activities – shapes puzzle

oh, melissa & doug, how i loveth thee!

my mother-in-law picked up two puzzles for caleb a few months ago and we LOVE them!  especially this colorful one! the age range on the package said for ages 2 and up, but i figured i would introduce it to him and talk about the colors and shapes, etc.  if nothing else, it was something new to look at and enjoy for a few minutes.

little did i know that he would master matching all of the shapes by age 16 months!

there are definitely different stages of learning to this puzzle which is why i love it so much.

stage 1 – matching colors/sorting/fine motor skills

stage 2 – vocabulary of shapes and colors

and this is why i love melissa & doug products so much.  we will probably have this as an activity each week until he masters stage 2 which will be several months!  at this age, they are growing and learning quickly and you have to find things that aren’t too challenging and not too easy to hold their attention.  this puzzle is, by far, one of the activities that keeps his attention the longest.

we’re all pretty proud when he completes it.

melissa & doug puzzles and activities are more expensive because they are handmade and wooden, but they are so worth it!


confessions of a mom brain chapter 6

for the month of july, we only had one car.

i loved it.  we used less gas and lived a simpler life.

dane would take it to work because he leaves at 5:30am and caleb told me he just couldn’t do 5:30 in the morning anymore.  he said his newborn days were over and he was a growing boy who needed his sleep and could i please pass him his buddy bear.

i, naturally, told dane how devastated i was, but it was in caleb’s best interest if we just stayed home all day without a car.

and sleep in until 7.

anywho, we had a pretty good routine down that month of when i would run errands, etc.

groceries were on sunday afternoons.  after church.  and after cutting coupons in the sunday paper.

no matter how cranky the kids were in the nursery at church (rightly named ‘the zoo’) or how well caleb napped that afternoon i was guaranteed at least 1 hour of uninterrupted freedom in the aisles of my kroger.  i mean, someone’s gotta get the food, right?

i loved this routine.  i could compare prices.  i could look at ingredients. i could change up my menu for the week if i wanted without a toddler grabbing and eating my entire shopping list.  dane would greet me at home by grabbing bags of groceries and help me put things away.

it was bliss.

then we went back to two cars and grocery shopping got moved back to mondays.

monday grocery shopping includes caleb and requires no less than 3 sets of hands.

monday grocery shopping has been known to stress me out.

but, three days ago monday grocery shopping went so well i thought i would never miss sunday grocery shopping ever again.

that is, until i drove away leaving my purse in someone else’s buggy.

when the front desk clerk handed me my purse (after i re-parked, unbuckled caleb, and sprinted back into the store) i said, “at least i got the baby this time” trying to use humor to cover up my own humiliation.

he just stared and as i turned to head out the door i’m pretty sure i saw him pick up the phone and call CPS.



road to adoption

“Hello Mr. and Mrs. Henson, I wanted to let you know that we have processed your application…”

we are officially beginning the process to becoming foster parents.  our training is the last two weeks of october where we will find out lots more about the process.  our prayer is that we become ‘active’ around the time that caleb is two.  we will wait on the Lord and His plan and see how he changes our hearts through everything.
so, we’re having another baby.

not exactly the way i thought it would be happening.

i won’t be with child.

no need for picking out biblical names.

the nursery will have to be yellow.  or green.  or yellow and green.

not robots. or whimsical themes.

no party to celebrate the arrival. whenver that will be.

no birth plan.

the only thing i have to show we are ‘expecting’ is a million documents and e-mails.

it’s just different this time around.

and it’s awesome.

this is what God is teaching me.

to lay it all down.

the selfishness of seeking attention.

the anxiety of not knowing the sex. or temperament.

the desire to want material things.

the lack of trust in His placement of His children.

the impatience through the training process.

He is teaching me to love parenting.

all of parenting.

not just the exciting times pregnancy may bring.

i don’t need Jesus + pregnancy to be a loving, godly parent.

i just need Jesus.





too much

there are so many things i want to write about, i think my head might explode.

i think i will start with some links.

like this one titled “after the airport”.  it’s about home life after adoption…just a glimpse into the trauma a little girl from ethiopa faces each day and how a mom handles it all.   i love how she says “You cannot just be into adoption to adopt; you have to be into parenting.”

and this one titled “the truth about marital compatibility”. really great advice for singles and married alike on how to keep a holy marriage.

“I don’t want my children to be happy” is an old one from one of my favorite blogs.  i just recently found it because i wasn’t following her back in february of 2010.  holiness over happiness has been my theme since i became a mom…wish i would have learned it sooner, like, when i got married! ha!

things are about to get crazy and i want to write down all the current crazy so i don’t forget them before i forget to write down the future crazy.

we dropped the morning nap last week so there is even less time for me to sit and write and add photos, etc.  which is fine by me.  when i choose to blog during his one nap, the laundry stays put in the dryer, the dishes stay in the sink, and the comforter in our bedroom stays on the floor.  which is fine by me.  e-mails go unreturned. facebook gets deactivated (well, pretty much), and phone calls are ignored. which is fine by me.

because now i get a once-a-day napping toddler who kisses me on demand, hugs me, babbles at me, and tries to help me sweep his graham cracker crumbs off the floor…with a regular sized broom.  i get a full hour of cuddle time in the mornings because he is now old enough to watch sesame street on the couch while i do my bible study.  i get to plan activities that involve matching colors, fine motor skills, and language development and see his growing mind in action!

this is my lot in life.

and it’s not always ‘fine by me’, but today it is.

each day i get up and i think about the once-a-day napping toddler who will no doubt cry when i change his diaper, somehow find a time when i have left the door to the bathroom open and splash in the toilet, continue to push me while i make lunch, get peanut butter in his ears and on my couch (even though i KNOW i cleaned his hands), and push the power button on the xbox 4 billion times even though i tell him not to.

and some days i think about doing this for the next 5-10 years, depending on how many kids we have, and i get overwhelmed to the point of not wanting to get out of bed. ever.

and it’s on those days that i ask myself “can i do this? just for today, can i do this and enjoy it?”

yes, yes i can.

Lord, change my heart towards motherhood.  give me the strength to love caleb well and to do things without grumbling or questioning.  amen.

and now for some regularly scheduled photos of the day after his 2nd haircut.  the boy was getting shaggy!  and now he’s clean cut and just as handsome as ever! and such a big boy sitting in his chair all by himself!

now, not everyone all at once as we don’t want to wake all the sleeping babies, but “AWWWW” is most definitely appropriate for this next photo.

(you see that bottom left tooth? thaaaat’s a molar and he’s cut two more just like it in the past two weeks!)

fall list

throughout the summer, i saw so many “fun summer lists” floating around some of my favorite blogs.  i think it is such a great idea because i love lists!  and also because it would be really fun for my family. 🙂

and i get it, the summer is when most kids are out of school, the days are longer, and things run a bit slower, but in texas the summer isn’t the best time to be getting out.

that’s why i’ve made a fall list.  things that i’m looking forward to doing in the cooler weather.  and because caleb is a bit older and can appreciate family outings a bit more.


1. visit the zoo

2. carve pumpkins

3. go camping

4. s’mores birthday party

5. walk to the park.

6. attend the air show

7. picnic at the botanic gardens (does anyone else want to spell picnic with a ‘k’. no, just me?)

what else should go on my fall list?  have you made one?