Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Homemade

I've been misspelling the word homemade. 
 
Been spelling it like lemonade.  Homeade.  Writing it on the menu dinner plate and displaying it for all the world to see.  Seeing it here, with the wavy red line underneath, I see it clearly. 
 
We do a lot of living inside our four walls.  I imagine you may have a picture of my home being perfect all the time, but as you see, we do a lot of living in this space.  Most of the time we clear the floors in the evening and start fresh the next day.  And other times, like last night, we leave the fort up and little boys camp out on the living room floor.


I love the word homemade. 


Made at home


Forts, LEGO creations in the midst of the candles and the table runner left over from Sunday evenings sit down dinner, art, music, memories.


 
We all have our spaces that make us happy in our home.  For the kids it is plenty of space to create and play.  For me it is corners of the house where order, peace and beauty reign.
 

 
I have found that it is so important for me to take care of myself every day.  So I do nice things for myself that make me happy.  I make my bed because it makes me happy to see it every time I walk by.  I polish my nails pretty colors.  Every single day I light candles because they make me the happiest.  In the morning I read the Word and get my marching orders for the day ahead.
 

Do you know what refreshes you?  Every day we are building something.  What kind of things are you making in your home?

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Therapeutic


We have had a very full week of early mornings and full days.  Tonight I surveyed the damage on the home front.  Being gone this week had taken a toll on my house.  The piles were getting bigger everywhere I turned.

As I fed the baby I began formulating a plan.  Put the kids to bed, light a candle and spend an hour fluffing the place.  And that is exactly what I did.  I lit my candle and went room to room fluffing and putting things away so that each room made me smile again.

Sometimes I listen to music while I work and sometimes I don't.  Tonight I preferred the quiet.  The dryer and dishwasher were both humming away in the background and it was peaceful to work and get things put away without any extra noise.  After about 45 minutes the order was restored.

The coffee pot is set to go off at 6:30 and I'll be able to wake up to a peaceful home.

Today on Pinterest I pinned something on several of my boards.

Progress, not perfection

I love those words.  They remind me that a little bit of effort can go a long way.

So tonight I spent a little time showing the house a little TLC and it feels good.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Shut up and...

My motto is, "Shut up and pray!"

I borrowed it from Stormie Omartian.

The other day when I was tempted to nag/complain about something to a certain someone that shares space under the same roof as me, I was reminded of this little motto. 

Shut up and pray.

I can promise you this much-there is a wonderful feeling of joy that comes over you when you see the very thing you prayed for start to change.

To think He hears our prayers and acts on our behalf.  Amazing.  So much nicer than yammering on all the time trying to control this and that.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Simple Summer Joy

I love Chick-fil-A for a gazillion reasons and Cow Appreciation Day ranks at the top of the list, arm in arm with my love of Chick-fil-A sauce.

 
Our newest little nugget has been inaugurated into the wonderful world of riding with the family dressed in cow finery.
 

As our 6 pack was unloading the bus, there was that moment when I felt a little sheepish about all the business professionals lining the drive-thru.  The stroller did not want to unfasten for me and I could feel them all eyeing me through their aviators. 

Look at that cow and her little heifer.  That is what I know they were thinking. 

Our herd walked in and I was struck with a moment of panic.  Where are all the people dressed in their cow finery?  Ooooh, there they are, way in the back by the play part.  Silly me, I should've known.

Donning cow finery is a perfect way to spend a summer day.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

This Morning...

This morning things were getting off to somewhat of a rocky start.  I ended up having to wash my sheets and mattress pad because Huggies diapers are not working worth a hoot for us.  Hoot hoot.

There were a lot of things on my get 'r done list today and I was going from grumpy to grumpier in a flash.  So, you know what I did?

I poured another cup of coffee and went into my bedroom and read a Psalm and prayed.

Then I painted my nails a pretty color.

Then I lit a candle and filled my room with the smell of lavender.

It is amazing what an hour of pausing to get back on track can do for your spirits. 

Tonight we had precious people from church gathered around the table for dinner.

I'm thankful that a day that started crummy can get back on the right track and end with a smile.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Annette's Enchiladas


 The Menu
Homemade Salsa & Chips
Annette's Enchiladas
Bean & Beef Enchiladas
Black Beans
Chocolate Sea Salted Toffee & Vanilla Ice Cream
Decaf Coffee

Tonight I made Annette's Enchiladas from the book, Bread & Wine.

When the book said it was serious comfort food, I was in.

This was the easiest pan of enchiladas I've ever made.  It used a can of green enchilada sauce, which I've seen, but never used.


There are many reasons this recipe has found a home in my new dinner line-up.  For starters, it was a zip to whip together.  You layer the ingredients instead of hand rolling each enchilada (think lasagna style here), and maybe the best part is that you can make these earlier in the day and pop them in the oven at dinner time.  This is especially nice if you are serving guests.  Dinner can be baking while you go touch up your make-up.

1 cup sour cream
1 28-ounce can green enchilada sauce (Las Palmas is best)
2 4-ounce small cans green chilies, diced
3 cups cooked chicken, shredded or diced
2 cups Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
12 corn tortillas
1 cup chicken broth
Cilantro

- Mix green sauce with chilies and sour cream.
- Smooth 1 spoonful of the sauce mixture around the bottom of a 9 by 13 pan.
- Simmer the chicken broth in a skillet, and before placing each tortilla in the 9 by 13 pan, use tongs to pass the tortilla through the broth for just a few seconds. If you leave the tortillas in the broth for too long, they’ll fall apart, so just dip each one in for a few seconds to soften it before putting it in the enchilada pan.
- Layer 4 tortillas over the first layer of sauce.
- After tortillas, add half the chicken, then one-third of the sauce, then one-third of the cheese.
- Repeat so there are 2 full layers.
- Finish with a layer of 4 more tortillas, the remaining third of the sauce, and the remaining third of the cheese.
- Bake at 350 degrees until warmed through and the cheese is melted, about 30 to 35 minutes.
- Let sit at least 15 minutes before cutting. Top with chopped cilantro.

(I used 6 corn tortillas for each layer, so 18 corn tortillas total)

Friday, June 27, 2014

We said yes

Today is our first morning of using our Charlotte Mason style curriculum.  We are stepping out in faith and saying yes to the direction that the Holy Spirit has been leading us.  Today I'll give you a glimpse of how the day has gone.

For starters, I woke up when the baby woke up, at 9am.  The boys wake up earlier and eat breakfast, get ready, and play.   

I fed the baby, showered, dressed and we were all at the school table by 10am.  We gathered around the kitchen table.   My spot at the table is always the same.  The child I am working with one on one gets to sit in the chair right beside me (to my right).  This leads me to my first point of discussion. 

What to do with the children who are not working one on one with mom?

I let them read, color or do a math lesson.

Since there is only one of me and three of them, having books and art ready is what we are using to fill in the gaps of time so that we don't have wasted time.

My oldest son asked me if he could do his reading in the backyard.  My response was ABSOLUTELY!

I had each of the boys narrate (say back to me in their own words) what they read.  This is a simple exercise that helps them process and grow in communication.

The things that require mom are the reading lessons, handwriting lessons and some of the math lessons.  These are the disciplined studies that we do first thing in the morning.  The boys gave me a good hour of focus and now they are all three standing on the fence visiting with the neighbor (and I am taking a coffee and writing break while the baby finishes her nap and the boys are outside).

Here is what our lesson plans look like for this week.

Week 1
The Children's Bible (daily readings): Creation, Eden, Fall, Cain
Child's History of the World ch 1 Creation
Leif the Lucky by D'Aulaire –Take 2 wks to complete
Aesop: The Wolf and the Kid
Tortoise and the Ducks
Just So Stories: Whale
Child's Garden of Verses: a poem every day
Paddle to the Sea: ch. 1,2
Among the People- rd 2 chapters of your choice
James Herriot's Treasury for Children: Moses the Kitten


I cannot tell you how freeing looking at this list is to me.  There is nothing overwhelming to me as the teacher who also happens to be a mother with a lot of responsibilities to carry out in any given day.  It is simply a list of stories that I am going to read aloud with my children.  From these readings, I will choose a sentence or paragraph to have my children copy.  This is called copywork and it is the model I am using to teach my children the language arts that they need to learn.

From this simple model, they will not only be exposed to good thoughts, but they will be copying some of the best literature available.  No fancy workbooks were required for this.  No fancy lesson plans.  Just reading together with mom on the couch and then narrating back to me what we read and finishing up with copywork.  And we'll add in math...

I will admit...we are saying yes to this direction and leading, but there is a big part of me that is thinking, "If this is all a big flop at least we are working through it during the summer months so nothing will be wasted."  I hate that my faith is that wobbly, but I am just being honest.

The verse that has been in my heart the past couple weeks is one of my favorites. 

Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom.

This is what I have felt from the moment we ordered our books for the upcoming year.

Freedom.

Freedom, joy, peace and excitement!  Which, I might add, has been my response EVERY SINGLE TIME God has led us in a new direction on our journey and we have been willing to follow and say yes!