Monday, October 25, 2010

MIA on the blog

I have been a little out of touch with the blogging world this last week. Yet, for good reason... I was able to escape with my man for 5 days, 4 nights.  I can't even begin to tell you how great it was... it was absolutely glorious!

Mr. Steady earned the trip as part of President's Circle with his company.  They put us up at Terrenea Resort up in Rancho Palos Verdes.  It is beautiful, if you can ever get a chance to go, you better go!  His company covered all of our meals and even a treatment at the spa.  We were SOOOOO spoiled!

It was really hard being away from the kids, especially Baby Bro. But he did awesome for my mom, and took bottles like a champ!  The big kids did pretty good too... few melt-downs from Bug, one day with no nap... but they all survived!

... but back to my time away with Mr. Steady.  We enjoyed our time at the spa, eating amazing meals, eating dessert at every meal (oh, this will be a hard habit to break), going on walks, talking without being interrupted, dancing to the music of the band, getting dressed up, not having to worry about being spit-up on, going to bed whenever we want, waking up when we want (okay truth be told I never slept past 7am), celebrating all of Mr. Steady's accomplishments, getting to meet and spend time with other people that appreciate my man and all his hard work.  The lack of noise was a treat too!

 I am feeling refreshed and reinvigorated as a mom, wife and woman!  We had so many great conversations about this last year, the year ahead and even thoughts on the next 5-10 years.  We talked about ways we need to grow as parents and celebrated areas of personal growth.  Something about escaping the 4 walls of our home, gave us new perspective on all of life.

Getting away was quite a treat!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Encourage your man!

Okay ladies, some of you asked for it, here is my first post on marriage.  I am a little humbled to write this... it feels so different to write about marriage (as opposed to my kiddos).  Mr. Steady and I have a really good marriage.  Like everyone else, we have had some ups and downs.  But by God's grace we have had many more ups than downs, and even the downs haven't been so bad.  Honestly God blessed me beyond my every expectation with Mr. Steady!  And Mr. Steady is such a great husband!  He brings balance to my life in so many ways, loves me with so much grace and is just an amazing guy.

With that being said, I have a fun idea to share.  I did this for Mr. Steady about 2 years ago, and he LOVED it!  I decided it was due time to give my man some extra encouragement!

So it here is a little challenge for you. Go out of your way to encourage your hubby.  I know for Mr. Steady, and about EVERY other guy I know, that words of affirmation are critical!  Here is a simple, yet resounding way to encourage your hubby.

Step 1:
Grab a stack of 3x5 cards and a pen

Step 2:
Write out as many things as you can think of that you love about your man, things you are thankful for, things that are endearing, ways your love has grown... Try to write out at least 20 cards.

Step 3:
Place the cards around the house in the locations that best represent what you are thankful for...

Step 4:
When he gets home let the scavenger hunt of encouragement begin

When I was first going to do this idea, I wanted to make it on the computer, or on color coordinating paper to make it look pretty.  Then it hit me... making it look good would be for me.  Mr. Steady could care less about the presentation, he just cares about the words from my heart.

Round 2 of encouragement scavenger-hunt was just as much fun as the first time around!  I think I will make this a tradition to do every few years!  Now it is your turn to try ladies!  Oh, and don't ever tell your man that you heard this idea from me... please own it as your own!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Winner Winner, Chicken Dinner

Seriously though, our winner of the contest won the crockpot book.... could it be you : )

I was really high-tech in choosing the winner.  We put numbers 1-25 in a bowl, and I let H pull out the winner....

Here is a little video of the process... and then a little clip with H's math skills at the end... but feel free to watch as much or as little as you would like!

***UPDATED with full video***

Winner is The Schlabach Clan!  Fix-it and Forget it is coming your way!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

4 months old

How can it be that you are already 4 months old???  Sweet Baby Bro, I can't get enough of you!!

What I love the most...
Your WIDE open mouth smile

The way you hold my finger when you are eating
How you light up when you see your bro, sis, or daddy
okay, truth be told, how you really light up when you see mommy! Is it just because I got the milk?!?!
Your laugh {melts my heart}
That you are SLEEPING through the NIGHT!!!

New this month:
You learned to roll over back to belly and sometimes belly to back
Belly laugh when you are tickled
Sat in the Bumbo for a few minutes
Started spending some time in the excersaucer
Little dude, you love sucking your thumb (you are our first thumb sucker)

BB you are still so incredibly chill! Everything about you is a true delight!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Morning Board

This year to keep on top of what we are working on with H, and in an effort to have Bug involved in part of "school time," I decided to do what we call "morning board."  Other homeschool blogs that I follow gave me all of the ideas and printables I needed to do this.  I love the amazing resources other moms out there have created and are sharing!!  For the printables and little video tutorials you can check out these 3 awesome blogs:  1+1+1=1,   Homeschool Creations, and Confessions of a Homeschooler

Here is our morning board

Our morning routine:
1. Bug picks out the color of the day... then the kids find items that are that color to put on display.
2.  H finds the day of the week then we sing the "Days of the Week" song.
3.  H and Bug go and look out the window to see what the weather is for the day.  H finds the right card to match the weather and puts it on the board.
4.  Bug picks out the shape of the day, again the kids do a little searching to see if they can find anything with this shape.
5.  We talk about the character trait, usually there is a little song that goes with it (based off of Hubbard's Cupboard pre-K curriculum).

6.  pause... I give Bug something to do (puzzle, coloring book...)

7.  H reviews our phone number and address
8.  H recites his verses for the week (1 for Biblestudy, 1 for Awanas and 1 for school)
9.  We go over the site words for the week
10.  We practice the sign language for the letter of the week and sing the ABC's doing the signs that we have learned so far.
11.  H and Bug do the exercise for the letter of the week

This sounds really long, but in actuallity most mornings it is only 10-15 minutes tops.  Then it is usually Alone Play Time (APT) for Bug.  Sometimes H does APT at the same time, other days I use this time to work on more school stuff with H.

That is our little routine for the mornings that we don't have somewhere we have to be... oh, and we usually do this in our pajamas.  Maybe when Bug and BB are a little older and can help dress themselves, I can aspire to have everyone clothed by 9.  I just don't have that lofty of goals yet : )

Monday, October 11, 2010

100th post/ giveaway

***Giveaway Closed***

Seriously, this is my 100th post! Have I really had that much to say?!  Ha, by now you know, I am never really lacking for words, advice, updates, or pictures of my kids.

So here is my shameless attempt to see who is really reading : ) And to see who will actually leave a comment (hint, hint ;)). 

In honor of my 100th post, and you as my faithful readers, (even if this is your first time reading)... I want to give away one of the books that I am currently reading.  You get to pick from these four books:
 Don't Make Me Count to Three: a Mom's Look at Heart-Oriented Discipline
"Don't Make Me Count to Three" - Awesome book on biblical parenting.   Full of practical ideas and encouragement to create a home of communication and love.

The Jesus Storybook Bible: Every Story Whispers His Name
"The Jesus Storybook Bible"- Great kids Bible.  Every story ties back into Jesus and how "every story whispers His name."  Shows the gospel through each Bible story.

Bittersweet: Thoughts on Change, Grace, and Learning the Hard Way
"Bittersweet"- a compilation of short stories on life and life-changes.  This book is written by Shauna Niequist.  (For you APU friends, this is Todd Hybles sister)

Fix-It and Forget-It Cookbook: 700 Great Slow Cooker Recipes (Fix-It and Forget-It Series)
"Fix-It and Forget-It"-  My go to recipe book for crockpot meals.  And it is crockpot season!!!

...How to win...
1.  Click on the books above to read reviews and info.  Leave a comment with which book you would like to win.
2.  For a second entry, sign up to follow my blog...
3.  For yet another entry... leave a comment with what you want to see more of on my blog... help me come up with the next 100 posts : )

Leave a separate comment for each entry.  Winner will be chosen at random.
Giveaway will be open until Sunday October 17th at 8pm (pacific time).  I will announce the winner the following Monday by 8pm. 

Thanks for reading!  And thank you to those of you that have let me know that you read Joyfully Domestic, it really encourages me to keep sharing my heart and pics of my little peeps!

the parenting pendulum

Recently I realized that I am constantly swinging on the parenting (child training) pendulum.  When the kids are behaving, doing great and acting as I desire, I am feeling oh so proud... dare I admit I am truly prideful.  However when they are disobeying, being selfish and defiant I am oh so discouraged.  From discouragement to pride, then pride back to discouragement.

Uggh! Then I realize, "wow, this really isn't about me".  If they are doing well, I need to be praising God for working in their little hearts.  If they are struggling with sin, I need to be coming along side them {dare I say thankful for an opportunity} to train their heart and leaning on God for his help.  When my heart is focused on me and my efforts, I am failing to see all that God is doing.  The other thing I have noticed is when I am swinging back and forth, I am failing to see their hearts; all I am focusing on is their behavior.

Heart training is so incredibly difficult.  To see what the heart issue is behind the behavior is so hard.  It is even difficult for me to really evaluate what is going on in my heart that is driving my attitude and actions.  To break down each issue to the true sin behind it can be a challenge.  However, the alternative of only looking at the behavior teaches our little ones that as long as you appear to have it together on the outside it doesn't matter what is going on inside.

Last Friday I picked "Don't Make Me Count to Three" up off my bookshelf to re-read.  It has been 2+ years since I read it and I needed a little refresher after some issues we got going on in our casa.  I am devouring each chapter... this is exactly what I needed.  Here is a section that got right to my heart:

"When we focus on our children's outside behavior and neglect what is on the inside, we will cause our children to become manipulators.  They will learn to please us by jumping through the hoop (by acting the way we tell them to act out of fear of punishment) but thy will not learn the righteousness of Christ... we risk them viewing Christianity as a set of burdensome rules."

I have so much growth in the area of parenting... so much growth in godly wisdom, patience and perspective!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Rain boots

I have a new fascination with rain boots... Yesterday, while Baby Bro was sleeping the "big kids" and I went out to look for puddles to jump in.   Ahhh, to no avail, they had all dried up while we were at Bible-study.  But we had fun playing around, and I loved capturing each of their personalities, but also the sweet relationship they have.

And then about 30 pictures into it, I noticed this...

 Bug had put her boots on the wrong feet.  It made me smile and made me so thankful that I was able to capture yet another part of life at this point in time.  Oh, the ordinary day that I want to cherish and soak in!

We had so much fun...  I think this mama needs a pair of rain boots so we can make a tradition of jumping in the puddles... or the lack there of : )

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Fall Day

Oh, how I have loved this week of cloudy weather with a little bit of rain!  Yesterday and today felt like a real Fall day!  I busted out some of our sweaters, rain jackets, rain boots, and a cute little scarf.  I have the strongest urge to pack up all of our summer clothes... but I won't cause I live in Southern California and it will get warm again.  This morning at Bible Study I mentioned that I wanted to pack up our summer clothes and a girl laughed out loud.  She said, "I have lived here all my life, and I never thought of some clothes being just for the summer."  Then she said, "Don't pack anything up, we have had years where we had to run our AC at Christmas."  So the shorts and tanks will stay at their prime place in my closet (especially since it is supposed to be in the 80s this weekend)... but I will take advantage of my opportunities to wear my sweaters, scarfs and Uggs.  I love the cozy clothes of Fall and Winter! 
 RIP CURL Flecker Womens Sweater
Women's Uggs, Classic Tall boot

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Beach Bonfire

We had a first as a family this weekend... we went to the beach with our friends and had a bonfire.  It kind of reminded me of fun times doing this in college... but I must say with 3 little ones it was a little more chaotic : )  The kids loved it (other than BB, he didn't think the wind in his face was very fun). 

 Bug, H, and Ev

 I think these 2 might get married some day... they already argue like an old married couple... but at other time they get lost in each other's eyes : )

 Bring on the S'mores

Bug was lovin' the S'mores!

We will definitely be doing this again soon... 
anyone want to join us?


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