Friday, January 1, 2010

7 Quick Takes

Want more Quick Takes? Go visit Jen.



I'm working on goals for next year, and I'll post them on Monday. Want to join me? Write your own goals for 2010 and be sure to come back on Monday to share them with us!



After reading quite a lot in the last month I am feeling pretty comfortable with our Kindergarten plans for next fall. I think Superman and I have reached a compromise on materials, budget and level of "Schoolishness" that will make us both happy and most of all includes things that I think Ender will love. I also have some new work to introduce to Ender in January to help accomplish some of the things he's been asking to work on lately.



I received my amazon order on Wednesday- in it: The New Way Things Work for Ender along with a beginner's atlas, a tracing book for Ezra, a few chapter books to read with Ender, and for me: Knitting Without Tears, The Knitter's Almanac, and the Three R's. I'll be busy reading over the weekend!



I'm trying to figure out the best way to stay warm in a skirt this winter. I'm an absolute chicken about being too cold, but I do want to wear skirts during the winter. Suggestions? Thoughts? I'm thinking corduroy, or some kind of special slip- I've heard tales about using flannel-backed satin to keep a bit warmer. I do need a better jean skirt too- that's definitely on the sewing list for January.



Ezra has decided to be a dragon for the past few days. He asks what kind of dragon he should be and our job is to answer "scary" or "nice" so that he can roar in just the right way. He has such an imagination already! Ender didn't really develop that kind of thinking until after he turned 3- he's always approached the world in a very thoughtful fact-based way (even at 2 1/2), and to have a brother to imagine with has really helped him to branch out a bit and use the facts he knows in a playful way. It never ceases to amaze me how two brothers raised in the same house by the same parents can be so very different.


Last night we had family over for a New Year's Eve game night filled with  Balderdash, Trivial Pursuit, Settlers of Catan, Canasta, and Pit. Ender and Ezra made it until 9:30 before Ender actually asked to go to bed. Tonight will be another late night, as Ender and I are going to the rehearsal for my sister K.'s wedding!


Today my jobs are to clean up after last night's party and to find a pair of shoes for tomorrow's wedding. I've looked a few times this week and can't find anything that isn't REALLY expensive. I just need them for one day- I don't want to spend a gazillion dollars!

Thursday, December 31, 2009


In the last few weeks . . .

:: He decided that dressing himself from head to toe is totally easy. Putting on his own shirt is now a piece of cake instead of a big wrestling match.

:: He has been eating a TON these days. Like if we're having sandwiches for lunch he is eating three. THREE! Two bowls of oatmeal for breakfast, a second breakfast about an hour later . . . he must be turning into a hobbit.

:: Ender ventured into 100 piece puzzles. He received two for Christmas and it's been fun to watch him work on it for awhile and then wander back several times through the day to continue his work.

:: He followed the directions on a new set of trio blocks to complete the project on his own for the first time. In the past he has asked for help around step 2 and this time he finished it completely on his own. When did that happen?

:: Ender has been helping Daddy around the house this month. He is rarely to be found without a measuring tape, a pencil and paper in his hands writing all kinds of numbers.

:: Since Ender first saw his bike on Christmas morning I don't think he's taken his helmet off except to sleep, and that's only because we made him.

:: Ender, you are sweet and affectionate, caring for your family and taking good care of us. You make sure that we read every day, remind us to laugh, you make great jokes, and think through everything. Four-years-old looks good on you, Son. You are such a blessing to me and I love you more than I can put into words.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Goal Check

Last year I set up 10 goals for myself to accomplish and secretly told myself that if I did even half of them it would be a good year. Here's the end-of-year check-up:

1. Plant a garden this year and hopefully end up with edible produce. We tried strawberries, tomatoes, peppers, spinach and loose leaf lettuce. We ended up doing pretty well, but I battled a few squirrels over those tomatoes. I'm already looking up ways to keep them away from the tomatoes next year. The peppers did really great, and I have a few bags in my freezer full of sliced jalapenos. This spring I think we will only plant 1 of each kind of pepper so we won't be over run, and I think I will better know how to care for the tomatoes this year.

2. Eat at-home prepared meals only for a week. Thanks to a tightening of the belt this fall we've done this quite frequently in the last few months. My goal in this was to get used to being in the kitchen every single day again, and thinking of our meals differently. My views on food and meals have changed so much this year.

3. Read 20 fiction books this year. Because of my mad dash in October and November I think I'm going to end up with 31 for my final total! Superman argues that the Laura Ingalls Wilder books shouldn't count since they are so short, but at least nine of the books on there were over 500 pages, so I think it balances out. Next year I'd like to keep better track of my non-fiction reads as well.

4. Start Bible memory with Ender and build it into a habit. We started out well, and we're ending well, but the middle months left a lot to be desired. That is my fault, not his, but we're making this into a family event for next year and I think that will be the key to consistency for me.

5. Keep my nightstand area completely clear for 30 days except for vitamins, Bible and 1 current book. This hasn’t happened yet. This may never happen in my lifetime. But it's important to Superman, so I keep trying. Maybe next year.

6. Keep/Toss/Donate 15 items each day for 30 days. I finished this in January/February. It felt so good to get some of those little things out of the house and it didn't take long to do each day. I may need to keep this one for next year as well.

7. Move systematically through the house to declutter and re-organize. I did well, but it's been a few months since I completed this and already I need to go through again. The boys have outgrown toys and clothes, we have acquired some things without making the room for them . . .

8. Drink water. Make juice an occasional thing and soda a rare thing. I did well with this a lot of the time, but awful at certain points too. It is better though, and I'm trying to hold onto this habit.

9. Move to using as many fresh ingredients as possible in our cooking. I am so happy with our diet changes this year. We aren't allowing much junk food in the house because Superman and I can't resist the temptation if it's here. So we're making healthy snacks plenty available so there is no late night "oh-no-what-did-I-just-eat?!?" moments of panic.

10. Re-evaluate my goals every 3 months. I didn't check in on this at all this fall, but we seem to have made it okay. I'm working on my goals for 2010 and praying for guidance in this coming year.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Last 2009 Daybook


Outside my window… PILES of snow. You may have heard about a little blizzard we were hit with on Christmas Eve. And then it just keeps snowing. We don't get this kind of snow very often around here, especially not in December. It usually hits in late January or early February, and rarely more than an inch at a time. Usually it's a dusting that melts by the end of the day. When Ender woke up Christmas morning he asked if it was real snow outside. He sort of remembered seeing snow last year, but he wasn't really sure.

I am thinking… about money. Is that okay? We were hit with two big things last week- Superman was in a minor car accident on the 23rd in his work truck (the one we own) and we have to replace one of his lights and the front bumper. Insurance covers most of it, but we still have the unexpected expense of the deductable. Then, on the 24th Superman's  company announced significant changes on Christmas Eve that will cut Superman's paycheck significantly. We are praying (and submitting lots of resumes) for a new job.

I am thankful for…  our beautiful Christmas. Snow on the ground, Ender discovering that Santa had eaten the cookies he'd left, that the stockings were filled, and best of all there was a bike next to the tree with HIS name on it . . . (All Ezra cared about were the donuts for breakfast!)

Always Learning…  I'm feeling really good about Kindergarten stuff now and have a good idea of where we'll be going for the rest of this year with Ender. I promise to share more details later.

From the kitchen…  Sugar cookies with Nana on Christmas Eve, mulled cider and lots of hot chocolate (don't forget the marshmallows!

I am wearing…  A long jean skirt, knee high Christmas socks, a long sleeve tshirt and a hoodie. I am soooo not a winter person!


I am creating…  a very cool sweater in a very bright blue. Still. But I am on the last few rows- one more movie night with Superman should do it.

I am going… to find a tux for Ender today! My sister got engaged on December 19th and they are getting married January 2, and Ender will be their ring bearer. We just have to find him a tux and he'll be ready. He's already done this for . . .  well, four of my siblings, so he's a pro.


I am reading… Naamah's Kiss by Jacqueline Carey and Homeschooling: A Family's Journey.

I am hoping… to finish cleaning out all the closets before the end of the week. They are all disasters! We tackled Ender's yesterday, and I'm planning to work through Ezra's today. They are growing too fast, and I never seem to keep up with packing up their outgrown clothes and toys. 


In my prayers . . . My sister-in-law Abby who announced at the family Christmas that she and my brother are expecting their first child. She has been very ill so far, and if she doesn't stop losing weight soon she may be facing hospitalization for a bit to get the hyperemesis under control.

Also, my sister that is getting married on Saturday- she and her fiance are also expecting a baby in early February. They have so many changes happening within just a few weeks time. It is a lot to have going on all at once.

I am hearing… Steven Curtis Chapman's new album Beauty Will Rise. I still pray for their family and this album is a beautiful tribute to their young daughter.


Around the house… I'm letting Christmas linger a bit- but the tree will have to come down sometime.


One of my favorite things… Ender whispering to me last night before I left his room, "I love you all the way to the moon . . . and back."

 A few plans for the rest of the week … Wedding stuff for my sister, a little "winter cleaning", trying to stay warm, hosting a New Year's Eve party. Oh, and the wedding on Saturday!
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