Wednesday, August 31, 2011

She Wishes She Was a Little Bit Taller

We bought Abigail her first bike a few weeks ago. While looking for one we gave Sarah the opportunity to check out tricycles. Sadly, her little legs weren't long enough to reach the pedals. So, whenever we take Abigail out to ride her bike Sarah has to play spectator. Though, lately, whenever Abigail runs off to "take a break" Sarah runs with all her might towards the big girl bike to take a try. This past Monday morning Daddy gave her a hand.

I think she liked it. Maybe next year!

Taming Insanity

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Third Trimester

Lily and I have entered into the third and final trimester. Twenty-eight weeks down, 12 to go! Part of me is ready to have her now while most of me is content waiting until November. I am having a harder time getting around and keeping up with the girls. At around 1-1:30 I hit a wall. I really need to be better about getting to bed sooner.

Lily makes her presence known whenever I get a chance to sit and relax. She does all sorts of acrobatics once the girls are in bed for the night. Lily seems to be a night person at the moment, which is something we will remedy hopefully once she is born :-)

This past weekend we did a little shopping. We ended up getting Lily's take-home outfit:

We're in the home stretch!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

What's Cooking: Sweet Treats Edition

I haven't really tried a whole lot of new recipes lately. At least none that I wanted to get into on this blog. If you need a quick and easy chicken skillet dish you can try Salsa-Cheddar Chicken from Kraft foods. We tried this last night and Jonathan and I liked it (the girls had a tougher time with it though).

There have been a few sweet treat recipes I've found online and tried that we've really enjoyed. There isn't much of a point in doing a What's Cooking segment because, really, what kids don't like sweets? And the point of this type of post is to find family-friendly recipes. Still, I thought these three recipes were worth sharing because they are either (1) amazing (2) super simple or (3) both.

Chewy Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies
I had oatmeal. I had chocolate chips. I didn't have an oatmeal chocolate chip cookie recipe though. So, I went to my go-to site and found this one for amazing chewy cookies. I only made one modification to this recipe because it calls for walnuts (which Abigail is allergic to). So, instead of walnuts I ended up adding extra chocolate chips (nothing wrong with a little more chocolate, right?). These cookies are sooooo good! This will definitely be my chocolate chip cookie go-to recipe.

Homemade Ice Cream
This next recipe I found on a cooking blog I subscribe to, Jamie Cooks it Up. The thing that convinced me to try this recipe was that you didn't need an ice cream machine and there were only three main ingredients I needed. We ended up adding chocolate chips and chocolate sauce to ours. The hardest part was waiting the 6 hours for it to freeze, but it was worth the wait. I couldn't believe how smooth and creamy it was. We will definitely make this again, so yummy and so easy!

Smore Cookies
I saw these cookies, again on Jamie Cooks it Up, and just had to make them. They looked so amazing! I ended up making these yesterday with Abigail, which wasn't the best idea. The recipe is not the simplest and Abigail is very impatient. Her persistence and impatience led her to say over, and over, and over things like, "Mommy, I need a marshmallow" and "Mommy, I need chocolate" and "Mommy, can I have a cookie please?" So I had to keep telling her we were waiting until all the cookies were done until we had them.

One quick tip: I ended up cutting the recipe in half, because I didn't want 48 cookies. But instead of rolling the dough into 2-inch balls (which I thought was a little much) I used my small ice cream scoop. This resulted in 36 cookies instead of an expected 24.

Here's Abigail asking for chocolate:

Here's the final product:

It was a lot of work, but the end result was worth it. We were not disappointed.

So, there you have it, three sweet treats that I will make again for sure. I hope you get a chance to try them out for yourself!

Monday, August 22, 2011

First Day of School

Today was Abigail's first day of preschool. We started earlier than usual because (1) once Abigail learned she'd be doing school she hasn't stopped talking about it and (2) I wanted to get a good routine going before Lily comes in November.

To start I decided to do a few simple things in the morning so that Sarah can participate. We did the bulk of our school though during her naptime.

Our morning session consisted mainly of our calendar. I finished it up to include the temperature and what Abigail should wear for the weather. We sang a few songs about the days of the week and months of the year. Then I thought it would be good to focus on our color of the week: yellow. I picked up a simple book on the color yellow at the library. It was a nice way to introduce new words to Sarah and also go over all sorts of things that are yellow. After reading that a few times we went around the apartment pointing out all of the yellow things.

Our afternoon session was pretty simple. I introduced our verse for the week, read a story about it, and then Abigail read cards with the phrase "I see 1 lion" (or "I see 1 lock") with corresponding pictures of items starting with the letter "l" (our letter of the week). The thing I like about this curriculum is that it doesn't start with "Aa" but instead starts with "Ll", which is one of the easier letters to write. We'll see how writing goes in the coming days. After all this we read a book about the letter "L" and then called it a day.

On a quick side note, Monday is our "clean up" day-a day where we stay home and the girls play around while Mom plays catch up on chores. I was still able to do this and fit in our lesson. While I was cleaning the bathroom Abigail got a hold of our camera. I wanted to just take it from her, but then encouraged her to take pictures of things that are yellow. It was fun to see what she came up with:

part of her plastic golf setbutterflies on her backpackSarah's floatie

Friday, August 19, 2011

Photo Fridays 08.19.11

Yesterday we went to a spray park. I had decided on a spontaneous trip the night before, figuring the girls would love it. They had a blast! I wish I had known about this place earlier in the summer. It's only about a 20 minute drive away and it is on a reservation/park, so we got to have a little "hike" before making it to the sprinklers. Plus, they had swings, slides, and clean restrooms!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

What's in a Name?

Some people grow up knowing what they want to name their children. Others wait until the moment their baby is in their arms before the name comes to them. Once we knew "boy or girl" we went to work on what we wanted to call our little girls (though Abigail was a for sure name before we were close to having kids).

We wanted something biblical for our kids. Abigail and Sarah both fit the bill. But then it came time to look up other biblical girl names this time around, which we were able to narrow down to Naomi and Leah.

The meaning behind each name we picked was not as important in our decision-making, but I am happy with our results. Abigail means "Joy of the Father" while Sarah Elizabeth means "Princess" and "God is my oath".

What about our third front-runner, Lily? I stumbled upon the name while reading a girls name post in a message board I am part of. Suddenly it hit me, the name Lily is biblical in a way and also has great meaning.

When I found out I was pregnant with our third I was happy, of course, but also scared. Three kids? Three? But when I saw the name Lily I was soon reminded of part of Jesus' Sermon on the Mount:

“For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?
Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith! Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
“So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."
Matthew 6:25-34 (emphasis mine)

So there you go, no need to worry. If God takes care of the birds of the air and the lilies of the field He will surely take care of us, no matter how many children He blesses us with! There is not enough time and space to go into the meaning of her middle name, Grace (which means favor or goodwill). God has blessed us more than we even realize sometimes in how He has provided for our financial, spiritual, and emotional needs.

We can't wait to meet our little Lily Grace!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Better Late than Never

So, a number of months ago my computer started making a clicking sound. Then, my hard drive crashed. My advice to you: if your computer starts making a clicking sound, back it up! I hadn't in a while and ended up losing a lot of stuff.

We were eligible for a free replacement drive, but in the meantime were using a much smaller one we already had. Because of this I quickly ran out of room and couldn't import anymore photos or videos. I got my replacement this week and Jonathan set me up with a newer, faster, and larger hard drive!

Remember reading about Abigail's first Vacation Bible School experience? Here is a little video of her singing with her classmates. This was one of her favorite songs from the week and she'll still sing it on occasion:

In other news: stay tuned for a post in the coming days announcing Baby #3's name!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

100 Days

We've only got 100 days left until our little girls' estimated date of arrival. While talking about "the baby coming out" with Abigail she often talks about it happening now. It is hard to explain to her that we've still got a little while to go. We'll start by saying it won't happen until November. Then we say it'll be in the fall. Finally we let Abigail in on the chain of events that have to occur before her little sister is born (Daddy's birthday, then Sarah's birthday, then sister's birthday).

Today I decided we'd make a paper chain. Yesterday Abigail and I put together 100 strips of paper to represent the 100 days we have left until the baby is due. As each day passes we'll tear off a part of the chain. Hopefully this will give Abigail a better idea of how much time we have left.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Getting Ready

I've been thinking a lot about Abigail and school lately. A lot of kids her age will be starting some form of preschool in the fall. I never really considered signing her up. You see, we still haven't decided whether we will home-school or not.

For those of you who may not know, Jonathan and his brothers were all home-schooled through high school. I never really would have considered it as a serious option for our girls if this hadn't been the case. Jonathan is super supportive and doesn't expect our default schooling of choice to be home school, but he does expect me to prayerfully consider and be open to it (which is totally reasonable!).

So, as part of OUR prayerful consideration, we have decided to home-school Abigail for preschool as sort of a trial run. As I get ready for our time together I get really excited! Other times I am overwhelmed.

We'll see how it goes though and hopefully we can share a bit of what we learn with you!
A friend of mine pointed me to a homeschooling website called 1+1+1=1. We'll be using her Raising Rock Stars Preschool materials. She offers so many free printables and also makes them available for quick download for a nominal fee. Here are some of the preparations we've been making the past week or so:

I really liked the idea of a calendar, I modeled ours after this one on the 1+1+1 website. We're not quite finished with it. I need to add a few pockets and also some temperature stick-ups and clothing stick-ups (hot hot/cold is it? and what should I wear in this weather?).

I also put together a little binder to hold Abigail's work and a binder for me to hold all my teacher stuff (all of the printouts came from 1+1+1=1).

Abigail keeps talking about school. I think she's looking forward to the next week or so being over so we can get started!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Photo Fridays 08.05.11

I didn't take a lot of pictures this week, though we did get out and have some fun. On Tuesday we went outside so Abigail could ride her new bike. About 15 minutes into our fun, both the girls were distracted by the sprinklers (I hadn't become familiar with their schedule). At that point I had lost control and they were soaked within minutes. Here's a cute picture of Sarah getting dry/warmed up: