Awesome Stuff

Hi everyone! This post is going to be about just what you’d think from the title: awesome stuff. At least, stuff that I think is awesome! You may or may not have heard of these things, so I thought it would be fun to share. Enjoy! : )

1. Alphablocks

I cannot sing the praises of Alphablocks enough! Many of you have probably already had an earful about it from me, haha. Alphablocks is a BBC television program for kids that teaches phonics. It is literally little blocks with a lowercase letter at the top that have been made into various characters. They interact in little skits or sing songs, as each letter goes around frequently making its own sound. Each episode is 5 minutes or less, it’s fun, it’s educational, and it’s SO cleverly done. Jared loves it, and so do I! We usually watch it on YouTube, if you want to check it out with your preschooler.

2. Vanilla Matcha Hot Chocolate

This is entirely my own invention! Well, I did get the basic idea from a Facebook post I saw. But I do believe I have perfected the concept. ; ) Here’s my recipe! Mix 3 teaspoons of cocoa powder, 6-7 teaspoons of coconut palm sugar, and 1 perfect matcha spoonful of Steeped Tea Vanilla Matcha (or 1/2 teaspoon of your preferred brand) with a tiny bit of milk and mix to make a paste. Fill the rest of the (large) mug with boiled water, leaving room for milk at the top. Add more milk, stir, and enjoy! It is SO GOOD!

3. Online Group Bible Studies

I only recently discovered the ability to go through a Bible study plan with friends on the YouVersion Bible app! Thanks to Lindy Peterson for this revelation. I think it’s so neat how you can all post your thoughts on the daily devotions and do the study together! It helped me a bit with accountability, too. : )

4. Duolingo

Duolingo is an app that is all about learning and practising new languages! I think I first heard about it from one of my French students, and after I checked it out for myself, I was sold! It’s set up as a series of units, which each contain a few lessons, which in themselves contain several exercises in both spoken and written language. It’s very hands-on, focusing on the exercises, with the ability to click on certain words or concepts for a detailed explanation if you want it. After completing a unit, the app keeps track of how long it’s been since you did so, and will encourage you to revisit it from time to time to keep your language ‘strength’ up in that area. It’s very practical, easy to use, and there are many different languages available to learn. Highly recommended!

5. Superstore Click and Collect

So. Awesome. Most of you have probably heard of this by now, but I have much, MUCH experience with it. It’s the ability to shop online at any time of the day or night, select your store and 2-hour time slot for pickup, pay a $3 ($5 during peak hours) service fee, and have all the legwork done for you! All you have to do is show up during that time slot, call the store, and they will bring your groceries out AND load them into your vehicle! It has definitely been a lifesaver for me with kids, especially once my second came along. The whole experience is easier, less stressful, and much more flexible. I encourage you all to try it out!


Just Breathe

This morning in our Devotional book, Jared and I read about Noah and talked about practicing patience. Well, just as Noah needed boatloads of patience throughout his journey with God and Jared prayed for God to help him be more patient this morning, I have been asking the Lord for His patience more than usual lately, too.

It’s no secret that babies are demanding, but they are also often unpredictable. Lillian has been so of late, and just after I had worked hard to get her into a good routine, of course! It has been frustrating at times, I admit. As her sleep went wacky, other plans for our days went out the window, and I felt increasingly… well, grumpy! I had my ideas of how things should go, I wanted to be in full control, and I did NOT like the fact that things weren’t proceeding ‘according to plan.’ The mental stress of trying to make sure Lilly kept to a certain sleep schedule and wondering what I was doing wrong when she just kept doing her own thing at every turn was definitely getting to me! And then I remembered…

To breathe. To stop trying to control everything and take things one day at a time, one moment at a time, and do my best in that moment. To let it go – the control, the stress, the frustration. To look up to God instead of looking around at my unsatisfactory situation or inward at my own tiredness, and to let Him fill me with strength, patience, and peace. To remember Who really is in control, and take comfort in that.

And just breathe.