Halloween Contemplations of a Christian Mama

As a Christian, I consider every year the pros and cons of celebrating Halloween. On the one hand, I have so many good and fun memories of Halloween as a child and even now see it as an enjoyable, imaginative event. But I am also not so fond of the scary stuff and the gruesome, evil things it can sometimes 'celebrate'. And so I think its my responsibility, especially as a parent, to evaluate what our family's motives are in participating. This year I came across an article which I feel sums up my thoughts and feelings about Halloween well. This paragraph in particular:

Many of the ideas and rituals that have contributed to the Halloween mish-mash aren’t congruent with our beliefs. However, setting aside times to remember or honor those we love that have passed away (hopefully to be with our Savior Jesus) is not a bad idea. [Referring to "All Saints'/Souls' Day"] On a less somber note, wearing Spider-man costumes, making funny faces on vegetables, and engaging in neighborhood activities where one can both give and receive hospitality is not something we oppose. Fictional fantasy tales of monsters and elves even scary ones are not wholly inappropriate either, whether punctuated on this particular weekend or sprinkled throughout the year in classic tales from authors including Tolkien and Lewis. We regard Halloween as a second-hand issue and ask that every Christian examine their response to the modern-day Halloween celebration in our culture.

http://blog.marshillchurch.org/2009/10/29/the-history-of-halloween-revisted/

I encourage you to read the whole article, especially if you are a Christian struggling with the good and the bad of October 31st. Considering that today is Reformation Day too, I add the words of Martin Luther "to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. Here I stand, I can do no other, so help me God. Amen. " Whatever your stance may be on the whole Halloween issue, be sure it is one that does not go against conscience.

As a side note, this year did give me a great opportunity to talk to my three year old about how powerful God is. The scary things she saw this Halloween at the stores or while trick or treating provided the perfect chance to teach her about how God protects her because he is stronger and bigger and more powerful then any frightening thing!

"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you." (Deuteronomy 31:6)

Thoughts From A Deviled Egg

Tonight we had a Halloween party for our family! Everyone got dressed up and joined us at our house for some sweets and an overall good time! Our family is so great and such a joy to be around! I love having the opportunity to make memories for the girls with all those who love them most!

But as I was running around today trying to get everything ready, Matt asked, "Why do you do this to yourself?!" Admittedly, I probably did look like a chicken running around with her head chopped off but I was in the zone! Some of you will understand what I mean but for those of you who don't, it means that I'm totally focused on what has to get done for the party. So anything that interupts that causes frustration and/or irritability. Now don't get me wrong. I'm not a monster when this happens just, as Matt puts it, "a little more stressed out then usual" (ie. 'your never stressed out so this is weird!')

Anyways, back to his question - why? And to be honest its because I love it. I love being able to get my creative juices flowing and then after all the planning and preparing to watch it all pull together! It is so gratifying to see everyone enjoy their time with us, chatting and laughing and eating! Piper was so pround of the Halloween banners she had made and the cookies we had baked together for the occasion. Both girls soaked in the attention they were getting and the joy of all the hubbub surrounding them. Memories were made. Fun was had. Family was together, enjoying each others company.

 So at the end of the day the answer is - because it is worth it.

A goldfish
A penguin













A hippy
A deviled egg


























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Sweet Success!

The candy apples I make are not difficult...they're made from the good ol' box mix you find at the grocery store. But last year I had a bit of a problem...namely, my inattention...and ended up with sticky candy apple candy all over my stove! It was a very sad moment especially since it meant I had to miss out on my yearly batch of Halloween candy apples.

But this year - sweet success! This time I only worked on 2 other things instead of 10. (What can I say, I'm a multitasker! Sometimes to my own detriment...) For me, Halloween is not complete without candy apples! I love how they look and most of all how they taste!!! And now I have a whole batch ready for our Halloween party tonight!


We also carved our pumpkins last night. I love seeing the kids reactions each year as they plunge their hands into the guts! Talk about a shock to the system! Piper acted like an old pro, digging right in and helping me empty the pumpkin. Taitum, on the other hand, was very enthusiastic at first but after squeezing the innards in her hands and squishing it with her feet, she walked away in disgust! Hahaha!

There is one thing I have learned about carving pumpkins with kids - you have to be quick and efficient. Empty and scrape that pumpkin like your life depends on it and by golly, no fancy schmancy designs! Their attention is SO SHORT! I'm sure over time this will change but for now, there is a need for speed!




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Early Potty Training

I have recently been coming across many articles on Elimination Communication. This is basically 'infant potty training' except that it is you as a parent responding to the cues of your child the same way as you do when they are hungry. Thats right - the newborn baby doesn't wear a diaper!!! They 'go potty' from the very beginning! At first, I didn't believe it. Then as I continued to read about it, the more it made sense and now I just find it down right intriguing! I'm not sure if it is something I will ever attempt but it has led me to believe that just maybe our children can be trained earlier then what we think.

As well, I've read bits and pieces of 'The Baby Whisperer' by Tracy Hogg in which she advocates early potty training being easier and better for both parent and child.

So today I bought a potty for my 13 month old (Its smaller and more apporpriate then the one we had for Piper) and I'm going to give it a whirl! Who knows what will come of this early attempt but I do know I have a little girl on my hands who is VERY interested in her sister's trips to the bathroom. Why not take advantage of that? Plus, I'd like to use some of the methods they use with EC while incorporating baby signs. I found this article that suggested that using signs aids in the whole potty training adventure!
http://www.ehow.com/about_6372391_baby-sign-language-potty-training.html

Time will tell how this will all turn out but I'm excited to try! I'll keep you posted!



Taitum was so excited about her first time on a potty! (Yes, this is a happy/goofy face NOT a screaming/get me off of this thing face!)

Following her sister's example <3

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Think Happy Thoughts!

Today could have been a pretty awful day. A teething baby who cried much of the day, a 3 year old with a cold who spent the night coughing so was not quite up to par, a mama who's not feeling so great herself and a grey, rainy day can easily turn into a textbook 'bad day'. But instead it was pretty good. First of all, I had visitors! Having other people to talk to makes the slowest, crummiest day fly by and a whole lot happier especially when they are some of your favorites! But secondly, I have this little trick that comes in real handy when my day tries to point me down a road of pessimism! Its very simple really. I keep recalling a memory that makes me smile. So today, when I had one child clinging to me crying and another eating her snotty boogers while complaining that her nose hurts, I reflected on the happenings of a few days ago....

Piper and Taitum were playing together in the living room as I was cooking supper. They had found their Daddy's favorite hat and were taking turns putting it on and laughing hysterically at each other. They came out to show me and I laughed with them and took some pictures of their silliness. When it was Taitum's turn to wear the hat, Piper hooted, "Look, Mama! Taitum is a boy!" We made a big deal of how funny and crazy that was and then I went back to what I was doing in the kitchen. The girls continued to play their new found game and I listened in to their chatter. Suddenly, I heard Piper yell to Taitum, "Man! Good girl, man! Good girl!"

And so the smile that I had on my face in that moment, graced my face once again and made me thankful for how the good times make the bad ones much more bearable!



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The Frustrating Thing about Colors

This year I have started a preschool homeschool program with Piper. This involves spending roughly an hour in the morning reading books that are part of the Sonlight P3/4 curriculum and learning things like numbers, alphabet, shapes, colors, catechism and memory Bible verses. Throughout the day we also do other activities together related to what we read that morning whether it be a craft, cooking, an activity or an outting. So far its been a load of fun and so exciting to watch my little girl learn! Initially, I had planned to not concentrate on such things as alphabet and numbers. I felt we had lots of time to get into that and don't really feel pressure for her to be able to speel off such things. More then anything I want her to be a kid and discover the world around her and play and try new things. BUT little Miss Independant started picking up on letters and wanted to know more. She will sit and draw the letter 'P' until the whole page is filled! After a while I realized this was an interest of hers and, well, that's part of the reason I'm homeschooling - so we can follow her interests and build on them at her pace. I found a site with free curriculum on it - Brightly Beaming - which goes through all such topics a week at a time. We've been following this for a few weeks now and its been wonderful .... except for this frustrating thing about colors!

I guess I had realized before now that Piper had trouble identifying her colors but it became that much clearer as we went through the curriculum. I don't move on to a new letter, number, shape or color until I'm sure she knows the ones before it. And despite advancing in everything else the colors catergory is at a standstill. We are still at green. Green, green, GREEN! After a couple of weeks of daily asking her what color this is and getting every answer except green, I was a bit concerned! How can she remember everything else and not one simple color?? Is she color blind? Or does this point to some other problem? She can match colors well so I didn't think color blindness was a possibility. But I started looking for some answers.

Thankfully, I came across this article:

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=why-johnny-name-colors

What a relief! The issue is mostly a language one. Needless to say we now are careful to say "Your dress is yellow" rather then "You're wearing a yellow dress"! And I am not quite so worried anymore. Not just because of the article but also because of a color game Piper and I made up together. It is very simple yet efficient. She loves playing it so we play often and slowly but surely she is learning her colors.

Oh, and pink is her favorite! ;)

Our color game:

First, you pick a square form the bucket. (No peeking!)








What color is it?




If you don't know what color he is, square is sad because...

He can't go home :(



But if you know that the square is red then...



He is HAPPY because he gets to go home!


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Cafe Archibald

Every few months my hubby, Matt, and I like to get away. Its nice to leave life as we know it behind and just be us again, even for one day. Don't get me wrong - we LOVE our life together with our kids and jobs and responsibilities but sometimes its good to just enter your own little bubble where there is no one in the world but the 2 of you. So this past weekend thats what we did. But, alas, this post is not so much about our getaway as it is about where we dined - Cafe Archibald.

I've seen this place a few times when in Moncton and always thought it looked very cute (mostly b/c of the snails on the sign...).






Knowing we'd be in Moncton this weekend, I did my homework and checked the online reviews of the place and they were GOOD! Not only that, but the menu sounded like it was right up our alley!


So after a full day of shopping, off we went to fill our empty bellies. The restaurant itself is a renovated house and very quaint. Its is not a very big restaurant but big enough especially if you don't have issues with sitting close to other people while you eat. You can see the chefs making the food in an open kitchen. I don't like this (I don't care if you wipe your nose while making my food but I'd rather not know about it!) so i sat with my back to the kitchen. Matt, on the other hand, likes to be the lookout and announce when our food is coming. Needless, to say our seating arrangement was perfect!


Now time for the big decision...what to order?? I decided I wanted a dessert crepe for dessert so chose pizza rather then a dinner crepe. But not just any pizza...Egyptian pizza!! Topped with hummus, artichokes, olives and feta, this pizza screamed my name! And with a greek salad on the side, my meal couldn't have been any more perfect!


Matt was quite alright with having a crepe for dinner and dessert so he ordered the Mediterranean Crepe with a side house salad. I did a little taste test and can account for the fact that it was AMAZING!


We were both absolutely impressed with our meals! And you know what the past part was? We didn't go away feeling grossly full or disgustingly greasy! Wait...that may be the second best part....the BEST part was having room to enjoy this.....


That's right! An Apple and Skor Crepe with Caramel Sauce and Vanilla Ice Cream! I can't even describe how good this was!

As you can tell, we had a great experience at Cafe Archibald! The only negative was that the service wasn't nearly as good as the food. But it was very busy so perhaps it was just a bad night for our waitress. All in all, it was a lovely place to share a 'romantic' meal with my man and added to the enjoyment of being away from normal life! We'll definitely be back again!




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And so it begins...

I'm a little bit excited about this...post #1 of my first ever blog!!! I know. You're thinking 'no big deal', right? But for me this has been a long time coming. Life always just seemed to get in the way of starting something so time consuming as a blog. But like anything in life, the longer you do it the easier it becomes. Motherhood and domestic life have become a whole lot more manageable and not so drastic of a learning curve. And along the way I've come to discover how valuable a blog is! I find so many amazing resources on other people's blogs and various websites - why not add some of my own discoveries! One of the great things about being a stay-at-home mom is that you get to dabble in so many different things. You have the ability to build your own day and decide what you want to put your energy and interest into. And so whether it be new domestic discoveries, culinary creations, parenting possibilities, schooling secrets or artsy adventures (to name a few), I'll be talking about it here! Hope you enjoy my crazy life as much as I do!




Finally, here a few photos to introduce you to my sweet girls on their pumpkin hunting expedition today!


Piper Grey



Taitum Jubilee
Sisters

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I love motherhood.

We're a smiling family.

I'm a covenant keeper.

I love my husband.

I am above self pity.

I am a nation builder.

Motherhood=Adventure

Worth more than rubies.


“I am more convinced than ever that even in the midst of the mundane, burdensome, and oftentimes frustrating tasks of life allotted to me as a mother, God wants me to find his joy. He wants every single day of my life to be a celebration of his blessings, whether large or small. He wants me to celebrate life ~ the life He has given me.”

~ Sally Clarkson







My Hubby

My Hubby
He's my bestest.

Piper

Piper
She is my compassionate, dramatic, fun to be around 6 year old. She loves to shop, get dressed up fancy and anything else that screams girly!

Taitum

Taitum
She is my goofy, snuggly 4 year old who loves to sing and dance and smile all day long!

Renly

Renly
She is our one year old smarty pants! She does all she can to keep up with her older sisters and to keep them in line!

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