Mom vs. The Playroom

I cleaned up the playroom today and I almost didn’t win. More on that later. I go in and clean the playroom every couple of months. We have little bins for all the little stuff to go in, and we only get one or two tubs down at a time, but without fail, there will be a couple of pieces that don’t make it back into the tub. All those pieces start to add up, and when you add them to the bigger stuff that won’t pick itself up and jump back into the toy boxes, you end up with a big mess. I try to have them pick up, but it just takes a couple of days of being busy or distracted and suddenly you’re losing kids under the toys.

I get claustrophobic just looking at this.

One of those Pampered Chef boxes is the boys’ “imagination” box. The other one was holding all the stuff from under the sink. We had a major leak in the kitchen, so some things had to live elsewhere for a little while. The box was emptied, but never made it back to the basement.

Much better. I can breathe now.

The boys love the room like this. They come in and run around in circles and get all excited about having room to run. Unfortunately, there is still stuff to put back, so the room doesn’t stay empty.

They do have too many toys, but not as many as it seems. Those boxes on the right are full of the big stuff, so there isn’t as much as it seems. All the small stuff is in the numerous small tubs on the shelves.

Now that all the junk isn’t cluttering up the picture, you can actually see our maps. We like maps.

That rocking chair was mine when I was little. I’m amazed it’s survived this long. I put that poor chair through a lot. I was rougher on it than Jeffrey ever was.

Not quite as much running room now. BTW, remember when I said I almost didn’t win? I hit my head on that stupid shelf, not once, but TWICE. Not fun.

A Day Off

Today was my day off. Jeffrey finished his third grade curriculum yesterday, and after he’s through with the required standardized test next week, he’ll officially be done with the third grade. So, today I did nothing. I bummed around on the computer this morning, then took the boys to our homeschool group Easter egg hunt. Most of the group stayed at the park to play all afternoon. Now we’re home and I’m vegging. So no long post today. Tomorrow you’ll get a glimpse into my insanity with before and after pictures of the playroom. I know. You just can’t wait.

The Hidden Magic of Walt Disney World – Book Review

The Hidden Magic of Walt Disney World is subtitled Over 600 Secrets of the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom. I didn’t count them, but this book certainly is packed full of information. Reading this book was like opening up a whole new world for me. Not only have I never been to any Disney park, I can’t even keep straight which one is in Florida and which is in California. I really didn’t think I had missed much, but this book makes me want to pack up the family and drive to Orlando.

This isn’t a travel guide-type book that tells when is the best time to visit each attraction or how to beat the lines. Rather, this book reveals hidden details that make the attractions seem more authentic. The author has even thrown in a bit of history here and there, not just about the property itself (although there is some of that, including a timeline/history of each park), but about the country and/or time on which each attraction is based.

This book is meant to be carried along with you at the park. However, I just can’t see that happening. Who wants to carry a paperback book all over the park? If you have kids, you’re already carrying half your house with you. Then there are the water attractions, and according to the book, there are a few places where you may get wet unexpectedly. Books don’t like water. Also, it would be too distracting to be looking in the book all the time to see what “secrets” are around you, and you’d end up missing the enjoyment of being with your family. Sort of like spending the whole day behind the lens of the camera, instead of just having fun.

I think it would be a fun read for anyone who has visited the park in the past or who plans to go, but I’d leave the book at home (or at least in the hotel room).

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com  book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

We’re All Great

I had something else planned for today, but I remembered a couple of things I forgot to put in yesterday’s post.

*Everything* is his “favorite”. “Pokemon my favorite movie.” Of course, so is Winnie-the-Pooh, Elmo, and Spongebob. Cookies are his favorite food. Unless he’s eating celery or chicken or grapes.

During our most recent visit with my grandma, as Bennett was hugging my grandma before we left, he said, “Bye, Grandma.” She told him, “Actually, I’m your great-grandma.” He turned around and pointed to my mom and said, “That my great-grandma, too.” Pointed at me: “That my great mama.” At Jeffrey: “That my great brother.” I pointed to my uncle and said, “And he’s your great-uncle.” The only response was a blank stare. I think we over-loaded him.

When Jeffrey was little, he used to say, “Air came out my hiney.” Bennett says, “My butt burped.” I’ll let you figure out what they’re talking about.

You okay in there, toilet paper?

Bennett is talking more and better every day. It’s hard to imagine that just a few months ago, I was wondering if he was ever going to talk. He’s making up for it now.

Here’s a snapshot of what’s going on here these days. And this is all just stuff he said today. LOL

He says, “What the heck?” (not really sure where he got that – if I say it, I’ve never noticed and I don’t think I say it often- I usually say, “What in the world?” or “What on earth?”). But he doesn’t say, “Heck yeah!”. He says, “Hat yeah!” I have no idea why.

Anything that happened in the past happened “last night”. Doesn’t matter if it was five minutes ago or a month ago.

He has finally moved from “rawr” to “dinosaur”, which is a good thing, because the kid is dino-crazy. He also can almost pronounce about fifteen different types of dinosaurs. Don’t get between that boy and a dinosaur book.

At the slightest boo-boo, he insists I need to take him to the hospital-doctor. These boo-boos include, but are not limited to, injuries to his “arm-ankle”.

Sometimes I call or text my husband at work and ask him to pick up something on the way home. Bennett figured this out pretty quickly. Now when we run out of something, the first thing he says is, “Daddy get more?”

Being the little brother, he frequently runs to me with the complaint, “Jeppy ‘noy me!” I usually tell him, “He’s your big brother. That’s his job. I’m sure you annoy him, too.”

After using the potty, he climbed down, turned around and called into the potty, “You okay in there, toilet paper?”

Then there are couple of things that he does, and since I’m here, I thought I’d add these, too.

Jeffrey is terrified of spiders and bugs. Bennett just wants to kill them. I don’t know if he’s protecting his brother or if he just thinks they all need to be squished, but I’ll look up and he’ll be walking through the house carrying (or wearing) one of my shoes (why it has to be *my* shoes, I don’t know) and when I ask why, he calmly says, “Kill bug.”

The boys only get two glasses of juice a day, and Bennett’s is diluted half-and-half with water. During our last trip to AR, I bought Bennett some juice at a convenience store as a treat and because I was distracted talking to my aunt when I poured it into his cup, I didn’t add any water. A few minutes later, driving down the road, I realized, but there wasn’t really anything I could do at that point. I glanced back and he was alternating cups. He would take one drink from his juice cup, then take a drink from his water cup. I think I’ve warped my children.

Max on Life – Book Review

Max on Life: Answers and Insights to Your Most Important Questions is written by pastor and author Max Lucado.  With chapter headings like Hope, Hurt, Help, Him/Her, Home, Haves/Have-Nots, and Here-After, the author answers some of the most common questions asked about God and Christianity. Addressing everything from forgiveness to angels to sex to baptism, Lucado gives biblical answers to our pressing questions. Scriptural references are given for most answers and there is a topical index and a scriptural index in the back of the book.
I’d never read anything by this author so I wasn’t sure where he stands on some topics. I had an uneasy few minutes when I read the question about how to be saved and he wrote that according to John 3:16, we only have to believe and we will be saved. Without getting into too much doctrine, I believe that the Bible calls for more than that for salvation, so I was concerned about how Lucado may interpret other passages in the Bible. However, later in the book, in answer to a question about baptism, he points out that it is indeed a requirement for Christians and that every conversion in the New Testament culminates in a baptism.

I enjoyed Lucado’s writing style and sense of humor. Life isn’t all fun and games, but it’s easier to receive a message if there is laughter involved. It’s like the spoonful of sugar. I believe God wants us to enjoy the life he has given us and humor and laughter are part of that.

My favorite quotes from the book:

On aging: “Getting old is inevitable. But are you going to hobble and groan your way to the grave or race your rickety old wheelchair downhill to your funeral? We’re all going to end up the same way, but we can have fun getting there!”

On hope: “If you accomplish a possible dream, then you get all the glory. But if you accomplish an impossible dream, then God gets all the glory.”

On denominations: “We are different. But if we’re in the same car, being driven by the same Father, headed toward the same place, can we not accept one another?”

On fighting in the church: “If love covers a multitude of sins, can it not cover a multitude of opinions?”

On balance: “When it comes to kids and family, it is a lot easier to make money than to make up for lost time.”

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.combook review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.


Diary of Two Motorcycle Hobos – Book Review

Diary of Two Motorcycle Hobos is the diary of Bill and Lois Wilson, co-founders of Alcoholics Anonymous, written as they travelled through the eastern U.S. on an occasionally-limping Harley Davidson motorcycle in the 1920’s.

I love books like this. Reading about real experiences from another time fascinates me. I’ve learned so much more from books like this than I ever learned from history textbooks in school. I just finished reading Memories of the Great Depression: My Personal Memories and the contrast in the financial situations of the two families is jarring. It was just coincidence that I read the two books back-to-back, but it was very interesting to see the 20’s from such varied perspectives.

I used to hang out with bikers and I had no problem imagining Bill’s frequent repairs to the bike. I actually laughed out loud as I remembered some of my old friends cussing at their Harleys for breaking down again. As far as that goes, consider that they didn’t make the trip on a luxury touring bike. They were on an old Harley (well, not old to them, but if you know bikes, you know what I mean) with no windshield, a sidecar, and a rigged trunk. The coolest thing? Lois drove the bike, too!

Hearing Lois’s accounts of growing cities, such as Atlanta, was fun. After she mentioned that the carvings on Stone Mountain were likely to go on for a long time to come, I had to go see just how long it actually had taken. Turns out plans began in 1909 and the carving was not declared officially finished until 1972.

Reading about the travelling is great, too. If you enjoy books like this, I recommend A Walk Across America and The Walk West: A Walk Across America 2 (Walk West) by Peter Jenkins about his journey in the 1970’s and Flight of Passage by Rinker Buck about two teenage brothers flying across the country in 1966.