Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Project Life ::: Weeks 19 & 20

Beware - lots of pictures ahead! : )

Weeks 19 and 20 of Project Life are caught up. (Also, weeks 21 & 22, but that would have made this post obscenely long and I just couldn't do that to anyone). : ) You can click any picture to see it bigger in Flickr.

This is the full page layout of week 19 (May 1-7). I have an 8 1/2 x 11 page protector in the middle with some extra memorabilia in it.

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On the left:
Sunday: while the big girls were at choir, my BFF and her two little boys came over to hang with me and B until it was time to pick up all our big kids. B & J curled up on the couch together to watch an episode of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. Super cute.
Monday: Two days in a row with my BFF and her family! This is N2 and her best buddy - the little kids went over there while T & I had a parent-teacher conference with N1's teacher. Then we shared dinner with them which was a huge treat.
Tuesday: Super Daddy in the garage - raising bike seats, tightening training wheels. Just being an all-round great Dad.
Extras: In the first journaling spot, I put a wallet size photo of E that my Dad took. (Used one of these frames from the Frames for Caitlyn kit).

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On the front of the 8 1/2 x 11 insert is B's birthday interview. I guess should have moved the bookmark so you could see all of it. Oops. : ) I still need to add a picture of her and me as well (that's what the square is for).

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On the back is a one-page layout about the boy - I had this picture from the week that I wanted to include, and since I had the whole back of the 8 1/2 x 11 page, I just did a quick layout.

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Page 2 of week 19:
Wednesday: baking LOTS of mini chocolate cupcakes for B's 4th birthday.
Thursday: we had a little birthday playdate to celebrate B's birthday. Not an official party - we'll do that when we're five, but we did have a few of her little girlfriends over for some coloring, bubbles and playing dress-up. A very girly afternoon indeed. : )
Friday: a busy day! N1 had her field day with her tutorial and we spent part of that with her. The photo below shows how I used one of those 4x6 flip up protectors to add a few more pictures for the day. Underneath is a picture of her with her 3-legged race partner and a picture of N2 riding a two-wheeler! (If it's not one child growing up and learning something new, it's another!)
Saturday: made my mom's strawberry pie in preparation for her birthday lunch tomorrow.

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Week 20 - overview with an extra 8 1/2 x 11 again:

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Sunday: a photo of the two birthday girls that we were celebrating at lunch. It was a good day. : )
Monday: A photo taken of N1 and me at the Mother's Day tea at her school. What a sweet time.
Tuesday: We made the journey to see the boy cousin at his kindergarten play. These girls think that M hung the moon so it was a big deal to see him in his school performance debut.


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The insert holds all the Mother's Day cards that the girls made for me this year. On the back is a coloring page that B made at Awana - she's gotten a LOT better about more coloring and less scribbling this year.

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I actually have a 2nd insert between these two pages as well. This is a picture and letter that N1 made for me for the Mother's Day tea. The students read the letters to the moms and then the moms shared something with the students that they loved about them. Not a lot of dry eyes at this!

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Page 2 of this week:
Wednesday: a little school shot.
Thursday: any free time I had was spent curled up with my Kindle reading the new Penderwicks book. It did not disappoint! (The 2nd journal spot from the left shows my Amazon email for the book which I included).
Friday: some pictures of the boy out in the front yard. If you scroll down you will see that the picture of him in the middle journaling section is a foldover card - I cropped a picture of him for the front and then you can open it to read the journaling.
Saturday: N2, the boy and I went to a baby shower on Saturday and got to catch up with one of our favorite friends and babysitter. (Side note: so glad that she is home from college for the summer! This is a girl that I babysat when she was about 2-3 so we have come full-circle with her. Love that.) She was enjoying catching up on some E time while we visited.

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As always, thank you for your patience as I share these photos. Have a great Tuesday!

Friday, May 27, 2011

She @ 7.5

August 2010:

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May 2011:

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She:

- is 7 1/2 going on 14
- loves reading, reading, reading
- still has a very selective culinary palate (which is my kind way of saying she is seriously picky about food)
- loves to write letters and mail them
- loves to draw and pour over craft books
- is full of BIG ideas
- is a spectacular big sister to the boy. Seriously, she is fabulous with him.
- loves anything to do with nature which right now includes exploring the creek behind our house and catching cicadas.
- Is a seriously cool second grader.

Time sure flies.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

What's On Your Nightstand ::: May '11

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This may be my new mantra. : ) Another long night with a fussy boy leaves me a little wiped out today. We got through the morning with a showing of Monsters, Inc. and have made it to rest time with all of us still in one piece and the house even picked up a little.

However, in lieu of a nice newsy nightstand post, I leave you with actual pictures of my nightstand.

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I've not made much of a dent in my goals from last month - I did finish The Mission of Motherhood (excellent!) and started Made to Crave (looks promising!) but was sidelined by two other books that were on my Kindle: The Penderwicks at Point Mouette by Jeanne Birdsall and Don't Make Me Come Up There by Kristen Welch.

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Besides Made to Crave which I'm reading right now, the only other books I would like to START in June is Radical by David Platt. Our women's group at church is going to be reading that together this summer and from what I've heard, I'm going to want to read that one slowly. Otherwise, at this point, I'm making no promises as to what I will accomplish. However, the fact that we have eight weeks of summer schedule ahead of us makes fitting a bit more reading time promising.

For more Nightstand posts, visit Five Minutes for Books.

Monday, May 23, 2011

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Outside my Window ... a gray, drizzly day. We're supposed to have rain several days this week and, although I know the girls will be a bit disappointed to not start this first day of summer break out on their bikes, I'm looking forward to the slow start to this Monday.

I am thinking ... that I'm not really feeling ready for this week! I was hoping to have a better grasp of what our summer routine would look like and what I would like to do with the girls, but last week wiped me out. The baby started the week cutting two bottom teeth and ended the week with a double ear infection + pinkeye. Poor boy. Add to that all the end of school stuff and we were either on the go or I was walking around holding a little guy that didn't want anything but Mama. 

I am thankful for ... a boy that is feeling better! Our nighttime sleep is still a bit off because we were waking up because we didn't feel good so I'm hoping to get that back somewhat normal this week. (He still doesn't sleep through the night yet, but we've added a few extra wake-ups that I'd like wean back out). Thankfully, he has gone back to being super-napper baby and those will help me catch up some today!

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If the boy will sit still enough for a sister to cuddle him, he is not feeling 100%!

In the learning room ... school is out at our little homeschool academy for the summer. N1 ran her grades out to the mailbox this morning so the last bit of paperwork is done. We are going to work on the rest of our math through the summer, but otherwise, the school books are put away for awhile

From the kitchen ... chicken for soft tacos in the crockpot, working on my menu plan for the next week out. I have been a die-hard once a month shopper (for the most part) for several years now and that system has worked well for me. However, over the summer I'm going to try planning and shopping a week at a time. I am trying to incorporate more fresh produce into the rotation - especially as all the good summer stuff is available - but that doesn't work as well on the once a month rotation. Also, I find planning a month of summer meals at a time harder. (Is that just me?) When it gets hot outside, I don't feel like cooking as much so planning for a whole month of meals just isn't as appealing.

I am creating ... working on catching up a couple weeks of Project Life and hope to post those this week. Creating plans for our fall schooling as well. Lots of lists are in process. : )

I am going ... to take three girls to the dentist this afternoon. Fun stuff. We are going to try and go to one of the nephew's baseball games this week, but otherwise, lots of home time which I am so excited about.

I am wearing ... brown capri pants and a brown and white flowered shirt. 

I am reading ... The Usual Suspects (a Grimm Sisters Mystery) (pre-reading for N1) and trying to decide what non-fiction book to start. I have so many good ones that I'm dying to read this summer that I may have to make myself assignments to get them done. : ) I actually did spend a few minutes on Saturday putting everything I would like to read that was already on my shelf in a basket by my bed - I guess I need to go peruse the pile and just pick something! : ) 

I am hoping ... to get a date night on the calendar this week! T and I had tentative plans to go out Sunday night, but things never really locked in so that it worked and I will admit that I really want to go see the new Pirates of the Caribbean movie in the theater. I have a hidden weakness for good (clean) action movies and special effects. : )

I am hearing ... little girls playing make-believe with our princesses and other little dolls. Happy sounds of the first day of summer break.

Around the house ... the house needs a little TLC which I'm hoping to hit this week. I just hit the basics last week with the constant holding of the sick/teething boy and I have a few hot spots I want to tackle. Some outgrown clothes need to move on, need to purge a few things off the bookshelves, and our school stuff from this year needs filing and put away. 

One of my favorite things ... my girlfriends. I came late into the game on close girlfriends due to lots of moves growing up. However, I am more than making up for that now. On Saturday night, I was able to host three of my dear friends for dinner while my most fabulous husband took the girls out for ice cream. We stayed up until 1:45 a.m. talking and even though I didn't get much sleep, my spirit was so refreshed. Love you my friends - thank you so much for coming over and hanging in my space this weekend!

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A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week ... I think I've mentioned much of what we have going on above - laundry, dentist, baseball game, etc. And did I mention school's out? : )

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you ...

Candy Land


Lots of Candy Land happening around here lately. Love the age when little ones figure out how to play this one on their own.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Food Friday ::: Mom's Strawberry Pie

Mom's Strawberry Pie

This is our go-to recipe for my Mom's birthday - a strawberry pie she discovered in a church cookbook many years ago. This is a recipe that is practically impossible for me to mess up (unlike my Grandma's coconut creme pie recipe that I butchered last weekend. The meringue did me in).

The secret (my mom swears) is the 7-up/cornstarch that makes the gel that firms up the pie. I have to confess that I used sprite to make my pie, but it doesn't really matter as long as it's a lemon-lime soda and NOT diet.

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Read Aloud Thursday ::: The Search for Boy Books



With the boy's 1st birthday a mere five months away, I have decided that it's time to start investigating some good boy's picture books that we may need to add to our family shelves. While we have a few classics (Mike Mulligan and the Steam Shovel and Lentil) we really don't have a lot that fit the bill for some reason. The girls have pretty dominated our book buying efforts so far. : )

I recently checked out four books at the library that looked promising after having seen them on someone's blog (which escapes me now, maybe Melissa Wiley's blog?) Anyway, these definitely fit the bill for the boy and the little girls enjoyed several reads of them as well.

I'm Big!I'm Bad!
I'm Mighty!I Stink!

I'm Big, I'm Bad, I'm Mighty!, and I Stink! (there is also I'm Dirty, but my library system didn't have it) are written by Kate & Jim McMullan. These books are very bold and colorful - that is what you first notice when you pick them up. I'm Bad talks about life from the perspective of a tyrannosaurus rex - he's mean and fierce ... no, wait. He's just a little guy and he's hungry! I'm Big comes from a brachiosauraus (I think that's what it is - obviously I will need to learn my dinosaur names) and he towers over the rest of the dinosaurs ... while looking for his lost herd. These two were probably my favorite of this mix. I loved how the dinosaurs in both books were trying to talk big and tough (just like little boys do) but it's wasn't over the top or obnoxious.

The other two in the pile - I'm Mighty and I Stink - did less for me. They weren't terrible, but the other two just out shone them, if that's a good way to put it. I Stink is the day-in-the-life of a garbage truck and all he goes around to pick up and smash. I'm Mighty is about a little tug boat that can do a really big job. I probably won't add all four of these to our shelves, but I would guess if we don't buy at least I'm Big and I'm Bad, we'll visit them again at the library.

Our current chapter book read-aloud is The Penderwicks: A Summer Take of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy. I can't believe I haven't blogged the Penderwicks before so definitely more on this soon!


For more Read Aloud Thursday, visit Amy at Hope is the Word!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Pruning

One of my favorite things about our new house are the rose bushes in the front yard. I do not have a green thumb at ALL so finding these this spring was a true delight.

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A friend stopped by recently and told me that these roses will bloom all summer long if the dead flowers are regularly pruned so that new growth can occur.

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While the girls rode their bikes for a bit before lunch, I found an old pair of shears (and the girls helped me some with our kitchen scissors) and went to work trimming the dead parts. It didn't take long before I had filled an entire lawn trash bag with dead rose tops ... and I know I missed some!

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As I pruned, I thought about how Jesus uses the vine throughout the New Testament. As we are winding up this 2010-2011 school year, I have been thinking about taking some time to evaluate where I need to do a little pruning as a Mama, a teacher, a wife.

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While I continued to cut on my bushes so many comparisons to pruning plants and pruning lives jumped into my head. As I pricked myself (multiple times) on thorns, I thought about how some pruning cuts a little close and might draw blood and pain.

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Occasionally I trimmed a branch that had a dead flower and a brand new bud on it and realized that sometimes you have to sacrifice something good along with the bad to get something even better - more new growth!

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I love having this tangible reminder that if we accept the pruning, we have new growth to look forward to. Looking forward to what I'm going to learn this summer and where God is going to have me grow.

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