Thursday, September 24, 2015

Early rising.

I used to be a total night owl. I'm pretty sure in college I never went to bed before 1am. But, when you are a mom of early risers, sleeping in just isn't a part of life. I think early on in having kids I felt frustrated that I couldn't sleep in. But honestly, I kind of just let go of that. Because I realized on mornings where my sweet husband did let me sleep in I felt bummed that I had missed out on a sweet morning with my family. So, I basically decided to be a morning person. And it was kind of that easy. Although, since having more kids and adding in homeschooling my days are really full. So, it has become really important to me to wake up early before anyone else so that I can have some quiet time. I am a much better mom when I have had the chance to wake up, have a cup of coffee and spend some time with the Lord before I greet my small people. It kind of makes me laugh now because I know in the past when I have wanted to get up early to exercise or something it never lasted for more than a few days. I guess it just wasn't enticing enough to get out of my cozy bed and exercise. But, coffee and some alone time before my day starts is totally worth waking up early. I love and treasure this time so much. So these days my alarm is set at 5:40 and I stumble downstairs and get the coffee maker going (and a smart person would prep the coffee pot the night before... but apparently I am not that person). Usually I have until 6:15 or 6:30 until I am greeted by one of my little boys.
Yesterday I got up early to work on making prayer cards, an idea I got at a prayer conference at our church awhile back. I loved having the quiet time to work on this!

P.S. The key to waking up early is to just start doing it. I used to try to start by going to bed earlier but it is hard to make yourself fall asleep early if you are used to staying up late. But, after several days of consistently waking up early you will be tired and start easily falling asleep early. Now I fall asleep between 9:30 and 10 almost every night.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Field trippin'

On Friday the kids and I went on a little field trip to Purina Farms with some homeschool friends. I had never been before but it was such a good time. Here are a few pictures from our adventure.

I might have even teared up during the whole dog show. Not that the dogs were that spectacular... although their jumping up to catch frisbees was pretty impressive... But, I was just so thankful to be there with my kids. Getting to watch their little faces light up. Being the one who gets to enjoy their moments and days is such a privilege that I really do not take for granted.

And this is totally unrelated but I LOVED this post from Kelly's Korner on sleep. I really wish she had written it 7 years ago when Sophie was a baby. It is about babies and sleeping and it is just such a good post. I remember feeling so judged by some of my mom friends at the time and just feeling like I was the worst mom. I'm so thankful for mommy bloggers like Kelly who are so encouraging! So, if your baby isn't a good sleeper go read this and be encouraged... and maybe treat yourself to a Starbucks today! 

Friday, September 18, 2015

The best kind of girl time.

When your daughter asks if you can sit down and have tea together and read Bible verses to each other there is only one answer. Yes, please.
 Sophie got out our Bibles and I made the tea. Soph suggested we read the book of Daniel. I ended up doing most of the reading because there are some hard names to pronounce in that book.
Then she went and got beads to make us friendship bracelets. She wanted to make me one so I won't miss her so much when she moves to China to become a missionary. She also plans to marry a Chinese boy she finds there. I'm not sure Nick is excited about this plan.

I am so thankful to have a daughter.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Playtime on the deck,

My kids were playing so nicely outside all together that I had to go and take a picture. I was so impressed at how well they were all getting along.They had all came up with a great plan together and had quickly gathered what they needed and ran outside to play together... and then before I was even all the way back inside they started fighting... Ha. Oh well, it was still a sweet moment and they really do love each other.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

I am ready for fall.

It was in the 80's yesterday. It is supposed to be in the 90's at the end of this week. I am trying really hard to pretend that it is fall but this weather is not helping. I channeled it all yesterday with corduroy pants and moccasins... But, the hotness just takes away all feelings of fall. So lame. I did see 75 in the forecast for the weekend so that is promising. We shall see.

In other news, we took a family trip out to Trader Joe's yesterday evening after dinner. I finally scored and they had 3 bags left of frozen cauliflower rice, so of course I snagged up every single bag. Cauliflower rice is not that hard to make but I love the idea of just dumping it out of the bag but they never have it in stock. I was mildly giddy. I also got gluten free pumpkin pancake mix for a deliciously FALL post Whole30 breakfast.

I love Trader Joe's! And I love fall... so hurry up and get here!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Mondays can be good.

Mondays can sometimes be hectic. Yesterday was a pretty good one though. I'm really trying to focus on being present and enjoying my days at home with my kids and I can tell a huge difference on days that I do.

 On Monday mornings my big kids have piano lessons. Sometimes I go to Target. But, Sam is not my favorite Target shopping companion these days so lately I go and grab a coffee and then park back at our piano teacher's house, put on a movie for the little boys and read or journal. It is lovely.

And I just had to show this picture because I love it. Two year olds are the best. This was Sam when I asked him to smile while he was watching his movie. He was so precious looking up at the League of Increadible Vegetables but then you know how kids are. He sensed that there was a camera pointed at him.... so I got the stink face.

Last night as I was making dinner I was overwhelmed with gratitude for this life I am getting to live. Homeschooling is hard and a lot of days it makes me cry. Having 4 younger kids right now (especially three of them being boys... do you know boys can't keep their hands to themselves for even a minute? Physically impossible.) is really hard and some days I cry because I feel like a failure. A really tired failure. But, yesterday I felt so grateful. I wouldn't want to be doing anything else with my life. Being a mom has always been my dream and I get to do it. 

So yeah, this Monday was a pretty good one.

Monday, September 14, 2015

5 days to go...

Happy Monday! Man, weekends are always so short. I'm kind of excited for this week though because we are wrapping up our second Whole 30. I think this one has been harder mostly because I haven't been as creative with meals and I have just sort of been "over it". But, you can't argue with the benefits. Since starting our first Whole 30 I am down 20 pounds as of yesterday. (Yeah, I know you aren't supposed to weigh yourself during it and we didn't during the first one but this second one we are not being the best rule followers, please don't tell the Whole 30 police.)

I thought I would share two products that have helped make things a little easier this time around...

 La Croix sparkling water. If you are a soda drinker like I was (bring on ALL the Diet Coke) it can take a little while to learn to like these. They are not super sweet like soda. But, now I really like them and the bubbliness helps curb soda cravings! They are a fun little "treat" that I like to have with lunch or Nick and I will have one while watching a show at night.

Cauliflower crumbles! So, it turns out making cauliflower rice from a regular head of cauliflower is not that hard. But, anytime I have to clean my food processor is a bit of a bummer. These make life easy. I also love using them to just throw in the skillet with other chopped veggies and a little olive oil and saute it. Then I throw in a little bit of whatever leftover protein I have from the week and lunch is made. I call it a "bowl of food"... appetizing, right?

Even though this second Whole 30 has been harder I am really glad we are doing it. I feel like the first 30 taught me so much about myself and eating habits but this second one is really bringing it to the next level and hopefully is helping me form some new habits. I guess we will see!

Sunday, September 13, 2015

According to the experts...

I saw this article on Facebook today and it brought a huge smile to my face... "Study Finds the Happiest Parents Have Four or More Kids". I have no idea if this study coming out of Australia is accurate or now for society at large but I must vouch for the fact that I love having a "bigger" family. I always wanted to have 5 or 6 kids (which was promptly discouraged when I mentioned my plans to adults) but I always thought that it seemed like big families had more fun. Now I am pretty sure that it is true. And I am so thankful for these 4 people that God has allowed us to raise...

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Overcoming the Saturday morning funk.

For a long time I struggled on Saturday mornings when we didn't have plans. I think Saturday mornings are kind of like Christmas... you know, you look forward to Christmas day all year long and then sometimes it can be kind of a let down. And I look forward to Saturday morning all week long, so the pressure is kind of on.

But, I feel like I have finally embraced Saturday mornings. I feel like we sort of have a little routine now. We usually all have breakfast together which is followed by Nick and I sitting on the couch enjoying our coffee. Then we spend about an hour cleaning up the house. This is usually followed by loading up into the car where we drive through and get another cup of coffee (don't judge our life) and then we hit up either the library or a park. Today it was the library.
I love it.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Little Life Updates

Everytime I sit down at this blog I think about how much I love it. And how it really doesn't take that much time. And I should really do it everyday. Because it makes me happy and I love looking back at what our family was up to at different times. But, I don't blog often anymore. And I don't know why. So... we will just go from there!

And anyway, I bring you a little life update/brain dump in bullet list form.

  • Nick and I are on day 22 of our second round of Whole30. It is harder this time which I think is because I have not been creative or making a big effort with meals and we are a bit bored. But, in some ways I think that is good for us because it is helping us to see that there are other exciting things in life besides food. At least that is what I am telling myself...
  • Homeschooling is hard this year. No, not the homeschooling. The keeping 2 little boys from killing each other while trying to impart wisdom and knowledge on the older two kids. And also every time I don't hear screaming I find Sam dancing on top of the kitchen or bathroom counters. Ladies and gentlemen, I have a CLIMBER!
  • In an effort to save my sanity since starting school I have instituted a daily "Mommy time-out". It lasts about 15 minutes but I make an amazing cup of tea (this gal's tea has converted this tea hater into a tea lover) and read a chapter of a fiction book. A book just for fun that is not going to make me a better person in any way. I finished this one yesterday. I adored it and am sad it is over. 
  • The hot weather is making me sad. I am ready for fall. Fall is my very favorite season. I love the weather, the colors... I love how fall begs you to cozy up and make soup and drink hot beverages and watch football. It really is the best. Plus the holidays are coming up after that so there is that excitement and anticipation.
  • Since starting school up again I am reminded of how much I need to wake up before my kids if I have any hope of being a happy mom when they wake up. Unfortunately, my kids also wake up pretty early these days. So, you will now find me curled up on my couch with my Bible around 5:30 every morning. This also means I go to bed every night by like 9:30, but I am comfortable with that.
  • Last weekend we did a massive decluttering and took three loads to Goodwill. We are still kind of in the process so I imagine we have at least one more trip. Our trash pile waiting for the garbage truck today is huge. I hope they take it all. I still need to go through our closet, Sophie's room (that girl is a packrat, you will probably see her on hoarders one day) and the laundry room. I am not sure if it is getting older or just the reality of having 4 kids and homeschooling but my tolerance for clutter has gone way down over the past few years.
  • Sam is not a kid who will sit and watch tv. However, he discovered the movie Babe and is slightly obsessed and will watch the first 30-40 minutes completely mesmerized. That boy loves animals.
  • I found Soph a little chef's hat and apron on clearance at Target and she has basically taken over all of the cooking since then. Okay, I am exaggerating but she has been helping out a lot in the kitchen and I think she looks so sweet in her little outfit.

Well, I guess it is time to get the day going. Happy Friday all!