Thursday, November 28, 2013

thankful.

This seems like a timely post, considering it's Thanksgiving Day 2013.  Happy Thanksgiving!  For what are you thankful?

This year, I decided the best way to spread out the Halloween candy and avoid stomachaches was to ration the goods.  I borrowed an idea from my friend, S, and created a Family Thankfulness Jar.

I put all of our Halloween candy in a large cookie jar.  Next to it, I placed small cards (index cards cut in half) and pens in a little, fall-themed bucket.  In order to choose a treat from the jar, the chooser (nice word, huh?) had to write something on the card for which they were thankful.  Write something down, choose a treat, repeat.

The kids learned a lot from this activity:
1.  They saw other people (and adults) writing things down to grab a treat.
2.  Writing it down makes you think about it more.
3.  We were able to use the time leading up to Thanksgiving to really think about the blessings in our lives.
4. They were encouraged to write something different each time, instead of writing "family" over and over.
5.  Friends, extended family, Girl Scout troop members, homeschool activity participants...everyone that came to our house was invited to participate in the thankful jar activity.  What a fun way to get to know our friends!

Now what are we going to do with all of those slips of paper?

My friend's family reads through them prior to enjoying their Thanksgiving meal.  I think that is a fantastic idea and offers a dose of perspective on a day that is pretty synonymous with gluttony.  However, that idea wouldn't really work as well when we had 20 people at our Thanksgiving table, half of them young (and HUNGRY) children. ;)

Our family will be reading through these thankful papers between now and Christmas.  Every evening, when we read a segment of the Christmas story as part of our daily Advent activities, we will also read a couple of slips of thankfulness.  I feel like this will remind our kiddos to continue to give thanks past the calendar day of Thanksgiving, and will also remind them to be thankful for what they have as we lead up to a day where receiving gifts too often becomes the focus.

Unfortunately, I forgot to take a photo of the full jar of candy or the setup, but I do have a photo of the full basket of thankful slips next to our Advent Tree.


Monday, November 11, 2013

Halloween festivities

Every year I try to plan Halloween so it's not as chaotic, but it's nearly impossible.  There's so much fun to be had!  One of our favorite fall traditions is our annual trek to the pumpkin patch.  This year, I was able to take Punky to meet with some friends, but the day we planned our family trip we were rained out.  I really wanted my obligatory patch pic, so we set up our own makeshift patch, complete with fall scene on the t.v.  It was quite comical!  That led into our Halloween day carving of the pumpkins (we can't do this early, lest the pumpkins will rot almost immediately on our south facing doorstep).

While the kids and Daddio carved the pumpkins, I started applying face paint and helping assemble costumes.  I was proud of Sunshine and Belle, as their costumes were put together with things we had at home (minus some face paint for Belle).  Sunshine dressed as Carmen Miranda, Belle was a pop art character, and Punky was Merida (of Disney's Brave).

We loaded the kiddos up and took them to our favorite vegan restaurant in Dallas for a delicious meal, vegan treats, games, and candy.  Then, we headed back to my sister's for trick-or-treating with cousins.  The kids had a great time and got a load of candy, which they've enjoyed in a new way this year (more on our new tradition in a later post).

Enjoy the plethora of pics!























Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Regrets

I've decided to use a prompt-a-day list to help me get going with my blogging again.  I love the outlet but don't always feel inspired.  This will at least get me thinking.  I also don't want to blog the most obvious answer to each prompt, so I'm hoping to use my creativity to expand the prompt to fit my goings on. :)

11/6: Regrets

There are so many times I reflect and regret decisions, most of them small and seemingly insignificant until much later.  Alas, I will not bore you with those details today.  Besides, I may regret a few decisions here and there, but I certainly can't change them or erase them, so why dwell?

Instead, I'll focus on something I can't go back and change, but I can rework and make better...

I am frantically crocheting several projects right now, mostly to give as holiday gifts.  I found a pattern online for this project and couldn't wait to get started.  I regret not waiting now.  I used a hook that is smaller than the suggested size and it really messed up my final product.  So much so that I've now pulled it all out, rewound my yarn ball, and I'm heading to the store this afternoon to buy the correct size hook.

Negatives: I spent a lot of time working on this project and I was super excited to finish it and send it on.

Positives:  I gained a lot of experience with a stitch I haven't used before, and I loved seeing the multi-colored yarn form a pattern.  The second time through can only mean it will go smoothly and turn out better...right?  :)