29 January 2011

Welcome to Whitehead Farm!

Phew!- Finally posting about Gman's birthday bash!
Not too shabby considering I've been posting things about 4 weeks after the fact!

Gabriel's Big Birthday Bash was awesome!

I  realized how much harder it is to throw an big party with 2 little ones, and that means that we will probably be scaling back on future parties. (I know, I am SO lame!) But I am realizing that other things need to be as exciting and important as planning a party and so as I struggle with my priorities, something has to give. And can you believe that it's a party?! Of all things!

Anyways- We had so much fun with our friends and we definitely had a full house!

Here's the run down on the festivities!
Theme- Whitehead Farm (we never really did decide if we were a cow, horse, pig.. farm so I guess it was just a Farmy farm)
Food- Pretzel Sticks for Hay, Chex Mixy Snack for Chicken Feed, Animal Crackers for... Animals
  We also had Mini Apple Pies and Apple Pie Pockets. Tony also made some rockstar Ice cream! and we had  No cake! 
Activities- Farm Animal Toss- Tonya and I made a barn out of foam core to toss farm animals through (I think 2-3 people played it) We also had a planting station where each child could plant either a pumpkin, a sunflower or corn in a small plant-able pot. (2-3 kids did this as well) We are just getting to the age of party games and fun... so I'm not real shocked that the activities didn't each have a mile long line. And I have a bunch of small plant-able seed starting pots for the garden this year! Woot!
Party Favors- Homemade Granola with a snazzy label!
Due to the time of the party (2-4pm) Gabriel was pretty tired toward the end of it and he actually fell asleep in my lap at about 3:30. So we did not open gifts with guests. :( We loved everything though and we just started our Thank You Cards- so they should be to you soon! 


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27 January 2011

Factor Tree for Free!

We recently found a website called Factor Tree- which is apparently a better way to teach kids math.

It is pretty neat site that makes math fun for the little ones!
Here is some info from the website.

A better way to learn math

Every student learns differently — shouldn’t your child be taught math in the way that works best for them? The team at The Factor Tree think so. Which is why their online supplementary math education platform adapts as your child learns, to ensure your pre-K to 6th-grader is always taught in the way that gets the best results.

What makes the Factor Tree so effective?

  • Provides the practice and repetition needed for a child to truly master key math skills
  • Use a skill-adaptive progression algorithm to pinpoint each child’s true skill level
  • Provides parents with helpful reports, metrics and notifications to track their child’s progress
  • Combines a state testing-compliant curriculum, world class educational theories and innovative technology to create a better learning tool
Visit thefactortree.com to learn more about its distinct approach to education and sign up for your free one-month trial.
Use the code "bzzagent" to get 2 weeks free!
It's neat enough to try for free- and see if you like it. 

25 January 2011

Roles, Goals and Mission Statements!

I have been following a few blogs that have been talking about the importance of a Mission Statement. I started one a while ago an just took the time to finish it.

The easiest way for me to get started was to define my roles and then outlining how I would like to perform in each of those areas.
My Current Roles are;

1.   Daughter of the King
a.       Spend Time in the Word Daily (As a Priority, before TV or Computer time)
b.      Spend Time in Prayer Throughout the Day
c.       Attend Church Weekly
d.      Attend Bible Study Weekly
e.      Attend Small Group Study Weekly
f.        Read No less than 1 Book per month
2.  Wife
a.       One on One time daily
b.      Devotional Time together (3 times a week)
c.       Make lunch for Tony to take to work
d.      Make Breakfast for Tony to eat each morning
e.      Date Night once a month
3.  Mother
a.       Read Bible each night before Bed
b.      Purposefully pray throughout the day
c.       Daily devotional before breakfast
d.      Singing & Praying each night before bed
e.      Model Godly character in all areas
4.  Teacher
a.       Highlight God’s Glory in every possible way
b.      Aim to make teachable moments everywhere we go
c.       30 Minutes in Lesson Daily & Lesson focused play daily
d.      30 Minutes of reading daily (Before any TV/Gaming  is allowed)
e.      1 Library Trip per week
f.        1 Educational Outing per week
5.  Homemaker
a.       Prepare Quality Meals for my Family
b.      Maintain order throughout the house
c.       1 Load of Laundry Per Day
d.      Plan Week each Sunday Night (Meals, To Do’s, Lessons)
6.  Friend
a.       Host dinner for friends at least twice a month
b.      Send Cards/Encouragement to at least one person weekly

It looks like a long "To Do List" but really this is pretty much how we live and it is nothing to "Do" but really it is just aiming to be purposeful in all that we do. For me as a list person, I really like having my "duties" all written out... it's a really easy way for me to organize them mentally!

Now for the mission statement. It seems to work well for now, but The Lord has been strong in conveying that he wants Tony and me to live simply and to focus our life on the Mission of God and less on ourselves. We feel like He is pushing the need to be purposeful in everything and wasteful in nothing.... so here is my mission statement!
·         To Love the Lord with all my heart, soul, mind and strength and follow His commandments.
·         To live purposefully and simply in all aspects of my life.
·         To Love my husband and encourage him constantly,   To submit to his God given authority and to be his partner in all things
·         To be a good steward of all of the gifts that the Lord has trusted us with
·         To cherish our children and show them the Love of Christ.   To teach them to live intentionally for the Lord and with good character
·         To be a blessing to others and to constantly encourage
·         To Live my Life for the mission of God and to actively serve the Lord and Others.

I plan to print a few of these to place around the house, in my bible and in my journal to keep me mindful of the Lord's directions and where he's pulling me so that I will not get lazy and forgetful. 

I highly recommend this exercise to everyone it is a great way to ensure personal accountability and to give more direction to your daily life



23 January 2011

Sanctity of Life Day

I didn't even know until today that National Sanctity of Life Day existed... but I'm glad that it does.

It is something that I probably wouldn't have  given a second thought to, but having lost a baby through miscarriage has really change my perspective. I have a much deeper appreciation for life now, I can not imagine (for ANY reason) choosing to end a life. I have faith and God has a plan and I have faith in that plan!

I think it is a shame that every president, every year has issued a Sanctity of Life proclamation for the third Sunday in January... except our current one. But perhaps he's just saving his proclamations for June & LGBT Month. What a guy!  (Sorry, I didn't intend to get political here!)

Any ways- Hug your babies, and don't take them for granted.
We love a God who gives and takes away, and at the end of the day He is still good. We owe him everything.


15 January 2011

Happy Birthday To Gmanny!

Apparently the first year with your second born child flies by! It seemed like I had 10 years to plan and prepare for Bastian's first birthday... and Gabriel's hit me like a ton of bricks! His first year went so fast! I guess it just shows me how much busier I am this time around!

To celebrate my baby dude's big day we went to Kangaroo Jacks! He loves to go to the Inflatable Palace and so we figured that we would take it up a notch for his special day. We had a blast and Gabriel even tried to bounce in the bounce houses and had a great time chasing me around in them. He was even daring enough to take a couple of the slides solo!

Bastian had a ton of fun as well, he still asks to go back just about every day!

Here are some baby dude stats:
Favorite Words- Momma, Daddy, Eat and and something that sounds like "That" but I don't think it's what he's saying!
Favorite Toys-   For Christmas and Birthday we received some toys where you drop a ball down a ramp and it falls on another ramp then another... you get it right? That's our go to toy these days! He also LOVES the stacking rings. His hand eye coordination blows me away! 
Walking?- Heck yes! He took his first steps the week before he turned 11 months! And now he is trotting around the house like a man!
Signs?- We are pretty confident with the "Eat" sign, the "All Done" Sign, the "Milk" sign and "More" 
Sleeping?- Much better than Bastian at this age! We are still co-sleeping crazy folk, but Gman will actually fall asleep while cuddling Tony. Which is something that Bastian NEVER did. It is kind of nice! 
Random Info- 
 * Gabriel loves to climb! (yikes!) He loves to sneak up the stairs, climb on boxes to get closer to the fish tank, and even climb on the couch (unassisted) to look out the window!
* While he is normally a mellow fellow, he has quite the temper! Once he's angry, he's angry! And his angry cry is not one that anyone wants to hear! 
* Gman has 6 teeth and he has 2 more working their way through now. 
*He loves to breath out his nose at people (weird, I know!) but if you do it back he will crack up every time!
* He loves to watch Bastian, I love how he watches him. He clearly thinks that his big bro is the coolest guy in the world. It is really neat to watch. Although I think that once they can start teaming up against momma, I might be singing a different tune! 
*We are still having tummy troubles! We have ruled out allergies, but all that means is we have no idea. Milk/dairy still causes him to puke and so do grains. As long as we remain off of grains and dairy we seem to be ok. Someday we may sort it all out.

There you have it. All the best info about Gabriel. He is an amazing little guy and we are super thrilled to get to hang out with him as often as we do... for the most part! 

Pictures from the party coming soon! 

14 January 2011

A January Christmas Post

Better late than never right?

Our Christmas looked like this;

We left our house and headed to my sister Jamey's house...

We stayed there for 2 days and on Christmas Eve we headed to my dad's house.
We stayed with my dad until the following Tuesday. The Monday after Christmas we made a day trip to Battle Creek MI to visit some friends.

At Jamey's house we made cookies, played video games and enjoyed the snow!

At my dad's we played more video games and wrestled and enjoyed a bunch of new toys!

We also had an awesome Christmas Dinner! The ham was amaaaaazing!

The car rides were tough! G-man is not a guy who can snooze away a 10 hour drive like he used to be! Our drive to Jamey's (which is only 8 hours) involved 7 stops! Hopefully by the time our next road trip rolls around we will be able to relax a bit. It should help that he will  be forward facing in his car seat by then.

He really had a blast visiting family and it was nice to spend time with my dad and step-mom that was relaxed on no super hectic!

One change that Tony and I made was less "stuff" we are trying to teach our boys that life is not about "stuff" but that our joy should come from The Lord. We also want to keep our focus on the true meaning of Christmas... Check out my new video game, oh yeah Happy Birthday to our Savior... wait, what?

So our first step was to buy less. Tony and I also decided that we like the idea of giving  "Wise Men Christmas Gifts" so we adopted that plan this year and will continue to use it in the future.
The idea is that you receive Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh.
The Gold Gift- is one that you really want.
The Frankincense- is one that will help you grow spiritually
The Myrrh- is something that you can wear or put on.

For us this works amazingly! It helps me reign myself in from getting them every cool toy out there (pretty much because I like and want the toys just as much as the boys do!) It also is a super simple way to keep our Christmas centered on Christ the way that it should be.

Next year we plan to stay home for Christmas- we want to try a peaceful holiday alone with just us for once... hopefully something exciting happens or we'll be bored by noon!


01 January 2011

Playing Catch Up! Christmas Concert & Bethlehem Tour

Ok, so my computer is back and we are back! My computer is still funky... so I have to post the H out of this blog before good ol' Mr. Vaio buys the farm again!

Here are a bunch of photos from December!

Bastian had his first Christmas Concert at Bible Study!

He was super pumped to have the bells!

It may not look like it, but he had a good time! Especially the songs that he knew well.

It was super adorable!

Another Awesome December Event was The Bethlehem Tour!
What an amazing idea, we will definitely go back every year!  We really wanted a way for Bastian to actually see all of the stories that we've told him over and over!  As soon as he saw a man dressed up walk past us he yelled out "hey mom, I'm pretty sure that man is an Israelite!"

First, we walked through Bethlehem after paying our taxes to the Romans. We used all of our money so we couldn't afford a room... but as you know, there was no room at the inn anyways.

Mary and Joseph at the inn trying to get a room.

Our guide trying to convince the innkeeper to let us stay... unfortunately we were sent to the fields with the sheep.

While in the field, we heard from the angels that a child was born.
and then we found Mary cradling Jesus shortly after his birth.

The wise men showing the gifts that they brought for Jesus.

Mary presenting Jesus to the Lord at the Temple.

Listening to the teachings of Jesus. 

Listening to the story of His death.

The empty tomb.

Listening to Nicodemus before the tour ends.

It was such an amazing night! I highly recommend going next year! 

Christmas post will be up in the next few days!
Then on to New Years!