Friday, August 18, 2017

Home-school prep for 2017-2018

Yesterday the children & I sorted through closets & drawers. Taking out clothes that were well used or outgrown & put them on piles to donate or get rid of...

...Today was an all-day-in-the-kitchen kind of day.
 I never feel as if I'm quite ready to dive into the new school year, unless I have some freezer meals stocked & Tupperware containers filled with cookies & muffins to put in the freezer for those weeks that I don't have time to bake.

I baked up a double batch of Ree Drummond meatballs. You can find the recipe here. (Her recipe is our favorite.)



I also put together 2 Chicken Pot Pie meals & tossed them in the freezer.




Last but not least, I baked up a double batch of Blueberry Muffins.

The children were a huge help today & did most of the weekly cleaning & helped out with laundry so I could be in the kitchen all day...Now I'm headed outside to get the yard mowed quickly before dark.
School starts next week & I feel like it's crunch time!
Once school starts, everything slows WAY down & I like our focus to be completely on the school day.
Last year we went into the school year with little to no plan & had unexpected things come up like, a week long vacation & moving our family to the next town over...It was NOT an ideal Home-school year.
I'm hoping with a lot more preparedness & lesson plans scheduled & in place, that this year will be much more successful!

Saturday, April 1, 2017

God-hugs & Hondas


A little back story here 1st...

We seem to be notorious for choosing vehicles that turn out to be lemons. About 5 years ago, we purchased a super cheap mini van when little Asher joined our family. We drove it about a year when it started to completely fall apart, quite literally. I vividly remember driving through Canton & having parts fly out from under the van & it coming to a jerking screeching halt. 
After that, we were gifted a newer mini van, that we hoped would outlast our kiddos... After pouring thousands of dollars into repairs, over the course of 2 more years, only to find out the transmission was about to blow, we were feeling pretty discouraged about it all. 

We have a mini vacation coming up & knew there was no way, it was going to get us there & back, so we decided to reach out for recommendations this time & try to shop a little smarter.

We came up with a budget plan & set out looking for our next car.... This is the part I love :)

We shopped online(some of the local dealerships) we were initially looking for a Honda Pilot, but our search revealed that even the used ones were far beyond our budgeted price. We found an Explorer that we wanted to look at though.
I had an appointment in Wooster earlier this week & decided to drive over & take a look at the Explorer after I was done. It turned out not being something we'd want. Knowing we were crunched for time, I was feeling discouraged & decided to get some ice-cream, just another block up(because eating your feelings is always a good idea) haha!

Anywho :) ...As I sat there, having my caramel sundae, I talked to God. Asking His favor in finding the car we were meant to have...

I started for home, and as I passed the next dealership, A white Explorer caught my eye & I decided to stop on a whim & take a look at it. Andy & I had discussed mileage, price & a few other details that were important to us & the Explorer had almost double the miles what we had talked about...
Just as I turned to go back to our van, a young man came up behind me & asked what it was that I was looking for...
I told him we were looking for a 7 passenger vehicle, with 50,000 or less mileage & gave him the budget price we came up with. 
The young man looked at me a little surprised at the exact specifications & said, he had a Honda Pilot in the garage, getting detailed & it would be ready to sell by the following day & it was almost identical to the ones we thought we couldn't afford & exactly within all our specifications. The young man said he would notify us as soon as it was ready & we could be the 1st ones to test drive it.
 The following day, we got the call, but couldn't get in to drive it. We were asked if we wanted to put down a deposit to hold it till we could test drive it. We declined, believing that if it was meant to be, it would still be there... & it was :) We drove it the next day & both Andy & I loved it.

We went inside & crunched some numbers. We had both decided, that if the payments came to more than our budgeted amount, we would simply walk away & trust that God had something better for us.
The numbers came back, & the payment was 150.00 MORE than what we could do per month, so we apologized for wasting their time & planned to leave. 
The young lady, working with us at that point, asked us what we were looking to pay monthly, she took the numbers to her manager & they crunched some numbers, & came in 4.00 better than our budgeted amount... & the rest is history. 
I'm still in awe, how Abba Father orchestrated it all, & not only provided, but showed favor & allowed us the opportunity to purchase a car we loved & thought would never fall within our budget.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Happy Love Day




 This Valentines didn't exactly go as planned, but it will likely be one that we don't forget :)
Husband texts me at about 4:30, HAPPY VALENTINES DAY, BABY...Boss wants to finish a job, it will be at least 7:00 before I get home...

That was about the same time that I had put my mini, heart shaped meatloaves into the oven, along with the cheesy potatoes...


I gave the kiddos a snack & turned the oven to a lower temp, hoping the children could hold out till daddy got home...


About 6:00, dinner was ready & there was no more waiting for the children. They were HUNGRY!


I flipped the mini meatloaves out of their silicone heart molds, to find they looked nothing like hearts & more like turds.(tasty turds non the less)...




I had wrapped up a chocolate for each of the children & placed them on their plates... When River opened his, he said,"Mama, its too cute to eat!" ...It was gone within the next half hour :)


Just as we were finishing up, husband walks through the door with an arm full of wildflowers & chocolates...


I warmed up his dinner & then it was time for him to open his gift from me :)


The complete series of  The 3 Stooges.
I'm pretty sure I nailed it...



Lesson learned...tradition will change a little, starting next year.
Mama is going to enjoy the day as well & take-out will be ordered. No more heart shaped  turd loaves, or heart shaped anything-except maybe cookies!





Saturday, February 4, 2017

River

This boy never ceases to make me smile with his words.
Since I'm awful at keeping baby books, I put to words here, all that I want to remember...


Tonight, as I filled little medicine cups with herbal drops & water, & mixed tiny spoonfuls of raspberry jelly, with their powdered prebiotics... then on to rub 4 little feet with Unkers, before slipping socks onto them, River looks up at me & says," Thank you for taking care of me, Mama.(heart melted)


Once they were tucked, all snug in their beds, I went downstairs to finish polishing my nails for church tomorrow. Only a few seconds later, I hear little feet, running down the stairs again & River calling out for one more hug. I say, "I can't baby, my nails are all wet." To which he replied, "But I can!" & came in for a squeeze...


A few minutes later, as daddy tucks him in for the 3rd time, I hear them talking & River says,"We need to go to sleep right away! So we can watch the football players, play bowling tomorrow!"
Daddy replied with a smile in his voice, "No, they will be playing football in the Super-Bowl game"
As little one INSISTS, that NO! they will be bowling! I know it!...


He fills my days with laughter, & brings joy to my heart.
He is my 4th born, the one who is so much like myself that I sometimes cringe. 
The one who will be spitting mad one second & loving on someone the next. Hes mischievous, & a big tease, but full of so much love.

I love you a million red M & M's! <3 

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Master Bedroom, Before & After


BEFORE


 AFTER

The Gallery wall came together pretty quickly. I had a few frames & the "Love you Madly" print. Twisted Antiques had just what I needed to finish it out, with the oval frame & mirror...I'm loving the end result!




My wedding dress, displayed with a photo of us on our wedding day....




Well this was short & sweet...I'm fighting a terrible headache, so I decided if I'm just laying around anyway, I'll get the Master Before & After posted :)


Wednesday, January 25, 2017

The Kitchen/Dining room


The sunshine today has inspired me. The kitchen got a good scrubbing, & what better time to snap a few pictures & give you a peek into the room where I spend most of my waking hours.

This is the BEFORE photo:


...And AFTER:


This Spring, we'd like to add some subway tile to the back-splash & change out the light fixture over the sink.
I love that my kitchen is small enough, that everything is at my fingertips...



My kitchen at our old home was completely white, counter-tops, flooring...All. Of. It. 
It was impossible to keep it clean for even a few hours.

I'm loving my new Kitchen! The counter-tops are black, the flooring has variations of brown/tan & it's completely forgiving & hides a lot of kid dirt. That being said, it gets cleaned once a week(I'm not a complete slob) haha! ;)



Our little command center. Each year, I purchase one of these large desk calendars.
Every appointment & activity gets written down here. It saves so much confusion about whats going to happen for that week & the children don't need to ask me every day, what we're going to do. 
The artwork was created by our oldest when he was in 2nd Grade. It's still one of my favorite pcs. hes created.


I know, the table is off-center with the lighting. It makes me a little crazy. I believe the previous owner had a round dining table, so it worked perfectly. I've been trying for years to get husband to let me sell our dining table. it's huge & clunky. It was one of the 1st things we bought together as a married couple, so I think it holds some sentimental value for him.

The cubbies to the right, is something I'm still trying to get used to. At our old home, we had a mudroom/laundry room to hide a lot of the clutter...I've been thinking of ways to hide the clutter. Possibly old shutters on hinges?? ...not sure yet.



Over Christmas, Shutterfly was running a 101 free prints promotion.  I picked some of my favorite photos, over the past few years & printed them out in a Polaroid/Instagram style(with a white border) & hung them onto string with tiny clothes pins. I'm loving how it turned out.


The plate wall is a work in progress...


And that about sums it up!

Enjoy your SUNNY Wednesday morning!





Thursday, January 19, 2017

The Living room

Well here goes... Many of you have been asking for photos of our (new to us) home.
It's a much smaller home than what we had, but it's cozy & we absolutely have fallen in love with it.
So without further ado...

Living room: BEFORE.




I forgot to take before photos. Everything was a blur for awhile there & we were doing our best to get into our home before Christmas, (With the previous owner's permission, I'm using the photos that were used with the listing of the home.)

Living room: AFTER.


We had someone come in & repaint the house, from top to bottom. The home was full of color, & we enjoy a more neutral color palette.
We also changed up the flooring in the living room...
The wooden side table, is an antique sewing machine cabinet, that I inherited from my parents when they down-sized this past year.
The "Love chapter" print was made by the lovely Miriam @pinetreelanestudios.
And the yellow chair/ottoman came from a local, used furniture store. 



My mom passed on her love of Little Golden Books to me... When we were just little kiddos, Mom would often bring home a new Little Golden Book for us, each time she went to town to get groceries. As my collection grows, it's almost impossible for me to pass them up, when I discover a new one while thrifting or antiquing.



The little green dress, in the bottom frame, was my going home from the hospital outfit. I love the fact that it's a bright, lime green dress, made for a little Amish girl, in the 80's


Mom also passed down her love of  antiques & little birds, down to me. Although her style is more primitive/vintage & mine is more modern/vintage(oxymoron, I know), we both love a lot of the same things.


 This beautiful, antique piece was also passed down from my parents, when they down-sized this past year. I love the grains in the wood...


The entertainment part of the room... I'm still trying to decide whether I want to paint this piece or not. The TV stand was also found at the same, local, used furniture shop for 30.00! I love the Mid-Century vibes, I just can't make up my mind about painting it-your opinions would be welcomed :)


And that's a wrap!