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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The curious thing about George

The kids love Curious George books, and we read them often. But... I can't help but think every time that maybe George is a bad example of disobedience. Actually, he's quite a good example of DISOBEDIENCE but you know what I mean! A bad example to the kids. It always points out the nature of a monkey to be curious, and he does it anyway, regardless of the what he was told to do, and it ALWAYS leads him to trouble! The story problem always works itself out, making it appear that it wasn't so bad he disobeyed after all. But the truth is, the truth I want the kids to know and respect is that "mother knows best". In actuality it's about obeying the commands God has for them and obeying their parents, but I can't help but throw in that quote from Tangled. Because in a way it is true too.

Thoughts? Am I over-thinking this one? Can kids separate storybooks from life better than I think they can?

Monday, April 23, 2012


It just kind of slipped right on by here in the blog world. I had a birthday (back in March), and turned 29, one year closer to 30! It was a great couple weeks actually. I think everyone deserves being celebrated, and everyone should celebrate their own life and gifts and blessings they've been given, and I had a great time with friends and family on multiple occasions! 

 But, like I said, it's one year closer to 30, the deadline for my 30 before 30 goals. So I thought I'd give a little update on some of the new ones I've accomplished...

#4. Make a 1-year baby book for each of the children. I'm about 1/3 way through Hannah's now.
#5. Get photos taken as a family. We finally did this in the fall!
#6. Scrapbook my college Europe trip. I did finally start this as well.
#10. Clean out old baby items. We have definitely been doing this! Will probably be able to officially mark it off after our MOPS garage sale in June!
#12. Start singing on worship team at church. I do this regularly now, every two or three weeks, plus many "specials"!
#13. Play French horn for church special music. Do this regularly as well and it has encouraged others to join in as well!
#18. Volunteer at the local library. I definitely offered and make contacts but never heard back. Maybe it's not a need??
#23. Go tent camping as a family. We did this last fall with lots of other friends and will do again on our own hopefully several times this summer!
#28. Get in the habit of getting up before the kids. For the most part I've done this. I had to with Eli being in school this year. Now I'm typically up around 6am. Sometimes I get actual Bible reading done then and sometimes not.

So there's where I'm at so far! Still much more to finish throughout the year!!

Monday Meanderings - Apr. 23

Wow, it's been so long since I've done this, but I'm trying to regain some focus in my life!

Bible Study... there's a study I want to order. In the meantime back chronological Bible reading (still in Exodus)

Memory Verse... Hebrews 12:14
"Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord."

Husband Encouragement...
♥ Date during AWANA. This is our last week to do this! I've cherished that hour and a half!
♥ Keep up with house cleaning.

Train Them Up...
* Bedrooms and play room clean-up
* Reading time after dinner.
* Last AWANA verses. Eli is close to finishing his book the second time through!

Personal Goals...
* Exercise 2x this week.
* Make healthy food choices! I'm starting to really notice a gurgly tummy when I don't!

New Habit of the Month...  {april/may}
*  follow chore chart

MUST Do... 
* Photo tutorial info together
* Make salad for MOPS potluck
* Continue bunk bed progress so it's ready for Carter this summer
* Slideshow file for church

Zone(s)...Vacuum everywhere now that it's back and done being serviced!

Menu -

M - mac n cheese/hot dogs
T - beiroch, fries
W - dinner date
F - Gyros, roasted veggies
Su - leftovers

* MOPS potluck/playdate at the park
* last AWANA. sad to end that routine but also excited that things are winding down and summer is almost here!!
* Eli's spring concert on Fridy night

3 things I'm thankful for today...
1. sunshine, breeze, and open windows.
2. naptime.
3. a friend who offered to watch the kids this morning so I do grocery shopping alone! Such a blessing and sweet gift!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Sunday Psalm

Psalm 145

I will exalt you, my God the King;
I will praise your name for ever and ever.
Every day I will praise you
and extol your name for ever and ever.
Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise;
his greatness no one can fathom.
One generation will commend your works to another;
they will tell of your mighty acts.
They will speak of the glorious splendor
of your majesty,
and I will meditate on your wonderful works.
They will tell of the power of your awesome works,
and I will proclaim your great deeds.
They will celebrate your abundant goodness
and joyfully sing of your righteousness.

The Lord is gracious and compassionate,
slow to anger and rich in love.
The Lord is good to all;
he has made compassion on all he has made.
All you have made will praise you,
O Lord;
your saints will extol you.
They will tell of the glory of your kingdom 
and speak your might,
so that all men may know of your might acts
and glorious splendor of your kingdom.
Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,
and your dominion endures through all generations.

The Lord is faithful to all his promises
and loving toward all he has made.
The Lord upholds all those who fall
and lifts up all who are bowed down.
They eyes of all look to you,
and you give them their food at the proper time.
You open your hand
and satisfy the desires of every living thing.

The Lord is righteous in all his ways
and loving toward all he has made.
The Lord is near to all who call on him,
to all who call on him in truth.
He fulfills the desires of those who fear him;
he hears their cry and saves them.
The Lord watches over all who love him,
but all the wicked he will destroy.

My mouth will speak in praise of the Lord.
Let every creature praise his holy name 
for ever and ever.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Did you know...

... that I write articles for an actual magazine??  Home Educating Family magazine.

I provide family interaction activity ideas -- recipes and kids projects for the season. Usually featuring my very own kids! 

This magazine comes out quarterly and is filled with TONS of great articles, and on the FB page you can get daily info about all kinds of things from curriculum feedback to how to home school a special needs child. You can ask ANY question and there you will receive answers from real families with real experiences! 

Right now you can use coupon code mag15 for a $15 subscription. If you're a homeschooling family, or even if you're not, I urge you get to get plugged into this wonderful resource! There's something there for everyone! And hurry, the next magazine is coming out soon!!

Now, I haven't mentioned anything about this here before because I sometimes struggle to understand my purpose with this magazine as I am a NON-homeschooler.  But regardless, God has given me this great opportunity to fall right into my lap, and at least for now, I'm going to make the best of it and give it my all! So go, check it out!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Tis the Gift to be Simple

I've been very happy with Eli's school, with the area we're in, with the wonderful balance we've found in life with each of the kids and otherwise. But today, I got a letter from the school about their upcoming music concert: "Superstar" theme. The kids are invited to dress up as their favorite superstar. Lovely. So, what, does that mean there's going to be a bunch of Hannah Montana's and Justin Bieber's? Ugh... I've cringed when I've heard Eli mention that he's been singing pop songs at school.  Not that this single thing is a deal breaker for us, and homeschool people, please don't pounce on me. But whatever happened to simple oldies like "Tis the Gift to be Simple". I remember singing stuff like that when I was in school. Classics are GOOD. Stick with 'em.

'Tis the gift to be simple,
'tis the gift to be free,
'tis the gift to come down
where we ought to be,
and when we find ourselves in the place just right,
'twill be in the valley of love and delight.

When true simplicity is gained
to bow and to bend we shan't be ashamed,
to turn, turn, will be our delight
till by turning, turning we come round right. 

'Tis the gift to be loved and that love to return,
'Tis the gift to be taught and a richer gift to learn,
And when we expect of others what we try to live each day,
Then we'll all live together and we'll all learn to say,

'Tis the gift to have friends and a true friend to be,
'Tis the gift to think of others not to only think of "me",
And when we hear what others really think and really feel,
Then we'll all live together with a love that is real.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Clean-up sticks

We've tried responsibility charts.
We've tried a chore wheel (I never did blog this one).
We've done reward coins. (still do)
And now we do clean-up sticks....

Let me just say, the reward coins are still working really well, and even now Hannah is getting involved with it and taking initiative around the house, being responsible without me having to constantly remind. Eli has decided to take on emptying bathroom trashes and Hannah often offers to help with the dishwasher, along with cleaning up their dishes after meals, and getting themselves completely dressed in the morning and making beds.

But there was one area of the house that was always a battle to clean up.... The playroom. 

Enter clean-up sticks.

It wasn't enough for me to just dish out duties: Eli you do books, Hannah do play kitchen stuff, Carter pick up balls. Nope, not fun. SO, I found small clipart images (yes some of them still have the little watermark on them and I don't care one bit! LOL) for job people for each clean-up area:
librarian = books
grocer = food and dishes
banker = play money
car salesman = cars and trucks
athlete = balls
construction worker = Legos/Trio Blocks
artist = puzzles (I should make another stick for this one)
musician = music instruments
? = mystery stick a.k.a. whatever random job Mom tells you to do (for some reason when it's put like that, they get excited about it. Go figure??)

Come clean-up time, I select the sticks for the particular toys that are out that day, put the sticks face down in a plastic cup, and Eli and Hannah draw one, or two if it's really messy, jobs that they have to do.

Because it's their "job" they get paid according to how well they work. If they're late to their job (don't start right away) or work slowly and inefficiently or with a bad attitude they get deducted. The highest payment is $0.25 down to $0 if the job was not completed without my help.

So far this is working, and it adds a fun, practical element into clean-up time!

Thursday, April 12, 2012


I've been hurt by a lot of people lately. Mostly people I've tried to make plans with but they've all fallen through for really crappy reasons. Most of the time I try to be understanding. All the time I try to be supportive. But after awhile of just feeling burned by everyone, I say enough. I feel like giving up, withdrawing. Reflecting on where I've been putting my trust and hope. In people instead of the Lord perhaps? I care but maybe I've let it matter TOO much, let YOU matter too much. So I'm taking some time. I might not answer your messages. Please know I'm not trying to be mean, just hurting.

A choice you make every day

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Come to Jesus and LIVE

Oh I just love this song so very much. I heard it on the radio today and came home and ordered sheet music for it online so I can sing it in church with my singing partner Mary sometime. You know how you hear a song a thousand times and you think the lyrics are something different from what it is? Well I had that with this song, and seeing what it actually is, changes it dramatically. I thought every chorus was "come to Jesus and then..." But "come to Jesus and LIVE." Wow. That's different. Love it. Does my heart wonders. And the video to go with is beautiful. Take some time...

26 Eggs.

I love Easter egg hunts. The hide and seek of it all. This year the kids did three hunts. But I swear, I AM putting those plastic eggs AWAY before they get dumped out in the living room one more time! LOL

This egg hunt was something new I randomly came up with and threw together in about 5 minutes while the kids were still napping (or not napping, I had to keep telling Eli to go away while I finished their surprise). Instead of candy since the kids already had PLENTY of candies by that point, I picked a Bible verse, wrote it on paper, cut the words apart separately, put each word inside an Easter egg, then hid them outside. For this time I chose John 3:16 because I know the kids know it. 26 words. 26 eggs. I tried to pay close attention to where I hid them so we'd be sure to get each one, but in the end we were still missing two (that we did find later). Missing eggs means missing words so I just rewrote them quickly while the kids were still assembling the verse. Overall I REALLY liked this, and I think the kids (especially Eli since he's older) enjoyed it too. Another way to do it, for even older kids, would be to write different Bible references in each egg and then have the kids look them up and read them to the family.

Other Bible verses that would be good to use:
1 Pet. 2:24 

If you have any more verse suggestions, add 'em in the comments below! 

And there we have it, a new tradition!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The countdown is on!

1 month until SUMMER BREAK and I can hardly wait!! To have the kids home! To plan our days and do special things with them! Or to NOT plan our days and just sleep in and do whatever. To hang out with friends any day during the week and not just weekends (since many of our husband don't work Mon-Fri). Seriously can't wait...

Things I'm thinking up...

I kept eyeing those super fun pre-filled Easter baskets in the store. While we don't do Easter baskets at our house for EASTER, I am considering doing something like that as a gift to each of the kids on the first day of summer break. Fill it with sidewalk chalks, bubbles, a new book, etc. Definitely want to do something exciting that first day. Maybe even make it a treasure hunt for each of them to find their package?

I also want to do more with creative story-writing. Have the kids write sentences along with a picture-story. Or have them draw pictures to go along with a written story.

I want to continue with our Magic Tree House book series and study history!

I want to keep a reading list and when we get to 100 books, we can have an ice cream party.And if we get to 100 again, then we'll have another party!

I have an activity list we can try to complete throughout the summer.

There's a Fancy Nancy book we've read that goes through some various artists and their styles, we can spend a week trying out different art styles.

At least one day every week I want to do a planned outing/activity with our group of little friends.

This is sort of the rough schedule I want to follow each day...

7-9am Breakfast/ Free play/ Chores done
9-10am Reading and Activity Time
10am Outside or Park or Friends
12pm Lunch
1-4pm Naptime
4pm Water Play/Outside
6pm Dinner

It's pretty loose. But I want to make sure a) chores n such are done first thing (this includes mine) so we can play all the rest of the day, b) there's a structured activity for each day,  c) there is TONS of time outside, and d) there's routine so it doesn't just feel like free day every day all day.

37 days!!