Monday, November 26, 2012

Sick Day

Today my Taylor was sent home from school with the stomach flu. We have decided to use this opportunity to throw out the chore list and do things like play pictionary on the iPad and monopoly. Loving the sweet time with my girl when she would otherwise be in school.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Photo Booth Fun!

This year for our church's annual "Barnyard Blowout" (halloween alternative), I was in charge of a photo booth. I have never done one before but have always thought they look super fun. We had tons of props, most of which do not appear in these pictures. But our friends had a lot of fun with them! For your viewing pleasure...

Cameron was my big helper with set up.
On our way to the festivities. Oh Taylor...
I was pretty sure we were well past the elmo phase until we went costume shopping. He thinks it is just amazing that he can be in elmo's mouth. Elmo's mouth never looked so cute!

Super Girl!

Kyle didn't get the memo that dressing up is fun. He only let us wrestle half of his monkey costume onto him.

Taylor rocked the glasses prop. Cam was too busy eating and I'm pretty sure Kyle would have ate my prop if I used one...

Fun times! Cameron looks over it and Kyle is trying to take off the other half of his costume. Mahaffie Mayhem!

Taylor and her bestie, Miss Naomi.


Cameron with his bestie, Miss Sally!

Taylor with Grandma Mahaffie.

No harvest party is complete without a potato sack race!
So there you have it. Cheers to trying something new!


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

paper paper everywhere!

So I have an ongoing struggle in our house. Constant piles of papers. Everywhere. Ok, maybe not everywhere but it feels like it. The largest contributors to these piles are Taylor's art work and her school work. I recently turned a wall in the dining room into a "Masterpieces" wall to display the art work.
I took several frames from goodwill and transformed them into 'art displays' like this one.

Art work piles: check!

But that still leaves the never ending stream of school work papers. Some are things that we need to work on at home (reading bingo, sight words, etc) some are her unfinished work that she needs to complete, others are info papers for mom, and of course the completed work with stickers and stars on them. I almost forgot about picture day yesterday because the papers for that were shuffled in with other "quality work", in a pile. SO, today I decided something needed to change about my 'filing system'.
My Solution:

A binder, a package of dividers, page protectors and of course, the label maker.

There is a tab for "At Home"  for ongoing things to do at home like reading bingo, etc, one for "Unfinished Work", one for "Mom's To Do" for important papers like picture day order forms, and another for "Quality Work" for a few of those papers with the stickers and stars (I am keeping these pages in chronological order so at the end of the year we can look back at her progress).
I have a feeling I will be making a couple more binders similar to this for other paper pile culprits. But for now, this will be a great start to ending the paper madness!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Magnetic Fun

A few months ago I hosted a Blessings Unlimited party for a friend of mine. Tons of great stuff! One of the items I purchased is a set of ABC faith building magnets. I love the concept of these cute little things! Each magnet has a letter and a faith building concept or challenge to go with it. Example, "T" is for truthful, Say good-bye to a lie.

At first we had all of them scattered all over the fridge. Soon they just became part of the decor and were looked past just like all of the other clutter stuck to the fridge. I decided that I need to come up with a better way to utilize these as a tool rather than colorful clutter but I didn't really have any great ideas so I just left them as is.

Fast forward to today.
An idea finally hit. So, this morning Cameron helped me with a 2 minute craft project. We took a plain white frame (I) hot glued magnets to the back and we used some alphabet stickers for the wording. Tada!

 I realize this isn't a super fabulous, never been done, amazing idea. I'm sure there are even dozens of other ideas out there that are better than this. But this is just perfect for us. Each week we will put a new letter in the frame. Then we will talk about it and find ways to put it into practice that week. It's simplistic and basic. That's what I love most about it. Too often I find myself spinning my wheels trying to come up with the most elaborate ways to do things. It's good to just step back and remember that it really doesn't matter how many hundreds of pinterest pins I have on my boards, showing me how to do everything from painting my nails to organizing my pantry. Don't get me wrong, I love Pinterest and have completed several projects thanks to the inspiration of the creative people on there. But what is more important: having that perfectly organized, alphabetized, sanitized, DIY everything house or a home filled with laughter and life lessons? I strive for a happy balance of the two but if push comes to shove, the dishes will wait and the magnetic spice rack project will have to be created another time. My little ones will never be this age again. I have to pack in as much goodness as I can, while I can. So here's to a simple, fun little frame that my little Cameron helped me make!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

What's the big deal about gluten?

I recently decided to do a trial run with a gluten free diet for our family. Well, mostly for Cameron but I'm not about to make two different meals, every meal, every day. So we are all on this little trial run together. Well, almost all of us. Dan will be joining our little journey really soon! I posted a couple things about being gluten free on Facebook and had several people ask me why I have decided to make the switch. Rather than clogging up Facebook with lengthy explanations, I would rather blog about it.
It really isn't anything other than a test right now.
My 3 year old, Cameron, has displayed several little "issues" over the past 2 years as he is growing that have raised little flags here and there in my mind. Yes, I know every child is different, every child grows and develops at a different pace and they all have their own little unique personalities. But struggling (and I mean STRUGGLING!) to get my son to eat just about anything and everything, every day for over 2 years starts to raise a lot of concerns in a mom's heart. So I started to research a few things and made a lot of mental notes. I also talked to his doctor about my concerns. She just kind of gently walked around the issues with comments such as "he is just a picky eater" and "he will grow out of it". Well, that is one of the problems. He literally isn't growing. When your toddler wears the same summer clothes 2 summers in a row there is a chance something isn't quite right. So I persisted. Finally she agreed to have a food allergies blood test done on him. And of course everything came back normal. So I was left thinking either I really am just crazy or something is still not right but I just don't have a clue still.
In talking with several of my family members that have a number of food allergies I learned that a blood test doesn't always reflect what your body is feeling. Long story short, I read up on symptoms of being gluten intolerant and Cameron displays several of them. Both physical and behavioral. I figure as his mom I owe it to him to try any and everything I can to find how I can best help my little boy get healthier.

The 2 week trial so far:
At first I just started slowly trading out things that he normally ate for a gluten free alternative.  Eventually I moved to a totally gluten free diet for several days in a row. He was showing signs of feeling better, more energy and just overall a happier kid. More willing to receive instruction and actually a joyful helper rather than an angry defiant stinker. His tummy wasn't  as bloated, his bathroom issues were improving a lot and the dark circles under his eyes were going away. Then I allowed him to have 1 item that had gluten in it to see what would happen. The result: a horrible day for all! He didn't feel good at all, he was majorly cranky and just a total yo-yo of emotions. So back to totally gluten free he went. It took a few days but he started to come back around and is doing much better again. I am going to keep him on the g-free diet for a couple more weeks to see what additional changes may result. But so far, the changes I have seen have made the change completely worth it. Yes, the food is pricey, you can't eat out many places (darn!), and it is a lot of work learning how to cook all over again. But after seeing what my boy is like when he feels healthy, you can't put a cost on that for me. If this really is what he needs (which at this point I am almost certain it is) then I will do everything in my power to make it work.
Making it work?
Right now I am going to a lot of stores to find where the best places are to get products, getting creative in the kitchen with what I have found so far, asking a ton of questions, and researching ways to make a lot of things my own. Thankfully, I have a lot of built in resources with family that is gluten intolerant. They have walked this road before me and have been a great source of information and encouragement. We still have a long way to go in figuring this all out but at least there is a start and there is progress! Really good progress! And for now, I am beyond thankful for that.

Friday, August 24, 2012

I'm back on the wagon!

So I just realized it has been over a year since I posted anything. Oops. Well, it has been an amazing year. Let's see, Kyle joined our family in January, we moved into our own home in February, our house in Indiana FINALLY sold in July, Taylor graduated kinder, we took our very first family camping trip (with a 6 month old!) um, and a million other wonderful things!
Now that we are finally settling into things I am determined to be much more diligent about posting about the many adventures of the Mahaffie family. If for no other reason, to force myself to stop and reflect on all of the sweet moments this season in life has for us daily. Cheers!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Our little Evangelist

Today over lunch Taylor tells me "I don't think my teacher knows about Jesus."
To which I reply, "Why do you think that?"
Taylor: "Well, she just never talks about him." (Hmm, how many of us ADULTS claim to know Jesus but we just never talk about him, chew on that.)
I then try to explain to her that even though her kindergarten is on the same campus as her Christian preschool this school isn't allowed to teach about the Bible. So her teacher might know about Jesus, she just isn't allowed to teach about Him.
Taylor was appalled! She says, "That is such a bad rule! We should just break that rule and tell them that they don't need that rule because the Bible is a VERY important book." She continues with "I know! I will tell my teacher everything I know about Jesus so that she will know and then she won't get in trouble because I will be teaching about Him! Then, when I get older, I will study and learn more and more about Him and tell her that too!"
Then she asks, "Will I get in trouble for that mom?"
To which I just reply, "No baby. You tell anyone you want about Jesus."
Still shocked by this 'rule' she says, "I bet that rule makes God very sad because He wants people to learn more about Him."

This whole conversation I pretty much just let her talk to see where she would go with it and how she would respond. I must say, if we all had the passion and urgency that our Taylor girl has in spreading the gospel things would look a LOT different!

Let your little light shine baby girl! Public school or not, people NEED Christ and she gets that.

(Side note: The property RIGHT next to our church building a Muslim prayer center is being built.) A while back, out of her typical curiosity she asked what they are building. We explained to her what it is and what will be going on there. She then asked if we could get up early the next morning to go talk to them to tell them about Jesus so that they can stop praying to the wrong god and so they can know God. I explained that right now it is just the construction workers there, the people that will be praying there aren't there yet since the building isn't finished.
She replied so matter of factly, "Well, do the construction people need to know about Jesus?"

This girl isn't 5 yet Ya'll! She is on mission to tell everyone she meets whatever she knows about Jesus. She knows she still has a lot to learn about Him but that doesn't stop her. She will share every bit that she does know and as she learns more, she'll share that too.
This is such a perfect picture of that child-like faith Jesus spoke about. Such a challenge and inspiration to us to just share whatever we do know, even if we don't know it all. Because guess what, NO ONE knows all there is to know about God (in case you didn't already know that) ;). So just share what you do know and let God take care of the rest!

 Lets all take a few lessons from Taylor: defy the rules and tell the world about Jesus!