Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Bible Reading Plans for the New Year

Here is a re-post of what I have recommended the past few years:

Bible Reading Plans for the New Year!

Allen and I read through one together last year and it blessed our socks off! Doing it together was fun, and always gave us something to talk about as well. Once I heard a few other people were doing it, it was great because we could discuss what we were learning through the scriptures, too.

Justin Taylor had this blog post last year with many different Bible reading plans to choose from. Last year we read the ESV Bible Reading Plan and this year we are going to try the Discipleship Journal Plan (with catch-up days), which will work nicely if you fall behind or if you want to research something more fully on the "off" days. Reading through chronologically could also be very interesting!

So, don't delay! Go choose yours! I highly recommend it.

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Saturday, December 24, 2011

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Graham Cracker Houses 2011

We completed our graham cracker houses for this year and here is the round up! 
(if you are wondering what kind of "glue" we used, click here for the recipe)
Taylor Joy's M&M Outhouse

Meredith's Tabernacle of Praise

Allen's (perfectly symmetrical) Cottage

Kendra's Farmhouse

Beckett's Candy Land

Lindsay's Christmas Whataburger

Elizabeth's Gorgeous Garage

Easton had a good time watching and catching crumbs...

While we perfected our graham cracker village...

Such a fun tradition...

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Monday, December 19, 2011

Ice Cream Party

When pondering what kind of party to have for Beckett, it was pretty simple. One of his favorite places in the world is Spoons (a frozen yogurt place in town) and he pretty much talks about it everyday, so our thought was to re-create Spoons for his party!

My mom had given me her ice cream maker to use and since Beckett usually opts for some sort of Cake Batter/Birthday Cake ice cream, I made this one, which turned out oh-so-yummy.

We came up with lots of different toppings to enjoy such as: crushed oreos, snickers, andes mints, cookie dough, marshmallows, coconut, granola, m&ms, nerds, gummy bears, red hots, strawberries, blackberries, and bananas. Plus many syrups, whipping cream, icing and sprinkles to put on top. Our little boy's paradise!

After we filled our tummies with pizza and ice cream goodness, we let the kids play some games. We put together some fun themed games, such as:

1. Pin the cherry on top of the ice cream 
Spin the kiddos around with a bandana covering their eyes and then once you get them confused enough, get them going in the right direction and let them place the cherry on the paper. Whoever gets closest to the top and center wins! 

2. Ice cream bean bag toss 
Each scoop of ice cream had a different point value, with cherry having the most value. Person with the highest score wins! 

I also used some ice cream coloring and learning sheets that I found here

Beckett loved opening his gifts. 

His favorite gift was made especially for him by his sweet daddy. A new sand table to play at. I knew they would love to play in sand but didn't particularly want a "box" for them to sit in so Allen made this one. It's perfect for them and the boys adore it.

Such a fun day celebrating our big boy.   

Thanks to Aunt B for taking all the pictures and to Mom for all your help! post signature

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Happy Birthday, Beckett!

My sweet Beckett is 4 years old today! What a blessing he is to our family. The Lord really knew what He was doing giving me a brunette in between these red heads! (Ha! Kidding...sort of) :)

Beckett has always been a mama's boy, but this year I would say that it has changed.

Sadly. Oh so sadly.

Beckett and I have a special relationship but I see him clinging more to Allen like he used to cling to me. I am glad that he and Allen are having some sweet guy times together and bonding well. It is wonderful to behold that relationship taking shape like I know it will even more so in the future. I am so enjoying watching our family grow up and grow together.

Some things that I want to remember about Beckett's 4th year:

- He pretty much wore his Buzz Light Year costume every day this year. It is in tatters.

- He has grown into such a good big brother to Easton. Helping him, sharing with him and playing with him. Good buddies. Mostly.

-He really blossomed in his coloring abilities this year. He draws people, trains, rainbows, houses, and all sorts of other things that need interpretation, but I really am proud of him (and no, I don't feel bad about that pride ;)

-He's such a strong swimmer! So pleased with his progress this summer.

-This kid LOVES to paint.

-His favorite places in the world are Spoons and Nanny and Papa's Lakehouse

-Cars and Toy Story are movies that never get old to him

- He has such a great imagination. Without prompting he takes bites out of his sandwich and makes them into cars or people or objects and then proceeds to make a plot out of that, his fruit and his pretzels interacting in some way.

- He is doing so great in school. He gets bored and goes and plays many times, but when he is doing school, he blows through his handwriting and reading like a pro. Just sitting with us in school (or being nearby) has made a great difference in his abilities.

-He is still the most lovable kid I have ever known. The more I am around him, the more I love him. Such a special kid.

post signature Happy 4th Birthday! It has been a wonderful year with you, my sweet one. Looking forward to this next year and soaking it all in. I love you!

Monday, December 05, 2011

Another Use for Stockings

My family had never had stockings before this year. I guess I just hadn't gotten around to incorporating that into our holiday. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE stockings and the way my mom filled them was amazing, but I wanted the stockings to be special
                                                                                                 and beautiful
                                                                                                       and matching and...

we have been adding members to our family for the 3 years up until now.

So...all that to say - I finally made some!

And with the idea of continuing our thankfulness - this time towards each other instead of at Thanksgiving when it could be anything or any person- throughout the month of December we will write notes of thankfulness or making creative pictures for each other and put them in each others' stockings.

I encouraged the kids to think of something that they loved in one of our family members and write it down, letting them know. Or giving them the option of writing a note and making a gift for Jesus. These cards for Jesus will go under the tree in Jesus' manger for when he arrives on Christmas Day (yes, He will really arrive in a basket under our tree thanks to one of Taylor's old baby dolls).

The other cards that are in the stockings will be read by all on Christmas Day. This is the first year to do this, but I am praying that its a sweet time of reflecting on the blessings the Lord has given us in our family and in Himself and overflowing with thankfulness for those things.

His grace is so evident in the gifts that He gives, particularly in giving of Himself. I want my kids to connect those dots.

I will probably also throw some other fun items into their stockings as well. It's just too hard for me to see things in the dollar bin that I know they would love and pass them up!

I really hope this will be a meaningful tradition that bonds our family and points us toward our Savior. 

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