Rolling in a drumHave you noticed that the most inexpensive things make the greatest toys? I clearly remember a Christmas from my childhood when my parents spent more money than usual on our toys. They were looking forward to watching us play with our new toys. However, we surprised them. Instead of playing with our expensive toys, we played for hours with the empty shipping drums in our yard. We found countless ways to use those drums – standing on top and rolling the drum along while we walked (or ran), having races with the drums, curling up inside the drums and rolling down a hill then laughing like crazy because we were dizzy. You get the picture.Ball or apple?

My own children reminded me today to keep things simple. My three-year-old daughter asked for an apple. I thought she was going to eat it. Instead she and one of her brothers rolled it back and forth across the table. The fact the apple was not perfectly round just added some excitement to the game. The apple kept them happy for a good half hour before it finally became a snack.

Do you have any similar stories to share?

Lima Beans Anyone?

lima beansI had to smile tonight as we were eating supper. My kids were comparing how many Lima beans they found in their mixed vegetables and then competing to see who could eat them the fastest. No complaints, no whining, just eating their vegetables.

It’s a trick I learned from my parents many years ago. You see, when I was growing up, one of my family’s favorite desserts was fruit cocktail. But none of us wanted to eat the cherries. My Mom and Dad had a discussion and came up with a creative plan. The next time we had fruit cocktail, my Dad made a big deal about finding the cherries. Then, he made an even bigger deal about how great the cherries tasted as he ate them. It didn’t take long for all of us to follow his lead. Soon we were competing to find the most cherries and commenting about how wonderful they tasted. It wasn’t until years later that Dad “fessed up” and told us his secret. By then we all truly enjoyed our fruit cocktail and our Dad’s wonderful sense of humor.

Parenting has its moments. There are enough battles without making more. Sometimes a bit of creativity and humor can dissolve problems. Lima beans, anyone?!

Back to our Regular Schedule

We had a wonderful Christmas break – a few medical appointments, caroling, Christmas concerts, time with our Church family, a visit from my sister and her family, talking, laughing, watching videos, playing games, relaxing. It is always nice to have a change. However, it is also great to be back to a regular schedule.

In case you’re wondering, here are some reasons I appreciate a regular schedule:

  • It allows for and even encourages better planning
  • It enables me to follow through and accomplish my goals
  • It encourages me to make good healthy meals for my family instead of just snacking
  • It ensures we all get the rest we need

Best wishes to you all in 2012!