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Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Planting seeds in my heart

"She wanted to grow in beauty and grace, so she asked God to show her the seeds she should plant in the soil of her heart."

Oh my goodness... God is definitely speaking to me right now!

I have one of those inspirational desk calendars, on my desk of course, given to me for hosting a party. It says "This little calendar is one way to add flair and inspiration to all your days. Filled with quotes & scriptures sure to lift your spirit and put sassiness in your soul, it'll equip you you to face challenges with the sophistication by the One who always puts you in the best light." How awesome is that!?! An added plus... it's zebra print! ;)

Ok so first the Blog is called the blessing is in the seedd, because on crazy days it is hard to remember that my family is a major and THE biggest blessing ever.

Second, if you've been following me at all on Facebook you know that life is just crazy right now; Steve is at NCOA, schooling for the military, in Germany for 6 weeks. The kids have been in school for a month so all the Autumn plays, PTO stuff, Bake sales, after school activities, teacher meetings, all happen this month. Also we're having some assessments done on base so I've been driving there a lot. Had a horrible, but now humerous, "explosion" incident with my child & groceries. The 2 year old has decided he wants to potty train now and scream his head off when we're in public places. Halloween is just a few weeks away. It's just been a rough week.

I feel like one of those clap-o-meters. You know those things that look kind of like a thermometer & the louder the clapping the higher the meter rises. It only takes one stupid little thing to get me all worked up. A post someone makes on FB, the kids fighting, having to repeat myself 10x in  20 minutes, cleaning up a potty training accident, having to give the kids a bath when all I want to do is lay down and read a book.

I know things can be worse and I also know that growing in beauty and grace are things I definitely need help with right now. Maybe a little bit of patience as well, but we all know what happens when we ask God for patience... 3 words... Elora, Derek, & Dylan. ;) I love my crazy seedd's, they are tremendous blessings. It's all about perspective, right?

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Do mom's forget...

...that their child was once a toddler? A friend posted a vent on FB about how it was annoying to go shopping while having to listen to a kid scream the entire time & was frustrated because the parent tuned them out while the rest of the store had to listen to the kid, she ended the vent saying "have some consideration and bloody parent!" AHHHH It took EVERYTHING I had not to post a comment. After stewing for a few minutes I asked myself, does she seriously not remember what is was like when her child was a toddler? Then I came to this conclusion... They must have been through what I'm going through, and it was so traumatic that they just eventually blocked it out. ;)

Maybe this post bothers me more because I am IN this phase right now, and deal with this everyday.

Dylan is a screamer, if he doesn't like something or gets bored then he screams as loud & as high as he can. I realize that he's screaming for a reason, and will 99% of the time stop what I'm doing and ask him what's the matter to try and tell me what's wrong. Usually 97% of the time it is because he wanted something & I said no, so when I remind him "No, Sorry Dylan we aren't getting candy today." The screaming continues... if it is convenient I will just leave, usually head straight to check out or if the lines are too long I have also left my cart of stuff. But if I have to get groceries OR I made the 30 minute drive to base just to get these items then I'm going to get those items. I re-assure him that it won't be long. The re-assuring works great with Derek, who gets bored very easily with shopping, not so much with Dylan and so then I just have to grit my teeth, Smile, and bare it!!!! I apologize to everyone who makes eye contact for the screaming and try and get out as fast as I can.

It's a phase that most toddlers go through, they are learning so much at once like patience, controlling & expressing their feelings, and battling boredom!! All problems when shopping with mom.

I am getting better at just gritting my teeth and getting through it but the embarrassment is still there and while I'd like to think people understand and are sympathetic to my situation I then hear a friend blame it on the parents and other people agreeing with her, I'll admit it knocks me down a bit and as unrealistic as it is I do want to just stay home with him and not take him out. Again, I realize how unrealistic this is, especially with Steve in Germany for 4 more weeks.

I can't wait until we are out of this phase, but until then I'll just keep calm and carry on, a common phrase here in the UK that I'm sure was invented by a mom with multiple children in their early years.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Anti-Aging Solution for Couches

~~Cleaning my microfiber couches!! All you need is isopropyl Alcohol, a spray bottle, & a white rag. I poured the entire contents of the bottle into the spray bottle and went to town. It took me about 4 hours to finish the ottoman, couch, love seat, and chair.

This is what the ottoman looked like... we've had these couches for about 4 years now... so admittedly this is 4 yrs worth of sippy cup spillage & attempts of spot cleaning. 

Totally GROSS!!!!!

I was SOOO ready to just toss these & get new ones but being the realist I am and having 3 kids 6 & under... yeah no... we are keeping these couches until they move out! HAHA

This is the ottoman after I scrubbed it a good 30ish minutes and let all the alcohol dry. Which by the way, in case you didn't already know, it dries super quick.

And this is the ottoman after scrubbing a 2nd time just over the areas that still had the water rings for about 15 mins. Looks SOOO much better. Now, not every single stain is gone maybe if I scrubbed some more and put more elbow grease into it I could get them all off but after 4 hours and seeing this much improvement I was satisfied. :) They only look about 6 months old now compared to 4 years!! WOOHOO!! Anti aging for the couch, who knew!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Dylan- 2.5 yrs

Is there some rule somewhere that says the baby of the family is supposed to grow up SLOWER than the other siblings? I know, I know it's just the opposite; they see their big brothers & sisters doing things and the "baby" wants to do them also. Sigh... he isn't allowed to grow up, we jokingly call his room neverland. :)

We are ALMOST out of the baby phase, only thing left to do is potty training. The older 2 weren't interested at all until they were 3, so I'm not rushing him, however 6.5 years of diapers I'm about done. He knows what #1 & #2 are, and will tell us when he goes in his diaper, so that's step 1 in the potty training direction, but when we tell him to go on the potty, "No Tank You!"

He has definitely entered the independent stage. "No, I do it!" or the other phrase that I hear 6x a day "No stwower(stroller) I wok(walk)!" He likes to do everything himself, climbing into the car & into his seat, climbing out of the car, putting on his coat and then zipping it down to take it off, he also wants to do a lot of things that he just isn't capable of doing and he gets frustrated.

Dylan is a smart little boy, but everyone calls him a cheeky monkey, because they know he's mischievous & curious. He is talking ALL the time now, some cute things he has said (with translation):

"Dinodaur in tie oww, he eat Wego!" (Dinosaur in time out, he eat Lego!)
"No I not do it, Derdek do it, not Dynan!" -Already putting the blame on his siblings
"Odiber you cuee, Odiber oww my woom!" (Oliver you cute, Oliver out my room!)
"No I no like dat I want chocolate nilk, no I no like dat chicken!" -We've entered the picky foods stage as well.
"I wanna ride on it twactor & a digger!"

Monday, September 10, 2012

Even more confused

So my impatience got the best of me again, dang it! I posted on FB how my heart is super happy for Derek, and it is but the more I thought about it my brain is more confused.

Last week we had an appt with a speech therapist to do her assessment on Derek. After 1.5 hrs she came out and asked if I'd been working with him over the summer, and continued to say he has improved tremendously since June, he only struggles when asked to repeat a sentence, she doesn't think his scores will qualify him to be seen.

Today he had an appt with the Occupational Therapist for his assessment regarding his fine motor skills. He barely passed, only 1 or 2 points made the difference. He struggles with his grasp while holding a crayon, pencil etc. and holding scissors. The OT said "There isn't anything wrong, or malfunctioning, in his brain, it's just the muscles that need to be strengthened so I will put in a recommendation, but can also give you ideas, tips, tools and exercises to do at home." GREAT!!

So overall my heart is super happy because the things we did over summer to prepare him for going to school full time, has worked! That was very evident, he has grown by leaps and bounds which is so exciting and I'm so happy for him. However in the back of my mind, I am still left with so many questions.

I spoke with the Dr at his 4 yr checkup back in March and expressed my concerns and was immediately referred to a bunch of people within the school system. All the details are in the other blog post. Now that the assessments are done, I'm still left with mostly the same questions and concerns I had before. I know this is just one of many steps, and I'm not sure what I was expecting them to say. There is no clear answer, and they aren't medical professionals so I definitely wasn't going to receive a diagnosis, not sure if I was hoping for one.

He really has improved so much in only 6 months, so I know some of it is maturity related. He starts school full time on the 24th, right now he's only going for 2 hours a day to get him used to the classroom etc. I am still nervous for him but not as much as I was 6 months ago, that's for sure.
I can't end the blog without some pics of my handsome boy:


~~~Written a while ago
Just yesterday I was driving home, and I started thinking about a friend of mine who is going through some hard things in her life and I started thinking about how through her trials and her honesty about everything; she's actually helped me through some of my own trials. Then I started to think how amazingly strong she is and how I hope some day I can be an inspiration to other women as she has been for me. I got home fed the boys some lunch, and this friend was still on my mind so I decided to write her a message telling her just how awesome she is. Her response to my message definitely brought on the water works, and I will treasure that forever. I'm not taking total credit for that, God put her on my heart for a reason, he knew she was hurting and chose me to be the one to lift her up. Perhaps it's because her and I have so much in common, and it's that common ground that I could relate to, but whatever the reason this has changed me. I got to thinking, how come we as women don't do this more often?

Why is it so hard for us to write a simple message telling a friend how they've inspired us, how awesome they are, what a great mom they are. Yet, it's so easy to be judgemental, passive aggressive on a post on Facebook, or talk about each other negatively. I also just recently experienced how cruel words can be when feelings get hurt and miscommunications happen. It's time for a change, be the change you want to see in the world. Definitely!!

~~~So not sure why this never got posted, I was cleaning up the blog a bit and saw the big orange words DRAFT next to this post. Something to add to this post though... A few weeks ago, or maybe it was a couple months a friend whom I haven't gotten to know as well as I'd like, we just started getting to know each other and then BAM orders to England, anyway; she sent me a message. Her message was so uplifting and so inspiring, definitely brought on the water works and it's definitely something every mom needs to genuinely hear. Being on the receiving end of one of these messages is so humbling! I had no clue what to say to her other than Thank You.

I have a new favorite song, because I often question why does this matter...

"You're picking up toys on the living room floor for the 15th time today. Matching up socks. Sweeping up lost cheerios that got away.
You put a baby on your hip. Color on your lips and head out the door
While I may not know you, I bet I know you wonder sometimes, does it matter at all?
Well let me remind you, it all matters just as long as you do everything you do to the glory of the One who made you, Cause he made you, To do, Every little thing that you do To bring a smile to His face Tell the story of grace With every move that you make And every little thing you do"
~~One of my fav songs from Steven Curtis Chapman

So after receiving this uplifting message, I am on a mission. I have almost 400 friends on facebook, and hopefully by the end of the year I'll have an awesome blog post to write about. No, I'm not deleting anyone, not yet anyway. I accepted their friend request or sent one of my own for a reason, so instead of "deleting" I am "messaging". :)

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

My Office

Since we're stationed in England and a Home Depot isn't right around the corner, things in the play room are on hold until I can find a place to get the materials I need. So onto the office... :) My office is a tiny room that leads into the master bedroom, naturally it became an office. I want to personalize this space, since when the kids are sleeping I'm usually in here on the computer and/or working on some sort of project. So I am going with black & white, since I just can't get enough of it, with a bit of pink popping out. :) The room is definitely a work in progress, but I am so excited about how it's coming along I have to share!! :)

On our trip to Ikea a couple months ago I picked up a new desk, 2 expedit bookcases, and a magnetic board for the office. I am on the search for fabric & plexi glass to go on top of the desk.

So I found pretty contact paper at a store in town and I covered the magnet board with it. SUPER CUTE!! I'm going to turn pink buttons into magnets to add the pop of pink in the pic, but I love it already.  (Can you believe I don't have a good b&w pic of Elora! Hoping to get a good one next week)

So because the magnet board worked so well I thought
 "Hey let's do the same thing to the cork board!"

BTW those are London Theatre tickets to WICKED!! Taking my 6 yr old next week to see it, can't wait!! :)

I saw on pinterest, somewhere, a picture of a bookcase with the back covered in Fabric, it made a piece of furniture look so different, so I decided to do the same thing. Instead of fabric I chose contact paper in a different b&w pattern. So much easier in my opinion than gluing fabric.
So here's my little corner of the office, right to the left of the book case is the door leading out to the hallway. See my pink button art, love the pop of pink.

I haven't really found the perfect set up for my bookcase, but this will do for now.I have so many tupperware bins full of craft supplies. I'm working on super cute labels, but again I was too impatient to wait so consider this an after & before picture. I got the striped boxes at Ikea, unsure how they'd look in the space, but I really like them for storing all the USB cables & electronic wires, I could actually use a couple more.

Since I ran out of storage boxes, I improvised and used boxes I had around the house, and just used the same contact paper I used for the book shelf to cover the box. Can you guess what kind of box it is....

Any guesses....

Yep!! A Diaper box!! I ran out of contact paper to cover the entire thing so I just covered the fronts for now. I have 2 of these on the expedit bookshelves next to my computer. It still looks a little blah so no pics of the whole thing yet. I'm working on it. :)

So what do ya think of my office so far? I am loving it!!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Menu Board

"Seriously why do they want dinner every single night?" or "It's that lovely time again, Dinner... what is for dinner?" These have been my facebook posts for a while now, with hubby not home for dinner it just made it harder to plan a menu and then stick with it. So after a slump I've decided to stay ahead of this meal called dinner.

After looking at a ton of ideas off Pinterest for Menu Boards, I finally made ours and I really like how it turned out. Even my 6 year old looks at it and announces what is for dinner to her 4 & 2 year old brothers, it's great! So here is what it looks like:

I've FINALLY decided on a color scheme for my kitchen, since the cabinets are white and the counters have a gray & black marble look to it, I've decided to go with gray & yellow as the primary colors. :) So when I made this board I kept those colors in mind.

The overall cost of this project FREE!!! I had all the materials on hand to make it! So here is how I did it:

12x12 scrapbook paper
12x12 piece of Carboard, I just cut a piece from an Amazon box.
1 box of jiffy cornbread, cut in half
7 clothespins
Colored paper to cover the cornbread box
Menu ideas printed onto 1" strips of paper
Days of the week squares
Glue Gun

I used my hot glue gun to glue everything on. First I made a list of all the meals my family likes to eat, and did a search to find a few new recipes that I thought they'd enjoy. Then I went onto Microsoft Word and put them all into 7 different categories and assigned each category a color. I Listed them below along with a picture.  I chose categories that worked best for us, and it just happened to work out that there are 7, so the idea is there won't be any duplicated colors in a week. If it was a crock pot meal I put a tiny (cp) next to it, so I knew where in my recipe box to find it.

Chicken- Gray
Beef/Pork- Green
Fish- Blue
Italian- Red
Mexican- Pink
Misc.- Yellow (dinner out, leftovers, and breakfast meals are in this category)
Sandwiches- Dark Gray

My original idea was to print them out on different colored paper, BUT I didn't have 7 different colors on hand so I "highlighted" them instead. Then I typed out the days of the week and "Menu" and made a thick yellow border around it and printed them all off. Next I cut the Menu Ideas into 1" strips.

 I cut the cardboard box and glued the scrapbook paper on. Then I cut the cornbread box in half and glued yellow paper to it. I glued the days of the week to the clothespins and placed everything on the board to figure out where I wanted to glue everything, once I was satisfied, everything got hot glued on.

The top box contains all the printed out Menu Ideas. The bottom box contains blank paper strips for any new menu ideas along with a pen.

I just used a 3M picture hanging strip and hung it on an empty wall in my kitchen, next to our calendar and the grocery list.

Speaking of... I ALSO made a Grocery check List that is right next to it so when we run out of something I can just check it off as needed. :) I just printed off about 15 and clipped them together. When it's time to go shopping I can just take the list off and there will be others behind it, as it gets low all I have to do is open the document and print more off. I thought about making it all colorful and pretty but then came to my senses and realized it is only a list that I'll have to print off numerous times and will eventually get thrown away. So black and white it is.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Kid's Calendar

Another great pinterest idea! I saw this and knew I wanted to make one for my kiddos. The gal who I got the idea from made this for her 4 children whom she home schools. I do not home school my 3 children, I don't think I would have the patience for it, however I love this for so many reasons. 

1) During the summer my goal is to work with Derek on the areas he struggles with the most; Carpet Time and Social Activities. He makes friend's easily and always talks about them, but he has a hard time knowing when it is time to play and when it is time to listen and also keeping his hands to himself. 
2) When the older 2 go back to school this will be a great way to incorporate pre-school activities with Dylan since it will just be him & I all day. 
3) I added the things that I knew my children would enjoy, but also age appropriate things that they each can do. Like the adding of the school day's this is great for Elora; Colors and Pet great for Dylan; Shapes & Alphabet great for Derek. Then everything else we can all do together.
4) Everything is right there on the calendar, everything needed for the certain calendar activity is on the key ring, no needing to have a seperate storage area to keep up with.

Poster Board        Colored Paper
Laminator & pocket sheets
Calendar activities printed out
25 metal key rings       19 plastic hooks
20 clear thumb tacks(push pins)
Double sided permanent tape

So first I found all the calendar activities that I wanted on our Calendar I got them all from these websites:

Then I printed them out, cut them out, laminated them, cut them out again and hole punched them. Then I put the metal key rings on them. Next I used my double sided tape to tape everything to colored paper that I measured and cut to make a border and give it more color. Then I placed everything on the posterboard and moved things around to make it all fit, once I was happy with that I got busy taping everything down, and adding the plastic hooks. :) Here is a break down of each section.

The Date: Here is a closer picture of it, all the days of the week are on one set of rings, months, day, year are the same. I used the plastic hooks to hang the rings on.
What's the Weather Like Today?                        Each day has a plastic hook and there are a set of 6 cards on each ring and every day the kids will take turns finding what the weather is like for that day. (at the time of the photo I was short 2 key rings so Friday didn't have a set of cards hanging, but there is supposed to be one there) :)
The Temperature- I didn't take an individual picture of this, since you can see it in the first picture. Basically the kids will take turns each day to read the outdoor thermometer and color in with a dry erase marker the actual temperature. Since they attend a British School they will also write it in Celsius and for the sake of their old mom and dad also write it in Fahrenheit. :)

Today, Tomorrow, and Yesterday
I remember when I was younger, like 4. I always struggled with the concept of  yesterday, today, and tomorrow. My children are no exception, I often get asked "When is Tomorrow?" "Are we doing this tomorrow or yesterday?" So I love this little chart, it provides a visual and will hopefully help them understand. It works with the weather chart also, "yesterday it was rainy, what is it today?" 

Days until/In School
I used push pins for this chart, and as you can see in the 1st picture I cut a small piece of white paper and wrote until on it and covered the "In" Since it is summer we are doing a count down of how many days until school starts. Then below that there is space for them to add the days together using hundreds, ten's, and one's. I also have them try to count up to that number. In the 2nd picture you'll see the Days "In" School. (At the time of the photo I was short 2 key rings, there is a set of cards on each pin now.) 
 My Address:
I didn't take an individual picture of this either, since you can see it clearly in the first picture. With this the address and phone number have now been added, I just used a dry erase marker. Since we're living in England the Emergency Number is 999 not 911 so I just printed out my own and put it overtop the 911 that was already on the pdf file I downloaded for this printable.

____ of the week:
 I loved the idea of having a "something" of the week section so I chose things that would be fun for the 6 year old but also things that will help the 2 & 4 year old. In the blog post I originally got the idea from they did ___ of the day; however when the older 2 go back to school it will just be me and little man and if we changed it everyday we'd be done with the cards in 2-4 weeks. So I changed it to weekly, and we'll see how it goes. I made 4 categories; shape, color, animal, and alphabet. For the alphabet I downloaded the body pdf file here: I like the idea that there is an exercise associated with each letter. ALSO with the letter of the week we'll review our Alphabet Bible Verse that is strung along the playroom wall's. So for example;  The calendar activity says to make circles with your Ankle. The bible verse is from Psalm 18:30 As for God his way is Perfect. :)

So there is The Kid's Calendar. They had tons of fun with it this morning, we'll see if the excitement keeps up at least through the summer. :)

Playroom part 2

So my goal was to have the playroom done before the kids got out of school. This didn't happen, however I am very happy with the progress made, and it's almost done!! Here was the list of things to get done...

~Get rid of small pointless toys (2 trash bags worth)
~Organize all toys in new baskets

This is the trofast system from Ikea, it was a little pricey, however it is very sturdy and should last a long time. We used to have the cheap cubbies from Target with the fabric cubes, but the corners of the unit were destroyed in the move and the fabric cubes had so many liquid stains it was gross, and they lost their shape so I knew I was going with plastic this time around. 

~Label all the baskets

Made the labels to match the Alphabet Scripture hanging, and just added pictures.

  ~Paint the table& 2 stools and get 2 new stools for it 

The table and 2 square stools used to be dark blue with Toy Story characters on them, I painted them white and got 2 more stools from Ikea to add to it. It turned out cute. The kids are always playing on it.

~Hang a shelf for our phone center(the only outlet for the Internet & phone is in the corner of the playroom)
~Set up "centers" it works for schools so why not do it at home. (almost done)

WOOHOO! So all I have left are the 2 things mentioned above. I have the shelf for the phone but I need to paint it white and when I finally have the time to do it, it's raining outside. Figures. Then setting up "centers" this is mostly done, all that is left is the reading center, but the bench needs to be finished and once the shelf for the phone is up I can come up with a creative way to store books on the wall. :)

So in addition to the above mentioned:
~Finish the kids reading bench

The white bench on the left, is actually a coffee table from Ikea. I will be getting a piece of wood and 2" foam all cut to the appropriate size, and I have already ordered outdoor fabric(because let's face it, 3 kids ages 2, 4, & 6... outdoor fabric is the way to go) to cover it. Then we'll drill the seat pad onto the coffee table and voila a reading bench for the kids. The opening on the front is a perfect spot for books and then on the side it has enough room for 3 storage bins, YAY more storage for toys!! Except since it is the "reading bench" I might just have baskets full of books!! 

~Hang shelves for the books
~Find a colorful carpet
~Buy 3 more bins for under the bench
~ Hang 3 pictures of the kids 
~Figure out what else to put on the walls

So here are some more pics of the playroom and a few other projects I've done in there. :)
another view of the play room

             Lego Table 
Bought the $8 end table from Ikea and glued Duplo Lego plates onto the top. I chose the Duplo instead of the smaller Lego's for many reasons, when the time comes that we're ready for the smaller Lego's I will just sell this whole set and make another one with the regular small Lego's. :)

 On pinterest I found these Alphabet Bible Verses; turns out a woman makes them and charges $60. Well I had the brilliant idea of making my own and this way I could choose my own verses. I liked the circles so I stuck with that idea, just changed the colors. Here is how it turned out, super cute I think!! I'm also going to incorporate it into our kid's calendar.(another blog post about the calendar to come)

It was more time consuming than I thought it would be, and for some reason Microsoft Word started running really slow, but they are done and I LOVE it.

 My latest project that I just finished is the kid's calendar. I got the idea from pinterest, a mother who home school's her 4 children made this for their "classroom" I LOVED this idea even though I don't home school. One of my goals this summer is to do carpet time and more social school activities with the kids and this is a perfect introduction to that!! Check back soon for more details on the kid's calendar!! :)

 So there ya go!! Super excited about the playroom, it's come a long way. I'm terrible about taking "before" pictures, I never think about it until AFTER the project is done, but trust me this is a huge improvement, I even love playing in there. At the beginning of this whole project the goal was to make the room more useful so the kids would play in it more, who knew that the result of this whole project was that I would play in it and spend more time with my children!! The Blessing is in the SEEDD :)

Monday, June 18, 2012

Perspective part 2

I actually wrote the last post on perspective a couple of weeks ago, didn't add anything to it, just couldn't bring myself to post it until today. I know I'm so cheeky. I just couldn't post it, without having some sort of results. Like I mentioned in part 1, I just can't fail and posting "my dirty laundry" for all to see and then not following through on those resolutions I made for myself... that would be the definition of failure for me.

So I decided all this towards the end of May, and set these resolutions for myself. So far so good!

1 & 2 Keeping the right perspective & choosing Joy- How easy it is to dwell on the nail polish in the carpet, or the sippy cup that has been hiding under a bed and what once was milk is now a solid, or the tantrums of a 2 year old, frustrations of a 4 yr old and sassiness of a 5 yr old. The title of the blog is the blessing is in the SEED, and this right here is all the perspective & joy I need. I have started printing out quotes and bible verses and have them sporadically around the house as a constant reminder that each and every day is a blessing and not to sweat the small stuff :)

3) Organize/Re-decorate the house- This is where a lot of transformations have changed. The garage and backyard were cleaned/organized. The playroom is undergoing a major change and it's almost done, just needs a few more decorative touches to add some color. Expect a post or 2 soon. :) Steve made 2 trips to the recycling centre/landfill. I'm also in the middle of re-doing my office, I'd like to get the playroom done first and then will finish the office. We took a trip to Ikea and also placed an order online for delivery so we got new furniture for both spaces which is why both are being worked on. Since we had to pay a flat rate delivery fee we wanted to get everything that we wanted to save money.

I also created schedules and printed out morning & evening routine charts for the kids. These are so awesome, it's amazing how much of an impact some pictures, and words on a piece of paper makes! :)

So that's what we've been up to for a couple weeks now, we're a bit excited to have started these projects that we've been wanting to do for so long and not just starting them but we're almost done! The feelings of joy, peace, and accomplishment, ahh it's wonderful.

Perspective part 1

After talking with a great friend on the phone and openly admitting that I stress out about stuipid stuff, but let more important stuff pass by; I'm going to try and change that. How the towels are folded, which toys go into which bin, how the dishwasher gets loaded; little things like this bug me. However things like, filing receipts and important papers, putting laundry away, organizing, meal planning, etc. I always put off until the last minute or don't do it at all and instead have piles of paper or laundry(of course behind closed doors or cabinets so the house doesn't appear to be chaotic.)  I should be grateful that the towels are folded, toys are put away, dishwasher is loaded instead of stressing out that it isn't done "right".

"A pebble held close to the eye appears to be a gigantic obstacle. Cast on the ground, it is seen in perspective. Likewise, problems or trials in our lives need to be viewed in the perspective of scriptural doctrine. Otherwise they can easily overtake our vision, absorb all our energy, and deprive us of the joy and beauty the Lord intends us to receive here on earth." Richard G Scott

 I know I'm not the only one who feels this way, or else there wouldn't be best selling books with the title "Don't sweat the small stuff" out there. Unfortunately stressing out about the small stuff does absorb my energy and it does take away my joy, which is so ridiculous! So, it's time for a change. I'm making some "mid year resolutions" :)

-Remember to keep things in perspective, don't sweat the small stuff
-Always choose Joy
-Organize/re-decorate the house
    -I know this isn't exactly with the theme of this post, BUT, your house is a reflection of you, and when you enter your home you should be overcome with feelings of peace and tranquility. This isn't the case for me. I have feelings of eagerness, anxiety, and sometimes of being overwhelmed. I immediately think of what didn't get cleaned or how this room is not how I like it. Decorating and Organizing just got placed on the back burner, I had other priorities and didn't think that taking time and money away from my family to make a room more homier or to organize a cabinet or 2 was as important; lesson learned!

So here I go letting everyone know another of my imperfections, and for a perfectionist with a type A personality, this is hard to type because if I fail, I won't be the only one who knows it. HA

Friday, June 8, 2012

Playroom & Summer

The kids are out of school this week, for half term. Since they are in a British school they get out of school July 20th and start again the 1st week of September. Since their summer break is only 6 weeks compared to 11 like the American Schools have, they have 1-2 week long breaks throughout the year.

So this particular day I woke up to the sound of giggles, and there was a request for pancakes for breakfast. First things first, a cup of coffee. Then I made pancakes with a fresh fruit salad. Afterwards I turned on the British cartoons while I cleaned up from breakfast. We colored some pictures for Daddy. Had another cup of coffee. Kids played with play doh while I started a load of laundry. Pulled out all the supplies for painting, and set that up. Debated on another cup of coffee. Colored some more pictures for daddy then we played hungry hungry hippos; looked at the clock and it was only 9:30 AM. AHHHHH... what are we going to do for 6 weeks while the kids are out of school? It's definitely time for a summer schedule for the sanity of SEEDD we need a schedule.

We have a section of the living room designated as the playroom, my goal over the next month, before the kids are out of school, is to revamp the playroom. My list is as follows:

~Get rid of small pointless toys
~Organize all toys in new baskets
~Label all the baskets
~Paint the table& 2 stools and get 2 new stools for it
~Hang a shelf for our phone center(the only outlet for the internet & phone is in the corner of the playroom)
~Set up "centers" it works for schools so why not do it at home.

If you have any tips or suggestions on how you survive summer, or plan to survive, lol, Throw them my way for sure & I'll be sure to share any ideas I get. :)

Monday, May 21, 2012

A day in the Life

 As a mom to 3 kids 5 and under, everyday things just get in the way. I saw this poem on facebook the other day and it is sooooo spot on:

You Give a Mom a Muffin

If you give a mom a muffin, she'll want a cup of coffee to go with it. She'll pour herself some. Her three-year-old will spill the coffee. She'll wipe it up. Wiping the floor, she will find dirty socks. She'll remember she has to do laundry. When she puts the laundry in the washer, she'll trip over boots and bump into the freezer. Bumping into the freezer will remind her ...she has to plan supper. She will get out a pound of hamburger. She'll look for her cookbook. (101 Things To Make With A Pound Of Hamburger.) The cookbook is sitting under a pile of mail. She will see the phone bill, which is due tomorrow. She will look for her checkbook. The checkbook is in her purse that is being dumped out by her two-year-old. She'll smell something funny. She'll change the two-year-old. While she is changing the two-year-old the phone will ring. Her five-year-old will answer and hang up. She'll remember that she wants to phone a friend to come for coffee. Thinking of coffee will remind her that she was going to have a cup. She will pour herself some. And chances are, if she has a cup of coffee, her kids will have eaten the muffin that went with it.

I've recently been on a "schedule kick" I don't know why I haven't thought of it before, I LOVE schedules always have. So last week I was tired and exhausted, for many reasons but mostly because I didn't feel like I accomplished anything that I wanted to get done. So last Weds. I made and printed off a weekly cleaning schedule for myself; a morning & evening routine for the kids including pictures, and then I sat and scheduled out my entire day. It wasn't until I typed it all out that I realized I do a lot during the day, and just because my to do list grows instead of shrinks doesn't mean I've failed. I realize to some scheduling out your entire day would drive you insane, for me it is doing the opposite.

Just a glimpse of how our day goes:

7:00 AM- Wake up, shower, get ready for day
7:45 AM- Get Kids Up, eat breakfast
8:05 AM- Kids Get dressed, brush teeth, get ready for school
8:25 AM- Take Elora & Derek to School
9:15 AM- Start Daily chores
10:30 AM- Time with Dylan, playing cars, coloring, watching Dinosaur train, whatever he wants to do
11:30 AM- Pick Up Derek from School
12:05 PM- Lunch
12:30 PM- Boys Nap/ More Daily Chores plus free time for mommy which lately has been napping
2:45 PM- Pick up Elora from school
3:30 PM- Snack
3:45 PM- Homework/ organized activity for Kids
4:30 PM- Start dinner; kids get to play outside or if raining TV time
5:30 PM- Dinner
6:00 PM- Clean up from Dinner, kids do chores
6:30 PM- start bedtime routine
7:30 PM- Lights out for kids
7:35 PM- Finish any daily chores
8:30 PM- Time spent with Steve
9:30 PM- Catch up on Facebook, e-mails, prep for next day, watch dvr shows while folding laundry
11:00 PM- Bed :)

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Stonehenge~ Jan 2012

As most of you have seen the pics on Facebook, we went to Stonehenge, and a few other places. However you don't know the entire adventurous story. I think the motto for that day was simply quoted by Dory in the movie Finding Nemo "Just keep Swimming."
It was a chilly day, but nothing compared to Minot. We left at 7:30 AM and started our 3 hour drive. The kids were great the entire ride, when we arrived at Stonehenge we ate our picnic lunch. We received a membership to English Heritage as a gift from Steve's mom and family so we didn't have to pay to enter. The entrance to Stonehenge is actually across the street and you walk through an underground tunnel and come out the other side, the kids thought this was soo cool. The ground was very wet, and there was about 2 inches of mud, we hadn't realized that there wasn't a paved walkway around, so we had to trek with the 2 kids and push Dylan in the stroller through the mud. "Just keep swimming"

 Elora wanted to push Dylan in the stroller, but with all the mud and there were so many people there we said no. She had lost her mind, it was so bad we had to give her a time out on one of the benches, for 5 minutes until she finally calmed down. "Just keep swimming"

We also saw a few other things that were in the area, we figured if we were going to drive 3 hours we better make the most of the day. We forgot to get extra pounds from the ATM so when we tried to find parking near the cathedral it was too much for what we had on us, so we parked quite a ways away in a 2 hr parking spot. "Just keep swimming"

After all the sites, everyone was hungry but we had a long drive back so we decided to get McDonalds, which by the way if you haven't had European McDonalds it is DELICIOUS! We plugged it into our GPS which took us right into the center of the city, there was no parking of course so I hopped out and ran into the restaurant to order our food. Placed the order... they don't accept swipe cards, I only had 5pounds so, had to cancel my order and just got 4 burgers. "Just keep swimming"

Overall the day was great, we got the chance to see a ton of neat stuff and had tons of fun with the kids, even with all the unexpected events. Enjoy the pics :)
HAHA SO I'm going through some of my blog posts and noticed this draft, I never published it because I was still in the mentality of "my kids aren't perfect but noone else has to know that!" Yeah what a difference a year makes!! After hearing Derek's evaluation and then reading this, things make so much more sense now. So here's the unedited blog post from July 2011.

A comedian by the name of Anita Renfroe has a theory called the "room in da womb" theory. With the 1st baby, there is not a whole lot of room in there so they are over achievers, and must fight for every inch in there. With baby #2... "Hey look at this, it's kind of comfy in here, but wait it looks like there was someone in here before me hey that's not fair! And I'm going to tell her it's not fair for the rest of my life!" Baby #3 "Hey look at this, there is tons of space in here, I'm loving this, I'm just going to relax in here!"
This description fits my children perfectly! The personality of Son #2 is wearing me down lately. Derek is definitely his own person, which I'm sure I will be very happy about when he is a man and with a family of his own, but right now I would say he is definitely my strong willed child. Terrible Two's... no way, that was easy! How old is that saying anyway, because every mom of boys I know has agreed that it should be called the Terrible Three's!

Today we went bowling with a group of other mom's and their children, we know them very well. Before we entered the building we went over all the rules. "We will be on our best behavior, we will not eat here except for some cupcakes so do not ask because my answer will be no! Do you understand what I said, please repeat it!" Oldest child, "yes mom I will be very good and won't bug you or ask you any questions." Middle Child, "yes mom." My response... "ok what did I say?" "umm... what?" So I proceed to explain again but this time using 10 words or less... ok repeat what I said. "K Mama!" Sigh... ok just going to settle for that.

We are all having a great time, except for the high pitched screams coming from child#3 who is always content until he's out of food and then he'll let you know. By frame 4 "Mama, I'm hungry! I'm hungry! Mama, Mama, Mama!" After I told him no about 20 times, he decided to take a friends snack, another little girl saw this and didn't like that he had her snack and tried to take it from him to give it back. Derek was not having this he proceeded to push, slap, and pull her hair to get her away from the snack pack that he had a death grip on. Yes... this is my son. I grabbed all 3 of my children and left the bowling alley mortified and cried the entire way home.

This is the same son, who sneaks things into his bed that we have no clue where he even gets them from like purple puffy paint, magazines, straws, juice boxes(we never have juice boxes in the house), snacks, and of course dino's. Sigh... some day he will grow out of this... someday!

Derek's Evaluation

After 2 months of waiting, even though it has felt a lot longer than that, Derek had his evaluation today. The e-mail we received said it could last from 1 to 3 hours, it only lasted 45 minutes. Now most people wouldn't complain about that, and I'm not; exactly. When I arrived Steve was walking out of the classroom with Derek, they had already talked to him and given them their findings, the only thing left was some paperwork that Steve didn't know the answers to such as; when did your child first; roll over, crawl, walk, say a pronoun... etc, you know all the questions that only a mom of one child would know the answers to off the top of her head.

I asked how everything went and what we do from here? This was the response I received "Your son is a very polite smart little boy, who loves dinosaurs! Honestly, from reading your e-mail we were prepared for a handful but he did everything we asked without hesitation and was very sweet."

"He has an issue processing big sentences. This could be why he struggles in big group settings, because there are too many details being thrown at him and his brain can't process it all, it goes into overload and that's why he melts down. He is frustrated because he knows he's supposed to do something but he doesn't understand any of it. So when talking with him use smaller sentences and do things in steps. Such as please pick up the book; once he has done that then say Go put the book on the shelf; then when he's done ask him to Come sit down. Most cases we would normally say Ok go pick up the books put them on the shelf and when you've finished that come sit on the carpet."

They tested his general & fine motor skills. He scored perfectly on the general motor skills, like jumping, running, hopping, etc. However he only scored 20/60 on his fine motor skills, things like the way he holds a crayon to color, a pencil to write, cutting paper, holding a fork etc.

Derek saw a speech therapist and she said he was right where he needs to be for his age, so no problems there. He also had his hearing and vision checked, passed that with no problems.

Where we go from here? They have 45 days to get back to us and set up a consultation meeting to discuss what they have found, what they think needs to be done, and set up any referrals for treatment, therapy etc.

So we will just wait. I expected to hear a little more of the results today, and was a little disappointed that we could wait up to 45 days, but I think about where Derek was when he first started school to where he is now. He has grown so much in these 5 months. He now has best friends that are excited to see him. We went to a festival on Saturday and surprisingly there were about 5 of his school buddies there, every time we'd go to a new booth, or area of the festival there was one of Derek's friends and they would growl at each other and chase each other around us, typical boy stuff. Usually though it's Elora who runs into so many friends, it was very surprising and I was excited for him!

We have only received one bad report from school in the past 5 months, compared to his first 3 weeks when we were being pulled aside EVERY day after school. So things are coming along, taking each day as it comes.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

School Musical

As this school term ends, Elora's class has been working hard at their end of the term play. They performed the Gingerbread Man and when the teachers asked the students "who would like a speaking part?" Elora rose her hand and then she "auditioned" since she projected the loudest and had such enthusiasm she was cast as the Little Old Lady. Everyday Elora came home reciting her lines and the lines of the other students as well. We didn't realize until we saw the play yesterday that she has the biggest part. She had the most lines and the most acting on stage.

Elora with her "boyfriend" Aaron, he was a narrator
She was in her element, when they would run off stage to chase the gingerbread man she would pass us and never once broke character. She is soooo dang cute!! I only recorded the scenes that Elora was in, and once again it took all night for the videos to load but here they are. After Elora's scene, the gingerbread man encountered some donkey's & some horses and then the fox. They are supposed to be in High Definition but they aren't on my computer, hopefully they are on yours, Enjoy :)

Gingerbread Man part 1
Gingerbread Man part 2
Gingerbread Man part 3
Gingerbread Man part 4
Gingerbread Man part 5
Gingerbread Man part 6 (this was the very end of the play & I didn't know Elora was up again so I missed the beginning trying to get my camera ready, but basically she decided to bake another gingerbread man and put him the oven... then the video shows the rest)

Wednesday, March 28, 2012


Elora has discovered her talent and what she really enjoys. Musical Theatre. After only attending a brand new school in a foreign country for 2 weeks she decided she wanted to join singing squad, an after school chorus program. She never really talked about it much, but was always singing the songs she learned. As long as she wanted to go and enjoyed it, was all that mattered to me.

Yesterday she had her first performance. I got to attend the rehersal at their school and then Steve went to the city wide chorus concert last night. They sang 5 songs and I took video of them all at the rehersal, for some reason over here in England it takes an extremely long time for videos to upload so after 24 hrs they are all done, you can see them below.

To answer the 1st question; YES that is Elora that you hear above everyone else! LOL. 2nd comment, yes Elora was directly in the middle and the instructor stood in front of her and blocked the view, but I moved so the last 2 songs you can see her very well! :)

I wasn't completely shocked at her performance you may remember seeing videos of her at 2, 3, & 4 singing VBS songs. She was hilarious and had everyone laughing. Afterwards a mum told me she's going to be a star! This morning as I was walking Derek & Elora to their classes, I had about 4 different parents tell me how Brilliant Elora was and that she stole the show last night; the entire audience went mad they almost couldn't finish their performance, lol. So enjoy all the video's :) We are very proud of our little Star!!

London's Burning
April Showers
Australian song bird
Head, Shoulders, Knees, & Toes
Busy Body

Monday, March 26, 2012


I can't believe my baby is 2!! I keep telling him he's not allowed to grow, he has to stay my little baby boy forever, he smiles and says "Noooooo!" Which is his new favorite word, he answers No to everything, even if the answer is yes, he still says No. I don't remember his brother or sister liking that word so much. Another word he likes is Dummy. Yep... that cute little blonde blue eyed boy says it in the right context. He used to call Steve & I that when he'd get upset with us, but after spending numerous 1.5 minute timeouts and explanations that it's ok to be upset but not to call us mean names, he now resorts to calling his cars dummies when he gets frustrated at something. In England, they call their pacifiers, Dummy's. So what I've been doing the past couple of days when he says it is distract him by saying "what you want a dummy?"Then I give him his Binky, he's all confused but it's working!

We had his 2 year check up today at the Dr's and he weighs 24.6 lbs and is 33" tall. How does he go from 6 lbs 10 oz to 24.6!! He's a normal little boy, obsessed with cars & dino's. He loves playing outside and the weather has been gorgeous in the low 60's. He has stopped signing since he is speaking more, he's saying 2-3 word sentences now. Dylan still loves to snuggle & read books, when Elora & Derek are gone to school he wants to read OR watch "HOWWW" aka House. We swear he's going to be a Dr when he grows up he'll sit and watch a good 15 mins of it and then he'll go off and play but when he hears the music for the end of the show he'll come running "Howw ober! OBER!," and grab the remote to try to change it to the next show.

We just had his 2nd Birthday Party and it was a construction theme, he had a great time playing with the stuff, I'll post pics and details in a diff post. :) With all the news about Derek, I felt I had to post something about the other 2 :)

Dylan is such a sweet little boy and I thank God every day for surprising us with such an awesome Blessing :)