Monday, October 27, 2014

Good Monday Morning!

Can you believe it is Monday again already?  They come around quick!!

I wish I loved the act of cleaning house as much as I love a clean house.  I'm always looking for fun ways to switch up my cleaning routines, faster ways to get things done, and organizational tips.  I stumbled upon this little graphic on Pinterest and really liked it.  It sort of makes cleaning house like playing a board game.  Sort of.

What do you think?  Would you use this?

We're busy getting ready for a Pumpkin Carving Party.  There's lots of cleaning and cooking to do, and even a little shopping.  My honey has some pretty lofty project ideas he plans on knocking out.  I hope he does!  You know what they say, if you want to get your household projects completed invite company to visit.  We shall see.  :)

I hope to take lots of fabulous pictures during the carving party to share with you later in the week but we will have to see how that goes too.  I've not totally learned how to balance the act of hostess and photographer.  I'll do my best.  

How are you and your family enjoying the Autumn season?  Pumpkins?  Parties?  Plans?  Please share!

Have a cozy Monday!!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

50 (More) Days of Home School

A while back I gave you the first 50 Days of Home School.  Here's part two.  I hope you are enjoying these as much as I am!
  1. Teach your children the difference between except and accept.
  2. Begin reading Strawberry Girl.  (It's not just for girls!)
  3. Learn ways to be a good host/hostess and how to be a polite house guest.
  4. Read the 10 Commandments from Exodus and make 10 Commandment posters.
  5. Have the children make up Math tests to give each other.  They will surely make them difficult.
  6. Allow the children to choose a fish or mammal from the sea and learn all about it.
  7. Have your children plan, shop for, and cook dinner for their parents.  Help as little as possible.
  8. Go swimming.
  9. Help your children plant something.  Teach them how to take care of it and over time watch it grow.  Learn the parts of a plant.
  10. Check out an educational DVD from your library.  Watch it and discuss with the kids. 
  11. Trace each child's body on large paper.  Hang on the wall and label body parts.
  12. Have a laundry day.  Everyone learns how to do laundry and helps get all the laundry washed, dried and put away.
  13. Learn some basic Sign Language.
  14. Discuss and memorize Psalm 1 with your children.  Draw pictures to illustrate this passage.
  15. Choose a body part and learn all about it - eye, ear, heart, etc.
  16. Go on a family bike ride.
  17. Have the children write a Haiku today.  
  18. Using manipulatives practice fractions today.  Teach (depending on age) to add or subtract or multiply or divide fractions. 
  19. Using a blank map of the United States begin filling in the states.  Start with where you live, where you have visited, and go from there.
  20. Begin reading Little House in the Big Woods.
  21. Visit an Aquarium.  Have children take their journals with them and jot things down as they go.
  22. Invite a new family from church or in your neighborhood over for dinner.  Have the children help clean and cook and think of ways to make it special.
  23. Play board games today.  Serve snacks.
  24. Help the children work on a science project.  (Manager's choice!)
  25. Write letters today (to cousins, far away friends, grandparents or whomever).  Send in the mail. 
  26. Learn about finding area.  Help the children measure their rooms for new carpet.  (Not that you are getting new carpet - just pretend.)
  27. Decorate thankful posters.  Have the children cover the entire poster with things they are thankful for (pictures or words).   
  28. Teach your children the difference between lose and loose.
  29. Talk about The Lord's Prayer today.  Memorize Matthew 6:9-13 with your children.  
  30. Begin reading Little House on the Prairie.
  31. Teach the children the difference between weather and whether.  While you are at it start Weather Journals.  
  32. Read and discuss a biography on George Washington today.  
  33. Talk about sew and sow.  Discuss what it means to "reap what you sow".  Have children write several examples of reaping and sowing.  
  34. Make graphs today - a favorite day of the week graph, hours in the day and how they are used graph, etc.
  35. For today, learn about Christopher Columbus.  Begin a "Story of America" timeline.
  36. Read a book about Johnny Appleseed.  Take a trip to an apple orchard.
  37. Give each of the children their own check register and teach them how to balance a checkbook.
  38. Do something special for your pastor today - bake, write, draw, shop, mow, rake leaves, etc.
  39. Make homemade pizza today.  While slicing and serving, demonstrate fractions.  
  40. Have the children begin learning a musical instrument.
  41. Begin reading Farmer Boy.  
  42. Discuss what it means to be a good citizen.  Make good citizen posters.
  43. Think of ideas your family can do to help a widow in your church or neighborhood.  Begin one of the things on the list today.  (Call, visit, help with yard work, etc.)
  44. Learn all about your state today - capital, flower, tree, bird, etc.
  45. Play "Beat the Timer" today with Math fact sheets.  Reward hard work with m&ms.
  46. Memorize Galatians 5:22-23 with the children.  Make a "fruit" tree.
  47. Take a long walk in your neighborhood.  Bring along a bag and pick up trash.  
  48. Begin reading Stories of the Pilgrims.
  49. Have the children choose a Bible story and begin preparing a play - costumes, set decor, actor's lines, etc.  Set a date to perform.
  50. Have the children write a letter to a worker in the church (custodian, secretary, ministry director) thanking them for their service.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Hey Mama, Do You Need to Breathe?

Why are so many mamas stressed out, worn out, overwhelmed, and frustrated?  Do you ever wonder?  Do you ever feel that way?

I have a few thoughts -thoughts I've gathered from a lot of years of feeling the tightness and thoughts gathered from countless mistakes I've made.

It just seems to me we women folk aren't taking time to BREATHE.

Do you spend your days breathing deep, or are your days more akin to holding your breath - like you do when you are underwater in the swimming pool? 



God wants you to know that HE is God.  He knows your circumstances and every tiny detail of your life.  He has a plan for your life.  Most importantly, He loves you!  Know that He is in control, (even when you are feeling out of control) and, as it is popular to say, He's got this.  He is God.  He's got the whole world in His hands.  He has YOU in His hands.

Know that He is God and know that by being still - still before Him, resting in Him.  {Breathing} We will know that He IS God when we are still.  We aren't knowing He is God when we are working furiously through a problem all on our own.  We know He is God when we are allowing Him to work.  We know He is God when we give Him control of our lives and breathe in Him.

Whatever you face, whatever trial or circumstance you are living through,please know that God IS.  Be still and breathe that in.  We should all find space to take some deep breaths today.  

Monday, October 13, 2014

Tis the Season

I finished up my Fall decorating over the weekend and I thought I would show you around today.  When it comes to decorating I don't do anything complicated and I try to spend very little dough.  It's sometimes surprising how thrifty you can be when you try. 

Here's our front porch area.

I made this wreath on Saturday.  It's just a grapevine wreath from Hobby Lobby, some stems I picked up there also, and a bow I purchased at a Farmer's Market.  I'm challenged when it comes to making bows so I purchased this one pre-made.  

My kids think I should take the flowers all the way around the wreath.  I had planned to only go this far.  What do you think?    

The dining room...

Would you believe I scored this tablecloth for three bucks?  I found it at KOHLS.  The original price was $25.99 but it was on sale for $12.99.  I had a $10 off coupon good on anything in the store.  My coupon brought the price down to $2.99 and with tax I paid $3.27!

These stems are from Hobby Lobby again.  My mother in law gave me the cool light up branches and I just love them.  I got the metal can for $10.  It was originally $19.99 at Hobby Lobby but was on sale 50 percent off.  (Have I mentioned I *heart* Hobby Lobby???)  I really like the chalkboard part on the front of the can.  You could write any sort of clever thing there. 

This is the area in the foyer I show you in pretty much every decorating post.  That's because I change it out a little bit for each holiday season.  

I picked up this little Halloween flag for a couple of dollars last summer when all things Halloween were very cheap.  

I didn't do a whole lot in the kitchen but I did put out a pumpkin tablecloth.  I prefer vinyl in the kitchen.  With six kids it's just too hard to have a cloth tablecloth on the table where we are constantly eating.  

Lastly, I'll show you the fireplace mantle in the family room - another little spot I change frequently.  I've gotten hooked on banners.  You've probably noticed that.  

Do you enjoy decorating for Fall?  Where's your favorite area to add some seasonal cheer?

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Slow Cooker Monster Stew

This is an all time family favorite at our house.  I've been making it for years.  The recipe originally came from a Gooseberry Patch cookbook I picked up a long time ago.  (If you know me at all you know I love Gooseberry Patch!)

Slow-Cooker Monster Stew

Filled with all the things little monsters love!

1 1/2 lbs ground beef
1 onion, chopped
2 14 oz cans pizza sauce
1 4.5 oz jars sliced mushrooms, drained
8 oz pkg rotini, cooked
4 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
6 oz pkg sliced pepperoni

Brown ground beef and onion together.  

 Add pizza sauce and mushrooms, heating thoroughly.

 Layer sauce mixture, rotini, cheese and pepperoni in a slow cooker. 

Heat on low setting for 8 hours.  Serves 6 to 8.


Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Back to Blogging

Hello friends!

My girls and I just got home yesterday from a most wonderful road trip.  We spent time with the people we love best, eating (too much) delicious food, visiting and shopping.  We've come home with thankful hearts full of happy memories.  

I wasn't too great at taking pictures this weekend.  I'm not sure why but I think I was just having too much fun to remember the camera.  

We attended our favorite Autumn celebration and I fell in love all over again with primitive decor.  We ate our weight in kettle korn and shopped til we dropped (literally).  It was a blast.  

My five men stayed home while the girls and I took our annual trip and I have to tell you I was pretty nervous about coming back.  I mean, I knew the house would still be standing but beyond that I was a little scared what I might be walking into.  I heard stories the entire time I was away about newly purchased airsoft guns, and a chipmunk in the house, and Dad's cooking.  I was really bracing myself for the worst.  I'm more than a little happy to report that the house was in near perfect shape.  I planned to spend all day today working through a laundry mountain, but there isn't one.  I feared there may some damage to the house - after all there were five men watching football and celebrating their manhood here - but instead I came home to everything being picked up and a very small pile of dirty clothes.  I was shocked to say the least, but oh so relieved.  :)  

So today, it's back to work for me and I couldn't be more eager to get back at it.  One of the first things I'll be doing is grocery shopping.  The cupboards aren't bare but they aren't full of the kinds of things one can make a meal with either.  My honey and the boys are begging me for vegetables.  That should tell you something about their diet while I was away.  In addition to gathering some food I will do a touch of cleaning and a bit of laundry and I'll pick back up on driving my taxi service right where I left off.  One boy needs a ride to work and a lucky little lady gets to start sewing lessons today and I get the privilege of transporting her there.  We are both very excited.      

What are you up to today??  I'd love to hear!

Since I've decided to get back to blogging this week here are some things I plan to get posted - 

My fall decorating,

A wreath (I hope to finish),

A couple of new dinner recipes

and part two of 50 Days of Home School.

Stay Tuned!  

Friday, September 26, 2014

Very Easy Applesauce

This applesauce is very delicious and very simple.  I cannot make it fast enough.  The kids are eating it up as fast as I make it.

You need only a crock-pot and three ingredients - apples, water, and cinnamon.

Peel, core, and slice 8 to 10 apples.  Place them in crock-pot and cover with 1/2 cup water.  Cover apples with 1 tsp cinnamon.  

As you can see we use a little more cinnamon than the recipe calls for.  Our whole family loves cinnamon and it makes the applesauce super yummy so we add a little a lot extra.  I used several different kinds of apples in my applesauce.  You can use any variety.  

Cook apples covered on low for 6 to 8 hours.  Stir occasionally.  

Your house will smell amazing while this is cooking!


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