Grandma was over for supper and a short visit one day recently. While she was here, she asked Hosanna to take her iPad over to Daddy so he could update some apps for her. Hosanna took the iPad and started to walk over to Daddy, who had my laptop sitting on his knee. She took one look at daddy and asked, “You doing your homework, Daddy?”
I know that it is important to have a bedtime routine. I have seen all these wonderful bedtime routines that parents create for their children. I have read how to do all the right things. I had this perfect bedtime routine all worked out in my head, but none of them worked for us.
Our bedtime routine (with the twins) just evolved and it works for us:
- bath (if it is a bath night)
- brush teeth
- have a drink of water
- give out allergy meds as needed
- check the diapers (potty training is just over the next horizon for us and who knows, I might even blog about it)
- change into jammies
- cream down hosanna’s ankles (she has eczema)
- put socks or leotards on hosanna
- snuggle and cuddle and be silly on mommy and daddy’s big bed – this usually involves them jumping on the bed – they can be quite goofy when they are tired (okay most of the time)
- we finish off bedtime with nummies (nursing – and yes – we are in the process of weaning – we had a little setback recently when everyone got the flu) with me singing to the babes
Now the special part of the routine is that we started singing songs together at bedtime, which transitioned into me singing them to calm while they nurse. Secretly, I hope we can transition from nursing at bedtime into singing at bedtime.
One evening while they were getting ready for bed, I started singing all of these little songs that I learned in my childhood. What ended up happening is that I sing one or two lines from each song and they all flow together and have become our bedtime song.
I love you in the morning and in the afternoon, I love you in the evening and underneath the moon, I love you.
I love you, you love me, we’re a happy family, with a great big hug and a kiss from me to you, won’t you say you love me too.
Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world, red, brown, yellow, black, and white, they are precious in His site, Jesus loves the little children of the world.
Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so, little ones to Him belong, they are weak, but He is strong. Yes, Jesus loves me, yes, Jesus loves me, yes, Jesus loves me, the Bible tells me so.
The B-I-B-L-E, yes that’s the book for me. I stand alone on the word of God, the B-I-B-L-E.
As I am singing, I sing very slowly, to get the twins to calm. This seems to be a signal to them to relax and settle for bed. If they don’t settle the first time through (which they usually do) I will sing it one more time.
I love it that they are hearing such important words every night before they go to bed, but I love it even more that I am hearing the words around the house during the day.
I often hear Hosanna singing, “The B-I-B-L-E, yes that’s the book for me,” while she is playing with her dollies and the other day, Zion sang the whole song with me while we were getting ready for bed (he knew every word!).
I have always wanted one of those special bedtime routines where you bond with your kids and I tried to imitate other people and their routine, but they never stuck because they were not “OURS.” Our bedtime routine evolved, it created itself. I love it, the kids love it, and it works for “US.”
Do you have a special bedtime routine that works for you?
Extended Christmas Vacation
I am so thankful that I added an extra week of vacation into our plans. I guess God knew that we would need the extra time to rest and enjoy each other and our Christmas gifts before life kicks into high gear again.
I don’t know if I have ever told you this, but I don’t really like high gear. I prefer the quiet and the calm over the hustle and the bustle. I am a country girl stuck smack dab right in the middle of the city, but I am learning to make the best of it.
New Year’s Eve
On New Year’s Eve day I had the pleasure of sitting with Moses while he explored his new acrylic painting set. He had a very enjoyable time. Even with me supervising, he still ended up with paint on the couch, the carpet, and all over one of his shirts (which I threw out, but he doesn’t know that – and hopefully won’t if no one tells him).
Then we had a quiet evening on New Years Eve. It was just my mama, the big kids, and Jonah and I. Thankfully, the twins slept through it all. We watched Mr. Popper’s Penguins and ate natchos. The movie was very different from the book. I might have more to say about this later, but we’ll see.
Taking Down The Tree
We took down our Christmas ornaments and our fake tree on Wednesday. It was kind of sad taking down the tree, but it was nice to chat with my hubby about all the things we want to change or improve for next year. Remember how I said I wanted to be more prepared for next Christmas? I am actually really looking forward to Christmas next year, already, I know!
Sunflower Schoolhouse Redesign
Oh and I keep forgetting to tell you that I redesigned Sunflower Schoolhouse. I wanted to write that great, amazing post announcing that I completely redid the look and layout of the blog, but between sickness and preparing for school next week, I just keep forgetting. Please come check it out and let me know what you think. Don’t forget to check out Honeycomb Design Studio.
My Day At The Homeschool Classroom
I am also writing today over at the Homeschool Classroom about How To Slow Down After A Busy Holiday Season. I wrote this before Christmas, know that I would need it.
And lastly, I am linking up today with the Weekly Wrap-Up from Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers. Check out what is going on in the lives of other homeschooling families as they come together and share their Weekly Wrap-Ups.
Oh, and before I forget…
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
We got an Xbox for Christmas last year (as in 2010). We got the Kinect version and we used it for PE last winter. Then one day it quit working. We procrastinated on getting it fixed only to discover shortly before Christmas this year that it was only the cord that needed replacing, which The Source happily did for free.
All that to say, we are happy to have the Xbox back to burn off that extra energy from being stuck inside during the colder weather. While we have missed it for doing active games on the Kinect, we have also found a new use for it to.
We have cable (please don’t boo me out of town) and with that cable comes a few (okay tons, way too many) all music channels. There were two that played Christmas music. ALL different kinds of Christmas music. One day, while I was listening to this music, my husband had an idea.
He took a USB drive and loaded it with beautiful, worshipful, Christmas music. Then, he plugged that little USB drive into the front of the Xbox. So now we can load up the USB drive with all of our music and play it on the Xbox.
There are some benefits to using the USB drive with the Xbox:
- We can put our favorite songs, from several CD’s, or different places on there. And in the order that we want.
- Our CD’s will be protected from getting scratched. If you have kids, you know what I am talking about here.
- We could put all of our audio for the day onto the USB (like scripture readings, worship songs, narrations, audio books, etc) and play through as needed. I am really liking this idea.
And as if we needed them, here are more ways we can use the xbox in our homeschool:
- as a reward for getting all of your school work done.
- to listen to CD’s. The ones that we don’t mind getting scratched.
- to watch our science or math dvd’s.
- to play Kinect games – Kinect Adventures, Joyride, and Kinect Sports.
- to watch Netflix (with a subscription), but only with an xbox Live Membership – this is a big fail for us because the Wii and the Playstation Move allow you to watch netflix without a special membership (but still with a netflix subscription). That information was accurate the last time I checked.
- to view YouTube videos (only with an xbox subscription) – including the memory verse animations that my husband and I are creating.
- Coming soon will be Skype (with an Xbox subscription) – which will be great to chat with family that lives far away.
Do you have the Xbox, a Wii, or a Playstation Move? How does your family use it?
I Will Always Get What I’ve Always Got
I was thinking about this phrase this morning as I prepared to move all of my draft posts forward for another month. The truth is that half (or more) of those ideas are no longer relevant to me or where I want to take this blog.
I prepared to move them as usual and then I thought, I am just going through the motions. I am just doing what I have always done.
What I end up with is a waste of time. Instead of dealing with all the drafts (which would mean deciding what to keep and what to delete) I just keep moving them forward.
It is really hard sometimes to stop what we are used to doing – and do almost automatically – and do a new thing. I really don’t want to keep doing the same thing over and over again. That is like running on a treadmill – you do lots of work, you get really tired, but you never make it to your destination (unless of course you are trying to lose weight).
There are things in my life that I walk around or just pick up and move out of the way to avoid dealing with. It seems so much easier just to keep doing what I have always done, than to actually do something different. I think I get so used to the scenery of something that it blends into the background and I really have to work hard to realize that it is there. And I have to work even harder to make changes to it.
I think it seems easier to keep doing what I have always done. I get up in the morning, I have my coffee, which blends into breakfast, and the rest of the day is a blur. I have “THE” routine and I rarely deviate from it. What about changing the routine? What about doing something different? What about trying a new thing?
Think carefully about this phrase:
If I always do what I have always done, I will always get what I have always got.
I can think of several things in my life that fall into this category. I have always done this, so let’s just keep on doing this, not really considering whether it is working for me or is actually productive.
I am reminded of the story of the lady who used to cut the ends off her roast before she put them in the pan. One day her child asked her why she cut off the ends of her roast. She told her child that she had seen her mother do it. Then the child asked her grandmother why she cut the ends off her roasts. The grandmother told the grandchild that she had seen her mother do it. So, the child asks the great-grandmother why she cut the ends off her roasts. The great-grandmother explained that she cut the ends off her roasts so they would fit in the pan. All those years, and all that wasted roast, because people just did what they’ve always done.
I want to live this year more purposefully. I want to think about ALL the things that I am doing and make fresh decisions with a new set of eyes and not just do them because I have always done them.
Think carefully about this phrase one last time with me:
If I always do what I have always done, I will always get what I have always got.
I was reading over at the Heart Of The Matter On-line today and I came across these articles that really spoke to me. As a mom with a chronic illness, I have to say that I really felt understood. I thought I would share them with you today.
Christmas approached way too quickly. It came and went and then was only just a blur. We had a whirlwind four days with family and a house full of excited children (and a few tired adults).
As usual, Jonah and I complained, “Next year, we start preparing for Christmas in January.”
I want to have a truly relaxing and prepared Christmas season.
Every year we go merrily along until we hit August and then I start thinking about Christmas. When I mention that we should start preparing, everyone looks at me like I am crazy, so I brush off the thought. Then before I know it, BAM! Christmas hits and I am frustrated that I was not prepared.
This year, I have a plan:
- I have my bucket ready to gather gifts throughout the year. Our desire is to have all of our presents ready before December even hits.
- I am gathering ideas for treats to bake (that we ran out of time for this year).
- I am making a list of traditions that my husband and I have decided that we want to implement into our Christmas season.
- I am creating an address book again, so that I can actually send out Christmas cards. I am shocked with myself that I have not kept up with an address book, but I am also not surprised given how easy it is to connect with just about everyone on-line these days.
Don’t get me wrong, we had an awesome Christmas (with the exception of the flu). We just would really like to move into a more simple, calm, focused Christmas and the only way I know to do this is to prepare everything ahead of time and be ready in advance.
I will be ready for Christmas early next year. What about you?Photo Note – I wanted to share the story behind the photo. My husband was trying to take a picture of the kids in front of the tree on Christmas morning. The kids were excited and it was hard to get them all to focus , so I was saying funny things to them. They were looking at me instead of the camera because I said something funny.
Okay, let’s be real here folks…
I had this amazing post planned in my head for the start of the new year, but people have been sick around here since December 24th. That amazing first post of the year has been the farthest thing from my mind. My mind has been on helping my family get through the flu as quickly and easily as possible.
Here are my top ten ways to cope with the flu:
1) Avoid it completely if possible.
2) Put all the sick people in one room (if possible) and let them veg in front of educational shows (or not educational shows, but it sounded better that way).
3) Give them buckets and lots of towels and hope for the best.
4) Nothing by mouth for 6 hours after throwing up (repeat if throwing up occurs again, but it usually it doesn’t).
5) Use the BRAT diet to cope with diahrrea (after following the guidelines above). The BRAT diet is bananas, rice, apple sauce, and toast.
6) Drink clear fluids, suck on ice, eat jello and popsicles.
7) Lysol spray all of the light switches and door knobs.
8) Go over board on the hand washing.
9) Keep up with the laundry (yeah, right!).
10) Did I mention rest?
How do you cope with the flu when it strikes your family?