Tag Archives: toys

Some Assembly Required

This post also appeared on My Big Jesus!

I had a lovely experience with Christmas this year. My two oldest kids are old enough to really appreciate more complicated toys and notice when things are a little different. I spent a few hours setting up for Christmas morning, and making sure everything looked “just so”. I even made my brother help me with the Lego village. 

So naturally, on the eve of my son’s birthday, only 3 days after Christmas, I abhorred the fact that I was already wrapping more boxes and assembling a birthday celebration. This feeling was even more pronounced since I had bought a special surprise for him months ago, that I imagined being the favorite birthday gift. 

A friend of mine had bought a teepee for her son, on sale and very nice. Online, it looked similar to a pop-up tent thing my daughter has (in the shape of a princess castle of course) that J loves, so I thought it would be the perfect compliment to that. The box arrived amid several other Christmas gifts, so I put the entire box away to open later when I prepared for his birthday. 

Tonight, when my kids got in bed, I began to look at the Christmas crazy left from the last few days of slowly dwindling house guests and overflowing bins and boxes of stuff. I’m supposed to host a birthday party tomorrow?! I don’t care how small it’s supposed to be, that’s a little bit of pressure. So naturally I run the vacuum half-heartedly and pick up miscellaneous items from new toy sets and one thousand little scraps of wrapping paper I had so carefully folded and sparingly taped. And then… I remember the teepee.

I retrieved the box from the garage, and got to work. I’ve got a few choice pictures of my progress…  

 When I took it out of the box, I was surprised to find wooden poles. What happened to that pop-up tent I ordered? Along with the poles there was treated canvas. Was this thing an actual tent?! Is he, at some point in the future, going to ask me to camp in this thing?!

So, I got to work, in the middle of the living room floor, glass of wine close by for moral support. The directions seemed simple: Twist poles together. Put poles into inserts in canvas. Tie poles and grommets in canvas together. Enjoy your tent. Easy! 

 Forty-five long minutes later, I call my mom upstairs to help me tie knots, and we stand back and look at our newest abode within an abode. I could probably curl up and sleep in this thing. J is gonna LOVE it. I had envisioned it in his room. I’ll probably still let him keep it there, but it’s gonna be tight.  

 Moral of the story? J will love it. And I would do anything for my son, especially on his birthday, that I think he will love. Even after a week of crazy has just happened, I will open my home to even more crazy, because he deserves to be celebrated. I love him for who he is, but also (mostly) because he is my sweet, beloved son. Will he remember his second birthday? Nope. Will his adult self remember an awesome, surprisingly durable, traffic cone-like teepee? Maybe not. But will he remember the love his mama put into everything that had to do with him? I sure hope so. 

If I can love my silly, sweet middle child so much, after only two years, that it brings tears to my eyes, how much more can my Father, creator of the cosmos and author of my destiny, love me? I may be sweet, I am definitely silly, and I often feel lost in the shuffle, but I always know that I have the deep, secure love of a Father who would do anything to make me whole. 


Happy Monday, all! I am SO ON TIME with this week’s Currently that I’m surprised by myself. Anyway, I’m linking up like I do every week with Becky at Choose Happy, and also, because it’s the first week in October, I’m linking (on Wednesday) with Jenna at Gold & Bloom and Anne in Residence.

Eating || pumpkin muffins and lattes! I’ve been experimenting with recipes for both, typically of the gluten and dairy free variety. When I find my favorite I will post it!  Another think I’ve been totally crushing on are the toasted graham lattes at Starbucks. YUM. As you might recall, I’ve got a certain graham cracker obsession right now, and these fit the bill nicely.

Exploring || our lovely new weather and according wardrobes. It’s that time of year when I see what I need to get for the kids and Hubby and me. We are hard on stuff, and the kids are growing so fast!! I found a few things at Old Navy last week (among them are this chambray shirt and this shift dress), and we’ve ordered some things for Hubby. J miraculously fits in some of his stuff from last year, so I’m hoping we won’t spend too much for what we need for the cold.

Wearing || boots and scarves… And raincoats. The hurricane is blessedly far enough from us that all we’re getting is lots of rain and some wind. We are so thankful to not be flooded or destroyed. But this week we see the sun, and are thankful for that, too. EK has been asking when the sun would come out!

my front yard around midday last week.

Admiring || my Hubby this week. He is working on a recording project in the studio, and he’ll be working 12+ hour days all week, including his birthday on Wednesday. He is working hard and missing us, I know, but I’m proud of him for being excited about and dedicated to his work. He’s the best husband and dad I know.

Collecting || the “toy crumbs” from all over the house. Pieces of puzzles, pretend food/dishes, and other miscellaneous toys litter the floor in almost every room, and this week my goal is to clean up and organize at least a little bit on the days the kids are in school. Hopefully it’ll look a little better by Thursday afternoon than it does right now!

Anticipating || my church’s centennial celebration on Sunday! All 5 worship services that happen on Sunday mornings are combining for one mega service this weekend, and all the worship bands are combining to make it a huge deal. I am SO EXCITED to have this experience! If you are anywhere near central NC, check out Reynolda Church’s centennial celebration. We would LOVE to see you there!

Well, that’s a little bit about what’s going on in my life this week! What about you? What are you up to currently?

Parenting Plight #7: Puzzles and Blocks and Toy Crumbs, Oh My!

For our last parenting plight, I picked one that I know all moms and dads are familiar with. I was reading a blog a while back (honestly, I can’t remember which one) and came across the term “toy crumbs”, meaning the little pieces that go along with every toy that are inevitably getting lost or broken or scattered about apart from the main part of the toy. Puzzle pieces and blocks of all sorts are the primary perpetrators in our home.

EK loves puzzles. She has all kinds: ones that make noise, fuzzy ones, flat floor puzzles and wooden puzzles with holes cut out for the pieces to fit in. Most of them are from Melissa and Doug so they are adorable and durable and well loved. However, we never have a moment that all the pieces to all the puzzles are where they should be. Shall I rephrase that? The. Pieces. Are. Every. Stinking. Where. I recently spent a few hours with my mom organizing a lot of the toys in our house. Most of the puzzles had their pieces close by, the blocks were with their kind, and we put away lots of the things that are too old for J, but a little boring for EK nowadays. Already, a week later, our house is an explosion of mostly puzzle pieces, because EK loves them so much that various pieces get carried around to every room in the house, and left there. I guess maybe one day I’ll have rid my house of the puzzle clutter, but no time soon.

Christmas morning, 2013, EK playing with her instruments puzzle (that makes sounds!)
Christmas morning, 2013, EK playing with her instruments puzzle (that makes sounds!)

Blocks, on the other hand, are more than just an annoyance; they can cause near-fatal wounds. We have all sorts of blocks at our house, and stepping on them is an unavoidable bit of torture. Legos specifically are designed to injure the most tender part of a foot, with their corners and edges galore. We have lots of wooden blocks, also… and while those aren’t quite as painful to the foot, they are smooth, slick even, and slide gracefully across the floor and underneath any piece of furniture that isn’t quite touching the floor. Therefore, what can a child do but purposefully slide them across the floor, as if playing hockey, to every corner of the room to be found only by a vacuum? The only other  blocks we have besides Legos and wooden blocks are cardboard blocks. Who decided that kids needed cardboard covered in shiny paper as a toy? It’s my child’s personal mission to make sure that paper is ripped off by whatever remotely sharp item she has on hand (fingernails, teeth, a stray pen left out with a journal).

EK with her nesting and stacking (cardboard) alphabet blocks from Melissa and Doug.
EK with her nesting and stacking (cardboard) alphabet blocks from Melissa and Doug.

Long story short, toy crumbs invade the houses where children can be found. Do you agree? What is your toy crumb kryptonite?