Category Archives: holidays

December 1, 2016

Well, today started early, like 1:30 am early. I went to bed last night with a headache and woke up sick. No fun at all. I turned my phone on and had all kinds of messages that I had missed during the night. (I almost never turn my phone off but my headache was really bad.) I did feel better after I took a shower though.

After my shower I did have almost a whole hour of ‘quiet time’. I spent that time going through my prayer journal and thanking God for the answered prayers. I also added a few new ones. I read my devotional and worked on a study that I had out. I also let my Bible fall open and read out of Psalms. It was just what I needed to help calm my soul and renew my strength this morning.

After messaging my best friend I had a long talk with God and had to hand something over to Him, something I should’ve immediately handed over last night, but stubbornly thought I could handle it on my own. (Which is how I ended up with a headache.) I felt such a relief and got the answer I needed once I let go. God is so good!

I am so thankful to have friends who can make me feel better when I’m down and who remind me that I don’t need to stress over things.

The kids were up super early and started tattling right away. My one son was in a grumpy kind of mood which did improve a little but not much. In fact, he is grumpier right now than he was this morning  He is currently voicing his opinion about bedtime through his bedroom door.

Then I remembered it was December 1st which meant that I needed to change out our school calendar. This lead to me realizing that I had forgot to print out the new calendar stuff for December (I admit I forgot last year too). So I grabbed the laminator and the paper cutter. I printed off the pages I needed and got to work laminating them.

My 3 year old loves to watch the laminator. He gets so excited to see what we are making. He was also my little helper and helped me to carry everything over to the playroom and get it all set up. We had a card left over, St. Nicholas day, and I didn’t know what day it was for sure.

So we went to the laptop and asked my dear friend, Google, for the answer. My son was very curious as to who ‘Doogle’ was and where he lived. He wanted to see a picture but forgot about that when I offered to let him put the final card in place. (December 6th in case you were wondering.)

We did manage to get our school work finished by 12. The girls have really been dragging their feet this week. I’m so glad tomorrow is Friday! I tried to get my daily chores finished and pay bills while they were working but that was pretty impossible today.

I did my laundry, as my laundry day is on Thursday, and then I carried my hang-dry items to my room. My oldest daughter was in there working out so I set them on the dresser with the intentions of going back to finish them shortly. The other clothes got dried and I left the ones that needed pressed on the dryer until I could get them. Well, I didn’t remember the wet ones until after lunch and they left a wet mark on my dresser. I just finished pressing the others after dinner. Now though I can say that task is completed for this week. Yay!

I did manage to finish my grocery list this morning, print my sales lists, and clip coupons. I pulled out my big coupon binder and started to get it set up again.One of my goals for 2017 is to be a better steward of what God has blessed me with. I think couponing will help me with this goal. At one time I was doing extremely well but I kinda fell off track with all of the different things I’ve been taking care of this past year.

I set out with $200 and my first stop was to put gas in my truck. Then to make a few more stops. I managed to find a few books to go under the tree and a few for stockings at Dollar Tree. I also picked up a few things to go along with our Advent study which I also confess has not began like I thought it would.  Being sick with the flu last week really did a number on me and I’m still not feeling quite 100%.

At another store I found a great deal on some meat. There was a BOGO sale on ground pork and ground pork patties. Well, I happened to find 4 packs of patties on sale that had been marked down $2 on top of the BOGO making them almost free! Then even better I found some stew beef also marked down $2. I know some people don’t like these sales but I grab them whenever I can unless the meat looks questionable. I have a big freezer and I know that even cheap cuts of meat will become tender in the crock pot or pressure cooker.

After two more stops and saving over $100 in sales and coupons I still had a little cash in my pocket. I stopped by the ‘relaxation station’ aka Island Shack Tanning Salon. I know, tanning isn’t really healthy, but the warm beds really do help my sore muscles a lot. Plus I usually sneak in a little nap in too.

After my quick nap I stopped to put air in my tire as I had found a note on my windshield informing me of a low tire. So sweet of someone to let me know, I really did appreciate that. Then back home to unload my grocery haul.

Upon exiting my vehicle the geese and the cat promptly notified me that I had forgotten to feed them earlier so groceries had to wait. Big sister heard me pull in and came to help. She had unloaded most of them by the time I had finished feeding which was a great help.

The kids all helped me to put away the groceries. They like to help because they can see what goodies and treats I might’ve gotten. They also enjoy trying to guess what Momma is going to make by looking at the groceries that I brought home. After everything was put away I sat down for a moment to try to decide what I needed to do and what was just gonna have to wait until tomorrow.

I still need to dig out our Christmas stuff. Who am I kidding? I still need to put away the Fall decor! (Speaking of which, I did find the cutest little pilgrim salt and pepper shakers today, on clearance!) Christmas is all packed neatly in some large green totes so I know where it is, I just haven’t brought it in.

I did bring in a tote and some boxes with the intentions of packing away the Fall decor but dinner had to be made. Then the clothes were calling me from the top of the dryer. I still haven’t vacuumed the floors either, but I won’t tell anyone if you don’t.

Today was visitation and Daddy had already promised to help them with a craft today. They made some paper Christmas trees. I even broke out the art supplies which included sequins and pom-poms. I wasn’t brave enough to bring out the glitter though. They turned out really well even thought some kids really didn’t want to follow along with the video.

christmas-trees

I love it when he does things like that with them. It helps them to strengthen their bond and also creates memories that will last for a long time. He also made his own tree, that they helped to decorate, to take home with him. The boys made him some ‘presents’ to go under his tree too.

Dinner consisted of Sloppy Joes, seasoned fries, and some homemade coleslaw (1 bag of slaw, a bit of mayo, a little sugar, and a splash of white vinegar. I’ll have to work on that recipe as I just kinda dump and taste as I go.) One of the little boys got excited when he saw the buns and the cheese. He had been asking for hamburgers but he thought Sloppy Joes were close enough and he actually asked for seconds.

After baths big sister wanted to try her hand at some No Bake Cookies. (Last night she made Easy Sugar Cookies.) She involved everyone in the process and they thoroughly enjoyed themselves. They enjoyed measuring, stirring, and of course the taste testing! I’m not so sure that chocolate right before bedtime was a such a good idea though as little man is refusing to go to bed now.

So all in all we had a great day. Lots of memories were made too. That’s what life is about. We have to do the best we can with what we have. Each and everyday is a new day with a fresh start.

I think my kids will remember these days when they get older. They won’t be worrying about whether or not I vacuumed the floor. They also probably won’t be traumatized by not having a Christmas tree up the day after Thanksgiving. (We’ve agreed that we will set it up on St. Nicholas Day and I drew a picture of a Christmas tree on my desk calendar for them to look at.)

They will also look back on the pictures and hopefully remember how much fun they had making crafts with their dad. We may have our differences but I am so thankful that we have been able to work through them and/or put them aside for the sake of our kids. Even though our relationship as husband and wife is over we are still connected through our kids and will always have that bond. It is important for us to continue to work together to be the best parents we can be for our children.

I am off to bed but first I need to walk little man to his bed. Then I have a few things that I need to add to my prayer list. Have a blessed night!

 

 

 

Advertisements

Cookies

5 ingredient chocolate chip cookies

7 layer cookies

Easy Sugar Cookies (We also added some butterscotch and some white chocolate chips to a few and they were delicious.)

Granny’s Chocolate Chip Cookies

Hot Dog Cookies

Lazy Dazy Cookie Cake

No Bake Cookies

Peanut Butter Cake Mix Cookies

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Wheels

Peanut Butter Cracker Cookies

Pizzelles

Russian Tea Cakes (These are a holiday favorite here at our house.)

S’mores

SOFT AND CHEWY GINGER MOLASSES COOKIES

Letters to Santa’s heart

Yesterday while waiting on breakfast, see November 27, 2016, my kids had decided to write letters to Santa. I didn’t tell them that Santa had already finished his shopping here and I was a little curious to see what they would write.

They got out some scrap paper, their school boxes, and the crayons. Everyone began working on their letters and they started out quietly but got more excited as they smelled the Monkey Bread. When the timer went off that signaled the kids to clear the table and get ready to eat. They brought their letters and left them on the kitchen island. As they ate I opened the letters and was pleasantly surprised. I think my heart was doing a happy dance and probably still is.

I expected to find endless lists of things they wanted. The boys have been into dinosaurs for so long that roaring, growling, and walking like dinosaurs is second nature to them. The girls of course see an occasional commercial when Grandpa has the TV on and they have expressed interests in the latest dolls, shoes, or whatever new toys are advertised. My 14 year old is into Star Wars, robots, and anything his younger brothers are playing with.

The first one I opened was from two of the kids and goes:

For Santa: 

I love you Santa

You are a good man

Your handsome

I love you Santa. The end.

It also had a picture of a colorful igloo on the back side of it.

The second letter I opened was from two more of the kids and goes:

Merry Christmas  

To: Mrs. Claws

North Pole

We love you Mrs. Claws. 

There were lots of colorful drawings of hearts and stars on this one. Also a drawing of the kids all holding hands and with happy faces. That in itself says a lot to my heart and makes me feel like maybe, just maybe, I am doing something right.

These touched me as my kids didn’t ask for anything. Instead they were showing their love and appreciation in more ways than one. The older girls had each helped one of the younger boys without being asked. I can see that they are learning so much and it makes me happy.

Yes, I know the spelling and punctuation need some work but that will come with time. Homeschooling is such a blessing as you can teach them so much more than just reading and writing. I can see so much progress in so many areas and I thank God for allowing me this opportunity.

While they thought they were writing letters to Santa, they were actually writing letters straight to Santa’s heart.

My kids used scrap paper but here are a couple of free printables that I found:

http://www.katesmithdesigns.com/blog/?tag=santa-letter-to-colour-in

http://eventstocelebrate.net/2013/11/letter-to-santa-free-printable/

Christmas (12/25)

I will try my best to keep updating this post with resources that we have found and used. I will also try to post any lesson plans and/or activities that we do as well.

Celebrate Jesus! at Christmas: For Advent Through Epiphany (This book has a lot of really good reviews. I haven’t had a chance to look through it yet. They also have one for Easter as well.)

Santa Who? (This book has some wonderful illustrations and helps teach children about how Santa came to be a symbol of Christmas.)

All of these books and resources were found on Amazon and I ordered the used books. Some of them were discards from libraries and one of them has a few scribbles in it but they were well worth the money I paid. You can probably find them new on Amazon or at your local bookstore.

Crafts and Activities: (These links will take you to other sites.)

Pinterest

PRESENT FOR YOU

DIY Paper Christmas Tree Gift Topper Tutorial-Video

RED CARDINAL HANDPRINT CRAFT

How To Create Swedish Advent Stars Using Recycled Book Pages

FREE CHRISTMAS COUNTING PACK

Popsicle snowflake crafts

Egg carton snow man craft

Christmas Classics

Foods/Snacks:

Santa Pancakes

Videos:

Welcome to the What’s in the Bible? Video Archive

When things don’t go as planned

We all know how it is to be planning for something. We get all excited as the details are being made and the final preparations are almost finished. We had planned to go to my sister’s house for Thanksgiving. This would be a good time for all of us to visit and enjoy our families together as two of my other sisters were coming also.

For me it was going to be a welcome relief from some of the stress I’ve been under lately. It was also going to be the first time in a long time that I didn’t cook a whole Thanksgiving dinner. My kids were excited to visit with their cousins and aunts that they haven’t seen in awhile.

Wednesday morning I woke up not feeling quite myself. After I showered and got dressed the little boys came to my room and said they weren’t feeling well. One then proceeded to vomit all over my bed, rug, and foot. So I grabbed him and ran to the bathroom and held him over the toilet for a minute. After he felt a bit better I proceeded to strip him down and shower him while gathering a load of laundry to wash.

This was our routine several times before lunch time. I got out our ‘puke bucket’ for the kids to carry around with them and a beach towel for them to sit on wherever they went. (We learned these tricks a while back and it helps to contain these messes and makes clean up so much easier when they can’t make it to the bathroom.)

So as the morning went on I felt worse and worse and was in a semi-zombie state by the time we finished school. It took every last ounce of energy I could muster to fix some lunch. Once big sister came in I let her take over and put the kids down for naps. I headed to bed. I slept almost all afternoon. (At some point during the day I did manage to send a couple of texts to let everyone know we wouldn’t be able to make it to dinner.)

Luckily I had almost everything we needed to make our own Thanksgiving dinner. I know I could’ve joined my brother and his family but as a mom I really didn’t want to possibly expose anyone else to whatever bug we had.

Some time Wednesday morning I had thought to take a turkey out of the freezer and made a quick menu. I had also arranged with my other daughter to make the mashed potatoes as that was one thing I did not have on hand.

I fixed some oatmeal for breakfast, which was not our normal Thursday morning breakfast, and it seemed to upset one of the kids as he likes everything to go according to routine. Once I settled him down with a puzzle to keep him I occupied I began to work on dinner. Turkey went in to cook, and then I began on the pies. Fortunately I had gotten a couple of frozen pies on sale so I just had to take them out of the freezer and pop them in the oven.

Then I thought I should make a Lemon Meringue pie for my dad. (I had planned on making two on Wednesday but I was too exhausted and sick to think about eating much less making anything to eat.) I pulled a pie crust out of the freezer, yes I cheated, and left it on the counter for 15 minutes or so. While it was defrosting I also pulled some frozen bread dough out to defrost.

Well, the pie crust didn’t seem to defrost the way it should have so I popped it in the microwave and thoroughly messed it up! So I pulled another one out and reread the microwave defrosting instructions. It still didn’t work quite as planned but it was salvageable. While baking the pie crust I divided the dough into rolls and placed them into a pan to rise. I began the pie filling and broke an egg yolk into the whites when I was separating them. I have not done this in forever but I did manage to scrape most of it out and the meringue turned out fine. The pie crust could have been prettier but the meringue covered up the flaws.

My daughter came in and mentioned that she wanted a Chocolate pie. By this time I was already feeling pretty worn so she offered to look up the recipe and make it herself. I agreed to that. I retrieved another pie crust and attempted to defrost it correctly with better success. She made the pudding and finished the pie. We then decided to make a Peanut Butter pie which went went fairly smooth with the exception of me baking the crust a little too long.

I checked on the rolls and they had not risen at all. I mean no signs of life at all, nothing, not even a little puff here or there so I threw them in the chicken scraps along with my failed pie crust. I then proceeded to make a batch of 30 minute dinner rolls, from one of my favorite cook books Real Mom Kitchen, and realized I only had enough eggs for a dozen rolls.

I borrowed a couple of eggs from my sister-in-law-to-be and started on a new batch of rolls. Within a few minutes I could already tell that they were definitely alive and well. I didn’t have quite enough regular flour so I added a bit of whole wheat flour to the rolls which made them a little darker but they turned out just fine.

When it got closer to dinner time we made the green bean casserole and finished up a few things. We pulled out a folding table and covered it with a sheet as I had not dug out the Thanksgiving table cloth. I don’t really think anyone noticed anyways.

We ended up having a pretty good dinner and enjoyed our time with family. The kids watched Godzilla and they are still running around pretending to be Godzilla. I had to lie down after dinner, which I could not eat as I was still feeling a bit puny, and I fell asleep.

In the end it wasn’t about everything being as planned or looking perfect to the last detail. We managed to work together and make a meal that everyone could enjoy. We didn’t have cranberry sauce or everyone’s favorite sweet potato casserole. We don’t have tons of leftovers, well we do have plenty of pie, but everyone ate until they were full and content.

It wasn’t the Thanksgiving we had planned but it was a wonderful day. I was a little upset that I couldn’t do what I had planned to do but it was out of my hands. I have learned that sometimes God has other things planned for us and that we just need to let go of our plans and see where He is leading us. It was much better to do that than to cry or be grumpy because things didn’t go our way. (OK, I do admit I may have been a little grumpy but I will blame that on not feeling well.)

When things don’t go as planned just breathe and try to relax. Accept it for what it is and just work with it. If there are things you can change, like your reaction to the situation, then work on changing those but leave the things you can’t change to God and He will work those things out for you.

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. – Jeremiah 29:11

Summer Break

Original Blog Post June 6, 2016
It’s ‘Summer Break’ at our house… more like ‘Wedding Break’ as I had originally planned on schooling through the year. We took a break off to finish up big sister’s wedding and then we were scheduled to start back today. That’s not happening though as I am exhausted.
I bought ‘The Prairie Primer’ to use for the summer but I haven’t actually started it yet. It goes along with ‘The Little House on The Prairie’ series. I loved these books when I was a kid and I kind of want to pass these on to my kids.
I plan to buy some other books to go along with the studies like:
The Little House Cookbook: Frontier Foods from Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Classic Stories
My Little House Crafts Book: 18 Projects from Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House Stories
My Book of Little House Paper Dolls: The Big Woods Collection
My Little House Sewing Book
There are other books and materials that I could get also but I’m just not sure how in depth I want to go with it. I guess it all depends on how interested the kids get into the study.
I think this will be fun and big sister has been recording the series on the DVR so they can watch some of them also.
For now though they have been learning about different crafts and activities and also learning some social skills. We will also continue to go to the zoo, museums (which reminds me of a really neat dinosaur exhibit I need to check in to), camping, fishing and other outings as the opportunities come up.
What plans do you have for your ‘Summer Break’?