The Macs

Thursday, March 29, 2012

easter links

Sorry about not posting the winners for the sarah + abraham giveaway yet. I am having a little problem with seeing all the comments but hopefully will get that fixed soon. I didn't forget!

We have had quite the weekend and week around here. I will spare you the details...because I know you all have had "one of those weeks" too. I think I am finally getting back on my feet and now I need to get my mind in gear to focus on Easter. My initial goal was to set aside these two weeks before to talk about, read about, craft about...Easter. I want to help my family get their minds and hearts focused on what God has done for us through Jesus' death and resurrection.

Here are a few of the activities we will be doing to help us think about why we celebrate Easter...

Resurrection Eggs

We are counting down the days to Easter by reading part of the Easter story and opening a symbol that goes with the passage each day. We are already a little behind! You can read more about the Resurrection Eggs on my post from last year.

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Easter Mountain

I first read about this idea in Treasuring God in our Traditions by Noel Piper (awesome book!), but Ashley has a great tutorial on her blog with step-by-step pictures.

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Resurrection Rolls

It is always fun to have a teaching aid that involves eating something yummy. I think Levi will love these.

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And there are a few things I want to do just for fun...

Easter Egg Lunch

How fun to go on a hunt for your lunch!

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Easter S'mores

Source: via Jess on Pinterest

Yum. In high school I loved PEEPS. I ate them by the package full. It kind of makes me sick thinking about it now. I still like them, but a few each year is plenty for me. Anyway...back when I was a senior in high school and Joel was away at college in Florida I received a big box in the mail one day. It was from him. I opened it up and it was stuffed full of every different color. It was such a fun, thoughtful gift. He knew I loved them. And I am pretty sure they didn't go to waste. We may have to make some Easter S'mores for old times sake. :)

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A few other Easter related links:

Holy Week Resources - This church has a family devotional guide that I thought looked really good

He Is Risen Printables - If I were hosting Easter I would definitely want to buy these He Is Risen printables from Jones Design Company for my table. So pretty. If you need some inspiration for your Easter table check out this post.

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Okay, now if you have any great ideas I need to know about as I teach my kids about Jesus' death and resurrection...please share! I'll store them away for next year. :)

Monday, March 26, 2012

bun in the oven's not me. I still have a baby that is not sleeping through the night. It will be awhile before we are ready to start talking about adding another Mac to this family. But my sister...

she has a bun in the oven!!! 

And I am SOOOOO excited. I have been waiting a long time for her to tell me that I am going to be an auntie. She and my brother-in-law will be such good parents and I can't wait to see them holding their new baby. I even got to take this fun picture for them to make the big announcement.

I still can hardly believe it is true.

Congratulations L + A!!
I am so excited for you, sis. I can't wait to be mamas together.

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Don't forget that the sarah + abraham giveaway ends tonight. Go here to leave a comment and enter to win!

Friday, March 23, 2012

adorable new tableware {sarah + abraham giveaway}

By now you probably know that I love sarah + abraham. Not only is Sara, the owner of sarah + abraham, super sweet, but her products are fabulous too. You can see Levi's sarah + abraham pillow and print here in his room tour. And I just got a pillow and print for Griffin's room too! Maybe someday I will finish his room and you can see them. :)

 Levi was so excited to tell you about the new tableware we just received from sarah + abraham. Actually, he wasn't so thrilled about the whole taking his picture thing...but then I told him he could eat a cupcake on his new plate and he was ready to smile for you. Nothing like a little bribery.

 Sara sent a placemat and plate & bowl set for each of the boys. Here is Levi with his new plate. See? I told you the cupcake did the trick! :) Doesn't it look just like him? Except the real life Levi might need his hair brushed...or maybe just a haircut!

 A few smiles was definitely worth the reward.

Levi loves seeing his "picture" on his plate and bowl. They are quickly becoming his favorite.

 He wasn't too interested in helping me anymore once the cupcake was in his hands.

 And it was actually time for a nap which never helps.

 Both boys were so tired. Levi was helping his papa in the garden all morning while I took Griffin to the doctor for his six month check up and shots. I told the boys I would just have to finish the photo shoot without them.

 Okay, the boys are both sleeping. That is a miracle in itself. Now you can see more sarah + abraham!

 Won't it be fun when Griffin is old enough to eat lunch at the picnic table with his brother. Their table will always look cute with these placemats, plates & bowls. Too bad they don't make them for adults!

 Like many sarah + abraham products, you get to personalize these placemats, plates, & bowls. You can create a design that looks just like your child. For Levi's I chose straight, dark blonde hair...round, medium brown eyes...and pale skin.

 The placemats are 11" x 17" and sealed with heavy duty laminate so they can easily be wiped clean. The melamine plates and bowls are dishwasher safe and BPA-free.

The color I chose for Levi's set is lake.

And Griffin's set is papaya. I love how they turned out...and there are so many more colors to chose from.

Here is the exciting part for you! Sara is generously offering one of my readers two plate & bowl sets and another reader four placemats. Yay!

Giveaway Details:

One reader will win 2 plate & bowl sets
One reader will win 4 placemats

TWO winners chosen at random

One entry per person

Restricted to US residents only

Giveaway ends Monday, March 26th at 10pm (CST)

To enter visit sarah + abraham... 
then come back here and leave a comment
telling me what is on your sarah + abraham wish list.

I think these would make great birthday presents. Every kiddo loves seeing their own name and face on something. And they would be such a special keepsake. Don't forget to visit sarah + abraham and then come back and leave a comment. You have two chances to win!

Thank you so much, Sara. We LOVE our new sarah + abraham tableware!!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

rainy day

Well after having such beautiful weather last week, this week has been nothing but cloudy skies and rain. But a farmer's wife never complains about rain. It's a rule...and I try my hardest to follow it. :) The crops have to grow, right? So yesterday I let Levi out to play and told him to have fun in the puddles and mud. He went straight for his four wheeler.

 Joel got home and we were standing right inside the back door when we heard someone yelling, "Stuck! Stuck!" The four wheeler didn't quite make it through the mud puddle. 

 He was not very happy about the situation he was in.

 But daddy came to the rescue...

 and off he went again.

Then he moved on to the big puddles in our driveway.

"Watch me!"
Pure joy. A few puddles and mud is all you need to make this little boy happy. I guess we should have been playing in the puddles all day instead of trying to keep ourselves busy inside.

I think a certain little farm boy might be needing some rain boots in the near future!

Monday, March 19, 2012

growing grateful kids {it starts with me!}

Last week the weather was gorgeous. I was so ready to feel the warmth of the sunshine and say hello to spring. The boys and I took advantage of the beautiful days and spent as much time outside as we could. We went on walks, built sandcastles, and even had a picnic. It was great. I was feeling excited for spring and anticipating the fun of summer...then I woke up to Thursday. It seemed like all at once my sunshiny-bliss came crashing down. Two sick kids (one that already doesn't sleep at night anyway) and a sick mama. Yuck. 

I usually feel like I have a pretty good perspective on sickness and sleepless nights and I really don't like to complain on my blog. I know there could be much worse things. I can be thankful for the fact that my kids are here for me to hold and comfort. I can be thankful for doctors and medicine that is so readily available. I know that the sickness and sleeplessness soon will pass. And after fighting cancer with our daughter, I can even be thankful for a little sickness that is treatable and will go away after a few days of antibiotics. We are blessed.

I know all of those things in my head and it is easy for me to type those words out, but when I was stuck inside for several days with two grouchy sick boys and I was not feeling well myself, I could tell I was losing perspective by the things I said and the way I acted. The words that I just typed didn't match the condition of my heart. Just ask my husband. He would tell you that my perspective went out the door...and it went out fast. I quickly started feeling sorry for myself and even found other things to add to my list of complaints. I found myself having to seek forgiveness and focus on Truth to reclaim perspective...and it took me a couple days to even figure that out.

I recently started reading Growing Grateful Kids by Susie Larson. It is so good and challenging to me as a mom...especially after these last few days with my boys. Susie's words couldn't have come at a better time:

Every mother, at some point or another, feels overwhelmed, out numbered, and insufficient to meet the needs before her. In ourselves, we aren't enough for the lofty task of motherhood. Jesus understands our predicaments. His disciples faced impossible situations regularly. But it's in our places of desperate need that Jesus makes Himself known. When our strength is unequal to the task, we see the strength of God come to bear in our lives. And when what we hold in our hand falls short of the need before us, we can keep perspective because we have a place to go with our need. We have a God who makes up where we lack. We have an engaged Father who lovingly provides for us. We have reason to be thankful (p28).

That was totally me. I was feeling overwhelmed, out numbered, and insufficient to take care of my boys...and myself. I felt like I didn't have the strength to do it. And I didn't. But instead of relying on the strength of my God to fill in my insufficiencies, I just tried to survive on my own and threw myself one big pity party along the way. Nice. You would think I would know better.

And as my boys are getting older and Levi starts mimicking so many of the things I say and do, I am realizing more and more the ugliness in my heart that I don't want him to imitate. Susie says,

Cultivating a heart of gratitude in our children is impossible unless we ourselves are grateful. We can't impart something we do not possess. Always as moms, first and foremost, we have to keep close watch on our own attitude, which is fueled by our perspective.

In good seasons and in difficult ones, we are under God's care, and he has promised to meet our needs. Therefore, we are called to give thanks (p30).

My attitude at the end of last week was definitely fueled by my perspective...and it wasn't a perspective full of God's truth. I want to cultivate a heart of gratitude in the lives of my children and I know that needs to start right here with my own heart.

The last few days were definitely not my most shining moments as a wife or mother. But I am thankful for these difficult days as a mom (I can say that now, right?) because I know God is using my kids to mold me into a woman after His own heart. There is lots of work to be done in this heart of mine.

This lesson on gratitude is one I have learned before, but one that I obviously needed to be reminded of...and will probably need to be reminded of again and again. I am praying that next time I sense my perspective going out the door that I remember to
first go to my loving Heavenly Father with my needs and allow Him to make up for my many, many insufficiencies. And that I would be a mama who models a truly grateful heart to my children.

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
1 Thessalonians 5:18

Friday, March 16, 2012

first bite {griffin eats cereal}

I finally got around to letting Griffin try out some cereal. He has been grabbing and grabbing at food for awhile now. He seemed pretty interested and ready. His pediatrician always says we can start cereal at four months but I am lazy and like to wait until closer to six months. It is just one more thing, you know?

 Look at the excitement on his little face!

I thought that Levi would be right next to Griffin wanting in on the action, but he was too busy chowing down on his macaroni and peas. He must have been hungry because he just watched from afar. Totally unlike him.

 There is the first bite. And now all of a sudden my baby is big enough to eat cereal!

He did pretty good except he is so wiggly and kept trying to turn around. He is a mover.

 He sure didn't let us down with the my-first-bite facial expressions. 

It is still undecided on whether or not he likes his cereal. Right now he just seems to be gagging it down. Just wait until you taste something with a little more flavor, little man. 

 Did you notice his super-cute bowl. It is from Sarah + Abraham and I love it. I just might be giving one away (and much more) next week...hint, hint. You won't want to miss this giveaway!

That first bite is now checked off the milestone list. Six months is coming way too fast!