Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Proud mom moment

Well, to correct myself, it's not just 'one' proud mom moment, it's many.  It's seeing my boys take what they have learned from a video making class last summer and run with it.  Fone and Mario took a 4H film-making class and have been making videos non-stop since then.  After having been so consistent and using their time wisely to make these videos, not to mention the one-on-one bonding time spent as brothers (precious!!!!!), Neil and I let them start up their own YouTube channel - Funny Boys Productions.

***Go there and see all the things they have created!!  You will not be disappointed.  Better yet, like and subscribe so as not to miss another Funny Boys video***

A week ago, we attended the Premiere Party and viewing for the Short Film Contest put on by all the local libraries in our area. Of course, our own Funny Boys had a submission and we knew they would do a fantastic job.  

We started the night enjoying a pizza party as a family.  

Our movie stars even got the red carpet treatment, along with all the other teens who submitted videos!!  

And, then everyone went into the HUGE imax theater and we got to see the videos on the big screen.  It was so neat!!!

At the end of the night, awards were given and our boys won the Viewers Choice Award and CASH prize!!!  They were thrilled!!  Here they are receiving their award and Fone giving the acceptance speech....

++Thank you, God, for instilling in our funny boys a sense of creativity and love for each other!!++

Monday, March 16, 2015

9 things we love about you!!

Today you turn 9, darling!  My once 9 pound 9 ounce bundle of SO many gifts from God that keeps blossoming more and more each year!!  In celebration of your 9th birthday, the 9 of us wanted to share what we love about you!!!

#1- your happy personality, that you like to play with me, and are fun to be around (Melody)

#2-  your giggly personality (Mario)

#3-  you hold me and snuggle me (Yoda)

#4- your giggles and I like it when you tickle me (Max)

#5- how you have good ideas when we play together (Pookey)

#6-  when you help me brush my teeth and put the toothpaste on my toothbrush (Rose)

#7-  you are generous (Fone)

#8- you are always so kind to everyone, so helpful, and radiate JOY all throughout the day (Mommy)

#9- I love your spunk and the unbreakable joy with which you approach life (Daddy)

++Loving God, you created all the people of the world and you know each of us by name. We thank you for "Ariel", who celebrates her birthday today. Bless her with your love and friendship that she may grow in wisdom, knowledge, and grace. May she love her family always and be faithful to her friends. Amen. ++

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Siblings make the best of friends

Two weeks ago today, we had snow on the ground and more ice/snow on the way.   It's hard to believe that we've been enjoying temps in the 50's all week now.  Spring is finally here and we are loving it!  I can barely keep the kids in!!  Other than this little guy - he's staying inside plenty with me.  It's still pretty cool for him to be out.  Plus I like the one-on-one time with him!!!  He is so stinkin' cute and sweet.  He just coo's and goo's and giggles when he sees me.  I guess he loves his momma!  :)

This weekend was another Cursillo renewal weekend in our area.  How blessed I am to be helping chair the kitchen with my 3 sisters and my mom.  I never knew growing up how close we would be to each other as adults.  Siblings truly do make the best of friends.  So do moms (and dads too!).  I can only hope and pray that our own young ones will treasure their siblings and love them as much as I do mine!!

++Thank you, God, for the gift of siblings!!!++

Friday, March 13, 2015

7 ways to inspire creativity in kids

Creativity is not a word that I honestly can use to describe myself, although I like to gleam from others' creativity.  I know where to find really great ideas and have the drive and will to put them into practice.  I love doing "creative" things!  But the actual ideas??  No.  Nada.  Very rarely found in me.

But I have 8 kids who are very gifted in creativity.  I wish I could answer all the "how's" and "whys" on how this has happened.  Mostly by the grace of God and Him working and living and breathing in their beautiful, innocent, open souls.  

I do, however, have 7 tips on some things we have done over the years that may have added to building up these creative young ones in our house....

Play/Free Time
I am putting this as nĂºmero uno, because kids need the time and opportunity to let those creative juices to flow.  I truly believe that without this time, a kid cannot blossom into the creative person God has called them to be.  My kids love to play especially love to dress up, play "house", pretend play, playing outside, riding bikes, splashing and getting wet (and sometimes dirty!), and so much more.

Again, I have to first share that I am NOT a singer and have no singing ability.  However, I do love to sing.  Anyone else the same way?  We sing many of our prayers - part of our morning offering, we love to sing the Hail Mary, Divine Mercy Chaplet, and countless hymns and Christian songs.  

Each kid has a name song that we made up for them when they were just babies.  It spells out  the letters of their name and is sung to a catchy tune.  It helps them know how to spell their name even before they know what letters are.  We use nicknames here on the blog, otherwise, I would share one of the kid's songs.

Who doesn't like a party in kitchen singing and dancing around to your favorite songs?  They happen quite regularly around here.  I'm known to grab a kid as they walk by me in the kitchen and dance with them, while singing "Once Upon A Dream".  My girls also sing in our church choir.  Many mornings, I wake the kids up with a "Good Morning" song.  And, pretty much anytime, there is someone either humming, singing a tune, or some sort of music is playing in the background.

This one doesn't need much explanation.  And, like most kids, ours love to build with Lego's - on a daily basis!!

Although this one also goes along with #6, here is an example of how the bigger boys build their lego's and what they do with them afterward....

Playing an instrument 
Neither Neil or myself played an instrument growing up, but when we had kids, something in us longed to allow our kids this opportunity.  So, around Kindgarten/First Grade, our kids started in piano lessons.  Our big kids take weekly piano lessons and participate in a Gold Cup Festival every year along with yearly recitals, not to mention the daily practice and just playing for fun and love of the instrument.  Mario, after receiving his first Gold Cup in piano, wanted to try a new instrument. So he is going on about 2 years of playing the guitar now.  The babies and preschoolers get free reign of the piano as well, as long as they "use their fingers" (no toys, mainly!), plus we have a big basket full of instruments in our kitchen that get played with regularly as well.  

Video making/acting 
This area of creativity is a relatively new area for our family, not really thinking our kids were interested or had any natural talent (I feel terrible putting this off for such a long time, knowing now how good they are actually are).  Mario and Fone took part in an acting camp last spring at a local junior theater and absolutely loved it.  Then, in the summer, Fone took one of the lead roles in the VBS plays at our church.  In wanting to continue with this gift and build on it, I signed up Mario and Fone in a video making class last summer.  WOW!!!!  My boys are just shining and truly loving this new hobby.  We let them start a YouTube channel called Funny Boys Productions to share and keep all their videos and just last night, they won an award (and cash prize!!) for a short film contest that the local libraries were hosting.  We couldn't be more proud of them!!!  And, for this semester, not only Mario and Fone, but also Melody are all taking acting classes at our local junior theater.

Again, I have very little talent with arts/crafts, so when our children show talent and a love for the arts, it just blows me away because I know it comes from Someone Else.  ++thank you, God!++ Arts/crafts around here mostly consist of chalk drawings, pencil and paper drawings, watercolors, painting, and the occasional-super-duper-rare pinterest material project.  Mostly, any room you enter at our house has some art project or drawing made with love by one of our young ones hanging on our walls, cupboards, fridge, or door.  My sweet kids are my interior decorators and provide all the decorations we need for simple, yet beautiful living.  ;)

I truly believe that homeschooling has helped preserve the God-given gifts of creativity given to my children because they are not afraid to be themselves.  They are surrounded all day long by people that love them for who they are, and they can blossom in that environment without being teased or judged.  I know homeschooling is not for everyone and does not work for every family, but it has done so much good to our family and I am forever grateful.  ++thank you, God!!++  A huge part of our homeschooling is reading - the kids read on their own, to each other and before bed, I take time to read longer books to the older kids.  We treasure our reading time!!  

Since today is a Friday and I shared @7 things", I can't help but link up to 7 Quick Takes.  Visit the icon below to see more great Quick Takes links....


++Thank you, God, for the gift of creativity that you have blessed our young ones with!!++

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