Bingo Dabber Banners

Bingo Dabber Banners

For valentines day I got my son and his friend to bingo dabber their cute little hearts out all over a huge piece of paper. I then cut out a whole bunch of triangles and wrote Happy Valentines day. I wrote one letter on each triangle. The boys had a blast and took a lot of pride in the banner. I plan on doing another one for Easter and my daughters birthday is coming up. Its such a fun an easy to clean up art project.

Potty Training my lion cub

december 24th 2013 -February 23rd 2014 949

Potty Training. That was my first eye opener/crash course in what it means to actually be a parent. Before this moment in our families life we were just parents who provided love and care. Discipline, consequences and consistency were really not topics that came up that often. Besides training our children to sleep on their own and to be gentle. these topics just weren’t discussed often. And we thought we were the worlds most amazing parents sent to earth! We probably were. All it took to knock over our pedestal was a nice little 3 day potty training experience with our 22 month old son.

He did awesome, at first. Day one was all accidents but I was prepared for that. My mom was over and my daughter was looked after by her. I was just my sons shadow. The end of Day One he said he had to pee and did it!!! Day two was a mixture of accidents and successes. Day three it had stuck! We deserved a medal! We were amazing. We did it! We trained our 22 month old son in 3 days. No more diapers. No pull-ups. Rewards were jelly beans for number one and a special dollar store car for number 2. We were still the worlds most amazing parents. Then came Day 8.

Some times I dream about life before “Day 8”. Before “Day 8” I was patient, kind, understanding, a go with the flow kind of parent. Most of all. I was never hot headed. I never lost my cool. oh how I wish I could rewind life and go back to do “Day 8” all over again. Here is why.

I am surprised the neighbors didn’t come over to check and see what happened. I am shocked my husband didn’t hear me all the way from his office, which is a 5 minute drive away. I exploded. I was furious. I was embarrassingly mad. I was a horrible mother/person/human being.  It all began when I had a day off from my in-home job and decided to take my 6 month old and my 22 month recently potty trained son out to run errands. He woke up with dry under wear but proceeded to pee on his carpet in his room. We quickly rushed him to the potty where he got a few drops in. after cleaning that all up we made our way down stairs to have breakfast. during breakfast he decided it was too delicious to bother going on the potty and went number 2 in his booster seat! Delightful! Thanks buddy. I calmly cleaned up that mess and secretly told myself that at least we got his BM out of the way for the day. So I thought. Well with new clothes on and a new plastered smile we loaded into the van. I was too busy cleaning up after my son to get myself breakfast so we made a stop at Timmy’s and were on our way. With coffee in hand, I loaded up my children into our double stroller, after parked in my usual spot, where I was half way in between all the stores I wanted to shop at. We made it successfully through 2 stores and there was just one more on my list. It had been a while since he had used the potty so in this store we went straight to the bathroom. I lead by example hoping he would quickly want to follow suit. After putting up a huge fit and squeezing his legs together and planking his body, I decided this was not worth it. So we ventured out. As I was deciding which books I wanted to purchase and My little lion cubs were happily playing at the courtesy train table (I bet you know where I am now. You may have even been there and heard our whole incident.) It happened.

All over the floor and all down his pants and in his shoes. It was like he had been saving a weeks worth of pee! Now looking back it was kind of impressive. I scooped him up and shoved his planking body and tried to put him into the stroller. He was screaming at the top of his lungs. He was soaked. I carried him instead of trying to win the stroller battle and left the puddle on the floor. (Don’t worry I told someone who worked there). I am not sure why I still proceeded to make my way to the check out and purchase the books. But I did. I dragged my kicking and screaming and soaking wet son up to the register and in between is gasps for air told the lady no bag was needed and yes I have a discount card. To make matters worse. As I was holding him and he was using all this muscles to scream that also meant that he now had something else coming out of his pants and all over my clothes! Deep breath.

I ran out of the book store with books and toddler in one arm and stroller being pushed by my other. I made my way to the van and opened the trunk where I planned to create a changing station since my back seats were folded down. I stripped down my filthy son, after putting my baby in her car seat, and found an extra pair of everything for him to wear. (I keep 3 outfits and an extra pair of shoes in the van) I was livid, embarrassed, covered in crap and exhausted. I felt defeated. I thought he was potty trained? I thought that if i put the hard work in for those three days and if he caught on like he did, then I would never have to worry about it again. I was wrong. I Got into the car and opened all the windows so I wouldn’t have to smell myself (because of course i had no change of clothes). I took a deep breath and prayed. I prayed that God would help me to see the bigger picture. I prayed that God would remind me of the sweet little boy He sees when He looks at my son. I needed to see this whole situation through Gods eyes because mine were tainted (brown).

I wish this story ended here. I wish this story ended where I was turning to God for help. Where I was taking deep breaths and keeping my cool. But it doesn’t.

We arrived home and I unloaded the sleeping baby and the exhausted toddler. I brought my little innocent baby girl up to bed and came back down to feed my son lunch. Lunch was uneventful. Food was eaten and not much was said. As soon as I took him down from his booster seat at the table he peed all over the dining room floor. Seriously??!! Are you kidding me. I took off his pants and went to the laundry room to find him some more underwear. When I came back he was nowhere to be found. I went looking for him and quietly called his name. What I found would proceed to be the camel that broke this mamas back! I found my little lion cub half way up, our now poo covered stairs, on his way to bed. I yelled. I freaked out. I did not seek for Gods peace and understanding. I was way to selfishly mad to think about anyone else but myself. I grabbed that poor little boy and took him upstairs to the bath tub and in a not very gentle way washed him off as he sat their teary eyed listening to me tell him how disappointed and upset I was at him. I put him in a diaper and brought him to his bed and told him to have a nap. I closed his door and then grabbed my cleaners and started the lovely job of cleaning off crap from my carpeted stairs.

As I sat there cleaning up my sons mess in silence, I could hear his soft sobbing coming from his room. At first that sound made me angry. I mean, what did he actually have to be sad about. I was the one cleaning up the mess. He was the one who now gets to have a nap. With the cleaning job completed my heart started to melt. I started to think about how scared and alone and confused he must have felt and how my anger really only briefly satisfied me. Now that I wasn’t focused on me, I started to hear what God was trying to teach me.

I think I am finally able to write about this now, because even though it has been 4 months since we started training him and he is just finally getting it now, now i am starting to see the end. I am starting to stop believing the lies that I will have to be telling him to “tell mommy when you need to use the potty” until the day he leaves for collage. I am seeing the fruits of my labor. I learned so much about myself just from potty training my son. I learned that I am really not as patient as I thought. I learned that I get angry and frustrated really fast. I learned that I am a way better parent when I am looking at my children through Gods eyes. I learned that my children thrive when I am listening to God and what He wants from me.

In some ways I am thankful from Day 8.  Day 8, forced me to be a better parent. Day 8 also knocked me off my high horse. I lived for 22 months and 7 days thinking that I was the best mother ever. Now, I am living an honest life. I am living a more humble life. I am living a life where I seek God in absolutely everything and every area!

My prayer is that you find your own Day 8. And when you do. Embrace the lessons and guidance that come with it. Apply them in your every day. I also ask that you share your own Day 8 with other parents. We are all only humans raising humans the best we can. We need help from God and we need help from our own villages around us. Encourage each other. Learn from each other. But most of all, Love each other.

-a humbled Lioness

DIY Bath paints

DIY Bath paints

Loved this one!
Home made bath paints were easy to make and they both had so much fun making a complete mess. My sons reaction was “my thinks this is awesome”. I kept hearing him say “so awesome” under his breath as he and his sister created a wonderful piece of art work all over our clean bath tub and wall. I sat there peacefully know that the the main ingredient was soap, and they were really just doing me a favor. This experience also ended in tears as I washed and cleared away their master pieces from our tub and their cute little clean bodies. The tears quickly stopped when I reassured him that I had taken lots of pictures and even a video.

Result: Clean tub, Clean kids, Praise from my 2 year old. This all adds up and will definitely be a repeat in this house.

Score : 9/10 (took a while to clean and prepare so is not as convenient as a normal bath time.)

-Lioness and her squeaky clean lion cubs

disco bath night

disco bath night

Our first #thebathexperiment was Glow Sticks! My Son absolutley loved it and I had to spend the first few minutes explaining to him that he needs to share with his little sister. I had 5 of them (came in a pack of 5 for 1 dollar) and he got three and she got two. At first all he wanted to do was hold them all in his hand and just sit there. So I got him to share one with me and i started to “play”. We made neon soup, we did our ABC’s in the air. we wore them as bracelets and necklaces. After I got his creative juices flowing and helped him to think outside of the bubble, he was off to the races. We had to add hot water at one point. and they both went to bed crying because they wanted their glow sticks to sleep with them. We ended up just hanging them up in their rooms so they could look at them while falling asleep to dreams of a neon world where everything is glowing.

Result: Wonderful. Doing it again.

Score:9/10 (only because its the first one and I am a hard judge)

-Lioness and her Cubs

Sleep schedule

My little man is transitioning from a 3 hr time schedule to unsure schedule. He definitely doesn’t need as much sleep as before, loves sleeping in the mornings, dislikes in the afternoons and evenings… So I am attempting to keep him awake in between naps in the morning so it is more consistent the rest of the day. Here’s to a fun experiment!

20140222-085209.jpg

#EmptyShelf Challenge

I will be attempting to do this same challenge Nate Smith is doing. I have been really into reading lately and wanted to challenge myself to read books that will be thought-provoking. Unfortunately, I do not have the funds to buy books, I will be borrowing from the library. Each time I complete a book, i will take a photo of the cover and tell you something about it. Not an official book review, but something.

-Owl

20140220-073847.jpg

10 ways to make bath time fun

Bath time in my family is for the most part a fun way to get clean, waste time before bed, and settle the kids down before curling in their pj’s and reading books. On most days our bath experiences are long and full of me warning my children to sit on their bums, keep the water in the tub, and telling them to stop eating the soap or drinking the “bum water”. I have been thinking lately how to make bath time more exciting and i went and asked one of my really good friends, Pinterest. Pinterest gave me a whole bunch of ways to make bath time fun. So I decided to pick 10 of the ideas that seemed most appealing to me and to my children s age group. So my goal is the spend the next 10 bath times doing one of these and letting you know how it goes.

Here is my list:

1.Glow Sticks

2.Home made bath Crayons

3. Funny Faces with Craft foam

4.Shaving cream paint

5.Bathtub puffy paint

6. PVC piping water fall

7. cut up pool noodles for bath foam pit:)

8. Pool Noodle water wall

9. Sponge fishing

10. colored ice cubes

– Lion

Teens Who Read

For the past two years, I have had the opportunity to be with 5 grade 8/9, now 9/10, girls through my church youth group. This year I got backup and have an awesome co-leader to these crazy kids

I have had a little more time on my hands this year compared to last year. Instead of working 40+ hours a week with just lunch breaks because we were so busy, I get 2 hour stretches throughout the day of my little one napping. Which brings me to this: I did not realize last year how much my girls LOVE to read. I know, lots of teenagers wouldn’t think reading is fun, but the majority of these girls fly through books.  When I realized this, I started to notice they like to read the same books and then discuss them, but they don’t discuss things like “That was a nice book to read, I can’t wait to read all this author’s books”. They are more like, “I CAN’T think of anything else other than that character dying! Why did she do that in chapter 12… I am so sad, I don’t know how to function without reading more of these people’s lives…” (slight exaggeration, but that’s mostly how they sound).

So I joined them in one series of books that most of them read (4 out of 5 of the girls finished in a week). Today, I would like to discuss with you the Divergent series. From what I have figured out, this is the new type of Hunger Games. Different story plot, but at the same time they have a guy who is strong, and has a secret, similar to a girl. They fall in love, and through this crazy city and world they live in, have to fight for something they don’t even understand but know is out there. I enjoyed reading these books. It was fun to read something that was simple, and not a theological textbook (after 4 years of Bible College). So, like the girls, I flew through three books in less than a week (around 1700 pages). What I found interesting was that my attachment to the characters was definitely different than theirs.  They were so involved in the characters’ lives, talking about them like they were real people outside the book. As much as we want our children to love reading (it is such an awesome thing!), I feel like there is such a thing as unhealthy reads.  Don’t get me wrong, if you or your children are reading the Divergent seriesI also found it fun to read, and it is already a movie this summer, but my new mission is to help these girls find books that leave them wanting to live life, to enjoy what is around them, rather than living vicariously through the lives of the characters in each book they read.

When going through this book series with them, I asked myself, “What am I doing to help these girls see life beyond fictional characters? Am I finding books that they might like, that have something to do with their faith journey? Do I show them any real life fun? 

I read books growing up; my favorite author was and still is Mitch Albom. But I enjoyed plays, musicals, ballets, acting, script writing… I enjoyed doing things that made me want to do more in my real life. Opposite of that, I also played volleyball, basketball, and volunteered at my church. My life was full.

So I guess my challenge for you and for me is this: What are we doing to help bring youth real life?

    After reading these books, I decided that I would start finding books that my girls might want to read that I know are about real life and wanting to be free in Christ. So I lent out Captivating by John  and Stasi Eldredge. I remember falling in love with who I am as a woman in Christ’s love when I read this. I also wanted to encourage them to read a devotional, so I brought a couple of my copies of Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren, and I will hopefully be starting this 40 day journey with a few of them (I am waiting for a copy from the library, I handed all mine out).

If you have any book suggestions, I would love to hear them.

Owl

 

2 Ways That Helped My Marriage

Recently I have been obsessed with marriage. Not in a needy way, trying to get my husband to talk and think about our marriage; I have been fascinated with listening to and reading what God has to say about marriage. So, in the last month or so, I started searching the internet, reading books and watching and listening to sermons with the main topic of marriage. I am learning that I don’t think it is right for someone to switch churches because they are bored or they aren’t getting anything out of their church (you get what you put in). I do feel it is totally acceptable to listen to other pastors as well as gain wisdom from someone other than your lead pastor (I know, shocking). Here are two of the main tools I have found:

1.  A one year marriage devotional book. If I LOVED the one my husband and I are reading, I would recommend it, but I don’t fully feel like it is good enough to promote. But, what I do promote is reading, everyday, something small about marriage. The nice part about our devotional is that it has a question at the end of every day that you ask your spouse. Although it is cheesy, we have had a really good conversation at least once a week. So it is worth it. Our promise is that we read our devotional before we can watch TV or eat dinner :). That is what helps us stay motivated in reading it.

2. The Village Church in Surrey has a great 7 week sermon series called “Radical Marriage”.  It is so awesome! My husband came home one day when I started watching it, and we ended up watching all the sermons together (and yes they are almost 50 minutes long!). You can watch all of them, plus some bonus things on the website www.myvillagechurch.org under “Sermons”, then “Radical Marriage”. I highly recommend it. The pastor uses a lot of stats and talks about things you wouldn’t expect from a church.

With these two main things, I am getting “shovel fed” with information.  It has been super nice to feel and see the results in trying to be intentional with my marriage, as well as seeing how God wants to use marriage to show us how much He loves us.

I hope these are helpful for you. If you have any questions, I would love to discuss this with you!

– Owl