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Encouraging Words

It's amazing when my 5-year-old comes home talking about the history behind MLK day. When I was in Kindergarten, we learned our color...

Friday, November 23, 2007

Thankful Sisters

Yesterday my family spent the day at my grandmothers in a remote small town. In fact one wise family member, who is under the age of 10, mentioned that the town looked exactly like Radiator Springs! We all got a laugh out of that one. My grandmother still lives in her home, that's crumbling apart it's so old, and is going strong.

As a family we decided to have Thanksgiving at her house this year. It may be the last time we're able to at the age my grandmother is. As kids we loved to play there. She's got a big goldfish pond in her back yard, which my sister fell in as a kid. Those gold fish are so big and so old...it makes me wonder if they've been around longer than me. My grandmother also had a secret passage way in her home. Well it's more like to connecting closets that run the center of her home. So this little hallway that led from the guest room to the master bedroom became our secret passage way...a charmed little secret we always enjoyed as kids.

It was my son's first time in this little town and at his Great Grama's house. He knew of the secret passage way and couldn't wait to travel down it's path. He ran from room to room to take the passage...over and over and over! It was so awesome seeing him caught up in the wonder of something from my childhood. I'm sure it's something he'll never forget.

We all ate the standard yummies, until our stomachs burst and then retired to watch football. The boys played dominoes for while, and then we bust out UNO and had a lot of fun. I won, so my husband decided he didn't want to play anymore...:)

I think the most relaxing thing was sitting on the floor and leaning back into the recliner, where my sister was sitting. I've grown my hair out in the last 6 months, and it's long for the first time since college...circa 1991. (OUCH!) She leaned forward and french braided my hair, which is what she used to do almost daily when we were kids. I had hair down to my knees growing up. I would have to hold the strands out arm length to have them ready as she braided strand by strand, b/c my hair was too long to maneuver.

Not that I'm not thankful for all of my other family...I am blessed to love all of them deeply. But my sister is my best friend, and always has been. She is 6 years older than me, so she always took care of me growing up. She nurtured, babied, loved and adored me when I was little. She taught me and guided me as I grew older. She learned the difference between a second mom and a best friend when I was an adult...and I love her so much.

Yesterday being in a place with all my family made me reflect on how amazing our relationship is and was...and always will be.

Monday, November 12, 2007

An Art History Lesson

I'm fighting the stomach crud this week, and yesterday it was at it's worst. My little one, being as patient as he could, finally started jumping up on the couch to cuddle. This was so sweet and endearing, but his squirming little body was making my stomach hurl.

I tried to explain to him how I felt by pointing out a print we have over our mantle. I said, "Honey see that painting above our fireplace? The one with the swirls in the night sky?"
"Well...that's how mommy's tummy feels and the more you move the more my tummy swirls around. Can you be as gentle as possible when you make any moves?"
"Yes, of course...what is that up there, mom?"

So we got into the history of things...like...
"A long time ago we didn't have all this technology. Before we were born...there weren't camera's to take pictures, so artists did a lot of painting to show the world's beauty around them to others. And that painting up there is called Starry Night, by Vincent van Gogh."

He looked up at me, saying, "I know. And he's from Paris, France! He also painted Apple and Oranges."

Now I don't know about the title of any painting Van Gogh did called Apples & Oranges, but he definitely had his Paris period, where he studied with some great artists. I was blown away that he would know this.

I asked him where he'd heard that, and he replied in a very matter a fact voice, "At school, Mom!"

I know most of you wouldn't think that's so amazing...but I don't know too many four-year-olds that this fact would actually land and stick with. At school, most of his classmates were probably too busy looking at whatever painting they were being told about instead of learning the history of the artist. I'm so glad he's learning so much but wasn't expecting to be schooled by my four-year-old on art history. It was pretty neat.

For more info on Vincent van Gogh and his works - visit this site!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Play dates with the dudes!

Today my son and his two friends went to see the Bee Movie, which we all thouroghly enjoyed. There were a few things that weren't exactly on my kid friendly approval list, but they were so far above their little heads/minds that I overlooked them. The overall message was a good one and the humor was adorable.

I toted my son and his best friend, in my car. And we met his other friend and his mom at the theater. It was the first time we've gotten them all together, other than at a birthday party. It was so cool seeing their excitement just to be able to hang with 'the guys'!

We couldn't even find the right movie screen at first. I specifically asked for (in clear English) The BEEEEE Movie at the ticket window! When we walked in, and the theater attendant took our tickets, he told us to go to theater #19. We all walked the nine million miles to screen number 19, and walked in...only to find out that it wasn't The Bee Movie at all. It was full of older couples that ranged from 40 -60. There were no kids in the audience, and the movie trailors coming on were not kid friendly at all. My friend and I walked our boys out, and I pulled my tickets out of my pocket. They read, "American Gangster"

Now why on earth would I take two 4 1/2 year olds to American Gangster??? Didn't the girl at the ticket window have ears? Didn't the young kid at the ticket gate wonder why a mom would take young kids to a mobster movie? Pleeaase people...pay attention!

We finally found which screen the Bee Movie was playing at....a mile back at the #2 theater. We picked our seats and the boys told us to sit on the outside of them. They had to sit in the middle so they could be together. I know not to long into the future it will be sitting on a different row than the moms....and then just being dropped off 'mom' free. Sniff...

I enjoyed watching them more than the movie...their little faces and smiles, while the movie played. They'd stop and whisper to each other during certain parts of the film. I have no idea what they were talking about but it sure was cute to watch. My son had to sit in between his two friends...of course.

When we left the film, he told us moms, "The guys walk in front and the mom's walk behind!"
He grabbed his buddies and put his arms around their shoulders, guiding them ahead of the moms. I wish I had my camera, b/c it was a picture that would have been worth a thousand words.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

You got me?

Today was a momentous occasion as a mom, as I watched my son take flight on his bike....training wheel free. We took the training wheels off last week, but today was the first day he felt daring enough to try his riding it without the safety net.

We got home around 5 p.m. and the beautiful weather just beckoned. As soon as he got out of the car, he wanted to try riding. I didn't worry too much about the helmet and knee pads, as I wasn't going to let go, so off we went holding him steady on his bike. He toodled around the driveway a few times, until I offered a venture on the sidewalk. It was a much straighter path, and it would be easier on my back as I bent over to hold him steady.

Once I saw how well he was doing, driving a straight line, I slowly let go. I told him, "I still got 'cha buddy. Keep going!" In truth, I was close enough to catch him if he fell, but he was sailing fast and furious on his own volition down the sidewalk without any knowledge of my release. It was one of 'the' most proud moments as a mom so far. It's right up there with his first step!

Once his first wheel ran into the grass, I grabbed his seat and slowed him down. He got off and turned around with the biggest smile. He realized that I grabbed a hold of him to stop him from falling, and it dawned on him he'd been riding solo.

"Did you let go mom?"
"Yes, I did...I'm so proud of you!"
(huge smile) "Can we do it again?"
"Sure we can...let's go!"

30 more minutes of riding solo down a 10 foot path.....back and forth....until I had to force him to come inside. The street lights were turning on, and the temperature was dropping a little. When we started back inside, I kissed the top of his head and hugged him tight. He turned his little face up and said, "I blew you a kiss from my heart..."

It's been a really great day!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Happy November

Wholly Frickin' Moley.....November is here! How did that happen?

You know what this means? Thanksgiving will be here before we know it! Then Christmas!
Wasn't it just Christmas? Or am I time warped?

So when do most of you officially start pulling out the holiday decorations? Do you wait till the day after Thanksgiving, or do you get a head start so you can enjoy it longer?

We have an artificial tree, mainly because of allergies, but also because I hate the waste that goes on in this country. Well that....and vacuuming up pine needles is not high on my priority list.

My tree's full of different decorations. It's pre-lit, and full of my son's home-made goodies or trinkets from all the places I've lived or visited. We've got glass blown lava ornaments that are the most beautiful decorations I own. We also have little mini disco balls, in honor of my husband's music background.

Our tree is a montage of our family from interests to travels, and I love it when it's up. So I, for one, will not wait until Thanksgiving. I want to enjoy it on a dark night, with a soft glow from it's lights, while I drink hot chocolate with my family. It's the only time of year we get to do that.

Each year is new to my son, who although remembers each holiday season, gets to grow into a new one each year. I'm amazed it's November, but welcome it with open arms. I'm so excited to spend this holiday with my family!!!