Monday, September 29, 2014

Last Weekend: Family Walks, Teething Woes, Grocery Shopping, Lunch Out, Food Trucks, & More

I feel like I'm overdue for an update on what our family has been doing lately!  Last week we were dealing with teething woes (see below), and so I'm just now catching back up on lost sleep!

The weather has been glorious the past few days (after 3+ days of rain early last week), so we've enjoyed some really nice family walks!  The girls love our quiet neighborhood where they can run free.
Jude was teething last week, so there were several nights when Tad and I were taking turns snuggling him and trying to get him back to sleep.  After two very bad nights, he finally started sleeping better!  He has two new teeth on the top that he is quite proud of.
Saturday is my grocery shopping day now, since Tad is off and it means I don't have to shop alone.  I usually go to Aldi, but the nearest one is 35 minutes away, so we try and make a day of it!  There is a Hobby Lobby there too, so we swung by and grabbed a few things for some craft projects.

Aldi has really expanded their organic line lately!  I was able to buy grape tomatoes, Gala apples, quinoa, frozen blueberries, frozen strawberries, diced tomatoes, fire roasted diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, and animal cookies (special treat) - all organic and at great prices!  I also love to buy their organic spinach and other salad greens.   Aldi is such a blessing to our family!

Tad took us all out to lunch on Saturday, which was so sweet.  We went to a new (to us) local restaurant and enjoyed delicious sandwiches!
CC wasn't feeling great on Saturday (cold?), but she's totally better today.
On Sunday we had a wonderful worship service at church.  (Have I mentioned lately how much we love our church?  It's a BIG blessing to have our souls fed every week.)  Two people were baptized after the 11:00 service, and then there was a fun food truck rodeo for the whole church.

The girls played in (or near, as in Vera's case) the bouncy house for a little bit.  Two of the food trucks experienced delays on the way (flat tire and stuck in traffic), so we didn't end up staying at the rodeo.  The one truck that did make it had a pretty long line, and our kids were getting pretty hangry!  (You know, so hungry you're angry = hangry.)
But we had a nice time for the few minutes we stayed!
I'm just thrilled to finally get to wear chambray, jeans, and scarves again!  Yay, fall!

Oh, I also just discovered some beautiful new printables from Ann Voskamp.  You just have to go here and sign up (free), then you can access beautiful designs like these!

Lovely reminders of truth!

How was your weekend?

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Favorite Fall Books

As the seasons change, I like to gather up some of our favorite seasonal books and keep them on the coffee table in the living room to read to the girls!

Here are a few of our family's favorite fall books!

The Pumpkin Patch Parable by Liz Curtis Higgs
This is a sweet book that uses the story of a farmer planting pumpkins to talk about God's work in our lives when we become believers!

Bear Feels Scared by Karma Wilson
We love all of the bear books by Karma Wilson (well, the five we have), but these two are perfect for fall.  Bear's friends all come to find him when he is lost in the woods, and the charming illustrations captivate the girls every time we read it.

Bear Feels Sick by Karma Wilson
This was the first of the Bear books that we got, and it's just adorable!  I love reading it, and the girls like hearing about how Bear's friends take care of him when he is sick.

Thankful Together by Holly Davis
This is a year-round favorite, but with the overall theme of thankfulness, I like to bring it out in the fall to read more often.  The book is about the blessings of a day that the mother and baby squirrel spend together, and it is filled with prayers of thanksgiving.  Very sweet!

What are your favorite fall children's books?

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Welcome, Fall!

Fall is absolutely my favorite time of year!  Today the weather is so "fall-ish," as is appropriate for the first day of autumn!
The girls helped me decorate the house a little bit today.

I don't know about you, but I just want to curl up with warm socks, a good book, and a pumpkin spice latte!!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Homeschooling Recap

As some of you know, we are homeschooling our kids.  But for us, right now (with Vera being 4 and CC being 2.5), it doesn't look like a curriculum or a bunch of seat work.  There will be plenty of time for handwriting and textbooks in the future.

Right now, we're instilling in our children a love for learning - any time and any place!

This is what homeschooling has looked like at our house this week!

-taking a field trip to the zoo where we got to see lots of animals we have been studying about

-going on a family walk where we found acorns and studied them

-learning about giraffes and orangutans
-painting with watercolors
-working on letter identification (G for giraffe and O for organutan)

-going to the library for story hour and checking out books

-reading library books (and other books) together

-setting/clearing the table

-helping with laundry

-baking muffins together (measuring, counting, and stirring)
-practicing counting

-putting stickers on paper

-going to the park and discovering many interesting things to look at

We're not really a "workbook" family, so this kind of homeschooling just makes sense for us!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Keeping My Home Decor Fresh

Choosing the right furniture for your home can be a big decision! Many of us want to keep our home "on trend," but how is the best way to do that?

My advice is to buy classic pieces of furniture that you absolutely love (my blue couch is one, and my headboard is another!). I can easily toss on some new pillows or a new duvet cover to keep my living room and bedroom looking fresh and on-trend.

Here are the main factors I keep in mind when selecting new furniture for my home.

1) Scale

Scale is so important! You don't want small furniture to be dwarfed in a huge room, and you also do not want large pieces to overwhelm a small space. One thing I've realized in owning a large historic home is that big houses need big accessories (including furniture)! With high ceilings and huge rooms, I have selected large pieces of furniture, such as a long couch and a big dining room table.

2) Style

What is the style of your home? How does your personal style play into how you "dress" your home? Our home has a very traditional feel, with wide baseboards, crown molding, chair rails, and vintage wallpaper. Because of this, we've chosen more traditional furniture for most of the rooms to reflect our home's style. I like to have fun keeping my home on-trend with accent pieces, pillows, accessories, throws, and art while maintaining our home's traditional style with furniture that has clean, classic lines. If you're not sure what your "style" is, visit some retail stores such as Havertys and notice what catches your eye.

3) Sticker (Price)

Set a budget for your new piece of furniture, then shop around to find the perfect piece for your home at the price you want! We always try to stay under our set budget for furniture, even if it means waiting a little longer to get what we really want! Keep in mind that classic pieces of furniture are worth investing more in since you'll keep them a long time!

Here are a few great ways to keep your home on-trend and fresh:

-Purchase a great bookshelf or display cabinet, then style it according to the seasons or current trends (by adding books, art, plants, etc.)

-Purchase a sofa that can be easily slip-covered so you can freshen it up with a whole new look

-Purchase floor samples of furniture, as these are often sold at greatly reduced rates

-Bring in new lamps, rugs, and mirrors to enliven a space (even if it means "stealing" them from another room in the house!)

-Follow Havertys on Pinterest for fresh, creative ideas for your home

-Paint the room a fresh new color

Find a Havertys Near You.

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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Havertys. The opinions and text are all mine.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Jude's Zoo Party

We had such a wonderful time at Jude's first birthday party at the zoo!  Here are a bunch of pictures from our day!

He loved this monkey from Pops and MiMi.
 I made chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter filling and peanut butter frosting.

MiMi made these fun favors (peanuts in their shells).

Family pictures...

Remember this bunting banner?  I used it at Vera's first birthday party, as well as our "county fair night" last year at the beach!
As usual, we had lots of great food!  Pulled pork, salad, slaw, chips, fruit, baked beans, watermelon, pickles, and more.
I've already shared the smash cake pictures.

Jude was pretty excited about opening presents!  Of course he had lots of help!
It was raining for much of the afternoon, but it did clear up when we started to go see the animals.
 Feeding the giraffes is always fun!
 But goats are, apparently, hilarious!

If we hadn't seen this goat standing on top of a sheep, we probably wouldn't have believed it.
It was too funny!
We got to see the penguins being fed!  They waited so patiently!
One of the highlights of Vera's day was getting to splash in all the mud puddles!
What a blessing to be able to celebrate our sweet Jude's first birthday at the zoo!
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