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I really love that quote!  Besides overscheduling our kids and thinking they need to be entertained constantly to have a fulfilling childhood, another thing we as parents can do is provide our kids with more toys than they can play with in one lifetime.  I have been one who has worried about my kids not having enough of the right type of toys to keep them busy (that’s a laugh, really).  Or, you know, you see that cool new toy someone is blogging about and you think, “I would have loved that when I was a kid!”.  You splurge on it.  The kids are excited for a day and then don’t play with it.

Or maybe this only happens to me because I have one child who is very artistic and imaginative and one who is all action and likes physical play?

In our Little House on the Prairie readings we have noticed just how much the children played and entertained themselves.  And sure, they had no choice since their ma and pa couldn’t always afford expensive toys.  But I wonder if this was purposeful, too?  The children were SO thankful whenever they received a toy – remember how much the doll meant to Laura when she received it when she was 4?  She had only had a well-loved corn cob doll before that.  And one Christmas the girls found oranges (which were rare) in their stockings.  I doubt those oranges were cheap, and I’m sure Pa could have found little toys for the children instead.  It’s just a guess, but I think they chose to focus on the experience.

Now there are some wonderful toys that promote imagination – one of my favorites are Schleich’s realistic animals, particularly the horses.  Still, I’ve been a mom for 5+ years and I have learned the hard way that expensive toys, especially when kids already have quite a few to choose from, aren’t always appreciated the way you had hoped.  My kids have Schleich animals, Legos, stuffed animals, trucks, dolls, building sets… and these are great toys but sometimes they just want to play with a box or pretend like a paper towel holder is a magic wand.  And both of my kids would rather be running around outside or playing in the dirt than anything else!

The point is that they are happy with little, and if I had figured that out earlier I would have saved a lot of money.  :)  Because both of my kids would rather draw or paint, or build with legos, or play with cars (in my son’s case) than touch any of the other toys.  And I find myself often, when I see the mess becoming too much for them to clean, having to go through our toys and take some to Goodwill.  But for what’s left, I’ve found that the best way to keep control of the mess and help the kids to appreciate what they do have is to switch out the toys they have access to – it works really well for us!

It’s fitting that this is one of my favorite shots this week:

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And here’s another one!  :)  It’s not often pictures are taken of me because I’m behind the camera, but every once in awhile I take photos of myself with the kids.  Just so someday they can say, “Oh, I DID have a mom!”  ;-)

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What I’m Reading, Watching, Thinking

I wanted to share what I’ve been up to lately… I usually am sharing about my kids, I know.  :)   I do try to get moments in for myself now and then, and reading has always been one of my favorite pasttimes.

Since reading The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton, I have determined to read all of her books.  The Forgotten Garden was FANTASTIC, I so recommend it!  I just finished one of her earlier novels, The House at Riverton.  That one wasn’t quite as good, I’ll admit, but it was well-written and I did have to finish it to find out what happened.  It was worth reading, but was a little depressing at times.  Kate really has a way with words, I just wish that in that story everyone had been a little happier.  However, it was realistic and I have to appreciate that side of it.  I guess you’ll have to read it if you want to know what I mean.  :)  Next up (for me) is The Distant Hours.

John and I just caught up on Once Upon a Time on Netflix – that show is something!  I’m looking forward to seeing which fairytale characters will show up next.   Which was your favorite and your least favorite?  One of my favorites is Pinnochio  – I thought the whole turning into wood thing was cool.  Least favorite?  Well besides Cora… well, Peter Pan and that whole world is really creepy.

We like Once, but it’s not in my “Oh my word, SO excited to watch” list like Doctor Who is.  Of that, the latest I’ve seen is the last season part 1 but not part 2 yet.

My children are up now so I’ll have to end this.  ♥  I get up at 5:30 a.m. every morning so I can be coffee’d and showered before they awaken at 6:30.   As usual, on the dot, they’re up and asking for milk.  Why is it that kids don’t need alarm clocks, no matter how tired they are when they go to bed?

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9 Responses to Random Thoughts on Toys, What I’m Reading/Watching, And My Favorite Shots

  • I’ve been meaning to watch Once Upon A Time. Someday, oh someday, I’ll get to see the series. My 15 yoa son has a collection of Schleich figures. You’re right, they’re expensive. But it’s something he’s requested for Christmas every year. It’s so easy to get caught up in giving our children the most and the best. Sometimes less is more.

    • So true. :) I think I like the Schleich figurines more than the kids do. ;-) Because I appreciate how well-made and realistic they are. I would like to collect the knights, they’re very cool! I would have loved them when I was a kid.

  • 5:30am every morning? Dang! That’s impressive. I’m not quite sure what I would do with myself if I had an hour each morning before my boys woke up! lol I hope you get to bed extra early and at least get a really good nap time in!

    I haven’t heard of some of those toys or movies but you are right ~ they are most certainly not necessary! Tempting though…. ; )

    • Oh, I stumble around, drink my coffee, take a shower, check my email, read my Bible, sometimes try to start a post while it’s quiet. That hour goes by all too quickly. lol

      I’m ALWAYS tempted to buy everything for my kids. :-p After becoming a mom I really really understood and appreciated that verse in the Bible, “If you, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to you?” (something like that) Being a parent gives me a good idea of how much God really loves us – because my love for my kids is the strongest I know! :)

  • I really love Once Upon a Time, but it’s written in a way where I’m not starving for the next episode. I like August but I think I like (I can’t remember his name) Gold’s son, Emma’s ex. He’s very interesting to me and I can’t wait for Sunday’s season Premier. I’ll habe to check out Kate Morton. I’m always looking for something else to read, I think I’m going to qiite the book I’m reading now. (It’s a help type of book, not a fun story)

    • Oh and great photo of you and Emma. You could frame that one. ;-)

    • Oh yeah, how could I forget him? :) I couldn’t believe he was from their world, too. What a coincidence! ;-)

      We don’t have TV or cable or anything, though – so I have to wait until everything comes on Netflix unless I watch it online (don’t usually have time or patience for that).

      • I know it was crazy! We don’t have cable or anything either and it just happens to be on one of the 5 stations that comes in free at our house. And Sunday night’s we don’t have much going on. We do watch some shows online. I like it because we don’t have to watch at a set time, just within so many days.

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