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Friday, May 29, 2009

Where I'll be this weekend

This afternoon we're headed off on the 6 hr drive to Minnesota to celebrate Kevin's sister Carri's birthday with the family. Since their house will already be full with Kevin's parents and grandma, we decided to camp! We weren't planning on getting in until late tonight, because of Kevin's work, so we are renting a small 2 bedroom cabin on the campgrounds. I'm super excited! We didn't even decide we were going until earlier this week and we really didn't think we'd make it to Minnesota until fall but here we are! It's fun to be spontaneous ya know!

Have a great weekend!

Peace be with you.

In the last couple months I've been doing a lot of word studies on well, words I need to study! I've been going through the fruits of the spirit, and looking through the concordance for all the verses on each word. I started with patience since that's something I need to focus on, to work on. And yesterday I covered peace. And digging up all those verses really did bring me peace. So I thought I'd pass them along. I know they're a lot, especially when it's just the narrow margins of my blog, but here they are anyway.

Galatians 5:22 "The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control."

Job 22:21 “Submit to God and be at peace with him.”

Psalm 29:11 “The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with peace.”

Psalm 34:14 “Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.”

Psalm 85:10 “Love and faithfulness meet together; righteousness and peace kiss each other.”

Psalm 119:165 “Great peace have they who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble.”

Proverbs 14:30 “A heart at peace gives life to the body”

Isaiah 26:12 “Lord, you establish peace for us, all that we have accomplished you have done for us.”

Isaiah 32:17 “The fruit of righteousness will be peace; the effect of righteousness will be quietness and confidence forever.”

John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

Romans 8:5-7 “Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace.”

Romans 14:16-19 “Do not allow what you consider good to be spoken of as evil. For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy spirit, because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and approved by men. Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.”

Colossians 3:5 “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.”

1 Thessalonians 5:23-34 “May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it.”

2 Timothy 2:22 “Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.”

Hebrews 12:14 “Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.”

James 3:17-18 “But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.”

Philippians 4:7 “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Thursday, May 28, 2009

A turning point.

"Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective." James 5:16

Yesterday I decided to quit spanking. Or at least for most of the time. Bear with me, I'm still trying to figure out a plan. God give me wisdom! All I know is this: I spank out of anger way too often. Well, doing it all is a sin. Anger in parenting is something I greatly struggle with. I just get sooo frustrated, especially when it's situations I don't really know how to handle. Usually we try to stay consistent by using a spanking for most everything--tantrums, disobedience, fussing, and angry actions--but now I want to change that. And I realized the other day I think my anger truly scares Eli when it comes to a discipline. So that's what's motivating this change.

Now I'm trying "time-outs" or "taking a break" for him to change his attitude and recognize his own sin. Yesterday I spent a LOT of time in the Bible pulling out verses on peace (to help me stay calm) and in the process put together a list of verses I want to use with the kids, that cover the areas we usually have episodes with. The idea in my head right now is that when he does something in which correction is necessary we go to the time-out spot, sit down calmly, and talk about what happened, review God's instructions in these verses. No crying, screaming, or anger. Here's my list. I tried to keep them real simple verses, things Eli could easily grasp, but at the same time not water it down too much.

"Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love." Ephesians 5:2

"In your anger do not sin." Ephesians 4:26

"Refrain from anger...It only leads to evil." Psalm 37:8

Do not be quickly angered. It's foolish. Ecclesiastes 7:9 (paraphrased)

"Be patient, bearing with one another in love." Ephesians 4:2

"Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right." Ephesians 6:1

"Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong. Always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else." 1 Thessalonians 5:15 I was going to just to use the second half of that verse but the first part is soo important too, especially for children, I couldn't leave it out.

"Be joyful always." 1 Thessalonians 5:16

"Be self-controlled." 1 Peter 1:13

"Do nothing out of selfish ambition...but in humility consider others better than yourselves." Philippians 2:3

"There is a time for everything...A time to be silent and a time to speak." Ecclesiastes 3:1

"Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts...and be thankful." Colossians 3:15

"If we confess our sins, he faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness." 1 John 1:9

I just ordered the book Say Goodbye to Whining, Complaining, and Bad Attitudes...in You and Your Kids Based on the reviews it looks like a fantastic book, and I can't wait to get some more wisdom on what to do here! So if you could, pray for God to change our hearts and give us wisdom as we change our parenting approach!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Link love.

I'm just found a new blog today, and I'm loving it! It seems that every post I've read so far applies directly to my needs as a parent. Practical suggestions for bedtime challenges, anger, teaching honor and self-control, and so many other wonderful things! So go, check it out: Shaping Little Souls.

Another good one I need to explore is Values Driven Family where you can get all kinds of free resources like Bible memory charts, chore charts, character charts., etc You can also follow their blog here.

That's all for now! Happy Monday!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Project #3: shoes

My final project I tackled earlier this week was finding a shoe solution for this house. It's not a BIG project but definitely very important as shoes can easily become a big source of clutter. I love the new system!


Only one more week left to finish the rest of my spring cleaning list!! Yikes!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

A frozen moment of time.

There are some moments in life that are so beautiful, so sweet that it briefly makes time stop. Looking at this picture does that for me.

And yes, I say looking at this picture, rather than the moment itself because it actually lasted only a second, just a blip in the rest of Hannah's day. But so sweet nonetheless. And that is why I love photos. Because they have the ability to freeze time, to allow you to savor something for longer than you had in the actual moment, and to see the beauty in everyday things.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Project #2: toy storage

This was the toy box. Always overflowing, so many different bins and bags for things like blocks, Legos, Easter eggs, etc, and just overall really messy!

After I saw my friend Angie with this same shelf unit for their toys, I've been keeping my eye on it at Target, and finally with some birthday I was able get it put together! And I LOVE it! Check it out! I wasn't sure if everything would fit, but I decided that I was going to limit toys to what did fit and the rest will get rotated around every once in awhile. Turns out, most everything did fit and finally FINALLY I put away the plastic Easter eggs from 2008!click to view larger and see what's in the bins!
And in case you're curious, here is the rest of the play room. Still really bare right now, but I've sketched my design idea, and I'm pretty excited about it! I guess what I'm waiting on, besides money of course, it to decide what to do about curtains. The east wall is a double-wide window--if I sew the curtains myself I would need four panels of fabric instead of two, plus two panels for the north window, and unless I score a REALLY good deal with a fabric that I like, then it's going to cost quite a bit. I've spotted some fabric at Hobby Lobby that I really like but I'm not sure how to work it with the window size. And I'm not going to paint until we have our curtain fabric, because of course we want it to match! Sooo... any ideas? Know of any place to get nice curtains? I've always made ours, so I don't really know where has good variety for decent price.

Project #1: kids clothes

While the kids were at Grandma and Grandpa's house I wanted to tackle some of my bigger spring cleaning projects. So here was project #1, the kids' clothes storage. I had started bins for Eli's 0-3, 3-6, 9-12 month clothes, plus a box of shoes, and Hannah's huge bin of 0-3 month clothes, but seeing that Eli's almost 3 now and Hannah's now through her first year, I had a lot of catching up to do. We had a huge garbage bag of clothes that the kids had outgrown during our 4 months between moves, plus a bin or two that they were outgrowing just before the move, plus the very recent clothes they've outgrown in just the last 3 months.

before. all the bags and bins that need sorted through.
mid-project. This took all afternoon to get through! But I watched the Grey's Anatomy season finale online while I worked, so it wasn't too bad, except that my knees hurt from sitting on them all day.
All done! though I'm not quite sure where Eli's 6-9 month clothes are, or even if there ever were any!And just to be dramatic I'll add a picture of this angle.
This was the biggest project to complete, but stay tuned for projects 2 and 3.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

A brief interuption...

...from my cleaning and projects before the family and kiddos return this afternoon. To simply share how much I LOVE Claussen pickles! It can't be any pickle, it must be Claussen, found in the refrigerated section of the grocery store. Must be dill, and must NOT be the bread n butter variety. Honestly, I don't buy them very often because they're $3-something per jar that usually only lasts one week and it's an easy thing to just go without. But last week I splurged. And mmm, soo good! Delicious as a mere 5-calorie snack, and they truly make a sandwich. So go, if you haven't tried them before, splurge and have yourself a treat!

Okay, now to resuming my cleaning. With the kids gone, yesterday we got some big projects done, and I can't wait to show you my before and afters! So stay tuned in the next couple of days! Until then, I'll be hanging out with my grandma, grandpa, mom, and kids while sipping sweet tea out on our front porch and grilling hamburgers! HAPPY TUESDAY!

P.S. If you usually read my blog in a blog reader, you should stop by and see my new blog background!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Bloggy Break

Just posting to say I'll be offline for a lot of this week. The kids are with my parents today and tomorrow so Kevin and I could have a little break. (woo hoo!!) Then when my mom comes to bring the kids back tomorrow, my grandma and grandpa will be with her and they'll all stay for a couple days to visit and see the house and all that. Since this week will not follow our normal routine, I'm not going to bother planning it. I'll just figure a menu and that's it. We'll be off having fun! See you in a few days!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Signs we eat out too much...

From Eli of course...

1. French toast is called "French fry toast".

2. My French horn is called a "French fry pump". (explanation on this one, my parents have a pump organ in their house, so Eli's confusing the "pump" from the music-making organ with the music-making French horn. Or something like that.)

3. He stands under a small step ladder and pokes his head out the side saying, "hamburger and fries please!"

4. A nearly complete train set thanks to Sonic kids meals.

have a good day!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Spring Cleaning 2009

I really want to get all these tackled before the end of the month, so right now I hereby announce May to be the month of spring cleaning! With only 2.5 weeks left I better get movin' on this list!

1. Change out kid's wardrobes. Out with the old, in with the new.
2. Organize kids' storage clothes, starting with just-before-the-move clothes
3. Get rid of "to go" items. We've already sorted a lot of things out, now we just need to get rid of them.
4. Find shoe solution. We have a big shoe rack that hangs on a door, but in this house there's not really a place for it, so we need to find a new system.
5. Clean out hutch. it is definitely the "hot spot" in this house and I hate that.
6. Sift out pans. I just have waaay too many and really don't need them all.
7. Clean out and vacuum van. I actually got it all vacuumed last week already, but still need to move some things out of it. It doesn't take much for it be really cluttered.
8. Scrub Hannah's car seat.
9. Wipe down lint on dryer.
10. Organize white shed. It's not too bad out there, but there are still a lot of moving boxes, making it look really cluttered and disorganized.
11. Scrub down oven. I think old crumbs and spills burn in it every time I use it!
12. Clean out filing cabinet. Since we've moved we can probably throw away most of our old bills from our last address.

Watch the list through the next couple weeks to see things get completed! What's your spring cleaning list this year?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

A proud mama!

ELI WENT POOP ON THE POTTY FOR THE FIRST TIME TODAY!! I am so excited, I just had to share!! Eli really hasn't been taking any interest in potty training so we haven't been working on it lately, but every time we change a poopy diaper we tell him that someday he's (and Hannah too) going to learn to go in the potty, that's where poop and pee belong, etc. He knows this. Yet he won't do it, and I've been getting pretty frustrated as he continues to get closer to 3 years old! When he needs to go poopy he usually runs off somewhere and if we even look at him, he says "privacy please" and shoos us away. Well, yesterday when he'd run off to go poop, I'd stop him and say "Let's go sit on the potty!" He'd resist and fuss so I'd say "where does poop belong?" to which he'd answer "in the potty" and I'd respond "so let's go to the potty then!" When we got there, he'd still be fussing so I'd say "do you want to sit on the big potty or your little potty" (knowing then he'd pick his little potty and sit) I'd get him sitting down and leave him in our tiny little bathroom so he could have his privacy. I tried to distract him from his fit by putting one of his favorite songs on, and he sat while Hannah threw a fit because she wanted to be a part of it too. Yesterday we did this twice and he'd sit for awhile and then finally ask to be done, and never went potty. And he didn't go in his diaper following either. So again this morning when he ran off to go poop, I stopped him and we did the whole cherade again. This time not as much fussing from either child, yay! I played his music and checked on him a couple times, and he actually sat long enough to go potty!! YAY!! I didn't really have any treats on hand so I just gave him a little bit of cereal, he got a sticker on his chart, and all day we've been talking about how exciting it was and how it wasn't so scary after all! What a big boy, I'm so proud of him!!

Monday, May 11, 2009

School time: A new approach.

I've been inspired. Fairly recently I've discovered, through my bloggy friends Julie and Crystal, a new learning approach called the Charlotte Mason method. I've read quite a bit on it here and here and here and LOVE it! Basically you get rid of textbooks and tests and the pressures that come with them and learn from good literature instead. You spend a LOT of time in nature. And you make pages to put in a notebook that, in your own words, shows what you learned. This whole approach is designed to encourage you to learn because you want to, to help you discover what you find interesting, and to help you remember it all by having it all in your own notebook. One subject I hated in school was history. I just couldn't retain anything I ever learned out of the textbook. But with CM method you would perhaps read a biography about a person from that time period. And by getting into one person's life, you would get a feel for all that was happening, all that life was like, during that time. Neat huh?

Soo... I've always loved being outside, but now I've really been inspired to get out and explore with the kids. Instead of doing worksheets and activities, we're going to do as much of our learning as we can outside. And I was reminded this week that you don't need to know letter names in order to read, just letter sounds. Although Eli does know most of his letter names plus a word or two that start with it, we'll start focusing more on the sound and on lowercase letters since that's what you see more in words. Charlotte Mason method does a lot with writing, doing copywork and journeling, so I'm going to spend more time working with Eli and his hand coordination. We'll practice writing letters in sand or flour or something, but we'll also do a good amount learning how to hold and move a pencil (or pen) and working scissors.

I know, I know, Eli's still not even 3 yet, but I can see how much he's absorbing every day, and it's just soo exciting that he can learn most anything if he were taught! Really I'm just setting the foundation for what will come later.

So this week's plan:

Letter sound "d".
Dandelions activity: dandelion hunt - find the tallest one, shortest one, yellow one, puffy one. talk about the different shapes. count our flowers. seed dandelions: can you blow it in one breath? or how many breaths? yellow dandelions: make a dandelion chain. press a dandelion with wax paper for notebook. plant dandelions in a small pot. in the coming days we'll watch it grow, measure it, chart it, and watch as it gradually turns into a seed dandelion.

Tuesday (rain)

Discover: clouds. Look at pictures of the three main kinds of clouds. Make cotton ball versions for Eli's notebook. What kind of clouds are out today? Look for shapes and pictures. Can we count them? The rest of the week, as we have different weather days, we can look and decide what kind of clouds are out.

Plant sunflowers. (didn't get to this last week since that part of the grass still needed mowed first)

Friday (rain)
Uno cards: find the #. count the cards. put the cards in order.
Coordination: using tongs, put the objects in a bucket.

Monday Meanderings

Bible Study
Contagious Joy

Husband Encouragement
a clean house. I was really trying so hard to keep a clean and tidy house for Kevin since he's shown appreciation for it. But when the weather finally turned to spring here, I started to slip away from my new routines, saying that being outside while it was nice was more important. Well, it's time to get back to my routines and do some cleaning.

Train Them Up
* Last week I started teaching Eli The Lord's Prayer, so we'll spend some time on that this week, explaining what each part of it means. Perhaps in a separate time than answering his questions all at bedtime.
* Exploring nature

Personal Goal
Wake up! I've also been trying to get up at 5am, so I have time to see Kevin before work and have quiet time before the kids wake up. And I actually succeeded 3 days last week! And here I am up and at 'em this morning!

Must Do
* Fold and put away laundry. It was a goal last week to get caught up laundry, and I did manage to get everything washed, but I didn't keep up with getting it folded. I have 3 loads waiting for me this morning.
* pick up sticks, help mow lawn
* purchase wedding present
* take recycling to town
* return neighbor lady's pan - didn't get to it last week

Refrigerator. Need to clean it out.


Monday - spinach manicotti, peaches - didn't get to this last week
Tuesday - chicken chili
Wednesday - hobo dinner packets, oranges
Thursday - taco salad
Friday - home
Saturday - wedding
Sunday - date with Kevin!

Fun Things
* MOPS on Tuesday
* start a new book this week!
* wedding on Saturday
* weekend trip home
* after church on Sunday, Kevin and I are coming home but for the first time ever we are leaving the kids with my parents!! And they will return them to us on Tuesday! I am sooo excited! Kevin and I are going to spend some time in the city on our way back home, do some shopping, eat dinner, maybe see a movie, who knows. Then Monday Kevin will have to work of course, but I'm hoping to tackle some spring cleaning projects. And then we'll have a quiet evening Monday to enjoy at home. I can't wait!

What fun things do you have coming up this week??

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Embrace nature.

I've been inspired lately to spend more time in nature. (more coming on this) So of course for me that means trying to capture it with my camera. One of my new favorite games is to follow my ears and try to pinpoint exactly where a bird is that I'm hearing. It's fun to listen to the different bird chirps and then see what kind of bird it is. Saturday was glorious weather and a perfect spring day, so we spent all day outdoors, and I got lots of lovely pictures! When you take the time to just watch and look closely, you start to notice the beauty in everyday things, even squirrels!

the early bird gets the worm.
mother nature. This mother bird was sitting outside her nest chirping away.
home.solitude.bird friends.
two's company......three's a crowd.
a bird song.
a day with the squirrels, up close and personal
snack time.
peek-a-boo!keeping watch.
nap time.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Activity: Paint Flowers

Someone passed this idea on to me a few weeks ago and I knew right away it was something I wanted to try...

plastic bottle
craft paint
paint brush
use the bottom of the bottle as your stamp
press it down flat
As we were painting the flower petals it dawned on me that we could use the lid to paint the middles. You kind of have to spin the lid a little bit for it to fill in the spot.
I painted the stems
add paint next to your yellow paint on the tray and paint the grass, mixing the yellow and green as you get paint on the brush
nice smile, Eli. Thank you.
aint' she purty!


Ever since I left Jay's funeral last week, I've just really been observing the sky and its beauty, just imagining what Heaven will be like. As I was driving back home after the service I saw the sun shining right through those big puffy clouds, and I so wished I had my camera right then. All week I've been hoping it would happen again. Finally today the big puffy clouds rolled in, so I went snap-crazy with the camera. Couldn't re-create that moment, because most of the day the clouds were scattered and the sun wasn't by them, but I did get some lovely shots for a perfect spring day!

The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Psalm 19:1
Heaven's door?

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

A wake-up call.

I just finished reading this blog post, and wow. Definitely something I needed to hear!

These parts really struck me:
"'Me-time' is a myth... If you are feeling like you need 'me-time', it's probably because you need 'me-and-God-time'. Do an in-depth study of what the WORD says about children and if you can’t figure it out, ask God how they are being blessings right now... A Word of Warning about having someone else watch your children while you “take a much-needed break”: It is habit-forming. If that is the first answer you turn to, then God cannot work in you to overcome the feelings you have and renew your mind. He wants you to enjoy your children and have patience with them and love them as he loves you."

There's a whole lot more truth Jacque shares in her post, so if you are EVER a tired mom, go read and be blessed!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Monday Meanderings

Bible Study
Contagious Joy

Husband Encouragement
surprise gift--just something I've noticed Kevin could use

Train Them Up
school time for Eli, blanket time for Hannah-- I've been trying to get back to this lately but with our visits home the last two weeks, we really haven't done it much at all

Personal Goal
I'm kind of sick of writing my goals, because nearly every week I never meet my goals! This week I'll just pick one, and that's to get up in the morning. I'm trying for 5:00am but ohh, it's so hard. I even tried this morning to move my alarm clock to the dresser, so I'd have to get up to shut it off, but then I laid back down anyway. I did manage to get up at 6:15 though, so that was at least a little bit earlier than the kids. Maybe this week I'll try to make sure I don't turn the alarm OFF and snooze it instead. Then hopefully by the second time I have to get up to shut it off, I'll stay up.

Must Do
* return baking dish to neighbor lady
* mail package
* mail cards
* finish raking the garden

Laundry shoot! haha I'd really love to just get completely caught up on laundry this week!

Menu--for three days last week we were back home for the funeral, so we have a couple meals that are carrying over to this week

Monday - crockpot spaghetti, garlic bread, pears
Tuesday - sausage and rice casserole, orange
Wednesday - roasted chicken, cheesy broccoli rice, creamy orange jello
Thursday - appetizer nite- chicken wings, carrots, sliced apples with dip
Friday - TPD
Saturday - florentine manicotti, peaches
Sunday - Mother's Day!

Fun Things
* good weather
* Mother's Day - no plans but it's still a special day, hopefully we can get some good pics of me with the kids since that doesn't happen very often