Pot Pie and One Year Olds

Tonight as I was making dinner and simultaneously trying to keep Iyla happy with flour and pots and pans, I glanced at my old blog post with the recipe I was making and realized I was in exactly this same spot again, almost 10 years later.  Cutting vegetables for chicken pot pie while also keeping a one year old happy.  Not an easy task.


But maybe a little easier this 4th time around with my helpers.  That once one year old who use to steal chips is now happy to let his little sisters ride around on him like a horse.

There is so much I have to catch up on on this blog.  This seems to be the pattern I have been stuck in here for the last few years.  Post, post, post, disappear.  Once I disappear it's always so hard to come back because I'm so overwhelmed with everything I "should" catch up on.  I do use this as a record of our days so I love when I've been able to keep it updated.  But I also use for myself, to pause and reflect on the daily moments.  Everything seems to move so fast these days, it fills my cup to stop momentarily and stand back to look at my life and these crazy growing Beings that I share it with.


So that's what I was thinking about tonight as I pulled this out of the oven.

Maybe this will inspire me to back post everything from the last few months.  Or maybe it will inspire me to post what happens tomorrow.  Or maybe this stand as my only 2019 post until August.




December is always a full month for us.  Usually in a good way.  This year unfortunately we added illness to the month.  Two illnesses actually, some sort of virus and then the stomach flu.  It wove it's way through our family and it seemed that for 3 weeks, one of us was sick with something.  But enough about that.  Better to focus on all the other things...


We had our annual homeschool group presentations again this year.  I was so proud of their work!  Nora did Jane Goodall, Jackson did William Kamkwamba, and Grace did Oprah Winfrey.


Grace and Jackson have had such a good experience volunteering at the new nature center behind our house (I think I've talked about it some) and for Christmas we all went to help decorate.  It was such a nice morning stringing gingerbread men, decorating wreaths, and making paper chains.


My mom brought her gingerbread houses out to decorate with the kids as she does each year.  They get so into decorating them.


We celebrated Christmas with the Futrells and all the cousins!


The "elves" brought clay one morning and it made for the most peaceful afternoon of sculpting and gift making.


The kids are working on a new fort!





And cookies!  We did our usual cookies this year- peanut butter ritz dipped in chocolate and gingerbread cookies.  The kids all love our gingerbread cookie recipe but it's not gingery enough for me (and I want a recipe with molasses).  Aimee recommended this recipe so maybe we will give that a try if they will let me.

I am enjoying this time so much with them.  The older they get the more fleeting I realize it all is.  It's these little moments and traditions that we will all look back on so fondly.


In the Spirit


On Friday after Grace got done with her homeschool classes I brought the (big) kids to my parent's house for the weekend.  They have a tradition every December of taking the kids for a weekend and doing Christmasy sorts of things.  When we got there, there were candles lit, the tree was up and glowing, and my mom was wearing a Christmas apron.  It was very magical.


I brought Iyla back home for our weekend which wasn't so great on the front end.  We are in the process of night weaning her and Friday was a long night with her up a lot.  Saturday when we woke up I wasn't in the best of moods.  Ryan had to go the apartment to do some work so the little monkey and I stayed home while I tried to get some things done.  At one point I walked into the living room for a second and came back into the kitchen to find Iyla on the table shaking the salt like a rattle.  Shortly after that I decided this was pointless as I was getting nothing done, so we went to the knitting store in Stillwater.


That was where the whole weekend shifted.  First it started to snow.  Then the knitting shop was bustling with crafty/maker energy and I found some beautiful yarn for the dress I'm making Iyla (which is suppose to be her Christmas present but I'll never be able to wait to give it to her).  Then I called Ryan and he met us for dinner at a restaurant next door to the knitting shop.  We sat by the window and the snow kept coming gently down.


After that the rest of the weekend was blissful.  Knitting and hanging out with Ryan and planning Christmas presents.  I even got the art room all cleaned up so we have a spot to do our elving.


The kids had the best weekend too, making Christmas cookies with my mom and sister, ornament making with my dad, and out to see the new Grinch movie, which got rave reviews from all of them!

I think we are all now officially in the spirit.  Let the making begin!




A few weeks ago we started counting all the words Iyla says.  Once we reached over 125 we stopped trying to keep track.  She honestly says at least one new word a day.  But what's more amazing is that she is remembering what the word means.  For example, last week Ryan took Iyla to a hunting store.  There was a stuffed deer on the wall and he pointed it out and said "deer".  Yesterday when we took the box of Christmas stuff out we pulled out a figure of a reindeer and she said "deer".  All of our kids seemed to start talking early but this is incredible.


She has also started saying short sentences such as "Daddy coming" or "Mommy painting" or "change it" referring to her diaper (which she said today after she pooped and said "poop").


In other Iyla news she is very busy.  Very, very busy.  She gets into everything now.  Climbs furniture or tables. LOVES the pen drawer (which I can't child proof because it is a wooden antique desk).  And we just got the tree up this weekend and she really enjoys taking all the ornaments off the tree.


I started night weaning her last night.  It was pretty rough.  I'm hoping tonight is a little better.  With the other three (I think) by the third night they would start sleeping though the night.  This is a little earlier than I night weaned everyone else but I feel like I couldn't wait any longer to have a good night sleep.  Plus I know from experience that they get over it pretty quick and I'm still not (day) weaning so nothing too traumatic (though it always feels that way the first night).


What else can say about her?  This has kind of turned into my baby book for everyone so I want to record the little things.  Oh, she loves books.  Thank goodness she loves books.  I don't know what we would do with a non-book lover.  If I ask if she wants me to read her a book she runs to "her" shelf and grabs one of her favorites.

Okay one more thing is two of my favorite things she says right now are "cottage cheese" and "colored pencils" which just sound so cute coming out of such a tiny person.  Maybe tomorrow I will add all the rest of words she says down below here.  Just so I have them.

















It was a beautiful day as always.  For the most part the pictures speak for themselves.

Thanksgiving Notes
~ I am writing this post 3 weeks after Thanksgiving so I hope I remember everything
~ Maybe the first note should be don't wait 3 weeks to write your notes
~ I think the most important note is make 5x the brine.
~ For the brine save piles of time by buying jars of already minced garlic.  2 jars was the perfect amount.
~ 1 pan of Jackson's cornbread is enough (for leftovers two) but 2 would make a really plentiful amount of leftovers.
~ Last year we didn't have salad and I missed it.  This year, I had a salad and forgot to put it out.  REMEMBER salad.
~ Also cranberries.  Katie made the most delicious cranberries and we forgot to put them out.
~ Iron table cloth and napkins ahead of time (to make mom happy).
~ I don't really need to make two pumpkin pies anymore.  Most people eat the kids' desserts so I'm left with a lot of left over pie.
~ If there was anyway to get everything done before Thanksgiving morning I think I would enjoy sitting down and watching the parade with everyone.  I though I was close this year but I had a few last minute things to clean and still had to shower.  And make my pie.  Maybe next year?


Right Now


I was just reading over the last few years of my Thanksgiving posts and feeling so nostalgic.  But then also realizing that wait, I am here right now in another beautiful moment in time.  That feeling inspired me to come here and write down a few things about our current days.

{Nora building a fairy house and Iyla doing whatever Nora does}

This was taken on November 1st, one of the last beautiful days we've had.  It's been so cold this winter already.  I was glad we made the effort to spend a little time outside on this day.  I remember having a lot to do on this day (as usual) but being summoned out by one of these two.  Thank goodness for them leading me on that.


I've been taking more tiny videos like this one.  I love them so much.  Just little snippets of life.

{These two.  The love is strong.}


We had such a great field trip at the new natural history museum.  I could have stayed for hours.  Especially with a sketch pad and pencils.


It was so child friendly too.  I think we all really enjoyed it.

{A "photo shoot" by Grace}


This little remodel project is almost finished.  I love seeing how it draws them in with a book.  That was exactly what I'd hoped for.

I keep making promises to myself that I will come here more.  I'm going to try again.  I love this space so much and I miss it.