Saturday, June 30, 2012

I love...

...finally being home after a two week traveling stint

...making gluten free cookies with Elaina so that we have a dessert to eat at church tomorrow

...Nora sleeping in her own bed, looking all cute and cuddly

...the sight of Claire and Eily folding a basket of clean clothes and towels

...the smell of chili cooking on the stovetop

...Jason's things unpacked and back on the shelf where they belong

...blogging from my desktop keyboard and not my phone

...watering my flowers

...picking vegetables from my garden

...the girls playing in the schoolroom my kitchen

...making our beds

...washing our dirty laundry

...going through our piled up mail


Monday, June 25, 2012


Monday's update:

Starting balance: $665.53

J's trip home- $97.36

Ending balance: $568.17


I found her like this during a nap. Cute and miserable looking all at the same time.

Friday, June 22, 2012


Jason's dad offered us an all-expense-paid trip to their house if I would just drive the girls up there.  I said, "I surely will!"  So that's what is going on with us.

Financial update:

Starting balance $705.81

J's trip misc.- $14.11
Target/ paper towels, light bulbs, underwear, etc...- $26.17

Ending balance: $665.53

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Uncle! Uncle!

No money spent today!
Uncle Josh stopped by to visit for a minute. He ended up fixing the shower rod, fixing the mower handle, sharpening the mower blade and then mowing the front and back yards. Then he took us all to the snowcone place for snowcones.

He's pretty great.

Monday, June 18, 2012


Also, if anyone needs some clothes ironed, I charge a dollar per item. And I'm wanting to babysit throughout the summer so if you hear of anyone in the Lavaca area that needs a babysitter, please send them my way.
I set $300 back each month to go towards our insurance and I would like to make June and July's on the side doing various jobs. House cleaning anyone?

The $1000 Challenge or Rebekah's 6-week Insanity Program

Alright y'all, it's about to get very real. At least for me it is. Since we are self employed, I pay us once a month. Originally, I paid us on the first of every month but a while back I decided to change to the 15th of every month so that I could be very early on our mortgage payment. The mistake I made was paying us two week early the first time I changed it instead of trying to wait two weeks longer. What happened was we got two weeks behind in our monthly money. For example, I deposited June's money on the 15th of May and while the mortgage people were very happy to be getting their payments half a month early, the rest of the month was messed up and wacky. I've decided to go back to the beginning of the month which means I have to go six weeks without paying us again. I deposited July's money this week and now my goal is to stretch it out through the rest of June and all of July.  I have paid all of the major bills for June and July but there are still the phone, cell phone, water, electric bills, etc... for both months that need to be paid. I am going to be holding myself accountable to you all because it's so easy for me to cave and buy something I don't need. Mostly fast food.

Goal Time: June 18th- July 31st.
Starting Amount:  $1000.00 (See why I'm so terrified?!)

Everyday or two, I'll be posting how much I spend, if any, and how much money is left. I'm thinking if I don't go ANYWHERE, I might make it. Jason still has to travel home from Wisconsin, so we have to pay for that gas, too. But on the plus side, he took the month of July off from traveling so our gas expenditure has the potential to be very minimal. I also have $400 set aside for groceries through July 15th and then $400 more from then until August 15th. Also, the girls have coupons for free Chick-fil-a kid meals, so I will use those when I feel like I'm not going to make it unless I go somewhere.  I just bought toilet paper, so we're good in that department for a while. I also filled up the Explorer this morning and hopefully I can make that last for quite a while.  Are you ready to be supportive? To see way to much of our personal business? :)  Let's Go!!

Monday June 18th

Gas for Explorer: $58.38
Various traveling expenses for Jason- $180.45 (over several days time. I just now added them up.)
Bills that came in while we were in Texas- $55.36

Total left:


Saturday, June 16, 2012

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Wednesday on The Hill

1. Aunt Melissa was a guest storyteller to the preschool class.
2. My buddy, Cowboy Jack
3. Elaina and a friend, climbing a tree 4. A sweaty but happy baby

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Tuesday at Harmony Hill

1. Watching over baby Caroline
2. Elaina during craft time
3. Elaina's horse

Monday, June 11, 2012

Monday at Harmony Hill

1. Her bed for the week.
2. Claire and Jack needed a little downtime.

Sunday, June 10, 2012


We are at Harmony Hill. Posting will be temporarily slowed.

Thursday, June 07, 2012

For Your Viewing Pleasure...

Here are some recent photos from my phone:

Elaina was proud that she climbed this tree.

Organic Goodness 

Hanging with my buddy, Ryan 

Beautiful baby girl 

Curly locks 

Toothy smiles 

We got a package in the mail! 

Picnic lunch with Audrey 


Eating on the deck at Gringo's 

Daddy finally came home after being gone almost a whole month. 

The Stroller  Brigade at The Tortoise Run

The Goodyear blimp flying over our house 

Her favorite shoes. She wears them all day, every day. 

Early Father's Day cards 

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Laughing with you

My friend/cousin-in-law/birthday buddy wrote a post today entitled Laugh With Me. I enjoyed the encouragement to laugh more, even at the things that go wrong. This blog has been rather wordy lately so I thought I would find an old picture that makes me laugh and use it for today's post. In fact, any time that I think of a picture that is guaranteed to make me laugh, this is always the first one that pops in my head. Some of you are probably already picturing the same photo in your own heads.  Enjoy! I hope your day is full of smiles.

Claire  2 years old 
She had just gotten a new bedspread and lamp and was proudly posing with her new things.
She thought she looked good. :)

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Day 2 of silence

We are on day 2 of 5 where my mornings are peaceful and quiet. I am enjoying it so much but I'm also missing the girls a lot and will be glad when they are home with me all day again. (Remind me I said that next week, ok?)

Actually, next week the girls and I will be at Harmony Hill. Here's my HH posts from 2009, 2010 and apparently I never posted the pictures from 2011.  We are excited, as we always are, and counting down the days until we leave. Every year we make a paper chain and take off a loop until we are down to the last one. Then "we" squeal and jump and get all giddy as we realize the time is Here and Now.

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, June 04, 2012

What to do? What to do?

The older three girs are at a day camp and this is what I hear:

The washing machine.

Yep. That's it. And I have to be honest and say that it is amazing.  Free babysitting that I don't have to feel guilty about and I don't have to feel like I need to hurry and get back to relieve the babysitter. Nora is in bed asleep and I have paid the bills, finished some laundry, played around on the computer, cleaned the kitchen and read some literature. And I still have an hour and a half before I have to go get the girls.  I wouldn't want them to be gone like this all the time, but this little reprieve is so nice. I'm going to go clean all the rooms, read some more and cook lunch.

What a day! 

Sunday, June 03, 2012

Home Education Chapters 1&2

Jamie and I are reading throughs Charlotte Mason's Home Education together and we are due to write our thoughts and musings on the first two chapters. In fact, I am long overdue.

Good luck figuring out what I meant when I originally wrote these things down.

Chapter 1:

It is the mother's responsibility to bring good traits out in a child. For example, instead of thinking how can I get Claire to have better control over her mouth, I need to think and pray how can I teach her? How can I be an example of this?

Remember, mothers owe their children a thinking love. "How shall this heart, this head, these hands, be employed? To whose service shall they be dedicated?"

A quote on mothering that caught my attention: " and they will take it up as their profession- that is with diligence, regularity, and punctuality which men bestow on their professional labours." This really stuck a chord with me because my sister, Leah, and I had just been discussing how we need to view housekeeping as a job. Granted, a job that has longer hours than most, but still it is one of our professions. We wouldn't say at a job away from home, "Well, I don't feel like doing much today. I think I'll just lay my head down on my desk and nap.  Or, "I'll just come in late and sleep half the morning away." I do realize that certain situations in life call for more sleep than normal. When babies are small, you basically have to sneak sleep in where you can, but there have been times that I have been pure lazy. I should get out of bed at a reasonable hour, have my list of things ready, chug my coffee and get to it. If I am efficient with my duties, I will have more time, more calm time, for "playing" with my children.  I will have time to teach Elaina how to properly clean a toilet, to show Claire how to measure flour, to help Eily fold a load of towels and washcloths.

"Take heed that ye offend not, despise not, hinder not, one of these little ones." 
Oh, how these words sting every time I read them. I want to have this hanging up in my room so that I see it first thing every morning.  I am terribly guilty of this. Terribly. 

"See what we may not do in order to know what we may do." Again, "See what we may not do in order to know what we may do."

"Teach the child that the parent must not allow ...fill in the blank... because it isn't right." I have been working on explaining this throughout our days. I CANNOT let you behave like that. I would be ignoring my responsibility, my duty as your parent if I let that slide.  (Is responsibility the right word? I feel that there's a better choice.)

Chapter 2
Some ideas for Outdoor Time:
Looking at a scene and painting a picture in your mind. 
"Look at the scene, close your eyes and describe it." 
I could read from the Little House book where Mary has lost her sight and Laura describes the view to her as they are taking a walk.
"The effect of recalling and reproducing is fatiguing, while the altogether pleasurable act of seeing, fully and in detail, is likely to be repeated unconsciously until it becomes a habit by the child who is now and then to reproduce what he sees."

Thinking of the world from the child's viewpoint. What if flowers were new? How amazed would we be as we looked at them, touched them, smelled them? Well, children are new. Each flower is to be watched with awe and delight.

Keep a diary of first sightings to go back and update. What the same area through the seasons. Pick a tree or bush to watch and record. 

Well, that's it. I hope some of that made sense to you. I was re-inspired just by going back over my notes and typing them on here. Make sure to go check Jamie's blog and watch for her post on both chapters.