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!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Thankful Thursday

"Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful."
Colossians 3:15

This week I am thankful...

* Fun days at the fair and just seeing the kids being excited and happy. Two of the days we walked in the parade with the MOPS group, and it was a lot of waiting and sitting, but both kids did sooo good!

* I am thankful for a new friend I met! While at the fair we ran into several of Kevin's coworkers, none of whom I've met yet, and one of the moms has three young children too, stays home, and just seems so fun and sweet, I can't wait to get to know her better and hopefully soon!

* I am thankful for picnics in the park!

* I am thankful for beautiful weather! It's finally been cooler and today it's low 70s and breezy and sunny and just so refreshing!

* Productivity. I've really been working to be productive this week in the home, and trying to actually complete my daily to-dos. I forget how good it feels to get things done and have a tidy home!

* God's peace and strength. There are some things I've really been struggling with lately, but I've been praying about it, and God's giving me peace and patience as I wait on the Lord's timing.

* A praying toddler. It makes my heart so happy when Eli all the time (at meal prayers) reminds me to pray for Baby Stellan and Mommy's baby. So thoughtful.

What are you thankful for this week?? Don't let your day be too busy to stop and thank God for the little blessings!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Monday Meanderings

Bible Study - In our church Sunday school we're watching the study When I Don't Desire God. With it comes the study book and questions and verses to read on your own. So this week I'm going to work through this week's lesson.

Memory Verse - Psalm 27:14 Wait on the Lord--be of good courage and He will strengthen your heart. Wait, I say, on the Lord!

Husband Encouragement - I'm going to put in some extra effort and actually make us a nice breakfast on Saturday! Coffee cake, since we very rarely have that. Usually we do pancakes or something but something special would be a nice treat for this week!

Train Them Up - Since Eli's doing sooo well memorizing the Lord's Prayer at bed time, it's time to start doing short memory verses with him also! Verse #1: “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.” Ephesians 6:1

Personal Goal - I've been sort of going through the 31 Days to Clean, and this week I really want to work on following through with my "6 List" every day.

Fitness Goal - walk 3 days this week. I walked regularly through both of my last pregnancies and I felt very good and had great pregnancies, so last week I decided to start walking again and it felt great! We drive to town early in the morning before it gets hot and after a couple days experimenting with routes I think I've got a good plan in place, varying the places we walk.

Must Do
* write to Grandma including kids pics I printed a long time ago and already outdated!
* look over/create budget for house projects
* call an electrician. Because of our old house and several new window air conditioner units we're blowing fuses at least once a day!

Zone - pantry shelves

Menu - yay for having an appetite back!!

Monday - county fair!
Tuesday - deli wraps, applesauce, celery
Wednesday - chicken veggie packs, apple
Thursday - broccoli sausage breakfast bake, peaches
Friday - chicken parmesan, curried rice pilaf, cooked carrots
Saturday - coffee cake for breakfast, dinner- taco nachos, Nannie's green jello salad
Sunday - frozen pizza

Fun Things
* It's the county fair today and tomorrow! Both days open with a parade in which the kids and I will be walking for MOPS.
* It's going to be beautiful weather this week!

Question of the week - Parenting
Eli is very dramatic and overall everything seems to be a big deal to him. He does NOT accept change well and is very unwilling to try new things. New shoes, new potty pants (those plastic ones that go on top of underwear), sitting on any potty besides his own, trying to teach him to put his own shorts on, anything like that. He just CRIES in a whole big fit, and it's just sooo frustrating!!! I've tried being soft with him or make up silly games to try to make it easier for him but when it still results in a huge tears, I get tired of trying it that way. Especially when it comes to moving forward with potty training and sitting on big potties, how can I get him encourage him to just TRY!! I've even mentioned treats, regarding the potty, but it doesn't seem to make a difference. Ack!! Help??

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Yup, it's true!

We are indeed expecting Baby #3 due January 28! This one came as a little bit of a surprise but we are very excited nonetheless! I guess I'm about 13 weeks now (I'm losing track this time around!) and finally starting to feel a lot better. Not so much nausea, though menu planning is still much harder than usual. We found out just before Father's Day but I finally had my first real appointment this past Thursday and got to hear Baby's heartbeat. Strong and he/she was kicking around though I couldn't feel it yet. Already getting a little bit of a rounder belly. Since we already have one boy and one girl now, I think this time we're going to wait to find out this baby's gender until delivery! And hopefully that delivery will actually be in the hospital this time! =) So far all is well and we are very thankful but continued prayers are very appreciated!

Friday, July 24, 2009

There's a surprise on my blog!

That's right there's a surprise on my blog page, you'll have to click on over to see it if you're reading this a blog reader right now. Scroll all over and see who can be the first to find it! =)

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

It's on the sidebar

Shannon at Rocks in My Dryer has kindly put a whole BIG list together of websites with kids computer games you can play online. I went through some of them the other day trying to find some good ones I thought Eli would like, and I compiled my own list of favorites. Now that we have an actual desk for our laptop to sit on with a separate mouse for Eli to use (since the track pad is kind of tricky), I've been trying to incorporate learning games into his repertoire of daily activities. So check my sidebar and scroll down a little bit to find our favorites. I was especially surprised by LEGOS.com, there are a lot of fun ones there, including a train game where your train drives along and occasionally you stop and have to fill in the correct track/bridge piece and then you stop to fill up your train with gas or you get passengers, etc. Now that I finally found where I had seen it, I'm excited for Eli to try it today. There are some other role playing games instead of always doing the fun ABC games we usually find at PBSkids.org. So go check 'em out and let me know what you think!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Tackle it Tuesday

This was my tackle yesterday and now today I finally get to blog about it. It's my goal this week to get some projects finished, so yesterday I decided to work on the curtains for the pantry shelves and get them all done (including installation of curtain rods) before Kevin got home from work. And it was a success! I always feel bad about asking Kevin to do things for me after he gets home from work, so the last couple months I've been determined to try more projects on my own, do things I normally wouldn't try and prove to myself that I CAN DO IT! The curtains were a synch, since we were using some I had made and used before at a previous house. The one problem is that they were too short. They only reached about 2/3 of the way down the shelves. BUT I had three curtains of the same size (all short) and only needed two long ones. So I used the extra curtain to make up the length on the other two. I just folded it in half, cut on the fold, and sewed it on to the bottoms of the others. Easy.

Getting the curtain rod installed was a tad trickier, usually the part that Kevin does. But since these shelves are really nothing fancy I decided I could handle drilling holes all by myself. I found the drill, found the correct-sized drill bit to match the screws I had, figured out after not too much time how to change out the drill bit on the drill, marked spots for the holes, drilled into wood, and inserted screws. No problems at all! The ONLY thing is that I didn't realize how much wider the left set of shelves is compared to the right set, and the curtain rod is extended almost to it's very maximum length, causing it to bend a little bit in the middle. But that's it. Project is complete!

Oh yeah, I should mention, though I'm sure you can already tell, our dining room is still not finished. Since it's kind of a big project to redo the walls and flooring (and probably those shelves too) and the electrical and insulation, we'll have to wait 'til next summer to even start. For now at least we have the space after we knocked the middle wall out. We've just gotten used to it but when I go to publish these pictures on a blog, I realize how crappy it does actually look! Anyway, here are the pics...
before (very exposed shelves full of junk)
after! (nothing fancy but definitely much better)
both the color and fabric pattern match almost exactly to the paint color in the kitchen! for just what we already had on hand, I'd say that's not bad!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Monday Meanderings

With summer busyness, it's been awhile since I've sat down to really plan a week, and I've missed doing that. So here we go! Join me if you'd like, I love planning more than just a menu!

Bible Study
back to daily reading schedule

Husband Encouragement
keep a clean house (clean bathroom counter, clean kitchen counter, toys away, laundry away, bed made), especially in our bedroom. It seems lately it's been getting quite messy--dust all over our dressers, unmade bed, and piles of clothes (I won't say whose) on the floor, laundry waiting in baskets, and a few toys scattered on the floor. I spend most of the day downstairs so I often forget the state of our bedroom, and then it comes time for bed, I realize all I've forgotten to do. So... in effort to go to bed in peace instead of having that unresolved feeling, I'm going to work on this this week.

Train Them Up
Some re-arranges in the house are leading to new activity ideas for the kids!

Personal Goal
Finish projects! After 6 months (that's half a year, people!) I FINALLY finished Hannah's curtains in her room (it took a long time to find the rest of the fabric I needed). Now I just need to do tie-backs in both the kids' rooms. I also want to finish the touch-up paint in the kitchen and sew curtains to hide our pantry shelves. (they're basically done already cuz I found old curtains from a previous house, but I just need to add length and find a way to hang them)

Must Do
* overall clean before Eli's big birthday party this weekend
* wash all sheets
* make sure we have enough blankets for everyone staying with us


Monday - tacos on fritos, pineapple
Tuesday - chicken Caesar in pita bread, apples, carrots
Wednesday - ham steaks, mashed potatoes, peaches
Thursday - will someone PLEASE tell me what to have??
Friday - bagel bites
Saturday - Subway party sandwich, chips, veggie tray, watermelon, CAKE!
Sunday - hamburgers, hot dogs, potato salad, carrots, jello fruit salad, ice cream sundaes!

Fun Things
* Eli turns THREE on Sunday!!
* A big family birthday party on Saturday and a local friends birthday party on Sunday

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Entertaining your kids in the car.

I posted this on our family blog but I thought I'd post it again here. Over 4th of July weekend we took a family vacation to Grand Lake, Colorado. It's a 9-10 hour drive, and this time I tried a couple new things to for the kids' car ride, especially since we decided not to do any movies at all.

1. I made Eli his own little (18x12in) map he could use to follow along the way. We've driven this route before so there were several things I knew we'd be seeing along the way, like a bridge we always drive by when we're out for errands but rarely get to drive through, a HUGE train yard in Lincoln, and the Archway Monument in Kearney, so I added little pictures of those on his map along with all the road numbers we'd be looking for. Next time I have a couple more things I could add to the map that we saw this time: a rainbow colored water tower and a museum of military vehicles. I made sure to include all the road numbers, so he could look for specific numbers as we drove too. This kept Eli engaged for a long time, and he really enjoyed having his own map. I'm no artist and not everything's not quite in proportion but I did the best I could, and it's perfectly fine for this purpose.

2. I also made a BINGO game with a card full of things to look for, like stop signs, bulldozers, construction cones, motorcycles, wind mills, ponds, etc. I really didn't think Eli would especially understand finishing a row of pictures or even look for things on his own. So I mostly pointed things out to him, and he'd put a colored sticker on the picture. Turned out killing a lot of time and we enjoyed the game! I know of a few things I'd change, based on what we couldn't ever find and the things we saw a lot. If anyone is interested in using this game with your children, I'd be happy to email you the file, just let me know! I made three different cards. Just a few pictures are actually among the three cards, because they're mostly just rearranged. I just went to google images and typed something like "tractor clipart", found a picture I liked, and saved it to our computer. Some of the graphics still have a watermark on it but because the pictures are shrunk so small to fit on the card, you can hardly see the watermark so it doesn't bother me in the least bit. I'll definitely be doing BINGO like this again!

The other things we used for entertainment on the trip were a big stack of new library books. Usually I get a set of 8 books and Eli finds one or two that are his favorites. But this time because I really wanted him to like ALL of them, I made sure to get several books with familiar characters in it like Curious George, Arthur, Winnie the Poo, Thomas the Train, etc and he really did enjoy every single book. So between having reading time with the one of us parents reading and time where Eli just sat looking through his books, plus a few others we brought from home, that kept him occupied for a long time.

And then we had one diaper box of toys. One bigger toy for each child (like Eli's learning laptop and Hannah's little ark toy that has lots of buttons) and then the rest were all little things like teething rings, small cars and dolls, MagnaDoodles, rubix cube, play phones, etc. Eli was fine for the ride, but Hannah was the one who was got very restless and just began chucking one toy after another 30 seconds after we'd give it to her. If we had the opportunity I would've switched for some of the smaller toys we keep at Grandma and Grandpa's house, but we haven't been back home for quite awhile and they haven't been here for a few week, so we'll have to do that next time.

It wasn't always a smooth ride. There was a point when both children were screaming crying at the same time and I just had to stop and the nearest exit and refuse to drive anymore until they stopped. The crying was making my blood boil and I couldn't take it anymore. But that seemed to do the trick for everyone. And we made for a successful journey!

* All around the edge of your BINGO card you could have graphics of windmills. Since they're so common (at least in these parts), you could put a sticker on a windmill every time you saw one. Or I remember playing ZIP! when I was younger. Whenever you saw a windmill you shouted ZIP! or some other silly word and whoever said it first got a point.

* You could play a truck game. Have a paper with different colored semi-trucks on it. Since trucks sometimes come a bunch at once, it would maybe hard to keep track of all together. But if you have several children you could assign each child a color or two and when they see a truck of their color they mark it next to the corresponding truck with either a sticker, a star, or tally mark or whatever. And you could find out what the most common truck color is on your drive. Just throwing that out there for ya...