Saturday, December 31, 2011

Books, Books and Books

I love books. I love to read. I read some in 2011, but not as many as I had hoped. Here is what I did read, what I'm currently reading and what I plan to read in 2012.

Read in 2011 ~
One Thousand Gifts - Ann Voskamp
           *loved this and will go back and re-read it from time to time...I underlined a lot
Sacred Influence - Gary Thomas
Four Season Harvest - Coleman
            *will reference more as we get rolling with the greenhouse growing
Gardening in Your Greenhouse - Freeman
Have a New Kid by Friday - Kevin Leman
12 Steps to Becoming a More Organized Woman - Jordan

Currently Reading ~
Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World - Joanna Weaver
           *started this with a girlfriend as part of a Bible Study but never finished it
Still Alice - Lisa Genova
            *am reading this for January Book Club
Radical Homemakers - Hayes
The Mentoring Mom: 11 Ways to Model Christ for Your Child - Jackie Kendall
            *am reading this for Bible Study with a couple of friends
Educating the Whole-Hearted Child - Clarkson

2012 To Read ~
Heaven is For Real - Todd Burpo
The Ministry of Motherhood - Sally Clarkson
Grace Based Parenting - Tim Kimmel
Don't Make Me Count to Three - Plowman
A Mother's Time - Arndt
Sacred Marriage - Gary Thomas
Seven Reasons Why God Created Marriage - Ford
The Help - Stockett
The Happiness Project - Gretchen Rubin
You Can't Make Me (But I Can Be Persuaded): Strategies for Bringing Out the Best in Your Strong-Willed Child - Cynthia Tobias

Sort of Always Reading ~
           *these I re-read often
Power of a Praying Wife
Power of a Praying Parent
The 5 Love Languages

God bless!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

My Favorite Christmas Gifts 2011

I was truly blessed this so many ways. I received wonderful gifts from wonderful people. I love gifting to others and try to give gifts that I think the receiver will enjoy and that are perfect for them, so it is awesome when I receive gifts that I know someone else put some thought into and picked it just for me.

A few mentionables...lovely earrings, a made-for-me apron and cookbook, and a lovely scarf.

Some of my other favorites...

Joe's cousin Becky had my name on the Neaton side and made this lovely star for me. There are photos of us and the kids on it and I love it...totally made me cry when I opened it.

She also gave me these photo jars with pictures of the kids in them.

My sweet husband bought me a new sewing machine. I can not wait to start using it. First thing to do is patch some of Joe's jeans, but then it's on to some fun projects. I'm thinking scarfs, aprons, bibs, skirts, bags and more...

Even with all the awesome gifts my favorite part of Christmas is the real reason for the season...

Christ's birth ~ My Savior

But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger." Luke 2:10-12

I also am so blessed to get to spend Christmas and my life with my favorite hot husband and wonderful children.

God bless!

Christmas Morning 2011 and The Neaton Kids

We enjoyed a wonderful Christmas here. Christmas eve we spent at Joe's brothers...plenty of food and plenty of presents. Joseph opened one gift and that was enough. It worked out ok because his sisters were more than willing to help him with the rest. It is such a blessing to live close to our family.

Christmas morning the kids opened their gifts from us and Joe and I opened our gifts from each other. My kids love all the little things in their stockings and it is funny to see them all get so excited about granola bars. After gifts, we went to church and then back home for lunch...ham, cheesy potatoes and green beans. The little ones took a nap and then it was off to the big Neaton get-together at Joe's aunt and uncles.

Joseph's new to him toy. I bought it at Once-upon-a-child.

I love her faces!

Charlie wasn't too sure about this gift. She thought I had goofed up and she was opening a gift that she thought I had bought for Cori.

God bless!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas from our home to yours!

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Price of Peace. ~ Isaiah 9:6

God bless!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

A couple of just because photos.....

Charlie has been on a coloring kick lately and sometimes it turns into a lot of work...

I can't believe how big the kids are getting. Since Joseph started walking about a month ago, he seems like such a big boy to me......chasing his sisters, going up and down the stairs all by himself and weighing 18 month clothes. Where did the last year go???

My babies.....November 2011
Charlie ~ 4 years old
Cori ~ 2 years old
Joseph ~ 11 months

The girls and their cousins had a blast playing 'monster' earlier this month when we celebrated Christmas with my dad.

Her facial expressions just crack me up!

Such concentration!

Helping set up the Christmas tree.

The girls did most of the tree decorating this year.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Our New School Room

We are in the process of changing a smaller extra bedroom into a school room. We decided it would be nice to have a dedicated space for school at our home.

 This is the 'before'.

That little end table is going to get painted with chalkboard paint and will be an extra table for Cori and Joseph to use while Charlie and I are working on things.

I'm thinking I will put some sort of wall saying on that big open space on the wall above. And maybe some framed handprint art.

The cabinet will be used to store supplies, workbooks, etc. The bottom drawer has toys for the little ones in it.

 The rods will be used to hang artwork from and I am going to cut out the 'ART' on cardboard and wrap them in yarn and hang them back up on the wall.

The bulletin board is going to get hung on the wall. The jars are going to hold crayons, markers, colored pencils, etc and I'm planning on chalkboard labels for them.

For now we are using a 4 ft banquet table and folding chairs, but I would like to find a couple of old school desks. And I would like to put up some kind of smaller bookshelf.

God bless!

Menu Plan - 12/19/11 to 12/25/11

My plan for meals this week is ~

Monday 12/19 - Homemade pizza...I'm trying Pioneer Women's pizza crust, I hear it's wonderful.
                          Baked tilapa and roasted veggies for baby Joseph and I. (...still not eating dairy or gluten)

Tuesday 12/20 - Sloppy joes (out of freezer), homemade french fries, veggie

Wednesday 12/21 - Leftovers

Thursday 12/22 - Garlic roasted chicken , rice, veggie

Friday 12/23 - Chicken wild rice soup, beer bread, salad

Saturday 12/24 - Supper at Dan & Susan's. I'm bringing mashed potatoes and gravy, dessert - brownie, pudding, whip cream and raspberry trifle, and butternut squash soup

Sunday 12/25 - Lunch for our immediate family will be ham, cheesy potatoes, roasted brussel sprouts with bacon, salad, and homemade crescent rolls. In the afternoon, we will head to the Neaton celebration. I will bring any leftover soup and any leftover dessert and a relish/veggie tray with ranch and hummus.

Wishing you all a blessed Christmas week!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Max Lucado: The Lucado Inspirational Reader - Book Review

I recently received Max Lucado's The Lucado Inspirational Reader ~ Hope and Encouragement for Your Everyday Life to review. I'm a Max Lucado fan and have enjoyed other of his books I've read and I enjoyed this book as well.

The Inspirational Reader was perfect for me...a busy mom. It was easy to read just a few minutes and get something out of it, but flowed well that you could sit down and read a few chapters too. It is a collection of passages from other Lucado books with some just being a few lines and some a few pages. It is broke up into topics like comfort, faith, encouragement and forgiveness.

The topical index in the back is perfect when you want to look up just the right section of encouragement you may need that day.

Disclosure: I received this book free from the publisher through the book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

God bless!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Multitude Monday - 12/12/11

904. Safe arrival of our newest nephew...Silas
905. Mailing off Christmas packages...surprises sent
906. Unexpected chatting with like-minded mama out during errands
907. My baby snoring away during an afternoon nap
908. Goodwill gift card...mother-in-law knowing me well
909. Walking, walking, walking baby Joseph
910. Little one asking to go to bed...Cori
911. Yummy smells of homemade broth coming from the kitchen
912. Hubby home for lunch
913. Day of cookie baking with wonderful friends and family

In naming that which is right before me, that which I'd otherwise miss, the invisible becomes visible.
~ Ann Voskamp

God bless!

Friday, December 9, 2011


November 12th, we (not really we ~ I did nothing but take some photos) finished up the majority of the greenhouse by putting the plastic cover on it.

The owner of our local flower shop / greenhouse came out with a couple of his guys and helped us pull on the plastic. It was such a blessing to have someone who had done it a million times before. The whole process probably took about an hour and a half to pull 2 layers of plastic on and secure it.

And it looks even bigger with the cover on it. It is amazing the temperature difference inside it though. The other morning it was about 5 degrees outside and it was 29 degrees inside the greenhouse. It may just be a good place to play in this winter.

God bless!

Cori - Fall 2011

Cori is our resident pouter....she can stick out her lip with the best of them. I find it kinda funny.

She is all about copying her big sister....which is good and bad all at the same time.

She is still not talking much and I'm pretty sure she like it that way. I swear some of it is stubbornness and some of it is that she has me trained to translate for her. She can say 2 words and I understand the 2 sentences that she wants to say.

We may just be back on track for potty training. Today, she went to the bathroom by herself and went potty quite a few times even with having a diaper on.

I'm pretty sure her favorite person in the world is 'papa' (grandpa Joe). Anytime she has a play phone, she is talking to 'papa'. Anytime she is 'making tea' or 'baking cookies' they are for 'papa'.



God bless!