Friday, March 25, 2016

ABC Matching with Dr. Seuss and Sam

My Sam is 3 and a lover of all things Dr. Seuss (Sam I Am...who would have thought?).  When I saw the Monthly Crafting Book Club that Raising Fairies and Knights hosts was Dr. Seuss's ABC Book I knew I had to participate. This monthly book club is right on target with the things I can and need to do with my little preschooler. 

First we sat and read through the book together. I had Sam point to and say each upper case and lower case letter in the book.  After reading we moved to the table for a little game of Big Letter Little Letter Match Up.

I scored an awesome set of flash cards from the Dollar Spot at Target and by cutting them in half I created the letter match up game.

I put 6 letter match ups out at a time so Sam would not get overwhelmed and had him pick the letter he wanted to match up and say the letter sound as well.  I teach the phonetic sound of each letter as well as the letter itself. Sam had some fun giggles buzzing the Z and huh-ing the H sounds.

Sam enjoyed matching the cards and I was impressed at his concentration skills for this activity.   I am looking forward to this Monthly Crafting Book Club and so is Sam.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Monday, March 21, 2016

Ten at Target--March

I have a love/hate relationship with Target. I love all.the.things and I hate that my wallet is practically empty when I leave the store.  My boys love Target Dollar Spot and they are always looking for fun activities/games/books that they can buy from the Dollar Spot.  Sam is learning all things preschool and loves Dr. Seuss. Ren loves Minions and anything dinosaur.  

Ten dollars can go a long way when everything is $1.00! Ren scored two activity books and a Minions notepad.  Sam picked four Dr. Seuss flash/matching cards and a sticker book.  All of this for $8.00 before tax.  Sticking to the $10 spending limit was easy peasy this month.

Spring is here! My boys wasted no time in picking ALL the Daffodils that bloomed this weekend.  I love the pretty yellow color and Daffodils smell amazing.  I couldn't post today with out sharing this gorgeous bouquet of hand picked love from my boys.  

Check out the fabulous finds the hosts of $10 at Target found this month.
Stephanie @WifeMommyMe
Becky @bybmg
Elizabeth @ChasinMason

Friday, March 18, 2016

Five on Friday V3


Alexandria will be two at the end of next month. She loves looking at books and loves Pookie the most. When I ask her to bring me a book it is always one of these seven. 


Sam is 3 and a half, he has a love for all things Dr. Seuss. He usually always picks a Dr. Seuss book for me to read to him.  The Seven Silly Eaters is his second favorite; I am pretty sure I can recite that book from memory. 


Ren is seven and an avid reader. 
He loves the Diary of a Wimpy Kid and the Magic Tree House book series. I asked Ren to find me his favorite books, he picked these. If I ask him next week to pick I'm sure (except for the top two) the books would be very different. 


If there ever was a toy that I would buy more and more pieces of the Marble Run is it. We bought the first set for Ren's 3rd Christmas. While Ren does like to play with the Marble Run it is easily Sam's favorite toy in the house.  He will sit for a long time putting the marbles through the run over and over. I'm pretty sure we have never created the same run twice. The free play and imagination with the Marble Run can't be beat.


Hedbanz is the game to play with Ren.  We play this while I am folding laundry, cleaning and making lunch or dinner.  Hedbanz is a fun game of "what am I" asking yes or no questions, using deduction, reasoning and coming up with adjectives to describe the cards.  We do not use the timer or score chips, Ren and I just play until we guess the card. 

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Lighten, my word for 2016.  I know, we are 76 days into the year and here I am just talking about it.  A verb that means to make or become lighter, more cheerful, less serious.  It seems like a not so serious word for the WORD of the Year....but here I am.  I need lightened, in my physical, emotional and spiritual life..all of it.  I don't know when the serious-ness of life grabbed me, where I lost my laughter and joy.  I find myself frustrated, angry and feeling weighed-down by all.the.things... house cleaning, cooking, schoolwork, discipline, studies, menus...the whole day.  My family is affected by this, my kids, my husband...and I hate it.  I don't want this heaviness of spirit, this lack of joy to invade my heart, my life and my family.  Some of the synonyms of lighten are: brighten, gladden, hearten, lift, enliven, boost, uplift, revive, restore and revitalize. This is what I every area of my life.  Romans 15:13 is the verse I picked to go with Lighten; May the God of HOPE fill you with all JOY and PEACE as you TRUST in Him, so that you may OVERFLOW with HOPE by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Through self-discipline, eating right, exercise and drinking enough water I can continue to lighten my body...(and I am excited to continue the weight loss journey I started over a year ago).  I recently purchased The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, and I will be reading and working through the KonMari Method for lightening my home.  I know that I cannot lighten my heart.  I know that God can. Through prayer, meditation on the Word of God, fellowship of christians and tuning myself to God and his desires for my days (sometimes hour by hour), I know that my heart can be revitalized.  

Do you have a a word or phrase for 2016? I'd love to hear about it!

Monday, March 14, 2016

On Grace

There are days in the life of a mama that are long and weary.  Crying, whining, wailing and the non-stop needing of mama-mama-mama-mama-mama-mama.... And then school work and laundry and cleaning the floors and making the meals and and...Add sickness to the mix and well let's just say it is not pretty.  When a mama gets sick everything seems to move at a terrible slow pace and all the things that must be done are left undone until mama is better.  This was my week last week.  On Friday I was feeling a bit better but I had two sick little ones still. All the cleaning seemed overwhelming and then my Ren spilled his milk.  The milk spilled on his open school work, down the crack of the table and drip-dripped on the floor.  I lost it...I just sat down and started crying.  Here I was crying over spilt milk. (The irony of that was not lost to me in that moment, btw.)  I was just overwhelmed, sick, tired and wanted all.the.things cleaned and my children and myself well.  I was upset for yelling at Ren for spilling the milk, upset that I didn't have the energy to do anything well and upset for not extending grace when I had the opportunity to do so.

Ren sat down with paper and crayons and created a card for me.  Right after I yelled at him and started crying.  He handed it to me and said "I love you Mama, I'm sorry I spilled the milk and made another mess for you to clean."

Just like that, grace. Unmerited favor...that's what grace is.  When we don't deserve and can do nothing to earn it...that's when it shows up in the sweetest and most unexpected ways.  Ren extended me grace that day.  In the form of a little hand-drawn love card; I received grace.

My I be a giver and a receiver of grace upon grace. The heart lessons that I go through in mama-hood are the most revealing of my character and soul. The parts that have to be deep cleaned out and then cleaned again, show me again and again my great need for my Savior. I am so grateful for his grace upon grace, his patience and forgiveness.

Linking with Stephanie at Tuesday Talks.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Five on Friday V2


 press and stick tattoos are the thing around here with my boys
you should see their arms/legs and torsos...c.o.v.e.r.e.d
I said no to face and neck tattoos today
no mama should have to do that


I love this verse
Delight was my word last year
I am still learning


at least one person has been sick here 
for the past two weeks
it has been a rough couple of days folks


adventure is a family value
I can't wait to adventure 
with my crew this year


I've been a really, really, good mom this week
I mean it, really good

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Ren & Sam TKBTB

Stephanie  co-hosts a fun monthly link up for us blog mamas; a Q & A with our little ones, a chance to put a spotlight on them so you can get to know "The Kids Behind The Blog" a little better.  I never know what my boys might say, I do know that they crack me up with their silliness though. 

Ren (just a couple weeks shy of 7)

  1. What do you enjoy doing with Mama and Daddy? Going on a date with you Mama, just the two of us. With Daddy, fishing or helping with outdoor stuff, like the chickens or making things.
  2. Name one thing you are really good at? Angry Birds and being silly...of course!
  3. What is one thing that Mama and Daddy tell you often? That you love me.
  4. What do you want to be when you grow up? That's easy a veterinarian.
  5. What do you think Mama and Daddy do when you go to bed at night? Work, Mommy and Daddy work...I don't know, I'm sleeping!

Sam (3 yrs and 7 months)

  1. What do you enjoy doing with Mama and Daddy? Dates and Fishing
  2. Name one thing you are really good at? ABC's
  3. What is one thing that Mama and Daddy tell you often? I Love You
  4. What do you want to be when you grow up? a----what? BULLFIGHTER!
  5. What do you think Mama and Daddy do when you go to bed at night? works---- I don't know

These boys crack me up with their answers; they are almost exactly the same and I asked Ren yesterday and Sam this morning.
They do love fishing with their Daddy and I try to take them on dates on the weekends (errands and lunch). Ren has wanted to be a veterinarian since he was two and Sam, well I wouldn't be surprised if he didn't try out bullfighting one day (God help my mama-heart). I can't wait for next months questions and to start asking Alex in a couple months!

Monday, March 7, 2016

Babies Don't Keep

If there ever was a mantra, a mama-motto, a prayer for my mama-hood... Babies Don't Keep would be it.  Maybe it is because I am an older mama (I had my first at 34 and am now in my 40's) and I realize that I will never have "all the stuff" done and my home will never be perfectly clean. Maybe it is because I have older nephews and nieces that I marveled at when they were young and had woken from a nap changed and grown, somehow. Maybe it is because I come from a large family or that I have three babies of my own.  Whatever the reason...
Babies Don't Keep...they simply don't. 

Mrs Ruth Hulbert Hamilton must of been some kinda mama, a woman that I wish I could of met in her mothering, a mama I am sure that I could have learned from.  This affectionate poem that I know as Babies Don't Keep is actually titled Song for a Fifth Child. Mrs Hamilton recognized the beauty in the moment, the sacred of motherhood and reminds us all that time is fleeting and the stuff of life can wait but time with our babies cannot.

There are days when I have piles of washing, lots of cleaning to do, dinner to be made, shopping to be done and on and on. Those days when I start to get overwhelmed at the demands of my life, my day...I stop and I remember that babies don't keep.

This remember-ing effects my days, my mothering, my house, the way I  Somedays are messier than others, somedays we don't do much more than lots of hold-you, book reading on Mama's lap and just the basics of homeschool. Other days it seems like I can get it "all" done.

We ( and I), we have to be easy on ourselves. give grace to ourselves (and accept that grace because our Creator gives grace abundantly) and change our perspective to see the holy, the sacred in our days, in our mama-ing.  Isaiah 40:11 tells us, He tends to his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in His arms and carries them close to His heart; He gently leads those that have young.  I am one of those that He gently leads. There are days that I need that gentle leading more than others (I am so grateful that it is gentle). I remember a time when I was pregnant with my third and I was tired, my two boys were carrying on like boys do and there were messes to clean and dinner to cook and calls to return...and I couldn't take the noise or really anything any longer.  I went to the tiny hall bathroom and closed the door; with tears streaming down my face I called out to my Creator, my Shepherd and reminded Him of this verse....and asked Him to gently lead me. To give me wisdom for my days and fill me with His peace. He did. When I stepped out of that bathroom I had a peace in my heart and new perspective on my day, on the noise, the messes, the things left undone. Those things could wait, it would be ok, it would all get done. My boys however needed me, they needed their mama to sit and read a story, to build blocks, to have a hold-you and that needing, this mama-ing it is the sacred.

These three, my babies...they are growing too fast and I am grateful for the wisdom in the perspective that babies don't keep. Grateful to recognize the sacred in my days and most of all grateful for my Shepherd who not only holds my little ones close to His heart; He gently leads me as well. 

Do you have a "where you are at in life" mantra, motto, prayer or scripture? I'd love to hear it about it, please leave me a post in the comments!

Joining Tuesday Talk with Stephanie.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Taking Care

I have struggled so long with taking care of me.
being good to my body
this one body
God has given me.

and then...
I started
to work out
eat healthy
pay attention
to my body
my mind
my spirit.

it feels good awesome
to take care of me
to know that
I can.
and so...

so I do...
I just do it.
home work outs
lots of water
healthy portions
treat myself right.

and then I wonder...
why did it take me all of my adult life so far to arrive here?
this place of taking care.

I remember the day I took this picture. It was right after a work out and I felt: strong, beautiful, happy, peaceful, proud and quiet; all at the same time.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

It's The Little Things

Somedays are easier then others to stop and smell the proverbial roses; to notice the little things about my babes.  One day soon I will blink and they will be grown and I will wonder where all the time went and how did they get so big.

This guy, is on the cusp of his SEVENTH birthday.  Ren has the gift of animal loving, is mad with animal facts and wants to work in animal conservation when he grows up. "People need to know to be kind to animals. We need them and they need us." He said this at a recent trip to the zoo after reading animal stats at one of the exhibits. This is one of his Guinea Pigs, Miss Wookie (she really is the sweetest thing); hanging out with him as he does his school work.

Game-Night with just Sam is a thing for us.  When he earns a "Stay up 30 Minutes Past Bedtime" we play games; just him and I. Sam is so funny, he plays games by his rules and I try to follow along best I can.  Connect Four is his favorite. He insists that we "ready, set, go" and quick as we can put our chips in our own side, careful not to mix them up. If they get mixed up he yells STOP and proceeds to take the offending chip out of the game.  Who ever gets all their chips in and on the correct side, wins.  I pretty much lose every time.  I don't mind losing to Sam though...because he is funny and super cute.

My Alex is almost two and fiercely independent.  The quick moments that come through-out the day that she wants a "hold-you" and will sit and snuggle up on my lap are the best, I just want to bottle them up into forever.  And her thumb-sucking; I know the day will come when I will have to help her let that go...but it is the sweetest thing.

Babies Don't Keep...that's my mama motto.

linking up with Jess @SadieSky