Saturday, January 3

Our Mudroom that Isn't A Mudroom

When we moved back to Hometown nearly three (!!!) years ago, there were two projects I really wanted done.  This of course, was in addition to the cleaning, painting, and new carpet that needed to be installed prior to us even moving back in.  Ahem

The first item I really wanted was a "built in" computer desk in our family room area.  We have a three bedroom house and with the little brother on the way, we would no longer have a dedicated "office/computer room" and there was this perfect little alcove in our family room that would allow ample space for a nice big computer desk with plenty of room for the computer, printers, and all the computer/office related stuff.  My awesome parents got most of the desk done a little over a year and a half ago and it's just as gorgeous as I pictured in my head.  And rumor now has it they are starting on the top portion (shelving above the desk, complete with trim and cove molding) very soon.  As I said, the desk portion turned out beautifully and it has been more than functional for our every day needs, so please know I am not complaining at all! 



The second thing I wanted was a mudroom.  Don't we all, right?  Well, with our current house, the gorgeous mud "rooms" that you can find very easily on Google or Pinterest are pretty labor intensive if you plan to do it yourself.  Which we did/do.  (And we all know by now, that I use the term "we" very, very loosely, right?)  Plus, there are several other things we want to do with this tiny little space (put in a pocket door for the laundry room, which will involve moving TWO light switches to the other side of the door, not to mention ripping out all the drywall to install/reframe for the pocket door) and those things just aren't in the cards right now, with being both short on time and money.  So in the interest of making this space functional for our comings and goings, having it be somewhat temporary, and still aesthetically appealing and cost effective, the Hubs made this for me as my Christmas gift. 

This is our main entry point through our home.  We rarely, if ever, use our front door.  We go in and out through our garage door that is located in our laundry room.  The laundry room has space for a utility sink and in the sink alcove we have a clothes rack above the sink that we used at one point to hang clothes that needed to air dry, etc.  It was a nice little space for that.  Plus, the sink was there and we used it for stain treating clothes, cleaning muddy boots, and all those other things you use utility sinks for.  But somehow over the last year and a half, that rack has become a coat rack for us all and with that, we didn't really have easy access to our sink anymore, because coats were always hanging in the way.  Plus, when we were in a hurry (are you ever not as parents of littles?) taking all those coats down always knocked down the spray bottles on the sinks edge, so that was always fun.  Or not.


So now I have a nice little coat rack thanks to my mom's design (she did the same thing a few months back in their laundry room at their house) and Hubs hard work.  And as with the desk, rumor has it from Hubs that he would like to get the bench built in time for my birthday this spring!

That would be awfully nice, my dear.  Awfully, awfully nice. 




 

Thursday, January 1

Many Blessings in 2015


 
Wishing you a wonderful new year that will be even better than the last.



 

Saturday, December 27

Christmas Vacation

Can I just share that I've so been enjoying the Peanut's Christmas vacation?  Not only has it been nice to have her home with us (on many, many levels--but the sibling bickering????  Make. It. Stop!!!!), but it means I don't have to be such a Nazi about bedtime--which I usually am.  I usually, without fail, have the kiddos in the bath by 6:30 (6:40 if I am living fast and loose that evening) so as to have them in bed, stories read, and lights out by 7:30.  Both of them require 11-12 hours of sleep and when they wake up around 7:00-7:30 each morning, they need a firm bedtime.  And who am I kidding?  I enjoy a little quiet time to myself each night too!  Anyhow, all that said, because we can sleep in each morning with no firm obligations, it's been nice not having to be so rigid about bedtime. Not that we go crazy by any means, but 8:00 and in bed? 



No biggie. 

It's just been really, really nice.

We had a nice little quiet Christmas.  We did the thing floating around Pinterest for gifts for the kids this year and it was SO nice.  Four gifts for Christmas--something you want, something you need, something to wear, and something to read.  We initially decided on that mainly because of budgetary constraints, but in the end, our kids are so very blessed and they really don't need anything.  They have closets full of clothes and tons of toys to play with (thank you Grandma and Grandpa!).  The Hubs and I don't really exchange gifts (although I did get him a Charger's sweatshirt that I totally forgot about this past September!) and he did built me a coat rack for our mudroom main entry/exit through our house.  That will have a post of it's own later.  

We entertained my mom's side of the family here on Christmas Eve and then went to my Aunt and Uncle's house for Christmas dinner. While Christmas time has always been my very favorite-ist time of year, with the kids and their emotional highs and lows of the last several days (lots of excitement, lots of family time, lack of strict schedules {see above}, etc.) EVERYTHING has the potential for a big ol' meltdown.  So.  That said, I am kinda enjoying the rest of this week just being able to lay low and watch movies, eat leftover cookies and soup from Christmas Eve and just relax

I hope you are getting to do the same!!!


  

Saturday, December 20

The Peanut Takes a Picture

Since I am the official picture taker of our little family, there are very few pictures with me in our photos.  While my kids will surely know someday that I was there at all the events, I would like for handful of them to actually have me in them as well. 

However.  I am really bad about remembering to ask the Hubs to take some pictures with me in them.  See how this plays out?

Then the other day, Peanut begged to take a picture of me and the boy. 

And I let her.  I know, right?

She did pretty good, considering she is even more a novice than I am.  We just might have a newly added photographer in the family!


 

Thursday, December 18

How I Got Hired for This Job, I'll Never Know

A few weeks ago, we got a call from Peanut's school. That's never a good thing, is it? The only times I've received phone calls from the school was either a) The Peanut was sick and I needed to come pick her up immediately or b) She had been exposed to some infectious disease {whooping cough, chicken pox, etc} and they were giving us the legally required disclosure.

Well, they called on Peanut's scheduled day off from school, so this worrier automatically assumed she had been exposed to something once again. Nice, right? I have no idea why Hubs calls me a dooms-dayer. No clue at all.

Turns out, we were being invited to a special assembly last week. She had been chosen as Student of the Month for November. Now, because it's a Christian school they choose a student based on the monthly character trait. (I was Student of the Month many moons ago {in public school} and it wasn't based on anything like that. At least that I remember. But it could have been based on being a suck-up, because that is something I excelled in for sure.)

Anyhow, back to November's character trait.  It was loving kindness. Loving kindness. Specifically referenced from Micah 6:8~

He has told you, O man, what is good;
And what does the Lord require of you
But to do justice, to love kindness,
And to walk humbly with your God?

Let me tell you, that was humbling. Because folks, that fine quality so did not come from me. That is her daddy through and through. I am all about what is fair, what is right (in my mind!)--what is just. I guess I have the just part down, but the problem is, I don't follow that through with the love kindness part. Ouch. But our daughter? To her teacher, she stood out among her peers in her consistent, kind and loving manner.

Wow.  This was a very much needed reminder, that that precious little Peanut of ours--she isn't ours at all.  She was a gift.  A gift entrusted to us from a very loving God.

Now I know in my heart that God is good and God is sovereign in all things.  But for goodness sakes, in my head I can't help but wonder what He was thinking in trusting someone like me to be their mama?  I am poor, poor example of Christ each and every day. #utterfailure

I am impatient and probably expect far too much from their little six and two year old selves.  As I just said, I like doing the right thing and I want them to do the right thing.  And let's face it, my little sinners don't always mind their mama.  I feel like I am banging my head against the wall on most days.  But that's probably how He feels with me, right? Because I am His little sinner.

In the end, I have to remember cling to that He will work everything for good according to His purpose.  While the loving kindness trait didn't come from me, I have a sneaking suspicion that Peanut is the way she because He knew I could learn from that.


 

Tuesday, December 16

Christmas Performances

The Peanut had her school's Christmas program last week.  It went well and she did great.  Each of the classes does 1-2 songs, starting with the youngest (this being her class--the Kindergarteners) and ending with the 5th grade classes.  Her class's song selections were Go Tell It On the Mountain and O Come All Ye FaithfulO Come All Ye Faithful was wonderful just as expected, but Go Tell It On the Mountain?  Well, it was oh, SO sweet.  It's not a Christmas song you hear a lot--at least not on the radio.  I mean, I grew up knowing the Mahalia Jackson version of the song.  Very few current artists do this song on their Christmas albums.  But Let It Snow?  Excuse my while I roll my eyes. Not only do I REALLY NOT care for this song, but it seems like EVERYONE has sang it. It's just so not my favorite, mmmkay?


ANYHOW, her class's little version of Go Tell It On the Mountain was complete with hand motions (most of which I believe were ASL, but I'm not entirely sure?).  And it. was. precious. So precious that I've had her sing it for me since because it's just that sweet.


I love her little school programs.  But it was kind of a bummer this year because her school program was the same exact night at nearly the same exact time as her voice {lessons} recital.  So we had to choose one.  We thought it was important that she be at her school program with her class, since that was a one time event.  Plus, part of her music grade was based on her attendance at the Christmas program.  Secondly, she still had a chance to preform with her voice lesson comrades this last weekend at a local retirement home.  So we had her do just that.  She sang in the school's program and then she also sang with the other "voice" students this past Saturday night.  Plus, it was good that these last three months of practicing her Christmas solo were not in vain!!


Her solo was great too, despite her bundle of nerves an hour before her program.  I think she's starting to get nervous for these things, which saddens me.  It means that she's starting to feel self conscious, doesn't it?   I mean, wow, the girl wouldn't even eat her dinner before the recital.  That's just not like her!   Anyhow, if you would like to view it, here it is:


In the end, she still got past it and she did a fabulous job once she got up there.  The posing at the end?  All her idea.  The Merry Christmas at the end?  All her idea. 

My little precious Peanut, how did you grow up so fast? 


 

Tuesday, December 9

Happenings Around Here

Thanksgiving has come and gone {explain to me exactly how that happened?} and we are already full swing into many Christmas festivities.  But before I forget, I wanted to share these little tidbits.

♥  

My dad's employer is one of the very few left that still gifts a turkey to their employees for Thanksgiving.  My dad also likes to bless us, so he gave it to us.  We all went to my aunt's home and had a lovely Thanksgiving Day at her house, but I am in the camp that Thanksgiving just isn't the same if you don't have leftovers.  I cooked up the gifted turkey the Saturday after Thanksgiving (along with {from scratch} green bean casserole {FYI: once you go scratch, you never go back.  For reals.}, horseradish carrots, mashed potatoes and gravy and of course, fresh cranberry sauce) so we too, could have a weeks worth of meals.

Once all the trimmings leftovers were gone, of course we had lots of turkey still to be eaten.  So the family favorite White Enchiladas was on the menu. Can you say yum? 

And then. 

Ladies (and gentlemen as it may be), these are the new family fave for leftover turkey. 

Turkey Taquitos with a Spicy Cranberry Dipping Sauce

I was reading my favorite Food Network Magazine and Guy said these were his favorite to make with leftover turkey.  And funny enough, it isn't his recipe, but they are still oh so delicious!  I'll be honest, they are a pain to make if you don't have a deep fryer (we don't) but well worth it!!!  While casseroles that use up all the trimmings are great, they still taste like Thanksgiving dinner, and if you are like me, four or five days in you want. some. variety. of flavors!!!  Any Mexican inspired dishes are always a hit at our house, and these are a great option.


I also made these pretzel rolls and these schnitzle sandwiches recently.  Actually, it was about six weeks ago, but whatever.  The rolls tasted great (which I thought turned out looking pretty good too!) and the schnitzel sandwiches were divine

♥ 


We've all been passing around the sickies.  So that's fun.  But what's really the greatest is that I currently sound like (and have for about a week now) a fifty year old two-pack-a-day-smoker named Roxie.  I'm telling you, it's every bit as charming as it sounds. 

 ♥ 

About a month ago, our sweet boy was at the counter eating his lunch and he looked a little sad.  He was propping up his head on the counter with his crooked arm {I hope that word picture makes sense}.  I asked what was wrong and he said to me, "Me wish me had a truck like Daddy's" and sighed a sigh so big, you would have thought he had the weight of the world on his shoulders.


 ♥

A few weeks ago, I overheard the Peanut telling her Daddy about her day at school.  They have chapel on Fridays and she was telling him all about it:

"Sometimes when we are singing, people hold up their hands and close their eyes......I don't know why they close their eyes. But they hold up their hands 'cause it's like they are giving a high five to God."

Oh my gosh, I just about died laughing.  This girl is something else.  I feel like I fail her on so many different levels each and every day and she is just still as sweet and innocent as can be. 

I can't believe God chose me (!!!) to be her and my son's mama. 

To say I am humbled would be an understatement. 







Sunday, December 7

The Perfectly Imperfect Gingerbread House



I am learning and really, have been learning since the Peanut was about two, that these traditions I am trying to create with them don't have to be perfect



Why yes, I am a very slow work-in-progress.

Anyhow, our little Christmas schedule is quickly filling and between all my DIY projects, Peanut being in school, and just living life {otherwise known as cleaning, laundry, ironing, bath time, the revolving door of sickness, etc}, there were very few days where Operation: Decorate Gingerbread House could commence. So this weekend it was.


And thank you, Grandma, for picking this up for the kids and thank you, Wilton, for placing such high expectations (for myself) of how these should turnout. (Really, their little kit is great and such a time saver, but holy smokes, do these people have children?  I think not.)

By about the third candy placed on the house and in between the little brother placing the gumdrops IN his mouth before placing them ON the house {"Me didn't eat, me just tasted" was his explanation}, I realized the picture perfect gingerbread house would not happen. Why yes, I believe I've had the conversation in my head before.  The same happened this year as well


But once again, just like all the other times, in the end the kids had such fun, and could. not. wait. for Daddy to get home so they could show him their artistic prowess. 

It was a great day.


 

Monday, November 24

Gobble, Gobble, Gobble


Today was Peanut's last day of school prior to her Thanksgiving break.  She was so excited for "the feast," as it had been referred to all week prior.  They didn't even have to bring lunches today, so it was quite the big deal.  Just ask our 6 year old daughter.

Here she is with her besties.  Ha, ha!  Although, she has never referred to these girls as that, from the way I hear Peanut's tales from school and recess, these three are inseparable and I am so thankful she has made such good little friends just a few months into the year!  

All the children made Pilgrim hats and they did a few recitations and songs for the mommies and daddies in attendance.
 
This is mommy's favorite {a new one for me}:

The turkey is a funny bird
Its head goes bobble-bobble;
And all he knows is just one word...
And that is

GOBBLE-GOBBLE-GOBBLE!


And an old favorite:

Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good.  Psalm 118:1 


 
Many blessings to each of your families this Thanksgiving.  





 

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