Thursday, January 26, 2012

Fabric Garland

This is how my version of a fabric garland turned out, I really like how it looks, I did mine pretty full and tight, but you could make it less full and I think it would still look great!
I started with a 50 count white strand of lights ($2 at Walmart), and I doubled it, so my garland wouldn't be quite so long.

I used 3 different colors of twin size flat sheets from Walmart ($5 each), and cut strips about 1 1/2 inches wide and about 12 inches long, it took about 1/4 of a sheet in each color.  My rotary knife, mat and ruler, made this go super fast!

Then I just tied them on the light strand, alternating, like I said, you could do yours a little more spaced out.  When I first made mine in these pictures, I hadn't decided to use blue in it yet, it was a pretty big pain to add it later, let me tell you! 
I shook mine to fluff it, after I hung it, since it was at Christmas time, I put snowflake ornaments on it too, I just tied them on, so they could come off after Christmas.  They were 10 for $1 at the Dollar Tree.

All things considered (kiddo interruptions), this project took less than 2 hours, start to finish.

Hello, My Name Is Winter, and I'm Addicted to PINTEREST!

Some one said the title of this post should be on a t-shirt, I said, I'd pin that!  LOL!  I know, lame joke, but quite seriously, I do frequent the Pinterest!  AND not only do I frequent it, I make the stuff I see!  I LOVE all the inspiration for crafting, I also LOVE that it is getting ladies back to some of the original fine arts that, maybe not even our mothers, but our grandmother's enjoyed.  I was incredibly blessed to have a mom that taught me to sew and quilt at a very young age, and I really enjoyed it, despite some teasing from peers, I made my doll's a quite extensive wardrobe!  I have to admit after a few kids, I slowed down considerably in my sewing and crafting. 

The thing is, that I haven't ever stopped collecting crafting supplies and just miscellaneous "stuff" to use in "future projects", which is really great now, since I'm a little low on funds! I wanted to post a few of the things that I've been working on.

First the table runner and square, that are both reversible, so there are several different ways to use them. 

Then a rag garland, I used mostly neutrals, with a blue in there.  These strips of fabric are tired on a white Christmas light strand.  I'll do a separate post on how I made it exactly. 
The "Celebrate" garland and mini garlands that match were so fun!  I made it so that it I can use them for a baby shower, bridal shower, birthday, or anytime we celebrate!  They also match the square and runner (I'm sure you caught that).
The mini garland, I made two of, one for the hutch, and one for the large mirror that is across from it.  This is the hutch "before", I have plans for it!
This lamp shade is an idea I got from Caroline, I LOVE how it turned out, this is my favorite lamp, and I am loving it even more with it's new lamp shade!  Great idea, Caroline!!!
The pears are really what I'm attempting to show in this picture, they are actually light bulbs with naturally polished hemp hot glued on them and a little stick coming out the top for the stem (also hot glued in place).
This is "B" is for button, or Ball, in this case.  This is a frame from an old picture, but even originally it was maybe $7-$8 at Walmart.  The background is a piece of cardboard with burlap glued on with spray adhesive, and then I just Elmer's glued the buttons in place, I used the Elmer's because it dries clear.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Pizza Night

Pizza night is Tuesday nights.  The plan is to serve up some kind of a slice every Tuesday night.  Homemade, spaghetti pizza, frozen, delivery, or DiGiorno (sorry, I had to add that!).  My somewhat guilty conscience in serving up a slice, even though it is just once a week, causes me to do things like also serve up a heaping plate full of veggies also.  Well, a large head of broccoli, a large cucumber sliced and a half a bag of baby carrots, and I was lucky I got a small piece of broccoli, the cute little veggie thief on my right (Faith) stole mine, while the taller veggie thief on my left (Grace) distracted me!!!
 Anyway, Zach decided that the frozen pizzas I served up tonight were just not quite up to par, so he added a little on there, I have to say, I have never seen it quite like that!  He gobbled it all up though!   Now the little veggie thief decided no pizza for her, but she ate most of the broccoli along with quite a bit of cucumber and even a few carrots.  Rob and I have agreed that the kids have "healthier brains" than us!  I'm so happy to see them all making healthy choices in their eating habits!
Healthier eating has actually been a bit of a side effect of our cooking schedule, I'm determined to teach them all to cook more than Hamburger Helper, so out comes the cook book, almost every night now, and I am really excited to say that everyone is eating better all around!
As a side note, I baked devil's food cupcakes, with chocolate pudding filling, and cherry frosting, topped with chocolate sprinkles, for my MOPS this morning, there were some leftover, and do you know that not one of those kids even really liked them, they tried them and then asked if they could have fruit smoothies instead!  SHEESH!  Well, they are delicious and I guess Rob and I will just have to enjoy them ourselves...maybe we should be letting our kids choose our foods for us?

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Tent Mode

 I really love Saturday mornings that are not filled with the sound of cartoons, but are filled instead with the sounds of kids playing, laughing, talking to each other and getting along!  This morning, we are in "tent mode"!  Tent Mode is when one or more rooms in my house are almost so full of tent you cant walk through them and suddenly all pillows and blankets, are now rocks, carpet, walls, cages, curtains and other miscellaneous items.
 There is snakes and eggs being cooked and the book "10 Little Fairies" is (according to Zach) about killing off fairies by different kinds of animals and princesses that are really evil, and Faith laughs and laughs, saying "Nuh Uh!" (she knows the real words to that book by heart!).  Molly is their FIERCE monster dog, that eats other monsters alive! 
What has made tent building more fun and easier than before is Zach tent kit that he got for his birthday from Aunt Stacey, she put together a tote bag full of two different sheets with grommet holes on the corners, along with shoe strings, nylon rope, wooden clothes pins and even suction cups to make some really large and awesome tents!  Zach and Faith have loved this gift!  Who am I kidding, I love this gift!

Friday, January 20, 2012

A Little Prayer Warrior

Of all of my children, I am seeing Zach embrace our family prayer time as something very important and special.  He is the first one to offer up requests for himself, but mostly others and he is the first to volunteer to lift up those requests.  The other night, we hadn't discussed seeing Andrea that day, or that her eye was swollen, but Zach lifted her up in prayer unprompted, and he did the same with my mom and her foot pain.  His response to unanswered prayers?  "Welp, God hasn't answered that one yet, guess we'll just keep praying!" He has also become the child that takes the longest to tuck in at night, he has so much he wants to pray for that it takes sometimes 15 minutes to finish his little nightly routine, pray-kisses-hugs!  So sweet!  My mom said she thinks I have a little prayer warrior on my hands, I tend to agree, praise the Lord for that!

Break In

Starting Monday night last week, I told Rob that I didn't want to do anything the next day, just stay home in my pjs!  I woke up the next morning to a virus on my computer, this was really not good, I use my computer for EVERYTHING!!!  Next I had to hustle out the door to get kids to school, then, because of the computer thing, I came back home to give baths and get myself a shower, then off to Faith's doctor appointment at 9:15, I got there just in time and they were totally on time and we were out of there in about a half hour!  I was going to go home, but decided to go ahead and go to MOPS a little late, I was home by 11:45 and walked up to our house with a kicked in front door. 
 The police took FOREVER to get there, I mean, seriously more than 10 minutes 
and I told dispatch I didn't know if the house was empty or not.  When the police finally got there and checked it all out I found my my home trashed, both flat screens gone and the Wii broken on the floor.  I was shocked that nothing else was gone, there was so many things laying around that I thought would be gone! 

Molly was there, I keep wondering if she was scared, if she ran up to these strangers, if she ran and hid under my bed, she seemed fine, but she has nightmares, which sounds funny, but she actually sounds like she is crying in her sleep some nights. 
One of the worst things for me was that they tossed our mattress, and went through the drawers, it is just really unsettling to know that some stranger who meant us harm had been through all our things.  I had a really hard time sleeping for several nights.  To keep the older kids from seeing the mess, I cleaned everything up before they got home from school.  I was really grateful for my sister and brother in law coming to get Faith and Zach.  Zach was such a big boy and hugged Faith while I lost it a little bit. 

We have a security system, but I didn't have it on that day.  I know in my head that it wouldn't have helped, they were so fast, the police said these guys are pros and this is their M.O., but I still feel guilty.  The likelihood of anything ever being recovered is pretty much zip.  $1000 laying around we do not have, the replacement of things lost will be awhile. This week we received a check from a friend I hadn't seen in 15 plus years, I'm so grateful to friends that show love in times like these. 

My MOPS were there that night, calling me within hours of the break-in.  They brought dinner, desert and breakfast, and a gift card for ice cream too, then another dinner for the next night, all within hours of the break-in!  The next day we received a freezer meal too!  That was such a blessing to us!

I was really unsure of how Grace and Ethan would take the news, Grace was okay, until she saw that her jewelry box had been opened.  Ethan immediately started crying and yelling, why and are they in jail now, and did they take Jim's (our neighbor) stuff too!  Zach told my sister, "Those people that took our tvs must have really needed a tv, some people don't have tvs, ya know."  He is such a sweet little man!

Since that day, I have had my ups and downs, I have been doing "craft therapy", using all my leftover craft supplies from Christmas break.  I will post pictures soon!  The first several days were really hard, I didn't want to be here, but I didn't want to leave, I didn't want to take a shower without someone else being there to watch the kids.  Lots of tears over a branch hitting the window while I was home alone, stuff like that. 

The first of our door "Armor" arrived today, Rob installed it right away.  We will soon have all our doors "armored".  Then, no one will be kicking in our doors.  I'm really hoping that those will give me a little sense of security.  Rob seems to be dealing with some anger over it, but isn't talking about it.

I haven't seen any after shocks in the kids, except an occasional nightmare that Ethan has had, other wise, everyone else seems fine.  I pray that is all I ever see.

Sitting on the mantel was a tracing of Faith's little hands and the front door had a metal plaque on it saying, "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord".  I don't know why it struck me that those things don't phase people that do things like that.  There was no respect shown.  But I am glad it was only what it was, and nothing more. 

Monday, January 9, 2012

The Older Ones-Finally!

I told these two that I wanted more pictures of them, both of them are becoming camera shy for me!  So these are forced photos, but non the less, I now have an up-to-date photo of each of them and if (heaven forbid) Ethan goes missing, I know that this will be the EXACT clothes that he will be wearing, a different t-shirt under the hoodie, but always the hoodie, and then there is the hat, always the hat!

Everyone says that Grace looks so much like me, but I am truly amazed how much she actually looks like my mom!  At any rate, she is turning into a beautiful young woman, I am very proud of her!  She is a straight A student, a book worm and is my greatest side-kick in all things to keep this house running.  She will be amazing at anything she decides to do with her life!
Ethan tries to play it cool, because 9 is a very cool age, he gets very good scores in school and he is an excellent baseball player, he is such a tender hearted young man, pretty quiet (around people he doesn't know), the Lego MANIAC!

And I warn him every time, if you make faces, I WILL post them!!!

New Year's Resolution #2

This is another "resolution", that is, if I made them!  I am determined to teach everyone how to cook!  There is a schedule in place, everyone is picking their recipes from the list I have and then learning to cook them.  After each kiddo has their night, Rob has his night, a pizza night, which could be homemade, frozen, spaghetti pizza, or deliver, I cook one night by myself, which I am doing a crock pot meal!

We have been doing this for one week, so everyone has had their first tries, and I think this is really going to be great, I had Rob take some pictures of Faith's turn tonight, I will have to have him take more on the other nights too. 
Faith was just so stinkin cute in her apron, and SO excited to help!  I got all the kids aprons and even had their names put on them for Christmas last year. 

I really like not being the one that has to decide what we are having every night, and there has been no more, "I don't like that!", which is REALLY great! 

Compliments are flying and the table, and everyone is thanking the cook for the night, I really can't say enough about how great this change has been! 
As you can see, even Faith, who just turned 3 can learn to cook!  Tonight she made BBQ Chicken!  Pretty much all by herself!  I helped with the oven, of course!  Each of the kids has really enjoyed working in the kitchen with me, and I am really enjoying the one on one time with each of them, especially the old ones, that hide in their rooms more and more lately.

New Year's Resolution #1

I really don't make resolutions, but this year I am making some changes at our house.  Several years ago we had family devotions pretty regularly, and then while home schooling we were in the Bible everyday, but as the summer flew by and school started, we haven't really put any new time in place to have family devotions.  So, since, like I said before, we always have dinner together, I decided to use that time for family devotions and family prayer time.  We are using this really cute devotional that actually really fits all the ages we have.

The other thing that I've started began with this little spiral notebook that I got free on Vistaprint!
I designed the cover just special for this purpose.  In it we write down the kids prayer requests in it and anyone else that is on their hearts, and then we divide up the requests and we pray about them.  As each prayer request is answered, we write the date that it was answered next to it!  All of this has been going on for exactly one week, and I am so amazed at the growth in just that one week!  The first night the older two kids were a little hesitant to participate, but in a couple days, after seeing some prayers answered (yes, that fast!), they are sharing their own concerns now.

Out of all the kids, Zach is the one that has amazed me the most, he is such a heart-felt, and passionate little man of prayer, the very first night, his most sincere prayers were sent up and it brought tears to my eyes.  He prays for others to "Get Jesus in their heart and keep Him there", he listens to his brother and sister's concerns and it almost seems like he sees past what their request is to what they really need prayer for, and prays that for them.

The prayer that I find most humorous in a really ironic way, actually, is Faith's prayer, which simply is "Sleep all night, Amen", the deal is that if she sleeps all night and doesn't wake up mommy she gets to choose a treasure from the treasure box, which is full of, essentially, free crap from garage sales last summer, it's little trinkets and toys, and little bit of plastic jewelry, and she wants something out of there so bad that she will do almost anything, anything, that is, but stay in her bed all night!  But we keep praying for her, and as Zach says, "God didn't answer that one yet, I guess we will just have to keep on praying!"

I struggle to give things over to God, I really do, so this is as much for me as it is for them.  I am blessed beyond measure with the opportunity to train these children, they really do let me see a little of what God sees in me, feels for me.  Nothing compares to this love.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Sunday Best

This morning Zach insisted on choosing his own outfit, and boy, did he do a good job!  My little "lady killer" was dressed to the nines for church today!  I had to take pictures, and of course I got a full out modelling session!!!  It was AWESOME!!!!  He is such a ham, and not a goofy ham either, I should have him in modelling!  Those killer blue eyes seal the deal!
Can you believe this kid?  Yes, he melts his mama's heart all the time!  And then of course factor in that he told me today, "I don't know what you are doing different Mommy, but you look so beautiful", seriously, I am raising a wonderful husband for someone here!
So at church he got lots of compliments, further boosting his enlarging ego, but he keeps it cool.  I picked him up from Sunday School and he handed me a picture with a little girl's name on it, he says, "Yeah, Haven gave her picture to me".  HA!  I'm sure she did, my little stud-muffin!  Seriously, can we get an agent?  Well, here's two!  I LOVE his "serious" face!

Crafty With Kids!

Zach and Faith got the same craft sets for Christmas, I am really enjoying these sets, there is a bunch of crafty activities with all the pieces and instructions, the have been begging to do one everyday since we tried one out!  And you know I love my crafts!  Even Daddy got in on the action!  First they did foam bead necklaces, then onto hand puppets!  These were just about $10 a set and they have 30 projects in each.  They were at Wal-Mart. 
So far they seem to be very age appropriate for Zach and Faith.  Lot's of stickers!  As much as I love to do crafts with the kids, it's the collecting all the stuff to do them that makes me think twice!
I have to stay, I am still amazed at their creativity and the things that come up with on their own too!  Faith is very in to tracing her hands and feet right now, so making things like a turkey out of her hand tracing was really fun for her.  Zach is getting so imaginative with his drawings, monsters with lots of eyes and special powers (that he draws also) are his specialty right now!
GLUE!!!!  THAT is EVERYONE'S craft item right now!  The funny thing about these pictures is that this is what we did right after Zach told me that he was NEVER going to use his imagination again!!!!  This was because I told him that we were shutting off the tv and he couldn't play on the computer, that he would have to use his imagination for awhile!  He's so dramatic (he gets it from his father)!
And here is our hand puppets all done!  Ta-da!  I think we need to make a puppet theater now!  I need a BIG box!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Zach and Faith Being Cute

While most days these two are fighting or arguing, or just getting on each others nerves, some days are like this, when they play together, cooperate and make each other laugh so hard they get the hiccups!  These are the days I want to remember!  In this first picture, you may notice that Faith is "talking" on her cell phone, it was daddy, and I made her tell him bye, so I could take more pics!  Don't worry, she "called" him right back!