While reading Bro. and Sis. Holley's blog, a wave of nostalgia came over me and I began to remember so much of when Daniel was young and still at home.
I am so thankful that we were able to homeschool Daniel beginning in the 4th grade. It enabled us to spend so much more time with him and instill our values in him and bring him up in the fear and admonition of the Lord in an even greater measure, I believe. It wasn't all easy and fun, but it was so worth all of the work and effort that it involved. We have such precious memories now.
Not only did Daniel learn the "book" stuff, but he learned how to do laundry and cook and clean house. He used to make a bowl of chocolate chip cookie dough and keep it in the fridge to munch on. *smile* Every so often he would go get a spoonful and eat it while he did his schoolwork. Gosh, but it did seem like he took alot of breaks and lunchtimes, looking back. Hmmmm.......*grin*
Many evenings were spent playing Yahtzee.......boy, did we play yahtzee! It was always me and Daniel because Ed just isn't much for playing board games. Or we would play Sorry or Trouble. And then there were the long winters when we would have a game of perpetual Monopoly going. A game could last for daaaaayyyyyyys, sometimes weeeeeeekkkkkkkssss. *smile*
One particular Saturday night, when Daniel was in one of the early elementary grades, I got the great idea of teaching him how to play poker, of all things! Well, I taught him how to bet using toothpicks. Don't ask me where I came up with THAT idea! LOL He caught right onto the game and wagering and all and I never thought too much about it, nor did Ed. Wellllllll, the next morning we go to church.......I'm music director and Ed is an usher and soundman........and lo and behold if little Daniel doesn't go running into the church and in his childish, innocent way started telling everyone: " My mommy taught me how to play poker last night and to bet with toothpicks!" We all about died laughing. A dear friend at church took me aside and said I should have told him we were playing "toothpicks"! Well, yeah....now you tell me!!! LOL
On Sunday afternoon, after dinner, it was game time for me and Daniel! When he was really young, we played Chutes and Ladders and Candyland. When he was a little older, it might have been electronic Battleship or Life or some other board game. Oh yes, Uno. We can't forget Uno. *smile* We would through a phase of playing Oregon Trail on the computer. Daniel and I took every possible route their was and used every possible mode of transportation. We kept track of all of this in a log that we kept. It was fun, educational and a bit trying at times, too. *smile* Ed always played checkers with him, thankfully, because I am just not a big fan of checkers. They also played indoor basketball with a nerf basketball and hoop. They did get pretty rowdy, let me tell ya! Oh, and Daniel has three or four of those miniature MLB baseball bats and he used to wad up paper balls and have his dad pitch them to him. It was hilarious to watch his dad ducking those paper balls that Daniel would send whizzing by his head. Oh, but we laughed ourselves silly.
And another of our favorite games was where Daniel would get three different sizes of plastic cups or glasses. He would again wad up paper balls. Then the three of us would sit in our respective chairs and try to toss the paper balls into the cups, the smaller the cup the higher the score for that cup and so on. He had three cups that he always used for this game and I packed them away with his other things after he married and left home.
Oh, and Daniel and I made bean bags one day so long ago because he had see Mr. Rogers make bean bags on TV and wanted to do the same. I still have those bean bags in their coffee can, packed away in one of Daniel's storage boxes, along with the cups and paper balls and baseball bats. *smile*
You know, it just doesn't take big, expensive toys to entertain kids. Daniel had alot of what most kids had, but he always came back to the simple things that required us to play with him and I believe that that was the most important thing: That we played together and spent time together.
Ed used to come home from working all day and as soon as he would get out of the car, Daniel would say: "Dad, will you throw some baseball with me?" Well, after we had had supper and Ed had rested for awhile, many, many evenings he spent throwing baseball with Daniel, then throwing a football, onto playing basketball and lastly shooting pool with him. I often wondered how Ed found the energy, but he did. Sometimes they would go to the local elementary school and play basketball or Ed would take him to Mingo park where they could play basketball on the court there or pitch baseball on one of the diamonds.
AND most nights, it seemed, they would have to have a round of wrestling before going to bed. I would always ask them why they had to wait until ten o'clock at night to wrestle. I don't remember ever getting an answer. It was just part of their routine.
And Daniel liked nothing better than for us to sit down and watch a movie with him. So, we'd pop popcorn and cuddle up on the sofa or him and his dad in the recliner or me and him on the floor, while Daniel rewound his favorite parts, over and over again, to watch them again and again and laugh and laugh,driving me and his dad crazy, wondering if we'd EVER get through the movie. (Have any of you other parents been through that? *grin*) AND how many times can you watch the same movie over and over again? (although Ed and I are somewhat guilty of this, too, but not to the extent that Daniel was! LOL)
Which reminds me of the many nights we read to Daniel before he went to sleep. He always wanted the same books read. Oh, we would add a new one now and then but some, in particular, that I remember are The Monster at the End of the Book, Cookie Monster and the Cookie Tree, The Little Puppy, The Little Kitty, Teep and Beep Go To Sleep. There were sooo many.
Yes, we've made some wonderful memories through the years and in the busyness of life AND the Christmas season, may I gently remind you who are parents and have your children still at home with you: What they REALLY want, most of all, is undistracted time spent with YOU doing the simplest of things that don't really require that much time and energy and they are your most precious investment.
God Bless each of you this holiday season. Thank you for letting me share some memories with you!