Decorating WITH Children

by Kimba on January 21, 2010

in Sanctuary at Home

candles in dining room

Remember all those candles from yesterday. I pulled some out and, for about 10 minutes, they looked like this in my dining room. Pretty, right?

general greivous

I think my boys like when I start moving things around. In their eyes, any new display is just a new playground for Star Wars guys. I’m ok with that.

luke and vader

Sometimes they put things back the way they found them. Sometimes they sprout wings and fly. (I was still fooling around with the display when Luke and Vader arrived.)

star wars guys

I’m not, by nature, one of those super layed-back moms. My instinct is to say things like “stop! put that back! clean it up! don’t mess with that!” I have to work on being relaxed (that sounds funny doesn’t it?) But it’s worth it because I like to think that they’ll remember Epic Battles in The Forest of Tall Candles.

They definitely won’t remember that mommy had the prettiest candle display on the block.

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1 Julie January 21, 2010 at 9:48 am

Looks just like my house!!!!!!!!

2 Tracey January 21, 2010 at 9:53 am

Mine too! And, it looks like General Grievous was defeated so it was a success! 🙂
.-= Tracey´s last blog ..Happy Holidays! =-.

3 Chris January 21, 2010 at 9:55 am

I’m not joking when I say that I have those exact same “battles” on my counter right now. A Bionicle is dangling from my urn, and he is about to overtake the Republic at any moment. Too funny!
.-= Chris´s last blog ..Make Life Easier =-.

4 Holly January 21, 2010 at 9:58 am

I’m another one that has to work at being relaxed! Funny you posted this today…my post is about a time recently when I decidedly did not relax in response to my kids.

5 heidi @ wonder woman wannabe January 21, 2010 at 10:01 am

Love it! Same thing happens here, and I don’t mind a bit
.-= heidi @ wonder woman wannabe´s last blog ..Presenting Phlegmatic =-.

6 Mrs. Jen B January 21, 2010 at 10:04 am

Hilarious! I love the way kids see things completely the opposite of how we see them. Good for you for keeping a sense of perspective!
.-= Mrs. Jen B´s last blog ..The Situation =-.

7 Megan January 21, 2010 at 10:07 am

this is GRAND!

Thanks for sharing!
.-= Megan´s last blog ..Rock with me ….. advice needed! =-.

8 Vanessa January 21, 2010 at 10:08 am

I have to remember that, too, about being relaxed and just letting my kids be kids! Good to know we are not alone in the daily struggles we face!
.-= Vanessa´s last blog ..Untitled =-.

9 Michelle January 21, 2010 at 10:19 am

I needed to hear this today more than ever. I struggle with balance of being a relaxed mom too.
.-= Michelle´s last blog ..Excited. =-.

10 Janell Beals January 21, 2010 at 10:23 am

Hysterical! Actually the Star War figures kind of match the color palette!

11 ClassiclyAmber January 21, 2010 at 10:30 am

I feel your pain!! But…somehow I feel like I am going to severely miss the toys found here and there one day when they are grown and gone. Sigh!

12 Gina @ The Shabby Chic Cottage January 21, 2010 at 10:38 am

You know, I love it when I see Star Wars invaded pics. I have girls. Quiet, calm, very good girls. The only thing I have strewn from kids is hair do-dads, books and an occassional purse. It’s kinda sad. Trust me, when they grow up, you will miss the Star Wars, too.
.-= Gina @ The Shabby Chic Cottage´s last blog ..Transformation Thursday: ticket to Paris =-.

13 Gina @ The Shabby Chic Cottage January 21, 2010 at 10:40 am

That came out wrong. My girls are quiet and all, but not like Mary Ingalls or anything. They bicker a lot. Just most of the time they have their noses stuck in a book somewhere.
.-= Gina @ The Shabby Chic Cottage´s last blog ..Transformation Thursday: ticket to Paris =-.

14 Sheri January 21, 2010 at 10:40 am

LOL!!! I love it! I swear I have a Superman decal on my fridge, and find “bendy guys” (action figures) in the strangest places.
.-= Sheri´s last blog ..wonky owl tutorial =-.

15 Kim January 21, 2010 at 10:40 am

Looks like my house LOL. My son received two Bionicles for Christmas and they are now perched on the television staring back at everyone 🙂

16 Gina January 21, 2010 at 10:45 am

Looks like home to me! We’ve got those same guys hanging out here-not in the candles though. Last time I caught them they were staking out the kitchen table. I’m pretty sure it’s like Toy Story around here at night!
.-= Gina´s last blog ..Perceiving Time =-.

17 Heather B. January 21, 2010 at 11:03 am

Glad to see other moms have the same issues. When will I learn to just let it go and re-adjust AFTER the 5 yr old boy goes to bed?!?!?
Thanks for the smile today 🙂
Heather B.

18 Danielle @ Life on Dahlia Lane January 21, 2010 at 11:04 am

Hilarious! I come from a family of ALL girls, so it’s great to hear stories like this one 🙂 Your candle display did look great!
.-= Danielle @ Life on Dahlia Lane´s last blog ..Martha Stewart’s Snickerdoodles =-.

19 Sarah January 21, 2010 at 11:17 am


that’s the right attitude!

20 Amanda January 21, 2010 at 11:23 am

I am oh so familiar with finding Hot Wheels, Dinosaurs and many other toys in various degrees of decorating! Too cute!
.-= Amanda´s last blog ..Wishful Wednesday =-.

21 Nichol (faedemere) January 21, 2010 at 11:56 am

I love it! Well done on both the display and the “relaxing” The most striking thing about all this for me is that children’s imaginations are amazing things, and they can turn even the most mundane thing into an amazing adventure!
.-= Nichol (faedemere)´s last blog ..Wordless (almost) Wednesday–Jan. 20th 2010–Lilybug’s New Friend =-.

22 The Candle Keeper January 21, 2010 at 12:01 pm

I missed your post yesterday….but I have a candle fetish too! LOL!!

I need to relax too…when my kids are messing up my pretty stuff. LOL!!!

My son has commandeered the coffee table right now with his legos.

Blessings to you!
.-= The Candle Keeper´s last blog ..Made more…bought more…LOL!!! =-.

23 Miss Mustard Seed January 21, 2010 at 12:12 pm

I am the same way. I have to remember that it’s there house as well and I want to create fun memories for my boys, not ones of their mom being a neat freak and yelling at them for playing in their own house. It’s always a challenge and a balance.
.-= Miss Mustard Seed´s last blog ..Choices Will Be Made =-.

24 Christi {Jealous Hands} January 21, 2010 at 12:39 pm

Seriously. I could’ve written this post. Even have that same little clock in my bedroom! I am not relaxed by nature either; it’s something that I constantly have to work on. I am surrounded on a daily basis with G. I. Joe men. Hanging off every available surface!

25 Richella January 21, 2010 at 1:05 pm

Epic battles are most definitely more memorable. Good for you. This year a Lego Ben 10 alien attacked our Christmas village. What can you do?

Of course, you may occasionally get some surprises. Like the time I had a dinner party for a famous author who was visiting us. I glanced up from my hostess chair to the dining room chandelier, and there hung a courageous Stikfas warrior.

You know what? I have no memory of my centerpiece for that dinner. So maybe your boys aren’t the only ones who will remember the Epic Candle Forest Battle.

26 duchess January 21, 2010 at 1:15 pm

My husband taught me a long time ago to do a lot of things that are out of my comfort zone because the children are making memories. I think that’s one of my most important life lessons. You probably do have the prettiest candle battle ground on the block though.
.-= duchess´s last blog ..A Quick Trip =-.

27 laura @ the shorehouse January 21, 2010 at 1:22 pm

The Epic Battle in the Forest of Tall Candles is definitely one worth fighting. 🙂 So totally cute.
.-= laura @ the shorehouse´s last blog ..One and done: Bathroom vanity found. Maybe? =-.

28 Jen F. January 21, 2010 at 1:29 pm

That’s hilarious! I have little “scenes” like that all over my house too. I’m definitely going to start taking pictures of those. Great idea!

29 Denise Burks January 21, 2010 at 1:41 pm

After putting away Christmas I also decided that I have to put away all of those silk flowers (yes, I’m a bit behind on all fashion trends, at least I’m not wearing my leg warmers and hair scrunchies anymore).

My dining room chest looks naked now but I have a TON of candles in the crawl space! Thanks for the inspiration!

Warmest Regards,

Denise Burks

30 Melissa January 21, 2010 at 1:50 pm

Love it!!!

I find Lego creatures all over the place.
.-= Melissa´s last blog ..Samantha’s 11th Birthday =-.

31 Lori H January 21, 2010 at 1:52 pm

Great attitude! Now that my son is 14, I look back on the many battles of teeny tiny characters and smile. And as my mother always says, “at the end days of my life, I doubt that I will say ‘I wish I’d spent more time cleaning my house!'”

32 Heathahlee January 21, 2010 at 1:57 pm

Oh, honey, I know what you mean. I have recently started listening to my own self when I’m telling Kiddo to clean up something, or not play somewhere…and I think…”Why not?” There have been times when he has brought all his Hot Wheels tracks and ramps and cars and what all into the living room to create his masterpiece maze of a track, and it’s all I can do not to tell him to take it back to his room…but then, where does he have that he can be creative? I would hate it if someone stifled my creativity because they didn’t want me to make a mess! I’d NEVER get anything done! 😀
.-= Heathahlee´s last blog ..A Hero Once More….My Husband Rocks! =-.

33 Nocona January 21, 2010 at 2:06 pm

General Grievous on top of the cage cracks me up. What a neat place for a lightsaber fight!

34 AnNicole@OurSuburbanCottage January 21, 2010 at 2:25 pm

Aw, my son used to do that. It was a constant mix of legos and happy meal toys everywhere. I promise you’ll look back at those photos in 5-10 years and miss those Star Wars guys. 🙂
.-= AnNicole@OurSuburbanCottage´s last blog ..De-Brassifying a Fireplace Surround =-.

35 Get Your Martha On January 21, 2010 at 2:27 pm

When I start moving things around, my youngest joins in. He adds the strangest elements to my vignettes. I let them sit for awhile … a few days … then I move them. My boys have taken over so much of the house with their toys, that I don’t feel bad about telling them (nicely, of course) to quit messin’ with my decoratin’! They can’t have it all. I’m teaching them to lay off and let the wife do her thing. 😉
.-= Get Your Martha On´s last blog ..Liberace / Papier Mache Glitter Bunny with Egg Basket =-.

36 Handy Man, Crafty Woman January 21, 2010 at 2:35 pm

Ok, this is hilarious! Our son does the same thing (esp. with Lego people). The most recent time was when he helped me to “decorate” one of my Christmas displays. I had to just bite my tongue and let him; it made him SO happy! 🙂
.-= Handy Man, Crafty Woman´s last blog ..How to Get Organized the Easy Way =-.

37 Angie @ The Country Chic Cottage January 21, 2010 at 3:03 pm

I think it looks GORGEOUS with the star wars men!! Looks just like what happens at my house. Matthew tries to hang stuff on the walls….sigh….
.-= Angie @ The Country Chic Cottage´s last blog ..Christmas Clearance Transforms to Fabulous! =-.

38 Melanie January 21, 2010 at 3:32 pm

So cute. I have a son too and he use to do the same thing. Boys and their toys. They just get older and the toys get more expensive!
.-= Melanie´s last blog ..Fresh Orange Italian Cream Cake =-.

39 Liz January 21, 2010 at 3:34 pm

I TOTALLY hear you! I have the cutest white bird cage that I am constantly finding throughout the house with my boys’ action figures in. I guess someday when they are away at college, I will have a magazine looking house! Until then, I have to just take a deep breath and enjoy the ride!

40 Desiree January 21, 2010 at 4:11 pm

Hmmm this looks like my house…LOL
Love the display, and I’m sure the kiddos had so much fun!

41 Amanda @ Serenity Now January 21, 2010 at 4:11 pm

You could tie Luke to a candle with some twine to accessorize. 😉 It’s Fisher Price Loving Family people at our house…they rule the roost.
.-= Amanda @ Serenity Now´s last blog ..Thrifty Thursday: It’s Chic to Be Cheap {28} =-.

42 Linda January 21, 2010 at 4:30 pm

You’re so smart to figure this out while your kids are young! I spent too many years being the “not so relaxed” type of mom and I regret it. I’m making up for lost time now though!
.-= Linda´s last blog ..Thrifty Thursday =-.

43 Sturgmom January 21, 2010 at 4:39 pm

I, too, have to work hard at being more relaxed and laid back about all the “decorations” the children strew about. LOVE your candle display!
.-= Sturgmom´s last blog ..Egg-Free baking, I will beat you yet! =-.

44 The Scooper January 21, 2010 at 5:40 pm

So funny! It looks just like a scene ripped out of my home. And I’m not one of those super laid-back moms either…which is probably why God gave me children. : )

45 Kristen of La Dolce Vita January 21, 2010 at 7:07 pm

looks like my house, one day I know I will miss all the action figures scattered around the house
.-= Kristen of La Dolce Vita´s last blog ..Going stir crazy…. =-.

46 Tris January 21, 2010 at 8:24 pm

Ok, Yeah…my kid does this too. Currently, we have a mini flashlight taped to the front of our entertainment center to “simulate the moon” shining down on a nice little scene of various legos, dinosaurs and action figures. Cool.

Now what I really wanted to address is the name of this post. Decorating With Children. I had visions of you hanging a thrift store-spray painted-lightly distressed picture frame around one of your kid’s necks then draping them artfully in burlap. Perhaps you set the child on a cute tray on your coffee table and then added a stack of books and maybe a small flower arrangement. I could go on and on but I’m pretty sure you get the picture. heehee! Thanks for the giggle!

47 Ruby Red Slippers January 21, 2010 at 8:35 pm

This is SO my life! And be sure to add Lego guys-I am forever finding heads of little Lego Starwars guys all over the house…!!!

48 Kimba January 22, 2010 at 10:20 am

YES! The heads! The disembodied heads are everywhere!

49 rebecca d January 21, 2010 at 8:45 pm

I wish I had learned that sooner… I am finally approaching “laid back” and my girlies are almost grown… I miss the Barbies and doll shoes and stuffed toys now that they are long packed away…
.-= rebecca d´s last blog ..Stand-off at the McD Corral…. =-.

50 heidi @ wonder woman wannabe January 21, 2010 at 9:14 pm

testing, testing, 1,2,3…

51 heidi @ wonder woman wannabe January 21, 2010 at 9:15 pm

well, hellooooooo there gravatar! 😉 😉
.-= heidi @ wonder woman wannabe´s last blog ..Presenting Phlegmatic =-.

52 Kimba January 22, 2010 at 10:19 am

YES! There you are!!!

53 Cathy January 21, 2010 at 9:18 pm

LOL! Well, at least they have good taste in characters! Star Wars is the BEST! 🙂

54 Rachel January 21, 2010 at 11:13 pm

Love this! I like the little random toys that I find around my house – proof that a little boy lives here, is playing, and is loving life. I do admit, though, that sometimes I have to work on not being frustrated with it. Someday I’ll be walking around my house and there won’t be any toys because my little boy will be grown up and gone. For now, I’m going to enjoy the toys, and smile when I see them. 🙂
.-= Rachel´s last blog ..Catching Up – Coming Home =-.

55 creative jewish mom January 22, 2010 at 2:18 am

Hi Kimba, great post. Please come to my all new blog linking party starting on Sunday, I’d be honored to have you! The guests are coming gotta go clean the blog!
.-= creative jewish mom´s last blog ..Delicious And Simple Pumpkin Soup! =-.

56 Cathy January 22, 2010 at 5:37 am

Awww yes,, every year our Christmas village is protected by Army men with guns on the roof tops. Kids…couldn’t live without them.

57 Traci January 22, 2010 at 9:49 am

Loved this post, and it’s so true.
.-= Traci´s last blog ..Two boys, one festival, and a grand time! =-.

58 Julia Stainton January 22, 2010 at 10:44 am

I’m with you! It’s perfect! As a mom of five…four of them boys…just enjoy the journey.
.-= Julia Stainton´s last blog ..color my world =-.

59 New Every Morning January 22, 2010 at 4:02 pm

One day, when your house is perfect {and quiet} you’ll be missing those little figurines.
I keep telling myself that 😉
.-= New Every Morning´s last blog ..Not a Debate =-.

60 Paula Grace January 22, 2010 at 5:19 pm

Kids are always ‘helping’ with decorating. My daughter leaves things around and I just get so use to it, I leave them ther and believe it is part of the decor. Believing is half the battle 🙂
Paula Grace ~
.-= Paula Grace´s last blog ..Fun Friday ~ Jeff Dunham =-.

61 Sallie January 22, 2010 at 6:48 pm

Ha ha ha… looks like it did in my house when Spidey invaded my Kokeshi doll collection 🙂
.-= Sallie´s last blog ..Doers, or Talkers Only? =-.

62 Dina January 23, 2010 at 12:47 am

that is too funny!

63 Kelleigh @ Kelleigh Ratzlaff Designs January 23, 2010 at 10:51 pm

Oh, this is SO my boys and my house! Nice to know I’m not the only one who entertains Jedi Masters.
.-= Kelleigh @ Kelleigh Ratzlaff Designs´s last blog ..I’m a running machine! =-.

64 Megan January 23, 2010 at 11:05 pm

I just landed here (softly) from Pleasures of Homemaking, and I had to smile at this post. Once upon a time I had He-man and Ninja turtles everywhere–there were even zip-lines across the living room. My sister was horrified and told me she couldn’t deal with that in her house. But I just smiled because I knew the zip-lines and “action figures” wouldn’t be there forever. I was right–suddenly the kids are grown and toys all over the house are just fond memories. Enjoy your little ones–soon enough your house will be clean and oh so quiet. That is until the granchildren come to visit! 😉
.-= Megan´s last blog .. =-.

65 Tara @ Feels Like Home January 24, 2010 at 3:38 pm

This is not at all what I was expecting when I saw the title of your post, but I love it. I really, really love it. You are so right that your boys will remember that you let them be themselves without worrying about whether they moved your display. Way to go.
.-= Tara @ Feels Like Home´s last blog ..Get Up and Exercise =-.

66 Amanda January 25, 2010 at 11:50 am

That is so funny! Totally something my boys would do. Glad you captured that!
.-= Amanda´s last blog ..Birthday Bash Weekend – Second Giveaway =-.

67 ali January 25, 2010 at 10:44 pm

I know all about working hard to be relaxed 🙂 It’s one of those things in life that is definitely worth the hard work!
.-= ali´s last blog ..Multitude Monday 211-220 =-.

68 Karen January 27, 2010 at 11:53 am

Thanks for sharing this Kimba. As much as I enjoy reading yours and other blogs, I think it’s easy to look at all the perfect table scapes and beautifully arranged counter tops we see online and become dis-content with our own piles of school work, action figure displays on every flat surface and general stuff! It’s hard some days but we do need to savor the moments we have with our kids and all their stuff. Not long ago my entire island in the kitchen was set for a battle of epic proportions with ALL the good guys facing ALL the bad guys. I just had to laugh. And then I took a picture. These are the moments I don’t want to forget.

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