2.20.2014

What are your words saying?

I love our church and I love our Ekidz program. My girls come home each week excited to tell me about their Bible story and what they learned for the day. This weekend they were super excited to tell me about their Bible verse.

May these words of my mouth…be pleasing to you O Lord.” Psalm 19:14

We had the most amazing conversation about how our words can either build people up or hurt them and how Jesus loves when we are kind to others. We talked about examples of how we can say pleasing words. Their examples: "Tell my friends at school that I like playing with them." "Tell my sister we can share the toy." "Say kind words but also do kind things for people, like open a door for them."

I love opening up these discussions with my 5 year olds and hearing what their little minds come up with. We have even had several moments this week where the girls started getting mad at one another and saying somewhat mean things, but all I had to say was "may these words of my mouth..." and they corrected themselves.

I think I sometimes fear that kids will be mean because my children may look different or go to the doctor way more, but I have girls that truly want the words from their mouth to be pleasing to the Lord. And I think that when we act that way it opens the door for those around us to act with kindness. Of course we are all human, 5 years olds and 50 year olds will say unkind things but what do you do when you remember that Jesus is listening to all the words that you say?

I love that the Bible is for everyone! This verse is just as much for me as it is for my 5 year olds. What things are coming out of my mouth? Am I building others up? Am I voicing things out of love? What have I said that could be hurtful that I need to apologize for? What things am I saying that I don't truly understand and instead need to show restraint and keep my words in? Am I showing the fruits of the spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control) in the way I speak?

How much better could our day go if we start by saying "May these words of my mouth be pleasing to you Jesus"?





2.19.2014

Snow!

If you are from the South you know that last week we had one of the largest amounts of snow that I have seen in a long time! And then the past two days my kids have been wearing short sleeve shirts. The weather here is definitely interesting.

I wanted let you know some of the stuff that we did in the snow that incorporated some of our therapy but Liana had fun instead of thinking it was work. You probably won't be in the snow again this year but maybe it will be helpful for the next time. And pretty much all of these are things you would do anyway but now you can see what a great job you are doing by throwing PT and OT in there!

1. We went sledding. We don't own a legit sled but we tried various methods to go down the hill. We used cardboard, laundry baskets, and a plastic bin lid in a trash bag. Our personal favorite ended up being the bin top in a trash bag. The girls had to bunch up the trash bag at the end and Liana had to use two hands to sled and also even her weight on both sides to not fall off.

2. We rolled down our hill. Both girls got on their side and rolled down our hill. Liana loved this but it was challenging for her to keep rolling. I know that was using a lot of core strength for her.

3. Snowballs. Who doesn't love to throw snowballs? We had to use two hands to pack the snow and then we worked on aiming it at targets (mostly Wade).

4. Snowman. I think our family made a pretty impressive snowman. The girls helped make snowballs and would roll them on the ground to get them bigger. They also had to help with packing and placing the snowman accessories on.

5. Snow cream. The girls actually didn't help me make this, but this would have been a perfect opportunity to have Liana scoop up the fresh snow with a big spoon and then stir all the ingredients together. Guess we can do that next time. However, here is the ingredient for snow cream that I used.
1 cup milk
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of salt
(Mix all the above ingredients together and place in the freezer while you get some fresh snow. Then slowly add in the snow until you get fluffy ice cream)

I was hoping to add some pictures but my computer needs to load them so hopefully I can update this post soon with those.

2.10.2014

Crash the Chatterbox

Download this and more from GloryDesigns

I love being part of Elevation Church. The people are amazing, we serve with so many wonderful outreach partners, our worship experiences are incredible and we are truly blessed to get to hear an awesome message every week from Pastor Steven Furtick.

If you didn't get to hear the first week of the Crash the Chatterbox series you have to listen to it soon. You can go to watch it here.

In the sermon, Pastor Steven talks about how the "chatterbox" is the lies that surround you (from others and in your own head) and if you listen to them can keep you from the person God has designed you to be.

I began thinking about how moms deal with our "chatterbox" so often. How many of you have heard something like this in your mind...

"A good mom would never yell at her kids like I just did"
"My kids would be better off with someone else"
"I am not equipped or prepared to handle this"

The chatterbox can bring so many more thoughts into your mind that discourages you and pushes you to give up. But we have hope in Jesus. Jesus has defeated the enemy. He has power over the chatterbox and when you walk in the confidence of being a child of God you can overcome the chatterbox.

One of my favorite parts of the sermon was realizing "we can't stop or control what the chatterbox says to us but we can learn to block it out." Pastor showed the example of wearing headphones that can drown out the outside noise but we can also plug it into the living word and hear the voice of our Father.

This week when you want to think you aren't good enough, you can't handle it, you don't have what it takes...remember that you are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14). And use this verse to change your inner thoughts from negative ones to ones that are uplifting!

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. (Philippians 4:8)

To get Pastor Steven's new book and more info about it go to crashthechatterbox.com


1.31.2014

Our Week In Pictures

I thought it would be fun to give you a few pictures each Friday of what our family has been up to the past week!


Sydney loves playing in her sister's hamper and even walked around with it on :)

We practiced a modified Constraint therapy and Liana did such a great job eating her spring roll with her right hand!

Of course we have a few pictures of our snow day!




And to finish off the week, Wade took Liana on a Daddy Date Night. 


1.29.2014

Red Rocker Review

Over the years, we have used many different gross and fine motor therapy toys (thanks to my husband's generous mom!). One that my girls enjoyed a lot was the red rocker. On one side it is a set of stairs that works on learning to step up and balance. The other side is a rocking boat that both girls had enough space to sit in and as they rocked back and forth (similar to a see-saw) Liana was able to work on strengthening her torso to stay steady.

This toy was incredibly helpful when Liana was first learning to walk and as she learned how to conquer stepping up on a curb or even helping her learn how to walk up our own stairs. If she happened to fall on these steps it wasn't a long fall and we also bought the rails to go with it so she was able to hold on.

We worked on alternating which foot was the leader and using both right and left hands to hold the rail.    One of their favorite things to do when they were around 2 was to sit in on the boat side and pretend they were going on safaris. They would point to all the animals they saw as Wade or I rocked the boat like they were bumping along the road.

I love having therapy tools that the children don't realize is therapy. And this red rocker did just that. If your child is in need of working on steps or balance this is a great tool to have. We have the one that is plastic but there is also a wooden version. Enjoy playing! Here are the girls about 2 years old playing in their Red Rocker. And yes Liana was eating purple sand before I took the picture. Here is a link where you can order from Children's Factory the Red Rocker.







1.28.2014

The Hard Questions

"When will my right side heal?"
"Why is it harder for me to ride my bike?"
"Why do I have to go to the doctor all the time?"
"Why can't we hug Sydney when we have a cough?"

These are just a few and I know some of you have even harder ones that your little ones ask. What is the right answer? I am learning a lot in this area. My girls are getting to an age where they are very observant about what is going on around them. They see how others act and know when something is different. And so we have been answering a lot of questions.

They way I may answer these questions in a year may change but as of right now we talk about how God has made everyone different. I think kids connect to real life examples, something they can see. So we have watched lots of videos of little kids having a cast put on, or someone putting on a shirt with a weak side. I let them see videos of adults who have overcome so much and still trust God's plan for their life. My personal favorite video is one of Nick Vujicic. He challenges you to be thankful for the things you are able to do and it is amazing to see the things he has pushed himself to learn how to do with no arms or legs.

I have a friend who has children with cystic fibrosis and they visited a family who had boys with asthma. When her daughter saw the boys doing a breathing treatment, she stated that they were doing exactly what she has to do. It was normal. When we expose our children to other things that are different then we can begin to normalize it.

We took Liana to Constraint Induced Movement Therapy Camp about 2 years ago. At the time she wore a brace (AFO) on her foot that had little hearts all over it. When we walked into the camp, there were about 10 other children there. And then Liana got so happy and pointed to me a little girl, "Mommy, her brace looks just like mine!" It was the first real time Liana had been in a room with other children that were in the exact same boat as she was.

One thing we talk about a lot is how we can help others. We talk about the experiences we go through will be used one day to help someone else. We told Adleigh about a little girl with a heart condition recently and Adleigh prayed for her daily because she made an immediate connection with her own heart issues.

As a mom, the best thing I can do is show that with whatever situation we have, that it can be overcome and that God can use those things for good. He can show His glory through those situations. It takes having a positive attitude even when you are having to fight back tears and a lot of leaning into God for His strength. But I know my children will be strong, have their own story to tell one day and will be able to help so many others with their personal experiences.

1.27.2014

Let Him inhabit the praises



I've been reading "Jesus Calling" by Sarah Young. I am loving it. Thankful for my sweet husband that got it for me.

One devotion that I keep thinking about is one she wrote on praise. I think my spirit has been so open to that topic since Pastor Steven recently preached a whole series on thanks and praise at church. So I loved when I read, "It is impossible to praise or thank me [God] too much. As it is written, I inhabit the praises of my people."

Isn't that such an amazing thought. That when we thank God or when we praise Him that we are in more intimate place with Him. Our praise can be an overflow like when we get amazing news and praise Jesus for His goodness and blessings. Or it can be more planned like when we sing a worship song to focus our mind and heart on Him.

I think one of the most important things moms can do is to praise and thank even when you feel more like crying and screaming. Sarah Young goes further in her devotion by saying "when adversity strikes and you thank Me anyway, your trust in My sovereignty is a showpiece in invisible realms." This reminds me of Job. Even when the enemy threw his worst at Job, Job stilled praised the Lord. And we can imagine God talking to His angels about the events and beaming with pride at his servant Job.

So even if you get bad news at your child's next doctor appointment, praise God that you are able to go to the doctor and get medical attention. Praise Him that you have support around you to get you through this. And praise Him that God loves your child so much more than you ever could and has His hands on your child.

When you get great news that you just got a better job, praise God that He has blessed you financially. Praise Him that you are able to work hard.

What event is happening in your life right now, whether good or bad, that you need to stop and give Him praises. No matter the situation send your praise and thanks to Jesus and let Him inhabit them. Are you giving God enough opportunities to inhabit your praises?

To read more about praying with thanksgiving when you ask something of God you need to read Holly Furtick's blog. Check it out here.