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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Retiring This Blog

Dear Readers,
I'm officially retiring this blog today. I'm starting a new business, along with a new blog, on my business website: Jennifer Reginald Writing and Marketing. If you're interested in writing and marketing topics, especially as they relate to small businesses and nonprofits, you might want to follow me there.

Keeping this blog has been a lot of fun! My two little boys are growing up; the oldest will turn five this summer, and the youngest is an active toddler. Hopefully, I can figure out how to print this out and look over it in future years.

Thanks so much for following along! It's been a fun ride, and I hope to see you on my new website.

Best Wishes, Jenny/Jennifer

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Finding the Perfect Toy for Show and Tell

About once a month, Jacob gets to be the Star of the Day at preschool. A highly coveted position, the Star of the Day has a list of duties, including "checking the weather" (going outside with the teacher and reporting back to the other students after they sing the weather song), being the line leader, helping at snack time, and getting to bring a special item to show the class.

Each month, when they send the monthly calendar home, I mark his special day on the calendar, and he starts thinking about what he's going to take to show the class. So, after several show and tells, and he'd run out of special trucks and tractors that would fit in his backpack, Nelson told him he should bring his Tamil book. (Tamil is my husband's native tongue, and he's been teaching Jacob to read and speak it.) I thought that was a great idea, and he could teach a few words to the class. Jacob didn't want to, since it's not a "cool" toy, I guess. So, he ended up taking this plastic snake at the last minute. Nelson was furious when he got home from work and found out he'd taken a plastic snake.

I'm not sure what conversation took place between them, but I tried to kindly encourage him to take the book. I told him I was sure at least one kid in his class spoke Spanish or some other language, and it would make Daddy very happy. Anyway, by the next time he was Star of the Day, he had decided to take the book. Nelson went through it, telling what pages he thought he should "read" to the class. He did take the book to class and said he read a couple pages.

This episode reminded me of Kindergarten, when my twin sister and I would rummage through the toy box for the perfect toy to take. I can't remember one single thing that I took, but I remember that it was a big deal. Do you have any special Show and Tell memories?

Monday, March 12, 2012

Free Magazine for Families

I subscribed to Thriving Family magazine about a year ago and really enjoy it. It's a FREE, bi-monthly magazine put out by Focus on the Family and has relevant articles to help your marriage and parenting.

According to their website, every issue includes:
  • Inspiring, encouraging and entertaining articles and stories

  • Practical advice on marriage and parenting

  • Helpful tools for teaching faith concepts to your children

  • Parenting tips for every age and stage

    • Trusted insights about marriage and parenting
    • Guides to navigating the world of entertainment
    • And much more...
    Focus on the Family also has a monthly magazine for kids, ages 3-7, called Clubhouse Jr. I bought a subscription to it around Christmas for Jacob and his 2 cousins. It's $19.99/year, but they had a special running around Christmas where you could get it for $15 if you were with MOPS. Jacob likes it, and there is also one for older kids. Check them out!

    Monday, January 9, 2012

    Elmo's Voice Is a Baltimore Native

    I recently read an interesting article, The Puppet Master, about the guy who does Elmo's voice. His name is Kevin Clash, and he's a Baltimore native. He's also a six-foot-tall, African-American baritone--not someone you might associate with that annoying, high-pitched Elmo voice.

    Anyway, there is a documentary about Clash's life, Being Elmo, that's out in theatres now. I don't see that it's playing in our area, but if it was, and I had a babysitter, I'd check it out!

    Tuesday, December 20, 2011

    Mary Did You Know?

    Santa is fun and all, but nothing is greater than the real reason we celebrate Christmas--Jesus coming to earth as a baby to become our Savior. Mark Lowry wrote the song, "Mary Did You Know" several years ago, and its words have always touched my heart. Now, having held two newborn sons in my arms, I think more deeply about what Mary must have thought on that first Christmas morning.

    Having experienced two natural labors without pain meds, I know it can be scary and painful. I can't imagine how she felt, going through labor for the first time, and in a "barn" nonetheless. I doubt she and Joseph had gone through childbirth classes or had a doctor there to catch the baby.

    The angel had come to her earlier and told her she would conceive through the Holy Spirit. I think she knew that she was the virgin whom Isaiah had prophesied would deliver the Messiah to the world. But, did she really foresee the pain and agony she'd experience 30 years later when people rejected her son's teachings and later crucified him on the cross? Did she fully understand that her little baby was the Son of God?

    I love what Mark Lowry writes at the end of his book based on the song:

    By believing on the Lord Jesus Christ, we are saved.

    Peter had to believe for himself. Thomas had to believe for himself. James and Jude had to believe for themselves. Mary, the mother of Jesus, also needed a savior. She had to believe for herself. And because we have chosen to believe in the virgin-born, crucified and risen Savior, Jesus Christ, we know we have received eternal life.

    And this, for sure, Mary knew.

    Mark Lowry singing "Mary Did You Know?"

    Song Lyrics:
    Mary did you know that your baby boy will one day walk on water?
    Mary did you know that your baby boy will save our sons and daughters?
    Did you know that your baby boy has come to make you new?
    This child that you've delivered, will soon deliver you.

    Mary did you know that your baby boy will give sight to a blind man?
    Mary did you know that your baby boy will calm a storm with his hand?
    Did you know that your baby boy has walked where angels trod?
    And when you kiss your little baby, you have kissed the face of God.

    The blind will see, the deaf will hear and the dead will live again.
    The lame will leap, the dumb will speak, the praises of the Lamb.

    Mary did you know that your baby boy is Lord of all creation?
    Mary did you know that your baby boy will one day rule the nations?
    Did you know that your baby boy is heaven's perfect Lamb?
    This sleeping child you're holding is the great I Am.

    Praise to the GREAT I AM, and a Merry Christmas to you all!

    Monday, December 19, 2011

    Christmas with a 4-year-old

    Four-year-olds have to be some of the most gullible creatures on earth, and ours is making Christmas really fun this year.  We emailed Santa asking him to bring the gifts early, and he granted our request. Here he is wearing the Superman sleeper and Lightning McQueen shoes from Santa, and a helmet and light saber from a friend at church!

    Wednesday, December 14, 2011

    Playing Santa Claus When Traveling

    My husband and I have family in Indiana and Canada, so we have spent every Christmas in either of those two places. This year, we're going to Indiana.  Now that Jacob is four years old and really into the Santa Claus thing, I had to think about what to do about Santa Claus bringing his gifts. It looked like our options were to:

    1. Bring the gifts with us from Maryland to Indiana. (An option, but not one that I considered for long. Our car is always jam packed the way it is.)

    2. Ship the gifts to Indiana. (Not really an option either because of cost, and we'd have to just ship them back.)

    3. Ask Santa to bring the gifts early.

    The third option seemed to be the most practical, so I told Jacob a few weeks ago that we'd email Santa and just ask him to bring the gifts on Dec 17, the Saturday before we leave. After a few matter-of-fact discussions, Jacob thought it was a good idea, too, and reminded me that we'll have to leave the door to the fireplace unlocked. With the advanced technology we have today, and world travel so much easier, I'm sure Santa won't have a problem granting our request.

    So, this afternoon, we emailed Santa (using my mom's email address), with a request to come early and a list from Jacob and Lucas. Now I just have to find a "lego board" like they have at school. I tried to ask for more details, but he assured me that Santa would know what it is. Toys R Us, here I come.

    Have you traveled over Christmas and had to play Santa? I'd love to hear what others have done.