Lisa's Homemaking Corner

Lisa's Homemaking Corner

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

The dishes are done???...and and early night :-)

  • Wow, I really need to remember days like these!  You see, I have been on a plateau for quite awhile when it comes to training Vincent in anything new.  I have clearly forgotten the wonderful fruit that results from actually taking the time to slow things down a bit and do some life training.  Today I decided to dig in and train Vincent on washing the dishes.    He has helped me with them since he was 3 by drying them, and eventually putting them away.  Today, he learned the *chief* position at the sink...the dish washer!  We were BOTH excited!  Hee hee!  He has asked me to make dish-washing his responsibility.  I said we'll see.  I don't want to burn him out and have him hate dishes, and any other chores I teach him!  But, he did do the dishes after dinner tonight, and I was pretty impressed...no complaining!  In fact, he told me it was even more fun because he had more to do!  LOL!  We'll see how long this lasts. 
    I just got done putting the boys to bed, and I think I may turn in early as well.  I'm in the beginning stages of morning sickness here, and just feeling lousy and TIRED.  I'm not complaining, however...after 2 miscarriages, I like my little ones letting me know they're healthy and causing trouble. 

    Praise God for such a wonderful day!  ALL the glory goes to Him!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Snowy December!

Note:  I am archiving posts from two separate blogs here, so some information will be repeated.  :)

Wow, it’s been awhile since I’ve updated…life’s been super busy around here!  It is the first day of December, and it is also our first big snow of the year!  It is so beautiful!
There is so much to update on…
First of all, I’m preggers again!  Yay!  I am 7 weeks along and due 7/15/08.  Please keep this little one in your prayers.  The good news is, that because of the pregnancy, I am off all my MS meds and doing great!  Women with MS who get pregnant usually experience remission during pregnancy, so I am happy about that!  Of course, I am more likely to have a relapse within 6 months after giving birth, so I told dh we’ll just have to get pregnant again before then!  LOL!  Seriously, though, for those of you who HATE taking those prenatals…I am completely cherishing this time of only having to take ONE! pill a day.  :-)
The bad news (okay, not really bad, you’ll see in a minute) is that we cannot afford to live in our house anymore.  Dh’s second job (PT) is in a pretty bad season for hours right now, as it is every year.  Even just basic expenses are starting to be too much, so we are looking at 3 bedroom townhome rentals right now.  We will probably be moving by June at the VERY latest.  So we are going through some massive de-cluttering right now (a good thing!).  With all the storage space in our house, we’ve always just kept stuff because "we could," but now we won’t have that option anymore, and it’s time to realize what’s really important.  I will blog more about this later, because I could spend entirely too much time on how wonderful de-cluttering has already been for our home!
Lastly, Vincent is just chugging wonderfully along in 2nd grade.  We have our moments, of course, but for being a young second grader (he will be 7 in March), he is doing amazingly well!  Right now, we are focusing on Jesus, the Giver of Living Water for bible; we just finished reading about the signing of the Declaration of Independence, so that’s where we are in American History (I love this year!), and of course, learning about water in science to correspond with our bible lessons.  This is another thing I will have to blog about later, as it is getting late, and dh will be home soon!
Oh, yes, and I would love to be able to post pictures on here of our projects and stuff (dh doesn’t allow face shots, but there’s still plenty of fun pics I can post!), but I can’t figure out how to get pictures formated to put in my blog entry.  They keep coming up too big.  So if anyone can give me some tips, I would greatly appreciate it!  :-)

White as snow

Well, we are finally getting our first good snowfall here!  We could get up to 9 inches, and there's already at least 3 or 4 on the ground now.  It seems everything has quieted down, and everything looks so fresh!  I am reminded of Isaiah 1:18:

Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

We're expecting!

I just took a test the other day...as of Tuesday I was 4 weeks along.    I have stopped all my medication and I am doing great.  I do ask for prayers that the Lord will protect this little one, and that the meds I took before I knew won't do anything to harm him/her.  I do have comfort that the Lord gave us this little blessing, and that HE is in full control.    This will be our 5th pregnancy, 3rd child, and we even have names picked out...we've had a list going for awhile.   Rebekah or Isaac.

Anyway, most women with MS go into remission when they are pregnant, so it will be nice not to have to do the injections and such for awhile.  My goal is to eat as healthy as I can this pregnancy, because with the others...let's just say I gave in too much to cravings.  When I was pregnant last with the youngest, I developed gestational diabetes, so I want to avoid that if at all possible.  I also would like to maintain exercise.  I still haven't gotten up to much in time on my elliptical, but at least it's something...I really would like to make time to use it more often.

So that is the news in our home, praise the Lord!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Yay!

Hubby is on his way home from deer camp right now!  He has been gone all weekend and I miss him and can't wait to see him!  The house is even ready for the chaos that's sure to come with unpacking his stuff.   

I have gotten much done in the way of de-cluttering as well.  I've gotten all the baby/kid clothes separated from the other stuff in the basement and have been running the washer/dryer for a few days now, in between our regular laundry.  I have separated the clothes according to size and bagged up the items I know for sure I don't want to keep.  Everything else will wait until I have all the clothes washed, then I will go through and decide on 7 outfits per size, per season (warm/cold) and get rid of the rest.  This is one thing that will significantly reduce storage items for us.

I also now have all the toys up from the basement.  I have one more bin of stuff to wash.  Then, after the clothes are taken care of, I will get all the toys in one spot and start some serious culling.

I'm also excited because I found a bin full of Halloween and Thanksgiving deco I forgot I had.  We don't do Halloween anymore, so I put all of that in the porch on the "get rid of" side, and cleaned off and put the Thanksgiving stuff around the house.  I did that one night while the boys were sleeping and the next morning, my youngest was walking around "ooooooh-ing" and "ahhhhhh-ing."  LOL!  It was so cute!

It is so, so, so nice to really start getting this stuff done.  It gives me more inspiration to keep up on the laundry LOL!  I actually like going down in the basement now to do laundry, and seeing all the space that's being created by getting these things taken care of!

Anyway, the youngest is napping now, and the oldest is eating his lunch.  I need to go do the dishes and re-boot the laundry. 

Monday, November 5, 2007

First Snowfall!

LOL!  It's pretty light, but we've definitely got snowflakes falling here in MN!  At first I thought I was seeing things, but then it picked up ever so slightly, so I know I'm not hallucinating. 

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Ah, the Adventures!

When you pray, God answers!  He gave me the strength and patience to persevere, and both mamma and son are happy campers!  Vincent has been so good the last few days, and we're keeping at it!

Today for science, we made homemade playdough...what fun!  Vincent picked green for the color, of course (it's his favorite!).  I'm thinking later on when my energy comes back, I will make another batch in blue for Andrew.  He'll love that!  It will be fun to watch them play with it later.    Friday we will make some bread, tape a piece of paper with John 6:35 written on it, and give it to a neighbor.

On the homefront, dh got his hunting stuff out of the hallway, so I was able to move our bookshelf and small school desk there from the porch.  More space to put stuff!  We still have our game cabinet and roll top desk out there, so we need to go through those and either pack stuff up or find somewhere to keep it that is NOT in the porch.  We are using one side of the porch for stuff that we are keeping but won't need until after we move, that we can pack up.  The other side of the porch is for stuff we're getting rid of.  Neither side has very much yet, so I need to get moving!  LOL!  I hope to get much done this weekend and fill up that porch.  I also have a big stack of stuff I need to get listed on eBay starting tomorrow.  It will be so nice to get some of this stuff out of here to make more space!

Another good thing happening around here is meals!  I'm getting back into the good habit of making sure we don't have to run out to some fast-food place because I didn't plan anything.  All the food is now upstairs from our basement pantry, and I have been happily going through it, using it in some of our old favorites, as well as trying out new recipes.  There is a free-standing hutch I have next to my stove that I store food in that we will not be able to take with us, so my goal is to try to whittle things down so that I don't have to use it anymore.  Might as well get used to less space now, rather than be shocked when I'm forced into it later, right?  That's basically our ultimate goal as we sort through things.  We want to see how much we can consolidate things and we eventually don't want to rely on the extra storage we have right now, because that will make it easier than trying to get rid of stuff after we've tried squeezing it into our new place and we find it just won't work.

Anyway, the little one's up from his nap, and I need to go start dinner. 

Have a good day, everyone!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

God give me strength and patience...

But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.
Luke 8:15

And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope:
Romans 5:3-4

On Sundays after church, we almost always go to my parents' house for lunch.  Today, we went to Chuckie Cheese to celebrate my nephew's birthday.  Afterwards, we went back to my parents' for cake and presents.  Shortly before we left there, Vincent snapped, and his behavior went downhill.  This happens when he is overstimmulated by things such as are found at Chukie Cheese and by eating too much sugar and Red 40, which I'm sure was in the cake frosting.  By the time we got home, he was having a total behavior meltdown.

Sure, I know he's probably tired and he ate things that make him react badly through his behavior, but this just shouldn't be an excuse.  It has shown me that there are still things I need to work on with him...and myself.  I try very hard not to show how troubled my heart is when he acts this way, as I'm sure he'd get some satisfaction about knowing he had control over this.  But even though over the last couple of years I have managed to really improve on keeping my cool when trials like this arise, I'm sure he still senses something is amiss.  These tantrums and meltdowns of his used to come way more frequently, and I know that a big reason they are so rare now is because I have really been working on my own attitude (well, okay, the Lord has been working on it!).  But when they do happen, they just totally throw me off, especially since he's been so good lately!  And there wasn't even a trigger that I could see...he was running out the door, and I called out to him to please hold it for me and his little brother since my hands were full.  He started back as if he were going to do it, then stopped and suddenly he got that defiant "grin" on his face and he ran away from the door, laughing like it was the funniest thing in the world to be so inconsiderate.  The ride home was even worse.  He and his brother are both supposed to be taking naps.  I know Andrew is sleeping, but Vincent is not, even though I know he is extremely tired.  He knows he will be up there until he does sleep.  It may be a rough rest-of-the-day, but I know the Lord will get me through.  By the grace of God, I will not only LOOK patient and strong, but I will BE patient and strong.  He has given me a wonderful training opportunity here, a blessing in disguise.

We watched "Evan Almighty" last week.  There is a wonderful line in the movie that really hit home with me, and that I need to remember.  The guy who was playing God said something like, "When people pray for patience, does God give them patience, or does he give them OPPORTUNITIES to be patient?"  And he went on with a few more similar scenarios, but this one really sticks out to me.  God loves to give things to His children, but I believe that His favorite way to do this is by giving them opportunities to grow.  This wonderful boy of mine has been strong-willed since he was born, and I just KNOW that God has wonderful plans for him.  If dh and I are to raise our children up in the way they should go, we need these trials, these opportunities, if we are to be strengthened.  Even in the midst of this little storm right now, I will praise the Lord!  Because as long as I've got God on my side and I'm handling it in the way He would have me do it, only good can come out of it...we will be a better family than we were before this happened.

I'm also thankful to the Lord for this little bit of quiet time.  I have also noticed that I am getting more opportunities to sort of regroup and remember what I need to do.  It's almost as if God has hit the pause button for a bit so He can give me a hug of encouragement, to tell me to take a deep breath and that I'm doing great and to keep it up, don't lose hope, maybe give me a little pep-talk through prayer and His word.  Then I am strengthened.  With Him, all things are possible, and I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.  The Lord alone gives me what I need to get through the fire, praising and glorifying Him through it all!  Okay, Lord, I am ready, You are my Strength.

Friday, October 26, 2007

A Yeast Experiment Part 2

Okay, so today we did the same yeast experiment as the other day, only we used salt in place of the sugar.  Here's how it started...



...and 15 minutes later, it looked EXACTLY the same!  LOL!  Well, I learned something new...I always thought it was the salt that activated the yeast, and I could've sworn I've made bread without sugar before, but now I can't think of any recipes that don't use sugar.  And, well, obviously it's needed!  Next week, we will make bread together, and I can't wait!  Although, my dough hook broke on my Kitchen-Aid (long story, trust me), so we will probably be doing it by hand.  It's been awhile since I've done it, but it will be good for Vincent to learn it that way first anyway.

We also made butter today by shaking whipping cream in a jar until it separated into butter and buttermilk.  Vincent actually matched me pretty good as far as shaking time goes, so hopefully, my arms won't be sore in the morning LOL!

As far as the de-cluttering goes, I've had to take today to kind of regroup and do some maintenance cleaning on the main floor before it even thought about getting out of control.  I want to stay as organized as possible while we go through this, because I have BTDT as far as moving and NOT being very organized about it, and I don't want to go back to that place LOL.  But, I now have dishes done, a load of laundry in the dryer (I'm actually staying pretty caught up on laundry!), and the entire main floor picked up again.  I even ventured under, behind, and INto furniture and found quite a bit of toys (and Cheerios *blush*) that we were missing.  I also did a little re-arranging so that we have lots more space in our front porch to start moving in there the things we are not keeping.

So, I am continuing to PRAISE GOD for all the progress being made around here!  We are ready for a new day!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

A Yeast Experiment

Yesterday we did a fun experiment for science.  In a glass bottle, we mixed warm water, yeast, and sugar.  Then we put a balloon over the top and took a picture every few minutes.



















Tomorrow we will do it again, but use salt instead of sugar and see what happens. 

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established.
Proverbs 16:3

This verse really stuck out to me this morning while I was in the Word.  I'm getting a lot better than I used to be with my thoughts, but I still struggle with the crabby ones at times.  When I first accepted the Lord as my Savior, I was constantly directing all my thoughts to Him.  I would constantly have conversations with him in my thoughts about everything I was doing.  Somewhere along the way, I have lost that.  I'm sure I still do it more often than I realize, but I often find myself forgetting to talk to the Lord, especially in those moments when I should be doing it the most.

Starting today, I am going to try to make a conscious effort to do everything unto the Lord.  Every action I do, I will try and remember to keep the Lord in mind.  If I do this, my thoughts will stay with Him.  I would love to have that "pray without ceasing" habit back.  If I remember to commit all my works throughout the day unto the Lord, I will be thinking about Him, and if I'm thinking about Him, my attitude will be better, and when my attitude is better, I won't have to make such a conscious effort to keep the cycle going.  Then my thoughts will always be with the Lord, and I will be able to hear Him immediately when He's trying to guide me a different way than my own way.

Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you for your Word, and those nudges you give us when we need them.  You are All-Powerful, and I pray that You will guide me and help me in this effort to commit my works unto You.  I pray not only for guidance, but for the wisdom to see Your guidance, hear Your guidance, and the strength and boldness to apply it.  I also pray for those reading this post, that they will be blessed by what You are using me to say.  And I pray that You will continue to use me, Lord.  Use me in whatever capacity You need, to bless those who love You, and to reach out to those who still need to find You.  In Jesus' precious name I pray all these things.  Amen.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Our Downsizing Journey: The Beginning

Well, after much prayer and discussion, dh and I have decided to move our family into a smaller space.  We have our eye on a couple of places right now.  We will be renting either an apartment or town home for a few years so that we can actually save some money instead of just scraping by (a lot of the time, we are barely even doing that).

So, we will be going through all our stuff in the next couple of months to decide what's really important.  We have accumulated so much "stuff" over the years, and the only reason we have kept it is because we have the space and it's more convenient than going through the hassle of getting rid of it.  We have some relatives that can store some of our items until we get back into a house, like expensive tools and the lawnmower, snowblower, etc.  But we will be getting rid of A LOT of stuff, weighing out whether it will be worth it to have to pay for extra storage (which hopefully we won't have to do...we will have a garage included in rent) vs. buying it again when we are in our house and need it, or just plain get rid of it all together.  There are a lot of things that will fall into that last category. 

I am actually getting excited about this.  Being in closer quarters and not having so much STUFF to take care of, I will be able to spend more time with the kids, training, teaching, nurturing, and just plain building a better relationship with them.  Same for dh...any extra hours he gets will be just that.  It won't be necessary for him to be away at work so much so that we can barely scrape by.  We will actually be able to SAVE money (imagine that!).  I'm really excited to see what the Lord has in store for our family through all this.

Well, the house work basics are done, the kids are taking their naps, and I'm going down into the trenches (otherwise known as our basement) to get to work and start sorting!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Week 4

What a great week in Adventures!  We have a lot of fun projects this week.  Over the next few weeks, we are learning how Jesus is the Light of the World.  To kick off the week, we made this candle by spreading glue on and putting a paper on that says "Jesus the Light of the World" and sprinkling salt all over it.  We are going to light it every night for dinner. 



We are also learning about Native Americans this week.  Today, we made this wigwam out of a construction paper base with torn up brown paper bags glued over it.  When it dried, we cut a hole in the top for the smoke and we cut a door out.  It was actually hard work and tried both of us in patience, but it turned out pretty nice and we DID have fun!  Tomorrow we are making a teepee (much easier) complete with twigs and watercolor for the outside!



Friday we are planning to visit the historical society where they have life-sized teepees and wigwams that you can walk into and get more of a feel for how the Native Americans actually lived!  I can't wait...I love field trips!  Oh, yeah, and so do the kids  LOL!

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Busy, busy!

It's been a pretty busy week and it's not over yet.  Thursday I went to a funeral for my cousin...he passed away on Sunday night/Monday morning from lung cancer.  He was only 35.  Please pray for the family and for his many friends who are feeling such a loss right now.

Yesterday through this afternoon I had an overnight meeting at a local church.  I am serving on team for a women's weekend retreat in November.  Dh is serving on the men's team the week before.  We had both gone through it ourselves a couple of years ago and WOW.  This is an amazing ministry they have here.  It has really changed our relationships with Christ for the better and is doing the same for many.

Tonight I need to prepare for Sunday school, which I teach to the preschoolers in our church.  I will probably do that after I put the boys to bed, since I don't have to do much this week.

So, right now, I'm just kind of relaxing.    The boys are playing nicely, the house is not a disaster...life is good.  GOD is good! 

Monday, October 1, 2007

Nature walk

Well, we went on our first nature walk of the year today.  It was a lot of fun!  Hopefully, we will be able to make this a weekly event.  One of the goals is to go to the same park every time and see how things change with the seasons.  We have picked out a tree that we will particularly look at each time we visit and once each season, Vincent will draw it to show the differences for each season.  We also took a leaf from that tree that we can put in his nature notebook along with his drawing and any other pictures he wants to put in from the visit.  This is such a fun project, and I know both boys and dh had lots of fun, too!

Here's "our" tree:


Here's some pics of the creek that runs through the park...it has lots of these little waterfalls:






We found this rock that has "Jesus" written on it.  I thought it would be pretty cool to have the picture when we study "Jesus the Rock." 


I feel so blessed to live so close to such a beautiful park.  Until we are able to move out of the city, at least we have somewhere nearby to just enjoy nature...a place to remind us how truly amazing God's creation really is!  God is so good!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Thursday

We are having so much fun in school this year!  Last week, we started learning the importance of names as an intro to learning the different names of Jesus this year.  We also learned about Leif Ericsson and the Vikings.  We started our timeline and made sugar cookies with our names on them.





This week we are learning about how Jesus saves, and about Christopher Columbus.  Today we made boats out of tin foil and sailed them across the "ocean," otherwise known as our bathtub LOL!













What fun!  Tonight, Daddy's going to build a small wooden boat with Vincent. 

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

2nd Grade

Well, we have completed our 2nd day of second grade (any Veggie Tales songs come to mind? LOL!).  It’s going really well so far!  We are studying American History this year and it’s going to be so fun!  We have started a binder for our US History Notebook…I can’t wait to see this thing grow.  :-)   For our first day, we had a snack of yogurt, blueberries and strawberries.  We did a brief review of the Pledge of Allegiance, and we are doing a brief overview of maps.  Vincent got his own NIrV bible, and we will be focusing on the names of Jesus this year.  When I gave Vincent his bible, he wanted to look up John 3:16 :-) .  Last year in first, we learned all the books of the bible.  It took him awhile, but he found it and read it on his own.  I love it!  Vincent’s reading has really been coming along…he was able to read the directions and complete pages in his math and spelling books all on his own!  Friday we will kick off reading in history about Lief Ericksson.  We are also doing "I Can Do All Things" for art…starting off with very simple exercises, but we are both loving it.
Next week, we’ll explore his bible more, learn about Christopher Columbus, start music (starting off with "God Bless America"), start the "fun" science, and start Spanish.  I found a really good free resource for this here.  We want to eventually do Rosetta Stone, but we couldn’t afford it this year, so this will be at least a pretty good intro.  Vincent seemed a little leery when he learned he would be doing Spanish, so we’ll start gently and just see how it goes.  If he’s struggling, we’ll wait.
We’re both very excited about the year.  I love American History, even though I know there’s a lot I have forgotten, so it will be fun to re-learn things this year!  And it will be way more fun than the way I learned it (not homeschool).  :-)

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Box day!

Yesterday, we got our box with 2nd grade curriculum!  Box day is one of my favorite days of the school year LOL!  It's almost as good as Christmas.  I couldn't get the photos on my other blog, so I am showing them here.

The first 2 pics are the 2nd grade I ordered from My Father's World, Adventures in My Father's World.





These are the toddler toys I ordered for Andrew.  He will get to play with these while I'm doing school with Vincent.


The stuff came right before lunch, so we were exploring things while we ate. 


I am so excited...this is going to be such a fun year!  We are going to start Tuesday.  We will be doing Tuesdays-Saturdays, at dh's request, so that we have the same days off that he does.    Hopefully, I will be able to keep up on posting pictures of our projects and such as the year progresses...I really want to keep a record of what we're doing.  Needless to say, I've had my nose buried in the teacher's manual since last night (I actually fell asleep over it last night in bed LOL!), and probably will until Tuesday!  So, if you don't hear from me, that's where I'll be LOL!

Friday, September 7, 2007

Curriculum day???

Yay!  Nick said we are going to go through the budget today and that we will most likely be able to order curriculum!  I am so excited!  If we order today, we should get it by Monday or Tuesday, so we won’t be starting very "late" at all.  We will be ordering the deluxe package here, and will be using Primary Language Lessons for English, Singapore Math, and Spelling by Sound and Structure by Rod & Staff.  Oh, and dh also said we could order the toddler package for Andrew!  So, it will be fun for him to get something, too.
So, once again, I decide to stop worrying and give it to God, and He is letting me know that HE is in control and that He has everything taken care of.  God is ALWAYS good!  Even in the midst of the situation at hand, I will praise Him because whatever happens, God will put us where we need to be, and where He wants us to be.