Thursday, December 31, 2009

Kids-work? Huh?

Happy New Year!

New Years is all about Organizing and setting goals. I have also set a few goals for myself. One of those goals is to enjoy my kids more than I have in the recent past. I also have a deep desire to teach my children to be more organized and to clean up after themselves. How is it, you ask, that these two separate resolutions can be reconciled?

while scrolling through blogland I found these fun games to play with your kids. They reminded me of the love and logic theory that the way to teach kids about work is to make sure that in the beginning they have fun while they work. The more fun they have the more they realize that work is a good thing and not the horrible nightmare that they think it is at first. It's always nice to add a few more positive games to the arsenal of cleanup time.

I always used to say, "If you're not having fun being a parent then you're not doing it right." I really believed that at the time. Now, with a few more children under my belt and with those children growing up and becoming more independent and more opinionated I realize that sometimes parenting isn't fun. Sometimes to be a good parent you have to be tough and you aren't going to be their best friend. ---and that's ok. You just keep doing your best and you keep trying to overcome your own weaknesses.

That being said, a little more fun is never a bad thing. Doing things in a more positive way has got to be a good thing and being their best friend some of the time has definite benefits. So, take a look at the fun ideas and just maybe 2010 will be the year that your kids actually clean their rooms all by themselves--without even being asked or maybe they'll put their shoes in their closet instead of on the floor or they'll put the games back into the boxes they came in after they are done playing with them. Who knows, maybe your husband will too!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Simply Christmas

I think that my favorite part of Christmas time is helping the kids figure out what gift to make for each other. I usually help them come up with the ideas and I get to work with them to gather the material and then put it all together but most of the actual work is done by them. That is why I have to give them a little help in the idea department--helping them come up with something that is easy enough for them to make as well as something that the other person will hopefully love. I love watching them spend real TIME figuring out how to put something together and when I watch them open up the gifts from their siblings and see them smile and laugh and give great big hugs---my joy is full. (corny as that sounds) The only thing better is finding a gift that you KNOW someone will TOTALLY LOVE--and being able to surprise them with it.
Bear made this memory game for Bone and I personally think that it turned out adorably cute. She cut out cardboard cards from cereal boxes and then covered them with scrapbook paper. Then she decorated them with either stickers or her own artwork or pictures of our family. She also threw in a few pictures of some superheros because she knew that Bone would love it. She just made sure to make each pair of cards exactly the same. I think their are 42 cards in all. We played it today and it worked great-aside from the "it's-not-fair-that-she-has-more-matches-than-me" arguments.

Belle made this Cute pillowcase for Bear. She decorated it all freehand and I think it is going to be so cute for both her and her sister to look back and see her very own artwork. The only thing better would have been for her to make the pillowcase because then I would have felt like I was actually teaching her some real skills but...alas, I ran out of time and we'll have to save that for some other rainy day.

Belle decided to make Bone some Puzzles. She made a total of 5 different ones. Of course she had to include Spiderman. She picked out the pictures herself and we printed them onto some glossy photo paper. Then she sprayed adhesive onto several layers of cardstock. (a medium size cardboard would be better but we were all out and I had to make do with what I had.) She attached the picture to the cardboard and then I penciled on puzzle lines on the back of the picture. She was able to cut them out. We put each puzzle into a cute little homemade box and there you have it. The little boxes are so cute and easy--I'll have to do a quick little tutorial someday soon.

Last year Belle made Bear and Bone some cute little pillows so this year Bear decided that it was Belle's turn. She picked out the fabric and decided that a flower was the shape she wanted to try for. For anyone that knows Belle they would know that the fabric is just about perfect for her little personality and I think for the most part it turned out so cute. Bear used pot lids as her template for cutting out the fabric. I think Belle will love this little pillow for a good many years.

Drew-bones contribution came in the form of little piggy banks made out of spice containers. We originally got the idea from here. I, of course, helped Bone with the cutting of the lids but he did all of the picking of colors and cutting and taping. He was so cute--he knew exactly which colors Belle would want and which ones Bear would want. The girls loved them. They have already added their stash of money to them. I can't wait to use them to help teach the kids more about monetary responsibility.

We really had a nice Christmas. There seemed to be more of a feeling of gratitude this year. I hope that to some extent that is at least in part due to the giving of some gifts made by hand. My plan is to start earlier next year---of course that is the plan every year so I do wonder if it will happen or be just a happy dream. Oh well, I happen to like good dreams.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Party like it's 1969

My baby's turning 40

No---not this baby

This baby...

We had a party to celebrate the "over the hill" birthdays of both Jeff and our 40 and fabulous friend Sheryl.

Of course because they were born in 1969 we had to make it a retro 70's themed party

Duuuudddde-------------- Don't you just want to lay a big fat smacker on this hot guy!!!!

and check these sistahs out------talk about HOT---They are Smokin' Hot!

...Paco here really was a member of the disco dollies--just ask him.

Jimbo---I'd be surprised if you made love not war in that get-up. he he he he he

Can you say....

(I think I've got an ich)

The cookie man even made it into the white elephant gift exchange. We're so proud to be the new owners of Cookie Sutra. Combined with the "Git-R Done" picture of Jeff we all came out winners in that exchange. Can't wait to see that hangin' up at the Prestwichs.

Thanks guys for a groovy party...

...It was a gas!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

It's all about the Baby CD giveaway

I just entered the giveaway from Chocolate on my cranium for the Christmas CD. I love listening to good music and Christmas just doesn't seem like Christmas unless you have some Carols playing.

My favorite Christmas song as well as Jeff's is "God Bless Your Way" by Hillary Weeks. With her amazing voice and her uncanny talent for writing music that puts you right into the middle of the action this is one of those songs that we can listen to over and over. It is so visual and so real. That could be ME having to turn away that poor soul---or it could be ME that finds the room or the food or some small way to help.

The lyrics are as follows:

The dust was filling his sandals as he wandered his way through the streets.
Amazed at the flurry of people who had come to pay the king.
The night air grew crisp and chilly as the sun took its place in the west.
But the inn seemed warm and inviting and he needed somewhere to rest.
So he took a deep breath and got ready to knock.
when the door opened and before he could talk,She said,
“I have nothing to offer, oh I wish I could do something more.
I’ll be back in just a moment, wait here by the door.
All I have is this blanket. If you want it yours to take.
Good luck on your journey and God bless your way.”

He slipped into the crowd of travelers and he tried his best not to crywhen the glow of a flickering candle across the street caught his eye.
Through a window he watched as they gathered with their table meagerly spread.
And he wondered if this humble family could make room for one more head.
So he walked to the door as he let out a sigh,
when the question was asked the man softly replied,
“We have nothing to offer. Oh I wish we could do something more.
I’ll be back in just a moment if you’ll wait by the door.
All we have is this simple bread. If you want it it’s yours to take.
Good luck on your journey and God bless your way.”

Then he noticed the stable. He felt warm for the first time that night.
He went in and knelt by the manger. Drawn in by the glow of its light.
He gave the mother his blanket and the father the bread,
And his gift to the baby was a kiss on its head.
He said, “That’s all I have to offer. How I wish I could give you much more.
Your mother is kind and gentle, your father let me in the door.
They said you’re from heaven, and that you’ve been sent for my sake.
Good luck on your journey and God bless your way.”
God bless your way.

to enter for your chance to win the giveaway.
Thanks for the chance Cocoa!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

What the...

I wandered into the bathroom to uh...use the facilities and was greeted with this pleasant surprise. Ironically, I almost peed my pants laughing.

Evidently Andrew has become somewhat concerned with the cleanliness of the toilet.

Thanks for lookin' out for the welfare of the family Bones!