So glad you came to visit today! Here at my little corner of bloggy world I share a little bit about everything--family, parenting, goals, struggles, photography, recipes, n more! So curl up with a cup of hot tea {or not} and feel free to peruse around my site! Check out my sidebar for links. And come back again!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Learn something new every day.

Kevin was watching random videos with Eli this morning and came across this one. It's so fascinating I thought I'd share...

(can't get the code to post it here, so here's the link.)

I love our library!

So I just stopped in our library for the first time today. I've been waiting for a time to check it out, but getting there with two kids isn't the easiest thing in the world. Well, Kevin has today off and I needed to send a fax from the library, so I finally got my chance to poke around a little bit! And boy, I am sooo excited about it! First off, there is a carpeted clawfoot bathtub with pillows in it for kids to play in! You have no idea how much joy this brings to my heart. One of Eli's favorite things to do is pile blankets or pillows in his lap and pretend he's in a bathtub getting all wet. So to hear that this is an actual THING in our library gets me excited because I know Eli will love it! There are bagged toys for you to check out, there are toys and puzzles for use in the library. There are tons of children's movies/shows like Bob the Builder, Thomas the Train, Veggie Tales, plus all the classic Disney movies! And another one of my very favorite things is that you can check out cake pans!! How cool is that?! That is such a genius idea since you really just use novelty cake pans one or twice. So yeah, I really can't wait to take the kids and make library day a regular part of our week now!!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Thankful Thursday

It's been awhile since I've taken the time to do this, but it's a great life practice, so I'm baaack!

I am thankful for...

* A home of our own! It's just so comfortable and relaxing to be HOME again!
* Hubby's job. He works so hard and I truly appreciate all he does for our family.
* My handyman, also my hubby. Already there have been some house projects we've had to do--moving laundry hookups, installing water filter on sink, fixing toilet innerds--all of which he really doesn't have much experience, but he takes the time to learn how to do it so we don't have to pay out for someone else.
* Quality time with my boy. I've finally had some sweet time with Eli this week--curling up in a big comfy chair reading books, working on projects, or doing "school".
* Playtime with Hannah. I've trying to work in special time with Hannah too. She's such a sweetie pie!
* Piano time! This week I've FINALLY gotten to play some piano again! It has been a looong time! It always seemed like I could never get through even one song before little fingers were plunking along with me or someone was crawling under my legs, and I'm afraid to play while the kids are sleeping. But finally this week I've actually had some time !
* Possibly finding a new church home! I've been soooo anxious for this for months, so I'm excited to see it finally coming to reality!

So how 'bout you? What have been your little blessings during your week?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Husband Encouragement: Preparing the Table

Now that Kevin's started his new job in the civilian world, he'll be working a lot of 12-hr days. This week it's 6am-6pm (plus a 30-minute drive each way), so he's gone all day and home just in time for a late dinner. I recognize he's worked a looong day and is quite tired, and I've really been trying to make it a pleasant home he comes home to. I get dinner all ready and all the prep dishes washed, and Eli helps set the table. And to make it special, I use our nice place mats, fancy bowls, and even put dim lights on. Lighting is very important to me-- I went to a great amount of effort for our wedding reception to create enough light to not use the church's bright flourescent lights, see here, and now here in the home I'm trying to create that same warm atmosphere. So dinner's fixed and ready and the table's set. Then we go around tidying up the house. I comb the kids' hair and even touch up my makeup (if I still have time). And we wait to hear the Jeep rumble up the lane before I quickly pour our drinks, excited for Daddy to be home! It's the highlight of our day. Since dinner time is such a short time we have together as a family for these few days, I'm trying to make it more meaningful. And after tomorrow, then Kevin's gets SIX days off! Yippee!!

Here's a sneak peek at our "romantic" lighting! haha!Vanity lights above the sink! We'll be turning this old laundry room into our dining room, taking out the sink and all the works. But for now, this works!

Happy marriage!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Activity: Snowman

At the end of all our paper activities in the fall, I had been thinking about how I wanted to start incorporating more textures and adding dimension to our projects. I've been wanting to do this one for quite awhile now, and now that we have snow on the ground and life has settled down a bit, today was the perfect opportunity!

Here's the setup
Eli was so excited about just the cotton balls themselves, I guess we wouldn't have even needed to go on to the actual activity! haha
He did such a great job with the cotton balls!
Now for the face...
There he is! Buttons and face...
Every snowman has to have a hat...
Oops, better give him some arms!
Now the scarf. I just cut off a piece of scrap fabric and we tucked it in between the cotton balls.
Now look at that smile! THAT is why I love doing these projects so much!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Monday Meanderings

I've been good about doing my weekly menus, but now that we're getting more settled into our house, I'm ready to start getting back into routine. I want to put more quality into the day instead of just whizzing through with the day-to-day things. So I'm going to give "Monday Meanderings" a shot this week and see how it goes!

Bible Study/Devotions
1 John with the 5:16 Club

Personal Goal (I'm adding this into the plans)
* Wake up earlier than the kids (6:30am target time for now), so I can be dressed and have quiet time before they're up. Unless Hannah's up again for four hours in the night. THEN sleep is required!

Must Do
* Laundry!! now that we finally have our washer and dryer hooked up (thanks, Hubby!), I have sooo much I have to catch up on! We're practically digging out of our hampers for clothes to wear!
* Drop off recycles in town
* Fax paperwork to IRS (and no, we're not in trouble about anything! It's about military war zones)

Zone (s) Okay, I'm cheating and doing TWO zones.
* Kitchen/pantry. I really want to get it all cleaned and in order!
* Guest room. I need to get through those boxes so I can move Hannah into there temporarily and start painting her bedroom! =)

Train Them Up
* Get back to organized crafts and quality time with Eli.

Menu Planning
Monday - meatloaf, mashed potatoes, peaches
Tuesday - loaded salads, grapes
Wednesday -pork chops, homemade macaroni and cheese, green beans
Thursday - chicken chili
Friday - margarita pizza
Saturday - parents visit - Italian chicken breasts, oven roasted potatoes, homemade applesauce

Dessert of the week: strawberry oatmeal bars

Friday, January 23, 2009

A summary of my night.

I think Hannah's getting some new teeth soon, and last night was a baaad night. Here's a summary:

Up (2am)
Rocked to sleep
Down #1
Cry it out
Still crying
Rocked to to sleep
Down #2
Rocked to sleep
Down #3
Cry it out
Asleep! (3:30)
Up (4:00)
Rocked to sleep
In bed with us #4 (4:15am)
Up (5:00)
In bed with me #5 (daddy's up for day already)
Up (6:00)
Rocked to sleep (by daddy this time)
Asleep and in crib! #6 (6:15am)
Awake for day (7:45am)

Hannah woke up and I could not get her laid back down without her immediately waking up and crying. And she's the type that in the night, she really doesn't calm back down on her own. Believe me, we tried, and she just wouldn't do it. Somewhere in the middle of that I gave her some teething tablets since every last bottle of infant tylenol was EMPTY. Sooo, I was awake from 2am-6am before finally getting one good hour of sleep! Oh the joys...

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Beat cabin fever!

I can't say I'm not totally ready for spring too, but here are some ideas for indoor fun if you're tired of play dough and crayons... (This post is for you, Alisha!)

#1 If you have any room at all, inflate an air mattress and let the kids have a blast jumping and doing flips and doing their little rowdy thing they do. Before we got our furniture, we had been doing this almost every day with our air mattress! I got the idea from when I visited my friend Katie last fall and her 2-yr old Toby and Eli bounced around on the air mattress we had set up. They had sooo much fun!
#2 Put an inch or two of water in the kitchen sink, give 'em small bowls, spoons, lids, etc and let 'em just play in the water. Now I have not figured out how to do this without Eli's shirt getting completely wet, so make sure you have a spare shirt on hand! But seriously, Eli could do this for FOREVER. It's his favorite thing to do in life right now.#3 If you have an unfinished basement, get out the ol' tricycle and let him ride around.
#4 Bake something! We never get tired of making goodies!

#5 Play hide-and-seek. This is also a new favorite game for Eli.

#6 Get out old sheets and blankets, and build a fort over the furniture.

#7 If you have room in your house, set up a tent and "camp" for the night.

#8 Set up an indoor obstacle course--like hop over spoons, then climb over a box, crawl under a chair, etc. Who knows, I just made that up.

#9 Get creative, and build something out of boxes. See here and here for a couple ideas.

#10 Give in. It might not be spring, but you can still bundle up and go outside for at least a little bit.

What ideas do you have for beating the winter blues with your toddler??

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Menu Plan Monday - Jan. 19

Notes from last week's menu-- Pioneer Woman's cauliflower soup was really yummy, even Hannah ate it, and that's good because she's a little bit picky and just going into table foods! I made it again to have it for lunch the next day! And last night we had the sausage rice casserole and we all really liked that too. The grocery store didn't have red bell pepper, so I just left it out, and it was just fine anyway. Soo easy to make, few ingredients, and ready for lunch again tomorrow!

A busy week for us with house stuff and unpacking, so here it goes. No specific plan this week but at least some meals we have on hand:

Biscuits and sausage gravy (hubby's request)
Frozen pizza (for moving day since we'll be swamped with boxes!)
Taco soup
Smokies, eggs, toast (we didn't get to this last week)
Loaded salads (for Saturday since I'll be out of town all afternoon)

More menu ideas HERE. Have a great week!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Calling all you domestic folk!

Can someone PLEASE answer this lifelong question I've had?!! What is with kitchen towels?? Are they not the most non-absorbent towels ever?? When you use them to try dishes they just smear the water around, instead of actually drying like normal towels do. Why are they made like that? Why are they specific for kitchen when that's probably where you dry things or wash your hands the most? Anyone?? Please!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Menu Plan Monday - a day late

Because of spending all afternoon at the doctor's office yesterday, I didn't have time to get groceries. Just a quick stop for the absolute basics: diapers, milk, and a box of something to make for dinner. So we're a day late this week, but hopefully we can get out after naps today.

Tuesday - cauliflower soup (I can't wait to try this!)
Wednesday - smokies, eggs, toast
Thursday - sausage rice casserole
Friday - ham steaks, green beans, pears
Saturday - beef taco skillet, peaches
Sunday - frozen pizza

Thursday, January 8, 2009

A Happy 4 Years

Today is our 4-year anniversary! Before the move we sort of celebrated by going to a dueling piano show in town and then today I moved in with him! haha The kids and I arrived while Kevin was still at work, and he came home with some beautiful roses. Then we had a home cooked dinner followed by a swirled strawberry cheesecake. Yum.. I hadn't planned on moving in with the kids until our furniture arrived, but since it could be another full week or even two, and I'm just too excited to be in our own house, I packed everything up and here we are!

In honor of our anniversary, here are some random tidbits about us:
1. We've been together since high school.
2. We survived 5.5 years of a long-distance relationship.
3. We spent our honeymoon at Elizabeth Point Lodge on Amelia Island, Florida.
4. We love camping and hiking and even bring the kids with us.
5. We would love to go kayaking. We went once on our honeymoon and haven't had a chance to go since.
6. We share clothes a lot.
7. We also share a toothbrush when we travel.
8. Kevin always makes the pancakes at our house.
9. We've been to Niagra Falls.
10. I tried cutting Kevin's hair once and did such a horrible job I won't try it again.
11. Our favorite T.V. show is Fringe.
12. We don't have cable so we watch it on Hulu.com
13. Our favorite movie is Lord of the Rings.
14. We just bought our first house together. sort of...
15. Kevin had a house already when we got married but this is the first one we picked together.
16. We like to make cookie dough just to eat the cookie dough.
17. Our favorite game is Farkle.
18. The last movie we went to in the theater was the new James Bond movie.
19. We really like Red Box though,
20. But there aren't any where we just moved.
21. When we order pizza we always get half-pepperoni (for me) and half-mushroom (for Kevin) with thin and crispy crust.
22. Next year for our anniversary (#5!) I want to stay at a lodge in Colorado for an extended weekend.

Alright, I suppose that's about all I've got for ya. You can read our love story HERE from last year's post.

Happy anniversary, honey! I love you!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Kickoff to 2009!

Wow, I truly can't believe that it's a whole new year already! Time seems like it's been stopped for about 3 months now while we've been in between jobs, and we've been so fixed on getting a house and everything, the time has slipped away!

I'm slowly but surely plugging away on my giant list of goals to be completed before July 29, 2010 (101 Goals in 1001 Days). Some things I've been crossing off just because as time goes on they don't really matter anymore (like doing church time with Eli--he got older and now he obeys us and understands when to be quiet so he can be in church with us without us having to practice at home). But here are a few things I'm really going to be doing this year:
  • Planting a garden (Goal #35)--corn, cucumbers, tomatoes, and maybe radishes--especially since we're moving to the country
  • Run 1 mile without stopping (Goal #6)--Kevin and I both want this to be a year of fitness and get into some actual workout routine (Doesn't everyone say that at the beginning of the new year?)
  • Read a book just for fun. (Goal #34)--seriously, why has it been sooo long since I've done this??
  • Goal #44 and #57 just might be combined-- Next year is Kevin's and my 5th anniversary and I really want to do something special for a whole weekend, so I've dreamed up in my head that we'll go to Colorado and stay in a lodge for an extended weekend. We'd love to visit my brother in Colorado this summer but we aren't sure what Kevin's work is going to look like and when he'll start getting vacation time.
  • Complete emergency fund in savings. (Goal #64) This and goal #75 to follow budget for house renovations go together. We're hoping that living in the country/small town will help us change our life style and spend less money eating out, etc. Once we get finished buying the house and everything we're going to get back into our cash budget.
  • Make nursery decor for Hannah's room. (Goal #90)-- I cannot wait for Hannah to FINALLY have her own room (and crib finally! instead of pack n play) and to decorate with all the girly stuff! =)
  • Finish scrapbooks (Goals #20-24). Once we get into our house we're hoping to set up a scrapbook desk (an old desk we found at Kevin's parents' house) so I can have a place to work without worrying about cleaning it back up every single time.
  • Pick one way to serve at church (Goal #80). This will especially be good as we're going into a new church family, a good way to get to know people and settle in.
I feel like I should be including spiritual things too because that's very important also, but it's not as easy as just a checklist, so we'll just leave that personal. It's definitely an area in which I hope to grow this year though, and I PRAY that we find a good church family that can be encouraging to us.

So how about you? What are your goals for the new year?


May this year be filled with many blessings!