Thursday, December 31, 2009
I'm in the middle of making clock cookies and I'll post the results later. They are fabulous so far. That will be the only sweets we have tonight. Sister said she had powdered donuts for in the morning but I told her we cannot start the new year like that. We'll eat something healthier.
I just wanted to tell you about last New Year's Eve. Or maybe it was the year before. Anyway, we were at Walgreens picking up a prescription for one of the girls and there were all these people walking around in little black dresses. Well, not people.....women. Even at the nearby shopping center there were folks dressed up.
I looked at S and said, "WHY is everyone so dressed up?"
"It's New Year's Eve, Brenda." he said.
I didn't even realize what day it was. All these people were dressed up to go out and I was at the drugstore picking up meds for someone's snot. Don't I live the glamorous life?
And tonight I'll be having a bubble wrap stomp with the 10 and under set.
Don't envy me. You too can party like this!!!
Look for me on magazine covers soon.
(Happy New Year everyone!!!)
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
You know I have control over that now, right?
Still, since it's a Monday, we probably will start back on my birthday. It messes the week up when we skip Monday.
I have no plan or clue what we are going to do in January, and frankly I have no motivation to think about it yet. Maybe I need to get the Christmas decorations down? For sure I need to rearrange the playroom. Perhaps after New Year's I will feel more like planning.
Sister and I usually get the girls together over Christmas break to do something fun. For several years we did a Christmas cookie day in December. Last year we did snowman day. This year we decided to celebrate New Year's together.
We will be changing our clocks so that "midnight" is actually 10:00--a good hour past any one's bedtime. They probably won't even know. (Hee Hee) We'll eat supper together and then kick off the party. Among other things, we found these cute little bags for them to open each hour of the party. Those will be easy and free to make, and cheap to fill. (bubbles, a bit of candy, etc.)
We will make noisemakers from water bottles filled with dry beans and decorated with curly ribbon and stickers, etc.
There will be a bubble wrap stomp at "midnight." Along with the noisemakers.
We will decorate calendars and mark important dates for 2010. In other words, every one's birthday.
I am planning to attack clock cookies using JulieMom's tutorial on royal icing. These, and the whole party really, are inspired by a Max and Ruby episode. If they fail, I guess we'll let them eat cake.
I crack myself up.
So today necessitates the playroom being rearranged to fit four squealy girls in there on New Year's. Sigh. I guess I'd better get going.
Monday, December 28, 2009
The aftermath at our house.
Sweetheart and Moose at "the kids' table" ready for Christmas dinner.
Little Bit and Gnat. Didn't Sister and I do well coordinating our girls? Not planned.
Christmas night. The dolls were all tucked in. :) This just made me happy.
Sunday afternoon Little Bit lost her first tooth in her Dilly Bar.
My beautiful Sweetheart....
The tooth fairy came last night! See the fairy dust on her forehead? What a joyful Christmas weekend we had!
Sunday, December 27, 2009
Hello 2010--the year of fitness.
We did pretty well on Christmas spending. I made a lot of gifts (yes, Brenda. WE KNOW.) and that helped with the expenses some. Still, Christmas just costs money. We made it without charging anything so I am proud of that. BUT, we really, really have to be good stewards of our money this year. As a wife who does not have a salary.....I will have to work hard to do what I can to use the money S makes wisely. There are lots of ways to do that but the most important thing is keeping up with the checkbook.
Hello 2010--the year of financial responsibility.
We have set a goal for our family to read through the Bible this year. I'm good at making that goal, by the way. My plan is for Sweetheart to read through her Day By Day Kid's Bible while Little Bit listens each day. S and I will read the real Bible using the One Year Bible plan. BOY is this going to take discipline!!!! But I am convinced there is nothing more important than God's Word for our family. We need it. We need it to get into our children.
Hello 2010--the year of Bible reading. And discipline.
I'm not about making resolutions. I do understand the word---resolve. As in, I resolve to....
I understand that. It makes sense. But I prefer to talk about New Year's goals. These are just a few of ours.
I also want to keep up with the housework, declutter more, make lots of progress in school, start our own company, eat healthier, etc. etc. etc.
However, this much I know: "In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps." Proverbs 16:9
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
I have to tackle the homeschool room tomorrow because, as I've mentioned before, it is the first thing to your right as you enter our house. And there is no door on that room. I don't really WANT to tackle that room because I don't want to think about school until AFTER Christmas but oh well. At least I can stack everything nicely, huh?
On a good note, I found the floor of the sewing room today. I haven't seen it in a while. It was really, really, really bad in there and we had just been walking over it all for months. I thought about sharing pictures, but decided not to shame my husband in that way. :)
I'm excited to have my husband home for a few extra days and to spend time together as a family. I'm excited for the girls to open their gifts.
And I must confess, I've already fantasized about taking down the Christmas decorations.
Don't get me wrong--I LOVE Christmas. It's just that I remember how much I love restoring everything back to it's right order afterwards too. I was telling S tonight how pretty our house looks decorated for Christmas, but it's just so much stuff everywhere! It will feel like simplifying and decluttering all in one when I put it all away.
The girls have been playing together all day long for days now. I'm not sure what's going on. They have been getting along really well. I'm not complaining!!
I know blog reading is already down and there will be days and days of no traffic in blogland at all. So I just wanted to "sign off" and wish you all a Merry Christmas! Thanks again for walking with me through all the sewing this month. I'm happy to put that all away tomorrow.
Enjoy your weekend!
Monday, December 21, 2009
Sunday, December 20, 2009
1. Catch up on the checkbook
2. Go grocery shopping (which means make a meal plan and a list)
3. Cut Sweetheart's hair
4. Go to the feed store
5. Get gas
6. something else I'll remember later
And suddenly, "clean the house" was all the way at the bottom of the list. See how that happens? The fact is, I need to do all those things tomorrow--including cleaning the house. Guess I better get up and at 'em in the morning!
I have one more thing to finish and I'm all done with Christmas gifts. Once I wrap that last one, there will be great rejoicing in heaven. Or at least here in Texas. And I really do have to clean the house well as we are hosting S's family on Christmas Eve. Since we are finished with school for 2009, we should have plenty of time to make the house look really nice.
But you see what already happened to my to do list, don't you?
I really am motivated to get everything in order because I'd like to start the new year with a straight and clean house. It's all I want for Christmas.
Friday, December 18, 2009
Thursday, December 17, 2009
I still have a LOT of sewing to do on those stupid doll beds. Whose idea was this anyway????
I have one bedspread sewn and just need to finish tying the yarn ties on it.
I have 3 of the "decorative" pillows taken care of. I have one more to go.
Then I just have to......
1. Sew 3 more bedspreads.
2. Finish sewing up the ends of 2 mattresses.
3. Sew sheets for all four beds.
4. Sew pillowcases for all 4 pillows.
5. Put their names on the lids of the boxes.
6. Wrap them.
And did I mention I can't really work on these while the girls are here and awake? That makes it tough since they are ALWAYS here and no one naps anymore.
Thank you for listening. I feel much better. I'm going to go sew a bone-shaped decorative pillow now and eat some Raisin Bran. Progress pictures tomorrow because it makes me feel good to show you how things are coming along.
And to gripe just a little too.
Whose idea WAS this???
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
I'm waiting until after Christmas to start her next phonics book. I didn't want to start and then stop it right away. Plus, I'm getting some homeschool stuff for Christmas that I'd like to use in her phonics time.
But apparently she's made up her mind it's time to read.
She sits in the backseat of the car and tries to read Berenstain Bear books. A bit hard, but you can't tell her that. Last night she took a library book about doll houses to bed with her and made a list in her diary of what she wants in her doll house.
brkbl stuf...breakable stuff
Seriously? Who tries to sound out "breakable stuff" when they are first starting out?
I think I'd better get with it. This one is ready to read!
Sunday, December 13, 2009
The answer, of course, is found in God's word. I just flipped back to my concordance and found a plethora of verses on foolishness. Proverbs is full of this topic. I think we will be studying this in school. As we read what the Bible says about fools, the girls will form a picture of a fool in their heads. Hopefully, they will remember this character, "the fool" and recognize him when they see him in real life. Hopefully, they will recognize foolish behavior and know how important it is to stay away from it. And to not behave in that way.
The Bible tells us foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child. It also tells us how to get rid of that foolishness. And I believe it. I don't even need to debate it with anyone. The world's wisdom tells us that this method will psychologically scar our children and lead them to be violent but I know better.
It isn't only about driving it out---although that is an important part of the deal--it's also about instructing. It is important. Very important. And it starts here.
This article, however controversial the author to some people, has really good things to say about it. We must guard what media is being fed to our children. We do not want them having fools for role models. That includes real-life people they are around too. Which is why middle school makes less and less sense to me every day. :)
The more I think about it, the more Proverbs becomes a gem in my mind. I have not been studying God's word with my girls they way I should, but these thoughts about fools has reminded me of the importance of it all.
Friday, December 11, 2009
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Monday, December 7, 2009
We drove past most of it to get to our destination but I couldn't help but stare at the LONG line of cars all trying to get into one lane and one place at the same time.
It reminded me of cattle. Moo. Get in line.
I went to college in a country town and the agricultural department had cows out by the highway. At milking time, the cows just automatically got in line to be milked. No questions asked. Moo.
May I just say......we are not cattle. Get out of line!
I was so glad we weren't in that line for the mall. And I was so glad to read this article today too.
Why are you doing what you are doing? Not just at Christmastime, but in all aspects of your life? Are you just in line doing what the other cows are doing? Or are you depending on God's road map for your life?
Sunday, December 6, 2009
We started out with snow on Friday. We had snow last year too (which is a record, by the way). I've lived here my entire life and I think it snowed 2 times in my childhood. This makes 3 times my children have seen snow here in Texas. Crazy!
We were at Giovanna's house for a playdate when it started. The kids went out and had fun for 5 minutes and we spent the next 30 minutes drying their clothes and warming them up. :)
I know it wasn't much if you are used to such things. It wasn't as much as last year. But we were excited anyway. When we got home, there was even more snow. (Shhh! Don't tell her kids.)
On Tuesday, it will be 70 something degrees here. Welcome to Texas.
On Friday night, S and I had a Christmas party to attend so the little girls ended up spending the night at Grandma and Grandpa's house. We went home to a quiet fun-filled night with the rabbits sheltered in the girls' bathroom. They are very active at night. We were really determined that they would be FINE outside. We had provided extra hay, a cardboard box, and a tarp over the house to cover the windows. Then we heard the freeze was expected to last 10-14 hours and it was going to be in the 20's most of the night. We were still determined they would be fine until a friend mentioned something about how devastated our girls would be if we killed their pets. FINE. Did I mention they are really active at night? And the girls' bathroom is right next to our bedroom?
Saturday I worked on the house. I mostly worked on sorting through toys with the girls. I thought we needed to get rid of a lot of toys but it really turned out we just needed to put things away where they go. (I will still be getting rid of some.) It was that maddening kind of sorting where you have piles and piles of tiny objects that all need to be put away because you had the nerve to look under furniture or behind shelves. I sat down and passed out objects to the girls for them to put in the correct place.
Polly Pockets. (a tiny shoe)
Lego. (a single pink Lego)
Pet Shops. (a little cast for a Pet Shop's foot)
Polly Pockets. (a miniature shirt)
Dollhouse. (a small chair)
Polly Pockets. (a microscopic hanger)
Robin Hood. (a little quiver of arrows)
Toy Story. (Mr. Potato Head's arm)
Repeat 462 times until pile is gone.
And I got about 1/116 of the sewing I need to do for Christmas....done.
So there's always that.
OH! And I started hacking through the homeschool room and yes--I rearranged a little. The jury's still out on how the furniture landed but we'll see.
We have S's work Christmas party this coming weekend and I have no shirt to wear--which is bound to make for a memorable evening.
Are you enjoying these tiny paragraphs of disjointed thoughts?
Is it any wonder women have trouble sleeping what with all this going through our heads?
So the word of the week is PRODUCTIVITY. I've got to get big things done around here. Actually that's not true. It's more like sorting through all those stupid little Polly Pocket shoes--I've got to get a lot of little things done but throw them all together and they make one big pile.
How's that for a visual?
Thursday, December 3, 2009
The whole choir will get together for one or two practices at a park, which will be a bit of a drive for me. Then they will perform 3 or 4 times in various places (nursing homes, caroling in a neighborhood, and a shopping center maybe) and you just come to whatever performances you can make it to.
Little Bit is not so sure. She's not much for getting up in front of people. Very unlike Sweetheart, who loves to do any new thing that comes her way.
That reminds me of when 5 or 6 year old Sweetheart played Mary in the Christmas play at church. The narrator said, "Mary gently lay the babe in the manger" and Sweetheart bent down to put the doll in the manger and all we heard was CLUNK! Everyone sitting near the manger got tickled and laughed. I was afraid she would be upset but she carried on like a trooper. When she sat down with us I hugged her and told her what a good job she did. She smiled and said, "Mommy? I a little bit dropped the baby."
Yeah. I heard. She loves that story.
So back to the choir. I told Little Bit she was going to the practices and that she would go caroling. As for the other performances, I'll leave that up to her. But she is going to learn the songs and they can perform them here at home for the grandparents and Daddy.
Anyway it sounds like a nice, relaxed way for them to participate in a choir. I haven't found any homeschooling thing yet that I can't attach the word "relaxed" to. I think that's one thing I really love about homeschooling.
And if you are not a homeschooler, would it surprise you to find that ALL ages are welcome in this choir? Even toddlers if they are so inclined to sing. Or wander.
Maybe it's because there is no money attached to our job, but homeschool moms are about as relaxed as they come.
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
But that would go against so many things that we have come to cherish and hold in high priority. Our situation is the result of decisions we have made about what's important.
So what is my point of all this? Surely you didn't click over here to hear my State of the Finances Address.
It's just that earlier today I was worrying about spending too much on Christmas. I was thinking about how we need to be really careful and how there just isn't a lot of extra waiting in the wings.
Just now it hit me--God wants me to share anyway.
I have this....this....pre-thought in the back of my head. It's not really a conscious thought, but it's something that affects how I operate nevertheless. I have this pre-thought that if we just were more comfortable, then I would be able to share more. I would give to more charities. I would give more to church. I would help the poor. I would do all these things if I just had a bit more money myself.
God didn't say to help those in need if you have the means. He said to help those in need. He said whatever you have done for the least of one of these, you have done for Me. For Him. For our Lord.
Do I really think that we are so pitiful that I don't have anything to share? No. It's that I'm guarding what we do have. Or what we MIGHT need. I can't give our canned goods to the food drive, what would we eat? I can't spend $15 on fleece to make blankets for the people sleeping in their cars this winter....we might need that money. I can't just go foolishly giving away the things God has provided for our family!
Please forgive me, Lord. Everything we have came from You. I will share because You shared with me. I will give because You gave to me. I will help those in need because You told us to.
And you didn't put a stipulation about being comfortable first in that statement either.
Now. Having said that, I know that my children get more on Christmas morning than many, many children in the world do. Truly.
This year...not only because of money but also because of priorities, I decided to keep it to three gifts per girl. I can't remember who said it, (was it Dana? It sounds like Dana.) but "if it was good enough for the Lord, it's good enough for them." As I said before though, no gold, frankincense of myrrh here.
So I was really proud of all my hand-crafted ideas. Thought I was saving TONS of money. Well.
The fabric store robbed me today people! I didn't do so good on finding the cheapness even though everything I bought was on sale. Guess it just adds up after a while. No matter. The gifts will be fabulous and I really am working hard to keep everything cheap. I'm using lots of scrap buster projects. Can you say free?
Anyway, I've already caught myself adding to my original idea of three gifts so today I pulled in the reins. Decided I'm done. They have three things to open (well, you know, after I SEW THE FABRIC) and that is enough. I shall fight further temptation to add on.
I can work on that while I'm up all night sewing for the next three weeks.
Whose idea were these hand-made holidays anyway?
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Yesterday we put up our inside Christmas decorations. And the top 3rd of our pre-lit tree is already in darkness. Lovely. We had school in the "Christmas room" as Sweetheart called it yesterday (formerly known as the living room). We did that for 2 reasons. #1-we can't even set foot in our messy homeschool room and #2--we want to be in the Christmas room.
This happens every year. December rolls around and we just homeschool differently for a month. For one thing, we are halfway through several parts of our curriculum and can afford to take the month off from them. *Patting myself on the back for sticking with it from August-November.* That means a shorter school day, which Mommy needs because of the other thing that happens every year.
I try to hand-make most Christmas presents. That means a lot of crafting and sewing. Which means I need to be at the dining room table instead of off in the separated-from-the-rest-of-the-house homeschool room. We did this last year too, so I could sew and also because of the other thing that happens every year.
Our homeschool room is TRASHED people! The Berenstain Bears call it "messy build-up" and that is exactly what it is! This happened last year too. Three months of not putting things exactly back where they go, stacking instead of dealing with, dropping and not picking up, hanging work all over the walls, playing in there after school hours (which has been banned), art supplies being mixed in with school stuff....and we have ourselves an unusable room.
Don't worry, I'll tackle it. I used to get this in my classroom in public school too. By December, you just need a big 'ol teacher's workday to get re-organized. And that usually meant rearranging furniture too. Don't think I'm not itching to do that in our homeschool room because rearranging is in my blood.
But for now we'll be homeschooling by the Christmas tree, and in the dining room, and anywhere we can find. December is different and I love it!
Oh! Check out the December issue of Heart of the Matter Online magazine. I hear there is a really great article on...say, page 10.