Friday, July 31, 2009

Book Review: God's Little Princess Devotional Bible

Learning to read is an important milestone. To celebrate this milestone with my daughter I decided to get her a Bible/Bible storybook of some kind that she could read on her own.

As I started shopping I realized that an actual Bible seemed a little advanced for her (maybe a year from now we will make that purchase), and none of the bible story books I was looking at seemed any different from what we already had. I was beginning to give up on my “idea” when I discovered Sheila Walsh’s God’s Little Princess Devotional Bible.

As I started reading through this Devotional Bible I got excited. It was perfect. Each devotional starts out with a page of actual scripture followed by an age-appropriate devotional. So many of the topics hit on lessons and character traits I want my daughter to pick up like serving others, compassion, true beauty and forgiveness.

I read through this book before I gave it to my daughter. As I was finishing up she came in and wanted me to read part of it to her. Every day since she has asked to read from the “princess” book. I think that means it’s a hit!

I would highly recommend God’s Little Princess Devotional Bible. I am looking forward to reading it with my daughter as well as watching her discover the Bible’s truths as she reads it on her own.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Letting Go

First Grade... It sounds so much older than Kindergarten.

I thought once I made it through the transition to Kindergarten, the end of summer would become easier.

It hasn't.

It feels just as hard this time around. I want to hold on to the days and find some way to slow them down.

Letting go is a hard, deliberate process.

And yet, once the transition is complete and I have readjusted to our new normal I get excited about the growth I see in my almost-first grader. The sadness at how fast she is growing dissipates a little and an excitement at who she is becoming starts to build.

I think that is probably the way it is supposed to be.

So, today I will attempt to unwrap another summer day with my kids and give thanks for the people they are growing up to be.

For more Tuesdays Unwrapped be sure to visit Chatting at the Sky!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Taking the Baby to a Baseball Game...

Going to a baseball game with the "baby"... not one of our brighter moves.

About the 7th inning (or sooner) the older kids were ready to go.

Not our little guy, he was just getting started. You can tell how thrilled he is to be there from this little video. I'm sure the other fans were so excited to have the baby close by too.

It got to the point that as long as he was in view we'd let him roam. I'm sure people were wondering where his parents were.

One man told me, "We thought he was lost."

Lucky for everyone we never stayed in one seat too long!

I don't think the baby will be making an appearance at a baseball game anytime soon. The memory of this one will have to carry him through until he is a couple years older.

The Hearts at Home Blog

One of the things I love about blogging is the exchange of ideas that takes place; after all, what mom can't use a new idea every now and then!

If you are interested in a blog that brings a group of mommy bloggers all to one place, stop by and visit the Hearts at Home blog.

Hearts at Home's contributing bloggers write about motherhood, each with a unique perspective, reflecting on the spiritual, emotional and downright funny aspects of motherhood. Their group of bloggers range from professional speakers to authors to stay-at-home moms, all who share a passion for the profession of motherhood.

The Hearts at Home blog covers a variety of topics, such as practical mom tips, recipes, book reviews, and advice for tackling tough mommy issues.

Take a peek at this great resource and connect with real moms sharing real stories today!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

A Question???

As much as I hate to admit it, summer is flying by at gargantuan speeds. The start of school is on the horizon, which I don't want to talk about... not yet anyway!

On the plus side, the start of school means that my small group bible study gals will start meeting again. And, that is something to look forward to!

Which brings me to my question: We don't know what we are going to study.

Last year we went through Beth Moore's Daniel study. It was amazing.

This year when the topic of "what bible study are we going to do" comes up, no one has any strong feelings, or even specific ideas, which makes it kind of hard to make a decision.

And we kind of need to make a decision soon if we want to to start meeting again at the end of August/beginning of September.

So, do you have any ideas for us? What are some bible studies that have had a positive impact on your life?

We are wide open for suggestions!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Longing for More

It hit me on the way to the grocery store.

A song started to play; the kind of music that tugs at your soul. A hint at the perfect song.

And then the moment passed. The song moved on; leaving in its wake a faint ache and a longing for more.

It was a reminder that I am an eternal being, created for something more.

A reminder that although songs and moments may hint at eternity; in this life, they always move on.

I am thankful for those reminders because, if I let them, they reawaken longings for my True Home where I will hear the perfect song and the ache that comes with wanting something more will be a thing of the past.

He has also set eternity in the hearts of men
Ecclesiastes 3:10

For more moments unwrapped head on over to Chatting at the Sky.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Cautious Celebration!

I'm feeling pretty light right now.

I just came from the FedEx Shop. Our completed dossier is being shipped to our agency as we speak. If that precious packet of papers makes it through the review process, it will be shipped to China and we should be officially waiting!

It has been a 9 month process to get this little baby ready to go (just a tad ironic!).

Parts of the process went very smoothly, other parts were filled with delays. Throughout it all I could feel God's hand and his timing. A very humbling thing.

And so I cautiously celebrate the completion of stage one, one step closer to my little girl. Cautious because in adoption nothing is a sure thing until it is a sure thing.

As I drove away from the FedEx store, the stereo was singing, "Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Amen.

I couldn't have said it better myself!

A Question???

One of my favorite things about blogging is the comments people leave. It is part of that connection/relationship thing that is so great.

However, one of the problems with this form of relationship is that once the post has been written and a comment left, the conversation can end. There are so many times I want to respond to a comment someone has left me, but I'm not sure how.

So here is my question:

As a blog reader, do you ever leave a comment and then return later to see if the blog writer has left a response to your comment? Or do you leave your comment and then assume the conversation is over?

Sometimes I will respond to a comment someone has left me by e-mail (if I have their e-mail address), other times I will add my own comment but I am never sure if the message is received.

So I'm asking, what is the best way to keep a conversation going in blogland?

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

An Unexpected Gift

I happened upon a gift this summer, quite unexpectedly.

Our local library has been hosting a summer reading program for adults; a program that encourages adults to read children's books.

When I signed up I thought I it would be a fun way to earn prizes while reading to my kids.

Then I started wandering the isles of the young adult section. A place I usually hurry past trying to keep up with my kids as they make their dash for the picture books.

Once I decided to slow down and look around I rediscovered books like Ramona the Brave, the Nancy Drew Series, and A Little Princess. Blasts from my childhood reading days.

An unexpected reunion with old friends like Ramona has ensued. Only now I am the age of Ramona's parents (a scary thought). Even though the age gap has grown, we bonded again like no time had passed.

Now I am reading The Wind in the Willows for the first time. It makes me feel like a kid again. I catch myself dreaming of what it would be like living on the riverbank with Mole and Ratty in a world where animals talk.

When I was little I used to think that maybe, just maybe if I went into our hall coat closet at just the right time I could enter the world of Narnia. I never was able to find that exact moment, and as I grew up I stopped looking.

It has been an unexpected, unlooked for gift to catch myself looking for the magical in between sibling rivalries and dirty diapers again, bringing a little bit of childhood daydreams and whimsy back into my everyday.

For more unexpected gifts and small miracles, check out Tuesdays Unwrapped

Monday, July 13, 2009

Motivating Little Boys to Pick Up Toys, the Sequel

Okay, I'll admit it, I have used this little old blog of mine (occasionally) to vent. One particular post that comes to mind had to do with two little boys who refused to pick up their room.

I'm pleased to announce we've had a little success in this area, thanks in large part...

to you!

I decided to take your comments and apply them (I know, a novel idea)
The result: their room has been...

not so disastrous!

Here are my secrets:

Secret #1: I cleaned out their room and simplified the cleaning up process. They now know that books go on the bookshelf, stuffed animals go on the bookshelf, and toys go in the white boxes. We go over this often just in case they forget.

Secret #2: This is a biggie! As long as the floor is picked up, I am happy. In other words the shelves don't have to look perfectly organized. Unstable piles of books may fall and stuffed animals might end up in dresser drawers, but if they are making the attempt, I can live with that... I am learning to be flexible (my dad would be so proud!).

Secret #3: A summer chore chart. They get to put a sticker on their chart every morning once their room is picked up. This is made more effective by an older sister who is extremely motivated by the chore chart/sticker thing. Somehow it rubs off on my two not-so-motivated boys. The fact that they get a prize from our "treasure basket" (filled with dollar-store toys) plays a small part too.

Secret #4: Being consistent (this is a tough one). As my mom used to say, the only thing she was consistent at was being inconsistent. I find this true in my own life, especially with things like discipline. BUT, my boys have found that it is easier to pick up a room that was just picked up the day before. The chore chart (and the big sister who loves collecting stickers) help A LOT with the consistency factor.
So there you have it, my "secrets" are out.

Once school starts up again, and the chore chart falls by the wayside (maybe it won't happen, but it seems that is the way of chore charts...) the room may fall to shambles again.

For now, I am enjoying picked up rooms and hoping some habits are established that will last longer than the chore chart!

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Tuesday Unwrapped - An Attempt at Haiku...

Two Wigglely boys
sharing one bed for nap time...
makes nap unlikely

Cranky boys need sleep
Birthday party tonight - yikes!
Nap needed pronto

One solution found!
Mom and boys share nap, secret?
Mom in the middle

Sweet smiles shared until...
sleep takes over tired boys
All is quiet now

Cherish the moment
gazing at sleeping faces
time passes too fast

Soon no naps needed
Little boys grow up to soon
Thankful for shared nap

For more Tuesdays Unwrapped head on over to Chatting at the Sky!