Showing posts with label Wyatt. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Wyatt. Show all posts

My Firstborn At Seven



Wyatt Boy, yesterday you turned seven years old.

Your birthday could have snuck up on me this year except for the fact that you have been reminding me about it for the last few months.  You are big enough now to sit down with a calendar and figure out how many days there are until things, and you were counting down the days.  This is also the first year that you had plans for you own birthday, and I tried my best to fill all your hopes with what I had.  You were so sweet and enthusiastic, in your quiet, shy way, about everything we ended up doing.

We took you to the Nature and Science museum, and walked through the gem section with you.  You are fascinated by the idea that such beautiful things can just be waiting beneath the earth for someone to come dig them up.  We took you to the gift shop and bought you some rocks for you "gem collection", and I loved seeing your face light up.  You wanted to know all the technical names, and how the gems were formed, and whether they were "real rocks" or manmade.  You are my thinker, and you love to just know things, especially anything related to physical science or biology.  You can stare for hours at books filled with birds, insects, and animals, and you always want to know how things work.

This year whenever you were asked what you wanted to be, you always replied with "a farmer and a worker".  You have been scoping out land as we drive places, trying to figure out where you could buy a farm.  But over the last month you've been talking more about being a "worker".  You want to build things.  We bought you a bunch of Legos this year, and seeing your how creativity grows is amazing.  You and your dad have built several things together, and I know that's one of his dreams for his kids come true, to sit and do Legos together with his son (and also go to a college football game together, which you also did this fall!).

We started first grade this year, and I don't think I expected to see you grow so much when we first cracked the books last summer.  You are learning so much!  It's so fun for me to see things start to make sense to you, to see how much you are learning each day.  You actually love to learn, and in that I see myself in you again.  I expect many years ahead of bonding over biology and zoology textbooks, since you seem to especially enjoy that subject just like I do.



One thing I love about you is your desire to do the right thing, and your desire for people to know about Jesus.  At Christmas time you made a little card in your Sunday School class that you were supposed to give to someone to tell them about Jesus.  If it were me, I would have completely forgotten about it, but you carried that card around in your pocket, scanning the stores to see who you might give it to.  You finally gave it to our cashier at the mall, and I'm pretty sure you made her day.  But I saw the serious look on your face as you asked her if she knew about Jesus, and my heart melted a little.  My sweet boy, I love the desire you have for others to know the Truth.  I pray you will never lose that.

Do you know how incredibly proud I am to be your mom?  You are a joy to me, Wyatt.  I love you so much, from that first moment I laid eyes on you seven years ago, and more every day.  It's a privilege to call you my son.

Love Always,

Mama

A "PJ Masks" Birthday



I was not aware until recently that PJ Masks is a new show, but in our house, we are all in.  My kids know the theme song.  They come up with PJ Masks stories to play out.  Even Derek will sit down and watch an episode with them in the evenings and chuckle at it!

Last week was Wyatt's 6th birthday.  I cannot believe that my baby is six years old!  I still remember that surreal moment when he was born, with his tiny little cry, and the tears that were streaming down my face.  This kiddo is something special, and I love him so much.

Kindergarten Goals (With Grit & Grace)




This week we are starting kindergarten with Wyatt!  What? Didn’t I just write his birth story two days ago?

I can’t believe my big boy is starting on his school journey already, and I am so excited about homeschooling!  I was homeschooled, and I have so many good memories associated with homeschooling.  I am excited to start on this stage of life with my own sweet family.  I have a big post tomorrow coming about my homeschool educational philosophy, but today I thought I would keep it simple and share a few of our goals for kindergarten this year.

My main goal for September is to get into a homeschool routine.  Developing good habits is going to be important for the kids to learn what to expect, but let’s be honest, good habits are going to be huge for me as a homeschool mom!  Up to this point our days have been largely unstructured.  We do whatever strikes my fancy that day.  This month I want to get into a routine, and that is going to require me to be consistent with our daily tasks.  It’s also going to require me to learn to say no, not just to outside events and requests that will mess with our schedule, but to my own impulsiveness too.

But if there is a year to work on this, it’s kindergarten!  People who do not have a background in homeschooling sometimes don’t realize right away that just because your child will be in a public kindergarten for 4+ hours a day, that does not mean it will take that long to do your schoolwork at home.  Everything that truly needs to be covered in Kindergarten can be done in about an hour a day - in a school environment a lot of time is spent just organizing children, distributing snacks, play time, rest time, etc.  I will share an update and give you more specifics on how much time we end up taking for school each day, but even if it takes us a couple hours, we will hopefully have at least half the day where we can still get out of the house if cabin fever hits.

So beyond the initial goal for the first month, my goals for the entire year include the things below.

Homeschool Kindergarten Goals

1. Teach my son to read (or at least get him well on the way to reading).  I am pretty flexible on this - if he isn’t reading independently by the end of the year, I’m not going to fret.  I have no doubt he will pick it up at some point, and a major goal for me within teaching him to read is to present reading as fun.  I love to read, and it’s very important to me that my kids learn to love reading as well, so I’m not going to push to the point that it’s no longer enjoyable for either of us.

2. Teach him to write his letters and spell his full name.  Writing comes after reading, so I’m not concerned with anything but his name at this point.

3. Number recognition (hopefully up to 100), telling time, and basic addition and subtraction.  If we cover all this for math I’ll be pretty happy.

4. Learn three Bible verses per month.  I would love to cover one Bible verse a week, but I am giving us a little wiggle room.  This is a prime age to work on memorization, and I’m looking forward to helping my kiddos hide some Bible verses in their hearts!  We will be doing this as a family, so the younger kids will participate too.

5. Read one chapter book together a month.  I want reading aloud to be a big part of our homeschooling, so I am hoping to get through one children’s chapter book a month.  If we read a chapter a day I think this is entirely doable.

6. Do one simple craft a week.  Maybe.  This is purely because my kids enjoy crafts, and I am not a crafty mom, so I need to set goals.

These goals are all flexible to me - if we don’t accomplish something, we’ll just work on it again next year.  That’s one thing I love about homeschooling - teaching your child is not a checklist, it’s a continuum.  There are great advantages to having the same teacher (me), because we can make sure we don’t inadvertently skip anything he needs to learn.  We will cover everything over time, and nothing will ultimately fall through the cracks like it potentially could if Wyatt had a different teacher every year.

Some of you overachievers may be thinking that your child has known how to do many of these things before Kindergarten - and that’s great!  But I will tell you that Wyatt doesn’t do all of these things now because of an intentional decision on my part.  

My Preschool Philosophy

My preschool philosophy is really simple - let them play.  

I have heard some kindergarten schools these days want kids to be practically reading when they start, and I don’t mind telling you that I think that’s ridiculous.  

I don’t push kindergarten skills on my kids when they are preschool aged for a few reasons:

1. There is very little time in childhood for children to play with no expectations.  I don’t want to put expectations on my children too young and steal that precious time from them.

2. Kids teach themselves a lot through play, especially in the early years.  And if my kids express an interest in learning something in the preschool years, I’ll do what I can to help them.  Wyatt has often asked about different letters or animals, sang the abc’s, and requested crafts or books before now, and I oblige; but mainly I just let my kids explore through their own play, and we learn as we go.

3. An early start doesn’t ensure excellence later.  We like to think it does, but kids who develop some of these academic skills early don’t necessarily do better than other kids when you look the course of their entire academic careers.  Things have a way of evening out.

4. It’s more important to me in the preschool years to focus on the Bible and character.  This doesn’t stop at kindergarten, obviously, but most of my teaching during preschool is about Bible stories, right and wrong, memory verses, and who Jesus is.  In the long run, having a strong foundation on those things is much more important that getting a jump start on reading.


So there you go, my preschool philosophy in a nutshell and our kindergarten goals!  Check back tomorrow for my post on different homeschooling methods and what we will probably be doing, and keep an eye out over the next couple months for posts on our curriculum choices and schedule.

Also, if you have any questions for me about homeschooling - now is a great time to ask!  I’ll incorporate some of my answers into future posts!




—-

My August goal was to get everything ready for Clarice’s first birthday party - and I think I am pretty prepared!  I just need to send out invitations and work on the menu - and take her one year pictures.  So I guess that sounds like alot, but trust me, it’s all under control.

—-

Time for the linkup!  Share YOUR goals below. 





Welcome to With Grit & Grace  – a monthly goal link-up focused on supporting each other as we work towards our goals! Please join us on the first Wednesday of each month at 7:00 a.m. EST to share your goals and progress for the week, month, or year. We are all about building a positive community; please remember to read, comment, and share the posts of others – and let them know you found them at With Grit & Grace!
Just a reminder…
  • All forms of goal posts are welcome. They can be for a specific area in your life, or your general goals for the day, week, month, or year. We love to hear updates on your progress, too.
  • Make sure to use the URL specific to your post and not your blog’s home page.
  • Link back to With Grit & Grace with our button or link in your post or party page.
  • Comment on the post prior to yours in the link-up. Support others through comments and shares – don’t forget to tell them you found them at With Grit & Grace.
  • By linking up, you give us permission to feature an image on our blog and social media. Proper credit and links will be given.
  • Join in on social media with: #withgritandgrace.
  • We want to support you! Please follow your hosts in some way.
    -Keri at Living In This Season
    -Emily at Morning Motivated Mom
    -Christina at Waltzing In Beauty
    -Callie (me!) at Through Clouded Glass



The Angels Were Partying Too



I sat down with my warm little bundle in the rocking chair, tugging the blanket to make sure the swaddle was tight.  My firstborn son slept in my arms.  We had survived the trip home from the hospital, and ate the meatloaf my mom had left us for dinner. I sat in the chair, and Derek sat on the floor in Wyatt's airplane-themed nursery.  We were both tired, but Derek grabbed his Bible and suggested we do family devotions.  We wanted to start out right during these first hours at home with our baby.

A First Boo-Boo (And Giveaway!)


Kids get bumps and scrapes all the time, too many to count, but I will always remember the first time Wyatt scraped his knee.

We were having a day at the zoo, and I had Wyatt in a stroller.  He was right around three years old (I know, how did we get to three years old without a scraped knee in the first place?).  Wyatt would walk part of the time and ride in the stroller part of the time.  He saw something he wanted to take a closer look at, and he jumped up as the stroller was moving and landed on his hands and knees.

I spotted the little scrape right away, but Wyatt didn't react at all to falling down, so I didn't want to bring attention to it.

A little while later we stopped at a table to eat the lunch I had packed.  I pulled out bags of pretzels, and a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for Wyatt, and I put it on a napkin in front of him.

All of a sudden he burst out crying and told me he didn't want his peanut butter and jelly sandwich.  He pointed to the little scraped part of his knee and said "The peanut butter and jelly hurt my knee!"

Apparently he didn't notice the pain until we sat down, and the scrape did kind of look like strawberry jelly!  It was so cute, and I tried not to laugh as I gave him a kiss and got him a damp cloth for his knee.

We didn't have this book at the time, but if we did it would have been perfect to read that night as we talked about his hurt little knee!  "God Bless My Boo-Boo" is a sweet rhyming book about how Mom and Dad take care of their kids when they are sick or hurt, and how we can pray to God and know He is with us even when we are hurting.

The illustrations are of adorable little animal families, and my kids love those kind of books!  It's great for the preschooler age group especially.  My kids love any books that involve animals, and these illustrations are perfect for showing those times when someone is hurt or sick without it being alarming.

I love the message of this book, because it reminds kids that we can turn to God when we are sick or hurting.  Sometimes I even need that reminder to pray with the kids after they get hurt - because I want them to know that God is the Great Physician who can heal our hurts!  If you have little ones, this book is a cute one to check out (you can also preview it here)!

Do you remember the first time your child got an injury?

---

Tommy Nelson is offering one of my readers a copy of "God Bless My Boo-Boo"!  I am going to hold the giveaway on Instagram again - if you don't follow me over there, now is a good time to start!  Click here or look me up @CallieNicole7.


Race Car Birthday Party!


Race Car Birthday Party Ideas | Through Clouded Glass

Last weekend we had Wyatt's 4th birthday party!  I should clarify that this was less of a "party", and more of a family gathering.  I just like doing themes for the kids' birthdays for fun.  When I asked Wyatt what he wanted to do for his party this year, he said he wanted a race car party, so that is what we did!

Race Car Birthday Party Ideas | Through Clouded Glass


Race Car Birthday Party Ideas | Through Clouded Glass

Race Car Birthday Party Ideas | Through Clouded Glass
Race Car Birthday Party Ideas | Through Clouded Glass
Race Car Birthday Party Ideas | Through Clouded Glass
Race Car Birthday Party Ideas | Through Clouded Glass
Race Car Birthday Party Ideas | Through Clouded Glass
Race Car Birthday Party Ideas | Through Clouded Glass
Race Car Birthday Party Ideas | Through Clouded Glass
Race Car Birthday Party Ideas | Through Clouded Glass

Everything was pretty easy to throw together for this party.

I bought some checked and red paper and used it to make the birthday banner and signs.  I also wrapped some of the checked paper around the "coolant" water bottles, and used the extra paper for a runner on our "pit stop" table.

I added red streamers and black and white balloons to fit with our race car color scheme.
Bought some "spare tire" chocolate donuts, and some red Kool-aid for the "transmission fluid" (which is actually red in real life too).  I originally wasn't going to label everything, but I asked Derek what car fluid was red, and he talked me into making the labels last minute - and I think they ended up tying the theme together really well!

I washed some of Wyatt's Hot Wheels cars and put them on top of some red cupcakes.  If you bought some new Hot Wheels cars this would be a fun way to give out favors to the kids who come to the party too!

And that was it!  It was a really simple theme to put together, and we had fun with it!


For more pictures of Wyatt at his party, you can check my family photo blog, or sign up for my newsletter and I will send out the link!

A Birthday Update On Mr. Wyatt

DSC 0096blog

I can't believe it, but my first baby turned four years old yesterday!  I can't believe how much Wyatt has changed - in just language skills alone I can't believe how much he has grown in just a year.

Wyatt has a really laid-back personality  He is cautious, and likes to be sure of a situation before he jumps in.  He is a very obedient boy, and typically does really well at listening to me, which makes my life so much easier!  He has such a sweet heart, and I love how he shows concern for others when they are hurt or upset.  He is always checking on me and his siblings, and if he sees me upset about something he comes over and asks me what is wrong.  He is also shaping up to be a really good friend, even in his little toddler friendships.

He is an amazing big brother, and he is so helpful to me in keeping an eye on Gwendolyn and Clyde.  He loves hanging out with his extended family, and is always talking about his grandparents, aunts and uncles, and cousins.  He follows Derek around and copies everything he does - I can hear Derek in the way Wyatt speaks sometimes.

He is very into cars, and Thomas the Train, and balloons are some of his favorite things.  He insists that he isn't a little kid, he's a "big boy." He loves games, and is always asking me if we can play one of his board games!  He has a good little memory, and we have been working on several Bible verses, which he can say all by himself.  He loves to pray by himself, and if he has a bad dream or is scared of the wind, he reminds himself that "Jesus is wif us."

I wanted to try to do a little birthday interview with him this year, and I think he was a bit confused at why I was firing questions at him when he was just trying to play with his toy boats in the sink - but he humored me!  I asked him these questions yesterday, before we opened presents.  Here are his answers.

----

What is your favorite color? "Purple."

What is your favorite food? "Um, quesadilla!"

What is your favorite song? "Away in the Manger" (Or "the elephant song", and I'm not sure what the elephant song is.)

What is your favorite movie? "The car movie."

What is your favorite book? "The Chicken book." (?)

What was the favorite thing you got for your birthday? "My big police car thing that I got." (Which he didn't get yet, he is just hoping.)

Who do you like to do things with? "Mommy and Daddy. . . (and more about police cars)."

What do you like to do with Mommy and Daddy? "Uh, hang out with them!"

Where is your favorite place to go? "To the store to get some milk." (He is easy to please!)

What is your favorite game? "Mickey Mouse game." (A Disney version of Hi Ho Cherry-o that we have.)

What is your favorite animal? "My favorite animal? An elephant, and a giraffe, and a tiger, and a lion."

What is your favorite thing to wear? "I think a hat?" (After some clarification) "Lightning McQueen or Thomas the Train shoes!"

What do you want to be when you grow up? (He wasn't sure about this question, but from what I gathered, he either wants to be big like Daddy, or a policeman.)

----

More photos of Wyatt on my photo blog, or if you are subscribed to my newsletter I will send out a link in the next one!

A Crazy Year

The year is coming to a close, and 2014 has been a big, crazy year for us!  When I think about where we were a year ago, it's hard to believe how much has changed since then.  This year we have gone from expecting a baby, to having a newborn, from employment, to unemployment, to better employment, from a sporadic, uncertain schedule to a fixed, predictable schedule.  Every year since we've been married has felt like a big year to me, but I'm not sure we've had this level of change in the span of one year before.

January


G 1 Year 087blog

We celebrated Gwen's first birthday party!  She turned one year old in December, but we had her party in January - you can read about Gwen at one year old, her winter first birthday party, her birthday punch recipe, and a fun birthday decoration project I did with Wyatt for Gwen.

I was 7 months pregnant with Clyde!  Check out my 26 Week and 28 Week updates.

I was working on a ton of baby projects, like stuff Clyde's quilt and nursery.

I fell on some ice and had to take an unexpected trip to the hospital.  Baby Clyde was fine!

On the blog - I continued my "From One To Two" series on going from one baby to two - maybe it's time for me to write about going from two to three?

February


DSC 1858blog

We celebrated Wyatt's birthday!  He turned three years old.  I wrote about Wyatt at three, and his simple Thomas the Train party.

I hit 8 months pregnant with Clyde - I wrote my 30 Week and 32 Week updates.

I finished putting together Clyde's quilt and dropped it off to be quilted.

We had a disaster of a Valentine's Day, but it was okay.

My friend, Ashley, threw me a gorgeous nautical baby shower!

On the blog - I shared a glimpse into our mornings which I love looking back on now, and I shared a Valentine's Day printable.



March


CM3 094 Artblog
 I hit 34 Weeks and 36 Weeks in my pregnancy.


We had our maternity pictures taken.

Gwen turned 15 months old.

On the blog - I started my series on building a unique maternity wardrobe.


April


DSC 4191blog

I hit 38 weeks pregnant!  The countdown was on.

We were worried Derek would be gone when I went into labor, and we were praying the Lord would work everything out so he could be there!

I had some false labor, which did not help my anxiety.

Clyde was born on April 11th!  It was a great natural hospital birth experience (birth story part one and two).

We celebrated Easter with a one week old baby.

Clyde turned two weeks old.

On the blog - I posted ideas for a toddler's Easter basket.


May


DSC 4312blog

I kept busy trying to get used to having three kids!  I worked out and read a lot of books.

Clyde turned one month old.  I celebrated my first Mother's Day with Clyde!

We ventured out to the park for the first time with three.

On the blog - I shared our maternity pictures and Clyde's handmade by me baby quilt!


June 


DSC 4921blog

We all came down with a nasty cold.  Colds in the summer are the worst.

Clyde turned two months old.

We celebrated my birthday!  I got a new phone.

We celebrated Father's Day!

We started planning for a staycation.

I had one of those weeks.  We survived.



July


IMG 2910blog

Clyde turned three months, Gwen turned 18 months.

We had a "staycation", and it was lovely.

I was in my cousin's wedding as a bridesmaid.

We celebrated our six year anniversary.

I started redecorating my house and creating a gallery wall (I'll share it on here eventually).


I started writing for Tommy Nelson and wrote an article about managing the chaos of life with young children.



August


Photo 8blog

I made some striped curtains and posted about it!

Clyde turned four months old.


The crisis of Christians being persecuted in Iraq was on the news more, and I wrote about three ways to help Christians in Iraq (which is still mostly applicable, so check it out).

I had a post featured on Tommy Nelson and FaithGateway about fighting selfishness in little ones.

On the blog - I posted about my June Cleaver moment.

September


Photo 2 14 2

Clyde turned five months old, and Gwen turned 21 months old.

We threw a fall-themed party, just for fun!

I wrote on Tommy Nelson about reading aloud to your kids.

I think my loneliness with having Derek gone so much hit an all-time high this month.  It was just hard not having him here.

I started feeling overwhelmed and cut back on the blog a bit.

I started playing with watercolors (and it's till something I wish I had more time for, because it's fun!).
I went on a trip to Nashville to meet up with the other Top Tommy Nelson Mommies!  It was a wonderful trip!

On the blog - I wrote about that time I got off Facebook for nine months, and then got back on Facebook.


October

Meandderek

Clyde turned six months, and after a struggle with my supply we finally stopped nursing.  We also started feeding him solids, and he loved it!

We went to a costume birthday party and had a fun time.

I had a girl's night out with some friends for the first time in a while!  We made burlap wreaths (if you follow me on Instagram, you know all this.)

I wrote about studying and memorizing the book of Hebrews! (I am still working on it - I'm finally getting into Chapter five, with the memorizing and the studying.  I'll do another verse recitation video soon!)


On the blog - The story of a dear blog friend, Natalie, inspired me to write a post about ways to support adoption without adopting.


November

DSC 0425 2blog

Clyde turned seven months old.

 We went to my friend Heather's wedding!

I started Christmas shopping.

Derek went elk hunting, but didn't get anything this year.

I came up with a solid plan for updating my house (it needs it - the decor and furniture basically hasn't been touched in 3-6 years, depending on which room we are talking about). I made a home wish list of inspiration.  I love this post about why it's okay to want your home to be pretty - it captures my recent feelings exactly!

I wrote about our bedtime routine, which I know will be fun to look back on.

Clyde celebrated his first Thanksgiving outside the womb!  He had sweet potatoes for the first time and loved it.

I wrote on Tommy Nelson about making Black Friday a blessing.


On the blog - I wrote a post for Thanksgiving about five things I want to teach my kids to be thankful for.


December

DSC 0531edit

We started the month unemployed.  I worked a few extra days at work to help with the finances.

Clyde turned eight months old.

I started a blog newsletter (which you should sign up for if you haven't - I'm giving away free printables!).

We had a fun day of Christmas surprises with the kids - crafts and cookies and books!  I tried to slow down in December, despite all the extra working, to enjoy Christmas with my littles.

Derek got a new job!  He starts right after the New Year, and we are treating these few weeks together like a vacation (except without going anywhere, and without spending money - it's still fun).

We celebrated Christmas, Clyde's first on the outside!  Unfortunately, all four of my people got sick between Christmas Eve and the Day after Christmas, so that was kind of sad.  I seemed to have escaped it.

We celebrated Gwen's 2nd birthday and Derek's birthday (same day).  I decorated, we ate cake and opened presents, then rented a movie for Derek and me to watch after the kids went to bed.  Everyone was still sick, so we kept it low-key.

Spent New Year's Eve together!

On the blog - I posted lots of recipes!  Including Holly Jolly Coffee, Pecan Coconut Orange Fudge, and Snowdrop Cookies.

-----------

Looking back at 2014, I can't believe what a crazy year it was!  A lot happened, some things I was planning, some things that I wasn't planning.  Looking at 2015, I just feel - unsure.  For the last several years I had some idea of how the year was going to go, or how I wanted it to go, but in 2015 - I don't have any specific plans, which is kind of a first.  I guess we'll just see what the Lord has planned!  His plans are always better than mine anyway.

Happy New Year, Friends!

Stay tuned about a post about my word for the New Year.

A Day Of Christmas Surprises

I have a feeling Christmas time is just going to get more and more fun as the kids get older.  This year Wyatt especially is really aware of what is going on, and he is so excited about his presents.
I want Wyatt and Gwen to appreciate other things beside presents at Christmas time, so I decided to plan a fun "surprise" day for us.  Both Wyatt and Gwen are so into "surprises" lately, and I thought it would be fun to do something special for them as Christmas approaches.

Photo 19blog

First up, we made Snowdrop cookies!  These are some of my favorite Christmas cookies, and I thought they went with the wintery theme I was going for.  I shared the Snowdrop Cookies recipe last week, in case you want to try them yourself!

Photo 5 20blog

Photo 4 20blog
Photo 3 22blog

After our cookies, I had a plan to make "snow dough" for the kids.  I had a mix for homemade play doh that I got from MOPS last year, so I used that - then I realized it was actually pink, not white, and it seemed a little sticky.  I was ready to call the recipe a bust, so I broke out some white Play Doh and added some glitter to it for our "snow dough".  Then I realized that I could thicken up our homemade attempt with some flour, so we used that too!  I have to ay that it smelled good, and it was nice knowing that if Gwen ate any it wouldn't be bad for her.

Photo 5 19blog

Photo 2 30blog

At first we made snowmen, and I used a toothpick to make a smiley face on them.  Then Wyatt commandeered my toothpicks and made his own creation - he is so artsy.  Gwen got in on the action too!

Photo 2 31blog

Photo 3 26blog


To top off our fun day, I pulled out one of our new books from Tommy Nelson, "A Star For Me".  In this book, a young camel named Ollie sees a new star in the sky, and he is just sure that God has a surprise planned for him!  He and his family take off across the desert to see what gift God has for them.

Photo 1 25blog

This book is so sweet.  I new Wyatt and Gwen would appreciate it, since they love their own "surprises".  One thing I really liked was that Ollie counts his own blessings as he is traveling to find his new surprise.  It's been my goal this year to try to impress upon the kids the blessings that we already have, instead of just focusing on presents, so I like that this was incorporated into the book.

Photo 3 22blog

And of course, the best Christmas present in the world is Jesus himself.  More than anything, I have been trying to teach the kids about Jesus's birthday, and the gift that Jesus gave us by being born so he could save us from our sins.  This book ended with the message of Jesus as the greatest gift of all, and I love it for that.

Overall, I think the kids enjoyed our day of fun, and I had fun thinking of little things they would enjoy!  I might have to do another "surprise day" for them again soon.

Photo 4 17blog

(Gwen was feeding Clyde and reading him a "buh-bul stoh-wee".  She is so cute.)

For more cute pictures of our day of surprises, check out my Instagram or my photo blog!

--

Note: I received a copy of "A Star For Me" from Tommy Nelson for free in exchange for this review.  This is my honest opinion.

Clyde At Eight Months

DSC 0240blog copy

Clyde is 8 months old!  He is officially an older baby.  It makes me kind of sad.


This month was a big month for Clyde - he learned to get up on his hands and knees on his seven month birthday, and since then he has gotten more and more comfortable with it.  He has moved his legs forward and his arms forward, but just not all at once yet.  He is so close to learning to crawl!  He loves being on his hands and knees and looks so proud of himself as he rocks back and forth.  He also does this little hop sometimes to get his knees underneath him, and it is so cute.

DSC 0771blog



Clyde also got his lower two front teeth!  He got the first one on November 29th, and the second on December 3rd.  He seems to be proud of his two front teeth, and he grins and runs his tongue over them all the time.



DSC 0325blog

Clyde is still loving his solid food, and he eats more than either Wyatt or Gwen did at this age.  He especially enjoys his baby food, and he gets upset if we forget to feed him.  We've got him up to three meals a day.  The other day we decided to see how much he would eat before he was done, and we counted three bowls of oatmeal and a baby food jar of apples!  He is also on formula, and takes probably 5-6 8 oz. bottles a day. We gave him his first Mum Mum "cookie" on Thanksgiving, and he enjoyed it - but instead of gumming it and letting it dissolve, he kept chomping down on it and breaking off big chunks, so I think we're going to have to find a more sturdy cookie for him.



Sleep is a little all over the place - he usually goes a 7-8 hour stretch, but it might be from 7-2, and then we still have to wake up in the night to feed him.  I am working on weaning him off his 2:00 feeding, because he is old enough that he could probably drop it.  I think he wakes up at that time more for snuggles than anything.  Which I kind of love, but it would be nice to sleep a little longer too.





I've been working more since Derek has been unemployed, and I can tell Clyde doesn't like not seeing me as much during the day.  Some days he just won't be pleased until I pick him up and spend a little time with him.  He goes to sleep quicker at night if I lay him down.


His personality is just adorable!  He is always so happy, and he smiles so quickly.  His new smile with his two little teeth just melts my heart! Sometimes if you pay attention to him he'll give you this grin and lift his eyebrow at you - it is the cutest little expression.  He still sticks his tongue out sometimes when he smiles, and I love it.


-----------

My Sweet Clyde,

I cannot believe how old you are getting!  It seems like just yesterday that you were born.  You are such a sweetheart, my boy, and everyone loves your little personality.  I would call you social, but a little bashful too.  When I am holding you and people talk to you, you lay your head against my shoulder and give a big grin.  I can tell when you are in a playful mood, because I'll say hi to you and you'll grin, stick out your tongue, and raise your little eyebrows - it is such a mischievous little look.  When you are tired at night, or before your nap, I can tell because you will relax against me, and then your little fingers will grab my arm or collarbone, and you just gently pinch and need my skin with your little hand.  It's the cutest thing, and my signal that it is time to lay you down.  Every now and then you will still fall asleep in my arms, and as I look at your little face I can see the hints of the toddler to come, but I can also see my tiny little newborn hidden in your face.  It's happy and sad to me, because I know we have so many fun times ahead, but I also know that the baby will fade out of you all too quick.  I'm glad you are still my baby for a while longer.

I love you more than all the snowflakes in all the winters.

Love, 
Your Mama

Gift Ideas For Little Boys

I thought I would share Wyatt's Christmas gift list today.  I don't know about you guys, but I have a terrible time picking out gifts for the kids.  I think part of the struggle is just trying to find boy and girl gifts that are similar (because Wyatt and Gwen always want what the other one has).  Thankfully, I think I have finished all my Christmas shopping, so I don't have to worry about it anymore this month!  Now just to get everything wrapped.  Anyway, these are the things I got Wyatt.

Toddlerchristmasgifts

Tricycle - We were in Goodwill a couple months ago, and Wyatt went straight for a little tricycle, climbed on, and started trying to work the peddles.  I was surprised, because we don't have a tricycle yet, and I didn't think he knew how to work one!  Gwen was dying to get down and try it out too.  I ended up getting Wyatt a cute little Roadmaster trike for $3 at the thrift store!  I have no qualms about getting pre-owned gifts this year.


41Y3PRNR75L SX450


Remote Control Car - Technically, the car is recommended for kids over 8 years old, but I know Wyatt is going to love it.  We took the kids to Toys-R-Us to scout things out a couple months ago, and he went straight for the cars.  I think he is going to be so surprised to have a car that he can control by himself.

61tsCTVQu+L SL1328
(We got a car similar to this one.)


Dump Truck Toy - Derek couldn't help himself, and he bought the kids some toys several months ago.  Unfortunately Wyatt caught a glimpse of his "present", and he has been constantly talking about it ever since.  One thing I find so delightful about little boys in general is their obsession with anything mechanical.  Even when Wyatt was a baby, if we gave him something with wheels, he was fascinated, and the trend has held.  At least we know he'll like it, right?  We've been able to keep the other gifts a secret.


71 JsBeMSqL SL1500


Construction Character Books - I was excited to see that Tommy Nelson has come out with a "Building God's Kingdom" series, with construction vehicle characters, who learn about good character while doing their construction duties.  These books are so cute, and I love books that also teach a lesson.

In "Tipper Tells A Lie", Tipper learns the consequences of not telling the truth - and what I liked about this story was that the lie that Tipper tells is what someone might consider a "small" lie - it wasn't told to hurt anyone or hide a wrong, but it still had consequences.  I want my kids to know that there are no "small" lies, that every lie is wrong and can have consequences, and I thought the book got that point across really well.

0529112132 jpg

In "Diggit Saves The Day", Diggit starts out with letting his to-do list get in the way of helping others, and he realizes that his attitude was unkind.  I felt convicted reading this book myself - who hasn't been tempted to treat the to-do's as more important than people?  The message of this book was good, and it was probably my favorite because the story was so cute.

0529111004 jpg

I have been going back and forth on whether to give Wyatt these books now, or wait until Christmas, because these would make a great Christmas gift!  I know he is going to be so excited to read these books, whenever I give them to him - they are just his style.  And bonus - they are board books!  Pages still get ripped around here, so I love board books.  If you have a little boy who also likes mechanical things, check these books out!

And finally, for the stocking . . .

Nativity Rubber Duck Set - I don't know why, but both my kids are obsessed with rubber ducks.  We probably have 6-8 of them already, but some of them are getting . . . slimy?  There is water trapped inside some of them that I can't get out.  I have been sneakily throwing some of the old ducks out when the kids aren't looking, and now I can replace them with this cute little set!

81gd6s3dNYL SL1500


And I had a couple ideas that we may use for his birthday instead of Christmas.

Clubhouse Jr. Magazine Subscription - I love that Focus On The Family still puts out Clubhouse magazine for kids, and I think Wyatt is getting to the age where he might appreciate Clubhouse Jr.




Craft Supplies/Craft Kit -Wyatt is so into crafts right now - it is so cute.  I know he would love more craft supplies!



All you moms of toddler boys out there, any other gift ideas?

------------

If you are still needing some Christmas gifts for your kids, you have come to the right place!  Tommy Nelson has offered to give one of my readers copies of "Tipper Tells A Lie" and "Digger Saves The Day"!  These books really were perfect for little boys.




Fill out the Rafflecopter form below to enter!



This giveaway is only open to U.S. Residents.

Note: I received copies of "Tipper Tells A Lie" and "Diggit Saves The Day" for free in exchange for a review.  This is my honest opinion.  
© Through Clouded Glass. Design by MangoBlogs.