I love ham, my cousin Pam and jam …

I really do love baked ham (once a year!) …. and jam, well homemade strawberry is the best, with cherry rhubarb coming up close behind … and I really do love my cousin Pam (come visit us soon!!!), but what do they all have in common?  You guessed it!  Those words, among many others all belong to the -am word family.  So without further ado, up this week is the -am Word Family Homework Folder!

If you are confused about what I am referring to, check out this post for more details.

 (All Word Family resources are linked on this page).

-am Word Family Homework Folder free printables, from me to you!!

-am Master word lists (Click on the picture above for a pdf copy)

-am Flashcards (Click on the picture above for a pdf copy)

This week I also created an -am reader for Captain  (Click on the picture above for a pdf copy)

I also used resources from Word Way(they have great free resources!) and the worksheets I used can be found here.

What do you do for word family work?  I’d love to hear your ideas!


Constant Gratitude

It is so easy, in life, to get caught up in everything that has gone wrong and to forget the things that went perfectly.  This last week I have really struggled with this.  Last Saturday it would have been so easy to focus on the fact that I was alone, yet again, to deal with the scary parts of that day.  Instead, I chose to be grateful that I was alone because my husband was away working to support us (and also that the scary parts were resolved fairly quickly!).

I am grateful for my husband’s job.  

(I remember, all too recently, what it feels like when job security is ripped away.)

Baby snoozing, snuggled into me, while we waited for everyone at the dentist this week.

On Tuesday when we were all at the dentist and three hours had ticked by before we got to leave, it would have been easy to focus on the time and money spent.  Instead, I chose to be grateful that my teeth survived this last pregnancy much better than I thought they might🙂 and more seriously, that we have found a fantastic dentist.

I am grateful for a gentle dentist that eases my fears of being a dental patient.

He really isn’t 100% trouble, but he is an exceptionally busy little boy and this jammie top makes me smile every time!🙂

Yesterday the boys and I had a wonderful picnic with a dear friend and her two little ones.  Unfortunately one of my children was over-tired and was displaying a very grumpy attitude.  I could have focused on how upsetting it was that his behavior cut our afternoon short.  And trust me, I was thinking that!!  But as we all drove away from the park, I started to remember about the concerns before his birth that he might have some serious health problems.  Yet, sitting behind me, very upset with his world was a very healthy boy.

I am grateful for the health and vitality of my sons.  May I never take it for granted.

A very happy, creative little Captain!

So that brings me to constant gratitude.  At various points in my life, especially during difficult times, I have forced myself to keep a daily journal where I noted five things I was thankful for that day.  Some days it was a more taxing effort than others.  But what I have found over and over is that once I started focusing on what I was thankful for my situation started to feel a little less overwhelming.  Does making a gratitude journal erase all of the ugliness of painful situations?  No, but it does remind me that the things that really matter are the most important. It lightens my heart and makes me look outside of my own pain and frustration to remind me that my world is bigger than me.  Most importantly, it reminds me that my heavenly Creator does care very deeply for me and that I am never truly alone.

My constant gratitude list for this Friday …

  1. The PC Hazelnut Cream coffee I found this week was exactly what I needed this morning.
  2. Engineer’s little voice saying “I wuv you too Mommy” immediately calmed my frazzled nerves.
  3. The birds singing outside of the window – so happy!
  4. I got to share the above morning coffee this morning with my entire family – husband included!
  5. Baby’s little pudgy feet twirling from joy while he ate his cereal this morning.

Happy Friday to you!  Do you keep a form of a gratitude journal?  I’d love to hear about it, if you do!



This post is linked to 

friday favorite things | finding joy

Can word families, folders, homeschool and homework all go together? (And some freebies!)

Lots to cover today!  In case you are a new reader (welcome!), I am a former teacher-turned-homeschooling-Momma of three little boys.  My oldest, Captain, is in Junior Kindergarten and is 4.5 years old.  One of many things that I have pondered, since beginning to homeschool, is how to help my husband be more involved in our sons’ education.  My husband is a corporate pilot and a business owner, so to say that he does not have a lot of time is an understatement.  Also, due to his irregular pilot schedule, I needed to come up with something that was not entirely dependent on his availability.  Enter Word Family Homework Folders!  Yes, I know “homework” is a bit of an oxymoron for a homeschooling family, as we school at home all ready.  However, I decided to stick with familiar public/private school terminology, hence, “homework” folders.  So, let’s look at what they are and why they are helping my husband become more involved in Captain’s education.

They are a folder that Captain takes to his father (when he is home – Momma if Daddy is not) after supper and Daddy goes over the word family flashcards with Captain, helps him read the word family reader (if it is included that week) and work on one activity per night.  I have set our folders up to be completed five days a week and it takes about 15-20 minutes maximum.  I am not interested in making Captain, or my husband, put in a lot of time doing this.  Therefore, the Word Family Homework Folders serve two purposes – important review for Captain and an opportunity for my husband to see a part of what Captain is learning and be involved in that process.  Each Monday Captain receives a new Word Family Homework Folder.

I did also have a method to my madness as to why I chose word families.  Word families (also known as rimes) are the single syllable “chunks” (they always begin with a vowel) found at the end of a lot of words.  (Example: -at as in cat, -ill as in bill, -ug as in bug, etc).  In the English language a relatively small number of word families go on to produce over 500 of the most commonly used words.  They are important little groups of words!🙂  Word families help students learn the concept of rhyming words, as well as provide them with portions of words that they can decode easily.  Word families go hand-in-hand with sight words and fall under the umbrella of phonics instruction. Usually word families are introduced once students have grasped their initial consonant sounds and begin to work on short vowel sounds.

So what does each folder contain?  Here is the usual contents:

  1. Master word family list – please note that each master word family list will not always contain all words for that word family (see below for a  free download of -at family word list!)
  2. Word family flashcards (see below for a free download of those as well!)
  3. 1-2 beginning readers centered on word family
  4. 5 activity sheets for word family (1 sheet per night of Captain’s choosing)

Let’s talk about putting them together and where I get my resources from.  The folders are basic folders (I bought mine in packages of four from the Dollar Store for $1.  Closer to back-to-school time they are even more reasonable to purchase than that).  I write the word family on the front cover with a black marker.  On to contents … I make up my own word family master lists largely because I make my own flashcards and want the list to match.  Don’t worry – if you are interested in doing these or if you just want to use the master lists and/or flashcards, I will be sharing mine for free with you each week, so you can save yourself some time!!  The readers and activity sheets come largely from this site – http://www.wordway.us.com/ (Scroll down to the letter of the word family, click through and then choose the word family you are looking for).  I will also link each week to exactly which activities I used.

The first folder is for the -at family(Please see my Word Families resource page for the upcoming word families).

Here are the downloads (click on the picture to be taken to the pdf):

*Note on printing the flashcards – the cards are designed to be printed with the small black cats on the back of the cards, to match the master word list (for ease of organizing cards and master lists).  To do this, if your printer is set up to print double-sided, choose to have the pages flip on the short edge.  You may need to play with your printer a bit to figure out how it works on your personal printer.  Of course, you can print just the word cards … I am a little bit obsessed about keeping things organized, hence the little cats on the back!🙂

The downloads that I used for our -at family homework folders are all from http://www.wordway.us.com/.  They are:

  1. Two Fat Cats Reader
  2. The At Family Album Reader
  3. Various -at family activity sheets

Next weeks word family will be -am.  I will try to have the following week’s Word Family Homework Folder information posted by Wednesday so that you can prepare them for the following week, if you choose to complete a new word family each week.

How do you reinforce word families?  I’d love to hear!!

Sight Words – a freebie!!

I am constantly searching for fun new ways to teach sight words to Captain.  One of his favorite activities is to copy each new sight word into his “Sight Word” journal.  We use a duo-tang folder for his journal.  Each time a new sight word is introduced, he copies it in his book.  I originally had regular ruled paper in his journal and I realized quickly that he was having a difficult time figuring where to put the words, as he is used to using paper with double lines for his printing.  So I decided to make him some proper pages for his journal and would like to share them with you, along with the label that I made for the front of his journal.  I print our journal labels on heavy card-stock and stick them on the folder with double sided tape (placed as close to the edges of the label as I can) and so far, so good.  They seem to stand up quite well.  I’m sure I could get really energetic and laminate them, but that has not happened yet.🙂

So without further ado, here are your freebies!  Click on each image to be taken to the corresponding pdf.




The journal pages contain five pages, giving you a total of 100 lines for lots of sight words.  Also, the journal pages are offset to the right to allow room for hole punching.  Enjoy!

If you use these, I’d love to hear what you think!

Teacher Appreciation Jackpot

Today only over 150 bloggers are offering one item for free in their Teachers Pay Teachers Store. These items range from $3-8 in value. Head over to the following blogs for the blogs that are participating in that age category:

PK – 2nd hosted at A Modern Teacher

3rd – 6th hosted at Cork-board Connections

7th – 12th hosted at The Tutor House

It’s a blog hop well worth your time! Enjoy teacher appreciation week!!

Week in Review – April 30 – May 4, 2012

Want some {be real}?  This week, to my preplanned mind, could have been viewed as a write-off.  My under-active thyroid is really living up to its descriptor right now.  My thyroid count is about four times off of where it should be.  It is probably due to effects from my pregnancy, but regardless, until my new medication level starts to really take effect, I have been less than productive.  So, my plans for this week?  Largely went awry.  But there is beauty and fun to be had in the unscripted versions of our lives.  Take my trip to Costco on Monday … these adorable imps were my companions …

Shopping Buddies

Shopping Buddies

Yes, Captain really truly marches to his own drumbeat.  He definitely belongs to Christopher and I!🙂  In case, you aren’t getting the full effect of his outfit, here’s the back view …

Always safety conscious

Always safety conscious

On a day where I could have crawled back into bed and stayed there, I, instead, had the most delightful, fun two hours with these two boys that I could have ever wanted.  It all started with Captain’s outfit.  Yes, he dresses himself and yes, I try to swallow my personal opinions and allow him to wear what he wishes, within reason.  He found the bag he is carrying a while ago and was thrilled that not only was it mine when I was his age, but lo-and-behold, it holds all of his treasures!!  He has a cast-off cell phone, a pack of gum, his wallet and his library card in the bag.  He is ready for whatever he might encounter!  The safety vest is a rather constant part of his outfit.  Still not sure why.  Anyway, who couldn’t smile when walking behind a little boy dressed like that?!?  On our way out of the first store we went to, Engineer discovered the puddles.  He jumped and jumped and jumped in one and then promptly fell on his bum in it.  Cue dirty, wet bum.  Then he was so excited about jumping in the puddle, that when he finally remembered that he was supposed to be going to the car, he started to skip, tripped and fell and cue two dirty, wet knees (thankfully he wasn’t hurt at all!!).  So, the child who left the house 45 minutes earlier with clean, fresh clothes on?  Not so clean or fresh now!!

Once we arrived at the second store, Engineer announced that he wanted to wear his bear harness and have Captain hold his strap.  I cautioned Captain not to pull on Engineer and in we went.  I was looking for the ink I wanted to purchase when I heard behind me “Here puppy!  C’mere sweet puppy!” coupled with some strangely familiar little boy “barking” noises.  I turn around and Engineer is prancing around on the floor on all fours (yes, with a very dirty, still wet bum up in the air!) barking while Captain is apparently training his new-found “puppy” to do tricks!!  Life is never dull – and so much fun when I take the time to see life through the eyes of two little boys!!

Although it seemed like none of the rest of the week went as I had planned, when I chose to look past my expectations, it was truly a fantastic week!  Here’s the run-down on my boys …


Terence Jumping

That blur would be my fearless Captain jumping off of the diving board, at the deep end, during swimming lessons.

*  I introduced a writing binder to him.  It is a zippered binder with the writing activities that we will be working on for the month of May, along with a binder ring with a laminated page for each letter of the alphabet (upper and lower case) that illustrates the proper formation of each letter.  Some of the writing activities that are in there for this month include:

  1. May Writing Work Station, which can be found here.
  2. Farm Fun Read, Trace & Glue activity, which can be found here.
  3. And the alphabet formation cards can be found here. (I printed them four to a page to make booklet sized cards, as opposed to posters)
  4. There was also a very fun Mother’s Day project that he completed for my Mom for Mother’s Day.  I think Mom may read this blog so I don’t want to spoil the surprise – but I’ll share pictures after I know she has received the gift, because it is priceless!!  If you are interested, we used this project (it includes options for mother, grandmother and aunt).  Very cute idea!!

*  His math journal questions centered on subtraction principles.  (Ex:  We bought five pizzas.  We ate two pizzas.  How many pizzas were left?).  He copies the question of the day into his math journal, then we decipher it together and usually he draws out the question and concludes what the answer is.

*  We continued to read from Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder and Henry Huggins by Beverly Cleary.  Both huge hits with him!!

*  In phonics we studied about the letter “X” and its phonetic sound.  This letter concludes our study of the initial sounds of consonants.  After some review next week, we will start working on blending our sounds.  I am very excited about this!!🙂  Hopefully Terence catches my enthusiasm!

*  Math was a great hit this week, as we started working on weight measurement.  He was thrilled when I produced a balance scale to work on “heavier than / lighter than” concepts.  It was definitely worth the $15!!

*  Printing practice focused on reviewing the letter “A”.  The letter practice sheets that I use come from various free sources that I have found on the internet, but one of our “A” sheets came from an adorable pack that Dawn from Little Monkey Printables created.  It is available here.  Other printing practice packs that I use can be found here and here and here.

This week we did not get to our Nature Journal or craft.  We also did not work specifically on our sight words (a, and, see and the) although we continued to look for them in various things that we saw.  Next week I am going to be introducing a poetry journal to Terence, along with starting an exciting Art Appreciation course.  I am also waiting on new curriculum to arrive for Language Arts and Creative Writing.  I have finally chosen a Science curriculum and plan to order it in the next week or so.  I have been easing Captain in to various subjects, as he is still only 4 yrs and 7 months old.  Currently we work on:

  1. Literature studies
  2. Sight words
  3. Phonics
  4. Vocabulary
  5. Writing
  6. Math
  7. Social Studies
  8. Handwriting

* Other activities:

  1. Swimming – halfway through lessons for the spring session.  Loving every single second of every lesson, as always!
  2. Music – one more lesson to go at the Beckett School of Music.
  3. Cubbies – we missed last Friday as we spent the evening taking Mom to the airport😦
  4. Kidzone Library Program – today was all about pirates.  There was lots of “I’ll make ya walk the plank, matey!!” in our car on the way home today!!
  5. Bible Study Playgroup – this was our last week until September.  The boys really enjoy their own social time while I participate in my Mom’s Bible Study group.  We are all going to miss it on Tuesday mornings for the summer!


Caleb jumping

And that blur is my previously “scared-to-death-screamed-louder-than-all-of-the-other-pool-noise-won’t-go-in-without-a-life-jacket” Engineer jumping in to Daddy WITHOUT a life jacket on and having a blast!

We continued with the letter L / number 1 / color yellow lesson from the Raising Rock Stars Preschool program.  We just started this program last week and Engineer is loving it so far.  I have the My ABC Bible Verses book on order that goes along with the program, and I plan to wait until it arrives to move on to the next lesson.  Engineer’s favorite part of this lesson is learning the song “This Little Light of Mine”.  Previously he would only shout “No!” at the appropriate time.  At the Dollar Store I found play microphones, so I bought them for our singing time … they brought out the performer in both of my boys!  Engineer actually sang the song this time and Captain cranked up his personal volume – simply because of $1.25 microphones!! Great investment, I think!!🙂

Sweet singer

Engineer practicing his singing skills with his new “microphone”

* Other activities:

  1. Swimming – Engineer had his third official lesson this week and there were not any tears shed in the pool.  Major success!!


Sweet Baby Patrick

Sweet Baby

Baby worked very hard this week at getting a new tooth, but alas, no brave teeth have poked through so we can see them!!  He wanted to be held a lot and comforted and of course, Momma was very happy to oblige!!  Who could resist such a sweet face??  Here’s hoping that the next week will be more comfortable for him!

And that’s a wrap on our week review – happy weekend to you all!

* Disclaimer – none of the links in this post are affiliate links.  I am not being reimbursed in any way for my opinions.

Date time with my little boys

This Momma thing is a massive adventure!  Everything from figuring out how to potty-train a 2 yr old who is determined to stay in diapers to trying to stay ahead of the great learning desire of my 4 yr old to relishing in the quiet baby moments of a “growing up way too fast” 4 month old.  One thing that I have been trying to work into all of the busyness of our lives is to take my little boys out on a date, one-on-one with Momma.  I think it is so important that they each know how special they are to me, as I am sure each mother does, but it is so easy for the days to pass by filled with important things to do and neglecting to take the time to spend with each of my boys, on their own.

Smiles at the grocery store

Smiles at the grocery store

Today was Engineer’s turn.  Engineer is very chatty and full of sweet conversations and I relish the time that I spend with him by himself.  I had to run some errands today and we decided that he should come with me.  Errands are so much fun to a 2-year-old!!  We went to the grocery store, the library (oh the wonders there!!), Staples and finished off our afternoon at Wal-Mart.  Engineer decided that he’d like to have lunch at McDonald’s, for his treat, so that’s where we ended up.  Very little money invested, but so much relationship building invested!!

We sang lots of repeats of “This Little Light of Mine”, the song that correlates with his Raising Rock Stars Preschool lesson from this week (Letter L, Number 1, Color Yellow).  He absolutely loves the “Hide it under a bushel, no!” verse and would have me sing that verse over and over so he could yell “NO!” in his cute little voice.  We talked a lot about jumbo jets and whether I like large or small jets, his conclusion was that he likes huge jumbo jets and that I like small jumbo jets.  We had lots of fun discussing various food options at the grocery store and Momma indulged him in his love for “bwueberry waffles” – want to guess what we will have for breakfast tomorrow??

Silly smile

Silly smile!!

Such simple things to create such lasting relationships and memories.  May I remember this when life seems to be too busy to slow down and savor my children’s childhoods.

Happy weekend!!

9 months and 12 days later …

I decided to take a walk down my blogging memory lane tonight and had fun reading old posts – and realized that it has been exactly 9 months and 12 days since I posted last.  I’m great at writing regularly, wouldn’t you say??  I think I may give this blogging thing another go, but let myself off the hook by not setting predetermined days to blog … funny how life always seemed to get in the way of those set days!!

So, let me catch you up quickly on the happenings of those months and days …

1.  Biggest news – we are expecting our third little boy on January 5, 2012 and we couldn’t be more thrilled!!  Captain, our oldest, is so excited about having a new baby brother and wants to tell him that on a daily basis … Engineer, our current youngest, is much more excited about poking me very hard in the belly everyday and proclaiming “Baby!!!  Tom out Baby!!”  He has not a clue what is going on!  :)

2.  I am homeschooling Captain this year for Junior Kindergarten and although it has definitely been an experience in getting this teacher back in the grove again, I am so glad that we decided to take this path.  Captain loves his schoolwork and can hardly wait for school days.  He pushes me every day to engage him and encourage his natural learning tendencies and I love the challenge!!

3.  I am very happily getting involved at our church.  The boys love their Sunday School classes and are doing so well – it makes this Momma’s heart very pleased.  I feel so blessed that my little family is able to attend and participate in our church.

4.  Chief bought me an iPhone for my “baby” gift early so that I can have fun playing with it before I have a new baby that thinks my sole purpose in life is to feed, change and rock him … which is truly how I feel too🙂  Anyway, I digress … this genius little thing has made me the most productive that I’ve probably been in 5 years.  It tells me when to do lots of stuff and since I’m such a list-checker, I am motivated to get lots of stuff done.

5.  That great motivator has backfired a few times though, as Baby #3 isn’t as convinced that I need to reinvent our world while I’m growing him.  Humph.  He will learn🙂

6.  Well, that pretty well catches you up to the present.  Here are a couple of pictures of my little boys so that you are caught up in how they look these days too …

Captain's 4th Birthday

Engineer loves all big vehicles!

Captain loves Lego - it entertains him for hours at a time!

Engineer playing in the leaves

Have a fabulous week!

The post otherwise known as “I am still here”

Wow!  It’s been a long time since I’ve posted here.  I honestly have been very busy!  The boys and I went back to my hometown to visit my parents for five weeks over Christmas.  Chief was able to meet us there for about five days in between his flights and snow storms.  My Mom and Dad had a fabulous time with the boys and of course we had lots of fun with them too.  It was a lot of work to get everything ready to go for our trip and then it’s been a busy week getting back into the groove of things here at home.  So to sum up:  I have been busy, as has everyone else, and now I am back!! 🙂

Engineer enjoying his yogurt in style at Grammie's house

Today, for Everything Kitchen I would like to share a couple of recipe links with you of things I have made recently.  The ladies, from the blogs that I am about to link to, all have pretty pictures of their food and lots of great recipes on their sites.  I have made quite a few recipes from both Lynn’s Kitchen Adventures and Tammy’s Recipes and they have all turned out wonderful.  If I recommend a recipe on my blog you can be assured that my entire family likes it.  Chief loves to experiment with new foods, but has quite set ideas of how certain things should taste.  Like pudding is always to be vanilla and maybe chocolate but nothing else.  However, today I made a peanut butter pudding from Lynn’s Kitchen Adventures, which I have made a few times before, but Chief has not tried it until today.  After trying it he pronounced it good!!  I know that peanut butter pudding is probably not going to eclipse vanilla in his world, but as long as he enjoys it with me, I am happy!!  Now this pudding is very rich, so I would suggest serving it in 1/2 cup servings or less.  To dress it up for serving, it would look nice with a few mini chocolate chips sprinkled on top.  (Also, be sure that you use a good quality peanut butter for this, as the peanut butter flavor is understandably dominant).

Peanut Butter Pudding from Lynn’s Kitchen Adventures

Momma's angel boys all dressed up and ready for church with their "Bi-Books" (Bibles in Captain's language!)

The next recipe I would like to share is for Mediterranean Herb Chicken Pizza from Tammy’s Recipes.  This pizza is the perfect pizza if you wish to wow your special someone or maybe show off to friends!!  :)  It is very simple to make and delicious as well.  The only thing that I have changed in this recipe is to increase the sauce ingredients slightly.  The pizza pan that I use for this is quite large and I find that there isn’t enough sauce for the whole pizza.  Other than that, I make it exactly like Tammy’s.

Mediterranean Herb Chicken Pizza from Tammy’s Recipes

Sharing snacks at Grammie's house and trying to smile for Momma with their mouths full!

Tonight for supper I made Pulled Beef Sandwiches with my Mom’s recipe for Roasted Parmesan Potato Slices.  Here are those recipes:

Pulled Beef – Slow Cooker

I have combined ideas from a few recipes to make this pulled beef recipe.  Feel free to change it to suit your tastes.

In a slow cooker, combine the following ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 Tbsp. dried minced onion
  • 4 tsp. beef bouillon powder
  • 1 tsp. EACH onion powder, oregano, basil and dried parsley
  • 1/2 tsp. crushed dried chilies
  • 2 garlic cloves, diced
  • 1/8 tsp. EACH salt and ground pepper
  • 3/4 cup + 2 Tbsp. water

Once the above is mixed together, put a 3-5 pound roast on top of everything.  Turn your slow cooker to high and enjoy smelling the roast cook for at least 6-8 hours.  Once the roast is well cooked, take it out and shred the meat.  Then place the shredded meat back into the liquid mixture.  Stir beef and liquid well to combine and turn slow cooker to low.  Leave the shredded meat for another 30 min – 1 hour.  You can serve this with a slice of buttered bread (if it’s me) or on top of a thick slice of whole wheat bread (if you are Chief).  It is excellent warmed up.  Enjoy!!

The grocery store that my Mom shops at had this really neat shopping cart - and you can tell that the boys loved it!!

Roasted Parmesan Potato Slices

  1. Sliced desired number of scrubbed, unpeeled potatoes crosswise into 1/4″ slices.
  2. Lay potato slices on an ungreased cookie sheet or pizza pan.  Overlapping a bit is fine.
  3. Drizzle with a small amount of olive oil and sprinkle with a bit of coarse salt.
  4. Broil the sheet of potatoes in your oven about 4″ from the broiler for about 8-10 minutes, turning once.
  5. Sprinkle the potato slices with parmesan cheese and broil for another 3-4 minutes until cheese melts and potatoes are brown.  Make sure you don’t burn the cheese!  Enjoy!!

Captain was invited up to the cockpit on our flight back home, you can't tell he was the least bit excited, can you?? 🙂

In closing, here’s a great quote, from a fabulous cook, that can apply to all areas of our lives:

Find something you are passionate about and keep tremendously interested in it.

– Julia Child

A little buried under winter tires and Christmas planning!!

I’m still here, and I am sorry that I haven’t been posting regularly.  We have had a very stressful and busy last month due to Chief’s job and as of last Wednesday, the stress was taken care of.  I am very relieved, but honestly did not realize how stressed I was until that day.  Now that life is returning to normal again, I am very tired and trying to play catch up – hence, not a lot of time for blogging!!  I hope to be back to regular blogging by this Friday – for T.G.I.C.F. :)  I have two projects coming up that are very exciting for me and a little daunting at the same time.  I trust you all are well and I look forward to “chatting” again with you soon.  May you have a blessed week!

I think "Santa" needs to smile a bit, don't you think??🙂 My three sweet boys - the three reasons blogging has been at a minimum. Love them!!