Monday, October 31, 2011

Ponderings of a Pregnant Skeleton

As we scurry around, preparing for an evening of trick or treating, I can't help but smile.
The livingroom is scattered with human anatomy books, jack-o-lanterns, costume pieces, children's Bibles and skulls.
It's been an interesting week to say the least.
Filled with discoveries of what's inside our bodies and that skeletons and such aren't very scary after all.
A random yet rivetting conversation concerning the meaning of 1 Corinthians 15:55
(I'm consistently amazed at what a 4 year old picks up on!).
And then the traditional decorating, pumpkin carving, costume preparing, filling pumpkin bags with leaves.

I am wondering if perhaps this controversial holiday is another training ground in which we can prepare our kids for real life.
Guiding them through the world and it's ways, helping them to learn truth as a result of it.
This is another opportunity to teach them to see things through the lense of God's Word.
Equipping them to take on the truly scary things of life that someday will inevitably come knocking at their door.

The LORD is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me? (Psalm 118:6)
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. (Psalm 23:4)
The LORD is my light and my salvation--whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life--of whom shall I be afraid? (Psalm 27:1)

And could it be that this night could be but another opportunity to teach these little ones generosity?
To give the candy at the door, to put a smile on an elderly person's face, to connect with neighbors often missed in the hubbub of life?
To offer a real life example of making the most of every opportunity, to engage wisely with our culture and pursue other-oriented acts of love?


A little fraulein, pregnant skeleton and candy corn princess after spreading some cheer at the nursing home.


Just things I've been considering and thinking about.
Naivete is an uncomfortable choice for me.
So year after year, chances are, I'll continue to ponder this day.

So Happy Halloween, Happy Reformation Day and, if all else fails, Happy October 31st!


Behind the scenes of EB.

I can't believe EB Awareness Week is over already.  I sure dropped the ball this week, but NOT YOU GUYS!  You have all been so amazing in helping us spread the word about EB.  I hope that it doesn't end here and that you will all still continue to be advocates for Tripp and for all the people living with EB.  

 I haven't blogged about what's been going on with Tripp because it's been kind of rough around here, but I promise I will soon.  He had a really tough week in the beginning, but the past 2 days have been a little better.  But in honor of EB Awareness Week, I want to this post to focus on people who have helped us and other families through this difficult journey.

I want to take the time to recognize these people/foundations that sometimes go "unnoticed" in the EB world.  These are 3 women who are very dear to my heart- and I've only had the honor of meeting one of them, but one day I will meet the other two... I am positive.   These women may often get caught behind the scene, but without them... many EB families would not receive the support and care that they need and deserve.  These are people that deserve recognition for their hard work and dedication to the EB community.  

Mrs. Laurie Sterner and 
The Butterfly Fund:


Laurie Sterner~Founder, Executive Director
Allie Sterner~President
Michael Sterner~Vice President, Secretary

Board Members~ Steve Thrasher, Jim Fewell, Liana Fewell, Jannette Braa, Karen Battaglia, Claire Murray         
    


The Butterfly Fund is dedicated to helping EB families and now also families who have a child diagnosed with any serious life altering disease.
 100% of the proceeds of their events & donations go directly to family assistance in the form of financial aid,  food, housing, clothing & care.
Absolutely NO salaries are paid.
They are not federally funded or grant funded, so the amount of funds relies solely on donations from kind businesses and individuals. 
The Butterfly Fund does not discriminate.  Anyone and everyone who has a child with a serious illness may inquire with them. 



100% of the money they raise at their Annual event- The Butterfly Ball, gets allocated to as many families as there is money.  
They give every bit of the profit away.

This fund has reached out to us and is still reaching out to us on MANY occasions.  
Here are some examples of the services they have done:

-They provide Kicky Pants clothing for many families with EB (they've given Tripp MANY of his shirts- which are VERY expensive and SUPER awesome!)
-For 4 years, they have been paying a large share of the rent & living expenses for a local young man who has EB and they hold a special annual event just for him…sometimes more than once.
-They have bought much needed baby items for a family who's baby was born with MS
-Have given gift cards to a family whose baby was born with CP
-Sponsored a companion dog for a young girl with EB
-They bought a car and other items for a young single Mother whose son has EB
-Have given funds to approximately 15 families, with an array of catastrophic illnesses.
-They sponsored Aubrey’s 5K and Tim Ringgold’s various events and fundraisers
-They sponsored a young boy in Sonoma who was in a serious car accident/volunteered at his event
-Helped purchase bandages for Raul, who has EB and was living in an orphanage
-They sponsored a young man who is paralyzed and has brain damage
-They've helped a family financially who had a young boy with a brain infection
-They've donated Art supplies to Camp Wonder
-They honor 2 families every year at their annual Butterfly Ball – tell their story and if need be, help them financially.  These are families who have or had a child with a catastrophic illness or event.  

*1st Annual Butterfly Ball*
Cody Cordellos- a young man who has no family support live a better life.
The Shiery Family- 5 year old daughter, Rachel died from Brain Cancer

*2nd Annual Butterfly Ball*
The Spaulding Family: honored Garrett who has EB
Anim Vinson Family- Honored Her son William who has EB

*And this years honorees* 
The Pop Family who lost their daughter Elle last year to EB
And The Kragler Family whose newborn daughter's delivery at birth caused lack of oxygen and she now has CP. She is 3 years old and cannot walk or talk.

-They attend other fundraisers for children and support them financially
-They have helped the Cannell Family in the adoption of their 2 boys by raising awareness and funds.
-They raise awareness for EB any chance they get, including having a booth at very well attended Art shows and events.
-Mrs. Laurie's daughter, Allie owns a retail children’s store and she is constantly having items for sale that raise awareness for The Butterfly Fund and EB at the same time.
-They buy Christmas presents for families who have children with catastrophic illnesses that otherwise could not afford them!

Please visit their website and see how this family of angels work so hard to help other families who are in need.  They don't get enough recognition for what they do.  
Thank you Mrs. Laurie, Allie, Mr. Michael, and all who work hard to make this fund possible.


Mrs. Leslie Radar

I will never in my lifetime forget Leslie Radar.  
She was the first mom (and really the first "EB experienced" person) that I spoke with after Tripp was born.  Her daughter, Lauren lost her battle with Junctional EB at just 7 months.  She was my support when I received the news that Tripp was diagnosed with "Junctional" EB.  
She was so helpful, so brave, so understanding, and such a great listener.  
She helped me to get started and get on my feet with everything that I needed to properly care for Tripp. 
She is another amazing person that I have yet to meet face to face.
After her sweet daughter Lauren received her angel wings, Leslie started the New Family Advocate Program with DebRA.  She joined the DebRA Board of Directors and she organized the Wound Care Clearing House in her own home (but it is now being run through DebRA office).  Then, she joined Hollister Wound Care as the Coordinator of EB affairs.  Hollister is very compassionate and supporting of the EB community. They are always striving to make wound care products that improve quality of life by having comfortable dressing that are virtually pain free to remove.  Leslie makes personal visits to the homes of families with new EB babies.  She continues to help EB families with all wound care product questions, insurance issues, and tips and suggestions on how to use products.  She informs families of EB friendly shoes and clothing, and assists new families to network with other EB families and social media sites.

Leslie likes to be "behind the scenes."  But I think she deserves a tremendous amount of recognition.  There is NO better support than a mom who has been through the exact situation that you are in.  Leslie has dedicated her life to helping other EB families.  Thank God for people like her who use their experiences to help and educate others. 
Thank you, Leslie.  You're my hero. 


Ms. Geri Kelly-Mancuso

Geri is the EB Nurse Educator for DebRA of America.  
Ms. Geri will forever hold a very special place in my heart.  She was there from day one (she talked to my dad a lot in the beginning when I was in "shock,") but then she and I communicated on a regular basis.  She sent us out care-packages right away when Tripp was born.  She was always available when we needed her and she actually came to our house for the new patient visit when Tripp was about a month old (Mrs. Leslie Radar wasn't able to at the time) and spent the day with us, talking and sharing information that we needed to know.  Geri is essential in the EB community.  She is very knowledgable about EB and will work hard in every way possible to help in whatever way she can.  Whether it be communicating with doctors/patients across the world or just lending an ear when you've had one of "those" days.  She is amazing and will be a friend of mine for the rest of my life.  

Thank you to EVERYONE who works "behind the scene" or not for our family and all the EB families.  I know I speak for all of us when I say that we truly appreciate what you guys do.  
We are blessed to have you ALL in our lives.  

Love,
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Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Pumpkin Process

First, obviously, we picked out our pumpkin which this year meant digging one we liked out from the haystack display at the entrance to the grocery store. Nothing too magical but quite a feat considering I'm basically already carrying a pumpkin around under my shirt! ;)

Next, the girls washed their pumpkin.
For the record, this is now going to be a new Halloween tradition for this family.
They washed that big ol' pumpkin for half an hour!
Piper kept telling me that the pumpkin would smell so good the neighbors wouldn't run away!


The next day, we moved on to the carving!
My MIL was kind enough to do the dirty work of helping the girls clean the guts out.
(This Mama just can't bend over for long periods of time anymore!)
Piper bravely dug right in!


But not without a few comments of disgust!
That's just part of the fun though, now isn't it?



Taitum also did her part but preferred to use a spoon.
I was proud of her though, knowing that she has a huge aversion to touching anything that feels strange!


Finally, it was time to start designing Mr. (er, Mrs.) Pumpkin's face!
Piper was the designer, I was the carver.
Here she is drawing her plan for what our pumpkin should look like!


In the end, I think we made a good team!
Piper had the genius idea of adding a bug to the pumpkin's cheek.
One with lots of legs.
At least Mrs. Pumpkin has eyelashes to show her feminine side!






Thursday, October 27, 2011

Slow.

Slow.

It's a word, a concept I have to remind myself of everyday.
So quickly forgotten or pushed aside for a more convenient time.
But the time is now.
It may never come again.
I could miss the beauty of her spontaneous dance when no one is looking.
Or the innocence of the song she sings as she plays.
There's the story she tells while turning pages filled with words she has yet to learn.
And then the moments of walking hand in hand, a girl child on each side.



Slow.

Let it last a little bit longer.
They won't always want to show me over and over how they can blow bubbles in the tub water.
Someday showing off her biggest, bestest jump will be just plain silly.
Eventually my heart will yearn for those quiet, middle-of-the-night moments when a little one just needs Mama to hold them to make it all better.

But somedays the mind screams with all that needs to be done.
A floor scrubbed.
A toilet cleaned.
Laundry washed, dried, folded, put away.
Dust the furniture, the end tables, the light fixtures.
Teach the littles their ABCs and 123s.
Vacuum the carpets.
Make the beds.
Now, what's for supper?
Somedays I let the rising panic take control.
As if it mattered most.

Slow.

The little one growing inside is teaching me already.
Used of God to make this mother slow.
Slow enough to hold a child a little bit longer.
To stop another in mid twirl to simply say "I love you."
To lay back and really feel the not-so-gentle kicks of a miracle growing within.



In a world that says this is not enough.
You need more.
What about you?
Your security?
Your dreams and passions?
Your sense of self?

Slow.

I am growing into the ability to throw my head back and laugh.
I have all that right here.
In the midst of the everyday.
Everyday with them.
Guided and directed by Him, for His glory and my joy.
This is the better way.



Slow.

Enough to enter their world of make believe and stories without end.
Deep conversations of heaven and fire hydrants and why we need blood.
Of hugs and snuggles and top-of-the-lung, screeching tickles.
How could I ever complain?
This grace, these blessings, a life of love and sweet perfect moments.
Its all right here.
I only need to slow.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

"Fell Apart"

Because I've been playing The City Harmonic I Have a Dream (Feels Like Home) cd over and over in the van.

Because I get to see them in concert in less than 2 weeks.

Because more often than not I put this song on repeat and sing along at the top of my lungs.

Because 'You found a way. You are the Way. You're the real thing.'




Fell Apart

Ohhh

Put me back together
I fell apart
You are Creator
You understand the heart

Mine is prone to wander
I feel it everyday
Put me back together
Won't You find a way

If You are who You say You are
Won't You be who You've always been to me
Lord I ache for the real thing
Just a taste
You're something real in a world of fake

Ohhh ohhh ohhh

Oh my cynical heart
Begs for bread from a stone
If You are who You say You are
Can I live on words alone

Tell me where's that hope and peace
Tell me where's that grace
Words that heal this heart of mine
Lord, You found a way

If You are who You say You are
Won't You be who You've always been to me
Lord I ache for the real thing
Just a taste
You're something real in a world of fake

Bread of life.
Light of the world.
Door by which I may come in.
Good Shepherd.
Resurrection and the Life.
True vine.
My God, You have spoken.

You found a way
You found a way
You are the way
You’re the real thing
You’re the real thing

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

A surprise from our favorite furry friend, ELMO!

Elmo wrote Tripp another song... HIS VERY OWN personalized SONG.  
I'm such a proud Momma, 
and just when I think that I couldn't love Elmo (Kevin Clash:) any more- I receive THIS CD in the mail today--



And here is the song- 
I added the pictures because I didn't know how else to share it from a CD other than creating a movie/slideshow.  


Tell me that is not the sweetest thing you've ever heard? 
He is playing the drums with my little man- and then pausing so Tripp can drum to the beat! 
Amazing.  Tripp loves it- but it's going to take him a few days to be able to play along, I think:)
He's good, but not that good!  So be patient and hopefully I can catch him on video drumming along with ELMO to his VERY OWN song!  
We love you, Elmo.  You are the BEST. 

I want to send a very very special thank you as well to Elmo's assistant, Kimi for keeping contact with us and always trying to make our days special and also JP, Katherine, Ralph, and Louis for putting the cd together for us- the graphics, lyrics, etc!  You guys on Sesame Street are the BEST:) 
I wish Tripp could meet you all and drum for you! 

Oh and don't miss my new post below this one!!
Two posts in one day?!  Record.
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Love,
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Together We'll Learn (Planting Bulbs)

Planting bulbs
Little hands dig down deep in dirt
Freshly bathed fingernails become crusted with earth
Side by side, we burrow down
My girls and I


Until it is deep enough
The seeds can be planted
Its just the right time
For this soft, fertile soil


Along the way new discoveries are made
Some that leave one at a distance
Heart pounding
At the absurdity of it all


Until courage grows
And that joyful moment of overcoming fear comes to pass
Life at its fullest
Taking on things never before imagined


What excitement ensues at the prospect of flowers the next morning
An explanation is extended
Of patience and time and reward in the waiting
So plant your bulbs, little ones
And learn the lessons of perseverance


Together we'll learn
Side by side
As you and I plant our seeds
Getting dirty in the process
Overcoming fears
Putting our whole self into the planting
And waiting for the day that these seeds grow
And bloom
Filling the world with beauty
Pointing to our King


Together we'll learn, sweet ones
These seeds planted were worth our time, our sacrifice, our love
Until the warm rays of Spring bring our efforts to light
And we count it all joy

My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.
James 1:2-4


Trimming Tripp's Tree and Personalizedfree.com

I received an email the other day from the Public Relations Consultant from the website 
www.personalizedfree.com
and she made us a very thoughtful offer.  She said that their company would be willing to donate 10% of their proceeds from now until CHRISTMAS to DebRA when you place your order using the promo code: TRIPP. 


Their website is FULL of thousands of personalized Christmas ornaments and pictures.  Practically any theme you can imagine:  Family, 1st Christmas, Occupations, Pets, Hobbies, Sports, etc.  They are reasonably priced and ship worldwide!! 
They also recognized Tripp and me on their blog for the website, helping us bring awareness to EB! I am going to post their link on my sidebar, so that you can easily access their website if you choose to help!
Or you can visit their site HERE and the blog they posted about us HERE.
 I am so grateful to them and I wanted to work hard to be able to give this company business, also raise money for DebRA... BUT ALSO... I'm going to be a little bit selfish, too (GASP).  I can't help it.  Here is a proposal:

My mom, Christie Zink (our superwoman advocate and supporter from Minnesota) and I, came up with what I think is a FABULOUS idea.  I hope you guys will agree.  
This year for Christmas, we want YOU to 
"Trim Tripp's Tree." 
We are going to put a Christmas Tree behind Tripp's rocking chair in the corner of our living room this year.  I want to decorate it with ornaments from everyone (no matter where you are) that follows our story and prays for my little Drummer Boy.  These ornaments will be something that I will TREASURE every single year, no matter what happens in the future.  Something that will have SO much meaning and will be so very special to me.  So I can always remember all of the support that we've had through everything.  
You all know that it's hard for me to ask for something for myself- but I figured that this would be the perfect opportunity to raise money for DebRA, give business to a company that wants to help us, and also make Tripp's Christmas tree this year the most special Christmas tree in the world.  
You can put your name, your state, city, or a special message to Tripp if you'd like:)

Now, you DO NOT have to buy an ornament from personalizedfree.com if you do not want to.  You can order from anywhere you want OR you can just make a homemade ornament!!  No matter where it comes from, it will be SO special to us!  
I can't wait to share pictures of our tree with you all this year!!
If you want to join in the ornament fun, you can mail them to us at:
18669 Sisters Road
Ponchatoula, LA  70454

Ok, so I hope no one thinks I'm being pushy for asking this- I mean, you guys have already gone above and beyond for us in SO many ways.  I just wanted to throw this idea out there, in case anyone wanted to participate- and Christie has also created a Facebook page event called "Trimming Tripp's Tree." 
You can visit the page HERE.

We love you all!  
Thank you again for being the best support team and prayer warriors we could EVER ask for:)

Love, 
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Monday, October 24, 2011

Fall Foodies

I was very excited when I came across this chili recipe on Pinterest.
I thought it was the solution to my family's anti chili stance.
Although spicy, it was also sweet!
Perfect for my 2 kiddos who balk at the idea of eating anything with a bit of zing to it!

In the end, Sweet and Saucy Chili was delicious.
And my kids hated it.
It was sweet but also spicy.
Back to the drawing board, I guess!

Personally, I thought it was a fun alternative to the usual pot of chili.
It contained chicken rather than ground beef which I loved!
The sweetness came from a can of jellied cranberries.
Delectable!


Last week, I made these Cranberry Crumb Bars.
I love, love, love anything with cranberries in it and these did not disappoint!
The only thing I'll do differently next time is add some orange zest to the cranberry mixture.
There is orange juice in it but the flavor was not evident.


Give them a try and tell me what you think!

Welcome EB Awareness Week!!

So I'm a day early, but I'm way too excited to wait. 
So are you ready to Be Part of the Cure??

This week is not just about Tripp. It's about everyone who is living a life with EB and their loved ones.
All of you know how sad I feel for Tripp and how much I wish I could take this from him, but what about the others?  The children, teens, and adults living with EB who ARE actually able to "go out into the world" and have to function in an every day life with EB.  Maybe the ones who get stared at, ridiculed, and get treated differently because of the way they look.  Those who want to stop the person who stares at them and try to explain their world of pain- but never have the chance to because no one cares enough to take the time to listen.

I want that to change.  And in all honesty- not only for EB- but for every disease and disorder out there. Who are we to judge? Who are we to stare? Just because we are healthy, does that mean we are perfect? Does that give us the right to think that we are better than anyone else?

I'll be honest, I often times think that we have the worst of the "EB" world... Because of the fact that Tripp has suffered through every possible affect of this disease- the trach, the feeding tube, the corneal abrasions and eventually losing his vision, the mouth sores, constant infections,  etc etc.  But when I really stop and think about other kids and adults living with EB, I know that every one of them is carrying a horrifying cross, each in a different way.  I often wonder if we are blessed that Tripp doesn't have to worry about what others think about him- because he doesn't know better yet (not saying that will never happen, but at this moment). I think about the school-aged kids who live with this disease every day and have to worry about what people think every time they walk out of the house. Or the adults who have to function in the "work" world and in the "real" cruel and judgmental world.  Do those people have a community of support and people rallying for them as well? If not, can you imagine their pain?

This is the worst disease in the world- and no person, child or adult, should have to suffer like this- physically, mentally, or emotionally.

I want every person in the world to know what "EB" is.  I want them to see someone with EB and say, "God bless you," or "Can I help you?" instead of sitting back and staring.  We all need to be educated.

Just like every disease, these children and adults did not choose this- they were chosen... whether they wanted it or not.  And it's something that currently has no cure and is not going away.  What are we going to do about that?

So please don't sit back (like I did before Tripp) and think that you are exempt from having a baby with a disease, a defect, or a disorder.  No one is exempt.  And if it didn't happen to you-  congratulations.  But what if it was to happen to your child's child?  Or a best friend's child, or just someone you know?  It would be devastating, right?

Our family has been abundantly blessed with support, kind thoughts, prayers, and fundraising.  We are forever grateful for this- more than I will ever be able to explain.  So since we have been blessed beyond words, it's my job to bless others- my job to help others.  Those who don't have a voice. Those who are living with EB who don't have the support that we have. Those who want people to know WHY they have sores and bandages all over their body.

I won't stop- not this week, this month, this year, or in my lifetime- spreading the word about this horrible disease and doing what I can to make the lives of these children and adults a little easier.  I'll do it for Tripp, for those who have lost their precious lives too soon, for every single person currently living with EB, and for every child that will be born with EB in the future.

Whether they are fighting to survive just one more day physically, or fighting to survive one more day mentally.  Every one of these children and adults deserve to be heard and deserve their voice to be heard. So please... Find someone who will listen- tell them about EB- and tell them to tell someone else about EB.

And no matter what happens, I will keep fighting.  And I will encourage you to fight with me.  I encourage you to be a part of something bigger, something worth bragging about. Something that makes you feel good. Help us... help all of those with EB.  Be a voice for someone who doesn't have one, for someone who never had the chance to have one, or for someone who is aching for the world to recognize them for who they are and not "what's all over their skin."

How can you help?
"EB" a part of the Cure by joining the Facebook page HERE.
Create your own awareness page.
Post about EB on your Facebook page or blog.
Share the awareness video at the end of this post.
Educate yourself about EB (Debra.org is a great way).
Simply tell another person about EB.
Educate your children about EB so that they will be able to recognize it.

And like I said, we have been blessed beyond comprehension- and Tripp has obviously helped spread the word about EB in his two and a half years. So let's continue... Let's fight for those with EB...  Whether they are close in your hometown, across the world, simplex, Junctional, dystrophic, newborns, children, or adults... They ALL deserve this.  Please help me give those living with EB a voice and a chance for a cure.

I have never once asked any of you for money, but this was too brilliant to pass up- and there is no better time than now.

I know a lot of you know about the Bone Marrow Transplants that are going on in Minnesota, and how dangerous they were for babies under 1-2 years old.  These transplants took the life of some of these children, whose parents were hoping for the best.  Sweet Bella was one of those children.  Her parents, Tim and Angelique, are working hard with the team of doctors in Minnesota, trying to raise much needed funds through PUCK (Pioneering Unique Cures for Kids).
The doctors in Minnesota have changed the transplant regimen in the past year.  They have made it safer for these children and for these parents who want a better quality of life for their children.  There is still no cure.  But they are working. They are trying. These doctors are fighting for our kids.   You can visit this website to find out more about this research:
www.puckfund.org
And here is what Tim proposed to me for this year's EB Awareness Week: 

A Text for Tripp


I thought this was awesome.  I mean, how many of us text like crazy people? I know I do!!  It's SO easy- all you do is text TRIPP to 50555 and a donation of $10 will be added to your wireless bill going straight toward EB Research through the Minnesota Medical Foundation at the University of Minnesota.  Cool, right? $10 a person can go a long way!! And you don't even have to take the time to pull out a credit card- it just charges straight to your wireless bill and does the work for you!!  Brilliant, right? Let's do this!!

Text Tripp to 50555 and help us END EB NOW! 
And then SHARE this video as much as you can to help us spread awareness about these beautiful children!





Love,
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Friday, October 21, 2011

Halloween Preparations?

Taitum may have taken the idea of homemade Halloween costumes a little too literally this year...


I mean, seriously kid, I woulda bought you the fake dollar store teeth had you asked!!

(For those who will start worrying and inquiring, Taiter Tot and Sister were up to their usual late evening shenanigans that began with lots of giggles and shrill screams and ended with a collision, crying and blood. In the end, other than a chipped tooth, my little babe is just fine!)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Water Play!

There is no end to the benefits of water play for young children -
It enables them to practice and improve their hand eye coordination and teaches them manipulative skills such as lifting, pouring and controlling.
It introduces them to scientific concepts such as heavy/light, sink/float and empty full.
Mathematical skills, like measuring and estimating, are reinforced.
The list goes on.
The point is, playing with water teaches kids a ton of things!
To top it all off, it is a soothing and relaxing form of play that is forever attractive to little ones!
So when I pulled out buckets of water for the girls to bath their babies with this week, they were thrilled!
The house got very quiet as they scrubbed those dolls clean!


In our Bible studies we've been learning about God fulfilling His promise to Abraham and Sarah to give them a son.
This generated lots of talk about babies and how to care for them.
Thus our baby bath time!


Once they were both good and soaked and beginning to peel out of drenched clothes, I pulled out some new tools to work with in their water play containers.
This basically included containers, spoons and a funnel.
They surprised we with just how long they spent simply transferring the water from one container to another then dumping it out and starting all over again!
This activity was a part of their math studies and an idea I got from their MathArts book.

 

There were other discoveries to made too though!
Piper placed her bare foot in her bucket of water which, of course, was followed by Taitum placing her socked foot into hers!
They just had to see what it felt like!
Taitum also enjoyed drinking the water.
A lot of it.
And it was warm! :P


Next, we spent some time learning about color mixing by adding food dye to jars of water and predicting what color it would change into once a second color was added.
Fascinating, can't you tell?!


Finally, the girls set to work stirring the colorful water and adding beads, sequins and glitter to the jars.
They took time to guess which items would float and which would sink.
But mostly they enjoyed mixing up this sparkly stew!

 

Once the lids were firmly in place there was a lot of shaking and watching the pretty contents swirl around!

 

Water play is such a simple activity to provide for children.
Some water and a few manipulatives and they are set for quite a while!

What water play activities have your kids enjoyed?



Dragon Mom

I've been getting several messages about an article in The New York Times titled "Notes from a Dragon Mom," so I had to share. I could not have said it better myself. Our situations are different but oh, so similar. I wish I could hug this Dragon mom and thank her for giving us moms a voice.

Please read her story HERE.


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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Apples Up On Top!

Apples.
This theme is one of my favorites!
And this year we gained a new apple themed book that we LOVE -



My Dad brought it by for the girls the day we went apple picking and it has been a huge hit!
The best part was trying to balance apples up on top ourselves!
This produced tons of giggles and smiles!




We also did a multitude of other apple related activities...

Piper's personal favorite was this one from 2 Teaching Mommies' Apple Unit.
She would throw the dice and then dot that number of apples on the tree.
She continued this until the tree was full.

Of course we did the classic apple prints!

And made apple sauce!
Both girls had a great time cutting up the apples for it!

Piper filled in an apple observation sheet (also from 2 Teaching Mommies' Apple Unit).
She was very keen on making her observations and filling out the sheet correctly.
This made for a rather interesting snack time!


We worked on putting numbers 1-10 in the right order with these apple printables.
We placed them "up on top" of pictures we drew of ourselves.
Piper accomplished this with minimal help from me.
Taitum and I worked together on it.


She shocked me by knowing what number came next for all of them except 5 and 7!
This girl does not miss a thing!

She arranged them in the right sequence and worked at matching the words with the correct pictures.

Finally, Piper worked on her culinary skills by putting some apple peanut butter sandwiches together for us for snack one day.


I think little sister enjoys being on the recieving end of this area of study!





Happy One Month!



Dear Kallahan – You are one month today!
The last month, our family has had so much fun getting to know you.  You are so sweet and precious.  You have been such a good little baby and never really fuss unless you are hungry.  You LOVE to eat.  Everyone that has seen you in the last couple of days has commented on how much you are growing and filling out.  You are starting to be mommy’s little chunky monkey.  There’s nothing better than a fat, healthy little baby!  Daddy is not even calling you little rat baby anymore.  Big brother is so good with you.  Last night he worked on getting you to stop crying by getting on the floor and telling you about his day.  He just adores you and loves to “pet” you.  We know that you and your brother have many fun times ahead once you get a little bit bigger. But that being said, don’t grow up too fast!


You love to be held and snuggle.  Since day one you have been cold natured and shiver when you are cold.  We try our best to keep you bundled up and warm in our cold house.  You can sleep through just about any noise.  Last night you had your best night yet, you slept for almost 5 hours straight.  Mommy and Daddy thank you for that because we feel so refreshed today.  You are starting to smile a little but I can’t wait to see a full out grin.  I know it is only days away!  We love you Kallahan and thank God for giving you to us.

Love Always,
Mommy

*Thanks again Kristin & Andrew for the darling Sticky Pickies!