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Showing posts from April, 2007
Taking Care of Our Hearts

I've been saving one of Real Learning's blogs to read for a few weeks. Titled "Sing a New Song!", the bloglines teaser reads:

I've been at this home education thing for some time now, long enough to recognize the symptoms. When I start to say and write things like this I know I'm coming perilously close to burnout. I know; I wrote the...

That was enough to tuck myself into a quiet corner and read more. Her thoughts are convicting and encouraging. Very refreshing during spring chaos in our culture!
Free Decorating Magazines

Okay, it's not technically a decorating magazine, but really, it is. I love getting my Pottery Barn catalog in the mail. I can't ever afford anything from the catalog, but it's chocked full of ideas for home decorating. I love their classy style, and so much of it is do-able in a shabby-chic fashion.
My sister-in-law saw an issue last fall using a tobacco basket as a mantle decoration. I've been hunting for a large piece of art to hang above our living room sofa, so I was intrigued by the idea. My Dad grew up on a tobacco farm, so my family still has some of the baskets sitting in the barn. I really like family history, so I wanted to see more. I looked online for the picture, and I loved the look.
So now the tobacco basket is sitting in my garage. I've sprayed it down lightly with the hose, but I haven't started the detailed cleaning. I'm a bit overwhelmed by the task, but excited to see the results. With a crazy travel and entertai…
10% off in Tennessee
Tennessee's 2nd sales tax holiday is this weekend. Tax is exempt on almost everything related to school. So we're headed to Wal-mart to stock up on basics: masking tape, scotch tape, packing tape, socks, diapers (lots!). Then to the Carters outlet to exchange some clothes that my giant 7mo old has outgrown - and escape tax-free on the new clothes we find. Then home for lunch & naps. A busy morning is coming our way.

More details on tax-exempt items:

* SCHOOL SUPPLIES ($100 OR LESS PER ITEM): Binders, backpacks, bookbags, blackboards, chalk, calculators, cellophane, tape, compasses, composition books, crayons, erasers, folders, glue, paste, glue sticks, highlighters, index cards, index card boxes, legal pads, lunchboxes, markers, notebooks, paper, pencils, school supply boxes, pencil sharpeners, pens, protractors, rulers, scissors, writing tablets.

* CLOTHING ($100 OR LESS PER ITEM): Boots, coats, jackets, dresses, earmuffs, gloves, mittens, gym suits…
BIG Summer Sale

I've been to a lot of consignment sales, but never one that was designed for the BIG stuff. If you're in middle TN and looking to buy or sell big stuff, this is a great place for you. The sellers say, "If you can sit in it or on it, sleep in it or on it, or climb in it or on it; you can consign it at the Big Summer Sale!"

Sale Date: Saturday May 19
Location: Fundom Kids - Just 15 minutes North of Downtown Nashville!

Consigner Info
Drop off: Friday May 18, 9am-1pm and 3pm-8pm
Pick up: Sunday May 20, 2pm-5pm


Swingsets, Sand Boxes, Play Houses, Go Carts, Bikes, Scooters, Wagons, Trampolines, Sports Equipment, Train Tables, Cribs, Strollers, High Chairs, Rocking Horses, Kitchen Sets, Summer Clothes, Maternity Clothes...
Free Nashville Playday!
Monday April 30, 10am-6pm
Fundom Kids is an indoor playground that encourages kids to laugh, create, and dream. We've been taking our kids every other week, and they LOVE it! Daniel loves to ride the motorcycle around the race track, Brendan loves to play with the water boats, and Anna Kate rolls around in the soft play area.

There are over 50 activity stations including dressing up, racing peddle cars, building magnetic towers, sliding down the 2-story castle, maneuvering mini waterboats, and running in the bounce-arounds. They even have a little cafe with lunch and dinner options.

You can see pictures of some of their stations at www.fundomkids.com
Welcoming Homes

This is a month of visiting and hosting friends. I've been pondering the art of true hospitality. Not being the perfect hostess and chef. Not having the perfectly clean and decorated home. But letting warmth and love permeate the corners of your home. Honoring people, relationships and memories in your home. I love this excerpt from Real Learning's blog:

However, homes of true ladies are not magazine-perfect, nor so clean that they are sterile. Instead, they are inviting. Beauty is not a buff, polished, dyed, surgically-corrected woman in clothes that could finance an Indian family for a year. Beauty is the acceptance of the body created perfectly for the soul He infused in it. It’s good stewardship and care of that temple. It’s attention to detail but not obsession and vanity. It’s being ladylike: with gentleness and grace that are a style of their own. And so it is at home.

Sights and smells and even sounds of those ladylike homes welcome the weary to stay and b…
Just About

I've almost made it through the 5 kids under 5 challenge. It's been tiring, but we've had a lot of fun together. I must say that my prep work made a big difference!!! My mom came to help for a few days, so that was a big help. Mostly, though, I felt covered in God's grace - I felt his strength and patience every step of the way. I'll share stories next week. Dear moms with 10 children, how do you do it!???

Now I need to transition into teacher mode, as I'll be leading a national service-learning conference for independent schools this weekend. It'll be nice to work with adults!!
Toddler Indoor Fun It helps me to keep a list of fun activities on hand, just in case it's rainy or too cold outside. Here are some things from our toddler list...Give a piggie back ride Have a splash party together in the bathtub Host a musical playdate – guests bring a rattle, shaker, noisemaker, or favorite CD. Fill old spice jars with colored sugar to pour into whatever you’re baking Fingerpaint or make handprints with washable paint Blow bubbles, or hold bubbles in front of the fan for a super bubble fest Peek-a-Boo Play "Horsey“ Put stickers on fingers to make finger puppets Read a book – and add faces, noises, actions to the story Sing together, while playing the piano or guitar Play with stickers and stamps Glue shapes from old magazines onto paper Mirror each other with clapping, faces, movements… Roll a ball or water bottle back and forth on the floor Build a tower with canned or boxed food Read books together in a fort
Tables

I found this collection of 13 side tables for sale at Amazon, through one of my favorite websites, www.vickysdeals.com. For $39, they make good end tables or bedside tables. >
It's not the $5 deal that Meredith would find, but if it fits your style and a good place in your home, it's still a good deal.
Babysitting Nightmares

Friends from church babysat for two young boys over the weekend. They spent Friday night in the emergency room after the 5 year old ran full-steam into their 4-wheeler. He knocked out his two front teeth and needed 7 stitches in his leg. Great birth control for these friends with no children of their own!

Not what I wanted to hear before babysitting this week!!! Hopefully they took care of this week's bad luck, and our time together will be much less eventful!
Ready for the Storm

I probably won't be blogging much this week, because I'll be taking care of 5 children ages 5 and under. My sister is going on a 10-year anniversary trip, so I'm watching her 2 boys. I've been doing everything I can to prepare for their arrival tonight:
Prepared and frozen PBJs for the boys (more on that later)Set up the pack-n-play in our closet (more like a small room) for the babyInstalled blinds in our closet, so the baby doesn't wake up at dawnPut away toys that cause a really big messSet up the inflatable sleeping bag for one nephewStocked up on groceries for the weekPrepared guest room for my mom, who will be helping me for part of the weekOutlined a menu of simple and healthy mealsFinished laundry for the weekend (though the bins will be full again by tomorrow!)Still left to do:
Childproof the room where my nephews will be sleeping (It's already childproofed in the basic sense of the word, but my oldest nephew likes to explore every n…
Ready for the Storm

I probably won't be blogging much this week, because I'll be taking care of 5 children ages 5 and under. My sister is going on a 10-year anniversary trip, so I'm watching her 2 boys. I've been doing everything I can to prepare for their arrival tonight:
Prepared and frozen PBJs for the boys (more on that later)Set up the pack-n-play in our closet (more like a small room) for the babyInstalled blinds in our closet, so the baby doesn't wake up at dawnPut away toys that cause a really big messSet up the inflatable sleeping bag for one nephewStocked up on groceries for the weekPrepared guest room for my mom, who will be helping me for part of the weekOutlined a menu of simple and healthy mealsFinished laundry for the weekend (though the bins will be full again by tomorrow!)Still left to do:
Childproof the room where my nephews will be sleeping (It's already childproofed in the basic sense of the word, but my oldest nephew likes to explore every n…
Nashville Happenings

Next weekend is a great weekend to live in Nashville. There are events for the environmentalist, the thrifty shopper, the musician, the gardener, and more. Look at all the happenings Mrs. Cheap listed in her column this morning! Nashville bloggers, if you don't already read Mrs. Cheap, she's an outstanding resource to add to your morning reading list.
Baby Bottoms

Our kids have never (knock on wood) struggled with diaper rash, and we credit this partly to our homemade baby wipes. The wipes are easy to make, gentle on the skin, and super-easy on the pocketbook. My friend Jennifer swears that this saves $200/year, but I haven't done the math for our family.

Ingredients:
Bounty paper towels (I haven't found a generic that is thick enough for wipes)1.5c hot water2T baby shampoo or baby wash2T baby oil1 tupperware container that can hold half of a paper towel rollInstructions
Cut paper towel roll in half with an exacto knife. (My husband and I cut several rolls together)Place half of roll in the tupperware container, jagged side of the paper down.Mix water, shampoo and oil together; and pour into the cardboard center of the paper towel roll. Let it absorb for one minute, then remove the cardboard center.Put the lid on the canister, turn it upside down, and let it sit for an hour.My friends think I'm crazy to make wipes, but …
Tupperware Games
for Babies & Toddlers
Our culture places so much pressure on parents to buy fancy toys for kids. Looking around your home for creative play opportunities, often creates more than enough fun for our little ones. What do you have in your home that would stimulate your little ones to laugh and learn?


Make ABC lids to match Tupperware containers Make a shape sorter box Let your child stack various size containers inside each other Add other cups and bowls to make a drum set Toss Bean bags into a Tupperware container Roll a tennis ball into an empty container Add other kitchen utensils to make a block tower Let a child ‘cook’ with a bowl and spoon, as you cookMake a matchbox car ramp with the lids Play the sorting game, sorting toys into bins that hold various categories of toys Use small Tupperware containers for waterplay in the bathtub Roll a round Tupperware container with objects inside it, to hear the noises it makes Play peek-a-boo behind the Tupperware lids Trace…
Get on Your Greenway Day

Saturday, April 14, 12-5pm

Discover newly built greenway trails as you walk, bike, or skate around Nashville The event will feature six (6) newly constructed greenway segments on four established greenways. Enjoy refreshments, souvenirs, free clinics (ie. Bike maintenance and inline skating), and information about the new trails.

For directions or more info, see www.nashville.gov/greenways or call Jane Laub at Greenways for Nashville at 862-8400.
Social Justice in Pictures
From Aimee
We read a picture book for school today called "Song for Lena". It emphasized our family's desire to teach our kids about giving to the poor.
In summary: the grandmother tells her daughter the story of when she was little and they did not have much money and the family was making apple strudel. A homeless man comes along and asks for bread, and even though they don't have much themselves the mom says "I bet he gets a lot of bread, let's give him apple strudel today". (I love that they give him even more than he asks for). The man plays a beautiful song and comes back each year for strudel and plays the same song. There is a recipe for strudel at the end. It's good for 4 yrs old and up.
Free Date Night:

An Art Benefit
April 20, 6pm-9pm
at West End Community Church

See beautiful art, listen to live music, enjoy refreshments, and bid at the silent art auction to which will fund high school art camp scholarships with Masterpiece Ministries and Barefoot Republic Camp.

Featuring international artist Timothy R. Botts
(I love his art! See picture on right). Among the many artists contributing are local artists:
Mindee Abdullah
Nate Creekmore
Kim Dummins
Margaret Elliott
Beth Gilmore
Jodi Hayes
Mandy Rogers Horton
Rocky Horton
Julie Lee
Jen Wood

Please call 615.453.2038 for more information.
An Easy Way to Make a Difference

The Breast Cancer site is having trouble getting enough people to click on their site daily to meet their quota of donating at least one free mammogram a day to an underprivileged woman. It takes less than a minute to go to their site and click on"donating a mammogram" for free (pink window in the middle).
This doesn't cost you a thing. Their corporate sponsors /advertisers use the number of daily visits to donate mammogram in exchange for advertising. 100% of collected revenue from site sponsorships goes to pay for mammograms.
It's an easy way to make a difference in the world.
Resurrection Eggs Part 2

My friend Aimee told me about a Benjamin's Box, a children's storybook that goes with the Resurrection Eggs. You could easily use it along with a homemade egg set. I haven’t seen it yet, but it has scripture references to read at the beginning of each daily story reading. We’ll have to look for the book at the library!
RESURRECTION EGGS

My parents have a set of Family Life Today's original Resurrection Eggs, but I've never bought a set. Friends in Bible study said that you can even buy them at Walmart now! But tonight I stumbled upon a homemade version of this delightful way to share the gospel with our children. There are other homemade kits here and here.
Supplies: 1 dozen plastic Easter eggs an egg carton construction paper to decorate the carton the items listed below
Directions: Fill each egg with the item listed (or a picture of the item) and a print-out of the corresponding scripture. Place the eggs in the decorated egg carton. Open and experience the eggs together with your children.
1. (Bread) Matthew 26:26
While they were eating Jesus took a piece of bread, gave a prayer of thanks, broke it, and gave it to His disciples. "Take and eat it," He said, "This is My body."
2. (Coins) Matthew 26: 14-15
Then one of the twelve disciples, named Judas Iscariot, went to the chief pri…
Robin's Nest Eggs
from Erica

For Easter, we are making robin's nest eggs. Blend melted butterscotch chips with oriental noodles (optional addition: peanut butter). After spooning the cookie nests onto wax paper, make a little indentation in the middle to make the center of the nest. Fill the 'nest' with jelly beans, m&ms or pastel malted milk balls when cool.
Easter Story Cookies
Shared by Jeanne

Ingredients:

1 cup whole pecans
1 tsp. vinegar
3 egg whites
pinch of salt
1 cup sugar
zipper baggie
wooden spoon
tape
Bible

Preheat oven to 300 degrees (this is important to do before you start the mixing) Place pecans in zipper baggie and let children beat them with the wooden spoon to break into small pieces. Explain that after Jesus was arrested, He was beaten by the Romans soldiers. Read John 19:1-3.

Let each child smell the vinegar. Put 1 tsp. vinegar into mixing bowl. Explain that when Jesus was thirsty on the cross, He was given vinegar to drink. Read John 19:28-30.

Add egg whites to vinegar. Eggs represent life. Explain that Jesus gave His life to give us life. Read John 10:10-11.

Sprinkle a little salt into each child's hand. Let them taste it and brush the rest into the bowl. Explain that this represents the salty tears shed by Jesus' followers, and the bitterness of our own sin. Read Luke 23:27.

So far, the ingredients are not very appetizing.…