Monday, 16 June 2014

Favourite Gifts From Our Favourite Guys

There is no gift in the world more special than one your child makes for you. Because my boys and I do so many crafts together our house is filled with handmade creations, but the most special ones are the ones the boys made themselves or at school as a surprise. We have our favourites, and those are proudly displayed in places of honour in our home.

Rock pet craft, kids crafts, rock, handmade giftsMy oldest son made this rock pet - "Rocky" - for me when he was two. His father and I were getting divorced at the time, though he neither knew nor understood anything about that. I was living alone with he and his baby brother, working a couple of online jobs late at night after they went to sleep, trying to sell the house, trying to figure out a new place to live, and desperately trying to hold everything together until I could start my new life, while his father was living with his girlfriend in her parents' basement and popping in for visits every now and again. I was fairly stressed out, and any time my sensitive little boy asked me what was wrong I just said I was worried about moving - so one day, when my neighbour friend was watching the boys for an hour so I could make some sales calls, he made Rocky for me with a rock from our garden to take with me once we moved. It broke my heart - and has lived on my bedside table ever since.

crafts, kids crafts, flowerpot, gift

My middle son painted this flower pot for me for Mother's Day when he was three. He planted a teeny-tiny flower in it which died almost immediately, so since then we've used it as a vase for the "flowers" (dandelions, clover, wildflowers, weeds...) the kids collect on our hikes and explorations through the neighbourhood.

crafts, kids crafts, picture frame, gift

This macaroni picture frame craft is the favourite gift I've every received from any of my kids. My oldest son made it for me for Mother's Day in kindergarten. He was such a baby still then. Born later in the year, my sweet, shy boy wasn't even four years old when he started school. It hangs proudly on my bedroom wall and the "eye" "love" "you" poses in the pictures make me smile every time I look at them and remind me of the baby my big boy once was.

crafts, kids crafts, treasure chest, giftMy middle son made this treasure chest for my husband for Father's Day when he was in kindergarten. This was so special to me because it was his first Father's Day craft made at school, the first time a teacher said "we're making something for your dad" and he chose to make it for his step-dad, the man who's fathered him in every real way since he was a baby. It brought tears to my eyes.

My oldest son made these amazing construction paper likenesses of my husband and I for Father's Day and Mother's Day one year which open up into a flip book with all the reasons he loves each of us. They have lived proudly on our fridge for years.

crafts, kids crafts, Fathers Day crafts
 crafts, kids crafts, Mothers Day crafts

When my older son was seven and his younger brother six their Mother's Day projects at school were to make flowers for Mom from pastels instead of a potted plant or bouquet. These are among my favourite art pieces the boys have ever created!

crafts, kids crafts, bracelet, giftMy boys made these colourful, sparkly plastic bead bracelets for me their first summer at day camp. Despite jewelery box full of string, bead, plastic lace and Rainbow Loom elastic band bracelets and necklaces and rings I wear these bracelets (yes, out in public as actual jewelery) a lot more often than you'd think!

Everything our kids make for us is special - every card, every craft, every handmade gift. Some, though, tug at the heartstrings more than others for one reason or another.

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Dad Rocks

Toddler Handprint Craft: Making Memories From Art


  1. What sweet gifts! Its clear that your boys adore your husband. Your ex sounds a bit flaky. You should write a post on what you did (if you did anything) to help them adjust to having a step parent or parents if thats the case. Or how they adjusted on their own or something. They sound like such sweet loving little guys and it shows in their little projects you posted here

  2. Thank-you - they are the sweetest little boys. And they do love their step-dad.

    I've had a lot of requests to write about my divorce, the adjustment, parenting through a split, advice, etc. I'm still not sure if I really want to...for a lot of's just not my favourite part of my life to dwell on, and in the grand scheme of things it's not all that important to me or to my family. You know?

    However, until I decide if I will post about that stuff or not, I can at least respond to your comment.

    I had a very easy adjustment with my kids, simply because they were so young. Their father and I split up when they were one and two years old, and I was very much the primary parent to begin with. The transition was easy - we went from being a family where dad was home & awake for a couple of hours, to dad not living with us but still being around for a couple of hours most days (honestly not even a noticeable difference); then my boys & I living alone but dad visiting a few days a week for a couple of hours. My husband and I started dating a year after the divorce. A few months later my ex started taking the kids for visits on his own once a week, which is when my husband (boyfriend at the time) and I had alone time, and the other few times a week we saw each other it was he & I and the kids. When we decided to move in together, I asked the kids first - by then they already had no idea their father had ever lived with us & assumed it had always been just the three of us. They were enthusiastic, we moved in together, and after a while we got married.

    Because my boys were so young when their dad and I split they don't remember us ever living together. As far as they're concerned, they've always lived with my husband and I, we've always been their family, and their father is this fun, goofy guy they visit once a week. I don't know if flaky is the right word - he just is what he is. My husband is a wonderful step-dad and the boys adore him - and vice versa. They also have a step-mother who seems nice enough and is good to them.

    For them, this is what their family is and has always been - and everyone's happy with that.

    I hope that answers your question! Sorry for being so long-winded - like I said, I'm not sure I want to write an actual post about any of this!
    Cheers :)

    1. I totally understand why you wouldn't want to do posts about your divorce or certain aspects from it. there are just so many divorced families, blended families these days, and it just seems that the children don't handle it well due to whatever reason. my children have a few friends from divorced families and they aren't as happy or full of that energy that a lot of young kids have and I feel bad for them. they have harsh feelings towards their parents and their parents, etc, etc. that's why I was curious what it is you do with your children, that what I can see from your writing, to help them keep the sweetness. how do you keep the communication open, what if they have issues with the other parent or either of the step parents.
      Maybe you could talk about it from that sense. I bet that you would be helping out a few of your readers. you have some posts that offer parenting advice and I'm guessing that your followers have found it helpful so that's why they are asking for more about the divorce. maybe sharing how you dealt with certain stressful aspects without reliving to much of the past, your readers would be greatful for even the smallest bit of advice.
      you partly answered my question which is great! thank you. As you can see I still have question and am curious because you literally are the only divorced person I know of (even though I don't actually know you) that, for lack of a better description, has had a successful divorce and managed to maintain happy children, happy life, etc.