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Monday, October 30, 2017

Liam's 5th Birthday at Oak Island.

For Liam's 5th birthday, we gave him two options: have a birthday party or go to the beach. He chose wisely. 
We're learning a big lesson, even with three kids: despite sleep deprivation and the monumental task of packing a minivan with three tiny helpers, it's always worth it to take the trip. To get out of our comfort zones and away from our to-do lists for a few days to just celebrate what God has given us in these precious three. We danced in the waves, ate pizza overlooking the ocean, tasted ice cream in Southport, played with Legos, and savored crepes for brunch. And hopefully, we etched sweet memories on our people's hearts. 

Liam, 

You're five! This is such a fun age, buddy. You're inquisitive, always asking questions and exploring. You love playing with magnatiles, doing art projects, creating science experiments, and folding paper airplanes. You're protective, always looking out for Lanie and Brooks. Lanie is your wild counterpart and she needs your watchful eye. It's hard to imagine just how much calamity you've already spared her from. You're responsible, careful to follow rules and do your chores when asked. And you're extremely intelligent, reading at a first grade level and doing addition and subtraction in your head. Sometimes Daddy and I scratch our heads because you think so differently than we do. You have an engineer's brain, while ours are much less mathematical. We love that you challenge us, from a heated chess game to a probing theological question. Our lives are so much richer because of you. Thank you for choosing to be with us on your birthday. It's a privilege we don't take for granted that you'd rather be with your family than anyone else. 

Happy birthday, sweet son. I'm proud of who you are and expectant at who you are becoming: strong, brave, a force of light that pushes back darkness in this world. 

I love you!
Mommy




Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Kids DIY: Melted crayon pumpkins.

I know I'm not the first to share this project and I sure won't be the last... but when you land on an art project that a) requires materials you probably already have and b) is safe enough for even a 2-year-old to do mostly unassisted... well, I couldn't help but share it.

Materials:
Pumpkin (any shape, size, or color)
Glue
Broken crayons
A hair dryer or embossing heat tool
Trash bag (to protect tabletop)
Instructions:
1. Unwrap broken bits of crayons.
2. Glue crayons to top of pumpkins and let dry.
3. Place pumpkins on a trash bag to protect your work surface.
4. Use a hair dryer on the hottest setting or an embossing heat tool like this one to melt the crayons. That's it!

My kiddos loved watching the crayons melt all over the place, and I loved letting them do a project all on their own. Enjoy!

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Chess King.

A few weeks ago, we introduced Liam to the game of chess. I heard about No Stress Chess from a friend and had a feeling Liam would take to it, but had no idea that just a week or so later, he'd be a competitive chess player hungry for game after game. 

With No Stress Chess, you start out by using a deck of cards and one side of the board which explains where each piece goes. Each player takes turns drawing a card that tells you which piece to move and how it moves around the board. There's some chance involved, and some strategy. Then, once you've learned the basics, you ditch the cards, flip over the board, and play a real game of chess. It's been the sweetest way to spend one-on-one time with Liam, teaching him critical thinking (the best we know how) and watching his little brain work. (This is not a paid advertisement... this company has no idea who I am. I'm just a happy customer!) 

I know I'm always looking for constructive ways to spend time with my kids, and this one hits the jackpot. It's educational, fun, interactive, and Liam adores it. And from our perspective, we'd rather play 5 games of chess than 5 games of Chutes & Ladders any day. ;)