TFT: Santa

This idea was spurred on by a discussion with some friends last week:

Do your kids believe in Santa? Why or why not?
Do you talk about Santa coming into your house and delivering presents or that Santa has a list of good little girls and boys?
If not, have you actually sat them down and told them that Santa is not real?
Just curious!!

Thoughts for Thursday

I don’t regularly participate in Thoughts for Thursday (does anyone anymore?), but I decided to go for it today. I am having an inner struggle going on right now so I thought I would post about it. I am suffering from “Idle Hands syndrome.”

There are a couple of verses in the Bible that touches on this. Ecclesiastes 10:18 saysIf a man is lazy, the rafters sag; if his hands are idle, the house leaks.” Ecclesiastes 11:6 says, “Sow your seed in the morning, and at evening let not your hands be idle, for you do not know which will succeed, whether this or that, or whether both will do equally well.”
Like most moms, I have a million things to accomplish in a day, but do I do any of them? Not really. I do the basic day to day things like feed, bathe, and clothe my children. I keep the laundry caught up for the most part. We read and play together, but seriously other than that I don’t do a whole lot. When we are having people over, I stress out because I have to clean the whole house all at one time. Luckily for everyone in our family we have people over about once a week, so the main floor and the basement are cleaned that often. The upstairs is totally different. It is a mess. A. BIG. FAT. MESS! There are clothes, shoes, books, hair stuff, baby stuff, bath toys, etc. all over the second floor! I just can’t seem to motivate myself to go up there and tackle the mess. Just thinking about it makes me have a mini panic attack!! It is ridiculous. Funny thing is that I don’t like messes and clutter, but I am so overwhelmed that I don’t even know where to begin.
Besides the mess upstairs, my laundry room is a mess, my refrigerator needs to be cleaned out, the school shelves need to be purged and organized, and these are the most important things at this point. I also would love to not have to run around mad crazy before people come over! I would love some sort of organization in this house!! It is driving me crazy!!!
I guess the struggle is that I want to have a nice, clean, organized house, but I also want to enjoy my children. I want them to enjoy being young and at home with mommy. I am so thankful that I can stay home with the girls, but I don’t want to waste time doing things that really are not that important.
One would think I could use their naptimes to get a few things accomplished, but nope. I usually end up blogging, watching TV (or channeling surfing), napping or reading. I’m totally being lazy! What am I doing right now while Daphne naps and Norah and Lucy are playing together? Oh, right, I am BLOGGING!!
I certainly didn’t learn to be lazy from either of my parents. They are both busy doing stuff all the time. Sure they relax and watch TV or read in the evenings, but that is after my dad has worked in the yard, moved 3000 pounds of boulders, and built a trellis and my mom has made cookies for all the neighbors and everyone else she knows who might enjoy some, made dinner for someone who had a baby, made bibs and hooded bath towels, helped my grandma with stuff and babysat my niece. They deserve to sit and relax a little. I on the other hand, do not deserve it at this point.
Maybe I should start by making a master to do list (nothing like still putting things off by appearing to be productive!! Ha!) and slowly try to cross things off.
Okay, your turn. Anyone else feel like I do – or am I totally crazy? Any suggestions on how to keep up with things here and still be able to enjoy my girls?

Cooking Ahead

As we get ready to have this baby, I would like to try to cook some meals ahead to put in the freezer.  So, I’m looking for some suggestions.  I would love to get some recipes that your kids like that can be made ahead and frozen!

Also, I’m sure after the baby comes and we are not having meals brought to the house anymore and the freezer meal are gone, I am sure that I will be wanting to make some easy things for dinner.  I would love some crock pot recipes – again, recipes your kids like!!
Send recipes to my email hswinigan@gmail.com
Thanks!!

Easter

So here are my Easter pictures – several days later!! My sister and her family came to church with us and then back to our house where the Morrison’s joined us for lunch.

Easter egg hunt – in the cold – between snow flurries.

Ryan, Savannah, and Norah decorated their cupcakes!

Typical picture with Norah – eyes half closed.

Our best attempt at a picture of the girls together. Notice Lucy’s crazy, messy hair – it’s about to change!!!

How Colorful is Your Diet?

I’m using the old computer, so we’ll see how this goes. (I actually started this on Wednesday – in case the computer shut down on me or was too slow!)

My Thursday Thought is about nutrition. This is a subject that I feel quite passionate about because as Americans – we are horrible eaters. Everything is supersized or fried. Our country is significantly overweight – more kids than ever are obese. Parents often teach their children to “clear your plate” – encouraging children to over eat. Then we have the opposite side of things – young girls starving themselves, detox diets, misuse of diet products for quick results.

Also – this may be a passion of mine – but that doesn’t make me an expert. I enjoy reading books/articles on fitness and nutrition. I have as big a sweet tooth as anyone I know, but I try to eat in moderation and I try to live a well-balanced, healthy lifestyle. I enjoy finding new ways to cook something to make it healthier and I enjoy learning new exercises that challenge me. I love that feeling of being so sore I can hardly move – knowing that a new workout that I tried challenged me that much.

Anyway, I could go on and on and even get a little fired up about things – so I am going to ask one question.

How colorful is your diet? The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends that for the average 2000 calorie diet you eat 2 1/2 cups of vegetables and 2 cups of fruit. Do you regularly follow this suggestion? Also, our fruits and vegetables should take up about half of our meal. We have so much produce available to us, but are using a variety of them in our meals?

What are your favorite foods that are colorful?

I try to make colorful meals. I am trying to encourage the girls to eat a variety of fruits and veges – it’s a little hard because Kevin is not a big fan of vegetables (he likes corn, green beans, and lettuce). I also try to add extra vegetables in certain recipes/foods. I make my spaghetti sauce with shredded carrots and zucchini. I buy vanilla yogurt and add fresh pureed fruits. My girls do like their sweets, but we are trying to teach them “everything in moderation.” Norah knows that too much sugar is bad for her body and teeth and she reminds us of that regularly (like last week when Kevin brought donuts home one morning).

We always have a fruit with breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We have vegetable with lunch and dinner – sometimes 2 at dinner (salad and something else). I should probably try to get another serving of vegetables in and maybe not as much fruit. Although, for me, eating the extra fruit is better than filling up on carbs or extra meat.

I LOVE berries, pumpkin, green beans, tomatoes, zucchini, and squash.

Halloween

Well, I am going to get up on a soapbox. I hope you just bear with me and don’t take this personally. Today is Halloween and I must admit that this is one “holiday” that we don’t get too excited about. We did buy the girls costumes – only because we were going to go up to church for the fall party – also the girls can use their costumes for dress-up. I am not a big fan of Halloween because of its origin. According to Wikipedia “The ancient Gaels believed that on October 31, the boundaries between the worlds of the living and the dead overlapped and the deceased would come back to life and cause havoc such as sickness or damaged crops. The festivals would frequently involve bonfires, where the bones of slaughtered livestock were thrown. Costumes and masks were also worn at the festivals in an attempt to mimic the evil spirits or placate them.”
Honestly that is not something that I care to be a part of. I realize that most people don’t even know the history of Halloween and just see it as fun – and that is fine. Untill this year – Norah didn’t know (or care) what witches or ghosts were. I was okay with that. Now I have to explain to my innocent 3 year old “why that mommy wants her child to be something scary – like a witch.” Or as we go for a walk in our neighborhood (actually, when we look out the window) I have to explain why people want scary things outside of their house.
I also don’t understand the trick or treating thing (we never did this growing up – and none of us cared either way). Why, in a country of EXCESS, do we send our children to other people’s houses (people we don’t know) begging for food? Ummmm – there are children in this world who are STARVING!!!!
Don’t worry – we don’t ruin the fun for others. We do pass out candy – so far we have had 112 trick or treaters. Like I said, the girls have costumes. We ended up not going to church for the festival, though, because the girls were incredibly tired. We went to Kevin’s office and Norah had a party at school.
My point is that I would rather celebrate life and peace – not death, witches & ghosts. I would rather give money or food to those who can’t even put food on their table – than candy to children who already have more than they need. It is only Halloween that I don’t like. I absolutely love fall – enjoying the colors in a world that only God could create.
I guess this could be an early Thoughts for Thursday post.
What do you think about Halloween? Did you ‘celebrate’ as a kid? Anyone have the same feelings as me? What did you do tonight for Halloween? What do your kids think of the scary costumes or scary decorations?