Thinking, Playing, Reading

"It’s worth it. Family is worth the effort. We deal with the bumps in the road, we are quick to forgive and ask forgiveness — because this gift of family is worth the effort. What it takes to overcome hurts and let go of grievances, it’s the hard work that comes with the reward of some of the best friends you will ever have. Or at the very least, someone who will always have your back."

I know I've linked to Rachel quite a few times-she writes so beautifully and always with a touch of humor to keep it light and real. This post is on siblings and I thought in light of Thanksgiving around the corner, it makes great points.  If you are from a big family, did you ever dream of being an only child?  I think I did a few times.  Just ME and ALL THAT ATTENTION.  Ha!

Now raising a large family of my own, I see sibling relationships and their twists and turns and the beauty and the lessons. Sometimes I worry (two complete opposite personalities next to each other-will they ever get along? Or the coming and going of older siblings-how does little Janey make sense of it all?), and other times my worries evaporate and I witness the closeness and care that brings tears to my eyes. I hope they all get along as adults. That's all we want as parent right, just for them all to get along?  I remember my mom, when asked on Mother's Day, what she wanted, and she would say, "Just all be nice to each other."  Yes!

These last two weekends have been busier than usual for me, and I've noticed Janey has been a little whiny by Sunday night.  It's amazing how sitting down for a few minutes throughout the day to play and read with a little ones makes ALL the difference in the world in terms of their happiness and settled-ness. It's more important than ever coming up here on the holiday season.  On Monday morning I sat down and we went through a huge pile of books, and I felt us both breathe deeply and relax.

Sometimes I get so nostalgic for the days when I had more than just one little one here-especially when I look at some of the boy's toy's (Patrick's guys, that were Andrew's guys, and so on and so on) that aren't played with much anymore.  I remember my oldest three used to play with Beanie Babies all the time, creating homes for them and acting out stories.

I have been working on some of our Favorite Toy posts (with a teenager edition in the works also as requested, and some of my favorite things, which are super lame, like my new vacuum that didn't cost an arm or leg but makes my heart sing. :).

Here are a few of our favorite things on sale for the holidays:

Ours looks a little different than the one on sale, only because ours is 21 years old, and has been used so much the pegs practically slide right through.  This is a classic and toddlers (and preschoolers) love it.

These have been used so often, and every age (but mostly I think 10 and over?) has loved the Rubic's cube.  Andrew can solve it in under a minute and is quite proud of that fact.  I almost talked him into doing it for the reunion talent show. We recently had one that broke apart (someone was trying to fix the stickiness and couldn't get it back together) so this particular one is on a Christmas list.

These are 40% off!  My twelve year old was busy this weekend as more requests came in for bubble letter names.

Here are some Lego sets on sale, because you can never have too many Legos (or so I thought about 15 years, and 1,000,000 Lego pieces later.)
LEGO Star Wars TIE Advanced Prototype Toy-20% off-$31.99
LEGO City Police 60044 Mobile Police Unit-31% off-$30.99
LEGO Star Wars 75040 General Grievous' Wheel Bike-20%-$19.99
LEGO City Great Vehicles 60055 Monster Truck-17%off-$9.97

The Technics don't fall apart so easily:
LEGO Technic 42020 Twin-rotor Helicopter-60% off-$20.99

I just picked this one up and I'm so excited to start it. (I have been reading some non-fiction books that I've liked but I will talk about those later.)

Vanessa Diffenbaugh also wrote this book, which is one of my favorites. It is such a wonderful creative story-tender and disturbing and thought-provoking. I won't ever forget it.


  1. A pile of books and some quiet times soothes my soul too in a busy time! Love the gift links as I am determined to get the majority of my shopping done on line and in steady clips so I can wrap and prepare and plan at a saner pace. I feel the craziness starting to creep in with ads about black Friday and toy ads - makes me want to pull the tv plug out of the wall!! :) I never read Language of Flowers but I did read the new one and thought it was good. I heard the first was better so I really need to read that. Have you read A Man Named Ove? Loaded that charming story - very different but I loved it. These are now my favorite posts...like your old Ordinary Days posts. Can't wait for you gift idea posts and the vacuum suggestion!!

    1. Thank you! I will write that book on my list-I love getting suggestion. I am thinking Language of Flowers is better, but still enjoying Wings. I really want to be finished with all the "bustling", so I can have some peaceful quiet Advent days.

  2. just bought those markers for miss Nora's 4th birthday in 2 weeks. Thanks!!

  3. Loved this Sarah! Can't wait for your vacuum recommendation! I am on the hunt for a new one. The Language of Flowers is in of my very favorite books. I cried so hard when she left her baby alone in the room as a newborn. Unforgettable for sure! I am also going to add the Cube to my list of items to pick up for my older boys for Christmas. Thank you!!!

  4. Sarah - I love your posts about classic children's books. May I suggest you do a post about your favorite classic children's Christmas stories? Would love a few suggestions as I love reading holiday stories throughout late November and all of December. For the first time this week my kiddos and I have nothing to do and I can't wait to relax and read!

  5. I had to smile at your Mother's day gift suggestion of everyone getting along. When we were growing up and would ask my mom what she wanted for her birthday/Christmas/mother's day, she would usually say "just don't fight, and get along for the day." And we would reply, "NO, what do you REALLY want?" And now that I am a mother I have to think "Oh, she was serious!" :-)