Sunday, November 20, 2011

Secret Agent Training

We recently held Secret Agent Training at our house for Pumpkin's birthday party!  Stand-Up Dad had a great idea that he wanted to try and pull off for the party this year.  I am usually the one in charge of such events, but was happy to take a side step and let his idea take form.

The event that my husband created was amazing!  We got some ideas from the internet, but the bulk of the party was from Stand-Up Dad's imagination.  He led the Secret Agents on a scavenger hunt for over an hour.  They had to decode messages and search for clues. 

The party was amazing! I was just a helper, so I got to sit back and watch all the boys and Pumpkin's dad have fun.  The best part about the party was the realization of how Pumpkin's dad made the party so much better than I would have.  He has a boy brain and understands what they like best!
The boys looked so COOL in their Secret Detective disguises.  We even drew on mustaches.=)
And now my oldest boy is nine.  So hard to believe.  At the age of nine, he has decided that he has grown out of the blog name of Pumpkin.  We actually started calling him that when he was in my womb.  So, even though he will always be my "Pumpkin," he would now like to be called Bookworm by our blog friends.  It seems to fit.  He is an avid reader.  I have found it so challenging to find good literature for him that is at his reading level, but does not hold content that his heart is not ready for.

Bookworm is a wonderful young man.  He has a soft and caring heart and is super fast on the track at the YMCA.  He loves Jesus and is trying to make sense of why some people get away with sin and some don't.  He has a strong sense of justice and is thoroughly enjoying being an older brother.  It is still a learning process for him, because he lived for seven years without a brother and now they are needing to work through all the hierarchy that boys go through on a daily basis.  There is a lot more wrestling and fun elbow jabs than before.  It is exactly what a nine year old and a five year old needed.

Happy Birthday Bookworm!  You are loved and treasured more than you will ever know!
Sweet Momma

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

An Attitude of Gratitude

November is here!  The hustle and bustle of the holidays are just around the corner.  The thought of this caused me to think about taking a new approach this year.  What if we began right now to think of things that we are thankful for?  What if we wrote it down as a record of all the ways we are blessed?

This past year I had the privilege of reading the book "One Thousand Gifts" by Ann Voskamp.  This book shook me to the core.  I know that there are days that I don't pause to thank God like I should, but I had never thought about how an attitude of gratitude could transform how I see God and the world around me.  If you have not read the book, I would encourage you to get it.  You can also read Ann's Blog at

Each of my kiddos works on character as one of their assignments for homeschool.  I decided for the month of November that they would take time each day to list the things that they are thankful for in their own Thankfulness Journal.  I took a piece of colored card stock and folded it in half.  I added sheets of lined notebook paper and Elsie tied it all together with yarn.  They each decorated the cover of their journal.

It was important to me that they look beyond the obvious.  I encouraged them to choose things that we cannot buy to put on their list.  It is easy for kids to write 1. Mom, 2.  Dad, 3. Legos and so on.
I wanted to stretch their writing abilities a bit.  If you are thankful for cookies, what is it that causes you to be thankful?  Is it the way the smell of them baking fills the house?  Is it the warm gooey chocolate?

Little Buddy said he wanted to be thankful for our house.  At five years old, I think this is great.  But he went on to say that our house makes him feel safe.  Even better!

After one day of writing, here are a few of the things they are thankful for:
- the hope of salvation.
- frost on a crisp fall morning.
- the sound of my little brother singing.
- the freedom to praise God.
- the Holy Spirit lives inside of me.
- God's protection.  Psalm 46:1  God is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in trouble.
- Mom's warm hugs throughout the day.

I can't wait to see the attitude of gratitude grow in the hearts of my children.

That reminds me to get back to my Thankfulness Journal.
Sweet Momma