Friday, November 15, 2019

Weekly Menu

Winter arrived this week hard and heavy.  A snow storm; record breaking cold temps; my heat running more then it normally does HA!  But, with cold temperatures comes staying at home more which means eating at home more.  I love having leftovers to warm up for lunch and a kitchen that smells good at dinner time. 

So, what's the plan for the coming week? 

Friday - Meatloaf, mashed potatoes, veggies and biscuits

Saturday - We are attending a pancake dinner fundraiser for one of the boys from our co-op

Sunday - A Roast, Potatoes, and Carrots!  Nothing smells better then walking into that after church!  Then for dinner later we will have ham and cheese quiche and fruit

Monday - We have a field trip, time for a quick dinner, followed by TKD.  So it has to be simple 

Tuesday -  Amish breakfast casserole, overnight coffee cake and fruit

Wednesday - AWANA!  Pizza night! 

Thursday - Tortellini soup and bread sticks

Saturday, November 9, 2019

Our Week in Photos # 41

Here's a look back at our week!

We had a quiet weekend.  The boys had Christmas Program Practice on Saturday and we had church on Sunday.

Monday = School!  Nate had TKD in the evening :-)

Tuesday = School, Piano and then Lego Club at one of our Local Libraries.



 Nate building his creation
 The theme of this months club was to build an animal.  I even got in on the fun and made a cat :-) 
 Josh made a creature. 
 Josh and his creation. 

Nate made an "Area 51 Raid."  

Wednesday - We did school and then I took Josh into a foot doctor appointment (all is well!).  By the time I got home and dropped him off, it was time to run Nate in for a haircut.  We had just enough time to come home and eat dinner before the boys headed off to AWANA!  Busy day for sure!
Thursday -- We had the privilage of going on a field trip to "Mission India" and learning about both the culture of India as well as how Mission India reaches the Indian people with the gospel.  






Friday was our last day of Friday school for the semester which ended with our Presentation Night. 


 Josh's Lego Creation for "Lego Stem"
 Nate's Lego Creation



 Josh took an amazing art class - this is all of his Art Work! 
 Josh and Nate both took a Perler Bead class and loved it!  They made a bunch of projects. 

It was a really awesome semester and I'm so thankful for such a great bunch of people! 

Friday, November 8, 2019

Weekly Menu

I actually think things are starting to slow down around here.  We still have piano lessons, TKD, and AWANA but other things are starting to let up a little.  It's good, though, I'm ready to buckle down on some school projects and get them done before Christmas break so when we come back to the last few weeks of the semester, there isn't quite so much pressure.  We are eating at home more which is good too - it saves a lot of money!  Here's the plan for the coming week

Friday - Tonight is Presentation Night for our Co-op.  It's not a meal - just snacks and appetizers so everyone will need to eat something before coming.  The boys will be with my mom and I'll be at the church so everyone just has to eat something where ever they are!

Saturday - Spaghetti and Garlic Sticks

Sunday - Stuffed Shells, Green Beans, Salad and Garlic Bread.  I love this meal because it's easy to prep before hand and cook when we get home from church.  By the time everyone has changed and put things away from church, dinner is done.

Monday - Tonight is Leftover night!

Tuesday - Pork Loin, Mac and Cheese, Veggies, and Applesauce

Wednesday - AWANA = Frozen Pizza

Thursday - Amish Breakfast casserole, Overnight Coffee Cake, and Roasted Asparagus.


Tuesday, November 5, 2019

November Goals

When I write my yearly goals in January as well as pick my word for the year, it always seems like I have so many days to accomplish those things.  Yet, as November begins and I think back through the past year, I'm amazed at how quickly it flies by.  One of the main things that goal planning does for me is help me be more intentional.  I know that I don't accomplish everything and that's fine but I do accomplish many things and that brings me joy.



November always brings me to the close of my goals in a way because I try to make December super relaxing and non-stressful.  I like to enjoy the traditions, lights, and family fun during what is really the most joyful month of all!  I like to try and accomplish as much as possible throughout this month while staying on task with school.  I also work at trying to slow down our lives just a little as we come into the holiday season so we can just breath and enjoy.

1. Finances - I've said it many times - we live on a very tight budget.  Yes, this is a choice because it is important to both Darryl and I that I stay home with the boys.  The Lord has always provided - sometimes in mysterious ways (anonymous gifts through the mail that I receive every once in awhile - just a $20.00 bill - but it is always a blessing) but he does provide.  This past year I have tried to make it a priority, almost my job, to be intentional with our spending.  I've failed miserably at times but a few months along the way, I've succeeded.  Amazingly, the harder I work at this "job" the more stress free and joyful our lives our because we aren't overwhelmed by finances.  All of that to say my goal this month is to track. every. single. thing.  This time of year with Christmas and another birthday always gets financially stressful.  I want to alleviate that as much as possible by not spending on unnecessary items.

2. Cleaning - At this point, I've "deep cleaned" every room.  Which really just means that I've taken time to intentionally clean each one and get rid of what doesn't belong. The main goal this month is to set up a routine of keeping everything clean.  I love Flylady ideas of cleaning - I just need to own it.

3. Scrapbooking - My main goal this month is to finish November 2014 and December 2014  I have no goals of ordering any supplies or photos.  Why?  Go back to #1 listed above.  I have plenty of supplies to use; I can make a list of things (stickers) that I want to add in and purchase them a little later.  Generally though, I have plenty of what I need! November 2014 is done (I had some great scrapbooking time on November 2nd!!! which actually allowed me to finish November photos!) 

4. Family Fun - I will be looking for some family fun activities to do.  Inexpensive but fun!

5. Purchase all of Nate's birthday presents by mid-month.

6. Finalize what we hope to purchase the boys for gifts for Christmas and start saving for those items.  Also make a list of other gift buying - you know, the ones that surprise you a week before Christmas - and start purchasing those items as well.

7. Decorate for Christmas.  My mom is hosting Thanksgiving this year so I feel like I can get our decorations for Christmas out the week of Thanksgiving.  I want to be intentional with our decorations. Put out what I love, get rid of what I don't love or have room for and make it easier to put things away in January.

8. Decorate outside for Christmas.  I like to do this in November before it gets REALLY cold.

9. Finish November schooling current!  I've been really striving this year to stay current and not get a few days behind on lessons.

10. Register for our winter semester at Agape.  This technically happens the first week of December but I need to plan for it and set a little money aside to pay for it so the planning happens now.

11. Write our Christmas Letter, take a family photo, and make our photo cards.  Last year, I figure out it is super cheap to turn a "photo" into a collage photo and use it as our Christmas card and it only costs a few dollars.  It's the perfect solution to get it done at the right price.  I also have stamps already so this year, doing one of my favorite things, is well within our budget!

12. Find a few Christmas projects to do with the boys.  I love projects but the last few years I haven't planned well.  I'd like to find something that they can make and enjoy!

13. I know I listed cleaning above but the basement is always its own category.  Now the basement is cleaned and organized so now, I want to go deeper though.  For example I have two HUGE bins full of baby clothes from the boys.  I got rid of a lot, but kept even more because of memories :-)  I feel like I am far enough removed from them now that I can re-sort them and keep only the super special ones and donate or sell the rest.  Ultimately, I want to create a bin for each of the boys of things that I find special.  That way I can add things like sports shirts, birthday shirts, etc. as the grow older.  So, this month, I want to go through those two bins specifically and clean off my drafting table (it was my dads).  The drafting table makes a great place to wrap gifts - but it is never, ever cleaned off!

14. Pick out the photos of the boys for my wall.  This might also mean taking a photo as well.  I worked in October on getting "the" photo but have really struggled this fall with great photos!

15. Clean out the big black rolling cart stored in my bathroom currently!  It ultimately needs to go to the basement but first I need to clean it out :-)

16. Plan out our December intentionally.  Things like our photo with Santa, our Christmas tree, seeing Christmas lights, the annual parade, and making Christmas Cookies (which I think my mom wants to do, or at least help do, this year) are all fun things!

17. Order my Christmas soundtrack and practice it; plus pick out the next song I'd like to sing.

18. Get the dog's nails cut :-)

19. Clean up the yard - put away the stuff like the hose, summer decor, ect.  This has to get done before it's buried in snow!  We will also have to move the pop-up camper but we are watching the weather for that - when they are forcasting inches of snow on the near frozen ground, we will move it to the side of our garage.  Until then, it sits in the driveway :-)

There's my 19!  In general, our November starts to slow down compared to October.  We have more days at home and less days where we are running!  I'm actually looking forward to some slower times - or at least a nice balance of time out and time at home.  Nothing is better then being at home on the cold days, in snuggly clothes while we do school and drink hot chocolate! ;-)


Monday, November 4, 2019

Recap of October Goals

I find it hard to believe that October has come and gone.  This is really my favorite time of year - October through December.  I love the change in the weather, the way the sun just makes the colors every where pop, the heavy dark clouds that make you think of snow, the smell of a fireplace and, of course, all of the Holidays and Birthdays we celebrate!  I feel like there is so much going on, so much to be thankful for, and just the ability to snuggle under a blanket with a good book!  Being a "Michigan Girl" I love the fact that we have seasons and enjoy the special things each season bring but Fall is for sure my favorite (at least for now HA!)

Anyway, here is a look back at my October Goals!

1. Set up Nate's trophy's and TKD belts.  We "moved" Nate into his "own" room this summer - really just his stuff moved, he still sleeps in his old room.  He's been waiting to have display shelves set up for his stuff for over a year so my goal is for it to happen this month. So all of Nate's trophy's are on shelves (I even found shelves in the garage my mom was going to sell in a garage sale that worked perfectly - thanks mom!) and it looks so nice!  The TKD belts are on hold until Christmas - I plan to get him the special display shelf as a gift! 

2. Go through my "mystery bag" in the bathroom HA!  I have a Meijer bag that I shoved a ton of stuff into a while ago (I think from my truck last spring!) that I need to clean out! Done.  This was much easier then it sounds - most of it was trash !!  For real!  

3.  I need to do a basement clean-up.  Yes, it is still organized but just some things that need to be put away again. Done!  Cleaned up the toy room and laundry room.  

4. I have to sing at church this month so I need to learn my song and I also want to find a song to Sing at Christmas time. Done.  I sang and I have picked out a song to practice for Christmas time.  I'm hoping to having the opportunity to sing at some point around Christmas.  

5. Move the campers - We have to move my mom's camper out of the campground to our house and then move our pop-up out of our driveway.  Done.  My mom's camper is moved.  Our pop-up is waiting to be moved until just before the first big snow (We are just moving it next to our garage, out of the drivieway) 

6. Order 2 months worth of photos They are ready to be ordered by I am on a "no extra spending" lock down right now - with birthdays, Christamas, and, yes, bills to pay I can't spend anything extra at all!  Instead I'm just working on getting lots of photos uploaded into Snapfish so they are ready to order! 

7. Complete October 2014 in scrapbooking - Done!  

8.  Decorate for fall - indoors and outdoors (if it ever stop raining!) Indoors is done! Outdoors just never happened - it was either rainy, we were gone on nice days, or it was freezing!  

9. Mow the grass "one last time" (I say that tongue in cheek because one year we had to mow again the day after Thanksgiving!).  Done! 

10. Finish out October in school current.  We are current right now but I want to stay that way and maybe even be ahead! Close.  The boys ended up with some big projects last week and then are at the grandparents house this week so they each have about 2 lessons to complete to be current.  I'm ok with that - we can catch those up the first week of November. 

11. Have all of Nate's birthday gifts ordered by the end of October (his birthday is not until the end of December). I didn't quite make this goal - but I have it planned out to be done by mid November so I can then concentrate on Christmas shopping.  

12. Find boots for the boys.  I think that is the only outdoor "supplies" I have to get the boys. I'm waiting for the big sale at Meijer - or the first snow fall, whichever happens first! 

13. Finances - just like last month, the goal is to stick to our budget and not spend extra - or spend as little extra as possible.  I also have a very small "savings" plan in place to put some funds aside for the Holidays. I did not start out the month tracking spending/earning/saving and that never works out to our best interest.  We live on a very tight budget so the minute funds start to "fly away" on non-planned things, it makes the month tight.  

14. Deep clean the kitchen. Done!

15.  Deep clean the Josh's room. Done.  The boys helped so we could also move their bed away from the heater for the winter. 

16.  Deep clean Nate's room Done! 

17. Clean out my truck (still hasn't happened due to all of the rain!) Done! 

18. Take the AC units of the windows. Done

19. Have the boys clean out their old candy by Halloween (that's our rule!) Done - it is past Halloween by the time this posts so the old will be gone and the new sorted to get rid of what they don't like! 

20.  Plan a couple family fun activities (Such as get the pumpkins, carve pumpkins, go to a improve show, go to the observatory, ect) Done!  We got pumpkins and carved them and went on a color tour.  We also celebrated Josh's birthday with my in-laws, with his best friend, and with my mom.  Plus we attended a birthday party for our great nephew.  

21. Plan the classes I plan to teach next semester Done.  I ordered the two books for the classes I signed up to teach.  I won't do much more until registration is complete so I know whether we use both classes or neither class (If other mom's volunteer, I don't teach since I'm also on the board.) 

Saturday, November 2, 2019

Our Week in Photos #40

Here's a look back at our week!


 On Saturday, we stopped and picked up pumpkins and then had fun carving them on Saturday night.  It's more fun now because they boys can carve their own.  :-) 

 The finished products!  They look pretty cool! 
 On Sunday we went to our great nephew's 1 year birthday party!  It was a fun time with family.  It was a costume party which was fun too.  (Yes, Darryl and I had masks !!) 

Sunday-Wednesday the boys were at their grandparents and my mother-in-law did take some great photos but she hasn't shared them yet!  I'll have to remind her :-) 



 Thursday was Halloween and it was cold, rainy and snowy!!!  That didn't stop us though, winter coats and all!  Darryl walked with the boys and I followed in the truck for the purpose of being able to drive in the long stretches without houses and so that when they were done, they could just jump in and didn't have to walk back to the car.  It worked out perfectly. 


Once they were done outside, we went to our church for the indoor fun.  It was a great night and the boys really had a ton of fun. 

Friday, November 1, 2019

Weekly Menu

Just like that it is November.  Wow.  It just amazes me how fast time goes!  This past week, meals were easy since it was just Darryl and me.  I did cook more at home then we ate out but I kept it simple :-)  This week we are all home!

Friday - Dinner at my mom's :-)  It is always nice to not cook!

Saturday -Dill Shrimp Pasta, Green Beans, and Garlic Bread.  This meal is good yet so simple!

Sunday - Swiss Steak, Baked Potatoes (crock pot!), carrots and peas, and rolls

Monday - Leftovers, Corn Dogs or Pot Pies.  Nate has TKD and I have practice so we are all running tonight!

Tuesday - BBQ , Mashed Potatoes, Broccoli, and Crescent Rolls

Wednesday - AWANA night so frozen pizza!

Thursday - The boys and I are going on a field trip so to keep dinner simple, I'll do fajita's in the crock pot.  We really love this recipe.  They are so good and yet different from what you get in a resturant.  The boys do not like them (I mean, there are peppers and onions in them after all!) so I will make a little taco meat to keep the tribe happy!