Menu Planning

Scheduling/being organized with my time is not something I am wonderful at, but I'm working on it in many different areas of my life.  I'm a work in progress.  :)

My mother-in-law, Robin, sent me this idea for planning a weekly menu and shopping list, which I thought was so FUN.  (Thank you!)

I happened to read her email on a Saturday morning.  I also happened to have all the materials to do this project at my house.  So I made it.

I told Nate it was a good thing that I keep a bunch of crafty stuff hanging around.  He just smiled as he raised his eyebrows and nodded his head.

I was going to wait to write a post about this because A. I don't know if I'll enjoy using it for a long time and B. I don't know if I'll actually use it for a long time.

However, it's really cute and it's a great idea.  So, I thought I'd post about it anyway because maybe someone reading this will find this helpful??  (By the way, I am currently using and enjoying it, but it's only been a couple days.)

So, here's my version of the menu board - with heavy duty magnets hot glued on the back:

It's made out of an 11x17 frame.  I used fabric instead of cute paper like the original menu board.  I also started by leaving the glass on, like she told me to, but you can't use hot glue on glass - it doesn't stick.  So, I took the glass out of the frame.  I hot glued the fabric on to the old picture that was in the frame (you can use cardboard - whatever works).  Then I hot glued the clothespins on to the fabric.  I also made little pockets out of fabric and hot glued those on.  No sewing!  She used crayon boxes covered in paper for the containers/pockets, but I didn't have those available. 

I printed out different meals we like to eat. 

On the front of the card is the meal.  On the back of the card are the ingredients.  You take a new meal out of the bottom pouch and put it above when you've used it so that you are always rotating your meals.  I left the days of the week off of the clothespins because I wanted the flexibility of being able to choose any of those meals on whatever day. 
It was such a fun project to make, and I sure enjoy knowing what meals we can choose from for the week!

Daily Bible Reading

Before Christmas I decided to read through the Bible in a year.  I've done this before, but not recently. 

I tried the Read Through the Bible in 90 Days thing, but that didn't go so well...

So, I signed up for Bible Gateway's read through the Bible in a year program.

Since I sometimes :) struggle with schedules and organization of my time, this has been revolutionary for me!  When I see that little Bible Gateway email sitting in my inbox, it triggers the "must do" part of my brain and I do it within a day (sometimes two if it was a particularly busy weekend).

Spending time reading the Word that the Lord has graciously given us, is so very important.  May He give me grace as I muddle through this life, trying to please Him in how I spend my days.

Psalm 1:1-3  
Blessed is the man
    who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners,
    nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
but his delight is in the law of the Lord,
    and on his law he meditates day and night.


Maple Sugaring!

This picture kinda looks like an ad.  Just so you know, I am not an affiliate of either Menards or Lowes.  We just wanted cheap buckets.  :)

Since we don't have a $2000 evaporator and sugar shack, we use a camp stove and our indoor stove.  Our house turns into a sugar shack.  :)
Tommy with my shoes on.  He wanted to be outside!
Since today was rather busy with the syrup-making, I only had Emilia do some school work.  She can work rather independently after some direction (and much help with spelling!).

She's going to add other things to this book in the future.  How to make...chocolate chip cookies, etc.

After 17 hours of boiling down 25 gallons of sap...this is what we made.  Actually, we made less because there was so much sludge in that jar on the right.  It's only about 2/3 full of syrup.

Boiled about 1/4 cup of the syrup down a little more until it was thicker and then poured it on snow.

Maple Sugar Candy!

Tastes great.  Gets majorly stuck in your teeth!


Emilia's Entrepreneurial Venture

After I explained this $10 business to my husband, he thought it would be fun for the kids (and a good lesson as well) to buy something from Goodwill and sell it (or something like it that they already had) again on Craigslist.  Hopefully they could make some money when they sold it again.

So a couple Saturdays ago, we loaded up the kids and went to a local Goodwill to find some treasures.  (That's where we got this $2 desk.) 

Nate and Emilia were on a hunt for a bike.  They were specifically looking for one that Emilia could ride now since her old bike was too small.  They found a bike that looked junky to me (hole in the seat and the tires looked like they wouldn't work), but they made the decision to buy it because Nate said he could fix it (which he did once we got home!).  She bought it for $5.  Now, it looks and rides great!

Here's a short video of her explaining the "venture".

After fixing her new bike, we had her take pictures of her old bike to sell on Craigslist.  She did the uploading of the pictures, the typing (Nate kept reminding me not to type for her...I couldn't help it - it was taking forever!), and the posting of the ad.

When emails came in, we made sure she read and responded to them.  She even had to lower the price from her original $25 down to $20 because there weren't a lot of responses.

Finally, someone was interested, and Emilia was very excited (and nervous)!

When the woman arrived, I did some of the talking, explaining that Emilia was the one selling the bike, so the lady had her sweet little girl pay Emilia.

After figuring out what her profit was ("If you buy something for $5 and you sell it for $20, how much did you make?"), I had her delete her ad from Craigslist and call Nate at work to share the good news!

$15 to a 7 year old is a lot of money.  She was pretty pleased with the whole thing.

And so were her daddy and I!

A Haughty Spirit Goes Before A Fall

A little over 4 years ago, a young mother entered a bookstore with her two small children and a large pregnant belly. Her children were both very well-behaved and stayed close to her legs.

There were other children in the bookstore who were wildly running in circles around their mother who happened to be checking out of the store.

The first mother was feeling a tad bit smug about her extremely quiet, perfect children. As she lovingly smoothed their silky hair, a welling up of pride for her precious angels filled her soul (at least that's what I'm guessing she was feeling...ahem.)

As soon as the hyena children left the building, the mother and her two proper children advanced into the bookstore.  The smiling mother was quite sure the clerk noticed the stark difference between her children and the unruly children who had loudly exited just a minute before.  She hoped the clerk knew it was because of her awesome mothering skills.

Right after this conceited thought entered the young mother's mind, her beautiful children skipped over to the nearest bookshelf, touched everything, and laughed as the books fell to the ground.

The Lord taught the young mother a very important lesson that day in the bookstore.  A lesson she's never forgotten. 

"Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall."  Proverbs 16:18

At least I'm guessing she hasn't forgotten it...I wouldn't know for sure.  ;)


A New (memory filled) School Area

Remember how I said we like to do things differently?  Well, we do.  We've changed things up yet again in our house.  The desk from this post is back in the basement and something new is taking over that area. 

My dear friend is moving to Scotland for three years (sniff, sniff), while her husband pursues a doctorate.  They are selling and giving away almost all of their earthly possessions (since you can't fit tables and couches and a house full of knick-knacks in two suitcases per person). 

One of the items they were selling was a rustic, red, drop leaf table.  I have admired this table since I saw it gracing the middle of their kitchen.  I wanted this table for more than just its rustic charm.  I wanted it for its memories.  A worn wooden reminder of good friends adding sugar to steaming cups of tea.  Laughing, talking, sharing. I'm excited for her and her family, but I'm also going to miss them.  Quite a bit.

In my house, I'm using the drop leaf table right where this pretty white hutch (now in our basement) used to reside.

I always liked how the hutch looked and how much storage it offered.  However, I also desired to have a place where the kids could do their school work.  A place where they wouldn't always have to clean up everything before I could set the table for lunch or dinner.

After brainstorming and looking in our basement for supplies, Nate helped me make my headboard-turns-shelf into a reality, even if he did think it was a little weird.  :)

He did the carpentry and I did the painting and sanding.


He thinks it turned out great even though he likes to tease me by saying (in a Rocky accent no less), "There's a bed.  Hangin' on a wall".

This same friend is super creative and crafty.  She made the little bird hanging in the frame.
She also made the "Grace" picture.  And she gave me the teacup.  :)

I really, really like how this project turned out.

And I like it even more because it reminds me of a great friendship.   

Here's the view of where this area fits into my kitchen.  Not a large area, but it's so functional!


Happy 6th Birthday Jonny!

Our exuberant, spunky, sports-loving, intense, fun-loving, thoughtful Jonny-boy is 6 today!

I (kinda) remember when he was this little...

2007 - I didn't have a digital camera when he was born...and I don't feel like finding and then scanning an old picture...
2007 - Such a handsome little guy!  He sure made (makes) us laugh!
2012 - After Jonny dressed like this, Emilia thought it was appropriate to make these signs...
2012 - Intensely working on a magnetic guy thing
Friends and Cousins - Jadon and Jonny born one week apart.  Football fans.  :)

We're going to be decorating our house in football style today for his first "friend" birthday party (I'm thinking the next one may be when he's 16... ;) ).  There are 8 Kindergarten boys coming over tonight for pizza, cupcakes, and football fun!  It's gonna be wild!  

We love you our wonderful Jonny and thank the Lord that He gave you to us.

Happy 6th Birthday!!!

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