Thursday, June 26, 2014

Friday Favorite

The One and Only Ivan

We crack up.  I'm afraid we might cry.  We make connections.  We discuss parts of speech.  We look up words we do not know.  We spend time together.

My boys and I are reading a book together.  I read aloud to them, a little bit each day.  Well, sometimes a lot.  When they don't want me to stop.

I love that my good friend, Graham, reads aloud to her boys.  And I keep seeing in magazine articles and parenting books that I should be reading aloud to my big boys who can read to themselves.  Carson always lets me read to him.  But ever since Jonah started reading to himself, he has been a little reluctant to let me read to him.

Last year we tried some classics.  Where the Red Fern Grows, and Tuck Everlasting.  We just could not get into them.

Then I read an article in my Real Simple magazine.  It said reading actually reduces stress.  It allows us to escape from real life, and to go to a faraway place where we can focus on someone else's day in and day out for a while. It reminded me why I love reading.  And it suggested a few titles to read aloud to kids who are readers.  The One and Only Ivan, by Katherine Applegate was at the top of the list.  And I know why.  It's hilarious.  It's entertaining.  It's fun to read.  I cannot wait to turn the page and find out what crazy new thing Ivan is going to do.  Or eat.  Or who he is going to meet.  Ivan is a gorilla who lives in a shopping mall.  He throws "me-balls" and calls humans "slimy chimps."  And if your kids are like mine, any book where someone throws poop and calls others silly names is a hit.  And I can get past that gross humor when I consider the fact that my boys can't wait to spend time with me, cuddled in my bed, hanging on to every last word and laughing out loud with me.

It's one of my favorite times of the day.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

10 Things I CAN do now that I have children...

8 things you can't do once you have a baby

41 things to do before you have a baby

8 things you won't get to do once you have children

This is what I got when I googled, "things you can't do once you have kids."

And I get it.  I have frustrations sometimes.  Like not being able to go to the bathroom in peace, and needing to be home by 7:30 pm so my littlest one won't turn into a pumpkin.

But I'd say the benefits far outweigh the sacrifices I have to make sometimes.

And here's why...

10. When I see someone at Target that I haven't seen in years, I have an excuse to be dressed in my workout clothes, hair a mess, without makeup.  No time to get ready--I was chasing a toddler!

9. I can eat popsicles all summer long because my kids will not let me forget them when we go to the store.

8. I can make Lego cities and stack blocks any time I want.  And I'm guaranteed to have a buddy to build with.  Or to knock down my towers.

7. I can take naps.  Or just veg out and watch Scandal in the middle of the day.  Hey, if I'm going to be up at 3 am with a sick kid or a fussy baby, I have to get my downtime at some point.

6. I get to drive a van.  Nuff said (at least for you van-lovers like me).

5. I get to go on movie dates to watch flicks like Frozen.  And I can eat Skittles without judgement, because my date is chomping on Sour Patch Kids.

4. I get to enjoy all those favorites all over again--E.T., Goodnight Moon, Guess How Much I Love You, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and The Princess Bride.

3. I get to enjoy places like Disney World, Discovery Place, and the zoo through the eyes of my children.

2. I have a sense of PRIDE, like none I've ever known before.  We made these tiny humans.  They make All Star baseball teams, draw masterpieces, and their faces light up when I come in the room. They make me a better person.

1. And finally, the number one reason is...I understand Christ's unconditional love for me.  My children could mess up in the worst possible way, and I would still put my arms around them, hold them close, and tell them, it's ok.  My love for them has no boundaries.

Why do you love being a mom?

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Why Wouldn't You...Make Your Hubby's Day on Father's Day?

Father's Day 2013

For Father's Day last year, of course we did our usual...

Breakfast in Bed

but we also decided to make a book for Justin.  I made a list of questions, asked the boys, and recorded their responses.  Camden was really little, so I made up the answers for his questions.  Then I used Snapfish to create a book for Justin.

He really loved the book, and I enjoyed making it and hearing the boys' answers to my questions.

This is the cover of the book.  

Inside the front cover.  All my boys!!!

One of the questions...

And Camden's answer.

One of my favorite pictures in the book...

The last page...some of my favorite answers...

How do you know Daddy loves you?
Jonah: He hugs me and says he loves me.
Carson: He plays with me.
Camden: He takes good care of me.

I will always treasure the fact that my boys are confident of their father's love.  Jonah's answer is priceless.   I know the answers the boys gave made Justin's year, especially their answers to why they are proud of their dad and what he's really good at.  And they nailed it on every single one.

Here is a list of the questions I used.  You can use these or make your own.  A dad could also use these questions for Mother's Day (hint, hint).

Father's Day Questions

What is something mom/dad always says to you?

What makes mom/dad happy?

What makes mom/dad sad?

How does your mom/dad make you laugh?

What was your mom/dad like as a child?

What is her/his favorite thing to do?

What does your mom/dad do when you’re not around?

If your mom/dad becomes famous, what will it be for?

What is your mom/dad really good at?

What is your mom/dad not very good at?

What does your mom/dad do for a job?

What is your mom’s/dad’s favorite food?

If your mom/dad were a cartoon character, who would she/he be?

What do you and your mom/dad do together?

How are you and your mom/dad the same?

How are you and your mom/dad different?

How do you know your mom/dad loves you?

What does your mom/dad like most about your dad/mom?

Where is your mom’s/dad’s favorite place to go?

Happy Father's Day to all the 
dads out there!!!