Thankful Thursday

And just like that, another school week is coming to a close.  It’s no surprise that my girls now LOVE Thursdays… and so do I!  This tea party thing is definitely a hit with all of us.  Today we made Darcy’s raspberry coffee cake.  Nom nom!  (Yes, I am her stalker, but she’s ok with that – ha!)  We’re already discussing next week’s treat — scones or rice krispy treats?  Decisions, decisions!


Ironically, we just finished reading Philis Wheatley’s biography and today happened to be about the Boston Tea Party.  It was a pretty awesome read.  I am so thankful for those tea partiers; (and today’s tea party as well, but that’s another post!)  It is absolutely amazing to read how Philis’ “family,” the Wheatley’s, gave-up their wealth by refusing to buy fabric and tea from England.  Oh, if only we Americans lived with such conviction today!  One of my absolute favorite parts of homeschooling is reading through history so many of the things that I missed as a kid.  Fascinating, eye-opening, and important!  It was also amazing to read how our humble first president honored her.  That fit in well with our Bible verse this week, which deals with the character trait humility.  WE also finished reading about Helen Keller; another amazing, yet humble human being!  So today I am thankful for our country… our rich heritage… my sight, and my ability to hear!

9 Months Old


My little man is 9 months old today!  Over the last month, he has added 4 new teeth for a total of 6, started saying “Mamamamama,” and continues to remain motionless, which is quite alright with me!  (Actually he’s beginning to turn and scoot on his bottom a bit, but no signs of crawling, yet!)



He also had his first bad cold and ear infection, which required antibiotics.  Boy those high fevers sure scare this mama and make her so thankful he is a healthy kid!  Blessed, indeed!  Love you, Mr. Kai guy.



I’ve always wanted lockers.  I mean, who wouldn’t?  They are just cool.  Ever since probing my awesome friend Darcy about where she got her lockers, I’ve been searching Craigslist. To my surprise, there have been quite a few awesome ones, but none super close to me.  Then I found these:


(Note how their tie-dye shirts turned out, as well!)  Anyway, I called the guy up and he said, “We live in R off of D on a cul-de-sac that backs up to W,” to which I replied, “Me, too!”  Doesn’t get any better than that!  So, I put the littles in the stroller and the big girls rode their bikes and we headed over to check them out.

I (obviously) fell in love.  The price was right, and he even delivered them!  They are currently in Sierra’s bedroom, but will move into our classroom/ office next summer once we give Malachi the boot.  They could use a little paint, but I’m kind of thinking I like the shabby look.  I had fun taking pictures, and took way too many.  Here are a few of the outtakes:


On another note, week 2 of school has started off with a bang.  Kids are doing awesome.  Granted, my husband is here to help; that’s always a nice thing.  But, I am super duper happy to be back in the swing of things… and enjoying it!  Not-to-mention, my most favoritest time of year fall is almost here!


It’s only the first week of school, and I am already bored with our lunch options – ha!  So, I decided the best way to mix things up was to try out new bread with our sandwiches.  We made some homemade focaccia bread last week, and loved it so much we had to make it again the next day!

The bigger girls aren’t always interested in helping in the kitchen anymore, so I get kind of excited when they want to participate!  Sierra, on the other hand, is attached to my hip when I’m in the kitchen.  She is quite the little helper these days!

Anyway, we not only made it into a sandwich, but used it as our hamburger buns, as well.  It is awesome and best of all incredibly simple!  I got the recipe from, which calls it the “easiest bestest focaccia bread ever.”  I would concur!  Here is the recipe:

Focaccia Bread


    • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1 teaspoon white sugar
    • 1 (1/4 ounce) packet active dry yeast
    • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
    • 1 teaspoon oregano
    • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
    • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
    • 1 dash ground black pepper
    • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
    • 1 cup warm water ( 105-115 degrees)
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese ( grated)
    • 1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese ( shredded)


  1. Mix the yeast and water in a small bowl. Let proof for 10 minutes (until bubbles begin to form).
  2. In large bowl, stir together flour, salt, sugar, garlic powder, oregano, thyme, basil, and black pepper.
  3. Add the yeast mix and vegetable oil to the dry ingredients and combine.
  4. When dough has pulled together, turn out onto lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic.
  5. Lightly oil a large bowl, place dough in bowl, and turn to coat with oil.
  6. Cover with damp cloth and let rise in warm place 25 minutes.
  7. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  8. Punch dough down, place on greased baking sheet.
  9. Pat dough into 1/2-inch thick rectangle (doesn’t have to be perfect).
  1. Using your knuckle, make indentations in the dough about 1/2-inch apart, then prick dough with fork.
  2. Brush top with olive oil, then sprinkle with Parmesan and mozzarella cheese.
  3. Bake for 13-15 minutes until golden brown.

On another note, my husband came home with a movie and I just noticed wine chilling in the fridge… that means it’s time for me to step away from the computer!

Snapshots and Ponderings of our Week

Tonight as we were walking upstairs to bed, my oldest said to me, “Mom, I am done with people for today.”  Ha!  I know what you mean, little one… I have days like that, as well.  Do you ever begin a blog post feeling one way, take a break, and come back feeling totally different?  That’s kind of what’s happened to me with this post.  It seems every time I sit down to write it, my feelings have totally changed!

Our first week of school is done.  I can honestly say that I have had every range of emotions this week.  I have felt completely overwhelmed like I was the worst mom/ teacher in the world, and like a totally awesome mom/ teacher all in one day.  I have felt completely empowered like I could do anything, and completely inadequate like I needed to throw up my hands and let others teach my children… and then empowered again… and then inadequate again… back and forth and back and forth all within a day!  Thank goodness we don’t rely on our emotions to determine what we should do, huh?

“I lift my eyes up to the hills.  Where does my help come from?  My help comes from the Lord; the Maker of Heaven and earth.  He will not let your foot stumble.  He who watches over you never slumbers.” Psalm 121:1 – 3

I am ever so grateful for the cooler days we’ve experienced.  Sometimes just getting outside reminds me all will be ok.  I chase a 2-year-old with the cutest toddler run around the backyard, and let her laugh.

I get frustrated with her craziness, but take pictures to remind me how precious this time is and how much I will miss it when it’s gone.  I get lost staring into her eyes.  What goes in in that little 2-year-old mind?

I let my boy make messes.  He is finally back to himself after a few weeks of teething/ ear infection/ fevers, and lack of sleep!  It’s good to have you back, buddy!

I knew this year would be a challenge with school.  The girls are getting older, and more is expected of them.  I also have my two littles to nurture, teach, chase, and tickle.  At this very moment I am feeling empowered.  As I said, my emotions continue to change.  That is why I truly do need to remember where my help comes from.  I need to read His word, and fall on my face.  To be honest, I’m pretty good at going on my knees each night.  It is like I crave that time!  I am not so good at the quiet part — being still, and listening to Him.  Looking in His word.  I need to get back to that!  I have decided to join the Beautifully Rooted Bible Study on James by Beth Moore.  I have done many Beth Moore studies, and she almost holds an “idol” spot in my heart… I absolutely adore Beth Moore!  (Who doesn’t?!?!)  I ordered my book, and will start in September.  I am super excited, and can’t wait to share with you her little tidbits.

It’s now an hour after putting the girls to bed.  My oldest is still talking; as usual!  Somehow, I think she got over her need to be alone.

Friday Tie-dye Day

Today is long overdue… for some reason, the very first thing on our summer bucket list was “tie-dye.”  The girls had been wanting to do tie-dye for quite some time now. Alas, even though our vacation may be over, at least it’s still summer so we can cross it off our summer bucket list!

We began our day with tie-dye pancakes.

“Look at my hands, mom!  Take a picture like this!”

It is a messy process, so we got our hands all wrapped-up, then went outside to begin!  (Other than the curious cat who kept jumping on the table, outdoors was a smart choice!)

It’s especially messy when you let a 2-yr-old do it herself…

We read about all the different types of tie-dye you could do.  Then we pretty much did our own thing.  Technically, Allison, Sierra, and Malachi all did a “starburst,” while Natalie did a “swirl…” We’ll see!  We actually did do school after this because we had a few things to get done before wrapping-up our first week.  And, just like that, our first week of school has come to an end!  I’ll be pondering that further soon…

Thankful Thursdays

You may recall from last year, the girls and I do quite a few tea parties.  It got to the point where they were asking for tea almost every day!  Being a tea party lover myself, it was hard to say no. So, this year I decided to make it a special treat for Thursdays — something to look forward to.

In addition, I gave them each a tea party journal.  After each tea party, they are to take their journals and write a letter to God, expressing at least 10 things they are thankful for.  (Even Sierra got a journal, and was happy to participate!)

Today we had milk tea with coconut raspberry muffins and chocolate chip cookies.  Allison was thankful for family.  Sierra was thankful for love.  And, Natalie was thankful for faith.  My heart is full!

First Day of School

The day finally came and went…. the first day of school. The girls had been looking forward to it and begging for it as if it were a trip to Disneyland.  They even made a paper chain to count-down the days. As much as I appreciate their enthusiasm, it did cause me to be a bit concerned at their expectation level — in other words, I hope I didn’t disappoint!

As I mentioned yesterday, the day started off quite early.  As tired as I was, that at least allowed me to get a jump start on preparing breakfast.  I had been wanting to make homemade donuts for quite some time, and this seemed like the perfect occasion.

I thought the doughnuts were yummy — the girls seemed to like the chocolate milk even better.  Funny how that works, huh?  After breakfast, I let them each go to their desks to find a card and a small gift.  I don’t necessarily intend to give them a gift each year, but they were in desperate need of covers for their Bibles as they are starting to get beat-up, so I thought this was the perfect opportunity to bless them with them.  The cards I do intend to give every year, as the girls absolutely adore getting cards from me.  (From anybody, really…)

Sierra got some colored glue sticks instead of a Bible cover.  She was thrilled and completed a masterpiece right away!

We don’t exactly have a classroom right now.  We have a downstairs room that has that potential in the future, but to be honest I really enjoy our current set-up. We work from the kitchen table.  It is part of a “great room,” (family room and kitchen), and the girls each have their desk niches in the family room. I recently got this red shelf to help keep me organized, and I am LOVING it!  I still don’t have it totally organized, but it is the best!

The first day we did a lot of talk about “expectations.”  I have been so lacking in having any sort of order to help encourage both their attitudes as well as their behavior and need to help with chores.  It took me all summer and about 15 Pinterest pins to come up with my own systems.  If you’re interested in what the final outcome is, let me know and I will do a post on that.  (Perhaps I should give it some time to see how it will work, first, but so far so good!)


It feels so nice to have 2 days under my belt.  Well, I guess I have 2 years under my belt as well, which is also nice!  Today was so much smoother than yesterday.  Perhaps it was because we got to sleep-in until 6:30am!  🙂  I know we’ll have lots more rough days… and even more good days… I’m just happy we’ll have them all together as a family!

School Pictures

Today was our first day of school!  It began at 4:15am with a toddler who wouldn’t go back to sleep.  It ended at about 8:45pm when they all finally got to sleep after our first soccer practice.  Needless-to-say, I am exhausted.  How many more days until summer?  Ha!  Really, I can’t complain… the day went fairly well.  But, it definitely could have been better!  Details to follow… in the meantime, here are their school pictures!  (Note how tired Sierra looks!)