It was an almost perfect day considering the two weeks prior. Clarabelle splashed in her little pool on the porch while Elliott, still in his sling from his broken femur, sat in his swing and watched his sister play. We had been through a horrendous event followed by more shattering events but we were determined not to let our stress affect the way the children remembered this perfect spring day.
I decided that we would make a special treat. I ran to the local grocery store for some supplies. While in line, I got a call from the CPS investigator who stated that she was only needing to verify some details. I tried to minimize the conversation so as to not expose our family crisis to the other people in line and then went on home to enjoy some fruit pizza.
Oh, we had a blast. Clarabelle ate more fruit as we sat the bowls on the table than ever made it to the sugar cookie crust but the end result was still awesome!
After we ate our treat, I went to take a nap. Naps are a beautiful part of my day. However, it took a long time before I could sleep again because I was awoken to the sound of my daughter’s shaking voice saying, “mom, they are here to take the children. There are cops.” That was the moment our nightmare truly began. That was the moment that I wished that I knew all of the things that I know now. That is the moment that I pray none of you ever have to experience.
While we have made it out of the Hell of CPS, it is moments like these when you realize just how much was taken. From the moments with the kids to the inability to enjoy a favorite treat, we can never undo the damages. However, we can move forward and enjoy every present moment and, perhaps, find a new favorite treat!
Okay, so sometimes life just happens and you have to be all grown up and handle some adult family stuff (pause the fun)….But….then you get to jump right back into it and resume the life full of giggles, construction paper, and glue! Tonight, we made pumpkins (the kind that won’t melt in the Florida heat!!!) and they turned out pretty alright if I do say so myself!
So now, we are really beginning to feel the Halloween spirit around here with our witches, ghosts, spiders, and now pumpkins! See our little ensemble of Halloween fun 🙂
Maybe it is not glamorous, but oh the laughter behind each of these decorations!
It is so easy to forget to make these little memories when everything seems to be coming at you from every direction, but in truth, it is these little memories that will help you through those times. Put down the phone, those calls and emails can wait. Stop the chores for a moment, I promise they will still be there. Take five fewer minutes on your makeup, your children will not care if your eyeliner is even. Just take a few moments and make a memory.
We will never regret making a memory. It is not doing so that we will regret.
Today’s Halloween fun was inspired by Mother Goose Stories on Netflix. The itsy bitsy spider was represented on the show as some twisted up pipe cleaners! Hey, I have tons of those! We talked about how many legs a spider has and then how to show that on our fingers. (Always trying to sneak in a little bit of learning into the fun!)
Anyway, plenty of pipe cleaners was not the issue. The problem was, we were down to two large pompoms. Oh, but I believe that I am a genius so, here I go, cutting these pompoms in half. So you know, when you cut them in have, you get a bunch of loose fuzz all over the place.
Next step, I took some good old Elmer’s glue and rolled the fuzz up into balls. This kinda worked. I mean it worked enough to work I guess you could say. I twisted the first pipe cleaner around to hold the fuzz in place and then the children helped to place the other three on each.
Now, we had spiders! Of course, the structure of these (due to my little experiment with the pompoms) is not great enough for the kids to carry them around but, hey, these are decorations after all! Not to mention, who wants to walk around with a spider (see #s 4 and 5)?
So, we decided that our spiders would climb the built-in and hang out with our witches!
The fun of this story is in the mishaps. (Me, running around rolling fuzz into a palm full of glue.) But that’s the point of these moments. If we sit down with the kids with perfectly stenciled crafts that come with exact directions, then, yes, we would probably have some pretty awesome looking crafts. But we would not have one of a kind (well, four of a kind) depictions of our family time!
So, tonight we sat down all four children with bowls full of candy corn and candy pumpkins and watched Casper’s Scary School! Okay, so sitting does not last long when you give four toddlers their own bowl of candy, but hey, why not? We only live once and these are memories that will last throughout that lifetime!
After the movie, we designed these high-quality construction paper ghosts, scribbled some perfectly designed eyes and mouths (see #24), (insert giggle) and gave the children crayons to finish them off. A quick piece of tape to hold on the pipe cleaners and BAM, the second decoration of the season is complete!
As I said previously, the holidays are about family time. They are for making memories. They are for sweeping up the scraps of construction paper and making eyes with them the next night. We spend quality bonding time every chance that we can. We just disguise it as playing 🙂
Grab some paper and crayons and show us what you got!
So, yesterday I told you all that I am super excited that we get our holidays back this year. We spent the day yesterday carving pumpkins (and one pineapple for the fun of it). It really kicked off the spirit. So, today, we began the craft/decorating process with our four little witches (the crafts not the kids)!
You see, there are so many different decorations that you can buy in the stores and, yes, sometimes we cannot resist them, but for the most part, the holidays are about time together. Okay, I know that most people don’t consider Halloween as part of the family time holidays, but I take all of the family time that I can get! So, Halloween is the kickoff for all of the holidays.
Anyway, instead of spending money on decorations that will probably be torn up long before the holiday and in an effort to stretch the holiday season, we make daily crafts to decorate the house with. They may not look like much to you, but to me, these are the most beautiful little witches in the world! Priceless!
Stay tuned as we transform the house in the days to come!
Bedtime can be crazy or calm depending on the day, the kids, and the activities that you do leading right up to it! Getting kids to sleep and stay asleep hasn’t always been easy at our house, so we’re always on the look out for ways to make bedtime more successful. Nightly pillow talk that…
Oh, how I dreaded the holidays last year. It was absolutely painful to view all of the decorations in the stores and lining the houses on the streets. I did not want to feel that way, (I had always loved every silly tradition) but I could not help it. Nothing was the same. The grandchildren were not home. My oldest son had moved to Florida. My daughter was unable to form a smile without her children. My youngest son could not find a way to make it better. It was a miserable time!
Generally, every holiday gets a whole month. I know. That’s extreme but we have a lot of traditions and I do not intend to miss a single one this year! Today is the kickoff for Halloween and we certainly enjoyed ourselves!
My advice to everyone, do not take a single moment for granted! During the last year, we managed to do holiday crafts and implement a few traditions into our visits. But, I tell ya, there is nothing better than having them “home for the holidays.”