Friday, March 28, 2014

Coasting to Spring...

We're generally a pretty healthy bunch around here, but M had an ear infection last week and Nolan has a pretty ugly cough today. (Wrote this a few days ago - took me a while to get pics added... Turns out it was croup!  It was pretty quick, though, and he's all better now.)  Thankfully there's not much on the calendar this week so we are taking it easy and laying low.

This morning Nolan played with the cloud dough that we made the other day while I did the dishes and then we made apple cheddar muffins - we did sit and watch a lot of TV, but at least there was some play and some productivity, too!

The cloud dough was a recipe I found when I was starting to get cabin fever last month - I searched for a bunch of activities to do with toddlers and finally got around to trying this on this weekend.  With only two ingredients (eight cups of flour and one cup of oil -we used baby oil), it was a super simple one to make and Nolan was entertained for a long time.  I'm not sure how long it keeps, but we've got it in a pail on the counter ready to play with until it all ends up swept into the garbage.  It does make a bit of a mess...

Another activity I tried from that same website was painting in the bathtub with shaving cream colored with food coloring.  N had fun painting the walls around the tub, and clean up was just a matter of taking off the diaper and running the water!  Both fun and easy.  He is really looking forward to being able to get outside more, though. 

Inside, his toys of choice are Daddy's screwdrivers and a "working TV 'mote."  He has toy tools, and even some old remotes, but he knows there is a big difference.  Especially since he's been helping Dad change light fixtures.  He wants the real tools all the time now.

Madeline is done basketball and soccer, so we are pretty free these days.  She's looking for something else to get busy with - we're helping her stay occupied by having her watch Nolan while we get out on our own every now and then.  Her basketball wind up introduced us to an awesome place that N and I have been back to a couple of times already - Boomers Air Park.  Do you have one of these where you live?  It's a trampoline park - a warehouse that's wall to wall trampolines (including up the walls!)  They have toddler time during the day a few times a week, so we've been out there having a blast.

I hope you are healthy, not too busy, and are enjoying your loved ones!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

How to Feel Good (and a Free Printable)

Hi, friends.

I just wanted to send you a little encouragement today.  This time of year when you may feel like you've been stuck in the snow or in the same routine or the same problems for too long, it helps to be reminded of how to get back up.  These are things you probably already know, but reminders are good.  Reminders are needed.

1. Go Outside.  In our neck of the woods, the weather is cooperating - all four of us got outside to play in the snow Sunday afternoon, and it may have been the highlight of my weekend.  Great temperatures, lots of new fresh snow (that will be gone soon!) and the family all together?  Perfect.  This morning I was outside with the boy for an hour, too - not quite as entertaining as with all of us, but still, fresh air and a little unforced exercise?  So good for you.

2. Read Uplifting Words.  Do you browse blogs? Try (in)courage for a starting place - lots of good contributors there.  Paper more your style? I'm reading The 4:8 Principle by Tommy Newberry, which is based on Philippians 4:8, which I printed out a while ago and put up on my wall - it's good to be taken deeper into HOW to think on those things.

3. Think Positively.  This stems from that verse and that book.  I believe we don't pay attention enough to what we think, and allow negative thoughts to occupy places they shouldn't in our brains.  What we think really does make a difference in our moods, our attitudes and efforts in relationships; what we teach ourselves to think about today really does shape our future. Read that again:
4. Focus on Your Family.  Invest in Your Relationships.  'Hermit-ing' is okay sometimes, but don't stay there for too long.  Make the effort to get out with a friend.  Plan a playdate.  Pick up the phone.  Go out with the man without the kids.  Start good routines of good dinner table conversations.  Pick some questions that you ask each other each week. (Thanks, Pastor Darren!)  As your relationships improve, you will notice yourself feeling more up.

5. Accept Your Season.  I sat down to write mostly about this today, but then my topic morphed.  And I found this post by Kristen Welsh which said it perfectly, anyway.  I have been aware lately that this is the least involved I have been in groups or ministries or serving... and often remind myself that looking after my kids is the greatest service I can be doing right now.  No one needs me more than they do.  Time-wise, what I do all day with Nolan and how I am training him is shaping his whole life to come.  I am doing all I need to be.  No guilt. 

May you feel uplifted, encouraged, accepted and loved today.  You are a beautiful, wonderful, creation and I hope you believe that in your deepest heart.

If you would like a copy of that print, I would love to share it.  **Updated!  Click here to go to a new post where you can click and download instead of emailing to ask!  Yay for new technology! **