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Katie B's Parenting Journal

Entry 27 ~ January 11, 2011
New Year, New Oven!

ChristmasChristmas this year was amazing. The big kids were really ready to finish up school and have a break. I was ready to have them all to myself for a while. Christmas break always throws me off a little. It's not long enough to establish any kind of a schedule and it's long enough to get bored by the end. We did do some fun things, though, and overall it was a nice break. We hit the pool and Aunt Sherrie's coffee shop. And of course there were all the holiday festivities. Christmas went so much better than I could have imagined. Sometimes all that family time can be a little stressful. But this year I made a conscious effort to just enjoy it. I did enjoy it. I felt no stress. The only thing I can complain about is feeling like my house shrinks during the holidays. Our tree is ridiculously big and we probably have too many decorations. The best cure for this, however, was to pull it all down the day after Christmas. We hosted Christmas dinner with my family and it was a really fun time. It's easier for me to host night time events because I don't have to worry constantly about what the kids are getting in to. It was a big dinner with about 25 people. As far as I could tell, everyone had a place to sit and eat and there were not too many leftovers.

We also hosted New Year's Eve with two of our neighbors and another good friend and his son. This was a nice small party. We were able to fit all 7 adults and our friend's son around the table and then put our four kids right next to us at a small table. No one had any intentions of staying until midnight, but we were having so much fun that it was midnight before we even realized it! Not that I need any reminders, but again I am overcome with how blessed we are with the people in our lives. Our house is rarely empty. We are always having friends and family over. We are truly surrounded by love. I know this comes as a gift from our Heavenly Father to Randy and I. My heart overflows with thankfulness!

Scrapping!Now school is back in session and this last week has been pretty bumpy. After sleeping in for two weeks, it was hard on all of us to get back to an early morning routine. I did enjoy having just Connor and Lilly to myself again. I truly enjoy our time in the mornings. Ella seemed to have the hardest time getting back to school. I am hoping most of her emotions were because she was tired. Thankfully we have a quiet weekend to regroup and get ready for next week. I also had a bit of a bumpy week. The one night that Randy was gone, I started a very small fire while cooking dinner. It was not a big deal, but it definitely scared me. When Randy came home, we both agreed it was time to replace that hunk of junk we call an oven. By Friday, I had the oven of my dreams. I'm not kidding. This thing is gorgeous! It's a double oven with the bottom oven having a convection feature which we can turn on or off. The stainless steel model was on sale and actually less expensive than the all black model, so we went with it. Then on a sort of whim, Randy went back to the store and got an over the range microwave to replace our small 12 year old counter top microwave. I am so happy with the way it looks in the kitchen. Now all we have left to replace is the refrigerator. Watch out fridge--your days are numbered! So now I am having fun trying out all the cool features. The first night the oven was in, we were having our niece and her boyfriend over for dinner, so I was able to try out both ovens and the cook top. I made cookies using the convection feature and then made a pan without the feature. The ones cooked with convection turned out much better. The meal had already been planned for the night, so it was pasta with a meat marinara sauce and garlic bread. Nothing too complicated, which was nice to be able to try out all the features. Today, Ella and I are going to bake all morning and see what we can create. Tonight will be homemade pizzas. Can you tell I am excited?!

friends!It's almost time again for the weekend scrapbooking retreat with my girl friends. This is something we look forward to as soon as we plan it. From Friday morning until Sunday afternoon we get together and laugh a lot, crop pictures, sometimes cry over just about anything, and eat a lot of kid forbidden food. These are the women in my life that keep me grounded and focused. These are the women that inspire me to be a better mom and wife. I am blessed to call them friends. And at the same time, I am already thinking about what fun snack I can bring and which sweat pants I will be comfortable in all weekend. I can usually whip out about a third to a half a year of pictures in the weekend and have something to show Randy and the kids when I get home. I can't wait!

~ Katie

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