Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
I had so much fun putting a box together for her, but it was even more fun to get a box in the mail. It came on the day of Levi's birthday party so I wound up saving it to open as a little reward for myself after the craziness.
I loved absolutely everything! Homemade vanilla maple marshmallows, drinking chocolate, beautiful ornaments, tons of crafts supplies! Even whole nutmeg! I especially love the precious little notebook with both lined and graph paper. It's so handy to keep in my purse while I Christmas shopping. There was even a little tea wallet with 4 new-to-me kinds of tea - perfect for a relaxing cup...when I can tear myself away from the chocolate!
Thank you bunches, Peggy, for starting my season off on such a sweet note!
Monday, November 22, 2010
I'm preparing early for Thanksgiving this year since we will be eating at home this year! Casey's side of the family usually eats together at his sister's house, but this year I asked everyone to come to us so that the kids will have the yard to play in (and the toys!). I'm looking forward to it - must be my matriarch complex:)
My mother in law always make the dressing and lots of vegetables so get to do dessert. And I always make a little turkey since not everyone loves it like I do. This year we got two small turkey "roasts" - one to oven roast and one to smoke. And I'm making gravy and mashed potatoes to go with. Plus pumpkin rolls and 2 pies - pumpkin cream and pecan - and a cheesecake. Yum.
So my week should look like this...
Saturday - I made 24 rolls and 3 pie crusts (I only need one for the pecan pie, but the other two will make a nice pot pie with the turkey leftovers).
Monday - today I'm making broth with chicken wings for the gravy, peeling potatoes for make-ahead mashed potatoes and possibly working on the cheesecake.
Tuesday - thaw the turkey roasts, make pecan pie, make mashed potatoes, and the cheesecake. Finish up the gravy.
Wednesday - clean house and decorate, make pumpkin pie, smoke one turkey and brine the other for a little bit. Hopefully I'll also have time to fix up a few things for the kids to do - I love what Monica did for the little ones at her house.
Thursday! - roast turkey, heat up the potatoes and gravy, thaw rolls and bake (soften the butter!), make 3 pitchers of tea, set the tables and put the pie in the oven to warm up just as we sit down to eat.
I hope you all have a lovely Thanksgiving!
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Thursday, October 07, 2010
But maybe a neat house and completed projects aren't the only definition of a haven.
Christian's tantrums came to a head this week. He's not terribly vocal for a 3 year old...he can repeat anything we tell him to, he just isn't communicating much that way yet, and I know that frustrating for him. It's frustrating for me, too. Usually we handle the tantrum pretty quickly and move on but this week he and I have been caught in a tantrum spiral. He can't seem to stop himself from screaming and I can't seem to settle him down. It sure didn't seem like a haven around here with a screaming toddler, an edgy mom, and stressed kids. Looking at Christian, I kept thinking of the chapter Monica chose for this week - Psalm 107. He was very much "crying out in his trouble" - loudly! - and I could choose to try to repsond the way that God did, disciplining him for his own good and yet still bringing him out of his distress and blessing him. "They were glad when it grew calm, and he guided them to their desired haven." (Psalm 107:30). And at the same time, God is doing all of that and so much more for me! So now, while Christian naps quietly in his own bed, I do "give thanks to the LORD for His unfailing love and His wonderful deeds for men (and mommies and three year olds!)" (Psalm 107:31).
Wednesday, October 06, 2010
I plan to begin with a few minutes of prayer on my own...probably while I'm getting dressed. Then prayer all together - I think it helps the kids as much as it does me!
I am definitely, like Monica, staying home today. Hopefully, that'll give us all a chance to get caught up. I also plan on starting supper during my morning routine. Supper is probably the worst time of day lately...too much chaos while I try to cook and that spills over well after we all sit down. So today I'm going to make beef stew and bread during the day - no last minute cooking. And I think I will try feeding the baby early so he can just snack with us or maybe even just play with a toy.
And I need to catch up on chores - the laundry and the kitchen especially. But I also want to do something fun with the kids. I'm thinking maybe some apple cider outside and a little extra playtime.
So my plan for the day...
- a peaceful supper, cooked ahead of time
- lots of outside play in the fresh, crisp air
- catch up on the laundry and clean the kitchen
then, as I have time....
- complete our school plans for today (school will get done, but I won't stress if we don't finish every little thing on the plan)
- make a menu for next week and a grocery list (Thur is usually grocery day)
- clear my desk
- do a science experiment with the kids
Tuesday, October 05, 2010
Monday, October 04, 2010
My morning got off to an abnormal start since I had to run to the library first thing. Our morning routine got off to a slow start! But the afternoon is going nicely so I'm going to pick up where I am...
The first thing Monica recommended was refreshing our own spirit. My quiet time is usually shared with the kids - I just can't squeeze it in without them right now - and we usually read a Proverb to go with the date. Today, though, we read Psalms 107 along with Monica. The kids focused on the idea that no problem is to big for God, while I thought about the haven He provided.
They were glad when it grew calm,
and He guided them to their desired haven. Psalm 107
Calm in house with 5 little ones is hard to come by...impossible without His help. But with Casey working overtime this week, calm is just what we need.
So I'm spending a bit of time this afternoon on planning my week. For today my main goals are to finish our school work for the day, do two loads of laundry, plan the week and cook a yummy supper of chicken pot pie (x2 to put one in the freezer for another night) and salad.
Sunday, October 03, 2010
Christian turned 3!
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
One project, convienently enough, was to plan a birthday party while sticking to a budget. Brenna had so much fun helping me with the party for Christian and Luke. I really enjoy planning parties, but I must not always show it because Brenna asked me several times if I liked doing so much "work." I assured her that I do love planning special things for my family and remembered to smile a lot more!
I also organized our school materials and two storage closets. The decluttering is firmly underway!
I do have one more project from this chapter for this week - organizing the kids clothes. It's just about time to switch over to fall/winter clothes and that will be soooo much easier with clean, organized closets to start from.
Monday, September 13, 2010
These cookies were every bit as much fun to make as they were to eat! And they were really yummy!
I bought myself a cookie jar to use for the party...and because I think mommies should get a present, too.
I found alphabet charts at the dollar store and thought they were suitably "vintage."
The cake was red velvet on the inside...
Christian enjoyed the presents...except for the ones he was scared of. We don't know why - he loved them later:)
Monday, August 23, 2010
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Sunday, August 15, 2010
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Well, I'm just now getting to really look it over and I love it! It's easily worth the original price. There are literally years of projects in this book for girls from preschool on up. Each chapter (and I think I counted 52) deals with a character trait or skill set and has between 25 and 50 projects to choose from. Everything from "A Patient Woman" or "A Woman Who Handles Money Wisely" to "A Modest Woman" and "A Teaching Woman." Some of the projects will be do-able even for non-readers and some are better suited for young women. All of them are adaptable and it's easy to pick and choose. Brenna and I could easily go through the book over and over again as she grows and, if she were to ever have a little sister (maybe, one day), she could use the book, too.
Actually, reading through it, I was wishing I'd had a book like this growing up. But it's never too late! SO I'm going through and picking out projects for myself as well. I'm hoping to get a project done every week between now and Thanksgiving...and maybe I'll get some batteries for my camera so I can share some pictures!
Saturday, June 26, 2010
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
While we've been off, we've been busy relaxing:) Casey had some time off to go with us to Dauset Trails and Indian Springs! It was so good to get away even just for a little bit all together. We will definitely have to plan another trip!
The kids and I took another short trip with my family to the beach. We had a wonderful time with my parents and grandparents and favorite sister. As a kid, I was blessed to get to spend a lot of time with my grandparents and I'm always so thankful for my kids to get to do that, too. We attempted to take some family pictures on the beach, but some of us were less than cooperative...
We did get some good pictures, though, and we had a great time. Watching the kids see the ocean for the first time was so good for me. I was surprised at how refreshing even a short trip could be - we may have to squeeze in another quick trip before too long! And I'll definitely have to post some more pictures later.
And now I'm ready to jump back into life at home. I have so much planning still to do for next school year. I'm so excited about everything we're going to study! And I'm debating about squeezing in a yard sale. I would love to haul everything to the Salvation Army and be done with it, but our thrift stores are terribly disorganized - tons of good clothes get sold for rags because they simply don't have the manpower to sort it all. So I would rather have a yardsale with extremely good prices and just donate some of the money. I'm just trying to decide if I have a free Saturday and if the kids will need to be relocated:)
We still have fun stuff planned. Father's Day, Brenna's birthday, VBS and the fourth of July are coming right up, after all. I'm already looking forward to the relative slowness of our school schedule!
Thursday, May 06, 2010
Luckily, these $15 cheapo shelves from Walmart came to the rescue. This is the day we put them together and loaded them up...they'll look much better when I get a few more matching containers. But for $45 bucks total, it's a decent sized shelving unit and it's pretty sturdy, too.
I wish I'd taken a better picture of it all styled up, but remember the part of this post where I mentioned running low on time...?
Tuesday, April 06, 2010
My parents and sister were here for the weekend, too - they're such a blessing!
Thursday, April 01, 2010
Friday, March 19, 2010
Between stomach viruses, Casey's crazy hours, and the, oh, two dozen or so other things I've had going on lately -well, some times you just have to keep putting one foot in front of the other.
I know things will settle down soon. Until then, what was the end of that nursery rhyme.......?
Saturday, March 13, 2010
Take special care in setting an invalid's tray.I certainly haven't had much time to consider whether or not a fringed napkin would prove annoying to my paitients, but I have been so very thankful that I'm able to be at home caring for them.
Cover with a spotless tray-cloth or dinner napkin, folding the same, if it
is larger than tray, that it may just come over the edge. Avoid a fringed
cloth, as the fringe is apt to prove annoying.
Sunday, February 28, 2010
- early to bed, early to rise...
- clean out the storage room to sort kids' clothes in preparation for the consignment sale coming up
- clean all the windows to let in the sunshine!
- eating breakfast as a family
- keeping the kitchen sparkly and shiny all week
How funny, before I had kids this would've been a good daily list!
Monica has a really good assignment this week - I hope to do a little work outside, too!
Monday, February 22, 2010
Monday, February 15, 2010
Thursday, February 11, 2010
Saturday, February 06, 2010
Monica's challenge for this week is chores and that's definitely something I need to work on. Now that the kids have a working schedule for getting theirs done, it's time for me to get a schedule for mine.
In the morning before school...
- start laundry - load #1
- put folded clothes away if I didn't get to it the night before
- clean kitchen after breakfast
- check the kids chores
After morning school...
- switch laundry, start load #2
- fix lunch
- clean kitchen after lunch, sweep (teach Levi to sweep!)
- start supper
After afternoon school...
- laundry! - bring load #1 upstairs and fold (Brenna helps), put load #2 in the dryer
- finish supper
- clean kitchen
- bring up load #2 to fold, then put away
I usually do a big cleanup on Friday morning, but all too often it gets pushed back until Saturday when there are lots of better things to do with our weekend. I think I'll move it to Thursday afternoons and see if that helps.
Now I'm off to catch up on the planning from last week...and the laundry.
Wednesday, February 03, 2010
So now we're committed to a tea party every Sunday. This week I made the quickie snacks...on another week Brenna can help. One week we'll make the invitations...another we'll do a craft. For this week we drank some peach/mango tea I still had samples of. Some weeks we may heat up some lipton or have lemonade. The pickiness has got to go!
Sunday, January 31, 2010
Friday, January 29, 2010
- Meals...I do usually plan suppers, but I don't always stick to the plan. And lunches and breakfast need more planning, too.
- Luke's nap...he's been napping in the school room with us, but he's beginning to wake a little too easily for that so we need to find him a new spot.
- School...the basics of school are planned out for the rest of this year, but I do need to make copies, reserve books, and plan projects. The fun stuff. And I want to start thinking about next year and plan a planning day like last year.
- Tea time...Brenna's asked me to have a tea party with her so we're going to make this a regular girls only time on Sunday afternoons (although the boys will still be able to snack on any goodies we might have). I think I'm looking forward to this as much as she is!
That should provide a nice, full week. I don't usually have any free time to sit and think, but since Casey's going to work earlier, I'm planning to use that time. I'll just have to write myself a list of things to plan!
Thanks to Monica for hosting this lovely series!
Friday, January 22, 2010
- Continue working with the kids on their morning and afternoon chores. We're getting the toy room and bedrooms completely picked p today - that should help.
- same goes for the kitchen!
- I also need to gt to bed and get up earlier through the week.
- On Saturday, I'm planning to have all my work done...house cleaned, church clothes ironed, dinner started...by three so that I can have a little time "off" and we can all have a relaxing evening together.
Thanks, Monica, for hosting this series. It's such a help!
Monday, January 18, 2010
Saturday, January 16, 2010
We've been focused on school for the last few weeks so the house has had to make do with a lick and a promise. Hopefully over the next few weeks we can turn our comfy, lived in!, home into a true haven.
Here's what I'll work on this week.
- starting the day with my Bible reading and written prayers. I'm working on reading just one chapter per day from the New Testament.
- getting the kids back on the chore bandwagon. I've been very lax about reminding them lately and we all know how that works:)
- cleaning the kitchen every night before bed. Nothing is more depressing than waking up to dirty dishes!
- making time to blog a bit more often. This blog serves as my only scrapbook for right now and posting about what I've managed to accomplish is a big encouragement.
- filling in my brand new family Bible - a Christmas present from my grandparents. I'm so excited about writing our family history in the front.
That's enough, I think, to keep me busy for one week.
Levi is a second grader this year. He did not do well with the lack of routine over the last few months - I think school seemed a little too optional and, given the option he'd rather play than work. I can identify. But the last few weeks have seen a total turn around. Once he knew the (challenging) expectations, he's taken right off...most days he does even more than I expected.
Brenna has been the one begging for more school. She's only 5 1/2 but is doing mostly 1st grade work. Math seems to come naturally to her (which makes me scratch my head) and her reading skills are coming along. I haven't managed to teach her to love books yet...I'm beginning to think that isn't something you can teach. But I am planting all the seeds for it...
Jack is my preschooler this year. He loves the Kumon workbooks - working his way through Tracing and Sticker & Paste right now - but I'm also trying to spend time reading just with him every day. He was too young for a lot of the picture books and Bible stories when I was reading them to Brenna and Levi, so I'm rereading them with him now. He still listens in to everything the big kids do, though. Especially science. And we all are studying the catechism together.
I'm really excited about the last half of the school year. Our homeschool group has been a lifesaver! I'm teaching a short class on Medieval Times for the co-op that I'll share more about soon. It's so fun to work with all of these great kids and to see my kids making friends. Just the booster shot we need every now and then:) And I'm so glad I finally took their pictures...look how much they've grown since last year!
Tuesday, January 05, 2010
Here are Casey and the rest of our little tribe. Brenna had a hard time deciding between gold bows and a gold headband for her hair. That was (miraculously!) the biggest drama of our morning.
After church everyone came back to our house for an extremely casual meal of make-your-own subs and some yummy desserts. It was so fun to have everyone together to visit and relax. The kids played outside (and got my nephew's brand new rc helicopter stuck in a tree) and the grownups stayed in and talked and snacked and talked. Lovely.
pictures by my sister, btw. I never would've included the mayo jar:)
Sunday, January 03, 2010
Casey's work went back and forth between too few hours and overtime, causing quite a bit of upheaval. It was well worth it though to have him home a little more often.
Our schooling was very slow to pick back up after the fall break we took when Luke was born. We did the bare minimum most days and I postponed a lot of extras, but we kept up with our great co-op group and went on a fun field trip.
The most difficult thing we did this year, by far, was leaving our church. It's a decision we've been praying over for a very long time...God was gracious enough to keep repeating Himself while I hemmed and hawed. But we've settled in a new church and been very blessed by it. The pastor was even kind enough to work Luke's baptism into the holiday schedule so that our family could all be there.
The baptism was a truly happy day. Luke grinned through the whole thing - he's a happy little fella. And then we had friends and family over to the house for a (very relaxed!) lunch.
Casey and I celebrated our 12th wedding anniversary just after Christmas by going out to dinner while my parents watched *all* of the kids. So nice. I'm so thankful that God brought us together when we were so young and has held us together since then. Sometimes I feel like we're toddlers on His lap and, whether we play happily or push and pull and try to escape, He holds us there, loving arms restraining and protecting us. This past year we've played happily with only a very few minor tantrums:)
And now I'm looking forward to getting 2010 off to a good start. I'm full of ideas for school and home. I can't wait to make a brand new notebook! But first I think I'll get the Christmas tree put away:)