Monday, May 16, 2011

Monday, Monday

It's 1:08 pm and I'm sitting here in my pajamas! I'm not proud, but I am comfortable! We have been busy, busy so I thought we'd take the morning to just unwind and enjoy being stuck in on a rainy day. It panned out well for me this time.

Last week we had two chances to go out to dinner and be adults without children, it was glorious! It wasn't well planned in that both times we ate hibachi, but that's okay, remember the part about no kids...eating fried worms probably would have been fine too! I can't really remember the last time we went out with friends, no kids, no guilt and one of the two times, no bill :) It reminded me of the importance of still going on dates with your spouse, even after you have kids. We stink at this for two reasons. We don't have the money to go do what Prince Charming would deem as fun AND babysitting. My mom, who is the best mom ever, watches my kids a lot while I go to my part-time job. For this reason, we hesitate to ask her in the evenings and on weekends. We don't want to take advantage...the problem is, if we don't use mom then we have to pay...and that just ramps up the cost of the date even more! Ugh...enough whining!

The next two weekends are packed with parties...graduation, wedding showers and a birthday! I'm looking forward to seeing lots of friends and family but I do like a quiet weekend here and there. I know, I know...who has a quiet weekend with two little kids at home. I just mean no plans. Then we can sit around in our pajamas, have pancakes for breakfast and go to whatever playground we want. That's a quiet Saturday for us...I don't see one in my future!

As you can see, I really have nothing to say today...just rambling on and on about nothing. But that's okay, because again, I'm in my pajamas at 1:21 pm and I'm comfortable. My two beautiful children are taking thier naps, the laundry is done, grocery list is ready and tonight I get to be with some of my favorite females! Life is good, even on a rainy Monday :)

Friday, May 13, 2011

Friday Fun

Today's idea comes from a blend of an idea from Family Fun Magazine, a Jake and the Neverland Pirates episode and my own crazy brain! We don't have a yard to play in and my kids are young, so this version of an obstacle course worked for us. You could do so much more, if you had space, bigger kids and a little extra energy on any given Friday :)

I made an obstacle course for the kids with sidewalk chalk. I tried to take a picture to upload but the computer and my camera are not getting along!

First I drew some circles to represent the tires you have to run through in a real obstacle course. Than I drew a long foot wide rectangle to be a "balance beam". Next were three squiggly snakes to jump over. Finally they had to take a piece of chalk that was sitting just beyond the third snake, and run it to the bucket we keep our chalk in.

It took a good deal of practice, but Miss M got the hang of it. JB can do each thing, he just doesn't choose to do them in order. We had a lot of fun with this and it used up a TON of time. While I drew it all out the kids busied themselves collecting sticks, rocks, pinecones and woodchips. We spent quite a bit of time just practicing and figuring it out. Then we tried to see how fast we could do it. They are excited to show Prince Charming...I'm sure he'll add some "apparatus" to it when he sees my lame attempt. But if the kids are happy, I guess I'm not as lame as he might think :)

Happy Friday!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

All boy!

If you frequent conversations about people and their children you will constantly hear about the differences between boys and girls. But until you live it, it's a little hard to imagine they can really be that different! Certainly personality, birth order, etc. all come into play, but there are a few things going on at my house right now that are constant reminders that I have a boy child :)

1. I am constantly stepping on something with wheels...trucks, trains, cars, planes...we've got it all and it's all over the house!
2. I now know the name of all large, and small, construction vehicles. Do you know the difference between an excavator and a front end loader? I can also spot them from a mile away in anticipation of the excitement that is about to squeal from the back seat! In addition, we have a fire truck book that describes the 50 different kinds of fire trucks...did you know there were 50 kinds of fire trucks????
3. At all times people living and/or visiting my house need to be prepared for a basketball to come flying at their head. His throw is strong, irratic and unannounced...and like I said, it's always a basketball. I really should replace that thing with a yarn ball!
4. His words are few, sometimes I worry that they are too few, but when he speaks you best pay attention. Otherwise he will repeat what you are not listening to (or understanding) until you acknowledge him appropriately. Now Miss M has always been a talker and she likes to be paid attention to when she speaks, But she talks so much that you can give her a lot of hmms, uh huhs, and sures...she'll be satisfied. JB knows what he is saying and he wants you to understand and pursue conversation...what ad was that that always said, "When...talks, people listen" That will be JB's tag line!
5. This is my current fav...the noises that come out of that boys know the ones! Truck noises, airplane noises, burps, grunts, etc. But the best is his newest morning routine. As Prince Charming and I lay sleeping in our bed, Miss M in hers dreaming of princesses and parties, JB wakes up and he...GROWLS!! Like a bear! Until you get him up! It's upsetting the first few times (how did a bear get in my house???), then it's cute (aw, he's growling like a bear)...I imagine in a few days it will be annoying! But I'm enjoying it right now...c'mon over around 5:30 am if you'd like to hear it...we're all up :)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Library Day

I picked this one up at a consignment sale when Miss M was a baby. We started reading it right away and it has remained a favorite, now JB loves it.

It is written and illustrated by Leslie Patricelli and there are others in the series, like "Yummy Yucky" and "Big Little".

We have had some fun with this story over the years. What kid doesn't like to see if things are loud or quiet???

Try these ideas:

1. Give your child a wooden spoon, a drum stick or a princess wand. Let them walk around the house banging on things :) Give them a few rules, like hit gently, tap it three times, ask first if it's a good idea, etc. After they bang on a bunch of items ask them, what was loud? What was quiet? You could even give them particular objects then have them sort them by sound.

2. Go to the park and find a quiet spot. Listen for all the quiet things you can hear. You might be amazed what your little one will pick up on.

3. Make your own Quiet Loud book. This is one of my favorite activities. Sometimes we take pictures, print them out and glue them into a book. Sometimes we tape or glue actual items, depends what the book we're making is about. **fun tip**teacher supply stores, like Beckers, sell blank books. They have bound books and stapled books, depends how much you want to spend. For under $5 you can make a forever keepsake!!

4. Depending on the age of your child, this is a great lead in to a conversation about when and where it's a good idea to be quiet and when and where it's okay to be loud.

Monday, May 9, 2011


Allergies descended upon my home last Thursday into Friday. Seriously, we all woke up with goo exploding from our heads and we all felt lousy! Sorry I didn't post any Friday Fun, it would have been something like...pick up all the used tissues off the floor or see how many times you can sneeze in a row...

Needless to say I have started my first regiment of allergy meds...I quite like them :) Can't convince Prince Charming that he needs them. That's fine, I just don't want to hear that his head hurts, nose is runny or he itched his eyeballs right out of their sockets! I am starting the kids on some today, we'll see if it makes any difference.

The weekend wasn't completely lost, we had lots of fun Saturday at two birthday parties and then Sunday was Mother's Day. I enjoyed some time with my Mom and sister and then we went out to dinner just the four of us followed by a trip to the playground. That was my favorite part of the day, just running around and laughing with my kids!

Everyone woke up this morning tired, stuffy and a tad cranky! We ate lunch at 11:30 and the kids are down for their naps by 12:30...never too early for a nap! Maybe by tomorrow I'll be feeling up to a more snarky and energetic post! I definitely need some sprinkles!!!!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

I'm feeling a little...mushy...

I don't have anything pressing on my mind that I think is worth writing about, well except for an overwhelming love for my family and friends! I don't know what it is, but lately when I look at the people that God has given me to live out my day to day life with, my heart overflows! So I'm going to gush a little...ignore this post if you have a weak stomach...

Prince Charming-say what you will about my larger than life, loud, sarcastic spouse...I personally love him more and more as time goes by. He is such a great dad, you should see him with our kids. He's a natural...I was worried at first, when Miss M arrived he didn't know what to do with her! It didn't help that she only wanted Mommy, he felt pretty rejected for the first 6 months or so. But does he love our kids fiercely!! JB is his biggest fan and Miss M adores her special times with Daddy. I love lots of things about him, but seeing him with our kids has put me over the top!!

Miss M-today at her well check the dr said, "she's painfully shy, isn't she?" This after she introduced her stuffed toys to him in "their voices" and then switched it off just in time to discuss the fact that we all have the last name Miller...all of us and our dr!! I love how out going she is, she makes a friend wherever we go and she's not age specific, she'll talk and play with anyone! She does everything to the nth degree...she plays hard, sleeps hard, and grates on mommy hard...but it's a quality I love about her, it will serve her well in the future. And those blue eyes...

JB-have you seen this kid? He's adorable :) (If I may say so myself!) He's just at such a sweet stage, trying to talk, trying to do everything big sister does and trying to turn into a little man. He can play by himself, he'll eat almost anything and his laugh is ridiculously contagious. He is also a cuddle bug, which I personally can't get enough of...thank you Lord for giving me at least one that likes to just sit on my lap and snuggle!

My friends are too many to name...that right there is a blessing. I have a few girl friends that I've known all my life, they are a true treasure. I have many friends that I've known for years, they too are special. But I am overwhelmed by the women God has given me in the short time we've been at our current church. Friends that will last through to eternity!

I won't go on and on about my Mom, my sisters, the girls I've watched grow up through youth ministry...but I could...because God knows I need people in my life and he has blessed me abundantly!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Library Day

When I was still teaching one of the things I looked forward to in August was getting my specials schedule. For me it meant I could finally sit down and figure out my classroom schedule for the year and begin to really start my planning. Parents you know what I'm talking about, the first day of school you got the list...PE on Mondays, wear your sneakers, Art on Wednesday, Computer Lab on Thursday, etc... Art was always my personal favorite because it was an entire hour without my students. Oh the work I could get done in that hour!!

As a child I loved Library day, I have always loved books! I would bring home the same books over and over, one I remember well was called "The Star-Spangled Banana". It was a joke/poem book that I can still quote from! As I got older my reading turned to more sophisticated things like Little House on the Praire and Anne of Green Gables. I took a break from reading for pleasure two times in my life: during college and during grad school. The college break was more because who wants to be remembered as the college girl with her nose in a book! Grad School was more out of necessity, who can get all that work done, have a full time job, a happy marriage, a clean home, ministry responsiblities and time to read??

I knew when I had children I would be reading to them from the start. I took a book with me to the hospital when I had Miss M and read to her there...I'm such a book nerd! And children's literature is my absolute years in first grade made me a monster...I have 100's of books for kids!

I take my kids to the library on a regular basis. I like to go once a week, but when the weather gets nice it might be more like once every three weeks, depends on the rain ;) Miss M loves books almost as much as I do and JB is on his way. I'm so proud!! I thought I might take a day on my blog, Library Day, and highlight chlidren's literature and some things you can do with your kids to enhance their reading experience. This is really a way for me to let my primary teacher juices flow...

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

by Eric Carle

A personal favorite of mine and Miss M

Activity Ideas:

1. Take out additional books about the life cycle of a butterfly, a good one for young readers is "From Caterpillar to Butterfly" by Deborah Heiligman. Lots of words, but you can use the pictures to make the content length appropriate for your child.

2. Make a caterpillar out of a toilet paper roll, decorate it as you like. Color a picture of a butterfly. Use a brown paper lunch bag as the cocoon. Cut out some green paper leaves. Feed the caterpillar the leaves by stuffing them in the toilet paper roll, make him crawl into the cocoon where the colored butterfly is waiting. Pull him out and...presto...the life-cycle of a butterfly!

3. On index cards draw the foods the caterpillar ate, one on each card. Mix the cards up and watch your child put them in order...great sequencing activity.

4. Do some Eric Carle art. Cut out little squares of many different colors of tissue paper. Draw your child a simple picture of an animal or plant they like, Eric Carle's subject is usually from nature, and let them glue the little squares on like a collage. After it dries, cut out the shape of the animal, add some details with crayons or paint if you're feeling really creative!

5. Check out more of Eric Carle's books and compare and contrast stories, make a list of all the animals you've learned about, or just enjoy immersing your child in well-written and illustrated literature! Some other's Miss M would recommend are "The Very Lonely Firefly", "The Tiny Seed" and "From Head to Toe". JB's favorite is "The Very Busy Spider".

Monday, May 2, 2011

What a difference a few years can make!

I just looked at the calendar and saw that Sunday is Mother's Day...yes, this Sunday! Boy that snuck up on me this year. I was wondering why the second Easter was over we were seeing ads for Mother's Day presents. Is it always this early???

Back in February Prince Charming and I agreed that on Mother's Day and Father's Day instead of gifts, we would make it a point to DO something as a family that everyone could enjoy. Skip the gifts and spend the money on a day at the beach, a nice lunch out or just spend the day at the park getting messy and having fun! We both agreed on this plan, but haven't spoken about it since...I bet Prince Charming has NO idea what this Sunday is :)

I can't help but think back a few years ago...Mother's Day was a torturous day for me for about three years. I wanted to be a mommy more than anything else in the world, always had assumed I would have a big family, just like I came from. God had other plans for me, for us, and they were plans that didn't set well with me.

I have a dear friend struggling right now with infertility, I'm sure she's dreading this weekend. It's not about the fact that you have a great mom, because I sure do! It's not about the fact that your life is full of children and people that love you, mine sure is! It's about the fact, that the dream you have isn't coming true. It's devastating...and those Mother's Day Sunday services were like a knife right through my already weakend heart! "Mother's stand up, let's give them a hand, here's a flower as you walk out the door, let's pray for all the mom's in our lives, listen to this sermon about ______ one of the greatest Mom's in the Bible"...and on it goes. People say things like "take the flower, you'll be a mom someday", "you're time will come, just be patient", "stop thinking about it so much, than it will happen", "adopt" or my personal fav...."you should be satisfied with what God has already blessed you with."

Well meaning people say dumb things, you let you heart rule your thought life and every baby! God has surely blessed me beyond measure with the two treasures I have. He also blessed me with family and friends that stood by and prayed with and for me during that awful period of time. I just still get that knot in my throat on Mother's Day though, knowing that God could have answered those prayers very differently. I will be thanking God for Miss M and JB on Sunday and I will be praying for my friend, and others, who have empty arms that day!