-1-This morning, all three kids were pretending to be a band. Sly played drum and kazoo, Stella had another kazoo, and Linus played a tambourine. It was pretty adorable.
I reflected that the only reason they managed to stay happily engaged and playing all together for so long was because I was present with them. I had intentionally sat down on the floor with them, ignoring the thousand-and-one chores I wanted to do around the house. I wasn't dividing my attention between them and a computer screen, I wasn't reading a book or magazine or sorting through mail or washing dishes. I was just sitting there being with them. And they couldn't have been happier.
I don't know why it's so hard to make myself drop everything sometimes, and just spend real time with the kids. But I never regret it when I do.
-2-Last weekend, we repainted our quite-chippy front porch. It looks much nicer now. It's so pleasant to sit out there in the mornings or evenings (the sunlight is too glaring during the afternoon). I'm wishing I had taken more advantage of it while the summer weather lasted.
I'm kind of waiting for that old black couch to finally kick the bucket, and then I plan to find a hanging porch swing - a lifelong dream of mine!
-3-While I'm discussing house projects, I might as well show a "before" and "in progress" shot of our kitchen. The actual "after" shot is going to be a long time coming, I'm afraid. I'll save all the details for a later post, but if you have any specific questions, feel free to ask in the comments.
We had some the original cabinets refaced, some new ones added, new solid surface countertops, a big single-basin sink, and a microwave and garbage disposal added. We ended up doubling both our cabinet and counterspace.
|Main wall "before"|
|Main wall after renovation (I have rugs and curtains and pretty things in there now, so it actually looks much more colorful than this at the moment)|
|side wall "before"|
|side wall after renovation|
The portion that we paid other people to do (i.e. Sears, who did a great job, so don't necessarily listen to all the terrible reviews on the internet) is done, so now it's all down to Tom and I to finish the rest. And there's a lot to do: tile a backsplash, build corner shelves near the sink, replace the baseboards, re-frame the doors, change out the yucky fluorescent lighting, repaint all the walls. It's going to be awhile, unfortunately.
My latest kitchen project was to painting the brown door and the dirty "white" interior of the pantry.
|This is a pretty crummy picture, sorry - someone was fussing for a snack as soon as she saw me in the kitchen|
-4-Some people make their houses child-proof....we make ours child-accessible! (I'm "trademarking" that for a future blog post, because this is a growing philosophy of mine).
We added a second low handle for the pantry, so the kids can help prepare their own breakfast in the morning!
-5-I let the kids watch Sesame Street this morning and this song came on.
[Link here in case the embedded thing is acting funny]
Not only was the song pretty catchy on its own, but I felt especially drawn to it, because it could basically be my theme song. I would be barefoot all day, every day, if I could :-)
-6-I signed Sly up for a Catechesis of the Good Shepherd program. I'm pretty thrilled about it, as I've been hearing great things about them for years. I have yet to read The Religious Potential of the Child, but since its based on the Montessori method, I expect it's pretty effective.
-7-A number of years ago, when I decided that I wanted my (future) family to develope the habit of observing many of the feasts (and fasts) of the Church, I expected that it would take an enormous about of thought, preparation, and planning to pull it off. But as the years roll by, we've been very slowly and gently tucking new little things into our days and I suddenly find us having legitimate family traditions for certain days, without even meaning to establish them.
For example, last St. Joseph's Day, I made a "fancy" dinner, and pulled out a bottle of wine (which we rarely have in the house, so I have no idea where it came from!), as well as a bottle of sparkling grape juice I had in the pantry. We let the kids drink the grape juice out of these tiny little cordial glasses that are stemmed, so looked like our adult versions (I think Montessori would approve). Sly was unbelievably giddy over the prospect of "kid wine", and still talks about it often. He has said, "I can't WAIT for St. Joseph's Day!" If we keep this up, we'll just entrench those happy memories which surround the day of this great Saint.
And I think this is probably how many Traditions start anyways. You do something once, and it proves itself to be worthy and good, and so it gets repeated, and gradually becomes an inseparable part of your culture.
Quick Takes is hosted at Conversion Diary