Tuesday, June 26, 2012

This is the Stuff

When was the last time you heard a song that just hit home?  I think it was a little over a year ago that I heard this song and it just seemed to fit my life so well.  Yesterday as I was driving home from the grocery store, the song came on the radio again.  It had been months since I had heard it, but it was exactly the reminder I was in need of.  "I gotta trust you know exactly what you're doing/It might not be what I would choose/But this is the stuff you use."

Some of the challenges I'm faced with each day are not ones I would necessarily pick, but it's the stuff God is using to teach me and mold me into the person He wants me to be.  And I believe He DOES know exactly what He is doing.

This is the Stuff
by Francesca Batistelli

I lost my keys in the great unknown
And call me please 'cuz I can't find my phone

This is the stuff that drives me crazy
This is the stuff that's getting to me lately
In the middle of my little mess
I forget how big I'm blessed
This i site stuff that gets under my skin
But I gotta trust You know exactly what You're doing
It might not be what I would choose
But this is the stuff You use

45 in a 35
Sirens and find while I'm running behind
Whoa

This is the stuff that drives me crazy
This is the stuff that's getting to me lately
In the middle of my little mess
I forget how big I'm blessed
This i site stuff that gets under my skin
But I gotta trust You know exactly what You're doing
It might not be what I would choose
But this is the stuff You use

So break me of impatience
Conquer my frustrations
I've got a new appreciation
It's not the end of the world
Oh Oh Oh

This is the stuff that drives me crazy
This is the stuff that's getting to me lately
In the middle of my little mess
I forget how big I'm blessed
This i site stuff that gets under my skin
But I gotta trust You know exactly what You're doing
It might not be what I would choose
But this is the stuff You use

Oh Oh Oh Oh 
This is the stuff you use


Saturday, June 23, 2012

Books in 2012

I just realized we're about half way through the year!  Can you believe it?  It seems like this year is flying by.  My friend Gretchen  over at That Mama Gretchen posted a list, this last week, of the books she has read so far this year.  Seeing that post has prompted me to put together my list of finished books so far this year.  With two little ones to chase, my goal of 12 books this year is less ambitious than Gretchen's.

Here is my list so far:
1. Miracles by Joanie Hileman
2. The Help by Kathryn Stockett
3. Grace in Thine Eyes by Liz Curtis Higgs
4. Longing by Karen Kingsbury
5.  She's Gonna Blow by Julie Ann Barnhill
6. Loving by Karen Kingsbury
7. The No Cry Potty Training Solution by Elizabeth Pantley
8. Sam's Letters to Jennifer by James Patterson

And currently I am reading A Mile in my Flip-Flops.  Next up on the waiting list for me at the library is Love and Logic Magic for Early Childhood by Jim Fay, and Coming Home by Karen Kingsbury (which will be released in a couple days!)

What's on your reading list?

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Fab Finds V.2

This weekend our neighborhood had a garage sale.  Last year would have been our first since moving into our current house, but we were out of town.  So this year I decided to check it out.  Since we have lived in this town for 7 years and hadn't heard of this particular neighborhood garage sale, I was skeptical.  But the sale turned out great!

I found Dora sippy cups with straws for 25 cents each, 4 containers of playdoh (2 were brand new!) for 50 cents total, and a cute little beach chair (with umbrella) the girls can fight over for $2.

Plus we got a sand box for the girls and Honeygirl scored her first bike! Super exciting!  It's a minimally used Trek bicycle with training wheels included, that we got for $40.  When I looked them up online, I found ones for $179 new, so I feel pretty good about what we paid.  She's only had the bike a few days (since we bought it Saturday afternoon), but she's already becoming a pro. :)



So here's my question for you:  do you buy fun things for your kids when the opportunity arises, or do you wait until birthdays and Christmas?

Sunday, June 17, 2012

The amazing daddy at our house

In honor of Father's Day.  (and entered in a contest in hopes of winning my amazing husband an iPad!)

What's so amazing about that daddy of my kiddos?

Well, he may not have climbed the tallest mountain,
or swam across the sea.
He may not have fought in a war,
but he's always here for them and me.

He does the dishes each night after dinner.
He reads bedtime stories and then prays
He gladly takes the girls to the park
And he can play hide-n-seek for days

He works hard so I can stay home with our babies
But still finds time to care for the lawn
He even makes daddy dates a priority
When he'd rather nap than stifle a yawn.

His love is evident in each of his actions
He cares for us, it's true.
So who loves this amazing daddy?
His two girlies and me: that's who!




Tuesday, June 12, 2012

My first loaf of bread

Anyone ever made their own bread?  Me neither.  Until today.

Well, unless you count the yummy kinds like banana bread.  Or zucchini bread.  Or friendship bread.  I've made all those before.  But never "plain" bread.  The kind that I actually need to have on hand.  So I decided to go for it and try to make a loaf for the first time.

See, one year for Christmas, my mom got a bread maker that I'm pretty sure she was excited about.  But I never remember having any bread from it.  So eventually when I got married and had my own house, she decided to downsize.  I gladly inherited the bread maker with grand plans of making my own bread.  Which of course never happened.  So when someone on freecycle.com  was looking for a bread maker last year, I gave mine away.

Then I got to visit a friend I hadn't seen in three years and she commented that she makes bread for her family in her bread machine.  So much better than store bought.  Saves money.  So yummy.  Of course.

So when I was garage-saling a couple weeks ago and happened upon a bread maker, I got ambitious.  Maybe I could try this.  And do you know what the lady was asking for her bread maker?  One dollar.  One dollar!  Definitely a deal I couldn't pass up.  So the bread maker came home with me.  I even bought ingredients for my first loaf of bread.  The ingredients have taken up residence on my counter and the bread machine remained in the garage where it settled when we got home from garage-saling.  Oops.  But this morning, I decided it was time.  Time to try this thing out.

So as I type, the minutes are slowing ticking down on my bread machine.  In a mere 3.5 hrs, I should have a house that smells fabulous and a lovely loaf of whole wheat bread that I actually made myself.  I'm excited to see how it turns out.  Ooh!  Noise is coming from the machine!  This is a good sign.  At least I know my $1.00 machine functions.  A good start.  Now we'll see how the final product turns out.  Wish me luck!


My "zoo"

One of my favorite parts of a day of work:  
coming home to my "zoo."


The girls love sitting at the top of the stairs, holding onto the spindles and letting their legs dangle down.  It's not uncommon for me to hear Honeygirl calling to her sister to join her as I walk in the door. 
 "Come be a monkey in the zoo with me for Mommy!"
I always come up the stairs to greet my monkeys and give them a kiss.  And am met with squeals of "Mommy!  Mommy's home!"
 Might I add: they only do this when I come home from a 12 hour day of work.  
But I love our little tradition. :)

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Grand Floral Parade

Today we took the girls to the Grand Floral Parade for the first time.  And while we were there, it occurred to me that it was Sweet Pea's first time at a parade ever!  Not knowing how busy/crazy it might be, we left the house extra early.  Fortunately, that meant that finding a parking spot was remarkably easy.  Unfortunately, it also meant that we had A LOT of time to kill while we waited for the parade to start.  David's parents joined us, so we technically had a 2:1 ratio for adults to kiddos.  In reality, Sweet Pea wanted to be glued to my side and yet free to run, so we spent the majority of the time together. :)  Honeygirl took turns going for walks with all of us though.

Sweet Pea waiting for the parade to start :)

All in all, we had a fun time.  Sweet Pea LOVED all the bands and horses.  Honeygirl enjoyed everything as well. We all got a good kick out of her re-adjusting her chair to face away from the parade though!  Oops!  Next time we go, I will take in to account just how long it takes for the parade to advance down the route.  Although the parade started at 10am, it didn't reach us until 11:30.  Yikes!  We ran out of snacks and were pretty tired when we left at 1:15pm.  And the parade wasn't over yet.  Wow!  Oh well.  We got the gist of it and had fun.

How old were your kids when you took them to their first parade?

Friday, June 8, 2012

Currently...

Reading:  Nothing.  How sad!  I just finished Sam's Letters to Jennifer yesterday, but having picked up a new book yet.  I'm thinking I'm going to go for some light fiction.  A Mile in my Flip-Flops has been sitting by my bed for quite awhile.  Maybe that will be next.

Listening to:  my Paul Baloche Pandora play list.  Such great music.  I have found that although I love listening to various kinds of music, having worship songs playing in the background all day sets a better tone for the day.  As I catch different lyrics during the day, I am reminded of where I need to keep my focus.

Watching:  Nothing.  We got rid of cable earlier this year and replaced it with HuluPlus.  This has allowed us to still watch the shows we like when we want to, but it costs WAY less.  Now that all the shows we like have had their season finales, there's nothing left to watch.  We're entertaining the idea of switching to Netflix for the summer....

Working on: Teaching Honeygirl how to write "B" and "C" today.  She loves our special preschool time in the afternoon when her sister is napping.  And we just got a really cool Wipe-off Alphabet book that claims "hours of reusable learning FUN!"



Wishing:  I never had to clean the house again.  Wouldn't it be great if dust didn't collect and the bathrooms were self-cleaning?

Anticipating:  The weekend!  I love having family time all together.  When David gets home from work on Friday night, I know we have the evening plus two whole days together, which I love.  And the girls love.  Honeygirl is forever asking if Daddy has to go to work again tomorrow.  It's great to hear him answer, "No, I get to stay home with you tomorrow!"

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Gak

Yesterday's question:  What to do with the kiddos when everything they wanted to do required large amounts of energy, and this mama was exhausted from a rather rough night with Sweet Pea?  The answer?  Make some gak.  I saw this on pinterest a few days ago and thought it would be worth a try.  I was not disappointed!

Step one: Empty two bottles of glue into a container.
Step two: Fill the glue bottles with warm water, shake, and empty into the glue-filled container.

Step three: Add some food coloring (we used Betty Crocker classic gel food coloring in red) and mix well.

Step four: In a separate container, mix 1/2 cup warm water and 1t borax until dissolved.

Step five: Add your borax water to the glue mixture and watch the instant reaction start to happen!  As soon as you start mixing, you'll notice the mixture will start to get stringy and goopy.  Use your hands to mix well.  In a few short minutes, there will be no liquid left - just gak!  It's pretty amazing. :)

Turn it over to the kids and let them have fun!  It provided quite a bit of entertainment yesterday.  And it was one of the first things Honeygirl asked to play with this morning again.  Not only was this a fun little science project for us, I think it's going to provide quite a few hours of fun play! Yay for another pinterest success. :)



Monday, June 4, 2012

To my Sweet Pea

My little Sweet Pea,

You are growing so fast.  Can it be that you are already 20 months old?  Your vocabulary is growing - you express your opinions with "yeah," "no," and "noMommy" like the last one as is one word.  You ask for "bite" when you are hungry, "bath" and "bubbles" when it's time to clean up, and you tell me "poopy" when you need to be changed or you want to sit on the toilet.  And speaking of, you are learning to use the toilet!  I am so proud of you!  Just a few days ago you stayed dry until after dinner.  Wow!
Lately you have become more of a Mama's girl.  You still squeal with delight when Daddy walks in the door, but my arms are the ones you reach for most of the time.  You'd rather sit quietly with me through church than play in the nursery.  And you'd rather spend your day riding in the Ergo on my back than walking around on your own.  But you have also learned how to play by yourself.  I love that at times I find you sitting quietly in the playroom intently playing with a baby doll or "cooking" in your play kitchen.
In the six weeks or so, we have given up another one of our daily "milky snuggles."  We're down to just nursing before bed.  At times you still ask for "miwh" (milk) and try to drag me towards the rocking chair, but you are fairly easily distracted and are happy to drink some milk out of a sippy cup.  Now that you don't drink mama's milk at nap time, you contentedly sit in my lap and read stories with your sister and I.  I was worried that you just wouldn't be a reader, but it turns out you like stories as long as they don't interfere with your milk. :)
In the past little while, your forgiving heart has started to show more and more.  When your sister wrongs you, the first thing you do is give her a hug.  Even when she refuses to say sorry.  You have such a tender little heart.  Last week when Honeygirl was sick, you tried your best to share toys and bring her a sippy cup of water.  I love seeing these characteristics developing in you.
There are so many more things I could add, but I'm going to stick with this for now.  I love you so much and am enjoying the chance to watch you grown and develop.  I'm so glad I get to be your mama.  I love you through and through, my little Lovie.