Monday, September 28, 2015

Tips for a Successful Garage Sale aka Let it Go

I texted my friend Leah shortly before our yard sale began last week.  She had asked how she could help, and I told her she could make it easier for me to get rid of things.  Her response?  Just think WWLD.  Translation: What Would Leah Do?

I have a confession to make.  I have a really hard time letting go of my baby boy's stuff.  Now that the baby is two, and the factory's been bombed (ask Justin), I have come to that difficult place of making myself part with our baby toys and clothes.  I'd rather just hide it behind closet doors and pretend it's not there, or find an excuse like, "Someone close to me may decide to have another baby!" but as closet space is running out and most of my friends are turning *ahem* forty, I know the inevitable will happen.  I will have to part with it.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

The Power of Authentic Tasks Part 2

Leah and her son, Drew, meeting Camden for the first time.  Camden loves his "Lala."
My friend Leah is a rockstar.

She is also the lab coordinator of nursing students at SPCC.  They are incredibly lucky to have her as a teacher of the nurses in training.  She is kind, funny, sensitive, caring, compassionate, talented, and a stickler for the rules.  I can think of no one I'd rather have as my nurse.  So I'd say she's the perfect one to be training people for this very important role.

A few weeks ago, Leah had an incredible idea that would allow her students to have some real live practice.  She drew up a plan and made it happen.   She borrowed my kids for a day and assigned them parts to play.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Finding Fall Favorites

I could stay up all night reading post after post from the amazing bloggers who posted on our Finding Fall Link Party.  But seeing as I have little people to rouse for school, I am thinking that would be a bad idea.  So, I picked a few I'd love to share with you.

My good friend Jennifer, who I met at the Haven conference is so talented!  She shared her Apple Pie Popsicles...

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Food for the Body, Food for the Soul #4

I still remember one of the first meals I made for Justin when we were dating.  It was Ziti with Broccoli and Potatoes.  I made it in the teeny tiny kitchen I shared with two other girls in Boone.  And the recipe came out of Time Life Books Low Fat Pasta Cookbook.  No, not Pinterest.  I didn't google it, or type the ingredients I did want and the ingredients I didn't want into All Recipes.  I just picked up the cookbook, flipped through the pages, looking at the large colorful pictures of pasta dishes, and picked the one that looked the best to me.

And now, many years later, I am still making meals from that book.  Sometimes I feel like our moms had it so much easier than us.  We think technology has made life so much easier, and it has in more ways than I can count, but it has also given us (and especially those of us who tend to be indecisive) too many choices at times.  When I want a recipe that I know will be good, I can always count on Time Life Books to give me a hearty, delicious dish.

Another book I am truly enjoying is Jen Hatmaker's book, For the Love.  One of my favorite chapters is called Not Buying, and in it, Hatmaker gently reminds us that women have been cooking for their families for years, and that is really isn't rocket science.

We should stop listening to this nonsense.  Women have nurtured their families with good, real food since creation.   It simply isn't true that cooking is beyond our capacity.  To feed the machine, advertisers use buzzwords like quick and easy, no-fuss, ready in minutes, heat and serve.  But do we even want those qualities around our tables?  When did chopping onions and peeling carrots become so abhorrent?  Isn't that how women have fed their people all along?  With stuff that came from the actual earth? page 38, For the Love, by Jen Hatmaker

My eight year old actually loves to peel carrots for me.  He also ends up eating a couple as he's doing it, so I don't mind so much.  :)  He's learning how to help in the kitchen, and eating veggies.  After I read this chapter, I decided to make another one of my favorite recipes from the pasta book.  Penne Bolognese.

As my boys came into the kitchen that night, I remembered why it was a favorite of mine.  Carson said, "What are we having for dinner?  It smells amazing!"  And when we sat down at the table, Jonah said, "That looks so good!"  When pasta is involved, Camden is game, so he was happy, too.  They absolutely made my night.  And dinner was quite good, if I do say so myself.  Penne Bolognese is one of those meals that takes a little longer to make, but the result is a delicious, hearty, one pot meal that makes everyone happy.

Hatmaker includes a recipe for Beef Bourguignon at the end of her chapter.  I can't wait to make it.  She has five kids, so if she can do it, so can I.  I certainly feel challenged by Hatmaker to feed my family well.

Do you have a recipe your kids love to smell simmering on the stove?  I'd love to hear about it!


Friday, September 11, 2015

Friday Favorites


Whew!  It's been a crazy week.  Fun, but crazy.  Big kids are settling into their new classrooms, Camden started preschool, and I have had a little time on my hands to get myself in trouble get some work done around here.

So, what have we been up to?

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

WIWW--Summer to Fall

Every year around this time, I get so excited about the change of seasons.  Not only am I ready to enjoy a meal on our covered porch without sweating, but I am also ready for a wardrobe change.  I am sick of my shorts, over my flip flops, and ready for the layers and boots that speak the language of fall.

But at this time of year, I also have issues figuring out just what to put on in the morning.  Pants or shorts?  Flats or boots?  Leggings or jeans?  So I am forced to come up with outfits that can transition well.  And there are some items to which I am just not ready to say goodbye, so I have to find a way to make them work for the fall.

Here is an outfit I have been loving this summer.  It is so comfortable and easy.  The maxi was a steal, and with the right jewelry, I feel like I can  dress it up.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Finding Fall

Lots of things come to mind when I think of fall.  The usual--pumpkins, Halloween, leaves, giving thanks.  But in our house, there is one thing that is highly anticipated, thoroughly planned out, and joyously executed every year.

The Turkey Bowl.

When our oldest was six, it was his dream to pull together the kids and dads in our neighborhood, play a little football, eat a little turkey, and have lots of fun. Thus, the Turkey Bowl was born.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

PetPartners Blog Debut

For years, my little blog has been read by my family and close friends.  I love blogging because I love writing, so this summer I took a leap of faith and attended my first blogging conference, Haven.