May Day

It is May first! I always love the first of the month! It brings the promise of new adventures! Have you noticed I am in the process of changing the blog? I need it to better describe *ME* and so my husband and several besties all agreed “sunshine and daisies” is definitely how they describe me.  I am really excited for these changes! I have several things I am looking forward to in May…

1. More outside time
2. Finishing up the 2016-2017 school year
3. Working my Perfectly Posh business and the start of Monthly Posh Boxes!
4. Our annual volunteering of placing flags on veterans graves for Memorial Day

Blog Collage May 1

What are you looking forward to this May?

~Andrea

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Picture Challenge 1/5 & 1/6

My picture from 1/5 is something delicious. I picked my mug of peppermint tea. It is warm and delicious, but it also reminds me of the countless tea parties I had with my mom while I was growing up. I am also reminded of the tea parties I had with my 2 eldest nieces. I still have tea parties with my children. Sometimes I will even pull out the fancy teapot and china cups with saucers.  It is a tradition of sorts.

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1/6 is a self portrait. I wasn’t looking forward to this one because I had no idea what to do. Then life unfolded very quickly on my computer. I was horrified as I streamed the news live. There is an active shooting at Fort Lauderdale airport…or there was when this picture was taken. People were killed. People are injured.
This was about the same time I learned a friend from long ago is very sick and in critical health. She is too young to be called away from this earth. Life isn’t always pretty. Sometimes it ages us. The worry, heartache, fear…..
However, I am putting my trust and hope in God and offering prayers of peace and comfort to those being impacted by the shooting and for those who also know the beautiful lady who is fighting for her life.
So this is me in real life.

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~Andrea

Deliberate

planner

My new planner, stickers, and an inspiration journal, which actually goes with a different planner, but I loved the layout.

I am challenging myself in 2017. I have a word that will define my year; deliberate. I have 3 verses from the Bible to focus on (they go together and also go with my word); Proverbs 16:9 “In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.” and Proverbs 16:3 “Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.” and Psalm 20:4 “May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed.”

I have a new top-secret life plan (it is currently between Marco, God, & me), I have a new planner, a new journal, a new determination.

Back to deliberate…
I have always been a picture-taking Momma. I am also a person who throws useless junk away, but I tend to do it in moments of anger because there are messes and stuff just laying around. I want to be more organized about it; more deliberate.

I am also going to be deliberate in my memory-catching. Each day I want to take a picture with a theme. There is a catch though. Each picture has to also have a story. Whether personal to me directly or one of my kids, my husband, my brothers, parents, etc. It simply can’t just be a random picture. It will be interesting how I make some things more than just a random picture. I got the picture list from a Google search (get it HERE). It is not my list. I do not credit myself with it. Do not give me credit in the creation of the list. I do not own it.

I also want to be more deliberate with my purging. Currently I toss stuff that simply angers me because it is in my way in that moment. I want a method to my purging madness. It will not be everyday; just a few per month. The point is I want to be deliberate.

I am going to test run this challenge in January and take it month by month and tweak it as needed. I am not sure if I will post daily or weekly. That is why January is my test run. Here is my January schedule.

January 1 — photograph favorite color & purge clothing, shoes, hats, scarves, etc
January 2 — photograph a circle
January 3 — photograph an animal
January 4 — photograph a favorite item
January 5 — photograph something delicious
January 6 — photograph myself
January 7 — photograph inside fridge
January 8 — photograph a wall
January 9 — photograph a bag
January 10 — photograph 2 things
January 11 — photograph time
January 12 — photograph a leaf
January 13 — photograph people
January 14 — photograph a path
January 15 — photograph where I sleep & purge in side toys
January 16 — photograph music
January 17 — photograph mail
January 18 — photograph today
January 19 — photograph a shape
January 20 — photograph something white
January 21 — photograph growth
January 22 — photograph in my town & purge DVDs
January 23 — photograph this is mine
January 24 — photograph what I do
January 25 — photograph in the backyard
January 26 — photograph yum
January 27 — photograph I can’t live without
January 28 — photograph a sign
January 29 — photograph shadow & purge old bikes, scooters, skates, etc
January 30 — photograph hello
January 31 — photograph something colorful

I will leave you with my favorite saying that I made into a picture.

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~Andrea

Dinner Time Antics

*I have been going through my drafts. I found this little gem. I assume I never posted because I didn’t have a picture. I happened to remember the picture below is on my computer still. Zen isn’t 1 in the picture, like he is in my  post, but he is still crazy and the picture is fitting. 

When you give a one year old his dinner he is going to want what everyone else is having instead. When you give him what everyone else is having he is going to want his very own bowl and spoon, just like everyone else.

Once you give him his spoon and bowl with “big person” food you are going to have to let him feed himself or he will scream.

When you let a one year old feed himself with his very own bowl and his very own spoon you are most assuredly,at some point, going to catch that spoon as it zooms through the air.

When you give a one year old his very own bowl full of food that bowl will end up upside down on the floor and food will splatter everywhere.

When you give a one year old dinner in his very own bowl with his very own spoon and the spoon flies through the air and the bowl lands spectacularly on the floor upside down you will have a guffawing group of children who all yell “We told you it was a bad idea Mom!!!!

Needless to  say, when you give a one year old dinner there is never a dull moment.

~Andrea

zen

Let Them be Little

My kids are playing with a cheap $5 plastic bowling set. Zen is sleeping. Where I am sitting I have the perfect view of their game. It is loud and wonderful. They are playing nicely; not something that happens all the time. I can’t take my eyes off them and honestly writing one line of this post takes more than 10 minutes because the kids are fascinating to watch.  I can’t help but look at them and see them as…kids.
So many times I look at them, especially the older 2, and I see my expectations of what they should be able to do. I forget they still need to climb and run and play. 

Earlier I was watching a video on a blog and it said “Though she grows, she is still so small.” That simple phrase grabbed me.

It speaks volumes to me. She is not suggesting her child is small for her age. She is stating that the age of 2 is still little. It is so true. Step back and look at your child with some perspective. How did you used to see a 2 year old before you had one? I am guessing you regarded them as a baby still. Your expectations probably weren’t grand. You didn’t expect them to know their colors and write their name. They are still so little. Yet as soon as we have our own we force them to grow too fast. I am not saying do not allow your child to develop and discover. I am saying just let them be little. Follow their cues. Let them be curious and discover at their own pace. Keep it age appropriate. 

I forced my oldest to grow up too fast. My expectations changed with my second.  can never change that fact I expected more from my eldest child than I did from my students who were older than him. I was never mean or forceful, I was just always ready to start the next thing with him and didn’t allow either of of us to savor the moments. Perspective and hind sight…..

With each child my expectations change. They are only little for a small glimmer of time and those days can be exhaustively long. I know this too well. I will, however, let my kids be little for as long as they need to be.

*written 3 years ago and rediscovered today 11/7/2016.

~Andrea

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3 is not too old to be rocked to sleep. Savoring the moments.

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Letting her make the pizza dough. Her joy is worth it all. 

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Letting her conquer her fears at her own pace makes the success that much sweeter. 

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As they get older they can still play….even if it makes your heart beat harder in fear. 

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Imagine, measure, cut, paint, create…..Making wands.

Crossroads

This year has been emotionally hard on me. One really big reason why is I have had more days than not when I feel like homeschooling 4 kids and caring for a toddler is just not for me. The only person I have mentioned this to is Mark so this is probably going to surprise those who know me best.

I struggle nearly everyday. I am worn from it. I really feel like the 2 girls would benefit from at least a year in a formal school setting. They are so much fun to be with, but I think they both need to find some independence away from their big brothers. I would like to see them blossom into their own beings. Their brothers, bless them, hold them back a little. I know they do not realize it. They are just protective.

My oldest is also going to “officially” be in high school this next year. I would like to focus more energy on getting him situated so he can achieve his very lofty life goals. My sweet 12 year old son would stay home with me also. He struggles and over the years we have discovered the best ways to help him learn and retain information. They are very nontraditional methods so a traditional school setting really wouldn’t be in his best interest.

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Elf is turning into a bookworm. She loves books as much as her eldest brother!

What do I do? I really do not want to send the girls to public school. I am not criticizing public school at all. My oldest went to public school for 2 years and Elf went for half a year until we changed school districts. My objection is personal to our family dynamics, beliefs, and goals. These are things that each family must personally decide on. For me, public school isn’t really an option at this time. I say “at this time” because I am not so bold as to say I am 100% against it. I am open for a change of mind and heart so long as it is the right choice for US.

That leaves private school. Who has money for that though? I have searched local schools and scholarship options. I actually have one place bookmarked that we may be able to make a reality. I have yet to get in touch with the school, but I plan to. There is also online school. That would keep the girls home without having to worry about planning their school days. That doesn’t help with my wanting them to develop themselves away from their brothers though.

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Princess making a cake while Zen watches. 

I really have no idea what I am going to do. Although Mark and I are a team, this is ultimately my decision since I am the one who is home all day with the kids. I know I have my husband’s support and that does make it easier. I know that when I make a decision he will back me up. That is a good feeling. Right now though, I am torn. I am not 100% convinced either way. I am no closer to an answer than I was in October. Time is not on my side. I need to make a decision sooner rather than later.

Why am I bothering telling you all of this if I am at a loss for what I am going to do? Well, writing it all out makes it more real. I need to see how I will react once I start getting feedback, because I know there will be feedback. Also, I feel like I can’t be the only parent struggling with the decision on what type of schooling is best for their child(ren). I want others to know they aren’t alone. The struggle is real. We are all just trying to do what is best and it is OK to doubt through the process.
~Andrea

Shopping for a Family of 7

Have you ever wondered how larger families shop? I certainly can’t speak for everyone, but I know that, for us, shopping less often by buying more at the time is far more convenient. It takes less time to meal plan, write lists, make sure our pantry and freezer inventory is up-to-date, and then do one large bi-monthly shopping trip than it does to shop once a week. It is also far more cost effective because we have less opportunity for impulse buys.

I had the amazing opportunity to write a guest-post for my good friend Kristin over at Couponing to Disney on how my latest shopping trip went.
I have gotten so much positive feedback. I am thrilled my experience is helping people save time and money!

I would love for you to check it out and I pray it can benefit you also: Andrea’s Bi-Monthly Shopping Trip to Aldi: Feeding a Family of 7 (via Couponing to Disney)

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