twenty-five days of christmas crafts

By Holidays, Kids 2 Comments

it’s a goal – – simply a goal. my hope is to do a different craft every day with addy. we will see how it goes but i can tell you now i probably will forget to take pictures of every one. however, today was a great first day of december!

we started this morning by doing box #1 of the “what God wants for christmas” nativity. we did a few crafts during the day and then we ended the day doing day #1 of our really cool, new nativity advent calendar from cousins spencer and emma.

here are a few pictures from one of our crafts. i have been wanting to do this for a while based on the following facts:
1. we have a million skinny crayons
2. addy prefers to break skinny crayons than color with them
3. this is way cuter!

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i took the paper of the crayons. i started off my tearing it, which was time consuming. then i got the brilliant idea and used my craft x-acto blade and the paper came off in one piece.

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addy’s job was to break the crayons. she loved it probably because i was letting her do something i’m usually telling her not to!

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this was addy’s way of telling me it was time to take a break. tip #1 – – if you want to have a successful toddler craft time, let them take breaks when they want to. tip #2 – – don’t be task oriented! at one point we were just playing in the crayons. i am constantly reminded how kinesthetic and tactile my little girl is. <3

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here she is with her entire bowl of crayons and in desperate need of a hair clip!

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i read a few blogs that said to oil muffin tins and fill them with the crayons. it sounded difficult and i had these silicon christmas muffin pans. i didn’t oil them or anything. just fill them with any color combination you want.

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i put them in our oven (250 degrees?) for i don’t know how long. i just checked them perdiodically and took them out when the crayons were melted and water-y looking. stir them a little or a lot. if you want swirls, just stir them until they aren’t water-y. or completely blend the colors together.

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the silicon muffin pans are awesome! the crayons peel right out without any trouble. oh, let them cool for a while and you can even stick them in the fridge once they are cool to touch.

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this is just the first batch. we have more cooling as i type this. even sarah helped make some!

goodbye to our little man

By Family, Foster/Adoption, Kids 3 Comments

he came in a blur on wednesday, september twenty-second around dinnertime. he had a total of four names written on all his paperwork – – so we nicknamed him luca. he was wearing clothing for a twelve month old baby. he was so filthy, that during that first bath i wondered if maybe his skin was permanently stained with dirt. he was shell shocked and glazed and his only smile was when addy would smile at him. his first night, he woke up at least five times, screaming and crying to leave. he had no idea how to sleep in a bed or take a bath or not watch television twenty-four hours a day. it seemed like he had never brushed his teeth or used a spoon to eat. he had two words, “coke” and “chicken” (aka chicken nuggets).

then the tantrums started and an angry, nasty little boy started coming out of his shell – – or so we thought. it didn’t take much time to instead find a scared, sad, confused little boy, acting out in anger and pain. he spent more time throwing tantrums then doing anything else. we had no idea what to do with him or how to communicate with him. sometimes it felt like for every step forward we’d take three steps backwards. so we just loved him. he had no idea how to respond to steady and consistent love and care – – something that comes from not receiving consistent care during those first two years of his life. he was one of the most broken little boys we had met in a long time.

yet being a foster parent means parenting and loving a child for a length of time you can only guess. it means dying to self daily and asking the Lord to give you the strength you need to get through the day. and at the end of the day, it means not knowing when the time has come for a child to leave your home. for us, it meant having our little guy leave two months and two days after he came to live with us.

sometimes i can’t believe it was only two months. sometimes i can’t believe we actually made it two months. i can only trust the Lord that we were faithful to the assignment given to us and that we did make a difference in luca’s life. the night he left, sarah, christian and i stood around him in a circle and prayed for him. we asked the Lord to keep him safe. we asked the Lord to protect him when the court reunited him. we asked the Lord to bring Godly men and women into his life to continue to love him the way the Lord loves him.

thank you for all your support during this challenging time in our lives. we were blessed to have so many supportive family and friends willing to drop everything and lend us a helping hand. thank you in advance for the continued prayer support.

love lots,

christian, marie, sarah and addy <3 IMG_9157