Thursday, December 30, 2010

In With the New!

The New Year is fast approaching and it's time to make those resolutions. You can also be the type of person who likes everything about how things are going and ease into the New Year without wanting to change a thing. I am always the resolution type of person.

Homeschooling-I will try to be more organized. Take more field trips! Have my first grader reading well.

God-I really wanted to get the kids and I to nightly Mass on Friday. This is a tad difficult, so we have all been trying to go as a family at 8am Mass with my husband. (We usually divide and conquer) I think it is important for a family to go to Mass together, but I also notice it is very hard for me to focus when I have all the children with me. My resolution is to still try to get us all to Mass at the same time, but I may include a couple Friday nights where I can go alone. :)
Trust God in all things!

Husband-I would love to spend more time with my husband, just the two of us. It can be hard with five kids. I would like to do at least a once a month date night for him and I. Also I will try to make sure he has clean socks every morning. Who am I kidding, this will never happen because he doesn't put his socks in the right spots to be washed. Oh yeah, and I will try not to vocalize his shortcomings. ;)

Money- I MUST pay my library fines. (That one is so embarrassing) Set up a Christmas club account. I don't want to deal with a wiped out bank account after Christmas again! Work on our debt. Take at least one vacation. The vacation doesn't have to be big, but a hotel must be included.

Dog-Get my crazy puppy in a training class!

Me-Take vitamins, I have already started this one. Workout, my friend and I are signing up for a weight loss challenge this new year. It is for 5 weeks and the team that losses the most weight wins a year membership. I really want to win! If we don't I will still be doing something for my health, getting some alone time, and spending some time with my best friend. It's a win/win situation! (I do really want to win the membership though)
Find the time to do more crafts. I don't know where I will fit this in, but I'm going to try.
Try to be the best person I can be everyday.

I think that's it. I'm looking forward to the new year. I'm looking forward to the changes and to the things that stay the same.

I hope the New Year brings you much love and joy!
Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

God Bless This Mess!

Christmas was fast and fun! The presents, gifts, food, family and friends, we had it all!

Now it's time for the clean up. I can hardly walk anywhere in my house and no one but me seems to mind!

It's still Christmas and things don't really have to be in order until January 6th right?

I will try to remember how Mary's Christmas was. Mary's Christmas was in a dusty barn filled with animals, dirt, and straw. I'm sure she didn't keep saying, "Why didn't you get me a cleaning service for Christmas!"

My family and I are on vacation and I'm going to make a path in all the toys, and enjoy this time with my family.

I hope your Christmas was wonderful. If your house is like mine, repeat these words often, "God bless this mess!"

Friday, December 24, 2010

29 Diapers 29 Days of Christmas Give Away! It's the Big One!

Check out the BIG give away at 29 Diapers!

What a ride! It’s Christmas Eve, and that means we have come to the grand prize giveaway of the 29 Diapers’ 29 Days of Christmas giveaway event. One of you lucky ducks will be opening a very special email tomorrow, informing you that you have won the grand prize Christmas present from 29 Diapers to put under your tree: an autographed copy of my book Ecofrugal Baby: How To Save 70% Off Baby’s First Year, a 3-pack of Happy Heinys pocket diapers, a pack of Bummas cloth wipes, an Itzy Ritzy wet bag, Zoe Organics diaper balm, a gallon of Allen’s Naturally detergent from The Little Seedling boutique, a Weleda baby toiletries starter kit, Episencial wash, soothing cream, and face balm to pamper both mom and baby, AND 2 Thirsties Duo Wrap diaper covers with 4 Duo Hemp Prefolds–that’s a $285 value!

Visit 29 Diapers for your chance to win!!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Homemade Christmas Gifts and Decorations:Gumdrop Pops

It's Craft time!

I was flipping through a Martha Stewart Magazine and I saw this craft, Gumdrop Pops. Thank you Martha for making cute easy crafts for the not so crafty.

I thought this would be perfect for the kids to make and bring as gifts to all the houses we will be visiting for Christmas. I made one for myself too. :)

Friday, December 17, 2010

7 Quick Takes Friday:The Phases of Christmas

I go through phases during Christmas time, here they are...

1. Right after Halloween I start to get the excited feeling that Advent will be here soon, and Christmas is right around the corner. Yay!

2. After Thanksgiving it is time to decorate! I buzz around the house putting up doo dads and making the house look festive. I am in such a good mood I don't think twice about how I should have really washed the walls before I started all this.

3. The kids give me their Christmas lists. I stare at them wondering how in the world am I going to get this stuff. Money doesn't grow on trees! Their response is, Santa will bring it! I then think, why did I ever let them believe in Santa! Mom is getting stressed! So I make lots of cookies.

4. I start my shopping, wrapping, and cleaning. The creeping feeling that I wish Christmas was over is starting to come about. Then I am saved, because Sunday is Church, and Sundays we light our Advent wreath and remember just what we a celebrating.

5. The parties start. I attempt to keep 5 kids clean, nicely dressed, and under control. It never works out that way.

6. Parties, food, presents and more parties. Lots of fun, and I really don't mind all the hustle and bustle. I feel deep love for all my family and friends. It is a time of Joy!

7. The parties are over, the food is wrapped in tin foil in the fridge. The kids screamed in delight at all their gifts, even though they received less than half of what they asked for. I can still hear them saying, "This is the best Christmas ever!" just like they do every year.
I sit all alone by the lighted Christmas tree and thank God. I thank Him for His Son.
I sit back and close my eyes and think, I can't wait to do it all again next year.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Christmas Around the World

We are done with school for Christmas break! The kids finished their Christmas Around the World project and they really enjoyed it.

If you search Christmas around the world on the Internet you will find many projects and unit studies. I liked at lot of them and couldn't decide which one to do, so I made up my own.

The kids picked a country they wanted to learn about, Miss picked Ireland and Lil D picked Poland. Each day they were to look up a Christmas tradition, prayer, food, custom, etc... that their specific country did.

They wrote the information in their notebook, then made an ornament about the information and glued the ornament to the Christmas tree they made.

The kids wrote a report on everything they found out about how their country celebrates Christmas.

Miss made her first cake, an Irish Christmas Cake.

Decorating it was her favorite part.

I found this project to be a lot of fun. I think the kids enjoyed teaching me about all the the things they found out. In Ireland they set a red candle in the window to light the way for Mary and Joseph, to let them know that there is room for them in the house. This tradition is also for letting the Priests know that the house is safe to have Mass when having Mass wasn't allowed.

In Poland, on Christmas Eve, the polish people have a 12 course dinner to represent the Twelve Apostles, and they always leave an empty seat at their table for the Holy Spirit. These are a couple of traditions we learned.

My husband was fond of what the Irish children leave out for Santa In Ireland instead of milk and cookies, Santa gets Guinness and cookies. (minced pie too, but my husband is a vegetarian) We may have to adopt that tradition. :)

May peace and plenty be the first to lift the latch on your door, and happiness be guided to your home by the candle of Christmas!

Wesolych Swiat Bozego Narodzenia!

Friday, December 10, 2010

7 Quick Takes Friday

Yay it's Friday! I thought I would join in on The 7 quick Takes Friday that is hosted by Jennifer at Conversion Diary.

1. Number one thing that is on my mind, but I'm not doing is Christmas shopping. I'm dreading all the plastic, but I love to see my kids happy. My Christmas shopping starts next week.

2. My husband has become a vegetarian...again. It's hard to find different recipes to make when there is only one veg head in the family. I was thinking that if I could make better vegetarian food I might become a vegetarian too, except at BBQs.

3. Speaking of veg heads my husband and I watched a good show last night called "The Veg Edge" on the Cooking Channel. I loved the show, and I found that I would really like to own my own food cart in Portland and sell vegetarian bowls of goodness. It looks like a lot of fun.

4. Homeschool is going good beside the fact that I want to change things up like I always do. I started a new reading program for Bug and I love it. We are trying to get all our tests in before Christmas break, and we are doing a Christmas Around the World project. The kids are still alive and seem to be learning, so I'm happy.

5. I am now a full force cloth diaper mama. I love it! I wish I would have done this with my first child instead of my last! Hmmmm homeschool, vegetarian, cloth diapers, sounds like I'm a granola kind of girl, but I'm not. (There is nothing wrong with granola mamas!) To tell you the truth I don't know what label I would give myself. I see what I like and do it I guess.

6.I now work at a deli part time. I work with my parents. It can be tiring but I love the hour of alone time I get in the morning and then the rest of the day having fun with my mom and dad. It's not a vegetarian cart in Portland, but it's fun. :)

7. Advent is going by so fast. This weekend will be my last relaxing one before Christmas. I plan to enjoy it!

To read more 7 Quick Takes head on over to Conversion Diary.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Ghosts of Christmas Past

I think one of the most special things about Christmas are the memories that are made. I don't know about you, but whenever Christmas rolls around I take out the Christmas photo albums and look at the pictures. (Lately it's more like I sit on the computer and look at the pictures) I smile at how big the kids have gotten, the projects we did, and family all smiling for the camera. I shed some tears for the people who are no longer sharing in on our Earthly Christmas Joy. Memories that we made, what a wonderful gift.

I was looking back and reading some of the posts I wrote on this blog around Christmas time a few years back. They bring back great memories for me. I thought I would share some of my Christmas posts from the past.

Update: We have now switched to a real tree, my children and father are now happy. Here we are this year.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Tis The Season to Be Overwhelmed!

I LOVE Christmas! I love everything about it, the traditions, the smells, the lights, the prayers, family, I could go on and on. But every year I become so overwhelmed with all that needs to be done that I sometimes lose the joy Christmas is supposed to bring.

I do the same Christmas every year. I do all the shopping, the cooking, (if any) and the schedule. I make sure all 5 kids and I look presentable for at least a couple hours on Christmas Eve and Christmas day. I have thought many times I should give some Christmas jobs to my husband, but the type of person that I am will not let me do that. I need Christmas to be done the same every year, the way I do it. So I can't blame my husband. (darn it!)

This weekend coming up is the last weekend of peace until I become a Christmas mad women. I was dreading it. I have been filled with anxiety about how perfect everything has to be. A friend posted a blog about the exact things I was feeling. The blog is called Just Another Day of Catholic Pondering and the post so perfectly titled, Ready for it to be over? Six tips to lower the expectations for Christmas.

A great read if you are like me and feel you need to make Christmas perfect to the point of exhaustion!

I will still shop and do all the things I do for Christmas, but I will make a point to check the joy in my heart every once in a while. If it seems low, I'm going to stop the madness and snuggle up with one of my children, help my 6 year old read the story of the birth of Christ, crank up the song "Go Tell it on the Mountain" and sing at the top of my lungs. I'm going to find that joy again, because for me, that's Christmas.

And I think I will give my husband a job, he can do all the wrapping, as long as he uses the right paper. ;)

The friend I mentioned above has her own blog, From the Field of Blue Children. Cathy has written a post called, 'tis a gift it is a beautiful description of what the Joy of Christmas means.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas that is bursting with joy!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

29 Diapers 29 Days of Christmas Give Away!

I have been cloth diapering for about a month now and I love it!

I am a bit obsessed with all the cloth diapers that are available and if it were up to me I would have all of them!

I was very excited to see that the blog 29 Diapers is having a 29 days of Christmas give away. 29 days with a different item to win each day!! Today they are giving away the cutest Nifty Nappy Peachy Keen Pocket Diaper

Check out the 29 Diapers 29 Days of Christmas Give Away and Good Luck!!