Wednesday, December 30, 2015

A day in the life

I've been meaning to do a "day in the life" post for years. I love looking back at past memories on the blog, but sometimes I want to capture what our everyday life looks like.

So, I few weeks ago I took 1 photo each hour to capture what my typical day looks like. In all honesty we have some crazy things going on (more on that soon) so it's not really a typical day, but it gives you a pretty good idea of what my SAHM/WAHM life looks like.

The alarm went off at 6:30 am and I ran downstairs to spend some time with this lady, my trusty Fitness Blender companion.

And by 7 am I had finished my workout for the day!

Then it was time to get the kiddos ready, but first we had to make time for snuggles and a family hug.

This particular day was a Tuesday and by 8:40 I had dropped off Sawyer, picked up a new kid ;) and was walking Nora and her friend into preschool.

At 9 am Kolter and I were running errands. First stop was Aldi...doesn't he look thrilled.

At 10 am we were still running errands and I was going crazy (from all the holiday errands) while Kolter enjoyed a snack. From there I dropped Kolter off at Daddy's office because I had a doctor's appointment.

By 11 am I was waiting in the doctor's office. I was having a skin tag removed. Not the most fun experience, but in all honesty a few minutes of quiet time in the waiting room with no children is kind of a thrill these days ;)

I got home from the doctor's office around 12:30 pm and walked into the house to find this...Kolter on the counter. Daddy had picked up the kids at school and fed them lunch already, so I was off lunch duty for the day.

1 pm - 4 pm is nap time and it involves a lot of these 2 machines. During any given nap time you can find me working on training development on the laptop or sewing for the Etsy shop.

By 4 pm the kids are awake or finished with rest time and they usually get a little screen time. I decided it was time to clean and purge the family room/play room/office.

Around 5 pm Daddy got home and we started making supper and cleaning up the kitchen. I attempted to pour a bag of popcorn in a didn't go very well ;)

At 6 pm the big kids and I were doing some holiday baking for friends and a class party. They requested M&M cookies and I was happy to oblige.

Not the best picture, but the only one I got of them doing their work
Today also happened to be my monthly girls night! I look forward to this day all month! And this happened to be a special girls night because it was at our house and it involved my 5 friends ridding my house of all the junk I no longer wanted. I thought they were just going to help me sort, but no they took it all away (they took some, some went to a garage sale pile at a friend's house and some went to the trash). It was such a relief to have it all gone! Girls night took up much of the evening from 7 pm until 11 pm.

After the girls left I ended my evening by wrapping up the cookies and reading my Advent lesson for the day.

Not the most exciting day, but it will be fun to look back and see what my everyday life looked like with 3 little kiddos and 3 jobs ;)

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas from the Schenk's!

We hope you're having a joyful holiday filled with celebration for our Savior's birth!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Christmas Cheer

In anticipation of the birth of our Savior we have a few family traditions we celebrate in December.

First up this year was a visit to the Akron Children's Hospital Christmas tree festival. There we also had the annual Santa sitting.

As you can tell it went smashingly ;) We actually were totally okay with Kolter screaming in terror but the Claus' were not so keen. So we removed him and the big kids had a grand time on Santa's lap.

Just a sampling of the fun trees at the event
my 3 little elves
Kolter had his 1st "face" painting experience because he must do everything his older siblings do

Next up is our annual Jammie, lights & cocoa night. We get in our pj's, make the 1st hot chocolate of the season and jump in the van to see all the lights around town. This is everyone's favorite tradition and in honor of the event we turned Kolter's car seat around so he could see too!
Annual jammie, cocoa Christmas selfie

And every night during the holiday season Daddy reads for Advent (they are not always eating candy or wearing an Iron Man costume ;) Then they take turns hanging the corresponding ornament.

And the final event was our Jesus birthday party. There will be another post on this, but here are the kids blowing out the candles for Jesus' birthday.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Holiday Crafts

Below are a couple of crafts I've made over the past few months…some were gifts, others were Christmas presents, and I even made something for our holiday decor.

For a recent bridal shower the bride had registered for linen dish towels. Well instead of paying $30 for 2 dish towels I decided to make my own. I also had some fun polka dot trim remnants that I used to make a hanging loop. Sweet and practical…my favorite!

For my nieces birthday I created a coordinating skirt and baby doll dress

 Nora's been asking for a mermaid blanket for a long time, so she helped me pick out the fabric in the summer. Then I made it and hid it until Christmas. I can't wait to see her face when she opens her very own mermaid tail blanket!

During the fall months Sawyer's teachers commissioned me to create autumn inspired buntings. Here are 2 of the 5 I made.

And I made this string art (which is now part of our Christmas decor) at a girls craft night

Over Thanksgiving break the kids got in on the craft action.
I cut out a bunch of holiday fabric scrap strips
 Then the kids painted the canvas and arranged the fabric in a tree shape

This is the finished product after I hot glued the fabric on
I've also been obsessed with making no-crease hair ties…lots of my friends have received a set this holiday season!
I cut all my elastic
Then tied the ends and voila…finished product
For teacher gifts I used more of my scrap fabric to create a different take on the bunting.

Truth be told I only made 2 out of the 5 I intended to make :( But these 2 are pretty cute ;)

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Packing w/ Littles

We are certainly not traveling experts, but we do travel quite a bit via car and airplane. As the holidays approach I thought it might be helpful to explain how we pack 2 weeks worth of clothes for 5 people in 1 suitcase (and keep it under 50 pounds). With the added baggage costs of flying we try to keep our luggage to a minimum. Hopefully this will help you during your holiday travels.

Less is more…pack lightly
I realize this sounds like an oxymoron when you have an infant or a toddler, but it is possible. Just pack the essentials. Ask yourself if you will use it everyday…if not, it's probably not necessary.

Buy disposable items when you reach your destination
Don't pack 100 diapers or baby food for a week. Most likely you'll be within driving distance of a grocery store or Wal-Mart. Just buy them when you get there.

Be strategic
Think through your packing list. I think through what we will be doing each day and pick outfits accordingly. I also try very hard to only pack 1 pair of shoes for each child (i.e. the pair they will wear) This is especially difficult in the winter when shoes are a bit bulkier, but still doable. This way we don't have shoes filling up prime real estate in the suitcase.

Roll your clothes
I always roll the kids clothes especially since they are small and fit nicely on the bottom of the suitcase in the little crevices between the bars. It's a great way to fill that space.

Do laundry
When we are traveling for 2 weeks I typically pack 4 or 5 outfits + 1 dress outfit for each person. We are typically staying with family so I'm easily able to do a few loads of laundry.

Carry a backpack
Traveling with 3 kids 5 and under can be chaos, so the less stuff we have the better. We check our big bag and car seats. Then we each carry a backpack, no little roller bags. Each child fills their bag with toys/books/electronics for the trip and they carry their own bag. Then they are responsible for their things and the adults only have to wrangle the children…not the children and all the bags ;) My backpack is typically filled with snacks and electronics (as we try to control the consumption of both) and diaper bag essentials.

This is Nora's bag she packed for herself when she stayed with friends…pretty good for a 4 year old

A couple of other things to remember when flying with littles (especially when flying solo):
  • Less is best
  • Have them carry their own items
  • Check everything you can
  • Bring snacks…lots of snacks
  • Have a stroller or carrier, even if your kids are very mobile its nice to have a stroller to stash items when you don't want to carry them
  • Don't forget the pacifiers (for the little ones) and gum (for the big ones)
  • Bring wipes…lots of wipes
  • Don't carry on any liquids, then you don't have to mess with the clear bag and such
  • Come armed with lots of patience and grace

Monday, December 14, 2015

Christmas Decor

Following our Thanksgiving nap we decided to put up the Christmas decorations! Nora is all about decorating so she jumped at the chance and Sawyer even had a little fun putting the ornaments on the tree and helping daddy set the tree up.

my boys putting up the tree

Placing their 1st ornaments

The mantle with all 5 stockings hung

The tree full of precious ornaments old and new