Saturday, January 21, 2012

January Fun

With the advanced technology we have today, living in Arizona doesn't always feel as far away from Pennsylvania, where almost all of my family is. I can easily catch up with family and friends on Facebook, or Skype. But when I got up this morning and saw that there was snow in PA, it made me smile to think that my kids were doing this yesterday afternoon......

It was a nice 70 degrees plus here. So the kids decided to play with the water hose and get all kinds of muddy! As you can see, Landon took a spill somewhere. It was really quite funny. I know it's just the beginning of mud becoming a part of my life on a more regular basis.

In other exciting news, we have another big girl in the house....
She very coolly and calmly pulled out her two bottom teeth yesterday. So the tooth fairy made her appearance last night after the girls fell asleep. It was so funny to hear them giggle with delight this morning as they woke up and found two shiny coins under the toothless one's pillow. The tooth fairy in this house believes in leaving coins. When you have five children, you need to conserve!!! :)

And lastly, I thought I would leave you with this beauty. I got to witness this earlier this week during my quiet time in the morning. Even though it's still a struggle to get out of bed while it's still dark outside, I do enjoy seeing this out my window.....

Hope you have a relaxing and blessed weekend!!!

Monday, January 16, 2012

How is it going?

Well, I posted about my New Year's Resolutions a week or more ago. How is it going? Hmm......

1. Wake up earlier: I have been waking up earlier. Usually between 6 and 6:30. I am finding my day starts so much better when I am awake before the kids and dressed for the day.
2. Go to bed earlier: I have been doing better with this. There have been a few nights where I was up past ten, which to some of you is still early, but for me...not so much.
3. Planning meals: yes, I have been doing better with that, and so has my spending at the grocery store! I seriously spend less money at the store when I plan my meals out two weeks and go shopping every two weeks. I sometimes go mid week for milk or fresh fruit. But I feel less stressed in the morning because I already know what I am making.
4. Go for walks a few times a week: yeah, not so much. Need to work on this one.
5. Drink more water: same answer as above! :)
6. Not to raise my voice: I have been trying to do better. There were a few times in the last week where I lost my cool, but I apologized and we moved on. Thank goodness kids are so forgiving!
7. Blog more consistently: Haha!!!!!
8. Take more pictures: again, I am trying not to laugh. I think I picked up the camera once since then. And it was to take a picture of this:

Yes, he's riding the vacuum. After this picture he proceeded to stand on the vacuum and climb up onto a chair. I caught him this morning on the table. I have a monkey in the house now.
9. Put money into savings more consistently: I have put some in, but it's only January. I will check back in a few months on this one.
10. Give more: same as above.
11. Email, call, write letters to family more: I thought I would make Friday my letter writing day. But I have been back-logged with paperwork for year end stuff, and getting ready for taxes, that I haven't done this. I did write a letter last night to our girl, Sarah, we are sponsoring through Amazima.
12. PRAY more: This is a never-ending one. I could always pray more.
13. Laugh more: oh, I feel as though there has been little to laugh about these past weeks, but I am trying!
14. Hug and kiss my kids more: a constant, never-ending process....
15. Date night: well, Saturday my hubby and I did go to Lowe's and talk windows and cabinets without kids. Does that count? And tomorrow night we are going to a bank dinner, where beforehand we will sign our life away and buy some more land, oh and they will feed us. Does that count?

So there has been some progress made. Habits take time to form, and we are only in January. I am hoping to press on and keep plugging away, clinging to the grace of an all merciful God.

On a side note, we went to Lowes, and I just can't figure out why when given two choices, I always pick the most expensive. Really.

I've noticed lots of people picking a word for the year. I've been thinking of this, and I believe that my word for the year 2012 is, RESTORE. Not only are we RESTORING a house this year, but I am also hoping and believing this will be the year for RESTORATION in relationships.  I have some that need some mending, and I know I have friends and family who need some RESTORATION. So that is what I am praying for.

How are you resolutions going?

Thursday, January 5, 2012

New Year's Resolutions

This is the first year in a while that I have actually written down any New Year's Resolutions. I've seen lots of other resolutions and thought I'd throw mine in there too! :)

1. Wake up earlier: I found myself getting into this bad habit of not waking up until my kids did, which made our mornings more hectic. I have been trying this week to get up earlier so I can get myself ready for the day and ready for my kids.

2. Go to bed earlier: this is like a bad cycle. If you go to bed late, then you wake up late, and on it goes! So I am trying to be in bed between nine and half past, and not getting sucked into some meaningless television shows.

3. Plan meals: I had been doing pretty good with this last year, but the last couple months things just kind of fell apart. I want to get back into it because it doesn't take a lot of time, I spend less at the grocery store, and I feel better everyday getting up and knowing what I am making.

4. Go for walks a few times a week: getting out in the sunshine is so good for you! Plus, with having a baby in four more months, it's good exercise. And it actually gives me more energy for my family.

5. Drink more water: midwife's orders! :)

6. Not to raise my voice: yeah, this might come as a surprise to some, but I can be a yeller. And I really dislike this trait about myself, and I am hoping to better control my anger and frustration.

7. Lose the sarcasm: along with the above, sometimes I let sarcasm take control. And then I notice my oldest talking that way to her sisters. Not cool. Have I ever mentioned how humbling having kids around is?

8. Blog more consistently: I have baby books, but if I am honest, I haven't written in them hardly at all. Right now at this moment, I can't even tell you where they are! This blog is one of the most up to date things I do and that's not always very consistent. I want to be more consistent. To have something for my kids to look back on and read.

9. Take more pictures: I saw one blog where the lady wanted to take a picture everyday. I should be taking more pictures of our family.

10. Put money into savings more consistently: very important.

11. Give more: when I wrote this down I was thinking financially, but I should be giving more in all areas. I want to have eyes, mind, and heart open to the needs around me, and be more willing to give. To the point it hurts.

12. Email, call, write letters more to family: when I wrote this I was thinking of grandparents. I hardly keep in touch throughout  the year, and that is not good. They won't be here forever.

13. PRAY more: self-explanatory

14. Laugh more: sometimes I feel like I don't laugh with my kids as much as I should. I end up feeling frustrated instead of just laughing and letting go of the childish mistakes. Life happens. Laughing makes it go a little easier.

15. Hug and Kiss my kids more: if I don't do it now, it won't get easier as they get older. I want to have close relationships with my kids.

16. Date night: I ended this one with a question mark in my journal. I would love to have a regular date night, but with the kind of life we have, my husband's time can be very limited.  So maybe once a month would be good. At least during the winter. During summer....not so much. I just don't want our kids to grow up and move out and he and I not know how to relate to each other without the kids.

It seems like a lot of things, doesn't it? But I have a whole year. And most of these resolutions are things that are ongoing. There is no end to them. But these are the changes I am hoping to make in the coming year.

Do you have any resolutions for the coming year?

Monday, January 2, 2012

Christmas 2011

This year Christmas was extra special because my sister, Ashlea, came and spent two weeks with us. We made lots of good food, cut snowflakes out, smeared glitter all over the place, decorated a gingerbread house, and saw the Nutcracker ballet. Here are a few photos....

We made lots of good food. Here the girls are helping Ash cut out sugar cookies. We made sugar cookies, whoopie pies, peanut butter temptations, doughnuts, cinnamon rolls, brownies, and french bread. We kinda like our carbs around here! 

On Christmas Eve we let the kids open one gift.....

Snowflake pajamas!!!! You can see how excited they were! And then off to bed they went to wait for Christmas morning.....

One of the gifts was lincoln logs. The girls were having hard time keeping this guy up here from destroying their work. He's a rough boy. But he did like the barn daddy built for his tractor! And then we went sledding. The first time ever for the girls, and it had been quite a few years for Nate and Ashlea. I didn't sled. For obvious reasons!!!

The view up the mountain to the snow

Rustler Park


Landon & Larissa

He wasn't too happy!

Ash & Larissa heading up the hill

Here they come!

Fun times!

Dad and the girls on the scout

We had a great end to 2011, and are looking forward to 2012. Thanks for stopping by!