Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Carter: 10 Months

Happy 10 months Carter!  Wow have you changed this past month.  You are a speedy little crawler now.  You pull yourself up on everything, climb over your brother any time you get the chance, you smile with excitement every time you are on the move. 

Here is a video of Carter crawling shortly after he turned 9 months. 

You also feed yourself.  No more baby food.  You want to eat exactly what everyone else is eating. I love how independent you are when it comes to meal time.  You are happy in your chair as long as there is food in front of you that you can reach.  You still have some troubles getting all the food in your mouth, but picking it up seems to be pretty easy for you. 

You are amazing.  We love you so much.  You really complete our family. 

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

At the Beach

Okay so not really the beach... but if you sit back in one of these comfy bright blue chairs, sip on your coffee and pretend its a cocktail, squint your eyes a bit, pretend the deck is the sand, pretend the grass and field behind us is the ocean, pretend the air is warm, well, then you are at the beach.  Ah ;-)

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Organized Lunch Plan

And here it is, our organized lunch planning sheet.  I took the state daycare requirements, simplified them to a sheet that is easier to read, listed the food options that my kids like by categories, added a couple other helpful notes, printed it, laminated it, and hung it in the cabinet.  I love when organizing makes life easier. 

Some Weeks Just Bite

I am having a down day week.  Maybe because I'm a little tired.  Okay, a lot tired.  Or maybe it's because I'm thinking ahead to the kids being off of school over the summer and I'll still have to go to work every day.  Or maybe it's because the weather has been cooler again and extremely windy and I really don't like the wind.  Or maybe this cold I'm fighting has something to do with it.  Or the fact that my baby is almost 16 years old.  Or that my baby-baby is almost 1.  And that my middle baby is going to start school in a year and a half.  Guess there are lots of things that could be making me feel down. 

It could also be that my benefits cost is going to drastically rise in July and even after a small raise I'll still be bringing home less money per paycheck.  Or maybe it's the long to do list that we still have for our house after 6 years.  Don't get me wrong, I love projects.  I just hate things like spending a fortune to pave our long driveway.  Or saving money so some day we can build another garage to store all the things that come along with living in the country.

I'm also panicking over the what-ifs that come along with having two boys in the country.  ATVs, accidents, snowmobiles, accidents, dirt bikes, accidents.

Or maybe the "accident" worry is coming from asking my mom if she could take my daughter to Drivers Ed this summer.  No, I'm not worried about my mom driving.  I'm worried about letting go of Mariah a little bit more.

Doesn't feel like it was that long ago when she was learning how to drive her little pink sports car around the yard.  Just like Ethan does now, Mariah always had an animal in the car with her.  Notice the cute little kitten that she's holding on to? She's always been an animal lover.

This is going to be a really tough summer. 

Monday, April 16, 2012

What's For Lunch?

Did you see the article about Pink Slime?  Here, let me link it for you.
Gross?  Did you want to eat some of that?  

Did you eat cafeteria food when you were in school or were you lucky enough to bring a healthy lunch from home?  Did you know that parents have to jump through hoops to send a qualified lunch to school or daycare?  There are rules.  Crazy rules.  Rules that I had to laminate and refer to often in order to make sure I'm not missing anything. 

Did you know that parents could take the easy route and just order school lunch for their children?  I've done it for many years.  It's easy.  The kids enjoy it because its junk food.  And, I didn't have to make sure that I met the correct measurements on a daily basis. 

Well, maybe I'm older and wiser now.  Or, maybe I'm just sick of cringing every morning when I read the lunch menu for the day to my 4 year old son.  Today on the menu was a chicken patty on a whole grain bun with sun chips.  Wow, really?  And how does that meet all of the requirements?  I am not seeing it? 

Check out this blog:  I came across it by searching school lunches on pinterest.  This motivated mama and teacher took packing lunches to a whole new level and actually created a blog about it and wrote a book.  I think I'll be adding her blog to my reading list. 

While browsing the web I also came across this link at Kitchen Stewardship.  She has a list on her blog with some great school lunch ideas.  This motivated me to create my own list for my family.  There were a lot of things that included Peanut Butter on her list.  I couldn't include those items for my kids lunches because daycare has a very strong rule against no peanut products due to allergies, but I kept them on my list for myself and my daughter.  Maybe we can start sending peanut butter with the boys when they start school.  We all love peanut butter. 

Do you pack your kids lunches?  What do you pack for them?  What do you pack for yourself? 

Friday, April 13, 2012

A Little More Organized!

Wow, I have been on a kick lately.  This is amazing.  I hope my energy for organizing and cleaning stays with me for good!  I have no idea how I am doing it, because I've had a horrible head cold and have been getting very little sleep thanks to an evil-non-sleeping-teething-nine-month-old-who's-lucky-I-love-him-so-much. 

Last weekend Cory and I cleaned out the spice cabinet and recipe book cabinet.  We tossed a bunch of old spices and recipe books and made the two cabinets much more user friendly.  We found a lot of amazing looking recipes. 

We agreed that Sunday's need to be our day for trying new recipes.  Cory loves to cook with recipes and I love to organize so he can find those recipes.  What a team! ;-)

I also did some more moving around in the kitchen cabinets and came up with a better area for the kids crafts.  I love to keep stuff for the kids to do in easy to reach areas.  This helps keep little hands busy while I'm cleaning and making dinner. 

I was so inspired from my weekend organization that I decided to keep going and clean up a couple more areas during the week.  About a month ago I donated all of my old text books to our church.  They donate these to needy groups in the community.  Over the past couple days I tackled the rest of the books in our home so we can donate those as well.  We had a pile of duplicate books and others that never make it to the read-me list.  We had books in the basement, books in the closet, books in the bins under the end tables, and books in the family room book case.   We had a lot of books!  We now have three neat rows of books in the family room.  I found a couple books that were given to Mariah when she was little.  I love the messages on the inside of the books.  I also found a couple books that my grandma and grandpa gave to my brother and I when we were little.  Those messages were heartwarming. 

*Whenever you give the gift of a book, make sure to put a little note in the inside.  Makes it that much more special.*

Ah, I love organizing!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Bang Bang

I cut bangs... again... every time I cut bangs I promise myself that I will NEVER cut bangs again, but a force takes over me and I get out the scissors and snip away and end up with bangs.  I hate bangs.  They are so cute on everyone else, but I don't have the right hair for bangs.  I have two cowlicks, one on each side of my forehead, and they make wearing bangs a nightmare, but I tend to forget that often.

So, here I am with newly cut bangs.  Notice the really thin piece on my right side?  It took me a while to get my bangs to lay like that.  The thin piece bothered me though.  I just don't have hair on that side of my forehead. 

I moved the thin piece over to the other side along with the rest of my side-bangs.  They were nice for about 10 minutes.  Then they started going in my eyes.

Which quickly made me come up with my new hairstyle.  I will be sportin' these cute clips holding back my bangs for the next many months until these bad-boys grow out.  What was I thinking?  I can't even say "live and learn".  I've done this too many times.  I am really digging my new hair color though.  I did an all over color instead of hilites.  So much easier to do on my own! 

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


We had a great Easter celebration together as a family.  It was a busy weekend filled with a friends wedding, two Easter egg hunts, an early morning church service that Mariah was a part of with other kids from the youth group, breakfast at church, a quick nap, then lunch at my mom and Harry's.  The weather was really nice and allowed us to play outside for a while.  Ethan even got to drive the golf cart at mom and Harry's house. 

Coloring Easter eggs

 Carter giving me a facial with a cookie.  The cookie was keeping him happy while we colored eggs.

Charlotte and Ethan being silly while waiting for the egg hunt to start.

Ethan with a full basket of eggs!
Here is a family photo.  Not my favorite, but I still love it because we are all together.

Ethan with his tongue out in excitement after finding his basket.

Mariah found her basket in the kitchen.  (Ignore the mess in the background)

Ethan even more excited because he's driving the golf cart!

Matt, you are brave! 
Carter all dressed up for his first Easter. My handsome little man!

And, the hosts of our wonderful Easter lunch. 
Thanks for the excellent food and company mom and Harry!

Monday, April 2, 2012


Not because I'm pregnant, because I'm not!  I am nesting because everyone around me is pregnant.  Mix those hormones that are floating through the air with some major spring fever and BAM, nesting. 

Well, nesting and the fact that I LOVE reading other people's blogs about organizing.  I know, I've been repeating that a lot lately, but I can't help myself.  These blogs and these women are so inspiring.  So inspiring in fact that this weekend alone I cleaned and organized my laundry room, some of my kitchen cabinets, and Ethan's closet.  I pulled out tons of stuff for selling, donating, and tossing.  I am loving this less-is-more-and-everything-in-its-spot feeling. 

Speaking of cleaning... I had a Norwex party at my house on Friday night and my goodness, I am in LOVE with the products.  My party was a huge success.  I am going to have a spotless, chemical free, toxin free home, and I made a new friend out of it!  Amy is a fantastic consultant for Norwex.  She is a mom, a nurse, and loves the Norwex products.  It definitely shows.  She made my oven sparkle in minutes.  I never thought this was possible.  And... she did it without harsh chemicals.  Score!  You should definitely have a Norwex party in your home. 

Back to organizing. 

I started with our laundry area.  Under the washer I put anything washing related and the lint brush.  Under the dryer I put all of the dog supplies.  Most of the medications are in a hard-to-open plastic container.  The rest will also be in a container soon.  I don't want those meds in reach of little hands. 

Next, I tackled the cabinets above the washer and dryer.  These were full of extra exterior lights, dust, and a ton of randomness.  I cleaned them out.  Arranged them by shelf; candles, light bulbs, outdoor items, locks and siding extras, and more house extras.  This is a "progress" picture.  Still, a huge upgrade from where things were before.  I am learning.  
Notice all the cleaning supplies above the cabinets?  I put those up there last October when I drastically reducted cleaning with chemicals in our home.  My husband made me promise we'd keep them for a year just in case we needed them.  We haven't touched them yet and I have no intention of using them. 

Maybe I'll paint the cabinets next and get some fun decorative knobs...

My next big project was our medicine cabinet.  I got rid of a bunch of expired meds and made room for the basket with sunscreen and bug spray.  Also made room for Carter's nebulizer and supplies on the top shelf.  Put a couple dosage notes up on the door with tape.  I plan to add a small cork board to this area for additional notes.  Maybe I'll paint it a fun color or wrap it in material. Again, "progress".

I took a before shot of this horrible mess... might possibly be blurry on purpose... okay not really, but I am glad it is.  This was a drop zone area for arts, crafts, and candles.  They really had no business being in the same cabinet.  So, they were moved out and replaced with....

Simplicity... ahhhh.  Lunch bags and cooking supplies in easy reach.  Before these items were mixed in with my overly-packed-too-small-pantry. 

But now, my pantry looks like this!  Extra items and a ton of pasta on the bottom shelf.  Oh I love when things are easy to find.  It makes me shiver with happiness.

And then my last project for the weekend.  This is Ethan's closet after.  I didn't take a before picture, but it looked something like the craft cabinet above.  I pulled out a ton of stuff for Craigs List and donating and ended up with this.  An organized space.  I love it.  Thank you organizing blogs for all the inspirations.