Saturday, December 11, 2010

Christmas Card 2010

Snow Kiss Green Christmas
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Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The Fine Arts and Weapons

The Toledo Art Museum has a really great program called "Hands On at the Museum" where kids can make a special craft and it's FREE. Since "the brothers" are home on Spring break, they asked if we could go to the museum. I'm thinking, "Excellent idea, the boys will be able to create something fun and maybe even improve their cutting and gluing abilities" (they are all kind of...well..."delayed" in this area). So off we went to the Art Museum.

Upon arrival they discover the craft of the day is either a bug or flowers. "OK," I think, "they will make a bug." Nope, they aren't even the least bit interested. Joel and Drew immediately leave the craft room and head to the play area. Evan makes a simple craft and then joins his brothers to play.

After playing a while we decided to head into the main part of the museum to see some real art. The brothers actually enjoy the art museum way more than I ever thought they would for children who are themselves art-deficient. Joel even looked at one painting for a while and made the observation that the people in the painting looked lonely. Interesting and insightful. I'm impressed.

As we were leaving the museum the lady at the information desk asked the boys if they went to the children's area for the "Hands On" craft. After I tell her that we did she asked if they made a bug. "," I said slightly embarrassed, "he made a gun." Yes, there were buckets and baskets full of free, fun art supplies and my kid makes a gun! I am trying to expose my children to the fine arts and Evan's making a weapon.

I guess no matter what I do, boys will be boys.

Friday, March 5, 2010

I Love This Year

This is the best school year yet! I love that I have alone time with Drew each morning and then Evan comes home from Kindergarten at 11:45, followed by Joel at 3:30. It's perfect. Each kid has their own moment to talk about their day and I am not bombarded with three boys walking in the door at the same time.

I still wish Drew and Evan were 2 and 3 years old (oh my gosh do I miss having a three-year-old in the house), but this year it's been so nice for each child to have a moment when the attention is solely on them. I'm hoping this year goes a little slower so that I can savor each day.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

It's O.K. To Be Shy

With two extroverted children living in our house I secretly hoped my last child would be a quiet child. I got what I wanted -- Drew is a shy, quiet child particularly in unknown situations, but now there are times when I force him to be an extrovert. Today was a prime example.

I enrolled Drew in a gymnastics class at the YMCA and he's been telling me he didn't want to go unless I was in the class with him. I explained I would be watching him and would not leave the room, but he was still apprehensive. When we arrived at the class he asked where I was going to be. "Upstairs in the viewing area," I said. Then he started crying and said he wanted to go home. I told him I would stay downstairs and watch but he still wanted to go home. The class started, he did NOT want to go and started clinging to me. I felt bad about forcing him to go in, but I knew he would love the class. The teacher took his hand and off he went and the crying stopped immediately.

He appeared to be having fun the entire class -- using the balance beams, spring boards, parallel bars, etc., but after class he told me he didn't like it. I think he is just being stubborn because when Evan came home from school, he told Evan all about the class.

Sometimes it's difficult for extroverts like me to understand introverts, but thankfully I have a husband who helps me understand the "shy" person. Ben has helped me see that just because Drew is quiet doesn't mean he's not having fun or that he's not completely happy just observing.

Drew is happy being shy but so many times in life he is expected to be an extrovert. As his mother, I am trying to teach him that being shy is O.K., but he may not be rude. i.e. When someone he does not know greets him, he must be polite and say "hello" and give answers to their questions -- like how old are you?, etc.

I have also learned that I need to prepare Drew for what to expect before going into a situation where I know the attention will be on him. For instance, at Thanksgiving we always go around the table and tell for what we are most thankful. If I didn't prepare Drew for this he would just sit silently, but with preparation (and sometimes rehearsal) he does fine.

I am already concerned about him starting preschool next year. Before preschool starts the teachers always ask if there is anything they need to know about each child. I am all ready for my answer to this question: "Drew is shy and that's O.K. Please allow him to be that way."

Now, I don't want a child who is not listening or not participating in group activities, but I also don't want him forced to "perform on command." He will not be the kid jumping up and down and doing motions to "bumpin' up and down in my little red wagon." Do I expect him to be obedient? Yes. Do I expect Drew to come running when the teacher announces auditions for the class play? No. :-)

Joel and Evan couldn't wait for preschool and loved every minute of it. Drew? Well, I don't know how the first few days of preschool will go, but I'm sure there will be a few tears shed (from Drew and ME!).

Thursday, February 4, 2010

1 Dad 1:1

Remember the days when we used to put book covers on our school books?

When I was in the middle of my 8th grade year I brought my Social Studies book home to put a new cover on it as the old one was destroyed. I diligently cut-up a brown paper bag, wrapped the book and taped the cover in place. Perfect. I left it on the kitchen table to be taken to school the next day.

Social Studies was one of my least favorite subjects and, even though I was a pretty good student, I really struggled in this class. Apparently my dad was very well aware of my difficulties in this class because when I woke up the next morning, written on the brand new book cover was the following:

"Thou shalt dwell in this book all thine days which art left in thy school year. I Dad 1:1"

I smiled then and I still smile today when I think if that "verse;" it's one of many wonderful memories I have of my dad.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Sound of D

In Kindergarten Evan has been learning the sounds of each letter. Last week he had to draw pictures of things that started with the letter D. Here are Evan's drawings; can you identify each? (Yes, he gets his artistic abilities from me.)

Let me help you a little:
Dice (that was an easy one); his blue Nintendo DSi, a donut with sprinkles, a daisy and at the bottom is a dog. But what or who is the guy in the middle? Dad? Nope. It's a "dude" of course! He's riding on a skateboard. I had to laugh out loud when he showed this to me! He might not be an artist, but Evan certainly is cool. :-)

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Macy's Parade, Memories and Delicacies

I was so excited this Thanksgiving morning. Why? Excited about a wonderful meal? Gathering together with family? A day to sleep in? Well, while those are all true, I was most excited because my boys, ALL three of them, watched the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade with me! I absolutely love this parade and I've never been able to pass along the excitement of it to Joel, Evan and Drew, but this year they actually watched it and liked it. (I don't think they quite loved it, but there's always next year.)

Thanksgiving is a wonderful holiday but it really doesn't stir up a lot of emotion for me. I told my mom this and she agreed. We think it's because for many of my Thanksgivings as a child my dad had to work so we just celebrated with a meal whenever Dad was off (maybe the day before or after). There is one childhood year for which I do have a distinct memory: right after school let out on Wednesday at 3:10 p.m., instead of getting on the school bus all three of us kids were picked up at school by Mom and Dad (in the big blue van) and we drove straight from school to Grandma's house in Columbus two hours away. For some reason that was so much fun to go straight from school to Grandma's.

One Thanksgiving tradition my mom started that we still do is to take turns telling what we are most thankful this year. I asked the kids what they are most thankful for this year and they responded:
Joel: "My family, friends, God & Jesus, and food & water."
Evan: "God, Mom and my family."
Drew: "Candy."

This year I am most thankful for my dad and mom, for a wonderful husband and three smart and loving boys, and an amazing extended family. With the death of my dad this year it really hit home what a wonderful family God has blessed me with. I love them with all of my heart!

One final thought: I cannot blog about Thanksgiving without mentioning my favorite Thanksgiving delicacies:
my mom's stuffing, Grandma Heibel's pecan pie and my mother-in-law's corn casserole. Oh. my. gosh. They are the BEST! Gotta run and go put on my bigger jeans.