Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Bikes and Cub Scouts

Some people might find it odd that in a house full of boys there are not a lot of sports going on. We don't watch sports on TV, the kids don't play on any teams and never have. Trevor said to me once, "Mom, I'm more of an indoor kid," which is why it took us so long to get him to finally learn how to ride a bike. Trevor would rather be inside playing computer games, reading books, playing imagination; anything other than being outside doing a "sport". But he's 8 and it was time. I told him and Colin a while ago that if they wanted a friend birthday party this coming year they had to learn to ride a bike first. Trevor, of course, had to argue, but Dave and I remained firm. And two weeks ago we took the boys to the church parking lot and told Trevor he was going to learn to ride a bike. And he did! He picked it up so quickly and he was having fun. I make him go out and practice every now and then and he's getting better every time. He doesn't ever want to go out and ride bikes with his friends, he's not interested in taking a ride around the neighborhood or over to Grandma's house. He'd rather stay indoors. And that's okay with me. I don't mind having an indoor kid. But at least now he knows how to ride a bike and he knows he did it all on his own. One thing Trevor is interested in is scouting and last night he got his Wolf award as well as a gold and silver arrow point. He likes doing things from his scout book and getting awards and accomplishing something. He always looks forward to getting more awards, advancing and moving up in scouting. And he wants his Eagle award. Even as an 8 year old kid he talks about someday when he gets his Eagle. I look forward to the day when I have all of those Mother's pins from all of my boys and I can see what they grew into because of scouting.

Gift giving

After Thanksgiving we were talking about Christmas and what the kids wanted as gifts. As they rattled off a list of toys Trevor spoke up. He said, "Christmas isn't about getting lots of gifts, it's about being together with your family and being nice to people." That one comment seemed to set the mood for our Christmas this year. We choose to do the 12 Days of Christmas for our neighbors who live across the street. Dave and I had recently talked to the husband and wife who live there and both mentioned how their disabled son really enjoyed the Halloween treats we dropped off. We thought it would be fun to secretly drop off gifts for their family to make it fun for their son. The kids have really enjoyed getting into "Ninja Mode" and sneaking across the street to drop off a gift every night. Sometimes they will hear whoever opens the door yell out Thank You but mostly they run back in the house chattering of how good a job they did not being noticed or seen. Colin has really gotten into the Spirit of Christmas this year as well. The other day he told me he was going to make gifts for his brothers. He made something out of Legos for Logan and then wrapped it up with computer paper. He made a couple of things for Trevor and yesterday I noticed something for Dave under the tree. I couldn't resist so I opened it up. Colin made his dad a drawing book out of paper. He colored a cover and wrote "scare" (scary) on it. Inside was blank paper so Dave can draw monsters and other "scare" pictures. I must admit I got a little teary eyed looking at that and knowing that right now, instead of wondering what he is getting for Christmas, Colin is more focused on giving thoughtful gifts to his family.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Slow cooker dinner

Almost every Sunday I use my crockpot to cook dinner. We get out of church at 4 and it's nice to have something ready to eat. One of our kids' favorite dinners is Spaghetti and Meatballs. I love it too and it's so easy and cheap. I wanted to make it for Sunday dinner so I looked for a recipe to make meatballs in the crockpot but some of the comments people made on the recipes said the sauce got greasy or the meatballs were too soft. So I made my meatballs the way I always do in the morning (baked in the oven) and then before church I put them in the crockpot with sauce so they would be hot and ready to eat when we got home. I usually just use Hunts canned sauce because it's so cheap and tastes pretty good, but this time I added a can of diced tomatoes, 2 cloves of garlic that were minced, some minced onion (I used my dry, food storage ones) and some dried basil, oregano and salt and pepper. The sauce came out so good and the meatballs were so moist. It was one good plate of spaghetti and meatballs. And it was so easy. I told Dave that was how I was going to make spaghetti and meatballs for now on. And if I were just a little smarter I'd make a big batch of meatballs and freeze them so I had everything ready to go next time. I love easy dinners, but I love them even more when they taste like you spent a lot of time cooking. I love when my boys tell me I made a good dinner and when they ask for more. Cooking is something I really like doing and when the people I cook for enjoy my food it makes me feel like I accomplished something pretty great.