Throwback Thursday — Childhood Fun

TT.2-11-2016Hi and Happy Thursday.  Today I have a great picture for Throwback Thursday.  My sister Cindy and I are on the swing set in our backyard.  I am the one upside down.

My sister, my brother, and I loved to play in this back yard.  I don’t remember how I happened to be upside down, but I love that I was.  We had so much fun and made so many memories.  We were able to walk to school since we were so close.

I love how this picture sums up childhood, when life was simple, we had no worries except for when dinner time was, and getting our homework done.  My family also had chores to do around the house and we always had to listen and eat what was served.

Still, it was so carefree.  I only wish my younger self had known to savor each and every moment of being a kid.  Now I look back fondly and wish that I had, but it’s hard to see at the time.  Since life was pretty good, I could have taken things for granted. Our parents helped us to not do that.

I was quite shy as a child, almost painfully so.  Needless to say, I was a late bloomer and took things at my own pace.  Things worked out at the right time for me, but it did take time and I thank my parents for helping me along and helping me to find myself.

I had a real and fun childhood and am so thankful to my parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles who were a part of that.  I also appreciate our pastors, teachers, Camp Fire leaders, Vacation Bible School and Sunday School teachers, and all other adults who helped me to become who I am today.

Now that I am a parent, my husband and I are trying to give Ian the best childhood we can.  That doesn’t mean saying yes to everything that he asks for or giving him all that he wants.  Instead, it means having plenty of time to play, complete his homework, help around the house, enjoy the library, Cub Scouts, having plenty of food, and so much more.

I am aware that some families don’t have that.  We are teaching that to Ian as well and to have him be cognizant of others and be helpful.  We had a food drive last week at school and Ian helped me choose the food and deliver it to school.  And, at Christmas, he chose gifts for a boy on our Angel Tree at church.  He is already learning and I am so grateful.

There are a few things that I think children need to know they are loved and safe:

  • Unconditional love
  • Discipline given in love not anger or hate
  • Routine and consistency
  • Regular and healthy meals
  • Running water that is safe to shower in and drink
  • Parents and other adults who want the best for them
  • Time to play
  • Learning to read
  • Being told I Love You
  • Being read to
  • Being listened to
  • Having family traditions
  • A quality education
  • A safe living environment
  • Knowing they can count on their parents

May we be able to provide this for our children.  If we can’t on our own, may we seek help from others.  And, may we always love them and take care of them.

I will close with a few quotes about childhood.  May we as parents enjoy it with our children.

  • “There is a garden in every childhood, an enchanted place where colors are brighter, the air softer, and the morning more fragrant than ever again.” ~ Elizabeth Lawrence
  • “Childhood is measured out by sounds and smells and sights, before the dark hour of reason grows.” ~ John Betjeman
  • “Childhood is the most beautiful of all life’s seasons.” ~ Author Unknown
  • “In childhood, we press our nose to the pane, looking out. In memories of childhood, we press our nose to the pane, looking in.” ~ Robert Brault
  • “It is never too late to have a happy childhood.” ~ Tom Robbins

Big Boy Stuff

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERALast night, Ian showed me what a big boy he truly is.  Almost a year ago, we went to see “The Lego Movie” at the movie theater.  We left midway through it since Ian didn’t like it anymore.  He was too young, I think.  This is after all, a PG movie and he was six years old.

Fast forward to a 7-year-old boy.  We watched “The Lego Movie” at home on a lazy Friday evening.  He watched the entire movie and loved it.  We laughed and had a great time.  Such a fun story.  Only one very short part bothered him but he stuck with it.

Needless to say I was quite proud of my big boy.  No longer a baby or a little boy, but someone who is growing up.  It sure happened fast too.

Our son has a tender heart and I truly and deeply love that about him. Because of that, we have always let him tell us when he was ready to watch something.  It was great to see last night that he was finally ready for this movie.

He loves Lego and plays with them a lot.  When he receives a new set, he spends hours pouring over the directions and puts the elements together to form a fire truck, boat, camper, space ship, or many other things.  Days or a week later, he creates new items of his own.  He has gotten very talented and it is wonderful to watch his mind at work. Or should I say his mind at play?

The photo was taken at a convention in spring 2014. He was concentrating and very into it.  Lego had a booth, which was directly across from our booth.  Ian was beyond thrilled and went over a few times to build.

Each day, I hear a lot about Lego from Ian.  He explains his build, what it does, and shows me.  He also loves to read books about Lego and tells me about the items that interest him.  It is wonderful to see his imagination at work. He also likes to ask me what kinds of Lego elements and sets there were when I was little.  Not nearly as many as now, that’s for sure.

I wonder what the next thing will be that our big boy does that amazes and impresses us?  I don’t know but I cannot wait to discover it with him.

Away In A Manger

Ian's_Manger.sceneHope you are having a great day!  Can you believe it’s just 7 days until Christmas?  If you are like me, there is still so much to be done.

On Sunday, Ian wrote a book about Christmas and drew several pictures.  Here is his drawing of the manger scene with the shepherds and wise men and angel and animals.  “The Book of Christmas” was written and illustrated by Ian.

The story as told by Ian,  “First you need to set up the manger.  Then you need to put up your Christmas tree. Then you go to bed and sleep.  You then wake up and go downstairs.  Then you see if you got coal or a gift in your stocking.  Then you see if you get presents or coal.  The End.”

This drawing was my favorite.  He made a very similar photo that we have as an ornament on our tree.

I am so thrilled this year he understands what Christmas is about — the birth of our Savior, Christ the Lord. It is exciting to realize he really likes the story of the manger and all of the animals, the angel delivering the message and the shepherds and their sheep coming as well as the 3 Wise Men coming and bringing gifts.

And, I asked him one time, “Isn’t it cool that we get gifts on Jesus’ birthday?”  He said, “Yes it is Mommy.”  He also likes Santa and is still wondering what Santa will bring to him and what treats we should leave before he goes to bed.

One week from today is Christmas.  Between now and then we will be celebrating and exchanging gifts with each side of the family.  That will be fun and include great time together as well as terrific food.  Then Christmas morning, Ian will awaken from his bed and go down to see what gifts he has received from Santa and his Mommy and Daddy.  That afternoon will be more with other family and friends as well.

The week of Christmas is always full of magic and fun.  I so enjoy seeing it all through Ian’s eyes!  He knows that Jesus is the Reason for the Season!