Friday, January 24, 2014

Another one bites the dust?

Ugh. Sickness strikes again in the Ramsey home. Sophie and Sam are both running fevers, but have no other symptoms aside from crankiness. I am hoping that it isn't another month of sickness for our family. I got a little stir crazy after the last one! At least Sophie is old enough to talk to me about how she is feeling and to know that she needs to lay down and rest. Sam is a little more difficult.

We were supposed to have a family over for dinner tonight that is new to the area that we were looking forward to getting to know them better. We were all so bummed to have to cancel. Hopefully we can reschedule soon. Canceling fun plans is always a bummer!

Whenever we go through a season of sickness I am always reminded of how thankful I am to have the opportunity to stay at home and not work. I can't imagine the stress of Nick and I trying to juggle things and get off work when sickness sticks around for days and weeks on end.

So, I think our weekend will be pretty laid back with lots of rest and fluids for people. My house is kind of a mess so I am thankful for the opportunity to get caught up on housework and just be at home with my favorite people!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Another week!

We had a good weekend and are now diving into week 2 with the kids going to co-op three days a week. They were excited to go back which I am taking as a very good sign. I am enjoying my one on one time with Jack (Sam takes a long morning nap so he is asleep most of the time the kids are gone!) and hopefully we will be in a bit of a routine soon. 

Our weekend was busy but fun. Friday night we had a family movie night. Star Wars + popcorn + all my favorite peeps snuggled on the couch = a really great evening. I hadn't even seen a Star Wars movie before we got married and although I still am not a die hard fan I don't mind watching them (which is a BIG deal for a girl who is not a movie watcher!). 

On Saturday, Sophie and I met some of the ladies from my family for lunch to celebrate my Grandma June's birthday. Then we followed it up with a little trip to Bath and Body Words (I am obsessed with their candles!) and then came home and watched another Star Wars movie. I ended up falling asleep and slept until almost 6 so we ended up grabbing Chick-fil-a for dinner since I didn't have much time to cook anything.
Photo: Happy Birthday Mom! Great lunch!
Sunday we went to church and then met up with my parents for lunch. We went back to their house to watch the Broncos game. We had to leave in the middle of the game because Sam hadn't napped all day and was getting cranky. We came home and watched the rest of the game and then I made Cheeseburger Soup for dinner (a family favorite... not a healthy one!). Then Nick and I spent the evening watching football and doing housework.

Overall it was a very good weekend!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

100 Days

I have heard it takes 21 days to make or break a habit. I am not sure how accurate this is, but it makes sense. I am not the most habit-driven, self disciplined person. Routine is basically a 4 letter word to me... how my husband and I ended up together remains a mystery (he is a routine/habit kinda guy).

But, after making some New Years Resolutions and starting to form a bit of a routine now that the big kids are in school three days a week, I have been feeling like I want to establish some new habits. I came across this printable from the amazing Ann Voskamp and it seemed like just the ticket to get myself in gear.

It is a 100 Days Calendar. To use it you pick three habits you want to work on forming (only three!) and everyday for 100 days you write them down and check them off. The idea is of course that you don't want to break your streak and so you keep going. And if a new habit is formed after 21 days I would imagine it would be rock solid after 100.

It was hard for me to narrow it down to three habits. I want to make myself totally perfect and awesome immediately (I am only half kidding). Part of me wanted to make them all weight loss related... eat a healthy breakfast every day, drink lots of water, don't snack after dinner, dessert only once a week... Or all housekeeping related, or all spiritual. So, I decided to pick things from three different "categories" and hope that progress in these things would flow naturally to bigger progress overall.

I decided to go focus on 3 new daily habits- make bed (I feel like this motivates me to keep things tidier elsewhere and sets the tone for the day), exercise (while I don't think getting in a full workout every single day is plausible for me I think I can fit in something every day, even if it is just a quick walk around the block or a dance party with my little people), read the Bible (since I am working on reading through the Bible in a year I have extra motivation).

So, here's to new habits! (If nothing else cute printables motivate me to do just about anything! ha!)

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Menu Board

One of my New Years Resolutions this year was to get back on the menu planning wagon. My friend Crystal suggested we take a little inspiration and make menu boards like these. I am so excited about how mine turned out.

I started by making a list of about 30 recipes that our family enjoys. Then I wrote them on my cards (I used white index cards that I cut in half horizontally). My plan is to write the ingredient list on the back of each card to make meal planning even easier, but I haven't finished this yet.

This was especially easy for me to make because Rowdy in Room 30 had all of the printables available! So, I just printed and cut. For my actual board I used an old picture frame that I had turned into a chalkboard awhile back with chalkboard paint. I used clothes pins for my days of the week. To make my card and pen holder I just used an empty toilet paper roll that I taped on the bottom. Then I hot glued everything on.

My family loves this menu board. They love looking and seeing what is for dinner. I also thought it would be fun from time to time to let them help plan the meals by going through the cards or letting everyone pick a card for the week.

I also made extra cards for nights for nights when we have other dinner plans, "Dinner with Family", "Out to Eat", "Leftovers", "Peine Family" (our small group), "Freezer Meal".

I think this is going to really keep me on track with my menu planning. Plus, it is pretty to look at... win/win!

Monday, January 13, 2014

First Day

These cuties were pretty excited for their first day of school today. I blogged earlier about how the kids will be attending a co-op three days a week for about 5 hours a day.

 I was a nervous wreck but did not let on! I am sure they will have a great day. I am praying all day that they will feel safe and loved and make good friends! I prayed with them on the way to school and we prayed that they would make good choices and bring honor and glory to God in all that they do.

Needless to say, 1:25 can't come soon enough. I can't wait to hear how their first day went. These two definitely have my heart!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

A post in two parts...

January 7, 2014
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This is my view at the moment. It is 14 degrees right now... which is balmy compared to the negative temperatures we had all day yesterday! Since it is a snow day the "no tv on weekdays" rule is buried under inches of snow. So, while my....

January 8, 2014
And then the baby woke up so I didn't really end up getting to blogging yesterday! So, I thought I would go ahead and finish up now! It is currently 27 degrees right now so we are practically in a heat wave.

I think life is starting to return to normal. School was canceled all week but we do have small group tonight so that will bring a little normal. We even managed to sneak out of the house for a bit this morning to meet up with some friends and let the kids play at Chick-Fil-A. Grown-up conversation while the kids can run and yell behind closed glass... yes please!

This weather has definitely confirmed that I have no desire to move any further north. I like one good snowfall a year that lasts about a day and then I am over it. Ice and below zero temperatures? No thank you. Although, I can't say it is all bad. A snow day pretty much requires that some baking happens so we have eaten well around here.

I hope everyone else is staying warm and having a great Wednesday (or whatever day it is when you read this). If you want to read something that has something to say I highly reccomend this article.

Monday, January 6, 2014

When you can't do best...

We started off our year going strong using Sonlight Curriculum. Then I realized I didn't love it and pinpointed what I wanted to do differently next year. And then life hit me hard. Things got crazy, our family was sick for about a month, maybe the reality of caring for 4 kids ages 7 and under finally sunk in, I am not sure... But, I needed a new game plan.

An opportunity for our big kids to go to a co-op three days a week presented itself and I couldn't help but jump on the opportunity. The kids would go three days a week from 8:45-1:25, and be taught all of their core subjects and then sent home with homework to complete the other two days. When I heard that they had spots for my kids I felt like a 200 pound weight had been lifted off of my shoulders. Help had arrived.

I am excited for this change in our schooling this semester, but at the same time, I am sad. I believe with all of my heart that children being educated at home, taught by their mama full time, allowed to be taught to their own strengths and interests is the best educational choice hands down. Days spent around their kitchen table, playing with siblings all day, learning together... that is in my opinion the best case scenario.

But, sometimes you can't do what is best in every area of your life. Sometimes you have to settle for what is good. And I believe that for this season (or however long is necessary), that my kiddos being in a school type setting part time will be good. Maybe not the best, maybe not my ideal, but good.

So, our normal will be changed. There will be lunches to pack and the morning rush to get out the door. Homework to complete and teachers to check in with. It will be different. But, in this season, it will be good. This mama needs a little more breathing room and the opportunity to enjoy being a mom again. Time for puzzles with my three year old and banging on pots and pans with the baby. The opportunity to rekindle a love of teaching and being with my five and seven year old. A chance to refresh and recharge.

Yes, I think this will be very good.

Friday, January 3, 2014


I am one of those people that really likes making New Year's Resolutions. Not so much because I believe there is anything magical or special about a new year. But, I think a new year is a good benchmark for looking towards the next year and looking at the last one. And I am always seeking to grow as a person. I have loved reading blog posts and talking to my friends about their resolutions for this year. So, I decided to go ahead and blog mine.

This past year I was totally living in survival mode. I am excited to be more intentional this year. So, without further ado...

  1. Read through the Bible in a year. I did this a few years back and found that it was during this time that I had the most spiritual growth and was also the most disciplined in my daily Bible reading. I decided this year was a good year to do it again.
  2. Exercise everyday- even if it is just 5 or 10 minutes. I definitely want to lose weight and be healthier in the new year. I know for me, when I exercise I tend to eat and feel better. So, I want to make it a priority this year.
  3. Stick to our budget. Enough said.
  4. Make better food choices. I know this is vague. But, I am looking to take it one day at a time in the new year and when it comes to food my main goal is just to do better than I have been.
  5. Drink more water, less soda. This goes along with eating better. I went Diet Coke free for 6 months last year and I know it was so good for me. Not sure that I am ready to commit to that but, less is better.
  6. Have a date night every week. Most weeks this will be a "date night in". For awhile there we were doing great at making this a priority but we fell of the wagon a bit on this one. My marriage is my highest priority after my relationship with the Lord and I need to make sure I am treating it that way.
  7. Have a family game night once a week. Because, obviously, family game night is awesome.
  8. Count 1,000 gifts this year, Ann Voskamp style.
  9. Go to St. Louis Family Camp this summer. I have wanted to do this for the past few years and we haven't been able to make it work. Hopefully this is the year!
  10. Focus on my HOME- my family, my life. I want to be less concerned about what other people are doing and focus on the ministry God has given specifically to me.
  11. Meal plan. This is another thing I have fallen off the wagon on and our budget and wastelines have definitely paid the price.
  12. Read to the kids everyday. This is something I usually do already but I want to make sure I stay intentional about it. Nick reads to our kids every night before bed so I have to make time for it other times during the day.
  13. Stick to a cleaning routine. A messy house stresses me out... 
  14. Talk to Nick before making plans. This is less because Nick minds me making plans or anything. But, I know I am quick to say "yes" to everything that comes along. Waiting to talk to Nick gives me time to think things through and also helps us decide what is best for our family.
  15. Play classical music at home more. I believe exposing our children to good music is an important part of their education so it is something I just want to be more intentional about this year.
So, there they are. My 15 goals for the new year! Can't wait to see how 2014 plays out!

New Years Recap

We had a blast ringing in the new year! Our dearest friends the Jenkins family came up from Springfield to spend New Years Eve and New Years day with us! I think we have a new tradition? (Please say yes Christina!) :)

Their crew rolled into town around 3 in the afternoon and the kids immediately dissapeared, ready to play. Our kids all love each other so much and it is such a blessing to watch them play and play. 

For dinner New Years Eve we decided to do appetizers. We had quite the spread! Southwestern eggrolls, queso and chips, chicken bites, smokies, meatballs, cheese fondue, cheese and summer sausage... 
And for dessert we had a chocolate fountain and then some amazing peanut butter/chocolate/pretzel deliciousness that Christina made. 

We had a fabulous night just hanging out, eating too much, and laughing constantly. I think the kiddos crashed around 9 and the adults actually made it to midnight!

The next day we spent playing and then we had to top it off by taking our friends to our favorite pizza buffet for lunch.

We are so thankful for these friends that are much more like family. And we can't wait to see them again next month when we head to Springfield to celebrate my... gasp... 30th birthday ;). 

Christmas 2013 Recap

I can't believe all of the holidays fun is over and it will be back to reality in a few short days! Our family was sick right up until the weekend before Christmas so things were pretty calm around here leading up to Christmas. We didn't get to go and do a lot of our "usual" pre-Christmas activities. But, honestly, it ended up being a blessing in disguise. I learned that missing all of those things didn't really take anything away from our Christmas season as a family. In fact, I would say this was our best one to date. I felt like we had the perfect amount of activity and rest the week of Christmas.

The Friday before Christmas we went to Nick's work Christmas party. I was a little stressed to go since I didn't know anyone and wasn't sure what to expect but it ended up being a great night. Plus, it is always fun to get dressed up and go somewhere fancy with the man you love the most. It was also fun putting faces with all of the names I hear Nick talk about.

Saturday evening was our Christmas celebration with my mom's side of the family. Pretty sure I didn't get a single picture the whole night. Whoops!

Sunday we went to church and then in the afternoon we headed to Illinois to celebrate Christmas with Nick's sister and her family. I am thankful that we get together with them every year around Christmas and we always have so much fun (apparently too much fun to stop and take pics!) Jaime made delicious potato soup... I might have begged for leftovers... and a chocolate fountain! The kids had a blast playing with their cousins and it was just a fabulous evening. We ended it by driving through their town's light display which has sort of become a fun little tradition for our family.

Monday my mom and Grandma came over to decorate Christmas cookies with the kids. My mom decided to go ahead and bake all of the cookies ahead of time and just bring them over which was just perfect for our kids ages. All the fun and no waiting! My mom and I also realized who the elementary school teacher of the bunch was during the morning... my Grandma June was so patient and good at helping the kids decorate through the chaos! It was a very special morning and definitely one of my favorite moments of Christmas this year.

I was a little bummed on Christmas Eve because Nick had to work all day. But, knowing that we were going to Kitaro for dinner (a Japanese hibachi restaraunt) made it better. I started off the day taking Sam to the doctor (turned out he still had a nasty ear infection that antibiotics hadn't helped).  Then we got to go to dinner with my parents and sister and brother in-law. I love our Christmas Eve dinner! Being at one of my favorite resteraunts with my favorite people is just such a blessing. Then we came back to our house for some games. My family left after a little bit and we put the kids to bed. Then Nick and I turned on a movie and wrapped presents. It was a perfectly lovely Christmas Eve.

The kids were so excited when they woke up Christmas morning (obviously!). And Sam gave me an amazing Christmas present... he slept through the night for the first time in his life! We let the kids open their stockings and then we had breakfast. We lit the Advent candles and Nick read the Christmas story from the Jesus Storybook Bible. Then we opened presents. We stuck with our three present rule for our kiddos so they each got a book, a new board game, and then some little toy figurines I found at the Disney Store. Max got a Phineus and Pherb set, Jack got Monsters Inc. (he had informed us that he ONLY wanted Monsters Inc. toys for Christmas, ha) and Sophie got Sophia the First. Sam got shoes for Christmas since he didn't have any and apparently people frown on letting your children go barefoot in the winter...

After we let the kids play for a bit we went and picked up my Grandma and then headed out to my parent's. We immediately opened presents with them. Everyone got all sorts of fun things! Max's favorite was probably his bb gun that he had been begging for. Sophie got Frozen dolls that she loved and a pink toy rifle that she was suprisingly stoked about! Jack loved his Monsters Inc. toys of course. Sam got a push walker that he loved. Nick got lots of fun board games and computer stuff (I have no idea!). I was totally spoiled but my favorite gift is between a big red R or my new knife set...

For lunch my parent's ordered a ham smoked by a local BBQ place that is amazing. And then my mom made all the amazing sides. Now, I like ham fine. But this ham.... this ham was amazing. I can't begin to describe the deliciousness that was this ham. Thankfully I got to take home leftovers of that too. After lunch we spent the rest of the day just hanging out with my family. We played some games, watched some movies, and just chatted. It was lovely.

Sorry this post was a little long. I just wanted to remember all of the fun we had! IT was a blessed celebration for sure.