Blog Hop

It's Time to Mingle!
Happy Go Lucky
Each week we will choose one blog at random to spotlight at the next week's blog hop.

This weeks guest host is: House on the Way... to a Beautiful Home
House on the Way
 There are no rules to this blog hop. Just link up your blog's main page. Then have fun reading new blogs and making new blog friends. We would love for you to follow the hostesses in the first four spots and our guest host in the fifth spot.

Please leave a comment so we know to follow you back.

Grab our button if you want to share our blog hop with others. There will be a new list every Thursday, so be sure to come back every week.
We hope you have fun and thanks for joining us!  We are so excited to find new blogs, share great ideas, and inspire each other.
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October Menu 2012



October Menu
2012
Sun
Mon
Tues
Wed
Thurs
Fri
Sat

1
Chicken soup with sweet potato


2
Broccoli and cheese rice cups
3
Leftover
4
Ground Turkey Taco salad
5
Homemade veggie pizza
6
7



8
Broccoli and cheese soup
9
Shrimp, leek, and spinach pasta
10
Leftover
11
Hummus and Turkey pinwheel sandwiches
12
Lemon chicken in crock pot
13
14



15
Whole wheat pasta w/spinach and white bean
16
3 Bean chili
17
Leftovers
18
Ellios pizza and salad
19
Pot roast and potatoes
20
21



22
Shepherd’s Pie
23
Leftovers
24
Beef Stew in crock pot

25
Leftovers
26
Ground Turkey and corn Chili
27
28



29
Tortellini salad

30
Veggie Burgers
31
Chicken cacciatore stoup













 The weekends at the Mac house are busy with Chinese school, Taekwondo and Church. We sometimes cook together, go out to dinner with family, or John takes over (fine by me!)  Our weekends are free spirited and that's just how I like them!


Oh, Baby!

Every Morning I am greeted the same way by my daughter Julia, "Mom, is the baby ok? How's the baby? Is she gonna come out yet?"

Needless to say we are pretty excited over our pregnancy over here.

And my Mark, since everything is in super hero language these days, tells me, "Mom I want the baby to come out green and angry, just like the Hulk!"  "Oh, dear!" I say dramatically, as I tickle my little hero.

Some days he says, "Mom can it be a super hero baby, like Iron Man?"  "Of course!" I say, "You will teach your brother or sister all about the super heroes, ok?"

Both my kids talk to my belly throughout the day, and especially during book reading time, I guess because when I sit and they are near my lap they remember it is no longer just mommy there, but their baby brother or sister.  They say, "Hi baby." In such soft deep voices, and I know when they meet the baby the baby will recognize just who they are.

Hi Baby,

We are beyond excited for you!  Keep continuing to grow strong in there.  Can't wait to hear your heartbeat at the doctor's appointment on Wednesday night with Daddy.  Make us proud and beat loudly for us!  Can't wait to meet you.

Love, Mama


Spoiling My Sara

Happy Birthday Sara!

Tonight we get to have Sara and my family over for a birthday dinner.  This weekend Sara turns 26!

Tonight I am making chicken francaise by her request. We ordered her a special cake, and today we have to pick up a few more surprises to make her birthday bash special.

The colors we chose for Sara were Hot Pink, Black and White Zebra print...she's gonna love it!  She also knows that we have been busy making her a movie night basket filled with lots of goodies and some movies of her choice!

God is so good and I am so excited to celebrate my baby sister...ummmm  who said she could grow up?

We love you!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 


Blog Hop

It's Time to Mingle!
Happy Go Lucky
Each week we will choose one blog at random to spotlight at the next week's blog hop.

This weeks guest host is: Life's a Beach

 There are no rules to this blog hop. Just link up your blog's main page. Then have fun reading new blogs and making new blog friends. We would love for you to follow the hostesses in the first four spots and our guest host in the fifth spot.

Please leave a comment so we know to follow you back.

Grab our button if you want to share our blog hop with others. There will be a new list every Thursday, so be sure to come back every week.
We hope you have fun and thanks for joining us!  We are so excited to find new blogs, share great ideas, and inspire each other.
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So Excited for This Baby!

And she cried out with a loud voice and said, "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!--Luke 1: 42

I love the exchange that Elizabeth and Mary share in the Bible when both reveal their pregnancies to each other.  Their was pure joy!  John the Baptist would lead the way before his very own cousin the Messiah would come...our Savior!

Part of me feels this same joy and wonder, and pure excitement of what is to come.  I've wanted another baby very soon after Mark was born, but we really had our hands full at the time with two kids under the age of two.  Then Mark turned 2 (in a blink) and I REALLY wanted another baby.  Julia was 3 1/2 and Mark was 2 and we were just on a roll with life.  Yes, life was busy but it didn't feel like I couldn't handle it.  Julia has always been helpful and independent and Mark has always been the mellow agreeable child...and I just loved them at these ages.

But...Daddy was NOT ready.  No sir ree.  Daddy was and will always be the finacial planner of the family and the great over seer of the college future...and he just didn't see us with another baby...YET.  So I did beg.  I prayed and finally I just gave it completely to God because I wasn't getting my way and I knew I needed to be content with my own little family of 4. 

But...I felt someone was missing.  In May of 2012, John's sister had just gotten married, Mark had just turned 3, and something in John's heart started to change.  I even said to him at one point, "You know you want more kids you are just afraid of providing, and that's God's job, we need to trust Him."  In John's mind, unless we are millionaires we can't afford more kids and that is simply not the case.  We both have control issues and John started saying..."I do want another one...Mark is getting so big, I don't like it."

And so a Fall/Winter conception was planned.  LOL.  As if you can plan that type of thing.  I told John, you know what..."God is going to just give you a baby because that's what he does, he doesn't wait for you to be "ready or for things to be perfect" he blesses you and then asks you to trust him."

And on July 27...we took a test and I was 5 weeks pregnant!

It is now Sept and I am 12 weeks pregnant and going strong.  Praying for a healthy baby and a smooth delivery.

10 Things I am Excited for Are:

1. Our Gender Reveal Party this Fall when we find out in Oct/Nov what the baby will be!
2. Buying some special things just for baby.
3. Meeting the Baby in March.
4. Watching John hold the baby for the first time.
5. Nursing the baby.
6. Counting all the fingers and toes and cuddling.
7. Dressing baby in their first newborn outfit.
8. Revealing the name.
9. Watching the extended family hold the baby.
10.****watching Juli and Mark become big sister and big brother right before my very eyes.

Tomorrow's Post: Dating My Spouse and Loving it


Homemade Pancakes

Our Family Traditions

Oh, I want so badly to make life wonderful for my family.  Not just with happy moments and memories but with special routines and traditions that they can always count on.  

I remember when we were little one of our weekend traditions was after church on Sunday Mom would buy a special dessert.  She wasn't a big baker but she sure did pick the best desserts.  My favorite was the Entemenn's crumb cake or coffee cake...mmmmm with hot tea....delicious!  

This morning, actually since yesterday I am 12 weeks pregnant!  And I FINALLY feel GOOD!  No more nausea at all.  I think our little one is finally on his/her way.  I am very happy to leave that first trimester behind, thank you very much!  

I woke up to Marky climbing into bed with me, with his widdle feet and widdle toes snuggling me and his soft cozy blue blanky, yes he still carries it around.  (I snuck it in the wash while everyone was at Taekwondo...good bye blanky germs).  It was 6:30 am and I was NOT getting up yet.  But I was hungry.  At 7am when Julia padded into our room, I knew it was time to get a game plan going.

Operation: Special Breakfast for Saturday Morning was on it's way. 

What is it about cooking from scratch and putting on a simple apron that just makes you feel like Queen Mama?  I let the kids stay in bed with daddy, as I ran downstairs to the basement office to print out a homemade recipe for PANCAKES.  Click here.

 I'm sure I've made them from scratch before but today they came out flaky and wonderful and beautifully golden brown, oh my goodness if I wasn't so busy scrambling eggs, and cutting up strawberries I would've taken a photo!

I set the table.  Took out the syrup.  Poured the orange juice and everyone started filing downstairs...you know they smelled the yummy goodness coming from the kitchen.

And then that's when I knew...this is going to be our family Saturday Tradition...Mommy will make a nice warm breakfast for all...no cereal and milk allowed!  

After breakfast everyone was shooed out of the kitchen to get ready for Taekwondo and I was able to get 2 loads of laundry in, cleaned all the windows, folded the laundry, changed all the bed sheets, brushed Julia's hair, fed the dog, emptied all the trash cans...it was a very productive Saturday! Sometimes all you need is Home Made Pancakes!


Operation: Fall Sprucing!

My Sunflower and Fall Wreath is UP!

I love Fall.  Getting back into the school routine.  Getting Back to School supplies.  The cooler temperatures in the morning and the evening.  Starting Mops, Bible Study and Awana.

For me, Fall begins in August.  That's when we start getting ready for the school year (although we had a head start in May this year we took a few weeks off for vacation), redecorating the house.  Mid August I changed our front door wreath, I just couldn't wait anymore.  It was so pretty with fall leaves and sunflowers and I just HAD to put it up.

This week, John got all the Fall decoration out of the attic for me so I could begin decorating the inside of the house.  I can't wait to do some Fall crafts with the kids.

Tonight begins our Awana year!  Mark and Julia are both Cubbies this year (3 & 4 year olds).  They will have Mrs. Kathy Puzyr as their teacher.  Julia loved her last year.  I think I'll bake some brownies for her class tonight too.



My Mark has been so brave with all these new programs starting up, he went to his Peppy Penguin class with MOPS just fine.  Yesterday at Bible Study Fellowship he didn't even cry!  He went right in and had a great time with Mrs. Serenelli.

God has been really blessing us this year and I'm really excited to see what this Fall has to bring.


Blog Hop!

It's Time to Mingle!
Happy Go Lucky
Each week we will choose one blog at random to spotlight at the next week's blog hop.

This weeks guest host is O Happy Day
There are no rules to this blog hop. Just link up your blog's main page. Then have fun reading new blogs and making new blog friends. We would love for you to follow the hostesses in the first four spots and our guest host in the fifth spot.

Please leave a comment so we know to follow you back.

Grab our button if you want to share our blog hop with others. There will be a new list every Thursday, so be sure to come back every week.
We hope you have fun and thanks for joining us!  We are so excited to find new blogs, share great ideas, and inspire each other.
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Deeper Friendships

Relationships are the whole reason why we are here on earth.

 But as we get busy on this road of life we sometimes invest only in the relationships in our home because it's easiest.  We forget that God has placed certain people in our path for a reason.  Yesterday at MOPS we heard from our mentor Clare share about the beauty of friendships and how some are there for a reason, a season, and a lifetime.  

After her talk we had awesome Discussion Group Questions.  I have to share them with you because they really caused all of us to think about what kind of friend we are.  Are we the type of friend that only shows the shiny lovable parts?  Or are we a real kind of friend who isn't afraid to show the more difficult, more vulnerable side, the side that needs the most love.  I like how the speaker said on our MOPS video the shiny parts don't need to be loved it's the rough edges that do!

Check out these questions we discussed as we made our craft:

1. How comfortable are you in taking risks with friends, such as inviting someone over when you know your house is a mess?  Share ideas on how to take friendship risks. 

Oh dear, this is a tough one for me.  I feel much more comfortable when my house is spotless.  I don't think I would have a play date any other way.  I probably would start to get a twitch half way through as I watched the kids play and make a mess and desperately want to clean it all up.  I really need work on this.  I need to relax and realize people are more important than a spotless house and also I don't mind being at someone else's house when it is messy, I just worry about my own.  Being a real friend means showing all of me not just the clean spotless side, because as I learned from my group it makes others uncomfortable because they can't relate to that.  And let's be honest, who's house stays spotless for long?  Especially when one has kids.

2. The video speaker described the back-and-forth of getting to know people like a game of tennis.  Are you better at serving up questions or sending answers?  Share some ways to grow in this.  

  All I know is I like to talk and probably too much.  I especially love adult conversation since I'm with little people all day.  But I think I offer questions as much as I answer.  I do sometimes practice just being quiet and letting the other person talk because sometimes we as starved stay at home mommies we can hog up a whole conversation and forget all about the other person on the line or in front of us, and I don't want to be like that.  I want to be real and open and honest when someone is talking to me.  I want to be able to say, "Me Too!" and make the other mom feel comfortable and not in competition with me.  I want to remind myself that I don't have it all together and neither do my kids.  There is nothing worse than talking to someone who thinks her kids are perfect or that she indeed is perfect.  I'll be the first to want to get right out of that conversation.

3.If you have a conflict with a friend, what are some ways to address the conflict and keep the friendship?  

I think I'm actually pretty good at this one although I don't enjoy conflict.  It's not in my nature to confront especially when I've been wronged.  But I believe in totally honesty and so if someone has hurt my feelings or done something to offend me I've learned to address it quickly so that we can both get back to normal and so that there is no festering or harboring of bad feelings.  I believe in just saying, "If I offended you I am sorry, what can I do to make it right? or how can I handle it better next time?"  Or if someone has hurt me, "This is really hard for me to say but when you did X, Y, or Z it really hurt me."  Or I try to suck it up and let it go and just forgive and forget.  Some things are not even worth addressing, especially if you know the person didn't purposefully mean to hurt you.

Our homework was  to make a play date with someone from MOPS this week!  Check!  Katie and I will be hanging out soon! (And I promised myself to not go crazy cleaning the house before...lol...well maybe a little).




MOPS: A New Year Begins...

Photobucket"Love as if your life depended on it" 1 Peter 4: 8-11

Another great years of Mothers of Preschoolers aka MOPS has begun!  I've been attending my Tuesday MOPS group that meets once a month since Julia was 10 months old.  My buddy Bianca told me about it and I love connecting with the other moms and learning how to be a great mom. Mops has helped me plan better, be more patient with my kids, be a better wife, and has allowed me to meet a whole group of moms I never might have known.

This year my job is Playdate Coordinator and Discussion Leader.  I'm excited for Julia and Mark to be in the same class.  Their group is called the Peppy Penguins: Age 3-5.  Our theme this year is PLUNGE.  And our theme verse is: Love as if your life depended on it found in 1 Peter 4.

This year I'm looking forward to plunging in deeper to some relationships and loving people as if my life depended on it.  After all look at how Christ loved and sacrificed for us!  He was ALL IN and He gave IT ALL.  I want to love like that!

My prayer is to love the moms in my group better, be a better listener, and take more time to invest in deep relationships and help bring them closer to Christ.



BIG Potty News!!!




 

I am proud to announce that Mark is FULLY Potty Trained! I'm talking FULLY!  Before he was doing number one no problem for a few months, but everytime he had to go number two I had to put a diaper on him because for some reason he thought it would hurt on the potty.

But for the past week (his first time was last Saturday, Sept 1) he has been doing everything on the potty no problem.  I don't even have any more diapers in the house!  It all happened by accident actually.  Last Saturday he had underpants on and was in the playroom and realized he had to go, he yelled for me and said mom, I had an accident!  I ran to him to help him to the bathroom thinking he could do the rest of it on the potty and low and behold he did a NUMBER 2!  We were both shocked.  He had to get off the potty to see because he couldn't even believe it!  Sunday he asked for a diaper, but Monday and Tuesday I refused to put one on him...and he never went number 2, on Wednesday...he made up for not going on the potty and it was no turning back.

Now he is getting fancy and he closes the door.  Does everything by himself and washes his hands by himself!  It is so amazing how once they are ready there is no turning back.  I don't believe in pull ups and so at night and nap time I've been putting a towel down just in case, but he has woken up dry every day!

Soooo....On Friday John came home from work early, took the kids out for ice cream to reward Mark and he bought Mark two new super hero masks!

Way to go Marky!  We are so proud of you buddy!  And just in time so I can say I have two potty trained kids and a newborn!  Finally I will only have one in diapers at a time!  Yay!

Baby Mac I will gladly change your diapers.


"Mom, tell me the whole story..."/The Scariest Day of my life

Bleeding

There is one thing no pregnant woman ever wants to see or feel during her pregnancy and that is blood because that could mean you are miscarrying the precious one that you have been planning for.

And yet that is exactly what I saw and what happened to me yesterday while shopping at Costco with my kids.

I'm going to cut to the chase and tell you now that the baby is absolutely fine.  Trust me I saw him/her on the ultrasound jumping all around and the heart beat moving.  But for 2 hours I had to wait before I knew this and it was the L O N G E S T two hours of my life.

It was just a regular morning, breakfast, laundry, dishes, getting kids dressed for the day, school for an hour, and then off for some errands...our last errand was Costco because we needed Soy Milk and Dish Washer Detergent and I promised the kids a special treat for behaving so well: Churros!  They were so excited.  I got in line, paid for our things, and then headed to get our food.  We sat down, started eating, I took two bites of my food when I felt a gush and I KNEW then and there I was bleeding and that I needed to get home asap.

Packed the kids up, got in the car, tears rolling down my face, the only thing I could think of was call John, call John, call the doctor, but I waited til I got home and saw for myself and sure enough I saw blood.  I called John in NYC and I was totally hysterically, the front door was still open the kids kept asking, "Why are you crying mommy, it's ok."  John told me to call Dr. G or he would and make an appointment.  I must've did that next.  It was 11:20 or so and I called my sister in law next, she's the closest to me and the fastest driver, and when I call her, she drops everything and just comes.  I started to tell her what happened and she immediately said, "I'll be right there."  Have I told you lately how amazing my SIL is?  OH my word, what would we have done if we had moved far away from all our family?

By the time my SIL got there it was 11:30 and my appt was at noon, and I had a 30 min drive to the dr.  I then began calling a few friends to pray and my prayer partner said, "Do you want me to come with you and hold your hand?"  Yes!  I did not want to be alone.  She met me there.  Thank goodness for Debi.

So I am in the car bawling my eyes out and coming to grips with the fact that my pregnancy is over, I lost the baby, I was expecting the worst but hoping for the best, and God and I had a chance to talk and He told me how He loved me and the baby more than I could imagine, that He was in control, that  I was not alone, and that I needed to be content with the people in my home that I already have, that maybe He had other plans for us.  I wasn't happy about it, but I was coming to grips with the fact that maybe this was supposed to happen, and that we would be okay.

I get to the doctor's office and the receptionist says, "Everyone is out to lunch you have to wait til 1:00."  Okay, I'm so glad I rushed and got there at 12:09...Debi came and we just hugged together, she let me cry for a bit and then we just talked like normal til 12:45 when they ushered me in...

Then the nurses questions came...

1. Is this your first pregnancy?  (No, I have two kids)
2. Have you ever miscarried before? (No)
3. How much bleeding what did it look like? ( a gush, I'm not bleeding anymore)
4. Are you cramping? (No)
5. When was the last time you had intercourse? (REALLY????) Poor Debi, but we sure had a good laugh after that one. 

Then I had to change and Dr. Burke came in...not my doctor but very very nice.

He explained how he was going to check me for any more bleeding and then do an ultrasound.  Good news: bleeding had totally stopped.  Wonderful news: My cervix was long and still in place. (During a miscarriage it starts to thin out and mine was 5cm long he said, optimal and strong!! Yay.)  Then the ultrasound...BEST MOMENT ever:  Baby was jumping, kicking, and moving all around and heart rate was 150 bpm.  Baby Mac is okay.  Baby Mac is okay.  I think that's when the tears came again and I kept saying Thank you Lord, Thank you Lord.  I guess my doctor knows I'm a believer now.

At this point doctor told me he can't give me any answers that the baby looked perfect, my placenta looked great, etc, etc, and to keep my Sept 26 appt.  I got dressed.  Debi and I prayed a prayer of Thanksgiving, and then I drove home a happy woman.  I texted Laurie the good news at 1:20 pm and that I wanted to talk to the kids before they went to nap time to please keep them up, as if that would be a problem.  I came home to them playing with Uncle Kelsey and Aunt Laurie upstairs in the bedrooms where Mark was playing Hungry Hippo and Julia was styling Aunt Laurie's hair.



The minute the kids heard me walk in, they ran downstairs to greet me and kept asking, "Hows the baby? How's the baby?"  Why were you crying.  We all sat on the floor and then Julia did it...She put both her hands on my shoulders, looked me square in the face and said, "Mom tell me the WHOLE story."  She was so serious and so cute and so concerned.  WE all laughed and I told her almost everything but left out the bleeding part, I just said I could tell something was wrong with baby so I had to go to the doctor to check to make sure she was okay.

At this point all I wanted to do was lay down and rest but just as I was putting the kids down for their nap and kissing Laur and Kels good bye my Mom walked in, she was so worried.

I'm reminded today that nothing is promised to us.  That God is all I need.  That His love will sustain me through no matter what.  And that He is faithful.  I'm thankful baby is okay, and I've decided that he or she is definitely grounded for scaring me so, but we will wait for all of that...right now I just want to take it easy and allow the baby to grow healthy.  Will you pray that same prayer with me?


Blog Hop! Almost 325 followers

It's Time to Mingle!
Happy Go Lucky
Each week we will choose one blog at random to spotlight at the next week's blog hop.

This weeks guest host is Thoughts from an Indecisive Diva

There are no rules to this blog hop. Just link up your blog's main page. Then have fun reading new blogs and making new blog friends. We would love for you to follow the hostesses in the first four spots and our guest host in the fifth spot.

Please leave a comment so we know to follow you back.

Grab our button if you want to share our blog hop with others. There will be a new list every Thursday, so be sure to come back every week.
We hope you have fun and thanks for joining us!  We are so excited to find new blogs, share great ideas, and inspire each other.
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10 Tips for Busy Fall Schedules

I just love September.  Back to the routine and the grind, and the lazy days of summer are gone for now.  God sure knew that we are creatures of change and habit and some of us need structure!  The past 3 weeks, since finding out about the baby the end of July and then going on vacation the beginning of August we took time off from our school routine.  Today was our first day back in gear.  I was so inspired by this woman's article (A SAHM and homeschooler) that I had to post it so you could read it too.  Some of the ideas she has I do, some I don't and that's okay.  We all have different amounts of kids, we are all in different directions, we all eat differently, are involved with different outside extra curricular activities, so we as Moms and Dads have to do what works best for our own unique homes.  But I don't know about you, I love seeing what works for other moms.  It helps me rethink my own schedule and why I do what I do.

http://thestressedmom.com/2012/03/10-habits-for-a-well-run-home/

Here are 10 Tips I suggest for a Smooth Fall Transition

1. Start out the day with some quiet time.  For me this mean simply waking up 15 minutes before the kids.  That's all I need to stop, recharge, and listen to what God has to say to me.  Sometimes I write in my journal, other days I sit and read a Psalm or two or a devotional, other days I sit with my tea and just listen and plan my day.  I like to start out my day with quiet time because once the day starts there is NONE, lol.

2. The night before try to prep breakfast dishes and vitamins, and snacks for the upcoming day.  This really helps me because the minute everyone is up they want to eat and drink!  So I try to have bowls, spoons, and sippy cups out and ready to go.  John's lunch/snack on the counter, and if we have an outing lunches/snacks packed for the kids.  I feel like I live in the kitchen so as much as I can do the night before I do!  This also means an empty sink before bed...I hate waking up to a dirty sink...it's discouraging.

3. Monthly/Weekly Meal Planning.  Most of you know I plan our meals monthly.  I've been doing it over a year and a half now, so I already have a binder worth of monthly meals and recipes and each new month I just switch things around and add things from Pinterest that I'm excited to try.  And don't get me wrong, there are times when I say, nah, I'd rather make a shepherd's pie, or the day is too busy we will have salad and mac and cheese.  But for the most part I try to stick to our schedule.  It makes shopping easier too.  Click here to see this September's Menu.

4. One Load of Laundry a Day.   I get teased for this one a lot, but you know what our hampers are never full, we always have what we need, and after vacations and on Saturdays I sometimes do two or three!  This makes my life easier, but to each his own.  I also have very helpful kids who bring down the bag from their own hampers on Kid Wash day which is usually twice a week.  This means I do lights one day, darks the next, kids clothes one day, delicates the next and, towels/sheets and so on.

5. Make a Clean Sweep.   I do this a few times throughout the day.  This is just clearing counters, clearing floors of toys, picking up shoes or clothes and basically putting everything in it's place.  I do this for my own sanity and also to reduce tripping, and to teach my kids that when we are done with one activity we clean up before we start the next.  I'm also learning that if there isn't a spot for everything it's a sign to start going to Good Will and donating.  Nobody likes a cluttered house.  For me it makes my thinking cloudy.  Once a month/or a quarter we donate clothes or books or toys just because.

6. Kids CAN help.  I have learned that I am not a slave or a maid.  I'm a wife and homemaker and a mom, and my job is to involve everyone in the process of HELPING and SHARING the load.  One thing that's been working lately is after dinner I say, "Okay in 30 minutes we are all going to watch a show together and have dessert...BUT first we need to clean X, Y, Z and put our pajamas on."  Oh my goodness, I've never seen kids work so fast...usually it takes less than ten minutes to clean up the playroom and basement and get everyone prepped for bedtime (pajamas).  It would take me 30 minutes to do all those rooms by myself but when we all chip in it really does lessen my load.  On Saturdays John gives the kids chores/jobs around the house and after all the jobs are done they get their allowance and have to put their tithe, spending money and savings in separate containers.  It's been really cool to see them excited about helping!  And Daddy loves teaching them about the importance of tithing and saving money.

7. Bedtime Routines.  Yes I am a Mom who does the same thing every night and every nap time with the kids, and you know what it brings safety, the kids know what to expect and it runs smoothly.  8:30 Brush teeth, Books, Prayers, and CD time.  Each child gets to pick a story book to be read to them and a story book on CD that they can fall asleep to.  We do bath night every other night.  I have had good sleepers since birth but I think it's also because we've always always had a routine and we've always allowed the kids to soothe themselves to sleep.  My 4 1/2 year old still takes naps during the day and her 3 year old brother has to be woken up after nap time is over or he'd sleep the day away.  Start healthy routines as soon as possible everyone in the home will benefit.

8. Vacuum love affair.  I vacuum at least once a day, am I crazy?  I love to vacuum!  I have a dog also so for me getting rid of dog hair is a must, plus I have a beautiful white rug in the basement that sheds!  I pick a new room each day to thoroughly vacuum and that includes the stairs.  Doing one room a day makes me feel not as overwhelmed and by the end of the week I just start again.

9. Family First.  I have a very hard time saying no to people and I get overly involved.  But since I've become a mom I have learned that my family comes first.  Especially my husband.  We have a huge white board calendar leading into our kitchen that we both plan our month together with.  We try to say yes to fun things that come up, but Family Time is always first especially since John works 14 hour days.  Even with church things that may be good to go to sometimes we must have to say no to meet the napping needs of our kids, or to respect date nights that have been planned in advance.  I plan on dating my spouse til the day I die!  I've also learned not to feel guilty to say no or to feel like I have to give an explanation.  I just say, "I'm sorry we have plans that day."  And leave it at that.  And recently when I was so nauseous and physically needed to rest and lay on the couch I learned to say no and stick up for myself.  The health of my baby and my body was not worth sacrificing.

10. Just do what works for you!  I'm the first person to say I"M NOT PERFECT.  I don't have it all together.  I get frustrated daily.  My kids mess up.  And I'm a work in progress.  I just really like to try to be organized to set order to my crazy busy day with two kids (soon to be 3!).  So if none of these ideas sounds tempting just do what you do!  After-all you are the best parent for your kids, you know your family best, you meet their needs,  and you are probably doing an awesome job as it is.

Happy Fall!

Erin Nicastro Photography and Labor Day travels

Today I am featuring my friend Erin's blog because she showcased our photos and wrote about us in her blog...

http://erinnicastrophotography.blogspot.com/2012/09/family-photo-shoot-princeton-new-jersey.html

Enjoy the pics...we were so pleased and we finally Showed All the photos to announce our pregnancy!  This pregnancy has really thrown me for a loop...me, the woman who doesn't sit down has been doing a lot of resting and nesting, LOL.  It's been a good thing, and everyone over here has been so helpful.  Mark and Julia ask about our baby all day long and check on me and they even talk to the baby, especially Mark.

We have our names chosen but we aren't going to reveal our names til either the gender reveal party or the birth...haven't decided yet.  But we LOVE both of our name choices.  And God is good.

Happy Labor Day!  We will be away all weekend in PA spending time with our beloved Weaver family.

Pray for me as I embark on this journey of motherhood once again, I'm overjoyed and excited and ready!  I can't wait to start putting together the nursery and settling Mark and Julia in their new room situation.  I'm thankful to God for all the provision and I'm so thankful he is blessing us with ANOTHER sweet BABY!  March cannot come soon enough!


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