The Christmas season has so much color & teaching about each color and what it means during Christmas has been fun. I choose the color red for this week. Red for Santa, Rudolf’s nose, the coca cola theme in our kitchen and for the blood of Christ. My boys are too young to really understand that Christmas is a birthday celebration for Jesus Christ, but the more I tell the Bible stories and godly principles the sooner they will catch on that God is important in our house. Sometime during each wake cycle, we sing the happy birthday song to Jesus. Then we all pretend to pickup a cupcake and eat it. The best part is seeing Lance smile real big and say “mmm.” Imagination is here!
We are reviewing a few shapes again to help it sink in so we are using circles & squares this week. Hence the picture at the top. While every mommy dreams of these great things to do with your kids, let’s face it, sometimes it gets frustrating when your kids don’t behave the way you would like for them too. I just knew my boys would love seeing all the little blocks lined up in rows. One row all red and the other colors in the next row. Then we could scatter them and build with them. Wouldn’t you know that I had to try seven different times to line them up because all they wanted to do was scatter them before a full line could be formed. My first thought was to block my children from the blocks so I could get a good picture and then show them the differences. But I caught myself and reminded me that any play with the colors provided learning even though it wasn’t what I pictured when we started out. Keeping this in mind will help prevent so much frustration for me in the future.
Why is it that we get these grand ideas in our heads, whether it’s an idea for play, a celebration or the look of our house, and we stress ourselves out making things just like the picture we saw in our mind or a magazine? It sounds so silly & so simple to do when you say it aloud, but oh how hard to put into practice. It is amazing to me that God had a perfect plan for the world when He created it. Adam & Eve sinned and messed it up, passing that sin nature down to every man and woman. If God was like me, He would be tempted to yell and throw and big fit. But that’s not God character. He was disappointed in man, but He sent His only son, Jesus, to die for our sins. He didn’t wipe out man and start over every time they messed up, like I started my line of blocks over and over while getting frustrated. What a mercy He has rained down on each person. Mercy that He has extended to my boys, should they accept it one day. I need to remember daily to set the example of God’s mercy when I’m frustrated with my children and what a difference it would make in their lives and mine.
Having the shape of the week be a circle and the color of the week blue, it made for plenty of material. My two boys have found this week to full of laughs. I found a great book to help in this journey. My First Book of Shapes by Baby Einstein. While the boys are still too young to point out the specific things asked for in the book’s questions, they loved looking at all the round pictures and mommy describing everything. They also have such a good time riding around the kitchen island in a big circle. I know, they probably didn’t get the circle image from riding around, but hey, they laughed every time one of the boys came back to the start and rammed his car into the back of his bother’s car. They are truly boys who like being rowdy.
As for the blue color, I have pointed out so many things that are blue in our house that I’m blue in the face. If you want to ensure giggles from your kids, put on a silly santa hat and sing Elvis’ Blue Christmas in the craziest voice you can. Every time I got to the backup girls singing “oohh, oohh, aoohie,” they laughed and pointed at me. I did that little song and dance every day as the boys went wild each time. At the close of Friday, they each can’t point to anything blue or pickup the circle out of several shapes, but I do think they are learning and having a ball doing it. My deapest thanks go out to Elvis and the song that I think is so stupid; it has saved my week.
I had a fun ending to our week learning about the color green. Thursday and Friday I had so much energy and I didn’t lose it with my boys. That makes these two days the best.
Thursday we worked with two green balls. There were so many skills that we worked on with one big ball and one little ball. Rolling, bouncing, kicking, throwing, catching, patting, chasing, big vs little and sharing. Bring out a ball and the laughter begins. Because balls are so fun for my boys, there’s little I need to do to get them learning these skills.
In & out is a concept that I know I will be working on for a long time before it sinks in. I had a bucket that used for pre-soaking their clothes during the spit up days of babyhood. I no longer need it so it was just sitting around taking up space. I brought it down and presto the laughter began. Who knew that putting, no throwing blocks, into the container would lead to big fun. So Lance was the first one to gently place some of his wooden blocks in the container as I pointed out that he put them “In.” When he dumped them out I pointed that they were “Out.” That caught James’ attention and before I knew it, the whole container had blocks and they each were taking turns throwing them in & spilling them back out. I don’t remember who had the clever idea to try putting something else in the container, but I think all but our kitchen sink eventually ended up with a turn in the container. This went on for about 30min before Lance wandered off to get into something else. Now that James had the container all to himself, his giggly little self really came to life. He found that his head was the perfect fit inside the container. Not only that, it sounds funny to hit the container or yell while his head is in there. Lance even thought it was funny to bang on the container with James’ head in it. I quickly realized that this might not be leading to a great idea as Lance may decide that hitting his brother’s head without the container on it would be ok too. So now James had tapped into his silly side and is letting the world see it. How precious is the laughter of two brothers as they enjoy each other’s antics! What mercy God is bestowing as I see them learning and their personalities taking shape, despite my shortcomings as a mother. God is really their teacher and I’m the assistant.
Two weeks ago I had a friend ask me what I was doing in Biblical training with my boys. My first response was reading from the children’s Bible each day and that was about all my youngsters would probably understand at this age. I’ve been thinking about this question ever since she asked it. I actually do more than just reading about God. Teaching my children to obey me and their father with first time obedience, acting kind toward others and sharing in the responsibilities of picking up are all things that help my children learn biblical principles.
What captured my thoughts recently is my own behavior. Everyone knows the old saying that actions speak louder than words, but I don’t think about it on a day to day basis. The moral training of my children really begins with me and how I act. Take for example cleaning up. My boys see my picking up toys as we go along and right before nap time when they help put a few toys away. Often I’m sighing or rushing through to get them to bed before it gets too late or rushing hastily to get everyone out the door so we aren’t late to an appointment. After watching me day after day be rushed, grumpy or apathetic about cleanup, why do I think my boys would cleanup with happy hearts? The other example just might be alittle harder for me to break. When my husband is home, we ask each other to do things. Much of the time we are so busy that we say, yea I’ll do it in just a few minutes. Rarely do we put aside what we are doing and take care of the request. What are my boys seeing? Mommy and daddy don’t obey when first asked. In fact, mommy or daddy usually has to ask the other parent a second or third time before it gets done. And I expect my children to obey me upon the first time that I instruct them?
Humbling to look at my own life and see that I am not measuring up to my own standards. Well I’m not going to lower those standards. The right thing to do is make sure that I’m modeling the very things that I’m saying to do. It is true that my boys are still too young to get many theological ideas. Learning that mommy can be trusted in what she says as well as what I do provides the foundation for my boys to trust the more advanced Biblical and moral training when that time comes. I won’t be perfect in my example, thanks to my sin nature, and what a wonderful opportunity for my boys to see mommy ask for forgiveness when I do fail. My hope is that with my example, I too will see my boys become humble and go to the Lord who grants grace and mercy to anyone who seeks it. As God’s Word declares, His mercies are new every morning.
Green is the color of the week. On Monday we walked around the living room pointing at everything green and with Christmas decorations up, there’s a lot of green. I was wondering what I might do inside that would be different to spark their learning of green. Nothing was jumping out at me. Early this afternoon we all took a trip to local thrift store. This particular store always has great things and stays pretty neat/organized. Of-course I found several outfits for the boys but the jackpot today was the weebles musical treehouse for a steal. What better way to learn about the color green than with a tree. James quickly found it amusing to send the weebles down the tunnel and have them crash through the bottom door while Lance turned the handle of the water wheel that makes the music go. While they played I pointed out the green top, how it showed the leaves that are green, the brown trunk and how our tree in the back yard was all brown because it had lost all of its leaves. Between looking out the glass door at our tree and the weebles tree, we had a great afternoon laughing and playing with the color green. What a mercy coming down to have a thrift store to keep my family within our budget and to find the perfect toy.