Friday, April 20, 2012

Micah's New Room

When we I was pregnant with Micah we had a blast creating his nursery. We wanted to do gender neutral, even though we knew we were having a boy, and Brad was so good about painting all those stripes! However, we knew that when baby #2 came (whenever that was!) Micah would be moved into a new room and the new baby would get the nursery. So, when we found out I was pregnant again we started planning Micah's "big boy" room. It was difficult coming up with a "theme" for the room as we wanted it to be boyish, but not over the top. Finally we decided on what we call a "western" theme. We liked the color scheme (red and blue) and what we could do with it (some stars, horseshoes, Brad wanted to get a steamer trunk, etc.). I don't know if others feel like it's "western," but that's what was in our heads as we started it.

It's taken us a long time to finish, but we were finally able to move Micah into his new room this week. We were worried about how he would transition, but he has done great. The only issue we think we're having is this room is a lot darker than his nursery. I think when he wakes up in the middle of the night he can't see and gets a little scared and cries. So, we're going to buy a night light this weekend and hopefully that will help him. He already knows it's his room. When we tell him to go to his room that's where he goes. And even before we moved him in there when we tell him to put his paci in his crib he would walk over to the new crib and put it in there (adorable the first time he did it!). So, he caught on real quick that this was his new room, and we think he likes it!

Micah's new crib with the letters that Daddy painted for him. Brad's still looking for a steamer trunk to put next to the crib to hold Micah's toys.

We bought new blinds for the window and I made this curtain (with Oma's help).

His new dresser and diaper changing station. We're going to put some shelves above the dresser eventually.

The bookcase I made from a pin on pinterest. We're trying to find a basket to hold his toys and some more books. We also have some horseshoes that Brad found in our garage that we're going to try to hang (that or some wall art with Micah 6:8 on it).

The wall across from Micah's crib. We might put up some more decorations, but we're just not sure yet.

Like I said, not completely done, but definitely livable. All in all, we think it turned out pretty well, and Micah seems to enjoy it!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Wrapping up Easter

Since Easter was five days ago I guess I should do my final Easter post with what we did for our countdown and how we spent the day.

I'll start with the countdown. I don't have pictures, but we did finish it! The three remaining activities were to read an Easter book, watch an Easter movie, and read the Easter story from the Bible. On Saturday, while Daddy was working, Micah and I went to the library to get some Easter books and an Easter movie. We ended up reading What is Easter? It's a cute little board book that talks about all the different things that children might think Easter is, but ends with the true meaning of Easter. For our movie, we watched the VeggieTales Easter Carol. Coincidentally, Oma bought that movie for Micah for Easter so he gets to keep it now! And on Easter night, before bed, all three of us sat down and read the Easter story from Micah's Children's Bible. We talked briefly about the day and why it is so important to us. I know that he didn't understand what we were saying, but I believe it is so important to start telling him at a young age.

I really enjoyed doing our Easter countdown. It is a tradition we will definitely continue in the future. Hopefully I'll be able to change up some of the activities so that it's not the same ones year after year.

That leads us to a recap of our Easter celebration(s). Our Easter started on Saturday. Brad had to work until 6:00 so Micah and I headed to Grammie's house after nap. She had a fun little egg hunt set up outside for Micah and his cousin, Joey. Neither boy was too interested in the hunt (the parents ended up finding most of the eggs for them!), but I think they both enjoyed being outside. We also got to play with bubbles and sidewalk chalk. Then, Grammie brought out the wagon and took the two boys for a little walk. Once everyone was finally there, we sat down for a delicious dinner. Then, the boys had to find their Easter baskets somewhere around the house. They were full of fun toys to play with outside (shovel, bug catcher, truck, etc.). I know Micah's going to love having those toys this summer!

Needless to say we had one tired boy that night! Our plan was to go to my parents' church on Easter Sunday, but Micah didn't wake up until 7:30 and we have to leave by 7:50 in order to make it on time. There was just no way that was going to happen so instead we took the morning a little slower and went to our own church. When Micah came downstairs, he saw his Easter basket and got to open it. Micah has been obsessed with the movie Cars lately so we filled his basket with Cars items: a sticker book, a toy car of "Sarge", and Cars fruit snacks. Unfortunately, just last week he started to really prefer the movie Toy Story and seemed to not be interested in Cars anymore (though he still loves everything else that has to do with Cars). Luckily, we also bought him Toy Story 2 so it was the best of both worlds. Micah also got a couple of books in his basket, as it's a tradition for us to give him a book for every holiday. After he opened his basket, he got to find the eggs that we colored a couple days before (he's becoming a pro at this!). Then, we had a yummy breakfast and got ready for church.

After church we went to my parents' house for brunch. Then, Daddy had to leave to go to work. Micah and I took a little nap together, then he had a great time playing with Boompa who let him be outside for a long time! Those two are like two peas in a pod, I swear!

Micah loved it when his cousins came over, too. He tries so hard to keep up with them and loves chasing them around the house screaming. He thinks it's funny, but they're just trying to get away from him. I have a feeling it will be like this for many years! After dinner, Micah and I had to leave, it was a long day for him and he was starting to get a cold.

That was our Easter. All in all, a wonderful day spent with family, focused on the wonderful sacrifice Jesus made for us all.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Through the Eyes of a Child

I think everyone experiences God in a different way. He speaks to you differently than he speaks to me. Certain things make me feel closer to Him than others. There are two ways that I have always experienced God.

The first is through music. Music just speaks to me. I'm not technically gifted when it comes to music. Often the people that I think are really great musicians true musicians scoff at. But I don't care. They have the ability to put to words exactly what I'm feeling. There's nothing like a good time of music worship. Songs that speak my heart and bring me to my knees (sometimes literally). I can distinctly remember the first time I raised my hands in worship. It was at a youth conference. I was really stepping out of my comfort zone, but I was just so full of joy that it felt like it was pouring out of me and I didn't know how much longer I could keep my hands at my side. That's how it is for me so often. Music moves me. Music is everywhere in the Bible and when I read words that tell me I should dance in praise to God I believe them. I want to dance. I want to move. I want to shout his praises. I love sitting in worship and feeling like it's just me and God. But I've also been broken my music before. Sometimes it's not me expressing my praise to God, it's God comforting me. Right when I found out I was pregnant with Micah I was going through a tough time at work. I felt like I was being personally attacked and I just wanted to give up. For three weeks straight I felt like the music at church was meant for me. God was speaking to me, telling me that he was holding me and that he was blessing me. Every Sunday I cried. I remember thinking people around me must have been starting to worry about me because I was really making a habit out of crying during the singing! Music is definitely one of the major ways that I experience God.

The other way is through kids. Nothing warms my heart more than seeing faith through the eyes of a child. I love the "aha" moments when they realize that God loves them. Except it's not a realization, really. It's something they've always known. It just is to them, because why would they question it? God's love for them is so obvious, there's no reason to doubt it. And their faith is so trusting. They know that God is there for them all the time. He's never failed them so why would he start now? Kids are just a constant reminder of what faith should look like. Kids remind me that Jesus loves me and he died for me. And that's what matters most. I love teaching the little ones about Jesus because they're so excited, it reminds me to have that same excitement.

Combine the two together and oh my gosh, you've just got me. Probably one of my favorite moments of every year is at VBS. When the kids are jumping up and down during singing time singing, "It's you I live for!" it just melts my heart. I cry every time. Every time. I think that's what Heaven's going to be like, and I am so looking forward to it.

Now that I have my own child I have so many ways to experience God every day. It's like experiencing Him anew every day. But today was one of those days that I don't think I'll soon forget. Micah takes after his Mommy and loves music. So, we keep him with us during the music part of church and bring him to nursery for the message. He always gets so excited and waves to the singers or dances on the chair in front of him. If we're clapping our hands, he loves it and claps along with us. But today he was really getting in to it! And I don't think it's a coincidence that it was Easter Sunday. Micah had his hands up in the air, praising God while singing about how Jesus conquered death and rose from the grave. He was clapping and cheering, so full of excitement. And while I know that he didn't understand what was going on, I do believe that he was praising God in his own way. And it just melted me. I really stood there, holding my son whose hand was up in the air and I just had tears falling down my face. I pray that Micah will never stop loving Jesus like that. I don't want him to be ashamed to express his praises however he wants. I want him to be so full of love for the Father that it just pours out of him. And I got to experience a little bit of that this morning. What a beautiful thing to see!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Easter Countdown Part 3

We've been working hard to catch up with our Easter countdown so that we don't leave any activity undone! So, without any further ado, here's what we've been up to...

Day 4 our activity was to visit the Easter bunny. It took a couple days for me to find where the bunny would be at a time that worked for us. We finally ended up just going to the mall. My sister, Brittany, went with us and was nice enough to sneak some photos with my camera so I didn't have to pay an arm and a leg for them!

I know, some of you know that the Easter bunny does not actually come to our house, so why would we go visit him? Our thought process is twofold: First, if I were to find out that Lightning McQueen (Micah's favorite right now!) was somewhere, I would definitely take Micah to meet him. The Easter bunny is just another character so why not? Second, it's still something fun to do. When Micah is old enough we will tell him the story of Easter and why we celebrate this day. And he will be told about why some people say the Easter bunny comes to their house. If he's interested, he can go see the bunny, but he will know the truth about the holiday and how the bunny is for fun. But we're not trying to take the "fun" out of Easter so we have no problem letting him go for a visit (or rather forcing him to sit on this strange white creature's lap!).

Micah was very excited as we were waiting in line. He kept pointing at the bunny and wanting to go up there on his own. And when it was our turn, he started to run up, but stopped about halfway and just froze. I managed to coax him closer. We tried touching the bunny, but he didn't want any of that. So, I held him. As you can see from the pictures, Micah just wanted to get away! But we did get a decent picture of the two of us with the bunny.

Our activity for day 6 was to put together an Easter basket for a needy child. I expected our church to have an Easter basket drive like they usually do, but they didn't this year so I had no idea who to give a basket to. So, we were unable to do this activity, but I'll be better prepared for next year!

Day 9 our activity was a special Easter surprise. I combined this one with visiting the Easter bunny. We met Auntie Brittany at the mall and after visiting the bunny Micah got to play a bit with her. Then, he rode the carousel for the first time. He loved it! He just laughed and squealed the whole time! Micah had a really fun morning with his auntie. :)

We got to color eggs for our Day 10 activity! Micah was very curious about what was going on. He tried several times to drink the dye and when he couldn't drink it, he wanted to stick his hands in it. It's hard to be patient, especially when he didn't know what was happening, but he still did pretty good. I can't wait for him to have a better understanding of the process next year and be more involved in the dying!

I only have two more days to catch up on and they will both be done today. I probably won't post until after Easter, though. Hope you all have a very blessed Resurrection Day!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Countdown to Easter Part 2

I can't believe it's been an entire week since I last updated! I've been meaning to, but it was a very busy week. Micah and I had something every day last week and we've also been busy trying to get things together for the new baby to come.

However, I've tried to be diligent about keeping up with our Easter countdown. We've opened our egg every day, but, unfortunately, we haven't always been able to do the activity. I'm working hard at catching up, though! So, I'll catch you up to where we are right now!

Day 2 was to color an Easter picture. Micah loves coloring! At the library last week we picked up a coloring paper and brought it home to color. Micah asks to color all the time now so this was a perfect activity!

Day 3's activity was to make an Easter card. I have seen lots of ideas for Easter cards on Pinterest, but I really loved this idea of turning Micah's fingerprints into little chicks. So, I brought out the stamp pad and we made some chicks! This reminds me that I still need to send the card! So, I'm not saying who gets this special project. :)

We haven't done the activities for days 4, 5, or 6 yet. I'll post about those after we do them.

Day 7 our activity was to do an Easter craft. I cheated a little on this one. :) On Saturday we went to the egg hunt at our library. They had a little craft project for the kids to do, so I counted that. We've been a bit busy lately and it's nice to not have to find an age-appropriate craft to do with Micah. ;) Anyway, the craft is an egg cut out of paper. Micah painted the egg with water, then stuck pieces of tissue paper on it. Then, we paint water over the paper and they stick surprisingly well! Micah loves to paint, and it was great because he was just using water! This was a great project for him to do.

And that brings us to day 8. Today. Our activity for today was to do an egg hunt. I was so excited to take Micah to an egg hunt through our park district, but it was for ages 2 and up. Micah was too young for any of the hunts in our area so Brad had the great idea to have our own hunt and invite some of Micah's friends over. So, we planned a little playdate. Unfortunately, we had several last minute cancellations due to illnesses. So, it was just Micah and his little friend, Rosie. Rosie and her parents started coming to our church a couple months ago. One day in nursery, the director told me that she predicted Micah and Rosie would get married some day because they were just so much alike. It's true, Micah and Rosie have a lot in common, and they play so well together. They just feed off of each other and always make each other laugh. It's so much fun when the two of them play together. Anyway, Rosie is only 10 months old so a bit little to really get the hang of hunting for eggs, but they still had a good time together. And Micah was great at helping Rosie find her eggs and show her that there was stuff in them!

So, that's all the activities we've done for now. Hopefully, I'll be better about keeping current for the end of the countdown. And I'll be sure to post about what we're doing. Plus, there's more I want to keep you updated about, but that will come later!