Mark’s Coming Home Daybook

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Outside my window…
The sun is shining. It is so good to see the sun again. I have missed it with all this dreary weather we have been having. I would definitely not do well living in Washington; where it rains so much of the year.  We awoke to snow on the ground- not a ton but enough that Paul and Thomas bundled up to go play and tramp around it in. However, most of the snow has melted now.

I am thinking…
About breaking cycles and making your what you want of your own life. Not letting the boxes society would try to force upon you dictate who you are.

I am thankful…
That as of this evening Mark will be home from his training. It’s been an interesting two weeks with him gone. I am happy and thankful for his coming home; even if he does leave for a longer period of time in just a few short weeks.

In the kitchen…
Two words- gluten free. We are going gluten free to see if it makes a difference for Thomas and his weight gaining issues. We have no test results that lead us to believe it is a gluten issue but well we have no test results that lead us to any conclusions. So, therefore Mark and I feel that we have nothing to lose by trying gluten free. This month is clean out month of gluten foods in the house and February 1st will be go day for being completely gluten free- we have already started to incorporate some gluten free recipes into our diet. I recently made these flourless peanut butter banana chocolate chip muffins; after we got over the tantrum about not wanting to eat them and tried them all the children liked them to a degree. Thomas and Antonio really enjoyed them.

I am wearing…
Yoga pants and a long sleeve tee-shirt while I clean the house. I plan to change into a nicer outfit before Mark arrives this evening. I would like to welcome him home dress nicely and not in comfy house cleaning clothes.

I am creating…
There hasn’t been much creative endeavors here this past week because all the children have been sick.

I am going…
We have been at home most of the week because we’ve been sick. However, this past Monday before sickness invaded the house we drove up to a nearby city several hours away to meet a few friends. Since, I was pregnant with Paul I have been part of an online group of ladies. We started out as an online pregnancy support group but 5 years down the road I consider this group of ladies very good friends. I have been privileged to meet several of them in real life and this past Monday was able to meet another one of the ladies and her children. The children and I all had a wonderful time and I look forward to getting together with her and her children again.

I am wondering…
Whatever I did to be so blessed with the many wonderful people in my life; even when my life gets swept up in the craziness that comes from my extended family I have people I can turn to. I have a wonderful group of ladies that I can turn to. I can moan, whine and gripe. I can ask for advice or just commiseration and they are always there.

I am reading…
There hasn’t been a lot of reading for me this week with everyone being sick and myself feeling under the weather. I have watched lots of mindless tv in the evenings though. Since, I was unable to make the drive to see my dearest friend sister because of sickness I have spent the evenings watching Dawson’s Creek because it reminds me of her.

I am hoping…
That the eyes of certain family members will be open and they will be able to see that certain destructive habits they have is keeping them apart from me and mine- that they will come to realize that I love them dearly; I don’t hate them and that my desire to see them give up these habits isn’t because I don’t love them. It’s because I love them so much that I refuse to enable them anymore.

I am looking forward to…
To Mark’s arrival this evening and seeing the unbridled joy of the boys faces when daddy comes in the door. They don’t know he is coming home. They’ve missed daddy. I’ve missed him.

I am learning
How to work on being a more content mom and not give into feelings of being overwhelmed as often. As a busy mom of three it can be easy to give into feelings of being overwhelmed and over-worked.

Around the house…
Getting the house back in order after everyone being sick. Thankfully, its condition isn’t to bad. My dining room and kitchen are functioning so much better now that I have re-arranged it. I also add this wonderful shelve unit into my dining room. It’s not the most beautiful looking thing but it is very functional and that makes me happy.

I am pondering…
Regrets and the role they play in life. I have always believed in living life with no regrets. I have never seen the point of having regrets. Regretting something doesn’t change it. However, of late I realize you can regret something without regretting it. You can regret that something had to happen but still realize that there was nothing you could do different. That you made the choice that needed to be made.

A favorite quote for today…
“Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.”- Ben Franklin

One of my favorite things…
Watching a brand new walker toddle around. Antonio started walking shortly after Mark left and has been working on improving his walking. I was blessed to catch the event on video so Mark could see it. However, I am still very excited for Mark to see Antonio walking in person. Walking has always been one of my favorite baby milestones. There is just something about a baby- alas I guess I can’t call him a baby anymore because he is 1 now- a toddler working on gaining the confidence to walk. From watching them take those first tentative steps to walking with confidence and then move on to running. It makes my heart leap with joy to be privileged to watch my boys grow up.

A few plans for the upcoming weeks:
We have some fun things planned in the coming weeks before Mark leaves. The first big thing is a visit from our good friends- who happen to be Thomas and Antonio’s Godparents. I am excited for Antonio’s Godfather to finally get the chance to meet him. When they come out we will also be having an actual party to celebrate Antonio’s birthday. It makes me happy to know that we will get the chance to celebrate this important milestone with friends and family.  We also purchased some discounted tickets to take the children up to a nearby local kids science museum to celebrate the older 2 boys birthday’s early; since daddy won’t be home for their actual birthdays.


Antonio’s 1st Birthday

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Antonio turned 1 the other day. Since, daddy is away for work I hadn’t planned on celebrating; since we are going to have a birthday party complete with cake in a couple of weeks when Daddy is back in town and his Godparents are here visiting. However, when Paul figured out I had no plans to celebrate his birthday he was aghast. He quickly informed me that even though we were going to have a party later we had to do something special for his birthday. So, to the store we went. Paul and Thomas picked out all of the stuff for our little party.

Here are the supplies:

Our dinner was composed of dinosaur shaped chicken nuggets, French fries and cucumber slices. For dessert the boys helped me make rainbow candy cookies. Then we add chocolate cookie icing to it so we could put a candle of the cookie. They planned everything down to the star shaped candles we purchased. For decorations they chose a Happy Birthday foil balloon to tape to the back of Antonio’s chair.  They also each had a balloon taped to their chair.

Here are the decorations:

Also, while we were at the thrift store earlier in the day they picked out a jumbo dump truck for him. He has been enjoying pushing it around immensely. Our gift to him; the Fisher Price Cruise and Groove Ballapalooza has been a huge hit with all the boys. Paul and Thomas enjoy playing with it to make Antonio laugh.


Sharpie Clean Up

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I had a love hate relationship with sharpies. I love them…I use them for a huge variety of things. I hate them because somehow; no matter where I put them up my children- mostly Thomas seems to find them and decides to make art with them. The problem with his art is that he has a fondness for marking on walls and other non-paper surfaces. Recently, he found an orange sharpie….from who knows where and took it to our nice wooden coffee table. I was sure it was ruined and would forever more have orange marker all over it. So, I took to google and came across a tip that toothpaste with baking soda would remove it. I figured if that was the case surely plain baking soda would work. While, the plain baking soda didn’t work the toothpast with baking soda did work. (I used Arm&Hammer).

Image my surprise and relief when our wooden coffee table was completely mark free in 5 minutes. It was so easy and didn’t harm the wood finish at all. I figured if it worked so well on the coffee table I would try it on a wall that Thomas had colored all over almost a year and half ago. It took much more elbow grease to remove the marks, which makes sense since they were very old but they did come off as you can see in the before and after photos.

Before:

 

After:


Epiphany Daybook

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FOR TODAY

Outside my window…
It’s gray and chilly but not raining; which makes me happy. Winter has arrived and seems to be here until spring. The hardest part has been that it’s been so rainy that the boys have been unable to go outside, even when bundled up.

I am thinking…
About how I can make the most of this upcoming year and stay busy while Mark is away on deployment.

I am thankful…
So, much that I don’t even know where to start. This past year was a difficult year with my surgery and extended family drama. However, I have healed so well and for the first time in years I spend a majority of my time pain free. I can’t even put my thankfulness for that into words. It is just so awe inspiring to me that it is even possible.

In the kitchen…
It looks like a tornado went through it. I am in the process of re-organizing, re-arranging and purging in there and as the saying goes sometimes it has to get messier before it gets clean.  I am hoping to finish the re-organizing this evening and then diving into the new cookbook I purchased. With Mark deploying I am going to explore freezer cooking as a way to still eat good meals but not have to stress as much about trying to cook dinner during the witching hour.

I am wearing…
Since, we’ve already been to Mass and came home I changed into comfy yoga pants and a aqua blue long sleeve tee-shirt. I figured as I work on finishing up the kitchen I want to be comfortable.

I am creating…
A home management binder is my current work in progress. I purchased a cute binder from walmart and I am currently working on filling out the different sections. I will have the following sections: address book, calendar (monthly and weekly; so 2 sections), domestic church, homeschool, list (to-do list, master cleaning list, etc), menu and project section.

I am going…
Nowhere else today. Mass was our only place to go this afternoon. However, we do have a busy week ahead of us of therapy appointments and doctor appointments. We will be meeting with Thomas’ Endocrinologist for a 6 month follow up on his weight.

I am wondering…
How to answer all of Paul’s question. He is just full of questions. Listening to Father’s homily was interesting today and provoked all sorts of questions from Paul. While, I love that he is intrigued by God and Mass some of the questions were down right difficult to figure out how to answer on a level that an almost 5 year old would understand.

I am reading…
The Girl Who Came Home – A Titanic Novel by Hazel Gaynor. I have just started it and I am only a couple chapters into it but so far it seems like it will be a good read.

I am hoping…
That God is with a wonderful lady I know and her husband in the coming months as they learn more about the special blessing God gave them in the form of a miracle baby.

I am looking forward to…
Mark getting home in 2 weeks from his training and getting to see my best friend in the whole world when she comes to the localish area in a few weeks.

I am learning
The art of freezer cooking and how to better feed my family.

Around the house…
Re-arrangement, re-arrangement. Since, we arrived home from our Christmas trip we have been busy with re-arranging the house and rooms to try and make the space for us more efficient.

I am pondering…
If we should try for new orders to somewhere else for after Mark’s deployment or if we should stay here where we are at.

A favorite quote for today…
“If the Magi had come in search of an earthly King, they would have been disconcerted at finding that they had taken the trouble to come such a long way for nothing. Consequently they would have neither adored nor offered gifts. But since they sought a heavenly King, though they found in Him no signs of royal pre-eminence, yet, content with the testimony of the star alone, they adored: for they saw a man, and they acknowledged a God.” ~St. John Chrysostom
One of my favorite things…
Watching Paul and Thomas share their new beds; we recently purchased a set of bunk beds for the boys. The plan was to set them up as 2 individual beds but we quickly figured out that despite me measuring the room 2 beds didn’t fit. So, we set them up as bunk beds. Paul was supposed to sleep on the top and Thomas on the bottom. Minus the first night we have found both boys asleep in the same bed; normal the top bunk together.

A few plans for The Feast of Epiphany
Today being the Feast of Epiphany I have a few special plans for the children. Normally, our Christmas decorations are still up and we move the 3 Kings to the Nativity set. However, due to Mark’s schedule and upcoming deployment our Christmas decorations came down early this year so there is no Nativity set to move the 3 Kings to. However, for lunch the children are going to have crown shaped sandwiches and receive a new book. I found a great deal on Tomie dePaola’s Bible Stories. The sandwiches were really easy to make with a star shaped sandwich cutter I had picked up for Thomas’ name day; which is coming up at the end of the month. I took the 2 sandwich halves and instead of putting them back together to form the star I set them up to look like crowns. This evening will we also be reading for bedtime Tomie dePaola’s The Story of the Three Wisemen which is in his wonderful Christmas story collection that was gifted to use this year.


Advent and Christmas Day

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Advent and Christmas day have come and passed. I can’t believe we are already on the eve of a new year. Advent this year was hectic to say the least. It sort of snuck up on me and so I didn’t have as many things ready to go as I had hoped to have this year. Advent ended up being very low key because of how busy we were in our everyday lives.

This year for Advent we tried wrapping all of our Christmas books; as a sort of unwrap one every night thing. While, the kids loved unwrapping a book each night I didn’t really care for it. It left a large void of not having access to all the books for Christmas whenever the kids wanted to read Christmas books. I don’t plan on wrapping them again next year. Instead, we will stick with just having a large basket of Christmas books out for Advent. It works for us to keep it that way.

We did add some wonderful Christmas books to our collection. From St. Nicholas’ Feast Day we added:

Room for a Little One by Martin Waddell
. Antonio sat and would listen to this book over and over. He would bring it over just so I would read it. I sort of wish I had bought a boardbook form of it.
Clopper the Christmas Donkey by Emily King. This book was a little boring. It didn’t hold my crews interest and we only read it once.
Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey by Susan Wojciechowski. This book was a big favorite but it did take 2 sittings to read it all the way through to my lively crew of boys. So, it was a bit long for our boys and their age groups.

Their Aunt Teresa and Uncle Eddie gave us the following books:

Santa’s Prayer by Mary Lou Andes. This is an adorable board book and a fantastic addition to our libray. It is perfect reading for a family; who enjoys the Santa tradition but also believes on keeping the focus of Jesus.  I think next year on the first occasion of reading it I will also have a family gift of a an ornament of Santa kneeling over baby Jesus.
The First Noel by Maite Roche. This was a book of beautiful pictures and took the story from the bible and made it into a very child friendly read. We read it as a family for the first time last night and it lead to a wonderful discussion between Paul and I about who was King Herod and why he didn’t like Jesus.
Joy to the World: Tomie’s Christmas Stories by Tomie dePaola. It is a beautiful hard backed book including the following 3 stories The Night of Las Posadas, The Story of the Three Wise Kings, and The Legend of the Poinsettia. It also has several beautiful illustrated carols sprinkled throughout the book. I have been wanting to add some of his books to our collection (before this we checked them out from the library) and was thrilled to be able to adding 3 of his books to our collection.

Thomas and Antonio’s Godparents sent the following book for all the children to enjoy.


Little Star by
Anthony DeStefano. We have his Easter book which is a beautiful written and illustrated so I was excited to add his Christmas book to our collection. It was a hit with one of the cousins; who is Mark’s Goddaughter. So, I will be purchasing a copy as a gift for her for next Christmas.

Our Advent wreath ended up being used very little just because we weren’t home for dinner much or ended up eating a quick dinner while we were at home for a quick pit stop. My goal next year is to use it more often. We spent Christmas day (well actually an entire week) with Mark’s sister and her family; who just moved nearby. They are now only a couple hours away; and it’s amazing to have them so close. We spent a wonderful week of noise, chaos and joy filled moments with them. The boys had a wonderful time getting to spend quality time with their cousins. It was exactly what Christmas celebrations should be like. They attend a fantastic church and we were blessed to attend a wonderful Christmas day Mass. Paul made all of us laugh with the fact that he kept making a blanket for baby Jesus out of straw to keep him warm. Thomas did not want to pose for a family photo; so we didn’t end up getting a complete family photo. It was a perfect first Christmas for Antonio.


End of November Day Book

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Outside my window…
Cold. Winter is definitely here. My back isn’t too fond of the chillier weather. I wake up stiff in the mornings when it’s cold. Nothing that a little stretching and a hot shower doesn’t help but still after years of chronic pain I’d prefer not to wake up with any sort of pain. The doctor said though that my back will always react to the cold forever more because of all the metal in it; which, while it stinks I am just grateful not to be in extreme pain anymore.

I am thinking…
How much I have to be thankful for. I am so extremely blessed to be the wife of a wonderful man and the mother of three adorable (most of the time :D) boys. They are the most important thing on this earth to me. I am also blessed to have amazing friends scattered all across this great nation of ours.

I am thankful…
That after an incredible hard surgery and recovery I was able to enjoy a pain free trip up the National Natural History museum with the boys. They were enthralled with the dinosaur section. I think we went through it 3 or 4 times.
In the kitchen…
I have been busy. We had been having all sorts of yummy foods of late. We enjoyed a wonderful simple thanksgiving dinner with brined turkey, twice baked potatoes, veggie platter, mac-n-cheese, rolls and gravy. We had cheesecake for dessert. Tonight, for Mark’s birthday the boys helped me make a cake for daddy. While, it wasn’t the prettiest cake it sure tasted good.
I am wearing…
Yoga pants, long sleeve tee and fuzzy socks. Today was about comfort while I cleaned house.

I am creating…
I working on an art piece of Belle from Beauty and the Beast for a customer. It’s the very first commissioned piece I have ever done. It’s very exciting.
I am going…
and going and going. The next few weeks are none stop busy with therapy for the boys, physical therapy for me, advent/Christmas activities and then Christmas itself. While, it should be tiring many good memories are going to be made over the next few weeks.

I am wondering…
About making this Advent and Christmas season truly special for my family.
I am hoping…
That this next bout of physical therapy is helpful in dealing with the shoulder pain I have been experience due to the surgery.

I am looking forward to…
To decorating the house with the boys this weekend.

I am learning
That sometimes being a good loving daughter means you will be vilified for being honest and dishing out tough love. That sometimes you are damned if you do and damned if you don’t.

Around the house…
It’s starting to look a lot like Christmas.

I am pondering…
At what point do you not bother trying to mend fences? At what point do you simply say there is nothing you can do because the other person is unwilling to see the truth?

One of my favorite things…
Listening to all the random and crazy things that come out of the boys’ mouths; especially Paul. While, working on his Santa wish list he told me to add a tree house. The next item on his list? “Roots for his tree house so it don’t blow away”

A few plans for the rest of the week:
Date night this evening with Mark and then decorating the house this weekend. Also, hoping to attend a Christmas festival on Sunday.

A peek into my day…


Pumpkins Galore

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With the season of fall upon us we have been doing lots of pumpkin themed activities; everything from visiting a pumpkin patch, carving a pumpkin to painting pumpkins. (Mommy much prefers painting pumpkins to carving pumpkins.)

At the beginning of October when all of the stores started selling pumpkins Paul loudly informed me as we were entering the commissary that he wanted to make a Jack-o-Lantern and we needed to buy a pumpkin. So, with that announcement we set out in the very difficult task of picking out just the perfect pumpkin from the piles of pumpkins. Once, we arrived home he was eager to start carving. Since, he is only 4.5 carving a pumpkin was a mommy and me activity…with more mommy work then Paul work. However, he helped me scoop the innards out as he said, “ewww” and then he drew the face he wanted carved onto the pumpkin. After we carved the pumpkin he proudly sat his Jack-o-Lantern outside on the porch. Sadly, the weather was so crazy that his pumpkin didn’t stay fresh for very long. He molded very quickly; despite my attempts to prevent that with a bleach bath after carving. Any suggests of how to make a pumpkin last longer for next year?

This year instead of going to the normal farm we go to we tried out a new one that was running a special on groupon. We started our farm experience by taking an invigorating walk through a giant corn maze. Thankfully, Daddy was with us because Mommy is pretty sure she wouldn’t have been able to get us out. About half way through mommy was done and ready for the maze to be over. Paul and Thomas lasted till about 2/3rd of the way before they were ready for be done and Antonio enjoyed the whole thing from his comfy perch in the ergo carrier on daddy’s back. The most memorable part of the maze was Paul’s distraught announcement that he needed to go pee as we were trying to navigate our way out of the maze and that he couldn’t hold it. As we found an out of the way spot my only thought was, “thankfully, I have all boys. This would be much more difficult if Paul was a girl!” Once, we finished the maze we took a hay ride out to the pumpkin patch to pick out pumpkins. While, it was a nice farm and we had a wonderful time I think next year we will be returning to the other farm we have gone to in years passed. We missed the petting zoo that the other farm has.

At the pumpkin patch the boys picked out small pie pumpkins. Since, Paul was 18 months old he has painted a pumpkin each fall. It’s a bit of a tradition for our family. Several days after our pumpkin patch visit I set the Paul and Thomas up at the kitchen table (Antonio will join in the fun next year) with tempera paint and paint brushes. This year Paul painted a fireman pumpkin. He put a face on his pumpkin and then after his pumpkin had dried he went and found our fireman hat to put on top of him. Thomas’ pumpkin was much more abstract but was also topped off with a police man hat. These pumpkins were then moved to the front porch to be put on display. Sadly, when Hurricane Sandy came through she washed off all the paint. As Paul put it, “Mommy, the storm caused causalities. Our pumpkins.”


Daybook Sept 16

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Outside my window…
It is overcast and there is a feeling of fall in the area. Fall is my favorite time of the year here in Virginia. The weather is wonderful, the awful humidity of the summer is fading away and the leaves- the leaves might be one of the most beautiful sights in this world. You look at them and can’t help but see God’s hand wielding his paint brush.

 

I am thinking…
How one incorporates the Faith in one’s home. The Church offers such a rich heritage of tradition that it can be a little overwhelming as to where one starts.

 

I am thankful…
For an amazing husband; who works so hard at his job to provide for his family. He goes above and beyond what is required in order to better himself and improve our quality of life.
In the kitchen…
Potatoes….I’m working on making several batches of twice baked potatoes to freeze for the upcoming weeks. I am also brainstorming ideas for quick healthy filling breakfast for Mark toeat in the morning before work. Ones that he can make on his own or grab and go; as I am not very good at getting up with him that early. Any good ideas?
I am wearing…
Today I am sporting a new pair of blue jeans and cotton tee from Old Navy. I really like the comfort and versatility of their cotton tees. I’ve been shopping to replace my wardrobe that no longer fits. I’ve had successful replenishing my wardrobe from the thrift store and clearance racks. I scored this awesome soft and warm cardigan from the Gap for $18.

 

I am creating…
A painting for the kitchen (though I am not sure where in the kitchen it will hang because well frankly wall space in the kitchen is pretty much non-existent!). I’ll share photos of it when its done! I am also working on a wax piece for our master bedroom….if I can decide on a photo of Mark and I to use for it. However, soon I will be turning to Christmas gifts. Though, this year I will be doing a lot less homemade gifts then I had hoped to.
I am going…
It’s a slow week here and I am looking forward to it. We have book study with the mom’s group at church and therapy for Paul twice this week. Other than that the week is pretty empty. I am looking forward to spending a week mostly at home- working on projects that need done and letting the kids enjoy the wonderful cooler weather we have been having by playing outside.

 

I am wondering…
How is the best way to continue my physical therapy at home?  I’ve been discharged but it is important that I continue to work out and strength my core muscles and all the muscles effected by my surgery. However, finding time with 3 little ones isn’t always the easiest. However, it has to be a priority for me.
I am reading…
The Domestic Church: Room by Room by Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle. It is the book for the book study the mom’s group at church is doing. My wonderful sister-in-law bought me a copy as a birthday present. I am only a few chapters in but so far I am finding it a very enlightening and insightful book.

The Children and I have been sharing the tales of Winnie-the-Pooh in the evenings before bed. I found a wonderful collection called A World of Winnie-the-Pooh at the thrift store. I am finding great joy in sharing the original stories and poems with the boys.

 

I am hoping…
That God works his mighty power on the hearts of several people; who are very dear to me but unfortunately have closed themselves to his healing love and grace. They are constantly in my prayers.

 

I am looking forward to…
My birthday dinner tomorrow evening. Now to just figure out where I want to go eat at.
I am learning
How to relax and enjoy a life with less stressors in it. Life should be lived with joy and an abundance of positive emotions not negative ones. For too long I allowed my life and the lives of Mark and the boys to be ruled by the stress induced by others out of a misplaced sense of obligation

 

Around the house…
This week is dedicated to sorting clothes and making sure everyone in the house is prepped for this fall and winter.

 

I am pondering…

Relationships and building healthy ones.
A favorite quote for today…
“Love must come from within- from our union with Christ- an outpouring of our love for God. Loving should be as normal to us as living and breathing, day after day until our deaths” – Blessed Mother Teresa.

 

One of my favorite things…
Curling up with a cup of hot cocoa….I adore gourmet cocoas and I am excited that soon cocoa weather will be upon us!

 

A few plans for the rest of the week:
Celebrating my birthday, mom’s group, therapy for Paul and maybe a date night with Mark this weekend?

 

A peek into my day…


Daybook September 9th

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Outside my window…

It is overcast and cooler outside today than it has been in a long time.

I am thinking…

How we desperately need routines and to reclaim our lives after a summer of chaos while I was healing and recovering from back surgery.

I am thankful…

That while my children do have some health problems they are minor and over all are very healthy children after reading about poor sweet little Easton. You can read his story here  and follow his story here on facebook.
In the kitchen…

I am impatiently, waiting for fall to arrive so I can start cooking all the wonderful foods of the season like pumpkin and soups. I am also trying to get back into the routine of menu planning and cooking most of our meals. This afternoon I made a fantastic knock off Betty Crocker Brownies. They were so simple to make. I used this recipe.

I am wearing…
Nice blue jeans and a long sleeve tunic. I need more fall clothes as the weather starts to cool down to replace the ones that no longer fit since the surgery.

I am creating…

Paul’s 4yr photo book; so I can take advantage of a free photo book coupon I have that is good to the end of the month. I also want to pin the fabric (which is already cut out) and sew a blanket for Antonio. I would love to paint….but before I can drag out my paints the study needs to be revamped and organized.
I am going…
Appointments and more appointments; since, last week we have had an appointment every day minus the weekends and Labor Day. This continues through next week when we have Paul’s first dental appointment. I am really nervous about that appointment and how he will do.

I am wondering…

How do you get back on track after years of doing just the bare minimal because of pain? I am not even sure where to start to get the house back in order and to bring order to our lives.

I am reading…

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins this is the first set of books I have read in a long time that I couldn’t put down. The series was fantastic and engaging. I read all 3 in about 2.5 days thanks to the beauty of being able to instantly download books to my Kindle. The children and I have been enjoying reading from the Disney Small World Library. I lucked out and found a large number of the ones we were missing at the thrift store. The kids love reading about the adventures of Mickey, Goofy, etc around the world. Their current favorite is set in Brazil.

I am hoping…

That as our house is de-cluttered we find harmony as a family and find ourselves getting overwhelmed less. I am also hoping that Mark’s class for his Master’s goes smoothly and that we quickly find a routine where he accomplishes what he needs to and we still get to spend meaningful time together as a family.

I am looking forward to…

Getting over this sinus infection so that I can feel better and enjoying the fact that I am starting to be in almost no to little pain most of the time.

I am learning

I am enjoying being pain free and learning how to live again without the pain. I have been in pain for so long that I have forgotten what it is like to not live in pain anymore. I am looking forward as I get cleared for more and more activity to doing the things I haven’t done over the last few years because of pain. The idea of being able to run with my boys and play is enticing.

Around the house…

I am eager to break of the pumpkin scented candles and fill the house with the scent of pumpkin. I am eager for it to cool off enough that it is easy to keep the house a comfortable temperature.

I am pondering…

How I am supposed to fit in yoga and walking on the treadmill to help with my back recovery. I am also pondering how to help Mark sleep more restful in the evenings. It might help if Antonio, the baby sleeping in our bed but unfortunately I still can’t get him in and out of his bed so sleep in our bed he must.
A favorite quote for today…

Most of life is routine – dull and grubby, but routine is the momentum that keeps a man going. If you wait for inspiration you’ll be standing on the corner after the parade is a mile down the street. -Ben Nicholas

Saw this on pinterest and I found it a good reminder to keep in mind as I work to put our life back into order.
One of my favorite things…

Watching Paul and Thomas interact with Antonio never ceases to amaze me. They are fantastic big brothers and try so hard to make sure Antonio is happy and well taken care of.


A few plans for the rest of the week:

Therapy for Paul and an orthodontist appointment for myself. This weekend I am hoping we will get the chance to take the children to either the aquarium or the transportation museum.

A peek into my day...

 


Preschool Goodies

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My mother-in-law is a veteran homeschooler. My sister-in-law is a current homeschool with several years under her belt. They are both generous and have handed down many materials they are no longer using. Several weeks ago when I sat down to take stock of what materials I had to use for preschool I was surprised to realize just how much I already had at hand to use. I had no need to purchase anything other than consumable products like paper, pencils, et cetera.  Here are some of the fun things we have at our disposable this year.

Bears, bears and more bears! We are lucky to have a large set of bear counters. Our set has four colors and 3 different sizes. There are so many things we can use these for. They are great for counting, pattern and color recognition and understanding sizing. These bears are so multi functioning.

Pattern blocks and Cards. Paul really loves to use the blocks to build small towns. He loves that they are “unusual” shapes. As we start our adventure in schooling this fall we will start using the blocks along with the pattern cards. I believe using the cards will be a good activity to help Paul learn to listen to directions, help his focus, slow down and help with his fine motor skills.

Lacing Beads and Lacing Cards. These are a favorite of Thomas, my 2 year old. Paul isn’t as interested in them mostly because he gets frustrated with the cards.

Wedgits. These have to be one of the coolest new things we have acquired for our home education. All summer the boys have been building spaceships and towers. We will be purchasing the Parent-Teacher Activity Guide; so that we can use our wedgits to their fullest potential.