December 31, 2015

Taking Root in the New Year.

Happy New Year's Eve, friends! I'm sitting on my bed-with a sweet 2 month old asleep next me. I just gave him a bath so he's smelling fresh and looking extra cuddly. I will refrain from squeezing him. Instead, I will take advantage of this moment of other two kiddos are watching Madagascar for the trillionth time and belly laughing in the other room. It was my NYE gift to them...and to me. Movies. The crack of toddlers everywhere.

So, I took a second to re-read my 2015 New Years Post and it was, as I suspected, pretty self-fulfilling prophecy. I said our year would be full of change and so it was. I also said at the every end of the post that I wasn't pregnant-and yet within three weeks I would be. Wowzers. Not only did we buy a car, buy a house, "sorta kinda" changed careers we also added a brand new person into our family.
When I look at my prayersolutions card for 2015 I'm struck by how many of our personal prayer requests were answered. God even gave us "someone to live with us" which was on my card right next to "a house that we could fill up with people". We've had my brother-in-law in our back bedroom for 5 months, almost as long as we've been in the house ( a house that we can definitely fill up with people!). It was a prayer that I'd added to my card not knowing at all how it would look- in the end it looked like my kids getting to play with their uncle almost every day. Go figure.

Sure the year had its challenges-most of which I've written about here or on other social media ( I'm all about outsourcing my prayer requests!), some that I haven written about at all-yet when I think about them right now, they all seem to pale in comparison to the many many answered prayers, the many many blessings.

To be honest, the last few months of the year have been a whirl-wind, as they always inevitably are, and yet made SO much more so with the addition of Justice. I'm really looking forward to slowing down and taking root-spending more time with the Lord in prayer and in Bible Study. I admit the stresses and business of life have left me thirsty for more time sitting at Jesus' feet.  I finally completed reading my last Bible through ( granted I'd read the New Testament 3 times through by the time I was completely done-but still! It took 2 years!), and as is my tradition I bought a new Bible-however this time I got JUST the New Testament, The Harmony of the Gospels, to be exact. It basically smashes all four gospels together so that you can see how they are the same, and how they add or subtract various aspects of the Gospel. I'm excited to use it in looking at some cool topics this year. I think its going to be enlightening.

I'm also looking forward to my new prayer card, as always I'll take some time to see what God wants me to put on there-it's for the BIG God-sized prayers after all! I can HARDLY wait to see what He wants me to pray about this year! I have a certain "method" to my prayer card that I realized I didn't go into detail in my last post about it, so I'll hopefully fill you in on it in a few days time. Actually, I've got SO many blog posts bumping around in my brain right now...three kids is definitely an adjustment. I don't know where "eating, sleeping, dressing oneself" are fitting into my day much less writing.

All that said, I know this post is disjointed-but I know that by the end of 2016 I'll have a one year-old, an almost 4 year old (!!) and a 6 year old...and no matter what else, things will be different. I'll be able to laugh at my disjointed ways as a thing of the past ( hopefully!) and my hope is that as much as this year was about "change"-this next year will be about taking "root" into that change and growing and nourishing it. Seeing our home, our ministry, our children all grow and-Lord willing-flourish.

So here's to 2016...I was hoping the word for the year would be "sleep"...but I'm guessing that's just wishful thinking.

December 15, 2015

Favorite things: free +bible+ my kid

 Today I would like to share one of my new favorite things- or rather one of Ransom's favorite things. Of course in doing so I'll also be admitting something to you... Ransom has been getting regular screen time for about 45 minutes during Tabitha and Justice's afternoon naps. This would normally be the perfect time to do some school with Ransom but the last few weeks I've found that it's also the only time I have to work on Christmas prep and get any to all my house work done... Or even more likely sit on the couch and star into space. So when Ransom comes begging for the iPad I tend to cave. Sigh. 
HOWEVER, as luck would have it, I downloaded a new app from the makers of YouVersion Bible App. It is the Kids Bible App, and it's great!
Ransom spends pretty much ALL his iPad time on this ONE app!

First off, it is has about 20 or so Bible stories that the app reads out loud, along with graphics that will move and do different things as you click on them that correspond with the story.  Then with each story there are three different questions to gauge comprehension, that pop up throughout the stories that you can click on and answer. If you get the question right you get a "star" on the story badge. Apparently this simple act of gathering stars plus some basic graphics are enough to keep Ransom very very happy! 

It also makes me happy to listen to Ransom as he plays the bible stories over and over again. So, since the app is FREE, you should download it as soon as possible! ( it's available on Apple, Google and Amazon products!) 
I, for one, will not be casting any screen time stones your way ;-) 

December 12, 2015

The new normal: The Christmas Season with 3 kids

So, I bet amidst your holiday hustle and bustle you are wondering how things are going over here at the Wilson house with a brand new baby and all....Well, I am here to take care of those wonderings:

First off, if you missed the blog post where I talked about God healing Justice then I think you should read it!

And if you're one of those motherly types who keeps track of these things feel free to read my Letter to Justice:Month One over on his very own blog ( it's just easier that way...)

But what about the rest of life?! Because we were at Chickfila last night ( as you do) and my kids befriended a little boy who's father then started chatting with me and he mentioned how with "a baby so young I must be canceling Christmas this year"...and I was all like

Because with a 5 year old and an almost 3 year old you CAN NOT CANCEL CHRISTMAS...besides I love Christmas trees. They are for reals in my top ten favorite things. So that's why even when I was sick with a stomach bug we were decorating the house for Christmas the day after Thanksgiving.

There are soooo many things I should catch you up on- like homeschooling-which is back on fullish blast ( the ish is important there)....and yet it turns out while I have time to come up with fun activities like "Snowball Diagraphs" and "Christmas Tree Addition"...I do not have time to take pictures of said activities any more...sigh. Sorry.

But today I'd like to talk about Advent.
This year I knew that I wanted to do an every day Advent with my kids to make sure our focus remained where it "should" amongst the hustle of the season-and while I love all those great "activity" advent calendars where people have something Christmasy that they do each day- lets just say the 4 hour stretch of sleep I got last night was not preparing me for something like that...besides I really want our Advent to be about the coming of out came our trusty Jesus Storybook Bible  and this great little Advent worked out perfectly since we've been reading the Egermeier's Bible Story Book for a while now and it is nice to do something different.

Along with the bible story-which are beautiful by the way-I also know that my kids need a little "fun" so we also incorporated our other two "advents" into our time. It works out great because right now there are just two kids involved so they can take turns each day, going back and forth between the two activities...I suppose we'll have to add in something new in a few years when Justice starts to care...

The stockings each hold a teeny tiny Christmas ornament that the child gets to then put on our teeny tiny tree.

We also have this lovely Jacquie Lawson Advent Calendar for the iPad that our sweet friend Judy has given us  as a gift every year since Ransom was born. It has gorgeous graphics and lovely music and each day there is a little video to watch or some interactive "game" for the kids to enjoy. They loooooove it. 

So there you have it! Our advent for 2015! I would love to hear any and all of your own advent traditions, reading material and activities!

My next blog post I hope to be a humble-brag session in regards to the DIY Christmas gifts I had to got to make for some of my nieces this year! We were trying something new where we drew names for the grandkids and hopefully added more of a 'giving' focus to Christmas this year...but somehow this turned into a "make your christmas gifts!" type deal...and we ALL know I'm not the craftiest! That said, I'm pretty happy with how the gifts turned out! I actually think the recipients may like ( important!) their gifts and at the same time my kids were involved in the making process which is nothing short of miraculous... So that post is coming soon! Stay tuned!