Organizing Kid Toys - Taming the Beast

If my kids toys are all over their rooms in piles, all they can see are random arms and legs, blocks, and car wheels.  This also somehow attracts yesterdays pj's, a stray sock or shoe, and a roll of toilet paper (I don't know either!)  So, if you are anything like me, you send the child(ren) into their rooms every so often to clean up the mess.

This is what we want, and are generally hopeful enough to picture....
We hope the children disappear into their rooms and actually start putting things away.  Instead, at my house anyway, you hear shrieks of laughter and the children having more fun in their room than would have outside in a mud puddle.  So, we going to find that the children are not channeling Martha Stewart, they are, indeed, playing. Playing with all the things they found boring and uninteresting just an hour before telling them to clean thier room.  This is where you, my reader, and I part ways.  I turn into this:
Then after giving further instruction and threatening them them with all manner of horrible punishments encouraging them to do better, I walk out of the room.  I hear nothing.  Being a mother now for several years, hearing nothing is never good.  I go in and find the children like this:
You start with the mess dear children! Sweep it all into a pile, throw it away, no nevermind those toys cost MONEY, so put them away into the boxes that I have graciously provided you. 
Just clean up the messes you have made my little dahlings... 
Mommy will be ok in a few minutes, she just needs a drink air.
My children have never been able to guilt trip me very easily, and therefore have learned to not be guilted into things by me or very many other people, for that matter.  So, my tears will mean nothing to them. In fact, the one time I told my three year old that I would cry if she did not give me kissies, she looked at me and grinned and said, "Ok, Cry!" She was thrilled at the prospect....

There has to be a better way to help them keep their stuff picked up.  When their stuff is picked up and all organized, they actually play with it. So, you can see why this would be important to me.  So I bought a toy organizer that has bins in it.  The bins are open so the kids can easily see their toys.  They already have a book shelf in their room, so I also bought 4 of those fabric bins to use on the shelf.


IT WORKED!  My 3 year old played with the barbies last night. Then, she put them back! WOOT!  My son played with his cars, and he put them back! WOOT!  It is a magical thing!!!  I suppose the newness of the toy organizer will wear off, or they will eventually use the bins for making mud pies outside (gotta figure out a way to strap those babies down) but, for now there is peace with the toys.

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For My Friend, Anna, In Honor of Aluminum Foil

Yesterday, my friend Anna, over at Molding Minds Homeschool, challenged me to do a philosophical post on aluminum foil.  I don't do deep and philosophical.  I don't have time to contemplate why tin foil has two sides.

Both useful and fun!
But, I can offer a new contest, leave a comment on this post telling me your favorite use of aluminum foil for your first entry.
To get a second entry, and therefore a bigger chance to win, run over to Anna's tin foil post at Molding Minds Homeschool and leave a comment for her, letting her know that you are entering the contest from here ;)

I will send the winner 500 square feet of Reynolds Wrap (a $20 value!) to do with whatever you please!  I will be picking the winner, using some kind of random way, next Wednesday, August 23rd.

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Six Seconds

video

This is my son playing his version of "Angry Birds."  My 5 year old son and 6 year old daughter set this up. I was in the livingroom all vegged out contemplating the meaning of life, when I started hearing crash after crash followed by shrieks of laughter.  My daughter came to me and asked for more cans for their "obstacle course."  I investigated and saw this mess.  I almost got irritated, after all, I do believe they raided the trash can, but then just had to laugh.  They had a ball. 

This was a six second reminder about just how fortunate I am.  I was never supposed to have kids. I have been blessed with four! God is indeed merciful, I have done nothing to deserve them!  Count your blessings!

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Finding Joy

The past homeschooling year has been so hard!  With my son's illness, it was like I was lost and trying to find my way out of a strange city without a map.  You know there is a way out, the city is only so big, right? But, even if you try to stay straight, there is a fence that is too high to jump over, a creek too high and busy to swim across, so you have to go around it and then you are off course.  Nothing felt safe. 



Scary times!
  When nothing feels safe, there is fear. Fear steals from us. It sucks the joy out of us, and makes it difficult to get up in the morning.  This is no life to live.  I have a coffee cup that reminds me, "Life is not a dress rehearsal."

I tell people all the time, that seek my advice, in all situations there are things we can "pick."  Today, I pick joy.  I want the joy back that fear stole from me. I get to pick that!  I may not get to fix my baby, but I can choose to show him how to live life. :-D

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