Saturday, January 22, 2011

Bloggity, blog blog....

Ok, so blogging daily is out. Sorry folks, my life is way to boring busy full. It's probably going to be a two-three time a week ordeal. Mamavation Mondays are essential and maybe one or two more. Ok, so I have modified my New Year's resolution from blogging daily, to blogging weekly. But at least I'll be blogging!

I am so excited! My new point and shoot camera should be here today. All you prophotogs know what I'm talking about when I say hauling around a DSLR is a big ol' pain in the rear. My friend, Shannon, said she had this camera. After searching and remembering my friend Christi had this camera and I opted for the latter. My old P&S had not died when my sweet hubby bought my Christmas present. He got me the cute little Panasonic HD palm video camera, and remember my saying I wanted a digital video camera. It was a cute little thing and I was totally disappointed when my P&S died JUST before Christmas and JUST before he gave me the other one. So he sweetly said I could return it to Amazon and get a P7S that had HD vid. Adding my free Amazon gift cards I earned from here and my Christmas money from a few sources, I was able to get it. One of the things I love about this camera is it's manual and RAW shooting capabilities since I am a, self proclaimed, camera control freak! It also has manual video camera settings where you can control the Aperture and Shutter Speed of the vid. AND it has 18x zoom you can use DURING video! I am STOKED! I am so excited to have a new "mama" camera! YAY! Of course I'll still use my pro camera for their portraits, etc. But am just THRILLED to have something to carry around for day to day use!

EDIT: My camera had not arrived when I typed my blog for today, but at 10:45am my doorbell rang and sure enough, it was my camera! YAY! Talking about FAST! I paid for the item yesterday afternoon around 2:30pm and it was here less than 24 hours later! YAY Amazon!

In other news, the new book I have been reading is about home management for homeschooling mothers in a book called "Managers of Their Homes" from Titus 2 ministries. Oh WHAT a blessing it has been to my heart! It deals with managing your time from a Godly perspective and how to be a blessing to your husband, children and home through what you schedule for the day. I am about halfway through the book and have already implemented some of the scheduling techniques with A2, A3 and A4. So far so good! Ava is napping on time, etc...and I am enjoying all three being down at the same time. It's giving me some much needed "me" time to either nap, have some computer time, etc. I HIGHLY recommend this book to ANY mom homeschooling with several children at home!

Another project on the home front is a little decorating project for my living room. I am super excited about it and found a WHOLE BUNCHA items at Goodwill yesterday I am going to paint/resurface, etc for said project. Watch for some posts coming up to show a little sampling of what I'm doing!

Also, I am taking recommendations for some recipes that are diet-ish eatable healthy and can still be fed to my entire family. If you have any suggestions or links, feel free to leave a comment!

Happy Saturday, everyone!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Day 11 of 2011! Bi Polar

While trying to get a decent shot of how BLUE Ava's eyes were, this is the series I got before I calmed her enough to take it!

Here's the final image up close:

Tasty Tuesday!!-Sausage and Artichoke Casserole

Here begins my "Tasty Tuesday" posts by which I share with you successful recipes I have tried, and/or altered to fit our life.

This week's recipe doesn't sound good at first glance. But, um, was super yum.

We, of course, used Venison sausage because we have tons of deer to eat....but you can use pork or turkey sausage. With pork you may want to drain your meat after your initial baking time.

1 lb "pan" sausage
1 (12 oz) jar of marinated artichoke hearts
1 1/2 (5oz) bag of butter and garlic croutons
1/2 cup onions, bellpepper and celery chopped fine (We used onions only because of my picky eaters)
1 can of chicken broth (reduced sodium)
3/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 450 degrees
Chop artichokes into small pieces

Cooking Instructions:

1. Crumble sausage and place in a 13"x9" baking dish, bake 8-10 min (you may want to drain after this step)
2. Crumble sausage into fine pieces. Stir in artichokes, croutons, veggie mix, chicken broth and cheese; cover with foil and back 20 min.
3. Remove foil and bake another 10 min or until browned. Serve.

I served it with green beans, but a salad would be good, too! My family LOVED it! (As you can see) Bon Appetit!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Day 5 of 2011!!

At our house, we love to vacuum! And not just mommy, either! (Though I am becoming a habitual vacuum/steam mopping fool as of late because of the new 'to me' addition of a Rainbow Sweeper and my Haan steam mop!)

Alissa used to have a horrific fear of our vacuum because of the loud noise. Not only was she afraid of it, but she'd scream/run/jump away from me and get as far away from said vacuum and I as possible. One day I decided to "Flood" her by letting her play with the purple kitchen sweeper and turning it on mid "vacuum" so it surprised her. She wigged out for about a second and a half and then proceeded to vacuum the ENTIRE kitchen with it. She loves it so much that we gave Alissa her own Dirt Devil Jr in bright pink. She loves it. She hasn't been afraid of any of the vacuums since. I love this especially because I LOVE using my new Rainbow and she just follows me around with hers now instead of screaming and running!

Alissa and I aren't the only ones who love it. Aslan used to be equally afraid of the vacuums til he saw Alissa get over her fear. No flooding was needed for him, as he saw Alissa wasn't going to die or get sucked up by the sweeper. He is now equally infatuated with the vacuums and I love that he loves to "clean" mama's kitchen floors now!

And yes, my children love to live in mismatched jammies, thank you very much! They pick them out themselves and to be honest, most days we LIVE in our jammies if we don't leave the house!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Day 4 of 2011!!

Have I mentioned that Alissa LOVES to spin/swing/jump? Well, she does. She has ALMOST outgrown the weight limit for her jumper, but insists on still getting in it first thing in the morning and right after nap. It's almost like it's become her wake up routine. She typically hollars "MEMEEEEE" for Barney to be turned on and she jumps/spins away through one episode. Sometimes she spins and jumps, other times she just spins. Sometimes she even closes her eyes almost as if to enhance the effect of the spinning.

Yeah, I hear spinning is the equivalent of "CracK" for babies. Who cares...she'll out grow it soon. Here she is in action...note the way she uses her leg to propel herself much like an ice skater does. Too bad we don't live near an ice rink where she could take lessons!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Day three of 2011!!

This is the day I started Jillian Michaels' 30 Day Shred. Did I mention it made me SORE?! Well, maybe I have a few times, but my friend, Kate, says I'll make it through it and survive.

As we were working out, Aslan decides he wants to come and join us, so I asked Kate to snap these pics of him diligently working out:

Having a cute lil workout buddy helps. (Not that you aren't cute, Kate) He makes me want to workout again!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Day two of 2011

I'm catching up on the first few days of the year. My feeble brain is so pathetic that I am having a hard time remembering a few days ago!

Were SUPPOSED to go Longleaf Church, as we do most Sundays. But Matt and I both woke up very tired from the holidays and from him working the "end of the year sale" at work. So, we slept in. After a very late breakfast we decided to "run" to Lowe's. I use the term "run" loosely. You don't "run" anywhere with a 3.5 year old, 15 month old and 3 month old. But much to Matt's chagrin, we went with him and I classified it as "family time". ::insert snicker:: The middles, Aslan: A2 and Alissa: A3 were getting mighty close to naptime so Matt was apprehensive that we'd make it home before one or both fell asleep in the car. And if you have kids that are very schedule driven, you understand what a 5 min catnap in the car will do! So off to Lowe's we went!

(please excuse the following pics, as they came from my cell.)

So what does one do with an almost 4 year old when the cart is full with his baby sisters and he has no where to be contained? You send him running the aisles so that you wear his fanny out so he naps well. He thought it was a game when in actuality it was to keep him distracted so Matt could think without the sweet but constant chatter and list of questions from A2.

And after 30 min of this, he decided this was the best place for him:

As for the girls, A3 had a great time watching her bubba run for a while. Then she grew weary of just sitting doing nothing. And other than calling every other man who walked by "JJ" (what she calls Matt's dad) she did this:

As long as we were in motion she was happy, as was A4:

All in all it wasn't a horrible trip to Lowe's. We did have some family time and when we got back Matt started building our storage shelves in the garage to help with pantry space. I am so excited! He has tripled my pantry space and it looks good, too! YAY for handy, perfectionistic husbands!

And randomness....did I mention I have a new haircut?? Yep:

More randomness...look how cute she is when I dress her like a rocker chick after pulling her hair out of a bow and seeing a fauxhawk!

And how about my baby girl's blue eyes???

LOVE them.

Happy 2011!! Welcome to our world!

My goal this year is to document our "mundane to some", but exciting to us, life. I am going to just ramble. I have never journaled or blogged before, so I am gonna just "jot" down some thoughts of where my kids are RIGHT now.

Last year, 2010, was quite busy for us. We came to find out in early January, just a few short months after A3 was born, that we were expecting again! Boy, talking about overwhelmed! I was the mother to a 4 month old, almost 3 year old and 9 1/2 year old. HOW in the world could I add another to the mix, much less survive the next 9 months, through the summer, AGAIN, pregnant. But God had amazing plans! A4 was born September 17th, after 33 hours of labor, via c-section. She is a good baby who brings us much joy. She started cooing and smiling around 7 weeks, which is MUCH earlier than my other two babies. We started putting her in her bumbo seat, which she loves first thing in the morning, and she is just a nosey little thing watching all that is going on around her. She watches her big brothers and siss and just smiles and squeals! Her big blue eyes light up when her dad or myself walk into the room and it just makes our hearts sing! She's not sleeping as well as we'd like some nights, but most nights we get enough.

A3, born August 27, 2009; turned 1 and we are absolutely in love with "Priss", "Ange'", "bebe", "sissa". She adds so much joy to our lives. She loves her baby sister, too! Every chance she gets she "wuvs" A4. She snuggles her head down and gives her nuzzles. It's precious. She calls her "Vah" and A4 loves watching A3 play. Siss got a kitchen from her papa for Christmas and she LOVES it. Along with her baby from DD and the kitchen, she has PLENTY to do to imitate mommy. I love watching her walk around with the baby slung over her shoulder. She also puts whatever toy is rectangular to her ear as if it were a cell phone. Priss thinks she can call dada anytime she wants! Some words she uses regularly: Mama, Dada or daaaeeee, DD, JJ (dayday), Bubba, AAAAh for A1 and Aaaln for A2 and of course Vah for A4. She also will say papa, nana, maaana for banana, beeemee for Barney, and of course she sings the I love you song. It comes out "me me meeee, tissess tissess". She started walking at 10 months and hasn't slowed down since. She still loves her jumper, though she has just passed the weight limit. She gets in it and spins. And when I say spin, I mean like an ice skater. SHE FLIES. I will need to post a video soon. She has also taken to the boy's trampoline that papa gave them for Christmas. She loves it. She is pure joy to us!

A2 turns 4 March 2 and I can NOT believe it. I am in complete disbelief that my first baby is leaving his toddler years and headed into "little man"-hood. ::sniff:: He and I have a special relationship that only a mother of a son can understand. DH says I let him slide with too much. I am working on that, but it's hard as he looks at me with those big brown eyes! These days we do "school" work, but mostly we learn through play. He got a "big boy" bike for Christmas and is loving that. He is still young and sweet enough that it's still ok and cool to climb into mom's lap to read a favorite book. From the time he gets up in the morning, he is on "go" all day long and will still collapse, most days, at naptime to rest a bit before going at it again! We're counting almost to 20, know all of our colors, shapes, etc and is learning to build with the Lincoln Logs that Nana W gave him for Christmas. He loves to dig around in bubba's legos and build "star fighters" and "emperial droids". Much to my dislike, A2 LOVES Dora. Ugh. I SWORE I'd never let my kids watch Dora or Barney. I am eating my words. A2 loves his baby sisters and big brother SO much and always has extra kisses for us all.

A1, my big boy, turned 10 in August 2010. He's all boy and loves the typical 10 year old activities. He's great with legos! The boy has skills! He has taught Aslan how to build and in general is quite the engineer! He got a new bike for Christmas and is learning tricks on it. It's one of those fancy BMX trick bikes. He just learned to ride without training wheels a few months ago. Now he's zoom zoom all over the place! We are homeschooling, still, and he is doing wonderfully since being home! Not only has his attitude in general gotten better, but his academics have improved greatly! He started the year almost 2 years behind in Math, but has caught up about a year and a half's worth! That is a MAJOR improvement! We are using a kinetic math curriculum that he actually LIKES. He is reading on a 7th grade level (he's only in 3rd) and loves to consume mystery books like the Hardy Boys, etc. We are studying early American history in our curriculum and are learning about the Native Americans, Christopher Columbus, etc. He is quite obsessed with the Egyptians and mummies, so we took a field trip a couple months ago to the Indian Mounds in Macon. Now he is really into the similarities of the Native Americans and the Egyptians ( mounds vs pyramids, mummification, etc). We really are enjoying it and I am learning a ton about our history, too! He is my joy boy and I love him SO much! We will celebrate 6 years of him being with us in April! I can't believe it!

I am so blessed, BLESSED beyond measure! I have a wonderful husband and fantastic children and am so thankful where God has me. I am learning more and more of His love for us daily through serving my family. I hope you enjoy my ramblings!