Friday, December 19, 2008

Re-Post: Rice Box

This is a fantastically fun activity for anyone who doesn't have the space or luxury of having a sandbox (i.e. apartment living, deathly allergic to sand, whatever). Get a large, shallow box and fill it halfway full with rice. I bought the big store brand bag of rice on the bottom shelf at the local grocery story. Then buy a small bag of "jewels" from the craft section at Wal-Mart.

Then add sandbox toys and a large tablecloth and voilĂ ! A rice box. I used to put it either outside on the patio or in the kitchen. When the kids are finished, you just move the rice box, pick up the four corners of the tablecloth and let the rogue pieces of rice fall to the center of it, and then dump it back into the rice box. Put the top back on and you're done! Well, okay, unless your kids threw rice around and then you may need to do a little sweeping. But my kids used to spend hours picking every jewel out of the rice, putting them in the bucket, and pouring them back into the rice. Over and over. This is a great winter-time activity when they can't get outside much, or a great summertime activity when it is too hot to be running around outside!

Midweek Pick Me Up

My next few pick me ups may come from a book written by Jane Clayson Johnson, called I Am A Mother. It's honest, uplifting, and well-written. It's written from an LDS perspective, so it includes Christlike principles to help you realize the importance of motherhood. This paragraph in the book struck me when I read it; I'll tell you why afterward.
"I'm willing to bet (no pun intended) that most of us don't remember what horse
won the Kentucky Derby three years ago, or who owned the horse. On the
other hand, I'm also willing to bet that your children can remember a trip to
the park, a favorite family story, a late-night talk after a first date, and
dozens of other things you have done each and every day as a mother."

When I was first married, I worked with a woman who told me that Santa didn't come to their house. Instead, they used all of the money they would have spent on gifts to take the family on a Christmas vacation every year. One year they went to Disneyland, one year they went to Hawaii, one year they went to a ski resort. She told me that her kids (who were married with kids of their own) loved the memories created from these vacations, and that they still talked about things that happened many years earlier. Besides some extra-special gift you may have pined for, can you remember what you got for Christmas every year? Now think: are there special memories or traditions that you remember and treasure from your childhood?

Create a memory. Start a tradition. Your kids will love you even more for it.

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