Monday, January 31, 2011

Please Pray - Two Prayer Requests

We only had seven daycare children today and two of the seven were here overnight and left around 6:30 this morning. So it's been pretty quiet. But it's not a good quiet. In fact, I have a two prayer requests. There should have been three more little ones here today and all day I was acutely aware they were missing.

The first prayer request is for siblings who may be in danger. I am not at liberty to give a lot of details but they are with a family member who is very unstable at the moment and may not have their best interests in mind. Police can do nothing at the moment because no harm has been done but . . . please just pray.

The other child who should have been here was not here because her mother is sick and unable to work. She has five kidney stones in one kidney, three in the other, plus a cyst on her ovary. All are causing incredible pain. But not working is rough for a single mother of three.  When I talked to her this evening she said something just feels very wrong, and she feels like she should be in the hospital but she's been to the emergency room twice and they give her more medicine and send her home. So I'm asking for prayer here as well.

Thank you in advance for the prayers. With God all things are possible and we know He hears and cares more than we ever can.

When Amanda went out to take care of her pet chicken this morning she discovered that something (probably the fox we've seen) had somehow gotten ahold of the chicken. So followed a morning of tears. She loves everyone of her pets dearly and takes it very personally if something happens to one of them. And since this is the second time this month this has happened, in spite of our best efforts to keep them safe, it was very hard for her. She seems okay this evening but I'm sure she will still have some rough moments.

We are watching the big winter storm that everyone is buzzing about right now but it doesn't look like we are going to get much of it here. There is a winter weather advisory issued for this area but only a 50% chance of a small amount of freezing rain. Icky but not like a lot of people are getting. I'm a little disappointed, I was hoping for another good snow storm.

Amanda made dinner this evening and did a great job. I made playdough after dinner because our last batch was starting to be show the effects of a lot of use.

Now that the little ones are asleep it will soon be time for me to go do our read alouds with Austin and Amanda. As I've said before, this is one of the highlights of our day. I find myself getting lost for an hour in our books and sometimes the hour long escape does the mind good.

In the Kitchen - Menu Plan Monday

FreeDigitalPhotos by Simon Howden

BREAKFAST - Our breakfasts are always simple. I'm not a morning person and even when I would force myself to put some effort into cooking a big breakfast the kids would come to the table, look at it and say "we wanted cereal." So cereal it is, along with a glass of juice.

Monday - Sandy's Casserole ( from the freezer), Green Beans, Applesauce, Milk
Tuesday - Lasagna (frozen store bought), Pears, Impossible Pumpkin Pie (Austin)*
Wednesday - Hot Ham and Cheese Sandwiches, Tomato Soup, Applesauce, Milk
Thursday - Hamburger Chow Mein, Peas, Applesauce, Milk
Friday - Pizza (frozen store bought), Pears, Milk (Austin)*
Saturday - Taco Salad, Corn, Southern Style Chocolate Pound Cake (from the freezer), Milk

Monday - Spaghetti with Meat Sauce, Salad, Milk (Amanda)*
Tuesday - Twice Baked Potatoes (will make extra for the freezer), Herbed Green Bean Casserole,
Italian Herb Bread, Milk
Wednesday - Fettuccini Alftredo (Tuna Helper), Corn, Applesauce, Milk
Thursday - Easy Vegetable Soup (from the freezer), Blueberries, Italian Herb Bread, Milk
Friday - Sausage Tomato Soup (will make extra for the freezer), Twice Baked Potatoes (from the freezer), Bacon Cheese Muffins (will make extra for the freezer), Milk
Saturday - Chili (from the freezer), Lettuce/Tomato Salad, Cornbread, Milk

Oyster Snack Crackers
Graham Crackers
Basic Coconut Cookies (will make extra for the freezer)
Grandmother's Muffins (will make extra for the freezer)
Animal Crackers

*Austin and Amanda each make two meals per week. They choose the menu and then I make them each a list of items they need to get for those meals when they go grocery shopping with Doug.

For more menu plans each week visit

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Proverbs 31:12

She brings him good, not harm all the days of his life. Proverbs 31:12

Here are the questions I will be asking myself this week in relation to this verse.

In what ways can I bring my husband good this week?

Am I bringing my husband harm in any way? Through my words, attitude, actions?

I am focusing on this verse this week as I work my way through Proverbs 31:10-31 as part of my 2011 Resolution.

Planning: 10 Things in February

While enjoying a cup of coffee and a few quiet minutes to read blogs yesterday I came across this post - 10 Things in February.   I agree that the 100 things in a year lists are a little daunting and have a tendency to be somewhat unrealistic. At least when I try to make a 100 things list it is. But I think I can handle ten things in a month. With a shorter time frame I am more likely to choose realistic and relevant goals. So here are the ten things I would like to accomplish in February.

1. Have a Valentine's Day Party for the daycare kids.

2. Reread Minding Your Own Business by Raymond and Dorothy Moore. This is a book I often go back to and read and reread portions for inspiration and encouragement. But this month I would like to start at the beginning and read it all the way through. It is packed full of so much food for thought and practical advice.

3. Put up some kind of window treatment in the playroom. The window in our playroom lets in a lot of light and looks out on the side yard where we like to watch the birds at the bird feeder and the squirrels in the trees. I don't want to block the light and the view but it needs something. Probably blinds that would be pulled all the way up during the day but could be closed at night and during naptime and a valance at the top.

4. Ditto for my kitchen windows. One of the kitchen windows looks out on the same view as the playroom window. The other provides a view into the back yard where the kids play.

5. Finish the two online child development classes that I've started and neglected. Both are fairly short and won't be hard to finish. I just need to get busy and do it.

6. Reorganize the "baby room." It's being used less and less as a baby room (room with cribs for the babies to sleep) and more and more as a storage room. I want to take out one of the three cribs and reorganize everything else so that everything is easier to get too. 

7. After reading this post on the Frugal Family Fun Blog I can hardly wait to try making some fabric wall decals for one of the walls in our playroom. I have lots of fabric and lots of ideas. Now I just need some time and a little liquid laundry starch.

8. Plan my garden and flower beds. I can hardly wait to start planting!

9. Put together a Home Management Notebook. I've been meaning to do this for months. Time to stop thinking about it and do it.

10. Watch one good movie.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Daily Photo Journal Saturday January 29, 2011

Somehow weekends around here seem a lot like the rest of the week. The only difference is Doug is home from work, which is pretty awesome, but we seem to have the same number of kids in the house. Sometimes even more on the weekend than during the week.

We had ten daycare children here today. Two are here for the night because their mother has five kidney stones in one kidney and three in other and just couldn't handle a six year old and a two year old right now. I was glad to be able to have them come here while she gets some rest. Three others are still here because there mother was asked to work until 8:00 tonight instead of 4:00 as originally scheduled. So it's been a day of changed plans but that's okay.

This morning, before there were so many kids here, Doug took Austin, Amanda and Michael and went grocery shopping. I stayed home with the two daycare kids who were here at the time and did some much needed cleaning and laundry.

Later Doug fixed a bookcase for me that I've been needing. Michael "helped" of course

Here it is all fixed and set up.

Amanda, Landon, and Madeline had a grand time playing with puppets this evening and it was so funny to watch.

I just love to see the kids having so much fun together!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Daily Photo Journal Friday January 28, 2011

There was no school again today and we had three school children. Plus I had agreed to keep three kids this evening so their mom could have a mom's night out. So it was a very busy day with a total of eleven day care kids, plus two of Amanda's friends and my own three kids.

Here are some pictures of some of the fun they had today.

Our large legos were well used as usual.

Austin brought out hisK-nex set and the older kids had fun building.

Katie brought a word search book and several of the kids got on the hunt for words.

And the puppets and toy animals were brought out and put to good use.

Sharing a good story is always fun.

Some of the kids started feeling getting restless and decided to go outside and play awhile.

When Doug came home from work he got in on the kid fun as well.

 Just for good measure here's a shot of Amanda folding laundry. And apparently Lauren is trying to climb into that box. I hope she got whatever she was going after.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Daily Photo Journal Thursday January 27, 2011

County schools were closed today because of the snow so I let Austin and Amanda have off from their school work as well. We only had one extra child because of closed schools though, which surprised me a little.

Austin got to make snow cream this morning with Michael's help. We used this recipe. He had been asking me about snow cream from the time he heard there was snow in the forecast. This child loves his snow cream!

I made a double batch of this vegetable soup for this evening. We enjoyed it and have plenty left over to put in the freezer for later meals. My freezer stash is slowly building and I love watching the freezer fill. I also like knowing that in a bind there are quick meals ready to be popped in the oven or microwave. 

Here are a few pictures of the kids playing today. We had a total of six daycare kids today but only got a few pictures of them playing. Somehow it still felt very busy all day even though there was not a large number of kids.

Austin, Amanda and Michael all three went to my parents house for the evening and most of our daycare kids left fairly early, leaving only one child who is spending the night. So Doug and I had a quiet, relaxing evening.

And just because I love snow pictures here are some that I took this morning through the windows (I love to look at snow but not go out in it.)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Daily Photo Journal Wednesday January 26, 2011

The big event for here today was SNOW! This is our biggest snow of this winter and the kids were very excited. Truth be told, many of us adults were too.

The morning started out with rain, then it turned to sleet. Soon after the sleet started we heard a couple rumbles of thunder and then it changed over to snow.

Austin, Gianni and Michael went out to play for about twenty minutes soon after it started snowing.

Michael got his bike out and pushed it around but never actually got on it and tried to ride.

A few more snowy pictures.

When Doug got home from work this afternoon he took the snowblower and cleared the driveway and made a path to the garage. He had to go back out a second time after dinner and clear it again because the snow was really coming down heavy.  Michael stood on the porch and watched him.

Here are a few pictures of the tree right outside our kitchen window. We watch the wildlife in this tree quite a bit while we are eating meals. We see squirrels (four of them) and many birds - bluejays, sparrows, starlings, red-headed woodpecker, snowbirds and others. But at the moment it is just very snowy. In the yard beyond the tree you can also see our bird feeder. This tree and bird feeder are also visible from the playroom window and the kids watch the wildlife from there as well.

Here are a few pictures of the rest of our day.

I brought out the puppets this morning for the first time in a long time. They had gotten lost in the shuffle when we moved and I found them yesterday.

CJ organized a game and I was very impressed with how well he set it up and supervised it.

There was also a game of "store."

And here is one of my favorites - Michael watching the biscuits bake while waiting for lunch.