Sunday, February 28, 2010

Photo Hunt Challenge #6


1. A tower
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2. “Main Street”
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3. Five
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4. A dog or cat
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5. Two of a kind
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6. A clock
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7. A game
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8. Something sweet
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9. B&W w/selective coloring
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10. Your own reflection
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11. A mirror image
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12. Night image
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13. Something homemade
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14. Something pink
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15. Something romantic
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16. A candid shot
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17. A portrait
Toothy Grin

18. A symbol of love
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19. A landscape
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20. Chocolate
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More photohunt challenges.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Space Ship Fun

There are days I'm sad because my little boys are growing up into young men.  I miss all those little boys games and toys.   But some days, like yesterday, I'm relieved to know my little boys aren't gone yet.

While I was working in the kitchen, Caleb let me know he was in a space ship on his way to Mars.  He then called me from the space ship and talk about the terrain he saw.  A little later he talked Josiah into joining him in his space ship.  They played for over an hour!



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Caleb drew control panels on the white boards.


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A close-up of the control panels (I think the one on the right has some of his math on it?)




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They got out one of their books on space to use as their 'guide'.  Fun and learning combined!  Listening to them was a sweet sound in this Mom's ears.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Weekly Favorites . . .

Here are my favorite links from my blog reading this week.  I must have been hungry!!!

  • Mmmm . . . these Peanut Butter M & M cookies from Cooking During Stolen Moments look yummy!
  • Good, True and Beautiful shares a recipe for making your own Chocolate Syrup!  
  • Sarah at Beautiful to God is starting Spring Cleaning next week.  I'm looking forward to slowly working my way through my house . . . with the incentive of posting my progress.
  • Sarah also shared Homemade Yellow Cake Mix at her other blog, 8 Muddy Boots.
  • Apple Pie for Breakfast?  Heavenly Homemaker thinks so . . . and I think she might be on to something!
And a picture to finish it off!


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Loving My Husband Friday





Loving My Husband Friday is for taking the time to focus on the positives of marriage. A time to build up your marriage and your spouse. Focus on something you love about your husband, something he did to encourage you this week, or just a tip on how to keep your marriage strong. Let your husband know you're bragging on him ... everyone loves praise and accolades. Try to spend the rest of your week focusing on all the great traits of your spouse ... especially when you are tempted to focus on the bad! And don't forget to pray for your husband and marriage as you write your post.

Add a link to your post to the link. Then pray for the marriages of the others who post, and give each other a little encouragement to keep our marriages strong!


Singing with Daddy

Aaron spent his spare time last week figuring out how to play "Phineas and Ferb" songs.  Our kids all love Phineas and Ferb (and so does Mom and Dad) and we had a lot of fun as a family singing the songs.  I love that Aaron loves making music and having fun with us.


Thursday, February 25, 2010

WHEW . . . . I'm Done!!!!

Here's how my freezer cooking went!!


  • Tuesday night I roasted a Turkey (that's been in the freezer since Thanksgiving!).     We had Turkey for supper, then I picked the rest of the meat off the bone.  I set aside enough for Colorful Chicken Casserole.  I packaged and froze turkey for stirfry and to be mixed in Fettucine Alfredo.  I had an extra bag of turkey for a future meal and cooked the carcass in the crockpot overnight, covered in water - ready made stock!!
  • Wednesday I made turkey noodle soup with the turkey stock.  While I was chopping veggies for the soup I went ahead and chopped all the veggies I needed for my recipes.  I also went ahead and cut up my chicken and threw it in a marinade with onions and peppers for fajitas.
  • Thursday I got an early start (for me) and was able to finish everything!!  
Here's the meals I have for the freezer:
  • Calzones
  • Breadsticks and alfredo sauce (to go with soup)
  • BBQ Chicken Pizza
  • Colorful Chicken Casserole (2 batches)
  • Meatloaf (2 batches)
  • Fajitas (including homemade tortillas - my first time making them!!)
  • Stirfry
  • Chimichangas
  • Lasagna (2 batches)
  • Stromboli
  • Sloppy Joes
  • Meat precooked for:  Haystacks, chili, baked potato bar, and spaghetti
  • Biscuits (to go with chipped beef gravy)
  • Noodles (my first time to make these as well)
  • 2 loaves of garlic bread
  • 1 loaf of bread dough
Now, I'm going to put my feet up and relax!!  Next week I'll post some tips to make your own Once a Month Cooking Day successful!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Address Change!!!

My web address has changed to

http://www.the-peer-review.com/

If you read me in a feed reader this should not affect you (if it does please let me know!!).   Anyone else be sure to update . . . although blogger should redirect you to my new address if you use the old.

Big Cooking Plans . . .

Thursday and Friday I plan on cooking freezer meals for the month of March.   I think I did this once before about 5 years ago . . . but, I really don't remember much about it.   Here's what I'm thinking:


  • I'm making 18 meals for my freezer (some will just be partial ingredients that I' 
  • We eat crockpot meals on Sunday - I will not be making these up ahead of time, but will make them on Saturday's (2 meals of mac & cheese, a roast, and BBQ Chicken - along with Pizza Party)
  • We eat at my parents house every Friday night 
  • I've planned about one 'easy' meal a week that isn't a freezer meal (breakfast for dinner, chipped beef gravy, grilled cheese & tomato soup)
  • I've planned out breakfasts as well  - and bought enough for a month (bagels, oatmeal, cereal twice a week, eggs twice a week, pancakes or muffins)
  • For lunches - leftovers, sandwiches, and we may have to get creative!!
  • I spent $226 today buying everything for the month - (I'll have to my more milk, eggs and fresh produce before the end of the month).   I know for all you coupon gurus this probably isn't a great total . . . but I'm pretty happy with it.  Even better - I don't have to go to the store again until next month!
I'll let you know how it goes next week!  

Building Our Marriage Challenge

Building Our Marriage Challenge


Tell your spouse something you admire about them.

Monday, February 22, 2010

The Amazing Race

One of our favorite shows to watch as a family is The Amazing Race.   After church Sunday nights, we come home, grab a quick supper (often popcorn) and watch the race as a family.   We each choose a team to root for early on . . . and if your team wins you get to pick a place for us all to go out to eat as a family!  This adds some competitive spirit to the show!

One of the best parts of this show, though, is the ability to get some geography lessons in while watching a show we enjoy.   As we watch we like to find the countries they visit on a map.  This year I'm even having the boys map the route as they travel from country to country.   Then, as they watch the show they are able to see some of the culture of the country.   This gives us a great geography lesson that doesn't even seem like learning to the kids.


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Looking up Chile on the map.


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Caleb marking the route from the U.S. to Chile (and marking it as the first leg).


Do YOU watch the amazing race?  Are there any fun shows on TV that you use for educational purposes (non-educational shows)?

I ♥ Faces - Hands on Fun


This week at I heart faces is all about the hands.   I took this picture last spring while we were hunting mushrooms.  Caleb found this caterpillar and was so proud of it.  


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Saturday, February 20, 2010

SOOC Saturday

It's Saturday and time for your SOOC (straight out of camera) shots!   Sarah was eating goulash for lunch yesterday and got just a little messy!  Then she leaned her head on her head and it was so cute!  I just had to snap a picture!  Visit Melody at Slurping Life for more great shots!

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Friday, February 19, 2010

Weekly Favorites . . .

Here's some of my favorite reads this week in the blogging world:

  • Organizing your games while using them as art from infarrantly creative.   I'm thinking a few of these in my hallway would be great!
  • Use decorative letters to add a little punch to your post.
  • Simplifying your Personal Care by New Urban Habitat.  If you are wanting to lead a life with fewer chemicals . . . be sure to check it out!
  • I found Project 52 at Simply Modern Mom.  Her challenge is to plan a date night with your spouse every week for a year.   To make it really easy, your date night can be at home after the kids are in bed!!   She has a little form for you and your spouse to fill out agreeing to your 'rules' (we just read it over, but didn't print it out and sign it - saving trees!!).   Then, you take turns planning a date night.  We are planning to start this next week . . . should be fun!   If you don't want to have a weekly date night, I encourage you to still look through her posts for ideas for fun, at home dates.

And, because I love a post with a picture, here's a couple of cute girls.

Love You!

Loving My Husband Friday





Loving My Husband Friday is for taking the time to focus on the positives of marriage. A time to build up your marriage and your spouse. Focus on something you love about your husband, something he did to encourage you this week, or just a tip on how to keep your marriage strong. Let your husband know you're bragging on him ... everyone loves praise and accolades. Try to spend the rest of your week focusing on all the great traits of your spouse ... especially when you are tempted to focus on the bad! And don't forget to pray for your husband and marriage as you write your post.

Add a link to your post to the link. Then pray for the marriages of the others who post, and give each other a little encouragement to keep our marriages strong!

I love that Aaron asks my opinion about things he is studying.  Even though I'm not nearly as smart and knowledgeable as he is, it makes me feel loved that he values my thoughts and viewpoints!  




Thursday, February 18, 2010

You Capture - Kissing

This week's You Capture challenge was kissing.   Instead of using my camera this week, I chose to use the webcam.  So, here's me and my valentine.

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Visit I Should Be Folding Laundry for more kisses!

Getting Off the Hamster Wheel

This week in our history studies we came across a drawing of a man running on a wheel.  He looked just like a hamster!  I know a lot of days I feel like I'm running on that hamster wheel myself.  I often find my self running . . . running . . . running and getting nowhere.   I think the wheel is more than just busyness, it's mindlessly living your life.   Going through the motions.   Living without any purpose.   As I've been considering serenity, I've realized I can't have that peace and calm in my life if I'm running on the hamster wheel.   Getting off is instrumental to living a life of serenity.



Ways to get off the hamster wheel:

1.  Slow Down -  Everyone is so busy these days.  Some of it is inevitable, but I we all can find areas to just s...l...o...w  d...o...w...n.   It's a lie that we can do it all.  We all have to make choices and learn to say no sometimes.   Look your schedule over and spend time in prayer asking God if there is anything on your list you need to cut.   We can fill our days with really great things - but too many great things can cause us to lose ourselves (and our minds).  Prioritize.  Spend some time really thinking about your day to day life.  What can you streamline?  What are your time wasters?  What is unnecessary?

2.  Do Something Different - We get on the wheel in the morning and do the same things we always do.   We make no effort to try to change ourselves . . . no effort to grow into the people that God made us to be.  The mundane chores of our life dictate what we do and think about . . . and to a greater degree who we are.   Every day is the same.  Over time we get sucked into that wheel of routine and stop living life.  We lose our passion.   We lose our zeal.  Do something different.  Change up your routine.

3.  Live Intentionally - Decide the direction you want to go with your life and move in that direction.  I suggest making a list of the things that are most important to you.  Pray over your list.  Everyone's list will look different!  Then, start intentionally making sure that those important things are done each day.  Live a life of purpose.

I am challenging myself to get off the hamster wheel.   Of course, I've been running on the wheel so long that jumping off is going to be hard.  I think it comes down to be intentional in all I do.  Being an intentional mother and teacher.  Being an intentional wife.  Being an intentional homemaker.  And most of all, living my live INTENTIONALLY for God.   Doing the things that matter most in life - and leaving the rest.   LIVING life instead of just going through the motions.

I think getting off the hamster wheel will lead me towards a life of Serenity.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Air Force Museum

Yesterday we visited the Air Force Museum in Ohio.  We arrived around 10 and were notified they were closing at noon due to the weather.   We hadn't been there for almost 4 years . . . we'll have to be sure to let less time pass before our next visit.  We'll probably go back later this year to finish our tour.  If you've never visited I recommend it . . . and best of all - it's free!!

Here's a picture of the kids at the entrance while we were waiting for Aaron and Papa to park the cars.
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The older four posing in front of a WWI era plane (I think!).

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Aaron's Grandpa was a POW in WWII.  Here Caleb is finding the location of his Prison Camp on the map.

Papa's Prison Camp


Caleb sitting in one of the cockpots. At this point - my batteries died on my camera, so this was all the pictures I got.

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Wordless Wednesday - Reading with Mom

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Photo taken by Rachel.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Building Our Marriage Challenge

Building Our Marriage Challenge


Ask your spouse if there is something they've always wanted to do.  Then, work together to make it happen!

Monday, February 15, 2010

More Dancing . . .

Dancing

I ♥ Faces - I Wanna Dance



This week's theme I ♥ Faces is I Wanna Dance. How fun! My girls are always dancing, but I don't get pictures of them very often. Here, I caught Jada in the midst of a twirl. Make sure you head over and check out all the other entries this week.



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