempted, so many times!  "just go in barefooted!"  or "ok! two cupcakes and that's it!" 
the days fighting and winning the battles was time well spent!  while her words can still get a little sassy, she has turned out sweeter and more respectful than we ever imagined!

i read somewhere that strong willed children are not sprints. they are marathons! 

we sure love this sweet young lady!

i haven't quit reading... there's an entire section on teenagers!

more smoaks

Liza: Grade 4

Roger: 4K

Sarah Anne: Grade 3

baby steps

in honor of my sister who is easing her way back into the teaching world. yesterday was her first day as a part time preschool assistant! talk about baby steps, she has a master's degree in education :)

she has four beautiful children, a mother-in-law who provides endless amounts of boutique clothing and a sister who is always eager to photograph her kiddos.... but she rarely, if ever asks for pictures!

i was finishing my back to school mini sessions and i all but bullied her into a quick set. i planned to post a peek of all four kids. but this face needs a set all to herself!  
my favorite, "how old are you?" 

wrap it up

one week in and so far 'pretty' good. there's a smaller stack of laundry, less dishes in the sink, and the house is substantially more quiet... the reality is now setting in.as i type jeff is in route to the upstate. care package in tow. well, if forgotten contact lens and blue jeans count as a care package. we are thankful that jeff's work territory includes clemson. he will by default be seeing a lot more of his boy.
i need to wrap this move in post up before i forget, so many funny college stories have happened since. so here goes...

last friday was our pack up day. we decided last minute to drive up the night before.

of course, no matter how many checklists one makes, a last minute trip to walmart is required! and oh my! walmart in a college town, the night before move in! i wish i had snapped a picture of the madness!  made better only by these tacky tiger shirts! maybe the best $7 walmart purchase ever!

the next morning we were up and out extra early. you could feel the energy in the air! the hotel was bustling, everyone doing the very same thing. i had a lump in my throat and a brick on my heart, so i was very thankful we caravaned to campus.

i received so many sweet and thoughtful messages. the advice that kept being repeated was, "do not let him see you upset." so once jeff and i joined up with the kids, it was mind over matter. no more sadness, let's enjoy this!
again, this monster sized school had the process down to a science. detailed sign, police officers directing traffic, orange everything!

minutes after being directed to our temporary parking space, clemson minions dressed in matching shirts were coming out of the woodwork. we barely touched a thing! in less than 5 minutes the car was completely unpacked, his belongings in route to his dorm room and we were directed to not so temporary parking and the tiger bus... amazing!

once back in his room, it took less than 30 minutes to organized and 'decorate.' if a flag on the wall counts for decorating! 

the size of room surprised me. three of these guys would have fit in my columbia college room.  tee-tiny!  people say students living in the shoeboxes develop tight friendships. literally or metaphorically? ;)
we hugged outside his building ~ no tears except from mary claire. 
bennett set out to meet up with friends. 
we toured campus. did the university order up a purple sky for the occasion?!
i wanted the girls to take this day in. 
we enjoyed lunch in one of the several cafeterias. man alive the cafeterias here NICE! my real camera was mortifying anna katherine, so my pictures stink!

we ended up seeing bennett three more times before we really left and headed home. the set of pictures in the post before were taken after we had said goodbye a few times! :)
 passed this car on the way out. GO austin's mom! why didn't i decorate my car!? anna katherine would have loved all the attention! ;)   i am definitely making a note of this the next move in day!  ;)

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