Friday, December 30, 2011

Sneak Peak // Project Life 2012


The two journaling cards come with the Clementine kit. I added the "S6".


This is the first year that I've played with the title page of my album and made it more "us." The pics are of the kids over the last six months-ish, and the bottom family pic was the one with our Christmas cards.


I've been enjoying sneaks of other first pages that I've seen around: Stephanie Howell, Cathy Zielske, and other linked here on this page. So excited to start another year of this project.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

All Here


My one little word for 2012 has found me. I've been spending some of our days off pondering over 2011 - what I learned from last year's one little word and what changes I would like to make going forward. Twenty-eleven was a good year. We moved. We enjoyed (and still are!) an amazing and sweet baby boy. We have kept up with three wild and crazy girls. T has a great job that he continues to enjoy after celebrating ten years with the company this year. I haven't lost my mind or gone completely grey from being home with kids day after day after day. Last year's word was serve and in retrospect it suited perfectly as I continued to serve my family (both close and extended) and friends in new and hopefully better ways. Attempting to follow God's prompting in certain situations instead of my comfort level.

This year's word is: here. I want to focus on being more fully present wherever I am. This word has two parts to me: 

(1) More single-minded. If I'm hanging out with T, be here with him. If I'm with the kids, be  here with them. Not half-listening to little people chatter as my mind and/or hands do other things. Be fully present and active in the activity that I'm doing whether it's schooling little ones, drinking coffee with the guy, chatting with a friend, reading a book, working on housework ... and the list can go on. There is much time that I feel like know I wasted in 2011 by not giving 100%. Twenty-twelve won't be perfect, but it will be a step in the right direction towards changing that.

Lunch for little people.
Fully here while making lunch for little people means sitting down to eat with them instead of standing at the counter.

And (2) be more me if that makes sense. It's too easy to not be all here when I want. To be quiet and let others carry the conversation. To not sit in silence and really think the deep, thinkerly hard thoughts that I avoid.    To really be here when I spend time with Jesus and then see how that plays out in my days.

All he wants is simply you - minus your good works, minus your perfect attendance, minus your politeness. When you really believe that, you may discover that all you want is Jesus. Not just to get to heaven or to help you be a good person or do the right thing, but to simply love and be loved by him.
-Emily P. Freeman, Grace for the Good Girl

My thoughts are jumbled, but I'm started to get that glimmer of what God might be trying to teach me and move me towards in the days ahead. Exciting. Scary. Pretty fabulous.

This is the deep part of my thoughts towards Twenty-Twelve and what I hope to see happen in the next twelve months. : ) I also have some pretty random ones that include learning how to really make bread this next year (with the exception of pizza crust which I have got down cold), losing all the baby weight (or take steps in that direction), and other happy projects.

Whatever may come, Twenty-Twelve is going to be a great year.

This is the day that the Lord has made
I will rejoice and be glad in it.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A Random Review // Totally Together Journal

When one cleans off their desk, one might find a book they were sent this summer to review and didn't. Oops.

I was sent a copy of the Totally Together Journal this summer - a nifty book that is both "a planner and organizing system to help women conquer chaos." 

This book combines a practical planner with a smart system for women who are feeling frenzied (that is, most of them!). With sets of daily, weekly, monthly, and season to-dos, Totally Together lets women manage their priorities and prevent molehills from turning into mountains. 

As we are almost on top of the new year, and time for folks to make resolutions such as staying on top of housework better, getting organized and ready with a cleaning rotation for the house, etc., I thought that (even though this review is about six months overdue) now is a good time to mention this book! It's written by Stephanie O'Dea, who is also the author of the highly popular Crockpot 365 blog that I've mentioned one or a hundred times on the blog. She has broken down a routine for keeping on top of housework, email, and the general to-do list that makes sense. The book starts with an explanation of her system and her "daily 7" and then ends with a planner with little check boxes so you can see what you have accomplished (or still have left to do as the case may be).

In my perusal of this book, I found it to be very handy as far as wrapping my brain around housecleaning routines. My one issue with the book is just the format. It is published as a handy little spiral notebook which is a little cumbersome to tote around the house, when I already have a planner with everything else in it that I use faithfully. If one could download the checklists as a PDF to print and put in my notebook or hang on my fridge, I think it would get more use from me.

Still, if you need a jumping off spot as you start the new year, this book is worth a look. 

Thank you to Berkley Publishing for sending me a copy to review and my apologies for the delay of this review! I have received no compensation for this review other than a copy of the book.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

December Daily // December 23-26

December 23: cousins playing Uno. I love the fact that they all were hee-hawing about something in this picture they thought was funny.



December 24:


December 25: I'll probably go back and journal some here - either on the back of the 24th or on the back of the 25th. I haven't decided yet. : )



December 26:


I'll probably just have one more wrap-up of my album. I'm planning on Saturday, the 31st, being my last day. Project Life 2012 starts on Sunday and I can't wait to break out my new kit. The Clementine kit and album was given to me by my sister for Christmas and it is so pretty. I'm trying to refrain from going ahead and breaking into it as I finish out my 2011 album! ; )

Christmas Recap

A little Christmas recap from the last few days. As with Thanksgiving, our family plans fluctuated back and forth until everything actually happened. We ended up having a fun Christmas Eve Eve evening with just our crew here at home. I had planned some appetizer-y things for dinner at some point last weekend and I broke it all out on Friday night to go with our Family Movie Night pick of the week. Smurfs. (It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. Almost cute in fact. But not cute enough that I wish I had put it in someone's stocking).

Our menu: pigs in a blanket, hot ham and cheese sandwiches, homemade cream cheese apple dip, and chocolate chip cookie dough dip. The apple dip will definitely be made again; the cookie dough dip was SUPER rich. Delicious but almost sickeningly sweet. Good in very small quantities.


Christmas Eve boy shot. He is becoming increasingly hard to photograph. So much movement.


The uncle. Always a good sport.


Grandpa and the boy. Waiting for stockings to open.


The boy didn't really get why he was supposed to put his hand in a long, dark, sock-like hole, but he went along with it with a little help.


Gift success this year - matching Wonder Woman jammies for my sister and niece. Score. : )


N1 got a game of Monopoly from the neighbors. She, N2 and her Daddy have now been playing the same game for three days. Truly, the gift that keeps on giving. I think there is hope they might finish the game today.


My shiny new popcorn popper. The old one was broken, but I kept holding it together because once you switch to stove-top popcorn you can't go back to microwave.



New scooters. Plus four kids sporting their "cool" faces. Hee.


Christmas lunch. A feast. My mom's chicken enchiladas and Mexican dip. (The hot dogs to the side were for the boy.)


Such a good Christmas.


Friday, December 23, 2011

December Daily 19 - 22

A few December Daily pages...

December 19: Date night. There was Italian food, Irish reels, Christmas carols, no cell service at the symphony hall, and a babysitter. You really can't top a night like that.

Up close. Glitter letters from the alphabet set that came with my Elle's Studio Christmas kit.


The right page is from the front of the program. There were people taking (non-flash) photos there, but I decided not to pull my camera out and just enjoy the evening.


December 20: A fun little "currently" form from this blog that I filled out today and included in the album. I would love to fill one of these out for everyone in the family and may work towards adding a few more of these today as I can snag munchkins to sit a second and help me fill it out. : ) The right picture is one I snapped from our Community Group Christmas get-together.





December 21: We had a low-key day today. My nephew was over and I threw all the kids outside for the morning. There was a promise of the Christmas movie after lunch, but it was cool and sunny all morning and they desperately needed air and exercise. : )


The boy LOVES it when his big sissy gives him a ride on the tricycle. She balances him on the seat and sits behind and pedals.


December 22: There has been much crafting the last few days. T and N1 went to Michael's and scored on a bunch of little craft kits and the girls have taken turns at the counter and worked on gifts for cousins.


Happy Christmas Eve Eve. We have the cousin here for 1/2 a day (they are currently playing Uno quietly up in the school room - a Christmas miracle!) and then we are going to load up and go visit Daddy at his office before he is off for the long Christmas weekend. We have little girls getting very very excited about Christmas at our house!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Project Life // December 11 - 17

This is apparently turning into a scrapbooking catch-up blog. If you aren't into the scrapbook pages, feel free to pass them by. Blogging them (when I remember and have time) has been a great accountability to keep working on them and stay up to date. And it's a good little weekly overview for the grandma's of what we have been doing. : )


On the left: a big overview shot of the girls' Christmas progam (the insert holds the program that was handed out) and I've included more details of their concert in my December Daily album here. Also, included is a fun quote from N2 regarding some books she picked out at the library and a funny story from the girls about a VCR that we have borrowed. We haven't had a VCR in probably 10 years, so the fact that we have one here on loan has opened up a whole new world of things they can check out at the library and I let them pick out a few tapes to bring home. As I was putting one in, I was trying to read the buttons and they asked me if I needed them to go get Daddy to help me with this new machine. Ha. : )


Love the picture of N1 from last week's zoo trip on the journaling insert card. She was so excited that one of the birds FINALLY landed on her.


On the back of the 8 1/2 x 11 insert is the old cover from the book N1 was reading and finished. We're going to read this book again together in January as we study Colonial America.


The right side: a pic of the little girls from the zoo, a collage of a fun math activity that N2 & B did to finish up our fall semester of school. Math + m&m's = fun. : ) The bottom include the program from a Christmas play we attended at another church and a photo of a book that I am excited about reading over our Christmas break!




Tuesday, December 20, 2011

December Daily // December 16-18

December 16: our last Friday Fun School of the year, complete with extra friends, lots of playtime, performances from the little girls directed by the big girls, yummy lunch and conversation between mamas, and completely forgetting/running out of time to do our story and craft because there was so much fun going on.


December 17: N1 had the opportunity to go to a special holiday concert with her Girl Scout troop and afterwards there was time to try out some of the instruments. She came home and asked for a cello for Christmas. : )


December 18: documenting our Christmas movies, something I don't think that I've done in any of my previous December Daily albums. I love Christmas movies and we only get ours out at Christmas time. I included some thoughts on this tradition, plus a list of the Christmas movies that we have on the back of the library card.


T and I also enjoy watching the Lord of the Rings trilogy in December ... makes for inexpensive stay-at-home date nights after the kids go to bed. Granted, I can't stay awake as late as I used to and that means that we can make the movies last even more nights as we usually end up watching one movie over the course of several evenings. : ) I've already mentioned to him that when The Hobbit comes out next Christmas in the theater we need to add that to our Christmas to-do list. : )