Thursday, February 21, 2013

{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real}: Family Fun and Games

round button chicken
My oldest, aged 9, attended her first slumber party last weekend.  She was glowing;  I had to snap a picture before she left.  Laden with her gear, about to experience the adventure of her "first" overnight without her family, I'd say she looks:

(and pretty happy)

It has been an emotional week/month for me, one full of self-doubt as to how well I am doing as a mother and home educator.  Just when I was seriously ready to give up, no longer seeing anything special or redeeming in our system, the littlest two decided to play dress-up during one of our breaks from schoolwork.  Having raided Daddy's drawers, Gianna fashioned a nun's habit.  John Paul absconded with my favorite winter scarf (in perfect Lenten colors).  Then they called me over to see them in the "church" they'd built behind the couch.  Here is why we do what we do: to afford them the freedom to be themselves, and unabashedly play like this.


Light sabers as candles in church!  That is how we'll roll without bees, I guess.
Do I detect a crack in the mock-somber demeanor?
He has been building/arranging "altars" since he was  2 years old.  Seriously.

Gianna loves her daddy, who she has dubbed "Mr. Big Boy."  Last night, after beating on sweetly massaging his tired back, she decided to make herself his head covering.  Behold, "Girl as Hat."


Family Game Night is much anticipated by the kids.  Can I be real here?  Oh... that's the point.  Right.
Family Game night is often dreaded by adults in this house.  It is another area of work for us.  Newsflash: children do not naturally adhere to/absorb the virtue of patience, rules of fair play or examples of good sportsmanship.  The parent is once more teacher/ring leader in this circus called "Game Night."  There is no relaxing. Watching a movie is so much easier! (Sob!)

Movies are also a cheap thrill, and better for us parents than for the kids.  Games are a fantastic opportunity for our children to apply counting, reading and addition skills (even place value).  Game night is an arena for family togetherness, and for attempting to model/instill the aforementioned socialization skills, but I would not call this event "leisure" for parents.  Our virtues are being tested and getting a work out.  For these reasons, I am making more frequent game nights a standard for this Lent.

The kids' game of choice last week:  Star Wars Monopoly. Oh-so-easy to play with a six and not-quite-eight-year-old:


(Just ask the cat.)

Thanks for hanging out!  Click over to Like Mother, Like Daughter for more of such moments.

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