Spending Freeze

In an effort to pay some bills, including a whopping one from when I was in the hospital, pregnant with the babe, we are having a spending freeze. If it isn’t necessary, it isn’t gonna be bought. So far we are doing really well, not even one dollar has been spent on anything other than things that we actually need. When you are really knuckling down, you realize that not much is actually necessary. Shoes for the kids, yes, a quick run into the thrift store, not so much. It’s not like we spent much before, but now we are being really, really careful. We want these bills to be a thing of the past, so that is a priority. It’s kind of addictive, being able to put another dollar or two in the jar/savings account. They grow slowly, but every penny counts, right? I do have a couple of other commitments that will require a little bit of spending, but the commitments were made before the freeze, so I will still hold to those. I’m really excited about this, it doesn’t feel like a hardship at all, because I know how much better I will feel when we are completely out of debt.

family • Tuesday, June 29th, 2010 • 7 Comments »

River Cottage Crumpets

I haven’t had a crumpet in ages. I’m not sure I’ve ever had a homemade one, so last week the kids and I made some. They were surprisingly easy to make, and after adjusting for time/heat after the first couple they came out just fine. The recipe came from The River Cottage Bread Handbook, which I absolutely love. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and am looking forward to trying out many more of the recipes. They were absolutely scrumptious. They went pretty quickly and the remaining couple were toasted the following day and then slathered with butter, enough to drip down our arms. A couple of them were wrapped up as a gift for someone who loves them just as much as I do. Now for one of my questions from the weekend. If the house were on fire, and all of my family was safe, what would I grab? Though there are many items that are precious to me, I would grab the computer as it has all of our family photos. I would be absolutely devastated to lose all of those, so that is what I would grab. If anyone else has questions for me, just put them in the comments and I’ll try to answer them this week.

food • Monday, June 28th, 2010 • 10 Comments »

Got Questions?

This is the restaurant where Hubby and I got engaged 12 years ago! Yikes, that’s a long time. Anyway, I haven’t been back since that day, but we were able to drive by it one evening while we were out at the shore. It brought back great memories, and look at what has happened since then. Almost 11 years of marriage and four beautiful children. Even though the babe is finally sleeping better, I somehow am still completely shattered. Our 7 year old son has been waking nightly with bad dreams, and also sleepwalking, so no rest for the weary. I thought as I am still working hard at decluttering and still a little too tired to think coherently, that I might use your help. Is there anything you want to know about me? If you’ve got questions, just leave them in the comments and then next week I’ll try to answer them. I hope you all have a fantastic day. I’m off to fill up another bag for the thrift store.

family • Friday, June 25th, 2010 • 4 Comments »

Philadelphia, Part 1

More holiday pics for you today. Here are just a few from our days in Philly. There is some of the most beautiful architecture in the buildings, even the sidewalks. Also some delicious food, and an Ikea. What’s not to love.

family, homeschooling, travelling • Thursday, June 24th, 2010 • 3 Comments »

Drink Your Oats

We are big smoothie drinkers around here. They are great for breakfast or an afternoon snack. I usually put in yogurt, bananas and strawberries or mangoes, basically whatever fruit we have hanging around, a little milk and on occasion a little drizzle of honey. Last week were looking for a way to mix things up a little so we made banana oatmeal smoothies. I know it sounds a bit bizarre, but they were delicious. We used plain homemade yogurt, bananas, cinnamon, some milk, a drizzle of honey,and a small handful of raw oats. There was great texture to it and the flavours were fantastic. So if you are looking for a new smoothie to try, throw in some oats. What is your favourite smoothie?

food • Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010 • 8 Comments »

Little Mamas

Little girls are just so nurturing, I love to see them develop their mama skills. The babe is following in her big sisters footsteps and starting to carry her babies in a sling. She wraps them up in blankies and snuggles with them, carefully tucks them in bed. Occasionally baby will be thrown to the floor, but she is always quickly retrieved with lots of hugs and kisses and cuddles in the “rocka” chair. It’s nice to see the age gap between the girls finally beginning to close. They are nearly four years apart, but as the babe is getting older, they are able to play better together. I so love to see them together, I always wished I had a sister (I love my brother to bits). Here’s to many more years of being little mamas.

family • Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010 • 4 Comments »

Faux Gardening

I feel like I am cheating when it comes to gardening when I plant already started plants into the ground. I have resigned myself to the fact that if I want to grow anything, this is the way it will have to be. Forget greenfingers, I have gardening fingers of death. Do you remember all of my beautiful seedlings? Want to know how many survived? Not one single one. After lovingly looking after them for months, they just stopped growing. They weren’t big enough to transplant, and I have no idea what I did wrong. It is so disheartening for me, as I really, really want to be able to grow things from seed. We ended up going to the garden center and purchasing already started plants. I got them in the ground and have high hopes for them producing. We shall see though, as I can manage to kill just about any plant with a single glance. The decluttering is going well, I have a whole van load to head to the thrift store, a stack of books that I am selling, and a few things that are going on ebay. I still have so much more to do, but I am finally seeing some progress. Oh, and I am finally getting sleep. If the babe takes a late afternoon nap, she doesn’t go to sleep till about 9:30pm, but she doesn’t wake up during the night. I’m still trying to decide whether I want calm, quiet, child free evenings or a decent nights sleep. Some days it’s a toss up.

gardening, home • Monday, June 21st, 2010 • 7 Comments »

So Many Things To Do, So Little Time

Hi everybody! I feel bad as I am almost constantly taking little breaks from my blog. Such is life with four little ones though, I suppose. I am in the middle of a couple of projects, one which is some serious decluttering of the house. It is taking up all of my time and I am feeling so ready for it to be done, that I really need to be able to focus on that and the family for the next few days. I will be back on Monday, hopefully with a much calmer house, and mind. Have you recently decluttered, or do you need to? What’s your favourite tip for decluttering? Do you feel so much better when it is done? How do you decide what to keep and what to let go?

family, home • Thursday, June 17th, 2010 • 11 Comments »

Simple Summer Breakfast

The babe has never been a good sleeper, until we were out at the shore. It must have been that ocean air, as she slept most of the night without waking up at all (which is really, really good for her). Since we’ve been back we’ve had more night wakings and the problem is getting worse. Last night was pretty bad, and I am exhausted. As I think I will have a hard time doing normal tasks today, let along putting together a coherent post, I am showing you our breakfast yesterday. Thrilling, I know. Though there is something really nice about having a simple summer breakfast of homemade bread, toasted and slathered with butter, a bowl full of gorgeous, ripe strawberries and bowls full of homemade yogurt. What are your favourite summer breakfasts?

food • Wednesday, June 16th, 2010 • 9 Comments »

Adventures

Our two weeks at the shore were full of adventures for the babe. When you are used to the plains and emptiness of the west, seeing the ocean was amazing for her. Feeling the sand squidging between her toes and the freezing ocean water run over her little feet… the ocean breeze blowing through her hair and for as far as she can see, nothing but water. Running along the beach…. and exploring on her own (with Daddy a few paces behind her). Helping build sand castles… finding new treasures, and discovering that sand doesn’t taste that great. Of course, keeping up with the big kids is no easy task for such little legs, but what better way to rest, than taking a long nap on our picnic blanket with the sound of the water in your ears and the ocean air in your lungs. Every couple of days she still says “ocean…back”. We will definitely be making this trip every year.

family, nature, travelling • Tuesday, June 15th, 2010 • 7 Comments »