17 Apr 2014

The Emotions of a Toddler

We simply love our big boy! He's growing up so fast and already the big brother to 2 little guys. He is a good friend and helper. He has lots of energy, loves people and love to ride his bike, pretend to be a plane and play his harmonica. Living in Poland, he's also already learning to speak Polish through interacting with kids and teachers at his Polish preschool. He says things like...

chodź mommy! (translation: come mommy)
trzymaj whyes (translation: hold my hand Elias)
proszę (translation: please)
koparka (translation: digger/tractor)

We're so proud of who he's becoming. And his world is also full of emotion... most of the time he's happy but as any toddler, he has melt downs, fears, and worries. I had my camera out when the baby started to cry... this was his reaction "oh no mommy, baby crying". Love him!

16 Apr 2014

Kids & Castles :: Castle in Ksiaz

Zamek Książ :: POLAND

Built between 1288–1292, Zamek Książ was used by Hitler during the II World War where he dug underground passageways and hid part of Berlin's Library. It is the 3rd largest castle in Poland, and has beautiful grounds and gardens and we absolutely LOVE exploring the horse stables with the boys!

This is the 3rd entry of Kids & Castles. You can check out the other ones here + here. Enjoy!

"knight in training"

15 Apr 2014

Taking Time To Make Memories :: Our Family Photo Albums

It's here!!! Our 2013 family album arrived with my in-laws last week. It seems like time is moving faster and faster and with 3 little ones, and memories can be so fleeting. I'm thankful for the gift of photography that captures the beauty around us and in a small way freezes these little ones in time. They only turn 2 once, learn to walk once, and i can believe how fast they're growing! I love looking back and smiling at the adventures God has taken us on so far.

I came across Blurb books about 5 years ago and LOVE how easy it is to use their BookSmart software. It even saves the book as you go, so being distracted by little ones that need my attention so often isn't a problem! 

I like the simplicity of the cover with the years and we've given each book a 'theme' that captures our lives. This year it was "three in three", because by God's grace we've actually had 3 sons in 3 years! A little crazy, we know... but they fill our lives with joy and our hope is that they'll grow up to be best buddies!

Here's what our Blurb books look like. I like simplicity, so i stick to just the pictures and very little text. This helps save on time too! I put them in chronological order and add the months and name events (see the last picture).

So now that i've shared our 2013 album, i guess it's time i get started on this year! Here's another post i wrote on how i make our books. And another where you can see what our 2010, 2011 + 2012 Blurb albums look like!

Check out my Making Memories Inspiration board on Pintrest to see some other fun ways i've found to "make memories" with our family!

In case you're intersted in making a blurb book here's a coupon code:
save 15% on all printed orders through April 30th!

13 Apr 2014

Life With Toddlers :: Easter Books & Activities

Here are some books we're enjoying this Easter season... I really love Easter, Easter Almost Here! for little ones. It's a board book and has fun shiny pages and a good rhyming rhythm to celebrate Jesus' triumphant entry on Palm Sunday.  The Berenstain Bears and the Easter Story is also a GREAT book. It tells the Easter story through a Sunday school play and explains the real meaning of Easter in a candy-filled world. Benjamin's Box is for a little older kids (4+) and explains the meaning behind the symbols in "resurection eggs". I'm excited to use it with our kids as they grow.

I also started singing this song with our 3-year-old and they lyrics are simple and he sings along. Today he even got his guitar out to "rock out" to the youtube video!

Hosanna (Vineyard)

Colouring always keeps the kiddos busy... at least for 5 minutes :) I made up this .pdf booklet out of free Easter colouring pages i found around the web. It's a mix of spring and Jesus Easter pictures.  I find  the .pdf booklet it makes it easier to print them out for the kids... 

We're also planning to start a yearly family tradition of putting together a Polish Easter Basket, and teach the kids the symbolism and biblical meaning of each of the parts! Our kids are still really little, but we're hoping to give it a trial run this year to see how it turns out! 

Visiting the Krakow Easter Market is another thing on our "to-do"list as a family this year... but right now we're just trying to get the kids healthy again. So we'll see if that happens!

Curious about other cross-cultural traditions? Check out the blogs below, and if you're blogging about Easter or Passover, by all means, join us!

Kids & Castles :: Moszna Castle

This castle in Moszna, Poland is a gem - out in the countryside, not too far off a major highway (A4) we absolutely loved exploring the gardens. Built in the 17th century it has 99 towers and turrets giving it a fairytale look. Presently it can be toured and part of it is a hotel.

Moszna Castle ::  POLAND

12 Apr 2014

Kids & Castles :: Kornik Castle

When we lived in Krakow i liked to blog about interesting places around town in krakow... but with 3 little ones in tow i don't get out as much anymore :) I'd love to do the same in Wrocław someday, but for now i thought i'd start a series called kids & castles. It seems on our days off as a family we are fond of exploring new castles with our little knights... enjoy!

 Kórnik Castle :: POLAND

26 Mar 2014

Kids Were Here :: March 2014

Last November i wrote about a fun photography series that had inspired me "Kids Were Here", basically recording the things around you that are evidence that little ones live in your home or presence.

Time has a way of getting away on me, with these 3 little ones... but here are some images i've captured in the past few months. 

:: bus ride ::

:: polish sandwich ::

:: little sharks ::

:: picasso's paint brush ::

:: toy tower ::

:: toilet paper tower ::

25 Mar 2014

You know you live with little people when...

Life's been pretty busy around here these days... here's a glimpse (via instagram) of what we've been up to! Last week i braved a visit to the zoo with all three littles.. It actually went great! ~ evidence of God's grace. I love giving my energy and time to these little guys and am so thankful that we've been entrusted by God to raise them up and teach them the way they should go... 

It's usually a lot of fun, and exhausting all in one! In a moment of sleep deprivation i wrote this list. Enjoy!

You know you live with little people when...
  1. Your spotify list is dominated by toddler tunes
  2. You’ve become proficient at typing with one hand
  3. You’ve invented a new game called diaper ball (aka. Getting the diaper as close to the garbage as possible while attending to a baby/multiple unpredictable little people so as to make the slam dunk easier later when you acutally find 1.3sec in your day to dispose of them!)
  4. You often hum tunes to the latest show your child is addicted to long after they’ve gone to bed
  5. You know what a swaddle is and you ain’t afraid to use it
  6. You beg your 3 year old to go to bed… so you can go to bed!
  7. Your living room looks like a toy store exploded in the middle of it
  8. You run your washing machine at least once a day (twice if you do cloth diapers)
  9. Your new form of accessorizing is spit up, nose goo… or other bodily fluids
  10. You realize while making your sons birthday cake that the ‘buttercream frosting’ scent is the perfume you’ve been sporting lately
  11. You can’t remember the last time you had a shower
  12. You have sticky floors
  13. You’ve pretty much given up on cleaning windows, mirrors and floors altogether… at least for a time!
  14. "Going out" means going to the park... and is often accompanied by the tune, "outside, outside, everybody go outside!" 
  15. Your caffeinated drink of choice gets you through the day
  16. ‘weekends’ or ‘days off’ seem like a dream from your distant past
  17. The meaning of “delirious” and “sleep deprived” have been taken to new levels
  18. You have little people who say, “thank you, mommy!” or soon will... and little arms to give you hugs at night!

Start children off on the way they should go,
    and even when they are old they will not turn from it.
~ Proverbs 22:6 ~