Monday, September 29, 2008

Menu Plan Monday

I've been bad about menu planning and worse about posting when I DO plan (and not so good about following the plan either. But I DID at least plan menus for this week. Or course, I've already deviated, because I was looking for something else in the freezer & noticed half a bag of cheese ravioli that's been in there forever, so we had that for lunch instead of sandwiches. I've been craving perogies recently (not sure why, or what even made me think of them again), not much nutritional value to white flour dumpling dough full of mashed potatoes & cheese, but they're yummy & when I stopped at the grocery store yesterday they had them on sale, so I indulged, we'll see what the girls think of them tonight LOL (and yes, apparently today is a day of white flour dough w/ cheese/starch inside it LOL).

Last night we made pizza pockets using this recipe, that I've been meaning to try for awhile. To make it economical/healthy I really need to get back to making my own butter & yogurt, but it tasted good. DH doesn't like tomato sauce so I left the sauce out of the pockets & the girls & I just dipped ours in sauce on our plates, seemed to work fine. DH dipped his in a mixture of sour cream & hot sauce (shudder). So we just put shredded cheese & black olives in ours. I may try it w/ broccoli sometime too, think that would work well and add some nutrition (and everyone in our family likes broccoli). I threw a few in the freezer to make sure we like them fine frozen & then baked (can't imagine why we wouldn't but you never know), and once we confirm that, I'm hoping to either make a huge batch for the freezer or make them w/ some regularity & make extras for the freezer each time, so that we have a good stash in the freezer to use post-baby. I'm thinking it will be an easy thing for whoever has time to fix for anyone who gets hungry WHILE I'm in labor too. I'm quite certain anyone other than my 5 yr olds, who will be here while I'm in labor will be capapble of laying frozen pockets on a baking stone & putting them in the oven for half an hour, and then opening a jar of spaghetti sauce to go w/ them. (the 5 yr olds could do it if not for the risk of being burned).

So, after all there, here's our menu for this week. Dh is going to be gone on Fri, so we're going to try our hand at making copycat olive garden minestrone soup. The girls LOVE it at Olive Garden, so we'll see how we do w/ the homemade version.

Question of the Day

L, just came downstairs (I believe she & A are "teaching" a class of somesorts to their dolls &/or imaginary children) and asked me "Mommy, does gravity stop things, or is that friction?" that struck me as a rather advanced question coming from a 5 yr old LOL. And no, I really can't take any credit for it, unless you count the fact that I've let them watch way too much Magic Schoolbus over the last year or two LOL.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Homeschool Wrap-Up

Despite me not keeping up w/ blogging, for the most part we HAVE kept up w/ homeschooling. The paperdolls continue to work well for Bible time, though the set we're currently working through is on humility & that would be something that is not intuitive (to say the least) for L, daily I hear "but what about ME!!" when we talk about putting others first & such, sigh . . . yes, I was aware of this being an issue and it's one reason I decided this would be a good focus. A seems to at least be getting it in theory, though not always so much in practice.

Reading: The girls are doing well, but I'm finding we need to slow down, while I'm continuing to put 1 lesson per day on the schedule, I'm not going to try to stick to it, we will work through the review portion of each lesson, and if we notice areas they are still struggling w/ we will just focus on reviewing those concepts for that day, and revisit it all the next day, and consider adding the new concept. Complaint about this curriculum, it randomly introduces things not yet addressed, and isn't clear on whether it is INTRODUCING them, or just a random thing they'll actually TEACH later. "Car" was included in the short a words several times (& I just skipped it, since it does NOT have a typical short a sound) and then in a later lesson they introduced the "ar" sound (far, car, etc) and used car as an example. In lesson 10 (that we started through on Fri, and will continue on Monday), they randomly used "look/looking" as one of their -ing examples, despite the fact that we were recently introduced to oo as in zoo, and have NOT been introduced to oo as in look, sigh . . . I haven't looked ahead to see if they introduce the look oo sound later or not.

The phonics workbook I got is . . . odd. Granted it's a 2nd grade book (as recommended by the curiculum site, and confirmed (that this series runs a year behind) in amazon's reviews), but still, I'm rather unclear on how the children are expected to read sentences w/ words like "mother" while the focus of the worksheet is the short a sound. Needless to say, they need much help reading some of the pages, but they're doing well on the actual FOCUS of the sheets. We're trying to do 2 pages per day, and even so, we're still focusing on short vowel sounds, whereas in the curriculum we've moved well beyond that. I figure the slower pace will continue to help them review the various concepts long after we've finished this basic curriculum.

The "easy reading" books recommended by the curriculum, seem to still be abit advanced for where we're at, still quite a few words using phonics rules we haven't hit yet. But I discovered that has printable books that are short & focus on a few phonics rules w/o unfamiliar words, so I'm going to use those for the easy reading books for the next week or so, A & I read through one of them this week, and she did well, and it wasn't as long/overwhelming for her as Cat Traps had been.

History, we're learning about Columbus, etc. When I started reading Pedro's Journal, I thought it might be beyond them, but they are really into it, and often want to read farther than the "assignment" (which is fine w/ me). As happened w/ Leif the Lucky, the Columbus book by D'Aulaire had a long enough wait list at the library that I couldn't get it in time to read along w/ the rest of our Columbus stuff. I'm learning . . . and checking books farther in advance to hopefully get them in time. It's taking a mind shift for me, w/ the curriculum we were using last year we needed to keep books for 6 weeks, which was the max, we could keep a library book (3 weeks per check-out, one renewal allowed), so I had to wait & check them out right when we were ready for them. Now most books are only used for a couple weeks, so I can check them out a week or two in advance and still have plenty of time. So thankfully Pedro's Journal is working ok as our main Columbus reading. I've also decided that This Country of Ours is abit too advanced for them, it doesn't keep their attention and we're reading plenty of other stuff. So . . . I'm not including it from now on. We made Columbus boats out of an egg carton this past week and the girls are having great fun playing w/ it :)

At least she's honest

Last night during bedtime prayers A's prayer included "please help us get away with sins". Now to be fair, I'm quite certain she MEANT take away our sins or something along those lines, but it still made me bite my lip to keep from giggling when she said it LOL.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Accessorizing . . .

Yes, I realize I haven't posted in forever, we made an impromptu trip to my parents' last weekend and somehow it put me behind in general.

But just had to share (and I SHOULD find the camera & take a picture, maybe later). Last week we got out all the winter clothes so this morning A came out dressed in a denim shirt, brown corderoy skirt, and the beaded "South Dakota" belt that Mama & Papa brought her from their trip (it looks much better w/ this ensemble than it did over a purple knit playdress as it was worn the day she got it LOL) . Absolutely ADORABLE!! And THEN, I think after Daddy commented that she looked like a cowgirl, she went and found a cowboy hat in the dress-up box and added that as well! Actually very cute, and I was just tickled at how well she'd pulled together a whole "look" :)

L, on the other hand was over-the-moon to find her "favorite dress" in the winter clothes (orange striped playdress that she wore as much as possible last winter too, not sure what makes it so much better than her (same brand) s-sleeve playdresses. She has 2 of this same dress (because I bought on for each of the girls, but A never wears "hers") so as long as I do laundry daily (which I normally do), she gets to wear it EVERY.SINGLE.DAY! LOL.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Gratituesday - Simple Pleasures

A couple weeks ago we (ok, it was all DH) finally set up a sandbox that we've had FOREVER! We got it when we lived in MD and at first, we thought we'd be putting in a deck that summer so I was waiting till the deck was built to set it up under the deck, and then when that didn't happen I spent forever trying to figure out a good place to put it since we didn't have a deck . . . and it just never happened, so then we moved and since then it was just a matter of getting it cleaned up (since it had been sitting outside empty for however long) and putting the sand in it, which dh finally did a couple weeks ago. And our girls have had SO MUCH fun playing in the sandbox!! I love listening to them out there coming up w/ all kinds of things to build and create in the sand. And I love knowing that despite what society tells us about electronic toys and such, kids can still get so much enjoyment out of something so simple . . .

Gratituesday can be found here.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Weekly Wrap-Up

We actually did "school" all but one day this week. The girls are enjoying the reading lessons, and so far finding them easy. The first of the recommended easy reading books finally came in at the library on Friday so we'll go get it tomorrow and see how they do reading it. The history book "Leif the Lucky" hasn't come in at the library yet, sigh . . . so we skipped one day of history. For this week I have extra reading in the schedule to "catch up" if we do get Leif the Lucky (library is still showing us as #3 on the list but they have 4 copies of the book in the system so it seems reasonable that it should come in soon). Until we get it, we'll just move forward and go into next week's reading if we need to. Once we got into the actual "story" in Discovery of America, the girls wanted to read farther than "assigned" (so we've already read a good part of the first assignment for this week in that book) so I'm hoping that we can continue to move through things quickly now that we're getting into stuff they're more interested in. . . The This Country of Ours downloadable book is a LOT of reading and rather over their head, we'll give it abit longer, but may drop it if they're finding other books more interesting.

Solar system study is going well and they like being able to decide what they want to put in their lapbook from the things we read out of the Solar System book we have. At the beginning of the week, L saw me cutting out a red construction paper circle for the mobile and w/o me having said anything, she guessed we were studying Mars this week because she knew it was the red planet. And A wanted to know, when we started reading the book about Mars, why it looked yellow, not red.

And the girls are continuing to enjoy the paperdolls for Bible time.

In other news this week, the girls are continuing to LOVE the sandbox, they spent hours & hours this week catching caterpillars and building them a whole little city in the sandbox. . . poor caterpillars were well tortured, but the girls had a blast. By the end of the week they were having trouble find caterpillars so apparently they're all metomorphisizing (or maybe this late in the season they hybernate till spring? I don't know. . . this seems like a wierd time of year to be overrun w/ caterpillars but overrun we were, shrug.

Other then the midwife appointment, that was about it around here this week. I heart quiet weeks :)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Works-for-Me-Wednesday - Raspberry Leaf Tea

Red Raspberry Leaf Tea is a wonderfully healthy herbal tea, full of all kinds of great vitamins and minerals. It's especially beneficial during pregnancy, toning the uterus and such. BUT I'm not a fan of the taste. I bought some during my last pregnancy and used about half a box of it the whole pregnancy and then it sat in my cupboard until this pregnancy. But this pregnancy I found the solution. . . I don't remember now exactly how I stumbled upon it, I think I read something that pointed out that RRL tastes similar to regular black tea, and it occurred to me that while I'm not a fan of black tea (hot or iced) I DO like "sweet tea" (the sicky sweet southern variety, not the fruit flavored northern versions). And over the years I've found that I can make sweet tea at home that's not AS sweet (read as full of sugar) as what you buy but still, it's alot of sugar. So, in an effort to make RRL tea palatable AND healthy I tried making RRL into sweet tea using honey, and it works! It doesn't taste EXACTLY like sweet tea (both because of the honey adding flavor and because RRL isn't exactly the same flavor as black tea) but it's pretty close and pretty tasty :) Here's my recipe:

Brew 2 bags of RLL tea in 1-2 cups of water for the recommended time (I think it's like 5 min) then pour tea (squeezing out the teabags to get the tea as strong as possible) into a quart jar, stir in a tbsp (give or take) of honey till dissolved. Add ice and cold water to fill jar and then let sit at least a little while to let the ice melt some. I just keep the quart jar in the fridge & drink from it as I'm thirsty.

You could probably use more tea bags for a stronger tea, the recommendation for pregnancy is 2 cups of tea per day, and I always struggle to get enough fluids anyway so I use the 2 tea bags and double the water so that I drink more and I'm happy with the taste as well, but obviously it can be adjusted to personal preferences.

While honey is still "sugar" it has health benefits a well so it's a healthier sugar. . .

And that's what works-for-me.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


Today I'm thankful for my health :) Yesterday was our first midwife appointment. This morning the phone rang while I was doing "school" w/ the girls. L came down to get bring me the phone but didn't get there in time, so I figured whoever it was could wait a few minutes till I finished circle time. When I checked the message it was a very short message . . . "I'm calling for K, please call me back at xxx-xxx-xxxx" I recognized the number as being the Birth Center, by this time it was slightly after noon and I knew from experience that they tend to all be gone at lunchtime so the answering service picks up, which would be useless so I waited . . . while trying to imagine what horrible thing they had discovered in my bloodwork or pap smear from yesterday (because why else would they call one day after my appointment?) . . . needless to say, I was starting to freak out a little bit. . . finally it was after 1pm and I tried calling, but the line was busy THREE times!! Then I had to go run errands, so I pushed the whole "what could possibly be wrong" to the back of my mind and went about my day, called again when I got home, since I couldn't tell them WHO from the birth center had called me the receptionist went "hunting" and somehow hung up on me in the process. So then the midwife herself called me back (which further freaked me out, obviously if it was "you left your wallet here" the receptionist would've called back, right?!?!?! And then . . . she askedME why I was calling! HUGE sigh of relief! Nothing earth shattering, she doesn't know about the call, it can't be some horrible news or she'd know . . . turns out it was the billing person, just calling to let me know what my coverage was and what I'd owe and when it would be due. . . so after that slight (but unfounded) scare this morning, I'm doubly thankful for my health & a (as far as we know) healthy baby still growing quietly like it's supposed to.

(and if I think about it, I may mention at my next appointment, that they suggest the billing person INDICATE that it's about billing when she leaves messages, to avoid more freaked out pregnant women LOL)

Monday, September 8, 2008

Menu Plan Monday

Last week was pretty much a bust, I had a cold, we were busy visiting friends, and having people visit us . . . I didn't really do any cooking (good thing dh likes cereal LOL). BUT this week I have no excuse, I'm about over my cold, and we're not going anywhere. . . well, I am not going anywhere, dh is taking the girls to visit Grandmom on Fri & Sat so that's why menu planning is mostly absent for those days, I figure I can scrounge for myself w/o pre-planning LOL. Let's see . . . I THINK the summer squash I didn't get around to using last week is still good, so we'll try the "crab cakes" this week (if it's not still good, we'll have sandwiches or something). I finally got my sourdough starter from Carl's Friends so I'm hoping to play w/ that this week and start making sourdough bread (yum!) I'm not sure how long that will take, so I don't have it on the menu per se, but bread can be a welcome side to any meal, right?

Visit other menus here.

Homeschool Freebies/Resources

After posting about the Book-it program last night, it occurred to me that there are other wonderful resources I use that some homeschool moms out there might not know about. So I thought I'd share a couple of my favorites:

Homeschool Freebie of the Day - this site has a free download every DAY! Also, if you sign up for their e-mail list, when they send you the list of what that week's freebies will be, there's also a link for a "members only" freebie, so that makes 6 freebies per week! Even if you're not a homeschooler you may wan to sign up for the e-mail list, many of their downloads aren't homeschool specific (today's is an mp3 of the story of Pinnochio, I plan to load it into the mp3 player on my GPS and let the kids listen to it in the car sometime when they're bored) and w/ the weekly e-mail you can check that week's list and make note of which days have things you're interested in.

CurrClick - each week Currclick offers one ebook free.

Hands of a Child - HoaC offers a quarterly freebie, grab the Zebra one now, it's only there until 9/16.

Here's what I do, even if I don't think it's something I'll ever use, I go ahead & download it. I have a "Homeschool" folder set up in "My Documents" and within that folder I have folders for each subject (Bible, Science, History, Reading . . . ) I save the download into the appropriate folder, then if we're going to be studying a specific topic, I just check the folder. So, this summer when A decided she wanted to learn about the solar system this year, I just checked the science folder and sure enough, at some point I'd downloaded a preschool level Planets unit, that we are currently using (w/ some adaptations). When the Ladder of Life books weren't meeting our needs for Bible, I looked through my Bible folder and found the Proverbs paperdolls, which we are LOVING! (granted in that case I went ahead & bought the additional sets, but still, it let me try them and know they'd meet our needs first).

So keep your eyes open, you can quite quickly create a large file of resources to pull from as needed :)

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Pizza Hut's Book-It Program

Pizza Hut started their Book-It program way back when I was in school & I was THRILLED! I was a total bookworm, I have no recollection of what our school's reading requirements were to get the monthly certificate but I know they were laughable compared to the reading I did just for the fun of it, so basically it was free pizza for me :) And now, my kids can be a part of it too!!! This is primarily a head's up for any other homeschool moms who may not know this, but homeschool kids are eligible for the book-it program as well. Just go here and sign up your homeschool and they'll send out the packet. I just signed up today, so not sure what all the packet includes but anything that encourages reading and results in free pizza sounds good to me LOL.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

This Week's Wrap-up

Another busy week, complicated by the girls & I all having a cold (at varying times and to varying degrees). We were able to finish up our study of the American Indians (though I got lazy & we didn't do the suggested crafts), and we started using the Proverbs Paper Dolls for Bible. The girls had asked that we do something different than the Ladder of Life books we'd been using, and I was also finding them to be abit "young" for the girls, so I went hunting for something different. I had the first set of the paper dolls that I got as a free download at some point ( has one ebook to download free each week, and occasionally does special promotions w/ lots of freebies, so during one of those I'd gotten the paper dolls set free. In this case, their freebie paid off (for them LOL), I looked at it and decided this would be an excellent resource for us so, while they had the rest of the sets on sale I went ahead & purchased the II-IV bundle. The girls had recently started enjoying some other paper dolls (that I'd gotten cheap somewhere along the line and, now that we're using them, I'm not so impressed with) as a quiet activity in church, so this is working well as something we can build up into a nice church activity. Each day I present them w/ either a new paper doll or a new outfit for one of the paper dolls and we talk about that day's verse in Proverbs, I read it to them, we talk about the discussion questions suggested, and anything else that might come up and then, since they WERE enjoying the copywork that I'd been including w/ the Ladder of Life series, we're continuing that and I'm giving them all or a portion (depending on the text) of that day's Proverb as copywork. I also write that day's text on the back of that days doll/outfit, so as they get older (and learn to read), if they continue to play with the dolls, it will also remind them of the lessons learned.

I've finally found a solar system book that is IDEAL to use with our solar system unit. It goes through and has 3-4 pages describing each planet in order, so I can just read that week's planet section. What we did this week was I read the pages about the earth and then had each of the girls tell me 3 things about Earth that they wanted included in their lapbook minibook, that worked well and is the approach I plan to continue using.

This week we also had a playdate with our friends Jacob and Anika (and baby Mathias), as seems to always happen when we get together, it took quite awhile for the 3 big kids (Jacob and my girls) to warm up to each other, but once they did, they had a blast, and didn't want to leave LOL. I also discovered a way that L will eat green beans. Carmita made a yummy supper of garden produce (yum, we used to do this often when I was a kid, but it doesn't work so well for me to do it now since dh barely tollerates vegetables LOL), and instead of just steaming the green beans like I normally do (and A and dh both like, but L won't eat), she sauteed them w/ onions and garlic. They were yummy, though I like them fine steamed too, and L ate hers and then took seconds (and perhaps 3rds, I wasn't watching real close). I asked her, on the way home, if she liked them and would eat them if I fixed them that way and she said she would so it looks like from now on when we have green beans we'll be fixing them 2 ways LOL.

Mama and Papa came and spent yesterday with us to celebrate my, and dh's birthdays. I think my dad pretty much finished my "project list" or at least came close. We now have a keypad lock on our basement door woo-hoo!!! The landlord has been unable to find us a key for that door and while I will go down the steep stairs to get to the basement when I'm in the house, it's annoying to get home from errands, have clothes on the line that need to come in (but the laundry basket & apron I use to hold clothespins are INSIDE the basement, so despite the fact that I park my car right next to the basement door I've had to go up the steps to the front door, in the house and then down the steep basement steps to come out the basement door. PLUS I'm paranoid about being locked out of our house, our last house had a garage w/ a code on the garage door so I always knew that if I somehow went out w/o a key, but now we don't have a garage, and it was making me nervous. SO we solved both problems by getting a keypad lock and putting it on the basement door. Now, if I'm outside & want to get in the basement I just punch in the code. AND if I end up locked out of the house, I can go through the basement and unlock the front door. Dad also put up my knife bar (magnetic bar to store knives on) which frees up an extra drawer in my kitchen. The girls weren't so sure about the idea (they like being "big enough" to carefully put the sharp knives in the drawer when they unload the dishwasher, and now they can't reach the knife bar w/o a stool) until I pointed out that having the knives in the low drawer wouldn't be safe for the baby. I'd also been wanting 2 additional clotheslines a "rainy day" one on the covered porch for days when it's rainy but I REALLY need to do a load of laundry, that one was easy, I just didn't have a drill to drill the holes for the hooks. But then I also wanted additional outside (in the sun) clothesline space, my original clothesline held one load of laundry, which works fine most days since my normal routine is one load a day BUT if we're on vacation and laundry backs up or it rains several days in a row, then it would be very helpful to be able to do 2 loads a day. AND cloth diapers will likely add 2 loads per week to my current schedule which will also require 2 loads at least one day per week (right now when I'm caught up I generally have one day each week (besides Sabbath) when I don't have to do any laundry). So . . . I wanted to at least talk to Dad and figure out what kind of clothesline would be best to add, turns out he went ahead & put it up yesterday too, so now, in addition to my little clothesline by the basement door I have a pulley clothesline (woo-hoo, I can stand in one place instead of walking back & forth to the basket!) right outside my front door :) AND since it's a pulley, the girls can stand on a stool or box or something and hang clothes on it which they are THRILLED about. So at the moment the only project I have on Dad's "to do list" is to somehow tack down the cords that run through our laundry chute and occasionally catch some of the clothes but that requires a ladder and he didn't have one w/ him, so it'll wait for another visit. And of course, when it gets close to time for the baby to be born we need cosleeper space added to our bed (the space between my side of the bed and the wall is very close to the width of a twin mattress, and our bed can shift whichever direction to make it exact so Dad will build a platform to put our extra twin mattess on between our bed and the wall, making the room big enough to comfortably have the baby sleep with us) but until we get closer to the time I'm thoroughly enjoying being able to actually get out on my side of the bed after 5 years of climbing off the end (because we didn't take down the cosleeper at our old house until we moved). Mom also brought lots of yummy food from Grandpa's garden s we had a delicious garden supper that we grilled and ate out on the porch. And since the girls don't think it's a birthday w/o cake (I'm actually not a huge fan of cake, and was perfectly happy w/ the banana split I had at DQ on my birthday) mom brought the ingredients for the one cake that I DO like and she and the girls made it for me.

Yesterday dh also cleaned out the sandbox I'd been meaning to clean out for months (years) and filled it with sand, the girls got back from an "adventure"/walk w/ Mama to find it all ready to go, and promptly spent most of the rest of the day in it (when we weren't doing other things). Hopefully it will continue to keep them well entertained LOL.

Today we're finally getting our share of Gustav (or whatever that hurricane was named) which thankfully at this point just means a day of steady rain. The girls spent quite awhile this afternoon outside in their swimsuits happily playing in the rain LOL.

And finally, the fact that the other kids in SS can read (since everyone else is Primary age (around 7-8)) is, I think, starting to bug A. The teachers are great about it, finding other ways for the girls to participate when the big kids are reading things, but still, A doesn't deal well w/ not being "the best" LOL. SO . . . whereas up until now, L has been the one interested in reading (and at this point L is content to "read" mostly by memorizing books and quoting them back, though lately she's started paying more attention to the actual words on the page), now A has asked me to "teach us to read". I did some looking through the resources I already have. I have Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons which I've heard good things about from various homeschoolers, and looking through it, I can see that it would work well, BUT it assumes starting from scratch with no knowledge of the alphabet, letter sounds, or any phonics, I think to attempt to use it at this point with the girls (when they know their letters, sounds, and can sound out simple phonetic words) would just frustrate them because it would take so long for them to feel like they were making any progress. So I kept looking and found the free reading program from Tanglewood (download is in the red box). This looks more in keeping w/ my kids' current skill level and I think will get them the basics of reading quickly enough to keep them satisfied and challenged, and hopefully when we finish the 21 lessons I'll have a better feel of how to move forward. Additionally, the site lists recommended easy reader books for children who haven't read at all (as well as higher levels) which makes it much easier to request books from the library :) so I went through and reserved all the books in the "absolute beginner" pack, and hopefully the girls will enjoy being able to read "real books" as we work through them, and the lessons, trying to decide if I want to buy the recommended phonics workbook to go w/ it or just use other phonics worksheets that I have or can print-off . . . it's on for $2 from a seller I like, so if I can find a few other books I want to get (to reduce shipping per book) I'll probably give it a try.

Anyway . . . that's where things are at around here.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Kids Say . . .

The girls were watching a science show about estimating. And I guess something was said (I wasn't really watching/listening to the show) about how many stars there are. L started out by saying there are "a hundred . . . a million . . . a gazillion . . . " but then A came up with her answer "I know how many stars there are, just count how many Israelites there are, that's what God said" (referring to God's promise to Abraham to make his descendants like the stars of the sky). Hard to argue with logic like that LOL.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Gratituesday - Contentment

A recurring theme I see on "mommy boards" (or maybe just the ones I frequent?) is a lack of contentment. It seems that many of the moms of young children that I know are constantly looking for something more. This has made me all the more grateful for the contentment I feel with my life. I dont know what the difference is. I enjoyed my career pre-kids, but I don't miss that season of my life. I enjoy a variety of hobbies now, but I'm content to fit them in with the kid stuff. I appreciate the occasional day "off" when dh takes the girls to his mom's or on an outing of somesort, but I also enjoy the time I spend with my kids. I enjoy their enthusiasm to help in the kitchen. I enjoy listening to them playing together deep in some imaginary scenario. While I don't enjoy when they fight or are defiant, it's part of the job (there are aspects of all jobs that aren't fun), and when I see one of the girls control her own temper or appologize without prompting or show compassion and empathy to her sister (or someone else) that makes the rough spots worthwhile.

There are days when I get frustrated, and days when I wonder what I'm doing wrong, but overall, I'm content with my life. I'm content to be a mother to my children, a wife to my husband, and a keeper of my home. I'm content in a small house full of love and surrounded by the great outdoors. I'm content to fix simple, healthy meals. I'm content . . . and I thank God for bringing me to a place of being content with the life He has given me.

Monday, September 1, 2008

30 Days of Books - Giveaway

What can be better than a month full of book giveaways? Check it out here.

My Birthday

Sabbath was my birthday, we had a pretty quiet day, after church we went to Unos for lunch (yum) then we came home. For some reason I was REALLY tired (don't know if it was finally "catching up" from last weekend or what, so dh sent me upstairs for a nap and spent the afternoon playing w/ the girls and such. Once I finally woke up we ate a light supper of leftovers and then went to Dairy Queen for dessert (ice cream is MUCH better than cake in my opinion LOL). The girls, however were disappointed w/ no cake, but decided it was ok when I told them that Mama & Papa are coming next weekend and Mama will bring (or make while she's here) a cake LOL. Then the girls gave me their birthday presents (dh's gift to me was a new (used) Storchenwiege baby wrap that I ordered, and got, a couple weeks ago LOL). The girls each decided on their own what they wanted to get me (though dh asked me for feedback on specifics, shhh . . . don't tell the girls LOL). L decided she wanted to get me a prenatal exercise video, they weren't able to find locally the one I'd planned to get (10 Min Solutions) but found another one that is broken down into 15 min segments so hopefully I'll like it as well LOL. She made a point of telling me, as she gave me her gift, that "you better appreciate this, becuase we looked EVERYWHERE to find it" LOL. A had decided she wanted to get me a new Bible. When dh asked for feedback I said I'd been wanting to get a pocket sized Bible and preferred KJV or NIV version. A chose a very pretty light green & brown pocket Bible. It's "Today's New International Version" but I can't fault dh for not noticing the T in front of the NIV, I didn't notice it right away either LOL. So far the change I've noticed is changing "man" to "human beings" (in Proverbs, and I assume elsewhere, where man is used to refer to people in general) which I find awkward to read but I can live with it. . .

Anyway, it was a nice, quiet, family birthday, just like I like best :) I love that the girls are old enough to know what they want to get now :)

Menu Plan Monday

Finally at least a somewhat quiet week . . . we have orientation at the birth center Tues night, so I'm not sure if we'll eat and then go over or meet dh somewhere for supper first or what . . . but the crockpot pintos are easy enough to save for Wed if we don't eat them Tues night. My parents are coming sometime at the end of the week/weekend, so I'm just going to play that by ear depending on when they come and what we do and such, hence the lack of planning at the end of the week. I've got several new recipes scheduled for this week, we'll see how much of them I actually do LOL.

Of course, dh decided to make us a big breakfast this morning, so I think today will be mostly a 2 meal day, with a substantial snack for the kids mid-afternoon, so I'll either shift the zucchini crab cakes to tomorrow's lunch or skip them (but I do have yellow squash/zucchini that I need to use).

Check out other menus here.