Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Tiny Talk Tuesday {What Do The Big Dogs Say?}

Susannah has been saying "woof-woof" for a long time now, in fact it was probably one of her first words.

Recently we have re-discovered one of our board books, Moo, Baa, La! La! La! by Sandra Boynton. In this book there are "little dogs" and "big dogs." We have had fun with the two, and Susannah is starting to be able to correctly answer us when we ask her "what do the little dogs say?" and "what do the big dogs say?"

It's much cuter in person, but here's a little video I took this morning. (And goodness, I need to talk slower!)

(Our camera must shoot in a different frame size than blogger uses, I really did have her centered in the screen :) )

Monday, November 21, 2011

Goldfish and Goals

This past week was full of various and sundry things. I stayed up late more nights than I should have and could tell a difference in my energy level and "get things done" level. I should know this by now, right?!

Susannah had some fun times this past week. One was eating goldfish crackers off the kitchen floor. Literally. She had accidentally spilled her little bowl of crackers, and when I heard her making sounds that didn't correspond with picking them up, I turned around to see this:

I had swept and washed the floor the night before so I wasn't worried that she was going to get vast amounts of dirt ingested (plus you eat a pound of dirt before you die anyway, right? :) ). She had fun doing it, and it was fun to watch her experience something "new" all on her own.

One thing that made this past week "short" for me was being gone all day Friday. In my brain I knew we were not going to be home at all on Friday, and yet I still planned the week as if I had every day to get something done. Heh-heh. It was a great day (Bible Study in the morning, then driving a couple hours to help celebrate my nephew's birthday), even if I didn't get anything "done" here at my own house, and I'm glad Susannah and I went. She had fun playing with her cousins and I enjoyed the chance to visit with my sister while we worked on the birthday supper.

Last week my goals were:

~2 hours bookwork I did this in a couple chunks of time.
~1 - 2 hours working on Susannah's Baby Book. I hoped to do this Saturday but Saturday was full of cooking for my husband and brothers who were working on the addition, so I didn't get very much done outside the kitchen! I did work on it for about 20 minutes last evening.
~Address rest of Christmas Cards Yes! I am waiting on 2 addresses, but I am considering this D.O.N.E! Now to wait a couple weeks to mail them :)
~Shop for 1 Christmas gift. I thought I had the wish list for this person, but I don't. And I never had time at a good time to call and get ideas from his mommy.
Dust ceiling fans
~Start sorting and packing my clothes I won't need until next summer.
~Clean off desk. I made good progress but it needs a little fine-tuning.
Check with SPCA about finding a new home for our dog. I went on their website last night - I was DETERMINED to get this crossed off! - and since we've tried all other routes for re-homing him ourselves, I was able to apply for an "admissions" appointment. I should hear from them today about when that appointment will be.
Get serious about my bedtime and wake-up time. Like I said earlier, I was up past my 10pm bedtime more nights than I wanted to be, but I think 3 nights and 3 mornings I was up close to 10pm and 6am... just not the same nights/mornings :)

I also didn't get any exercising done like I'd wanted to last week. I'll try again this week and see if I can squeeze it in somewhere.

This weeks goals:

~1 - 2 hours on Susannah's Baby Book
~45 min. bookwork - I am all caught up with our main account, so now it will just be maintenance and catching up the much-less used savings accounts that should be pretty easy and fast to do.
Shop for 1 Christmas gift - which means I need to call and get a list of ideas for this person :)
~Work at sorting and packing my clothes that I won't need until next summer
~Finish cleaning and organizing the desk
~Mend Susannah's jumper - This is part of my November goals list, and I want to get it finished soon so I she can wear it for her annual "red jumper and piano" Christmas picture.
Thoroughly clean the living room. - I was digging a toy out from under the couch last evening and seeing everything under there was a good reminder that it's been a while since I've given the room a good going over.
~Learn from last week that I really do feel better and get more done when I call it a day and go to bed at 10pm instead of staying up later to "get more done." I am not a morning person, but when I do get up at 6am and get started on the day, I do enjoy the quiet morning hours before Susannah wakes up.

One thing that is making this week less-stressful for me is that aside from a reunion on Saturday, we don't have big plans for Thanksgiving. We will be having lunch with Daniel's parents on Thursday, but we decided to keep it low-key this year and stay home to allow Daniel some more free time to work on the addition (which reminds me, I need to take some pictures and post a long over-due update!).

A few things I would love to get done this week if I run out of other things to do would be to get all of the Goodwill things loaded up, taken to Goodwill and out of my house, and the other would be to get the Christmas letter written that will go in some of the Christmas cards. But, like I said, those are at the bottom of the list for this week and I am not going to stress over them.

Monday, November 14, 2011

November's 3rd Week Already!

Wow, if Thanksgiving and Christmas aren't creeping closer and closer! While I fully know and understand that they happen every year at the same, exact time, somehow the days fly past faster or something right now. Maybe it's the shorter days since it gets dark earlier that seems to make time go "faster?"

I am happy to have figured out a few things I wanted to do before the end of November this year... and I figured them out BEFORE the end of November! Haha! I am feeling like I will be more ready for this Thanksgiving and Christmas season than I have in a very long time, I think. The biggest things I want to do are: Be proactive in getting gifts, cards, etc. purchased, made or put together BEFORE it becomes a mad rush, and do some fall cleaning. This year I did my first intentional spring cleaning (mostly just the kitchen), and I think as a good steward of our home and as a good housewife, it would also be a good idea to do some fall cleaning. A few of those things are on my November Goal List that I am slowly whittling away at as the days go by.

Last week my goals were:
~2 hours bookwork
~Address 16 Christmas Cards This was depending on if I could get by a store to pick up some more cards. We stopped by WalMart on our way home from church Wed. night, and Thurs. I addressed 18, a whole pack, while in the waiting room at my Dr's office for the 1 hour sugar test. Multi-tasking at it's finest :)
1 - 2 hours working on Susannah's baby book. Didn't happen. I did pick up the pictures I ordered last week, though.
~Finish packing up Susannah's too-small clothes Now they are just waiting for Daniel to put the boxes away :)
~Clean off hot-spots in the kitchen Whew, it is SO nice to have a little more counter space and not eye-sores :)
Start shopping for a Christmas gift I have in mind. Shopped AND ordered!! Yay!
Continue aiming for 10pm/6am bedtime and get up time, at least 3 times this week. *Cough*cough* I did alot better than previous weeks. Most days I was in bed before 10:30, and only a couple mornings didn't get up until 6:45 or 7. Getting more sleep is really making my days go easier!

After last week, and having MOPS this morning, I made it a point to sit down last night (Sunday) and put together my goals for this week and the to-do list for today. After doing that, I felt one step ahead, and it wasn't even Monday yet!

This week, my goals are...

~2 hours bookwork - I think this will be the last week for 2 hour stints :)
~1 - 2 hours working on Susannah's baby book
~Address remaining Christmas cards
~Shop for and purchase 1 Christmas gift
~Dust ceiling fans
~Start sorting & packing my clothes I won't be wearing until next summer. AKA, everything not maternity/nursing friendly that I won't be wearing until after we're moved into the addition.
~Clean off desk
~Check with SPCA about finding a new home for our dog - For real and for serious. I've tried other avenues in the past with no success. Time to try a little harder. He's a nice dog, but just not "us."
Get serious with 10pm/6am bedtime and up-time! At least 3x this week.

I don't have it written down, but I would like to try to exercise in some way, shape or form twice this week. Either a workout DVD or taking a walk. Hopefully the weather will be pleasant enough, and Daniel's work schedule will work out that I can walk when he's home. Our road isn't the most stroller-friendly, especially when I'm pregnant, walking to keep the kinks out and don't really want to be shoving the stroller out of the side-ditch after every car goes past.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Salvaging the Week

Well, I think if nothing else, the start to this week should be a lesson to me that I need to get my to-do list in order by Sunday night. Especially if Monday starts off with anything other than a normal morning at home (i.e., MOPS).

I didn't have a list yesterday, and I felt silly feeling "lost" without it. But on the other hand I needed to focus myself towards talking to God (I'm tellin' ya, it was a rough day!) instead of sweeping my feelings under the rug and getting lost in the easy-to-become-an-idol List of Things To Do. So I turned on a worship CD and spent the afternoon having a pour-my-guts-out conversation with the Lord over a sink-full of dirty dishes. At the end of the day I was feeling better (emotionally and spiritually) even though I really hadn't gotten much done. Maybe it's a good thing I didn't have a list already made...

This morning - which has already gone much smoother :) - I am ready to get the train back on the track and start chuggin' away again.

Last week, my goals were
~ 2 hours of bookwork
~ Address 16 Christmas Cards
~ 1 - 2 hours on Susannah's Baby Book I spent a little over an hour (the remainder of Susannah's afternoon naptime) and found and ordered quite a few pictures for 6 or 7 "months" in the book.
Purchase tubs for Susannah's clothes and start sorting/packing I decided that frugality trumped OCD right now, and used the abundant supply of large diaper boxes. I got 2 boxes packed and had Daniel put them away, and have about 2 boxes worth left.
Clean off return vents This was SO easy and simple to do! It may have taken me 10 minutes??
Continue aiming for 10pm bedtime - 6am wakeup time for myself. I think I was close to successful some nights, I know it wasn't every night, though.

For this week...
~ I want to continue with 2 hours of bookwork.

~Address 16 Christmas Cards This will somewhat depend on if I can get to the store to get more. I thought I had more on hand than I did. I prefer to buy them on sale after Christmas for the following year :)
1 - 2 hours on Susannah's Baby Book
~ Finish packing Susannah's too-small clothes
~ Clean off hot-spots in the kitchen
~ Clean out the kitchen light covers
~ Start shopping for a Christmas gift I have in mind (it will be online shopping)
~ Continue aiming for 10pm/6am bedtime & get-out-of-bed time, at least 3x this week

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Giving Thanks

But my God shall supply all your needs
according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:19

While I think that we should always be thankful, during November it is easier to remember since this is the month we celebrate thankfulness with Thanksgiving Day. One of my goals for this month is to write down every day some things I am thankful for. I hope to post those here weekly through the month.

November 1
~This morning when I got Susannah up, I especially noticed how she smells, like a sweet little baby. It's just the way she smells, but I was soaking it up today, sniffing her often and tucking her baby scent away in my memory. I am thankful for the opportunity and blessing it is to be her mama!
~I am also thankful that Susannah is affectionate. She wasn't a cuddly baby, but now she freely gives "squeezes" and sometimes will actually cuddle. One way she shows affection is to rub you, generally on the back or arm. Today we were working in the kitchen quite a bit, and she was on the stool watching me work. Many times through the day she would look at me with her beautiful brown eyes, seriously jabber something in her all-vowel jabber, and then smiling, rest her head on my arm and give my back a little rub. I like to think she was telling me "I love you, Mama!"

November 2
~I am thankful for the beautiful weather we've been having most days, and the gorgeous colors God is splashing our world with through the leaves changing from greens to yellows and golds and oranges and reds.
~Another reason I'm thankful for this beautiful weather is that it is a wonderful time to go outside most days after lunch and walk around with Susannah. We meander in a large circle, going from the house to the mailbox, then to the garden, usually the hammock to swing for a few minutes, down to the shed to "drive" the lawn mower, and then back up to the house. It is fun to see things through my daughter's eyes.

November 3
~Today I am thankful for a Heavenly Father who cares about "the least of these" and allowed me to feel Baby Gus wiggling a LOT today. He (or she) had been moving around quite a bit the previous week, and then for a couple days I was barely feeling any movement. I was starting to get worried that maybe something wasn't right, and went to sleep last night praying that God would let me feel my baby moving. This morning I still hadn't felt anything and put in a call to my Dr's office. While waiting for them to call me back, I ate breakfast and drank some orange juice (which is normal). While I was finishing my orange juice, Baby Gus just started wiggling and wiggling. What an answer to prayer! (And he has been moving quite regularly since then :) )
~Back to the doctor, though, I am also very thankful for my OB who talked to me personally on the phone this morning. I'm thankful for her knowledge and confidence, her "bedside manners" and the way she treats me as a real person she cares about, and not "just another patient." (And her suggestion, which was reassuring and I had wondered about, was that most likely the baby had shifted into a position where I just couldn't feel the movements as well.)

November 4
~Today I am thankful for the promise in Exodus 20:6. I have probably read or heard it before, but never like I have seen it this past week. Usually you hear Exodus 20:5 quoted and it can be very oppressing if you don't know verse 6 that follows!
~I am thankful for godly women in my life who I can look up to and learn from.
~I am also thankful for the Bible Study group I am with this fall - an amazing study alongside amazing women.

November 5
~I am thankful for my husband who is the very best husband to me and who is a wonderful daddy to our Susannah. I love watching him play with her and love on her.
~I am thankful that mouths heal quickly! Poor Susannah bit the side of her tongue quite badly this evening.
~I am thankful for an abundant harvest of bell peppers this year. This afternoon I picked the very last ones (the leaves on the plants froze with the first frost a couple nights ago) and got a grocery bag full! It was a pleasant surprise :)
~I am thankful for fresh-from-the-oven, hot, buttered bagels :)

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

A Taste Through Time {Try New Adventures Thursday}

**I wrote this post on a Wednesday. The most mixed-up day I've ever had, I think! I woke up Wed. morning thinking it was Tuesday. Then somehow I realized it was not Tuesday, it was Wednesday. Then I sat down to write a post and my brain started thinking it was Thursday. All day yesterday I kept checking Alicia's Homemaking, waiting for her Try New Adventures Thursday post to go up so I could link, and I was thinking that she must be really busy since she didn't have it up already. Last night I was checking one more time when it dawned on me that it was not Thursday yet!! So, now that it IS Thursday, and Alicia DOES have her TNAT post up, I'm going over to link my Try New Adventures Thursday on a Wednesday post :) **

If you know me very well at all, you know I love to cook and bake. My kitchen is "my place" in our house. It is my favorite room to be in (unless I'm sleeping in bed, or curled up on the couch with a book or movie :) ). When I'm asked what my hobbies are, "cooking and baking" are always at the top of the list. If I had nothing else to do in this world, I think it would be great fun to open a little restaurant and bakery.

With that, it is no surprise that I have my "own" cookbook. Side note: I'm also a little OCD about my kitchen :) I don't like having recipes scattered between 20 different cookbooks. If I use them regularly, I want them all in the same place so they are right at my fingertips. I don't want to flip through a cookbook of 1,000 recipes to get the only one I use out of that book.

Daniel and I have been married for a little over 7 1/2 years. When we were first married my recipe collection was pitiful. Not because I didn't know how to cook or bake, I had just never taken the time to gather recipes for myself. That first summer I spent a lot of time copying recipes into 2 small binders, and I used them alot. Over time I was discovering that I also had a lot of recipes that while I knew what they were, I just didn't use them because they weren't favorites.

Three or four years ago those two original binders were starting to not be as efficient as I wanted them to be. So I spent another hunk of time copying down (by hand) only my favorites and the ones I knew I wanted. And by that time I'd added quite a few new favorites to the group. My current recipe book is a 2" full sized binder full of recipes, with plenty of bits and pieces of paper scribbled with even newer favorites stuffed in the side pockets.

When my youngest sister announced her engagement this summer, I knew immediately what I wanted to give her for a wedding gift. A copy of my cookbook. Many of the recipes she will be familiar with, because they are ones that we made and ate growing up. For the rest of them, hopefully we have similar tastes and she'll like them just as much as I do :)

I knew I didn't have time to hand-write each recipe, plus I wanted to make something that was cleaner and neater than handwriting on note-book paper. I love the way a clean, neat, freshly printed page looks, so I decided that typing and printing everything was the way I wanted to go.

Over the past few months, I spent spare time here and there going through my cookbook, typing up many of the recipes. I found some more to cull out, and plenty to add. I also learned the hard way to proof read before printing anything! I think I had printed 2 or 3 sections of the cookbook before I started proof-reading, discovering a lot more mistakes than I wanted to!

My sister was married this past Sunday, and last week I spent much of my spare time and a few late nights finishing it up. I had been thinking that I wanted a name for this cookbook, but nothing had ever jumped out at me or suddenly popped into my head. The word "taste" kept coming to mind and I was pretty sure I wanted to use it in the title somehow. The last day that I was working on it, I kept thinking over and over different titles including the word "taste." I came up with one I liked that didn't include the word "taste", but it reminded me too much of a very, very popular early 90's wedding song (Through The Years, anyone?). I just couldn't bring myself to name the cookbook Through The Years when all I could think of was that song. But I loved how it fit what the cookbook represents: recipes all the way from my grandparents generation to now.

With a little more grinding of brain gears, I finally had a name that represented the recipes collected and used over the years, A Taste Through Time. After a little more playing around with fonts and layouts, some whirring of the printer had the cookbook finished. I am very happy with the way it turned out. It was hard to wrap it up and give it away, not only because it was so neat and clean and pretty that I wanted to keep it for myself, but having it printed (even though just from my home printer) is something I've wanted to do for a long time.

I am very happy that my sister gets the first printed edition, and I hope she will get as much joy and as many miles out of her copy as I do mine!

~ A letter I wrote to my sister. ~

~ Alphabetical Index for the 231 recipes ~
One recipe per page, and the recipes in each
category are in alphabetical order.
I did it this
way so that if recipes get added in the future,
it could still be kept in alphabetical order.

~ Tabbed dividers for the categories ~
They are in alphabetical order, too. :)

Even though I tried to remember all the recipes I use less frequently (that haven't made it into my own copy yet), this week I have been making a list of recipes that I missed! I will get them typed up and printed off, along with an updated index, and give them to her the next time we see each other.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Hello, November! {and New Goals}

Wow! November already :) That means I only have approximately 4 more months until we meet our little baby!

Last week this was my only post. Thankfully that cold, as miserable as it was for about 24 hours, was short-lived and I am far down the road to being fully recovered. I think alot of my scratchy throat and tickle-y nose now is probably from leaf allergies and drier air.

I did not have any written goals last week, at least like the usual goals. I did have two goals. Two things with deadlines. Two things that while I had not procrastinated until the last minute, I did need to spend most of my spare time working on them to finish them up in time.

The most crucial item on the list was making a 9" cheesecake for my sister's wedding (for them to cut). I had already made and frozen just under 300 miniature cheesecake cupcakes in past weeks, but I wanted this one to be completely fresh... plus I didn't have room for it in my freezer! {I was quite occupied with Susannah on the day of their wedding and didn't get a picture of the cheesecakes.}

The second most crucial item on the list was my gift to my sister and new brother-in-law. This:

I plan to do a separate post about this in the future, but it is a cookbook of recipes from our years growing up, and then recipes I've added to my own collection so far during my married years.

With both of those out of the way, yesterday (Monday) was recover-from-the-weekend day. Susannah and I were both tuckered out so I took a nice nap during her nap-time instead of doing anything extra.

Now that today is November 1st, it seems very appropriate to start the month with a fresh list of goals. I have some goals that I want to get done this month, and others that I just want to continue working on each week.

Goals for November:

~Get Christmas cards addressed and ready to mail.
~Make a list of all Christmas gifts to make/purchase, and start.
~Each day make a list of things I'm thankful for.
~Pack up all of Susannah's too-small clothes.
~Pack up all of my clothes (again) that I won't be wearing again until next summer/winter.
~Mend Susannah's red jumper (it is brand new, and when I washed it before I was going to have her wear it, one of the seams came apart!) so she can wear it for a Christmas picture.
~Clean out light covers over kitchen ceiling lights.
~Dust ceiling fans.
~Clean off return vents.

Goals for This Week:

~2 hours of bookwork
~Address 16 Christmas Cards
~1 - 2 hours on Susannah's baby book
~Purchase tubs/bins for Susannah's too small clothes and start sorting
~Clean off return vents
~Continue aiming for 10pm bedtime and getting up at 6am. Last week that went out the window several nights as I was up later than that working on Katie's cookbook after Susannah went to bed. And if I don't sleep well I don't bust myself to get out of bed at 6am, and instead sleep/rest until I need to get up and make Daniel's breakfast and lunch (usually about 6:45 or 7am).

I am eager to see how this week goes. I'm hoping that it goes smoothly and I'm able to get many or even all of these goals met!