Sharks are afraid of heights

11 Jul

At night I find it best to end the day laughing.  It’s a great way to drift off to sleep.  Much better than going over the events of the day or the to-do list for tomorrow.

Here’s what made me laugh last night.

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A Nobody

9 Jul

For the past year or so I have been working through some of the lies I believe, trying to get to my core lie.  The lie that drives me to  pursuing idols.  The lie that drives me to seek control.  The lie that sends me into self-pity – running from God and those who love me.

You are inadequate.  

This lie enters my heart daily.  You are forgettable.
You’re a nobody.
You are not good enough.
You have no special gifts or talents.
You should be doing more. more. more…

We were at a church function several weeks ago.  A woman introduced herself to me for the third or fourth time.  She remembered my children, my husband, but not me.  This is okay.  I forget people’s names occasionally.  I forget where they live, what they do, what they like to eat.  We aren’t supposed to remember everyone or everything about everyone.  So she forgot meeting me.  Big deal.  But then the lie enters my heart.  You are not memorable.  

This lie brings me to trying to create a name for myself.  An identity worth remembering.  I don’t even realize I do it.  I tell myself I don’t want to be Supermom and, yet, deep down I do.  I want to make pretty things, cook tasty food, keep my family healthy, look pretty, have a lovely home.  I want to be known as this person.  I pursue an identity. I do this all the time and don’t even realize it.  I don’t see how the things I do and the idols I pursue stem from the lies I believe. It’s exhausting.

I’ve been working on healing this lie with truth.  You are somebody.  Your a daughter of God, a wife, a mom, a granddaughter, niece, daughter-in-law, sister-in-law, auntie, and friend.

And yet, this isn’t Truth that heals my brokenness.   There is freedom in being a nobody.  I want that freedom.  Striving to be a somebody has left me weary, drained, and ragged. Again, there is freedom in being a nobody.  How?  I am free to be a nobody because He is The Somebody.

Ezekiel – 8 Months

8 Jul

Another month gone by with this sweet little man.  It’s been a whirlwind and I forgot to post.  Hazel and Ambrose spent a week with their grandmas and I took every opportunity to “get stuff done,” and before that Ezekiel had hand, foot and mouth.  These days are flying by.

Ezekiel-8 months

Very active at 8 months.

Tidbits about Ezekiel-
*He is an efficient crawler.  As he was learning he would excessively lift his hands in the air.
*He responds to his own name.  He’ll turn to look at you when we say his name.
*He’s understanding object permanence.  He’ll look for a toy once he’s dropped it, or look for us when we’ve left the room
*Laptop charger, balloons, and magazines:  favorite “toys” he can’t have
*Momma’s water bottle, stacking rings, and a plastic rattle: favorite toys he can have
*Still cackles when he laughs
*Salmon roe: favorite baby food

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Goober face. Showing off my new teeth.

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Goober face.

Ezekiel in the sand

Ezekiel playing in the sand. It wasn’t too long before the sand was in his mouth.

 

First Ever Family Vacation

20 Jun
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First night fishing with Daddy

We have never jet-set anywhere together as a family.  We have never road-tripped across the country.  Those adventure-filled days aren’t here yet.  But wouldn’t you know, we have never even taken a long weekend away together as just a family!  That all changed last weekend.

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Daddy showing the kiddos the bucket of fishies.

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Caught a bunch of bluegills and bass

We rented a little cabin on Shell Lake in Wisconsin and enjoyed a quiet 3 days away.  We fished, swam, played games, grilled out, and just enjoyed one another’s company. No vacation is complete without hiccups.  Out of our 72 hours there we were without power for 20 hours.  We gladly did without the tv.  We reluctantly did without the lights, white noise machines, and heat (Inside the cabin was a chilly 58).  But the electric stove was dependent on electricity, and even the water needed a power source.  Those things caused my heart to grumble a bit.  “This isn’t the vacation I had planned.”  So the Lord and I wrestled a bit and He once again reminded me to place my hope in Him–in Him alone.

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Can you feel the elation that I caught the biggest fish?

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An evening around the campfire.

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Lessons in roasting marshmallows.

All in all the vacation was just what our little family needed.

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Beauty

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These deer blend into the shed. But it was so sweet to see the fawn trot right behind his momma.

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Baby Ez giggling at his Daddy. So sweet.

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Ezekiel loved the beach. Playing in the water. Digging in the sand. Eating the sand.

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Oh sweetness. He’s so precious!

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A beauty on the beach

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Ambrose loves playing in the sand. He filled his buckets up and brought the sand back into the water. Busy work!

Ezekiel – 7 Months

2 Jun

Seven months caught me by surprise.  Life’s been slightly busier than usual with the end of the school year, the start of summer activities, planning a family vacation, and new job prospects for Mike.  Life’s always busy.  For everyone. But I really wanted to document this baby’s milestones.

Ezekiel is staring to grow into his own personality and it’s fun to see what sort of boy he’ll grow into.

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7 Months

Tidbits about Ezekiel-

*He gives these big, squinty goober grins.
*He’s a mover and a shaker…just like all boys
*Main mode of transport is rolling.  He also army crawls a lot.
*During the last month he started eating solid foods.  He eats a traditional, digestible, nutrient-dense diet.  Homemade bone broth, egg yolks, liver, and sweet potatoes  His eczema has really cleared up!
*He likes laying in the grass and playing with the grass blades.
*He took off his diaper during his nap and then pooped.  He then crawled through it and rolled over in it.  So gross.
*Still sleeping through the night
*Gone are the days when he would sit still for a diaper change

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He’s a strong man

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I used to wonder if I had a brother what would he look like? This. He’d be handsome like this boy!

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EZ Joe stuck his face in the sand in our new sandbox.

Hitler banana mustache

Hitler banana mustache

Joining in on art time.

Joining in on art time.

Ezekiel – 6 Months

27 Apr

Happy Half Birthday Baby Boy!

The forecast predicts 10 days of straight rain and gray days, but Ezekiel can brighten up any rainy day.  He is such a delight!  Lately he’s been scrunching up his nose when he smiles and giving a big goober-grin.

6 month Collage

26 inches
16lbs per our bathroom scale

 

Tidbits about Ezekiel-

  • 1st tooth.  2nd tooth on its way!
  • Can easily roll over from front to back and has rolled over from back to front a few times.  This will be helpful when he finds himself on his back in his crib.  NO more helpless turtle!
  • Pulls himself on all fours and rocks back and forth.  He’s even crawled two “steps.”
  • Has slept through the night for 3 nights in a row!  6:30pm-6:30am.
  • His fuzzy-wuzzy hair is growing straight up.
  • Enjoyed his first Easter with his Granny.
  • Loves his new exersaucer from Grandma.
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Fun sibling time with Big Sister Hazel

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Bouncing in his Johnny Jump Up

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Ready to crawl!

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Brother Photo bomb

Sleeping with my pal Sophie.

Sleeping with my pal Sophie.

An Ode to Magnesium

9 Apr

I have been singing the praises of magnesium for two years.  I’d almost go so far as to say magnesium saved my life.

Ancient Minerals Magnesium

Ancient Minerals Magnesium

Let me share a little about where I was 2-3 years ago:
I was irritable
I had some severe, heart-pounding anxiety (my doctor likened it to PTSD)
I was an insomniac – I had extreme difficulty going to sleep and I always woke up at 4am
My pregnancies were characterized by morning sickness and muscle cramping
I was so, very tired.  So so so tired
My brain seemed foggy, as if my brain was wrapped in plastic wrap
Headaches.  My head hurt constantly

Then a popular blogger wrote about the signs of magnesium deficiency.  She was describing me!!  She suggested a transdermal magnesium supplement.  What did I have to lose?  I purchased the magnesium and that night I fell asleep easily, didn’t wake up at 4am, and had no headaches.   A miracle?  Maybe.

2 years later the anxiety, irritability, insomnia, muscle cramping, exhaustion, brain fog, PMS, and heachaches are all gone!  Gone!  I still use the magnesium, but I can go weeks (months?) without it.  Then I’ll notice the subtle signs of deficiency.  Chocolate cravings.  Difficulty falling asleep.  Restless legs.  A couple sprays and I sleep like a baby (not my baby, but someone else’s).

So, what do you have to lose?  Give magnesium a try.  But be sure to use magnesium oil (the topical spray stuff)–your body absorbs it better without the uncomfortable  intestinal side effects of ingesting magnesium supplements.

 

 

 

Five in a Row – The Story about Ping

5 Apr

What a great book!  I think this was Ambrose’s favorite.

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Ping is a duck who lives in a houseboat on the Yangtze River in China with his very large family and his master.  Each morning the ducks get sent out and are expected back in the evening at the call of their master.  The last duck on the boat gets a spank with a stick.  One day Ping is the last duck.  He avoids his spanking by spending the night on shore.  He endures some adventures the next day and is luckily reunited with his family and master.  Ping gladly rejoins his family (and is the last on the boat) and willingly receives his spank.  Consequences.  Consequences.

Science

Ducks

We started the week learning about ducks.  Hazel learned about the different parts of a ducks body and how ducks don’t get wet through a process called preening.  We experimented by painting feathers and paper bag ducks with oil.  They painted one duck and one feather with oil and left the other “untreated.”  Then we used an eyedropper to drop water on our ducks and feathers.  The water rolled off the oil-treated duck and feather!  Our experiment failed a little as the water also rolled off the “untreated” paper duck and feather.  So we talked a little about doing multiple rounds of an experiment to get more reliable results.

Concentrating hard to paint his duck with oil

Concentrating hard to paint his duck with oil

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The water puddling up on her oiled duck.

Buoyancy

There is a boy with a barrel tied to his back so he can float in the river.  I asked the kids why they thought the boy had a barrel.  “So he doesn’t get lost.”  Smart answer.  So we investigated buoyancy doing a sink or float experiment in the kitchen sink. Hazel predicted whether an object would sink or float based on if it had air or not.   Balloons float.  Quarters sink.  Pony beads both sink and float.

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Social Studies

Geography

Ping takes place on the Yangtze River in China.  So we read books on China, watched Wild China on Netflix.  We mapped out the Yangtze River.  We made our own Yangtze River out of construction paper – From the Three Gorges all the way to Shanghai.  Did you know that the Yangtze river is nearly 4000 miles long?!  Coast to coast in the US is only 3000 miles!  That’s one long river.

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Floating our wise-eyed boat down the yellow waters of the Yangtze River.

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Look at that hand-writing!

Chinese Culture

We took a field trip to the Asian market and shopped for Chinese food.  Both kiddos were unphased by the the pigs head, the chicken feet, nor the weird seafood with eyes.  I was.  But we did enjoy some bubble tea and our new chopsticks.  We also enjoyed Chinese take-out and watched Mulan for family movie night.

Eating with chopsticks is tough!

Eating with chopsticks is tough!

Art

The Story about Ping is drawn wonderfully with colored pencils.  Hazel recreated the picture on page 9 using colored pencils and oil pastels.  We also looked through the book and saw that many of the illustrations show reflections on water.  To recreate this effect we painted a boat and a duck on the top half of a some papers and painted the water around them. Then we folded the paper in half for the reflection.

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Reflections in the water

Language Arts

Ping is a fictional book.  We discussed how a lot of fictional books begin with “once upon a time.”  Hazel wrote her own “Once Upon a Time” story.

 

This was such a delightful book.  The kiddos enjoyed reenacting the book and yelling “la-la-la-la-lei” and giving our stuffed animal duck a spank when he was the last one on the boat.  It opened up a door for many talks about consequences and obeying in order to stay safe.

Sitting in the riverboat with Ping.

Sitting in the riverboat with Ping.

A Castle Made of Frosting

4 Apr

For school Hazel wrote a “Once Upon a Time” story.  Here’s her story.

 Once upon a time I had a wonderful dream.  There was a person that taked me on a date to a castle that was made of frosting and we ate some.  When we got home we told everyone else about it and my brother Ambrose wanted some and I said you could have some after dinner.

Castle made of Frosting

Once upon a time

Ezekiel – 5 Months

24 Mar

The last month was pretty good with our littlest guy.  The four-month-sleep-disturbances started, and Ezekiel hasn’t slept well through the night.  Not bad, but not well.  But we know that day will come.

He continues to be such a joy.  He gladly sits anywhere and smiles at whoever talks to him.  He is a really happy guy.

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26 inches
15 ½ lbs per our bathroom scale

Tidbits about Ezekiel-

  • He has found his feet.  He plays with his feet often
  • He’s gaining control of his arms.  He plays with toys and brings them his mouth.
  • Giggles
  • He’s a baby yoga master.  When waking he pulls himself into a cobra position.  He then lunges himself forward.
  • Our family went to a birthday party at an indoor water park.  He put his toes in the water and we may just have ourselves another water baby.
  • He does not like loud sounds.

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