Stop-That’s and I-love-you’s

Motherhood is punctuated by extremes.  Extreme love, extreme frustration, extreme exhaustion, extreme happiness.  Every so often, the depth of those extremes comes out of the blue and surprises me all over again.

The mood of parenthood is subject to change as frequently as the moods of the children and babies in the house, not on a time table.

One minute I’m holding a sleepy baby-toddler, his curly head burrowing against my neck, soft arms clinging to my shoulders.  The next I’m picking up the entire contents of the bathroom cupboard off the floor, and asking him why he’s standing on the table, as if he’s going to answer me.

It’s a constantly rolling wave of “Stop That” and “I Love You”.  Moments so sweet my heart aches, followed by moments so frustrating it seems like a miracle that the human race ever bothered to procreate more than twice.

Somehow though, in the midst of this ever rolling tide, the good always outweighs the bad with a fervency unmatched.  I wouldn’t trade a single moment.

Slow Cooker Jambalaya

Some of y’all were wondering about the recipe for slow cooker Jambalaya that I mentioned yesterday, so here it is.  Yesterday night was the first time I’ve made it but it turned out really well–nice and flavorful, just like Jambalaya is supposed to be!  I ended up modifying a recipe called Smokin’ Jambalaya from a magazine called Essential Slow Cooker.  What I actually did was at least 50 % different from the recipe, so that’s what I’ve written here.

1 package italian sausages ~ 1 16 oz kielbasa sausage ~ 1 large onion, chopped ~ 3 stalks celery ~ 2 carrots ~ 1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes ~ 1 cup chicken or beef broth ~ 2 Tablespoons tomato paste (I didn’t have this, but I think it would make it better) ~ 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce ~ 1 Tablespoon lemon juice ~ 1 serrano pepper, seeded and finely chopped ~ 3 cloves garlic, minced ~ 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme ~ 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano ~ 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper ~ 2 cups frozen cut okra ~ 8 ounces shrimp (I didn’t have it, so I skipped it).

Rice to serve over

Cut the meat into bite size pieces and add it to the slow-cooker with all the other ingredients.  Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours.

That’s it! Easy peasy!  My only word of caution is in regards to the serrano pepper.  I used about a quarter cup of a frozen, pre-diced bag.  Figured when it comes to cutting hot peppers, less is better.  Except for when the frozen, pre-diced bag contains entire diced serrano peppers.  That’s right.  Seeds and everything.  People, let me tell you–it is HOT.  That’s all!

Homemaker Monday Linkup

Good morning y’all!  How’s the first Monday after Daylight Savings Time treating everybody?  I have to say, I am not a fan of the whole time change.  It just seems pointless.  Maybe back in the day when everybody was farmers it made more sense, but I kind of doubt it–they always worked sun-up to sun-down anyways.

Anyways, today I’m linking up with Diary of a Stay At Home Mom for Homemaker Monday.

The weather outside is cool and foggy right now, but it’s supposed to clear up and be a gorgeous day in the 60s.  Here’s hoping it lives up to the forecast.  We have plans to meet some friends for a picnic this afternoon and warm picnics are always better than cold picnics.

Breakfast this morning was a bowl of overnight oats I started last night.  Warmed up, of course, because cold oatmeal is just nasty to me.  I know, I know, what’s the point of overnight oats if you warm them up anyways?  I don’t know… I just feel like it’s still a quick easy breakfast.

Looking out the window the fog is already beginning to lift here.  It’s a golden fog–you can tell that the sun is behind it.

Right now I am hastily typing out this post thinking about the lineup of stuff I need to get done before we head out.

Looking around the house It is pretty clean!  Yesterday I did a kind-of-spring clean.  The kids have already pulled some stuff out already, but it’s just little clutter.  My biggest problem today is the mountain of laundry I need to fold.  It can’t be avoided though.  Sophiapea is calling it The Mountain.

Today’s To-Do List ~ Fold laundry ~ Put dinner in slow cooker ~ Try to get my kids to keep some clothes on for long enough to get them out the door.

Currently reading ~ The Selection ~ The Astronaut Wives Club ~ Fragments

On the TV ~ Nothing right now, but I’ll probably have Grey’s Anatomy playing while I tackle The Mountain

On the Menu This Week ~ Slow Cooker Jambalaya ~ Pan Roasted Lemon Chicken with Sweet Potatoes ~ Chicken with Creamed Spinach ~ Broccoli Cheese Soup ~ Taco Salad

What I am creating Still plugging away at the persnickety last chapter of my historical novel.  SO. CLOSE. It’s driving me crazy.

Favorite Photo I know–there’s a foot in it–but this picture cracks me up.


Inspirational Quote 

I am so bad at thinking of these things on the spur of the moment… and so you get this: In honor of laundry day

Have a great Monday!


How We Do Mornings

Smiles, coffee, lots and lots of coffee, blankets, snuggling, and warm milk. 

Kiss two foreheads, say a prayer, make a plan that will inevitably change and evolve as the day takes on whatever shape the Creator has given it. 

Baby curls, sleepy eyes. Some of us (AHEM K-man) take a nap before 7 AM. Others of us (okay, it’s me) dream about sleeping until 7 AM. 

Through all the bleary-eyes, early mornings, and interrupted nights–I know I am blessed. 

And then I went looking for some poetic Bible verse that would make me think about being blessed to rise up in the morning or something. And this is what I found 

Proverbs 27:14 He that blesseth his friend with a loud voice, rising early in the morning, shall be counted as a curse to him. 

So yeah. 

Definitely starting the morning with a smile at least! Have a great Friday, y’all. 

Morning Conversations with the 2 year old

Sophia wakes up and comes out to the living room, just beaming like an actual ray of sunshine.

“Good morning, sunshine!” I say, kissing her forehead. “How did you sleep?”

Still smiling, she tilts her head to one side and says, “Last night, dear, while I was sleeping,”

Wow, I start thinking to myself, I’m really getting the unrevised version this morning!

“I dreamed I held you in my arms,”

It begins to dawn on me that she’s quoting the verse of the You are My Sunshine song, but her voice just lilts up and down a little, not really singing.

“But when I woke up, I was mistaken, so I laid my head down and cried.” (Seriously, some other day I’m going to get into how depressing that verse is.  Another day, another day, another day…)

She is just grinning and grinning.  One of the two braids she went to sleep in has fallen out and her hair is wild and fluffy around her face.  Sometimes I’m just stunned and in awe of the little girl that my baby is becoming and this is one of those times, so I kiss her cheek and say, “Wow, all that in one night?”

She leans back a little to look at me, eyes wide.  “It was ‘dicolous.”

So. Much. Laughter.

Monday Motivation

So, here we are at the start of another week.  Monday’s are so important to me.  In my opinion they set the tone of the week, and it’s a make-it-or-break-it deal.  So, I generally try to do everything in my power to make sure that if we only have one smooth, well planned day a week–it’s Monday.  To help facilitate that goal, I set aside an hour or so on Sunday evening  for some one-on-one time with my planner.

I love planners and lists.  There’s very little as satisfying as making little checkmarks on the ‘to-do list’.  A daily to-do list that changes with the day and what we have planned, as well as a weekly to-do list with the larger goals of the week are my steady favorites.

Daily: Declutter floors, clean kitchen, craft/coloring with Sophia, practice violin, write a blogpost, or work on the stack of books that I’m reading, study something educational, and write on the ever-progressing novels.  Everything on the daily list doesn’t always happen, but it’s what I aspire to.

Weekly: Library day, shopping day, clean bathrooms, vacuum/mop floors, dust, wash linens

Today, it looks like the weather is going to be fantastic, so I’m going to focus on the cleaning.  Throwing open all the windows, maybe a door or two, and scrubbing the house down.  Laundry, dusting, floors, the works… all while blasting some music way too loud :)





The other days of the week are similar but with key differences, mainly in the mornings.  From about 10-2 is when we go out if we have errands to run or people to see, so the schedule will reflect that.  My goal is to limit our running around to two days per week, so that we can accomplish other goals like doing an educational craft 3+ times per week, baking, painting, and all that jazz.  I try to keep it looking something like this.

Monday: alphabet activity + craft Tuesday: alphabet activity + baking  Wednesday: Library story-time Thursday: alphabet activity + playdough and painting  Friday: Shopping

It’s really a constantly evolving system.  Sometimes it seems like the needs of the kids shift from week to week.  We certainly don’t stick to the schedule perfectly all the time, but it helps me to have it so planned out so that when (inevitably) something throws us off-kilter, I can look at the schedule and instantly know where I can jump in and get back on track, rather than just letting the day melt into Netflix and naptime ;)

I’ll have to do another post detailing Sophia’s plan/schedule.  A lot more thought goes into her little periods of scheduling funnily enough, not to mention the hours of *ahem* research on pinterest searching for just the perfect assortment of classes and projects to keep her happy, busy, engaged, and learning.  I think kids learn the most by watching and participating with us, so she is always an active participant in “my” schedule, from cleaning the kitchen, to baking and writing, she is generally happy to follow me around and help or mimic.  When she’s ready for a break she’ll wander off and play on her own for a while.

Klaus is the tricky one right now, but with a little extra thought, he’s fairly easy to keep entertained throughout the day.  He “helps” in the kitchen by pulling all the kitchen utensils out of the drawers, etc.

Anyways, that’s it in a nutshell.  Our life trying to master all trades, haha.

Have a great Monday!