Friday, October 31, 2014

Life Lately-October {Day 31}

It's the last day of the month! Here's a round-up of all my Instagram posts this month which shows you a better glimpse into our lives. Or at least when I'm out and about and things are pretty and my boys are cute. Or something!

So pretty it hurts! 
 Stop. It's jammy time! / Rain, rain, go away... / What mommy did during homeschool time.

 My three cuties trying to hold still long enough for mommy to get a picture.

 Making applesauce from apples we picked at the orchard!

 Family bike ride! / The lake got really full after the rains early this month. / My backseat driver.

A BHG project I tried with the boys. It was fun! And cute!

 We stayed up late one Saturday night to take the boys to the local observatory. We watched a video about the size of stars, then got to see some--and Mars and Saturn--in the telescopes. / Gary and I went on a date. We ate Greek food and hung out at Barnes & Noble and enjoyed being able to finish sentences! I wanted to read this book cuz it seemed really funny at the store. When I got home I looked it up and there was a movie about it that I could watch on YouTube. Not that funny! Now I know. / We took Daddy to the Children's Museum. Did you  know he's a trained pilot?

 Before, after, and real life.
The boys were watching the failed Antares launch on

Apple orchard outing on my birthday! / A really full lake. / Our friends' chickens.

We went to a giant indoor playground. The boys had so much fun!

Jared and Josiah "hiding" in the ball pit. 

Nature is putting on quiet the show this fall. That's one thing I love about the Midwest!

Gary had to study, so the boys and I rode our bikes to the lake. They love water. I wish they were a little more afraid of it! The love to throw things in and pretend to fish.

 More Nebraska fall, indoors and out.

Well, I did it! I blogged every day for 31 days!

 The End! 

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Ellie's Closet {Day 30}

Do you ever wish you had the perfect wardrobe? Everything coordinates, everything matches, everything looks amazing on you, and you don't have too much stuff.

Mine isn't like that. I have my share of complaints in that department, but you know the wonderful part of this virtual world?

You can change it!

So today I'm introducing you to Ellie's Closet. I'm not Ellie, by the way, nor is she me. She doesn't truly exist, remember? My name is Elizabeth and I was always called Lizz. Or Lizzard or E-Lizzard-Breath, or E-Lizzard-Buggers. Such a beautiful name.

I made up Ellie when I started this blog four years ago. I was shy and felt an alias would help me find my voice. I don't know how much of that is true, but for the purpose of this series, because I'm going to make it an on-going thing, Ellie is not me. Savvy?

Anyway, I spent way too much time this week developing Ellie's wardrobe on Polyvore. I thought I published the collection but then I couldn't find it anywhere and basically had to start over. The second incarnation isn't as perfect, but Ellie is working on that. You know, your own closet doesn't have the perfect everything!

I've purposely left Ellie's bio pretty vague. She could be a stay-at-home mom, but she really dresses nicely if that's the case! She might be a teacher. Or a secretary. Or a stay-at-home business owner. Or a work-at-home mom with client meetings on various days. She definitely goes to church most weekends and leaves her yoga pants and sweatshirts out of the wardrobe series!

The purpose of Ellie's Closet is to inspire. It's a mix-and-match approach with everything following a set color scheme. I can see Ellie getting tired a red by springtime and maybe changing it for a few pink things. Or feeling like her turquoise things need a break for the winter, you know, small tweaks. Ellie will once in awhile buy a new piece or two, but she'll play by the rules of having to get rid of something when she does that.

I'll be trying to do a What Did Ellie Wear weekly series starting in November, but for now, here's a glimpse of Ellie's basic wardrobe.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

A Day in the Life {Day 29}

I'm always curious to know what "normal" looks like in your house. Since I always find these posts interesting and haven't done one since February, I thought I'd include another. Here we go!

6 AM. My alarm goes off. I turn it off and sleep for another hour. True story! I usually don't do that, but in this season of life I've been enjoying it. Gary doesn't go to class until later in the morning and the boys aren't up until 7. What's the rush?

7 AM. I sneak upstairs to take a shower, hoping the boys will sleep another 20 minutes. When they wake up they take turns in another bathroom, get dressed and make their beds before venturing upstairs. I look like this fresh out of bed:

Just kidding, but that's all you're getting.

My bathtub is in desperate need of a scrubbing. You can see baking soda and vinegar in the picture--I was trying to make the drain work better. It half worked. I used Dawn dish soap and a magic eraser on the tub and it's really nice and clean!

I finish up in the bathroom, including spending 5 minutes each on my hair and face, then this happens. Yay for a new mug from my birthday!

8 AM. Our favorite breakfast is oatmeal, of which Josiah is the biggest fan! We all eat together, including Gary.

8:30 AM. I watch this little girl about twice a week. She reads stories while we finish breakfast and start chores.

Each boy clears his own things from the table, and today is Jonathan's turn to do the dishes. He likes the job, likes water, takes forever and everything gets wet! I don't have to re-wash much, and it's great training!

Also, I let him play in the water after he's done. He is seeing if his lego boats are watertight. The results are mixed.

9 AM. Meanwhile, Jared and I are folding laundry. Since Josiah is still three, I wash his and Jared's laundry together once or twice a week, depending on how much dirty clothes they're producing. I don't sort, just dump it all in the washer. Everyone's laundry is done on a different day and it never gets overwhelming. Seriously, this has changed my life! Or at least my view of laundry.

Josiah "reads" a book, plays with a toy, or twirls in the living room until it's his turn to do a chore.

His job today is to sweep the stairs. It's not perfect (at all) but I'm not doing it today so it's better than nothing. And he's learning!

Next, Jared gets some one-on-one time with me for his school work. He loves school!

Josiah likes to copy his brothers, so I'm sure to give him "homework" to do too.

Jonathan is listening to Bible stories on CD. He loves them! He's learned so much about the stories in the Old Testament, especially. He usually builds something with blocks or legos while he listens. I find him in here during his free time too.

After that, it's Jonathan's turn for some workbook practice! The boys have supplemental phonics and math books to go with the My Father's World curriculum. We do have a time for calendar, a worship story, and a thought about the unit we're studying. Right now it's about animals.

The other boys play quietly until Jonathan is done with school.

I send the boys to the backyard to play, then cycle the laundry and tackle a chore on my list. The coat closet has gotten out of hand, so I spend 20 minutes taking things out, sweeping, and putting things back where they belong.

I also took the time to arrange a fall centerpiece for the table.

12 PM. Gary has come home from class and gone to work, making himself a lunch from leftovers. I fed the little girl I watch, then put her down for her nap before calling the boys in.

 Jonathan wants a fried egg on toast, so he helps fry them. Of course his brothers want the same thing.

1 PM. Lunch is over and the table is cleared. Each of the boys chooses a library book and we all sit on the couch while I read to them. Then each boy goes to a different room in the house to rest and play quietly for an hour. I set a timer, ignore the dirty dishes from lunch, and enjoy some downtime too. I feel guilty some days, but if I don't take the quiet and rest when I can, I get grumpy and overly tired later.

2 PM. The timer goes off. This is usually when we have another school cycle, but today is so beautiful and I know the nice days are numbered, so I let the boys play outside.

3 PM. I watch one boy after school a couple times a week. Today is one of those days and he gets dropped off by his dad. The four boys love to play together, and are soon climbing trees, making forts, looking for worms and slugs and whatever else it is that boys do.

4 PM. I take the little girl outside with me when I give the boys a snack. Gotta get some work out of this one too!

5 PM. The boy gets picked up, so I take the little girl and go inside. I start supper then feed her before her dad comes.

6 PM. All the extra kids are gone, the lunch dishes are done and supper is ready. Tonight we're having this, though I do regular noodles for the men/boys.

A House in the Hills 

6:30 PM. Gary comes home and we enjoy supper and catch up on the day.

7 PM. The boys and Gary go downstairs to take showers and change into jammies while I clean up the kitchen one last time.

7:30 PM. We have family worship where we read the boy's lesson from church, go over their memory verse, and sing a couple songs before having prayer together. We pray for baby Malcolm, Grandpa who has cancer, and Aunt Wanda.

8 PM. The boys are tucked into bed and kissed one or two or three last times. Gary studies or goes for a run or both, while I decompress on the couch. I read blogs, blog myself, or listen to Jane Austen read aloud.

9 PM. Or 9:30. Or 10. It's bedtime! Gary and I try to go to bed at the same time because it's our favorite time to really touch bases with each other. Gary tells me details about his day at work, what he's studying for, and how his run went. I share things the boys said and did, what we did for school that day, how my day went, and other things that get lost in the hubbub if we don't take a few quiet minutes together before we sleep.

So there you have it! A day in the life. What's a day like at your house?

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Fall Votives {Day 28}

Image via BHG
We've been having a beautiful fall. I love the bright leaves, as you've noticed from my Instagram/Facebook feeds.

 Mom shared this jar + leaves + candle project with me, so the boys and I recreated it today.

We used Elmer's glue. Mod podge is better, but we're using what we had. We collected leaves--the fresher the better.

I kept it simple and didn't add the raffia, but I might add twine later.

The glow at night is so pretty! Try it!


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