Monday, March 17, 2014

Happy Green Day!

I did not plan anything for St Patrick's Day. Nor do I ever plan on planning anything. To me, St Patrick's Day is a school holiday. No, I don't mean school should be out; I mean it is something kids celebrate at school. Kindergarten teachers can have leprachauns wreck their classroom. Middle schoolers can fight over who has green on their underwear. High schoolers can, well High schoolers don't seem to care about this one. It is not a big celebrate-at-home one for me.

But ...

Reid isn't in school yet. So here's what we did.

Last week he checked out a "Green" book from the library. We've read it everyday since. He loves it, even though it's a pretty low quality picture book if you ask me. Anyway, in the back of the book there is an experiment, and this morning while Nell napped we experimented. The middle glass started out empty. The other two were filled to the top with water and two drops of food coloring were added. He was excited to mix the yellow with the blue and Ben and I both hovered (yes, Nell napped at 7:30 am -- morning started at 5:00) while he quickly made green. When we were all done I made the mistake of dumping all the water out. He was devastated, so we did it again. The second time around he went much slower. Ben was out the door and I started snapping the pictures. Going slow gave us a chance to talk about the different shades of green. We watched as the middle cup changed from bright and vibrant to deep and dark, and then back to bright and vibrant. That final cup sat on our table all day. He was so proud of his green water!

After Nell woke up we headed to Target to buy some green things for Daddy.
Hand sanitizer w/ aloe, Diet Mt Dew, an air wick plug with three green (American Somoa) plug ins, Jr Mints, Orbit Gum, Mentos Breath Mints, and Mint flavored M&Ms. Reid was a real trooper as we wandered all over the store looking for green things (and even found that green basket on clearance). I really think it is the best he's ever done on a shopping trip. That may just be coincidental, but I like to think he was bit by the bug of giving. Nell, well she pooped her pants and made our trip five minutes longer than it needed to be.

I decided to include the basket in our FHE lesson. We gave it to Ben right when he came home from work, actually it was on the kitchen table so he saw it right away. Reid was sitting next to it and proudly proclaimed "Happy Patrick's Day, Daddy!"

After dinner we all enjoyed some mint M&Ms; then the kids took a bath (and Nell pooped, but not her pants, again). After (their second) bath we had a little FHE on giving. I asked Reid how it made him feel to give Daddy a special present. Then I asked Ben how it felt to receive the gift. Next I showed Reid some pictures from the gospel art kit that demonstrated things God has given us. Mainly, the Earth and the stars. We talked about how Heavenly Father and Jesus made the Earth and our bodies and gave them to us so we could be happy. We talked about how special that makes us feel. Then I showed him a couple pictures of Christ helping the poor and the sick, and I testified to him that when we help others we can feel happy, and that giving to others makes Jesus happy. I reminded him that giving is a commandment.

Our opening song was "Give said the Little Stream" and if Reid knew it, we could have closed with "Because I Have Been Given Much," but instead I just simplified the message of that Hymn into the last part of the lesson. If I had been more on top of things I could have gathered a Goodwill pile or made him help put on together, and we could have taken a trip there (or even better, the food pantry). But I wasn't about to take my ready-for-bed kids out in below freezing temps. We'll have to make the food pantry drop off another day. In June, when it finally thaws around here.

Per our usual FHE night, Reid wanted to be the teacher once our short message was over. He flipped through the gospel art kit and told us about the First Vision. Then he moved onto the Nursery manual and found a page he wanted to color. So I ran downstairs and copied one for him and one for Nell.

 While he was trying out every marker color, I was trying out every camera setting.
 Happy and content
 Wait, he has markers?
  Throws fit until she has markers. 

Nell loves coloring, so this was a good way to include her in FHE. I should plan ahead better and always have an activity like this prepared for them. I'm going to miss these days, when FHE takes little planning and actually excites Reid. Last Tuesday he started yelling at Ben that he wanted FHE. He was in tears, "tonight's family home evening, daddy!" We insisted it was not. How mean, and ironic, is that? 

Hopefully you're St Patrick's Day was as wonderful and low key as ours. Unless you're into big St Patrick's Day celebrations, then by all means ... party away!

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