Sunday, December 25, 2011

Rearranging...

So I have been tidying and updating the ol' blog.
Hate the header...hate, hate, hate how big the picture is.
No techno savvy at all, so my apologies at having to look at a circa 2005 blog design.
I stink at these sorts of things.
But, I updated my lists, changed the color etc.
Christmas was lovely...kids far too spoiled.
A bit glazed over really.
Now the great annual purge and reorganization of the rooms begins...myself included.
Although I must admit that I took a van load of stuff to Goodwill while packing up the house.
That felt good...let me tell you. 
I think I can do more.
My sweetie spoiled me yet again this year...books, spa day, Steelers bling.
What more do I need?
He's busy playing his new PS3 games while I blog...happiness means different things to different people and he is happy...I did good.
Pondering the new year and what it will bring...
A certain boy turning 5,
new baby,
new house,
Trying find my rythym.
I hope to work on myself by practicing gratitude and praying with regularity. 
I need to be better about it.
Keep my mind on higher things.
Keep my mind on the positive.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Going, going, gone...

Well, it is done. 
The house was packed and loaded.
Everything now in storage.
The lights are turned off.
The heat turned down, all ready for the new owners.
I hope they will take care of that little house.
It was strange and a wee bit bittersweet to walk the empty rooms and say goodbye.
We bought that house knowing it was not our forever house.
I never got truly attached to it because of that fact.
I never loved it, but how I love the memories that were made there.
So many sweet things happened that make me hold that house in high esteem.
Meals made, babies brought home from the hospital, children learning to walk and talk
I tried to find a picture in my current archives for you to see, but no luck.  All my others are now in storage...oh well.
So we are back in our new digs for the Holidays.
Today we are making jingle bell bracelets.
Cookies need to be baked for tomorrow.
A few last packages need to be wrapped.
Ingredients bought for a Christmas morning french toast bake.
A cradle painted.
Suitcases un-packed.
Plans made for the two weeks of vacation ahead of us...children's museum, zoo, library...a movie too.  We'll see...

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Tea, oranges, and 5 kiddies...

Wrapping gifts, not my favorite thing, but I love the result.  I have been watching my nieces for the last couple of weeks...5 kids under 4 years old = tired. But, despite my growing rotundness and bum 95 year old woman of a hip (that's how it feels, just a pregnancy perk), we have painted and baked cookies, made recycled crayons, and made ornaments.  Tomorrow might hold jingle bell bracelets for us.  We'll see.
Holiday gift making is done, packages sent.  Decided against Christmas cards...maybe New Year's cards would be the way to go.
Craving oranges and chamomile tea these days...also bowls of Malt O Meal.  Is there anyone else out there that loves that hot cereal as I do?  A hold over from childhood I guess...loved it then too.
Evelyn and Rubia are going through rough discipline stages right now.  They are so much faster than me these days.  Elijah hasn't wanted to eat his lunch at school lately...working with that too.  Starting to see progress.  Consistency is tough.
I am dying for a good book to read...any suggestions?

Monday, December 5, 2011

Winter's goings on...

Sewing, sewing...what is it about sewing that seems so right this time of year? Knitting too, but that has been a bit of a disaster I won't get into. I'm afraid I have made a mess of my Mother-in-Law's dining room table in the sewing process, but, I am almost done with my projects as they need to be shipped off in the mail.  I can't wait to have a sewing/crafting room of my own.  Please, oh, please let our next house have one!
We had our first real snow on Saturday...the whole day soft, white flakes fell to the ground, muffling all the sounds around us.  It turned into a rightfully lazy day.  Today was a whirlwind to make up for it.  Wal-Mart how I loath thee, but sometimes it can't be helped.  Going down the aisles at Michael's made up for it, however.  I am making such fun little things for my kiddies this year...little goodies for their stockings and for under the tree.  If only these headaches that are coming with this pregnancy didn't keep slowing me down!  I would have so much more done by now.
Elijah is obsessed with learning to read and write.  Saturday morning he sat at the table while I sewed and asked me how to spell words.  He can write most of his letters in what I consider to be excellent fashion for being only 4.  He made his wish list for Santa and promptly requested an envelope in which to mail it to the North Pole.  I promised him I would see to it.  I really just tucked it away for safe keeping.  It is much to precious a thing to mail away.  I must keep his first handwritten letter to Santa, don't you agree?  After all, I do know the truth about the jolly old fat man and I'm sure Elijah's list will be attended to...{wink, wink}.
We are counting down the days until Christmas with a red and green paper chain.  Evelyn glued and I stuck it together.  Each day the kids remove another loop with such glee and begging to know, "How many days now Mama?"  Oh, the magic of Christmas in little ones.  I am trying to see to it that they know the real reasons for why we celebrate...Jesus after all is the whole reason.  Elijah has more of a grasp then the girls, but, I know they hear.
I don't like posting without any pictures...my camera suffered a mishap, but, thankfully my husband had the foresight to get one of those insurance things when he bought it.  It has been repaired and returned to me, but I haven't gotten back into the habit of taking pictures.
Oh, dear...it's nearing the dinner hour and I have yet to start the making...dance class is tonight, best be going!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

A long time coming...




Well, hello there!  I never intended to be gone so long.  We are all well here, just living life, doing the things everyone does. Honestly, I haven't had the motivation to blog these past few months.  We have been in such a state of transition, that I just haven't wanted to sit down and write.  Don't worry things are good.  David and the kids are all well and thriving...I'm holding my own too.  But, today is truely joyful, we sold our house and now we can begin to move into the next phase of our lives.  I feel like I have been holding my breath and now I can breath again.  The rollercoaster that is selling a house these days is truely grueling.  The ups and downs, the lowball offers, the living apart from my sweet husband.  It's come to a close.  So happy!
So what have you all missed?
Elijah started pre-school and loves it. His teacher is amazing.
Evelyn is taking dance once a week.
Elijah played soccer in the Fall.  He was quite good if I do say so myself, despite me being his coach.
Miss Rubia talks quite a bit.
Cool Fall days watching the squirrels.
Costume creating...I challenged myself big time this year: A Clone Trooper, A Purple Fairy, and Little Ruby Riding Hood.
Learning the landscape and the heartbeat of a new city and state.
My Dad and Step-Mom came for a wonderful visit.
Oh and the biggest news of all...baby #4 is on the way...I'm 20 weeks along.  This will be our last as far as we are concerned.  But, we are very excited nonetheless.
Big things, happy things.
I hope to be back regularly now.  I have missed you little blog...yes, I have.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Black and White...




My Sister-in-law Maxisue and I did the decorating for our mutual Sister-in-law Nicole's Bridal Shower.  What fun we had!
It was vision of black and white with paper lanterns, take out boxes full of nibbly candies, tea lights, fortunes and fortune cookies.
We even wore black and white to be totally kitchy and match the party.
If you ever need to fine cool stuff for an Asian themed party, find a local Asian market...wonderful goodies are to be found on every aisle.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

This Week...

 This week I have been...
Crocheting dish cloths
Sorting through a stack of mail as high as Mount Everest
Reviving an African Violet
Craving Strawberry Shortcake
Sorting through shoes
Sewing curtains
Loving on feverish children
Wishing the heat would die down just a smidge
Wondering about that lone green M&M up there
Kicking myself over a lost receipt
Hot-gluing magnets
Watching far too many re-runs of Fraiser 
Preparing to send my boy to preschool
Perusing a brick and mortar Blick Art Materials
Cutting out patterns
Washing dishes
Finishing off The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart
Reading a real letter from a friend
Watching Ruby Red take many, many, many independent steps
What are you up to this week???

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Kick your kids out...

...outside that is.  And don't literally kick them, just opening the door will do.  But the point is to get them outside.  Kids these days are deficient in Vitamin D.  Milk isn't enough, they need to get it from sunshine too.  My Aunt who is a nurse, encouraged me to have my kids out in the sunshine everyday for 10 minutes sans sunscreen.  This short time would be enough for their bodies to produce the needed vitamin.  I then whisk them back inside and slather on the sunscreen if we plan to be out longer.
Kids also, just need to be outside exploring nature and using their imaginations.  I bought the book 15 Minutes Outside by Rebecca Cohen several months ago.  It just so happens to have been reviewed this week over at Simple Kids.  It has some wonderful ideas for play and exploration outdoors throughout the year.  It has been a great jumping off point for me in getting them out and about. 
But, it doesn't have to be complicated, especially this time of year when the weather is nice...for the most part.  Do things that you normally would do indoors, outdoors...
Have a Snack Alfresco.  Load up your kids plates with their snack and park them outside to dine.  I am convinced that dining outside makes food taste better and the usual eating battles become non-existent when eating under a maple tree.
Fold a Paper Airplane...and send them outside to fly it.  The plane not only has much more room to fly, but any passing breeze seems to take the plane higher and farther...thrilling for any child.
Go Fishing.  Our state fish and wildlife department is hosting family fishing days throughout the Summer.  They provide the rods, reels, tackle, bait, and instruction and the kids get to have a blast.  We went last night and even managed to catch a small Bluegill...can you see it down there?  I couldn't get Elijah and Evelyn to touch it, but they were thrilled with the accomplishment.  Will continue to work on it.

Find a Local Nature Center.  Most areas these days have natural areas to visit.  Many have native animals to see and trails to hike.  These are a wonderful resource that are often free.
Walk to a Park, Blow Bubbles, Paint...Something, Anything.  Just getting outside helps my kids be happy and healthy.  Don't worry so much about messes and getting dirty.  They won't learn about the world unless they explore it and that often means getting dirty.  I have had a hard time with this, but I work on it from day to day...remember there are always baths and always clothes to clean, so whats a few more at the end of the day?
Just get them out there!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

That sweet boy of mine...

This is my boy...4 going on 22.
He is cerebral, literal, and methodical.
We play checkers most days when the girls are napping.  I play to win, because I want him to learn how to play properly as well as how to win and lose with grace.  When he loses I don't let him mope and when he wins I don't let him gloat.
We play badmitton in the backyard.
We draw pictures with pastels.
We have deep conversations about Jesus, Salvation, Heaven and Hell. 
He's not afraid to ask the hard questions.
He loves Star Wars and can spend hours with his action figures.
We sing: "Coming 'Round the Mountain," " Singing in the Rain," "Old Man Tucker," "Found a Peanut."
He loves a good knock, knock joke.
He is ecstatic about going to pre-school in the Fall.
He is independent, but will still cuddle with me most days...thank goodness.
He makes me so proud.
I love my sweet boy.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

She is 1...









A certain little girl turned one year old last Saturday.
We ate New York, Chicago, and Seattle style hot dogs.
We had a bubble party...lots and lots of bubble blowing.
I made nine gallons of bubble solution.
It was poured into a kiddy pool and the kids went to town.
They used tennis rackets, a hula hoop, and bubble wands of all shapes and sizes.
Here is the bubble recipe...it's easy peasy:
1 24 ounce bottle Dawn dish soap
1 and 1/2 cups corn syrup
3 gallons water
Mix, let sit for 2 days, then blow bubbles!
The Dawn dish soap is perfect because it already has glycerin in it and the corn syrup is the special secret. The glycerin and the corn syrup help the bubbles hold together and allow you to make giant bubbles with a hula hoop.
After the kids were done with blowing bubbles, a make shift slip and slide was created.
The kids slid and slid until all were soaked and enormously happy.
We then went inside to eat banana and caramel cupcakes.
Gifts were opened and naps were taken.
Kiddies took home jars of the bubble solution and homemade copper bubble wands.
It was good...
very, very good.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Hello Again...



We are here.  Getting settled.  The kids are having their ups and downs, but they are starting to adjust.  Rubia turns 1 year old tomorrow...I'm not sure where that year went.  She's also teething, so she goes from happy to mad in about 2 seconds.
We are having a little, tiny party for her tomorrow.  I will certainly be sharing about that.  I have been enjoying getting things ready...little gifts, homemade cupcakes, sweet little favors, and fun things for all the kiddies to do outside in celebration of this special girl.
I haven't found my rhythm yet in this new place, but, I know as the days and weeks move along, things will fall into their places as they are meant to.  My posting may continue to be sporadic for awhile...my apologies.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Be Back?????

Packing, organizing, getting ready...
The big move is this Saturday.
I'll be back when I can.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Doll for Evelyn...

I finished up the last present for Evelyn's birthday.  It will be tucked away with the other things I made for her until August when she turns 3.
I would have adored this doll when I was a little girl.  It is along the same lines as a paper doll, but with fabric. It is a pattern from the incomparable Wee Wonderfuls book that I have blogged about before.
I made several outfits for the doll to be able to change as mood strikes and there is a pocket in the back to store all of the outfits when play is done.  Each outfit is backed with felt, the doll silhouette on the pillow is made from felt...and since felt sticks to felt, it works!  As long as Evelyn doesn't sprint through the house while carrying it that is.
I enjoyed making the outfits so much that I really could have kept going and going.  But, with the move about to happen, I wanted to finish it up so that the pillow could be tucked away safe and sound. There is everything however, that any stylish doll must have at this point: 2 t-shirts, 2 blouses, 1 pair of cords, 1 pair of jeans, a swimsuit, an understated dress, a party dress, a rain jacket and hat, 2 clutches, 2 purses, and 1 tote bag.  The basics really. I think that if Evelyn really likes playing with it, I will make more clothes for her for Christmas.
I had to of course test the doll and all of her outfits first...just to make sure everything worked.  It's all about quality control. ;)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Taking a step back...

Today I packed up Evelyn's dress-up basket, the kid's bedding, and the rest of my paired down sewing and crafting supplies.  I still have much to do, but I had to stop and spend some uninterrupted time with my babies.  We played outside, read books, ate chocolate chip cookies, and did puzzles.
I began to feel a bit blue at leaving this little house of ours and I needed to just "be" with my babies for awhile.  So many memories have happened here, so much growing and changing in the lives of my little ones...walking, talking, playing.
I thought of all of the meals I have cooked, and all of the times I have begrudgingly cleaned the bathrooms (my least favorite chore).  We have grown and changed as a family and while David and I are ready to move on to what is next, I think back to our years here with fondness.
So while I looked back a bit today, the to-do list will wait for no-one.  Next weekend and the move will be here fast and furious, so organizing and crossing things off of my list continues tomorrow.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Elijah's projects...

Elijah gave up naps a couple of months ago.  At first I was sad to see my alone time go, but now I see it as time that he and I get to spend with him one on one.  Sometimes we do a little, sometimes we do a lot, or sometimes we each do our own thing.  I find myself forgetting that he is only 4 years old sometimes.  He is one smart cookie and we have the best conversations.  Plus, he is a capable kid that is able to do a great deal for himeself and on his own. 
I have mentioned the magazine Family Fun before.  Over the last couple of days he and I have made one of the projects found in a speciual Spring issue of the magazine.  He spotted the tube racer and asked if we could make one.  I like to keep recycled materials on hand, I never know when I might need something for a project or activity.
Some of my favorite things to stash away are:
good pieces of cardboard
cardboard tubes
plastic bottle caps
styrofoam food trays for painting (from veggies, not meat)
glass jars of all sizes
oatmeal canisters
spice shakers
Other things I like to have on hand are:
coffee filters
straws
toothpicks
marbles
and of course the usual art supplies as well.
Anyway I digress...
Elijah and I raided the supplies and while I helped him at certain points he did most of the work in making that tube racer up there.  While a fun project for us to do, it is not something that held up very well during the active play of a 4 year old.  The wheels had to be re-attached several times before he gave up and started pretending that it was a crashed car that had fallen off a cliff. 
Oh well.  I hope that these kinds of activities help him see that with a little imagination something fun can come from what would seem to be junk.
Tomorrow we might make a magic fish aquarium.
Note:  I tried to find these projects on the website so as to link, but they don't have them listed...frustrating.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Scenes from a day...






Much going on here...
A Daddy on the road,
Packing,
Cleaning,
Cuddling,
Recovering from a wicked virus,
Wishing for warmer days
and knowing they will come.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Easter Basket Loot...

I enjoy making things by hand for my kiddies and this Easter was no exception.  I made them each a set of wooden bead critters...a bunny, duck, and caterpillar.  I got the idea from Family Fun Magazine (love that magazine!).  I worked on them while the kids were around and they kept trying to get me to spill what I was working on...I love building the anticipation.
I also made them each their own zippered pouch.  Each pouch is fully lined in a fun fabric and I stamped each child's name on the front.  I then tucked in fresh new pencils to complete the package.  These were then tucked into their baskets with chocolates and a few other little surprises.  The best part (for me) is the fact that everything I used to make the bead animals and the pouches came from my stash...I didn't have to make a craft store run...even once.  I love that, but not as much as my kiddies faces when I get to spoil them just a wee bit with Mama-handmade goodness.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

To Do: Nature Scavenger Hunt...

Yesterday was finally a warm, sunny day with no wind or rain...we spent as much time outside as possible.  I even managed to get my first sunburn of the year.
Then I decided that we should do a little scavenger hunt.  I like them to notice nature as much as possible, so I gave them each a list of simple things to find: rock, stick, flower, grass, leaf.  I had drawn a picture of each item, but, also wrote the word, because they recognize letters and want to know about words lately. Off they went.
I enjoyed talking to them about what they found, asking about the rocks, and other goodies they came across.  I wsked them why the chose the things they did and tried to help them notice the differences and similarities of things.
I think we will do this activity again at a park and I will come up with a longer list of items to find.
Rubia was also on hand to watch the goings on.