Friday, January 20, 2017

Weekend Review

Here are the captures of our week…

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Cursive Lessons began in Handwriting.  She was nervous for a couple of weeks prior to this, and then she just wasn’t happy with her letters so she chose to practice (and reward) on her own time until it “looked like her teacher’s writing.” 

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Snow Day!

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First bug.  Our house is infected with these lady-bug like bugs.

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Marshmallow roasting at Grandpa Fezzie’s while Daddy is out of town.

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Meeting Bart.  Note:  Bart is not exactly friendly since he’s old and set in his ways, especially to inquisitive one year olds.

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Big Boy!

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The Berkshire Museum with Auntie Meredith.  She works here and took us in for free.  The kids had a great time!  (Meredith told them to look like kings and queens.  Liberty is the Queen of Laughs).

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Learning to play chess.

The Stay Up Late Night

Since coming home we have re-instituted the stay up late night.  The twins are old enough for this, and it seems like I get asked a dozen times each day who get to have stay up late night.  This is how it works…

The purpose of SULN (stay-up-late-night) is to allow each kiddo to have some one-on-one time with Mom and/or Dad.  It’s not a big production, or with five kids I would never get it done.  It’s not even supposed to be a really late SULN.  It’s just a little bit of time after the siblings have gone to bed.  Ideally it is 20-30 minutes, which makes it very doable for me.  The child who is having SULN gets to select the activity.  Sometimes we have a special snack too (but we try to avoid liquids because its right before bed).

Some examples of SULN activities:

  • Read several books
  • Play a game (matching, Candy Land, Trouble, etc.)
  • Do a puzzle
  • Build a Lego item
  • Watch silly YouTube clips (we stay away from full length movies though)
  • Color a picture together
  • Make and then eat a special snack – bake cookies, pop popcorn, etc. 

My goal for this year was to do two SULN each week.  But…after the first two weeks I was worn out by the time I got everything finished after church days, and school, and _____.  It sounds wimpy since the SULN is supposed to be short, but they don’t always stay as short as you want, especially if a game is involved.  So now Monday is SULN each week, and each kiddo gets one SULN every month.  We’ll have to find a Plan B when Henry is bigger.

Tips for a successful SULN:

  • Take a nap!
  • Plan your activity or snack ahead of time.  We store our games in the kids’ room, so the desired game needs to be taken out prior to the other kids going to sleep.
  • Play it up – talk about it all day so the child of “honor” is super excited.  It makes the whole thing more special.
  • Take a selfie and post it to Instagram.
  • Try to get all the other kids to bed a smidge earlier than normal.

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Liberty wanted to make hot chocolate and play Star Wars matching.  Nehemiah chose silly dog videos on YouTube and popcorn!

Monday, January 2, 2017

Best Coffee Ever

I wish so very much that I had learned this at the beginning of deputation!  My awesome brother and sister-in-law gave me an Aero Press coffee maker for Christmas.  It’s been on my Amazon wish list since I read about it on Money Saving Mom.  I kinda forgot it was there.  But it makes the very.best.coffee I have ever had! 

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Photo: Amazon

I can’t tell you how many bad coffees I have had while travelling.  Hotels aren’t exactly known for their great coffee, and many times it came out of a machine and tasted more like dirty dishwater.  The other problem I encountered was dirty filthy coffee makers.  You know those little ones they put in the hotel room?  Or even the ones in the infrequently used prophet’s chamber?  So many times I opened the water container to fill it, only to find dirty water sitting there, or layers of gunk.  Needless to say…I passed on coffee on those mornings!

BUT… if I had owned the Aeropress, I could have made coffee on the go by just heating water in the microwave!  And it would have been delicious, and cheaper than stopping at Starbucks, and it’s easy to clean (as in, I just rinse it off!)

You can use espresso to make a latte, which is a big plus if you’re used to spending $5 for it at Starbucks!  I’m hooked on just making a fresh cup of coffee when I want one.  It tastes better than my drip coffee brewer, any Keurig, and even better than pour over in my opinion.

So if you’re on deputation, or you travel a lot, grab an Aeropress and save a stop at the coffee house.  Your wallet AND your taste buds will thank you!