Monday, September 19, 2011

Parenting in the 21st Century

I recently read an article that I saw posted on Facebook that moved me on so many levels that I had to share it with you!  This article echo's so many of the things that have been stirring in my heart when I think of raising my children.  We live in such a competitive culture and rarely a day goes by when I'm not asked about my children's skills in various developmental tasks.

This article is written by Alicia who blogs at

Hope you enjoy it as much as I did:)

What should a 4 year old know?
I was on a parenting bulletin board recently and read a post by a mother who was worried that her 4 1/2 year old did not know enough. “What should a 4 year old know?” she asked.
Most of the answers left me not only saddened but pretty soundly annoyed. One mom posted a laundry list of all of the things her son knew. Counting to 100, planets, how to write his first and last name, and on and on. Others chimed in with how much more their children already knew, some who were only 3. A few posted URL’s to lists of what each age should know. The fewest yet said that each child develops at his own pace and not to worry.
It bothered me greatly to see these mothers responding to a worried mom by adding to her concern, with lists of all the things their children could do that hers couldn’t. We are such a competitive culture that even our preschoolers have become trophies and bragging rights. Childhood shouldn’t be a race.
So here, I offer my list of what a 4 year old should know.
  1. She should know that she is loved wholly and unconditionally, all of the time.
  2. He should know that he is safe and he should know how to keep himself safe in public, with others, and in varied situations. He should know that he can trust his instincts about people and that he never has to do something that doesn’t feel right, no matter who is asking. He should know his personal rights and that his family will back them up.
  3. She should know how to laugh, act silly, be goofy and use her imagination. She should know that it is always okay to paint the sky orange and give cats 6 legs.
  4. He should know his own interests and be encouraged to follow them. If he could care less about learning his numbers, his parents should realize he’ll learn them accidentally soon enough and let him immerse himself instead in rocket ships, drawing, dinosaurs or playing in the mud.
  5. She should know that the world is magical and that so is she. She should know that she’s wonderful, brilliant, creative, compassionate and marvelous. She should know that it’s just as worthy to spend the day outside making daisy chains, mud pies and fairy houses as it is to practice phonics. Scratch that– way more worthy.
But more important, here’s what parents need to know.
  1. That every child learns to walk, talk, read and do algebra at his own pace and that it will have no bearing on how well he walks, talks, reads or does algebra.
  2. That the single biggest predictor of high academic achievement and high ACT scores is reading to children. Not flash cards, not workbooks, not fancy preschools, not blinking toys or computers, but mom or dad taking the time every day or night (or both!) to sit and read them wonderful books.
  3. That being the smartest or most accomplished kid in class has never had any bearing on being the happiest. We are so caught up in trying to give our children “advantages” that we’re giving them lives as multi-tasked and stressful as ours. One of the biggest advantages we can give our children is a simple, carefree childhood.
  4. That our children deserve to be surrounded by books, nature, art supplies and the freedom to explore them. Most of us could get rid of 90% of our children’s toys and they wouldn’t be missed, but some things are important– building toys like legos and blocks, creative toys like all types of art materials (good stuff), musical instruments (real ones and multicultural ones), dress up clothes and books, books, books. (Incidentally, much of this can be picked up quite cheaply at thrift shops.) They need to have the freedom to explore with these things too– to play with scoops of dried beans in the high chair (supervised, of course), to knead bread and make messes, to use paint and play dough and glitter at the kitchen table while we make supper even though it gets everywhere, to have a spot in the yard where it’s absolutely fine to dig up all the grass and make a mud pit.
  5. That our children need more of us. We have become so good at saying that we need to take care of ourselves that some of us have used it as an excuse to have the rest of the world take care of our kids. Yes, we all need undisturbed baths, time with friends, sanity breaks and an occasional life outside of parenthood. But we live in a time when parenting magazines recommend trying to commit to 10 minutes a day with each child and scheduling one Saturday a month as family day. That’s not okay! Our children don’t need Nintendos, computers, after school activities, ballet lessons, play groups and soccer practice nearly as much as they need US. They need fathers who sit and listen to their days, mothers who join in and make crafts with them, parents who take the time to read them stories and act like idiots with them. They need us to take walks with them and not mind the .1 MPH pace of a toddler on a spring night. They deserve to help us make supper even though it takes twice as long and makes it twice as much work. They deserve to know that they’re a priority for us and that we truly love to be with them.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Baby Bump's

I have to say I love baby bumps!  I was so excited to get a little bump when I was first pregnant with Jacob.  In fact I have a picture of myself posing at 13 weeks showing off my little "bump" and every time I look back on it I have to laugh because, there was literally nothing there.  I have quite a few pregnant friends these days and I just love seeing their little bellies sticking out, evidence that there is new life growing inside them!

Do you know when I do not think baby bumps are cute?  5 months after you have a baby!  Ugh... I have been so struggling losing my "baby belly" this time around!  I was back down to my pre pregnancy weight after 5 weeks with J, with literally no work put in at all.  This time around the weight came off fairly easy, I still have a few pounds to go, but my stomach muscles seem to have stretched beyond repair lol.  I seriously look 3 months pregnant.

I need help, but I'm not sure where to start!  My main issues are that I'm pumping full time for Miss Charis, so I'm obviously hungry a lot.  I also am not one of those women who just melt away from nursing, in fact every time I hear someone say how much weight they lost nursing their babe, a small part of me wants to throw something at them (just being honest lol).  I also have such small amounts of free time that I have a hard time choosing working out when I see mounds of dirty dishes and loads of laundry to be put away, that's not even to mention all the huge projects to do around the house since we moved in!  I know it sounds like I'm making excuses, and maybe I am, but I literally feel like I'm at a loss for time these days!

So I need to figure out quick healthy toddler friendly meals and quick effective work outs lol!  Is there such thing?  I know lots of great healthy recipes, they're just time consuming.  And our quick fixes tend to involve a lot of cheese and carbs lol (think pasta's, casseroles, etc.), not great for the figure!  Any help out there from you other mama's in bloggy land?

I am determined to look non-pregnant by Christmas which I think is doable, since that's more than 3 months away.... I just don't know how to do it yet!  Wish me luck!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Happy 5 Months Baby Girl!

So Charis officially turned 5 months old on the 11th, but I've just been too lazy to up load the pics to the blog so here we go!

Charis you are 5 Months old!  My how the last 5 months have flown by!  We held our friends tiny baby in the hospital the other day and I can hardly remember you being that size!  Slow down baby girl!  

We took you for your 4 month check up a month late because of vacation schedules so I actually have your up to date stats:  You weigh 15lbs 5oz (75%) and are almost 26 inches long (80%)  you have lots of rolls which Mommy loves!

You're a good little eater (although we've had to give up nursing completely since you hate that... so now Mommy pumps 3 times a day which is more work, but at least you're still getting mommy's milk:)  You eat about every 4 hours and take between 6-8 oz at a time!  Jacob never took a bottle, so it's nice that Mommy gets to go out for a break every once and awhile!

You are just the most pleasant baby that there ever was.  You rarely cry and if you do it can usually be remedied by Mommy or Daddy picking you up!  You smile all the time and at everyone and are VERY social!  You talk away and smile at anyone who will give you some attention.  

You had your 5 month shots on Friday and you didn't cry for either needle, you just smiled and cooed at the Dr. the whole time!  She said she'd never seen a baby do so well for their shots.  

You are a busy girl too!  You want to be up standing and jumping ALL THE TIME!  You can already sit on your own for more than 30 seconds at a time and for long periods of time if you have the Boppy behind you.  You roll both ways and are ALWAYS in a different position in your crib every time I check on you.  

You love to suck your thumb, and I have to say that has been such a blessing to your Daddy and I!  It has made you the BEST sleeper!  You go to bed between 6:30/7 at night and sleep till 7 most mornings. You also take 2-3 2 hour naps every day!  You make having to babies close together very easy on your parents!  We love you sweet girl!!!

Just for fun here's J at the exact same age!  I don't see too many similarities yet, but they change so much in the first year!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Tuesdays are our Mondays

I've had so many blog posts running around in my head the last little while, but I just haven't had the time to write them. So instead in just doing a recap of our weekend:)

Adam got the hot tub up and running this weekend so we spent lots of time hanging out in there, which was lovely. We inherited a very nice hot tub when we bought this house but we hadn't taken the time to figure out how to use it until now let's just say that J is obsessed with his new pool. And Adam and I are enjoying our late night soaks:)

We spent most of the weekend hanging out as a family and with friends. Which is my favorite way to spend the weekend!

Yesterday Adam got up with the kiddies and let me sleep till 8:30 (heaven) and then we headed out to the park and watched J go down the slide a million times.

Adam watched the kids for the afternoon while I went out to starbucks and had some downtime/worked on our budget, which was slightly depressing lol, but it always feels better to know where we stand. My sister and B.I.L came over for a BBQ later on which was lovely, and always makes us so happy we live close to family now!

I'm also super excited for our friends who welcomed their first baby last night! I've been so excited about all the babies coming, and looking forward to sharing the adventures mommyhood with a few more friends!

Well I'll end this random disjointed post with a pic of my 2 loves before church Sunday

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Wednesday, September 7, 2011


Today felt like fall and I have to say it made me very happy! I had washed all the kids fall clothes a few days ago but it's been to stinking humid out for them to wear them. Today was the day though and I relished in the cool breeze, long sleeved shirts and pants (for the kids that is - I'm not too proud to admit that I didn't get out of my PJs today for the sole reason that I was too lazy to get dressed for doing catch up housework all day. Horrible I know).

I have been listening to Beth Moore's Wise Up Bible study online - which is awesome by the way, I love me some Beth lol! And it's starting to get me excited for our church's woman's Bible study on Beth Moore's inheritance series. I'm so excited, this is the first woman's group I've been part of since my sweet girls group in Vancouver! Ah, I miss those girls! Anyway, back to Beth, man that woman can preach some truth. If you haven't listened to her google her online series and spend some time with her!

Hope you all are enjoying a break from the heat as well!!

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Monday, September 5, 2011

Happy labor day!

Weekends don't really mean much when you're a pastors wife but I was so looking forward to this one! Adam got a friend of his to preach and I was looking forward to actually spending a Saturday with him and the kids outdoors (since it was supposed to be sunny on a day he was actually taking off!)

Well you know how when you pray for patience what happens?? I have been praying God will help be be gracious and understanding with the unpredictable schedule that comes with being a pastors wife. Crisis's (is that a word?) happen and that is just part of the job. Well I guess I was being tested because I don't think I saw Adam for more than an hour all weekend until Sunday afternoon:). And surprisingly I did ok with it! I'm learning that if you're only going to see your husband for a few hours it's much more enjoyable if your not spending it irritated that things weren't happening how you planned!

That being said we are enjoying having Adams good friend Jim (who is also J's God father) stay with us for a few days before he heads back to seminary. Jim is studying to be a catholic priest and I love to pick his brain! And we snuck in some much needed family time over pancakes this morning!

Hoping you all had a great long weekend with your family and friends!

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Location:Weekend wrap up

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Today I have been reflecting on this scripture.

1 Corinthians 13

The Way of Love

1 If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don't love, I'm nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate. 2If I speak God's Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, "Jump," and it jumps, but I don't love, I'm nothing. 3-7If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don't love, I've gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I'm bankrupt without love.

Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn't want what it doesn't have.
Love doesn't strut,
Doesn't have a swelled head,
Doesn't force itself on others,
Isn't always "me first,"
Doesn't fly off the handle,
Doesn't keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn't revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.
8-10Love never dies. Inspired speech will be over some day; praying in tongues will end; understanding will reach its limit. We know only a portion of the truth, and what we say about God is always incomplete. But when the Complete arrives, our incompletes will be canceled.

11When I was an infant at my mother's breast, I gurgled and cooed like any infant. When I grew up, I left those infant ways for good.

12We don't yet see things clearly. We're squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won't be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We'll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us!

13But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love.

Thats all I have tonight

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Location:All I have to say today

Friday, September 2, 2011

It's that time again

My little baby is growing up. I don't know about you all, but I feel like time with baby 2 has flown by way quicker than it did with Jacob. I can't imagine how fast it must go for mama's of 3 or more!

The other night when we were at a friends place I was letting Charis chew away on my knuckle (the child has to have something in her mouth at all times!). I thought I felt something sharp, but dismissed it since she's 4.5 months old and couldn't possibly be cutting teeth yet - after all her brother was almost 9 months old before he cut his first tooth!
This morning when I was changing her diaper, however, I thought I should take a peek in her mouth just to see if I saw anything poking up. Wouldn't you know there was the top of a little white tooth on her bottom gum! So there you have it, we have officially entered the teething phase and all that comes with it. I'm sure I can say good bye to 12 hour nights and 2 hour naps huh? Consequently Jacob is just cutting his 2 year molars, so as one is ending the drawn out teething stage the other begins.

My sweet girl

Next up - adventures of the big boy bed (which by the sounds of the baby monitor Is being used as a trampoline instead of for sleeping ... Guess I should check on that;)

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