The months, days, and counting to 30(1)!

LauraAll Posts

Teach your little one the months, days of the week, and how to count to 30 (or 31) with this simple tradition:

Each morning, flip through a calendar together reciting the names of the months. (During the first week or so, it might help to spice it up by having your child repeat after you with different volumes, accents, moods, etc.) Have your child “celebrate” in some way when you arrive at this month’s page, but keep going to December. Then, back on this month’s page, point to each day of the week as you sing “Sunday, Monday, Tuesday…” in any old melody that is simple and catchy. Then, using a fun pen or a doll, point to each number and count from 1 to 30 (or 31). Finally, find today’s square and have your child repeat after you, “Today is Wednesday, October 3, 2007!” while she colors in the block. Some children will be content with scribbling in the square, others may want to draw something that reflects the weather, etc.

I bet you’ll be surprised that in one- or two- month’s time, your child will know all of the months, days of the week, and numbers from 1 – 31, while having a better grasp of time (yesterday, today, tomorrow, etc.). And, if you’re anything like me, you’ll enjoy the reminder that each day is a unique gift from God, worthy of joy!

* Adapted from our darling curriculum, Learning at Home by Ann Ward

Your Toddler: Mozart?

LauraAll Posts


Here’s a simple way to encourage your toddler to compose music with you:

Do ya remember the repetitive chords to “Heart and Soul”? You know, the duet that all the kids plunked out on Aunt Gerty’s piano during every Christmas party? Well, consider it useful knowledge! You will play the bottom part of the song while your toddler plays any of the “white notes” that she wants. (For the toddler who wants to know “WHY?” simply explain that since this song is in the key of C, the white notes will sound best.) While you repeat the C, A, F, and G chords (you can even get fancy and change up the speed, etc.), your toddler will compose a beautiful melody! Actually, you could probably play a duet with your toddler using any other song in the key of C (no sharps or flats). Play on!

Jingle Bells: A peak inside

LauraAll Posts

I took a picture of the 3-D sonogram, hoping it won’t be too strange for those of you with weak stomachs… But, I wanted you to see our little baby’s face peaking through all of the amorphous protective layers! (You can click on the picture to see a larger version.)



A sobering realization… it’s this 20-week ultrasound that informs parents of any possible abnormalities so that the parents can terminate the pregnancy if desired.  May we each pray for these little children who have God-crafted faces and beauty.

jingle bells: week 21 prayers

LauraAll Posts


We had our big ultrasound today and everything about the baby looks very healthy! How timely that this week, Vivienne and I are memorizing Psalm 119: 73a “Your hands have made and fashioned me.” The fact that God is fashioning each part of this little baby is a wonder to me.

I wish I could somehow scan the ultrasound pictures into this computer so you could see how beautiful this little baby is. We have a 3-D photo of the baby’s face: a glimpse of a child with an adorable heart-shaped face, gorgeous full lips, and an adorable little nose. Family members remember how Vivienne looked like Ryan’s Gram even in ultrasound pictures… ‘just wait until you see how this baby looks like my dad (and me, I must admit! But mostly my sister Julie… how’d she get in there?!) I’m just amazed that God is so good to give us these perfect gifts… His hands weave and weave and weave…

Continue to pray for the baby to grow in strength, physically and spiritually. The baby will be able to hear and discern my voice any day now; pray that all of the words that I say are edifying to this little one.

(As for the gender, we decided not to find out; though the baby did provide the perfect pose, convincing me that we’re having a boy! and convincing Ryan that we’re having a girl! SO, we’re stuck in the mystery for 19 more weeks…)

Vivienne’s September Reward

LauraAll Posts

For earning stickers each day that filled her “September apple,” Vivienne was rewarded with the opportunity to walk her favorite neighborhood dog, Amber, around the block. She earned stickers each day as we recited the months, sang the days of the week, counted each day, and did little arts and crafts. (I was thrilled to come up with a reward that didn’t entail candy or toys… but now I can’t think of anything for October! If you have any brilliant ideas, please pass them along.)


She is ready to go!



Amber and Viv smile happily after our autumn walk around the block.



“The Greatest Bug Show On Earth”

LauraAll Posts

This morning, we meandered over to the PSU Ag. Arena for The Great Insect Fair. Vivienne had quite the buzzing time petting a millipede, holding a walking stick, having a butterfly-ed cheek, decorating a grasshopper-head on a stick (naturally), dancing to some live music about bugs, and enjoying some “bug” ice cream. If we had been more adventurous, you would see pictures of us sampling the chocolate-covered cockroaches and the mealy worm egg rolls (a bug-enthusiast’s haven). In more than one way, this event perfectly correlated with the Scripture that Vivienne and I memorized this week: “These all wait for you, that you may give them their food in due season.” Psalm 104:27.

dscf2883.jpg              dscf2895.jpg            dscf2901.jpg            dscf2905.jpg             dscf2912.jpg

forbearance: part 2 in 3 parts

LauraAll Posts

Musing 1: My mom had mentioned that “forbearance” reminds her of St. Christopher, the Patron Saint of Safe Travel. His name means “Christ-bearer”; what we Christians do on this planet. Here are three different depictions of St. Christopher’s relationship with the Christ child. I’m reminded of how we, in strong and weak moments, are to put on the Lord Jesus Christ.




How could the man in these pictures forget that life is about Jesus? May my intimacy with Christ be as tangible. This could be the heartbeat of forbearance.

Musing 2: As I’ve been meditating about forbearance, I’ve also been reminded of Saul’s impatience with and jealous of David. Saul became a mess of a murderer because he could not forbear David; he could not tolerate their God-ordained differences. How different Saul’s life would have been if he had stepped back and remembered that life was not about himself – not even about “Saul vs. David” – but about Jesus Christ being glorified (and I do believe that OT believers had a unique type of revelation about the person of Jesus Christ).

Musing 3: Which also reminds me of the beloved ending of Tolkien’s The Hobbit

After an adventure-of-a-lifetime being “the hero,” finding a long-lost treasure, and pursuing justice, Bilbo listens as Gandalf reveals that meanwhile, all over the realm, rulers and kingdoms have been shifting and moving. New – and good – Masters have come to rule, people and elves have been freed, ancient prophecies have proved true. Bilbo comes to the dual-realization that although his part was a part of all of this, it was only a small part of all of this; he is astonished.

“Then the prophecies of the old songs have turned out to be true, after a fashion!” said Bilbo.

“Of course!” said Gandalf. “And why should not they prove true? Surely you don’t disbelieve the prophecies, because you had a hand in bringing them about yourself? You don’t really suppose, do you, that all your adventures and escapes were managed by mere luck, just for your sole benefit? You are a very fine person, Mr. Baggins, and I am very fond of you; but you are only quite a little fellow in a wide world after all!”

“Thank goodness!” said Bilbo laughing, and handed him the tobacco-jar.

Q: What Can You Buy For a $20 Co-Pay?

LauraAll Posts

A: 2 minutes of a doctor’s time to reassure you that your child just has a little bit of dry skin and not a rare disease caused by too many jelly beans and a dusty floor.

Priceless.  (Especially when your daughter sticks her bottom lip out during the entire doctor’s visit — for real — because she thinks she should “look the part.”  I have no clue where she gets her knack for the dramatic.)