This Page

has been moved to new address

Chasing Babies... Growing in Grace

Sorry for inconvenience...

Redirection provided by Blogger to WordPress Migration Service
Chasing Babies... Growing in Grace: February 2010

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Another giveaway... Modest Maternity Clothes

Ok... so apparently this is a week of giveaways over at Passionate Homemaking. I didn't plan it this way, but it seems to be that the giveaways she's having are very me right now... so I'm sharing. Just in case they are very you too. (If there are more "me" giveaways in the days to come, I'll be sharing them too... just be prepared!)

Today's giveaway is from The Modest Mom! I've been looking for an opportunity to introduce you to The Modest Mom for a couple weeks now. You'll notice that I've added her to my sidebar (she's at the top right now!) She has a selection of great modest maternity skirts that I believe she makes and a great assortment of used, modest, maternity tops in various sizes (and for very reasonable prices). I haven't had the opportunity to buy anything yet (I'm just starting to wish I had maternity clothes again (and that I hadn't given everything away this past summer). I'm making the sweaters work for me... so with the advent of Spring (and the not fitting-ness of the skirts in my closet) I'll be needing something, eh hem, bigger.

Head over to Lindsay's giveaway and try for yourself!


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Envibum Diaper Giveaway

Wow... a great cloth Envibum diaper giveaway over at Passionate Homemaking!

Head over and enter for a chance at one of your own!


Sunday, February 21, 2010

A Teddy Bear Baby Shower

This weekend, I had the wonderful opportunity to host a baby shower for a friend of ours expecting her first little one! She and her husband moved to the area in September, and upon meeting them in the middle of October, we started spending regular time with them. Knowing only his parents and having no friends yet, it was easy to get close quickly. The men discuss movie making and special effects and us women discuss pregnancy, child birth, preparing to be a mommy and all sorts of other things related. I was amazed to find that she didn't know anyone willing to talk with her about such things... so I volunteered! I'm looking forward to many more discussions about infancy, breast feeding, and other new mommy topics I've gotten to tackle twice before. Not to mention holding the tiny one when she gets here. What fun it is to step into a mentoring relationship! It's been a great opportunity to begin in my "older woman" rolls.

But somehow I'm off topic already! The baby shower. Yes. They are living in a small one bedroom apartment and have made room in their bedroom for the "baby area". It's a nice purple wall, so I decided to go with purple and teddy bears for the shower theme. It's nice to have a place to start. After seeing Monica's "Car" birthday party theme a month or so ago, I emailed her to learn whether she'd ever done anything with teddy bears. Though she hadn't, she pointed me in a couple directions. I don't think I used any of the ideas I found there, but they started me in the right direction and gave all sorts of inspiration.

First, I borrowed teddy bears from a little girl at church. I think I used 5 or 6 of them, added little purple ribbon accents and stashed them here and there. This one is on the "welcome" table with a pile of envelopes (to be filled in with each guest's name and address, thus making thank you notes easier and giving me a "door prize" drawing at the end, and the name tags. Another was in the bathroom, another on the window sill, and yet another by the TV. More bears later.

I cut out 20 bears and put names of the guests on them. I had hoped for diaper pins to attach at the top, but I settled for safety pins. Sadly, I discovered the morning of the event that I only had 5 in a decent size, so after My Beloved dropped me at the party location to set up, he and the kids headed to the nearby Walmart for those... and, eh hem, the rest of what I forgot.

Another bear... and isn't she the cutest?!? This chair was the perfect welcoming post. It usually sits in the corner, just inside the house (the new grandparent's home), but we moved it to the front porch to hold this little collection of bears. I printed each of the letters of the new baby's name and glued them to more teddy bear cut outs. (I did lots of cutting last week!)

Then there was the food. Though I did all the planning, decorating and dreaming up of the day, I am thankful I had some help in the food department. This lovely looking vegi tray, for instance, was put together by the new mommy's mother in law (whose house we were in).

She also made these lovely little cakes. The best part? They are made with baby food! They were supposed to be carrot cake, but she couldn't find it and went with sweet potatoes... they were yummy and so moist! She also made yummy apple pastry bites. (My Beloved has decided I need to learn how to make those.)

Then there was the cheese tray. I did that... er, My Beloved did it anyway. I was running out of time Saturday morning, so he cut up all the little cheese pieces for me. We then threw them in a bag and put them out on this pretty plate when we arrived. I brought the grapes to accent the cheese plate, but I totally would have just put a bunch on top. The daddy-to-be's sister very artfully placed them on the plate for me.

She did these grapes too. Saturday morning, with the company of Tornado (who put tons of stickers on a paper across the table from me before everyone else was awake), I put these babies together. It wasn't going as I expected (I think I expected them to make bigger circles, but I don't know what I was thinking), but they turned out like cute little mini wraps! I loved it. They looked a little plain on the plate though, so I asked "sister dear" if she would put some grapes on that too... I never would have come up with putting grapes around the edge like that. I love it!

I made dilly bread served with spinach dip (store bought... I ran out of time and was missing an ingredient to make it fresh). Somehow I missed taking a pictures of it, but it was yummy!

And then there's my favorite part! Leave it to me to get all attached to the drink station! I decided early on (after reading a blog post from I have no idea who now... sorry!) to use half pint canning jars instead of paper or plastic cups. They were SO much cuter than purple cups would have been.

And I tied ribbon around the top of each one (20 of them... it took a while). Some combos were lavender and white, some were brown and lavender and others were purple and white.

They were laid out all nice on a lavender gingham cloth with purple and silver Hershey's kisses sprinkled about (you may have noticed those on the food table too). Then there is the punch. I searched high and low online for a purple punch, but wasn't happy with anything. It all focused on grape... either grape soda or grape juice. I was concerned that the grape juice may be too strong for some. I was also concerned about whether or not raspberry sherbet would go with it (and I wanted to float that in the punch because it's purple too.)

Funny thing, not only didn't I get a picture of the punch (not close up anyway), but the raspberry sherbet we ended up with was more pink anyway.

So what did we do about the purple punch? I found some wild berry juice concentrate and planned to mix that with white grape juice concentrate and sprite. Then I left all the frozen punch ingredients at home and had to ask My Beloved to pick up new ones on his Walmart run. And, because it was a different store and they didn't have what we originally bought, he came back with unexpected flavors. I'll share the final recipe later this week!

Overall, I'd say the shower went beautifully. Everyone had a lot of fun. The games were a hit, lots of people came, and the mommy to be seemed genuinely pleased by it all! I so wanted this to be a blessing to her... especially since most of the guests were new to her. What a great chance this was for the ladies in our church to reach out to a new, young mommy!

Labels: , ,

Friday, February 19, 2010

A Puppet Show at Home

Tornado: Do you want to watch a the puppets with me?

Mom: Yeah!

(He had put all his stuffed animals on the couch and covered them with the quilt!

Tornado: (Sitting beside me now) They're not talking, Pastor is still talking.... Pastor is all done talking. Pastor's praying now.... (pause pause pause... and nothing happens) Pastor doesn't think they are talking.

He looked a little dejected now that the puppets weren't working. I brought him onto my lap and explained to him that the reason the puppets work at church is because there are people back there helping them talk. I encouraged him to go over and help the "puppets" talk. He got a big smile and trotted off.

Labels: ,

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Left to herself

After an unfortunate squable over who would be playing with the dump truck, Sweet Pea gave up and settled herself in the corner of the living room with the wooden blocks. She plays with them sometimes, and they do a pretty good job of playing together with them most times (Tornado builds towers and they knock them down together). But today I turned around to find her contentedly playing like this:

And she was doing a really good job of getting them high before they fell or she knocked them over on purpose.

Then she noticed me with the camera on the floor and decided she was done doing for herself. This is what she did when I declined to build a tower for her. "You build one", I said... and she promptly put her feet on them (and yes, those are pink socks with a salmon dress.)

And then she started doing things like this... but the building was great while it lasted!

Labels: ,

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Homeschooling Preschool: Week 4

I have these labeled by week because that is how the curriculum is laid out. I'm discovering, though, that it might not be the way I'm laid out. Aparently! We started, what? 6 weeks ago, and I'm just today finishing week 4? Yes. That's it.

So what was "week 4"? Noah and the Ark, or Noah and the Flood, or God keeps his promises. You decide. It covered Genesis 6-8.

We also learned the rhyme, "Rub a Dub Dub". Other than the "three men in a tub" part, I didn't completely understand, but did you know that "knaves" as in "call them out, knaves all three" means a "trickish; fraudulent; dishonest; villainous" person ( I sure didn't. I summarized it all to "disobey-er" and "mean" when explaining it to Tornado. I think it helped me understand too. It all made sense then... the people in Noah's day, the ones God chose to wipe off the face of the earth were knaves. What a link between nursery rhyme and Bible lesson.

Also covered was:
  • memorizing Genesis 6:22 (she didn't plan on having it memorized for this week, but Tornado already had a handle on last weeks verse, so we did this one as well. He now knows 3 verses... all "hidden" in his heart as he learned in Psalm 119:11 (and I'm learning them and their locations as well... I love that!)
  • colors of the rainbow (already learned through Signing Time, but we got to learn why God made a rainbow)
  • God keeping promises
  • science of floating and sinking
  • the letter "Bb"
And more.

We did some abridged work in these lesson plans, leaving out the things I don't have, but I think he learned the important stuff. I'm learning more and more everyday that "school" for the 3 year old is more about the time we spend together and learning about God, than actual academics.

And today I summed up the courage to bring out the water color paints for the first time (we've had them more than a year. The "math art" project called for it, so we did it. After we finished making his rainbow, I let him just go for it on another paper. We practiced rinsing the brush between colors. I'm going to need to learn to relax a little on the mixing of colors. :)


Saturday, February 13, 2010

Playing in the snow

It was such a fun week (last week) for the kids who actually got to play in the snow! Daddy is great at that. He goes out and gets down in with them. He even tunneled under (yep, we had enough for that) to make a passageway about 5 feet long for Tornado.

I, on the other hand, usually watch from the side with the camera. I don't have any snow clothes of my own, oddly enough. The ones I brought with me when we married just don't fit anymore. (Can I blame that on childbirth??? Let's... it makes me feel better about a lot of things.) Yesterday however, mommy actually trudged into the snow with them. Daddy was at work and the only way for them to play in the snow was if I went too.

So... I put on Daddy's snow pants (a little small for both of us, so I wore my skirt over them) and Daddy's boots (both kids found this hysterical!) and we headed in. I didn't play the same as Daddy does, but I was out there watching and helping. I had a lot of fun! The best part is that Sweet Pea outlasted Tornado. Usually it's the other way around.

Labels: ,

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Blizzard 2010

So you're wondering what happened with the blizzard that was projected for this past weekend. And you should wonder. I told you I'd put up pictures if I had power. Well, I did have power, but I am just not great at blogging when my sweet husband is home. In addition to that... once I was ready to do pictures, I realized that there is a little problem with the software I use to take pictures off my camera and do stuff with them. So, we wait for pictures. (Updated: we now have pictures)

It was still coming down hard... but MB braved it to get some shoveling done.

But... we did get snow. It started later than we expected, so no coming home early for My Beloved, but it did snow. And once it started it just snowed and snowed and snowed. We ended up with just about 26 inches. And some pretty cool pictures.

The creek out back.

And!!! Get this. They are projecting another 6-18 (um, can you say wide range) inches between this afternoon and tomorrow evening. I guess I'll try to get some more pictures if there is anything worthy of getting. Now I'm just hoping it starts earlier so My Beloved can come home early today. :)


Monday, February 8, 2010

Homeschooling Preschool: Week 3

Are we on schedule??? Ah, no. And I don't really care either. He's three, you know! Whether or not I do a perfect job homeschooling him this year, or even get to everything on the plan, isn't going to make or break his future of learning. What is important is that he's enjoying it... and he's even learning.

We learned that "A is for Adam" this last week... with all the little details that go with it:
  • The letter Aa and it's short vowel sound.
  • What the lower case "a" looks like. (He could pick out the capital "A" a long time ago, but couldn't find the lower case "a" for anything. Now he can!)
  • Learned the story of Adam and Eve
  • Discussed how Adam and Eve disobeyed (as apposed to Bear in the book "Bear Obeys" who obeyed). We made this comparison a lot this last week!
  • Memorized Psalm 119:11. He now has two verses memorized. I get him started with the reference and he can do the rest... in fact, I just say Psalm and he can do the numbers too. :)
  • Fruit grow on trees.
  • All about apples... how they grow, how many seeds they have (the apple we opened had 7!), the different parts of apples.
We did some number activities too. I think Tornado's favorite was when I wrote each number 0-9 on a different piece of construction paper (different colors as much as I could) and put them down on the floor for him to jump on. He'd jump on one and I'd ask him to jump to the "8"... we'd spend some time figuring out which one was the "8" and then he'd jump and we'd do another one. He was getting better at recognizing the numbers toward the end and asked to play again when we were done. I'll be including that in this weeks activities whether it calls for it or not!

(Note: the activity really called for using chalk to write the numbers outside, but it's winter and cold and snowy... and I didn't think our landlord would want chalk numbers all over our driveway. If you do it on construction paper inside, make sure they won't slide when jumped on.) :)

I think the week was successful. He's internalizing some of the information. Twice today he took down his picture Bible wanting to read about Adam disobeying. I told him that if he obeyed and took a nap that we could do school this afternoon and learn about a man who obeyed God. (This week is about Noah.)


Friday, February 5, 2010

Saving on Diapers: A Potty Training Experiment: the first week

I know some of you are wondering how potty training is going over here. First and formost... Tornado is back in a diaper at night. It just wasn't worth the extra work and laundry. We'll give him some more time and try again.

Sweet Pea is doing great!! She's in underwear all day including nap time (unless we leave the house...then I put her in a diaper, though she usually stays dry and continues to tell me when she has to go). And yes, she is telling me when she has to go. Sometimes it's 5 times in 8 minutes, but we're getting through it. She isn't telling me when she has to do more than potty. :) I'm getting really good at washing out undies and am thinking I might be up for cloth diapering when the new baby comes. It just doesn't seem so bad anymore. :)

We continue... accidents happen and we move on. She's picked up on it way faster than Tornado did when we trained him, and for that I'm thankful! As far as I'm concerned, this experiment is a huge success!!

Labels: , ,

Thursday, February 4, 2010

We're expecting...

Ok, so you knew that... but I'm not talking about babies this time. I'm talking weather. Anyone seen this weather advisory?
I'm not one to trust the weather man. They get me all excited about snow or ice and the prospect of my sweet husband staying home from work (or coming home early as may be the case here) and then they let me down. I've stopped trusting them altogether. So... we're expecting all this, but we'll see what actually happens.

A little earlier today we were in the "paralyzing" area. Now it's just supposed to be "disruptive", however, with 1-2 feet of snow. Like I said. We'll see. If we loose power, I'll be back when I can... otherwise, I'll try to keep you posted! Maybe I'll even take pictures.

In other news... I've stayed pretty busy today with little projects and such. No, I didn't do any of the cleaning that needs to be done, but I did get to some other things. I've got a full batch of apple slices in the dehydrator, dishes are almost done, business work is caught up (I think) and I'm working on a double batch of granola in the oven! Hmmm... somehow it doesn't look like as much all typed out. Now I will go tackle dinner! :)

Labels: ,

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Clinging to the Vine

I've been struggling in the day to day. Not as much with getting things done (though there is always more I wish I've done at the end of the day), but in my attitude, my frustration and my joy. I've been struggling to enjoy my children as my training seems less and less effective all the time. I desire to be a good keeper at home, yet constantly am loosing the battle to give my heart over to it's God given role.

Yesterday I came to a breaking point. I was fed up... not so much with the children and the circumstances surrounding my day (though I was fed up with that too), but with my attitude, reactions and the sin that seemed to be pulling down on my heart until I could bear it no longer. I did the only thing I knew to do... the thing I should have been doing in the first place. I went to the Lord. I didn't even really know where to start... I prayed some in my desperation. I opened my journal to write, but didn't have any words. So I opened His Word.

Something occurred to me during that time in God's Word. It was hard for me to see, but plain as day in retrospect. I certainly hadn't walked away from God. I love Him dearly. I enjoy my times singing of and to him, being in church, and teaching my littles of his Word and ways. Though I am not always faithful in spending quality times reading His Word and in prayer, I do enjoy both of them. That's what made it hard to see what was really happening. I hadn't walked away from him, but I was definitely leaving him behind, proceeding through my days alone. I just didn't realize it. I think that may be the saddest part of all.

Beyond what the Lord helped me realize during my time with Him yesterday, be brought me to Ephesians 4:1-3. I was deeply challenged by verse 1:

I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called...

My calling is this house, these kids and this family and I have not been walking worthy of that calling. And I am to do it with...

all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. (verses 2-3)

I'm trying to dwell on these things today as I continue to strive to walk worthy of the calling to which I have been called.

Labels: , ,

Monday, February 1, 2010

Saving on Diapers: A Potty Training Experiment, Day 3, 4 & 5

Things are going fairly well. We've had accidents and we've had successes. Friday evening we were helping a lady from church with something and I forgot to bring a change of clothes. Sweet Pea really messed in her undies that night... with no back ups. Ugh! Thankfully I still had a diaper in my purse, so we just put her in that. I was thankful her little jumper didn't get yucky!

Saturday and Sunday went pretty well. We got poop in the potty a couple times, though not exclusively, and she stays dry when we go out. I still put a diaper on her for shopping and church, but whenever I take her potty, she goes and is dry. She is definately getting it. Few to no potty accidents these days and she'll tell me sometimes!

I've been leaving both kids in undies for nap time and only once have we had an accident (Sweet Pea didn't really sleep one nap time, so I figure that's the reason.

As far as Tornado's concerned... I did work up the guts to leave underwear on overnight, but we've had no success. Three nights in a row he's been wet. The first night, I found him in the morning, the next he came to me at 3:30 and I changed him, put him in a diaper and changed his sheets. Last night I woke him around 2 to take him potty and he was already wet. I changed everything and put him in a diaper.

Trouble is that he wants to sleep in underwear, but I don't know how to train for this part. The second night his favorite blanket was wet, so it got taken. I was hoping it would help him try harder, but I think he may sleep too soundly. It's rough to wake him to take him potty before we go to bed. If anyone has advice on how to train a little boy to stay dry through the night, I'm all ears!

Labels: ,