Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Kids Stocking Stuffer Ideas

If you are struggling with what to put in your kids' stockings, here is what I am putting in mine.

1. Reece- small pack of legos, ice age continental divide movie, monkeys in a barrel, gum, candy cane w/ m&m's, truck book, flashlight, mini toolkit, crayola markers, nerf gun bullets, scissors, Duck call from Duck Commander

2. Avery- Brave movie, gum, candy cane m&m's, pick up sticks game, littlest pet shop, early reader "novel", crayola markers, mini nerf gun, earrings (Shane picked them out in Disney world!), fun socks, ear muffs

3. Ellie- Doc McStuffins movie, gum, candy cane m&m's, little lamb book (has a puppet on it), playdoh, color wonder paper, small gymnastics Dora doll, little people car that's a jeep w girl in it (score!)

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Friday, December 7, 2012

Busy and fun week with NO pictures :(

We had a fun week. I am getting a few hours a day with no nausea and my energy level is coming back up. Wow, first trimesters are rough! But I am 14 weeks now and feeling a little better in the mornings. I cleaned all the bathrooms on my hands and knees this week, decorated for Christmas, and threw a party for our home group. Whew! And I didn't take ANY pictures last night. I made a hot chocolate bar and it was divine! I used a recipe off of pinterest HERE and it could not have been easier.

Crock Pot Hot Chocolate

2 cups of milk chocolate chips ( I used ghiradelli and it was worth it!)
1 can of sweetened condensed milk
6 cups of milk
1 1/2 cups of heavy whipping cream
1 tsp vanilla

Cook on low in crock pot for two hours and stir every 30 minutes or so or the chocolate chips will just stick to the bottom.

On a platter I  had candy canes, peppermint candy canes, chocolate candy canes, chocolate chips and mint hershey kisses. Everyone brought a dessert and appetizer and there was plenty of delicious food! I am so thankful for this group. I love the girls and our kids all get along. The guys all get along really well. So it was an easy non stressful night.

This year we started Advent right on time and have not missed an evening yet. I am so proud of my hubby for initiating each night when I am feeling so yucky. Some nights the kids are so enthralled and asking so many questions. Hearing everyone pray each night together is just so sweet. I really would like to do this every night and not just at advent time. Of course there are the nights when one of them has cried through it or they fought over who got to blow out the candle, but all in all it has been wonderful. I am praying this keeps us centered on Jesus's birthday. The kids are LOVING the Jesus Storybook bible and it is so fun to read passages from the creation and ending at Christ's birthday.

Today will most likely be spent in my flannel pajama pants and college sweatshirt. Lots of extra hot chocolate to drink now that the weather got cold. (come back 70 degrees!) I read the entire Twilight series last weekend and now am on to the movies. Can't wait to snuggle in and watch Eclipse this afternoon.
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Monday, November 26, 2012

What we are doing for Advent....

***UPDATE*** so apparently one the daily verse advent activities included some verses from the bible AND the book of mormon. if you are mormon this isn't a problem. But for those of you that have printed it out and aren't mormon, you need to take those three verses out and replace them. I am so sorry. It was pinned to many Christian "pinners" and although I looked though it some I obviously didn't look through it very carefully. As an English major I know better and should check my sources!!!

For the first time EVER we are staying home for Christmas. I am so excited. It's actually fun decorating for the holidays. I am putting real presents under the tree instead of the fake ones we have been using for 10 years.

One thing we have never been able to do is Advent. At least we have never finished it. And honestly it's been frustrating. But this year is different. I want it to be somewhat simplistic. There are some great Advent activities out there, but making crafts every day and getting the supplies is stressful for me. So I got on pinterest and found exactly what I was looking for all along.

1. In the evening we will light the advent candle and read a story from the Jesus Storybook bible as a family. I am using the list from this blogger.

2. During our homeschool time we are going to put our regular handwriting and copywork on hold and focus on the names of Christ each day. I am using this list for what to do each day.Avery will keep a journal of the name of Christ and the definition. Reece- who is really still learning to write letters will just write the name and color a picture in his journal. Here is an idea for the journal they will be keeping.

3. For myself, during those moments I want to scream (usually the witching hours of 4-6), I have set up an area in my kitchen where I can read scripture that is relatively quick while I am making dinner. I have a candle to light to help me focus and an advent calender from DaySpring that I got got for $5.99! Here is a link for the calender it is still on sale.

Here is a link to my pinterest board for more ideas.

This is the scripture chain we are using in the homeschool room. It's hanging in the kitchen right now so the kids don't get tempted to start pulling links off. Each link has a scripture to read that corresponds to the name of Christ.

I cut these strips up and put them in the advent calender on my kitchen counter. This is more for me to use during the day.

The directions for the kids paper chain.
Advent calender next to my kitchen sink.I will keep these papers in there year after year.

Our coffee table getting ready for advent. Obviously need to find the other candles!

This is in my kitchen just for me (and Shane if he wants to use it).

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Baby #4!

So in case you don't follow me on facebook then you may not know. We are expecting baby #4 in June 2013. The lack of posting on my blog is a testament to how sick I have been. Unfortunately, Zofran didn't provide the miracles for me that it did with previous pregnancies. My days consisted of the bare essentials and not throwing up. Literally that was it. My awesome husband took over kitchen duty and Avery and Reece have helped a ton with Ellie. The big kids- I have learned -can do so much more than I thought!

Many of you know that the last two years I have suffered from ovarian cysts and at the end of the summer found out that most of my symptoms were actually related to endometriosis. So the dr's best advice was to have another baby.

Much to my surprise, Shane didn't hesitate. He said "let's do it." ( I guess that could be a joke, ha!) Just like that. After two years of yearning for a fourth and him not budging, the threat of me being put into menopause was enough to convince him that a fourth munchkin might not be a bad idea. I am so thankful for that man.

And the story goes that a couple days later I was pregnant. WOW, we were shocked. I have always gotten pregnant easily, but after two years of ruptured cysts I figured my insides were a mess and it would take awhile. God is good! We definitely felt like this baby was the best choice when it happened so fast.

And so now we are ALL in discussion of baby names, room arrangements, and wondering if it's a boy or girl. The entire family says boy. I would love a little girl of course, but most of all I would love for my sweet Reece to have brother.

My morning sickness is actually getting better. I am having a few hours in the morning where I am not fighting it so much and have started cleaning up the house again. Seriously, I kept telling Shane I hope no one shows up unexpectedly because it would be so embarassing. I grew up in a very CLEAN environment and that's how I like it....... but that hasn't been the case the last two months.

So we are heading into the holidays and have much to be thankful for here at PemberleyInk.

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Friday, November 9, 2012

Homeschooling is messy

This is my keeping it real picture. Day old dishes. But when you are nauseous 24/7 and can barely walk into the kitchen without losing your meal. This is what your kitchen looks like.

This is Avery's table. I am on the hunt for a real desk for her. But for not this is it. There are always books on it and pieces leftover from projects. I try to keep telling myself there is learning going on in the chaos.
One morning while Ellie was at preschool we even trashed Barnes and Noble!

This is what the floor usually looks like because my kids are constantly creating things. Scrap paper, art supplies, books, random flamingo. You know the usual!
And I finally broke down and gave them a spot to hand their artwork. This stresses me out having paper everywhere but they are so proud of their work. I am trying to relax and let them have freedom with creativity and remember that my home is not a museum. It's a learning environment where my kids can have fun, be safe, and create.

Here they are starting their new drawing books. I was shocked that they both absolutely loved these. I wasn't sure they would like having to follow specific instructions, but they did multiple pages in one sitting.

Reece's desk. Oh mercy. This is actually REALLY clean for this boy. It is usually COVERED in paper and legos. This boy is constantly building something which translates to a HUGE mess.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Mother-daughter date

My kiddos are always asking for Shane and I to take them on "dates". So we try to do it at least once a week with each of them. This date Avery and I went to Target to get a baby shower gift and we decided that since it was girl time we needed some hot chocolate. We did get the boys some to take home. 
I just want to encourage you to find one on one time with your kids. Especially those of us that have them all day long and they kind of get lumped together as a group. I learn so much about them during these times. Occasionally we will take them out for ice cream, but mostly they are happy to just run an errand and be alone with us. So it does not have to be a budget buster!
I am a firm believer that girls need a strong connection with their dads. So the fact that Shane will take his girls out on little dates is awesome. They get one on one healthy male attention. And I am hoping this translates to them trusting more in their heavenly Father because they have such a great earthly father.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

School Changes...already!

So we are in our fifth week of homeschooling and already there are changes.

 For one thing.... Reece got his own table. He tends to be chatty and want to see and talk to Avery about everything he is doing. So he earned a little corner all to himself with his workbox system and all his little supplies. I even found some cute containers in the dollar bin at Tar*get to organize his stuff. This change has been great. He takes ownership of his stuff, Avery can concentrate and he is getting more done now that he is focused. I would love to find some old school desks for them but we are making this work until (I HOPE) I hit the jackpot in the junk hunting world.

Change two.... I ditched the Apologia Who Is God? and ordered Grapevine's New Testament. This is a much better fit for Reece and we are all going to learn from this study. I will use the Apologia curriculum in a year or two when they are both a little older.

Change three... I added a couple of workbooks from Rod and Staff's curriculum for Avery. I wanted to supplement her science and I also ordered the health and manners book. This is a great fit. Lessons are quick, there is no prep on my part, but there is a lot of meat to each lesson. I also added the ART book from their curriculum for her "fun" drawer in her workbox.

Change four... is actually a not changed yet...unfortunately. Since we are on a cash only budget and we just went to Disney we didn't get around to painting/ redecorating the school room. I am ok with it. I am calling this a lesson in patience and contentment. The plan is to do it in the next couple of weeks and I am excited to finally get it done. But I am also okay with waiting if I need too.

Change five... I made myself a corner in the school room. I have my own bookcase, printer, bulletin board, and things that make me happy. This has helped a lot. The kids are NOT allowed in my corner (also something I did in my public school classroom) and they are not allowed to touch my supplies. (This was becoming a major issue, now everyone has their own).

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