Monday, November 22, 2010

A Thankful Tree

With Thanksgiving coming up, we've done a few special projects to help the boys think about all they have to be grateful for. We have so much to be thankful for this year!
This is a project we've been working on for a while. It's a Thankful tree. I got the idea from another blog I often read called Teach Mama.
We went for a hike last week and picked out a few branches along the way. I spent a couple days searching from some silk leaves to no avail so today we printed and colored our own!
Each leaf has one thing to be thankful for on it. There are still a few more to be added on but I found their collaborative list pretty interesting!
Daddy coming home
peanut butter 
Thanksgiving turkey
North Carolina
video games
driving to Oklahoma
the sky 

Friday, November 19, 2010

He's Home!

It's been almost a week now since Phil came home. It's been such a relief! We're getting back into our own feeling of normal. The day of his homecoming was quite a day!
We woke up at 4:30 in the morning and hustled to get ready and out the door. Once we got there we waited... and waited...
...and waited!
Finally guys started to come in. I started to cry. I couldn't help myself.
I saw all of the guys I know come in. I pointed some in the direction of their family and kept waiting. The boys were so impatient. They couldn't wait for Daddy to get there!
Finally... we saw him.
It was still so crazy with all sorts of people coming in and going out and moving all around.
I held it together perfectly fine... until I saw this:
and this:
I tried to give them time. After all, they have been missing Phil so much lately. I wanted them to have their moment.
Of course they couldn't have him all to themselves forever.
And then there was the kiss. The one and only kiss that could make almost 7 months of deployment okay.
Yep. That was one good kiss!
Then it was time to return to functioning as a 4 person family.
And that is really what we've been doing ever since!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Bye, bye, TV!

I was going to email a friend about this who I know has gone without regular TV for some time now, but I figured it might be beneficial for me to write it all out this way instead. Sorry for the long post with no pictures. And to that friend, thanks for being an example.
We made the TV cut a couple weeks ago. We had talked about it off and on for months before. When we decided to get more serious about finances we agreed on this cut. We switched to one of the lower options of Netflix so we would have something to watch when we wanted to. Aside from that, we figured anything we really wanted to watch that was on regular TV we'd be able to find online for free.
I was probably the most hesitant between the two of us. Being home alone with 2 boys day in and day out. When showers must be taken and dinners must be made, TV is an easy babysitter. I am fairly certain no one will be hurt or get into too much trouble while something interesting is on TV. On top of that, once the boys go to bed the house can be a little too quiet at times and the TV functions as my companion in ways as well.
In spite of all my hesitations and... let's face it... fears, things have gone rather well! The boys have found a few shows on Netflix that they can watch when I still need the babysitter and when I really feel the need to give my brain a break and watch something at night I have no problem finding something on Netflix or online. I've even found all my favorite shows online. I just have to switch evenings that I watch them.
Inadvertently,  I've found a few other benefits as well. I had not fully realized the amount of influence advertising had on the boys and myself. Those teeny tiny little commercials that tell you how super fun this new toy is (that is never nearly as fun as it looks in the commercial... thank you very much, Paperoni) or how much you need this new super duper cool lotion to keep your skin supple and smooth. I can honestly say I don't miss commercials one bit!
The ease of one thing always following another kept all of us glued to the screen much longer with regular TV. We can't turn off the TV after this episode of Phineas and Ferb because another one is on right now! Now we have more time to pause in between and realize the other things we should be doing instead of sitting to watch another episode.
In the end, as much as I was afraid of this change to our lifestyle, it has only ended up changing it in ways I'm really excited about. We're watching less TV and the shows we are watching are more diverse and, on a whole, better for us. We are missing out on the commercials that not only steal your time but your self-esteem and even sometimes your priorities. If you are considering making the shift, don't be afraid! It's alright on this side. We've survived to tell the story.