Wednesday, October 26, 2011

These Ordinary Days

It's Fall here in the Ozarks
Today I looked out and noticed the trees had suddenly seemed to explode with color...waving around their brightly colored leaves like Joseph showing off his coat of many colors.

Soon, it will all be gone.
I'll go back to longing for days of sunshine, kick up an extra dose of Vit. D, and thank God once again that I now live in the South where winter is not so cold and sharp.
It been a quiet month.
Normal busy, but quiet.
I've been writing down my list of Thanks.
Another friend called it her "beholding list."
Beholding God's handiwork and blessings.
I like that.
Moments to Behold.
It sounds Holy.
It sounds like one should stop an ponder who gives us these moments to "behold."
Where do these simple moments of His Goodness come from?
We completely miss them if we don't slow down to look.

Here are a few of the things I wrote down in my Gratitude Journal to behold.

Behold# Sweet Kittens who live their lazy lives on our back deck basking in the sun.

They are my kid's friends. These are their children that they carry around the yard like baby dolls wrapped in blankets.
These are the friends that they naughtily launch out the front door by their back legs when caught sneaking into the house and under the kitchen table.

Behold# Today's leaves said that He loves beauty and peace and quiet.
It was almost reverent to look out at the color.

Behold# A beautiful Fall Day when friends and the 4 kids and I went to a local festival.
I felt like I'd walk back 50 years in time watching these guys cut, core, peel and hand out their apples.
People sat on the curb chatting, laughing, bluegrass music played in the town square, feet tapped to tunes of a different era. A different time.
I could have sat in the shade all day watching people meander past.
The usual and unusual hawked their wares.

My children have fallen in love with these colorful animals and save their nickels, dollars and dimes just to search the whole place and buy these.
My favorite vendor?
The doll dress maker (of which I was so busily drooling over her work that I forgot to take a picture).
My other favorite?
The classic wooden toys.

Behold# Large Bubble Blowing Stick.
Mr. Smiles launched it to the side to create "the world's largest bubble" and promptly lassoed a giant drippy bubble over an un-suspecting lady passing by.
I was horrified.
She was shocked.
Mr. Smiles was embarrassed but delighted.
Can I hide now please?

Behold# The joys of little boys, babies and bubbles.
Baby belly laughs anyone?
Nothing can be more cute.

Behold# Little boy who desperately needs a haircut and allows himself to be put in ponytails just for the humor of his sister.
(He got a haircut that afternoon).

Behold# Daddy is home for a day.
And, he finally gets to put up the lattice work on the back deck that we've been talking about since we moved into this house 3 years ago.
No small child is allowed out the back door for fear of the wide rails and the 2 story drop off the back deck.

Behold# Little boys who watch and copy every move a grown man makes.

They pulled out all their "power tools" and worked at the kitchen table just like "daddy" (Mr. Luke) until they were allowed outside.

Behold# Fall gourds and the wonder of toddlers and preschoolers.

Behold# I finally answered my daughter's request to paint the Eiffel tower on her bedroom wall.
I'd agonized how I was going to do that until I saw a picture on the Internet.
Easy Peasy Pie!
Black Sharpie anyone?

Behold# Friends, their sweet kids and fire pits.

Little boys and sticks and fire make for dangerous entertainment.

Gooey Chocolate and sticky marshmallows sandwiched between graham crackers make for a simply delightful and horribly messy evening.

Behold# little friends to climb and jump hay bales with.

Behold# Unplanned captures of quiet moments that are sweet and rare.
He was sitting in the window singing Be Thou My Vision when he thought no one was looking.

I interrupted the moment and he hopped down to roll the pumpkins across the living room floor, around the couch and out the front door.
Just because.

Behold# Cardboard boxes and the hours of entertainment they provide...

...until they are played to bits.
(withing about 48 hours in a house full of boys).

Behold# I want to stop and give thanks and be full of his wonder in these Ordinary Days

Thursday, October 20, 2011

On Coffee Filters, Rainbows and Markers on Glass

I've been back in the crafty mood with the kids.
I'm sure this is partly due to us being indoors a little more with all the crazy up and down weather we are experiencing right now.
The boys being confined indoors? Not so liking it.
So, I'm trying to keep them occupied and be creative at the same time.

I found these old coffee filters waaaay back in the back of our cupboard that hadn't been used in 2 years and amazingly enough, I hadn't thrown them out yet in my endevour to declutter.
Our coffee maker doesn't use the paper filters, but still, they were there taking up space and I have re-purposed them to the craft cupboard.

Coffee Filter Flowers
Water Color Paints at the Dollar Tree and Coffee Filters occupied a child who was sick two days last week, her little brother,

and 2 high energy toddlers on a cold rainy day.
(Gotta' love the sippie cup love this one still has).

Then, then yesterday Precious Jewel came home from being out with Grandmama and brought the other kids a fun surprise.
Window Markers!
Have you seen these?
They are so much fun!

Good Lookin' has surprisingly been the most enthralled...decorating nearly every square surface of our front window.

Mr. Smiles immediately colored snow flakes on the back door.

And I had lots of fun adding stems and swirls to their coffee filter flowers!
Happy Fall!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Fun Fall Craft

I found another fun and cheap fall craft to do with the kids off of Pinterest this past week and it's the perfect time of year to try it with the kids.
I had 4 of the kid's little friends over this past Sunday after church.
Luke was working and honestly they do better with friends over on the weekends when daddy is gone.
The girls all wanted to do some painting while the boys were marching around in the yard with their light sabers.
I had them all collect the biggest leaves they could find that had already fallen and bring them inside where I had set up the paper and tempera paint.

I still have a little bit of tempera paint left over from homeschooling Abigail in Kindergarten 3 years ago.
I'm going to have to find another source that has those same big bottles of tempera paint because they came with her curriculum and they lasted these 3 years!!

The girls had so much fun. The more colors they used the better it looked.
We learned you have to turn the leaves over and paint the rough spinney side.
I want to try water color but I'm not so sure it will work.

Then you flip the leaves over and press them onto a piece of paper.
I have loads of half-printed-on scratch paper and they just stamped onto the "clean" side.

We were able to stamp and peal the same leaf multiple times and the design was more detailed each time they stamped and pealed.
They were so cute on how they carefully pulled off their leaves to reveal the colored rainbow leaves.

Pretty rainbows!
I want the kids and I to do some more with just fall colors and then cut them out to hang in our front window.
Wouldn't that be a pretty fall garland?

Friday, October 7, 2011

In Love with Fall

And on a completely different note:
Fall Decorating is the Easiest of all least if you live in the country.
I think though that anyone can collect Fall items to decorate with.
We have these huge nuts that are falling by the dozens every day in our yard.
The kids love them.
The Black Walnuts we also have falling everywhere simply trip you up and twist your ankles.
We have about 5 different nut trees in our yard that are dropping like crazy right now.
The squirrels are running around like the mad little creatures they are; dashing down the trees, into the yard, grabbing and running for their little lives before our crazy puppies get to them.
They are impossible to get pictures of this year.
The puppies think it's one huge game of chase and tag.
The squirrels?
Not so much.

They are huge!
You have to put them in the freezer for an hour or two to kill any little "friends" that might show up in a day or so after being brought into the warm house, but after that they are great decorative items.

I've given the kids buckets to collect whatever nuts they want and it's another form of treasure hunting in our little neck of the woods.

Then we put them in these fabulous-for-anything Mason Jars along with Christmas pine cones and Dollar Store leaves and they make a great little Fall Decoration!

Little Friends

I took these pictures about a month ago but am just now getting to share them.
This is the daily dream of little boys.
If I let them, every day they are outside exploring, climbing, "hunting," imagining and making a new adventure.

This day, for some reason, I had no baby and instead had a little boy that I babysat for last year. Nater Mater asks to see M almost every day.
If I say no that it's not possible, he begins to cry and asks for J and S.
Change is hard, so I try to set up play dates for him to see the little guy.
Even small children make special friends.
These two have a special little bond.
This day, I told them that I could take them to the hay bales that are lined up row upon row in front of our property.
They are an invariable wonderland of adventure

Our nimble and oh-so-tame kittens-now-almost-cats bound after them and spring up onto the sides up the bales much to little boy's delight.

Good Lookin' can jump from bale to bale with relative ease; spanning the sometimes wide gaps that were left this year.
His skinny legs propel him from bale to bale in a surprisingly graceful action for one so un-coordinated.
He gloats that he is "big" and the "little boys" have to be helped across.

They are fine.
After just a few short minutes on top of the terrifyingly high bales they would much rather plant their feet on the firm ground to play hide and seek. They are forever searching and running in the tall grass between the huge bales.

Friends are important to even little people and i want to help my children create healthy friendships even when small.

There is nothing quite like the love of a friend.