Monday, November 21, 2011

Gratitude




We just got our family pictures back and I am so happy with them.  Kassie Crapo took them and did a fantastic job! She is reasonably priced, very talented, and great with kids! I was especially happy with the shot she got of little Hagen, he is very hard to photograph because he has a hard time focusing on anything and so he is never really looking at the camera! Also sadly enough this is the first professional picture I have of Weston and I since our engagements 8 1/2 years ago.  I love it! I have hundreds of great pictures of Kallie and Cole but Kassie is able to catch their personalities perfectly! I highly recommend her, that is if you can get in.  She is in high demand, I actually scheduled Hagen's 1 year pix at his six month birthday, so good luck!

With Thanksgiving this week (2nd only to the 4th of July as my fav. holiday) I can't help but reflect on how grateful I am for my happy, healthy little family.  My gratitude list could be a mile long but these four people are definitely on the top of my list. 

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

How the Cowboy Became a Ninja

Fact, Cole is a Cowboy;
Fact, Cole has wanted to be a cowboy for Halloween for 3 years running now,
Fact, This year was no different until.....
A month or so ago he saw a sword in Wal Mart that he desperately wanted. Now you must know something about me to fully comprehend this story, I was NOT deprived as a child I was in fact very blessed and spoiled. However we never got a toy or a treat at the store for no reason, it had to be a birthday or Christmas. We never purchased costumes, they were always homemade. Quite honestly I don't remember making ample trips to Wal Mart a month, when we went to "town" it was the local Broulims grocery and if we were lucky enough to even get out of the car we quietly marched in line next to our mother. (Okay this is an exaggeration, I am sure I wasn't quite the angelic princess I remember being) Once in awhile we were allowed to pick a treat to be shared between the five of us kids.  It was then that we decided that my mother should have never had that fifth child, splitting a Twix in four ways is doable but five?? 

Back to the story; I have held on to the belief that kids don't need something every time we go to the store. In fact they appreciate a treat instead of expecting it. I feel strongly in teaching appreciation to my children.  So the story goes, Cole found a sword in the Halloween isle at Wal Mart that he HAD to have.  I said no, he asked a few more times, I still said no.  We got to the check out counter, he asked one last time.  My answer still 'no' came with an explanation that if I purchased the said sword that I would be unnecessarily spoiling him. Mr. Quick Wit replied with; "Then buy two and give one to Kallie, I don't care." I laughed and we went home without the sword.  

A couple weeks later we are back at said store, Mr. Quick Wit is still asking for said sword.  Mean mom is still teaching 'appreciation' and the answer is still no. (Not to mention that I happen to know what kind of havoc a plastic sword in the hands of my four year old would wreak upon our home)

Another week or so later, it is a Wednesday. Preschool Halloween party is the next day.  Cole has been telling me for months that he is going to be Cowboy Woody for Halloween. I asked him if he was just going to wear his chaps, spurs, boots and hat for his costume.  He said; "No my Cowboy Woody costume".  This is a problem because; 1. it is hideous, 2. it is too small, and 3. it is in shreds.  A trip to Wal Mart is a necessity at this point and besides that, the baby needs more diapers and baby food.  It is off to Wal Mart for the 3rd time this month. 

We stop off at the Halloween isle first, checking for a Cowboy Woody costume because lets face it I am just not quite as crafty and frugal as my mother.  First thing we see in the isle.... The Sword... $2.97 and shining in the eyes of Mr. Smarty Pants like a million bucks.  I can see his mind working and quick too. I am skimming the costumes for Mr. Woody with no luck.  Cole however has changed his mind on costume choice for the first time since he could talk.  He is pointing to a ninja costume and I can hear his silent train of thought. The boy in the picture is holding "The Sword".  Cole's mind is made up, he wants to be a ninja for Halloween.  I am so in awe by his genius that I can't even try and change his mind.  He picks the costume and puts it in the cart and off we go to the baby isle. He says nothing of the sword and neither do I . This kid is playing it smart.  We are almost done with our shopping and the boy has been an angel.  He finally gets the nerve up to ask or rather state his lingering thoughts.  "Well I guess if I am going to be a ninja I am probably going to need to get that sword too!!" I can't help but laugh out loud.  I have been manipulated by my four year old and I can't even help it.  I bought the sword, I had no choice.  I laughed all day and he was the happiest ninja in the world!

Since this event I have been asking myself; "Did I lose?" "Did i teach my kid to manipulate me?" I think not, I think I still taught him to appreciate.  Had I bought the sword the first time, it would have been played with for a day and then forgotten.  Left for the next load to the DI. The same probably would've been true if I had bought it the second time.  However by making him WAIT and WANT I think he learned to figure out a way to WORK for what he really wanted. I realize that his work wasn't in the form of sweeping the garage and earning the $2.97, but in making his mind work and formulating a plan. I can't help but think this world would be a better place to live if every child was taught to work for what they want. 
 These two were pretty cute in their costumes too! (Thank you to the "hand-me-downers")

Please share your thoughts on how you teach this value to your children.