Friday, January 16, 2009

Photo Story Friday: Breaking A Parenting Rule

I read a study somewhere that if a family eats at least seven meals a week together, the likelihood of children finishing high school is astronomically higher. It makes sense, taking time as a family to talk about the day.

During the weekend, we do a really good job about eating together at lunch and dinner pretty much every weekend, since we're all home and budgeting requires us to plan our meals for the weekend ahead anyway.

We have a great prayer song that we have been singing since the boys were newborns and the boys get upset if we don't sing it before a meal.

The week is a different story:

Breakfast doesn't work. Steve is already gone, I am running around getting stuff ready (like backpacks, take home folders, and lunches) and the boys are sitting separate because morning is the time that they pick fights with each other, for some reason.

For supper, Steve is a single parent while I am teaching, but he does a pretty good job (most nights of eating at the table with boys. As far as I'm concerned, that counts.

Lunch is usually Aaron and me, and I too make an effort for the two of us to sit together and eat talking about how preschool went that morning. I think that counts too.

Now, I need to turn our attention somewhere else. But I'll get back to this in a minute, I promise.

We live in a pretty old and drafty house. We have had to make some adjustments to make it livable while our temps are hanging out in the single digits.

We have tried that plastic covering at times, but it doesn't seem to work too well and the kitten would probably rip it with 2.3 seconds of putting it up anyway.

We have a very large picture window in our living room. Since I hung curtains, the temperature in that room is comfortable, but we always have to have the curtains closed, which makes it always feel so dark and I muss the sunlight.

Our upstairs dormer room runs the length of the house with a window on either end. It is very cold in the winter and very hot in the summer. We put blinds on the windows to try to make it a little warmer but it doesn't work that well.

( I just noticed this picture uploaded upside down and I already deleted the still gets the point across)

So if you open up the blinds, this is what you'll find

Yup, I have had to stuff a twin comforter in each window to attempt insulation. At least ice doesn't gather on the inside of the windows anymore. But once again, the bedroom is extremely dark, adding to the somber feel of our house.

But it is a little warmer.

Let's go back to the previous story now, shall we?

Remember how I was telling about how we have been somewhat good about family meals?

This is how my son has eaten his lunch every day this week

Never mind his cloth
es. It was pajama day at school

You want to know why?

That's ONE....TWO...


Five uncovered windows in our kitchen. In our little tiny house, we have a HUGE , bright, cheery kitchen. The happiest looking room in the house. (my pretty green paint job doesn't hurt either :) )

What else is it?


This kitchen is easily at least 10 degrees colder than the rest of the house. I actually have blogged way less than usual just because my right hand seems to get frozen numb most of the time while I'm at the computer. My kids have not been allowed to do as many crafts as they want because I don't want them (or myself) to freeze.

I know the solution is to buy curtains for the kitchen, which would look nice and definitely warm it up, but with some outstanding debts that are seriously pressing, the last thing I can do is blow $50 on curtains.

So until it gets warm again, I am quite sure there will be many more "picnics" in the living room.

I console myself by saying, at least we're still all together.


Shannon Donley said...

Try this. Get some cheapy expansion rod curtain rods - about $3-#5 at target or meijer and some inexpensive/goodwill bedsheets. They have hems on the ends and if you need to you can cut a few apart to make curtains. Just slide the hem over the expansion rods like regular curtains. It's cheaper and the expansion rods fit right into the window frame so less heat is lost and since they are meant to keep people warm, they actually have a little better insulation value. They don't look too bad from the outside either. Good luck and the door is always open here,not that you'll take me up on it...
love to all,shannon

bethn said...

Hey Kristi, I agree with Shannon. Sheets make great curtains and Walmart sheets are cheap and actually fairly thick (by comparison to Target) And bonus you can choose a color you like. A lot of curtain ideas suggest using sheets for fabric since you get a big piece of fabric for a little bit of money. I have to tell you though, you're not the only one cold. Dylan's room is freezing as is our family room. Think wall of old sliding doors. Stay warm!

Courtney said...

You are doing what you can! I think that a family that eats meals together are closer, yes, but if that's all you're doing, it's not enough. You do more than that, so don't be too hard on yourself. Your kids will finish high school and know they are loved whether you eat at the table or on the couch! said...

Well, I think that if church can be anywhere, then surely meals can be eaten together, anywhere!

If I was closer I would offer to sew something for you!

I have purchased sheets from St. Vinny's and taken the side seams out and then I used the sheet like a sheer curtian-- the only difference was the sheet was black and my "regular" curtians are dark blue-- My hubby sleeps during the day so our bedroom needs to be dark.

I will just promise to pray for warmth...

Timmy's Girl said...

Kristi, you are right, it ALL counts. Look at how much you love your boys by making sure they stay warm!

I know this is going to sound silly and a bit ghetto, but when we first moved into our house on the mountain it was incredibly drafty, too. And we also could not afford to spend any cash on curtains, so my Mom suggested cardboard. Yep, cardboard. You would NOT BELIEVE how well it works. So, yes, it is ugly, but my boys have colored on it, and made crafts to display on it. Then, again, we live out in the middle of nowhere, so no one can see our creative window treatments. But, it works for the cold issue, and it works for the budget issue. When I don't use it, or company comes over, I put it behind my armoire.

Keep up the great parenting, Wheelz!!!
xoxo, Veronica in CA

Tammy said...

I've tacked up bed sheets and blankets before to help keep the cold out.

Deb - Mom of 3 Girls said...

Oh I think sheets are a great idea too. Let me know if you'd want help - I have my sewing machine and could probably handle curtains - everything's a straight seam. ;)

We took a thermometer down to the basement just to see what the temp actually is down there - 57. Brrr.... And that's with bubble wrap on the windows.

Kila said...

You could buy simple, small $12 heaters with fans to help keep the rooms warm. They are only about 1 foot square, and it's amazing how much heat they throw off.

Using bedsheets for curtains is a good idea.

Jennifer said...

hey girl...I live in Texas so I do not qualify to comment on the matter!!! our old house we had tile floors over concrete and it was soooo cold in there and the little $12 space heaters that someone mentioned really do work well and if you're doing crafts at the table put it closer to the table or if you're at the computer...put it there...easy and warm!

Kristie said...

I love the idea of picnics in the living room! It actually sounds like a lot of fun!:-) Our kitchen is freezing too. We tease that we could use our cupboards for refidgerators-seriously! The wind and cold come right through walls/windows this time of year.