Hey everyone, we are in the midst of moving! I’m living with stacked boxes and looking for missing items (already packed) and a whole attic full of stuff I’m not sure what to do with. Thankfully our church garage sale is this week and I donated a whole trunk full of stuff to them. I love getting rid of baggage. It’s so freeing, until I look at my overstuffed attic. It’s called life in transition. It’s both fun and exciting and kind of depressing. Exciting for obvious reasons of moving and new houses and neighbors and asking the question, where will I grocery shop now? And will they have my favorite yogurt? You know, the important questions of life.
But we also have a long way to go whenever I peek into the attic and look at the two gazillion boxes that are up there. That is why I have assigned it to Sam. I am in denial of all those boxes. They make me want to weep. Or shake my fists in futility. Or watch a reality TV show.
I think I’ll go have some ice cream in the meantime.
So where have I been? With the birth of our son, I have to admit I’m having trouble keeping up with most things in life–laundry, housework, blogging, life in general. But no matter, I have a wonderful little baby to hold in the meantime. So in an effort to keep life simpler, I’m taking a brief hiatus from this blog. You can still find me over at my other blog Adoption in Black and White. I hope to be back soon!
It was my daughter’s birthday on Saturday and she said she wanted a stuffed animal party.
“You mean a teddy bear party?” I asked.
“Yes,” she replied.
And that’s how her teddy bear tea party arrived. We couldn’t find a card with anything remotely related to teddy bears or tea parties. If you’re not interested in Hannah Montana or Dora the Explorer, then good luck. The only birthday party themes are commercial. Because of that, we staged our own picture and then made it into a card. This was the front of the card.
First there was bear bingo with teddy grahams as the bingo pieces. My daughter played her own version, with her own homemade cards.
Then there was dress-up time with the stuffed animals and tea set. We did get a little crazy. And my daughter donned multiple costumes throughout the night. Whatever the birthday girl wants, right? All in all, it was a fun party and I’m proud of my little girl picking a theme that was so girly and fun.
If you haven’t been keeping up with our adoption journey, be sure to check out my other blog:
With the impending arrival of our 2nd baby, that is pretty much the only thing consuming my thoughts these days. It is hard to focus on anything else and I keep going back to my to-do list of all the things I want to get done before baby arrives. And I know that once the baby comes, I will be slow to get back into the routines of daily life. I am cleaning and cooking and washing with abandon, hoping that it will tide me over while I adjust to a new little one in our midst. I keep reminding myself that life does return to normal, eventually.
But I am staring sleepless nights and long days in the face. And you know what? I’m excited about them. Excited in that childlike way that does not know what the future holds or how tired I’ll be in a week. But I’m continually reminded by others, and myself, how special and fleeting those first days are with your baby. There will be a celebration of life and we hope to be part of that celebration.
I hope to be back to writing again soon…about the celebrations of life, about the fullness and excitement of simple things.
Playing outside in the Fall sunshine
Our impromptu “flag-making” party. A request from the little one.
Finally, starting on the Halloween costume. We are trying to do a homemade version of Princess Lolly from Candyland. So that this..…can be the model for my little girl’s costume. Crown done.
Now on to the dress.
Otherwise we’re enjoying the beauty of Fall and all the exciting things that come with it. Hopefully we’ll soon have a baby to announce with our impending adoption. Less than two weeks to go until the baby arrival and the date the costume needs to be done. Which will get here first? We’re wondering that same thing.
I have really been enjoying teaching my daughter preschool at home. I don’t know whether to call ourselves a homeschooling family yet, but I am enjoying all the educational materials we are perusing these days. And who knew preschool could be so fascinating? Maybe it’s my education background or my own exploration of an area that I have never taught, but it’s a thrilling adventure and we are learning so much.
Preschool Art by Mary Ann Kohl: I can’t say this book looked overly impressive initially, but upon first (and second and third try) of different art activities, I have been excited with the results. The painted dough (where we made a simple watery flour dough and then colored it with food coloring) had a fascinating effect on paper. The sand painting was a great outdoor art experience with an interesting kinesthetic result. The projects are very easy to follow and perfect for my daughter’s age.
Learning at Home by Ann Ward: This book is designed as a curriculum for a kindergarten (or an advanced Pre-K curriculum) using only the library as your resource! The author who is both an educator and homeschooling mom put a lot of detail and thought into her lesson plans. If I homeschool for kindergarten I will be adding this book to my library.
Homeschooling: The Early Years by Linda Dobson: Designed to give an overview of the homeschooling process and be a resource for parents beginning to explore it, this book is packed full of great resources for reading, writing and math but is probably most useful for the parent just starting out on the homeschooling journey.
A Beka Curriculum for Preschool: I started using their preschool materials last year including the alphabet workbook and number workbook. The materials are colorful and high quality and my daughter really enjoys using them. My only complaint is the price. I have a teacher friend who uses the A Beka curriculum at her preschool and really likes them too.
If you’re looking for a fun homeschooling blog, I really enjoy Pioneer Woman’s homeschooling section. It provides some good laughs in the midst of personal homeschooling insight.
And then there is always our excellent library system which will compile books about any subject for a homeschooling family. Awesome, huh? I think I’m having about as much fun as my daughter most days. It’s amazing to see how much she wants to learn too. I’m so glad I don’t have to miss out on that.
As the arrival of our newest baby draws near, I have been cooking, sauteing boiling, and baking. I’m trying to store up about three weeks worth of food. So that, for a few weeks at least, I can have a break from cooking and am just able to focus on baby. It’s not that I mind cooking…I’m actually quite fond of it, but in my dumbed down state of not sleeping and barely functioning after baby comes, I’d like to keep life as simple as possible.
So my life has been a frenzy of cooking including:
- setting off the smoke alarm
- walking around permanently smelling of roast chicken
- pasta boiling over, not once, but twice
- tomato soup in the blender splattering across the counter
- piles of dirty pots and pans
- my husband’s disappointment that the dish he smells is NOT what we’re having for supper–because it’s all going in the freezer.
I haven’t always been a fan of freezer cooking. Some casseroles just turn out too dry or lose their freshness. And let’s face it, who wants to eat casseroles for three weeks straight? So I’m avoiding casseroles and going for delicious freezer meals that still taste good once you cook them–chief among them: soups, chicken dishes, pizza, and pasta. I’ve discovered along the way my favorite freezer meals that warm up fabulously. There are also a few new ones on the list as well. It feels good to stock up on the winter pantry, knowing that we will reap the benefits later.
Creamy Corn Soup This soup warms up as good as the original. If you use fresh sweet corn, you will enjoy the taste of summer long into the winter.
Stuffed Chicken We love these flavorful chicken cutlets filled with feta cheese, roasted peppers and olives.
Bean and Rice Burritos This tex-mex meal is a delicious and healthy dish. No need to stop at your local burrito joint when these are in the freezer.
Vegetable Chowder Another fabulous soup that warms up well on a cold chilly day.
I’ve had a lot of success freezing soups. Make a double batch of your favorite soup recipe and freeze half. It’s really no extra work and you get another night off from cooking. Hint: Avoid freezing cream/milk based soup as the cream tends to separate. It’s not that you can’t freeze them (I freeze my milk after all), it’s just the appearance is not as appealing.
For even more ideas, check out all these freezer meal ideas. Enjoy!