Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Gratituesday



Little things I am grateful for today:

...that I finally finished my 2009 scrapbook last night! It ended up being exactly the right size (the most pages you can have is 100 and guess how many I had? :) Now I just have to wait for them to go on sale so I can purchase it. And of course, I'd LOVE to do 2010 before the baby comes, but who knows...

... for my new camera! I have had so much fun playing with it and taking pictures of my girls. The quality is just so much better and makes me so excited! I'm so thankful that we worked hard and waited til we had saved up enough money for a good one!

... that the girls finally got back to sleeping in til 8am. Daylights savings always takes a while to kick in, but our holiday trip wore them out enough to do the trick :)

... for good Cyber Monday deals! I've gotten a lot of my Christmas shopping done, as well as other "needs" that I have put off buying (such as replacing washcloths that we have had for the entirety of our 6 six years of marriage!) and gotten good deals on all of it! So exciting!

... for my family's good health! I simply cannot take that for granted during this season. I am utterly amazed that we have made it all fall without the girls catching anything and I know our time is probably coming but I am so thankful that we've been healthy so far!

... for holiday decorations and Christmas music -- my girls have had so much fun getting the decorations out and listening to their music! I can't wait to get the tree tomorrow and see how excited they get!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

"tutu" dresses

Grandma and Papa found these beautiful dresses for Karis and Karlie and the girls loved wearing them today... Karis took one look at her dress and said, "look Mama, it has a tutu on the bottom!" Karlie echoed by chanting "tutu" over and over and they proceeded to twirl all around the living room until the rest of us were ready to leave for church. Girls are just so much fun :) Grandma also made them matching headbands and the girls were pretty excited about that as well!






Monday, November 22, 2010

Gratituesday


Oh, I am so thankful for this beautiful weather we have been having! The girls have had a blast playing outside and finding all sorts of leaves and seeds and acorns and twigs to inspect :)

I'm also so excited about the coming holiday and being able to relax and visit with the grandparents. For so many years, Mark was working at UPS and was either scheduled to work the holiday or couldn't be gone around the holidays or he wouldn't get his holiday pay. I'm so thankful for a job where he is actually off on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day and we can travel to see our beloved family!

I'm also thankful for the timing of this baby -- babies are absolutely wonderful any time of year, of course, but I'm so thankful to still be allowed to travel during the upcoming holidays. Plus, the business of the season makes these last 2 months pass more quickly and before I know it, my precious baby will be here! I also love having a baby in the winter because it is just so cozy to be snuggled up in a sling with her all the time. There is nothing I love more than wearing my baby everywhere :) Oh, I just can't wait!


Sunday, November 21, 2010

Karlie Sue at 21 and 22 months

Yes, you read the title correctly… Somehow this busy Mama completely forgot to do a 21 month update on Karlie Sue and now she is 22 months! I guess there is no need to mention that I can’t believe how quickly she is growing up! So I’ll give a quick recap of last month before diving into what Karlie is up to this month:

During Karlie’s 21st month she:

--Transitioned from a crib to a toddler bed and began sharing a room with Karis... she transitioned surprisingly easily and the first 2 weeks went very smoothly… once the newness wore off she decided it was much more fun to play than nap and has been disciplined during naptime quite often lately

--Enjoyed her first night away from Mama and Daddy and had so much fun with Nina and Papa that she didn’t even notice they were gone

---Took an extreme interest in numbers and letters and talks about them more than her older sister

-- Really started singing and became the official “song leader” (opinionated about which songs we sing) for our nightly bedtime sing-song time

--- Decided that eating is overrated and began saying “all done” after about 3 bites of food because she would much rather be playing (don’t worry; we make her stay at the table with us and she usually resumes eating once she realizes that she will not be allowed to play.)

At 22 months, Karlie Sue

-- has started saying her own name (“Darwie”) when she sees herself in pictures

-- Still wants to read, do puzzles, play “Little People” or play outside at all times

-- Has stubbornly stopped smiling/posing for pictures just like her big sister

--Talks about ninapapa and mamawpapa ALL THE TIME and says their names together as one word – so cute.

-- Can say pretty much anything, but still stumps us sometimes as to what she wants. But we have to figure it out because she is incredibly stubborn and will not stop asking for something until we correctly identify it! She loves to say “octopus” or “okie dokie” to make Mama laugh because the way she says it is so stinking cute

-- Has the most adorable belly chuckle ever!

-- Love, love, loves to run and hop, especially if Karis joins her

-- Will happily read books quietly by herself or with Karis for up to about 40 minutes. If I am busy cooking, she will bring her books to the kitchen and sit on the floor and look at them. She is utterly obsessed with her "potty books" and asks for them all the time. She also really loves her Christmas sing-song book and her Three Little Kittens book in particular.

-- Loves to sit on her little potty while Karis goes to the bathroom, but doesn't want me to take off her diaper. We're not planning to try potty training any time soon... I'm pretty certain she will be a lot more difficult to train than Karis :)

-- Gives the sweetest, tightest “ugg” (hug) every night before bed

-- Loves to tickle everyone!


Saturday, November 20, 2010

A pretty day for a walk...

I was pretty excited to try out our new camera on such a pretty day, so I ended up with a bunch of pictures :)

Karlie is kind of obsessed with her adorable hat (which is fine with me, because she is just so cute in it!) She didn't really need it today, but insisted on putting it on. She finally took it off after she had been running around for 30 minutes and got hot :)


Running together in our backyard

And Karis usually sings the entire time we are walking... sometimes songs, but most often it is just something that she has made up :)

I can't get enough of that toothy grin!

We a re so blessed to be in walking distance of a pond with two resident ducks! We go visit them almost every day and the girls love to run down this path to the pond.


Karlie gets distracted over and over by leaves, flowers, bugs, etc. Karis usually runs ahead and runs back to us several times before we get to the pond :)

Such a mischievous grin!


Karlie found a treasure! (One of many that she picks up on our daily walks :)

The girls love to throw rocks in the pond.

And they always have to go say hi to the ducks. The ducks are very friendly and usually come right to us, just a quacking!

Oh, how I wish Karis' eyes were not closed because I love this picture! Karlie will very rarely agree to hold Karis' hand :)

And I don't know about ya'll, but we simply cannot take a walk without playing in the rock pile!

Attempting to take a cute picture of them together, but as usual, I couldn't get them to smile at the camera at the same time!

Definitely did not want to pose!

Playing with my new camera!

For almost a year now, we have been saving for and researching a new DSLR camera. We finally got one (yay for pre-Black Friday sales!) and yesterday the camera came and I've had so much fun trying it out on my two favorite subjects! Now, I really know nothing about photography, so today I just set it on automatic and let it do its thing. But I hope to learn more as I have time to figure it out :) Here are a couple of shots I took of the girls this morning (I have tons that I took on our walk today that I''ll share later after I have time to look through them :)


My bed-headed baby with scrambled eggs on her face :)


Karis trying very hard not to smile at the camera as she takes "my baby" for a drive through the house


I love that grin!


Snuggled up with about 10 different blankets and "my baby" on the couch -- Karis makes a "manger" (can you tell she loves the nativity story? :) several times a day for "my baby" in various places around the house.
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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Happy Holidays!

Elegant Snowflake Holiday Card
Shop hundreds of holiday photo cards at Shutterfly.
View the entire collection of cards.

I just wanted to share our family Christmas card with ya'll!




Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Meg's Favorite Resources

Since people often ask me about my favorite parenting books or where to find info on natural solutions, etc, I thought I'd compile a list of my favorites. This list is nowhere near completed; I'll be adding to it as I find more resources! I've put stars by my absolute favorites in each category :)



Favorite Biblical Parenting/ Mothering Books and websites:
Prayer of Hannah blog
**Don't Make Me Count to Three: A Mom's Look at Heart-Oriented Discipline by Plowman**
Shepherding a Child's Heart by Tedd Tripp
Raising Godly Tomatoes by Krueger
Parenting in the Pew: Guiding Your Children Into The Joy of Worship by Castleman
The Heart of Anger: Practical Help for the Prevention and Cure of Anger in Children by Priolo
The Mission of Motherhood: Touching Your Child's Heart For Eternity by Sally Clarkson
A Mother's Heart: A look at Values, Vision, and Character for the Christian Mother by Fleming
The Shaping of a Christian Family by Elizabeth Elliot
For Instruction in Righteousness: A Topical Reference Guide for Biblical Child Training by Forster
Teach Them Diligently: How to Use the Scriptures in Child Training by Priolo
GirlTalk blog

Favorite kids' Bibles/ resources for biblical study and scripture memory:
**The Big Picture Story Bible by Hunt -- perfect for 2 years and up!
**The Jesus Storybook Bible -- great for preschoolers and up!
Rhyme Bible Storybook -- very simple and fun because the girls love to guess the rhyming words.
My ABC Bible Verses: Hiding God's Word in Little Hearts by Hunt
Doorpost's Catechism Set for Young Children
My 1st Book of Memory Verses byMacKenzie
Truth and Grace Memory Books

Godly Music for Kids:
Sovereign Grace Kids Music
Seeds Family Worship
Songs for Saplings -- I absolutely LOVE her catechism songs!
Hide Em in your Heart by Steve Green

Favorite Biblical Training Resources/websites
Doorposts.com, especially the If/Then ChartTitus2.com
Wise Words For Moms
We Choose Virtues

Favorite books on being a godly wife:
**Feminine Appeal by Mahaney**
Heaven at Home: Establishing and Enjoying a Peaceful Home by Plowman
Sacred Marriage by Thomas

Other educational resources:

Curriculums:
Sonlight -- I absolutely love their reading lists!
ABC Jesus Loves Me (a free online Preschool Bible Curriculum)
My Father's World
Classical Conversations -- what we are using for a homeschool foundation

For toddlers and early preschoolers:
Melisa and Doug Products, especially puzzles like Upper and Lowercase Alphabet and USA Floor puzzle
My First Steps to Math books and My First Steps to Reading books by Moncure
Tactile Sandpaper Numbers and Letters
Bob books, especially Alphabet and Pre-Reading skills for under age 4

For Preschoolers and Kindergarteners:
The Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading by Wise
The Writing Road to Reading by Spalding
Alphaphonics
Developing the Early Learner
Explode the Code
Language Lessons for the Little Ones


Good Reading Lists to help choose books for your kids:
Websites:
Early Years Read-alouds -- Simply Charlotte Mason
Classical Christian EducationSupport Loop: 1000 Good Books List
The Consortium for Classical Lutheran Education booklist

Five in a Row booklist
Our Library's book list

Books
:
The Read-Aloud Handbook: 6th edition
by Jim Trelease
Honey For a Child's Heart by Gladys Hunt


Meg's Favorite Resources for Different Stages:

Favorite Books about Healthy Living/ Nutrition:
Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon
Eat Fat, Lose Fat by Mary Enig
**Real Food: What to Eat and Why by Nina Planck **
Real Food for Mother and Baby: The Fertility Diet, Eating for Two, and Baby's First Foods
Food Rules by Michael Pollen
In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto by Pollen

Favorite resources/ websites on natural/ healthy living:
**Natural Living 101 at Passionate Homemaking **
Mommypotamus
Weston A Price Foundation
Nourishing Days
Cleeseslave
Food Renegade
Naturally Knocked Up
Sue Gregg cookbooks

Money-Saving Books/Websites:
Dealnews.com
**Dave Ramsey, especially The Total Money Make-over **
Clark Smart Parents, Clark Smart Kids: Teaching Kids of Every Age the Value of Money by Clark Howard
Clark Howard.com
SavingNaturally.com
MoneySavingMom
Freebies4Mom
Deal Seeking Mom



Sunday, November 14, 2010

flashback :)

Aren't these precious pictures? They are from almost a year ago and I never posted them. My friend Heather took them at Bible Study and I downloaded them to our desktop, which promptly got a virus and never recovered. In all the computer confusion, I forgot about these pictures. My other friend Jon salvaged the hard-drive and I just now found these again as I was working on our 2009 scrapbook. (Sorry for the rambling story, but I had to explain why I never shared these pics before :)

Aww, Karlie was just a baby last year! So hard to believe!

And Karis' hair is probably 3 times as long now :) Such sweet expressions on these pictures!