Saturday, November 22, 2014

Nurtured

My husband and I were desperately needing some time alone together. We decided to continue a tradition we started last year, of going away for a night in November. We rented a very inexpensive little room at the lake in a nearby town. 

The drive down was beautiful and peaceful. When we got to our destination, we ate chili by the fire (we brought our own food) and enjoyed a night of just being together and nurturing our marriage. It was very relaxing and cozy. We also brought our own sparkling pomegranate juice (found at the discount grocery store), and some crystal glasses my mom gave me. 
The next morning we woke up to snow! Even though we were a bit worried about the roads, it was so festive and fun to have snow! Usually we don't get snow in our area until January, so this was kind of a treat!
After a a leisurely breakfast together, we decided to venture out to do a little bit of shopping, since our children are usually with us, and we wanted to buy a few secret Christmas gifts. (I had to take a picture of this cute dog looking at me from the truck window!)
We stopped at Panera for lunch, which was so delicious! I hadn't been to Panera in years, so I relished every bite. I had broccoli cheese soup and a chicken salad with avocado.
And then we shared a brownie--this was my half--it tasted so good! We went to another store after this, and then we decided to head home before it got dark, just in case the roads were icy.
I think every married couple should try to get away together occasionally if possible. We didn't get to do this very often when our children were younger (because it seems like I was always either pregnant and very sick or nursing, and we didn't live near family), but now that they are getting older and we live near my parents, it's such a huge blessing to go on an overnight date with my man. We come away from our time together with a sense of having a nurtured marriage and a closer relationship. ♥

Friday, November 21, 2014

Coziness

The cooler weather has arrived, and I find myself looking for and creating cozy spots in my home. The scent of something delicious baking, the fact that my daughter has taken up her knitting again, and watching my children create things out of the simplest of {free} materials--all of these make me happy and thankful.
I finally put some photos in these frames (that have been in my closet for years) and started a simple gallery wall in the hallway. Or rather, I added to the existing one. There were two lonely frames with photos here already, but I finally took the time to print some 8x10 black and white portraits (using some free credit that I had at York Photo!), and stuck them in these inexpensive wooden frames (from Walmart). I love seeing these faces smiling out at me as I go down the hall.
We've been plugging away at our schoolwork, and it's going well! We did make a few adjustments to some of our choices, but most everything is working beautifully now, especially the All About Reading, which we're still in love with and look forward to (as I mentioned here, we're using level one and also the pre-reading program for our youngest. The worksheets above are from the pre-reading program).
I love seeing my children being creative. On their own, they created the above little town out of cardboard, duct tape, and markers. That kept them happily occupied for at least a whole afternoon. 

My daughter Abigail quickly drew the below "portrait"--of ME! It's all crinkly because she drew it as a joke and then crumpled it up, but I wanted a picture of it. Hmmm, I can't decide how much it resembles me, except I do know that my hair isn't blue. :)
My husband had a very creative idea for extending the life of our garden. He took this portable greenhouse and set it up over one of the raised beds. He anchored it down to withstand wind, and then the put straw around the bottom of it to keep some of the cold air from getting under the bottom. On a night when it was supposed to be very cold, he put a bucket of hot water in the bottom, and it actually created sort of a greenhouse effect, and the plants survived! We've still been enjoying his fresh lettuce, although after the snow last week, I think we may be done with our fall garden.
I received some of the freebies (mentioned here) in the mail! It's always fun to get something for free. I got the book completely free for participating in the Tyndale Rewards Program. It just took a little bit of time and didn't cost me anything. 
This is how I've been wearing my hair lately (this photo is from last Friday). First, I make a French braid (here's a how-to video I made) and then twist it into a bun, and then I stick a Flexi Clip in it. It's super simple and a great style for Friday, which happens to be cleaning day around here!
Happy Friday!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

November Bonfire

We had a large brush pile that needed to be burned, and our children begged us to make a bonfire. So, on a cold November evening, with a large harvest moon rising in the sky, my husband set out to grant their request. It turned out to be a sweet time of family fellowship, complete with roasting hot dogs and marshmallows, making s'mores, and then popping popcorn over the fire.

After eating, we sat around the fire telling stories and listening to some owls in the distance. Then my husband brought out the current read-aloud, and read by the fire (using a flashlight for more light). 

I'm so thankful for my husband and children, and time spent together. ♥
"In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."   
~ 1 Thessalonians 5:18