Thursday, December 25, 2008

Angel Tree Report

To wrap up the previous "attempt at giving"....

Will and I went shopping and had a great time. Once it clicked that this shopping trip was NOT about him, he got it and ran with it.

"I think Jason would like this one," and "I have one of these, let's get Jason one, too!"

We soon had a bag full of cute cars and trucks and even a little train with chunky animals that ride in the was a perfect collection for a little boy! And Will seemed so pleased with himself he didn't notice that we bought NOTHING for him. I was afraid that we'd have to end the trip with a "little treat for you for being a good helper and so nice to Jason" but it seems like the message got across. I'm not saying that another time there would not be weeping and gnashing of teeth, but this is a start!

Willy and one of his favorite stuffed critters, Raccoon, wish you a "Mewwy Tismas!"

Monday, December 15, 2008

We built a house!

I love service projects that are both fun and helpful to others. So, I want to start out our resolution to think and act more for others with a big, sugary-sweet, gingerbread and peppermint BANG!!

Will and I made a gingerbread house a few days ago. We attended a fundraiser for Easter Seals Hawaii with 3 other teachers I work with and their kids. There were 10 of us all together and plenty of laughing, sugar and holiday spirit!

And, Easter Seals is a great cause. One of my friend's daughter received services from Easter Seals for an injury that occurred during her birth. Plus, when I used to work at a children's museum, the local Easter Seals program brought in clients to work in the museum environment and I watched the awesome kindness and patience as well as gentle expertise that the teachers had. I have so much respect for the work that they do and the families that they help. OK, enough, on to the fun stuff! We played with candy all day and helped a good cause. Enough said!

So, here are the ingredients. We actually brought some extra things, but this is what the "kit" included:

And here we start the building process...the walls go up with frosting and toothpicks. Will thought it was hilarious that the glue was frosting. I mean, really, it was too funny to explain...."It's like the glue? But it's frosting? And it's yummy? Can I try it? Mmmmm...can I try some more?"

And the decorating begins....

I realized the gum drops might get pushed down when the roof went on, so we added the roof,

and continued the decorating. You can see that Will's jaw is a little crooked here...that's because he is discovering the joy of eating gum drops. He popped one in his mouth and then mumbled to me "My teeths are stuck." At least, I think that's what he said! Granted, it did not stop him from eating them, of course!

Hmmm....where should the next candy go?

I'm starting to get bored of this whole thing...ok, not really, but maybe if Mom thinks I'm bored she won't notice when I decide that the perfect place for the candy is:


Seriously, I don't know what is up with that face, but he looks like a kid who does not get candy very often....his mom must be horrible :-)

And it continues...I added the miniweats for the roof...Will was not interested in those. He can have those at home. He was much more into things that he doesn't see often. He was definitely into the "one for the house, one for me" mode of building/sharing.

About halfway through the whole experience, all that sugar kicked in. I tried to get Will to stand next to the finished house and smile, but here was the best...yes, the BEST picture we could get!

So, here is a picture of the completed house by itself. Yes, I should have moved all the "construction mess" that was left over. Sorry. I was ready to get out of there by now!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Baby Steps

Will and I started two projects today. One was meant to be "step one" and the other ended up that way because of the rain and the munchies.

We went out to the mall today and picked an angel off the Salvation Army's angel tree. It's a 1 year old boy who wants cars or trucks for Christmas. I looked at that one and had to grab it...I was holding the hand of my own little boy who can't get enough of cars and trucks and is not much older than this little guy. I signed the card and then sat down with Will. I showed him the angel paper. I read it to him, and then asked if it would be good to get some cars and trucks for this little boy because he didn't have any. It only took a split second for the answer, "Of course! He can have lots of trucks and we can play together like this! Vrooooommmm!" His hands started flying in imitation of cars and trucks zooming all over the place.

Yeah, he obviously doesn't get it, but I plan to take him out to do the shopping and then drop it off at the kiosk again. I hope he gets it a little bit more each time we give. (On further thought, maybe he does get it...."Of course! All little boys deserve to have trucks! Why shouldn't this boy have more toys than he knows what to do with? Isn't that the way it is for everyone?" Yeah, honey...that's the way it should be...)

The other project was a total flop-today, at least. We baked cookies. We made about 2 dozen, and the plan was to make a few dozen more, put them in this cute little snowman tin I picked up earlier and bring them over to the fire station. Just a random little thing, but I thought it'd be nice, and Will, being a 3 year old boy, is a BIG FAN of all things fire station related--the trucks, the guys, the boots, the sirens, the hats, the hoses, etc. I thought it might be meaningful to start off this kick with people he really felt a connection with (a boy who likes trucks and the guys who drive the coolest trucks of all!).

But alas, the has rained so hard here for the past three days. It's starting to not be funny. Seriously, not funny anymore! So, we stopped baking because we decided to put off the delivery. Then a friend and her son were here and they had a couple of cookies...then the cookies were just here when Daddy Toole was here, then Will and I each "tested" a cookie or two...well, long story a little shorter...we now have 6 cookies. Good thing I planned to do a couple of these runs over the next few weeks, so we have plenty of ingredients to try again. Today will just be chalked up to practice. We can, indeed, make edible cookies. Cookies that will be gobbled up and appreciated! Now let's try to put those mad skills to good use.

Friday, December 12, 2008

The Plan

I have always loved doing volunteer work. I want to share this with my son. I want to engage him from a young age, so that he knows the value and joy of giving his time and energy to worthy causes. I feel like I fell off this wagon about 3 years ago, right around the time he was first I was too tired, then he was too little, too unpredictable, too attention-consuming.

I feel like it's finally the right time. He's brimming with cheer and love and enthusiasm and I know that if I work to guide all that passion and help his little hands to do good works, we could really make a difference.

So here we go!