Like so many of you, we’ve been taking a closer look at life – how we’re spending time, how things are changing, and what we’re hoping to accomplish in 2014.
Outside, today’s good ol’ Minnesota blizzard conditions are the perfect backdrop for reflection.
So, on this wintery day, I thought I’d share some of the milestones – some big and some not-so-big – that we’ve noticed this month.
Our first big change has been color.
We switched from brown to a taupe/gray called “Backdrop” (Sherwin Williams).
It was a little strange to go to a lighter color after the stronger browns I’ve had for so long.
Here’s the beginning of it on the stairs…
And here is the front room tied in with the same color – Backdrop (in between coats).
The nice thing about the front room is that I only add the color to the inside of the frames.
That way, it gives the illusion of color, without having to paint the entire two-story walls.
I’m not going to kid you – grays are tough. They can feel cold – and who needs that when it’s already subzero outside.
In general, I gravitate to warm worn colors – so this was a big change for me.
I’ll share some after-photos later this week. I’m used to it now – but it took a few weeks for me to get on board.
After Christmas, I nearly threw our broken candy canes away – and then I remembered to chop them in the processor for hot chocolate/baking toppings.
This was a fun little task for the kids and it’s been nice to have for sprinkling on ice cream.
Enough Kids to Play Cards
Here’s something I thought I wouldn’t see for a few more years – John and PJ strategizing over a game of Spades.
During the Polar Vortex, we taught the kids to play cards. We played cards for hours.
I love playing cards – so I. am. in heaven.
I often tease the kids that I had four of them so that I would have enough people to play games with (I always thought one could sit out.) 🙂
Girls love Gophers
A miracle has slowly occurred in our house and it didn’t hit me until I saw this photo… Emma likes watching sports with us.
I don’t think she’d watch it on her own – but all of a sudden she’s interested in watching basketball. I like having her with us (instead of in her room) – to help cheer on the Gophers!
Here she is hoping we make our free throws…
Fantastic Fajita Fix
Baking Fajita mixings was all over Pinterest in December. I was tickled to get these foil roasters on clearance at Coborns for just 25 cents each after Christmas.
To tame down the pre-flavored chicken (and add extra moisture), I add some chicken stock and creamed corn.
This is about the easiest weekday meal and Phil loves a beer with fajitas after a long day at work. Almost makes me think of summertime – almost.
A New Odyssey
As I mentioned in a previous post, we said goodbye to our Quest and bought a Honda Odyssey.
I really thought I was done with mini-vans – but I quickly realized it was the only viable option for our large and tall family.
The third row has 7 extra inches of room and Sonny can get in and out of the van easily.
I love my Odyssey.
And, Sonny likes being able to give me a little nuzzle over the center console.
Over the past few years, I’ve noticed that January can be really challenging for the kids.
Some years I swore that the curriculum got crazy hard after Christmas break. Then I’d inevitably spend February trying to help the kids get back on track.
But, this January has been different.
They’re growing up.
John, at 8, is finally starting to buckle down and he’s getting things done on his own.
I’ve even had a few nights where I only had to sign planners.
Sometime after Thanksgiving, PJ must have grown again because as Jess was heading back to school, we noticed PJ had passed her up.
Here’s the photo we took just moments after realizing the big moment…
As always – Sonny gets in on all the action.
Here’s hoping you get a chance to stop and take note of all the milestones in your life.