Easter

I realized that I haven’t posted about Easter yet!

Kaanas worked the night before, and had to work again Easter night, so we planned around his schedule.  In the morning I just hung out with the kids.  In our church on the first weekend in April and in October instead of having regular church services we have a broadcast where we get to listen to our prophet and other church leaders speak.  This meant church started late and we could watch it at my parents’ house.  Kaanas woke up at about 11:30 and we got ready to head over to my parents’ house.  At my parents house, in addition to watching our church broadcast (well, some of it), we took pictures, which was kind of funny.  Getting pictures of two toddlers and a baby all together is a little difficult.  We never did get a picture with them all smiling and looking at the camera.  Either Ebo or Iella were usually upset.  Some of the pictures came out really cute, though, despite the upset kids (by the way, I learned how to blur faces).

Mingli playing peek-a-boo while we take his picture

 

Mingli giving Iella a kiss.

After pictures we had our Easter egg hunt.  Mingli figured out right away what he was supposed to do and loved going after the eggs.  Ebo is a little younger than Mingli and didn’t quite seem to know what to do, but he ended up with more eggs than Mingli.  This was because Mingli can sometimes be a really good sharer, and he choose the egg hunt as one of those times.  Throughout the egg hunt he would put an egg in his basket, then an egg in Ebo’s basket.  It was actually super cute.

Mingli putting an egg in Ebo’s basket

 

Since Kaanas had to be at work we had Easter dinner as more of a late lunch.  For years we have done a dinner with foods Christ ate (or at least foods that are mentioned in connection with him).  We have fish, bread and honey, figs, olives, grape juice (instead of wine), and corn.  This year we also added chicken because Kaanas doesn’t eat fish, and it mentions chicken in the scriptures when it talks about the cock crowing and Peter denying Christ.

After dinner Kaanas left for work and I came home.  After putting Iella to sleep Mingli and I cuddled together and watched the movie Finding Faith in Christ.  I explained it to Mingli as we watched it because he is still a little young to understand it.  It was a nice end to a nice day.

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Our first nature study

I have not been doing school with Mingli lately, and I want to start again.  I have been busy planning so I can have everything ready when we move, hopefully in the next couple of weeks, and we can start (I will post more about my planning soon).  One thing I have wanted to start with Mingli is a nature study.  I have never done this before and felt like I needed some guidance, so I started looking up toddler/preschool nature study curriculums.  I wanted something simple that included a lot of exploration, and I found something that is just perfect!  We are going to be using the Charlotte Mason nature study.  Basically, all you do is take your kid into nature once a week and let them explore.  You can bring things like magnifying glasses and stuff like that if you want to, and you can take things home for further examination, but the child is supposed to be able to spend the time exploring however they want.  It is so simple, I don’t know why I thought I had to have lesson plans and all that every week for our nature study.

Even though I am not starting school again until we move, we had our first nature study today.  My mom wanted to go to a local national park, so I decided that it would be a good time to test out our nature study.  The place we went had an interactive visitor center that was were most of my family stayed, but I took Mingli to the trail that was just beside that.  He went a few feet down the trail, then got interested in the leaves.  We spent probably half an hour in one spot as Mingli played with the leaves.  I kept wanting to try and get him interested in something else, point out the moss, the trees, something beside the leaves that he had been exploring forever, but I didn’t, because it was his time to explore and when he had learned everything he wanted to about the leaves I knew he would move on to something else.  Instead I sat on a log nearby and did some nature study with Iella.  I picked up a pinecone and let her touch and look at it.  I held it in my hand so she didn’t stick it in her mouth, but I made sure it was within reach so she could explore it.  This kept her attention for a very long time.

Mingli did eventually move on to looking at sticks, for about two minutes, then he went back to the leaves.  He had such a good time, and even though I wanted to get him exploring more thing, I am glad I let him lead.  Sometimes I could see him pick up a leaf that looked different from the other leaves and concentrating on it so hard.  There will be plenty of time for him to explore other things, but it will be when he wants to.

Speech therapy

For about a month and a half now Mingli has been in speech therapy, and the improvement has been amazing.  He loves his therapist and she does so many fun things with him.  It is completely play based and she just does things to get him talking as she plays with him.  I am also learning how to do it and it is helping a lot at home.  He has started communicating his wants a lot more, and has even started asking for help.  There is still a ways to go, but he is progressing really fast.

2 1/2 years!

This month Mingli turned 2 and 1/2!  He is just getting so big.  He is such an affectionate little boy.  He loves giving hugs and kisses, and has even started saying I love you.  The other day I was sitting with him and I said “I love Mingli, I love daddy, and I love Iella.”  He thought a minute then said “I love mama, love daddy, love Iella, love baby (he calls himself baby).”  His speech is also getting better every day.  He actually asked Kaanas to open a door for him the other day by saying “Daddy, open door.”

Mingli is currently obsessed with Moana.  He wants to watch it a few times every since day.  He tries to sing along with some of the songs as well.

Mingli still loves cars, but more than anything fire trucks right now, which is funny because he used to be so scared of fire trucks.  He will walk around the house going “wa, wa, wa (his fire truck noise).”  He really loves any noise, actually.  He knows so many animal noises and loves pointing out different animals and telling people what noises they make.  His favorite animal is an elephant, but he also loves the alligator noise.

He loves singing songs and is constantly learning more.  His new one is wheels on the bus, and he constantly wants to sing it.  He will even tell me which verse he wants to sing.  He also love patty cake, itsy bitsy spider, teasing mr. crocodile, and ABCs.

I love my little boy so much.

Christmas

We had a great Christmas here.  This year Mingli was a little more into everything than he was last year and seemed to at least kind of understand what was going on.  Iella of course didn’t care about anything other than getting cuddled.  Well, almost nothing.

Christmas Eve day was fairly busy as always.  Since it was Sunday we went to church in the morning.  We only had sacrament meeting, and it was earlier than usual, so that everyone could get home and be with their families.

At home I got to work finishing up stockings.  My mom bought new stockings for everyone in the family this year and I offered to embroider names on all of them.  I still had about half of the stocking still to do, so I got busy as soon as church was over.  By this time I was in a good groove with them, though, and was able to move through them fast.  Everyone else was wrapping up last minute presents and doing Christmas cooking.

In my family on Christmas Eve we do our Christmas play then open presents.  This year both of my kids were in the family Christmas play.  Mingli was Joseph and Iella was an angel.

After that we opened presents, and I was so excited about this.  In my family we do family presents Christmas Eve and Christmas morning is for Santa presents.  This is how I have always liked it, but Kaanas likes all presents to be on Christmas morning.  This year I finally started to agree with him.  Last year we were able to take time with the presents and Mingli was able to play with all of them as he opened them.  This year we rushed through the presents, just giving Mingli a few seconds to look at each one before having to move on to the next one.  As soon as he had opened them all they were all taken away because it was already an hour past his bedtime.  Despite this Mingli still seemed to have a good time and was excited about all of his presents.

After he went to bed Kaanas and I went to set up his Santa presents.  In my family Santa presents aren’t wrapped.  Most of them are actually taken out of the package and set up for a wow factor as the kids come down.  This is a tradition we are continuing because I love it.  Some things are just so much better set up, like the ball pit Mingli got for Christmas this year.

We woke Mingli and Ebo up at about 8 in the morning because I couldn’t wait anymore.  Last year Christmas morning Mingi saw the toys, then turned around and walked away.  This year he went right for them.  We also brought down his toys from last night so he could play with those.  He had so much fun all morning with his big cars, ball pit, play dough kit, and lots more.  Honestly, we kind of went overboard with presents this year.  Iella even got a present that she actually liked.  We got her a little crescent shaped cushion that had toys hanging off it for tummy time and when I put her on it her eyes got really big as she focused on the toys, one of which was a mirror.

Overall it was a really good Christmas.

Tot art

On Friday our county library was having an art class for children ages 1-3, so we decided to take Mingli and Ebo.  I wasn’t sure how much Mingli would like it, but it was a lot of fun.  His favorite part was painting a snowman.  They gave him a large cutout snowman and some kids paint rollers with different patterns on them and let Mingli roll paint onto his snowman.  Then they had glitter to put on the snowman, and Mingli just loved this.  He put his own cup of glitter on his snowman, rolled it around, then went around the table looking for more glitter (we were late and the other children had already finished this activity).  After that was a craft where they made reindeer hats.  We didn’t want to force Mingli to do it any certain way, so he ended up with several eyes and noses glued wherever he felt like putting them.  It was a strange hat, but I liked it even better than if he had done it correctly, because he did it how he wanted.  The last activity was coloring, and Mingli just didn’t seem interested in this, even though he usually loves it, so instead he went and played with toys on the floor.  It was so much fun, and I am so excited to go again.  Our library has this activity every couple of weeks, so we can go often.

FHE on prayer

In our church we have been asked to set aside one night a week as a family night, we call it Family Home Evening, shortened to FHE.  Different families do different things during this time.  Often there is a lesson, sometimes an activity, sometimes a service project, often a snack.  As Mingli has been getting older Kaanas and I have decided to make FHE more of a priority, so we have started planning simple lessons to teach him.  Tonight we had FHE about prayer.  It was very, very simple.  We told him that when we prayer we are talking to Heavenly Father (who was the subject of our last FHE lesson), that we tell Heavenly Father what we are thankful for, and ask for what we need, then end the prayer in Jesus name, and say amen.  We told him that when we prayer we fold our arms and close our eyes.  That was pretty much it.  That was also as long as his attention span lasted.  Our lessons are really simple right now, but as we teach our son these things I can feel the Spirit in our home, and I hope he can as well.

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