Monday, February 15, 2010

Birthday Party Season Project Fever

We have entered Birthday Party Season! The Bean and I are involved with a Wonderful group of moms and kiddos through our church. All the kiddos' birthdays fall within six months of one another, so right around now another half-year of celebrations begins! Unluckily for the Bean and I, the Bean's birthday comes at the veeeeeeeeery end of Birthday Season, so she has to wait her turn and I have to think of gifts as fabulous as the kids before really knowing what is going to be a hit at the new age. Luckily, that teaches the Bean patience and sparks her mommy's creativity. Win!

This Saturday is the birthday of fabulous K, and I have finally come up with something for this play-set loving darling - A Chef Kit! I was inspired by this book I literally stumbled over at our most recent Barnes $ Noble story time: DK Children's Cookbook by Katherine Ibbs

It is a great collections of recipes for little ones with full color photos of every ingredient and children doing every step in the recipe, and foods I'd actually want to eat! The only draw back was that I think it might be a little too old for fabulous K on her third birthday, and the price point was a little too high for me to be able to add anything else to the gift. So the DK Children's Cookbook was added to my wishlist for the Bean, and the search began.

Our big outing with weekend was to The Flagship Half Price Books Store and boy-howdy, was it awesome. A Walmart-sized store of great books at affordable prices that not only makes great literature available for every budget but has also made being Green profitable and hip is my kind of shopping heaven. While I was there I found: Fairy Cooking by Rebecca Gilpin and Catherine Atkinson

This little paperback gem is simpler and more age appropriate than the DK Children's Cookbook, includes mostly desserts and although it lacks the photographed ingredient list I liked so much, the instructions are illustrated and the design is absolutely charming. I have been admiring it more and more since I got it home, so now I need to find another one for us!

You can't have a Chef Kit without a charming apron, so after some easy googling I came across this clever apron pattern by Meg at SewLiberated. I LOVE clever design!! The neck strap is elastic and the waist strap velcros so the little chef can take it on/on themselves and the whole thing from the lining to the shape fit firmly in the Why Didn't I Think of That category. The Bean and I are headed to Hobby Lobby tomorrow for fabric and a couple of cookie cutters and jars of sprinkles and we will be ready to go!

One problem. SewLiberated led me to JCasa Handmade and this fabulous alphabet craft project and now my list for the Lobby of Hobbies is growing. I am hoping to look into this blog more during nap time today after reading JCasa's response to a question as to whether or not she does Montessori home-schooling. She said "we're not montessori-based, rather the girls participate in a traditional preschool environment and are both really thriving there. at home, i really do appreciate the "follow the child" concept that Meg (above) explains so well on her blog and am trying more and more to move toward child-centered activities in our home."

This Really spoke to me. Since we have recently discovered a local preschool that may be what we want in an early school experience for the Bean AND fall within our budget restraints, I have been trying to balance my desire for the Bean to have a fabulous and fulfilling public school experience like the one I had and my new curiosity in providing a great at-home learning environment. Maybe it is possible to have both. It's a wonderful place to let my mind wander.

I can hear the Elmo's World song, so my blogging time draws to a close. Today I hope to give myself some mental space to think about what I want the Bean to get out of her education, what I can provide personally and where I can find resources to fill in the gaps, and what my priorities are for her education. If I can reign in the crafting fever I can feel coming over me, I might just get to that! Wish me luck!

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Thursday, February 4, 2010

Daybook 1

Out my window...
Gray skies and a light drizzle, high 42* today. It's been a gray week so far, but I am so glad that it's warming up that I don't mind the rain one little bit.

I am hearing...
Birdsong and the hum of DH's computer. It's nap time, you see.

I am thankful for...
Slippers with arch support, nap time, tiny kicking in my belly, time

I am reading...
Illustrations in my edition by Trisha Schart Hyman, whom I love!

On my mind...
Mom and Dad driving to Louisville

Pondering these words...
"Be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger." James 1:19b
I need help with ALL THREE

I am going...
to the Taize service tonight for the first time. I need some peaceful meditation right now.
THEN this weekend to Austin to celebrate my seestur!

A few plans for the week
- clean house on Friday as usual. Even though we won't be here, I HATE to come home to a yucky house.
- pack for Austin
- get the rest of the flower seeds sown
+ blanket flower
+ butterfly weed
+ echinacea
+ nasturtium
+ rudbeckia
+ shasta daisies

I am praying for
my Louisville family. I lost my cousin this week. She was a young mother of two. I don't have the right words for any of this right now, but her children, her parents, my parents and cousins, our Grandma and aunties and uncles are all on my heart.
Kyrie eleison. Christe eleison. Kyrie eleison.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing...

Salvias are up and close to their first set of true leaves!

Visit Peggy at The Simple Woman for more daybook entries

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Life vocation #42: Home Preschool Teacher

Two weeks ago I got the forms for 3yo preschool at the school where the Bean has been attending Mother's Day Out for two years. Brad and I realized that their minimum day requirements and fees had risen right above our price range. A desire to be good stewards of our finances (us) and a nagging feeling that these precious days at home with my daughter are FLYING by (me) led us to the decision to not do preschool next year.

At first, I felt like a failure because I couldn't provide the Bean with the education that I had envisioned for her. Blech. That is a low moment for any parent. Then after a lot of thought, some wise council and prayer, I began to realize that I couldn't afford the education I had envisioned for her next year, but I could provide it. Or rather, God could.

If 2009 taught me anything, it was that God will provide for our family. Over and over and over He hit me over the head with this truth until I am finally able to say that in faith. And He has provided once again.

He has provided me with
  • access to some wonderful blogs, a few of which appear in the blog roll to the right (I hope to add more soon) which have begun my education in homeschooling principles (although I still plan for public school in Kindergarten).
  • a husband who has faith in me even when I don't.
  • our fabulous community center and its rich offering of affordable, local preschool age activities I didn't realize existed until I was desperate.
  • a cheering section of family members and fellow mommies.
  • a daughter who is naturally outgoing (so I don't have to stress about socialization), has a voracious appetite for knowledge and a love of books (so I've never felt I had to force her into learning) and with whom I genuinely enjoy spending my days.

I am so thankful. And humbled. And, very probably, out of my ever loving mind. Time will tell, friends.

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Wednesday, February 3, 2010

I'm back.

There are so many eloquent things I could say about motherhood, but I love the simple truth expressed in the 2.5 year gap in posts - mommies are busy!

That is one of the main reasons I am back - to try to carve out a moment for myself in the day, and to have the blogosphere to keep me accountable. I have my favorite moleskine journal and sharpie pen 12 inches from my hand, and they would do nicely for some reflection, expression, creation, musing and chronicling, but I am liking the connection and accountability of a blog right now. So here I go!

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