Category Archives: Life

School’s out for SUMMER!

We DID it! We did it! Awwww, yeah!

Yesterday, we finished our first year of homeschooling! What an awesome feeling. Summer break is always exciting, but it feels so special this year. 6 months ago, I didn’t think we’d make it to this point. Well, we’d make it, but I would either have a). all grey hair or b). no hair at all from pulling it all out. Thankfully, I still have hair and it’s not totally grey (note to self, make hair appointment).

This girl just finished 2nd grade! I guess I did too!

There hasn’t been much time for reflection since we slammed our books shut and breathed a big sigh of relief yesterday, but of this much I am sure: I love homeschooling.

I LOVE homeschooling! Can you believe it? I barely can. We had some very distinct highs and lows to our year and I learned as much as the kids did. Homeschooling is not a cookie cutter endeavor. It’s very much a living, breathing, adventure that requires adjustments and flexibility for each person, each subject, and for sure, each year.

We’re going to be changing things up this Fall quite a bit from this past year. We’re keeping the parts that we loved and giving a swift kick out the door to the parts we hated. It has me really looking forward to starting school again – but not until the end of August. For now, it’s all fun and games and the beach and friends and memories. (Ok, maybe a little bit of math facts and some reading, but don’t make me think about that yet. It’s only day 1 of break man!)

Within the past three weeks, each of my girls, at different times and without any prompting, shared with me 4 words I never thought I would hear:

Mom, I love homeschooling!

Be still this Mom’s heart.

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To Share or Not To Share

Our girls have their own rooms.

Well, they sort of have their own rooms.

I think our youngest has been sleeping in her big sister’s room since November. Bunk beds are fun and we have gone from bunking up on the weekends for fun to a full-time sleeping situation. They love it and back in November having them sleep in the same room put a stop to the little one coming into our room at night. What can I say, I like sleeping without a small child elbowing me and smacking me in the face while she sleeps. How do such small people take up SO much room?

They have recently been calling it “their” room and asking about turning the other bedroom into a playroom. I like them sleeping in the same room because there is something comforting about having them together. (Anyone else relate to that?) But I am sort of on the fence about an official move to a shared room because I don’t know what to do with the other bedroom!

They are only 8 and 5, so a playroom of sorts still makes sense. And, since we are a homeschool family, they do spend a lot of time playing together and having a space all their own would get a lot of use. But does it make sense to have a playroom up with all the bedrooms? This is an example of what I like to call first-world problems. 🙂

What would you do? Should I have “project playroom” in my future?

Playroom colorful
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Playroom vintage
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Playroom stage
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Friday Brain Dump

I’ve been working hard to lose weight. There is the small matter of a family wedding the first weekend in May and Momma has a dress that’s been hanging in her closet that needs to be worn. If only I could get my thighs in it.

I easily become inconsistent with my workout routine because some days it’s just impossible to fit it in. But, something I really can control is what I put in my mouth. So, I’ve been using the My Fitness Pal app to journal everything I eat and to keep within my target calorie allowance each day. (Don’t have a smart phone or iPad? You can check it out on the web!)

I WAS using the Jillian Michaels Slim Down Solution app because it WAS awesome and I loved the features it USED to have. Translation: I had to delete it from my phone at one point and when I downloaded it again, all the super awesome handy features I LOVED were gone. Want to select that you did Level 3 of 30 Day Shred to track your exercise? Sorry! Can’t do that any longer! Want to scan a barcode to log a food? Sorry! Can’t do that any longer. Now, I am sure that with a handy paid subscription you can, but because I was already enjoying it for free, I don’t to pay. Ok, rant over.

So, I started logging food again on Tuesday. Let’s just say I had a small heart attack when I started adding what I had eaten and saw how fast it added up. Using an app like My Fitness Pal is SO enlightening. It really teaches you to make your calories count. You know that not all calories are created equal, right? So, I’m making better choices and eating less – and I’ve lost weight already. Reality – it’s not going to come off like it has in the past few days and it’s going to take a lot of work to get where I want to be. Darn. In the meantime, for the past day and a half, I feel like I could eat an appetizer of bacon with a meal of anything mexican COVERED in cheese with a dessert of every cake, pie and ice cream I can get my hands on. Hungry much?

Also, I know that technically it’s still Winter where I live, but I am OVER. IT.

Oh, and Daylight Savings this year stinks. I am still trying to recover. The End.

Someone needs to come up with a fancy word that explains the love a mother feels for a child. You know, the kind of love that all at the same time makes your heart feel like it’s going to explode into a million pieces, brings tears to your eyes, makes you want to smooch and hug them until you pull a muscle, and nearly fall down on your knees for the goodness God has shown you by giving you this small person to whom you get to be their mother. Wouldn’t it be cool to have that word and then when you say it, all the other mothers around you go, “ahhhh. Hmm-mmm. I get you.” (Holds fingers up her eyes and points at them and then points at yours.)  All you Greek scholars out there – get on this ok?

So I think blogging is super fun. I think it’s a really great way to be creative and to share your life with others. But, I am totally flabbergasted at the people who do this as their career. For reals? Like, I have a marketing degree and totally get the social network thing, but there are like, what, thousands, or tens of thousands blogs out there? How does one gain the audience to make it their job? Well, I supposed for starters they post more than once a week and about random thoughts floating in their head. 😉 On this note, I felt so elated for Katie when I read this post. She’s been at it for a long time and is really good at what she does. I’m super happy for her.

I’m so glad it’s Friday. Maybe a little rest and fun this weekend will spark some motivation to post a bit more next week. Until then – Happy Weekend everyone!

 

A bit of nothing…

No, no…I haven’t forgotten about this place. It’s just, it’s hard to write about life sometimes when you’re busy living it. And since this blog is more about sharing what brings me joy and no so much about keeping a posting schedule, I choose to not post. I’d like to say it’s because I am focused on quality over quantity, but it’s probably more of laziness and lack of things to say.

I don’t have any projects to share at the moment – despite the fact there are a few staring me down right now. They aren’t the priority even if I would like to get them finished or even started for that matter. Oh, I am totally loving my laundry basket dresser and so glad we made it.

Can anyone else relate to this? I have been super annoyed with myself. When I tell you why, I’m sure you’ll think it’s as silly as I do when I really give it perspective. The Photo A Day challenge I started in January…it makes me feel like a bad person. Why? Because I just can’t seem to get each day done. And once I miss one, well forget it. And really, why should I feel bad? Is there some rule or law about even participating? It’s supposed to be fun, right? Sometimes it’s just not fun though…sometimes it’s just a big pain in the rear to try to do what the prompt says. I mean, I sometimes don’t remember until I’m in bed and what am I going to to then, get up and go take a great picture of something lucky (day 4 of this month)? These pressures we put on ourselves that are tied to things that shouldn’t even hold any power over us are just plain silly! Am I right? Glad I got that off my chest…

The little one is loving her three half days at school. She is really enjoying her teacher and the other children. On my good days, I feel sad when I drop her off because I think we could have stuck it out, but I can see the bigger picture and know she’s in a great place. We’re getting all caught up or ahead at home and that feels wonderful. We’re already praying through and discussing our plans for next year. Thankfully, nothing has to be decided now.

I guess that’s it…I’ll be working on the 2nd part of our backyard landscaping and will hopefully get that posted this week!

Growing Green Onions – In My Kitchen!

I saw this pin on Pinterest last week and knew it was one I wanted to try.

Green Onions

 

I had some green onions in the fridge this morning that we were starting to look a little wilted, so I cleaned them up, chopped some up for a tupperware container and put the leftover bulbs standing in a glass of water. If all goes well, I’ll have a new bunch in about 12 days! It’s recommended to change the water every day.

I really love this idea, but I’m on the fence right now as to if I’ll keep up with it. All I can smell in my kitchen right now is green onion. Hoping that dies down a bit. Not really a scent you want to be greeted by each time you enter a room. 🙂 The kids haven’t complained, so maybe it’s not as bad as I think!

Have you ever tried to grow green onions or any other fruit/veggie from leftover pieces?

Cracked Crate & Barrel

This is the story of my dishes from Crate & Barrel.

Crate & Barrel Dishes

“2 of these sets are not like the others, 2 of these sets are kind of the same…”

Ok, that doesn’t really make sense, but that song kept going through my head when I looked at this picture.

Before I explain what happened, I have to give a big shout out to the customer service from the staff at the Michigan Avenue, Chicago Crate & Barrel store. “You go, girls!” (I’m sure they have nice guys there, but I talked to women each time) Seriously. Top notch. Thankyouverymuch.

My big, little brother gave me a giftcard to Crate & Barrel for Christmas (woot!). So, when hubs and I were in Chicago on our anniversary trip, I did a little shopping. I chose a lovely set of 3 potluck bakers in shades of blue and a ceramic set of 5 bowls in shades from citron to a blueish purple. Note: I said set of 3 and set of 5. It’s important.

Crate & Barrel Bowls
The website is only showing the mini size from this set. Bummer!

Crate & Barrel Baking Dishes

(I know you don’t come here for the photography, but these are just pitiful. Sorry)

We didn’t really want to mess with carrying dishes home with us on the train, so for 5 bucks, we had them shipped to our house, which was awesome. A few days after we had been home, a nice big white box with black letters was sitting on our front porch. I of course was super excited. And then I opened the box.

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Both of the largest pieces in each set were broken into pieces. Bummer.
I called the store and explained and they said they would send 2 new sets right away. Yay!
The new sets came the next day. Yay!
Both of the largest pieces in each set were broken into pieces. Bummer.
I called (again), explained (again) and they said they would send 2 new sets right away. Yay!
The new sets came the next day. Yay!
The largest bowl was broken. Bummer.
The largest baker was intact, but the middle size was broken. But, I now had a full set! Yay!
I called the store (again) and explained (AGAIN) and they said they would try (AGAIN!) UGH.
The set came – and the large bowl was BROKEN AGAIN. dfsafklsjfaiflsafslj!
I called again and agreed to try once more. I also gave them some technical advice on shipping the set, like, you should put some packaging AROUND THE BOWL!!
The set came – AND IT WASN’T BROKEN! “HAAAAAAALELUJAH!”

And that is the story of how I ended up with 3 sets of 4 bowls, 1 set of 5 bowls, 2 sets of 2 bakers and 1 set of 3 bakers. If we throw some Xs and an equal sign in there, I’m pretty sure we have an algebra problem. Oooh, I totally have a homeschool math lesson in there somewhere.

I really love the dishes and it’s a good thing, because I have A LOT of them now. I am so thankful that Crate & Barrel didn’t make me package them up and send them back each time. That was extremely generous of them. I saved all the broken pieces and hope to use them for some fun projects this Spring.

Moral of the story? Crate & Barrel has great customer service OR be sure you like what you buy because you might just end up with more than you bargained for. 😉