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Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Things My One-Year-Old Is Obsessed With

Little people are funny.  And so, for a dose of humor today, I present Things My One-Year-Old Is Obsessed With.
This box of Rice Krispies.
Any family member's dirty socks.
The bath soap and cup we use for rinsing.
This box of envelopes, which must always be dumped out.
Her green bunny, "Bun-Bun".
Any canned food, which should not be on the shelf.  Also, bringing cloth diapers all over the house.  You know, in case we need one.

Also cool:

  • Her brother's shoes, but only one at a time
  • The tv remote
  • Any Lego she can manage to find on the floor or pull off the table
  • The kitchen garbage
What about the little people in your house?  What things do they think are the coolest?

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Weekly Goals: February 7-13

We got a big snowstorm on Tuesday, and the boys are (for now) always willing to go help shovel.

Last Week's Goals:

  • Test at least one recipe for the new book.  I made Peanut Butter Chocolate Banana for the first time (pictured below), and they were really good, but not quite peanut butter-y enough.  
  • Do the February church newsletter. Done!
  • Meal plan for the beginning of February, including our annual Superbowl appetizer dinner. Done!  This year we're having a taco bar, pinwheels, jalapeno poppers, and chocolate cupcakes.

This Week's Goals:

  • Re-test a few of the muffin recipes I've come up with, including the lemon blueberry and the cinnamon banana bread.
  • Finish reading Garbage Land.
  • Figure out an Iron Craft project for this week's challenge, the letter G.  

Interesting Reads:

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Quick Tip: Put Stickers On Your Washer and Dryer

This is my washer.  Next to each dial is a little sticker by one of the settings.  This means that my six-year-old and four-year-old can do their own laundry.  Mostly.  We're still working on measuring the soap.

But they know how to load the machine, and after checking to make sure each dial is turned to the right sticker, to push the start button.  Same with the dryer.  A four-year-old might not remember to wash his clothes in cold water on the cotton cycle, but he can match the knob with the sticker.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Life Lessons From The Kids

"I can't do this, Mom! It's too full.  There's not enough room for everything."  I looked at the magnetic board overflowing with characters.  When Jonah was trying to put every single piece on the board, he was right.  There wasn't enough space.

And it got me thinking.

This is how my life is too.  When I try to do every single thing, there's not enough space.

I explained to Jonah that it might be more fun if he just picked a few of his favorite pieces, and put those on the picture.  They would have enough room to shine in the picture, and he would have more fun.

The same is true for my life.  If I pick just a few of my favorite things, and leave space, those things shine, and I have more fun.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Iron Craft Challenge #2: Hearts and Flowers

I've been eyeing all the tissue paper flowers on Pinterest for some time, so I decided this was the challenge to make some for myself.  I went with Valentine's Day colors for a bit of cheer for our dining room table.

I used the tutorial for carnations here.  I colored the edges with a maroon Stampin' Up ink pen and a pink highlighter.  Both worked fine, so there really is no need for anything fancy.  And I raided the kids' craft supplies for a few coordinating pipe cleaners.
A cheerful Valentine's Day decoration: done!

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Weekly Goals: January 31-February 6

Jesse snapped this picture of me reading to the kids earlier this week.  Pretty much sums up life these days.  I love when he catches these moments!

Last Week's Goals:
  • Start reading Luther and Katharina. Done!
  • Test at least one new muffin recipe for the new book. Done! I made lemon blueberry, but I need to work on the lemon part of it a bit more.
  • Continue my KonMari of craft supplies.  Not done.  My dad actually brought us a big box of papers and markers from cleaning out his office.  So I think that may have been a step backwards (although it's not backwards if you'll actually use the things, right?).
This Week's Goals:
  • Test at least one new muffin recipe for the new book.  I'll either retest the lemon blueberry, or start testing chocolate peanut butter banana. Or both.
  • Do the February church newsletter.
  • Meal plan for the beginning of February, including our annual Superbowl Appetizer Dinner.
The Things That Are Saving My Life Right Now (as inspired by this post):
  • Homeschooling flexibility.  We've taken several unscheduled days off already this year, and I love having the space to breathe.  To catch up.  To do "life" things instead of "schoolwork" things.  It's happened a lot more than I expected it to happen, and there's a part of me that feels like we're behind with each day we take, but then I remind myself that freedom from a strict schedule is part of the reason we chose homeschooling.
  • Sticky note tabs.  I've been using them to mark up books, to hold places in my organ music for church, and even occasionally in my planner if I need to mark a list.
  • My ONE THING category in my planner.  Even if nothing else gets done and the day is a disaster, I have my one thing of peace and respite in the day.  
  • Bulletproof Mochas (my recipe here).
  • That it hasn't been too frigid to send the kids outside to play in the snow pile.  They have way too much energy for inside!

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Kids Life Skills List

You all know me and my lists.  My newest list endeavor is something I call the "kids life skills list".  I was feeling overwhelmed by thinking about all the new things Elizabeth will be learning in the next year: getting rid of her pacifier, drinking from a sippy cup, using a fork and spoon, sleeping all the way through the night (hopefully), and on and on.

Then I thought about multiplying new skills times four kids, and all of a sudden I had too many things going on in my head.
So I stopped and made a list for each child.  Now instead of having everything in my head, even the things that we aren't working on right now, I can just focus on the next thing.  This is inspired a little bit by David Allen's Getting Things Done, where the point is to get everything out of your head and into your note-taking system, and then just dealing with things as you need to.  I don't use the system, but I think that this is a helpful way to glean an idea from it.

Jonah and Matthew are learning how to wash their own laundry.  Hannah is working on getting dressed by herself.  Elizabeth is just about ready to move on from learning to use a sippy cup to the next thing, which will probably be using a spoon.  (We already got rid of the pacifier.)

Because we're working on just one thing, I can focus a lot more.  I know we will eventually get to everything on the list, and if I think of new life skills I want the kids to learn, I just add them to the list and keep working on what we're working on now.