Thursday, October 17, 2013

What a morning

So today was BSF (Bible Study Fellowship) and the morning went well, until the end of BSF.

Let me start from the beginning and give some background information so those who don't get the pleasure of staying home with their children can see how my morning went.

Both kids woke up so peacefully.  In fact, Brooklyn woke up and started playing in her room.  I believe some cars and a motorcycle held her attention until Roman woke up.  Then, something glorious happened: they both began to play together prior to coming to me!

After a healthy breakfast of pumpkin granola bar and fresh veggie smoothie.  I asked them both to get dressed while I got dressed too.  They obeyed.  In fact, from upstairs where I was getting dressed, I heard Roman encourage Brooklyn to hurry and offered to help her.  When I came down, Roman was fully dressed and Brooklyn had her dress on backwards and inside out, but hey...she did it all by herself and in her defense, dresses with buttons can be tricky.  :)

So the children both loaded into the car without an argument, fuss or complaint.  They took their vitamins obediently and were thankful for the little movie I surprised them with in the car for the 15 minute ride to BSF.  After all, the movie in the car is reserved for long car trips, not quick little errands or short drives such as the drive to BSF.

We were on time for BSF!  In fact, Roman was able to get there for the "beginning play" which is designated for the first 10 minutes to accommodate all the different arrival times of the kids.  Yay!  He seemed grateful for this extra playtime.  Brooklyn was a little hesitant to go into her class and a few tears later she went in to play with her friends.

Our lecture let out unusually early, about 10 minutes.  So that meant all the mommies were about 10 minutes early picking up their children.  Roman didn't take it well.  He was sad that just as they took the train out to play for the last 10 minutes, his mama showed up to pick him up.  In fact, he was so upset that every attempt to sooth his heart heart was thwarted by the whiney, indecisive, tantrum throwing inner child in Roman.  I loved on him, talked to him, hugged him, reminded him of his extra playtime in the morning, and then gently guided him to move on so we could pick up Brooklyn from her class.  It's tradition for all the mommas to let the kids run around for about 10-15 minutes afterwards to play with other kids and just have fun!  I reminded him of this fun time and encouraged him to play now.  After all, the trains would be there next week. When this didn't help him calm down I then told him he would have 5 minutes to play and he could either choose to spend that 5 minutes crying or he could spend it playing.

Nope.  This. Did. Not. Work.

So, yes, I was the mom of the child who:

  • Cried loudly that he wanted to play
  • Cried loudly that he couldn't calm down
  • Cried loudly that he couldn't choose between calming down or playing
  • Cried loudly asking how much longer he had before we left
  • Cried even louder when I said it was time to go
  • Ran away from crying in an attempt to make me turn around, but I kept walking.
  • Cried hysterically as we walked across the parking lot, saying "I don't want to go, I want to play"
  • Hit his pregnant mama in an attempt to get her attention since she wasn't giving him the time of day...instead praising his Brooklyn for her obedience in coming right away when it was time to go.
  • Ran around the van screaming, "No!" as though I was kidnapping him.
  • After seeing his mama calmly buckle Brooklyn and praise Brooklyn for her amazing behavior then get into the car herself and buckle up,  panicked.  
  • Screamed at the top of his lungs that he didn't want to go, then stomped his way into the carseat.
  • Hit his sister repeatedly from his carseat in yet another fit of rebellion for the early departure.
  • Screamed at the top of his lungs in the car saying, "I want to plaaaaaaaayyyyy!"
  • Apologized, unapologetically, to his sister for hitting her.
  • Continued to scream as another preggo friend and I prayed outside the van for strength, patience, peace and for God's love to be shown in all of this knowing that God has blessed us with another child who will be just as selfish as he was being.  
  • Continued to whine, cry and complain all the way home trying to get my attention.  To which he knew that the only way he could have a conversation with me was when he was calm, ready to apologize, and accept his consequences for his actions.  
So, yes, I was the mom who:
  • stayed calm despite wanting to smack sense into her 4 yr old and lecture him right then and there about being thankful and grateful and not making scenes
  • calmly said, "you're being rude to mama while I'm talking to my friend."
  • calmly said, "remember to play and not waste your time crying instead of playing"
  • calmly said, "two more minutes"
  • calmly said, "it's time to go, let's go."
  • calmly said, "you do not hit. It's not nice"
  • calmly said, "buckle up."
  • calmly said, "I'm sorry, Brooklyn, that he hit you.  Please find it in your heart to forgive him when he eventually says he's sorry."
  • calmly said, "When you are ready to apologize for your actions and accept your consequences then I will have a conversation with you." despite him screaming "mama, why aren't you answering me?  Mama, answer me!  Maaaaammmmaaaaa!"
  • calmly told Brooklyn she could watch the movie on her lap because of her great behavior.  
  • calmly told Roman, when we arrived home, to go inside and wait quietly for me to give him his consequences after he had apologized to both Brooklyn and me.
  • despite staying "calm" when I spoke to him, I cried as I drove the van home.  
Mothering is hard.  Molding children into adults is hard.  Having great friends who understand, relate, and encourage makes it easier.  But most of all, I stayed calm for one reason and one reason only:  GOD.  The peace I had knowing that anger would only invoke more anger from Roman was indescribable.  The encouragement I had knowing my job is not to save myself from embarrassment as my child clearly made a fool of himself, but rather to train a child in the way he should go was indescribable.  I am a mom.  I have a tough job.  God has a tougher job dealing with me sometimes though.  So I am grateful for these moments despite the heartache they cause.  

And now it's quiet time.  Consequences have been handed out.  Life for my 4 year old will forever be changed and mine also.

Friday, August 23, 2013

In the box

We've been seeing roman and Brooklyn really playing together lately. One day they decided that taking turns putting each other in a cardboard box was fun! It was adorable! Brooklyn was cute guiding Roman in as if he were her little baby and she was carefully putting him in his bed. She didn't want the lid closed, but he didn't seem to mind at all. Silly kids:-)

Shaving cream!

I bottle of shaving cream (sans SLS chemical)= $.99

Paintbrushes and other random kitchen items=$.99

Hours of fun being creative and sensory exploring= priceless!

Our little bike rider!

So this summer has been filled with lots of tricycle the house, because it's super hot outside:-(. Then we were given a 16" bike for roman that sat in the garage waiting for training wheels for about 2 months! This past weekend we finally bought some training wheels at a bike store and while we were there Brooklyn hopped on a 12" bike with ease and rode around like a pro! So, thanks to Papa, she now has a very good quality aluminum frame bike to ride and an adorable helmet too! Here are some pictures from our inaugural early morning bike ride. And yes, it was humid and hot, but the kids loved every minute of it; even wearing the helmets! In fact, the day we bought the bike, she wore her helmet all through Costco! It was super cute! We, of course, shopped around to other stores, but no other bike was quite like the aluminum frame bike. It is well made without a cheap plastic chain cover. I snapped a picture of Roman guiding Brooklyn around Walmart; it was very cute! He has been super kind to her in this whole bike riding adventure. What a great big brother!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

How we play (our curriculum)

So many people have asked lately what curriculum I am using for my homeschooling. I can honestly say, play is my curriculum! not the kind of "play" where they sit in front of the TV or iPad or other electronic devices (we limit these and use them sparingly so they feel like BIG TREATS when they get to use them)

But rather the kind of play that uses their imagination, life skills such as sharing and talking things out when someone hurts you. I find myself encouraging my children to "tell it to them" instead of "telling on them" when they are upset at someone for taking a toy. I'm right there encouraging them but they are using their words, not mine.

So how can play actually be a good foundation for a curriculum for my 2 yr old and 4 yr old?---all you preschool teachers might be wondering. Well, here's how:

When they do free play I am involved to either observe, encourage or interact.

They have free unlimited access to creative tools such as crayons, markets, scissors, paper, blocks, cars, trains, balls, stuffed animals, and books.

I read to them and with them OFTEN throughout the day. At least 3 times of me sitting down reading Bible stories, library books, hi-five magazines etc!

I answer every question they have. EVERY QUESTION! If I don't know the answer I look it up.

We play music in the background, we sing, we have dance parties, we play instruments LOUDLY, and we make instruments too!

We do crafts together...cutting, coloring, gluing.

We pretend to be race cars with our paper plate steering wheels, trains pushing our kid chairs lined up, trucks hauling each other in laundry baskets, etc.

We creat obstacle courses where we jump on the mini tramp, roll down the wedge mat, crawl through the tunnel, slide down our mini slide, crawl like animals, racing down our hallway!

We go on letter hunts and word hunts around the house.

We count forwards when we are waiting our turn, we count backwards when we play with our blast off space shuttle. We skip count going up the stairs. We count balloons after tossing them all over the house.

We collect and name the shape of the blocks as we put them away. We cut out, trace and color shapes. We are shape detectives with our magnifying glasses.

We learn our colors as we find the lost crayons and cap less markers

We sweep up our messes, sharing the coveted mini broom and dustpan.

We learn responsibility and work ethic by doing chores like feeding the fish and cat, getting dressed, and vacuuming/mopping the floor.

We build forts, we snuggle, we have tickle time, laughing like no one is listening!

90% of the play is child led. Meaning that they draw, build, color, create, explore what they want and I help build upon their learning with those teachable moments.

Yes I have worksheets that roman does...even Brooklyn has a school binder. But the attitude for learning is so great in our house that when I bring out the "school binder" filled with dry erase pages for them to practice tracing, counting, opposites, rhyming, connect the dots, writing letters and numbers, etc...they yell with excitement! And they always have the option at this age to keep free playing and come over in a few mins for the binder work. I keep in mind their attention span and don't expect them to do every page, just whatever their little brain wants to learn that day. I observe, encourage, and sit down with them on the floor "oohing and aweing" at their work.

This is our curriculum. They love learning and I love THAT!!!

Here are some pictures of our play

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Back before the supermarket

I often wonder how life would be different without the supermarket. Markets where people could buy dry goods, like canned foods for example, emerged in the early twentieth century. It wasn't until the 1930s and 40s that the "supermarket" changed shopping forever making it convenient for consumers to get their produce, meat, and dry goods all in one place. Seems like a great idea, and in my opinion it was until our human flesh and selfish desire to be greedy with our convenience took over. We now live in a world where canning is looked at as "a grandma thing to do" and homemade meals are considered any meal made at home (even if every ingredient is FROM A BOX!) We live in a convenience driven society where we rush our kids to soccer, softball, football, swimming, gymnastic, choir, and dance instead of teach them valuable skills of cooking, sewing, wood shop, landscaping, car repair etc
During those times we teach them way more than those skills; it's about the opportunity to pass on Godly values and character traits that can only be found in the hard work of servicing others.

Im a young mom who, maybe like some of you, feel the immense pressure to have it all: big house, lots of stuff, vacations multiple times a year, kids in as many activities as they possible can despite the cost, and a pet or two to round out the American dream. Well, I'm not giving in to that pressure. Why? Cuz it will drive me insane if that's my goal. Instead I have to remind myself DAILY that it's not about me. It's not even about my kids. Its about God. 100% God. What do I trust? Do I trust the Organic certification label on the foods I buy? No, I trust in God to protect me even when the organic label fails. Do I trust in the swim lesson t to save my child from drowning? No, I trust in God to protect my children. Now I'm not saying forego the organic food and swim lessons, but if you just can't afford either then there is a level of trust one should have in God who will provide. I can't worry every day and busy myself or my kids into thinking that life is about running around to multiple events week after week and sacrificing family time and valuable time with God.

What brought this post on was my quiet time the past few weeks. I've been able to consistently spend time with God, reading my Bible before the kids get up. I've noticed a drastic change in my temperament and attitude towards my kids and life in general. Starting the day out praising God as David did in the Psalms and reading a proverb or two for wisdom on how to raise my strong willed children and even reading a couple chapters of a book of the Bible (I just started Isaiah, so it a little rough right now unlike other books that are like stories and so captivating) allows me to really focus my intentions on God's will and not my own. I've gone from being quick tempered and raising my voice often at my children to being peaceful and soft spoken (yet firm).
It has been a HUGE difference. For me personally, I believe my obedience is directly related to my kids obedience. A friend from BSF mentioned that to me a couple months ago as I shared with her my struggles with my children just not listening to me and how mad that made me feel after all that I do for them the least they could do was listen! Really this was my reality. But my focus was all wrong! I was being selfish and my thoughts were guided by always getting them to behave. When the real problem was my misbehavior. I was being a two year old child of God...selfish, stubborn, emotional, and inconsistent. When I stopped doing that and put God first every day (even before checking email or FB) I noticed a radical change in me that was only from God! In so excited to see God work in our lives in the future! I hope this post inspires you to put God first in your life (whatever that looks like for you!)

Thursday, May 23, 2013

David's thankfulness

2 Samuel 22 describes David's song of praise to God after all his battles won, including with his son Absolom. He truly was a man of God, giving glory to God in everything.

This particular scripture passage resonated with me this morning. When is the last time I sang out in deep adoration and praise to God? Now most of you know, I'm not a huge fan of the worship time at church....there are usually 4 songs sung and for me that's 3 too many. But I love hymns! I sing them around the house and to my kids....they lift my spirits so much it's only God who can be rewarded for that desire in my heart. After reading David's song of praise, it made me realize how thankful I am for God's protection, provision, and joy that he has given me. We don't live in a mansion, but it's not a hut with a dirt floor either. We don't buy new clothes every week or every season. Instead we are so so so so blessed to have donations given to us. We have two beautiful children who despite their sinful nature bring me joy everyday!

My prayer this morning was to be like David and not recount over and over the battles (financial ups and down, kids behavior cycles,etc) in my life, but rather be thankful for God's hand that was ever present in those battles which carried me through. Its as though I look forward to the next battle because I have my security in God.

Verse 30 says, "with your help I can advance against a troop; with my God I can scale a wall."

How much more secure can one get? So, here's to scaling a wall today!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

In the kitchen!

So my desire to bake has returned...all to the glory of God! Tonight I made cheese crackers, ritz crackers and frozen yogurt (peanut butter, strawberry, and plain).

You can find the recipe on Pinterest for the crackers. The frozen yogurt was made with homemade yogurt, fresh cream and milk (straight from the cow!) and sweetened with only stevia. Maybe my taste buds have acclimated to what REAL food taste like and I enjoy food not saturated in fake "not found in nature" Sweetener. It's nice to taste the flavors of the food and not just sugar:-/

I've attached pictures of the recipes if you want to replicate the crackers. I used 1/2 buckwheat and 1/2 brown rice flour for the the ritz crackers though.

For the frozen yogurt I just followed the recipe that came with my ice cream maker. Simple!


Wednesday, May 15, 2013


Have I posted how much I love BSF (Bible Study Fellowship)? Here's a glimpse into what our Thursday mornings have been for the past 9 months barring any illnesses:-)

Imagine a morning where you are rushing around to get your 4 and 2 yr old out the door. This would include giving them 2 more minutes of play time while you get snacks packed (because you were too tired the night before to pack everything!). Then when the 2 minutes are up and the bags are packed, you realize you managed to get everyone dressed except yourself who is still in pajama bottoms! So you add another 2 minutes (we have a sand timer) and rush upstairs hoping that in your brief absence the kids won't undress themselves and be stark naked when you return downstairs (cuz that has happened before!). Thankfully this time they are still dressed when you re-emerge wearing "going out" clothes. For me, this is usually jeans and a t-shirt. :-). Then you grab the kids' breakfast (smoothie or homemade gluten free granola bar) and say, "shoes on children. It's time to go to BSF!" and your children yell with excitement, "horray!" They get their shoes on while you load up the car and if there is any slacking in speed, you tell them,"no smoothie in the car if your shoes aren't on!". This usually gets them moving faster cuz they love their smoothies. Depending on the day there is probably some whining about socks not being straight or the seatbelt not able to buckle, but you keep your eyes focussed on the prize of going to worship God! Now, some mornings, you are short tempered and have to later apologize to the kiddos for your unnecessary snappiness. But this morning you took your B vitamins, had your veggie drink, and even had coffee so you are ok:-). (not great cuz you didn't get any quiet time with God that morning)

You are always. But this time you aren't as late as usual which means your children won't miss free playtime in the beginning. So you are happy. Every minute the kids aren't there makes you sad because they do more than just keep them safe. They have a very organized schedule for the kids even or the kids in the "18mo/walking" room. They sing hymns, the teachers read a story (which is the same as you read for your study), they open up the Bible and each child gets to take turns pointing to the words and reciting the Bible Verse of the week, they have large muscle play where the teachers actually play with the kids instead of just stand back and supervise, and they do quiet time where everyone lays down and teaches their body to rest for 10mins.

Overall, they learn that the bible is true, that it's not just for sitting on the shelves, and that God loves them soo much. The teachers encourage good listening and are just plain amazing! The babies get loved on and sung to or rocked to sleep by a beautiful hymn. It's just great!

While the children are in their class, you go to the sanctuary where there are about 400 ladies! You sing hymns as well to get your heart prepared for the individual group Then you are dismissed to your smaller group of 10-12 ladies in all stages of life. This is where you share prayer requests and go over the lesson question by question. Here is where you make friendships with other women who can hold you accountable and encourage you in your struggles as a Christian woman. Then you return to the sanctuary for more hymn singing, prayer, and then about 35 minutes of lecture reviewing what you just talked about in your group. You be sure to grab the home lesson paper as well as the children's training sheet. These sheets are stock full of tips and helpful Godly insight for raising your children in the Word!

So after Thursday mornings you are refreshed, your kids are refreshed and then you are equipped with tools to continue this Biblical devotion all week long.

I pray you find a BSF near you to help encourage you as well!

I snapped a picture of Brooklyn reading books with a teacher when I arrived to pick her up (a bit early just to see how amazing they are!).

Sunday, April 28, 2013

In a funk

Despite having these two cute kiddos around me all day long, I've been in a funk. I haven't had the urge to bake, cook, clean, or anything homemaker related for a couple weeks. It came to a head when I had a full on crying meltdown the other day.

I have really been missing my good friend who moved away to pursue their dream of opening a scuba shop overseas. I've been trying to handle it on my own an not using help from my God, my comforter.

I've been out of the routine of my personal quiet time with God. Sure I've been in the Word everyday with the kids and learning and growing in that sense, but my personal, one-on-one time with my Creator has been replaced by sleeping in due to exhaustion.

I came to the conclusion that two things need to happen...first, I need to do my personal quiet time EVERY DAY again, and second, I need to have a girls night with friends who are REAL.

What is REAL?

Real is inviting someone over EVEN when your house is mess. Because in all honesty, all of our houses look the same: laundry is piled up, dishes are in the sink, floors have breakfast and even lunch crumbs on them, and toys are all over (in my case, books!) If I waited until my house was spotless to have someone over for a playdate or a visit, I would rarely see other adults (besides my hubby). An more importantly I wouldnt have the amazing opportunity to delevop great meaningful friendships with other moms. Isn't that what it's about? Encouraging one another in Christ and not judging each other's houses or parenting styles?!!

Real is also being able to live and get along with someone who may not parent the EXACT way you do. when you let go of that lie that says you need to surround yourself with people who only do things the way you do things, you are free to LOVE them without judging them! (now I'm not saying its ok to be around someone who yells and screams foul language at their kids all the time...exposing kids to this extreme, might my be the best thing. But I'm talking about maybe hanging out with someone who cloth diapers or someone who works part time, if you are one who uses disposables and stays at home).

Real is sharing that you get frustrated with your kids. Everyone handles frustration differently and sharing the good AND bad ways we handle it make us have a deeper relationship with each other. It helps is see how we are all in need of God's mercy and not to feel guilty for making a mistake or goofing up in your parenting as we learn how to deal with new stages (I.e whining, tantrums, hitting, biting, not hating)

Being real is sing able to drop everything and change your plans just to hang out with a friend who might just really need a friend at that moment. This might even mean telling the kids they can watch their movie another time, instead we're going to the park for a last minute playdate cuz otherwise another mommy is going to loose her mind!

Here's to getting out of my funk and relying more on God. And here's to making my quiet time a PRIORITY!!! And please moms, be REAL WITH ME!!
I don't care if your house is a should see my house and it will make you feel better about yourself!

Mmmmm lemonade

I'm not a huge fan of lemonade because it actually makes me more thirsty when I drink it. Plus it has a TON of sugar in it. However I discovered how delicious I can be when I made it with freshly juiced lemons and sweetened it with stevia. yummy!!

Brooklyn, it's time for bed

So let me state that Brooklyn is not a hard baby to put to bed. When she crawls into her crib she knows it's night night time and she sleeps. She might groan or make a few protesting whines, but then it's off to sleepytown, USA for her.

The other night I nursed her and when I was finished I asked her to fun her night night (pacifier). She likes to have more than one so after finding one on the bed she asked where her other one was. I bent down and spotted it under the bed waaaaaaay in the back. After my amazing elastic reaching arms grabbed the pacifier I realized how in characteristically quiet Brooklyn was. So I looked around for her. After a quick resultless search, I said,"Brooklyn, where are you? It time for night night.". This picture is exactly how I found her. Luckily I had my phone handy to capture her silliness. She was so quiet and then I heard her giggle! Silly girl! Guess this is her first official attempt at evading bed time! s

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

What a fun day!

A late posts from a couple weeks ago:

Today was so fun! I kept thinking, "thank you, God" all day!

Thank you, God for:

Roman waking up sans "leak" since he was in undies all night!

Homemade yogurt spilled all over Brooklyn just before heading out the door! (store bought would have been so expensive!)

Roman's 20 million questions about cheetahs and other animals on the way to the zoo. His mind is AMAZING!

Free zoo day passes from a playgroup mommy!

My children's enthusiasm about animals and plants and airplanes (the zoo is near an international airport)

My children's obedience to stay by my side in the street ( we didn't bring a stroller!)

Roman running ahead of me on the path just so he could walk next to Brooklyn and "keep her safe"

No meltdowns, although we came close to one with Brooklyn, but it was thwarted by the enticement of sitting in a tractor and milking a pretend cow. Little things...

Brooklyn and Roman not getting annoyed with the 4 potty breaks we took in the 5 hours we were there! And Brooklyn not crying at the deafening sound of the hand driers in the last bathroom!

Brooklyn telling me she had to go potty. Even though she's potty trained, accidents still happen when she is in serious play mode.

Scrounging up enough $ to buy a kettle corn which served as reward for staying by me and not running off without permission.

An older child, Roman, who set a good example for his sister that when mama says "one more turn on the slide" it means only one more turn on the slide despite a cute pouty lip from sister!

Children that understand not to ask for things in the gift shop because 1. we don't need it and 2. We don't have the $ to buy it! (The exit is conveniently located inside the gift shop!!)

Coming home to a neighbor's ginormous tree still in our driveway from yesterday's wind storm. It cracked and fell not 5 mins before chad got home! (earlier that day I cleaned out the garage so that I could park in it.).

Some random person, whom we never saw, that cut down the tree and moved it off our driveway after we got back from the zoo. (our neighbor thought we did it and we thought the neighbor did it)

Homemade Mac and cheese that took 20 mins to yummy!

My Tummy not feeling well so it meant more snuggle time with Roman in our bed reading books about leopards, cheetahs, bald eagles, silly hippos and a little boy who plays soccer. (we all fell asleep together too!).

Here's to praying tomorrow I can thank God for more blessings!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

"Yes, I will play with you"

Why am I posting a picture of a half finished load of laundry? Well, this post is meant to serve as a reminder that no matter how badly I need to do something, spending time with my little ones is way more important. Yes they need to learn to use their imaginations, yes they need to have quiet time while mama gets things done in order for the household to run...but more importantly they need to see what it looks like to be selfless and pay attention to others' needs above your own. The laundry will be there in 15 minutes after I play with my blessings. But if I continually tell them to wait while I finish my laundry list of things to do (which could go on forever), what message do I send them? I want him to know that like our loving FAther, I will listen to him when he comes to me and not always put him second. There is, of course, a balance between this and catering to their every need which hinders their independence. For me, I felt the Holy Spirit nudge me today. So I dropped what I was doing and played with him for a few minutes hopefully demonstrating that when someone asks you to play (like maybe his baby sister), although you want to keep on playing your way, it is kind and loving to play with them. I can tell him that until I'm blue in the face, but if I don't live it...he won't ever get it.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

It's not about the bunny

I grew up with Easter baskets and an annual indoor Cadbury egg hunt ending in at least one egg left undiscovered only to be found weeks later! At least it was chocolate and not a real egg that would have left an awful smell after a week in hiding!

Those memories are mainly of gradeschool and up. It wasn't the main event of Easter. My parents had laid an important Biblical foundation when we were young. So instead, Easter was always, and still is, about the most amazing selfless act in all of history: Jesus' resurrection, as he promised, from his death on the cross that paid for every single act of sin ever imaginable! It's hard to imagine that! But that is what makes this free gift so special!

I urge you parents to talk with your children daily about Jesus, not just on Easter. Let them know how much he loves them and how he wants to have a relationship with them. They can talk with him, they can have imaginary play with him, they can be kind as he was kind, and show love as he showed love...even for those who hurt him and crucified him. As I type this, I am led to the following passage in the Bible:

Romans 6:9-11
For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. (Romans 6:9-11 NIV)

This year, as in years past, our traditions with our kids don't lie Easter bunny pictures or Easter baskets. Those things aren't bad, don't get me wrong...we just aren't doing them in order that we lay this oh-so-important foundation with our kids about what Easter is. So, if you ask Roman what he got in his Easter basket, don't feel bad when he says nothing. For him and Brooklyn we haven't made it all about the candy or the egg's about learning about Jesus. And yes, people, as shocking as it seems...a 2 and 4yr old can understand the meaning (on an age appropriate basis) of how much love it took for Jesus to die for us!

Since we are studying the letter E this week and next...yes, we will have an indoor egg hunt tying scripture to each egg, and yes we have made an egg carton cross craft...but no...I draw the line at having my young impressionable children wake up on Easter morning to Easter baskets that some fairy tale bunny left for if they did anything to deserve presents from said imaginary figure...we are all sinners people!!! I'd rather have them wake up to parents showing them countless acts of love as Jesus did, who by the way was a REAL person and is the sinless son of God. We choose to make Easter memorable by playing games with my children, reading books to them, being patient with them when they whine (a stage we are heavily in), washing their feet as Jesus did, reading the Gospel to them as animatedly as possible so it comes alive for them, eating meals with them, saying kind words to each other, and taking care of each other (we are all fighting colds right now).

Easter is not defined by anything else! The stuff sold in the stores would have been a small "splash" but not a huge "cannon ball" activity if we had the money to go spend on such frivolous items. But God has us penny pinching yet again for a glorious reason that we can truly appreciate. Because instead of digging into our wallets to buy Easter baskets, we are digging into the Word of God, drawing closer to him. Wow! Thank you God for a low bank account balance...we are so fortunate to be forced to focus on you, oh Lord! And thank you Lord for papa who splurged and got them much needed shoes today. :-). And their gratitude wasn't: "thanks for the Easter shoes, Papa Easter Bunny." but rather, a big hug and kiss thank you for Papa.

If you are a believer and are doing the Easter Bunny/basket thing, please know that I am not saying you can't do that(who am I to even say that!!), nor am i judging your heart because...I truly believe a balance can be achieved with all of that because it's about the way you present it and how much you emphasize it. The word of God is so true and powerful that he can use an Easter basket or standing in line waiting for the picture with the Easter bunny as a way to share the Gospel with others. So I say, celebrate in your own unique way that the Holy spirit has called you to do. For us, it looks a little different than most, but we are a little weird anyway! Hehehe!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Early birthday celebration

We has an early birthday celebration for roman...he LOVED his cake! In fact, it was how Brooklyn and I got him out of bed...the lure of a birthday cake is hard to deny!