Saturday, October 30, 2010

"What Do I Do With All of This Stuff??" New Series!

I thought I would do a little series of posts based on the theme, "What Do I Do With All of This Stuff?" This theme encompasses a wide variety of topics and I thought I could share some of my ideas with you and I hope that you will comment and share some of your ideas with me as well! It's Halloween weekend, so let's start with the kids' holiday crafts! (For those of you keeping track, this falls under the larger category of "Kids' Schoolwork" and the sub-category of "Kids' School Artwork...") I am a sentimental saver by nature. I mostly owe this to genetics and my grandmother (my dad's mother). Since Gram, each generation has tried their best to break out of the "Sentimental Saver" (aka hoarder...) mode. I'm getting better and better with each passing year! I do not want to find myself on an afternoon talk show in an intervention situation... ;)

Anyway, the kids do SO many projects around the house and at school and it really adds up over the years (even months!) if you don't stay on top of it. I cherish their little projects and I love to display them, but sometimes it gets to be too much. This little witch is something that my niece colored about 4 years ago. I thought it was so cute that I put it in with my Halloween decorations and I have pulled it out and set it on the window in my kitchen every year for Halloween.

This little white, clay pumpkin is something that my eldest daughter made out of Play-doh a couple of years ago (when she was 6 or 7?). She left it out to dry and I have kept it along with my niece's witch. This little pumpkin actually reminds me of a something that my husband made when he was a little boy. I remember him showing me this little, brown, clay log-like thing that his mother had on display in the guest room. He had made it when he was very young and she had kept it all those years. It was, in fact, intended to be a log, but I have to tell you -- it looked like something else... But, he made it with love for his mother and she has kept it for over 30 years! I think if we can restrain ourselves and not keep EVERYTHING that our children make for us, but still keep some special things, it really shows the kids how precious they are to us. I think it fills a child with pride to see their parents showing off their artwork.

The great thing about holiday or seasonal artwork is that you can save a few pieces and pack them away with your holiday decorations and bring them out to display once a year. It saves on trying to find a space for everything all year long and its like a walk down memory lane for you and your kids -- seeing their special projects from years past! I will definitely be adding this cute, finger-painted pumpkin that my littlest girlie made at preschool to the annual Halloween decorations!

What do you do with the holiday projects that your kids bring home? Anything particularly special that you cherish? I'd love to hear about it!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Happy Fall, Y'All!

We've got our pumpkins, our mums, our scarecrow friend -- we're ready for Halloween and Thanksgiving and all the wonderful things that the fall season brings!

Best wishes from our family to yours!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

A Little TLC from Mom

My little munchkin has a nasty cold again! Grandpa was watching her at our house and called me at work this morning to let me know. I decided to keep her out of preschool this afternoon -- when I spoke with her teacher she said that my girl was the 3rd to call in that day! I also took the afternoon off so that I could relieve Grandpa of his nursing duties. I'm sure he was happy to get out of the line of germs (fingers crossed that he didn't catch anything while he was with her!), and I know she was happy to have Mommy home with her. Really, is there anything better than having your mom there to pamper you when you are sick? I think not! ;) On my way home, I stopped at the store to pick up my favorite Pediacare Vapor Plug-Ins -- a must-have for stuffy noses!! While I was there I grabbed a few other "sick day" must-haves -- chicken noodle soup, juice, some of my girl's favorite fruits, some "break 'n bake" cookies (of course homemade is better, but warm from the oven is always appreciated, regardless of who mixed it together!), and a few magazines to enjoy while she was napping! I got home and got her snuggled on the couch under a blanket while I made the soup and cookies. I coaxed her to the couch to have lunch with me -- lots of juice, little soup -- and we watched "Bambi" (her choice) under the blanket before she took a nap. The added bonus? My eldest daughter was surprised to find Mom with warm cookies from the oven when she got home from school -- what a treat!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Other Family Table

I think that those commercials that you see (on Nickelodeon?) about “The Family Table” encouraging families to sit down and eat a meal together, are great. People get so busy between work and school and children’s commitments – Scouts, soccer, dance, karate – sometimes family dinners might fall by the wayside. My husband works a rotating schedule and some nights he works late. When he is home, we always sit down as a family to eat together, and when he is working, the girls and I sit down to eat together.

We just recently acquired another type of “family table” – a coffee table from Gramby and Grandpa. It has taken the place of the train table (we moved that down to the family / play room) and I never thought that I really needed a coffee table, but now that we have it we use it all the time! Last night I sat on the floor with my littlest girlie and we (I) put together puzzles – she likes Mommy to put them together until we get to the last piece, and then she likes to finish them! We have started “family game night” where we gather once a week around the table and play a board game as a family. We love games and have an armoire full of them. We love having friends over for game night, and actually, having the coffee table will make that even easier instead of having the games on the floor.

Whatever table you use – coffee, dining, kitchen or even the floor! – try to take even an hour during the week to gather with your family and do something fun together. Even if you don’t own any games you can easily have the kids write down the names of their favorite books, movies, characters, pets and throw the papers into a bowl to pick out for a quick game of charades. It doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you do something fun together as a family!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Nana's Coming!

We are anxiously awaiting Nana's arrival on Sunday for a week-long visit! We have lots of plans for her while she's here -- we'll be keeping her busy this week, that's for sure! As my eldest was going to sleep tonight the last thing she said was that tomorrow she has to practice on Nintendo 64 so that she can try to beat Nana this week! We are also planning a Harry Potter Clue game, possibly a Monopoly game, a trip to the farm stands to get pumpkins and cider, an early Thanksgiving dinner, and she will also be here for the preschool pasta dinner that I am in charge of on Friday. It's always wonderful to have Nana here for a visit and we try to make good use of each day she is here!