Friday, February 27, 2015

{around here} Week 08/52: Week of 2.23.15


A collection of our ordinary days, recorded every week.  At the end of the year, I'll publish them into a keepsake to treasure.

Around here, I have been:


watching more and more snow fall.  It seems we keep getting an inch or two every couple of days!  I surprised the kids with snow cream and they thought it was the coolest thing ever.


organizing all of the kids' treasured drawings into a new binder system.  They each got a different colored 1" binder and all of their favorite pictures have been three-hole punched and placed inside.  At the end of everyday, we'll go through what they've created (because they are always drawing around here!), keep the favorites and trash the rest. 

enjoying a play date with friends at our house.  They also brought over a Jumperoo for TJ to borrow and it's quickly become a hit for all five kids!

reading Overcoming Dyslexia

thinking about this quote from Everyday Sacrament: The Messy Grace of Parenting: "The question is not about how to get good at parenting--or marriage, or any other relationship under the family roof.  The question is how to grow in love.  Of course we're going to keep hurting each other: unintentionally and intentionally, mildly and deeply, once and over again.  This is sin's truth, and we're smack-dab in it.  But grace and forgiveness can soften our hearts, even slowly help them to heal."

recovering from a random stomach bug.  Sophie and D had it the worst and gosh, it kills me to see them feel so miserable.  Fortunately, it seems to be a 24-hour thing and everyone is back to normal.  

homeschool notes:
+ Thursday was "Q" day in kindergarten.  We made paper quilts.
+ M's history was all about the Phoenicians.  He learned how they used snails to create a purple dye, the "color of kings".  We replicated the process by making a dye with frozen blueberries.  M used the dye to color pasta and then made a necklace.  So fun!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

{currently} Mamma's Journal // February


a letter to my children, every month in 2015

M // We recently went to Target and you found a beautiful, hardcover notebook.  While I usually just buy you cheap composition books, we splurged this time and you have been writing away ever since.  You sometimes let me peek inside and I love what you are writing.  My favorite entries are the ones where you include cartoon drawings of our family.

D // You made great leaps in school this month and I'm so excited for you, I could cry.  On one particular day, I was so excited that I started cheering and jumping up and down!  You gave me that "Mama, you are so crazy!" look, but I think you're pleased too.  I just introduced you to card games and you are hooked.  Your favorite is Crazy Eights, but Old Maid is a close second.

J // My sweetheart boy.  Daddy and I want to bottle you up and never let you grow any bigger.  We love how much you love our family.  You are extra protective of Sophia and you two are quickly becoming best friends.  When we were at Target, you were constantly saying, "Come on, Sophie!  Hold my hand." or "Guys!  We can't forget Sophia!"    

S // Like I say about all of you at two years, you are equal parts sweet and rotten.  Full of opinion and "I do it myself" and tantrums.  But at the same time, you are so loving and funny and absolutely precious.  My favorite memory from this month was one particularly hard night while Daddy was away.  TJ was extra fussy, so I was pushing him around the house in the stroller, praying it would help him go to sleep.  Next thing I know, you are following behind, pushing your baby doll in your baby stroller, copying my every move.  When our babies were finally asleep, we "parked" our strollers side by side and then cuddled together on the couch.    

TJ // You didn't make it into the monthly picture, but that's because we stayed warm inside while the big kids played in the snow.  You just turned five months and I can't believe how fast time is going.  You are almost sitting up by yourself and you love when we stand you up.  You give big slobbery kisses and like to "high five", which is what we call you slapping our outstretched hand again and again.  I think I'm still your favorite (for now!), but nobody gets bigger smiles out of you than your Daddy.    

Love all of you to the moon and back again, Mamma

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

{100 beautiful things} No.004: A First Attempt at Arm Knitting


If you had been in my house this weekend, you would have heard me crazily exclaim, "I knit!  I'm a knitter!  Guess what, guys?  I knit!"  (Obviously a spin on one of my favorite movies.)

In reality, that is SO far from the truth.  Until last Saturday, I have never touched a skein of yarn.  Ever!  I am left-handed and have baffled almost every knitter I've asked to teach me.  Still, the knitting process has always been intriguing, so after watching a tutorial online, I thought I'd give arm-knitting a shot.  Because using your arms has to be so much easier than using needles, right?

Um.  Not so sure.

The tutorial claims that once you get the hang of it, you can knock out a scarf in about half an hour.  It took me probably double that time.  Looking back, I was so thrilled to be actually knitting something that I may have miscounted a bit too.  Maybe a lot.  My final result doesn't look anything like the one shown in the video, but gosh darn it, I am so proud!  First tries don't have to be perfect and obviously, this is far from it.  But I'm proud of myself for going out on a limb and trying something new.  I can't wait to try again.  Hopefully next time, I'll pay attention and get the stitch count right.

I knit!  I'm a knitter! 


Monday, February 23, 2015

{cookie project} No.004: Chocolate Chip Snowball Cookies


We had another big snowstorm this weekend and got another six inches.  There's something so beautiful and cozy about being stuck inside as the flakes fall, don't you think?  I wanted to make a treat for the kids and snowball cookies seemed like the obvious choice!

Please don't judge these cookies based on my poor photography!  While a little messy, they are really delicious and tasty with a big cup of hot cocoa.

THE RECIPE

The recipe I used is from Dorothy at Crazy for Crust.  You can find the recipe here.

Friday, February 20, 2015

{around here} Week 07/52: Week of 2.16.15



A collection of our ordinary days, recorded every week.  At the end of the year, I'll publish them into a keepsake to treasure.

Around here, I have been:


looking for warmth!  It snowed about 5 inches (don't laugh, New Englanders!) on Monday and the temperatures have hovered in the teens all week.  I don't like to complain about the weather, but I'm ready for spring.

finishing long overdue decorating projects, like FINALLY putting up our family pictures in the living room.  They've only been framed and sitting on the floor in my room for...months.  hah!  Now I've got the itch.  A long list of house to-dos is in the works.   

starting a new Lenten devotional: Fr. Groeschel's The King, Crucified And Risen.  I'm just a few days in, but the meditations are already challenging me.  Painfully good.

enjoying homeschooling and really finding my groove.  With a new baby in the mix, late fall/winter was pared down to the bare essentials.  We kept moving along, but I just felt like it could be better.  Thankfully, the teaching spark has reignited and I'm excitedly planning the last 10 weeks of school.  

homeschool notes:
+ We pray a decade of the rosary with the kids every night before bed.  Mark and I decided that we wanted to explain the stories behind the mysteries and the kids are really enjoying it!  We're also doing simple activities during school to reinforce what they learned the night before.
+ In history, we tackled two chapters this week: "The New Kingdom of Egypt" and "The Israelites Leave Egypt".  M is really enjoying listening to the stories and working on the maps.    
+ Our new reading program is really clicking with D and I am so happy for him, I could cry.  His confidence is back and he actually enjoys school again!
+ I took out a bunch of math-related gear: geoboards, dominoes, a scale, etc. for "free play" and it was a huge hit!  M declared, "This is so much better than school!" and when I told him that it actually WAS school, he said, "Wow!  This is so awesome!"

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

{shop small} Vol.03: Time to Learn

As the Creative Director for Big White Farmhouse, I am constantly searching for new products.  Our company is passionate about supporting the "little guys", the ones who are working tirelessly to create a life doing what they love.  I love that entrepreneurial spirit and I hope you do too!

Since I can't carry all of the cool products I find, I thought I'd pop in every so often to share some of my discoveries with you!  I've recently been re-energized with our homeschooling and Volume 03 has been inspired by that.  Enjoy.




Learn Burlap Banner by CM handmade 
See the World Globe Print by Pen, Meet Paper
Back-to-School ABC Skirt by Little Maisie
Chevron Pencil Pouch by zakka studio
Button & Twine Embroidery Journal by sensationery   


{Shop Small Archives: 01 and 02}

Monday, February 16, 2015

{a year of challenges} Four Weeks to an Organized Home: Update 2


We're halfway through February already!  How did that happen?  How are you doing with your organizing goals?  I started out strong, but fizzled last week.  I'm chalking it up to a hard week and hoping to jump back in, finishing strong.  Wish me luck!

Need a little inspiration?  I do!  Here are a bunch of great links from around the web:

+  I already do many of these, but I'm thinking I should add the rest to my daily routine: 10 Things I Do Everyday to Keep a Clean & Organized Home

+ Organizing your Knitting Supplies

+ Do you use a home management binder?  This mini edition (with free printables!) is cute.

+ Another adorable free printable to help your kids put their own clothes away.  

+ Cord Labels: I think this would also be helpful for those random cords you have hanging around and always forget what they are for! 

+ How I Made $2.145 Last Month by Decluttering

+ I need a self-serve snack center in my pantry!

+ How to Declutter: Conquering Decluttering Paralysis

Friday, February 13, 2015

{around here} Week 06/52: Week of 2.9.15


A collection of our ordinary days, recorded every week.  At the end of the year, I'll publish them into a keepsake to treasure.

Around here, I have been:


struggling.  Why is February so rough?  I am still feeling like I can't catch up.  When I focus on one area of life, another one lacks.  Comes with the territory, but it's hard.  I hold myself to an unrealistic standard and need to extend myself a little more grace.  

wrestling with social media.  What do I share?  How much do I share?  Are my photos good enough?  Are my stories even good enough?  I've intentionally stepped away this week in order to try to figure it all out and while I haven't come to a clear conclusion, I do know I still want to be a participant for now.  Too many good things have come from it.

reading Overcoming Dyslexia and Everyday Sacrament: The Messy Grace of Parenting

feeling excited about homeschooling again.  Watching D struggle made me question my abilities, but lots of research, the support of many online friends (who have dyslexic children who are thriving!) and our new reading program have really given me hope. 

working on new product for Big White Farmhouse: soaps, bath salts and small gift sets!  All of them smell so good!   

listening to the boys talk about tattoos(?!):
D: Uncle Bud says they use needles.  NEEDLES.  Nuh uh, no way.
J: I think I'd get a purple Power Ranger.
M: Uncle Matt says it doesn't hurt that bad.  I want "LEGO" on my arm right here.

singing the ABC song over and over and over again.  We've been singing it everyday in Kindergarten and it's now become Sophie's favorite song.  "Again, again, mama!"  And don't you dare try to change to Twinkle, Twinkle.  

homeschool notes:
+ After trudging along for way too many weeks, I finally switched our history curriculum to Story of the World.  We all love it so far!  This week, we talked about Ancient Africa and listened to folktales about Anansi the spider.  We also drew Anansi using a video from Art for Kids.  

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

{around here} Ten on Ten: February 2015


My second attempt at Ten on Ten!  In case you haven't heard about it, on the tenth of the month, you take a photograph an hour for ten consecutive hours.  Like the first time, it was just a typical day for us.  The weather was dreary and cold.  TJ has a little cold and has been a little fussy and clingy.  Looking back at these quickly snapped photographs, our life looks a bit boring, but I think I'll appreciate the little details more down the road.


ten on ten button

Monday, February 9, 2015

{cookie project} No.003: Pumpkin Snickerdoodles


I recently found a big can of pureed pumpkin on clearance at Target and it quickly made its way into my cart.  Last fall was full of newborn baby goodness and I wasn't in the kitchen much.  Besides my go-to Pumpkin Chocolate Chip cookies, most of the pumpkin recipes I found on Pinterest went unmade.  

Better late than never!  On a dreary day in the dead of winter, I made Pumpkin Snickerdoodles.  They were soft, puffy and incredibly delicious.

THE RECIPE
The recipe I used is from Nikki at Seeded at the Table.  You can find the recipe here.


{Cookie Project Archives: Nos. 001002}

Friday, February 6, 2015

{around here} Week 05/52: Week of 2.2.15


A collection of our ordinary days, recorded every week.  At the end of the year, I'll publish them into a keepsake to treasure.

Around here, I have been:


spending half of the week as a single parent, as Mark was away on a business trip in California.  Thankfully, the days went relatively smoothly and I tried to add in a few fun things to pass the time.  

watching the documentary, Tiny: A Story about Living Small.  I found the process of building your own little house (around 100-200 square feet) really intriguing.  And while that would never work for a family of seven, it does make me think about how much square footage we actually need versus what we think we need.      

laughing at Sophie as she becomes a little comedian.  I will ask her, "Who's my girl?"  She will reply with "Daddy?" or any male family member and then laugh hysterically.  

celebrating Mark's birthday.  The kids and I gave him a smoker to accompany his grill and he cannot wait to try it out this weekend.  Lots of delicious ribs and brisket in our future.

reading Overcoming Dyslexia and It Was Me All Along: A Memoir.   

making baby steps of progress in D's school.  We got our package from All about Reading and have done the first three lessons.  D LOVES it.  That excitement alone is worth the purchase.  

cleaning up a storm around the house.  It feels so refreshing to place unneeded things in the donation box!  Clutter is definitely one of my triggers when it comes to overwhelm and anxiety, so I'm happy to be doing something proactive to combat that.  

exercising with a mix of running and Insanity workouts.  The scale may not be moving, but I'm feeling strong!

homeschool notes:
  • We learned about the Great Wall of China and M made his own out of Lego.
  • M recently found the Boxcar Children series and is currently in book #2, Surprise Island.  He wants me to read along, so I'm hoping to catch up soon. 
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...