Gift Ideas: 2 Year Olds

Gift Ideas: 2 Year Olds

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The holidays are approaching and the gift giving season will be here before we know it! I've shared already how we keep our spending in check during the holiday season but before you start spending the money you've budgeted you need to have an idea of what to spend it on! 

This year we have two two-year-old boys to shop for in our own family plus a nephew that will be two in early spring. We've also had three other kids turn two in our parenting years ;) What are our go-to toys? What do we recommend time after time? 

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Three Word Wednesday: Accept Your Lot

I've been spending my mornings in Ecclesiastes and every day I'm reminded why I love this book so much. Solomon is filled with such wisdom and his words ring true, even thousands of years later. I am frequently coming across verses and passages that affirm my reason behind this blog - to find joy in the every day moments of life. Not in the big, fancy, extravagant, or well planned moments but the simple, lovely, normal moments. 

Even so, I have noticed one thing, at least, that is good. It is good for people to eat, drink, and enjoy their work under the sun during the short life God has given them, and to accept their lot in life. And it is a good thing to receive wealth from God and the good health to enjoy it. To enjoy your work and accept your lot in life — this is indeed a gift from God. God keeps such people so busy enjoying life that they take no time to brood over the past.
— Ecclesiastes 5:18-20, NLT

Have you accepted your life as a gift from God or do you find yourself dreaming of more? Of what he has or what she is doing? I'm not saying dreaming of the future is wrong, I don't believe planning and working towards goals is wrong at all. But are they achievable dreams or are they fantasies that are taking you away from the here and now? I certainly don't want to turn around one day and realize that I've wished away my life pining after something I will never have. 

I will admit that I struggle with this sometimes. I do often dream of big houses with double or triple our current square footage. I look at house plans and houses currently on the market to see what I like and don't like. I want to have a larger home because there is a good chance that our five children will each marry (then there are 10) and have children (I can't even begin to think how many grandkids we could have!) and our little house will never hold everyone for a meal or family gathering. We have trouble fitting all of us when one set of grandparents comes to visit! But focusing on these big houses with their wide open layouts and price tags that are astronomical is no way to spend my day. Instead I can be a good steward of the home God has blessed us with and be smart with our finances so that in the future we might afford a larger home (but probably not the ones I'm looking at). 

These early years of parenting are rough. I got pooped on three times yesterday by the potty training twin boys. The girl goes back and forth between smothering us with kisses and screaming that we are not to talk to her. It's easy to think about the years to come when they all know how to wipe their own butts or can verbalize their emotions a little better. But every age comes with a struggle. Almost as soon as you are out of the early years with incredibly dependent children they hit the hormonal stage and you are dealing with all those changes plus the interests and struggles that come with the adolescent years. I'm so not ready for that. I want to soak up these early years and enjoy it so I'm not "brood[ing] over the past" or wishing away the years to get to the future.

It's not always easy to stay present and accept that this is life. That life is all about dishes and cooking, dirty clothes and clean clothes, snotty noses and wet diapers. But to accept it and enjoy it is a gift from God. I want that gift! I want to love this messy, insane, wild, mundane, normal, every day life, each and every day. You in?

I'm linking this up over at 152 Insights to My Soul for Three Word Wednesday.

How do you make sure you are enjoying your life and "accepting your lot"? Do you find yourself wishing away time or dreaming of impossible things instead of living the life you have? 


Three Word Wednesday: On School's Eve

To my dearest children on the night before school begins

Another summer has passed us by and tomorrow you begin a new school year. Your brand new supplies with the crisp edges, pristine pages, and sharpened points are neatly packed away waiting for you to break them in. Before you head out I want to tell you a few things. 

You are amazing. You are amazing exactly as you are. God made you with such unique and wonderful talents, gifts, looks, and personality traits that there is not a single person that has ever existed or that will ever exist that is exactly like you. Don't let anyone make you feel like you aren't good enough for him or need to change who you are to be her friend. Treat those kids with kindness and respect and find other friends that love you for exactly the person God created you to be. Because you are amazing just as you are. 

You don't need to be perfect. No one is perfect, dear child. You've seen Mommy and Daddy make so many mistakes over the years and seen us apologize and try to do better. You don't need to get every answer correct, read a million books for the read-a-thon, run the fastest mile, paint the prettiest picture, or sing the most beautiful song. What we care about is that you try, give it your best, and have a good attitude as you explore and learn. Not every subject will be your favorite and that's okay, but be positive as you approach each new lesson because you never know when you will learn something that sparks a lifelong interest. Never be afraid to fail because failing means that you at least tried. 

Be your kind, friendly, compassionate self - especially with the kids that might not feel comfortable reaching out to others. When you see someone sitting on the bench at recess, go say hi and ask her to join your game. When you see someone coloring alone, go ask him if you can sit beside him. Your sweet smile and outreach of friendship may mean the world to that kid and you could discover a wonderful person that becomes a lifetime friend. 

Share the light that you have inside you. Jesus is walking with you with every step you take. Ask Him to shine through you and be a light to others. Choose to see the good in each situation you face. This doesn't mean you need to be happy every single moment, even Mommy and Daddy don't do that, but after you've shed your tears, or expressed your frustration, try to see something positive in the disappointment or sad time. We will help you if you want. 

We are here for you, no matter what. We want to hear about the exciting and thrilling parts of your day, the hard and frustrating parts of your day, and the regular and simple parts of your day. We want to try to answer your questions and figure out this big world. If you hear about something you don't understand - ask us! We will do our best to find an answer for you if we can't answer it ourselves. And don't believe everything you hear from the other kids. You know how much kids can elaborate stories because you do it to. Learn to question what you hear and see until you have an answer that is right. And simply because lots of people believe something is true doesn't make it so. Think for yourself and use your voice in a respectful manner to speak true truth. 

We love you so much, kiddos. You are incredible and we are thrilled to watch you grow, learn, and adventure during another school year. Go and explore and we will be here ready to give hugs and kisses when you return with a million and one stories. 

- Mom and Dad


I'd normally link this up with Kristin for #ThreeWordWednesday but she's taking some time off. I'm still writing my #ThreeWordWednesday posts though because I like to pause and sum up what God is saying in three words. 


A few kind words can have a huge impact - spread the love!

A few kind words can have a huge impact - spread the love!

Being a mom of five kids spaced over six years I'm used to my share of comments. Most people simply look on with a slight bit of shock as we pass but many will ask us about the kids. We get asked if the little guys are twins (yes), how many are boys vs. girls (4 vs. 1), told that our hands are full (duh), and so many other quips and notes. Occasionally we get a comment that makes us wonder if the person's mama ever taught them manners or the whole "if you don't have anything nice to say don't say anything at all" mantra. 

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