Friday, February 25, 2011

Where Has the Last Eight Years Gone?

This week marks the eighth year as a FULL TIME stay at home mom. I've sat and thought about the past eight years, how things have changed, is it what I thought it would be, do I plan to continue being a stay-at-home mom? I thought I would share my thoughts with you and reflect a little.
Eight years ago my sweet Caleb (baby #2) was born. That marked the beginning of me being at home full time. After having my oldest (20 months earlier) I continued to stay working 2 days a week at the pediatrician's office I had worked at since college graduation. I remember being so ready to just be at home and not worry about driving on the snow and ice, the babysitter calling and saying I had to find a back-up because of sick kids or whatever the case would be. From this point forward just me and my two babies hanging at home.
I had this idea that this is what a stay-at-home mom's life would entail:
#1: Always keep a perfectly clean never know when company might pop in. (Plus maybe they would think I was lazy if my house wasn't spotless).
#2: Supper should always be on the table when Hubby arrives.....that's just being a good wife right?
#3: Laundry should never pile up...I'll have oodles of time to take care of that chore.
#4: My children will always be well behaved and use their manners.
#5: I would be fullfilled in every way just loving on my little ones.

Well I think you get the drift......I WAS REALLY CLUELESS!!!! I giggle at those funny ideals I had conjured up in my head. Not that some of the aren't good ones, or that some of them don't happen from time to time, they are just not all realistic and in the proper prospective.

#1: It took me a few years to figure it out....well honestly I'm still not the best at this one but I'm much better. I remember an older gal gave me this advice when I was struggling with balancing a perfect household with an infant and a 20 month old. She said this to me: "Your not a stay-at-home mom so you can clean your house full time. You stay at home to take care, nurture, and train your children. This season of life goes so fast, don't miss it. What kind of legacy do you want to leave your children? I promise you that they won't care how perfect the house looked but they will cherish the time spent cuddled up reading, eating homemade goodies, and playing board games together." I remember that conversation gave me a new perspective on the whole "super mom" complex.
#2: This is one I still like to accomplish if I can. We sit down and eat as a family each night, and if we can do it right away when Hubby gets home then we have the rest of night for whatever else we want to do.
#3: Well I'm not sure where I thought all this time was gonna come from. I guess with one child you do have more down time then you do with two that are less than two years apart. I now know that they rarely napped at the same time...once they were older I could coordinate that better, but that seemed to take FOREVER. Caleb didn't understand what the word nap meant...unless you count closing you eyes for 15-20 stretches...ugh! I was straight up tired all the time! So when I did have a 20 minutes stretch I just wanted to sit down and relax a minute....but I rarely did because I had so much other stuff to try to do.
#4:(INSERT HYSTERICAL LAUGHING here) Yep, I really honest to goodness thought that since I would be training my children from sun up to sun down in my own home that they would just be all hunky dory whenever in public, or when company came over. Well kids are kids and as much as I would like to fool myself into thinking they will always be kind and polite they fail. (and so do I). It's a non-stop processing of correcting them, but now that some of boys are older I am starting to see some of the fruit of my labor (glimmers that I may be doing something right in this parenting gig.)
#5: I love my children with every fiber in me (even on the days they really make me want to commit myself to some quiet, soft padded, room where I can be by myself.) I did realize that my contentment is no in them, nor my husband's affirmation of my clean house or dinner on the table when he arrives. My contentment must come from the only one who can fill that place, and that my friend is JESUS. There has been a big learning curve, lots of memories made, lessons learned, grace given, and mercy shown.
looking back at the past eight years, I am so blessed we made the choice as a family for me to stay home and raise the kids. I wouldn't change it for anything. I am a STRONG believer in giving mommy breaks....and thankfully so is my supportive Hubby. There were sacrifices made over the years for me stay at home......every one worth it......all of them don't hold a candle to the benefit of being where I am. For as long as I can remember, I couldn't wait to get married and be a mommy. I am so thankful that God has given me a wonderful husband and four busy kids. I do plan to stay-at-home if that is where God keeps me. It's where I want to be.


Thursday, February 24, 2011

Cooking/Baking Spree

We got some unexpected yucky winter weather on Monday (well unexpected from me anyway), and I thought that was a good excuse for an afternoon in the kitchen... It was totally impromptu so I had to come up with things I already had on hand and make due with that.....did I mention that I REALLY needed to go to the store? I just haven't made the time my wonderful Hubby stopped and picked up some needed ingredients to finish out my baking/cooking afternoon that ended up lasting part of the evening portion as well. I was on a roll and hated to stop while the dishes were already dirty.....know what I'm saying? This is a picture of the first round of cooking butter rolls, 3 loaves of amish bread, lasagna, and oatmeal bake.
I also grabbed a HUGE deer roast out of the freezer to defrost and put it in one of the Hot Oven Bags. I added some spices, a little soy sauce, and a bit of water (to help it steam) and cooked it on 400 for an hour. The bags were given to me recently and I thought I'd try them out!
The second round of cooking/baking included a double batch of pumpkin cookies, another batch of butter rolls, egg casserole and a meatloaf.
Between the leftover we already have and the stuff I made we've had "convenience meals" ready at the drop of a hat all week so far! LOVE THAT!!! Remind me again why I don't do this all the time? I get lazy is really the only good answer. I think also its hard to carve out 6-8 hours of uninterrupted time in the kitchen. I figured up how long I cooked/baked and I'm saving myself a ton of time throughout the week. If you figure up how long it takes up on average to prep and cook three meals a day, cooking once a week or month really makes a lot of sense.

Do you ever cook in bulk? What are the reason you like it, or what keeps you from trying it out?

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Tile Job is Now Complete!

When we started remodeling the house we decided to tile the main traffic areas of the house. We knew it would be a BIG job but, we knew it would be worth it. Over the past two weeks we have finished up all the tile work in the kitchen, dinning room, laundry room, half bath, and the front entry way. While we were thrilled to be done with that we still needed to tile the master bathroom. That was the job my dad and Justin tackled a couple nights this past week.

Here is the beginning stage
I decided to go with a white/off white classic looking tile. I wanted something timeless and I think this will do the trick.I also decided to add in just a couple splashes of  "something special" to give the bathroom a luxurious feel.
I put one strip in front of the vanity area and one in front of the shower.
These travertine tile strips are just gorgeous in the room. Not to much, but I love the look and feel they give to the room. I bought these tiles in a 12 X 12 square and then we cut them into two wide 12" strips. I only had to buy four of them and it cost me less than $30! So it really made it a frugal way to dress up the floor.

Over the weekend, the guys tiled the bathroom in the basement. ( I can't even believe they are ready for us to tile....crazy!) I think my guys are breathing a HUGE sigh of relief!!! In all, I think that makes around 750 square ft of tile throughout the whole house.

Monday, February 21, 2011


My boys are such a joy to me.......they also do things I just don't get. I either don't get them because I'm a girl......because I never had any brothers......or some other random reason. Here is what they did the other day.

This is Caleb enjoying the nice sunny day...ohh you don't see him?
Yep there he is...hiding in his camo....awaiting his friends to arrive for the b-day festivities. 
Here is Lance, his partner in crime.....I guess the recycling barrel has more than one use.

Maybe this is just boys being boys, I'm not totally sure I don't have much to compare it too. I can tell you one thing for sure...they crack me up with the things they come up with!!

Happy 8th Birthday Caleb!

Happy EIGHTH Birthday to Caleb!! He's sweet and loving, yet ornery and goofy all at the same time!
He had a few friends over last Friday night to help him celebrate....friends, pizza, cake, ice cream, and a few early b-day presents LIFE IS GOOD!

We LOVE you very much buddy!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Basement Progress

The Basement project has been in full swing all week long,  and it's really beginning to take shape. All the walls are framed in, electricity is wired up and plumbing is just about finished in the bathroom as well.
Almost all of our materials have been purchased, and things just keep moving full steam ahead! After the inspection this morning the guys are suppose to start putting in insulation, and maybe even start the drywall in some places before the end of the day!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Another One Bites the Dust....

Well one more quilting project has been crossed off the list! While we were all stuck in the house with the yucky flu and a string of other sicknesses over the past 5 weeks, I have tried to use that time to tie up the loose ends on my quilting "To Do" list. Recently I was able to cross #2 off the list!

1. Finish machine quilting a baby quilt
2. Finish piecing the top on a winter print quilt
3. Make pillowcases to match our new bed quilt
4. Make pillowcases for Julia's new bed quilt
 This winter lap quilt is laid out in a super simple squares and diamonds pattern. I simply used 2 charm packs from the wonderful in line of "12 Days of Christmas" from Kate Spain. I laid the 5"squares on 8" black squares (I really wanted to show case this gorgeous fabric and the black really makes the pop). All the way on the right I have shown two fabrics I think are really fun. I kept the pattern super simple and plan to show off some quilting with beautiful red thread. I think it will be a while before I get to machine quilting it, but I am tickled to have finished the top and cross it off my list.

I have linked up to Quilt Story again this week...this time for Fabric Tuesday! If you want to see more completed projects head over to check them out...or link up yourself!

Our Basement Remodel Has Begun!

This past weekend was officially "Go Time" on the basement remodel......

I've already learned several things....and we haven't even started in full force with this project yet! *Things always take longer than you plan on.  
*Plan..Plan...then PLAN some and then plan again.
* I can't help but constantly be looking out for deals on materials that we need in the near future. I think it's possible to buy things frugally without compromising the quality of the project.
*Some of the rules that county inspectors impose are really stupid!

The first thing on the list.....cut out part of the cement wall and install an e-gress window.

 This is the before shot.
During....window well installed and cement cut out where the window will go.
We now have a new window!
The only bad news, it created so much yucky dust that now the entire house is covered with a white film! So much for having clean freshly painted walls.....nothing that a little elbow grease and hot water won't cure. It helps build character right?

Lots more pictures of our basement progress to come so stay tuned!

Monday, February 14, 2011

A Thankful HEART

In honor of Valentine's Day we made a list of 100 things we are thankful for. We simply went around the table one by one and wrote down our list. (No repeats aloud.) I had to giggle at some of things they said....what a great way to start the day. Have you made a list of things your thankful for lately? Maybe you should. You will quickly realize how very blessed you are!

Happy Valentine's Day!

I had a fun weekend with the special people I LOVE.....we didn't do anything to extra exciting. The three kids went with me to get my hair cut on Saturday and then we went to one of my favorite coffee shop for hot chocolate!!
Then Saturday afternoon we took off on yet another adventure to Menards to get some more house supplies! The kids have been such troopers with all our trips we've been making....Here was one of their hightlights of the way to long trip....
This giant chair had us all giggling! Count em'...six cup holders!

I hope you are spending some time with the special people in your life!
Happy Valentine's Day!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Our "Hard Wood" Flooring

In case you haven't heard me say already....I saw an episode on an HGTV show where they used tile that looked like hard wood flooring. I instantly fell in love with the look and the concept. I have always wanted wide plank hard wood antique flooring for forever! So I started doing my homework and talking with my Hubby about it. We could not find exactly what we wanted locally, so we surfed the web and found the finish and style we were wanting and ordered some sample pieces. We instantly loved them (even agreed on the finish within seconds of opening the box!
I have had lots of questions about where we got our can find in on many sites but we ordered ours HERE. They are just beautiful installed! (They are not even clean yet, but I love them...dirty and all!)
Here are some pictures of our progress so far.....

The back entry from the garage.
Part of the kitchen done
Close up of the tiles (without the grout)

We hope to finish up the entire project within the next few days....

Friday, February 11, 2011

100th Day of School!!!

When our 100th Day of School arrived, and I was all set to do some really fun things with the kids......and then I had the flu for three and half days. So while we continued on with our regular school schedule, I haven't followed through with the "fun" day of stuff. So today was THE DAY!
                        If you want to see what we did last year you can go here.
We started off our morning with a couple of chapters of The One Hundred Day of School. Throughout the morning I continued to read more chapters until the book was completed.

Next the kids made crowns that said "I survived 100 Days of School" out of construction paper.
Next we got out some OLD mini marshmellows....and each of them made ten piles of ten.
Then we got out the glue and made pictures with their piles of marshmellows.

Zach made smiley faces all over his paper.....he said crafts make him happy....cute huh?
Lance made a a disclaimer,he actually used 104 marshmellows.
Lance voted for a eating contest. So I timed him to see how fast he could eat 100 mini marshmellows. The rest of kids wanted to see if they could eat 20 or so mini's in 100 seconds.......
Not bad! (Lance's time)
 Our next fun thing was a 100 piece puzzle.....I SPY!
After putting it together, we read the riddle and then got to search for the things in the puzzle!! FUN!
          ******I hope you enjoyed your peek into our 100th Day of School.******


Monday, February 7, 2011

Quilt Story Block Party

Fresh Poppy Design

The ladies over at The Quilt Story are hosting a fun block party along with a ton a fabulous prizes!! I decided to link up and can to if you want. Click on the "Block Party icon to go check out the details.

I just shared with you all how I finished up quilting the baby quilt I made. I had some fabric left over and whipped up on more for the block party. I think the block with made a cute pillow to match the quilt...what cha think? This is my first time to ever enter anything I've done in any kind of contest. The prizes offered are totally amazing and I thought...why not! (If you want to see the quilt I made with this pattern that I call "Outside the box" scroll down one more day.)
Well I'm off to link up....come and check out the other entries......keep your fingers crossed for me.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Baby Quilt Completed

I have been cooped up in the house for various reasons, so I have been taking advantage of the down time and enjoying crossing things off my quilting "list".

1. Finish machine quilting a baby quilt
2. Finish piecing the top on a winter print quilt
3. Make pillowcases to match our new bed quilt
4. Make pillowcases for Julia's new bed quilt
 I don't really have a home for this quilt yet, but I really enjoyed making it! I'm in love with the fabrics and the colors. Pink and Brown are really adorable together! I bought a jelly roll (fabric strips that are pre-cut to 2 1/2 in wide by 40" long.) I paired that up with white strips (I really wanted the pink and brown fabric to be showcased) that I cut myself to make this adorable blanket. It is a really simple pattern but when you put it together is looks complicated.
I put a pink stripe down the back paired up with soft white flannel. I also machine quilted this one myself. I chose to "stitch in the ditch". (which means followed the seam lines.)
Here you can see the quilting on the back a little better. I am thrilled with completing my second project on my list! Now onto #3!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Playing in the snow

 In between everyone being sick we have had the chance to have a little fun in the snow.

 Here is Caleb getting ready to snowmobile! (He's not afraid to be fearless in a pink scarf.)
 Here is Julia after her snowmobile ride with daddy! I'm not sure if she liked it or not?

While everyone was to sick to play outside...we enjoyed other things. Zach is in deep thought during his checker match with Caleb.
The boys have been getting a lot of use out of their Christmas gifts.

There is nothing like a good warm bubble bath followed by getting your fingers painted...just ask Julia
My Hubby is enjoying playing with the snow plow. He says he not playing.....but I know better!

I have been finishing up some more quilting projects since I have been stuck in the house with sick kids or been sick myself....I'll show you later this week!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Guess What I picked out......FOR FREE?

Through a beautiful partnership with CSN, I was given some money to spend in their 200+ stores. So on Sunday I pulled out my laptop and went my sweatpants! Gotta love that, right? Here are the two things that I was able to get......

A new light for the entry way at the new house.
An "old" looking clock

Not only did I have a gift certificate to spend there, but I was sure to pick out items that offered FREE shipping as well.......Yahooooooo!

For now, the only other kind of shopping I have been doing is window shopping....unless you count grocery shopping (which my Hubby did because I was sick), or going to Lowe's or Menards!

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