Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Lots of Fun!

We got a super cool new toy for fun in the yard, thanks to a sweet friend from our church!  The kids have had so much fun sliding, climbing, and just having fun!  Grace and Jacob are expert sliders and Joshua...well, he just likes to play king of the mountain and take dominion over the slide platform.  He just sits, or stands, or squats, or dances a jig....  He has no interest in sliding.  Nope, he just wants full control of the slide platform.  :-)

It is nice to have outdoor fun for them this summer!

Mama Called the Doctor and the Doctor Said....

It has been an interesting ten days or so at our house!  Sickness, rashes, head injuries...you name it, I feel like we've had it!

Things got started on a Tuesday morning when I came into the babies' room and discovered Grace was head to toe in vomit and her bed had not one inch that wasn't covered.  Joshua had gotten sick in his bed, too, but not nearly as much as Grace had.  I couldn't figure out what had happened, why they were sick, or what was up, so I just cleaned everyone up and went about my business.  Late in the afternoon that Tuesday, Chris started e-mailing me from work to tell me he was starting to feel sick as well.  Several hours later he came home from work (but not until he'd already had diarrhea AND started vomitting at his work).  He crawled in the back door and went straight to our bedroom where I locked him in quarantine.  No one else had gotten sick.  The babies had thrown up that one time in the night and had eaten and acted fine all day on Tuesday.  Wednesday we got up and left Chris home in his misery and went to Bible Study Fellowship.  Again, everyone was fine, and it had been more than 24 hours since either baby had vomitted.  I really thought we were in the clear.  Then, Wednesday night, Jacob started grabbing his stomach, laying on the floor, and telling me he didn't feel good and that he had whatever Daddy had.  He's four.  He exaggerates.  He imitates.  I never know if he's really sick or not.  So, I kind of patted him on the head, told him to pull himself together, and ignored him.  Then he asked if he could go to bed at 6:30PM.  That's when I decided perhaps he was telling the truth.  Thankfully I had the foresight to put a bucket in his room, because by 7:30PM he was vomitting and continued to do so until somewhere around 3:30AM.  We are SO glad we bought our steam cleaner!  I ran that baby allllllll night long!   Hey, he's four.....at least he tried to get the bucket.  His aim needs improvement.  By Thursday morning Chris felt well enough to return to work, however, he deserted me with Jacob sick...and what I didn't know was that Joshua and Grace hadn't ever gotten completely sick either.  The diarrhea began and the throwing up lasted most of the day.  I think I did about ten loads of laundry and emptied at least one full container of hand soap.  My hands were on fire and red, but I wasn't about to fall prey to this nasty bug!  Miraculously, the clouds lifted and by Friday AM everyone was well--Mommy included!  Praise the Lord!

Monday afternoon we took the babies for their 15 month well child appointments.  They got shots and were mad and we were in the doctor's office exceedingly far too long--close to two hours.  Phew!  Needless to say, they were determined to be healthy 15 month olds.

Tuesday night I noticed Joshua developing what appeared to be some kind of diaper rash so I started putting cream on it.  Of course it started developing on Tuesday.  We were JUST at the doctor on Monday and that would have been WAY too convenient.  By Thursday afternoon the rash was just not responding to anything I put on it and was getting worse and worse.  Poor baby would cry each time I had to change his diaper.  So, back to the pediatrician we would go.  One time in one week is just not enough.  We love Dr. Warner!  Dr. Warner gave us some magic cream and things seem to be clearly up nicely now.

Saturday night we had a family gathering at Chris' aunt's house.  We took the kids outside to play and the adults were playing a rather involved game of ping pong.  I lost track of how close Joshua was to the ping pong players and sure enough, he got bumped and fell, slamming down into the concrete garage floor with his head.  He cried pretty hard and began to vomit almost immediately after the accident.  He started acting kind of weird, dazed, disoriented, and just altogether out of it, so we quickly made the decision to take him to the Emergency Room (nothing ever happens during regular business hours, does it).  During the trip to the ER he still seemed very out of it and confused.  He threw up again in the parking lot when we arrived.  Shortly after they got us settled into a room in the ER, he seemed to come out of it and was acting more and more like himself...running around the room, waving at all the nurses, dancing a little jig...all things Joshua.  By the time the doctor came to see us, he felt confident he was recovering well and that it would be okay to discharge us to go home.  He told us to watch for 24 hours for specific symptoms of a concussion, but he was fine and has been fine since it all happened.

Phew!  This mama's blood pressure is getting a bit high!  I pray things will settle down now....at least for a while!  Enjoy the pictures below of my sickie sicks...this is the stillest I've ever seen Joshua and Grace be!

Pretty Patriotic Pinwheel Wreath

I have always wanted a patriotic wreath for my front door, but I'm too cheap (frugal sounds better, doesn't it) to buy one!  Thank you, Pinterest, and my recent unusual urge to craft, we now have a cute patriotic wreath for our front door!  I love it!  I made this during the tail end of nap time one day, so I think I did it in about an hour or an hour and a half.  It was super simple.  One thing I wish I had done though was wrap the wreath in ribbon first (the instructions did not say to do this and I think it would have a much more finished look if I had).  Altogether, this cost me about $10 to make.  It could be cheaper if you are a scrapbooker and already have a lot of the pretty papers on hand.  I love that you can do anything you want with this...I'm thinking about making a bright summer themed one too!

We hope you had a great Memorial Day!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Chores are Fun!

I have no idea what has gotten into me recently, but I've been a crafting fool!  I've made several things I've been eager to post, but alas, they are gifts and must remain hidden until after the gift has been given!  I can, however, share this one with you!  I made this super simple chore chart for Jacob!  He LOVES using it and chores have taken on a whole new dynamic since we began using this!

This had to be the simplest thing ever to make!  I bought a cheap wooden door hanger at the craft store (less than $1) and let Jacob go nuts in the scrapbook paper aisle and pick out what he wanted the hanger covered in.  He loved this paper with baseballs, so we got that (about $0.30).  I used some Mod Podge I already had at home to stick it down and cover it.  Then I used stencils to do his name and the "To Do" and "Done" sections.  We bought coordinating paint and painted some clothes pins and then I just used a Sharpie to write on the chores.  In the morning I put them all on the "To Do" side and as he completes the task, he moves them over to "Done."  Let me tell you, he LOVES moving them to "Done" and wants to do it as fast as he can!  We have a basic list of chores for him right now and alternate things on different days: brush teeth, laundry, sweep, dishes, Bible verse, Mommy's helper (I get to choose something for him to help me with), Daddy's helper (Daddy chooses something for him to help with), pick up toys....  I think that is about all we have right now.  I also painted a few extras and left them blank so we can add as he gets older.

I was really concerned how this would work since he doesn't read on his own yet and wanted to try to get pictures with the words, but just couldn't get small enough pictures that would be identifiable once I got done with them, however, this has proven to be no problem for him!  At the start of the day we read them together, "brush teeth," "laundry," "sweep," "pick up toys," "Bible verse," etc.  The list is usually short enough that he can pretty much memorize it when we read through it.  Then when he does something we'll talk it over...."You just did l-l-l-laundry.  What word up there starts with the l-l-l sound?"  He is quick to find the one with the letter L first and moves it over to "done!"  Genius!  I started making this thing about a month ago and got caught up with work and household projects that I never finished it.  If I'd known the enthusiasm it would generate I would have done it sooner!! 

Just look at my enthusiastic little helper!  Lots of hands to help makes the load easier and has provided so many opportunities for me to talk with Jacob about what it means to be part of a family and how we all help each other out--and then of course expand that to our family in Christ.  We are so thankful we attend a church that really teaches what it means to live in Christian community.  The basics start here on the home level.  We pray one day Jacob will joyfully serve his Kingdom community, too!

Mother's Day Blessings!

I had a great Mother's Day and felt so loved and cherished by my husband and kids!  This year was a low key year...no big gatherings to go to, no meals to cook, etc.  It turned out to be a rather rainy, dreary day and to be honest, I am glad it was kind of low key! 

On Saturday I got these gorgeous flowers from Chris!  I love their purple sunshine happiness they bring to our home!  It was a perfect splash of color for the dreary weekend!

Then on Sunday morning I got a handmade card--SUPER cute-- from Chris and the kids.  Chris traced each of their hands and he wrote special notes from them.  I also got surprised to see I get to make a kid free trip to IKEA!  Ikea is a couple hours from here, so it will be a fun, day trip!  I can't wait (I've already started browsing online...I need to make my list!!)  :-)

We had church in the morning and all the moms were honored and given a great, gospel-centered devotional book.  I already started working through mine in the mornings and LOVE getting that great focus to the start of the day!  Chris and I had the infant nursery during our BFG time and I especially loved loving on all the babies!  We'd planned to grill out after church, but the rain changed those plans so we went to Little Caesar's for pizza (hey, I didn't cook it and that is really all that mattered to me!).  All the kids took HUGE naps that afternoon and we just lazed around the house.  It was wonderful!

I am so blessed and thankful God has entrusted me with these.  What a high and noble calling to be a mother!  Hope you had a great Mother's Day too!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Springtime Fun!

We've been having fun this spring!
One morning we took all three kids hiking at McConnell's Springs.  It is literally five minutes from our house and none of us had ever really gone hiking there before.  It was a short, easy loop with not a ton of super great highlights (the springs weren't bubbling like we'd hoped...too dry), however, we had some good photo ops and Jacob really enjoyed the learning center inside and the bird watching area!  It is definitely a great place for families with small kids or folks who want a small dose of nature, but not all the work of a more serious hike.
Jacob had a lot of fun!
Joshua never misses an opportunity for a danelion!

Grace had fun playing peek on a small foot bridge!

Jacob got to go spend two nights with his grandparents, so we decided to pack up Joshua and Grace and hike some at Shaker Village to a small water fall.  Shaker Village isn't too far from our house and the hike was just the right length for two 14 month olds in packs.  Grace loved putting her fingers in the water and Joshua loved riding high on Daddy's back!  It was pretty scenery and felt more like "real" hiking than McConnell's Springs did.  We will do this one again.

We've also been able to have some backyard fun with the sprinkler, however, the water was too cold for both Joshua's and Grace's preferences....  Jacob and Grace got into it a bit more than Joshua did.  I think Grace is too cute for words with her flip flops on!

We hope you've been enjoying your spring!  Summer is right around the corner!