Watching From a Distance

While on family vacation in Florida, I have been able to do something I rarely get to do these days – watch my children from a distance. I have a boy and girl, ages 5 and 3, respectively. When they aren’t in school, they spend all their time under the watchful eye
of my husband and/or me. We don’t have a regular sitter for them, and so they are always with us. As you can tell from their ages, they are quite a handful and require either our guidance to give them something to do, our undivided attention to play with them, or our referree skills to keep them from trying to take each other out! LOL.

Sometimes it is hard to FULLY appreciate the beauty of your developing children when they are under your constant supervision. So this week, as my mother and sister have been spending time looking after them while we are all together at my Mother’s house in Florida, I have really been able to sit back and observe my children. Now don’t get me wrong…I’m not learning anything NEW about them, just better absorbing and enjoying the things I’ve already known.

My son, my firstborn, the scholar, is extremely inquisitive and quite bright. He can read anything, has a great musical ear, an eye for design, and has cognitive skills beyond his years. He is a jack AND master of all trade! Yvette is my little Teflon girl, as my sister-in-law calls her. She is feisty, confident, sharp as a tack, and fears NOTHING! She came into this world 6 1/2 weeks early, but as I was continuously hooked up to the fetal monitors for three days before her birth, it was the sound of her strong heartbeat that put me to sleep at night and awoke me each morning. I watch her now and imagine how all she has experienced in her 3 years will mold and shape her into the brilliant young woman she will become.

Am I bragging about my children? ABSOLUTELY!! They are my miracles, my heart, my inspiration. Sometimes it’s hard to see their preciousness when you are busy monitoring, scolding, negotiating and cleaning up after them! But I am thankful for moments like these – when I can take a break, and watch them from a distance. For a few moments I can see them not just for who they are, but think about who they will become. Parents…even in those difficult days, find time to
watch your children from a distance. It will recharge you and help give you strength to get through the tough moments, and allow you to appreciate a parent’s greatest blessings – your children.

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Guest Post: We Are Family…?

Here’s another post from This and That’s new Contributor, Jasmine Ratliff…

Calandra and I are cousins because my grandmother and her mother are sisters. I think technically that makes us second-cousins (she and my mom would be first) but regardless, we know the connection. In the past year, though, I found new family in unfamiliar places.

I’m a big fan of genealogy. I started becoming interested when my dad created a family photo wall in the first house he bought. He had pictures going back 3 generations, to my great-grandmother on his mother’s side. She was so light-skinned that when I first saw her picture I said “Who is that white lady?” The next time we were at my grandmother’s house she pulled out her Bible and showed me the names of family members going back to that same great-grandmother, plus her brothers and sisters, marriage dates, everything. I was hooked to know who my family was.

Years later a friend showed me Ancestry.com and after a little exploration I bought a membership. A couple of weeks after joining and entering the family info I received an email. A woman was researching a similar family surname and wanted to exchange information. After several emails that included comparing stories, looking at census records and even learning a little more about each other I googled her name. Found her on Facebook and did a double-take…wait…she’s white! I emailed her to make sure I had the right person; yep I did. Wow…

Turns out her great-great-grandmother was my great-great-grandmother’s sister. We share the same great-great-great-grandfather. She had pictures of him that I would just stare at in amazement; that’s my…our…family. She’s been able to spend much more time collecting data than I’ve been able to but I’ve definitely been inspired to keep searching. I want to be able to share as much family history with my daughter that she’s been able to share with her son and twin girls.

We became Facebook friends (family!) and check in now and again. One of these days I hope to meet her in person and hang out with my newly found family. I encourage everyone to research their ancestry. You may be surprised who’s related to you…and I hope pleasantly so!

Guest Post: We Are Family…?

Here’s another post from This and That’s new Contributor, Jasmine Ratliff…

Calandra and I are cousins because my grandmother and her mother are sisters. I think technically that makes us second-cousins (she and my mom would be first) but regardless, we know the connection. In the past year, though, I found new family in unfamiliar places.

I’m a big fan of genealogy. I started becoming interested when my dad created a family photo wall in the first house he bought. He had pictures going back 3 generations, to my great-grandmother on his mother’s side. She was so light-skinned that when I first saw her picture I said “Who is that white lady?” The next time we were at my grandmother’s house she pulled out her Bible and showed me the names of family members going back to that same great-grandmother, plus her brothers and sisters, marriage dates, everything. I was hooked to know who my family was.

Years later a friend showed me Ancestry.com and after a little exploration I bought a membership. A couple of weeks after joining and entering the family info I received an email. A woman was researching a similar family surname and wanted to exchange information. After several emails that included comparing stories, looking at census records and even learning a little more about each other I googled her name. Found her on Facebook and did a double-take…wait…she’s white! I emailed her to make sure I had the right person; yep I did. Wow…

Turns out her great-great-grandmother was my great-great-grandmother’s sister. We share the same great-great-great-grandfather. She had pictures of him that I would just stare at in amazement; that’s my…our…family. She’s been able to spend much more time collecting data than I’ve been able to but I’ve definitely been inspired to keep searching. I want to be able to share as much family history with my daughter that she’s been able to share with her son and twin girls.

We became Facebook friends (family!) and check in now and again. One of these days I hope to meet her in person and hang out with my newly found family. I encourage everyone to research their ancestry. You may be surprised who’s related to you…and I hope pleasantly so!