mandyholbert

A glimpse into our family – the good, the bad, and, of course, the funny

Happy Birthday Kendra July 13, 2012

Filed under: children,family,Kendra,parenting,Uncategorized — mandyholbert @ 5:30 am
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Kendra’s birthday is tomorrow, and it’s a big one – her first milestone birthday.  You know, there’s 21, 18, 16, 13 – the other significant milestone birthdays that mark becoming a teenager and the privileges you gain on your way to adulthood.  But, here in North Carolina, the home of “8 or 80”, turning 8 is a big deal.  Once you hit 8 years old (or 80 pounds, whichever comes first), you are no longer required by law to ride in a booster seat in the car.  And to an almost 8-year-old who has lots of older friends, this is a really big deal.  And weighing in at 57 pounds, Kendra is lucky there’s an age requirement instead of only a weight requirement.

So, Saturday morning when we head out to the car to go out for birthday donuts, Kendra will strap on her seatbelt with her little butt planted on the actual seat of the car.  The view out her window will be much more sky and much less ground, but she will be happy as can be.  A real big kid.  She’s really growing up.  And I’m so proud of the young lady she is becoming.

Beautiful inside and out

Kendra checked out my blog for the first time yesterday, and she asked if she could “follow” me.  I told her that she’d have to wait until she was older and had an email address but that she was welcome to read whenever she wanted.  And since I know that she’ll be reading, I’m going to write her birthday card right here:

Dear Kendra,

I can barely remember what life was like before you came along.  I know Daddy and I were happy, but you have brought us so much joy that it’s impossible to imagine life without you.  You have wisdom and sensitivity way beyond your years.  You are like an old soul in the body of an energetic vibrant little girl.  It amazes me how you can be such a silly kid in one moment and show such genuine empathy in the next.  You never judge anyone.  You accept everyone for who he or she is and you see the good in everyone.  You go out of your way never to hurt anyone, no matter how he or she may have treated you (maybe with the exception of your little brother sometimes!).

I am so proud of you.  You are a friend to everyone you meet.  You are honest, loving, gentle, sensitive, and sweet.  You are artistic and creative – a true little artist.  You are a dancer and an athlete.  You are graceful and strong.  You are intelligent and curious.  You take care of me when I don’t feel well.  And when you put your hand on my shoulder when I’m having a bad day, you don’t even have to say anything because I can feel your love in that tiny little touch.  I don’t know what I would do without my little princess.  Daddy and I are so blessed to be your parents.

I hope you never lose the tender vulnerability that makes you the sweet person that you are.  I respect you.  I want to be more like you.  You can make me smile even when I don’t want to smile.  I cherish the time we spend together.  And you are such a helper!  Working in the kitchen is so much fun when you are in there with me – even if you do crack an occasional egg onto my foot!

Thank you for being you.  Daddy and I love you from the bottom of the ocean to the highest star.  I know we will go through times in life when you will get mad at us or think we’re unfair or unreasonable, so I want you to remember when that happens that we feel a tremendous burden of responsibility to have been blessed with such a precious little girl, and in every decision we make we strive to do what is best and right for you.  We pray for you.  We would do anything in the world for you.

Happy Birthday, Little Girl.

Love,

Mommy

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Happy Father’s Day: Here’s 205 Worms June 11, 2012

Filed under: children,family,gardening,Kendra,Max,parenting — mandyholbert @ 7:16 pm
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My dad was going to buy worms for his tomato planter box.  I told him that was ridiculous – we have all the worms he could ever need.  So, Saturday, Ronnie, Kendra, Max, and I grabbed a bucket and hunted for worms for Grampy.

Ronnie, it turns out, is an expert worm finder.  He showed us where the best spots were to find them.  Kendra and I helped point them out, and Ronnie and Max picked them up and put them in the bucket.  We worked for I would guess at least an hour filling that bucket with squiggly slimy worms.

When we finished, I suggested that we all guess how many we had and then count them to see who was closest.  (I know I’m blessed to have such a patient husband.)  Kendra grabbed a piece of paper to record our guesses.

In case you can’t decipher that, Kendra guessed 205, Amanda (she used “A” for Amanda instead of “M” for Mandy so it wouldn’t be confused with Max) 212, Max guessed 15,023, and Ronnie guessed 189.  Please look closely and note the erasure marks on Kendra’s guess.  Please also note that Max has not started kindergarten yet, so clearly he can not be expected to understand the concept of estimation.  He just knew there were a LOT of worms.

When we got to about 100 worms counted, Kendra slyly erased her guess and changed it to 205.  I’m not really sure what her original guess was…

But there were exactly 205 worms!

What a great Father’s Day present for Grampy!  205 worms!  That ought to do the trick for his tomatoes.

I did also get him a new tool he saw on television and said he wanted, but that’s not nearly as interesting as a bucket full of worms.  Don’t you agree?

 

 

My Gardening Playlist May 13, 2012

Path to our garden.

Most of the time when I’m gardening (or just sitting in my garden enjoying it), I like to listen to nothing.  Well, at first I hear nothing, and then the longer I sit and unwind, the more I hear.  The rabbits nibbling on crunchy veggies, the birds flapping and chirping near the feeder, the breeze blowing through the trees…

But, sometimes, I listen to music.  I’ve put together a gardening playlist.  Here it is.

1.  “Homegrown Tomatoes” by Guy Clark – Homegrown tomatoes, homegrown tomatoes, what would life be without homegrown tomatoes.  There’s only two things that money can’t buy, and that’s true love and homegrown tomatoes.

Grape tomatoes on vine

Grape tomatoes on vine (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Guy Clark’s matter-of-fact, simple ode to my favorite veggie makes my mouth water as I think about the tomatoes that will soon be hanging from my plants.  It definitely makes the weeding worth it.

2.  “Spanish Pipedream” by John Prine – Blow up your TV, throw away your paper, move to the country, build you a home, grow a little garden, eat a lot of peaches, try to find Jesus on your own.  Well, we still have a TV, but we did plant a garden, we eat our own peaches from our trees, and we have all found Jesus.  Great song.

3.  “Hard Worker” by The Avett BrothersI got up early to sing.  I’m a hard, hard worker, I’m workin’ every day, I’m a hard, hard worker, I’m savin’ all my pay.  This one just reminds me that hard work pays off.  Whether sweating over a garden or spreading mulch or building a fence, I’m a hard, hard worker every day.

4.  “I’ll Fly Away” by Allison Krauss and Gillian Welch – Some bright morning when this life is over, I’ll fly away.  To that home on God’s celestial shore, I’ll fly away.  Being outside, digging in the dirt, considering the intricacies of nature, I can’t help but reflect on the Creator.  My heart always seems to end up in a spirit of worship when I’m in the garden.  Put that together with the twang of bluegrass and these two beautiful voices, and you have a perfect gardening song.

5.  “Where the Green Grass Grows” by Tim McGraw – I want to live where the green grass grows, watch my corn pop up in rows, every night be tucked in close to you.  Raise our kids where the good Lord’s blessed…  Maybe this one’s a little cheesy, but I’ve never been ashamed to like cheesy.  Country music tends to appreciate the simple things in life.

6. “Carolina in My Mind” by James Taylor – Can’t you see the sunshine, can’t you just feel the moonshine?  Yes, I’m gone to Carolina in my mind.

Clouds breaking up after a rainy morning in th...

Clouds breaking up after a rainy morning in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Photo taken from the Deep Gap overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway in western North Carolina, with a Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ50. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 I would love my garden no matter where it was, but it happens to be in one of the most beautiful places in the world – the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina.  It’s where my heart is, and nothing beats looking up from the weeds I’m pulling to see the mountains that surround us.  Perfect.

7. “It’s a Great Day to Be Alive” by Darrell Scott – It’s a great day to be alive, I know the sun’s still shining when I close my eyes, there’s some hard times in the neighborhood, but why can’t every day be just this good?  Every day is a good day when I’m in my garden.  Well, maybe the day wasn’t good, but it is once I can go to my garden and let go of the day’s stresses.

8. “Ice, Ice Baby” by Vanilla Ice – All right Stop, collaborate and listen…Just kidding.  Just wanted to make sure you’re still with me.

9. “A Little Bit of Everything” by Dawes – Oh, it’s a little bit of everything, it’s the mountains it’s the fog, it’s the news at six o’clock, it’s the death of my first dog.  My husband and I discovered Dawes on WNCW 88.7 when we were building the tree house by the garden.  We listened to this disc over and over while we worked.  This is my favorite song out of all of them.

10. “Poor Boy Workin’ Blues” by Dailey and Vincent – Work the soles right off of my shoes, I’ve got the poor boy workin’ blues.  This one is Ronnie’s contribution to the playlist.  Truthfully, any good playlist in this area must have a true bluegrass classic.

There’s my gardening playlist.  What songs would you add?