Saturday, February 27, 2010

I Love Lists

I really do.  I have lists of my lists.  There is a sweet giveaway at one of my favorite blogs, Passionate Homemaking.  It is a subscription to LIST PLANIT!

Check it out here if ya want. 

Friday, February 26, 2010

Feed Me: Dr. Suess


Linking up with The Adventures of Motherhood to share some favorite Suess books!

Of our Dr. Suess books, my son likes Are You My Mother? best.

The journey of a baby bird searching for it's mommy is sweet and cleverly introduces other animals.  But what my machine-loving boy likes the most is the "Snort."  This crane-type machine saves the day.  For a while lots of machines we saw were called a Snort.  His Nana even got him construction jammies because he told her he wanted some with a Snort on it.  And you know Nanas can do anything... so she made it happen! 

Another top contender is Put Me in the Zoo.  I particulary like the flow of words.  And it is a good message about thinking you want something, but there is a better thing waiting for you.

Now, the one that makes me sound like I am just learning to read myself because I always trip over the words...

The Lorax

Maybe I should practice when he's not around.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Spring is in the air...

Even though this seems like one of the longest winters ever, spring will be here before we know it.

I brought some clipped branches in and the flowers bloomed! 

I am excited for spring for several reasons:

  •  warm weather = playing outside more

  • pretty flowers blooming all over the yard (I have no idea what many of them are!)

  • vegetable garden

  • checking out the hiking trails

  • family picnics

  • spring festivals

  • student graduation (happy and sad...)

  • and... spring cleaning!
I am so ready to start spring cleaning.  A treat day would be for Jeff to take the boys for a Daddy date and let me have a few hours to crank up the music and get to work.

Here's my list so far:
Living Room
Clean windows, inside and out
Scrub fireplace stone (blackened by years of smoke)
Clean out fireplace inside
Vacuum all crevices, corners and ceiling
Dust all surfaces
Clean picture frames and glass
Clean baseboard heater

Dining Room
Wash baseboards
Touch up paint on walls
Pressure wash rug
Wash & polish foor
Clean glass on hutch
Dust all surfaces
Clean and polish table & chairs
Clean windows, inside and out
Clean baseboard heater
Vacuum all crevices, corners and ceiling

Wash window valences
Clean windows, inside and out
Scrub floor (I have had the hardest time getting old dirt out of the linoleum!)
Wipe cabinet fronts and handles
Clean out fridge
Wipe down appliances
Disinfect all surfaces

Wash valence
Clean window, inside and out
Scrub tub and toilet
Wash walls
Clean baseboard heater
Clean out under sink and cabinet
Wash mirror
Disinfect counters

Wash curtains
Wash linens
Vacuum all crevices, corners and ceiling
Clean baseboards
Clean baseboard heater
Dust all surfaces
Clean picture frames and glass
Vacuum closet

Dust shelves
Organize books
Purge craft supplies
File papers

Have yard sale!
Organize tools (hubby to do!)
Wipe out closet cabinets
Put all holiday stuff together (waiting on leak in closet to be fixed)
Reorganize camping supplies
Wash curtains
Wash linens
Vacuum crevices, corners, celing and closets
Dust all surfaces

And that's just inside!  I am working on making some homemade cleaners for these jobs.  And by "working" I mean copying recipes, but I hope to have some made by the time I start cleaning! 

Maybe I should enjoy winter for a little longer...!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Ode to a Climber

The first child respected barricades and strategically positioned furniture.  He did not climb chairs, tables, ladders, stools, boxes or any stacked thing.  And it was good.
Enter child number 2.  He thinks the world is his playground and all is fair game to explore.

It makes cleaning out cabinets more interesting.

Bouncy seats are apparently not for sitting.

But coffee tables are...

And what good is an end table if you can't sit on top and play with the touch lamp?

Notice the toys underneath.

And an all-time favorite...

And these are just the ones where I happened to have the camera handy.  We won't talk about finding him on the dining room table, hope chest and top bunk.

And all this mischief makes for a tired boy.

Thankful for everyday adventures.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Try and Tell- Indoor play

Linking up to learn some new ideas here!

A couple of years ago we had some students come over for dinner.  We had one of those big sub sandwiches (yum!).   When I was cleaning up the big, plastic platter was in the trash.  It was so sturdy and had raised sides, I decided there must be something I could do with it. 
Now, Sean had a great Sunday School teacher who had a rice bucket she would pull out from time to time for them to play with.  I was not feeling up to that mess, so I thought dried beans would work.  A couple bags later mixed with some toys and I had the best activity our home has ever enjoyed- before or since!
I have graduated to use an underbed storage tub with wheels.  This Christmas we got him 2 construction vehicles and several bags of little rocks from the dollar store.  For his recent birthday party I mixed in 3 big cans of oats.  That was a hit with the kids!  Here it is back at home:

The oats can get a little messy if they spill out.  On the other hand they are good if you are worried about little ones putting the peices in their mouths.  My favorites have been the rocks because he likes to play construction site with them.  I got the shiny, colored glass stones at the dollar store, too.  Little girls would probably love playing with any of it!

When play is over, just put the top on and store away!

Recap of filler:
1.  Dried beans- they will break down over time, but still get lots of play out of them (beware your trip down the bean aisle at the grocery store will never be the same!)
2.  Rice- it can get messy if they spill over, but with close supervision this is great
3.  Oats- feels great to run your hands through and perfect for making piles
4.  Rocks/Stones/Shells- easiest to clean up, nice and chunky

Use with sand toys, cars/trucks, dishes, you name it! 

Saturday, February 20, 2010

I know what I'm doing this weekend... kitchen clean out!

I came across the craziest video (forgot where I saw it as I was hopping here and there online earlier).  But when I did a search for it, I was able to pull up the link.  It is a Space-Saving Kithen model from 1949.  I think it gets to the actual kitchen at a little over 3 minutes in.  But seriously... I L.O.V.E. the organization in there. 
I have a nice sized kitchen, but not very well planned for practicality.  I have pretty much had everything in the same place since we moved in over a year ago.  After seeing this video I am inspired to look at it with fresh eyes and get it set up to work for me. 
I did say 1949... I actually like her dress, though I'm not too sure I could get away with it.

I did a quick search of 1940's kitchens and found some cute images.

Here are several cute pictures from a catalog.  It has other stuff from around that time, too, but still interesting.

Here is a pic from a  retro blog I found (looking for pictures).  Seems there are a lot of blogs dedicated to retro design.  Of course, there are blogs dedicated to just about anything, so this should be no surprise.  I will check it out more later.  Something about the simplicity of that time calls to me!

Anyway, I guess I could spend the day looking around.  Time to get into my kitchen!!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Show Us Your Ministry Link up!

I wanted to throw out a quick blurb for the Show Us Your Life link at Kelly's Korner.  This is the first time I have linked up with her blog.  I thought it would be fun to meet any other minister's wives!  My husband is the Campus Minister at the Baptist Student Union (Baptist Collegiate Ministry) at our local university.  We have been in ministry to students since before we were married.  It has lots of ups and downs, but always worth it!

\Show Us Your Life with Kelly's Korner

Feed Me Books: Proverbs for Kids

I am linking up here to share some good books!

I bought this book before we even had kids.  I love the book by Elizabeth George, Beautiful in God's Eyes.  I have read it over and over.  So when I saw she had a book for little girls, I had to have it.  The illustrations are so beautiful and each page spread focuses on a different virtue. 

Fast forward a few years and I was pregnant with my first child- a boy.  I was looking through the book store and I saw one for BOYS!!  Elizabeth and her husband wrote this one.  It is equally as beautiful and I love the way it teaches Proverbs in a way a little boy can understand.  Plus, the boy has a pet dog and frog and they are in each picture.  My son likes to find them. 

It has been a while since I pulled this off the shelf to read (it is not with the regular books- I guess I am selfishly keeping it out of harm's way!).  I am excited to put it in our reading stack for tomorrow!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Cardboard Cross

For our daily Lent activity I cut out a cross from cardboard.  The plan was to have Sean paint it and then hang it on the back of our door in the living room.  As we were painting I decided to do a  heart in the center.  He has this thing lately with hearts.  When he sees one he likes to point to it and say, "I gotta tell you something.  I love you."  Seeing a teachable moment I wanted him to have a visual reminder of how much Christ loves us.

So I told him he could paint all over, just don't scribble the heart.  Well, he tried.  Kind of.  As he was tiring of the project he was none too concerned about the heart.  I fought the irritation and figured I could just fix it when we finished.

And then I looked at that flawed heart and realized God had a teachable moment in store for me, too.  It was our imperfect hearts that nailed Jesus to the cross in the first place.  I did not fix the heart.  I prefer this scribbled  reminder of His love.

"But God demonstrates his own love for us in this:  While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."
Romans 5:8

Family activities for Lent

I looked all over the internet for a list of family activities to do each day of Lent.  I really want to embrace this season- for me and my family.  I found tid bits here and there, but no actual calendar I could use.  There was a catholic one that was nice, but several dates included activities we do not do (rosary prayers, etc.).  So, I just made my own list. 
17- Family prayer and scripture reading Luke 4:1-13 (reading list)  and mark on hand cross in ashes
18- Make cardboard cross & hang (use to decorate throughout the season)
19- Play fruit of the Spirit game
20- Make a bouquet to give someone (using branches from bush in yard)
21- Start using special candle at meals to represent Light of Christ
22- Pray for earthquake recovery efforts in Haiti- talk about people in need all over the world
23- Invent a new family prayer
24-Make/ decorate a giving bank; collect change for offering
25- Say spontaneous prayer before meals
26- Pray for people with financial needs
27- Family time outside- see God in creation, collect things
28- Talk about Jesus, put up a picture
1- Pick out 2 stuffed animals or other toys to give away
2- Share Day!  Practice sharing all day
3-  Make a list of nice things about each family member
4- Imitate Peter- swim in the bathtub, use creative toys
5-  Do extra chores to earn for offering
6- Go to the park & pray for people
7- Use greeting "Christ is Risen!"  "He is Risen Indeed!"
8-  Write a letter/ draw a picture to Jesus thanking him for his sacrifice on the cross
9-  Make cookies/ bread, deliver some to a neighbor
10-  Wear gold or purple, talk about the meaning
11- Make tissue flowers for the cardboard cross
12-  Make a banner "He is Risen!"
13- Everyone do a special act of love to someone else in family
14-  Plant an Easter garden
15- Easter craft
16- Make a badge "Be a good Helper" and do it all day
17- Praise God every time you see a bird (or something you will see several times in the day)
18-  Put together a donation box (canned goods, clothes, etc.)
19- Make paper crosses and write "He died for me" on them.  Hang throughout the house.  I will use white cardstock and let him decorate with water colors.
20- Throw water ballons- talk about baptism
21- Work on a scripture memory
22-  Make resurrection cards to send to family
23- Practice Easter program songs
24- Find fresh flowers to bring inside
25-  Visit someone
26- Walk to mailbox, mail cards
27- Easter Egg roll in front yard
28- Start lighting candles in Easter garden (one a day up to Friday)
29-  Take a walk and look for new life, take pictures
30- Dance to Easter music (Handel's Messiah, etc.)
31- Spend family prayer time in circle
1- Wash and dry each other's feet
2- Don't use overhead lights to represent darkeness after the crucifixtion
3- Praying about these still!

Of course things may come up and I might have to adapt, switch around, etc. and I'm sure I will see some good ideas pop up online!  I just like having a plan to go by. 

He's alive, alive, alive forevermore!  My Jesus is alive!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

More on Discipline

I am reading Shepherding a Child's Heart by Ted Tripp.  It is part of a monthly Mom's Night Out that we do at church.  It is so much fun!  Each month a different "seasoned" mother will host us at her house & prepare a meal.  Another precious mother meets with us younger moms each time and she facilitates the discussion on the book. 
She talked about an "If-Then" consequence chart she used with her kids. I loved the idea, but was trying not to spend the money ordering it online here.   They do have a lot of neat resources on this site, though.
Here are some articles from Focus on the Family (based off the book Creative Correction by Lisa Whelchel).  It is a series of articles with tips on discipline, so once you get to the end just click to see the next one. 
When I was doing a search for a free chart one of my new favorite blogs popped up, Confessions of a Homeschooler.  She read the Whelchel book and made up her own chart.  Not only that, she put a copy on her blog (one with her consequences and one blank) for free download!  It is an interesting post, too, with some other ideas.  Check it out here
I am so gung-ho to get this thing filled in and up on the fridge!  My husband has had a crazy schedule lately and I really want us to pray over it together and determine the consequences.  It will not do much good to have to keep changing them because we didn't put enough thought into it at the beginning!
And just in case I have made it seem that my son is a monster in need of serious correction... please know that is not the case!  I just want a consistent plan in place for both of us!

And this picture is from the snow we got last weekend.  And there is ice and snow predicted starting tonight.  Snow can be fun, but did I mention I am ready for Spring?!?!!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

I wonder...

I struggle with discipline these days.  Granted, I feel like I do okay sometimes.  But there are (more often) times when I wonder- did I react in love, was I hurtful with my words, did I try to teach him rather than just try to make him act better...?  So many wonderings. 

Over and over the same warning,

He is too wrapped up in his world to notice

Mommy is getting impatient

The last shred is grunted out, hands fly up in exasperation

He is caught, reality sinks in

What will mama feed his flighty soul?

What word to guide and discipline?

Will he leave wounded or restored?

He is always my little treasure.

How many whispered prayers are spoken over sleeping children? 
Mommy is learning, too, my sweet gift. 
I love you, but more importantly, God loves you so much more.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Try & Tell: Weekly Menu Binder

I was racking my brain to come up with something nifty for the 1st Try & Tell at Mom Tried It.  I decided to do a simple one this time (and sneak some ideas from the other link-ups for later!).
I am still working to organize how I do our meals and grocery shopping.  I just came up with this for this past week.  I have a recipe binder that I keep out all the time.  Using page protectors, I print recipes and then slip them in the notebook.  A few old faithfuls on notecards get a spot in the side pockets.  This is not a bad set up for storing recipes, but I hated pulling it out all the time for cooking, finding the recipe I needed, etc.  So I got another 1/2 inch notebook (I buy these at thrift stores super cheap whenever I see them!) and decided that would be my Weekly Menu binder. 

On the front I used a cute clip and attached my menu plan for the week.  At the bottom I used another clip and attached my grocery list.  This sits in one of my favorite kitchen accessories- the cookbook holder (I got on clearance for $8 a couple years ago!).  So it is always easy to see and check throughout the day.

Inside I just stick the recipes relating to the meals for the current week.  In the pocket is a list of ongoing meal ideas and a blank pad for the grocery list.

So far this week it has been really helpful.  I like having it all together and sitting out as a reminder.

Now I am going to check out the other Try & Tell ideas!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Painting without paint

So I got on a cleaning kick this morning.  I was vacuuming away, sorting clothes, putting away laundry, cleaning up after breakfast... I was feeling productive.  The squirts were close at hand, too.  While not the most quality time, I am glad they followed me from room to room.  The messes in their wake were not quite as big as the before scene so I could not complain (too much).
Well, Sean was ready to do something else and by that I mean paint.  Seriously?   Apparently he does not understand mommy's OCD tornado chore time does not mix well with pulling out the paint supplies.  But I felt bad because he was "so excited!" sitting there with his paint brushes.  So I got a cup of water and some card board.  I told him it was invisible paint.

Though not as good as the real thing, this kept him entertained for a little while.  Another bonus, when it dries you can use the card board over again.

There is still a lot of snow outside.  We had the best time yesterday evening taking turns sledding down the front yard.  I can't wait for Luke to be old enough- I see family races in the future!  Until then, we are inside for another day.  I am giving myself 10 minutes to blog hop and then shutting this baby down for the afternoon!