22 August 2013

A Much-Delayed Project

While reading Happier At Home by Gretchen Rubin I decided I wanted to do more to get some pictures on our walls. I am notoriously bad about leaving my walls bare because I can't decide what I want to put on them and would rather have them bare than have something I don't really care for on them. Eric would rather have something on them than have bare walls, so for the most part the things hung in my home were hung by Eric with the wave of my hand and the "Yeah, I guess," as a go-ahead.

I decided right away that I wanted a "travel wall." I went to great effort to go through our numerous digital photos from our many trips over the past eight years. I wanted to choose photos from pretty much every place we've traveled while at the same time only putting up decent photos. (One challenge with this is that Eric is a much better photographer than I am, so there are many more good pictures of me than there are of him.)

I also knew I wanted a family photo wall with pictures spanning a reasonable amount of time - not just our most recent family shoot (which happens to be when I was barely pregnant with Felix).

I wanted both walls to be pretty easy to update, either by adding more photos and frames, or by simply switching out old photos with new ones. And I wanted this to be done very cheaply.

I printed my pictures at the drug store one of the times they sent a coupon code, which they do about once a week. I bought my frames at Dollar Tree, because everything there is a dollar. With as many pictures as I'd printed, even spending $3-$5 per picture would add up way too quickly.

I bought these frames in mid-June. I filled them with pictures right away. And then they hung out on my kitchen counter for a while. And then they moved to my dresser. And finally on Saturday I got Eric to help me hang them. It's a good thing I didn't do it myself, too, because he figured out very quickly that my original plan for hanging the travel wall pictures over the stairs was not a good one. He remedied it, and the overall effect is nice. We can easily add more pictures as we add more traveling adventures (which we fully intend to do since Eric has so much vacation time now). I love to walk past and see pictures of our different trips. (It was hard to get a good angle on this. Sorry for the lousy picture.)

While Eric finished up the hanging of the pictures on the travel wall, I went ahead with the family wall. Unfortunately I didn't plan the pictures perfectly, so I need to do some tweaking with the sizes, but for now it's fine. I'm just glad to have more than one picture on this rather large wall in my entry.

09 August 2013

Scripture Study with a Toddler

When we visited family in May I was impressed with their ability to incorporate their non-readers into their family scriptures study each evening. (The kids in the family were, at that time, eight, six, four and two.) Eric's brother would read a verse a couple of words at a time, and the toddler would repeat after him. The method was the same for the four-year-old, but with more words strung together at once. The toddler wasn't really involved in the rest of the reading, but I liked that he was involved in part of it. I resolved to start doing scriptures with our little boy. But how?

We don't have older kids, so we were free to arrange this as very Ike-centered. I liked the idea of doing kid versions of scripture stories, but part of me was resistant to that idea. Initially I couldn't figure out what it was, but with time I realized that I wanted my child to be immersed in the language of the scriptures. Okay, maybe not immersed since he has the attention span of a fly, but I wanted the archaic language to become familiar to him. Illustrated scripture stories simplify the language, which is great, but it didn't fulfill that very strong requirement I had.

After much thought (and then, let's be honest, plenty of feet-dragging), I created this method. I chose a few verses, and I wrote them (or pertinent sections of them) on large index cards in different colors. Ike knows colors, so each night he can choose which color he wants to read. Usually he holds the card (and crumples it) while we have him repeat one or two words at a time.When we're done, we put the scripture back in the envelope that's taped to the back of his door.

We've had these same three for a while, so it's about time I add new ones to the mix. He can do a few words here and there without us prompting him.

This second picture is a little deceiving. In actuality, Ike can be pretty ornery about doing scriptures at night, because he wants to skip straight to the part where we tell him stories about dinosaurs, dragons, or sharks. He has never asked me to get the scripture cards out when it isn't bedtime (or even when it is bedtime, for that matter). Still, this is a method that works well for our very young family. Ike is becoming familiar with the language in the scriptures, and he understands that reading scriptures is something our family does every single day.

06 August 2013

Felix - Ten Months

My tiny little guy (15 pounds 2 ounces at the weigh-in a few days ago) is a delight. He loves to stand as often as possible, and occasionally he takes a few steps while he clings tightly to whatever he has used to pull himself up.

Felix is smiley and content. He still loves to eat and loves to be held. When I finally go around to his nine-month checkup (on Friday) he didn't cry at all when the nurse pricked his toe, and he only cried a tiny bit when he got his shot. Ike's rambunctiousness has toughened him up, I think.

In the last month he's become really good at entertaining himself, which is glorious for me. He loves toys, and he loves to crawl around finding things to put in his mouth.

Tonight the four of us played a rousing game of "Duck, Duck, Goose," and Felix was pleased as punch every time Ike selected him as the goose. Actually, I don't think he knew what was going on, but he loved that I held him as I ran around chasing Ike in the living room. He loves to be a part of things, and I'm happy he's a part of our family.

01 August 2013

Back to School

Eric's headed back to school in more ways than one. He's been offered (and has accepted) a teaching position in our school district and will be teaching special education at an elementary school nearby. He'll also be working toward certification through a two-year program through Utath State University. We are excited about this career change.

I bought him a bunch of school supplies after he was offered the position. Included: construction paper, a three-pack box of tissues, a giant box of crayons, Lysol wipes, an enormous bottle of hand sanitizer, pens, and pencils. I'm sure he'll need more, but it was fun to go school supply shopping for the first time in years.