Mashed Potatoes in the Ears: Every Kid’s Dream

My morning started with my son saying, “I’ve still got mashed potatoes in my ears!”

Add that to the list of things I never thought I’d hear from my children.

Last night, I drove my son and friend to his first middle school youth group event, aptly named “Crud Wars.”

In the back seat I listened as the boys compared guesses as to what it would be like.

Overheard:  “I hope it’s as fun as I imagine.”

“This will cross off another thing on my list.”

“What list?”

“The list of things I want to do with my life.”

The boys were dropped off with safety goggles and clothes that they wouldn’t mind if their parents threw away shortly.

Two hours later, I covered the seats with beach towels and picked the boys up.  “Was it as good as you imagined?”


So what made the ultimate crud wars every kids’ dream?  Here are some of the ingredients to this ultimate food fight:

Waterballoons filled not with water but with soda pop and lemonade.

Flour sacks

Cooked spaghetti noodles

Bottles of ketchup and mustard

A baby pool filled with instant mashed potatoes

A hose to wash everyone off after the epic battle.  (Clearly this doesn’t hose out your ears.)

Now my other children and their friends are begging for a family version of crud wars in the backyard.  I’m preparing for battle!  Have you ever done a food fight?

Never Too Young or Old

Yesterday I fell asleep at the computer, typing.  Why?  I was exhausted.  I spent the first half of the day with preschoolers.  I was reminded that Preschool is one of my favorite stages of childhood. Their imagination, their passion, their energy! (Clearly I was sorely reminded of my lack of energy.)

Within the few hours, I mediated through disagreements.  “He took some of my cars!”  “The whole bucket of cars is for everyone to share.” “NO! They’re all mine!”

Then there were some precious moments where a preschool boy, without being asked, brought over a small step stool so a girl could reach the water.

As I watched him, I realized that serving seemed to be a natural mindset.  He served others all day long. . . but the thing is, it’s not natural, is it?

Each morning, I fight this temptation to not help or engage with my children (it is so early!). I just want to drink my coffee and let them fend for themselves.  That is what’s natural.  But when everyone in my family does what’s natural, my house becomes a place of bickering, snide remarks and passive aggressive behavior.   And when life gets busy, it’s most easy to do what comes natural.

Which doesn’t make an ideal setting for Creative Family Moments to happen. ( ;

Kristen Summers is my blogging friend over at Celebrate Every Day with Me.  We have similar visions and goals for our family life, so she let me pre-read her new ebook, “Teach Me to Serve: 99 Ways Preschoolers Can Learn to Serve and Bless Others.”

Great timing!  I don’t have preschoolers in my house so I wasn’t expecting to find anything that pertained to me personally.  Um, Wrong!  Those 99 ways to serve and bless others start off with a shift in thinking.  A shift that was very timely in this busy stage of life.  Then Kristen gradually starts with serving tasks around the home.  Easy enough.  Then she moves outside of the home and little-by-little your child (and you!) will develop a new worldview of looking at people with compassionate eyes.

I found unique activities (that I never would’ve thought of) in the grocery store, in the neighborhood, and on trips that I will be having my teenagers & elementary children do.  But obviously it will work with preschoolers as well – because Kristen tapped into the mind of a preschooler and used their flair for imagination and the dramatic as assets in the assigned tasks.

So, since she’s my blogging buddy, she told me you guys can get her ebook (currently at 3.99) for 30 percent off for the next two days.  Just enter creativefamily30 at the checkout.  Or, if you prefer shopping at Amazon (sorry no discount there), it’s available here.

I’m glad for the reminder that you’re never too young or old to serve and bless others.  And that’s a perfect reminder since September is National Courtesy Month!

Kids and Moving


A little boy is moving.  He tells a classmate, a little girl, the moving date.  “That’s sad,” she says.  “I’ll miss you.”

He smiles.  “When I grow up, before I get married, I’ll search the world for you.”

“NO!” she shouts.  “Just google me!”

“Yeah,” he says.  “I’ll search Google Earth for you!”

If I ever needed proof that my kids are growing up in a digital age, I think I have it.


I Dare You to Speed

I would never encourage speeding.   That’s why this activity was so fun.

You know those portable “check your speed” units?  They put one up in the middle of our subdivision.  Where you really shouldn’t be going over 20 mph (if that).  So if you’re a fan of the show The Middle you might remember the episode where Axl and his friends try to go as fast as they can and see whose numbers were the fastest.  It made for a hilarious scene.

Turns out it makes for some awesome family fun too.  If you see one, I highly recommend running as fast as you can and seeing what number you get.  It’s even more fun when someone sees you and  busts a gut.  It’s even, even more fun when you finish your family walk and come back to find the rest of the neighborhood (dads and kids) following your example (and seeing that they can’t beat your husband’s high speed).

Yes, in this instance speeding is good ole fashioned family fun.