Here’s a hint… and “World Schooling”

This morning before the kids woke up while I got dressed and tidied up my bedroom and bathroom I listened to this power of moms podcast. I listened to it a long time ago and I’ve been thinking about it and wanting to listen to it again.

So here’s your hint… We’re going to be traveling internationally. That’s kind of an understatement about the situation but it’s your hint for now!

Like most areas of my life I’ve spent so much mental energy thinking about how to make this trip productive I’ve forgotten about the fact that this trip is going to be fun and adventurous and educational and an amazing bonding time for our family! We are going to a place in the world that will allow us to interact with people from all over the world all at once!

 

Anyways, this podcast is so inspiring and so much fun to listen to! Listen in on a conversation with a mom with 5 kids who took them on a trip around the world. It includes how they afforded it, comical stories from their trip, tips for traveling for young children and more. She also makes a case for why experiencing radically different things as a family is really positive for a family. I also really now love the word “Worldschooling”. Yeah, that’s my hint, we’re going to become a World school family!

https://powerofmoms.com/encore-make-family-travel-dream-reality-episode-177/

Family fun from this weekend and Monday goals

My husband has been on a different work assignment at work the last couple weeks and he’s been working 4 days a week (day shift) and has had 2, 3 day weekends in a row. It has been AWESOME! This past weekend we crammed so much fun stuff in.

Saturday morning was cooler than usual so T wanted to bring the kids to the zoo. Once we got to the city though it had already gotten above 90 degrees. I remembered someone telling me about this indoor kids place called the Wonder Place so we brought the kids there instead. They had an indoor climbing area and a dress up station and a pretend market and restaurant, lots of imaginative play stuff. They had a craft room and a water table and a sand area. The kids had a blast!

http://www.thewonderplace.com

We ate lunch at the Root Cafe which is a place that uses locally sourced ingredients. It was neat to show E the map on the wall that showed the location of the different farms that grew the food we were eating and also the scrapbook that had photos of the farms. http://www.therootcafe.com/menu/

That same day we went to their grandma and grandpa’s and visited with two of my husbands siblings and their kids. Doesn’t T.J look so cute on Grandpa’s tractor?!  I can’t remember but this may have been his first time on the tractor.

Today it’s Monday and I have goals for today! I’ll share my goals and then you drop your goals in the comments below! We’ll help each other get stuff done!

  1. do mother goose preschool time with the kids (which includes sand and tin foil boats today-they are going to have so much fun!)
  2. do my Monday chore- 1 hour of mopping and vacuuming and picking up the floor area
  3. remember to read the kids today’s chapter from the book of Proverbs
  4. get done my daily morning chores
  5. since T figured out how to get the jets to turn on in our jacuzzi tub, give the kids a super bubbly bath with the jets on!
  6. I realized that it’s been over month since I’ve painted my toenails and they look um, bad. lol! Give myself a pedicure!

What does your Monday look like? Enjoy your day!

Are you going to see the eclipse?

Have you heard about the total solar eclipse that is going to be visible from the U.S August 21? We are going to travel to another state so that we can be in totality and get to witness first hand the moon completely covering the sun. Haven’t heard about it? What about shadow snakes? Have you heard of those!? Check out the video below!

Neat huh? We’re going camping for the first time as a family, it should be an adventure!

 

Well, I’ve got a busy weekend ahead of me. We’re showing our house today, tomorrow, and then we are having an open house Tuesday!

So this happened today…

I don’t know if I’ve ever read the book of Obadiah or not but this morning it was part of my Bible reading plan. It’s just one chapter long and as I was reading about the Edomites towards the end of the chapter I start thinking, “wait, is he no longer talking about Edom? It sounds like he’s talking about the whole world now. Is this prophecy?” I looked up the Bible Project’s video on Obadiah and it’s really good. Watch it and read the book!


This morning I took the kids to story time at the library and theme of the day was shapes and colors. This afternoon we continued the color and shape theme by getting out the new play dough set I picked up off the clearance shelf yesterday at Wal-Mart.  After we cleaned up dad helped E with some handwriting practice while I snuck outside to set up this surprise!

It’s bubble bath in the kiddie pool and ice on top the tarp and in the bowl. I came in the house after setting it up and looked out the window squinting at the pool saying, “Hey, E! Something strange is happening to the pool, we better go check it out.” I guess my tone of voice was a little too serious because she got scared and didn’t want to look! We had to convince her it was going to be something she would like and to go look. She tip toed until she got close enough to see what it was and then got really excited! T.J liked the ice and entertained himself by putting it in a little beach toy and carrying it around the yard a few pieces at a time until it all melted.

Hope you’re enjoying your summer and finding ways to stay cool!

2 minute date and other fun stuff

So today I did some cool stuff. This morning I took the kids to the splash pad at city park. We got there around 9:00 so we could try and beat the heat but it was HOT! When we left a couple hours later it was already 98 degrees and this afternoon got over 100 degrees so I had to come up with some stuff to do with the kids indoors. E has been asking to make slime ever since she made a slime experiment a couple months back at the library’s “mad scientist club.” I googled “slime for kids” and came up with this very easy and totally fun slime. Seriously-it took about 30 seconds to stir together and E loved it! I was pretty impressed with this stuff! 3 ingredients- glitter glue, contact solution and baking soda. The slime was strong enough and stretchy enough to stretch across the room but pliable enough to play with like play dough. It felt like silly putty- just an enormous ball of it!

http://www.elmers.com/projects/project/elmers-glitter-recipe 

 

While at Wal-Mart today I saw on clearance these cute little toy mailboxes and while I very rarely buy my kids toys for no reason they were only $2.50 so I surprised them with them. Totally worth the money when E “read” to me her letter that told me she loved me as high as the trees. (how cute is that!?) When I tucked her in tonight I told her that hearing her read me her letters was my favorite part of the day.    

 

While at Wal-Mart I picked up one of these dark chocolate with chili bars. I was thinking about it because I had recently been reading a date night at home idea on tolovehonorandvacuum.com and she mentioned these chocolate bars. It was fun to bring it home and having something new to try with T. He was headed to work but we tried it together and I dubbed it a “2 minute date”. We both agreed the concept of mixing the chocolate with the chili was good but would have been better if it had been like a 80% dark chocolate because at 47% the predominate flavor was just the sweet. Anyways! It was something new and we laughed. 

And why do I not make my kids smoothies more often!? Tonight they sucked down both spinach and cod liver oil that I added to the fruit and yogurt. I need to do smoothies way more often! 

Summer is in full swing around here! Living for the glory of God

swimming at our favorite swimming spot and jumping off the big rock? check!

Go hiking and swimming on top mount Nebo? check! (well E and daddy swam- it was too cold for me and T.J!)

participate in a VBS? We did two!

We even got to do something I’ve always wanted to do- go on a sailboat!

I’ve been meditating on this verse lately-

1 Tim 6:17 “Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not high-minded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy;”

There have been times in my life when I genuinely felt guilty for having fun. I mean, shouldn’t life be spent just working and serving and soul winning? Is there legitimately a place for fun in the life of a believer?

Did you catch the last part of that verse? God gives richly to us all things to enjoy. Just look at the extravagant way that He created the world we live in. So much of what surrounds us was simply created by God for the sake of beauty and enjoyment. Think of all the varieties of luscious fruits and vegetables for us to taste and the beauty of nature for our eyes to enjoy. Sin would be to enjoy these things above God or choosing to be unthankful towards God for these things. Sin would also be to neglect the commandments in the next verse to do good and be generous.

Enjoying these things rightly can focus our hearts towards God and can bring Him glory. When I hike with my children I breathe in the fresh air, and marvel at all He has done by His wisdom and power. I thank Him for the time with my family. I’m learning to see these things as gifts from Him to enjoy, not as things to feel guilty about.

Enjoy your Creator today, marvel at His wisdom and kindness and enjoy all He has given you with thanksgiving! Whatever you do, do it for the Lord! (Col. 3:23)

 

Making the most of spending resurrection sunday at home

I was really really hoping we would all be over our sickness by Easter Sunday. E was better but now T.J was sick and I had a sore throat so we had to stay home. I was disappointed but decided to work hard to make the most of the day.

I decided to get dressed up and even put on a little makeup. Having on a spring dress helped me to remember I’m celebrating my risen King today! When E got up I told her why I was dressed up. I told her today we are going to celebrate all day that Jesus rose from the dead and that He gives us new life! (Four year old girls are ready for any excuse to dress up!)

We headed into the kitchen and after putting on a youtube playlist of Easter morning worship songs I tied on her apron and we made a big batch of low carb waffles. Since it was a special occasion I wiped up some cream to get fancy! This is an awesome recipe by the way. alldayidreamaboutfood.com. E said our table looked, “oh la la” which is I think the best complement I’ve ever heard in my life! (and you can see in the pic how not oh la la it was!)

 

We have a copy of the Jesus story book Bible which for the most part I really like. Earlier in the week I had started going through the last week of Jesus’ life with her but sickness kind of got us derailed. For the woman and the alabaster anointment I sprayed perfume on E’s feet and dramatically wiped my pretend tears off her feet with my hair. She then painted in with water color a perfume bottle I drew with a permanent marker.

After breakfast I finished reading her through the story of the resurrection in The Jesus Storybook Bible and then we did a little empty tomb craft. Nothing much but I think it helped reinforce the lesson.

Since the reason we stayed home was because we are under the weather the kids laid around and watched 2 movies. An old nest family entertainment video that I borrowed from E’s cousins for this week. My husband grew up watching these videos. They also watched Beginners Bible The Story of Easter that I grew up watching as a kid. (It’s on youtube)

 

I did a mini egg hunt with the kids. I didn’t want to overload them on sugar while they were getting over colds so I just hid 3 pink one’s for E and 3 blue one’s for T.J. 

In the afternoon I took them outside with a mason jar and a pair of scissors and we went hunting for signs of spring. Irises, ferns, the first rose on the rose bush, buttercups and more adorn our table now. 

I listened to this interview with Randy Alcorn I saw on his blog to edify me some since I had to miss church.  https://vimeo.com/212999779

When I did Bible time with the kids instead of reading Proverbs like I have been I read them the story of the resurrection from the book of John while they played with toys on the floor.

I saw on pinterest this idea where you dye your hardboiled egg whites before making deviled eggs. I had some natural food dye and we attempted it. E thought it was fun to eat pink eggs but they didn’t look anything like the one’s on pinterest!

Anyways! That was our day. Life with little one’s is anything but predictable but I’m learning as a mom to try and make the most of each day and opportunity as it comes.

 

A day in the life of me through photos

A little creative project yesterday to capture the blessing that is my every day life and routine. An ordinary day is a tremendous gift! My kids have had several bugs and colds over the last few weeks which feels hard right now but one day I know I will look back on these times with the rose colored glasses the passing of time gives us. One day these little guys will be big guys and I’ll miss them like they are today…

 

Some Fun Stuff

This past week I bought 2 tickets for Fancy Nancy the musical at the children’s theatre at The Arkansas Arts Center in Little Rock.https://www.arkarts.com

I checked out several Fancy Nancy Books from the library and took E to the dollar store for her to pick out some ‘fancy stuff’. She picked out a pink tiara that came with a wand, a purple tutu, necklaces, and pink sunglasses. Every time we sat down to read a book she wanted to get ‘fancy’ first!

Saturday I packed up the kids and we headed to Little Rock. I didn’t really know what to expect from the Arts Center since I had never been before. It was something that I would have enjoyed but it was definitely not for kids! About as soon as I walked in a security guy in a black suit started following me around and I quickly realized he was probably panicking at the sight of two kids coming in to view over 100 year old Claude Monet paintings! I put them in the stroller, did a quick spin around, realized I needed to get them out of there and headed outside to the city park which is connected to the museum.

I do think it would be neat if a wing of the museum could be turned into something for teaching kids about art. Maybe hanging up replica’s of famous artwork for them to view or something like that.

It was a beautiful day Saturday! Sunny and in the 70’s! In the park there were these ducks and birds I had never seen before. Somebody must have bought some unusual  varieties of ducks and introduced them there. Two of the ducks had babies. I had never seen ducklings so small and I was thrilled that E and T.J got to observe ducks with their babies in their own habitat. One of the mama ducks had 10 babies and E watched with much anticipation as they headed towards the pound and one at a time clumsily plopped themselves in!

We had a picnic by a fountain and I laughed as a brave duck used to being fed by people approached T.J and E threw herself in front of him yelling, “Get away from my brother!”

We found our seats for the musical and watched as all these little girls came in dressed up like E was. I had so much fun watching her watch the musical. She was literally on the edge of her seat, taking it all in. A few times she looked up at me with the biggest grin on her face looking like she was wondering what was happening.

(E doesn’t like her picture being taken, I had to snap a photo before else realized what I was doing!)

T.J was on my lap and it did take quite a bit of effort to keep him there and quiet. Next time we go I’ll try to plan to just go with E or else go when someone can come with me to have an extra pair of hands.

Earlier in the week on a colder cloudy day we visited this place called Share The Love Kid’s Club. It was clean, there was plenty to keep the kids entertained for several hours and the staff was very helpful. If you’re ever in Conway looking for something to do with your kids, I’d recommend it. FYI I’d say it’s geared towards kids ages 1-4. It’s $10.00 per child without a membership. 

E’s birthday letter

March 14th was E’s 4th birthday. In so many ways that is hard for me to wrap my head around! That morning I wrote her this letter that I wanted to share with you. I don’t know if I will keep it up over the years but I would love to start a tradition of writing letters to my kids on their birthdays. I use her initial on this blog rather than her name since this blog is public. I feel like it’s a tiny thing I can do for her privacy and safety.

If you are struggling right now as a mom having a hard time seeing beyond the spilled milk and diaper changes of today, try writing a letter to your child to read in the future. I promise you it will give you a shift in your perspective and make you feel all mushy toward your kids.

Rereading this letter I chuckle at how unpredictable life is with little one’s. That day T.J woke up sick so I stayed home with him while daddy took E to music class and it got so cold it snowed a little bit so no flying kites that day! Daddy did ask E’s music class to sing her happy birthday and he got a cute video of it.

 

Dear E,

Today is your fourth birthday! It is early in the morning and you are still sleeping. We had your party Saturday and we got you your first real bike. Today when you get up you get to open presents from Papa Page and Grandma Linda. Daddy plans on bringing you to the park to fly your kite and ride your bike. Today is music class at ACME with Mr. Brian. I’ll ask him if we can dance to the happy birthday song!

I’m writing this so that you can look back at it when you are older. I’m wondering about the future you. Will you be 10 when you read this? What will it be like when you are a teenager? I’m looking forward to every stage of life with you.

E, I wish you could know how you mean the world to me. My life is you and you and your brother are my life. You have given me so much.

Your smiles, your goofy laugh, to see your dimples are among the most important things in the world to me. You are my buddy. I spend more time with you than anyone else and we have fun! You are my company and right now life consists of you asking, “ ‘cause why?’ and me doing my best to answer.

You are miss personality but I’m also observing that you enjoy time alone. You are energetic, and your favorite food right now is peanut butter and jelly, milk, and fruit snacks! You tell me your favorite color is purple but you also like pink. You like mud and sand and dirt and crafts. You are very creative!

You get excited when I ask you if you want to do ‘school.’ You can spell your name! You love being read to and your daddy and I have spent countless hours reading you books.

You love your cousins and playing with them and you are working to adjust to life with a very demanding little brother. I love your sweet voice introducing him to strangers when we go out, “This is my baby brother Tanner Jr.”

E, you are brave! Your bravery and adventurous sprit amazes (and sometimes scares me!) When we went to the water park there was no water slide that you were not up for. Your attitude is, “bring it on!” I hope that spunk never leaves you.

You ask a lot of questions trying to figure out how trees grow and why people eat food but you also ask spiritual questions. You ask me why Jesus died on the cross and so far my answers don’t satisfy you. You’re grappling right now with the death of your cat and it breaks my heart to see you sad. I tell you I’m sad too because I am. I wish I could fix all the wrongs in the world for you.

I pray for your salvation. I’m looking forward to and pray for the day when you know God as your God.

Most of all E I just want to tell you how much I love you. Your birth was new life given to me. I count it as one of the greatest joys and greatest privileges to hold you close and smell your hair.
I love that we do so much together. I bring you on an outing every day that we call our ‘adventures’. I buckle you up in your car seat and sing, “We’re gonna go, go, go , go on an adventure!”

Every day I try so hard to be the best mom to you and I pray and ask God every day for help. I know I fail so often and I hope you will forgive me for all the times I fail as a mom. Know that you are my world and I love you with a depth that words could never convey. I love you now and I will love you forever. Happy birthday sweet girl, can’t wait for you to wake up so we can start our day of adventures together! I love you.

Love, mommy