Mommyontheboysturf with her three sons

Mommyontheboysturf with her three sons

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Little People

In 2007 MeeMaw presented our family with a Little People Nativity Set. A Nativity set that isn't breakable or fragile or "no touch". Each year the boys set up the nativity set and carry the figures around the house. The star on the top just happns to get pushed each night during family devotions filling the room with a tinny and a bit annoying sounding Christmas carol.

This year was Babyboy's rookie year with the nativity set. Boy did those Little People end up in strange places. He lined Mary and Joseph up in the window sill along with a few hot wheel cars. Is that sac-religious? An H2 Hummer just passed Baby Jesus on Old Creek Lane. Each night, as if on cue, he pushed the star creating a distraction to our bedtime prayer.

It just so happens that Little People were the theme for Babyboy's gifts this year. A huge parking garage set with at least 2 dozen Little People -- boys, girls, a doctor, a nurse, a policeman, a dog and even Santa and Mrs. Claus.

As soon as the gifts were opened I had a feeling the Little People Shepherds and Wiseman were going to end up driving around in the parking garage. The policeman would make his arrests in the manger. Being the organizational tyrrant that I am, I packed the Little People Nativity set and put it on the table ready to be stored for another year.

Fast forward to today. Genius Babyboy somehow knew that Little People are Little People no matter what package they come in. He gathered both sets from near and far and brought them together in unity! My heart started palpitating when I saw dozens of mixed up little people up and down and all around! Can Little People Baby Jesus hang out with Little People Santa? How will Mary, the mother of Jesus, and Mrs. Claus get along? Those Little People donkies seem a bit holier than the dogs from the "regular" set.

A real life lesson from a Little People Set or two. The REAL man Jesus walked among regular people.....among little people like Zacheus....and sinners like me. He didn't separate himself from less-than's like I am prone to do. He didn't live an organized, scheduled, compartmentalized life. It was mixed up and messy, yet abundant and fulfilling!

Thankfully all the Little People in my house are in their "rightful" places. But, I hope this Little People lesson will stay with me a long time and allow me to love all the people God brings into my life, no matter the package they come in.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Our House "Rules" and Nail Polish

I've read many many times, that for the most part a person cannot remember the Christmas gifts they received the year before. I believe that.

I did receive a very memorable gift last year. Oldest saved his points at Children's Church to "buy" a very spendy wall art crafty thingy for 10,000 points. Upon opening the treasure, he blurted out, "It is for our front door! It has a list of our house rules!" actually said, "Out House Rules". A tricky looking font mixed with new reading skills equaled a totally different meaning. This 3 foot wooden outhouse has the following printed on it in brown (would you expect another color for bathroom art?) lettering:

1. Be Tidy
2. Leave it the way you found it
3. Put the lid down so no critters get in
4. Leave paper for the next one

While those are great rules for an out house, I don't have one and don't think I ever will. "Wow!" was all I could say as I pictured it on my front door. How could I crush Oldest's enthusiasm and sweetness by doing anything else?

I hid it for about 10 months still in a quandry about what to do with it. Finally hubby hung it up in the boys' bathroom for me. I cringed looking at the "art". It doesn't match. It isn't my style. Jayden beamed when he saw it. I love it now -- it made our house a home. It is his style. He loves his mommy.

Here we are this year, just days from Christmas. While running a few errands we popped into Walgreens. As I was checking out, Oldest read a sign display for Revlon nail polish. "Mommy, I HAVE to get you nail polish for your stocking. Please!" The store clerk looked at me with puppy dog eyes too. "What color do you want? Oldest asked as he held up a bottle of blue and green. I told the boys to pick out whatever color they wanted me to have. Honestly I rarely wear nail polish anymore and when I do it is colors like "clear" and "barely there". Middleson had his eye on a shade called "Fire Red". Oldest and Middleson sat on the floor lining up bottles of nail polish while I proceeded to another check-out so I wouldn't see.

You may see me the week after Christmas sporting a bold set of fingernails in blue or green or fire red. I'll be wearing it proudly. I'll love it. It might not be my style. It is his style. Oldest loves his mommy.

Maybe in 15 or 20 years I will be wearing that same color at Oldest's wedding, presenting him with a beautiful wall thingy for his first home that says "Out House Rules."

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Colors of Christmas

Red and Green on everything -- for they are the colors of Christmas.

Today we headed out to our annual Mops Christmas Brunch. Oldest, Middleson, and Babyboy dressed festively in red. I, on the other hand, went for a color I call Christmas-tree-trunk-brown. I don't own anything red. Being in the midst of the OSU Buckeyes outfitted in scarlet and gray, I could probably be arrested for not wearing red. I wear gray on game days.

Okay, that is beside the point. Before I go any further let me explain that today's post has nothing to do with my time on the boys turf, but MY time on MY turf. I truly believe it contributes to better mothering and equips me to spend time on the their turf.

So, being the girly-girl that I am, having my hair semi-fixed, my face make-uped, and my body clothed (and not pajama-ed) was truly exhilerating. After feasting on secret-recipe chocolate chip cookies and chicken salad croissants, it dawned on me that my lips were dry and most certainly not sparkling as they were when I arrived. Not that anyone else would care. This is THE group of women that I love so much because no one does care about that external stuff. Come as you are. I reached for my purse and discreetly snatched my lip gloss. I unmirroredly re-applied my sparkling neutral tone and smacked my lips with satisfaction. As I returned the gloss to its rightful pocket, terror filled my mind. What I applied to my lips was a lip gloss that was returned to me by a a Mary Kay customer! It was in the DARK RED category!!!! I didn't apply lightly. I don't wear red clothes. I most certainly don't wear red lips. Hoping that no one was watching, I wiped my lips furiously with a one-ply napkin hoping to remove all of the red stain possible. But, we all know red lip color is like a permanent tattoo. It remains. Forever. I could just imagine what I looked like and now my cheeks started to match.

"Nicole the red-lipped mommy, had some very rosy lips. And if you ever saw them, you would start to do some flips." Please sing now to the tune of Rudolph the Red-Nose Reindeer.

It was then, I decided to take another very light gloss and strategically apply it like paint over primer. I took a deep breath and hoped for the best.

Ironically, several gals shared their most embarrassing moments today. I was living mine out in real time.

I learned a great lesson today. Always, and I mean always, look at your lip color before applying it. And, Red, Green, and Brown are the official colors of Christmas in my home.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Makin' A List and Checkin' it too many times to count!

What an adventurous week of celebrating the beginning of the Christmas Season. The tree was up, lit, and decked-out the day after Thanksgiving. Like the last few years, the ornaments are heavy on the bottom, light on the top and back. Several batches of cookies have been baked, eaten, and given away. Festive songs and dances have filled any silent or still moment that arose.

And then the lists. THE Lists. The LISTS! To-do. To-bake. To-give. To-send. And, like most kids, To-get. You know, THE big WISH LIST!?

Oldest spent his week compiling a wish list for what he wants to give the rest of the family. Since the boys aren't reading my blog, here is a sneak peak.

Christmas Gifts to buy
Middleson --an electric guitar in black or blue
Babyboy -- a remote control dog
Daddy -- a King-sized Resees bar, an autographed hockey stick, & hockey hand-cuffs (although I THINK he is referring to cuff links, not hand cuffs). It appears the Oldest has a favorite if you ask me.
Mommy -- not sure here, but he did ask me what my favorite brand of chocolate was and if I would rather have new tennis shoes or a new floor. (In case Daddy is reading this, I like the NEW FLOOR IDEA.)

We've visited Craigs List and Ebay over and over scouring posts for the above mentioned. He is more than willing to use all of his life's savings - $144.55 -- on Christmas gifts! Oldest's countenance crushed when an inquiry for a brand new electric guitar on Craigs List came back with a "sorry it has been sold" reply. After I reminded him of the "budget cuts" and my refusal to allow a withdrawal from his account, he wrote a letter to God asking for money. His brilliant little mind offered to loan me some money with interest so that he could raise funds.

Last night as I tucked him in bed, he was deeply troubled at the thought that he might not be able to buy his family the gifts on the list. "Oh my goodness, I wish he would just let it rest." I thought with a groan.

I quickly corrected myself when I realized I was getting annoyed over my sons desire to give. I am amazed that I have such a thoughtful giving son. He has spent his week compiling To Give lists instead of the completely normal To Get list. He is more than willing to spend every penny he has in order to give the very best gift.

Sounds so familiar! God gave everything. He gave His only son! He didn't spare or count the cost. Am I comparing Oldest to Jesus? No. But, once again, I find a lesson for me wrapped in the heart of my child. He has captured the meaning of Christmas in a way that I can only attempt to emulate.

Thank you Oldest, for teaching your mommy another life-lesson. I love you. And, you can bet, I am hoping too, that you will have the joy of giving everything on your Christmas List.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Tis the Season.....

THE Season is upon us. Thanksgiving. Decorating. Cardwriting. Feasting. Giving. Celebrating. Christmas! 2011!!

It can all become a blur unintentionally! In a month I will be packing up the decorations and regretting the extra cookies that saddled themselves to my hips.

Traditionally we decorate the house the day after Christmas. Oldest and Middleson contributed greatly to the carrying up of the bins and totes from the crawlspace. Babyboy hopped with delight from bin to bin finding the treasures inside. Oldest took on my role as fireplace mantel decorater. I must say, I like his arrangement much better than my forward-facing, squared-off neat and tidy look.

This year Oldest and Middleson are able to read our Christmas books all on their own. They don't need to wait for me. This realization brought a little sadness. Thankfully, they still want to snuggle and page through the books together.

Every year I say that I am going to keep it SIMPLE and MEMORABLE. By the end of the season, I am filled with memories, but I also feel like I have been dragged out of the house like a Christmas tree the day after Christmas.

Am I allowed to make a Christmas Season Resolution instead of a New Year's Resolution? I think so.

Today we read a Christmas story together and drew our little family of Snowpeople. Later in the week we will bake together instead of going the quicker, tidier-kitchen route. We will focus on giving -- time, possessions, words, encouragement, and smiles and a little less on the getting.

So, the 2010 Christmas season has officially begun!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

i don't text

I may be the last person on planet earth that does not text. Okay, that is most certainly an exageration. I FEEL like I am the ONLY person that does not text. Wrong again. My hubby and I are the only people I know that do not text. Our cell phone is just that -- a phone for talking.

I just upgraded my phone. All I wanted was the sturdiest phone I could find with no bells or whistles. I ended up with a military issued phone that can withstand falls and moisture. Perfect! A 3 pound flip phone!!

Technology is not a sore spot for me. I like technology. I love the internet and the instant knowledge I have right at my fingertips. E-mail makes me smile as does facebook.

The good thing is I can set boundaries for myself with my computer. Computer On. Computer Off. I seem to have the need to instantly respond to anything in my inbox. I will not put it off until tomorrow I promise. I inherited a great appreciation for detail and explanations too. Thanks Mom. I have already passed this great trait on to at least one son. "How was your breakfast?" I asked ONE of un-named son's. "Well, I got up this morning a little earlier than usual. I was very hungry. I thought I would have oatmeal, but you were not up yet. I decided to have Chex. You know the ones made of corn and rice? I had the corn ones. I didn't have milk. I used a green bowl. There are 3.5 left." You get the drift.

Now, imagine me having the capability to text. I would text. Too much. Too often. An indicator telling me I had a text would be as intense as a fire alarm in a high rise. I would be driven to immediately respond with way too much detail.

How does this factor in to 30minutesontheboysturf? For me, another communication tool is another temptation of distraction. I want to be as attentive to my kids as I am to my inbox. They do not have an On and Off switch. Nor does my "mother" switch. I am mommy 24/7 and they are the treasures God has given me.

One day I am sure I will move into this century and your text to me will not be blocked! Pease don't tempt me with the latest and greatest text/media plans! I might not withstand the pressure.

For now, I am content to live in the dark ages just a little longer.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Surprise on the Boys Turf

Today, October 1, is Oldest's 8th Birthday. I could never have imagined that 8 years could fly by so quickly! I am so thankful that God chose to bless me with such a precious gift. In many ways, we are so much alike and yet, we are soooo different.

Oldest NEEDS the Birthday hoopla, the surprises, the streamers....and MORE STREAMERS. He puts on the best celebrations for any reason worth celebrating. To him EVERDAY is reason to put on a party. Just a few months ago, he threw me a surprise Retirement Party so I would never have to work again. Last weekend, after being gone a mere 55 hours, the streamers were hung for my homecoming.

When it comes to MY birthday,I prefer NO surprises and a simple intimate gathering. It probably comes down to my desire to be prepared. How can I be prepared for something I don't know about. I need a heads-up.

Middleson and Oldest have NO idea that tomorrow will be an 8th Birthday Tailgate in honor of Oldest's special birthday and an Ohio Buckeye Football Game. What a great combination! They will both be surprised tomorrow morning. All of my secrets are in place and ready to go! I can hardly wait.

Tonight Oldest has requested that we go out for dinner. He has changed his mind so many times this week that I am uncertain where we will end up. It will be fun nonetheless.

Happy Birthday to my firstborn son who is such an example to me of living life to the fullest!

Time to hang some more streamers....

Monday, September 27, 2010

55 hours in the Mile-High City of Denver

I have absolutely nothing to report for 30minutesontheboysturf time. But, I know for sure that my husband/substitute teacher/boys' daddy could do a play by play of their weekend together!

I, on the other hand, have MUCH to report from my FIRST true break from my kids in 8 years! I learned something new this weekend. Denver is known as the mile-high city. My sister and I re-united in Denver for some sister (no husbands, no kids, no stress) time. Our hotel was adjacent to the mile-high stadium smack in the middle of downtown Denver.

The strange thing about this high-class hotel and its perfect location, was my pillow. Well, it was the pillow provided for me by the hotel. I like to refer to it as my mile-high pillow. I am exagerrating, but only a little bit. It was SOOOOO high and SOOOO hard. The first night I tried to use a small corner of the pillow. When that still proved too high, I slept on the mattress with no pillow. I was not afraid of falling off the bed, but I was afraid of falling off that frightful pillow. The second night I rolled up a towel and used that. Note to self: Also travel with my own pillow! My neck/shoulders are still reminding me.

Despite my pillow, the trip was fantastic. 55 hours of laughing, being silly, Starbucks, sitting still, attending the Women of Faith conference, eating out, shopping, conversing deeply, and lingering. It was 55 hours void of diaper changes, dishes, laundry, cleaning, and up/down mealtimes. The break from doing what I do for those I love was sooooooo refreshing.

Arriving home, exhausted but refreshed, held its own sweetness along with a hint of disappointment that the trip was over. Oldest and Middleson streamered the house and posted homemade "Welcome Home" signs. Daddy's worn expression said it all, "I am soooo glad you are home" Babyboy had a look of pure delight when the van door opened and I hopped in. It was like something was missing and he finally put his chubby little finger on it. I held daddy's hand with one hand and Babyboy's with the other, all the way home.

Contentedly, I ponder my time way. It was so good -- perfect. And, after a day of getting back into the swing of things, I am refreshed and ready to spend many more minutes on my boys' turf minus the mile-high pillow.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Are you ready for some football?

I confess. Football season is a love/hate thing for me.  I simply do not understand why it begins earlier and earlier every year.  Pre-Season.  Season.  Post Season.  College.  NFL.  Super Bowl.  Weeknights. Weekends.  Afternoon.  Evening. 

I dread the hours and hours the tv is on.  However, I have begun to love the football madness.  OSU Buckeye games are the absolute perfect time to shop.  Columbus becomes a ghost town.  I can stroll any store in my scarlet and gray and have my pick....along with the other few non-fans that have discovered the same secret. 

I have also enjoyed watching the bonding between the boys and their daddy's football fondness.  It starts with the all-out attire, leads to the football food (wings, chips, and "junk" food), and continues with hours and hours of screaming, jumping, and high-fiving.

On Sunday night, the boys' daddy and I were reading a parenting book while Babyboy played at our feet and Oldest and Middleson played outside. Suddenly daddy asked, "Why are we inside reading a parenting book instead of playing with the kids?" Good question daddio. It was then that I received the invitation to play football. Yep, at thirty-something I finally slightly understood how the game is played. The 30minutesontheboysturf turned into an hour of football fun. Even the neighbors joined us.

I confess. It was fun. Football is exciting. However,I think turftime will be the extent of my football fascination. Target, dressed in its Scarlet, still calls my name on game day.

So, yes, I am ready for some football.

Friday, September 17, 2010


What does that spell?  WEEKEND!!!  It was a good week and I couldn't be more grateful.  The boys gave 100% in school this week and that makes for a proud teacher and mommy.  This week held several appointments which made for some FULL days.  For some reason, we also grocery shopped four times (YES FOUR) at 4 different stores!! Aahhh. I honestly thought I had enough food for the week when we did a stock-up trip on Monday.  Tuesday was a handful of things that I forgot to get. Wednesday was milk.  And, today was Friday-only sales I couldn't resist. 

This week,I, mommy on the boys turf, got my priorities in order and let the boys dictate the turf time once again instead of inviting them to my side.  We are all better as a result of a few short 30minutesontheboysturf.  

Tonight will be a nokidsonourturf date night at home.  The movie is ready.  Supper is prepped.  My mouth is watering thinking about the homemade hot fudge and peanut butter sauce for our ice cream.  Lord willing, Oldest, Middleson, and Babyboy will hurry off to dreamland and let their daddy and I spend some time together. 

Happy Weekend!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Cuffs, Corn, and Cars!

Today's 30minutesontheboysturf time was filled with "C's".
Oldest wanted to construct (hand)cuffs.  I cannot fathom why handcuffs would be worthy of any time or mental energy, but I am not a boy who dreams of being a spy, catching bad guys, and being a hero.  That desire has never crossed my mind before today when Oldest invited me on his turf to make them. We put our heads together and crafted a set of cuffs no one would want to be caught in. I did take pictures, but opted not to post them. I hope it is the only time I see my son in handcuffs!

Babyboy cheerfully nibbled on (pop)corn while we handcuffed away.  Most of the time he had one hand in the bowl and the other hand was fast at work cramming popcorn into his mouth. 

To no ones surprise, Middleson got out the bin of cars for yet another round of car zooming, racing, and trading.  Thankfully I was not handcuffed and could easily join in.  Unfortunately, our ever-so-clever handcuffs weren't as sturdy as we thought.  Oldest was easily able to join in the fun too!

It feels just right to be back on the boys turf for a little TLC and CCC!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Back in the Saddle again.....

Oh my.  Since I posted a week ago, I have been much less diligent about spending 30minutesontheboysturf.

We have made some good memories and enjoyed our days together. But, for some reason, I went on vacation from the BOYS turf and had them come to my MOMMY turf.  Now I really don't think there is anything wrong with that. But, I clearly saw the benefit in heading to their side and doing what they wanted.
They have missed it too and even mentioned it. I made excuses like, "Oh, remember I took you to the park?"  "We rode bikes this morning!"  Yet, I knew what they were really wanting.  Me.  Just me without my constant distractions.

This afternoon we all headed to the basement.  Middleson got that spark in his eye and asked, "Mommy, what do you want to do together?"  My idea was to do some cleaning and sorting while they played.  His idea was better and much more important. 

So, I am back in the saddle again.  That's a song isn't it?  I am singing it now with a renewed sense of energy.  A "new" convert to this experiment e-mailed me today.  Her excitement to join her kids in play prompted me to "practice what I preach" and keep going. 

Please don't let me go another week without blogging.  Unfortunately, no blog = nothing to blog about = no 30minutesontheboysturf and way to much time on my turf!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The day AFTER the end.

The experiment, 30mintuesontheboysturf, officially ended last Wednesday.   Since our time together had already become like breathing or toothbrushing, I didn't make an official announcement the next day.  "Attention, Oldest, Middleson, and Babyboy, we will now spend 30 minutes on your turf.  Calling all boys!"  Instead, I let the day roll as it came -- as much as you can roll when you are schooling at home and getting ready for a Meemaw vist -- and DID indeed spend good QT together.  At the end of the day Middleson huffed, "We didn't spend time on the boys turf today.  Mom, remember the 30 minutes?"  So, instead of calling the experiment to a halt, I guess we will continue to have Official Turf Time in our home....just not so experimenty and bloggy. 

This long weekend was fabulous with plenty of Meemaw time, Daddy time, family time, and tantrum time. Babyboy has entered the not-so-cute, but still so lovable, much-too early, terrific-twos.  He is accelerated and decided to hit this milestone early at the age of one! 

We also welcomed a new member to our family.  Maytag Centennial Orr was delivered to our home yesterday.  After 4 months of a GE clothes washer on its last leg, I am finally doing laundry full force and maintenance free. I will not tell you how I have been washing my clothes since April 28.  Call me Pioneer Woman....or something close to that.  Anyway, Maytag's presence will allow for much more time on the boys turf and one happy mommy with clean clothes.


Wednesday, September 1, 2010


It might seem odd that I titled todays post "Cinderella", yet my entire blog is geared around 3 anti-princess  boys.  My very first post and my inspiration for this blog came from a radio talk show.  Ironically, today marks day 30, the end of my committment, and a radio talk show prompted this post as well!    This blog came full circle! 

A 2-day interview with Steven Curtis Chapman has aired on the radio the last couple of days.  Steven and his wife talk about the tragic death of their daugther, Maria, and how they have grieved since it happened.  He also reiterated his purpose in writing the song, "Cinderella". The synopsis being that he realized the time with his little girls was short and he wanted to cherish the time he had.  He had no idea when he wrote the song, that his little girl would die just a few months later.   The song is sweet and touching no matter what. But, when I listened to it with "new ears" with the perspective that his little girl is in Heaven.....oh my goodness! I cried and cried. 

The following link is to the song I am referring to as well as an interview on the meaning behind it.  NOTE:  There may be a 10 second "commercial" before the video begins.  I am not endorsing anything that may be advertised. 
I started this blog with the same realization.  Time flies. Oldest, Middleson, and Babyboy will be full grown and ready to move out in just a blink of an eye!  Distractions are all around me. There are many things for me to do each day.  Yet, I wanted to have a tool to get to know them, invest in them, and let them know they are a top priority for me.  30minutesontheboysturf has been that tool.

Greater than spending time with my children now, is the investment I am making for eternity.  I am teaching my children about a greater place, their eternal home in Heaven when they accept Jesus as their Lord and Saviour.  More than not spending "fun" time with them, I don't want to miss out on the opportunities that I have to instill the importance of a real relationship with Jesus.  My desire is to model forgiveness, grace, and love by the way I live my life. 

Today we spent our 30minutesontheboysturf loving on eachother. I let "Cinderella" blare through the house while I slow-danced with Babyboy. Oldest and Middleson were the wallflowers that wondered what happened to their mommy!  They rolled their eyes at the "Cinderella" lyrics....and I danced anyway.

Although today marks the END of this successful experiment, I can't help but keep blogging.  No way will it be everyday, but each time I do, it will reinforce the amazing and no-longer-foreign 30minutesontheboysturf. 

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Cars, Cars, Cars.....

Middleson's standby 30minutesontheboysturf activity is playing with cars. Oldest complies if he can acquire all of the sports cars.  Middleson gets the trucks/hummers/Jeeps.  I was assigned to/got stuck with the garbage truck.  Oh well.    I had to keep my mind from wandering ...imagining all the things I would put in the garbage truck if I could drive it through the house, collecting things I would love to get rid of.  

Our car play quickly led to racing cars around a rug. That led to stop-watch laps. That led to seeing who could hold their breath the longest. That, of course, led to laughing and making lots of funny faces. 

Laughter is good for the soul and it felt good to act silly and laugh at something so child-like!  It has been decades since I have had a breath-holding contest, but next time I need a good laugh, I might just call for one.

Monday, August 30, 2010


If I were to accurately convey the details of our weekend "turftime", I would be guilty of OVERposting.  Babyboy got more than his share of 30minutesonthebabyboyturf.  The dynamic was so different when it was just the two of us. I was shocked at how much he communicates without his big brothers around. 

Oldest and Middleson overdosed on the best, craziest, boy-iest adventures with Daddy while camping.  They are already asking for another camping trip.  Our weekend bulged with good stuff and great memories.  We topped it all off with our annual church picnic which the boys always look forward to.

Oldest and Middleson were instructed to draw self-portraits for art class today.  They asked me to join them. We spent way over 30 minutes drawing ourselves and laughing much too hard.  I, personally, do not possess a single artist's gene.  My self-portrait could easily be displayed among other elementary-aged artists.  I was proud of the big boys and their improvement over last year's self portraits.

So this 30 day experiment is just two days from the done mark. Yet, I feel like this is just the beginning for us. This 30minutesontheboysturf has become less about a "length" of time and more about really wonderful focused time with eachother.   It is becoming much more natural and much less a "to do".


Friday, August 27, 2010

Scratch That

Yesterday's post Scratch it. Un-publish. Reverse.  Ughgh.  I must admit we never made it to the park.  My intentions were good.  Just after I published my post, Middleson said, "Come on mom! I want to read my Bible to you for my 30minuteswithmom time."  (What I refer to as 30minutesontheboysturf.)  How could I resist such a request?  A spiritual/educational/snuggable activity trumped a trip to the park.

Three of my boys -- Daddy, Oldest, and Middleson -- are going camping this weekend.  It is Middleson's first camping trip and he is elated!  Oldest will show him the ropes.  Babyboy and I will stay behind creating our own adventures -- staying up until 9:01, eating Graham Cracker Goldfish in place of smores, staying in our PJ's until noon on Saturday; etc. 

Today marks the successful end of our first week of school. A shortened class day allowed time for dreaming and packing for THE camping trip.  Instead of listing what we DID pack, I will list what I was NOT allowed to pack, but wanted to.  I'm realizing that my boys are growing up and camping gives them the opportunity to bring out their macho-ness. 

What Oldest and Middleson are NOT bringing:
  • chewable vitamin
  • healthy snacks 
  • special blankie
  • teddy bear
  • toothbrush (yep, I guess there is no brushing of the teeth in the wildnerness)
  • books for bedtime
  • layers and layers of clothes for bedtime including a hat, gloves, and scarf in case the temperature dips
  • mommy's hand (for holding)
  • mommy's voice (for saying "Be careful when you shoot the bb the 4 wheeler...get near the fire"
  • wipies for sticky marshmallow fingers (the grass will do just fine)
I can't wait for their return -- grimy, stinky, story-tellin', happy, tired -- to the home turf after a much-too-long stay on the all-boy turf. No Girls or Babies Allowed.

Thursday, August 26, 2010


Today's post is kind of like a pre-test.  I will report on my 30minutesontheboysturf time before I actually do it.  It will keep me accountable to follow through. 

We have spent the entire day in school together and we are not completely finished. In some ways, I have an advantage over parents whose children attend a "brick and mortar" school.  Our learning environment allows us to spend some good quality time together -- learning, experimenting, and working together.  Today Oldest retrieved all of our lunch ingredients while I wrapped up a Phonics lesson with Middleson.  However, when school is over for the day, I love just a little bit of space and a few minutes to breathe!  (I'm guessing that parents of traditionally schooled children anticipate the time with their children when they arrive home.)

I hereby commit to an afternoon excursion to the neighborhood park with Oldest, Middleson, and Babyboy.  I declare that we will have a fabulous time, arriving home just in time to make dinner and leaving no time to blog. 

Done.  Check.  It's all good!  One week remaining.....although I don't think this turf time will end anytime soon.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Today marks Day 22 of 30minutesontheboysturf and Day 1 of school at home!  I must report that it has been nothing short of successful mixed with just a few crazy moments.  We have ONE class left and we will be done for the day. 

I admit that I kind of strongly suggested that our 30minutesontheboysturf time be a special breakfast at the start of our day. The boys would not have come up with this plan on their own, but I knew they would love it. I also knew that today would be a busy day and we needed it to go smoothly.   Up to this point, the boys have dictated our turf time, but today was different. 

Yesterday I shared about our new found enjoyment in reading Little House in the Big Woods.   Our breakfast menu consisted of Cast Iron Skillet pancakes by candlelight.  Oldest and Middleson called me "Ma" and their daddy "Pa".  Babyboy was still in dreamland and feasted a bit later.  We imagined homemade maple syrup and freshly churned butter. Pa shared of his middle-of-the-night shooting wild animals and such.  

After a quick clean-up and school pictures, the lights (and internet) were turned on and the 2010-2011 school year began. 

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Little House in the Big Woods

Today is the first day of school for our neighborhood kids.  Believe it or not, today feels different!  There are no kids ringing the doorbell or running through the backyard.  The overcast sky adds to the feeling of the end of Summer vacation. 

After a fast-paced morning of appointments and errands, our 30minutesontheboysturf time was a welcomed break in our day.  Oldest and Middleson are enjoying Little House in the Big Woods .  Since I enjoyed the series growing up, I thought perhaps they were not adventurous enough for my boys and just now introduced the books to my kids.  Now, reading them from a boy's perspective, everything has changed.  Today we read the chapter titled, "Pa's Rifle."  I probably skipped over that one when I was younger since I didn't care to know about rifles.   This particular chapter captivated the complete attention of Oldest and Middleson.  What boy wouldn't want to know how to make home-made bullets or how to clean a rifle? 

I'm sure tomorrow someone will suggest bullet-making for our time together.  Unfortunately, I don't keep lead or a bullet mold on hand.  For today, we will enjoy our last few hours of Summer vacation! 

Nine days left.....

Monday, August 23, 2010

10 Day Countdown.....

Wow, 20 days have passed since the 30minutesontheboysurf experiment began.  There have been nothing but positive outcomes as a result of this focused time with my boys on their turf. 

Our weekend held nothing too exciting to report in regards to our 30minutesontheboysturf time. However, the 40th Birthday Bash for our Kids Pastor and the engagement of our niece was more than enough exhileration  for one weekend. 

Today my house has been turned into a car lot.  The bathroom has been transformed into a science lab complete with goggles, microscope, and test tubes.  (Hmmm.....I'm wondering now why Oldest and Middleson chose the bathroom as the lab.  I hope no un-authorized experiments are taking place.)  The boys delegated me the role of Match Box and Hot Wheel Car Counter.  So far, I have counted 148 cars!  If I find anymore, I may open this car lot to the public.

The rest of the week will kick it up a notch -- tomorow is a day of appointments and school starts Wednesday!  Creativity and flexibility will be called on for sure.

So thankful.....

Friday, August 20, 2010

Code Yellow

I see a "tradition" being formed with our 30minutesontheboysturf time.  Running errands seems to trigger a toy store desire in the boys' minds. (Next week we will be homeschooling and not running errands. This tradition is coming to an end.)  Once again, we found ourselves strolling the isles of toy sections at numerous stores as if going down to our basement isn't the movie set for Toy Story IV.  Oldest and Middleson DO love my undivided attention as they show me each and every feature of the toys they are mentally adding to the basement of every boy's dreams.

Mommy's errands included a quick return at Kohls. Thankfully the Customer Service Counter and Toy Section are visible from one another. I am sure this was not an accident.  My quick return also led to a much-too-quick exit from the toy section.  OLDEST had completely disappeared!  I said his name over and over, louder and louder each time.  Middleson chanted with me.  He was GONE!  I turned to customer service and said a little frantically, "I can't find my son." She smiled and calmly stated over the intercom, "Code yellow." I was thinking more like, "CODE YELLLLOOWWWWW!!"  I have since wondered what code yellow means. "Frantic mom thinks she lost her son, but I am sure he is nearby.  No worries."  I sent Middleson into the Men's restroom and both Oldest and Middleson re-appeared. We always use the Family Restroom. Always...unless daddy is with us.  Well, I am so very thankful Oldest is found and for the  teachable moment in the midst of our morning. 

"Code Yellow Cancelled." was spoken throughout the store.  Translation:  "Son found.  Frantic mom had nothing to worry about. Told ya."  

Thursday, August 19, 2010


Babyboy is sleeping. The house is quiet.  Oldest and Middleson are spending the afternoon with another mom and her kids on their turf!  Knowing that, we had to divide our 30minutesontheboysturf time in a limited setting.  I actually realized we wouldn't really be home together today while we were driving. So, the van became our turf and I let the boys dictate our conversation.    (My first inclination was to call my sister and tell her the great deal I got on diapers -- $1.61 for the big 72 count Pampers! Whoo Hoo. I refrained and called her AFTER the boys were gone.)  The boys wanted me to share stories about my childhood -- a trip down memory lane.  I know, it isn't too adventurous or active, but today called for flexibility and still allowed for some bonding time. 

My friend will have to be a substitute blogger today and post a play by play of HER time with MY boys!  I am quite certain, they will enjoy their subsitute turf. 

In the meantime, I should take advantage of this time ALONE on my turf.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Courtesy of Macy's Department Store

Today was an errand-running morning with the hopes of visiting a spray park at the end.  We postponed that part of the trip so we can go with daddy.  Since we were near the mall, I asked the boys if they would be interested in that for 30minutesontheboysturf time.  The squealed in delight since they love to frequent the hockey store, Build a Bear, and Finish Line and we do so very INfrequently these days. 

An urgently needed "I need to go potty" detour led us to Macy's and a bright idea to ride the elevator and escalator.  Oh my goodness! Why pay admission to a theme park when the mall is closer and free?  Without my usual "Come on boys, it is time to go!" they went up and down, up and down, down and up.  It was fabulous. Even Babyboy laughed in delight as his favorite big brothers appeared and re-appeared! 

If I have counted correctly, today is day 15 of this 30minutesontheboysturf experiment.  I have been so encouraged by the e-mails and reports of mom's and dad's joining in and experiencing success.  I have observed that Oldest and Middleson are being disciplined less. Is there a correlation?  Time will tell.

I am also on day 2 of Middleson pretending he is the famous skateboarder, Tony Hawk's, son.  I have been instructed to call him Anden even though in real life, Tony's sons are Spencer and Keegan.  In Anden's imaginary life, my hubby is Tony Hawk.  I called him Tony several times last night without a response.  I even tried "Mr. Hawk" without success.  I'll try again tonight.  Our day has been filled with skateboard talk and Middleson/Anden pretending he doesn't know his way around our house. He is making life interesting and enjoyable.

I better be on my best behavior since Tony and son are on the turf and I am not sure how long they'll stay. 

Well friends, we are half done! 

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


If you read yesterday's post, you know that my boys were in construction mode and forbade me from entering the basement. I figured it was boys play and stayed out of their way.  At the end of the afternoon, Oldest told me their plan started with an "r".  "Oh, are you RE-ARRANGING the basement?" I cringed.  "No, that isn't it!  It is "R" for RETIREMENT."  "What is retirement?" I asked wondering how in the world they knew anything about retirement.

"Mommy, we are having a Retirement Party for you so you never have to clean again!"  I got that butterfly, so-in-love feelin' deep down in my stomach.  My party-giving Oldest and Middleson went full force plannin' the Retirement Party of the decade! 

Love is in the details, right?  About 4:30 pm, the big boys locked themselves into the bathroom to gel their hair and put daddy's cologne on for the party.  The rest of the afternoon was a hustle and bustle of dishes, food, paper, tape, and streamers going up and down the stairs! 

At 6:30 Hubby and I were escorted downstairs for the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony.  After the ribbon was cut, I was told I would never have to nag or work again. The boys would do everything the first time and do all the work for me.  It was requested that I continue making supper, however. 

The entire basement was decked out in streamers. The local radio station blared in the background while we ate turkey brats, cheese cubes, apple slices, peanuts, carrot sticks, and potato wedges.  After supper, I was presented with a Retirement gift! My can of coffee grounds (when did they sneak that out of the kitchen?) contained a ticket with the words, "A ticket to a brack."  (A ticket to a break.)

I am guessing the boys like this 30minutesontheboysturf and perhaps if I am RETIRED we can have lifeontheboysturf time.  I wish it worked that way!  Thankfully they did not request that I retire from motherhood. I refuse to retire from this position! 

This morning I got up and secretly put the clean but partied basement back together lest I be accused of working. We spent our 30minutesontheboysturf time at a local toy store UN-hurried and UN-rushed, just looking, touching, dreaming, and playing.  

I love my boys & am enjoying RETIREMENT!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Trouble with a capital "T"

The weekend started off "harmless" enough. The big boys were Privates in a local Bible Boot Camp both Friday night and Saturday morning.  They loved learning about the Army of God military style, decked out in cammo gear. 

We have been checking the weather report several weekends in a row in order to avoid rain and seal our asphalt driveway.  Last weekend called for rain and it did not rain. This weekend, I think we must have been desperate to cross it off the list, and did not even THINK about checking the forecast.  Just after Andrew purchased & emptied another bucket of sealer and just before finishing the long awaited task, it began to look stormy. Storm it did!  We all stood in the garage and watched the black sealer run off the driveway and over the sidewalk, turning it black (thankfully hubby got it clean).  Money (thankfully only $21!) and time ran down the drain. We all started laughing and decided there was nothing we could do EXCEPT check the forecast next time. My husband, who can always exhibit a good attitude said, "Well, I will look at that as practice....and now I get to do it again, only better!" 

No big deal.     There was a break in the rain.  Then, just as hubby began to light the grill for dinner, it rained again!  He had to re-light the grill several times and grill our dinner in a downpour.  We laughed again. 

For our 30minutesontheboysturf time, we played a family game of TROUBLE which ended with Babyboy smashing his little fist on the dice "popper" which sent the game pieces flying.  Mommy, Daddy, Oldest, Middleson, and Babyboy were all declared winners!

Our family devotions were from Matthew 7 about the wise man an foolish man . We changed the song to "The foolish man sealed his driveway in the rain.......".  There are lessons to be found in everyday life circumstances! 

30minutesontheboysturf was NO trouble at all today!  Oldest and Middleson have turned the basement into a Construction Zone and are currently cleaning the job site!  I attempted to help and was told, "Only Employees are allowed.."  I guess I am not an employee. I did convince them to take a break so we could spend time together.  They wanted to look at photos from the past -- a total treat and trouble free!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Color-EN on Day TEN!

It was a peaceful 30minutesontheboysturf today. Oldest suggested coloring. Coloring?  I never would have guessed my always-moving, ever-inventing, never-retirin' son would want to sit down and color with his mommy. He is also very sweet and I have a feeling he overheard me saying that I loved to color when I was a little girl. So, color we did!  We spent the last minute of our time snuggling and previewing a Lego catalog...which led to the start of a Christmas List.

It was a serene and still 30 minutes.  Just moments before our time together, I was showering and heard a knock on the bathroom door.  "Mommy, I am going to stick these wires into the outlet so my invention will work okay?"  Oldest asked nonchalantly. For the hundreds of times he has created inventions & contraptions without permission, I said a prayer of thanksgiving that he took a minute to ask me today.  Can you imagine?   

I'm guessing our 30minutesontheboysturf time wouldn't have been quite as peaceful IF it occurred at all!  (And, Lord, please continue to protect my boys. Amen)   

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Babyboy and Gander Mountain

Babyboy is clearly feeling neglected in this whole 30minutesontheboysturf stuff.  Last night about an hour after tucking him into bed, he began to cry a "come-and-pick-me-up-I-can't-live-without-you" kind of cry.  Since this is rare, I picked him up and rocked him. He immediately snuggled into my chest and settled down.  I liked it.  He liked it.  I pondered about what it will be like in 18 years when he is ready to leave the house. I know I will want one more opportunity to hold him, rock him, and love him.

My "like" feelings faded a few hours later when I was still awake and he was still awake.  Daddy was still awake. This morning I groggily drank my coffee and figured I banked about 4 hours worth of 30minutesontheboysturf time with Babyboy. 

Oldest and Middleson were low-maintenance with their request today. (Thank you Lord.)  Since we were running errands anyway, they wanted to hang out at Gander Mountain.  I am certainly thankful I didn't dress them in camoflauge today or I may have lost them.  Guns, fishing poles, bows and arrows, tents, and hunting gear quickly filled our quota and their Wish Lists.
The big boys told me yesterday how much they like this special time with me.  I like it too....sleep or no sleep.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Cops and Robbers

Someone stole my afternoon from me and I'm left with 30secondsonmyblogturf. 

We spent a wonderful morning with a friend, her boys, and new baby girl. An early afternoon thunderstorm, which completely entertained (and energized) all four boys, caused us to leave a bit later than anticipated.

Just after arriving home, another friend popped over with surprise hand-me-downs for Babyboy! And, while we were in the driveway talking, a UPS truck dropped off a box....AND my dryer buzzed to let me know the laundry needed folding. 

What to do next?  Peek through the hand-me-downs? Fold laundry? Go through the box from UPS?  OR spend 30minutesontheboysturf? 

It is now 4:15 and all of the above mentioned are done.  The distractions & delays were a blessing!  The 30minutesontheboysturf was the most exhilarating time yet -- cops and robbers in full gear -- only a horse could have made it more "real".  I'm still rounding every corner carefully lest I get caught by Oldest Cop and Middleson Cop. 

If you would like to join in, please be a ROBBER and steal my folded laundry so I don't have to put it away!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


"Today you are going to have a Lego Test." Middleson informed me before I could even fully ask him what he wanted to do for 30minutesontheboysturf time.  Oldest went right along with the plan. Although neither boy would help me build the Lego Knight or Lego Tow Truck, it was an "open book" test and the manual directed me step by step.  Fastening the tow truck apparatus was quite challenging. It reminded me of trying to undo a knotted ball of kite string.   These particular Lego Sets were for ages 5 and up.  Maybe it was supposed to be 35 and up.  Middleson granted me a B+ on the Knight and a C+ on the Tow Truck.  Man, he's tough.  Of all my schooling thus far, Lego School sports the worst report card.

The role reversal was fun today. Since we homeschool, I am usually the one administering the tests and not the one taking them. Yet, I can see that my "tests" with this 30daysontheboysturf experiment are definitely coming.  Life will change completely on August 25 when we start school full time and finding 30 minutes is like searching for hidden treasure.  Other mom's that have joined me in this experiment are working, teaching, mothering MANY more children than I, etc.  They have already faced TESTS along the way. 

Beyond this little experiment, tests are a part of REAL life.  The tests we endure can be severe, heart wrenching, and ongoing.  In the Bible, the book of James (chapter 1) instructs us to be happy when we have tests. Tests teach us to persevere and not give up. 

Maybe investing true quality time in our childrens' lives will reap children who learn how to pass the tests that they too will face. 

Happy Testing!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Play Now, Work Later

Experiment Days 4, 5, and 6
While our weekends normally consist of some major projects (work, work, work) and some play, this weekend was different. With the realization that August has arrived and school is about to start, PLAYING was our first priority.

Ecclesiastes 3 reminds me that there is a time for everything!  For to-do-aholics like me, I need to make time and give myself permission to have fun and leave the work for another time.  There IS indeed "a time to laugh, a time to dance, a time to keep, and a time to love"!

Saying that, 30minutesontheboysturf time was a cinch.  We planned a day trip to Hocking Hills for a hike and picnic.  Exploring the trails, caves, and waterfalls was amazing!  Our hot afternoon concluded with drippy yummy ice cream cones for all!

On Sunday, I asked the boys want they wanted to do for our time together.  Oldest replied, "Well, I would like to spend my 30 minutes with daddy!"  Daddy, Oldest, and Middleson went to work/play fixing Middleson's bike and "window" shopping for a Red Ryder BB gun!  The weekend ended with a family 5K -- boys on bikes, Babyboy in the jog stroller, and mommy and daddy jogging to keep up.

Since we played all weekend, Monday held an extra share of to-dos.  I contemplated trying to complete all my tasks before 30minutesontheboysturf time, but decided to put my time with them above my desire to get my things done.  We thoroughly enjoyed a game of checkers followed by modeling animals from clay. 

One observation I have drawn from this experiment so far -- during NON-30minutesontheboysturf time, they boys are playing more contentedly on their own without "needing" me. Therefore, I can do the things I do need to do (laundry, cook, clean, pay bills,etc.) with less distractions. 

I have been very encouraged, inspired, and held accountable by many of you! I would love to know how you are doing on this journey and any observations (keeping with the "experiment" mode) you have made.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Don't Sweat the Small Stuff

"Don't sweat the small stuff."  This is a popular quote meant to encourage us all to surrender less energy to the things that don't really matter.  I've added to the quote.  Don't sweat the small stuff. Don't sweat the medium stuff. Don't sweat the large or extra large stuff.   My detailed ducks-in-a-row personality tends to sweat all sizes of stuff.  Yet my cool feathered friends who never seem to get ruffled amaze and encourage me.

The Bible puts it this way in Phillipians 4: 6-7 --Don't fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God's wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It's wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.

(NOTE:  This is the SECOND time I have written this blog post.  Let me explain.  Earlier to day, I asked Oldest to help me move the deck furniture so we could stain the deck.  He somehow thought I said that I needed help moving the family room furniture. I was blogging away when the power went off.  Oldest had moved the big leather couch and the over-stuffed comfy chair....and in doing so, unplugged the power cords for the computer.  I kind of wanted to growl, but decided to incorporate "don't sweat the small stuff" and calmly put my family room back together, re-started the computer, and re-blogged.

Now, I have noticed since beginning this experiment, that I have had to let go of some of the small stuff in order to carve out those precious 30 minutes.  But, at the end of the day, when it was all said and done, I had accomplished everything I normally would AND spent time on the boys' turf. 

Speaking of sweat.  In over three decades of life, I have not been a sweat-er.  I envied those around me with sweat rings on their shirt and beads of sweat racing down their faces.   However, just recently I started to sweat. Today was one of those days. I pushed myself to get in a good workout. No, I pushed myself to get in a GOOD WORKOUT!  Visions of weekend chocolate & ice cream dangled before me challenging me to work a little harder.  My badge of honor was a speckled sweaty t-shirt. I even had to use one of those sweat towels on my brow. (Wish I had my camera for proof.)  Wow.

I was not enthused when basement basketball was chosen for 30minutesontheboysturf time.  I contemplated proposing things like: 
*Hotel -- the boys could check me into a hotel room and I could pretend to stay as an overnight guest.
*Camping --the boys could set up the tent and we could all pretend we are looking at the stars.
*Doctor -- one doctor, one assistant, and one fainted patient (yours truly).

You get the drift. My wobbly workout legs were not desiring basketball or movement of any kind.

We did it. Over 30 minutes of basketball!

Day 3 -- No Sweat (and no rhyme --refer to day 1 and day 2)!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Maybe the Girly Grass is Greener

So I started day two of this experiment off with determination.  "This afternoon I WILL be spending time with you. Please be thinking of what  you want to do." I declared.  "Oh, you are going to spend time with us again?" Middleman questioned. Oh Please, is it that evident, even to them?  I DO spend every waking minute with them, but even THE BOYS know there is something special about the 30minutesontheboysturf time. 

I did begin to think that maybe, just maybe, the mothers with girls have an advantage with this experiment.  30minutesonthegirlsturf would be much easier to implement.  It would even come natural.  I imagined myself with a little blonde curlied haired girl with bows.  I am just sure I would DESIRE to play with her --  Dress-up.  Tea parties.  Playing house.  Baby dolls.  It would be like being on the same turf all the time instead of jumping to an unknown breed of grass and speaking a foreign language for 30 minutes. 

Wrongo!  I actually received e-mails from mothers of girls and they were setting the 30 minute timer too. Mom's are busy people with a never ending to-do list. While we all want the best for our children and do so much for our children and even with our children -- playing on their turf where they call the shots is entirely different to most of us. 

So today Oldest and Middleson came up with a gameplan.  Babyboy was forced to go along with it.  They wanted to read for 15 minutes (YES, I can handle an activity that isn't high speed) and play cars for the next 15 minutes.  The story about volcanoes was educational and interesting. At this point in our 30 minute experiment, I am almost positive Babyboy pointed at the computer screen, trying to lure me into checking my e-mail.  I didn't cave into the temptation.  Imagine my delight when Middleson introduced me to his Hot Wheel family -- Daddy car, Mommy car, and three little boy cars (sounds familiar, I know).  "I can do this!" I high-fived myself.  A talking family of cars was doable.  Apparantly the youngest one in the car family got his own garage since he had a hard time sleeping.  (Sounds like Babyboy and his very own crib and very own room.)  I looked a the clock and I had gone 4 minutes past the 30 minute mark. 

Day 2 is through.  (I better quit with this rhyming stuff before I get myself into a dilemma.)

P.S. - for the several mommies that have joined me in this experiment, let me know how are you are doing!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

It all started with a radio talk show....

Just this morning I listened to a radio talk show from a ghetto alarm clock on my kitchen cupboard.  Little did I know the CONVICTION (ouch) that could transpire in just minutes.  I don't even know the name of the speaker or the topic. I did hear the speaker emphasize the importance of spending 30 minutes a day on your child's turf. No cell phone. No internet. No interruptions.  The speaker was actually addressing children with behavior problems.  My problem wasn't the behavior of my boys, but the sparkle I saw in their eyes when they heard the speaker. My oldest begged, "Mom, could  you do that?  No phone and no computer! Just do what we want to do?"  I immediately got defensive and had an internal fight with myself.  "I stay at home with the kids and spend EVERY day ALL day with them!"  "In fact, we are going to the pool today.....and I will chase around the baby while they play with friends.  And, this afternoon they will play Legos....with eachother so I can clean or cook."  Ughhg. I recounted the last few days and realized when I am spending time with my kids, they are on MY turf.  I immediately vowed to spend 30 minutes with my sons on their turf TODAY.

At 1:34pm, I looked at my clock and dreaded spending 30 minutes doing what they wanted to do. I wanted to suggest story time or a good game of UNO.  But, I knew I had to be on THEIR turf.  So, I disguised my voice with excitement and asked what they wanted to do. "Mom, really?  You want to play with us?  Okay, let's go to the basement (unfinished, cold, dark, BOY World) and play Legos!  You can't bring your cell phone okay?"  We made the trek down the basement stairs and I gave it 100%.  My boys laughed at my Lego swimming pool design complete with a diving board and ladder and I realized their is a definite talent to playing with Legos.
Whooo Hoooo. Day ONE is DONE...and it was FUN!