Saturday, July 28, 2012

Smiling!

If you've been reading my blog for any amount of time, you've probably figured out that I'm kind of a 'Type A', gotta have everything organized personality. Problem: I have five little kids, and much of my house is NOT organized. I will walk past things day after day, sighing every time I see the mess, and just unable to find time to organize it.

However, a friend of mine posted a picture of her awesome organized pantry on Facebook the other day and totally inspired me! My pantry has been one of those areas lately just driving me nuts! So, I started searching for ideas on Pinterest, and decided this morning to just get the nasty job done!

Here are a couple of 'before' pictures. Yeah.....it really was this bad!

I would come home from the grocery store and literally just CRAM stuff in there wherever it would fit!



Now.......ready for some 'after' photos?  Might wanna wear sunglasses, because the neatness of it is going to hurt your eyes! ;)



I stole an idea off of another blog for this bottom canned items shelf. There is one 2x4 underneath the second row of cans, and two 2x4's in the third row----see how you can SEE all the cans? Love it!



Some of these glass jars/plastic containers I already owned, and several of them I picked up today at GoodWill and Dollar General---you can't beat 59 cent jars! Aren't they pretty? :)






Okay, enough pictures of my pantry ----I was just SO tickled with the outcome that I had to share it :) I left the door open all afternoon so I could keep walking by it and smiling ;)




Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Little things

I've come to realize that 'big' things only happen once in a while---weddings, graduations, new babies, mile-stone birthdays, dates with my husband, etc, etc. I used to LIVE for these kind of moments---counting up the days until the next 'awesome' event. My mom used to tell me that I was going to 'crash' one day when I finally realized that sometimes life is just a 'flat line'----and not all the 'ups' that I was expecting it to be.

She was so right! Life just happens, and lots of times, it can become mundane or boring if you're only looking for joy in those 'big' things! I've come to realize that, in order to not only 'survive' the every day, but to rejoice in it and find 'awesomeness'--- well, you have to look for the little things.

A whole glass of soda all for myself (hey! I said it was little things!), 15 quiet minutes to read a book, a little one who masters a new skill in their math lessons, a husband who stops on his way home from work to pick up double dunker chocolate ice cream :), the fact that my tomato plants from my mother in law are STILL ALIVE!!, Leanna adjusting to her big girl bed without any problems.......the list goes on. What are YOUR small reasons for rejoicing today?

Here's one of mine!

Reagan learned to roll over....right off of his blanket....and he can't roll back the other way yet....and he's not really happy about that! :)


But, he also found his toes, and he seemed quite pleased to find that they were all there ;)








Monday, July 23, 2012

Stuff vs. people

Today, my 'to do list', which was only actually written out mentally, included a bunch of cleaning and laundry and organizing and baking and curriculum ordering, etc, etc. Lots of 'stuff' accomplished, but not much time in there for little people.

I've found that 'stuff' days HAVE to be balanced by 'people' days, or we all start to go a little crazy! I could have 'stuff' days every single day for the rest of my life and NEVER catch up on everything....and I would miss all my kids growing up days in the process.

So tomorrow, as a balancing out kind of day, we're focusing on 'people'. We're going to eat french toast for breakfast....take a walk....give Eli a hair-cut....make yummy pineapple bars together...read lots of library books....listen to Cosette practice violin....maybe even have some family movie time. Still a lot of 'work' happening, but it's a little more 'people' balanced :)

A clean and organized house is simply a tool to better enjoying my REAL life---my family! Gotta keep reminding myself of this :)















Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Applesauce Day

Yesterday was apple-sauce day. It comes but once a year, and for that I am very grateful! It makes the whole kitchen hot and incredibly sticky----but all the applesauce in the freezer is worth it!

I decided to 'document' the whole process this year---just in case you're unfamiliar with the way to make homemade applesauce----the stuff from the store just does not compare after you've had this stuff!


We use Lodi apples, which are usually ready mid to late July. I only did 1/2 a bushel this year, because I still had a good bit in my freezer from last year. All of the apples fit in the sink to wash them.



I put this contraption together by myself---and was mighty proud of it, too ;) It's an apple musher. (I'm sure there's a more technical term for it, but I'm too lazy to go look at the box and find out what it is ;) My mother-in-law got me this for Christmas :)


First step: Have a pretty little seven year old who is more than happy to help you wash all those apples.

Second step: Put enough water in a pot to just cover the bottom completely---like, no more than an inch. Slice your apples, discarding only the stems (the musher-thingamabob will take care of all of the seeds and skins). Turn your burner to med-low and cover your pot. It takes about twenty minutes or so for one pot to cook. I usually only stir them  once, about half way through, to make sure they're not sticking.


You'll know they are ready when they look like this:

Step three: Have a cute newly-turned four year old who desperately wants to turn the crank on that awesome looking machine!


Step four: Look at all your gorgeous applesauce :) Stir in a little sugar. I added about three cups or so for this batch, which ended up being between 14 and 18 pints. I know that sounds like a lot of sugar, but when you consider how much is in store-bought applesauce, not counting all the nasty high-fructose corn syrup and stuff that's also often in there, it doesn't seem so bad anymore :)

Scoop that applesauce into bags and stick it in  your freezer!


Saturday, July 14, 2012

Choral Camp Recap......

My Cosette girl is finally back home, so all is right with the world! Well, almost....we didn't get home until almost 11 p.m. last night, so the little ones are still at Grandma's house, where they spent the day yesterday. But as soon as Reagan is done nursing and I've had a shower, we're going to pick them up too :) Joel and Reagan and I were in the car a total of 11 or so hours yesterday, but it was very worth it!

Cosette's week at camp was a great experience for her! She even remembered to put on sun screen, brush her teeth and eat her veggies (or so she claims ;) so I was very impressed, haha.

The camp they put on for the kids is absolutely incredible. There were top-notch, qualified teachers. The kids got excellent choir experiences, in addition to theory, history, practicum, recorder, string, and band classes. I think I may have forgotten a class or two, I'm not sure :) Cosette says she also had a blast at things like camp fires, art class, hay rides, shaving cream fights, etc. Oh, and did I mention that it's put on by our denomination? So everything was done 'for the Glory of God'--the first thing the kids did in the program was recite their Psalm for the week. When I asked her if she wanted to go back next year, there was a very quick 'yes!'

We weren't in a good position during the program to get many pictures, but here's two of Cosette singing in the choir---we were fortunate she was one of the younger ones and right in front :)










As a musician myself, I was highly impressed with this camp, and so glad Cosette had the opportunity to experience it! Another year or two and I hope that Eli will be joining her :)




Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Where'd my baby girl go??

Could someone PLEASE tell me.......



..........how this sweet baby girl suddenly got big enough to go off to camp all by herself? (Well, okay, there's like a bazillions counselors there, along with a camp pastor, leaders, directors, three camp nurses, oodles of teachers.......but still, she's without me, so that's what really matters, right? ;)

Somehow, she went from being this sweet little three year old girl to heading off to Choral camp for a week. Next thing I know, she'll be driving, graduating, headed off to college, getting married, having kids......I can feel my gray hairs starting to pop out already! :/

Seriously, though, I can't WAIT to see her on Friday and hear about her week and all the stuff she learned and the fun she had.

I'm slowly learning that having children basically means that life is now just one huge, non-stop adventure :)

Cosette Elise Curtis, I am so proud and happy of the young lady you are growing up to be :)

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

This and that


Seems like the only kind of posts I've been doing lately are photo dumps :) But that's okay---it just means I'm too occupied enjoying my blessings to think through anything more detailed! With that said, here are this afternoon's photos:



Wow, a picture without a kid in it! Are you amazed?? ;) On a VERY hot afternoon last week, I was tempted to make milkshakes for the kids afternoon snack. I thought it would be SO yummy and cold. But, the good, nutritious side of me opted for something slightly healthier---a banana smoothie! It was so good! Here's how to make it: Put into blender: 1 banana, cut into chunks, some crushed ice, a teaspoon or so of vanilla, 3/4 cup of vanilla yogurt, and a little bit of water. Start blending it until it's somewhat smoother, and then add a good bit of milk (I used skim), maybe two cups or more, depending on how thin or thick you want it. Blend until smooth. As you can see, it was very creamy and frothy :)



Always amusing to see the contents of my pants pockets at the end of the day!



We did a fun craft this morning on the back porch. It was simply flour and baby oil mixed together. It made a really funny feeling substance that stuck together and was fun to play with. But boy, did it make a MESS! I was glad we were outside :)







I decided the best way to clean them up afterwards was to simply get in the wading pool. We have a bigger one now, by the way ;)


Leanna looks like she was trying to dunk Eli in this next photo, but I'm not sure what she was actually doing :)

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