Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Red is Rojo

Liv's school had a Barnes and Noble book fair last weekend. A proceed from each item bought in John Rex's name would benefit the school. They got more parents in the door by having some kids perform in the kids stage area. Pretty smart move. The Kindergartners sang some songs they've learned from their Spanish class and then did some fun music numbers with their teacher...that's when my phone card filled up but oh well!
It's nice to see what she's learning because when I ask what she does in Spanish or Music I get vague answers. I really appreciate these teachers and the creativity and compassion they have for their craft! And their patience in sharing it with little kiddos!

Monday, November 23, 2015

Sewing Seeds of Kindness

Liv looked at me with a forlorn expression and an exasperated sigh, "I wish I were a kid with nothing so I could get one of these boxes." We had just finished shopping for Operation Christmas Child. I let her pick out items for a girl box and a boy box that we would assemble at church that night with other friends.
 She knew the items weren't for her. We discussed that some children don't have families. Some children don't have houses. Some children's parents may not have money to buy them food or clothes, let alone toys! And we can show some simple kindness by using our money to show them someone cares and is thinking of them. 
Then she still uttered that selfish 6 year old sentiment....but deep down I know she's a normal 6 year old and there's no way for her to understand. And that's ok. Because I'm not really sure I want her to understand what it means to have nothing. Especially when I can barely understand it myself. But I'm still helping sew those seeds of kindness in her that will hopefully reap a compassionate heart one day for others.
 I want to shield her from images that are currently on the news: children lying dead in rows in streets, bloodied bodies running in terror, families braving ocean waters in overcrowded rafts looking for asylum, and God's people sparring differing opinions on social media on what it means to be a Good Samaritan or a light in the darkness. I have no answers. I have opinions, but no answers. 
Right now in small ways I can teach kindess to my child. 
I can teach her to give. 
I can teach her to consider others. 
I can teach her to use her talents. 
I can teach her compassion. 
Will she learn it by filling a shoebox with gifts she so badly wants herself? Probably not, but it's one seed among many I will plant in her heart. And to see all these kids whose parents are doing the same gives me a great hope for a bountiful harvest. 
Watching a video about how their boxes will be mailed out to different children in need all over the world
The children wrote letters and filled out questionnaires in case the kids are able to write a letter back.  
It was chaos but chaos of the best kind!
 Thank you Lord for our blessings. May we learn to bless others with them. Help our children learn from small acts of kindness to go forth and produce larger acts of kindness in Your name. Amen.
And yes I believe even Haven isn't too young to start learning these things!

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Ice Skating with Kindergartners

There's a lot of things I will do for my kids. But I draw the line at sports that require foot gear.
However I will still attend and help put the gear on, cheer from the sidelines, and cringe with each slip and fall as I pray for no broken bones! 100 Kindergartners descended upon the Devon Ice Rink on Thursday and I applaud and thank all the teachers and parents who willingly let snotty slippery kids grab onto them while trying not to be dragged down!
Liv had so much fun and took off like she'd been doing it for years. She fell every 10 seconds but got back up and kept going! 
I was glad she wore her bright pink coat so I could spot her easily in the crowd!
Haven and I had fun watching all of them!

I let her see her sister through the glass.

Have I mentioned how awesome I think her school is and how cool it is she gets these opportunities downtown? There may not be any big bus field trip like other schools but things in walking distance can be pretty awesome too!

She's already begging to go back so I'm sure we will before the ice skating season is over!

Friday, November 20, 2015

A List for Your Reading Pleasure

  • Colorful Ella, the beta fish, died after fall break. Liv shed a tear and we flushed her. I would have gotten her another one, but I convinced her with travel plans and fluctuating cold temps in our house, another one would probably just die soon too, so we will wait a bit for the next fish
  • We are on Season 2 of Full House. Liv loves loves that show. Ryan set up the fire pit and projector outside to watch it the other night and she kept saying "this is the best night of my whole life!" It was pretty fun.

You can't really see them without the flash

  • We eat homemade pizza by Ryan every Friday now. He makes the crust himself and although he uses the same recipe it tastes different every week. It's the reason I will never be a baker or chef. That would drive me bonkers. It's always delicious though!
  • Haven is crawling all over the place. She isn't much for naps or a regular night time feeding session lately. I'm trying to take it in stride, but I'm tired and a tired Katie is not always a happy Katie.
  • I took Liv to see the Peanuts movie over the weekend. It was ok. She liked it. 
  • Ryan's been finishing building closet doors for the storage area across from our downstairs bath. Next up I think is the laundry area. I should probably take some pics of our house but I can't remember what I have or haven't posted!
  • All of our CD's were stolen out of our car last week and our blue tooth/phone charger. I now owe the library money for a Xmas Elmo CD and some ridiculous history CD Liv had checked out. We left it unlocked I guess and they helped themselves. This isn't the first time it's happened. It motivated us into action and Ryan is now part of the neighborhood watch alliance and gets to ride around with a stranger for like 2 hours a month with a light flashing on his car. I'm sure no one will ever steal from us again.
  • Liv's working on her Xmas list. Can you make out what it says? I only had to ask about 2 of them.
  • I've been trying to teach Liv how to wash her own hair. Right now she only needs to wash it once a week but she had so much fun during out "lesson" she wants to wash it every night now. I have no memory of learning to wash my own hair. Mom, Mona, anyone else who reads this,when did your daughters learn to do this? 

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Musical Beds: The Game I Didn't Sign Up For!

Want a peek into our intimate nightly routine? Or maybe just a brain break from the refugee rants on your facebook feed? Here's my latest at OKC mom's blog.
Are you looking for a new form of free entertainment you can play with your whole family?! Well look no further! This game promises hours of fun activity for all sorts of family members no matter their age. You can play using items you have in your own home. You didn't even know it was there at your disposal, in fact you may have already been playing! The game is called Musical Beds and here's how you play....

Click here for the rules of the game!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Kon Mari Method

I think one thing is clear from all who have been sucked into the #KonMariMethod of 2015....Ms. Marie Kondo clearly has no children. But let's back it up a bit. I started this a few months ago but I haven't documented the process well through photos. We've only made it through the first two steps of her program: Clothes and books.
All of my clothes in a pile ready to be purged. I stood on my bed to take this photo and hit my head on the ceiling fan while it was in motion. I about passed out but was laughing so hard at myself I didn't. Haven was amused.
Ms. Kondo's whole concept of tidying revolves around what sparks joy. You go through every item at once and ask yourself "does this bring joy" and if not you part ways with it. She has many methods to show gratitude towards items that you hold on to for sentimental reasons. They might sound hokey..."thank you shirt for being there for me on the day I got engaged".....BUT to someone like me who was holding on to that shirt and never wearing it, it actually was helpful!
Included in this pile of items I was holding on to but didn't bring me joy anymore: elementary school math-a-thon shirts, my first PJ pants I sewed in high school fashion class, field day shirt from like 5th grade, high school basketball sweatshirt, the shirt Ryan wore the day Liv was born, the shirt I got engaged in, my blankie from childhood that has been in shreds for years because it was loved so much. Thank you Woobie!
But then there are passages like this that just made me laugh out loud.
I like the concept of focusing on keeping what brings joy to your heart and not what do I not wear or what do we give away. However, it's kind of tough for me to apply that rule to some things...like post baby clothes that I need to hang around a bit longer until I get back down to pre baby size. Nursing bras and socks really don't bring me joy, but they are necessary. I was still able to get rid of about 3 HUGE garbage bags full of clothes though. And I already purged each season! Now I have all of our clothes out at once. None are in storage.
No more clothes in storage boxes!
 I do apply the folding method to our clothes, even the kids clothes! You can not only SEE all of your clothes without digging through a pile, but you can also fit MUCH more in a drawer using this method. And yes I even fold my socks and underwear now, but look how pretty they are!
At one point I was pretty sure Marie Kondo was reading my mind somehow. I was having a moody day and had JUST texted a friend saying I was angry at everyone in my house. Then I opened up my book to read and THIS was on the page I was reading?! What?! How'd you do that konmari?
 I taught Liv how to fold her clothes and she loves to help me do laundry. I don't follow the color coded list she has. The hardest thing for me to do when it came to the laundry was put it all away but now that I've paired all of our clothes down and everything has a spot, I haven't found it to be an issue at all! After I went through our clothes (well I didn't touch Ryan's really but he already didn't have many) we moved on to the next step to sort through all of the kids books and our books
NOBODY tell big sister what we're about to do!
I did NOT let Liv help with this as she would have only complicated things. Then I went through the kids toys. We had 3 full yard bags to give away and a whole tub of books we sold (for not much) to Half Priced Books. At some point I will get around to the other steps. I hope she comes back and writes another book when she does have children. I have a hard time believing even she could keep up the constant tidying that must be done as you follow a toddler around!
Ready for the donation bin! Yes it's been about 2 months and my closet still looks like this! That's it. That's all of my clothes I kept except for what's folded in drawers.
The bar under Ryan's clothes used to be mine too but now it's completely empty! I think in a few months when I'm done nursing I'll be able to purge again. 
I can keep a sense of humor about it the whole process though and when I read this satirical blog post I about peed my pants laughing so hard. You will get a kick out of it too! Have you read the book and fallen prey to Ms. Kondo's tidying method?

Monday, November 16, 2015

The Thankful Tree

We resurrected the thankful tree again this year.
 Thanks to some strong winds the sticks were plentiful in the back yard to choose from! This year Liv fills her own out...and often ours too. I love the way she sounds out words and spells things on her own. See if you can decipher what she's thankful for!
 This one she felt the need to fill out for her sister...
The answers are Pop with a cane, Mom cooking (ha!), and Mama Feeding Haven

Friday, November 13, 2015

Sister Comparison

Although they do still resemble each other at times, and people often tell me they look just alike, I did this photo comparison of them both being stuck in the same position while learning to crawl and I think you can tell the differences!

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