Back And Better Than Ever!

Hi Friends ~ I’m back!  Did you miss me? I’ve been taking some time off to spend some extra special quality time with my boys and to get home school BACK on track, but now I’m ready to give some time back to you! I’ve been doing a little soul searching and have been purging some extra supplies and I think that we are finally headed in the right direction.  ((**drum roll please**))

Enchanted Soul Creations (me, lol) will finally be offering inspirational (along with the usual witty and sarcastic) coffee mugs.

We’ll also be offering simple decals that you will be able to apply anywhere you want. If you want to put it on your car ~ do it! Laptop? Yep!  Cell phone case?? Yes!! The possibilities are endless and I have waited a long time to announce this to you! I discovered my passion for personalization about 4 or 5 years ago, but as you know ~ babies come first.

We are focused on bringing funny euphemisms to your kitchen as well as quotes that will make you want to wake up and start your day right. What better way to start the day than a beautiful mug that makes you smile? If you want a custom mug, just let me know by email (skilpatricktx@gmail.com) or through Etsy and we can definitely find a way!

With Peace & Love,
Steph

Advertisements

Creation Challenge of 2016

Crafting new things has always been a passion of mine. I greatly enjoy bow making. I don’t sell them often, so I do it primarily for fun. In fact, I have a few I am considering donating for Christmas.

I also enjoy making jewelry, headbands and I bought a new vinyl plotter this year and have greatly enjoyed making personalized items for the boys for school.

il_340x270.790853787_s57s

I have considered giving this up from time to time. It’s not a cheap hobby or business, that’s for sure. It also takes up a great deal of time if I don’t manage it well.

Hubs asked me to take a step back from it and focus on the boys (since we are homeschooling), but he doesn’t want me to have to give it up entirely. So I’m making it a goal to make one or two items a day. A bow or a necklace, what have you, just something to take pictures of and post.

I think it’s a great idea. It’ll give me something that’s still mine (since I had to give up reading for a little while) and it will start giving me some consistency in posting.

Who’s ready to join me! Whether or not you sell or just do it for gifting ~ I would really love seeing what you have to make!

Thanksgiving Goodies (Weekly Update Week 2)

This week was crazed! As I’m sure yours was ~_^. We made Thanksgiving dinner then the next day we went and ate at my grandma’s house where my cousin and her husband made a fabulous meal.

It was so great to spend time with family. It was a week full of opportunities to show the boys some life skills. They got to mix cookie batter and learn how to clean up for family (it’s always a good bit more detailed cleaning when you clean for others, isn’t it?) and we also had them set up to learn how to fold clothes today.

I am really happy with the way things are starting to feel. When we first started with school, I was really depressed and so sure that we would give up in less than a month (and believe me, I’ve considered it). I just know, for sure, that this is what we are meant to do and I want to follow through with it.

I was afraid that it would be too hard with a newborn. It has been difficult, to say the least. There have been many tears on my part, but I think we’re slowly easing into ~ not exactly a routine ~ but an understanding of each other. Schoolwork has to be done. Period. Or back to school they’ll be in January. I did not take them out of school for them to regress and act like they’re the ones running the show.

We cleaned out all the summer clothes this week as we have had wayyy to many days where we needed long sleeved shirts and couldn’t get away with just a short sleeved shirt recently and brought out our winter stock and shifted sizes for those we needed to. With 5 boys, this is a constant job. Our oldest could use some new things so I hope to hit the Hope’s Closet up the road to find him some. (Hope’s Closet is a bit like the Goodwill stores where they take donations and sell them for charity work. They use their profits to help women and families of domestic violence.)

We built a K’Nex roller coaster today and started some rock candy experiments. Our youngest toddler only broke the coaster a few times (I’m sure you can relate there!!) but overall it was a huge hit!

image

Our newbie has just blossomed overnight it seems sometimes and other times I know these changes have taken shape over the last several weeks. He’s been smiling and cooing and sta crting to giggle a bit, but now he is crying to be held so he can be snuggled while he does all three at once. He just grins and talks for 5-10 minutes at a time and loves to hear our voice. It makes me warm all over to see the smile in his eyes. There’s nothing like knowing that you’ve made a baby feel as safe as you possibly can.

What did you do this week that was fun? Did you get hit by the local turkey coma specials? I hope you had a great time with family and enjoy your week!

Breaking Free of Financial Complexities

graphic-hand-holding-money-plant-cropped

As the new year approaches, I am finding myself ready to break free of any kind of financial burden. I have decided to set goals, not only in self improvement, but in income and financial responsibility. We have been kind of going with the flow for the last couple of years and I think it’s time to be proactive and get the party started so to speak.

So… my plan is…. *drum roll pleaseeee* a budget. Seems fairly simple right? It is in the “normal” world, but we are a highly irregular family. We don’t ever have a paycheck waiting on us at the end of the week. So through December I’m going to analyze what we spend money on. I’ll be honest, though. I didn’t learn the best spending habits. So, I’ll be doing research. ((~*I love research… believe it or not…. suppose that makes me a nerd… bahaha… oooohhh well*~))

I’ve read a good bit about Dave Ramsey’s financial techniques and I really like them. There are a lot of fantastic wallets that you can purchase on Etsy to employ this technique as well. Me, I just use the good old fashioned snail mail envelopes. Although, I may bravely step out of my shell and try a tutorial for one…. can’t be that hard for a crafty chick like me. That was one of my greatest joys growing up ~ crafts with my great grandma ~ bless her heart.

I may branch out and look a little harder at coupons. I’m not a huge fan of coupons, but I do have 3 in diapers, so we do at least try and remember to use those when we find them. I, however, cannot do extreme couponing. I cut my costs in other ways. We make our own powdered detergents ~ washing and dish washing, we use a pretty cheap soap (some people like it, other’s don’t), and I enjoy baking things quite a bit now. That’s one of the main reasons I don’t coupon as often ~ most of the coupons I see are for processed and/or frozen items and we don’t keep much of those items around any more.

So, I’m hoping to set an achievable goal for each month next year and start paying off some of our debt. There are some student loans in my name and some old business debt that we really could be free of. I’m not really looking to bring up my credit score because I’d like to do business without credit, to be frank. I’m just ready for freedom ❤

What do you do to help save? Who’s joining me on Operation: Financial Freedom?

Thanksgiving in East Texas 2015

image

I want to start by giving thanks to God for this year. There has been so much growth for my family on an emotional level. We are breaking free of some of our limitations and purging some fears. I can’t wait to see what 2016 will bring.

Now, on to the fun stuff. We decided to host Thanksgiving this year. My brother had decided to go to Arkansas to see his dad’s family and my cousin that we usually see went to her husband’s grandmother’s house and you can’t just not do anything for Thanksgiving… So we bought some groceries and told my mom and dad to show up. Her sister came and her mom, and it was a nice afternoon.

We decided to be proactive about it this year, though. Rushing around to cook at 8 am is insane to me. We had all the casseroles mixed and turkey marinated and all ready to go on Wednesday. All we had to do was throw everything in the oven and make rolls and cornbread. It was so nice and relaxing.

While we were waiting on everything to be done and everyone to show, we had the boys doing home school work. We had monkey (the kindergartner) playing addition games and phonics games on the computer while our oldest helped Nana get some stuff together at their house. We also had our preschooler tracing lines in his book. His communication level has really grown. I’m so proud of him!

When we were done, the boys enjoyed playing outside. Its going to be a few days again before they get to again. We are due for several days of rain. So, a sword fight was in order. It was nice to enjoy a special afternoon with just the older boys while the babies napped. The littles take up a little extra of mommy’s time, so it’s so nice to give them that attention.

Over the next week, I would like to share with you some recipes we used. We tested out a couple of recipes online and tweaked them to our tastes.

So tell me, what are your favorite Thanksgiving dishes?

Connection and Learning Life Lessons

We, in general, like to let the boys watch TV. But we use it more as a tool. The boys were watching Super Why last night and Daddy said they baked a cake (I was off tending to little one so I didn’t happen to notice). Daddy suggested we bake that cake.

We had them watch that episode again and had Tyler jot down notes on the recipe. It was an Apple Carrot Cake. So they learned how to peel carrots and apples and how to make a puree out of both and looked up a recipe to follow.

image

It kind of ended up a pie cake blend, but they did really grate (😉).

Hopefully they learn to watch their programs more actively and relate them to their own lives.

With lots of life, love, and laughter,
Fare well,
Stephanie

This is the Life!! (Week 1)

I think I would like to start weekly updates. I don’t always have the time to sit and reflect, but I think it’s the time to make the time!

This week was busy. We took an hour drive for an appointment. We were pleased with the results and can’t wait to hear back. Hubs went out to my aunt’s house to help her a good bit. This is also a good drive (this is what we get for being ruralites). He fixed her fence and went through some paperwork we needed for the above-mentioned appointment. Sorry to be vague, just can’t be too careful right now. ❤

At home, things are fantastic. We found loads of new resources for homeschooling. We are primarily focused on the two older boys for home school and offering coloring sheets to my 3 year old. He seems to be a lot more focused now than when we started. I’m very happy with his progress. At the beginning of our home school year, he was still very uncommunicative. He wanted to point and expected us to understand. Now he is using sentences and crying a lot less. He can say numbers. He just can’t always say them in order and I’m okay with that!

My oldest is struggling with multiplication a little. I am aiming to work with him on a more mental math focus. We found some Minecraft multiplication flash cards on Pinterest and I am excited to print them out for him! My kindergartner is doing great. His scissor skills are improving and he’s starting to recognize words a lot. He LOVES when I print out new readers for him.

Baby is just a joy to be around. He is returning smiles very big, starting to pout when he’s extra tired and as a new development he’s starting to laugh. Mommy found his tickle spots and we discovered the baby in the mirror this week. He had the best time with him tonight and just laughed and grinned and talked to him. It is the best thing to watch them grow. ❤

The hubs had dug a spot in the yard last week and we decided to change the position so we got out and dug some more this week. We really do great as a team and knocked it out pretty quick. With all the rain lately, it filled up real quick so we’ll have to drain it before we get a liner and all that and get it filled up with good water. He pulled some awesome rocks out of a friend’s creek that has some good moss on it. I’m so excited to see it get closer to finished.

This weekend, we’ll see a freeze, so we harvested the rest of our beans and tomatoes. I’m sad to see the end of our garden. We had a really exciting year.

Daddy had the boys work on a diorama for Thanksgiving. Are you ready for the theme? *drum roll please!*

……

……

……

If you guessed Minecraft ~ You guessed right! Our world revolves around Minecraft. They had a fantastic time cutting all the pieces together and we helped them glue everything and set some things up.

Tomorrow is a new day and starts a new week. What are your plans for the week? Thanksgiving is coming up and we can’t wait. What is your favorite Thanksgiving dish. I think mine has to be the pumpkin pie and guess what I learned how to make from scratch this year? Maybe I’ll blog about it ~_^ Stay tuned!

With Love, Light and Laughter.
Fare Well,
Stephanie