Saturday, March 31, 2012

Easter Book Review

Hello friends!

With Easter coming up, I wanted to do a quick review of some books we've been reading at home. Abbey loves to read, and we have story time every night before bed. I've found books to be a great way to introduce topics to her. 
While I don't have a problem with secular Easter traditions, I want to make sure that the real reason for the day doesn't get lost in all the easter eggs and chocolate. Easter is tricky to explain to an almost 3 year old. Christmas is "easy"...Baby Jesus was born! Easter...not so easy. These three books do a great job of taking things down to Abbey's level.

The Story of Easter: I actually found this one at Target, hidden in there between all the Easter egg books. It is fantastic! Abbey and I just read it before she went down for a nap. She doesn't understand the idea of dying, but she does understand feeling sad and feeling happy. This book talks about how Jesus' friends were sad when He died, and were happy when He was alive again. 
It also explains why we put crosses on steeples, and that Jesus was called the Good Shepherd which is the name of our church. I love that we get to use parts of this book all throughout the week. It really helps things stick.

What Is Easter?: This is another great book. The first few pages talk about all of the activities that surround Easter like egg hunts, and baby chicks, and chocolate bunnies, and asks if they are what Easter is about. Then it talks about Jesus and the fact that He died for us, and that that is what Easter is all about. I like the rhyming and rhythm of this book, but that creates some potential problems. There is some obscure language in this book that may be confusing to little ones, or kids with disabilities. Phrases about Jesus dying on a tree, and how He wants to live inside you may need some extra explanation. They don't seem to be throwing Abbey too badly. Note: We also have  the Christmas version of this book by the same author, and it is fantastic!

The Very First Easter: I just found this one. I love The Beginner's Bible. It does such a great job of making bible stories understandable for little ones while staying true to scripture. This small book is all of the Easter oriented stories that the full Beginner's Bible contains. They include Jesus washing the disciples feet, and the entry into Jerusalem. I'm excited to read this one with Abbey tonight!

How do you teach your toddlers about Easter? I'd love to hear from you!

Now it's time for Kids Co-Op goodness! I looove this linky party. You know the drill. Link up your kids ideas here, and they'll be linked up all over blog-land. I can't wait to see what you've got this week!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

A Little Break

Hi friends.

I just wanted to let you know that it's going to be a little quiet around here for the next week or so. We're in the middle of a pretty intense season here in my family. I'll write more about it when I have my brain wrapped around it a little better. Maybe writing would help with that? I don't know...
We're all OK here in the house, but it's a bit chaotic.

Anyway. I'll be taking a little break, but I have all sorts of fun stuff coming for you soon, including a new Toddler Box, and some great stuff for Easter!

I love you all!


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

1LW Wednesdays #12

Hey friends. I am so glad to be back here today.
I feel like life is getting in the way from my blogging lately. 

Monday night I attended a meeting at church and a friend gave me a pamphlet called  " Names of God".

I think this little pamphlet was filled with some of the most amazing words
I wanted to share with you a few of my favorite names for our God. 

Besides the most comfortable like, Lord, Father, Daddy I was really moved by this list of names.

Adonai (ah-doe-ni) meaning The Lord, My Great Lord. God is our total authority! How comforting and reassuring is that. 

Elohim (el-o-heem) meaning Creator, The all powerful one. This is how God is referred in Genesis 1:1. Elohim is found over 2300 times in the Bible referring to God! The is amazing and makes you think that He really wanted us to remember this name! 

El Roi (el Roy) meaning The God who sees me. There are no circumstances n our lives that escape His fatherly awareness and care. Did you hear that NO CIRCUMSTANCE. He is always there, always watching, ;always listening, always caring. 

Jehovah-Jireh  (juh-HO-vah JI-rah) meaning The Lord will provide. God will meet all our needs, not what we THINK we need, but our actual needs. He provided His son Jesus as the ultimate sacrifice. We have no reason to doubt Him. 

Jehovah-Shalom (juh-Ho-vah sha-LOME) meaning The Lord is peace. Jesus is our Prince of Peace. God is the only one who can give us a peace that transcends all understanding. 

Do you have a favorite name for God? maybe it's Emmanuel, YHWH, or friend.
what ever it is we are so blessed to have such a loving heavenly father. 

Thanks, Chrissy!

Alright, now it's your turn! Link us up with your 1LW post!
Don't know what a 1LW is? Check out this post.
Looking for a great place to share your other fun stuff? Check out my 1LW blogging partner Chrissy over at Boerman Ramblings!
Haven't picked a word yet? Go ahead! This is not a time sensitive challenge! Pick a word, write about it, and then come tell us!

Please link back to this post if you're playing along!
Grab a button:

A text link is fine too, if you prefer that!
Be blessed!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Gathered Thoughts: A Quiet Place

I was so excited to be asked to be a part of the Gathered Thoughts linky party at LoveFeast Table.
Gathered Thoughts is a box set of 365 different quotes meant to bring some inspiration to your day. Maybe you use them at the dinner table. Maybe you use them as writing prompts. It's up to you.

LoveFeast Table chose several "hosts" for this party, and each host found 9 people to pass a Thought on to. I was lucky enough to have mine sent from my dear friend Lani.
Here's what I got:

Within your heart keep one still, secret spot where dreams may go, and shelted so, may  thrive  and grow where doubt and fear are not. Oh, keep a place within your heart, for little dreams to go.
-Louise Driscoll 

I love this quote! My brain went in a million different directions when I read it. I think dreams are so important. I think that they are a gift from God. He wants us to dream big, and he wants us to lift our dreams up to Him. He wants to see us live our dreams!
Some dreams start when we're young. Some are silly (I think those are the best kind), but they're there. Some dreams we outgrow. Some dreams sit for so long that we almost forget about them. Some dreams even come true before we even know they were there!

source unknown

God has his own timing for giving us our dreams and helping us find them. The world loves to tell us that dreams are silly, and that we shouldn't bother, but I don't think that's true. We were created to be dreamers. 
I don't think we need to create that secret place in our heart for our dreams, I think it's been put there for us, full to the brim of dreams waiting to be dreamed. What we need to do, is make sure that we don't forget that that spot is there. We need to make sure that the shouts of the world don't drown out the whispers of the dreams God has given us. God's whispers are so much louder than the world, if we just stop and listen. I think that is what that secret little place is for.


Saturday, March 17, 2012

Letter Hop

Hello friends!

I'm taking a break from the Toddler Boxes this week. No worries...more are coming! With all the beautiful weather we've been having, I wanted to share a super easy outdoor game to play with your kiddos. I call it Letter Hop!

Start by writing all the letters of the alphabet on the ground using chalk. We used our driveway, but the sidewalk is good too. You could probably even use any flat space at your local playground as well. Then, all you do is call out letters for your kids to find. Abbey knows all of her letters, and LOVES to play letter games, so this is perfect for her.  She loves to jump on the letters I ask her to find.

There are lots of ways to personalize this game to keep your kids interested. Ask for the letter sound instead of the letter, or have early spellers spell out words. Tons of options!

Another bonus? You can get your kids moving! Have them hop, skip and jump to different letters.

p.s. Can we talk about those pigtails for a second? They're pretty much my favorite thing right now!

Now...on to more fun. It's Kid's Co-Op time! Link up your fun stuff, and check out all the goodies! Remember, if you link up here, your link will show up at over 60 different blogs!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

1LW Wednesday #11

Hi friends!

No big post for you today for 1LW Wednesday. We are experiencing some fantastic weather here in Chicagoland, and I'm being intentional and taking full advantage of it! Abbey and I have been doing all sorts of fun stuff outside! She's taking a nap now, so I'm hoping on here super quick.

I still want to hear what you all have been up to this week, so link up!

Remember, this is a linky party for 1LW posts only. I love all of your arts and crafts, but this isn't the place to share them. Don't know what a 1LW is? Check out this post.
Looking for a great place to share your other fun stuff? Check out my 1LW blogging partner Chrissy over at Boerman Ramblings!
Haven't picked a word yet? Go ahead! This is not a time sensitive challenge! Pick a word, write about it, and then come tell us!

Please link back to this post if you're playing along!
Grab a button:

A text link is fine too, if you prefer that!
Be blessed!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


Hi friends!

So, I've always been completely a tiny bit envious of those bloggers who find fantastic things on the side of the road. You know, vintage whatever-era furniture and what not. The only things I ever see are nasty old couches that are going to give someone vintage whatever-era tetanus. 


Abbey and I were coming back from the store this afternoon, and totally struck gold!

Are you ready...

Here it comes....


Hahaha! You were expecting some sort of fantastic hutch weren't you?

1. I live in a basement, what am I going to do with a hutch?
2. This is SO much better than that!

Abbey loves to be outside, so having this for her to color and eat on will be great all summer. The table top opens up and can be either storage, or water table. Who doesn't love a water table? It can also come inside in the winter and hold coloring supplies. Sweet!

It needs a little bit of cleaning, but who cares? It's fantastic, and will  last forever!

Now...who knows how to get marker off of plastic?

Friday, March 9, 2012

Toddler Box 2: Beads

Hi everyone! 
I'm here with another Toddler Box for you, and then on to some Kids Co-Op linky goodness!
I am having so much fun putting these boxes together, and Abbey is having so much fun playing with them (which is, after all, the point!) I can't wait to share more of them!

Here is this weeks addition:

Bead stringing! I love this activity because you can do so much with it, and it can be as simple or as complex as you want to make it. It addresses all sorts of skills, and is SO easy to put together. A big tub of beads (I used maybe a third of it) and some pipe cleaners and you are set. 
NOTE: If you have any reason to believe that this activity poses a safety concern to your child, please don't do it, k? Thanks!

Why pipe cleaners you ask? Why not string? I like using pipe cleaners because you don't have to worry about the beads falling off the end! No knots. no nothing!

Abbey loves playing with her beads!

This game is especially fun to play while rocking some serious bed-head, and some new Dora jammers. If you haven't done it, I highly recommend it.
If you can believe it, this is the toned-down version of this morning's bed-head. It was epic.

You can do so many things with this box.

You can work on plain ol' fine motor skills:

You can match colors:

You can match patterns:
This is a new one for Abbey, so I think we'll be working on this one quite a bit.

Or, you can make "snails".

and take them swimming.
It's your choice, really!

Now it's time for Kids Co-Op fun! 

If you're new to the Kids Co-Op linky party, let me explain it a bit to you. This isn't your typical link up. Anything you link up here, will also appear at all of our co-hosts blogs. How cool is that? This week we have almost 60 co-hosts! That's your idea, at almost 60 different sites, with one little link up! Sweet deal.
Make sure to check out some of the awesome activities that get linked up. There is some fantastic stuff in there every week!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

1LW Wednesday #10

Hello friends!

I have to be honest with all of you. I've been having a very hard time being intentional lately. I'm not sure what it is...just a funk I guess. Although, I don't really like saying that. It feels like an excuse. In the first few weeks of this project, just the thought "are you being intentional right now?" was enough to get me off my butt and going, but now that doesn't seem to work as well.
So...I've decided to take a note from Biblical Homemaking, and set some goals for the month of March. I know we're already a week in, but I think that will be OK. we go!
1. I love to read, but I mostly stick with fiction. I have to seriously try to read non-fiction. I've got a couple books on my list that I'd like to get through this month.
- Volunteers That Stick by Jim Wideman: This one is a suggestion from my Children's Ministry Director at work. I have fantastic volunteers, and I want to make sure I do everything I can to keep them! 

-My So-Called Life as a Proverbs 31 Wife: I have several friends who have read this, and have loved it. My job as a wife is one that I struggle with feeling successful at, so maybe this will help?

2. Workout 3 times a week: Over the summer I was doing really well working my way through a Couch to 5k program. Then the weather got gross and I got lazy. I go back and forth between being good about working out regularly, and going weeks without doing it at all. I want to change that.

3. Spend 15 minutes a day in scripture: It embarasses me to say how bad I am at this. It needs to happen. Does anyone have any good daily devotional/studies they like? 

Alright, I think that's a good start for March. Nothing will de-rail me faster than setting too many goals.
I'm working on an exciting, but pretty major project right now...can't wait to tell you all about it!!

Alright, I want to hear from you!

Remember,this linky party is meant for posts about how you are living out your One Little Word. I love all of your crafts and projects, and I'm sure you are super proud of them, but this isn't the party for those! If you're looking for somewhere to link those up, my parter-in-crime, Chrissy, has a great one on Tuesdays!
Don't know what a One Little Word is? Check out THIS post to find out more. 
Haven't picked a word yet? Go ahead! This is not a time sensitive challenge! Pick a word, write about it, and then come tell us!

Please link back to this post if you're playing along!
Grab a button:

A text link is fine too, if you prefer that!
Be blessed!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Sunday Worship

Happy Sunday!

This album is available at most Christian bookstores. No pirating, please!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Toddler Box 1: Buttons

Hi everyone!
This was originally posted over at Mess For Less last week as a guest post, but I wanted to post it over here for anyone that missed it! I've got a whole series of these coming up...get excited! Make sure you check out some of the co-hosts of the Kids Co-op this week, as well.

I've recently started putting together something for Abbey that I have named Toddler Boxes. They are simple, self-contained activities that Abbey can, for the most part, complete by herself. I'm sharing my first one here with you today!
First of all, I found some great little tote boxes with snap-on lids at Hobby Lobby. They are the perfect size for Abbey, and the stack together perfectly so we can store them where she can reach them. Honestly, finding those boxes was the springboard for the whole Toddler Box idea!
I also found these buttons at Hobby Lobby for $5! Woohoo! 
Much better than trying to collect buttons from the sewing section, and they are nice and chunky with nice, big holes. Yes, I realize it says age 4 and up. If you have any reason to believe that your child would put these in their mouth, maybe wait a while before you try out this activity.
The S'getti String was $3 for 50 yards! Seriously, I have no idea what I'm going to do with all of it! I liked it for this activity because it is narrow and flexible enough to fit through the button holes, but it is sturdy, and doesn't fray.
This picture is sideways and I can't fix it...sorry! Blame Blogger!
Abbey loves her buttons!
The first time we played this, she had a hard time and I heard a lot of  "I can't!", but now she's a pro!

How's that for focus?? Haha!
She is so good about keeping the buttons in the box, or picking them back up if they come out. This box is a LIFESAVER at dinner time!

Now...on to the linky party! Check out our co-hosts, they've got a ton of great stuff today! 
Imprints from Tricia
No Time For Flash Cards
Train Up a Child
Caution! Twins at play
Creative Family Fun
Share With A Kid
Scribble Doodle and Draw
The Mommies Made Me Do It
It's A Long Story
Reading Confetti
B.Inspired, Mama!
The Good Long Road
Growing A Jeweled Rose
This post is linked up. Come play!

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