Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Bedtimes and Stories

The other day I spoke with 2 different groups of Moms. In both groups, the subject of kids and bedtime was discussed. We were talking about some of the challenges of getting the kids in bed and asleep....from the point of getting them prepped for bed until they were actually asleep. Our children go to bed early. They have always been early risers. Even when I let them stay up a little later, they still rise early, so we've continued to have early bedtimes for them. I feel pretty firm about their bedtime. After they are in bed and asleep, I finish up my daily chores, then spend some time with my husband and/or a book. It is our only time together alone during the day and I cherish it. So yes, I am firm on the bedtime and protective of my alone time with my husband.
Sometimes at bedtime, I'll cuddle in bed with the kids. We cuddle up together and talk about our day. My son is very creative and likes to make up stories. He asks me sometimes to do this at bedtime. We've honored his request at times, but I find he gets too excited! So I try to take some time out during the day for snuggles and quiet time to talk with each of my children. I also try to take some time out during the day for telling stories. This isn't reading. Rather we build some type of fort or tent, then get inside and snuggle together and use of imaginations to make up stories. My son really enjoys this. I still remember a time several years ago, when we received a large box in the mail. The kids hung onto the box and the next day it rained. In the afternoon, we made a fort with our box, got some blankets then snuggled inside and told stories. Thinking of it now, I will consider buying more blankets and pillows for the house over toys!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Life Unsimplified

My life has become unsimplified. Life got in the way. The last few weeks here have been hectic. The good news is I try to keep my life relatively simple, so when life gets in the way, I can work with it.
I love being home and having a flexible schedule. Two weeks ago that enabled me to take a trip to visit a sick friend on hospice care. I was able to give her a hug, sit and visit with her one last time. That was priceless.
We quickly went out of town on this trip. I packed us each a bag and the kids each packed a back pack of "their stuff" - toys and books. I traveled on this 14 hour trip solo with the kids. We did well on our travels. Packing up to return home was pretty easy as we hadn't brought much with us.
As sometimes is God's timing, we also experienced a blessing on this trip. Another dear friend of ours had her first baby. I was able to visit with her and the baby twice while on our trip. What a "circle of life" visit it turned out to be.
My flexible schedule has also allowed me the opportunity to answer a call to help another. I was asked by a mutual friend to help babysit her children for 2 days. Her husband was out of town. It was so nice to sit for the kids. I brought my own kids along as well. Her youngest is 18 months old. It was nice to have someone always need me again, always reaching for my hand and climbing in my lap. It was a strange reminder when I went to do the dishes, to bring her highchair over by the sink, so I could keep an eye on her and do some work. I gave her a piece of paper and a crayon to draw while she was in the highchair. I talked to her as I washed the dishes. It was a different experience living in someone else's shoes for a day. My children enjoyed having a little one around for the day. They were busy helping to entertain her and help her with things she needs. It was fun to watch them in action, helping a little one.
I'm so grateful for my simpler life and flexible schedule. It allowed me the opportunity to take advantage of things that really matter in life and help out when someone really needed me. I just had to move 2 appointments and pack our bags. Now, back to trying to keep life simple again.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Introducing the Record Player to My Children

We've been listening to records all weekend long. Yes, I said records, as in the vinyl kind that you place on the record player. My children had an introduction to the record player this weekend. We purchased one of those multi player music systems as a gift for my Mom. Her record player was no longer working. It's a compact unit that has a radio, CD player, record player and cassette tape player. I was quite surprised to find one with a record player!
My Mom is enjoying the gift as well as the rest of the family. The old records came out - adults and children's records. The kids are enjoying listening to and learning about their parents' music as well as their grandparents' music! We were all singing and dancing around the house, having fun. Many memories were shared. Wow, there was a price tag on one of the 45s. It was a $1.99 for a 45 in the 1980s. It has one song on the front side and another on the back.
We purchased the gift to simplify our parent's entertainment area and replace their record player. It turned out to offer so much more. It was a weekend of having fun and sharing memories.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Simplifying and Working Together: Concept of the Green Triangle

I've been busy visiting with family recently, which is why I haven't posted recently. We also all went camping together. That is always a lot of fun! To catch you up to speed, I'm still following Ultrametabolism and walking daily.
I am reading the book, Choosing Simplicity. It's an interesting read. It's a compilation of stories of people who have chosen to live simpler lives. It includes, in these real life stories: how they came to this decision and what steps they took to pursue it. It also describes what mistakes they made or wrong turns they took, their adjustments and what worked out well for them. It's a personal decision and journey. I like how the author, Linda Breen Pierce, takes a look with each individual and/or family at what has worked for them and what hasn't.
I also wanted to share this with you from Choosing Simplicity:
"Author Ernest Callenbach talks about the "green triangle." Imagine a triangle with health, money, and the earth as the three points. If you do anything to improve one of the points, the other two points will likely benefit. So, for example, if you do something to save money (like walking instead of driving a car), your health and the earth will benefit. Or, if you reduce or eliminate the meat in your diet to preserve the earth's resources, your health and your budget will also benefit." pages 208-209, Choosing Simplicity by Linda Breen Pierce.
I had never heard of this concept of the "green triangle," but it made a lot of sense to me. I wanted to share it with anyone else trying to simplify their life.