March 31, 2013

Eating Vegetables

This week I have the pleasure of introducing you to Cary!  Cary and I have attended the same church for quite a few years but we never hung out on a regular basis until recently.  She's one of those ladies you admire from afar and wish to spend more time with.  Last fall we finally both pulled out our calendars and have been able to plan a few fun nights together.  I'm so thankful for her vulnerability and desire to maintain an eternal perspective.  I hope and pray you are each encouraged by what she has to share!

My name is Cary and I have one son, Joel, who is almost two. He's a fairly easy-going toddler and my husband and I (both introverts) are pretty convinced he'll take after us. He warms up to people pretty quickly and isn't clingy but he prefers to hang back and watch before jumping in. It's really fun to watch the wheels turn in his little head and try to see how God has uniquely made and gifted him.

You need to know a little background about me to fully appreciate the situation I've chosen to write about for this blog post. Until the last few weeks, I did not eat any vegetables. EVER. As in, I had very strong gagging reactions to them as a child and my mother, for a variety of reasons, decided to not to push me to learn to eat them. So I have gone basically the last thirty years without consuming any vegetables. No corn, no carrots, no salads, no sweet potatoes, nothing. I believe that multivitamins are one of God's biggest gifts for picky eaters and I marvel at the way he designed our bodies to be able to survive and thrive on sub-optimal diets. I do not recommend this lifestyle but I do want to say all of my blood work while not eating vegetables was completely normal, I am in decent shape, I had a healthy pregnancy, and if you are worried your child will become malnourished from not eating vegetables, I am living proof that it probably won't happen.

Now that is out of the way, you can understand a little bit the amount of fear and trepidation I felt when introducing vegetables to Joel as a baby. How was I going to expect him to eat something I didn't? To my relief, he gobbled up all of the pureed beans, peas, carrots and squash I gave him. However, as a toddler he has been much more reluctant to eat vegetables in their solid form.

When he first started refusing vegetables, I could feel my blood pressure skyrocket. Then fear, panic and anger took over. Fear that I was failing a mom. Panic that I didn't know how to handle this situation. Fear that Joel would be doomed to repeat my past. Anger that I couldn't control this little person anymore. Fear, panic, anger. All sins I struggle with that go back to the lie that any of us are ultimately in control and could be enough, do enough, or even eat enough vegetables to be perfect. It sounds ridiculous when I write it out like that but I find myself believing that lie over and over again. My idol of control has me placing my assurance in how well I can manage the little things and has me blinded to the most important things in life, most of which are ultimately out of my control anyhow!

This scenario with Joel tempted (and still tempts) me to become exactly the type of parent and person that I desperately don't want to be. In my life I don't want to fight for good things, only to miss what is best. I don't want to have a this-world-is-all-there-is mindset. I don't want to be like the Jewish authorities in John 18 who took Jesus to Pontius Pilate but wouldn't enter the governor's headquarters for fear of defiling themselves. They wanted to make sure crucifying Jesus didn't technically break any laws about appropriate behavior and get in the way of their ability to celebrate Passover. They followed all of the rules they were taught for right behavior and loved the praise of men. They did everything "right" but missed the most important thing right in front of them: Jesus. They were literally more worried about appearing righteous and controlling all of the little externals of their lives, even as they were putting the Son of God to death. Talk about missing the big eternal picture!

Yes, I want Joel to obey and eat vegetables but what I have learned is that I don't want to care more about his external obedience than about his heart. Obedience is important and can reveal what is going on in the heart, but I have been challenged by Dr. Tim Kimmel's book Grace Based Parenting to remember that not every thing is a moral issue. I think this is another way of paraphrasing Ephesians 6:4 about not exasperating your children but instead bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord. I don't have Grace Based Parenting on hand to refer to a specific page (I checked it out from the library), but here is a quote from Dr. Kimmel's website:

"Kids inside homes where non-moral issues are elevated to a level of big problems don't get to experience the kind of acceptance that makes a heart feel securely loved. Instead they live with a barrage of nitpicking criticism, receiving put-downs because they are curious, anxious, excited, helpless, carefree, or absent-minded. When we receive our children as they are, we reflect the kind of love that God has for them. It's the kind of love that will carry them through the good times and the bad times for the rest of their lives."

I have recently started occupational therapy to learn how to eat vegetables so I can set a good example for Joel and provide healthier meals at home. Honestly, it is not going easily or quickly. I am reminding myself that Joel will need to look beyond my example and even beyond himself for the truest example of how to live. I don't want to artificially turn the issue of eating vegetables into a moral issue. I want him to be obedient but ultimately I want to care most about his character and heart for God so that he knows that is truly the only thing that matters. Like it or not, he will take many of his cues from me and I want him to know that I love him, that I will show him grace, and that every day I will radiate a true and authentic love for Jesus.

I wasn't raised in a home where I saw an unabashed love for Jesus spilling into every area of life. I'm not sure exactly what that looks like in the context of Joel eating vegetables, but I'm guessing it looks more peaceful and less anxious, more full of grace and less temptation to anger, and more thankful to Jesus for providing both physically and spiritually. I am trying to redeem meals and figure out how to make them about Jesus. Recently I have started reading to Joel from The Jesus Storybook Bible over a meal. It is a good reminder to me that even if he isn't eating the foods I wish he would eat, he is being nourished by the Bread of Life. And that is exactly the mother I pray to be able to be for him.

March 29, 2013

Creating Calendar Cards

Almost every morning as we sit down to breakfast we discuss what day it is and what we have planned for that day.  We sing our songs and change our calendar accordingly (see my other post to read in further detail).  One thing Addi really likes to do is swap out all the numbers on the calendar at the end of the month.  One of the ways I try to teach her the difference between the months is by using different sets of numbers for the days.  One month we may use a set of numbers with a fun-looking font and the next month we may pick a set that corresponds with a particular holiday that will take place that month.  
I had a friend who visited about once a month and she eventually asked me,  "How many sets of calendar days do you have?"  I didn't really know how to answer her, because well...we have a lot; not because they are cheap (because if you buy them in the store they're not), but because they are easy and fun to make.  There are endless possibilities and you can get as creative as you want with them.  The process is simple and but there are two ways to begin.  

The first option, which is the easiest (if you can find the right product at the right price), is to find calendar cards.  Last fall, right before school started, I scoped out the Dollar Tree near my house.  Somewhere hidden within the piles of teacher supplies I found a pack that had not one, but TWO sets of calendar cards for $1.  They had several different packs too so I think I bought three different packs (each with two sets).  They are cute too.  Both of the above sets were included in one of these packs.  The problem with these sets is that they are cardboard and easily tear if not handled with care.  

The second option is to make your own set of numbers.  This is where you can get as creative as you want.  You can cut out a shape and write the numbers on the shape.   The set below is a set that I made for February.  They are simple hearts that I cut out and used number stencils on.  Easy peasy.
Another option when making your own is to pick out a pack of post-it notes that you can "dress up."  Each of these post-it note sets I got on clearance for $0.30 a pack.  There are so many varieties you could do just about anything.  If you wanted you could even use scrapbook paper that you really like.  Seriously, anything will work.  All you need to add are the numbers.  You can free hand it.  You can use stickers.  You can use stencils. Whatever you think looks best.

After getting them just the way you want them, pull out your laminator!  Let me reirriate  from a previous post that small at home laminators are not as expensive as you might think.  I was given one for my birthday last year.  The actual laminator was only $25.  It works great, is easy to use, and I use it quite frequently.  The laminator sheets can be bought cheap too if you shop around.

Anyway, back to the calendar cards, I can usually get between 6-9 numbers per laminator sheet meaning that at most I use 5-6 laminating sheets. This means that at most I would be spending about $1.50 on lamination.

Next, I buy a pack of velcro (not the kind that has adhesive on the back, but the kind that would be used if you were sewing it onto a product).  I bought two packs for $1 at Walmart.

All you have to do is cut the velcro into squares, pull out your hot glue gun, and place the squares exactly where you want them. 

I used the coarse side of the velcro for my calendar board so anytime I make any new number cards I have to make sure to sure the soft side of the velcro.   This is very important if you actually want your numbers to stick to the board.

One thing to remember is that if you pull the numbers off quickly the hot glue will not hold the velcro on as well as you might like.  Be gentle with it and, if it does pull apart you can fix it simply by pulling out your hot glue gun again.

All in all, you can make a set of numbers for as little as $3.  This is a great deal when you see that some sets at a teacher supple store run as steep as $15.

In addition, I wanted to show you some of the extras I got in my Dollar Tree packs.  All these special cards were included and I thought that was so cool.

Finally, I wanted to remind you that if you didn't want to write the numbers on the cards before you laminated them, you would use Expo markers to write on them afterwards.  Sometimes when we play counting games I'll use a set I have left blank and I'll write numbers on them as we go.

I hope you've been inspired to get creative and I would love to hear about some of your successes!

Puzzle Problems

Addilyn loves puzzels, but she is at the stage where the traditional 25-100 piece puzzles are too hard for her but the kiddy ones with the knobs are too easy.  What's a mom to do?  Then it hit me.  I would take a few of her "big-girl" puzzles and make them "little-girl" friendly.  It's so easy that I was suprized I had not thought of it sooner.  All I did was remove one piece of the puzzle at a time and trace around the edges with a sharpie marker.  Once I had traced every piece I removed them all and let Addi try her new and improved puzzle.  It worked perfectly!  By drawing the shape of the missing piece on the background  it helped Addi make a decision on which one fit in that spot.  It really made all the difference.  Instead of having a frustrated little girl asking me "Where this one go? where this one go?" I had a perfectly happy and content puzzle-putter-together.

The Ernie puzzle and the Big Bird/Elmo puzzles were especially hard because they have all straight edge pieces, unlike typical puzzles.  Not any they are perfect for my little one who is becoming great at matching irregular shapes!

Pesky Paper Plates and Damage they Cause!

Unless we have a large group over for dinner, my family doesn't use paper plates too often because, well... they just frustrate the mess out of me!  If you buy a package of paper plates that advertises 500 what they usually don't tell you is that you are really only going to get about 200 plates because they have compressed them together so well.  You could separate them, but by the time you pull apart the three that are stuck together, the plate is so thin it can't even hold even a piece of bread without folding in half (much less hold an entire meal).  Some argue that styrofoam plates are more sturdy.  True, but then you have the eco-friendly debates from your either anti-styrofoam or anti-dishwasher friends who both present such convening arguments you actually consider eating out of your hand for the rest of your life.  

Finally, and the real reason for this post, I HATE what hot paper plates do to your wood furniture.  Here is a picture of my kitchen table after a recent dinner we had with our small group.  Yes, we do have a set of 12 wicker paper plate holders, but on the night in question we had a few more than 12 people eating with us and one paper plate (to my horror) was placed on the table.  Can you even believe it?  Who would do such a thing?  Try an eat dinner by placing their plate ON the table!  What nerve!  (I'm completely kidding.  And by the way, that person was actually ME.)

Well friends, just so you don't ever let a paper plate stain be the source of bitterness in your heart, I want to share with you a trick I learned a few years ago (right after we bought a brand new, solid wood, dining room table).  Mayonnaise.  Yep, you heard me right, mayonnaise.  Just grab a spoon, plop a blob on the stain, and let it sit over night.  With a little bit of time, the oil in the mayo rejuvenates the wood!

The next morning, take a dry rag, wipe off the mayonnaise, and voila`!  Good as new!  Hope it works for you if you ever have to deal with those pesky paper plates.  ;)

By the way, just incase you're a skeptic and are looking at these pictures thinking, "That's not even the same table, much less the same spot on the table."  I took these pictures at different times of the day.  The first picture is from when I noticed the stain in the afternoon.  The second is from when I placed the mayo on the table that evening (after my kids were in bed so they wouldn't be tempted to play in it).  And the last picture was taken the following morning after cleaning up the mess.

March 24, 2013

Approaching with Confidence

Not everyone is blessed to live beside one of their dearest friends.  It's rare this day in age to  have a neighbor who is experiencing the same life stage you're currently in AND who shares your same passions and convictions on just about any topic.  This is one of many reasons why I am so blessed.  I have a friend like this and her name is Dana.  Her little boy, who you'll here a little more about, is two weeks older than my Addi-Grace.  They are best buds and enjoy any time they can spend together.  On a regular basis Dana and I get together to swap stories and offer encouragement while our kiddos play.  She never fails to help point my heart to the gospel. So, today, I wanted to share a bit of her wisdom with you.  I only hope you can enjoy and appreciate her perspective half as much as I do, for you will still be immeasurably blessed!

My two little ones are quite little.  Eva is 6 months old and cute as a button.  Noah is almost three and in the throws of potty training and, well, the foolishness that so often marks the life of a two year old.  In light of this, I have been thinking about how we are invited to "boldly approach [God's] throne of grace" (Hebrews 4:16 NKJV).  Now, obviously my sin before our perfect God is infinitely worse than that of my toddler's before me.  Heck! My sin at this point in our lives in comparably horrific next to my son's (pride, jealousy, bitterness, lust)! And yet God calls me to come to Him with confidence because Jesus has paved the path for peace with this perfect God.  I know, because the Bible is crystal clear, that I can find grace and mercy and forgiveness at the throne of ALMIGHTY GOD when I come with a heart that is sorry for my sin, depending on Jesus as my righteousness, and seeking to be embraced by my perfect heavenly Daddy (1 John 1:9).

Meanwhile, my dear little two year-old is not always confident about approaching his mama.  Why?  Because he decided to paint the walls with urine and comb his hair with the toilet brush.  Is not my sin so infinitely worse than his exploratory toddler mishaps?  Yet, Jesus invites me to come boldly to his throne.  I will find grace there.  But will my son find grace with me?  How can I correct him in a way that keeps him confident that he can always find forgiveness with me?  How can I teach him to rightfully fear consequences for foolishness, but not to fear the mommy who may need to dole out the consequences?  I want to strike a balance between the ideas that God's kindness leads us to repentance (Romans 2:4), and yet God also disciplines those he loves (Hebrews 12:6).

I don't have the perfect answer, but what I do know is that my boy's confidence will not grow with a mommy who is bitter and fuming all afternoon.  My boy will not come running in repentance to someone who is pouting, angry, and wallowing in self pity over a sicko bathroom that needs top-to-bottom sanitation.  Confidence will come when forgiveness is truly available -- quick, real, and complete forgiveness-- and joyful relationship is restored! Just like our reconciliation with our God who does not treat us as our sins deserve. Praise Him! (Psalm 103:1)

The other certainty I have is that reconciliation with God comes at a price.  Jesus died for me so that I can approach the throne of God with confidence that I will find grace there.  Surely I can endure a little suffering, discomfort, and inconvenience with my children -- not so they can get away with things and trample grace, but so they might get a taste of the reconciliation available to them through their Creator and King, Jesus Christ.  It's only a shadow of this greater reality, but it's something.  And it's worth it.

March 23, 2013

Letter of the Week- Letter T

Turtles, Trains, andTigers, oh my.  Wait, that's not how it goes.  Whatever.  Letter T week was TERRIFIC!  Click on the link below for our curriculum and check out the pictures to see how much fun we had.  

Also, I keep forgetting to add in our activities for spiritual disciplines, but I get all my ideas from  They have actual lesson plans for sunday school and I just modify them to fit our needs in our home.  Some things are super simple such as hand gestures to do with your kids while reading the passage or free printable color pages.  Anyway, you should check it out.

Handwriting practice.

Counting our fingers and toes.  How about that, there are 20!

We played a review game for number 20 week.  I would call out a number and Addi had to find it on the paper and trace it.  She was being kind of particular that day and wanted to use a different color for each number.

Wiping down the table with a towel.  She was so excited because it just seemed like everything began with the t sound.

T is for Trains.

We took a trip to the park to ride the train.  Addi thought it was neat that even tracks and tickets started with the letter T.

Someone is just a little excited.  What do you think?

Capital T train tracks.

We made 20 train cars from construction paper.  I would call out a number and Addi had to add that many cars to the train.  We played this about 7-8 times before she was tired of crawling around on the cold floor in her skirt.  

T is for Turtle.  We obviously found the jackpot in books with the Franklin series.  Addi really liked those a lot.  Her Daddy read most of them to her on his day off.  In fact, I believe they read for an entire hour straight.

To make our turtle, first, Addi put some green dots on a coffee filter.
Then she sprayed it with water and watched how the green leaked across the entire surface.
Finally, she added some legs and a head to complete the turtle.
We made another turtle with a paper plate.  We folded it in half, filled it with newspaper (although it doesn't look quite full enough), stapled the open edges, and decorated it.  Later Josiah played with it like it was an actual toy.  I thought it was sweet.
Next, we played a counting game.  I laminated a picture of a turtle and then wrote a number on it.  Addilyn had to count out the correct number of "turtle eggs" (marbles) and place it in the dish beside the turtle.  I originally wanted to hide the marbles in a small bowl of sand to make it more of a sensory activity but we didn't have any sand and I was not going to make a run to the store for this one activity. Oh well, next time.

T is for Tiger.

We've had this puzzle for awhile but I thought it was a little too complicated for her so I had never pulled it out.  I was wrong. She put it together with no trouble at all.

Here is our lowercase letter t.  We wanted to give it tiger stripes so we used a piece of orange foam, put strips of painters tape over it and then painted it black.
After it dried we removed the tape and we have are terrific tiger-striped letter t.

March 22, 2013

Chocolate Honey-Pecan Cupcakes

I love to try new things in the kitchen.  Well, what I really mean by that is I love to try new recipes.  I am not a pioneer in the kitchen.  I almost never experiment and create a recipe all by myself.  Instead, I find something that looks good and make that.  The most adventurous I typically get is modifying whatever recipe I'm using (and usually only a tad).  Well, today I took a giant leap out of my comfort zone and I tried something new.  I made Chocolate Honey Pecan cupcakes...from scratch...and WITHOUT a recipe!  Here's the crazy thing- they turned out GREAT!  I was so surprised.  I was just so thrilled I tried to remember exactly what I had done and now I want to share it with you!  Hope you enjoy!

Cupcake Mix
2 1/4 cups Flour
1/2 cup Cocoa Powder
1 1/2 tsps. Baking Soda
1/4 tsp. Salt
1/2 cup shortening
1 3/4 cups Sugar
1 tsp. Vanilla
3 Eggs
1 1/3 cups Water
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Prepare muffin tins.

Stir together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside. 

In a large mixing bowl beat shortening with an electric mixer set on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add sugar and vanilla; beat until well combined. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each one. Add dry mixture and water alternately to beaten mixture, beating on low speed after each addition just till combined.   Fold in 1 ½ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips. 

Pour batter into prepared pans. Sprinkle remaining chocolate chips on top.  Bake 20 minutes.

Honey/ Pecan Icing
4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
6 ounces whipped honey-nut cream cheese, room temperature
2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Beat butter and both types of cream cheese with a mixer on medium-high speed until fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce speed to low. Add sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, and then vanilla; mix until smooth.

Last but not least, decorate your cupcakes (and please don't judge my crazy looking' swirls- I am not naturally gifted in the cake decorating skill).

March 20, 2013

Ready, Set, Read!

Barbara Curtis knows her stuff!  She was a classroom teacher, a school director, home schooled her 11 children (yes, I did say eleven), has a background in Montessori education, has been published in numerous magazines and now leads workshops and seminars on various educational topics.  

My daughter is two, going on three, and I just picked up this book because she is beginning to put her letter sounds together.  Unfortunatley, I did not realize that Chapter One (the first 40+ pages) were dedicated to steps you could take from pregnancy until the time your child turns two to ensure your child has a love for reading.

The next chapter, dedicated to children approximately 2-5 years old, is most applicable to my family right now.  Curtis clearly articulates her reasoning for using certain methods.  For example, she suggests that parents should only introduce lowercase letters to their children in the beginning because the vast majority of letters they see and will use are lowercase (as an example, just look at what you’ve been reading on this page alone).  She explains that once they know the lowercase letters and even begin putting words together they are naturally going to absorb the uppercase letters.

She offers excellent practical “games” to play with your child to develop new skills.  Almost all of her ideas require little expense, if any at all. And one of my favorite aspects, is that included throughout the book are grey boxes with specific examples and tips for teaching.  I especially like, the “Suggested Sequence for Teaching Letters” and the “Sample Nonphonetic Combinations.”

At the end of each chapter and in the appendix she provides other helpful resources including book recommendations for the different age groups, a cheat sheet on correct letter formation, how to identify red flags, and even how to assist your child if they are a left handed.

On the whole, this book helped me to think through how to be more intentional with teaching my children how to read.  Because she gives practical examples that you can implement over the course of 7-8 years, it seems unrealistic that anyone can remember all the tips and tricks when the time does come to implement them.  I would recommend reading this book when your child is very young, tabing the pages you think will be helpful in the future, and coming back to it as often as needed.

To purchase your own copy please click here.

March 18, 2013

Expectations for Obedience

This week we will be hearing from Valerie!  Valerie is a friend of mine from college.  She and her husband both love the Lord and are passionate about serving Him with their lives.  Here are a few thoughts from Valerie that I hope will be as encouraging to you as they were to me.

I am honored to be the Mommy of two incredible kids.  Judah just turned 3 and is so much fun.  He loves making up songs, “fixing” things, and reading books.  When you hear him speak, there is no doubt that we live in the South! J  Mira just turned 1 (on the same day that Judah turned 3), and like most 1 year olds she loves to explore and get into everything!  Everyone comments about how she’s always smiling, but she can get pretty sassy when she doesn’t get what she wants.  Although they bring us more joy than we could have ever imagined, they have also made us realize how much we desperately need God’s wisdom and guidance every day!

One of our biggest challenges so far with Judah has been in the area of obedience.  What should our expectations be?  How should we respond when he disobeys us?  My natural instinct (or maybe just what I’ve always seen modeled by others) has been to repeat myself a little louder, bribe, and/or threaten if needed.  At times I have even ignored his disobedience, dismissing it as a minor offense.  But what am I really teaching him when I do these things?  Everything I do or don’t do teaches him something whether or not that is my intention.   I think most of you would agree that constantly having to repeat directions to a child gets old very fast.  More importantly, what does the bible have to say about children obeying their parents?

Ephesians 6:1-3 states: “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. ‘Honor your father and mother’- which is the first commandment with a promise- ‘that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.’”  I began to see the importance of teaching Judah that when he obeys and honors his daddy and me, he’s ultimately obeying and honoring God.  In Ginger Plowman’s book, “Don’t Make Me Count to Three”, she describes how we should teach children to obey “all the way, right away, and with a happy heart” (p.117).  She uses scripture to support her convictions.  After reading her book, as well as Shepherding a Child’s Heart by Tedd Tripp, my husband and I realized we needed to make some changes.  We realized that we had not been consistently teaching Judah what God’s standard was; therefore, we had been missing opportunities to point him towards the gospel message.  We began to practice the principals laid out in the books because we saw them supported by God’s Word.

I’m not going to sugar-coat it.  Teaching this concept of complete, immediate, and joyful obedience is HARD!  The first few weeks were especially exhausting because we didn’t see immediate improvement.  However, eventually we did begin to see some fruit of our efforts.  We began to notice that Judah was choosing to do what we asked him to do the majority of the time, which meant we didn’t have to spank him as much. (Praise the Lord!)  Now, does he always obey like he should?  Of course not!  I’m an adult and still disobey the Lord at times.  Thankfully, when he does disobey we have another opportunity to point him to his need for Jesus.  The primary goal is not to have a well-behaved child, but rather to have a child who can see that he is a sinner in need of a Savior.  Our conversation might go something like this:

me:  Judah, why did you choose to keep playing after I asked you to clean up your toys?
him:  I didn’t want to clean up.  I wanted to keep playing.
me:  Do you think God wanted you to keep playing or to obey Mommy?
him:  Obey Mommy.
me:  You’re right.  (I might remind him what Ephesians 6:1 says.)
*After I spank him, he apologizes, and I forgive and hug him.  I remind him that we need God’s help to obey because we can’t do it on our own.  I pray for him and then give him an opportunity to obey again by cleaning up his toys. 

I don’t want to give you the impression that we’ve got this obedience thing all figured out and are some kind of experts now because nothing could be further from the truth!  We’re still learning every day, and we still have days where we end up falling back into the cycle of repeating ourselves, bribing, or threatening (because we’re just plain lazy sometimes to be honest).  However, thankfully we serve a patient and gracious God who gives us the strength and power to keep moving forward! 

Even if you do not completely agree with my views on obedience that Mr. Tripp and Ms. Plowman helped to shape, I encourage you to still read their books, as well as search out scripture on your own.  Obedience is just one of many topics that is addressed, and I feel sure that you will be able to find plenty of wisdom for pointing your child’s heart toward Christ.  After all, isn’t that what it’s all about?! 

March 15, 2013

Feed the Mouse

This might be my favorite busy bag game I've made in a long time.  It's not that it is especially challenging for my kids, but I just think it's cute.  Ha ha.  I cut a circle and some "cheese" squares out of yellow foam.  I attached the circle to the back of the cheese di-cut with a simple brad.  Next, I cut out a circle in the di-cut and wrote in numbers on the the foam.  As you turn the wheel ask your child to feed the mouse the correct pieces of cheese according the the number showing.

Spelling Cards

Addi is beginning to sound out some words and is excited when she can figure out new words.  I created these cards from scrapbook paper and stickers.  I give her one card at a time and she looks through her pile of letter cards to find the letters to form the word.  This has also been good practice for her to learn that words are sounded out by reading them from left to right.

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