Thursday, January 22, 2009

Every time I vow to post more often life seems to get crazier (than usual). The last two weeks have been consumed with potty training, head colds, and laundry (see potty training). Oh, and a birthday party. It was awsome according to the birthday boy. It does not take much to impress a three year old - thank goodness.

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


Finally, my computer is all fixed up and I can use it again! And just in time to post my second 101 in 1001 list. I'm actually already working on several of these things - hopefully I'll have some stuff to cross off soon.

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
Make pickles
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
Get passports

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

Crafty stuff
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
Make scrapbooks

Cleaning House
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
Plant roses
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
Stop complaining
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

Computerless once again

I put my new computer in the shop with my old computer last week to have data transferred to the new laptop. "A day or two, tops", he promised. That was last Tuesday morning. I am getting more done (I think) but I definitely rely on that thing a lot more than I knew. My 101 in 1001 list is almost finished...hopefully I'll be able to post it in a few days. I did a few little things around the house that I wanted to post pictures of, too, mostly because it's been so long since I had time for any sprucing up around here.
But I guess until they release my computer I'll just stay busy folding clothes. That should keep me busy:)

Monday, January 05, 2009

Rock Star Christmas

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, 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'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

Winding down on the 101 in 1001 list

I officially have until Jack's birthday on the 13th to finish this list, but I'm ready to start working on the next one already so I went over this one to do the final strikethrough:) I learned a lot about myself over the last 1001 days (minus a few). I think I accomplished about 50% (completed stuff is in red) of the things on the list. Fifty percent doesn't sound good, but I'm pretty happy with it! Some of the things that I accomplished I know I would not have done if I hadn't written them down - having a picnic with Casey for example. Somethings, like a neighborhood playgroup, that I thought were really important to me turned out to be lower priorities. Some things I still want to do so they'll appear on the next list and some opportunities are lost forever. When I started the first list I had no idea it would be something I'd want to do again, but it's a great project to get me thinking about the big picture and where I'd like to be (and where I'd like my family to be) in 1001 days. I hope to be able to post my next list this week, but I'm still praying about it right now...and that's not the part to rush!

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

Church Family
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

We had a busy, busy month! Levi's 7th birthday was so much fun! I can't believe my baby is 7 - when did that happen? Last year 6 seemed so grown up... We've both had some growing pains this year. I've had a hard time adjusting to being the mom of a bigger kid - we aren't a family of babies anymore! There's suddenly a lot of Star Wars and Transformers talk around here.

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....