Sunday, July 31, 2011

still small voice vs. loud shout

  do you ever have one of those days, or in my instance a life where you find yourself saying, "oh i have to remember to _________ " fill in the blank here. i am constantly saying this and then not remembering to do whatever is in the blank, until either way later on, or in some instances, it's too late.
  while rearranging my daughter's room, i put her turtle night light on a small plastic chair near the wall outlet until i could think of a better place for it. i never though of a better place for it and i'm not even sure that i even tried to.
  last week while cleaning up the kitchen after dinner i noticed she was abnormally absent and it was very quiet in the house. this could really only mean trouble. i snuck down the hall to find her playing on her bedroom floor with her dolls and i got all emotional thinking about how big she was getting so quickly.
  back in the kitchen and only a few minutes later she came running in crying about her finger. i asked her to show me what had happened and instead of showing me her finger she ran back to her room. that's when i saw her turtle night light on the floor taken apart. at first i thought she was just sad that the turtle's shell had come off but then quickly noticed how hot the small 15 watt light bulb was under the shell.
  i checked her finger and sure enough it was red but not burnt - thankfully! we ran cold water over the boo-boo finger and i told her not to touch the turtle again. and ya know what i did? i reminded myself to find a safer spot for it and i put it back together and back on the small plastic chair.
  the next day we had family over a good part of the day. after everyone had left and we were cleaning up the toys, i noticed a burning type of smell in her room. immediately i checked for the turtle night light. it was where i left it but as i leaned closer and breathed in deeply i could tell the burning smell was coming from that night light.
  squeezing the clamps and removing the shell this is what i found:

   the wattage label had been slid up around the bulb and had started to melt. i'm betting this was part of little gracie's exploring her turtle night light yesterday.
  it felt like my heart had jumped out of my body as i realized how foolish i had been to, let's face it, ignore that still small voice that kept quietly reminded me to move that night light for months.
  not only did i not move it yesterday after gracie got a slight burn but how close were we to a near catastrophe! maybe i'm being a little over-thoughtful here but this probably could have been prevented and perhaps even turned off when not needed. this could have turned into a bad situation had it caught fire, especially while we were all asleep, in our beds! a fire in my daughters room! i was a mess over this yet very thankful that this is all that happened. and angry that i had been so lazy not to have taken care of this all those other times i had thought about it. that still small voice reminding me time and time again, nicely to move that night light. i am so very thankful He was still only reminding me, only this time in a much louder voice.
  is this what it takes to get my attention? am i too busy to hear and respond right away? too going-going-going that even though i hear, i forget, and right away? or that i just simply ignore? yikes! i don't want to have a fire to get my attention. 
  moral of the story? if their is something that i need to do, i need to just do it right away. to listen to that still small voice before it becomes a loud shout. while i'm thinking about it, i'm gonna go check all the fire alarms in the house too. right now while i'm thinking about, not putting it on the back burner to forget about - no pun intended! 
  thank you Lord for all those quiet reminders and thank you for waking me up to recognize the importance of those quiet whispers of "hey you need to __________" fill in the blank. even if it took a loud shout to get my attention, it really could have been much worse and i am so very thankful that it wasn't. 


Thursday, July 14, 2011

the old made new; a tutorial

  we've had this old baby wipes container with an ever growing number of broken crayons in it for years now. gracie has just started learning colors. digging around to find as many red crayons as we could, only to find their were tons, but were very small and mostly broken, was a little disheartening. sure we have nice new crayons with nice sharp points. the regular sized ones and the jumbo ones, stored away. why you ask? because i am that mom who says "no! you can't have any more until you finish what you've already got on your plate" ...wait... maybe that's the dinner table, but you get the point, right? so here's what we did to make the old crayons new again...
  first separated the colors:
second peeled the papers off all the crayons:
third, make a hot water bath. i rummaged through the recycle bin and grabbed out some used cans. they had already been washed because we keep our bin outside the kitchen door and i don't want to lure any wild, country critters up to the house. i placed the cans in some shallow boiling water and dropped in the crayons. i kept the colors separate because these will be gracie's big jumbo-jumbo crayons to learn her colors by. you can just as easily mix the colors and make "rainbow" crayons which is also very fun.
fourth i had used and washed yogurt cups ready and waiting for the hot melted crayon wax, and no, the crayon wax didn't get hot enough to melt the plastic yogurt cups. in fact, even with the hot water bath bubbling, the crayon wax didn't get hot enough to burn my fingers, i know cuz i spilt some on myself - yep, leave it to me :)
thankfully i had the foresight of knowing just how clumsy i can be and poured the hot wax over my cutting board, cuz this happened...
the cool thing about hot wax is that once it cools you can easily pick or scrap it off most surfaces
the wax sure did look pretty as it melted
as it melted i poured it into the yogurt cups. if you're going to make the "rainbow" crayons your gonna want to do it in layers pouring one color and letting it harden before you poor another color over top.
once the melted crayon wax was all poured into their cups i placed them on a cooling rack in the fridge. mostly because i needed the counter space and i was a little concerned that curious hands would be "checking" on them when mommy wasn't helping. but of coarse it would have hardened out on the counter just as well.
here are some pictures of the different shapes we got from different containers.
and sure enough, they still work! good as new, except their old, made new = even better =)
i got this idea out of a super great book called the toddler's busy book 365 creative games and activities to keep your 1 1/2 - 3 - year - old busy by trish kuffner. if you have a toddler, check out your local library, chances are they have it there. but i'm telling you, this is a book you'll want to have in your collection, it's that good!
2 corinthians 5:17 therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!

p.s. here's a few pictures of gracie enjoying her new - old crayons. yes, they make nice "stacking blocks" too!

and what do ya know? they ended up back in the same baby wipes container that they started this project in! hee hee!! at least their's a lot less of them =D

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

gracie turned 2!?!

  july 5th 2011 my baby turned 2! i knew this day was coming but come on! it just happened out of no where! seriously, i feel like i just blinked after giving birth and here we are!
  it was a  busy day full of mommy cleaning and coaxing the newly 2 year old and her older brother who is 4 1/2 (note to self, he will be 5 in 3 short months) to join in on cleaning up around the house, making it seem unrealistically neat and tidy. really? shouldn't we have been playing in celebration all day long, wild and full of laughter? who was i kidding? any one who knows me, knows i am not this neat and tidy! but still, it just seemed it had to be done.
  i had invited only family at first then realised it was the day after the 4th of july (the same big holiday it followed last year) and worried many people wouldn't be able to come. quickly i invited a few extra. thankfully tons of people came!
 ya know how a labrador retriever gets all excited when new people come to visit? their whole bodies have a tendency to wiggle with every wag of their tail for 15-20 minutes of a new persons arrival. their delight is so evident in their every step they usually get banned outside or to a crate in a quite room until they can settle down.
 that was me! all night!  i was the crazy excited labrador retriever who couldn't settle down, only no one banned me to a crate in a quiet room to settle down - thankfully.
  i'm sure i looked as crazy excited as i felt - but it didn't matter because my baby was suddenly 2 and where did the time go? could i recount each and every day the way i wished i could? did i spend them listening to her laugh and sing and teaching her to count and learn colors the way i did her older brother? or did i allow life to over whelm me at times and tell her 'mommy can't read just right now' or 'gracie-girl, your getting big, mommy can't hold you for as long anymore'?  will she have a first memory of fun with the family or of mommy ripping her and a feisty (but loving) older brother apart and separating them until they could settle down? (maybe i should get a dog crate - lol! ) and really, is one memory any different then the other? (i guess only if it means the children will be sitting in a dog crate - lol!.)
   this one life, two years lived and i am still momma in the birthing room with questioned look of shock "what just happened" after giving birth. i want to go back and slow down time and savour each and every moment. not just to do better in mothering but to do better in remembering the moments, staying in each moment, recording each moment. seeing and tasting that the Lord is so good, all the time, in all the many different moments.
  i couldn't even sing the whole happy birthday song, coking a little as the hot lump in my throat got too big, watching my baby turn into a small girl. all too soon she will be off in the world and asking me not to call and bother her so often.
 Lord, may i choose every day, in every moment to point her to You. may i seek You in all so that i can show her as much of You as i can. may i be the parent You need me to be so that she may grow to be the young lady she can be in You.
                           happy birthday gracie girl - i love you so much!!