Tuesday, January 29, 2013

To my little boy with chubby cheeks.

I never grow tired of watching you...you inspire and motivate me every single day.

Yesterday your tiny little feet motored across the hardwood floor of the living room without any help. After months of toying with the idea of walking, you decided it was time. Your happy grin and delighted little giggles told us that you were just as proud of yourself as we were.

When dad came home, you were quick to show him your skills, and I think I saw a tear in his eye as he whispered in my ear, "Can you believe he is ours?"

You are a little taste of heaven my love, and I cannot believe we get to raise you. God is so good.

Friday, January 18, 2013

all the pretty colors.

When my sister and I were wee little things, we went to a preschool that used the Montessori method of teaching. It is basically a teaching style that combines the use of fine motor skills and organizational exercises to produce children that are militant like in their need for order.

Activities that included things like using an eye-dropper to place a single drop of water on each little suction cup on the underside of one of those soap holder thingy-s (you know, the kind with millions of itty-bitty suctions). My sister and I still joke about the ways that our personalities were shaped by the education of our formative years...and how we each have residual effects (mostly good, hehe) of those painstaking little exercises...

So, naturally, I was delighted when she gave Hunter a "Montessori style" gift this year for his birthday. A box full of simple, inexpensive educational activities to help him become just like his momma (basically an organizational freak=).

Tomorrow, Hunter's buddy Declan is celebrating his first birthday, so I decided to make him a set of these wonderful little educational toys! Everything you need to make these treasures can be found at your local dollar store, and the entire gift can be made in under $8!!

To make your own little box of goodness you need to purchase the following:
A Plastic Shoebox
A bag of decorative rocks
A package of pom-poms
A package of balloons
Ice trays
Colorful little bins

The first activity I labeled "Moving and Sorting"with instructions, "Mix all the pom-poms together and then sort them back out, each to their own basket." These adorable little containers came in a four pack, so all I had to do was empty my pom-pom package and pick out the right colors.

The tag on this one states, "One at a time...take them all out and put them each back, or move from one tray to the other". I think this one is pretty self explanatory:)

This last activity, labeled, "Soft and Hard, Heavy and Light", helps kiddos to recognize the difference in how things feel when held and compared. The two red balloons are stuffed with the decorative rocks (heavy & hard), while the orange ones are stuffed with more pom-poms (soft & light), and the blue ones are filled with play dough (heavy but soft).

I put them all inside the box with their proper labels and wrapped them up for the party tomorrow=) now Hunter and his buddy will be the most organized little men around!

(Thanks Nicole for this awesome gift and idea...you know me so well;)

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

From one hometown to another...

Hi Friends!
Just wanted to share a very simple project that I did this past month. My sister and I decided to only exchange gifts for our kiddos this year for Christmas...but her birthday is the day after Christmas, and I wanted to make a little something special to celebrate. When I saw these personalized mugs months ago on a friends blog, I knew immediately that they were the perfect gift. Because my sister and her hubby live in VA and we live here in PA, they perfectly describe our relationship...a heart for her hometown, and a heart for mine=) (and the dotted lines made us giggle, because the trip down to her house usually results in some wrong turns and wandering, hehe)

I was so happy with the result, and they were so easy. I used a porcelain pen from the craft store, but any sharpie will do! You draw your design on oven-safe mugs, crank up your oven to 350 degrees, and bake for 30 minutes... that's it!

If you would rather have someone else do the dirty work...you can purchase your own set on Etsy at GreySkiesBlue, and if you are looking for really ornate personalized porcelain, check out my friend Caitlin's new shop, Caite'sPlates...she works wonders with a sharpie!

I may or may not have made my hubby and I a set of mugs the other day as well;)

P.S. Sharing this little project over at Thrifty Decor Chick and Tip Me Tuesday=)

Friday, January 4, 2013

Dashing through the snow.

Last week Hunter got to try out his awesome new sled when a Saturday afternoon turned our yard into a winter wonderland.

We bundled him up like the little boy in The Christmas Story then heaped up a big blanket on his lap for good measure...

He wasn't too sure what to think... of the sled ride or the fact that his parents were waving their arms around like crazy people and snapping a million pictures as he rode around the back yard...hehe

On a side note...do you see those amazingly plump little cheeks of his??? I could smooch them all day=)

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Four little words.

Hello Friends.
I hope that this first week of the new year find everyone happy and healthy.

The last two months have been a bust as far as blogging goes, but I am really hoping to change that in the coming months. I have had so many wonderfully memorable moments with my family that I should have posted, as well as lots of handmade goodness that I wanted to share and never got around to. I blame it on two things really...

One is that we are moving soon!! It has been over a year since we began planning to move into a larger home a few towns over...and now we are literally only a month and a half away! I am so excited. Knowing that there is a move in our future has put me in a total state of distraction. My mind is constantly swirling with so many thoughts...paint colors, floor samples, moving dates, etc...

Also, little boy has become quite the mover and my days are literally flying by as I chase him around from one activity to the next... the stage we are in now is by far the most challenging and most rewarding phase we have encountered as parents so far. Lots and lots of hugs and kisses are getting doled out, along with lots of, "No, don't touch that", and "get that out of your mouth!"... ahh the fun has just begun:)

As I have struggled to mentally juggle all these changes in the past few weeks, I have found myself lying awake at night for hours, mulling over all the things I "need" to do. I write to-do lists as long as my arm and obsess over every detail of what I hope to complete before our baby arrives this spring.

One night last week I read a few words in a daily devotional that stopped me in my tracks. I had been tossing and turning for a few hours prior to reading them...

"You will not find my Peace by engaging in excessive planning; attempting to control what will happen to you in the future. This is a commonly practiced form of unbelief."

(Sarah Young, Jesus Calling)

I know that my need to control the future is what leads me to excessive planning, list making, and worrying. I often fail to see it for what it truly is...a form of unbelief. Unbelief that God will take care of the future, unbelief that He will cause everything to work together for good if I trust Him...the list continues.

My heart's desire is to experience Christ's peace and joy, and to be a conduit of His love to my family, and yet I choose to worry and over-plan instead. His peace will only come if I surrender my list making and worrying to Him. So in this new year, I have four little words I want to accomplish...

It is my prayer that God will give me the grace to enter into this new season without worry or fear, and that my heart would be so steadied in Him that my plans would loose their importance in the wonder of who He is and what He has done for us.

"For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind."
2 Timothy 1:7

"Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you."
1 Peter 5:6-7

"Unless the Lord builds the house,
They labor in vain who build it;
Unless the Lord guards the city,
The watchman keeps awake in vain.
It is vain for you to rise up early,
To retire late,
To eat the bread of painful labors;
For He gives to His beloved even in his sleep. "
Psalms 127:1-2

"Commit to the Lord whatever you do,
and he will establish your plans.
A man’s heart plans his way,
But the Lord directs his steps."
Proverbs 16:3, 9

Happy New Year Everyone! May you experience the peace and grace of the Lord in your life this year!

The Lettered Cottage