Saturday, January 3, 2009

New Year's Resolution #1...Out with the Clutter!

Okay, so it's not really a New Year's Resolution, but since the beginning of a new year is a great time to make some much-needed changes, I figured this was as good a time as any to pare down some of the unnecessary "stuff" filling our closets and shelves! When we were packing up to move back in July, I purged what seemed like about half of our possessions, although it probably wasn't quite that much. I had a huge garage sale and donated what didn't sell to a local group that helps teen mothers. Then what I missed putting out in the garage sale was taken to Goodwill a box or two at a time. Furniture that we knew we wouldn't have room for in Manhattan was sold on Craigslist.

So why do I STILL have so much stuff? I think I moved many things that I thought I would use here but so far I haven't. Usually I have a hard time tossing an item that I think I might need at some point, because I don't want to have to pay to replace it. However, here our biggest need is SPACE, so I've decided if it isn't loved or useful right now, OUT IT GOES! I'm giving the boys' clothes a slight exception...if it won't fit within the next year, it's going! So far, I've gone through all the boys' clothes. All baby stuff up to 9 months as well as all the size 7s are going to be lotted up and put on Craigslist. A few items that we have in excess are in a box for the thrift store. I've also gone through their rather large dress-up clothes collection and boxed up some of those for the thrift store. I've got a bunch of baby bottles and related items all ready to go to a new home, and my collection of disposable sippy cups is finally in the trash! Next I will be going through the hall closet and the cabinets in the living room. I might even have stuff in the kitchen that I can part with! And, of course, I'm determined to pare down the ever-expanding toy collection--hopefully the boys will cooperate on that one!

As hard as it is for me to let go of things, I know I'm going to enjoy having clutter-free surfaces, better organized cabinets and shelves, and room to put away the things that we DO use and love!

Friday, January 2, 2009

If I'd known It Would Wash the Dishes, I'd have Bought It a Long Time Ago!

This Christmas my parents bought us a Wii as a family gift. We had played one this summer while staying with some friends before we moved, and it seemed like something the whole family would enjoy. Jonathan loves video games in general, Joshua likes the competition, Jordan is our sports nut, Joseph likes to be in the middle of anything active and noisy, and Mommy and Daddy like things we can all do together as a family. That just leaves Josiah, who isn't terribly interested yet, but you can't please everyone! :)

We've been playing the sports games the most so far. Joshua and I enjoy bowling--turns out Josh is really good at it! Jonathan and Jordan have the most fun playing tennis. You'd better not stand too close as they swing their remote "rackets" back and forth! All the boys like golf, although Jordan for some reason only wants to aim in the total opposite direction and hit the ball as hard as he's even better if he can hit it over a cliff and into the ocean! Jeremy has become quite a good boxer, although Jordan can just about take him on!

The sad part? Jeremy and I have been downright sore after several days of playing Wii Sports. Yes, we are obviously in pretty bad shape if we get sore playing a video game! I mean, it's not like I'm bowling with a 16-lb. ball or anything. It's a small, plastic remote! Pathetic. Maybe I need to just go ahead and buy Wii Fit and get in shape! :)

So back to the title...Jonathan usually works pretty diligently at his school work, although he is a bit less responsible with his chores. Yesterday he finished his schooling quickly and did excellent work, so I offered to reward him by letting him play the Wii, even though video games are usually only allowed Friday evening through Sunday. There was one caveat, though...he had to finish his chores first. I have NEVER seen that child work so quickly or so well at chores, and he even came to me after each one to ask what ELSE he should do!! Hmmm, this thing could be really REALLY good for me! I don't want to wash dishes? "Hey, Jon! Wanna play Wii?" Bwahahahaha!!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!

What do you do for your first New Year's Eve living in New York City with 5 children under 10 years old? Why, you bundle everyone up and head down to Times Square, of course! Never mind the huge crowds, the temps in the teens (with a windchill factor near zero!) and the fact that the closest we could get was about 58th street...we still had to at least go check it out! We had no intentions of staying until midnight, but it was fun to brave the weather and the crowds, and the boys enjoyed yet another new experience in NYC!

This is as close as we could get. The two columns of bright light at the center of the photo are the huge TV screens in Times Square. We are a good 16 blocks away or so here.

Jenny, Joshua, and Jonathan...

Joseph studying the crowd...

Jeremy lifting Joshua up for a better view...

Before going back down into the subway station at Columbus Circle, we stopped to take a few pictures in front of the Time Warner Building.

Poor Jordan...his hat is so low on his face it looks like he can't even see! They were bundled up well!

Ahh, back where we should have been all along...watching the Dick Clark show on TV in the comfort of our own living room!

Even Josiah stayed awake for the festivities!

Is he adorable, or what?!?!

He's watching the TV intently...just waiting for the ball to drop! :)

After ringing in the New Year, we all gathered at the table (minus Jordan and Josiah, who were ready to sleep!) and had hot chocolate and toasted pumpkin bread. It seems a certain Mommy had promised some boys a snack while we were out, and of course promptly forgot about it when we got home and started watching the New Year's Eve show. I was insistently reminded as soon as the celebration was over that snacks and hot chocolate had been promised, so I had to follow through! I think all the boys finally got to bed around one a.m. Hopefully they will all sleep in this morning!
On a parting note, here are a few photos from the park earlier this afternoon. Now how many kids do you know that have snowball fights with THEMSELVES?? Well, I've got one. Joshua, when he couldn't get his brothers interested in throwing snowballs with him, decided a one-man fight was in order. And I took the pictures to prove it! May I present exhibit one, the snowball:

Now here we have exhibit two--said snowball being smacked into Joshua's face:

And finally, exhibit three--the snowy aftermath...with a big grin! :)

That's my silly boy!
I'm thinking I might post later (much later) today about some New Year's resolutions, one of which might be to keep up with this blog better! But I'm not making any promises...;)
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