If you lay a blanket down in front of my girls (particularly Nora) an uproar of cheering will happen and they will immediately stomp and then sit on it. It's magical to them. We have living room picnics quite a bit.
I'm a firm believer in "start 'em while they're young". YES it takes so much more time. NO they can't do it as well as you can. But if we don't train them now to put take their dishes to the sink, and empty the clean silverware from the dishwasher into their spots in the drawer, etc. we're in for it. They certainly aren't going to just pick it up on their own be hard workers naturally.
It's also our experience that children LOVE being a part of something bigger than themselves (don't we all?) and they feel like a million bucks to do a "big kid" job.
Sometimes the excitement of helping dies out, let's be honest, and it's like pulling teeth to pick up one sock. But keeping it different, entertaining, different systems (award system, praise, threats, whatever :)) always helps.
Kevin just invented this and Ruby loved it:
While we're all cleaning the house, let's say her job is to clean her bedroom. That usually leads to not cleaning her bedroom, but finding an obscure toy she hasn't played with in months and, well, playing with it.
To keep her on task, we set a timer. She has to clean (without stopping) for, say, 10 mins. Then at the beeper, she gets to rest and read a book/play a Leap Pad game/color whatever for 5 mins. When the timer beeps again, back to cleaning for 10 mins.
That way she knew there was an end in sight and she worked hard for those short little cleaning spurts.
p.s. Nora loves to clean! She wipes up her own messes, etc.
Nora got her first black eye (fell into the corner of a wooden box) last month and it only deeper solidified our calling her a puppy. That little ring around her eye just sealed the deal. She believes she's a puppy and at any moment will drop into character, stick her tongue out, and pant for you.
She's been known to be crying, and we say "oh, puppy! you're a puppy?! hi puppy!" to distract her and BAM. You can tell she's thinking tears must stop - get it together Nora - beeee the puppy.
Speaking of puppies...whenever the weather is nice, our front door is open. One morning we were playing and all of the sudden, in comes a visitor.
The basset hound snooped around, ate any and all food it found on the floor, let our girls squeal and pet, and then it was off. No idea who's it was, but it was hilarious.
The other day at the park I looked over at Nora and saw this and just grinned because even at a young age, she can tell that boys are cooler to have as friends. So much less drama and so much funnier than a group of ol' girls. Smart thinking, Nora.
This dress sucks on to me and even with a slip will not stop being clingy/staticy. It's also pretty short in the front. Basically, it's un-wearable and still has the tag on because I know it. I try it on about once a week to see if maybe it's magically changed and works now, but every time...nope.
Any ideas how to get it not-so-clingy? It's a cheapy, flowy material, I'm sure that's the problem. But I love it! I don't want to part!
She was eating raisins, looked in the mirror and said "mom! look! my teeth look like yours!"
Movie theatre bathroom selfie? I'm seventeen. Kevin and I went out for his 29th birthday at the end of March. CAN YOU BELIEVE we're almost 30? That is like, straight up adult. So crazy.
Still so young! I tell myself.
We saw Noah, which has several parts that are soooo not Biblically correct, but is great nonetheless. It had me thinking about it for days afterward. It's so humbling to be chosen by such an enormous God.
The weather is starting to warm up which means I keep getting happier and happier. Before I know it, we'll be splashing around at the splash pad, swimming in friend's pools, making homemade ice cream, and eating dinner outside often. For now, we are thoroughly enjoying watching every tree in our little town bud and flowers bloom. The earth declares His majesty with every season!