Vanity of Vanities! All is vanity.

Ecclesiastes 1:1The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem.
2"Vanity of vanities," says the Preacher,
"Vanity of vanities! All is vanity."...
8All things are wearisome;
Man is not able to tell it.
The eye is not satisfied with seeing,
Nor is the ear filled with hearing.
9That which has been is that which will be,
And that which has been done is that which will be done.
So there is nothing new under the sun.

Vanity:(from Webster's Dictionary) 1: something that is vain, empty, or valueless 2: the quality or fact of being vain

Vain: (from Webster's Dictionary) 1: having no real value 2: marked by futility or ineffectualness

In the past few days I have felt a tidal wave of conviction. You probably know what I'm talking about. It's the times, as my preacher would say, that you "have been taken to the Holy Ghost woodshed for a good whippin" (He's from down south in Alabama). Last night God confirmed these convictions and lovingly gave me a little wisdom and direction.

You see, I have felt like I have been in a spiritual pit or valley for a while. I have been continuing to go through the motions but it has felt completely empty and ineffective. I would read my bible, do my bible studies with a friend, pray with Michaela every night. The typical rituals that Christians have but felt nothing.

Finally, I began to pray to have a desire again. God will always answer when we ask with a sincere heart. He began to show me that I have no desire or joy because I am trying to find meaning from anything and everything apart from Him. Everything I try to accomplish is meaningless and ineffective without Him. He is the only reason I will find joy.

This also spills over into my work with Michaela. Verses 3&4 of Ecclesiastes 1 say: 3What advantage does man have in all his work Which he does under the sun? 4A generation goes and a generation comes, But the earth remains forever. Where am I teaching her to get her joy from? Soon I will be gone and I only get one shot to instill God's values into her. It is great if she knows her colors, how to count and transfer objects. However, all of my work is meaningless if I do not teach her about the greatest source of joy and satisfaction in her life.

We need more Bible time in Tot School.

Thanks Nana!

I bought a baby bedding set for Michaela's new big girl bed It was the only comforter set I could find that fit her bed since it's still a crib sized mattress. Nana had a great idea for the bumper: make a bumper for the rails but use the rest for pillows and the valences.
Valences still to come. Thanks for your hard work Nana! One of these days I'm going to have to get the sewing machine out of the box and learn!

Mommy Confession Monday:Clean and Dirty Room Edition

For this week there is so much that I could confess to you all. Like we didn't get out of our PJ's most days, she watched more TV this week then the rest of her life combined or the fact that she had goldfish and yogurt one night for dinner. But I decided to be vulnerable and include pictures this week. I'm going to show you my children's rooms:

The nice, clean, organized nursery just waiting for the precious addition to our family.

Michaela's room. A complete unorganized mess!I have to explain so my embarrassment is lessened a little. I am in the middle of the dreaded switch of clothing sizes. I HATE HATE HATE to switch out one size clothes for the next. I have to do this in small doses. I had nice neat piles ready to be hung up or put away but unfortunately, my LO started playing in there before I could finish. Now I have so much more work ahead of me. I'll get there eventually but now my doses are even smaller!

What about you? Do you have something you need to get off your chest?

Our Trays

I had a few people ask where I got Michaela's trays from. I was going to respond in the comment section, but I wanted to show a few pictures.

I actually got this idea from Carisa at 1+1+1=1. She suggested using the trays from her Melissa & Doug toys. We have a few different sets of these toys.
I emptied the contents of these trays and viola: Perfect trays with compartments. Some of the trays are a little more complex which will be great once we start sorting more objects.
I love yard sale season. I found these M&D toys for $4.00 each in someone's front yard!

We have Trays!

~Michaela is currently 19 months old~

This was our first week using actual trays and somewhat planned activities. She had such a great time. I have to say transferring the beans was her favorite activity. She did this for at least 20 minutes before I asked her if she would like to do something else. Even then she told me no, so we kept playing with the beans! Here is a look at our week:
Puzzles are always a must around here. She loves them!
Learning to sort the shapes.
She entertained herself by stacking the wipe containers while I put away the groceries and Daddy started dinner. They are amazed by the simplest things!
Then Daddy gave her the drumsticks!
Transferring Beans with a Spoon.
She started with the spoon...
but quickly decided that she would have more fun pouring directly from the container.
Every time she would drop one on the ground she would say, "Aw, man!"
Putting small things in a container.
She would put 1 piece in each hole and then pull them right back out. Then she realized that they would break off and fall in the holes. Our activity then turned into taking the lid on and off. Then we just completely derailed!
She decided this looked like her cup with a straw. She actually would take a "drink" and say, "Umm." What an imagination!
Putting the feathers into styrofoam.
She had fun with this one until she broke one. I think it made her sad because she didn't want to do this activity any more!
She took the feathers and started to say "Tickle, Tickle!"
I have no idea where she got that from!
Her friend came over this week and they practiced taking turns.
They wanted to buckle the seat.

Then we realized there were 2 sets of buckles.
I'm glad they got to practice taking turns first though.
Building with the Mega Blocks. She did most of this tower on her own.
This is probably one of my favorite pictures this week. She loves the princess crown!
I'm just happy she enjoys reading books as much as she does!

Check out this post for many other great ideas for Tot School.

More Items for Tot School

I took a trip to our local Deals (the dollar store) and Wal-Mart this week to pick up more items for Tot School. I think part of the reason I get frustrated is because I see all of these great ideas but I don't have many supplies at home to work on the activities. I finally bit the bullet and decided to go buy some items to get started. I can promise you that I am not going on a spending spree for a while but I think we have plenty to work on for now!

Here are some of the containers I found at various stores. The pencil boxes were on clearance at Wal-Mart for ¢.50 each.
The pencil boxes are great for organizing all of the smaller objects.
My kitchen has lost another cabinet!
I decided to keep all of the seasonal items in this container. This way my main cabinets do not have to be rearranged every time I switch my seasonal/holiday activities.

I am so excited to start working with Michaela!

The Benefits of Resting

I finally decided My husband and doctor decided that I probably need to rest more during the final weeks of pregnancy. I am a very stubborn person but I am thankful that I am trying to follow their advice. Michaela and I had a wonderful time playing in her room the other day. I may not have got to enjoy this time with her if I had let my nesting obsession take over (which I could have easily done if my husband hadn't told me no!)

We got to enjoy playing with baby dolls...
I walked in her room and she was changing the baby's diaper all by herself.
Then she gave the baby her pacifier.
And of course we had to feed the baby.
I feel like this most days when I'm trying to leave! She packed up all the baby's things and told me bye. She even walked over to give me a kiss first.
Then it was time for dress up.
I loved watching her look in the mirror at herself. It was so precious!
I was very surprised that she knew how to "work" the hair dryer.
I wish she would have let me get a better picture of this. She had on her Tutu, crown, 2 different shoulder wraps and was holding her wand. She wanted it off way too quickly for a picture though. :(
I can't believe how fast she has grown up. It seems like yesterday I was holding a newborn and now I have a little girl that plays Momma and dress up.I thought it would take so much longer to get to this stage of her life!

Tot School Update

Michaela is 19 months old

I've mentioned this in my confession this week, but Tot School was very sporadic. We worked on activities at different points throughout the day. Once Corbin is here and we have more of a routine, I plan on having a specific time for "school" everyday. For now we are just going to enjoy playing together everyday.

We've had these blocks since Christmas, but this is the first time she has really enjoyed playing with them.

Thankfully, she enjoys cleaning up after herself. The top of the bucket has a shape sorter so she got to clean and learn at the same time!
Puzzles are always a favorite

You might remember these from your childhood. It's a towel that expands once you put it in water. Daddy loves doing water activities with Michaela.
She's watching the towel get bigger.
We went to the park for awhile one day. I love the warm weather! Unfortunately, this park did not have a slide. I thought all parks had a slide. Michaela was pretty bummed about not sliding but she soon forgot.

I was in the midst of moving Michaela's clothes out of the nursery so that we could move Corbin in and Michaela desperately needed something to do.
I thought this would be a great opportunity to work on her transferring skills. This kept her attention for about 10 minutes.

Check out this blog for other ideas from Tot Schools.