Monthly Archives: May 2011

A Very Happy Mother’s Day

Today was an excellent Mother’s Day!  My little boys woke me up on the early side, but they were pretty good and played together while I got my coffee and woke up a bit.  They were very excited for Mother’s Day and both wished me a Happy Mother’s Day right when they came downstairs.  They couldn’t wait for me to open all my gifts.  While they waited patiently for Daddy to wake up, they made me cards.

Gift giving is pretty special in our family. The boys love to give gifts and they pick out all the gifts that they give. This can be a real exercise in patience for the parent that accompanies them on their shopping trip.  However, it is always worth it because they are very thoughtful and really do pick out great gifts.  This year for Mother’s Day the boys picked out a new nightgown and robe for me.  The nightgown is red with small black pin dots and the robe is white with red ladybugs all over it.  This was the one gift they picked out together, being sure to go up a size so it would fit over my big belly and I can wear it right away!  Jackson got me a set of plastic tumblers for “really big drinks” and “eating out on the patio”, along with a new glasses case for the new pair of eye glasses I recently got and some chocolates.  He also made me neat plate at school that said “To Mom I Love You Jackson” with each word written in a different color.  The super sweet part of this was that the To was in red (because it is a love color), the Mom was in orange (it is my favorite color), the Love was in pink (another love color) and the Jackson was in purple (his favorite color).  I knew the significance immediately, but he was quick to explain it as well.  Garrett picked out a set of glass ramekins with lids for me.  He really liked them because he knew I like things to use in my kitchen, but even more importantly the picture on the box showed one of them filled with sprinkles.  Since you can’t go wrong with sprinkles, he just had to have those for me!  He also picked out some chocolates for me and made a gift for me at school.  Garrett’s gift from school is an adorable little box that he painted including thumb print drawings of flowers, a bee, a butterfly and a ladybug.  Tucked inside was a little chocolate and a cute saying, while the outside rim of the lid had a scripture written on it.  It is so sweet!  Both boys even picked out gift bags for my presents.  Keeping with his being good to the earth theme, Jackson picked out a reuseable bag!

After presents we quickly got ready and headed to church.  The service was excellent as usual and the boys sang in the Cherub Choir at the service immediately following ours.  We’ve missed quite a bit of choir practice lately for various reasons, so the boys weren’t as confident singing their song as usual.  However, they did fine and had a great time.

After church we had breakfast at one of my favorite breakfast joints and then played mini-golf.  We golfed at our favorite $2 per person course at the local county camp ground.  We love to mini-golf there because there is rarely anyone else there.  We never get rushed and we can play the holes more than once if we want to.  Mini-golfing is one of my favorite family activities.  The boys have so much fun and they are such a crack up to watch.  Every time Garrett makes it in the hole, it is a hole-in-one even if it is his 10th shot on the hole.  Jack plays ahead of us most of the time but circles back to “help” us with our shots when necessary.  They always have a blast!

Jack has hockey on Sunday nights.  After a little nap for each of the kids, we all went to hockey.  I didn’t go at all last week, so I actually saw a ton of improvement in Jack’s skating just from two weeks ago.  He loves the class he is in right now and skates so hard.  They really do skate hard for an hour and fifteen minutes.  I don’t know if I could keep up with them.  He is progressing so well and really gaining confidence.  He is one of the youngest and possibly smallest kids on the ice, but he is doing well.  There is a marked improvement in his skating ability and skill level in general since he started this session of mini-mites.  It is fun to see him improve!

After hockey my boys took me out for Bar-B-Que.  Since it was such a nice evening we were able to sit outside.  The kids were once again excellent at dinner and we really just got to hang out and enjoy each other.  Dinner was good too!

My Mother’s Day was really special.  The kids were so good today and very thoughtful all day long.  I enjoyed our day hanging out as a family and can’t think of anything that would have made it better.  I’m very thankful for my little guys and for my sweet hubby.  They worked hard all day to make it special for me.  I hope all the other special Mama’s in my life had it as good as I did today!  Happy Mother’s Day!

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Mother’s Day Cherub Choir

Jack and Garrett sang in the Cherub Choir today at church for Mother’s Day.  We’ve missed a lot of choir practice lately, so they didn’t know their song very well, but they were super excited and really enjoyed it.  As always, we think they were pretty cute!

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Earth Day Tree

Jackson was so excited for Earth Day a few weeks back.  He had been learning about Earth Day and caring for our planet at school and could not wait for this very special day.  For the past month of two he has been pretty concerned about conservation as he sees it.  He reminds us not to waste water when washing our hands or brushing our teeth.  He will often tell us that we should turn off extra lights around the house.  He is constantly looking for things to recycle and reminding us that we can turn empty bottles and other items into something new to use.  However, the most important point of conservation that seems to have stuck with Jack is that trees are really important to the environment.  He doesn’t like to see trees cut down and he tells us all about how the trees provide oxygen into the air so that it is clean and good for us.  I love the 4-year-old version of all of these things.  He is so serious and he loves to educate us all!

In an attempt to celebrate Earth Day, the boys planted trees.  Lowes was giving away free trees over the weekend of Earth Day, so we stopped in for ours.  Jack was hoping they would be apple trees so that he could eat the fruit.  They were Frasier Fir and he was equally excited, knowing they are Christmas Trees.  Of course the free tree was a pretty small sapling, too small to even plant effectively in the ground.  This was probably our good fortune since we can’t really plant anything at our real house right now.  We picked up our trees, each of the boys picked out a simple pot, we got our special soil and we were off.

The day we picked up our trees got away from us, so Travis helped the boys plant them a day or two later after dinner.  They loved planting and are so proud of their new trees.  Since they are so small we actually put them on our front porch and they get to see them every day.  They check on them all the time and are always adding leaves or sticks to the pots so that their trees have plenty of nourishment.  Daddy dutifully removes said sticks and leaves whenever he notices them!  The whole process makes me giggle!  A few days ago we noticed that both of their trees are sprouting and growing.  So far they are doing a great job caring for them.  They can’t wait for the trees to be big enough to plant.  In the meantime, they are enjoying them everyday!

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Play Kitchen– Best Toy Ever!

In case you never knew, the play kitchen is the best toy ever!  Seriously, it is the best.  It is gender neutral, spans ages of kids, encourages great creative and imaginative play and honestly gets more use than any other toy in our house.  My kids play with their kitchen every day.  Sometimes for a few minutes, sometimes for hours.  They play together or separately.  Sometimes they make the dinners I make and sometimes they come up with the craziest combinations of food.  The best part is that they actually stand at the stove and cook, then plate their food and then serve it to anyone who will give it a try.

From the perspective of a Mama of boys, I love that something that can so easily be deemed a “girls” toy is one of their favorites.  I totally understand that boys and girls are inherently different.  And frankly, I would never want to change that.  I didn’t teach my boys to vroom a car or turn everything they can get their hands on into a sword or a gun.  They do that on their own and whether I like it or not, that is just what boys do.  I personally don’t mind all the boy characteristics and I understand that boys are active and wrestle and will never be content to sit and color quietly in the corner.  However, I do love to encourage empathy and play that teaches my boys to be considerate and nurturing.  The toy kitchen really does that on its own.  They make food to share with others,  they learn to work together and every time they create a meal they break the gender norm that women do most of the cooking.  I love this!

The added bonus when they play in the kitchen is that I often get to hear their thoughts on food.  For instance, today as they were preparing their meals they were talking about making their healthy dinner.  They were careful to include fruits and vegetables and needed to cook it just right so it would be good for you.  Kids don’t always eat what we give them and sometimes it feels like they never want the healthy stuff, even though we don’t offer a lot of non-healthy stuff.  It warms a Mama’s heart when you realize your kiddos really do hear what you tell them about eating healthy in order to grow big and strong!

If you ever needed an endorsement to buy a play kitchen for your kid, here it is…BUY your kid a play kitchen, it is the best toy ever!  You’ll never be sorry you encouraged your little boy or girl to be a cook.

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