Unrelated Incidents

Isaac got his temporary liscense. He passed the test. We tried to play a joke on Dad and act like Isaac didn't pass, but when we got home from the testing bureau Isaac failed miserably at our trick because he could not contain his smile. (If you think teaching your kids to tie their shoes, use the potty, or ride a two-wheeler is bad...holey shmokes, I had no idea how nerve racking this is!)

Matthew broke his wrist during his basketball game. Darn.
Don't you think ER's could come up with some special sort of point system for mothers like me, with lots of boys? Maybe at the end of the year we could add up our points, browse through a brightly colored catalog, and pick out a new grill, a point and shoot camera, or at least a nice kitchen appliance?

(See Andrew in the background, still traumatized by his last break, checking things out?  He was so worried about Matt...he told him, "Don't worry Matt, this means you will get so much candy!")


A Snowman Family



Playing with my kids is the most rewarding, behavior-changing (for both of us), calming activity. 

Sometimes I don't feel like it for sure.  Just like exercise and going outside on cold days.  But every time I do take that time to get on the ground and find something fun to do, they just love it. I go to sleep knowing that it was a good day...and I completed my mission. I love that feeling! 

And my kids respond to me playing with them...they are happier, and more centered and less whiny and more (not less!) apt to entertain themselves.  If a particular week is a tough one, (especially when I had 3 little ones), you know...one of those weeks when you feel like you are doing something "wrong"...you just don't know what yet and you are at Wit's End?  I  have found that if I make a conscious effort to PLAY with them both of our attitudes turn right around.  

It isn't about toys and activities as much as it's about attention-our children need our attention,free from distraction.


A January Craft: Cute Walnut Mice

I stole these from my mother last time I was home.  She doesn’t mind…we acquired them through a children’s craft bazaar about 30-so years ago…the kind where you went during school to buy your brother’s and sister’s presents for Christmas.  They really are Christmas ornaments but I love them for the winter months more.  They are hanging on a little tack on my kitchen window.  Aren’t they so cute?
They are cheap to make and relatively easy.
Here’s what you need:
096Walnuts (you must crack them carefully…my method: Use a nutcracker on one 1/2 of the shell…that part will break but you will be left with the other 1/2. )  Buy plenty…about 1/3 makes it through the cracking procedure properly.
String…any kind.  I used embroidery thread.
Cotton balls
Tiny black beads
Black thread and a little needle
Fabric scraps
Grey felt
A glue gun

Crack your walnuts like this:
013 Or make your daughter do it, like I did.  Scoop them out.

Cut a square (about 2”) out of a piece of fabric for the blanket part.
Cut a out a rectangular (about 1 1/2” x 3”) piece of felt.
Cut two little tiny ears and a long thin tail
Cut a piece of string to use for the hanger.170 I sewed my nose and eyes on because I am a TERRIBLE glue gunner.  It’s actually easier, I think to sew them on, and stitch up the underside of the face. (If you are a master glue gunner, go for it!) Place the nose in the middle at the very bottom of the rectangular piece and the eyes right above.  Stitch up the underside so it forms a cone shape.  Shove a little cotton from a cotton ball in the nose.
133 Use your glue gun and glue the tail, the ears and the string on the walnut: Fold over the back of the mouse’s head and put a quick stitch in…you may need to cut a little fabric off to make it fit in the walnut properly:124165166  Use your glue gun and glue that head in there…I just use a little bead of glue around the inside edge.
125Place a fluffed up cotton ball in the middle of the fabric “blankie” and wrap up like a ball:105Next, fit your fabric covered “blankie” cotton ball into the remaining space…glue the same way you did the head.171 139
Here’s Andrew’s…he insisted on making himself one using the glue gun…you know the ending of that story.  He loves it though, red mark on his finger and all.

Have Fun and Stay Warm!


A Winter Swing