Being a Bucket Filler.

My youngest, Levi, came home from school one day last week talking about how he wasn’t going to be a bucket tipper, he was going to be a bucket filler. I had not a clue what he was talking about at the time… maybe you are reading this and know exactly what he meant. He went on to explain to me that his teacher, Ms. Laura, had told them that everyone has a bucket. When we use kind words and make people happy we fill their buckets. When we make a person sad their bucket tips over and the happy spills out. He was adamant… he was going to be a bucket filler from now on! I thought I had never heard of a sweeter concept, mostly because it really seemed to have made an impact on him.

It turns out, as you may have known, that this all came from a book that Ms. Laura had read to the class called Have You Filled a Bucket Today? A Guide to Daily Happiness for Kids. In the book it talks of bucket filling and bucket dipping (not tipping, but I love the way Levi explained it) just as Levi had described it to me. The simple metaphor of filling someone’s bucket with kindness and love is brilliant and so easily understood by young children. Levi and I have talked a lot about it for the past few days. When he does something to intentionally sadden or anger his brother I will stop and ask him if he is filling Luke’s bucket or tipping it. He immediately knows which and most of the time has been correcting his behavior. When I have gotten frustrated with him and been less than patient or have yelled at him I acknowledge that I have tipped his bucket and let him know how sorry I am.

A few days ago he was sitting at the table coloring. He was getting frustrated with himself.
“Mommy!” I heard him cry. “Will you hug me?”
“Of course I will.” I said, and gave him a big hug. He hugged back with all his might. and looked up at me with the sweetest smile on his face.
“You just filled my bucket!” His words warmed my heart.
“You just filled mine, buddy.” And we hugged again.

I’ve never read the book, but I love what it has taught my son, and our whole family about how our words and actions affect others. As I have written before, I struggle with yelling, and this way of visualizing what it does to my children is really helpful for me in the heat of the moment. Not to say that I don’t struggle anymore, but I’m a work in progress. We all are. We can be bucket fillers starting now!

Show Love With Your Instagram Photos.

If you’re on Instagram I hope you’ll follow me at THESOUTHERNINSTITUTE.  I’m on there just about every day, posting pics of things that we’re doing, and projects that I’m working on, as well as some of our favorite things.  Instagram is my most loved app on my iPhone.

One of my other favorite apps is the PostalPix app which allows me to order Instagram  prints straight from my iPhone. PostalPix delivers them right to my mailbox in a really timely manner for a super reasonable price.  I’m kind of addicted, truth be told.  So I had a bunch of Instagram prints and I could not decide what to do with them!  Then I had this idea the other day, and hung them up with washi tape on our lonely dining room wall.  I love them there!  Now I can look at them anytime I want.  The kids love to look at them and to talk about what they were doing when the pictures were taken.  It makes for great dinner time conversation.  It’s the perfect decoration for Valentine’s Day, or any day!

Do you have creative ways of displaying photos in your home?

This is not a sponsored post, but I’m super excited that PostalPix featured our wall on their blog this week!

Love Mail.

Love is in the air here at The Southern Institute and we’ve been working on Valentine inspired projects.  We don’t really decorate the house for Valentine’s Day, but I do like to do a little something here and there to show my love for the holiday (pun intended).  Over the holidays the kids and I were at Michael’s and I came across a bunch of heart themed stamps in the dollar bin, so I snatched this one up (showing incredible restraint, mind you).  It sat on my desk for awhile.  Then the other day I thought of a great use for it!  I’ve been wanting to stamp on fabric, so I thought I’d give it a try with this little Love Mail project.  I posted the photo above on Instagram (see what you’re missing if you’re not following me on Instagram? ) as it was in progress.

It’s a super simple way to embellish a plain t-shirt.  I used a scrap of muslin, cutting two 4×6 pieces, then serging them together.  I stamped the heart stamp in the corner using pink fabric paint and let it dry.  I decided to get all fancy-schmancy and embroidered the word “love” instead of painting it on.  After that was done I stitched it onto a long-sleeved gray t-shirt for Abby.  I really love the way it turned out!

 I can hardly believe how this girl is growing up!!  Where does the time go?  Being the crafty girl that she is, she loves it when I make things for her, so I’m gonna enjoy that while I can. :)

Stay tuned for more Valentine themed posts coming up in the next several days!  Have a great day!