Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Toddler Quiet Book: Part 3


Here are the last three pages I did for the quiet book I made for my then two-year-old. This hen and chick page turned out to be one of my favorites. I'm so pleased with the final result. 


As you can see, the chicks come out to play but never get too far from mother hen thanks to some handy elastic cord!


I also made a page for changing the baby's diaper. Some people might think it strange, but my children love this page as well.



My final page is a weaving page. Surprisingly, this is probably one of my most played with pages, although at this age, they need my help to accomplish it. Still, it will keep them quietly occupied for a long time. And isn't that the ultimate goal of a quiet book!?!


All in all, it was a great success. All my children love playing with this book (even my six-year-old)!

Photography Challenge: Week 15

Favorite


Monday, April 2, 2018

Photography Challenge: Week 13


Hello everyone! One of my friends started a photography challenge group, and my husband and I decided to join. Since we started the end of March, we decided to just jump to the week where we should be and go from there. So I am starting on Week 13. Hope you enjoy these little glimpses into my life!

Foolin' Around


Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Toddler Quiet Book: Part 2


Here are the next few pages for my quiet book. I have to say that I was not pleased with the shoe page. The grommets I put in came out almost immediately. I'd recommend doing more research to see what others have done differently. Other than that, these next few pages turned out well.





Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Toddler Quiet Book: Part 1



So I thought I'd finally share a project I made a couple years back for my third-born's second birthday. My goal for this quiet book was to make it with as few pieces that could fall out as possible. (I was getting tired of keeping track of the many pieces to the other quiet books I've made.) I was fairly successful. The only things that fall out now are the paintbrush from the page shown below and some hair accessories on a page that I'll show you another day.

All of my kids love this artist page so much. It's such a simple idea but it fosters so much creativity on the part of the children.


I'm hoping to use this clock page as an educational tool when my children are old enough to start telling time.


I'm looking forward to sharing my other pages with you in the posts to come!

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Best Baby Item for the Pool


Whenever it's time to take the kids to the pool, I always reach for one item first (after I take a deep breath, of course). The item may surprise you. It's a baby sling.

It's simple, really. I started using it years ago when my elder children were babies. I wanted a way to be able to take my baby in the water with me, but I wanted a surer way to keep track of a slippery, wiggling, excited baby than just my trusty arms, especially when I had more than one child to keep track of . . . Enter the baby sling.


It answers my needs perfectly. It's lightweight. It can hold my baby arms-free if needed (though I usually keep one arm around him). It doesn't get yucky in the water, and if it does, it's much cheaper than some of my other carriers to replace. My babies have all loved it as well because they feel they have some freedom with their arms and legs to enjoy the water while still feeling secure.


All in all, it's been a great and simple tool to make pool time with a baby an enjoyable and safe experience. I highly recommend it!

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Lessons I've Learned From Living in a Third World Country



For those of you who know me personally (or perhaps you’ve read it in a previous post here), you know that my family and I have lived and worked in a third world country in South America for almost six years now. While there have been many challenges and frustrations with living in a foreign culture, I want to focus on the positive tonight. I’m going to share some lessons I’ve learned from living here. There may be a sequel to this post in time as I process and learn more, but for now, here are five lessons for you to ponder over.

1. I’ve learned contentment. Without going into gritty and unpleasant details, let’s just say that some things that I’d been used to having easy access to in the past are hard to find here. And the mail system here is, well, lousy. So that meant that I had to learn to do without. And that lesson was so vital. It opened my eyes to a whole new world. A world where everything isn’t just a click away from being delivered to your doorstep. And the simplicity, the freedom from materialism was so refreshing. I learned to either do without completely (and to be content with that), or to find another way to meet the need, or to stir up my creative side and make a substitute myself. Which leads me to my second point . . .

2. I’ve learned creativity. I have done and made things here that I would never have dreamed of doing back in the US where I had everything available at my fingertips for a relatively cheap price. My creative skills have skyrocketed since living here, and my ability to think outside the box has also improved. As an example, here is a picture of a mother/daughter tea I organized recently.


I wanted to have tiered serving trays in the middle of each table, but the few options we found were far too expensive. So my husband and I made them. And they turned out perfect for the event!

3. I’ve learned patience. Living in a third world country means paperwork (and sometimes maddening inefficiencies). But it also means an opportunity to learn patience. The people here have way more patience than I do. They just accept the fact that they are going to wait in line for an hour, or that they are not going to get exactly what they want the first (or maybe even the tenth!) time they ask for it. I’ve been so humbled to contrast my own demanding, impatient spirit, used to getting her own way in everything. I’m still not as patient as these people are, but I’ve definitely grown a lot along the way. (I’m not praising inefficient government agencies, just focusing on the positive lessons I’ve learned through the process of working with them.)

4. I’ve learned what it means to put people first over projects. The culture here is very people-oriented. Schedules and projects take a lesser priority over people. While this understanding can bring challenges at times, there is a beautiful aspect to it as well. People are more important than things or to-do lists, especially from a spiritual perspective. I have a chance to live out this perspective every day in my own household, where I try to manage the needs of my four young children and keep our home in order and our schedule on track. By nature and by upbringing, I am a more task-oriented person. I’m a list person, and I love to check things off my to-do list each day. But there are so many more important things for me to do that never get put on that list. Like wiping tears away from a sad toddler, or nursing a baby, or having a conversation about Jesus with an openhearted child. My heart’s cry is that I would continue to learn this important balance between meeting people’s needs and getting things done. But if I have to err on one side or another, I’d rather it be on investing in the lives of people.

5. My eyes have been opened to the needs of the world. Living in the US, I took for granted so many things that I just assumed everyone in the world had. Like a reliable mail service. Or clean, potable water from the tap. Or consistent power. Or climate controlled houses. Or the freedom to wear whatever I want. Or the right to worship God as I please. The list goes on and on. Some of these issues I was aware of before moving here, but many I was not. Honestly, I have still more to learn on this subject. But I have new compassion and greater understanding of the challenges others face in daily living, and I have new gratitude for the blessings and conveniences I do have.

Overall, I’m so thankful for the opportunity I’ve had to learn and grow through this time of living overseas, and I welcome even more lessons as God continues to refine my perspective and show me more of His heart for the world.

Have you visited or lived in a foreign country? What were some of the lessons you learned?

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