Friday, December 31, 2010

Goodbye 2010

Thank goodness this year is over! I am so done with 2010, its played out. It has been one heck of a roller coaster ride (Have I mentioned how much I hate roller coasters? no? O well consider it mentioned!) I am relieved that the new year is starting with new promises in it.

Here is a pictorial look back at some of my most cherished moments of 2010... There was some good in there, not a ton but some. ;)
selling girl scout cookies

Getting caught in the rain

Glass Beach Fort Bragg California

our anniversary in Fort Bragg

The Pacific ocean after a storm

Vietnam Vet memorial

My love escorting the Senator who wrote the bill

our actual anniversary
The sign says it all 

Jason singing to us

My beautiful daughter & I @ the concert

The main attraction

The Last Rodeo Brooks & Dunn

Big foot

Cheese factory mmm

Amethyst @ gem & mineral shop

The Jeffers clan 

Camping in the redwoods

we went here.
The kids on confusion hill

Labor day parade, my beauty in front with the flag. 

Christmas tree hunting.

My what a year its been! I am looking forward to 2011 and all the wonderful adventures that we are going to get. I hope that you all have a fantastic ringing in of the new year and that your year to come is blessed with all the good you can imagine. I hope that the bad is overshadowed by all the great and that you can see the good times even in those bad ones.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas Ornaments

 So I wanted to post a pictorial of directions for how to make this years ornaments but I have not gotten them done yet. I made two different ones so far. They were examples for the girl scout troop but were lots of fun to make and my kids loved them! We also had another ornament planned for this years special ornament making event. We will likely get it done in the next day or so but for today here is a look at the ones I made for my daughters girl scout troop.

Penguin on a sled snow globe ornament

Snowman Snow globe ornament

The Wish list
We modified the wish list a little by adding the child's name to the top before the word wish list and then asking children what they wanted on their list.

these were a lot of fun to make. I must say putting the pictures in my blog today though was not so much fun! blogger kept putting all my pictures at the top of my page before all my words. I hate it when this happens and I have to keep editing my HTML just to get the pictures where I want them.

Off to do some fun things with the kiddos now... we are off to the Library! :)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

A most UnUsual Christmas thus far

Well 1/2 of my finals are finished! This is a great relief to me, the hardest final is out of the way. The other one while, I know will be difficult, does not have me in knots the way the essay one did.

So with that relief in my mind I thought I would tell you a bit about whats going on in my life besides Finals at school.

My other half is away for the first time in our history together, he wont be here for Christmas. This has taken some real getting used to. He will be home a few days later.  So to attempt to have some of the same traditions that have become so dear to our family we started early! Never in my life have we gone the day after Thanksgiving to get our Christmas tree but it was the only weekend we had the chance to do it where my mate would be able to join us.  We have made a tradition of going and cutting down our own tree at a sustainable natural growing Christmas tree farm. We have gone to the same one for 5 years now, Mountain View Christmas tree farm has beautiful trees and a wonderful fire pit to warm yourself by after you hike their 6 acre farm. Since we are staying with friends they joined us and we had a blast searching high and low for our 7 1/2 foot Douglas Fir tree.
going up the hill first to search for our tree
No matter how big they get, they still want dad's warmth
The whole gang together, that is an antique sleigh!

The Tree got dressed up in all sorts of home made finery. The tree has the theme of family this year. We have family ornaments from both families.

A few short days later we had to take the Mr to the Airport. He is gone doing some training for the Marine Corps and we miss him lots. We did take the opportunity to take a family photo together the morning we were leaving.
I love this photo for many reasons, but mostly because its just us loving each other a little.

That Dashing Marine is mine, those are our 4 beautiful kids who we are blessed to have. Maybe tomorrow I will get to share some craftiness with all of you.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Its Finals Week

Its Finals this week for my 2 college classes. Of course this is the week that I come down with the mother of all Migraines! Everything I have done both naturally and in pill form has not gotten rid of the headache. I need to find some relief so that I can study for these finals and get them out of the way.

Once these finals are done I can get some really cute blogs going. I have some great blogs that are in my brain, Christmasy blogs even. Blogs all about our traditions. Blogs about our adventures, o yes we have had a few. Blogs about the changes going on in our lives. Blogs about fun things to do with your kids this time of year. See I have many wonderful tails to tell... If only I had more time to tell them in!

Now to get rid of this MIGRAINE so I can think! Any suggestions?

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Teaching Independence?

Is this something we really teach or is it a way of life that some have and others lack?

I have always felt that my most important job as a parent is to guide my children into adults. I believe that children only become responsible when given responsibilities and given the support to do the task at hand.

I have always facilitated my children's independence. In every little thing they do I am encouraging independence in their lives.

Some of the ways I do this are to start them out very early. As toddlers I encouraged them to pick up their own toys as soon as they were done playing with them. We kept a basket in the living room with all their toys in it and they could play with them whenever they wanted but when they were done all the toys had to be picked up and put back. As they got older we increased the responsibilities according to their age and ability.

At this stage I have very independent children. Sometimes this is bad for me as the parent, but then I remind myself that it simply means I am doing my job very well. My job is to make adults, not create big babies.

I have come to realize that not everyone holds my ideals, not every parent thinks or understands that their biggest job is to raise healthy functioning adults. I am amazed that there are people out there who do not grasp the concept that teaching children to be independent is fundamental to them being functioning adults. It's as if they expect that on their 18th birthday suddenly a child goes from being a child to being an adult. This is no miracle. It happens gradually over the years if you are teaching it.

So what do you, my readers think? Do you think that its important to teach children how to be independent or is this something you feel that will happen over time?

Thursday, December 2, 2010

6 kids, 6 dogs, 3 adults, 2 rabbits,1 house.

This is the story of a generous woman, a full house and how we are making it all work.

My dear friend opened her home to us recently and even said we could bring the pets! This is astounding to me that someone who 3 years ago I did not even know opened her home, and let us come live with her and her children. Yes its short term as we should be getting orders from the Military for active duty soon. But let me tell you it sure makes people turn their head and wonder "How are you doing that?"

Well my simple answer is with organization! Truly it is one of my favorite things. everything has a place and if it always gets put back in that place then its easy to find and nobody is tripping over it all. This of course is not nearly as easy as it sounds. Especially when you are working with people who are not used to this type of living. Kids are all learning to share space quite well actually. I think my youngest two are having the hardest time mostly because they are not used to sharing their bedroom with the entertainment room. You see the house has 3 bedrooms and in order to not displace my friend from her room we doubled up the older kids and turned the front living room into a half bedroom half game room for the kids. This actually will work very well once we finally get a good system down. The kids computer is going in there and the movies and game systems. This will allow them to have a room to play in and a room for us to gather in. We are using a curtain to separate the rooms and if i could just get the older one to stop harassing the little ones verbally we would be golden.

The dogs each have their own "beds" because we have each of the crate trained. It was a challenge trying to decide what room to put their beds in but I think we have it worked out so that we have plenty of room for all the animals and plenty of room for the people.

Combining two households can be complicated... I think we are getting by fairly unscathed. There have been no major fights, not even between the adults. I also know when I have had enough and I go to my garage  room. Last night was one of those nights... I was burnt out after a whole day of paper writing for school. I made dinner and then my loving husband who is leaving in 4 days scarfed it down not saying a word and then went on to complete a project he was working on. It all left me feeling very weary and I went to bed early. I excused myself after tucking kids and dogs into bed and then got caught up folding clothes that I had neglected for many days now.   Have I said how hard it is to combine households yet?  

I am still searching for balance in my home education of 4 kids, college education for myself, and now living with another family that requires me to combine our households. It really isn't as bad as it might sound and I am so happy that we have a place to land until the rest of it works out... now the waiting for the rest of it to work out is the hard part!

I am also longing to get to the creative part of me and I simply do not have the time yet! maybe soon... I hope!