Saturday, November 30, 2013

Date Night Crashers

It is Friday night. We have been planning a date night all week.  This means putting the kids to bed at 7:00pm and enjoying crunchy peanut butter and Oreo shakes from our favorite local joint.

First kink in the plan.  The Grinch and Shrek the Halls.  We promised the kids we'd watch it Friday night.  Bad parental planning.  It is OK though, we're only an hour behind schedule.

At home dates are the best.  They don't require any fuss.  No dressing up.  Just being in the comfort of your own home.  Things were going well.  Kids were in bed, we were enjoying our shakes, when date night crasher #1 rounded the corner, plaid pillow in hand.  We let him stay.  Moments later, date night crasher #2 emerged, Cars pillow in hand.

It turned into a double date.  Us and the big boys.  It was a fun little night.  They felt like really big boys getting to eat a fun snack with Mom & Dad and getting to stay up a little later.  We told them when they got married and started having little date night crashers of their own that they needed to make sure they still did special things together with their wives.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Gobble Gobble Gobble!

Happy Thanksgiving Friends!

We had a sweet, laid back day that we kicked off with the Macy's parade. Nana made the most incredible lunch (as always!) followed by the Cowboy's game and napping.  It really doesn't get much better than days like today.  Tonight when we heated up leftovers, this little turkey grabbed the leg that was as big as he is!

We used to be Black Friday shoppers until Dave Ramsey entered our lives (Boo!, haha).  Now we just chill out at home in our pj's.  I'll admit, it is nice sitting by my tree in my pj's eating Cuties while the football game is on.

This year we are tossing around the three gift idea.  Something you want, something you need, something to read.  I'm not sure I can pull it off.  I LOVE buying fun gifts for the boys at Christmas.  I love Christmas shopping in general.  It is so stinkin' fun going on the hunt for sweet gifts.  And don't even get me started on my love for stocking stuffers :).
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Weekly Focus

Last week we had a weekly focus and it helped me so much.  All week long we focused on making our beds each day as well as putting our clothes away when we were done.

I only had to wash one load of clothes last week.  Can you believe that?

Our weekly focus for this week is putting others first.  As you might imagine, that was birthed from a fight over Lego's on Sunday.  Someone had the audacity to start WWWIII because he took the desired arms for the Storm Trooper that happened to be in high demand that day.

It is living room week over at Flylady.  I'm not really focusing on only the living room this week.  I'm using that as a springboard for something fun.  As I shared earlier this week, I am using this week to think through each room in our house.
What is the purpose of this room? That is a question you should be able to answer for each room in your home.  Is this space functioning in the most strategic way?  Is there another creative way we could make the space work better for our family?
I have seen my friends do some genius things in their homes.  Several years ago, my friend and her family had three children, and were living in a home that was maybe around 1100 square feet.  She did something daring and out of the box with her space. 
They turned the master bedroom into the kids room.  Since they had 3 children sleeping in 2 sets of bunk beds in one room and another on the way, they just swapped the master bedroom and kids room.  It made everything about taking care of the little one's easier.  The bathroom was right there so getting ready for bath and bed was more convenient.  The bigger closet housed all the kids clothes, plus homeschooling materials.  Then the parents room and nursery were on the other end of the house.  It was one of the smartest, most creative things I've ever seen done.
It is just amazing how you can creatively think through a space.  I actually pray over how to use our rooms.  I'm embarrassed to say that for a nano-second I actually thought maybe we should buy a bigger house just because I found out I was having another baby.  Temporary moment of insanity I guess.  We have a 1900 square foot home with plenty of room. As I look around my home, there is no way I'd want to move.  We've spent four years cultivating it to our tastes.
Everything is painted, carpeted and tiled how we like it.  We've spent hours in the yard re-planting and sodding.  And now I am re-thinking spaces again.  My two biggest challenges right now are where to put school materials and a crib.  I just love a good decorating challenge.
As I daydream about decorating, this hutch is the thing I can't quit thinking about.  Don't you know it used to be a glossy oak with glass doors.  Somebody probably found it for a steal, painted it this glorious light blue and lined the back with paper.  So a hutch like this to turn into a book shelf is on my radar.  So are ugly lamps.  Our poor lamps.  They are all wompy jawed.  I'm on the hunt for big ugly ones to spray paint and make wonderful.

The other high profile thing on my decorating wish list is a gaudy frame that I can turn into a chalkboard for the kitchen.  We sit at the table for school and I need something to write on that is, ya know, cute as can be.  I can't be havin' no Plain Jane dry erase board up in the kitchen.  We all know that.  But something like this mirror, hung the other way (horizontally), painted in, eh, I don't know, aqua, this would hit the nail on the head.

So there ya' have it.  This week we're trying to put others first and I'm off in la-la land daydreaming.

Monday, November 25, 2013


OK. So having a baby is one thing. But having a baby with Pinterest in my life is an entirely different entity.  My mindset on adding this little bundle of joy to our lives has been pretty laid back.  We literally sold the last bit of baby things 2 weeks before I got pregnant.  I've joked with friends that we will get this little love a pack-n-play, diapers, onesies and we will be good to go.

We keep things super trimmed down around these parts.  It is the reason we can wait to find out what we're having.  But oh my heavens.  Something came over me Friday.  Oh, I know what it was.  I got to have lunch with a friend and then go to Hobby Lobby and help her pick out Christmas d├ęcor.  It is so much fun shopping with and for someone else.  That totally got me in the decorating mood.

So since Friday, I have been in decorating mode in my head.  I mean, after all, this little love is going to need a room.  Today I am sharing some of my favorite finds so far from the wonderful land we call Pinterest.

I love the cozy feel of the nursery above.  The right lamp can make or break the ambiance of a room, and this room has got it going on.  The khaki walls and aqua accents would be perfect for a boy or girl.  You can score white sheer curtains for $5 a panel at Fred's.  Jute string hung on the wall for monogrammed letters-easy way to fill up wall space.

I cannot explain how much I love this lamp.  I love it with a thousand loves.  I've never met a lamp I liked better than this one.  I would sell my right arm to have it in my nursery.  It is the sweetest thing I've ever seen.  And, I couldn't find it on the website.  I hate my life.  Just kiddin!  But Oh that lamp.  Is it just me or do you love it with a thousand loves as well?

This last picture.  I believe my exact words were, "Please excuse me while I have a heart attack."  10 years ago when I was creating a nursery that would go for a boy or girl it was all yellow and green in our world.  Today I would totally make a blue room be girly too.  The cream and burlap accents are precious.  The bird topped chandelier is the perfect addition.

My biggest question to think through is which room to make the nursery.  We have two options.  The man cave (which is a for real bedroom with a closet) or the prayer room (which is an office with no closet but has lots of charm...bay window and French doors). 

The man cave has a sectional couch in it.  The boys love the idea of putting the sectional in their bedroom.  How cool would that be to have a couch in your bedroom.  The boys are going to make a coffee table with their dad that will have a removable top to house the Lego's.  The top of the table will be a Lego work space.

I'm also toying with the idea of getting a sewing machine for Christmas.  I have some hunter green yard sale chairs that need slip covers.  I've wanted to learn how to slip cover furniture for a long time now.

Decorating is so much fun.  Tonight the plan is to grab a spiral notebook from the schoolroom and start putting my ideas on paper.  Between thinking about decorating and planning for Christmas gifts, I've been busy.  The super fun kind of busy.  This post pretty much seals the deal.  7pm bedtimes for the boys and a pot of decaf coffee for the grown-ups.  I've got some planning to do!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Joys of Homeschooling

We began our homeschool journey with a DVD curriculum.  It was nice because the teachers were on the DVD.  All I had to do was make sure they had the appropriate worksheet.  When God began calling us to move away from that curriculum, I moved slowly, and with a lot of uncertainty.

Our days had a good flow and I knew for certain I could get my housework done while they did school.  With me being the primary teacher, I could not imagine how I'd ever manage to get it all done.  I am not a multi-tasker.  That being said, I've discovered that some things can be done at the same time, even for a person like myself.

Things such as listening to a child read while I prepare lunch or fold laundry.  Things like giving a spelling test while I clean the kitchen.  I am also learning that spelling and math are not the only things in our days that hold value.  Every day has a completely different flow.  Take yesterday, for example.  It was a slow day for me personally.  It was mid-afternoon before I was able to get my act together.  So how was the morning time spent?  The kids played and used their imaginations.  It is a joyful thing for me as a mom to hear them creating games and living in the land of make believe.  Last night we spent time serving at the church together as a family.  Again, I believe this holds as much stock as an English lesson.

Yesterday reminded me of all the joys of the lifestyle of homeschooling.  I absolutely love that I was able to clean up the kitchen while my red head took a test at the bar.  We were side by side, both doing what needed to be done.

Blessings like this greet me unexpectedly all the time.  It feels good to be doing what we've been called to do.  God definitely gives the grace we need when we follow Him to the unknown, uncertain places.  It is always safe to obey...and the greatest blessings always lie when we are right in the center of His will for our days.

(p.s. I actually wrote this post Thursday but forgot to post it.  We spent yesterday volunteering at church!  I also had to look up whether or not to capitalize the spelling of school subjects.  Turns out you do not capitalize school subject names but you do capitalize languages such as French or English.  Who knew?)

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Other Focus

Besides working on our bedrooms this week we have some more areas of focus.

For one, KINDNESS is an attribute we have been talking about all week.  We've been talking a lot about how the tongue holds the power of life and death. 

And...I've been working on an experiment.  Getting dressed every morning.  I bet some of you are laughing right about now.  I loooove my pajamas.  This is my new pair I got for my birthday.  They are the softest, warmest, cutest things in the whole entire wide world.  But thanks to my stupid experiment, they are spending the daytime hours hanging in my closet.  Believe you me, after dinner but before Wheel of Fortune, I've been bee-lining it to the bathroom to take off my face and put 'em back on.

In the midst of all the renewed energy of the week, today I have been sleepy.  Must lay down.  It is mid afternoon and I haven't accomplished a thing today.  Toys are scattered everywhere and exciting things like spelling tests await me.  My friend warned me having a baby in the older years is tiring and boy was she not kidding.

I just wanted to hop on and say hello while I drank my Dr. Pepper and ate my pretzels.  I'm off to administer spelling tests and a math lesson.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Weekly Focus

I decided our days needed some more structure.  We needed a little road map to make sure we were heading in the right direction and not just wandering aimlessly through the days.

This is why I'm trying my hand at a weekly focus for all of us, including the kids.  This is Master Bedroom week.  My room stays pretty good all the time because I've established strong habits over the years.  But the kids?  Their room can stay disastrous.  One night last week, as I went in to check on them, I literally thought, "I hope there is not a fire tonight!  We'd trip and break our necks on this toy/clothes covered floor!"

When their sleeping space gets like that, which happens with great frequency, I have to stop and ask myself if it is a reflection of them or me?  If I have not taken the time to train good habits into their lives, then the brunt of the blame falls on me.

New habits take time to establish.  That is why all week we are focusing on making beds and picking up clothes every single day.  We started the focus Sunday and it has been going great.

It is simple and it is manageable.  We had to start in the kids room with an overhaul.  I brought in two clothes baskets and a trash can.  All clothes on the floor went into one basket.  Toys to be taken to the man cave went in the other and trash guessed the trash can.

So that's it.  Our focus this week is on making the bed each morning and making sure we put our clothes away when we take them off.  I am training them that underwear and socks always go in the laundry room.  The only reason a shirt or pants get washed is if they are visibly dirty or smell bad.  And if you wear your pajamas one time and toss them into the laundry, well, I will cut you.

Ha ha haaaaaaa!!!

Monday, November 18, 2013

The Party's Over

Today our little at home vacation officially came to an end and we got back to reality.  We had two weeks filled with lots of rest, games, Anne of Green Gables, a few days at the lake, football games, coffee and books.  We both started today with some renewed motivation to finish the year strong.

I love that the Swiss Miss hot cocoa packets say, "Create the Moment," because that is exactly how we spent our time off.  We did not spend hardly any money at all (only one trip to Happy Hour, a lunch at Arby's, a lunch at McD's, and a trip to the dollar movie).  The rest of the fun we created and it turned out fantastic.

One of the things we did was turn the phones off.  Staying at home can be tricky in regards to disconnecting.  It is good to know what relaxes and refuels each person.  My favorite mornings were the ones spent in our pj's by the tree, reading our books and Bibles, and drinking coffee while the kids played.

And last but not least, we just got back from the high risk doctor and got another great report!!!  Thank you LORD!!! Another month until we have to go back!!!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

A Hint...

We are on vacation, also known as staycation for the next week or so. I need robbers casing my house via the housewife blog to notice the stay part of vacation.  Plus my jewelry is all high fashion so you'd be so sad at your loot.  That paired with the fact that we try to be a little anti-technology the best you'd come out with is a Gameboy via 1999. 

I celebrated a birthday this week.  The picture below will give you a hint on what we did to celebrate...

Not exactly my idea of a rip roaring good time.  Truth be told, decking the halls is a pain in the neck for me!  The garland has a mind of its own.  My head elf gets frustrated when I make us get out tape measures to make sure stockings are hung perfectly even lest it drive me crazy all the rest of the live long year.

I had my reasons for decking the halls on my b-day though.  It was the weather forecast.  Today is supposed to be rainy all day long.  This is the kind of day dreams are made of.

A house decked with twinkly lights, lamps, candles, pj's all day long, candles, books, blankets and all 5 of us under one roof...we even brought in the coffee machine; this equals perfection to my heart.  We haven't brewed coffee in 5 months because it smelled like skunk to me {tragic, huh?}  It was a little touch and go with the smell this morning, but that hazelnut creamer set things right.  We've spent the morning in our chairs talking and reading.  Our five year old has been asking all day if it was Christmas.  We are in for a loooong 48 days!

Tonight we're making the first batch of chili and I'm baking something.  It is either going to be a flat apple pie or a sugar dusted apple bundt cake.  Both choices paired with the fact that I am planning around Ned's forecast solidify the fact that I am indeed getting older.  And I can't leave out the fact that the TV and music are always way too  loud these days.  In my defense I did get a pair of hipster glasses.  I'm trying. 

The next couple weeks I am trying out some new dessert recipes.  If they are good I'm going to share them with you.  The sugar dusted apple bundt cake has me really excited.  It has orange juice and a can of apple pie filling inside.  No chopping apples.  I hope we all love it.  I'll also be sharing vacation ideas in the coming weeks.


Friday, November 1, 2013

Best One Ever

This Halloween went down in the books as being the best one ever (minus our other friends who got sick at the last minute and couldn't come and we sure did miss them).  The weather was amazing.  It was windy and leaves were everywhere so it looked very Fall-ish.

Wolverine (yellow costume) stole my heart.  He won the award for most school spirit.  He ran up to every door with so much excitement you couldn't help but smile from ear to ear watching him enjoying himself and having so much fun.

Oh look at that.  A pumpkin bat on the water spicket.  Purty.

We grown ups had some school spirit too.   I felt like the Great Pumpkin.  I don't have a short sleeved maternity shirt that is casual so Koooool-Aiiiiiid Oooooh Yeeeeeahhhh had to do.  Who knew that shirt had so much give.  I asked Shane if it looked trashy.  He said yeah, but it's a holiday so you're good.  We are so redneck.

These are our sweet friends who were quarantined.  There were some tears shed over their absence!

Our neighborhood goes cray cray in a good way at Halloween.  You cannot get in or out of the hood it is so busy.

We have a very fun tradition of coming home from trick-or-treating and drinking hot apple cider with orange cinnamon mulling spices and eating gingerbread with Cool-Whip.  Mmmm.

Now to put up the tree.

I cannot help myself.