Thursday, December 31, 2009
Levi turned 8 this month and I can't help but be a little emotional about how fast he's growing up. I am enjoying having a big kid, though!
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Monday, November 02, 2009
My friend Betty and I are brainstorming some Christmas ides so if you have a favorite recipe or gift idea or tradition who'd be willing to share, please do! And head over to Betty's to talk about great gift ideas for the hard-to-shop-for!
edited to add links
Monday, October 26, 2009
My house looks like Martha Stewart's nightmare.
I can get it all cleaned up tomorrow...if it rains...and the kids don't mind granola bars for lunch.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Wednesday, October 07, 2009
We are slowly coming out of the beautiful fog that comes with a new baby. I was determined this time to really slow down and just enjoy having a new baby in the house - I've only actually left home a handful of times since we brought him home. But it's time now to start easing back into things...as a family of 7.
There are so many projects that I've put off over the last few months - lots of things I can't wait to get started on. But the first thing I need to concentrate on is getting us (big surprise here) organized. I love organizing. I love containers and sorting and decluttering and schedules and LISTS! But I don't seem to be quite so passionate about keeping things organized. And it's becoming quite obvious that running a household with 5 smallish children will require me to keep things organized or Casey and I will wind up divorcing over a lost shoe and my children will forget that not all foods are served between two pieces of bread. So it's time to get the essential stuff back on track...closets sorted for fall so laundry can be put away and not piled on the loveseat, menus planned in advance (including breakfast and lunch!) so I don't have to hear "I hate sandwiches!" ever again, my desk cleared off so I can find this week's lesson plan. And since we have several days of rain ahead, I should have plenty of inside time to get started.
I am planning some fun, too, though. We're ready to see how a family outing shapes up with 5 instead of 4 so we may venture out to the park for a picnic or to a fall festival or two. And my super sweet mother sent us a holiday in a box this week full of German treats so we'll be having an Oktoberfest family night on Friday or Saturday. I'm so excited to do something a little different and I know the kids will love it. We've...I mean, they've...already almost finished off the German cookies.
This new season is starting to shape up quite nicely.
Friday, October 02, 2009
Friday, September 11, 2009
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Admittedly I'm ready to see this little guy. My friend Claire, who was due on the same day as me, is already getting to hold and play with her new little guy. He was 5lbs and 9 oz born at just 35 weeks! I can't wait to see pictures!!!! (Claire, that's a hint!!!)
I am getting a lot done in these last few weeks. I've finished almost everything on my list from cooking for the freezer (now I just need to organize it!) to packing a hospital bag. I still have a few things to pick up or have delivered (the new carseat for example - hope it makes it on time!), but most of the plans are in place so I can sit back and relax a little:) Perfect timing since Casey's work hours have changed and we're trying to get used to a new schedule.
Well, that's the update. We have lots of other things on the back burner - our homeschool group is taking off and I'm planning a Medieval Times class to teach at our co-op this winter. We're finishing up our first school term for this year - it's gone really well so far but it will be nice to have a little break from planned lessons. I'm also trying to plan field trips for the year and wondering just how much I'll be able to juggle! I guess I'll have to wait and see.....
Thursday, August 06, 2009
Levi is a 2nd grader this year and Brenna is doing 1st grade (she's just five but she just really loves school!). Jack is doing a small amount of preschool stuff and sitting in with us for most of the reading. Christian is learning too - how to make more messes, faster. In that particular area, I clearly have a genius on my hands:)
I started planning what to study way back in the spring. Once I had books in hand, I spend a day at my church having my own little planning retreat, drafting schedules and making copies. Time very well spent! We use The Well Trained Mind as a basic guide, but one of my very favorite things about homeschooling is personalizing the curriculum to fit us just right.
For history, Levi and Brenna are both using Story of the World, vol 2 - The Middle Ages. Brenna listened to most of the reading we did last year on the ancients so I don't think she's missing anything by skipping ahead in time just a bit. I'm also going to teach a class in our co-op on the Middle Ages so we should be able to fit in lots of fun projects.
I'm really enjoying teaching Saxon Math this year - much better than last year! Turns out they don't have to complete every single problem on every single page - Levi will probably finish Math2 by Christmas and Brenna is zipping through Math 1. And this year, they like it!
Language Arts is no longer called Grammar in this house. Levi did not care for grammar at all, but he likes Language Arts just fine:) We switched to First Language Lessons this year from English for the Thoughtful Child. I really enjoyed Thoughtful Child, but Levi was just bored to tears with it. And First Language Lessons works well because Brenna and Levi can both work out of the same book - it covers 1st and 2nd grades.
Levi is also using Spelling Workout again this year. I skipped the B workbook though and went straight to C. He's just really an exceptional speller (which he did not get from me!). I'm probably going to start Brenna on workbook A later on in the year, but for now she's working on phonics and learning to read. We're using the Starfall program and Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons. She loves Starfall but TYCTR can get kind of dull. It's very good though so we just take little bites:)
For science, we're studying the earth and space this year. I like to use the Usborne First Encyclopedias as a spine, but we do a lot of reading and projects to supplement that. We're planning a lot of stargazing this year with the telescope my parents bought us last year. I'd like to spend a lot more time on nature notebooks this year. I'm just really not a nature girl at all, so I'm hoping to get together with some other homeschoolers for this - I need a little accountability!
For Bible study, we're using Veritas Press The Gospels. It has a good bit of art appreciation built in to the study and lots of optional activities. This is the main part of our "Circle Time" - the only part for right now. "Circle Time" is still in development - it doesn't even have an actual name yet. "Circle Time" is "too babyish" for some of my little students so we're working on something that sounds a little more mature:)
We'll be going to homeschool co-op classes again this year, but those don't start until September so I'll probably post a little more about them later. Brenna is still crazy about the Kumon workbooks so I keep a few of those on hand, too. And Levi is begging for a robotics kit from Lego...until then he keeps busy building everything out of legos. Maybe he'll be an engineer.
Sunday, August 02, 2009
Here's what I have in the freezer so far (numbers refer to how many meals worth, not individual servings).
- 1 chili
- 1 hamburgers
- 2 meatballs
- 3 grilled, sliced chicken breasts (for fajitas, chicken salads)
- 3 chopped, grilled chicken (for quesadillas)
- 4 browned, crumbled hamburger (for tacos, sloppy joes, emergency Hamburger Helper!)
- 1 spaghetti sauce
- 1 chicken pot pie
- 2 banana streusel muffins
- 1 twice baked potatoes
Still to make? Some of my favorites...tortellini soup (add the tortellini just before serving), the meat for Marlboro Man sandwiches, lasagna, and cinnamon rolls! Plus granola to take to the hospital with me.
A great cookbook for making food that freezes well and still tastes good - The Best Make Ahead Recipe Cookbook.
Sunday, July 26, 2009
Sunday, July 19, 2009
Wednesday, July 08, 2009
The rooms themselves are always so sterile, it's nice to have some little luxuries around.
- A nice pillowcase
- colorful placemats for the bed tray
- a small vase with flowers for the tray (large arrangements are wonderful, but too big to go next to your plate)
- a subtle room or linen spray
- maybe even a personal cd player with a cd of soothing sounds (my granny and I both love thunderstorm sounds)
Snack food is a good option, just keep in mind any dietary restrictions the patient might have. But even when the patient can't snack, the family members staying with them might appreciate a quick bite they can grab without leaving the room...
- fresh fruit or veggies that won't be messy - grapes, baby carrots, or strawberries don't even leave a peel - in a resealable container
- granola or cereal bars
- cookies and a small jar of peanut butter (and a plastic knife)
Pampering products usually lift a person's spirits.
- lotions (unscented unless you're pretty sure the patient will love the scent)
- super fluffy socks
Entertainment...there's only so much tv a person can watch!
- playing cards (and offer to play a game while you visit)
- beautiful magazines that don't require any deep thought
- crossword puzzle books or even coloring books and crayons (not just for kids!)
And the thing I appreciate the most in hospital is good company!
Sunday, June 28, 2009
An ocean cake was blue, green, and purple on the inside. And this recipe for frosting really didn't melt, although it wasn't the yummiest I've ever had.
Brenna helped design her own invitations
We printed a mermaid picture and she colored it with a little help. I scanned them and had them printed (free prints from CVS), then we attached cardstock to make postcards.
No need for planned games. Casey set up sprinklers and kiddie pools...along with water guns and soaker balls, they kept the kids busy for two hours!
Instead of sending the kids home with candy and cheap junky toys, we gave each boy a watergun and each girl got a bubble wand. It may have cost a little bit more, but since we only had a few kids I was happy to skip all that sugar:)
Highlight of the day for me...Casey getting in the kiddie pool to play:)
Friday, June 19, 2009
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Brenna asked to watch our wedding video the other day. She loves to see us all dressed up and even likes to plan her own wedding. "I'm going to wear a big white dress like you, Mommy, but I'm not going to invite those noisy kids (her much older cousins)."
So I've been thinking how much I loved our wedding and how happy I still am about how it turned out. We spent about a 10th of the national average (and by we, I mostly mean my parents, who would've been happy to spend more-they're very generous like that). So how was it that we spent less and yet I'm still thrilled with it almost 12 years later? Especially considering that, since then, I've heard brides complaining at their own reception!
I think the most important thing we did was consider very carefully what kind of wedding we really wanted. Casey wanted only close family and friends - there were literally only a handful of people he felt had to be there. I wanted the whole thing to feel very homemade and familiar. And I knew I wanted our families to be very involved.
Small and homemade is naturally going to be less expensive than big and fancy! In fact, I skipped invitations entirely and either called or hand wrote notes to everyone. But we still had to figure out the details. We picked a date two days after Christmas, which worked out perfectly, even though it seemed crazy at the time. My granny provided most of the decorations just by moving her Christmas decorations to the rustic log cabin we rented for the ceremony and reception. I use the term rented pretty loosely there - I don't actually remember if we paid anything for it at all. And it was a Boy Scout cabin. But after (a lot of) cleaning it worked fine. I had a sentimental attachment to the cabin because we'd had my dad's welcome home party there when he came back from Desert Storm. And it was perfect for a Christmas wedding.
The flowers were one place I bucked all the money saving advice. I wanted real! My aunt was working with flowers at the time and I talked her into making my bouquet. We bought white roses (and pink for my little sister) and baby's breath and my aunt used greenery trimmed from ivy and ferns. We bought a few red roses for the men and that was it. My grandmother rescued the ivy (which represents fidelity, by the way) for me and rooted it so we both have all the ivy we could ever want.
My grandmother also made my wedding dress for me. She'd been sewing for me since I was born and I picked a pretty simple pattern. It also left her with extra fabric to make dedication gown for me when Levi was born. It's all about the sentimental stuff with me:) I slapped together my own headpiece at the last minute by attaching tulle and seed pearls to a ivory satin barrette.
Casey found a tux he really liked at the local bridal shop and rented it (after we looked at every suit in the mid-state area). His bestman rented the same one and my dad and brother both wore their military uniforms. My sister was my maid of honor, even though she was just seven and my uncle told her that if I backed out, she would have to marry Casey! My mom bought her a very cute Christmas dress that matched our colors and she got a little more wear out of.
The cake was my only disappointment. I asked at two bakeries about having a red velvet wedding cake and neither would do it! Since we were running out of time I ordered a regular white cake and had a red velvet groom's cake made for Casey. If I knew then what I know now, I'd have pushed harder:) "Different" wedding cakes are all the rage now...I was just ahead of my time:) But it did turn out nicely. We had the bakery frost the layers very simply and not stack them, then another aunt made floral toppers and we put them on pedestals of varying heights. Actually the pedestals were upside-down vases temporarily attached to glass plates.
The food was lots of fun...my dad and I made the majority of it the night before. I just thought of all my Christmas favorites (fudge, shrimp cocktail dip, apple cider, etc!) and we fancied it up as we went along! We borrowed lace tablecloths from everyone.
My mother really splurged on a photographer (not the one who took the above picture!). She's still splurging on pictures for me to this day! And my brother in law volunteered to video the whole thing for us. Unfortunately, my granny made him set up at the back so you can't really hear us, but you can hear my noisy nephews:) I'm glad to have the video because Brenna loves to watch it, but I probably wouldn't have paid for one. The pictures, though, I love.
I love weddings...I would love to get married again someday! But I'd always pick Casey:)
Sunday, June 07, 2009
My aunt's two boys have incredible manners - not just that they say "yes, ma'am" instead of "yeah," but also the way that they hop up to give up their seat or help entertain my kids without being asked. They're both exceptionally considerate and that's something I really hope my boys will learn.
I'm also re-reading two other books on raising boys. James Dobson's Bringing Up Boys and Raising a Modern Day Knight, both of which are really good.
Thursday, June 04, 2009
Week 25 has gotten here pretty quick. Only about 14 weeks left! The last week has been a little rough - I had some nerve pain from the old csection scar that was not fun and I've had pretty bad morning sickness for the last two days. But, overall, this has just been such an easy pregnancy compared to what I'm used to! I can't believe this little guy will be here so soon! Lots to do before I'm too big to do much of anything!
In the meantime I'm busy planning a Mermaid birthday party, trying to keep the kids busy without schoolwork to do, reading fifty books with the kids for the library's reading club, figuring out how to make Father's Day extra special this year and trying to watch the first two seasons of Jericho on Netflix - I missed it when it was on tv. Hmm, that's weird. It doesn't sound as exciting when I write it all down.
Monday, May 18, 2009
- wash all the (boy!) baby clothes and baby sheet and receiving blankets
- get the cradle all ready (make it up with layers - sheet, waterproof pad, sheet, waterproof pad, etc to make changing the bed in the middle of the night a little easier)
- sterilize the breast pump just in case
- pack a baby kit with nail clippers, infant tylenol, mylicon drops, thermometer, nose suction bulb thing, etc)
- make a new baby carrier (I make ones like this wrap and pouches like this one - they're so easy!)
- declutter everything I can find to declutter!
- make a thank you note/birth announcement kit - something I can take to the hospital - with pens, notes, addressed envelopes, stamps, etc all in one place
- pack a hospital bag with lots of little extras to make my stay a little more relaxing...especially takeout menus (hospital food is enough to make me want to take my iv and go home) and homemade granola
- charge batteries for the camera and video camera
- stock the pantry and the freezer with meals for at least three weeks
- make plans for the kids (who will be with them and when they'll come to the hospital)
- dig out some comfy non-maternity clothes to wear for those first weeks when nothing fits
- move Christian into the big boy room and a big boy bed...I won't be able to lift him in and out of the crib and, by moving him before the baby's born we avoid the "who's this new kid taking my bed?" problem
- start drinking red raspberry leaf tea
- look for ways to boost milk supply
Well, that should keep me busy for awhile. But if anyone thinks of anything else they would do to get ready, I'd love to hear it.
Sunday, May 17, 2009
A brand new baby boy is on his way! Brenna was briefly disappointed at not getting a baby sister, but she seems to be enjoying her "only girl" status for now.
I started a list yesterday of things to do/buy/find before this little guy gets here. You would think with baby #5 that I would have everything all ready, but we've gotten to the point where a lot of our baby things are actually worn out!
Here are the necessities I need to have on hand...some I just have to unpack, but some I need to buy. Hopefully I'll have time to find some good deals!
- diapers, 4 packs (these I have already, thanks to Kroger coupons I only paid $1 per pack)
- wet wipes, 2 packs (for newborns I usually use water and old baby washcloths as much as possible so I don't need as many of these)
- new washcloths for baby baths
- nursing pads and nursing bras (at least 2, 3 is better)
- bottles (when Christian was born, I did not have a single bottle in the house...in my defense he was the first baby that I actually needed a bottle for)
- a new carseat (convertible or infant? I still can't decide)
- pack-n-play (I have a cradle that I love for my room, but I want something to keep in the toy room as well. A pack-n-play will also help corral a crawling baby during school time)
- baby swing (we have been through two of these! my kids love them)
- "new" dvds for the big kids, especially for the trips (an hour one way) to and from the hospital
- coloring books, crayons and other activities to keep the kids busy
- snack things that will be easy to grab for me and the kids
- pantry necessities for the first month or two and things that will make housekeeping easier...paper plates, paper towels, laundry detergent and dishwasher detergent, toiletries and TP
Whew! And that's just the stuff to gather! The list to do is even longer so I think Ill make it a separate post. I know (and as my friends say, I speak from experience here!) getting this stuff taken care of now makes bringing a new baby home so much easier!
Thursday, May 14, 2009
It turns out that one of the barbers had killed the snake by his pond and brought it to work to mess with people (um, way to drum up business...put a deadly rattlesnake in front of the door). It was kind of funny, once we were safely inside and divided by glass from the dead snake, to see other people react...especially the grown man who lit out down the street running and left his friend to stumble across the rattler himself.
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
In the meantime, I'm finishing up planning for next year and making long lists of things I'd like to get done before Quincy gets here (Quincy means number five, but I have to say we will not actually be naming the baby Quincy - no offense to anyone named Quincy). My brain seems to be working fine, but I'm still to tired to carry out any of my big plans. Hopefully, with plans in place, I can at least get the most important stuff done in those rare bursts of energy.
I'm almost 20 weeks (later this week) - halfway there! We're all sooo excited to have the next sonogram (in two weeks) and see what we can find out about this little guy or girl. Either way we're going to celebrate by trying out the Johnny's Pizza across the street from my doctor's office. For someone who's never been there, Jack is very excited about Johnny's Pizza.
Friday, April 17, 2009
Spring Story by Jill Barklem. Brenna and I love these little books about the mice of Brambley Hedge. The artwork is gorgeous and their little homes are so neat and orderly and beautiful. Is it odd that the housekeeping of mice inspires me? I think yes.
The Quiet Way Home by Bonny Becker. I saw this one over at The Homespun Heart and thought it would be perfect for Brenna and I to read. Jack liked it too. It's especially good to read when we're winding down for Quiet Rest Time.
I checked out Sky Tree, My Favorite Tree and Franklin Plants a Tree to read for Arbor Day. We haven't read the Franklin book before but Sky Tree and My Favorite Tree are favorites. Sky Tree is full of beautiful artwork and science. Science is not usually my thing, but this book even holds my attention. My Favorite Tree has lovely pictures and lots of facts about 27 trees native to North America, including Hawaii. It doesn't include my favorite tree, the Pecan, but it does have the Dogwood and that's a close second:)
We also got Little Farm By the Sea. I just love this book. I talked about it before here. I need to just buy this - we've checked it out a couple of times this year. It always makes me wish we had a farm (I know in real life I couldn't pull it off, but I love the idea!).
I also got lots of homeschooling books to gear me up for planning next year. I got a good start on that the other day when Casey kept the kids to give me a little quiet planning time. I was astonished at how much I got done without anyone around. And we got books on the Celts since that's what we're studying for history. And a math book called A Place for Zero that Levi is reading now. And a bunch more that I don't remember! I know we could homeschool without the library, but I sure am glad we don't have to!
Tuesday, April 07, 2009
We only have a few weeks left for school this year so I'm doing my annual look back-look forward thing. Casey's given me a day off this weekend to go and sit and plan for next year - I'm borrowing the fellowship hall at my church where I'll have lots of space to spread out (and where it will be QUIET!). Things like this make me so grateful that Casey talked me into getting a laptop:)
We're going to my aunt's house for Easter this year, which is also my birthday! We usually go to my sister-in-law's house so this will be a change for us, but it will be so nice to visit with family that we rarely get to see. But I still haven't decided what to bring!
My new pantry is all set up...I'm anxious to finish the curtains so I can post pictures (if I can get my camera to work). The extra storage space is soooo nice.
I'm 17 weeks long this week so it's time for a little more blood work. I've been taking chlorophyll this time when I remember and so far it really seems to be helping. I'm still quite tired, quite often, but I'm not anemic and that's a big deal for me:) Almost halfway there!
Well, all's quiet here so I think I may take a little QRT myself :)
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
I'm working on organizing lunch for our homeschool group's Easter Party. I've put meals together at church tons of times and I didn't expect this to be much different. But after I'd volunteered (read: opened my big mouth), I realized I had no idea how this group usually organized anything. We've been involved for about a year now, but we've never even been to a big get together with food. So I talked to one of the "founding members" and I think I have the kinks worked out. Keep your fingers crossed for me.
In the meantime I'm juggling doctor's appointments for me, weighing the pros and cons of having the triple screen test, and getting ready for Easter. Oh and sorting the kids clothes - it's getting hot here!
Thursday, March 12, 2009
Not exactly the peaceful retreat I had in mind. The corner chair and duck pictures are, ahem, not necessarily my style. They're very sentimental though and they make a nice corner for Casey when the chair isn't piled high with laundry. I have ideas for pillows and a throw that might help.
But for now I focused on the dresser. SO much better...
The vase is one the kids gave me for Mother's Day and the lamp belonged to my aunt - it's just needed a new shade. I've actually added just a teeny bit more - a blue and white figurine that plays my parent's wedding song (I'm not sure how I talked my mom out of that, but I've had it forever) and a porcelain baby doll that Brenna and I share. It's only a few inches tall and we like to hold it and talk about how big the new baby is right now. Hopefully it will survive until she's expecting her first baby and then I can pass it along.
With this project finished, I'm working on a few others in my bedroom and in the kitchen. I'm slower than usual, but it feels good to get something done:)
Wednesday, March 04, 2009
Here's another excellent post on the topic.
Thursday, February 26, 2009
I have been quite sleepy, though. Which isn't bad, actually, accept for the guilt over not getting anything done. My house is at its all-time messiest and if it weren't for Casey helping out, the piles of dishes and/or laundry would threaten the kids. Luckily, I have some helpers this time. I just realized today that I won't have to carry any groceries into the house during this pregnancy - Levi and Brenna bring them all upstairs for me now. And no turning blue from manning the dustpan this time either. Talk about blessings!
So I start week 11 today. A quarter of the way there! And now if I can just get some of these projects done...well, we'll see:)
One other thing...if you're looking for diapers here is a $3 off coupon for comforts diapers at Kroger. They're on sale this week for $5.99 which brings the total down to $2.99 a package. That's just 5cents each for size 1 diapers - less than half what I usually consider a good deal. Time to start stocking up for new baby:)
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Want to hear something oddly amusing (to me anyway). My friend Claire, who I've known since highschool, is also expecting. We've often found ourselves unexpectedly doing the same thing at the same time...we each had to move the summer before our senior year of highschool...we changed majors at the same time...we got married at the same time...things like that. Slightly strange considering we've lived on opposite sides of the country for most of our friendship. But this kind of takes the cake... According to our sonograms, we're due on the exact same day. Funny, huh:)
Sunday, February 08, 2009
I usually send out a Christmas letter, but with my computer being in the shop for, oh, all of December, I didn't have time. I probably should've sent this out in January, but it's pretty fitting for Valentine's, too! Note the ending!
Turn on your speakers:)
Saturday, February 07, 2009
#1 You must link back to the person you received the award from.
#2 You have to pass this award on to ten more blogs, of your choice, which also demonstrate great attitude and/or gratitude!
#3 Let them know that they have received this award by commenting on their blog.
Wednesday, February 04, 2009
Thursday, January 22, 2009
He wore his Batman cape...
and we had Batman cake
and all was well with the world. If only they stayed this easy to please:)
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
101 in 1001 List (started January 13, 2009, ending October 11, 2011)
Plan another getaway with Casey
Plan 2 date nights with Casey every month, even if we stay at home
Plan a Valentine’s surprise for Casey
Do something special for Father’s Day
Plan a great birthday for Casey
Start getting up earlier to cook breakfast for Casey
In the Kitchen
Learn to make fabulous bread
Learn to make good biscuits
Learn to decorate cakes
Can tomato sauce
Learn to make Grandma’s strawberry jam
Finances and stuff
Make a new price book
Pay off all debt except the house
Lower grocery budget
Create and stick with a budget
Make a will
Church and Spiritual
Improve church website
Choose curriculum for next Wed night class
Read through the Bible
Study Biblical women
Fast 1xweek for 2 months to pray
Learn hymns (make a list)
Listen to a sermon every week even if I can’t be “in” church
Make a decision about church
Attend a home school convention
Teach Brenna and Jack to read
Choose a language for the kids and I to learn (Greek?)
Read through Growing Little Women with Brenna (start on her birthday?)
Plan unit studies for each summer
Read a classic each season to the kids (and another to myself)
Build up our home library
Plan at least 6 field trips per school year
“Grow” picnic in the park day to include at least 7 more families
Read a home schooling book (or listen to a pod cast) every month
Health and Safety
Put together a disaster kit
Get a fire ladder and have a drill
Switch to non-toxic cleaner
Make a vaccination plan for our kids and complete it
Have my eyes checked
Be at my goal weight of 145lbs
Get Jack’s eczema under control
Stop drinking soda completely and stick with it
Study nutrition and help Jack gain weight
Keep 3 days worth of water on hand
Learn about natural meds
Make a family tree and hang it up
Paint more scripture on the walls
Complete the black and white picture frame
Make silhouettes of the kids
Sew dresses for Brenna
Make a headboard for our bed
Make a doll pillowcase for Brenna
Get a good camera and take our own portraits
Organize a neighborhood yardsale
Sell old clothes on ebay
Organize our books (use library thing?)
Schedule and complete a really thorough spring cleaning
Sort all kids clothes and prep for the consignment sale
Clean out my closet regularly
Have a birthday party for our house
Look into scouting and ballet
Visit Atlanta as a family - go to the zoo and aquarium
Catch up Brenna’s pearl necklace
Get a playhouse for the backyard
Visit my grandparents at least every other month
Visit my parents in Texas
Take a trip to the beach
Spend more time in the yard
Cut way back on tv
Potty train Jack and Christian
Pray about and research adopting
Take a family trip with my parents
Start a hope chest for Brenna
Have a family portrait made
Celebrate one new Old Testament festival each year
Plan a birthday party or mother-daughter tea for Granny
Attend Copeland family reunion
Have regular Family Dinners on Saturday nights
Sponsor a child
Send 4 shoeboxes Operation Christmas Child
Send a soldier care package
In the Yard
Begin to compost
Fence in the yard
Plant more flowers in the front flower bed
Plant a vegetable garden and fruit trees/bushes
Paint doors and shutters Charleston green
In the House
Decorate the house
Make the master bedroom and bathroom a retreat
Put a shelf up in Brenna’s room to hold my porcelain doll collection
Get really good sheets for our bed
Build a pantry and keep it well stocked
Assorted Other Stuff
Learn to cut hair
Buy tall black boots
Read a new book on marriage or a new book on parenting every month
Write study guide to book I taught last summer
Monday, January 12, 2009
But I guess until they release my computer I'll just stay busy folding clothes. That should keep me busy:)
Monday, January 05, 2009
We had an awesome Christmas, although it is now a *three day* affair. Levi and my nephew, Eric, formed a band on Christmas Eve Eve at my house. They entertained us before we opened presents. Eric is definitely getting a harmonica next Christmas - he played with ours all night. All night.
Here are the little darlings at church for our annual Christmas picture. Some of us are more serious about photo opps than others. I'm so tickled with Brenna's dress because she loved it (lined, not scratchy) and because I only paid $6 for it. This place has huge outlet sales near here twice a year where every outfit is $6. Most outfits have several pieces and we've only had one or two things that I felt like were poor quality. The dresses are usually very nice. Brenna also got a lined velvet green embroidered Christmas jumper with a shirt and tights. So cute. Anyway.
Christmas was lots of fun. A little more laid back this year. We ordered almost all the kids' gifts (and got free shipping on everything). And it seems like we hit on just the right amount of stuff - it was nice not to have that overwhelmed feeling. One thing I'm especially crazy about was a present I found for Brenna - this book. It's really beautiful and Brenna loves it.
After Christmas, my parents kept all the kids so Casey and I could get away for our anniversary. It was the first time we'd left the kids overnight...ever. My parents are the only people I'd put through that...um, I mean trust enough to do that to. The kids had an absolute ball. Casey and I stayed in Atlanta at The Ellis Hotel and I highly recommend it. It's right downtown and swanky (Levi asked if we had a butler in our room...it's not that swanky). One highlight was having the entire (beautiful and fabulous but overpriced, of course) restaurant to ourselves. The staff made us feel like celebrities. We had a great time - hopefully we can keep that going:)
So now I'm ready to get started on 2009. Isn't it fun to have a fresh start every year?
Sunday, January 04, 2009
101 in 1001 list
1. Pray about our home school goals
2. have a homeschool planning time
3. Get rid of unwanted hs materials
4. attend hs convention
5. join hslda
6. teach Levi to read
7. start having a regular school time
8. have a big “starting homeschool” day this fall
Health & Safety
9. buy and take a quality vitamin everyday
10. put together an emergency/disaster kit
11. put together a first aid kit
12. serve a raw vegetable or fruit with every meal
13. get a fire ladder and have a fire drill
14. do a detox after weaning Jack (ed. Do this after weaning Christian)
15. drink only water for a week and see if I feel better
16. buy and try stevia instead of sugar
17. take Levi to the dentist
18. exercise 3x a week
19. use only nontoxic cleansers in the house
20. Lose 60 lbs ( I can’t believe I wrote down the number!)
21. go to bed and get up earlier
22. Hold a garage sale
23. Make a family tree and hang it up in the house
24. Decorate the playroom
25. Decorate Mbed and Bath – make it a retreat
26. Get rid of unwanted toys
27. Decorate the kids’ rooms
28. Fence in the yard
29. clean out my closet and get rid of all the clothes I don’t wear
30. get a new kitchen table and chairs
31. paint scripture on walls
32. complete my black and white picture frame of all our family
33. decorate patio
34. invite people over for supper at least 1x every other month
35. organize storage room to hold outgrown kids’ clothing
36. learn how to make really good biscuits
37. learn how to make a great 14 layer cake (well, I’m still working on the icing…it ain’t great yet!)
38. have Christmas presents made or bought and wrapped before Dec 1st
39. learn to cook cabbage the way Casey likes
40. put together a list of a months worth of well-liked meals
41. create and follow a workable cleaning schedule
42. make silhouettes of each of the kids to hang up
43. establish a chore chart for kids and use it
44. keep meals in the freezer to take to people in need
45. pack an emergency diaper bag for the trunk
46. read or get rid of all unread books
47. Reorganize all my books
48. make a price book for groceries & household stuff
49. grow an herb garden
50. try once a month cooking
51. Pay off all debt except house
52. sign Levi up for scouts
53. make Easter more meaningful – establish more traditions
54. take the kids to the zoo in Atlanta
55. take the kids to the aquarium in Atlanta
56. swim w/ kids
57. Start Brenna’s pearl necklace
58. Take the kids to the beach
59. Verbally praise more than verbally correct
60. teach kids good manners
61. Have a pajama ice cream run
62. Invite Bet to stay with us over the summer
63. be at Bethany’s high school graduation (I'm still a little upset that I didn't get to do this one - very early labor pains with Christian kept me from traveling)
64. plan fun things with nieces and nephews
65. start a playgroup in our neighborhood
66. get a playhouse for Brenna
67. have a traditional picnic with Casey and kids
68. Encourage someone at church every week
69. Weekly praise a child that’s not my own
70. start a church library - I'm so glad to have this one done! It's really growing, too!
71. go to ladies retreat at least once
72. have a cookie decorating party for the kids at church
73. build a basic wardrobe
74. take better care of my skin
75. get teeth whitened
76. buy and wear really good makeup
77. get a cool shorter hairstyle
78. Take care of my nails
79. Memorize 3 scriptures per week for a month
80. Pray faithfully for family, church family and friends
81. Finish reading through the Bible
82. establish a daily Bible and prayer time and keep it consistently
83. pray with Casey every day
84. Pray for Casey daily (use POAPW)
85. plan an overnight getaway for me and Casey I got this one in just under the wire - we went away for our 11th anniversary and it was wonderful!
86. be an active prayer partner for a volunteer at the pregnancy center
87. find a way to volunteer at the pregnancy center
88. make shoeboxes at Christmas for the Christmas Child Project
89. sponsor a child
90. grow my hair to donate to Locks of Love
91. invite another woman over once every other month
92. get to know some neighbors
93. make a will and have it notarized (or whatever to make it official)
94. get a bigger vehicle
95. finish “baby” quilts for all three kids (now 4!)
96. learn more about the Old testament laws/ traditions
97. write something and submit it to be published
98. Write a letter explaining our “quiverfull” philosophy
99. write 1 letter a month to friends or family
100. Don’t check email on weekends
101. Catch up on scrapbooks
Saturday, January 03, 2009
He asked for a Star Wars birthday party this year. Since we only have parties every other year, I wanted to make this one especially fun.
The cake had a dark side and a light side. We also had dark force (coke) and light force (sprite) to drink. And pizza:) We had to order the plates since Walmart is the only local store that even carries party supplies and they didn't have anything star wars-y. But ebay saved the day.
The kids made their ownlight sabers out of pipe insulation tubes and colored duct tape. Casey and I put handles on each one ahead of time with silver duct tape. The kids loved making their own. Since it was warm outside they played two "space games" in the yard. In the first game they used balloons to practice their lightsaber skills (keeping the balloon off the ground using their sword) and they hunted for "meteors" (balled up alminum foil) which contained light sticks. The light sticks (a great present from my dad) kept them busy for a long time. It was fun to plan and Levi was very happy:) I remember now though why we only do this every other year. Soon I'll have to plan Jack's three year old party - he's requested Batman. Hmmm....