Friday, March 29, 2013

The Dog and The Deer

Our dog was running excitedly back and forth on the patio this morning, so I stepped outside to see what he was looking at.  As I did, a deer came around from the side of the house (less than 10 ft from where I was standing).  I snuck back inside and snapped these pics from the kitchen window. 

Our silly dog seemed to be trying to get the deer to play.  He didn't bark and would approach slowly before starting to run back and forth.  Eventually he got tired and just laid down :)

With all the snow and ice still on the ground, the deer have become less timid, coming closer to the house to empty the bird feeders, etc.  This one was so hungry he was willing to tolerate our dog in order to try to get to the corn on the squirrel feeder.

Some unique entertainment in our backyard on the gravelly road this morning!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Its the way he says it...

I've been doing an ok job recording silly and cute thing my son says as he grows.  I've even written down a few of his crazy stories.  What I'm not sure how to record is all the words he uses uniquely.  I could try to video him, but if he's thinking about it, he'll correct himself.  Plus he's an absolute ham when the video camera comes out.  So I wanted to record some of my son's current "dictionary" of unique words, as he's slowly replacing them with the correct verison. 

hail bale - instead of hay bale  (He's said this one for almost a year now and still makes me smile.)

turtend - instead of pretend

gergot - instead of forgot

yots -- istead of lots.  Most of his l's come out differently but this is the one that I love, with yiddle (little) coming in a close second.

fly flatter  - instead of fly swatter

brooming - instead of sweeping

hosta-copter - instead of helicopter, I don't hear this one very often anymore but its one of the few I've been able to catch on video :)

Onald Donalds - instead of McDonald's

King Booger -- instead of Burger King

Bugly - the name given to all box elder bugs that he considers friendly and in need of rescue

I'm sure there's quite a few more but I'm so used to hearing them I don't always notice.  So next time you come to our gravelly road to play turtend, don't gerget that even though there are often yots of Buglys you are not allowed to broom them up or use the fly flatter on them.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

A Little Bit of Lots of Things

We've had a random week, as far as activities go.  Some very cold and blizzardy weather has kept us inside most of the week (makes me sad that we still are dealing with snow and wind chills when we were doing this last year).  Then we were hit by a stomach bug -- yuck!  But in between, here's what we've been up to.

A Easter Egg Letter Hunt
I took our Melissa & Doug Magnetic Wooden Alphabet set and put the lower case letters in the plastic eggs.  Then I put the corresponding upper case letters on a metal cookie sheet.  (Because our set is from a garage sale, we are missing some letters so I needed to make sure to only hide lower case letters that we also had the upper case version of).  After the eggs were hidden, my kiddo excitedly found them all.  Then as he opened the eggs he worked to match the lower case letters to the upper case ones.  The beauty of the cookie sheet is that they stayed put and he could tell at a glance how many eggs/letters he still needed to find.  It was a big hit!

Lego Maze

On the day of the blizzard warning, we spent some quality time at the lego table building this fun maze.  (The fact that we also were sitting on the warmest heated floor in the house was a bonus).  He played with the maze for a long time -- first using it as a "city" for a set of mini cars and later as a true maze with a bouncy ball. 

Dancing Ribbons or Windsock or Royal Hat?

At Christmas I was blessed with new pots as a present.  When I unpacked them, I spotted some great cardboard circles that were just begging to be part of a project. 

Since its not uncommon for us to turn up the music and dance/goof around while supper is cooking, I thought we'd make some twirling ribbon creation...  Basically we just tied ribbon (knot tying practice) and taped streamers to the circles, adding a handle.  My son decided he liked his better as a royal hat of sorts.  Mine looks more like a windsock.  We had fun... I'm quite fine with not knowing exactly what we made :)

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Here We Go Again: More Paperwork

We were sent a notice the other day reminding us that our homestudy (and waiting) is nearing the one year mark.  Since a homestudy is only valid for a year, we need to start our homestudy renewal process.

I'm not exactly sure what I anticipated, but I was surprised by the amount of paperwork that needs to be redone.  As in 5-10 page forms that need to be filled out again -- with the exact same information -- in pdf forms that don't allow you to save the information for next time.  Granted its faster to type when the previous copy is sitting in front of you, but I'm not a fan of busy work.  Of course they need to run background checks again, physicians' updates, and "what's changed in the past year" type forms.

I'm also hoping to update our profile books.  We had some wonderful family pictures taken recently I want to add, some information I want to update, and of course add some newer pics of our four year old (he looks so much older than last spring -- how does that happen?).

At least since I'm stuck inside with the cold snowy weather, I might as well be getting this paperwork off our to-do list.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Worship Moments on the Gravelly Road

I first heard the song "Christ is Risen (Come Awake)" by Matt Maher a year ago during Lent.  It moved me.  Then last Easter Sunday at the church I grew up in, I was pleasantly surprised that it was included as part of the service. 

Since it has been one of my favorites.  Even better, its become a favorite of my son's as well.  When we hear it on the radio, we stop what we're doing and turn it up.  He routinely requests it when we are listening to my ipod in the kitchen.

I tried to create a video of how much he loves this song... but every time I turn the camera on he either stops or gets over the top goofy (one such occasion he picked up a toy bead necklace and started galloping/dancing around swinging it like it like a lasso). 

Most of the time when he hears it, he runs to turn up the volume even more and dances around the kitchen with abandon.  He sings the words he knows on the top of his lungs.  My heart melts as he belts out what sounds like "Come All Weak, Come All Weak, God is Risen from the DEAD!!" (Yes he doesn't quite have the lyrics, but he's got the point).

Shouldn't we all be so excited about the Resurrection? 

The other day the song was playing in the kitchen and as it finished he declared, "this mean guy toy listened to the song".  "Oh?" I said.  His reply, "Yeah, and he learned about Jesus and decided to not be mean anymore."

Monday, March 11, 2013

Saying Goodbye

I've been working on this post for a few days... unable to truly finish, likely because I'm still grieving.  As hard as it is to type with tears in my eyes, I don't want to avoid this post just because its hard.  So it may have a bit of rambling and not say all that's on my heart, but is says a portion...

My grandfather passed away last week and we'll be travelling to attend his going home service soon.  This is the first person my son has known well that has passed away so it has generated lots of discussion.  "Great Grandpa with the Cowboy Hat" has always had a special place in son's heart (and mine) which has made all the conversations about death and heaven that much more difficult.

Because my son seems to be someone that needs to ponder ideas before he comes up with questions, I have gently brought up the topic a few times.  We talked a bit about what it means to die.  We talked about that it was ok to be sad, that Mommy and Daddy feel sad, and that he might see other adults cry or act sad as Great Grandpa will be missed.  We talked about heaven and how wonderful the Bible describes it.  Since he knew Great Grandpa had been sick, we talked about the fact that all the pain and sickness would be gone, that Great Grandpa would be able to walk without his cane, even run (which my son thought was pretty amazing).

I know he doesn't understand a lot of it but we'll tackle things as they come up, and maybe as time passes it will be easier for me to talk about it, without tears flowing.  Today we were looking at pictures (including the one below) and he asked "so.... I can't play checkers on the ipad with Great Grandpa until I get to heaven, right?  Since its Grandma's ipad would we have to wait for her to get there too?" 

I feel so blessed to have so many wonderful memories of my grandpa (and my grandma who passed away several years before our son was born).  Because they lived nearby while I was growing up, they are in so many of my childhood memories.  I'm certain their stories, their lives and their love impacted me in more ways than I know.  Their legacy of marriage (57 years) as partners and life-long friends and the high value they placed on education impacted so much of our extended family story. 

I've tried to take time to share stories of them with my son... our stories (and traditions) are an important part of passing on family legacies.  He thought the road trips with my Grandpa and Grandma to visit my cousins sounded like great fun, was amazed that I rode on a sled pulled by a big tractor as a kid, and loved the stories of Great Grandpa playing softball with us.  He thought Great Grandpa's tractor rides would've been exciting and was amazed that he made even more popcorn than Dad does, especially for road trips :)

Saying goodbye is always hard for me, but because of the promise of eternal life through Christ I know this goodbye is just a temporary one.  So I will do my best to celebrate his life, treasure the memories, and rejoice in the fact that he is whole and healthy again in heaven, with his Creator, and reunited with my grandma, his best friend.

**Reading "What is Heaven Like?" by Beverly Lewis really helped with our discussions about heaven.  I found this book through great post by Jenae at about children's books that cover the topics of death, loss and grief.   

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Fun with the letter "D"

We recently celebrated "D is for Dinosaur week" here on the gravelly road.


I had a very excited helper when we went to the library to look for dinosaur books so we came home with a big stack, on top of some we already had :)  Here were our favorites:


1)  He worked on a fun D is for Dinosaur color sheet.  I loved watching him color the spots and spikes on the dinosaur so carefully.

2)  Letter "d" Dinosaur Craft
First I cut out the long rectangle and the circle and let my son put them together to make a lower case letter "d".  Then we talked about several other letters you can make out of those shapes.  After gluing the pieces down, we added a dinosaur head, tail, feet and an eye.  My son decided it was not going to be a meat-eater so asked if we could put a plant on the picture for the dinosaur to eat.  Then we added the brown spikes/plates on the tail and back.  

3)  Play-doh and Dinosaur Toys

making prints and tracks in play-doh with toy dinosaurs
First we made imprints in the play-doh from the dinosaurs, comparing shape/size of their feet, teeth, horns, and skin patterns.  I think he had the most fun making the footprints.

Pretending to be a paleontologist with play-doh and toy dinos
Then I took a small dinosaur toy and covered it with play-doh while he wasn't looking.  I gave him a small screw driver (think chisel/pick), a brush, and a plastic tweezers. We talked about how careful paleontologists have to be when trying to uncover fossils. Then I let my little scientist go to work. It was so fun to listen to him -- he used a deep voice when he was pretending to be the paleontologist, explaining what he was finding.

4) We watched the tv show Dinosaur Train on PBS, to stay with our theme :)

5)  Besides the color sheet above that had letter writing practice, he also practiced writing the letter d on the white board and in one of his notebooks.

He had a fun time and there are so many fun activities out there with dinosaurs.  We probably could stick with the theme for a month, but I'm ready for a new one!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Back to Reality

I have some posts I've been working on for later this week but for now just wanted to say I'm still here...

My husband and I just got back from a trip to a warmer part of the country -- work trip for him and vacation for me.  Our little boy went on vacation to Grandma and Grandpa's, with a special overnight at his cousin's house. 

Our flight home was Sunday afternoon and after picking up the kiddo, dog, and my car, we raced home to try to beat a snowstorm.  Thankfully we made it before the roads got too bad.  Another 6-8 inches.  Oh joy.  After five days of 50-60 degree weather, seeing green and flowers outside, spring sounds soooo nice.

So the week ahead looks to be full of shovelling more snow, hopefully some melting snow soon, lots of vacation laundry, and another week of fun at our home on the gravelly road.
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