Thursday, October 25, 2012

Connecting Generations

Connecting Generations

I have always loved my family.  I love knowing about my cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents - second cousins, great aunts... and the list goes on.  

I wrote the other day about my desire for my children to be connected with their family in the same way I was with mine as I grew up.  One thing that really has helped us to begin connecting is caring for creation.  Perky Pets bird feeders and waterers have been great for learning to care for nature.  We are very pleased with our waterer!  The boys love watching the birds come to the feeder, and since this has been such a dry year, the water has helped our bird friends immensely!

This cute waterer is less than $11 and holds 1.5 quarts of water.  As birds are leaving our area, this jug seems to last for a long time before it needs to be refilled.  As with other Perky Pet products, it is excellent quality that will last to share for years to come!

*** Disclaimer: I have received a product in exchange for this review.  All opinions expressed are my own.***

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Family Project: Heifer International

How do you teach your children about compassion, generosity, love, joy, and kindness?  How do you help them live out the gospel of Jesus Christ - in real ways that touch the lives of other people?  We have been blessed this year with the ability to support Heifer International, who helps impoverished families worldwide!

Don't get me wrong - we absolutely do not have a bunch of extra money lying around that we are able to just give away - quite the opposite.  But we want to make a difference in the lives of others and help our children begin to understand that they can do the same.  We have adopted this project as our family Christmas project!  

Together with the boys we are beginning to work on crafts that we will be selling to friends, family, church members, blog readers - whoever is interested in helping my boys earn $150 to buy a goat for a family in need of a livelihood, and a beehive for another.  The boys are excited about doing projects as a family (so are the parent Crums).  They know that their work is going to help people.  

One project that we have started is felt crowns (made by mama Crum).  We will also be making fire starters, ornaments, and a few other items to help us reach our goal.  If you are interested in learning more about our crafts and how you can contribute to our cause, email me - crumsthisnthat @ gmail 

Do you work with your children on special projects that help other people?  What do you support?  Have you heard of Heifer International before?

Monday, October 22, 2012

Simply Smiley: No Cereal Breakfast

Good morning happy boys!
What a fun way to greet my happy guys in the morning.  This breakfast is extremely simple and fun.
1 bagel (we used blueberry)
a hand full of grapes
a slathering of honey nut cream cheese
a dozen or so pieces of spinach

What makes your breakfast happy?

Friday, October 19, 2012

About Face


Do you have special people in your life that had a big part in helping you become who you are today?

I do.  I have a lot of them.  I have this big, beautiful family that has formed me in so many ways, I can't even begin to share them well.  The picture above is my "Nonnie".  She is my mom's mom.  I adored Nonnie.  I remember as a child that her house always smelled a little bit like stale smoke - I hated it that she smoked, but now there's something familiar about that stale smell.  I don't like it -but it brings back memories.

Some of my favorite memories of Nonnie involve doing crafts, eating out, sharing holidays, and shopping.  Nonnie always had crafts at her house for the kids.  I loved the great variety of projects we worked on together.  I cherish those memories and I hope that some day my children will have similar memories of their grandparents.  Shopping was always a great adventure as well.  We always listened to kids music (mostly Raffi) in her car.  After shopping we inevitably had a hard time finding her car.  The reason?  "Humpty Dumpty stole the car again."  I have NO idea why it was Humpty Dumpty - but it ALWAYS was.

I miss my Nonnie.  She never lived close to us, but our visits were always very special.

I believe that this picture of my grandparents and some of my cousins (and myself) was taken at an aunt's wedding.  Grandma and Grandpa loved their big family - 7 children, 18 grandchildren - and now nearly as many great-grandchildren.  I was fortunate to live near my grandparents and most of my cousins when I was growing up.  They were an integral part of my world from the time I was an infant.

My grandparents were an example of faith, love, and joy.  They always had time to talk.  They loved being with their family.  When grandpa passed I remember seeing pictures of him all over the apartment - it seemed like he was always holding a baby.  

Some of my favorite memories with my grandparents were watching birds, playing scrabble and yahtzee, sitting with them during breakfast devotions, and sitting for hours in the living room just talking.  They were great hosts with a zest for life that I hope to imitate. 

I want my children to have godly examples of living like I did.

These are my cousins (minus the youngest 3 and Pete is only there via photo).  Again - they were a large part of my world as I grew up.  We are a unique collection of artistic individuals.  We were all privileged to have been raised in a loving family that knew how to do community.  In times of need our parents stepped up to help each other out.  It's amazing to see where life has taken us.  I love each of these fantastic people so much.

I want my kids to be close with their cousins.  When they look back on growing up, I want them to remember that family is a community.  I want them to have fantastic memories of what it means to be part of a loving family.

These are my sisters - okay, one is ACTUALLY my cousin - but remember how I said that we took care of each other?  Ashlee, in so many ways, is our baby sister.  In fact, one of our foster sons (and a couple of our children) have thought that she WAS our sister.  I like that.

These are our babies that were born in 2010.  It was so much fun to have the experience of watching our bellies grow together - and now watching our little boys grow together.  They will all turn 3 between January and April.  My boys have cousins close to their age.  I hope they think of them as close family that they can depend on as they grow.

It seems like so many of us have lost the connections we used to have with our families.  Family seems to be a much looser term now than it was when I was growing up.  The definition is changing all the time.  I am glad to be part of a beautiful, big birth family.  I am also glad to have family that was not born to me, but has been adopted into our lives.  My kids have aunts, uncles, and cousins that are not at all blood related.  I am so glad for those connections.

I'm sad too.  We don't live TOO far from our parents and siblings, but far enough away that we don't get to see them every week, or even every couple of weeks.  I wish that my kids were able to spend more time with these important people, building bonds that will not fade as they age.  I am looking for new ways to help my children build those connections with their family.  We want to ensure that our children know they are deeply loved, not just by us, but by their extended family.  They are important and special.  I pray they begin to recognize each person's uniqueness and celebrate it as much as we do.

If you are part of my family - thank you for who you are.  We love you.  If I haven't seen you for a while - know that I miss you, I pray for you.  I am looking forward to the next time I see each of you.  

How do you help your children make connections with your family?  Do you have special traditions that help you keep relationships?  Do you share recipes, stories, pictures?  

Thursday, October 18, 2012


Today I will be joining other bloggers in a focus on prayer.  Thank you Christian Mommy Blogger for leading in this effort.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Happy Green First Birthday: TruKid Giveaway

Did you read about my Happy Green First Birthday preparation with TruKid?  Azariah sure smelled and looked great for his party.  TruKid is giving away a set of Bubble Baby Body Wash and  Happy Face & Body Lotion to one of you!  Fill out the Rafflecopter form for a chance to win!  (US Only)

TruBaby Bubbly Baby Body & Hair Wash TruKid Happy Face & Body Lotion - new super sensitive formula

**Disclaimer: I received a product free of charge in exchange for this review.  All opinions are my own.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Warming it up: No cereal breakfast (er - kind of)

Okay, so this is hot cereal, but it's not boxed junk filled with sugar and other weird things that give you all kinds of ridiculous health problems that I just don't even want to think about my kids having...

Fruity Oatmeal

This is not hard folks - if you don't know how to make oatmeal, buy a canister and read the package.  Then chuck a bunch of your favorite fruits in it.  It was too hot for the boys, so I added some yogurt (seemed like a good change from milk).  I also had some leftover banana puree, so I put that into the mix.  Mama's oatmeal had peanut butter and banana, no other fruit or yogurt.

What a great way to start the day!

Do you like hot cereal?  If so, what do you put in it?

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Happy GREEN 1st Birthday: TruBaby Review

This week we celebrate Azariah's first birthday.  Okay, well we had the party on Saturday - We got him ready with TruBaby Bubbly Baby Body Wash - he smelled SO good.  I love the fruity smell of their soaps. I also love that their skin care products are all natural.  Want more good news?  They last a long time.  I definitely trust TruKid and TruBaby with my children's skin! 

How do you prepare your children for a special event?

***Disclaimer: I have received a product free for the purpose of this review.  All opinions are my own.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Preschool Play Party

A quick peek at our preschool play party with 6 amazing children ages 5, 4, 3, 2, 2, and (almost)1.  What a riot of activity!

Activity #1 - Swimming!  It's WAY too cold to be in the pool outside, so we brought it in, filled it with balls - they had a blast, I even witnessed some cannonballs!

Activity #2 - Play dough factory.  I pulled out all of our mixed colors (yep, I let the kids mix them sometimes - but um.. I didn't want to bring out the ones that were still pure).  I pulled out a bunch of toys - and let them go to town.  I think they played with these for about 20 minutes (success!)

Little guy did a lot of observing, a little napping, and a bit of eating.  He wasn't ready to really play with the big kids.

I love floor puzzles.  Manasseh does too.  We had fun working together on this ocean scene.  It gave us an opportunity to talk about wildlife and learn some new ocean creature names!

When our friends left, the boys wanted to play a game with just mommy.  We played "My Monster" which is a great color/shape recognition game!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Reason #542

Yet another reason that I adore this child:

This is an actual conversation that I had with Manasseh today during nap time.
(He had dropped a toy out of his bed and was upset that I told him he could not get out of bed to retrieve it).

Nas: (calmly and respectfully) Mom, may I pout at you?
Me: Um.. I'd rather you not.
Nas: Why?
Me: Well, it's not really respectful.
Nas: Oh.  Well, can I do this?
(He leaned over the side of the bed sticking his lip out in a pouty face).
Me: Sure, if it will help you tell me that you're disappointed.

Phineas and Ferb Ticket Giveaway

Your chance to win a family 4 pack of tickets to see Phineas and Ferb LIVE!!!

When: October 26, 4pm
Where: Memorial Coliseum, Fort Wayne
Who: You and your friends, or family, or neighbors...
Why: Because Phineas and Ferb is fun!

I have received a product or products in exchange for this post.  All opinions are my own.

Spliting Up: No Cereal Breakfast

Oh yes, the breakfast BANANA SPLIT!
I could tell you how much my boys begged for more, but try it at your home and see how it works out for you.  I've actually served this one to them before, but they don't remember - and I'm glad.  The last version had chocolate drizzle on it - while that was certainly tasty - this was healthy and they loved it just the same.

My recipe for the day

1/2 banana, split down the middle
1/2 apple thinly sliced
1/2 prune plum thinly sliced
1 hand full of cranberry raisins
1 sprinkle of grape nut cereal
(okay, so it wasn't entirely cereal free)

makes 1 breakfast

This tasty breakfast varies with the seasons and sales.  We were out of oranges or they definitely would have had some.  Peanut butter would be a fantastic addition as well.

What are your favorite banana split toppings?

Grab button for Wellness Wednesday

Monday, October 1, 2012

Phineas and Ferb is coming to Fort Wayne!

“Mom! Phineas and Ferb are going on a LIVE tour!!!” School’s out for summer and anything is possible as Phineas and Ferb create their biggest invention yet -- Disney’s Phineas and Ferb: The Best LIVE Tour Ever! Phineas, Ferb, and the whole Tri-State Area gang embark on a bold escape jumping out from behind your TV and onto the stage in a live action adventure – right in your hometown! And, before you can wonder, “Hey, where’s Perry?” the beloved pet platypus shifts to his secret double life as Agent P to foil another one of Dr. Doofenshmirtz’s evil plans. Musical madness abounds in an escapade so awesome that even Candace can’t help but join the hilarious hijinks. It’s the ultimate end to summer vacation, so seize the day ‘cause Phineas and Ferb are gonna do it all!

Click here to view more images from Disney's Phineas and Ferb: The Best LIVE Tour Ever!.


If you live in the Fort Wayne area, you can see it very soon too!  Tickets start as low as $15.50!  The shows are at 4pm and 7pm on Friday, October 26.  Make sure to check it out - and keep your eyes open right here for your chance to win tickets to the show very soon!

Leave a comment on this post to receive an extra entry in the giveaway.  Tell me what you think of Phineas and Ferb!