November 27, 2012

Catching Up!

Sadly, it's been quite quiet in this little spot here lately.  I enjoy expressing my thoughts on "paper," and I've missed it greatly.  However, as the Mr. so often kindly reminds me, "The real world is calling.  Get out of the dream world!"  :)  I love him, and I'm glad we balance each other out so well!  At any rate, the real world has definitely been calling here lately!  We have had sick kid after sick kid after sick kid! I, for one, am sick of sick kids! :)  I thought we were doing pretty well this week, but Mr. G now has a cold and a slight fever!  I'm hoping he will fight it off quickly. 

Sick kiddos keep you busy, but then add to that the newbie's first birthday and Thanksgiving - all in the same week - and you get one BUSY week!  My effort in organization is paying off splendidly though!  We had a wonderful week without much stress in spite of sick kids!

Yes, my newbie turned 1 last week!  Can you believe it?  I sure can't!  He is such a joy and blessing to our family.  (I say that with sincerity even as I just finished cleaning up the entire box of kleenex he pulled out and chewed to bits!)  I'm so thankful for him!  Everyone enjoys him, and he has the most cheerleaders any baby could have while he is trying to walk!  This is the little one that I prayed for 2 years for God to give us, and there is rarely a day that passes when I'm looking at the newbie that I am not reminded of how good God has been.  I do not love the newbie any more than I love my other kiddos, but after barely surviving my first 4 in 4 1/2 years, I really did not know if we would ever have any more!  I'm so thankful for the work God did in my and the Mr.'s hearts, and I will always be deeply grateful to God for giving me a "second chance" with the newbie!  We partied hard the night before his birthday, and I am glad we did it then, because the poor baby ran a fever all day on his birthday!  Being sick did not keep him from diving into his cake!  Daddy finished the night off by telling Mr. A he could take a lick of frosting off the newbie's cake and then face-planted him with it!  The look on Mr. A's face was to die for!  A fun day all around!

And then, we pressed onward to Thanksgiving the next day!  This was only the second time in our 12 years of marriage the Mr. and I have had Thanksgiving with no other family!  The first time, the Mr. had very little faith in my cooking skills (not that I really blame him), and he cooked up a great fish fry for us - all the while explaining to our young children that the Pilgrims ate fish all the time!  :)  This year, we were by ourselves again, and I was determined to do it up good!  We had a 21 lb. turkey (which I got completely FREE - thank you Winco!), dressing, mashed potatoes and gravy, sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, deviled eggs, celery sticks with cream cheese, home made rolls, blueberry jello salad, and three home made pies!  It was the first time I have ever cooked a turkey, and I was a little nervous, but I  impressed even myself!  That was some GOOD FOOD!  As Mr. A said when he finished stuffing himself completely, "Mom, we sure did eat like kings today!"  It was as close to a perfect meal as I will ever get!  I did warn the family not to expect such as this very often though because I am pretty sure I spent about 2 entire days in the kitchen, and for all of you who know me, well,  you know "that's just not really my thing!" (Miss E's new quote!)

Of course, Thanksgiving isn't just about the food.  Our family spent a good part of the meal talking about all the many things we were thankful to God for.  We are given so much especially when we consider how much God has already given and how very little we truly give back.  I was especially thankful this Thanksgiving that God is faithful to me and continues to give to me and to work in me in spite of my sinful, selfish self.

We cannot finish out a post about the week of Thanksgiving without including a short blurb about Black Friday!  I have this insane friend who texted me at 4 PM and said she had decided to pull an all nighter shopping trip instead of waiting until Friday morning (like we had previously planned - AHEM!).   I didn't want to disrupt our usual Thanksgiving tradition of watching Little Women.  So, at 10 PM, after I had everyone tucked in, I left my humble abode and went shopping.  I got home around 6 that morning because I was too sleepy to last any longer.  (The newbie had only slept ONE HOUR the night before!)  It was insane but fun!

That was our Thanksgiving week.  I apologize for never getting the link up for Thanksgiving traditions.  We received my new laptop, but they did not package it well, and it was damaged during shipping.  I am still awaiting my real computer, but I will do my best to put up a link next Monday.  I think I am going to write about Joyfulness in Busy Times.  What are your busy times of the year?  What do you do to help yourself remain joyful despite all the craziness going on around you?  Let us hear about it next Monday on our Joyful Mom Monday link-up! 

This post has become extraordinarily long, but I felt the need to say alot today! :)  I hope you are all having a wonderful week, and I pray you have found many little blessings in it already! 

Wishing you a day full of blessings,

November 17, 2012

Unexpected Disconnect!

My computer finally and very officially died this time!  It has been acting up quite a bit here lately, but it has been a trooper and always revived itself...until now!  The sweet Mr. was finally able to set me up with something temporary until we can purchase a different one.  I guess computers have become almost as necessary as cars.  

We have had more sickness come through our house.  On Tuesday, I sat down to sort through my lesson plans and calculated that we have missed almost 3 weeks of school this year because of sickness!  It's been crazy!  We're pumping down the vitamins and immune boosters and hoping things improve.  Because of that, I don't think we are going to be able to take our Winter Break completely off like we usually do. We will be able to catch up by doing mostly light days throughout the break, so I'm optimistic that it won't dampen the spirits too much!  We'll see how well my optimism holds out! :)

Because of sickness and the death of my computer, I wasn't able to post the Joyful Mom Monday link-up this week.  I am planning on posting it this Monday.   The topic will still be Thanksgiving Traditions.  I'd love to hear what your Thanksgiving Traditions are and how you remain joyful in the middle of all the preparations and busyness.  

I need to get back to the housecleaning.  Not only do we have Thanksgiving this week, but we also have the newbie's first birthday the day before Thanksgiving!  It's going to be a busy but extraordinarily blessed week!  Have a wonderful weekend!


November 9, 2012

Homeschooling Journal - 11/9

In my life this week...
I have had a topsy-turvy week trying to care for all the little sickies and keep school going.  We did fairly well at the beginning of this week, but by Thursday, I was too sleepy to keep going, and so we finally declared a sick day!  I think everyone is well now!   Our big news for this week is that last week, the Mr. actually dug the hole in preparation to lay the foundation for our new house!  This house has been in the works for five years now.  We had the plans made two years ago, but things have never completely fallen into place.  Because of where we live, it is very difficult to convince a bank that we are not a high-risk loan.  We will be building as we can afford it, and it may take 2 or 3 years, but to actually see it beginning is an exciting thing!  

In our homeschool this week...
This week, Miss E wrote a story about a runaway horse.  She loves anything to do with horses and used quite a bit of imagination in her little tale.  Mr. A is trying to beat his time in addition facts and still reading up a storm!  Mr. G and Miss M have learned the letter N this week and made a sweet little bird's nest to help them remember it.  I personally can't wait for them to learn the letter D so that we can make doughnuts! :)  The newbie is still smiling his devilish little smile while he stands in the middle of the floor but still refuses to take any steps!

I am inspired by...
My sweet Mr. inspires me all the time!  He is one of the hardest working men I know!  He is always very careful and wise about the choices he makes in business, and we have seen God bless his patience many times over!   He will be doing much of the work on our new house and will sacrifice many hours to make this happen for us.  He always inspires me to work a little harder and push a little farther.  Even though he is a hard worker, he still comes home every night for supper and spends time playing with the kids.  I am so blessed to have Him for my man!

My favorite thing this week was...
I loved hearing Miss E and Mr. A playing math games together.  I am not making this up when I say that they regularly pull out the math basket in the afternoons to play math games just for fun!  They are learning and having fun at the same time!
Questions I have...
I am still learning about the Charlotte Mason method of schooling as I teach this year.  I hear many blogs/moms talk about notebooking, but I have never found many specifics.  Do any of you use notebooking in your schooling?  What subjects do you use them in?  Do all of your children participate?  Can they work together on one notebook?  Do you have any website suggestions that you use for notebooking ideas?  What do your notebooks include?  Anything you can offer concerning this subject would be very helpful! 
I am reading...
I am about halfway through Sally Clarkson's book The Mom Walk.  Have you ever read a book and pretty much highlighted the entire thing?  That's what I am totally doing in this one!  I love it!  It is such a practical and encouraging help to me and has been speaking to me about just the areas I needed guidance in right now!

I am cooking...
Tonight is taco night - one of our family's favorites!  Mine too because it's so easy to prepare! :)
I am grateful for...
This week, I have been particularly thankful for the comfort prayer brings.  Knowing that I can take any problem I have and give it to my Heavenly Father and let Him take care of it for me has lifted my load and my spirits many times this week!  I am so thankful that I do not need to solve all the problems that are around me - whether they are concerns with my children, my friends, my country.  God is in control, and His plan is far better than mine if I will let Him carry me through.
I am praying for...
I am praying that God will give the Mr. and I wisdom as we look for ways to serve Him.  I am praying for wisdom as we teach our children.  I am praying that we will be more disciplined and be able to establish excellent character in our children.  I am still praying for our country and its leaders. 

A photo to share...
Digging "The Hole!"

That has been our week!  We are going to enjoy our tacos and a restful cozy evening next to our woodstove!  We will be leaving in the morning to take Miss E to play in her Sonatina Festival.  She has been working hard for this competition and is excited to finally play for the judges!  Hopefully, she is still excited in the morning when she actually gets there in front of the judge! :)  

Don't forget to check out the Joyful Mom Monday post!  We would love to have you link up with us.  Next Monday's post will be Thanksgiving Traditions and How to Be Joyful While Celebrating Them! 

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

November 6, 2012

Saturday Morning Waffles

Here is a quick Tummy Tempting Tuesday Recipe for you before our little family heads out to vote!  I hope you have all exercised your right to vote today!  Also, don't forget to check out this week's Joyful Mom Monday link-up and be sure to link up with us!  The link is open the entire week.  Happy Tuesday Evening!


2 eggs, separated
1 3/4 cup milk
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar (optional - I added this to the recipe because our family likes 'em sweet!)
4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup margarine or butter, melted, or oil (I've found real butter tastes best!)

1.  Heat waffle iron.  Place egg yolks in large bowl, whites in small bowl.  To yolks, add milk and beat well.  Add flour, sugar, baking powder and salt; beat until smooth.  Stir in melted butter or oil.
2.  Beat egg whites until soft peaks form.  Fold whites into batter. Do not mix too much.
3.  Spread batter evenly in hot waffle iron.  Bake until steaming stops and waffle is golden brown.  Repeat with remaining waffle batter.

November 5, 2012

Joyful Mom Monday - Inspiring Scripture Verses and Quotes

Counting God's Little Blessings
I LOVE to read, and as I have grown in my walk with the Lord, I have found that my greatest "resource book" for finding hope and joy in the middle of a long, seemingly unsuccessful day is God's Word.  There are many inspiring people and books that we can and should learn from, but a person can only be truly joyful when they have found a true relationship with the One and only TRUE Joy-giver - Jesus Christ!  My heart is so enormously grateful for the joy that God's Word can bring to my sometimes mundane mommy days.  Here are a few verses that I always turn to in order to remind myself that I am precious in God's eyes, that He has a plan for me and my family, and that what I do and how I do it matters very much - even if to no one else but God.

Joshua 1:9 ~ Have not I commanded thee?  Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.

Deuteronomy 33:27a ~ The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms...

Psalm 18:29 ~ For by thee I have run through a troop; and by my God have I leaped over a wall. (This one has always made me smile because I sometimes think of my family as the troop!  It always reminds me that I can do this mommying thing with God's help even though I may feel worn-out at times!)

Psalm 37:4 ~ Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.

Nehemiah 8:10b ~ ...for the joy of the Lord is your strength.

Zephaniah 3:17 ~ The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy, he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.  (Doesn't that just make you ready to face anything!?!)

Matthew 6:33-34 ~ But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.  Take no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

Galatians 2:20 ~ I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live: yet no I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

Galatians 6:9 ~  And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.

The entire book of Philippians!!!
Philippians 2:20-21 ~ According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life or by death.  For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.

Philippians 2:27a ~ Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ.

Philippians 2:7-14 (my favorite parts of those verses I have written out here) ~ ....yea, doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord...That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection...I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

I know this is becoming a rather long post but doesn't reading these make you ready to conquer the week with joy and godliness?  I am READY, and I hope you are too!!!

I also have some favorite quotes from others that I turn to regularly:

Of course, we must have a couple from Sally Clarkson:  :)

In  the absence of Biblical conviction, Moms will go the way of the culture.
In the absence of a loving home, children will go the way of the culture.

Abraham Lincoln:
All that I am or ever hope to be, I owe to my angel Mother. 

George Washington:
My mother was the most beautiful woman I ever saw. All I am I owe to my mother. I attribute all my success in life to the moral, intellectual and physical education I received from her. 
Elizabeth Stone: Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.

D.L. Moody:
The impression that a praying mother leaves upon her children is life-long. Perhaps when you are dead and gone your prayer will be answered.

Hamilton Wright Mabie:
The mother loves her child most divinely, not when she surrounds him with comfort and anticipates his wants, but when she resolutely holds him to the highest standards and is content with nothing less than his best.

There are so many more wonderful and inspiring Bible verses and quotes to share!  I would love to hear your favorites!  Link up with us today to share.  Remember, your topic can be anything that has helped you become a more joyful mom.  For today, mine has been the above!   I pray you all have a wonderful, joy-filled week full of blessings and opportunities to share God's love and joy!

P.S.  I wrote this post on Saturday and was so thankful for God's timing.  I ended up being awake most of the night with the newbie who seems to have a small touch of a stomach bug.  As I proofed my post this morning, I was thanking God for the encouragement! :)  Isn't He good?  I love counting God's little blessings!  Happy Monday!

November 2, 2012

Homeschool Journal - 11/2


In my life this week...
It was a little crazy at the beginning of the week trying to get costumes ready for our church's Fall Fun Fest, but in the end, it was completely worth it.  All the kids enjoyed the night.  As for the costumes, I think I ended up stashing half of each person's paraphernalia in a corner for the evening, and Miss M eventually put her play clothes back on because her princess dress was itchy, but I'm fairly certain every other mom was doing the same! :)  My computer died for several days - AGAIN!  Once again, it decided to come back to us.  I have this sneaking suspicion we will be needing to purchase another one soon.  

In our homeschool this week...
We are settling into the ho-hum routine of school.  Nothing too spectacular happened, but I do love spending the day with my kids - watching as they struggle to get the answers and then seeing their faces light up when they do!  I am so thankful that I get to do this!   We have enjoyed focusing on a new character trait - HONOR.  We use the curriculum from Character First, and I am more than impressed with it!  There are games, stories, crafts and songs that all help the family to learn and focus on one character trait.  The kids can't wait for Bible each day, and I love the results that the consistent focus is bringing to our family!
My favorite thing this week...
We have all been cheering the newbie on as he is now officially standing up by himself.  He will stand for quite awhile but no steps so far.  (Thank you, Lord, for this extra time!) 

Things I'm working on....
I am trying with all my might to practice my violin more consistently.  I am also working on taking off a few pounds that the newbie forgot to take with him.  It would be soooo nice to accomplish a small weight loss goal before Thanksgiving!
I'm grateful for...
This week I have been especially thankful for our country's founding fathers.  How inspiring they are and what ideals they had! Our country was a great big experiment, and many people questioned whether it would last. I am grateful for the wisdom and determination of many great men that have made our country what it is.
I am thankful for all that our country has been and still is, and I am proud to be an American! 

I'm praying for...
I am still praying for our country particularly with the elections coming up next week. I am praying for those who were affected by Hurricane Sandy.  I am praying that God will give our family courage, wisdom and determination to face the matter what lies ahead.
That has been our week!  We are looking forward to the weekend - spending some time with a few friends and possibly a special family fun time on Sunday afternoon!  Don't forget to check out the Joyful Mom Monday post on Family Fun Nights!  I really need some ideas!  We will be linking up this Monday and would love for you to share inspiring Bible verses or quotes that have helped make you a more joyful mom!  Until then, have a beautiful weekend enjoying the little blessings God brings your way!