Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Getting the Kids Involved

My girls are four and six years old.  They are big enough to be a great help to me with the house work. The problem is that one of my little ones doesn't much like helping.  Hannah, my youngest, loves to help out in any way imaginable.  She changes over the laundry and folds the towels, scrubs the toilets and the sinks, sets the table, unloads the dishwasher, makes her bed, picks up her toys and helps me all the time.  She has such a servants heart and this comes naturally to her.

However, not so for Bekah.   She does all those things, but it is not easy for her.  She would much rather be playing or coloring.  Who wouldn't?  However, I am her momma and I will train her to run a house hold and take care of her family.  That is my job as a mommy.

I didn't like all of the housework as a girl.  One time I remember thinking that when I was a mom, I would never make my kids work like slaves in the house.  I would just let them play and have fun each and every day, since that is what kids are supposed to do.  My mom didn't believe in that.  She taught my sister and I to cook and clean and manage our money.  We learned very quickly to be independent and take care of our selves.  I hated it at the time, but am so grateful today.  Running a house hold isn't that big of a deal since I had already been trained.

So advance 20 years: Now I am the mom and I am training my little ones on how to cook and clean it is a whole new world.  We recently gave the girls their own chores to do each day.  Bekah thought about it for a bit and then told me, "I don't think that this is a good idea.  I just don't think so.  I don't want to have to set the table and empty the dishwasher. "  She was not pleased that I would ask her to do such things.  We talked about it for a bit and I explained why I was doing it.  She didn't really get it until last night though.

Bekah was picking on Hannah like most kids do.  So I decided to pull Bekah into the kitchen to help me and Hannah went out back to play.  Dinner took twice as long to cook with her helping, but it was so fun.  I read off the ingredients and Bekah found them by herself.  It's great now that she is learning to read.  We prepped the chicken and the fried rice.  She had such fun measuring out all the ingredients and cooking with very little help from me.

 Hannah came in and started to help wash the dishes.  I began setting the table since  Bekah was cooking the rice. Bekah began talking about how she couldn't set the table since it was so much work  cooking.  I had a great conversation discussing how when one is cooking and working so hard, it is difficult to set the table and do other things.  She finally got why I am asking them to help out around the kitchen.  She is starting to understand that when everyone helps out around the house, life is better.  When we all do our part, then no one is burdened with the entire job.

And look at the joy on her face as she helps out.  
Serving others blesses you and blesses others.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Playing in the Rain on Memorial Day

Today was Memorial Day.  A day to honor our military.  To honor those serving our country now and all those that served in the past.  I am so thankful to each and everyone of the people that have given their time, their lives and their all to each of us in America.

Today was also a day off of school.  I wanted to take the time to do something fun with the girls.  I had promised to take the girls to the dollar store.  They worked really hard at our garage sale and this was their payment.  They had such fun picking out two things each.  The girls must have changed their minds half a dozen times.  

Then I stopped and got Bekah new sheets for her bed (Hannah had cut up the other ones "by accident").  I got Hannah new sandals for the wedding coming up.  The girls are going to be flower girls in my cousins wedding.  Whoohoo!

I had planned on taking the girls to the park and then to the river.  Right before we left the house, it started raining.  

I loved my girls response.  

"We don't have to go to the park.  Everything will be wet.  We can just go to the river and play.  It'll be an adventure.  We can make this fun!"

Instead of complaining. . . they were happy. 

 Instead of crying and screaming. . . they figured out how to make the best of it.

Every day we work on this.  We talk about how to praise God when things happen that we don't like.  We thank Him for everything around us when we are tempted to complain.  This doesn't come naturally to me.  It doesn't come naturally to the girls either.  I think that most of us have this struggle to look for the good and to smile instead of throwing a fit when things don't go our way.  

So the girls smiled and had a good attitude and we went out and had fun. 

We packed the umbrellas and our coats and headed out the door.  

We went to the 

          Healdsburg Veterans Memorial Beach.

It was raining, but the girls didn't care.  Within a minute, Bekah put down the umbrella and went to play.  The girls just loved getting wet.  They loved the rain on their faces, the river water filling their boots, the mud all over their hands.  

Each moment they were out at the river they had fun.  We took what could have been a wet and rainy day stuck indoors and we made memories.  These are memories they will cherish for a long time.  Find ways to enjoy your kids and do fun and crazy things with them.  Teach them how to look for the good and how to smile when they don't get what they wanted.

Have fun playing in the Rain!!!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The Hard and the Good

Today was a hard day.  A difficult day.  A day that started with tears and ended with tears.  It had hope and joy and smiles in the middle of it though.

In December we had taken a sweet doggy named Cassie into our home.  She had been found at a shelter by my sister in law, Shonna, when she was just a pup.  When she moved to a place that couldn't take dogs, my brother in law took her.  Then she hung out at my parents in laws.  (is that even a real phrase?  Who knows, but I'm using it any way)  Chris' dad just loved taking her with him all over town.   She was his constant companion.  Then he passed away two and a half years ago, leaving my sweet mother in law to take care of Cassie.

Cassie had arthritis and had a condition that made her pee every hour or so.  Cassie was in a lot of pain and they tried every thing to help her.  She came to our house in December so that she could have a warm place to sleep and a doggy door to the backyard to allow her to pee when she needed to.  We knew that we were bringing her to our home to give her a place to die.  We knew it was coming.  And we were hoping it would be a long way off.

Little by little she has been deteriorating.  A few weeks ago she had a seizure and we found out she was severely anemic and probably had cancer.  We held onto hope and tried to make her feel better.  Yesterday after seeing that she was ready to go, we made the decision.

Shonna met Hannah and I this morning to head to the vet with Cassie.  We were all sobbing.  Cassie just sat there staring at us with her beautiful brown doggy eyes.  It was one of the hardest things that I have ever had to do.  We left her with the vet and headed home.  There was tears down every cheek.  Then between sobs Hannah pipes up with, "Can we go out to ice cream today?"  We started smiling and laughing.    I love how children make us look at the bright side.  She knew just what was needed to make us feel better.

The rest of the day was good.  I spent the day with Hannah and we just celebrated life.  After a few things I had to get done, we spent some precious moments painting toes and fingers.  I loved seeing her carefully try to paint her own toe nails, finger nails and my fingers.  She was just delighted picking out the colors and the fun stickers to decorate our nails with.

We had a wonderful lunch together and then headed out to Screamin' Mimi's.  We both got double scoops of hand made ice cream and I even got a bowl for Bekah.  We sat out side in the sun.  Each of us kicked off our flip flops and enjoyed our ice cream with the warmth of the sun on our feet.  Hannah sat on a bench across from me and we made silly faces at each other and giggled.  It was what our hearts needed at that moment.  There were beautiful pink flowers growing on either side of the door with a purple chair next to each.  God was giving us grace and beauty when we needed it the most.  At the car there were more beautiful flowers that made me smile.  I took pictures to remember that moment.

After Bekah got home from school, she had her ice cream and then we painted her nails too.  I loved each moment with the girls next to me and sitting on my lap.  The sun was lighting up their hair and the breeze was blowing it in wisps around their sweet faces.  I am so thankful for this time with my children.

After bath time, Bekah had a melt down. . . crying just because.  Most likely she is grieving our sweet Cassie.  She cried for days and weeks for Bailey and we had to put her down only eight months ago.  I held her as she cried and sang to her the song, Baby Mine.  That always makes her feel better.  Then the girls lay down and I read to them from, The Star of Light.  This was one of my favorite books as a child.  Then I tucked them in and kissed them good night.  I love the sweet smell of freshly washed little girls.  They make me smile and laugh.

 God allows things that are hard and difficult into our lives.  He also gives us beauty and good things.  We need to be thankful for the good and the hard.  Today, I experienced both.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Mom's Pamper Day in Kindergarten

I had such a delightful afternoon with my sweet kindergartener.  The children had a whole afternoon of pampering lined up for the moms.  I got there early and played on the playground with the kids.  All the boys were showing off for me and kept calling, "Mrs. Kuhner!  Mrs. Kuhner!  Look at me!"  Bekah played on the monkey bars and rubbed a huge chunk of skin off of her hand.  We got a band-aid and some ice for her and she was ready to go.

All the sweet presents lined up for the mommies.  They made us each a jar of sugar scrub and a flower that says, "I love you, Mommy!"  Wow do I like Mother's Day!!

This was the massage chair for the mommies.

All the kids decorated the tables with pictures for mom.  This is the one Bekah drew for me.  She knows that I love Christmas trees.  

This brought a smile to my face!

Mrs. Fletcher was telling us about each pamper station when in walked her son.  One of the mom's found him on facebook and asked him to come pamper his mom.  I was almost in tears.  It was so sweet  to see him come to honor her.

The kids first sang, "Skinamarinkidinkido."  They were darling!

Bekah wanted to paint my toes and fingers.  Since her right hand was hurting, she did all the painting with her left hand.  She did a fantastic job and loved every minute of it.

Then we moved to the massage station where she used a fire truck to massage my legs for 10 seconds.    We will have to work on her endurance.  :o)

Then I got some precious gifts from my girl.

Snack time was next.  I think this was Bekah's favorite station.  She sat on my lap and snuggled with me while we ate a snack.

She made me a bracelet too.

Then spent some time at the relaxation station.  Bekah gently placed cucumbers on my eyes, took them off after 2 seconds, dropped them and then put them back on for a picture.  So funny!  Then she put a lovely mist of body splash on me.  And then another one.  And another one.  And finally a fourth.  I smelled really good.   It was so fun seeing her enjoy pampering me.

After doing a sugar scrub and lotion on our hands, we headed back to the manicure station.

She had fun adding a bunch of different  colors to my pretty toes and fingernails.

This is the end result.  I bet you all are jealous of my beautiful nails.  

Each moment with my girls is a gift.  Days like this are so precious to me.  I love every little thing that they do to show their love to me.  I will treasure up each moment knowing that they will be grown up all too soon.  

All the mom's agreed that we could handle being pampered by our kids every week.   Not sure if Mrs. Fletcher could fit it into the curriculum, but we can at least ask.