Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A SLIGHT change in plans...(Part 1)

The kids and I had been looking forward to my mom coming to visit for weeks. It had been almost a YEAR since we had seen her last so they were counting down the days. A couple of days before she was scheduled to arrive, Noah would notice every airplane in the sky and ask, "Mom, is that Grandie's airplane?" Yeah, they were just a little excited.

Finally, the big day arrived! The house was cleaned, grocery shopping was done, outings were planned...and then we get a phone call.

"My flight has been canceled."


And instead of the ticket agent trying to get my mom on another flight, in the midst of the craziness, the agent refunds the ticket!


Long story short, it was going to be at least three weeks until my mom could get another ticket for the same price. Otherwise, she'd have to pay at least double to come any sooner.

The kids were so upset. Of course, I was really disappointed too. Adding three more weeks to our countdown seemed like forever. So I get this bright idea - maybe I could be brave and drive up to Chicago with the kids (by myself) and visit my mom instead. (She and my step-dad are living there for a couple of years for my step-dad's job, and we're the only ones in the family who haven't been to visit yet.) I talked to my mom about about using the refunded ticket money for gas money, and she thought it was a great idea! What a great homeschool "field trip" this would be too - staying in the big city, museums, seeing a giant T-Rex skeleton, Millennium park, Lake Michigan, American Girl store, restaurants, bakeries...how could I pass this up?

As an extra bonus, I could stop and see a friend and her kids (whom I've never seen in person) along the way, and visit my cute little niece and nephew too. I told the kids about the idea and Noah started stuffing things into his backpack right away - "I'm all packed, Mom!" It was 3/4 full of toys and 1/4 full of clothes - his "basketball shirt", pajama bottoms, a t-shirt, and khaki shorts. So cute.

The next morning, feeling confident about the drive, I went to get an oil change and started getting things ready, but by that afternoon, I started feeling nervous. I'd never driven that far on my own before. I'm not really an impulsive person (with the exception of bringing home a puppy a few months back, and I've been paying for that - let me tell ya). I was having all kinds of doubts. Later that afternoon, I texted my mom, "I'm feeling nervous about the drive. Would you be upset if I changed my mind?" She said she would understand. I knew the kids would be upset, but I figured I could make it up to them with dollar movies and ice cream cones - maybe. Still, I was feeling really torn..and did I mention, nervous???

*Part 2 to come (and a GIVEAWAY)!!!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Works For Me Wednesday - Color A Smile!

Not too long ago, I read about this idea in Family Fun magazine to have your kids create a "crayon masterpiece" and send it in to Color A Smile - a non-profit organization that distributes children's artwork to nursing home residents and Meals on Wheels recipients. I had no idea that such an organization existed - loved this idea! So I recruited our new homeschool group to do this simple service activity and sent in about twenty smiley pictures drawn by kiddos ages 2-7. It's so awesome that there are neat opportunities out there for little helping hands. The kids were all really excited about their pictures knowing that they would be helping to make someone smile!
My kids and I really enjoy doing these types of activities together. As I read in August's Fishful Thinking newsletter - Encouraging Random Acts of Kindness (by Dr. Reivich) - There are no limits to the way you can practice kindness; the key word is practice. As a family, make the practicing of kindness a positive habit. You and your children will feel happier with the knowledge that you are bringing happiness to others.

SO true!!!

(Fishful Thinking really works for me too!)

*For more WFMW ideas - click here!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Question of the Day...

Such an awesome question was posted on the Fishful Thinking facebook page today -

What is "beautiful" about your child?

Just reading this question made me all teary-eyed. There are so many days that I wonder what I did to deserve these beautiful kiddos. They have such sweet spirits and so much love to give. I love seeing their eyes light up when they learn something new. Their laughter and smiles are contagious, and I'm grateful for each day I have with them.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Photo Story Friday - Uh...who will help me BAKE the bread?

Seriously. I really could have used some help. I don't usually bake bread. In fact, this was the very first time I'd done it - with the exception of banana bread, but clearly, they are not even in the same league.

But Abby was reading The Little Red Hen. The kids had made stick puppets earlier that week and put on a little puppet show re-enacting the story. (So cute!) We had to make homemade bread!!! We even went to a friend's house for a playdate who told me exactly how to make it. She actually gave me her recipe card. She even let me borrow her Kitchen-Aid and gave me a candy thermometer to measure the temp of the water. "Just don't kill the yeast, and you'll be good," she told me.

How could I mess this up?

Um, yeah. You should have seen me just trying to pick out the right flour at the grocery store - and getting the water temp, right? You don't want to know.

Still, the kids had tons of fun and didn't seem bothered by my domestic disabilities.

So much for a big, fluffy loaf of bread...

But it was worth making it, just to get this picture...

And with a little butter and honey, it was even edible.

PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Lisa and Cecily