Saturday, June 26, 2010

Let's go swimming in the swimming cool

Grandma and Grandpa Phelps sent us a new swimming pool. (Or "swimming cool" as Catie says. She also wears a "swimming cute".) The main portions blew up quickly with our pump, but alas I couldn't find the nozzle adaptors and had to blow up the smaller parts by mouth. All I have to say is it's a good thing I don't smoke or have asthma.

They're not so sure about the sprinkler part, but they absolutely love the pool.
Thanks Grandma and Grandpa!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Back in the saddle again

Two weeks ago, we spent the afternoon at Brad's boss's house riding horses and enjoying a delicious dinner. I was getting ready to blog the experience when I ruined my computer. For those of you who haven't heard, I spilled milk on my laptop and it shorted out. Sigh. Here are a few pictures from that day.

Feeding Rosie a peppermint. Catie didn't want anything to do with the horse's head.
One side effect of destroying my computer was that my productivity went way up. :) I had a huge list of different areas in the house that I wanted to organize/pick up/make more efficient. With the exception of the craft room, which I plan to tackle this weekend, I've crossed everything off my list.

I painted the front door before the incident, but I wanted to show you how nice it looks. (It was purplish before.)
Finally, happy belated Fathers' Day!

Monday, June 7, 2010

This book is amazing

I'm halfway through the book Gospel-Powered Parenting, and it is seriously messing with me, and I mean that in the best way possible. This is what I've gotten out of it so far:

1. We don't need to keep our kids away from the world so much as we need to live in such a way that the gospel (Jesus) is more attractive to them than the world.

2. Making the gospel attractive will include some serious soul-searching/confessing to find the hypocrisies in me that my children will undoubtedly see even when I am blinded to them by my pride.

3. The Bible doesn't have many direct verses about parenthood because living the gospel should lead to good parenting.

4. Good parenting begins with a healthy fear of God. If we don't understand/acknowledge God's justice, why would we need a savior? And why would our children need a savior?

5. The goal of a Christian parent shouldn't be making perfect, well-behaved model citizens. Instead, the goal of a Christian parent should be seeing their children become born again believers.

There is so much more, and I've just started reading the practical half of the book. I'll probably talk about it again, but for now, for those of you who appreciate a little visual, here you go:

PS I got absolutely nothing out of this one. I bought the book for myself and just felt like I needed to share it with you all.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Momology--A Book Review

About the book:
Mothering is part art, part science, and always a work in progress! Backed by more than thirty years of research-based ministry at MOPS International, Momology is designed to help you be the unique mother God created you to be--because better moms make a better world.

The book is broken into 4 key parts: Core, Finesse, Circle, and Grandscape. In core, the author discusses making sure that you are a resilient, healthy parent. In the finesse section, she talks about doing mothering well--with finesse. Circle refers to the circles of support and friendship in our lives. Finally, in the grandscape section she discusses how our lives as mothers fit into God's grand design.

About the Author:

Shelly Radic is the chief of staff at Mothers of Preschoolers, Intl. As an author, teacher, and speaker, Shelly's passion is inspiring women to respond to God's call for their lives and encouraging and developing women as leaders in their homes, churches, and communities. Shelly graduated from Point Loma Nazarene College in San Diego, CA, with a degree in Home Economics/Family Studies. She lives in Aurora, CO with her husband and four children.

My Review:
First and foremost, this book is practical. It was designed to be read in very short "naptime" segments. I appreciated that I could put it down at a moment's notice without having to stop in the middle of a long chapter. It kept my (often divided) attention also because it is peppered with anecdotes from real-life mothers, as well as questions for thoughtful review, opportunities to go online and discuss my thoughts with other moms, and practical steps for putting theories into practice.

I also appreciated the author's stance on finesse. She makes a point to say that mothering is an experiment and you do what works best for you and your child. This book does not offer specific advice on things like co-sleeping, breast vs. bottle, etc, etc, but it gives you the freedom to decide what you would like to do.

I think my favorite part about this book is how encouraging it is. After reading it, I felt empowered to keep on doing this mothering thing and to continue to connect with other moms who can support me in this journey. As the MOPS theme book for this coming year, I believe it will spark some excellent ideas.

Available June 2010 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Mothers' Day Painted Trivets

I took these pictures quite a while ago with the intention of posting them here, but I knew I had to wait until after Mothers' Day so that the grandmas' gifts would remain secret. I think I've waited sufficiently long enough. :)

I got the idea from Frugal Family Fun Blog. It was one of her suggestions for Mothers' Day gifts that kids can make.

We started with imprinted tiles from Home Depot. The kids chose three colors each. (I tried to encourage them to pick colors that wouldn't turn into a brown mess when mixed together.) We used regular acrylic craft paint.

Once the tiles dried, I went back over them with a small paintbrush and black paint to bring out the designs. A day or two later, I sprayed them with laquer and put cork pads on the bottom.

I was pleased with how they come out and so were both grandmas. :)

Friday, June 4, 2010

Long overdue and really long

We recently spent 10 days in the midwest.

On our first day in St Louis we went to Six Flags. It was a little rainy, not enough to really get wet, just enough to be kind of cold and yucky. Good news, though, we could ride whatever we wanted as many times as we wanted.
This picture cracks me up. Click on it for a better view of Nick's face.

Catie with Grandpa:
Nick with Aunt Brittany:
Cousin Ryder with Brad:
Cousin Brindy with Grandma:

On Saturday we drove up to Bloomington to meet my parents and my brother with Baby Wesley. Isn't he cute? He's 1 today!
Petting the goats at the Miller Park Zoo:

The next week, we went to the St Louis Zoo. Nick loves the hippos.

I made the tie on Nicky's shirt. Isn't he cute?
I made this dress for Catie. :)
Did I mention I made her dress?
It looks like Nicky's crying in this picture, but he's doing a really good impression of gorilla noises.
We also got to spend some time with Baby Logan. This is the first time Brad's seen him. Here he is enjoying some water fun:

Daddy and Uncle Brian help Catie down the water slide.

Catie loves jumping in the bounce house.
And Nick loved splashing in the froggy pool.
We also spent a couple days in Kansas City with Great-Grandma Phelps. I wish I had taken a picture of her with the kiddos. That's my one big regret from our trip.
We had a great time with everyone! Thanks for a fun visit home!