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Happy Halloween!!

We had so much fun at Light in the Night last night. Games, glitter tattoos, and candy make everything fun. Throw in good friends and it’s magic. 

We’ve had festive meals today; jack-o-lantern pancakes for breakfast and octopus hot dogs with silly face apples for lunch. 


Have a safe and happy Halloween tonight. However you celebrate, make loads of memories! 🎃

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Halloweekend 2017

Happy Halloween Eve!!!!! 

We had a fun weekend prepping for Halloween. Target did a Paw Patrol and trick-or-treat event. We have Paw Patrol’s #1 fan in our house, so we had to attend. Obviously.

They had a table at the entrance with Paw Patrol buckets and stickers. They gave every child one and then you went from station to station getting more goodies. At the electronics section, they had a special Paw Patrol episode on the TVs. Harper planted herself on the floor and didn’t leave until we prayed her away. 

We didn’t make it to a pumpkin patch this year, so we got grocery store pumpkins. They are such a good price, so I think we won in the end.

We allowed Chloe and Addi to carve theirs all on their own. Addi made a horse and Chloe carved a girl wearing a dress. I’m not sure why I didn’t get a picture of the other two. 

They did not want to stick their hands in the pumpkin guts. Chloe ended up getting brace and even helped me separate the seeds! I love roasting them and discovered a garlic Parmesan recipe. Yum! 

We have a church event tonight and will trick-or-treat tomorrow. November 1st I will officially start watching Christmas movies. (Unofficially, I watch them all year.)

I hope you had a wonderful weekend! What are your kids dressing up as tomorrow? Do you go door to door or stick to trunk or treats?

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Celebrations

We’ve been having a lot of activities going on around here.

We went to Boo at the Zoo, and the girls were thrilled to dress up in their costumes early. I usually make Halloween costumes for the girls, but it has just been a doozy of a year. I bought or borrowed costumes this year, and it’s been much less stressful. Chloe had a superhero design in mind, so we did some searching. I did end up making her cape for her. I also gave her a pretty rad fauxhawk.

My mother-in-law wanted to have a slumber party with the big girls. They used to do this when we lived in Oklahoma at the same time. Everyone always had so much fun. The girls counted down the days and decided to pack their bags at 11 PM several days early. (Not cool!) We took them over and ate dinner together, and then left with Harper doodle. They stayed with Mimi most of the next day while I got some very rare one-on-one time with Harper. I had blast with her, and the girls had a blast with Mimi. I’m so grateful that she is willing to do things like that with them.

My younger sister is days from moving away. We’ve had so much going on that we havne’t been able to go up and see her. We finally went up and brought her dinner and hung out for a little while. I’m so sad that we were finally in the same state and now she’s moving. But, they will be so much happier where they are going, and I’m thrilled for them.

Probably the most important celebration was for Addi girl. She had her SIXTH birthday. I can’t even believe it. She was all about a unicorn birthday. I wish I had smoothed the frosting on her cake out so much more, but it is what it is I guess. She loved her cake so much. She loved having her family here celebrating with her. She also wanted her Papa P with her, so she made a party hat to put on his picture. Papa always had a party hat on during birthday parties, so it was very fitting! haha

 

I am so very grateful to be able to have these celebrations with all of my loved ones. We’ve spent the last 9 years living far away from everyone, and have done a lot alone. I’m really glad that we have this sweet time together, however long it may be.

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Minimalist Kitchen- Amazon Style

Kitchen Minimalist

 

Dutch Oven // Mixing Bowls // Wire Basket // Rug // Gather Sign // Kitchen Aid Mixer // Wooden Spoons // Marble Cutting Board

 

Here are some drool worthy pieces for you to add to your kitchen!! I love the minimalist style. It is so soothing to the eye, and truly classic. That white dutch oven gets all the heart eyes from me. The mixing bowls add a little bit of whimsy without ruining the minimalist style. What better to mix with than some beautiful wooden spoons?!

Which is your favorite? Are you into the minimalist style, or do you like lots of color and pattern?

Have a happy weekend, friends!!

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On Being Worn

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Our homeschooling year started off in utter chaos. We moved during the week that I had originally planned to start, so our start date obviously had to be pushed back a little. When we got started, my father-in-law was ill. The week that he passed away, we took off to help with the arrangements. We went right back to schooling and then the girls got sick. They didn’t get some little illness that passed quickly. They got hand, foot, and mouth.. which lasts for all of eternity. At least it felt that way.

We are still not completely settled in this house. I am still trying to figure out the organization and where things need to go to best work for our family. Plus, the usual cleaning, cooking, and usual mom/wife duties.

I am overwhelmed. I’ve been completely worn out. My body and mind are completely tired. I’ve had the worst allergies and even lost my voice for over a week.

I reached out to a homeschool group that I am a part of. I asked them what they do to keep going during difficult times and explained how our year has gone. Do you want to know what the resounding answer was?

TAKE A BREAK!

Every single mom told me to put the books away and catch my breath. I am not bound to follow the public school schedule. I can school year round and take breaks at different times. Can I tell you what a freeing feeling it is to give yourself permission to breath? We have had to take days off due to sickness and death in the family, but those are certainly not BREAKS for mama. They are more exhausting than lesson planning and doing school work every day.

My kids deserve a mom who loves homeschooling them again. And I do love homeschooling. I love seeing their eyes light up when they learn something new. I love seeing them grow. I love not missing a moment. I love the freedom that homeschooling offers to be sick and not go back to school drowning in missed work.

 

If you are tired and worn, your kids see that. They know that you are unhappy and struggling. IT IS OK TO TAKE A BREAK. Breathe, mama. There is no shame in admitting you are worn and need a moment to catch your breath.  You CANNOT pour from an empty vessel.

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Weekend Links

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Happy Friday!!!!  Here are some links for weekend exploring!!

This home is my Halloween goals!

Pottery Barn treat bags 50% off and free shipping with code FREESHIP

Abby’s unicorn costume could not be more perfect.

Ready to be inspired?

The Great Pumpkin Patch. This isn’t too far from us, and we love it.

This children’s book is hilarious.

My favorite soup for fall.

I hope that you have a great weekend with lots of fun plans!!

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Bone Broth in the Crock Pot

One of the staples that I try to always have in my freezer is bone broth. I use this in recipes or just warm it up and drink it from a mug. It’s so delicious and SO good for you.

 

First, you need chicken bones. I have used the bones from a store bought rotisserie chicken, and I’ve also used them from a whole chicken that I cooked at home. (You could use beef, lamb, turkey, etc. bones as well.)

Then, you will need various vegetables. I like to use the celery tops/bottoms that usually get thrown away. Any veggies that you’ve had in your fridge too long and won’t eat are great in this. No waste! Just think about the flavor you want your broth to have. Jalapenos probably aren’t a good choice unless you want spicy broth. I usually use carrots, celery, and onion.

Fresh herbs are best, but you can use dried as well. Rosemary, oregano, and basil are my favorites.

See how versatile it is?

Add salt, pepper, and garlic to taste.

APPLE CIDER VINEGAR! Add a tablespoon or so to your crock pot. This will draw calcium from the bones and make your broth more nutrient packed!

Fill the crock pot to the top with water and put it on low. I let it cook for around 24 hours if possible; at least 10 hours.

Strain your broth after it is done cooking and store it. I have used glass jars, freezer bags, and tupperware to freeze mine in. Make sure you don’t overfill your glass jars or they will burst!

 

There are so many reasons that I love bone broth. I first started making it because it has much less sodium than canned broth. Then, I learned about its health benefits, and I am hooked!  Here is a great article on the benefits of bone broth.

**You can boil the ingredients in a large pot on your stove top for a few hours as well.

Let me know if you give this a try!

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Spooktakular

I’ve used our sick days to pull out the Halloween decorations, and it’s been a lot of fun! I have been slowly putting one thing up at a time, because that’s all I’ve had time for. The girls have been loving seeing what is new since I try to do it when they are watching a movie or playing with magnetic tiles.

Yesterday, the girls were all playing in the back yard after we ate dinner. I asked Scott if he would mind if I went in the front yard and put up fake cobwebs. While I was walking to this tree, I walked through a REAL spider web and had a real spider on me. My hoarse voice yelling and freaking out probably entertained the neighbor kids reaaaal good.

I want to get some of the glow-in-the-dark cobwebs to put all over the play house. (Play fort? what is this thing called?!) These cobwebs are the cheapest Halloween decoration, and they have a huge effect.

I don’t think it’s any secret that I love crafts. My kids love crafts, too, so it’s always really fun. Jo-Ann Fabrics had all of their kids craft kids for 40% off when I went looking for fabric. I snagged this three pack of spiders for maybe $1.50. I’m kicking myself for not picking up more. I usually have loads of crafts in my back pocket for rainy/snowy days and sick days. All of the moves and financial strain have caused my craft closet to be depleted. Womp. These happy spiders are really fun to look at with the sun shining through their colorful webs.

These windows are finally open today with a cool breeze blowing in. It finally feels like fall. Maybe it will be here to stay!

Do you decorate for Halloween? Am I just weird for loving the spooky fun?

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Mom Confessions

Here we go. These are some of my mom confessions…


-This phase of life.. it’s hard. I felt like a pro at being a baby/toddler mom; or at least like I knew what to do. This “school-age” mom thing is a struggle. I constantly feel like I’m failing. Harper isn’t technically a toddler anymore, and I feel so stretched that I can’t fully soak up her goodness.

– Harper never eats her breakfast all at once. I just leave it on the table and she comes back to nibble on it until lunch.. unless it’s cereal with milk.

– I wake up before the kids do, but I lay in bed until I hear one of their doors open because I am NOT a morning person.

– I do not even want to potty train Harper. I despise everything about it.

– I really miss the days of setting up endless crafts for the girls and I to do all day!

-A breaker popped that powers the outlets in our kitchen; no coffee maker. I could have moved all of the boxes and fixed it. Instead, I asked my sister to get me a coffee if she was out today- and she delivered! (Don’t worry, I paid for it.. unless she didn’t tell me the full cost.)

– I will delay bedtime if one of the girls asks to brush my hair.

– I regret teaching Chloe and Addi how to tell time because they now tell me “it’s not bedtime yet!” when I try to put them to bed early.

Hopefully these make you feel a little better about your parenting skills. haha!! What is your mom confession?

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Friday Favorites

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1- My tribe. I don’t know what I would have done without family and friends over the last month. My parents took the girls each time Jim was admitted into the ICU. The second time, he was 45 minutes away from us. My mom said they could spend the night so that we didn’t have to worry about rushing home. Once things got really bad, my sister (who has three kids of her own and babysits up to 4 kids each day) kept taking the girls for us. The night that Jim was taking off of life support, she had all three of them. I had been texting her worried about leaving, etc. She said that she would watch them overnight and as long as we needed. My parents went to our house to gather supplies for them. My sister was sending me pictures of these smiling faces the whole time. Friends took over the class at church that I was supposed to be teaching. The prayers and love.. Y’all. I can’t even put words to it. I’m grateful.

Lighter favorites now..

2- This diaper bag. So cute and practical.. and comes with a free bonus item (a skirt?) right now!

3-  Hiking. We love taking the girls out for hour long hikes. That’s about all they can handle right now. This would be a cool project to do together.. even though it’s hard to get lost and need these supplies where we hike at.

4- FALL!! I have loved fall ever since we moved to Michigan and got to experience the beautiful fall. The colors. The crunchy leaves. The crisp air. It doesn’t get better!! I am pretty annoyed with Illinois for still being so stinking hot and humid! Get it together!

5- Moms Meet  I am so obsessed with this program. I have received so many awesome products to try, and love being a part of a community like this.

6- This post that Jessica did is perfect!

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7. My gathre mat is one of my favorite items!! It’s bonded leather and is completely waterproof. I left this one out in the RAIN in Oklahoma, and it’s still perfect. I have the Maxi and it’s perfect for our family!

I hope you have a happy weekend! We are fighting off the nasty sick bugs over here. Harper is being treated for strep throat and I am praying that I can keep everyone else from getting it!

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