Hey there friends! How’s your Monday been?
It’s been a characteristically slow day here. My mom just left from a four-day visit and so we can check off our second Christmas celebration off our calendar. We are trying something new this year– celebrating Christmas every weekend of the month.
Honestly? Not my first choice. It seems like everything is a bit disjointed. However, flexibility is a good thing to have and this holiday season is going to require a good dose of it.
I thought it’d be fun to share a What I’m Loving post today. A low-key, no thinking or crafting required, easy reading kind of chat. As in, a break from recent posts!
(Don’t get too comfortable, though. Thinking and crafting posts are both coming up later this week. Muwahaha!)
As always, here are a handful of things making our life easier/tastier/funner and so on. I hope you enjoy following along and that you’ll join in by sharing a few of your recent favorites in the comments.
All of the pics are from Instagram recently. I’d love it if you’d join in over there too. I kinda love it a lot.
For My Kids…
We’ve started listening to audiobooks during the time it takes me to make dinner. It’s only an occasional habit at this point, but it’s one I really want to develop. Not only is listening to good books another way to encourage better attention and comprehension, it also really helps to settle my kids down before dinner. They sit and draw or color, I cook, and we all listen along.
If you’re like me in the late afternoons, any habit that keeps down the noise level is a habit worth implementing.
There are various sources for audiobooks, including the local library. If you want immediate access to new books (like I did the night before Thanksgiving when we listened to the Magic Tree House Thanksgiving book), you can sign up for a free trial membership on Audible. Your first month is free and you get two free audiobooks to download instantly.
(P.S. This week we are listening to The Best Christmas Pageant Ever
and it is hilarious. My eldest calls it the crazy cat book because in the first chapter, a very vivid description of a deranged pet cat is given while introducing the main characters).
This likely goes without saying for families whose kids are already older than mine, but for my two boys, LEGOS have just recently taken first place in a big way. On the days when we aren’t having to leave the house and I’m not corralling them to do a little schoolwork, they literally play for hours.
My husband and I were super fortunate to have parents who saved all our LEGOS from our childhood collections. My kids inherited a LOT of LEGOS. Since then, we have a few small sets here and there to introduce some new figures and accessories. A majority of the building and play they do, though, is with regular bricks– not necessarily specialized pieces.
If your kids are just starting out with LEGOS like ours are, a starter set of LEGOS and a book of building ideas would be a great place to begin!
Toilet paper, TUMS, and allthesnacks.
I hit the seventeen week mark in my pregnancy yesterday. Despite this being my fifth pregnancy, I am still finding myself a little taken aback by the sheer quantity of urine my body is producing. I mean, I purposefully use the bathroom before leaving the house, and then still have to go again once I arrive at my destination. And twice more before I leave…
The middle of the night is no exception either. Thankfully, though, if my body is tempted to sleep through the night, ignoring the pressure on my bladder, I have three obliging children who will dutifully wake me up. At first glance, it may look like they are simply incapable of covering themselves with a blanket, but I know they are selflessly putting my needs first.
In Our Home…
I won’t lie. I started listening to Christmas music back in October. But back then I tried to restrain myself and refrain from listening too often. I had my husband in mind.
Now it’s another story. I LOVE Christmas music and we have several different playlists to enjoy, and enjoy them we do every single day.
Bluegrass Mountain Christmas on Pandora is my husband’s favorite. A Charlie Brown Christmas and Kenny G instantly take me back to Christmas as a kid. And Indelible Grace, Red Mountain Church, Keith & Kristyn Getty, and Andrew Peterson all have wonderful Christmas albums that teach and celebrate the birth of Christ in a beautiful way.
At the Table…
Hot Chocolate Mix
Who doesn’t love a warm cup of hot chocolate topped with marshmallows on a cool day?
I love how simple this mix is and how no-fuss it is to prepare. We’ve been pulling out our favorite mugs often.
These are the cookies I grew up eating every year during the month of December, and I don’t think I’m too biased when I say they are SO GOOD. My mom visited over the weekend and brought a batch with her. I have no idea how many cookies I ate, but I do not regret it at all.
I love serving this lasagna when we have company, but especially around the holidays when the days are extra busy, this lasagna has come in handy a couple of times. Make (or buy) the components ahead of time, and it takes just a little time to assemble before popping it in the oven to bake while you get the house straightened up.
I made it this weekend while my mom was visiting, and we had leftovers to enjoy on other days– meaning more time to hang out and less time to spend cooking.
How are your holidays going so far? What has made your life easier/tastier/funner recently? I’d love to know!
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