Friday, January 29, 2016

Blogging didn't happen today

I have so much to talk about here and I am behind on posting pictures. Lamb 1 got his Arrow of Light at Cub Scouts; Lamb 1 and 2 attended Stonesetters at the State Capitol; our PE co-op did Crossfit this month; and I'm still not done posting Christmas photos yet. I had planned to do a little shopping this morning and try to get caught up on blogging today before we begin a new month.

Those plans didn't happen because this morning I had to help the church treasurer figure out Ram's paycheck because the paycheck company didn't do his deductions properly. I wasn't too worried the first paycheck of this month, figured it would get straightened out by the second paycheck. I was very concerned when it wasn't right by the second paycheck. I think we have it straightened out, but I'm still not paying bills until I see if it is all correct on Monday. Life is so much more complicated when everything is direct deposited and done online. I almost wish we lived in MN and got 3 paychecks from the tri-parish again because they were paper checks for us to deposit at the bank!

The paycheck was actually the minor part of my day. The major part of my day was that I found out that on Tuesday the classic Snapfish site is shutting down. I spent all afternoon chatting online with a representative trying to make sure that the photos that my father-in-law uploaded for us would still be available to me after Tuesday. He had uploaded photos from 2003-2011 for us, including most of Lamb 1 and 2's baby photos. Back then we had dial-up internet so we couldn't upload photos very fast. After much panic on my part, I found out that the photos will be at the new site. I did know that my photos were at the new site, I was unsure about Ram's dad's photos. The bad news was the photo books that I created at Snapfish will not be there after Tuesday. I can't afford to order duplicate copies at this time for the Lambs, (even at their sale price) so I ordered some prints from the albums that we only had one copy. Some time I'll make them an album the old fashioned way instead of digital.  Most of the photo books I was not concerned about, but there was one that I made of our time in MN, that took me hours. I did contact Snapfish about that one and they assured me that it will transfer to the new site in 24 hours. I will check tomorrow if it transferred, but I ordered some prints of those photos just in case. Paying for prints was worth my peace of mind. Dealing with all this took a long time, but I feel much better that those old photos aren't lost with the update to a new site.

Ram did a few errands this morning and this afternoon he took the Lambs with him to shop at Costco so I could work on Snapfish. I was glad all this happened on his day off!

Hopefully tomorrow I will be back on schedule and blogging will happen next week! Have a good weekend!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

The teacup set

The ladies at our church exchange names for secret prayer pals. For one year we pray for our prayer pal and send cards or small gifts to them for their birthday and anniversary and other holidays. We reveal the previous year prayer pal each spring and get a new one at that time too. When we get new ones we have a short questionnaire to fill out with our birthday and anniversary and our hobbies. The first year we were here I wrote on mine that I liked tea because I figured that was an easy to get gift for me that I would use. It is so fun to do this in secret.

The second year we were here my prayer pal was a 90 year old that pulled a teacup out of her cupboard and gave it to me as a birthday present. She was slightly embarrassed that she didn't do more as my prayer pal, but I loved the old teacup.

The next year we were here my prayer pal went to a thrift store and purchased a teacup for my birthday. I also loved it. I realized when I received this second teacup that I was beginning to collect teacups from the ladies at church. I love that I will think of them when I use the teacups.

When that prayer pal was revealed last spring, she also revealed that she had cancer. I felt so humble that this woman was ill, but she found time to shop for gifts for me. Once the secret was revealed she asked about the gifts she gave me and was curious if I liked them. I sent her a few cards and prayed for her. She was receiving treatment and doing well. Everyone, including her family, was shocked when she died the week of Christmas. 

I was even more shocked when after Christmas her husband brought me this set of teacups. He said that she had planned to give them to me for my anniversary which was the end of December.  I was so touched that in his time of grief, he remembered the teacups were for me. It meant so much to me that he carefully wrapped them up and delivered them.

They belonged to her grandmother and all her husband knows about them is that they are very old.

I miss her and I will think of her every time I use these teacups.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

January Family Update

  • Lamb 1 had his last Cub Scout Den meeting. We are looking forward to his last Cub Scout Pack meeting next week. We are so proud of his achievements.
  • This morning Lamb 2's bill for Stonesetters was finally approved. I have e-mailed several times trying to finish. I felt like we cut it very close this year, but it was not our fault. I learned more than the Lambs through this. Next year all 3 Lambs will be old enough to do Stonesetters and I know that it will be easier after doing it this year.
  • We have had a checklist to complete for Stonesetters. Dress clothes ready, learn how to tie a tie, homework, copies of homework, wrote to senator and representatives, prayed for ID legislature daily, and memorized 1 Timothy 2:1-2. I think all that remains is packing lunches and getting dressed on Friday. Their organized binders look beautiful to me after all this work!
  • We are plugging away at homeschool. Lamb 2 began cursive this week. When he was in vision therapy, I never thought there would be a day that he would be ready to do cursive. I would have been satisfied if he got to the point of legible printing. After Christmas break this year his printing looked beautiful. He is excited to learn cursive, especially his name.
  • We finished our book for January family book club at the library. We have started the book for Lamb 2 to attend Mayor's book club in February. We began working on the reward program to earn hockey tickets. We love reading!
  • One of the Lambs has a rash on his back. I believe it is from dry skin that we put lotion on and I think the lotion irritated it instead of helping it. So we are leaving it alone, no lotion and no shirt today when he is inside. I am waiting to see if it improves or if we need to take him to the doctor. I hate decisions like this-obviously I would take my child to the doctor if he had an earache or high fever that wouldn't break, etc. But  something like this I don't know if it will improve in a few days or if a doctor could help it. Thankfully he says it isn't painful so the current plan is to keep an eye on it and take him to the doctor if it gets worse.
  • Our PE co-op is doing Crossfit this month. I love to see my boys get exercise during the winter. It is just once a week, but they are working all kinds of muscles. They look forward to PE. 
  • We purchased sheet music for Lamb 1 and 2 to go to music contest in March. This is their first time. They are looking forward to learning and memorizing their music.
  • I put the Christmas decorations away soon after Epiphany. Since then I keep finding items that go with the Christmas decorations. Hopefully I can have everything put away before February!
  • UPDATE: We did take the Lamb to urgent care. He has a viral infection and also eczema. We got a prescription, but the pharmacy was out of it until tomorrow. He is not contagious. In this case I was glad we found out what it was so now we can treat it.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Christmas Photos Part 2

The sweaters arrived in time to wear to church on Dec. 27.  Ram's parents attended church with us. Ram's dad was able to be the photographer for our family photo. Unfortunately Ram was talking to members for way longer than the Lambs would have liked. They were very impatient to get the photo over so they could go get treats at Fellowship Time. After all that I'm amazed the photo turned out as well as it did.

When we went out for sushi, Lamb 3 said he didn't want rice, he just wanted fish. So the chef made him a flower. It was on a $2 plate instead of a $1 plate, but he ate all of it and not many other plates. The chef said since he practiced on the flower it didn't cost extra.

Lamb 1 and Lamb 3 wanted this sweater when I let them pick, probably because it was Boise State colors. I'm guessing this is the last time they will wear matching sweaters from the boys section. 

Lamb 2 wanted this sweater when I let them pick.  He has been asking for more sweaters when it is time to get ready for church. So I bought him both sweaters. He wore this sweater the past two Sundays. 

Santa had pity on our Lambs because they weren't allowed to ask for a big Lego set,  so he brought them a medium size Lego set to share as one of their stocking gifts. They got this specific set because it was on sale and because they "needed" more doors for their creative creations. It is a toy and grocery store. They immediately started looking for food from other Lego sets and planning small toys they could build to add to their new stores. There was some discussion of which of the 3 ways they could build this set they would build together. But once they decided on that, the building went very quickly since all 3 were working on the same set. They said a couple of times that Santa chose well even though they hadn't put a request in.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Christmas Photos Part 1

Santa came to our neighborhood. We felt we needed to attend to support our neighbors that worked so hard to plan this event. It was kind of crazy because the only place we have to gather is at our pool and it was cold! This was the first time in their lives that Lamb 2 and Lamb 3 sat with Santa and told him what they wanted for Christmas. We ate some cookies, talked to our neighbors for a little bit and headed home. The next week one of the neighbors brought us an ornament made with this photo.

Every year the children wear costumes for the Sunday School service. This year they decided to just have them wear halos so everyone could see their pretty dresses and handsome Christmas outfits. So we went shopping in our closets and this is what Lamb 2 and 3 came up with. Lamb 2's was too small, but I didn't really care with 2 days notice. Both of these sweaters were purchased at used kids stores at different times and they match. They also love to wear their crucifixes that they picked out when we were on vacation this summer. Lamb 1 is now part of the youth group so he did a lot of the readings during the service and didn't have to wear a halo.

I had them help me pick out sweaters to wear to Christmas Eve service. I ordered them too late to guarantee Christmas delivery but I really thought they would make it. I looked at the tracking and at 1am on Christmas Eve they were at the airport. I thought they would be delivered on Christmas Eve. Except instead of going from the airport to our town, they went to the next town before they came to our town. There was no Christmas delivery so they were delivered on December 26. That meant they couldn't wear their new sweaters to either Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. So we went shopping in their closets again. Lamb 2 and 3 found Christmas clothes from previous years that fit. Lamb 1 didn't want to wear Christmas clothes if he didn't have his new sweater. I did convince him to wear a different polo shirt than he usually wears! The only problem was Lamb 2's pants were too tight which told me he needed the next size when we shopped for Stonesetter clothes. 

We took a family photo on Christmas Eve. They wore similar clothes on Christmas Day, but I didn't take a picture.

Grandpa and Grandma arrived late in the afternoon on Christmas Day. We had said no big Lego sets, but they still had plenty of presents to open! We dressed informally after church.

The sweaters did arrive in time to wear to church on Sunday. I will post photos of that next time.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Friday shopping

  • Everyone got dressed and went to shoe store. Found brown dress shoes for Lamb 1 for $20. Find out Lamb 2 needs a W width in men's size. No brown dress shoes for Lamb 2. Decide to check out the Internet before purchasing Lamb 2's. Amazed because Lamb 3 doesn't complain that he didn't get new shoes.
  • Go home and search Internet and decide probably won't find better deal than $40 black dress shoes in W width.
  • Ewe begins shopping while Ram stays home with the Lambs. Go back to shoe store and buy black dress shoes for Lamb 2.
  • Go to used kids store where we have a lot of credit. Not much selection after Christmas-they already had shorts out! Purchase 2 dress shirts and 1 dress pants for Lamb 2 with credit.
  • Go to Walmart for a couple of items and am pleased to find they had almost all the dress clothes for Lamb 1 and 2 that they needed. Buy 2 dress shirts, 2 dress pants, 2 pair dress socks, and also underwear for Lamb 1. Also buy 2 binders for the Lambs to take to Stonesetters. Buy markers on clearance with a coupon so free. Buy a few other household items. So glad we are almost done shopping for dress clothes.
  • Go to grocery store with coupons of things normally not on sale. Eggs for 88 cents, $2 off of lamb (which made lamb cheaper than hamburger). Spend $30 after coupons-save 55%. Treat Ram and Ewe to a Starbucks using a gift card from Christmas and a coupon from the newspaper.
  • Go to Target and am glad that I bought the dress clothes at Walmart because not the same selection. Use a coupon and buy 2 items. Used gift card from previous visit so total cost was 8 cents. Resist the temptation to buy Bumblebee Boy and Ladybug Girl clothes because I have no toddlers. Wish they would have had that for my boys that loved those books. But they didn't have homemade Bumblebee Boy headbands like my Lambs wore.
  • Go to Staples and am glad I bought the binders at Walmart because even with my coupon they are more expensive at Staples. Only buy tissues on sale.
  • Go to Kohls to look for a tie for Lamb 2 because he had black shoes and a navy tie. Call my sister and ask if it is ok to wear navy pants and black shoes. Surprised she said that is trendy now even if it is weird. End up buying 2 ties and letting Lamb 2 pick. The ties were B1G1 1/2 price. I know Lamb 2 will wear whatever ties we buy him even after Stonesetters. Surprised he choses the black and blue stripe tie when I show it to him. So he will wear black shoes, black pants, and his black/blue striped tie. 
I plan to have try on the new clothes day next week. I'm sure we now have plenty of dress shirts and dress pants in two different sizes. They just need to pick out what they want that fits and matches. I wouldn't be surprised if Lamb 2 needs a bigger size than Lamb 1. The saleslady asked me today if I had twins. I'm so glad to have this shopping completed. Also I am so glad that I didn't have to dress a daughter with this dress code. I am expected to attend and follow the dress code too, but I have modest, conservative, dress clothes that fit, I just have to go shopping in my own closet.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Stonesetters Prep

I signed up Lamb 1 and 2 to participate in a program at the state capitol in a few weeks. Lamb 3 was not old enough to participate this year. It turned out to be much more involved than I thought it was going to be, but I am so glad that they have the chance to participate in this.

Here is what we have completed:

  • Finished the "homework" answering all the questions to learn about the state capitol building.
  • Wrote letters to our state senator and representatives telling them when we will be there and that we would like to meet them.
  • Memorized 1 Timothy 2:1-2.
  • Prayed for our Idaho legislature each day in January.
  • Lamb 1 wrote a bill and it was accepted for the Stonesetter legislature to debate.
  • Purchased ties and some of the dress clothes for Lamb 1 and 2 to wear business attire.
  • Ram and the Lambs learned how to tie a tie. 
Here is what we still need to complete in the next couple of weeks:
  • There was one question in the homework that we couldn't find the answer. We plan to ask a librarian to help us.
  • We will continue to recite 1 Timothy 2:1-2 daily.
  • We will continue to pray for our Idaho legislature daily.
  • Lamb 2 was asked to make a few corrections in his bill. We are waiting to hear if it was accepted or if we have to make more corrections.
  • Need to purchase dress shoes and a few more items for Lamb 1 and 2 to wear business attire.
  • Need to make copies of all their homework to turn in one copy and keep one copy in a binder.
I filled out the application and paid the small fee for them to participate last May. Their bills were due in October. So this has been a long process. I am looking forward to their day in a couple of weeks. I am so glad that a parent needs to attend with them so I get to see what they do. I know it was worth all the prep work to participate in this program. I also know that next year will be so much easier after participating this year. Lamb 3 will be old enough to join us too!

Lamb 1 and 2 have been hesitant to do this program because they don't know what to expect. But I know that they both will excel at this. They will love to debate their bill. They will love to be with other children their age for a day. We get to be at the beautiful state capitol building for a day.

We have worked on Stonesetters this week so we are not back to regular homeschool yet. We will be back on regular schedule next Monday. I am looking forward to getting back to a regular schedule and routine.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Fresh start to homeschool

I had grand plans to do more in homeschool in 2015 after 2014 was so crazy with all of Lamb 2's therapy. I was too idealistic and we didn't get as much done as I would have liked. We did well on the main subjects but not much extra. Glenda posted about memory work here several months ago. I think this is what we need, instead of trying to do some subjects so many times every week, I need to just think of what we need to do one day at a time. Here is my 2016 plan. (These are all the "extras" to our homeschool curriculum, what we listen to or recite.)

2016 Memory Work Daily Schedule
Luther's Morning Prayer
Read about Artist
Music Flash Cards
Geography Songs

Luther's Morning Prayer
Bible Verse
Math Songs
Read about Composer
Science Songs
Grammar Jingles

Luther's Morning Prayer
Read about Composer
Music Flash Cards
Geography Songs

Luther's Morning Prayer
Bible Verse
Math Songs
Read about Composer
Music Flash Cards
Grammar Jingles

(we have a short schedule on Friday because it is Ram's day off)
Reading Game
Listen to Composer 

We'll see how this goes and adjust as necessary. I think it will be a great help to me to know that at the most we just have to do 8 extra subjects a day. It should also help that I don't have to prepare everything new for Mondays.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Christmas 2015 Dinner

These are notes for myself so next time I host Christmas dinner, I know what I served this year.

Christmas Day:

  • Ham
  • Mashed Yams (Everyday Paleo) with apples with no nuts for Lamb 3-very good and a nice change from the sweet potato recipe we usually have
  • We were going to have Pear Salad (Everyday Paleo) but the pears weren't ripe in time and then when they were the lettuce was bad. Next time buy the pears earlier and let them get ripe!
  • Creamed Spinach (Paleo Comfort Foods)
  • Ram's Mom's Pies: Pumpkin (Everyday Paleo) with Crust from (Against All Grain)
  • and Pecan (Gather)
  • Coconut Milk Whipped Cream and Vanilla Coconut Bliss (Ice cream)

Desserts and Snacks we ate over the holidays:

  1. Guacamole
  2. Deviled Eggs
  3. Coconut Fudge (Make it Paleo) Ok but not favorite
  4. Gingerbread (Paleo Indulgences) Made as mini muffin size with frosting
  5. Paleo Pecan Squares- Very good but a lot of work
  6. Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars- Everyone requested I make this again and often. It does take coconut butter. Be careful to not overbake.
Next year Make #1, #5 (Plan enough time to make this recipe), and #6