Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Last Day of School

Today is a big day here. The boys have been looking forward to this day for about a month now. They had a count down ice cream cone that they colored a scoop of ice cream each day. But today is it. The last day of school. That means I now have a 1st grader and a 6th grader living at my house. Wow- how did that happen? Time flies. But as we close another school year, we do celebrate a little as to what the kids have achieved this year. This includes pictures before leaving for school and pictures when they are coming home. (I have a love with crayola window crayons) I have decorated the doors with little signs that say "Home of a 1st and 6th grader" and "Welcome to Summer" The kids look forward to something special from Mom on the last day of school. I usually get them a little something to kick off the summer with. Sometimes it is a school practice book for during summer. Sometimes it is summer equipment like a kickball, bubbles, pool toys, whatever we might need in the next 3 months. I have hung a few colored pennants on the porch, just so they know that there is something to celebrate and be excited about. But I find this a great time to spend time with my boys. I know that summer will be over before I know it and we will be busy -( I've looked at the calendar) but I hope that I get to make a few great memories with the boys before they are off working a summer job or too busy with other things than to hang out with their mom. So here is to summer and time well spent with the boys!!!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day

Today with temperatures near 90 it certainly felt like the 4th of July not Memorial Day. But we participated in our annual travels with the local American Legion post. They have a small service at 8 different cemeteries before having the community Memorial service. For years now, I have offered them to serve as their trumpeter for Taps if they didn't have a high school student to perform.  This year was a little bit different. Robert has been playing trumpet for almost 2 years and he is doing very well. Last year he played Taps at our church with music for Memorial Day. He had asked to play at the Legion services, but I told him that he had to have it memorized.  A couple of weeks ago, he asked if he could be my echo, he had it memorized!  This was a very special opportunity because today, my son and I played Taps, 8 times together. But playing together wasn't the part that meant the most, it was the fact that my son had a desire to play for our Veterans and to honor them. He had the opportunity to meet some of the amazing men that have served our country. He has an understanding of how important these men and women are to our country and our freedom. At the age eleven, Robert has the understanding that freedom isn't free and that we need to take a little bit of time and honor and thank our veterans.

So did you take time to thank a veteran today?  Have you exposed your family to those that have served our country or were the picnics calling your name and you forgot what we were remembering today?

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Are you planning for summer?

I am not referring to planning the family vacation or trip, but are you planning for every day this summer? In order to hear less whining, complaining and fighting, I do try to plan a little bit for summer. There are craft projects already purchased for days when it is too super hot to be outside all day. Things to keep Garrett busy while Robert is working on something. Things for them to work on together.

Thankfully Robert is involved with 4-H and has his project books and activities to work on. He also has Boy Scout merit badges. So he usually can find something to do.

We are also blessed that we are involved with our County Fair. The book of things that can be entered will be printed on June 1. Garrett and I will sit down and highlight what he would like to enter in the fair and then, we get to work. If he wants to enter a photo, we might take cameras and go for a hike or to the park and just have a photo shoot. If he wants to build a rocket, I have the kit already purchased(he has started one when he was off school for his tonsils) But if they want to be in the sandbox all day- go for it. If they want to play with the waterguns - go for it.

I do keep a list of things meant more for rainy days -and things to do each week. Some of those things can be taken outside too, but sometimes we forget about board games in the summer. Things like puzzles are left until winter.

 When Robert was younger, we did try doing themed weeks.  Things like
-Water Fun week
-Bubble Week
Bug Week
Color Week
Number Week
Alphabet Week
Circus Week
Flower Week

These are just a few ideas of what we did. Lots of times I would look in Oriental Trading for ideas of things to do for each of thee weeks for a craft, I usually do not purchase 12 crafts for 2 boys, but we find something similar.  With the themes, I would find activities, science projects, crafts, games that tied into each of the themes.

A little planning for summer saves a lot of headaches.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

"Be Strong and Courageous VBS"

This year the Knox United Methodist Church will be having a circus while having "Be Strong and Courageous" VBS. VBS will be from June 11-15 in the evening this year. We will be meeting from 6-8:30 each evening. Kids are welcome to come meet the Lion Tamer, The Beauty Queen, the Strong Man and the Ring Master. They will also be invited to "Follow me."  Each day the children will get the opportunity to go to the Big Top, The Back Yard, The Midway, The Cookhouse, The Pitchman's Tent and the Baggage Wagon.

We are very excited about reaching the neighborhood children for the Lord and to re-enforce the things that they already know about Jesus.

Come Join the Circus at "Be Strong and Courageous" VBS

Friday, May 18, 2012

Spring Concerts

Robert before the concert band 's concert

Robert during concert band

In the last week, we have enjoyed 2 band concerts that Robert performed in. The first was the elementary concert band and then the second was the jazz band. In both concerts, Robert did very well as did the rest of the band. We are so blessed with a music department that has a love for music and instructing the students.
Jazz Band concert

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Children's sermon - Love of a mother

I brought with me a picture of my Great Aunt on her 90th birthday and then a picture of her descendants. This children's sermon might be a little specific to me, but I think it could be adapted to other families.

As usual I got the kids warmed up a little bit with a Good morning and how are you? First let me read you some scripture. We will be reading from Deuteronomy 7:12-13 "If you pay attention to these laws and are careful to follow them, then the Lord your God will keep his covenant of love with you, as he swore to your forefathers. He will love you and bless you and increase your number..." Then I said that I wanted to share something that had happened to me yesterday. I held up the picture of my Great Aunt at her 90th  birthday party. I explained who she was and that how cool it was for someone to have lived 90 years. 

My Great Aunt on her 90th birthday
"That means she was born in 1922, boy that was a long time ago. So what do you think it was like to be a kid your age when she was young? (the kids didn't really give me answers so I explained a couple of things) when she was born she was raised on a farm and they were still using horses to do the farm work. She helped bake bread because that was before sliced bread. And she had to help make butter, if they wanted it for their bread. The I jumped to when she got married, she got married and her husband was sent off to serve in World War 2, while she was home raising their first child. Now I know that being a single parent is hard, but being a single parent in the 1940's would have been very difficult. But on top of that her husband was a prisoner of war. She wasn't even sure that he was living or if he would come home. But he did! When the war was over, they went on to have a total of 4 children. now kids tell me do you get along with your siblings? (And I asked a couple of the kids that I knew had at least 3 kids in the family) well these kids haven't always gotten along either, especially now that they are adults and have families, but they were all together yesterday because their mother loved them. "The Lord promised that he would increase our numbers if they followed the laws." well you see my great aunt, at least as long as I have known her, has had her Bible on her kitchen table for her quiet time with the Lord. Even when I traveled with her, she had her Bible with her. She lived her life in a way that was pleasing to the Lord. in return, she has had increase of her numbers, which showed yesterday when her descendants at her party were 34 with one on the way, but the true number is 36 as there were a few that couldn't make it in for the party. So from the love of 2 people, they had four children who in turned loved someone and they had children and it continues.
The entire family!

So with this being the week before Mother's Day I challenged the kids to start the first part of this verse with paying attention to the laws of the Lord and to maybe begin with "Obey thy mother and father" as it is never too late to start following the Lord's laws and then he will be able to increase your numbers too. Imagine what you could tell your great grandchildren if you start following the Lord now!

We closed in prayer.

Bertha's 90th

Happy Birthday!
Yesterday our family celebrated my Great Aunt Bertha's 90th birthday. It was a very nice afternoon of seeing extended family that I haven't seen in a few years. But it made me reflect on my great aunt. The things that she has lived through and what she has accomplished. Amazing! If you have an older relative, even your parents or grandparents. Take time to ask questions about what it was like when they were younger. Ask if there are pictures that they would share with you. If you happen to be lucky enough to have them share them with you, take a minute to write a little label on the back or a caption. You will be glad that you did later in live or someone else will be glad you did. Hearing stories that were shared made my aunt come more to life to me. So don't let these beautiful people who have contributed to your life slip by without learning about them.

Coffee Filter Butterflies

While Garrett was home form school, it was May Day. Usually we deliver baskets of flowers to some of the neighbors, but with the seasons and flowers being all confused, Garrett and I made coffee filter butterflies to share with our neighbors.
This is usually really simple, but we had 1 small problem, I didn't think about his new markers being "washable." Very seldom do I purchase the washable type of markers. Kids are going to get markers on them anyhow and it does come of eventually. Well we tried the first filter and the color washed right out of it. Oops - okay let's get older markers and try again.

These are the markers that worked! not washable!
After the first little mistake, we then made several colored coffee filters, where you put color on the filter with a marker and then with an eye dropper add a few drops of water so the colors run together.  I did try to figure out how to dry these inside. When I saw the suction cup hooks that we use in our shower for scrubbies. I moved one to each end of the shower and stretched a string between the strings. miniature clothespins that we use for our art clothesline and we were set. Garrett could add the water and hang them up by himself.

We had all sort of colors

We then took clothespins, the slide on kind and added faces. When the filters were dry, we folded them to make our wings and slid 2 filters on each butterfly. We made cute little envelopes with hangers and then waited til May 1st to go hang them around the community. These worked really well and turned out adorable.