Friday, December 31, 2010

This Mom's Top 10

With a new year just hours away (and the family quietly watching a movie!) I have a moment to reflect on all the best parts of 2010 for our family.

10. Getting rid of disposables. (napkins, paper towels, diapers, wipes, sandwich bags)
9. Researching schooling options and making educated choices to suit all the kids (#s 1-3).

8. Watching Kid #1 gain confidence in himself as he explores team sports.

7. Watching kid #2 blossom.  She works so hard!

6. Homeschooling kid #3 (most days).
5. Hubby's pride in providing a deer for the freezer.
4. Getting better at this blogging thing.  (A goal to improve in 2011!)
3. Family movie night, family game night, Little House on the Prairie night.
2. Experiencing pregnancy (perhaps for the last time).

1. The arrival of kid #4.

Here's to a wonderful 2011!  Happy New Year!!!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

From us to you!!!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Kid #3's Christmas Eve Breakfast

Every year for the past couple kid #3 and I have created the "Monkey Bread" breakfast that I adapted from a Pillsbury recipe I found.  It works great with  little helpers.

We call it :

Kid #3's Monkey Bread Breakfast

2 packages of Pillsbury refrigerator MINI Cinnamon rolls
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 bundt pan greased

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Separate the mini rolls and roll each one in the sugar then put in the pan.  Fill the entire pan all the way around with the 2 packages of rolls.
Bake in oven for 20-25 or until golden brown.  Place plate over the top of the pan and flip.
Frost warm bread with the packaged frosting and serve.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Motivated Moms 2011 Planner now available

Last July, I purchased the Motivated Moms planner for half the year at a discount.  While I didn't get into the routine of using it every week, I love the idea of having a plan for each week.  For $8 you can print off a to do list for all of 2011.  As luck would have it, there is now an app for that!  For $9.99 you can download and app to your iPhone or ipod touch.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Mailing Lists

In another effort to curb my household spending I have removed myself from most of the email mailing lists I was on.  It was a last ditch effort, especially as the holiday sales started (in October).  I would see a "great deal" and feel compelled to visit the site.  Now the only way I am reminded to check the sites out is to actually need something.  So Good-Bye, William Sonoma, Pottery Barn, L.L. Bean, Lands End and Hanna Andersson.  If I need something, I'll let you know!

Friday, December 17, 2010

What Is A Mom To Do

It is that time of year, the days are short and the weather is cold.  If your house is like mine there are children looking for things to do.  Oh sure, Lego sets and play kitchens might buy you a little time, but I have compiled a short list of things you can try the next time your kids shout, "I'm bored".  These items will be long on fun and short on money.

1. Take a hike -  Bundle up and get outside for a walk.  Tell your child you are going to look for all the things that are different in your neighborhood or the park this time of year.  Pack a snack and some hot cocoa in a thermos.  We love this book: I Love Dirt!: 52 Activities to Help You and Your Kids Discover the Wonders of Nature

2. Go sledding - Much like #1, this is a ton of fun and great exercise.  After all the fresh air maybe they will nap.

3. Go to the library - Most local libraries are full of activities.  Catch a drop-in activity or browse the shelves yourself.  The bonus, you can leave there with a whole bag of things to do when you get home.

4. Cook something - Go through your cookbooks with your kids and pick something.  It is a great way to get them to try something new and have fun too.  We like this cookbook: FamilyFun: Cooking with Kids.

5. Family game night (or day) - Get out those checkers, Monopoly or a deck of cards.  Turn off the T.V. and see who sinks the Battleship.

6. Have a picnic inside - Kids love to pretend.  Pretend winter is over and you are having a special picnic lunch.  Spread a blanket on the floor and serve lunch there.

In all the years I have lived in Michigan I have come to realize that winter comes every year whether I am ready or not.  With these activities I can make those crazy days with bored kids a bit easier.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

This Mom Recommends...

No Whine with Dinner I LOVE the Meal Makeover Moms.  I "like" them on Facebook, subscribe to their podcasts, and now I have their cookbook.  This is their second book called No Whine with Dinner.  It has 150 recipes that your family will actually eat!  It also includes 50 tips for getting kids to try foods.  I am proud to say that they selected a tip I suggested (Tip #16 in the book!).  My kids were so excited to see their names in the book although they mentioned that we needed to call The Moms and add kid #4 to the list! 

For fun, I will be trying and reviewing the recipes in this book in January.  The kids and I are ready to get started.  There are several gluten free options.  For the ones that aren't I will make substitiutions.   I will post our adventures throughout the month.  I am going to let each child pick 2 recipes and I will choose 4.  That will be 10 recipes total.  Stay tuned to see what we think!!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Wrapping up the week(s)

I added the (s) because it has been a couple of weeks since my last wrap up. 

Mom: In addition to wiping everything off with disinfecting wipes, I have been working on getting the clutter contained and organizing the house.  Kid #4's bed arrived along with a dresser and that has pretty much filled the room and is forcing us to stay organized.  There isn't room for much else.  The big girls have drawers under their bed and the next time I am at Target I will get a under the bed storage container for the crib. 

I have been looking through some cookbooks.  I am in a bit of a dinner rut.  I am hoping to get energized with meal planning this week.  Even though it is easier in the long run, I haven't had the time to do the prep up front. Recipe ideas would be appreciated. 

We are getting the house ready for Christmas.  Each child has their own Advent calendar as well as our wreath at dinner.  Decorating is happening in earnest this weekend.

I am reading the A Little House Christmas Treasury: Festive Holiday Stories to the kids at bedtime. 

Kid #1: He has been busy with third grade homework.  He receives a packet every Friday that is due the following Thursday.  He has been doing a good job planning his time.  Basketball season started today.  In addition to religious education, Cub Scouts, and piano lessons, he is one busy kid.  We are also doing some projects at home (but not as many as I had hoped!).  He recently found books by Mike Lupica.  They are sports themed.  Million-Dollar Throw is the one he picked up at the book fair.  They are right up his alley.

Kid #2: A wheelchair she can drive herself has been ordered!  I will devote a whole post to that as soon as it arrives.  It is our hope it gives her the independence she desires.  She has also been really talking up a storm.  She seems so much more engaged in what is going on around her.  She is doing something new almost every day.  We had an evaluation at Therapeutic Riding last week.  She has done hippotherapy (horseback riding) before.  We are eager to do it again.  She loves it.  We hope to start this spring.  As far as schooling, we are doing lots of folder games, tray work and art projects.  She is a busy kid too.  She is a Daisy scout, attends religious education and music therapy. 

Kid #3: We have been struggling with homeschooling lately.  She hasn't been feeling well and neither have I.  In addition, I have been so busy getting "work" done and she has been coming along.  Now that the learning room is taking shape we will be planning to get back on the plan next week.  We are doing letter H and writing numbers.  This is not to say she has not been doing anything.  She is the resident queen of art projects, is always writing up a storm (spelling the names of our family members and pets), has been in the dress up box every day and does the afternoon school with her sister.  She is only 4 years old!!

Kid #4:  She didn't get the horrible cough that made its way through our house.  Thank God!  She is now sleeping with her sisters and sometimes 5 or 6 hours a night!   A couple nights ago she rolled over.  The other kids were so excited!  She will be 4 months old this week.  I can't believe she has been here that long.

I am linking up with Jen's blog.  Click here to see what others are doing.

Budget Update

More ebay items: $105.00
Resale Shop: $60.00
Couponing: $33.75

Total this Update: $198.75
Year to Date: $5476.68

Friday, December 3, 2010

This Moment

No words just a picture of a moment I want to remember.  For more moments visit SouleMama.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Little House on the Prairie Night

At our house, Friday night is Little House on the Prairie night.  I purchased Little House on the Prairie Season One about 2 months ago.  We all look forward to Friday nights so we can share a special snack (buttered popcorn, movie snacks, graham crackers and Nutella) and watch one episode.  It is the night I look forward to all week.  My kids ask throughout the week if it is "Little House" night.  This show has so many lessons, history and wholesome entertainment.  We put Season Two on our Christmas list.  I hope we get it!!!