January 30, 2015

January.

 So, January.  Apparently, it isn't the month for blogging.  If you were to take a peek at my picture files year after year then you would find that January is the month I usually take very few photos.  Not that this post will reflect that or anything.  Nope, not at all.

January and February used to be the months that I would look forward to for all their coziness.  Days at home in snow basking by the fire.  Warm goodies and hot chocolate and picture books abounding.  The last two years haven't held that same peacefulness.  Not at all in a bad way.  These years are just busier than they used to be.  These years just look different when everyone was little and into the same things.

This year, January came with a few self-inflicted challenges.  I kind of enjoy a good challenge, it gives the brain something to think about.
The biggest of those challenges was embarking on my first Whole30.  I've been tossing the idea around for awhile now and I finally jumped in.  And you know what?  It was great!  Sure, I was miserable the first week mostly because I was really foggy headed.  But, I've discovered that no sugar is better for me than a little sugar.  I've also had very little heartburn or stomach aches.  I've suspected that maybe dairy is an issue for me.  I've discovered that mushrooms are a no-no.  At least in large quantities.  Ahem.

I'm taking a break for Carrie's birthday weekend starting tomorrow then I plan on jumping back into another Whole30.  Crazy?  Maybe.
The second challenge I set myself up for was the 14 Week Home Organizing Challenge over at A Bowl Full of Lemons.
I find these little challenges inspiring.   Accountable only to myself really.  But it is fun and very helpful when someone gives you a checklist!  The kitchen was a hard one for me.  When we moved in 5 years ago (wow!) we literally plopped things in cabinets out of boxes.  So I enjoyed moving things around and really giving thought to where I want everything.  It still isn't perfect but I'm enjoying a decluttered and slightly more organized kitchen after a weeks worth of hard work!  The bonus is that I also made myself a little coffee/tee station.  Yay!

I've also been working on the pantry (also much needed) which I won't post pics of because...boring.  Pantry.  Boring.  The laundry room is done except I'm waiting on my husband to hang a shelf for me.  If I remember I might post pics of that one.  Only it probably won't be clean any more.  And then I'd have to clean it first.  So...might.

 
 The boys took on a challenge of their own this month.  They purchased and built (all by themselves!) a Makerfarm 3D printer.  They've been contemplating and saving for this for a long time.  It has been really exciting to see it print!  I am in total amazement at these kids...they are so smart and they did a great job putting in hours to put the printer together.


 Caroline took part in making a calendar for our nephews: "Adventures of Molly and Oreo."  Molly is our guinea pig and Oreo is my nephews (we were watching him while they were out of town).  It turned out really cute and the kids had fun doing it.  

 
 
 A little while ago, Ken read an article in Popular Mechanics about fostering creativity in your kids.  From that point, he set out to build workbenches or "creative spaces" for all of the kids.  So finally, he is finished.  I wasn't sure about this idea at first but I am loving it.  The boys each have a space to call theirs for electronics or models.  And the younger kids have a space to make a mess with paper and paint.  Elizabeth, especially, spends a lot of time there painting.  I love seeing them have a space that is theirs alone and they are responsible for it.

The rest of January was just enjoying being together whenever we could!  We did have a burst of lovely 50 degree weather and sunshine and we certainly soaked that all up.