{Tot School} Apples & Pumpkins

{I started writing this post 2 weeks ago as October was ending…just now getting around to finishing it & posting. Oh well. Better late than never, right?}

Hudson & I so enjoyed the coolness of the fall that October brought. We read some fun books about apples & pumpkins. We got to visit the pumpkin patch. We made pumpkin pie play-dough. We made an apple pie & ate oodles of delicious honeycrisp apples. We thanked the Lord for the gladness that harvest time brings. October was fun.

October was also a c.r.a.z.y. month full of events. Hanging out with friends. The World Series. Sickness. Daddy out of town. Company in town. Celebrating new babies. A funeral. On & on…

I had a lot of fun “apple-y pumpkin-y” activities planned for us to do that we never got to.

And if I am being honest, I had to fight some guilt over that…that if I was a “better” momma we would have accomplished more learning & activities. {Or posted this 2 weeks ago. Or actually finished the laundry for once.}

I don’t know about you but I find that since becoming a mother I am even more susceptible to believe lies that my goodness and merit and worth are rooted in my actions & my doing.

When the truth is, I have no, zero, zilch goodness or merit or worth of my own and I am completely unable to earn any by my actions. My worth is only found in Christ. I am able to teach, train, parent, love my children only through Christ.

I am praying that you mommas who read this are able to allow the sweetness & hope of that truth to sink deeply into your heart.

This is one of those seasons that we can completely fill with busy-ness and absolutely miss the boat when it comes to actually enjoying family, growing hearts of thankfulness, and anticipating the celebration of our Savior’s birth. Believe me, I am queen of busy-ness. I am begging the Lord to remind me to slow down and really soak Him in & dwell on the beauty of this season. Praying the same for you & your family.

With that said, here is the rundown on {Tot School} in October.

{Theme: Apples & Pumpkins}

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Our placemat looked like this

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Our memory verse was Isaiah 9:3

“They will be glad in Your presence as with the gladness of harvest”.

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Our family worship songs were: The Doxology, Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands

Our morning worship mix can be found here (we listen & sing & have a dance party while we play in the mornings)

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You saw pics of the pumpkin patch here.

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I found the idea & recipe for pumpkin pie play-do here. FYI- I increased the cream of tartar to 1T. per some reviews that I read. 

Hud wasn’t the biggest fan of  the play-do. The first time we tried it he just poked it a little. Now he’ll play & squish it more.

He is signing “all done” in this pic. 

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image found here

The recipe for the best apple pie you’ll ever eat can be found here. Just make sure to make the following changes:

Replace 1 T. of the water with vanilla. Add in about 1 t. of cinnamon and a dash of nutmeg with the sugar.

As for the crust, I’ve used the frozen kind and homemade kind, both are equally delicious. The first is obviously faster & easier.

Oh, and don’t be afraid to try doing a lattice on the crust. It is so easy, promise! Google “lattice pie crust” if you are nervous, there are a million little “tutorials”. You’ll be so proud of yourself & your pie will look like Grandma Ople actually made it.

Hudson helped make the pie by eating apple slices while we were baking.

🙂

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I made this match game by printing & laminating pictures of different color apples & pumpkins.

(I used the same images for his placemat. Found them all on google)

Hudson had fun carrying the pieces around, I would name the colors or items while he played with them.

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{Apple & Pumpkin Books We Enjoyed}

Apples, Apples by Kathleen Weidner Zoehfeld

Cute & simple board book about a family that visits an apple orchard. We both really enjoyed it.

Red Are the Apples by Marc Harshman & Cheryl Ryan

I really enjoyed the cadence of the text which explores & describes different items growing on a farm. Great opportunity to talk about colors & textures. I didn’t love the illustrations though.

How to Make An Apple Pie and See the World by Marjorie Priceman

An apple pie is easy to make! Unless of course the market is closed, in which case you must become a globe-hopping grocery shopper, from finding the finest Seminola wheat in Italy to the freshest apples in Vermont. 

The Plumply, Dumply Pumpkin by Mary Serfozo

Peter the Tiger is looking for the perfect pumpkin. Lots of fun rhyming & tongue twisting in this one.

Pick A Pumpkin Mrs. Millie! by Judy Cox

Silly Mrs. Millie takes her class of kindergardeners to pick pumpkins from the pumpkin patch. The wordplay in this book is funny & imaginative and would be great for older kids though it was still fun for us to read & enjoy.

It’s Pumpkin Time! by Zoe Hall

A brother & sister plant pumpkins for their favorite time of year. The book is simple but does a great job talking about plant life cycles. I loved the illustrations & this will be a great book when Hud is bigger to incorporate science.

Biscuit Visits the Pumpkin Patch by Alyssa Satin Capucilli

A cute simple little book about Biscuit the puppy visiting the pumpkin patch with his friends.

It’s Fall by Jimmy Pickering

I really really liked this book about Sally & Sam two fast friends enjoying fall, from turning leaves to harvest to hayrides. I didn’t love the page where they dressed up for Halloween, so I skipped it. 

The Pumpkin Patch Parable by Liz Curtis Higgs

I really enjoyed this little allegorical book which tells the story of a loving farmer who turns a simple pumpkin into a simply glorious sight. A fun gospel conversation starter for kiddos who are a little bigger. 

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An Oscar kind of day

I sure do love my baby boy.

Even though today he acted a lot like this guy:

Whiney. Grouchy. Cranky. Nothing seemed to be going according to his plan or preference today…

I have a sneaking suspicion we’ll be seeing some top teeth come in soon

…and I’ll be honest. All the whining and grouching and fussing just about did me in. I was pretty cranky myself by the end of day. I had to stop. Repent. Pray for patience. Grace. Ask Hudson’s forgiveness…quite a few times today.

Yes. I know he doesn’t understand…but it is a habit we want to set in our home, so I might as well start now, right?

I sang the “Patience Song” to myself more than once. Do you know it?

“Have patience. Have patience. Don’t be in such a hurry. When you get impatient you only start to worry. Remember. Remember, that God is patient too. And think of all the times when others had to wait on you!”

This day, on top of making me aware that I need to be actively cultivating the fruits of the spirit in my heart – especially patience! This day was also humbling. My reaction to life not going my way is very similar to my almost-10-month-old’s, yet the Lord’s patience is so abundant. He is “slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, forgiving iniquity and transgression” Num 14:18

It is overwhelming to think that my love for my son which is as unending as my finite heart can give is so small compared to the Lord’s love for His children. That “never-stopping, never-giving-up, un-breaking, always-and-forever love” as the Jesus Storybook Bible puts it so poignantly.

I am so thankful for His love & that He has called me to be His own.

I am so thankful for this journey of parenting. I learn so much more about who He is and I see my sin so much more clearly through the process.

I am so thankful for Hudson. Grouchy days included. I can’t imagine life without him.

I am also so thankful for my hubby, who hugs me after my long day & his own long day at the office, mows the grass & does a sink full of dishes without complaint, plays with, bathes, and gets Hud ready for bed so that I can sit quietly by myself for a few minutes. I am so so so blessed to do life with him!

Sleeping in…

You may not know this about me, but I do dearly love to sleep in. I didn’t use to, I was always up early. But then, I always had 8am classes in college or 6am clinicals to get up for. But after I graduated (and started working nights) on my days off I would just sleep and sleep. It was lovely

However. Having Hudson = my sleeping in days are over. Which I am ok with 🙂 He is definitely worth it! He normally wakes up at 7am, which is a totally respectable time of day. If I was really diligent I would get up BEFORE him but I don’t.

I’m working on it.

That isn’t the point though. The big news is that this morning he slept until 8:45!!!! I can’t even believe it!! Especially in light of the fact that night before last was the first time he has slept through the night in like 10 days (because he has been sick and would wake up coughing at least 2-3 times). I guess he just needed to catch up on some of that missed sleep. It was SO nice!! I woke up at 8! 🙂 A whole extra hour of sleep! Read my Bible and relaxed until he finally woke up.

Ahhh….

Just what I needed.

Getting up in the night with a sickie baby is even harder with no hubby at home.

Speaking of my hubby, I have gotten to talk to him on the phone TWICE since he has been in India!! HOORAY! That is 2 times more than I expected I would get to talk to him. I am so thankful to the Lord for that gift 🙂 Please keep praying for him. He caught the bug that we’ve had right before he left. I believe he is feeling better but still not 100%. They are all preaching often, which is exhausting in & of itself. Pray for stamina, health, and a heart for the people. Pray that they will be an encouragement to the believers. Pray that the Word of Truth will fall on fertile soil and that lives would be transformed for His glory as the darkness is pushed back in India.

We are missing him tons but so excited for what the Lord is doing there.

This is TLI’s trip blog where you can read periodic updates from the team

March: An update.

Well hello there. It has been a while. It seems I am due for an update.

Jordan & I turned a year older this month (27 & 24 respectively).  I get to share a birthday month with my hubby (AND hubby’s wonderful sister. Twins you know). Isn’t that special?  I really love it!  We both had very fun, relaxing birthday celebrations. I got a massage (so did he) which is pure bliss in my opinion.  If we had money growing on our trees I would get a massage every week. Or maybe even every day. I got to do a some shopping on my day (yipee).  Jordan got some new books, a delicious (if I do say so myself) homemade dinner & cake and we watched some more Band of Brothers.  Now this may not seem like a crazy fun birthday to you – but those are some of his most favorite things in the world – books, cake, band of brothers – and ME!

Hudson turned another month older.  7. He is seven months old!!

Geez.

Who said my baby could grow up?! Momma did NOT say!

Seriously though.  He is SUCH a joy. He has (sort of) learned to crawl. I’ve never seen another kiddo “crawl” quite like he does – it’s slightly weird.  He gets up on his hands & knees and then sort of flings himself forward.  It is like the baby version of “the worm”. He can scoot around pretty quickly though! He also (sort of) army crawls.  More like he just drags himself forward.  If he would just army crawl he would be SO FAST.  Yet he is so determined to be up on his hands & knees.  He just hasn’t quite figured out how to move his arms & legs in a synchronized, forward-motion, fashion.  His “flying squirrel” crawl gets him around, just not quite as quickly. I am not complaining about that!! He is already so into things. It is a whole new world of discipline.

He has recently learned how to drink out of a sippy cup (the straw kind), he sleeps 12-13 hours at night and takes 2 (1.5-2 hr) naps during the day (we only recently dropped the 3rd evening nap). He has tried and liked {organic} brown rice, oatmeal, barley, bananas, apples, grapes, plums, pears, nectarines, prunes, avocado, mango, carrots, peas, summer squash, green beans, pumpkin, whole milk yogurt.  Dislike: butternut squash & initially peas – but now he seems to enjoy them. Still gnawing on everything in sight, but no teeth. He has been a little grumpy this week so maybe they are on the way.

Jordan is currently in Philadelphia at a church planting conference.  He left Wednesday and comes home tomorrow – hip hip hooray!! I am so glad that he was able to go and can’t wait to hear all about it – and to have him back home with us.  I really love my people.  A whole bunch. Especially my man. He gets to go to India the end of next month to help with a pastor’s conference.  He’ll be there for about 2 weeks.  So I’ve just viewed this trip as the “prep”. We will miss him bunches and bunches but I am so so so excited! It is the next best thing to going myself. More details the India trip later.

March has been a month of joy & also of grief.  Last year our former pastor and very dear friend Barry Keldie very suddenly & tragically passed away.  This year Jordan & I experienced a miscarriage.

I am going to share about it.  First – because I believe it will be good & healthy to put thoughts to “paper”, second – because I want my children to know what it was like while we were in the midst of it (or at least not very far removed from it), and thirdly – because so many women have experienced the same loss but it is so personal, no one really talks about it. Which I understand.  But I want to be open about it, so that I will be able to mourn with those who mourn.

Let me just testify that God is so good.  Even in the midst of deep sorrow. I don’t say that because it is what I am “supposed” to say because I am a “good christian” or a “pastor’s wife”.  But because it is true.  I could say it before, but I had never personally experienced a trial/sorrow like this one.

*What follows is a little long, please don’t feel obligated to read it, there are some pictures of sweet Hudson at the end. Feel free to skip to them*

We found out that we were pregnant on February 19th.  Hudson’s 7 month birthday. Which means they would have been about 14 months apart.  Which, believe it or not, I was super excited about! We weren’t necessarily trying. We had stopped using birth control (for a couple reasons). We want our babies to be close together and it took us a long time to get pregnant with Hudson, so I just assumed it would take as at least 3 or 4 months to get pregnant again.

But, lo and behold.  We got pregnant right off the bat.  We only found out because I took a random test (this is so weird) because I was super hot at night.  Like kicking off the covers and scooting away from Jordan hot – which never happens. I am usually always freezing at night. Weird, huh?

We went to the Dr. and did blood work, which came back great.  I was SUPER early, but my hormones were increasing appropriately.  So we told our parents.  Then on March 2nd I started spotting. I knew some spotting/bleeding could be normal, but I just had a feeling in my gut that this wasn’t.  The next day spotting turned into bleeding.  We went back to the Dr for more blood work. The really stinky thing about being very early is that blood work is all they can do – because nothing shows up on ultrasound – and the labs results take about 24 hours to get. So we told a whole bunch of people what was going on and asked them to pray that this would be “normal” bleeding and the Lord would spare our child. And we waited. And waited. And waited.

In the midst of this whole process my husband was such a rock.  I cannot describe how thankful I am to be married to this man. He held me and cried with me and prayed over me and spoke the Word over me. He is a tangible reminder of God’s grace in my life.

On Friday (March 4) my doctor called – we had lost the baby.

It is a weird grief.  The loss of a tiny someone we never really knew but in 2 short weeks we had come to love so dearly. A part of me thought, “It would be so much easier if we had just never known. If we could have just thought that I was having a period”. But though we will probably never understand fully, there is a reason that we were supposed to know, and in the end I am so thankful that we did.  That child brought us such joy and anticipation for two weeks.

The sadness comes in waves and hits me at the strangest moments. Now, 3 weeks out, the sadness is fewer and farther between. I can testify that His peace does pass all understanding.  The Lord has been gracious to heal my heart quickly. Don’t get me wrong, it will always be a loss. There will always be a sense of sorrow, but I have not despaired. And that is simply a testimony to the grace of our God and the comfort it is to know that he is sovereign, for it is certainly not by my own strength.

Through the whole process the Lord kept impressing upon me Psalm 145:17: The Lord is righteous in all His ways and kind in all His deeds. It was His kindness to give us the baby, His kindness to give us knowledge of the baby, and it was His kindness to take it away so soon.

So. We grieve. But we trust that He is in control and that He does all things for His glory and for our good. And we trust that He will continue to grow our family in His perfect time.

I am also so super thankful for my beautiful son. He is truly such a joy! Here are some pictures of his sweet self.

*i love this because he snuggled there looking out the door for almost 10 minutes & he is never still that long! so sweet.

*isn’t he just the cutest punkin’ you have ever seen?!


JB

 

When God gives His presence to His people, His presence causes them to appear to themselves more what they are, than at any other times, by all other light, they can see.

– John Bunyan

Whew! Preach it JB.

So it begins.

It is official.  The Stone family is blogging!  I know, I know we are so behind the times.  Oh well.  Better late than never I suppose!

Perhaps you are thinking: “So why start a blog now?  Oh yeah … you had a kid.  Everyone who has a kid has to have a blog.  Its like required for being a Momma.  One of those forms you sign before the let you push the baby out: ‘Yes. I will start a blog‘”

No silly.  Not really.

So why a blog then?

I am beginning to see that family blogs are like modern-day time capsules, all ready to have stories & memories & pictures tucked away inside.  They allow grown children to someday see an inside perspective of how their Momma & Daddy thought, spoke, lived.

That is very cool.  Not because WE are cool, but because we belong to an amazing God who refuses to leave us as we are – yucky, sinful,  & messy – but He is constantly in the process of changing us to look like His Son Jesus.  I want our children to see that process, to learn from – and hopefully be encouraged by our journey – for His glory.

Blogs can also help us remember the real details of our life, the important & the mundane.  The Lord tells His people over & over to REMEMBER what He has done.  For His glory.  RememberRemember. Remember.  Those are just a few times.  There are a whole bunch more!!  Go read your Bible & see!

Also, blogs can help friends stay in touch even when you live far apart.  If you are my friend and you don’t live near me then I praise the Lord for your steadfastness.  Because I stink at staying in touch!!  I like to sit down, face-to-face.  Have you over for a cup of coffee & chat,  heart-to-heart.  Phones. Letters. Emails.  I am horrible.  All my long distance friends are nodding their heads.  I am hoping this will help.

I DO hope a couple of you will read our little blog 🙂  Even if you don’t I’m going to try to be faithful to do it.

I also promise to post pictures (of Hudson).  Because what is a blog without pictures, right?!  And he is the one you are in it to see right? I thought so.  Alright, until next time!

Much love.