Wednesday, February 22, 2012

a goal

This is a goal of teach these girls more scripture (and myself) and to encourage more creativity/learning at home. I have made these goals before. Usually they start out big; then life gets going, I feel overwhelmed, and this "fun time" at home becomes a chore to me.

SO for now, we are just taking some time on Fridays for this guided, fun play time that has a particular theme for the month. This website and their RRS Preschool posts have great guides, but please know that we have our own, much more simplified twist. I have to make it EASY for myself, or I would never do it.

We started in January with a "Winter" theme, and we both loved it!

First week:
Our scripture to talk about during the week.

That Friday, I made snowflakes out of flour tortillas while she was napping. "Recipe" here. Took just a few minutes.

They were ready when Anniston woke up, and she helped me "decorate" with powdered sugar while we talked about the verse.

Of course, I had to eat one, too :).

She absolutely LOVED this.

Then, she decorated a snowflake with do-a-dot markers. We love these markers.

Matching snowflake pictures. Anniston wasn't real interested in this activity :). It was a good opportunity to discuss colors and matching, though.

Our scripture for the second week.

Shaving cream in a ziplock to draw/write on. (White was our main color for the month (winter, snow) and didn't realize Stan's shaving cream was blue :)).

This was a cute idea from this source. Use white playdough to make animal/people tracks, much like they would make in the snow. Great for discussion.

Edible "snowballs". These were actually very good and will be a regular snack in the future!

GG was in town in time to help make these with Anniston.

Scripture for the third week.

Snow painting using a mixture of Elmer's glue and shaving cream. We BOTH loved this...smelled so clean, too.

Not super interested in gluing cotton balls onto snowman. Practiced counting the snowballs.

We made snowflakes fly and fall to the ground using a blanket. I had these foam snowflakes from Hobby Lobby, but you could just cut your own. She thought this was so fun and loved picking up the ones that didn't land back on the blanket. We counted often.

We then made a "fort" to read our winter book under, but now I am realizing that somehow making an "igloo" would have been fun, too.

The last Friday, we continued with the same scripture from the week before (was having a hard time finding another related to theme, and the one from the last week was speaking to me, so we just stuck with it :)).

Pushed "snowballs" into an empty water bottle to make a snowman. Can't remember where I found this...maybe Pinterest? Anniston really loved doing this activity. Great for fine motor skills. We counted cotton balls, and she spent a lot of the time screwing the lid on and off. If she would have been more attentive after filling the bottle, we may have decorated the "snowman" better, but I just pulled out a snowman sticker for her to put on him.

An impromptu snow sensory "bin". Aka: throw a bunch of white stuff into laundry basket. We had batting, cotton rounds, yarn, foam snowflakes, snowman cups, spatulas, tupperware, etc in our bin. Oh, and we added mittens after taking the picture.

It gave us an opportunity to discuss the winter, cold, snow, etc. We tried to talk about our scripture during the activities, too. I wish she would have been more interested that day, but that is just the way it goes :).

Some of the activities we left out and/or revisited during the week that followed.

We had fun, and I am excited about more fun days ahead, especially outdoor play.

PS: I realize that this poor child didn't really get to experience winter this year (not even close), but we did have winter inside I guess ha. Seemed strange talking about snow when she pretty much has no clue...not thinking she remembers the light dusting from last year :). Still wishing I had bought some InstaSnow...

SO, I am glad about how we are approaching this time now. I don't spend a lot of time trying to make it perfect...we just play.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

happy v-day!

"Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other." Romans 12:10

Friday, February 10, 2012

chd awareness week

I am a little late posting this, but it is CHD awareness week :). I added Anniston's story to the "Faces of CHD" board on Pinterest. You can check it out for several inspiring and touching stories.

A quote from the Children's Heart Foundation website:

"Most people are unaware that Congenital Heart Defects (CHDs) are the most common birth defect in America, affecting approximately one in one hundred, or 40,000 newborns each year. CHDs are responsible for one third of all birth defect-related deaths and sadly 20 percent of children who make it through birth will not survive past their first birthday. Although a child is born every 15 minutes with a CHD, research continues to be grossly under-funded in America. Of every dollar the government spends on medical funding, only a fraction of a penny is directed toward congenital heart defect research."

We are so blessed with our healthy heart girl :).

(Baby C has RSV, so you can say a prayer for her...doing well. Thank you!)

Thursday, February 2, 2012

just in case you didn't know...

I do NOT have it all together!! Apparently, from the comments on the last post, I must appear that I do....SO not the case!! I know you were being kind, so thank you, but please know that pictures are usually taken from an angle to where the pile of toys is not showing :).

I so. very. much. appreciate when other people are honest about their struggles and about the fact that they are not perfect because it makes me feel better that I am not alone. SO.... here is a little more about us:

*There are MANY mornings that we wake up like this. Sorry, Anniston.

*I am very tired much of the time. Mornings are harder for me than they should be.

*I have skipped washing my hair more often than I am proud to admit since little Charlotte arrived.

*You may or may not be able to see the floor in Anniston's closet right now. It's her new favorite place to play...

*I battle the guilty feeling that I am doing all of my "jobs" halfway sometimes...a wise woman reminded me the other day that I just HAVE to let it go, so I am working on that.

*Was about to clean off the counter the other night when I realized I should take a picture first for you guys...

*Note the just a shirt.

*Poor Charlotte too often wears her pajamas to Anniston's therapy in the mornings. With pants :). Or, it may be a gown. But, I like gowns...they are comfy and sweet.

*My baseboards haven't been sufficiently cleaned since we moved in a year ago.

*I used to be exhausted with just Anniston, feeling like I could not get anything accomplished. Now, if I just have one of them for a little bit, it seems so easy, and I feel like I can get so much done ha. Funny how perspective changes. (And, for all of you who have one, I still think it was very hard then, too. I guess you are putting your whole self into the role either way, so it can always be overwhelming...if we let it be.) (And, those of you who have three or more children, you are probably laughing at me right about now.)

* I am behind on painting. Anything "extra" to do happens at night. Or doesn't happen.

* I am sure I will keep thinking of more things to add...

*We may not be perfect, but we are just trying to soak up these fleeting days. Anniston was "reading" to Charlotte here...special memory I want to always cherish...for many reasons.

I have been reminded more often than I can count lately of the fact that guilt needs to be laid down, and joy needs to be picked up every matter how many things I did NOT get checked off of my list for the hundredth day in a row.

I feel so blessed with our family. Just wanted you to know that LOTS of things are on the back burner right now and that myself and my house are dirty... The end.