Monday, October 24, 2011

Bonus Room

When we first looked through this house we were thrilled with just about every aspect.  There's so much more space and the layout is awesome for a large family like ours.  So much storage!

Downstairs there is a room with outside access.  It has a concrete floor but sheet rocked walls and is vented for heat and ac.  We just called it the bonus room and really had no idea what to do with it.

It was clear the previous owner kept her dogs in there and maybe used it as a planting room.   I've heard she loved to garden.  I was at a loss and it just held excess boxes until a couple days ago.

A few of my stylist friends said they would make it into a small salon.  Since I'm not a licensed hair dresser that doesn't really make sense for me.  So what do I do with this space?  We talked about moving our laundry room down there, but we have a nice space upstairs.  The best part about having the laundry upstairs is that I've kept up on it better than I ever have.  It's convenient and right in my face.  Kind of hard to ignore it and let it pile up. 

We have too many people to just not use a room in our house.  So I measured it to get a better idea of what could fit.  It's 9x10 feet.  Then it hit me!! 

What does a licensed personal trainer need?  A fitness room!  Since it has access outside as well as inside I could easily train a client in there and they wouldn't even have to come through the house.  I consulted with Ebony (my trainer friend from the Y) to get a list of must haves for a small workout room.  Come to find out 9x10 feet is big enough to fit all the necessities. 

I've been checking things out on Craigslist so I could find everything at a great price.  The transformation has begun.  I'll be in business soon and looking for clients!  What an awesome way to bring in a little income and never have to leave the house.

I am sooo excited!

Friday, October 21, 2011

This Made Me Giggle!

As The Holidays Approach at Break Neck Speeds

Are you feeling it yet?

All of you fellow Not Naturally Narrow friends out there, are you feeling the pressure of the holiday binge?

I am!  Due to the most stressful summer of my life, I have put on some poundage.  I am currently 10-15lbs over my goal.  That's nothing too major compared to my once 263lb self, but it's a slippery slope.

Typically over the winter months I carry a little extra weight anyway and I'm having some anxiety starting out above what I'm comfortable with.

I am going to start blogging some helpful recipes.  For those of you who have been around a while they will seem familiar.  Today I'm posting the 5 can bean soup (with a side of beano).  This is a winter favorite of mine and it's super filling and healthy. 

My goal is to lose my 10lbs before the holidays smack me in the face with pumpkin pie. 

1 packet of taco seasoning
1 packet of ranch dressing mix
1 can rotel
1 can pinto beans
1 can red beans
1 can great white northern beans
1 can kidney beans
2 chicken breasts (optional)

Put all ingredients (dump entire can juice and all) in a small crockpot on low for 6/8 hours or high for 3/4 hours.  Once the chicken is tender shred it up.  You can trade out any bean you like.  I often put a can of black beans rinsed and drained vs the pinto beans. 

I love to eat this with low fat shredded cheese, fat free sour cream and salsa on top.  YUMM!!!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Feeling The Love

It's amazing how easy it is to get out of the habit of blogging!

We have a new plan for our homeschool.  Due to having baby after baby I have always schooled in the afternoon vs first thing since the babies are napping.  I found it easier to give the kids my attention if I wasn't preoccupied with a nursing infant or two year old.

Now that the tides are changing in our growing family, it's time to make a shift in our schooling as well.  The last couple days the boys pulled their school work and started it as soon as they got up.  Having school done and out of the way by noon is AMAZING!!  We have the whole day to do everything or nothing!  No stress to hurry back in time to put in a full day of school.  Love this!

Yesterday I found a tiny silver can in my basement.  It looks small and inconspicuous, but I was thrilled when I opened it.  It's the wall color!  YAY!  This means I can touch up all the spots and postpone all the painting I thought had to be done asap.  This brings my OCD side some peace.  I already went all over the house painting here and there.  Ahhh love this!

We have a master suite.  Some of you may be thinking, so do we, and...  Well let me tell you!  We haven't had one and now that we do I'm not sure how we survived without it.  I am able to shut my bedroom door, go into my bathroom, shower and dress without ever leaving the privacy of my room.  No fingers under the door asking me if I'm done yet.  Well, at least with my bedroom door shut I can't hear it from the bathroom.  I actually get to be alone for whole 20 minutes.  Looooove this!

My middle boys asked me for a Jayhawk room.  I found some paint that resembled the beak and feet of a Jayhawk.  It's school bus yellow when you cover an entire room.  They may need sunglasses to sleep at night but Eli and Graham absolutely love it.  It's bright and collegiate. Rock Love Chalk this Jayhawk KU.

Tonight is Wednesday night family night.  I am making spaghetti and meatballs and grilled chicken Alfredo with toasted garlic bread.  Brennan has been asking me to cook for weeks and now that we are getting settled, it's time.  We have an amazing church family that we cherish.  I can't wait to spend the evening with all of you.  We loooove WCCC!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Getting Back to Normal

-Thank you for all your encouragement.  I'm getting into a new groove now that we aren't living out of boxes anymore and it's helping. 

-We are starting a paint-a-thon.  I'm about finished with my bedroom/bathroom.  I have plans to pick up more paint today for the boys rooms (thanks to Anneliese for writing all over the walls making Graham and Eli's room top priority).  If you're bored or just love to paint let me know.  I would greatly appreciate company/help!

-I bought some organic half and half so the kids could make ice cream in our ice cream ball.  I don't have any salt right now so I thought I'd dip into it for my morning coffee.  French press + half and half= best coffee ever.  Let's just say my skim milk and Splenda don't hold a candle!

-Our neighborhood, Whispering Ridge, is having their annual garage sales this weekend.  Let me know if you need directions.  It's 4 different areas that make up one big subdivision.  Should be amazing! 

-The boys have a new bestie.  His name is Nolan and he's a great kid!  My boys work hard to make sure their school work is complete so as soon as they hear that bus they start watching out the window for Nolan to make his way home.  He won my heart when I heard him tell Eli, "Be nice to Graham, he's just a little guy."

-I'm eager to feel settled here and wander outside of my little snow globe and meet our new community.  I've been so focused on everything and anything I haven't really talked with anyone.  I really don't want to start off by encouraging the stereo type of homeschoolers being isolating and anti-social. 

-Sweet Sheldon (my new nickname for him, I'm sure he doesn't mind) came over and wired my oven for me.  He had to run 220 from the breaker box all the way to the other side of the house.  He was here all day with sweat dripping off his nose.  In the process he had to cut 6 holes in my wall/ceilings.  Last night at church Graham stomped up to him and said,"Hey you, why did you cut holes in my house?  You better never do it again!"  Sheldon smiled and said, "Your mom told me to!"  Graham, with all seriousness said, "Well, she's a bad influence."  Instead of defending me Sheldon replied, "I've always thought that."

-October is Pastor Appreciation month.  I would just like to say that this pastor's family feels loved, appreciated, and spoiled.  Thank you for letting us serve in this wonderful family.  You are all extremely loved.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Is Anyone Out There?

I read once that come October and March teachers have a lull and go thru a bout of "is it over yet."

Knowing this has helped me in years past.  Somehow knowing that I'm not the only one secretly wishing for the school free days of summer made it a little more tolerable and allowed me to muscle through.

This October however, I'm struggling.

I am an individual who desires community.  I desire relationship, someone to relate to. 

I feel isolated, different.  Jared and I haven't ever been big into enrolling the kids in different sports.  There's not a lot we do outside of church and being home largely do to the fact we're homebodies and stay pretty busy just keeping things afloat.  The idea of adding extracurricular activities stresses me out at the sheer thought.

We aren't currently a part of a co-op largely due to the fact I'm not familiar with any in our area. 

Years ago when Jared first approached me about homeschooling my sweet friend Jane D offered me a book entitled So You're Thinking about Homeschooling by Lisa Welchel.  It's an entire book about how different homeschool looks to each family.  How one schools is largely driven by the primary teacher's personality.  I was encouraged to know there isn't necessarily a "wrong" way to school my kids.

I wasn't a traditional student.  My teachers often told my mother that I didn't "fit inside the box."  That was their way of saying I talked too much.  My homeschool is also very non-traditional.  We use a curriculum (Abeka) and we do school M-F.  That's pretty normal, but we scatter about the house.  Each kid has a file box with his school work.  They work at their own pace and I just make sure they do all they're supposed to for the day and grade their work. 

I'm rambling, what is the purpose of this blog? 

Encouragement.  I need it, desire it, long for it. 

I need to know that just because I homeschool and you don't that we can still be friends. 

I need you to know that I don't think you're wrong for public schooling and in months like these I contemplate it myself.

I need to know that there are other homeschool mothers out there that struggle like I am struggling. 

Is there anyone out there?

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Well Hello There!

Did you miss me?  I would like to say I am blogging from our newly hooked up modem but truth is it's not working.  Not sure what's wrong but the spouse will figure it out I'm sure.

Until then I am very thankful for one of our neighbors open wifi that my computer just barely picks up as long as its sitting in my bedroom bay window :)

Jared and I are plugging away at getting settled into our new place.  I desperately want to paint every square inch but have been sworn to be paint free until every box is unpacked and put away.  One mess at a time I guess :) 

The house is only 5 years old but has builder's grade flat paint that is seriously marked up and we did some sheet rock repair so it's begging for some fresh color. 

I just want to take a minute and reflect on the craziness that is my life!  What a blessing God has granted.  We found this house last Friday and were moved in with contracts signed by Wednesday.  It's so much more than we ever thought possible.  My cheeks hurt from smiling.  I can't believe this is our home and we feel so blessed!

Thank you all for riding along on this bumpy ride.  It was a rough one but the ending is so sweet!