Monday, April 30, 2012

With Great Blessing Comes Responsibility

For the past couple years, a friend and I would meet up and walk periodically at night. Our group of two grew to three when I was pregnant with Caroline and we became much more consistent. We have continued to multiply and now have up to six girls that will meet to fellowship and exercise several times a week. Sometimes it's a little tough to coordinate everyone's schedules (especially since there are quite a few kids we have to work around), but it's always a great time and well worth the effort. 

While the exercise is fantastic (I definitely believe the consistent walking contributed to a great labor and a very easy recovery with Caroline), the conversations we have are often the best part (they range from convicting to downright hysterical). Last night was definitely one of those nights. We got on the benefits of being a stay at home mom and talked about all the things we would miss out on if we were working and someone else had our babies all day long (I know that not everyone enjoys the blessing of being able to stay home; I know moms who can't and they work unbelievably hard to make sure they have special moments with their children in the evenings.). 

I can't imagine not being with my kids all day, every day. There are definitely times when I feel like I need a couple hours to myself, but I can't fathom missing the little things I get to experience on a daily basis. Who would get the hugs I get all day long? Would I have gotten to see Riley's first steps? Would I get to hear her call donuts donkeys? Would someone be teaching her Bible verses? Who would be kissing boo boos and eating the special cupcakes that Riley "makes"? Who would cuddle with Caroline and wipe up her spit up? Would I have missed her first huge smile? What a blessing it is to be home with my kids. 

With great blessing comes great responsibility. After we talked about all the perks of being with our kids, we started talking about the huge responsibility it is to raise our children for the Lord. We discussed the importance of being consistent and the fact that what we're doing now is going to have a life-long impact on these little people God has placed in our care. Our conversation encouraged me to reevaluate my goals as a mother; to pray even more about this sometimes daunting task that I do on a daily basis. So I do crafts with Riley every day and that's great, but am I spending as much time on spiritual things? So we draw with sidewalk chalk and blow bubbles, but am I teaching her enough about things with eternal importance? 

If my walking buddies are reading this I have to let them know I'm thankful for them. Our chat last night made me stop and think about my parenting and reconsider some things in my life. Thanks for being willing to discuss weighty topics and help me become a better parent, friend, and Christian.

As iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.
Proverbs 27:17

miscellany monday at lowercase letters

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Photos and Funnies: Week of 4.22.12

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Riley had some doozies in the funny department this week.
  • A lady who used to live in Florida and attend our church sent us a Precious Moments figurine for Caroline. Riley has constantly been asking for "Caroline's monkey." 
  • Riley was sitting in her high chair talking to her Cheerios: "Alright, boys and girls, alright!" I'm thinking she must have picked this up in Sunday school. 
  • Again in her high chair eating a snack, she looked at me and said: "I'm Daddy's wife and Caroline's wife." 
  • When we  were driving through the Dunkin' Donuts drive thru with my mom: "I want a donkey, Mommy!! I want a donkey!" Apparently donkey = donut. 

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Preschool at Home: Week 2

I didn't do as much planning for week number two, but I felt like it went better overall than week one. Perhaps that's because Riley and I were already in the groove from the previous week. I think she wanted to paint and do the other crafty things because she had enjoyed those projects last week.

This week, our theme was "under the sea," I guess. Our letter was F (for fish), our shape was circle (because fish blow bubbles and bubbles are round), our color was blue, our Bible verse was Colossians 1:16 (For by him all things were created...), and our sign was fish (I kind of forgot about the sign until later in the week so we might not have it completely down). We did crafts, read books, and did other activities that helped us learn all those things.

My favorite part of this whole preschool adventure is the crafts. This week we did a handprint octopus (pictured below), a shaving cream starfish (right), an Eric Carle inspired fish picture (pictured below), and more. Riley seemed to get into the activities more this week than last week - surprising since we weren't always using pink supplies. My favorite craft ended up being one I hadn't actually seen on Pinterest or a preschool site. I couldn't believe I actually came up with an idea on my own! If you've seen it somewhere, please don't burst my bubble and tell me (just kidding, of course). I'm quite confident that we aren't the first ones to do it, but call me immature for being happy that I thought it up all by myself (I think Riley's independent streak is rubbing off on me). 

Without further ado, here it is!


And in case you'd like to try it, here's how it can be done. 


-one (ore more) adorable toddler
-paint (I used two shades of blue and a splash of green for a little variation)
-paint brushes or sponge
-paper plate
-piece of white card stock
-green and yellow tissue paper
-great white northern beans (or whatever you have on hand)
-fish template (I used this one and printed it at 20%)
-school glue
-one googly eye

Before you begin: 

Before you sit down to start this activity, print out the fish from the site above and cut it out. Don't worry that it's black on one side. Your preschooler be working on the other side and won't even notice when she's done. If you have a young toddler, you'll also want to cut the green tissue paper into strips and the yellow tissue paper into squares (about 7).

  1. Prepare the paint for your toddler and have her paint the paper plate. We used a paint brush, but I think a sponge would have created a really cool effect! I tried to get the same look by having Riley "stipple" rather than use long strokes. Allow the plate to completely dry. 
  2. Cut your tissue paper into strips and twist them together at one end.  Glue the tissue paper bunch to the bottom of the plate. We just glued it at the bottom so it would be flow-y and look like a plant on the bottom of the fishbowl or sea floor. 
  3. Spread glue little by little across the bottom of the plate and sprinkle the beans on top of the glue. Press down gently so they stick well. (This was Riley's favorite part! Be prepared to sweet up lots of beans from the floor.). 
  4. Coat the card stock fish with a thin layer of glue. Have your little one place the yellow tissue paper all over the fish. Don't worry if it overlaps the fish. You can go back and trip it later. Once the glue dries, add the googly eye.
  5. Glue your fish onto the paper plate and let everything dry thoroughly. 
  6. Have your child show off her work! 



And just in case you're wondering what Caroline's preschool activities include, she's working on smiling, watching mobiles, and being cute these days. 


 then, she {snapped}Photobucket

Friday, April 27, 2012

Enjoying the Little Things


I love the little faces that my baby makes. She was watching her mobile for the longest time the other day and you could tell it was amusing her by the sweet smiles she was giving it (must admit, I'm a little jealous of the mobile). We need to remember to find joy in the little things, too.


I love how my husband and my little girl have picnics on the porch. This is what I found when I went to clean up the porch the other day after they had been playing. 


I love books. Riley and I made our first trip to the library this week. She had such a great time picking out books... she thinks a great book is a pink book. We'll work on that. 


I love watching my girl enjoy books. I hope she always likes books and reading. Our prayer is that her favorite book will be the Bible and she will read it daily for her whole life. 


I love the way my husband takes time after a busy day to spend time with his little girls. Riley loves to hear the garage door go up and Daddy come through the door. I appreciate him more than he knows. 

friday favorite things | finding joy

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Not So Wordless Wednesday

Everyone says don't compare your children but can we really help it? Not all comparisons are bad, that's for sure. So far, Riley and Caroline have been very similar babies - good natured, excellent sleepers, totally adorable. It's funny because when I look at Caroline, I see so much of Riley. When I put the pictures side-by-side, though, the similarities aren't as blatant as I thought. 

One thing is for sure, Caroline is much chunkier than Riley was at this age. Caroline is 6.5 weeks old. At this age Riley was still comfortably fitting into newborn clothes (she had just grown out of preemie sleepers). Today, I put most of the newborn clothes away. For some reason, this makes me feel like Caroline's "babyhood" is passing even more quickly than Riley's. I have to admit I enjoyed having a tiny baby the first time around; it made her seem younger longer (even though she met milestones very early). 

And before this becomes an excessively wordy post, I'll leave you with these two photos. They were both taken at 11 days old and by the same photographer. Enjoy the cuteness.

Riley Grace at 11 days

Caroline Elizabeth at 11 days

 then, she {snapped}

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Perfect Day


Today was a perfect day! For central Florida, the weather was phenomenal - highs in the mid seventies with clear blue skies. I had my 6 week followup appointment (post Caroline), so David planned to take today off to help me with the girls and spend a little bit of time together. We went to the doctor, ate a nice lunch at a barbeque restaurant, and headed to a park by a lake. 

I brought my camera in hopes of snapping a picture of Caroline with the doctor who delivered her, but she stayed with David during my appointment because she was awake. Even though I didn't get that shot, I'm so glad I had my camera with me because I got some adorable photos of Riley at the park. 


We might have made a bad decision letting her play in the fountain, but she had such a wonderful time. She thought it was a pool or splash park, I guess, because she kept asking us to get in. We had to stop her from going in head first several times... this child has no fear. I'm glad we decided to give her swimming lessons last summer.


Even though they didn't turn out all that great, I got the first pictures of me with both of my babies. I meant to ask our photographers to get a couple when we had Caroline's newborn/family shoot done, but I totally forgot. I have lots of David with the two girls because I'm always the one behind the camera. 

The whole day I found myself thinking how thankful I am for my wonderful little family. God has certainly blessed us beyond measure; may I always be mindful of that and give him the honor and glory for what he has done in our lives.

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Miscellany Monday @
lowercase lettersand
 then, she {snapped}

Monday, April 23, 2012

DIY Birthdate Print

Let me just start out by saying this: I love Pinterest! It's a fantastic site for visually bookmarking your favorite stuff on the web. I'm not a fan of looking through a list of links trying to remember which is the one I'm looking for at the moment. With Pinterest, I'm able to figure out what I want quickly and easily. I have boards for recipes, crochet patterns, blogs, and girly crafts among many others. 

As I was checking the boards about a year ago, I came across a super-cute birthdate print that I would love to have in my girls' room. When I followed the link, it took me to Etsy where it was on sale for $34.00. Unfortunately, I don't have $70.00 to spend on a print for each girl so I decided to try coming up with something similar. The end result might not be quite as attractive (I don't have any fancy software... I just used Word), but I'm really happy with it. Here's what I came up with: 

caroline birth print
If you're interested in making one for yourself, I think you'll be very surprised at how easily it can be done.

  1. Open a Word document and create four text boxes. Make them tall and skinny so that the numbers go on top of each other rather than side-by-side. I decided to line up the first and third text boxes and the second and fourth text boxes, but you can do it however it looks good to you. 
  2. Write out the date in the format you'll be using it( I know it sounds crazy, but you won't be entering the numbers in order since they're going on top of each other). Plug the numbers in the corresponding text boxes. 
  3. Center another text box along the bottom of the date you just created for your child's name. 
  4. Center one last text box below the name for the stats. I used size 13 font and expanded it by 6 points. I made the @ and the & a little bigger to help them stand out. Play around until you come up with a look that you like. 
  5. Adjust the fonts and colors to suit your fancy. I chose Bakersville (size 250) for the numbers, Old Script for the name (adjust to make the name fit how you like underneath the date), and Futura (size 13) for the stats at the very bottom. 
The possibilities are endless. I can't wait to make one for a friend who's expecting her second right now. I think this would be easily modified for a wedding gift, too.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Photos and Funnies: Week of 4.15.12

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Riley's funnies of the week:
  • She walked into the bathroom and saw that the trash can had been knocked over: "Trash can is dead, Mommy!" 
  • I said, "Look Riley! It's raining!": "Put it on facebook."  
  • She picked up my phone and told Siri: "Call Lynn mogul." (mogul=mobile)
  • While sitting on the potty one morning she yelled to David who was in the other room: "Daddy-o, how'd you sleep?"