Monday, August 30, 2010

Letter A

Aa is for Alligator

Idea from No Time For Flashcards by Allie

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Garden Rocks

We painted these large rocks as a gift for Grandpa.
Grandpa has an AMAZING garden with lots of yummy veggies. And just so he doesn't forget what's growing in each spot (as if he would) the girls painted these garden markers. I helped with painting the veggies.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Jen's Primary Lesson

Jen shared a great primary lesson that I thought was fantastic:

"Yesterday at church I taught sharing time to the primary kids. The topic was "Jesus Christ has power over Death". In the lesson it recommended to have other members from the ward come in and tell the stories of Jesus raising the dead. I thought that sounded like something special so I called around. I don't know a lot of people in the ward yet, but I feel like Heavenly Father knew who to ask because they couldn't have done better. I had 2 men and 2 women come in all dressed up. One spoke as if she was Martha, the sister of Lazarus. She told us in detail what it was like when her brother died and how miraculous it was when Jesus raised Lazarus. One guy spoke as he was Jarius, and he told the kids with a such a sweet demenor how he loved his 12 year old daughter with all his heart and how she died and Jesus came and made her alive. The last one was about the resurrection. It was told by this wonderful Hawaiian women that radiates hope and love! She was amazing and told the story of the tomb and what it was like feeling the nail holes in Jesus's hands and that He was alive! She bore such a sweet testimony in such a way that the kids will never forget that story. Not one child in Junior primary made a sound. The spirit was so strong. I couldn't believe how reverent the kids were. When we got home Alliyah told Brody all about what she learned and she told the story of the resurrection in great detail. It was one of those spiritual moments I have to write down so I don't ever forget it. I sure love primary and being able to witness my children and others learning important truths"

I am so grateful for moments like this in a classroom where the spirit is strong and little testimonies are being built. What a powerful lesson.

I miss being in the MTC classroom where this is happening on a daily basis. What an amazing thing to witness others (and including myself) strengthening their testimonies. Attending church each week is so important. We do need other's strength and faith to build our own. And little children are no different. I have seen how Mia and Claire's sweet faith has grown as they attend nursery each week. Mia talks about Heavenly Father and Jesus daily and Claire does quite a bit too. Moments like those make me so happy!

Thursday, August 19, 2010


The Wonder Years wrote a fascinating post a year or two ago on rocking, swinging and swaying. It has continued to stick in my mind as such a great activity. And I love going to the park and seeing you cuties swing. I recommend reading her post! In it she shares how rocking slows down the heart rate and releases endorphins which elevate the child's mood (adults too). It also provides a calming effect and can relieve pain.

In the book "Heaven on Earth: A Handbook for Parents of Young Children" by Sharifa Oppenheimer She writes: "Swinging and rocking motion both gentle and vigorous, stimulates proper brain growth and "wires" the different areas of the brain together."

We have a park nearby we can walk to. Mia and Claire in the double stroller and Owen in the baby bjorn. We're quite the sight! Lately Mia loves pushing brother in the swing and does a fantastic job at it. I push Claire, which swinging is her ultimate favorite at the park. I love to see Owen's joyful smile and excitement and Claire and Mia's too. But I also love to see Claire and Mia close their eyes, lay their heads back and enjoy that awesome feeling of swinging.

Kids Creativity Declines in America

I felt too strong about this not to share. I think it's crucial that we as parents encourage and allow our children to be creative. Research is showing that creativity is declining rapidly in America.The Wonder Years posted today some great info on what parents can do (quite simply) to encourage creativity in your children.

This is a must read for any parent! But especially those with children 5 and under.This whole article gave me a kick in the pants. And I'm making plans to implement some of her ideas more fully in our lives.

Here are some ideas she added to her post. I'm printing these out and putting them on my fridge. Whenever I get the urge to put the tv on for the kids I'm going to try and do one of these instead.

"Wanting to know what I can do, I searched around a bit. This is a list of ways I can and others, as parents and educators, help save childhood creativity.
1. (Obviously) Limit tv and video games (I believe 1 and 1/2 hrs a day is the recommended max)
2. Provide toys that are more open ended, toys that encourage imagination.
3. Provide props for role playing (house, doctor's office...)
4. Tell stories. Look through photo albums and relate stories about the pictures.
5. Emphasize process rather than product
6. Encourage exploration
7. Allow for long periods of uninterrupted play inside and out
8. Adapt to your child's ideas
9. Give independence. Don't hover over your child. Creativity is stifled when someone feels they are being watched or critiqued.
10. Accept unusual ideas and suspend judgment.
11. Avoid evaluating statements about their work/play
12. Provide art exploration
13. Use music and make music
14. Cook with your children(It's not a complete list so feel free to share how you like to encourage creativity in your children.)"