In Family

My first born is 9 years old today!

Halfway to 18, how can it be? Such a mix of big kid/little kid. I tease him that he is like a big dog that thinks he’s still a puppy. Each afternoon when I meet him and his brother at the bus stop, he charges me! Running with open arms, he collides into me as I brace myself. Someday he will knock me over, but I can take it.

(I took this photo of him on the plane on our way home from Disney World last month. Both boys wore their “ears” all the way until we were back in Maryland where they suddenly felt self conscious about them.)

We spent the bulk of Saturday celebrating with laser tag, pizza, cake and prezzies. Phew! One December birthday down, one more to go. It’s a busy time here at the White house.

Sunday we did our annual toy/kid room re-org and purge before the holidays. Even though we have scaled back on gifts, the influx of stuff this time of year (Christmas and two b-days) is always overwhelming. While the kids were at a playdate, the hubby and I hauled everything out of their room (they share a small bedroom) and went at it. Dusted, vacuumed, rearranged the furniture, shrinky-dinked the windows, and stashed some outgrown toys. I would never completely get rid of toys without asking the kids first, but sometimes I put the toys out of sight for awhile in what I call “toy limbo”. Usually they are not missed, but I always remember where the box is just in case someone starts tearing the house apart looking for a particular something. Dang, those kids have sharp memories.

When I have the time, I involve the kids with an activity I call “Give Away or a Rainy Day”. I give them 2 cartons to fill, one is labeled “Give Away” that goes to charity and the other is labeled “Rainy Day”. The rainy day box is for stuff they know they don’t play with but still have an attachment too. They are fine parting with certain things knowing they are just going to be stored and I also find out what they truly care about. I’m surprised every time. We will definitely take the time to do it again, soon.

Now their room is clean and spacious. We even managed to hang some artwork…finally! I bought these tin prints a few years ago at a flea market. (I think my husband and I like them probably more than the kids do!)

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Showing 14 comments
  • Alicia

    Every year in December we go through all the kids toys with the kids. We have a broken/trash box and a giveaway box. The rule is at least 2 stuffed animals per kid have got to go (four kids = lots and lots of teddy bears!). Then we load everyone up and take it to the Salvation Army. After that, we go to our local firehouse and drop off a new toy (per kid) for Toys for Tots. We live in a small town so the firefighters let the kids hang out by the trucks – much more fun that just a drop box at the mall!

  • Mindful Momma

    love the give away or rainy day idea – I’m gonna try that!

  • trashalou

    We did something similar this weekend. Walking into the children’s rooms today was a pleasure.

  • Julie

    Great minds think alike! We used to call our December de-stashing, “Throw away, give away, pack away day.” Broken items went in throw away, and at least 2 items had to be in give away and pack away piles. There were always more than 2, however! Our kids are 17 and 19 now, and I think it really got them in a good habit!

  • Lisa

    That post and picture really capture this age– where you get glimpses of the teenager they will soon become, but they still love you with all the intensity of a small person. I have twin girls, age 8 1/2 and it is a very melancholy feeling. :)

  • Christine

    those felt christmas trees look so pretty! and so easy to make, and fun. thanks for the photo. and the mouse ears photo. he reminds me a lot of my cousin :)
    congratulations to the Craft Cover! I shall look posthaste.
    have a nice week,

  • dottyspots

    Happy Birthday to him!

    I’m on par to do a December clear out (been a little delayed due to recent events, but I’m getting there).

    January is a busy birthdays month for us.

  • Jamie

    I do the same thing…that is wait for the kids aren’t around to cart out old toys from their rooms (and of course store them for a while). They are pretty good at giving up things they know they don’t play with after we explain it goes to charity :-)

    I do love the artwork, hehe!

  • Susan

    Hi Betz,
    My oldest boy just turned 17. That is too much.

    My youngest is 9 and that feels a lot better. Your nine year old sure is cute.

    Sounds like you are getting a lot done.
    Take care,

  • Cathy Wegner

    I just read that you lived in Maryland. I am in Jarrettsville in Harford County. I just found you within the last six months and have become interested in needle felting. Tell me where do you find all the used sweaters? I’m not having much luck.

  • Betz White

    Hi Cathy,
    I have only found second hand sweaters during the winter months in Maryland…BEFORE February! I shop at Value Village and Unique Thrift in Rockville.

    happy hunting!

  • Gretchen

    My oldest is turning nine today, and I can’t believe it is her very last year to be a single digit. It is bitter-sweet isn’t it? Still my baby, but become so grown up more and more each day.

  • Dena Berg (SugarShop)

    Love those Mickey ears and giving away is such a good lesson. :)

  • Tina

    I love the idea of a “rainy day” box! I have not taken the time to purge in a long time. And of course, the longer you wait, the harder it is to do. (Love the mouse ears – we are Mickey fans here too.)

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