Monday, August 20, 2012

helping them find their way & a fall sneak peek from John Wind

i think one of the most challenging aspects of parenting
is helping our children find their way through the maze of  opportunities
both afforded in academics and in extra curricular activities.
finding their 'thing' if you will
& yet not overcrowding their schedule.

if anything, i've always leaned a little more towards
the 'let's not overdo it' end of the continuum.
especially when they were younger.
in fact i vividly remember the days when the girl's schedule & obligations
ended by 5
dinner before 6
& baths and books read by 7
& lights out by 8.

i remember seeing families with older children and wondering
how on earth dinner schedules had gotten so wonky
& maybe just maybe
even criticizing ( in my mind. quietly) choices that seemed
to make their children appear over scheduled.
yeah. i learned quickly the reality of life with multiple children
in various sports and activities.

 sports are so much more intense & competitive now than when i was growing up.
little girls are shuffled into gymnastics and ballet at age 3.
if they have talent or natural abilities
placed on , or encouraged to join,a competition squad or company by age 10 with classes 5 days per week.
travel ball. tennis. they're all like that.

our community is a very competitive one regarding sports.
to play recreation soccer or take dance just to take a dance class is almost 
unheard of.

dan & i
desire for our girls to find something they love
& if it's something in which they excel
well that's icing on the cake!

trying to balance their 'thing' with rigorous academics
is a whole new ballgame.

so fastforward to caroline.
she danced when she was 3 for a season.
she also took a tumble class.
nothing crazy just a little something to do.
& honestly, being the 4th of 4
i didn't go overboard with her schedule.
she began to dance again last september.

she is a natural in dance.
 she is a natural with tumbling.
she loves both. intensely loves both
she also has a very rigorous school schedule with every academic
being an advanced class.
throw in the middle school program at our church
which we value very highly
she is packed out.

i wish her homework schedule was lighter.
i love when little ones especially can come home & just play
after being in class for seven  hours.
however,  we're also seeing the benefits of hard work & rigorous academics
as savannah attends a college whose admissions alone was competitive
she has academic scholarships & is in the honor program.

not trying to stir up everyone's views on education & extra curriculars
just journaling my thoughts on decision making.
i know it's completely different for each child.
not knowing whether this 'thing' is something that they will love for years.
something that besides the obvious benefits of the particular sport,
an opportunity where they learn leadership, commitment, how to work well with others.
 just to name a few.
is it something that will overwhelm them with expectations.etc.

sports, academics, homeschool/private/public
all aspects of parenting where we can easily judge others 
who may be doing things differently.
i don't have a clean cut template for this one.
i don't think there is such a thing.
over here, we're just trying to do the next best thing
for each of our girls, individually
& taking it one year at a time. 
all the while, planning for the future
enjoying and making the most of the

madison danced for 11 years.
dance has been a sweet connection for them

madison is modeling several pieces of John Wind
& featuring a piece from the new equestrian line
soon to be released from John Wind. 
another fabulous piece of modern vintage glam!
follow John Wind Maximal Art on facebook
be sure to check their retail website in the coming weeks
as they receive a fashion makeover!

 (image from john wind)


Anonymous said...

Beautiful shots!

Sogni Siciliani said...

Beautiful photos and love Caroline and Madison in all their lovely poses....but i have to tell you seeing them on the train tracks really made me on edge!!!! Tell me those are abandoned tracks!!!!
Have a great week!!!

Unknown said...

Hi Paige,

I agree 100% - as the kiddos get older it is harder to balance everything and prioritizing what is really important all while maintaining a sane family life. I never felt quite prepared for it - and feel like no one ever told me how one of my primary role of 'mother' to teens/tweens would be to provide BALANCE. You offered a valuable perspective today for many.

Gorgeous photos as always!

katy said...

Hi Paige!
I love, love, love your blog!! I look forward to reading it everyday.
I know I don't "know" you or your family, but from the outside, I really admire how you seek to honor the Lord in all of your parenting and personal decisions.
I love that you share your inner dialogue with us. For me, as a young-ish mom of 3 toddlers, it is so encouraging to see that, although the decisions for our children don't get easier as time goes on, I can see through your journey that the Lord will give us wisdom and ultimately we can trust Him with the lives of our kids.
So thank you for sharing your journey with us, your readers. You are an encouragement and great role model and the Lord is using you more than you know! :)


Renee said...

I love love love these pictures!!!!! I saw a few of them on instagram last night. Beautiful girlies!!!!

Michele said...

loved this post, I have also been struggling with this and my two girls are just about to be 4 and 7 I am constantly praying for direction in finding their "thing" and knowing how to nurture,guide and encourage them in that. I struggle with wanting to keep our family time sacred, and grew up in a family that had dinner together pretty much every night even with my sister and I being involved in activities. Things have seemed to change so much, and I just want to resist bending too much with that change. Glad to know your inner thoughts, so good to know that I am not alone, it really encouraged me.

Debby said...

Love the pictures. Caroline is growing up for sure. She has talent. Madison has the most beautiful eyes. Changes are hard. Wish there was some way of slowing down time.

Between You and Me said...

It is hard to find the balance in all of it....
my boys play soccer and basketball, but it's nothing more than recreational. I'm kind of thankful.
the travel teams are way too intense for us at this stage.

I LOVE the picture of caroline sitting down on the stool laughing and I love that last shot of her with all those ridonkulous back muscles and I LOVE, LOVE the one of her up on her toes with her back turned to us and her arms above her head....oh my goodness..she's amazing.

Tammie said...

I believe parenting is a very hard and challenging job. I have to say it is a job I take very serious as most of us do, but it is also very rewarding

Brian and Amber said...

I love this!! Caroline your daddy in heaven has blessed you sweet child with the gift of dance. I know because Mrs. Amber has been in the dance world for a very long time. I know when I see someone with a GOD given talent. Maddy you are unbelieveably beautiful! Paige I just love you and your perspective on life. Beautiful family, Beautiful Life.

Jen Kershner said...

Wow! Just beautiful. I can't believe Little Bit has only been dancing a year. My expectations for Em aren't that high but I think it will be good/fun for her.

We also are not overschedulers. It also helps our family that there are almost 8 years between our girls so it's never been too chaotic. I don't know how some families do it. We are kind of home bodies and those parents that think scheduling is a way to keep up with the Jones' never understand us. I'm sure they think we are terrible parents!

Lemonade Makin' Mama said...

You're a good Mama and totally inspire me. I totally get it too... my kids are just getting into the age of go-go-go and it's so hard! No longer can I keep the 5-8 routine that you spoke of... but for us, it's the cost. That's the part that gets me and makes me crazy.... the schedule is long since gone nuts but why do all these extracurricular things have to cost so darn much? Sheesh!