Friday, January 13, 2012

Do You Have Photo Envy?


Earlier today, I read this great article over here. (http://www.hiphomeschoolmoms.com/2012/01/beautifully_picturesque/#comment-5158) And it got me to thinking about the assumptions we make about the people in front of the camera. Surely they don't have financial troubles, marital issues or rowdy, goofy children. They must be very nearly perfect, I mean the proof is in the picture, right? Most of my family pictures come out looking very much like they were inspired by a Calvin and Hobbes cartoon (no offense, Calvin) and I get frustrated sometimes. So today, I'm going to embrace the personality of my kiddos and post a posed picture and a 'real' picture or two. Hang on to your hats people : )

For another peek into 'real' life, check out this too! http://themancrew.blogspot.com/2010/05/wordless-wednesday_20.html

Thursday, January 12, 2012

David's 1st Gymnastics Meet of 2012


David's first meet of the gymnastics season was this past weekend, Jan 7th. He did really well, but still wasn't satisfied with his performance, so he is now working doubly hard to tweak his routines, get the last trick or two just right and remember to point his toes, every.single.time. : ) He came home with medals for Rings, Parallel bars and the All Around. However, I won't embarrass him by gushing over how talented he is. I'll just post a few pics and call it a day. He's so 14. *grins*
And I'm sure it goes without saying, but I'm going to say it anyway. We are SO proud of him. And a big thank you to Jim and Tricia who generously share their home with us every time we go to Albuquerque.

Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY: January 12, 2012
Outside my window... The sun tries valiantly to shine through the clouds. It is chilly (low 40s) and gray.
I am thinking...that God is too gracious to me.
I am thankful...that He is.
In the kitchen...sadly, nothing this minute. However, menu for the week is
  • Monday~Daddy brought home pizza
  • Tuesday~Tacos
  • Wednesday~Crustless quiche YUM~O
  • Thursday~leftovers
  • Friday~Game Night (no dinner, just veggies and dip, crackers and cheese, and chips and salsa
  • Saturday~Lunch sammies, Dinner Homemade pizza
  • Sunday~Lunch TBD, Dinner popcorn and veggie tray

I am wearing...Brown t-shirt, faded jeans, ankle socks and slip on shoes.
I am creating...clean carpets after this morning's boy vomit and cat diarrhea. Yes, it's been that kind of day : )
I am going...crazy, wanna come? Just kidding. I have tutoring from 3:30-5:30 and then Kohl's from 6-11. Somewhere in there, D has to get to gym from 5:30-8:30
I am wondering...how long the boys are going to put off doing their chores and school since I am NOT reminding/nagging them today. Should be interesting.
I am reading...21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership/ White Oleander (not really liking it, but I read every book to the end. Just one of my *things*) and Philippians every day for January
I am hoping...to become a better person this year, through prayer, much reading, and self discipline.
From the school room...an inde study day since DT is not well. We did some reading together this morning and he's been resting on the couch for the day. The BIGS were assigned 1 hour of educational reading, a math lesson, a writing exercise and a brain game. (a nice easy return to schooling since we just started back yesterday.)
I am looking forward to...a weekend without kids later in January. I love a free hotel room AND people to watch the kids!
I am learning...that I don't have the self discipline I used to, and that I need to re-find it and USE it
Around the house...a sad little dog is waiting to have his ear sewn back on after a wrestling match earlier this week, there are crumbs on the tablecloth, and PILES of dishes waiting to be attended, but it may just not happen today.
I am pondering...belly button lint, the sad state of the US economy and the contents of my pantry.
A favorite quote for today...'Lack of preparation on your part does NOT constitute an emergency on my part'.
One of my favorite things...rows of home canned tomatoes
A few plans for the rest of the week: Well since I'm late, there isn't much 'week' left. However, tomorrow is Game Night, Saturday is a shift at the gym, Sunday is church and preparing for the new week. That sounds like enough.
A peek into my day...an interesting way to use the counting cubes sent by big brother 'Shua.

PS> If you like this type of post, join me over at www.thesimplewomansdaybook.blogspot.com to read more daybooks like this or check her out on FB.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Catching up with us MeYeR's

Just dashing through on my way elsewhere, but since I'm making an effort to get back to blogging more often than not, here's a quick catch up post.
  • Dan and David are out tearing up the desert in the dune buggies and/or dirt bike as often as time and weather allow. It's a male bonding thing for them and they love it.
  • School started back today. Started off slow, just an hour of reading, a math lesson and a few brain games
  • David had his first meet this past weekend. He came home with 3 medals. More on that later
  • Dear friends of ours have reserved us a room in a snazzy hotel and offered to babysit (more like big boy sit these days) so that Dan and I can have a little retreat. A-MAZ-ING! You guys rock!
  • My parents are here and having a wonderful time (at least I think they are, we sure are enjoying having them here)
  • Summer visitors are starting to request dates, so come on over, we'd love to have ya!
  • Derek has lost both front teeth and while he's cute as the Dickens, he does NOT appreciate anyone singing, "All I Want for Christmas is my 2 Front Teeth' :D
  • Patrick is slowly readjusting after the holidays and travel and is having a better week than the past few.
  • We didn't have game night last week since we were on the road and we CAN'T WAIT to catch up with everyone again! We MISSED you all so much!
  • I am trying to work on losing some weight this year. Some pounds have GOT to go! Encouraging comments are welcome, dieting advice is not. Thank you.

That's all the time I have for today, crust-less quiche is calling me for dinner. Have a wonderful evening!
Blessings, ~K~

Christmas Countdown Post


I know, it's after Christmas. I had wanted to do this really cute ongoing post series about the super cool countdown we did for Christmas. Ahh, the best laid plans and all that : ) So, instead of 10 posts about it, I will spare you every single detail and just post a few pics of the best activities.
The idea behind it is to do something fun each day that leads up to Christmas, to build the excitement, get a few things done, spend some quality time together, think of others and (perhaps the most important one) keep the "I-can't-wait-for-Christmas' blues/boredom away. So, join me for a quick recap of our adventures down Christmas Lane.
~Day 1: Boys are already saying how silly/lame this is, but once they open the envelope that says MAKE FUDGE, they are on board. We make fudge, eat too much and start looking forward to tomorrow's activity.
~Day 2: Go to Christmas Tree lighting ceremony.
~Day 3: Eat dinner backwards. Boys were glad to start with fudge
~Day 4: Watch "How the Grinch Stole Christmas"
~Day 5: Take coloring pages to children's hospital or Dr office.
~Day 6: Make Paper snowflakes. This was a huge hit with everyone
~Day 7: Board Games
~Day 8: Do something nice for a neighbor
~Day 9: Take treats to Police/Fire Dept. (boys did NOT want to do this...it won't make the list next year)
~Day 10: Camp out in the Living Room. Boys LOVED this one, although by the time they finally quit wiggling and giggling at nearly midnight, *I* wasn't loving it so much. HA
~Day 11: Movie Night with popcorn and fudge
~Day 12: Out for Ice Cream with Grandparents
~Day 13: Kids Choice~ they opted for a movie again
~Day 14: Card Games~ Fluxx, anyone?
~Day 15: Volunteer at homeless shelter/soup kitchen (sadly, we couldn't coordinate schedules between Dan working late, me working early, David's gym schedule and only having one car. Next year!!)
~Day 16: Gingerbread house
~Day 17: Bake cookies
~Day 18: Movie Night
~Day 19: Treasure Hunt Dinner (another one that didn't quite work out due to schedules, but I'll know better for next time)
~Day 20: **Mama's Birthday** Eat out at fave restaurant. Hello, Texas Road House!
~Day 21: Dice Games/Dominoes
~Day 22: Kids Choice. They picked Living Room Camp out (but thankfully went to sleep sooner this time)
~Day 23: Sing at Nursing Home (this one was just for me, but ended up not happening, we were too close to the hysteria of Christmas by then)
~Day 24: Go look at lights with hot cocoa and cookies. Mmmmm, hello CHRISTmas!
If you are interested in trying this activity this coming Christmas, it can be found here (http://lifeasmom.com/2011/11/a-christmas-countdown-family-activity.html) Have fun!
PS. Pics are on other memory device. I'll add them later. rats.

Review of Hooked on Hope Organization's Products


I have been asked to review a product for Hooked On Hope Organization. It's a non-profit organization started and run by Danielle Decker. According to it's Face Book page,
"Hooked On Hope's mission is to spread the Word of Christ by loving others with hand-made items in our local area. If you know someone in need or would like to volunteer, please let us know." Check them out here.
I was asked to review the workmanship and quality of a set of washcloths that I had previously won in a giveaway. I found them to be lovely, in quality and craftsmanship. They are soft, cuddly and pretty. They have enough texture to them to either wash your dishes or your face without being rough. They hold up wash after wash. Just toss them in the washer and let them go! They are hand crafted with care, with no snags or blemishes to be found. Danielle is an excellent crafter.
All said and done, I would purchase items from Hooked on Hope Organization with confidence, knowing not only that I was purchasing high quality items, but that the money was going to help meet the needs of people in that area of the U.S. that needed a bit of help, a bit of love and a big dose of encouragement.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

My Book Reading List for 2012


I thought it might be fun to copy Money Saving Mom (http://www.facebook.com/#!/MoneySavingMom) over on FB and post a list of the books I intend to read this year. It's only 24, so I'm sure I'll read more than that, but I wanted to be a bit more intentional about what I feed my mind this year. I tend to pick up whatever catches my eye on the new arrivals shelf, or whatever someone gives me, and I don't proactively look for books that apply to a certain area of my life. So I thought her idea was a good one to keep me on track with the goals that I have set for myself this year. These are in no particular order and I'll pretty much read them as I can find them at my library, on eBay or at the COAS which is the local used book store here in our town.

  1. You Can't Make Me, But I Can Be Persuaded
  2. A Deeper Kind of Calm: Steadfast Faith in the Midst of Adversity
  3. Rekindling the Romance: Loving the Love of Your Life
  4. The 3 R's
  5. Between a Rock and a Grace Place
  6. One of Us Must Be Crazy...and I'm Pretty Sure It's You
  7. Grace for the Good Girl
  8. The Simplicity of Homeschooling: Discover the Freedom of Learning Through Living
  9. Satisfy My Soul: For I Am Desperate for Your Power
  10. Eats, Shoots and Leaves: A No Tolerance Approach to Punctuation
  11. The Husband Project: 21 Days of Loving Your Man--on Purpose
    and with a Plan
  12. The Marriage Project: 21 Days to More Love and Laughter
  13. Erasing Hell: What God Said About Eternity and What We Made Up
  14. Whispers of His Power
  15. The Shelter of God's Promises
  16. What Women Fear
  17. Don't Make Me Come Up There!
  18. Crazy Love
  19. Jesus Freaks: Martyrs
  20. Large Family Logistics
  21. The Grace and Truth Paradox
  22. Calm My Anxious Heart: A Woman's Guide to Finding Contentment
  23. 168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think
  24. America's Cheapest Family Gets You Right on the Money

Phew! I can't wait to dig in to some of these. I'll be looking up my first set when I head over to the library on Thursday. I'll keep you posted on my progress and which ones are worth reading!
~K~

Simple Woman's Daybook~Hello 2012


FOR TODAY...Jan 3, 2012
Outside my window...the sun is shining, boys are laughing and jumping on the trampoline and the dog is busily chasing school busses (or think he is *winks*)
I am thinking...that today is a great day!
I am thankful...for today. It is, after all, Grati-Tuesday! I'm grateful for my hardworking handsome hubby, my healthy boys enjoying the winter break from school, and for a few minutes of solitude. Just me and the fishies right now.
In the kitchen...we just finished lunch of New Year's Cheese and cracker leftovers. Meals for the week are as follows

  • Monday~ Black bean, Beef and vegetable soup (with homemade veggie stock, no less!)
  • Tuesday~ Pasta bake
  • Wednesday~ Roast Chicken and garlic mashed potatoes with salad
  • Thursday~ Chock Full 'O Veggies Meat loaf from the crock pot and leftover mashed potatoes
  • Friday~ snacking in the car on the way to ALB for D's first gym meet of the season. Things like homemade trail mix, cereal bars, cheese sticks, fruit leathers, and sweet iced tea
  • Saturday~ Fast food on the way home from ALB
  • Sunday~ homemade pizza, popcorn and a veggie tray

I am wearing...a pink tee shirt, double braids, jean capris and bare feet
I am creating...goals, plans, school lessons for the return of school next week, order from the post holiday chaos and new routines for the new year
I am going...nowhere today *clapping hands* It's so rare to spend a day completely at HOME
I am wondering...if I can actually pull of losing 30 pounds like my New Year's Resolution says. **chewing nails**
I am reading..."The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership: Follow Them and People Will Follow You" Good stuff!
I am hoping...to be able to finish this blog without the phone ringing, the doorbell chiming, or the boys coming in to tattle on one another :D I seriously HEART me some quiet time!!
I am looking forward to...going to ALB this weekend and watching D do something he LOVES!
I am learning...to take one day at a time and not borrow tomorrow's troubles.
Around the house...the tree is finally down AND put away. The decorations are safely tucked away for another year, and our home is slowing working it's way back to normal. (whatever THAT is)
I am pondering...the words of a great Bible verse. "The Lord is near" I've said it before, I'll say it again, there's a WHOLE sermon in 4 short words. Ponder it with me, ruminate over it, live like you believe it.
A favorite quote for today...Hmmm, caught me off guard with this one, it's new. Well, I'll fall back on one of my old favorites. As quoted by Ronald Reagan, "The most terrifying words in the English language are, 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help.' " Ha ha ha~
One of my favorite things...fresh cracked babies. (that's what we call newborns around here, they just got "cracked" out. We're C-section babies here at the Man Crew House)
A few plans for the rest of the week: packing for the weekend trip, making snacks for trip, one night of work at Kohl's, one night of tutoring, taking D back and forth to gym, reading to the family in the evening. Spending time with my parents. Life is good, ya know it?
A peek into my day...welcome to the Mayhem! I was watching Dan weld the other day. SO cool!

Homeschooling Hiatus~ Winter 2011

As this Mama has gotten smarter through the years (or lazier, you decide) we've started taking our long break in the winter months while Mama is working MORE and LATER hours at her Kohl's job, so that she has a chance to sleep once in a while, plus we don't end up frustrated by trying to stay on schedule while the season gets busier and busier. So, we've been on break since the week of Thanksgiving and we've LOVED it!
Now, before you think I've got and thrown all caution to the wind and that my children are irreparably and irrevocably damaged, let me also add this. We've done lots of hands on learning, lots of reading, lots of enjoying family time, and lots of projects. All interspersed with tons of Christmas music, movies and activities. We've done puzzles and games, played outside while the weather was nice (and even when it wasn't) we've baked, cooked and crafted our way through the season. We've even thrown in a random math or grammar lesson as the whim struck. And yes, at least one of my boys ASKED for school work so he wouldn't get behind. Can I get an "AMEN"?
So a quick update on each of the boys and I'll close. (I'm working on not being so long winded, wish me luck) David is in the 9th grade and enjoying the opportunity to pick his own projects. Right now he's working his way through the Famous Men of Greece book and the Greenleaf Guide to the same. He's LOVING it!! Next up, Famous Men of Rome. Earlier this year, he memorized the entire first book of Genesis. I should mention that I'm loving this curriculum as well. He gets to pick the projects, but they are all appropriate, Bible based, God fearing choices. Patrick is working through his My Father's World Creation to the Greeks package, but he and I had a rough start this year, so we may need to go back and redo some of the lessons. His writing, grammar and math are excelling, so I'm thrilled about that! Derek is coasting through his 1st grade year, and while he LOVES to be read to, and to spend hours poring over books, he is still showing little interest in actually learning to read for himself. However, I am not worrying over it, he will read when he is ready. His handwriting/scissors skills are improving recently, as if his fine motor skills are finally catching up to his gross motor skills.
So truly, good news on all fronts and that's always a good feeling. I'll post more later about some of the projects and activities we enjoyed over the break, along with some pictures. Thanks for your support!
Blessings,
Kristy

Hello 2012! Back to Blogging...SOON!

Just passing through to say that after 6 weeks of neglect, I'm ready to get back to blogging! Time to get caught up, post tons of pictures, relate our adventures and share some new things I've learned recently. It's the middle of the night, so I can't do any of that right now, but I wanted to let you know that I haven't forgotten about you and that I'm cooking up new ideas for this year. Have a great night and I'll be seeing you soon!
Blessings, ~K~

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