Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Tip Tuesday

So many of our weeknights are filled with running here and running there right now.  Much like most other people I know.

Monday night's are open currently, except for story hour, so we've been choosing to make them something special.

And of course, since this is me you're reading, special = food.

Last week we had a full Thanksgiving meal on Monday night.  Turkey, stuffing I made from 100% whole grain bread, sweet potatoes, seven layer salad and green beans.  I informed everyone in the morning that we would be having a Thanksgiving meal, and while I was at home enjoying the smell of turkey filling my house, they were all out and about looking forward to their big meal at the end of the day.

After dinner and devotions everyone quickly pitches in to clean up and John puts on a small pot of coffee.  The kids scurry off in all directions and he and I sit down and enjoy the candlelight, sip our coffee, and discuss the day. 

It is really what I wish every night could be.  But because it isn't, it just makes it that much more special.

And that's my tip today:  make a weeknight something extra-ordinary.

Monday, February 27, 2012

The Red Plate Tradition

I love traditions.  Yes, it's true they allow me to plan parties, entertain, decorate, and cook which are all some of my favorite things to do.  But they also invoke this whole Family, Cozy, Fun, Familiar feeling for me.  They do seem to mesh well with my love of making people comfortable as well. 

John tells me that it is no wonder our children have blankies, bottles, binkys, loveys etc for so long- I have made them all comfort addicts. 

I'm okay with that. 

They like it.

One of our year round traditions is The Red Plate.

Our plate came with a pen to record the special events we use it for on the back.  I'm not gonna lie to you, the pen kind of stinks.  It doesn't stay on real well which requires that I fill in a few letters here and there every time I wash it.  It's a small price to pay, however, for this wonderful time line...

John grew up using The Red Plate and early on in our marriage we were given one by my sister-in-luv. We bring it out for all sorts of occasions.

Straight A's
And sometimes, just because, as evidenced here

"Feb.13, 2012 Daddy is special to us on Valentine's Day."

Our girls have many (and varied) suggestions for when to use the plate.  Holland feels that if she finishes her breakfast and eats all her lunch it is certainly a red plate evening.  Alyssa's idea is much more restrained: straight A's, Birthdays, a special award.  We'll see what Anna thinks of it as she gets older.  For now she just loves any excuse to bring out a fancy plate and light some candles (because lit candles mean blowing out lit candles for a three year old). 

On a sad note.  I have yet to recieve the Red Plate.  And frankly, I am terrified of what the requirement will be for me.  I've had three children.  I've been baptized by immersion. I've completed a 200 hour yoga teacher training program.  Not to mention, I've had several Birthdays. 

Still no Red Plate.

What's a wife and Mom got to do around here? 

Maybe you'd like a Red Plate of your own?  You can find them online at The Red Plate Store.

And if you do begin this fun tradtion, please let me know what it is you do to receive it, won't you?

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Tip Tuesday

Bet your never expected to open up my blog and see a roll of toilet paper, did you?  It's your lucky day.
For today's tip all you will be needing is:
toilet paper
essential oil

I saw this on Pinterest and it is SO easy, seriously works great, and really?  Who doesn't want more good smells in their bathroom?

Lemongrass is my scent of choice today.

Just drip two to three drops on the inside of the roll and it will safely scent your whole roll of tp.  Lovely and simple.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Little Things Loved

The computer went ahead and gave up last week so here is what's been happening in the meantime...
Her sweet face warms my heart and the fact that I got each of those pairs of shoes for under $6 does too.
Moody Church and a sea of hands worshipping the Almighty with Keith and Krystn Getty during their song In Christ Alone.

Julie and me after Founders Week. 
A sweet student of mine MADE this for me.  Lemongrass and Star Anise is a wonderful combination.
A little love from my man.
Our Valentine's Day "Egg in the Hole"... look closely and you'll see the cut out is a heart.
Our first attempt at Royal Icing.
A sweet shot of Holland getting Anna ready for cookie decorating.
Don't freak.  There was excellent supervision.  She is SO proud of herself!
A cozy Saturday morning.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Tip Tuesday

Penny wise pound foolish. Don't be that. That is my tip this week.

If you are penny wise and pound foolish then you don't buy the good anti-virus software and your laptop crashes and you lose all your pictures, that you didn't back up, your accounting spreadsheets, that you didn't back up and all your music, that you didn't back up. And then you have to go buy another computer.

And that costs a lot more than anti-virus software.

And now you'll excuse me while I research anti-virus software.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Story Hour

Tonight begins this year's Story Hour.

What is that, you ask?

Last year we started this old fashioned idea of listening to stories being read out loud. Now, we've always read aloud to our girls, but this is a little different.

John's Mom and Dad live very nearby and we thought it might be kind of fun to invite them over for story hour (or two hours). We of course were right, it is very fun indeed. I read, we discuss, and everyone eats popcorn and the whole thing leaves you with the warm fuzzies.

Obviously the book is very important to the success of Story Hour. Several years ago I learned about Lamplighter Publishing. I treasure this wonderful company. Founded by Mark Hamby, Lamplighter gives us back great literary treasures. These are gems that have gone out of print, been lost, or just forgotten. Mark seeks out these rare books, carefully considers each one, edits only what is deemed necessary leaving in tact the spelling and punctuation from the 18th and 19th centuries, and then reprints them.

My first Lamplighter was The Hidden Hand by EDEN Southworth.

Mark Hamby found it, in a box, at a garage sale.

To this day it is one of my all-time favorite books. It is that memorable. It is full of moral convictions, triumph, deep characters and, most importantly, faith.

Look, we all like Twilight. It's delicious. Page turning. Easy to read. But aside from a somewhat pro-life message in book four and the alluding to of 'don't have sex before marriage', there's just not a whole lot to sink your teeth into (Get it?). This is NOT what you will be getting from Lamplighter books.

Last year's Story Hour choices were Ishmael and Self Raised. Again, two of the best I have ever read. I find myself, as well as Alyssa and John, applying the principals Ishmael held to so strongly to OUR lives.

Oh! I haven't even mentioned how beautiful these books are! Gorgeous leather bound volumes that are more than library worthy.

Tonight we begin The Lost Clue. Part of the Lamplighter Rare Collector Series (doesn't that just SOUND fantastic?), it was originally published in 1907 and written by Mrs. O.F. Walton. This selection is recommended for ages 12-99. Lamplighter has books that will apply to children younger than this as well.

Want to learn more about Lamplighter or read the description of our latest pick?

I know not everyone has their in-luvs a couple blocks away (and not everyone has what they would call "in-luvs") but why not apply the idea to just your immediate family, friends, or other extended family. I think you will find it is a great way to spend a winter evening and one that lasts.