Thursday, February 14, 2013

Gramm's Book Party

Gramm and I began working through the book Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons roughly two years ago. There were quite a bit more than 100 lessons taught and they were not all easy. As a reward for finishing the book, I promised Gramm that we would have a "book party" to celebrate. He finished the book last year right around the time we sold our house and were too busy to partay. So, tonight the long awaited book party came to pass.
 The guests of honor, L to R, John Isaac, Jonathan, Gramm, my nephew and niece.

Each child was asked to bring their favorite book with a passage ready to read to the group. My niece started us out reading from Anne of Avonlea. I did not get to snap a pic of her sweet self because things were a little cray at that moment (i.e. twin girls and baby boy wanted in on the action).
 John Isaac read from Scout and did an excellent job. Dude is gifted.
 Sweet Brooklyn and Vivi had to be included. I read one of Vivian's fave Bearenstain Bears books and then Brook "read" this silly Elmo book that she loves that is roughly 15 years old.
 Jonathan read a passage from this book and had everyone laughing. It was quite funny. Jonathan is somewhat of a ham and fills my house with the sounds of his made-up songs on many occasions.
 My smart and handsome nephew read from Silmarillion. The passage he chose was beautiful and he read it in his sweet, clear voice and I almost cried. Hubby listened in on this one and was also struck by the sweetness. This boy is so precious!
 Gramm read from Go, Dog, Go! He loves that book, especially the dog party at the end. He is truly a child after my extroverted heart.
 Then, I let the kiddos make their very own pizzas. Most of them were heart shaped. I love this girl's smile in this pic. She is a lot of fun and made me laugh more than once during the evening. She is also very sweet and has a great little personality.
 I made this cake for the party earlier in the week. It's a heart shaped, four layer Chocolate Fudge Cake from the Southern Living 1983 cookbook. I died. I DIED. This cake was a huge hit.

I love these silly faces! And, I love that Gramm included his sisters in his book party. At first he was hesitant, but he did not complain one time during the evening about their presence. When we were making our own pizzas, I paired Brooklyn with Jonathan and Vivian with my nephew and the boys were HUGELY helpful. Both of these boys have tender little souls and were very kind to the girls and did not get frustrated with them one bit.

All in all, the party was a huge hit. I am thankful for the opportunity to be able to teach Gramm how to read, but also to really be able to enter into the celebration of his accomplishments which is something I hope to do throughout his life.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Warm Weather and Good Books

The kids and I have been enjoying some unseasonably warm weather. We've taken almost daily walks and gone to the park several times. Getting outside and seeing my kids enjoy being outside brings me joy.

Speaking of joy, I am reading two great books right now that are chipping away at my guilt-ridden heart and bringing more peace and joy into my life and consequently, our home. Fit to Burst by Rachel Jankovic is a great book for mamas everywhere. Rachel is mom to six young kids and this book is a not-too-long, gospel-centered look at mothering. Get it, people. She also wrote Loving the Little Years which is another amazing book for moms of little ones. And, she has TWINS. Serious street cred right there y'all.

At my hubby's suggestion, I am also reading Desiring God by John Piper. I am barely into chapter one and it is rocking my world. Enjoy God? Accept the fact that I am pardoned from sin? Actually stop trying to pay for my mistakes (repeatedly at times)? What?! I don't know if I can do this. Either way, I am trying. I long to understand grace and feel it to the depths of my toes. I have prayed those exact words more than once. (And as an aside, can I just say that I LOVE John Piper. Truly. He just gets it.)

One more little thing I am enjoying is the Mom's One Line a Day Journal. The journal is set up so that you write one line a day for five years. I bought this last year and wrote a line most days of the year. It is super quick and so much fun. I love looking back at last year. So many milestones in 2012: selling our old house, buying a new one, saying goodbye to our first foster son, and welcoming into our home our baby boy who we hope to adopt in the near future. It was a great year and I am grateful for the ability to jot down my memories of these days with my little crew.

Happy Weekend!