Pacing Myself

Silas turned six last week! The girls made him a throne of cushions and sheets and gave him a bell to ring. He had no problem at all adjusting to his role as little prince, happy to give out orders. We had a pretty quiet day, as rain forced us to postpone our original birthday plans. Requested foods were acquired and made, and Jonny and I took Silas and Job on a lunch date. This week we’ll make a little daytrip per Silas’ request, as the weather promises to be nicer.

While I prefer gentler toys, one of Silas’ main requests this year was a Nerf gun. Older brothers, eager to get in on the fun spent their own money to purchase additional Nerf guns. Imagine my life right now in a house with five boys and many Nerf guns, and say a prayer if you will for my state of mind. I’m living in a self inflicted battle zone. Surely the guns will break soon?

The really special gifts this year were handmade, one by me, and one fromΒ Made by Alejandro. We’re all in love with Silas’ new leather sword and he’s been wearing it non-stop. Truly, a great toy investment! Beatrix is saving her money for one of her own. Silas will have this set long after the Nerf hysteria ends (Because it will. It has to.)

I have a long history of immersing myself in projects and working on them into the wee hours of the morning, especially when it comes to gifts. Sound familiar? I can’t do that anymore, though. An hour to work uninterrupted is a rare occurrence, and I can’t sacrifice sleep like I used to be able to. So, I am learning to pace myself and do a little at a time. I bought Alicia Paulson’s Basil Fox kit years ago (I’ve made all of her softie kits now with the exception of the kitty which I sadly didn’t buy.) I had Silas in mind when I bought it, but wanted to wait until he was a little older and less destructive to make it for him. There’s a fine line between too destructive and not interested when it comes to little boys and softies, I’d say. These little animals aren’t made for rough play. I worked a little each night for about two weeks to finish up Basil in time for Silas’ birthday and it was a much nicer experience than frantically rushing at the last minute! Of course a stuffed fox would have been quickly tossed into the shadows of a new leather sword and Nerf gun, so I saved Basil for the very end of the day. One last surprise at bedtime. That went over just as I hoped, and I think I will do something similar in the future with my handmade gifts so they get the appreciation they deserve. πŸ™‚

p.s. Baby turkeys! We usually come across them every summer, and I am always so amazed by how well they can hide in the grass! There were babies all around my feet and I didn’t even realize it! Mama did though, and ran me off real quick!

p.p.s. Job is working with (affiliate link) this setΒ in the pictures above.Β We are still doing math, and likely will be all summer. When the big kids are working, he likes to have something to work with as well and enjoys this set more than my other kids did.

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  1. Annie Kitching says:

    Your nerf gun situation make me recall a conversation I sat in on last year between my youth ministry intern, and the priest at the Catholic HS, each relating with glee all of the nerf gun fights/wars/battles and so forth they have recently enjoyed – at college and at seminary. So, there you go. Boys will be boys.

    Pacing is everything. One reason I so totally love the Twelve Days of Christmas. Parceling out gifts so that each can be appreciated and savored is so much more fun.

    HOW I hope you and my daughter Lydia can meet some day.

  2. Hi Ginny,
    I always love your posts and look forward to them, though I never comment. Happy Birthday Silas! That bow and arrow is so cute, such a great gift. Hope the nerf-mania loses its appeal soon. I love Basil fox, I wanted to make him so many times,but never ordered. You made him beautifully. 😊

  3. Happy Birthday to Silas! That fox is just WAY too cute! We had a rubber band gun in our house and it was hard to handle… πŸ™‚ The picture of you holding the baby deer in the previous post was so precious!

  4. Nerf guns evolved into paintball at my house, so maybe that’ll give you something to look forward to?
    My son is 4.5, and he’s already into guns even though he’s never had one beyond his finger or a stick. Just before he turned 4 he was convinced Nerf made a crossbow, which I could not find anywhere so I assumed he just made it up. Big thanks to you for reminding me, yet again, that I should always trust the toddler/preschooler in my life πŸ™‚

  5. Sooooo glad I am not alone in this nerf gun stuff. I only have one adolescent boy (plus two girls and a baby boy), but once we allowed him to have a Nerf gun everyone wanted one…including the husband. I’ve outlawed them on the main floor or anywhere that the baby is, but I’m still finding those horrible foamy bullets everywhere anyway for some reason.

    What a lovely birthday for your Silas! Happy 6 Years! I remember being sad when turned six myself because I didn’t want to use a second hand to show how old I was…now it makes me sad as a result when my own get to be that age, but six is a fun year!

  6. Yes, the nerf gun craze will come to an end. Those guns break or they run out of ammo. My boys lost interest after they found out they could either waste their money on squishy bullets or save their money for a real .22. Not that they wouldn’t gladly participate in a Nerf war at someone else’s house. Those bullets drove me crazy as I kept finding them all over the house and yard. They’re an ugly orange color and I don’t think they are biodegradable. Future generations will find them on our property and wonder what on earth they were for. Obviously not sturdy enough for a hunger-gatherer society. Maybe some paraphernalia used in male coming of age rituals?

    I wish I had someone to make Basil Fox for. My youngest is too old for stuffed animals and I have no grandkids yet. My college daughters seem to be very fond of owls, foxes and hedgehogs. I wonder if it would be too weird to give them a Basil Fox?

  7. Nancy Mosley says:

    When I first came to your blog I believe Silas was about 2. One of the first blogs I remember reading was about him getting out of the yard (I believe) and into the road. I can’t believe he’s now 6. I love the leather sword/holder. That would have been awesome when my boys were young. Thankfully you have land for nerf gun fights. 😊Love the fox by Alicia.

  8. my son loved to sniper attack my husband when he’d walk upstairs and set off a series of nerf gun bullets. Such fun!! and NO it will not end, it will last quite a while. I loved that the house didn’t get damaged and also finding random bullets in the unlikeliest of places. Those are great memories!! Happy birthday Silas!!

  9. Julie C says:

    Nerf will not end. Even when my son has friends over, they are either laying siege to the castle or protecting the girls inside. My daughters also join in so they don’t miss out on the fun. Joyous times! And really something the olders can do with the youngers. Blessings.

  10. The odd counter should be place in the middle at the bottom between the two even columns. In a later lesson show them that the ones their finger runs into are odd and the ones their finger can pass thru are even.

  11. Happy Birthday Silas!
    Ginny Ive been watching your progress with basil the fox on istagram and I loved it.
    I need to find something like that for me to make up for the wee one here this side of the Earth. You inspire me to no end. Thank you!

  12. Happy Birthday, Silas! Unfortunately in my experience the Nerf fascination won’t end:( I swore my son wouldn’t have them, but of course several family members with a tendency to give inappropriate gifts gave him some for a birthday, and they have multiplied ever since. Careful with the animals, we have had to remove the bullets (especially the disc shaped ones) from the intestines of several clients’ animals….

  13. Good news for you is that dogs and cats love to chew nerf bullets. The bad news is that your boys will be buying replacement ones on a regular basis.

    Love Basil!

  14. Love the idea with the handmade gifts and may give that a try with my brood. Good luck with the Nerf gun stuff – we have 5 sons and 3 grandsons and at Christmas it is a total battle zone of Nerf bullets. It is now nearly June and I am still finding them hiding everywhere! We kind of figure it is a relatively harmless way to let them interact with each other (even tho it is way more violent than we thought we brought them up to be).

  15. Happy Birthday to Silas! Nerf guns, oh yeah we had them and they are still a hit. My kids are in late 20’s to mid 30’s. I will still buy replacement arrows for them. My husband was even looking at one for our 1year old grand daughter….sigh. The Fox looks great and so glad Silas loves it, homemade gifts for children that they love always makes the heart skip a beat or two. Happy late spring and early summer to you and your lovely family.

  16. I love your idea for saving the handmade gift until the end of the day for quiet, proper enjoyment. Very smart! I’m glad your sweet boy enjoyed his special day!

  17. My youngest wanted a Nerf gun for his birthday too, and my friend very kindly (!) sent him a big package with all of her boys’ old guns. They last a surprisingly long time… Glad Silas had a good birthday, you made a beautiful job of Basil.

  18. Long live NERF guns! We have such great memories of summer family reunions in Ohio with big cousins & littler cousins chasing each other through the basement, up & down flights of stairs and NERF darts sailing by!
    Come HOT weather, send them outside with the super soaker! Fun times!

  19. Antonia says:

    I love how mindful you are about each of your children’s birthdays πŸ™‚ How much time and attention you spend on preparing it and also how the other children help to make it a special day. This does not happen in many families, I dare say…
    + Lovely photos, as usual πŸ™‚

  20. I lookes at the photographs of your blog with my sons (14 & 12), all quiet, untill
    ‘yeah, they have Nerf guns too !!!’

  21. Shannon says:

    I’m going to give you some bad news. Are you ready? I have four boys, one of them being almost 20, and Nerf guns are one of the things that brings them all together when my older son gets home from college. My girls love them too which is why I have decided to join forces with them. Rather then fight them on whether or not to have a Nerf gun, I fight them on the green grass outside with what appears to be an AK-47, only this one has bright colors and not quite as loud.

    • Shannon says:

      Which is to say that our Nerf gunS have been around for going on 15 years now and I haven’t been able to get rid of them yet. Good luck and find a good shield. A good helmet wouldn’t hurt either.

  22. Sarah Drabant says:

    Last time we had one of our favorite priests over for dinner, he, my husband and our two boys disappeared to the basement after dinner. They were playing nerf wars. All 4 came up fo dessert, red faced and sweaty.

  23. Leslie F says:

    “Nerf hysteria” is forever – college junior and high school senior boys are still Nerf gun crazy – even now, they always get “extra bullets” in their Christmas stockings and can’t pass a Goodwill or consignment store without running in to check for any necessary additions to the Nerf arsenal. The upside is that the bullets are much kinder to your feet when you step on them than those hateful, blasted, crippling ( and Satan inspired) Lego’s!!

  24. WARNING: “The nerf guns never quit! “. Said the mother of three grown boys, two grandsons and one gun loving husband. Find your safe zone or join in!πŸ˜‚

    • Hiding in my bedroom!!! πŸ™‚

      • No! Send them outside! Our rule is guns outside, which satisfies all our needs – they get to run around shooting and screaming and the bullets get lost in the woods. Win-win. πŸ˜‰

  25. oh boy! well, yeah, I am sure the Nerf guns will not be used as much soon, other things will interest them, but they will have the happy memories from this time, I am sure! πŸ™‚ You do such nice things for birthdays!!! love the fox of course! and the lunch date is such a great idea!

  26. That sword is amazing! Is it stiff? We have a little knight at our house who would love to have a sword of his own, but I have been on the fence about buying him a wooden one (I can easily imagine friends getting painfully whacked in the heat of battle). The Nerf extravaganza actually sounds pretty fun, but I don’t envy anyone the task of trying to keep track of all those foam bullets. Happiest of birthdays to Silas!

    • It’s stiff, but not too stiff. We almost ordered him a wooden sword, but I am so glad that we spent the extra money to get the leather one! I had the same worries about someone getting whacked with a wooden one!

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