Monday, March 29, 2010

Easter Events

We're planning quite a few activities for the week leading up to Easter Sunday.
Some of these are for fun (the more cultural things that we want our kids to get to experience.)
And some of the things I have planned are learning teach them more about Jesus,
the reason for His crucifixion and resurrection, and the real reason we
actually celebrate Easter.

Take any ideas you want to and use them with your kids.
Some are my own original ideas,
some are ideas from other moms and from our church,
and a few are traditional Easter activities.

I'll probably post some of the more complicated activities
in detail on our other blog. Enjoy :)

1. Read the stories of Jesus' arrest, crucifixion, and resurrection out of
the Jesus Storybook Bible often.
2. Easter story eggs (I'm making our own version, so I'll post more about it
on the other blog.)
3. Dye eggs naturally, with ingredients found in our pantry and in nature.
(more about that, too, assuming it works :) )
4. Make Easter ornaments for our nature table branches.
5. Easter egg hunt with friends.
6. Make a crown of thorns out of sticks and talk about
how Jesus' crown hurt Him
7. Paint inside of egg carton to use for sorting activities, such as this one
8. Make shakers out of plastic Easter eggs, beans/rice, and glue

Looking forward to a great week with my 3 favorite little boys! :)

Sunday, March 28, 2010

If My Words Abide in You

I know a lot of you are John Piper followers. I listen to his sermons online and try to keep up a little bit with other "news" about him. If you haven't seen this letter yet, please take a minute to read it. He is asking for prayer for the church and for his family during an upcoming leave of absence. Please join me in praying for them! We should always be faithful to pray for our and other pastors around the world. They have an amazingly awesome yet difficult job, and it seems like quite a few of them are undergoing hardships of one type or another lately. The sermon below is probably my all-time favorite of Piper's. Enjoy!!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

What is it about a hat?

Do these two boys look cute or what?

This basketball shirt is Eli's favorite.
If he doesn't want to get dressed, all I have to do is pull out this shirt.
He actually pets it while he's wearing it and says "ba-ball" over and over.

Justus decked out in his Astros T-Ball uniform

Titus looked adorable in the 21 hat, too, but the picture didn't turn out :(

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Friday, March 19, 2010

Titus is 3!!!!!!!!!!


is Up

and Smiling at all of this attention

We love you, Titus!
We are so thankful God blessed
our family with your sweet, funny, full-of-life presence :)
Happy Birthday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
You are many things, and we are glad you are YOU!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Why I blog

Blogging can take a lot of time and effort. When I sit up at night in my quiet house (usually with my sleeping husband next to me on the couch :) ) uploading pictures and videos and writing posts about our kids, what we have been doing, and what the boys have been learning, I have to say, I just enjoy it. Blogging is an outlet for me...a therapy, in a way. I love taking pictures of my kids, but taking pictures of our activities for the blog also helps me enjoy the activities even more. I don't know how many people look at this or my other blog, but as much as I'd love to share ideas with other moms (since I've received so many ideas and so much wisdom from OTHER moms' blogs!), it really in the end doesn't matter to me. I do want to create a keepsake for myself, my husband, and my kids. I will need to keep a log of our learning activities once we officially start homeschooling (which will be the main point of the other blog...and my reason for starting a second.) If you do read my blogs, I guess there is a little part of me that is happy. It's funny, because I am a pretty private, not looking to be the center of attention kind of girl. Putting my life, my day, my "current events" out there isn't exactly like me. Like I said, though, both of my blogs are there for me as outlets. I enjoy writing, I enjoy my kids and my way of life, and I mostly enjoy having just a little something for me! I hope you enjoy reading and getting ideas of things to do with your kids (if there is anyone out there reading this :) ), but most of all, I hope you will be inspired to do just a little something you enjoy...just because you enjoy it!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

What our kids do all day

We are trying our best to raise our kids to use their imaginations, appreciate nature, learn things in every moment of the day, and be responsible for themselves, their family, and their things. This means that we have to strive daily to keep the TV off, keep them busy with activities and ideas, and expose them to things they might not have thought of on their own.

I would love to be a TV-Free family, but that is just not happening right now for various reasons. The little boys don't watch much, if any, but Justus gets "TV Time" once a day. I actually think it is benefiting him getting to have that one-time-a-day, because he's learning how to create his own rhythm. If he chooses to have that time in the morning as soon as he gets up, that means no TV the rest of the day. Tough for a four-year-old, but it's definitely teaching him responsibility, control, and moderation.

So what do our kids do all day?

Arts and Crafts
Play with cars and trains
Chase each other around the house
Dance to music
Help me clean

Play outside (as much as possible)

Play with their "guys"
Do Montessori activities like this
Have our next door neighbor over to play

Make things in their kitchen
and care for their stuffed animals

Make things in the kitchen with me
Write and draw
Dress up in their costumes

Do a lot of puzzles

Read together, by themselves, and with me

Play/Build with blocks

I'm not a huge fan of the kids watching TV first thing when they wake up.
I think it messes with their moods, starts their day off with images and words
already in their head (which didn't actually come from their head),
and generally sets the tone for a day of wanting to watch TV.
I can appreciate, though, that it means the rest of the day is left
up to our imaginations.
We DO love to go places, see new and exciting things, spend time together away from
our everyday setting, and explore things that aren't available at home.
I know, though, that if we ever do become a TV-Free family, I will have many
ideas under my sleeve, and my kids will already know how to spend their
time wisely just hanging out at home.

Here's to a simple life :)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

How women dress

Click here for a great read on modesty. Here are a few excerpts:

Godly women do not seek to elevate themselves above others – not by immodest dress, and not by competitive dress. They seek to provoke neither the lust of men nor the envy of women. They love preferentially by keeping the focus off of themselves. Clothed inwardly with the righteousness of Christ, their outward clothing becomes a matter for sober consideration: How can I best worship God through my wardrobe choices? May we, as daughters of the Living God, be measured not by our hemlines but by our humility.

Modesty means propriety. It means avoiding clothes and adornment that are extravagant or sexually enticing. Modesty is humility expressed in dress. It’s a desire to serve others, particularly men, by not promoting or provoking sensuality.

and finally,

Our beauty is the glory of a shining Son, Who is altogether lovely. May we clothe ourselves with the righteousness of Christ and the fruit of the Spirit and not the fading fashions of a fallen world.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

We just do things a little differently, that's all!

Time for another "We do things differently" post :) This time, I want to talk about our outstanding parenting skills...JUST kidding (any advice on how to deal with a rebellious almost 3-yr-old is welcome!) No really, a few friends have asked me recently what we do when our babies/kids have snotty noses, coughs, and the common cold.

First, what we don't do :

Give them decongestants or any other cough/cold medicines (although I'll mention one homeopathic favorite of mine in the list of what we DO do)

Take them to the doctor (their immune systems are already down, so they're more likely to catch something else PLUS there is no need for a prescription for a common cold...just like my post on fevers, we like the symptoms and try to embrace them as our bodies taking care of business)

Keep them inside all day.

Worry. If I am sure it is a cold (yellow/green snot, yucky eyes, etc. etc.) there is nothing I worry about. I believe in how we treat our kids' colds, and I know they are going to probably not get any worse or develop other sicknesses from them. I believe their bodies were wondrously made to fight off most sicknesses without much intervention.

We do :

Focus on "diagnosing" them with a cold, rather than allergies, right up front. If it's a cold, I know what to do. If it's allergies, there are things that need to be examined, things done differently, and each child treated individually. Honestly, I would prefer a cold over allergies for them!

Wipe their noses, suction them out with a snot sucker (aka, bulb syringe), and change their clothes and sheets often.

Get them outside to play in the sun. (I mean, if it's freezing outside, then no we don't do this...but if it's even close to warm and the sun is out? Outside time does wonders for our bodies and our spirits.) Thankfully, we have a very large backyard where this is possible without exposing other kids.

Limit dairy. Our kids drink almond milk and don't eat much cheese, so the only dairy they really get is from yogurt. If they have a cold, they don't get yogurt, ice cream, or foods with cheese. I don't go crazy, but I do cut out the obvious dairy foods. (and to be kind to each other, this usually means everyone forgoes dairy that week.)

Give that child a steam bath. *Warning: this one is very un-green :) (but we only do it when that child really can't breath through their nose or when the snot sucker just isn't very productive.) We turn on the shower as hot as it will go and close the bathroom door. After about 5 minutes, we go in and give the child their regular bath (keeping the door closed and usually putting a towel at the bottom of the door to keep in as much steam as possible.) We bathe them, clean their faces with a hot wash cloth, focusing on the eyes and nose, and then get them out and dress them. By this time, their noses are usually flooding, so we pull out the snot sucker and go to town. We usually try to do this right before bedtime. Ahhh, such relief!!!!!!!! This one is one of my favorite if the cold is really bad.

Give them Hyland's cold tablets. This is the homeopathic "medicine" I mentioned before. Fortunately, you can use these pretty liberally, and in my experience, it works pretty well (nothing miraculous or anything, though.) UNfortunately, the only time our kids' will agree to taking these tablets is when they are in the baby/toddler stage. We also use Hyland's teething tablets for teething pain, so they're used to getting something of that consistency and taste. Once they're past it, though, I rely on Vit. C crushed into fruit loaded smoothies.

If I'm still nursing the child with the cold, I will take Fenugreek (unless I'm pregnant as well.) If the child can't get it from me for some reason, I either add it as well to their smoothie, or I dump out a tablet into the palm of my hand, add some water, and make a paste which they suck off my finger. (yuck, but for some reason, I never have to fight them.)

I think this goes without even mentioning, but of course, Derek adjusts them :) When we know their heads are very stuffy or if we notice any ear discomfort, he gives them a quick adjustment on each ear to help avoid an infection. (It's worked so far!!!)

We do some of the more common things (humidifier in the child's room, elevate the child's head while they're sleeping if still an infant, etc.) Honestly (and a little bit embarassingly!), the thing I have learned that works the best is to keep their "environment" clean and free of snot. I used to not wipe their noses very much, for fear of irritating it and making them mad, and I rarely changed their sheets, since I figured they were just going to get snotty all over again. Once I changed my thinking on those things, I really think they started getting over their colds faster. We bathe them more often, change their sheets often, and keep clean shirts on them.

Hope this helps some of you dealing with the change of weather and snotty noses in your kids! :)

Thursday, March 11, 2010

18 weeks Saturday!!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Fun with the "Create" box last night

"There is not one blade of grass, there is no color in this world that is not intended to make us rejoice." ~John Calvin

Monday, March 8, 2010

These boots were made for walking

(in the rain, that is)

We went for a puddle hunt Sunday afternoon.
These boots were mailed to the boys from my best friend, Jessica.
THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!
They had so much fun, and it was like a dream come true for me
to see them getting to do that.
(Is that pathetic or what? :) )

A worm was spotted playing in the puddles, too!

Sharing the fun with Eli

The worm hitched a ride with Eli in the stroller so he could
live in our yard.

On our walk, we collected pine cones and flowers,
watched streams of water flow into rain gutters,
and learned why puddles don't usually form at the TOP of a hill.

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