Thursday, September 20, 2012

if you need a pick me up

Thanks to my fabulous sister Lindsey, aka Tina, for passing these on!

Funniest part of nap time today...perusing "Hey Girl, it's Paul Ryan..."


Suri's Burn Book!  Who writes this stuff? 

Sunday, September 9, 2012

it's all about reading!

Take a look, it's in a book, a reading rainboowwww.   Do you remember that show? Google reading rainbow and watch the theme song, what a blast from the past!

Apparently, reading to our children is very, very important.  I think I've read that the greatest indicator of success in school is whether or not a child was read to regularly.  Reading anything is certainly better than nothing but I really wanted to find some high quality, classic childrens literature to read to Parks and put in our family library.  I've found some great lists that I wanted to share in case any of you are interested in finding some great books.

1.  Charlotte Mason Booklists.  Charlotte Mason is a homeschooling philosophy that places a high emphasis on surrounding your child with high quality literature.  They make their recommend book lists available online and they are arranged by age.  Take this list with you to the library or order some books to have at your house.

2.  Sonlight Booklists.  Sonlight is a Christian homeschooling curriculum that also posts their booklists online.  These include a few textbook style books but most of them are story books or books that could definitely be used just for recreational reading.  This is their pre-school book list:

3.  Caldecott Winners. The Caldecott award is given every year to a book that demonstrates excellence in childrens literature. Go back into the 30s, 40s, and 50s.  There are some very special books.

4.  Five In A Row Booklists.  This is a pre-school/kindergarten "curriculum" that is based almost solely on reading.  They have great booklists for preschool, kindergarten and beyond.

These will get you started on finding quality, classic childrens literature!  Utilize your local library or purchase on Amazon.  Their prices are almost always better than Barnes & Noble, etc.

Happy Reading!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

fullness of joy

As the weeks turned to months and the months have turned into a year, we've watch Reese's personality develop.  When she was a young infant I thought for sure I had it made with her.  God had given me a docile, laid back child who would be so easy to discipline and raise.  Oh what a difference a year made!  Now Parks and Reese are definitely different personalities, however, they are BOTH livewires.    Parks is strong-willed to the core and very bright- kind of a difficult combo.  It's kind of scary when you feel like your 3 year old is playing you for a fool.  He's can be a real challenge in the discipline department and also amazingly compassionate, helpful, innovative.  He is kind of, dare I say....calculating.   Reese is just plain feisty.  She's hilarious and a little firecracker.  She's much more relational and social than Parks but she's capable of throwing a tantrum with the best of 'em.  She has two speeds: asleep and full steam ahead.  She runs EVERYWHERE she goes and she's fast as lightening.  She's on tables, climbing up bookcases, etc.  She's a monkey/chatty cathy hybrid.  Lord, help me!

These two are my greatest joy and no doubt my greatest challenge.  Sometimes, I wonder how on the earth God saw me fit to handle them.  And then I realize, I'm supposed to parent in Christ who strengthens me. Joy is something that sometimes I struggle with in the daily reality of chasing Reese when she is running into the cul-de-sac or administering the 3rd spanking of the morning or having a screaming 15 month old in Trader Joes bc she wants to run around or trying to make lunch amidst endless requests for things and refereeing sibling fights.  Sometimes I just want to scream, "I'm not good at this!!!  Make it stop!!!!!"  Anybody?

This is how I feel "in the natural".  But I know that as a Christian, the natural is not the end for me.  Something that has really helped me is the scripture Psalm 16:11 it says "In His presence is fullness of joy."  I don't know about you but I need some JOY!  Where do we go when circumstances leave us without joy? In God's presence.  How do we get there?  That's probably different for different people.  But for me, I'm trying to be better about getting a little time in here and there with my bible.  It doesn't have to be a big study, just a quick moment with a scripture.  I try to read about the promises of God and let my mind dwell on it.  Another thing has been having Christian music on, in the car and in the house.  It really puts my heart in a different "posture"?  Then of course, being at church is a great way to feel God's presence.

So here I am. Trying to do the best I can for my kids despite my weaknesses.  Failing sometimes.  Successful sometimes.  Praying & desperate for God always.

The chuckleheads....

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Who needs a pool?

When you have personal dunking buckets!  Thanks to my friend Alisa for this great idea! My two chuckleheads had a blast splashing in the buff.  I did blur some photos for decency.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

A new year, a new season

Parks started Pre-K 3 this year at Norfolk Christian.  This is completely surreal to me as I graduated from highschool from Norfolk Christian a mere 8 years ago, yes I'm a youngin'! Walking back in today as a parent was a mixture of bizarre, hilarious and fun.  I absolutely adore his teacher and he has a really sweet group of kids in his class.  I'm really looking forward to this year for both Parks and myself.  I'm praying pre-school will be good to both of us :)

 Meanwhile, while the brother's away, little sister will play!!  Look what I found Miss Reese with in the garage!  She got it out of our recycling bin!  Naughty, naughty....

I'm excited to spend some quality time with this little one while Parks is away.  Clearly she needs a good influence! ;)

Thursday, August 16, 2012

A visit from Great-Grandparents

Toosie & Daddy Ike, my dad's parents, came in town a couple weeks ago from Florida along with my Aunt Noni and cousin Tim.   They are a joy to be around and Parks and Reese had so much fun! 
 Opening their gifts from Great-Grandma Toosie! 
 Thanks Toosie! 
 Parks' dream come true, a garbage truck! 

 Reese and my Aunt Noni, my dad's sister. 
 Love this little girl

 Frolicking at Gramsie and Grandfather's house

 Chasing Savannah, her favorite activity
 Parks loving his bubble gun

 Toosie and Daddy Ike
 Pootie Girl!! 
 In her "safe place" 
 The reality of trying to get a picture with Reese....

Ahhh, mommy's here, a little bit better. 

Saturday, July 7, 2012

This girl

Is so stinkin' cute.  She is the most precious little thing I ever did see.  My baby is 14 months old now and boy is she taking after her brother ;) Little Miss is now running away from me when she has something she knows she shouldn't.  Throwing arched-back tantrums when she doesn't get what she wants.  Silly girl, don't you know mommy has learned a thing or two with your brother?  She won't be doing that for long, Lord willing :) She is also the sweetest little wiggle bean.  She has a very happy personality and ADORES her daddy.  They have the sweetest relationship.  Our almost-black-haired-baby is now a very light golden brown haired little girl with 2 very blond patches in the front.  Look how light her hair is compared to Parks!  She spends her days chasing Parks and just trying to get in his business, bless her heart.  As of her last check-up she's in the 5th percentile for weight so she's our itty bitty.  We love our Reesey girl to pieces!