Monday, December 22, 2008

3 days and counting

I have nothing witty or beautiful or inspiring to post today...   My dear darling husband has been on vacation since last Thursday, so I have been busy just enjoying my family.

We have shoveled lots of snow, gone grocery shopping, cleaned the house about 4 times over, wrestled with the kids on the carpet, baked many more yummies, read lots of stories, and watched a lot of JellyTelly.   

I especially liked their family movie of the week yesterday called The Very First Noel.  It's a computer animated movie that is very well done, and has the voice of Andy Griffith!  Their website has coloring pages and an activity book to download as well.  

Today will be more of the same.  It's so relaxing and joyful to have this time to be together as a family.  I am cherishing these days when the children are all young and innocent and sweet. It is so much work, but such a delight to be a part of.

I hope you are all safe and warm in your homes enjoying your families too.  

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

peace

Isn't this a lovely time of year? 

 It's snowing, the children can hardly wait another day for christmas to come, the house is filled with lovely smells from baking, and I am enjoying every minute of it.  

Our christmas shopping was done awhile ago, the baking is almost finished, the meal is planned, the christmas concert over.  The lights are up on the house, the christmas tree is waiting cheerily by the fireplace to be decorated and the Jesse tree is filling up with ornaments tracing the history of God's love through the ages.

I am full of such joy I can't help but smile.  I have been richly blessed. So blessed that it is overflowing into smiles.  

The big kids are over at their grandparents house for the day, the twins are sleeping and I am about to put on some pretty music and do some more baking.  This is a good day.  The sun is shining, it's quiet in my house and I have a full pantry, fridge and freezer.  

Yes, money is tight this year.  Tighter than most years... but I have found that God always provides just what we need....  and sometimes, having to wait for what we need (or want), teaches us lessons about what's really important.  

Yes, I get grumpy. Yes, my house gets messy.  Yes, I usually have no idea what to make for supper at 4:00pm every day and all the kids cry at the same time while i'm trying to make it...   

But overall, and running through everything,  I feel this abiding sense of peace that doesn't leave.

I am where I was created to be.   

It's a lot harder than I thought it would be.... but it's even more wonderful than I could have imagined.  Hard work and sacrifice that springs from love of others, and learning to give yourself as a gift, can bring a fulfillment in life that is unmatched by any other.  

This is what I am trying to learn from Christmas.  Live in the now. Love in the now. 

 Give yourself as a gift.


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

My big kids

These are my two big kids. Looking at how big they look sitting here, posing for grandma's Christmas card adventure, I smile. My oldest girl is so similar in both looks and temperment to myself, and my oldest boy is so similar in both respects to my husband.

These two were the perfect way to ease us into this journey of parenthood. They are both kind, gentle and generous. They are also very very goofy and fun. I enjoy them so much, and wonder in anticipation what they will be like when they are grown.

I hope they stay best friends their whole life. Being the biggest two of a large family, they share so many responsibilities and privilege's together... and homeschooling has kept them closer than most siblings would be at this age.

I can't help but wonder what our life would have been like if we had stopped at two kids like most of the culture around us... but more importantly how different these two would have been if they hadn't had the joy and responsibility of having little brothers and sisters to both play with and help take care of.

May God grant me the grace to be the best mommy I can for these wonderful children of mine... and may He grant them the grace to grow always in their self-giving love towards each other.
Posted by Picasa

Monday, December 08, 2008

Snow fun!

It was the perfect day. The snow was falling gently in large flakes that were easy to catch on your tongue if you had the patience to stand there. It was cold enough to require mittens and hats and winter jackets... and the fun of warm hot chocolate afterwards, but warm enough to stay and play outside for as long as you want- especially since the snow stuck together in big soft clumps... the perfect snowman weather.

The big kids played outside for hours, throwing and pushing and shoveling the white snow. Later on when their daddy came home, they worked together to build the biggest snowman they've ever made.

I so enjoyed watching their rosy faces push the big balls of snow around the yard, laughing and giggling - their eyes sparkling with the wonder of it all. Daddy helped them lift up the second and third balls, and they smiled with pride when they put the final touches on their huge creation.

Later on they were thrilled with the warm hot chocolate I gave them, and we spent the rest of the afternoon snuggled in the basement watching our new movie Wall-E with daddy.

In the evening, we set up our outdoor Nativity scene and xmas lights, and then after shovelling the driveway of our neighbor, we went for walk around the block, stopping to play an exciting game of tag in the park. I just love winter time.

Watching the twins enjoy the snow was a delight. It really is wonderful, being able to experience the joy of your own childhood all over again through your children's eyes. What a gift.
Posted by Picasa

Our New Personal Math Tutors

We are so lucky to have come upon this free service!! Let me know if you want to hire them yourself. They are availbe from 6:30am each day.



They also offer free help in organizing your shelves and cupboards. 

video

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Happy Feast of St. Nicholas!!

It's a good thing that the twins got up so early today.. there's so much fun stuff happening. We don't want to miss a minute of it doing something boring like sleeping.

The kids rushed down the stairs and ran straight over to the fireplace where they found their boots  (and a few crocs) filled with chocolate coins and treats, and a candy cane.  

I guess St. Nick didn't have time to stop at the orange grove, because there were no mandarins this year.  
Maybe he was too busy praying or something.  Anyhow, the kids never noticed the omission. They were too excited by the candy and the movie and book that were also left for them. 

Our plans for the morning: make up some cinnamon buns to rise, go watch our new movie Wall-E, and then wait for some friends to come over to decorate some christmas cookies with us. 


My favorite quote of the morning, from Z the 5 year old boy:  (his logic never fails to amaze me)

"Mom, I gave my candy cane to Heather, but I'm feeling a little candy-sick because all I keep eating is chocolate, so I need some candy to feel better.  I need it back". 



Here are two videos for the grandparents:  One of the kids just finding their chocolate, and one of Z telling me all about the picture he drew for St. Nick:

video video

Friday, December 05, 2008

Seven Quick Takes Friday

one

Where has the week gone?  I haven't had much time for blogging. We've been having lots of fun doing Advent activities, and the twins have been growing more mischevious each day, so I have been mostly following a few minutes behind them cleaning up after their messes.... if I could just catch up to them...






two.

We were painting some beautiful pictures with watercolor and JP decided to join in on the fun while we weren't looking. Good thing he's so darn cute, or I might be tempted to get mad at him.









Three.
 While I was enjoying a quiet moment downstairs, the monkeys climbed onto their change table, reached the diaper cream off the shelf above and proceeded to apply it like face paint to each other.  









Four.
So... how do I get ANYTHING done around here?Don't ask.  I think God put me on this earth so that other people would feel better about the state of their own less-messy houses.  If you ever need a boost in your own pride, come on over!

For example, while I'm typing this very post, the babies are in the background dumping pennies all over the floor.  Do I ignore them so I can do something else besides cleaning for awhile.. just so I can clean later? Or do I stop them, clean up the mess, and wait 5 seconds until they get into something else?  It's a never ending dilemma until nap time.  

Five.
Isn't this a nice scene?  
Grandpa came over this past week for a visit and spent some time teaching E how to play the chopsticks duet with him.  We are so blessed to have all the grandparents so close to us.  They are truly a gift. (don't mind the blurry picture.. it's actually (you guessed it) finger prints on the lens from the twins.  sigh.












Six.

If you can't beat 'em...  build them a super big fort in the living room, give them some chocolate popcorn and go hide somewhere with a good book.  

"Wow! It's Like SOO COOOL Mom!" -says the little 3 yr old.






Seven.

Too bad the twins' attention span only lasts as long as it took me to build the thing.  They are back to dumping pennies, and playing with my camera.  I know when I'm old and grey and lonely I'll look back on these times with great joy.  Maybe I should write a book so I can read all about it... actually I suppose that's what this blog is for... and that's why I let them make big messes while I take the time to do it.  

God bless you, everyone.

Tonight we await St. Nicholas who will hopefully bring some chocolate and goodies to put in the kids shoes.   Try leaving your own shoes out and see if he leaves you anything!!  I heard my kids talking about how they were going to leave out their boots, running shoes and church shoes

edited to fix a really incomplete thought. (must have gotten interrupted by the monkeys again).

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

And the winner is...

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:

12 
Greg Scheelar said...

I had never heard of the Priests before today and am now enthralled in the idea. I think it is great that you got to do the contest, too!

Add me in!


Congratulations Greg!! 
I'll be contacting you shortly.  I hope you enjoy their music as much as we have.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Last chance

I will be making the draw for the Priests CD giveaway tonight at 9pm Mountain time.  If you haven't entered yet, go ahead and add your name!!

Also, check out my new blog design if you are reading this through a reader.

 Do you like it?  I got bored of the little ducklings and decided to change the name of my blog since we moved.

Have a lovely day everyone!!

Simple Woman's Daybook

For Today, Monday December 1, 2008

Outside my Window: a beautiful blue sky with a few clouds lit by the sunrise.

I am thinking:  about adding wonder to the season of advent this year.  I don't want to rush the xmas preparations, and get stressed about shopping, finishing up school and getting it all done perfect.  I just want to live in the moment.

I am thankful for: a 'new' couch in our family room (thanks mom! It looks lovely)

From the learning room:  We finished term 1! Now we are shifting our focus to advent. We will be doing a Jesse tree, and following along with Advent Adventures.  We also plan to do some readalouds from A Life Of our Lord for Children.  

From the Kitchen: I'm working on a good gluten free sugar cookie recipe for decorating.  

I am wearing:  A soft green cotton skirt and a striped cotton tshirt.  My hair is freshly washed and up in a bun.  I wish I had some nice comfy feminine slippers to wear around the house.

I am creating: Lots of ideas for advent activities.  We did our advent chain again this year, with a few additions.  maybe I'll blog about it later.

I am going: to my weekly holy hour on Wednesday to pray for all of my family and friends that they have a peaceful Christmas this year, and don't get weighed down by the business and stress.

I am reading: Lord of the Rings book 3.  I still love this series. It's fun to be reading fiction again.

I am hoping: I will remember to live each moment one at a time, relying on the help of God to be kind and generous with each person I encounter (especially each of my little ones that tug on my pant leg while I'm 'busy' with other things).

I am hearing: My 3 year old playing with one of the toddlers.  My older two helping each other with some advent word searches, and my other toddler rocking in his high chair.  A relatively peaceful morning.

Around the house:  Our Advent wreath is on the kitchen table with a new purple table runner under it, and our Pregnant Mary statue sitting in the middle.  We will slowly add decorations as we get closer to Christmas.

One of my favorite things:  eating supper as a family by around the table with all the lights in the house off, except the flickering lights of the advent wreath.

A few plans for the rest of the week: Finishing Christmas shopping and getting everything wrapped.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you:
Visit Peggy's blog for all of the entries this week.