Thursday, December 31, 2009

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Preparing for Christmas

I really want to teach my children to be good stewards of their things and that we don't need six of everything to function. :) This has been much more difficult than I ever thought it would be. I believe that play is how kids learn and I want my kids to have toys that teach...not just entertain.

I spent a few days playing with the boys trying to evaluate what needed to happen. I realized that we had so much stuff they couldn't maintain the room themselves. We were missing pieces to at least half of our favorite toys.....which I did end up finding. The boys were not all that innovative with their play...i.e. The Little One just liked dumping out all of the toys looking for missing pieces. He was doing this last week and I ran over to him after he dumped over six baskets and pushed every toy off the window ledge.....I said, "WHAT ARE YOU DOING?"

His response, "looking for my friend Nemo!" and he held up a little orange fish.

So, I sat some parameters for the BIG CLEAN.

1. Does the toy have all the parts?
2. Is it something that develops an age appropriate skill?
3. Is it something they love or the giver had special meaning?

Give Away
1. Are most of the parts there?
2. Is it something others would enjoy?
3. Is it a toy that I would approve of in a childcare area my children attend?

If the answer was yes we kept it or gave it away accordingly.

Before I do not buy the boys toys for anything other than birthday and Christmas, but this is where our playroom was last week. Note: I pick it up everyday and this is really not even "that bad". I have seen worse, much worse.

During (I filled six tubs of give away toys).

What I learned:
1. We have done a pretty good job keeping pieces together. I only had to throw away a small bag of toys that were too broken or too few pieces.
2. The boys can pick up their own playroom if it is not too overwhelming.
3. They get along better when the toys are organized in a way that encourages cooperation and learning.
4. They have not noticed anything missing!!!!

Where did the toys go?
1. To a local community group that allows kids that participate to bring can goods in exchange for Christmas gifts to give their parents and siblings.
2. My sisters daycare that is in need of some fresh toys.

Other ideas:
Infant Crisis Services
Local Church Nurseries
YMCA/YWCA Programs

Monday, December 21, 2009

I almost forgot....

Here are some pictures from the cookies and punch after Big Boy's Christmas Program. Precious!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Our Baby is THREE

Happy Birthday Little Nate!

Monday, December 7, 2009

picture of ME, Monday

I bet you think I forgot! I didn't, I am just now sitting down for the day. This has been a Monday for sure. Ironically, my sister in law wrote a little about her distaste of pictures of her last week too. I guess I am not alone. Well, I said if you sent me pictures I would show them. So here we go!This one is from my aunt Cindy. It is a sweet picture although the uncropped version is a little risque for this blog. This is a picture of me and my parents my first Christmas. My uncle (mom's oldest brother) sent it to me.....along with some others that will make an appearance at some point. I think my mom looks beautiful in this picture. Dad isn't too shabby either.

Here is a picture off my camera from the past week!
Me, Mary, and Tracy at Mary's fabulous engagement party!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

The Cobbler's Children -- A Christmas Lament

This has been a week of deep thought and contemplation. I have laid awake, more than once, thinking about what I am supposed to be doing with this very valuable time of staying home with my young children. I am not one to sit back and just relish the moments as they happen, although I wish I had a little more of this in me. However, I do realize on a daily basis that each moment with my children at this formative age is so important and PRICELESS. (Even the moment yesterday when the youngest batted the glass ball ornament across the church bookstore in front of a good dozen people.)

I have filled my time with some blogging, painting, knitting, and playing with the boys. But, a good chunk of my time has been spent serving on some mission oriented boards, and doing church work. This week was frustrating to say the least. I realized that I had spent hours of time cutting out ornaments that went unused and the board that I sit on has canceled a program (well, not just any program, but my first baby....Project Transformation) for one of two reasons....perhaps both.
1. They can't find anyone to commit to be the Site Coordinator
2. They don't feel like PT understands their African American culture

What is particularly upsetting to me about both of these situations is the lack of cooperative work at the detriment to people in our community who really need the services and ministry offered by each group. Communication is hard. It is hard for everyone, but for some reason it seems particularly challenging when we deal with social and spiritual matters. I guess people are just too afraid they are going to hurt someone's feelings. Well, my feelings have been hurt. I am at a point in my life where my time is my most valuable commodity and it is being misused.

Fast forward to this morning. I am working out, listening to the CMP and the following quote comes up in her opening monologue.

"The cobbler's children have no shoes."

I have been so busy working on these projects/causes and losing sleep thinking about the children that will not have the literacy program their parents have come to count on that I didn't realize all of the time I was taking from my own children. It has been months since we went to the library, weeks since we went to the zoo, and days since I last sat down just to read a book outside of bedtime.

So, where am I now. I am not rethinking my participation in these groups, but I am realigning my priorities. I am going to spend the next few weeks thinking about how I can help facilitate better communication and a mutual understanding with the groups that I am currently working with...starting with helping people understand that when I am not with my children my time is precious and it will be respected or they will need to find someone else to do what they need.

I also have some big ideas about how to use the skills and interest I have developed with blogging and podcasting. I think it is going to involve some revamping an old site. Stay tuned. to pick up my wild little men.

Blessings and thanks for listening to me ramble.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

TURKEY Crafting

The last two years my sisters and our children have gotten together Thanksgiving morning to eat breakfast, watch the Macy's Day Parade and do a little craft. Last year we did Turkey Hats with paper feathers. This year we made Turkey Sculptures. I got the idea from one of my friend's blogs, Laugh, Paint, Create. The boys loved it, but I think my sister enjoyed it just as much. I am really going to miss these crazy days when my boys are older and might even sleep through the parade like I used to do. What was I thinking?

Nate hard at work.

The oldest one concentrating!

Aunt 'Chelle helping a nephew.

Aunt Tracy helping out too.

Ummmmmm! Pumpkin Bread Pudding.