Sunday, May 25, 2008

reduce, reuse, recycle - ROBOTS

B is turning 4 in a couple of weeks. We are going to have a robot themed party. I've had this idea to use "environmentall friendly" decorations. Balloons, paper streamers, etc are fun and add so much to a celebration, however, I've been trying to think in terms of reducing the amount of waste we produce as a family. I'm far from perfection in this area....but I started to think "outside the box" to put together both fun and inexpensive decorations for celebrations.

I have been saving every paper and plastic recepticle that has passed through our home. I had a vision for this project when we first decided on the robot theme. Saturday the idea began to take shape.
I had so much fun building robots from all the "junk" (or as A said, "look, mommy is taking out the garabage!" when I carried out my bags of "stuff"). Here are some shots of the beginnings....
Of course, the minute the first robot appeared there were requests for personal robots to be made for each boy. B ended up with a cute (or as he put it "adorable") robot that then donned Batman's mask and superhero cape. (Batrobot, spent the night standing guard next to B's bed...he wanted to sleep with him but I figured Batrobot would end up as Batpancake in the morning) J had a few different favorites. He'd grab one I finished and then as soon as he saw the next he'd want that one instead. I tell you, parents really don't need to spend insane amounts of money on always comes back to the boxes. Last night the boys played with their "robots" for hours until bedtime.
In addition to the robot decorations, I made a celebration banner from my scrap pile of material. I've seen these online and wanted to make some forever. I plan on making another one as well to use at each birthday and family celebration. I think it will also satisfy my desire to create some traditions for our family celebrations.
I will have more updates about our weekend following.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

childhood is fleeting

The grumpies snuck up on me again today. It has taken me awhile to fight them back. This evening I spent some time reflecting on the two "rays of sunshine" that tend to light my way out of my funks. I'm constantly reminded of how quickly time flies; how quickly children today are forced to take on adult roles. War, poverty and homelessness drive children out of the sweetness of childhood into the stress and worry of adult life. Even on the other spectrum the pressure of performance, success and politically correct schedules keep children from enjoying the freedom and joy that childhood play creates.
I tend to wallow in self-pity about all I'm "doing" for the good of the family. Trying to create the perfect home, learning environment, spiritual base for the boys. It's not in the doing is it? It's in the being. Being in the moment. Being available to laugh, cry, have water fights, hug, snuggle and play make-believe.
Time is speeding by...soon I will have more time on my hands than I know what to do with...I will long for muddy feet running through the kitchen, someone to beg me to play Legos, wanting to "help make" in the kitchen. I will strain to hear voices ask me to stay in bed and snuggle for "5 more times".
Next month my baby turns 4. School will be a part of each day. Older brother will enter his lifelong relationship with education.
Dear Lord, may I be faithful with these incredible creatures you've entrusted to me. May I show love, patience, self-control. May I guide, direct and encourage hearts so open and vulnerable. I know that I will only hold them briefly...You, Lord, have them for an eternity...may I be faithful.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

sweet serenade

It was an incredibly sweet moment. Time stood still and I relished the purity of the creative spirit. Just the other night J and I were cuddling prior to his bedtime. (I often wrestle with the whole children need to be sent to bed alone thing. Honestly, the cuddling before bed is one of the sweetest moments for me...always has been. I think I hang on to it because I realize it will be gone before I know it!) I decided this particular evening that singing would be soothing and would take me back to the days I cuddled a baby in my arms and sung sweet lullabies and hymns while rocking. J chose to go first and what followed where priceless words from a child's heart. He sang of friendship, prettiness, bullies; I suppose whatever he had faced during the day. Now you must understand the J has not quite found the gift of musical pitch and melody, yet. He is very passionate however, about words, inflection and hand motions, all songs must have hand motions. He sang one song in a rock rendition followed by a rap and then finally a sweet love song. This love song is what truly pierced my heart. Before he started he told me I could in fact say the song was beautiful if I so choosed. It was. He sung of my prettiness and wonderfulness as a mom and his love for me. Time stood still.

Finally, it was time for him to go to bed. As I tucked him in he asked me to sing one more song (I had sung him some of my favorite hymns.) I started to sing "Jesus Love Me" and he stopped me. "Mommy, sing me a song about loving me." Now I must admit I'm not quite comfortable with my own ability to create songs without printed music to follow, give me a paint brush or fabric and I'll go for it, but create music and words with nothing? Scary. A mother's love however, knows no fear and so I plunged ahead. As I let myself go and concentrated on my overwhelming love for this creative, passionate, beautiful boy the song poured out from my heart. I don't remember what exactly I sang or the tune that was heard but by the look on the face of my son I knew I had hit the right chord. From the depths of my heart came a song of love.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

it's been too long

I'm feeling the "deliquent blogger" guilt. I realize it's been far too long since I've written. Truth be told I've been spending most of my computer time surfing for the absolute best airline deal I can get to Denver in June. I really don't think awesome deals exist. I think you can spend hours searching and finally out of sheer exhaustion you give up and settle for an extra $40 a ticket if it will get you a straight through flight. The boys are actually very good travelers. They've both been riding on airplanes since they were babies. That, and the airlines got smart and installed TV's in the's always the best $5 I spend...I've tried the portable DVD player...but the battery runs out after an's not worth lugging it onboard for a 3+ hour trip. No, I'll stick with my hourly wrapped "suprise"! (Usually a new hotwheel car)

The latest and greatest thing we have discovered are Legos...lots and lots of Legos...I really need to include pictures....but I have failed miserbly in the photo department lately. Just the other day I scored a box of Legos at the thrift you may ask yourself, "who in their right mind would purchase a large box of legos? Don't you end up finding them all over the house? Incure painful foot injuries from stepping on wayward Legos?" Well, yes...they do have a tendancy to migrate into unusual places in the house and yes, I have several Lego induced battle scars on my feet...but the truth be told, I believe Legos are the best toy ever invented! Hours and hours of creative, fun, imaganitive play. Included in the box was a ziplock baggy of over 50+ of the tiny Lego people...with helmets,hats, scuba gear, a batman mask, knives, guns, spears, space name it...we have every character from coyboys and indians, astronauts, the redcoats, civil war soldiers, race car get the picture. When you have these little people to actually attach to your creations and interact with each other...for my's heaven.

I do understand that some parents see Legos as the housekeeping enemy (that and Polly Pockets according to my girlfriends) but I see them as a chance to glance at my children's mind engaging, creating, dreaming...working. Every day I am amazed at not only the contraptions, creations and vehichles that are made but the stories and adventures that passionately play out before me.