Monday, November 12, 2018

Weekend Top 8

Last week Truman's school hosted Donuts with Dad!  Benjamin spent the morning with Truman in his classroom.  Truman gave Benjamin a gift that he made, they chowed down on donuts and played together for a little while too! 

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Book List of 2018

I love to read.  It's something I would get into trouble for when I was younger because I would do it when I was supposed to be sleeping...  I would sit by my night light and say to myself, "Just one more chapter!" and be so engrossed in the pages that I wouldn't hear my parents coming to my door.  I'd like to say I grew out of that habit but Benjamin can contest that there are many nights when he heads to bed that I say, "I'll just finish this chapter" and then 3 hours later I'm waaaaay passed my one more chapter! 😂 When my original Kindle died this year, he upgraded me to a Paperwhite Kindle which has a lit screen feature.  I wasn't sure I'd use the screen light until he pointed out that he bought it specifically with that feature so that he could fall asleep without the my side lamp blinding him!

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Truman Starts Year 2!

Truman returns to the sweet preschool program that our family has been apart of since Winston was 18 months old.  Last year was a special year because both boys were there together.  This year is special because Truman proudly calls it his school and waves with big smiles at everyone we walk pass!  One of the many things I love about the place where Truman attends is that we are familiar with the amazing teachers and staff.  So going into Meet the Teacher, Truman already knew the two ladies that would be spending the year with our little guy.  In fact, one of them taught Winston when he was in this class!  I was pregnant with Truman during that time so she has seen him grow up through the years!  Truman picked out his Moo Moo shirt to wear for the Meet the Teacher and of course, Moo Moo came along too!  {Two of them actually, if you can see! 😂}
On the first day of school Truman was excited to go "like Winston goes to school."  He was a champ walking into his class, grabbing his nap mat and carrying it in all on his own.  
I am so eager to see how Truman will continue to grow and develop over the next months.  Already he has come home from school telling me about friends, new songs he is learning and all about the blue and green slides on the playground!  😍  At two, Truman is a comical little guy who loves for us to play right along side with him although he is content to be lost in his own imagination at times too.  He is caring and loving, he loves music and wants to know what the names of songs are.  He is quite strong willed and while that quality can be exhausting and overwhelming when trying to parent, I pray that God will use it for his glory!  Truman has a catch phrase and it just slays me with cuteness each time he says it.  It's a few times a day that we hear Trumy exclaim, "Oh my stars!" in relation to seeing something exciting, in relation to a great lunch laid before him or while we're out shopping.  Trumy is also very interested in having options for breakfast, for what to wear, for what to do next and if I don't give him any he'll tell me, "Gimme some options, Mommy!"  

And now for the questions that he answered this year!  I have to say that in the Spring of this year I was worried that he wasn't speaking much.  He understood what we were saying but wasn't quite yet interested in talking.  And why should he be?  Winston talked a lot for him! 😂  Gradually, Truman started stringing words into sentences and now I have two little chatterboxes!  I wouldn't trade it for the world.

How old are you?
I two!

What is your favorite color?

Orange

What is your favorite food? 
Macaroni and cheese.

What is your favorite holiday?
Christmas!

What is your favorite thing to do with Mom?
Watch a show.

What is your favorite thing to do with Daddy? 
Build Legos and take a nap!

What is your favorite thing to do with Winston? 
Build a fort and play outside.

What was your favorite thing you did this summer?
White House and water balloons.

What are you most excited about this year in school?  
 Playdoh and playing with trains

What do you want to be when you grow up? 
A dentist like daddy.

What is your favorite movie?
Lightening McQueen

What is your favorite toy or stuffed animal?
Moo Moo!  

Truman, you are sweet little buddy to your friends, you love fiercely and are quick to learn new things.  May this year be full of adventure and fun!  I am so thankful I get a front row spot to seeing you grow!

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Super Easy French Toast

I love French Toast.  It is one of my favorite things to order when we go out for breakfast.  When Mom and I were on vacation in PEI, I ate french toast every morning and was in heaven!  For some reason I had it in my head that it was difficult and time consuming to make.  I'm not sure why because I'm fairly certain my mom used to make it for us growing up.  😂  I remembered her using Pepperidge Farm Swirl bread once and then it was on!

Monday, August 20, 2018

Winston starts Kindergarten!

This year Winston started Kindergarten at an elementary school about a mile away from us.  He was super excited!  Our school did an excellent job at ensuring the students were ready to find their way to their class on the first day by hosting a Meet the Teacher night as well as a Kindergarten Round-Up the next day.  This extra meeting provided an hour for the students to be in their classes while we were inundated with all sorts of information about the front office, clinic, drop off/pick up and lunches.
A sweet friend made this shirt for WAC and it seemed like the most appropriate thing to wear on Round Up morning!
On the morning of the big day, he we eager to get on the road to his new class!  Benjamin had the day off making the drop off that much more special!  Winston led the way to his classroom without any hesitation.   I am proud to say that I held it together {for the most part!} and all of us, even Truman, counted down to when we would go and pick up him in the afternoon.
When we were on the bike when we saw a rainbow in the sky!  Winston in all of his sweetness said, "That's God saying He'll always be with me.  I am going to be strong and courageous!"  {Cue all the tears but not too many tears because I was driving the bike!}  That moment was exactly what I needed to know that we were sending a pretty cool little human into the next chapter of his life prepared with the knowledge that God was always near him.

When we picked him up that afternoon, he was all smiles and buzzing about his amazing day with two recesses and lots of new friends.  The phrase, "...because I'm in Kindergarten now" comes up a lot reinforcing to me just how grown up he is.  And then there are moments when he still wants to curl up in my lap and suck his thumb and I cherish those times because I know they won't last forever.

In order to revive this space as a way to document life in our family, I asked Winston a series of questions that I hope to continue asking him each year before the beginning of school.  Some of his answers were so comical!  
How old are you?
Five!

What is your favorite color?
Green.  No blue, definitely blue!

What is your favorite food?
My favorite chicken!
Me:  What is your favorite chicken?
WAC: You know, the chicken with the sauce and the brown.  Oh, just say rolls!
Me:  Whaaaat?! 😂

What is your favorite holiday?
My favorite holiday is Halloween!  oooOooOo!!!

What is your favorite thing to do with Mom?
I like it when I snuggle up with her and she reads me books.
WAC: I didn't say read me books!
Me:  I know, I put that in there! 😜

What is your favorite thing to do with Daddy?
Build Legos.

What is your favorite thing to do with Truman?
My favorite thing to do with Truman is building forts together.  Usually, I do all the forts and he helps a little.

What was your favorite thing you did this summer?
Spend time with Dharma on our vacation to the Ford City House!  Love it when we play water balloons!

What are you most excited about this year in school?  
Making new friends and running in fast races.

What do you want to be when you grow up?
Hmmmm.  A race car driver!

What is your favorite movie?
My favorite movie is Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer!  
Me: Really?
WAC: Yes, really!
Me: Not any of the other movies we watch all the time?
WAC: Well, I do like Lego Ninjago too.

What is your favorite toy or stuffed animal?
My favorite toy is Legos and my favorite stuffed animal is Leafy.  {Who is the Canadian Beanie Baby}  And we can't forget Lego blankie!  

Here's to a great year full of new firsts, big adventures, lots of learning and growing.  We love you Winston Ace; you are going to rock Kindergarten!

Saturday, March 31, 2018

#saras35things

This year I celebrate having lived 35 years on this earth.  I'm not sure if I have ever given much thought as to what life would be like for me at this age but I have to say that as I reflect on my life, I'm overwhelmingly thankful.  I have a beautiful family, a home full of comforts where we make memories and learn together, live in a place that affords us great opportunities, friendships, and places to eat {because, hello - it's a blessing to not to have to cook every meal! 😜}, and most importantly a relationship with the One who is the source of my joy and worth.  

The boys are both growing up and becoming more independent.  Because of this, I find myself being full of mixed emotions.  I am sad because they are no longer dependent on me minute by minute but excited because it is such a joy to have a front row seat to their growth!  Winston will be in kindergarten next year and Truman has been signed up to attend his school for three days.  This will open my schedule quite a bit.  And while I hope to continue to be involved with the kids' schools, I'm also excited about the possibilities that it holds!
And so in part because of that, and in part because I think its good for me to have goals or I might become a permanent lump fixture in the middle of my bed glassy eyed from a Netflix binge, I have written out 35 things that I'd like to accomplish in the next year.  

#saras35things
  1. Complete a year in my prayer journal
  2. Memorize a passage of Scripture each month {with kids too!}
  3. Write cards to friends and family
  4. Read two books a month
  5. Drink two tumblers full of water each day
  6. Write once a week
  7. Take a cooking class
  8. Host people in our home at least once a month
  9. Organize a prayer walk
  10. Take a workout class 
  11. Wash my face more
  12. Organize the kids school things
  13. Clean out 
  14. Read the Bible cover to cover in The Message
  15. Go on bike rides
  16. Block out phone free times in the day
  17. Pray for our kids and marriage more
  18. Take more pictures and videos with DSLR
  19. Start and complete one of the many art projects I have accumulated
  20. Dance more
  21. Make more jelly
  22. Play and create with my kids more
  23. Go out to lunch or coffee at least once a month
  24. Try a new recipe each month
  25. Try two new local places
  26. Go see a musical
  27. Scan and organize old photos
  28. Travel to a new place
  29. Print and hang updated photos in our home
  30. Wear dresses more often
  31. Volunteer 
  32. Go to the movies
  33. Change my chalkboard each month
  34. Nurture relationships
  35. Design a T-shirt
This year is going to be a great year, I can just feel it in these bones of mine!  Deep breaths and here we go!  

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Strawberry Picking at Froberg's!

There are maybe two or three weeks in Houston each Spring that are perfect for being outside, where the sun is shining but it's not too hot, a breeze is blowing but it's not too cold.  When these weeks happen, I aim to take full advantage of being outside with the buds.

One activity that we all enjoy doing together is strawberry picking!  I have memories of helping my grandparents pick fruit and vegetables from their garden when we would be home for the summers.  Since I don't have a green thumb {God bless Vera my Aloe plant who is hanging with me!}, finding pick your own places around town takes me back to those days and allows the kids to experience the joy of reaping a harvest!  Strawberry picking is fun for all ages and at the end you leave with a bucket full of delicious goodies.
The boys and I, along with my Mom, ventured down to Froberg's Farm in Alvin.  They have a store full of homegrown vegetables, a bakery with the softest cookies, they sell barbecue and tamales.  After parking, everyone must walk through the store.  Here the buckets are purchased for $1.25 {you can bring them back year after year!} and tokens are 12 for $15.  Tokens are used for duck races, cannon shooting, and tractor rides!  You pay for the strawberries that you picked as you leave the store.  They are $3 a pound.    
Truman loved picking strawberries!  He was very diligent to show me every.single.strawberry he walked by! 😂  He was also a professional at telling me what color each berry was and proudly filled his bucket with the bright red ones!
After picking, we ventured over to the section of the field containing the games.  The boys both enjoyed the duck races {1 token each} and the tractor ride {3 tokens each}.  Winston loved the corn shooter!  For this time of the year instead of corn, tennis balls get shot out of the cannon.  This was 3 tokens for 3 tennis balls.

We had a fabulous time and left with three buckets full of scrumptious berries!  To ensure that we put them to good use, I made my first batch of homemade strawberry jelly and let's be honest, I was surprised at how tasty it turned out!  😂

Tips for Visiting Froberg's
  • Check the website for availability.  Each day Froberg's website will let you know if they are open, listing the hours and availability of the berries.  
  • Take cash.  While they can take credit card payments, cash is an easier form of payment for buckets and tokens.  
  • Take along water.  It's easy to work up a thirst with all the picking you + your family will do!
  • Go early.  We arrived at about 10:15 and there was still open parking spots.  We weren't overrun with other families.  We enjoyed a leisurely time picking and the activities as well.  
  • Try the cookies!  Both of the buds were a little snacky and the cookies were deeeelicious!
  • Bring a wagon.  If you have multiple littles or plan on picking bushels and bushels of berries, I would suggest bringing a wagon along to help with the aid of transporting everything to and from the fields.  Strollers are another great option too!
  • There are bathrooms inside the store.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Our Favorite Things from Lakeshore Learning

 
First let me start of by saying that this is in no way sponsored by Lakeshore Learning.  I just really love their products!  They are all quality made, the boys enjoy playing and learning with them and most of these things we have had for a few years.  Lakeshore has brick and mortar stores as well as their online store.  However if you have one in your area, I highly recommend you go in and walk around. It is worth the look-see!

There are a few things that are more geared toward kiddos Truman's age and the same for Winston's age but I'll say this: Both boys enjoy playing with all of the things!  

For the younger kiddos, you can't go wrong with their Color Rings Sorting Set or Button Size Sorting Box.  Both are great for learning colors and shapes and tuning fine motor skills.  

Another fun color learning item is the Let's Go Fishing playset.  Winston received this when he was about 1.  We have played with it like crazy and it is so well made that it still looked brand new when I got it out for Truman to play with it!  I like that it has the colors also written on the side of the fish.  Now that Winston is learning site words he gets a kick out of spelling the words on the side of the fish!

Lakeshore has quite a few different types of discovery boxes.  We have the Color Discovery set and the Shapes set is just precious too!  They also have a what's inside version for older kiddos.

Hands down, without a doubt in my mind this set of bugs is Winston's favorite thing from Lakeshore. I purchased this for him when he was 2 and a half and this gets played with on the regular.  He's five now!  These bugs have been sorted, stacked, marched all over they house.  They have overtaken block buildings, taken rides on all types of trucks and cars, and have even taken a bath!  We have built them crazy houses and the scoopers have acted as spaceships a time or two!  

Winton received this I Can Build It set when he was three and he wore.it.out!  I cannot even begin to tell you how many times he took apart and then put back together these automobiles.  We played garage and repair store.  He put all blue screws in one and purple in another.  We mixed and matched the pieces.  These are great for developing motor skills and patience!  {haha!} 

This Don't Let the Bugs Fall game is a hit with both boys.  A kids version of Jenga, it helps with color identification and critical thinking skills.  It also makes for a great tower to ram cars into as well!   

And to wrap it up I'll link three more of our favorites: this set of soft blocks is perfect for building and smashing and crashing; magnetic pieces for creating all sorts of crazy cars and trucks; counting cars!

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Our Favorite Books for Kiddos

I'm sure most people are familiar with the favorites of today like The Book with No Pictures, Dragons Love Tacos, the Pete the Cat series and Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site.  Today, I'm sharing a few that you may not be familiar with but that we just love to pieces!

Our favorite books can be found in a myriad of places: Amazon, Target, Barnes & Noble and even many local book stores.  We have spent hours reading these books below and hope that you might find one or two that your littles will adore too!

Any of the Indestructible Books are fantastic for small hands as they look through books because the pages are indestructible.  Little ones can bite them, fold them, scrunch them and no damage will be done to the books!  They have quite a few stories: Baby Faces, Things That Go, Hey Diddle Diddle and more!

All of Leslie Patricelli's books are adorable!  We purchased Tubby for Winston years ago and to this day we call the little baby in the books Tubby.  Our second one was Yummy Yucky and is one of my favorites!  She has ones for Potty, Valentine's Day, Halloween and Christmas.

For Truman we purchased Shark Bite and it has quickly become one of his favorites!  Mark the Shark's mouth opens and closes on each page and we love making shark sounds as we read.  There is a series of four additional animals as well.

The Jolly Postman is a book that my brother loved from growing up overseas.  It is one of our favorites because it is interactive and the pages contain the letters that the postman delivers on his rounds.

Nibbles the Book Monster is another fantastic interactive book that follows the journey of Nibbles as he munches his way through fairy tales!

Another pair of interactive books is Who Done It? and Who, What, Where?  Each page contains a series of pictures and then asks questions like "Who played with the cat?" and "Who forgot their coat?".  These books are great for littles to start learning about context clues.

The first in a series of three books about hats, I Want My Hat Back follows the journey of a bear who has lost his hat and searches to find it!  When I say we have red this book 100 times, it would not be a lie as that is how much Winston loves this book!

Both Benjamin and I remember reading this next book when we were little.  It's just hilarious and both boys think so too!  There's a Monster at the End of This Book is about Grover's effort to stop you from getting to the monster at the end of the book because he is scared of monsters.  I mean, can you just even guess who the monster at the end of the book is? ;) 

Another throw back to when I was growing up is our Mr. Men Box Set.  With books about characters like Mr. Happy, Mr. Tickle, Mr. Loud, Mr. Small and Mr. Sneeze you'll enjoy getting caught up in the wondrous world of all the Mr. Men!
A series that has quickly become a household favorite {and a great gift for friends!} is the Disgusting Critter Series!  Each book centers around a certain critter and gives tons of facts.  The drawings are cute and they are quite comical as well.  The Toad is my personal favorite!

I saw The Biggest Story ABC  on Instagram and promptly purchased for our collection.  With its beautiful illustrations it elegantly tells the story of redemption from creation to the cross.  There is also a version for older kids as well.

The Jesus Story Book Bible is another amazing way to share Bible stories with your littles.  I highly recommend having a copy for your home.

Zondervan's The Beginner's Bible is great for kiddos who are interested in learning to read and as a good starter to learning the basics of the Bible stories.  

PS: This post contains affiliate links - Thanks as always for reading!
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