April 15, 2013
Starting a kid’s running club was not something I came up with spur of the moment. It actually was an idea long before I had kids when I was a newbie runner. Before we had children I worked part time at a Christian school in an after school care program. In the spring I would watch the Girls On The Run club practice in the soccer field. I desperately wanted to be an assistant coach, but I had to work during the hours they practiced.
Maybe one day I can coach Girls On the Run (I was thrilled to find out some of the schools in our area started clubs) but right now my children are all too young to participate.
I read articles on kids and running and talked to a friend whose kids began competing at young ages. I have access to a large parking lot and a nearby park. My kids like to be outside. Why not start my own?
I grew up in a neighborhood where we naturally ran around the playground and one another’s yards. We put together our own spur of the moment track meets. There are not many children in our neighborhood and very few parents let their children run loose anymore like we did.
I envisioned starting some type of community center (another one of my big ideas…I know) as we have a couple empty houses and businesses within a stone’s throw of our church (which is next door to our house). I do not have the resources, time, and expertise to start something like this at this point in my life. Maybe one day. For now I want my own home to be a place where community can be established such as kids running together. A small pocket sized community center.
Other than running a 5K with my oldest last December, I have little experience teaching kids about running. Even though I have been running off and on since 2000, I only recently started running with people who have a greater understanding of form, pacing, training plans, etc. I tell people I am more youth leader than teacher. I do not see myself ever teaching PE. Granted, I did not really like PE as a kid. My running club has been much trial and error…and learning as I go.
The fact my kids are enjoying it (as well as some of the other kids who have attended) makes me smile. Because honestly I am really enjoying it too. I do not know if it will grow into something bigger in the future or remain like this. Perhaps I could start a Girls on the Run club at my kid’s school. Or be an assistant coach for junior high track when my kids reach that age. Whatever the case, I have a passion for running. What a joy and honor it is to share it with my own kids and my friend’s kids.
March 27, 2013
If you are a “regular” on Pinterest, then you probably have seen the Resurrection Garden.
The husband’s parents were visiting this weekend and his mom did this project with the kids. It is a great Easter craft and super easy!
She used a large round pot for plants. The kids filled it with potting soil and added grass seed. The “tomb” is a small pot turned on its side with a large rock in front. Little white pebbles were placed in the front of the tomb. The kids made crossed from twigs in the yard tied around with string (twine would work too). Maybe we will have green grass sprouting up by Easter!
March 21, 2013
I never experienced temper tantrums at their maximum capacity until Child #3 came along. Don’t get me wrong–she’s sweet, very funny, adorable, and SMART. I love her to pieces. She gave me an education on tantrums.
Around this time last year when she was two and a half she would fall into a trance-like tantrum state. I could not get her to do ANYTHING. I put her shoes and socks on. She pulled them off. I put her in her car set. She squirmed her way out. I tried to give her a snack. She threw it at me.
I remember reading this from the book She’s Gonna Blow by Julie Ann Barnhill
“Doctors have noted that children tend to throw temper tantrums for the following reasons:
- They are angry or frustrated because they can’t have something they want
- They want to get what they want by themselves
- They want attention
- They are tired, hungry, or irritable
Now is it just me, or can most adult women be described in one or more of these ways on any given day? How can realizing your need for grace help you extend grace to your own children? (103)
I was either the punching bag or the clingy safety zone. I often fluctuated between feeling frustrated or suffocated.
Even though she has calmed down considerably, there are days I feel like I am on Survivor and trying to outwit, outplay, and outlast.
I will say figuring out the root on the tantrum helps. Staying calm is necessary. Understanding It IS a phase helps. Children (and adults too) handle their emotions differently. It is important they figure out positive ways to channel them.
It is totally awesome to see Spitfire #3 put energy into other things these days. She learned to dress herself, put her shoes and socks on, and pedal a bike, learn her letters and numbers long before her older siblings mastered it. She keeps telling me she is going to go running with me someday–I’m pretty sure she’ll outrun me.
March 11, 2013
I was always jealous of the families who took off to Florida or Alabama EVERY Spring Break. Well we’re a traveling family, but this Spring Break we’re staying put. My kids are SO excited for the week when I shared with them my “theme day” idea.
I have a new respect for preschool teachers. Planning theme days and activities for three kids for one week was time consuming. I cannot imagine doing this everyday! I still have to look for some craft ideas.
I may blog about some our Spring Break activities, but here is a basic map of our week. Our plans could change based on friend’s availability. We were going to try to connect with some friends during the week off as well.
Monday: Play Day–go to the indoor playground (or outdoor weather depending) and play board games.
Tuesday: Nature Day–go on a hike (weather depending), do a nature related craft, make a “God’s Creation” collage. Maybe watch Bug’s Life?
Wednesday: Treasure Hunt Day–apparently I am making a big treasure hunt all over the yard and church parking lot. The oldest wants it to extend all the way to the park, but that might be pushing it.
Thursday: Kid’s Choice Day–the kids REALLY want to go swimming. So we will go to an indoor aquatic center. They also LOVE going out for frozen yogurt.
Friday: Downtown Day–we used to go downtown every Friday when we only had one child. The kids love to take the bus (kind of a nuisance it only runs every hour), go to the library, get bread from Great Harvest, go to Starbucks (well that would mostly me) or get pretzels at the mall.
Saturday: Keeping it open as or right now. Would love to take my oldest roller skating unsure if the gym that hosts roller skating nights will be open.
March 5, 2013
I have always been more arts than crafts. Any craft that does not have many instructions and greatly opens the door to creativity is my kind of craft.
This is a really simple “art” I did with the preschool kids. Take a pie pan, cut a piece of paper in a circular shape so it fits the pan. Dip a marble in paint (preferable washable poster paint). Have the kids roll the marble around thus creating a very cool radial design.
We did an “ocean day” and I wanted the kids to make fish. It seems like fifty percent of all preschool crafts involve a paper plate. That’s OK–they are cheap.
I pre-cut a triangle out of the plate and taped it to the back to make a tail. I cut construction paper and tissue paper into squares. The kids glued the colored sheets on long with “a wiggly eye.” Any craft that involved glue sticks and little pieces of paper seems to be the activity of choice for my three year old.
There you go! Simple crafts with items you probably have in your house.
March 4, 2013
My parents (my dad especially) often ask me to share something funny one of my kids have said. They live on the other side of the country so we only see them a few times a year. I am always reminded that I need to write about what they say. Now I don’t want this to turn into a cutesy–”look how adorable my kids are and I think you should think so too” blog. But I do want to post more of our day to day occurrences.
Conversation with my son at breakfast about career choices:
“What do you want to be when you grow up?” – Me
“Three things. I want to be a news reporter in the morning. A swim instructor in the afternoon. And a builder at night.” – Son
“Wow, three things! When will you spend time with your wife?” – Me
“Never!” – Son
March 4, 2013
One thing I wanted to focus on this month was speaking in the positive. I do not want my conversations with my kids all day long to be “Don’t do that!” or “Stop it!”
Warning: if you take on a project like this you will immediately be hit with all kinds of challenges and be tested in every which way.
The whole day of Saturday I tried this out. It was a good day to practice as my husband was in meetings all day–I had the kids all day long and into the evening. I did fail at times, but for the most part it was a good learning experience. Here are three examples from each one of my kids.
My oldest was fighting in the van with the youngest as we were leaving for the oldest’s basketball game. I told them it is difficult to concentrate on driving when there is screaming, kicking, and fighting. I explained if they fought, I would stop the car and park in a safe place. I informed my oldest that would mean she would miss the beginning of her basketball game, but that would be the consequence of her choice. Thankfully it was a pleasant ride to the game.
My son is naturally loud (gee, I wonder where he got that from) and was imitating the buzzer in the basketball game and making extra noise while we were having lunch at Subway. I looked at him and said calmly and matter-of-fact “Use your indoor voice.”
My youngest (who is more strong willed than the other two) did not want to get off the basketball court because she wanted to play. The team was starting to prepare for the second half. I asked her to get off the court and she didn’t budge. I told her she had to come sit down for the game. She refused. I told her I was going to count to three. I made it to three and I walked out with her. I told her she had a choice between sitting with me and watching the game or sitting at a table outside the gym. She apologized and said she would sit and watch the game.
I discovered that when I speak more in the positive, I am calmer. When I am calmer, I enjoy the kids more. When I enjoy them more, we laugh together. I crave my time with them. I don’t feel like retreating.
We need to tell our kids what specifically we want them to do. Often I resort to “Knock it off” or “Shape up.” Do they know what that means? Do I even know what that means!?
We have had our share of meltdowns the past two days. Dealing with meltdowns can be tricky. We need to figure out the root of why it occurred. Too tired? Too close to a meal? Upset about something that happened earlier? Not feeling well? It is VERY hard to remain calm during meltdowns, but like I said God has given me practice the last few days. That is the only way we can improve–through opportunities to practice.