Thursday, September 25, 2014

Snacks

With five children home all day every day (yes, we do go out, I'm just exaggerating for effect), we eat A LOT of snacks.  And I do mean A LOT!
The budget has been suffering and I've been having to get a little more creative. Plus that nagging little feeling that I shouldn't be giving them junk food 24-7. So, here's what I've come up with:
It's nothing all that new or impressive, but this is the one thing that works. I can't have bags of pretzels and say, "Have at them!" I can't even trust myself to divvy out snacks in appropriate proportions. I need careful planning. I need foresight. 
{And I can't afford pre-packaged snacks.}
I need baggies.
These 2 inch by 3 inch baggies have revolutionized our snacking.
The portion size is a bit smaller, but there is no wasted space, so the kids feel like they're getting more. (score.) And they work for everything! (again, exaggeration for effect)
This is what's in our snack bin right now--clockwise: almonds, edamame, pumpkin seeds, m & ms, craisins, pretzels.
When I make popcorn bags, I use the sandwich-sized bags.
These snacks are great for the morning schooling break, the after-the-rest-time snack and to grab for snacks on the go. They are a perfect addition to a sandwich or wrap for a lunch to go as well.
And, thankfully, the cost per bag is pennies when you purchase the items in bulk.

OTHER IDEAS:
small crackers (like goldfish)
dry cereal
marshmallows
beef jerky
twizzlers
animal crackers
any dried fruit
mixed-up snack (mix any of the above to make a trail mix bag)
homemade granola bars
homemade cookies
chocolate chips
rice crispy treats (like these)

And I know you've seen those cute little snack caddies for the fridge on pinterest. Those are great for:
cheese
meat sticks
carrots
grapes
any cut fruit
colored pepper slices
boiled eggs
cucumber
grape tomatoes

How do you manage the snack attacks in your house?



Sunday, September 21, 2014

Pray for Your Husband

image

We all know we should... We all mean to, but how many of us actually do?
Kaylene over at Faithful Feat took the time to write these prayers for her husband down, and I am so glad she did!
I printed all her prayers out and have them in my prayer journal. I've been praying one a morning for the hubby and they are really great--very scriptural and her insights on what to pray for are quite thought-provoking.
Here are her topics to cover your husband Biblically in prayer:
5. His Faith 
10. His Heart
11. His Hearing 
12. His Eyes
13. His Feet 
17. His Love
18. His Joy
19. His Peace
27. His Honesty 
29. His Trust
39. His Past
Blessings on your prayers for your husbands!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Peace

This week we came to Peace in our study of the fruits of the Spirit.
We have begun to get in a rhythm for our fruits:
Singing the silly and fun song "If You Want to be a Coconut" to learn our fruits of the spirit.
Learning a verse for each one (singing them if possible) Love---1 John 4: 7-8, Joy----Habakkuk 3:18, and Peace---Mathew 5:9.
Talking about how we cannot manufacture these fruits on our own, but they come from the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
Reaffirming that Spirit-fruit cannot be defeated by circumstances or trials.
Speaking of examples of each and situations in which we might need them in particular.

With peace, I feel the most inadequate as a teacher. I know that they see right through me because when we get off schedule I get anxious and louder and more demanding.
When I have to repeat commands, instead of peacefully offering grace, I get angry right away.
When my needs aren't met immediately, I despair...
and the list could go on and on.

I can only offer them the definitions they came up with themselves---that peace is being close to God, that peace is the opposite of fighting, and that peace is not feeling anxious.

And this--read somewhere--

That in order to deal with conflict we really on have three choices:

1. Overlook the Offense

2. Talk it Out

3. Seek Help

I could tell them that even adults have to follow these rules--this is certainly not a "kids only" kind of problem, and that the hubby and I use these same tools when we have differences.

And I can give them the words from their daddy's favorite hymn:

  1. When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
    When sorrows like sea billows roll;
    Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
    It is well, it is well with my soul.
    • Refrain:
      It is well with my soul,
      It is well, it is well with my soul.
  2. Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
    Let this blest assurance control,
    That Christ hath regarded my helpless estate,
    And hath shed His own blood for my soul.
  3. My sin—oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!—
    My sin, not in part but the whole,
    Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
    Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!
  4. For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live:
    If Jordan above me shall roll,
    No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life
    Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul.
  5. But, Lord, ’tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait,
    The sky, not the grave, is our goal;
    Oh, trump of the angel! Oh, voice of the Lord!
    Blessed hope, blessed rest of my soul!
  6. And Lord, haste the day when the faith shall be sight,
    The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
    The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
    Even so, it is well with my soul. {copied from here}
  7. We have this gift, freely given, from our Father, and may we use it to our fullest! May we be seen as those who do not know our Father as the peaceful ones. The ones who depend on their Father so heavily that we do not worry in the face of trial or pain. Let us be peaceful people!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

The Girls' Room

I was just looking back through my posts over the last 6 months and realized that I never posted a picture of the finished girls' room. 
Here's what the room looked like when we thought we were waiting for a baby through domestic adoption:
It was both waiting baby room and guest room and decorated with sailboats. When we found out about our boys, I went into super nesting mode and planned this room to be the girls' room.

(only for the month of August after that it'll be $149.00)

Approximate Total for the Pink and Black and White Room for 1 Girl: 
$480
For my two girls:
$700

The grandmoms joined together to make the dream a reality for Christmas, buying the beds and bedding. The hubby and I made a trip to Ikea for a couple of Expedit shelves for baskets of clothes and a few other little things (the mirror, for one). I LOVE the way the room turned out, and even eight months later, it is serving well!

A few days before Christmas, my mom came into town to exchange gifts. We sent the hubby out with all the kids and did most of the re-do. (All of the furniture from before had been removed and the girls had just been sleeping on blow-up mattresses on the floor, poor things, since we had returned from Uganda a few weeks before!)
My mom and I put up everything and tagged it all so the girls would know who it was from. The part you can't see is the under-the-bed boxes from Ikea that hold all of their toys. This was my mom's idea and it is genius! We did get rid of a lot of things, but their American Girl doll furniture and dolls are all in the closet, and their doll clothes, other dolls, stuffed animals, and food prep toys are all under the beds.
The girls were wowed as they walked through the door. They LOVED it!



The girls' own artwork and a couple of peg boards have since been added to make the room more homey and individualized.