Story time at home in 3 easy steps

Tuesday at 9:00 our library puts on a toddler story time that we usually got to. This morning it was really cold out and both my kids were coughing so I decided it was best to keep them home. I started to put together a story time for them and thought it would be something good to share with you. I like to put together themed story times whenever we have to miss the one at the library. The kids like our routine staying in place as much as possible and it gives me something fun and educational to do with them.

  1. pick 3 books and a theme. I put these two things together because choosing the books is how I choose a theme. If I wanted to read a barnyard animal book I would choose 2 other similar books to make a theme. For example, I wanted to read the kids this really neat book titled The Black Book of Colors By: Menena that teaches kids about braille. I decided on the theme “black and white” and picked the board book Hello, Garden Bugs By: Julissa Mora and also an Usborne  book On The Space Station By: Carron Brown. It’s one of their shine a light books and every other page is black and white and you use a flashlight on the back of the pages to see a ‘hidden’ picture. E likes these a lot.
  2. plan a themed game. 3 books can be a lot for littlee ones to sit through so break up the time by playing a game between books. I cut out white squares that I wrote on with black crayon and placed the squares in our cube. Some of the squares had instructions such as “clap 6 times” or “sing the ABC song”. 3 of the squares I drew dalmatians on and the kids were to bark and act like dogs if they rolled one.
  3. plan a themed craft. Thinking about black and white one of the first things that came to mind was dalmatian. I printed off the outline of a dalmatian and showed the kids how to put their finger on a black ink pad and use their finger prints to make spots on the dogs. After I brought out the crayons and they drew a background on the paper. Easy!

 

 

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Feeling a bit like a hamster on a wheel lately

The beginning of 2018 has been kind of tough. After what turned out to be a 6 week foot surgery recovery my children got sick. My Grandma passed away and in my extended family there is some really hard suffering right now.

In 2017 I had come to a point in life where I was consistently able to have 5:00 a.m to 7:00 a.m to myself. I was moving forward with my personal goals during that time and getting stuff done before the kids woke up. The last 3 or 4 weeks or so my 2 year old has woken up between 5:00 a.m and 6:00 a.m almost every day. All my planning and routines have pretty much gone out the window. I’m waiting for “normal” to return again but realizing this may be normal for a while.

Today I really needed some sort of guidance to get me back on track so I turned to pinterest and printed off this checklist.

https://www.lifeonpaperco.com/lifeonpaper/Cleaning_File_It.html

I’m going to be spending the day working through this, while also doing my best to involve the kids and keep them busy. There are a lot of things I need to work on right now. I need to meal plan. I need to get organized again with my grocery shopping. I need to find a new time to read the Bible now that my early morning hours are not available.

I could list 100 other things that I feel I need right now but most of all I need Jesus. I need His grace, I need His help. I need to realize that whatever comes into my life and interrupts my plans are ultimately from His hand being used for my good.

I won’t be able to sit and read or close my eyes and pray today most likely. I can put on worship music though and sing as I work and listen to the scripture on audio. I can pray aloud as I work, doing my work for the LORD.

I encourage you to do the same busy homemaker! May the joy of the LORD be your strength today! (Neh. 8:10)

“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Matt. 11:28

“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Matt. 6:33

When I finish this check list I’m going to enjoy a hot cup of coffee in my new mug I painted on a mommy daughter date with E last week.

(The photo won’t load but I’ll show you later. It says, “Snow ‘n love”!)

 

 

The Promised One Seeing Jesus in Genesis By: Nancy Guthrie

I told you at the end of December that I had begun going through Nancy Guthrie’s Seeing Jesus in Genesis Bible study.

I finished it and I did enjoy it enough that I ordered the second book in the series The Lamb of God. It came in the mail today!

These studies are designed for a small group to do together. When I got to the discussion questions for each chapter I wrote down my answers. I’d suggest not skipping those parts just because you’re not in a group. Thinking through the questions will really increase your understanding of what you are reading.

There were a few different points, specific doctrinal stances that are heavily pushed in this book. I felt like that was okay for me because if something didn’t seem right it just furthered my Bible studying because I had to answer for myself why I didn’t think the scripture taught what she was saying. Either that or I learned something new!

There was some really good things in this study that left me chewing on new ideas all day. I ended up reading several portions of this to my husband and asking him what he thought. I like books like that, ones that challenge me and make me think.

I learned a lot of little things that I just didn’t see on my own. I’ve read the story of Jacob blessing Jospeh’s sons since I was a kid but I never noticed or thought it through that Jacob adopted Joseph’s two oldest sons right before his death or why he did it. (Genesis 48) Read it for yourself!

 

Unique indoor screen free kids activities

This past week my little guy came down with a stomach virus. As he recovered his sister got the virus and then he developed a cough. Except for when it got warm enough to take him to play in the yard the poor guy hasn’t been out of the house for 9 days! I’ve worked hard to keep the kids learning and playing. At the first sign of sickness I went to town and stocked up on new paint, play dough, markers and other craft stuff since I knew they’d have to stay home several days. Last night T.J’s cough was improving but he start showing signs of tummy troubles again so we stayed home today. E seems all the way better today and T.J’s cough isn’t getting any worse so he should be on the mend soon. His tummy has also been fine today.

Yesterday morning which was the third week of missing church because of traveling and sickness my church family did something really kind for me and set up a laptop with Skype so I could listen in on the service. That helped break up the day and was really encouraging to see their faces but the rest of the afternoon I gave up trying to keep the kids away from the T.V and let them watch it all day. They were bored of all the craft stuff and didn’t want to read books any more. I was fresh out of ideas for keeping them busy.

After they went to bed last night I brainstormed a list of things for them to do today and then got on Pinterest and starting pinning all kinds of cool ideas.

Here’s what we did today. If you’re quarantined at home with sick kids like so many people I know are right now I hope this post gives you some inspiration of how to fill those long hours!

Write on the floor and mop it up

Really! This is an activity I remember doing with my younger brother and sister when I was a teenager. I used a dry erase marker to write ABC’s on the tiles in the kitchen/dining room area. So the kids wouldn’t fight over who got to wash which tiles I drew shapes for T.J to mop up and the letters were for E. I gave each child a bowl with water, a rag and some all natural non toxic cleaner in it. I stood at the dry erase board in the dining room and said to E, “mop up all the A’s!” After all the A’s were erased we went on to letter B and so on. I was surprised at how well T.J could identify shapes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sensory Buckets (bring the sandbox inside!)

Sensory buckets are so easy! They can be made out of just about anything. I made ours “letter D” sensory buckets. It started with me putting dirt (actually sand because the ground was frozen solid!) and dinosaurs in the buckets which made me think to add more objects that start with the letter D. Both dimes and dominoes ended up in there. I wrote an uppercase and lowercase letter D on the white board to reinforce the lesson. T.J age 2 had the most fun when he realized he could bury the dinosaurs in the sand. E age 4 spent the time hoping she could find more dimes to put in her piggy bank. Prepare to do a lot of vacuuming after this activity!

Bath paints

My kids absolutely loved this activity! If you choose just one thing from this list I’d recommend this one! I loved the delight on their faces as I showed them how they could paint the tub, their tummies, their bath toys and then how they laughed when I put the blue paint on my nose! This is one I’ll make again. It was so easy and very cheap. I had leftover white colored conditioner from the dollar store because we had used it to make fake snow the other day. (2 1/2 cups baking soda, 1/2 cup white conditioner- it feels cold!)

https://kojo-designs.com/2013/05/hoomemade-bath-paint-recipe/

Make a blanket fort

Give your children a place of their own, flash lights, a lantern, a chance to use their imagination and a pile of books!

 

Science Experiments!

I found this one on parentingchaos.com. https://parentingchaos.com/crawling-colors-color-mixing-science-experiment/P

Once you set this up (which only takes a few minutes) it takes several hours for the colors to start mixing. I recommend putting it out of reach of little ones but somewhere where the kids can peek at it through out the day and see what it’s doing. I made the mistake of setting it up on the kitchen table and then had to work to keep their hands out of the very pretty water they wanted to touch so badly!

Make a special surprise meal

Okay, so I get made fun of for making food creations for my kids but I think it’s so much fun! And have you seen the crazy meals people make out of hotdogs on pinterest!? lol! I had to try these little octopus guys, they are so cute!

Build something with unusual materials

I gave the kids disposable cups and paper to build towers out of. They weren’t particularly interested in it but maybe an older child would be.

 

That was our day! Share any unique ways you have come up with to keep busy at home when you’re kids are sick.

Our Reward and Shield

This morning I learned something new in my Bible study on Genesis that I thought was worth sharing. I’m going through a study titled The Promised One by: Nancy Guthrie. Right now I’m going through the section on Abraham. Nancy points out that after Abraham rejects the spoil and alliance offered by the king of Sodom chapter 15 starts off by God speaking to Abraham in a vision saying “…Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy great reward.”

That made my heart happy this morning to see that after Abraham rejected the counterfeit riches and protection this world offers that God promised him that He would be His reward and shield.

I need to remember this when my heart is tempted to look to fleeting and counterfeit fulfillment this world offers. Only in God is true and lasting fulfillment, reward and safety.

It reminds me of Psalm 62: 5-8 “My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him. He only is my rock and salvation: he is my defense; I shall not be moved. In God is my salvation and my glory. Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us. Selah”

On another note, yesterday I had shared my goals for the day and I’m happy to say I accomplished what I had set out to do! A few photos from our very messy hot cross buns themed lesson.

 

It’s another cold day, only 11 degrees outside. We had a little ice come down last night so I’m staying off the roads today and keeping the kids warm at home.

Today my goals include:

  1. preschool with the kids. Today’s theme is Little Bo Peep and includes a math game, making a puppet craft, and pretending to be sheep while listening to the poem on CD.
  2. make a big batch of low carb waffles to keep in the freezer for a quick healthy meal (maybe we’ll have breakfast for dinner tonight!)
  3. I want to slowly clean the living room room on my one good foot and one healing foot including vacuuming the carpet
  4. yesterday E was disappointed she couldn’t play in the glue and shaving cream mixture so I told her today they could play with shaving cream. This means they’ll have to go straight to the shower after!
  5. pack for my trip this weekend.

My kids are starting to wake up so I’ve got to go! Have a good day every body!

New Gospel Tracts

I have just one gospel tract left from the ones I bought last year so I went ahead and ordered some more over the weekend. I bought a pack of a tract written by John Piper called For Your Joy. Tuesday I received the sad news that my Grandma passed away. I’ll be flying home over the weekend to attend her funeral and be with my family. I should get the gospel tracts before I go so I’ll have them on me while traveling and hopefully get opportunities to give them away.

https://www.amazon.com/Quest-Joy-Pack-Proclaiming-Gospel/dp/B008A7D4SA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1516021741&sr=8-1&keywords=quest+for+joy

Today I’m home just me and the kids. My foot is starting to heal but I still can’t put my full weight on it. Today my goals include:

  1. do preschool with E and T.J. Today’s theme is the poem Hot Cross Buns. It includes teaching the poem and listening to it on a CD while passing a bean bag, baking buns together, doing a craft that includes using glue and shaving cream to decorate paper buns and playing a kind of “go Fish” game using cards that look like buns with different colors letters and numbers on them. We’ll see how far we get, sounds messy!
  2. This afternoon I want to attempt to clean the master bedroom. It hasn’t really been picked up much since my surgery almost 4 weeks ago so it’s a mess! I’m hoping wearing the boot and leaning on a crutch I’ll be able to get it done.
  3. I want to make sure and fill in my diabetes log. I didn’t write much down during the weekend.
  4. take inventory of what diabetes supplies I will need to pick up before traveling
  5. When my husband gets off work pick up a gift for a friend who’s baby shower I’ll be missing this weekend and drop it off.

Everything takes so much longer on one foot so this should keep me busy today!

What are your goals today? Do you have a favorite gospel tract?

Enjoy your Monday!

 

Update on my foot, a story and working on one of my goals

This week my husband switched his work schedule around so he could drive me to my 8:15 appointment at the podiatrist this morning. I went in with hopes high even bringing with me my right shoe so that I could hopefully come walking out. My foot this morning was still black and blue and swollen so I tried not to get my hopes too high.

The doctor did x-rays and said one more week off my foot. He said the bone is still too weak to walk on. I want to cry! It’s been so difficult caring for two small children on one foot that it’s really hard not to feel like despairing! I’m trying to tell myself that 3 weeks ago it felt impossible and some how we made it through and somehow we’ll make it through this week. God has His purposes that I am not even aware of, I know it!

Romans 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to his purpose.”

Not to yank a scripture out of context but I do believe that even this small thing like healing from a foot surgery, if this could not be used for my good that God would not have allowed it in my life. I trust He will use it for my good! And my foot is healing which is good! And a few weeks from now it should all be over.

More good news is that I was cleared to drive while wearing the small bootie I was sent home from the hospital with which is a big improvement. The doctor sent me home with a big knee high plastic boot that I’ll be able to start walking on next week and keep on for 2-3 weeks. This week he said to use the boot with crutches and not to put my full weight on the foot yet.

So that’s it. I literally have had nightmares almost ever night that I would have to stay off my foot another week and it came true!

I did get to give a gospel tract to someone last night because of my foot! When my husband got off work last night we needed milk and a few other basics so we went together to Kroger. We were in the entryway of the store and I was leaning on my crutches while my husband loaded the kids into the cart. “Ma’am! Ma’am!” A man’s voice behind me said and I turned around to see a young man, his face dripping with sweat. I don’t know why he was so sweaty- it looked like he had been jogging outside. “Yes Sir?” I asked. “Can I pray for your foot?” he asked. “Are you a believer in Jesus?” I asked him. He said he was and told him, “That’s good news, so are we.” “So, can I pray for healing for your foot? I need to be about the work of God you know healing people and stuff.” “Well,” I told him, “I get the stitches out tomorrow so I should be alright but thank you for offering. I do have something I want to give you though.” It was his turn to look puzzled as I opened the diaper bag to pull out a gospel tract. I told him what it was and he said thanks and ran back outside.

I have a charismatic back round so I knew where the guy was coming from and when I got back out to the van I prayed for him. Weird story I know but maybe God wanted to use me to either share the gospel with him or encourage him in some way. I don’t know anything about him or his back round so I don’t want to make any judgment I just know the very specific charismatic circles I grew up in didn’t teach the gospel or at least didn’t explain it very well.

(and if you identify as charismatic please know I understand that’s a very vague word and individual churches are just that- individual and teach different things)

On a different note, I can’t do much right now but I’m trying to work on one of my New Year goals. 

I made a blood sugar, food and insulin log and bought a new ink cartridge for our printer so I could make copies of it. I put about a couple weeks worth of pages in it to see how I like it. I’m working to get in the habit of writing stuff down. The more I can see what’s going on the better I can manage it.

Did you make any New Year resolutions? Have you gotten started yet? How’s it going?

 

‘Tis So Sweet To Trust In Jesus

My phone rang while making dinner tonight. I looked over at the brightened screen and saw “dads cell.” I swallowed and grabbed up the phone quickly maneuvering myself on my one foot into the room with the best cell phone reception. “Please help me Jesus!” I whispered as I slid the answer button. “Hey Megan,” I heard my dad’s voice and knew he was crying. He told me my Grandma who has spent the last couple of days in the ICU was moved to a comfort care room.

He asked me if I wanted to talk to her. I knew it would be the last time I ever would. He put me on speaker phone. My Grandma was still very much in her right mind and told me she loved me and asked how I was doing. I told her I loved her and my children and T loved her very much. I told her, “Thank you for being my Grandma. You have given so much to me. I have such beautiful memories of me and the cousins playing at the beach and eating ice-cream and you teaching us how to play cards. Thank you for giving me those memories.”

I had told my dad Saturday night that if it would be a comfort to Grandma I could sing to her. He asked Grandma if she’d like me to sing to her. She said she would and I told her, “This is a favorite of mine, I sang it to my little boy Titus and I want to sing it to you.” (If you’re reading this and don’t know Titus was my first born who passed away at birth.)

I sang,

                                                                                    “‘Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus

Just to take Him at His word

Just to rest upon His promise

Just to know “thus saith the LORD”

Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him how I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er

Jesus, Jesus. precious Jesus O for grace to trust Him more!”

Weakly she said, “I liked that song.” We exchanged I love you’s again and she needed to stop talking. Her voice and breathing was very labored and I needed my dad to help me understand her although I could understand her say, “I love you Megan.”

This has only happened in the last few hours so this is a very raw, emotional post. I wanted to write these things down so I can remember and cherish them. I don’t know what news the morning will bring or what will happen this week but “Yes, ’tis sweet to trust in Jesus, Just from sin and self to cease; Just from Jesus simply taking life and rest and joy and peace.”

Picked up an old hobby and learned something new

I haven’t crochet in a while, not really since my daughter was born but since I’ve been sitting with my foot up I asked my husband to pick me up a crochet hook. I really had fun! I made a cream colored baby blanket for a friend who is expecting. I don’t think she knows about this blog but I guess if she does she’ll be surprised to learn it is for her.

Yesterday we drove my niece home who came and helped me this week. While visiting at their house I asked my other nieces to teach me how to cut T.J’s hair. I can’t stop looking at his cute face in this photo! He did really good and was a sport about sitting still while I slowly figured out how to cut it. I think he liked the attention of the girls crowded around him saying how cute he was. 🙂

 

 

I also got to snuggle with my littlest nephew Chet. Isn’t he precious!?

Chet was named after Chet Bitterman Jr., who was an American linguist and missionary working in Columbia when he was kidnapped and martyred in 1981. I had never heard of him until my nephew was named. Here’s a video telling a little bit about him.

My husband was off yesterday and after visiting with his sister and her family we went out for Mexican and then drove to the church my nephew plays piano at and visited with them some more there while people from the church had a time of singing and playing instruments. It felt sooo good to get out of the house although by the time we got home my foot was pretty sore and swollen. It was about a 2 hour drive home from the church and there really was no way for me to get my foot comfortable in the car.

I did have a good time riding in the car though because on the way to my nieces house I read aloud from C.S Lewis Screwtape Letters and on the way home since it was dark we listened to someone reading it on youtube. I’ve never read it before. It’s entertaining but also really convicting as I saw all my own sins being shown for what they are! My favorite part of the book so far is when Wormwood is reprimanded by his uncle for allowing the struggling new convert to have the pleasure of reading a book he enjoyed and going for a walk. He was reprimanded because pleasure is a gift from God and in enjoying good literature and creation the “patients” spirit was revived and he drew closer to God and even repented of sin!

Have a good weekend everybody! What kind of hobbies are you interested in right now?

Things to do with your kids while you are sitting down

Now that I’m on week three of having to stay off my right foot I think I’ve come up with enough ideas to be able to share with you. A friend of mine was over last week and she went on google trying to find a list of things for a mom to do with her kids while her foot was broke but she said she could only find lists of things for a mom to do with her child who’s foot is broke. For one reason or another, illness, injury, complications during or after pregnancy, as a mom you may find yourself alone with children who have seemingly endless energy while you are stuck on the couch. Here’s my little gift to the internet- my list of things I’ve found I can do with my kid with minimum getting up.

  1. Freeze dance. I play music on my phone and then hit the pause button and dramatically say, “freeze!” they have to freeze in whatever position they were in when the music stopped
  2. “sitting down” hide and seek. My great Grandma used to play this with me and my cousins when we were little. I sit on the couch and count to 20 while the kids hide and then say, “ready or not, I’m going to guess!” I then guess from my spot on the couch, “Are you behind the bathroom door?” “Are you in your closet?” If I guess their hiding spot I “found” them and we start again.
  3. Create a “story time”. Since we weren’t able to go to story time at the library I told them we were having a story time at home. I used the same order of events the librarian uses at the library and sang the same songs she sings.
  4. Read a lot of books.
  5. Face time or Skype with family your kids don’t get to see often
  6. Make sock puppets. I had to collect a few supplies but after I had what I needed I sat on the recliner next to an outlet and glued button eyes and yarn hair on a few old socks. I then sat while we played with them and tried to get them to put on a puppet show. (they didn’t want to but maybe your kids will!)
  7. paint nails. My four year old never gets tired of me painting her nails.
  8. Play Simon says
  9. If you can’t get to other people have other people come to you. Never mind that the house is messy, people don’t care! Invite some one over for a playdate. You and your friend can visit and the kids will entertain themselves
  10. make cards. The last couple mornings we sat and made cards for residents at the nursing home for when we visit with our homeschool group next month. This one takes some clean up so it would depend how active you can be.
  11. take photos. You may have to delete several hundred photos of your phone but my daughter loves it when I let her take photos with my phone. She sat up her stuffed animal on the couch and did a photo shoot with it.
  12. Amazon Prime. I am so glad we got wi-fi right before my surgery. It has given us new stuff to watch which is much more entertaining for the kids than if they were watching the videos we have that they’ve watched a lot of times
  13. Go pretend grocery shopping. I used green construction paper and made the kids fake money and then gave them grocery lists and a plastic shopping bag each and sent them to their kitchen set to play grocery store. It made the toys they already have seem exciting.
  14. dress up and dance to music. I don’t know why but if music is turned on the kids like to get out their dress up clothes and dance around with crazy costumes on.
  15. Let them try on your clothes. E likes it when I let her get in my drawers and try on my clothes. My skirts are bigger than her whole body but she thinks it’s fun.
  16. listen to an audio book for kids. This would be a good one if you were sick because you don’t have to use your voice.
  17. play hot potato. The other day I had E get out a big teddy bear and I taught her the hot potato song as we threw it back and forth to each other.

That’s my list for now! Share in the comments, did you have a time when you had to keep little kids busy while you were down and what did you do?