My Kids Rock!

Isaiah, cute as a...cowboy?

Well, the Olympic games are finally over and the daily rush of adrenaline I got from watching the athletes compete will be sorely missed. As usual, there were a ton of memorable moments and one of my favorites was watching Gabby win the gymnastics all around title. That was just amazing! But what I also loved was seeing the parents of the athletes cheering, jumping, shouting and just enthusiastically supporting their children in each event. You see, sometimes we forget the sacrifices that families make so that their loved ones can train for hours just for a shot at competing in these games. It’s pretty miraculous if you think about it. The odds of making it to that level of competition are slim to none but with talent, dedication and family support, these games were proof that the sky can be the limit. Now I know I spend quite a bit of time “venting” about the manic shenanigans that my children inflict on me and the rest of society. But today I am going to take a brief moment and do a little mom bragging. Yes, despite their quirks and craziness, my kids are pretty awesome individuals. They are fun, talented, and pretty darn smart and I would be doing them a disservice if I didn’t at least acknowledge some of the gifts that they have been blessed with.  So today, in honor of the 5 wonders of the world, here is my top ten list dedicated to them. A pat on the back if you will…


1. AJ’S MUSICAL ABILITIES. Our oldest son AJ is a gifted musician, if I do say so myself (and I do). He has been playing in the band for only 4 years and he has learned to play the trumpet, the bass guitar and the tuba for his school. He is also self-taught on the keyboards at home as well as the drums. He can play by ear and likes to mimic the songs he hears on the radio. My son will pull up a YouTube video and practice playing his keyboards until he can play the song from memory.  I’m a music lover so I get excited when I think of how far he could go with this talent.

AJ and his Bass

2. JONACYE’S SINGING. My step daughter is a talented singer. She worked hard and was accepted into a performing arts high school based on her musical talent. She has a great voice and could definitely go far. I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw her rocking it out on American Idol one day. And I would be in the audience screaming as if it were Whitney Houston on that stage!

3. JACQUELINE’S ARTS AND CRAFTS. Yes Jacqueline can sing and dance but the wonderful gift that she excels at is her ability to draw. I did not even realize how talented she was until I saw a portrait of my living room that she had drawn and left lying around. I was so shocked and confused that a child that young could draw with such skill. I still can’t draw a straight line with a ruler! And she is also talented with the sewing machine. She has made several clothing items by just wrapping the fabrics around herself or her brothers and then cutting them and sewing them together to fit. She has made several “new” clothing items from old clothes and has decked her friends out in shirts that she made from old leggings. I’m not sure if she will make a career out of this or if this is just a hobby that she rocks at. Either way, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Jac and all of her friends sporting a new trend custom-made by the new age Jackie O!

Jacqueline in the skirt she made.

4. ISAIAH’S SPANISH. Isaiah loves the Spanish language! He has been learning to speak Spanish since he was only a toddler. I am not fluent in Spanish but we have worked hard to learn as many words as possible and Isaiah has just absorbed everything he is taught like a sponge. During his preschool testing his teacher advised me that Isaiah would only answer the test questions in Spanish. I’m sure that was a bit annoying for her but i loved it. I am doing all that I can to help my child expand his vocabulary. Unfortunately, I have some expanding to do myself! Any suggestions on how we can improve in this area would be greatly appreciated.

5. JACE’S DANCING. My little 2-year-old just loves music! He is happiest when he is singing and dancing to his favorite songs. A love of music is something that we all share and I am pretty used to my youngest son’s fascination with scrolling through my smart phone and picking out his favorite song. But despite my equal appreciation of the arts, I was pretty stunned when I took my little one to a school dance at his siblings’ elementary school last school year and he started doing the Cha Cha Slide along with the rest of the kids! I mean, really? He was barely talking at the time and here he is doing an entire choreographed dance! I tried to record it but the sound isn’t that great. Click on the link to take a look.

6. AJ’S POLITICAL PROWESS. My son has been fascinated with politics ever since he was in kindergarten. I can remember him having a political debate with my mother about who he was going to vote for in his elementary school’s mock election. It was Al Gore vs George W Bush and my son was adamant that he was voting for ole W. Coming from a family full of Dems doesn’t faze him one bit and to this day, at the ripe old age of thirteen, he will still debate you about the electability of any candidate out there. He also has a field day with political scandals. I’m still laughing at his moniker for Herman Cain…Pee Wee Herman!

7. JONACYE’S LOVE FOR HER SIBLINGS. Teenagers get so much flak for being young and self-absorbed. But Jonacye has shown over the years that she is just full of love for her younger brothers and sister. I’m sure it’s not the easiest thing to be close to heading off to college and still having a 2-year-old brother who is known for throwing himself on the floor and wailing like a storm siren, a sister who wants to borrow your clothes and jewelry, and two more brothers who make it their life mission to listen to your phone calls and tattle on everything you say and do. But Jonacye handles it all in stride. Whenever she is here you will find Jacqueline walking around decked out in her big sisters hoop earrings and bracelets. She will play hide and seek with little Isaiah in a minute. She gently tries to calm baby Jace down which is no easy task. And she is patient when AJ is going on and on about his latest MW3 victory although I am sure she has no idea what he is even talking about. Now all siblings fuss and fight and mine are no exception, but for a child who doesn’t live here full-time, whenever Jonacye comes home, she and her siblings never miss a beat. I am sure that her disposition will help her excel at whatever endeavor she pursues when she heads off to college next year.

The Otey kids all together for the 4th!

8. JACQUELINE’S KINDNESS. Jacqueline is such a kind-hearted child. I often joke about wondering where she gets this trait from since I am not known for my warm and fuzzy moments. If we are out driving and a woman walks by with her hair dyed purple, orange and green, I’m going to call her skittle head or something else that will make the boys laugh. But then there is my daughter giving me her gentle “Mommy that is just not nice”…look and speech. I’m usually torn between apologizing and wanting to leave her at home so she won’t make me feel bad for my snarky comments. My daughter doesn’t like meanness and used to cry if someone even gave her a mean look. She is friendly to everyone and does not tease or bully other children. Jacqueline is also an animal lover and has lectured me about my need to have any bug or other creepy crawly creature smashed into oblivion. She’s also attempted to become a vegetarian because she does not like the thought of eating a poor defenseless animal. However, it’s hard to stick to that decision when cheeseburgers are one of your favorite foods. But hey, I’m sure she still feels bad for that baby cow whenever she takes a bite (sorry I couldn’t help that one).

9. ISAIAH’S WHISTLING. Isaiah can whistle like a pro. This child can whistle whole songs, on key, as if it were nothing. I can still remember my granddad trying to teach me that skill and my frustration at never being able to master it. The only whistling sound I could ever make was when I was in the middle of an asthma attack and my lungs were singing a distress song! So don’t mind me for being fascinated with a 6-year-old who can whistle my favorite tunes with ease. I love it!

10. JACE AND ISAIAH’S CHEERLEADING. I must admit this last one is a bit self-serving but I just love how my youngest two children come charging whenever I arrive home from work. Sometimes I have a crappy day and I am mentally drained. But as soon as I open my door, here come my two babies, jumping and cheering my name as if I were the most important person on the planet. I just love that and it is enough to lift my spirits on any day. And although it is usually not even five minutes before they are back to their usual antics: crying, arguing over a toy, spilling something or running face first into a solid object that could be seen from the moon with the naked eye;  for a moment, my children are just  fun, innocent and full of love and laughter. It’s cliché but it’s just one of the many reasons why my children freaking ROCK!

What are some of the ways your kids or other younger family members rock? Leave a comment and tell us all about them. Whether it’s in sports, a high IQ, or even just a sunny disposition, shout out how that child is doing their part to make the world a better place!

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