Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Games and More Games

This winter games have become a big part of our daily routine.  We've always played a lot of games but more now as the kids are a bit older... there are plenty that they play as siblings plus more that we play as a family.  Our game closet has become quite full (and this isn't even all of them).

Some new favorites recently: Uno Attack, Monopoly Deal, Farming game, Trouble, and Risk.

I end up with so many pics of playing games :)  Partially because everyone is still for a while instead of on the go, plus its a memory of quality time and working together.  But mostly its part of who we are as a family and one way we enjoy each other's company.

And pics of visitors playing games with us.

Just another snapshot of our life on the gravelly road.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Happy 8th Birthday!

This kid is eight today!  Can you believe it?  This momma can't.  He has grown so much this past year in so many ways.  He has declared he will be taller than me by the time he is 10 yrs old.  Its important to have goals I tell him.

He enjoyed a Knights and Castles family party with grandparents this past weekend.  Before and after presents, cake and ice cream, we did one of his favorite things -- everyone played games.  Often we had more than one game going at a time.  Monopoly Deal, Go Fish, Zingo, and his new Farming Game.

As its happened the last few years, he also had a wrestling meet that same day.  He got third, winning his first match of the year with a pin.

There are so many highlights and memories from his year of being seven but here are a few, as told by mom:

* You rocked first grade - learning to read, excelling at math, getting homework done and handling some tough friend situations.  You may not always love school (it takes away from lego time) but you handle your responsibilities well, remembering what day is library day or when to study spelling.  Your teachers always have good things to say about you as a student and I'm proud of you for all that hard work.

* You've developed a love of reading which makes this momma's heart so happy.  Just Saturday I watched you devour a chapter book while sitting in a noisy gym at the wrestling meeting, blocking out all distractions to get to the next section.  Even though you are a great reader, you love being read to and reading challenging chapter books with you before bed is a time I treasure.

* You look out for your siblings.  Zman joined you at the big school this year and I love how you look out for him... even if it sometimes takes the form of tattling on what he did on the bus.  You like to know his schedule and the two of you talk about special elementary school things coming up.  You enjoy reading to Peaches and Zman, especially the stories you write yourself.

* Speaking of writing stories, your imagination is a big part of who you are. Whether its lego adventures or creations, pretend play with your siblings, a brand new game or the stories you write, your imagination and creativity impact our days.

* You've continued to wrestle, this year with your brother on the team.  Sometimes its not your favorite thing but you work hard, don't give up and display good sportsmanship during meets which makes us proud.

* You are determined to learn new things.  Just over break you decided you wanted to know how to fry your own eggs for breakfast and now you do every day.  You and Dad have been working on playing your new guitar.  You like to try new and harder math problems.  Learning new games is something you enjoy.

* You think big thoughts and ask big questions.  Whether its about something you heard at church, learned about at school or read about, you always seem to have big thoughts spinning in your head.  This generates some interesting discussions, questions and imaginative stories.  Keep asking questions and passionately seeking answers to your questions.  Keep dreaming up big plans.  God has given you a smart mind and keep using it.

Happy Birthday blessings!  Dad and I love you so much and pray your year as an 8 year old is full of new adventures, special memories together, lots of learning, and the experiences that will continue to mold you into the young man God intends for you to be someday.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Five Minute Friday: Connect

This week I'm again participating in Five Minute Fridays at Kate Motaung's blog, (after another long hiatus) encouraging bloggers to write on a prompt unedited for five minutes.  This week's prompt: CONNECT


Break has ended and school scheduled resumed.  The lazy mornings in pjs full of snuggles, games, and books that we got used from the week before have been replaced with the hustle of breakfast, dressed, teeth, backpacks, and winter gear.

As a mom of school aged kids, its easy for me to get caught up in the busy.  School drop-offs, errands, preschool pick up, house chores, school pick-up, snack, homework, supper and bedtime.  Throw in a few extra activities in there (wrestling, dance, church) and you get our average week.

One of my goals right now is to try to connect more with each kid.  A special project just me and a child.  An extra book at bedtime or longer bedtime snuggles.  Teaching a new skill.  Listening to a crazy imaginative play story. Sitting to watch one more extra special dance routine in the living room.
It takes intention but after seeing the benefits of a few days at the slower pace and free-er schedule of break I think its more than worth it. (And before you think our break was idyllic and stress free, there was also plenty of bickering, sibling fights and whining, just to keep it real).

My kids see how I spend my time and notice if I'm really paying attention to them.  I want to be able pour into them so they know how much they are loved.  I want to give them the gift of quality time.  I want to connect with their hearts.

I want to connect my priorities to how I choose to spend the hours I have with them.

I want to connect.


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