Thursday, September 20, 2012

Blessings Abound!

Our fourth child has arrived!  Celia Marie was born on Wednesday, September 19, 2012.  She came in to this world after only 4 hours of labor at 10:30 in the morning!  A little peanut at 7lbs 4oz and 18inches long (our shortest one yet!).  I am feeling wonderful and Celia is nursing like she's been doing it forever - such a blessing!

The three older kids came up yesterday with grandma and papa to meet their new sister.  There were three very different reactions!  Abram (being only 15 months) has no clue what is going on, he just wanted lots of hugs and kisses from mommy.  Amelia (almost 4) said she would hold Celia once she came home but was quick to offer her lots of hugs and kisses and was constantly making sure she had all the stuff (paci, blanket, lovie etc).  Sophia on the other hand, the little mother of the bunch (our 2nd born and 2 and a half year old) ran right in the room, wanted to hold Celia right away, gave lots of hugs and kiss, asked about her diapers, and where her diaper bag was and said she was ready to take her home now.  It was so precious to me to see them all interact with one another!  We'll see how things go when I go home with Celia in another day!

I am writing this from my hospital bed... waiting for the nurse to bring me my precious little girl!  Words cannot describe how elated I feel to not be pregnant anymore.  But besides that, I feel so much joy in my heart as I think of the blessings God has given me. Four beautiful blessings in fact.  Each of them precious.  Each of them unique.  Each of them fearfully and wonderfully made.

When I was expecting our first a dear friend and very wise woman told me, "instead of dreading those midnight feedings with baby, use them to pray over your child."  ("it'll help you stay awake too!").  So that's what I did, I started praying over my kids when I was up with them at night.  Last night (or early this morning really) when the nurse brought me Celia, she did not want to eat, in fact they had to wake her up so I could feed her because it had been so long since "dinner."  So we prayed together, I thanked God for bringing her into our family and asked for wisdom and patience, among other things.  What a sweet, sweet time it was together, just me, my baby and my Heavenly Father.  She finally ate and we both settled back in to a restful sleep.  Now, I'm not going to lie to you, I love my sleep, in fact I require lots of sleep.  So for me to say that I really look forward to many more midnight feedings wouldn't be completely true, but the opportunity that it allows me is a gift that I do cherish.  I don't have tons of uninterrupted time in my life with the kiddos running around, so to me, for the few months that a baby wakes at night to eat, that is just another blessing God has bestowed upon me.  A chance to run to Him, to cling to Him for strength, and wisdom, a chance to lift my children up to Him in prayer.  And what an amazing blessing it is.

Baby, has arrived and is ready for breakfast!  May God bless you this day, and may you find joy in all your circumstances!

*Pictures coming later today!

Workbox Activities for Preschoolers (and Tiny Tots)

A couple weeks ago I had a few requests for suggestions for activities to do with preschoolers.  This in no way is a complete list and I am constantly coming up with fun new ideas but here is a general list to help you get started.  What I love about coming up with activities for these kiddos is that the sky is the limit, their minds are so ready to learn that you can turn really any every day item in to a teaching tool!

Sorting craft pom-poms by color - either into small bowls, or ice cube trays
Matching nuts and bolts - raid daddy's tool box and let them see if they can match the size (small parts so be careful around really little kiddos)
Sorting change - give them a handful of coins and see if they can recognize the differences
Building with legos - construct something small, see if they can copy it
Lacing cards/beads
Making patterns - use anything from colored socks to fruit loops
Cutting practice - ever wonder what to do with all that scrap paper?
Clipping clothes pins - give them a paper plate to clip them on
Paper clips - let them link them together
Board games - monopoly, rummikub, othello, playing cards, scrabble, chess, checkers. memory, etc
(my kids love to "play" these games - use your imagination)
Sensory tubs - rice, pasta, pinto beans, etc

Like I said, this is not a comprehensive list but it'll get you started with some fun ideas to try with your preschoolers!  If you have any other fun ideas leave a comment, I'm always on the hunt for new things to do with my kiddos!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Missing In Action...

Yikes, has it really been two weeks since I posted last? Where did that time go?

We have been busy over here, cleaning, sorting, schooling, playing and lots of long walks. Honestly the weather has been so nice lately that we've been spending oodles of time outdoors...sometimes taking three walks a day!

On top of preparing for baby number 4 who will be joining us shortly, I have been chasing around a very active boy. It seems everytime I sit down to the computer Abram has found something new to climb on or in to. This weeks newest discovery for him was that he can climb from the chair to the table to our half wall and balance precariously on top-talk about giving me a heart attack. The other discovery for him recently is that he no longer wants tp go down the stairs backwards but walking, so he stands on the top and dangles a foot over the edge...mommy has had to run to catch him many times in the last few days. Needless to say, I have no pictures of him doing either of these as I was more concerned with safety!

his past week Amelia started her ballet class. She had a ball and is excited to go back this week!

Another exciting thing for us is that fall Bible study started up at our church (as well as Tuesday Tots-the children's program). This semester I am doing a study on the book of Philippians all about choosing joy in the midst of hard times. There are about 20 ladies doing this study. I am really looking forward to seeing what God teaches all of us in the coming weeks!

Sorry, no pictures for this post, lots coming on Saturday! And next Monday I'll be posting my master list for our workbox activities as some of you have askef for some new ideas!

Enjoy your weekend!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Our Week In Pictures!

And boy what a week it was!  Prepare for picture overload! 

Lots of trike riding outside!

My cousin was visiting from Georgia with her two littles, so a bunch of us headed to Impression 5 Science Museum in Lansing for the day!  Definitely worth the drive!

Grandma helping Abram down the slide!

Playing house!

Amelia giving Abram a few pointers...

My little climber

There was a whole soft section for babies... Abram didn't enjoy it.

Amelia not wanting her picture taken

The water section!  Sophia would've stayed in here all day...

...unfortunately, Abram ended up getting soaked so they didn't stay in there all day!

Amelia wanted NOTHING to do with the water and preferred playing house!

Snack time!

One of Amelia's cousins showing her how a catapult works!

Watching the "moths" fly

Making a life cycle

This made me laugh... Sophia HATES slides at the park but for some reason she loved the ones they had here!

Amelia the pirate

Learning about pulley systems

Abram wasn't a huge fan of being up so high, the floor was clear which I think freaked him out a bit!

The girls LOVED this giant mouth...

36 weeks

This is his new funny face!  I love it!

Amelia is very excited about starting ballet next week... however she is NOT a fan of having her picture taken!

Thankful for generous neighbors and grandparents (and this was toward the end of the week after we'd eaten most of it)!

"Mom look, I'm going to the circus" (not really sure what she was thinking)