Sunday, October 28, 2012

My Cleaning Helper

My little boy loves to help clean so I'm happy let him :)

Vacuuming is a chore he asks to do often -- steps are his favorite!  He also helps with dusting and sweeping.  I try to make sure he knows how much I appreciate his help (and resist the temptation to redo things that were missed).

He also has his chores that are part of the routine each day - making his bed, feeding the dog, putting away his toys, setting table, and clearing his dishes.

Other times, he plays train conductor with the chairs that I move out of the dinning room while I clean.  (On the particular day pictured, it was a zoo train with music.  At one point he passed out reading materials to his passengers as well)

How do you involve your kids in cleaning?

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Pumpkin Fun

Yesterday I visited my son's preschool class to help him carve a pumpkin.  A pirate pumpkin to be exact.  I quickly found out he wanted nothing to do with the slimy inside.  Oh well.  When we got home, he asked for a real patch for his pumpkin pirate (instead of the one we'd drawn) and found his pirate hat.  Here's my silly boy and his pumpkin.


Take a look back at some previous pumpkin photos just for fun (from 2009, 2010, and 2011)

(For whatever reason, I had lots of great fall photos from 2011 but could only find a pumpkin one on my phone, oops)

Hope you are enjoying your fall!

Linking up with Mama Loves this week.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The big owies...

Yesterday my kiddo hit a milestone that I'm grateful we've avoided for quite a while, especially for my rough-and-tumble boy... first injury requiring medical attention. 

He was playing tug-a-war with the dog.  He was pulled forward and then the dog let go.  He stumbled backward and his head hit the corner of the wall near him.  A visit to the doctor, two staples and many tears later, he was ready to go out to eat for pineapple pizza at his favorite restaurant.  We opted for carryout instead (causing more tears).  He's fine today and very proud of his staples this morning at preschool.

Me on the other hand... The look on his face when he heard the doctor say staples (I know a picture of Dad's big desk stapler was in his mind).  The hurt in my heart to have to hold him while they put in the staples.  At least he could be on my lap, hugging me tight, during the whole ordeal.  Thankfully it wasn't more serious. 

It makes me pause and remember all those mommies that are holding their little ones through pains so much bigger -- serious illnesses, surgeries, cancer treatments, etc.  I realize how often I take our good health for granted. 

Lord, please watch over those mothers (and fathers) and their little ones.  Cover them with your love and protection.  Give them the strength they need to make it through each day.



Monday, October 22, 2012

Pausing in the Quiet

My house is quiet today.  Very quiet. 

sleeping in the morning sunshine
So I'm pausing in the morning quiet to write.

Friday night my little boy started his long weekend at Grandpa and Grandma's.  A full weekend was planned -- a fall festival, the zoo, and lots of fun.

My husband and I enjoyed a weekend just the two of us, a staycation.  We ignored household chores.  We read, leisurely shopped, watched favorite tv shows and a movie, went out to eat with friends, and enjoyed a wine tasting at a local winery.  Wonderful time together.  Time to talk about more than day to day things.  Time to reconnect.

I'm coming off such a refreshing weekend.  And yet I still have this amazing chance to enjoy a day alone (husband at work, little boy still at Grandma's).  Do I tackle projects?  Curl up in with a good book?  Go grocery shopping (is it silly that going to the grocery store alone sounds luxurious)?  Something else?

 
I don't know.  Today is a new day.  A day wide open.  A gift from God.  Is the gift any more special than any other new day?  No, just different, unique.  An opportunity I don't want to let slip by.  And yet every new day is unique.  This feeling of a day full of promise is something I want to hold onto for the days that follow.

And then I look forward to a big hug and kiss from my special little boy.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Almost Wordless Wednesday: Fall Ball

A few evenings ago we enjoyed the beautiful fall weather with some backyard baseball. 


Yes, I was playing too -- glove on one hand, camera in the other (or in my back pocket).  So much fun as a family together!

Monday, October 15, 2012

The Sunset of the Garden Season

We've had consistent frosty mornings here, marking the end our garden.  I was hoping to get one more batch of zucchini (I did cover some plants for the first few frosts), but otherwise happy to call it done :) 


We ended up with one small pumpkin and one squash that I have sitting inside with our fall decorations.  Our neighbor though has more squash than she knows what to do with, so she's given us a bunch.  More than plenty to freeze.  We have been so blessed by her garden this year.  Wow.

Here's some notes to myself for next year:
* We need to plant more snap peas (which means starting a little earlier).  We ate them as fast as they grew, a second row would have been nice.
* Onions were a flop.  Not sure if they didn't get enough water or something else. 
* I planted too much cilantro and it was ready long before my tomatoes and peppers making my garden fresh salsa plans a bit challenging.  I think I'd like to try basil and a smaller amount of cilantro next year.
* Not sure if I'll try beans again next year, especially since our neighbor shared so many.
* I think at the beginning, I was not watering enough.  It was such a dry year and even through I was watering every other day, it wasn't long enough to make a difference.

Overall, I enjoyed our garden this year. The best part was sharing the garden with my son. He was so proud of his carrot patch and so excited to watch everything grow.  I'm so thankful for the blessing of fresh veggies this summer.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Fun with the Letter "C"

We has so much fun talking about "C is for Cookie" this week!
 

Cookie related books we read:
Since most of theses books are in our home library and we know the stories well, I'd sometimes stop and we'd see how many letter C's we could find on a page :)


1)  We watched the Sesame Street "C is for Cookie" Cookie Monster video several times and listened to the song almost daily :)

2)  We made sugar cookies in the shape of the letter C
They tasted very yummy, though some of them did not look much like a letter C after they cooked :)


3)  Worked on a "C is for Cookie" color sheet. (found with lots of other cookie monster coloring pages here)


4)  A Counting Cookies Game

I  made printouts of a cookie jar and cookies.  We worked together to cut out the cookies (great cutting practice).  Then I laminated the cookie jar.  Some rounds I wrote a number on the cookie jar and he counted out the right number of cookies to put in the jar.  Other times he filled up the jar and we counted them together.


5)  And of course, plenty of practice writing the letter C on the whiteboard and on paper.  Most of the time now his letter C's are facing the correct direction :)

Thursday, October 11, 2012

All His

I find myself thinking more and more about our future child as we get further into the wait.  Then all sorts of fears and 'what ifs' start creeping in.  Often times the conversation in my head goes something like:  What if I don't 'fall in love' right away when the baby is placed in my arms?  Will it be harder without the 9 months of kicks, hiccups, and ultrasounds that create an idea of the personality of a baby?  Will my heart be able to handle it -- loving a little baby with the knowledge that finalization is months away and the baby may not be ours to keep?

And then I stop myself.  No child that is raised in our home is "ours".  All children are blessings from God, on loan to us to love, raise, teach, and nurture. 

I pray I have the strength from above to love any baby God places in our family with abandon, even if their time with our family is short.  May their life be blessed by the love our family gives them.   May our family be strengthened on this journey, as each step impacts our story.

 
"Family,
a gathering of those we love
hand chosen from above."
-Anonymous

Monday, October 8, 2012

DIY Canvas Prints

Now that my son goes to preschool one morning a week, I'm trying to plan tasks or something to do during that time -- otherwise the "free" three hours gets sucked into computer time.  A few weeks ago, I decided to start a craft project during that "free time" that I finished pretty quickly after my son got home.

I ended up with a free 11x14 print from a photo site a few weeks before.  Then I spotted several DIY tutorials on pinterest for making canvas prints.  There are quite a few variations -- I think I read at least 6 different ones.  Here are the two I "mixed" to come up with what I did: Faux Canvas Prints at A Little McD and DIY Canvas Prints at How Does She

I bought the following:
11x14 canvas (you could also buy a smaller canvas to allow you to wrap your photo)

foam brushes

craft paint (for the edges - black, brown, or whatever works with your decor)

mod podge






*Before starting, hold your print onto the cavas and check if it needs any trimming (mine did).  I also played with the mod podge a little on a 4x6 snapshot to figure out how thick I liked it and what direction of brush strokes looked better.

* Paint the sides and part of the front of your canvas with the craft paint. 


* Once its dry, paint with modge podge evenly
photo credit:  my 3 year old

* Carefully position your print onto the glue

* Let it dry for a while so the photo wouldn't move during the next step

* Paint the print with modge podge.  Make sure the last time you go over it that you are intentionally with the direction of your brush strokes.
 
 
 
If you noticed, the final result of this project was also in this post :)
 
 
Please note:  I'm not an expert on anything related to this craft.  I have no idea how well this will hold up in the long run or what it might look like in a year from now.  This is one of the reasons I waited 3 weeks before posting in case something bad happened.  I'm very pleased with the result for now!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Fun with the Letter A

I know most people talk about apples for the letter A, but part of last week and part of this week we did A is for airplanes.  We picked it mostly because we took an airplane for vacation :)

Books we read:


Activities/Crafts:
1) We revisited the fun activities we did with the Berenstain Bears book Fly-It! Up, Up, and Away, creating airplanes powered by balloons.

2) Airplane puzzles at the Library (we love the puzzles there!)


3) A is for Airplane Color Sheet
He enjoyed working on the airplane color sheet (I added the "A a  -- airplane").  Not sure why it required sunglasses, but hey it works!

4) We practiced writing the letter "A" on the whiteboard, in the sand at the beach and with play-doh.

5) There is also a cute A is for Airplane online puzzle we did a few times.

6) Of course, he also enjoyed seeing the airplanes at the airport:
 
Now that we've practiced the letter "a" his name is slowly becoming more recognizable, especially since he has two a's in his name. Next on our list is the letter C, I'm thinking cookies!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Just for Fun: Looking Back to Last Fall

Here's pics from fall last year and this week -- same tree, same rock, same boy -- but not the same.  Yes the angle isn't quite the same but you can tell how much he's grown! 

 
(I wish he didn't have so much shadow in this years pic and was hoping to take another.... but we had so much windy weather this week the tree is bare.)
 
 
This time last year his dresser was full of 2T pants and 3T shirts.  Now he's wearing 4T pants and 4T/5T shirts!  Of course he's still wearing his fireman mudboots from last Halloween -- good thing I bought them big because they are his favorite.  We watched some video clips from last year this time and I was amazed how much his speech has changed, the way he plays has changed, and the way he tells stories.  He's growing so fast, right before our eyes.  What an amazing blessing to watch how God is growing him into the boy He's planned.


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Vacation Photo Overload :)

We had a wonderful vacation to California.  It was a busy few days with stops at Disneyland, California Adventure, time in the hotel pool, supper with friends, and a morning at the beach.  Here's some of my favorites.

Meeting Disney Characters
At first he was shy (and a few he didn't like at all) but soon he was pretty excited to meet some of his favorite characters.  Mickey, McQueen, Mater, Woody and Tigger are the ones he mentions the most :)  The best part is after he'd met them and taken a picture, he always called out a loud "Good-bye" as we left the photo area.
 
 
Rides and Lots of Fun
Even though he was half an inch shorter than the 40 inch requirement on quite a few rides, he had fun and did great waiting in lines.  He surprised me by asking to go on the big Mickey Ferris Wheel a second time.

The Beach
The photos at the beach just make me laugh.  He had soooo much fun chasing waves and playing in the sand.  Of course, we went to the beach the morning before our flight home and I honestly intended to just "walk on the sand and dip our toes in the water".  Somehow it did not occur to me that the sentiment would not translate well to my 3.5 year old -- I know, I should have seen it coming, but wow was he covered in sand and soaked from head to toe!  Good thing the beach area had a shower, though my husband did have to go for a quick walk to buy a beach towel :)

It was a great vacation, full of so many memories.  The time went quick but still its nice to be back home on the gravelly road.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Busy Bag Activity: Pipe Cleaner

I've seen quite a few pins on Pinterest of toddler/preschooler activities using pipe cleaners and a strainer.  We put together a variation today as a busy bag activity for the plane ride for our upcoming vacation.  We used a small can-sized strainer that doesn't get much use in the kitchen.  Then I decided to cut the pipe cleaners in half to fit it all into a smaller bag. 

My little boy was pretty excited to test this new activity.  It was a hit!  He was pretty sad when I told him he couldn't play with it again until the plane ride...

 
 
Updated After Vacation --
 
I was honestly surprised how long play time with the pipe cleaners on the airplane lasted -- at least an hour on each plane ride!  The best part was when he started adding other toys to the pipe cleaners.  What seemed to work best was to start with just the pipe cleaners and then gradually getting out more toys to add to the fun :)
 
Dinosaurs lined up and ready to fly --
 
 
A long ladder/chain to allow animals to climb from his lap to his tray :)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...