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Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Adventures in Media: Slugs and Bugs

I have a terrible memory. 
Daniel has a fantastic memory. 
I hope our kids inherit Daniel's ability to remember things. 
Especially when it comes to memorizing important things like God's word. 

One thing that has always helped me remember things is to put whatever it is I am trying to memorize to music. For may people a song can trigger memories of a place or an event. I can hear a song that I haven't heard in years and instantly know most if not all of the words. So it makes sense for me to use music to memorize scripture.

 My mother-in-law stumbled on to a children's event at a church in our area and invited Rebekah and I too attend with her. (It was Rebekah's first concert!) And our music lives will never be the same!  

The concert was called:

I've been trying to put into words the idea of Slugs and Bugs.

Their website explains S&B the best...

"We believe songs are one of God's powerful tools for building strong relationships. When songs inspire laughter or deep spiritual thought, they can transform a routine car ride into a sweet family experience. Over time, that influence can profoundly impact the culture of the home.
Slugs & Bugs aims to write those songs. We want families to sing together, laugh together, and think deeply together about the meaning of life and the nature of God."

Some of the songs are silly, like the song about the tractor, and the one all about Mexican food. 

Some of the songs are straight from the Bible.

 Rebekah's favorite is "Light of the World" or the Sha-la-la song as she calls it. The lyrics are taken from Mathew 5:14&16. Another favorite in our van is the 10 Commandments song. Because of this song my 2.5 year old can recite all the 10 Commandments. (How many adults can do that?!) And unlike many kids CDs that we have, I actually enjoy listening to the songs too and find myself listening when I'm alone in the van! 

We sing "Do, Do, Do, Do everything without grumbling or complaining" when we are having a grouchy moment. And right at this moment, while she is SUPPOSED to be sleeping, I can hear here singing in her bed "For we are God's masterpiece. He has created us new in Christ" Eph 2:8-9

If you are looking for a way to bring the word of God into the minds and hearts of your children, grandchildren, or even yourself, I would tell you to get a Slugs and Bugs Sing the Bible CD. There are currently 5 different volumes and right now they are making 2 new ones! If you would like to help be involved in the Kickstart campaign just click {HERE} for more information! 

If you want to get a taste of the songs you can download the Slugs and Bugs app, or if you have Amazon Prime, one of the CDs is available on their music streaming app. 

Have you heard of Slugs and Bugs before?! Or do you have another favorite Biblical kid's music group? I would love to hear about them! 

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Adventures in Motherhood: Choosing the Lesson

Caleb is now old enough to play with toys. Like really play with them, and pick which toy he wants to play with. And decide he wants specific toys more than others. This milestone has come much to the dismay of his big sister.

Previous to this Rebekah could 'trade toys' with him if she wanted what he was playing with, and he didn't mind as long as he was holding something.

Not so any more.

He wants what he wants, and if she has it, he wants it.

And if he has it and she wants it, and she tries to take it from him, he lets me know.


This is particularly true when it comes to the one toy they have booth decided is their favorite toy - our play stethoscope from Rebekah's doctor kit. Rebekah LOVES playing doctor (thank you Doc McStuffins) and is constantly giving her toys check-ups.

 For whatever reason, Caleb has developed an attachment to the stethoscope. He is so happy when he gets to play with it. Look at how proud he is here!

And if he sees that she has it, he crawls after her, trying to get it, and whimpering like an injured puppy. She is still quite a bit faster than him, but he is gaining speed and mobility with each passing day.

Yesterday, after a tear filled battle for the stethoscope, which ended in mommy putting the doctor kit away for a rest, Rebekah informed me that she would like to use her piggy bank money to buy her own "purple stethoscope just for her, not for Caleb". I have been going back and forth which lesson she should learn from this situation. On the one hand, I want her to learn to share with her brother. But on the other hand she could learn a lesson in money. Most of the money in her piggy bank has come from her using the potty chair at her great-grandparents house. So, it's money she has earned, and can use for things she would like...Maybe we could just go back to the time when Caleb would lay still for his check-up like this picture from a few months ago!


 But that's not how it works. I guess I have to choose which lesson we are going to learn this time....

Friday, January 27, 2017

Adventures of Rebekah: Recording Memories

At least once a day I think to myself, "I want to remember this moment forever." So I am going to try to do a better job of recording some of our every day happenings on the blog.

Rebekah is at such a fun age. She is 2 1/2 now. 

She is very articulate and always thinking and figuring things out. I can see the wheels turning in her head as she searches for the right word to express herself, problem solves, or makes connections. She gets such joy out of figuring something out or doing something herself. It is so neat to see the traits that God has given her start to shine.

Lately I have noticed how compassionate she is. If Caleb is crying, she is quick to try to make him feel better by singing "Jesus Loves Me" to him, or patting his head, or getting his pacifier for him. 

She loves to sing and play, and loves to play with me. It makes my mommy heart happy to be included in her imagination play time. She loves playing doctor and fixing the patients who come in to her doctor office. Almost every one of them needs a shot, and none of them cry because they are all brave like she was when she got her last shot. 

Today she was sitting at the piano with her little kids hymn book, playing and singing a song. Her little feet were swinging, still more than a foot from reaching the ground, but getting longer everyday. And I just wished I could listen to her sweet little voice and watch her little feet forever. But she finished her song and informed me that we have a new patient arriving in the ambulance, and now she was the nurse and I was the doctor. And so I picked up her toy stethoscope, and held her hand as we walked over to meet the (pretend, and invisible) ambulance.

Firsts for her are starting to be few and far between, but we had a fun first today. Today, she saw her first play. We had a mother-daughter date to a local youth theater's production of Beauty and the Beast. Here we are at the theater, waiting for the play to start...she didn't want mommy to take her picture, but I got one anyway. To record the memory. 

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Adventures of Caleb: 7 Months

Dear Caleb, 

This past month flew by as we celebrated your first Christmas and took another trip to Minnesota. 

You are becoming quite the good little traveler in the van, keeping yourself entertained with toys and other things (like empty water bottles) while stuck in your car seat. You are not a fan of being restrained an any  fashion. 

(Sleeping in your car seat.)

This month you have gain a lot of mobility and independence as you have mastered crawling on your hands and knees as well as pulling yourself up into standing position. 

Mommy has to keep a close eye one you because you are still learning how to get down from said standing position and are constantly toppling over (sometimes bumping your head). Sometimes I have to put you in "baby jail" (your pack'n'play) just to get a moment to use the bathroom! You are such a focused and determined boy.

 When you see something you want, you really go after it. And lately you have been wanting whatever your sister is playing with.

 She is still quicker than you and can take her toy and run away, leaving you in frustrated tears, but some day soon I think you will be just a big and quick as she is! 

You tried lots of new food this past month. You like everything you try. Bananas, pears, peas, green beans, squash, carrots, gobble it all up. 
Mommy also gave you your first hair trim this month. Your bangs were getting so long and getting into your eyes, so I trimmed them. Which is not an easy thing to do! You are such a wiggle bug, and even more of a wiggle bug when someone wants you to sit still. But with every wiggle, I love you even more!

(One more picture. This picture was just before he turned 6 months old, but I didn't share it last month because I was using it for a Christmas gift. But it's just to cute not to share!) 

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Adventures in Building: A Long Overdue Update

Do you remember our big huge project we are working on? It has been much to long since I have posted about our house building project! (I know you have been wondering, right?!)

Well, we have been learning TONS the past few months, and I'm working on a few different posts at the moment but I wanted to show you some quick pictures of the progress we have been making.

We had some delays with the permit process thanks to FEMA, and the county we are building it. Lots of red tape and people who need to be paid before we got the green light to build. Stay tuned for a post all about that! But we now have our permit and we have been hard at work!

So far we have dug the hole for the basement...

Formed the footings with a product called Form-a-drain which is both a footing form and acts as the drain tile for the basement...

Poured the concrete for the footing...

Built the basement walls. We are using an insulated concrete form system called the Hobbs System for the exterior walls in the basement and the main floor. (Post coming about this!)

We poured concrete into the ICF walls for the basement... 

And now we are working on installing the support beams and floor joists for the main level of the house. 

It actually is starting to look like a house!
Every time we are out there working, I can't help but look around and think to myself
"I can't believe we get to live here!" 
We have had great help from some friends and family, but Daniel has been doing much of the work himself (and I am at the job site as much as the kids will allow!). It has been a lot of work, and it's not even close to being finished, but it is going to be so worth it in the end! 

More to come...

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Adventures of Caleb: 6 Months

Dear Caleb,

How can it already be 6 months that you have been here with us? You are getting to be such a big boy! 

This past month you had some exciting firsts. You celebrated your first Thanksgiving!

You got to try eating at the big people table for the first time. You LOVE LOVE LOVE to eat. So far you have enjoyed rice cereal, pureed apples, sweet potatoes, and avocado. And you have enjoyed each new food more than the last. You wave your hands and feet when I put you in your seat and get ready to feed you. I can hardly get the food into your mouth fast enough for you. Each bite is accompanied by a baby soundtrack of yums and mmmms. Everyone enjoys watching you eat as much as you enjoy eating.

You also got your first tooth a few days before your 6 month birthday. It's one of the bottom middle teeth and is just the cutest little thing...and by cute I mean sharp! You and Mommy are learning to get you to eat without biting...and it's a work in process.

You are army crawling quickly but no real hand-and-knee crawling yet (which is okay with me! You are fast enough as it is!) You love to play with things that are not toys, like door stoppers, shoes, the vacuum hose and anything with tags. Mommy really has to keep a close eye on you to make sure you don't get into trouble. You sister is a big help in that area most of the time. But I can see it in your eyes when you spot something you know you are not supposed to have and you start making your way over to it...sometimes I feel bad taking away your prize when you reach it, but mommy just wants to keep you safe. And you usually quickly find something new to go after.

You have only partially unwrapped 2 Christmas presents from under the tree so far. But given the chance your little fingers would work their way into each of the packages and the paper would end up soggy in your mouth.

The hair on the top of your head is getting so very long that I think I'm going to have to trim it! (You sister didn't get her first hair cut until she was 26 months you are going to beat her in that department by about 20 months!) You are starting to outgrow your 6 month clothes and I had to put you into size 3 diapers. You are a big little boy! We love you more every day, you sweet little squirt (as your Mawma calls you.)

Friday, November 18, 2016

Adventures of Caleb: 5 months old

Dear Sweet Caleb,

So much has changed this past month! You are really becoming a big boy so very quickly (an mommy is not quite ready for that yet!) The biggest change this month has been in your mobility. You are a rolling pro now. You can go from front to back and back to front from either side. You can inch worm army crawl, it's pretty cute. It takes quite a bit of effort and lots of grunts but you can pretty much get from where you are to wherever you would like to be. Mommy needs to make sure there are not things you can get in to on the floor now! You are wearing 6 month clothes but I have a feeling very soon we will be moving up to 9 months. At your doctor check-up your measurements were the 95% for height and your head measurement was off the chart you are already setting the curve for all the other 5 month old babies! haha! 

We have been spending quite a bit of time out at the farm. You enjoy the fresh air and all the things there are to see. Here is a picture of you, Daddy and Rebekah enjoying a camp fire. 

We spent part of your 5th month up in Minnesota visiting Gramma and Papa Ron. You discovered that you enjoy books...specifically trying to put books into your mouth! 

You are a good little road tripper as long as it's light outside. You are not a fan of being in the car when it is dark and you can not see. Sometimes Mommy has to turn on the back seat light for you to keep you happy. 

Look at you handsome guys! Your smile is just so cute! 

Oh, and we watched the Cubs win the World Series! You were a good little cheerer! 

You are pretty happy most of the time if you are on the floor and free to go where you would like to go. Your hair is still a little crazy, but it makes me smile! 

You love your sister and she is the best person to make you laugh. It is so fun to see the two of you interact with each other. She tries to be gentle with you and you are very patient with her and all of her hugs and kisses. You love to try to get her and when you finally get close to her, she moves and you have to start all over again. But you don't mind. Some day (soon!) you will be able to keep up with her.