Starting Early

It’s not quite January yet, but with the loot we got for Christmas-it’s time to reconsider how I have our home organized.

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We have several different areas for our boys throughout our house. We very much want our home to be welcoming and not completely overrun with toys. We try. To make these areas attractive to the kiddos, but blend into out home.

I will post a home tour this week of our different areas for the kids. For today, here are a few first steps to our organization.

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I am addicted to Melissa & Doug toys. I’m an educator at heart and love the learning aspect of these toys. I also love that I can integrate playful elements like these toys into our homeschool. Another bonus, their first is quiet activities for their bedrooms. The only drawback of M&D toys is that they come packaged in wooden boxes without lids. That makes them clumsy to stack & easy to lose parts. These IRIS scrapbook cases go on sale at Michaels frequently.

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This is just one small area of our playroom. We are keeping it simple and adding a few elements of change over a few days so I can train them in keeping it picked up. This cubby stores our big play sets with their accessories in gladware in the bins under eat each set. There is a Paw Patrol look out tower with the dogs & their transportation in the bin underneath. An Imaginext Rescue City with its TONS of accessories in a gladware and 3 vehicles in the bin under it. There is an Octopod and all of its accessories in a bin underneath. We will be adding to the other cubbies soon. For now, this keeps them busy cleaning up and putting away after dinner.

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We have a LOT of sensory materials. This is our newest. Kinetic sand! It’s incredible. We got several different colors and definitely want to keep them separate. The top part has some little molds we were given with the sand. I also pull out the cookies cutters and play dough accessories.

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And lastly and most importantly, our homeschool area!!! The shelves are from ikea and are attached to the wall. The bins are from ikea. The center is from Lakeshore Learning. This is the hub where all of our literacy and math is stored. Alpha pops, matching, games, all craft supplies, and curriculum.

I hope you enjoyed this! Leave a comment if you were inspired. I’ll be posting more of our home as well as areas where some of this is stored. We’re joining our boys’ bedrooms this January, so everything in their rooms is getting a shift!

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a year measures more than time

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One of our college students (who is graduating and I can’t even believe we’ve watched her and her sister graduate college since starting at FBCWF) took one year pictures of Holt and our Christmas family pictures. Photo Credit: Allie Saville

The last year has been a blur AND memorable. I don’t know how both can occur, but it’s true. You can read about Holt’s birth story here. (From my previous blog). It was the fourth most incredible moment of my life! Salvation, Marrying Brady, Drake’s birth, and really, all of them make my every day the more incredible.

A few beautiful memories and characteristics of Holt::

He loves to dance *bop up and down.

He loves to crawl….FAST!

He is starting to walk! Taking about 10 steps at a time.

He climbs. So much! I looked at him today and turned away. When I looked back, he was on the train table, sitting on his knees! He also climbs in our window seat. He is pretty agile and can get down by himself.

Like all babies, he grabs for everything and I sometimes think he has go go gadget arms!

He loves to eat fruit! Just like his brother. We go through A LOT of fruit around here (and sometimes, internally, I’m proud of myself and wonder where the ability to prepare toddler food comes from? I would have never imagined myself doing breakfast, lunch, and dinner for littles had you asked me 5 years ago).

He loves his Drake. He calls us out “day day” and it’s hard to distinguish between that and dadda!

He HATES his carseat carrier. He has from day one. In the hospital…screams every time! THANKFULLY he goes into a big carseat now!

He HATES laying down to get a diaper change. Sometimes I give him a bottle so he’ll be occupied for the 5 seconds it takes to whip out diapers!

He enjoys putting things into containers.

He can use a fork pretty impressively!

He loves books! Not sitting down to read (or anything else) but he’ll flip through one on his own and then move on.

He crawls around with toys in his mouth making noises.

He likes to sleep with a blanket over his head (and I’ve give up freaking out over it). I’ve watched him in the middle of the night take his blanket from the side of the crib and wrap himself up. Pretty coordinated!

Did I mention he despises naps? Not a long napper. At all.

He loves water! (again, pretty impressed with our parenting skills to get children to like water!)

His birthday was a whale theme and we had more fun than I expected with friends and family! He did NOT like the smash cake but really LOVED the ice cream.

 

You can imagine with all the intricacies of a little person’s preferences and dislikes, the sanctification that comes with that for the one seeking to shepherd his heart. It has been a joy to watch his brother desire to help him (so much so that he gets into trouble for trying to stop us from disciplining his little brother sometimes). They wrestle. I had no idea what was coming with boys. Watching them wrestle is incredible and always teaches me. Boys were meant for something so much greater than what this world is speaking into their tiny minds and hearts. God put it in the male to be bold and fierce. My husband has taught me how to manifest that, encourage it, and train our boys in the way.

I never knew or spent much time contemplating what parenting would be like and I’m fairly confident that was exactly how the Lord intended my decision to go about having children. I probably wouldn’t have had any….and if you’re a parent I think you’ll understand what I mean by that comment. There are hard times. Staying with my boys all day is for the most part INCREDIBLE. But there are times I question my patience, abilities, decisions, sanity, etc. When they’re both screaming, when they won’t nap and I selfishly need 10 minutes alone, when they don’t like what I’ve made to eat (which, thankfully, is rare), when they ask hard questions, when they reveal sin in my heart….I could go on. But it pales in comparison to the joy they bring me! This is my one glimpse into how Christ sees me and loves me. My sin paled in comparison to His love so much that He died a gruesome death in order that His perfect blood be shed to pay the price for my eternity. Oh what grace. That’s what floods my parenting thoughts and momma heart. Oh what grace.

Now, onto my post about my precious Drake turning 3!