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Me and my Family

Me and my Family

Friday, February 5, 2010

20th post! Still Walking the Land and Now I am ASKING!

So, this is my 20th blog post. It's been an amazing journey so far. I've learned that I love to write and that I CRAVE feedback.No surprise on the feedback part.  I've always been a bit high maintenance as far as positive attention goes. I wonder if my need to connect stems from birth order. I'm the youngest behind two outspoken and funny older siblings. In my family, it's whoever talks the loudest or has the best story get's the attention. Perhaps that explains my need to put things out there and get a response. Hopefully a good one!

I'm enjoying taking the walk down Blog Lane. The Lord clearly called me to start this blog.  It has pushed my creativity as a daycare provider/mom and as a writer. I continue to "Walk the Land" trying to figure out where this is leading. I don't know what will happen, but I just have this feeling something huge is about to happen.

I have not filled my daycare slot from when D left. I have posted my opening on Facebook and sent emails to my church to let them know I have availability. I  have even posted on craigslist. I have had plenty of referrals, but all have been for little babies who would likely get crushed by the bunch that I keep. I continue to pray for God to send a family with a child who will fit in with my rowdy bunch, if that is his will.

Lately though, I have been feeling as if maybe I am NOT supposed to add another child to the mix. Maybe it isn't God's Will. The issue is then, that I have to make that money somewhere to keep my family afloat. So, I have also been praying that God would provide that money for my family some other way... AND that the way would be clear VERY SOON.

I keep praying and remembering that verse, "He who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it." I also have been hearing the words, "He will not leave you or forsake you" in my head. The Lord placed me on this journey. First, to stay home and keep kids, next, to teach music one night a week for Da Capo, and now, to write this blog. Where will HE send me next?

I talked to my mom about my prayers and my concerns. I shared with her that I was reading in John, because that was my Bible reading for that day. The Lord said over and over," If you know me, ask anything in my name, and you shall receive." Later that day, Mom forwarded me a devotional email she gets from Rick Warren each week. God's Financial Provision-Ask Him for Help

 As I read the post, I saw verses that confirmed what God was telling me in my own devotional time. ASK! ASK! ASK! So, I'm asking daily for God to provide for my family financially. I am asking for God to provide financial stability this the summer, when both of the kids I watch will be home with their parents and I will be without a paycheck. I am asking for God to use my talents to his Glory and to use them to provide for my family. I am asking God to use also Ben's gifts and talents at work to HIS Glory and to use them to bring more financial stability to provide for our family. I am asking not only for help now, but also for our future with college and weddings. I am asking God for ANSWERS.

I feel a bit like a brat asking God for all of these things. But if I don't ask, I won't receive. It's God's Will for me to ask. He has showed me this over and over. I have to humble myself and admit I can't do it on my own. Who wants to admit they don't have all of the answers? No one. God knows this, so he is taking the pressure off by telling us it is okay to ask for our hearts desires. The disclaimer? KNOW HIM.

So, I am praying daily. I am working to know GOD more. I am STILL walking the land, and now I am ASKING. Perhaps God's answers will be that HUGE thing I have been anticipating. Please pray for clarity and answers for my prayers.
May God Bless you and Keep you!

Friday Follow!

Friday Follow

Just Found out about this great thing called Friday Follow! I've already seen so many cool new blogs and I have gotten some new readers and followers. Even if you are not a blogger, check out these great blogs. These people have worked hard. I hope to learn from them!

MckLinky Blog Hop

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Recycled Crayon Experiment on a GRUMPY Day

Every week I get online and look for new ideas of things to do with the kids. Over and over I saw information about recycling crayons by melting them. So, I decided to try it with my kids to see if it would work and if they would enjoy it. Goodness knows I have a million old broken crayons, so I wasn't wasting good crayons. The muffin pan was $2.50 at Target at the dollar spot so this craft was cheep cheep. Right up my alley! 

I was hoping this activity would stop the bickering and fussy behavior that happened the moment all of the kids had arrived. This was the kids first day back after being out from all of the snow. I noticed all of the kids were a bit grumpy. Whenever the kids are gone for more than a day or two, it takes a little while for them to get back into the swing of things.  K's mom wasn't even out of the door before my own grumpy Ruby pushed K and had to sit in time out. Shortly after that,  K and Bells were screeching at each other fighting over a toy. Toys were being thrown as well as temper tantrums. I expected the kids to have a few hiccups in behavior today, but THIS was ridiculous! The only way to stop this madness was to do a group activity and the crayon experiment was perfect.

This activity was great for working on fine motor skills. The kids had to sit and peal the paper off of some of the broken crayons. It also forced the kids to keep trying and not give up. Bells kept saying, "I can't do it!" I continued to encourage her to keep trying and she would eventually get it. "I did iiiiit!" she would say proudly.

As we took off the wrappers, we sorted the crayons by color. When we were done sorting, I took the time to review the colors we were using. Then, the kids followed me to the kitchen where I showed the kids that I was putting them in the oven. 
The kids went back to playing and arguing and I played referee while I monitored the crayons . When the crayons had melted a bit, I brought the kids back into the kitchen to show them the progress. I explained that they couldn't touch the pan because it was very hot, but they could look. K observed the melted crayons first, "WOW, it looks like paint!" Ruby and Bells agreed with ooo's and ahhh's.

And then 
I went out to put the crayons in the freezer to cool. When I came back all three kids had made themselves comfy on the couch or floor. They all asked for blankets and Dora.
Now, I do not normally let the children watch television until it is time for me to cook lunch, but after the morning we had already had with pushing, throwing and even some biting, I was going to follow their lead for a little while. The crayons would be cooled by the time Dora was over, so we would have a natural transition back to activities without fussing.

So, once the crayons cooled and Dora was over, I showed the kids the muffin tin of the newly hardened crayons. After the "Don't touch it, it is hot!" lecture, they wouldn't touch them until I did. But then, they jumped right in. I popped out the new homemade circle crayons. The kids screamed like they had just seen Elmo! We took them back into the playroom and tested them out.

The kids enjoyed the circle crayons, but we found them a bit difficult to make work at first. Bells and K lost interest and left Ruby to color by herself. She colored for a little while, but then decided it was more fun to stack the circles and count them.   
K and Bells had made there way back to their previous positions. UGH!

So it was a good thing my mom showed up!

She brought new life to the crayons, by drawing her own picture with the kids. She drew a sunshine!  The kids were excited to color with her. They each picked back up their own crayons and began coloring.

Thank Goodness for GAMAW!!!!
So, here is my review of the crayons. They were OKAY. I think there is good potential. If I could find some new pans with different shapes it could be a great learning tool. Imagine a box of crayons all different shapes. Not only could the kids review colors, but they could also reinforce shapes. We could also make crayons that are seasonal. I'm seriously considering hearts for Valentines Day!
Silicone was the right way to go as far as the pan was concerned. Metal might have made it a pain to get the crayons out. But, the crayons did dye the silicone pan, so don't spend too much money on a pan. Check a dollar store or Target dollar spot.
The crayons didn't color very well. I thought they would be able to use them flat as well as on their side. I thought they might be able to make different patterns. They could, but not easily. I had to push down really hard to make the flat side work, and the kids aren't strong enough for that. 
I will definitely try this again with new shapes to keep it fresh! Even if they don't color very well, the color and shape reinforcement is worth it!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Playdate, Dinner and Old Videos. JUST FUN!

With all of the snow that we got on Friday and Saturday, schools around here were canceled today and have already been canceled for tomorrow. Many of the neighborhood roads are just too terrible for buses to attempt. Both of the kids I keep belong to people who work in the schools, so it was just me and Ruby today.

We had a great time playing together. We built a snowman together and went for a short walk. We played with her tent and tunnel. We watched some television and snuggled. We took a nap. It was a nice relaxing day. However, I could tell that Ruby was really missing Bells and K.

As I have mentioned before, Bells is my niece. So, I decided to call my sister-in -law, Sonia to see if she, my brother Ted, and her girls Bells and A, would like to brave the streets and come over for dinner. We could let the kids play and eat, then put them down at our house. After bed time, the grown ups would get to hang out. It would be our turn to play! It would be a great time.
Sonia and Ted were game for dinner! They arrived a short while later. It was so much fun listening to the little cousins play together. Giggling, running, singing, and even a little bickering made for a great time and an early bed time for the girls. Thus, a GREAT evening of the adult conversations that I crave.
After a delicious dinner Sonia and I were looking at some old video footage. And looking at those videos sent me on a tangent. I have soooo many awesome videos. I decided to share some with you. I love going back and remembering all of these great times. Some are funny and some are sweet. Enjoy!

Here is me busting my lovely husband snoring. I used night vision as so I didn't disturb him and ruin my chance to prove that he indeed DOES snore. Notice the upside down glasses! LOL

Here is a much littler Ruby hamming it up for the camera. I flipped the view finder around so she could see herself.

My brother, Ted being well... Ted! He got me one of those giant cards that plays music and we had some fun with it. Good times!

I hope you like the videos! I'm sure there will be more to come in the future. Please leave a comment and tell me which video is your favorite!

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Snow day fun videos and pictures

It SNOOOOWWWED! YAY! The area I live in has no consistency when it comes to snow. So, for those of you who live in places that snow is just a fact of life, this post may make you laugh when you see how life just stops around here when it snows. It is wonderful how quiet and peaceful things seem when it snows. And THAT is why I LOVE SNOW. I love to stop and look at the beautiful sky of white and take in the cold crisp air. I love to watch from my window (usually with hot chocolate and Bailey's) as the world outside is transformed into a pristine white blanket.

Some years, we have gotten slammed. I remember missing a ridiculous amount of school my junior year of high school because we had a blizzard. We had over a foot of snow. IT WAS AWESOME! We would go back to school for a day or two and we would get snow again. My sister was getting married that year and we were sure she was going to have a snowy wedding day, but the weekend of February 24, 1996 was a beautiful, (and if I remember correctly)warm, sunny day. The one weekend without any snow for weeks.

Other years, we go to bed having been told by the weather men to expect an inch or two, only to wake up in the morning and see green grass rather than the white ground we were dreaming of all night long. I had many, many, mornings of devastation when I realized I was indeed going to have to go to school. Whether I was the student or I was the teacher, I was always game for a good fun snow day.

This year we actually had a white Christmas. It actually snowed a few days before Christmas, but the ground still had snow on it, so in my book that counts as a white Christmas. This is our second batch of BIG snow this year. It has been so much fun to go sledding, make snow angels, and snowmen with Ruby. She seems to love the snow too.

Today, we walked to my parent's house (we live in the same neighborhood) and enjoyed sledding down the same steep driveway I did as a child. Ruby made snow angels with my dad and I. My dad said he doesn't ever remember making snow angles as a child. HOW SAD! But, how great that he got to experience it with his grandchild and daughter today!

Then, we went inside and my mom, at my request, gave Ruby and Ben their first experience with snow cream. It is sooooo yummie! Mom takes snow, canned milk, vanilla, and sugar and somehow makes this delicious icy treat. Ben doesn't even like sweets and he liked it! It was a day of awesome snowy firsts for several of my loved ones. What an amazing day!