Thursday, June 2, 2011

Preschool Fun

Hey guys! So I thought I would post a few fun preschool/crafting ideas that I stole from other mommy blogs. You know me ... I love to pass on fun craft ideas! :) Here is a glimpse of some of our current favs:

Muffin Tin Painting.

Yup yup, just like it sounds. Flip a muffin tin over, paint the circles then press a piece of paper on top to "stamp" the paint. We wanted a bit more fun with this paper so Molly did some doodles on it once it dried. I stole this idea from a Red Tri facebook post. If ya'll know me you know that I am OBSESSED with Red Tricycle. If you live in the greater Seattle area & have kids you should be obsessed with Red Tri too. :) Seriously, join their email list. So many fun ideas for kid friendly activities to do around Seattle.

Color Theory

We've done a few versions of the color wheel (and a bunch of color crafts). This version of the color wheel is my favorite. I like how the triangle highlights the primary colors (just a nice visual cue for the kiddo). We talked about cool colors & warm colors but honestly I was happy that Molly remembered what the 3 primary colors are. We put the 3 primary colors on our painting tray & then made a nifty ....

...Color Box!!!!
Super fun craft I stole from Pink and Green Mama. I bought her rainbow art camp lesson book. Molly & I mixed all the colors together (fun way to practice some color theory ... she loved consulting her color wheel to figure out which colors she should mix together). Then when we're bored some afternoons we go on color hunts. We actually really like using our alphabet box (more on that later) to get our colored items from.

Alphabet Box

Okay so we were getting pretty bored with the alphabet. I mean yeah we love our letters and all but honestly it was getting pretty stale. Then I saw an awesome idea on Pink and Green Mama. I know I'm a little obsessed with her as well. Anyways she had this cool ABC box! We bought a box on Amazon (used our free prime shipping ... thank you Amazon Mom). We scrounged up some old scrapbooking letters and slapped them on with some double sided scrapbooking tape & whala! we had an awesome alphabet box. It's now one of our favorite toys.

I put paper lowercare letters (more leftover scrapbooking supplies) in the box along w/ some small items that start with that letter. Most of our small items are Japanese erasers. Molly is obsessed. We've been picking them up on trips to the international district (Molly loves to take "her bus" the "2-5-5". Anyways we've been starting to get a pretty decent collection & I love that we now have a place to store them (and all of our other random tiny toys that we can no longer leave in the toy box thanks to a little guy by the name of Cormac). :) Plus now they are educational toys! But come on we all know my favorite part is the OCD organization. :) We pick a few boxes, dump them out on the table and then try to figure out what box each item belongs in (basically we just practice phonics).

Well there you have it! Those are our favorite preschool crafts this month (and the blogs we steam them from). What are your favorite mommy blogs? I'd loved to get more Christian mommy blogs in my rotation. I find most of my blogs on Ohdeedoh.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Better to give then receive (from a toddler perspective)

So Molly loves sharing (especially food). She still struggles w/ the toddler selfishness. If you've ever had a playdate you know that. ;) However if you've hung out w/ us for any long period you also know that she can be a pretty aggressive sharer. I think Holly can vouch for this. Molly spent one egg hunt running after Holly trying to give her eggs even though Holly didn't want them. :-P

Intro done. :) So today Molly got a really special treat. It's like her favorite snack ever. (Auntie Anne's fruit snacks) She was having fun sharing her treat w/ me & then she told me she wanted to share some w/ daddy. I told her I couldn't hold onto the treat for daddy but she could save him the last one if she wanted. So I gave her a choice that she could either eat them all or save one for daddy. Now I'm pretty sure that the reason Molly likes to share food so much is b/c it hasn't really sunk in that when she gives food away that means less food for her. So today was maybe the first time she really had to choose between sharing a treat w/ daddy & eating that treat herself. First she said "I eat them all!". Then she said "I share one w/ daddy!". It was a really hard choice & remember this is like her favorite treat. So she made it to the last one ... She decided on a compromise. She ate most of the last treat but saved daddy the tiniest portion possible. It's so cute. There is the tiny sliver of a fruit snack wrapped & waiting for daddy on our kitchcn counter. :)

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Jer 1:5

"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you. Before you were born I consecrated you". -- Jer 1:5

I've been dwelling on this verse a lot lately (probably b/c I've been carrying it around my neck lately). Our doctor shared this verse w/ us at the hospital. He told us that he didn't understand why such a horrible thing would happen to our family. However he said that he believed that God picked us to be Colette's parents. To love her & take care of her for 8 months. And it's an huge honor to be picked to be those people.

I still really struggle w/ that. Honestly I still wish that I had never gotten pregnant. Somedays I even want to go back to our pre Molly days. Not b/c I don't adore my daughter but just b/c being that carefree couple was so easy. One friend said that she thinks it's harder already being a mom b/c then you really know what you lost. However when I get really depressed & scared & confused it's good to remember that God knew all of this back when he planted that little blastocyte in my womb. It makes me really really angry at Him but it also gives me peace. B/c as much as I don't get it (and I don't think I ever will this side of heaven), I believe that God is good & He is in control of everything.

I like the way Piper put it:

"I think God never laid
Aside the reins that lie against
The neck of Satan, no unfenced
His pen to run at liberty,
But only by the Lord's decree"

"Behold the mercy of our King,
Who takes from death its bitter sting,
And by his blood, and often ours,
Brings triumph out of hostile pow'rs,
And paints, with crimson, earth and soul
Until the bloody work is whole.
What we have lost God will restore --
That, and himself, forevermore,
When he is finished with his art;
The quiet worship of our heart.
When God creates a humble hush,
And makes Leviathan his brush,
It won't be long before the rob
Becomes the tender kiss of God."

(John Piper, "Misery of Job & the Mercy of God")

Friday, April 30, 2010

This is not how it should be

This is not how it should be
This is not how it could be
But this is how it is
And our God is in control

This is not how it will be
When we finally will SEE
We'll SEE with our own eyes
He was always in control

And we'll sing Holy, Holy, Holy is our God
And we will finally, really understand what it means
So we'll sing Holy, Holy, Holy is our God

While we're waiting for that day
This is not where we planned to be
When we started this journey
But this is where we are
And our God is in control

Though this first taste is bitter
There will be sweetness forever
When we finally taste and SEE
That our God is in control

And we'll sing Holy, Holy, Holy is our God
And we will finally, really understand what it means
So we'll sing Holy, Holy, Holy is our God

While we're waiting for that day
We're waiting for that day
We'll keep on waiting for that day
And we will know our God is in control
(Holy, Holy, Holy, Holy, Holy)
Our God is in control
(Holy, Holy, Holy)
Our God is in control
(Holy, Holy, Holy)

(steven curtis chapman, "our god is in control" from "beauty will rise")

Sunday, January 24, 2010

How Are You?

The most loaded question anyone can ask us right now. I apologize if you've asked me this recently & I've blown you off. Honestly I have a hard time w/ knowing just how much to share. B/c the answer is so complicated. Part of me just wants to say "I'm horrible, what do you expect?". However that's not the complete story. Some moments we're okay. We're even happy sometimes. It's just not our previous level of happiness. I really like Molly Piper's blogpost We used to be happy people ... I even have proof. First time I read this I found it so horrible & depressing. We had just lost Colette & I wanted to be told that the horrible ache would pass. Instead I read that it'll never go away. A couple months later I reread it & it comforts me now. B/c I'm starting to realize that this ache will never truly heal. But this line is a promise that I hope to be able to live one day: “We might not be the happy-go-lucky gals we used to be, but our lives here will tell stories of indescribable loss and the love of a God who made us to be exactly who we are—every line, every gray hair. None of it is wasted.”

So to answer your question, we’re surviving. We’re healing be it slowly. I’ve been repainting the nursery over the weekend & today this line from “A grief observed” by CS Lewis really spoke to me. “Tonight all the hells of young grief have opened up again; the mad words, the bitter resentment, the fluttering in the stomach, the nightmare unreality, the wallowed-in tears. For in grief nothing ‘stays put.’ One keeps on emerging from a phase but it always recurs. Round and round. Everything repeats. Am I going in circles, or dare I hope I am on a spiral? But if a spiral, am I going up or down it?” The grief comes & goes. I’ll go a whole week thinking that we’re healing & doing better & then some trigger will just knock me down. Repainting the nursery has been good. There was just too much planning that happened in that nursery. Plans that were never able to reach fruition. So I needed a change. It’s good but it’s hard. Pretty much anything real & good right now has a flip side of being horrible. The only uncomplicated happy things are the completely superficial, like silly tv shows or shopping trips. Anything w/ real emotion is a mixed bag. Church is good but it’s hard. I’m struggling w/ God so I haven’t made it through a church service yet w/o crying. Part of me dreads quiet time. I have to steel myself up to go wrestle w/ God. It’s all good just hard.

So if I seems flippant sometimes & bottled up it’s because I need to be that way often just to make it through the day. When I’m real it’s just so broken. Even when I talk about Colette & about how we are I’m often still so reserved. It’s almost an out of the body experience, or a very factual discussion.

I’m really enjoying reading “A grief observed” by CS Lewis. It’s a totally different kind of loss but it’s interesting how much we still have in common. Here are a couple of things that really spoke to me. Just to share where we are & what we’re struggling with:
"Talk to me about the truth of religion & I'm listen gladly. Talk to me about the duty of religion & I'll listen submissively. But don't come talking to me about the consolation of religion or I shall suspect that you don't understand."

"And poor C. quotes to me, 'Do not mourn like those that have no hope.' It astonishes me, the way we are invited to apply to ourselves words so obviously addressed to our betters. What St. Paul says can only comfort those who love God better than the dead, and the dead better than themselves. If a mother is mourning not for what we has lost but for what her dead child has lost, it is a comfort to believe that the child has not lost the end for which it was created. And it is a comfort to believe that she herself, in losing her chief or only natual happiness, has not lost a greater thing, that she may still hope to 'glorify God and enjoy His forever.' A comfort to the God-aimed eternal spirit within her. But not to her motherhood. The specifically maternal happiness must be written off. Never, in any place or time, will she have her son on her knees, or bathe him, or tell his a story, or plan for his future, or see her grandchild."

I really liked this last quote. Too many people tell us “well take comfort b/c she’s w/ her heavenly father”. Intellectualy I get it & I appreciate the attempt at comfort. However emotionally that is just so out of my realm of comprehension. Someone wrote us about how Colette’s father God is holding her right now for us. I believe that’s true & I know it was written as a comfort but we’re just not there yet. We went to bed sobbing that night. Ian told me that intellectually he gets that Colette is happy & perfect right now & she’s w/ God. But we just can’t get it out of our minds that she still needs us. He’s like I just keep thinking that she still needs her daddy. We just can't shake the loss of parental happiness that quickly. I mean why does God get to hold her & not us? So we’re working on it. This has definitely shown us holes in our faith. Not holes in the theology or anything that intellectually doesn’t make sense, but holes in how much we took certain things to heart.

(Another quote from "A Grief Observed")
“We were even told, ‘Blessed are they that mourn,’ and I accepted it. I’ve got nothing that I hadn’t bargained for. Of course it is different when the thing happens to oneself, not to others, and in reality, not in imagination. Yes; but should it, for a sane man, make quite such a difference as this? No. And it wouldn’t for a man whose faith had been real faith and whose concern for other people’s sorrows had been real concern. The case is too plain. If my house had collapse at one blow, that is because it was a house of cards. The faith which ‘took these things into account’ was not faith but imagination. The taking them into account was not real sympathy. If I had really cared, as I thought I did, about the sorrows of the world, I should not have been so overwhelmed when my own sorrow came.”

Don’t worry I’m not having a crisis of faith. I’m just working things out w/ God & realizing that I didn’t have it quite so pulled together as I thought I did. Thanks for listening

Sunday, December 20, 2009


So alot of things have affected me more then I thought they would during the events of the past month. One of them is how ugly I've let my heart get. We've given ourselves alot of slack in various things. (decided that things like entertainment budget, healthy eating, exercise, etc. just aren't worth stressing over right now). We needed to. We even now regularly break one of old rules (no tv in bed). Nighttime is really rough for us so for the past month we have regularly brought the laptop downstairs w/ us. We watch something ridiculous & stupid before we fall asleep. I've even used it to fall asleep(never used to fall asleep to the tv). However I'm starting to see that there is one thing I've given myself way too much slack on: emotional control. I've always been an emotional person. I've started some ridiculous fights over something stupid b/c I'm moody. When we got married I used to say that that was just the way I was. Ian really corrected me that area & although it's far from a completed work I've really grown in that area. Been working on taking my thoughts captive & realizing that just b/c I feel someway doesn't mean I have to let that feeling stay there. But not lately. Now I just let my thoughts go wherever I want. I get so easily frustrated at stupid things & I pick fights w/ people I love. I think that I deserve to feel angry & mad right now. I don't really know how to be mad at God b/c (1.) He's not tangible & (2.) Even though I'm hurt & angry I still do believe that He's in control & that He is good. Not sure if that means He has my best intrest at heart ... sometimes I think that maybe these awful things that happen in life aren't always about us at all but about something or someone else. Maybe God is using this to teach us something or maybe He's using it for His glory in some random way that I will never see or understand. Regardless those things make it hard to be truly angry at God. Especially the part about Him being intangible. I mean how are you supposed to hurt God? So I get mad at people who I can hurt. People who are close to me. I just caught myself the other day ... I'm scared of the person that I am turing into. So I still think it's okay to give myself slack in alot of areas of my life. However this is not one of those areas. So if you think about it please pray for me & my family in this area. I'm struggling here.

Right now I am just so grateful for a husband who is willing to call me out on sin even when we're both hurting & grieving. I'm grateful for friends who just listen to me scream & rant when I'm hurting. And I'm grateful for a Savior who never lets me go.

Psalm 139
Even before a word is on my tongue behold O Lord you know it altogether. You hem me in behind & before & lay your hand upson me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me. it is high; I cannot attain it. Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven you are there. If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there. If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even then your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?

So it's been awhile since I last updated this. Guess I'm not a hardcore blogger. :-P
Just wanted to share what was going on with our family right now. For those of you who don't know, our daughter Colette Joy Huff died at 37 weeks old (almost 38). I delivered her on November 17th after we found out that she had passed away. Worst day of our lives. It all just seems so wrong. Our house which used to seem so busy & full with one kid now seems empty b/c we know that we're missing one of our babies. We were so excited for this time of year ... so excited to meet our little baby who we had awaited so anxiously. Now everything just seems horrible. Even when we're able to successfully distract ourselves for awhile then it will hit us again that our baby is gone & we'll just break down. However we've kinda built a wall around our grief & so it's getting easier to be normal & just keep that hurt walled off. As we're able to deal w/ it we let a little out at a time. So life is starting to resume to normal even though we know this will never really fully heal.

All things considered we're doing okay. (The other day I got asked how I was doing by someone I didn't know super well .... didn't know how to respond b/c I didn't think he really wanted to hear all the gory details of my day). We're okay but we're not okay. Honestly it depends on when you ask the questions. One minute we can't stop crying & the next minute we're okay. It comes in waves. We really appreciate all of the notes & the texts & facebook posts. We're not always good about responding to people right now but know that you are appreciated. It's nice just knowing that our friends are there for us, loving on us.

Just wanted to share some of our thoughts (this is from an email Ian sent out):
After Colette was born we both just held her in our arms and cried for hours. She's been my daughter since the day she was conceived and any type of miscarriage would have devastated us, but losing her full term made this part particularly bad. Her skin was white and flaky and had started to peel a bit since she had now been dead for more than a day. But aside from that she just seemed so real, healthy and beautiful. Since what happened to her happened suddenly it's just so hard to think that if we had preterm labor of some type she could have just been born and we would have her home now instead of all this.

After having her taken away to sleep for a few hours we had her back in the morning to hold and say goodbye to (this is when we had our friends over to take the pictures with). It was really hard to hold her again, but it struck us even more this morning that the body that we were holding was not Colette. She'd already moved on to be with the Lord some time ago, and while we liked the chance to hold her at least once this was just the shell here that was left. Still it was really hard to finally turn her over to the nurses, we took care of all our discharge and packing so that the last thing that we did was turn over Colette and walk out the door.
In the couple of days after we just swung wildly between total grief and utter denial. There were just too many things that would set us off (Take-home outfits to repack, cremation forms to sign, "I'm a big sister now" books for Molly, Liz's milk coming in) and the only way that we could live life at all was to just pretend like this had never happened, that it was just a horrible dream and that we were just a family of three like we had always been. During these times we were really blessed by prayers, helpful hands (Liz's mom and others) and messages from people that we loved. Now we are getting to the point that we can still be grieving, but functional. A little more able to face reality while not just falling apart totally.

The only real assurance during all this is knowing that the Lord loved our daughter and that while we don't understand why we only got 37 weeks with her we know that he's now looking after her until Liz and I can get there to see her. I was always afraid that something like this would shake my faith, but it was just impossible to hold Colette's body, to look at her and to think that she was just some type of unlucky animal that didn't get a chance at life. What she was was a beautiful daughter of God and even though I don't know why things had to happen this way and I might scream at God for understanding I don't scream to ask if he is there or if Colette is safe with him, because I know that answer is yes to both of those, now more than ever.
I don't understand why this happened but I do believe that God is good & that He is in perfect control of this situation. However as strongly as I believe that I am really struggling w/ it right now. I just don't understand. My Bible is comforting to me but not in the normal sense of comfort. I've been reading through the end of Job lately. (Job 38- 42 " Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind and said: Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge? Dress for action like a man; I will question you, and you make it known to me. Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell me if you have understanding. Who determined its measurements -- surely you know! ... Then Job answered the Lord and said: I know that you can do all things and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted. Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge? Therefore I have uttered that I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know."