So far, this year has had many ups and downs.
The downs of course were multiple sickness. Not fun We are still trying to get everyone healthy Nathan keeps hovering around 99.5 degrees Fahrenheit with his body temperature and not feeling well. Abigail seems to be the healthiest of the bunch (note: She's my veggie lover) and Isabelle is teething. (Isn't the girl just the best? Does her teething so that we can get it all done at the same time and have no needless sleepless nights. What a team player!)
I never made our picture list with the best of 2012. That may come sometime in March. :-)
After having such nice time at home (despite sicknesses, it was nice to never have to go anywhere - most days), there are tons of places we need to run to now....
And then there are the ups that resulted. Thinking about this the other day, it was nice to reflect on these:
Due to multiple stomach-involving sicknesses in January, I kicked my chai tea addiction. Herbal teas once again occupy our cupboards. And although homemade Chai isn't hugely expensive, it still saves money to drink herbal.
Since the last stomach bacteria that made my life so lovely was most likely contracted by food prepared outside our home, we've decided to drastically reduce any eating out. Having that bacteria for almost two weeks is a great motivator. :-)
Hence, the food we eat is home cooked most days and much healthier. My joy of cooking and preparing healthy meals has returned. Could be because the kids are starting to eat more things that they are presented with and finding more things they like. Yippee! We still purchase our bread at the store and I'm hoping to change that sometime soon. We did however add lots more fruits and vegetables to the kids' and my diet. And I have a new love affair. Well, actually it's been since October. That's when I bought myself and 12" cast iron skillet. I truly love the thing. Every time I see it on my stove, it makes me happy. In honor of it, there will be a series titled "Tools of the Trade" for my girls. There they will see some of the things that seems to be very useful to this mama and hopefully it'll be helpful to them one day.
Another big one on my list is getting back to freezer cooking. While it's been challenging to schedule a two-day cooking adventure, there have been little batches of this and that going into my freezers and they seem to be filling up nicely. I've unsuccessfully tried to freeze banana bread, making double or even triple batches at a time. The kids and my sweet husband just gobble them up. But I rather have gobbling than no one eating any day.
David has been so busy with work. He's been so wonderful taking care of all of us sickos. He got the flu two days before me and was still so very sick when he had to take over for 4 days when I couldn't get out of bed. Not only did he have to take care of all of us, he had to take care of work as well. Talk about stress! The man was amazing. Thank you, my love.
Baseball season has officially started and there is baseball fever in the house. Love seeing the passion that David has for baseball and for those children. He is a great coach and Nathan is a fortunate little kid to have his super busy with work dad take so much time for him.
Finally, the poor things can return to their routine. That is if they aren't sick. Last week was the first week Nathan went back to school for the whole week (since January 2nd!!). And a sick mama for so long makes for no routine. It's been hard getting back into it but we are getting there.
We've introduced Doorposts "If/Then Chart" and it has been working beautifully. Basically it is a chart that lets them know that if they do this, then this or that will be the consequence. They also get a bible verse with the undesired behavior to remember. For example, if you argue, complain or whine, you get additional work. (Yes, Nathan has been cleaning A LOT lately. :-) ) It's a nice routine for them to settle into and they are actually enjoying knowing what to expect. They will come to me on their own accord and tell me their offenses.
Bible readings are picking up again as part of our daily routine. Before Christmas we purchased Elsie Egermeier's and I can only recommend it. The kids really like it and Nathan just loves it. Whenever we read from it, he wants more stories. We are also reading "Ten men who changed the world" and "Ten women who changed the world". The kids are liking these as well and there is a bit of a competition over the boy/girl thing. Another addition along these lines is "The Story of the World" by Susan Wise Bauer CDs and they are fantastic! Nathan especially (I think Abby may still be a bit young to understand it fully) is enjoying these. He listens to them all the time. As a boy, he looks for wars and boys fighting. We've introduced family reading time which was David's great idea. It's fantastic. Our first book is "The Hobbit". We are also reading and watching "Chronicles of Narnia". We finished The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe and watched the movie. Granted, it is an ambitious book but the kids are liking the time together and a little C.S. Lewis never hurt anyone. Did you know Mr. Lewis thought his Chronicles of Narnia were "trifle"? Just proofs the genius of this man.
On my list is getting ready for our garden which I'm actually planning ahead of time this year. I'm a bit overwhelmed with it but once everything is in place, I'm sure it'll be just wonderful.
My bible study has been lacking greatly. When I was sick in January, there was no way I could read. Once I fell behind so badly, I think a part of me just gave up. Back I must go! My whole being longs for it. Our church is currently going through Hebrews and Allistair Begg has been helping me catch up with his sermons on the book of Hebrews. His sermon on chapter six of Hebrews is especially good.
Knitting is finally back in my life. A little red dress has emerged for a tiny little cutie pie. It's very exciting to be knitting again.
For some reason, since October of last year I'm really craving all things German. From food to decorations. Maybe I'm just missing my family? Either way, a nice lovely calendar made by my oldest brother made its way over here. And a lovely surprise package from my mom filled with all kinds of craveable things. Now if that isn't something to cheer about, then what is?
Over the last year I've collected a massive amount of Pinterest ideas. Many of them have found their way in our home but too many were only pinned. That will be something to tackle this year, starting with DIY cleaners and beauty products, especially for the kids.
There is so much more, especially about the kids individually but that will have to be another post. Hopefully soon....