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A Little House on the Prairie Party

We had a joint party for Frank and Greta at the beginning of the month and they wanted a Little House on the Prairie themed party. You can find my Pinterest board of all the ideas I found here.  

For invitations, I found an image doing a Google search and added the text. 

I don't normally have crafts for the kids, but this time decided to include some for those kids who wanted to make something. Thanks to Hubby who cut all the wood before hand and made samples of all the wooden toys. The kids were able to make Jacob's Ladders, Buzz Saws, Walking Blocks, decorate peg people, color pictures and decorate paper dolls. 

Ike agreed to dress like Almanzo from the cover of Farmer Boy. The hockey stick was supposed to be his ax. 

 Frank built a Jacob's Ladder. 

 My kids love playing with the peg people. 

It was in the upper 30's that day so there was plenty of hot cocoa for the kids. 

Now for what really important at a party...the food! Since it was so cold I went with a Potato Cheddar Soup and sliced ham for sandwiches. 

With the soup, I had toppings of shredded cheese, bacon bits, and fried potato skins. The potato skins were very easy to make. Edith peeled nine pounds of potatoes for the soup so I took those and fried them up in some butter. You could also fry them in the bacon grease, but I had some vegetarians coming so skipped that and just used butter. 

I also made Onion Pie which was really yummy. However, the bottom crust did get a little soggy the next day so it is best to eat that the day it is made. 

I didn't do much in the way of decorations. I used checked table clothes on the tables, put out our lanterns, a tool box of the kids, flowers in jars, and the Little House series books

For apps we had chips, popcorn, shelled peanuts and veggies. 

For dessert, I made brownies and someone brought cupcakes and someone else brought a super yummy fruit salad. 

My Farmer Boys.


He was very happy even if he did sleep through most of the party. 

That's his "I am mad at you because you won't give me the food on your plate" look. 

The kids after the party playing with toys and eating more food. 

Everything went well and a good time was had by all. 

Girl's Room Makeover

My goal before Baby L comes in March is to give the girl's and boy's room a little makeover. After 8 years they are in need of it. I started with the girl's room. 

Here are some before pictures. It was a very bright pink which didn't seem that bright when I originally painted it, but now seems really pink. 

The door on the left is the door to the hallway and the door to the right is the door to the shared bathroom with the boys. 

A bookcase that sort of became a holder for all the random things that didn't have a proper place. 

Their dresser. I really need to get another dresser for their room, but for now we are making it work. 

I took these pictures right before I started painting. Greta was helping me remove things from the beds and Keith was overseeing the progress. 

Now the after pictures. 

I still went with pink for the walls, but it is much lighter. I painted the triple bunks gray and went with a pink/gray theme throughout the room. 

I painted that white bookcase gray also and added the stripped bins to store pjs. Moving those out of the dresser gave us a little more room in the dresser for their everyday clothes. The closet keeps their church clothes on a top rack and their dress-up clothes on the bottom rack. Then they have some bins in there to store their dress-up accessories and doll things. 

I didn't do anything with the dresser since it is nice and seems like a shame to paint it. 

They are happy with the outcome and so am I. Now if I could just keep them from making it a mess, it would be perfect. 

*I probably should have picked a non-rainy cloudy day to take pictures of the room because the lighting in there is horrible, but oh well. 

Seven Quick Takes - 2017 Reading Challenge

Joining Modern Mrs. Darcy for her 2017 Reading Challenge
Also, joining Kelly for some Quick Takes

Last year was pretty much a failure for reading unless you count cookbooks and kid books. Reading starting off good, but slowly took a backseat to everything else that had to get done. It is sort of sad because I really do like reading. I remember when I used to live on my own and it wouldn't be rare to just hold up in my apartment for the weekend and devour a stack of books. Good times, good times! 

Well, I don't see that as happening any time in my future, but there are pockets of time that could sneak in some reading. Now that Keith is on a better sleep schedule and all the other kids are in bed by 8pm the evening will be more open to reading. We will see how that all changes once the baby comes, but that won't be for another couple of months so we will think about that then. 

Now there are two different reading challenges going Reading for Fun and Reading for Growth. I couldn't decide which one to do so I am just going to list both and mark off as I go along.

I am not reading the books in order of the list. I seriously have a huge stack of books on my nightstand that I need to get through and I know some of them will fall into the categories. 

Here is a sampling of books that are on my nightstand to be read this year.

The Divine Romance - Fulton J. Sheen
Leisure the Basis of Culture - Josef Pieper
Treasure in Clay - Fulton J. Sheen (Read before, but want to read again)
Defending Marriage - Anthony Esolen
Catholicism - Robert Barron
Cure Tooth Decay - Ramiel Nagel (Currently Reading)
Dead Wake, The Last Crossing of the Lusitania - Erik Larson (Started last year and just need to finish it.)
Beauty in the Word, Rethinking the Foundations of Education - Stratford Caldecott

Stiff Upper Lip, Jeeves - PJ Wodehouse
The Secret Adversary - Agatha Christie
The Man Who was Thursday - G.K. Chesterton 
Ross Poldark - Winston Graham

As you can see the non-fiction way out numbers the fiction. I actually have around 20 more books once I finish with all these. All of which are non-fiction. I think I might need to get my hands on more fiction books. I do have a bunch of classic fiction books, but I have read them already and I tend to stay clear of modern fiction since the few I read made me want to pull my eyes out. I was always left with the feeling "wow, that was a part of my life I will never get back." If you have any recommendations that won't leave me with that feeling, please leave them in the comment section. 

Have a great weekend!!

2017 Goals - Growing in All Aspects of My Life

 It is that time again...saints for the new year, words for the year, and goal setting.

I used Jen's Saint Generator and received the saint St. Zita. She is the patron saint of homemakers so that sounds like a good match. I did a quick Amazon search and didn't come up with any books on her so if you know of one, let me know.

I prayed about a word for this year and the word that came to me was "grow." It seems like last year was a lot of just doing the minimum to get by, but this year I would really like to get out of the rut and grow in all aspects of my life.

I have broken down goals into five categories and "growing" will be the focal point in those areas. I will then write out concrete things to do for each of those areas. Instead of doing them monthly, I will be breaking the year up into 2-3 month segments.

January - February = Before Baby L arrives
March - May = Post Baby L's arrival
June - August = Summer Months
September - November = Fall Months
December = Advent
I figure this way, I can reevaluate goals based on the regular changes in a year.

Now the goals...


Goal 1: I am a Child of God.
I want to grow in my knowledge of God by learning more about my Catholic Faith and his Word. I want to grow in my love of God by spending more time in dedicated prayer times. Finally, I want to grow in my service of God by embracing my vocation fully.

Mini Goals
a. Dedicated Prayer - These few months I will get up 30 mins before the kids so I can spend some quite time actually saying morning prayers instead of saying them while doing something else. 
b. Knowledge - I will follow the Read the Bible and Catechism in a Year reading plan. 
c. Service - I will offer a prayer when motherhood gets hard instead of speaking complaints. 

Goal 2: I am a Woman.
I want to grow as a woman by taking care of myself physically, spiritually, and mentally. By caring for myself I will be better able to care for those around me and follow my vocation to the fullest.

Mini Goals
a. I will drink at least 64 oz of water, take all my vitamins/supplements, and exercise each day. 
b. I will follow a basic Paleo diet with some exceptions. 
c. Read 2 books from categories in the 2017 Reading Challenge
d. Write a blog post at least twice a week. 

Goal 3: I am a Wife.
I want to grow in my love of my husband seeing him as a partner on this journey to heaven.

Mini Goals
a. Plan one away from home date night each month. 
b. Do one act of kindness each day for my husband. 

Goal 4: I am a Mother.
I want to grow in love and patience for my children. I want to manage my time better so I can spend time with them and not always be "too busy" for them. 

Mini Goals
a. Play a game each week with the kids. 
b. Play a family outing each month. 
c. Read aloud each day to the kids. 
d. Stop and actually listen to the kids when they talk. 

Goal 5: I am a Homemaker.
I want to grow in my cooking, cleaning, sewing, and gardening skills. I want to make our house a home where there is order and relaxation for those who live here and those who visit. 

Mini Goals
a. Make a detailed list of all items that need to get done around the house. This will include painting rooms, fixing things, decorating, etc.
b. Pick 5 things off the list and complete them.
c. Finish updating the 2016 budget and gather all items needed to do taxes.
d. File away all paper work that is currently sitting on my desk.

Have you made goals for 2017? What are they? What tips to you have to stick to them?

On-line Day Book - The First in 2017

I can't believe it as been so long since I posted last. It is crazy how fast time flies. 

Praying for...
- my mom that she continues to remain cancer free. 
- Baby L who is due in around two months. 
- my kids.
- my husband.
- those who are expecting or trying to conceive. 
- all the souls in purgatory.

Thankful for...
- my husband who held down the fort when I was sick for a day. 
- food on the table.
- living in the country. 

Thoughts in my heart...honestly as Baby L's due date draws near the more nervous I get. I know I need to "pray, hope, and don't worry," but it is easier said than done sometimes. It was also hard seeing nieces and nephews at Christmas that were born a few months after Joan. Having an actual reminder of what Joan's size and age would be was hard, but I know she is in a better place. 

It has been a nice Christmas vacation. Hubby returns to work tomorrow so things will slowly return to normal. I am working on a list of things I want to get done before the baby comes and I need to plan a Pioneer Birthday Party for Greta and Frank. Thankfully, this pregnancy is going well and haven't had any issues with morning sickness or being overly tired. 

I am still working on the menu for this week. I am trying to use up things we have in the fridge and freezer to make room for freezer meals for when the baby comes. I am going to make a better effort to return to limiting sugar and sort of Paleo type diet. We got off the rails starting with our cross country trip in November and haven't really returned to it. I can feel the difference so I looking forward to returning to it. Oh and I got a bunch of cookbooks for Christmas so I am excited to try out some new meals. I also finally got around to using the Instant Pot which has proved to be great. 

Christmas Eve before heading to bed. 

We are still on Christmas break. During this week we are just doing Morning Time and catching up on a few things so next week we will return to our full course load.  

We had a mishap with our old stocking so had to get some new ones. I decided to go with personalized stocking and I am loving them. They are so cute!

I have been working on setting up 2017 goals and setting up some sort of blogging schedule. There are a number of projects I want to get done this year so I am trying to figure things out since I know the baby will come in March and there will be some months of recovering, etc. I hope to get a blog post of my 2017 goals at some point this week.  

The kids are singing "Happy Birthday" to Jesus before they open their gifts. 

 There are so many books on my nightstand it isn't even funny. I hope to participate in Modern Mrs. Darcy's Reading Challenge and will post more about that later. 

Edith made me some nesting dolls. Aren't they cute?

My goal this year is to have a producing garden and to get chickens. Fingers crossed! 

The kids enjoyed decorating cookies. Honestly, I gathered all the cookies and candy left in the house and put them in the freezer. I will ration in out for the rest of the year. 

The blog has been pretty quiet, but here are some post from the beginning of the year. 

I know I have been reading worth the read posts, but I haven't marked them so I have no idea where to find them. I will make a better effort to keep track of them. 

Pictures from Instagram so if you follow me there, just skip these. 

It's still the Christmas season! The ninth day of Christmas brings movies and popcorn for the kids while I work on blog posts and prep for the return to school. #christmassisaseason

Yep, that's me right now.

On the fifth day of Christmas my true love gave to me...a lunch date with him and a visit to a museum.#newbabysitter #hopefullytheydidntscareher#husbandwithbeard #toohandsome#tryingouthuntinggear #myshotgunmyman#12daysofchristmas 

Frank's tank Legos.

I told Frank to get ready to practice his reading and I found this, apparently he knew he would need some help staying in his chair. On another note, Frank is reading! It has been slow going, but it finally clicked with him. #allaboutreading #stjoanirisacademy

On the third day of Christmas my true love gave to me...some time to reorganize the toy closet and start planning for the new year. #12daysofchristmas#christmassisaseason #noschool #2017planning

Top 9 Instgram pictures of 2016 - 1. Our stockings 2. Harriet as St. Rose of Lima 3. Keith and I 4. My parents with all their grandkids 5. The kids near Joan's gravesite for the anniversary of her entrance into heaven. 6. Announcing the coming of Baby L. 7. All my sisters. 8. Greta as Our Lady of Guadalupe. 9. Announcing that Baby L is a boy.

On the second day of Christmas my true love gave to me...the afternoon off, a stack of new books and a cup of coffee. #christmassisaseason#seconddayofchristmas #cookbooks #aromatherapy

I hope you are all having a wonderful Christmas season and 2017 will be a blessed year for you.