Tag Archives: blessed

Finding Peace Amongst The Dirty Socks, Grocery Lists, Stuffed Animals, And Buffalo

**This post may contain affiliate links to products and/or services that we use in our home.

How’s your day going? I hope you said it’s going well but if it didn’t you may be having a day like mine. I’ve been busy, too busy on too many things… you probably know how that goes when you try to multitask. Sometimes multitasking can be great and you can accomplish a lot but then there are those times that nothing seems to get done.

I’ve been working on our next unit study using  ‘The Little House On The Prairie‘ written by Laura Ingalls Wilder. We had so much fun with our last unit study Little House In The Big Woods Adventure that we decided to keep on going. This is A LOT of work though but I want my kids to have fun learning so it is well worth it. To be honest I’m having a blast doing this with them too.

This next unit study is going to be so much fun! I have found so many projects, crafts, and fun activities to go along with our studies. We will be studying about so many things like prairie animals including prairie dogs and buffalo. Then there are the Native American studies that we will be doing along with continuing our state studies. We will also be touching a little bit on stars and constellations as the kids have really been interested in this topic lately. One of the girls asked to do an herb study too so I am trying to work on that as well.

Of course I have a lot more than that included in the study and I still have to finish up our Life Skills section. This time I am hoping to do it a little differently but still plan to include some fun activities like baking some molasses cookies, sewing sun bonnets, and memorizing some bible verses. I think I will have some camping tips, information, or other activities in this study as well so we may see a Weenie Roast and S’mores in our future! I’m not sure what other fun activities I will find to go along with it as I haven’t really even started this section yet and I plan to start this unit next week! AHHHH!

You can check it out and use some of the activities to go along if you plan to read this series with your kids too. A good majority of the resources I link to are FREE because I really like FREE stuff. Some of the links are affiliate links to things we are or will be using.

I am slowly working my way through the books and coming up with lots of fun stuff to do. It has been such slow progress because of so many unexpected interruptions. The biggest being the impromptu trip to Pennsylvania due to the passing of my Mom-mom. I am still not quite over that as much as I felt I should have been by now but I know everything takes time.

Then on top of that I have a houseful of kiddos running around. There are so many chores, like the never ending laundry, and so much cleaning that I need to catch up on I get overwhelmed at times. Not to mention I have to feed these little monsters at least three times a day! No wonder I can’t get anything done. Another issue this week has been our internet… yes, again. It seems that no matter what I do I can’t get it to do like I feel it should. We don’t have a lot of choices so I’m kinds stuck with what I have for now but I do plan to research options… really I do when I get a free moment… lol.

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Continue reading Finding Peace Amongst The Dirty Socks, Grocery Lists, Stuffed Animals, And Buffalo

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Preventing The Back To HomeSchool Meal Planning Madness

**This post does contain some affiliate links which could possibly earn me a small commission if a purchase was made through them. These links help to support our blog and our family.

Hmmm… have you thought about what you’ll be feeding those hungry learners? If your kids were in public school you may not have had to think much about it before. If you plan to homeschool then you will be feeding them at least three meals a day and maybe a few snacks in between.

This can turn into a chaotic juggling act if you aren’t prepared. How do we prevent meal time chaos in our home? By meal planning. I even plan out snacks sometimes so I don’t forget to include them on my grocery list. Check out this link for some Healthy Snacks to Go.

10 snacks your kids can make star (1)

It might seem like a lot of trouble but when you find a system that works for then it is so easy. It will actually save you time and money in the long run. This is also a helpful thing even if you don’t homeschool.

Check out this post for some quick and easy breakfast ideas to help you beat that morning chaos and fill those tummies with a nutritious breakfast to start their day off right. Here is another link for even more ideas: The Healthy Breakfast Book. Continue reading Preventing The Back To HomeSchool Meal Planning Madness

One Year Anniversary

Time has flown by so fast. It’s hard to believe that it’s been a whole year since I started this blog!

I just want to thank each and every one of my family, friends, and followers. Without your support I probably would have just given up on this. I hope that each of you may find a little bit of useful information or inspiration from my posts.

I hope to be a bit more dedicated as time goes on. Thank you all for sharing in our wonderful adventure that we call life!

Getting Back to Routines

I think it was last Tuesday when I wrote my last blog post, Getting Back to My Morning Routine, where did time go? It seems the older I get the faster it slips away.

Anyway we are still working on getting back to routines here. I do believe the laundry has been caught up, for now that is. Routines are coming more natural now as we continue to settle in. I am gradually adding a few more things to our routine schedule and trying not to get too overwhelmed. If it isn’t working then we make changes.

For instance last week the porch was really bothering me …. it still does for that matter. I had added it to my ‘Hot Spot’ list along with the table, the command center, and a few other areas that seem to be clutter collectors. The hardest part of living in a small home for me has to be the speed at which clutter overtakes things. This means I probably need to get rid of more stuff and teach everyone to put away the stuff when they finish using it.

Getting back to the porch, one area of the porch was sectioned off and tarped to use as a makeshift storage area for things that just wouldn’t fit in the house. Well, the intentions were to to close in the porch and turn it into a utility/storage room. Hurricane Irma hit before we could really get any progress made on that and caused us to delay those plans. Unfortunately, some of the stuff got wet and therefore needs to be gotten rid of. I have realized that some of the other stuff is really just stuff and not that important to me and I am trying to get rid of it.

Sighhh…. if only I had one day to dedicate to it I could probably do away with most of it and find homes for the rest of it. Then there would be space to actually make it an utility room or do something else there. For now I am going to keep my goal of 10 items/day and do what I can because every little bit is progress towards my goal.

That was a rather ambitious goal and I think I have managed to put three boxes of stuff in my truck to take to Goodwill. I also found some of my exercise equipment and made a temporary home inside for it… haven’t actually used it but I’m working on getting that back in my routine.

Another area on that Hot Spot list are the bookshelves. I am a firm believer that you can never have too many books, unless you live in a tiny space that just can’t handle it. Books are really hard for me to get rid of and I really am trying. My goal for these areas are one shelf a day. I also realized that some of the kiddie books are on a shelf that is not easily accessible to them and some of my more important books are a little too easily accessible for them… lol. I will be swapping some of that stuff around as well.

As far as our normal routines we are doing pretty well.

Today I caught up on my ‘weekly routines‘ (they may have changed a bit since that post) like scrubbing my kitchen sink (watch for that post coming soon) and cleaning out the fridge (post coming) and microwave. The FLyLady zone this week is in the bathroom so I have been doing a little extra work there and will probably put out some posts soon.

We’ve also worked on our ‘daily routines’ like laundry and such. I have chicken in the crockpot for Crockpot Italian Chicken and the kids are down for ‘quiet time’. I figured out how to upload pics from iphone to my laptop and now I am working on getting caught up on a couple of blog posts.

I must say I am proud of the kids and myself for being able to stay on routine as well as we did and for adjusting as well as they have. We have had our days, like yesterday, when I wonder if this move was really for the best. The kids were super cranky with a cold and I cried for awhile as I had to throw away some food because a freezer had gotten unplugged.

In my heart I know this was a good decision and that life will get easier as we go. It is so easy to doubt ourselves and lose faith when things get rough. I have to remember that God has a plan and that sometimes His plan includes runny noses, grouchy kids, and spoiled food.

Our little house may be old and dusty. There are cobwebs in the corners and plenty of things that need done. Our house is full of love though and we are working one day at a time to make it our home. I am hoping that by sharing our progress it will help to motivate others who may not be happy with where they are and help them to find contentment wherever they are.

We don’t need a new house or shiny new appliances. We may want them but that is something totally different than needing them. I am thankful for what the Lord has blessed us with and hope to help others feel that way too.

Note: If you read last week’s post you will see that I chose to wear purple last week as you can see in the picture… lol… today the kids think I should wear pink.

 

 

May 28, 2017

I pray you are all having a wonderful Memorial Day weekend. This past month has been extremely busy around here with this past week being the busiest of all. It has been a blast though and many memories have been made.

Our homeschool will be wrapping up this coming week with a special surprise outing planned as a treat. We are all looking forward to just having a little fun and maybe getting to relax a bit.

My youngest child just turned 4 this month! I can hardly believe how fast time has flown and how much has changed since the day we brought him home. My kids amaze me everyday and I am so blessed to be able to stay at home and watch them as they learn and grow.

My oldest son came to visit this past week! Yay! We had not seen him in almost 4 years because of his employment. He also brought along his beautiful wife, my first daughter in law, who I had not met before. We had such a great time. It was hard to say goodbye but I know that they will be back soon. All we can do is trust that God will watch over them and keep them safe along life’s journey.

Amongst all of the visiting, homeschooling, and other normal routines of the house I also had my square dancing. Ahhh… if anyone had told me a few months ago how involved I would become in square dancing I wouldn’t have believed them. I probably would’ve laughed a little but it is amazing how things can sometimes just fall into place.

Our club in Starke, the Silver Fox Squares, has been very busy and we dance every Friday night. We have also had some special dances, visitations, and other activities that we attended throughout the month including a Luau and a banner raid. I have earned two new dangles this month. As the publicity chairman for the club I am constantly busy with updating the sites, planning new events, and looking for new ideas.

In addition to the Friday nights, we also have dances and classes on Tuesday nights in Fort White. We have been trying to recruit new dancers and had a covered dish dinner on the first night of class. So far we have a couple of couples who have come to join us and we are looking forward to seeing some new faces this coming week.

And then we have the Clay Allemanders in Middleburg on Mondays. Our caller and co-caller from the Silver Fox Squares are the callers there as well. This club has also been extremely busy with the transition to the new callers and the fact that we moved to a new dance location this month.

I am also the caller’s assistant to one of the callers so I have been busy with a few other details as well. We went to visit the Grand Squares, in Gainesville, earlier in the month and I got to meet a lot of new people. He was also able to reconnect with some people he had not seen in awhile. Square dancing has definitely pushed me out of my comfort zone, in a good way, and allowed me to expand my horizons and meet a lot of new people.

My youngest son, and my oldest son and his wife, attended the dance this past Tuesday. It was a lot of fun to have some of my children there. My little one didn’t make it through the night before he curled up and fell asleep. My oldest however did seem to enjoy himself and caught on quite quickly. I hope to be able to expose my children to it a little bit at a time and eventually get them involved more with square dancing.

I have been trying to squeeze in some blogging between all of the different activities that are going on. I have so many drafts started that it would make you go cross eyed if you could see them. The topics are quite varied as well because I get so many ideas and just try to write them down as I think of them. I hope you all have enjoyed the ones I have managed to publish and I pray that you do find something that helps you or inspires you in some way.

As i write this and think about it I am completely amazed at the awesomeness of God! He has a plan for each of us and He knows what He is doing. He has been working in my life in so many ways and He has been preparing me for where I am now for quite some time. All I had to do was let go and trust Him to guide me to where I needed to be.

Well, my little one just climbed up on the stool beside me and is sneaking sips of my cold coffee. Another one has mentioned that he was ready for snack a minute ago so I will get off of here and set out some snacks for them to hopefully hold them over until lunch time. I pray you all have a blessed day and week to come!

Yellow Rocks (hugs) to all!

Links to club updates will be posted soon:

Silver Fox Squares: June 2017 Updates

Clay Allemanders: June 2017 Updates

Too Much Stuff

I hope you all enjoyed the holidays as much as we did here. We’ve already taken down our tree and put away all the decorations. A little bit of a cleaning bug hit me and I decided we needed to declutter our playroom a bit more than we had before Christmas.

My kids, as you can read in Remember The Reason For The Season and So Much More Than A Basketball, were doubly blessed with gifts this year. That doesn’t include the gifts they received from their older siblings and their father. So when they were instructed to ‘put away’ their toys it became apparent that we had not gotten rid of enough things before Christmas. The following are some picks of what we had going on:

The book cases were overflowing, which is not necessarily a bad thing, but we couldn’t fit any more books on the shelves. The toys piling up in front of the chalkboard were a problem though. As well as the other toys and baskets being piled on top of things and hidden inside of cabinets. Then there was there problem of not being able to find their new favorite toys because of all the clutter.

It was stressful for me just to walk in there, not too mention trying to clean around everything. It was such a chore to pick up this to vacuum, then pick up something else and hope you didn’t knock something else down. Trying to dust was almost impossible and there were so many little things getting vacuumed up I was afraid I was going to kill the vacuum.

I grabbed a couple of trash bags, a laundry basket, and a tote. Big sister and I started in one corner of the room and went around it in a full circle. Every area was taken apart, dumped out, and sorted through. If there was an item that didn’t belong in that area it was placed into the laundry basket so it could be put away properly.

Some of the items that were seasonal, like some sensory bins and activities for Fall, were placed into the tote. Broken toys were thrown away and toys that they had outgrown or no longer played with were put into another bag to donate.

When we finished we had several small bags of books to donate and two trash bags of toys to bless others with. There was a bag of broken toys and other items to be thrown away. Then the seasonal items were put away for later in the upcoming year. Some of the toys and books were passed along to their little cousin. The TV that had been in the cabinet was passed along to big brother and the cabinet now holds the laptops and chargers plus a couple of items for younger kids to play with when we have visitors.

Below are some pictures of the results:

The kids are much happier now that they have the toys organized. There are also some empty bins for new things that Momma may pull out of the closets later on. We were able to set up some individual areas for magnet/dry erase play, dinosaurs and legos, and an area for the kitchen and food play. They have their dinosaur skeleton on display and they can easily look at it. There is also a space where they can play with the Spielgaben set and/or the light panel that we have.

The bookshelves are so much better looking now and they actually have an area where they can sit and read. The storage table now holds their dress up and the new race car sets that they got for Christmas. The top of the table turns over and has a flat surface that they can set the race tracks up on so it works out great.

So far the only downside was that I moved the storage bench out and now I can’t reach the calendar to change out the month or days. Sigh, the constant struggles of being short. Luckily I have a kitchen stool that works just fine and I did get the calendar switched out.

My kids were happy to pass along some blessings to other kids that may not have gotten quite as much for Christmas. There were actually a couple of new toys that I passed along as well as I knew the kids would not play with them. This is something that we do every couple of months and sometimes they will actually bring me something that they no longer play with and ask me to pass it along to someone else.

I am slowly trying to pare down our belongings as the more stuff you have, the more clutter you have, and ultimately the more stress you have from keeping up with it and cleaning it. In the end it frees up some of my time also by not having to clean it, move it, or take care of it. Do you have something that you aren’t using? Why don’t you pass it along to someone who can use it. You’ll feel so much better.

Just a twinge

Last night I was reading over some things on my computer when I happened upon a very nice comment left for someone regarding something they had written. There was nothing wrong with the comment, nothing wrong with the person who wrote the comment, and nothing wrong with the person it was directed to. When I read it though I felt an instant twinge of jealousy. Why? I really wasn’t sure.

I admire the life she has. She seems to have everything going for her. The profile picture shows a happy family with a handsome, smiling husband and two kids right beside her. She has many accomplishments listed in her profile and she has traveled the world. So many things that I had planned on doing when I was younger.

When I felt the twinge I knew why, well at least partly. Then I thought about my family and all the things that I have done. If I had been in school or working I might’ve missed out on some of the opportunities that I have had. I instantly knew that I am where God would have me to be at this moment in time and I felt a sense of peace. I asked God to forgive me. Then I also asked him to bless her and her family as I know that they are right where He would have them to be.

 

The key to overcoming this feeling is to be aware of it. Don’t let it grow or it will overwhelm your emotions. I realized it immediately when I felt it but sometimes it is an emotion that comes on more subtly. It creeps into our minds and our hearts without us noticing it. We may start to feel discontent and not know why.

We may admire something someone has or something someone else’s husband has done for them. These feelings may trigger other feelings of insecurity and doubt about ourselves, our marriages, our families, and our lives. These feelings can grow and manifest themselves into bigger uglier problems like resentment, distrust, and anger.

 

Maybe you know or admire someone but you feel anxious or resentful towards them. Maybe you compare yourself to them and you feel like you are never enough or that you just can’t measure up to them. Maybe you wonder why they always seem to have all the luck. Maybe you wonder what they ever did to have or to earn the things they have.

You need to recognize that these feelings can come from being jealous. I know, I know, we don’t want to admit that we could possibly be jealous over someone else but it happens. We might laugh at someone if they suggest that we could possibly be jealous of a certain person.

You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere humans? – 1 Corinthians 3:3

The truth is that we are human and we have emotions. We feel things like no other creature on earth. We also have the ability to control these feelings. What do we do about this?

First, you need to recognize the feeling. Let yourself acknowledge it but don’t let it over take you. You can’t let it control your emotions, your actions, or your life. Accept responsibility for the emotions.

Second, take a look at why you feel the way you do. Take a step back and really look at the situation. Are you jealous of someone’s relationship? Are you jealous of someone’s appearance? Are you jealous of the recognition someone else gets from their job or other accomplishments?

Third, remember that you have the power to change the way you feel. The root of the problem lies within yourself and your own heart. Think about things you can do to improve yourself. Look at your own strengths and build on them.

Fourth, stop comparing yourself to other people. I mean it! Stop! You need to remember that what you perceive to be true is not always as it seems. Look at everything you have been blessed with and be thankful for what you have. Remember that if it is in God’s will for you to have something then He will give it to you in His time. I know how hard it can be to watch things fall in place for others when it might feel like your own life is falling apart. Just remember that everything is working together for the good.

Fifth, pray about it! Admit the feelings you have and ask God to forgive you for feeling that way. Ask God to help you develop a more positive outlook on life and to help you make positive changes in your life. When you recognize your faults and weaknesses you can ask for specific changes. God hears your prayers and He knows the innermost thoughts of your heart.

If you are struggling with jealousy God can and will help you. He can take away those feelings and He can create a new heart in you. He can help you overcome these feelings. Jealousy is a tool that Satan uses to get to you and he will use it to destroy you.

I pray every morning that God will help me to take away any feelings of jealousy, lust, envy, anger, unforgiveness, bitterness or discontentment that may be hiding in me. I may not see these until its too late and I have done or said something that I will regret later.

I ask Him to give me strength to prevent these emotions from creeping into my relationships with others. I ask him to help me remember that I was beautifully created by His own hand and that He loves me even when I don’t love myself. I also ask Him to prepare me for the changes He is making in my life and to help me accept the things that I can not change.

I trust in God and His plan for my life. He only wants the best for us and He has a plan for each and every one of us. So when you are dealing with jealousy or anything else you need to hand it over to God. He will help you just as He has helped me.

Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm, for love is strong as death, jealousy is fierce as the grave. Its flashes are flashes of fire, the very flame of the LORD. -Song of Solomon 8:6

December 5, 2017

Good morning ya’ll! Today is a work in progress for me. I woke up with a bad case of vertigo and then both of my legs were asleep! This made it quite a difficult, and probably hilarious, trip to the bathroom as I really had to pee. Anyway I am feeling much better now, Thank you Jesus!, and our morning is going along quite smoothly. I am almost afraid to say that as I don’t want to jinx myself.

I have the Christmas music playing, the kids have had breakfast and are playing quietly in the play room, there has been no tattling, and the kitchen is clean. DS4 brought the hamper to the laundry room (without being asked), loaded the washer, and took the hamper back to his closet. What is happening here? Did I mention that DS21 was home and carried the trash out to the road? I really hate doing that task and I am so thankful he was here and that he took care of it.

Instead of questioning, I will just thank the good Lord for his blessings and enjoy this moment of blissful peace. These moments are few and far between but I am thankful for each and every one of them. What are you thankful for today? Take a few moments and think of at least five things to thank God right now for. You will feel so much better. Often times we remember Him when we need something but we forget to thank Him when things are going good.

Is there someone in your life that you are truly blessed to have? Let them know how much they mean to you. Do a little something special to show them how much you appreciate them. This will not only make you feel better but it will also encourage them and lift them up. The holidays can be really stressful for everyone for a variety of different reasons and you never know when your actions or words can be just what they need to go from having a bad day to having a great day!

In another note, I am also working with a couple of different companies to receive some products for our homeschool activities and for my special needs son. I will be reviewing these items and hopefully showing how we use them in our daily life here. I am so excited for these opportunities and pray the God will continue to bless our family and use our lives to bless others.

 

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!

 

 

 

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/

November 27, 2016

Shhhh! It’s a little before 7:00 am and the kids are still sleeping! This is a rare occurrence here at my house. I plan on surprising the littles with one of their favorite breakfasts, Monkey Bread.

Well, the quiet didn’t last long as Mr. W started calling from his room which is right off the kitchen. He needed to go to the bathroom and said he was cold. Upon further inspection I found that he had put his clothes hamper over top of the heater vent. Silly boy! We fixed the problem and he is now snug as a bug.

Of course, when he went to the bathroom he told everyone else that Mommy was awake and that the kitchen light was on. (We have a rule that everyone stays in their room, with the exception of going potty, and plays quietly until the kitchen light comes on. I almost always have it on by 7:00.) One by one I heard littles making their way to the kitchen to inquire about breakfast.

They will usually ask what day it is as we have the same things for breakfast during the week. When I said it was Sunday my youngest (3) started the guessing game. He saw the butter and the brown sugar and guessed oatmeal. When I said ,’No’, he grabbed a stool to better inspect the ingredients. When he spotted the biscuits his little face lit up with a huge smile. He screamed,’Monkey Bread’, and got down to announce it everyone.

He came back in to help with assembling this tasty treat. The kids love to whack the cans on the side of the counter. Then they love to shake the biscuit pieces in the cinnamon/sugar mixture. (I put them in a large Ziploc container with a tight fitting lid so they can shake away.) He did a crazy monkey dance while shaking the pieces and he had so much fun!

He is a very inquisitive child, actually all of my children are, and he asks questions about EVERYTHING! He asked about the pan we were using. I told him it was a bundt pan, which he pronounces button pan, and he wanted to know what else we could make in the button pan.

When I was adding the sugars to the butter he wanted to stir. So perched on his stool he carefully stirred the mixture with his fork, that he had gotten by himself, while I began to clean up the mess. He watched as I poured the syrupy mixture over the biscuit pieces.

We placed our button pan in the oven and he informed me that I should set the timer so I wouldn’t forget about it. Smart kid! He knows how distracted his Momma can get sometimes and he wants to make sure his Monkey Bread doesn’t get forgotten about.

I cherish these moments because I know how quickly they pass and become distant memories. I can remember when his big brother (now 23) would beg for Monkey Bread. He loved it, and stills does, just as much as these little guys do. Looking back I know that too often I got preoccupied with things that weren’t really as important as I felt they were at the time.

I have the unique opportunity of a ‘second chance’ of sorts. I can use my past experiences as a mother to guide me with raising the littles I have now. I remember the things we loved to do, the things we always wanted to do, and the things we probably should have done but didn’t. I have the ‘been there, done that’ experience that so many people don’t have when they first start their families.

I have also been so blessed that God has allowed me to be a stay at home mom right now. He provides for us in so many ways and He guides my path. I know one of those things I have wished I could’ve done with my older kids was to home school them. I had toyed with the idea but never followed through with it. Well, I got the little push I needed to step out and try it now and we haven’t looked back. I know this isn’t for everyone but it works for us.

God has also blessed me with many lesson from my failed marriages. Things have been really hard for us at times but He is using these hard times to teach us and to mold us into what He wants us to be. These lessons are making me a better mother, sister, and friend  everyday. I think they are also preparing me for a better relationship that may come along in the future. God is so good!

Well, there goes the timer, the kids are getting hungry, and grandpa is getting upset because he can’t hear the news over the kids. Let the day begin!

November 26, 2016

Today is another great and wonderful day! I want to keep the spirit of Thanksgiving alive in my heart and in the hearts of everyone around me. Sometimes it is so much easier to find things to complain about than to be thankful for what we have in front of us.

Looking back on this week I can see how many things that didn’t go as planned. How I reacted to those things greatly changed the whole attitude of those around me and those I interacted with. I tried my best to stay upbeat and positive even when I was sick and having a bad day. (I’m not saying I didn’t have my moments but I tried.)

After making my ‘secret’ (see It’s true, I went to a bar!) public that lifted a big weight off my shoulders too. Even though it wasn’t a grand revelation or life shattering event that others have made it out to be it did help me to just get it out.

I’m not perfect, never have been and never will be on this side of heaven. I fall short every single day. That is the most amazing thing about God. His mercy and grace are there for us and he loves us no matter what we have done.Each and every day is a new opportunity to start fresh. I am so thankful for that!

Today I will be making up a quick grocery list and I may run to town for a bit. I found an article yesterday, A Healthy Diet For $20 A Week, that follows some of the same principles I use on my tight budget weeks.  This would also be a good beginning point for couples just starting out or people who may be wanting to cut back on their food budgets a little. I plan to look over it and try to come up with some ideas for my family menus also.

I guess now that Thanksgiving is over we should probably take down our Fall decor and start putting up Christmas decorations. Of course, that also means we will need to drag the tree out of storage too. I’m not sure I have the energy for that today so I may just concentrate on getting the Fall decor put away. Then we maybe we can at least drag the Christmas decor out of the building. Who knows, maybe seeing all the decorations may motivate me to get them put up.

I hope everyone has a blessed day!

P.S. Did I mention how thankful I am to each and every reader? I pray that you can find some hope, inspiration, and maybe a little laughter to help you get through your day!