Friday, October 25, 2013

Guest Post at "Careless in the Care of God"

Hey everyone! 

Today, I'm super excited to link to "Careless in the Care of God."  I follow this blog and love to hear the story of encouragement and healing shared there.  Every Friday, there's a guest post on Matthew 6:26.  I'm thrilled to be the guest post today!!

Check out my guest post here.

Visit to keep up with future posts, as well!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Painting with Marshmallows

I wanted to give my little one a different painting experience this week. I took a few marshmallows (not mini-size) and plastic straws from our Take and Toss sippy cups. I stuck each marshmallow with a straw. Once the marshmallow stamps were done, I put a dab of glue on a paper plate, and we painted!

I demonstrated for my son, and he picked it up very quickly. This was a great painting experience!

He dotted and brushed and stamped. He tried a few colors and painted for about 20 minutes. When he was done with the marshmallows, he fingerprinted for a couple more minutes before telling me "Ah Done."

I will definitely repeat this craft. My little one enjoyed it, and it wasn't too messy. Preparation was about 5 minutes, and it's an out-of-the-box painting activity. The only drawback is that the marshmallows break down after about 10 minutes, so we had to replace the marshmallows halfway into painting. 

Do you have any painting projects that your little ones love?

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Trip to the Zoo

We have a zoo within an hour's drive from us.  A few months ago, we signed up for the annual membership.  We've been a handful of times already, and it's been worth every penny of the investment. 
My little guy loves animals.  This started with Go Diego Go!  Now, we play with the dinosaurs at the library every trip, check out animal books, and look for age-appropriate animal toys.  He can say many animal names and duplicate about 20 animal sounds. 
The very first time we went to the zoo, he learned the flamingo sound.  They make this honk/grunt sound, which surprised me since they are such graceful-looking animals.  This trip to the zoo, however, we got a little too close to the flamingos.  In this picture, they're all sleeping and looking peaceful.  One minute after the picture was taken, one flamingo decided to get closer to the water and started honking and flapping his way to the water.  This, of course, frightened my little guy, and he started shrieking!  After some comfort from Mama, he was better and we moved to another exhibit!

We also really like the giraffes and elephants at the zoo.  We have both of these in toy form, and my little one enjoyed seeing them up close and moving!  We watched the elephants take a walk with the zookeeper, and we saw the giraffes eating leaves way above our heads!
Ok, I saved the coolest part ... Our zoo just opened a kangaroo exhibit.  In this exhibit, you can actually walk around IN the exhibit.  You have to stay on the path, but you're within 10 feet of most of the kangaroos.  If they hop onto the path, you can pet them!  So... we got to pet a kangaroo!  Seriously!  How many people get to pet a kangaroo?!  That was our favorite part of the zoo trip! 

What's your favorite zoo animal?

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Playing With Cars ... Painter's Tape Edition

We play with cars every day.  We have a basket full of random kid's meal cars and garage sale finds.  While my little one is content with just cars, I try to introduce some variety into playtime. 

Enter a roll of painter's tape. 

I love this stuff. I taped several boxes and lines on the carpet. 

My son is still very young (19 months), so he is still learning the wide world of imagination. I tried to show him how to drive on the lines, line the cars up in a parade, and create a "garage" for the extra cars. 

My little one?  He was content to "vroom" as usual. :-)

We left the tape on the carpet on the floor for a few days. Each day he interacted more with the taped roadways. This is probably an activity that he will appreciate more when he is a little older, but we had fun with it anyway. 

I think the best part for him was pulling up all the tape at the end. He twirled and threw tape pieces around the room for about 20 minutes before we cleaned it all up. 

One roll of painter's tape stretches a long way to create hours and hours of toddler playtime. 

What's your favorite playtime creation?

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Refuge in the Storm

This verse is comforting to me when I am struggling.  I love to know that God has a hiding place for me.  He will give me refuge in His wings while I'm in the midst of a storm. 
Last week was a struggling week for me.  I was in the middle of a storm of worry and busy-ness.  I wasn't sleeping well, and I felt like I could not catch up with everything that I needed to get done. 
Enter Psalm 57:1.  God reminded me to slow down, to call on Him for mercy and healing, and to REST in Him during my tough week. 
What comfort to know that the Creator of the universe invites me to rest in the shadow of His wings when I am having a tough time.  He holds me close and gives me comfort when I feel like I can't get anything done.  He invites me to rest.
Resting... for a mama of a toddler, this is a precious commodity!  Nap time is too short, and my son doesn't always sleep through the night.  Feeling well-rested is something I took for granted for most of my adult life.  Now that I've been without rest, I realize how amazing a full night of solid sleep can be. 
When I think about resting in God, I equate peace and comfort with this term.  I'm so thankful that I can have peace and rest and calm even in a busy week with little sleep. 

Friday, October 4, 2013

Story Hour: Things That Grow

Our library has story hour four days a week. Me and the little mister have been twice in the last month. Each week is a different theme, and the same stories are repeated each day that week. 

The first time we attended story hour, there were so many kiddos that we didn't stay for craft time.  

This time, however, we stayed for the whole thing. They started with stories and songs about "Things That Grow."  Trees, fruit, animals, and people were the themes of the books we read and songs we sang. My little one enjoyed shouting out animal sounds as familiar animals appeared on pages. He even braved the circle mat for a few minutes with the other toddlers and preschoolers. 

For craft time, he got to make a fall tree. 

Step One: With a brown or black crayon, he drew a tree and branches. (Mama helped a little).

Step Two: Paint clear glue all over tree branches. He loves to paint, so this was easy-peasy for him!

Step Three: Stick pre-cut tissue paper squares on the glue. 

As you can see, some squares are neat, and some squares are squished. This was due to the creative freedom of the 19-month-old artist. :)  The fine motor requirements of this craft are a little advanced for a young toddler because the tissue pieces were clumped together.  I separated the pieces for him once I saw this problem.  Older toddlers repeating this craft would find this step a little easier than a 1-year-old.
Here is the finished product. 
Great outing for mama and son - can't wait til next week!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Ephesians 2:8-10

I love this! 

-saved by grace through faith
-it's not from ourselves-can't earn it
-it's a gift!
-we are God's workmanship! His design!
-He's already prepared good works for us to do. 

Not only did God created me, He chose to save me, and I can't earn that salvation. It's a gift!  And then... He's thought about me and prepared good works for me to do. How amazing is that!  

Not only did God create and save me, but He also thought of me and has a plan for me to change my world. How deep the Father's love for us!