My Time Is Drawing Near!

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It’s true, but no, I am not dying! Well not any quicker than I was yesterday anyway.

But I am very aware at the moment, that the time I get to spend with the kids is going to be changing from what it is at the moment! Jackson is furiously saving for his first house, and Gracie is finishing High School in a couple of months and looking at what the future holds for her! This time next year, things will look completely different for us. This excites me and scares me silly all at the same time!

Gone are the days, where Phil and I just make decisions and the kids follow along! We now have a calendar app so we can keep track of what everyone is doing! Jackson is probably not going to spend Christmas holidays with us as he is working and Gracie is in the process of looking for full-time work over summer. Things are changing friends, at a great knot of speeds, and this Mamma is trying to hold on for dear life!

And so a couple of weeks ago, when I had the opportunity to spend some quality time with Gracie, I knew I was going to make the most of it! My time with Gracie as I know it is drawing to a close. And I am ok with that. I am sad, but know this is what happens when our kids grow up. God has been preparing my heart for a while. He knew this was going to be hard for me, and so he has been gently guiding me as we navigate this new season.

Gracie and I took a road trip to my Mum and Dad’s as they were shifting house and we wanted to go down and help clean and say goodbye to my old family home. 6 hours in the car. Just me and my girl. Uninterrupted time with my baby and I was going to enjoy every single minute of it! And I did!

We stopped and took photo’s along the way. We laughed. We sang. We were silly. We had fun and we created memories! There was no pressure, no time constraints, and no one to tell us we couldn’t!

I savoured every minute of our time together. Gracie and I have taken many a road trip together but now she is growing up, they are becoming less and less as she spends more time with friends, and life seems to get busier and busier! I am not resentful of this but I am aware of it, so I can appreciate the time I do get with her!

It is a beautiful thing to say that you are friends with your daughter!
It hasn’t always been this way! When Gracie was about 13, she went through a “you are so awkward” phase with me and our relationship was not that close. But I am so thankful God told me to persevere, knowing she would get through that phase and we would end up as close as we are!

She is such an amazing young woman and I absolutely adore her. I am so proud of the woman she is becoming and seeing her walk out the things God has spoken over her life.

And so as we continue to navigate this new season, I am focusing on the here and now! I am appreciating the small things and enjoying the time I have with her before she flies the coop into the big wide world!


Parents of Teenagers….Please Read.

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To say I am disturbed is an understatement.
To say I am lost for words would be another.
To say I am struggling with what I have seen, would be yet another massive understatement.

I have just finished the series on Netflix called “13 Reasons Why” and I have to be honest with you, I am shell shocked.

13 Reasons Why, if you haven’t heard about it, is a series about a fictional character Hannah Baker, who through a series of events, bullying and being raped two of these things, ends up taking her own life. The series is about what led her to this point, and the aftermath that ensued with her family and friends trying to make sense of it all.

It is raw, it is emotional and it is graphic. There is no doubt as to what went on and the episode where she takes her life is disturbing. And when her Mum finds her, well that is truly disturbing.

So why would I watch it you ask?
Well, because it is Netflix’s most-watched series of all time and since it came out has been tweeted over 11 million times. Because all the teenagers I know (including Gracie) are watching and talking about it on social media. And because I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. But I don’t think I was quite prepared for what I saw and is not something  I will forget in a long time.

There are lots (and lots) of websites and blogs out there talking about 13 Reasons Why. Blogs that will satisfy your curiosity if you don’t want to watch the whole series. Blogs with helplines, numbers for support networks and reasons why they made the series. There are some great sites for support and I encourage you to go and read them, so I’m not going into all of that here, but I do want to say this:

If you have a teenager, please please, please be aware of what they are watching. Please pay attention to what is going on in their lives, and please have those awkward conversations! As parents, it is never easy, and teenagers are a breed unto themselves. But this stuff goes on in their world and we need to be aware of it. We cannot bury our heads in the sand and pretend that this kind of thing doesn’t happen because it does. We can’t bury our heads and think it will never happen to our teen because it could. And that is the cold hard reality here…..it could.

Life is so different these days. So many more challenges and pressures facing our teens. And we need to educate ourselves the best we can to help our teens navigate their way through this season of their life. We need to be hands-on, and involved in their lives, no matter how much they complain or think we are awkward!

Now I am not naive enough to think that Gracie shares absolutely everything with me, but she always knows she can come to me if she needs to. She knows she can use her parents as an excuse (Mum and Dad won’t let me….) and she has an amazing network of good, Christian friends speaking into her life. I know this won’t protect her from all life will throw at her, it won’t completely protect her from peer pressure, and as much as I want to wrap her in cotton wool and protect her from the mean ole world, I know I can’t do that either! But what I can do is be aware, be educated, and be involved.

And parents, please don’t forget to pray. Not just if things aren’t going well, but all the time! Cover them in prayer.

So friends, please be aware.
Aware of what your teens are watching.
Aware of who has influence in their life.
Aware of what is going in their world.
Aware of their social media and the anxiety that come with it.
And please, please be aware of the pressures teens face. Not just any teen, but your teen.

 


Where’s The Grace?

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There’s a story floating around the internet at the moment about a Mum who got so sick of her daughter’s messy room, that she placed ALL her daughters stuff into bags and was selling them back to her daughter at $25 a bag! Now her daughter didn’t know what was in each bag so it was pot luck as to what she got back when she could afford it. Cell phone, makeup, clothing, laptop, all bundled into rubbish bags not to be seen again until twenty-five bucks was handed over!

I saw so many comments on social media about what an awesome idea this was. How Mum’s around the world were going to take action and do this to their daughters. Why hadn’t someone thought of this earlier, it was sheer brilliance and the answer to teenagers’ messy rooms. Mum’s unite, and let’s tidy the messy bedrooms around the world! Let’s take a stand as parents and teach our daughters a valuable lesson!

IMG_6946Now, don’t get me wrong. Gracie’s room is a constant mess and some days it drives me nuts! There are art supplies and school work all over the  floor, there are empty plates and mason jars lining her dresser from her “It’s 10 o’clock and I am thirsty and hungry” raids to the kitchen. There is makeup on the floor, on the dresser and on the mirror! (Really, how can she miss her face and get the mirror, can she even see herself in it?) And there are clothes strewn from here to Kingdom come (Wow, I sound like my mother!) The bed is never made (“Mum, I can’t sleep in a made bed!”) and the washing pile in the corner is growing by the minute (Wait, is that clean clothes I see in the washing pile instead of being put in the drawers like I asked?)

Yes, it is a constant battle in our house, as I’m sure it is in yours!
But if I were to take all of Gracie’s belongs and place them in rubbish bags and make her buy them back from me, what is this teaching her?

That I have all the power and authority?
That she must adhere to my standards?
That I am legalistic and what I say goes?
That it doesn’t matter about how she wants to live?

Where is the grace in all of this?

Now Gracie is a good kid. Actually, she’s pretty jolly fantastic! She is doing great at school, after shifting schools twice in the last 6 months. She attends Church and Youth Group every week. She serves in Children’s Church. She is kind, generous, big-hearted, full of fun & energy and is very respectful. She has a great bunch of friends, and let’s be honest, is nothing like I was at her age….Praise the Lord! She is an incredible daughter and I am beyond blessed.

So if a messy room is as bad as it gets…..I am ok with that! There are way bigger problems in the world than a messy room, and as long as we don’t have a family of mice making their home in her dirty washing pile, I am ok with the mess!

It has taken me a while, but I have learned that Gracie’s messy room is no reflection on me. I don’t need to be embarrassed or ashamed when people come over and spy Gracie’s room on their way to the bathroom. It does not make me a bad mother any more than it makes her a bad daughter! Let’s keep this all in perspective here friends!IMG_6958

The other day, Gracie was at a friends house and I needed my jacket that she had borrowed from me. I knew it was somewhere in her room, so I took a deep breath and entered! Yes, it was a bomb site and I couldn’t see my jacket anywhere. At this point I had 2 options…….grab those rubbish bags and start filling them (to assert my authority, and make her feel bad) or I could start to tidy for her. I didn’t make a big song and dance about it, I didn’t text her and tell her what I was doing, I just tidied. And when I was done her room was spotless and my jacket, along with 3 tops and a pair of jeans I thought I had lost, were now hanging back in my wardrobe!

When she got home later and saw her room, she came running out with a big smile on her face and just hugged me.If I had filled those rubbish bags I have no doubt it would have been a different reception and most probably the start of World War III!

I shared with her later the story of the rubbish bags, and she was quite surprised that I wouldn’t do that to her. (Gosh, maybe I am a more legalistic Mum than I thought!) But I could see the smile as she started to comprehend what I was trying to convey to her.

At that very moment, I was showing her love and grace, which has been extended to me many a time. I was showing her that she matters. That she doesn’t need to live by my standards to be loved and accepted. I was showing unconditional love, and as we sat on the couch and ate Easter Eggs together, I was beyond grateful for the lesson we had both just learnt.

IMG_6950


Endure or Enjoy?

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I had lunch with a good friend of mine the other day, and man, I love catching up with her! To be honest, we haven’t been friends for long, but you know, sometimes you just click with someone straight away. It’s like we have been friends forever. It’s fun, it’s challenging, the conversation just flows and it brightens my day whenever we catch up!

Anyway, we were talking about kids! I know right?  We have a couple of hours away from them, and yet we sit there and talk about them! We were talking about the ups and the downs of raising kids and I said to her “You know sometimes I think we endure motherhood instead of enjoying it” and she immediately said “You are so right, I think there’s a blog in that”

And so here I am, about to write about motherhood, to give you all my wisdom about enjoying over enduring, and ironically I have had a super trying day with the kids!

You know those days, where you get on the phone and they start fighting, when they are chasing each other around the house, and when they are yelling at each other about the most trivial things. When they haven’t done their chores and the house looks like a bomb has hit it. And remembering that these are not 3-year-olds, no my friends, these are teenagers! To add to the chaos, Phil is away, the puppy decides she is in a chewing mood and is chewing any and everything she can get her wee paws on and has decided that the carpet makes a way better toilet than the grass outside!

Breathe Kathy, just breathe!

Ok, so not all days are like that, and on those days I think it’s ok to just survive without maiming anyone, but how is your attitude on the good days?
I sometimes find myself on automatic pilot and doing things out of duty rather than because I would like to. I find myself missing out on the Blessing of being a Mum because I am too busy to notice the beauty all around me. I find myself enduring instead of enjoying.

So I am making a conscious effort this week to enjoy! To be honest it’s a super busy week and it would be so much easier to just endure it than to find enjoyment in it! To tell myself I will enjoy next week when it’s not so busy. But I am determined to find enjoyment this week. I am determined to enjoy this week with the kids and to look for the Blessings God has laid before me. To embrace motherhood and all its craziness. To appreciate the kids, because really they are fantastic kids who I am so proud of. To be intentional about parenting. And to have fun. I am going to have fun this week people!

How about you?

a breathe

 


My Girl……

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I remember when I was 15.

I was a screwed up mess of a kid who struggled with who I was and doubted whether I had any worth on this planet. I was insecure, afraid of the world and all I wanted to do was party with my friends or hide away in my room (which was probably a good thing as I was grounded most of the time!). I was sulky, pouty, and definitely not fun to live with. I was far from God and was not living in a way that I was proud of. Basically, I was a self-absorbed teenager with no regard for anyone or anything!

But my girl…….she couldn’t be more different from me if she tried!

I am beyond happy and proud to see the young women she is becoming!

We have had so many changes in the last couple of years and none more than for Gracie. We took her completely out of her comfort zone and took her to Africa and then to build houses in Mexico. She got braces, moved from the only place she remembers as home (and subsequently has no furniture in her temporary room!) and now this week she has started High School for the first time (2.5 years later than all her friends!)

And through all this she has remained her bright bubbly cheery self! Sure we have had days where she is not quite herself but through everything she has shown maturity beyond her years. She has looked for the best in every situation and taken it all in her stride. I think she was more worried about me on Monday than she was for herself starting High School!

She talks to me about her dreams for the future and gets excited about what God has in store for her. She is secure in who she is and isn’t swayed by the world. She is a loyal friend,  has a huge heart for young kids and can hold a conversation with any adult she comes across. She is incredibly talented at art and photography and I know she will move mountains when given half the chance. Yep, pretty much she is the opposite of me at the same age….Praise the Lord!

So Mums, never under-estimate the power of prayer. I have been praying for Gracie since before she was born, that she would be all God has called her to be from any early age. That she wouldn’t get in with the “wrong crowd” but instead she would be an influencer.  That even through her teen years she would hear God’s voice and never walk away from Him.

It’s long days, and often longer nights when they are little, but I can guarantee you, putting in the hard yards when they are tots, sure pays off when they hit those teen years. Spend time with your kids, sometimes not talking but just listening, allowing them to be themselves, and be intentional about how you parent.

So as we celebrate Gracies 15th Birthday this week, I thank God for the amazing gift He has Blessed me with. For an incredible daughter who I am just so proud of and so excited to see where God takes her!

Happy Birthday Gracie

 


It’s Not All About The Stuff!

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Last week Gracie and I went to see Sam Smith.

For those of you who don’t know who Sam Smith is, according to Gracie, he is the greatest and latest, and most coolest singer EVER!

Gracie had been counting down to the concert for months……literally! She had saved up enough money for her ticket and so come the day, she was beside herself with excitement! We left home super early for our Girlie road trip to make sure we were there in plenty of time……don’t want to miss a minute of waiting in queue with the thousands of other crazy fans!

As we made our way in and found our seats, she couldn’t stop jiggling! She was so excited she couldn’t sit still and the grin on her face was from ear to ear. Yep, this was one super excited teenager!

As the auditorium went black, the screen came down and Sam came on stage, the look on Gracies’s face was priceless! She had tears in her eyes, she grabbed my arm and started screaming with all the other young girls!

This, this is what it’s all about!

As I sat next to her watching the wonder in her eyes, I knew that this is the kind of stuff that’s important. These are the moments that matter. And I get to share them with her.

You know, sometimes as parents we think we need to give our kids “stuff” The more “stuff” they have, the happier they will be. So we make their lives as comfortable as we can with as much stuff as we can and think this will make them happy!

But I have learned, that it’s not all about the stuff. Stuff comes and goes. Stuff gets broken, it gets lost, it gets old and it gets worn out. Stuff gets forgotten.

Nope, stuff isn’t as important as experience. Gracie will not forget the Sam Smith concert in a very long time, and I certainly won’t forget the look on her face, the excitement she exuded or the non-stop talking all the way home.

I cherish moments like these and count them a privilege. I know soon enough Gracie will rather go with her friends than her old Mum, and so I am making the most of these moments, cementing memories into both of us that will long surpass the stuff she has in her life!

I asked Gracie what she got for her 8th birthday and she couldn’t remember. I then asked her if she remembered walking around the lake in the rain (the same day she got her 8th birthday present!) and she could remember so much about the walk and recalled it with great animation! She couldn’t remember the stuff, but she remembered the experience!

So my encouragement to you as a parent is, forget about the stuff! Your kids don’t NEED the latest and greatest gadgets, they don’t NEED the latest clothes and they don’t NEED what all the other kids have. What they NEED are experiences. They need you to spend time with them, to invest into them and to experience all the world has to offer.

a sam


How Different things could have Been…

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As I type this, I am actually sitting in the car park at Church. I have been rehearsing at Church while the kids are at Youth. I finished earlier than they did so I am sitting here watching them in the Youth Hall. I am sitting here with a silly grin on my face (thankfully it is dark!) and my heart overwhelming with thankfulness.

It’s not that I am stalking the kids (I am trying hard not to be one of those Mum’s) but as I sit here and watch them having copious amounts of fun with their friends, I can’t help but be so grateful to God. To have our kids so planted in Church is not something we take for granted, and it’s something I thank God for each day. Both kids have incredible friends, love going to Church and both of them have a personal relationship with Jesus. Really, what more could a Mum ask for?

But as I sit here with a thankful heart, my mind wanders and I start to think about how differently my life could have looked if I had had that as a teenager. If someone had believed in me like their youth leaders believe in them. If someone had checked in on me on a regular basis. If someone, just that little bit older, had taken an interest in me and had mentored me like I know happens with my kids! I wonder how different my teenage years would have looked. I wonder how differently, I may have turned out!

Now, don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t change my teenage years for anything, because that is part of who I am today, but let’s face it, I made a lot of silly mistakes in my youth! I hurt myself in the process as well as hurting those close to me. I let people down, I was disobedient to my parents and to God, and I had little or no respect for the people who loved and cared for me. I was rebellious, stubborn and thought I knew everything! But really, I was a lost little girl who needed God more than she ever realized or would care to admit!

I am so grateful God didn’t leave me where I was, but picked me up and set me on a path that would lead me to Him.

So if your kids are planted in a youth group of Sunday School, please don’t take it for granted! Take the time and thank the leaders who are inputting into your kids live’s. And if your kids aren’t in a youth group, can I encourage you to get them into one. Who knows, someone in that youth group may just be the catalyst in your kid’s life that will help them stay on the right path!

grateful


When did you stop skipping?

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As I was out on my run the other day I saw a little girl off in the distance coming towards me. She must have been all of 6 and was so happy, and I found myself smiling at seeing her happiness. She was quite a way off so I couldn’t see her face or expressions, but I just knew she was happy. How did I know that? Well, she was skipping!

Yes, skipping! Her little arms were swinging as she lifted her legs, one in front of the other and came skipping towards me. The closer I got I could see the expression on her face and it was one of pure innocence and childlike happiness.

So I got to thinking, as I often do……when did I stop skipping? When did I lose the joy of skipping and instead just walk everywhere? When did life get so serious that you can no longer skip? I started to notice other people on my run and all of the adults I came across had their heads down, on a mission to be somewhere, only looking up long enough to see what that thudding was coming up behind them, or to move out of my way if they could see me coming head on!

I thought about Gracie and was trying to think back to when she stopped skipping. I haven’t seen her skip for years, so I’m guessing it’s just not cool to skip these days if you are 14! I remember teaching Gracie when she was around 3. It’s actually a hard skill to learn. It doesn’t come naturally and it’s something I remember took her a while to catch on to but once she had learned, there was no stopping her. For the next little while she skipped everywhere she went, with a big grin on her face as if to say “Look at me, I can skip!”

So why do we stop skipping?  I mean it’s faster than walking and I’m sure it’s great exercise, but I can’t tell you the last time I saw an adult skipping down the road. Wouldn’t it just make you smile to see a grown man in a business suit skipping down the road? Or an old grandma skipping into a supermarket?

The dictionary defines skipping as this: “To move in a light, springy manner by bounding forward with alternate hops on each foot.”

Light and springy! I want to be light and springy! I think sometimes as adults we feel the weight of the world on our shoulders and this holds us down from being, well, light and springy!

Right! I was going to skip…..So the kids and I went for a walk around the lake and I decided I would start skipping. Now I’m not the meanest Mum in the world, I didn’t do it in the busy areas. I waited till no one was around and I started skipping. Hopping from one leg to the other, knee’s lifted high, feeling all light and springy!

“Mum, what on earth are you doing?”
“I’m skipping”
“Mum, why would you do that?”
“Its fun, c’mon join me?”
“What are you crazy? I’m not joining you”
“Why not? It’s fun”
“Mum, stop it! Mum, please. Seriously Mum, you are embarrassing us, Mum, there’s someone coming, Mum there really is, Mum he’s going to see you, MUM!”

And so my renewed skipping career came to an abrupt halt and was pretty much over before it even began! I don’t want to scar the kids for life and I definitely don’t want to have to spend thousands on counseling when they are older, so I went back to a walk and we made our way around the rest of the lake, walking, apparently like all good mothers should!

But you know what, for those couple of minutes that I did skip, I loved it! It was fun. It was silly. And it was what I needed to blow off the stuffy old cobwebs that come with being a grown up. I had a grin on my face and almost forgot that I am a 40 something-year-old wife and mother with a ton of responsibilities on my shoulders. Yip, for a few moments I was carefree with not a worry in the world…..except for maybe embarrassing  my kids, but that’s just part of our job description, right?

skipping

 

 


“Mum, why do you cry so much?”

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“Mum, why do you cry so much?”
“Mum, are you crying again?”
Mum, is that tears on your cheeks?”
“Really Mum? Tears again?”
“You’ve been crying haven’t you Mum?”

Yip, these are comments I often hear from my kids. Actually, I would say at least a couple of times a week I will hear those words coming from their mouths, grins on their faces, like, here we go again.  It’s a normal thing to see Mum cry.

Now these tears are mostly all happy tears! You know the ones. The ones you get when you watch Extreme Make Over – Home Edition or watch that YouTube clip of returning Soldiers seeing their kids for the first time. That Ellen clip of her giving a deserving family $10,000 or a stranger showing kindness to someone less deserving! Gosh, even Christmas movies and songs can bring me to tears! Yes siree, all these things will easily bring a tear (or two) to my eyes!

But sometimes they are actually tears of sadness though: watching a clip of a Father burying his 5-year-old son, a cancer patient speaking to a daughter, he will never meet, or that heart-wrenching video of a father walking his 12-year-old daughter down the aisle as he won’t be around to do it when she actually does get married!

Yes, I am a crier! And actually I don’t think that is necessarily a bad thing. I don’t see crying as a weakness. I see it as me being comfortable with who God has made me to be, and that my friends is an emotional being! What you see is what you get, whether I am happy or sad, you will see it! And I guess because my kids spend so much time with me, they see it a lot!

I am hopeful that I am teaching my kids that it’s ok to cry. People will often say that strong people don’t cry. Well to that I say “Piffle”

I am a strong person. I am not a hard person, but I am a strong person. I have overcome things in my life that have been tough. I have always refused to be a victim and to rise above my difficulties. These things have made me stronger, but they haven’t hardened me. Crying is not a weakness or something to be ashamed of, in fact, God has made us with emotions and I think it’s healthy to let them show.

At this point I do just need to clarify: we are talking about a few silent tears streaming down your cheeks, not the opening of the floodgates, the big ugly sobbing crying, or the crying so hard you can’t breathe. That’s ok too, but I just don’t think anyone but Jesus needs to see that!

So this week will no doubt be another emotional week for me. There will be highs and lows, good and bad experiences and moments of sadness that will bring me to tears. But there will also be laughter, silliness, happy tears and moments where my heart is so full it feels like it will burst. It will be real and honest, and it will be me. This is my life and I love it!

So if you see me with tears in my eyes, don’t panic! I am ok, I will be ok, and despite what my kids think, I am normal!

a a crying

 


I am raising a couple of Lawyers!

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Yesterday the kids and I took a road trip to collect Phil from the airport. It’s only just over an hours drive for us, but the kids decided they needed candy for the “long trip”.

Gracie decided on a big bag of skittles and Jackson decided on a smaller container of tic tacs. But of course it doesn’t matter what you choose, the other person’s candy is always calling you, tempting you, making you wonder if you chose the right candy for the trip. Should I have gone for another option? What if theirs is nicer? What if theirs lasts longer?

“Do you want to swap some candy?”
“Sure, we can make a deal?”

And so the negotiations began….

Now when it came down to it, Gracie wanted one of Jackson’s, more than he wanted hers, so he had the upper hand (and he knew it, actually he even brought that up at one stage in the negotiations!). On the other hand, Gracie had copious amounts to negotiate with, and Jackson, not so much! She wanted a tic tac but was not completely happy to part with her precious candy! And so the banter began:

I’ll give you 2 for 1
No, 3 for 1
No way, that’s a rip-off! 2 for 1
Ok, 4 for 1
What! You can’t go up in price
Yes, I can!
No way, I don’t want one anyway (long pause) Ok, 3 for 1 and I choose the flavours or 2 for 1 and you can choose
But I want 3 and to choose
Nope, 2 and you can choose, and I can choose the colour of the tic tac
No way, I choose the tic tac you get

And so on…. And so on…. And so on!
This honestly felt like it went on for the whole trip!

On one hand, it was driving me nuts and on the hand I was kinda proud of the kids! Ok, so they were only negotiating over candy, but both of them knew what they wanted, and were prepared to work it through till there was an amicable agreement. Neither, just gave in, got angry or got aggressive! Lawyers in the making right here!

It got me thinking about how we raise our kids. I could have stepped in at any stage and stopped all the fuss, I mean really, all this negotiating over 2 bits of candy, seriously, are there not more important things in the world to negotiate over? I could have laid down the law and told them to just stick with the candy they chose or I would just eat all of it! But what would that have taught them? That Mum just comes in and fix things with her solutions (which I have learnt over the years aren’t always the best answer!) That they are not capable of coming to a solution themselves? That someone else will always fix things for them, or tell them what to do? No, this is something the kids had to sort out themselves. Sure, it’s only candy today, but who knows what it will be later on in life. And  I won’t always be there to “fix things” for them!

So in the end, Jackson got 3 skittles of his choice and Gracie got her choice of tic tac, so 2 happy kids, that came up with the solution all by themselves.

As for me, well, I had my own stash, and I wasn’t negotiating with anyone!

a choc