After a wonderfully fun and busy weekend we declare today "pajama day". We usually try to stay home on Monday. Weekends are full of activities so we are both exhausted. I like Monday's to be a day to relax and get back to a schedule. And I think it's important J learns to be home. To relax and play at home, use your imagination, learn to entertain yourself and not be entertained. So on our pajama day we spent the morning playing with toys. Within an hour he did this. Messy indeed! I think he missed his toys.
Then for our actual messy Monday activity I decided to try the homemade paint, using sugar, cornstarch, water and salt. Well I'm not sure what it is supposed to be like, I followed the directions but it was more like sticky goop. It paints and it would be safe to eat but it was goop. So I think when it comes to painting I will stick with the usual washable paint.
We painted outside which I knew could lead to dirt play. And it did. He decided to add dirt to the paint. Next week I think mud painting shall be the activity. :)
Once he was tired of that we drive around in his convertible and had our first adventure with bugs! We found a ladybug and whatever this is. But he joined us for the whole ride and the car wash that followed. Interesting guy.
So staying home all day requires lots of activities, so we pulled out another messy activity. I pulled out the packing peanuts I had been saving for a sensory activity. He thought they were great! And it was a lot easier to clean up than rice (the sensory fave)
It's been a great day and exhausting. Time to nap.
My heart is so saddened by the awful events in Colorado. I have and will continue to pray for all those that are hurt by this tragedy. Luckily J is too young to know what is going on but someday tragedy will hit and I will have to know what to say. So I've been thinking what do you say to the innocent, the ones who don't understand, the ones who see the world for good? Because truthfully someday he will experience tragedy, either personally or through a friend or worldly.
I know when awful things happen like this most want to blame someone. And sadly most of the time people blame God. Why would He do this? How could He let this happen? Most believers will immediately say God did not allow this, but He is near. He is here to show compassion and love. He will help you through this. Non believers and some believers will say that God is not good. He let this happen. Christians are stupid. Why do you believe in a God that allows such awful things? Of these people I am the first. I do not believe God lets these things happen. They do happen because there is evil. We choose to be good or evil or make good or evil choices. We are all sinners. "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, (Romans 3:23 NIV)" We choose our actions. And we have Earthly and Heavenly consequences for our actions. I believe God is always present. Hoping we will choose good but when we don't He is here to help. He doesnt cause this awful things but He uses these awful events to show his unending compassion. His love for His children. To use events like this to bring people to Him, to call out and seek Him. I read a blog yesterday from a woman who was in the theater. Her outlook was amazing, a true woman of God. God was using her in this blog to reach out to the hurting. Then I skimmed the comments (not always a good choice) and there it was the one comment that could destroy all the things she said. The one comment that twisted her beautiful words. And it made realize that the devil is also always present. And not only did he act through the man who did the shooting, But he is acting through the reactions of everyone. He is using this opportunity to pull people away from God and to keep some people from ever meeting Him. Some people will never look past the hurt, pain, suffering, tragedy to see the compassion and love that God is pouring out. I am completely heart broken that one man destroyed so many lives, that he has made million feel unsafe in what should be a safe place. I hate his actions. But I know God is there for all. I pray for those that are hurting, and I pray for that man. I hope that someday he will meet God and find forgiveness. Because my God is a forgiving God.
So to my son, when tragedy strikes this is what I wiIl say:
1. God is good, All the time. All the time, God is good. - remember that no matter what happens He is good.
2. There is good and there is evil. - both exist, both are real. Choose good. Be the difference, make the choice to be good and stand out, even when the world disagrees or persecutes you.
3. God forgives and forgets. -Thank goodness He forgives and forgets. We are all sinners. The choice of good and evil is our own. But if you ever choose evil He will forgive if you ask. He will forgive and forget. The world is not so forgiving.
4. Bad things will happen - its true. They will happen more times than you want. Good things happen too. Rejoice when they do be thankful.
5. God loves you!- no matter what God loves you! John 3:16
6. I love you- no matter what I will love you. Sometimes your actions may make me sad, but I will always love you.
7. God is just- although His justice is not of this world, He rewards those that deserve it and punishes those who do not believe and seek forgiveness.
8. God always loves- look for it. It is easy to find the evil, the suffering, but search for the goodness of God. It is here. He is compassionate, loving and gives us more mercy than we deserve. Look for it!
9. Be an example of Christ- the world is hurtful and hateful, be someone who is an example of Christ. Be good, compassionate, forgiving and loving. Be a man after Gods own heart!
10. God wins- although this world is heartbreaking at times, and this life can be really hard, I've read the back of the book and God wins! Good wins! Believe in that.
What will you tell your child when tragedy strikes?
The Lord is good to all;
he has compassion on all he has made. (Psalm 145:9 NIV)
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
his love endures forever. (1 Chronicles 16:34 NIV)
Dear friend, do not imitate what is evil but what is good. Anyone who does what is good is from God. Anyone who does what is evil has not seen God. (3 John 1:11 NIV)
I say to the Lord, "You are my Lord;
apart from you I have no good thing." (Psalm 16:2 NIV)
You, Lord, are forgiving and good,
abounding in love to all who call to you. (Psalm 86:5 NIV)
I saw this on pinterest awhile back and first it cracked me up and second it is SO true! Jesus is everywhere and so are germs. Sadly too many people don't wash their hands and it makes me want to slap them. Not sure how anyone leaves the bathroom without washing hands. So here's a fun reminder for all. Today I finally made some for our bathrooms. One is for Jmans bathroom and the other for the downstairs bathroom. J's is monster theme to match, those are not germs. And the other in one of those fancy frames that I have been wanting for so long and didn't have a use for. Yay! So here is my craft for the week.
Today we played with "rainbow worms"! Also known as colored spaghetti noodles. Well it was much more gross than I expected. Messy I can handle but this was a giant sticky mess. J at first looked at me like, what do you want me to do? Indy went food!!! So I was fighting Indy off to keep him from eating. Jack of course loved it because he's a boy and sticky mess is right up his alley. He took it all out and put back in. Then threw it this way and that. Had it in his hair and on the walls. The sheet was no helps at all, because it stuck to that too. By the time we were done it was all over him, the floor, the walls, me and the dog (who did manage to sneak a few noodles). So for the fact of making a mess rainbow worms are right on target. So messy that I couldn't sweep it, it stuck to the floors. I had to pick each glob up, not so much fun.
What a week! Fun and crazy all wrapped up into one. The week started off with fun at Mckenna Children's Museum. I know how exciting, my niece has her own museum, ;). We used another wonderful groupon and went with some friends. I LOVE this place. I really may buy a season pass. Jman had so much fun and I felt he was safe being free to play. It fit all his creative sides, playing in the kitchen, huge water table outside, music instruments, giant tinkertoys to throw :), and a J size kayak! Yes, yes and more yes! That boy will be in my kayak as soon as I know he wont jump out of the boat. We have already bought another groupon for the place and look forward to going back soon!
Then we had another playdate with a new friend. We enjoyed hanging out at her house and getting to know her better. Then Wednesday we had ANOTHER playdate in Austin with my sweet college roommate and her twins. We love seeing our boys interact now and actually see them play together. I am so happy that I can now spend more time with her and see her boys more often. After all they will be future Crusaders! (ha!) We are so blessed with so many friends to play with. I really don't know how we got everything done when I worked. God is good!
Then Thursday the craziness set in. The house is officially for sale. Only 2 days in and we are all so stressed out. I believe in God's plan for us and i know that He will take care of everything in his time. But being human all I want to do is run and scream!! And then someone tell me when it is ALL over. Philippians 4:6 "Do not be anxious about anything, but with prayer and petition present your requests to God" How those words will play over and over in my head. We had 2 showings yesterday which is awesome!
So early yesterday morning I packed up the toddler and the dog, and had to pick up and pick up again toys that J manages to grab and throw as he walks to the door. Finally got us all in the car and went to the park. It was early, so perfect before the heat hits weather. My big boy climbed the stairs and went down the slide by himself! Ouch he gets more independent everyday. But I was so proud of him and his face of, Woah I did that by myself, was priceless. So of course he did it again. Love that little boy.
Then we went to the Petstore. Oh my a dog, and a toddler is a direct magnet for discussion. We got trapped in several conversations about people and their kids and their dogs. Wow! But we had fun looking at the fish and picking out our aquarium, for someday. I picked out a turtle for me, I mean J. J loved watching the dogs get groomed. We have to make the petstore a usual fun, free stop for him.
We had another showing in the afternoon and my wonderful parents let us hang out there. Indy is a bit distraught that he got to leave the house twice! And both showings were during Jman's naps. So that makes this even harder. So here's to hoping and praying that this goes fast, because selling a house is the definition for the word STRESSED!!
My mom is amazing! You give her an idea and she puts her mind to work and can create it.I came accross the idea to make Jman his own fort. I remember as a kid making a fort with my brother to hide in and do who knows what. So my mom and I went shopping and my contribution to this project is buying the material and that is it. She is so talented and figured this all out herself without a pattern. I always remember my mom sewing as a kid. She could create anything and it is still true today.
We have a picture of me and my mom like this.
The finished project! Like I said she is amazing!!
Jman sadly was napping when she finished so she didn't get to see his first reactions. Jman has his fort and there is only one rule "No Girls Allowed, except Mom." I look forward to the many adventures we will have in his fort. Watching him use his imagination and create his own stories and memories.
Jman already loves it.Here are some customer appreciation photos.
It's been five wonderful weeks with my superhero. We have been busy and about to get very busy starting Monday. Many have asked well how is it staying home? So granted I am on my summer break in my mind, but this is my first summer with Jman. Last summer did not count it was "extended" maternity leave. Jman and I are being adventurous as can be. Everyday he gets smarter. And it blows my mind that he is my child and I am his mom. What a great gift and responsibility. "With great power comes great responsibility". Thats right I quoted Spiderman. :)
With any life changing event there are good things and bad. I knew that. I knew there would be some down side to staying home but some I really was blindsided by. So first off let me say, mothers are mothers. You do what Is best for your family. No one should judge another because you don't know what their situation is. You have to trust all love their families and do what's right for them. ( granted I am not applying this to the many many many stupid mothers I have encountered and should not have kids) I am generalizing that moms that care are doing what's best.
So my reflection for 5 weeks.
I expected happiness! I have not had one bad day in 5 weeks, before I can honestly say I had not had a really good day in several weeks. It's been great not having to wake my child up at 6 drag him out the door. I get to make him breakfast and not pack it up. Everyday I watch him learn something new and amaze me always. Granted I know there will be days when I will be anxiously waiting for Kevin to come home. I know it's not all fun. Don't get me wrong. But I do know on my worst day home, better than my best day at work.
I did not expect to miss my parents so much. It's weird going from seeing them 5 days a week and visiting from 30 min to an hour to not seeing them everyday. I have wonderful parents! I miss them. Although I did manage to see my dad every day last week. ;).
I did expect to miss my alone time. I knew that would be a hard trade off. I have zero alone time. But I can work with that.
I did not expect to lose friendships. I'm not going into details. But I've already been hurt big time. And really was blindsided by it. Still not sure where it came from. To be honest how I choose to work should not change my friendships. I have not changed. Just how I spend my days. So I'm still processing that one. But I've decided to change how I react to people and really just live happier. Bitterness, anger and resentment take too much energy. Life is a gift and we should treat it so. So if you want to be that way I don't need it. I choose to surround myself with those that care about me. This year had enough hurt and I choose to let it go.
I did expect to be judged. I'm not sure when our mindset changed as a culture and we look down on those that do what used to be the norm. So to those I also choose to let go and ignore. As I said we do whats best for our families.
I did expect my dog to drive me crazy. He has an invisible leash stuck to me and is literally under my feet all day long. Love the puppy to death but he drives me nuts. I did not expect J to love him so much. Just wish Indy loved him back. Lol. Maybe someday.
I have enjoyed getting to spend time with my friends and watching J interact with other kids. I am glad to get to reconnect with friends that this year I did not spend much with. I am excited and scared at the fact of moving. I really am just scared of the process. Ready for it to be over. Ready for the changes a move will bring but sad at the distance it will put between my parents. But it will be ok and God has a plan that I never expected this year, and I fully trust the plan he has set before us now.
We had our first busy bag swap on Saturday, thanks to some amazing friends who wanted to help out. I came across this amazing idea from Second Story Window. They had all these great activities to keep little ones busy. These activities are small and easy to carry with you. You can keep them in a diaper bag and pull them out at a resturant or church or wherever your little one is bored. They are small and different to keep their attention and their little hands busy :).
When I came across this blog I was so excited. I wanted to make them all that day for Jman. Well as I continued to read it I realized its much more cost efficient to get a lot of people to help contribute. So I send out an email and had 13 awesome friends jump right on the idea. So we planned it out and chose what you want to make and then we got together and swapped our activities. The idea is you have several people choose one activity and make multiple of it, so that is easier and cheaper than making one of each of the activities. There's several activities Jman can do now, and there are a few older ones that he will be able to use soon! (Theres also a link on the blog to do a preschool swap, for those that want older activities, maybe there will be another swap soon)
Jman has already played with a couple and so far loves them all! We have only used them at home, like when i'm getting his breakfast ready. I have not tried them out in public yet. Although I am tempted to take him to service and let him use him during church.
The swap was great and everyone made such great things. I am so thankful for my awesome friends who went along with me on my crazy idea, and for your time and hard work on these awesome activities.
1. Rainbow Rice - colored rice to be used in many way. We of course love it for our sensory bin! Already a favorite
2. Discovery Bottles - Water bottles filled with various items for them to turn, shake and look at.
3. Pom Pom Stuff It In- Another favorite. A small tub with a hole in top. Where child stuffs pom poms in it. And they do not fall back out. Keeps Jman occupied for quite a while.
4. Magnetic Pom Poms - Pom poms to make pictures on a cookie sheet.
5. Lacing Cards - Use string or shoe lace to lace through the holes. Great for fine motor skills.
6. Reversible Felt Mat - Double sided felt sewn together and several felt pieces to make various pictures.
7. Color Match Wheel - Child matches colored clothes pin to the color on the wheel. I may try matching pom poms until he's ready to pinch clothes pins.
8. Popsicle Stick Puzzles - A picture was modge podges onto popsicle sticks, creating an easy to work puzzle for those little hands.
9. Number Match Wheel - Match the number with clothes pins.
10. Pool Noodle Stringing - or I call it Poodle stringing :) - string the noodle rings onto the string. They also make great stacking towers.
11. Pasta Sorting - Child sorts pasta by color, also could be sorted by shape, or count into the cups, and she also made it so you can string it as a necklace.
12. Color Shades Sorting - Child sorts the various shades of color together. Love how this helps them see blue can be many ways :)
13. Race Tracks - Jman will love this. Trace the race track with cars. There are 4 different tracks to practice. And you can learn your shapes!
Thanks again for all your hard work for the swap. Hope all your little ones love the activities as much as Jman.
Today we played with our awesome rainbow rice that we got in our busy bag swap. ( a post about the swap will come). J loves his rice bins. It keeps him occupied for at least 30 minutes and in toddler time, that's forever. Today I put a sheet down and him on the floor. I think he may like the rainbow rice more than plain. So i will be making more of that soon. As expected he made a huge mess. We played until he started to throw it. Then it was clean up time. We drove our cars in it and beat it like a drum. I really think I need a HUGE box of rice and just stick him in it!
This may be our last messy Monday for a while and may need to make it not so messy Monday. Because I can't have rice everywhere when I need a show ready house.
Although I have quite the helper who wants to sweep up when we're done. He was mad when I used the broom and not him. So where can I find a kid broom??