Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Homemade Christmas Gift Ideas

My family doesn't read this, so I'm safe asking for a little help here. Long ago, I gave up on trying to buy gifts for my parents. They buy whatever they want and anything "fun" I try to get is always way off the mark. So lately, I've been trying to make them something for Christmas. And my mother-in-law...although we also buy for her because she's easier to buy for. She just likes the personal touch, too. And school teachers, because really, who needs another mug? And neighbors. Maybe a friend or two. Sure does grow, doesn't it?

But this year, I'm having trouble coming up with ideas. I'm relatively crafty, but not terribly so. And I do not knit. Or crochet. Or sew more than say a pillow or a blanket. Frankly, I guess I'm not really that crafty, but I do try. Anyway, what are some things that you have made to give as gifts? Pictures would be great!

WFMW - Toys Worth Buying

Today's Works For Me Wednesday is Toys Worth Buying. With so many toys in our house, surely there is something in here that was worth the money we paid for it!

For babies, we always liked the hedgehog bristle teether. It was great at soothing the gums and also made a great squeaky sound on the teeth that they all loved, while managing to not be annoying to parents' ears!

For older babies and toddlers, we LOVE washable finger paint. It's washable. It's still OK for them to go topless. And if worst comes to worse, you can hose them off, right? As long as you don't have carpet in your dining room, it's a breeze to clean up and so great for creativity as well as the sensory aspect.

My most recent "best buy" in the toy category would probably be the Martian Matter Alien Maker. The kids all like it, the refills aren't too expensive and they talk to each other and tell stories while they wait the 5 minutes for their "guy" to dry and watch the other kids work on theirs. Great lesson in sharing. They should put that on the box!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Wise Father

Once upon a time, we thought we'd have a large family. Lots of kids close together. But things don't always work out like we plan. Lately, it has been on my mind a lot. Sort of longing for what I know I cannot have, while not really sure I would want it anymore anyway. Babies are HARD! And I really enjoy being done with the practical aspects (diaper bags, naps, bottles, diapers, 100 other little things...) After the last 24 hours, I am once again reminded that what we have is for the best. Had we continued with our plan, we would have had a 2 year old and a 6 month old to add to the mix. 5 (sometimes 6) kids in the house 8 years old and under. What were we thinking?

One thing that wasn't on our mind was Matthew and how difficult he would continue to be. God sometimes works in mysterious ways, but I guess sometimes it's pretty clear. If we had those other 2 children, I would not be back at work. I would be home. And being home, I believe I would have kept Matthew home from school on Friday to avoid the complete chaos that is an elementary school Halloween. That would have avoided a call at work from the school psychologist (minor little freak out - nothing out of the norm), but probably wouldn't have been in his best interests in the long term. Overprotecting him isn't good for him and it certainly isn't good for our other children, either. We would not have had the time and the energy to take care of both him and 2 other kids while he was completely out of control this morning. I know, we like to think that God gives us the strength that we need, and had we been given 2 other children, I'm sure I'd be writing an entirely different post. But the fact of the matter is that we were NOT given more children and some days, I thank the Lord for his wisdom. And pray for strength to deal with the 3 we do have.

Although...who knows what the future holds.