Tuesday, March 30, 2010

On Passover

We celebrate Passover at our house.

It's something that I go back and forth with myself on, because it is OH so important to me that our kids are Christians.  However, in the end it is also important to me that they understand their father's heritage (and theirs, too) and the origins of our faith.  Beyond which, I've come to believe that the reason that children stray is because they are curious.  So, if I answer their questions and don't make Judaism taboo in our home, they won't wander towards the mysterious faith of their father.  I know that probably sounds terrible to read, but when we had Riley, we determined that I really cared and Austin not so much, about what religion our kids were.

Over the years I have really struggled with how we balance our family.  There are a lot of websites and organizations out there supporting interfaith families that make Jewish choices and support completely ignoring the other parent's religion- but that's not really a balance.  For me, what we do now is much more a model of cooperation based on what our religions mean to each other.  We celebrate Passover with Daddy.  Mommy stresses out and cooks all day and sets a nice table and we pack our backpacks with what we would take if we had to go on a journey across the desert.  We eat macaroons and pavlova and charoset and bitter herbs.  We tell the story of how the angel of death passed over the houses covered in the blood of the lamb.  We talk about how Great our God is and how much he wanted the Hebrews to be free from bondage. How our Great God rolled back the waters of the Red Sea. We hunt for the afikomen (and inevitably someone cheats). We go to bed happy.

And then, we wake up and it's Holy Week.  We talk about how Great our God is.  We tell the story of how death passes over those of us who are covered in the blood of the Lamb.  But this time, the Lamb is Jesus, the perfect sacrifice.  We talk about how God has had a plan of salvation all along, through the Hebrews and the Israelites.  How much He loves us and wants us to be free from the bondage of sin.  How our Great God rolled back the stone from the cave that no longer held our Risen Lord.

Because it's the same story.  It's our story.  It's the story of a Great God who loves His People so much that He would go to any length to free them.  And I'm glad my children have that knowledge, even if I wish their daddy shared our faith, I'm so glad that we are able to give them more ways to know God.

Good Pesach.  

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Soo Cute!

I love following a trail of blogs when I have a free minute and when the kids went to bed tonight I found someone's adorable craft blog with a giveaway! It's very Michelle Obama-esque (and while I don't love liberal politics, I do so love Mrs. O's style!) If you become a follower or leave a comment, you can win it!
(And if you won't wear it, you can subsequently send it to moi. I am in need of cute things.)

More Crafty Goodness

This time just for Logan! First and foremost, someone has a birthday coming up!! I can't believe that my snuggly bunny is going to be FOUR!! I love all of my children, but they are all so different, and if I could have my way, Savannah and Riley would grow up, but Logan would stay 3 forever. He's such a sweet and happy little guy!! I hope he keeps his temperament forever!

So. Logan wants a pirate party. Riley has always wanted to have 9000 people at his parties, and we've had them out and about at different venues that can accommodate that. Plus, our townhouse is pretty cozy (not that we don't have our annual 30 kid Halloween party in it, but that's REALLY a squeeze!) Logan, however, has a spring birthday, which means we can have a fun outside party that momma can actually plan and have fun with!! Here's part one- the invitations. I used scrapbook paper that was designed for a family album. It was antique colored with lines, and then I cut shapes, antiqued it more with a brown ink pad, stamped on the piratey shapes, and wrote everything on. Then I scrunched them, unfolded, and rolled them up and tied them with twine. They were a pretty big hit at preschool!! I love doing little kid birthdays and I'm so excited that I get to have fun with this one!!

The invitations look a little weird on here, but that's because I blurred out the information on them, because I don't really want the whole interwebz showing up for the party. :)

Next, Logan had crazy hat day at preschool. Which I forgot about until, oh, 12am the night before. Go Mommy!! So, I took one of my Holy Cross hats, painted it with green sparkle paint, added paper ears and embellishments, and I think it turned out really cute!! Here's Logie in his hat:

I enjoy that his preschool has this little tradition of Easter Hats. I think it's really cute and so different from anything anyone else does! I also got to stay and be room helper today for the class Easter Party. It was so neat to watch his teachers in action, but boy do they have more than a saint's helping of patience!! I can't stand it when my children talk over me, but Logan's teacher was so calm and happy even with 16 kids talking over her at times!! I could definitely learn from that, although she does have a few years of practice on me- she's definitely a great model of how to interact with munchkins :) They actually both are.

Here's Logan's class. I love how different most of the hats are, although 2 of the boys come together (mom of one is babysitter of the other) so theirs were the same. Such individual creations :) It was also very sweet that the other classes came out to watch their little parade. Since they're only 2 day a week students, they didn't get to be there for the BIG parade tomorrow, but everyone came out to watch them today! Very sweet, especially the older kids who clapped and waved and made their day :)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The St. Patty's Party That Wasn't.

(Did you know that you can dye your rice krispies treats any color you want by adding food coloring to the melted marshmallow goo? You can. You can also cut them and frost them to look like clovers. With decorator sugar. FYI.)

We had planned for a St. Patrick's Day Playdate with Logan and Savannah's friends at our house, but Savannah is now sick with a tummy bug. Last night at around 11:20 she was crying for me and when I went up she told me that she had a booboo and I asked her where. She put my hand to her mouth, threw up in it, and, when I said, "Oh, clearly you have a booboo in your tummy" she responded "No, booboo in mama's hand". Obviously this is my daughter :) Never missing a beat.

Love that.

So, anyway, we had planned this playdate and I had a few simple crafts that I thought I'd share, plus we made teacher appreciation presents (I'm in charge of that for PTA so it's on my mind)

Our first craft for the party was going to be simple foam hats with shamrock decorations. One of the reasons that I like waiting until the last minute is that I get things on clearance! I bought these things yesterday at our local Michaels for $.33 each (including the bags of foam adhesive shamrocks!!) Not very complicated, but our target audience was between 1 and 3, so simple is good. I wrote Savannah's name on hers and then let her stick on the shamrocks.
The next craft I planned was decorating little cloth bags. We were supposed to go on a hunt for gold coins so I had these small bags ($.50 each) and my fabric markers ready to go to make rainbow bags. I had a story from the library about the gold at the end of the rainbow, so the plan was to read that, decorate the bags with rainbows, and then hunt for our gold chocolate coins. Savannah wasn't much interested in this one, so I did it for her. Forgive my ugly attempt at a leprechaun.
Finally we have the teacher appreciation gifts. These are a little more involved, but we did them over two days. So, here goes. First the supplies. You will need to assemble some glue, glitter, a terra cotta pot, your green scrapbooking paper scraps, scissors, bamboo skewers, a green crayon, tape, floral foam, small brads and ribbon.
No, it's not sideways at our house, I just have no clue how to rotate pictures on here :) So, first things first, paint a line of glue around the top edge or rim of your pot and roll it in glitter. We put our floral foam inside first. Also, if you've never tried Martha Stewart's glitter- you totally should.
So, next, paint a little glue on your floral foam (or sqeeze it out, whatever floats your boat) and let your baby cut up a ton of ribbon to be grass. We also added some confetti. That's optional :)
So now we have a glittery pot of grass! Hooray! Next, cut up your scrap papers into hearts. You'll need 4 as far as I'm concerned, per 4 leaf clover. Savannah preferred 3 and Logan enjoyed 5. But I say 4. Either way, it was a good way to practice counting to whatever number. Line them up in circular formation, and attach them one at a time with the brad. We also had a little circle plastic embellishment that came in our brads. I had run out of green by the time I decided to take this picture, so there's an orange one. True story, the flag of Ireland is Green, Orange, and White. I'm an unintentional GENIUS ;)
Fabulous! Now, peel your crayon a little so that you can use it on the side and color the skewers green. I'll wait. Done? Excellent. So, now you'll want to either glue or tape them to the back of your shamrock. I'm not very patient, so we prefer tape. Once you've assembled them, stick them into your floral foam. At the end, we add a square piece of paper to a skewer and write "I'm so lucky you're my teacher" and the child's name. Or, in Savannah's case, Coach, since she has a swim coach, but no teachers yet. :) Although this would be cute for a Sunday School teacher, too, no? People tend to forget them, and they need love, too!
So, that's our party that wasn't, and our St. Patrick's Appreciation gifts. Hope you enjoyed! We're going to be around sipping gingerale and eating crackers for awhile, so maybe I'll come up with something else cute, too! We have a shamrock shaped cookie cutter- maybe some potato stamps!! With Green Paint! That'd be fun on a t-shirt!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

The Past Few Days

We had a whole mess of excitement around here from Friday to today. Riley's school had their first performance (the first was supposed to be a "Winter Holiday of Choice" concert, which was canceled due to snow). This time they chose the theme "Famous Americans" and it was quite possibly the most adorable thing EVER. The only other time my kids have been in something it was the Christmas Pageant at DRUMC, and because I was "directing" that hot mess, I didn't actually get to enjoy their presence, nor do I actually remember much about it at all except that I felt like I might drop dead after.

So- back to the point. Riley's class said a few words about Pocahontas, and also featured songs about George Washington, Betsy Ross, and Martin Luther King, Jr. You can see a brief video here:
Pocahontas Song

This week was apparently date week- Austin took the boys to 5 Guys and Frozen Custard after their swimming (which he also got to take them to!) on Wednesday, and I took Savannah out to the playplace at the McDonald's near us. This weekend, we swapped and Austin took Savannah on her first official Daddy Date for Thai Food and I took the boys out with our friends and then back to their house for a movie night. Austin and Savannah joined us later- and Savannah did an awesome job of sleeping in Kailey's bed! The boys and their friends were up, however, until around 11pm by the time we got home!!

Saturday we had a 1st Birthday to attend, and I always love how sweet those are. My friend Rebecca did an awesome job decorating for her little guy's big day! After that I got a MNO and the munchkins got to spend the night at grandma's! They managed to wrangle extra cupcakes out of Mrs. Rebecca and were very excited to show up at Grammy's house with cupcakes and goody bags in tow! The party had an added bonus for me in that I met another very nice Christian Momma with a little girl Savannah's age. It was ironic (don't ya think) because we were talking about churches and she was on the committee that interviewed me at the church I should have taken a job at. When I left DRUMC I had two offers and felt lead to take one, but took the one that paid more. Biggest mistake EVER, and God is still finding these little ways to remind me that his ways are the best and I should yield my will to him when he has a preference. Noted.

Unfortunately, I just got a phone call that Logan officially has the stomach bug that's going around, which makes me feel terrible because it's never nice to be sick without your momma to snuggle on!! I hope that by the time they get back here he'll be feeling better- I am supposed to go try a microdermabrasion treatment at the spa and my skin has been such a mess the last few days with the pollen coming out, but if he's not feeling better I'll definitely skip it to "nuggle mama". (I love the little babyisms that Logan's kept!)

This week we have Savannah and Logan's St. Patty's Day Party, and I'm hoping to start crafting for that tonight. I have a big to do list around the house right now, though, and currently Austin is beating me in the crossing things off department!! (In all fairness, my first item was "renovate master bathroom" and his was "install doorknob"- but he's still winning!!)

I'm not sure who's reading this, but if you are, I hope that you have a great week and enjoy the Kindergarten Singing!!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Mama, I love you....

Logan is such a sweet and honest little man- I love how he's inbetween stages right now- he still has his sweet round cushy baby face, and he also has so much to say and can do so many "big boy" things!!

Today, he looked back at me with his sweet cherub face and said "Mama, do you know how much I love you?" Smiling, I asked, "How much?" and, with the independent thought of a much older child, but the honesty of a toddler he answered "Not as much as Lucky...but you're second."

Beaten by a dog. Oh well, I guess I'll take what I can get.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

I love the Fishes

All three of our kids are fish. They've been in the water since they were tiny and just love it! Logan did great today and we got a little video of him doing streamline. Riley has a lot of trouble concentrating, but has such natural skill it kills me to watch him not paying attention because he could be phenomenal!!! Savannah is constantly amazing her coach with how much a 2 year old can do!!! As an added bonus for Savannah, swimming is her special Grammy time! It started off that way because I was working, but now she doesn't swim if I'm in the water with her and since Grammy is currently enjoying lots of free time (still no job :( hopefully soon!) she is happy to spend one morning a week with Savannah in the pool!

Enjoy some of the pictures!

The Messy Letter Project

We've been working with the littler kids (and Riley) on letter recognition. We did shaving cream on construction paper for A/a and tonight was flour for B/b. They have done really well with it- they don't seem to get bored or frustrated if they're making a mess, and Savannah can even point out an A on a page!! Here's a little clip of tonight's messiness!! I'm thinking about something gooey for tomorrow night- maybe toothpaste? We'll see!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

I'm Melting!! I'm Melting!!

Well, it's melting outside anyway!! We finally got to walk to school again, which was so wonderful!! Lucky has been less than appreciative of the melting, though, because he has been getting almost a bath a day due to the mud!! Savannah had her 2 year check up and is still tiny, but proportional, so that's good!! We had a fun time this weekend at a few different birthday parties, including Logan's best little friend Kailey. He really wanted to make her something, and decided on a princess crown and wand. It turned out so cute!! I made the K and the 4, but Logan put everything else on by himself! He's such a meticulous little bug! There is still a little bit of snow on the ground as you can see from this picture, but it really is sooo much better than it was before!! We are definitely a family that likes to have the option to be outside! We are all playdoh and coloring and pretend-playing-ed out!! The boys played fetch outside with the dog yesterday until their little faces were blue and their lips were purple (and that only took 20 minutes)!
We also found out today that Logan's teachers approved him for 5 day 4's next year, so he's very excited about having class each day for 1/2 a day. Preschool has been so good for my kids- I know some people don't think it is but the social skills they learn and the friends they make are so worth the time and cost. Savannah has also been clamoring "I gow ad kooowl!!" and so we are signing her up for the 2 1/2 year old class which will meet 2 half days. She is such a social child, and I hope that the increased interaction will help with her speech.