Sunday, July 12, 2009

Taking a Break

Well it's moving week once again. Time to pack the boxes, unplug the computer, load the van, clean the house and move our family and belongings back to TN. Lord willing, we will begin our 16 hour drive next Monday (July 20th). We plan on making stops in Baton Rouge and Birmingham before arriving in Kingsport on the evening of the 22nd. We are looking forward to the end result but not the process of getting there. Pray that all will go well with the move and our travels.

Since we are moving (again) and will be starting school shortly after getting settled, I am taking a break from my blog for awhile. If you haven't done so already, visit my friend Kimberly at Raising Olives or one of these Top 100 Homeschool Blogs. Hopefully I'll post again in late August.

Three Months Old

Daniel turned 3 months last week. He can smile, laugh and coo. He is even sleeping 11 hours at night. (Yes, I feel like a new woman!) He found his thumb. I love watching him suck his thumb. He doesn't know what to do with the rest of his fingers, so he puts them across his nose. So sweet!

Happy Birthday Will!

Our energetic, full of laughter, baseball playing, Hardy Boy reading, animal loving son turned six on June 30th. Will played t-ball for the Tampa Bay Rays this spring, so we celebrated his birthday with a Rays theme.

He chose the often requested cheeseburger meal and a chocolate cake with Blue Bell caramel turtle fudge ice cream. (Blue Bell is a locally made ice cream we enjoy very much. We are excited to know it is now available in TN!)

He received a Better Batter Baseball and a knights and castle felt set from his grandparents. Brian and I gave him a set of Star Wars books, an I Spy book, an UT t-shirt (that would be the University of Tennessee, not Texas) and some more animals for his collection. Once again his siblings enjoyed making gifts. One sister made a secret message decoder while another made stickers for various professional and college sports teams.

(Sorry my pictures don't fit with the text. My computer has stopped cooperating. I don't know why they won't move where I want them to go. I'm giving up for now.)

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Rotating Children's Toys

My friend Kimberly at Raising Olives is taking a break from Tuesday's Tips for Moms in order to spend more time on curriculum reviews and other things. I had been planning to stop anyway as we are moving this week and will then be starting our new school year in a few weeks. I do want to share one more tip. (And yes, I know it's not Tuesday!)

I have always rotated my children's toys. They never have access to everything we own at one time. When a box comes into their room that they haven't seen for awhile, everything seems fresh and new. I always enjoy toy rotation day as I get a few extra hours of quiet as my little ones enjoy exploring the boxes. I have at least 4 boxes for each age group, therefore the boxes are absent for about a month before the reappear.

I use plastic boxes/tubs from Wal-Mart to store the toys. I put infant toys in shoe box size plastic boxes. I put one in the family room and one in the pack 'n play. My toddlers get a box that is about triple the shoe box size in addition to a puzzle or two and one or two larger toys (Fisher Price Little People sets, Duplo blocks, etc.) I also rotate toys for my older children, especially big things like our doll house, train set, Playmobil, etc. I store toys under beds, in closets, in the garage and in the attic. It is one of my children's chores to rotate the toys each week. I even rotate our board and picture books every 4-5 months (or when I think about it).

I have enjoyed watching the children be creative when a certain item isn't available. For a couple of years it seemed like my oldest three girls only wanted to play with the dollhouse. They loved dividing the people up among them (we have lots of people so each girl can have a "large" family) and acting out daily events. Whenever the dollhouse was not available they would play the same thing but use blocks or Legos to make houses and represent the people. We have quite a few wooden blocks with faces drawn on them. :-)

So, my last Tuesday's Tip for Moms is to rotate your children's toys. I think it's a good way to get more enjoyment out of fewer things.