Playgroup!

So we moved our playgroup from Wednesday morning to Tuesday afternoons and this is soooo much better for me. On Wednesday mornings I was scrabbling to get everyone dressed and fed before playgroup. Now I am able to plan out fun activities and such plus now Keith and Heidi backdoor neighbors) can come. Double win!

This month’s theme is The Very Hungry Caterpillar. Last week we played a sorting game I made with my new lamniator

Our craft last week was Plant pals. Of course I was lame and forgot to take pictures (I think)

This week we read the book again and then we made thumb print caterpillars and hand print butterflies. Thanks to my friend Helenanne’s tip clean up was a breeze! Oh you want to know the super awesome paint clean up trick? Dishsoap, yep, just mix a little in with the paint (won’t affect it a bit) and BAM…Mess Be Gone.

Here are too many pics just so you can see our fun!

Someone is very excited that her friends are coming over.

Trying to look innocent.

Sitting on our friend Jaydon

Let the fun begin!

Reagan waiting for me to finish picture taking so we can get messy!

Look what we made!

The Time Out step got a little busy at one point with a double occupation by wowsers, look at that brilliant mess!

It was a wonderful Christmas!

It honestly couldn’t have been better. Such a sweet and simple Christmas. We went to Church in the morning and then came home and opened a present or two. During the afternoon I cooked since we had some lovely friends over for supper. Throughout the day we let her open the rest of her presents. I use the word open rather loosely since I didn’t actually wrap most of them. Just displayed them on the piano.

In keeping with the simple, meaningful family rhythm we are trying to have in our home we decided to keep the focus of Christmas on little family traditions, doing nice things for others, special foods and most importantly the birth of Christ. We wanted the gift giving to be small and not extravagant. That is actually hard to do, especially with a first child. It would have been so easy to go over board as I kept seeing so many neat things she would have loved. In the end I edited it down to 3 gifts (like the Wise men brought) and a few simple stocking stuffers. I also did this for Michael.

I dyed lots of playsilks in rainbow colors. Playsilks are great for imaginative play. They can be anything the child dreams up! A super hero cape, a blanket, a tent, a doll sling, a table cloth or a million other things. I dyed some 11×11 hankie size to put in this wooden tissue holder I decorated. Reggie loves emptying the kleenex or wipes box so this was a big hit.

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I found this little wooden sorting game on Etsy. It also has a scoop to practice those fine motor skills. This is also a nice addition to our play kitchen. Acorn soup anyone?

Michael loves the wooden bus and the peg people. Reagan and him played for a good long time. We may need to work on not throwing these little guys all the time. Kind of hurts when you get pegged with one.

Here first reaction…at first I thought she was excited but then realized she was irritated at something..

It seems her new gifts where getting in the was of her morning piano playing! She bangs on the piano first thing every morning. It’s the best way to wake up!

She loved her new doll cradle! It has been a huge hit! Margaret knit her dress. Isn’t it gorgeous!

It came with the cheapest bedding so I had to make it a cute replacement.

This was just a plain wooden tissue box holder I scored at Hobby Lobby for like $2. A quick paint job and piece of scrap paper and doodads and it is a cute container for all the playsilks. Not too shabby for under $4.

All in all it was a top notch day. I hope you had a beautiful holiday with the ones you love.

Parenting Philosophy part 1

AKA the means by which God can humble you…

Fact: I am an outspoken woman with strong opinions.

Truth: The branch that does not bend in the wind will break.

While I spent all that time praying for a child I used the waiting period to research what type of parents we would be. To define our parenting style. Michael was very much on board although a few of my ideas confused him. But he did take the time to think them over and we worked out a game plan.

Along came baby. And the realization that our game plan may need a bit of tweaking. This was hard for me. Heart-breakingly hard. I was so completely sold on the idea of attached/natural parenting that I didn’t really even consider anything that wouldn’t fit into that style.

And after my unwanted/unplanned C-section (seriously I wanted to homebirth) my milk didn’t come in….a battle I fought for 6 weeks. Can you imagine taking every known herbal supplement, a prescription pill, drinking a gallon of water, and eating a metric ton of oatmeal while pumping every 2-3 hour AND caring for a newborn? I wouldn’t wish that hell on anyone…but it took me 6 weeks to give up the fight. I traded the pump for prozac since at that point in the journey I needed the prozac more.

After I gave up that fight and stopped sobbing 80 times a day I was able to relax and enjoy motherhood more. I loved toting my little snuggly babe around in a sling or carrier. I loved having her near to me and smelling her baby freshness…except she didn’t love it as much. And by about 4-5 months she was mobile and would rather roll all over the floor than be carried. How can this be? She was supposed to spend her days in the sling learning confidence and nurturing and all those lovely attached parenting principles. Nope, this baby crawled at 5 months which was before she could even sit up on her own.

There have been other adjustments along the way but thankfully I have learned that while parenting it is possible you will have to eat a few words…or a lot. Which can be very humbling.

I am learning to be more flexible which is something I strongly suspected I needed to learn.

And the good news is that despite all my best laid intentions going down hill. We still have an amazing child who is smart, strong and well-adjusted.

And isn’t that the goal anyways?

Sprinkling a few feathers

around my nest, just in time for Fall.

I have always wanted a fire place so I would have a mantle to decorate seasonally. I discovered the top of the piano also works brilliantly!

This would look so much better if I would get around to painting the walls the warm harvest gold I have im mind. Michael said I can’t paint them orange (meany) My favorite thing is the wooden plate I found last week that says ‘Twinkle twinkle little star, Do you know how blessed you are?’ What a great reminder! I should take a better picture so you can see it.

I should also find the missing box of fall decorations that I am certain is hiding in the garage. That way I can fall-ify the bookcase and guest bathroom also!

I will leave you with a (bad) picture of two very hot and tired girls from our trip to the Living History Farms in Des Moines

 

Update with a close up of my plate:

Feeling inspired…

Oh yeah…Let the living room make over begin.

Inspiration fabric has been selected

The pictures don’t really do the fabric justice but I love the yellows, reds, orange, greens and pops of turquoise. All my favorite colors. We will be painting the walls the warm harvest gold. I am super excited to get this project started. I am especially motivated by this….

Our new piano. Great condition, gorgeous mahogany wood gotten for a STEAL on craigslist!

Now to start trolling for a new couch. I abhor our couch. It was the one we had down in the basement of our old house. The set we had in the livingroom was much too large to fit in the trailer so we gave it to some friends. I know God will provide a replacement but in the mean time I need to break out the slip cover again. I took it off since Reagan spent her free time pulling it off.

Speaking of Reagan…guess who’s walking!!!!

I have been hunting down fun, cheap and cute DIY projects for home decor since I need new art work and vignettes. On my sewing to do list is slip covers for the throw pillows. I am super inspired by this one. Who wants to make it for me? Just kidding…although if you wanted to buy me the pattern…

I am finding lots of great ideas on Pinterest also…soooo addicting!

Juggling?…..Struggling!

I suspect that if I took a vow of silence that my to-do list would finally start getting smaller.

My biggest challenge is not other people piling work on me since I am a stay at home, pastor’s wife….oh no! It is and always has been me and my big mouth. I volunteer, I take over, and even more often…it was my big idea in the first place.

While I have come to the realization the perhaps I am not superwoman, I still have high aspirations. But right now I need to get some mad time management skills… currently I have sitting on my plate to organize a camp work day, VBS (looming large and in charge), we need to revamp our sunday school program for the kids (I appointed myself coordinator), our weekly playgroup, I decided to make all of Reagan’s clothes and more cloth diapers,gardening to save money on our grocery bill, lots of homework and assignments for our Thursday night class, researching homeschool methods, trying to keep my house clean (and failing miserably), the humongous pile of boxes just chillin’ out in my yard, sorting things for the New Hope rummage sale fundraiser and baking cookies for the bake sale, I also have my heart set on making them a quilt to auction off… PLUS keeping up with this very busy and adventurous girly

 

And the most important thing on my plate is my relationship with God. If I am going to live a life of peace and blessings then my personal prayer and devotion time can not always be the first thing to get cut when I get too busy. I should use that time with God to center me, strengthen me and gear me up for my super busy, super blessed life……so, what’s a girl to do?

I have a couple ideas..but PLEASE share any others you may have.

I am going to make myself a daily schedule. This will include getting up at 6am for my bible study and prayer. I will make a weekly schedule of the housework that needs done and have a time set aside for it each day which will be during Reagan’s first nap. I will use from 8pm-10pm for my sewing time each evening after Reagan goes to sleep. I am also going to hire a “mother’s helper”. That’s a young girl at church who is willing to work for peanuts and will come for 2 hours or so twice a week to play with Reagan while I get other stuff done at home. Since Reagan is a climber she requires constant attention lest she climb the stairs, grab the bird, eat carpet fuzz… I also want her to be engaged and since we don’t put her in front of the T.V. (we don’t even have one) it required me to be creative. Michael is very supportive and has agreed to pray for me and this new schedule which I will start tomorrow. It will just take some prayer and practice to find the rhythm of our home!