Saturday, March 1, 2014

My daughter cheated on a test.... and I couldn't be more proud!

I know what you're thinking? and when I say it out loud it does sound ludicrous. But its the truth.

Our Abby is the brightest girl. She naturally excels at what she does with very little effort. But math is her stumbling block. Every Tuesday she shuffles into school with the doom of the weekly math quiz. Every Tuesday she gets in the car and immediately announces whether she passed or not. No matter the outcome, we exchange high fives and make our way home. This Tuesday was no different. She announced that she passed! In my book, this called for a double high five because x6s are difficult for me and I love to live vicariously through my kids! When we got home the schedule stayed right on point. Some sibling screaming, fighting, clearing out the cupboards and inhaling as many snacks as could be located. Followed by dinner, dishes, bathes, hair brushing, teeth brushing, next day clothing selection.....then cuddle time. While I was sitting on the couch next to Abby she brought up her math quiz again. "Mom, I passed my x 6 quiz." "I know sweetie! I am so proud of you." Abby responded, "Yeah, I knew I would have trouble with a few of them, so I looked at my math chart and wrote them down on the top of my paper, and before I turned in the test I erased them so Mrs. Z didn't see them."

Dear. Lord. Breathe in, breathe out. Stephanie? What are you going to say? How are you going to respond? I wanted to run. I wanted to shuffle her off to bed and pretend I didn't hear it. But there she was, yearning to spill the beans, desiring to cleanse her heart. She was listening to the God's tiny whisper telling her something just wasn't right. Don't leave her hanging. "Hmm, how do you feel about that?"

"Not really good at all mom".

Abby is very prideful. She doesn't like to admit that anything she does is wrong. And here she is admitting she cheated on a test. She could have chosen to move on. To not say a word. Nobody would have known. She wasn't caught. She simply knew what she did was wrong and she had to make it right. We made a plan. Together we would work to rectify the situation. Through tears of embarrassment, guilt, and disappointment we decided together she needed to tell her teacher. We were able to talk about how proud I was she came to me to tell me the TRUTH. How I understood why she might feel cheating would help her get ahead, but how it really only puts you so far behind. How I have never been so proud of her in her 8 years on earth. Through our tears, we prayed together. Asking God for forgiveness, asking God for strength and courage to talk to her teacher and tell her the TRUTH. Taking time to understand that we were born into this sinful word and that nobody on earth is perfect.

Because you see, we all fall short, we all sin, nobody but Jesus Christ is sinless. The reality is we were born in a sinful world. If it wasn't for Gods grace and mercy, where would we be? I shutter to think of the outcome. The difference between this 8 year old girl and so many in this world is that she is acutely aware that her truth, honesty and character matter. They matter to her, they matter to us, they matter to God.

She met with her teacher yesterday morning and told her what had happened. She told her that she had cheated on her test and she knew it was not right. She told her teacher that she would like to retake the test the right way. I am so thankful for the teachers at New Groningen. Each one of my kids teachers understands that education is important, but more importantly is the character building of children. In an email from her teacher after their talk-- "It sounds like Abby's snow day was tainted with the misery of guilt and that she has learned a huge life lesson. Thank you for how you respectfully handled this with me and Abby. You took the "high road". Not all parents support a teacher in such a way. Some choose to defend or make excuses for a child's wrong choice. I am so proud of Abby. That was a huge undertaking."

So after a weekend of hard work, heavy math fact preparation, she will retake the test. She may pass. She may not. Either way, she will get a high five, a kiss and a hug, and we will celebrate her.

Love you Abbers!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Time to make time.

It has been several years since I made one measly post. The reason I started this was to put in writing my life so next week (yes, I will have forgotten by then) what we have accomplished, endured, forgotten, and remembered. My girls are now 8 and 5. They are amazing! I want to be able to look back on their life and remember the things they do. The funny things they say. The grey hairs they have given us. The laughter they have poured in this house. I need to make it a priority. Right now my house is a disaster. I mean like if my mother in law showed up here, she would whisk the girls away and make a call to CPS. :) Well, maybe not that bad... but borderline! Normally this would make me crazy, but I just got done playing Dance Dance Revolution with the girls, and I needed to grab a cup of coffee and let my heart rate return to a normal beat. The mess will still be there when this post is done.

Abigail Mae Habers- 8 years old
- Independent
- Smart
- Must be doing SOMETHING at all times. aka. ADHD
- Accomplishes anything she tries
- Embarrassed to show emotion
- Loves school
- Loves to read her bible and do BSF lessons
- Understands tough life lessons
- Loves to cuddle with us any chance she gets. I mean a few years from now I will be heart broken when she doesn't want me to lie in bed with her each night
- She is not fussy about what she wears. If it matches, she's on it.
- Incredibly responsible with her baby cousins. She is a good baby sitter!
- So competitive. Doesn't like to lose. Especially to her mom at dance dance revolution.
- Loves to watch shows with Ryan like North woods law, Turtle Man, Gator Boys
- Has so many friends and always has a kind word to say about each of them.
- Loves to learn and try new things.
- Sorting things makes her happy. Drawers, clothes, rubber bands from her loom kit.
- Loves PBJ one day and hates it the next.
- Wants to be a teacher when she grows up.
- Very good at card tricks. Really. she is.
- Loves animals especially her dogs.
- Takes the big sister role very seriously. She watches over Lily at school, but Lily better not try to hug her.... that would be embarrassing.
- Loves making lists.
- Doesn't like circus peanuts or candy hearts. WHAT?!?
- Wants to grow her hair longer, but doesn't want to brush it.
- Strongly prefers not be told no.

Lily Grace Habers- 5 Years Old
- Sweet
- Cares about everyone
- Especially cares for the unlovable. There is a boy at school that is always in trouble. Each day she celebrates when he is on "green" or when he makes good decisions.
- She loves to make cards, pictures, stuff envelopes, cut paper, plaster things with stickers
- Loves to be home, putzing with dress up clothes, babies, playing on her tablet.
- extremely imaginative.
- Has a great singing voice and often turns everything into song.
- Very opinionated on her clothing choices. This will make me too hot, the sleeves are too wide, the neck is too wide, the jeans are too skinny.
- Burps like a teenage boy.
- Sentimental about family trips.
- Not a morning person. At. All!
- Doesn't appreciate healthy food.
- School is for social time. Not necessarily learning.
- Wants to be a mommy of 4 girls when she grows up. Boys "toot" too much.
- Not a risk taker. If it aint broke, don't fix it.
- Her cousin Kyla is her best friend
- She is a hoarer and saves everything. Everything has meaning and reminds her of something. :)
- She is very messy and she's ok with that.
- Witty and funny. One day while the girls were doing their nails, Lily bent over in front of Abby and asked her to pull out her wedgie. HA!
- She cannot sit at the table while eating dinner. She would rather stand, sit, walk around, stand, twirl, sing, burp, sing, twirl, burp.
- Her dad is the man. Nobody else compares.
- She loves planning surprises for others, but gets so excited she cannot keep them a secret.
- Doesn't like winter and cannot wait to ditch her "puffy" coat and slip on her flip flops.
- Digs her heals in when trying new things but once she tries them she is so happy she did.

Love you girls more than I can explain. You are such a blessing to our family. I thank God for your individuality. I am so blessed God chose me to be your mom. Love you to the moon and back.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Last day of school.... What, what??

Wowzers! Where in the world did this year go? I cannot believe my baby girl is now a FIRST grader. Good grief. Hold on I have to wipe my tears.... AGAIN. This is truly mind boggling. I am just starting to get the hang of it. Bus tag- check. Back pack- check. Thursday library day-check. And WHAMO end of the year. I am not sure why I am so emotional about this. For the last week I have been saying to Abby, "this is the 3rd to last breakfast as a kindergartner", "this is the last day I will be doing your hair as a kindergartner." She was starting to get annoyed. But, I. just. cant. help. it. Each morning when the girls get up, they give me a big squeeze hug while we sing "Good morning God! This is your day! I am your child, show me your way!" and every morning I whisper in their ear: demanding they stop growing. I want to freeze them. Independent yet still dependant. I am mom, and I am still cool! I am still allowed to cuddle with them before bed. I am still allowed to dress them in clothes I deem appropriate. (well, most of the time, unless you know my Lily... THAT my friends is a whole new post.) Their daddy is still the most important man in their lives. Oye! (dabbing tears)

I am so impressed with my "Tootie", (another reason I want to freeze her... she still lets me call her that!) she has grown so much over this past year.

Truth is, I cannot stop time. God knows I try, and every day just slips by like sand through my fingers. But I am so JAZZED to see what the Lord has in store for our girls, for our family. That is the absolute coolest thing about *letting* my girls grow up- they accomplish way more than I could ever dream. They are remarkable girls, and with God's help, will become remarkable young women.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Mom Things I Suck At....

Day after day, insecurities swarm my body, as I realize the magnitude of raising 2 girls in this world. I rely on God's grace, my girls forgiveness and the patience of my husband. I strive to be the best mom and wife I can be: doing laundry, taking kids to and fro, working part time, making dinner, packing lunches, learning to french braid, paying bills, reading with the girls, helping with homework, and as every mom knows, the list is absolutely endless.

This post comes from a conversation Abby and I had on the way home from school the other day.
Abby: Mom, look what Mrs. Bekuis sent home with me today?
Me: Oh, what is that?
Abby: Well, all my papers are in a plastic bag because we forgot my folder.
Me: Oh shucks! Its on top of the microwave.
Abby: (passing a paper to the front seat)
Me: (reading said paper) "Opps, Abby forgot her library book!"
Me: Well, Abby, at least mommy remembered your shoes today, so you didn't have to wear your boots like yesterday!
Abby: It's ok mom, I told Mrs. Bekuis you are not good at remembering things.
Me: (saying to myself) I DO suck at remembering things!

I try to cut myself some slack... she is my first child in school, I have so much to learn. Lily (and any kids thereafter) will have life much easier in school. I was the first born, I know that first borns are the "trial run" kids. I am ok with that... and I think Abby will be just fine.

So in honor of Dave Letterman, (and my 10 minute reflective drive home from school) here are the:

10- Remembering shoes, folders and library books for school.
9- Preparing ahead for dinner
8- keeping a clean car (we could all survive for a week on the "things" in the van)
7- taking pictures of the kids doing everyday life
6- doing the girls hair (well, Abby's since she is the only one that has any)
5- dealing with defiance and downright disobedience. (its so much easier just to give them their 3rd fruit snack package before 9am)
4-Making the kids sit at the table to eat ANY meal to completion.
3- keeping on top of laundry so that I do not have to dig through clean clothes to find a pair of tights for church.
2- playing out in the snow with the kids! PS. I HATE being cold, and I will find any and all excuses to pawn snow time off on daddy.
1- blogging on a regular basis.

Looking at this list it is easy to add on 100 more shortcomings.... but I am going to choose to rejoice the:

10- cuddling, reading, rocking
9- nightly back scratches
8- writing "I love you! Have a great day!" on napkins in Abby lunch box.
7- playing Uno, Trouble, Candy Land, Go Fish or Hula Hooping on the wii
6-making chocolate milk
5- graciously watching Toy Story 3 for the 1.5 millionth time
4- painting tiny toe nails
3- carrying a 5 year old and a two year old (one on each hip) down the stairs each morning
2- making the bathtub the perfect temperature
1- Loving those girls with all my heart.

Suppose I can convince Abby to tell her teacher any of THOSE things??? Probably not, but I am sure when she is an adult and raising her own kids, she will lay with them each night and scratch their back and tell them, "My mommy used to give me the best back scratches!"

Monday, November 29, 2010

Fashion Forward Fridays

Because Friday is ALWAYS my day off.... I allow the girls to pick out their clothes. Really! Whatever they want. If I have to go out and run errands, well then, they get to wear WHATEVER they pick out. This is the one day where I do not suggest, direct, or demand what articles of clothing they wear. They love it, and frankly, so do I. I have a hard enough time getting myself dressed. This takes the stress off. After the past 3 or 4 weeks, seeing the creativity (and obviously color blindness), I decided to document the interesting fashion forward outfits my little divas pick out. They typically try to pick something that is similar to the other, such as: Skirt with leggings or both with a short sleeve shirt. I love to listen to them on the monitor bustling back and forth from each others room coordinating outfits! Can you imagine when they are 14 and 16? Eeeek!

So without further ado...... drum roll please!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Where O Where Have I Been??

Last night, I had the pleasure of gathering with some of my friends! It was great, catching up on life, hearing how everyone's kids are growing. I am blessed with some great friendships. And it was there that I was put under some serious pressure to start up my blog again ANDto get started on the procreation of our third child. Since we have no itention of the latter, I better get going on this blog! :)
I have been missing in action for the same reason I started up again. The pressure.... I think it is the pressure. Of saying something grand, profound, funny or enlightening. As a full time wife and mom, part-time employee and self employed jewelery lady, there is not too much grand, profound, funny or enlightening that happens in my everyday life. As we speak, the girls are playing together so nicely, putting together a puzzle. This can change in a second. Abby already served an 8 minute time out for knocking her sister off the couch (intentionally) and then sticking her tongue out at me and waving her head back and forth like a sassy teenager you want to smack upside the head. Where does she get this?
To catch up on life since the last post over a year ago... (seriously it has been that long?)
Abby is in kindergarten at ZPS and LOVES it. Everyday she comes home and tells me something new she learned and is eager to continue the lesson at home. Every word has another that rhymes, every letter has a sound, every word needs to be spelled. She is happiest when she is learning! I love that and I hope it continues... even at 33, I drive through the campus of Hope College and dream about my college days.... ahhh, that was fun!

I was happy has a clam when Abby told me she wanted to play soccer. YES! I was gonna be a soccer mom! I was jazzed. After growing up playing soccer my entire life, I was excited for her and I to do this together! Practically every Saturday morning it was cold and rainy... Abby was not to eager to play in these conditions. But she *suffered* through all in the name of donuts and juice boxes. She's on the fence for next year... I guess we will wait and see!

She is still strong willed and tests us whenever she can. I have tried to embrace it.... one day it will be to her advantage. No boy will tell her what to do. She will not follow the crowd. SHE WILL BE INDEPENDENT! Until then, I am on my knees daily asking for the Lord's provision, guidance and grace. And I gladly receive His gifts!

Lily Grace. Where do I begin? She is at such a great age. 2 1/2. She is her father's daughter, in so many ways. She is funny, easily disciplined, lover of all things animals. She loves to read, loves to talk, loves to be silly. Nobody compares to her daddy. The sun rises and sets with him. Ryan is the one to put her to bed and every morning, she asks "Daddy home?"

She is a people pleaser. As we speak she is on an adventure to get Abby a Kleenex, because she was threatened with with a time out from Abby. I'm pretending I didn't hear the threat... Is that wrong? She is in daycare 3 days a week with a wonderful provider. Lily loves her.... I mean, really LOVES her. And I love THAT! She has made some great friends at Amy's house and I love to hear in her words (and admire her facial expressions) when she tells me about her day. She does crafts, sings songs, goes on adventures to the mall, farmers market, or to Mt. Peek-a-boo or whatever its called. Why do they pick such a weird name??? I mean really, how about Mt. Holland or Mt. Macatawa or something that I can remember? I digress.
We have been waiting patiently for some hair on Lily's head, we have been able to take the "mullet" part of her hair and put that in pigtails, but as you can see from the picture the top still needs some help. Poor girl!

I'm going to do my best to keep yall abreast of the Habers happenings.... My family is the bees knees and they deserve the spotlight.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Dutch Village and other summer escapades!

Since Abby has been out of school our lives seem to be crazier than ever... we are running here, running there, spending $12 ADMISSION at Dutch Village! (Don't even get me started, I am still salty I let Abby talk me into that one). We have been to the beach, to Outdoor Discover Center, Timbertown, picnics, camping trips, parks, walks, swims in the pool, back yard escapades, the list is certainly endless and not until this VERY moment have I had both kids sleeping for a little nap! I know, I should be sneaking some quite time myself, or perhaps fold the laundry that has been on my bed and on my floor 2 times over the past 2 days.... (which by the way is now dirty again, because it has intertwined with Ryan's dirty clothes that are also on the floor.)

I can sum up the past month in a few short sentences. Abby vs. bottle of powder vs. Lily's dresser (and everything in it). Second time reading Strong Willed Child by Dr. James Dobson since Abby has been born.

PS. I would have posted a picture but there was nothing to see but a white cloud of powder. And I am so NOT kidding!