Monday, February 20, 2012

Valentines, Food, Basketball, and Parenting

We had a very full and busy week!  The title pretty much sums it up.   Matt was invited to a Dutch Farms food show in Chicago on Valentines Day, and since we are never ones to pass on a free hotel and night away we graciously accepted.  Grandma Carr came and stayed with the kids overnight so we could enjoy a night away.  A long time ago Matt and I gave up celebrating just the two of us on Valentines day.  I started a tradition of having a very special dinner for Valentines.  I decorated and the kids dressed up for dinner (it was convenient following Christmas that they always had red to wear).  We’ve been doing this for the last 10 years so I was a little sad to be leaving my little “valentines” so we celebrated on Sunday.  The kids have given up on dressing up but they still enjoy the special dinner.


We had steak, (kids choice), RED skin potatoes, RED pop, and RED jell-o for desert.  We invited Grandma and Papa Carr and had a nice Sunday dinner together.


Matt and I enjoyed our quick trip to Chicago.  We stopped at IKEA to buy some things I’ve had my eye on for some organization projects then had dinner at the show place with dueling pianos for entertainment.  We ate WAY too much food at the show.  There were 50 different booths all serving samples!!  Everything from pies, cheeses to Chicago style hot dogs. It was a lot of fun.  Dutch Farms is a Christian owned company and it was awesome to hear the owner ask God to bless the day and their business before the show started.  We had a wonderful time together and I am so thankful for little perks like this that come with Matt’s job.

On Friday we took the older kids to HCA’s Homecoming Basketball game.  Again, grandma came to the rescue and let Ben and Jacob stay the night with her.  I love high school basketball games!  We played the homeschoolers and it was a great game.

Both teams joined in prayer before the game.  This was not something I ever saw at my high school games!  It was a very sweet moment when they dedicated the game to God and asked to glorify him with their talent and abilities.

homecoming game

hca dancing

To celebrate their victory the students danced in the middle of the court.  What was awesome is that there were kids from other schools and homeschoolers who joined in to support their friends. 

On Saturday Matt and I attended a Parenting workshop through a local church.  Here are some key points that I took away from the workshops.

  • We will all go through a wilderness period (like God’s people on their way to the promised land) both in our marriages and with our children.  God is using this time to bring us closer to him.
  • Too much screen time causes us to miss out on emotional connections with our children.
  • Bring them away from the TV (to do something together)-Don’t send them away. 
  • James 1:20  The wrath of man (or mom) does not accomplish the righteousness of God.  This goes perfectly with my gentleness challenge! 
  • If you can’t handle your own emotions your child will not give you theirs. 
  • Establish House Rules – “In this house we do… and we don’t…” 
  • We attended a Love and Logic workshop and I really want to read more about it.  She had some very simple and practical strategies.  My favorite was for dinnertime battles.  Her suggestion was to offer them what was served for free but if they wanted something else from the kitchen they had to pay for it!  I love it and I’m going to use it! 
  • Deuteronomy 6:6-7  These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts.  Impress them on your children.  Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 

Favorite pics of the week

I asked Jacob if he made this snowman at school and he replied “No, I made a snowdude!” HA!!


Ben wore this sweater to church on Sunday, he looked so handsome in it I had to take his picture.  Nana Bonenfant knitted it for Joe and now it fits Ben.  It looked amazing with his blue eyes. 


I think it’s so sweet how Jacob has his arm around his brother.  These moments make a mama’s heart happy.  I’m so glad they have each other. 



Sunday, February 12, 2012

Welcome Back Winter

We knew it would happen.    Of course the snow isn’t going to stop coming in February. The warmer weather and break from the snow was wonderful.   With the colder weather and snow came the colds.  We had been sick free since Thanksgiving!  Then I jinxed it.  I said out loud that “the kids haven’t been sick since before Thanksgiving”.  I should know better.  Within 24 hours Jacob started sniffling, then coughing.  Only Rachel has managed to escape.  I really can’t complain.  It was only a few years ago I was ready to set up a tent in the pediatricians parking lot because I felt like we spent more time there than healthy at home.  Now we are rarely at the doctors anymore.   A few stuffy noses don’t really seem too big of a deal.   


I love this picture.  I had walked into the kitchen and found Joe helping Jacob put on all his snow gear. (without being told to)  I love catching the older kids helping, playing with or sharing a special moment with their younger brothers.  Joseph struggles sometimes to understand why his brothers aren’t  “normal” or why they “don’t play right”.  I try to encourage him by reminding him that he was hand picked by God to be their big brother and that every time he spends time with, or helps them he is building up treasures in heaven.  So when I walk into a situation like this it makes me so happy to see Joe storing up his treasures in heaven. 


Saturday, February 11, 2012

Fit Friday

Hannah and I are on week two of our challenge.  We weighed in this week and there was no change for either of us.  We were both  a little disappointed but I knew the reason why, we’ve both been struggling to give 100%.  We were good enough for the scale to not go up but not good enough for it to go down.  So we are both trying to kick it up a notch this week. 

I decided to give Matt permission to be my Jillian. (Michaels from the Biggest Loser)  I need someone to push me to work harder and keep me accountable.  So, I promised not to get mad or um, tell him where to go…and let him be my conscious and personal motivator.  So, when 5 a.m. came this morning, Matt as instructed asked “So when are you going to exercise today?” I so, in my flesh, wanted to say “when are you going to exercise today” but instead laced up my shoes and headed downstairs.  Which of course I was glad I did when it was over.  I think this will be good for me because I’ve really been struggling with motivation to workout consistently. 

Goal for this week:  Exercise 6 days and not wish bad things upon Matt when he encourages me to exercise.

Bathroom Scale Bliss (n):  1) standing on a bathroom scale and smiling; 2) the absence of the urge to throw your bathroom scale out the window or against the wall; 3) an impossible dream

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Easy Lunchboxes

Last year I found online and purchased Easy Lunchboxes.  They are the BEST!!  They’re great for school lunches, picnics, traveling, the beach and more.


(yes, that is Joe’s  lunch on the right and he still gets in the van “starving” after school)

They have three compartments.  The larger compartment is big enough for a sandwich, string cheese and granola bar.  The other two compartments are perfect for fruit, nuts, crackers, etc.  This has saved us A LOT of money on baggies!  They are also great for traveling.  I just stack them in a cooler and hand out everyone’s box.  They have different colored lids so each kid has their own.  I also purchased the cooler bags that coordinate with the lid color so I know which one belongs to who.  I strongly recommend these, you won’t be disappointed! 

Here is the link if you want to check them out.


Sunday, February 5, 2012

It Feels like Spring Break Week

We had a wonderful week.  How could you not with the sun shining and spring like weather?!!  I didn’t have to clean this week and got a lot of things done around the house that I’ve been wanting to do.  I have a list of things I want to get done before school is out and this week I got to check  quite a few things off that list. YAY! 

Hannah had her second and final week of J-term.  On Tuesday she surprised Rachel with a pillow.  During Rachel’s recess Hannah left it on her chair for her to find when she came back inside.


On Friday she came home with her finished Rag Quilt. 



The picture doesn’t really do it justice.  The colors are much more vibrant in person.  She did a great job and had so much fun sewing it.  Of course she had to let Fifi have the first cuddle in it.  It looks perfect in her room! 





The kids enjoyed the weather so much this week.  Joe played basketball everyday after school.  It’s going to be very hard to go back to winter weather.


Here are a few random pics of our week….

After 4 years of watching the big kids, Jacob finally figured out how to do MarioKart by himself. He is so excited. If you spend more than 10 min. with Jacob you know how much he loves Mario!


Here’s an action shot of Joe’s basketball game on Saturday.


I came upstairs one morning after my workout and found this. Apparently it’s not necessarily mom and dad but our bed that they enjoy. Joe always gets in and cranks up the electric blanket.


I was folding laundry one day and Fifi jumped into the dryer and just had herself a seat.  She must’ve been pretty desperate for attention.  She’s so funny!


Ben wanted me to take a picture of his angry bird setup.  This has been by far his favorite Christmas gift and he plays it all the time.  He uses my ipod and tries to set them up just like on the game. 


On Friday night we went to an event at the YMCA for families of special needs children.  The kids did crafts, played in the gym and swam.  I’d like to say that this was such a special family time but it was more like a two hour nightmare.  The gym was way too loud which sent Ben into a tailspin.  We forgot Jacobs life jacket and he refused to have the floaties  strapped around his middle.  When we found a life jacket he was angry that he couldn’t go under the water.  It was so loud in the pool area that we had to scream for the kids to hear us.  Then we lost Jacobs sock in the family locker room which turned into an absolute meltdown for him because he has a big thing about his shoes and socks therefore making it unbearable for him to put his shoe on without his sock. Joe and Rachel had a great time so of course they were mad that we had to leave so early. Oh. My. Word.!! We left with headaches and were completely exhausted! It all ended with a stop at the bake sale to buy cupcakes for everyone so they all  left happy.   

I hope you got to enjoy the nice weather and sunshine this week!