Thursday, January 22, 2015

{pretty, happy, funny, real}

Linking up with the lovely ladies of Like Mother, Like Daughter today for {pretty, happy, funny, real}.



Some of my recent fabric acquisitions. There is a wide world of fabric out there, friends, all accessible so easily via the internet. It is very dangerous. These pretties are both limited edition collections from Art Gallery Fabrics (my favorite!) and this picture doesn’t do them justice at all. The top is Gleeful by Sew Caroline, and the bottom is Priory Square by Katy Jones.

Just adding to my stash, and my long list of projects!




Seeing these kids all cuddled up together really does make me happy. Veronica is a great big sister! Sebastian is getting to be chunky, and that is a typical Momo pose if I ever saw one.






The cheeks! The expressions! He has lots of both. This guy cracks me up.

Also, it is very hard to get a good picture in our poorly lit house whilst baby is bouncing all over in the jumperoo. Blurry to the max.




This child. Oh, this child. Here she is, holding in her little hands two stolen meatballs that she had hidden in her nightstand. From the previous night’s dinner. She must have stolen them right out from under my nose while I was cooking. Ariadne, counter-surfer extraordinaire.

{pretty, happy, funny, real}, capturing the context of contentment in everyday life, every Thursday at Like Mother, Like Daughter.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Secret Eating

This morning I caught Ari red-handed with these meatballs.



She snagged them from the counter last night while I was cooking and hid them in the drawer of her nightstand.

Because who knows when you’ll need a high protein snack?

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Meal Planning, A Habit for 2015

I’ve done meal planning on and off over the years, sometimes more successfully, sometimes less. I’ve certainly noticed that the times I keep up with it are less stressful because I have one less thing to think about. The meal preparation still needs to be done, but the decision-making does not. And that makes a big difference in my day.

In the past I’ve used a spreadsheet to keep my meal plan, but there were a couple of big flaws in that system for me. First, I had to sit at the computer to use it. And that meant distraction became a huge temptation. Sometimes before I knew it, I had frittered away my meal planning time doing any number of other things. The other problem was visibility. My meal plan was never readily accessible in the kitchen, which is one place where I really needed to see it.



When my sister-in-law gave us this menu board as part of our Christmas gift, I knew it would be a perfect way to get back in the habit of planning. It takes care of the two big flaws I mentioned above – I don’t have to use the computer and it lives in the kitchen where I see it regularly. In addition, it’s portable, so I can sit at the table with the grocery ads and get my shopping list done simultaneously. And it’s flexible, so meals can easily be switched around or substituted as needed. That aspect came in handy when I was hit with the double whammy of nasty cold plus mastitis. Having a couple of easy second-string meals lined up meant I could languish on the sofa in peace. Haha, just kidding. I have five kids. But at least I didn’t have to worry about dinner.

What a thoughtful gift, right? I’ve been using it for two weeks now and it’s been a huge success!

Do you meal plan? What system works for you?

Monday, January 12, 2015

A 2015 Reading List

Some things I noticed popping up a lot around the beginning of January were people’s lists of books to read this year. I have never been that intentional about what I read, just moving from one thing to whatever seemed interesting next, and when I saw this 2015 Reading Challenge from Modern Mrs. Darcy I decided to do it.

You’ll notice I have more than one book listed for some most categories. That’s either because I couldn’t decide between them, or because the book I chose is part of a series and I need to read the preceding books first.

A book you’ve been meaning to read: Pope Awesome and Other Stories by Cari Donaldson. I bought this book last year and promptly misplaced it. This year I’m going to find it and read it!

A book published this year: Mr. Kiss and Tell (Veronica Mars 2) by Rob Thomas and Jennifer Graham. Which means first I must read The Thousand Dollar Tan Line (Veronica Mars 1). I became a Veronica Mars fan in a major stream-fest last year so I was excited to see there are books in addition to the show and movie.

A book in a genre you don’t typically read: Bossypants by Tina Fey and Yes, Please by Amy Poehler. The genre I don’t typically read being non-fiction. It’s not that I don’t EVER read it, just not often. I am a fan of both of these funny ladies so I have high hopes of enjoying their memoirs.

A book from your childhood: Little Women by Louisa May Alcott and Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery. Both classics that I remember enjoying.

A book your mom loves: The Soul Sanctified, which is more of a devotional, but I plan on including it in my prayer time. She just happened to give us a copy (thanks, Mom!), so I’m ready to go.

A book that was originally written in a different language: The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexander Dumas. I liked the movie but my husband said I need to read the book, so I am taking his advice.

A book “everyone” has read but you: Unplanned by Abby Johnson. I really do think most people I know have read this, and I haven’t yet. Another possibility is What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty, which I have seen mentioned by several of my favorite bloggers. On the internet, several sure feels like everyone, so.

A book you chose because of the cover: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. It looks intriguing, and the description just makes it sound more so. Also, Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles Book 1) by Marissa Meyer. It was actually the upcoming Lunar Chronicles book, Fairest, that caught my eye, but I must start at the beginning.

A book by a favorite author: Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury and The Ball and the Cross by G.K. Chesterton. Two of my favorite authors, two books I haven’t read yet.

A book recommended by someone with great taste: The Once and Future King by T.H. White and Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susana Clark. Both of these were recommended by Haley of Carrots for Michaelmas on her list of books that have stuck with her, so they should be great!

A book you should have read in high school: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. How I’ve never read this, I don’t know.

A book that’s currently on the bestseller list: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. Heard of the book, heard of the movie, decided to see what the hype is about.

And that’s it! My plan is to read most of them (I’ve started Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell already), but some I will listen to whilst cooking, cleaning, quilting, etc. We’ll see how I do!

What do you have plans to read this year?

Saturday, January 10, 2015

7 Quick Takes, Blog Revival Edition

What do you know, here I am blogging again, and it’s only been a couple of weeks since the last time.

Today I’m linking up with Kelly at This Ain’t the Lyceum for some 7 Quick Takes fun.


The other night, Paul sent Ariadne to the kitchen so I could wipe her face. She came in saying “Please, I can’t live like this!”



The girls have been into putting on plays this week. Today’s installment was St. George and the Dragon.



St. George. “Do I look a knight, Mom?”



The damsel. Not in much distress, apparently.



January means this guy is 4 months old!



I thought it called for a mom-and-baby selfie.



Being 4 months old, Sebastian graduated to sitting in this some of the time.



When you have four older sisters, you have to endure the pink faux-bumbo. Please note the awesome old man hair.



The girls all really love their little brother, and are usually eager to help take care of him.



For example, here is Veronica teaching him Bible stories (how the pattern blocks fit into this, I’m not sure) while Jacinta attempts a swaddle. Or something.



Moira has discovered a love of dressing up, just like her older sisters.



Much fairy. So fashion. Wow.



But sometimes tragedy strikes in the midst of fun, and the shoes just won’t stay on.



Finally, because we all know how much I like pictures of sleeping children.



That about sums it up.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

12 in 2014

I’m dusting off the old blog to join in with Dwija’s 12 in 2014! It may be hard to re-cap the year since I haven’t been keeping up with things here, but I’ll give it a shot.



This is a great representation of January for me. Right after last Christmas we found out that Sebastian was on the way, and the ensuing pregnancy fatigue threw us into survival mode, big time. Apparently it is contagious.



In spite of needing much more sleep just to function, we kept trucking forward with homeschooling. The girls kept busy with activities like Little Flowers Club, P.E. and catechesis, while at home we worked more on the basics. Throughout the year Veronica has really come a long way with reading, and can read some things on her own now. Gotta instill that book love!


March (2)

March was…kind of a blur. There were a couple of birthdays, including mine (Ash Wednesday for the win…not) and Jacinta’s. And my mom broke her elbow in spectacular fashion, ouch, but I’ll be honest. I don’t seem to remember much else about March. We did grow some lovely California Poppies in the yard, and Ariadne was so excited that she immediately picked the first one. For me, of course.



April was full of activity! We had a visit around Easter from Paul’s grandmother, who shares a name with Veronica. There were parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins thrown in the mix, so many good times were had. In the thick of it, Moira turned one.



In May I became a drink mixologist! Just kidding. But I did win a create-a-cocktail contest given by Jennifer Fulwiler upon release of her book, Something Other Than God. It doesn’t get much better than relaxing by the pool with a good book and a refreshing beverage. For a few minutes, anyway.



This year has revealed Ariadne’s gremlin side in full force. I came upon scenes like this many a time, and the victims included a pound of bacon, canisters of salt, a container of peppercorns, bottles of soap, a tube of toothpaste, bottles of nailpolish (nooooooo!), infinite cups of water, drawers of clothes (repeatedly), and a bag of flour, as pictured above. Nothing is safe. Nothing.



One of the girls’ favorite shows this year has been Wild Kratts. I mean, who wouldn’t love to be an animal rescuer for a living? Veronica is convinced that it is her calling in life. For her birthday I made her some creature power suits so she can live the dream. Activate! July also saw the start of our monsoon season, which turned out to be crazy this year.



August. Oh, August. Final month of pregnancy, if that gives you an idea how August went. This was me, locked outside of my running car. But not locked out of my house, and sans kids, thankfully. Our chandelier also fell out of the ceiling, somehow without hurting anyone or breaking. So I guess August was the month of disasters that weren’t disasters. And ice cream.



Then, this guy! Oh, this guy. What a charmer. Sebastian held out until the beginning of September, and boy were we glad when he arrived. Nature celebrated by giving Phoenix a 100-year flood about five days after he was born. It’s amazing how much bigger he is now than when I took this picture. Good eating, good sleeping, many times beloved, much smiling guy.



And then came October, when Moira broke her ankle. Newborn plus gimpy toddler makes one tired momma. She did eventually learn to hobble around on the boot, which was hilarious, and earned her the title of Bootleg the Pirate on Halloween. But we were all glad to see it go at the end of the month. And then I broke my little toe.



Technically this picture was taken in December, but a good bit of the work was done in November, so. Quilting is something I’ve tried to devote more time to this year, which can sometimes be a challenge with five young kids. But I had some great finishes anyway and I plan on keeping at it. This was my first attempt at half square triangles and it was very satisfying to learn something new. November saw Paul turn 40, and of course we celebrated by playing a little Magic the Gathering. Well I played a little. He played a lot.



And that brings us to December! Definitely a contender for busiest month of the year. Ariadne turned three and I had fun making the pink dragon cake that she asked for. Mid-month we went with my parents up north to cut our own Christmas tree and it ended up snowing. A lot. Which was incredibly fun for the kids, most of whom had never been in snow before. And naturally the holiday prep and holiday celebrating and holiday clean up has consumed quite a bit of our time. But along with that are the fun times spent with friends and family, and for that we are all very grateful.

I don’t know whether I’ll manage to get back into blogging for the coming year or not, but you can always check in with me on Facebook or Instagram.

Merry Christmas, and I hope you have a great New Year!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine’s Day


February 14 2014 026

This is Veronica’s gift to me on Valentine’s Day. She picked them herself.