January 21, 2013

Weeks in Review, Part II

Here the parade of pictures continues, with a few words thrown in between...

I have had this throw since I was 14 and my parents allowed me to redecorate my room. I thought this throw and the wooden shelves, lace-trimmed pillows, and candles hanging from pegs was very stylish. Why yes, it was the early 1990's....

Hobby Lobby fabric

Don't you just love the look on her face? This quilt is a bit better, but not much. This is a store-bought quilt that I bought when I was a teenager. Yep, I was a typical teen who saved up her allowance to buy home decor...

 Yet another store bought quilt. And a super cute baby.

I've always admired double wedding ring quilts, but I never owned one until DH bought this for me many Christmases ago. At the time, our entire dwelling was done in white, blue, yellow and green I still love the color combination, but in much smaller doses.

Just in case you couldn't tell, the next few pics were taken around Valentine's Day.

My little Sweetheart.

The background for this picture was two swaddling blankets. I really like the Aden and Anais blankets.

This picture, taken right at the 6 months mark, has a very special background. My MIL cross-stitched the Precious Moments pictures on this throw when she was pregnant with DH. DH, his siblings, and all of the grandkids have had their pictures taken with the throw when they turn 6 months old. I was terribly nervous the entire time the throw was in my possession and I was relieved to return it to her.

This is Hobby Lobby fabric,

still Hobby Lobby fabric,

 ...and, more Hobby Lobby fabric.

This is a Peanuts bed sheet that has an around-the-world theme. I use this as a curtain in the schoolroom (which is currently serving as BB's playroom until Grace learns to not eat Legos).

I LOVE this fabric - and her pose! To me, this fabric is so sweet and vintage-inspired. I really want Grace to have a dress made out of this fabric - something with lace trim, puffed sleeves and a sash in the back perhaps. I bought this fabric at Hancock fabric years ago, and have kept it just in case. So glad to have a chance to use it!

This is another fabric I love. I either want to use the fabric to make an outfit for Grace, or to make toddler bedding for her.

Whew! You have made it to the end of this installment! This quilt in the background is a lap quilt that I made. I hand-stitched the top when I was still teaching. I didn't get around to attaching it to the bottom and hand-quilting it though until we moved into this house. I spend many a night staying up late watching Buffy and Angel on Netflix while sewing this, as I am not a fast sewer at all!

Meal Plan Monday

Monday - ham and sweet potatoes (we didn't get to this last week)
Tuesday - dinner with the in-laws
Wednesday - homemade beefaroni and salad
Thursday - pancakes and eggs
Friday - fish and vegetables
Saturday - turkey and vegetables

January 16, 2013

My Two Jobs

 If you would have asked me to pick a word for the year for the past few years, it would have been failure. Some of this was due to other situations going on, but a lot was due to homeschooling. I couldn't understand how other homeschoolers got anything done around the house. I was perpetually behind on where I thought I should be regarding laundry, dishes, cooking dinner, and so on. As I am currently only homeschooling one of my kids, I was panicked at the thought that this was going to be my life for the next two decades. I wanted to throw my kid into school. Some days I wanted to run away.
Then I read an article LoraLynn wrote for Simple Homeschool. In it, she equates homeschooling to being the equivalent of holding a job. For some reason, I had never thought of it like this before. I knew she had a point.
In my state, I am required to homeschool my son for 4 hours a day, 180 days a year. That comes to 20 hours a week, aka, a part-time job. Granted, some of the work my son does is on his own, but he still needs a good bit of supervision even with a worksheet. For people with more than one student they are homeschooling, I can easily see the hours spent homeschooling as being equal to a full-time job.
I know that there are a lot of moms out there who stay home full-time and send their kids to school. These moms stay busy too. I know, because I have had the privilege of being a full-time SAHM since my son was born. And I have stayed busy! Why, then, was I surprised when I stayed home full-time, spent 20 hours a week doing school, and then couldn't stay caught up?
When I did work full-time outside the home, I wasn't surprised if I had dishes that had spent the day in the sink, or laundry was undone at dinner. I was gone all day, so of course I wouldn't have had time to do the stuff I would have done had I been at home. I realized that I had been equating homeschooling my son with a regular day at home, with an extra chore thrown in. No chore takes 4 hours, though; at least not any that I have to do!
With my revelation that I wasn't just a full-time mom, I was a full-time mom with a part-time job at home, I began to think differently about how I set up my days. When I worked, I got up early and got ready before my job began. I didn't show up in my pjs and try to shower when my students were at recess. When I worked, I had my lessons planned and the corresponding resources pulled days in advance. I didn't turn to the teacher's guide and read what I needed the day I taught the lesson. When I worked, I did laundry and shopping on the weekend. Now, I will most likely still do a load most days, but if I have to do laundry on the weekend, that's fine. Big projects like cleaning my son's bathroom, or cleaning all the floors, wait until the weekend too, barring a major disaster.
This may not be a major thought revolution for anyone else but me. But just in case someone out there is reading this and was just as surprised as I was, don't give up. Maybe you just need to change how you are viewing your situation. I have no doubt that when my youngest starts being homeschooled, I will be thrown for a loop once again as I try to juggle teaching two kids who are five years apart. :)

Be sure to check out LoraLynn's article that inspired all of this over at Simple Homeschool. Without her words of wisdom, I never would have found what "Works for Me!"

I am also linking up to Edie's Time. On Purpose series. Be sure to check it out!

January 15, 2013

Christmas 2012

Our intrepid blogger continues to play catch-up with pictures from the past year...

What a difference a year makes! Last Christmas, Grace played in her little infant gym on the floor while we decorated the tree. This year, she thought the tree decorating was the best day ever.

"Ball! Ball!"

Each year, I give the kids an ornament that reminds us of the past year. For Grace's ornament, I chose a pinwheel, as she had a polka-dot and pinwheel first birthday party (the pinwheel is actually a present embellishment I found at Hallmark).

Grace was deeply touched by my thoughtful present of bubble wrap.

As I remarked on Facebook, my kids seem to take turns looking good for pictures. Finding one that has both kids looking at the camera is a challenge.

This was the best I could get of the kids on Christmas Eve. We tried again on Christmas Day with even poorer results.

Here, you can see the toll getting two kids ready for Christmas has taken on poor DH...

...and just to prove I was there at Christmas, one of the kids and me.

What awaited the kids come Christmas morning. Grace's present this year was my old doll furniture that DH fixed up and painted white. In one of the big boxes are the chairs that go with the furniture. The little box out in front is the first present that we open Christmas Day - the baby Jesus that goes with the nativity set on the mantle.

Christmas Day breakfast, snowman pancakes. Frosty's scarf was a little burnt this year, but what's Christmas without the smoke detector going off?

Grace was still asleep when BB got up Christmas Day, so he opened his presents and we got breakfast ready. When she woke up, DH took a picture of her before he got her up. She was not amused.

I had placed one of Grace's dolls in the doll bed. She seemed more thrilled about seeing her doll than she was about the new presents.

Christmas Day outfit, minus the bow. She will ask to wear bows, but they only stay in 5 seconds. Don't you just love the socks that look like shoes?

Christmas Day night. These were the pajamas I wore for my second Christmas. I was 22 months when I wore them. Grace just barely fit into the pj's at 15 months. I have tall kids!

The Gingerbread house of 2012. Not pictured is the Godzilla DH made out of green fondant to go with the house...

January 14, 2013

Monday Menu

Sunday - spaghetti with Italian sausage, salad
Monday - chili
Tuesday - dinner with in-laws
Wednesday - OUT!
Thursday - Senate soup, garlic bread
Friday - ham and sweet potatoes
Saturday - leftovers

Clearly, this is riveting stuff. I know I had you on the edge of your seat the entire time!