Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Banana Bread

Okay, I made some banana bread today...from scratch! It's my second "from scratch" food that I made recently. My first was chocolate chip cookies and we gave some away to our neighbors. I had a few bananas that would have normally just gotten thrown away because they were over-ripe. But, I checked out some recipes for banana bread and I found one that I actually had ingredients for. Nothing fancy, but it's a start!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Becoming a Homemaker

Wow. This woman is challenging me beyond belief. I just happened to stumble upon her site, The Prudent Homemaker, and she is inspiring me to change the way I run my home. Because of her careful planning, she was able to feed her family (of 8!) for nearly two years out of her pantry and garden when they lost their income. She did not go grocery shopping for MONTHS, and when she did for the first time, she only had $20 to spend.

I am challenged because I have pretty much been living the complete opposite of her for many years. I don't look for sales, I buy what looks good, I never use coupons, I don't stock up, I don't plan ahead, I don't know how to make anything from scratch...I could go on and on. But, I want to learn. I've been working full time, about 10 hours a day teaching, so I always had the excuse that I don't have time to do all those things. And I really didn't have time. However, now that I'm going to be a stay-at-home mom, my "work" is changing. I want to be good at running our home, just like I wanted to be good at teaching.

Where do I start? Well, I'm not sure right now. I've been in the mind-set of summer break, so I haven't started doing anything yet. I said I'd start a routine and schedule when the school year started. Well, guess what? Justin started the school year today. I think I can start being a good homemaker today, too. I know that I can't "do it all" but I've thought of a few things I wanted to focus on learning and doing now:
1. learning to cook from scratch (bread, spaghetti sauce, etc.)
2. Buying food on sale, using coupons, and planning ahead. (especially important because we are becoming a one income family)
3. learning to can(?) kind of scares me because of the possibility of botulism toxin in home canning, but seems like a good thing to be able to do. Anyone want to teach me how to can? :-) Maybe I could learn to can baby food for this next little one.
4. Starting a garden. Too bad we don't have good Iowa soil here. Mom's garden was always the best. This will have to wait till spring, but I can at least be planning before then.
5. "homeschooling" Jordan for pre-school. My first (and only) year home with her before kindergarten.
6. Serving Justin. This story was also challenging for me, because, like the wife in the story, I felt like I worked to exhaustion everyday, but it never seemed to be enough. I want Justin to LOVE coming home from work and feel at peace in a well-managed home.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

New bed

We got the girls a new bunk bed yesterday. We looked around and weren't crazy about any we saw. We wanted a bunk bed, but they are pretty tall and I don't like the ladders. All the ones with steps that we saw cost way too much. Then, as we were driving down Woodlawn, we passed Crazy Jays Bed store and stopped in. They had just the kind of bed we were looking for: a bunk bed with stairs that was affordable (and matched their room). So we bought it right then and took it home. Today, Jordan and I went shopping for bedding. We picked out Shabby Chic sheets and quilts to match the room decor. Now, if we can only get Rylie to be able to successfully sleep out of her crib.

Monday, July 18, 2011

First Three Months!

This is something I never did with my first two pregnancies. I always wanted to, but never got around to doing it. This time I tried to do a picture every week, but fell back on doing one at the end of each month. I don't know why I decided my face was not necessary in the pictures. I guess I was just focused on the belly:) So here they are...

Jordan loves to give the baby kisses. She's such a sweet big sister:) Oh, and check out her new haircut.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


The grandkids all laid out in their sleeping bags on the basement floor to watch a movie one night.
The grandparents and grandkids trying to get their annual picture...


The kids were fascinated with the fishing Uncle Jamie was doing. You could see the little fish come right up to the line and take the bait.

Rylie and mommy needed uncle Jamie to help get our fish off the line...

...but Jessica didn't need any help!

More pics

I'm going to have to put a gate around the new baby when Rylie's around! She can't keep her hands off babies. This is one of the many hugs she gave her cousin Emily. She kept trying to take her from me!

Rylie found Grandpa's hat, too.


Rylie was super excited when Grandma got to the lake. Rylie was having fun with Grandma's hat; then she made Grandma take off her shoes and put on a life jacket so that she would be ready to go!


Here some pictures of the family swimming. I asked Jordan what her favorite part of the day was, and she exclaimed, "Swimming by myself with the noodle!" I didn't get any pictures of that because I was in the water, too, but she went from being pretty timid and holding on tight to someone (mostly Lorie!) to holding on to the noodle all by herself! I am quite proud of my little girl, who started out last summer scared to death of getting in any kind of water.

Lake Vacation, at the Lake

We spent most of Saturday at Shari's parent's house on the dock swimming. The girls, especially Jordan, had a really fun time. Here are some pictures of the girls in the kiddie pool and me trying to get in on the fun.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Lake Vacation, Day 1 for real

I forgot that the cave was not the first day. Oops. The first day, we spent the morning at the outlet mall. We get Jordan a new pair of shoes there every year. During lunch, Jordan told everyone that the baby makes mommy sick and tired...and angry. Oh, I can't wait till these pregnancy symptoms are not so negative!

Below are some pictures of us eating at a restaurant on the Lake.
Someone who is a messier eater than Rylie...

The kids danced around to the live music. I have some video of Jordan and Fallyn dancing together, but I can't get it to upload on the blog.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Lake Vacation 2011, Day 1

We just got back from our annual vacation at the Lake of the Ozarks with my side of the family. My brother, James, and his wife, Shari, graciously host us every year and we're so thankful! This year, Justin couldn't make it, so it was just us girls. Thankfully, they did great in the car both ways! These first pictures are of Jordan, Rylie, and me venturing out to explore what the lake area had to offer. First, we stopped at a huge barn that was a souvenir shop. I told Jordan she could pick out whatever she wanted, as long as I approved of it. She picked out these cute little miner's hats, which I thought was perfect, since we were going to go to a cave.

And, Jordan insisted on wearing her hat in the cave...and she did, the whole way through!
After the cave, we bought a few snacks and a bag full of sand from the gift store. We learned how to wash the sand away to find the hidden gems inside. Rylie picked out her gems and tossed them into the rushing water, never to be seen again.