Jericho and Legos

Legos!  They seem to be a favorite for boys of all ages.  That would be why we have a nice blue box of them sitting on our shelf in the school-slash-playroom.  I envisioned hours of non-stop fun building and pretending as structures real and made-up were created and torn apart, over and over again.

Can you tell by my use of the word “envisioned” that that is not exactly the case.  Don’t get me wrong.  There is nothing more fun then opening a brand new box of legos with all of the pieces neatly packaged and a nice book of directions to create the next contraption but once that fun is over and the contraption has begun to fall apart then the legos are dumped in the big blue box and once again placed on the shelf…until Mom want’s to take a stab at it.

Yesterday that all changed…at least for the day.  Our homeschool curriculum focused on the story of Jericho yesterday and for the fun of it I found this very boyish-Star Wars-lovin’-Lego video.

It may not be completely accurate (kinda doubt they used a train to march around the city or blasters to take down the bad guys) but it sure did get the attention of one 5-year old boy in this house.  The story of David and Goliath has always been one of his favorites but the story of Jericho may have just taking on a new meaning.

By lunchtime we were creating a wall of Jericho ourselves, complete with our very own Star Wars characters.  Note the appropriate positioning of the “good & bad guys”.  It was an important reminder for me of what things I can use and do to grab the attention of my active 5-year old boy.  Watch out Lego Land, here we come.

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I’ve Been Nominated!

I’ve been a “blogger” for just a few short weeks and have only gotten 4 posts published but I’ve been nominated….nominated for the Versatile Blog Award!  Thank you to misstatejones who, while surfing the vast World Wide Web, came across my blog and was intrigued by what she saw.  So as a recipient of the Versatile Blogger Award I now get to do some fun stuff.

I get to list 7 fun and interesting things about myself:

1.When I was in elementary school, I was one of 3 students in my grade and 1 of 8 in the classroom because the school was so small that they had to combine two grades into one.

2. As an adult, I am a woman of routine and a creature of habit. I hate taking risks in anything and everything.  I guess that makes me a pretty boring person.

3.I am a “greenie” – yep, I use the reusable bags, I recycle, I compost, I avoid disposable products, I purchase environmentally friendly cleaning and beauty products, I use cloth diapers and yes I have even proudly turned my husband into the very same monster…too bad the cleaning bug hasn’t hit him too.

4.I am also a thief! ALL of my ideas come from books or the internet – lesson ideas, scrapbook layouts, recipes, discipline strategies, party plans, everything is a result of somebody else’s creativity. I just add my own twist and always give credit where credit is due.

5.A strength and blessing tied in one; I am a huge perfectionist. I know it can ALWAYS be better. But at the same time I am also a huge procrastinator – not a good combination!

6. I get a total high from both saving money and having a completely organized space!  Both are like a puzzle that always needs to be solved.

7.  While an intense planner, I have come to realize that my life is nothing like I “planned” it to be.Here are just a few examples:  I thought I would have 2 children (I currently have 3), I thought I would work full time until I retired (I taught for 11 wonderful years and then became a stay-at-home mom), I thought my kids would be going to the nearby public school – after all I would be teaching in the public school (I have home schooled my oldest through his Kindergarten level and as long as God see’s it fit, I plan to continue in this wonderful adventure with him and his younger siblings).  So, planner or not, my life isn’t as I planned it to be….IT’S BETTER!  My Heavenly Father is a much better planner than I.

I also, in turn,  get to nominate 15 other blogs.  Here they are listed in no particular order:

  • Frugal Fun for Boys:  This is a great blog with lots of wonderful ideas on how to keep those boys entertained…cheaply
  • Meet the Dubiens:  Fun, fun stuff. I especially like her fun food ideas
  • Learning 4 Kids:  A stay-at-home mom who has dedicated her blog to sharing fun playtime activities that encourage learning
  • Quirky Momma, Kids Activities Blog:  I have come across so many good ideas via this blog
  • I heart Crafty Things:  So do I but I am not crafty.  This blog helps.
  • Savvy Nest:  A personal friend who uses her blog to give fun and simple tips on how to live frugally.
  • Happy Hooligans:  All about old-fashioned fun, this home day care provider shows us how she gets messy and uses imaginative play and outdoor fun.
  • Inner Child Fun – A blog about enjoying the simple pleasures in life
  • Pajama Mama – crafting and homeschooling while still in pajamas – that’s the way I live my life!
  • Miss Jr. Chef – Ah, this is too much fun.  For kids who love to cook, this blog is full of kid-created videos on how to make some kid favorite  food.
  • Naptime Review – A SAHM who uses her blog for real life consumer reviews and other fun kid stuff
  • The Mob Society – For moms of boys by moms of boys – a community of boy moms working together to reach the hearts of their boys for the glory of Jesus Christ
  • MOD Squad – Because I have a daughter too – a community of girl moms here.
  • Cupcake Love Affair – Makes me love cupcakes…just wish they turned out as pretty as pictured.
  • Thirfty Crafty Girl – My kinda girl!

Here are the rules of award acceptance once you’re nominated:

  • Thank the person who gave you the award.
  • Include a link to their blog.
  • Share 7 things about yourself.
  • Select 15 blogs/bloggers that you’ve recently discovered or follow regularly.
  • Nominate those 15 for the Versatile Blogger Award.
  • In the same post include this set of rules.
  • Inform each nominee with a comment on their blog.

Thanks misstatejones for nominating me for the Versatile Blogger Award!

Acts of Kindness

“How are the older kids adjusting to the baby?”  

This has been a common question lately.

The answer:  “They have adjusted quite well to Littlest Man, it’s with each other where the trouble lies.”  

Of course since this has been a hurdle for the last 6 months it has very little to do with ‘the baby’ and much more to do with them.  For most of the day our home operates more like a boxing ring (without the boxing).  On one side there is an extremely strong-willed, very independent, only child wanna-be 4  year old (almost 5 year old).  On the other there is an almost as extremely strong-willed, also very independent, wanna do everything my brother does, 2 year old.  I am not sure which one gets the upper hand throughout the day but I do know who gets the short end of the stick; ME!

Most situations carry out as the following:

Big Man doesn’t like what Pretty Girl does and Pretty Girl only wants to do what Big Man does.  All of what she does, of course is what she has learned from him.  Big Man loses every bit of the small amount of patience that he possess and throws a fit.  Pretty Girl, hurt by Big Man’s reaction, also throws a fit.  With a newborn, you can imagine that there is also most likely a hungry, wailing infant in the background. In these situations, there is not much that I am not still learning but I have learned that 5 year olds have absolutely no concept of “Just ignore your sister and she will stop” and 2 year olds have  no concept of…well…just plain “Stop”.

I know, I know.  I did grow up as an only child myself but I am not completely naive.  Sibling rivalry is common…it’s part of life…it’s what brothers and sisters do, HOWEVER, I do wish to teach my kids that while there are times you are frustrated by the other there should be more times that you are not.  Each one of us has a role to play in this family and we can best show our love to each other by living up to the role effectively.  This means teaching Big Man how to love and protect his younger sister,   teaching him that girls have different needs than boys, and teaching him that being mean is just not an option.  It also means teaching Pretty Girl that she can trust and depend on her older brother, that boys are rough and tough (so they think) and that people have boundaries.

I have tried to handle the conflict with conversation and consequences.  I have also handed it over to Daddy and asked him to take on the responsibility of disciplining when the heart became an issue.  Progress is being made but I realized that for Big Man, the important part is for him to see that Mommy and Daddy are on the same page with this and that we are working together as a family.

As a result we have started a new dinner time routine.  It now includes a family devotion time.  While scoring the internet I came across a resource from Focus on the Family (Canada) called KIDS of INTEGRITY.  The lessons are family geared and last about a week.  Each night a bible story is read and questions are asked geared around that week’s topic of discussion.  Several hands-on activities are also included as well as memory verses and prayer examples.  Creative discipline ideas are also listed. Do you want to guess what the theme for this week includes?

                                            Kindness

So this week each of us, Mommy and Daddy included, worked together to make kindness flags.  As each day progresses we are each on the lookout for acts of kindness performed by the other.  If an act is spotted then that person’s flag is put into the jar.  The goal:  Everybody has their flag in the jar by the end of the night.  I just wonder what kinds of acts I will need to do to constitute having my flag put into the jar.