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Let’s Do This

lets do this

 

I haven’t shared much about my goals/vision/dreams for 2018 yet. I’m still sitting down with a notepad and paper, my favorite way to plan, and organizing my thoughts.
Rachel Hollis said, “No one gets to tell you what you can’t have.” That was so inspiring to me. No one gets to limit my dreams and goals except for ME.  I just wanted to share that inspiration with you. It’s never to late to give yourself a fresh start.

Have you sat down and thought about what you want your year to look like? I want to encourage you to do it. Write down what you want, where you want to be, what you want to achieve. Anything. It’s so good to always work on stretching and growing yourself.

Let’s do this, 2018.

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Weekend Links- New Year with Kids Edition

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Every year I look for good ideas for ringing in the new year with kids. We don’t keep the girls up late with us right now. They are still young and need their sleep. I feel like the search ends up being fruitless. There’s always chaos around this time of year. Two years ago, we were gearing up to move to an unknown destination. Last year, we had just moved. This year, I am determined to bring it in with a celebration. 2017 was full of more lows than highs. I refuse to bring in 2018 with anything less than FUN and celebration.

 

These definitely need to happen. I love reflecting on the year, and involving my kids in this would be wonderful. The older two are at a good age to start this tradition.

DIY confetti poppers are always a good idea!! We are planning to do a Noon-Year party on the first of January since we’ll be getting home from church at noon on NYE.

Party hats that the kids can color!!

I need to get some contact paper so that we can make these.

BINGO is so fun!

This would be a fun game for them, while also being educational. :p

Scavenger hunts are always such a big hit.

New Years Tree. I always think this is so neat. I’ve also seen parents do this if they have a child with a birthday right after Christmas. All of the ornaments come off and streamers and balloons fill the tree!

I also think that glow ring toss would be fun once it gets dark.

2017 has been a rough year on our family. The girls are old enough now that they carry things with them. The sudden move was hard– saying goodbye to friends they had made.  Losing their papa was hard. There’s been a lot of change and struggle that they are aware of, so we are going to celebrate a new year big time. It’s always a good day for a fresh start.

 

I hope that you all have a SAFE and happy New Year!!

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Merry and Bright

How on earth is Christmas over? I’m sad that it has already come and gone in the blink of an eye.

I got my wish, and we had a white Christmas. It snowed on Sunday. We only had church in the morning, so we ate lunch and changed into warm clothes. Our house sits on top of a hill, and we knew we HAD TO sled down it. Nevermind that you go straight into the road.. 😉  [We watched for cars..]

Once everyone was properly frozen, we went inside to drink hot cocoa. We baked gingerbread cookies– really the big girls did most of the work. Once they were cooled, they dipped the cookies into white chocolate. OH my goodness. I didn’t think I could love gingerbread cookies any more. I got our cinnamon rolls assembled and put in the fridge for Christmas morning. (You can do all of the hard work on Christmas Eve and put them in the fridge. Take them out to warm up and rise while you do all of your festivities and then bake them.)

Once the girls were finally asleep, we got to put presents under the tree. We watched Christmas with the Cranks, because we think its so funny. Well, I watched, Scott slept through some of it.

We did something new this year. Instead of putting names on all of the presents for the kids, we put a piece of wrapping paper in their stocking with their name on it. All of their gifts were wrapped in only that kind of wrapping paper. So, they had no idea what presents were for them until after we did stockings. It was pretty fun.
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Christmas gets more and more fun each year. I love seeing the wonder and magic of Christmas through my daughters’ eyes. Scott’s mom and brother came over shortly before noon to spend some of the time together. They wanted to make sure that my parents got some time with us alone also, so they took off at some point. My parents came over shortly before dinner and we opened presents. My mom laughed so hard because she got me salt and pepper shakers that I had been wanting. I was so excited that she said she should have just stopped with those. I was equally as excited for my enameled dutch oven, pillows, and bowl holders. You know you’re a true adult when salt and pepper shakers thrill you.

These were my gifts from the girls. Addi picked the yellow earrings and Chloe picked the colorful hearts. I even got my very own doll so that I can play dolls with them. I have been wanting this cookbook for quite some time. It’s recipes intertwined with a story, and it’s marvelous so far. I love that I received so many items for the kitchen. I love cooking for people. There’s nothing better than being in the kitchen preparing meals for the ones I love. I try to ignore the fact that my kids will complain about something being in, on, near, across from, etc. their food. All of the moms say AMEN!

After we finished opening presents, I put our cinnamon rolls in the oven. I was a little worried about how much glaze (frosting?) I put on them. I did my first ever poll on Instagram, and my friends pulled through. 100% say not too much. Winner winner chicken dinner.

Please keep a sweet lady that used to attend our church in your prayers. Her husband passed away on Christmas morning. I can’t even fathom how much her heart is broken.

I pray that you all had the merriest Christmas, friends. Remember to share a little extra love with those who are grieving this season. If that person is you, I see you and I am praying for you.

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Inventory

Making: Elderberry Syrup.. I bought these to use.

Cooking: banana bran muffins. We’ll be making sugar cookies tonight.

Drinking: coffee.. all of the coffee..

Reading: nothing right now..

Wanting: to be able to read. haha!

Looking: at New Years ideas.

Playing: We are obsessed with playing dominoes right now.

Eating: The leftovers from dinner last night. I finally made Bridget’s Chicken Divan, and it was delicious.

Wishing: that it would snow for Christmas..

Enjoying: Baking.. I have baked so many goodies over the past few weeks

Loving: Laying in bed with the light from our bedroom Christmas tree illuminating the room. It’s magical.

Needing: a good nap..

Hoping: that we will have a few more nice days to go for a walk.. I’ve enjoyed taking advantage of the 50 degree days whenever they come.

Smelling: My coffee… seriously.. I need a caffeine IV today..

Feeling: a bit off today.. I feel like sadness is hanging over like a cloud today

Wearing: The most cozy sweatshirt (and pants, obviously)

Noticing: that this year has flown by at lightning speed. My head is still spinning from all that has transpired

Bookmarking: All of the cleaning checklists… I need something to help me get my house in order.

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New Year’s Eve Style

I know, I know. It’s not even Christmas yet. But, there is only one week in between Christmas and NYE. You need time to try on your outfit and make sure you love it. So, I’m sharing now. 😉

NYE style

 

rose gold maxi skirt // feather clutch // bodysuit // earrings // hair // shoes

I picked a simple bodysuit to go with this glam maxi skirt and earrings. Really, everything is glamorous. I feel like I need to defend a bodysuit. I was searching for a cami that I could wear that wouldn’t mess up the shirt that it was underneath. I decided to give a bodysuit a try, and my life was changed. They stay put. You don’t have to readjust your tucked in shirt over and over again. It will be so simple and beautiful so that all of these gorgeous accessories and skirt will be the star of the show!

Do you have anywhere to go for NYE? Or, are you a pajamas and stay at home kind of lady? (I’m a homebody.)

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Homeschool Update

Happy Thursday!!

I have to start every post that way so that I can remember what day it actually is. I feel like the days have started to just blend together. Harper has been battling some virus that has left her super congested. She had a very croupy cough for a few days, and now the other stuff is just left behind. It makes it difficult for her to sleep well, obviously, so we don’t sleep well either.

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She thought that getting a breathing treatment was super amusing. I’m glad she thinks it’s fun instead of torture.

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As you know, I homeschool the big girls. We use Abeka curriculum this year, and it is my favorite. I’ve tried a different curriculum every year- in a search for one that works best for us. I love Abeka. If you don’t know, there is an actual Abeka academy where they teach classes. It is also the curriculum taught in most Christian schools. They do streaming or DVDs of the classes at the academy that you can purchase for a hefty amount of money. We didn’t purchase these, but they sent an e-mail offering a free 15 day trial of streaming. Sign. Me. Up. We have had stuff going on every weekend, leaving me feeling frazzled and unprepared for the week ahead.

It has been life-changing for this month. The girls have been so excited to watch their classes each day. I fully believe that the excitement will wear off quickly, but for now I am thoroughly enjoying it. Everything is exciting when it’s new. I think we are going to try and save up to buy them next school year.

I have been able to go back and start phonics from the beginning for one of my children that struggles with that area. I’ve observed the teacher’s tricks for teaching the rules, etc. and it will help me teach her a lot better, since I don’t remember ALL of the tricks we learned in school. (Do you?)

img_2940This sneaky stinker finds a way to get into trouble during school. She got sprinkles and had dumped them everywhere. I found her like this in her bedroom. It’s a good thing she is cute.

All of this to say, I think Abeka will be the winner for our homeschool from now on. It was always recommended, but so expensive that I tried to find something else. If you are interested in Abeka, you can e-mail them and ask about a trial of their video streaming. There are also sample videos that you can check out. There are a lot of worksheets with this curriculum, but that really helps to reinforce what is being taught.

This is absolutely not sponsored at all, I just want to share what we love because I have many friends that are thinking about homeschooling their kids. I’m happy to answer any questions that I can, but I am certainly not an expert!

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End of the Week Slump

Happy Friday!! How was your week? It’s been rough over here this week.

I have been battling one of my children all week about finishing school work. She has been finishing at dinner time.. seriously.. dinner.. hours after other kids are home from school she is still stubbornly fighting me.  Its no different than the parents whose kids battle them over doing homework. It’s just a struggle.

Yesterday was the first day she finished before dinner. I went to the post office to take care of an errand and then to steak and shake because.. well, HOLIDAY SHAKES. Apparently I shouldn’t have gone for the shakes because on my way home the van dinged at me about tire pressure.

No big deal, it does that sometimes with our front left tire. It says it’s a little lower than the others and then it adjusts and is fine. Our van has this cool feature where you can see the tire pressure in each tire. I kept driving and it dropped from 28 to 24. Hmm. Stop at a stop sign and it drops to 18. Shoot. Turn the corner and it’s 16. I roll the window down and hear air blowing. I get out and look and there is hole in the SIDE of the tire. A perfect circle. What on earth. I’m not THAT far from home.. maybe I can make it. Suddenly it drops to something like 9 PSI and I pull into a parking lot. I call Scott with no answer. My brother-in-law with no answer. My dad.. no answer. My mom..maybe she is with dad. No answer. COME ON, FAMILY!

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I walked home…leaving my milkshakes in the car because it was cold. I really wasn’t that far, but it was below freezing out and I was cold and incredibly frustrated. Christmas is soon and we still have one big gift to get. We were finally getting back on track after a difficult year and our stupid tire goes flat.

Scott walked to the van and put the spare on…and it was flat..  My dad showed up just in time to take Scott to get air in it. It all got taken care of and we have a brand new tire now. I’m still frustrated.. but I’m trying to focus on being thankful that I wasn’t any farther from home and that Dad was able to take Scott to get air in the spare.

I know that a flat tire isn’t that big of a deal. It could be so much worse. But, it’s been one of those years (the last few years have been) where every little thing goes wrong along with really major things happening. Everything just feels so unstable. I long for a little stability.

2018 will be better, right? I say that every year.

Moving on…  Look at this!

Gah. My heart. They grow up so fast. These little girls CANNOT wait for Christmas. Holidays get more and more magical every year. I can’t wait for Christmas either. But, wishing time away just makes them grow up faster. We have lots that we want to do before Christmas. I hope to do some holiday baking this weekend! There are so many Christmas cookies that we love to make, and the girls have lots of friends that they can give treats to.

I love this time of year.

I hope that all of your tires stay inflated and your weekend is slow and relaxing!

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Just Be

This was my day yesterday. I said that i was the day we were getting back into the grind after a long weekend. Nope. We got a slow start because the big girls slept in.. especially Chloe. They had a big day Monday, so I wasn’t surprised.When your child doesn’t wake up until 8, you get a much later start to the day.

We ate breakfast and were going to get started with school. I could see that one of the girls was really struggling. Addi had a REALLY rough day yesterday. Sometimes the enormity of what has been lost hits at very random times. I could see that we needed to slow down and just be. We snuggled on the couch all day watching Christmas movies and reading books. It felt really good.

Sometimes I think we need to pay closer attention. We are in tune with ourselves and realize when WE need a break. But, do we pay attention to our kids. They are little humans who are trying to figure out how to be people. They are figuring out how to deal with emotions and life. Sometimes we don’t show them any grace and we ignore the signs that they really need a little extra from us. Slow down, mamas. Pay attention and take a day to just be with your kids.

I am thankful that my husband works so hard so that I can stay at home and raise our daughters. I feel like I’m losing my mind a lot of every day. All stay-at-home moms do. But, I am grateful. Really really grateful. I haven’t missed a moment; good or bad.

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Weekend in Pictures

Happy Tuesday!! We had a bit of an extended weekend around here. Chloe took her turn spending the night with my mom and dad Sunday night into Monday. The past few months, she has ended up very upset at bedtime and has to call me to calm down. My mom let her invite Addi to come also, so they had time with Mimi and I had time with just Harper. It was a wonderful weekend; the first that Scott has had off in quite a while.

Friday evenings, we always make or order pizza and then watch a movie. We will obviously have Christmas movies on repeat around here.

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On Saturday, we had a full day. We went to the Christmas parade in town. My nephews were on the wrestling float and so stinking cute.

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Harper was holding her bag out before the parade even started. Girlfriend really wanted some candy. Chloe was the best big sister and gathred all the candy and filled Harper’s bag with candy she could have (dairy allergy). Cousin Eddie in the parade made my whole day.

The girls had their rehearsal for the Christmas program in the afternoon. After that, we went to Scott’s family Christmas/Thanksgiving party. I stayed up later to put  up some more decorations around the house. My bed was calling to me, and I was very thrilled to crawl under the warm covers and watch a Christmas movie.

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Harper was so tired she fell asleep on the way to church.

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Chloe and Addi had the church program Sunday night. Chloe had a line, and had been nervous for WEEKS leading up to it. She did such a great job and remembered all of her words. The girls sang their hearts out and I am so proud! This moment that I took a screenshot of may be my very favorite.

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The girls spent the night with Mimi and Papa. Mom had a full day planned with them on Monday. She sent me these pictures and my heart melted.

She taught them to sew with the sewing machine and made a gingerbread house. They went to the park and store and had so much fun. The girls couldn’t wait to show me their pillows and sleeping bags that they made for their Wellie Wisher dolls.  (Chloe’s / Addi’s)

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I basically snuggled with this peanut all day. It was a really perfect Monday!

We are back to the grind and dragging today, but our hearts all feel very full after a fun weekend full of family and fun activities.

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Weekend Links

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Happy December!! How on earth is it already DECEMBER?! This year has gone lightening fast.

This advent calendar is adorable. I’ve wanted to do an advent calendar for a while, but haven’t found the right one or the time. My girls would love this one.

This would smell SO good.

It’s time to stalk Jessica’s blog for all of the holiday inspiration. I love how she decorates her girls’ rooms each year. Mine would rip everything off the wall and destroy it.. so I’ll live vicariously through her..

Lists like this make me happy. Bring on all of the wellness information.

Wow.  (Our recycle bin got dropped off last week and I was giddy.)

If you need a laugh, read this.

 

It’s a short and sweet list today. I hope you have a good weekend. We have a FULL weekend ahead, and I already need a nap.