Monday, October 31, 2011

Menu Plan Monday - 10/31

This will be a challenging week to make a menu plan for due to the fact that I don't get paid until Wednesday (which also happens to be my day off) and I hadn't had a chance to do meal prep this weekend. But here goes anyhow:

Monday - we have to get the kids' costumes ready and they have homework and then they have music lessons and then Trick or Treating. I honestly think that this day may be made up of frozen burritos or fast food.

Tuesday - I work and Hubby will be in charge of dinner on this night. I honestly foresee Mac N Cheese and hot dogs for the meal this night as Cephas has Scouts after dinner time.

Wednesday - I am home this day and it is also payday. I plan to put some time in on this day to get some meals made for the remainder of the week. This evening I am making lasagna.

Thursday - I work this day and Hubby will be in charge of dinner on this night as well. I plan to have a tuna noodle casserole in the fridge for him to just reheat in the oven.

Friday - I work this day as well and Hubby once again will be in charge of dinner. I plan to have enchiladas in the fridge for him to just reheat in the oven.

Saturday - Homemade pizza has been a favorite for the kids on their movie night, so that may be a good option for this evening.

Sunday - baked chicken and pasta

I think that sounds like a good menu overall. We'll go with it. Even with the parts where the kids are eating junky food at home or from a drive thru. But since I haven't prepared ahead of time, I am okay with planning for this in advance.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Kids Movie Night

I wasn't sure that it was going to happen this week because we have had some major issues with defiance and attitude. But the kids buckled down and got their chores done so that they could enjoy their night of a movie with homemade pizza and popcorn. The kids settled in to watch "It's The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown" while I worked on some projects myself and while Hubby was at work. I don't think my children have ever seen this movie before. I had to have them watch it. Just on principle. Although, I did notice a few things in it that I don't allow my kids to say. Koren (who is 8, mind you) gasped and said, "Mom! They said a bad thing! They said the S word!" I rewinded the movie (is that even the correct term when it's on DVR?) and played the scene over again. "See Mom!" he insisted. "They said the S-T-U word!" (Hint: The S-T-U word ends in P-I-D and that is a word we do not allow in our home. Whoops.)

Other than the mishap with some questionable (to our children) language and situations, they LOVED the movie! All four kids sat through the movie and watched it very nicely. I heard some discussion between them about Lucy and Charlie Brown and how she would pull the football away when he was about to kick it. They said that it wasn't nice of Lucy and that she should apologize. They found it funny but realized that the actions were not desirable. I like the way the movie made them think and the discussions they had about them.

Going back to the topic of work, I currently work 3 days a week and Hubby works 2-3 as well. I work 12 hour shifts and Hubby's shifts are 5-8 hours. I found another job that I am tempted to apply for. It is early morning hours (though if I were able to get the job, I would see if I could actually start a full hour earlier) and I would be cleaning a bowling alley. It's an every day of the week kind of deal but I would be done and back before the kids would need to get ready for school or even be awake possibly. Some of the things that I like about the job prospect are the hours and the pay, the fact that I can do it WHILE still working my other job (no issues there!) and I'd be able to be there for the major part of the kids', well, everything. And if Hubby picks up more hours at work, I'd like to cut back at MY work and be able to be home for/with the kids more. Ideally, I would still work my 12 hour shift every Friday and work the morning shift cleaning the bowling alley instead. It's a job where I'd be working on my own. I kind of like that to be perfectly honest. I do have the option to have someone help me out with the work but it couldn't/wouldn't be Hubby because he would need to be home with sleeping kiddos. I have a couple of people in mind. One of them is actually Cephas. He is such an early riser and he can really buckle down and get right to work when he wants to. Of course, I'd compensate him for the work. I just don't know if the company would allow me to have him help me out there. Guess there is only one way to find out.

Cephas and Koren have a lawn job lined up for next weekend already. They need to mow and rake and do general picking up of a postage stamp yard that belongs to my mother. And Grandma is going to pay them more than I think they should get for that job, but I guess until the boys are comfortable setting their own prices, they will take the amount offered them or pass on the job. What should the going rate for a lawn job be? I figured $2.00 per mulched lawn bag. If they are raking and not using the mower, I think it should be around $2.25 per lawn bag. Does that seem reasonable?

For instance, the first job that Cephas had, he made $20 and had 9 bags of leaves. That would have averaged out to about $2.25 per bag. But he was also having to fight against long grass in his attempt to rake the leaves. But had he been able to mulch and use our bag mower and get the grass as well, it probably would have been around 7-8 bags worth. The leaves would have been compacted down quite a bit more than they were but there would have been grass added to it too. Then there is also the gas for the mower to figure in as well. So, for a mulched bag at $2.00, it would have been somewhere in the neighborhood of $15.00, which I think would have been fitting for the job had he been able to use the mower. Just some thoughts I've been having in regards to this. I am hoping that he can get some repeat business soon. He really enjoys the extra work (and the extra money!) and I think it's good for him.

Well, it's time to get some more things done before Hubby comes home so I will post again tomorrow maybe?

Friday, October 28, 2011


Generally, I think that my husband and I have stellar communication skills. But this past week, it has been a real trial. I think it comes from a few different sources. First of all, we have had a lot going on and haven't spent as much time making sure that we are being as effective as necessary in our communications with one another. Secondly, Hubby has been in pain with some dental issues and has been on some pretty strong pain meds. Thirdly, I have been really short-changed on sleep this week. Not because of any one reason, but because that's what happens to me every so often.

You see, I generally sleep all the way through the night. I don't get up for drinks or restroom or anything. If I do wake up, I stay in bed. Once I have to physically get up, I'm done for the night. I just cannot fall back asleep. It interrupts my sleep cycle in a most vicious way. This has been the case for most of my life. Add to that the fact that I am both a night owl and an early bird and well, it all adds up to sleep deprivation.

Occasionally, I can grab a short afternoon nap while Jeriah is at school with the bigger kids but this week, it has been so hit and miss. Part of it is that I lay down but cannot fall asleep for the first two hours, which gives me about 30 minutes to nap before needing to go pick up the kids and then I'm worried that I'll oversleep so I automatically wake up about every 5 minutes.

Okay, so with all of that being said, I know that I need to work harder to try and get better rest at night and see what I can do to sleep through the night again. I may even take some Benadryl tonight just to get myself to fall asleep a little bit more quickly. You know, jump start my sleep cycle.

And as far as communication goes, I know that with the pain meds that Hubby is on, I cannot have the expectation that he will be able to listen and understand what I am saying. And I need to not take it to heart when he doesn't. It's a difficult thing for me, because our communication is so easy most of the time. I am just used to the way it normally is. This is just a short season. Soon, he will be better and our communication will be back to normal as well.

Until then, I'm going to work on being more understanding, try to minimize trivial conversation and let him rest as much as possible. I think that is the best thing that I can do right now. By doing those things, it will allow him to rest and hopefully get to feeling better and will minimize the number of opportunities that I have to allow my feelings to be hurt.

Could you keep his healing and my emotions and my ability to sleep in your prayers this week? I'd greatly appreciate it! In the meantime, I have a LONG list of things to do while Hubby is laid up. Guess this is as good a time as any to get all that stuff done!

(Linking up to: Home Sanctuary and this week's Company Girl Coffee.)

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Gotta Get Stuff Done!

Hubby is having some severe dental issues so I am off of work for the remainder of the week. Since I know this (in advance) I can plan the remainder of my week accordingly. I have a number of things that I would like to get done over the next few days. I am going to make a list here and cross them out (along with the date) that I get them completed. Here goes:

Wipe down dining room table and re-set decorations on top (10/27) (10/28) (10/29) (10/30)
Sweep and mop dining room floor (10/27) (10/28) (10/29) (10/30)
Dust dining room

Clear off kitchen counters (10/27) (10/28) (10/29) (10/30) (10/30)
Unload dishwasher and put dishes away (10/27) (10/27) (10/28) (10/29) (10/30)
Load and run dishwasher (10/27) (10/27) (10/27) (10/28) (10/29) (10/30)
Clean stove top (10/27) (10/28) (10/29) (10/30)
Clean counters (10/27) (10/28) (10/29) (10/30) (10/30)
Clean out fridge and wipe down interior
Clear off top of fridge
Sweep and mop kitchen floor (10/27) (10/29) (10/30)
Dust kitchen

Finish folding and putting away clean laundry (planning to do this 10/29)
Put folding table away (planning to do this 10/29)
Tidy up kitchen bar (10/27) (10/28) (10/29) (10/30)
Tidy up low bookshelf (10/29) (10/30)
Clear off end table (10/29) (10/30)
Clear off entertainment center (10/29)
Dust living room
Vacuum living room

Clear off computer desk (10/29) (10/30)
Straighten front closet (10/29)
Hang jackets and coats (10/28) (10/29) (10/30)
Clear off cedar chest (10/28) (10/29) (10/30)
Clear off train table (10/28) (10/29) (10/30)
Dust front room
Vacuum front room

Do laundry (times like a million!)  (10/30) (10/30)
Clean vanity (10/30)
Clean mirror (10/30)
Clean toilet (10/30)
Clean bathtub (10/30)
Straighten cabinets (10/30)
Move storage drawers (10/30)
Sweep and mop bathroom floor
Dust bathroom

Straighten top of dresser (planning to do this 10/30)
Move storage drawers (maybe?) (planning to do this 10/30)
Straighten top of chest of drawers (planning to do this 10/30)
Make bed with fresh linens (planning to do this 10/30)
Fold and put away clean laundry from this room (planning to do this 10/30)
Take dirty laundry to bathroom (planning to do this 10/30)
Straighten closet (planning to do this 10/30)
Clear off nightstands (planning to do this 10/30)
Straighten drawers of nightstands (planning to do this 10/30)
Dust our bedroom
Vacuum our bedroom

Pick up toys outside (10/27)
Straighten front porch (planning to do this 10/30)
Straighten back deck (planning to do this 10/30)
Put propane tank away (planning to do this 10/30)
Store bikes for season (planning to do this 10/30)
Mow grass and leaves (10/27)
Pick up brush and branches (10/27)
Clean out flower bed and ready it for winter
Clean out vehicles (planning to do this today 10/28)
Clean out storage shed and organize (planning to do this 10/31)
Start going through and emptying out storage unit

Some other things I want to do:
Wolf Scout activities with Koren (10/28)
Webelo Scout activities with Cephas (10/28)
Daisy Scout activities with Oralee (10/28)
Make file folder games for Oralee and Jeriah (10/28)

Oh - and did I mention:
Figure out four Halloween costumes and create them (10/29)
Find activities for 20 fifth graders to do during their "party" (planning to do this 10/31)
Prepare to volunteer in the classroom (planning to do this 10/31)
Grocery shopping  (10/30)

That should just about cover most of it. I'd just like to get most of those things done by next Monday evening because Tuesday morning, I am back to work again.

Wish me luck!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

School, school, school

I cannot believe it is already Wednesday! It just seems like this week (or this month really!) has flown by! Monday, I worked in Oralee's classroom and that was interesting. This time, the teacher and her practicum student (formerly called student teachers) were teaching lessons and I spent my time walking around the room, going to kids who had their hand up to ask questions, keep kids on task, etc. I find actual teaching to be so much easier to be honest, but I still enjoyed it.

After helping out in Oralee's classroom, I dropped by Cephas' classroom to offer my assistance there for future Mondays. Beginning next week, I will be going into the classroom and helping in his classroom when I am done in Oralee's classroom. And next week is also their Halloween "party" time and I have been recruited to help pass out snacks and do some fun activities with the kids for the last 20 minutes of the day. Man, have times changed! I remember our classroom parties went for an hour or so when I was in elementary school.

Then yesterday (Tuesday) was parent teacher conferences. Cephas was our first conference. He is doing really well. For the first time in probably 3 years, he is reading on grade level. Just barely but he's on grade level. No interventions needed. I think that he just needed time to come into it on his own. But regardless, he is doing well. His teacher even asked us if he has trouble with other kids and adults and social situations. The VERY first teacher who recognized it! It was refreshing to have her ask. For the last three years (2nd, 3rd and 4th grade) Cephas has had issues with students and teachers alike. And I think part of it is that with other students, he tries too hard sometimes and then he gets to be annoying to them. And he is a social kid. He likes to talk a lot. His teacher doesn't view that as a bad thing either. She said we just need to continue working with him on what to say and when to say it. Which has been something that we have worked on for 3 or 4 years. She said that sometimes he seems to be missing that internal filter on what to share. And she said that one of the problems that he may have had in the past with what Cephas called "being singled out by the teachers and getting into trouble even when it wasn't my fault" could simply be because his voice carries. So when he told us that his classmates were talking to him and he was trying to tell them to be quiet so that they wouldn't get into trouble, his voice was probably the one that teacher heard and that was why he was getting into trouble. So nice and refreshing to have a teacher with 22 years of experience for him! Now the question is, can we keep her? Oh - and we ended up with a 30 minute conference instead of a 15 minute one because she had a gap in her schedule and there was the social issue to discuss as well.

Then we went on to Koren's class. His teacher had rave reviews for him. He is an incredibly hard worker, he is serious and the other kids look up to him for his work ethic at school. He received a couple of 2's on a math test (I'll explain the grading system in a minute) and will need to have a re-teach on those concepts. He has NEVER had a 2 in math before. He has even been in the highest math class possible too, even testing out of a full chapter in second grade to be able to move up to a higher math class.

Okay, quick side note, our school system grades as follows:
4 - exceeds district standards
3 - meets district standards
2 - approaches district standards
1 - does not meet district standards (and generally interventions are put into place)

He continues to struggle in reading but is continuing to progress. He has struggled in reading for the longest time but it could also be caused by the fact that he is actually legally blind in one eye without correction and doesn't see that great even with correction. We have been told by his optometrist that he will never be able to drive because he won't be able to pass the vision test. I think if he can have larger print books, he will do much better. That is something that I will email and suggest to his teacher later today.

She also said that he is an incredible artist and recommended that we enroll him in art classes. However, on his report card, his art teacher graded him at a 2, so I think I may need to meet with her and find out what the difference is between her opinion of his art and the classroom teacher's opinion of his art.

Then it was time to meet with Oralee's teacher. It was a quick meeting and I really didn't learn anything new about her, since I'm in the classroom every other week anyhow. She is a social child, but she is also an eager learner and participates in class. She holds back a little bit until she is sure of herself or her answer. She also is still working on recognizing her letter names and sounds.

We had a little bit of a break and then it was time to meet with Jeriah's teachers. We met with his classroom teacher, his special education teacher and the speech language pathologist who is working with him. He had two basic goals on his IEP that we set at the beginning of the year and he is rapidly working towards one of them. We may even have to meet earlier to redo his IEP with new goals if he meets them before the end of the year.

One of his language goals was to create sentences that had 5 words or more during 75% of his utterances. At the beginning of the year, his sentences had an average of 3.7 words. Now, two months into the school year, his sentences have an average of 4.3 words. This is based off of 100% of observed utterances. Also, at the beginning of the school year, the average amount of sentences that contained 5 words or more was 13%. Already he is at 33%. If he continues at this rate, he will likely reach the goal of 75% around February. His IEP is to last until August of next year. And most likely, he will reach this goal before then.

Also, his teacher did a Kindergarten preparation book where she is testing the kids on their knowledge of Kindergarten concepts such as shapes, colors, numbers, uppercase letters and lower case letters. Jeriah knew every shape, every color, every number, every uppercase letter and all but one lower case letter (l) when "tested". The teacher had numbers 1-20 on the page but she had only prepared (and therefore only "tested") for 1-10, not realizing that there may be a student who could go higher. He also can rote count to 16 (he missed 17 when she did it) and can count 1:1 correspondence to 16. She said that was really good because often times, kids can count more quickly by rote than they can when doing 1:1 correspondence so that when they try to do the 1:1, they will often end up with a number higher than the actual number of objects. But not Jeriah. He was on track with it.

The thing is, Jeriah can recognize numbers up to 100. Not just up to 20. I plan to take some numbers and additional shapes with us for our Home Visit next Wednesday to show her the differences in what he actually knows and the kind of activities that he is currently working on at school.

She also had him draw a picture of himself. His picture included a body, head, legs, arms, hands, feet, eyes (with pupils), nose, mouth and hair. No ears though. Maybe that's because he doesn't like to listen so much anymore! :) He is really coming into himself and is showing more independence and asserting his own opinions and thoughts more often now.

Let's see, there was also a page where she had them try to cut out shapes. He did not do well on that one at all. I think probably because most of the time at home he is told, "No Jeriah! Put the scissors down!" So we might need to work on that a little bit at home.

She also mentioned that Jeriah could drop kick a playground ball. We already knew this because he started doing that his summer with soccer balls. But it was neat to see her excitement about it. I did mention to the teachers the fact that Jeriah only kicks with his left foot. He will not kick with his right foot at all. I don't know if it something that we need to be concerned about. I know that for me, personally, I tend to kick more with my right foot than my left, but I'm right-handed. Jeriah is also right-handed, so I would think that he would also be more likely to have his right foot be dominant, but since the exact opposite is true, I felt it was pertinent to mention to his teachers.

For his next "testing" for Kindergarten skills, his classroom teacher said she may need to come up with some other options for his numbers and letters, shapes and colors. Instead of testing to see if he knows his letters, she is going to see how he does on letter sounds. I am not sure what her plan is for the shapes and colors and for numbers, she is going to just need to increase the parameters that she is "testing" him on. All good things though!

It's actually kind of amusing to us that our Special Education preschooler has more Kindergarten-level skills than our neurotypical Kindergartener. I actually feel a little bit of compassion already for Jeriah's Kindergarten teacher. He seems to be about a grade or two higher in letter and number skills, on par with fine motor skills and lacking in his social abilities. What a combination! But it very much reminds me of, oh, myself, in the early years at school.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Webelo Camp Out

As planned, we met up with the Webelo group at the kids' school on Saturday morning while Hubby went on to work. We left for the lake shortly after. Once we arrived at the lake, we unloaded our gear and the boys set the tent up.

I didn't realize it, but in Scouts, there is a kind of unspoken rule: "Don't do anything for a boy that he can do for himself." This includes setting up tents and campsites. My two boys worked together and had our tent set up in no time flat! They worked together and got the job done.

And here you can see the fruits of their labor. At this point, Oralee and Jeriah were playing inside the tent while Cephas and Koren were off getting instructions from the leaders.

The boys made lunch for the group (meatball subs on a camp stove, applesauce and hot chocolate) and after lunch, they went for a 3 mile hike. After lunch, I left Cephas and Koren in the care of another Scout mom, who also happens to be one of our neighbors and the mother of some of the boys' friends. I needed to get the little kids back into town so that I could focus more on the boys and their activities.

By the time I got back out to the camp site, the boys had already gotten back from their hike and it was almost time for them to start making our dinner. Gosh, but there is something that just rings about that statement. Time for THEM to start making OUR dinner. Yes, I do think I like the sound of that. But first, we needed more wood. Because this woodpile (below) apparently wasn't big enough. So off they went to bring back wood.

And then they needed to saw it down. Here is a picture of the Littlest Woodcutter (aka Koren). Isn't he adorable just plugging away? He cut that log down into 1' lengths. It was a 12' log. That's a LOT of cutting for the little guy. And he wasn't even a Webelo. He's just a Wolf (three grades lower!). By the time he was done with that log, he came over to me and I looked at his hands. He already had calluses from raking and mowing and riding his bike (yes, he grips his bike handles THAT hard!) and after sawing down a 12' log, he had new calluses in the middle of this hand. He couldn't be coaxed away from doing it though. He was bound and determined to finish that log.

The older boys MAY have alienated him a little bit while they were cutting down some of the logs to usable sizes saying that he was just a little Wolf and couldn't do it. So he MAY have been extremely determined to show them that he most certainly could do it. And outdo their efforts in the process. That little boy is going to have workin' man hands by the time he's 10. And nope, he's not a farm boy. He's a city kid. You'd never guess it looking at his hands though!

The next order of business was for the boys to receive instructions on how to start a fire with a flint and magnesium and then they each got a turn to try it out.

Then the boys went off to gather a few resources for kindling. Paper, dried leaves, small twigs and then tiny little branches. After they had the base of their fire started, they were allowed to feed the fire to get it hot enough for it to burn the actual wood.

Then, the Den Leader told them that they were done feeding the fire and he added the logs to the fire pit and built it up nice and hot. That was really nice because the day was cloudy and cool and threatening to rain nearly the whole time.

Mmmmm, nice and hot! Then we had to let it die down and cool some so that we could make dinner. We had an assembly line where we each made our own pizzas - tortilla shell for the crust, tomato sauce, cheeses and cheeses, hamburger/pepperoni/sausage, green bell pepper, red bell pepper, white onion, it was DELISH! We wrapped them in foil and then the boys cooked them on the coals of the fire. So melty yummy!

The boys cleaned up the meal and then went off to play games while the adults sat around the fire pit and built it back up. About an hour after nightfall, we called the boys back to camp and let the fire die down again and we roasted marshmallows and then built the fire back up again for ghost stories.

And then it was time for bed. It was GREAT day and the boys had SO MUCH FUN! And so did I! I cannot wait for the next campout!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Weekend Plans!!!

We have a very busy weekend planned. I cannot wait for it all! On Saturday morning, Hubby has to work and the kids and I will be going to the kids' school to meet up with Cephas' Webelo den.

Then, we will be heading out to the lake for a camping trip. I wish Hubby would be able to come along and be a part of it as well, but due to his work schedule, it's not possible. We will get out to the lake, set up our campsite and the Webelos will make some lunch. We will eat and then in the afternoon, we will be going on a three mile hike. It's during this hiking time that Hubby will be coming out to join us (and to pick up the younger kiddos who would be better suited to being in town with their dad) and the other boys will be able to work on some of their own skills and badges and such. We will eat a dinner prepared by the boys and then have a campfire time with skits and s'mores and fun stuff like that. Afterwards, the boys will be playing some games in the dark and then we will head to bed. In the morning, we will get up and the boys will fix breakfast. We will eat then break down camp and then head back home.

When we get back home, it will be just in time for Hubby to leave for work, so we will unload the vehicle and get everything put away. Then, Cephas and Koren have been hired for another lawn job for the afternoon, so we will head over there to do that. It's for the family I work for so there's a bit of added pressure for them to do a fantastic job. And of course, I'll be around to make sure that they actually do a fantastic job and will be able to help them out with it and oversee it and also to jump in and correct anything that needs it. I'm a little bit nervous for them (and for me) because I know that the family can be a little bit particular about things. I would really prefer that we be able to go over and do the work once Hubby gets off of work so that he can go along with as well or so that he could be home with the little kids. We will just have to try it out and see how it goes though. One way or another, we will make it all work. I'm actually pretty excited about the whole thing. I am just nervous too.

Sunday evening we will spend time together as family. I'd like to have some time playing board games or card games with the kids that evening, but I'm really up open to the family's suggestions for that evening as well.

Also, one other thing I haven't mentioned. We have cut out the kids' computer time during the school week. It seems a little bit odd maybe, but it really works for us. Before, we were limiting the amount of time they had on the computer, which wasn't working quite as well. They would lose track of time and it was difficult to enforce the exact amount of computer time and all of that stuff, so we decided to just cut it out. Computer time is now limited to the weekends. Eventually, we may go back to some limited computer time during the week, but for now, this is really working well for all of us.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Sometimes It All Goes As Planned

And other times, it just doesn't. Like the plans I had for the kitchen.Yeah, not so much. I had high aspirations for that room. However, I am okay with it not getting done and this is why:

We worked together to rearrange our bedroom.

It was time spent one-on-one with my wonderful Hubby. We were able to put our room - our little sanctuary - first. It was a small way to show each other that we were putting US first. I mean, in the end, we still ended up doing some of what needed to be done in the kitchen, but we took care of our special space first. We made our room and us a priority.

It's a very basic principle that often gets lost, I think. We tend to get caught up in the kids and their activities and the busy and the to-do list and work and and and...and we neglect us. Not because we mean to, not because we want to, but because we both understand. Which is also great. But sometimes, we need to just stop. Be still. Put our spouse back into the spot where they are supposed to be.

So that is what we did. We spent time rearranging our bedroom and thoroughly cleaning it from top to bottom. We did this while the kids were at school and then we laid there and just talked. We held hands. It was a wonderful time to reconnect.

I love my husband so much! I take him for granted though. I'm working on changing that. And this one day, in this small way, I showed him that I value him. I value us. I value our special time and our special place. I think we both needed that. Oh - and one other thing - I did it without even thinking and without bringing up the work that also needed to be done.

It was a blessing to him. It was a blessing to me. I think that once a week (maybe on Wednesdays, when I am off from work) I am going to spend some time focused on our bedroom. I had initially hoped to get some of the other house maintenance done on that day. And that still holds true. But the main focus on that particular day will be our sanctuary. It's also the only day that we both have off from work while the kids are in school and don't have any other things planned.

And do you know what else? Sometimes it all goes as planned (by us) and sometimes it all goes as it is supposed to. Just a little food for thought.

(Linking up to: Home Sanctuary and this week's Company Girl Coffee.)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Kitchen Plans

Okay, so I got a jump start yesterday on the kitchen. Hubby and I moved a bookshelf that has been in our kitchen since we moved in to another area. It will be going out to the storage shed to be used for storage purposes out there. Then we moved the armoire into it's place and while we were at it, we pulled the fridge out and swept and mopped under that. Today, my to do list is pretty typical for a kitchen job:

  • Take the bookshelf out to the shed.
  • Do the dishes. (Yes, there are dishes in my kitchen left over from yesterday. No, I did not do them last night. Thanks for asking though!)
  • Clear off the counter tops.
  • Clear off the stove.
  • Clear off the top of fridge.
  • Clear off the decorative shelf space above our cupboards.
  • Clean the sink.
  • Clean the stove.
  • Clean the microwave inside and out.
  • Clean out the fridge and wipe down the interior. (Thankfully, the freezer portion is not in need of this too.)
  • Then sweep and mop and voila! Kitchen is done.

You will notice that I did not mention dusting or washing windows. I'm being realistic here. If it gets done, that is awesome. If not, I'm not going to beat myself up over it. Our one window is mostly blocked by the armoire and before that, it was the bookshelf. It's also a window I have to clean from outside and it's kinda chilly out there. Also, as far as dusting goes, most of the things that need to be dusted will end up being dusted in the process of clearing things off and cleaning them. That's good enough for me for right now. I think the kitchen will take about an hour and a half to two hours to get it all done and tidy and looking great.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Dining Room Transformation

As I mentioned here in my last post, I wanted to tidy up and make my dining room look better. I had planned to just:

  • straighten our built-in corner cabinets
 I did this. I reorganized each and every shelf in both of the cabinets (total of 8 shelves) and now anyone who wants something from one of the shelves can easily figure out where to get it from and best of all, can also easily figure out where to put it back. Before, there were a few shelves with mixed items and some of the things stored on the shelves were actually split up and stored in multiple spots. That was not working for me. The way it is reorganized now though, definitely works better for me and for the rest of the family.
  • straighten the armoire where I keep extra storage containers
Not only did I straighten the armoire, but I removed EVERY item from within it and then with Hubby's help, we moved it to the kitchen into a spot where I thought it would look better (which it does). It also happens to be the same spot where I wanted the armoire when we first moved into the house, but it was placed in the dining room instead and I have dealt with it being in there for quite some time. I'm very happy that it has relocated. It is now cleared out, happy in it's new home and filled with different items from the kitchen. The items that were in it were either moved into one of the corner cabinets in the dining room or moved to a new location within the armoire itself. Yay!
  • straighten the little kids' table (where the little kids eat when we have company)
For this job, I really just cleared it off and put miscellaneous items back where they actually belong. Things like the iron back in our closet, the table top ironing board back onto the rod of our bedroom closet, some plastic grocery bags thrown away and some dishes put into the sink. I still need to wipe down the table and bring in the chairs that belong with it, but it's a definite improvement over what it was.
  • clear off the table
I did this and also put on a fall table cloth that Cephas (I believe it was him - although it might have been Koren, I can't quite remember) picked out about a month ago. It has an array of pumpkins in all different fall colors on it. Not my first choice (I was leaning towards the leaf print at the store) but it still looks quite nice on our table. 
  • straighten the few items that are regularly kept on the floor of this room (the dog dishes and the extra dog food)
I put the tote of extra dog food under the little kids' table because that is an area where it fit and where it doesn't take up floor real estate. Love it! I also moved the dogs' dishes away from a vent. Now, it's in front of one of the corner cabinets, but it's on that we don't use very often at all and the dog dishes are easy enough to move when I would need to get into that cabinet.
  • dust
Did NOT get this done, but got some other stuff done, which I will mention in a moment.
  • wash windows
Ditto for this.
  • sweep
Done and...
  • mop
done.  Don't really think that there is too much detail needed for these items.

Some other things that we did to this room was to move the older boys' computer desk into the room. Now, I know that it may sound weird, but the boys didn't even have the computer hooked up nor sitting on the desk. It's taking up room in their bedroom and they don't use it. I need a space to put all of my important papers and other things. I now have my Girl Scout Leader stuff stored neatly on the desk as well as the boys' Cub Scout activity book which they use to earn their belt loops and pins. These are all stored on the main part of the desk where you would put a monitor. I also have a file tote stored on the lower half of the desk (where the tower and printer would go if it were to be used as a computer desk) as well as a box with my coupon inserts in it that still need to be organized.

Hubby and I also got to talking about some major renovations that we want to do to this room and even put up a swatch of a paint option on the wall to see if we liked the color (we didn't) so now we are semi-committed to changing the color of the top half of the room relatively soon to get rid of that paint swatch. The top part of the room is a dark tan color. The swatch is a red tone, which is a MAJOR difference, as I am guessing you would guess. We decided to go with a burgundy tone on the top half of the room and we are still deciding what we want to do with the chair rail and the wainscotting. Right now, we are torn between just freshening up the white paint that is currently there, changing the color to a wheat color or even removing the wainscotting and the chair rail and making the room a solid color. We're just not quite sure yet.

Oh - and all told, it probably took about an hour to do what I had wanted to do and more! And now, I have a jump start on the kitchen work that I wanted to accomplish too! Yay!

Tomorrow will prove to be a very busy day. We will get the kitchen stuff started and the laundry all sorted and folded and put away or into a pile for the consignment store and hopefully we will also get our bedroom rearranged. Hubby started to do it as a surprise to me while I was working on this post but it will be a big job and one that will require two people to work on.

A Case of the Crazies!!!

Okay, I admit it. My house is driving me insane. Or rather, the cluttery-ness of it at the moment. I have to work a 12 hour shift today (which is why I am awake at 4am, of course?) but let me assure you, when I get off work today, I am going to start a full-scale clean and declutterization of the whole house. Notice I didn't say that I was going to get it all done, rather I said, START one. You see, I am realistic. I know that what I am wanting to do here is going to take some time and is not likely to be completely accomplished in one evening. Maybe 1/8 of the house will be done (equivalent to one room of our home) but rest assured, the job will get started!

My plan of attack is to start in our dining room. It's one of the smaller rooms and overall, it should be fairly easy to accomplish. I just need to straighten our built-in corner cabinets, the armoire where I keep extra storage containers and the little kids' table (where the little kids eat when we have company). Then just clear off the table, straighten the few items that are regularly kept on the floor of this room (the dog dishes and the extra dog food) and then dust, wash windows, sweep and mop. Then the room will be done! All told, the room should take about an hour?

Then the room to follow will be the kitchen, then the living room, then the front room, the bathroom and then each of the three bedrooms. But just taking it one step at a time! I just needed to put it down here so that there was some kind of accountability to make sure that I get it done.

I may start doing Tackle It Tuesday (tackle on Monday, schedule a post for Tuesday) but I'm not sure just yet if that is something that I want to take part in. I love memes, don't get me wrong. I just don't know if I want that to be the focus. I want to have new and inspired material on this here blog. Not just something that I did and blogged about because I was supposed to. Does that make sense to everyone? I guess as long as I have other content as well then it will could be okay. We'll see...

Monday, October 17, 2011

Date Night 10/14/2011

Oh date nights. I love date nights with the Hubby! We have family date nights where we go out and do something fun together as a whole family. We also have date nights where Hubby and I join friends and do something with them, and we also have date nights where it is just Hubby and myself.

Friday night was a date night with friends. You see, one of my oldest and dearest friends recently moved an hour or so away from our hometown. She and her hubby still own their house here in our town and they travel back on the weekends that they don't have to work to fix up the house and try to get it readied for selling. Most weekends when they are back, they are so busy working at the house that we don't get a chance to connect and spend time together. That makes me sad. I love this couple and their children like family.

So this past week when my girlfriend told me that they would be in town on Friday night and would be able to get together, I jumped at the chance. Hubby and I arranged for childcare and when I got off of work, I went home and helped get kids settled for the night, got changed and ready to go out, then we went and picked them up from their hotel.

The four of us proceeded to the bar where her uncle's girlfriend was celebrating her birthday. I have met the uncle's girlfriend once or twice before and we have gotten along. And now, that I'm an adult, the uncle and I get along too. He was always a scary presence to me when were kids - but that really went for all of my girlfriend's adult family members. That's another story entirely though.

So we got to the bar and it was actually fairly busy. Girlfriend and her hubby as well as her uncle and his girlfriend appeared to be regulars there because it seemed like they were talking to and knew everyone there. By the time the night was over, I pretty much did too. It's a small bar.

They were having a karaoke night. I haven't sang karaoke in seven years and that wasn't about to change, so we sat around talking and drinking (some had soda, some had mixed drinks, some had beer. I was in the last category myself) and just having a nice time. It was nice.

Girlfriend likes to dance - line dance in particular. I'm not very good at it myself though. We have gone to a lesson together before but then she decided that she didn't want to do that after the first one so we never went back. However, her uncle is a pretty smooth dancer and she learned quite a bit from him when it came to line dancing. She then decided that this was the night for me to learn to do it too.

She dragged me out on the floor for the electric slide, which I tried and I kinda sorta maybe have most of the idea of the steps down, but I would need to do it a few more times before I felt like I really had it. Then later on, she dragged me out on the floor again for a cha cha slide, where the music apparently tells you what you are going to do next, but it still was like a foreign language to me. I will get it eventually though!

Later in the evening, the uncle grabbed me and we two-stepped on the dance floor. At least, I think that's what it was. He is a very smooth and powerful dancer and the fact that I don't know how to dance didn't make a bit of a difference when I was dancing with him because he knew what he was doing and he is a strong lead. He just pushed me into the next step or wherever it was we were supposed to go. It was amazing.

It also sparked a conversation between Hubby and I about the possibility of taking lessons together. There's a place here in our town where they offer free lessons and that is where girlfriend and I went before she decided that she wasn't going to do that afterall. I would love to go there and take lessons with my Hubby and be able to dance smoothly with him. I had such a great time. Hubby had a good time, although he didn't dance at all. We talked about it afterwards and he said that he doesn't enjoy dancing because he doesn't know how to do it. That's how we came to the conclusion to look into the classes.

I cannot wait for when we start the classes! I think it will be an absolute blast! I hope Hubby enjoys it as well. If not, well, we tried. We still have PLENTY of other activities that we enjoy doing together, as well as many that we enjoy doing separately. I find it healthy and beneficial for each of us to have our own interests and friends as well as to have joint ones. So, if the dancing ends up being something that he really does not enjoy, it will work out just fine regardless. I ♥ my Hubby so!

And I loved the fact that we were able to just spend some time sitting around the table, talking with friends and enjoying the music. Good music, good friends, good times.

Columbus Day

Columbus Day was an extremely busy day for me! I got the kids up in the morning and ready for school then proceeded to get myself ready for the day and over to the school half an hour later to volunteer in Oralee's classroom.

I love working in the classroom! I would love to be a teacher but that is one education that takes more time and resources than I have available to give to it unfortunately. So instead, I choose to volunteer. Oralee is a kindergartener. I volunteered in Cephas' class with he was in Kindergarten, as well as in Koren's class at that grade as well.

I was assigned to the Art table. I had two kids at a time come up to the table as assigned and they would work on identifying the pictures, determining which ones started with the same letter sound as their letter of the week ("M") and then they would cut the pictures out as well as arms and legs for a monster book they are working on and then they would glue the pictures inside the monster book. After they had done that, they could color the pictures. They had twenty minutes to do this.

Let me preface this by stating one thing: Kindergarteners are not all equal in their scissor skills. Very few kids got everything cut out that needed to be in order to glue it in their books, fewer yet got all their pictures glued into their book and not one of them had time to color the pictures.

It may just be me and the era I was raised in but it seems to me that the upper grades (3rd-5th) in grade school are not much different in the material taught than it was when I was in those grades. However, the younger (and more specifically, the youngest!) grades seem so focused and driven. I'm not quite sure what to make of it all.

I mean, when I was five, I went to Kindergarten. My teacher's name was Ms. Schnott. (yes, "shhh-not"). I hated her with a passion. Our basic day was to get to the classroom for our half-day of learning. We would sit on the rug, do our calendar time, say the Pledge of Allegiance and have books read to us and we would do little papers and get into the routine of a school day. We had recess and nap time.

Now, Kindergarten is full-day. There is no nap time, however, there are two recess periods I believe. It is very academic. Instead of children learning their letters and numbers and colors and shapes and the things that we were learning at this age, they are doing that as well as learning to read and add and subtract and do many many different activities. It is just so...busy, I suppose.

I don't know, I guess that is actually the kind of environment I was craving when I was five. (I started school reading, writing and doing math on a 1st/2nd grade level) However, with that being said, I really enjoy being a part of the classroom. With the requirements that our state and local governments put on our educational professionals, on top of the ones that our national government puts on them, I am glad to be able to help out and to help assist the teacher and the students both. The teacher needs additional adults to be sure that each child is learning to their full potential and the kids need that guidance time. And for me, it is additional time that I get to see at least one of my kiddos! That is one thing that always warms my heart and I am grateful for that!

Here's to another wonderful, fun, exciting Kindergarten year!

Crafting Update and Other News

Otherwise known as a FAIL. Well, it is not FAIL exactly, as it is just incomplete. I did find the fabric that originally prompted me to buy the hoop, but I haven't gotten it put together and hung up. I did get ONE of the TWELVE panels completely finished and have three more in various states of progress. It's going fairly well. It just was not a priority this week.

This past week I feel like my feet have hardly touched the ground, I've been so busy. Between work and the kids' school and volunteering there and trying to get things done around the house and the music lessons and practices that need to get done, as well as house-sitting for my inlaws and then spending time with a friend who was in town for the weekend with some time to spend on me, well...yeah, crafting took a back seat.

This past Monday (Columbus Day) I volunteered at the kids' school. I was in Oralee's class working at the Art station with groups of children that changed about every 20 minutes. That may seem like a fair amount of time to work on an art project that correlates to their letter of the week (this past week was "M" - Mimi Mouse style) but really, it's a tight squeeze and some kids weren't able to get their projects cut out, glued and colored in the allotted time frame.

Monday night was music lessons. The boys did a fantastic job at their lessons! Cephas has a bow test, which I'm not completely sure that I personally understand, but he did well with it. And Koren's teacher told me that he has a real ear for music and rhythm. I find that to be true with all four of my children. They are all musical by nature. And I love that about them!

Wednesday night, we went to Hubby's work for dinner and enjoyed a nice time there as a family before heading home and getting the kids ready for bed. We so look forward to Wednesday nights! Especially now that I have that night off from work!

On Friday night, Hubby and I went out with a couple that we are friends with. Yes, my Hubby and I have been married for nearly 11 years and we stilll date. It was a great time! I think I had a better time than Hubby did though. I knew the people there better and I really enjoy dancing, although I am not very good at it.

Over this past weekend, we just spent time as a family getting chores and other miscellaneous things done around the house. I love having a clean, organized, clutter-free home. However, it does not often stay that way during the week. At all. Hopefully, by having a random day off in the middle of the week, it will help me to combat that issue.

But that is all for now. I will be working on some more detailed posts about some of the things I have written about and will hyper link them for your viewing convenience!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Crafting and Redecorating

We have recently decided to do our boys' room in an all-out sports theme. They have sports-themed comforters for their beds but I want to do the whole room in a sports theme. At the beginning of October, we had a birthday party for which I made some beanbags for a game that we played. I used sports fabric to make the bean bags and I bought more than I needed for the bean bags so I had some left over.

Today, I decided to go to a craft store to pick up an embroidery hoop to put the extra fabric on and use it as a simple yet cute wall hanging. But then, in the same aisle as the hoops were printed cross stitch patterns. I love those things! I also like counted cross stitch but at this point in my life, the less I have to keep track of, the better. And of course, they had some with a sports theme. There were 12 panels in the package, which you then embroider by hand and then sew together with other fabrics to make a quilt, right? Yeah, I had to get it. I mean, seriously, there are so many options. I can do up all 12 panels and use four apiece for each of the boys and use LOTS of sports theme fabrics. I can buy two more sets of them and make the quilt as directed. I can make throw pillows out of them for the boys' beds, I can create more wall art for them, the possibilities are just astounding to me! I cannot wait to get these twelve panels all finished up so that I can decide what to do with them!!!

I also got a set of 12 butterfly panels for Oralee's room. Since she is the only one in her room and her room is on the smaller side (and currently decorated in fairies and princesses) I have time to work on her panels. No big rush on hers. I'd like to get some more wall stickers from the dollar store for her room though. I saw that they have long blades of grass and flowers that I think would be absolutely adorable around the bottom half of her room. We could move the fairies down so that they could hide in the grass too, with the princesses and other stickers above them. I have great visions, I tell ya!

I am so enjoying the hand embroidery though! It is so relaxing! I learned how to do the stamped cross stitch when I was six. My grandmother taught me. I remember spending many nights at her house, working on embroidery squares while watching television with her. A lot of my handiwork, I learned from her actually. She taught me to sew on a machine (I'm still not good at it!), sew by hand (THAT I can handle - pun intended), embroider, crochet...the list goes on. She was talented, no doubt about it.

My goal for this week (in addition to my normal daily stuff that I won't bore you with - at least, not at this point) is to finish the panels for the boys' room. Maybe this time next week, I will have even decided what to do with them and can share some pictures of finished items with you. That would be fun!

I had to share that with you real quick but I'm off to finish up some basketballs on quilt blocks. Talk to you soon!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Cephas' new "job"

The other day while cruising craigslist (remember in my last post about there being time for anything we choose to do?) I came across an ad for a leaf raking job near my work. I mentioned it to Cephas and we discussed it. We went over the details of the job, how to conduct an initial phone conversation, what to say as well as what NOT to say and after rehearsing a few times, Cephas called the phone number listed.

He was sitting on my bed, with my cell on speakerphone between us. He got a voicemail and we VERY quickly went through the details of what to say when leaving a message. Basically the same as the beginning of his conversation that we had already rehearsed with a few extra details thrown in (like our phone number).

Later that evening, the person called us back. I answered the phone and then called to Cephas to come over and talk to the client. I don't know what else to call him so that is what he will be called from this point forward. We had the client on speakerphone again, with the phone between us as they discussed further details about the lawn job and made arrangements for the work to be done. After they were done talking, Cephas and I looked up the house address on Google Maps and the county assessor's website so that we would have an idea of what the house looked like, how big the yard was and to get an idea of what to expect.

This was all done on a Thursday. On the following Saturday, Cephas, siblings and I showed up to meet the client in person and for Cephas to get started. I let Cephas do most of the talking, as he was the worker and I wanted him to learn valuable interpersonal skills by doing so. I was not comfortable just dropping him off and leaving but wanted him to have the freedom and independence to get the job done (and to reduce his distractions with getting the job done by removing his siblings from his work), so the siblings and I "left" but stayed in the same area and let him get to work. We drove back to his location a few times here and there to "check" on him and make sure that everything was going well, which it was. Towards the end, I helped him out (against his wishes) because I could see that he was feeling like he was never going to get it all done. In his defense, it was a windy day, the leaves have just started falling and they were continuing to fall and blow onto the yard, which also had LONG grass that he was working against as well. Even I had trouble getting the yard raked.

Koren and Oralee got involved in the work as well. Koren was a great help at bagging the leaves and Oralee was the perfect size to put into the bag to crush the leaves so that we could get more leaves into the bag. Jeriah slept in his carseat in the van (with an open sliding door and windows on a breezy 75* day) just a few feet from where we were.

By the end of his day, Cephas had earned $20.00, I learned a few things, he learned a few things and developed some great interpersonal skills. He also learned how to create more business for himself. When he was talking to the client at the end, he told the client, "I got the job done but your grass is really long. If you'd like, I can come back tomorrow or Monday and mow it for you." Not bad entreprenuership skills for a ten year old!

And the things that I learned? One was about a product that I had never seen before but which I am now well familiar with. It's basically a cardboard box with no bottom and handles on the top that is the same size and shape of a lawn leaf bag. You put it in the bag and it keeps the bag open and upright and makes it much easier to load leaves into the bag. The second thing was that my children really can pull together and work well together for the benefit of just one of them. They all benefited from Cephas' job being done and being able to leave the area and get along with our plans for the rest of the day, but Cephas also benefited from having help to get the job done, earned money AND valuable experience.

All in all, I'd say it was a pretty good deal! And the client wants Cephas to come back. I figure with some of the skills he learned today, he will be well ready to get the job done next weekend and the weekend after that and the weekend after on and so forth until the leaves stop falling. Based on the number of trees and the different types of trees which drop their leaves at different times that are near the client's home, it could be quite awhile.


Right now, schedules around our house are a nightmare. Between Hubby and I, we work every day of the week. The one great thing about this is that we rarely overlap. The problem that we are running into with schedules though, is trying to balance the kids' activities with their responsibilities. It is a hard task. Whoever said parenting was easy obviously was not a parent.

I try to have the kids' clothes picked out the night before. They are free to choose something different to wear if they want but at least this way, there is a full set of clean clothes ready for them to put on and start their day. I also try to have them put their homework in their backpacks and to have their backpacks hung up and their shoes and jackets near their backpacks as well so that when it is time to go they can just head out the door. Super easy! The problem with this happens on Wednesday and Friday mornings. You see, I work on Tuesdays and Thursdays and don't get home until really late. I'm not around those days after school to make sure they get their homework done and to do all of those things that I normally do with or for them the nights that I am home. On the other hand, I guess, it is only two days a week and maybe I just need to plan better for those things and make sure that the kids get up early enough on Wednesdays and Fridays to allow them time to do the things that they are supposed to do after school. I don't know. It's all a work in progress.

Right now, I am printing off some materials from one of my favorite sites (EVER!) called Donna Young. It is just an invaluable resource if you are a homemaker OR a homeschooler OR a mom just trying to get herself together. I'm a little of all three. I'm definitely the homemaker (even though I work more hours than Hubby does outside of our home), and we tend to be something called "Afterschoolers" (read "The Well-Trained Mind" if you have never heard of an afterschooler) and yup, I'm also a mama, just trying to make sure everything runs smoothly for everybody.

We have so many things going on, I just wish I could cancel some of them out. But in reality, I know that the things that we have going on for the kids are good for them and that they enjoy their activities and they grow from them. Webelos meetings, Wolf meetings, Pack meetings, popcorn sales, Daisy meetings, nut and candy sales, piano lessons, violin lessons, church youth group, Cephas' various jobs...all are worthwhile and enhance our children - and us.

So I try to remember that on the days that I have off from work and am running from school pick up to product sales to music lessons to daisy meeting and feel like I have nothing to show for my day. In reality, I have the entire day that they are at school to get things done that *I* need to get done on my day off. After school time should be about them and family and doing things that enrich us. So if you see me whining about how much I didn't get done, remind me that there is always time for anything that we choose to do. And in the meantime, I'll be working harder and smarter to make sure that I am getting the most use of my time as well! Thanks everyone!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


Here we are the start of a new blog. I have decided to start a brand-new, fresh blog for the purpose of keeping my family's information more private than before. Not that there was a huge concern about the amount that I shared on my old blog, but I just want to make sure that this one is totally safe for the kids' well-being.

Let me share a little bit about myself. For starters, I am a wife. My husband and I have been married for nearly eleven years now. We have been blessed with four children. Our oldest, *Cephas, is ten and a fifth grader. He plays the violin and the piano and is a Webelo in Cub Scouts. He loves sports and being active but also loves playing video games and vegging out in front of the television for a cartoon.

Our next oldest, *Koren, is also a boy, is eight and a second grader. He plays the piano and wants to learn to play the violin. He also takes part in Cub Scouts as a Wolf Cub. He actually has just recently earned his Bobcat badge and will be awarded with it in two weeks at the Den meeting. He is so excited! Much like his older brother, he loves sports and being active but is also willing to chill on the sofa and watch television or play a video game.

The third child in our family, *Oralee, is our only girl. She is five years old, in kindergarten and is generally a delight to be around. She loves all things girly, like pink and purple and shopping and fashion. She is into music but does not take any music lessons yet. She loves to dance and play and sing. We plan to enroll her in dance lessons at some point soon but for now, she keeps plenty busy with Girl Scouts as a Daisy.

Our baby boy, *Jeriah, is four. He is on the spectrum for an Autism Disorder. He attends a half day preschool class and has an Individualized Educational Plan to help him overcome or deal with some of the nuances of his disorder. He is an incredible child. Just like his older siblings, he also enjoys music and activity. He can memorize songs and melodies quickly as well as song lyrics. He doesn't have any extra activities like the older children do but that is okay with us. He will have his own activities soon enough.

My husband is a cook for a restaurant. He loves his job as cooking is one of his passions. He is also a fabulous father and husband in general. Oh sure, we have our moments (who doesn't?!) but overall, he is the best!

I am a health care professional. At work, I take care of people and also handle all the day-to-day tasks of organizing and running our workplace. It's a lot of work and there are many times that I end up taking work home with me as well. Lately, it has improved at work and I don't bring home work very often at all anymore.

I am a leader in my daughter's Girl Scout troop which is a perfect fit for me because I love kids and teaching. To be honest, if I didn't have to work outside of the home to make ends meet here, I would stay home and homeschool all four of our children. But that's another story, another situation, another post for another time.

I just wanted to introduce my family to you. We're happy to have you here!

(You may have noticed the * by the childrens' names. I used a random name generator online to find unusual names for my children for the protection of their identity. All the names I chose are of a Hebrew origin and are all rather fun names, in my opinion.)

Monday, October 3, 2011
I just saw a link for this over at Absentminded Mother and had to click on over to I Can Teach My Child to check it out and see what it was all about.

I must say, I like the idea! I am also going to present it to my kiddos and suggest it as a family activity. It will also give us something to share about each night at dinner. It's also not a bad idea since the boys are in Scouts and one of the things that they are supposed to put into practice is to "Do A Good Turn" each day.

Some things I would like to do include:

volunteer at our homeless shelter
donate food to local charities
serve meals at one of the senior centers here
take a meal to a family
host a Thanksgiving meal for those who might otherwise not have a Thanksgiving
offer to babysit for a family for free
create a craft project of some sort to be given away

Plus, I really like all of the ideas that Absentminded Mother had as well! I look forward to seeing some of the ideas from the other participants so that it can spur on additional ideas for our family! I love to serve others. I do so with a (generally) grateful and happy heart. I long for my children to acquire that as well. I think they are on their way there. Koren most definitely. He wanted do a yard job for free just to be nice. I suggested that if he wanted to, he could do it for the money and then donate the money to a charity of his choice. That job ended up being cancelled, but I do believe that Koren's heart is in the right place.

So anyhow, I just wanted to let you all know about this great idea going on for this month. What do you think? Are you going to join up as well?