Friday, December 28, 2007

Finally Friday and Pictures

It is finally Friday and though I don't have much to say or report on my craftiness, I do have some photos to share. At first I thought I had some photos of the crafty gifts I made for friends and family but I guess because I was in a rush to get them done, wrapped and either given or mailed, I forgot to take pictures. Drats, I do hope to get better at that this new upcoming year. I have been working the last few days in our basement, getting toys organzied, trying to get rid of toys. Which is hard when you have 3 boys all close in age and playing with the same yet different toys. I swear I don' t think we have any room for anything else.

I have also been working on getting my crafting area in order and under control and more "user" friendly. I have struggled with this since moving into our home. I should belly up and take pictures so you can understand what I'm talking about, but I am ashamed at how it looks. I see all of these beautiful sewing nooks and only wish that mine looked that way. I don't even have a window to set my machine under, which is why I usually move my machine upstairs onto the dining room table. But alas, my dining room table looks like a trashed area and I get frustrated and don't want to do any work. That is my reason for cleaning and organizing the basement these last few days. I am trying to figure out how to make it more appealing to the kids to play in (how could it not be, it is a wonderland of toys). I have noticed that the kids are more apt to play in the basement when it is picked up. So, how do I get them to help me pick up? That will be a project to work on.
Anyway, back to the sewing area. My sewing space is also shared with the office. I have about 1/3 of the room dedicated to sewing and the remainder is the desk, file cabinet and desk space. I have been pondering moving my area to the guest bedroom, the problem with this is that it puts me on the 2nd floor of the house and the kids playing in the basement or destroying the family room. I have also pondered, talking with my husband about selling our weight machine. Neither of us uses it, he and I both have gym memberships and it takes up a lot of space. If we removed it that would make a nice are (even under a window) that I could work. Not sure what will happen. But I really should take before and after pictures. But as I said. I am ashamed.
I have really gotten to feeling much better. I actually want to clean. For me that has been a struggle over the last several months. Now if only the laundry fairy would come and magically wash, dry, fold and put away my laundry. Oh how I dislike laundry and can't keep up with it.
So now for the pictures:

Looking at the dancing water.

The little one didn't want the big one near him for a photo.

An attempt to take a picture of the boys with Frosty (this is the only one that looks partially decent of all three of them, the rest are a beautiful mess.)

Christmas Program. Trevor's class sang "I'm a little snowman" and Michael rang (with handbells) "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" and then their classes sang together "Santa Claus is coming to town" and "We wish you a merry Christmas"

The baby crashed. He had a long day and just collapsed on the kitchen floor.

The baby playing in a tote.

Christmas morning for Michael.

Christmas morning for Trevor.

Christmas morning for Ethan (yes it's a vacuum and yes he plays with it and cleans nonstop)

My Red Velvet Cake that was turned into a trifle because Ethan dropped one of the pans on the floor, dug his finger in another one and the third one just fell apart.

Helping daddy fix his headlight.

And lastly, Trevor wanted so badly to go outside and play. So he put his new boots on (the wrong feet), his coat (old one) was upside down, two different gloves (one mitten and one glove both were mine, and his hat). He looked rather cute and went and made a few snow angels in the backyard before coming in and asking for hot chocolate.

Well, that is probably enough for now.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

It is finally over...

Finally, a break for all of us who have been shopping (not me, my husband did most of it for the kids and I only helped with the in-laws, chose my family and friend gifts and of course his gifts). Wow, I guess I did do more shopping than I thought. But I chose to do the majority of my shopping online, this way I did not have to get out with the little ones in the crowds.

I received this newsletter in my inbox today. This is the blurb that I am required to post: Aby Garvey is a professional organizer and the owner of simplify 101, inc. Her mission is to help you create time and space for what matters most in your home and life. Aby is the author of the e-book "the happy scrapper - simple solutions to get organized and get scrapping!" Visit the simplify 101 website for organizing ideas and to subscribe to Aby's organizing email newsletter.
Anyway, it has some great tips. And I 'm going to use them to get the new toys. clothes, games and what nots in place.

And for me, so well deserved sewing time for myself. My quilt-along squares have fallen behind and I need to catch up. My time at the gym has fallen off and I need to get back in the routine.

As for New Years...I'm not sure what we will be doing. No plans have been made thus far. And for resolutions, I try not to make them because I always fail at following through with them. Instead for the upcoming new year I have made a Hopes & Dreams Jar . I can put my thoughts, things I want to accomplish and things I dream of doing and re-read those at the end of the year and see how many of those small pieces of paper were accomplished!

Have a great day!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

A visit with Santa and a list

Santa said as I sat Ethan downn that this would be a classic Christmas picture and it sure is. I love the look on Ethan's face with is little hands covering his mouth. And of course Michael and Trevor were looking at me instead of their dad and the camera. These 3 little boys just put a smile on my face (but can also make me frown).

With Christmas fast approaching (2 weeks away but who's counting) and family events starting this weekend, I need to get some stuff completed. So what better way than to make a list:

~Baking - I am way behind, but not worried about it. What gets completed will get completed and what doesn't just doesn't. But today I am going to make some Cowboy cookies and Peanut Butter Delights and some more toffee (the toffee is for gifts). Plus I have to figure out what kind of cookie I am taking to a cookie swap on Sunday and bake 10 dozen of the same kind.
~Gifts to make
1. Quintin - finish his colored pencil roll
2. Julie - oops she sometimes reads so I won't put down what I have to finish for her but know I need to finish it.
3. Joseph - ugh he's a handful and destroys toys, so he's getting a coloring bag.
4. Dale - asked for a Chicago Bears blanket and pillow like the White Sox one I made for him, yikes I need to go shopping.
5. Candle Mats/Potholders for the sibling baskets - This should not take too long.
~Noodle making - 10lbs by Saturday, can I do this, YES I can as Bob would say. 3lbs a day will take care of it, but I think I need more eggs.
~Cleaning - the house is coming along nicely. Just need to do some tidying.
~Gingerbread house - Kids want to make one do I feel like baking all of the sides, not really so it looks like I need to go to the store. probably not today.
~Kids craft - I found these cute dangles at Allsorts . I have the dangles printed and am going to cut out the kids' names and glue them onto card stock and let the kids add glitter and then we can decide where to hang them. Plus we might have to make some snowmen today with marshmallows.

I also need to take some time for me today and I will do that in the afternoon. I am planning on sitting and reading for a bit. I have many more things to add to that list, but don't want to bombard myself.

For in the kitchen, I thought I would share an eggnog recipe for those that are watching their calories. I received this recipe last year from an email from HungryGirl. And I'm sure she will be sending it out again, but I have not seen it come across my inbox. So here it is:

5 cups light vanilla soymilk (they used 8th Continent Light Vanilla Soymilk, I used Fit & Active Light Vanilla Soymilk from Aldi's)

1 sm pkg (4 serving) sugar free fat free vanilla instant pudding
5 no calorie sweetner packets (such as Splenda)
1 tsp rum extract
1/2 tsp nutmeg
Place all ingredients in the blender and mix until smooth. Refrigerate for a few hours. Makes 5 - 1 cup servings.
calories: 88 fat: 2g sodium: 350mg carbs: 11g fiber: 0g sugar: 5g protein: 6g
Points value of 2 and if you add 5oz of rum to the recipe it takes the calorie count to 153 per serving and a points value of 3.

It is a good alternative. And I am watching the calories this year!!!

And because I'm feeling in the a bit in the spirit, I thought I would share a picture from Christmas past: Michael's first Christmas in 2002. And then there is Payton (the reindeer, with droopy antlers)and Carmichael (the Santa).

Thursday, December 6, 2007

ABC's of Christmas

No this is not my house (this was my house 3 years ago) but this is my Christmas tree. It is up (finally) with lights and ornaments. A beautiful tree, but a big pain. My boys all put ornaments on it this year and the little one keeps unplugging all of the lights but I am grateful that the tree is up and everything seems to be falling into some sort of shape.
The boys and I attended and Advent Adventure at church on Saturday and we came home with a pamphlet of information. This was included : ABC's of Christmas
A is for Angels with halos so bright. Whose carols were heard on that first Christmas Night.
B is for Bells so merrily ringing. Joy to the world is the message they are bringing.
C is for Candles that so brightly shine. To give a warm welcome to your friends and mine.
D is for Doorway with garlands of gree. To make Christmas merry as far as they're seen.
E is for Evergreens with fragrance so rare. So plentiful at Christmas their scent fills the air.
F is for Fun the whole season long. From trimming the tree to singing a song.
G is for Greetings a merry "hello". With a heart full of love for people we know.
H is for Holly with berries so red. To make into wreaths to hang overhead.
I is for Ice on snow covered hills. Where sledding is fun along with the spills.
J is for Jesus the Christ child so dear. We honor his birth on Christmas each year.
K is for Kris Kringle so merrily stands. He is who they call Santa in so many lands.
L is for Lanterns I am sure that their light. Helped Mary and Joseph that first Christmas night.
M is for Mary her heart full of love. For her little son Jesus who came from above.
N is for Noel the angels did sing. To herald the birth of Jesus, our King.
O is for Ornaments so shingin and bright. With lights on the tree to sparkle at night.
P is for Packages with ribbons so gay. All 'round the tree for our Christmas Day.
Q is for Quiet Christmas Eve night. With snow covered hills glistening so bright.
R is for Reindeer who pull Santa's sleigh. To your house, to my house they know the way.
S is for Shepherds who first saw the star. Over Bethlehem's manger and followed it far.
T is for Trees we decorate so gay. Then wait for ol' Santa to hurry our way.
U is for Universe where Christmas brings joy. To all in the world to each girl and each boy.
V is for Visiting friends near and far. We travel by plane or by bus or by car.
W is for Wise Men who brought gifts so rare. And knelt down and worshiped the child they found there.
X is for X-mas or Christmas by full name. No matter the language it all means the same.
Y is for Yule Logs whoe bright sparks fly high. To give a warm welcome to friends passing by.
Z is for Zeal we show at this time. In giving to others and loving mankind.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Okay it's fixed but another problem today

Today, was not meant for me to sew. I did do some sewing after I spent almost an hour taking my machine apart putting it back together, apart again, together again, apart again and finally together again and it was working. For some reason the bobbin holder kept popping up and I had to take it apart and put it back in. Once that was fixed then the thread was doing crazy things. Take it apart. Finally after almost throwing it out the window it decided to work again.

I have my block 1 done and need to locate the camera (I think it is in the van from our trip home over Thanksgiving weekend) and take some photos of it. I'm going to start working on block 2.

My other problem today is that I had Michael at the Dr. this morning. Complaining of an ear ache. Sure enough, ear infection in both ears. That means all 3 boys have had an ear infection over the course of the last 10 days and they are all on medicine. Ethan is finishing his up in the next day or two.

So, as much as I wanted to sew, I spent a great deal of time cuddling. Which is good for the soul!!!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007


I think my sewing machine is broken. It is acting funny and not wanting to sew. So I quit working on my project for today and am going to pick up again tomorrow with fresh eyes. I hope it is nothing major and that it is just being tempermental.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Something for me....

as well as some Christmas presents. With long thought and contemplation I have decided to take part in a Quilt-A-Long. I looked at it and pondered and thought will I actuallly continue on with the project as it goes on. Is it too late to start? I have so many projects that I need to work on why am I going to start something new?

Well, I have to do something for me and I can knock out a couple of Christmas presents as I go.

If you would like to join in with me (and the many others that are participating) go and visit AmandaJean at Crazy Mom Quilts.

And here are the direct links to the first 3 weeks / blocks:

Week 1 , Week 2, Week 3 .

And I believe this would be a nice way to get started on quilting if you have never tried. AmandaJean has great tutorials that are easy to follow and understand. I am going to work on my blocks today and try to post some pictures later.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Keeping Busy / Happy Thanksgiving!!!

So I'm a little late posting Halloween Photos, but aren't they cute. This was the best picture we had of all three of them. I just love the little monkey. He learned quick what to do and was (as you can see) snooping in his brothers buckets!!!

Next on my list, is a Snowman Trio. I had a "vision" of these and decided to go with it. They turned out really cute and I made up a bunch more. Great teachers gifts and cute add ons to packages.

Then there was this...
My neighbors daughter was having a sleepover and she asked if I would make a cake for her. I said sure. Originally we were just going to do a layer cake, but then she say my "Special Cakes" book and looked through it. I told her that I was not sure that I would have the time (or patience) to do it. And in case it didn't I had a back-up plan. I think it turned out well. I'm not used to working with fondant and the boys didn't care for the taste of it. But the cake was cute.

That brings me up to date. I have been working on other projects, some of which I have neglected (forgotten) to take photos of and others that are still in progress. The holidays are fast approaching and I'm not sure everything will get done. But I am going to try really hard. Spiderman, Optimus Prime and the Monkey all keep me busy (sugar on the kitchen floor, oatmeal on the family room floor and play doh in the basement).

Now this is what I have worked on today...

2 pumpkin pies - one for my family & one for the neighbor
2 apple pies - one for my family & one for the neighbor

2 pecan pies (still in the oven) - one for my family & one for the neighbor

2 hazelnut tarts - one for me to take along as a thank you gift & one for the neighbor And finally, the above is 2 pounds of egg noodles. There is a total of 4 pounds.

As much as I love Thanksgiving, I'll be glad when it is over. I have been busy for 3 days and don't feel like I have gotten anything accomplished. (Not really, I have done a lot and feel really good about what I have done).

Have a Happy and Safe Thanksgiving!!!!!

Monday, November 5, 2007

Simple things

The above is a Rag Quilt Wall Hanging that I made. Embroidered on each of the hearts is the saying "Live, Love, Laugh". That is how I have been living today. And how I am going to live each day from now on. I have been working my way through "The Purpose Driven Life" instead of 1 day at a time, 1 week at a time. I realize this defeats the purpose of the book, however, for me it makes it much easier to process. I was afraid that I would read each chapter do the journalling and go on without much thought. Doing it this way gives me time to review what I have written and really let the message sink in.
I was re-reading on of the questions, that pertained to life on earth is a temporary assignment. This made me think, then I wrote, if life is a temporary assignment, then the material items that we hold onto are really not necessary. As I have been getting my home ready for the holidays and just in order for a less chaotic life and much simpler life, I have been purging and getting rid of stuff. With life being a temporary assignment, it makes letting go of things much easier. We really don't need to hold onto all of the baby toys, there are children that we could use them. Do we really need all of those clothes that are hanging in our closet, time to get rid of more of them and donate those as well. Do we really need all of those books (paperback books that I have read and will probably not read again.) time to give them to the library and let them use them or sell them in their next sale.
The passage really helped me get a handle on living more simply and why I should live more simply.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Thinking more about the holidays

I have been diligently working on getting my house ready for the upcoming holiday season. Things have already become a bit stressful in regards to where we are spending Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. It has recently become a "situtation" with the in-laws. MIL wants all of us at her house on Christmas Day and BIL is having his in-laws at his house on Christmas Day. Which leaves me and my husband in the middle and no one cares what we want to do.

I read an article here. And I think that this article will settle if for us. I sent the article to my husband and asked if he thought we should pass on to his family. I really want to be home on Christmas Day. I really want to start our own traditions and values. I have been working on small things the last few years but I want to incorporate a few more things and that has been hard to do with the traveling over the holidays.

We are hosting my family on December 15th. This takes care of us having to incorporate a 2-1/2 hour trip on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day to see my family. I spend Thanksgiving with them every year and then that has left Christmas Eve and Christmas Day to the in-laws as in the past it was predicated that we spend both days with them.

Last year, I did not enjoy the holidays, a lot of stress. This year is going to be better, the house is looking great (shaping up quite nicely with some simple routines and a little bit of time each day decluttering), the Christmas gifts and shopping are coming along nicely, and I'll get the decorations out slowly and really ask myself, do I like this, why am I using it and if it's not loved or is being kept for no reason it is going this year.

I plan on having everything done, so that in the month of December, the boys and I can bake each day, play games and do some holiday fun stuff with the season of advent. Here's to a happy and joyous season for the right reasons and not the wrong.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween

Today, my little guys are dressing up for school. We have Optimus Prime, Spiderman and a cute little Monkey (maybe daddy will wear a yellow hat and we can have Curious George and the Man with the Yellow Hat). Since I am helping in Spiderman's room, I have put my hair in pigtails, a flannel shirt and jeans, with cowboy hat in hand (it just looks silly on my head with the pigtails) to be either a farmer or a cowgirl, whichever the kids think. Good thing I kept some of the shirts from the line dancing and rodeo going days. They do come in handy every once in a while, even if it is just for a costume for the kids's parties.

Speaking of kids parties, I baked 120 sugar cookies yesterday. 26 ghosts and 26 pumpkins have no icing, as they are for Spidermans room as their snack. They get to decorate them. And then 20 pumpkins were iced to give in Optimus Prime's class as their Halloween "gift". And the rest were iced for the friends that come by our house trick or treating that we know that enjoy a cookie every now and again.

The pumpkins above are a little creation that I made. They have a cinnamon stick in them and have been baked with coffee in the oven to give them the fresh picked from the pumpkin patch. I actually made these last year and sold a few and this is the set that I have left. The little tag is stitched and says Fall Gatherings.

Have a great Halloween. Try not to Trick to many people but do try and get or give lots of Treats.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Time flies

I have had a what doesn't seem like a busy week, but a busy week. Last night the boys and I made sugar cookies with the neighbor girls. They all had fun icing them. I did not get any pictures taken because I had to keep the little one from licking all of the icing off of the cookies.

I have started my Holiday Planner for the Christmas season. This is big for me, because the last couple of years I have not used one, but really should have. I am looking forward to a calm and peaceful holiday season this year. (That is as long as the families agree on where we are supposed to be be). I'm not sure if I will be hosting Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. I would prefer Christmas Day, to keep the kids home and not out running around and away from their gifts. We would be able to attend mass in the morning and then have a mid afternoon meal. However, the family is disputing who is going to be with who. I will be hosting my side of the families Christmas on the 15th of December. So our holiday starts 10 days early. Which means I have 10 days less time to get things done. But I'm looking forward to it (I think).

I have been sewing, crochetting and stitching up a storm, with a few pics to upload. Busy with those gifts for the holiday season. My shopping list is starting to grow. I'm watching sales ads and deciding how to wisely spend my money. I even have my grocery shopping list somewhat figured out, so I can get a few things each week to make the shopping easier later. I do not like to be out with the hustle and bustle of the holiday season with all the shoppers, makes me nervous.

We will be at my mom's house for Thanksgiving. Mom and I need to review the menu from last year and make our changes so she can have a shopping list as well. The sooner the better!!!

I must say that even though I have started my planning for the holiday season, I do not understand how stores can put Christmas decorations out prior to Halloween being over. I drove past Ace Hardware the other night and on top of their building was a lit Christmas tree, their doors had trim around it and Santa and Frosty were outside. The over commercialization of the holiday is ridiculous. And Thanksgiving just gets forgotten about. I really enjoy Thanksgiving I think even more than Christmas. So much more is expected of us during the Christmas season.

Okay, enough ranting...

Friday, October 19, 2007

Finally Friday

Thank goodness. I survived the week. The basement is drying out. I extracted the water with the shopvac and then set fans all over the place (6 in total) and have the dehumidfier running. When I started it was at 75% it's down to 55% humidity. The windows are open and well, the smell is going away.

You may be asking, how or why did you do this? Our deductible on our homeowners insurance is not high, but it's not low. I received 2 estimates, the first one brought me to tears, this quote came from a nationally known fire & water damage company and he said that is would be $2600. I waited for the next guy to come, he was a small locally owned company. He came in and walked around (of course there are toys stacked and stuff everywhere) and he said it's really not that bad and based on what your deductible is you're going to be right there. He told me what I would need to do if I was going to try and do it myself. I listened attentively and followed his directions. He called me later in the day and gave me a quote of $1300. Wow, what a difference. However, I only had to buy 2 fans for $20, borrowed 2, owned 2 and have a dehumidifier and of course a commercial shopvac. The basement is almost completely dry and I'm going to have someone come in and steam and sanitize the carpet for about $150. Cost me much less than the professional companies and I didn't have to deal with workers in my house for 3-5 days.

Now what about mold and mildew. The first guy tested the walls and they were very dry with a few spots that were damp, fans blowing on them and the dehumidifier will dry them out pretty quickly. And our carpet is a glued down carpet, not having padding makes it much easier/quicker to dry and less chance of mold growing. I'm also going to be taking one extra step and washing the walls down with a bleach/water mix to make sure that I kill anything that might be there.

The smell has almost disappeared and I think that once the carpet is cleaned and sanitized it will be much better.

Have a great weekend!!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

My mantra today

As I continue to work in my basement, I will be saying the following prayer:

"Father, may I quit complaining and start believing, loving, and working."

This will help me to work through the mess and not be mad because I am doing it alone.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Tackle it Tuesday (posted a day late)

Tackle It Tuesday Meme

I'm posting a day late for Tackle It Tuesday, I was so happy that I had decided to take the time to get the basement picked up. I came downstairs thinking it would take me a couple of hours. Timer in hand I went to work. Happily I was finished within 30 minutes. But I noticed some water. I called my husband and told him the floor was wet in the basement and I did not know where the water was coming from. His response...Great.

I was going to call a basement person today, to have them check the basement for leaks. I asked my husband before he went upstairs, did you check the basement? And his response, no. I thought I should just check and make sure it was not any worse. I am so glad that I did, there was water standing in spots. A call to the Village to have the water turned off, found the problem. It was the water softener, regenerating water constantly into the sump pump. The sump pump was overwhelmed and could not keep up causing the water to back up outside and seep into the underground drainage tiles and right back into my basement. I am having the water softener removed today (we do not use it and it is broken) and a company coming out tomorrow to check for cracks in my foundation.

Okay, another flood. Remember the first flood, while I was gone on vacation and my husband moved the refrigerator and pierced the waterline and flooded the basement. I finally had the basement smelling good, looking decent (toys still a major problem and peanut butter on the couch) but I felt a bit better about it and not worried about the damage (what lies underneath the carpet, walls, etc). Not anymore, I'm back at square one. Stinky basement, wet floor, high humidity, and I'm sure there is mold growing. AHHHHHHHHH. I need a break!!!k

Monday, October 15, 2007

Autumn Goody Swap

I have gotten a lot of stuff done today. I am part of the Core Team for our MOMS group at church. And we have a new group of Moms going through the program and I am putting together our Celebration Dinner. Well, I am printing the invitations and decided that while they printed I would look over a few of the blogs I neglected to read over the weekend.

I visit 5 Minutes for Mom for some good ideas for me. And they have been hosting 5 Minutes Around the Blogosphere and it is in it's 5th week. The post lists contests, giveaways, books, ideas, free samples, community awareness, etc. If you have a few minutes, go and check it out.

I'm glad that I did today, I signed up for another swap. The sign-up deadline is October 18 and you should spend $8-$10 not including shipping and it must be mailed to arrive to your swap partner by October 31. It is an Autumn Goody Swap and it is being hosted by Are We There Yet? .

Here are the questions that you are supposed to answer, with my answers:

1. What do you like best about fall? The changing of the temperature, sleeping with the windows open and the covers pulled tight, a cup of hot apple cider, soups and stews and of course the changing of the colors of the leaves and the falling of the leaves.

2. Do you have any family traditions for this time of year? We decorate for Halloween, we go to a pumpkin patch and pick out a few pumpkins, the kids go trick or treating but we are home early enough so they can answer the door and give out treats to the kids as well. Pumpkin muffins, pancakes and bread for breakfast (although we could have these year round, there is something about having them in the fall.)

3. What if your favorite halloween candy? Reese's Peanut Butter Cups (hands down and I really like the pumpkins that are like the eggs at Easter).

4. What is the best halloween costume you have ever dressed up in? The only costumes I really remember was Strawberry Shortcake. And I'm sure there are no photos of that at least none that I have, maybe my mom, but surely not me. I am helping in the 3 year old preschool room for the halloween party and the other moms are wearing witches hats and I'm going to put my hair in pigtails and wear my cowboy hat. I'm sure they will take pictures of that.

If you'd like to participate in the swap, go check out Are We There Yet? but hurry the sign up ends tomorrow!!

I also visited Anina at twiddletails, she and her mom are having a granny square challenge to see which can complete the most. Who will win?????

And I visited Monica at the homespun heart, she has great ideas and recipes. Today she talked about cashing in a change jar for extra Christmas money and Coinstar. It is worth the read!!!

Well, I've run out of time. My printer has quit printing and that means that it's time to go upstairs and do some more work.

Have a great Day!!!

Support comes in all forms

I have had a tough few weeks. Not much posting, not much sewing, not much housework but then this is not a sob story so I'll get on with it. I have volunteered at church to help with the Project Gabriel commission. I volunteered my sewing, crochetting and knitting services as well as my emailing abilities. My dear friend Kristi, must have known, that I was going to be making this post today as she sent me a few links and asked me to post them on my blog.

The first one is for Sew Much Comfort. The following is from their website:
"Thank you for your interest in sewing adaptive clothing for our wounded service members. Sew Much Comfort is a nationally recognized non-profit organazation providing adaptive clothing, free of charge, to wounded service men and women at every major military hospital in the United States, Landstuhl (Germany) and at Combat Surgical Hospitals.It is our volunteer seamstress that make our mission possible. This project is dependent on the generosity and skills of countless Americans who wish to show their support to the wounded service members who have given so much of themselves in serving our country."
This is something that for me would take a lot of consideration. I think it sounds like a great program and I am definitely going to flag it for future consideration.
The second site that she sent me a link for is America Supports You . This is a way for us to send messages and ways for us to donate items to our troops. This is taken from their website:

"Thank you for joining millions of your fellow Americans in wanting to find ways to show support for our military. Whether you want to send a care package to a soldier, donate airline miles to help reunite returning military men and women with their families, support scholarship funds or send support to wounded service members, on this page you will find over 150 non-profit organizations dedicated to helping our troops and their families.If you know of a non-profit organization in your community focused on helping our soldiers, sailors, airmen, Coast Guardsmen, Marines and National Guardsmen that is not currently listed, please contact America Supports You today to have them join the team."

Many of my friends and family know that I have been sending cookies overseas. We have a friend of the family that looked at a flier that I was considering passing around for a Cookie of the Month Club (long story short, I have to have a commercial grade kitchen and it cannot be out of my home to do baking) but she called me and wanted to place an order for a year of cookies to be sent to her son. I baked cookies every month for the last year and boxed them up and shipped them. She told me that he and his buddies would wait for the cookies to arrive and then sit around and enjoy every last one of them. He has had his cookies taken (stolen) because someone was afraid to ask for one. I always tried to send a few extra for him to share with others. His mom told me that the one thing that he and his buddies really enjoyed were treats from home. Cookies are hard to come by. I did call a local agency to dry and donate the extra cookies for them to send in their care packages but they did not accept that type of donation.

I would urge anyone that knows of a family member, friend, friend of a friend or family member that is in the service and deployed overseas, to bake something and send. They will truly enjoy not only the cookies but a package from "home". It does not cost that much. I used the flat rate box from the postal service that costs $8.95 to send and filled it full. Many times my box would weigh much more than the $8.95 but since it was a flat rate box it really paid off.

The holidays are coming, lets add a little joy to their hearts and see how much joy your heart is filled with!!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

what a day - night

No pictures this morning, maybe this afternoon. I have a few projects I'm working on, one being getting the basement picked up (again). How 3 little boys can destroy a room in 5 minutes I will never understand or why it takes us 5 hours to clean it up (not really but it sure feels like it).
I took the 100 acres Personality Quiz and found out that I am ...

Take the 100 Acre Personality Quiz!

I guess many would agree with that classification but I'm really not sure.

Long day yesterday, not much in the way of crafting...the baby was at the Dr, he has a double ear infection, eye infection and since his older brother has strep throat, he probably does also, but they do not test in children under 2 because they never get accurate results. He's on an antibiotic and did not sleep last night. For the first time in his short little life (21-1/2 months) he slept with mom. He never slept with us, he slept in the bassinet next to us and then moved to his crib. But last night, he was crying and I didn't know what else to do, so I brought him to bed with me and we were up several times through the night. but I could at least check his temperature and give him a drink. He's doing better this morning, but is still very clingy.

I am in hopes to finish up a couple of loose ends on projects and then get some pics posted.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

On a sewing note...

I was busy with sewing yesterday. I finished up 2 crayon bags for a dear friend. I will be mailing those out tomorrow. I also finished up a headband that I have been working on figuring out the best way to do it. I am wearing it today and just love it. I 'm going to be making a few more. I also cut out some Christmas presents and found some embroidery ornaments I was working on last year that I'm going to finish up and post to sell.

I'll hopefully have pictures to share tomorrow.

Tackle it Tuesday...

Tackle It Tuesday Meme
Wow, here I was going to start a new thing for me called "Tackle it Tuesday" and thought I woudl do a search of Google and make sure I wasn't stealing anyones idea. Well, sure enough someone has started a Tackle it Tuesday and I decided to join in on it.
I did not take a picture of the before nor the after as I was not aware that I had to do this until I read the instructions. But I did want to share what I "tackled" today....
LAUNDRY - 7 loads to be exact (I did 2 loads yesterday). I hate laundry, I cannot stand doing laundry. I live in a house with 4 boys (3 small and 1 big) and the middle child changes clothes several times a day. The big boy (dad that is) has workout clothes, work clothes and evening clothes (which he normally wears at least 2 evenings). But the amount of laundry created in this house is sometimes overwhelming. So I decided to TACKLE the laundry, it all came downstairs and I have washed a load, put it in the dryer and washed another load. I had 3 loads that I was able to drape outside over my deck (sheets and blankets) and the others are being dried in the dryer.
Now, you may ask, how do you let it pile up? If I dont' keep up and do a load of laundry a day, I get backed up by 2 days and once it starts backing up, I put it off and then complain because I have so much laundry to do. Here is hoping that I can keep up with the laundry again. I'm babystepping my way into a better routine. I can check off of my TO DO list that the Laundry is done. I have even been putting it away as I do it!
I should give myself a star as well, my husband is leaving to go out of town tomorrow and I kindly packed his suitcase for hime. Why? you ask. That was that many less clothes that I had to put away.
I also started working in the boys' rooms and getting their stuff reorganized. This is going to be a multi day/week project. But babysteps will get me there.
If you would like to see more Tackle it Tuesday posts visit 5 Minutes for Mom.
Have a great day!!

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Relaxation Tip:

This comes from my Mothers Perpetual Calendar.

Relaxation Tip: Indulge yourself with anything decadent: eat chocolate bonbons, tape your favorite soap opera and watch it in bed after the kids are asleep, order that sexy lingerie from the catalog, splurge on a night out.

What do you do for yourself to relax? Or what helps you relax? For me, I'll be honest, I'm really not sure how to relax. Does that sound crazy? It was hard for me to relax with my friends on our vacation, why, because I was worried about the kids. I did let my guard down and did some things I normally wouldn't do for myself, but I wouldn't say I was completely relaxed.

This week, I'm going to add Relaxation to my list of things to do. Something for myself. I do like to read and since I do have some books to finish reading before the start of winter, that is what I'm going to do. Go to bed 30 minutes early and READ!!!

Here's to a great week!

Friday, September 28, 2007

What I did on Thursday evening...

I needed to keep myself busy during ER last night, so I crochetted the second of the two slippers. I had made the other one earlier in the day, while I was sitting with Trevor. I think they turned out quite cute and they fit just right, so I'm going to make me a few more pairs to wear around the house. And perhaps, a Christmas present or two.

And one more thing, I have a perpetual calendar for Mothers and this is what September 28 says:

"The first duty toward children is to make them happy. If you have not made them happy, you have wronged them; no other good they may get can make up for that." Charles Buxton

It opened my eyes to a new light.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Pumpkins and Ghosts

I have a dear friend that wants to give gifts to the neighborhood kids as she was not planning on being home for Halloween. She saw a picture in the Current Catalog of some lollipop covers. She calls and leaves me a message about these cute little lollipop covers and do you think you cold make me some. So I looked at the picture and told her as long as she did not care that they were not exact and I did not have to do the witch I would try. This is what I came up with.
A pumpking, that not's too scary or hard to make. I made a pattern out of a piece of newspaper and then cut it out (my mom cut all of the others out that I will be making). And then for his face, I just cut various shapes from black. All pieces are made of felt. The main part of the pumpkin is stitched together and then everything else is glued on.
Same thing for the ghost, I made a pattern and then traced it onto the felt, cut them out and stitched them together and then created eyes and a mouth.

Each lollipop cover will hold a big Tootsie Pop. She thinks they are cute, she asked for a cat, but that will involve too much and I already have a lot on my plate right now, these are simple enough that I can work on them a little each day. She only needs/wants 40, so 20 of each kind.

Cinnamon Raisin Biscuits

When I lived at home, I used to go to Hardee's every once in a while to get a Cinnamon Raisin Biscuit. If any of you have had them you know they are sinful. They melt in your mouth and oh so good. I have been searching for a recipe for them for quite some time for a recipe for them. I decided this morning to try this recipe. They did not turn out as well as I had hoped. I will try them again and perhaps tweak the recipe a bit. For me they were too tough, they were not the melt in your mouth and light tasting (although we all know they are not). The boys liked them and I will definitely try again.

On a sidenote, I will be shopping for a new oven this weekend. When we moved into the house we had to have the memory board replaced because the oven kept turning off. Now the oven does not even light. I turn it on and check it after a few minutes and then turn it off and try again, this morning I did that for over an hour. Very frustrating, especially for a baker!!!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Fall Into Reading List

I wasn't sure that I wanted to officially participate in a Fall Reading Program, however, after much consideration I decided that there are a few books that I would like to complete. I love to read books, I just don't seem to find the time for myself. I probably will not do any book reviews, but I will update you on how my list is coming along. My list will be short, too many and I may burn out and not complete the challenge.
  • A Salty Piece of Land by Jimmy Buffett, I have had this book sitting on my nightstand partially read for almost 2 years. I probably need to start over.
  • 5 Languages of Love : How to express Heartfelt Commitment to your mate by Gary Chapman, I purchased this book on a recommendation of a friend and it has sat in my book bag waiting for me to open it up and read it. It even went on vacation with me and I did not crack it open.
  • A Mother's Rule of Life: How to bring order to your home and peace to your soul by Holly Pierlot, again this is one that I have started, actually started on the plane on vacation, but have not finished.
  • The Innocent Man : Murder and Injustice in a Small Town by John Grisham, another book started and not finished. And I love all of his books.
  • Sisters by Danielle Steele, a birthday gift (in May) and I have not read.

That is more than enough for me to try and get off of my plate. But I would like to finish these, so perhaps some books will be in my stocking for Christmas.

If you would like to join me and others participating in the Fall Into Reading 2007, please visit Callapidder Days and join the hundreds of others that are participating. I'm off to go and read for a bit before bed!!

Preparing for the Holiday Rush

The reason that I love Autumn so much is because it means that Thanksgiving is just around the corner. Sure, I like Halloween and my boys just love to go Trick or Treating but I get to go "home" for Thanksgiving. My family and I leave on Wednesday evening and to go to my mom's house and then my mom and I get up on Thanksgiving morning and prepare the meal. I usually bring from home a Pecan Pie and whatever other dessert my family desires. I get to see almost all of my family on both my mom's side and my dad's side at 2 separate events.

In order to prepare for the Holiday Rush that is going to be taking place, I have started to prepare. I'm getting my house in order, making gift lists, lists of gifts to be made, menus for the meals that will be held at my house, a menu for Thanksgiving at my mom's house, shopping lists. cleaning lists, baking lists, etc. I would like for the Holiday season to be more enjoyable and not such a stressful time. I have enough stress in my life, let's let one thing be a bit easier.

If you would like to join me on my Holiday Preparation, here are a few some great lists:

I did use the Flylady Holiday Control Journal a few years ago and liked it but was not crazy about it. I have not used the planners from the other 2 sites, though I am going to decide on which one, or which pieces from each of the 3 I will use to create the best planner for me. Here is a snapshot of my little guy tangled in the Christmas lights, while I was decorating the little tree.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Apple Butter

I really love Autumn / Fall, whichever you prefer to call it. Although, the weather here has not been very Autumn like, it was 90 yesterday. A cold front is moving through today and should drop the temperatures into the 70's. I planted my new mums this morning and spent some time weeding and getting the landscaping beds in order for the fall. I'm going to take some photos of one of my beds that is in the side yard, I have no idea what to do with it. The bed looks really nice in the summer months, but by the time autumn gets here, it looks like an eyesore and when spring arrives, I just cringe. I have plans to plant some bulbs for the spring, tulips, daffodils, crocus, and whatever else I see that would look nice, but I may need guidance for fall plantings.

Enough about my landscaping beds, I had such big plans for them this year and did not get anything accomplished. The real reason for my post, is about the apple butter I made yesterday. It is quite the process from start to finish, but the reward was so great! I cut up 4 gallons of apples on Sunday and set them up with sugar to rest overnight. Then on Monday morning I emptied their containers into a large stockpot and let them cook for 3 hours without removing the lid. I then put them into the food grinder of my Kitchenaid and returned them back to the pot to boil. While they returned to a boil, I prepared my jars and seals. And the following pictures are the end result.

12 pints and 8 half pint jars
The half pint jars will be used in baskets as gifts at Christmas.
The pint jars will be used in the house or as gifts if needed.
I used my nonnies recipe, which required a few phone calls to my mom for some guidance, as the recipe was just a guideline and I had to pick her brain to recall any other tidbits of information that I may have needed.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Completed on Sunday

I knew that if I told myself I had to finish some unfinished projects they would get completed. Yesterday afternoon, while football was on, I finished 3 totes that are sold. The first one is of some birds and has flowers and is very spring/summery. The second one is of birds and pine trees and is more wintery. I was asked to use this fabric to make these totes. I've had several requests for these.

Then after we had dinner and the boys had had their bath and the Bears / Cowboys game was on, I finished up these cute little crayon bags. They will hold a coloring book (or two or whatever else wants to be carried) and on the outside there are 20 crayon slots. The bag measures 10x10-1/2 inches. I have had several requests for these as well. The pictures shown are the extras that I had and am going to post for sale.

Today, I'm not sure which projects I'm going to finish, but I will have more pictures of completed projects, hopefully tomorrow!!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

The end of a busy 2 weeks

Today marks the end of a very busy 2 weeks. The boys finished their 2nd full week of school and come home and just amaze me. We celebrated Michael's 5th birthday on Wednesday at Chuck E. Cheese's and then had a party for him on Saturday. He had so much fun, was very excited about his pizza and cakes that I made (I hope someone remembered to take pictures for me) and then of course, ripped through his presents like they were going to disappear. Today the house is covered in army men, but that is what he wanted.

This week, is a back to basics week, my house went through a big clean on Saturday morning. My husband left with Michael and Trevor and my mom took Ethan shopping and I was home alone to listen to Kenny Chesney's new CD and get some much needed housework done. I feel that I can now get some more simple routines in place and get much more accomplished. I have printed a list out to put on my refrigerator (thanks Anina for the chore list to get me started). My week of menus is planned and my shopping is done.

I have several little projects that need to be completed before I start any new ones. I will get those done this week and hopefully pictures to go along with the work being done.

One other thing that I am doing this week is making Apple Butter. My mom gave me my nonnies recipe and even picked some apples up at the orchard for me. I have cut up 4 gallons of apples and have them sitting so that I can boil them down tomorrow. I'm looking forward to this. My freezer has become quite stocked with tomatoes. Thus far this year I have "put up" 708 ounces of crushed tomatoes. I also have corn and zucchini in the freezer from the summer harvest. I am going to cut up some more apples and put in the freezer for pies and crumbles this winter. I have made a big batch of refrigerator pickles. I think I need to invest in a larger deep freezer though. I have a small chest freezer and well, it is almost full. I have also made Strawberry Rhubarb Jam and am looking at a few more kinds of jam that I may be making with the fall harvest.

Have a great day!!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Napkins and Toilet Paper

What a day I had yesterday...busy day. I have been busy this week trying to get my chaotic house back into a simple routine that worked for me before. I have been an off again, on again flybaby. I found Flylady in 2003 from a magazine article (I'm not sure which magazine). She talked about her going on a "Cruise through the holidays". I thought, this lady is crazy. But I went to her website, followed her plan and had the most organized planning I had ever had. I was hooked. I got my house in order and continued flying until my 3rd son was born and we moved back to our home state in 2006. That's when everything fell apart. I had all three boys home with me, one nursing, a house to unpack, husband went straight to work and well I fell apart. My house became a place that I did not cherish and did not want to be in. I decided it was time to go back to basics and establish a simple routine that I could build on. I went back to Flylady and have started over with the Beginner Steps and will work my way through until I build my routines up again.

A few weeks ago, while I was gone on my trip, our basement flooded due to a pierced waterline on the refrigerator. I came home to a mess. I did not want to deal with it, so I waited (I made sure that the dehumidifier was emptied and running do help absorb the moisture in the air). I finally decided that I needed to work down there. I started yesterday and spent several hours moving toys and vacuuming and just overall cleaning and organizing toys.

The following is why I never get much accomplished and why I feel like my house is chaotic...
Upon walking out of my basement I came to find that my house had been toilet papered by my 3 year old. 5 rolls in total. Now you ask, where were you and why didn't you hear him running aorund. I was in the basement, in the corner, in the middle of Little People, with the TV on cartoons and the computer on with Caillou. He had been lying on the couch watching cartoons. almost asleep, when it got quiet I thought he had gone to sleep. So this is what it looked like...

View into the family room from the kitchen
Standing outside the family room

In the family room, looking into the kitchen
In the bathroom and finally the pile after it was all cleaned up.

I put him in a timeout because I gave him the option of cleaning up the mess or sitting in a time out and he said he wasn't cleaning it up so he sat in a time out. I just didn't realize that Halloween had come early and that monsters could toilet paper the inside of your house.

Now. for the napkins part of the title. I am participating in a Napkin Swap at Rhonda Jean's blog . What a wonderful blog she has, she has several homekeeping ideas, ideas on being a green household and how to make a lot of your own goods. She is hosting this swap so that we can quit using disposable items. And this swap is for napkins, we were to swap a minimum of 4 cotton napkins, preferably homemade but they could be purchased. The napkins were to be made of 100% cotton and measure 10 inches. My napkins are complete and I will wait to post the pictures until Alexia has received them. I am going to mail them tomorrow, when I'm out running errands.

Have a wonderful day!!