Friday, August 19, 2011

A while back I promised to give info on my "detailed" summer schedule....the summer started out with great intentions but as usual, daily life got in the way. At the beginning of the summer, we spent a lot of time at the library for Summer Reading, at our friends' house to play before they headed out to Russia to bring home their new sons/brothers, and a lot of time in our kiddie pool. I put together a basic daily routine to hang on the fridge, and made some magnets of extra activities that I could change around as needed. Though I haven't stuck really well to the routine, it has helped me when I get part way through the day and feel like I'm floundering...the last month has been wonky as I prepared to spend 8 days in Puerto Rico chaperoning a missions trip, was gone for 8 days, and then struggled to transition back to "real life". I'm really hoping to be back on track next week and help Goldilocks reach some back-to-school goals before school starts again...these goals include
1) shoe-tying
2) reviewing counting backwards from 20
3) reviewing writing out the alphabet
4) counting by 5's and 10's
5) writing #s to 100
I know she can do it, if only I can find a way to motivate her!

Here's an overview of our basic daily routine. I created a weekly table in Microsoft Word and illustrated with clip art.

Walk Dog (this hardly ever happens)
Help Mom w/Chores
Play Outside
Quiet Time
School (this hasn't been happening much, either)
Play Outside/Swim
TV Time

Saturday, July 30, 2011

So Long...

Sold my first "grown-up" car today...11 years ago my great-aunt bought me a '99 Ford Taurus for my commute to school...that car has taken me far in life...back and forth to community college, the commute to 3 different jobs of mine, 4 different jobs of Firebug's, Pennsylvania for our honeymoon, Yellowstone, the Redwoods, Arizona, up north, through blizzards and heat and carried our first two babies home from the hospital (at about 15 mph). It came to me with about 30,000 miles on it, and limped away with 214,000. It was surprisingly hard to watch it back out of the driveaway for the last time. Here's to hoping a new owner and a new engine will give it a new lease on life...Thanks for all the miles burgundy Ford Taurus!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Aimless Rambling...

"Mama, I wish humans could fly...or I wish we were fairies...............are there real fairies?"

Just a snippet from I sit here procrastinating on the mound of laundry to iron, fold, and put away, I feel I should share a little about what's going on in life.

Right now I'm supposed to be getting ready for a missions trip to Puerto Rico. But I'm having one of those moments where it all feels like too much...packing for 3 kids and the dog to stay at Grandma and Grandpa's, picking up all the last minute things Firebug and I need for the trip, packing our bags, getting ready for Hardware Hank's birthday party....right now all I want to do is sit on the couch enjoying the a/c...the humidity is definitely getting to me today. Don't hate me, but I am sooooo ready for summer to give way to fall. But I'm super excited to GET to Puerto Rico, to watch these 26 "kids" grow and amaze us...Firebug and I have poured our hearts into some of these students for 6 years and I can't wait to watch them put their faith into action.

Goldilocks and Addiecakes finished out the summer reading program and got their final prizes today...they each got coupons for free fries at McD's, free CinnaStix at Dominoes, and a free Blizzard and Sundae at a free book of their choice. Pretty sweet prizes! We celebrated by using some of those DQ coupons up:)

A minute ago Goldilocks and Addiecake were playing and having a they can't stand to be near each other...

Our dear friends are heading halfway across the world tomorrow to pick up their two sons...I can't imagine flying out of the country a family of 3 and returning a family of 5. It was surprisingly emotional to say goodbye, knowing that they'll be so far away for a month, then out of commission for a while as their boys adjust to a whole new language, culture, family, time zone, etc. Throughout the last 9 months, I've felt such a part of the process that it seems strange for them to take off without me! But the biggest emotion was the feeling of awe and thankfulness that God has seen fit to provide them with these two beautiful sons. That He has crushed seemingly insurmountable obstacles to get them to this point is such a picture of His love for us. For a couple who wouldn't give up on their dream of growing their family, for a 5 year old girl who will thrive on the companionship of younger siblings, for two brothers in Russia waiting for their forever family...I just can't wait to meet the little guys!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

The Things I Got Today...

...some much needed extra sleep while the girls played nicely together this morning
...haircuts for the girls
...sliders at Applebees *yummo*
...a chuckle over the misunderstood facebook status "heading to Super 8 with hubby this afternoon"
...terrible seats at the movie Super 8
...tears in my eyes during the movie
...Bambi, Backdraft, Lethal Weapon 3, Zombieland, and another movie I can't remember for $2.99 each!
...mosquito bites on my ankles from letting the dog in from outside

By the way, I really enjoyed the movie...if you have a chance to go I would recommend it. The perfect blend of comical, heartwarming, intense, and sci-fi...reminded me a bit of E.T....

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Summer Softball

Firebug and I have been enjoying youth ministry for about 8 (!) years now, and one of the greatest rewards is watching the boys grow from scrawny, annoying, cocky little 7th graders into young men of character....this summer Firebug has been having a blast playing on a softball team with a group of them. With 3 little ones, I've only made it to one game, but have heard positive gossip about the team from several sources in the church. I'm so proud of their team spirit, good sportsmanship, and focus on God...not to mention they are pretty darn good! Here's some pictures of "my" boys...I think Firebug blends in pretty well with those young 'uns (he smashed 2 out of the park last week!)

Giving thanks after the win

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

It's ok...

...if your kids spent the day in dress-up clothes
...if the laundry didn't get done
...if you drank an extra Diet Coke or two to get through the day
...if your baby slam-dunked his head against a pointy object-again
...if your dog is outside barking while you blog
...if your menu plan consists of a few scribbled meal ideas on a post-it
...if the house got cleaned only to be messy again 2 minutes later
...if breakfast consisted of cold cereal eaten in front of the television
...if your dog ate the rest of the pizza out of the garbage

Because you also....
...gave your kids the creativity to express themselves through clothing
...took the kids to library Summer Reading instead of starting the laundry
...promised yourself you'd drink extra water later
...cuddled your baby when he cried
...helped your dog learn it's ok to be outside alone sometimes
...resisted the siren call of McDonald's and fed your kids a "nutritious" lunch
..."messed up" your clean house by setting up the Hot Wheels city morning t.v. to the one show
...minimized household food waste!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Catching Up

I have all these blog posts rattling around, but I'm too lazy to get the pics that illustrate them on to the computer, so upcoming posts will include...

-how I turned an old door into a garden chalkboard
-update on the pantry organization (all that's left to do is label the jars, yay!)
-detailed plans for summer "unschooling" plus our daily schedule
-summer softball pics

In the meantime, a little update on this crazy thing I call my life:

Summer is going AMAZING...I worried like crazy how I would handle having all 3 kids home (especially since the kindergardener is my challenge), but should have known God had it all worked out. For the first time in mommyhood, I feel like my priorities are clicking into place-for the most part-and I'm looking forward to every new day as a mom. The first week school was out I sat down and made a summer plan...what our days would look like, what events we had on our calendar, ideas to promote learning, etc....the biggest change is that the day revolves around the kids instead of chores and housework. Strangely, most everything is still getting done, and what isn't, I'm not stressing over. Our days are spent walking the dog, reading books together and doing themed projects, playing outside in the yard and at the park, playdates with friends, and lots of time at the library for Summer Reading. I'm still working out the details on growing Goldilocks' math skills, but we're trying to spend time a few days a week on speech, and she is having fun with reading and writing nearly every day. I'm looking forward to enjoying the rest of this laid-back summer and am so thankful that God is working on my heart and my attitude--my newfound enthusiasm has definitely translated into more peace in our home.

In other news, Hardware Hank is dusting the floors as I type, and will soon be full out crawling. His favorite destination is the dog's chew hoof....although he's been known to enjoy a rawhide bone or two as well. He's growing up before our eyes, hopefully adding on some poundage to even out the first percentile weight/80th percentile head size discrepancy. Curls are popping up in the humidity, and he is learning to say "mum mum mum" "dadadad" and "yayaya" (Amelia).

Friday, February 11, 2011

Where All My Time Goes or....Why, Yes, I Believe I Do Smell Like Poo....

I've been trying to figure out why this week has seemed more pointless than usual...I've felt like I'm spinning my wheels in the mud, and when I get out of the car to push it my feet get this afternoon as I was cleaning up my nearly-4-year old's 4th(!) poo accident of the day, I realized where all my time is's literally being flushed down the toilet along with the countless toilet paper squares and toddler wipes we've been barrelling through! Plus, Hardware Hank has apparently reached the stage of massive blow-outs every morning, resulting in complete wardrobe changes and full-body wipedowns...this epiphany has resulted in a decision to let myself off the hook. There are days when I have a handle on the poo, and days when the poo has a handle on me...besides it could be worse...we could have been at the library.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Mama to 4 Blessings is giving away a $20 gift card to Abby's Lane...Hardware Hank is growing; he needs more fluffy diapers!
Devotion Mama is giving away an adorable CEO tie tee for boys! Hardware Hank would look so handsome in one of these!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

I found a great post on pantry organization...go check it out at House of Smith. She has some really practical ideas for getting your pantry under control!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

I came across a blog post recently at the Pleated Poppy that really got my creatizational(in case you didn't know, that's my new word for creative organization) juices flowing...Lindsay shares my love of all things Mason jar and has posted gorgeous pictures of all the ingenious ways she uses her collection. Which got me thinking: I have tons of canning and jelly jars, and I also have things that could benefit from a little creative containment...


The Other Cupboard: plastic bags, recipe binder, teas...

Over the Stove: blender, pastas, grains, raw cashews...
Sharpies make me happy

Sandwich Baggies for Amelia's Lunches

I Made Room By...getting rid of all this Kool-Aid...who wants it? Seriously...anybody want it?

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

I've been away far too long, so I think it's time to make my way back! A few random things to help you catch up on the last few months...

1. I had a gorgeous baby boy!!! Here he is enaging in his favorite hobby...sleeping (this is a daytime-only hobby), but not just anywhere, it has to be in the car seat for maximum comfort.

2. We have had FAR too many friends move away (4 out of the 5 couples invited to B's birthday in May are now several hours, even oceans, away)...but this has forced us to strengthen family bonds, especially with our sibings...

3. For the new year, I decided to focus on a specific word for each family member. I will be praying these words for each family member, as well as trying to be intentional about encouraging each of us to grow in that area throughout the year...

Spiritually: time with God comes before a "perfect" house and "fun" reading or computer time
Physically: eat I'm still exhausted from a baby who's up 3-4x a night, I'm moving slowly on the working out, but I will try to eat more foods in their natural state and less processed foods; more fruits and vegetables
Financially: meal planning to cut back on money spent eating out
Family: spend more intentional time with all the members of my family

My prayer is that God will work in my heart to make His priorities my own. I know my life will move more smoothly this way, and I will feel more confident in my roles as wife, mom, and homemaker when I'm organizing my life around God's timetable.

Because in today's society, husbands are being stripped of their God-given role as leader of the household...spiritually, financially, in discipline, etc....I pray that I will be a facilitator and not a hindrance as B continues to grow as the leader of our home.

Goldilocks: STRENGTH control her emotions and sin-nature, to problem-solve and stand up for herself at school, to be confident of her abilities, etc...

Addiecakes: OBEDIENCE she learns to obey the Holy Spirit that now resides within her, as well as obedience and respect of myself and her dad.

Hardware Hank: SECURITY
...that the foundation for a security in God the Father would be laid as he learns he can trust his earthly parents to care for his every need; security at night to sleep peacefully in his crib...

4. I've also been trying to get more on top of all the STUFF in my house! The toys are multiplying like dust bunnies and I'm so tired of feeling the burden of all the things surrounding me. So I'm trying to do something for a few minutes each day to corral some of the clutter. Today's project was the entertainment center and coloring basket. A few pics of the progress:

The basket under the entertainment center is way the way, that's my daily dose of Rachael Ray on the screen...
The crazy jumble of plastic animals, McDonald's toys, Beanie Babies, etc...
All the stuff that's going bye-bye...
The pared-down basket...
should be much easier to clean up after Addiecakes dumps it out for the tenth time of the day...

Monday, January 31, 2011

Amelia's Birthday

Bold Dots Thank You 5x7 folded card
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