Friday, May 27, 2016

The Un-Official Official Start.


This weekend is the unofficial official start of summer.
It's popsicles and iced coffee and trips to the beach and farmer's markets....from here on out.

We have an exciting new adventure happening this season {...I will tell you all about it next week!}

If you're planning on visiting Chicago in the next 10 days...bring your umbrella. Rain, rain, rain...rain.
If you're a pigeon...watch out for Frankie.
If you're a weed..stay out of my garden!

If you're looking for a new song.... here's one.

If you're looking for a good workout... Be careful not to hurt yourself!!!
{fast forward to 40:55 ....that's where it gets really strenuous}



Have a wonderful Memorial Day Weekend.
XxOo

Monday, May 23, 2016

Monday.

You have no idea the amount of dirt that was on this child when we came in tonight.
Gardening is going to be a little different this summer....
....let's just say I had to replant the basil and a couple of tomato plants.


I bought a few of my tomato plants from a lady who grew all sorts of varieties I have never heard of.
She had them in little plastic cups with handwritten tags. I was really excited at my find.

Of course, I ended up mixing up the plants and have no idea which is which now.
A surprise it will be when the tomatoes are ready. Haha.


Welcome back beautiful, wonderful, fabulous salad season.


There is a cornfield at the edge of this field...so we will call this picture..Field of Dreams.

Sam's birthday was yesterday. He turned 14.
All he wanted to do was play baseball. So that's what we did.
Cousins.Friends.Uncles....and of course his dad and brothers.




He obviously takes after his father.

Today was gorgeous.sunny.warm.perfect.
Tomorrow the rain comes for the next few days into...forever.
There is rain in our forecast forever! Boohoo.

Hope your week is off to a great start.
Happy Monday.
XxOo

Friday, May 20, 2016

Happy Friday and a book I like and FREE stuff for you...I promise you'll love it.


Today's culture promotes a very busy lifestyle. I am not a fan.


I've been reading so many articles lately about the importance of
free time and "boredom" in a child's life. I whole heartedly agree.

Children need empty space in their days to create and learn on their own.
I saw this book and plan on finding it at the library. If it's worthy, it may even end up on my shelf.


Speaking of simplicity....I'm currently reading Simple Matters by Erin Boyle.
I just started it...I haven't really gotten too far and I already want to clean and purge the house!
{You can find her blog here }




Speaking of cleaning house....I started using this AMAZING!!!!! company  over the winter.
My mom told me about a special they were running, so I thought, why not?
I figured I'd order once and be done with it.

Well, after my first order I was completely hooked!
They have everything I would normally buy at the store plus much, much more.

Grove Collaborative is an all natural, online store.
They carry everything from Mrs. Meyer's to Method and their own personal line that I love!
Their hand sanitizer smells and works wonderful.
It doesn't dry your hands out like all of the others on the market.

They have household products, beauty products and all sorts of things for baby.

If you place an order with Grove Collaborative you get $10.00 off your first purchase!
No strings attached! But you will get attached...I promise.
FREE products! {may I suggest the lip balm?}

This is not a gimmicky company...and you don't have to commit in order to purchase.
It can be a one time thing just to try them out.

They are very personal to work with....You'll even get a handwritten Thank You on your receipt. ;)

Anyway, thought I'd share.

The weather here is supposed to be gawwwwgeous this weekend!
We have a birthday in our house...we're going to play baseball Sunday afternoon with the whole family..aunts, uncles, grandparents, cousins...etc. to celebrate.
It's going to be fun.

HaPpY Friday.
XxOo

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Concerning motherhood with older children while insulting new moms, sticking up for the seasoned ones and trying to stop this silly cliche talk. #sorrynotsorry


I can get everything done because I have my older kids to help out.
 ...said someone about my life.

I'm wide eyed and laughing and choking on my
third- time- re-heated-because- it's- taken- me- THAT- long- to-drink cup of coffee.

Because I'm a slow drinker? Ummm...No.
Because I have had to put it down for fifty million reasons
concerning motherhood and running a household?
Yes.

While yes, the statement is somewhat true, I also find it annoyingly funny.
1. I do get more done because I have older kids to help.
2. I have much more to do and can't get it all done because I have older kids.

Thinking back on one baby....that was the easiest part so far!
{and by baby, I am talking mainly the toddler age...}

Now I didn't say the best part....I said the easy part.
Motherhood gets better and better and richer and richer....
...but also harder and harder the more kids you have and the older they get.

I love where we are at now. I love having teenagers. They are a ton of fun.
I love having kids in the middle. and we all love having a toddler in the house.
But every stage has it's easy and hard parts.

I may no longer wash dishes every night...
...but I'm helping make life decisions with my oldest.
...and just wait until your child pulls out of the driveway for the first time alone.
Talk about praying!

Allow me to loosely quote my dear, wise mother when someone
said to her she had it made because she had older kids to help her out....

"I didn't give birth to them at an older age.
I had to raise them first. Who do you think taught them all they know?"

Now, I get it, because it makes sense looking in from the outside.
Why wouldn't having older kids make life more simple?
I get it because I used to think the exact same way when I had one child, two children..even five!

I used to think how much easier it was going to be when the kids got older.
How my house would always be clean. How everything would flow smoother.

Let me tell you something..... I was Wrong. Wrong. Wrongo!!!


While it is true..I DO have help...and I'll be the first to tell you, my kids are great about helping out!
...I have more on my plate now than I ever dreamed I would have.

It's not bad, it's just different.

Whatever workload I had...it's 10 times greater than when I had small children.
Without help from them, I'd drown.

It's also taken A LOT of work for Jeff and I to get where we are at.

Our kids were not born cleaning dishes and toilets and mowing lawns.
They did not do their own laundry at ages 10,8,6,4 and 2!
They did not cook food. They did not homeschool themselves.
They did not handle their own baths and bedtime routines.

That was all on us. Jeff and I. and quite honestly...mostly me because Jeff worked all day.

Also...my kids are not slaves.
They have little lives too.

While they do have chores each day, in no way shape or form do they
come close to taking my place! Each and everyday I have much to do.





Now, if I may, I'm going to be blunt and I may even hurt feelings.
This is where the #sorrynotsorry comes in to play.

So #sorrynotsorry, but somethings need to be said to the up and coming moms of the world.
Don't take it too personal.

*Before I go any further...I'm mostly talking to stay at home moms here.
If you work outside of the home....well, that's a whole other story.
I don't know how you fit it all in?! You can't! It's impossible.
So this is not for you.

Oh! and moms of multiples...again, totally different story!

Continuing on...
This  modern mom attitude has got to stop. Your life is not just about you anymore.
It holds you back as a woman, and as a mother.

For starters, stop saying you can't fit a shower into your day! It's ridiculous.
There is no reason you can't take a shower now that you're a mom.
Do you own a bouncy seat? An excersaucer? Does your baby take naps?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions...then you can manage a shower.

There is no reason you should have laundry piled up on a consistent basis because of a baby.
There is no reason your house should be a constant mess because of one child.
{if you were messy before baby...well, then that last one doesn't count}

Have we lost the fine art of multitasking?
I think not ye users of social media and Netflix watchers.
Can you hold your Starbucks cup AND text at the same time?

Now before you start getting yourself all worked up and
tell me ten thousand reasons why I'm being insensitive and just flat out mean.....

.....Relax. I know there will be days that you can't get to everything.
I'm talking vague here. There have been times when my shower is taken at 4:00 pm.
It happens, but it should not be your norm.

...I've been in your shoes! I'm not being judgmental. Okay..maybe I am. Haha.
Because I've walked your road and I've learned a thing or two.

When you're feeling overwhelmed, you just have to dive in and take control.

You just have to do it.
Don't whine about it.
Don't complain.
Don't throw your hands up and wait for someone to come help....
JUST DO IT!

Sincerely, Nike.

Guess What?
You are capable!
God created women with brilliant, multitasking brains and the capabilities to handle the mom life.
Use your God given gift! Stop making excuses about why you can't get things done.

If you are a mom, you were made to be one.
It's your role now. God has equipped you with mom super powers.
You need to tap into them.

Who do you think Proverbs 31:10-31 was written for?
It was written for you. Me. All women. Mom or not. It's something to strive for.
We can't be all of those things all of the time, that is not what it is meant to be...
..but you can try to be the best YOU can be!

Yes, motherhood can be hard at times and exhausting, but don't dwell upon that.
 Hard shouldn't be your everyday.

If hard and exhausting is your life,
then you're missing the beauty of motherhood.

Don't let  motherhood stop you from having a life. Instead, include your children into your life.

We have friends that have been traveling the world with their daughter since she's been born!
They didn't let parenthood hold them back.
Their daughter has seen so much of this world because they made a choice to involve her.
That's what being a mom is all about.

Motherhood should change you for the better, not make you a stressed out lunatic.




Enjoy what you have in front of you right now.
No matter where you are at....find the good. Find the positive and make the most of it.

Life is short. Don't waste it wallowing in how great life could be....make your life great!
Only you posses that power.

Choose Happy. Choose Joy.
XxOo

P.S. I can totally text with my Starbucks cup in hand...and sometimes even with a baby on the hip. ;)

Friday, May 13, 2016

You! ...Have a good weekend and use your usual hairspray.

This week flew by...I can't believe it's Friday already.

Soooo......
Let's say you use a great hairspray .....and then one day you go to the grocery store
and there is an off brand that looks almost exactly the same as the
trusty hairspray you've been using for years...DON'T buy it. Repeat. Don't buy it.

Two words : Spray Glue.
Seriously though, I would have LOVED this stuff during the "bang" years of the late 80's.
Maybe I'll stash the bottle away and save it for the year "bangs" come back.
You know they're coming....it's just a matter of time.

It's funny...I was telling my sister this story and she did the same thing as me...
....bought the exact same off brand. Ahhh.....family. Thinks so much alike.


Speaking of time.. {from a few sentences back..remember?}
.....it's that time of year where everyone is outside in their gardens....
{or at the beach or the pool or at the farmer's markets.....everyone should go to farmers markets!;)}

I went to my first market yesterday down in Chicago...not to work, just to visit.
Don't you just want to be outside all of the time?
So much to do out there in God's beautiful creation.

This weekend is going to be cold..a chance for frost on Saturday night! Yikes for my flowers.
...but it will be sunny! Sunny is good.







I know a lot of you have seen this.
I hadn't until a couple of weeks ago. Oh my goodness. So funny.

Have a good weekend.
XxOo

Monday, May 9, 2016

Monday


He gives real kisses now. The kind where he puckers up his lips and makes smacking noises.
I Love it.

I had a weekend I didn't deserve.
Between Jeff and my kids I have a clean house, clean porch and
a new pot of baby greens and baby flowers....I can't wait until the plants are full and overflowing.

I like a good flower pot. One I can keep for the rest of my life.
Seven springs ago I bought a red one while I was taking a flower arranging/planting class.
I invested in something nice that I planned to pass down to my grandchildren's grandchildren..
...but someone broke it...*ahem*..and so now the great, great grandkiddies
will inherit the one pictured below instead. Which I actually like better anyway.






Son #3...he mows lawns for a living and used a portion of his earnings to buy ME a bouquet of flowers on Mother's Day.  The colors are so rich and pretty and summery.

I love the sweetness of his gift giving...but I hate seeing my kids work hard and then spend their money on me. It makes me proud that they are unselfish with what they have....but still, I feel bad.
Do you know what I'm talking about moms?




...and there they are. All of my kids as we were walking in the door from church.
I let them know I will be snapping shots every Sunday and it's mandatory.
I know when they grow up and move out I will want pictures of my kids all together...
...so yeah, it's mandatory.

I look at my life and wow. I can't believe I am a blessed mom of six kids.
All of this because I said yes to an ice skating date with a super cute boy in my high school.

Hope your week is off to a great start.
XxOo

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

We do school at home....


Homeschooling #6
A Really Fun Book.

Recently we started a new book for school. We absolutely love it.
{well..most of us absolutely love it....
..I have a male child who is not as excited as the girls, but he has no choice, so...}

Other moms in my homeschool group have been using and enjoying this book.
I had been wanting to try it out, finally, a couple of weeks ago, I did!
I'm really happy with it.

It's called Story Starters {Helping Children Write Like They've Never Written Before}
-by Karen Andreola

The book is filled with a bunch of story beginnings.
There is a picture that goes along with each story starter.

I read aloud the beginning of the story and then the kids write their own endings.
After they are finished writing, we all come together and they read their stories out loud.

It has been so much fun to see how each story ending varies with each child.

I have been a fan of Karen Andreola ever since I started homeschooling.
The Charlotte Mason Companion has been my go to book throughout the years.
It's one of my favorite books ever!

You can find all of Karen Andreola's books HERE.

XxOo