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Eight Years Old

Eight years ago at 10:50pm on Chirstmas Eve our Killian Woodrow was born. He was the most precious thing I had ever seen. He is always an adventure and has taught me many things about life and myself. I am ready for another year of adventure. Happy Birthday Killian!

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Eight

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Seven

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Six

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Five

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Four

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Three

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Two

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One

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Happy Birthday!

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Project Simplicity….Step 1 Complete!

The basement is done!

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Look at all of that beautiful space. When I started, it was a little bit scary, but here we are two weeks later and I can see the floor! And it needs a good vacuuming 🙂 The things in the back corner still needs to be taken somewhere but a few things may still stay. Delaney is attached to a some things and I told her we are can decide after Christmas.

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Here is the finished space! As you can see, my sewing table is overflowing with things to mend and presents still in progress. This is a good thing. When I started I made a list of goals. Crafting is one of the goals on my list. Once I had my sewing table set up I was able to start mending and crafting and now I am full swing. I am very excited!

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I decided that I needed to keep the open shelf. I got rid of two toys to make room for the last few toys we really wanted to keep. Looking at this picture, it seems like we still have too many toys. I am going to give it a month and then decide if anything else can go.

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Here is the pile of garbage and recycling that will be leaving forever. Why was I storing all of this stuff in my basement?

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Here are the two laundry baskets I brought down from the dinning/school room and now they are full of things that need to go upstairs to peoples rooms. This looks like a lot of stuff, which means there is still more work to do. I will be visiting my parents for the next week so I will have a nice break. When I return I  will continue to simplify the things in my house and begin to work on simplifying the things I do so I have time to do the things that truly make me happy.

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Project Simplicity….Why Start with the Basement

Well the basement organization is going well. Look at all of the room toward the back of the playroom. The things in the far corner are all heading out to someone or somewhere else. It is rewarding to see the progress but there is still work to in in the basement and the rest of the house. This is why I started with the basement. The other day I cleaned out the dinning/school room and brought down two laundry baskets of things to add to the basement storage. You can see them in the picture below. This is why I started with the basement, because as I know there are more things that may need to go in there after I go through the other rooms in the house.

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Now where are some pictures of the storage workroom. Things are quickly filling up and as you can see there in a beyblade stadium sitting on the floor. It does not on any of the toy shelves and I am trying to decide if I should use another shelf for toys or get rid of something on the shelves. Now I am getting into the tough decisions. The final decisions of what should stay and what should go.

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This is the shelves on the other side of the storage room that you cannot see if the first picture. Also pretty much full. The cat likes to be up high so I put her bed on the shelf so she does not sit on other things.

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This is the only open shelf. Now to decide if it should stay open or get filled up. Though decisions. We will see how it turns out.

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Winter Fun

King Winter has once again graced us with his presence. So what do we do on a snowy day besides play in it, make a snack with it. Today we were inspired by Laura Ingles Wilder and my friend Jen to make some molasses candy.

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First we gathered snow in pans. Each child got their own pan to fill with clean fresh snow.

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We heated up 1 cup of molasses and 3/4 cup of sugar in a pan over medium heat until it reached 245 degrees F. Then I poured out the mix into a measuring cup.

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The kids each poured some onto thier snow and then we put them back out on the porch for ten minutes.

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Time to enjoy, yum!

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All of the kids enjoyed the molasses candy. It is sticky on your teeth, I think we will need a good brushing later 🙂

 

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What’s Cookin’…Crackers

I recently finished my on line cooking class Whole Food Kitchen. It was such a wonderful class and many of the recipes have made their way into our everyday life. An easy recipe that taste great is crackers. Of course when I made them I was missing some seasoning ingredients but they still turned out great. Here is a modified version of the original recipe.

Ingredients:

2 cups whole wheat all purpose flour

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

2 tsp garlic powder

3/4 tsp sea salt and more for sprinkling

1/4 tsp pepper

1/2 cup water

3 TB extra virgin olive oil

2 tsp honey

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1. Preheat oven to 375

2. Mix flour, garlic powder, baking powder, salt and pepper together. Then add water, oil, and honey. Mix until dough comes together. If dough is dry    add a little more water. Divide dough into two balls.

3. Roll dough very thin, cracker thin. Cut dough with a pizza cutting into square shapes. Transfer dough to non stick baking sheet.

4. Sprinkle tops with sea salt and press into cracker slightly.

5. Bake crackers for 12-15 minutes, or until golden brown. Crackers will crisp up when cool. If they are still soft put them back into the oven for a few minutes.

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Killian got in the holiday spirit and made a cracker man. It turned out very crispy and good.

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Our snack after the crackers cooled down.

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Everyone enjoyed the crackers. We will continue to make these often.

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Project Simplify…To Illustrate the Point

A few days after I started my basement project I had made some good progress. I had taken a pile of things to a thrift store in town, made a path in the playroom, and shelves were filling up nicely. I brought my camera down to take pictures of the progress and later that night, when I went to download, the camera was no where to be found. So to illustrate the point of project simplify is to be able to find something I need when I need it and not have to wade through stuff to find it. I did find the camera  in the basement two days later, thank goodness 🙂

To illustrate another point of this project the lost camera shows that I have to put things back where they belong.  Clearing out and organizing  will be the easy part of this process, but keeping it up is the hard part. I seem to be in the middle of something and all of the sudden the kids need something, the oven timer goes off, the dog throws up, and I stop what I am doing and think I will come back later to put it away. But later never comes and things stay where they are. I have been reading a book called The Power of Less. It gives you ideas on  how to declutter your space and declutter your time. It says that if we work on one change for a month it will become a habit. The key to success is to pick a small goal. I think expecting to put everything away might be too big of a goal so I going to work on the kitchen. The kitchen is a high use place and if I can keep the dishes put away, toys off the counter, and ingredients back in the cabinets my day will run smoother. This next step I will start in the new year.

Here are some updated pictures of the basement.

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You can see some of the playroom floor here. Good progress I think!

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Sewing table up and running and things filling up the shelves.

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Another shelf in and filled up with kids activities. Is this still too much? I may have to look over the shelves one more time before I call it good. Well time to get back to work.

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Fresh Start on Project Simplify

Well today I am going to talk about a project I have been working on for the last year, unsuccessfully at that! I have been working on simplifying our things. To remove all of the things in our home that we do not need to be able to find the things I want quickly and have space to do the things we want to do. I have went through every room in our house at least three times this year, including the basement. Many things have left our home through rummage sales, donations, passing along to friends, recycling and of course the garbage. Yet when I look at the basement I still see to much. I clean it up so it looks spacious and then within the week I cannot even get to the shelves on the walls or find what I need. Grrrr, I am so tired of it. I know some of this is my problem with putting things back but there is still just to much stuff! So I decided to start fresh with the basement.

Now we have two sides to our basement. There is my craft room and general storage area and then there is the kids playroom. So are you ready to see the picture of the craft/storage room. Here goes.

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Ahhh, look at that! All of that space to walk and breathe and think. I decided to take everything out of this room to start completely over. I found that it was hard to really reorganize the shelves with stuff till on them. Now I am ready to move things to different shelves and I can see more clearly where things will go. But you are probably wondering where all of the stuff is now. Well the kids playroom of course, ready to see that.

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Ahhhhhh! This is not even all of it, I couldn’t get it all in the picture! Anyone else scared? Because I am! Well I guess it is time to get to work. Not all of this will make it back into the other room. Some will be donated, sold, or passed on (watch out, some of this may be coming to your house.)

But this time I have a new plan, I have made some goals for what I want that room to be. Here they are

1. Store off season things.

2. Store keepsake items.

3. Store homeschool stuff.

4. Store craft stuff.

5. Be able to craft with enough space to breathe

6. Be a place for the kids to come and hang out while I work

These seem like obvious goal but I seemed to be storing stuff with none of these purposes including things that were to go to the garbage or recycling. So now I have a clear space and room to visualize what I really want this room to be. I will show some updates as I work through this and the follow up of how I will keep it clean 🙂 Now, time for work!

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This Moment…The Tree

Every year our family goes to cut down our Christmas tree. I know this is a moment they will always remember.

There have been sunny time, snowy times, rainy times, windy time, and this year it was just kind of cloudy.

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Off to find a tree.

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The search continues.

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Trees, trees everywhere and none that are just right.

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She likes them all.

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Found it!

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Time to cut it down.

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Awww 🙂

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Just a bit too tall.

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A lot of sap! Next time gloves.

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Tree’s up, with lights on.

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Decorate.

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Oh, his hand used to be so small!TOSHIBA CAMCORDER

Merry Christmas!

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Winter Wonderland…aka My Yard

We had a good snow here in Central Wisconsin yesterday and it finally feels like winter. Hooray! Now lets hope it stays.

Here are some scenes from my yard, which is where we spent almost the whole day 🙂

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Little snowy dried flowers.

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Huge snowy pine trees.

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Snowy path in the trees.

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Sledding and snow boarding fun on the small hill Killian and Justin made this morning. It will get bigger as the season goes on.

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Oh boy!

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So fun!

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The biggest best snowman! This guy is taller than Justin, wow!

Happy Snow Day 🙂

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St Nick’s Day

 

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Today was St. Nick’s Day. This is a day I have celebrated since I was a little girl and love sharing with my children now. I remember waking up and seeing what was left by good St. Nick. When I was little I did not know much about him or the stories about the man but I have found some wonderful things at the St. Nicolas Center. The new things I have learned make me love this day more than when I was a kid. St. Patrick is known as the patron saint of children. When he was young his parents died and  left him money and a love of God. With this he went on to be Bishop Nicolas of Myra. He remembered his suffering from the loss his parents and did good deeds for children when ever he could. Now he comes on the night of his birthday and brings children the things they need.

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My children got fruit, a few coins, a book, and a candy cane. This is such a nice day to celebrate and enjoy a small gift before the over abundance at Christmas. The St. Nicolas Story shown above was a winner! All the the kids loved it, great for kids  8 and under. The Cricket and the Shepherd Boy was also a wonderful story about the birth of Jesus and how amazing he was. King Beetle Tamer has adventure stories, which Killian really enjoys.

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Here is my attempt at a Saint Nicolas cookie. The kids seemed to like it! This went with a story called The Baker’s Dozen.

I think spending the week talking about St. Nick had them looking forward to this day and I really liked how they loved the stories. And now we are headed toward Christmas and the return of the sun. I love this time of year!

 

 

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