Saturday, July 30, 2011
Today we took the kids to their first movie theater movie. I've been waiting for just the right one and Winnie-the-Pooh seemed to fit my criteria. First, it had to be a movie I actually wanted to see (selfish little bugger, aren't I?). Second, and this is huge, I had to be 100% confident the material was appropriate for both my kiddos, a four year old and a two year old. My opinion is that the huge screen combined with the volume and the dark room (possibly filled with strangers) add a lot of impact that is unnecessary for young kids. So something a little scary, or a little coarse just gets kicked up too many notches for my comfort. But c'mon...what could be wrong with Pooh??? Well, nothing was wrong with Pooh, it was just that I took a two year old with me. Clearly something is wrong with me!!
Miss M loved it from the first pre-view on (make mental note, don't go early enough to watch the pre-views, they add a lot of time and scenes from movies I may not want them to watch). She sat beautifully, until the very end when she just couldn't resist joining her brothers antics. She laughed, she smiled and at the end she wept...yes, full on dramatic weeping because the red balloon, in her mind, got lost.
JB liked the short cartoon before the movie and about 5 minutes of the movie. Then he preferred to play with the seats--ALL of them--he went row to row to row. Thankfully there were only four other people in the theater and they were in the top row, two of them were young children and they appeared about as interested in the movie as JB. After we tried ALL the seats he got quite interested in the little lights along the floor. He thought they were fireflies I think, he wanted to catch them, then he wanted to step on EVERY one. Prince Charming ran out and got some pretzel bites at one point, that quieted JB down for about 10 minutes, than back up he went. He roamed the 'countryside', catching glimpses here and there of Pooh, or more often Tigger. I think Tigger and JB are like minded and he seemed drawn to the screen every time he appeared! They both like to bounce, they both get themselves in sticky situations, they both make up words, they both think they are the funniest thing ever and they are both extremely lovable!!
It was still a great morning, Miss M really loved it and Prince Charming and I got a kick out of the movie. It is certainly no blockbuster, but it's a sweet story filled with characters we love. They added just enough to keep adults from resorting to playing Words with Friends on their iphones.
I have the ticket stubs saved for the scrap books that I'm not making. I think the next one we go to will either be in about four years, or it will just be Miss M. JB isn't much of a sitter...but he's so lovable anyway :)
Friday, July 29, 2011
So I've decided to begin the process of redecorating my living/dining/play room area. I'm really considering a big change, from my country roots to a more pottery barnish motif. I'm so NOT a designer and I really might literally have ten cents to do this with. So, first I want to start with color. I'm thinking of something bold on one statement wall. I think it should be the wall my TV is on, Prince Charming agrees. My color thoughts are either dark blue but not quite navy, or dark red/burgandy. But then what color do I do the rest of the walls? Leave them tan or brighten them up a bit with more of a white tone?
The next problem is my kitchen--it's green. My place is so small and so connected that I'm wondering if I'll need to repaint the kitchen. Maybe it would look nice if the kitchen were a color from the same family as the statement wall like light blue or salmon/pink (okay, I don't want a salmon/pink kitchen, that's definitely out!!)
If we had the money we'd get the floors redone too...the carpet is nasty. Hardwood would be awesome but until I get my Publishers Clearing House Check, that's a no go!
So back to the living/dining/play room. After I settle on color and actually get it painted (that should take Prince Charming about 6 1/2 years) I have big dreams for what I want to put on the walls. A picture collage, the letter M, some of the kids artwork framed, etc. I also want to find some good containers to put on my shelf unit to hide all the crap...any suggestions of where I can find cheap cool containers...maybe wicker or fabric or a combo of the two.
Listen, I really just need one of you to come over and do this for me so it looks cool. Any takers? We always have ice cream and sprinkles ready?!?!?!
Thursday, July 28, 2011
I love to make a giant salad for lunch! I throw everything in but the kitchen sink and I've learned a little about what I really like and what I really don't like. First, I really like iceberg lettuce! I know it's like the red-headed step child of the lettuce family, but I love the crispness of it. I also like spinach, but that requires a whole different set of fixins in my eyes, so I stick with the iceberg. Second, about a year ago I stopped using all salad dressing and just use oil and vinegar. It is fun to try different vinegars, balsamic is my favorite but raspberry is a close second! A good oil and vinegar and some salt and pepper and I don't miss the creamy, fat and calorie laden stuff at all!
Fixins...the best part...I like something sweet, something crunchy, something tangy, a little protein and then whatever veggies are laying around! For sweet I prefer grapes, blueberries, strawberries, craisins and raisins (not all at once mind you, I usually pick one). For crunch I love to add nuts, slivered almonds are usually what I have but I love pecans and walnuts too! I stay away from croutons, I like them, they just don't seem as healthy! Every once in a while I have sunflower seeds, they work too! Tangy...now this is my tangy, you might like something "stronger"...green apple, pomegranate, feta cheese, or on a low supply day...the vinegar is enough! A little protien might be cheese, a hard-boiled egg, some slices of pepperoni, diced up ham or chicken or turkey from dinner the night before, whatever. Once I diced up a hotdog and put it on my salad...I actually loved it...I do love me some hotdogs :) Then I add whatever veggies are literally laying around, you know, leftovers or ones bought specifically for lunch. The other night we had asparagas for dinner so I threw the left overs in my salad the next day. Dee-lish!
Today's salad was iceberg, feta cheese, slivered almonds, grapes, shredded carrot, and leftover peas from dinner last night! Filling and yummy...I finished the meal off with a granola bar and my tummy is full, my taste buds are happy, and my fiber intake should keep me...well, you know!
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
We had plans to go to a friends house, with some other moms, and swim and play and eat. Sounds great, right? Well after about 10 time outs, 3 spankins', a stint in the crib until the belly-aching stopped, and overall general crabiness...I revoked the trip to a friend's house. I haven't done that in a LONG time, but I just couldn't justify how they were behaving with fun all afternoon with friends. Although I knew if we went they would behave fine there and I would have a great time, it seemed like the right thing to do. Ugh...I hate when the right thing is the yucky thing!!!
So I stuck to my guns and we stayed in. There have been speeches on and off all day about appropriate ways to show anger, how to sit properly in time-out, the theory of first time obedience and general "why can't you just behave" comments!
I ended up making some fresh orange playdoh, we had to do something and I just lost all my existing playdoh for a display at church (yes, check out the flowers in the basket on the WM table ladies...purple and green playdoh). This seemed to be the turn around they needed, we played all together on the kitchen floor and made cookies, pies, snakes, balls and smiley faces. Everyone played nicely and went from there to the happy, mostly obedient children I know and love.
I was so impressed with the turn around we tried a run to the grocery store...success!!! No major meltdowns, nobody ran away, and nobody snuck anything in the cart I didn't have on the list (wait, that usually happens when Prince Charming joins us!!!).
Now they are waking up from nice long naps, seem to have happy hearts and are ready to conquer the rest of their day. I think we'll try going outside and see how they do. Maybe the hard thing, the boring thing, the yucky thing really did work :)
If all continues to go well, tonight for dessert we'll have ice cream--with sprinkles!!!
Monday, July 25, 2011
First I put water in an ice cube tray, added about 6-8 drops of food color (I wanted clear, vibrant colors this time!), covered it with saran wrap then stuck a toothpick into each one. They've been sitting in the freezer for weeks now, Prince Charming kept asking what they were for, I think he was glad it wasn't for dinner!!!
Sunday afternoon, after nap, I was feeling especially energetic and Prince Charming was hoping for another hour or so of sleep so out we went...in the heat...
In case you're worried about the colored hands...when they washed their hands after we finished they were still pretty colorful, but after baths last night, the color was completely gone. No harm, no foul...cool, free fun! Give it a try :)
Friday, July 22, 2011
Today's list is: The "Shoot me if I ever behave that way" Parenting List
Here are my current, before this morning, top 3, in random order:
1. Parents that talk on the phone while thier kid is beating someone up on the playground. (A friend and I often joke, when will we be at the point we don't have to watch our kids at the playground and can talk on phone, email, do make-up, read a book, etc? Hasn't happened yet!)
2. Parents that count to 2,543 in the grocery store while little Billy dismantles a display. (I'm being kind here, usually Billy is doing something way beyond dismantling a display)
3. Parents that do their kids homework for them and then pass it off as "yes, my first grader CAN write a 2 page synopsis of Frog and Toad are Friends all by themselves even though you just asked them to draw their favorite scene" (oops...that one crept in from my teaching years, sorry)
Today I took Miss M and JB for a haircut. This sweltering heat pushed me over the top, they both had pretty good mops going. I just hate spending that much money on their hair...gotta get a tutorial from a friend on cutting it myself! When we arrived there was a young boy, I learned later he was four, getting his hair cut. He was acting like a crazy lunatic, now I recognize this behavior because at any given moment my children can behave the same way! Here is the difference: I am mortified when my kids act like that, as a result I do all sorts of things to stop the behavior, last resort sometimes being pack 'em up and take 'em home! Not the momma I observed today, she sat in her little plastic folding chair and read the latest news in People magazine. Never even looked up! The kid was literally hysterical, the hairdresser was completely flustered and I really thought at one point he was going to lose a finger to the scissors because he wouldn't keep his hands out of his hair! Apparently the situation between Jennifer Lopez and her now ex-husband Marc Anthony is soooooo riveting you can't take care of your child!
I really was floored, my kids, particularly my princess, can be difficult. There are times I would love to ignore her and act like I have no idea whose child she is. But that's not how it works, she is mine, I love her and I have to deal with icky situations some times! (remember back to our last day of Kidz Kamp!?!?!?) I hope they gave that hairdresser a BIG tip!
And by the way, the new haircuts look great! God gave me two cuties for sure :)
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
We started Monday with love. We brainstormed people we love and things we love. Miss M got real into this, JB offered only a few things (baby Trey and Nanook to be exact). Then we went over a simple Bible verse. Finally, we prayed that we would be more loving. As the day went on we talked more about what it means to be loving, and I set up a little jar with marbles. Everytime I see either one show love I drop a marble in the jar. When it gets all filled up we'll go do something we love, swim at Grandmom's pool!!
I made a fruit for each Fruit of the Spirit. This is the part I stole from Kelly. I next need to make a tree of some sort so we can display what we're learning as a visual reminder!
While I'm taking pictures, I thought I'd show you my four other favorite devotionals I use with the kids. Here's a brief note about each of them:
I've written enough! Hope maybe someone will see this and check one of these resources out. When thinking about family devotions the most important thing I've learned for my family is to set realistic goals and have age appropriate activities. My kids usually love these times, unlike my own growing up years, when I rolled my eyes if my Mom got out the old Bible Encyclopedia things they probably spent a mint on!!!
Sunday, July 17, 2011
I found the idea for sidewalk chalk paint on quite a few blogs I follow. They all had the same basic recipe: 1/4 c. cornstarch, 1/4 c. water, 6-8 drops food coloring.
We decided to just try two colors for starters...Miss M picked pink, I picked blue for JB...so stereotypical aren't I?
Then the painting began! The kids were happy to paint, although real brushes would have worked much better than the sponges. The sidewalk ate them up...oh well, thankfully they were 20 for $1 at Michael's at the beginning of the summer.
When it dried, it looked just like sidewalk chalk, just lots of it! Nice and bright too! The upside of this activity is it's cheap, it's fun, and it lets your child show off his/her creativity! The downside is that you are using food coloring...so when the two year old takes the brush and hurls it at his sister, the blue "paint" is up and down her arm to stay. The other downside I'm slightly concerned about is staining the sidewalk. If you were on blacktop, it might not be as noticeable. We, however, were on our sidewalk, you know, the one the association owns. Oops! I'm sure after a few rains it will come off...what's that, we're headed into a heat wave with no chance of rain for over a week!?!? Oh well, I'll expect a letter from the association, I'll pay the fine and I'll send them a bottle of sprinkles to go with it :)
UPDATE: I gave the kids a bath and all the food coloring came off...hopefully the sidewalk will be as forgiving as their skin :) Maybe a little boiling water tomorrow will help!?!?
Friday, July 15, 2011
I week of Kidz Kamp is over, it was great. But we left with Miss M screaming "no, I don't want to go home" and sticking her tongue out at various adults that tried to console her. This after a week of hearing stories about her behavior, stories I need to hear, but that start to weigh heavily on my heart!
My precious girl, you will grow up to be such a strong woman. I pray that you learn to love Jesus early and fiercely so you can use your energy to be HIS warrior!!
Thursday, July 14, 2011
1. I'm exhausted
2. My kids are exhausted
3. The preschoolers and the Kindergarteners are the only ones still full of energy.
4. The snack today was "trail mix" as opposed to some elaborate theme related concoction like blue jello with gummy fish.
5. The craft today was a frisbee...yup, a white frisbee, colored with markers. Or maybe it's a plate, no, I think it's a frisbee. No three step photo project, no gluing, ironing or general mess making.
6. The opening program lasted what seems to be about 3 minutes...I know this because the first group was at my station 15 minutes early...that is a lot of time to fill :) Thankfully one of my teammates is a techy and has all sorts of songs/videos/stuff on her computer to fill time!
7. The teaching team decided to do the same exact thing 6 times, instead of mixing it up for every grade (we tried to still keep it age appropriate but the skit was the same all 6 times)
8. I saw some of the decorations falling off the wall...whether on their own or with help...even the decorations are tired!
9. The mad rush is on to teach the kids the words to the songs so that they look like they learned something when the parents come tomorrow!
10. Numbers are going down! The kids are getting tired and mommy's aren't going to force them to come. Secretly, I think the preschool leaders are thrilled to be down to 52 compared to 77!!!
11. Did I mention, I'm exhausted???
None of these are criticisms, they are simply the way it goes after a week of careful planning, lots of prayer and high energy. We start to slow down...it's natural. Tomorrow will be a great day of celebrating a fun week! I'm sure the kids will come back tomorrow full of energy, ready to sing, craft, learn, dance and whiz down that waterslide! Hopefully the spiritual impact of the week will last longer than the buzz of such great fun!!
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
On the ride home a headache overcame me, the likes of which I have never experienced. I got the kids in and to bed, layed down and woke up to JB screaming "mommy, mommy now now now"As I lifted my head off the pillow I knew I was in trouble!
Both kids were now up and the headache had gone from terrible to unbearable...I even got sick to my stomach. So of course, I called Prince Charming to see if he could come rescue me. Not so much. What's a girl to do I ask you!?!? Well this girl turned on a Tinker Bell movie, sat the kids in front of the tube and slept for an hour and 1/2 more. I woke up feeling only slightly better, but Prince Charming really came through! He got home, cooked dinner and totally cleaned up the kitchen (it had a good day and half worth of dishes I like to blame on Kidz Kamp in the sink). Then, and this is adorable, he cut up an entire watermelon, layed bath towels down on the living room floor and had a watermelon picnic with the kids before bed! They loved the watermelon, the picnic and time with Daddy. By then I was feeling a little better and was able to indulge in a piece or two myself.
Somedays just don't go as I have planned, but I'm glad for my Prince Charming and his sweet way of being Daddy :)
Monday, July 11, 2011
In addition to today being the first day of Kidz Kamp it is also the first day of another adventure I am embarking on! Months ago my friend Tiff told me about a website called http://momstoolbox.com, I have mentioned it before as a great tool for doing personal devotions. They started a new challenge today and I have signed on. I am going to try and read the Bible in 90 days...start today and finish in October. I've tried to start it up twice and get lost about two weeks in.
This time I signed up on the website and it is really cool. I have a mentor who I can email with and you have to check-in every Monday to let them know your progress. I need this accountability and I am hopeful that I can accomplish this task.
Why read the Bible in 90 days? For me, I think I'm looking forward to the continuity of reading it all at once, rather than just reading here and there, or over a year. I like to look at God's word as the story of Jesus and his sacrifical love for us. The Old Testament may not be specifically about him but the history that is spoken of can still point to my Savior and encourage me in my walk with Him.
So, after a long morning of VBS I now must sit down and read. I'm looking forward to getting started, and seeing what God is going to teach me through this challenge. Anyone want to join me???
Sunday, July 10, 2011
This is going to be a great week. It's VBS :) That's Vacation Bible School, in case you live under a rock. I have such great memories of VBS, I mean really terrific! It's why I try and help out every year, it is worth it to put in the time and effort to give children happy, lasting memories that hopefully will impact them for eternity! Truth is, I know whole families that have come to know Jesus as their personal Savior because of the ministry of VBS at various churches.
A few things have changed since my childhood...here are some highlights:
1. When I went it was called DVBS, Daily Vacation Bible School. It lasted two weeks and it was always first thing in the morning.
NOW, at our church it is called Kidz Kamp, it's one week and it's still first thing in the morning. I have real issues with the name, the teacher in me just really hates that we are spelling it wrong. Why do we want to teach kids the wrong thing? And, in true church fashion, we changed it from VBS to Kidz Kamp to make it more non-church friendly. Really??? Everyone in the country knows what VBS is...what in the world is Kidz Kamp with K's and Z's??? I digress...
2. When I went we had snack every day, two pretzels and a dixie cup of red bug juice. On Fridays we got old fashioned snow cones. You remember them right? You picked a flavor and they squirted it onto the shaved ice held in a paper cone. Fab-u-lous!
NOW, at most churches, the snacks are very involved and somehow match whatever the cute theme for the year is. For example, for beach week, they might get blue jello cups with gummy fish floating inside. This is adorable, put probably goes completely unappreciated by young children.
3. When I went game time meant tag in the parking lot, around the big tree. I'm not really even sure if anyone was in charge, we just ran amok and tried to stay within the boundaries marked by metal folding chairs.
NOW, recreation time is again, very closely linked to the cute theme. Games are varied by age group and require all kinds of gear and creative thinking. This is a highlight for many a child, and I suppose a low point for those that really hate gym class!
4. An addition I saw start a few years back is a Science session each day. This is wonderful, the kids usually love it, if the teachers can make it interactive enough, and they might really learn something cool about Science in addition to learning that Jesus loves them and died on the cross for their sins!
5.. When I went closing program was the last Friday night. Everyone came, probably dressed up since I went to Baptist Church, and each grade got up front, said a few Bible Verses and sang a few songs. The youth pastor usually preached a mini-sermon, than we went downstairs and had more pretzels and red bug juice (cookies were added eventually). All of our crafts would be laying out for everyone to see and we all just ran around the gym like crazy people hopped up on red bug juice!
NOW, and this is a HUGE improvement, we have a picnic the last Friday. It's a lot of work, but well worth it I think. Parents come at regular pick up time, hear the kids sing a song or two, then hear a brief synopsis of the week and then they go outside for hotdogs and chips and a fun carnival like atmosphere. Rumor has it that we even have an inflatable water slide coming this year!!! Dare to dream :)
The other basic foundations of VBS are the same, great music, silly skits, interactive stories, Bible memory, prizes, bring a friend, and basically a week of sheer bliss! I'm exhausted just thinking about it. If you're reading this and are of the praying sort, pray for me this week as I teach the Bible lesson each day to preK, Kinder and 1st grade. And if you live in the area, send your kids on over to SonSurf Beach Bash!
ps the opinions in this blog are just that, my opinions! I'm sure there are plenty of people who love that we call it Kidz Kamp. I know the person that thought of it loves kids and loves to see them grow in their relationship with Jesus. She is more creative than I and probably a lot less critical too :)
Friday, July 1, 2011
It all started yesterday. I took the kids to Tanner's and the grocery store and came home ready to blog. You see, while we were driving to Tanner's Miss M informed me that she was Tiger Lily and JB was actually Captain Hook (we're a bit obsessed with Peter Pan this week). From that point on I was corrected any time I used their birth names. At the grocery store I put them in the cart with the car in the front for them to sit it. I HATE those carts, but I only needed about 5 things and I knew they would be completely thrilled to sit in the car. They carried on their Peter Pan theme with JB shouting ARG! to everyone passing by, he also stuck his fist out with one finger curling around like a hook. I thought it was hysterical, most of the people he "addressed" had no idea what was going on. Miss M, I mean Tiger Lily, kept asking where they kept the pixie dust.
So, I came home, got the kids fed and down for naps, and was ready to blog. Then I got the bright idea that it was beautifully cool and sunny and I should open the windows in my bedroom. The rest of the house was already opened up, our bedroom is a bit of a mess and opening the windows meant quite a lot of effort. We rarely open these windows, so after much strain, first one went up, blinds up, sun shining in!! Was I happy? No, I had to open both windows. Proceed to next window, pull up the blinds...CRASH, BANG, dust flying, I am now holding the entire aparatus of mini blinds...the whole thing landed on me. The noise it made and the noise I made were nothing compared to the filth that was on these blinds! I have NEVER cleaned them...I'm gross, I know. I wipe down the ones in the rooms people see, but c'mon, who cleans their bedroom blinds??? Well I do now! The amount of dust and muck was apalling so I put them in the bathtub and scrubbed them until they were white again (I actually had assumed they were almond colored...nope, white). Today I woke up and did the other windows worth and attempted the kitchen. I couldn't get those down, I'll try again tonight when Prince Charming is home. I now intend to clean them all, in the tub with dish soap. It's time consuming, a bit messy, and slightly dangerous...but it's making me happy and motivating me to clean other things I never touch.
So have fun doing all sorts of holiday things this weekend, as for me and my house, we're cleaning mini-blinds! :)