Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Countdown to Easter

I've been trying to think of some fun activities we could do with Micah to make Easter more fun. I finally found this idea on Pinterest to do a countdown to Easter, sort of like an Advent calendar.

I started by coming up with 12 activities we could do. I put them each on a slip of paper and hid them in a plastic egg. I put the eggs in Micah's Easter basket and each day we will open one egg and do the activity.

Today's activity was to make Easter cookies. My nieces are spending the night so they helped me bake the cookies. After dinner, everyone got to decorate some cookies. Micah loved pouring the sprinkles on the cookies, but I think he loved eating the cookie even more!

Monday, March 26, 2012


Last week I bought Micah a rain coat and rainboots. There's something about having a little boy that screams mud puddles to me. So, while I'm not really a person who would enjoy playing out in the rain, I know that Micah will. Well, lucky us, we had an opportunity the very next day to play in the rain (and even luckier for me--Daddy was home so I didn't even have to go out in the rain!). So, we grabbed Micah and put his new rainboots on him. All he knew was that he was going to go outside, and he was super excited. By time he and Daddy made it outside, though, the rain had stopped.

Oh well, we had the water table outside from earlier in the week and Micah wanted to play in that a bit. Then, Daddy decided to take him for a little walk to find some puddles to jump in. After teaching him how to jump in a puddle they came back and Brad decided he needed to make a puddle for him because there just weren't any good ones. So, he brought out the hose. Micah was super excited for the hose! Seriously, this kid loves anything that has to do with water! It took about two minutes before he grabbed the hose out of Brad's hand and started playing with it himself. He had so much fun, and how lucky were we that the weather was warm enough for him to get drenched! I predict many more days full of outside and water for this little boy!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Hearts at Home Conference

This week I had the wonderful opportunity to attend my first Hearts at Home conference. I first heard of Hearts at Home from a friend several years ago after she had been there. Just hearing her talk about it made me know that I really wanted to go, and I couldn't wait until I had the opportunity. As I've written about before, I was made to be a stay at home mom. Seriously, never wanted anything else. And part of the excitement of staying home for me was knowing that there were conference such as this just for moms! I mean, I was excited about learning how to be a better mom even before I was a mom!

I attended the conference both Friday and Saturday for maximum learning. It was a truly great experience and I hope that I will keep the things that I learned with me for a long time. It's hard to say which session I got the most out of. When I was telling Brad about it I ended up talking the most about the workshops I thought I had gotten the least out of. I think I was wrong.

I don't want to overload so I'm just going to write about one session right now. Other things I learned might come up in the blog later, but for now I will focus on just one. My first workshop was with Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar. I know a lot of people are not fans of the show, but I think despite your personal opinion on them as a family you have to admit that they really seem to have it all together. Their children are very respectful and polite and it looks like the parents always respond with love and never in anger. How can you not ask yourself, "How do they do it?" So, I was very excited for this workshop.

One thing Michelle stressed was the importance of getting God's Word into the hearts and heads of your children. Wow. That is so true. I often pray that God would just give Micah a love for his Word and a mind that can easily memorize Scripture even from an early age. But I had to ask myself, what am I doing to foster that? Sure, we read Micah a Bible story every night before bed and I try to read Bible-based books to him, but I'm not doing anything to encourage a love for Scripture. I know, I know, Micah's only 16 months old, but it starts young. And I believe that I can be laying the groundwork right now. One thing Michelle does with her children is have a time during the morning where all the kids sit around the table and they do Scripture memory together. They make up actions for the little ones, talk about how it applies to the older ones, etc. She makes it applicable and possible for all ages. Regardless of whether or not her youngest children are actually able to memorize the verses right now, she is showing them how important God's Word is and instilling a love for that Word in them. What better lesson can we teach our children?

The other lesson I took from this workshop was about my child's character. On their website, the Duggars have a list of 49 characteristics they think everyone should strive for. Their children are very familiar with these characteristics because they are talked about frequently in their house. They talk about how to demonstrate each characteristic, they bring to attention when a child is exhibiting a characteristic, etc. When a child apologizes for something, he/she must not only apologize for what they did wrong, but for not displaying a certain characteristic. For example, if a child takes a sibling's toy he says, "I'm sorry for taking your toy. I was wrong for being selfish." I love this focus on the child's characteristics. It really helps them develop into the people we want them to be. It also makes them realize how their behavior was wrong. I want my children to grow up to be men of good character so I know that it is important that I start teaching them that at a young age. What a great way to do it!

Like I said, I learned so much at the conference. This is just a small tidbit of what I took home this weekend. It is my prayer that God will keep this in the front of my mind and give me perseverance to put into action what I learned so that I can be more like the mom that I want to be.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Catch Up and Photo Dump

It's been so hard to find time to blog lately. Micah and I have been very busy. And when he's taking his nap I'm either napping, too (baby #2 makes me tired!) or trying to clean the house. So, it seems I have a lot to catch up on. I'm going to try to do it all in one post.

Brad's company got in free at the Shedd Aquarium for the month of February. Unfortunately, we didn't find out until February 25th so we planned to go on Brad's next day off. We've been wanting to take Micah to the aquarium for quite some time, but I think this timing was just perfect. He is at the age where he was really excited to be there and see all of the fish. He kept going up to the tanks of fish and signing, "fish! fish!" He got so excited and loved running from tank to tank. we even got into the dolphin show for free, but there was too much talking for Micah to really enjoy it. After the aquarium, we headed to Rainforest Cafe for some dinner. Again, Micah loved it! He loved watching the animals come to life. I think it was one of my all time favorite days with Micah. It was just so neat to see his excitement and to enjoy our time together as a family.

Two Sundays ago I asked Brad to please get Micah ready for church before he headed out to work so that I could get myself ready. When he was finished, this is what he looked like. Don't they look so cute?

Micah has really been into climbing in and on things recently. He just wants to get into everything! We got our new double stroller a couple weeks ago and Brad had to put it together right away. Micah loved climbing on it! At least we know he likes it! We also had to empty the contents of our desk out so that Brad could move it out of the room. Micah loved climbing in the empty desk! One day we even caught him climbing under his crib. I have no idea how he fit under there, but he was determined to get something, apparently!

Micah's new thing is the movie Cars. He is obsessed with it! He will grab our hands, walk us over to the TV, get the DVD out of the drawer, turn the TV on, and say, "Cars? Cars?" It's so hard to tell him no. He's very persistent and stubborn. So, we usually end up watching half of Cars once a day. While I don't like him watching that much TV, it's hard to resist. Especially because he will sit in our laps and cuddle the whole time he's watching the movie (he would watch the whole move every time if we let him, but we usually cut him off halfway through). And he's calm for 45 minutes. :) Now, it's all about Cars. If he sees anything Cars related he says "Kakow (kachow--what Lightning McQueen says)." We bought him a Lightning McQueen bath towel and I was folding it the other day. He saw it and got super excited saying, "kakow! kakow!" Then, he took it from me and walked all around the house with it. I'm telling you--cutest thing ever!

Well, that's enough for now. I'm going to a Mom's conference this weekend and I have to get ready for that. I'll try to be better about updating more frequently.