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Thursday, February 10, 2011

Camp Jeffries or Peanut's Playhouse?

I am on a new mission!  To write daily about the goings on in our house. 

Today was yet another snow day.  Blah.  I have given up on any thoughts of playing outdoors, building snowmen, having snowball fights, laying on the ground and making snow angels...you get the picture.  All it meant to me today was I couldn't get one single thing done on my to do list and I had to ask for one more extension on a side job I've been trying to get done.  Sigh. 

However, on a lighter note, I actually had a couple of things planned for the kids to make the day pass a little easier!  First, we made chocolate covered bananas.  Yummmm...




So, I was a little nervous about how this was going to work.  Or not work.  I could type up the boring details, or just show off the pictures!!







Yay!!  The chocolate covered bananas were a hit and there was way less mess than I was anticipating.  It was a fun snack we will be repeating, for sure.

Moving on...after all our snacking, we needed some exercise!  The kids have told me many times how much they love to do exercises.  We have tried finding videos on YouTube, but they are super cheesy and we all lose interest really fast.  So, anyway, we held a little gymnastics class.  Pictures, of course...   (guess who got a new camera this weekend??)










As you can see, headstands and somersaults were the main focus.  Conner is quite good at cartwheels, but I didn't capture any of those moments!  I have saved two pictures for the last...

First, Conner kept flipping too fast for me to catch him in a cool headstand, but then I actually got it and I think this is a great picture!!

How fun?!?  Love that Zoe is laying on the floor.  That girl got worn out from all the upside-down-ness. 

Now, for the finale.  Henry was cracking me up.  It is hard enough to try to describe to someone HOW to do a headstand.  Now, make that "someone" a 3-year old with hearing problems (genetic from his dad...I believe that call it "selective hearing"? HA)...well, I was trying.  He was trying.  It was very sweet.  Finally, I got him to put his head on the ground and I said, "Yes!  Now put your legs up in the air!"  Here is what happened...


Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha.

We had a great day.  Here's to a great tomorrow...another. snow. day. Sigh.

Talk soon!!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Some New Things

I have had a busy few days...maybe even weeks!  I have been doing a lot of praying about my life as a stay at home mom.  I have come to the realization that I truly haven't embraced my "role" over the past year and a half.  It breaks my heart to think I have wasted so much time longing for things to be different!  However, I guess it's better to realize late than never.  So, I have decided I am going to truly live in the moment with my kids.  Be there with them fully, rather than just physically and mentally dreaming of what else I could do with my life.  The industry I came out of is not going to change no matter if I am working in it or not, so why would I waste time trying to figure out a way to get back in when it would really make NO difference?  Staying home with my children is a way to make a difference in at least four lives and countless others they will go on to influence!  Instead of brainstorming different jobs I could try to land, I have been thinking of new ways to "teach" my children.  I have never claimed to be any sort of teacher...I find it very difficult to understand why everyone can't just do the things I can.  If I show you how to do something once, I don't comprehend the fact I may have to show you again.  It's a flaw, for sure.  With this in mind, I tried to think "outside the box".  Using things we do everyday already as the base for repetition which can lead to learning...here's a couple things I have come up with.

1.  I have made menus with pictures and words describing options the kids have.  I have a breakfast, snack, lunch, and drink menus.  Each one has a picture of the option with the words printed below it.  I made these Friday night and began with the kids Saturday morning.  It has gone very well so far!  I read the words to the kids and they, of course, recognized the pictures.  My plan is to have out the one they are allowed to choose from.  The breakfast one will come out first thing in the morning, obviously, but I would like to ONLY have the snack menu out throughout the day.  When it comes close to lunch time, they can choose from the lunch menu, then switch back to the snack menu.  I feel like I am accomplishing many different things with this technique.  For one, the kids get to SEE all of their options before choosing.  Some days I have asked the kids what they want for breakfast and received a few answers.  When I make the bowl of cereal for one and then turn around and make eggs for another, cereal chooser inevitably will change his mind to eggs!  This way, they are seeing all of the options and can make their choices based on the human stomach/mind connection.  Or whatever.  I realize there are moms out there who make one thing and the kids need to eat it, but this is what works for us.  I don't mind making four different dishes...if it keeps them from crying!  I do get annoyed, however, when I make something and it doesn't get eaten.  Mainly because then I find myself eating it.  Ha!  This is also teaching them to read!  Taking the guess work out of my grocery shopping is another benefit.  I can just use these as a basis for items I always want to keep in the house.  Breakfast menu has 5 options, snack has 6 options, lunch has 5 options, and the drink menu has 4.  This brings me to my next idea...

2.  I will be cutting out shapes from the boxes/bags of items I buy regularly.  These things will all be in uniform shapes to create "flash cards" we will take to the grocery store and whichever child is with me, will be able to match the cards with the products we need!  I am quite tired of having to distract the kids with food while we go through the store.  Also, sometimes I will let them get their own cart and then just have to weed through the things at the checkout to make sure nothing slips by that wasn't actually on the list.  It will get the kids involved with their own tasks, and, hopefully, keep them from being distracted by cookies and candies they feel they MUST have! 

As I said, these are just a couple of things I have thought of so far.  I have a dear friend who is going to come over and help us in a couple of weeks to build a garden and begin planting some veggies and herbs.  I do not have a green thumb (more like black!), so I stressed to her the importance of very hardy plants!  I will be teaching the kids "cooking" on a weekly basis.  I plan to frequent the zoo lots once the weather starts cooperating, and I even have an idea to start a monthly storytime here at our house!  We have set up some play dates with some new friends and those have been going very well. 

I feel really good about the role God has placed me in.  A good friend reminded me today how I used to say, "I could NEVER stay home with all my kids!"  Be careful when you challenge God with things you don't think you can do.  It hasn't been a completely smooth road to get to this place, but I'm very happy today and I think I may just have parts of this mom thing figured out.  Do note, I said "parts"...probably should have even made the font smaller.  I know I have a longer road ahead with the twists and turns of childhood leading into tweenhood and then teenage years?  OMG.  I think I'll just stick with thinking about today and maybe a little about tomorrow.  Next week can wait. 

Talk soon!