I know I am late posting this but for some reason my posts were hiding and I had to re write this. Last year we started a Valentine’s Day tradition and we were looking forward to celebrating again this year. We had a menu planned, decorations ready,and a scavenger hut prepared but none of it happened this year. Instead we all slept the entire afternoon. As I have stated in several posts our family’s immune systems have taken quite a hit and we are still getting better. Because we overslept, we missed getting dinner in on time and we wouldn’t be eating until 7/7:30 pm. That doesn’t work with kids, especially if you haven’t gone grocery shopping and don’t have any healthy snacks.
We made the crazy decision to go out to eat. We called a couple places first to see how busy they were and they said they were not super busy. So we loaded everyone up and headed to the restaurant.We had they typical wait time and then we were seated. We ordered almost right away. It took almost an hour before we got food. Our kids were at their breaking point and we were ready to just walk away and go get fast food. Our food showed up just as we were getting ready to leave. Despite the fact that our children were really hungry, they were able to keep it together and use their manners and not throw a fit. (One trick we utilize is to take Maya back out to the waiting area and let her run around until the food arrives). All the hard work and practice on manners and patience is paying off!
After returning home the kids put their pj’s on and we made s’more dip for dessert. The kids really enjoyed it and were a smiling sticky mess when they were through. The day definitely did not go as planned,and those plans will be saved and tried again next year. (That way it will seem like I am organized and planning ahead.) The kids had fun. We all got some much needed rest. We spent the day together as a family. What could be better then that?
Saturday we had our first I love you day. I hope that it becomes an ongoing tradition for our little family. The idea came about after reading other blogs who have done similar things and an episode of the Bates family that I watched on youtube. The idea is that on other holidays our children receive gifts from so many people we wanted a day where we can give them gifts, and they can give gifts to each other. It is a day where we spend it together as a family. We want to model love for our children everyday but having a day where we think of others and showing them how much they mean to us. We want them to think about how they can serve and care for other members of our family.
This year we were still trying to figure things out and what our plans may look like in the future. We made breakfast as a family and talked about going shopping to buy gifts. We talked about the need and importance for putting others before oneself. We weren’t going shopping so that they could purchase something that they wanted but something for their siblings. They each had a $5 spending limit per person. It was hard for them to understand but they are still young and it is our natural desire to be selfish. Once they gave each other the gifts it clicked a little more for them. The joy of seeing someone opening a gift that you took the time to pick out just for them. They are still talking to each other about it. I pray that our children will continue to have a heart to serve others and that their lives will be a reflection of Christ in everything they do.
Anthony made dinner this year and next year I think Kasper will help. This year he helped make the frosting. Analise and I made the cake and next year Maya will be able to help with the baking and decorating. It also gave us an opportunity to dress up and work on manners. I love that we can show our kids love and model how we should treat each other daily and to take one day out of the year and celebrate that is a blessing.This is definitely something that we want to continue. I am excited for the memories we will make in the years to come.
Inspired by this amazing Blog I have been thinking more and more about using what we have, or as she puts it with what you have. It is hard to know where to start when you have so much stuff and most of it you don’t want but might be able to do something with. When it is all chaos and clutter.
So you start somewhere. Today I took the plunge and just tried it. Instead of making something new for our lunch I cleaned out the fridge. This was a task that I needed to do anyway today but because I was able to do it before lunch I was able to take many of the odds and ends and make lunch. Thus using up most of the leftovers and random fruits and veggies that would otherwise be shoved to the back, forgotten, and then given to the chickens or added to the compost. Only 3 items were beyond saving and were added to the compost. An added bonus to getting this task done early was that when we went grocery shopping we were able to put everything perishable away first thing because there was room.
Continuing with this idea I was able to make our menu for the following week mainly using things that we already have. Using up canning and other stored food so that it doesn’t go to waste. It also helps me to plan our garden for the year. What do we use a lot of? What do we need more of less of? How will we use what we plant?
This simple thought can change a lot and make you be creative.It makes you see things differently. As I continue to clear out the ridiculous amount of excess stuff from our home and our lives it makes me think twice about what I purchase and check to see if I may already own something that will fulfill the need. Making do with what you have.
We are once again working hard at decreasing the amount of TV we watch and increasing our time spent lost in books. We both love to read and hope to pass that passion on to our kids.
There are 15 books that I am hoping to read this month plus skim over a stack of books that I requested from the library to see if they are worth reading in depth. I wish I had time to read them all. So here it is my reading list for this month. I wonder how far I will get.
- Large Family Logistics by Kim Brenneman
- The Art of French Vegetable Gardening by Louisa Jones
- Independence Days by Sharon Astyk
- Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder (This is our family read aloud)
- Love the Home You Have by Melissa Michaels
- French Women Don’t Get Fat by Mireielle Guiliano
- Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austin
- The Magic Art of Tidying Up by Mari Kondo (Kindle)
- Shopping for time by Carolyn Mahaney
- Backyard Homestead by Storey
- Enchanted Barn by Grace Livingston Hill
- The Love Gift by Grace Livingston Hill
- Miranda by Grace Livingston Hill
- Agatha’s Unkown Way-by?
- Manager’s of Their Homes by Teri Maxwell (not pictured)