Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Cute Tots

Cute Tot

Awwwww..... How sweet that J was featured as a Cute Tot over at the Totally Tots blog where I link-up for Tot School. Click on the link to see him and some of the other cuties!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Bloggy Love and Marriage Musings

I have been following a blog for a while that has really been an encouragement to me. I thought, what better way to honor her and her blog than to make a post about it!

She goes by the name "Lovin' Life" and her blog is called Konnichiwa. She started her blog last September. She has a variety of things she posts about including recipes, scripture, her family and her faith. Her blog title "Konnichiwa" means hello in Japanese. I love the verse she has underneath her title, Titus 2:4-5 that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands and I see her living this out as I've been reading the posts on her blog. A few of the posts that have really impacted me the most:
About Motherhood
About Honoring Husbands (this one I actually printed out and leave on my kitchen table!)
About Complaining (I'm guilty too!)
About The Persecuted Church

I hope you are blessed by this blog too.

When I read her post "Honoring Husbands" in January, it was very timely as the Lord had been convicting me a lot about who I was being in my marriage. I was and continue to struggle with focusing on the petty stuff and making mountains out of things that just don't matter. Lately, the Lord has been having me slow down, step back and "listen" to myself in how I am being toward my husband (L). I had a moment where I was reviewing in my mind a conversation L and I had and I said to myself, "Did I actually say that? Did I say "How dare you ...blah blah blah" to my husband?" And I had! I was shocking myself with what I was seeing come out of me. I noticed I have much more patience and compassion in how I relate to my almost 3-year-old son than I do with L. When I took time to stop and pray about it, it was convicting to see how often I am complaining, nagging or starting arguments when something isn't going my way. This has been a humbling thing to acknowledge, yet I feel it's honoring to the Lord and a good place to start. I find the Lord is empowering me to bite my tongue before the complaint/anger comes out. I ask, "Is this a battle I want to fight, or would it be more honoring to the Lord to let it go?" I'm finding strength to let it go. I'm also finding a new joy in my heart in truly serving my husband. Even little things like doing some extra organizing and cleaning because I know how much it blesses him; and less grumbling in the daily chores I do and not looking for acknowledgment, just doing it from a heart of love. I'm also finding things to do that I'll do simply because it's one less thing my husband has to do. These are signs of the Holy Spirit at work in me, because I know this isn't natural for me! The Lord is showing me what a treasure my husband is, a man who has a passion for following Him and who works so hard so that I can be at home raising our son. I'm discovering new things every day about just what a blessing being married to him is.

As I've opened my heart to the Lord by confessing about this and praying for a changed heart, it is amazing the things he's putting in front of me and the door's he's opening. It's like he's pouring out himself to me in what I'm finding to read and listen to. Here's what I mean:

  • I found a broadcast this week at Focus on the Family titled "Who Am I As a Wife?" that is just incredible. The things talked about are so pertinent for retraining myself in being a godly wife. I'm only part-way through Part 1 and there is a Part 2 also. Lovin' Life posted this week about complaining (see link above) and this was after she listened to part 2 of this same broadcast.
  • I found a giveaway on The New Living Translation bible blog for a devotional bible called In His Image. I ended up winning it!
  • I found a book called What's It Like Being Married to Me and Other Dangerous Questions by Linda Dillow on the Internet Cafe and entered a giveaway by Erica at The Write Web and I actually won the book!
  • I also found a book called Winning Him Without Words through the Internet Cafe and entered a giveaway at Rachel @ Beautiful Daughters and (no joking) I won that too! This book is actually written for women married to men who don't know the Lord, but they shared how it would edify any marriage.
  • I found an audio book through our library called Were It Not for Grace; Stories from Women After God's Own Heart. In the intro it talks about these women as those who love the Lord with all their hearts. These women found intimacy with the Lord not without a cost. I am looking forward to listening to this book.
So I'm not sharing all this to toot my horn about the things I've won, but I want to share it as a praise for the Lord who is showering me with the means to pursue this desire, to honor my husband. I feel like I take one step forward and two steps back as my old habits die hard. Yet I am confident and in agreement with his word, Philippians 1:6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. I know the Lord has his hand upon me as I seek to bring him glory in every area of my life, especially my marriage. I also know I will be surrendering this area of my life to him again and again as it is a constant struggle for me. Yet I find that so much of LIFE, (depth, passion, vitality) is found within the struggle. It means I'm growing; the ever-imperfect flower in God's garden.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Tiny Talk Tuesday (A Few Weeks' Worth)

**J is 34 months old today!**

Tiny Talk Tuesday is a way to share the fun and interesting things our kids are saying. I love joining up for this blog carnival at Not Before 7. Click her button above to see what kind of Tiny Talk has been overhead in the homes of others!

One morning J was watching a DVD of the show Yo Gabba Gabba. They were doing nap time with stories. He comes over to me and says, "Mommy, I'm bringing you your blanket". And he puts a little blanket on my lap. Then he says, "I'm going to read you a story." He then brings over One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish and starts reading it to me. This is the very first time he's "read" me a story! It was just so sweet.

We were leaving our friend's house one night and the smell of skunk was really thick in the air. Somehow it made me think of the skunk tongue twister. A skunk sat on a stump.
The skunk thunk the stump stunk; The stump thunk the skunk stunk.*** I introduced this tongue twister to J and then he said "I have a tongue twister mommy! The skunk sat on a tree. The tree stunk! ha ha ha ha!" He kept on going and did this with "the skunk sat on ___the roof, a sign, the house", and each time he would laugh like crazy which made us laugh our pants off. I just love seeing his sense of humor develop like this!

We were driving in the car one morning on one of these spring-feeling days with the windows cracked open and my son says, "I smell something mommy!" I said "Oh, you mean my coffee?" He says, "No, I smell the EARTH!" Only recently have we been talking about the way things smell, like flowers or food cooking, and it was so neat to hear this.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Daddy Time Friday

There is a fun blog hop I'm joining up to created by a fellow blogger and Tot School mom, Patricia. Come join in the fun over at My Tot Learning Time where we get to thank our hubbies and share a little of what daddy is doing with our kids each week.

Playing Harmonica

Daddy bought a set of harmonicas that J just loves to play. He does pretty well too! Here are daddy and J both playing their harmonica together.

Washing Machine Basketball

This is a fun little game that daddy created. He opens up our washing machine door and the goal is for J to throw the ball and make a basket in the washing machine. Daddy loves playing guard and blocking him from getting the ball in!

I LOVE This Picture

I was lucky to snap this picture at just the right time! J was walking up the stairs and daddy was peeking over the rail at him.

Thank you daddy, for working so hard all week and yet still making time for precious moments with your family. We Love You!!

Thanks for visiting!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Tiny Talk Tuesday

**J is 33 months old**

Tiny Talk Tuesday is a way to share the fun and interesting things our kids are saying. I love joining up for this blog carnival at Not Before 7. Click her button above to see what kind of Tiny Talk has been overhead in the homes of others!

J has really taken more of an interest in shapes lately. He is definitely more focused on them which is neat to see. Out of the blue one day he said, "Mommy, my nose is a triangle!" I said, "Well yes, your nose is shaped like a triangle." Then he said, My head is a square and my feet are diamonds." I said, "Who taught you this?" He said, "Me!" :)

One evening, J said "Look at me, I'm snoozing." He had found his Nuk, grabbed his blankie and was laying on the floor. Then he said, "I'm dreaming." I said, "What are you dreaming about?" He said, "I'm dreaming about mini golf." I wasn't sure I heard him right so I said, "Did you say you're dreaming about mini-golf?" He said, "Yes!" This is funny. We drive past a mini-golf place often during the week and he sees the giraffes and other animals and every time we drive past he says he wants to go mini golfing (we've never been yet). I told him we will wait until it opens in the spring when there's no snow left. Then we can play mini golf. So now he's "dreaming" about it!

That's all I captured over the past week. Thanks for your visit!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

We Love to Learn Through Play and Tot School

I love being a stay-at-home mom and feel so blessed to do so. I also love taking pictures of all the things we are doing. Instead of doing separate Tot School and Play-Time posts, I decided to combine them since it's all part of learning. Some of our time is geared toward open creative play, and some of our time is geared toward intentional learning activities. All of it is about having fun while learning.

Tot School
**J is 33 months old**

Come over to play at the Childhood 101 We Play link up:

We Play
**J is 33 months old*

Favorite pics from an afternoon at the zoo

The first pic you can actually see us in the reflection. I'm so glad I had his backpack with me! (We used our credit card miles to buy that; it's a backpack that goes up to 50 lbs and I just love it.) We have been itching to go to the zoo for a while now. Just had to wait for a week where it actually warmed up. Funny though, it was a ghost town! There were maybe two sets of parents with a kid or two and then a handful of adults I saw the entire time we were there. We had some freezing rain/sleet/snow so it was hard pack and you couldn't have strollers or wagons so it made the place deserted. We spent over an hour going to all the different exhibits and taking our time. It is such a blessing that our zoo is free.

First visit to the dentist - WENT GREAT

We recently changed dentists after our hygienist left. It's a long story, but now she's at a new practice and we switched over and I couldn't be happier! We found this dentist just in time for J to start dental visits. So I got my teeth done on a day they have childcare. YES! My dentist has childcare! It was actually one-on-one time because no one else was there. I was so content as I sat getting my teeth done and could hear J laughing and enjoying play and learn time. Then he had his turn in the chair and I just could not believe how well he did. They counted his teeth, used a tooth brush for his first "cleaning" and then gave a little flouride treatment. You could see how relaxed he was in the pictures! Then the best part, the dentist made him a balloon animal! He even popped the first one which had all of us laughing, then he made another one. J was ecstatic. He can't wait to go back and doesn't understand yet what waiting for 6 months will be like. He asked every day for several days after that to go play at the dentist's office.

Just LOVES Chalk Boards - draws an EGG

This was J's drawing of an egg at the dentist's office. He really loves chalk boards and we may have to invest in one. He loves erasing the whole board and then drawing and then erasing again. This was the first time he drew something that you could recognize as the actual object! So great to see this little steps in learning.

Coloring Page for Wild Animal Baby

In a lot of the things I do with J, my "nature lover" comes out. From the time I was a kid to now, I have always loved anything to do with animals. I "liked" the National Wildlife Federation's site on Facebook and found they have a magazine for kids called Wild Animal Baby. They just made it a TV show too. We don't need the cost of a subscription, but you can find fun things online like this coloring page. Here's the link: Wild Animal Baby Explorers .

Running off with the Letters

This was just sheer goofiness that I was lucky enough to get a picture of. We have a floor alphabet mat and J decided it would be fun to run around with a couple of the letters. He was so funny when he put his little face in the middle of the O and was running around with it in his teeth. Just cuteness. (We're doing potty training sessions so you'll see he doesn't have pants on in a lot of our pictures.)

Animal Matching Craft (from Pal Zone)

During our Pal Zone time this week (a local play group we attend), we read a book with a variety of animals in the story (for the life of me I can't remember the name!) Then the craft part was to match up the animal pictures and glue them together. We had to go to the dentist so we ended up doing this craft at home. J is getting pretty good using a glue stick and remembering which side to put the glue on. He added in a couple of his animal stickers too.

Letter Tracing Activity, the Letter "L"

I tried a writing/tracing activity a few months ago, but J didn't really get into it so this week I though I'd try again. I found this letter L print out from Carisa's PreSchool corner (Raising Rock Stars) at the 1+1+1equals1 blog. This went really well. J had a lot of fun using his new Dora markers (this was from our prize bag he got to pick for going in the potty). It was hard for him to just trace a line since he's so used to the coloring motion. The more I coached him, the better he got. We'll be working on that as she has several more letters on the blog you can print out. It was a great start!

I found a great activity for color matching at Confessions of a Homeschooler. I can't tell you how long ago I printed this out (months) and I finally finished cutting out all the little paint brushes and their jars. I used contact paper to "laminate" them since we don't have a laminating machine and used an old file folder. We had fun with this and J liked to call out the colors as he put them in the jars. He had to work a little sometimes to get them in the jar so there was a little bit of fine motor work going on too. I just like how cute the little jars look with the matching brushes in them.

Playing Harmonica

I love engaging in almost anything musical with J. His dad got a set of harmonicas and it's so fun to play together. He was downstairs with daddy and called me down. "Mommy, play harmonica with me!" So I gladly joined in. I will post more pictures of this on my "Daddy Time Friday" post I hope to put up next Friday 3/11.

Count and Match Pegboard

We got out a few games we hadn't played with in a while and this was one of them. J loves lining up the peg shapes by color. He made a lot of neat designs. Then he knocked them all off the board and started over again. He liked calling out the shape as he put it in the board. The last picture he called his "shape train".
I never get tired of seeing him in his fireman helmet and especially love how he still wears it backwards. He seems to like it that way even when we tell him it's backwards.

Swiper Pancakes - try not to laugh!

I have to laugh at this one. I was on the Nick Jr website and found a Swiper sandwich idea. Swiper is a character from Dora. They made a PB & J Swiper but I made mine out of pancakes. I also used chocolate syrup for the eyes and mask instead of jelly and blueberries and as you can see it made quite a mess. The fun part is that J liked it! He knew it was Swiper so that was fun. Here's a link if you want to make one: Swiper Peanut Butter and Jelly.

Backyardigan Bath Sponge Craft

J has been enjoying Backyardigans through the DVDs at the library. We also like their coloring pages on Nick Jr. Something fun I found on that site was bath sponges. I happened to have three of the color sponges I needed and this was easy to make. The link is at Nick Jr. You download the traceable characters, trace them onto the sponge and then cut them out. I told J that I was making him a surprise and he couldn't wait to see. After they were all done, he played with them right away getting daddy in the fun. We haven't even taken them into the bath yet. He just loves to play with them around the house.

Scuffy the Tugboat

It was hard to get a good picture, but I captured a couple that show J's new Scuffy toy. I got a Golden Book that had the Scuffy story in it and J really enjoyed it. I was able to find a little toy online and he's played with it nonstop. He sleeps with it too. You can read the background info on my What We're Reading post.

Check out what others are doing at The Play Academy, Nurture Store blog:
play academy

That was our week! Thanks for visiting!