Monday, February 29, 2016

Sensory Easter Eggs

Sweet Pea is 19 months, and it is like her brain is a dry sponge just ready to soak up any and all things placed around her.  She's grasping things faster than I expected, and I am so enjoying making these Tot Trays to challenge her into learning new things.

Easter is around the corner, and here in Texas, we didnt have winter.  We've had a most enjoyable spring that sprung like a month ago.  The azaleas are starting to bloom, the leaves are budding on the trees, and I am just aching for rainbows of color to blow up in my house!  I LOVE COLOR!  

I wonder if Sweet Pea will also have a love of all things colorful.  Well with that being stated, please allow me to tell you about what we did.  I found some plastic Easter eggs in the garge (please tell me you do too) and I filled each set with a matching sound.  The blue eggs are filled with rice; purple=paperclip; green=cap; yellow= 3 pennies; orange= dry black beans; and pink= sugar.
I filled each egg about 1/3 of the way, snapped them shut, and tapped around the seam with clear tape.  Now Sweet Pea can match them by color, by sound (later on), and she has 12 new maracas!  She loves to shake them, hand them off to me, and then dance while I shake them.  We have a blast!!


I love the fact that this sensory activity is so focused on sound!  She just loves hearing the different eggs and will hold one next to her ear and shake it.  She's so much fun.  I am overwhelmed by God's grace watching her learn.

More amazing ideas can be found at these link ups:

Tot School Gathering Place Week 164
The Practical Mom Blog week 3

Happy Tot Schooling!

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Library Adventures on Wednesday

Every Wednesday at 10 am, our local library hosts "Story Time" for kids.  This is an amazing opprotunity to meet other stay at home moms and dads, make new friends, and enjoy an outing learning to love reading! Does it get much better?

Sweet Pea's favorite activity is reading.  Ive caught her several times crawling into her chair in her playroom "reading" a book. Just recently, she has been coming to me with a book, opening it, and "reading" to me. LOVE these moments.

This is our 3rd week in a row to go to our library for Story Time, and let me tell you, if you have not checked out what to see what your public library is doing, you are missing out!  I hope your library is doing as much for the kids in the community as ours is!  From story time, to Saturday matinees, and game nights in between, I am so grateful for my library.  And it's FREE!

What does Library Wednesday look like?

We pack snacks and water, head to the library, and sit in a big room with lots of other kids, parents, and 2 story tellers (librarians).  We spend about 30 minutes reading 3 different books under a main theme (this week's is bugs), singing songs (this week we sang the itsy bitsy spider, and the ants go marching), and watching some puppets get in on the action.

Then it's craft time and games along with searching for new books.  The ladies always prepare some kind of craft for the kids to complete with their parents.  Last week we made cow puppets out of lunch sacks, but this week we made these super cute fingerprint insects (ours were birds) and the Hungry Caterpillar from the story we heard during Story time!  

We used stamps provided to stamp flowers, and Sweet Pea used her fingerprint to make the solid purple flower in the center. 
 We started with this side of the paper, and Sweet Pea stamped her finger using the gold stamp pad provided to make birds.  I drew the lines to make the body and beak.  So cute.  It was based out of the book Ed Emberley's Fingerprint Drawing Book.  So many things to create from your child's finger print!  The library provided a variety of stamp pads, paper, markers, and 3 copies of the book for us to flip through!
Then we made the caterpillar from the story The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle which we just heard during Story Time.  The library provided all the craft items to make this cute little guy... wide popsicle sticks, puffs, glue, and googly eyes.  Such a great item to use when reading the story at home too! 

After craft time, kids can even play!  The library has an assortment of puzzles, blocks, and thinking games for the kids to enjoy!  LOVE!   Our day at the library ended with us picking out 2 new board books to read for the next month.  I absolutely adore our library and feel so blessed to be a part of this community! 

Check out your local library today! See what it has to offer.  Does it have any fun things for kids too?  I'd love to hear your library adventures too!

This post has been linked up to The Practical Mom's blog

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Watercolor Fun!

Tot School Feature

Sweet Pea is 18 months, and we have done a little painting here and there.  We've dabbled in finger painting (huge mess=lots of fun), and water painting on those sheets that have colored dots.  It didn't turn out so well.  So we tried watercolors that I made with the help of Happy Hooligans!
Sweet Pea still has a tendency to slip things into her mouth here and there, so I wanted to make sure our watercolors were non toxic.  After looking at several paint recipes and what I had in the pantry, I decided to give this recipe a try. Click on the picture above or the Happy Hooligans link to get the super easy recipe and see Jackie's amazing blog.

I followed the recipe as is, and it did beautifully.  I made it several weeks ago, but we finally got to enjoy it outside on this particularly beautiful warm day last week. 
 These discs of amazing color do come out when you turn the muffin tray over... I speak from experience... hence the cracked green piece. So don't turn them upside down unless your ready for them to come out.  We just kept them in the muffin pans.  This kept the colors from blending all to one giant brown glob, and Sweet Pea could pick which color without any issues.

She loved it!  I tried to get her to go in a process of water, color, paper... water, color, paper... which she did well for a while, but then she just kept going water, paper, color... water.... which defeated the whole color on the paper...  BUT she and I had fun anyway and she got to the color again eventually.  <<<that is one sentence my friends... I'm the queen of run-ons.

At one point, she gave up the brush, put her hand in the water, and started drinking it, saying "mmmmmm."  Crazy kid. :)
(Glad I did the whole non toxic thing)

This is her masterpiece which I absolutely love. The colors were vibrant and moved easily on the watercolor paper.  Even when she loaded down the paper with tons of water, the colors still remained.  AND we still have left over colors!  I let them dry and hopefully this Saturday, we can paint outside again (we are waiting on the weather.)

This recipe can even be used on the cement!  The color stayed amazingly well until I took a hose to my drive and washed away our fun from the week... along with rice and beans that were stuck to my car because I forgot my leftovers on the roof of my car.  Fun times.  Keepin' it real folks, keepin' it real.

Happy Watercoloring!  (may not be a word, but it's okay!) :)

Sharing this blog post on these other sites.  Be sure to check them out for more ideas about fun times with family :)

grab button for The Practical Mom

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Trusting God to Light the Way...Isaiah 42:16

 I am a control freak... I know this, and I covered this fault of mine in an entire post here.  It was my last post before my almost 3 year hiatus.

Because of my controlling nature, I tend to have pretty serious trust issues.  I hate disappointing people or not living up to the potential that I have been given. Therefore, when presented to work in a group, I am not the best participant, because I can end up taking over to do what I think is best.

And it is NOT always what is best.

My controlling SIN makes it hard for me to trust others to make the right choices, especially when I am going to be affected by their decision, and it makes me STRUGGLE with God on Trusting His Plan for Me.


Trust is hard.  Super Hard.  Especially when you are in the dark.  But the Lord has given us His Word!  Isaiah 42:16 states:
We don't have to know the way- We may be blind, but He will help us see.  He will lead us.  The real question becomes am I willing to SUBMIT MY CONTROL and let HIM LEAD?

In order for someone to lead (and the Lord says "I will lead..."), that means I have to follow.  There is only one leader and if it's God, then it is not me.  I am not in control.  God is.  I don't have to know the way in which my life is headed, I just have to TRUST that He is a good leader (and HE IS) and let Him.

I know that most of my entries into my little girl's Bible are about TRUSTING the LORD, probably because this is what I personally need serious guidance in.  I don't want my girl to struggle with trusting like I do.

The path is dark in front of me, but I know who leads my way.  I may not get to where I want to be in the time that I desire, but if I traveled this unfamiliar, dark path blindly, can you imagine how many scrapes, bruises, and serious injury I could endure!?  No thank you.

The problem with letting someone else lead is you have to move with them.  You have to give up control and let them be the guide. I have to give up control.  This hot mess of a control freak has to do what she hates...she has to give up and release control.  Give Up. Release. Trust.

I trust my Guide.  I know my Guide. I will follow my Guide.

Lord, I am not in control of the situation I am currently in.  I know you see what it is and are working in it. Lord, I am sorry for my controlling ways.  Please forgive me and take the reigns... I do not want to travel this dark road without You.  Be my Leader and my Guide.  Please help me keep my hands from clutching for control.  Your ways are better than mine, and You know the way.  Lord, I trust You and pray You light the way before me. I love you.  

Saturday, February 20, 2016

What I Made This Past Week...

Today I am linking up with Tara at 4th Grade Frolics to tell about what I made this past week.   She does a linky party every month for people to share about what they've made, whether it is for the home, classroom, or just for fun!  It's a great way to see what other bloggers have been up to.  

So this past week, this is what I created....
By BFF from high school broke her ankle about 2 weeks ago, and she had to have surgery to put a metal plate and some screws in there.  We live many states away, so I made a care package for her with some books and this homemade journal.  I plan on blogging about it, just haven't yet.   

 I used water color paper to make the flowers, then used some scrapbook paper to glue on the other side.  I cut it down to the size I wanted, and used my cutting tool to score the fold.  I then printed lined paper and cut it to size, scored it, and then my husband nailed 5 holes into the binding.  I then used a big needle and some bakers twine in orange to stitch the binding closed using a saddle stitch. This video was a huge help.  I then wrote in blue sharpie "You Are Loved" and "You are His".  I love how it turned out, and I hope she does too.

 I tutor a 2nd grader in art every Monday.  He is very talented in art, but unfortunatly the elementary school doesn't teach art.  Therefore, each Monday we work on some skills.  We started a new project on Ton Schulten based on this lesson by Paintbrush Rocket.  We are working with tempra paints, making tints and still covering simple shapes. It really is a great lesson for him.  We aren't done yet, and I am hoping we will finish this coming Monday.  This is my example I did before he came over.  It was so nice to just do an art project.  I've missed painting on a larger scale.


My daughter and I also painted outside using some watercolors I made about a week ago after finding an amazingly simple non-toxic recipe.  The recipe comes from the blog Happy Hooligans ... and it was a good thing it was non toxic, because Sweet Pea started drinking that water going "mmmmm"! Crazy girl.  We had a blast!  Her art work is now hanging on the wall in her playroom, and she loves to point at it.  

I also made an Easter sensory bin for her using all items from the Dollar Tree (I LOVE THAT PLACE!)  And I only spent $5 on it!  The bin has 2 green Easter basket filler bags , a stuffed rabbit, bunny shaped eggs, and carrot shaped eggs.  The flowers I already had and I just stuck them in the grass.  She loves to dig out the rabbit eggs and place them in a basket I already had.  This sensory bin will stay up through Easter, and I might add/take away some items to it in the next month and a half.

The last thing I created this week was an entry into my Sweet Pea's Legacy Journal.  This is Bible Art Journaling, but I just make sure that I am writing to her about what I want her to know. This artwork is based on 1 Corinthians 12 and 13, about gifts, the body, and love.  I wrote a blog post about it here.

I absolutely LOVE doing these entries.  I learn so much from studying the Word and reflecting on what it is that I truly want to write to her.  It takes me awhile to finally do an entry, but once I actually sit down to make it, it doesn't take too long. It's the preparation for the entry that takes a while, but it is so worth it.

So that was my week!  Whew!  It is normally not that filled, but I count my blessings in the fact that I get to be able to create and have fun with my girl.

Be sure to go check out Tara's Link Up to get some more creative ideas from others!
Happy Creating!

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Bible Journaling 1 Corinthians 12-13

I love to journal in my girl's Legacy Bible. I love writing to her about what God teaches me through the Scriptures.  I ordered the Illustrated Faith "Created to Create" kit, and the second devotion was on 1 Corinthians 12:1-11 about gifts.

" There are different kinds of gifts. But they are all given to believers by the same Spirit. There are different ways to serve. But they all come from the same Lord. There are different ways the Spirit works. But the same God is working in all these ways and in all people.The Holy Spirit is given to each of us in a special way. That is for the good of all."

I meditated on this chapter for 3 days before actually creating this entry into her Bible.  After doing some research, I found out that there are over 20 different spiritual gifts; however in 1 Corinthians, only a few are listed.  The thing that got to me though was what came after the list of gifts. 1Corinthians 12: 12-31 is about the Body of Christ.
12 There is one body, but it has many parts. But all its many parts make up one body. It is the same with Christ. 13 We were all baptized by one Holy Spirit. And so we are formed into one body. It didn’t matter whether we were Jews or Gentiles, slaves or free people. We were all given the same Spirit to drink. 14 So the body is not made up of just one part. It has many parts...21 The eye can’t say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” The head can’t say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” 22 In fact, it is just the opposite. The parts of the body that seem to be weaker are the ones we can’t do without...25 In that way, the parts of the body will not take sides. All of them will take care of one another. 26 If one part suffers, every part suffers with it. If one part is honored, every part shares in its joy."
So the question came to me....

What does the section on gifts have to do with the section on the body exactly?  

There is a reason Paul wrote these side by side within the same chapter.

What was he really trying to tell the church? What do I want to tell my girl?

It suddenly hit me that the Corinthians were most likely comparing themselves to one another, thinking someone's gift was not worthy of honor, or that their gift was better than someone else's, or thinking they didn't need certain people in the church because their gift wasn't as "special" as another's.  The dreaded "Comparison Game."

Sounds familiar huh?

It did to me, anyway.

Paul was trying to remind the Corinthians that the Holy Spirit has gifted each person with a special gift that is beneficial to the body of believers.

There are different ways the Spirit works. But the same God is working in all these ways and in all people.The Holy Spirit is given to each of us in a special way. That is for the good of all.

The entire body of believers needs to rely on one another to make a stand for Christ and spread the Gospel.  Our gifts are meant to bring great unity to the church... not divide it.  To make us stronger where we are weak.  And the thing that binds all these gifts is LOVE according to 1 Corinthians 13.
"Suppose I speak in the languages of human beings or of angels. If I don’t have love, I am only a loud gong or a noisy cymbal. Suppose I have the gift of prophecy. Suppose I can understand all the secret things of God and know everything about him. And suppose I have enough faith to move mountains. If I don’t have love, I am nothing at all.Suppose I give everything I have to poor people. And suppose I give myself over to a difficult life so I can brag. If I don’t have love, I get nothing at all." 

THERE IS NO ROOM FOR COMPARISON!  You were created with a special gift- do not think that it is not good, or that it is not as great as someone else's gift.  You were created for a purpose and the body of believers NEEDS YOU!


Please read what I wrote to my girl, because it's written to you too, Believer.

Keep using your gifts, whatever they are.  To the glory and benefit of God and others.  <3

Sunday, February 14, 2016

A Perfect Day Outdoors

Yall... this weather... oh this weather is so beautiful!!!  Sweet Pea, Peyton (my dog), and I wanted to do nothing but be outside all day long!  I love Texas.  Really I do.  I can absolutely not see myself living anywhere else.  I know the humidity is not fun in the summer, but I would take it 100 times over snow and cold.  I am just not a cold weather person... sorry to all you cold weather lovers.  It's just not me.  
No Filter... Glorious absolutely glorious!
So now that you know the weather had been absolutely gorgeous, you know why we just could not stay inside. My backyard is taken over by moles, hills, and holes dug by the dog, so we can't really hand out there, so Sweet Pea and I found the most level flat area which happens to be my driveway.  
Yall, we had the best time!  I bought some thick outdoor chalk that was less than a dollar at Walmart and we drew on the sidewalk. Then I drew a circle and Sweet Pea just loved to stand in it and be told "You are in the ____ (color name) circle!" or "You are out of the _____ circle!"  She just laughed and would go from one circle to the next. 

A few of the circles
 Then we laid out the blanket, and put the Valentine rice sensory bin on it.  She worked on her pouring skills with all sorts of heart shaped spoons and dug around finding the buried treasures that match.  All of the little treasures were found at dollar tree.  Her absolute favorites were bracelets and erasers that look like dogs.

Heart shaped slinkys are great to stretch... and fling!

Even Peyton wanted to get in on the sensory bin action.  Look at those braclets on her arms.  :)  She thinks that once she puts them on, its time to go.  Sweet Pea always waves and says "bye-bye" after she puts anything on her wrist.

Sweet Pea enjoyed trying to make the chalk stay on her skin too.  We must have stayed outside doing these 2 things for 2 hours.  In that time, we also had a little picnic of Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwiches once Daddy came home for lunch who works only 5 minutes away.

During this time, I just took in all of God's countless blessings...
this beautiful weather; the fact that I GET to be home and PLAY with my girl; seeing her enjoyment in the simple things like circles and pouring rice; picnics; a dog who loves being around us; a husband who can come home during lunch and see his girls....

I seriously am so humbled that God saw fit to give us this girl.  And those 39 months of infertility were so worth it to have a day like today.  The Lord knew what He needed of me... He needed me to be home with her, and if we had been blessed with her beforehand, I honestly do not think we would have been able to afford for me to stay home.  His plans are so much better than our own, and I am so grateful and humbled that I get to enjoy a day like this past Friday.  It was perfect.  Just perfect.

This post has been linked too the Gathering Place Week 162, a place to gather all sorts of fun ideas to do with your tot, and the Practical Mom's Monday Link Up!