Outside my window: Snow. And more snow. (But it's not actually snowing at the moment...so far, anyway. We're supposed to get some today and tonight, but it hasn't started yet.) We are not buried in the white stuff like the folks in Massachusetts and southern/seacoast NH, but we do have plenty! It's also been VERY cold. This is the longest spell of consistently cold weather than I can remember in quite a few years. I actually don't mind the winter weather that much . . . but give me another month, and I'll definitely be feeling some spring fever! :)
Around the house: I took some time off school this week to do a bit of cleaning up. I didn't get near as far as I'd planned, but at least we made a start. There were some problem areas that were driving me crazy, and I got the worst of the mess tackled. Hoping to hit some bathrooms today! At least my kitchen and entry areas are more under control now, the living room doesn't look bad (although still dusty), and our bedroom has been vacuumed and straightened. We did the kids' rooms a few weeks back, and they're still looking fairly good at the moment.
In our homeschool: As mentioned, we took time off from school this week. We skipped most of the kids' workbooks, but we caught up on our read-alouds, which felt really good! We also received our first Magic School Bus science kit this week, so we did a few of the experiments in that.
I am reading: Lots of things. But too many blog posts and articles, and not enough real books! When I stopped to think about it, though, I realized I'm reading more books than I thought. I just have a lot going at one time. We have ongoing school read-alouds; we just finished Toliver's Secret, which we all loved! I'm also reading On the Banks of Plum Creek to the kids. They love it and always beg for just ONE more chapter! For personal reading, I'm loving the Hearthland serial novel by Chautona Havig on my Kindle, and am a few chapters into The Antelope in the Living Room by Melanie Shankle (also on Kindle). Hilarious! In "real" books (vs. Kindle books), I'm slowly reading through Beyond All Dreams, my current review novel by Elizabeth Camden, and Caught Up in a Story, by Sarah Clarkson. Yep, lots of books going at once, and it's nice to see that I'm actually reading a lot more than I realized!
Thankful for: My hardworking husband. He is working super long hours right now (58 last week, close to the same this week) and it is hard on him (and all of us) in some ways, but we know it is for a season, and we are thankful for a steady paycheck at this time of year!! I'm thankful too for friends who take time to encourage me and pray for me. Godly friends are a wonderful gift!
In the kitchen: Still trying to work on eating "Trim Healthy Mama" style . . . making little steps of progress, but not completely sticking to it yet. Trying to get more organized with menu planning again, and realizing the need to use my crockpot more! Also thinking about doing a big freezer cooking day at some point, so evening meals will be easier. Lately we haven't been eating till 6:30 or 7 pm, mostly due to my lack of having a good plan.
I am loving: The "big kid stage" of my older kids. There are parts of it that aren't so lovable of course, but overall they are such good helpers (yesterday they carried in ALL the groceries and helped me put away everything without being asked), and play really well together. They can all dress and feed themselves, do their chores, help out with Ari . . . they are such a blessing. There is still training to do, attitudes to deal with every day, problems that need to be sorted out now and then, but the good parts outweigh the harder times!
I am thinking about: Changes I need and want to make in our homeschool. I recently read Teaching from Rest, by Sarah Mackenzie, and it really gave me a lot to think about. In fact, it was the breath of fresh air I needed right at the moment, and a wake-up call that I've been stressed out way too much about "getting all the things done" and doing too much "pushing through" instead of focusing on a love of learning. It would take way too long to condense my thoughts on this (and I'm still sorting them out), so maybe I will do a separate post on that sometime. Suffice it to say that this little ebook was really good, and I highly recommend it!
I am buying: LOTS of groceries these days. Apparently kids eat more and more, the bigger they grow. Who knew?! ;) Thankful for frequent sales on chicken breast! Also, I just ordered this lovely scarf yesterday--thinking ahead to summer. I love a good deal, and this is currently just $5.95 (with free shipping) from Cents of Style (using the coupon code SPRING). I was going to get another print as well (coral chevron), but it was sold out by the time I got around to ordering. Maybe I'll get one next time the sale comes around.
Some of my favorite things: Baby smiles. Spontaneous lunch dates with my kiddos. Movie dates with my man. Watching The Great British Bake Off (baking competition) free on PBS and/or Youtube. Warm fires on cold days. Sleep. Baby snuggles. Reading out loud to the kids. Visits with friends.
Good links around the web:
- This post from Money Saving Mom. Love her reminder to take time for ourselves as moms!
- This recipe for peanut butter chocolate chip mug cakes (THM friendly!) from All Day I Dream About Food. I've made this multiple times and it is super yummy!
- This new Lent study at She Reads Truth. While I don't actually observe Lent (I've always thought of it as a Catholic thing), I love the focus of this study--Returning, Repenting, Remembering--with the theme of "Jesus, Keep Me Near the Cross" (which also happens to be one of my favorite hymns). I'm trying to follow along with the daily Bible study and it's been a blessing so far!
And I think that's a long enough daybook for this time! Hope you've enjoyed this random peek into our lives!