Play With Me, Mommy

As ridiculous as it might sound… I was sitting at this very same desk, intently focusing on my computer when my husband walked in the door. “What are you doing, hon?” he asked. “Oh; just researching ways to spend time with ‘T’.” was my reply. “Seriously? She’s sitting at your feet, playing with blocks! Just get off the computer and play!!”

Yes; yes, I know I was being silly. At the time, however, it seemed like the right thing to do. I mean, play time was supposed to be memorable and meaningful. I couldn’t just sit down and play without a plan; I might have missed something vital I was supposed to be teaching her.

I’ve finally come to the realization, with a little help from my husband, that we are both right.

There are times when I need to just plop down on the floor, no game plan in mind, and let the moment take us away. Who knows where spontaneous creativity might lead? On the other hand, I also want to make a point of picking purposeful activities and events to partake in. Afternoon tea time, field trips, large art projects, and thoughtful conversations might need a little ground work and preparation.

Play With Me, MommyNo matter the situation, I need to make sure I take several moments out of each day to just be mommy and play with my kiddos.

Sometimes it can be so easy to get caught up in the problems of life. I have laundry, dishes, and house keeping that need to be done; our learning day needs to be completed; errands need to be run; ministry which needs to be planned for; and numerous other “hats” I need to don before the day is out.

While these responsibilities are necessary and beneficial to my family, I also need to remember it is just as important to stop and enjoy my children’s company as it is to provide for them.

It doesn’t need to be grand, it doesn’t even need to take mass amounts of time; I simply need to make a pointed effort to stop what I’m doing for a short while and let them know I’m invested in them. For that moment, I’m not the housekeeper or the teacher; I am mom and I’m always willing to enjoy their company.

Besides, those dishes will sit for five more minutes.

Please Note: I am not suggesting we switch out one for the other, responsibility and spending time with the kids. My husband would go nuts if our house was a mess, no matter how much time I spent with our children. No; I think, with a little effort, there is a way to do both! We just need to be creative, thoughtful, and organized. 

“She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.” – Proverbs 31:26-27

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Work Hard, Play Harder: Tons of Fun!

Yesterday we filled our day with tons of fun! There is nothing like playing hard….

It started out with some fun at the park, with a few of our Keepers at Home crew. We decided to get together over the summer break and hang out. It was the perfect day too; sunshine and a cool breeze.

"T" and her friendThen we headed over the library to turn in our summer reading assignments and grab books. Wow! “T” had eight reports to turn in and mommy had sixteen! Way to go gang!

After a quick trip to the grocery store, the kiddos and I dug into amazingly awesome watermelon. There is nothing quite like juicy fruit on a warm day.

While at the park, one of our friends had reminded us the young adult event (can’t believe I’m already there!?) for the library was that same afternoon. So, “T” and I headed back into the great outdoors for some fun with kids her own age.

There she was able to do some cupcake decorating with her friends. (I confess, I thought there would be a little more to the class. Instead of teaching them various methods of decorating, they simply let them have at it. They did make a point teaching the kids the history of cake decorating, which was interesting.)

Mickey Mouse

I just couldn’t stand around and NOT help. “T” and I came up with this cute design…

While most people credit Europe with the invention of decorating confections during the mid-1800’s, it actually began as early as Ancient Egypt where they decorated their sweets with condensed honey and almond slices. Interesting….

After all that fun, we headed back home and into our own kitchen to make a mess. After some dinner and a movie or two, it was time to call it a day.

Who knew having tons of fun could be so tiring?

Work Hard, Play Harder: Outdoor Water Bed

I firmly believe in doing everything to the best of my ability. If something is worth doing, it’s worth doing right! I also believe this line of thought should extend outside the realm of work. Playtime should be just meaningful as industry.

Water Blob Tutorial

Bobbie Bird’s Tutorial on how to make your own “water blob” or “bed”, as I call it.

To this end, the kiddos and I have decided to plan several fun activities which we can work on together and enjoy some play time. Today’s fun event… an outdoor water-bed!

While I would love to take credit for this truly awesome idea, I must give credit where credit is due. Bobbie Bird over at The Clumsy Crafter came up with this clever notion of using everyday materials to have loads of fun.

This idea is so simple and cute, anyone can do it. Simply take plastic tarp (definitely get the heavy-duty thickness, no flimsy stuff will do) and duct tape. Fold the tarp in half and tape the three open sides firmly together, leaving a small opening on one corner to fill your “bed” with water before fully closing it up. Then… have some fun!

There are a few things I would do differently next time, because we will be doing this again!

I believe instead of using food coloring, which can get very expensive, I might like to try blue Kool-aid or even water-color paint. I think this would have the same effect, but last longer and be more cost-effective.

I would also make sure to stop at a discount store and purchase plastic fish (or something along those lines) to put in the “bed” as well. This would give the kiddos something to play with while bouncing around. Bobbie mentioned she might try it with confetti next time herself, which would also be amazing!

This was the perfect ending to an already fun afternoon. With our newly rented library books, we got busy on our reading challenge for the week and did some outdoor resting at the same time.

Ah! There’s nothing like some good, hard play time!