Friday, December 12, 2014

Hide And Seek

This is a perfect example of what happens when I finally get in the shower in the middle of the afternoon and Little X promises to watch Daniel Tiger on PBS Kids until I get out...
 
 
He plays his own version of Candyland and builds a fort in the front room with every loose couch or chair cushion available. And then he hides.
 
Which means I get to look all over the house for him.
 
I look in all of his favorite hiding places. He's not tucked behind one of the chairs at the computer desk. He's not in the pantry. He's not under anyone's bed. He's not beneath the dirty clothes inside the hamper. He's not anywhere in the backyard.
 
I start to get that little panicky feeling. That sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. Did he get out the front door? How long has he been gone? I rush to check the deadbolts - they're still locked. I think to myself, where in the world could he be? Then I turn to do some more searching and hear a contented, sleepy, 3-year-old kind of sigh from beneath the cushion fort.    


 
There's my boy.



Monday, December 1, 2014

25 Days of Christmas Service

In an effort to get my kids thinking more about others as Christmas approaches we are using a different kind of advent calendar this year. For each day from December 1st until Christmas we will choose one of the following acts of service, in no particular order, to do as a family:

UPDATED January 2015: How did we do? I put a line through the ones we actually completed. It was a busy month, but even the small acts of service we did added to the spirit of the season.

1. Leave a note and treat for the mailman

2. Donate some food to the food bank

3. Donate unused toys and clothes to D.I.

4. Do some yard work for a neighbor (rake leaves, shovel snow, pull weeds, etc.)

5. Send cards to all of the missionaries in our ward

6. Make bird food ornaments (pipe cleaners bent like candy canes with cheerios laced on, bird feed stuck to peanut butter on a pine cone, etc.)

7. Do a "trash walk" and pick up garbage in the neighborhood

8. Tape bags of microwave popcorn to the Redbox machine with a note saying “Enjoy some popcorn with your movie!”

9. Leave quarters in candy machines at the mall

10. Donate books to the school library

11. Give someone poinsettias

12. Give a homeless person a blanket

13. Leave compliments for people all over town and give 3 honest compliments to strangers
14. Leave anonymous treats for teachers in the faculty break room


16. Leave candy canes on cars in a parking lot with a note reading 'Merry Christmas'

17. Donate DVDs we no longer watch to KidFlix (or donate them to the pediatric unit of our local hospital if there is a need) http://www.kidflicks.org/donate/

18. Donate gently used stuffed animals to S.A.F.E. (or the local police or fire station if they are needed) http://www.stuffedanimalsforemergencies.org/Where_to_Donate.html

19. Have each child choose a pet toy from the dollar store and donate it, along with a bag of dog food or doggy treats, to the local animal shelter http://suvas.org/donate/

20. Collect pencils for a group of children in need http://www.thepencilproject.com/index.html

21. Pull out the neighbors' trash cans the night before trash pick-up  
22. Pull everyone’s trash cans back up their driveways on trash day

23. Leave a ziplock bag with quarters in it taped to hospital vending machines

24. Leave toy dinosaurs or army men all over playground equipment at the mall playground with tags that say 'Take me Home' attached to them

25. Tape coupons (collected from free mailers) to products at the grocery store
The kids are so excited to get started! Almost as excited as I am.