Saturday, February 28, 2015

Eye of the Tiger

Caleb was  invited to a birthday party on Valentine's Day at Imagine Studios for one of his classmates.  We have been there on our own a few times to paint pottery but had never been there for a party. Caleb was pretty pumped!  We learned that the birthday girl really likes tigers so she had all her guests paint a tiger on canvas.
They first were asked to paint the canvas blue and then dry it.

The instructor then game around and drew the outline of a tiger on their canvas using sidewalk chalk. How smart is that!  I'd always wondered how the kids that I had seen in pics from this place were all able to paint out the exact same picture.  She also came around and helped smooth out some of their edges and added a little bit of white accent on their tigers.

After they dried their pictures they drew out the outline of the face and stripes following a picture she had drawn on a white board.  They first drew it out using chalk and then went over it with a sharpie and last filled it in with paint.

 Last they added some green leaves and vines to give a little jungle look to their picture.

When they were finished the instructor came around and outlined some of the edges and added whiskers if their tiger didn't have any.  She did however make sure to stay true to what each kid had painted she just helped clean them up a little bit.

I LOVE how it turned out and think that all of the kids had a lot of fun!

Friday, February 27, 2015

Valentine's Day Throwback

One of the things that I really enjoy about being a stay at home mom is the opportunity to get to go to Caleb's class parties.  His home room mom has done such a great job with the parties they have had this year and between her and Caleb's teacher they have really been a lot of fun for the kids and super organized.

At the beginning of the party the class got to hear and participate in various science experiments dealing with energy and heat.  The kids thought it was a lot of fun and even Joshua and I really enjoyed it.

 Here the kids are participating in an experiment with an energy stick.  They learned if they were all touching they created a circuit which would cause the energy stick to light up.  A few of them got to take turns letting go of their classmate's hand and see that the light would go off when the circuit was broken.

The kids were able to rotate around to different stations during the party and complete a some crafts, play games and have their picture taken in a homemade photo booth.  I was in charge of manning the card station.  We put one of the pictures the kids had taken on their card.

I loved the Valentine sack that Caleb made in class earlier in the week.  He said he made his heart wearing glasses (the larger pink hearts) and reading a book.

 On Valentine's Day we woke up and opened cards we had received and the boys got to open a small treat from David and I that was mini oreo cookies.

 For dinner that night we enjoyed a heart shaped pizza from Papa Murphy's and I made Cupid Floats that consisted of Cherry 7Up and vanilla ice cream.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Snow Days!

Last week we finally had some long awaited for snow days!  I love a good snow day where everything is completely covered, school is closed, roads are yucky, David has to stay home and where everything just seems to come to a stand still for a little while.  I love how snow days just make you want to be under a big blanket all cozy and warm, how they make you snuggle with your loved ones a little more, how they cause you to do things as a family, how they make you want to bake and make soup and how they just cause you to rest.  I love them even more now that I'm a stay at home mom and don't have to worry about whether or not I can get to work and I don't have feel guilty if I choose to not go into work.

When we were going through the One Year Chronological Bible study by Iva May I loved what she pointed out in Job about how God speaks through inclement weather.  Iva writes in this study that God offers two main points: 

1.  "God uses inclement weather conditions to command man's attention by revealing man's helplessness"  "Inclement weather reveals man's helplessness as it halts work efforts; man can do nothing to change the weather."

"For He says to the snow, 'Fall on the earth': likewise to the gentle rain and the heavy rain of His strength.  He seals the hand of every man, that all men may know His work: (Job 37:6-7)".

2.  "God uses weather conditions to command man's attention by revealing the greatness of God."

"He comes from the north as golden splendor; with God is awesome majesty.  As for the Almighty, we cannot find Him; He is excellent in power, in judgment and abundant justice; He does not oppress.  Therefore men fear Him; He shows no partiality to any who are wise of heart"  (Job 37:22-23)

Iva had us read Job 35:1-37:24, 38 and asked "What does the Lord communicate about Himself to Job through re-directing Job's attention to His creation?"

Definitely makes me think about his now every time we have a snow day.

So how did we spend our snow days.........

The boys and David played in the snow and went sledding (I'll admit I didn't get out this time)

The boys and I made homemade bird feeders.  We had a lot of fun watching the birds over the next week eat off our bird feeders and even had a pretty, red cardinal visit us.

David and Caleb attempted to make homemade Doritos. I don't think this is a recipe we will be repeating any time soon but it was still fun.
David and Caleb built a snowman and an igloo/fort. 

Lazed around and watched TV

And of course spent some time on the Ipad and computer

The best thing was even though we were out of school for three days only two days counted against us as we were already scheduled to be out on Monday due to a teachers' professional development day.

Hope you got some snow and enjoyed your snow days!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

What I'm Reading

I really enjoy reading and have recently decided that I would like to start making some time to read more and finally start whittling down my ever growing list of books to read.  I've typically been more into reading fiction but the problem with that is that if I find a good fiction book that I really like I can't put it down and will neglect everything around me (ie kids, husband, laundry, housework, making dinner, etc) until I have finished the book.  Recently I've decided to read some other genre of books and with the help of friends suggesting books it hasn't been hard to find some great ones to choose from.

I've typically been the type of person that would read one book in it's entirety before starting another one and thought people were crazy if they had more than one book going at a time.  Much to my surprise I've become one of those crazy people and I think I like it.  It's been nice to race through a fiction book that I really like, pick up another book that I need to read and digest on for a little while read something else that can easily be digested in car line or when there are various distractions going on or perhaps just reading some magazine articles that could potentially turn into topics we use for Mom App.  There are a few books that I finally need to finish and move on with but I think this having multiple books going at one time is kind of working for me.  Whenever I want to read I can just pick up the book that fits my mood at that time or the area I'm most interested in at the moment.  I'm trying to keep it to only three books at one time as it can get a little confusing sometimes as to what might be going on in each book and this also helps me make sure I finish a book.

I still really love a good drama or mystery fiction book but I've really enjoyed exploring some other books at the moment.  They have caused me to think, reflect on what I believe, explore the bible more and even encourage or point out something I could be doing better or differently in my life.  It's also been funny how typically whatever I'm reading has been exactly what I've needed to hear at that moment in my life or has been something I've been able to share with someone else as it fit into group discussion times at bible studies or conversations with friends.

So here is what I have recently finished reading:

When Life and Beliefs Collide by Carolyn Custis James.
This book was recommended to me by a friend and I'll admit took me a little bit to get through (I started it last year) because I took my time with it and just needed to let some things simmer while I read through it.  This it definitely one that I will be purchasing my own copy of as I borrowed it.  I can definitely see myself turning back to it from time to time as a resource.  It was such a thought provoking book on women and theology and such a reminder of how much God loves us as women and how we can be used by Him. I’ll never read the story of Mary and Martha the same way again. It really made me thing of our role as women in God's kingdom and as one of his recruits to help share His message with others.  Don't ask me about this book unless you have a few minutes as it's kind of my pound your fist in a good way type book right now.

Women of the Word by Jen Wilkin
Don't let the title fool you.  This is definitely not a book just for Women.  In fact I kind of hate that it has the word "Women" in the title as it leads you to think it's a book for women and perhaps might cause a man not to read it when they would benefit from it just as much.  This book was a gift from a friend and was an easy quick read.  It looks at the different ways people read/study the bible and Jen's thoughts on how you can develop a concise plan for studying scripture.  She really challenges and encourages you to read scripture and determine first what you believe it to say before turning to find out how someone else interprets the scripture (via asking someone else, reading commentaries, reading the notes in your bible, etc).

Hands Free Mama by Rachel Macy Stafford
I'll admit I read this one a little slower than I probably should have and actually started it last year.  It's an easy read but was one that I just chose to pick up every now and then when I only had a couple of minutes to read.  In some ways I'm glad that I chose this approach as it gave me constant reminders to put aside my phone,  my agenda, my to do list and focus on things that really mattered at the moment such as my husband and boys.  I have, more than I'd like to admit, really gotten tied down to my phone and checking Instagram, Email and Facebook frequently throughout that day and not giving full attention to my family.  I can also be bad about my to do list dictating my day and allowing it to cause me to get angry with those around me if they disrupt that self imposed schedule.  I think that's another reason why I have found myself trying to read more and do something I like to do and not be so tide down to what I think has to get done and making sure that the house is spotless 24/7 and causing a lot of overdue stress on me and my family (this is a work in progress).  Don't get me wrong there are still things around the house that need to get done but it's ok to make a mess every now and then and just have fun with my family. 

So what's on tap next to read?????

I've started reading And the Angels Were Silent by Max Lucado as I thought this would be great leading up to Easter.  I'm pretty sure I read this several years back but can't really remember.

I plan to start Keep it Shut by Karen Ehman because sister who couldn't use some help with that and I'm finishing up Say Goodbye to Survival Mode by Crystal Paine.  Crystal is
the founder of which is a blog I started following shorty after Caleb was born. 

I really need to finish up The Best Yes by Lysa TerKeurst but I think this one may have to wait a little longer as I'm not sure I want four books going at one time.

I may also try to squeeze in Blessings of the Cross which is an ebook that I received for free for signing up for 40 days to Easter Devotions from Devotionals Daily at FaithGateway. This is another one that I'd like to read leading up to Easter.

So, what are you reading or what have you read that you recommend?