Shark mama.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Liam, at age 5, could fill books with his insightful, creative, often deeply meaningful thoughts. I know... I'm not biased at all. ;) We are entering a new season with him that's less constant discipline, more conversation. He's a voracious new reader with an impressive memory and he teaches me something new every day.

The other day, we'd had a difficult afternoon where nothing seemed to be going smoothly. My tone had been sharp, my fuse short, and everything Liam and Lanie did just felt like an affront to my sanity. I'd left the room to take a deep breath, pray, and ready myself to mediate the next battle.

When I came out, I sat Liam down and assured him that even on the difficult days, being a mom is still the very best job in the world. 

Me: Do you understand that, Buddy? I want you to know you are never a burden.

Liam: I think I know what you mean, Mama. You don't want to be a hammerhead shark.

Me: A hammerhead shark? 

Liam: When hammerhead sharks have pups, they leave them right away and they don't protect them. The pups have to swim in different water by themselves and hunt for their own food. So you wouldn't want to be a hammerhead shark. But I knew that already, Mama. 

Jesus Storybook Bible

Thursday, December 14, 2017

If you're a mom of little ones, you probably have the Jesus Storybook Bible (or have at least heard of it), but it's our very favorite children's Bible and it's on sale for $3.94 today on Amazon, so I thought I'd let you know.

It's the Bible I love to read each day with my kids because 1) they get it, 2) the illustrations are beautiful and creative, and 3) the connections made from the Old Testament promises to their fulfillment in Jesus make me cry almost every time. Who knows how long this deal will last, so I wanted to pass it along!

My favorite kind of before and after.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Left: July 2015
Right: December 2017

We're celebrating half a year with Brooks Wilder under our roof, and it's hard to imagine life before him. Putting photos side-by-side, though, makes it real. He was just a dream and now he's here, woven into every precious moment of our family. 

We couldn't have believed how much Liam and Lanie adore him. We affectionately call them "the fruit flies" because the moment Brooks enters the room, they swarm to him and won't leave him alone until they've smothered every surface of his chubby cheeks. The mornings are especially intense with Brooksie love, so I've started setting a timer for each child to get one-on-one time with him. Who wouldn't want to keep all that joyful squish all to themselves? I don't blame them for a second.

Liam & Lanie's favorite art supplies.

Monday, December 11, 2017

It's no secret that our family is crazy about art. First thing out of bed most mornings, Liam and Lanie are begging for an art project. Their supplies are kept within easy reach - the messier ones near our dining room table where they are supervised (i.e. paints), and the more tame supplies (like crayons and colored pencils) downstairs. We make art every day, and perhaps that makes me sound like supermom, but it really shouldn't. Because art is so important in my own life, it's actually life-giving to pull out the paints and clay and other supplies and watch my kids create - and join in when I can. Kids are innately creative. They need so little prompting before they wander down new paths and create on their own.

With that said, we've gone through so many art supplies. My kids have way more art supplies than they have toys, so we've tested quite a few products. I've found over time that they are more apt to want to make art with good quality supplies, so I wanted to share a few of our favorites - all found on Amazon - in case you'd like to stock up! Many of these would make perfect stocking stuffers. Or an art basket with several supplies would be dreamy for a larger gift. Just click on the supply names to take you to the link.

Watercolor pan set - Vibrant, long-lasting colors and little mess. If you have a Michael's nearby, you can use a coupon to grab these for cheaper.

Tempera paint cakes - Washable, mixable, also very long-lasting.

Paint pad - I've used this for my own watercolor with great results.

Modeling clay - We love Play Doh too, but this doesn't dry out.

Liquid watercolors - Perfect for lots of STEAM projects, such as the ones found here.

Plastic art trays for containing the mess. Perhaps our best investment (and such a happy color)!

Clear contact paper for creating "stained glass" or other projects like these.

Disposable pipettes for sensory process art like this.

Suminagashi marbling kit for marbling paper, like this.

Kwik Stix solid tempera paint - One of my very favorites. It's like paint on a stick - the colors are vibrant and they dry quickly.

Coffee filters - For painting with liquid watercolors or tie-dying with washable markers and a spray bottle, like this.

Paint brushes - A must.

Art Spinner - Perfect for Liam's age, and I love this one because it's self-propelled.

Any supplies you'd like to add? I'd love to know!

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