My best parenting resource

Lately I’ve been encountering this new phenomenon.

People have been asking for my advice.  Mine.  *looks over shoulder*  Who me????

Grandmothers, friends, fellow homeschoolers….  They are all asking.  People think that I have something good to say about raising children.

Perhaps its because I have a lot of adorable munchkins and they are still alive and kicking, so I obviously know what I’m doing.  Perhaps its because they act reasonably ridiculous sane in public, so I obviously got this parenting thing down.  Perhaps its because I have a cherry smile on my face despite my constant sleep deprivation, so obviously I can function on coffee alone (actually that last on is on point).  For whatever the reason, I must be giving off a “I’ve got this totally together peeps” aurora about me.

BUHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!

I have you all fooled!!!!

Ladies and gentlemen, let me remind you that my oldest is only FIVE.  So obviously, I DO NOT KNOW IT ALL.

But I know someone who does.

Jesus Christ.  And it is His Holy word that I take direction from.

Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

Proverbs 22:6

I take this verse pretty seriously because I take our faith and my kids faith seriously.  If I’m not instructing the basics (Jesus and His teaching), then life is worthless and meaningless and this is all for nothing.

And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

Deuteronomy 6:6-9

This is a HUGE calling to ALL parents.  I must teach my children about the Lord at meals, during story time, during school time, while I’m tired, while they are misbehaving…. through it all I must steer their heads and hearts back to the One who created them.

I love my chosen role as Mommy.  But sometimes it is HARD.  Like really really really hard.  I’m tired.  NO.  I’m exhausted.  They are tired and cranky and far from perfect adorable little rag-a-muffins.  Folks, parenting is not for the weak.  But I get up everyday and TRY.  I work hard at keeping my cool (even when they are having full blown meltdowns), having patience (during major temper tantrums), disciplining in love (when my toddler refuses to eat), being consistent (even if I’m disciplining for the same infraction over and over and over again) and praying for God to give me His eyes to see my children, when my eyes and my heart are sinful and fail me.

So for whatever unknown reason these fellow in-the-trenches-care takers of small children feel compelled to ask for my opinions on child raising, I hope that I can use that opportunity to direct them to my greatest parenting resource.  The Bible.

Advertisements

A is for Apple (part 2)

We decided to extend our normal one week per lesson into three.  Apples are a fun topic especially this time of year.  We began by picking apples while visiting an apple orchard.

Next, with daddy’s help, we made applesauce.  Naturally.

IMG_2393

They made some delicious applesauce that I like to think will last us for 6 months or more, but if Music Man has anything to do with it, it will be gone in half that time.  That man likes his applesauce.  😉

After some poking around on Pintrest, I discovered these two ladies, Megan at coffeecupsandcrayons and Katie at giftofcuriosity, who had the same idea.

Rotting Apples!

I am really excited to do hands on science with my preschooler and kindergartener so I was thrilled to discover this.  We did our own version.

First we got clear plastic cups to put our apples in.  Then I cut up 1 1/2 apples and the kids put in 2 slices into each cup.  They each had a turn in putting in each ingredient for each container.

Here is the list of items we rotted the apples in.

  • Air
  • Vinegar
  • Oil
  • Lemon Juice
  • Water
  • Baking soda
  • Milk
  • Dr. Pepper (any dark soda will do)
  • 7 up (any white soda will do)

IMG_2425

Here it is on the first night (I didn’t take the picture right away like I should have.  You can tell that the Vinegar is already starting to take action…)

IMG_2432

This guy liked checking out our experiment every night.

IMG_2430

And here it is on night 4.  I had only intended it to go on for 3 nights.  Oh well.  Its hard to see but the apples definitely looked quite different from the last night to the first night.

Because I had the privilege of checking out the other ladies experiments, I knew what to expect with some of them, like the air causing the apple to shrivel up.  But I wasn’t sure about everything….

Grossest color change?  Triple tie between Vinegar, Baking soda, and Dr. Pepper.

One I wouldn’t eat on a bet?  Milk.  It didn’t do anything to the apples (not really), but it congealed and that alone made me gag.

The one I would eat from night 4?  7 UP.  HANDS DOWN.  It still looked delicious even!  I couldn’t believe it.

The one I would do differently?  Lemon juice.  I only sprinkled it on instead of submerged it and it wound up looking nearly identical to Air.  I should have put a different citrus juice, like orange juice, and drowned the apple like the others.

The kids loved watching the different reactions.  It would have been fun to do this if my kids were older too so they could really examine and write down their thoughts on rotting.

Which ones would you change?

California boy fun

*Warning to sensitive vegetarians.  This post contains graphic words about eating animals*

Out here on the west coast we are lucky to be near the ocean.  And you know what lives in the ocean?

YUMMY FOOD!

My guy likes to hang out with his buddies and go lobster fishing in the dead of night.  They leave around dinner time and don’t come home until 4 (ish) in the morning.  Its a brutal time frame, but that’s when the biting is good for these creepy creatures of the sea.

IMG_4020

This particular catch was one of the BIGGEST lobsters I HAVE EVER SEEN.  It was amazing!

IMG_4030

Here’s the fisherman in his natural habitat.

IMG_4023

Looks like they caught their limit!  *7 a person*

IMG_4022

Oh and a baby SHARK.  No no no he did not keep it!

IMG_2386

Here’s the loot at home.  The kids are always curious to see the still-alive lobsters.

IMG_2389

They are listening to see if they can hear them breathing.  Or at least scratching the side of the cooler.  Which is totally bizarre and creepy actually.

IMG_2387

Music Man has to keep them alive until he is ready to kill them (cuts off their heads and hands) and freeze the tails.

This is an activity I fully support.  Fill up my freezer with lots of yummy lobster?  Don’t mind if you do.  😉

Chocolate to my ears

Last year I had decided to be involved in 2 different co-ops.  Well becoming involved in those things prevented me from participating in previous activities that I loved with the kids.  Specifically, my church hosts a gym/music type of event, very gym-boree like.

I really missed it.

Now that I have with trepidation wisely paired down our schedule, we now have time to go back to playing.  IMG_6856

IMG_6858

IMG_6862

IMG_6853

IMG_6872

IMG_6873

IMG_6878

IMG_6880

It felt really good to simply play with my kiddos and enjoy them.  Hearing their sweet giggles is like chocolate to my ears.  At one point Mini Man was literally running and yelling “I’M HAVING A GOOD TIME!”  I laughed so hard I thought I’d bust a gut.

This is why homeschooling rocks.  Who wants to miss this?

*please excuse the poor quality of pictures.  I only had my phone*

 

Double the birthday cake

We were blessed to be invited to another birthday party recently, this time it was for my sweet little niece.  She turned 7 and since she is 1/2 Filipino, it is customary to have a big celebration of this particular milestone.  She had her party at the Science Museum which was a great field trip.  Counts as school right?  Right???  lol

IMG_6730

Here is daddy and Ariel checking out how high you can project a tennis ball.

IMG_6732

It soars in the air!

IMG_6734

 

Here is Miss Ariel pulling a giant lever

IMG_6733

PULL baby girl!

IMG_6740

Next we played with wheels to see how fast they go

IMG_6736

Weeeeeee!

IMG_6747

But the real treat was the ‘special guest’ Elsa who took pictures with each and every one of the kids who wanted to, told the Frozen story, and even sang the hit song Let It Go (which was highly impressive given that she was accompanied by a measly cd player and surrounded by a pleather a of professional musicians).  She did a lovely job.

Grandpa Music Man’s birthday was just 2 days later, so we all piled into my brother in laws house and took over for a lovely family dinner and celebration.

Happy Birthday just got bumped up a notch with an entire family of musicians.

IMG_6774

 

IMG_6776

Hello…. there’s a violin involved!

IMG_6784

My man….  *swoon*

IMG_6775

And the birthday boy himself… taking a picture of his own cake.

Family time is always so sweet and this was a lovely time.

Shame is hot

It’s been quite the whirlwind of activities recently.  I feel like the energizer bunny, always going going going.  And after looking through our pictures I realize that I might have to break up our recent adventures into a couple of posts.  We have been very busy!

Here was a birthday party at the local ice skating rink (when it was over a 100 degrees outside so it was pretty awful getting dressed up in warm weather gear, but boy was it lovely inside!)

These two were really excited to put on ice skates for the very first time ever.  (Hey they are California kids after all)

IMG_2400

 

Daddy did a great job

IMG_2403

 

despite the fact that Mini Man hated every second on the ice

IMG_2408

Even big sister is trying her best to encourage him… and show off some new skills of walking/skating backward.  She’s already way ahead of me on the skills list!

Here is Little Rascal waiting patiently for his turn with skates.  He’s learning his abc’s while he waits.  That counts for school right?  Right???

IMG_2412

 

Momma also hanging out with this sweet bundled up little guy

IMG_2411

Ok its now Little Rascal’s turn!

IMG_2423

Despite that raging 90’s mid-drift, he loved it!  Daddy was proud.

Ok, so it wouldn’t be exactly right to not tattle on myself and the big blunder I made during our outing.  While Music Man and children were out on the ice, I was casually hanging out with my little guys.  As you can see above, at one point Little Rascal was playing with daddy’s phone.  Daddy comes off the ice to drop off a crying kid (#2) and got back out there.  In that quick span of time I look back and realize that LR no longer has the phone.  I FREAK OUT.  I’m practically in tears after a solid 10 minutes of “where’s the phone Little Rascal?  No seriously, where is it?!?!” and looking everywhere I can think of in the tiny area that we were in.

I desperately went up to the random guy who had previously “ooooh”ed and “aaaahhh”ed over my sweet peas with his family.  I saw that he had a phone that looked exactly like everyone else’s Music Man’s.  I desperately blurted out “hey is that our phone?”.  I didn’t mean to imply that he had stolen it, but rather that he might have seen that it had fallen on the ground and he was a good samaritan and perhaps had picked it up.  It was his.  He told me so a couple of times to prove his innocence.  I felt like a JERK.  He then began looking with me.  I finally found an employee and asked if they had a lost and found (despite the fact that I had lost it within a 10 minute max time span, but I was desperate peeps).  After practically being in tears (ok ok so there might have been one tear that had made its way out of my eye duct), and half shouting to my kids “your dad is going to kill me!”, Music Man casually strolls in.  I finally confess that the phone is nowhere to be found.  He cocks his head and dramatically says “I told you it was in the diaper bag”.

Oh yah, the only place I didn’t look.

I went back to the nice non thief guy and uttered my sincerest apologies for even suggesting that he might have taken my phone and thanked him for his help.

I really couldn’t have left there fast enough.

In case your wondering shame is a hot feeling.  So it was nice that we were at a freezing cold ice rink.

A beautiful reminder

With our new set of routines (if you can call it that) and new things we are doing, its very easy to not see what’s really going on.

I usually ask Miss Ariel how her day at school went.  She goes to a drop off Art and Science class with our church and gets to experience new people and learn new things.  She and I both love it.

What she told me next blew me away.

“Mommy, there is a girl and she asked another girl if she could play, but that girl said no.  I went over to her and asked her to play because I thought she was sad.  She said yes.  I even asked her what she wanted to play.  [The new friend] found a ball and she threw it to me and then I threw it to her.  Maybe she can come over and play with my princess dresses!”

Did you catch all that?  My girl, the youngest and littlest baby girl saw that another girl was rejected by a potential friend and took the initiative to be thoughtful and friendly.  Ariel didn’t even dominate what game they played [which she often does at home with her younger brothers].

My precious pumpkin was kind.

And thoughtful.

And a peacemaker.

My daughter was another girls hero.

To say I was proud would be an understatement.  She put into practice everything I had been trying to teach her.

This quote came to mind.

Don’t let yourself become so concerned with raising a good kid, that you forget you already have one. — Glennon Melton

I saw in motion that I already have a good child.  Better than good, great.  A great little person.  Thank you Lord for this beautiful reminder.