Journal: Tea Party

Outside my window:

It’s a lovely cool fall morning.  Looks like the afternoons will be warm this week but with the cooler mornings it is nice balance.

Around the house:

I steam cleaned the floors last week, happy dance!  I got off schedule with my carpet cleaning over the summer and now I can start fresh again.  It was a busy day yesterday so we all have some general house tidy to do this morning before we start our school day.

The kiddos:

Zane is looking forward to his first Den meeting tomorrow for Cub Scouts.  He puts on his scout uniform any chance he gets.

Jude has been working on lego videos and wants to have his own youtube channel.  I am still looking into this.  He wants me to show him how to upload and edit them.  He goes downstairs each morning and makes  a new video.  He has been doing this for a few weeks now.

Annika’s had so much fun hosting her tea party last week.  I loved seeing the girls play together and listen to all the giggles.

In the kitchen:

On the Menu: Bierock Casserole, Chicken Tacos, Chili, BBQ Pork Sandwiches, Chicken and Noodles, Pizza.

Crafting:

I guided Annika through sewing up a quilted potholder.  We are going to be making these in a few with her American Heritage Girls troop and wanted to make one to show the girls.  It was a fun simple project.

Learning:

We are trying to keep on a good school routine each day.  My younger two have been lacking motivation to quit playing and get started on their lessons for the day, so we are still working on it.  Last week Annika came out of her room with her little “sister” Anna.  Apparently she thought if she dressed Zane like a girl and was playing with him I wouldn’t make her start on her school work.  Zane thought this sounded like a good idea.  Annika really enjoyed having Zane be her “sister”.  She always talks about wanting a sister and she really loved every minute he played with her as Anna.  She still had to do her school work.

Bringing me joy:

Mini date with the hubby last Friday.  A little time at Starbucks and then a bunch of grocery shopping.  I told him he makes a much better shopping partner then the kids because he does not beg and whine for treats.

Thinking about:

Keeping a good schedule this week to be able to get done everything I want to do.

Keeping God at the center of each day.

Nourishing my children’s love of learning while still doing the lessons that are necessary but not was much fun.

Pictures to Share:
Tea party Set Up
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Apple Spice Cupcakes. Annika made these and they were amazing. Untitled

Annika and Anna
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Journal: The Absent Blogger

Outside my window:

Windy and warm.

Around the house:

I need to do some cleaning.  The carpets are definitely needing some steam cleaner love.  I think I will feel better once I got that done.  Annika’s room is in need of an intensive declutter session.  The legos are getting out of control in the basement again.

The kiddos:

They are on lunch break right now and playing legos downstairs.  Jude and Zane have finished their lessons for the day but Annika still has more to finish.  Annika has been distracted today making projects from this activity book about North American Indians.  She is currently wearing moccasins and her Indian dress and a necklace she made last night.

In the kitchen:

On the Menu: Garlic Chicken and Rice, Opee Sea Crunch with Pasta, Homemade Pizza, Slow Cooker Pork Chops with Mashed Potatoes and assorted veggies with these meals.

Crafting:

Hmm, not so much right now.  I have been thinking about knitting, does that count?  I will be helping Annika’s American Heritage Girls Troop with Tie Dying t-shirts this weekend.  As a new leader with this troop we also have a weaving and quilting project coming up as the girls work on the Textile Arts badge.

Learning:

We are on our third week of school and all is going well.  Some grumbles and groans here and there usually about composition but other than that school is off to a great start.  Zane is much more ready for school this year and this has been nice to see his growth.

Bringing me joy:

No screen time during the week.  That will be a blog post all of its own.  The kids playing well together and being creative.  Seeing the kids engage in meaningful activities outside the home.  Taking the kids to the state fair for the first time this week!

Thinking about:

Blogging.  It is hard to jump right in when you haven’t blogged in a while.  There are past posts that I still plan to publish to the blog.  Can’t forget those spring birthdays!  It has been good to have time away from sharing in this space, but I feel excited about blogging on topics that mean a lot to me.

Pictures to share:

Imaginations are at work daily here.

King Green and King Red and Princess Annika
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Summer 2014

This summer was a good mix of relaxation, home organizing, decluttering, getting into a new routine, container gardening, and enjoying the sunshine. I worked on getting myself into a new routine by starting each morning with exercise and prayer. I had fallen away from this habit and really needed to get myself into this routine again. I spent time decluttering and organizing the house and planning our school year. The kids had the routine of a few school lessons everyday unless they had camp that week. It was a good balance of work and play. Jason took a few weeks off work so we did some fun family activities and he got some extra golf in. Here are some pictures from our summer.

Go Cart Fun!
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Annika and Zane with their children.
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Great Plains Nature Center
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Zane playing with his new snake
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Zane all ready to make Jason’s birthday cake.
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The master egg cracker at work. He never gets shells in the bowl when he cracks egg.
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The Cake.
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Excited for Jason to open their present.
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Jude and Annika off to Totus Tuus.
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Zane made this creation on his sand and water table. He enjoys getting to play with me when they are at Totus Tuus.
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4th of July. This is the first year we bought sparklers for them and they were impressed.
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I took Zane to the bathroom and Annika was being stalked by this Peacock at the Zoo, it was really funny.
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Silly Boys!
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Journal: Camp Time

Outside my window:

It rained last night and it looks like we will have a mild start to our week.

Around the house:

Laundry on Mondays.  I also have been making my way through my for sale and donate piles.  Sold some old toys last week and plan to list some more things today.  Really need to steam clean my carpet.

The kiddos:

Annika had her first day camp experience last week.  Her camps focus was on horseback riding and she loved every minute of it.  She definitely wants to go back next year.  My house was a lot quieter without my chatty girl around.

Jude is doing a Lego camp this week that is Space/Star Wars themed.  It is an afternoon camp program and he has really been looking forward to it.

Jude and Annika finished their 2 week session of swim lessons.  They both did really well.  Jude was dissappointed that he did not pass the class and Annika did.  He is really close and just has a few things to work on.

Zane has been continuing with the once a week Mom’s Day Out program, which makes him feel like he gets to do something fun of his own each week.

Our summer schedule is going really well.  It seems to be a good balance for the kids and they are doing really well at keeping the house tidy.

In the kitchen:

On the Menu: Chili, Golden Honey Chicken, BBQ Pork Sandwiches, Tuna Noodle Casserole, Meatsauce and Spaghetti, Pizza, and Breakfast for dinner.

Crafting:

I have done a little bit of knitting.  I did teach Annika’s friend, that is our neighbor, how to knit and she learned very quickly.  I have been seeing her knit quite a bit.  Annika goes in spurts with her knitting.  I would like to do a little sewing now that my sewing area is cleaned.

Learning:

We are on our summer lesson schedule.  Annika and Jude and both doing Math and Math Fact Drills this summer.  Jude is trialing a new spelling program and so far we are really liking it!  We are also doing some fun science experiments and reading lots of books.  Zane has been picking out different activities to do each day.  Mostly we are reading, doing puzzles, and playing games.

I made my list of curriculum that I need to purchase for our upcoming school year and now have been browsing my favorite used book resources to get some good deals.  So far so good.

Bringing me joy:

Outdoor activities with the kids, Jude’s impressive Lego creations, and seeing the kids play with each other.

Thinking about:

I have been listening to the weekly Podcasts for The Little Oratory and really enjoying these.  I did get a copy of the book last week.  Lots of good food for thought on living our faith at home.

Pictures to share:

This is what Zane picked out when we shopping, the hat and tie.  He has wanted me to buy him a tie for a long time and well the hat was really cute.  He has been wearing them a lot.  Oh and the face!

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Annika’s First Day of Camp

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From Father’s day.  We went to our local botanical gardens and enjoyed their kite festival.

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Journal: Summer Break Begins

Outside my window:

Feeling like summer!

Around the house:

Today was laundry day.  I do our laundry and most of my household chores on Monday so that I can focus on other funner things the rest of the week.  I still have a few organization projects that I am working on but it has improved a lot the past two weeks.

The kiddos:

They are enjoying summer break.  The older two start swim lessons tomorrow for the next two weeks.  I took them to the waterpark at the YMCA last week and that was lots of fun.

I took Annika to get her ears pierced over the weekend and enjoyed some mommy daughter time with her.  It is hard to believe she is growing up so much.

Our summer schedule seems to be going well.

In the kitchen:

On the Menu:  Turkey and Rice Casserole, Tacos, Garlic Chicken, Opee Sea Crunch, Pizza, and Breakfast for dinner.  Made Roasted Garlic Cauliflower for the first time a few weeks ago and oh my this is seriously yummy stuff.  This is now in our regular veggie side dish rotation.

Crafting:

I went through my yarn stash last weekend and Annika enjoyed picking out some yarns.  Now that I have everything organized hopefully I can start a few projects.

Learning:

We have been on a two week break after finishing school and are just starting our summer lessons today.  Working on spelling and math over the summer.  With some fun science and Spanish added in.  Zane is going to keep on with Reading Eggs.  All the kids are signed up at the library for their summer reading program.

Bringing me joy:

Sunshine.  Swimming with kids.  Growing my own veggies.  Taking walks with the kids.  Spending “date nights” at home with the hubby after the kids are in bed.

Thinking about:

How much the kids are growing.  Would like to put the breaks on it sometimes.

Pictures to share:

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Annika’s 8th Birthday

On April 8th Annika celebrated her 8th Birthday.  My little girl is growing up so much.  Here is what Annika likes at age 8:  playing with friends and siblings, Webkinz, handsewing her Webkinz clothing, knitting, crafting all sorts of things, making her room messy, animals, nature and various creepy crawlies, being silly, dreaming big, gymnastics, swimming, and living life to the fullest.  We sure do love her bunches!

My Birthday Girl

Annika's 8th Birthday

She decorated the table
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She really wanted this barbie
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She is beyond excited about having her own tools and the set is purple her favorite color.  She also got the wood and c clamps she had asked for.  She recently read a book about woodworking and is excited to start some projects.
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Snorkel gear, something else she has wanted for a long time.  She enjoyed walking around the house like this.
Love this!

Zane’s 5th Birthday

We celebrated Zane’s 5th Birthday on March 25th.  He was very excited leading up to his birthday about turning 5.  It is hard to believe that he has hit that milestone birthday.  We celebrated his birthday with family and he loved his presents.  He had been wanting a Lego set from the Lego movie and was excited to finally have one.

What size likes at age 5:  Legos, play battles with “weapons”, swimming, mom’s day out program, gymnastics, playing outside with neighbors, playing with siblings, learning to read with Reading Eggs, singing and choir, nature walks, going to the zoo and botanical gardens, making potions, and cooking with me.

Zane’s birthday cake.

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Blowing out his candles.

 

Zane's 5th Birthday

A big birthday smile!

 

Very happy about his Lego movie set