Becoming a mother is hard. I learned that in the labor process, and I’ve been learning it ever since. This blog has been, for me, a desire to be more intentional in my parenting. I think I’ve spent the last four years of parenting living in the “I should” moments. I should really take my kids to the park when it’s cold outside. I really should get a reward system in place at our home. I should get off “Words with Friends” right now and spend some quality time with my kids. I should really invest in the character development of the kids more. I was tired of the “I should” and decided to become meaningful.
This isn’t about me being an amazing mom. It’s about me trying to improve daily in this precious role. I have daily tips for you because I have found the observations of other moms and the advice I get from the “professional” moms as invaluable. As I was left floundering and questioning every decision in parenting, I reached out to others I saw doing it right. I got answers. As I implemented them, I saw them work…and quickly. As I became more intentional, I saw my kids thriving. I am now working on character qualities weekly - like joy, love, perseverance, obedience, orderliness, self-control, patience…and the list keeps building. As I’m working on those in my kids, I’m learning how much I need to work on those in myself.
When focusing on a specific character quality, I’m discovering teachable moments around every turn. The scripture that backs up these qualities is being instilled in my kids. I want to use creativity, fun and play to aid in my children’s development as well as create the buy in to our family life. In attempting that, I have daily crafts or activities. I want my kids to enjoy us, and I want to enjoy them.
Is life at our house perfect? Absolutely not. Is it improving? Absolutely yes. I want to inspire others to be more meaningful in their parenting. Will I have Martha Steward moments in the process? Hopefully, a few. Mostly, I want things accessible. Things you can take away and say, “I can do that. I’m going to do that this week.” Do everything? No, but I am hoping you’ll take something away from these minutes you spend in my corner of the web that inspire you to turn the “I should…” into “I’m going to…”
Here's one of my favorite projects we did. A true Meaningful Mama original:
Make Your Kids into Interchangeable Blocks
I normally have one main picture to represent a project, but I couldn't decide which one represented the project best. I had so much fun mixing the blocks all around, I just put them all up for your enjoyment. Here's how we created these blocks...
Here are the blocks. I went to Lowe's and picked out a piece of lumber at the hardware store. It was 2 1/2" x 2 1/2" x 30". I also found some online at a Wholesale Wooden Block site. My husband used the chop saw to cut the lumber to a perfect square (2 1/2 x 2 1/2 x 2 1/2). I could have done it, but my husband is way better at precision. He then sanded them down for me...what a guy.
Next was the photo shoot. My kids change outfits all the time, so I thought this would be tons of fun for them. It ended up being, I admit, a tad more of a challenge than I anticipated. I guess they like to dress up when someone isn't telling them to do it. I said they could pick out one outfit that made them feel pretty, one outfit of their own choosing and one silly outfit. I also said there would be a mommy's choice. We put an X on the spot they would stand, and we set up the tripod for the camera. My amazing husband then sized these photos to fit the 2 1/2" block. Kids don't come proportioned in perfect thirds, so he had to play with it a bit and their feet are cut off, but that's OK. My man is super good on the computer, and he said it takes a bit of know how in Photoshop to make it happen. See how he had the cutting lines on there and everything.
Once your pictures are printed on normal printer paper, cut them out and make sure they are sized for the blocks. I had to do slivers of trimming on the sides.
Finally, it's time to Mod Podge. Please see my post on tips for using Mod Podge. We did two sides on all three blocks of each body and let those dry completely before doing the other two sides. I put a plain piece of paper on the top and bottoms of the blocks. The kids were so excited to play with these, and I love all the fun combinations you can make out of all the blocks.
I need to give a shout out to my husband who was a major contributor in this project. He's amazing!
I hope you'll stop by Meaningful Mama to see what else I have to offer.