Friday, March 30, 2012

Resurrection Activities...Using Your Senses

I have been looking for ways to really emphasize the true meaning of Easter with my boys. We've read the Bible stories and been doing our Resurrection Eggs from Family Life but I wanted to make sure and make a concerted effort to explain the real meaning of Easter, and not focus on the Easter Bunny, easter candy, eggs, etc.

In my searching I found this blog, A Sense of the Resurrection, and used it as a jumping off point for helping to reiterate the true Easter story to my boys by using their senses! We are on Day 2 and they've really enjoyed it and have been soaking up the different portions of the high price that Jesus paid on our behalf!

This afternoon while cleaning up from lunch I heard Peyton telling Lawson what each Resurrection Egg meant...it warmed my heart to hear him explain what he knows, it was one of those sweet moments that melted my heart!
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Here's what we've been doing so far...I'll add each days topic and activity after we've tried it out and let you know how it goes!

Day 1-Mary Anointing Jesus with perfume (using the sense of smell)
We started these resurrection activities by studying John 12 and Matthew 26 where Mary anoints Jesus with perfume. I had the boys sit at the table and I read to them first from my Bible, then I used the Beginners Bible to have pictures to show them. I went to the Dollar Store and bought an oil diffuser with reed sticks and had the boys smell the oil. We talked about why Mary anointed Him (because He is King), why she anointed his feet (to show that He's our Servant King), we talked about how lovely it smelled and how it "filled the house with the fragrance" (as a reminder of what Jesus was about to do). The kids had fun smelling the oil and reading from "Mommy's Bible"

Day 2-Make Way For The King-(sense of touch and hearing)
Today we read from Luke 19:28-38, where Jesus makes his Triumphal Entry. I started our time by tracing the boys hands on green construction paper (touch) and then we cut out all their hand prints and glued them onto popsicle sticks to make "palm branches". They had a great time with these. After we'd made them I had them wave the branches and say "Hosanna, Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord" (hearing). They got into it and we'd say it loudly and softly. After a few minutes I opened my Bible to Luke and read the story emphasizing things as I went, then to reiterate it, I read the story again from their Beginner Bible.
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Here they're saying "Hosanna, Hosanna, Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!"
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Monday, March 26, 2012

Weekend In Review: A Visit With Poppy and Grammy!

We got an unexpected yet VERY pleasant surprise when Adam's parents (Poppy and Grammy) were able to bump up their visit from a couple of weeks away to this past weekend! When I told the boys that they were coming to see them and would be here "today" (which was Friday) they were super excited! One of Poppy's famous lines is "What's goin' on boys?" and both Peyton and Lawson started saying it once they knew he was coming...it was pretty cute!

They arrived just in time for some yummy Papa John's pizza and some chatting on the deck...Poor Poppy got mauled by the boys, especially my intense little Lawson...he pretty much did all but peel back Bill's eye lids! And if we measured Lawson's love for him, in "intensity decibels" I think his love for Poppy would be off the charts!
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The forecast had said there would be rain, but other then a shower on Friday night the weather was PERFECT! We got up and had a leisurely breakfast, then headed to none other then the zoo...it was great! We started off looking at the peacocks and flamingos...
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But per Peyton's request we were headed straight to check on the elephants which is his favorite by far!
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We enjoyed getting to see the lion cubs run around and chase each other and the lovely tiger decided to hike his leg up and proceeded to "bathe" himself right in front of everyone standing by the big window...no need for modesty...so, we kept moving!
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Stopped for a frozen lemonade break...here's Lawson sharing with Grammy...
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Walkin' and talkin' with Poppy...
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We passed thru the petting zoo area...
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...and the reptile exhibits but didn't linger there very long...they have the most enormous anaconda...let's just say it's not my favorite area!

We headed home for lunch and more visiting on the porch, then headed out to eat after the boys had naps. We went to Habaneros and enjoyed one of those loud, crazy, "Dad I need to tee-tee" type meals...not the most leisure of dinners, just a day in the life, ya know! We're pretty sure the people who were seated behind us got up and left less then 10 minutes after they sat down! Oh well!

Our time together was fun, it's always too short, but the good thing is in about 7 weeks we'll all be together again on the beach in Florida...oh can't wait! Summer's a comin' and I'm getting excited!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Last Day of Spring Break!

Well the last two days of Spring Break were quite rainy so I had to pull out some Pinterest ideas! We'd done our fare share of puzzles, dressing up like astronauts and race car drivers, train conductors and firmen and after building all the towers they could I decided to make a race track on our floor out of duck tape. I got the idea from here and the boys thought is was "awesome". That activity kept them busy for quite some time which I took full advantage of to do some house cleaning because we found out that Grammy and Poppy were coming for a spur of the moment visit which we were super excited about (their visit is coming up next on the blog) The boys had a great time!
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After they'd worn that idea out I pulled out several poster boards and just let them paint, they had fun using "Mama's craft paint"...I'm totally out of kid paint, so I definitely need to put that on my list of things to purchase!
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Our Spring Break was full of time with friends and family, we enjoyed the time to be together and the memories that were made!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Recipe Round-Up: Salmon with Dill Sauce

Today was very rainy and pretty much uneventful, other then our trip to Target and the adventure of going to the Library this morning, so I decided it would be a great day to share a recent recipe!

I've recently begun a Food Co-Op with my friend Tori, but this week was Spring Break so we didn't exchange meals, so I took the liberty to try several new things, and this one was quite the hit even though I was very hesitant to try it!

Here's what you need:
Ingredients
•1 salmon fillet (about 2 pounds) I used a frozen bag of Salmon fillets
•1 to 1-1/2 teaspoons lemon-pepper seasoning
•1 teaspoon onion salt
•1 small onion, sliced and separated into rings
•6 lemon slices
•1/4 cup butter, cubed

For the Dill Sauce:
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•1/3 cup sour cream
•1/3 cup mayonnaise
•1 tablespoon finely chopped onion
•1 teaspoon lemon juice
•1 teaspoon prepared horseradish
•3/4 teaspoon dill weed
•1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
•Pepper to taste

Directions
•Line a 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan with heavy-duty foil; grease lightly. Place salmon skin side down on foil. Sprinkle with lemon-pepper and onion salt. Top with onion and lemon. Dot with butter. Fold foil around salmon; seal tightly,

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• Bake at 350° for 20 minutes. Open foil carefully, allowing steam to escape. Broil 4-6 in. from the heat for 8-12 minutes or until the fish flakes easily with a fork.
• Combine the sauce ingredients until smooth. Serve with salmon. Yield: 6 servings.

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I served our salmon over a bed of wild rice (Uncle Ben's was delicious) along with asparagus (cooked in the oven with olive oil and sprinkled with parmesan). Lawson COULD NOT get enough of the asparagus...he ate half the bunch!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Spring Break: Day 3

This morning we had check ups for Peyton and Emerson, Lawson lucked out this time, he was all up to date on his immunizations! Thankfully Adam was able to go in late this morning so I didn't have to take all 3 of them with me. They all check out great, but I won't sugar coat the shot portion of the visit. Imagine this...Peyton with mouth wide open, screaming at the top of his lungs while I hold both arm down on the table and the nurse is trying to hold his flailing legs while also trying to inject him with 2 vaccines! It was NOT pretty! He was very upset...even the Spider Man fruit snacks that he had requested as a treat didn't help to console him! Emerson was a pretty good champ, though he had to get 4 different sticks himself...I was hoping a couple would be a 2 in 1, but not this time. He's been pretty fussy this afternoon and having a difficult time resting, we've been doing a lot of TLC and I've been getting lots of cuddle time which is sweet, though I hate to see him uncomfortable. A quick recap puts Peyton at 42 lbs (50%) and 45.3 inches tall (75%) while Emerson weighed in at 24 lbs (50%) and 31 inches long (50%).

Anyway, on to the fun stuff and pictures. Since Emerson hadn't really gotten good morning naps the past few days from all our excursions, I decided to just chill here at the homestead! So after doing puzzles, playing dress-up in their Buzz Lightyear and Police Man costumes and building outhouses and barns out of their Lincoln Logs we decided to venture outside into the beautiful sunshine! After a little coaxing from Peyton I decided to let them play in the water hose...and here's how it went...

Everyone needs a pair of goggles when playing with the water hose...
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Stripped everything else off, but gotta keep those goggles on!
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Brothers having so much fun...
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And here's our sweet little Emerson playing in the sippy cup cabinet...
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"This is so interesting..."
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Mama is a sucker for bubbles and you can't wear them forever, so I'm enjoying seeing those chubby little legs from the front and the back! Gotta love those little rolls!
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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Spring Break: Day 2

This morning we went to JumpZone with some friends...I do have to say it was quite chaotic trying to keep up with the kids...I knew it'd be crazy as soon as I pulled into the parking lot. The kids did have a great time, but were definitely ready to get some lunch by 11:30, an hour and half is about all they could absorb! Here are some pics of their fun morning...
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Going in...and coming out!
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Waiting patiently to go again...
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Some of our friends...
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After we played, some of us headed over to Chick Fil A for a bite to eat. As we pulled into the parking lot Lawson asked, "Mom, did God make Chick Fil A?"...to which I said, "Well, He definitely made the chicken!" Eating with 8 kids and 4 adults is quite challenging...though we were able to have some what of a conversation in between the two little ones who got choked and both showed off their great "hacking up" skills, the "boo-boo's" that needed just a little extra attention from any adult that would take notice, the vase of flowers that ended up spilled on the floor, and the unbelievable amount of food scattered about...whewhh...its exhausting just remembering it all. This Mama was glad to get out and get to visit with friends, but I was super excited about the naptime that followed!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Spring Break Day 1

With Spring Break upon us, and with no Mother's Day Out this week, I knew I'd need to schedule a few playdates to get the kids out of the house and doing something a little out of the ordinary! So, today I planned a playdate with friends from church...we met at Hoover Central Park and the kids enjoyed the playground and the ability to ride their bikes and scooters all over the fairly flat parking lot. Here's a taste of our morning...
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Sweet Ryder with his very cool helmet!
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We took up almost every table in the pavillion...the Mama's had fun visiting while the kids got tuckered out from the heat and from playing so hard! Aside from a couple of injuries, that necessitated bandaids, there weren't any major accidents to speak of!
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All in all I think we had a good time...my littlest peeps sure have been sleeping well this afternoon while Peyton enjoyed watching Horton Hears A Who!

What will Day 2 of Spring Break bring...you'll have to check back to see...it's sure to be another day of pure fun!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Weekend In Review: Lots of Outdoor Play!

The weather has been wonderful this past week. It feels more like the start of summer then the start of spring time! We have definitely pulled out the shorts and short sleeved shirts, and this Mama is hoping that the weather is here to stay! Peyton even asked if we could pull out the slip and slide this next week for spring break, we honestly may have to do it!

Friday was gloriously beautiful, so we planned a lunch date with Adam at the park...the boys enjoyed running around at the Lakeshore Foundation playground for families of military members who've been injured...
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Here's my pensive and very intense little boys...aren't they adorable?!
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Goin' round and round...
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And just in case I wanted to wear heels to the park...
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Sliding...
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My intense little one whose legs and hands are covered in black!
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Saturday morning we got up and went to eat breakfast with the Lowery's at The Original Pancake House down town...
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Trying to seat 11 people (4 adults and 7 children) takes a bit of a wait, but for the most part it was a pleasant experience. The staff was so friendly and helpful, and our waitress was thoughtful and ready to serve our hungry bunch!
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The parents each took turns cutting pancakes, wiping sticky hands and mouths, picking up dropped crayons and pretty much just keeping our kiddos at bay...but over all it went well, no one spilled there drink nor did any plate land on the floor! I'd call that success with 7 kids under 6, wouldn't you?!
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After our tummy's were stuffed we headed over to the Railroad Park, it has a really nice open green space for throwing the frisbee or a walking trail to enjoy. There are several play areas around it, though our kids were quite enamored with the beautiful water falls and streams that float along the side...who needs a playground when you can play in the water?!!
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After that, Adam mowed the yard and the boys went exploring! They turned sticks, (that they found by the creek behind our house) into swords, sandpaper became a treasure map, under the huge magnolia tree became a ship...their imaginations were running wild, but from my estimation and what I've recently been reading about boys, all of that is quite normal! After climbing the tall tree Lawson got stuck and had to be rescued...it truly is never a dull moment! I'm enjoying seeing my boys play and grow together, it really is such a pleasure for this Mama!

It's been a fun weekend and we're so thankful to have been able to enjoy it together! Thank you Lord for the beauty of your creation and for the joy we feel getting to bask in your sunshine, we're gonna soak it up as long as it lasts!

Lakin' it with friends

We have gotten to know the Livers over the last two years and truly enjoy their friendship. Two years ago we were one of their boys Sunday ...