First crush

Dear Leiana,
The boys just moved in next door. FOUR boys, D-9, S-7, A-6, and C-1. Well, we’ve been waiting for them to move in all day but they just came tonight hen the sun was setting so you didn’t get to play with them. However you stared out the window waving at them through their window for about an hour, they waved back most of the time. But out of the blue you said, “those boys are handsome.” It was completely out of left field because I never talk about that and you came up with it all on your own. We had a giggle because they are cute but then we talked about daddy wanting to be the only boy that you love and think is handsome right now. I don’t know how much that will work though. We will see.
A few weeks ago at the library you made some friends, an older boy and his little sister. Well, you guys had a blast but you ran the show. They followed easily. But when they were leaving the boy gave you a hug and kissed you. You didn’t pull back but after he left you said, “that was weird. He kissed me.” Then we talked about not letting that happen again. For goodness sake, I don’t want you kissing every boy that wants to.
I remember having boy crushes at a pretty young age but I was much shyer than you. I didn’t even talk or play with the boys unless they were my brother’s friends. You have no fear. That makes me nervous. I don’t want to push the “is he cute thing?” though. I feel like that made my focus growing up all about the boys being cute and I don’t remember anyone saying, “Well, is he nice? Does he have a nice personality?”
Lord, please help Leiana to not grow up too soon. I know you created her to be extremely outgoing and fun but that can also put her in situations that she shouldn’t be in way younger than she should. Please, help me and her daddy to be good parents. Especially in that aspect and teach her how to be pure and the benefits of it will outweigh any “instant gratification” possible as she goes up. In Jesus’ name, amen.


It’s hard being a mom

Dear Leiana,
I can’t believe how much you hear and retain from hearing people talking. It kind of scares me to say anything around you anymore. You realize that I have a difficult relationship with my mom and told me tonight, in other words.
On another note, It is honestly not easy being a mom. I wasn’t one of those girls who grew up KNOWING I would be a mom or fantasizing about it. Caregiving does not come natural to me. Maybe it has part to do with my own insecurities and growing up shy and also partly because I was the baby of the family and was rarely with babies. I did babysit for young kids and a few preschoolers in high school but no babies. Anyways, I’m more naturally introverted and you are definitely not. You are a natural leader and can be bossy in certain situations. Like a few weeks ago when we were at the library an you met a boy and girl, the boy was older and the girl was younger but you automatically took change and starting telling them both what To do. They just followed.

Well, daddy said the other day, “this is what happens when you have a strong-willed child and laid-back mommy.” Yep, sometimes I feel like I’ll ruin you all on my own. If I try to be relaxed just a little bit with my expectations of you, you will take it and run as fast as you can. Today was one of those days. If I don’t give you time to run and play, time to talk, and time To play with just me it’s like I get to the end of the day and you start jumping on me and screaming like a crazy person and won’t stop until I freak out. Ugh, I don’t know how to handle it but I know I don’t handle it right, that’s for sure. But being an introvert, I just want for there to be silence sometimes and it seems impossible with such a cheerful, talkative daughter.
God is working in me to teach me how to deal with it. One of the ways I deal with it is by singing. I’ve taught you a few songs. One of our favorites is “I’d Do Anything For You” from the movie Oliver. You haven’t seen the movie yet but we sing songs from musicals mostly. “Do, Re, Me” also “Happy Talk” from South Pacific, and we almost always sing morning songs like “Good Morning” from Singing in the Rain and “Oh What a Beautiful Morning” from Oklahoma. And other songs that I can’t think of right now.
Well, we have lots if fun. Though I am really excited for you to start school, maybe preschool this year or you may stay with me another year. We will see. I know that you’ll love the social interaction and I know that you need some independence from me. I love you so much though and I thank God for you. The prayer I always pray for you at night is, “May God bless you and keep you. May His face shine upon you and give you peace.”
Love, Mommy

Feeding the Animals

Living here at the ranch is amazing. I love it, and you definitely love it. One day a few weeks ago we went for a walk to the back where the Nature Center is. There they have an owl, chickens, goats, sheep, emus, llamas, peacocks, horses, donkeys, and even a bob cat, oh and some smaller animals and birds. So we were walking around and ran into John, daddy’s friend, who helps take care if the animals. He was about to feed the animals so he asked if you wanted to help. He fed the bobcat cat food… Weird, I know but that’s what he is told to do. But then he had two baby mice under a bowl for the owl. Before I saw them, I thought they were dead, I told him that you would be okay with it. I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT I WAS THINKING! Well, you insisted on seeing them and they were so tiny and cute. You just thought they were the cutest things in the world and started talking baby talk to them. I realized then that I had made a mistake. Luckily we didn’t tell you what they were for and you got distracted by the other animals while I motioned to John that he should just to go ahead and feed the owl while you weren’t looking. So I’m so thankful sometimes that you have the attention span of a fly. This was one of those times.
Later, when we fed the llamas, sheep, and goats, who all live together, John handed you the hay and before he could even tell you what to do you threw it over the tall fence and it landed perfectly in front of the animals. We laughed because you knew exactly hat o do and you are so strong.

The wheels on the bus

Tonight we went to Pastor Mike’s bible study on the ranch. Daddy really likes the worship before the study because the guy sings folk and country songs so he wanted us to hear it. He sang a George Strait song I think called Daddy’s Love. That was daddy’s favorite. So then the singer said, “there is one last song but I’m going to sing a quick one especially for the young lady.” You and your sis were the only kids there so he was referring to you but you didn’t know it. You were sitting next to Juan because you asked if you could and I think you were talking to him at the time. Well, he started singing, “The wheels on the bus…” And everyone started laughing because they knew it was for you and we all started singing. Well, just as he finished the first part about the wheels you whispered loudly and excitedly to Juan, “I KNOW this song!!” Oh my goodness, that cracked EVERYONE up. I seriously wanted to cry it was so funny and it totally reminded me of something Junie B would do. And you started singing and tried to follow along with the words as much as possible. I can’t explain to you how great that moment was.


Dear Leiana,
You drew a picture of yourself today and showed everyone at lunch. They loved it and were so amazed that you put so much detail in it. They couldn’t believe that you drew so well for being four-years-old.

Well, you have the genes for it. Your daddy and Mamaw are amazing artists. They can draw very detailed and life-like. Your Mamaw loved to draw horses especially. I don’t know if she draws much anymore. I used to draw tigers in high school (they were my favorite animals) and now I’m more crafty. I love doing lettering and simple solid painting, as opposed to shading or toll painting. My mom used to paint the ceramic Mardi Gras masks and would sell them in a shop on Bourbon Street when I was young. She made pretty good money doing that. Also for a few years in Missouri, she sold crafts at craft fairs. Mostly toll painting on wood and some ceramics.

I wish I had pictures of a few things that we have all done so that you can see. Ill try to get some to publish soon.
Well, we used to do a bunch of crafts when we lived in Colorado. Remember, when you almost cut my finger off? Probably not… Bad mommy mistake though. I decided to let you try to cut a piece of ribbon because you begged!!! Well, I held the ribbon and you closed the scissors, it didn’t cut, then you tried again, it didn’t cut again, so you bared down and cut really hard… Only it wasn’t the ribbon you cut, it was my finger, right to the bone. Yes, it happened faster than I could have stopped you. Although Ill never make that mistake again. We had to drive all the way to Steamboat Springs, and I got stitches. Those stitches were the most painful experience of my life. They gave me like 5 shots in my finger that hurt so bad I literally cried each time they did it. I couldn’t bear it. But then the numbing didn’t even work so I felt every stitch they made. So it actually would have been better if they hadn’t have even bothered with the shots because they were WAY WORSE than the stitches even those were bad too. So anyways, we stuck to painting for the rest of the time we were there.
We will get back to crafts one day soon. I love it, and I know you do too. I want to teach you to sew and crochet and whatever else you want to do.
Love you,


Dear Leiana,
After lunch today I took you and your sister across the creek to lay in the grass. Sis rolled around on the blanket and we sat and read Eloise Takes a Bawth. You were kind of scared to walk on the grass barefoot cuz San Diego grass is crunchy and pokey but I convinced you to pretend it was the ocean and you finally crossed to the gazebo, or the party house as you and your other friends like to call it.
It was really cloudy, a rarity in July around here. When we first sat down on our blankets we were under a eucalyptus tree. We heard it squeaking and cracking so we moved quickly out from under it.
We talked about how paper is made from trees, clothes are made from cotton, all which are from plants that God created. We talked about how neat it is that God created everything we need and that everything we make is from something He already made. We also talked about maybe trying to make our own paper soon. I honestly have no idea how to do it but I guess I can google it to find out. 🙂
We walked across the street to Tom’s for a milkshake and on our way back daddy drove by coming back from watching a movie (the new Planet of the Apes) with a friend. He picked us up so we could watch the sunset. We drove to coast highway in Carlsbad and the sunset was gorgeous!! It was really cloudy but right above the horizon it was clear enough to see the florescent pink sun come from behind the clouds before it set. So it was almost like a double sunset. The sun coming out of the clouds was amazing and then right after it became full, it set. It was majestic pink the entire time and you of course loved it because you love pink. :). We heard some people clapping when it finally set because it was so amazing.
Daddy said for us to remember that moment because we might not be here in San Diego for very much longer.
We will be Kentucky bound in a few weeks. We will see though where God takes us.
Love, Mama


Dear Leiana,
I’m sorry that I had no patience with you today. I didn’t get my quiet time this morning because I slept in and started off the day upset that I didn’t get any time to myself, I know it sounds selfish but it honestly motivates me to wake up earlier tomorrow morning to read and pray so that I’m a better mom.
I prayed at one point and then God reminded me to sing…. You might not know this now but you’ll find out one day that I’m not a great singer. But we have fun singing. Our new song is one from the movie, Oliver.
It goes, “I’ll do anything for you dear anything for you mean everything to me… Would ya lace my shoe?”
Then you say, “anything”
Me: “Paint your face bright blue?”
You: “anything.”
Me: “Catch a kangaroo?”
You: “anything.”
Me: “go to Timbuktu?”
You normally say “anything.” But we are working on you saying the actual words, “and back again.”
I think we might practice it tomorrow and sing it for daddy when we get the words right.
We have also been singing other broadway/Rogers and Hammerstein songs, Happy Talk, Gonna Wash that Man right outta my hair (the look on your face is hilarious when I sing that), and Do Re Me… And a bunch more.
Anyways, I realized that I’m much happier when I’m singing or maybe singing makes me much happier. Regardless, we have fun together even though I’m a crab most of the time.