April 19, 2017

Welcome to Atlanta

Now that things are finally beginning to settle and I feel like I can catch my breath it seemed like a good time to share more about our move south! Even if its only a couple months late! Haha.

Let's go way back...For the past (almost) 9 years Matt has worked in a job that wasn't great. He worked long hours, lots of weekends, and rotated through 1st, 2nd, and 3rd shift every couple months. The schedule was NOT family friendly at all, and we knew it was something that needed to change, especially as the kids got older, school schedules, and other activities started.

Over the years he had a couple different job opportunities come up, but nothing that we were willing to take a leap with. Until this summer. In July, Matt interviewed with his company to move into a whole different department (from logistics to IT). We knew the job was in Atlanta, but we thought it was a long shot. Well long story short they offered him the job and we made the decision to relocate our family from the Quad Cities, where we were both called home for pretty much our whole lives to Atlanta, Georgia. It's crazy to think he accepted the job without us even visiting.

At the end of July we made our first trip down here without kids to look at houses. Our first impression wasn't super great. The places were looking just seemed so different than what we were used to. So we went back to Iowa a little discouraged and stressed over where the heck we were going to live. Eventually Matt ended up finding an apartment for us to live short term while we continued to look for houses.

September 9th we closed on our first home that we brought our babies home to. Thankfully we had movers come in, pack and load everything for us. But man I was still just so emotionally and physically exhausted. Matt was out of town training while they packed up our life, so that could have added to my exhaustion. Thankfully, Matt's mom was gracious enough to come and stay with us during the whole messy process, otherwise I might have had a nervous breakdown. Lol. Moving with kids, whew, not for the faint of heart.

We stayed in Nashville a couple nights and explored the city on our way down. Eventually we made it to our apartment. And well lets just say it was a dark depressing place to live in for the 3 months we were there. Like cockroaches depressing. So thankful it was only short term, and its something we are close to being able to laugh about now. Not just yet, still too soon, but someday hopefully we'll be like "Hey remember that gross place we lived when we thought we'd never find a house." Insert crying so hard I'm laughing emoji. Or is laughing so hard I'm crying? Well, either way it felt more like the first one.

Eventually we did end up finding a house. THANK YOU JESUS!!! And its great. A little farther from the city than we had originally planned, but it seemed like a better fit for our family. The kids can ride their bikes down the street for the first time in EVER. Hopefully I'll get around to sharing some pictures of our home, if anything just for myself and for us to look back on as a family. I took a video walking through our old house before we packed it all up, and the kids love watching it from time to time.

Moving is such an emotional thing. We are both super excited for this new adventure, and living and exploring another part of the country. But man, IT IS HARD. Some days its awesome to live in such a great city with so much to do and see, and then other days out of nowhere I just get blindsided with being homesick.

But God is SO good and was totally in control through this whole process. I found so much peace in knowing that Georgia was in His plans all along, and that even when I don't know every detail for my future He does, and he's got it all figured out.

Slowly but surely we are starting to feel more settled here. Matt loves his new job, and we love his new schedule. For the first time we're able to enjoy dinner together as a family every night, and we have weekends to look forward to!!! We found our home church, and are starting to feel more connected there as well. I've gotten plugged into a MOPS group, and next year Noah will be in kindergarten. Which is still something we're trying to figure out, and where he'll go to school.  Iowa will always be home to me, but Georgia definitely has a lot to offer and we are always welcoming visitors!!!!

November 2, 2016

Homemade Play Dough

For years I knew you could make play dough at home. We never did growing up, that I remember. And once I had kids my mindset was always, "why the heck would i make it when I can just buy it?" People who make their own play dough have way too much time on their hands. Ha!

Well turns out its like SUPER DUPER EASY!!! Like really easy. Since we've been homeschooling the last couple months we've made a couple batches and the kids love it. The recipe is in our curriculum from The Peaceful Preschool, and its legit. Some homemade recipes I've learned don't keep as well, but so far all our batches that we've made with this one are going strong. Just make sure not to forget the cream of tartar, speaking from experience!

Hope you guys enjoy this, and don't forget to enter here for a chance to win a free download of the entire The Peaceful Preschool curriculum.

Homemade Play Dough

1 c. flour
1 c. salt
1/2 c. cornstarch
2t. cream of tartar
1T cooking oil
1 c. water
several drops of essential oils
several drops of food coloring

Mix all ingredients in a heavy saucepan and stir vigorously over medium low heat until it forms a ball. When cooled to touch, give your child a ball to shape, or separate into three balls and stir a different color or essential oil into each ball. Store in an airtight jar. Keeps indefinitely. 

October 31, 2016

HomeSchooling & The Peaceful Preschool Giveaway

Sometime last year we decided as a family we wanted to try homeschooling. Noah had one more year of preschool before kindergarten next year, and we figured it was a perfect time to try. The freedom of schedule really excited me. Another big factor at the time was Matt's work schedule. At the time he was working 3pm-11pm. so it seemed silly to send Noah away to school, even if only for a few hours several times a week, when that was our time together as a family. I also really loved the idea of spending more intentional quality time with him (and Everly) every week working on school.

Well fast forward to September when we (somewhat) unexpectedly packed up our life in the midwest for a different life in the south. God's timing is perfect and it's crazy to think that He had put homeschooling on our hearts even before we knew we would be moving. It only seemed right to continue down this path while we've been in transition down here.

I can't say if we'll do it forever, and honestly most days IT IS HARD. Between feeding children, clothing them, breaking up fights, and constantly being pulled into 3 different directions, some days it's hard to carve out time for school. The first couple weeks I felt like I was floundering. We didn't really have a curriculum, because well...its preschool and he doesn't know a ton, right? Well I started feeling really overwhelmed because there is sooo much that I could be teaching him, I had a hard time streamlining workbooks, ideas, and well everything.

Enter The Peaceful Preschool. I stumbled across their curriculum on instagram, and we jumped right in. I love that it gives us some structure and direction, while being simple enough that Everly can do everything with us. We've added some things to it ourselves because Noah is 5, and knows his letters and numbers. And we definitely don't follow their weekly schedule to a t. But overall we really really love the simplicity The Peaceful Preschool.

If you've every thought about homeschooling and have little ones, I would highly suggest looking into this one for preschool. And if you're curious what it actually looks like, they offer a free download for the unit A.

I'm also super excited to be giving away one complete curriculum of The Peaceful Preschool to one lucky reader this week.  So make sure to enter below!! 

P.S. Happy Halloween!! We had some family fun this weekend trick or treating at a local outdoor mall, and as always the kids loved it. Hope you all have a great day!

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