Parenting Tales, Points to Ponder

What I’m Into: April 2015

Happy April! Thank the LORD we may actually have Spring within our sights now.

Here is a second installment of a little series I call “What I’m Into,” where I divulge what either me or my family members are currently into.

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I am one of those rare people who enjoy coffee AND teas. Recently I discovered this wonderfully strong blend of Chai tea and loved it. I never thought I liked Chai, but apparently I had only experienced the wimpy kind until now.

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My baby girl is turning 10 next month! We let our kids have a special party at 1, 5, 10, and 16, so we are planning a cute little party for her and some friends and family. This is a pic of some invites I threw together today.

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This is a shot of my girl in the fabric store, picking out a cute cupcake fabric for her party’s goody bags. We love us some fabric.

Like mother, like daughter. It’s a little frightening!!

Though we have read this book aloud before, I am reading it again to the crew when we can before bed. I love the fact that though they are all pretty strong readers, they still enjoy being read to.

Know what this is?

Yeah, I didn’t either until a couple weeks ago when my sister-in-law discovered triangle loom weaving. She and her husband (my husband’s brother) made a couple of triangle looms and I inherited one that they made! What a nice surprise! Since then I have learned to actually use it and enjoy it. Once you get the hang of it it’s rather relaxing and easy to do.

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I didn’t take a picture of my actual calendar, but this is the time of year where it’s looking a bit ugly and full. A little too full for my liking.

I feel as if every school event, field trip, concert, play, birthday, and any other activity we are even remotely involved in is crammed between April and the beginning of June. Lots of extra stuff going on right now and it makes my head hurt a little.

Though we had a terribly rough winter in many ways, none of us had been physically sick at all. That is, until 2 weeks ago when 6 out of 7 had a stomach bug. Then we had a week’s reprieve. Now it has came back for a second round. Ginger ale and crackers are a staple here at the moment.

With warmer weather starting to creep in, we took our first hike of the season the other day. It was glorious! Looking forward to many more this year. (FYI–no one was sick at the moment in this pic, though my one that’s not smiling got sick that night.) Also, this was taken at the bottom of a pretty steep hill. It may have been amusing to see an “after” shot of everyone once we dug in and made it to the top. Probably not such a cute picture at that point, haha.

Right now I am loving  song from Brandon Heath called “No Turning Back.” If you haven’t heard it yet, go ahead and give it a listen!

Here is the link to an acoustic version: No Turning Back

Yes He does!! I have this exact quote on a chalkboard in my kitchen right now. (Mine doesn’t look quite this pretty…)

This Easter season I was once again reminded of what Jesus did for me on that cross. Our church had a “Stations of the Cross” on Good Friday, which our family participated in. Near the end there was a picture on a screen of Christ on the cross. One of my twins stared at it with a troubled look on his face. I asked him what was up. He whispered, “But Mom, He didn’t do anything wrong to deserve that punishment.” No He didn’t, but He went through it anyway because of His great love for us.

Parenting Tales, Points to Ponder

What I’m Into: March 2015

Hey y’all.

I am starting a new kind of series here. Every month I plan to share a “What I’m Into” post.

It can be books, TV series, food, or whatever I’m “into” that particular month.

I enjoy these on other people’s blogs, so hey, why not give it a try here? I may also include things that my family overall is into as well.

For March of 2015, this is what I’m into:

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Grantchester. This is a new British series recently put on PBS. It always includes a mystery solved by a detective with an unlikely partner–a country vicar. Good script, good story line, and good characters. James Norton (pictured above) is the lead character and quite the handsome fellow. Need I say more? Nope, didn’t think so;)

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Cornelia Funke books. I read Inkheart a couple years ago, but now I am reading Inkspell. Yes, they are chapter books for probably later elementary to middle schoolers, but I enjoy them.

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Soups and stews. I could eat soup pretty much every day no matter what the season, but have been making lots of them these last months. My go-to dinner option is to make a soup or stew with either bread, biscuits, or some of my skillet cornbread.

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As a family, we are currently obsessed with the series “How the States Got Their Shapes.” We discovered it on Netflix last month and love it! This is a great show for learning all kinds of US history and geography, but it is also just plain interesting.

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Yarn. This winter I have done a lot of knitting and crochet projects. Currently I am finishing up a crochet tank top that I *think* (fingers crossed) will be cute for summer. I’ll have to let you know how it turns out.

Breathe by Priscilla Shirer. I have just begun leading this new Bible study series with my ladies from church. It addresses the issue of creating margin in one’s life, the Sabbath, and not being a slave to busyness. A blog post just addressing this may be impending, but I’ll see what all I learn from the study first. I believe this is quite a timely issue for today’s culture, don’t you think?

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Lastly, our family has been poring over the latest Burpee catalog for the last couple of months. It is extremely dog-eared from being looked at and pages marked with possible things to plant this year.

We are SO ready for spring!!!

Craft/DIY Ideas, Parenting Tales

Spring 2014 in Pictures

Since I haven’t been on here all that much, I figured I’d give a little peek into what we’ve been up to these days. For the last few years the April to mid-June time is always heaped full of extra activities. It seems as if every field trip, campout, concert, and various other things are squeezed into that time when the weather is getting nicer and before school ends. Oh yeah, and our family has a boatload of spring birthdays tucked in there as well as Easter and Mother’s Day.

Here’s a mini-synopsis of just some things going on in our family this Spring:

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One of my many joys has been to lead a women’s Bible study at our church. I very much felt led to do a study on Nehemiah by Kelly Minter. It is a GREAT study that I would highly recommend! I could do a whole big blog post just on what I learned through this series.

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One week I finally decided to paint my kitchen this pretty blue. I had had the same light green for something like ten years and was ready for a change. I really love it. The antique embroidery is something I found in a thrift store within a broken frame. I placed it in a newer frame and it looks pretty good with the blue walls.

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To update my newly painted kitchen I sewed up a new valance and a set of burlap panels with red and white gingham accents and ruffles. This photo is when I was getting some final touches ready to sew on. You can see the pins if you look closely.

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This is a precious picture from one of my kids’ birthdays. I have the privilege of having my daughter’s birthday the day right after mine. It is fun to celebrate them together every year!

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Due to wacky weather, our garden planting was very late this year as opposed to other years. We didn’t even bother planting peas as it got too late.

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This drawing by Joseph absolutely kills me. For Mother’s Day the first graders had little booklets they made up about their Moms. My little boys wrote all kinds of sweet exaggerations about me, but this picture is the most honest portrayal of my life. He drew little heart people getting off the school bus and immediately asking their Mom, “what’s for supper?”

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My oldest has a new found love for archery, so we we set up a target shooting area in the backyard. He loves to practice shooting when he gets home from school, which is an hour earlier than my elementary kids.

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Let’s say a prayer that the screen top of this jar does NOT come off. If it does and these egg sacs decide to burst forth with 1,000’s of baby praying mantises, we are in deep trouble. These pods were all found last fall and kept in a jar in our garage all winter. We are waiting for them to hatch soon!

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Last but certainly not least, it is refreshing to see my green grass and flowerbeds filled with color once again. I have lots and lots of purple irises and they are finally blooming. It is beautiful.

Craft/DIY Ideas

Bloomin’ Burlap Wreath

Some pops of bright color make this wreath suitable for hanging in spring or summer.

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I especially love the contrast in textures between the burlap, felt, and lace.

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Oh yes, in case you’re wondering, that really is a hot pink lace doily thrown in the mix.

I thought it added a little something extra to it.

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Mixed with this assortment of bright felt flowers, it definitely perks up the burlap.

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I chose a simple white grosgrain ribbon as a hanger.

Easy peasy and kinda fun.

Maybe not for everyone, but I really like it:)

Parenting Tales, Points to Ponder

Ode to Spring Cleaning

April has come and it’s that time once more,

To clean out those closets and deep clean my floor.

“It will be fun!” I convince myself with a smile,

For it’s been a long winter and definitely a while.

There are dust bunnies under the couch and the bed,

And when I open my closet, something falls on my head!

Salt and muddy boots have made my floor a mess,

Cobwebs and stink bugs are lurking behind the desk.

So…I bolster myself and write up a long list,

Double-check my supplies, and of course, Pinterest,

Chug down some coffee  and eat some chocolate too,

For there’s lots and lots of hard work to do.

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I start with the bathrooms, both upstairs and down,

Wiping and scrubbing, I am beginning  to frown,

How did the room get this dog-gone dirty!?

It’s not like I haven’t cleaned since I turned thirty!

4 boys, their sister (and don’t forget their dad)

They must be the reason it looked so bad.

Well, now that’s done, so on to the kid’s rooms,

Where I find dried apple cores, toy trucks, and rainbow looms,

Legomen,  Barbies, and stuffed animals too,

23 sock singles, snotty tissues, and an old kazoo,

Rocks from a collection, and baseball cards as well,

I tossed some old favorites…Shhh! Don’t tell!!!

The upstairs is done, now on to the rooms below,

My fervency is definitely starting to slow,

I caffeinate myself for yet another round,

Dust off my duster and take the rugs out to pound,

Lift up the couch cushions, and what do I discover?

4 dollars in change and a car that used to hover,

Lost earrings, some raisins, and a tangle of string,

Goldfish, broken crayons, and a plastic bling-ring.

I toss some out and mercilessly suck up the rest,

Okay, this cleaning’s gonna put me to the test!

Does anyone here care? Will they even give it a glance?

Perhaps they will, I’ll just give them a chance.

I take a little rest, give myself an ice cream scoop,

I’m not even done yet, and boy am I pooped.

I drag myself off to clean the oven and range,

The microwave is full of specks that look strange!

Almost done, just need to wipe the cabinets and door,

Oooh, stale Truffles! I need one…or how about four?

Wearily I prop up my feet and wait for all to come home,

Put away the rags, brooms, and crazy cleaning foam.

Here comes the school bus, and Daddy’s home too,

Surely they will notice the hard work that I do?

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They toss off their coats and promptly ask for a snack,

I get myself up and stretch my aching back.

By evening’s end my work appears mostly undone,

Oh well, that’s how it goes…isn’t Spring Cleaning fun?

-by Rachel Craig