Thursday, January 31, 2013

Birthday Tradition {Love}

My husband is a treasure.  Ladies out there who are not married yet, take some advice:  Wait for a man who Loves the Lord above all, even you- You won't be sorry.

The morning of my birthday he took me to a breakfast place near our house so I didn't have to clean up after a breakfast mess.

We got a babysitter and went out to a nice Asian Restaurant.

Note: Its day 158 for beard growing in my husbands quest for 365 days of the beard.

For the 3rd year in a row he has taken me to the same sweet Botique hotel for my birthday!

View from our hotel at night.
 It was the first time we have left Zane with a babysitter for little less than 24 hours.  It was fun to get out just the two of us!  Although as many parents will attest, we couldn't resist talking about him while we were away!  Zane brings such joy to our lives.

love this man

View from the balcony.

Loren let me get a manicure  ($5 here) and pedicure.

Still in Ecuador- look at all those taxis.
I have married the man of my dreams.  A man who pushes me towards living out my love for God, forgives me of my sins, and has an irresistible sense of humor.

Thank you Loren for your patience through the years with this broken vessel redeemed by Christ,
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Monday, January 21, 2013

When Circumstances {ARE NOT} Ideal

Peak into our lives right now with living in Ecuador.

No hot water in the kitchen sink since november.

Oh the joys of living in this country.

Dishes.  Normally I don't overly enjoy doing dishes (or folding laundry).

But I can put on a good podcast in my ear with

The normal 25 minute dishes duty now takes about 45 minutes (one day I was doing dishes for 2 hours!) with having to carry hot water from our bathroom.  With a podcast in the ear it does make the time go by.

Our hot water for our washing machine uses the same hot water heater as the kitchen- so to wash all my cloth diapers we have to fill a huge bucket of hot water from our bathroom and dump it in the washer.  (I can't lift the bucket full of water so my husband has been amazing at helping me fill the washer twice a week for Zane's diapers.)  But it is getting old.

We have asked the owners of the apartment if they can come fix the water multiple times. They told us recently they have sent a plumber up 4 times already and that nothing was wrong.  We were astonished and told them NO one has come to our place yet!  They were either being really nice Ecuadorians with not wanting to offend us or they sent the plumber to our neighbors.

To top it all off our main toilet stopped flushing today.  Go figure!

What do you listen to while doing mundane tasks around the house?  I am starting to want more material to work with in all these extra time consuming chores!

I am thankful that God doesn't stop working.  I have one thing in my life that remains constant no matter where I live!

Waiting hopefully with full expectation for this mysterious "plumber" to come today,

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Moms Against Manic Mondays

Monday, January 14, 2013

Ten Opposites I {Toddler Play}

My little man is loving opposites right now at 15 months.  Here are a few of the opposites we have done during our intentional learning times.

Choose two per day for a week's worth of learning play!

1. COLD vs. HOT

Spanish: frio y caliente  (I also say them in spanish so he can learn both! We do live in Ecuador.)

Zane is darling when I'm in the kitchen and the oven is on.  He goes up to the oven almost touches it then says "Ot Ot Ot."  I tell him yes, thats right- it is very HOT and you cannot touch it.
This little interaction inspired me to have an intentional learning play time with hot things.  I know- I'm a great mom, wanting my kid to play with hot things.

I heated some water in a plastic container about 30 seconds.  Just enough to have it feeling hot, but not enough to burn.  Slightly hotter than I would have him bathe in.

I also put some tap water in a separate container that looked identical.  (You can also add some ice in the cold one so the contrast is even greater.)

We marched out onto our porch (cause I knew we were about to become soak mania central).

I placed both containers in front of him.  I took his hands and placed it first in the cold water.  I said "Cold".  Then I placed his hand in the hot water and said "Hot".

I wish you  could have seen his face!  He was not only well aware the water temperatures were different but he wanted to feel the cold one again.  He proceeded to go back and forth.  Each time his hand touched the water that was cold I wold repeat "cold" and same for the hot water.

He decided he liked the cold water better.  He would not go back to playing with the hot water, but just stuck his hand in the cold.  I am guessing it was because it was hot outside.  (We live in Ecuador where it is about 75 degrees in the sun even in January.)

By the end of the play time his pants were soaked from dumping both waters on himself.  Wet boy = good time.

2.  WET vs. DRY

mojado y seco

Inspiration for this active play time came from spilled water on our couch.  Zane saw the wet spot and would touch it over and over again.  I would tell him "wet" when he touched it.  I decided to wet a towel and keep a second one dry.  I wanted them to look the same.

I set both in front of him.  I helped his hand touch the wet towel.  I said "wet".  I then moved that same hand over to the dry towel and said "dry".

I kept saying which one he touched when he was touching them on his own.  To my surprise he started saying "et, eye"  "et, eye" "et, eye".  I was really proud of him to feel the wet and be able to 'say' et!  

He decided he no longer wanted the dry one and threw it behind him.  He proceeded to play only with the wet one.  Putting it on his head, wiping the ground, and throwing it forward and backwards in play.

3.  ON vs. OFF

encendida y apagada

At night time go into a closed room.  Turn off the main light while holding your little guy in your arms and say 'OFF'.  Turn on the light and say 'ON'.  Let your toddler turn on and off the switch, they will love it!  Zane takes a long time in actually pushing the switch on and off because he gets so excited he giggles and enjoys the excitement of the whole thing!

Fun twist to this play time is having a flash light that you wave around the room!

4.  UP vs. DOWN

arriba y abajo

When we go to the park we get to do this opposite on the sea-saw.  At one point after many repetitions of saying up and down Zane started saying 'Dn, Uh' 'Dn, Uh'.  He wouldn't always say the Dn when he was down, but he was trying to copy!

5.  OPEN vs. CLOSE

abrir y cerrar

One of Zane's favorites.  Give him anything with a lid (water bottle, tupaware), or a swinging door, and he will open and shut it all day long.  I just say the right words when he is doing the right action and he gets them ingrained in his little brain.

6.  LOUD vs. QUIET

fuerte y quieto

This was fun.  You can do this activity during story time.

I would say in my normal voice "Zane I am going to read very loud"- then I read loudly.

He looked at me with this funny smile and stuck his hand in my mouth!

Then I say in my normal voice "I am going to read very soft".

 He liked the whisper in his ear.  He started mimicking blabbering loudly and then breathing hard more like a sigh for the soft reading part.  It was so cute.

I repeat "Loud" before I read a sentence or two loudly and "Soft" when I whisper to him.

You can also do this by playing music.  Play a song loudly then softly while telling him the words.


dulce y salada

Normally I do not just give my child a spoon full of sugar- even to get the hiccups away- but this particular opposite I couldn't resist!

I placed some white sugar in a small pile in front of him on his tray.  Then I did the same right beside it with salt.

I had him taste the sugar first.  Hmm... yes, he wanted more.

Then the salt... and to my surprise he hardly reacted at all and wanted more salt as well!

His face would change but he seemed to like both.  

8.  SLOW vs. FAST

despacio y rapido

For Christmas Zane got a big dump truck.   My husband helped with this one while I was the photographer.  As we put him on it and go fast and tell him "Fast!" Then I would go really slow and say "Slow".

He would giggle and want the fast one more!

9.  IN vs. OUT

adentro y afuera 

We practice this opposite almost every day.  I teach Zane to pick up his toys before his naps and bed time.

10.  DIRTY vs. CLEAN

sucio y limpio

Every healthy kid needs some good 'ol dirt playing time.

And some bath time to wash it all away.

What great fun we had with opposites this week!

Link up with Tot school!
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Friday, January 4, 2013

Jungle Time Christmas

Our Christmas was filled with hiking through the Amazon Jungle.

Crossing rivers...

Sitting on rocks...

Climbing giant tree-houses...
Mirike & Amber
Fishing in the river...

Jungle standing around...

Mom & Dad

Z loved the many many stairs!

Christmas day was a special time with family.  Zane also received 3 different dump trucks of various sizes.

Decorating Christmas Cookies

Train Grandma Holland gave him.  Goes "vroom" like the trucks.
Sister gift Katelyn gave us- really cute!

Uncle Mirike is so silly

Making home-made Cinnamon Rolls for Christmas morning!

This fish was excited to be around Zane...


Hiking to the jungle zoo...

"Don't give sweets to the animals"

 The house the President of Ecuador stays in when he comes to the jungle.

 Pastaza River

Loren had a monkey who looked just like this growing up as a pet!

Listening to Christmas music
Relaxing with husband at the pool while grandpa and Aunt K babysat!

 Spent the night in Banos, Ecuador

Banos Restaurant

Walking boy

Visiting Palon de Diablo Waterfall...

the crew after our hike back up hill from the waterfall
This sign was on the wall behind where we parked our car.

"Caught thief will be burned whether kid or adult"
 Mirike, Amber, Kate, and AJ all rode 4-wheelers in Banos.

Eating in Banos...

Back in Quito

Quito Basilica Church

Touring old town

Last Breakfast all together for a while...

All of us siblings together again!
 With fond memories,
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