Archive | November, 2013

Emily’s Smile Boxes

30 Nov

On Thanksgiving day, on our way to my parents’ house for our Thanksgiving lunch, we stopped by Cook Children’s Medical Center in downtown Fort Worth to drop off eight Smile Boxes. We had put together the boxes with the help of six of my oldest’s friends at her ninth birthday party a couple months ago. We all left with the best feeling!

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Emily’s Smile Boxes was created by a local girl who saw a need, and decided to do something about it. It is a fantastic charity, helping children in local hospitals. My girls always have two birthday parties each year, one for family (we have a large family) and one for friends, and I had the idea to ask for donations for Smile Boxes at her “friends” birthday party in lieu of gifts. When I asked my daughter what she thought about the idea, she said let’s do it. At the party all the girls put together a box using the items they had donated, and they had fun while doing good. Before you feel sorry for my daughter for having to give up her birthday presents, she still got more than she needed at her family birthday party! At nine years old, I think she is plenty old enough to start learning about giving instead of always getting, and thinking of other before herself. I plan to continue this idea for future birthdays!

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Happy Thanksgiving Eve!

27 Nov

Tonight my husband and I will bake our pecan and pumpkin pies, tomorrow morning it’s rolls and sweet potatoes for me, and then on to my parents house for Thanksgiving lunch. I can’t wait, it’s one of my favorite days of the year! I will try to remember to post some pictures later.

I have so many things to be thankful for this year, and every year really. A few things that come to mind immediately are my two girls, my husband of fourteen years, our extended families, our home, job, food in the pantry. There are so many who are not so fortunate, let’s not forget that most of us are part of the wealthiest 1% of the world. We are so blessed to live here in the United States, born into opportunity and a pretty easy life in most cases. I can’t help but think of people in third world countries, who did not ask to be born into extreme poverty…hungry and penniless…but that is the hand they were dealt. Tomorrow, as you enjoy your Thanksgiving meal, wherever you may be, stop and be thankful. I will too.

Where will you be spending tomorrow? Are you cooking, or is someone else doing the cooking for you? Any Black Friday shopping plans? I can’t decide! I’ve never participated in the madness, and probably won’t this year either, but the hype is exciting anyway.

School Lunch Round-up

26 Nov

I make my girl’s lunches four out of five school days a week, and allow them to purchase lunch in the school cafeteria once a week (down from twice a week last year). Honestly, most weeks they forget to ask about purchasing their lunch (and I don’t remind them), so I end up making lunch for them all five days which I highly prefer given that the lunches at school are mostly unhealthy. Here are a few of the lunches I have packed for them in the past couple months. All ingredients are organic unless otherwise noted. Both girls (ages 9 and 5) get the same thing.

Carrots, olives, homemade hummus, dried mango pieces, and brown rice

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Homemade whole wheat crepes, pure maple syrup, bluberries

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Applesauce, carrots, quinoa, Hail Merry mini chocolate tart (I found these at Costco!)

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Leftover roast bites, raw cheddar cheese, crackers, salad with olive oil, fruit leather

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Peanut butter and cream cheese on honey whole wheat bread, raw cashews with dark chocolate chips, purple bell pepper, whole milk yogurt with frozen blackberries

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Home Study Field Trip – August

20 Nov

Back in August I took the girls to a local movie theater, for a special showing of March of the Penguins. I found the film very interesting, but I am a sucker for documentaries. The film kept the attention of my nine year old, but my five year old was bored after awhile.

After the movie we headed home, and I had them work on a few penguin themed worksheets. My five year old did the worksheets on the left, and my nine year old the worksheets on the right.

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We have not gone on a home field trip since school started at the end of August, our schedule has been too hectic. I am hoping to get back into the swing of things after the holidays, because I feel these trips are so important!

Art Closet: Before & After

13 Nov

Take a look at this mess! I am not as fortunate as some, to have a whole room dedicated to our art supplies, but we do have a closet full. Unfortunately our art closet had gotten completely out of control, and recently I decided to do something about it. At some point in the past three years since we bought this house, my girls stopped putting things away neatly, and just stuffed and stacked and crammed things in. It got to the point that we could no longer even walk in the closet, or find what we were looking for. It was time for a complete reorganization! Here are some pictures of the process.

Sorry this is blurry, but it is the only before picture I got.

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All clean!

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This is everything that came out of the closet!

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Blurry again, sorry, but much better!

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What organization projects have you tackled around your house lately?