Since we moved in, setting up our TV has been low on our priority list. Just 2 days ago Jeffrey finally installed it, but we still haven't gotten around to setting it up. Which, for our couch potato children, has been a huge adjustment. A wonderful adjustment. They have had to actually play with their toys *gasp* and be creative. I have had so much fun watching them play and playing with them!
A few years ago I found a gorgeous phone at an antique shop. I bought it and immediately put it into storage because I had nowhere to realistically put it. But I planned to use it "one day."
Little did I know it would provide hours of entertainment for my children. Right now that phone is the favorite play thing. The kids pretend someone is constantly calling them and they make up great stories to act out, all because of my phone.
One day last week Keith got a little bored with the phone. He went downstairs and rummaged through one of the many boxes I haven't unpacked yet. After a bit I heard Faye screaming and she ran up the stairs because Keith was shooting her. Moments later this army guy appeared.
He had originally had Jeffrey's air soft gun, but I explained to him it was dangerous and so he swapped it out for a nerf gun. Keith found the paint ball box and was in high heaven because of it. We had to set strict rules about not playing with the paint balls, but since then he has entertained himself by chasing Faye around the house and making her scream. Because what kind of big brother would he be if he didn't delight in the torment of his little sister once in a while?
Faye has been a wonderful help while Keith is at school. She loves to help me wash the dishes. She stands on a bucket of wheat next to me and blows the bubbles into the air, splashes water all over the counter and floor, and occasionally will wash a dish. But I love having her next to me. It doesn't impede me at all, and I figure even if it is one less dish to wash, that is one less dish to wash! Since we don't have a dishwasher, Faye and I spend a lot of time at the sink.
She also loves to help me bake. We made brownies on Monday, and she was as happy as could be. Lets be honest here, though. Who wouldn't be happy at the prospect of brownies? She asked me to teach her how to be a Mommy, so every time I need her help or want to teach her to do something, I tell her we are having Mommy training. She is doing wonderfully!
And finally, yesterday the kids and I sat down and decided to get organized. Our FHE lesson on Monday was about having a house of God, and the things we need to achieve that. I focused on the house of order bit (D&C 88: 119), of course. Because I don't want to be their maid. I want them to grow up knowing how to work. So we sat down and they chose some chores, and I assigned some chores, because really, I am tired of cleaning up pee when Keith misses. That is now his job. On the back of their chore list, though, we did write down things they can do when their chores were done. Play video games, jump on the trampoline, craft, watch a show, etc. Keith took his list and set to work. In less than half an hour he was done with his list and ready to start checking off the activities on the back of his chore chart. Faye on the other hand just danced around and laughed and played. Whenever Keith asked her to come play with him, she would say simply "I have to do my chores first. I can't play until my chores are done." I love that she understands that, now I just wish that she would do them. At the end of the day, Keith had said that it was the best day ever. He liked getting his chores and homework done, and then having the freedom to do anything at all that he wanted without any reminding from me, or any getting in trouble. Now he knows that doing chores isn't so bad. I am quite pleased with the turn out. Hopefully after a month or so of helping them every step of the way, the kids will be able to do their chores on their own!
I have to say, after the success we have had this past month without a TV, I may be completely happy without one for good! It has been simply wonderful!