My appetite must be back, because all this snow has me in the mood to make ginger cookies. Who says it has to be a Christmas thing? I'm contemplating the concept of making some gingerbread egg-shaped cookies...Easter is right around the corner, after all! We could fancily frost them and everything. I've always loved gingerbread better than sugar cookies.
A Trip To See Friends
This last weekend Derek and I loaded the kids up and took a mini road trip to visit our rancher friends! I grew up with these ladies in a tiny white-steepled church in the mountains before they moved away, and they will always be dear friends of mine. We always have such a nice time when we visit them, and they are such an encouragement to me.
The kids loved seeing the lambs and calves (some of them born just the night before!), riding in the chuckwagon, getting to watch the baby animals have their bottles, chasing the chickens, and riding a pony!
(Of course my camera battery died, so I had to rely on phone pics - hence no pictures inside the barn of the cute lambs. You can see my cute kids outside instead.)
(Grooming the pony!)
(One of the best pictures to date of Clarice's curls!)
(Bringing the wagon around for a ride!)
(My dear friends and myself - Holly, Me, Hazel, Heidi.)
We had lunch together and we adults had a nice time to visit too. And the sweetest thing was that Holly gave me (drumroll please)...a Victrola turntable! I am so excited! She had read that I wanted one on my blog, and she wanted to give me this one as a "just because" gift. She included the sweetest note of encouragement that was just what I needed to hear. I felt so blessed by her thoughtfulness!
I have been so excited ever since I got the turntable home, and I went to the thrift store the next day to hunt down a few records to try out on it. I love it! Vinyl records sound so different than CD's or digital music, and I am a huge fan.
So far I found a classical music record that ended up being more of a jazzy classical version. I was wondering how they fit so many pieces on one CD - it's because they are all up-tempo medleys. It's okay, but not quite what I was looking for. I'll try again for a different classical record the next time I am at the thrift store. I also found a Flyin' W Wranglers record (which is fun cowboy-style music), a Hawaiin collection (there is my desire for Summer winning out again), a hymn record that is excellent, and Peter And The Wolf (narrated by Lorne Greene! Of Bonanza fame). The kids have been requesting Peter And The Wolf over and over again, so that has dominated our player so far, but I am excited to go hunting for some other good records to play on it.
Anyone else have a turntable out there? Where do you find records? Isn't it the most fun way to play music?!
Old School Blogger Shoutout
I've been a horrible blog reader since the first trimester hit - all my blog reading time now goes to napping. I'ms sorry! Hoping to change this soon. However, here is a new blog I have been enjoying reading, It's Just Angi, and Angi is just the sweetest. I have been enjoying swapping comments and getting to know her over the last month or so!
What I'm Drinking: I finally got over my uptightness about caffeine in the first trimester (it just takes me a while with each pregnancy), so I have been allowing myself some decaf coffee here and there! Ah, sweet nectar! I'm drinking Boyer's Mountain Roast Decaf with CoffeeMate Chocolate Toffee Truffle creamer.
In the spirit of the day, I thought today's old-fashioned blog post could surround the holiday. How often do major holidays land on a Tuesday, after all? Not often.
(If you are here for the movie suggestions, scroll down.)
Valentine's Day Spirit
Valentine's Day Buckets
Valentine's Day Spirit
I'm sure you are all well aware by now that I love Valentine's Day - mainly because every year I mention repeatedly how I love Valentine's Day. If you need to get into the Valentine's Day spirit, I suggest these previous musings on the subject.
Now that we are all on the same page...
The year that Gwen was born I started taking a Valentine's Day photo of the kids each year, so in the spirit of tradition I did the same this year. I think this might be my favorite setup because it was so colorful! The kids did most of the painting for those hearts, and they loved the little background I set up.
Best decision of 2016 - painting the house that grey color. I just love it so much.
(More adorable kid photos on my family Instagram today!)
Valentine's Day Buckets
For the kids' Valentine's gifts I had to be a little thrifty this year, so we just kept it simple.
Cute Valentine's Buckets - Target
Educational Card Decks (wrapped in DIY wrapping paper) - Target
Valentine's Pencils - Walmart
Glittery Hearts - Walmart
Rolos - Anywhere
As of this typing they haven't seen their Valentine's treats yet, but I'm confident they'll be a hit.
I ordered a present for Derek a couple of weeks ago, but it has yet to arrive. I was quite disappointed by this, because Derek always out-does me when it comes to gift giving, and I was excited to out-do him this time. I've decided instead to sneak a little Valentine's gift into his work bag for each day leading up to the arrival of his gift. That will keep up the suspense and gift-giving excellence, right?
Excuse me for using my old-fashioned post for something slightly Pinterest-y. Last week I bemoaned the fact that there are very few new chick flicks out these days, and I am still stretching to think of a recent good romantic comedy. I don't like my romantic movies heavy in any sense. I appreciate light and happy. I considered sharing my favorite modern chick flicks, but then I realized that I am sure all of you reading this blog have seen those many times over, so I reached a little farther back. I present to you, for your Valentine's Day viewing consideration:
The African Queen (1951) - I admit, it's been quite a while since I watched this one, but I may have to remedy that soon. Humphrey Bogart! Katherine Hepburn! A quirky love story that takes place on a boat! I can almost guarantee it will leave you grinning, for one reason or another.
How To Marry A Millionaire (1953) - Lauren Bacall! Marilyn Monroe! I realize I should probably stop exclaiming all these actor names, because unless you already into old movies it won't really make a difference to you. But, just trust me, it's a winning combination. This movie is funny, and outrageous, and just cute. An old-school romantic comedy if ever there was one.
The Shop Around The Corner (1940) - Remember You've Got Mail (how could you not)? This is the movie that inspired that movie. I watched it several years ago, and thought it was different than the original but not in a way that ruined either one!
McClintock! (1963) - Imagine a John Wayne western and a romantic comedy got married and had a baby. This is that movie. Can't picture it? Let me tell you, it's a lot of fun! About a married couple on the brink of separation as they reconnect, all set in the old west.
If A Man Answers (1962) - And this one I'd call more of a "Galentine's Day" movie. Not that you couldn't watch with your husband, but there is some (respectful) comparing of husbands to dogs, so it's more fun to chuckle at it with your girlfriends than with your man!
A couple of these are one Netflix, but if you don't have any luck there, I suggest checking your local library!
What are your Valentine's date plans (if you have any?). We went bowling and shopping last week, so we'll probably just hang out and watch a movie tonight.
(Photo taken by Wyatt!)
Old School Blogger Shoutout
I think I need to create a spreadsheet because I'm losing track of who I already mentioned!
Elizabeth from Life In St. Petersburg - Elizabeth is an American mom living in Russia. I always find her posts interesting, whether she delves into Russian culture or not!
Carol from Pur et Simple - Carol is a mom to eight kids spread across 20 years - so she has grown kids and little ones. It's interesting to me to read what that looks like since mine are a lot closer together!
Both of these ladies are relatively newer reads to me, but it's so interesting to peek inside life with kids in different stages and places!
Who are your favorite old school bloggers? If I don't get some new suggestions this section is going to peter out in the next couple weeks. Or I might switch it to specific post shout-outs. What do you think?
Comment below if I haven't mentioned you yet and you'd like to be featured, or tell me your favorite old-fashioned blog to read (and read this post and this post again if you need a refresher on what I mean by "old-fashioned").
What I'm Drinking: Diet Lime Coke. I know. Where's the tea? It's just a Diet Coke kind of day.
Does anyone else have a hard time getting back to the rhythm of life after New Year's? This week feels like the first "normal" week since before Christmas - and it's not even actually normal since we had a long weekend for Martin Luther King Jr. Day. I'm declaring today an honorary Tuesday, so this old-fashioned post is a day late (but not really, because it's an honorary Tuesday).
A Winter Walk
Today I sat down to type this with my bowl of mini wheats, Gwen sitting in the chair next to me. Then I heard "Bobby* doesn't talk to me anymore." I looked up, and she was looking at me with big, sad brown eyes. She just looked at me, because I'm the mom and it's my job now to explain these things and make them better. And my heart broke a little, and I didn't know what to say to my sweet little four-year-old with her first friendship hurt.
I remember the first time it occurred to me that my children were going to be hurt by their friends. When Wyatt was about two years old, he made a little friend in his nursery class at church. Every time I sent him in, his friend would grab his arm and include him in whatever the kids were playing. I stood outside the nursery window and watched this once, and I just remember feeling that squeeze in my heart. I was so happy he had a little friend, but I was also strangely scared. What if his friend dumped him eventually? What if the friend decided he liked playing with someone else more and Wyatt felt left out?
I've had my share of friendship hurts, but it's even harder for me to think about my kids being hurt. I know it's the nature of the beast, so to speak. You can't really venture out and make the good friends without also taking the potential for hurt that comes with it, but knowing that doesn't make it easier to watch your children as they take steps into the friendship minefield. It's only a matter of time. I just pray that they'll find friends who are good enough to make the risks worth it.
I looked at Gwen, grasping for words. I mumbled something about little boys going through a stage where they only want to play with the other boys, and said "I'm sorry, honey." It seemed to be good enough. Now she's bouncing around Clarice's high chair and laughing, friendship woes forgotten.
I'm the one still sitting here thinking about it.
Hair Color and Cut
Moving on to something more superficial, this week is not only inauguration week (for which I've planned a whole little President unit study for our homeschool), but it's also haircut week! For me, and for the boys (because I need to break out the razor and give them a haircut this week). I still can't bear to cut Gwen's hair.
On Saturday I'm getting my hair cut and colored. This is what it looks like now:
I think it looks fine now, but I'm overdue for a trim. The shape is getting a little wonky, and I wouldn't mind an inch or so taken off (not too much because I want to grow it out a little for the summer, but we'll see). The part I'm having a hard time with is the color. I'll probably just get my usual blonde and red highlights, but part of me wonders if I should try something new.
What is "in" these days? I rarely color or highlight my hair, and I am definitely not up to date on current hair trends. I kind of do my own thing, at least thus far, but I am going to ask my hairstylist/friend if she has any ideas. I kind of like these (ignore the purple and blue ideas, those are for if/when I get up the nerve someday - which is not today).
Brunette Friends, do you color or highlight your hair? What's your favorite look? Should I try something new or stick with the old stand-by?
I'll post an updated picture next week!
What I'm Drinking: Celestial Seasonings Coconut Thai Chai. Think of a more summery spin on chai tea. It's good!
Old School Blogger Shoutout:
Felicia at Behind The Yellow Door - My dear friend Felicia has jumped on the old-fashioned blogging bandwagon! She wrote a post about her New Year's Goals, and I think I need to steal her book goal for myself (too many books, you know).
Bekah at Shafferland - Bekah is a newer blog friend, and I have really been enjoying getting to know her better through her blog!
*Bobby is not the real name. But it seems like a great fake little boy name, right?
I love sending and receiving Christmas cards. It's one of my favorite parts of the Christmas season! Almost every time I pick up the mail I have a card waiting for me from a sweet friend, and it just completely brightens my day! The Christmas card mail basically makes my whole year. (Though I have to say, it's been a slower card year than some. I have a good collection, but not the same as last year.)
If I could, I would send every one of my blog friends a Christmas card. I so appreciate all of you who have stuck around during the ups and downs of blogging, and I love having this space to connect with you! I'm blessed to know so many of you, and even if you have read and never commented, I feel like we are friends in a way.
So consider this my Christmas card to you! I wish I could send you all a physical card, but this will have to do. This is the card we sent out this year (when we ran out I just sent a regular card with a picture in it - I never seem to order enough cards). I used a couple of pictures from Clarice's one year old photo shoot (I promise I'll share the whole session soon!).
Merry Christmas, friends!
May you have a wonderful weekend celebrating the birth of our Savior, Jesus!
And may your weekend be filled with lots of pie too.