Parenting: The Joyful Impossibility

Parenting: The Joyful Impossibility.

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January 12, 2011 at 9:32 am Leave a comment

Fever!

Winter has only just begun, technically. Yet Spring fever is upon me!

My problem: I daydream and make lists, charts and graphs about all of the organizing I will do in our home, all of the gardening I will do outside our home, and it never works out to such greatness as I expect. I have a habit of putting too many irons in the fire. Starting a project – any project – is so exciting. The problem is the middle and end bit of a project. I know I’m not the only one…

Is there a solution? I don’t know that I’ll ever find a satisfactory one. Oooh, except this awesome idea I have that involves me starting all projects and then someone else comes along after and finishes them all up. Wait, isn’t that what marriage is for? Bwahaha.

Okay seriously now. I don’t make new years resolutions. It’s not something I do. I just want to be a person who doesn’t have to wait for the new year, or next month, or tomorrow, to start something that is good that I could start today. Practically and financially there will be things that need to wait for another day. I’m not thinking of those things. I am thinking of things like regular reading of the Bible, exercise (purely an example, I’m against it myself), washing the dishes after dinner… The problem is, I can’t try and start everything I think of at once, it will only lead to frustration and quitting everything. So, one thing at a time, right?

Spring fever brings on the desire for cleaning, organizing, and repairing things around the home. The repairing stuff – that’s an example of what to wait on until the finances are handy. But cleaning and organizing, right-oh. Totally possible.

I started with my pantry. I really wish I had taken a before picture. Things were bad. I prayed on my way to Costco on Tuesday (seriously) for these cereal/snack containers to be on sale. Thank You! I bought two sets (6 total) for holding bulk flours and rice. I wish I could get a couple more sets, but got creative instead with some old peanut butter and canning jars to hold smaller quantities of things like baking powder, gluten flour, soda and the like, plus an extra oatmeal container that I relabeled for non-fat dry milk (for cooking purposes).

Despite the fever going on here, I haven’t done much else spring-cleaning like. Since our dishwasher broke, hand-washing the dishes has taken up a lot of the regular cleaning time. It had to coincide with my decision to bake our bread again, and all of those measuring cups, spoons, jugs and bowls pile up in the sink so easily.

Alright, this is done, now I should probably make a list and chart for the garden, the family room, the boys’ rooms, those sewing projects I’m dying to start, my exercise plan, and spring knitting projects.

January 7, 2011 at 1:54 pm Leave a comment

Kk is for Kangaroo

Today’s school time was a flop. Despite my enthusiastic attempts with a Piglet in the pocket of my apron hopping around trying to get Dig to do the same (yes, you can laugh), he was not interested. Charlie enthusiastically chimed in with a “Hop! Hop!” cheer, though.

Charlie woke me up at around 5am screaming and crying. I discovered his bed soaked – entirely wet including sheet, 2 blankets and puppy. The poor little guy has the coldest room in the house anyway, and was wet through. After a sponge bath and clean diaper and jim jams he was still shaking from the cold, so I took him downstairs to snuggle with daddy in our bed whilst I headed back upstairs to take care of the bedding. He was so sad to leave daddy’s arms.

I realize now how little trouble we’ve had with our babes. Charlie has been sleeping through the night (like 8 hours, now 12) since he was just a few weeks old (except for that trip to England, which we won’t think about). We have had things pretty easy – very little sickness (except that time they had the swine flu, but we won’t think about that either). We are blessed.

Yes, today is a day that has fallen kind of flat. I’m tired, and I’m guessing that the boys are, too. Our kangaroo coloring page had a couple of half-hearted scribbles on it and the before mentioned hopping time was a failure, but the kids did enjoy watching a couple of youtube videos about kangaroos (from BBC).

January 6, 2011 at 1:03 pm Leave a comment

Kk is for Kite

I really wish we could just go fly a kite. But the fact that it is 18 degrees out has really discouraged me from that idea. We are enjoying the sunshine streaming in our windows, knowing that it does not feel sunshiny warm outside.

I cut out a kite shape from a piece of construction paper. Dig then drew on it. I have been trying to encourage his drawing – he is really coming along now! I am amazed at the sudden switch between scribbles and people.

The Letter K

So Dig spent a lot of time drawing with a marker on his kite.

Daddy

I totally stole the kite craft idea from a friend (Bekah!) who threw a Mary Poppins birthday party for her youngest daughter recently. I love drawing from others ideas – our craft ideas here would be pretty limited if it was confined to my own imagination.

Charlie got in trouble for sucking on markers

Dig has been asking for a month or so if we could fly a kite. I keep trying to tell him that we have to wait for spring time – when it is warmer and windy. The concept of time is so off for him – although he is picking up on certain ideas. The other day when he was complaining about an owie, Jonny asked him when he got the owie. “Um, on Sunday,” he replied. Too funny.

We taped a bit of twine to the back of the kite and tied some ribbon on for the kite tail.

Trying to "fly" the kite was fun for 2 seconds

January 5, 2011 at 12:02 pm Leave a comment

Crafty Christmas – Tommy’s Cigar Gloves

If there’s one thing Tommy needs help with, it is his suavity factor. These gloves will probably not help.

Knitty.com has a pattern for these nifty cigar gloves that I just knew my brother “needed” as soon as I saw them. My niece pointed out that they would be useful as texting gloves as well. I thought they might come in handy on his annual snow caving, where there is supposedly cigar and/or pipe smoking.

I followed the pattern as it reads, using white wool and black for the contrast. Once the gloves were finished I dyed them by putting first the fingers in the pot of dye for 20 minutes, then added the middle for 20 minutes, then the wrist. The color change wasn’t as gradual as I was going for, but they still turned out well.

Here’s to toasty fingers and that lovely tobacco smell, all at the same time.

January 4, 2011 at 2:20 pm Leave a comment

Crafty Christmas – Kristin’s Embroidered Owls

Kristin has a thing for owls. I looked at a few pics of owls before I sketched these out on tissue paper with an embroidery transfer pencil. I used some simple muslin material and embroidery floss. Once it was all finished I tried putting these owls into a frame I painted and it just didn’t look right. So I put them back into the embroidery hoop, then painted the brass screw hardware yellow to tie the color in to the yellow of the owls’ beaks and claws.

I did this embroidery days before I found an awesome book on embroidery at the Youth Ranch called “Crewel Embroidery” by Erica Wilson (1962). If I had this book before I did the owl embroidery, I probably would have changed some of the stitches I did, but overall I think it turned out alright!

January 3, 2011 at 4:55 pm Leave a comment

Kk is for King

We are back in to the full swing of schooling! Dig and Charlie were both excited to have this time of learning again after our little holiday break.

I want to encourage any one who is thinking about doing school time with their little ones but thinks it sounds overwhelming. Dig is just now 3 and Charlie is tagging along at 18 months. We do not spend a lot of time doing these school projects – their attention span wouldn’t be up to a full day of school, never mind the fact that I couldn’t come up with that amount of projects. I spend very little prep time and we spend anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour doing school time. It is totally doable if you want to do it. I read a lot of parenting books and books about children and learning and school – the young child’s job is to play. They do not need formal schooling at this age at all. I am simply facilitating that play time with some crafts because that is what my boy likes to do. And I am following the alphabet simply because it helps me come up with ideas for that craft time and be a little more organized.

One of the best things I have done for my children is to let them help. It is hard for me to do because it always takes longer and sometimes required more work from me, but children learn a great deal from being allowed to stand at a sudsy sink with a scrubber and some dirty dishes or mix a batch of cornbread or cookies.

Today was the start of this week’s letter Kk. We talked about the sound it makes and that it would be the start for k-k-king. The boys liked coloring in the king‘s crown and the big K and little k. Then Dig got to use his handy scissors (he could sit and cut paper for hours!) to cut out different colored “jewels” to glue on a paper crown.

January 3, 2011 at 11:23 am Leave a comment

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