Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Happiest Shopper

It's really too bad when a family only has only boy or only girl children ... because without the other gendered siblings, there's no borrowing of those gender-specific type toys. Oh yeah, I know, girls can play with cars and toy guns and wear blue ... but really ... dad's get really queezy when they see their sons playing with dolls and strollers and things that are pink.

It does warm my heart when my boys cuddle their stuffed animals and "fatherly" nurture them ... or even (shhhhh) borrow one of my dollies and sweetly rock it or give it a kiss! (melt this momma's heart.)

This week when the two older boys were playing out their y-gene aggressions on the hockey ice at the ice arena, Nolan and I hit the grocery store to get some food to fill these hungry boys.
That is when ...
Nolan spotted the child-sized green carts. With only a short list and a big sigh of relief that he wasn't begging for one of those bus-sized car-carts that he sits in for about the first 2 aisles of the store and then decides to walk I was more than happy to let him "man" the cart! :-)
 Seriously, I don't think this boy could have been happier or more proud to walk the aisles and help me shop! And I will say, there is one lucky little gal out there who in about 20 years will be getting her groceries brought home by her man. (hee hee)

Definitely, with this smaller cart basket, our grocery bill will go down quick, ha! (But the number of trips to the store will most certainly go up.)

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Magic Bubble Blower

I have to share this fun idea ... maybe I'm the last person to have experienced this, but I'm gonna share just in case you haven't seen this yet ...
I must admit that when we showed up to Story Hour at the library last year and they said they were going to make these "Magic Bubblers" I instantly got a knot in my stomach imagining my then-3 yr. old drinking the soapy liquid instead of blowing into it.
Maybe it's just my kids ... but give them a cup, a straw and liquid ... and they're going to naturally drink.

There isn't any bubble-liquid involved with this ... and it is really fun.

  • First take a styrofoam cup
  • You can decorate it with stickers or markers if you'd like
  • Poke a hole with a regular straw (I only had a curly straw on hand for photo day and we unfortunately lost the original one that we made for it, but it works best with a regular straw.
  • MAKE SURE THE HOLE IS NOT BIGGER THAN THE STRAW (my replacement curly straw was skinnier than the original and I had to block the extra space with my thumb to make it work for the photos.)
  • Take a dollar-store wash cloth and cut it into a 5x5" square (you could also use a really worn out one, but make sure that whatever you use is thin so it's easier to blow through and the terry cloth texture might be necessary for the bubbles, I've not tried anything else.)
  • Wet washcloth piece and secure with a rubber band.
  • Put a few drops of DAWN or other liquid dishwashing detergent on the top of the wet washcloth and rub vigorously across the entire top.
  • Then blow into the straw.

 I usually start the bubbles by blowing first just to make sure it has enough soap. This way folks don't get disappointed and frustrated too early ...
 If it doesn't work, add a little more soap, a little more water and a little more rubbing.
 Soon  you'll have a lovely bubble beard (or Marge Simpson hair) forming much to the delight of your little one AND THERE'S NOTHING THEY'RE GONNA SWALLOW (yay!)
(*We've restained our deck since these photos were taken, it looks so much nicer now, honest)
If bubbles decrease, add more water, soap and rubbing to replenish.

You can try this outside if it's not to windy or cold (it seemed to do better if it was warmer though) and would be perfect in the bathtub if it's winter or if you are kinda fussy about bubbles in your house like we are.

When the fun is done, simply put it in the cupboard for another day OR recycle the cup and keep the washcloth for another fun day down the road.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Samuel:100 Good Wishes Bai Jia Bei Quilt

It's taken a year and a half ... but I've finally finished Samuel's 100 Good Wishes Bai Jia Bei Quilt! 
What is a 100 Good Wishes Quilt?To welcome and celebrate a new life, there is a tradition in the northern part of China to make a Bai Jia Bei, or 100 Good Wishes Quilt. It is a custom to invite friends and family to contribute a patch of cloth with a wish for the baby. Part of the patch of cloth goes into the quilt for the baby, and the other part of the cloth can go into a creative memory notebook with the wish for the child. The quilt contains the luck, energy, and good wishes from all the families and friends who contributed a piece of fabric. The quilt is then passed down from generation to generation.

Samuel was placed on my heart the moment I first saw his photo upon his arrival at New Day. He struck my heart SO deeply just looking into his eyes, not even knowing what his special medical need might be. My heart knew his biggest need immediately without being told. 
He needed a momma. 
My heart was so deeply ... moved. It shouldn't have surprised me ... I had been praying for God to lead us to a specific child to sponsor and pray for at New Day. I just didn't expect it to be a boy or to be so overwhelmed with the sense that I needed to pray for him--deeply pray for him--as if he were a part of our immediate family. I wasn't sure what I expected really from that prayer. But I do know that God hears ... and He answers. (And it is so funny that this child's name, "Samuel," means "God Heard." Oh yes He did!
You can find past posts about this time here and here and here. (and probably elsewhere in my post history if you dig around.)

What a blessing it was to keep Samuel in our prayers and to join with others as prayer warriors over him as his forever parents were called and heard, listened and obeyed that call to step forward in faith. It still gives me goosebumps to look back over when it was hardest to pray or when illnesses and mountains arose on our own home-front and how strangely they coincided with things happening in the family being called and their journey. There is most definitely a Spiritual War going on beyond what we can see, this journey more than confirmed it for me! It also confirmed that God is in the details and that He is more than sufficient to provide for our needs.

It's not a huge quilt. (perfect for the top of a twin bed as an accent quilt or even better for a toddler bed.) But I do know that it should fit perfectly for cuddling this fall and winter and hopefully will be a keepsake for him always! Thank you to EACH of you who prayed over Samuel and for his forever family and for those who went one step further and contributed to his quilt!! All of the notes and envelopes and pages/wishes will be forwarded on to Samuel's parents for them to keep for Samuel! I am certain they will treasure each prayer that was said over their dear son, Samuel!

Samuel you are so loved! There are well over 100 good wishes for you and this is only a slice of them. Your future will be brilliant and so will your Today!

Samuel's Bai Jia Bei Quilt Front


Back Detail


Samuel's Quilt Dedication Label

The Four Corners: Faith, Love, Happiness and Success




Patches Up Close (can you find yours?)

Quilt draped over a chair ... ready for some snuggling!

The family

The family