Saturday, November 21, 2009

Little Helper

I love that Ready to Go (21 mo) enjoys helping me in the kitchen. Whenever I'm cooking, she grabs her little chair and brings it right next to me so she can stand and help. I was cutting up vegetables to place in the crock pot and she gently placed her hand on top of mine while I cut. Then she placed the items in the pot to cook. I had to cut a little slower but the opportunity to teach her in the moment was worth it!

Quiet play

I did two quiet activities that the kids really enjoyed.

First, I played "What's Moving" with Ready to Go. I got the idea for this at Chasing Cheerios.
I was surprised at how much she enjoyed playing this game and remembered it the next day! It's very simple- just tie a string around an object and hide it under the blanket and then slowly pull it out. She loved peaking under the blanket to see the object.

The next activity helps develop hand coordination, concentration and exploration. I had a jar of old unused beans so I let Eager to Help and Ready to Go have at them. They sat on a mat (for easy clean-up) and I gave them two small bowls with various spoons to carry the beans from the jar to their cups. They requested a large bowl to make soup in. Eager to Help was calling out measurements! They enjoyed this for at least 30 min. and then we used a fun slotted spoon to pick up the extra beans off the mat.

I hope to post more quiet activities as I find them. I love finding things for them to do that helps them focus and slow down once and a while! If you have any ideas, I'd love to hear them!


In an effort to spruce up our front entrance my son and I put together this pumpkin display. I was afraid the pumpkins would begin to rot before I actually had time to do this. Fortunately we had some warm weather and I finally found all the right size pumpkins. So we went to work!

The idea and tutorial came from one of my favorite blogs girltalk.

I must say the hardest thing about this project was tracking down the various pumpkins! Once I had all my material, Eager to Help and I put it together in about 20 minutes while waiting for Mr. Active to come home from school. My son really had fun helping to saw off the stem, find the little nails and help stack the pumpkins.
Here is the full picture with our friendly scarecrows. I must admit, I'm ready to say goodbye to the scarecrows but it's so fun to see my little girl bend down and say "hi" to them everytime we enter the house! (Note to self- remember to carve our extra pumpkin before doing this project so Eager to Help doesn't remove that stem too!)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Do I need to repeat myself?

How many times did I say that this week?

I've been paying a lot of attention to my words lately. Psalm 19:14 says "Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer." I also read a great post here and added to my list Ephesians 4:29 "Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear."

Some of the questions that have come to mind as a result are:

How often do I try and communicate with someone in the other room?
Ask a question while looking in the other direction?
Apologize to someone without even facing him/her?
Carry on conversations in my own mind?
Bring up a hot topic conversation at the wrong time?
Choose words that I know will hurt the other person?
Talk more than I need to?

I have been guilty of all of these not just this week, but sadly more often then I care to count.

Some examples:
I’m trying to teach my 4 yo to listen to others.
Me: Sweetie, you just interrupted me.
4 yo: MOM, that’s because I was still talking!
Me- thinking to myself- well, he never stops!

Me: I’m telling my son something I think is very important.
Son: MOM, can you please be quiet because I’m trying to think!

Now shift gears- two conversations this week with hubby, right before going to bed.
Hubby- where do we stand on our finances? Did we pay that bill? How much do we have left?
Me: what? I’m falling asleep. Can we talk about this when I’m coherent?

So the next day we reviewed the bedtime guidelines- especially the rule- NO talking finances while in bed trying to sleep! (Well, we don’t have any bedtime guidelines, but if we did this rule would be right up there!)

NEXT night while lying in bed trying to sleep
Hubby: One thing we need to get together for taxes this year are those Home Depot receipts. Do you know where they are?
Me: What? Didn’t we just agree NO talking finances?
Hubby: Yeah, but this is tax related.
Me: Ok, no talking finances or TAXES while lying in bed.

Now, I had a few of those timely conversations with him too. He calls and lets me know he's leaving work to come home and I decide this is the best time to unload the "do you know what happened today?" or "guess what our son did?" Now I don't have time to give him a full story but just enough to raise his blood pressure all the ride home. How helpful!

I’ve also noticed how much time I waste rehearsing, thinking and retelling scenarios in my mind. I play out whole conversations thinking I can predict how the other person will respond.

It's no wonder the Bible tells us to "take every thought captive" 2 Cor. 10:5. So, first we must equip ourselves with God's word and meditate on it. Then we must guard our hearts and minds on what we think and say. And, finally, be intentional about saying things that will build up and give grace.

What better way to head into Thanksgiving than by building others up, saying encouraging words, and giving thanks!

Check out Company Girl Coffee over at Rachel Anne's Home Sanctuary. Have a great weekend!