Friday, February 26, 2010

How Dinner Gets Made....

Easy steps to getting a homemade (not from a box) dinner on the table:

No, I'm not a magician or a homemaking workaholic. I simply do not like to worry about dinner so I plan ahead. I also abhor all things from boxes (except presents....presents are wonderful in boxes).

Step 1: Make a Plan.

This could as complicated as sitting down once a week and making a complete menu or as simple as saying, "Tomorrow we will have meatloaf and mashed potatotes."

Step 2: Have Groceries in Your House.

I should add have groceries in your house that you could make an actual meal with because some of you are cheeky and look for any oppurtunity to sass me. You can easily make a grocery list using your menu plan. Or, if you are more the fly by the seat of your pants type, you can just have a ready stock of things you often need for your recipes.

Step 3: Start Early.

I think this is my most important step. We have energy early in the day before the children drive us batty or the desire to become one with our couch becomes too strong to resist any more. To start early means a couple things. It could mean having your meat defrosting from the day before. It could mean throwing things into the crockpot while your coffee brews. Also, if you are making a meal that doesn't not need to cook all day, then setting out the ingredients. There is something about seeing all the things one needs for a meal laid out before us that seems to make everything easier.

Step 4: Commit.

Knowing that it is better for your family (both in health and in pocketbook) is motivation enough for most, but, let's admit it, unless WE DECIDE that we are going to do it, want to do it, feel good about ourselves doing it, then we are not going to do it.

That is it. The added bonus of starting early is that there is plenty of time to get the dishes done/kitchen clean before dinner so that it doesn't not seem like such a chore. So, tonight at our house we our having bacon mushroom pasta with garlic toast and a salad. Happy eats!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Thoughts on Boys...

I would like to announce to some of the uniformed of the world that boys are not girls. While they will love on the occasional baby doll, as dear Naiah did last night (he alternated between loving it and telling it no it couldn't nurse on his mama by yelling gibberish at it and throwing it into the pack-n-play), but this does not mean they will play with that doll like a girl.

When I was a child I loved all things girl. I had no interest in the stunts these rascals come up. For example, when I climbed a tree I simply climbed up, and then later, down the tree. Lij the other day attempted some Olympic inspired tree branch switching feat (wherein he missed his mark ending up flat on his back after an eight foot fall with the air knocked out him, looking very surprised). I, as a girl child, would have seen this was foolhardy and never tried it and looked at all boys with snobbish girl disdain at their macho antics. Now, I am the mother of the macho antic doers. I write this because I now know how VERY different boys and girls are (and I would like my neighbor to quit acting like everything my boys are doing is crazy. They are not crazy...they are boys.) Boys hold a fierce wildness in their hearts that our society needs and so lacks these days. Their aggression and fearlessness need to be honed but not squashed. Their tendency to dominate is the raw material for future leadership. The very boyish way they doggedly pursue their tasks (be it trench digging for combat, fort building for later friend ambush, or trap laying for the unsuspecting burgalers they are always waiting for) is the foundation for the confident, hardworking, innovating men we all hope for our future.

In summation, celebrate their boyishness!

Saturday, February 20, 2010


Today is a very slow, gray, drippy Saturday. Chris was hard at work on his paper for his class. I decided to distract myself with drawing in my sketch book. Without a word, all three boys assembled themselves around me with papers and markers of their own, even baby Nai (especially cute with his one arm strapped to his chest due to his broken collarbone). It just goes to demonstrate how much our little ones mimic us naturally. This brings to mind how God says we are to teach our children, as we go along the path, to teach them in all of the daily outworkings of our life. How can we do that if they are not with us? Let us be the ones they mimic.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

I Love My Man.....

I do. I love him. I love him when I do his laundry, or love on his babies, or homeschool (even when the little dears are spending more time argueing than learning). You get the point.
I think so often as ladies we get so entangled with being loved, adored, treated like a queen, that we forget the way we got our darling's affection in the first place. We got his attention by being pretty, pleasant and peaceable.
With these things in mind, I will make the bed (I detest bedmaking). I will make cookies for has bedtime snack. I will resist the urge to eat all those cookies myself because I am working on being prettier myself. He is the reason I gussy-it-up daily and never wear sweatpants. =)

Monday, February 8, 2010

My Love/Hate Relationship with the Arts

I enjoy art... making it, viewing it, performing it, hearing it, talking about it. I think that creavitive ability was placed in us by God. God is creative (obviously) and as we are made in His image He made us creative too. He could have made one type of each thing (flowers, water, trees, etc) but instead He made a myriad of wonderful of things for us to enjoy which stimulate all of our senses. In this line of thought, I do not find art sacreligous, but rather an expression of life.

What I don't enjoy is going to art districts, art museums, listening to music and it being filled with grossness. I know I should expect it (and I do) because sin is a part of life therefore it is expressed in art but still I find it frustrating. Is it just me, or do the arts seem to attract extra nastiness?

Don't worry your pretty little heads. I will continue to create. I just wanted to say my piece...

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Knitting Parties

I just wanted to put it out there that getting together with other women to knit, crochet, stitch, rug make, or any general craftiness that your heart may desire makes rainy winter days pleasant...almost sunshine-y. So, after attending a couple of these happenings myself, I decided that I would reach out and host. I'm so glad that I did. I did it today, in fact, and very little crafting was done but it felt VERY PRODUCTIVE (we made endorphines). That's all. =)

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

A Typical School Day

This is where we do our school. It is nothing fancy. The boys do each have their own desks in their room but they don't like to be separated. Luc and Nai scramble in and out of the empty chairs or build tents. Everyone stays close together.
Every week I write out a lesson plan for each boy and post it on our corkboard. The big boys read their list daily and do their assignments, occasionally working ahead if they want a lighter day later on in the week. I use the plan to keep me on tract and accountable with Luc. Nai is currently copying all our phonics sounds.
After school is completed we stack the books into a pile and replace it back on the bookshelf in the hall. Our curriculum is inexpensive (about 200 dollars for the current years for all the will get more expensive as they get older, but not horribly so). We keep the school supplies (pencils, glue, crayons, etc.) in a buffet table (big, wide dresser) in our dining room.
The point of this post is to say that homeschooling does not have to be overwhelming. Keep it simple because it trully is not the most important part of your day and your life need not revolve around it.