"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved." Ephesians 1:3-6

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

BFIAR: The Runaway Bunny

Book: The Runaway Bunny
Written By: Margaret Wise Brown
Bible Verse:
Jeremiah 31:3 and Psalm 139
We discussed how God loves us with an everlasting love and no matter what we do and if we try to run away from Him like the bunny does, He will love us and draw us back.

I chose to read the bunny themed books around Easter because I knew there would be bunnies everywhere in stores and it would be good for crafts. 
I had never read this book before--wow, it is so sweet. I got a little teary eyed!!
We read the book everyday.  We watched a youtube video of the book being read as well.  The kids like that! By the end of the week it's cute to hear Raelynn 'reading' the book herself.


For our felt board I cut out these little bunnies and we sang a song that goes:
"_____ little bunnies in the grass.  Oh, oh there one goes! He hopped away fast!"

Taught the kids Little Bunny Foo Foo and watched it on video a lot.  They loved that song!

Tot Notebook and Printable pages:
Raelynn loves mazes right now! So it was great that this story had a maze printable with it.

Working on "same and different" concepts

Bunny shadow puzzle
The book is full of "if/then" situations.  One is that if the bunny joins the circus, the mother will become a tightrope walker.  So here we are practicing our "tightrope walking"

which happened to be great practice for gymnastics!! :)
Found a fun printable for play dough.  Raelynn practiced making carrots and counting them.

cutting practice and little brother supervising
Finish the pattern:
Hidden Pictures:
Raelynn really enjoys and is very good at hidden pictures.  I have a few I have laminated so she can do them over and over.  This one happened to have a bunny!
B is for Bunny:
Little brother getting in on the crafts here.  They also made a bunny out of paper plates.
IF/Then Cards:
Sometimes we did this while we read the story.  Here she was doing it from memory
Another "if/then" from the story is if the bunny becomes a sailboat then the mother will become the wind and blow it where she wants it to go.
Being the 'wind' and blowing the puff ball where we want it to go.  I taped a paper to the floor and we tried to get it on there.  It's harder than it seems!
Retelling the story:
Exploring "shades" of colors and looking at the trees in the book:
In the book there are many shades of green.  I pulled all the green markers, crayons, and pencils we had to show how there are different shades to one color.
There is a photo of a tree that is dead and has cracked.  I pointed it out and of course Raelynn remembered it every time we read the book!
Love impromptu ideas that just come to us as we play and learn.  Sorting, then we counted and discussed 'more and less' concepts
Playing 'Find the Bunny' (same as '"Find the Bear")
Then she was distracted and got the playdough so we started making the number of carrots for the number shown on the crocus flower:
and that lasted until we got to the number 4 and she had enough.  Then we started sticking playdough on our faces:)
Sensory bin: We have a game with carrots so I hid those in there and also a little plastic bunny from a different game we have.  Another time I put cards in there--but that wasn't as fun for her.
This girl's new favorite thing is to make macaroni from the box because she can do it all by herself! (except the stove, of course) but while we were waiting for the noodles to boil she retold me the story with this little bunny moving it along the pictures:

Homeschool Creations
Homeschool Share
Intentional By Grace


My Mommy Minute: April 29

Hi Friends,

Here are a few good reads that I came across today.  I pray they would bless and encourage your heart this week.
What To Do in Those "I Can't Handle It!" Moments by Leslie Ludy at True Woman
I have these moments a lot.  It's the humbling of myself to allow the grace to work in me in those moments that is the hardest struggle.  An encouraging read.

Busy Bible Reading by Nancy at Femina

Christ In The Chaos by Kimm Crandall at True Woman

Saturday, April 26, 2014

4 months!

Got this in before May, so that is good:)  Colt is 4 months!! 

His 4 month well visit showed he is continuing to grow healthy and strong. 

He is 16.8 pounds and 26.8 inches long.

Colt is such a happy boy.  Such a content little guy.  Unless he is tired, then he is a BIG stinker.  Puts up a big fuss for all to hear.  But its just for a few minutes because then he is asleep. 

Doctor said he is doing well so no need to start solids yet, which we didn't plan to anyway, so that is good.

Colt still sleeps through the night most nights, but lately he has been wanting to party around 3am.  And with his wide eyes it's hard to say no. 

He wakes up so happy and a lot of times is doing his new trick --blowing spit and making noises with his lips.  We still swaddle him because he seems to sleep better.



Thursday, April 24, 2014

"...even when you disobey..."

I was at the computer in the bedroom and I heard "Mama, mama, mama...." coming from my three year old's bedroom.

I must say, I absolutely love going in her room after she is tucked in for the night.  It is always a sweet time.  I am often reminded how these years will be gone that she will want me to come back in and so I try to do it even if she hasn't called my name.  It's just her and I. The busyness of the day is behind us.

Tonight was different than ever before....

"Mama, you forgot to take my pigtails out."

"Ok, I will take them out and put it in a bun so you don't get sweaty.  I love you so much.  Do you know how much I love you?"

"Yes, I know....even though you don't obey sometimes..." (voice trailing off)

Wondering where she is going with this, I ask "What do you mean?"

"Sometimes you don't love me when you are a sinner.  You need a Savior."

"Yes, I am a sinner and I need a Savior.  Jesus is my Savior."

"Yes and you disobey and don't love me and you are a sinner. You don't love me when you talk unkindly."

Oh man.  Out of the mouth of my three year old. Ring in the tears from mama's eyes. 

I learned two things tonight.  Wow, she really does listen to what I have to say (both when I am unkind and when I am asking for her forgiveness) and that it is really hard to hear those words from my daughter.  To actually hear her say I don't love her.  And I started to assure her that I do love her--always.

But I don't.  I don't love her when I sin against her.  I love my sin and self more than I love her and more than I love my God.

I have to confess my sin to her and ask for her forgiveness on a very regular basis.  But it was so different hearing it come from her lips.  To hear from her the way she hearing and processing things.

When I speak harshly to her and lose my self control, I am not loving her as I should.  In my sinful state I never will.  I kept telling her that I do love her even though I am a sinner and that praise be to God I do have a Savior and can love her better.

Children are a blessing.  This girl makes me laugh, sigh, pull my hair out, and cry.  But she also makes me lean on Jesus and reminds me of my need for Him.  I'm just a toddler in an over-sized body.  My children and I struggle with the same things-but their sin is out for all to see.  So often when I'm correcting my child I just think 'man, I wish I could listen to my own words!' The Lord has given me children to sanctify me and change me more into His likeness, no doubt. 

Too often I think I can do it in my own strength and I forget that I cannot love as I should.  My children are a blessing because they show me my need and point me back to my Savior.  God has given me these children as a gift.  As an act of mercy and kindness to cause me to fall more in love with Him and lay at the foot of the cross.

No matter how much I 'get it together' or even how much the Lord grows me in holiness, I will never be that perfect mother. I will never love her perfectly.  But there is One who does and I can love her best if I point her to Him. 

Not sure the point of all this.  But my computer was already open from when I went into her room.  I took her out to the rocking chair and rocked with her and we sang and talked.  So I tucked her back in and want to share my thoughts. Had to type it out before I forgot her words. 

I can only pray that God would use this imperfect vessel as a tool to point her to Himself.  That the sinfulness of this woman will point her to the sinless and perfect Lover of her soul.

Every time I love her as Christ loves her may I reflect Him.  And every time I must ask for forgiveness for failing to love her as Christ loves her may it show her that she needs a Savior just as her mommy does.

My Mommy Minute: April 24

The Oxen Are In by Lizzie at Femina
This was such a timely read for me.  We are full of chaos and messes around here and I have said before that I could spend an entire day just picking things up because when I do, there is always something else that gets put down in the wrong place. 

Gel Pen Faith by Lizzie at Femina
Read this a while ago and was reminded of it because of the previous link--also by her. This says it all.  So much good truth coming from this post.   

Momentary Motherhood by Carolyn Mahaney at Girl Talk

What a Hands Free Summer Looks Like by Hands Free Mama
..."Less 'Hurry up' and more 'pause"... I've been working on this (and by God's grace, it's happening more and more) so this was a good reminder!



Recipe: "Healthy" Cookie dough

I don't think there is such a thing as healthy cookie dough.  Right?

I came across this recipe in a magazine and happened to have everything on hand, so I thought I would give it a try.  I have been craving sweets so much and we are trying to eat healthy, so I'm kind of going crazy.  (We traded keeping our homemade eggless cookie dough in the freezer to snack on grab every time I walk by the freezer for homemade energy bites--which practically taste like no bake cookies and are quite amazing!!)

So when I saw this I was excited.  And baking in the kitchen has become a very regular activity around here just because it is so fun to do with toddlers.

At the time I had the idea to make this, I couldn't remember where I had seen the recipe so I just googled it.
This is the recipe I used. 

Ingredients: (the way I made it.  To see original recipe, click link)

  • 1/8 tsp plus 1/16 tsp salt
  •  1 can chickpeas (drained and rinsed)
  • tiny bit over 1/8 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • Sweetener-there were a couple options. I used regular sugar and eye balled it in...probably about 3 tbsp 
  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips
  • 2 to 3 tbsp oats (I used ground flaxseed)

  • And if you can find a cute little assistant, that helps too!! :)
    sampling the chick peas
    Mix in food processor then stir in chocolate chips.  Super easy!!  We tried it fresh with apple slices.  I was not impressed.  Actually quite disappointed!
    BUT, later we tried it after it had been in the fridge with some wafer cookies and teddy grahams and it had improved a lot!  And I had it a couple days later and it was even better!
    Thought I'd still pass it along because it was fun! And it really isn't too bad for the kids and they think they are hitting the jackpot with this for a snack!

    Thursday, April 17, 2014

    My Mommy Minute: April 17

    This one does have a particular order--this first post is from an author that I recommend.  I have read her book Glimpses of Grace and have started her new book that just came out on March 31.  So check out this post--it's a goodie.

    Why Motherhood is Only For the Faint of Heart by Gloria Furman (author of a wonderful new book Treasuring Christ When Your Hands Are Full, which I highly recommend! You can download the FREE study guide here from Crossway)

    The rest are in no particular order:)
    Learning to Love Every Age and Stage by Raising Arrows
    I know I have read this before and when I came across it this past week I appreciated it just as much as before.  I struggle with the fact that my kids are growing up. It literally makes my stomach hurt to know as time passes we can't get it back.  I try to savor these moments but it's sometimes out of such a fear that I will not have savored them and then I'm stuck more on the fear...if that makes sense! Just breathe. Be present. And just love them for today.

    Failure: The Ugly Reality and the Beautiful Truth by Gospel Homemaking
    I do feel like a failure, a lot.  And this post gives a great reminder.

    15 Verses for When You Feel Like a Failure by Gospel Homemaking
    goes along with the previous post. 

    Project 52: week forty-two

    April 6-12, 2014

    Sunday Snapshots:
    Raelynn had a sleep-over at Grandma and Tank's house on Sunday night, so it was just Elliana and Declan to help us make our pizza...

    If Colt has milk allergies when he is older, we will know why!  Such a kind brother to share:)
    Declan loves Colt so much! He was lining his frogs up for him.
    Tuesdays are gymnastics! Raelynn is having fun and improving each week with her direction following as well as the actual skills of the class.  It's good for her because she hasn't really been under anyone else's direction other than Sunday school.
    Sisters at the park after gymnastics
    Lucky for Ike, Colt is into grabbing things now.  Ike will get some more attention again!
    Wednesday was a very special day, as it marked one year of Elliana becoming a Frazey! April 9, 2013 we were in Ethiopia to attend court.  The Van Engen family was so sweet to remember this special day for us.  What a surprise when we had flowers delivered to the door!
    Oh summer sun...why must you wake my kids up so early?  I know they are capable of sleeping in because they do it in the winter.  But come summer and these kids are up at the crack of dawn.  Sometimes mommy just isn't quite ready to get up! (I'm working on getting up before them, but it's hard when they get up early)
    This week one day I got Declan out of his crib and put him in Raelynn's room-she was already in her bed reading books. I told Declan to stay in bed with her and read books while mommy went to brush her teeth:)
    It was very sweet to see them through the monitor sitting together and Raelynn reading to him.  I had to sneek in for a picture!
    This goofy girl told me to take a picture of her drinking and she posed like this! haha. 
    These moments.  The crazy moments when I embrace the chaos.  By God's grace, I can soak it all in and laugh with them.  By the end of this I think they were all on the dishwasher and Colt and I were quite entertained.  One day far too soon these will be moments I look back on and think they were the good ol' days.
    We went to lunch with Great Papa on Saturday!
    Saturday night it was windy enough for flying a kite!  We were walking back to the wagon and I saw our shadows and thought it would make a great picture.  I love it!  Will definitely be getting one of these once Colt can stand and maybe frame it!

    Adoption Day: One Year Later

    April 9, 2013 we stood in front of a judge in a small courtroom in Ethiopia.  After answering some very simple questions (that my nerves were WAY too racked up for!) the judge declared our sweet Elliana Genet ours forever.

    It is definitely a day worth remembering and celebrating!!  We decided to celebrate "Gotcha Day" on the day she actually came home and we 'got' her. Because though we got her through adoption in April, she was not here with us forever until July 4. 
    So today is still very special because it is her adoption day.  The day she lost her orphan status in the eyes of the judge.  Of course to us, she had lost that long before--but on April 9, it was declared official.

     A look back to one year ago:

    We gave her this to snuggle with in Ethiopia, and she sleeps with it every night at home.
    Getting ready to go to court:
    We passed!!!!
    To Kaldi's to celebrate!!

    And why not get a side of fries and French toast too? 

    And here we are today:

    We took everyone out to Coldstone for ice cream after dinner.  Elliana was very excited:)

    As we reflect back on that court room and the declaration of a judge, it is a perfect time to reflect on my own  adoption. 
    There was a moment in time when I was justified and redeemed.  The plan was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but there was a moment in time when I went from sinner to saint.  From lost to found.  From orphan to a child of the One True King. 
    Like Elliana, I too was an orphan until God removed the scales from my eyes and called me to Himself.  And because of that moment, on judgement day, God The Judge will declare me innocent and free from all my sin that is deserving of hell and condemnation forever. Jesus Christ lived a perfect and sinless life in my place because I could never be good enough to satisfy God's wrath. So instead of me being punished for my sin, Jesus Christ lived in obedience and in the will of His Father all the way to the cross. He had the punishment poured upon Him.  Adoption is very costly--for us it cost thousands of dollars.  But for Christ, it cost His life.  I will never be fatherless and apart from God again.  For I know there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.  And now I can cry out "Abba, Father!" just as Elliana has a daddy she will always have to cry out to. And it is my prayer that just as I, through my adoption have become a new creation, that Elliana would become a new creation in Christ.  A new life for her in America with a forever family is not good enough.  She isn't any better off with us unless she has Christ.

    Have you been adopted?  Will God say in the courtroom that you are innocent and Jesus was punished for your sin?  Are you a new creation in Christ Jesus today?  I pray you would take time to reflect and consider this today.

    Romans 3:10-12 "As it is written, 'There is none righteous, not even one; there is none who understands, there is none who seeks for God; all have turned aside, together they have become useless; there is none who does good, there is not even one."

    Romans 3:23 "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God"

    Romans 8:1 "Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus."

    Jeremiah 17:9 "The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; who can understand it?"

    2 Corinthians 5:21 "He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

    2 Corinthians 5:17 "Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things have
    passed away; behold, new things have come."