In The Word Wednesday 5/18/16

33Teach me your decrees, O Lord;
    I will keep them to the end.
34 Give me understanding and I will obey your instructions;
    I will put them into practice with all my heart.
35 Make me walk along the path of your commands,
    for that is where my happiness is found.
36 Give me an eagerness for your laws
    rather than a love for money!
37 Turn my eyes from worthless things,
    and give me life through your word.[b]
38 Reassure me of your promise,
    made to those who fear you.
39 Help me abandon my shameful ways;
    for your regulations are good.
40 I long to obey your commandments!
    Renew my life with your goodness.

Psalm 119:33-40

This passage struck me this past week. I’ve especially been meditating on verse 37: “Turn my eyes from worthless things, and give me life through your word.”

I feel like I have been caught up with “worthless things” lately- my mind has been focused on the little, trivial matters, and it’s caused me so much unnecessary stress.

May you find blessings in this passage and encouragement for the rest of your week.

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Lego Organization

Nothing hurts more than trying to walk through a room and stepping on a stray LEGO piece. Honestly, nothing hurts my brain more than assuming the Legos are put away, and peeking into the room we store them to see them strewn about the floor like a new plastic carpet.

Our previous system of storage for the building blocks was to put them in buckets, with the instruction books shoved wherever we could put them. This resulted in pieces in weird places (including bookshelves and books!) and the instruction books getting ripped and lost.

I had had enough and decided we needed a better system. I took an old set of drawers I had used for craft storage and separated the blocks by color. I labeled them with the name of the color and a colored dot for my non-readers. (Don’t mind the old labels with the craft supplies!)

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Obviously I didn’t have enough drawers for all the colors, let alone the minifigures. Those guys went in a container on top. The yellow bucket is for projects the kids are in the middle of.

As for the books, I cut the books down the middle, and removed the staples. I gathered two 3-ring binders we had gotten from an office that was getting rid of them, and ordered some plastic sheet protectors.

I placed the pages in the books, and now the books are protected and also out of the legos!

Some of the books were larger and I could do one page per sheet protector. For the others, I just stacked them in the protector so you could see both sides.

Having the books in binders like this has inspired the kids to make the projects now, and my 5 year old can keep track of where he is now!

What are some ways you store your toys?

Meet the New Guy!

What have I been up to? Goodness gracious, it’s been a while. I’ll be perfectly honest, I have been up to a lot. For starters, I grew another person:

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I know, he’s all kinds of adorable. He’s bigger than this now. He was born in January. Four months old now. Time really flies. You can call him Smiley.

This is the happiest kid I’ve ever met. He is so chill. God really blessed me with an easygoing baby. Because the last one- ALL BOY. In a wonderful and beautiful way, but wow. When mama’s favorite thing is to sit down and enjoy a cup off coffee in the kitchen without interruptions (HAHAHA THAT IS HILARIOUS) and number three wants to figure out how the screen door opens…  Yeah… sitting down doesn’t happen much.

But Number Four- Smiley, if you will- I thank God for the gift of him. He is so content. And at four months, he’s not crawling like Number Three was.

Yes, I said four months. He was also walking at seven months. My poor husband. Big Guy (which is also hilarious that I named him Big Guy for this blog because he is the smallest out of all the kids) is the busiest boy I know. He is in to EVERYTHING. My life is never boring, for sure. Just a peek into his shenanigans:

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Yep, our tiny family is now not so tiny. It’s wonderful and busy and crazy and loud and messy and all of those things wrapped up in a big bow of blessings. It takes up most of my time, energy and brain power raising and teaching and cleaning up after these little humans. But it’s incredibly worth it.

February Reading Challenge, Day 2

Two days into our Challenge to Read All The Books this month, and I realized I need to step it up! This is a short month! And there are hundreds of books to read! Nevertheless, we read 9 more books today! (16 down, over 200 to go! I’m not going to count them, I’ll do that after we’ve read them all!)

Disclosure: This post also contains some affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive advertising fees.

These are the books we read today, along with a short little review and our rating:

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February Reading Challenge Day 2

The Seasons of Arnold’s Apple Tree by Gail Gibbons: This is a neat little story written by Gail Gibbons that tells about Arnold and his apple tree. It’s not like other books by the same author where it’s just information. It’s neat to see it in a story format. It still has some science information. Bubba liked this one- there were quite a few aspects he was able to compare to real life. (5 stars)

Jump, Frog, Jump! by Robert Kalan: A story of a frog, and how it escapes from many predators. This is one of my favorites, and I just love having the children participate in this story, yelling, “jump, frog, jump!” along with me as I read. I used to read this to the kids in daycare. We even made frog hats and jumped around the house. (5 stars)

If You Take a Mouse to School by Laura Numeroff: What happens if you take a mouse to school? You’ll be running all over the place! I love the If you… books. I don’t know that we’ll be reading this one much, however, only because we homeschool and it’s only a little bit relatable. We’ll probably keep it on the shelf, but it probably won’t be one of our go-to books. (5 stars)

Rainbow Fish ABC by Marcus Pfister: Not really a story book, as much as the alphabet on pages decorated with Rainbow Fish characters. Definitely not in Bubba’s age group, but a cute review- especially if you like Rainbow Fish. (4 stars)

Truck by Donald Crews: I have to admit, we’ve had this book for quite a while, and I’ve never read it. I sat down to read this one, and quickly realized it is a wordless picture book! Bubba and I had some fun looking at the illustrations, talking about how the scenarios are similar to his daddy’s job, and recognizing street signs. I normally wouldn’t rate this one as high, but it had a personal relevance to Bubba, so it gets (4 stars).

Stargazers by Gail Gibbons: This was a classic Gail Gibbons book on a fun science topic. I liked it because even though it covered astronomy, my four year old son got something out of it. He wasn’t too thrilled with the book, but it’s got some neat pictures, and can open doors to a lot of learning! (4 stars)

Can You See What I See? Toys by Walter Wick: We really enjoyed looking for the hidden images in this book. Not a lot of literary content, but the pictures are really fun to look at! (5 stars)

God Made You Special by Jennifer Holder: This is a quick read, encouraging for kids, letting them know that whoever they are, God loves them. I did, however alter the content while reading. The book gave two examples of what made a person special- neither of which Bubba enjoys, so I improvised and said “playing with trucks” and all was well. (3 stars)

 

August Post

Well, we’ve officially started school. To be truthful, Peanut started two weeks ago. She just couldn’t wait. But Bubba started today.

I was gifted the Kindergarten Curriculum by My Father’s World last week. I am so thankful to my wonderful friend. Bubba was so excited to hear that he would be starting school- especially since his cousin started public kindergarten last week. My plan is to use this curriculum even though Bubba will only be turning four in October.

But today, we broke it open. And he colored the number one from the Creation story. And then we sang the ABC Song. And we went over the alphabet cards until he got tired of it. After that, he had his turn on the laptop to play on ABCmouse.com. About five minutes into his playing he asked if he could write on a piece of paper that was sitting on the table. I said yes.

And then he proceeded to try as hard as he could to write his name. And he did an amazing job for a kid who knows half his alphabet, grips his pencil in an upside down fist, and has never really tried before.

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And look at that- he’s even wearing actual clothes and not his pajamas (or a t-shirt and batman underwear!).

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He was so excited that he wrote his name, he asked if he could cut, and then he asked how to spell my name. This crazy kid surprised me when I went to lay the baby down! He labeled my bedroom door!

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Speaking of the baby, Muchkin just doesn’t cut it for a nickname. From here on out, my little one shall be named Big Guy. Why? Check him out in our new Baby K’tan:

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9 weeks old, I tell you. 9 weeks old. I can’t wrap him in the newborn hold, and he’s strong enough for the hold that’s recommended for 5 months old. This dude rolls over, lifts his head about 6 inches, and today was getting his knees up under him. Babyproofing, here we come!

I can’t get by without posting a picture of my little Peanut. She’s obsessed with ninjas right now. She has three separate “ninja clubs” with three separate groups of friends. I’m convinced that the other girls don’t really want it to be a ninja club, but didn’t turn down membership only because every little girl wants to be in every little club they get invited to.

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This is my ninja. In flip flops. In 90 degree weather. I love her creativity. I love her individuality. She’s not into American Girls, tea parties or baby dolls. She loves dresses with pants, swinging on her rope swing, My Little Ponies (which she pairs with How to Train Your Dragon figurines), tying things up, reading 6 hours a day (if she can get away with it) and most days, she can be found running circles around the house because she has the energy.

 

I am feeling so blessed right now. All of my life’s Little Treasures. My children are amazing, and I just thank God that I have the opportunity to watch them grow, teach them His love, and nurture them to the best of my ability.

Welcome To The World

 

Introducing the newest member of our little (but growing!) family! Our precious son was born June 15- an amazing and wonderful Father’s Day present! 

After he was born, my husband was sitting in the chair next to the hospital bed while I was holding our sweet little bundle, and he quietly said, “I guess we have another June 15th birthday.” I looked at him, and it took me a minute, but I finally asked, “Today’s your mom’s birthday, isn’t it?”

His mother passed away a couple years ago from Lymphoma. It was really difficult for him. How precious and amazing that the Lord allowed our son- who never got to meet his Grandma- to share a special day with her. 

As an aside, let me just say that although I really appreciated having my water break with both Peanut and Bubba so I knew exactly WHEN I was in labor and there was no question I should go in to the hospital, I really did enjoy a fast (4 hour) labor without the need for Pitocin. It was a lot more enjoyable. 

Quickly Checking In

Just poking my head in and letting any readers know that I haven’t really forgotten about this blog. Just taking a break, getting in some rest, and trying to prepare for Baby’s Arrival.

This summer will probably be quite slow as far as posting goes. (Who knows, though… sleepless nights with a nursing baby might inspire some writing- we will see.) But I am VERY excited to start blogging again soon. With only 10 days left until this baby’s due date, I’m not going to plan anything soon, but there will be some fun stuff in the future.

Things that have taken up our family’s time the past month or so:

BATHROOM RENOVATION
Hubby is working so hard at getting the bathroom completely finished. We’ve slowed down as far as what is getting done, and are literally waiting for the paint to dry (not paint- drywall patch, but same thing!)

END OF SCHOOL YEAR
Peanut finished second grade and has been tirelessly wearing out her rope swing. And getting in as much outside playtime with Bubba as she can.

PREPARING FOR BABY
I have been going a little bit crazy, fighting this innate nesting urge while my house has been a construction zone. BUT, there’s a place for baby to sleep, clothes are washed and put away, and things are fairly ready.

Now it’s the waiting game for delivery. This is almost the worst part because it’s on my mind constantly. That and the heartburn just never. goes. away. 😀

Keep your eyes out for a birth announcement!

Wildfires burn more than 9,000 acres in county

This is so scary and sad for all those involved, but take a look at this fire tornado. It’s amazing to watch it spiraling upward.

fox5sandiego.com

[trib_ndn vid=26092275]SAN DIEGO — Nine separate wildfires, most of which are still burning out of control, have blackened about 9,500 acres since Tuesday, officials said.

Wildfire A house stands on a hillside in San Marcos California, on a hillside almost totally charred by a wildfire May 14; 2014; in San Marcos; California. (Photo by Bill Wechter/Getty Images)

The fires include:

  1. Bernardo Fire, which has burned 1,548 acres in the Black Mountain area since Tuesday;
  2. Tomahawk Fire, which has burned 6,000 acres on Camp Pendleton since Wednesday;
  3. Poinsettia Fire, which has burned 400 acres in Carlsbad since Wednesday;
  4. Freeway Fire, which burned 30 acres on both sides of Interstate 5 near San Onofre on Wednesday;
  5. Highway Fire, which has burned 600 acres off Interstate 15 near Highway 76 since Wednesday;
  6. River Fire, which burned 100 acres in Oceanside since Wednesday;
  7. Cocos Fire, which has burned…

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I kind of feel like the past two weeks have just flown by. I cannot even really remember what has happened lately. Except for this:

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That’s my bathroom. It looked like this noon on Saturday. My Saturday evening, it was completely emptied except for the toilet. My husband (who is working so hard on this AFTER working 8-10 hours every day) is hoping to have the shower framed and ready for installation on Sunday.  

I am trying to cope with tools and hardware, bathroom contents and mess strewn about my house. And the bathroom door behind my dining room table. And a sink and vanity next to my china hutch.

And a very precious baby who has wedged it’s head so low in my pelvis sitting isn’t comfortable anymore. 

Oh the seasons we go through. 

On The School Front:

Last week, we finished our Adventures in US History by My Father’s World for second grade. I know Peanut is excited. 

We are continuing to work through our Teaching Textbooks 4. She should be finished in June.

I think we’ll continue to do Spelling 2-3 days per week until life gets to hectic (read- I have a baby).

We started “How to Study Your Bible for kids” by Kay Arthur and Janna Arndt. It’s a six week lesson on how to study the Bible inductively. We will get through that and I’ll review it. 

We are SO EXCITED to start Exploring Countries and Cultures in August.

On the Baby Front:

The little one is due in five and a half weeks. Everything is measuring fine, and baby is moving around a lot. It’s a very strong child. I am looking forward to meeting the munchkin. Now would be the time that I go through baby clothes and see what I need to pick up, but it’s taking me a little longer because of the horrific state my house is in.

 

 

My Day Planner

The days are mixing together lately.

Last summer, I bought a calendar that is printed August through July. I was ecstatic, since it was basically a school year and then some, and I had reached the point in my life where, if it wasn’t written down someplace intentional, I would miss whatever activity/appointment/special day it was.

Plus, I could use it as a sort of school day tracker (not by putting in what days we do school, but by looking at whatever else we did, and realizing there was no way we fit school into that day.)

At the beginning of the “year” (read: August 2013), I was thrilled to fill it up with fun things to do. Of course, the first half wasn’t too full. I was recovering the first few weeks from miscarrying our twins and building back all the blood cells I had lost. It was actually a long recovery. But, looking back into August, I see that I actually did put checkmarks on the days where we did school. We had a few appointments, a trip to the zoo, a swimming date, some parks, a library trip.

September had quite a bit more, which makes sense, because a lot of things start up in September. I did a quick count, and out of the 30 days in September, 11 of them did not have something written down. As was the habit for the rest of the year. I’m looking into my May and writing things down, filling in holes, making notes of appointments and play dates, conferences, meetings and Bible Studies. I’m not seeing a lot of breathing space, so I skip ahead a page and look at June and breathe a sigh of relief. I love looking ahead two months and seeing how much free time I have. But the reality is, once mid-May comes around, there will be so many opportunities to fill up my calendar in June.

I am thankful I have an excuse to clear the dates and say, “Sorry, I can’t. I’m staying home with my kids and the new baby.” Maybe I can even find some trusted friends to take Peanut out and let her enjoy the summer while I stay home and enjoy an empty calendar?

So far, in June, I have the kids’ dentist appointment and the dates my mom and baby sister are flying in to visit. I wonder how long it will stay that way.