Archive for January, 2010

10 + 1…

…things I am loving right now.  The first one doesn’t have a picture so I’ll just tell you about it.  I love that my husband, at 44, almost 45 years of age still dreams on a regular basis that he is a pirate.  Those mornings when I wake up and he tells me he had a pirate dream are like Christmas to me.  I am so amused and weirded out and excited all at the same time.

I am also loving that I painted that chalkboard in our kitchen.  I use it everyday.  every.single.day.  I highly recommend it.

See that last line on the board?  Lunchbox bags?  I’m loving this new system in our house.  I had read that people do it and I never did until a couple of weeks ago and boy, it makes lunchbox packing so much quicker.  Every Sunday Kati-cat packs up all the chips, pretzels, cookies…you know, side items for the lunchbox…into bags that we can just throw into the lunches all week long.  I am hoping to eventually turn these into reusable containers…just need to find some that don’t take up so much room in the lunch box.

I also found these magnets the other day when I was cleaning out.   I’m shocked I still had them as I’m one to get rid of things on a monthly basis…but they were such a happy find.  They were a toy the boys had when they were much younger.  I put them all over the side of the fridge, by the toaster, and we’re having fun making up new faces while we wait for things to toast.  Such a fun addition to our home.

With all of the people I hear about who say they have no cooking skills, I’m loving that my children have cooking skills.  I love that they help us prepare meals and will grow up to be able to feed themselves good food.

Perhaps boring but I am also loving that I am consistently making my own bread crumbs.  I hate throwing away stale bread (seems like such a waste) and I love saving money on not having to buy bread crumbs.  I just keep them in the freezer and they’re ready when I need them.

We haven’t found good pizza since we moved.  Well, unless we go all the way to Nashville which ain’t happenin’ too often.  So right now I’m loving our homemade pizza.  I think we’ve finally perfected it.

Loving that I have taken advantage of the cheap plates at Target each season (we like them for breakfast and lunch).  I now have an entire year’s worth for every occassion we like to celebrate.  I pulled out my Valentine’s dishes last weekend.  While this is only 1 of the 3 styles I have they make me so happy (darn Mosaic Maker wasn’t working so I can only show you 1.

I love walking upon this and seeing what buddies these 2 are.

I love that this boy takes such good care of the chickens and never complains about it.

And finally I love that my girl is such a generous person.  She loans her brothers money to get things they want when they only need a few more dollars and buys ice cream for her friends when the ice cream truck comes around.

January 31, 2010 at 2:03 pm Leave a comment

Have to do it…

…I have to give an update on our girls….well, our girls and boy.  Not sure if I mentioned it before but we seem to have a rooster.  Have you ever heard a young cock (I had to say it) try to cock-a-doodle-doo for the first time?  It’s quite hysterical and sounds something like a cross between a cat coughing up a hairball, a sputtering engine and an old man who has smoked for 90 years laughing.  We’ll probably have to remedy that situation at some point but for now, he is fine and we’re hoping in Spring he’ll fertilize a couple of eggs we can hatch with the hens (not the manmade incubator in the garage).  Then we’ll give him away to a man in Kentucky who said he’d like him.  (OK, I honestly never thought I would write something like that: I’ll give my rooster away to a man in Kentucky.  Who am I?) 

But I digress.  I have another post all ready to go with lots of pictures of things I love right now but I just feel compelled to show off our babies.  They’re all growed up.  We’ve got about 4 inches of snow outside so a post on them makes me think of Spring and makes me feel like warmth is on it’s way.  Plus, my beautiful sister Jennifer has chickens and I know she’d like to see updated pictures (she is our expert we call when we have questions).  So here goes.  Our boy, isn’t he beautiful?  The picture actually doesn’t do him justice.

Here he is walking around with one of his girls.  She is the only golden one in the bunch.  For a long time we thought for sure she was going to turn white but she hasn’t.  She’s still beautiful and of course I love her best because I feel like she’s outcasted for being different (not really but it’s a pain that goes back to middle school so I go with it).

And finally perhaps the strangest thing I ever did see.  My son is a Chicken Whisperer.  That is what I call him now.  First of all, they run to him like dogs run to their masters.  Secondly, he can flip those little suckers over and rub their bellies (again like dogs) and I swear they become hypnotized.  It’s bizarre.

January 30, 2010 at 2:01 pm Leave a comment

Highly recommend…

…the notes in a jar thing.

I mentioned it in my plans for the new year and we are really loving it.  It brings a mellow to the dinner table and its always interesting to see what people wrote down.  Sometimes it’s a surprise and sometimes it is completely expected.  We had to do a reminder after the first week that it’s not all for complaints; that you have to put in happy things too.  Now it’s a nice mix of both.  Most importantly, I think the kids feel really heard…there is something about talking about things outside of the moment that is productive and definitely something to be praised and recognized for something good you did (knowing that good thing lasted longer than the moment).

Also highly recommended from the new year plans?  The allowance disbursement going towards lunches, movies, etc.  The kids are so much more aware of how much things cost and are eager to budget.  So far it has saved the family close to $40 a week.  Money we’re putting aside for a summer vacation. 

Other updates on new year goals:

  • family walks: these will be great.  We have been stuck in executing other than some snowy walks the first week.  Dad (Tim) was pretty sick so we have been waiting for him to heal up completely.
  • family outings: 3 are on the books.  So far rollerskating, dinner at the kitchen table at Bucca and a trip to some place I can’t remember the name of right now but it’s supposed to be a beautiful place to walk and explore.
  • interrupting is decreasing
  • boys are getting there with us girls and our dislike of noise, poking and ‘boy’ jokes
  • name calling almost non-existant
  • baby – no progress here.  Still ain’t happening.  Forget about it.  But I do have 4 friends with babies on the way.  THAT is the kind of baby I’m having…ones I can love on and adore but not have to buy car seats for.

January 20, 2010 at 2:11 pm Leave a comment

This is what…

…happens when you get Taylor Swift’s CD and you love her and you write down all the words to a song so you can memorize it and sing along (I remember doing this when I was a child by the way):

And this is what happens when you have big brothers, who despite what they want everyone to believe, love you and decide to make it more fun for you while you practice.  One becomes your drummer:

And the other your guitarist:

And this is what happens when the dog comes in to see what all the commotion is about and decides he could care less and is just happy your mother hasn’t mopped the floor in a couple of days:

January 10, 2010 at 10:38 pm 2 comments

3 days of…

…light, steady snow this week.  3 in a row that is.  Pretty good by Tennessee standards (it’s actually sticking since it’s only 17 outside) and the schools finally closed for actual snow days (as opposed to the dozens of other times they closed for the threat of a snow day).  The kids certainly aren’t complaining and as you can see, they’re having no fun at all.

We’ve been on walks, played lots of video games, had snow ball fights, re-arranged bedrooms, gone on one quick errand run, made cookies and are thinking about the possibility of s’mores in the fireplace tonight.  Definitely cozy winter days as of late. 

While the snow is beautiful and watching it slowly drift to the ground is rather soothing I must say there is a part of me that longs for the warm Spring days I know are coming in a few months.  The days that are a big longer, filled with productivity and the sounds of birds in my yards.  When I stepped out to check on the chickens this morning this is what I saw straight away:

It’s one of our crepe myrtle trees that is the most vibrant fuschia ever for months each year.  I’ve never seen a tree bloom so long in my life.  It has the most gorgeous trunk that appears to peel and reveal all kinds of different colors.  As I looked at it against the backdrop of white I wondered what was going on inside.  It appeared to be dead and completely devoid of life yet I know that inside there is a process taking place that is necessary for those vibrant blooms to burst forth when the next season arrives.  I wish I could see it.  I wish I could unzip the trunk and look at what was going on.  It reminded me that I often wish I could unzip the air to see what was happening in the spiritual realm that I’m unaware of.  Then that reminded me that I am not so different from my tree. 

Spiritually, it’s been a season of dormancy in my life.  A season where I appeared to be doing nothing, appeared to be dying and losing my blooms.  But on the inside there has been a necessary process taking place.  There has been healing and searching and crying out.  But I am starting to feel the prickle of blooms bursting forth.  Blooms that won’t replace the old ones but new ones that will join them bringing forth new color and new fragrance.  It was my little moment this morning where I felt as though the Lord was reminding me that He doesn’t waste an ounce of time when it comes to us; that even though sometimes we feel like we’re in a barren season He will bring forth a harvest if we are willing.

January 9, 2010 at 3:13 pm Leave a comment

Got bit…

…and I’m so glad.  No, it wasn’t by a bat that flew into the house or a vampire in the woods nearby.  It was by the creative bug!  I’m so glad it bit me.  I’ve been missing it.  It’s ah-mazing what having a couple of weeks in slow mode, a clean, organized house and cold, cold days will do for the creative juices.

I had seen some ‘yarn wreaths’ floating around blogs and etsy shops and I just loved them.  I thought they were a great modern, sleek take on the traditional dusty, floral wreaths.  Here it is about 15 minutes in:

Yes, 15 minutes in.  This process requires a little patience but it was methodical and somewhat soothing to do.  This was the point where it was covered in yarn and it was yummy just by itself so it kind of froze me for 24 hours because I had NO IDEA what I wanted to add to it.  I just knew that I wanted to hang it on the mirror in my dining room.

I was afraid to put too much on it, I definitely wanted to keep it simple.  I’m so happy with how it turned out; I just wish I could have gotten a better picture.  It’s hanging on a mirror so it’s kind of tricky.

I know, I know the detail is a little blurry so here is another picture (I just love the little bit of blue.  It matches my dining room table perfectly).

Whilst I stewed on what to do with the wreath I decided to paint a chalkboard in my kitchen.  After a quick trip to see Gretchen and discuss my options I (we) settled on the pantry door.  Bad idea.  It looked really bad.  I erased the picture off my camera as it was a memory I didn’t want to hold onto.  It did however force me to paint back over the pantry door therefore leading to a complete house door and trim paintover which I knew I needed to do 6 months ago and never did.  So I guess something good came out of it (thank goodness it’s freezing…think 13 degrees…outside and no one in their right mind would go anywhere therefore making it easier to stay in and get this project done).  Anyway, I ended up painting the side of a kitchen cupboard that is right across from the pantry and next to the fridge.  Perfect because I want to use it to make shopping lists through the week.  Even more perfect because the kids got home from school and 1/2 an hour later I walked by it and there was a little scribbling on it.

Knowing that is the first thing on his mind to write down on a brand new chalkboard is definitely better than a shopping list.

January 7, 2010 at 1:40 pm 2 comments

As a family…

…we sat down last night during/after dinner to decide what our family goals for 2010 would be.  If I’m honest, 2009 kind of stunk.  There were hard decisions made, surgeries, friends lost and mourned, too much work and to say the economy didn’t affect our family would be a huge lie.  When I think about it, this is the most excited for a new year I can ever remember being.  I’m looking forward to the fresh start, positive moments and cleaning out the clutter (metaphorically speaking). 

I’ve never been one for resolutions (nor has Tim) so we’ve never passed that onto our children.  But this year we decided to set some concrete goals as a family.  It’s partial bucket list for 2010 and partial goals/lessons.  Everyone got a chance to talk and contribute and here is the final list:

  • go bowling (again)
  • go rock climbing (again)
  • reinstate family movie nights
  • no name calling (kids can be so mean!)
  • a baby (uhhhh…..this was followed up by a discussioin about the probabilities of this happening being zero to none)
  • more game nights
  • monthly family outing (a picnic, an adventure, scoping out a new ice cream parlor, etc.)
  • weekly walks, as a family, with the dogs
  • a new allowance structure (the kids will be getting a tad more allowance and covering their own hot lunch/game rental/movie rental expenses with it…we figured it’s time they learn to budget for what they want)
  • comment jar (to be gone through once a week at the dinner table)
  • all 3 boys will work on respecting that mom and K are girls
  • less interrupting
  • summer vacation

I think most things we all agreed one, definitely the summer vacation one was all agreed upon.  I also got comments like don’t stop making the new macaroni and cheese recipe, please make more cookies this year and please don’t stop driving us to school (the bus comes EARLY as we are the second stop on it’s route).  It was interesting to see what the kids thought was important.  I was surprised at how much my teenager still wanted family events to occur.  Surprised and happy, happy, happy. 

(source)

January 2, 2010 at 4:05 pm Leave a comment

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