Thursday, April 25, 2013

His Words

Earlier today, I asked my eight year old son to think of six adjectives that would describe him.  I gave him three rules: 1.  Three of the words must be adjectives he would use to describe himself. 2.  Two of the words must be adjectives he thought we (his parents) would chose to describe him. 3.  The last word needed to be an adjective he felt God would use to describe him. He took his time thinking of each word and category.  I could tell he was really putting a lot of thought into this assignment.  So I did what any mother would do...I grabbed my camera and started taking pictures as fast as I could! :) Here are his answers: 1.  His words:  SMART, CREATIVE, HELPFUL 2.  The words he chose for us:  ANIMAL LOVER, GOOD CLIMBER :) 3.  The word he chose for God:  LOVING

As I was watching him and taking pictures, I felt so much love, warmth, compassion, pride, the list could go on and on.  It was such a great moment to witness. I had so many favorite pictures.  Here are few...or more!!! :)

Ahhhh, I just love him more than I will ever be able to express.  He is such a strong, independent, and passionate person.  

His mom,

Monday, April 22, 2013

Earth Day Fun

This morning my kids were so excited that today is Earth Day.  To be honest, I really hadn't notice that it was this month until last Friday.  I realized last night that I still hadn't planned anything for the kids to do in order to celebrate.  So, naturally I went to Pinterest and Google.  I found several Earth Day printables and ideas.  I also decided to change up our routine.  Instead of starting in our classroom I thought it would be fun to start our day outside.  After the kids got dressed we headed outside to pick up litter in our neighborhood.
He was super excited to "clean up Earth"!

Always paying close attention to the smallest details.  He was picking up the extra, extra small pieces of litter.

more interested in dancing then picking up litter

proudly displaying their bags of litter

Our trash collecting ending early due to three unleashed dogs.  I could not believe it.  One of the houses had three unleashed (2 of which were very large) dogs!  Needless to say, we did not hang around to see if they were friendly.

writing about his litter collection 
the paper was bordered with little globes

coloring his picture of the Earth

also coloring her picture

After lunch, the kids decorated sugar cookies with blue and green icing.  We called them Earth cookies.

some licked more than decorated :)

Happy Earth Day!!!


Friday, April 19, 2013

Easy Red Velvet Chocolate Chip Cookies

We are having a garage sale tomorrow so I wanted to put together some treats to help keep the kids happy, happy, happy. :)  I altered a favorite recipe (of my cousin's).  It uses a cake mix as the base for the cookies.  It is super easy and super fast. What you will need:
1 box red velvet cake mix
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup milk
1 egg
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
powdered sugar (optional)

melt butter in the microwave

combine cake mix, butter, milk, egg in stand mixer

batter will be thick

add chocolate chips
I broke the handle of my spatula trying to stir in the chocolate chips!!! :(

scoop dough onto cookie sheet
bake at 350 degrees for 9-11 minutes

let cookies cool on a wire rack

sprinkle powdered sugar over cookies


***While baking these wonderful cookies, my oldest son yelled (from upstairs) that the toilet flooded the bathroom....
I have learned with three children (two of which are boys) that this does not call for panic.  So I calmly ate another scoop of cookie dough, grabbed the old towels from the laundry room, and made my way upstairs.  Just another day. :)


Thursday, April 11, 2013

Small Moments From Our Day

Today we had a very quiet schedule.  I allowed the kids to watch cartoons a little longer this morning, we completed our home school, visited the library, and have karate lessons this afternoon.  Everything was really quite normal, however, there were a couple of extra cute, adorable, sibling moments. Moment #1
My oldest son asked if he could complete his spelling test on the computer.  I thought that was a great idea.  Yesterday, I began teaching him proper keyboarding skills (the hunt and peck method drives me nuts).  I told him this morning not to worry about how he was holding his hands since I wanted him to focus on the spelling of his words.  He proudly said he wanted to do it the correct way.  It took awhile, but he completed all 25 words while holding his hands correctly.  I was so impressed at his focus and determination. Moment #2
After returning from the library, I jumped into switching the loads of laundry and thinking about starting lunch.  After a few minutes I noticed how quiet it was in the house.  I wondered if the kids had gone into the backyard.  Surely, I wasn't that focused on folding underwear that I missed them leaving the house!  To my complete surprise, I found all three of them on the couch with their library books.  My mouth literally hit the floor.
For the younger two, this moment only lasted about five minutes.  That is four minutes longer than I was expecting!

I just had to share these pictures of our oldest son.  He always reads like this...I can't believe his arms don't fall asleep.

Moment #3
After asking the kids to sit down for lunch, my youngest son asked me to refer to him as Fireman.  Okay, I said and decided to play along.  He then said, "Thank you Chief" (towards me for giving him his lunch).  It was too cute.

Moment #4
Our oldest son offered his leftover crackers to his younger brother, which he declined due to "germs".  In the most monotone voice, our oldest son said, "Same family, same germs, its all the same."  I think it was his tone that was so funny.  Sometimes he seems like a 60 year old man. :)

Moment #5
I was sitting outside in the backyard and the kids were playing on the side of the house.  They were out of my eye sight, but I could hear them playing.  Next thing I know, our daughter comes around the corning dragging her feet (as if they weighed 20 lbs.).  Her shoes were covered in mud.  I quickly jumped up to assess the situation.  They told me they were having a "swamp adventure".  Oh my word, it was a lot of mud!!!  Needless to say, the adventure quickly came to an end.  "Ahhhh Mom!"

Here is the evidence!

I love these little moments.  Cleaning up the mud was annoying but seeing her come around the corner dragging her feet was unforgettable.  


Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Happy Little Hands

Lunchtime is my least favorite part of the day.  Why?  Everyone usually wants something different and I feel like a short order cook.  I usually don't sit down and spend the time running back and forth serving the kids.  Honestly, I prefer to wait until they are done so I can eat in peace!  Our youngest two have been begging me to allow them to make their own lunch.  Sigh....whine....procrastinate....(those are usually my responses).  I can't stand the thought of the mess.  It is not the I am a neat freak, I just don't want a bigger mess to clean up. A few weeks ago, our pastor reminded us to give our little ones bigger tasks.  He said it is important to give them big tasks (even if it does cause a mess or slows things down) to "grow them up".  This has really stuck with me.  We have three kids, 8yrs, 5yrs, 3yrs.  They always want to help and really get in the middle of things.  I typically (ok, always) want to just do it myself.  Hmmm, wonder where they get the "do it myself" attitude from?  My husband on the other hand, is really great at allowing the kids to help.  So between listening to my pastor and watching my husband's example, I decided I really should relax and let the kids do more for themselves. I finally gave into lunch.  Last week, I allowed all of the kids to make their own lunch.  I told myself to take deep breaths and just enjoy the moment.  I think I was fairly successful. :)  After getting over the initial shock (that I was finally allowing it), they jumped right in.  Was it messy? Yes.  Was it not they way I would have done it?  Yes.  Did they love it?  Absolutely.  I didn't take pictures that day because I had my hands very full.  So I decided to take some of today's lunch.  I must say, they are getting better. :)
taking his sandwich making very seriously

analyzing the amount of peanut butter


He always decides to separate the pieces and eat them one at a time.   I wonder if he will do this as an adult? :)

This took awhile. :)

Five minutes later... :)  

They are getting better.  I have really seen an improvement from last week.  It is the little things that make them feel so good about themselves.  One of these days I am going to have them make me lunch... many years from now. :)


Pantry Rennovation Part 2

I finished!!!! Here are the pics of my organized and cleaned out pantry. If you remember, my goal was to re-do the pantry for $20 or less.  I was very excited to have a real excuse for going to the dollar store.
I purchased 12 baskets and two wire drawer organizers.

At our grocery store, I found an over the door organizer for $5.




(the best part...the floor space is empty)

over the door organizer

baking, spices, boxed goods

Overall, I am very pleased.  My grand total was $17.  I could still use one or two smaller baskets.  I will pick those up the next time I go to the dollar store.  I think when I need a mommy timeout, I will hide in the pantry!!!


Thursday, April 4, 2013

Pantry Renovation Part 1

Time and time again, I have cleaned out my pantry only to find it a complete mess within a couple of weeks.  I just cannot keep it organized.  Although, it does not help that I have three sets of little hands constantly digging, climbing, spilling, and rearranging it.  I say climbing because I have literally caught them climbing on the shelves to get candy that I hid on the top shelf.  When they want to work together they are an unstoppable team (and sneaky, like ninjas)! Not only do I want to clean out and reorganize, I also want to restock the essentials.  I cook every day.  Yes, I said every day.  We are on a tight budget, therefore, eating out (even fast food) is really not an option.  I also love to bake.  It is in my genes (and in my blue jeans when I don't exercise). :)  All of the women in my family relieve stress through baking.  Plus, it has become a deeply loved hobby of mine.  I love making recipes that I know have been made by my mom, grandmother, great grandmother, and cousins. This is going to take a couple of posts.  I am determined to do this reno for under $20.  I think it will be challenging but do-able. This is my pantry in it's current state....
I am not ashamed.  The first step is admitting my problem, right? :)
front view
floor view 
As you can see, the kids moved the step stool into for easier access.  Is that part of a pool noodle on the floor??? Doesn't everyone have one in their pantry?
You can see all of the Easter candy and Peeps!

My baking shelf.  What a mess!

I have a lot of cookbooks.  I really only use two or three of them.  I think some of these will be going in the garage sale.

I recently found a great pantry supply list on The Pioneer Woman website.  It has a printable version, as well.  A lot of the items I already have but this is the most thorough list I have found.  Click below to see the blog and list.

Well, I will let you know how it goes.