Saturday, 24 December 2011

Marc is wrapping in the dining room for me and I'm wrapping in the living room for him. Having a big house is weird (in a good way)!

That is all!
This year's Christmas picture of my children, proved to be just as lackluster as every other year's. It took me about 15 minutes to even locate all 4 of my children at church, then I quickly snapped 2 photos and let them loose. This was the best I got. *shrug* I'm sure one day I'll look back at all of these sweet  under posed, overly thrilled, medicore photos and love them just the same. For now we're just hoping for some good shots on Christmas morning!
These children are getting ginormous,
and I don't like it one bit!
Merry Christmas!

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Adventures in Mothering

Look at me blogging every other day!

  • We baked cookies for my art classes, today! I'm not sure how Christmas-y owls are, but my kids insisted we cut some out. 

  • Xavier and I started building a gigantic K'nex set he got for this birthday. We're on step 29, out of 105, and it's taller then I am when it's on his desk. 

  • I'm trying to shoot all my photos in manual. Some stuff I've learned has stuck, and some has not. 

My main accomplishment so far is being able to shoot without flash! Love it!

  • We still do not have any snow to speak of, it's weird. I'm pretty sure I can count all the times we've had a green Christmas in my life on one hand. This is going to put a damper on the sleds I bought for my kids for Christmas. 
  • Now that I've moved into town, I think I've seen more wildlife then all the time we lived in the country. So far I've seen a skunk, a fox, 3 raccoons, and a turkey. I'm not exactly sure which one is getting into my trash cans at night but I wish they'd stop.  
  • My baby daughter is into EVERYTHING! All my other kids went to get into the car last night, and I found her upstairs in the dark, just walking around. Then today we found her up to her elbows in toilet water with her sippy cup floating. Unfortunately, it wasn't the toilet I had just cleaned this morning either. Eeeew! Oy vey! I think I just found the source of my grey hair! (Yes, I have some! See I KNEW i didn't want to get into the thirties!)
  • One of Marc's Christmas gifts, I ordered 2 weeks ago, still hasn't shown up. I'm a little nervous it's not going to make it in time. :-(
  • Tomorrow starts our week and half long Christmas celebrations! Half of Marc's family tomorrow. Our regular Christmas Eve tradition (each of us chooses one favorite food, I make it and we watch a Christmas themed movie together)! And this year even Marc gets to be here with us! Then there's Christmas (ours at home, church, and then the other half of Marc's family). Monday Marc has off. Then Thursday we cash in my birthday dinner from my SIL. And Sunday we have Christmas with my family!  I think I might love this schedule! I always feel kind of let down the day after Christmas because you work so hard to get everything done and it's all over so quickly! So hurray for long drawn out Christmases! 
The End!
*Two shopping days left until Christmas!*

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Miracle on I-81

During our reading lesson today there was a question, Have you ever prayed for a miracle?

 Leia's response was, "Yes, every night I pray that Daddy gets home safe from work!"

It made me laugh! I don't even want to think about how many times it probably really is a miracle!

Sunday, 18 December 2011

DIY: Draft Stopper

Today I made 5 of these (yes, you read that right, 5). The Sears House is super drafty now that NY has finally realized it's December. So I went on a quest to find a good, reasonably priced Draft Stopper. The best price I could find was $10 for 1, that adds up when you have as many doors as we do. So I started looking for tutorials on them. I saw a bunch that required you to put a whole bunch of beans in a tube of fabric. That seemed doable, but I didn't have many dried beans so I kept looking. Then I came across these:

They seemed like the perfect idea since we use most of the doors that need them. But then the price tag ($10-$15). I just knew I could make it at a fraction of the cost, so this is what I came up with.

First you need some foam to go on each side of your stopper.
I used 1/2" plumbing insulation.
It cost $1.09 for a 6 foot piece at my local hardware store.
I measured it against the bottom of the door I was working on and cut it with scissors.

Then I cut some fabric (I used corduroy, wool, and this cotton)  into a 14"x 33" (the length of your cut foam plus 2") rectangle

Folded the fabric in half the long way (with right sides together) and sewed the whole thing into a long tube and sewed across one end.

Then I turned it right side out and sewed a straight line 2 1/2" from each side to form pockets for the tubing.
It's hard to see but it's a white line and a red line.

Inserted the tubing into both pockets.

Hemmed the open end.

And I was done!
I wish every sewing project was this easy!
Once I had the dimensions down I could make these (cutting and sewing) in about 10 minutes. Not bad for only costing me a little over a dollar, huh? 

Helpful Hints:
  1. Your foam can be a little smaller then the door, but not bigger or it won't open and shut properly.
  2. To keep a semi straight line for the foam pockets I marked my sewing machine arm where 2 1/2" was, I used a Sharpie (it'll wear off quickly for me), but you might want to just use tape so you can remove it.
  3. I used push pins to keep my draft stopper in place on my front door. We have a lot of traffic through that door and I knew that we'd be fighting with it every time.

So if you're piggies are cold, go out and make one of these! 
Sewing doesn't get much easier then this!

Family Highlights:
  • Three of the kids were in the church Christmas program tonight (all 3 had lines!), they did great!
  • My kids are all very wound up for Christmas, I wonder if we'll get any school work done this week?
  • I love when Christmas falls on a Sunday! I feel like it's a lot easier to focus on the true meaning of Christmas (Jesus Christ!).
  • We barely have any snow, I wonder if it's going to be a green Christmas.
  • All of the Christmas shopping is done and mostly wrapped. I'm just waiting for a couple things to arrive in the mail.
  • I guess the kids gave Marc these suggestions for gifts for me: Make-up, chocolate, and Jewelry! Sounds about right to me! :-)

Friday, 16 December 2011

The Mama Files: Products I Love

I've recently found a few new-ish cleaning products that I wanted to talk about! I wish there was a blog or something that would review cleaning products so that I could get an in-depth opinion before I go to the store and waste my money (there probably is one somewhere, I just haven't come across it yet). Anywho, here's what I like:
Cedar ProMist Wet/Dry Mop
This thing is awesome! You can put your favorite cleaner in the bottle and use the trigger to spray it onto your floor. It's a hand and back saver! Plus you can just take off the mop head and throw it in your washing machine, easy peasey! I haven't tried using it as a dry mop, I have a different mop I like for that! I think  I paid about $20 for it at my local hardware store. To get another mop pad is about $10.

Dawn Power Clean

 This stuff is AMAZING! The first bottle I used I didn't notice that much of a difference, but then I actually read the label. If you give it the suggested 5 minutes it will take off almost anything (even cooked on eggs)! I think it's about the same price as any of the other Dawn Ultras, about $3. 

 I know this is nothing new, but this stuff is the best stain remover for all my children's stains. I do, however, prefer the kind that isn't in the spray bottle, it seems to penetrate the stain better for me. I honestly have no idea how much it cost, but it doesn't matter, go buy it! :-)

So that's it! I considered putting a little disclaimer at the bottom saying how this is my own opinion and I'm not getting paid to talk about it. But since I have like 3 followers (who I know in real life), I think I'm going to skip it!  In all honesty I'm $26 poorer after reviewing these products then I was to start! :-)

Happy Friday!

*Seven shopping days left until Christmas!*

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Gaius Says:

"Mom, I just saw something run across the floor upstairs!!!"

How big was it?

"It was this big!"- holds hands about a foot apart.

Are you sure it wasn't just a mouse?

"Well it could be...or it could've just been my imagination!"

**So far we haven't found anything..**

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Internet Craft Reviews, Part 1

My goal this Christmas is to give at least 1 handmade thing to every person we buy for, I think I did/will do it except for 1 person (a really hard to buy for BIL)! In case I have some PEEKERS that read my blog I'm only to share a few of my projects. I think all my ideas came from online inspiration this year (isn't that convenient?!), but I'm really happy with the end result of all of them.. :-) 

I made a very minor adjustment to this. I just bought a belt that had the right kind of buckle on it. I found one at a dollar store that had a rhinestone encrusted bucket, which I had to pry off (it took me 2 days, and I was questioning my miser ways the whole time). It did, in the end, turn out really great though and I hope my nephew loves it. This project took less then 10 minutes to complete (once I finally got those pesky rhinestones off), because I used good ol' super glue!

I made Shoey 3 of these and they turned out really adorable!  I made a few adjustments on this also.
  1. I used an old baby towel for the backing instead of flannel (did I mention I'm a miser?)
  2. When I bound the whole outside I started in the center bottom front, I have no idea why they would start on the top it would seem like you would be fighting to keep it flat the whole time. *shrug*
  3. I questioned the instructions when they said to use the 31" piece for the whole outside, but that was, in fact, correct. 
To sew 3 of these it probably took me 90 minutes, but I think with practice and no pinning you could whip them out much faster.

I ended up making 3 sets of these. They were super easy and very simple! I followed the directions exactly (see, I CAN do that). There's a version of these going around that you adhere velcro to  the ends to help it stick to the carpet, it's a good idea I just didn't bother. I used fabric paint (the kind that doesn't bump up), and it probably took me about a hour (counting drying time) to make 20 pieces.

Happy crafting!

Saturday, 10 December 2011

And we have...

  • SNOW!!! Lots and lots of it! Last night when I was driving home from Christmas shopping it was snowing on and off the whole way home. By this morning the lake effect machine had left it's mark, and went strong all day long. I think we have 2 feet so far.
  • Christmas presents! I FINALLY got my shopping started (and almost completed)! I'm so happy and relieved! Bring on my favorite part, the wrapping! 
  • Lots of Asthma medication...which Gaius is supposed to take until the snow is on the ground....which I just refilled 2 days ago...which now I don't need...
  • Diapers! Do you know how cheap the Target brand diapers are?! It's $14 for a case! S-W-E-E-T!
  • Heat. Love it!
  • A Christmas tree, and it's beautiful! 

Friday, 2 December 2011

Friday Five

  1. I LOVE this blog CLICK HERE, and especially this post in particular! I couldn't agree more about handmade things. I actually have a favorite quilt my mom made me when I was 2 that I've loved my whole life, and have made my kids each a quilt when they are born which they all still sleep with (even my big, grown-up, 10 year old. *don't tell him I told you*).
  2. It snowed today, as in lake-effect-wet-slushy-pull you into a ditch-type snow. Thankfully I remembered how to drive in it from 6 months ago and we all got home in one piece.
  3. Christmas is coming....and fast!
  4. I'm almost done with all of my Christmas projects! I have no idea what I'm going to do with my free nights.
  5. Tomorrow I'm trying my hand at making homemade rolls. I must admit I'm a little nervous, bread making intimidates me.