A Lesson Found

I stopped at an antique store today on my way home from visiting my aunt and uncle. I figured I would see something really pricey that I would want and not be able to have, so I braced myself for that. But oh my goodness.

Do you see the money on the doll house dresser tray? That stack of money was laying in the antique store on top of a wooden box. As soon as I saw it, I thought of The Year of the Doll House. I asked how much I could buy it for, for our doll house, and they just gave it to me. ??? So I am thinking that this little project was supposed to come our way.

And guess how much money it is?

9271 dollars. Why that amount? I am not sure how to turn this into a fun lesson. Before I counted the money, I was going to set it as a pretend budget for her doll house and then everything we purchased for the doll house would come out of it, even if only on paper — just to show her how expensive things can be, but I can’t do that. I can’t spend 9271 real dollars on the doll house!

But what if I wrote that amount down and used it for our real house? Nine-thousand two-hundred seventy-one dollars will sound like SO much to my daughter. And what if, for math, we subtracted everything I have to buy for our own home in 2008 from that amount?

I think she could really get a sense of budgeting. I am thinking that that is the amount I am supposed to work with. After all, there it was and it was given to me.

How cool is that? I will let you know what we do with it.



Lessons From The Doll House

Are we still playing dolls here? Yes! Here’s the latest creation: a doll house puppy box for the children’s room. My daughter made it and received plenty of praise from her mama.

For those of you keeping up with our doll house adventures, here’s the latest.

“Year of the Doll House” has been a very thought-provoking venture for me. My daughter and I have really enjoyed playing together. The lessons have been just as much for me as for her.

Speaking of “lessons,” it’s not something formal where playing becomes rote. We simply talk while we play, and I am — quite simply — committed to playing. I try to have had my meditative time with my bible and Proverbs earlier in the day, which helps me to have “a word in season” for whatever we are doing.

It’s also not about dropping whatever I am doing and giving in to my daughter’s every whim. It’s about giving of my precious time to her, when I have time to give it. I think of times in the past when she’s asked me to play — and probably needed my attention more than anything, but I was too busy. I don’t want that to be the tone of our relationship.

What are her lessons?

The other day she mentioned her doll house being small compared to her cousin’s very tall doll house. We talked about having patience and adding another level to her own doll house. This situation gave me the opportunity to mention a thought that had been on my mind from Proverbs. I had been reading about Solomon. He was one of the wealthiest men who ever lived: 40 thousand stalls of horses for his chariots, and 12 thousand horsemen. (I Kings ch. 4) There’s more, but does that give you a hint? Still, with all his material wealth, it was his request to God that made him great: “Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad;…” (I Kings ch. 3)

I explained to my daugther that I thought it was the best request we could have, whether our house was great or small. To have wisdom to establish a home and to raise our children and to discern between good and bad is the key. The size of the house matters not if there’s no peace in it.

Anyway, that’s the kind of lessons I want to undertake, and in the most gentle, non-preachy way.


Homemade Doll House Dresser

I must say I am so pleased. I just had to share this. Sweet-pea and I sat down this evening and worked on a piece of doll house furniture — a dresser. With a mirror and everything!

We used match boxes for the drawers. My husband carefully removed a mirror from a compact I had. Last night at work we had some excellent boxes that were going to be thrown out. They were heavy cardboard, but not corrugated. Very smooth and sturdy. Just right.

We cut out a “frame” from one end of a box, into which we could glue the drawers. Then we cut a piece of box to be glued onto the back. Finally, the mirror was glued into place. For the pulls on the drawers, we used a needle to punch holes (carefully now!) into two places on the front of each drawer. We took a little piece of raffia and drew it through and tied in the front.

Isn’t it great?? ~:-D


On Playing Dolls

I don’t want this to seem something complicated. Life is complicated. Playing dolls is not. But playing dolls — I believe — can help a girl to handle the complicated things that will come her way in life some day.

I’ve learned a lesson raising four children. It’s a lesson that has thrilled me at times, but sometimes has been painful. Children do what they see their parents do.

The day before Christmas 2007, I woke up feeling very overwhelmed. I was working outside of my home (just a season, I tell you) and it’s easy to get overwhelmed. I was thinking, how will I get the gifts wrapped, or even finish buying the few things I need, and rest well tonight, and enjoy Christmas Day, knowing that I have to be back to work the day after Christmas?? I had a deer-in-headlights moment and did a totally abstract thing. I hung up my new 2008 calendar. It was probably meant to be. The quote for the month of January 2008 was exactly what I needed to see.

It is the sweet, simple things of life which are the real ones after all. Laura Ingalls Wilder (1867-1957)

I held that thought close. I decided to pick the sweet, simple things out of all the thoughts swirling through my mind and focus on them. Playing dolls with my little sweetie-pie was one of the first things to pop into my mind. The second thing was how much I wanted to see my mother and my sister (and how much they wanted to see me), so wrapped gifts were not as important as I could build them up to be. The important thing was me having a soft and sweet spirit and enjoying the important things. I decided just to relax and enjoy the days ahead. After all, my daughter is watching, and so are my sons.

This is all about playing. It’s about doing something simple. In doing the simple things, though, we often paint such a larger picture that it’s hard to see the whole masterpiece at one time. The Year of the Doll House is about doing a sweet, simple thing, and doing it day by day.

There’s a precious thought that a dear friend shared with me recently. It keeps coming back to me in all that I do. It’s helped me to focus on the sweet, simple things.

“…precept upon precept; line upon line…here a little, and there a little:” Isaiah 28:10

Precept upon precept and line upon line — little by little. That’s how big things are built.