Friday, April 29, 2011

Mother's Day/Teacher Appreciation Week

Maybe it's a stretch but I think a homeschooling mom should take a week off. This coming week teacher Appreciation day is on the 3rd and then Mother's Day is next weekend on the 8th. It's like Spring Break right? I need to do this! So next week we are taking off from our regular programming. Meghan is going to be excited! I want to read lots and cook with the kids. We have a review project we need to do and then I can get to my review. :) I want a hand print art project from my kids and I want to organize and declutter my house a little. I got a new laptop too and I need to go through everything on my old one and organize and delete. The kids have some new Wii games that I am sure they would like to wear out. ;) I might even get organized for school the next week but let's not push it!

I am making a list of the things I would like for us to do next week but it's going to be relaxed too. If you have seen any cool art projects or know of a nice hand print craft please post! I want to frame or save them somehow, so something that can be saved. Oh! That reminds me! I really hope to make a silhouette of each kids face too! Yea I am excited too!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Giveaway: Little House Cookbook

When I was a kid my mom read us the Little House series. At least once. I loved it! I read them myself as I got older and I have now started reading them to my kids. When I learned about the cookbook I had to get it! I actually wound up with two, which is where you come in. If you love Little House books you will love this cookbook. There are snippets of really great information, things maybe you were confused about in the books. There are also recipes for tons of things "Ma" made. Such fun!

I will draw a winner on Friday, May 6th. To enter you just need to be a follower and tell me if you enjoyed the Little House series, or if you have never read it, or maybe what your favorite books were as a kid. I am always looking for more books. Homeschoolers love books!

I will give extra entries is you want to blog about the giveaway or if you share it on Facebook. Comment for each entry and leave a link. (Three chances to enter!)

I can't wait to read your comments!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Our Easter

I have been enjoying seeing all the Easter photos my friends have posted so I am going to share some too. :) We spent the day at my parents house and my grandpa came. We have not seen him in a long time. My brother Matt, sister in law Glenda and their two girls were there too. They moved here not too long ago and I am so happy to have them around! We had a relaxed day. My dad and brother grilled and we just ate and hung out. The kids had an egg hunt, blew bubbles and played with a ball and each other. They had a blast!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

How to Survive a Layoff

There have been and are so many people going through layoffs. As many know we went through one that lasted from December of 2008 to August or September 2010. It's hard and not something many of us are prepared for.

Today Connie from Smockity Frocks blogged about her husband getting laid off last week. They have some great plans and ways to cut back that I thought might help a lot of people. She has a great blog anyway, lots of homeschool resources and things to do with the kids. Please check it out and let her know I sent ya over! I am sure she will be happy for the support!

The Importance of a Good Word

Ever have someone act some weird way and wonder what made them that way? Well I do. Maybe because I know things that have affected me in my life so I always wonder what made someone do or act the way they do, especially if it’s out of the ordinary.

So I have to say… I am not the most confident person. I am very critical of myself and my work. My business is probably one of the things I am the hardest on myself about. I am always worried the client won’t like their cake for whatever reason. Of course they usually love them and tell me so but there are some people that aren’t as animated or excitable, (kind of like me), and I always wonder if they really liked it. I remind myself that there are lots of personalities out there and not everyone is going to go crazy about a cake. :)

Anyway, I have the perfect example of why I am the way I am. Yesterday was Easter. We had plans to spend it at my parents’ house. They had actually moved a few months ago and we hadn’t seen their new house yet and my Grandpa was coming too. My brother Matthew and his wife Glenda and their two girls were to be there too. So I make cakes and sweets all the time so I thought I would offer to make the desserts. Seems logical right? My mom said that sounded good which surprised me. For this occasion though she said that was fine and I planned on what to make. I made a small carrot cake, shaped like a carrot of course, chocolate truffles because Nathan asked for them, chocolate and vanilla cake pops for the kids, a lemon sour cream pie and at the last minute I made some m&m cherry chip cookies.

When we arrived at my parents’ house we just put it all away for after lunch. A couple hours after lunch we start setting everything out and I learn that my dad made a boxed cheesecake and a jello cake. Of course they made desserts too! I was a tad surprised for a minute but then I got over it, because I wasn’t that surprised. Remember I was more surprised that they allowed me to bring desserts in the first place?

As we are taking out the desserts my mom asks “so what did you bring?” She doesn’t sound like she really wants to know. Later I found out all she had was a cookie which was about the size of a quarter. I let her know what everything was, she says nothing except, “that doesn’t sound good”, after I told her what flavor the pie was. My dad had carrot cake and he said “it wasn’t too sweet” which I took as a good thing.

It’s not that I expect everyone to go crazy with compliments or anything, really. Just a normal amount of common kindness is all. Something like “oh that looks good”, or “those are pretty”. Between the looks they made and what they said I didn’t think they really liked what I brought. Of course they didn’t try much. That’s not the point though.

This is the reason I believe I am so critical of myself and not so confident in general. My parents weren’t those people that encouraged their kids or gave compliments. I remember a time that I won an award at school. I think I was in 2nd grade and our entire school had an essay contest. I think it was k-3rd grades but I am not positive. I won 2nd place in the contest and there was an assembly that we invited our parents to. During the assembly they called us up on the stage and gave us a ribbon. It wasn’t a huge thing, looking back at it, but for an 8-9 year old girl it was a big deal. After the assembly was over my mom read the essay and got really upset. We were supposed to write an essay about our mom or another “mom” in our life. I wrote about my mom of course and how she had raised animals and had a garden; things like that. My mom thought I had written about my grandma and was not happy about it. I felt horrible. She later said she was sorry for getting upset but the damage was done. I don’t ever remember trying to do anything else like that and I have no idea what happened to that ribbon or essay. I probably threw it away. I still have a hard time trying new things or doing something where I might fail.

Now, I know my parents love me and did the best they knew to do when we were kids. Do I think they are proud of the person I am now or do I think they were when I was a kid, no, not really. I am not trying to put my parents down at all but I have learned that God is proud of me and my husband is proud of me and that is enough. This is just something to think about and share with others. Easter was a reminder to me as well. I know that sometimes we are so busy and get stressed and caught up in life that we might not take the time to do those little things that mean so much.

I try to make sure that I do those things with my kids. I don’t want them to be overly confident and full of themselves but I want them to be self-assured and not second guess everything they think or do. My kids get daily encouragement and are praised often. I make sure and tell them they are doing a good job, even when they can do better. I mean if I put down their efforts or don’t encourage them I am going to crush their spirit and they won’t care to try. I am pretty sure we will still screw our kids up someway but hopefully this won’t be the way. ;)

I want to inspire you today. Make sure and encourage and compliment your children. They really are fragile little people and what we do now will affect them their whole life in one way or another. Not that we can’t work through things and come out stronger on the other side but how amazing is it that God has entrusted us with these little people in the first place. I definitely want to do the best I can and give them the tools they need as adults and when they have families of their own someday.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter!!

We have been busy as usual. There is always something going on, or lots of somethings. :) Even on weeks I think we will be able to relax something happens and we are running running running. We had a great spring break but it wound up being pretty busy after all.

We have had a good time getting ready for Easter this week. We will be spending it with my parents, my brother and his family and my grandpa. I already have the Easter baskets ready and set up downstairs. We hid some eggs so those are done and I made desserts for tomorrow. The one thing we didn't get to do was color eggs this week. I believe that we will still do that because it would just be weird not to color eggs at Easter time right?

Tomorrow as you are cooking and visiting remember Jesus is the reason for THIS season as well! May you all have a blessed Easter!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Spring Break Day One!

We had a good day for our first day of spring break! In the morning we all went outside and played. The kids rode their bikes/trikes around for a while. We then went and walked around our complex to find some spots to take some pictures. Later in the morning they sat out on the patio and painted. When Ellie decided to start eating the paint she came in to wash up.

We then had lunch and watched Tangled. We have seen it several times already but it's such a cute movie. I keep finding myself humming the songs. haha Ellie had her nap and Kaden and Meghan played together. After Ellie's nap we went to the gym, (the Jazzercise center, I love Jazzercise!) so I could work out. The kids played with the toys there and did a great job of keeping happy and busy while I worked out.

By the time we get back from the gym Nate is home. So we made dinner and the kiddo's played outside some more. All in all a great, relaxing day. I am loving spring break!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

So excited!!

So are the kiddo's! I have declared this week Spring Break! We have been kind of tired and burned out lately. The kids had a little cold, Nate and I got a little cold, now Ellie has a runny nose again. We haven't had a spring break yet so on Thursday I decided we needed a break. We are going to spend the week with some reading, cooking and baking, Easter crafts and just have some non-planned relaxing fun!

Nate also has an interview and Meghan and I have a field trip. I want to get some more posts up on the blog too. I have things planned I haven't had time to get done. This IS going to be a great week!


The winner of the Yoplait gift package is........   Astewa ! 

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