Tuesday, March 23, 2010

You gotta love nap time!

Proud of the teamwork it took to build their beautiful castle...

knocking down the castle...

For a couple years I'v been talking about starting a home daycare, even before lil J was born. While we were in Missouri on the Air Force base, I contemplated it, got all the information and tried to imagine what could possibly go wrong in such an endeavor. It seemed like I never quite got around to getting my house "up to code" with all the requirements for a daycare on base. Plus they are allowed to come in your home, check your fridge and even go into your closets and personal space (while your husband was sleeping from being on night shift no less!) to make sure your house is "safe". When I heard that little tidbit of information, I decided, until we could move off base, I was not going to start one there. Soon after that decision I became pregnant with lil J and we found out that my husband was going to get out of the military all together, pretty much after our son was born, and so we moved to Ohio, close to Josh's parents.
My Mother - in - law is a very special person. She can multitask a circle around anyone I know and do it with style. Almost 30 years ago, I think just after my hubby was born, she started a home daycare and has been going strong all these years. These last few years have been kind of rough though and shes been winding down and dreaming of retiring to do what she loves the most... decorating cakes! So when Josh and I decided to move to Ohio and I saw how fun having a daycare was, I decided to take over for her. Yesterday was my first day and it went extremely well!! She only had three little 4 year olds and they all wanted to come to my house and play with lil J. He LOVES having bigger kids to play with.
Yesterday lil Em was first to arrive. She is a little diva with long blond hair and loves to sing in front of the tv. Her first order of business was to get the foam blocks out and start building a castle. Next came Ev, he has a big personality and loves to jump like a frog and make the other kids laugh. Lately he's been having issues and crying all day, but Praise the Lord the last couple of days he has done tremendously well! The third little boy, Pres was late in coming since his mom called off work because of some seriously messed up sinuses. He is usually here til 8:30 two nights a week and 5:30 or 6:30 all the other days. His mom works pretty far out of town and has to commute. She is a sweet lady and loves her lil guy a lot. I am so pleased to see her making a huge effort to start picking him up earlier and spend more time with him :) All in all it was an awesome day and the kids did really well.
Today was more of a challenge, since I had Ev's older sister Halee for half a day as well. What a great help she was organizing games and keeping lil J content and happy. When we did the craft she helped some of the other kids cut out pictures with the scissors. She did get a little bored toward the end, but there was no whining or anything from her side of the room :) Halee does tend to get her brother and the others wound up a bit, but she also calmed them down too... big plus!
I am so pleased with how smoothly everything is running right now. Yes, I know, its only been two days, but it will get soooooooo much better once the sun comes out and they can play and do crafts outside! Can't wait for summer to actually come :-) Bring on the flip flops!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Once Upon a Time...

After Church this morning, my husband and I were discussing the Church nursery. It seems like EVERY church nursery is different and uses totally different methods in doing things. We both agreed, there are the totally out of date ones, and the ones up to date. I will attempt to give you the whole conversation, as it was quite interesting :)
Firstly, we were discussing the up to date nurseries. These are the ones where the director knows the lastest data concerning germs (there is so much hand sanitizer, clorox wipes and Lysol Disinfectant you'd think it was a hospital). With all the different kinds of sickness going around today, such as RSV, the swine flu and millions of other childhood illnesses , it pays to try and keep a sanitary nursery. The door is locked and the babies are passed over, or little people let in. No one but the nursery workers are permitted inside the nursery (unless there is a nursing mother or two) to keep the chaos to a minimum and the children safe at all times. At the end of service the babies and children are passed back over with coats and shoes in place and their proper belongings, including cups, with the right child to the RIGHT parents. There is a "chore list" the workers must complete after each service... empty trash, sanitize baby changing table, door knobs, toys, vacuum ... etc. Under NO circumstances are strangers or siblings under the age of 13 to be let into the nursery to pick up children.(For this sort of thing, there is a list of people who can pick up a child.. if you aren't on the list, you aren't picking up a child :) The nursery is then locked until the next service. You make think this a silly thing, but they always open a fresh, clean nursery,,, tidy and inviting.
Now on to the not so up to date nurseries. I'v been in many, many nurseries traveling with my sister and brother in law as they made their summer rounds. I was in charge of their 2 boys at the time.... one was not yet 2, so more often than not, I was sitting in the nursery with him all by myself and observed first hand how the nurseries ran. Now in most of the instances, they were country churches which had nurseries, but these were only used if the little one got fussy in church. The mothers would then take them out... calm them down in the nursery, then take them back in the service. This being said, those nurseries were not used very much. The toys were yellowed with age and use, mostly broken or needing batteries. The decor was outdated and faded, the changing area smelling faintly of ammonia. If you found any snacks at all, it was probably a good idea not to feed them to anybody. Not having any kids of my own,,, I really didn't care how the nursery looked,,, just so long as I had a place for my nephew to play. Now, when I think of some of those nurseries, I cringe thinking how dirty some of those toys must have been and wondering when the last time they vacuumed was. Now I'm not saying these churches didnt care about the nursery,,, that just wasn't an important area to them. Either they were a dying church full of older folks, or like some of the country churches, baby friendly in the service.
In conclusion I think my favorite nursery was the one at our church in Missouri. It was wide open, clean, homey, inviting ,,, the children LOVED to be there and so did the workers. They cheerfully cleaned and sanitized after each service, so the burden never fell on just one person. The kids observed first hand how to tidy up and always wanted to help when clean up time came around. The toys were clean, up to date and in working order, as were the linens for the baby beds. It was a joy to work in a nursery in a growing church :)

Monday, March 1, 2010

My little man reading his book upside down,,, thats my boy!

Big cheesy smile :)

Such a cute face :-)

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Everyday Heros

I was thinking the other day about our definition of a "Hero". Here in America the characterization of a hero is so broad, it could be anyone from your favorite drug dealer on the corner who never gets caught, to a football player who makes millions just to toss a ball a couple yards for a touchdown. We paste their pictures all over our rooms, computers, phones and anywhere else that adhesive sticks, just so we can gaze at them in admiration everytime we fail at something ourselves. That in itself isnt so bad,,, but then comes what has been coined as "hero worship." You eat, sleep, breath this person, sometimes stooping so low as to stalk them. I hate to tell you this, but stalking is in NO way endearing to the person whom you admire! Stop it! Why worship someone who doesn't even know you exist?? What good comes of that?
While thinking on this I decided to list my own heros, just for posterity sake, to see if I exhibited any of these undesirable traits toward them.
1. God
- Now you may wonder why He is listed here, so I'll tell you. When I was 6 years old I realized that I was a sinner. All the bad things I'd done such as lying, fighting, having a bad attitude, were going to send me to hell and there was nothing I could do, of myself to rectify the situation. Nothing that is until God sent his only son, Jesus, to die for my sins on the Cross. How many people do YOU know who would give up their life for you? Because I prayed and asked him to forgive my sins and come into my heart, I now have assurance of a home in heaven when I die. If that isnt just cause for a Hero for the human race, I dont know what is!
2. My parents
- Proverbs 31:28 says "Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her." My mother was a kindergarten school teacher for 20 years before she had my sister and I. She decided the public school system wasn't for us and proceeded to homeschool both of us (21 months apart in age) from K-12. If that in itself doesnt deserve the name "Hero" I dont know what does. Both my Mom and Dad strove to raise us in a Christian home, and I will always be grateful for that godly heritage they have passed on to my husband and I.
3. My sister and her husband
- As teenagers, it seemed my sister and I were always at each others throats about EVERYTHING! Things changed as we got older and my sister went off to college, I found I missed having someone to talk to. At that time we were going to a Calvinist Church and I knew something wasnt quite right, theology -wise, and my future brother in law was knowledgeable enough to tell me point by point, scripture by scripture where they were wrong. I have always been able to talk to Jason about anything, and I am thankful for such a spiritual mentor :)
4. My wonderful husband
- He is my hero, just because he is a knight in shining armor and I love him dearly. He knows all my faults, moods and tempers and still loves me. When I am down in the dumps, he gives me chocolate,,, when I have a spiritual question, he either knows the answer or studies the bible for an answer,,, he is not only the head of our home, he is the one God put in charge. I couldn't have asked for a sweeter man. :-)
There are many others I could name, my Pastor for instance and several missionaries in VERY hostile places who would think nothing of giving their lives so the Gospel message can be made real to the people whom they minister to.
These are my heros, they are ordinary, everyday people like you and me, who were made extraordinary through the blood of Jesus Christ. To worship them would be a sin and an affront to the one who made them. It is HE who should be worshiped. Remember that the next time you tape up your favorite singer, sports star or boyfriend/girlfriend.

Monday, February 22, 2010

To Do List...

To Do Lists... what can I say... does anyone actually complete ALL of their To Do list in the time they have allotted for themselves? In case you haven't noticed, I get distracted very easily (BUTTERFLY!) and find it hard to finish one task in a room when I notice a zillion other things needing to be done. For instance my to do list goes something like this..

1.Get Up (thats an easy one)
2. Get dressed
3. Laundry
4. Dishes
5. Vacuum carpet
6. Sweep floors
7. Clean bathroom
8. Make bed
9. Dust
10. Make Lunch

I have to say the first one isn't so hard, especially when lil J is crying and saying "mommmmmmmmmmammmamaamamam" :) He makes it worth it to get up, with his big toothy grin and instantaneous hug. Got to love that little guy!
The rest come a bit harder for me. I go to get the laundry all together and then separate them. While I'm separating them in the bathroom, I realize my sink is dirty, so I go and get some cleaning stuff. As I scrub away at the soap spots, toothpaste blobs and natural dirtiness, I realize I forgot to start my first load of laundry. (my washer/dryer are in my bathroom) Rushing over to start the laundry, I see the garbage can overflowing with lint from the dryer, so after starting the laundry, I take the trash bag to the kitchen, which is in serious need of some TLC. Looking around I see I only have a couple dishes in my dish pan under the sink (that way my wonderful hubby doesnt put them in my shining, gleaming sink) After emptying the dishwasher and putting the few dishes in, the dishwasher is started. Seems like a snap right? WRONG! The George Foreman grill we used the night before to grill chicken is still out and not clean. By this time, poor lil J is crying for a snack, so this seems like the perfect time to do snack time and take a load off and relax for a moment,,, that is until I see the family room. Here we go again! Do you have a "hotspot" in your house that always seems to have stuff all over it? No matter what you do, its the place you set things when you dont know where to put them? Well we have several of those as well,,, especially in our family room! One of these is the couch. A lot of the things J isnt supposed to play with such as the remote to the tv, the camera, the wii controllers, and sometimes his snacks end up there. It gets especially messy when someone sits down and the cushion comes up to swallow one of these important things. Our other hot spot is the end table that sits between our two chairs. You should have seen that thing when we were sick.. ugg! That being said, whenever I step down into the family room, those are the first places my eyes go to and *sigh* they are messy again! I start to clean them and realize J's jammies are still on the floor from when I changed him and got him dressed this morning. While taking them back to his hamper in his room, I get waylaid in the living room. There is a basket of baby clothes ready to be put away, that got stashed in there on the loveseat. Good! I'm heading that way anyway! When I get to his room, I just want to throw all his clothes in the closet, cause his room is so messy... and its not even his fault, its Mommy. His chest of drawers are coming apart and whenever I open them they either fall down or one actually had the front come off. Dear hubby said he would fix them if I got all the clothes out,,, but I havent gotten to that yet (I wonder why???!!! AHHH! lol) So I throw the clean clothes in the drawer sitting on the floor and the dirty clothes in the hamper, when I realize I need to do some baby laundry again , so here I am again in the laundry room, thinking to myself... I feel like I forgot to do something.... wonder what that was.....? Is it nap time yet?

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Daddy and lil J's Father Day Picture

J decided to hide in the curtains, too cute to pass up.

Watching for daddy... precious.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Girls must have girl nights!

It must be a written law somewhere that girls HAVE to have some sort of girls night in. There are some elements that are vital to these activities and some that just muddy the waters on the subject. I will try and expound on this,,, as I am a great expert,,, being of the female gender myself :)
First there must be a large number of girls present for such an event to take place. More than 5 is the general rule of fun. If there happen to be less, just make sure that at least one of the girls has a personality big enough so the fun is not lessened by less girls present.
Another element needed is food. Salty food, sweet food, liquid food; there is not a set rule on what to have. If more than one girl is on a diet, diet food is then introduced and accepted by all, to be polite to those starving themselves. Candy inevitably makes an appearance in ALL instances, sometimes in secret if said dieter happens to be throwing the party.
Pillows and sleeping bags/blankets also are a main staple, seeing as sitting, sleeping, drooling or reclining on the floor is made VERY uncomfortable without them. They also make great props for practical jokes, such as the mixture of all shampoo, conditioner and hair product in the bathroom poured on the hair of the unlucky target. (This is why I never slept at such events) If you happen to find friends who are above such pranks, you are truly blest!
Finally, movies round out the list of musts. The older the participants,,, the mushier the movie. For instance the 15-20 age group might watch "The Princess Bride", "Anne of Green Gables" or "Bride Wars". Any age above that will probably have a Cary Grant marathon, for which I am a BIG fan.
On an ending note there are three things which cannot be present at such gatherings,,, its unheard of and would spoil the girl bonding time...
1. boys!
So that being said, I am dubbing next week "Have a girls night in" or if you are a guy "Go grab ice cream for the girls and then go do something else..." lol

Eating right, or eating fast...

Have you ever had the wonderful experience of accidentally missing a meal? Your starving and then hubby says, "so, isn't tonight your shopping night?" While on your mission for food, you throw almost anything in your cart, because everything looks sooooooooooo good til finally you huff and puff your way to the checkout line, pushing your 5 ton cart overflowing with meaningless carbs and sugary munchies.( After all, you have to get some exercise in before you indulge in that 6lb bag of discount valentine's candy you just bought.)
On the way home, your stomach is growling!! To stop or not to stop.. that is the question. Then another question presents itself,what food place is open at 8 almost 9pm? The answer inevitably presents itself in a glowing mecca of purple and pink with a bell proudly pealing in the middle. Yes! Taco Bell it must be! What better place to get food, fast? You walk in and peruse the menu of endless choices and combinations. (You 'd go through the drive - thru but your driver window is stuck and its no fun to open your door to order in 10 degree weather lol) After giving your order, you wait for your delicious, fast, grease laden meal. 5 minutes go by, you casually walk to the window on the left to peek and see how many people are in the drive - thru... none.... really? Another 5 minutes and you risk a peek in the back to see whats taking so long. 10 more minutes and your thinking to yourself... where is the manager? I thought this was supposed to be fast food! Finally, after a wait of 30 minutes your food arrives,,, lacking the general warmth your stomach is craving. *sigh* What would you do? Walk away grumbling and munching about how you'll never come here again? Or would you tear into the manager about how bad the service was? OR would you call the 1-800 number to complain? Hmmm... normally I would talk to a manager,,, but this actually happened to my husband. The manager felt sorry for him and gave him 4 cinnamon twists for free... what service.