Lucy’s been eating most her meals with chopsticks lately. Her foods of choice are:

1.  Spaghetti (prounouced “sgetti”).

2.  Pizza.

3. Oatmeal.

4. Chicken nuggets.

And Gus has been strictly adhering to a special diet. I’m not sure where he heard about it — the cover of Cosmo perhaps? Conversation in the sandbox?

The diet involves eating dirt, rocks, markers, paintbrushes, and crayons.

So far he hasn’t lost any weight, but he’s thriving.


The Napping House

There is a house

A napping house

Where everyone is sleeping.

Audrey Wood, “The Napping House”

Here’s one of my favorite nappers, just relaxin’ on the kitchen floor.

My house is entirely quiet and dark right at this moment, perhaps too quiet and dark for a Friday afternoon at 3:27 p.m. I just woke up from an hour nap, followed by a half hour of just laying in bed and doing nothing. My dear husband has been asleep since 12:30.  My dear children have been asleep since 1 p.m.  My dear dog already sleeps most the day.

So here’s the headline: We are Tired at this House.

I know most of you are, too. Tired for all sorts of reasons. Physically tired, emotionally tired, spiritually tired — or all of the above.

Go ahead and and follow our lead and rest up this weekend. All that other stuff can wait till later, right?

And in that house

there is a bed,

a cozy bed

in a napping house

where everyone is sleeping.

Back yard

Things always begin so delightfully in the back yard, a.k.a. The Rock Pile.

Here we are calm and happy, learning and growing, sharing and singing.

Here we are growing brain cells, becoming a scientist, completing the multiplication table in our head.

Here we are falling apart.  Is it lunch yet?

Here we are with an unhappy heart. Is it nap time? Anyone?

Oh but their feet are cute. And one day they’ll wear big shoes. But not today. Thank goodness.

Shop til you drop

Our kitchen was recently remodeled into a grocery store.

The remodeling was fairly low cost. It involved moving some chairs and plastic food shipped in from the living room.

Lucy’s shopping strategy is to select one of everything.  A shopping method I also employ at times.

Lucy’s assistant shopper was a huge help.

The shopping continued for quite some till we needed a new twist.  I made Lucy a “list” for her and Gus to use as they went shopping.  The “list” is pictured above — it’s just colors.  Rather than toss EVERYTHING into her cart, Lucy had to carefully select something of each color from her list.  It was so cute to watch her look at the list and then locate the item she needed. Naturally Gus was no help at all, but it was sweet to watch him try, and Lucy was very patient.

I’d take our “store” over Kroger any day of the week.

This week the wee ones and I have started on an odyssey of reading enjoyment.  I am using the book and curriculum called  “Before Five in a Row”.  We read, discuss, craft, and enjoy some delightful books.

The thing I love about “Before Five in a Row” (which I ordered off Amazon) is that it is FULL of fantastic ideas not only for engaging in literature but also for life with small children. If you love books like me, then you’ll appreciate the literature suggestions, the discussion topics, and the crafts. All in all, a great buy!

The first book we loved reading was “Jesse Bear, What Will You Wear?” by Nancy White Carlstrom with beautiful illustrations by Bruce Degen. I love this book. The rhymes are silly and sweet and fun to listen to. It’s just the best. Go to your library and get it right now, please!

Believe it or not, Lucy loves this book. But you can’t tell by her face right at this moment.

We basically read the book every day for several days (ideally five, but we’ve read the Jesse Bear book for about 10 days straight). Then you can use the resource book to give you ideas for crafts or conversation starters.

We made these Jesse Bears out of a grocery bag and then “dressed” them.

Here are the crafters, being crafty and eating glue sticks.

Another time we read the book Lucy and I talked about the expressions on the bears faces.  I asked her “How do you know they love each other?” and then we talked about how their faces looked or what their bodies were doing to show love.

My favorite page in the book doesn’t have any words. It just has the Momma Bear pushing a gleeful Jesse Bear on a swing.  The Daddy Bear walks through the gate and opens his arms up to reach for his baby.  Pretty much this is an exact reinactment of what happens at our house every night around 5:30 p.m.

I’ll continue to post the books we read and the fun stuff we do. Believe me, it’s nothing fancy or highly organized.  If it were complicated we wouldn’t be doing it. It’s all about loving books and reading them to babies.

Hmmm….books and babies, two of my favorite things!

I’ll leave you with a favorite rhyme from “Jesse Bear, What Will You Wear?”:

Jesse Bear, what will you wear?

What will you wear in the morning?

I’ll wear my pants

My pants that dance

My pants that dance in the morning.

Here’s to hoping you’ve got some dancing pants!

The Ball Yard

We had the pleasure of attending the last home game of the season at Dickey-Stephens Park a few weeks back.

It was the first ball game for the kids, and we had a beautiful night! Too bad it was in the midst of Brad finishing two classes for school.  He finished a paper about 10 minutes before we left for the game and then took a big Hebrew test the next day.

Though we may have been lacking sleep and few brain cells, we scampered off to the ball yard with our FREE tickets (thank you Central Arkansas Library Systems — you rock!)

Of course the highlight of the evening was the food. Hot dogs, cokes, french fries, and ice cream. And this cute little girl, who LOVED watching the “baseball guys.”

I know that Brad really enjoyed chasing Gus all around the stadium. We made the mistake of walking past the “Kid Zone” which is basically a bunch of inflatable toys that costs money. We’re not cheapies (or at least I’m not) but I wanted to eat with the money we had, not watch the kids fall all over each other in the bounce house. Gus continued to attempt Kid Zone break-ins for the remainder of the night.

We made it through two innings and then decided to call it a night.

Maybe we’ll make it to the third inning next year. But I’m not holding my breath on that one.

Couch Wisdom

I’ve been thinking a lot about my days and what they are full of.  I’m a pretty “Type A” kinda gal, so I love to get things accomplished, make lists, and have evidence of a hard day’s work when the sun sets.

You can imagine how well this slice of my persona is faring after being a stay-a-home-momma for three years.

I cannot lie: I still am a pretty task-oriented person and do accomplish quite a lot during a 24 hour period.  But I’ve had to learn a LOT about what balance in my day looks like, and I have much left to learn.

Lately I have been reflecting on a theory of mine called “Couch Wisdom.”  This is the part of most every day when my children are quiet and/or napping for a bit, and I recline on my couch.  I cover up with the quilt my mom made me when I graduated from high school and squish my head deep into the corner of my red couch.  It’s cool, quiet, and peaceful — even for just a few moments.

When my head is squished into the couch cushion a few things might happen:  I may start to pray, I may think through a problem, I may fall asleep, I may attempt to wipe my mind clean and just relax.

I want to make the best of every day and really live it up while the livin’ is good.  I love being home with my kids and “keeping house”, but life is just plain exhausting some times. I want to work hard, honor God, and take care of my family with all my heart. But sometimes the heart, mind, and body need a little time to recover and get re-aligned.

Perhaps you need to exercise a little Couch Wisdom, too?  Please enjoy, and then write and tell me all about it.

I have the perfect Couch Wisdom blanket if you need to borrow it.