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Laura
Follower of Christ. Wife to Adam. Mama to Joshua (9), Abigail (8), Esther (7), Hannah (6), Noah (5), Joseph (3), Peter (2), James (9 months), and Blessing #9 due late August. Soli Deo Gloria!
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Adam and Laura

Adam and Laura

Joshua Addison

Joshua Addison

Abigail Lauren

Abigail Lauren

Esther Rebecca

Esther Rebecca

Hannah Ralene

Hannah Ralene

Noah Evans

Noah Evans

Joseph Patrick

Joseph Patrick

Peter Edwin

Peter Edwin

James Emil Robert

James Emil Robert

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Friday, August 31, 2012

3 in 30



I joined the 3 in 30 Challenge last week, and while I'm officially starting in September, I cheated a little and gave myself a bit of a head start.  We didn't really try too hard to work on these goals this week, but we did get some things accomplished.  Here are my goals:




1. Crochet 4 dishcloths.  I did make a dishcloth this week!  I think that this goal will be easy to accomplish because dishcloths are not complicated and they are so small.  I worked on it here and there while we were doing school.  I have small blocks of time while my children are doing math worksheets, figuring out problems that don't require much supervision from me, taking a spelling test, etc. that allow me to crochet for a few minutes and put it down when I am needed.  Here is the dishcloth that I made this week.


I had already made 4 over the past month or so.  Here are all of them together.



2. Exercise.  I walked 3 out of 5 days this week.  I'll shoot for all 5 weekdays next week.

3. List some things on Amazon or Ebay.  I did not list anything at all.  I did transfer a few things that need to be sold from downstairs to the proper shelf upstairs though.  Woohoo!  :)


And here are my childrens' goals:

Joshua (8)
Read The Swiss Family Robinson.  Joshua got a few pages read, but we didn't have much time to work on this because of something else that Joshua is getting to do this week.  More on that later!


Abigail (7)
Learn how to crochet a dishcloth using a pattern.  We worked on this just a little bit.  Here is the very beginning of Abigail's dishcloth.  



Esther (6)
Write and mail letters to 4 different people.  Esther (on her own) completed rough drafts of all 4 of her letters.  We plan to do some work on them and have the first one ready to put in the mail by the end of next week.  


Monday, August 27, 2012

Meals and Planning



I love reading other ladies' blogs and getting ideas for making my day more efficient.  I have learned a lot of great tips from many different posts over the past few years.  I honestly don't remember if I read about meal planning on a blog or in a book or if I just thought that it would benefit our family to do it this way.  I'm sharing what works for us at this season of life in hopes that it may benefit someone else.

Part of making out a new schedule for the start of our school year involved coming up with a good plan  for breakfasts and lunches during the week.  In the past I have just looked in the cabinet to see what was available when it was time for the meal.  Since I only have 30 minutes scheduled for eating and cleaning up at each meal, I knew that wouldn't work so well.  I sat down and came up with five breakfasts and five lunches, and they are each scheduled for the same day every week.  I have lists on the inside of the pantry door so that I can look quickly to see what we are having and what I may need to prepare for the next day.

Breakfast
Monday - Oatmeal & Green Smoothie (make Granola)

Tuesday - Yogurt, Fruit & Granola (prepare Baked Oatmeal)

Wednesday - Baked Oatmeal

Thursday - Granola, Fruit & Milk (prepare Baked French Toast)

Friday - Baked French Toast (I do some substituting in this recipe...maple syrup instead of corn syrup and replace the brown sugar with half as much honey.  I haven't gotten it quite right yet, but no one has complained and I'll keep working on it.)



Lunch
Monday - Tuna Salad, Triscuits (these only have 3 ingredients!), Cheese, Veggies, Fruit

Tuesday - PB &J, Veggies, Fruit, Pretzels (boil eggs)

Wednesday - Egg Salad, Triscuits, Veggies, Fruit (put refried beans in crockpot)

Thursday - Nachos w/Refried Beans

Friday - Boiled Eggs, Fruit, Veggies, Cheese, Pretzels


A post with details on our new schedule will hopefully be coming soon, but I will just say that I have a 30-minute time slot in the morning for lunch and dinner prep.  That is when I will do things like boil eggs and put the beans in the crockpot.  I also have a 30-minute slot in the evening where I can prepare things for the following morning's breakfast.  It is really nice to be able to pull a pan of Baked Oatmeal out of the fridge, put it in the oven before I walk, and have a hot breakfast ready by 7:00 with very minimal mess to clean up.

I stuck to this schedule really well the first two weeks and it worked wonderfully!  I wasn't feeling the greatest last week, so I have to admit that my children ate a lot of cold cereal (which they can get and clean up completely on their own) and we had a lot of leftovers for lunch.  The thought of dealing with food in the mornings was a little too much for me.  That will pass soon though, and we'll get back on our schedule.  Things run so much more smoothly when we stick to the plan!

What do you do for breakfast and lunch on school days?  Do you have any good make-ahead recipes that you could share?


Friday, August 24, 2012

Something New


My friend, Nikki, has been participating in the 3 in 30 Challenge for quite a while now.  I have really enjoyed reading about her monthly goals a the weekly progress report that she posts on her blog every Friday.  She has really accomplished a lot, and that has inspired me to participate myself.  I am going to include my 3 oldest children and they are very excited about it.  I will have three goals every month and they will have one.  So I guess, technically, they are doing the 1 in 30 challenge. :)  I plan to start in September, but I thought I'd go ahead and get the ball rolling.  September is, after all, next week!  A little bit of a head start won't hurt us anyway. :)

So here are my three goals:

1. Crochet 4 dishcloths.  I recently won this giveaway and, after thirty-something years of life, have discovered that crocheted dishcloths are SO much better than the cheap ones that I've been buying at Walmart.  They're also much prettier.  I want to slowly build up my stash of crocheted dishcloths, so this goal may stay the same for a few months.

2. Exercise.  Since we started school and our new schedule (more on that later), I've been getting up at 5:30 and walking in the mornings.  My goal is to do this 5 mornings a week.  I plan to take the weekends off, although if I miss a weekday then I may do it on Saturday.

3. List some things on Amazon or eBay.  I have a shelf in the storage room that is devoted to things that need to be sold.  Most of my personal things are curriculum that I have duplicates of or won't be using.  I also have some things that I want to try to sell for my Dad...some of my Mom's leftover homeschool inventory, a few books, etc.  I also have some various things that I have no use for, like two packages of Oreck vacuum bags that I bought right before the motor burned out and we had to buy another vacuum.  Anyway, I'm ready to move this stuff out, but it is worth something and I don't want to just donate it.

Here are my childrens' goals (which they came up with on their own):

Joshua (8)
Read The Swiss Family Robinson.  To be perfectly honest, I thought about trying to talk Joshua out of this one simply because he doesn't have a ton of extra time to read (outside of reading for school) and I want him to pick a goal that is very attainable for him.  He could easily knock this out if it was summer break, but his schedule is pretty full and I like for him to have some outside playtime every day.  I didn't want to discourage him though, so I told him that he could do it and that I would help him.  He can read aloud to me while I make dinner or at other times of the day.  I think that he will really enjoy this book.

Abigail (7)
Learn how to crochet a dishcloth using a pattern.  We've just picked a pattern and Abigail has done a little bit so far.  She needs help reading the pattern, and she also needs help with some of the stitches.  She can do a chain stitch, a single crochet and a double crochet pretty much on her own, but finding the correct hole to put the hook in confuses her sometimes.  This is a goal that we will work on together, but I know that she will catch on quickly and she'll be doing them on her own before I know it.

Esther  (6)
Write and mail letters to 4 different people.  Esther has already decided who she wants to send letters to, and she wrote some rough drafts on her own today.  We have some editing to do, and we will work on one per week so that by the end of the week she will have a final draft in the mail.  Esther loves mail, so I think she's hoping to get some letters back. :)

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Priorities

I know I've been neglecting the blog a bit.  I haven't forgotten about it.  We started school nearly three weeks ago.  That means we've been on a new schedule, which is working great for us!  More on that later.  I've allowed myself 30 minutes of computer time every day.  It doesn't sound like much, and I often spend more time online when I get a few extra minutes, but I'm really liking being away from it and not checking my email frequently all day long.  There are so many good blogs, articles, friends, etc. out there on the web, but all of that can easily steal time from what is more important...namely my children and their training and education.  If I miss a few great steals on toilet paper by not checking my favorite deals website every hour, it really doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things.

I've been feeling a little yucky for the past week or so, thanks to this. :)  Keeping up with a basic schedule, basic food, basic cleaning and basic putting my feet up is usually my goal in the first trimester.  Notice that basic blogging was not included. :)  Seriously though, I'm incredibly blessed to have such easy pregnancies.  A little nausea and fatigue in the first trimester is certainly nothing to complain about.

Unfortunately it appears that our camera broke.  I've been having minor problems with it for a while, which I was able to just work around, but now it won't focus at all.  I'm thinking it's done for.  We have another smaller one that I have not used it since we moved, so I will need to locate it.  In the mean time, here are a few pictures from the week of Hannah's birthday.  Grandma and Grandpa in Kansas came for a visit and we had a fun time with them.  My dad came to visit the following weekend, but I neglected to even take the camera out of its case, so I'm afraid I don't have any pictures.  We had a fun time with him too, though. :)


The birthday girl with Grandma (and Noah)


Peter and Grandma (and Noah!) hanging out in the creek



Grandma and Grandpa with the whole crew at a nearby science museum


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Blessings



We are humbled and grateful that God has chosen to send another little blessing into our family. Baby #8 is due to arrive mid-April! The children are all super excited! Joshua told me with a little grin that he is praying for a baby sister. The girls are praying for multiples. I think they each want a baby assigned to them. :)

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Comments

Is anyone else having trouble with comments not showing up on their blogs?  I've been getting emails that say I have new comments, but when I actually go to my blog, there is nothing in the comments section.  I've never enabled comment moderation or anything like that, so I'm not sure what is going on.  Have any of you fellow bloggers had the same issue?  

Monday, August 13, 2012

Prayers for My Friend

My good friend, Nikki, has a 2 year-old daughter who was recently diagnosed with a rare auto immune disease and is going through some pretty rigorous treatments.  Rachel is such a sweet and happy little girl, and I know that their whole family would greatly appreciate your prayers.  Nikki has just started a new blog for the purpose of chronicling their journey through Juvenile Dermatomyositis.  You can click here to visit the blog and read more about little Rachel.

Friday, August 10, 2012

7 Months!



Our little Peter turned 7 months old on the 2nd.  He's our tiny munchkin!  I always have milk supply problems starting around 3 months postpartum, and this time around was no exception.  The only difference was that Peter absolutely refused to have anything to do with a bottle.  He was nursing SO much at 6 months, including 3 times during the night.  I could hear his stomach growling when I went to get him up at night.  Poor baby.  I tried multiple things to increase my milk supply (some that I have tried in the past and some that I haven't).  They seemed to help a little at first, but my sweet baby got to the point of only having 3 moderately wet diapers a day, and he was going 2 to 3 weeks between dirty diapers.  I knew that there was nothing wrong with him.  He just wasn't getting enough input to produce any output.  I started him on solids at 5 months out of desperation, but it really bothered me that he wasn't getting any milk to speak of.  I kept offering him bottles and finally, at 6 1/2 months, he discovered that there was FOOD in there!  He's hooked now, and has completely quit nursing.  He only weighed 12 lbs 7oz at his appointment last week, and that was right after drinking an 8oz bottle.  He gained less than a pound in nearly 3 months, and his growth curve really took a dive.  Thankfully we have a great pediatrician who is very laid back and who looks at the whole issue before jumping to conclusions and ordering unnecessary tests and whatnot.  He said to just keep pumping the formula into him and to bring him back in a month for a weight check.  It's very frustrating to not be able to adequately nourish my babies, but I just have to accept the fact that this is God's will for us.  Because I know someone is going to ask...yes, I have tried the teas (bagged and looseleaf), nursing what seems like constantly around the clock, diet changes, you name it.  Well, except for that drug that starts with an "r" that causes insomnia and depression.  I'm not going there!  Anyhow, I am very thankful for God's provision of formula for us and I'm thankful that Peter is finally starting to grow out of his size 2 diapers and 3 month clothes!

Peter is not really sitting up yet, which I assumed was a result of the lack of nutrition.  The doctor worked with him a little and said that he thinks he can, but that he just doesn't want to.  I'm not sure I buy that one, but I'm really not concerned about it.  We work on it every day and he'll get it soon.


He happily fell asleep in the exersaucer while I was making lunch the other day. :) 


Peter's personality really starting coming out after he started drinking the formula.  He's a smiley, giggly, happy baby with two brand new teeth!  He absolutely loves attention from his siblings, and of course from his Mama and Papa.  I'm so thankful that he is feeling better and getting some calories.  He is sleeping about 12 hours at night now, which I'm not objecting to. :)

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Success!


Potty training...round 6, day 3.  

Lots of big successes and NO accidents!!  This little goober is even telling me when he needs to go, which has always taken a few months with my other potty-trainers.  I'm so proud of him!  Not to mention relieved as this is not my favorite thing in the world to do. :)  Go Joseph!


Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Giveaway Winner

Thanks to Random.org, KellyJ is the winner of the book giveaway!  Thanks to everyone who entered!  Kelly, please contact me via email (adam and laura @ bellsouth . net) with your address and I will get it out to you as soon as I can.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Happy Birthday, Hannah!



Our little Hannah is not so little anymore!  She turns 5 years old today.  She is very excited about her birthday this year because her Grandma from Kansas is coming in just a few hours!  Hannah is named after Adam's mother (her middle name is Ralene), which makes it even more special.

Hannah is quiet...especially when compared to her two sisters.  She loves to "read" and I think she'll actually be reading on her own within a few months.  Hannah loves babies, art, and everything girly.  She LOVES to help me and to do anything her older siblings are doing.  She is a very good helper and can wash windows and fold laundry like a pro!  Hannah had a doctors appointment today and is in the 77th percentile for height and 40th for weight.  She had a few shots, and I honestly expected a lot of screaming from her, but she did great!

Hannah loves to eat, and she picked egg and sausage casserole and fruit salad for dinner.  She's been wavering on what kind of cake she wants, but I think she's settled on strawberry.  :)


















Happy Birthday, Hannah!!!