Thursday, April 30, 2009

No Poo!

Really! No more poo! I am going for it! Read the whys and why-nots here.

Sit down... again?

Another cleaning tip? Can it really be? YES!

I put old pillow cases on the backs on the boys chairs while the eat. This helps protect my new chairs and they are easily thrown in the washer when they get yucky!

Color Sorting

I needed to add something new to the mix today. Joshua used an egg carton, plastic tongs, colored pom-poms, foam shapes and feathers. He used the tongs (motor function) to put the poms, feathers and shapes into the egg carton. He attempted to match the colors. Joshua loved using the tongs as a tool.


We got this pear tree about 2 years ago. It finally has a blossom on it! And lots of buds, too! I'm so excited that we might get fruit this year! YAY!

I love anything for free!

You must check out thisGIVEAWAY! You can win FREE curriculum! How can you pass this one up?

Friday, April 24, 2009

A Beautiful Day

Our Friday started out gorgeous, which was much needed after so much rain. We went to the market and got fresh veggies, as well as new hats for the boys. The market was bustling and full of Sicilianos needing groceries. These pictures were after we got back and had some rest. Joshua is sitting in our jungle of a yard.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Muffin Tins Today

Time to eat! Again, I'll say this... Try muffin tins! The kids love them and the food that goes in them, too!

New Sensory Bottles

I made some new bottles for Nikolas, he is really enjoying them.
From left to right-Candy Bottle (marshmallows, chocolate chips, sweet-tart hearts), Quiet Bottle (cotton balls, colored pompoms), I See You Bottle (corn syrup, food coloring, googly eyes), Cereal Bottle (different cereal, blue sprinkles)

The Next Gates or Jobs?

Nikolas got into the chair, pulled the laptop (and all the gear) onto his lap and went to work!

He hits individual keys, like he actually knows what he is doing! It was so funny!

Then he was very upset when Daddy took it away! This is pouty face. Isn't it sad?

TGoF .2

I can't believe how fast Friday comes every week. It makes a difference when I'm actually getting things done around here. My schedule is going pretty well. Laundry is great! Workboxes kind of took a break, it was a hectic week. Joshua is only three, it is ok if we miss a few days. OHHH! Do you like my logo for TGoF? I do! Don't forget to share what you are thankful for this week or link to your blog with your thankfuls there. Have a blessed weekend!

Lord God, I am thankful for/that
#1 you love me, no matter what I do or say, unconditionally.
#2 I have an amazing, hard-working, giving, funny husband.
#3 our health.
#4 our beautiful boys.
#5 the ability to live and travel in an amazing place, touched by your apostles.
#6 books!
#7 my wonderful friends, near and far.
#8 Jason is finally getting back to normal.
#9 laundry is getting easier.
#10 I can fully rely on you for all that I need.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Sit down for this!

I am going to share a cleaning tip! My husband bought this for me and I thought he was nuts. He'll buy me anything that might help me clean. I put water, vinegar and a little essential oil in it. I did straight vinegar the other day and it was burning my nose and my house smelled like pickles. We got it for cheaper than amazon has it, so shop around. The pads are washable, I just throw them in with the towels. Worth every penny, especially with all these yucky tile floors.


It may be easy to avoid but physical balance and health are a very important piece to the life puzzle. I have struggled with my weight for quite a while now. Not my whole life but it started in high school. I can't even blame this weight on my boys. I weigh less now than I did before they came along. It is a huge commitment, so much time and energy, struggles with food, addiction, emotions and hormones. But my doctor, the one who prescribed my high blood pressure medicine, really thinks I need to lose some weight. Don't you think that would motivate me? If only... I highly dislike being told what to do and how to do it. This makes weight loss a bigger challenge. My husband has lost about 45 pounds in the last two years or so and that makes him an expert. I love him so much but he needs to take a class in how to talk to his wife about weight loss. I keep hoping that one day I will wake up and magically want to go to the gym! Or even more importantly, that I'll want to eat nutritious, satisfying foods. I just read this article about having a hungry soul and it really hit home. I wish that I could turn it all over to God but the control freak in me has a tough time with letting go. I guess I need to figure out WHY I eat. Maybe I need therapy. That wouldn't surprise me. Maybe I need to go to the gym. Hmm.
How do you keep physically in balance? What are your challenges? I can't be all alone in this battle, can I? Oh, the picture is me in 1993.

Monday, April 20, 2009

One Last Cleaning Tidbit

Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean;
       wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
Psalm 51:7

Thanks Rachel Anne at Home Sanctuary!

eBook Review

I purchased the eBook Spring Cleaning for Normal People from SimpleMom, Tsh. I can't wait to begin the Spring Cleaning party (see post below). I really am motivated to get this place under control! The book has everything set up so that you get your house clean in ten days. It is a plan! It is very well organized and thought out. There is also a "cookbook" to make any cleaners that you'll need. I highly recommend the book! And her blog is awesome, too!
simple mom

Spring (?) Cleaning

It looked like spring might be here but today it is raining again. The kids did get to play at the park this morning and are BOTH napping!

I'm determined to get this house clean and then keep it clean. Fitting that this week my Bible study is about having a heart for my home. Last week I did a lot of research (reading blogs) to find out how other women keep their homes in order. I decided that I need to have a general schedule, so that I can get things done on a regular basis. I did an Excel spreadsheet because I am very visual and need to have it IN MY FACE and also attractive to look at. Here is the PLAN:

Daily AM:
Quiet time
Open blinds
Make bed
Get dressed
Put shoes on
Empty dishwasher

Daily PM:
Put laundry away
Run dishwasher
Straighten up
Set up workboxes

Mom's laundry


Boy's laundry


Dad's laundry


Menu plan
Joshua's schedule
Water/trim flowers
Wash throws

Go thru toys
Go thru clothes
Wipe out fridge

This is the plan for each room on their days of the week...

Scrub sink
Cupboard doors
Fridge doors
Stove top
Reaarange pantry




That should be enough to get you started. Tuesday I plan on only washing towels because I am gone most of the day for Bible study and errands. And my friend, Karrie, started washing each family member's laundry on their own day and I am trying that out now, too. I have a three bag laundry hamper thing, so one for Mom, Dad and the boys. Then on Tuesday I grab all the towels, Thursday all the sheets. I think it'll be easier to put away the clothes this way, too.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Spring Cleaning Party!

Check out Simple Mom's Spring Cleaning Party! Check out her Spring Cleaning for Normal People eBook!
I need all the help I can get around this house!
spring cleaning

TGoF .1

WOW! Is it Friday already? My week went by really fast. Spring has sprung (and will hopefully be here to stay) here in Sicily. It is a gorgeous day and we had some great playtime with friends this morning.

I am going to continue my weekly post "Thank God on Friday". You can post yours in the comment section or on your blog and then put your address in the comments to share.

Lord God, I am so thankful for/that
#1 YOU! Your grace, love and the joy that you bring into my life!
#2 my wonderful, supportive, handsome husband!
#3 my family's health.
#4 my boys are thriving, loving and potty training.
#5 awesome Christian friends that are supportive, giving and "local" family.
#6 the internet, seriously! For connecting with family and friends, as well as learning resources.
#7 the Bible, I really need a hands on guide to life.
#8 we have freedom to worship you.
#9 we don't have to be scared on a daily basis for our safety (just watched Slumdog Millionaire).
#10 while our country is in a recession we are still amazingly rich and spoiled by worldly standards.

We are starting "My ABC Bible Verses" by Susan Hunt;
A soft answer turns away wrath. Proverbs 15:1
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. Matthew 5:9
Children, obey your parents in all things, for this is well pleasing to the Lord. Colossians 3:20

Have a wonderful weekend! Looking forward to reading what you are thankful for!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Drowning in Home Management!

I am a follower of the Preschoolers and Peace blog by Kendra Fletcher. I've also downloaded a workshop of hers about getting organized. She is a Christian, homeschool mom of EIGHT! I'm enjoying her current series about how to not drown in home management.

Here is part one. Read it (make sure to look at the comments, too) and then you'll understand what my top five list is...

#1 Time with/learning about God
#2 Nurture my marriage
#3 Quality time with kids/homeschooling
#4 Mom Time (peaceful, productive time)
#5 Home Care (if there were ten this would probably be lower on the list)

Here is part two of her series.
I like how she says "keep our home sanitary" not clean it top to bottom!

Anyway, I love Kendra's realistic approach to life. She is an inspiration! There are so many wonderful articles and resources on her blog! Make sure to check them all out!

Friday, April 10, 2009


I'm thinking this will be my regular Friday post. TGoF! Thank God on Friday! I also challenge any readers to this with me. List ten things that you are thankful for, other than the obvious. Really think about your list. Here is mine...

I am thankful for/that
#1 God was holding my husband in His hands on Sunday when he crashed his motorcycle.
#2 we live in a country (even outside the US) in which we are able to worship our Lord & Savior, Jesus Christ, not in fear but with joy.
#3 my boys are healthy, happy and thriving.
#4 my husband has a secure job.
#5 the internet. Honestly, it is a necessity living here.
#6 my patience is getting better.
#7 Joshua is finally figuring out the potty thing.
#8 I have amazing friends.
#9 a great family (even my in-laws!).
#10 God puts up with me and all the junk I do and still loves me for me!

Some verses to think about...

Psalm 7:17
I will give thanks to the LORD because of his righteousness and will sing praise to the name of the LORD Most High.
Psalm 28:7
The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song.
Psalm 35:18
I will give you thanks in the great assembly; among throngs of people I will praise you.
Luke 22:19
And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, "This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me."
1 Corinthians 15:57
But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

I love! Search all the versions of the Bible by keyword, chapter or verse.

Have a blessed day! Enjoy your Easter holiday!

P.S. Thanks to the Company Girls for stopping by and saying hi!

Thursday, April 9, 2009


Nikolas loved playing with clothespins! I gave him a cup to put them in and he put them in the cup and then dumped the cup out on the table, then put them all back in the cup again. I'm thinking about painting the clothespins, jazzing them up a bit. What do you do with clothespins?

The Letter "A"

This week we are focusing on the letter "A". One project we did was a collage with lots of a's. I cut them out of magazines, put glue on the paper in the shape of upper and lower case "a". Then Joshua put the letters on the glue! He enjoyed it a lot.
Also, we are potty training and it seems like he really enjoys being naked. Whatever works!

Nikolas Is Loving Sensory Bottles

I made this sensory bottles for Nikolas. He is eighteen months old and I have a hard time finding things for him to do. I'm building up my list and then I will also start workboxes with him. He loved shaking the bottles. These are what is in each bottle...

#1 canola oil with red and blue food color, its kind of ugly now
#2 dry kidney beans, corn kernels and fried chow mein noodles
#3 green apple soap with some water and foam stars
#4 white, green, blue, red and purple rice with some glitter, curly ribbon, feathers, pom poms

PLEASE REMEMBER to glue the lids on, so little ones cannot open them and choke or make a mess.

Saturday, April 4, 2009


I just wanted to say that I have a wonderful husband. He is very giving and supportive. He is an amazing father. Most of all, he truly is my best friend. What a blessing. The picture is from around Thanksgiving 2008.

Loving the Curriculum

I started a preschool curriculum with Joshua! He is loving it! He wants to work on it every day and I have already seen improvement. It is amazing! They have curriculum for age 2, age 3 and ages 4-6. I purchased all three as a download for only $49. You can purchase them all put together in a binder for a lot more. Using this workbook with the workboxes is great! When you put the worksheets in page protectors you can use them over and over! What a great idea for all printables!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Spread it...

One More...

I think this will be the last post for the day. I really wanted to get caught up! This is an activity that a friend gave us for Joshua's birthday. He loves doing it and it is so cheap and easy to make! What an easy gift to share!

Joshua's Birthday Party

Joshua is wearing his blue and orange jacket. Nikolas is in the blue and yellow jacket. Grant is our little blonde buddy and Luca is curly-haired buddy. I wish it had been a nicer day. But it was a lot of fun. And the cupcakes weren't that pretty but they were YUMMY!


MUFFIN TINS ROCK! Alright, so I broke down and bought these muffin tins. They were worth every penny! Both boys ate every bite of everything in every cup! YAY! The boys had the same item for breakfast and then again at dinner. I highly suggest this for picky eaters. There is a group that does Muffin-Tin Mondays but on Mondays I have Bible study and am usually in a hurry. So I will be doing Muffin Tin Mania. Which basically means if we're home and eating it is food in a muffin tin!

Rice Fun

Joshua and I made some colored rice. He loved squishing it in the zip bag! I put it outside to "cook". He was so excited to show Daddy when he got home from work! Here is what we used to make it, the rice "cooking" and Joshua pouring it!


Here are the steps I did with putting the workboxes together. I highly suggest a good quality paper cutter (like the one from Stampin' Up!) and using the little velcro dots. If you can afford it, I'd also get a heat laminator. That is on my wish list for sure! For this, I used laminating sheets, which were ok but... I plan on getting a different shelf, this is one I had. We are limited living in podunk, Sicily. [Sidebar-Less that NINE months to go in Sicily] I also included some examples that we did today.