Wednesday, July 1, 2009

4th of July Fun

My boys were so tickled to make these special fourth of July trees. They are still too young to understand the whole meaning of the fourth, but I thought introducing them to the red, white and blue colors and the American Flag was sufficient learning for preschool age.

Luke got a little carried away on the painting so I had to help him.

How to Make a 4th of July Tree:

To make the trunk, trace your child's arm from the elbow up, including the fingers onto a piece of white construction paper.
  • Paint the tree trunk brown and paint green grass at the bottom of the tree.
  • While waiting for the paint to dry, cut out 1.5 inch square pieces of red, blue and white tissue paper. (My children were too young to do this part, but I'm sure an older child would love to participate in this step)
  • Wrap a tissue paper around the eraser end of a pencil and glue to the trunk. Add as many tissue pieces as you would like to fill up your tree.
After I completed the project I thought it would have been fun to cut out the tree trunk and place it on a blue construction sheet and add white tissue paper clouds after I was done with the tree. Maybe we will do that next year!

We finished the evening making dirt dessert. After I get some ideas to do projects I can't just do one project in one day because I am so excited about all of them. Andy was spectacular at scrunching up the Oreo cookies and I even let him spoon up his own pudding in his cup. Mark was a little timid to try this concoction but then he and the boys gobbled it up with no complaint. This is such a super fun summer treat!

I have to say that this past year of my life has been such a growing experience for me as a Mother. I feel like after Luke was born I suffered a bit from postpartum depression, or rather, I felt like I lost my individual identity. I don't know if this is something most Mother's go through, but if you went through it or are right now, I completely understand how you feel.

I remember a visiting teacher coming over to our house in Clearfield right after Luke was born and asking me what I personally liked to do for fun. It seemed like the longest minute in my life when I realized that I didn't have any interests of my own other than my children. My whole life, 24/7 was my children and my husband. I'm not saying that's a bad thing, but I realized that I had a lot of soul searching within myself to discover who I, RACHEL, was inside, without my children and how to incorporate that into being a Mother and Wife to make ME happier. You know that saying "When Momma ain't happy, no one is happy!" I whole-heartedly believe that saying.

Growing up I was always shy and afraid to express myself. I was excellent in school with all the technical things like mathematics but when it came to being a part of a group project, participating in class, or doing an art project that involved my own creativity, it was as if my whole brain shut down. I am still very indecisive when someone asks me a question and it is literally as if the thinking process turns off in my brain when I am posed with a choice, almost like I am afraid of making the wrong decision.

Doing crafts with my boys has uncovered a burning desire within myself that I've been holding back my whole life to be creative, express myself and to show who I am inside. It's such a silly thing, I know, but it has really given me so much strength as a Mother to realize that I don't have to be afraid of who I am, and that I don't want my children to be afraid of who they are. I built my whole childhood on my desire to become a wife and a mother and I never thought of what I wanted to accomplish beyond that. It was like I got where I wanted to go and didn't know what to do once I got there.

I'm not saying crafts are the answer to the craziness of Motherhood, in NO WAY do I believe that! In fact, I'm not really talking about crafts at all. What I am trying to say is that I have finally discovered within myself my own individual happiness and that without ME being happy, I wasn't enjoying my accomplishments of being a Mother and Wife. And I've also realized that having my own interests doesn't mean I am ignoring my children. It merely means I get to incorporate my children into my interests. I always kept a journal growing up but once I got married my journaling stopped. Being able to blog about my boys and my life, as boring as it seems to some people, is something that I really enjoy doing. And my love for photography growing up has only increased now that I have my beautiful boys to pose for me all the time.

It is all so clear to me now that it's not the destination that is so is the journey!! Ok, enough rambling for now...

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