Monday, April 21, 2014

Lesson on Contentment: Learning to say No to ourselves



I had a long conversation with my five years old this morning regarding setting limit to ourselves.

So far Max already learned that we can't just get/ buy him anything he wants. We have to consider if it's necessary, good quality, reasonable size, not too expensive, and so on. He knows that sometimes in order to get something he has to earn enough chores money or reading points, or wait until his birthday or Christmas.

Last weekend, I brought the boys to the Toy Store to get a birthday present for a friend. There, Max saw a good quality dinosaur that he really really want.
So he started asking:
"Mama, can I have it for my birthday present?"
"Can I have it if I read 50 books?"
"Can I buy with my money?"

I don't mind buying things for my kids but in this particular case; I don't think he need another dinosaur toy.

So I told him, "No. I don't think you need another dinosaur. You have a lot already."

with tears in his eyes, he replied, "But I don't have that one with horns yet."

I paused.... I knew exactly how he feels. I remembered feeling way that when I was 9 years old asking my mom to get me a new pencil case. She said, "No." I was so angry at her that night. I didn't understand why. After all it's not that expensive and I don't ask for something often. It doesn't matter now but it was a big deal for me then.

So now that is my turn, I want my kid to understand why I said no.

I explained, "Max do you remember learning about three basic human needs: place to live, clothes to wear, and food to eat?"

Max: Yes.

Me: Those are the things that we need in order to live. The rest are not that important. Papa works hard so that we can pay for our home, food, and clothes. Also, God told us to give to others in need. Remember when you gave your money to the needy children? What happens if mama keep on saying "Yes" to everything you want? then we can't give more to others who could use the money for their basic needs.
  
What if for example Papa told us he wants a new car while our cars are still working fine. Is it okay?

Max: but Papa doesn't want a new car

Me: Let's pretend if he does

Max: then we will have too many cars and no place for it.

Me: Exactly! And new car cost a lot of money. Sometimes, we have to say no to ourselves so that we can say yes to others. So now do you understand why mama say No?

Max: Yes.

Me: So can you just pretend that one of your dinosaurs has horns?

Max: Okay.

Then we close our conversation with prayer for God to teach us to be content and generous with what He has given to us.


Someone said, "while we teach, we learn." It's so very true. As I shared the lesson with him, God used this as a reminder for me walk the talk: to live simply so others may simply live.

 

Monday, April 14, 2014

Sewing: How to fluff stuffed animal




After 5+ years of daily hugs and cuddles, Max's beloved lovey turned flat:


He then asked me to make it fluffy again. I told him that I would have to do a little surgery.


So he gently kissed his lovey and told him that everything's going to be okay.


How to fluff a stuffed animal:
1. Find a seam on not so noticeable part of the stuffed animal. Use a seam ripper to rip a small portion of the seam. Make the hole large enough to fit your hand.


 2. Take out and throw away the old filling



3. Run the flat stuffed animal in the washer


4. Fill with the new fiberfill. I used this one found at Joann:

5. Then sew the seam closed either by hand or sewing machine.

6. It's done! The happy and fluffed Hachiko:


We have two of them so now I have one more Hachiko to fluff up:




Saturday, April 12, 2014

Gentle Breeze




I thought it's supposed to be easier by now. The kids are 3 and 5 1/2. No more waking up at night, changing diaper, or spoon feeding. I guess it is easier in some way but every season has its own challenge. This season it is more tiring mentally. Every day.... there are fights to break, tears to wipe, boo boo to kiss or pray for, toys to pick up, dishes to wash, dinner to cook, lessons to teach, and most importantly heart to train. It's a blessing and privilege I know but at times I feel weak, drained, and oh so tired.

One afternoon I prayed with my eyes open as I cut the meat for dinner. The weather was around 85 degrees then. His answered came immediately through a gentle cool breeze through the kitchen window. My Heavenly Father knows and He cares. 

I hear no voice, 
I feel no touch,
I see no glory bright;
But yet I know that God is near, 
In darkness as in light.
He watches ever by my side,
And hear my whispered prayer:
The Father for his little child 
Both night and day does care. - Anonymous

Then He reminded me of His conversation with Peter in John 21:15-17
When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, 
“Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?”
“Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, Feed my lambs.”
Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, Take care of my sheep.”
The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” 
He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, Feed my sheep." 

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Sewing: Reversible Vest

We attended two weddings of our dear friends last month and Max was given the privilege and honor to be the ring bear on both weddings. The weddings were two weeks apart so I decided to make a reversible vest to make it work for both occasions.

The process:




The result: wedding number one with royal blue and chocolate color theme:


Of course I had to make one for Wes too:


When it's time to attend wedding number two with bright pink and chocolate color theme; all we had to do was turning the inside out:

 



Thank you dear friends for trusting me with this special project! We are rejoicing with you and your family.

I used the vest tutorial here but used my boys' shirt as pattern since the prudent baby's one is for 12 months old. The bow tie tutorial can be found here.