Thursday, June 21, 2012

Reality Denial

Maybe you can try explaining the way of the world to her...

Monday, June 18, 2012

Pool Time

We've been brave a couple times already and loaded everyone up and headed to our small town pool.

This is Taryn's first year to head to the big pool on her own. In the past she's been stuck with me at the baby pool because I've always had two smaller kids with us and I wasn't comfortable with her over there. This year she's a much stronger swimmer and she's tall enough to touch so she's off and swimming the second we get there.

The baby is happy anywhere we plop her and loves splashing in the water.

Those two are where the fun ends. Brecken is NOT a water baby. She spends her time wandering, fussing and whining. That's where the animal crackers and goldfish come in to save the day. : )  As long as the baggie still has snacks we're good.  I'm hoping by the end of the summer we'll have talked her into a little appreciation of the water. I'm not sure I can have a daughter who doesn't love water!! 

At least she's an adorable observer!!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Play-Dough Play

When I was growing up my mom made play-dough for us nearly weekly. I loved it. Choosing a color, watching the liquid form into a ball, kneading the still-warm dough when it was complete.....magical! I love getting to do the same thing with my girls and their friends. There are lots of recipes out there but in my experience, this is the best!

Homemade Play-Dough

1 Cup Flour
1/2 Cup Salt
2 tsp Cream of Tartar
1 Tblsp Salad Oil
1 Cup Water
Food Coloring

Dump everything in a pot and start stirring over medium heat.

This is Taryn's cute friend Emma. She made Lime.

Taryn chose pink.

There is a learning curve to getting it off the stove at the right time. Too soon and the play-dough will be a little sticky. Too long on the heat and it will get too stiff. You want it to start collecting together and pulling away from the sides of the pot.

Plop the dough on the counter and carefully kneed it to make sure it's well-mixed and cools off before passing it off to your kiddos!

Thursday, June 14, 2012


I've mentioned in the past that Derek and I work through Youthville for foster parenting and while I will always encourage my fellow Christian families to also consider fostering, I understand it's not for everyone. I've had questions recently about if there are other ways to help. In the latest newsletter there was a list of Youthville's wishlist. Youthville works very hard to support foster families, foster children and birth families. Each time we have gotten a new foster child they have come to our house with only the clothes on their back, a diaper and maybe one other outfit. This can sometimes be a burden for the foster family and the children coming into care that have not only had to leave their family but also their belongings. Youthville steps in to help by offering a lot of items and supplies to their families for free. To provide this service they need the help of the community (that's YOU!) in bringing things in. The following is just some of the items on Youthville's current wishlist....
  • Diapers (all sizes)
  • Baby Formula
  • Baby Wipes
  • Diaper Bags
  • Baby Bottles
  • Baby Toys
  • Dressers
  • Beds
  • New Car Seats
  • African-American Hair Products
  • Bath Soap
  • Disposable Razors
  • Shampoo/Conditioner
  • Lotion
  • New Underwear
  • Personal Hygiene Products
  • Sports/Recreation Equipment
  • Arts and Crafts Supplies
  • Clothing (6-18 Years)
  • Games
  • Three Ring Binders
  • Loose Leaf Paper
  • Pens
  • Tape
  • Construction Paper
  • Books (1st Grade and up)
  • Socks (all sizes, especially teen)
  • Sheet Sets
  • Bath Towels
  • Brooms
  • Kitchen Towels
  • Mixing Bowls
  • Laundry Baskets
  • $25 Wal-Mart Cards
  • Rubbermaid Tubs
  • Suitcases
  • AA, AAA, C, D Batteries
  • Trash Bags
  • Calculators
  • Glue Sticks
Here's what Youthville says about their list...

"We need your help to provide the following items listed in order of greatest need. You may drop off all "Wish List" items directly to the Newton, Dodge City and Wichita locations."

There is one The Wichita office has partnered with Open Door Klothes Kloset to provide free clothing for children in foster care.  Please take all new or gently used clothing donations to the Klothes Kloset at 228 Ellis Street in Wichita.

So, I KNOW that if you're like me that there are times you find yourself trying to wade through your kids' rooms and wondering where did all this stuff come from!?!  So, box it up, take it to Youthville or Open Door Klothes Kloset and make a difference.

If you're unsure where to go or don't think you'll be by any of the locations I would be happy to take your donations off your hands and drop them off the next time I'm at Youthville. I promise these items make a difference to children who have lost everything and to families who have made the sacrifice of opening their home to children in need.

And because you deserve a little cuteness...

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

God Gave Us You

When you're in the waiting phase for an adoption there's not much you can do to pass the time. And I can't really get anything ready like his room or clothes or toys until we get his picture, size and age so I know whether we need to prepare a crib or toddler bed and what size of clothes he'll need. All things I LOVE doing when I'm pregnant and preparing for a new one to join our family. So, I've been slowly collecting other items. Like books! Because I know a lot of people adopting I wanted to share some of my new favorites.

1. A Blessing From Above:  (Here)

This sweet book tells of a mother kangaroo who had an empty pouch and prayed day and night that her pouch would be filled.

She comes across a small bird who had fallen from his next and is able to be this birdie's mommy.

I appreciate that this book talks about how happy the baby makes the mommy and that at the end they thank God.

2. God Found Us You (Here)

This story talks of a little fox who wants to hear about the day he came home and his Mama says, "When God found us you, it made me the happiest mother in the world."  

They do a great job of talking about the wait.  

Little bear also asks about his birth mom....
"How come I couldn't stay with the mother who had me?"
"She must have had very big reasons to give you up. She must have thought it was best for you." 

This one might be my favorite. It seems to capture exactly how I've felt each step of the way. And the things I want to say to my little one as soon as he's in our arms and through out the years as he begins to ask questions about his past.

3. I Wished For You (Here)

This story tells of little Barley as he asks questions about how he was his Mama's wish come true.

It does a beautiful job of talking about Barley's birth mom.
"What about the mama who grew me in her tummy?" asked Barley. "Didn't she wish for me, too?"

"Sometimes, Barley," said Mama, "A mama will grow a baby in her belly, and for all kinds of reasons, she'll decide she cannot be the very best mama she wants to be. The mama who grew you loved you enough to make a different wish -- a wish for a family who would love her little one with a total and adoring love. The kind of love I have for you," said Mama.

A great book that has won several awards too. The end finishes talking about how families all look different and what makes a family is their love for each other. A good choice for children!

4. I Don't Have Your Eyes (Here)

"....but I have your ways of looking at things." 

"I don't have your hands....but i have your way of gently touching others."  

This is another favorite. It goes through several physical attributes and makes a correlation about how the nurturing of a parent makes a family, not similar physical characteristics.

Well that's all for book reviews adoption edition!  I would love hearing about resources you love for helping your child understand the adoption process. 

Friday, June 8, 2012

Painted Bread

This isn't an original idea...or even a very new idea. Just one I had kind of forgotten about until I was thumbing through an early childhood activities book I'd had in college. So, you've probably seen it. But just in case you haven't or you forgot also and you've got kiddos home from school for lunchtime now, I'll give you a reminder too.  : ) 

Fill small bowls with a tiny bit of milk and add a drop or two of food coloring. Mix it up. Give your kids bread slices and a paintbrush. Let them have at it. The colors show up nice and bright. Obviously they can't get them too terribly soggy or the bread won't ever recover. We've never really had too much trouble with that though.

When their creation is complete move on to sandwich mode. London wanted a pb&j so I toasted hers a little under the broiler so that it wasn't damp anymore and made her sandwich. Taryn wanted grilled cheese so I just spread the butter over her painting and grilled it up. The color still shows through.

It always seems they eat better when we do this. No bribing needed. Simple and fun!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Monday, June 4, 2012

Outdoor Water Bed

So after the novelty of the bubble (mentioned here) wore off and a couple days had passed, the girls decided they were bored again so it was time to try another idea I had read that we could use the tarps for. I taped up the hole that had been left for the fan and the kids to enter in and left a small one for a hose. We started filling and the fun began.

I think the girls had even more fun with this than the bubble. Warning: this has to be set up on a VERY flat area. Ours had a slight slope so the water wanted to run to one side. That explains the large weights holding up the one side.

It was really fun feeling. I couldn't help relaxing on it a while too. The girls rolled and jumped until it was just too worn out and leaks started popping up everywhere.  Overall money well spent for two fun activities!

Friday, June 1, 2012

4 Going on 14

Preschool finished up for Taryn recently. It amazes me how fast school years go. I know, I know, said like every mom I've ever know.

Here's the first of the year:

Here's the end of the year:

So I've got the summer to wrap my brain around having a kindergartener. Who will go to school full day, every day. Make. It. Stop!