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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Facing Her Fears

Although we can't see it for all the trees, we do live right off a highway and it is noisy! We are constantly hearing sirens sound their hurried, "wee-woo, wee- woo" calls as they drive by. It is very fitting then that our daughter, age 2, has nicknamed all emergency vehicles, wee-woos. Baby has a shirt with a fire engine on it, and bibs with fire engines and police cars; our daughter calls them his wee-woo clothes. She points out emergency vehicles everywhere we go and when we hear them at home she runs to the window and calls out, "Wee-woo! Where are you? Come here- wee-woo!"

Last week, a friend from church organized a play date at the local fire station; I just knew we had to attend! There was quite a crowd of moms and children who showed up to tour the building and admire the vehicles. The crowd, the firemen gear, and those huge trucks and ambulances made our daughter extremely nervous. Mostly, she stood by me wide eyed and shaking. I'm learning not to push our introverted daughter into new circumstances, so I let her hang back and take it all in but gave her opportunities to explore by asking her questions about the inside of the trucks or about all their gear. She was clearly terrified and fascinated at the same time.

Afraid that my daughter would burst into tears when the trucks pulled out of the station and sounded their sirens, I scooped her up ready to distract and comfort her. (Can I just get a nod here for my super mom strength holding 50+ pounds between my two kids in that hot, humid garage. Honestly, they're giving medals to all the wrong people... Well, maybe not. I am grateful to the men and women who work to save our lives...) Anyway, the huge garage doors went up, little girl kept shaking. The fire truck pulled out, tears shown in her eyes. And then those lights flashed and the loud sirens wailed, and do you know what she did? She leaned forward in my arms toward those big, scary trucks and she roared! Yes, she roared like a lion at that truck and when she turned to face me she was wearing a big ol' grin! As the truck disappeared down the street, she called out, "Go that way, wee-woo!" Then, she stuck her tongue between her lips and blew a slobbery raspberry in its direction. Fears conquered.

*Thank you so much, friend, for putting this play date together for us! Thank you Dear Husband, for finding a ride to work that morning so we could have the car and attend the fire station tour.  And thanks to the awesome firemen who did a really great job engaging the kiddos and showing off all the cool features!

Here's a classic fire engine that was actually used in our town back in the day!
Kind of checking out the ambulance.
Interested, but hanging back for the fire truck presentation.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Polka Dot (No-Longer-Maternity) Skirt

I've decided to demote some of my maternity skirts to the regular, not so pregnant type.
Skirt number one, my polka dot bubble skirt, became an A-line skirt with front ties. 


Basically I cut the skirt apart at all the seams and removed the pregnant belly waist band.  I sort of eye balled an A line skirt, held it up, decided that it'd fit and sewed up the side seams. I went to try it on and... holy hips. Oh yea, those things. Now a zipper was a good option. But, I didn't have a zipper. I also didn't think hauling the two kids to the store for a zipper was worth my time. Especially since we'd have to walk. And walk. And walk some more. We're a one car family and Dear Husband has dibbs for driving back and forth from work. Anyway, I added some inverted triangle pieces to the top of my A line skirt to widen the top enough to slide over my freakishly wide hips and my no way is it that big, and not big in a good way, butt. (Curse you pregnancy! Love you babies.) Anyway, I used some knit fabric cut from another would be maternity skirt to make a waist band and after it was attached everything fit just fine. The fabric around the hips kinda popped out from my triangle improvisation, so I added the front tie to (hopefully) distract from that. 

I had fun making this! My daughter had the very important job of pushing down on that handy little lever to lock my stitches in place whenever I started and ended a seam. She seemed to enjoy that. Ha ha. Get it? Seam, seemed... That's a funny one right there! I'm pretty proud at how well the skirt turned out because most of my sewing equipment is packed away in a box somewhere. That means I had to do it all, even the hem, without pins or measuring tape/ seam gauge, etc. Don't look too closely, k?  

I Believe in the Holy Ghost and in Child Safety

 30 Weeks to bringing our children unto Christ using the nursery manual found on lds.org.
Each morning, we begin our day with breakfast at the dining room table. 
Before we start our hectic day, we take some time to be still...
We pray together and we learn of Him.
In just a few moments a day, we plan to complete one lesson each week. 

Lesson six is:

The Holy Ghost Helps Me

**Time Out** Before I continue on with talking about the Holy Ghost and how we studied lesson six this week, I want to suggest to you awesome articles on how to keep our kids safe. Safely Ever After, is a blog site devoted to keeping children safe from predators. STOP telling your children not to talk to strangers! (They may NEED to talk to one someday.) Instead, teach them about safe people (like a mom with kids) that they can approach if they ever need help (like if they become separated from you in a crowded store.) And, teach them about dangerous people whom they should never trust. While you're teaching them about people, PLEASE teach them about their emotions. Their "gut- feelings." That alarm that each of us experiences in scary situations. Explain to children that they have "uh-oh" feelings and that these feelings are good to have! Whenever they have these feelings, our children should know to run (not walk!) back to a parent to talk out this situation! Always, always, better to be safe than sorry! Take a moment to read more about this and how to explain this to your kids at different stages and ages, here from: Kim Estes of the savvy safety mamas blog. Ok, one last thing while we're talking safety,  PLEASE take advantage of this {FREE} fully illustrated book for the slightly older children, "to talk with them about their bodies, about sex, and about how to keep their minds and bodies safe from sexual abuse and free from the degrading notions about our bodies that are presented in all forms of media" (Jocylyn, author). Download this important book at: http://beinglds.blogspot.com.
Don't wait, visit Safely Ever After, [HERE] right now!

Ok, on to the lesson which is pretty well related to child safety. One of the roles the Holy Ghost plays in our lives is in providing promptings and warnings to guide us and keep us safe. 

How we learned this lesson:

1. Sing about it: I Know My Father Lives can be found online [here] the lyrics to the first verse are as follows:

I know my Father lives and loves me too. 
The Spirit whispers this to me and tells me it is true, 
And tells me it is true.

2. Read about it: John 14:26 reads, "The Holy Ghost... shall teach you all things." And, how does he teach us? 
"The Holy Ghost speaks softly. 
He never shouts, it's true.
He'll bless and help and guide you
In everything you do." (lds.org)

3. Talk about it: Here I quote directly from the manuel, "The Holy Ghost is a member of the Godhead, along with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. He is a personage of spirit (see D&C 130:22). The mission of the Holy Ghost is to testify of the Father and the Son and of the truth of all things (see 3 Nephi 11:36Moroni 10:5). He can also guide us to make righteous choices and comfort us (see D&C 31:11). The way the Holy Ghost speaks to us is described in the scriptures as a “still small voice” (see 1 Kings 19:11–12)" (LDS Nursery Manuel).

4. Personalize it: We had a lot of conversation and time for listening to our feelings this week. We discussed "tricky people" and "uh-oh" feelings along with the emotions love, peace, and comfort when afraid. All feelings that the Holy Ghost conveys to us. 

This lesson can be viewed in its entirety here, onlds.org

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Jesus Showed Us How to Love Others

 30 Weeks to bringing our children unto Christ using the nursery manual found on lds.org.
Each morning, we begin our day with breakfast at the dining room table. 
Before we start our hectic day, we take some time to be still...
We pray together and we learn of Him.
In just a few moments a day, we plan to complete one lesson each week. 

Lesson five is:

Jesus Christ Showed Us How to Love Others
Images available at ldsclipart.com

How we learned this lesson:

1. Sing about it: Our daughter especially loves when we sing together. So, I decided to introduce three songs this week. I didn't expect her to learn them all, or even to try to sing along with me. But, she likes listening to me and this time when she insists, "again, again" I had a couple options to chose from. 

The first, as suggested by the lesson on lds.org, is: I'm trying to be like Jesus. (Music and lyrics here.) The chorus is especially sweet: 
Love one another as Jesus loves you. 
Try to show kindness in all that you do.
Be gentle and loving in deed and in thought, 
For these are the things Jesus taught.

The second song, Jesus Said Love Everyone (music and lyrics here,) was fun to do with the actions suggested by the lesson plan:

Jesus said love everyone; (spread arms out wide)
Treat them kindly too. (nod head up and down)
When your heart is filled with love, (put hand over heart)
Others will love you. (hug self)

The third song, is a childhood favorite of mine: As I Have Loved You. (Music and lyrics here.) 
As I have loved you,
love one another... 

And, *DOUBLE BONUS* lds.org even provides video for two of these three songs in sign language! You'll see the links there on the right when you open up the music via the links given above for I'm Trying to be Like Jesus and, As I Have Loved You. 

2. Read about it: The scriptures tell of countless stories where Jesus Christ showed love to those around him. We chose to read a new scripture story every day. 

The stories we used were: 
     3 Nephi 17:21–24    Jesus blessed the children when he visited the Nephites. 
     John 9:1–12            Jesus gave sight to the blind man.
     Matthew 14:13–21   Jesus fed the thousand with fish and bread. 
     Luke 10: 30 - 35      Jesus gives the parable of the Good Samaritan.
     Mark 1: 34               Jesus heals the sick

To keep her interested: I printed off a clip art picture to represent each story, wrote a verse on the back, and put them in a bag. Our daughter then had the very important role of choosing a picture out of the bag each day! She loved this! The picture prompted discussion and made reading the verses more fun. Having the verse written on the back helped me stay organized so that talking about the stories, and reading a verse from the story went smoothly and quickly, therefore keeping her attention. 

3. Talk about it: Our daughter loves for us to tell her stories before nap time and bed time. It's her way of stalling. So heck, why not use the time to reiterate what we learned during our little daily lesson time? 

4. Personalize it: I made more of an effort to remember and emulate Christ's love in my own actions this week. I found myself with added patience and gratitude toward my little children. 

This lesson can be viewed in its entirety here, atlds.org

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Easy sticky paint recipe!

I just learned about sticky paint! It is so much fun! Wipes clean and isn't toxic... because... all it is is a can of sweet and condensed milk colored with food coloring! I divided the can of condensed milk into six using a large muffin tin, but next time I'll use paper cups or bowls to make clean up quicker. Three drops of food coloring into each round and we had a paint tray just waiting for an eager toddler! This paint is awesome because it's thick and fun to goop on the paper. And, unlike water colors it won't run everywhere or turn to a murky brown when my kid mixes it together on her paper. In fact, it kind of has a marbling effect! I gotta remember to pick up some paint brushes next time I'm at the store! We improvised with q-tips and two sponge brushes today though and they worked well.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Bringing our children unto Christ, week 4.

30 Weeks to bringing our children unto Christ using the nursery manual found on lds.org.
Each morning, we begin our day with breakfast at the dining room table. 
Before we start our hectic day, we take some time to be still...
We pray together and we learn of Him.
In just a few moments a day, we plan to complete one lesson each week. 

Lesson four is:

Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ Love Me

How we learned this lesson:
1. Sing about it: I Feel my Saviors Love; music [here].

              "I feel my Savior’s love 
           In all the world around me. 
              I feel my Savior’s love,
           The love he freely gives me"

And, bonus!, lds.org even provides video of this song in sign language! You'll see it there on the right when you open up the music via the link given above. 

2. Read about it: John 15:10-12, Matthew 18: 5, 10Mark 10:13–163 Nephi 17:11–24.  Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love all of us, and maybe especially the children! The bible testifies of this, as does the Book of Mormon. Reading the scriptures with our kiddos is a great way to show them, and not only tell them, how important we believe the books to be.
3. Talk about it: Share a story about Jesus's love! The nursery manual offers this summary of the story found in the 3rd Nephi scripture listed above:

 "Jesus was teaching the people. He asked them to bring their little children to Him. They sat on the ground around Him, and Jesus knelt and prayed. Then He blessed each child, one by one. Jesus did this because He loves little children (lds.org)." 

4. Personalize it: When we brushed our teeth, I'd point out my kids reflections in the mirror: "Look at you! Is that you?" And, to my toddler, "Repeat after me. Heavenly... Father... and Jesus... love me!"  

This lesson can be viewed in its entirety here, at: lds.org

It is hard to imagine someone, anyone, even deity, loving these kids more than I do! 

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Toddler Feet: Painting Butterflies

Our two year old has requested a purple butterfly room in our new house and I knew just the craft to do for it! Not my original idea, lots of talented moms out there have done this already, but today was our turn! Didn't they turn out cute?! I love them! We just used plain white paper because I'm not sure how I want to use these butterflies in her room yet. More than likely I'll frame them, or modge podge them onto something. Ideas?

We had a lot of fun making these this morning! I even snagged my wiggly 8 month old to get his foot print and handprint stamped. Better add those to the scrap book! Our mess was mostly contained too, except for the little bit that made it to the floor that I didn't notice until after little girl had walked in it and little boy had crawled through it! No biggie- scrub, scrub, scrub!

We didn't want to put the paints away, and really- what's the hurry? So we used sponge brushes and q-tips to create some more masterpieces.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Bringing our Children unto Christ, week 3

30 Weeks to bringing our children unto Christ using the nursery manual found on lds.org.
Each morning, we begin our day with breakfast at the dining room table. 
Before we start our hectic day, we take some time to be still...
We pray together and we learn of Him.
In just a few moments a day, we plan to complete one lesson each week. 

Lesson three is:
I can Pray to Heavenly Father

How we learned this concept this week:
We continued in prayer this week as we normally do; praying before meals and bedtime. Sometimes, our daughter would volunteer to say the prayer so we'd lend her the words to help her do so. Other times, she'd choose which one of us parents should say it. And, sometimes she'd start shrieking mid prayer, "No prayer! Mom! Dad! All done! No more prayer!!" It was all we could do to suppress our laughter while we finished talking to God.

The nursery manuel had a great idea for a prayer visual. I liked it because we worked on recognizing numbers and learning their sequence all the while learning the parts of prayer.


I simply folded a piece of paper and cut slits in the top layer to create tabs which I then numbered 1 through 4. Underneath the tabs, I taped on simple images to represent different parts of prayer.

1. Address Heavenly Father and talk to him. We can talk to God at any time and about anything! This might even be a good time to confess sins and seek his forgiveness.

2. Thank God for our blessings. We brainstormed things to be grateful for and that we may want to include in our prayers: our food, toys, books, baby brother, daddy's job...

3. Pray for ourselves and for others. What are things that we need help with? Listening, sharing, being kind... What are things we know others need help with? Safety while away from home, patience, health...

4. End our prayer in the name of His son, Jesus Christ, Amen!