I say “no” to my kids way too often. I know that I need to relax and lighten up a bit and I’m trying to do that while still keeping some discipline, but its something that I have to work at . . . realizing that its okay for there to be messes to clean up or for my day to have some side tracks to the schedule that I try to keep. Over the weekend, I got to work on it. I bought a new shelving unit for my home office and my 4 year old saw the long, empty box before it made it out to the trash. His eyes lit up and asked if he could color it. My initial thought was that it should just go out to the garbage, but I told him I could go ahead and cut a piece of cardboard off of it that he could color on. I obviously didn’t understand his question because he had to explain that he wanted to color it to make it a canoe. He has a much better imagination than I do and could see that box for its possibilities! I decided to practice saying “yes” and asked my husband to cut a couple of holes in it to make it a kayak for the kids to play in & yes, to color. It has been such a fun thing for them and even the babies who are enjoying crawling in and out of it and they know that they only get to keep it one more day since it will go out with the trash on Thursday.
A friend at church was talking about her family making gratitude lists during November which inspired me. Tonight for Family Home Evening, we talked about what it means to be thankful and then used a big piece of butcher paper to start our list of things we’re thankful for. We went around the circle about 4 times and let each person say something they were thankful for each time & they got to pick the color of marker that it would be written in. The list now hangs on the door in the family room that goes out to the garage so we will see it VERY OFTEN and the markers will stay close by so we can add things as we think of them. I told them I want to fill up the whole page by the time we get to Thanksgiving Day. It was simple and the kids enjoyed participating so I call this one a success!
I grew up with a mom who really knew how to do it right! She could visualize a costume, find some stuff at a thrift store and scavenge around the house to put together an awesome homemade Halloween costume. I have never worn a purchased Halloween costume & I loved that. As a kid, I wasn’t always aware of everything that went into it (I’m sure it was a lot!), but I always loved the results. I wanted to give that same thing to my kids, but I don’t sew as well as my mom and her creativity gene didn’t quite transfer to me. But so far, so good & with some inspiration from Pinterest & facebook friends, I managed to pull together some costumes this year. I call them semi-homemade since I did purchase some things; but I put it all together without buying the whole thing in a package. So, here’s all the kids dressed up for our Trunk-or-Treat at the church last weekend. Landon’s costume is missing the vest that I just didn’t finish in time but should be ready for Halloween tomorrow.
Back in my college years, I was great at getting up early. I would stay up late studying or hanging out with friends and get up early to get to all the early morning classes in my full schedule. When the schedules worked in my favor, I could be done with my full-time course load by 10:30am by starting with those early classes. These days, age is catching up with me and its much harder to get up in the morning. I hate my alarm when it goes off at 5:00am but one hour later, and for the rest of the day, I love that 5:00 wake up call.
I don’t know about you, but my kids are what I consider “early risers”. They’re up and asking for breakfast as early as 6:00, though sometimes they’ll sleep in all the way to 6:30. The worst way to start my day that can leave me grumpy ALL DAY LONG is waking up to energetic kids who want breakfast NOW while the twins are also crying to get up & be fed. Starting my day at 5:00am allows me to get a workout in before the kids get up, which also helps me wake up and clear my mind to be focused and ready for the day before anyone else is demanding my attention. Its 5:58am and I hear the first one up & at ’em right now . . . time to get on with my day!