We are fast falling in love with Frances England through her soon-to-be-released album Blink of an Eye. To give you a glimpse into this album, here’s her most recent music video of the song Tell Me It All. It’s got a great story as well as a captivating sound.
Sally Forth was a comic I always loved. In fact, the last time I read the Sunday comics I took a picture of Sally Forth and sent it to Brent.
But the point is, somewhere along the way I learned that to sally forth means to attack from a defensive position. It’s funny to me that when something is pressing on my mind, I get information on it from every direction.
What’s pressing on my mind? Yelling. Not just the kids yelling, my yelling. Well, to be honest, it’s mostly my yelling. I am tired of only being listened to if I raise my voice. I know there’s a better way, but I’m having a hard time breaking the habit, or making the transition to that better way.
I was able to visit my family in Colorado and attend my brother’s wedding. It was such a blissful experience. I only had baby Ben with me and so I was in perpetual grown up land with my parents and grandparents, I even was able to visit a long time friend who recently moved to Colorado Springs. She and I were able to chat away happily while her four children (and two neighborhood friends) played. We were occasionally called on to assist with disagreements or frustrations. My friend handled it all with such grace and calmness. I was truly inspired!
In response to our conversations, she emailed me an article she’d read where the author tells of her transformation from yelling mom to calm mom. Here’s the article, Losing my temper: Utah’s Young Mother of the Year confesses all; it’s worth the read! I loved this quote from the article:
I wanted to be kinder, calmer and less scary. At the moment of decision, I wanted to make the right choice, not the angry one. I was deeply shamed.
Change takes time. I broke my resolve more times than I can count. But I kept praying, practicing calmness and kindness. And I changed.
Already feeling very encouraged by this article and motivation to keep praying, practicing calmness and kindness, I came upon another nugget to add to my resource treasure chest. Because these encouraging stories, practical skills and amazing friends are gems I lovingly keep in a treasure chest, safe and easily accessible so I can return to their beauty and inspiration again and again. This nugget was a Hangout chat from Mom It Forward about creating a Super Hero Family. It’s about an hour, but a great listen while you do dishes or fold laundry!
So what does this have to do with Sally Forth? With the comic I shared above, very little. But with the idea of attacking from a defensive position, everything! I stand in our home defending our family from many things, but the most pressing thing I am defending my little ones from right now, is my temper. As a result, I need to attack that temper and remove it from our home, from me. So while I defend our family, I am in a battle with myself to change. It’s not an easily fought battle, but one whose outcome will have lasting effects.
The use of family mission statements to create a compass, a road map of how our family will achieve what we dream of really resonates with me. Not only a family mission statement, but a personal mission statement where I can include my vision for who I am, who I want to be, for my family. This family mission statement sets the bar for behavior. It gives us a defensive place from which to attack the things we want to change. A place to come back to in order to evaluate our progress and to move forward again.
Scott’s birthday follows Christmas by one week, exactly. Yep, that makes his birthday fall on New Year’s Day. He turned two this year. With such a fun Christmas, it was hard to know what to do to celebrate his birthday. Here’s what we did, which turned out to be a huge hit with him!
There are a lot of bounce house/gyms in our area. We had planned to go as a family to one on his birthday to celebrate. I just didn’t have it in me to do a friend party. But then Elli was sick that day so Daddy, Sammi and Scott went to one. He had a blast. It was the perfect activity for him and a treat because we’d only been once before for someone else’s birthday.
Scott had recently been carrying around his sisters’ teddy bears. Even with their ballet outfits on. He loved having a bear to hold as he went about his play. For his birthday we decided he should get his own bear. The day before his birthday we all went together to build his bear. He chose a black bear (Note: after Christmas they are out of a lot of options!) and then insisted on the Spiderman outfit. He’s a bit obsessed with Spiderman. He wouldn’t even look at another outfit, and Brent tried to show him all the doctor and Air Force ones!. So his black bear in a Spiderman outfit was named Spidy. Scott has very strong opinions about if Spidy should wear his full costume, have the mask off or be just a black bear. It’s so cute to see him play with this bear, especially when it’s dressed up. Here’s the video of him putting the heart in his bear. I think this is my favorite part, and total justification, for going to Build-A-Bear.
Brent has been antsy to add to our collection of train tracks. He scoured Amazon.com and added many worthy possibilities but finally settled on Bigjigs Assorted Expansion Train Track Pack (25 Piece). Scott loved the expanded track Brent created. He had so much fun playing with it and exploring all the new pieces.
Hape Fix-It Tool Box
The Hape Fix-It Tool Box is an all wooden tool box that comes with a hammer, a screwdriver and a wrench. Plus it has screws, and gears. It’s a lot like the Melissa and Doug version, but I like the hammer in this one better. Scott has loved carrying around the tool box but especially loved carrying the hammer everywhere! This was definitely a huge hit with him and his older sisters have enjoyed playing with it, too.
What have you found to be successful gifts for boys?
I’m excited to be starting a local music club! Today is our first activity and our theme is Robots. You can read more about the Monthly Music Club here and more about our Robot-themed plans here. But right now I wanted to share our playlist for the music club.
Beat-Box-a-Robot by Recess Monkey on The Final Funktier
How Do You Build a Robot? by Recess Monkey on The Final Funktier
Japanese Robot by Princess Katie & Racer Steve on Tiny Cool
Robbie Robot by Mary Kaye on Music Box
Robot Farm by Big Jeff on Big Jeff and His Middle-Sized Band
Robot Kevin by The Mighty Buzzniks on Bug Out
The Robot Looked At the Stars by Ralph’s World on All Around Ralph’s World
Robots On the Dance Floor by Rhymezwell on Robots On the Dance Floor-Single
I’m not a fan of rap, but I really liked Rhymezwell’s take on Robots dancing. My favorite line is “Our battery packs are at max.” Here’s the recently released music video.
Enjoy a little Robot dancing today. I’ll share our activities later this week.
I found this video on my computer last night and it seriously made me laugh out loud. I laughed so loudly that Brent came and found me to see what was so funny. These kids crack me up! And Elli sounds so much like Scott. It’s like they’re siblings, or something.
Happy Monday. We’re wishing you a great week.
So the other day Brent came home from his test telling me that he had The Backpack Song stuck in his head all day. He said even after that, and trying to take a test while it was running through his head, he still liked it! Yes, it’s that great of a song. You may remember when we reviewed Bari Koral’s new album back in November. It’s one album that we still listen to frequently.
Not more than a day later I got an email from Bari Koral saying they had just made their first music video. And the song they chose was none other than The Backpack Song! I shared it with the girls and they were wild about it. It’s a fun video for a fun song. Check it out!
Don’t forget, you can also get Bari’s album on Amazon.com.
The Eensy Weensy Spider is one of the first songs that Sammi could sing all by herself. It’s also one of the favorites at the library. They have a puppet spider that the kids love when we do this song.
Before Elli could sit up, I put her in my lap and did that actions on her, as shown in the video. My favorite part is tickling her under her chin after the spider crawls back up her arm.
There are a couple of ways to do the spider crawling action. First is what I think of as the traditional way: index finger from one hand to thumb of the other crawling over the other thumb-index finger pair. The second is using your fingers on one hand to crawl up the arm of the other hand. Children seem to love both. We often sing it twice and switch the action the second time through.