Monday, December 31, 2012

Things to Do

I have several things that I need/want to work on to get ready for the baby, so I thought I'd make a list to share with you.  Over the next week or two I would like to:

-Make several meals to put in the freezer.  I think I have all the ingredients and just need to assemble them.  Need to do this in the next two days, as we bought meat for me to work on this already and it is easier to work with before freezing it.  Jan. 3 - I still have a few I would like to make, but most of them are in the freezer.
-Make chili powder. made on 1/21/13
-Un-decorate Christmas tree.
-Put away all Christmas decorations, books, nativity pieces, etc.  Jan. 13 - Everything seems to be down, just need to finish getting it put away
-Clean master closet.
-Clean master room where baby bed will go.  1/21 - This has kind of been done, we left a table there for the mid-wife to use and will take it down after the birth, then there will be room for the bed.
-Clean off my dresser and get it set up with the baby changing station.
-Decide what lessons we are going to start back to school with.  -I think for now Kent and Katy are going to work on English, Kaomi on reading and everyone on science.  It will be nice to not have to skip science fun after the baby arrives and I won't feel like making it fit into our schedule.
-Start back to school with a light schedule to add a little routine to the kids days, but still give me the time I feel I need to finish getting ready for the new baby.
-Look through baby clothes and pick out first couple of outfits in girl and boy colors and have them ready to go.
-Make sure we have everything needed for a planned home birth together in an easily accessible place.
-Make sure we have a package or two of newborn and size 1 diapers on hand.
-Clean out my dresser drawers.
-Work on Lissie and Clark's "school boxes" to give them some "new" things to help them while we are doing school or when the baby is just born and they need something to do.
-Make a special box of fun for Clark to use just when I am nursing and unable to run after him or check up on him.
-Clean my desk.
-Decide what I want to get Lissie for her birthday, as it should be a couple weeks after the new baby is born and I probably won't be doing much shopping after he/she is born.

I'm sure I probably won't get all of these things done in the next week or two, but having a plan to look at will help me remember the things that I have thought I should be working on.  I'll try to come back and update this list as I finish tasks or think of more to add.

Linked with:

Raising Arrows

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas - 2012

This year we had a nice day just calmly staying home and enjoying each other.  We had thunderstorms during the night, which continued through a little bit of the morning.  We opened stockings which Clark helped Jeff hand out to everyone and ate breakfast.  This year I made a sausage and egg bake and served it with pineapple.  After breakfast and everyone was ready we started opening gifts beginning with gifts from family who were not with us.  After we opened gifts from Uncles, Aunts, and Parents/Grandparents we took a short break.  Then the kids exchanged most of their gifts with each other.  We had a quick lunch of little sausages, cheese and crackers or buttered bread and the kids played with their gifts and waited to open the rest.  Clark went down for his nap, as he was very tired.  The kids finished exchanging gifts and we moved on to the gifts from Jeff and I to the kids and each other.  This year, we again gave each of the kids 3 gifts represented by the gifts the Wisemen brought Jesus.  We gave them Frankincense (a need), Myrrh (something to nurture their soul, creative side or help them "grow") and Gold (something they wanted or we knew they would really enjoy).  About the time we started opening these gifts if started to snow.  We finished opening gifts around 2:30 pm.  When we exchange gifts only one person at a time is usually opening a gift.  We enjoy watching and listening to each person who is the recipient.  When we had finished opening the gifts everyone enjoyed their gifts and enjoyed watching the snow.  We went outside at the end of the afternoon and played in the inch and half to 2 inches of snow before dessert.  Their were several areas where the snow had drifted deeper, too.  After a dessert of pumpkin bread and orange cranberry bread with whipped cream we watched Clark open his last two gifts and then we ate dinner around 7:00 pm.  We had taco casserole and carrots.  Everyone was very tired so we wrapped up the evening with The Christmas Story from Luke 2 and all the kids went to bed.

We hope you had a wonderful Christmas as well.  MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Christmas Lights Walk -2012

We took our annual Christmas Lights Walk around our neighborhood tonight.  There didn't seem to be as many lights this year.  The weather was nice for walking and we were able to walk around several blocks before returning home.  Clark's favorite light was the moon.  He kept laying back against Lissie in the wagon and watching the moon as we walked.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Decorating as the Month Continues

This Christmas I haven't found the time to decorate as much.  I have some beautiful houses that I really enjoy putting up and enjoy looking at them through the season and I still haven't put them up.  I think it's because we did had school 2 days each of the first 2 weeks this month and then on the other days we were busy with errands, baking and other projects.  So I have decided that I won't put up our houses this year, but as I come accross a decoration that I want out I will still put it up.  We have our Christmas tree, Little People Nativity Set, basket of Christmas books, and some Christmas candles out.  We also have 2 singing and dancing stuffed animals that the kids enjoy playing with out.  We also have several various pictures that the kids have made that go with the Christmas Story hanging on our walls.  On Saturday I was looking for something in my Christmas box and found another small nativity piece that belongs to Katy so I got that our and set it on the counter with my plant.

I also have some squashes and Indian corn still out that were decorations around Thanksgiving.  I'm hoping to cook the rest of the squashes today and have the kids take the corn off the cobs, so we can use it to pop one evening.  I have some more white taper candles I want to put out and was trying to remember where some candle holders are.  I remembered and hope to get them set up today as well.  I think most of my candle holders are still actually packed in a box from when we moved, but I'm not exactly sure which box, so I don't want to start unpacking something else and making another project that I don't need to take on right now.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Carry On

When you wake up and your hormones must be going crazy and you want to cry, but you have responsiblities what do you do?

Of course, you just pretend nothing is wrong.  You get the kids going in their regular routine.  You drink a cup of coffee with chocolate in it, drink a cup of hot chocolate, make your breakfast and add chocolate, burn your toast and make more.  Then you make your bed, ask 1 kid to pick up and vacuum a room that seems to have a dirtier floor than normal, send other kids to do something else,  tackle something that has been bothering you around the house and then do your normal chores.  Then you feel better because you feel like something has actually been done.  During those things you decide that since it is so cold outside and rounding kids up to go to a friends home for a previously scheduled activity would just be too much, you ask them if they could come over instead.  Of course they can and everyone enjoys coloring Christmas pictures, watching a movie and eating cookies before lunch.  Then you have to think about making lunch.  You have bread, but no leftovers to use or peanut butter to put on the bread, because you forgot to buy it the last time you went to the store.  So you make bread pudding (a.k.a. baked french toast), and the kids are excited to have breakfast for lunch, even though lunch won't be ready until after 1:00 pm.  You decide to have storytime while lunch is in the oven and the timing ends up perfect.  After lunch is finished quiet time has arrived and you find that you've made it through most of the day.  You wanted to work on a project during quiet time, but your brain is too "fried" to work on it so you save it to work on either in the evening or another day.  You sit down and try to think about what you should make for dinner and come up with some kind of plan using the leftover rice, potato, spicy sausage, sweet potato, spaghetti sauce and fresh veggies in your fridge and hope that when you actually make it there will be enough for everyone and that everyone will like it.

33 Weeks

Last week I saw a friend who is expecting her first child anyday now.  She was so tiny, that now I understand why several people look at me oddly when they ask when our baby is due and they find out not until the end of January.  I do think it's kind of funny when I am out and someone tells me that I'm not allowed to have the baby "here".

I'm beginning to feel rather uncomfortable as baby is growing and pressing into one of my kidneys.  This has happened in every pregnancy and they always choose the same kidney.  Felicity and Clark are finding it hard to sit in my lap and snuggle as well.

Saturday, December 8, 2012


This is the time of year when we focus more on our Savior's birth.  He has redeemed me from the grasp of Satan and eternal death.  He came as a perfect, sinless baby to live here on earth among sinners so that he could die for us at the time God appointed.  Through shedding his perfect blood he paid the punishment for my sin, so that when I die a physical death, I may live forever in heaven as a child of God.

What better time of year is there to share the story of my Redeemer with my children.  Each year we tell them the story of Jesus' birth from the Bible and talk about how this was just the beginning of what his life was going to bring to our world.  We place our nativity near or under our Christmas tree and the story of Jesus gets told over and over as my children play.

This month I had an opportunity through (in)courage to receive a tree skirt and table top advent devotional from Dayspring's Redeemed Christmas Line of products.

I love that the tree skirt says "No Greater Love than Jesus".  In our home, it brings the focus around our Christmas tree back to Jesus a little more.  It gives the opportunity to potentially have even more discussions about my Redeemer with my children and guests in my home.


The table top advent devotional adds another dimension of thinking about Jesus throughout the day.  I have it sitting in the middle of my kitchen table and have found myself reading the days devotional and meditating on my Redeemer more each day.  One day last week, I could tell that it was going to be a more trying day for me, as I hadn't slept well and the kids weren't being perfect either.  I found the devotional for the day to be very encouraging all day long and I know it helped me show the love of Jesus to my children much more than I would have without the all day reminder in front of me that "Jesus carries our burdens".  I kept praying through the day, "help me not to be grumpy with my children." 

I am REDEEMED and my Savior, Jesus is working in my life everyday to keep me in a closer relationship to him.  I'm glad he helps me and isn't just waiting for me to join him in heaven.  I wouldn't be able to live a Christ-like life without his help.

Do you want to add decor to your home that helps bring the focus back to Christ during this Christmas season?  If you have something that adds Christ to Christmas through the decor in your home I'd enjoy reading your comment about it.

Several of the items in Dayspring's Redeemed Christmas Collection are on sale this month here.

*I received the tree skirt and table top devotional free from Dayspring in exchange for a story about being redeemed.  All opinions are mine.

**I hope to share my own pictures, but for now the pictures above came from (in)courage.

Also linked up with:

Simple Living Mama    

Monday, December 3, 2012

Countdown to Christmas - A Book a Day

Last year we read a book everyday before Christmas.  The kids enjoyed it so much that we are doing it again this year.  After we read the book for the day we will be adding it to a basket beside the Christmas Tree so that they can be read again as often as someone wants too.  Here is the list of books that we will be reading in our countdown.

Day 1:  Precious Moments:  The Gifts of Christmas (A Little Golden Book)
Day 2:  One Wintry Night by Ruth Graham Bell (This is a longer story that we will be reading over the next several days.)
Day 3:  Humphrey's First Christmas by Carol Heyer (Felicity's Favorite last year.)
Day 4:  The Story of Holly and Ivy by Rumer Godden
Day 5:  The King's Christmas List by Eldon Johnson
Day 6:  If You Take a Mouse to the Movies by Laura Numeroff
Day 7:  Room for a Little One by Martn Waddell (Board Book)
Day 8:  This is the Stable by Cynthia Cotten
Day 9:  God Gave Us Christmas by Lisa Tawn Bergen
Day 10:  The Story of Christmas by Patricia A. Pingry (Board Book)
Day 11:  Usborne Bible Tales:  The Story of Christmas retold by Heather Amery
Day 12:  Merry Christmas, Amelia Bedelia by Peggy Parish
Day 13:  Apple Tree Christmas by Trinka Hakes Noble
Day 14:  The Christmas Story by Jane Werner (A Little Golden Book)
Day 15:  The Pokey Little Puppy's First Christmas (A Little Golden Book)
Day 16:  Silent Night illustrated by Susan Jeffers
Day 17:  The Biggest, Most Beautiful Christmas Tree (A Little Golden Book)
Day 18:  Chickadee Winter by Dawn L. Watkins
Day 19:  The Christmas Pageant by Jaqueline Rogers
Day 20:  The Night Before Christmas illustrated by Douglas Gorsline
Day 21:  The Twelve Days of Christmas (A Little Golden Book)
Day 22:  Christmas Day in the Morning by Pearl S. Buck
Day 23:  The Night Before the Night Before Christmas by Richard Scarry
Day 24:  The Christmas Story (from Luke, KJV) pictures by James Bernardin

We have a couple other Christmas books that will just be added to the basket they are:

Farmyard Tales Christmas Heather Amery & Stephen Cartwright (A Flap Book)
Favorite Holiday Traditions complied by Ellyn Sanna
Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer (A Little Golden Book)

Last Year When we did this I didn't have 24 Christmas books on hand so we checked several out of the library that I read and I returned when they were due.  While we try to help our children focus on the true meaning of Christmas which is God giving us His Son Jesus we do enjoy reading several other fun stories around Christmastime that go along with other traditions.

I thought about wrapping each of the books this year and letting the kids take turns opening them, but instead I'm just keeping them separate in a box in my room.

Do you have any favorite Christmas books?


Saturday, December 1, 2012

In School this Week...

This is our last full week of school, before we start enjoying low key school for December in anticipation of celebrating Jesus' birth.

Monday:  We completed all of our history and notebooking for the week.  We learned about the advancement of the steam engine and Robert Fulton.  We went to the library for storytime where we heard some stories about owls and made an owl craft.  Kent and Katy began new units in English.  Kent completed his next math lesson and Katy worked on 3 trouble problems from Math that she had before Thanksgiving.  Now she is ready to start her new math workbook.

Tuesday:  We worked on science and did a page about plants and funguses.  Kent and Katy worked on their next English lessons.  Kaomi practiced reading and doing her math.  She is learning about tens and ones.  Kent worked on his next math lesson about measuring using meters and centimeters.  He also read a chapter in The Buffalo Knife for his extended history reading.  Katy worked on cursive and learned the letter z.  Aunt Jenny came over to visit after lunch.  Katy began her new math workbook.

Wednesday:  We volunteered at church, but didn't work on any other school.

Thursday:  Kaomi learned about reading words that end with ank, ink, onk, and unk.  Kent and Katy worked on math and English.  We did science all together and talked about the wingspans of different kinds of owls.  We measured them on the floor and compared them to the ideas about how long the wingspan of an owl that the kids had written down beforehand.  Everyones' guess was close to one of the owl wingspans we measured.  Then we talked about how an insect sees differently than us because of the many lenses on their eyes.  We got to look through a dragonfly scope to get an idea how insects see.

Friday:  Kent and Katy studied dictation and worked on English.  Katy actually didn't get her math worked on yesterday, so she was working on it today.  Kent, Katy, and Kaomi also had reading.

Starting next week we plan on only working on school lessons Tuesday and Thursday.  Then we can also focus on other activities like baking, crafts, sewing etc.