Merry Christmas!



A Long Summer

We have been having the most beautiful fall weather here in Ohio - which feels way more like summer weather. 

It's November and I wore a t-shirt and flip flops yesterday and went for a bike ride with Sammy.  (Who is 15 and I know doesn't have many of his favorite bike rides left.)

On my weekends I've been working in the garden with the help of my kids someday and others, just me.  Since my classroom is in the basement of our school and I have just one window that looks out into a basement stairwell I try to soak up all the sunlight I can every day.  

Work-I love it!  It's heavenly.  Sometimes yes there are days when things don't go as planned but there is nothing I don't love about my job and if there has been I have found a solution.  (For instance hanging kids art work is so time consuming but I now have more cork strips and a rechargeable glue gun for cement block walls and both make the job enjoyable instead of frustrating and never ending. 

Halloween was wonderful- Patrick went with a friend and Janey and I just slowly walked the neighborhood.  I can get nostalgic about all the years with the older kids at home but then I realize how lucky I am to still get to see the whole day through the younger kids eyes.

One thing I do know when I look back on holidays and life in general is that simple is always always better.  It doesn't mean boring or unenjoyable in fact in means just the opposite.  It means more excitement and appreciation because there is no burnout, exhaustion, unrealistic expectations, and never ending materialism - for parent, child and family.  I have never regretted dialing a holiday, a weekend, a vacation back.  Back to simplicity- back to less decoration, less planning, simpler food, gift giving and outside commitments.  The kids want it and need it- even if the pressure of our culture sells them (and us) the opposite every day. 

Yesterday I sat down and took a plain sheet of paper and planned how I want the next two months to look for me.  For us.  And now I feel more at peace instead of stressed or overwhelmed.  Because it's all as simple as heck with the emphasis on what I decide, not the craziness of outside sources that tell us every day how holidays should look. 


Back To Blogger

Just a little note to say that the last two years of blogging are missing here-I decided to switch platforms back to my simple and free Blogger, and I will have to manually enter all my posts.  This might take me some time since my main gig is teaching now!  (And if you are an email subscriber you might receive some old posts now and then.)  Nevertheless, I feel like I am back to familiar and easy blogging and it's wonderful.  

September has been gorgeous here and I am loving every minute of it.  The leaves are beginning to turn and the days are warm and the nights are cool.  The last day of summer was hotter than heck, and the temps fell about 40 degrees that evening and we woke up to fall weather-I am not sure how Mother Nature got that timing so right this year but she was down to the minute with that summer to fall switch.

Working full-time is an adjustment for sure, but it seems easier than I thought it would be, thankfully since my two youngest are at the same school where I teach and we live so close.  My main hurdle now is meals-when I get home I just want to eat and eat and eat.  I usually have little to no time to eat lunch because of prepping in between classes, especially the weeks I have planned big-time painting projects.  But I wouldn't have it any other way, because I do love being busy at work.  The time just flies.  I just need to figure out that work-to-home transition.

I was thinking about what I really love about my job-it encompasses a lot of what I do at home!  Planning projects is so fun for me, I have to slow myself down sometimes.  Working with children is intense but I laugh every day and it is wonderful to see them learn and grow.  Organization in the art room, and keeping it clean and orderly isn't any different than what I've done here at home for years.  I like switching off the lights and closing the door after a busy day, knowing it's all cleaned and prepped for my first class the next day. 


Favorite Kitchen Items

*affiliate links used

 As I was going through my kitchen organization-40 Bags in 40 Days-I thought it would be useful to do a post on the things I have loved and were the most useful to me in my much used kitchen.  I've been a mom for 26 years and regularly feed many hungry mouths from sunup to sundown.  My kitchen works hard.  I've had some things forever, and other things it took me awhile to find what really worked and lasted.

Favorite Smoothie Recipe

 *affiliate links used


Bathroom Organization-Five Tips For Purging and Organization

Hi Everyone!

Today is Day One of 40 Bags in 40 Days (all the old posts HERE) and I've made my list and I'm checking it twice!  I started in the farthest corner of my first floor which happens to be the old Master Bathroom.  The kids and I use this space mostly for morning duties, like tooth brushing and hair-do's, and my teen uses it for "his" bathroom.  It's a nice overflow bathroom (my other two full baths are upstairs and I have a TINY 1/2 bath in the older section of the first floor.


The 'Sell This House" Method Of Spring Cleaning

Thought I'd repost this since I started my spring cleaning method this week!

Here's how I spring clean:
1. I buy a notebook.
I make a heading for each room. Even closets.
I imagine that I'm a potential buyer of this house. You know...PRETEND!...and see the room through someone else's eyes.
I stand in each room and look around and see all the imperfections.


Little Gifts

When I hear Janey wake up after a long nap, I "spy" on her.  I can peek through the door and see her sitting in her crib looking around.  Sometimes she will play with one of the three little bunnies she has in her crib, but mostly she just wakes up slowly, and looks at things around the room.
It is just about the cutest thing ever.

And then I crack the door a little more, and she sees me spying and her whole face lights up into a huge grin.

My heart just fills with love and happiness.
I am grateful for every single day I spend with her.
I am grateful that I get to love her everyday, and be the first thing she sees when she wakes up.
I don't think there is anything in the world that can bring more joy than our own children, do you?

I made the mistake the other day of cruising the internet a little...you know, going to this link or that link and wound up off my strict course of my few favorite uplifting blogs.  I always regret it, darn it, I guess I just have to remind myself of that every once in awhile. When I stray I usually find something that just makes me feel so sad or like the whole darn society is going to pot. 

I hope I'm so wrong but it seems like it has become too common for parents to complain about their kids, or what a pain babies are, or think it's funny to have a misbehaving toddler or child. 

We parents reap what we sow, and much more often than naught, our children's behavior is the reflection of the time and love we put into our parental vocation.  

Babies are precious sweet little perfect creatures that need us, their moms and dads, to love them all day and night long.  So it's sometimes requires us to give a lot.  I just want to say to these parents-get over it!  Grow up!