Friday, November 30, 2012

Day 15 of 4 Weeks Challenge

I did the stuff prescribed, which was:

Get dressed in something that makes you feel great.

Make your daily to-do list from the weekly list.

I have been rolling over things I didn't get done from previous days, which works great because I tend to put too many things on my list initially. I was excited yesterday to get my reminder signs posted, which had been on my list for a week or so.

Wipe down your computer, clear your email inbox, organize files and photos if you have time. 

I did this but didn't feel the need to organize files because of my naming system. I use a heading for most of my files followed by what I want to name it. For example, I write for The Homemaking Cottage and I start the name of each document for The Homemaking Cottage with HMC. Then when I go to my list of documents, I scroll down to the heading I want and then look through that list for the right document.

Set the timer for at least 15 minutes and do something that relaxes you and that you enjoy.

I splurged and bought this album for myself for $5 (The Joy of Christmas). I was so excited to listen to it. After Nick went down for his nap and Xander promised not to go into my room, I started wrapping presents while listening to the beautiful music. That was nice, but actually not relaxing at all. After 20 minutes or so, I put the new album on my iPod and laid down in bed listening to it and reading Londoners. Now that was perfect! The book is enjoyable thus far. One of the nicest things about listening to the music on my iPod was I didn't hear any of the normal childish rustles that make me worried that one of them is going to wake up. Xander, for example, can run down a hallway in sock feet like Puddleglum. And the stage whispers of children? Those alone could wake someone out of a sound slumber.

I have loved this day so far! I am just hoping Erik comes home soon to start his weekend. Lately I have decided to keep Fridays simple (in terms of homeschool) and now we seem to have time to savor our activities instead of feeling like we'll never get to it all.

Self-Sacrifice, Kid Version

Xander put together a battle between his medieval knights and his Alexander the Great army. When it was over, he felt bad that the side I was "rooting for" (because he kept asking me to pick one) lost. He went to find a consolation prize for me.

He came back with the little light he uses at night to read in bed. We are okay with him reading in bed for half an hour at night, but there has been trouble with him continuing to read after we tell him lights out.

I said, "Oh, thanks! Should I just use this for today and then give it back to you?"

He said, "No. Giving it to you is the only way to make sure that I don't read with it in bed [after lights out]."

I told him that was a wise decision and I was proud of how he was growing wiser and more mature each day.

He walked away crestfallen, saying, "I am just really sad."

Small School Milestones

Today, we went to a kind of a mom's group science outing. It was at a local park. A mom of two young kids who used to teach science had put together materials for the kids to learn about compasses and sundials. Xander was fascinated.

The kids also played on the playground and had lots of fun together. Our playground group friends were all there and so were lots and lots of other kids.

At home, Xander reviewed his memory work (the poem "Summer Afternoon," the songs "Scarborough Fair" and "A Man's A Man for A' That," and a list of Family Rules). He surprised me by reciting the poem all the way through before I could show him his prompt. (We have a dry-erase board consisting of the lines of the poem with the words he's memorized replaced with dashes. It was almost all dashes before today.) I have probably slowed him down more than necessary memorizing the poem, but I wanted this to go smoothly and to show him the value of working on something little by little every week. I told him I was proud of his work, how he had worked on memorizing that poem for so many days, and he said, "Thanks, Mom! You too."

The poem is:
Summer Afternoon
by A.A. Milne

Six brown cows walk down to drink
(All the little fishes blew bubbles at the may-fly).
Splash goes the first as he comes to the brink,
Swish go the tails of the five who follow....
Twelve brown cows bend drinking there
(All the little fishes went waggle-tail, waggle-tail)-- 
Six from the water and six from the air;
Up and down the river darts a blue-black swallow.

We went together through Lesson 4 in Progressive Recorder Method. I played my flute and he played the recorder. Throughout, Nick sat on the couch listening and watching attentively. I think he's our real music aficionado. Actually, Xander taught him a couple of notes on his flutophone yesterday. I can picture Nick being able to play in the recorder book within a year. I don't aim to teach him this year unless it comes naturally, though.

Xander has practiced recorder for more than four weeks, but I wanted to make sure the lessons were all solidified in his mind (and fingers) before moving on to Lesson 5. He knows his notes and can sight-read all the songs through this lesson. I noticed he barely squeaked at all, so his tone has improved greatly as well. He plays the songs very slowly to get the fingerings right, but I am impressed with his knowledge.

Other lessons today: listening to the Nutcracker Suite and examining more Norman Rockwell paintings and discussing them (Freedom from Want, Thanksgiving: Girl Praying, Santa at His Desk).

After this, he earned his Alexander the Great warriors. I gave him a sneak peek at the Ancient World pages that pertain to Alexander. He is so excited working with his new figures.

And by the way, Nick knows the sounds to just about all the letters of the alphabet now! He also put his underwear on all by himself yesterday (a life skill Erik suggested we work on with him). There were some false starts and times I had to help him after he went to the bathroom, but the spark is there. He is excited to learn to do things all by himself.

Thursday, November 29, 2012


I have had a day already, and it's only 11:30.

First, I made my first-ever batch of baked doughnuts with chocolate glaze to go on top. They were well received by the boys. Erik had already left for work by the time they were done - he went in very early this morning.

(I took quite a few photos for today, but Blogger is still rejecting my right to add more pictures, even though I have been deleting old photos from the blog. Grrrrr. I'll try again tomorrow.)

I've been shirking some of the Money Saving Mom 4 Weeks challenge in the last two days and I knew I had those tasks in front of me. I took the first good excuse to put Nick in independent playtime and did school with Xander. We finished all of that except for the playing outside and the recorder practicing.

I found a good idea for showing the value of different coins on Pinterest, and we made our version with Trio blocks. This worked well for Xander.

At some point, I got into my outfit for the day and put on makeup. My daily goals list was made. I did one of the extra tasks for today, which was to thoroughly clean out the miscellaneous utensil drawer. I use two handmade mugs for our dinner prep utensils: one for things that are used to open cans and stir and make things up, and one for things that are used to help serve the food up. The utensil drawer holds baking tools, twist-ties, candles, ice cream scoop, meat thermometers, chopsticks. You know. That stuff.

I am happy to report that all those places are now very clean. I even rinsed and dried my cookbook stand because it is easier to do that than to dust it.

Nick came out and the kids played with Sandy (who gobbled up red bell pepper meanwhile) and I started working in the kitchen. I had a lot of work to do on the stove and oven, which is the main reason I shirked the Money Saving Mom stuff when it was appliance day. They are now as clean as they get without an hour-long scrubbing.

I cleaned the top of the refrigerator. I found on top: a large red cookie tray, our chocolate advent calendar for this year, a child safety identity kit, and a bag of Alexander the Great warriors from Hobby Lobby. In my humble opinion, most of this is fair game for top-of-the-refrigerator territory. The large red cookie tray won't fit anywhere else and it will be used this season. The chocolate advent calendar has to be kept up somewhere high, I'm sure you'll understand, and I wanted it near our quilted advent activity calendar which is just outside the kitchen. The bag of warriors is waiting for Xander to make it one more school day without complaining about school at all. Then he earns the right to keep and play with them. I do need to use that child identity kit, so sometime today I will take Xander's fingerprints with it. We already have a sample of Nick's DNA (in the freezer) that the hospital gave to us when he was born.

I did do the vacuuming that was called for yesterday. What is left from previous days is a quick clean of the hall bathroom and a wipe-down of all the kitchen cupboards. I should really clean the inside of the microwave, but we'll see. I'm a bit exhausted from tackling that oven and stove. What is left of today's assignment is to clean all the glass doors and tables and such. If I don't get to that, I'm sure Nick or Xander will happily do it for me. :)

Off to post some photos on Facebook, since Blogger is not my photo friend right now.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Christmas Traditions Passed Down

Kim has gotten me in the mood to talk about Christmas traditions!

When I was growing up, my family had so many excellent Christmas traditions that I feel very sentimental about. One of the best was what we did on Christmas Eve. Dinner was our traditional Swedish/German meal-meld: Swedish potato sausage, boiled potatoes, bruna bonor (Swedish sweet-n-sour baked beans), and pfoetchen. Pfoetchen are made with fried batter, raisins, and cinnamon-sugar. Many of us would have gone hungry Christmas Eve if it weren't for the pfoetchen. Actually, I liked the meal. My grandma spared us the lutefisk.

Also, who can eat right before opening presents when they are young?

Now that I think about it, it was a good character-builder for us to eat dinner before having presents.

There was at least one Christmas Eve when we lit candles and by candlelight alone had the Christmas story from Luke read to us before we could open gifts. That is a precious memory of mine.

After dinner, when the adults were ready (I think dishes had to be done first, while we kids gazed longingly at our gifts), we got to open gifts. They were passed out one by one. Everyone paid attention to every gift, and thank yous and hugs were given immediately. Sometimes, Santa rang the doorbell and then got away without us seeing him. There would be a bag of gifts from him outside that we got to open as well. Other years, Santa left us gifts overnight at the same time as filling our stockings.

When all the gifts were opened and some of the trash thrown away or piled up, Grandma and Grandpa served a humongous tray of homemade Christmas cookies (several varieties) and a somewhat smaller tray of champagne (and Sprite). This was done by candlelight. We toasted each other and ate some of our favorite types of cookies. Then cards were passed around. Each member of the extended family gathered there (and some who were not present who had mailed them early) had written a personal, heartfelt card to each other member. We read our personal pile of cards in silence. There were hugs and there were tears.

Every once in a while, some of us would go to the midnight service at church.

I plan to try out at least some of these traditions at home this year, just the four of us.

Here is our Christmas activity list, at least one for each day of December:

  • drive around to see Christmas lights, then have hot cocoa
  • go to the tree lighting
  • drop off our letters to Santa
  • make Christmas cards
  • read Christmas books (more than one day)
  • decorate the Christmas tree, drinking egg nog, listening to Christmas carols
  • a giving date (buy toys to give to someone in need, plus dollar store for other family members, then a food treat at a restaurant or elsewhere)
  • address and send Christmas cards
  • wrap gifts
  • make homemade gifts
  • bake cookies (more than one day)
  • read from our Christmas Treasury (at least one selection per day)
  • decorate cookies
  • watch a Christmas movie (more than one day)
  • listen and sing along to Christmas carols (more than one day)
  • see Santa or a lights display
  • call or Skype a grandparent (four sets)
  • call or Skype cousins
  • go to Christmas Eve service (me)
My family growing up had our traditional holiday movies, too. At some point we would watch The Sound of Music, but I don't think that was strictly Christmas time. Then there were A Christmas Carol (1984 version), It's A Wonderful Life, White Christmas (sometimes), and Miracle on 34th Street.

Our family is too young to watch many of those movies and Erik doesn't care for them, so I do it myself. (A Christmas Carol is on in the background right now.) I've added Elf as a must-not-miss holiday movie for myself. Xander loves Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and can tolerate Frosty the Snowman as well. So far, he doesn't care for How the Grinch Stole Christmas or Shrek the Halls. Nick kind of liked watching Shrek the Halls last night.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Weekly Goals

These were last week's goals:


1. Re-read a post on first-time obedience on the blog Childwise Chat.2. Research a specific parenting topic.


3. Pay an extra $500 toward principal of car payment. {We paid more than this! And we're excited about it!}4. Have a brainstorming session with Erik about work.


5. Track food, exercise, and weight on Get rid of mildew in bathrooms.

Personal Development:

7. Put What Color Is Your Parachute? on my library list.8. Attend church.9. Tithe.10. Post signs for myself about doing critical tasks first. (I plan to put little signs on my book stack, knitting bag, and computer to remind myself to get my three critical tasks done before anything else. In case you're curious, right now they are teaching the kids life skills, laundry, and preparing family meals.)

Six out of ten accomplished. That's pretty good!

This Week's Goals:


1. Spend time relaxing with Erik after kids are in bed.
2. Take notes on Raising Happiness and Learned Optimism.
3. Make doughnuts for Erik's office.


4. Track food on My Fitness Pal.
5. Get rid of mildew in bathrooms.


6. Post signs to remind myself of critical, do-first tasks.
7. Start knitting doubled scarf for tree skirt.
8. Make Christmas cards.
9. Start sending Christmas gifts.

Money Saving Mom's 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home - Day 11

Today's instructions were to:

  • Get dressed in something you feel great about.
  • Sit down with a cup of coffee or tea and write 5-10 goals for this week.
  • Set the timer for 15 minutes and pick up the house.
  • Clean out the silverware drawer, to the extent of taking everything out, vacuuming with an attachment, wiping, and reorganizing and returning the items to the drawer.
I liked my outfit today. I did sit down with coffee to write weekly goals, which I will share in another post. I picked up the house for a little longer than 15 minutes. Just as Crystal said, my house needed some help after the holiday weekend. I would have done another round, but I used that time to clean out our guinea pig's cage instead. He needed it more than the house.

Our old silverware drawer was housing coupons, coupon binders, scissors, miscellaneous kitchen implements like a strawberry huller, wine bottle stoppers, a tiny bottle-cleaning brush, and extra rubber bands, and the good silver. Plus crumbs. 

I put the good silver away in silver-keeping cloths in a high cabinet, put the wine-bottle stoppers on our drinks tray, removed the strawberry huller to a different kitchen implements drawer, stored the bottle-cleaning brush up in a cupboard with our sponges and dish soap, and put the rubber bands in my rubber-band-twist-tie-candles baggie. A few coupons were put in the right place. All the crumbs were sucked up by my great little hand held vacuum.

Our actual utensil drawer is not much to look at because it's a drawer in a utility cart with improvised cardboard dividers. I like it. I like having stuff handy for setting the table, because I try to always have the kids do that chore. However, the cardboard dividers do leave "dust" in the drawer. That is all clean now.

Messy room today. I got new jeans that are comfortable and that Ann Taylor Loft sweater was a few dollars at Goodwill!



Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving 2012

So I went to upload our Thanksgiving photos and learned that I am out of photo storage space on Picasa/Blogger for this blog. I guess I will be going back and deleting old photos.

Has anyone else found a good solution to this problem?

In the meantime, I will upload the photos to Facebook:

Hope your day was lovely and well-appreciated!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thanksgiving Plans

Erik and I got up at almost 8:00 this morning! Which is sleeping in two hours for me. Nick waited until about 7:30 to get up and even then went back to sleep on the couch. I am letting Xander sleep in this morning. The kids and I have all been under the weather. It has been extremely mild, for which I'm thankful, but both kids have had fevers in the last two days.


Our Thanksgiving plans are to have a "feast" with just our family and to watch a couple of movies together. We will finish hanging leaves on our Thankful Tree (writing what we are thankful for on them first) and I hope we will finish coloring our Give Thanks banner from last year. I will polish up our silver (she says optimistically) and make the table look nice. We will ask the kids to use their best manners for the meal. I am looking forward to making the food and spending the time with just my family, but our plans this year certainly remind me of how nice it can be to have many people gathered.

Here's our menu, which I think will be easy if I start today:

  • a small turkey, roasted
  • cornbread
  • mashed potatoes
  • from-scratch green bean casserole (recipe from The Pioneer Woman)
  • jello salad
  • pumpkin pie (I bought the pie crust :) with whipped topping
  • Erik's seasoned pecan mix

I may even make a chocolate pudding pie just because we have all the ingredients for it.

Plus crackers and cheese and veggies and dip for appetizers, and organic popcorn with sea salt to go with our movies. We have planned to rent The Sound of Music and Attack of the Clones. Okay, I am the only one who plans to try to find The Sound of Music.


Speaking of movies, sometime in the next month I want to watch some of my favorite Christmas movies. Along with the classics It's A Wonderful Life and A Christmas Carol and A Miracle on 34th Street, there is Elf. I love Elf. It really doesn't even make sense how much I love Elf.

Black Friday

I also plan to try a couple of stores early on Thanksgiving for some necessities that they will have on sale, and one store really early on Black Friday. I've only shopped on Black Friday once before, and it was more lounging at coffee shops and keeping someone else company than shopping. I'm afraid I will regret this decision, but I'm going to try it. We need some clothing and other necessaries that are on sale that day. We won't try to get any of the toys or electronics deals that are so prevalent because we just don't buy much of that stuff. Our toy purchases are highly focused. :)

Traditionally, we also put up our Christmas tree and decorate the house on Thanksgiving weekend. I like the idea of waiting until it's actually December to start the Christmas stuff, but honestly we don't have a lot to do on Thanksgiving weekend so we generally end up wanting to get out the Christmas stuff. Erik will be working a lot, in and out of town, in December, so if we want him involved it will be a good time to decorate.


Our guinea pig is acting somewhat strangely. I think he has finally become totally tame with us. Sometimes he wheeks at us because he wants to get out of the cage and hang with us rather than just wanting more food. We had him out on our couch with us yesterday afternoon and he loved it. Every once in a while he would kind of lay down next to us and we would pet him. It was like having a dog! I became concerned that he was sick. But then every once in a while he would walk around exploring and climbing up onto the side table, so I don't think that was it. He was chirping contentedly the whole time.


Nick has been a little constipated, off and on, for the last few weeks. It surprises me because he is always eating fruit. Last night he had a hard time going to sleep because of it. I will have to be more vigilant about this issue.

I had planned to do school with Xander Monday through Wednesday, but we skipped yesterday due to this mild illness which has struck us. We'll see how today goes.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

5K Saturday

Woohoo! Finished my first 5K in so many years. My strategy as a not-very-fit-yet runner was to run as slow as I could make myself run for the first mile, maybe two. I did. I purposely put myself in the back of the pack to start and made my way up slowly. My time was better than I expected, 28:58. I do think maybe the course was an easy one (for those who can call any 5K easy - not me, not yet).

They run this friendly, well-attended, not huge 5K every month. I am there next month, if I can be!

My family got up when it was still dark to come with me and cheer me on. As a bonus, they got to see donkeys and feed them grass. Erik said the playground had frost on it. :)

I was happy to be there, just cold

The finish

Doughnuts afterward! Except for me, I hate doughnuts and stuck to a Clif bar and coffee

Xander's "pretty" Arnie-like doughnut

The Boys' Accomplishments

I've been writing up all the things I've done for Money Saving Mom's online challenge, but Nick and Xander have really been pulling their own weight around here, too.

Yesterday, Xander wiped all the switch plates for me, which was a Money Saving Mom task. I got to mop the kitchen floor while he was doing that.

Nick has been making his own peanut butter honey sandwiches.

They have both been great at doing their Morning Cards, which includes wiping down the counter, sink, and toilet or potty chair in the hall bathroom. I adore walking by and smelling the fresh scent of disinfecting wipes when I haven't used them myself. It's like magic!

Then he celebrated being done with chores by listening to audiobooks
Erik worked from home today. When he was done, I was able to go to the post office and gas station by myself. Errands are much quicker without the kids. He wiped the living room ceiling fan blades for me, because I cannot reach them due to their height.
Before all that happened, I, of course, got dressed and made my list of daily goals.

Then I wrote down Xander's list for today. It's a lot shorter than normal because it's a special Friday routine. Two of the activities, Nature Walk and Journal and Tea Time, take time to prepare, do, and follow up on, so other activities are not done this day. It's a routine very similar to what Lindafay posted on Charlotte Mason Help.

One thing I added was spelling work. On Monday, Xander saw his spelling words for the week: boy, girl, man, woman, baby. He wrote two of them in sidewalk chalk outside and one of them with Do-a-Dot markers. Later in the week, he wrote one on a small chalk board. Today, I gave him a test. He got boy and man correct and did a good job trying the others. I made index cards of the ones he did not get right and we will look at them next week along with the new words. I was proud of him, mainly because he has inherited my tendencies to anxiety, and we both kept it calm while he tried spelling these words. I gave him encouragement and praise for what he did right and simply showed him the correct spelling when he had not written the correct one.

Recorder practice went well today. He had been wanting to skip it and feeling (I think) a little overwhelmed as the lessons progressed. I let him go back to previous lessons a lot and also let him skip some days. Today he did really well (and I allowed him to play songs he made up with the notes he knows). His dad was very impressed. Xander showed Erik how to play the notes he has learned so far: B, A, G, and C.

We all went to a nice county park for our nature walk. It was a beautiful day, sunny and almost 60 degrees. Erik went disc golfing while the boys and I went for a hike on the trail. We saw rocks, flowers, butterflies, wasps, birds, quartz, and other things, but we were not able to stay quiet to try to find animals. Nick did not want to do that. Then we joined Erik on the disc golf course. Everyone tried their hand at it. Nick did a lot of jogging and throwing and is now in his bed for a nap that will probably be a long one.
Xander took several of these photos 
And I took several

Later, I picked up some supplies we needed, including two new light bulbs for our living room light fixture. I cleaned the other ceiling fans. Oops! I just remembered I never did Nick's, because he was taking his nap while I did this task. Someday soon. :)

I spent 15 minutes or so laying on my bed, reading Elizabeth & Mary and eating a snack.

Last night, we had the most amazing family time. Erik had the idea of lighting a fire in our fireplace and reading Shel Silverstein poems to each other. Before that, we practiced our manners eating Chicago-style hot dogs (okay, I tried, but they weren't perfectly Chicago hot dogs) and french fries. The boys have very good manners! I mean extremely good manners. I have to expect more of them from now on!

Then Erik started the fire and got out the poetry books. Xander presented himself with professionalism and asked for our attention, please. We listened to him playing a song of his own composing (on the spot) on the recorder, using the notes he has learned. Then Nick played some things for us on the flutophone. We each took turns reading poems from Where the Sidewalk Ends. Even Nick took his turns "reading" to us. We ate pieces of a pecan pie that I had picked up at the grocery store.

We also put leaves on our Thankful Tree. We tried turning out all the lights in the house and just watching the fire. The evening ended with the kids watching a little bit of a Pokemon movie before we all went to bed early. We are  now up very early (for Xander and Erik, at least) so we can go to this local 5K. I'm going to take the plunge and run my first one in many years. Oh my gosh, it's been 17 or so years, now that I think about it. I think I'll stop doing the math on that in future.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Day 9 of Money Saving Mom's 4 Weeks Challenge {Simplified}

Great day! Got up a little early and did chores while our youngest son slept in past his normal early wake time. It was fun working around the house because my husband got up early, too, to make food for his work Thanksgiving potluck, so we were working around and with each other. Our oldest son slept in even later while I got almost all my chores done for the day.

Per the 4 Weeks challenge, I got dressed in something I felt pretty good about, made a list of daily goals from my weekly goals list, cleaned the master bathroom, and then mopped the kitchen floor while Xander did the last task entirely by himself: wiping all switch plates in the house. Hurray for learning chores! He is still really good about doing chores without complaining. (He chooses to complain about other things.)

my to-do list



the shiny kitchen floor which I mopped while Xander was doing the switch plates

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Today Feels Like Victory

Today was a busy day, for our standards. Anything I've put in larger print is a task for Money Saving Mom's 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home {Simplified} series.

I went running before Erik left for work. Breakfast was served, the Money Saving Mom challenge post from yesterday was posted, email was checked, Bible section was read, and similar things were accomplished. I ordered a $0.99 copy of Money Saving Mom's new ebook Celebrating and Savoring a Simple Christmas. I made a list of goals for today.

I took a shower and got dressed. Although I don't want to spend too much time thinking about clothing and fashion right now, I went ahead and asked for the free copy of Frumps to Pumps from Sarah Mae that Crystal keeps mentioning. I could use some help, so I will be reading that at some point.

The kids did their Morning Cards and got all ready just in time to go to the doctor. Xander ran over his foot with a tricycle on Sunday and it is still red and swollen and painful. Both boys were well-behaved and entertaining (in their own ways) during the doctor visit.

After the doctor, we had time to make it to preschool story time at the library and also to pick out books and magazines and DVDs.

Then lunch and some cleaning. I did the 4 Weeks task of cleaning out my messiest drawer. Actually, my clothes drawers are all pretty neat, so I chose a rolling shelf unit in the closet that is used to hold my knitting projects.

The rolling cart has only three shelves. I had six projects out and underway. Since this phase of life is not a good time for me to finish a lot of knitting projects, I decided to cut my losses and whittle projects down to three, to fit the shelves. First, I discontinued the robot I was knitting for Nick. He had no interest in the picture of the finished product and liked what I had done so far. Two little pieces can fit over his fingertips and one is a long thin tube that was supposed to be the robot's antenna. I gave Nick the three little pieces and cut that project out of my life. Nick calls the pieces robots anyway. Win win.

Next, I decided to go ahead and send my friend the baby hat I finished without waiting for some mythical day when I would finally finish the booties. If I have time to finish the booties, I can always send those later. This makes me feel a little uncomfortable, but if I don't send something soon, her baby will be too big to wear any of it.

The remaining yarn from my ditched projects went into the appropriate places. I have a bin for acrylic yarn and a drawer that holds wool yarn and cotton yarn along with my knitting books.

I kept my 1) very portable Mother Bear project, 2) mindless bathroom hand towel project for TV nights, and 3) mustang and cowboy project that I said I would make for Xander.

I just have one straggler that I think maybe I should finish. All I have to do is finish picking up stitches to make a chain border around a pot holder. (Or something like that; the reason it's taking me so long is I've never done this type of border before and I'm hesitant.)

Back to our regularly scheduled day.

We then did homeschooling and preparing dishes for having a family over to dinner tonight.

Then some more cleaning, including cleaning our guinea pig's cage. Xander and I also wiped down all the door knobs in the house with disinfecting wipes. I did the remote and iPod Touch and cell phone for good measure, too. I had taught Xander how to do this task just last week, so it was good timing to practice it again.

Will be back later!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Money Saving Mom's new ebook: Celebrating and Savoring a Simple Christmas

Crystal Paine, aka Money Saving Mom, has a new ebook for sale: Celebrating and Savoring a Simple Christmas.

Recently, I made some great progress by following the assignments in her really good book The Money Saving Mom's Budget. I've been feeling great about the house after following tasks from her 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home series and her 21 Days to a More Disciplined Life ebook. I even got some extremely helpful tips by reading some of the books she's recommended on her blog.

So I told myself I would follow along with any of her future series and buy any of her future books, within reason, as long as I continued to benefit from them. Looks like I'm about to buy Celebrating and Savoring a Simple Christmas.

She also has a 24-hour giveaway going on to win a Kindle PaperWhite (valued at $179). You can get entries each day by blogging about the new ebook, buying it, tweeting or posting on Facebook about it, or pinning a link to the ebook on Pinterest. Or all of the above.

This post will serve as my first entry. I will also be buying the ebook while it's priced at $0.99. I'm sure it will be worth more than that amount to me.

Day 7 of Money Saving Mom's 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home {Simplified}

Today felt wonderful. The assignment was to:

"::Get dressed in something that makes you feel great {there’s something about dressing in clothes that make you feel great that just gives you more energy and zest for life! Get your free copy of SarahMae’s ebook, Frumps to Pumps, if you need more motivation in this.}
::Sit down with a cup of coffee or tea and create a list of weekly goals. I’ll be posting my weekly goals later today along with a link-up so you can share yours, as well.
::Set the timer for 15 minutes and vacuum the main living areas of your home."
I did all of the above plus the car clean-out and vacuum from yesterday. The floors needed it SO badly.

Before picture of the back of the car

After - how beautiful

These are free things we got today through coupons and deals listed at Money Saving Mom! Yay! Free!

reading for school

Ew - dirty floors

Ooh - sparkling floors!
Homeschool went pretty well today. We got quite a lot done in a relatively organized and cheerful way. We read the final story in Norse Gods and Giants, a story from Everyday Graces, ten minutes of The Hobbit, the introduction and first section of The Golden Picture Book of Science, the introduction (hilarious!) and first poem of Now We Are Six, and the end of Chapter 6 in This Country of Ours. We also read about nature journaling with this lesson plan I found today. 

Xander did 20 minutes of Spanish with Oh Noah!, one section of the Singapore Math textbook and one exercise in the accompanying workbook, one session of Xtra Math, a Spanish song sing-along, morning chores, do-a-dot spelling words for the week, and drew both a picture of his choosing and a picture narrating what happened in the chapter of This Country of Ours. For both, he wrote a caption. His handwriting is improving since the beginning of the year. We also did pledges to the flags and learned facts about the second president of the United States, John Adams.
I feel really good about all of that. Now to make dinner and do a general clean-up of the table and dishes.