Sunday, January 30, 2011

It took a little longer than I thought to have my little treat, but I finally had it today and slowly enjoyed it all day long. Literally. I started at 9 AM and finished at 9:30 pm. I think I'm good for a bit!
Ok, so the project we've been working on is a school room built into our garage! We only put one car in, anyway, and we needed more space with little investment right now. Dad helped my brother do it in his garage, so he already knew what I needed. One of my friends from babyhood and his wife came and helped, too. It's taken 3 partial days of work, but we've got the walls up, sheetrocked, insulated, and 1/2 painted. I have a door into the garage so we can go through, still, and the door I thought didn't open going outside is functioning and the nasty paint on the window is gone! Sunlight! (Insert singing.) The great thing is that I found the money stashed away in a kitchen cabinet to cover anything we didn't already have to use at home. God is so good like that. We even have carpet and padding we'd used for the kids' rooms left over to use for the floor. So, in a few days, we should have it all together and begin the process of moving things out of the house and scattered closets and into one room. The thing I'm excited about? My big white board! The thing Catherine is excited about? Hanging up her work on the wall. Samuel isn't so excited, and Hannah doesn't comment. Caleb just wants to be out playing in the toy nook we made. I'll post pictures as soon as I can.
We enjoyed beautiful days last week, and tried to take advantage of it. We took walks and played outside. It's so good for Hannah to be out in the back yard "racing" with the others across the yard. She actually walked pretty far the day we took our walk. She's been sleeping very well as a result!
The snow is headed our way this week, so that all stops. Buddy got a fast sled for the kids to use, so we're eagerly awaiting the first use. Sammy had a blast running around in the last snow, but he got a little too excited about his freedom and ran farther away than I'd have liked to chase him. I'm thinking this week might be good for playing games we haven't in a while, reading good books, baking, playing, and organizing.
Anyone have good tips on training Sammy to NOT chew on everything he sees? There is not too much sacred to him, and he's 2 1/2. We have bones, balls, toys, stuffed dog toys, but he finds pens, crayons, little figures, paper, ziploc bags, ANYTHING that might be left on the floor briefly. We're working on little people picking things up quickly, too.
Have a happy one!

Monday, January 24, 2011

One thing I've discovered in my reflections of how I live is that it's ok to have a treat for myself once in a while. I always felt guilty if I had something that I didn't share with everyone, and would do without rather than not have enough for everyone else or even eat after the kids were in bed. Sounds good, self-sacrificing, and all that. However, with a busy schedule full of demands on me all day (and most nights) by the 5 humans and various animals, it's something that I decided was ok. We need to refresh ourselves through time alone, time with God, and times when you say- God wants me to enjoy good things just because He loves me. One of the things I discovered is a salted carmel hot chocolate at Starbucks. Not too sweet and just the right balance of flavor. Of course, for my sugar avoiding diet, it was a bit of a shock at first. However, I had a second one a few weeks after the first, and it was still as good as I remembered. Tomorrow, when my parents come over to help me finish a project, mom and I are going to sneak out and get one together. Everytime I've had one, it's been over good, refreshing conversations. Tomorrow will be no exception. So, next time you need a little pick me up, head on over, or find that secret stash of chocolate (or the wacky cake on your counter- mine has a fabulous glaze on the top) and have a bite. It's good for what ails you. :)

Saturday, January 22, 2011

So, after such a long break in blogging, I have a bit to catch up on. Where to start? Time has flown by so quickly that it's hard to remember, sadly. I do have pictures, but I'm having a hard time downloading from my card. Doesn't this sound like a recurring theme?

We had a fabulous Christmas- we were blessed with a get away for a week in a beautiful condo, coming home Christmas morning, driving through snow. Perfect! Hannah enjoyed all the presents and spent a lot of time figuring out what belonged to whom. Good memory for that! She really liked opening the packages and got excited about the opening equally as the actual present. It seemed like everyone got just what they wanted. Pillow pets for the younger 3 were a huge hit. The only exception was Samuel, who did not get 1 Lego set for the first time in probably 6 or 7 years of birthdays and Christmases. He did get some really neat camping things, though that he'll be using in Scouts, so that was very nice. We got blessed with a cute little Cocker Spaniel named Sammy. He's 2.5 and very sweet, great with the kids, doesn't bark much or drool, hasn't had any accidents at our house, and fits right in to the family. Right now he's an indoor dog, but Samuel and Grandpa worked together, actually all the kids had a hand in helping a little, to make him a really cute house. The cats aren't so pleased, but we're working out the differences.

We were very happy to be back with or homeschool group, although we really enjoyed our time on break. We baked and cooked and played outside and used a lot of Grandpa's tools every chance we got. It's so helpful to have a routine that we use to keep us on track. Things go by the wayside too often if we have too much time on our hands with no real necessity to get them done. School balances us. Starting the year out, I really evaluated how things were going in our house and what I could do differently, and what each person's responsibility could be in the home to make it run more smoothly. We at down and talked it out, wrote out what we needed to do each day and week, and it's helped a lot. There were days I felt so overloaded with all the responsibility I have of caring for a family of 6, homeschooling, and helping with business. It was more than I needed to be carrying, and it was my choice to let things go as they had. I have very capable children. I wasn't making the best used of their skills and this developmental time in their lives. Habits formed now will make a huge difference in their futures. They are responsible for many things around the house, and for the results of their choices to care for others in the family or to add to others' loads. We've been working on that the past few weeks and I see a big improvement in not blaming or making excuses like they used to. They still try, but don't get away with it as much as I used to let them. Even Caleb is having to step up and do age appropriate things. How does Hannah fit in this? She's a very eager helper, so given the chance to be part of any project, even those beyond her, she's all for it.

Catherie turned 9 last Saturday, and we celebrated with a baking party. (Why can't I get the pictures to open!?!) 3 of her friends came over and make mini cupcakes from scratch, donuts, and jumbo lemon-poppy seed muffins. What a great time they had. The time flew by so fast, I wasn't ready for it to be over when it was! Of course, chatting with the moms was great for me.
I've watched C really come up over the past few months. She's becoming a sweet little lady, fun of life and a cute sense of humor. I'm glad she still likes to snuggle, for my sake!

Tonight is the city-wide finals for the cub scouts pine wood derby. Samuel designed his car this year and did most of the work himself. While he didn't do as well as in past years when Buddy did the work for him, but he was quite pleased. One of the dads let him run his car for the finals. He was so excited and blessed.

I'm sure there are many more things to share, but wanted to at least get into the groove again.
Have a blessed week!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

A good book, a candle, a hot bath, a cup of tea, a quiet house.... These are a few of my favorite things. Off to enjoy them all at once!

Monday, January 3, 2011

We're still alive, not in hiding, just been a very busy month. To top it off, I misplaced the charger for my camera. Seems to be a reoccuring theme, sadly. However, it was discovered over the weekend, plus I swiped some pictures from my mom's camera!
Hannah thoroughly enjoyed her first Thanksgiving and Christmas as a Wright. It was cute to see her reactions. She's going through a "mine" stage, so this was extra special as she opened presents or we bought things at the store. She's very good at pointing out what belongs to whom.
We had some good adventures and learning times over the past weeks, and some fun experiences to share, too. However, children are needing me, and I've got some other work to do.
Hope everyone had a great Christmas, and that you new year is blessed beyond measure with all the good things God has in store for us.