Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Just for Fun

Well, you know, I try to keep things "fresh". The tv can be an enticing friend for me and my two little men but keeping the home life 'spicy'...maybe that's not what I was going for, keeping things more engaging than Diego and updating my worldly opinions is fun to do. I want Grady and Porter to have a good relationship with each other and a large selection of good memories with me because why not? Too many reasons.
Here are some crafts that we did. Porter is more in the crafting age. Grady is more in the coloring on the wall stage so there are pictures of Porter doing crafts and none of Grady napping during this time. ;)

I took light corn syrup and separated it into different glasses. Each glass was a different color and got about 10 drops of food coloring. You let it dry for a day and then it turns into this cool, shiny, plastic looking art work.
Spring doesn't really have a distinctive menu but Summer, Fall, and Winter can. Everyone has heartwarming memories of seasonal foods. For example, fall is all about pumpkin everything, squash and turkey. Winter could be about Christmas baking, cranberries, nuts, and warm drinks. Summer is watermelon, corn, blueberries, divine peaches, etc. We wanted to have some summer food lovin'. This is a smore chocolate milkshake! We had Lane's brother's family over for dinner and this was dessert. It is essentially a chocolate ice cream milkshake, garnished with crushed graham cruckers, chocolate chips, toasted mini marshmellows (done in the oven on a baking sheet with tin foil and pam) and though it is not pictured in this beauty, we added a two piece chunk of a jersey milk chocolate bar. Summer drink perfection.

This was Lane's father's day gift. He is a hero in our home and in his work life. It came in this box and then he opened it up to his favorite treats, labeled with the supernatural abilities each product provided. They're real by the way.

I can't help it, this present makes me smile every time I glance at it. I made this for Porter's kindergarten teacher as an end of the year present. I just added a bow and Porter gave it to her. All of the Mom's came over to get a look, telling me how beautiful it was, how touching, just amazing, etc. I should've said, 'no, no, it's nothing really. You're too kind', but I had a smile from ear to ear and just accepted the praise. I didn't expect the response because I've seen this project around before but nobody else in Porter's class had seen anything like it. It was a hit and though Lane mocked me a little, it was fun to soak up the praise.

I was asked to teach a class on container gardening this spring. I don't know a thing about container gardening (let alone gardening. It's amazing how chores like weeding are somehow blocked out) but I love doing research so I put together a four page user friendly handout, with some cool pictures, easy tips, and step by step processes. I became converted to it in the process of researching about it. With all of the knowledge we can acquire on any kind of broad subject base, in the end, what does it matter if there's an emergency and we don't even have the basic knowledge on how to feed ourselves? It's easy to get involved with as an individual or family and you can use any space, big or small. This is how I got Porter involved. I bought him a pot he could decorate and he could choose what to be planted. It was his responsibility to water it and take of it.
That's all for now. I really enjoy enriching my kid's lives, my life, my family's life with things that add just a little more joy to the regular Alphaghetti and bill paying.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

To My Little Man

I am having a difficult time coming to terms with Porter going into Gr. 1. There are some superficial reasons and some emotional, love inspired reasons. As for superficial, I do not want to take away my 6 year streak AND hard trained work of having children who sleep in gone to waste. I'm sorry but school starting at 8:30 am is still sleepy, sleepy time for me. This need to sleep in the am, I believe has been years of conditioning since my own infancy. My mother was a single Mom when I was a baby and we slept in and slept together. I picture a cozy team. Then my Mom put me in afternoon kindergarten...strategically for sleeping in. Habits of staying up late and waking up at the last minute remained my entire life even through university (I only had one class that ever started before 9 am). Don't think I am lazy, just don't even tantalize that idea. I work hard until the wee hours at night. It's hard to change a lifestyle from the pm to the am and honestly I have not put forth a reasonable effort to conquer it. What desire would I have to wake up earlier anyway? I taught my children the same thing, the only thing poor ol'me ever knew.
Second superficial reason: rush hour traffic. This is short and self explanatory. Makes me shudder with disgust.
Here's my love inspired reasons for not wanting to part with Porter to a stranger (also known as teacher) who does not love him nearly as much as I do, who tries to have his best interests at heart but can't possibly know him as well with 20 other 6 year olds competing for their attention and a salary with thank you cards for every special holiday behind it all. You start kindergarten knowing your child needs it and is ready though you have to internalize the idea your child is growing up and reaching new milestones. On the other hand, Gr. 1 is 8 hours out of the day where I have no influence or ability to teach principles that are important and valuable to my own child. I don't think people can really appreciate this unless you're going through it. At one point their babies, next they're toddlers (glorified babies), directly after that they are 4 and five and starting school. They are too young to be away from their home for the majority of their day. Porter will come home to homework, supper and sleep.
With a gospel perspective my Aunt once pointed out to me that we have the responsibility and possibility of having our homes a place where the Spirit can dwell. Outside of our home, we cannot control the things that are seen or heard. That is where temptation and harmful influences lie, BUT not in our homes. She counseled me that once my children are in school for 8 hours a day and then have extracurricular activities, friends and whatever else comes their to pull on their time, so theoretically 8-10 hours a day, starting from the age of 6, they are out in the world on Satan's time. What will I do with the two hours of time I have with them at home? What are the things I will say or teach or how will I behave to make our home distinctly different from what they are exposed to outside of our home?
On top of that, he's not that old and developed and mature. He's still a small child that says hilarious things and is bluntly honest. There's no evolved conflict resolution with peers yet! He's still at the age where his blunt honesty can catch you off guard and then instantly develops into hilarity (fast forward another 6 years and it would be rude but now it's funny and true to a child).
To be realistic, there are days where I think, 'Okay, when is school starting?!' Porter and Grady together are dynamite (think of a literal picture). The options include with each other, to my house, to my nerves, etc. It's not skipping down the sidewalk with ice cream all the time but it's the love behind it that makes parenthood the great motivator through the difficult.
I DON'T WANT HIM TO GO. I am pregnant, low energy, sick, I used to be organized (in my own way) but now am scatter brained. I need to feel better and then have more time to enjoy. I'm not asking for the lottery win (although I'll take it if it's offered), I am just asking for time.
Here are some pictures of my awesome dude to show how creative and imaginative and completely awesome he is. Give him supplies and he makes his own fun. He's inspired by the things he sees and then creates it for himself.He watched a tv show that had a robot in it so he decided to make a costume and pretend to be a robot.

Experimenting with head gear.

He took pillows, blankets, and toy boxes to get the perfect angle. One of his favorite movies right now is called, 'Down and Derby'. It's all about a cub car derby. He was building a track to race his 'derby cars'. The only set back to his design was the blanket ramp had a little too much friction for accuracy or speed.

He made popsicle race car puppets! I know! He's a genius. If only I was good at playing pretend or coming up with puppet story lines. It really is a weak spot of mine.