Monday, April 14, 2014

Happy Homemaker Monday


As I look outside my window:::
It's cloudy and cold!  This morning, it snowed.  I'm so over it and ready for summer weather.

Right now I am::: 
Sitting on the couch in the living room, listening to the girls watching their iPads and munching away on pop corn.

Thinking and pondering:::
All of the things I have to do today and tomorrow to get ready for the baby that is coming on Wednesday!!!

On my bedside table:::
My bottled water and Hollow City by Ransom Riggs, which I have yet to actually crack open.

On my tv tonight:::
Monday: 
Bones
The Following
Tuesday:
The Little Couple
19 Kids and Counting
Chicago Fire
Wednesday:
Million Dollar Listing
Law and Order SVU
Flipping Out
Chicago P.D.
Thursday:
Grey's Anatomy
Friday:

Saturday:

Sunday:
Game of Thrones
Call the Midwife

Listening to:::
The kids loud iPads

On the menu for this week:::
This week is all kinds of crazy since I won't be home Wednesday morning through Saturday afternoon

Monday - 
Tuesday - 
Wednesday - 
Thursday - 
Friday - 
Saturday - 
Sunday -  Easter 

On my to do list:::
Go through the kids dresser drawers
Put laundry away
Put stuff away from the kitchen counters
Finish unpacking the boxes in my bedroom of baby stuff


Happening this week:::
Monday - Housework
Tuesday - Ben's PJ day at school, Sydney's school art fair, Syd's dance, Ben's soccer practice
Wednesday - Baby day!  Ben home from school
Thursday -  In the hospital, Shawn go to Syd's Art Fair reception at school, Shawn home with kids
Friday - In the hospital, Shawn home with kids
Saturday - Sydney's soccer game, Ben's soccer game, Hopefully come home from the hospital, dye Easter eggs

What I am creating:::
Trying to work on my mood blanket when I can.  Thinking about rearranging some squares so I can be done quicker but either way, at this point, it won't be done when I go into the hospital.
   
My simple pleasure:::
Smelling my kids heads.  I just love that sweet smell, even with my stinky 6 year old.

Homemaking tips::: 
I'm not sure.  I'm drawing a blank.  

Looking around the house:::
There is so much laundry in piles in the hallway.  Some to be folded and some to be put away, some to be washed.  I just got done vacuuming up a popcorn mess on the floor from my girls and went ahead and vacuumed the whole living room while I was at it.
  
From the camera:::
Rylie's first time on the big kid swing.



Prayer List:::
My family as we get ready for our new little addition to our family

Bible verse, Devotional:::
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. ~ Proverbs 3:5-6

Sunday, March 30, 2014

As If We Weren't Busy Enough

Life has been so insane, and now we are adding more...  Bothe Ben and Sydney have started soccer. Last week was their first week.  Ben's practices are immediately after Sydney's dance classes on Tuesday, but Sydney's dance is in another city and Ben's soccer is and the exact opposite side of town. Shawn has to leave work early to pick up Ben from me and run to soccer practice or else it just wouldn't be able to work.

Now as if Tuesdays weren't busy enough, they just got busier...




Saturday mornings, bright and early Sydney has her "games."  They aren't really games so much as a practice and scrimmage.






She loves it so much!

Ben has his games on Saturdays at noon.  His are real games except they are 3 vs 3 with no goalie.  He did really well for having only one practice before the game.



Ben's team made a goal!





Ben's team won, even though they don't technically keep score.  It was so much fun.  There are no games next weekend because they are doing a festival with some of the older kids from the much older leagues.  We can't wait to get back out there cheering on our kids and watching them have fun and do the best they can do.

Friday, March 21, 2014

No-Time Bread

I'm always looking for yummy bread recipes but do to time constraints I usually at least do the dough part with the bread machine.  It's low maintenance and  I can just start it and walk away.  This bread recipe is so easy.  It's almost as quick and easy as the bread machine but gives it a more artisan style.

No-Time Bread



4 1/2 tsp active dry yeast (2 packets)
1 tbsp sugar
1 1/2 cup water
3 1/2 cup flour
1 1/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp balsamic vinegar

In the bowl for a stand mixer, put in the yeast, sugar, and water, and let sit.

Heat the oven to 450 degrees and put in a dutch oven in while the oven preheats to heat it as well.

After the yeast has had a couple of minutes to bubble up, add 3 cups of the flour as well as the salt, and vinegar.  Beat it for several minutes with the paddle.  Add the last 1/2 cup of flour and switch to the dough hook and beat for 7 minutes.  It will be a wet dough, but not goopy.  

Lightly grease a microwave safe bowl with vegetable oil and transfer the dough to it, rolling the dough to coat with the oil.  Cover the bowl with a very wet towel and then cover the whole thing with a dry towel and put in the microwave.  Microwave on high for 25 seconds, then let rest for 5 minutes. Microwave on high for another 25 seconds and let sit and rise for another 15 minutes.  

Shape the dough into a ball and place it into the preheated dutch oven.  Slash the top with a knife, cover, and bake for about 30 minutes, then remove the lid and bake for another 10 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and the internal temperature hits 210 degrees.

Lent and Giving Up to Better Yourself



So, being a Catholic, of course I'm following Lent.  This year I gave up my potty mouth, or at least I'm trying to.  I want to be a better person, and how can I do that with a mouth like a sailor?  I mean, plenty of good people curse but I feel that to be the best me I can be, I need to fix my mouth.  I don't allow my kids to say those words, so I need to lead by example.  Being super pregnant, the food restrictions don't always work, although I'm doing my best.

Every day of Lent, I get an email that is 40 things to give up for Lent and Beyond.  They are great things, that even non religious people should take a look at, and today's was a big one.  Everyday you are giving something to give up, scriptures, questions to consider, plans of action, and reflection.

Today's email recommended giving up Hatred. The reflection spoke to me more than anything else, so here it is:


Yesterday we learned about the death of Fred Phelps, the founder of Westboro Baptist Church. Fred and his church were known for picketing the funerals of dead soldiers. Their message was one of hate. We wonder how they would ever consider themselves a church or have anything to do with Christ.
Today many people will celebrate the death of Fred Phelps. It would be easy to join in and spit on his grave. Just as this man protested the funerals of so many others, there is a part of us that would like to do the same to his. But to do so would show that we are not that much different.
Jesus does not call us to respond to hate with hate. Hatred will destroy us. It will grip us, pull us, and lead us away from Jesus.
Jesus said:
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ Matthew 5:43 (ESV)
Hate your enemy! This is the way of the world. This is how the world responds to Fred Phelps. But Jesus goes on to say:
But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. Matthew 5:44–45 (ESV)
This is not easy to do. We can only do this when we are empowered by the love of Jesus. Jesus says to pray for those who persecute you. That is a revolutionary thought. It goes against every natural urge we have.
Prayer has a way of changing the way we think about other people. It’s hard to pray for someone and still be hateful towards them. When we start to pray for someone our hate begins to turn to grief. We grieve over the darkness of their soul. We grieve over the emptiness of their lives. We grieve they miss out on the love of Jesus.
I imagine Fred did not experience much joy in his life. When you are filled with so much hate, there is little room for love. I imagine Fred’s life was a very sad life. Even more saddening is that it seems Fred did not know the God of the Bible and the saving grace Jesus offers for sinners. Living apart from God’s saving grace leads to an eternity of misery and suffering.
Jesus calls us to live in a different way. This does not mean we honor Fred in his death. We might rejoice in his death, but we will not gloat in his death. We will not protest his death.
It is ever more important we respond with the love of God and live the love of God. There are other “Fred Phelps” out there who preach hatred in the name of God. If we stay silent about the love of God, how will they ever know anything different.
Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
It’s time to shine the light!
It's definitely something to think about.  Why live with hate in your heart?  Love is the answer.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Happy Homemaker Monday

Happy St. Patrick's Day!!!  Sorry I'm super late today, I just have been really busy.


As I look outside my window:::
Today turned out to be a beautiful day.  It was a little chilly this morning but now it's about 50 degrees.

Right now I am::: 
Sitting at the kitchen table, waiting for my timer to go off to take out the Irish Soda Bread I have in the oven and I'll be putting in the white bread and some potatoes, carrots, and cabbage soon.

Thinking and pondering:::
Finally getting to put together all of the baby stuff.  I'm so excited.   

On my bedside table:::

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs (I'm so in love with this creepy twisted book)

My flowers and a water bottle or two

On my tv tonight:::
Monday: 
The Following
The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills
Tuesday:
The Little Couple
Rizzoli and Isles
Chicago Fire
Wednesday:
Law and Order SVU
Chicago PD
Preachers' Daughters
Thursday:
Grey's Anatomy
Here comes Honey Boo Boo
Friday:
Jessie
Saturday:
When Calls the Heart
Sunday:
Real Housewives of Atlanta
My Five Wives
Long Island Medium

Listening to:::
The sound of the dishwasher and the kids show on TV in the living room.

On the menu for this week:::

Monday - Corned Beef, Potatoes, Carrots and Cabbage, Irish Soda Bread, and No-time Bread
Tuesday - Henry T's
Wednesday - Chili and corn bread
Thursday - Spaghetti with garlic bread
Friday - Slow Cooked Pork Chops, mashed potatoes and roasted veggies
Saturday - 
Sunday -  Asian Lemon Chicken tenders with rice and veggies

On my to do list:::
Dishes
Laundry
Vacuum
Put together baby stuff from the boxes

Happening this week:::
It's Spring Break this week here so our schedule is pretty empty!  Yay!

Monday - Dr appointment, Pre admission appointment (for having the baby), Shawn basketball
Tuesday - Dinner with my mom
Wednesday - Nothing
Thursday - Nothing, Shawn may go to basketball, the baby's dresser should be delivered
Friday - Nothing, maybe Costco

What I am sewing, crocheting, knitting or creating:::
My Crochet Mood Blanket is pretty much it right now.
 
My simple pleasure:::
Snuggling my husband.  Because we are so busy with our kids and our lives (work, housework, etc) we don't get the chance often, but I like to just snuggle together and watch something on TV together or lay in bed and snuggle and talk about our days.  Even if means we get to sleep late because of it.

Lesson learned the past week::: 
You never know how much time you have.  Life can be over in an instant.  Hug your loved ones every chance you get and tell them that you love them.

Looking around the house:::
The house could use a little cleaning.  Rylie's bed needs making (she had an accident and I washed her sheets and comforter), and I have laundry that is folded on the ottoman to put away but really it's not too bad.

From the camera:::



Prayer List:::
A friend of mine who passed this weekend.  Her kids, stepson, and all of the family and friends she left behind.   

Bible verse, Devotional:::
"Let not your hearts be troubled.  Believe in God; believe also in me.  In my Father's house are many rooms.  If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.  And you know the way to where I am going." ~ John 14:1-4

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

One Day at a Time

These past couple days have been so busy.  We've been preparing for Sydney's birthday which is Sunday, I've had stuff to get done for Ben's teacher, and Shawn has been out of town for work, so I've been holding down the fort at home. I've been wanting to work on my crochet mood blanket so bad, but I just haven't had time.  I plan on working on it a little today as I'm so excited how it is coming along.

At the end of the week, last week, we made a trip a couple of trips to Michaels.  I'm a Michaels and Hobby Lobby addict.  I need crafters anonymous and to go into those store without a supervisor is extremely dangerous for my bank account.  The yarn that I love from Walmart for almost $5 a skein was 2 for $5, so I picked several new fun colors, and then I grabbed some new things for a new hobby I'm seriously falling in love with.  I'm very into flower arranging.  I'm working with fake flowers for now.  It's so much fun and they are so beautiful.  I found some of the prettiest little white porcelain planters, so I bought the 4 I could find.  I found a plain glass case for some flowers in the kitchen. Sydney also picked out a planter and we put some flowers together in it for her in her room.






I'm so in love with how they all turned out and would love to do some for the living room.  I ended up moving three of them to our bedroom for a little love in there.  We have been rearranging the house and getting things taken care of to make our home more comfortable for when the baby gets here.  I'm a homebody anyway but with four young children, I really don't plan on going many places other than maybe Shawn and I's parent's houses.  Maybe it won't all be so scary but for now, the idea of going out seems terrifying.  We try to keep our home nice and comfortable anyway but now it's a necessity to get everything ready and find ways to save space and use different places for multiple things.  Our home is three bedrooms, but the layout isn't ideal for a family setting since one of the bedrooms is upstairs and the other two are on floor level.  Shawn and I originally took the upstairs bedroom but after a while we realized it wasn't working anymore.  We were all up and down the stairs all night long and that's not really a good thing to do half awake.  We also didn't like being that far away from our babies at night. We decided to move down stairs, move the kids into their playroom, take the door off of their walk in closet and turn that into the playroom or toy storage room. Rylie's bed is set up in our room as there is no room in the kids room.  The baby will also join us in our room.  The upstairs is in the process of being turned into a rec room of sorts.  The computers and desk are up there, the old love seat is up there, my craft stuff, and some of the kids bigger toys like the basketball goal and the kitchen are up there too.  We need to do some cleaning and reorganizing but it still leaves us all living in two bedrooms. We have to do somethings to make space where we have it and we started by mounting our TVs and getting a smaller baby bed than a regular crib for our room.  We'll make it work so that we don't have to move.  We don't want to move because we hope to buy a home sooner rather than later, if possible.  

I've been doing so much work around here getting things in shape.





I'm desperately trying to figure out a new toy storage idea for the living room, because we are so short on space and when we bring the bouncy chair or swing into the living room we will have even less.

I love my personal touches around the house.  They make me so happy and make my house feel so warm.



This is one of the last times I was able to work on my blanket.  I can't wait to jump in again.



I've been working very hard at reorganizing my yarn stash. I have bags and bags in my bedroom closet but these are the most of what I'm using on this blanket.


The corner of my bedroom has become baby central.  My husband comes home tonight, and I actually want to start getting stuff figured out, set up, and moved around so that we can be prepared.  I know it's a little early but I'm anxious and there is still so much to do in my house.  


Yesterday, I slipped on the ice on my front walk way.  I didn't fall but was quite sore afterwards. Thankfully the baby seems to be fine.  6 weeks today she'll join our crazy family.

I just want to get everything done so I can relax and breath.  

Alright, it's about time to go pick up Ben from school so I need to get going.  Hope everyone is having a good week.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Happy Homemaker Monday



As I look outside my window:::
The sun is shining but everything is covered in snow.  I need the spring to come!

Right now I am::: 
Sitting on the couch, and just finished lunch.  I have no energy and I need a nap, but it won't get to happen.  


Thinking and pondering:::
Sydney's birthday this weekend.

On my bedside table:::
The Virginia Housewife or Methodical Cook by Mary Randolph

On my tv tonight:::
Monday: 
The Following

The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills

Tuesday:
The Little Couple
Rizzoli and Isles 

Chicago Fire

Wednesday:
Law and Order SVU

Preachers' Daughters
Chicago PD

Thursday:
Grey's Anatomy
Here comes Honey Boo Boo


Friday:
Jessie


Saturday:
When Calls the Heart


Sunday:
Keeping up with the Kardashians

Austin and Ally
The Real Housewives of Atlanta

Listening to:::
Nothing currently

On the menu for this week:::
I don't know yet.  Everything is so up in the air.

Monday - Spaghetti and Bread
Tuesday - Frozen Pizza
Wednesday - 
Thursday - 
Friday - 
Saturday -
Sunday - 

On my to do list:::
Fold Laundry
Dusting/Clean the glass
Pick up my room from rearranging
Start putting stuff together for the baby

Vacuum

Happening this week:::
Shawn left today for New York and comes back Wednesday

Sydney has dance tomorrow
Get Sydney's snack for her class on Thursday
Ash Wednesday - Lent starts on Wednesday
Sydney's birthday party on Sunday and staying at a hotel Saturday night

What I am sewing, crocheting, knitting or creating:::
I'm working on my crochet mood blanket. I think due to size, I'm going to end up doing 3 of them.

My simple pleasure:::
Lately, as silly as it is, it's just having laundry all caught up.  With so many people in this house, there always seems to be laundry in the hamper, but when I grab the last of the clothes out of that hamper and put them in the washer, it's wonderful.  Then to move it all over to the dryer and have nothing to put in the washer is just perfection.  This new washer and dryer has changed my life.

Lesson learned the past week::: 
If you are stressing about something getting done, just do it!  Don't wait for help or everything to fall in to place.  Just make it happen.

Looking around the house:::
Rylie is sleeping soundly on the love seat, Sydney is rearranging Rylie's stuffed animals on the chair and watching Teen Beach Movie, again.  The house is mostly ok, just some random cleaning and two baskets of laundry to fold.  There is also two boxes that were just delivered by UPS from Amazon of baby stuff for me to put together, sitting just inside the door.


From the camera:::





Prayer List:::
My husband while he travels this week.

Bible verse, Devotional:::
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. ~ John 14:27