A Common Life Lived with Uncommon Joy

Posts tagged ‘Halloween’

Wednesday Weekly Goals

As I mentioned on Monday, I took a week to rest and recoup last week so I didn’t set any goals to work on other than a daily nap and making sure we were still eating three meals a day.  This week I’m feeling refreshed and back on track, ready to tackle some items that have been on my goals list for several weeks now.  Here are my goals for the next seven days:

Homeschooling

1. Reading lessons with Amber five times – I need to be more consistent with this, so I’m setting a goal for myself and a reward for her to help us get there.

2. Write lesson plans for the rest of the Prairie Primer unit we are studying

3. Make three busy bags for Georgia to do during school

4.  Catch up on grading schoolwork

Kitchen Work

1. Make cookies with Amber – she made a mix at American Heritage Girls and has been begging to make them with me

2. Do a freezer/fridge/pantry inventory before I get grocery money next week so I can make a list of what we need

3. Check my stock of mixes and mix up batches of whatever I’m low on.  I love my Make a Mix cookbook for this.  There are several mixes in this cookbook that I use on a regular basis.

4. Decide what dishes I will make for Thanksgiving.

Homemaking

1. Rearrange the living room, move the chair to our bedroom and reassemble the modular couch – this has been on my list for several weeks but we were too busy for it to be a priority.  I’m hoping to finally get it done this week now that we’re done with our major seasonal clothing swap.

2. Price window shades for the front living room window.

3. Make Halloween costumes and hot chocolate and apple cider to hand out to parents while their kids are trick or treating

4. Decorate the house for fall

5. Finish a declutter sweep through the house to gather donations for the church yard sale next Saturday.

Personal

1. Do something to bless Michael – This week I bought him a bag of his favorite candy (100 Grand bars) and sent him a picture of them in a text, telling him he’s worth more than 100 Grand to me.

2. Do something to bless someone else – The hot chocolate and cider for parents on Halloween will be my random act of kindness this week.

3. Read three more chapters in Galatians for You by Tim Keller – I’ve enjoyed the first three chapters so I’m aiming to read another three this week.

4. Finish a baby blanket I started over the summer and finally give it as a gift.

What are your goals for the week?

 

Hello Monday…the Candy Coated Version

 

After saying “I feel like this week has run me over” and “I’m exhausted” one too many times, I decided last week to take a rest  from everything not completely necessary for our everyday lives.  I took a lot of naps, cancelled a lot of things on our calendar and made a lot of sandwiches for dinner.  It’s really hard to commit to rest when life is whizzing by you but I’ve learned over the years that if I don’t want to hit the wall physically and emotionally, when my body says it needs rest, I need to listen.  Amazingly, at the end of the week, the world was still turning, nothing had fallen apart, and I was a much happier and well-rested wife and mama.  If you’re feeling chronically worn out, like life is dragging you through it, please let me encourage you to REST!  Even God rested after six days of creation – if He needed a rest then us mamas need one too on a regular basis.  

Let’s say some hello’s, shall we?

Hello Monday…

Hello candy…

Halloween is still three days away and already my house has been overrun with candy.  Today I bought four large bags of candy to hand out, which I’m sure will all be gone before 8 pm, just like it is every year.  This year, we’ve decided to have some hot chocolate and apple cider for parents to drink while they’re taking their kids door to door.  It’s gonna be a bit chilly out! Ross will stay home and hand out candy and drinks with me in the front yard, while Michael takes the girls around the neighborhood to collect their loot.  I love greeting the kids, seeing their costumes and handing out candy! 

Hello pumpkin…

My children made the comment the other day that they’ve never carved a pumpkin before.  At first I told them, “Of course you have!”, but after thinking about it awhile, I realized the last time we’d bought and carved a pumpkin was the first year in our house, nine years ago!! So technically, Ross has carved a pumpkin before but none of the girls have.  I picked out a nice big one this morning and now it’s sitting on the porch, waiting to be cut.  After about ten minutes on Pinterest looking for ideas, I’ve decided to delegate this task to Michael.  It will be a great bonding time for him and the kids, right??

halloween

The kids on our street, ready to go trick or treating (2011)

Hello costumes…

My favorite part of Halloween is making costumes.  I love to come up with “out of the box” ideas and then tackle the challenge of how to implement them.  My kids are getting really good at coming up with costume ideas.  Here are the plans for this year: I’m going to be a smarty pants, complete with big nerdy glasses and smarties candy taped all over my pants.  Ross is going to be Pumpkin Pi (orange shirt with a Pi symbol on it).  Gracie is going to be a scarecrow – I love her costume because she will continue to wear the jeans and plaid shirt through the rest of fall and winter, so it’s cute and thrifty! Amber chose one random, obscure character after another before finally settling on Pocahontas’ friend.  Luckily, she was already Tiger Lily at her Peter Pan birthday party, so we already had everything we needed for her costume. Georgia wanted to be a green fairy, but not Tinkerbell.  I had a really hard time finding green fairy items that weren’t Tinkerbell, so we switched to a pink fairy and now her costume is all set.  Michael has more fun watching us dress up and usually doesn’t have a costume, unless we’re doing a group thing.

How about you? Do you like to dress up for Halloween? What’s your favorite Halloween candy? What are you saying hello to this week?

 

 

Weekly Goals

spurgeon

Any time I get bogged down in the mundane tasks of everyday life, I look at this quote by Charles Spurgeon and it always spurs me on.  This has been a week of being bogged down in so many little detail things that quickly drowned out the bigger tasks I wanted to accomplish.  I’m learning more and more what to let go of and what to make a priority.  In every family, that looks different because my priorities are not the same as yours.  I’m learning that’s ok, to not worry about what everyone else is doing and just focus on what I’m made to do – teach my children, care for my home, love my husband, and introduce people to Jesus.  That’s a simple to do list I can handle.

Let’s take a look at last week’s list and see what I accomplished:

Homeschooling: I installed Teaching Textbooks 5 for Gracie and she really loves it.  She’s doing two lessons a day.  I love the little bit of extra time it gives me to focus on teaching the Littles.  I posted a reading chart for Amber and Gracie.  This is one of the visuals that will be helpful for Amber to track her progress to a reward for her work.  I enrolled both her and Gracie in the Pizza Hut Book-It program, so for every month they meet their reading goal, they get to go out to lunch with Daddy and get a free personal pan pizza.  I didn’t get to everything on the list – installing Italian for Ross, making busy bags for Georgia or unit planning for Prairie Primer.

Kitchen Work: I made 9 pints of apple butter and a big batch of pumpkin waffles.  I still need to make apple dapple cake and make cookies with Amber.

Homemaking: I pulled all the girls’ fall/winter clothes down out of the attic but I haven’t started to sort through them yet.  I also pulled down the keyboard at Gracie’s request so she could play it.  I worked on my bedroom for a little while one afternoon, but then I destroyed it in the mad rush to get everything packed so I’m back to square one there.  I didn’t have time or the help I needed to move the furniture and treadmill around in the living room or reassemble our modular couch.

Personal: To bless Michael this week, I made a special breakfast for dinner he requested: pumpkin waffles, baked apples, scrambled eggs and coffee with homemade gingerbread latte creamer.  To bless someone else this week, I pitched in with the rest of the family to help clean up after the wedding reception.  I also watched my two nephews while my brother-in-law and sister-in-law served the BBQ for the dinner at the reception.  I got all the laundry washed before packing to go to the wedding by doing two days’ worth at a time.  It was really worth it to come home and only have one load of dirty clothes for the weekend to wash.  I read The Hiding Place and then passed it on to Ross for him to read.  He also has a dvd from Netflix on the Holocaust to watch and then he will write a paper on what he learned.  It’s not the same time period he’s currently studying in history but it’s interesting to him right now and the beauty of homeschooling is its flexibility in accommodating those interests. I started listing my frugal accomplishments and wrote my first blog post about it. I started a master list and added a ribbon bookmark to my household notebook.

Here are my goals for the upcoming week:

Homeschooling

1. Install Italian for Ross on the computer

2. Make three busy bags for Georgia to do during our read aloud times.

3. Post visual helps for Amber to help her know our weekly routine.

4. Continue unit lesson plans for Prairie Primer

5. Catch up on grading Ross’ work and create a midterm progress report

Kitchen Work

1. Make apple dapple cake to take to my family as we gather to celebrate my grandma’s life

2. Make cookies with Amber

3.  Finish garlic toast  for the freezer

4.  Make french toast for the freezer

Homemaking

1. Reassemble the modular couch and move the side chair from the living room to the master bedroom

2. Rearrange the living room furniture so I can see the tv from the treadmill more easily

3. Sort fall/winter clothes and then swap out with spring/summer clothes.

4. Help the kids to begin planning their Halloween costumes.  Our Halloween rules are: no scary costumes, no store bought costumes, get a lot of candy, have a lot of fun.

Personal

1. Do something to bless Michael

2. Do something to bless someone else

3.  Read three chapters of Galatians for You by Tim Keller – this is an excellent book that consists of expository preaching of the entire book of Galatians in written form.  The pastors in our church preach through books of the Bible in this way so this book is really appealing to me for that reason.  It’s like an extra few sermons during the week. It’s not a quick read so I don’t expect to get much further than three chapters this week.

4.  Walk the Color Run 5K with my best friend Dawn and her family on Saturday.  I’m really looking forward to looking like a crazy rainbow at the end of the walk!

What are your goals for the week?

Hello Monday…the almost Tuesday version

The past week has been such a blur that at times, I’ve felt like life was running me over.  Between homeschooling, helping Gracie wrap up her big Operation Christmas Child project and working a temporary part-time job the past two weekends, it feels like I haven’t been home for days other than to sleep and shower.  As a result, it almost slipped my mind to write a Hello Monday post for today! Thankfully things should be settling down this week so we can get back into our normal groove.  Let’s say hello, shall we?

Hello Monday….

Hello fur babies…

elvisandlulabelle

We brought home our Russian Blue kittens on Wednesday.  Lula Belle and Elvis have totally stolen our hearts and taken over the house.  Michael and I are both highly allergic to cats so our kids have not been around cats enough to really know about their personalities and their silly mannerisms.  As I’m typing this, Lula Belle is sitting on my hand by the computer mouse and occasionally gets up to walk across the keyboard.  They are so much fun!  They really add joy to the house.  (By the way, Russian Blues are very hypoallergenic for allergic cat lovers.  If you have allergies, I highly recommend you look into them.)

Hello to 100 shoe boxes and counting…

occ114

On Sunday, Gracie helped to lead an Operation Christmas Child packing party in Children’s Ministry at church.  After counting boxes at the end of the party, she had an updated total of 114 shoe box gifts, surpassing her goal of 100 boxes.  There are still six weeks to go until National Collection Week and she plans to keep packing boxes right up to the final week.  And then she’ll start packing boxes for next year!!

occ

We were able to go today and tour the Charlotte distribution center.  Gracie isn’t old enough yet to volunteer in the warehouse so it was a real privilege to be able to go behind the scenes and see what happens to the shoe box after she drops it off until it reaches its destination in the child’s hands.  We heard so many stories of God providing just what a child had prayed for or needed in very specific ways.  It was so encouraging!!

occ2

Gracie’s favorite part was seeing the sorting stations.  This is where each box is examined to be sure there’s nothing in there that shouldn’t be (liquids or breakables or war related toys) before it’s sealed and packed into a shipping carton with other shoe boxes to be sent around the world.

Hello football…

I am not a football fan.  I pick the team I want to win based on random things like the colors of the uniform or what state they are from, not their standings or which division they are in (you should know when I say that that I’m just parroting what I’ve heard my husband say and actually have no idea what standings and divisions there are in football).  That being said, my husband is a football fan with a big TV and a few of our kids have been converted into the madness that is football mania, so my TV has been high-jacked for every Sunday from now until the Super Bowl.  Gracie has asked for a football helmet and jersey for Christmas and a pair of torn up jeans she can play football in outside with her friends.  Speaking of Christmas…

Hello holiday shopping…

Go ahead and hate me for thinking about Christmas already, but in my house, if I want to enjoy it at all, I have to start preparing now.  I’m picking up little stocking stuffers for the kids here and there when I’m out running errands.  I’ve bought two gifts.  I’d love to have all the little things bought by the time Michael gets his Christmas bonus so I can just go purchase the large gifts (or even better, order online from home!) and get on with the best part of Christmas – making magic for my kids, baking up a storm and serving the community.  I don’t want Christmas to be about gifts and shopping, so my thought is that if I do it now, then I can make it about more important things like family and serving and celebrating Jesus’ birth.  Have you started Christmas shopping yet?

Hello costumes…

Before Christmas gets here though, we have Halloween and Thanksgiving to celebrate.  I’ve got some great Thanksgiving things planned for the month of November that I can’t wait to share with y’all.  But first there’s Halloween.  We have very specific ideas about this holiday in our family.  I love coming up with great costumes for our kids, discussing ideas and hunting for just the right items to make it come to life.  I love our neighborhood parade just before trick or treating starts and sitting at the end of our driveway, greeting all the kids, passing out candy and enjoying their costumes.  I don’t really care for skeletons and vampires and the gory/scary aspects of the holiday so we omit them completely from our celebration.  The kids aren’t allowed to have scary costumes, but they also aren’t allowed to simply pick one from the store.  We make our own costumes and try to come up with really original ideas.  Last year, Georgia was a bag of jelly beans, Amber was Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz, Gracie was Audrey Hepburn, and Ross (my literal child) was a ceiling fan, complete with pom poms and a shirt that said Go Ceiling!  I can’t wait to see what they come up with this year.  What will your kids be this year?

Thanks for stopping by.  Don’t forget to share what you’re saying hello to this week!

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