Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Week 7: Moses

Week 7: Moses
Verse: "When I'm afraid, I will trust in you." Psalm 56:3 (NIRV)

Moses is a major Bible character. There's way too much to cram into one week, so for this unit we focused on 2 parts: the baby in the basket and the burning bush. Here are the activities we did.

On Monday, we read the story of Jochebed putting Moses in the basket and sending him down the river. I looked up The Prince of Egypt on Netflix to show Lucy a clip of Moses catapulting down the river amid hippos and alligators and waves. Not gonna lie. I was fighting back tears watching Moses' mother relinquish him to the river. Can you imagine?! I can't even think about it. We discussed how scared Jochebed must have been, but how she trusted God to take care of her baby. (Verse.)

We went on to make this little game. It's admittedly a little morbid, but Lucy was none the wiser. She just thought it was fun. :-)

I got this idea from a game Lucy was playing online. Basically, Baby Moses starts at the top corner and has to make his way through the "river" down to the palace. The catch is:
You have to watch out for alligators!! (I used my dad's old business cards. Don't mind that. Haha.)
We ended up playing this a couple of ways. First, we just moved Moses along step by step, watching out for alligators and finding a different route every time we ran into one. It's kind of a memory game - you have to remember where the alligators are and avoid them the next time you go through.We also played a 2 player version where we rolled a dice, moved the correct number of spaces, then checked to see if we landed on an alligator. If you land on an alligator you lose a turn. Otherwise you get to go again. Lucy loved it. Here are the pictures I found online: alligatorpalace (Look familiar? Haha - I didn't have much luck when I googled "Egyptian Palace."), baby moses.

While we were on the water theme, we played a little game of "Does it Sink or Does it Float?" We talked about how Moses floated down the river in his basket, filled up the kitchen sink, and found a bunch of things to test out. I used to do this with Lucy at our old house and forgot how much she loved it. She spent an hour and a half playing in the sink the day we did this, and has asked to play the sink/float game every day for the past week!

Final result on the fridge with the Baby Moses painting:
Baby Moses floats!
Then we read about the burning bush, and how Moses was scared to do what God told him. (Verse.) It happens to be fall, and our yard happens to be covered in vibrant red, orange, and yellow leaves, so I decided to incorporate them into our lesson. We went on a leaf hunt, then made a burning bush with our finds:

Finally, we talked about how Moses was scared to obey God, but he trusted in Him (verse) and God gave him the power to do amazing things! Lucy's children's Bible highlights the story of Moses' staff turning into a snake. I've been trying to think of a way to incorporate this cool Pinterest project, so I tweaked a little to fit this week.

We pretended that the worms were snakes. Haha. Same idea, right? Here she is doing her experiment:
It was kind of a fail. The worms just bobbed around a little in the vinegar. They didn't do anything too exciting. Maybe we needed more vinegar? Or should've soaked the worms in more baking soda? Let me know if you try it and have more success. I let Lucy put a couple scoops of baking soda straight in the jar of vinegar to watch it fizz and bubble. She enjoyed that the most. 

Stay tuned for a fun week of plagues! Haha. 

Monday, October 28, 2013

No Nap + No Rest = No Peace . . . Advice Needed!

I recently came to a sad realization: Lucy is done napping. She used to fall asleep once or twice a week during rest time, but it's been weeks without a wink of sleep and I'm finally accepting that she's outgrown the nap. (I'm not accepting it gracefully, but I'm accepting it as truth.)

I love my kids. (How many times have I made a disclaimer like this?) I love reading books and doing crafts and laughing with them. But I'm realizing more and more how much I need a little down time during the day. So Lucy is still having an hour of rest time. I let her pick 5 books to take upstairs, put a CD on for her, and tell her she can read and play, but she needs to stay in her bed. Great idea, right? Ugh.

She screams "Mommy!!!!" down the stairs pretty much every five minutes to tell me, "I need a new CD. I want to play when I get up. Is it time to get up yet? I don't want to stay in my bed anymore. I think I heard Lena. I see a bird out the window."

So I put a clock in her room and showed her that the big hand has to make it all the way back around before she can get up. I told her that every time she calls for me, she'll add 5 minutes to her rest time. It doesn't deter her. She keeps calling for me, and it makes me SO ANGRY!!! I've tried ignoring her, but she just screams incrementally louder. Of course, Lena is sleeping in the room right next to her, so I can't let her screaming get out of control.

I've spanked her and scolded her and done everything else I can think of to stop the madness, but nothing works!! I can't really shift the sleeping arrangements. My parents room is not heated, so I can't stick either of the girls in there. Luke's room is so full of gadgets and gizmos and temptations that I don't dare put Lucy in there. And his room is directly below Lucy's, so even if I put Lena in there, she'll still hear Lucy's screaming. 

I am at my wit's end. Any suggestions to stop the yelling and create more truly restful rest time???

Saturday, October 26, 2013

The Saturday 7

1. The day after I wrote in Lena's 9 month update that she doesn't pull up on furniture, she did this:
See those very enticing choking hazards (aka bracelets)? That's all it took to get her to pull herself up! Haha.

2. This is her other new trick: (she doesn't really start until 9 seconds in)
She does this alllll day. Haha.

3. My mom, Justin, Lucy, and Lena all have nasty colds this week. (This is Lena's 3rd in as many months. Grr.) I've been getting sinus headaches and coughing. It's coming for me. Nooooo!!!! I had horrible headaches most of my teen years and into my early twenties. After having Lucy they all but stopped. Thank you, hormones! Let's keep that going! Having headaches again this week reminded me how awful they are . . . and what a baby I am.

4. Justin and I finally watched the last few episodes of The Office this week. I loved it! I laughed, I cried, I ran the whole gamut of emotion! (I just love the word gamut, don't you?) I especially appreciated the struggle in Jim and Pam's marriage, and how they came out stronger for it in the end. Such a great show.

5. Lucy's new favorite show is Pinky Dinky Doo. So when I got a shipment of diapers from Amazon Mom this week, I knew she'd be thrilled to play with the box. She dubbed it her own story box and went to town drawing stories on it. Lena got a box too. :-)

6. Exciting news: I finally won something!! I actually gave up on entering sweepstakes a while ago. It was sucking up too much of my time, and I wasn't winning anything. But I got an email about a Veggie Tales themed house party, and decided to try for it. Basically, I was signing up to win a party based on the new Veggie Tales Christmas movie. They'll send me party supplies, the movie, coupons for my friends to buy the movie, and a few favors. You have to promote yourself a little, so I wrote about how I host a Birthday Party for Jesus every year, and they picked me!! They want me to host it on a specific date, but it worked with my schedule, so I'm gonna do it! Woohoo! So excited to finally be a winner! :-)

7. Tonight is our annual small group Halloween party. I can't wait! My brother's girlfriend is coming over to do my hair and make up for me, since I'm totally inept and she's awesome. My costume is going to be epic as usual. :-) Stay tuned!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Lena: 9 Months

I had a really hard time getting Lena to sit still and smile this month. I wish I could get a picture of her real smile (not her ridiculous open-mouth shriek thing). It's so adorable! But she freaks out every time she sees the camera!

Before starting this entry, I went back and read Lucy's 9 month entry to see how they compare. It's funny how I'd forgotten so much, and how similar my girls are! It's also interesting to see how differently I parent. I was so worried about Lucy starting solid foods, started her so much earlier, and had tried so many more new foods with her by this age. We're just kind of moseying along, taking it slow with Lena. Anyway, here's the 9 month update!

She has been waking up ridiculously early. Like between 6 and 6:30. She usually plays in her bed for 15 minutes or so before she starts to cry and I get her up. We come downstairs, make a strong pot of coffee and play for a while, but she doesn't last long before getting tired again. I usually put her down for a nap an hour after she wakes up. Because of that, she's gone back to a 3-nap-a-day schedule. Morning, afternoon, and early evening. And then she's in bed by 7 to 7:30.

Like I said, we're just moving slow. I've been trying to stretch her feedings to every 4 hours instead of 3, so I've been giving her more actual food. She and Lucy usually have waffles and bananas together for breakfast. She has puffs for an afternoon snack, then veggies for dinner - she loves canned carrots and peas. I try to feed her baby food every once in a while, but she just plays with it and makes a big mess. 

I have 2 nursing bras. The underwire poked through one of them so I threw it away. I debated whether or not to buy another one and realized I only have 3 more months of breastfeeding to go! It's a bittersweet realization. I generally love breastfeeding, but I've had more problems nursing Lena than I did with Lucy. I get a huge clog (in the same spot every time) about once a month. I can usually massage it out within a couple days, but that leads to a milk blister, which is horrendously painful. It takes a week or more to heal, only to start the whole annoying routine all over again a few weeks later. 

Lena has also never taken a bottle. I love being a stay at home mom, and love being with her, but I would also really love to be away from her for more than 3 hours at a time once in a while! I'm already worried about how I'm going to do Black Friday shopping this year! 

Nothing new here. She's still waking up every 3 hours to eat, sometimes less. She nurses in 5-10 minutes and goes right back to sleep. I'm beyond frustrated. Justin and I have thought about going to see a late movie or something since we live with my parents and have a built in babysitter, but she doesn't even sleep in longer stretches than 3 hours!! Lucy learned to sleep through the night by crying it out, but our living situation doesn't really afford us that option this time around. I keep hoping that as she starts to eat more real food during the day, she'll be fuller and start sleeping through the night on her own. 

Milestones and Personality
The thing that struck me the most as I read Lucy's 9 month update was how similar the girls in their obsession with me. Haha. Conceited much? I wrote that Lucy isn't content just to sit on my lap, she has to be fidgeting, climbing all over me, and practically trying to get back inside my body! I feel the same way about Lena. I must be in her line of sight at all times. And usually that's not good enough. I must be holding her. But that's not good enough either. She has to be climbing on me. It honestly drives me a little crazy!!! 

She started giving kisses this month. It's adorable. She grabs my cheeks with her chubby little hands, opens her mouth wide, and plants it right on my lips. 

For a couple weeks, she waved when we said, "Bye-bye" or "hi!" But she doesn't do it very often anymore.

My mom has been trying to teach her "So big!" For a few days, every time Lena saw my mom, she'd throw her hands up in the air with a big smile. Haha! But she doesn't do it on command. 

She's a funny little monkey. I've never seen a baby use her feet so much. Lena holds things with her feet, rips paper with her feet, etc. She's kind of odd. Haha.

She also sometimes resembles a dog. When she's tired, she bats at her ears like a scratching dog. Haha. 

Her balance is getting better. She can hold on to furniture pretty well, but doesn't cruise yet. And she doesn't have the arm strength to pull herself up on furniture. She only stands there when I lift her up next to it. I've also been working with her on standing unassisted. She's getting the hang of it!

She loves to talk and babble. She says "mama" all the time, though I still don't think she knows what it means. Her other favorite "word" is "yaya." And she's just started to whisper "pa pa pa." I know Lucy whispered that too at this age. So funny! 

I love getting her up from her nap. She wakes up so happy and gets SO excited to see me. She has the biggest toothless grin, shrieks like a little banshee, and kicks her legs like crazy. 

She chews on everything, but doesn't have any signs of impending teeth. Fine by me as long as I continue to breastfeed! Haha.

She is our sweet, precious, silly girl, and I can't believe she's going to be a year in 3 months!!!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Week 6: Joseph

Week 6: Joseph
Verse: "I will never leave you. I will never desert you." Hebrews 13:5b (NIRV)

Last week we read the story of Joseph. We started with his coat of many colors and talked about how unfair it was that Joseph got a cool coat while his brothers got nothing. I asked Lucy if she'd be upset if I gave Lena all the Halloween candy and didn't let Lucy have any. Then we talked about how his brothers sold Joseph and he had to go to Egypt - far from his family and everything he knew. We discussed how scary and lonely that would be, but how God was still with him! (Insert verse here.)

That day, we made a coat of many colors out of a paper bag and strips of construction paper.

Lucy also painted this picture from the internet: Joseph's Coat of Many Colors.

On Friday, we learned about Joseph's time in jail and how unfair and scary that was. But God was still with him! (Insert verse here.) Then we discussed how God elevated Joseph to a place of power and gave him an important job to do. I've been trying to teach Lucy her teen numbers. After ten, she counts something like this, "Eleven, twelve, fourteen, eighteen, seventeen, thirteen, twenty!" So I drew a rough outline of a barn on a piece of red paper and numbered it.

Then I printed off 20 pictures of wheat and numbered them as well. Lucy glued each number onto its corresponding number in the barn to represent Joseph "filling his coffers." Haha. (I didn't use that phrase with her.)

I intended for us to watch this Veggie Tales movie, but we never got around to it. Maybe we'll do it this week as a review. :-)

A Note on Bible Memorization
Lucy has done amazingly well with memorizing her verses. Part of it is just because she inherited my knack for memorization, but I've also been putting verses to music, which I think is a huge help. I take tunes she already knows and incorporate the verse of the week. For instance, we put "Trust in the Lord with all your heart" to the tune of "Flush and wash and be on your way" from Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood. (Her favorite episode. Haha.) And we put this week's verse to the tune of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. Sometimes you have to tweak the tune a little to make the verse fit, but it's a close enough resemblance, that Lucy can handle it. :-) We've also been listening to Steve Green's Hide 'Em in You Heart CD on Spotify throughout the day and today I heard Lucy singing to herself, "When I am afraid, I will trust in you." Love it!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Psalm 4: The Path to Peace

I wrote in my Saturday 7 about my new Bible Study method of dissecting the Psalms line by line. I struggled a little with Psalm 4. It seemed so random at first. But then I started to make connections, and loved the end result. This is one that has stuck with me since I did it, so I thought I'd share it with you. Some of my observations are pretty obvious, but some were eye opening to me.

Psalm 4
1. Answer me when I call to you, O my righteous God. Give me relief from my distress; be merciful to me and hear my prayer.
 - Mercy: not getting what we deserve. David asks God to withhold his wrath and hear his prayer.
2. How long, O men, will you turn my glory into shame? How long will you love delusions and seek false gods?
 - Reminds me of Romans 1:23 "[they] exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images . . ."
 - Why do we worship anything other than God? Because it's easier, tangible. But they're delusions! They
have no power!
3. Know that the Lord has set apart the godly for himself; the Lord will hear when I call to him.
 - God hears the prayers of those who are set apart.
4. In your anger do not sin; when you are on your beds, search your hearts and be silent.
 - These verses seem so disconnected. What do prayer, idols, and anger have in common?
 - Don't sin when you're angry. Search your heart for the root of the issue and be silent - the most likely sin one will commit while angry is saying something he shouldn't. 
5. Offer right sacrifices and trust in the Lord. 
 - Trust God with the situations that cause anger. 
6. Many are asking, "Who can show us any good?" Let the light of your face shine upon us, O Lord.
 - God is the only good. The only one who won't disappoint.
7. You have filled my heart with greater joy than when their grain and new wine abound.
 - Why do we continue to worship idols and chase worldly happiness when God is the true source of joy??
8. I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.
 - When we present our petitions to God (v. 1), surrender our idols (v. 2), trust God with our anger (v. 5), and find our joy in him (v. 7), we will have peace (v. 8)!

Since doing this, I've been reminding myself to choose God over my idols (laziness, selfishness), because I'm going to get more joy from him than I will from those other things. This Psalm was also a good reminder not to sin in my anger. I know that, of course, but sometimes I need to be reminded. :-)

Saturday, October 19, 2013

The Saturday 7

We had a busy week! Here are some of the highlights.

1. On Tuesday we went to Schwallier's with some friends. The kids had so much fun. We let them play to their hearts' content at each little "station" (bunny and goat petting areas, water play, corn play, cow train, etc.) and spent 3 hours there! (Including a little picnic.) We're so blessed to have good friends!

2. I made a meal from Plain Chicken this week: bacon cheeseburger soup. It was much less soup and a lot more cheesy potatoes with burger and bacon in it. Haha. It was delicious, but not cheap. Do you know how much 2 lbs of Velveeta costs?? I was shocked! ($5.49 in case you were wondering). Also, probably not great for the waistline . . .

3. I think I've written before about Lucy's imaginary friends. She has a whole slew of them, and they come everywhere with us. I actually get kind of annoyed with "them" sometimes. We'll be riding in the car and Lucy will say something like, "Look at that barn!" I'll respond with, "Wow, yeah, that's cool." And she'll say, "No, Mommy. I was talking to my friends." Or if she ever says anything naughty to me and I tell her not to talk like that, she'll immediately say, "I wasn't talking to you. I was talking to my friends." Grrr. But on Wednesday as we were getting out of the car at the library Lucy said, "My friends aren't here today. I sent them to the grocery store." When I asked if they were getting us some groceries she said, "No. I'm sick of them. I left them there." Lol. Apparently that's where you send kids when you get sick of them! (Too bad they came home the next day.)

4. I've been feeling convicted lately about how little time I spend studying the Bible. I'm feeling a little bit burned out by the rules and guidelines of the New Testament and trying to understand more about the character of God so I decided to start reading through the Psalms. The first chapter is about meditating on God's word. I remember Pastor Chris telling us once that meditating means to chew on. He's also talked about how he journals through passages of the Bible by writing down each verse and studying it. Lena's been waking up really early and then going down for a nap before Lucy even wakes up for the day, so I've been doing my Bible study in that little window of time while they're both sleeping early in the morning. I'm actually really enjoying it. I love the idea of journaling, and originally aspired to something like this:
Photo Credit
This is what mine looks like:
Haha. I'm not artistic enough. I need order and symmetry.
5. We went to Red Robin today to cash in my "birthday burger." Lucy has a strong history of puking at Red Robin. I'm pretty sure she's puked every time she's ever been there. I had a strong suspicion that she's sensitive to whatever they fry their fries in, so we told her beforehand that we were not going to let her have very many fries. She said, "I don't want any. They make me puke." Ha! Justin and I both ate them, but she didn't have one . . . and she didn't puke! She scarfed down her entire bowl of macaroni, but never even winced. Aha! Suspicion confirmed! When we got home tonight, I did some internet research and discovered their fries are fried in soybean oil. So I decided to look up some of her other known puking triggers. Pizza Hut pizza: soybean oil in the dough. Culver's french fries: fried in soybean oil. Hmmmm. What's odd, though, is that it's just fast food that makes her puke. Soy in all the processed foods we eat at home doesn't bother her. Apparently she's only sensitive to foods that have been fried in soybean oil, not those that contain it. Good to know!

6. After Red Robin, we headed to the mall to spend a little of the birthday money that's been burning a hole in my pocket. Oh, the mall. I could sit there and people watch all day. I saw a lot of skinny, beautiful people with perfect hair. I also saw a lot of weird people, and a lot of girls wearing leggings as pants. The main thing I wanted was a pair of American Eagle jeans that fit really well. I told myself to go in there, find what fits, and not worry about the size. I was pretty happy with the number I ended up with . . . even if it is 8 sizes bigger than I wore in high school! Lol. I also got some great deals on shirts at Aeropostale. I've been trying to dress more like an adult, but I couldn't pass up Aero's prices!!

7. We drove the extra 10 miles to go to Rivertown Mall so Lucy could ride the carousel. Miss Elaina on Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood lives in a Merry-Go-Round, and Lucy has been talking about going on a "miracle round" for months! She was so excited when she saw the one at the mall, picked out the prettiest horse, climbed on, and . . . started to get a little nervous. Haha. Once we got going, though, she totally loved it! 
Lena liked it too:

Saturday, October 12, 2013

The Saturday 7

Usually when I write these, I get about 4 things, then I stare at my computer screen for an hour trying to think of the last 3. Today I have 8 things jotted down! Woot!

1. Justin taught Lucy how to play Simon Says. Something he's good at is teaching her new things that I would write off as too hard. Turns out he was right - she's a pro! I'm so impressed by her ability to listen and react appropriately. (Now if only we could apply that to obedience in her day to day life! Haha.)

2. Thursday was my 28th birthday. It was such a great day. Niki brought me donuts for breakfast. Lucy woke up with a big smile, saying, "Happy birthday, Mommy!" We had siblings + mom lunch (-poor Lib who has to work all the time) at B.C. Pizza. (Their lunch buffet is ahhmaaaazing!) I discovered new episodes of Bones on Netflix while the girls were napping. Justin got home early and took the girls outside for an hour and a half while I took a glorious nap. We went to Olive Garden for dinner, and capped the night with a marathon of The Office season 9! My family spoiled me with candy, Justin got me flowers and 2 cute sweatshirts, and my parents gave me an Olive Garden gift card. I was feeling the love!

3. Lena learned how to wave this week. Or at least she's working on it. Haha. I think we confused her, because every time she waves, we clap for her. So now she's trying to combine the two. 

4. I finally made a successful pinterest meal: Tortellini Soup. It was one I pinned a long time ago, but kept putting off because I thought the ingredients would be too expensive. Well spinach went on sale this week and I found a can of tomatoes in the cupboard, so I went for it. I used chicken instead of sausage, just because it's what I had on hand. It was delicious!!
Photo Credit
5. Lucy, Lena, and I had a playdate with our friends Kelly, Presley, and Harper yesterday. We haven't seen them in months, so it was great to catch up! They just moved in with Kelly's parents, too. It's what all the cool people are doing these days. ;-) It was so fun to watch Lucy and Presley play together. We've been having these playdates with them for years, but they're finally to the age that they're really starting to interact and play together instead of next to each other. Haha.

6. We didn't do a Bible lesson this week. I asked for advice on facebook about teaching Lucy the story of Abraham nearly sacrificing Isaac. I decided to go for it, read her the story, explained it as best I could, then told her we were going to make a ram craft. She said, "I don't want to. Let's play house." And that was that. I never came up with any other crafts, didn't pick a verse to learn, didn't even reiterate the story throughout the week. Lazy. 

7. Every Halloween we get together with our small group. The past few years, we've done a fundraising project for needy kids. This year we're doing Read to Feed. (Sidenote: that link will lead you to heifer.org. When we were watching the Office on Thursday, they were searching for a charity to donate to and Kevin thought heifer.org was hilarious. It is a funny name. Lol.) Anyway, we're looking for people to pledge money for every book Lucy reads between now and then. (October 26) The money goes to provide a farm animal for families in third world countries. As a general idea, we read probably 10 books a day. If anyone is interested in pledging, or just giving a certain amount of money, comment below or send me a facebook message. Thanks!

8. Bonus point to show off these cute pictures: It's cider making day!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

The Saturday 7: Better Late than Never

I've been on a roll lately with getting these done in time, haven't I? I feel like I have very little to share this week that hasn't already been posted.

1. Lena is becoming more interested in food . . . or maybe I should say more willing. I actually spoon-fed half a jar of squash/pear to her this morning. Success! I like the idea of baby-led weaning, but I just worry about her getting enough variety. I can't figure out a way to get greens into her. She chokes on peas and throws beans on the floor. She did love the sweet potatoes I roasted this week. Although I pulled 3 inches of peel out of her throat. Note to self: peel the sweet potato fry before giving it to Lena.

2. Lena got another nasty cold this week. At first I thought it might be a symptom of teething. She has a couple little white dots on her bottom gum that I thought might actually sprout this week. But nothing has popped up, and she's all congested and coughing. Plus, Lucy woke up this morning coughing too. Grr. I'm beginning to think all the claims about breastfeeding boosting immunity are a pack of lies.

3. I bought myself a used Ergo for my birthday. My friend Cara knew I wanted one, and her friend was selling one ridiculously cheap, so she hooked me up! I paid $35 with shipping. (They live in California.) If you clicked on the website link, you'll see that new ones start at $115! I've tried the cheap-o Infantino, and the more pricey Baby Bjorn (both of which were free to me!), but they both killed my back. The Ergo is supposed to distribute the baby's weight between your shoulders and hips. I wore Lena in it for probably 20 minutes the other night and it really didn't hurt!
After seeing that picture, I realized I was carrying her too low, so I hiked it up some more. My only concern is that Lena wasn't a huge fan. She doesn't like facing boring ole me. She wants to see what's going on. You can see that she has her arm raised up. She kept trying to use that arm to get leverage and propel herself out of the carrier. Haha. I just did some research on their website, though, and found a way to carry her on my hip. I'm going to have to try that out.  Thanks so much, Cara, for thinking of me!

4. I made this garlic crockpot chicken this week. It was flavorless and dry. So disappointing!! You'd think with 4 cloves of garlic, it'd have a stronger taste!!

5. I think Lena's going to be walking soon. She is obsessed with holding my hands and walking around the house. And she always wants to be standing. I've been working with her on balancing. A couple times this week, she's stood on her own for a few seconds, and once she even took a step! Unreal. (She's 8 months old.)

6. I had a realization about parenting this week. You're going to think, "Well, duh!" when you read it, but it was groundbreaking for me. Here it is: My girls were born sinners. They have to be taught obedience. When Lucy screams "no!" at me, she's doing it because it's innate in her. She needs me to tell her that is wrong, explain why it's wrong, and give her appropriate alternatives. It's so easy for me to get frustrated and annoyed, and think she's acting like a little brat. I have to remember that it's up to me to teach her otherwise! Every time she acts out is an opportunity for growth. Amazing.

7. Oh, hey. My birthday is in 4 days. In case anyone was wondering. ;-)

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Z is for Zebra

We did it! We made it to the end of the alphabet!! Our friend Esther works at Meijer, and got us a cardboard Z on super clearance. I tried to think outside the box a little, but I can't draw a zipper, the number zero looks too much like the letter O, and Lucy doesn't know what a zamboni is. So we made the stereotypical zebra!

First we painted the whole thing white. Then we taped it off with blue tape. Finally, we painted over the tape with black. Lucy was really unsure about painting over the tape at first. Haha. Look how cute it turned out!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Week 5: Abraham Trusts God

Week 5: Abraham Trusts God (Genesis 12-21)
Verse: "Trust in the Lord with all your heart . . ." Proverbs 3:5a

This week we read the story of Abraham's call and the birth of Isaac in Lucy's children's Bible. When I looked in my Bible to include the reference above, I realized her children's Bible leaves out a few stories: Hagar, Abimilech, Sodom and Gommorah. Haha. Maybe we'll cover those next year. ;-)

We started by talking about how God told Abraham to pack up all his stuff and move. We discussed how scary it would be to leave everything you know and go to a new place. Then we talked about how Abraham trusted God and God always knows what's best for us.

Then we did this fun craft/activity I made up, called "Pack the Camel." I printed off a picture of a camel and a bunch of suitcases.(I got minorly sidetracked by looking at Hump Day pictures when I googled camels.)

I added shapes to some of the suitcases in Microsoft Word, then we printed them off and colored them. I made sure to color a few sets of the same color so we could work on patterns. We slapped some magnetic tape on the back of each picture, got out a big cookie sheet, and got to work packing the suitcases onto our camels:

We played with patterns, both with colors and shapes. Oval, heart, oval, heart . . . Black, red, yellow, purple. Black, red, yellow, purple. Lucy is a pro at patterns, but this activity didn't keep her attention as long as I'd hoped. Darn.

Today we read about God's promise to Abraham that he would have a son. We talked again about trusting God even when it seems like his promises aren't going to come true. Then we made a little baby Isaac. I struggled with pulling something together for this lesson. We pretty much just ended up cutting out a piece of craft foam for the baby's body, gluing on a baby face from the internet, plopping the baby in a little craft foam cradle, and putting his name on it with stickers. Oh, and we colored a picture of Abraham and Sarah, too, to reiterate that they were old and it was a miracle that they could have a baby. (Even though Lucy totally doesn't grasp the idea of menopause . . .)

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Y is for Yarn Lacing

We're so close to the end of the alphabet, and I'm getting really lazy. This is the only Y activity we did all week. One piece of craft foam, a hole punch, and a skein of yarn. (Hehe. I just wanted an excuse to use the word "skein.")  Fortunately, Lucy loved it. She didn't lace a straight line like I intended, but I set aside my control-freak tendencies and let her get creative. :-)

Only one letter to go!

Week 4: The Flood

The Flood (Genesis 6-9)
Verse: Psalm 145:13b "The Lord is faithful and will keep all of his promises." (NIRV)

This week, we read the story of The Flood in Lucy's children's Bible. On Monday, we talked about how God sent 2 of every animal to the ark. Then we played "Matching" with some Noah's Ark cards I bought at Dollar Tree last year.
We also enjoyed some animal crackers. 
On Thursday, we did Noah's Ark counting cards. I printed off 10 pictures of Noah's Ark, glued them to cardstock, and wrote a number on each one. Then I gave Lucy a bowl full of animal crackers and had her put the correct amount of animals on each of Noah's numbered arks.
When she was done, I let her choose one card to eat all the crackers off of. Guess which number she chose? Haha. It's a good thing because that might have been her breakfast . . .
Later on, we worked on our verse poster. This had nothing to do with Noah's Ark, but I've been meaning to make a visual of the verses she's learning.

On Friday we read the story again, this time focusing on the rainbow and God's promises. We started with a fingerpaint rainbow inspired by this. Lucy didn't want to fingerprint it. She finger-smeared it instead.

Then came the real fun: "Roll a Rainbow." I got the idea from this website. Her version used stickers, but I didn't have any, so I just drew a rainbow with pencil and put colored circles in each row. I made a key to illustrate which color corresponds to which roll of the die.

Lucy loved putting the M&Ms in their spots.

And here's a fun tip: put the die in a small transparent container to serve as a "shaker" and eliminate flying dice!
Finished product:
I let Lucy eat 2 of each color when we were done. At least we had breakfast before snack this time. :-)
For more Noah's ark ideas, check out this craft we did last year.
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