Toddler See, Toddler Do

We have a little copycat on our hands.  My little man is spying on every move Mommy and Daddy make and is trying to mimic what we say and do.  It has enlightened Kevin and I to what Luke sees us do and oh, have we been enlightened.  

Yesterday Luke was grunting at the shirts he sleeps with as I put on his pajamas.  I thought he wanted them but just couldn't quite reach them.  When I was all done, he got up, went right to the shirts, and organized them neatly on the chair (one of the shirts was drooping off).  He may have seen me do this a time or two. Oh. My. Goodness.  There is more...

Luke and I were putting away his toys before going outside to meet Daddy the other night.  As we got to the outside door, he turned around, and went back to the pantry door to close it.  This child is mine.

One of Luke's newest everyday tasks is wiping up milk.  If his sippy cup spills any milk, he immediately comes to me trying to tell me there is a problem.  Usually I follow him to the spilled milk and then I give him a rag to wipe it up.  I guess there are some perks to my child watching me closely.  

Poor Luke having a particular Mommy means he has seen me do all of the above things, and more.  Watching him do these same things got me thinking about what I want him to mimic.  Luke wiping up milk sure is nice, but I want him to mimic the important stuff.  

If I want him to mimic the important stuff, I have to do the important stuff...in front of him.  What is the important stuff?  For me, that means I need to pray more...in front of him.  I usually do my prayer/quiet time in the morning, before he gets up.  Luke doesn't see me do this, but maybe he should.  We pray as a family before meals and at bedtime, but wouldn't it be cool if he saw me praying alone?  

I need to read the Bible more...in front of him.  My Bible sits on our ottoman in the living room and I do read it from time to time, but usually I read the Bible from an app on my phone.  He has no idea what I'm reading or doing on my phone.  Wouldn't it be cool if he saw me reading my hard copy Bible, so he actually knows what I'm doing?  Then when he did see me reading the Bible, we could have a conversation about it and he would know how important reading the Bible is if you want to know God more.  

Luke has picked up a lot of things from his Daddy and most of them melt my heart.  We usually take a nightly walk as a family and Kevin will sometimes pick me flowers from the garden.  (He is the flower arranger in our family.)  Luke has picked up on this and will hand me flowers from time to time, and by flowers, I mean dandelions.  As a teacher I received many dandelions (and they were all special), but the dandelions I get from Luke just make me giddy.  I know there are so many things Luke will watch Kevin do that will mold him into a man of a girl's dreams someday.  (But, that won't happen for a long, long, long time, or at least that's what I keep telling myself.)

Some other random things I want Luke to see me do more of: helping and serving others, being kind to our neighbors as well as random people, showing love to Kevin and doing kind things for him, and praying with people.  These are tangible things Luke can see with his eyes and they are the important things

Luke will probably continue to be particular (let's call it what it is: anal) for awhile, as well as pick his Momma dandelions and that is a-okay with me.  My prayer is that he picks up the important stuff as well.


Random Picture Friday

Happy Friday, all!  Hope you have had a productive week...and even more so, I hope you have a blessed, restful weekend!

Kevin worked so hard this week on numerous projects.  Luke enjoyed being able to cuddle with him while he worked.

This happens almost everyday.

It was a hot one here on the Trail and we took the opportunity to play in the pool.

I haven't been to a county fair, well, in a very, very long time.  Kara, Amelia, Luke, and I visited the West Pottawattamie County fair today and it was so much fun!  Thanks for inviting us, Kara!

The John Deere lawnmowers were a big hit.

Such cuties.

Another 'two moms, two babes' selfie.  


Farm Fun with Paige and Coop

Last week Paige and Coop came to the Trail to spend a few days with us.  It was amazing to have a nonstop two and a half day playdate together.  Coop is such a fun-loving, silly boy and Luke just loved him to pieces.  Coop sang to him, showed him his toys, brought him his cup...he was just a little four-year old Papa Bear.  It was so cute to watch.  The boys had lots of tractor time along with a short morning trip to the zoo.  Thanks so much for coming to visit Paige and Coop...we love you!

Kevin was so great about driving the boys around on the tractor.

Too cute.

Coop making the perfect s'more.

Morning books and cuddles.

Ha...trying to get a picture at the zoo.

Taking a 'selfie' with two Mamas and two babes is not too easy...


Tot School: Unscheduled, Unplanned, Unorganized, but FUN!

If you read the title of this post, you probably can already guess that my Tot School planning has gone out the window the past few weeks.  Okay, who am I kidding...I haven't planned and stuck to a plan for Tot School in the past month and a half, maybe two.  I think it has been the sunshine and playdates and zoo trips that have made this Tot School thing take a back seat to summertime.  

Honestly, I'm okay with it.  Luke is still learning, growing, and developing everyday, despite my lack of written out plans and Pinterest-worthy activities.  We are having a great summer together...making memories and having lots and lots of fun.  

Here are some activities we have squeezed in the past few weeks between park visits, zoo trips, and playdates.  Hope some of them work for your little one.


Rating: 5/5

Fine motor development

My mom and I picked up this piggybank from a second hand store and Luke is a fan.  It has five plastic coins Luke can put in the piggybank and pull out of the side.  It does have batteries and will sing and count the coins as they fall into the slot, but when I'm working with him we try and count together.  Luke tries to count, he makes a noise for each coin, but it is not recognizable as a number name.  We will keep working on that.

Watercolor Painting

Rating: 4/5

Fine motor development

Luke enjoys painting for short periods of time.  We talk about each color and the marks he is making on the paper.  This is a good 3 minute activity.

Using a wallet

Rating: 5/5

Fine motor development
Practical life skill

I have an old wallet that I put some of my old credit cards/reward cards in.  I gave it to Luke and he had to unbuckle the wallet to get the cards out.  We counted the cards as he pulled them out, while I put them in.  He loves playing with my wallet while we grocery shop, so this was a big winner.

Markers and Tape

Rating: 5/5

Fine motor development
Sensory development

My friend, Paige, was here last week and she brought some fun, new markers for Luke.  He absolutely loved making marks on his page and worked on his picture for much longer than he ever has before.  Paige also gave him some small pieces of tape and stickers to put on his page and he loved doing that.  He is a BIG fan of tape.  What a great, easy sensory and fine motor activity.  Thanks for the idea, Paige! (Did I mention she is a preschool teacher and is chock-full of great ideas??!!)

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Random Picture Friday

It's hard to believe we are in the middle of July and on the tail-end of summer.  The Trail has been blessed with just enough rain to keep things green this year and the gardens are looking cheerfully bright and colorful right now.  Our neighbors to the east and west of us have gotten a little too much rain and bad weather and we are thankful we have avoided most of it (minus our crops being damaged this spring).  We have spent almost every evening walking around 'smelling the flowers' with Luke.

I hope you are enjoying these glorious days of warm sunshine and blue skies.  Have a blessed weekend all!

Daddy and Luke going down a big kid slide.

Please knock on wood for us...Luke has been eating a bit better these days.  

At my friend Bri's house, Luke spotted a tractor right away and he was pumped.

What a playdate...look at all those babes!  It was so wonderful to spend the morning with these ladies and their babies.  Thanks for hosting, Bri!

He thinks he is such a stud wearing Daddy's shoes.


Fun at the Quarry

My family was here over the weekend for our annual swimming day at the Quarry.  It was bittersweet, as my brother's family is moving to California in a few weeks and they may or may not be able to join us for future Quarry days.  Nonetheless, we all had a great time and the sun stayed out all day, making it the perfect day to be near water.  Here are some pictures from our fun weekend together.

My two favorites

My brother's family, minus my brother who is already in California.  We missed you, Brandon!

All the cousins...classic.

I am so blessed to be a part of this little family of three (about to be four)!

Grandma and her grandbabies

Luke was sporting his turtle shirt and the kids loved it.


Random Picture Friday

The week after a holiday weekend always seems longer and not as exciting.  I am a-okay with that.  This week was glorious and I felt like I was able to get some things accomplished with some time in there to relax.  My family is coming this weekend to swim, play, and enjoy each other one last time before my brother's family makes the cross country move to sunny California.  It will be a crazy special weekend.  Hope you have a blessed weekend filled with lots of sunshine and free time.  Enjoy!

Here are some pictures from this week...

Splash pad fun with Amelia

This kid cracks me up.  I made a pile of sticks and he picked them all up and brought them to me...

I had Cooking Club on Tuesday night and, my friend, Bri, made banana boats for dessert.  They were so good I had to make one the next day for Luke and I.  If you've never had a banana boat, they are super easy.  Take a banana, cut it in half with the peel on, tuck chocolate chips/marshmallows in the middle, wrap with foil, and bake/grill.  This was super yummy, I just wish I would have gotten to eat more of it.  Luke took over and ate the entire thing.

If you give Luke a bite of your peanut butter and jelly sandwich, you get extra cuddles.  Lucky Daddy.

Joslyn playing with Luke.  She is so sweet with him!


It's a...Girl!!

That's right.  Kevin and I are adding a baby girl to our family this fall.  We can hardly believe it.  I was sure we were going to have a boy, so you can imagine my surprise when the ultrasound tech said...it's a girl!  Kevin and I are filled with such joy and are amazed at how God has blessed us in this life.  

Luke still has absolutely no idea that his world is about to be turned upside down come November.  I know he will be an incredible big brother and will love and look out for his little sister as they grow up together.  Not only are Kevin and I receiving the gift of parenting a daughter, but Luke will know what it's like to have a sibling and a built-in-best-friend (hopefully).  

Kevin and I hosted a small gender reveal party for our family on the Fourth of July.  It was a simple and fun get together and I am so grateful to both my parents and my sister-in-law and brother-in-law for making the trip to celebrate with us!  Here are some pictures from our special morning. 

The pretty cake from Bliss Bakery in Omaha.

Before the big reveal...

Papa Jeff and Luke

Luke revealing that he is going to have a baby sister.

A girl it is!


Let Freedom Ring

Happy Fourth of July!  

I feel blessed to live in a country that protects our freedom.  Today, not only am I celebrating the freedoms that come with living in the United States, but I am also celebrating the freedom I have in Christ.  Being a child of God allows me the opportunity to be free of sin and death, because Jesus died and paid for my sins. (Romans 8:1-4)  What a reason to celebrate! 

Last Fourth of July my Grandpa, who served our great country, came to the Trail.  It would be his last visit here, as he became unable to travel well shortly after that.  Most of you know, he passed into heaven this May.  He was a Godly man that helped protect the freedoms we enjoy today.  I remember him today, along with all the other amazing men and women that protect our freedoms past and present.  

Here are some pictures from last year's Fourth of July: 

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