Wednesday, February 4, 2015

My New Wall!

This orange wall just used to! Now it is happier :) I got the idea here... add some brushstrokes and voila! New and pattern-ful! First I started by painting on white brushstrokes...but Dave and I agreed that it looked like we were trying to patch the I added smaller gray brushstrokes and then a tiny black line.

 It just makes me happy when I walk around the corner and bam! Fun! The best thing- it took about 15 minutes and a tiny bit of paint. Win-win. Here is where it all started......

 My friend had a baby and we decided to paint with the gray brush strokes for his little room. We were going to only do one wall, and ended up painting the whole room- it almost looks like wallpaper. 

This paint technique is very addicting. I have since done another wall in my house! I'll show you soon :-)

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Whole30 Favorite Recipes

Dave and I did a whole23 (haha!). That means we cheated and quit at 23 days instead of 30 days. ((What is here.)) At day 23 we decided to allow a few more things into our diet such as honey and chocolate and maybe regular store bought salad dressing. We are still eating a ton of fruit and veggies, meat and nuts...but adding in a few extras. I LOVE, LOVE how I feel while eating this way- tons of energy and never hungry.

The only drawbacks to the diet, for us, was the cost...[it is hard to get used to spending a full $50 more a week to make sure you have enough food to eat!] ...and the prep work. I was cooking from scratch every single meal! Eggs and meat and vegetables and soups and salad dressing...I had my food processor out all day! But, we have found some great recipes, and will definitely keep making them and incorporating as much whole30 as we can.

Here are our favorite recipes:

Sweet and Salty Crunchy Coconut (LOVE this!!!! Made for the Super Bowl)

Apple Butter (really good with pork chops, or pork sliced real thin and fried with ghee)

 Tangerine sauce (great on chicken and shrimp)

Spaghetti squash and meatballs in the crock pot (LOVE! So easy! I also added Italian seasoning to the meatballs and sauce)

Sweet Potato Fritters

Chili  (made for the super bowl)

My Whole30 pinboard

It feels really good when you serve your family a meal that is 100% whole food, a ton of veggies, and no added preservatives....but it also feels good to add in a few cheats and to eat normal sometimes too. The worst feeling was going to our friends' house and not eating the pizza! I felt like such a heal! So a lot of healthy with a bit of normal will hopefully work for us.

A healthy little treat....chocolate peanut butter bars....Oh my goodness, these are good...I love almond flour and almond butter...the crust is made from almond flour. Very tasty and healthy.

I would love to hear if you've tried the whole30 way of life. Or Paleo?

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Sweet Season

There's always a favorite art project/ornament...this year it is the pour paint ornaments. They were so fun and satisfying. Just get the clear glass balls, pop off the top and pour in some paint. Twist and turn the ball until all the glass is covered inside, then pour out excess paint. The strawberry was a very close second!

Art class in December is magical and I nearly freaked out when I saw the kids' snowglobes :-)

I hope you have a Wonderful Christmas :) We are amazed at God's kindness and Awesomeness. Lots to celebrate.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

The Good and the Bad

I have been sick all week. (that's the bad part) But there have been lots of good parts! My kids have been adorably helpful and nice to their Mama. Dave has made suppers and even a cake! Last night he asked what I wanted for supper and I said cake :) He made it....a yellow cake with chocolate frosting.

The one who was the most happy that I was sick was Sadie because she could sit by me 24/7. She gets real frustrated on those days when I do not sit down. She *needs* people to sit with her. It's her dream. So all week she has been my constant companion. The kids sat with me too, although I was worried all week that they would catch what I have (flu-like symptoms; fever, aches, sore throat, cough,)

Funky Fire photo from Thanksgiving

We watched a few movies these past few weeks and WOW! We usually have a knack for picking really bad the fact that the last 3 movies we have watched have been great is pretty wonderful and a record for us! I'll put them in order from Awesome down to really good:

#1 The Hundred Foot Journey (LOVED this movie!) So inspiring...made me want to start cooking lessons with my kids while speaking French to them and opening my house to strangers and feeding them fresh tomatoes and olives from my garden. No, really....I can speak a tiny bit of French...I just cannot grow tomatoes for the life of me. Dave and I enjoyed every minute of this movie. I am going to make the kids watch it next. The colors, sounds, smells, and tastes of this movie will make you smile. (a feast for your senses :-)) (although I hate to give such a glowing review because then, when you watch it you may be was perfect for us because we had no idea what the movie would be like, and from our track record, we figured it would be the worst movie maybe that it why we were so happy. Just get the movie and eh, maybe you'll like it.... :-/ )

#2 The Giver (LIKED this movie) I have loved the book and I enjoyed the family enjoyed this movie. It was different in ways from the book, but I could still enjoy it. Very creative, especially the black & white/color thing.

#3 Upside Down (liked this movie....maybe better than The Giver? Might be a tie for #2) This was an amazingly creative movie. I loved the concept. Science fiction, but believable and very interesting (Dave would not agree so much on the believable part...) The colors and textures were nice too. LOVED the 2 main actors; adorable.

So that was the good part about being sick. Having time to watch some good movies in the comfort of my home with my dear family waiting on me hand and foot....It has taken me all week to see the good in being sick, and now I am gearing up to be almost 100% better :) Hopefully, you, my readers, are feeling fine!

p.s. I almost forgot that we also finally watched Mr Peabody and Sherman with the kids and it was really cute and worth a watch too :)

Monday, December 1, 2014

Turkey is the Best!

We had a nice Thanksgiving with friends this year...relaxing and cozy. I haven't made a turkey in years. It was so yummy....we had leftovers for days....I love thanksgiving leftovers and then turkey soup. I hope your Thanksgiving was wonderful and cozy too :)

We tried to make the little ice cream cone cornucopia that you see all over pinterest with the end curled up...but it didn't seem to work for just broke and crumbled when we tried to heat and roll....but that's ok- we had a straight ended cornucopia and everyone was fine with that :) The M&Ms were appreciated too....

Friday, November 21, 2014

Thanks Giving

November has been beautiful. I am so thankful for this month. We usually spend thanksgiving with Dave's family. But this year they are gone to other parts of the country so we will be home and spending it here with friends. I *know* if we would not have been planning to be here for Thanksgiving that I would have our Christmas trees up and trimmed this week. Since we will be here, it has been nice to focus on Thanksgiving a little more and decorate the house for it.

We wanted to spray paint some leaves for a garland, so I ended up taking the gold paint outside and spraying the leaves directly on the trees. With any other color this would have been weird...but the gold lightly misted other leaves in the area, and now (even after I picked the leaves and took them in for the garland) our outside trees look fairy dusted :)

We made the turkeys in art class. Sooo cute. We also made yellow school buses out of large poster board, Indian corn drawings, watercolor leaves, and pipe cleaner sculptures- NO! I didn't get pictures of all of the projects! just have to imagine the cuteness :-)

And the leaves have been gorgeous! (not just my golden leaves) Our yard is beautiful and when I see the piles of leaves on the ground I do not despair- leaves on the ground means work for the kids to do! And exercise for me.

Happy Thanksgiving! SOOOOOOOOOO much to be thankful for :-)

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

(this is a warning*) An Overly Sappy Post on Homeschooling and Our Stage in Life

The kids are ages 8, 11, and 13. This is an amazing time of life....I am so thankful and pinch myself almost everyday, saying, "I don't deserve this life"

God has blessed us in so many ways. I have to write and give Him the glory. He is kind and generous to allow us this privilege to teach and train our children.

I am so thankful for our kids. I hang out with these guys every day! We laugh together...and they laugh at me when I cry :) For example, we were reading a book together in school, Out of Many Waters. We finally finished this book and I could not read the ending because of my tears :) It was a great book, and we get to read these wonderful books together and discuss them and learn and grow. I have the privilege of spending time with my children reading scriptures together. We read and talk and discuss. We share our dreams and they share many (many!) jokes and stories.

We sit in our sunny classroom. We draw and read and research. Wes does his experiments and shares his findings with us. Skye draws diagrams of everything. Wil sings constantly while the rest of us try and work. There is always at least one person practicing an instrument.

side trip:
[We went to the dentist today. Two of them had cavities. It was awful...especially on the little one...getting a filling gives me a headache just thinking about it. We finished up there and headed to Aldi. They each get a list, and with 4 lists and 4 shoppers, we get done fast. When we get home we all put away 15 things each. We took a picnic to the park and then walked over to the lake front. As we were walking back we had the best conversations about how the kids could make money and all that entails.]

Life is very full and busy right now. The older the kids get, the more they are involved in. It is busy, but it is happy and full of laughter and often frustration about getting it all done and trying to get some quiet moments to myself. But I would not trade one moment. I do not long for the yellow school bus to come and take my children. I am so thankful for this time of life. I know all too soon it will be over- they will be grown and gone into the world. So I embrace each day. Each day that I get to teach my children and learn from them. I'm growing as much as them. To be able to enjoy this learning process together! To be able to put down our books and go meet friends at the park, to visit a museum, to start school a few hours later because the kids are sawing wood in the backyard. To take a 2 hour lunch break because they are cooking up their own concoctions. To take an hour in the morning discussing our devotions and figuring out how to use a concordance, that is a blessing.

Ahhhh! Life! Wonderful, full, meaningful life. Thank You, Lord! Thank You for Your strength and encouragement through the rougher waters of homeschooling when they were small and some were still potty training :) Thank You for leading us on this path, one that I do not feel qualified for, yet I see us thriving and learning and growing together as a family. I see us growing in our community as well, as the kids get older, with more opportunities and ways to meet new people.

I pray every day that we would see fruit of the Spirit in our children. I pray that they would have the experiences that they need in order to serve You effectively and joyfully. I see Your Word and its power in our lives; gradually changing us from the inside out.

I thank You, Lord, that you brought us through those foggy days of toddlers, diapers, and sleepless nights! I adored those babies, but I did struggle with being content and dealing with temper tantrums. "This too shall pass," is what everyone told me- and it did! What a difference 5 years makes! All the difference in the world. I want to bottle these moments.

The amazing thing is that I distinctly remember not wanting them to get older! I thought it would be boring (!) and I would not know how to relate to older children. But each stage has been better than the last, for that I am thankful and amazed and looking forward to what tomorrow brings. 

Thursday, October 23, 2014 many pumpkins

First photos up there ^ We made pour pumpkins in art class...and were inspired by watching this ::::OH MY WORD! SO fun.........................

Our pouring was on a small scale...but we sure were inspired to pour our paint! :-)

Carving pumpkins: lots of fun this year since......MY KIDS CAN DO IT ALL THEMSELVES! Yay! But then the pumpkins rotted pretty bad...white fuzz year we will wait til it gets cooler :)

And finally the ombre pumpkins were absolutely adorable! Such a great art project on so many levels...drawing the pumpkin, painting the dark color first and then adding white for each new stripe. Great practice and such beauty.

I love you, pumpkins!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

fall flowers

We planted zinnias in our yard ages ago and now they are coming up! October flowers! My 8 year old decided she wanted to photograph them and I LOVE seeing them through her lense. And also that the dandelion was just as beautiful to her. I think she did a great job and now we can remember the day we walked around the yard exclaiming over the flowers! The leaves! The light coming through the trees!