Thursday, June 23, 2011

It finally happened!

Lily lost her first tooth! After about a year of her always thinking a tooth was loose and then about a month of a REAL tooth being loose it finally came out! She said there was just a little "string left" and so she pulled it out. She wasn't too worried by the blood (so that was good) I was so excited about it that I think she got into it. :}
There she is holding her first lost tooth.
My family's tradition is to put the tooth in a glass of water and add salt. She liked salting it.
Then you put it on the bathroom sink and wait for morning when money will be there instead of the tooth.
There it is... waiting quietly for it's fate.
Under cover of darkness the coins appeared! But.. how did they get there?

I have never heard of anyone else doing the "tooth fairy" like this before. My mom said it was a whole lot easier than trying to find a tooth under a kids pillow. When I was little (even though I knew the money was from my mom) I'd talk to other kids who only got a dime under their pillow for their tooth and I'd say, "You've got to put it in salt water in a cup in the bathroom.. that's how you make a LOT more money." We'd get a bunch of quarters and stuff. Lily got four quarters so she'll get to earn her next "prize" sooner with that! Pretty fun. Tee hee. :}

Monday, June 20, 2011

Teaching Grace

God has been teaching me about His grace in my life and it's such a simple yet complicated idea to understand. As I teach Lily her school and how to pick up after herself I want her to know that following the "rules" won't make me love her more. She is such an over-achiever (like her daddy and me) that I want to be careful to teach her without making her feel like she's doing something wrong or that I'm mad at her or that if she makes a mistake I'll stop loving her. I've been looking to how God parents us and I want to be like that. We should obey God and do good things, but they are not tied to His love for us. He won't love us more or less by what we do. If His love was contingent on the good works that we do, then He would not be perfectly Holy (and He is holy.) He loved us while we were sinners and sent His son to die in our place and pay for our sins. As Christians we are born again and have a NEW LIFE in Christ, and yes, He has good works for us to walk in, but He does not love us less when we "fail"... because it's not about "us"... it's about Jesus. Grace is "unmerited favor" and just like he saved us through grace
we continue on in that grace until the end of our lives.

I would be a wonderful "religious" pompous prideful prick if I could have mustered up the strength to "look right"... to follow the "spiritual rules" of waking up early and reading my Bible every morning on the dot and being the perfect homemaker. The truth is I never could. I was always failing. My journals as a teenager are filled with prayers that start with "HELP" because I couldn't do anything "right"... I wasn't diligent and "religious" enough. Now I understand that "religion" is wrong. It's NOT about what WE do.
It's about Jesus. The good news is that he paid the price. He lived perfectly so we don't have to (because we can't!) but the rest of the good news as Christians is that it's still about Jesus! The things that I want to do (the good things of course because as a "new creation in Christ" my desires are redeemed as well) I can actually do them through the grace that He gives me each day.

So, the other day when I wrote about the "other side" of my days. It was pretty funny of course, but in all seriousness I couldn't help but wonder what I could or should have done differently.

As I thought about the day and all that I wrote about it on here, I realized that THAT day was really pretty much like every other one. The real difference was my attitude. Normally, I'll start the day by making breakfast while I check Facebook and then listen to a sermon. I'd been thinking how I probably shouldn't be on the computer so much and in a "religious moment" decided to not get on my computer all that morning. Why? Because religious people make you feel guilty about everything. About having a TV, using Facebook, about wearing opened toed saddles, reading "Harry Potter," choosing not to have 20 children, having short hair, and a number of other things. Is there anything wrong with choosing to NOT have a TV or NOT use Facebook or dressing in a certain way. No, there's nothing wrong with choosing to do or not do something. It's between you and God, and that's the thing. When I made my "no computer religious moment rule" it was only because I thought I "ought" to. But God is bigger than my computer. Sure, I can be prone to spend too much time on Facebook (or writing blog posts) but is the answer to stop? Or to use it for God's glory. I don't mean preaching. I have no idea who I will annoy with this post or who will be encouraged by it, but I don't write to all of you (whoever you might be)... no offense or anything... But I'm not writing this to fix anyone else. I'm just writing now and have before because I need to remind myself of these things.

"...whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things." Phillipians 4:8

How well was I doing that the other day? The reason my day was so frustrating was that I was complaining in my heart. I wasn't thinking of my children as blessings, I was annoyed.

The good news of course is even in those bad days God still loves us. I know that, but I also know that I'd rather have the better days (with twinkly lights) more often. God wants that too! Think of it. Why does he want us to not sin and to worship Him and do the good things that He's prepared for us to do? Because He wants us to have communion with Him. In a similar way to how I want the housework to run smoothly... it's not to find perfection... it's about spending more time with my family and with people.

Religion sees that God doesn't want us to sin and He wants us to do good things and so forth, but makes the mistake in thinking it's about what we do and what we don't do. Religion wants the perfection for perfections sake. God wants to help mold us into the image of Christ, not so He can love us more, but because He wants the best for us because He already loves us.

When I fail to see this, my day falls apart. I become frustrated and am easily angered. I try to make myself feel better in everything apart from God. Too much chocolate? = gluttony. Appease myself with shopping? = coveting. Finding fulfillment in my children or husband? = idolatry.

But is the answer for gluttony to go on a diet? Or is the answer to make a "rule" about something- to become "religious" and EX it out of our life? OR should we stop looking at ourselves and our problems and simply worship Him. Everything else would start to fall into place if we did so.

Looking at these things from this angle, now the spiritual disciplines of Bible reading and prayer and going to church and listening to sermons and singing praise songs are not about an "ought to" but just as a way to help us think of Him know Him and worship Him. Helping us to find our fulfillment in Him and teach us to turn to Jesus instead of anything else. I've gotten into the habit of listening to sermons online (here) when I start to feel discouraged or discontent. This works well for me at this point in my life because I have so much to do around the house. I can do the dishes that need to be done or pick up toys while I listen. I can pause it or back it up if I need to take care of a little girl. It's been so encouraging, but it's not because I "should" it's because I want to.

I want my girls to learn their letters and make their beds, but do I want that simply to make my life easier or because I won't love them if they aren't perfect and obey me? In our fallen nature we can be selfish enough to treat our children in that way, but not God. Our heavenly Father wants us to follow His rules because he doesn't want us to suffer the consequences of sin and He wants us to be joyful and blessed. My selfishness does not understand why serving other people can bring me so much joy, but Jesus understand this. When he spoke the world into existence it was perfect and without sin. Sin and disobedience is what hurts us. God loves us so much that he doesn't want us to be hurt anymore. Obeying Him is for our benefit not His. Jesus dying for our sins took care of the need for perfection and the penalty for sin, so obeying Him as Christians is in a different place than where religion says it should be. Because rules and perfection are not the point.

So bringing this back to parenting and homeschooling and homemaking and just my whole life right now in general, is that while I think of and write out ideas and "helpful hints" and so many other things to help make my days run smoothly, Jesus has to be at the heart of it all or it will all fall apart.

It's not about me or even them. It's all about Jesus.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Sometimes it's the little ideas that help the most

Still loving the locked closet! Toys still trickle down the stairs and into the living room, but at least we can now see the floor, right? I had a thought though the other day about how stressed I get when I'm going to "pick-up" the house. You know how a ton of tiny things just migrate to random spots. I'd go crazy if I was ALWAYS putting stuff away. I mean.. I'd never sit down. On the other hand, doing it once a day or every other day can feel overwhelming. I mean.. just look at my stairs!
(Daunting, no?) Anyway, as I said.. the toys and clutter aren't as bad as it was before I implemented the locked closet, but it still stresses me out at the end of the day because I feel like I don't know where to start.
Today the toys are mainly in sets.. the little cube blocks and little people blocks and things, but there's always those stray things. Like the slippers, or a random toy and craft project laying about.

ENTER-- the basket
I keep this handy little basket for ferrying stray things around the house and especially up the stairs. Generally, I just fill it with everything that needs to go upstairs and while I grab a bunch of stuff to go in the basket I put away the things that stay downstairs.

This is a GREAT way to help Mommy too! Because all that needs to be done is fill the basket! (The Daddy can even do this without knowing where anything goes because I can put everything away later.) It IS pretty important to have a place for everything though and EMPTY the amazing basket so that it can go back downstairs for next time. It's also a lot easier to teach a child to do a specific cleaning task than to just say "clean the room."

Anyway, this is a very small idea, but it's saved me a lot of steps (and my sanity!) Makes picking-up so much faster too!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Sometimes the best option is to find the humor

Of course (as I'm sure you ALL realize by this time) my days are full of sweet homeschooling moments and craft projects. We go from changing the baby's diapers, to baths, to school, with a song in between to match the occasion. We read fairytales after lunch and discuss the moral lesson in each while the girls make more paper butterflies to play with all afternoon. Twinkling lights sparkle in our wake as my girls help me clean the house and mix the dough for the fresh bread. My girls play with their tea cups and princess dolls or blow bubbles on the balcony. The daddy is greeted after work with lots of hugs and kisses from all of his girls, a clean house, and the table is set and ready for dinner. Our evenings are full of reading together or board games or swimming in the pool as we all enjoy each others' company.

Yes, this is the way things are.

I mean.. I certainly wouldn't sleep till 9 am because I stayed up too late the night before (just to have an hour of quiet after finally getting all three asleep in their own beds) and finally drag my eyes open (while trying to keep the baby nursing and asleep) when my oldest comes in to announce, "Renna found the candy canes and is eating them!"
"How did she reach them?" I ask, groggy and feeling more tired than I did before going to sleep.
"She just stretched her little arms and got them."
"Well, go take it away from her. I don't care if she cries about it. She has a cold and shouldn't eat candy."

I finish nursing the baby as I hear Lily go downstairs. There's a mild skirmish and then Renna is screaming and crying. I leave the baby on the bed hoping she'll stay asleep, since she's a bit snuffly too and hasn't slept well, and stumble downstairs to administer lectures to Renna. .. And, throw all of Daddy's candy canes into the garbage. (Sorry, Youssef.. I'll get you more next Christmas.)

Explaining to a stubborn three year old about an immune system and sugar and wise choices in how to get better, goes about as well as you would expect. I think at least she understands that I'm not just being mean to her even though she doesn't agree about sugar making her feel worse.

The baby cries and I stumble upstairs, leaving the girls to watch a cartoon, silently thanking God for electricity and Netflix shows for them to stay busy with. The many interruptions from the girls though about silly things like being hungry and wanting breakfast gets in the way of actually putting the baby fully asleep in her bed. I'm DETERMINED to actually get a shower this morning though, so I opt for the quick breakfast of frozen blueberries in a bowl for each of them and put the baby in her little chair on the bathroom floor. Normally I make eggs and waffles or something like that and lately I have been just washing my hair in the kitchen sink while I cook to save time. So, you can imagine how getting a real shower sounds pretty good. Leaving them alone with the blueberries was a daring choice, but they did fine with it and I got the shower in.

The baby is still awake though and wanting to nurse so I sit on the couch and watch cartoons with the girls and nurse her. The entire time I'm thinking about how much I do NOT want to do school with them today, and trying to find the loop-hole in being consistent with it. When was the last time I got to do one of my own projects? I have a pile of sewing laying by my machine that is begging to have some creativity thrown at it. I have a basket of filed scrapbook layouts waiting to be completed. The house isn't too messy, the girls are actually playing well now, can't I just let them play and sneak off to do my own thing today? Maybe in the future I could just plan on having four days a week for homeschooling so that I get one morning every week to just focus on my own project? Yes, that's a GREAT idea! .. but what about today?

Somehow I knew that today wasn't the day to make that change. So I announce, "Lily it's 10:30. Time for school!" She's excited of course and the girls help me sweep up the dry beans (that they'd gotten out to play with when I was sleeping) they helped by climbing onto the stools that I'm trying to move to sweep under the table. *sigh* Right, and of course I'd never yell at them to "GET OFF!" Sparks were definitely flying in our wake, but they weren't the twinkly kind.

Focus now... foooocuuuus... what am I supposed to do in school today? I pull out the books and we learn the new song in the "sing spell read write" lessons to learn short vowels. School actually goes pretty well. The baby manages to stay asleep in her bouncer even while the CD is blaring the school song as Lily and I sing with it, and Renna is prostrate on the floor screaming because she thinks Lily took away her pink marker. In reality, Lily had just picked it up off the floor where Renna had dropped it without a lid and I'd told Renna she could color with it if she got up to the table. She didn't choose to listen to me however and apparently wanted to be upset. We ignored her until she stopped screaming several minutes later and joined us quietly at the table.

Of course, the school time was made much easier by several texts from the Daddy asking us how our day was going.

Amazingly, Lily does really well learning the short vowel song, and we read our Bible story and talk about it while the girls color.

Then it's already lunch time and the girls ask to watch a Muppets clip on YouTube. I set it up and thank God for electricity and internet and the Muppets. By now I'm on the couch nursing again and longing to just hold the little one in peace and quiet when Renna brings over the lunch meat that she got out of the fridge. Right, I guess I can't avoid feeding them. I give Renna a slice and finish nursing the baby and get up to make omelets with the lunch meat.... that Renna is now holding in a stack and eating with a big grin while saying, "Sandwich!"

Ah, yes.. a sandwich made entirely with meat. She must be her father's daughter. No problem though, because we have more lunch meat and everything to make the omelet. The girls actually eat it! Which was a pleasant surprise, so sharing lunch and muppets' shows was a nice thing. I'm still dragging though with being too tired and contemplate, as I do every day at that time, whether I should risk a nap when the older two are awake or should I have coffee?

Okay, coffee again. I don't think it helped this time though because I was still too tired to see straight enough to do anything.

As I'm nursing and putting the baby to sleep again and half way through the cup of coffee, Lily pulls out her tea set stuff. "Can I have a real tea party?"
"You can if you want to drink coffee."
She thought this was a great idea. So I instructed her to take my coffee cup to the bathroom sink and poor it into her tea pot.

At this point I was weighing the plus side of not having to get up and prepare the tea for them against the possible side effects the caffeine could have on them. I'm also thinking how funny it is to give my kids the rest of my coffee for a tea party just because I'm too tired to get up. What a great blog post this would make. I think to myself. A day like today might be a good thing to share so people can see the whole picture and not get discouraged from only seeing the sparkly side of my days in the posts.

Yes, so at this point I started typing this blog post. Typing, and chuckling about the coffee tea party while holding the baby with the bread timer blaring and Renna's voice echoing through the house as she plays (loudly) in her room. I'm thinking that perhaps a "quiet" time would be a good idea. The girls eyes light up as I tell them they can go sit on my bed to play with their toys for quiet time.

My "alone" time was short lived though when I heard a bonk and Lily screaming. Of course, I'm not the sort of parent that would just ignore their crying five year old, and when Renna came downstairs to tell me about Lily getting hurt I asked if she'd seen any blood. And.. obviously when Lily came downstairs five minutes after that (when she'd stopped crying) I was appropriately empathetic to her bruised arm. I then suggest that they look at stories on the couch. Lily does this while ordering Renna to do things for her. Like get her a kleenex, or throw the kleenex away, or get her stuffed animal. Needless to say, Renna didn't get a chance to sit still and look at books. She also didn't make it to the toilet in time and I heard some tinkles hitting the floor instead of the water in the toilet. Renna walks out of the bathroom. Her feet making a a "splosh" sounds with each step. "Did you have an accident?"
"Yes," She announces.
Great, she doesn't even care anymore if she has an accident. I make a mental note to wash the bathroom rug again at some point today. I'd just washed it yesterday for the same reason. Why do I keep putting the rug back?
Lily the asks, "Mommy, can I watch a show?"
That is the best idea I've heard yet, "That's a good idea Lily." Perhaps they'll be quiet with a 'Backyardigans'...
Lily turns to say, "Renna, get the remote."


Thank you Lord for electricity and technology and for an hour of "quiet"...

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Butterfly project

I love having kids! They make me be more creative and I thrive on creativity. I got this butterfly idea from THIS website (Check it out.. it's pretty cool.) And we just decided to add a little popsicle stick body for it.

You just take about five or so coffee filters and let the kids paint them with watercolors or you can use markers. Then wrap a pipecleaner around it, then twist the pipe-cleaner around the popsicle stick (after drawing a face on it!) and roll the ends for the antenna! The girls have been playing with them today and "flying" them all over the house. Pretty cute. ;]

"The days of Creation" homeschooling project (added something at the end)

So, what WERE we doing in this picture? Ah.. yes.. the "days of creation" book to go with the song! When I was a kid my Mom taught me the days of creation to the tune of the 12 days of Christmas. So, while we worked on the book we sang the song.
I also wanted to put real Bible verses in it as well so I could just read it to them and talk about it. It goes like this -- "On the first day of creation our God did create, the Light and it was good...."
"On the second day of creation our God did create, the Atmosphere and the light and it was good." (note, we used to sing "water and sky" but after looking at this more closely God didn't actually create water and sky he separated the waters to create an expanse that he called "heaven".. right.. so I opted for going with "atmosphere" and having the real text in the book as well and we can talk about it. Otherwise.. it's confusing that he'd be hovering over the waters before the world was made and then create the waters on the second day.. no.. he created the heavens. Anyway, back to the song.)
"On the third day of creation our God did create Land, Plants, and Trees - the Atmosphere - and the Light and it was good."
"On the fourth day of creation our God did create - Sun, Moon, and Stars - Land, Plants, and Trees - the Atmosphere - and the Light and it was good."
"On the fifth day of creation our God did create - FISHES and BIRDS - Sun, Moon, and Stars - Land, Plants, and Trees - the Atmosphere - and the Light and it was good."
"On the sixth day of creation our God did create - Animals and People - FISHES and BIRDS - Sun, Moon, and Stars - Land, Plants, and Trees - the Atmosphere - and the Light and it was good."
"On the seventh day of creation our God did create - The Sabbath and He Rested - Animals and People - FISHES and BIRDS - Sun, Moon, and Stars - Land, Plants, and Trees - the Atmosphere - and the Light and it was good."
I thought of changing it to "on the seventh day of creation our God did create NOTHING and he rested.." but.. I left it the way it was. Oh, and if you are like me and are wondering if "rested" is a word.. it's actually the word used in the Bible translation that I have.. so I left that too. Not sure about "Fishes" but that seems to flow in the song best. :}

Here's a video of how I sing it. It would be nice to add some tabs on the edges of the board book for each day so it would be easier to flip back and forth, but.. it works. I can't find my packing tape to finish sealing it all for durability. If you are planning on making your own you could use just thick white paper or file folders, and let the kids draw a picture for each thing God created. We drew some and used stickers some and tore paper some and painted on some. The last page I drew myself because I couldn't think of an easy way for them to do the illustration that could get the point across.. you could do a picture of a church or something for it, but I wanted to do the globe and resting hands because I thought that got the point across the best. Lily is singing this with me. Renna was asleep at the time...

Next thing I'm going to do with them is print out these coloring pages and work more on the letter sounds. Every letter sound that they use in this is quite good .. like short vowel sounds and a hard "G" instead of soft g sound. The only two that they made a little confusing are the "Y" and "U" pages.. but they are easily switched. I'm going to type these new verses and paste them onto the pages. In case anyone wants to do the same this is what I came up with to go along with what they had. "Y is for the Yellow Sun, with the moon and the stars: The Universe of planets, like Earth and like Mars" And "U is for Us, made in the image of God. Specially created with a soul to love God." They had the "Y" for "You" .. and the "U" for "Universe" .. the "U" needs to be a short U sound for beginners and the Y needed the "Yuh" sound so it wouldn't be confusing. Hence "Yellow" and "Us".... anyway, that might be a bit nitpicky if your kids already know a lot of the exceptions to the rules, but since Lily is just starting I didn't want to confuse her. Not too hard to switch them though!


So this morning I decided that I needed something on the back of the creation book because I wanted to be able to talk about who Jesus was and is with my girls more often. And.. really, what is the point of knowing what's in the Bible and history and about creation if we don't also know how it relates to Jesus? I don't want to raise my kids with just a bunch of head knowledge about facts and Bible trivia.

I didn't do a picture I just wrote out a lot of John 1 on the back - soooo.. if you like this idea too, feel free to borrow this final page as well. :}

John 1:1-4 and 14a and 29

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men... And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us... Jesus... "The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!"

John 1:10 and 12-13
He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him... But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh or the will of man, but of God.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

The good outcome and the revised theory

The "good outcome" part is what I mentioned before (I think) about putting at least half the girls toys in the closet and locking it!!!! After at least one full week of living this way.. I have to say that it is working REALLY well! It's not a punishment for them or anything and they know that if they ask nicely I will get the thing that they ask for out of their closet (perhaps not RIGHT when they ask if I'm doing something with the baby or we have to go somewhere or they have to clean something up first.. but that's the point. They don't have the opportunity to make a giant mess before I can stop them.)
Here's a picture of what most of their closet looks like. It's not terribly full, but I know where their toys are (all the animals and dolls are in the brown box and the other ones are clear so that's easy to see what inside.)

The system is working! Understand that the whole point of this organizing thing was NOT so that I could have a "perfect" house or something.. it was to simplify. My house now looks comfortably lived in all the time that perhaps would take 30 minutes of time on average to be "picked up" for us each day or about that time if I knew someone was coming over. That said, I wouldn't be embarrassed if someone just dropped by either.... there's actually room to walk into the girls room when I need to put them to sleep and it doesn't take long to quickly pick up stuff to make the room look like the picture above! *YES!* Finally.. I'm not drowning in toys and "stuff" to deal with! The girls really like it better too.The basket is where Lily is learning to put her clothes that she wants to wear again (she changes clothes a lot) because there is nothing that makes a room look messier than a bunch of clothes or blankets on the floor, right? Anyway, Lily has even been playing with her Elizabeth and other toys that she hadn't been playing with before. I think there were too many options out for them to be able to use their imagination! All I heard from Lily before was how she wanted something ELSE... Now I only hear that she wants something from the closet! Which.. is great because we already have it!
So, that was the good outcome. My revised theory doesn't have pictures to go with it.. so I'll explain. You know how I said I'd like to have certain rooms or certain chores to do each day of the week to help get some "real" cleaning done around here? Here's the problem--when you plan on mopping the floor or deep cleaning something, be assured that immediately afterward the thing you just took great care in cleaning will become REALLY messy in some way or another. My revised theory is that with my kids at this age I need to just do deep cleaning when it really needs it. Take the window above for example. The right side used to have flowers and it was getting pretty scratched up looking. SO, I cleaned it off and we did a new picture on the right side. Lily loved that and it needed it.

The other day Renna threw-up in the car TWICE. As in.. we cleaned it all up at the store (when we got to the store) and right before we got home she threw up again. It was obviously time to thoroughly clean the car seat and the car. Youssef and I took our stations and did a good job of cleaning up. That's going to be my theory with the floor as well. Wednesday is not the appropriate time to mop the dining room (for instance) .. no.. the appropriate time is whenever the child/children accidentally drop blueberries under the table and then step on them. My sanity will be saved if I do the deep cleaning in this more necessary way than on a specific day.

Off topic a bit, but not entirely since the whole point of organizing and staying on-top of house things is so that we can have time to do OTHER stuff! This is Lily's latest project! We got some clay that dries hard and you don't need to bake it or fire it or anything. I helped her make a vase and we pushed sparkly beads into it before it dried and today (about three days later) it was dry enough for Lily to paint with her water colors!
She did the painting all by herself and now this will be the centerpiece for our table.
A picture of the girls loving dress-up day.
Doing a school project with play dough. She was learning how to spell her last name. Before I just taught her to write her name "Lily S." since I didn't want to overwhelm her, but she needs to learn to write out the whole thing too and this was a fun way to work on it.

Here the girls are working on making our "creation book"... more about that in a future post... along with a video of the song.

Monday, June 06, 2011

Following up...

Well, I had a post a bit back about the "Alien/monsters" that the girls and I made with pipe-cleaners... well.... today we did a LOT more!

Imaginative play is so vital to childhood and it's so fun to enjoy with them! Lily was doing a good job of wadding up some pipe-cleaner and sticking a poof ball onto it (to show me where to hot glue it) and all you need is to add an eye or three and you've got a great little monster!
The five-legged orange girl monster on the left has glow in the dark plastic beads on it and the one on the right was Daddy's contribution. He had fun making one too! I did the hot glueing for him too.. made it easier that way.
Lily did the one on the left and the one in the middle (she said the white one would "skoot" instead of walk.) And the one on the right was Renna's from the other day.
Left is the "Princess monster" with a crown.. the middle one is what Lily made the other day (that I couldn't take a picture of then.) And the one on the right has very interesting ear muffs.. The one eye thing was a popular choice as you can see...
Lily and I both did the ones on the left and middle. She told me where to put about half of the stuff and I added more later. And the one on the right started out with Renna putting a pile of poofy balls all together and I just decided to go with it and start gluing them.. then she had fun cutting the pipe-cleaner with the wire cutters so that one got a lot of legs. ;]
We were watching "Monster's Inc." projected on our dining room wall the whole time we worked .. hey.. who says that movies can't bring out imagination in kids? The picture above is them playing with their new monsters that we all made with the monsters in the movie! Somehow I think afternoons like these will be more memorable and special and beneficial to them than making sure I do their school times or toy organizations perfectly.