Category Archives: Parenting

There’s a reason the word “aeroplanes” is in this blog name!

So the other day, J and I were reading a book and I challenged him to find aeroplanes to match the ones in the book. It didn’t take too long! He knows the names of most of them and constantly impresses me with his knowledge- at 3 years old! There are SO MANY AEROPLANES in this house!

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It was inevitable, really, considering his Papa is an aircraft engineer for NZ’s main carrier, and Daddy has been a pilot, flight instructor, and air traffic controller, and soon hopes to start building a full-size fibre-glass Canard sorta like THIS.

“What shall we build, J?” I often ask him when we get out the duplo. Hmmm.. I’m sure that even you won’t be surprised by the answer!

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Yes! He has a nappy on, it’s super hot here so clothes are very often optional at the moment!

And mama does her best to keep up with his mean skills…

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…and I was SO proud of this creation until he came up to me with two grey pieces and said “Mama, here you go. You forgot the engines.” LOL. FAIL. My kid is too clever!

So yeah, it’s not just by chance that aeroplanes are in the name of this blog. They are a very real part of every day life in this household!

What is popular in your house? Trucks? Dolls? Diggers? Rockets? I would love to hear what your kids love!

A mama who will eventually learn the names of all the aircraft…

Lydia

Hubby and I flying when I was 18. We were highly attracted at the time, but didn't end up married for another 3 years!
Hubby and I flying when I was 18. We were highly attracted at the time, but didn’t end up married for another 3 years!

Simple gifts can be enough! Part One- Kid’s Presents

Have you ever done home-made gifts for friends or family?

Baking? Framed memories? Jars with ingredients? Love vouchers?

A sample of a love voucher Cameron made up for me. Last time he did it, he printed them as 4x6 pictures and put them into a small photo album. Once redeemed, they get put into the back and turned around so not visible, and on a birthday or Christmas, he'll randomly put them back in the front and give them again. I. LOVE. IT.
A sample of a love voucher Hubby made up for me. Last time he did it, he printed them as 4×6 pictures and put them into a small photo album. Once redeemed, they get put into the back and turned around so not visible, and on a birthday or Christmas, he’ll randomly put them back in the front and give them again. I. LOVE. IT.

We are big fans of thoughtful gifts, and not fans of materialism and spending big bucks on stuff that people don’t want.

For our son’s first birthday, we spent a whopping $5 on a second hand boy doll (that he loves to this day at 3 and a half years old), and a $2 thing of bubbles! They were both very appreciated! We spent more on his cake because we bought two model type aeroplanes (for about $15 all up) for the awesome cake my husband made for him! (Hubby’s dad made the cakes when they were kids, so I wanted to carry on that awesome tradition! 🙂 ) We  had a fun family dinner to celebrate!

BUBBLES!!!!
BUBBLES!!!!
All we asked from my brother and sister-in-law was a big box so we could make a playhouse! It was perfect and FREE!
All we asked from my brother and sister-in-law was a big box so we could make a playhouse! It was perfect and FREE!
Hubby's first try at making a themed cake! EPIC! Hangar, tower, and runway in the shape of a number one- complete with a plane taking off!
Hubby’s first try at making a themed cake! EPIC! Hangar, tower, and runway in the shape of a number one- complete with a plane taking off!

 

Birthday number two- family dinner again, stuffed Mickey Mouse ($1 from op shop!), and pull back aeroplane ($6 from Save the Children shop!)

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Birthday number three- first kiddy party! I wanted to wait until HE could appreciate it. Before three, do they really care if people are there other than family? The only present from us was an awesome rocket I had found as-new, second-hand months earlier for $200 $50!!. We used rockets as the theme and daddy made an amazing, gruesome cake! It had “crashed” because that’s what Josiah always did with his planes and rockets, and hubby made blood  jelly/jello ooze out the hatch door. It was pretty perfect for J, though, and he loved it!

We kept the party cheap by finding décor throughout the year on sale or at dollar stores, putting his many aerospace books on window ledges for inspiration, and having mostly naturally gluten free foods that he is normally allowed to eat. I’m not keen for my kids to go crazy on sugar, so why would I waste a special day and make my kid go nuts and feel sick on sugar? That doesn’t make sense to me! So we had bananas, home-popped lightly salted popcorn, apple slices, carrot sticks, celery with peanut butter and raisins, some sausages, and cake- with water as the drink. Not one kid complained! Anyway, back onto the topic at hand! Healthy eating is another post entirely!

Healthy doesn't have to mean BORING!
Healthy doesn’t have to mean BORING!

 

Lovely, eh?! This is what can happen when hubby gets free reign of the cake design!!
Lovely, eh?! This is what can happen when hubby gets free reign of the cake design!!

 

I have SO many more things I could say about affordable gift-giving, but I’ll leave you for now with our boys’ ONLY Christmas present from us this year.  (call us Scrooges, but they didn’t care!)

TA DA!! I promised in my earlier post about building free forts that I would show you our latest creation! Here is it! We finished it on Christmas afternoon while J slept at Grandma’s house. I found all of the materials for this as I was out and about doing errands in the weeks before. I would drive through the industrial area on my way home and pick up odds and ends every trip. We already had the stuff like drill, hammer, nails and screws, so it was free for us and pretty cool! They love it!

It's pretty tall and sturdy! Hubby is 6'3"!!
It’s pretty tall and sturdy! Hubby is 6’3″!!

 

What are some clever DIY or simple, affordable gifts you have given? I would love to hear your ideas below in the comments section!

 

Sincerely, a simple mama trying to raise children who are grateful for the simple things…

Lydia

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Do you ever get out and do the touristy things…

…that are in your own backyard? In our case, it’s the gondolas– literally!

WE LOVE THE GONDOLAS!
WE LOVE THE GONDOLAS! You can juuuuust see them amongst the trees back there!

We are absolutely loving our home here in Rotorua! We love the amazing views from this lovely home on the hill that backs onto the gondolas and mountain biking tracks. We opted for a one toy birthday for our three year old, asking instead for money for an annual pass to somewhere. At the time, it was intended for Hamilton Zoo as we lived two km’s away, but with a sudden move, we ended up having the gondolas staring at us daily and it was a no-brainer choice! Josiah LOVES all things aeroplanes and rockets, so he loves to fly in the sky in the gondolas!

This was J and E's first ride up the mountain in the gondola!
This was J and E’s first ride up the mountain in the gondola!

We love how many free things there are to do around Rotorua, like this list, but perhaps there are some hidden gems in your backyard as well! My parents were amazing at taking us places when we were kids, especially zoos! We had a sticker on our van that was for some association of Zoos in America, and it gave us an annual pass into all of the Zoos in that group! It was pretty cool!!

What local things do you enjoy? Do you have a kid’s section in your local museum (if you are in Palmerston North, you HAVE to make your way to their museum and kid’s section! It’s epic and free!) ? Free parks? Did you grow up doing things like this? I’d love to hear how adventures out and about made an impact on your childhood!

Excited to hear your stories,

Lydia

Me and my handsome hubby enjoying the ride, the views, and probably some kissing. ;)
Me and my handsome hubby enjoying the ride, the views, and probably some kissing. 😉

I made a list of things my son needs to change…

…and afterwards, I realised that I should be fair and make a list for myself as well. Guess what?!? My list is LONGER. My list is probably a big reason why there are several things on his list. He is only three after all.

Have any of you seen the newish movie called Mom’s Night Out ? I watched it the other night and I could totally relate to the frazzled mama who was questioning why she wasn’t happy doing her dream job of wife and mother.  Yeah… check out the trailer here! If you are a mum- you need to watch it!

Whoops- distracted! So, back to the subject…his list included things that many mums with three year old’s must struggle with…surely!

– Not coming when we call

– Not listening to simple instructions

– Sneaking food all the time (big issue since gluten makes him crazy!)

– Fighting all sleeps

– Throwing fits with screaming

– Won’t pick toys up

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“Who, me? Mama! You know that I’m just a little angel!”

Now, I know that all of these are very fixable things with some diligence and work, and that is why I was writing them down. We need to change our habits and have a game plan. We are reading some excellent parenting books, but not diligently enough!

So, as I said, as I wrote the above list, I realised that I can’t focus on him and carry on ignoring my own faults! My list is far more serious if we’re honest! Things like:

– Not letting my husband lead our family as he should

– Not showing self-restraint with baked goods or things in general

– Not spending time in God’s Word regularly to cultivate that vital relationship and seek His necessary strength to be a good mama

– Not praying for my family regularly

– Unhealthy addictions

– Losing my temper often (no doubt leading to him copying me!)

– Being too lazy and unproductive and spending too much time browsing Facebook/Pinterest/blogs/ anything other than housework!

I’m pretty sure that I could list many more things, but these were the main culprits that came to light.

If we “fail to plan, we plan to fail”! I have to have accountability! I struggle so much without it. Today has been an awesomely productive and pleasant day, as is usually the case following a big break through and resolution! How to carry these on? I think what really grabbed my attention was this line from the book “What the Bible says about… Child Training” –

“Parents are the symbol and representative of God’s authority to their children. The way parents handle their ruler-ship is the way children will come to think about God and all other authorities in their lives.”

YIKES!! I definitely need to work on my list simultaneously as I seek to be a godly mama to my boys. Maybe I’ll learn all of these tough lessons and be the perfect mama by the time J is five! (haha! as if!)

Please comment below with what you have learned in the course of raising your children? I am so open to your tried and tested results, especially if you are seeking to raise your children to love and honour God!

From one tired and humbled mama to the next,

Lydia

I'm glad we aren't really aware of how hard parenting is in advance!
I’m glad we aren’t really aware of how hard parenting is in advance!

A Pretty Clear Message

How could he be anything but a little angel?
How could he be anything but a little angel?

As I was reading Proverbs 17 today, based on the verses that spoke to my heart, the problem that needs to be dealt with is pretty clear. See if you can find a theme…

vs 1: “Better is a dry morsel, and quietness therewith, than an house full of sacrifices with strife.”

vs. 14: ”The beginning of strife is as when one letteth out water:therefore leave off contention before it be meddled with.”

vs. 22: “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.”

vs 25: “A foolish son is a grief to his father , and bitterness to her that bare him.

Vs 27-28“He that hath knowledge spareth his words: and a man of understanding is of an excellent spirit. Even a food, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding.”

Lately, I’ve been struggling to have patience with my two year old. TWO YEAR OLD. Some of you may have had an easy time of the two year old period, but I’ve not heard of many who have! It’s nice to know that I’m not alone, but sometimes, one can’t help but wish to avoid the conflicts that arise in the two year old training period! (From the looks of it, even after two, we’re not out of the woods yet!) I am so thankful that God made the days to be only 24 hours and then every day can begin ANEW.

 

I want to have a happy home, and often I try to do it in my own strength- without calling out to God and following His very clear directions given to me through His Word. It’s these days, the one’s when I’m not leaning on Him, that I fail as a godly mama. Those days happen too often. The six five am wake up. The go go go of family life with a very active toddler and three month old baby. The unpacking/housework/cooking. The time spent with my husband in the evenings. All of these things are things that are a big part of my life, but they can become my idols if God doesn’t come first.

It’s so easy to realise these things! Realising and changing are two very different things. Re-organising priorities and making good habits with God being foremost- those are the tough things!

I want to be the loving mama who doesn’t raise her voice in anger.

I want to be the mama who’s children know she is praying for them.

I want to be the mama God wants me to be- loving, kind, firm, Godly, consistent, and so much more.

This is my prayer. I am a real mama with real, daily struggles. I am not perfect! I struggle daily with my flesh as I fight the impatience, the temper that arises as my son and I clash. Please pray with me that I will be the right kind of mama to my boys.

“A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.” Proverbs 17:22

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