Thursday, May 31, 2012

On Media

Everyday my kids ask to watch TV or do some other kind of media (leapfrog, leappad, online games, movies, you tube etc etc). They sometimes BEG for it. I'm sure your kids do to right? 

(This is with MY kids, not necessarily yours out there who are reading, so please don't think I'm judging you at all.) But what I've come to realize is that more than a half an hour of media a day, turns my kids into crazy monsters! (Enter shrieks and multiple heads and eyes here!)

 If Autumn watches a whole movie...or spends more than a half hour/hour on media she comes out CRYING (like wailing, uncontrollable, balling) and Noah, well, just isn't normal Noah. He's morphed into this needy, whiney, teary thing that I don't know anymore. Seriously.
 So I've thought about it for a while and realized what the root of it is....self control. There's no need to have self control when your watching TV, it's just gratifying, right there! There's no need to be kind or patient, the world just goes RIGHT when your sitting in front of something entertaining. There is no one coloring in on your page, or taking your toys, saying unkind things. ALL is right with the world when you let media wash over you. They don't get practice interacting and pretending and just being a kid, and so it's easier to freak out when all doesn't go your way.

After watching TV my kiddies LOOSE it if their juice isn't poured RIGHT when they ask. Why? Well on TV and games everything happens right away, so they expect gratification right away. And pretend play just seems BORING after not having to think the whole day.
 I've realized it takes self control on my part too. Like if I haven't showered and gotten ready for the day right away in the morning, then I'm tempted to just switch on the TV for an hour or more while I get ready ...and then I have this quiet morning hour when Jude naps and my kiddies are in front of the Tube where I can do what I want to do instead of serving my children. It  sounds tempting doesn't it? A QUIET morning? :) No discipline, no crumbs on the floor, no split juice, no interruptions when your on the phone, no tears when it didn't go just their way and your house is clean! Just a selfish little hour/ hour and a half all to me. Hmmmm. Just one little movie right? (I'm talking tame stuff here like Mickey Mouse and Little Einsteins, in case your wondering)
But then I regret it, the rest of the day.  If I pull out a coloring project they are bored within 5 minutes. If I try to do reading with them they are restless, because it's just not as self gratifying as TV.

But like this morning they didn't watch TV at all, and they colored for an hour and a half!  I tell you if they had media it would have been 5 minutes and then "I'm bored" or a fight would have broken out between them.
 On days where I get ready before breakfast, and have a PLAN of what I'm going to do that morning with my kiddies, well it's just a much better day. It's way more work on my part, but I have these kids that I just LOVE hearing their stories, and that whimsically morph into pretend knights and princesses, and tables become pirate ships, and our dog Spurgeon becomes the bad guy, and a normal bed is suddenly an airplane.  I get to read the Bible to them and then when it doesn't go their way I can remind them AGAIN of the gospel.
So....during Jude's nap (9-11 every morning) I try and come up with a plan for my kiddies. Half an hour of coloring, some reading, some songs, some Bible, outside play etc). It takes work to plan but it's WORTH it....Noah's going to Kindergarten next year and I won't have these precious mornings with him in just a few months. And when I chat to him I just realize how much I love his little soft heart and how he just GRASPS the Bible so quickly when I read it to him. He connects things that I've never even thought of, and then I'm learning too.

Some things that I've really loved lately are....stick figure through the Bible. It's an idea I got here:

I didn't order a lesson plan I just come up with my own where you have to draw a concept in the Bible. So like today we just did Psalm 139 and my kids drew people standing, sitting, and sleeping and we talked about how God sees/knows everything we do. We are also doing MFW homeschool (I don't stick to this though much cause it's a bit repetitive and boring) but it goes through 1 letter a week, so then we talk about that and practice reading etc. Every day is a bit different but I try and do something educational/reading with my kids for at least an hour to hour and a half of  Judes morning  nap, then I let them free play outside (even if it's freezing I bundle them up and have them swing or whatever) and then it's snack time and Jude is awake and we play with him. Then it's lunch, a bit of daddy time, and nap. After nap they usually play pretty well by themselves until dinner/bath/story/bed.

I'm not saying it's outlawed in our house, just limited :) We've moved the TV from the main living area into our bedroom, and then it's not this looming temptation the whole day as well. So it helps a bit. I'm curious to hear if any of my readers have discovered the same thing, or if it's just me! :)

Thursday, May 24, 2012

On the move

Jude is on the move! Army crawling is now his new passion in life. He often plays on our patio on a little blanket while my kiddies have a snack.
 And spots the pretty flowers, army's on over and gives me this look, like hey....I can go for it right? Is it ok?
 Then he does my favorite baby "hand move" where they just open and close, open and close to feel it, like they've never felt anything like it before (because, well you know they haven't!)
 Then I have to catch him before my pretty flowers end up in his mouth, silly guy.
I often just stare at him while I'm drinking my cup of coffee and think "eeeeeek! He's mine!" like I can't actually believe the Lord would give me such a special gift. He has a sweet little relationship going with Noah and Auts too, their goal is to make him laugh and he usually caves in :)

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Noah's Superhero Birthday (5!)

For Noah's 5th Birthday he wanted a Superhero party! Often he and Auts will play pretend superheros, with no costumes or anything, they will just "fly" around pretending they can do super things. So...with a few views on pinterest for most of my super kids! (This is my favorite pic, can you see Noah and Aut's faces? Classic!)
 The backdrop is just two pieces of fabric sown together, the black one cut like a skyline, the lights are just cut paper! :) And the colored buildings are like wrapped presents in the front. So easy! (But just time consuming!
 SuperJude! He actually kept on the mask for quite a while before trying to eat it.
 The Super Cake

 And Super Snacks!

 Noah's friends had fun "tearing down" the buildings and flying over them
 And using the photobooth props!
 Noah's cousins and Aunty and Grandpa came down! Little Superman Ryan and Spiderman Dyllan

 We played this fun game where we balled up newspaper and they were divided in two teams and pretended the newspaper were bombs and had to get it to the other side. Noahs team won!
 Then we played dodgeball, Noah's favorite!
 My sweet superfamily
 I found sparklers for the cake, I just LOVE sparklers!
 Fun cousin pic!
At 5 Noah is suddenly a "big boy" he's really grown up! 5 seems to be quite the transition stage where things are suddenly too "baby" for him. He gallantly carries a sword with him wherever he goes. It's so cute cause we named him Noah Knightley 5 years ago so it's cute to see him loving all things to do with Knights. He even got a Knight costume for his birthday! He loves Robin Hood and bows and arrows. He is constantly inquisitive, and will ask a series of questions till he finds out all the info he can. He takes good care of his little brother, and has a warm affection for him. He often asks deep things about the Lord so much so that I often have to think for a long time before answering. I love our first baby who is now all grown up!