Thursday, March 31, 2011

Touch a Truck

This was such a neat (free) event. They had all sorts of trucks:
moving trucks
truck shaped like a roller skate
race car
and a lot more that we didn't even get to see

They are setup so the kids can just climb all around on them. It was a beautiful day to be outside and super fun climbing on the trucks.

They also had a bouncy and a blow up slide. I went down with Kaley and Braedon and burned my elbow...ouch! It was worth it even with a ‘boo boo’.

I do have to admit that I thought the kids would be much more excited about seeing excavators up close. They became familiar with them while I was in the hospital and they watched out the window. Ever since then when we drive down the road and see one they yell "excavator" and get all excited. When we saw them up close and personal though they didn't seem too impressed. But, then I thought they would be impressed at the air show too and they weren't. It is weird how they are sometimes so easily impressed and other times so hard to impress.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Trouble Is...Small Children at Dinner

If you missed the intro for this feature you can read it here.

I am going to keep these posts as concise as I can so we can begin sharing ideas and not get bogged down in too many details:

Issue: We have three children, Braedon (brand new 4), Kaley (2.5), Garrett (8 months...he is really not the issue right now). Dinner time is sometimes a negative experience for our family because Braedon and Kaley just like to play and mess around instead of eating. I don't mind dinner being fun but it gets way out of hand fairly quickly. Unfortunately, it gets to the point of us yelling and them either laughing or crying. We do have plenty of happy and positive dinners. The problem is that we don't have a good plan for when it starts to get out of hand.

Things we have tried: Yelling (no I am not proud of it but I am being real), timeout, dessert and/or other reward, other punishments. Not giving any snacks (food only at breakfast, lunch, and dinner).

Other info: They are well trained that they are not supposed to get up from the table without permission. We "set them up for success" with their meal. We don't expect them to eat things they don't like. We give them small enough portions that they won't feel overwhelmed. If they don't eat their dinner, they don't get anything else to eat until breakfast.

I am welcoming all comments with advice and encouragement. You are also welcome to share links and/or book recommendations. The only limitation in comments is to please be kind and let your words be God glorifying.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Trouble Is...

I have decided to start a new feature on my blog called: The Trouble Is. The purpose of this feature is to share an area where I am struggling and ask for advice from my readers. It is my hope that this will become an interactive feature where everyone can share fresh ideas on dealing with real-life issues. Most of the issues will probably revolve around child-rearing. However, I am not limiting it to that. So, if I have an issue that comes up in a different area of life it could likely be highlighted here. I know there will be readers who have been there and can share their advice. I also know there will be readers who are on their way or right there with me and they can glean some wisdom and encouragement as well.

Coming soon in this feature:
-Small children and dinner
-Dividing time and building one on one relationships
Stay tuned for more...

I am welcoming all comments with advice and encouragement. You are also welcome to share links and book or website recommendations. The only limitation in comments is to please be kind and let your words be God glorifying.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Multitudes on Mondays (76-100)

76. Being able to stay home with my kids
77. My husband and I having the same heart for spiritual training our children
78. Kaley's cute!
79. Being able to dance
80. Chazown
81. Family Time training
82. Our family's theme song Give Me Your Eyes by Brandon Heath
83. Our children's attentiveness during our first family time session...big success 84. Jesus is our shephard. When we are lost he comes to find us.
85. Recording family videos and then watching them with the kids
86. The feelings that come with the season's changing
87. Cuddling with my babies
88. Crisis pregnancy centers
89. Life
90. God being in control of everything
91. Perfect example of life to follow, Jesus Christ
92. Forgiving God
93. Garrett's laughter
94. Baby formula (as much as I love nursing)
95. Sermons that speak directly to me
96. Braedon and Kaley surrounding Garrett talking and playing with him
97. Kids worship videos...(especially Big House)
98. Hearing my kids sing
99. Hearing my kids pray
100.Hearing my kids recite bible verses

Sunday, March 27, 2011

An Afternoon Snack

There is something I love about babies gnawing on their hands and their feet. Especially their feet. It is a little challenge for them to grab it and put it into their mouth and it is so funny to watch! :-)


Saturday, March 26, 2011


We decided to do caterpillars this year. Our oldest is 4 and I was sort of hesitant about it because I was doubted that he would get much out of it. But, I figured I would get them anyway if only for the sake of exposure and something fun and different. He wasn't very impressed the first time he saw them because they just looked like little black pieces of string. Within only a few days they had more than doubled their size. So, when I showed them to him again he said, "wow." We read the book The Hungry Caterpillar and then I showed him the caterpillars again. He said, "those are going to turn into butterflies" in a very excited tone.

Within another few days they turned into chrysalids and we moved them from the cup to the butterfly garden to wait for them to hatch. This is day 5 after we moved them so we have a few more days to wait but should have butterflies within 2-5 days. Can't wait!

Friday, March 25, 2011

I Won, I Won! Straw Into Gold

There are a lot of neat giveaways going on in blogland and on Facebook. I don't have time to enter as many as I would like. This one at Nature Trails and Nature Tales (formerly Butterfly Wishes and Wonderland Dreams) was one I couldn't pass up...Straw into Gold book by Ken Jaffe and Leslie Falconer.

The description reads: "Create inspiring activity areas for young children using found objects or recycled materials." This is right up my ally since I am always looking for new and creative ideas for the kids. Also, the ideas are inexpensive since they use items that would probably not have to be purchased. I am so glad I won this book and can't wait to try some of the activities.

Thank you to Butterfly Wishes and Wonderland Dreams and Mother Goose time.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Walk for Life 2011

I have just learned that the county I live in is the 4th highest for number of abortions in the state of Georgia. There is a tremendous need to serve women who find themselves in a pregnancy crisis and restore value and hope to their lives and the lives of their unborn children. Crisis pregnancy centers all over the nation are on the front lines of war defending life every second of every day. Cobb Pregnancy Services (CPS) serves over 4,000 women per year and hopes to expand their facility to be able to serve more in the near future.

A couple of years ago, I was privileged to tour their facility and meet the director. I saw how on fire they are for defending life and pointing people to Christ. It was awe inspiring! Additionally, a couple of years ago, I had the opportunity to be a table host at their annual fundraising event. What a blessing to see some fruit from such a wonderful ministry. A young lady gave her testimony of how she was at risk for abortion until she found CPS. At the time of her testimony (at the event) she was past her due date. So, she was very pregnant and her face was shining with hope. She found God and learned about the value of the life of her child and herself through CPS.

This year I have the wonderful opportunity to serve CPS again by participating in their Walk for Life.

I humbly ask for your support: 1. please join me in prayer for CPS and other crisis pregnancy centers, 2. please prayerfully consider making a financial contribution to this wonderful ministry, and 3. if you are local, prayerfully consider joining the walk also.

If you would like to contribute financially, please send me your name, mailing address, and the dollar amount you wish to pledge. CPS will send you a letter and a donation envelope after the walk. The walk will be April 16 so please notify me before then if you wish to contribute.

Thank you for your prayers and support!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Genesis 1:1-2 and Chills

I like to try to get out of bed before my kids so I can have some very still, quite time with the Lord in the morning. I haven't been doing this lately because of sleep deprivation. However, it is a discipline I hope to return to soon. A couple of years ago I was awake pretty early it was very still, very dark, and very quite. I listened to a few worship songs through my headphones and then opened my bible. I was at the beginning because I was starting a "through the bible" reading plan. I didn't get very far before I was floored. Genesis 1:2 says,

"Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters."

I have read that verse before. This time though, it gave me chills (in a good way). Just meditating on that and thinking about the fact that the earth was a whole lot of nothingness (besides water) and blackness and there was God, his spirit "hovering." What an awesome picture of God as creator! I am so humbled to serve the God of the universe in His precious son's name, Jesus Christ.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

A Few of Braedon's Favorite Things

We went to a fast food restaurant recently and on the kids meal box was a cute fill in the blank story. I wanted to memorialize it here since at this point in time it indicates some of Braedon's favorite things. And, it is a pretty cute story. The words in bold are the blanks that had to be filled in. The rest of the story was pre-printed.

This morning, Braedon and Jax went upstairs to make the craziest fish the world had ever seen! It was made of play dough and colored blue. It was so great that it won a prize in the Christmas day parade.

Jax-pet's name
upstairs-favorite place to play
fish-anything you want
play dough-most favorite thing ever!
blue-favorite color
Christmas-favorite holiday

Monday, March 21, 2011

Multitudes on Mondays (51-75)

51. Spontaneous baptisms
52. All the souls who publicly professed their following of Jesus Christ through #51 at church yesterday
53. Personal phone call from a very important person
54. Family naptime
55. Warm weather warm enough to enjoy outside but not scorching hot
56. Visiting a new playground with my brother and my two neices
57. Our Sunday School teacher
58. New Zealand
59. Crisis pregnancy centers
60. Grocery stores
61. Much needed date night with my honey
62. Family fun at touch a truck
63. My friend's website for great ideas of family fun things to do
64. Blog giveaways
65. That I won my first #64 recently (blog post coming soon)
66. Discussing with husband and implementing changes in our home and family routines
67. That my awesome husband did lots of housecleaning this weekend
68. Shopping sales
69. Checklists
70. Spring
71. Changing seasons
72. That caterpillars turn into butterflies, how amazing is that!
73. Free preschool resources
74. Excitability of my children
75. Corporate worship

Monday, March 14, 2011

Multitudes on Mondays (26-50)

26. Hearing very clearly from God when I call out to Him
27. Laid back mornings when this can happen

28. When my kids show love to each other
29. Indoor picnics (and when my kids play together peacefully like doing this puzzle)

30. Not being a slave to creditors
31. That God "gently leads those that have young" (Isaiah 40:11)
32. The Bible
33. National Center for Biblical Parenting
34. MOPS
35. Dave Ramsey
36. Relationships
37. Family time
38. Teacher's who love on my kids during church
39. Movies
40. Early bedtimes
41. Exercise
42. Spring-like days
43. God given purpose
44. Restful, peaceful times when I don't have to do anything except stare into my baby's sleeping face
45. Hearing Braedon tell stories
46. Inspiring weekends
47. Love based parenting
48. That God opens my heart to accept the fact that I need LOTS of work
49. God is working on me
50. Thank God that He is not finished with me yet

Thursday, March 10, 2011

What Painting Looks Like

Every now and then I feel compelled to get out the paint. It was very fun but this is the reason we only do it once on a while.
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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Random Cuteness

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Learning Area

I hesitate to say "school" area because we aren't officially *in* school yet. I want to focus more on free learning and not much structure right now. But, this is where we go for structured learning. The posterboard in the back displays our Raising Rock Stars Preschool lesson that we are doing. Braedon and Kaley have chosen to display some of their artwork in this area too (I let them hang it wherever they want to). There are workboxes in the back with their initials on top. We tried to just get Braedon one and that didn't go over so well so we had to get one for Kaley too. :-) Never too early to start getting her used to the idea, I guess. I just fill it with fun stuff for her and a worksheet here and there if I notice she likes certain ones.
The table was given to me by a great friend and is perfect for little people to sit at and work on crafts or worksheets. There isn't a whole lot of wall space in our little area so I taped the world map to the top of the table. I think it looks pretty neat there.

The thing I love most about this area is that it is part of our living room and just off of our dining room and kitchen, which are the three rooms we spend most of our time in.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Braedon's Haircut

We have been taking Braedon to get his hair cut and although it is not too expensive it does add up pretty quickly when he needs to go every 4 or 5 weeks. Additionally, now that we have another boy in the family it would be getting very expensive when they both started having to go. After the last time we took Braedon to get his haircut, I asked him if I could cut his hair next time he needed it. Amazingly, he said yes. We both enjoyed it. No, it is not perfect but it is good enough for the amount of money we will be saving. And, it is not too bad for someone who has NEVER cut hair with a comb and scissors before. He's my little handsome man!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Multitudes on Mondays (1-25)

I am starting my journey counting my way to one thousand gifts. Quite often, I am thankful in my head but it is so much more powerful to get it out of my head and into words.
Here I go:
1. Jesus Christ
2. A wonderful husband
3. Awesome kids
4. When Braedon says, "mom, I love you" out of the blue
5. Very still, quite time with just me and God
6. Great church home
7. Routine, structure, plans
8. Every second I get to spend with my kids
9. Modern medicine
10. Music that leads me to the cross
11. Family prayer time
12. Spontaneous worship
13. Technology (when used for good)
14. Books and reading to my kids
15. Library, especially the fact that I can reserve items online and then just go pick them up
16. Braedon learning more sight words and reading some
17. The privilege of teaching my children
18. Babies
19. Mongolia and the opportunity to learn about and pray for them-Tots on a Mission
20. Maps, specifically the world map we recently purchased
21. That I am actually interested in geography and know where Mongolia among other places is now (no I never paid attention in school)
22. Sleep
24. Blogs
25. Marriage

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Garrett - 7 Months

Here is our newest growing boy! He is over half way to one year old...hard to believe. He is full on eating solids now and a lot of them.
We are making his baby food, which is super easy!
1. Cook (except for canned fruit)
2. Puree in food processor or blender (very smooth for first bites, then chunkier the more he eats)
3. Freeze in ice cube trays move to gallon ziploc once frozen
4. Microwave when ready to eat each rectangle is approx 1 tbsp
We are still nursing...yay! He weighs somewhere around 15 lbs. He is very laid back until he wants something. Then, he goes from quite and content to screaming louder than Braedon used to...very quickly. I am not even kidding when I say he screams like his arm is being ripped off. There is really no in between with him.
He grabs at everything now. I saw him intentionally go for Kaley's hair the other day. She turned around and said, "no, no, no" shaking her finger at him. He is also chewing all over his hands and anything else he can get in his mouth. I keep feeling for teeth but nothing yet. It was pretty cute when I was taking this month's picture. I had time to snap one of him beside the bear.

He then promptly snatched it up and started chewing on it.

For comparison purposes, here are the previous posts:
6 months
5 months
4 months
3 months
2 months
1 month

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Tree

This idea came from Preschool Palace. I have no creative mental capacity but if I have creative plans laid out for me I can sometimes follow them. This was such a cute idea I couldn't pass it up. I do have to say that when I went to my usual grocery store to buy Alpha Bits I couldn't find them. But, at that store I did find alien berry punch flavored cereal. Gotta have me some of that...NOT! Yes, I was less than impressed that they don't carry Alpha Bits but sure do carry whatever other kind. Anyway, the snack is oh so cute and was a huge hit with the kids.

Friday, March 4, 2011

(Un)Forgetful Friday

-I have the best husband EVER!
-When Garrett starts fussing, Braedon says, "I'm right here, Garrett. It's ok" in his sweet, nurturing tone like he is his mommy.
-Kaley reading Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus, she turns the pages and yells "a huh, bus" which is Kaleyese for "Let Me Drive the Bus". She also turns to look at us and laughs after she does it each time.
-Garrett figured out how to scream (with delight) today. Not sure if that is a good thing or not.
-Braedon says "heapin trouble" whenever anyone gets in trouble (i.e. "Kaley, your in heapin trouble." This language was inspired by Cars when the sheriff says, "boy, you're in a heap of trouble".
-Kaley told me Braedon hit her. I asked Braedon if he hit her. His response was "well, um, actually I did that three months ago."
-Braedon learning to read and ME getting to teach him. Praise God!
-Garrett grasping onto my shirt while he those little hands.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Thank God for Mercy

At the beginning of the year I started an exercise class. I love the teacher's playlist and I love that at seemingly the exact perfect time a certain song plays. A little over half way through the class when I am breathing the hardest and my muscles are burning the most, I glance at the clock to see how much time is left and the song Caught Up In Yourself by Third Day starts playing. You know, the one that goes:

"Thank God for mercy
Thank God for His grace
Thank God for everything you’ve got
Before it’s too late"

It is really the "Thank God for mercy" that I am focusing on at that point in time since mercy is what I need to get through the rest of my exercise class. But, I know that it is SO much more than that.
I am always thankful for God's grace and mercy but never as much as I have been lately. I haven't been myself. Garrett has only recently started sleeping well at night again since before my last post on that issue. I haven't been carving out much needed quite time with the Lord. I was getting in a little devotion time daily but sometimes that is not enough. I was beginning to turn into a grouchy mother and a grouchy wife. Then, I start to feel guilty and become even more grouchy. It is a vicious downward spiral. I lose sight of the most important things and I start to become discontent with everything. I was writing in my prayer journal the other night crying out to God and made a list of things I need to do:
-I need to spend more time with God
-I need to respect my husband more
-I need to be more patient and gentle with my kids...
and the list goes on. When I was finished with the list I was reading over it and asking God for some practical steps to take to make it happen. What I heard was not surprising but something I had also lost sight of. "Submit to Me and I will take care of everything else".
I am so humbled to serve a God who showers grace and forgiveness on my many mistakes. He has always been so faithful to answer my cries out to him. It is always I who don't cry out to him often enough or when it is quite enough for me to hear his answer. I am so thankful for mercy for my heart when I have to see the hurt look on my kid's faces when I yell at them. I am also thankful for his mercy that will comfort their hearts. I know that it is only God that can take my mistakes and turn them into a burning desire to become more near to and like Him. Thank You, God!