Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Menu Plan This Week

Tuesday: Spaghetti with Creamy Tomato Parmesan Sauce

Wednesday: Beef Burgundy, Mashed Potatoes, Veggies (family favourite)

Thursday: New Years Eve...not sure yet...maybe Pizza

Friday: Chicken Enchiladas, Rice, Tossed Salad

Saturday: Salmon, Rice, Broccoli

Sunday: Leftovers

I have a lot of things whirling around my brain that I want to blog about. I just have so little time right now :-). We had a wonderful Christmas and holiday time with our family. On Boxing Day, we bought ourselves an Ipad, which we are all going a bit crazy over :-D. I really, really like it and am having so much fun finding all sorts of apps for all sorts of things. One of my definite favourites is DuoLingo....it is SO MUCH FUN! I am brushing up on my French with it and hoping to become somewhat fluent. I have a thing for languages...I took Spanish and German in university (just intro courses) and enjoyed them so much. Supposedly, 34 hours of Duolingo is equivalent to taking a university course. It's got rave reviews from professors and it a super popular app. It is sort of like a game and I just love sitting down and working through the short lessons. Our kids are really into the Barefoot Atlas right now and are learning all sorts of things. E is loving a certain timed reading app, and is really motivated to read on it and answer comprehension questions. It is the perfect thing for homeschooling and this mama who loves learning all sorts of new things. I know we are already making such great use of it, and I can't wait to add some more great learning tools on it.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Menu Plan Monday

It's a busy time of year for everyone, but our family tends to keep the Christmas season pretty low-key. I do put up a couple of decorations,but we currently don't put up a tree, I do a little bit of baking (but not overly much), and we are also quite low-key with gifts. From us, each of our kids is getting one gift plus a few stocking stuffers. My husband and I actually don't exchange gifts right now. We prefer to use the money on other things like going on holidays or maybe a bigger item. For example, we are considering buying an Ipad for our whole family this year.

This year I baked a batch of cinnamon twist cookies (my Dad's favourite that I make for him since my Mom is gluten-free and doesn't bake with gluten anymore) and about 4 dozen old-fashioned cream cookies (a Mennonite tradition & also one of my husband's favourite cookies). The cinnamon twist cookies did not last very long around here and are already gone. Tomorrow I plan to take some time to decorate the cream cookies with the children. If time permits, I will also make up some snowflake sugar cookies that I usually make for Christmas, but I'm not really sure if I'm going to take time for that this year or not. Maybe I'll get around to it at New Years.

I have decided to keep going with homeschooling instead of taking a few weeks off right now. We will take a few days off (for sure the 25th, 28th, and the 1st,) but I'm hoping to just fit in a bit of extra work in on the other days and keep up as usual. With homeschooling this year, I have found it to be more beneficial for us to take a week off when things get a little crazy or when we are all feeling burned out. Today, we got about 2 1/2 days worth of school work in, so we might be able to make this a 3 day week, which would be great.

Here's the plan for this week:

Monday: Sweet & Sour Chicken, Rice, Veggies

Tuesday:  Bowtie Broccoli Alfredo

Wednesday: Tuna Melts, Salad, & Fries

Thursday: Vegetarian Chili

Monday, December 7, 2015

My life

Last week was kind of a tough one for us. One disappointment after another has made it hard for my heart to remain hopeful and optimistic many times. Feeling stuck on a hamster wheel, always trying to get off, is not a fun feeling. My head constantly needs to remind my heart to not trust in my feelings, which all came crashing down on Saturday morning.

Thoughts affect feelings, so I force myself to think the right thoughts to try and bring my feelings back around again.

My life exists to bring glory to God, not to bring glory to myself.

My life exists to point others to Him, not to myself.

My life exists to know and experience a saving relationship with Jesus Christ.

My life exists not to live out my plans, but to live out His.

When I awake in the morning, the sunrise reminds me of my Father, the One who paints the skies, and He reminds me that my life exists, and His purpose for me here is not fulfilled.

..."being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." Philippians 1:6

Monday, November 23, 2015

Menu Plan Monday

Monday: Tuna Melts (one of my new fast favourites), Veggies & Dip

Tuesday: Chicken Noodle Soup & Biscuits

Wednesday: Roast Beef, Mashed Potatoes, Veggies

Thursday: Leftovers

Friday: Pizza & Caesar Salad

Saturday: Toasted Southwestern Wraps (Beans & Rice)

Sunday: Leftovers

Friday, November 20, 2015

10 Things

 10 things I'm thankful for.

1) My winter micro-gel duvet. For the past few years we never even used it because my husband found it to be to warm at night. Now, he is getting older and colder at night, so I get to enjoy my micro-gel duvet once again. I love, love, love this thing.

2) Hazelnut international delight in my coffee

3) Sunsets and sunrises and the ability to appreciate them again

4) Pizza

5) Uninterrupted showers. Uninterrupted.

6) The blessing of family close-by

7) Finding a new-to-us van

8) A caring church family

9) The flexibility of home schooling and opportunity to see my kids develop a love for learning and learn alongside them

10) "Mommy, I want to snuggle with you."

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Menu Plan

Sunday: Skinny Cabbage Soup & Cinnamon Rolls (Gotta balance it out, right?!)

Monday: Chicken & Rice Casserole (using up some leftover chicken in freezer), Salad, Mixed Veggies

Tuesday:Sausage, Perogies (Homemade Cottage Cheese for me, Potato for the family)

Wednesday: Leftovers

Thursday: Beef Noodle Stir Fry

Friday: Homemade Pizza, Veggies & Dip

Saturday: Leftovers

Friday, November 6, 2015

Glimpse into Our Homeschooling

This is a glimpse into a week of our homeschooling life that I captured a few weeks ago.

First of all, the following is a perfect example of why I love home schooling.  On Sunday night of this particular week, we drove home after visiting family and our kids were looking at the stars as we drove home, discussing what stars were, Who made them, and talking about our solar system. When we got home, we put the youngest 2 kids to bed and then took our oldest outside to our back yard to look for the Big Dipper after we had looked it up on the internet and had shown her a picture of it. We then found the North Star (Polaris) and discussed how the North Star was used for navigation. I was pretty excited to find the Little Dipper for the first time - haha! We then tucked her into bed and let her sleep in until she woke up the next morning since we had stayed up late star-gazing.

Home schooling our 1st grader usually takes about 2 hours a day, 4 days a week. On this particular week I think we fit in her full week of school work into 3 days. The flexibility of home schooling is a huge plus.

We usually start out the day with our Bible reading & history. In the above picture, she is learning about the Passover. This led to a discussion about how the Passover points us to Jesus, the Lamb of God, and how His blood covers our sin when it's applied to our hearts so that God's judgment will "pass over" us when He sees the blood of Jesus applied to our sins.

 Nathanael often does playdough at the table while we do our lessons.
 Working on her Singapore math workbook.

 Working on Rod & Staff "Going on Eagerly" workbook, which focuses on following directions, thinking skills, cutting and pasting, patterns, etc. Nathanael is looking at a colouring page I printed off.

We read our chapter book read-aloud (Reddy Fox) during lunch time this day. We read one chapter a day and have discussion questions about the passage to work on listening and comprehension and character building.

 Reading/Phonic lesson for the day. She is using Pathway Readers and workbooks. I usually write new concepts or review concepts on a white board.
 Here she is reading her reading selection for the day from her Pathway Book.
 Working on her Pathway workbook, which has a grammar/spelling/vocab/reading comprehension lesson that corresponds to the passage she was reading in her reader.
 Social Studies. We are working through Canada, My Country curriculum. Lately we have been working on labeling the oceans, talking about the east and west coasts of Canada, finding the St Lawrence River, the Great Lakes, learning provinces, and learning about the Appalachian region of Canada. 

 One benefit of home schooling is plenty of time to learn practical skills. She was so excited to peel her own potato!
 Yep, still in pajamas today! This is her Going on Eagerly workbook again.
 Doing a poem with actions to reinforce the history & Bible lessons we are learning this week.
 A Reason for Handwriting Book A, which is a Bible-based printing program.

 Science. Learning about migrating birds & butterflies. Learning about clouds, snow, and rain.
 Doing an experiment with cottonballs and water to understand cloud formation and the water cycle.
 Art time. Here, she is making a quail (which went along with our Bible lesson about God providing the quail and manna in the desert).
 This week she also worked on learning how to clean the bathroom. She has been BEGGING me to teach her this for awhile, so I finally took the time to give her a thorough lesson :-D
 She spent a long time colouring in her calendar today. She loves art & has been really into colouring lately. She also has her history book open (History for Little Pilgrims).I think we were learning about the 10 Commandments & the Golden Calf this day.

 Reading from our chapter book with a little monkey on my lap (she was terribly clingy this day).
 Singapore Math Textbook.

 Number bonds. Learning about Methods of Subtraction. The top picture is her Singapore Math textbook. The bottom picture is her workbook.
 Reading lesson from Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons. We have mostly abandoned this book (she only has a handful of lessons left) in favour for Pathway Readers. But since she had finished her First Steps book and workbook, we took a break from the Pathway program to do a lesson from this book before we start the new Pathway Reader Days Go By.
The pictures are only a glimpse of what our official "schooling" looks like during a week (not all of this was from one day!). We also use online games to learn, French youtube videos, educational dvds, library books, I teach her music lessons, and they pretty much get as much time to play outside as they want. The short school day means lots of time for exploring, playing, learning while just doing life, and time for building family relationships. It's not always "fun" for me everyday and it can feel overwhelming at times, I'll admit, but all in all, I really do love home schooling and getting to spend so much time learning alongside my little jewels.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Menu Plan Monday

Monday: Spaghetti with Artichoke Hearts and Creamy Tomato Sauce

Tuesday: Mennonite Style Chicken Noodle Soup (using leftover chicken & turkey in freezer)

Wednesday: Fall of the Bone BBQ Ribs, Mashed Potatoes, Cooked Mixed Veggies, Coleslaw

Thursday:  Leftovers

Friday: Homemade Pizza & Veggies / Dip

Saturday: Leftovers or a Fritatta similar to this one

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Go-To Meals for Busy Days

I really love to cook. If I can cook undisturbed and have someone else clean up the kitchen, I find it very relaxing. This is all theoretical, of course, because I have yet to experience such a delight. However, I have been tossing around the idea of sending our kids to the grandparents or auntie's house for one evening a month so I can cook up a fancy supper meal for an at-home date.  This way I can experiment with some fancy and expensive ingredients and avoid all the complaining about things like scallops and crab and hopefully not waste much food or money from picky eaters.

In reality, most days I just do not have the time or energy to cook the way I would like, so fast and frugal meals that don't require much effort are what it's at right now.

Here are some of our current favourites that frequently appear on our table:

Spaghetti with Creamy Tomato Sauce (I don't follow the recipe exactly...I also usually leave out the artichokes to save money, but I do really love them in this)

Tuna Stroganoff over Egg Noodles & Cooked Mixed Veggies
(1 can of flaked tuna - not drained, 1 can of cream of mushroom soup, 1/2 cup sour cream, 1-2 tsp lemon juice, salt & pepper, parsley, a few sliced sautéed mushrooms, and cooked diced onions simmered together for a few minutes and served over cooked egg noodles) I know it doesn't look or sound very appetizing, but this is surprisingly good. My husband really loves this meal, and I love how cheap and fast it is to throw together.

Crispy Southwest Bean & Rice Burritos with Salsa & Sour Cream (Basically I toss together cooked rice, black beans, salsa, lime juice, chili powder, cumin, salt, and pepper. I mix it all together in a bowl, sprinkle shredded cheddar cheese on a tortilla, spoon the rice mixture overtop, wrap it up, spritz with olive oil or cooking spray and cook it on a cast iron grill pan until it's nice and crispy.) This is probably our #1 family favourite cheap and quick meal. Served with salsa, sour cream, guacamole if I have avocados in the house, and veggies and dip on the side.

BLT Sandwiches (sometimes on their own or with soup or potato wedges on the side)

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Middle of the Week Menu Plan

We are taking this week off of school since everyone in our house is feeling a bit under the weather (head colds and sore throats). So far I am the healthiest of the bunch and am still feeling pretty good, so I'm trying to get a few things caught up in the house. I am terribly behind on going through pictures and updating baby books, but I think that will have to wait until next week as I have been going through the kids clothes again and have several things I need to get ready to sell online.  Overall, Brielle has been sleeping so much better, and unless she eats something that bothers her stomach, she is now sleeping through the night. This has made such a difference, and I am so grateful.

Monday: Thanksgiving meal with family

Tuesday: Burrito Bowls/Wraps (rice, beans, cheese, salsa, sour cream, lime juice, cumin and chili powder mixed together)

Wednesday: Honey Sriracha Sesame Chicken, Rice (Cauliflower rice for me), Broccoli

Thursday: Frozen Pizza (Thursdays are typically our busiest days activity-wise)

Friday: Tuna Stroganoff, Egg Noodles, Mixed Veggies

Saturday: Turkey Noodle Soup (using leftover turkey from freezer)

Sunday: Leftovers

Monday, October 5, 2015

Menu Plan Monday

I am keeping it very simple this week, and we will be eating lots of leftovers. 

Monday: Crockpot Roast Beef, Mashed Potatoes, Cooked Mixed Veggies, Cabbage Salad

Tuesday: Leftovers

Wednesday: Birthday party supper

Thursday: Mennonite Style Turkey Soup (using leftover turkey from the freezer)

Friday: Leftover soup

Saturday: BLTs

Sunday: Thanksgiving

Breakfasts around our house are very basic. My husband eats bread with jam pretty much every single day for breakfast, and he never really gets tired of eating the same things day after day. The kids usually have cereal (rice krispies, honey nut cheerios, or frosted flakes), toast, or oatmeal with whatever fruit we have around. Occasionally they eat scrambled eggs if I make them for myself. I eat the most variety for breakfast, depending on what I feel like eating. If I'm low-carbing it, I usually have 1 or 2 eggs, 1-2 slices of bacon, and coffee with cream. Other times I have oatmeal, or Greek yogurt & berries, or toast. Sometimes I make up a batch of muffins the night before, and we have those for breakfast.

Lunches are also very simple. The kids and my husband usually eat sandwiches (pb&j, egg salad, tuna, or ham and cheese) with veggies & fruit or leftovers. Lately I have been making a big pot of "skinny borscht" (cabbage, onions, celery, canned tomatoes with chicken broth and a package of lipton onion soup mix, dill, and sriracha) and eating that for my lunch most days.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Reason #146...

 Reason #146 why I love home schooling (most of the time!)...
 I get to hear all sorts of funny comments from my kids.

When Elianna was practising printing her letter "q"s today, she said, "You know, a q looks just like a seahorse except that instead of a pointy head, it has a round head, and I guess its tail needs to be a bit curlier, too."  That kid has animals, critters, or sea life on her mind all.day.long. I love her. :-)

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Grade 1 Homeschool Curriculum Plan

I wasn't planning on starting "school" until next week, but yesterday Elianna was really wanting to "do school", so we did. Today we took the day off to go to a "not back to school" party and meet some fellow home schooling families.

 Here is the plan for this year (Grade 1) in case you were interested. I also want to do a few "day in the life" posts this year with pictures as I personally love reading those kinds of things.

For the most part, we are using Heart of Dakota's Little Hearts for His Glory as our main guide/lesson plan and supplemental activities.

  • Science
  • Social Studies/History
  • Bible
    • Reading through the Bible plan for Heart of Dakota
    • Devotions for the Children's Hour (as outlined in Heart of Dakota)
    • Hide em' in Your Heart cd 
  • Music/Art/Drama/French/Phys Ed
    • I will be teaching Elianna piano lessons using Music for Little Mozarts
    • Draw.Write.Now Book 1 for drawing lessons
    • Arts/Crafts activities that correspond to daily lessons (as planned in Heart of Dakota)
    • Dramatic play as outlined in Heart of Dakota guide
    • French youtube videos & free resources
    • Phys Ed - free play, extracurricular sports, etc.
That is the plan for this year. It takes only about 1 1/2 to 2 hours a day, 5 days a week of  actual "school work" to get this all done in 35 weeks or so. The biggest challenge is keeping the 18 month old and 3 1/2 year old out of trouble during "school." I am also working through Little Hands to Heaven (prek) with Nathanael to try to keep him somewhat involved and occupied. 

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Milk Allergy & a Rough Day

Last night I got 3 hours of sleep. This is not all that unusual, although it is a bit worse than usual. I *attempted* to nap this morning as I wanted to be as coherent as possible for the kids' paediatrician appointment. Well, the first 2 hours were spent breaking up fights between my oldest two. Then, Elianna informed me that Brielle (who was in her playpen) had gone "number 2" and ripped off her diaper and had thrown it on the rug. It's her newest skill. Nice. So I spent the next hour cleaning that up and bathing B. At 11 am I still hadn't drank my coffee and thus was feeling the ill-effects of my caffeine withdrawal. I feel like a bit of a bear-cat before my morning coffee. Just keeping it real, here.  I took a minute to scarf down my coffee with a piece of cake for breakfast since I was too lazy/tired to make toast. I hopped in the shower because, well, the combination of my greasy 3-day hair and the morning's unpleasant events made it necessary. At this point, I was starting to run late for the appointment, so I quickly fed the kids a couple of leftover biscuits to tie them over until after the appointment. Our appointments were running late, but thankfully the children managed to refrain from acting like a bunch of hooligans in the waiting room. They saved all their hooliganism until after we were in the doctor's office, and I was trying to have an important adult discussion, which I have little experience with these days. Okay, it wasn't quite that bad...I'm sure he's seen it all. During the doctor's appointment, Brielle managed to fall off a chair (a toddler chair) and scream, bang her head on the corner of the doctor's desk and scream, make strange at the doctor and scream, all while Nathanael and Elianna argued over whose turn it was with some dinky toy. I hate dinky toys.

 "Oh, and is Elianna going to be going to school. Grade 1?"

"No, actually we are home schooling this year. Nah, make that road-schooling. We figured we should take our circus act on the road this year..."

Okay, so I didn't respond quite that way. Oh, but I wanted to.

All this to say Brielle will be entering the ranks of the dairy-free. I have long suspected a milk allergy may have something to do with her major sleep issues. I had cut her milk way back, especially in the evening, but it still didn't seem to be helping that much. Today at the pediatrician's we found out that her blood test showed a milk allergy. Thankfully, it's not too severe, but it is definitely enough that we need to go dairy-free for her. I cook with lots of dairy, so this will definitely add a bit of meal planning stress. However, if this fixes her sleep problems, I will happily welcome some minor inconvenience in the meal department. She didn't show any issues with eggs or wheat, so that's good.


We'll live and learn and life will go on.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Menu Plan Monday

I'm am still lamenting the star of the end of summer. I can't believe that we will soon officially kick off a new homeschool year. Most public school kids are back to school in one week around here. I am not planning on officially starting until after the long weekend (later than public school kids). We may fit in some school here and there in the meantime, but I'm mostly focusing on getting some character charts and chore charts/routines in place. We also want to take some time to just hang out as a family, enjoy the last of harvest, take some combine rides, etc. The flexibility of home schooling is definitely a major plus, so we will try to make the most of the remaining warm weather.

Monday: Tuna Stroganoff (a new frugal and fast favourite), corn on the cob, green beans

Tuesday: Homemade Pizza, carrot sticks

Wednesday: Southwest Chicken & Rice Wraps (another frugal & fast favourite) using leftover chicken from the freezer, Corn on the Cob, Veggies & Dip

Thursday: Breakfast for Dinner (pancakes, eggs, bacon or a frittata)

Friday: BBQ turkey (I'm going to attempt to bbq a turkey for the first time), Mashed Potatoes, Steamed Veggies

Saturday: Leftovers

Sunday: Something simple or out to eat

Friday, August 21, 2015

Faith Stretching - Part 3

Well, the answer was no. Another door, window, crack in the wall, whatever it was closed.  Read part 2 here. Honestly, we are pretty disappointed. This really did seem like such a good thing for us. That's where faith and trust and hope come in even when I feel very crummy. Pressed but not crushed...perplexed, but not driven to despair. Perplexed. Yes, that about sums up the way I feel about my life right now.

Somewhere behind the clouds the sun is still shining, right?
Sometimes, though, it is hard to keep hope alive.
I feeling pretty bummed today, fighting back the tears of yet another disappointment. Two significant doors closed in two weeks.  On second thought....so much for fighting back the tears...

God is still good...even when the answer is no....and I don't understand why it couldn't have been yes.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

(Not) Back to School Bootcamp

I received my parcel of home schooling goodies last week, which is always really exciting for everyone. I was so, so pleased to see Elianna grab the first reader (First Steps, which is the first of three Pathway readers for Grade 1), open it up, and READ it. She even took it to bed with her to read at night. I was kind of shocked, actually. I knew that reading had started to click with her, and we had been slowly working through the Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons book. However, I was unsure of how much of it was really sinking in until this past week. It is a huge relief for me to see her starting to enjoy reading and getting better. My approach to phonics/reading for this year (Grade 1) is to not push her too hard since she has already mastered the phonics basics. Instead of ordering Grade 2 phonics/spelling/language arts, I stuck with Grade 1 choices that would really emphasize what she has already learned and build her confidence. As far as education goes, reading is one of the most important things to really master, in my opinion, and I want her to not just "get by" but develop exceptional reading skills and a love for reading.

Oh yes, back to the title of this post...

Though I am a bit perfectionist, I'm not very organized. I'm not very neat. I'm not terribly structured, either. I have horrendous penmanship. It is chicken-scratch to the extreme. All this to say, I need to create some structure in my life. Elianna is now in Grade 1...so things are getting serious this year...haha.

(Not) back to school boot camp will consist of the following:

A Blessings Chart (rewards for good behaviour)
If/Then Chart (for consistent discipline)
Some sort of chore chart
Some sort of routine in place for school

I plan to create and then implement the Blessings chart and If/Then chart for the first week, chores and intensive chore training the second week, and then back to school after that. I hope to ease the kids into this all and get this in place before we officially start school. Of course, "life" might get in the way of my plans. Regardless, I will at least try.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Faith Stretching - Part 2

Remember this post where I was praying for a very specific mountain to move?  Well, we finally received our answer. The Lord said no. Was it hard? Sort of, but not really. In some ways, "no's" can be easier than yes's as they are usually more obvious answers. We had a great talk with our kids about how sometimes God answers our prayers with a no, and that we need to trust Him because He knows what is best for us. You know how the saying goes, "When God closes a door, somewhere he opens a window."

The same day the door was closed, a surprising window opened. At least, it's open for now. We were surprised. I actually get kind of embarrassed talking about our life these days, because, quite frankly, there is a lot of drama. I really need to journal everything because it would be so cool to look back some day and perhaps see glimpses of God's leading. God's timing regarding some things is incredible.  So, we pray again. We pray again for a different, yet very specific mountain to move. This time, there are a few mountains that we would like to see move. Pray for wisdom and clear answers. Friends, I thought that what we were praying for a few months ago would be the perfect "yes" answer in my finite mind. That answer was a clear no. Now, there is a possibility for something we never even considered before, and it could potentially be the most perfect and unexpected answer. Really. It could be that perfect. Yet, God might say no again. But maybe, maybe, this time He will say yes. So, we will pray in faith.

Friends, the Lord is good even when the answer is no. 

The Lord is good, though our failings and falterings are many...though "nothing good dwells inside me, that is in my sinful nature."

The Lord is good.

His mercies are new every morning.

Great is His faithfulness.

Even when the answer is no.

P.S. If you feel led, we would appreciate your prayers for us regarding this new "mountain".

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Slow Down, Summer

It hit me today how quickly summer is flying by. The fact that the first snowfall could be only 8 short weeks away is freaking me out a little. I'm trying to not dwell on it and enjoy the days as they come, taking full advantage of the beautiful weather whenever possible.

I finally got my act together and filled out the paperwork for registering for the home schooling year, which I will mail out tomorrow. I also ordered all my Grade 1 material today, which will be shipped out tomorrow and arrive in the next week or so. I am a bit nervous about the upcoming year as I am still kind of a bird-brain, all-over-the-place, undisciplined, exhausted "mess" most days. I really, really hope Brielle gets her sleep act together soon, but I'm not holding my breath...

This gal loves animals of all sorts. Kitties & puppies are favourites, of course. Today, she showed me a sticker and asked me if it was a narwhal. A nar  - what?! Sure enough, it was. Then, we proceeded to watch a youtube video about narwhals. What...um....interesting creatures those things are. She can rattle off facts about animals like no one's business. Tonight while we were reading a story about animals, there was a picture of a flamingo. She told me that pink flamingos have pink feathers because they eat plankton and "allergy" (she meant algae. haha.) I didn't really believe her (though I didn't tell her that), so I just googled it now. Sure enough, she's right. I think she learns most of this stuff from Wild Kratts, but her ability to retain all the information is incredible...and scary.

And this crazy boy loves 4-wheelers. Oh, does he ever love 4-wheelers. And boats. He cracks me up, and it's honestly so hard to stay on top of disciplining him because he's such a comedian. Today, he and Elianna were arguing over what to name their toy dog they were playing with. Elianna wanted to call it Lasagna, but Nate insisted that no, it's name was BIZ-zonya!).

What can I say...the baby stage is over. Makes me sad, in a way. She is a toddler. That is becoming more and more evident every day. It's fun seeing her personality come out. She can be such a tease sometimes. Poor girl is still struggling with tummy issues at night most nights.

I pray that summer is long this year. Normally I am wishing summer away for the cool days of my favourite season, Fall. Not this year. Time is flying by far too quickly. I wish it would slow down, but time waits for no one.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Menu Plan

I'm feeling kind of uninspired with regard to meals these days. For the next month, I'm going to do my best to use what I have in the freezer, garden, and pantry and see if I can cut our grocery bill down a bit. This next month or two are going to be extremely busy with harvest coming up. I got really behind on the housework and laundry over the long weekend, so I'm hoping to take a break from the internet to get things back in order around here and then start on preserving the garden things that need to be dealt with (chokecherries, for example).

Monday: visiting family

Tuesday: Moroccan Chicken & Lentil Soup

Wednesday: Pizza, Veggies & Dip

Thursday: leftovers

Friday:  Turkey, Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans

Saturday: Leftovers

Sunday: Something simple (pancakes, grilled cheese, etc.)

Friday, July 24, 2015

When My Hair Got the Chop Suey

I finally chopped my hair off. I also got blonde highlights. I am planning on adding some more highlights as the contrast between my dark hair and the really light highlights is a little much for my personal taste, and I do want to go blonde. I had considered dying my whole head blonde, but the hairdresser thought we should just do highlights and keep adding more later to get more blonde. Less maintenance. Overall, I love it. Perhaps my favourite haircut ever! My only regret is not chopping it off sooner. I am pretty sure my hair will never be this long again. 

Before: K, why did someone not tell me that I was growing 2 horse tails out of my head?? Seriously, that was the first thing I thought when I saw this picture. I didn't even realize my hair had gotten this long...oy.

 After: Haven't had my hair straight in years. Yes, years. I also love this haircut when I leave it in its natural wavy state, too. I had a picture of that, but I accidentally deleted it. It's super low-maintenance. I'm really loving it. This hair feels so much more "me."

On another note, here is my latest favourite running song. I also think it would make a good funeral song. A good running and good funeral song. A definite winner. Sorry to be morbid. I just love the lyrics so much. It is not my story. It is His story.

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