Monday, February 15, 2010

Valentines Day Crafts

Somehow the Valentine crafts over ran our house this year. I am not sure if it was because Don and I went out of town and the school party snuck up on us, or if it was just trying to be budget conscious, or maybe partly because I have been in a sewing frenzy for a craft show this past weekend so I was trying to avoid an extra run to the store to buy more premade valentines. Yeah, I am pretty sure it was the last one now that I am thinking of it...

The boys school party was on Thursday and like a good prepared Mommy, I had already purchased one set of Valentines for the boys. Luke claimed them and he signed them all himself Monday afternoon.

Tuesday the boys seemed like they needed a bit of structure and something to pull them away from the dang trains, so I decided that we would make a new set of valentines for one of the other boys. Wyatt saw what the plan was online and claimed those right away. With a bunch of pink paper and three little eager boys armed with purple child scissors, we were able to cut out a million hearts in no time. Later I had to go sew and Don took up Valentine duty and made sure Wyatt signed his while they both finished assembling all the sucker flowers.

Luckily for Jaxon (amd my prepared mommy status), Wednesday morning before breakfast I happened to come across another cute Valentine idea that we had all the needed supplies for. I showed him the instructions and he was thrilled with what would become his valentines.

By this point, the boys were becoming master heart cutter-outers. Every single heart that had been cut in the past few days were all their handy work and they were so proud of themselves. Not only that, they were really getting into the whole Valentine spirit!

Again, it was time to sign the valentines and I sat with Jaxon as he wrote his name on all 20. Like his brothers, he tried to get creative a few times, trying new ways to write the letter "a", or a backward "J" (but I like it that way, mom). It seemed like an endless job, but eventually he finished and did a great job. Again, when Don came home, he helped Jaxon finish assembling the valentines for school the next day.

These are the Valentines I made this year. We intended to give some to my family as well, but forgot to bring them over and ended up sharing some with our neighbors instead. Jaxon and Wyatt had fun getting their candy out of the maze, but Lucas tore his open, not wanting to mess around.

It has been a busy week, seeming not to slow down at all, but it was a really fun productive week. I am in the midst of sewing some crayon wallets for the boys and a quilt for our niece, so it doesn't seem like much chance of crafts slowing down anytime soon.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

LAM Night of Hope

Last weekend Don and I had the honor of playing photographers at a fundraiser. It was at a beautiful church in Buffalo for the LAM foundation.

From Thursday night to Sunday afternoon we visited my family while eating all the delicious food that Buffalo has to offer. According to the scale at work, Don swears he put on 10 lbs in those four days. He was eating like a 17 year old boy in those four days, so I really think it may be possible.

While there were many highlights from our trip out there including fabulous family dinners and walking around different districts of Buffalo, not to mention a beautiful fundraiser that knocked our socks off -nothing was as sweet as the welcome home of seeing our monkeys.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Engaged Parenting

Recently I read an article about engaged parenting. It really hit home for me, because although I am a stay at home mom and have my children with me all day and all night, some times I disassociate myself from the going ons around the house to feel like I can regroup and survive all the madness.

Since reading the article I have made a real effort to be more engaged and present with the boys play time. We wrestle, or as Jaxon says, "Let's freak out!" together more on the bed almost daily again, and things like dancing to the music cheek to cheek has once again become a favorite for the boys (and I). We are back to playing games in the car to keep happy chatter going instead of keeping the music on to drown out their arguing.

The level of the boys frustration and argumentativeness over trains has come down quite a bit. Partly because I am engaging them in other activities with me, and the fact that they are happier since I have been happier just from spending more time engaging with them, not just surviving with them. Like the article says, I am also working on my responses to their situations, not just reacting to the situations. I am trying to remember the cues of their behavior and trying to head off a situation before it gathers heat and anger, and usually it works.

Most of all, I am just thankful for that article. It reminded me that I had stepped a bit off the parenting path I wanted to be on and it has helped me appreciate the boys more every day. Appreciate their humor, kindness and abilities. With my level of being overwhelmed being in check, it has made a significant difference in their level of happiness.

In just the past few weeks that I have been making more of an engaged effort with the boys, I have noticed so much more about them, and just am amazed at the sweet and smart little people they are becoming. I am such a blessed Momma and am so thankful for the new eyes I have been given.

Monday, February 01, 2010

An Afternoon Sledding

Last week was full of winter like weather. Not only was it in the 40s, we had lots of rain. Lucas had asked me, "Why it was raining when it is supposed to be sunny?". I forget that the boys have been luckily enough to have about 90% of their life surrounded by sunny days.

After days of cold rain, us Las Vegasans run out to the nearby mountains to take advantage of Mount Charleston. It is only about 45 minutes away and for the price of gas to drive up there, we can have all the fun we want in their winter wonderland.

We were unsure of how the day was going to play out. On the ride to the mountains, Lucas kept telling us the snow was too cold. Jaxon and Wyatt were excited at the prospect of snow, even though we could tell they really didn't remember much about the last time they got to play in it. With reassurances that we would have plenty of warm clothes so the cold wouldn't get through, Lucas was on board with the rest of us.

Sledding with these guys was so much fun! They were like big kids, going down the sled with Don or I, and loving every minute of it. Soon they would sit on the sled and try going by themselves, and laughing the whole way down. It didn't matter if they were accidentally backwards, or falling off the sled only 5 feet into the hill ride down, or riding so far out that they almost went into the embankment, the kids enjoyed every minute of it.

The little sledding hill we found had some great bumps in it. I would go down and flinch when the bumps came up, worried about my old bones and back, but the boys would whoop with excitement when they caught air. When they were done going down the hill, the kids even carried their own sleds back up to try it again.

After an hour or so of all the ups and downs of sledding, we were all ready to just play in the snow. Jaxon loved laying down and trying to make snow angels and Wyatt and Lucas preferred to eat the snow. It grossed us out, but they are kids and this is what kids do, right? They all had so much fun, especially when it came time to throw snowballs at Don!

I just can't say enough how much fun our afternoon in the mountains was. The boys just blew us away with how much FUN and not WORK they were. They laughed the whole time, were super kind to each other about sharing the sleds, and only complained of walking back up the hill on their last trip up. We were so proud of them knowint they were only four years old and handling the cold and everything the snow entails better than most adults would.