Your questions answered: Baby food, children's devotionals, spending time with my husband, and more
On the weekend, I branch out from cooking-related posts and write about my family, answer reader questions, or just blog about what's on my mind! If you have a question or topic you'd like me to tackle, send it my way! :)
These questions are from my friend Tanya. We did a "question exchange" and you can see my questions for her (which she answered on her blog) here! :)
1. What first foods do you like to feed your baby?
With all of my babies so far, I have started with mashed veggies and fruits, like avocado, cooked green peas, cooked carrots or sweet potatoes, banana, applesauce, etc. Cooked oatmeal was one of the first grains we introduced. I wrote a post about homemade baby food here. We usually just start by giving samples of whatever we're already having as our fruit or veggie for the meal, and work up to more complex things! :)
2. What age do you like to start your baby on food?
I think babies have differing needs, but so far, we've started around 10-11 months with solids (breastmilk until then and continuing after, of course!). I may have started giving tastes of foods a little before 10 months... but none of my babies have really decided to actually EAT much solid foods until after 12-14 months! :)
3. What are your favourite books to use for worship/devotions with the children?
Oooh, fun question! Here are some of our favorites:
The Word of Promise -- This is an audio Bible (NKJV) on CDs, which is dramatized. It is really well done! The kids almost think we're watching a movie when we're listening. Listening to these CDs is easier for me than reading to the kids myself for devotions, because I can hold a squirmy baby, etc. while we all listen -- PLUS the cool sound effects. :) So, we use this a lot. We usually choose a story/CD (like Jonah, Ruth, etc.) and then listen to it each day for a week or longer.
The DK Illustrated Family Bible -- This is our favorite "children's Bible". It uses Bible stories with Biblical text (NIV); sometimes they will do a summary with indented text if they want to get a longer story into 2 pages and don't have the room and/or there are breaks in the story and want to keep a unified presentation. Overall it is a decent compromise as you get a decent modern translation and focused reading units with great art. :)
The Book of Psalms for Singing -- This is our favorite family praise/worship music. We've memorized numerous Psalms and love singing them as a family! In fact, Tanya, I think we sang some of these with your family when you visited one time in Ohio. :) We have several CDs with these Psalms sung a cappella, which have helped us learn them.
Another non-traditional way that I like to do "Bible reading" with the children is using word-for-word DVDs. We have The Gospel of John, The Gospel of Matthew, and Acts, which are all "acted" visually, but the words are straight from the NIV or NLT. The DVDs do have some scary and sad parts (after all, they are portraying the Gospels!) so there are some parts that I do not watch with the children since they are so young right now. This isn't a problem, though, since the DVDs are all quite long and there is plenty that we can all watch together!
So, those are my top favorites for actual Bible reading and singing as a family. :)
4. How do you keep time free to spend with Joshua everyday?
I've made it a habit and it's not something I consider to be optional. :) No matter how poorly my day has gone, or how much remains on my "to do" list, we spend our evenings together (usually a couple hours of time). Sometimes (okay, usually!) Moshe tags along for part of that time, until I can get him to sleep.
We like to talk, pray, read, watch movies, or play games. I also really resonate with my friend Kate's post about the marriage bed. Along with spending time with/raising our children and our relationship with YHWH, our marriage is a high priority to both of us -- beyond having a clean house, an updated blog, etc. :)
Joshua's top two "love languages" are quality time and physical touch, so skimping on spending time together is really not an option for us. :) While my tendency is to split up and try to accomplish as much as possible, Joshua prefers to just enjoy the journey with me. :) I think it was about 4 years ago (we've been married 8.5 years) that I decided to MAKE that quantity time DAILY for us to be together and it has been such a blessing in our marriage! :)
5. What is your favourite things about being a mama?
Oh, I don't know! I think it depends on the age of the child. :) I love snuggling with a new baby, or breastfeeding... or those sweet first smiles and giggles. :) So that is my favorite part about Moshe (8 months) right now. Ruth, at nearly 3, is talking lots more and that is super cute and sweet! :) And then I love getting to have discussions with the older boys... so maybe it would just be that I love getting to have that close relationship with my children and seeing them grow. :)