Valentines for Dudes

I have to apologize up front for the lousy phone pics. I was in a hurry, trying to get out of the house, to my truck where the boys were waiting, and on to our homeschool group’s Valentine skate party.
I was in such a hurry that I forgot my keys and purse as I slammed the locked front door shut behind me.  Climbing through a window was not on my to-do list for that day but I did it (so the boys wouldn’t see their after-party surprise) and we still managed to make it to the party on time!  Yay us!
So my awesome husband surprised me with a dozen peach roses (a tradition for us), some sugar-free chocolates, and a tear-jerking card on Friday morning. 
That prompted my 10 year old to ask me what I planned on giving the hubs in return. At first, I tried to explain that I generally don’t get the hubs a gift (unless you count the mega-large bag of peanut M&m’s as a thoughtful, loving gift). 
Then he asked if I had bought them (the boys) anything.  I dodged the question because I hadn’t really planned on it but the wheels were turning. 
What do you get a bunch of guys for Valentine’s Day?! 
As I browsed the isles of Walmart later that morning, it hit me. What speaks love and adoration to a guy better than a movie night with popcorn, pop rocks, and root beer in glass bottles?!?!?!
I found the CUTE microwave popcorn tubs and added other fun yummies. I put a family movie in Daddy’s bucket and BOOM! 
Happy Valentine’s Day to my guys!! 
They loved them!  Armed with their own bucket of popcorn, snacks, and drinks….movie night was a HIT!

Science Fair

Two of my boys participated in our homeschool group’s science fair this year. We kept it simple by picking what we were currently studying as a topic. We were learning all about the three states of matter, and so the boys picked this super cool snowman experiment.
 
Shortly after deciding on the experiment, Kaleb started singing “do you want to melt a snowman?” and suddenly realized he had the name for his presentation. 🙂 I asked if he would sing his version to the judges….he declined. Ha!
 
I found all of the ideas and printables on Pinterest. Here is a link to my Pinterest board.
 
Supplies used for experiment:
balloons
water
large jar or bowl
heat source
(We chose the fireplace because it’s winter time here so the great outdoors or sunny window didn’t help much.)
 
We filled balloons with water and froze them overnight. Cut the balloons off of the frozen ice and assembled ice into a snowman. I shaved off the tops and bottoms to create a flat surface. Then we placed our snowman in a large jar, and placed in front of the fire.
 
The boys observed the snowman throughout the day.  Kaleb, being older, followed the scientific method and made a timeline to add to his board. Drake filled in a First, Next, Last paper  which acted as the scientific method (we did discuss this as a group) and added a cut and paste page (found on Pinterest but I don’t have the link) to show pictures of different states of matter. After observing the snowman melt all day, we then poured him into a pot and watched him become a gas.
 
We also did a fun craft to show atoms in the three states of matter, and discussed the freezing/melting and boiling/condensation points of water.
 
Both boys rocked their science fair presentations!! Parents were asked to leave during judging…I was a little anxious about leaving Drake. This was his first time so he was a little (a lot!) nervous. The judges said he did fabulous after just a little prompting and received a great score.  Kaleb also did a fabulous job and won 1st place in his age division!!
 
We celebrated with lunch and came home for one final matter experiment. What happens when you pour root beer (a liquid) over ice cream (a solid)? It forms a yummy bubbly gas!!!  (And everyone wins!!!)
 
 
Drake and Kaleb with their snowman
 
 
Enjoying the warm fire

 
Drake’s participation ribbon!



1st place in his age group

Root Beer Float Science!
 
 


I am a dreamer.

So I had a moment this weekend.

And I realized something about myself that was pretty revealing. Some of you will read this and think “that mama is full of crazy!” And then others will simply smile and nod….maybe even cry a little (or a lot!) if you can relate. The amazing part? Both responses are appropriate and honest.


In this world, there are doers and dreamers. With various shades and combinations of each, of course, but still some distinct differences.


I am a dreamer. And I’ve always wanted to be a doer. I love organized people with all their systems and plans. I admire that….try to be like that. Even dream about being a doer.


My reality, however, is that I am not.


In the middle of making shopping plans with the hubs…after a busy week filled with illness, co-op enrollment, basketball, tasks, to-do lists, a new job for the hubs that takes more time away from the house, stress of recovering from a layoff, bills piling up, money dwindling down, that to do list growing and growing and growing, schoolwork and life that, of course, goes on and on whether we’re following along well or not…I broke down. Flipped out. Lost it. And had no idea why.

So I just stopped moving. And started crying. Some people thrive on the fast lane. I don’t. Some people are happy when they are constantly doing something. I’m not. 


The hubs (being a doer by the way) whisked me away to Wal-Mart and bought me chocolate and a cherry coke. And let me vent.


And vent. And vent. To his credit, he let me go on for quite a while. He’s a good man and knows when his girl needs to let it ALL out.


So we came home and I went to the bathroom. For some quiet time. Breathed in. Breathed out. Closed my eyes. Relaxed. And pondered lazy thoughts:


I am surrounded by doers. My husband is my very own doer. We work well together for the most part. I dream it up and he makes it happen. Sometimes though he’ll be ready to make things happen but I’m not done dreaming yet. I force myself to follow along…trying to keep up but I just can’t focus. I’m not ready to DO. I want to finish the DREAM.


My oldest son is a doer. He and I helped with some tornado relief last year. One of the most moving experiences of my life. I stepped out of the truck into a completely destroyed town and just turned circles to take it all in…the devastation, the heartache, the peace, the still, the determination, the hard work of others, the outstretched hands, the hugs, the smiles, the gratitude. Just taking it all in. Feeling. I turned to find my teenager. He was already working. He immediately jumped off the truck and went right to the person in charge. “What can I do?”


Many of the people I am around on a daily basis are doers.


…Not all though.


While I was once again sharing this with my husband in the kitchen, my 2nd to youngest looked up at me with his eyes half closed and said quietly, “Mom, I’m a dreamer.” Yes, you are, sweet child….yes, you are. 🙂  So far, my only dreamer out of the top four. Not quite sure where the toddler falls yet.


I’m not saying dreamers can’t do and doers can’t dream. They can and do. All the time. And there are some who can amazingly balance both doing and dreaming at the same time.


But dreamers need time to dream. To ponder. To sit back and think of silly things. Crazy things. Little things. Grand things. Good things. Not-so-good things. Happy things. Sad things.


Which brings me back to my week. Doers do and dreamers dream.


Sometimes…Dreamers get caught up in the busy-ness of the doers. They get pushed along, forced forward when they aren’t quite ready. They aren’t given time to dream. Anxiety builds. And the dam breaks.


I didn’t get time to dream this week. Just a few moments to relax and refocus. Didn’t happen. So I had my little fit and then sat in the bathroom to figure it out.


And that’s when I realized that I am a dreamer. Not a doer. I can admire my friend’s super crazy organizational skills all day long but that’s not me.

My house isn’t show model clean…ever. My to-do lists have more doodles and color than items to check off. I do NOT thrive on planning every.single.detail.of.every.single.minute.of.every.single.day. As hard as I try, not everything has a place in my home.  I’m more worried about fitting in crafts and fun reading and scrapbooking and fairy gardening into my day than I am about washing the dishes and folding the laundry pile and planning my week.

I adore those who have that kind of skill and desire. I just don’t have it in me. It’s not me.

And that’s ok.

Because the amazing thing is that we need both dreamers AND doers. We all have a place and purpose. I can be me and you can be you and it can be good. We can each use our talents to bless others in our own way. And nobody has to feel less than anyone else.

Maybe you guys all knew that. Maybe I’m late to the game. I don’t know. Thankfully, though, I now have a plan. The hubs knows. I know. And we can work together even better than before with greater knowledge of how the other feels. I can now also work better with all those other doers around me, and maybe help them see my side of things. 

More than anything, though, I can stop comparing myself to the doers in my life. I’m ok just how I am. And you are ok just how you are. 🙂

By the way…while I was going on and on about all of this to the hubs, he stopped me at one point and started singing to me:



That’s true love, right? He gets me. Ha! He is the coolest doer….ever!! 🙂