Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Favorite New Things (that happen to all start with "O)")

1) Operation World

We got this book as a Christmas present for our kids and have incorporated into our bedtime routine. The book contains a comprehensive outline of the world's countries, including current needs and how people can pray. Each night, a child picks a letter, and a country that begins with that selection is chosen. We summarize the prayer concerns before the children pray. It is wonderful to hear our children praying for needs around the world!

2) Organization
The new year has sparked a bit of energy for re-organization around here. I've moved furniture, emptied drawers, sorted through files, and rearranged shelving units. Admittedly, furniture placement can be a bit tricky in our living room. It is rather long and narrow, with a large window at one end, a fireplace along another wall, and vents for the furnace at various spots around the room (which cannot be covered during the winter). We have pulled one couch up closer to the fireplace, which creates a little nook in the back corner of the room. I moved the cupboard with all the kids's games, craft supplies, blocks, etc. there from its former place in the dining room and reorganized everything in it. I love that our dining room looks more open and the kids are enjoying their neat little play space. There's something about establishing order within one's physical space that creates a sense of mental peace! (I really love that!)

3) Ottawa Gymnastics Centre
Ethan had his first class at a local gym today. He has been so excited, counting the sleeps until today...but when he actually walked into the building today, you could see his body getting stiff and tears starting to edge his eyes. He was nervous.
"I'm too scared," he said, holding me tight.
The staff was excellent. One teacher took his hand and gently led him out to where a bunch of other children were warming up. His own teacher sat beside him on a mat and described each exercise without pushing Ethan to join. It did not take long, however, for Ethan to accept an invitation to join with the other boys running, jumping, stretching, and rolling around the gym. Soon, somehow, he was learning how to maneuver on the parallel bars, to soar off the springboard and land feet-first on the horse, to perform a handstand/flip on the rings, and to bounce straight on the trampoline. 90 minutes passed. He was now smiling from ear to ear.
Later, he showed me where his hand had gotten a bit scuffed performing some daring feat. We talked about how competitive gymnasts use chalk on their hands to improve their grip on the apparatus, about how hard gymnastics can be on one's hands, about how real gymnasts have to have kind of tough hands.
He didn't hesitate a second.
"Well, I have tough hands," he declared. And so, you see, he does.

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