Monday, December 16, 2013

Canning Shelves Done!

This winter we were hoping to get some inside projects done.  Our new wood stove boiler unit has taken up so much of Jonathon's time that we haven't gotten around to other projects quite yet.  Hopefully, he's learning how to best control the boiler, so that it works properly, and the rest of the winter will be smooth sailing with it.  At least we have good wood heat and can enjoy staying warmer without the extra expense of gas.  Thankful!

One of the projects I would like to get done is the whole basement organized.  Lofty?  Maybe.  My first desire was to have some shelves built at the bottom of the stairs for  my canned goods.  It makes it easier for the children to run down and fetch something for me if it's neat and easy to see what's what.  I suggested inviting my dad over to help with this job, so we set aside a day and the job got done.  Here are the pictures of that project.

The girls snuggly watching a movie together.  Saphira is trying to stand up by herself.  She is finally starting to walk on her own.  Still slow moving about it, but practicing more.  

 The beginning measurements were taking place.  
The boys enjoyed helping the men and using their tools too.

Shelves are finished and painted!

What a wonderful space for my canned goods and supplies!  I am so thankful for these shelves.

One area done in the basement.  We have some other shelves down there, but I just have to figure out what should go where and how to arrange it all.  Too bad it takes so much time.  One day at a time.  Today, I have laundry, schooling, piano lessons, and my herbs to crush down and jar up.  We'll see if I get time to squeeze in some organizing.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Sewing Party for Diella's 10th Birthday!

It's known in our family that when a child turns 10, there will be a party.  I don't like to do parties for everyone for every birthday.  It just seems like a little much for me.  I think living a whole decade in our family is a big deal though, so I try to do something special to celebrate it. 

Diella picked her theme and came up with some of the ideas too.  It was fun working with her to get her party ready.  She really enjoys sewing and has been wanting a sewing basket for quite some time.  We went shopping and after looking through actual sewing baskets, she decided that they just wouldn't hold enough of her stuff.  We ended up getting creative and found that tackle boxes have lots of little compartments and plenty of space for all of her goodies.  Sewing basket found, now we're ready for the party! 

This table was set up with lots of goodies.  Our party favor bags on the end were ready to be decorated, the papers in the center were awaiting to be filled out, and the jar on the end with buttons was a little game for the girls to guess how many were in there.  The winner got to keep the button filled jar.  

 This paper said, "Diella is "sew" special because......
The girls were to fill the center with things that made Diella a special person.  They were really cute!

 How many buttons do you think were in this jar?

 Grandma Deborah made these hoops for decorations.  Diella picked out what she wanted it to say and the flowers and colors to go on them.  She is a girl who know what she's likes.

 With fabric paint, the girls decorated their party favor bags.

 Creativity ran wild at this party!

 They each got their own drink with a button top lid. 

 Cake pops that were supposed to look like spools of thread.  I should have made the balls look more like a ball of yarn.

 A simple snack to start the party while the girls were busy with their projects.

 Fun pages to color and a word search that was all about sewing.

 A great group of girls!

 The last project was sewing felt initials onto felt.  We also provided the pieces for girls to make flowers too.  Felt flower petals, leaves, buttons, and initials ended up making this hoop project very cute!  They had so much fun being creative with these.  Great job girls!

 Forgot to mention that Diella wanted this to be a girl and her mom party.  No boys allowed.  I think we all enjoyed not having the rowdy boys running around.  I think we'll have to do this more often.  :)

 Their finished hoops.  So adorable!

 Time for gifts.  If the girls wanted to bring a gift, we asked that it be something that she can put in her sewing basket.  Such fun things they brought to help fill her basket.  

We are so blessed to have such a great group of girls who enjoy the simple things in life.  I love that they all enjoy playing simple things and hanging out doing imaginative and creative stuff.  I pray they all continue to walk in righteousness as they grow older.

Blessings to you Diella!  I pray you have many more decades in our family!  Oh, and if you guessed how many buttons were in the jar, the answer was 92!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Field Trip Day with Grandma Linda!

We haven't done a field trip for awhile, and it was time to take a break from the books and get out to see some fun stuff.  We called Grandma Linda and asked her if she'd like to plan a day around her area of educational fun.  So, on Friday we set out for some good fun with Grandpa Ron and Grandma Linda.  

Our first stop was to an Earth and Space Museum.  Now if you drove by the building, you would never know what kind of a gem was inside.  This store/museum called The Joshua Tree was filled with very ornate gift items, but also with gems, fossils, and amazing artifacts.  Diella took along the gem that we found a couple years ago on a beach.  The girl working said she thought it looked like an amethyst.  That was fun for Diella.  The children really enjoyed this stop and took home some little souvenirs. 

We then went to Grandma Linda's for lunch.  She pulled out her plastic tub of gems and stones that were a collection of her daddy's.  The children enjoyed going through all of them and picking out a few to take home.  

Our next stop was a delicious one!  The South Bend Chocolate Factory gave a wonderful tour with delicious samplings.  I actually remembered to take my camera in, so I have some photos to share with you.  Enjoy!

 One sleeping baby and our crew waiting to start the tour.

 We got the "inside scoop" and boy was it a good one!

 Time to wear our chocolate hats.

 Surprisingly, Saphira loved wearing her chocolate hat.  She made sure I saw her with it on.

 Now those are big Kitchen Aids.  : )

 Sampling time!

 We all got to dip spoons in chocolate to take home.

We toured their museum of chocolate artifacts and watched a movie in their mini theater.  Before leaving we all bought some yummy chocolatey treats and then ended our day.  What a fun day!  Thank you to Grandpa Ron and Grandma Linda for the wonderful time spent and the fun that was had!

Celebrating Casie and Yahkiyn

We do enjoy celebrating big events around here...well, little ones too.  This Celebration was for my dear, sweet friend, Casie Brothers and her new little guy, Yahkiyn.  I decided to go with a "Smothered In Love" theme.  Wasn't really sure how that should look, but what we ended up with seemed to be just perfect.  I included a few pictures here, but if you'd like to see more of the decorative details and order of the Celebration, you can see those pictures over at our CeLeBrations blog.

 I am beyond blessed with great sister friends!  

Monday, December 2, 2013

Murphy Family Pictures

We spent Thanksgiving being thankful for our family.  Spent some time with the big Bovee clan, then headed to Shipshewana to eat, take pictures and play games with my family.  Some how, all the pictures we took at their house got deleted.  Since I wanted to take advantage of some fabulous FREE deals on photo cards and prints, I needed these pictures done by the 30th.  So, the next day my parents came over to help me get ready for a Celebration and take more pictures.  Maple Woods seemed like a good meeting spot for pics and is such a lovely, quiet setting.  

Trying to look like we weren't freezing, we started taking pictures.  The biggest challenge is Benaiah and Saphira.  After awhile you just have to give up on Saphira, because she doesn't really get the whole look at the camera, smile pretty, sit still, thing.  But Benaiah, he understands, but has a hard time doing all of those things.  Imagine that.  : )  Jonathon would set the timer, then run to his position.  I would snap my fingers toward the camera so Saphira would be looking at it at least, then quickly put my hand down before the flash went off.  It's a process.    

 In this picture, Benaiah is excitedly pointing at something.  As we are all focused on the job of looking at the camera, Benaiah is clearly not focused on the same thing.  Instead, he is focused on the deer that he spotted running through the woods in front of us.  The funny things is, he actually asked us on the way to Maple Woods if we would see a buck there.  We said we didn't know but figured we wouldn't.  How fun for him to spot one....not a buck, but a very large doe.  It just added to our photo experience.  Okay, take 2....actually this was not 2, but maybe 9.  : )
 Yay, a fabulous picture!  Benaiah forgot the "smile" part, but at least he isn't looking silly or off into the distance for more deer.

What a beautiful family I have and am thankful for!  Yahweh has blessed me so much!  I pray this for my children for generations to come!

Now where did we leave our coats!!!!! 

Blessed Momma!

Why am I posting a picture of a scrabble board?  Well, click on the picture to make it bigger and look at the scores.  Every day the children take turns getting either 30 minutes of computer time, special treat, or 30 minutes of special mom time.  This day was Josiah's special mom time, and he chose to play a game of scrabble with me.  Yes, it went beyond 30 minutes, but I had time that day...or at least made time for it.  I guess there is a difference.  

Jonathon happened to get home early from work and also decided to take time and play with us.  He didn't complete the game, and handed his play over to Alegra, but up until these plays in the picture, it was Josiah, Jonathon, and me playing.  

Just for the record I did end up winning the game, but Josiah did so well keeping up with everyone.  It was a close one.  I'm learning that my children are smarter than I think they are, have a great vocabulary because of all the reading they do, and can come up with things that amaze me.  Josiah started the game off with the word "toxic".  He used his blank to make the "T".  How did his just 8 year old brain figure this out so easily?  He also came up with the word "monkey" that earned him 40 some points in the one play.  Yeah, I've decided he doesn't need help with this game any more.  

What a joy it is to know that I am the one teaching my children these things.  What a joy it is to see them grow and change in so many ways right before my eyes.  What a joy it is to watch them use their knowledge and understanding up to this point in ways that can help them in the long wrong.  What a blessed momma I am!  What a blessing it is to go through this journey with these particular children that God has bestowed to me.  I don't want to take them for granted at all!!!!

Be thankful for your children.  Be thankful for each day you get to spend with them.  Be thankful for each time you have to get up with them when they are sick.  Be thankful for each time you get to rejoice with them for their accomplishments.  Be thankful for the times when consoling is necessary.  Being thankful for their lives today!