Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Links for you

Work station straight on view copy

It’s been a while since I’ve shared some links from the internet. I haven’t decided how much of a link sharing blog I want to be or how to best fit it in with everything else I write. But I have several good ones that I’ve been sitting on for a while now and I want to share them with you. So here it goes:

The biggest thing separating people from their artistic ambitions…

I have no ambitions to write a novel, but I do have lots of other creative goals. I think the point about deadlines is so true. I made a lot stuff for work – because I had to get things done for certain events by a certain time. At home, things just languish. How can I give myself more deadlines, without feeling artificial or stressing myself out?


Free Project Life Journal Cards

This is a really cute collection of journaling cards for your Project Life album. Just download and print out!


Water Color Pencil Palette

This is such a good idea for taking painting on the go. I’d really love to try it out someday. I didn’t even know water color pencils were a thing!


To Reuse this Notebook, Pop it in the Microwave

What?!?!


It Goes So Fast (Not a Parenting Essay)

Oh, man. I can already feel this as I’m just beginning my 30s. How in the world did I ever reach such a grown-up sounding age?


And just for fun…

Comedy Character Tournament of Champions

My final four? Liz Lemon, Leslie Knope, Dwight Shrute, and Kenneth Parcel. From there I really can’t choose.

Friday, March 13, 2015

These Days // 12

These days image

It’s another Friday! Here’s what’s been happening these days:

loving: the first signs of spring! I went outside without a coat today. There are tiny green shoots sticking out of the dirt. The snow has finally melted away. And the daylight has been saved. I really hope spring sticks around.

bouncing: my baby on my knee. She loves it and it makes her smile.

celebrating: Charlie’s birthday. Still! We had family in last weekend for a little birthday party. I love seeing how much Charlie is loved by his family.

making: more pages in my photo album. Be looking for more posts about that soon.

thanking: God for the wonderful community of support we have around us. We had Charlie and Penelope dedicated in church on Sunday and it was such a reminder of how much God has blessed us with friends and family to help our children realize the full and wonderful life God has for them.

Enjoy your weekend! Hopefully it acts spring-like for you too!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Enjoy

Enjoy

The idea of having a word of the year is not a new one, but it has certainly seemed to gain in popularity over the past few years. Many people say that having one word to focus on all year long helps them achieve their goals and order their life around what they feel is really important. The more spiritual among us say that the word comes from God and that he uses that word to reveal himself over the course of the year. It’s all very lovely and nice, but I’ve never really gotten into it myself. Mainly because it seemed like so much pressure. To choose, out of all the words in the English language, a single word that should somehow change your life (or at least improve it in some way). It sounds like a daunting task. So I never really bothered.

But this year, after hearing about the words a few people in my life had chosen, I got to thinking, “What would my word be if I picked one?” Which really is the same as just picking a word, but for some reason it felt like an easier decision to make. And it didn’t take long for me to come up with it.

Enjoy.

I’m very aware of all the blessings in my life. All the things that are amazing and good that I don’t really deserve. But even with all that blessing I find if far too easy to feel like life isn’t going my way. The chores are never ending. I have to provide food for people to eat three times a day. Children get fussy and whiny and willful. And I never seem to have enough time to do the things that I want to do. But really, despite all these things, when it comes down to it I have a pretty amazing life.

Enjoy.

This year I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to stay home with my kids and focus my energy on our family and our home. It’s what I’ve always wanted, and I feel like if I don’t enjoy it I’ll kind of be missing the point. I want to end each day able to say that I enjoyed my kids. That I enjoyed my time at home. That I found a way to enjoy the day even if some parts were frustrating or boring or hard.

Enjoy.

I also want to be a person that others enjoy being around. I want my husband to enjoy his time with me. I want our kids to enjoy having mama around all day. I want my family and friends to enjoy the atmosphere I create in our home. I want you, dear reader, to enjoy the words I write on this blog.

So there you have it. A word for the year that I wasn’t looking for. I like it. It feels good. It feels like the right thing to aim for this year. I also think I could make good use of it as a valediction (that’s the opposite of a salutation — I had to look that up) for emails and blog posts. So that’s handy.

Enjoy!

Friday, March 6, 2015

These Days // 11

These days image

Hello, hello! It’s almost another weekend! I hope you’ve been enjoying the “these days” posts as much as I’ve enjoyed writing them. I find it’s a nice way to look back on the week and acknowledge the good things that have happened. It’s all too easy to live these little moments and then forget they ever happened to you. I hope that by having a record here on the blog that I will remember the little, everyday moments that make up my week.

So these days we have been:

IMG 0074

making: granny squares. I’ve been spending several evenings this week binge watching The Mindy Project while crocheting little granny squares. I love how quick and easy they come together. I have grand plans of someday turning a bunch of granny squares made from scrap yarn into a big cozy blanket.

Photo Mar 02 12 35 06 PM

celebrating: Charlie’s third birthday. We kept the celebration pretty simple here at home. Charlie went with me to the store to pick out some cookies which we then made for lunch. Complete with candles.

Photo Mar 02 7 38 55 PM

And then he got his very own camera as his present! It’s been a fairly regular thing for him to pretend to take pictures, so we figured he would enjoy getting to do it for real! He was so surprised and I think a little in awe when he opened it up. Which was pretty much the cutest thing ever.

planning: a trains birthday party. His actual birthday may have been a simple affair, but this weekend a bunch of family are coming in town for a slightly bigger celebration. This year’s theme is trains because I couldn’t bring myself to do cars again. The boy is nothing if not consistent in his love of transportation vehicles.

wanting: some new art supplies. I have dreams of someday knowing how to paint. But that takes practice. And some paints and brushes to practice with. Maybe someday I’ll get around to getting those things.

IMG 0073

playing: in more snow! After getting over a foot a couple weeks ago, which just so happened to be the most snow our area has seen in years – or rather, decades – we got another foot and a half this week! Which breaks the all time record for snowfall in a single storm. When it rains, it pours. In it’s frozen form, apparently.

Just for fun: here’s a link to the biggest snowfalls on record in Kentucky (as of last winter. It doesn’t include this past month’s craziness). I remember playing in the snow as a kid in ’94 and ’98, which got 10″ and 11″ in a day respectively. Those are some of my best winter memories. The two snows we’ve gotten in the past month both beat those. I hope we don’t have to go another 15 years before Charlie sees another big snow.

Enjoy your weekend!

Coffee with Caitlin

Monday, March 2, 2015

Three

My boy turns three years old today. Just go ahead and think of all the cliche things to say about children getting older and how it happens so fast and the days are long but the years are short etc. and you pretty much have what’s going through my head right now. So since we’re all feeling nostalgic I thought I’d take a little walk down memory lane to celebrate three years of Charlie. He’s inspired a lot of blog posts in the past three years.

068

2012 11 13 0587

2012 04 25 0319 a

2012 08 25 0651 a

IMG 0012

2013 10 21 0520

2013 08 18 0271 a

IMG 1909

IMG 0066

IMG 0067

I could go on, but I don’t want to make your computer explode from the cuteness.

Happy Birthday, Charlie!

Friday, February 27, 2015

These Days // 10

These days image

This post is brought to you by a couple of hours by myself in a coffee shop. Glory! It’s amazing how quiet a very busy and loud restaurant can seem when you are a mother. I think it’s just the fact that none of the noise is anything I have to pay attention to.

Here’s what we’ve been doing these days:

IMG 0061

sprouting: potatoes. I went to throw some potatoes in a crock pot this week and found that they had started to sprout and go soft. So we turned them into a science experiment instead. I have no idea if anything interesting will happen. Maybe they’ll grow some fun stems and roots. Maybe they’ll rot. Maybe they’ll just sit there until I give up and throw them out.

IMG 0060

Related: sticking toothpicks in a bunch of potatoes is fun! Charlie made a “town.” Can you see it?

IMG 0063

learning: letters. We’ve done a few letter A activities this week that have gone over pretty well. If we continue to have success with a few more letters I’ll be sure to share what we’ve been doing here on the blog soon.

enjoying: time at home with my kids. I feel like this week has finally started to look a bit more like what I hope to get out of my days as a stay at home mom. I’ve stayed more or less on top of some basic housekeeping and still managed to get in some fun playtime and actives with Charlie. And I’m getting a few moments to myself too! We still have a ways to go in terms of establishing a constant routine, and someday I need to work up the courage to get the kids out of the house, but we’re making progress and I don’t feel like I’m going insane.

organizing: the pantry and kitchen cabinets. We got some new dishes and packed up some old ones to pass along to my sister. Now I feel like our kitchen has a bit more breathing room. Thank goodness.

IMG 0064

graduating: speech therapy! Charlie has aged out of the early intervention program in our state and has made so much progress that he no longer qualifies for services. We’re so proud of him and the progress he’s made. And so thankful to Ms. Z who has been coming to our home each week for the past 8 months to help him. We’re going to miss her!

Enjoy your weekend!

Coffee with Caitlin

Friday, February 20, 2015

These Days // 9

These days image

Happy Friday! We’ve spent the week stuck in the house due to a big winter storm in our area. It’s been cozy and lazy and all the things a snow day should be, but it’s lasted all week and we’re starting to get a little stir crazy. We’ve had some good times though. Here are the highlights from these days.

IMG 0059

IMG 0058

playing: with cornstarch. It turns out a simple mixture of cornstarch and water makes a crazy feeling concoction. If you squeeze it or poke it fast it feels solid, but if you let it run through your fingers or poke it slowly it’s like a liquid. It’s because of science, I’m sure. We ended up adding a bit too much water to our mixture, and Charlie wasn’t so sure about sticking his hands in it. But he enjoyed stirring and scooping it with a spoon, and then we added some food coloring to swirl around. It was pretty for a few seconds. Then I remembered that I should never give a child three primary colors. It always turns brown. Oh well.

IMG 0056

IMG 0057

shoveling: lots of snow! We got a foot of snow and arctic temperatures this week. So some shoveling was necessary. This snow isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Charlie got to play in it one day this week, but every other day has been too cold. I’m hoping it will warm up a bit in the next few days so we can get out in it again. Snow like this hasn’t happened around here since I was a kid!

IMG 0029

loving: the first real smiles from my girl! I discovered she likes to be thrown in the air. I have a feeling I’ll be doing a lot of throwing if it means more smiles. They’re the best!

baking: monkey bread. Charlie loved our time making banana bread so much that we had to do it again. We had a little monkey bread baking mix stuck in the back of our pantry that we finally got out and made use of. Charlie’s getting pretty good at stirring. I think next we’ll need to work on his pouring.

Allthelightwecannotsee

finishing: All the Light We Cannot See, my first pick for the 2015 Reading Challenge. It was very good. I’m working on writing a review to share with you in a few weeks, but I’m finding I’m pretty awful at writing book reviews. I’ll keep working on it…

IMG 0055

So that was our week. I hope you all are staying warm!

Coffee with Caitlin

Once again I’m linking up at Coffee with Caitlin for another High Five for Friday post. Check out some other bloggers over there!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

2015 Reading Challenge

There was a time in my life when I could call myself a bookworm with no reservations. I’m pretty sure I spent more time reading than just about any other activity – eating, sleeping, having conversations…

But that time has passed and the number of books I’ve read in the past 5 years or so has been in the abysmal range of less than 10. This is something I would like to change in my life.

2015 Reading Challenge

Enter the 2015 reading challenge from Modern Mrs. Darcy. The challenge is to read 12 books in 12 different categories in 12 months. That means a book a month. IT SHOULD BE TOTALLY DOABLE. It’s really not a lot of books for one year. But if I complete the challenge I will have read about six times as many books as last year.

Since I’ve been out of the reading loop for so long, one of the problems I have when I actually want to sit down and read is picking a book to start with. There are so many options! And since I know in the back of my mind that this could very well be the only book I read all year I put a lot of pressure on myself to pick one worth my time. But of course you don’t know if a book is good or not until you’ve read it. So I become paralyzed in the book store and walk out empty handed. I’m hoping the categories in this reading challenge will help get me over that hurdle. They are broad enough to give plenty of choice, but they offer some nice boundaries to keep things from getting overwhelming. I have a feeling these categories will encourage me to branch out a try some books that I wouldn’t otherwise, so I’m excited about that too!

What’s even more fun is my husband is planning to do the challenge too! We won’t be reading the same books, but we plan to read within the same category each month. And I suppose we’ll compare notes and encourage each other to read and other such helpful things.

This month we’re starting with the category “a book that’s currently on the bestseller list.” I plan on reading All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr.

Allthelightwecannotsee

The hubs is going to read The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce

Unlikelypilgramage

I’ll report back at the end of the month and let you know what I thought!

P.S. Even though I haven’t read much recently, there are still a lot of books that hold a dear place in my heart. Here are my 10 favorite books of all time.

Friday, February 13, 2015

These Days // 8

These days image

These days we are:

IMG 0028

baking: banana bread. Charlie really loves banana bread, so when we had a few overripe bananas this week we decided to do a little baking using this recipe. It was fun, and now we have a tasty snack. I’m hoping to do more baking projects with him in the future.

IMG 7204

sending: Valentine’s Day cards. In case you missed it, we made these sun catcher Valentine’s Day cards to send to our family this week. Getting Charlie to participate in craft projects can be a little hit or miss, but he seemed to enjoy making these cards.

creating: a Bible reading habit. They say it takes 21 days to turn a new practice into a habit, and I’ve been using the Mission 119 app for my daily Bible reading for 22 days now.

Carscolor

sorting: cars by color. This activity filled up a good portion of our afternoon one day this week. Charlie has a lot of cars.

wishing: for warmer weather. We’re all getting a little tired of staying inside all day long. Spring is just around the corner…right?

Coffee with Caitlin

Once again I’m linking up at Coffee with Caitlin for another High Five for Friday post. Check out some other bloggers over there!