Friday, August 28, 2015

What I Hope To Learn From Moving and Living in a Small Townhome

Living in a small townhome has been quite an adventure.  We lost almost 1000 square feet when we moved into this place and of course we lost our yard.  It has been an adventure to try to fit everything into this space and to fit our daily activities and our people into smaller quarters.  I realize how much I used our old yard, especially when the kids were getting on each others nerves or needed something to do, I would just send them outside.  We are finding a different rhythm here.

This is a temporary experience for us.  We know that we will be getting into a bigger home on our 10 acres here in a few months, we know this will only last for a short period of time.  Though I am catching glimpses of how living in a small home can have so many amazing advantages, I see why many people choose to live this amazing lifestyle.  In this time in our townhome there are a few things I hope to learn.

I hope to learn how to let go of more stuff.  When we were moving and packing up our old home Steve exclaimed during an intense session of packing  that he just wanted to pack everything up and take it to the Goodwill.  This was after months of me going through and purging a lot of our stuff.  He had always been supportive of getting rid of things, but we had differed a bit on the amount to let go of, so I was happy he was able to see the enormity of the stuff that we possessed.  We are hoping to use this time in our townhome to go through and get rid of even more.  During the move Jakob let me know that he felt like we had way to many boxes of books and craft supplies.  Those are most definitely my territory of stuff, and I knew he was right.  I would like to go through and try to get rid of even more and our few months here will be a great time to do that.

I hope to learn and to define what we truly need in our kitchen.  We have a much smaller kitchen space and it is making me evaluate what we use on a daily bases and what we use weekly or monthly.  It is making me reassess where I store items.  It is making me questions if I should even own certain kitchen items.

I hope to learn to meal plan more efficiently.  With less room in the kitchen, I also need to focus on how we store our food.  I like how I have meal planned seasonly but I have a plan to store our food differently that will complement our meal planning.  It is still in my head right now, so we shall see how it will work in practice.

I hope to learn to plan and schedule my days more consistently.  With less to juggle and more time (hopefully) once the kids are in school, I hope to be more consistent about following a schedule.  I especially need this now that I'm doing the books again for Steve's business.  I need chunks of my day for different things so I'm not overwhelmed by them every moment of the day.  The strategy of everything has its place works well for me for daily tasks and action items.

I hope to learn to enjoy where we are at right now.  Something that is a life skill that is sometimes hard to remember.  Right now we live super close to a lot of shops, a movie theatre, a deluxe bowling alley and arcade, and so many restaurants.  These are all in walking distance from where we live.  We are excited to live so close to so many fun things, especially considering we will not have these options on our 10 acre property.  We are enjoying spending less time cleaning and more time with each other.  We are enjoying new adventures as we have switched up which children share rooms.  We will enjoy our weekday commutes to our new school with more time to listen to books on cd and enjoy chats in the car together.  We will enjoy the opportunity to be a member of our local recreation center.

I hope to learn that change is good.  I've been super nervous about moving my children, but with each step forward, I see growth in them.  They have matured through these changes.  They have risen to the challenge as they have embraced this new adventure.  They have had courage as they have put themselves out there and dealt with the sadness of leaving old friends, schools, and church and heading into unknown and new experiences.

I hope to learn that it is always better to embrace life, to be that girl who says the glass is half full, to look for the good in all things.  At times this can be hard, but I know that every time I look for the good my spirits lift and my perspective changes.  Life is good.  Life is full of surprises and changes.  The amazing rises to the surface as we embrace all that is good and worthy.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

The Fairy Tale Project || Sleeping Beauty

The Sleeping Beauty retold by Warwick Hutton
Illustrated with wonderful watercolored illustrations.

Sleeping Beauty illustrated by Nathalie Novi
The traditional retelling of the Brothers Grimm version of the tale with bright and colorful illustrations.

Sleeping Beauty retold by Christine San Jose
In this version mice are the main characters that tell this classic tale.

Sleeping Beauty retold by Martin Powell
The graphic novel version of Sleeping Beauty.

The Sleeping Beauty adapted by Miquel Desclott
This version includes english and a spanish text with fun illustrations.

Sleeping Beauty illustrated by Maja Dusikova
This traditional retelling of the Brothers Grimm version of the tale is filled with lovely illustrations.

Sleeping Beauty by Roberty Newby
This version includes selected sentences in American Sign Language.

Sleeping Beauty retold by Roberto Piumini
Another work by this Italian author with fun illustrations.

  A lovely retelling of this classic tale.   
January ||  Cinderella
February || Beauty and the Beast
March || Rumpelstiltskin
April ||  The Frog Prince
May ||  Pinocchio
June ||  Sleeping Beauty
July ||  Hansel and Gretel
August ||  Snow White
September ||  Rapunzel
October ||  Little Red Riding Hood
November ||  Jack and the Beanstock
December ||  Godilocks and the Three Bears

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

These Kids of Mine

My twelve year old thinks it is absolutely hilarious to make faces at the camera.  These are the photos I'm getting from him lately.

It has been a crazy summer, full of oh so much.  We have been learning to fit into our townhome, a much smaller space, without much of  a yard.  Times of transition can be hard.  There are days that have seemed super intense, trying to fix all the little problems that come up with each child of mine, and knowing and encouraging and enabling them to fix their own problems.  Lots of loud and busy and happy and sad, definitely plenty of mistakes and I'm sorrys.  But when I look at these photos, oh there is so much joy.  These school age kids of mine.  I'm reminded of how absolutely wonderful they are, knowing all their flaws and weaknesses, and seeing all their amazing strengths and talents.  They impress me everyday, the extra hugs they give, the new friendships they make, the thank yous given, the service rendered.  They are mine and I'm so incredibly grateful I get to spend these wild summer days with them.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Book Report || August

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
A compelling story.  You very much feel like you are in the mind of this amazing intelligent, autistic boy named Christopher.  It is a murder mystery of sorts as Christopher begins to investigate the death of his neighbors dog he discovers so much more.  This was Mark Haddon's debut novel and I was impressed and excited to read more.  It really was delighful to read, heartfelt story.

Shadow Puppets by Orson Scott Card
I didn't enjoy this one as much as I did the first two in the series (those I absolutely adored).  A little more love story and survival in this book, versus strategy and genius in the first two.  As Julian and Petra decide to have marry and have children, they must outwit their common enemy as he seeks to destroy them and control their future offspring.  The ending was satisfying and I haven't decided if I'll read the last two in the series.

The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton
I had such high hopes for this one.  Nella moves to her new home, to her new husband and family, and find things much different then she expected.  I kept reading each chapter hoping for more and honestly it just fell a bit flat for me.  It was beautifully written but I really didn't enjoy the story.  

The Fringe Hours by Jessica N. Turner
I loved this book!  Jessica Turner discussed how women need time for creativity and fulfillment, time to do things that they enjoy.  She shares a lot of practical ideas of how we can fit things we love into the fringe hours of our days.  I came away with lmany ideas and an enthusiasm to organize those moments in my day for rejuvenation and creativity.

Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee
I was so excited when I first read this was coming out but a little worried when I began to read the reviews and all the controversy that surrounded its release.  I decided to forge ahead and read it and I'm so glad I did.  I decided to read it as a manuscript written by Harper Lee, a practice draft preparing her to later write To Kill a Mockingbird.  It was fascinating to read in this way, seeing a bit deeper into the thoughts and feelings of Harper Lee and looking for ideas and concepts that were also shared in To Kill a Mockingbird.

Started The Mysterious Benedict Society with the kids.  I'm have also started 11/22/63 by Stephen King and it is really good so far.  I'm also hoping to start on The Pilgrim's Progress.  I need to get back to reading those classics for the year.

You can read my other book reports here.

Also, my 2015 Booklist here.

Sea Animal Party



I was told this party could not be called an Under the Sea Party, that sounded too much like a mermaid party, not grown up enough for this 9 year old of mine.  A Sea Animal Party, I was informed, that was the description that should be used.  This girl of mine is a planner, a creative, a visionary.  She knows what she wants and she jumps in and gets it done.  I wasn't sure how this whole thing would come together, but I was thrilled with the results.  We pulled it all together and we were both pleased with how it all came together.  

Her day was full of her favorites.  This animal loving girl of mine received mostly stuffed animals for her birthday and lots of crafting goodness.  We had red velvet cupcakes for her friend party and cheesecake for her family party later that night.  She created and painted the whale on her own and I was incredibly impressed with the results.  And of course, her tradition is Red Robin for dinner.  

Just a side note.  She was so worried about moving to our new home, just a few minutes away from our old home, because she thought it would be too far from Red Robin.  I assured her that there was no need to worry.  Not only would we not be that far away, we would actually be a bit closer to another Red Robin, so no need to worry sweet girl.

Such a beautiful day with my beautiful girl.  Love you to pieces sweet girl.  Thanks for growing older and wiser, kinder and sweeter each and everyday.  You don't have to keep growing so fast though, growing up is inevitable and I truly wouldn't want it any other way, but you may just want to slow down, just a bit.  

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

St. George Part 2


Today I'm sharing the second set of photos from our St. George excursion.  We absolutely loved the scenery, the red rocks and mountains, the gorgeous sky in every direction, the sunrises and sunsets.  Being from the Pacific Northwest I have grown up a bit prejudice, thinking my forested landscapes, huge rivers, and snow covered mountains made for the most beautiful place on earth.  I remember thinking that I lived in a postcard.  As I have grown older and visited more and more places, I find myself changed.  I find beauty in so many different places.  There is great beauty in the desert, a freedom that comes from being able to look in every direction, a loveliness in the bare earth and the great big sky above. We completely enjoyed the beauty of St. George.

We stayed with our family in a huge vacation home.  It was so fun to spend time with everyone together, Grandma and Grandpa, all 6 adult kids and their married spouses, and all 24 grandchildren.  We are quite a group.  We were able to visit the St. George temple and visitors center.  Steve's sister served her mission there years before and we were so excited to visit this sight with her.  There was a special spirit that surrounded this temple, built through the sweat and labor of those that came before.  How they had the fortitude to build a building like that in the desert.  Truly impressive, makes me not want to take anything for granted.

Such a fun time together.  Loved being surrounded by those that we love so much.  My favorite part was watching connections made between my little family and their cousins, aunts, and uncles that we don't get to see as much as we would like.  Family is an amazing thing and I'm incredibly grateful to this amazing family I was blessed to marry into.