Preschool Prayer

preschool_prayer

Preschool has been one of the first experiences where we’ve sent Chickadee out into the “real world” without us. But what she does take with her is our influence and the love of Jesus we are trying to plant in her heart. It’s a big deal sending them out…praying they are kind, empathetic, good helpers, and respectful. 

One small thing we do each morning in the carpool line that I pray will impact her day is say a prayer. The idea was actually shared by a friend at church and she shared the prayer they used every morning before school. It was perfect and I should have written it down. However, years have passed and I couldn’t remember it. So Chickadee and I came up with our own and have been praying it each morning since her first week of preschool. 

She helps recite words here and there. She always remembers the last line and says it with me wearing a BIG smile on her face. It’s absolutely precious. Over time I hope she plants these words in her heart and they stay with her throughout the day! After our prayer she bolts out of the car and I continue praying that Jesus’s light shines BRIGHT. 

How are you planting the seeds of Jesus into the hearts of your children? What an important job the Lord has given to us!

Sprout’s LION First Birthday | Inspiration

I cannot even believe Sprout will be ONE in less than two weeks! This past year has gone by so very quickly. I’m not sure if it’s because we moved, we were trying to survive two under two or if it’s just how life goes, but the point is…it FLEW.

lion_birthday_party_ideas

I starting brainstorming a theme for his birthday a few weeks ago and came across this amazing cake/cupcake picture from Cake Style. And I just had to make this cake/cupcake creation.

Little-lion-16-inspiration

So all because of this cake…Sprout’s first birthday will be a lion theme! So far I’ve only done the invite and collected thoughts on my Pinterest board…. For the invitation I created my image/text at Picmonkey.com. I then uploaded the image to Walmart’s photo center on their website and printed it out on stationary cardstock. I’m always impressed with their work (we did our Christmas card this way also) & it’s SIGNIFICANTLY cheaper than other better known photo websites.

Wesley's First Birthday Invite_edited

Since we are celebrating at the playground I don’t have a whole lot to decorate. We have reserved a pavilion so I am thinking of decorating the food table (the party is at 3:30 so just snacks) & then probably a birthday banner, a 12 months banner (using my Silhouette Cameo) and balloons. Here is some of my inspiration.

Veggie Tray

veggie_tray

 Animal Cracker Cones

10206294_f260

Twigs

twigs

Orange & Yellow Fruit

orange_yellow_fruit

I love this lion hat I found at Sandys Specialty Shop on Etsy.

il_570xN.637328123_6jve

 And I love the colors on this banner from Emerald City Paperie

banner

If I have time I’d love to make some of these lion lantern’s using these directions from Joann’s.

2253866P176

 So what do you think? I really wanted to put “Sprout is the Cutest…I’m not LION” on the invite but refrained because I’m not sure every one loves puns as much as me. What do you think? Any other fun ideas for me? I plan to hit up Hobby Lobby later this week!

Sprout | 11 Months

DSC_0351w

And just like that…it’s here. Your last “month” post. After today we only have one sticker left little man. I can’t believe the next time I sit down to write an update you will be ONE YEAR OLD! Such a bitter sweet time. The baby stage is coming to a close, and toddlerhood is just around the corner. We are just soaking up every second with you buddy!

We haven’t had a doctor’s appointment in about two months, but I think you are about 19lbs and somewhere around 29 inches. You are wearing size 3 diapers and both 9 & 12 month clothes.

DSC_0341w

You are growing like a weed little buddy. And now with your eighth tooth, you have really started shoveling eating everything you can get your hands on. We have stopped pureed food (outside of an occasional pouch which you can suck out yourself) and you pretty much eat anything we are eating. You love meat and cheese…strawberries are always a hit and I think you would be okay living on sweet potatoes. You don’t turn much down, except for avocado! Although you’ve been eating puffs for a while as of February 16th you started eating them out of a snack cup by yourself. Stud. You’ve started taking a little bit of formula, since my supply can’t keep up with what you are wanting to drink…however I plan to start moving you to whole milk soon (as soon as I can get you to drink from a sippy cup!).

 You are DEFINITELY on the move lately. Starting February 13th you began consistently crawling up on your hands and knees and we haven’t seen the army crawl since. You crawl quickest when you are going for small crumbs on the floor or when you are coming in for a hug. You also like to cruise around the furniture (Feb 29). The walker has become your next mode of transportation. Around the beginning of March you began cruising and giggling, and making all kinds of progress towards your walking learner’s permit. Oh, and March 1st, you summited the stairs for the first time (and not the last!).

11 MONTH COLLAGE

You are very interactive lately. High fives started February 17th, waving March 9, and clapping March 10. Little baby babble might be one of my favorite things in the entire world and you are full of babbles. Lots of “dadadadadada” is heard when daddy walks through the door at the end of the day! As I mentioned before you love hugs and snuggling. You give the best hugs and your smile is soooo genuine.  

 You spent a lot of time at the park this month as temperatures began to heat up. You mostly climb the stairs, but with a little help can go down the slide. You love going for walks and riding in the stroller or beeping along in your little blue car. You really enjoyed the zoo for the first time and loved getting close to the glass and fences to see the animals.

DSC_0133w

So here we are…less than 30 days from you turning ONE. How can it be? We knew this first year with you and your sister, 2 under two, would be crazy…we knew we would be tired and feel like we didn’t have it together. We knew we’d probably be late most places and went and dinner wouldn’t always get made. And all of that is true. But buddy this year has also been the absolute best. You are such a blessing to our family and it is hard to imagine our life before you made us a family of 4. Your sister absolutely adores you (as long as you aren’t stealing her toys). And we are totally smitten. We see God’s faithfulness with your every breath. You bring us so much joy little one.

We love you.

Favorite Series for Preschoolers

tv_shows_preschoolers

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by XFINITY, but all opinions are my own. Thanks for reading & helping me make some extra spending money for my little family!

Can we get real for a little bit. I was one of those moms. You know them…you may be one. The one who said Chickadee will never watch television. I thought there was no value and only used to babysit kids when parents were trying to get things done or needed a break. Then, I found out I was pregnant with Sprout, was exhausted, and came back to reality. I still believe a child’s screen time should be limited, however I realize some shows can be educational and productive as well. And I now admit that when Sprout came along and I was feeding him, these shows were a life saver to keep my crazy 18 month old still for 15-20 minutes. Also if your hands are tied up, it is great to be able to set up Kids Zone as part of the XFINITY X1 system so your preschoolers can take control of the remote but always be within the parameters you set (it’s full of kid friendly features you won’t find with Google Fiber). So, yes, Chickadee watches television…probably about 1-2 hours total a week, and I am okay with that. And because of a few great shows, I would even say I find value in the time she spends with some of her favorite characters! Here are our favorite 4 shows:

(images & italicized descriptions are from Common Sense Media)

Curious George

Chickadee LOVES George. Obsessed really. We read his books on a daily basis and she loves when she gets to “watch George?” I like that he doesn’t speak and so you gauge his thoughts and feelings from his actions/expressions. And since he is curious he is constantly having to problem solve after getting himself into a little mischief!

Parents need to know that George’s curiosity is contagious and will probably encourage preschoolers to explore their surrounding in similar ways. That’s great, but it also means that little ones need to be cautioned about certain things George does that may actually be dangerous in real life (even though they’re treated with humor on the show). A little parental guidance should steer them in the right direction.

Daniel Tiger

Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood for the next generation. It’s hard to find a preschooler who doesn’t love Daniel Tiger. Chickadee loves the sweet characters and songs, and I love how they focus on the importance of family and friends. 

Parents need to know that Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood is produced by The Fred Rogers Company and, aside from being an animated series centered on a young tiger, closely parallels the gentle tone and emphasis on social strategies that have made Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood a TV icon. Preschoolers will be drawn to Daniel and his friends, and his experiences will validate the emotions they experience — such as disappointment, sadness, frustration, and joy — before demonstrating age-appropriate techniques for dealing with them. The show has strong messages about friendship and family bonds, as well as respect for curiosity, and each story offers opportunities for basic preschool skills like letter sounds and counting. This delightful series is a well-rounded choice for little kids, and parents who have fond memories of Mister Rogers will enjoy revisiting his messages with a new generation of characters.

Sesame Street

Can you tell me how to get, how to get to Sesame Street…..Why, yes, yes I can. I mean it’s been around forever; I grew up with Big Bird and Cookie Monster. Chickadee just recently has begun to enjoy all of the lessons our friends on Sesame Street teach. Everything from numbers and letters to music and understanding emotions can be found in their corner of the world.

Parents need to know that Sesame Street is a classic preschool series renowned for its superb educational content, which supports early skills in literacy, math, and science and exposes kids to a variety of cultures through music, dance, and language. Over the years, the show has dealt with strong emotions — missing a friend, suffering from low self-esteem, and being worried about a new sibling’s arrival — but the messages are always positive and self-affirming. A formatting change in 2015 trimmed episodes to 30 minutes, which limits the traditional literacy content (letter recognition, counting skills, and so on) to make room for stories centering on the ever-popular monster stars and recurring segments about broader concepts such as observation and investigation, as well as daily themes such as amphibians, pairs, and bedtime.

Little Einsteins

Little Einsteins is still a little over Chickadee’s head, but I feel like soon we will add them to our regular watch list. I’ve only seen a few episodes, but love how they really pull in the little one watching to help save the day! We loved Baby Einstein and love growing with their production team to the next stage.

Parents need to know that Little Einsteins uses art, photography, and classical music as a colorful backdrop for the adventures of four precocious young friends. They make discoveries, work as a team, and use their special musical talents. They call upon the interactive help of the viewer to accomplish each mission. Parents may note the similarities to media produced by the Baby Einstein Company. Disney bought this company in 2001 and teamed up with their creators to produce a show using a similar philosophy of artistic visuals and stimulating classical music to enhance brain development and learning.

…..

Now, let me tell you a little bit more about Kids Zone from Xfinity. It is 100% designed with the kid in mind. It includes access to both TV shows and movies, as well as all of the content you’ve DVR’d for your kids. Shows available inside the Kids Zone have either been flagged by the network or studio as kids programming, or deemed age-appropriate for kids 12 and under by the great folks at Common Sense Media. Parents/Caregivers also have the option to disable features like the channel up/down button and purchasing capabilities while in the Kids Zone. And to those considering Google Fiber, Xfinity has an awesome Kids Zone interface that can’t be beat! Also the voice control remote from Xfinity is the only one out there. Older kids will spend tons of time speaking their favorite movie quotes or finding shows by topics without having to touch a single button! Kids Zone is where it is at, folks!

So, what are your favorite TV shows for the little ones in your life?

10 Months with Sprout

DSC_0034w

Sprout,

10 months. Way to go buddy! You look good in double digits. God truly blessed us by adding your smiles and giggles to our family. Your eyes are so friendly and inviting and I pray you grow up to be a friend to everyone. Your snuggles warm our heart and the open mouth kisses you have started giving while slobbery are priceless. We love you so much little man.

IMG_2164

You continue to meet your milestones and are developing right on track! On January 18th Daddy found you sitting up in your bed. You continued to practice in your sleep and finally we had eye witness proof from Bebe on January 23rd. And that was just the beginning. You pulled yourself up to standing for the first time on January 22nd and we lowered your crib the next day. You started doing it on a regular basis starting February 6th. You continue to army crawl EVERYWHERE. You occasionally pull up on your knees and crawl, but only a few paces so I’m not quite giving your credit you :)

IMG_1745

This was a good month for you in the sleeping department. You have been sleeping 11 hours straight through the night this month….probably your longest stretch of doing it consistently; we are all in a better mood because of it. You are still napping for about 1.5 hours around 9:00 and 1:00. Unless you are teething…

DSC_0035w

Teeth numbers #5, #6, and #7 came in this month. You aren’t a big fan of teething and it usually throws off your nap routine by shortening them a little bit :/. With all these teeth you are making huge strides in the eating department.

You feed yourself almost all the time…unless it’s yogurt or something similar where a spoon is needed. You had grilled cheese for the first time on January 11th and started eating whatever the rest of us were at meals that same week. I’ve noticed you have quite the love for meat…your favorites are beef and chicken. You also love bananas, sweet potatoes, peaches, and puffs. Eggs and avocado continue to turn up your nose, but we are hopeful you will come around.

PicMonkey Collage

We spend our days playing in the playroom, going on walks to the playground (you love the slide), running errands, spending time with friends, and just enjoying you and your sister. Yall are the biggest blessings in the entire world and we are honored God chose us to be your parents. Love you baby boy!