Sunday, July 10, 2011

Our New Family Motto

 We used to have a family motto that hung in our entry.  We all came up with it together, and it was thoughtful enough... but WAY too long for little kids to remember.  We wanted something simple and practical, and asked the kids what they thought about using our Prayer Pot Stew ingredients as our new motto.  They loved the idea!
We celebrated with a family night.  Every Sunday, we have CAMP CONNELLY KUMBYA, a time to gather together with our Prayer Pot Stew, go over our schedules on the white board for the coming week, do an activity/game/lesson that ties to God or virtues we want to instill in our kids and in ourselves, and end by roasting s'mores.  Tonight's Kumbya theme was centered around our new motto, and in the coming weeks, we're going to talk about each ingredient (i.e. LETTUCE love one another).
Our Kumbya came after lunch today.  We played the bottle cap game while we ate.
 To open the Kumbya, we did our homemade Prayer Pot Stew.  The kids LOVE this and are quite the experts at reciting it.  It's great, because they already know our motto (mission statement) forwards and backwards from having memorized our mealtime prayer.
 This is their favorite part, the SQUASH (made from a sponge, which lends perfectly to being squished and squeezed).  SQUASH gossip... grudges... grumbling... negative thoughts.
We do a LOT of "squashing" grumbling around here--it's become our signal to quit whining and start again.  It makes the kids laugh.  They hold out their hands and pretend to squash their little spongy summer squash.
 Gryffin's adding a sprinkling of THYME to his Prayer Pot. I love the colander hat.
 Next, we talked about the motto on our coins and dollar bills: In God We Trust.  This reminds us, whenever we handle money, that the money really belongs to God, and that He is our provider.  This led us to the importance of displaying mottos, of making our intentions visible in our lives.
 The kids had an assignment (Gryffy was a bit too young, but Lorelei got into it): be a photographer and take photos of things in our home that are meaningful or say something about who we are.
Lorelei took this photo of her handprints.
 It's hard to see, but this was a photo from her first bday signed by the guests.
 Her fishbowl, for violin practice.
 A super close-up of a Thomas Kinkade painting from my mom.  I remember in high school staring at this thing for hours.  I just wanted to move into those cozy little cottages with their glowing lights tempting me inside.  Lorelei says this painting reminds her of God.  Maybe it's all the light and beauty.
 I think she began losing sight of the mission, because soon she was snapping shots of everything.  Here, her step stool, because it "Reminds me of fairies."
 I took the camera and snapped some shots as well--the kids' walls, painted with a lot of love by their Mommy.  We love pirates in our house!
 The buoy our friends and family signed to welcome Gryffy into this world.
Some treasures I purchased in Germany when I was 16--I love these.
An old crucifix I found at an antique store...
 ...a cuckoo clock (left) which I just kept unwrapping to stare at on the trip because I had always desperately wanted one, and then another (right) which my dad had bought for my Grandma Helen on a trip he'd taken to Germany in his youth, treasures both...
 ... my kitchen witch, a.k.a. "Krauter Hexen," or "Old Befana," in Italy. She's supposed to bring me luck in the kitchen, so I can't ever figure out why I always burn things...
 ...this is a new find that I attached to a wrought iron hanging for over the fireplace where our wreath used to stand: Family. It's very important to us...
 ... a "C" for Connelly...
 ... shelves with bunnies (in honor of our own Mr. Tubbins) and the ten commandments with a cross, symbolic of our faith...
 ... Mary and Jesus...
...The name of our home and family: Camp Connelly, established 2002 (the year Mark and I were married)...
 ...Kids' artwork and reading charts...
 (Summer Reading Program--Lorelei and Gryffy filled in Xs for all the books they want to read, which was all of them. We began just counting chapter books, but in the past week have started counting shorter books as well)
...Kids' artwork... all over our walls.
 Back to KUMBYA time:
Daddy and the kids are talking about what each ingredient stands for in our motto.
 Now it's up on the wall, adopted by our family.

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