March 05, 2015

Some things are just timeless.

A month or so ago our friend Paul emailed Brett, I don't really remember the whole email but I DO remember that he mentioned that his word for the year was "wait" and that he thought maybe it was a word for us too.
"Wait upon the Lord,"  he said.  And I was all, yeah, good one Paul. Thanks.

And then the waiting really got going in earnest.

Have you ever been just super sure something was going to happen but you are clearly going to have to wait for it? Boy, that is my least favorite kind of waiting. Actually, strike that, my least fav kind of waiting is the kind when you DON'T know how its going to turn out....ok. Anyway.  But I've been thinking about it the last week as I've waited incredibly impatiently for something particular.

Does Time ever make you doubt? You feel super confident about some plan or purpose and then Time passes and you think, "Man, because of all that Time, I'm not so sure anymore!"  As though somehow Time negates Truth.

It doesn't.

Many times the Lord gives us promises and then Time passes. It was two years to the day that God told Brett we should essentially move it San Antonio, that we got our keys and walked into our new home in....San Antonio.  During those two years I doubted and worried a LOT about how it was going to all work out.

I married Brett and moved to Washington State 2 and half years ( and one day) after God promised me that when I left New Zealand and moved back to Texas that I would only have to be there for 2 and a half years, during those 2 and a half years I almost forgot that He had even promised me that I would leave again! But God remembered!

The fact that he kept his promises so exactly is pretty remarkable, but lets not just brush past those two years....or even times when we've had to wait longer, or sometimes shorter. The time we Wait can often be difficult because we feel as though it is slowly scrapping away at the Promise.

It isn't.


I believe one of our greatest Joys as believers is to not give up on His Promises even when Time tempts us to falter. I am pretty sure this is our only chance. In Heaven, I think time will be meaningless and Promises will all be fulfilled. So now is our chance.

And so we Wait.






February 19, 2015

Kid Bibles


I have been remiss. Here I have written all kinds of book reviews on my blog, particularly children's books but I have not done an official blog post on Kids Bibles. Of course, this hasn't stopped me from being super vocal about this topic all over social media and in real life, so maybe this won't be news to any of you but either way, we need to go ahead and talk about this here once and for all.

First off, there is something totally supernatural going on with The Bible In Pictures for Little Eyes.  This little biblestory book is sadly out of print, but still easily accessible on Amazon and on used books sites. That said, my mom had given me a copy when I was pregnant with Ransom and we started reading the little paragraph stories that went along with each large, colorful picture ( these are OLD SCHOOL pictures- Jesus dressed in immaculate white and blue wherever he goes, lots of caucasian children...you know the drill) when Ransom was probably 18 months old. He quickly became fascinated with the book. He would flip through the pictures on his own almost every day. It was adorable and while, yes, some of those pictures are so politically and socially incorrect now, it is a very in-depth bible story book! It covers it ALL and in pretty good detail without making it totally "fluffy" which is my least favorite thing: watering down the Word of God for kids. And, most importantly, Ransom really liked it.

And then Tabitha came around. And at basically the same age she became OBSESSED with her "BBBYYYBEEE-LLLE!!"  In fact, she loved the bible so much, that the already old copy, was completely falling apart and I had to buy a new one.  The other day I had to do some recon missions on house-hunting and she spent an entire HOUR sitting in the back of the car looking at her Bible. One book. For an HOUR.  Honestly.


Ransom moved on to a new Bible Story book at around 2 and a half, maybe three. The little paragraph stories in the first story book where just not detailed enough, and he was old enough to listen to something more in-depth. Enter my FAVORITE BIBLE STORY BOOK EVER: The Jesus Storybook Bible. Now, in the same way that the first bible had art-like pictures, this bible kind of had weird cartoon-y pictures that I was skeptical about, but then I read the first story of Adam and Eve and a BAWLED MY EYES OUT.
People. This Bible Story book is BEAUTIFUL. It answered all my desires for a bible story book that was simple enough for a child to "get" but didn't water down the truth.  Basically, I wish that  C. S. Lewis had written a Bible Story book for kids ( wouldn't that have been GOOD?!) but since he didn't this comes in a very very close second. That first story talks about the Fall of men with Adam and Eve and says, "Well, in another story, it would be all over and that would be "THE END". And then you turn the page and it begins to tell us the wonderful Love of God for his children and that's when you just start crying, people. It is so so beautiful. "It will not always be so! I will come to rescue you!...I will get rid of the sin and the darkness and the sadness you let in. I'm coming back for you!" 
I basically wanted to start cheering right then and there, and then as the stories continue, each one ( particularly those rascally humans in the Old Testament stories) showing the inevitable sinfulness of man, it continually points to the Hope of Jesus and God's "Unstopping. Never Giving up. Unbreaking. Always and Forever Love." for us and it gets me every. single. time.

But, Ransom has been through the Storybook Bible quite a few times and now the plan is to switch it out with the Egermeier' Bible Story Book, read one and then read the other and then back and forth for a while. The stories in this one are a little bit longer and there are fewer pictures so probably best to wait till they are 4 or 5 to bring it in to the mix, just depending on your kiddos attention span. But the stories are SPOT ON and -full discloser- it is the Bible storybook that I was read from when I was a kid so I might have a tiny soft spot for it!


This brings us safely up to the Elementary School years and onto actual Bibles.
While my own kids aren't there yet, I spent a LONG TIME, making a HUGE mess in the Family Christian Bookstore going through all the Kid Bibles about 6 months ago. I was specifically picking one out for a 9 year old boy who attends are Wednesday night home church ( PS. He and his Dad both got baptized last night! COOL STUFF is happening!) and the one I liked most was  The Adventure Bible for Early Readers, NLrV. I'm kind of a snob when it comes to my Bible Versions and I read a LOT of "easy reader" versions before I decided on the New International Readers Version ( NIrV). It is still a "translation" not an interpretation which is important to me ( and, yes, there IS a difference!) but easy to understand and easy to read. I am sure I will revisit the Bibles again when we get to Ransom's first Bible but I think this was a really good choice!

So, now, I want to hear the great finds that you've come across when looking for good Biblical literature for you kids? And honestly, it doesn't have to be the whole bible, maybe you've got a "Daniel and the Lions Den" that'll rock your socks off! I want to hear about them all!

And now I will leave you with pictures from last night! First Brett got to baptize Tony and then Tony baptized his son, Troy! YAY!!!!!!




January 31, 2015

Waiting....

Did I tell you that Brett and I are wanting to buy a house this year?  It's true!! We've been married for 8 years and have moved just as many times! In fact, we have never lived in a house longer than two years! Thanks Arrrrrmmmmmy!! But things are hopefully about to change and we think we're finally ready to take the plunge and stop paying other people to live in their houses but live in OUR OWN!

I tell you this and I hope you're appropriately proud of me because people its a BIG DEAL for me to make this kind of commitment!!! I've literally gone into an anxiety attack over a 2 year cell phone contract!  "Has a hard time with commitment" seems like an understatement. Well, at least when it comes to things and place.... when it comes to people, its a different story: if I know you, you're going to have to rip our friendship from my cold dead fingers because I WILL NOT LET GO. But anyway.......

We're  searching the "housing market" and I haaaateeeee it!!! I thought buying a car was horrible and no good! Buying a house is a TRILLION times worse! We've made two offers so far and neither have been accepted. I was not at all sad about losing the first house, I knew deep down it wasn't for us, but the second one had a million walk-in closets and I could see myself with a million walk-in closets. We had also been officially looking for a house for...oh, 2 months and that seemed like way too long. I mean, COME ON! We've lived in this house for 1 year and 10 months and Mama's got itchy feet!
But it was not meant to be, and since Brett and I have settled on a very specific part of our city to look for houses in- we are now essentially waiting on people to put houses on the market.

Waiting....

Does ANYONE like to wait?!?! I hate it.

But tonight I was reminded that God's timing is not my timing. Not even remotely. Rarely-and I mean rarely have things happened when I wanted them to happen. But they have often-and I mean often have things happened perfectly in God's timing.

And so I will wait. And I will try to be patient about it. And if I'm not patient, you will forgive me, right? Because we're friends and you are NOT GETTING RID OF ME.

January 28, 2015

Book Recommendations: The Bear Books


This morning I caught Tabitha "reading" one of her favorite books and it reminded me that I promised you my pick for best Christmas book to read to a PreK class. Of course, it's probably not that important to any of you now, at the end of January. I'm always amazing with my timing, aren't I?!?
 BUT, that being said,  I suggest you all pin this puppy in your "NEXT year will be the best Christmas ever" folder on Pinterest ( working title) because you WILL love it.
And since it IS the end of January it is a good thing that this post will also lead ever so nicely into some OTHER book suggestions which are maybe a little more seasonable. So I will start with Tabitha's current favorite books. We got a few of these Karma Wilson  Bear books in some Chickfila meals a little while ago, I stuck them in a travel bag to pull out later as "throw away" books when we're out and about to hand the kids and not worry about whether they get lost or ripped etc.- BUT when I finally actually read them they quickly got an upgrade to "part of the Wilson collection of books" and have stayed in the highly coveted "beside Tabitha's bed" spot for weeks now.  We LOVE these books! We have three of them, Bears New Friend, Bear Feels Scared and Tabitha's personal favorite : Bear Snores On


Ransom really enjoys them too, the stories are funny and have rythmn to them which makes them fun for me to read out loud. But Tabitha will regularly pretend to sneeze in the car and then laugh and I know she's thinking about "Bear snores on"...( you'll have to read it to know the reference). To me that is enough of an enforcement. But the fact that there is basically a Bear book for every season ( "Bear says Thanks" is in the fall, "Bears New Friend" is set in the summer, "Bear wants More" is in the Spring...) makes them EXCELLENT books to grab at the library to get your kids in the mood for a new season and to get your preschools talking about the different changes going on in nature. Love love LOVE!


Sooooooooo, when I was searching for a Christmas book and found that Karma Wilson had written a book called "Mortimer's Christmas Manger" I was ALL over it! And then to my surprise ( the Bear books have no Christian reference that I have found so far) this little story of a mouse who finds a nativity scene with the perfect sized bed for a mouse, has a perfectly integrated and easy to understand Jesus-in-the-manger and the whole deal story without shoving it down your throat boring style. It ended up being sweet and meaningful and fun. I loved loved LOOOOOOVED this book!


So, go check out The Bear Books if you haven't already and you WILL fall in love with all his little forest friends, and then sneak a peak at little Mortimer while you are at it and I KNOW it'll be on your Christmas reading list for 2015.

And now tell me what is your kiddos current favorite book?! I know it changes all the time at our house so it is fun to keep track of these things :-) 

January 24, 2015

The book update.

Hey friends, remember way back when, when I told you I was going to write a book? And how its been mostly crickets on this end for a while on that front?

Well...yeah. I now totally laugh at the naive girl that thought she could get the first draft done by Tabitha's first birthday...or second birthday. It turns out that all the good juicy stuff that is really worth writing about, is all the stuff that takes time to write about. Not just the normal time that we call "Time Unoccupied by Small People" time but that special Time that is used for deep reflective thought.
That time is rare. But, I've cut myself some slack on the "time" department. I've given myself a few little deadlines just to keep the ball rolling, but I think they are much more manageable now.

However, I wanted to share something kinda neat with you guys: One thing I was worried about by not having this lovely first draft finished was that as time passed, so would my memories. That I would lose the good juicy story-telling aspect of description. And that the details would fade. I had been really praying and worrying about that particular downfall of this writing journey being so long. But then, I got the neatest answer from the Lord! I was singing in church the other day, minding my own business, when a line from the song struck me so hard I had to catch my breath! In that one little line ( which I can't even remember now, and which probably doesn't even have anything really to do with what happened next) I was taken back to a particular day in Tabitha's story. I mean I was there. And it was like I remembered things the Lord did in that day that I hadn't really thought about ever, or maybe had just forgotten, but either way they were FRESH and I was able to write it all down so easily! It was a cool little reminder that what I set out to do from the beginning was to write down what the Lord had done and what He taught me from that particular season in our lives. Those things are His. His memory is perfect and He knows what happened just as perfectly today as He did on the day that he first did them! Hooray!
Now, while I may have written it all down "easily" after that happened in church, I'm still tweaking and smoothing out that "easy" work a week or so later, so yeah, writing a book is hard. But thankfully the work is not just mine!

I do sometimes get caught up in what to DO with this story when I'm finished with it, but I'm just hoping that, that will become clear when the time comes! Wish me writing Luck! Or better yet, say a prayer for me. ;-)

January 22, 2015

Good Morning, Vietnam!

Periodically, for my own later amusement I like to document what my morning routines are like at our house here on the blog. I do this because I love routine and I hate mornings. And while the routine keeps changing over and over again, those mornings keep coming every SINGLE day ( I, suppose, thankfully...but whatever.). And so I will hold fast to the current routine until it inevitably has to change in a month or two. But because I love each new routine ( to its inevitable death) I will give it its due diligence here:

In the morning, I wake up between 6:30 and 7 to Tabitha calling out in half-wakefulness for "maaaaaammmma". I, being a really amazing mother, ignore her in the hopes that she will go back to sleep. If she doesn't than I stick the baby monitor under my pillow to muffle the sounds of her playing her "bedtime bear" ( a bear who sings a creepy song about a candle when you press its foot) over and over. I do this because I'm an AWESOME mom who doesn't want to just TURN OFF the monitor completely. I'm so attentive.

Finally, somewhere around 7:12 I will finally climb out of bed and go into Tabitha's room to release her from her crib prison. Not because I want to, but because I know that Ransom's amazing clock is going to turn green in one minute and he will RUN out of his room announcing "MY LIGHT TURNED ON!!!!" at top volume. Why do we set his clock to turn on at 7:13? Your guess is as good as mine, but clearly we don't have OCD tendencies or this would bother us all.

Then my children sit on the couch and watch their coveted 40 minutes of screen time for the day. It is a glorious and most-important 40 minutes of the day. In that time I do the following:
Make breakfast for my kids ( oatmeal and local honey 365 days a year!!!!!!! THIS NEVER CHANGES SO HELP US!! ) and coffee for myself. This is when I take vitamins and also do my oil pulling.

I then head to the couch for about 25 minutes ( at this point) of mostly uninterrupted Bible time. My kids are usually sitting at the table eating oatmeal as slowly as possible watching Little Bear, Daniel Tiger, Veggie Tales or the horribly loud and yet I still allow it Micky Mouse Club Road-rally. ( It is great that you can see the tv in the living room from our dining room table. I hope this always remains the same, otherwise the routine will have to change yet again....sigh)

Recently I found that if I put in headphones and turn the volume low enough so I can hear my children if they need me, but loud enough to mostly drown out the sounds of mickey mouse, then I can listen to praise music and it helps me focus on my Bible reading more than, say, Bob the Tomato and Little Bear and friends. My current jam is the Bethel Praise Music Pandora Station. I love Pandora more than, something where I've actually picked the music, because in a FEW SMALL TIMES in my life I like to be surprised. I just keep my Quiet Time supplies on the edge of the couch because I'm tidy like that. And I'm also lazy and I don't like to get up once I've sat down ( unless I'm doing a fitbit challenge in which case I'll run around the house a few times between each praise song. jk. or not). My current supplies, headphones, pen, $2 notebook for writing down prayers, Bible, and prayer card for 2015.

After my time asking God to help me live through today; it's basically 8am and I start pushing Ransom along in his slow oatmeal eating ways. I get out my kids clothes and Ransom gets dressed in the living room or in Tabitha's room while I get her dressed-because HE DOES NOT LIKE TO BE ALONE EVER EVER EVER AND AMEN. ( I remember going through this stage as a kid too, but boy is it difficult on the Mom end!). We head out the door from preschool at around 8:20 with my half-drunk coffee in tow. If I'm running that day then I usually grab a Zone protein bar and eat half of it before my run and then the other half after ( I am not a food in the morning person AT ALL! I've SO tried because I know its the most important meal of the day, but oh how I hate it. )
if its not a running day then I'll usually eat something along these lines when I get home from dropping off Ransom: Ezekiel Bread toasted with my faaaaavorite Trader Joes Peanut Butter on top with little Banana slices for sweetness.

And then the rest of the day begins, you know that part of the day that cannot be planned for and that usually ends up with you  going to Target, misjudging a parking spot and completely denting in the front of your brand-new mini van. *sigh*

January 08, 2015

A little look back...way back.

Hello friends! I hope you're all curled up by a fire tonight ( unless you're one of my NZ friends in the southern hemisphere in which case, go to the beach for me...thanks) and keeping warm because it seems like it is freezing EVERYWHERE. In fact, you actually KNOW it is cold when it gets cold in San Antonio too. If it makes it this far south then...bundle up, things are gonna get good.

So, I have a spare five minutes, if you haven't already, you should run over and read my letter to Tabitha on her second birthday.

And if you've really got a minute I'd like to take a little look back, if you don't mind, to one of the first posts I wrote after Tabitha was born. To me it is a reminder of the blessings that often come after the storm. And sometimes those storms last so long that we forget that the Lord really DOES bring relief.  I've also been thinking about it because I tried out a new doctor this week and I had to tell him my medical history. It sounds SO dramatic when you say it all out loud.  People, it has been two years and it is STILL so dramatic. And gosh darn it, I really should finish that book I've been writing for two years.


January 13th 2013
Something happened when Tabitha was about a day old that I think describes my general feeling the last week really really well....
It's important for me to document tha feeling because we got back to Georgia last night and REAL LIFE is about to set in in a major way ( like the fact that I'm writing this in the ER because I may have been bitten by a bat last night... That's right. A bat. Welcome home!! Let the games begin!) and I really want to hold on to the marvel of the end of our journey of having our twins.
As sad as I am about Priscilla, and as much as the grief for her is still a process. The celebration of Tabitha's life is nothing short of pure joy.
When I was still in the hospital, and our many visitors had all dispersed for a few minutes- and even Brett had stepped out to run an errand. I sat holding a post-feed baby. She had nestled into my arm and I was just sitting there thanking God for her Life, when the nurses aid came in to take my blood pressure. As she did her thing she said, "It feels good in here." And I said something about how the air conditioner was on... But she replied that no, it wasnt that. She looked down at us and said, "it feels peaceful."

She was so right. After nights when I literally used up tissue boxes, after being separated as a family for four months, after a month hospital stay and 3 months in the Ronald McDonald house... We are peaceful.
And I've been feeling that peace for days. ( minus our 24 hours in the NICU.. But that's another story). I have been delighting in our little answer to prayer. And how, despite her size. It's really not that little at all.
I am now struggling with the constant need of telling EVERYONE our story, so that EVERYONE will know what God has done for us.
This is a good problem to have.

January 01, 2015

Ch-ch-changes are a com in'

Well, here it is 2015! I'm currently sitting on my fireplace hearth getting as hot as possible without bursting into flames. Cold and rainy days like this make me remember why I love Texas. Texas in the winter. Not Texas in the summer. I reserve the right to complain come August.

So, here I sit, scrolling through social media as a way to distract me from the moaning coming from my 4 year olds room. He's clearly sleepy. He only does this when he's so tired he's tempted to actually go to sleep during rest time. And instead of just going with that urge he starts yelling that he's done with rest time. WOULD IT BE SO BAD TO JUST TAKE A NAP?!?!
I swear this kid has been afraid of "missing something" since he was born!

Anyway, social media is a flurry with people being introspective and optimistic about 2015. It's hard not to be isn't it? Looking back at the past 365 days and marveling at all that has happened: all the scars, all the victories, all the disappointment, all the tears, all the laughter...it's hard not to wonder what in the WORLD this next year will hold!

At the end of 2014 some coolish plans went into motion with some of our family members. The plans were so surprising, so completely crazy to us ( I haven't actually asked the people involved in the actual crazy plans if they had an inkling of what was going to happen in 2014...but for us, on the outside it was surprising and crazy and totally cool ) that it has gotten me thinking of ALL the crazy and surprising things that have happened to us over the years.
Here are some things I've most definitely said:

WOW. I can not believe this is happening.... That I live here. That I moved back here. How unfair this is.  That this hurts so much. That I am marrying you. That I work here. That I am standing here. That I am doing this. That I'm having a baby. That we live here. That you are my friend. That I am doing this. That you are doing that. That I am a part of this. That we are having twins. That this is happening to us. That we are going through this. That they are going through that. That we survived this. That she is here. That we live here! That we met you. That this might happen. That THAT happened. That we've seen this.

I'm pretty sure that is the makeup of our lives...the sentence "I can't believe..."
 Because life is a beautiful and complicated surprise. Sometimes the surprises are scary and awful sometimes they are the most amazing, beautiful things we've ever seen. Bottom line, you may think you know what this next year holds, but friends...I promise there will be surprises.

In 2015 we're doing some pretty crazy monumental things in the Wilson House. Because we always say, "Go big or go home." Actually...I've never said that, but roll with it. Because as it seems right now we're gonna rock "Change" this year. And not the Obama kind... Like REAL change.

That's right. My scariest word. The word that I try to avoid at ALL COSTS. It is my "word of the year". Change.

I hate change because it is so unpredictable. And I love predictable, especially if that leads to control. I looooove control.

And so, of course, this year seems really hard to me. Looking at all new and unpredictable things that are staring me down. BUT, if I just remember how truly wonderful a good surprise can be. And especially a God-shaped surprise. Well, then I get a little bit excited. And it makes me pray harder because I would really hate to ruin a perfectly good God-shaped-surprise with my very controlling-shaped-brain.

And just as a little reminder of how true this is: Let's just do a little case study SHALL WE!?! Read this post.  Which is what I wrote at the beginning of 2012. I thought the year was going to include a deployment for my husband and a lot of single parenting. That year turned out to hold no deployment, a very scary complicated pregnancy and a period of 4 months where I didn't parent AT. ALL. So there. January 2012 Abigail was not thinking about the right things! haha! The cool part though is that God DID provide a verse ( noted in that blog post) that turned out to be truly important and helpful through the difficult year ahead. So. there you go.

So, to start off 2015 with as much craziness and proof that I have no idea what this year will bring:

Surprise number one: We bought a car yesterday. It's a minivan. It seats EIGHT PEOPLE. And no. I'm not pregnant.



December 30, 2014

Reboot

The Christmas decorations inside the house are all put away and our house is back to a state of mostly organized. Ransom doesn't go back to school for another week and Brett is working tons over the next two weeks. And I'm, well, I'm seeking a recharge. Or a reStart. 

Friends, I didn't nail Christmas this year. Sure, I picked out some good gifts for people. I threw 2 Christmas parties. I made batch after batch of cookies for neighbors and friends. I sent Christmas cards in the timeliest fashion ever.  The hubs and I logged over 40 hours (!!!!) of driving over a one week period. But, now as I sit in the aftermath I do not see what I want to see: A focus on Christ and His incredible gift. 

It's humbling to see how easily I let this happen. I mock Elf on a Shelf ( sorry) every year but this year I basically did my own Abigail Version every day: "look and see what crazy mess Elf Abigail has gotten herself into today! she's forgotten Ransom's holiday program is today! Haha! She'll have to quickly rearrange the day to make sure they make it on time! How cute! She's lost her keys! What a rascal!" 

I scrambled to meet all sorts of Holiday Goals. And honestly there are a lot of those goals I would want to keep. Making those in our lives feel loved and special. Yea. I want to do that. I want Christmas to be magical and special for my kids. Yes. But there HAS to be a less over the top way of doing that! 

I'm writing this as a reminder. The year we spent cuddled down in the Ronald McDonald House was the simplest ( granted hardest in a lot of ways) Christmas we've ever spent. But Christ remained the center. Last year we were able to "add a little celebration" onto that previous year, which was sweet and just made it more special.  But this year we just added on and on and on. It became less sweet and more sickly. 

And so, I've confessed. I've admitted my fault and I'm moving forward. To help me get back on track, I've deleted all the social media off my phone, I'm journaling more. I'm working on my "prayer matters" card for 2015. And I'm pleading with the Lord to help me quiet my mind and soul. Something that comes soooo easily with two littles in the house! Haha! 

December 12, 2014

Exercising/ Abigail becomes obsessed

Guys. I'm competitive. Like horribly so. I can sometimes convince myself that "winning isn't important" and then I can somehow keep my craziness in check- but MOST of the time I know that "winning isn't important" is SO NOT TRUE and then I get all crazy and MUST WIN THE THINGS.

This has been to my advantage a few times: In school with grades. Competitive Swimming for 10 years. Winning "Lord of Cataan" at Fort Benning. 

Most of the time it is NOT to my advantage. ( Like wanting to WIN AT CHRISTMAS). But whatever....I recently found something that was absolutely PERFECT for channeling my crazy ways into something much more productive. 

The "activity tracker". There are tons of them on the market right now, but after doing a bit of research I decided on the Fitbit Zip . It's small and simple ( just like what I want to be! ha!) 

 I also decided, on a friends advice, to hit up the Ebay world to see if I could get one on the cheap. And ended up with 2 for $35 each, brand new! That's well under the current price ( around $45 or $50) !
( and if you're lucky the seller might send you candy!) 

So I would definitely take my advice and try Ebay before buying one anywhere else. What I don't advise you to do, however, is to be like Abigail and get impatient about being outbid every time and then bidding on FOUR at once and then having to PRAY you don't win ALL THE BIDS. And then thankfully only winning two and just giving the other one to your sister*.  Don't do that. 

OK, so now let me explain what happens. You stick this little tracker in your pocket or if you're like me and you ONLY WEAR YOGA PANTS with no pockets...then just clip it on your pants and BOOM you're in business! It starts counting your steps. 
Just tap the Fitbit and it'll tell you the time, how many calories you've burned, how far you've walked and how many steps you've taken. 
Then, you can get online or download the app to your smart phone and it'll keep you updated on extras like tracking exercise times, count calories and water intake...stuff like that. But all of that is not important. All that is truly important is making that ultimately daily steps goal. I set mine at 10k and while most days that isn't hard, sometimes I become TRULY obsessive about reaching my mark. 
here is a screen shot from my phone on a day when reaching 10k was NOT hard! 


We're talking walks around the block in the pitch black. Or going for runs on days you aren't scheduled to go for runs. We're also talking taking EACH article of clothing from the laundry basket to the closet ONE at a TIME from the living room so that it takes more steps. 

Basically its the best thing ever for crazy obsessive people. And, if competing against a little machine isn't enough for you. *Then get one for your sister who's also uber competitive and then start "challenges" ( a push of a button on the App) and start tracking her steps too....today is the last day of our five day challenge and, win or lose, I can't WAIT for it to be over! I'm so sore! I've been so active haha! 

As you can see I have become waaaay more active.  And therefore one more tick in the positive competitive category. 


Also, if you get a fitbit for Christmas or just for yourself off of Ebay, then become friends with me and I'll have yet another reason to walk around the house in circles every time I'm talking to someone on the phone. 

December 08, 2014

What is for Christmas....Tabitha

As with my last post, I will now regale you with the Christmas presents Tabitha is getting this year. She'll be 2 in January so bless her heart, gifts for her come around basically once a year.  Its rough having a birthday so close to Christmas, but we'll try to make it up to her! And bonus! All the fun things that I couldn't get her for Christmas because of my self-inflicted "Wear, Need, Read, Want" rules, I can just get her a few weeks later at her birthday ;-)
( way to ruin the point of the game there, Abigail!)

So, here's what our little almost-two-year-old is getting for Christmas this year! 

Wear: Unlike with her brother, Tabitha does not need anything in this department! In fact, thanks to the generosity of my sister and friends, I have only bought a few odds and ends for Tabitha in these two years of her life, and none of those odds and ends were because she really needed them! Girlfriend has clothes and shoes coming out of her ears! SO that said I decided to go with an "accessory" this year and I found the most fun thing a two year old girl could have: 


It's called a Poochie & Co Purse and in searching the internets to find a picture of the one I got for Tabitha I found that a real live celebrity is also a huge fan ( remember the adorable little girl from Beasts of the Southern Wilds? Or maybe you'll remember that she's the little girl from the upcoming remake of Annie coming out this Christmas? Yeah, Quvenzhan√© Wallis. ) Annnnyway, it makes me happy that my daughter is already going to have a celebrity purse! hahaha! 

In the Need category this year, I went around and around. There are a lot of great toys that can be helpful in teaching your kids all sorts of important things that you feel like they "Need". But I finally decided on this game Barnyard Bingo Game. Because she's played with it at Speech Therapy and she's totally into it.  The best part is that the game can be used "as is" ( according to the rules) but I think it also has a lot of potential for other forms of play which is important when we purchase just about anything around here. But just to prove to you Tabitha's enjoyment. I took a video of her at Speech Therapy today: 


When it came to Tabitha's Read book this year, I went with something I knew we'd both love but that would also continue to help Tabitha with her talking. For whatever reason nothing promotes Tabitha speaking quite like Leslie Patricelli books. She LOVES them! And honestly, I do too! They are funny and fast and just enough quirky!  Tabitha is getting this one for Christmas: 

And now for Want: 

Eeeeek! Once again I went and bought something on sale waaaaay ages ago and I've been DYING for Christmas to come so I can give it to Tabitha! I purchased this on Zulily  for next to nothing way back this summer! (!!)  and now I'll finally get to give it to her! 



Having to watch her put her stuffed animals and dolls at their tiny doll table and feed them with random cups has been KILLING ME ;-) 


So there you have it! That's what Tabitha is getting for Christmas! So, I'm curious, what are your little girls getting this year? Anything you're super excited about like I am? 




What's for Christmas.....Ransom

Hey friends! It's that time of year! Where I tell you what my kids are getting for Christmas this year! I know you've just been dying to know!

Like I've said before I've implemented the important " Need, Read, Wear, Want" rule with our kids to keep the buying under control. However, for the first time this year I had a little bit of a hard time sticking to my "categories" but I did it! So here goes!

This year Ransom is a 4.  A very rascally 4 who has grown and grown and is sitting tall in the 90th percentile in height and its been hard to keep him in clothes. He's also been dominating his Balance Bike for a few years now and has been asking for a big boy bike for a while now. As for his wants, well, they are ever changing and EVER GROWING. Maybe its just my 4 year old but the kid tells me what he wants for his "birthday" almost every day. *sigh*

So let's start with wear:
I started by getting him these pretty sweet PJs when they were on sale a few months ago.  :

Because it is EMBARRASSING what Ransom wears to bed these days....usually either too tight/too small PJs or giant old T-shirts. The sad thing is, he LOVES PJs and its been hard on him to not have cooler ones, or at least having his cooler PJs be super de duper tight. 

Unfortunately Ransom's Need is also in the "Wear" category. I don't know how to get around this and I feel semi bad about it. I usually try to make the "Need" also something that he'd want  but this kid needs new clothes BADLY. So hopefully long-sleeved t-shirts and sweatshirts covered in monster trucks and spots logos will make him happy enough.  ( I hit up the $3.88 section in Walmart, especially since he'll probably just out grow them all in 2 minutes anyway). 


Want: So HOPEFULLY we will make up for the "Need" present not being the coolest with this present: 

Being as cheap as ever, we got it for a sweet deal at Wal-Mart because it was missing a handlebar grip that we could easily replace. However, if you're looking for a Hot Wheels 16" for a little dude, you can also get it here. 


And then on to the Read: This year I went with something a bit different. Ransom has started going to "big church" with us and has a little backpack full of "quiet entertainment" and I wanted something that he could look at for a long time but would not need it read to him necessarily. So I found this book that I think will fit the bill.  I haven't gotten it yet so I'll let you know if I like the pictures or not!


Merry Christmas to Ransom!You may notice I'm just not that into his presents this year, and that makes me sad, but I do hope he loves his Bike ( we're going to try to skip right over training wheels so wish us luck!) So tell me, what are your little boys getting this year? Anything you're super excited about?

December 05, 2014

Preschool Party Prep

Well friends, we're well in to December and basically that means that I've got about FIVE blog posts I've been writing in my head and quite literally ZERO time to write them. Every time I get on the computer I end up scouring the internets for the perfect Christmas presents for various nieces and nephews. I really love giving presents. Mostly because I like to WIN at Christmas.

I want the present recipient to say, "Wow, Abigail just WON CHRISTMAS this year!"
Which. Well. Is the most selfish reason for giving presents ever.  So you know, I've basically lost the reason for the season. ;-) Interventions can be scheduled for Jan. 6th and onward. Inquires below.

Anyway, today I made the time to post-mostly because I've hit a little bump in the present buying road.-I only have 3 presents to go. The hardest people to buy presents for.  ( I'm looking at you MOM) So I'm taking a break to cleanse my present pallet and hopefully return with renewed vigor.

ALSO I'm posting today because I really really need your help! I'm in charge of Ransom's class Christmas preschool class party which I thought other parents would be helping with, but his class' parents have zero interest in helping out this year and there is only one volunteering parent per party and I guess all the other parents are just riding the wave of the rest of us this year. Meaning, I'm ON MY OWN. Which, you know, is kinda cool because I like to be in charge, but its kinda not cool because, you know, MONEY.  So I've already got my menu set. ( which side note, I'll have you know that I thought up these ideas ALL ON MY OWN while sitting in the pick up line at school but then OF COURSE as soon as I googled them PINTEREST insisted that other people had ALREADY come up with these great ideas and gone so far as to take pictures and post them. BUT I'd still like for you to all give me creative credit, ok?!)



But now that I've got the lunch taken care of, and I figure I'll have cookie decorating as the craft. BOOM. DONE.  But there's ONE MORE THING I'd like to do. And it's mostly all for myself. ( *Insert living my dreams here*) I'd like to read them a Christmas Story.

And here's where YOU come in!! What are your favorite children's books to read out loud to kiddos?! I am kinda a snob! I insist on good content plus good pictures. So, you know, I'm picky!.

Also, just to make you think harder please just leave out the books that include Santa. I don't have an agenda here, just that I feel like we're already over-Santa-ed. So lets just stick to other Christmas Tropes, ok? So now that've made all my demands! I hope I haven't scared you from sharing your own favorite Christmas books with me! I've got a little list going but I am curious to see what you guys will come up with and then maybe I'll share what I have so far! But so that I don't make you do ALL the work:  My own personal favorite is a little old for preschoolers but when I saw it on a pile of books at the library I snapped it up like a long lost friend! Love, love, LOVE this book!  Go check it out Apple Tree Christmas by Trinka Hakes Noble it is beautiful in every way. :