February 26, 2010

Snow Day

Our First Snow Day in Pictures:

Just to give you an idea of our crazy Texas weather...this is a pic from when the kids were running around with almost no clothes on while we were sweating planting our very first garden:

Three days later, it snowed.  This was the most snow this 26 year old remembers ever seeing (in Texas) though it was just a couple inches, at most.  We were loving it!

All the kids wanted to do was eat it for about the first 20 minutes.

Asher walked around humming to himself and eating it.

McKlayne walked around yelling, " Hip Hip Hooray!" while eating snow and sometimes a little dirt or grass.

When Daddy got home, we built an Asher size snowman (that was knocked down before we got a picture with him) and the boys did snow-angels.  McKlayne (who'd been out for about an hour was no longer rejoicing.  She was done with snow...as you can hear in the last part of the video below...please excuse the very poor video quality)

After dinner we ate snow cream from snow that Charlie collected from the top of the sheets that were covering our garden.  It was delightful!

McKlayne was worn out by her first snowday:

Friday Funnies

Charlie got out of the shower one night and was walking down the hallway in his towel.

A:  Go put a shirt on, Daddy! I don't want to see your bellybutton or those chi-chi's!!


On the way home from church Sunday, Asher told us that he could not hold his  "teetee" in any longer.  After several failed attempts of trying to convince him that we were just minutes from home, we pulled over in a dark driveway off the feeder road.  As soon as I opened the door to unbuckle him from his carseat, he felt the cool wind and looked up at me with a panicked look on his face.  "Oh no.  Am I going to freeze my pee-pee off?!"


I've had sore throat for about a week and my voice has been hoarse the last couple days.  And several times throughout the day I hear this from Asher:

"Stop talking like that, Momma.  I don't like you talking like a MAN!"

February 22, 2010

Lent and a craft

Lent started last week.

Lent, as defined by wikipedia, "is the period leading up to Easter. The traditional purpose of Lent is the preparation of the believer — through prayerpenitencealmsgiving and self-denial — for the annual commemoration during Holy Week of the Death and Resurrection of Jesus, which recalls the events linked to the Passion of Christ and culminates in Easter, the celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ."

When observing fasting during Lent, regard must be paid to the fact that Sundays are Feast Days, so there is no fast. The days from Ash Wednesday to the day before Easter Sunday, excluding the Sundays, are forty, corresponding to the number of days Christ spent in the wilderness."

We're not Catholic, but we started celebrating Lent as a family, last year.  (I grew up in the Lutheran church attending services every Wednesday evening during Lent....but now we belong to a Baptist church.  Before last year, Charlie knew nothing of it other than a time that people would give up sodas or sugar for 40 days.)

Usually, you choose something to fast from whether it is something that you eat regularly like sweets or something that is apart of your daily routine-tv, internet time, etc.  When you get the urge to eat (whatever you're fasting from) or would normally (watch tv) you spend that time in prayer or meditation on the Scriptures...it's a time to focus on the cross of Christ by meditating on the beauty of the Gospel through discipline.  Sundays, become glorious days during Lent, as you celebrate the Resurrection of Christ and the freedom that his sacrifice gives to believers by feasting upon whatever items/activities you are fasting from!

If you haven't started anything but are interested in celebrating Lent...you're not too late...just jump in now!  This is really just a time to examine your heart before the Lord and prepare your heart for Easter....it's okay that you missed the first few days!

Don't know what to do?

Charlie posted this discussion to our church network a few weeks ago:

Our family has really enjoyed and benefited from planning readings or devotionals during the seasons of Advent and Lent. For me, preparing our hearts in this way has been totally new over the past couple years, but so beneficial. It's hard to miss Easter and it's implications if you prepare even a little — it's easy if you don't. So, I wanted to get some discussion going about what everyone was doing. 

Kirby and I are going to be doing a daily reading from the book Jesus, Keep Me Near the Cross by Nancy Guthrie (Amazon). We went through her book Come Thou Long Expected Jesus for Advent this year. Guthrie compiles excerpts from different authors (such as John Piper, Jonathan Edwards, Martin Luther, CJ Mahaney and many more) to make the different chapters of the book. There are 25 chapters that are approximately four to six pages in length. 
For the kids, we will be doing Resurrection Eggs. Asher really loved this last year and it really helped him understand and talk about Easter. I can't wait to see how well he and McKlayne pick it up this year and the conversations that we'll have.
For Holy Week (the week leading up to Easter), we are going to do some readings put together by Noel Piper called Lenten Lights. There are eight readings. You can either read them on each of the Sundays during Lent or everyday from the Saturday before Palm Sunday through Easter (minus the Saturday between Good Friday and Easter). She recommended doing it during Holy Week if doing it with smaller children for repetition and recognition purposes.

John Piper gives some great suggestion here.

Heather gave some suggestions for devotions for school-aged children here.

If you have little ones, I cannot tell you how great the Resurrection Eggs were for Asher last year! At two years old he was able to identify and explain elements of the Crucifixion!! I wish I would have gotten it on video...I will have to this year! (You should know how passionately I feel about them after all those exclamation points I just used.) You can even make your own, but they're $8 right now and they come with a book that has scripture references that go along with each egg that you open.  (If Lent is new to you, this will be a great guide!)

I am excited about reading Jesus, Keep Me Near the Cross.  Cate knows me so well.  This was in my "shopping cart" on Amazon, but before I actually ordered it, she gave it to me for my birthday! Like Charlie said, we read the first book during Advent and loved it.

Tell the Easter Story with a Playdough Mountain from Noel Piper. We did this last year with the Hendrick's.  Every morning after for about a month, the first thing Asher would do was run out to the kitchen table to see if the tomb was still empty.

I love this idea of purging 40 bags of stuff from your house in 40 days.  I am already on 5 bags--and that is only trash--not even the actual "things" that I am getting rid of!

Now...onto the craft I promised...

Remember the heart wreath I made for Valentine's?  Chelsea came over last week on her day off and we made these:

We followed the same directions from Tatortots and Jello but cut out a cross instead.  Then we used pages from a hymnal to modge podge onto the cross.  Foam board, paper, coffee filters, hot glue, burlap and ribbon-that's all it is!  If you want to make your own, here are the dimensions we used: 4.5 width on all four sides, 20 inches long, and 14 inches across.  If you make one, I'd love to see how yours turns out!

(If you're my farming friend who loves coffee and burlap and just celebrated a birthday on Saturday, don't make one! I have one of these for you!)

So, what are you guys doing for Lent or Easter?  Or what have you done in the past?

February 19, 2010

Friday Funnies

A month ago...

about 45 minutes after putting Asher down for bed, we hear a soft, "Help, help, heeeeelp..."

Charlie goes back into his room ready to deliver some grim consequences to playing rather than sleeping.

Instead of cross words I hear Charlie laughing his "tears are rolling down his cheeks" laugh. Charlie tells me that this is how it went down:

A: Daddy, help.

D: What's going on, buddy?

A: I need help...with my pants. {he throws off his covers}

C: What ha-ha-haaaappened? {As he laughs so hard he can barely speak and tears immediately start coming down his face}

A: I'm a cowboy!

C: A cowboy?

A: Yeah, I was being a cowboy. And I'm all tied up...

And this is what I walked in to see:

Sure enough, he had tied a knot (still not quite sure how this happened) and had wrapped the legs of his pajama pants through his underwear several times. Weird, but funny.

And one more thing....who gave this little girl permission to grow up so fast?

February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day!!

We "heart" Valentine's Day.

I haven't always loved it.  I don't love the commercialized, Hallmark-ified part of Valentine's Day.

But, I do love the opportunity it presents for us to talk about and meditate on real love.

What love really looks like. 

How we should love others. 

That we haven't earned this love

And how once we are redeemed by this love, we can't lose this love.

I love that this is a day that I can stop and meditate on God's grace to me through Jesus but also His goodness to me through the love of the precious family and sweet friends He has given me.  

We've been talking about these things and preparing for Valentine's Day all week. We've talked about why we would send people valentines--to show them just how special and deeply loved they are.  (Since pretty much none of my ideas are original, I will link to the blog that I got it from, so that if you like any of them, you can incorporate them into your Valentine's Day next year.)

The first project we made involved a big mess...even though we did it outside.  My front yard has glitter all over it now.  And I didn't get any good pics of us making these glitter hearts because let me tell ya, glue, glitter, "windy wind" (as Asher calls it...Can anyone tell me where that's from?) and two excited about crafts toddlers is already pretty chaotic. The top pic is Skip To My Lou's hearts.  I couldn't get a great pic of our hearts (on the bottom) because my flash wasn't bright enough.  

The next day, we worked on HandprintValentine's for Grandparents.

(They began painting while I was setting up and gathering all the supplies.  Since it wasn't too crazy yet, I could take some pics.)

Here's how they turned out:

Adorable, no?!

We made White Chocolate Popcorn for the male Valentines on our list:

I feel like I should stop right now and share a fabulous tip with you that is going to revolutionize snacktime around here.  This really needs it's own separate post but since we all know how good I am about updating, I'll just tell you about it now.  Okay, so just as I was getting my saucepan and popcorn kernels out, I picked up my cell to call my brother, Jordan, who is the homemade popcorn pro. (When he lived with us last year he made stove-top popcorn almost everyday for a snack. And, as pathetic as this sounds, I have no clue how to do it. I think he even offered to teach me once, but I was too intimidated and declined, resigning to mooching off his homemade popcorn.)  

About a month ago, after this article totally freaked me out about store bought, microwave popcorn, I realized I was going to have to learn to make it over the stove--until a few days ago!!  When I started reading the recipe, I saw this link for homemade microwave popcorn.  Although I still have a microwave-phobia (for other health-related reasons) I like that this is a quick (and now so much cheaper) snack.  And I LOVE that I can control the amount of salt and actually put real butter on the popcorn rather than all that fake, hydrogenated oil crud. 

Here's how to do it: 

It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3:
  1. Put 1/4 cup popcorn in a brown paper bag. Fold top over a few times and tape it.
  2. Place in microwave folded side upfor 2 to 3 minutes or until there is 5 seconds between pops.
  3. Eat plain or add flavors (such as salt, butter, sugar, etc.)
Easy Homemade Microwave Popcorn
(My tip: Make sure that if you do re-use your paper bag, that you take the old scotch tape off and replace it with a new one...otherwise, it will begin to melt and cause a small fire in your microwave :)
Valentine's post resumes...
For the little (and even some bigger) girls on our list, I made these rose barrettes...which I am currently obsessed with. (Chels, you're not surprised one bit, are you?)  Well, for the rest of you, don't be shocked if you see McKlayne or me wearing these just about every day in various colors!!

For several women (and one man) who are near to my heart, I made these:

I started out trying to make them perfect, but then decided that I liked these better...

They are mistake proof since the sloppier looking, the better.  So I zoomed through and made 20 of these little beauties.  Wouldn't a set of these make a great birthday gift? I think so.  A sweet college girl in my life turned 21 this week.  I have a set all packaged up just for her. 
One morning, as we were headed out the door to go mail a couple packages to cousins and grandparents, I saw a giant valentine's package for us at my doorstep.  And look at this lovely little thing that was inside!  My mom just started quilting several months ago; now she's a quilting machine!!

So, later that day during naptime, I decided that something needed to replace my winter wreath on the door mirror above the bench that my new quilt made it's home on.  Something like this:

What do you think?

I think I'm going to have to work on a Valentine's pillow or two in the next year...
Next, was making these heart-shaped brownie bites for Charlie's co-workers.  These were so easy.  The kids helped cut them out and decorate with sprinkles.  (Little Birdie Secrets used chocolate frosting, but I already had cream cheese frosting, so I just used that.)

(Asher has requested that we make more of these for church tonight.)
And because I needed cute, quick decor for my centerpiece ensemble, I gathered up the supplies I already had from garage saling, and whipped this up.  Seriously...it took less than 5 minutes...and that was with gathering the supplies.

Last year, Charlie started the heart-shaped pancakes tradition...I think he bought them at HEB.  This is what my kids woke up to this morning.  My sister made heart shaped pizzas and big red floats for her kids last night.

What about you? Any Valentine's festivities to share?

February 12, 2010

Friday Funnies:Dedicated to Aunt Kyle

Aunt Kyle put three tattoos on Asher's arm so he could be "cool" like his older cousin, Reid.

A few days later as I was putting Asher's pj's on, he stopped to inspect his fading tattoos.

A: Hey...I can't see that bear anymore.  He must have run off.


See Asher's shirt? Aunt Kyle gave it to him.

Every time he has a shirt that has "letters" (words) on it he wants to know what the shirt says.

So...this morning as I was putting it on him, I told him, "It says, 'My dad ROCKS!!' "

This evening Charlie and Asher were talking about his cool, new shirt.

C: Do you know what that shirt says?

A:  (very seriously, he walks up and stares into Charlie's eyes and excitedly says) It says, 'Momma's dad ROCKS!!'

So...Pop...Asher thinks you rock.