Friday, February 26, 2010

G is for Giving

Remember my brilliant idea to do "alphabet activities" with Mason? Ummmmm. . yea. Remember how the last activity I posted about was in, I dunno, like October?

Okay. . .so clearly I'm not the best about keeping up with this. But we DID get through the letter "G." In December. I suppose this is a bit (a lot?) delinquent, but I figure it's better late than never. I'll try to be better with "H!!!"

Before Christmas, we took Mason to pick out a child from the "angel tree." Before we had kids. Rip and I used to make an annual event of shopping for children in need. Always one boy, one girl. This year, we wanted Mason to "run the show," so we let him pick. It was so heartwarming to see him deliberate, then choose one name from the tree. He chose a preschool-aged girl who asked for a "Little People Playset." He was so excited to shop for her and pick out something he thought she'd like.

Even though it was for a girl who probably dreamed of the Little People Happy Sounds House, Mason just KNEW she would want the farm. He was very insistent, so we let him select the farm.

I think the most special moment of the experience was watching Mason pay for the gift. We give him $1 in assorted coins every week, and he must divide it into "spend" (50%), "save" (40%) and "give" (10%) piggy banks. After the whole year, he had $4 in change in his "give" bank. Which he proudly carried around WalMart in a Ziploc bag, then gave to the cashier like a champ.

He was so proud that we didn't let him see us secretly slipping the cashier our credit card to pay the difference between his $4 contribution and the cost of the farm!

As soon as we got home, we talked about what we had just done, and asked him if he knew why it was important. I almost cried when he said "some little girls and boys have parents who don't have very much money for food or presents. We helped them have a Christmas, too." Oh, what a sweet boy!

And of course, we practiced the letter "G." G is for giving!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Boiler Up!

One of the (many) things I miss about living in Indiana is being able to see Purdue play on TV. I'm a third generation fan, and as they say, we "bleed black & gold." I love, love, LOVE Purdue sports. When they're good, like the men's basketball team is now, we get to catch so many more games because the networks will air them!

This season has been a ton of fun, and we've made a huge deal out of watching the games as a family. I'm trying to make little Boilermakers out of my boys, so we get all dressed up in our gear and make an event of it!

We even got our little basketball goal out and played a "pick-up game" during halftime. Somehow, it involved chasing each other around the whole downstairs, and there was even some tackling, but that's okay. We'll be flexible on the rules of the game for now!

Hail, Hail to Old Purdue!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Birthday Parties Right and Left!

Starting in January, our little family of four has one birthday every month. Brody's birthday falls a mere two weeks after Christmas, which is certainly going to be challenging, but it's also good motivation for me to get the Christmas decorations down! Those of you who know me well know that it's not odd for my tree to stay up until the end of January! So I could use the motivation for sure!!

The Boo turned ONE on January 7. and we celebrated with a little gathering at our house. . .we have a special group of neighbors and friends who are essentially our "second family," so they all came for singing and cupcakes!

This little man wasn't too fired up about his cupcake. He didn't like the way it felt on his hands! Whose child is this????

Then Mason turned FIVE this week. . .and for the first time, he gets TWO parties! Two whole days of craziness. On his actual birthday, Rip and Brody took him to McDonalds as a treat, then we had everyone over for (again) cupcakes and cocktails. Seems to be a theme here, huh? We had a riot watching him, and he was as sweet as could be in his "birthday boy" shirt.

Still to come: ANOTHER party at Gramma and Poppa Ray's house over the weekend. He's been asking all year for a "Ranch Party," so we're obliging. What a lucky little turkey!

It's actually fun to have all our birthdays in those dreary a months right after Christmas. It gives us something to look forward to, and they're all spaced evenly enough that it's not too stressful. The next birthday is the BEST one. Mine! It always seems to fall over Spring Break, AND during the first few days of March Madness. It's my favorite week of the whole year!