Tuesday, June 2, 2009

First week of Summer

As the economic crunch has hit our family and so many others I am trying to focus on the little things in life...the things that really give life it's meaning. Everyday my goal is to try and blog about one thing that happened during the day that brought a smile to my face. It can't be something materialistic, or something that was bought. It has to be something meaningful, a memory that was made, something funny that was said or that happened. You know, it has to be the little things in life... the things that matter in this world the most. I hope as you read my blog and get to know me you will also let me know of the little things in your life that made you smile today, the things that made you step back and say "This is what life is all about".

As the first week of summer is finally here, I am not as excited as I should be. Kids are so geared around going out and spending money in order to have fun. I guess that is my fault after all, but know I am forced to teach my children there are fun things to do that are also inexpensive. This summer we plan on going to see $1.oo movies at the theater, attending free workshops at our local library, and going to a few historical sites our cities have to offer. This summer my main goal is to spend more time with my kids, especially my oldest daughter who will be going into middle school. I feel like life is quickly rushing by me and my children are growing all tooooo quickly. This summer I plan on taking it real slow and living in the moment.

As I visited a friend this morning I realized my childrens rooms don't always have to be spotless. Her daughters room was not messy, but very much played in. Her daughter dressed herself this morning and had not yet fixed her hair for the day. I got to thinking I wish I was a more laid back mother like her, letting my children leave their room messy for days at a time. Her children are so carefree and you can tell they have a great home life. These two children have a special place in my heart, I watched both of them as babies in my daycare. And I love them both very much in a special way. Don't get me wrong I know my children are happy and they know they are loved uncondtionally, but my downfall is, I always want a clean house, spotless and uncluttered rooms. My 10 year old daughter is just like me, organized and very clean. My 8 year old daughter is so not like me, she loves to leave her room messy. When she plays in her room I want it cleaned up right away when she is done. She tells me time and time again "Mommy I am not like you". I am going to try and let her keep a messy room for a while and let her clean it on her own time.

So as I end my posting for the day, the little things in life that made me smile today were... watching my son play with his 2 year old friend. Watching the joy on his face as he was asked "Are you ready to go to Ben's house?" Learning to navigate his way around a friends house and play with legos. Learning myself that a clean spotless house is not always the happiest house. What were the little things in life that made your day today?



I love your blog, especially your descriptions of each of your kiddos. Perhaps it's b/c I know each of them personally, but I was so moved and teared up as I read each little paragraph!

Don't let the messy house fool you...it bothers me immensely, but I too have been learning how to "let it go". I had a neighbor (in Platte County) that had a model-rrific home both inside and out. I was lamenting about it to a co-worker when she said, "Valerie, life is messy...get over it."

I've thought about that comment often and noticed that truly the BEST classroom teachers I encountered while teaching weren't the ones that had immpecabbly-neat classrooms, but the ones that were student-centered...read, "messy". Not classrooms in chaos b/c of disorganization or lack of care/respect for thing, but classroom where "student-created" work was visibly hung instead of glossy teacher-created bulletin boards. Classrooms that had math manipulatives on-hand all day, baskets of books organized for easy checkout, and games (YES, GAMES) and art supplies that were available to stimulate creativity and process-art/thinking. These classrooms always seemed messy to me, but in retrospect they were total and complete discovery/learning zones!

Mary is my creative child and for the first 3-years it was easy to manage and corral her creativity into neat "zones", but as she has matured and aged, her love of art supplies, horses, books & puzzles has slowly taken over her room. Chris and I have often discussed how to better help her manage her things, but sometimes the creative mind just doesn't think inside organizational "boxes"! (Just thanking God that Benjamin is my "neatnik" child or I think 2 messy kiddos would push me over the edge!)

Anyway, so glad to see your blog up and running. Can't wait to follow your family adventure this summer and looking forward to many more playdates!


I love this idea. I may need to start a blog too!

I learned a long time ago that the kids' rooms are their own little "get away". It is not MY room it is THEIR room. And although I tell them to clean it (more like pick up the clutter)a few times a month, I don't hound them every day or every week. Periodically I help them organize their stuff every once in a while and they learn the importance of keeping track of their things so if they are in a hurry, they know where to find stuff. But while organizing, I let them tell me where they want what. But as a parent, I have learned it is my job to guide them, not be a drill sergeant. :-)

Brandan is a teen boy. Say no more, right? (lol) I didn't ever understand boys when I was his age nor do I understand them now. But I have learned to respect his space and I will get respect in return. I hint around and "lecture" (his word) about the ways of the world and although it seems to go in one ear and out the other, I know by his actions he heard me loud and clear. He is a super smart, funny, caring kid who I am grateful to have in my life and I thank God every day for him!

Shelby is my baby girl (who will be 13 on Monday!) and I have learned is SO different from me. We do have many alike traits (humor, love for life, etc.) but we differ in many ways such as taste in music, clothes, and many other things. But from the get-go I have realized that she is NOT me and she needs to be her own person. I have learned to just be there for her when she needs to talk about ANYTHING (and boy does she ever!) and help guide her along this tough "tweener" stage in her life. (oh the DRAMA!) I am enjoying watching her grow up to be a wonderful young lady and I am so very proud of her.

Erin, you are a wonderful mom. Let things come naturally for your kids and life will fall into place.

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