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This Moment

{this moment} – A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

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Sunday Inspiration

I’ve been so inspired lately but the words and love of others as we are growing and digging deeper within ourselves.  I’ve been reading Radical Acceptance and processing a lot of it with my friend at Wellness Hammock – what a blessing!  I’ve been given many gifts this week in the form of motivation, beautiful words, learning to PAUSE, and my mantra: “What would happen if I accepted my life just as it is in this moment?”  That’s SO BIG for me!!!

Inspirational Links from my week-

::15 things to give up to be happy

::Your children want YOU.  A MOM MUST READ!

::10 life changing tips from Rumi

::How to meditate daily

::42 flowers you can eat

 

Sunday Inspiration

18 Muscovy duck eggs in our barn.

Whether you are celebrating Easter or the new life of Spring, I hope your day is filled with sunshine, family, and some good real food!

Sunday Inspiration Links ~

::5 Regrets of Dying

::Recipe for Spoon Bread that I’m making for Easter dinner

::Shaving cream eggs - we love the results of ours

20 Spring Activities for the Whole Family

It’s Spring time and the weather is changing!  It’s time to shift our time from spending most of the day inside to spending most of our days outside.

{Photo Credit}

Here are 20 fun family ideas to do this Spring!

  1. Go for a nature hike.  Collect some of nature’s goodies and decorate your home with them.
  2. Plant seeds inside to start for your garden.
  3. Paint rocks for your garden.  Maybe as labels so you know what you planted where.
  4. Make bird feeders.
  5. Bird watch and figure out what birds visit your home.  Do you have any visiting Robins?  Can you find a nest of blue eggs?
  6. Go to a local farm to look at the new chicks, lambs, kids, calves, etc.
  7. Color Easter eggs.  We’re going to try these this year.
  8. Have a picnic.
  9. Play games outsides – kickball, softball, fetch with the dog.
  10. Fly kites, but I leave my husband in charge of this because I have a block with flying kites.  Ask my Mom! :)
  11. Make pretty floral arrangements with the spring blooms.
  12. Jump in the puddles!
  13. Go to the playground.  Pack a snack and stay just a little longer than planned. ;)
  14. Blow bubbles.  Try to make your own.
  15. Make a rain gauge.
  16. Look at the stars or maybe an iridium flare or the Northern Lights.
  17. Pick dandelions together.  You can paint with them, make tea, jelly, or even salad with the greens.
  18. Have a fire with friends and make s’mores and roasted hot dogs.
  19. Make supper on the grill for the first time of the season.
  20. Wash your pedal bikes and go for a ride.

How will you be celebrating the Spring weather with your family this year?

How do I homeschool?

I had planned on writing up a great homeschooling post about a fun curriculum we have been using, and then my thoughts about schooling began shifting again.  I sway between having a curriculum and doing unschooling – I know EXTREMES right?  Val actually talked about going to public school the other day and I asked her what she would do there.  Her response was, “Whatever the teacher tells me.”  James and I just stared at each other like “Whhhaaa?”

Of course, I want a polite and compassionate child but I don’t want someone who follows just because.  I want a child to love to learn, to question life and her surroundings, and to strive to be a better Val each and every day.  That’s why I want to homeschool.  Some days we do “school” and the curriculum, some days we play with friends, some days we just go outside because the sun is shining and calling us, some days we paint because that’s what we feel like doing, some days we watch more Dinosaur Train than I like to admit, somedays we go to the library and read new books, somedays we do dishes and cook together, and some days we make huge messes and we leave them that way because we used up all our energy playing and learning…..

So, how do I homeschool?  This is just a glimpse at pieces of our day (not photos from the same day though).

Valentine sensory bin

Making Valentine cards with stamps and stickers

Swimming with DaDa at homeschool group

Coloring

Mama wearing a mask that Val made from Mother Goose Time

Watercolor painting Thomas the Train

Taking the goats for a walk with DaDa on a sunny February day.

Our days are full of learning when we are engaged with each other.  We talk, tell stories, play games, cook and clean, color/paint/create, read stories, sing songs, dance, have play dates and we grow and learn together every day.  And we are content with it all. :)

Day in the Life

I was inspired by a Mama friend  to do my very own Day in the Life post because well, I may not be all that exciting but it’s fun to take pictures and document how my days go.  Through all the ups and downs, spilled juices, and diaper leaks there sure is a lot to be thankful for.

7:30am :: Wake up call from V who always proceeds to wake up AJ with her booming voice

Since I knew a friend was planning to visit, I showered right away and brewed coffee.  Then I got the kids dressed.

8:30 :: Coffee (and breakfast with internet time)

9:00 :: Barn chores

In my cool mud boots :)

Feed the chickens – check.  Feed the barn dog – check.  Feed the goats – check.

Pick eggs – check.

By the time chores were done, a friend was over with her little one for a play date.

10:00 and 11:00 looked similar.  Babies playing or nursing, toddler being crazy self, mamas trying to chat.

11:30 :: Lunch

I didn’t take a picture of our lunch, but we had hot dogs and leftover pasta primavera.  I guess I was feeling rushed to get out the door.

12:15 :: We packed up and left for the library

1:00 :: We were comfortably settled into the library.

Val played with toys, I read her a few books, she colored, and we got some new things to take home with us for the week.

2:00 :: A quick stop in for a few groceries and a paper

3:00 :: Log into work

Once I got home, I let AJ nap in his carseat (I am that mom that leaves a sleeping baby sleep), turned on a movie for V (I am also that mom), and I logged into work for an hour.

4:00 :: Decaf chai latte time

I had a little bit of down time after work and before supper so I made myself a hot cuppa.  I nursed and changed the baby, set him up to play, did a load of laundry, and got V about 5 different snacks this hour.

5:00 :: AJ took a nap while snuggling and V decided to have a dance party

6:00 :: I started prepping dinner

I was enjoying my cuddling time with AJ, so I didn’t start supper early.  Val helped me mix up the eggs for scrambled eggs and stirred the mix for biscuits and gravy.  Our dinner was fabulous – you have to try these gluten-free biscuits and gravy!  Somewhere in here I managed to get V in the shower.

7:00 :: The GOP debate was on 

I listened to most of the debate from the kitchen while I did dishes, cleaned the counters, and cleared off the dining room table.

8:00 :: More debate

The scene looked very similar – AJ was cuddling with DaDa in the chair, V was playing/crawling on us/had one tired meltdown.

8:30 :: Bedtime routine

I changed AJ’s diaper, read 3 bedtime stories while we were on the living room rug, and I sang them this book (while listening to the CD of course).

I nursed AJ, talked to V a bit, but then she had to get up a few times to give her DaDa a hug and get kefir to drink.  Finally, she fell asleep holding her Thomas the Train flashlight.  I wiggled out of bed.

9:30 :: Write thank you card and work on blog post

Here I am!  Did I mention I had some dark chocolate bar with almond and cherries?  Okay, I had a lot of it.  It was really good. :)

That’s a Day in the Life of me.  

A busy, rewarding, sometimes crazy, mostly fun, blessed, never boring life of mine!  

I wouldn’t trade it for the world!

Tea

This was shared on the mnmlist, and I love it!  Well, because… I love tea. :)

Tea.

Tea is a an act complete in its simplicity.

When I drink tea, there is only me, and the tea.

The rest of the world dissolves.

There are no worries about the future.

No dwelling on past mistakes.

Tea is simple: loose-leaf tea, hot pure water, a cup.

I inhale the scent, tiny delicate pieces of the tea floating above the cup.

I drink the tea, the essence of the leaves becoming a part of me.

I am informed by the tea, changed.

This is the act of life, in one pure moment, and in this act the truth of the world suddenly becomes revealed: all the complexity, pain, drama of life is a pretense, invented in our minds for no good purpose.

There is only the tea, and me, converging.

Thich Nhat Hanh: Tea Ceremony

August Monthly Menu

I can’t believe it’s August… my baby boy will be here in October!  Cue crazy nesting instincts… upon moving anxiety!  It’s time to get serious and meal plan and FREEZE some of those meals before it’s too late.

The sides I am being flexible with this month as there is so much fresh produce to be had.  It will depend on what’s at the farm stands and coming out of the garden.

1-Grilled burgers and fries

2-Cheeseburger meatballs and veggies (freeze)

3-Homemade pizza

4-Chicken pesto

5-Chili and homemade bread (freeze)

6-Out/leftovers

7-Veggie spaghetti

8-Meatcups and veggies (freeze)

9-Out/leftovers/breakfast for dinner

10-Shepard’s Pie

11-Chicken curry in the crockpot (freeze)

12-Homemade pizza

13-Lasagna (freeze)

14-Out/leftovers

15-Goulash (freeze)

16-Homemade veggie mac and cheese

17-Enchiladas (freeze) with chips and guac

18-Sloppy joes (freeze)

19-BBQ chicken in the crockpot (freeze)

20-Gluten free fish sticks

21-Pulled pork sandwiches (freeze)

22-Spaghetti

23-Chicken quesadillas (tentative moving date)

24-BLTs and soup

25-Out/leftovers

26-Homemade pizza

27-Fettucine alfredo with broccoli

28-Hot dogs and baked beans

29-Pork roast in the crockpot (freeze leftovers)

30-Grilled chicken

31-Out/leftovers

Breakfast ideas:

Crustless quice

Bacon and egg muffins

GF pancakes

Smoothies

Toast

Eggs – boiled, scrambled, fried

Homemade granola

Lunch ideas:

Salads

Wraps

Sandwiches

Hot dogs

Tuna salad

Leftovers

Deviled eggs

For more meal ideas, visit The Org Junkie!

Meal Plan Monday – January 3-January 9

I know it’s been awhile, but with our move and the holidays we were just kind of winging meals.  It was a mistake and we felt like we weren’t eating as well or being nourished like we should be.  I’m back on track with planning, and the cupboards are stocked.  Here’s our menu for the week!

Monday~ B: Smoothie and toast  L: Tuna salad  D: Sweet potato burritos

Tuesday~ B: Cereal and fresh juice  L: Turkey sandwich and fruit  D: Asparagus soup, homemade bread, and salad

Wednesday~ B: Banana bread L: Leftovers  D: Venison roast, mashed potatoes, and steamed veggies

Thursday~ B: Smoothie and toast  L: Leftovers  D: Veggie fried rice and wontons

Friday~ B: Veggie scramble  L: Avacado roll ups  D: Chili and homemade bread

Saturday~ B: Smoothie and toast  L: Leftovers D: Spaghetti with steamed broccoli

Sunday~ B: Bacon and eggs  L: Leftovers  D: Veggie pizza

For more meal plan ideas, be sure to visit The Organizing Junkie.

What I’m Reading

We just recently started taking Val to a new chiropractor (who I can’t say enough good about), and I asked her about references for vaccinations. She said she just received this book, but was willing to loan it to me. How cool is that?

I am just through the preface and introduction, and I can’t wait to delve into the deeper information. It looks like it will be a good read – the book is set up in sections based on each illness. Sharing causes, symptoms, vaccine safety and efficacy data, 1,000s of citations, and many visual representations.

It seems like the kind of book I would like to purchase and keep on my shelf for reference. If you have questions about vaccinations or wonder about vaccinating your own child(ren), this may be the book you’ve been looking for.

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