Monday, May 25, 2009

Camping out in the backyard!

aka having fun on a budget!

1. Gather supplies:

(we bought the firewood and chocolate. Everything else we already owned!)

2. Start a fire:

3. Roast marshmallows and make smores:

4. Enjoy the time with your family and then spend the night in the tent!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Above All, Be Kind

Just finished reading Above All, Be Kind: Raising a Humane Child in Challenging Times.

Definitely an interesting read and a worthwhile read. She gives lots of scenarios and how parents dealt with them - she even includes a few brief interview with kids who are humane and what their parents did to get them there.

I'm glad I read it. I wrote down a few other books to read from her recommended reading section. Also has a few facts on sweatshop labor, child labor, etc, etc to get you thinking about how what you are doing every day impacts the great world outside your door and on the other side of the planet.

The only downfall, is every example she uses works out perfectly and well and beautifully and wonderfully. Now, chances are, you aren't going to talk to your child about something and have it end so perfectly - however she does acknowledge that at one point and says if it doesn't go so smoothly at your house, just keep trying. Which I did like, but it would have been nice to read about a family who had to keep trying too, ya know? Also, and this is totally personal and not because the author is a bad writer, but she clearly has issue with people eating meat. The topic of vegetarianism comes up time and time again. The kids she interviews in the back, she makes a point of saying in each of their blurbs when they became vegetarian - I admit, it got old. It felt like her first goal with the book was to teach you to raise a humane child and the second goal was to convert all readers to vegetarianism. I have nothing against it, and have cut back on meat at our house, but we'll probably never go completely meat free and I felt like I was being preached at a bit on the topic. That, is totally me. You might read it and not notice it, but it kept jumping out at me on the page!

Anyway, I think the biggest impact the book left on me is that I can talk to my children about some of these issues - at age appropriate and I can say to them we are picking this product because we not only like it but we believe in the values of the company. And that kids can get involved in some bigger issues even at younger ages and if we see a spark like that in our child, run with it with them, even if you don't necessarily agree with them. (An example in the child protests against animal testing but his mom is a doctor who believes animal testing is important for humans in the long run. The mom didn't agree with her son, but she didn't try to squelch his passion for it either).

Anyway, I give it 4 out 5. And really would encourage you to read the book as well!

Back ...

Without meaning to leave. All last week I was hit with something nasty and yucky. My darling sister kept calling me Swine Sister as she was convinced I had swine flu. I'm starting to think I had too with how awful I felt. I did go to the doctor and she didn't want to test me for it so, I probably I just had a bad cold!

They did make u wear face masks in the waiting room though - they started that policy last year if you were coughing (which both my daughter and I were) but this time we went in I noticed you also had to wear them if you had any flu-like symptoms. (And yes, I am in my pajamas in the shot. And after they took me to the room, I fell asleep waiting for the doctor. I really didn't feel good and getting dressed and sitting up too long were just not happening!)

Anyway, things here are going well now. Except my garden isn't planted. I was going to do it today, but you know the soil is just too hard. I think we are going to buy some top soil and peat to mix in there to help it out. So, no planting just yet.

I have about 12 projects that are on my finish ASAP list - I have 5 of them done now which feels very good! Of course, I started a few that weren't on there at all which is almost like cheating! LOL!

I had a birthday last weekend. I am now 30 years old! I love birthdays and loved this one too! I got some gift cards I'm anxious to spend at Jo-Ann's, itunes, and Target. And I got a bit of spending money too. My kids made signs to hang all over the house - I LOVED it! My husband made a fabulous dinner, got my parents over here and was just awesome to me =) That's what makes birthdays so special I think!

I also got this book

And I'm so excited about it. Other bloggers kept talking about it and I just knew I needed to have it after hearing about it. I haven't tried any recipes yet, but I have bookmarked a ton that are on my must make as quickly as possible list! Tomorrow I need to make some bread and will hopefully get to try at least one recipe in here!!

But I have to say, I am so GLAD to be back and feeling better. And I have lots of great ideas in my head, lots of things I want to make and create, and some fun things to tell you about!! =)

Friday, May 08, 2009

Learning to embroider ...

This week I learned, well, am learning, how to hand embroider.
I saw a project a while ago on craftzine and wanted to copy it. Of course I saw it forever ago and didn't bookmark it, so I can't give credit to the original creator, but I needed to embroider to complete it.

What I am making is a gift (which means you can't see pictures until it's been given and opened. Sorry) and I thought the gift would be even better if I got the kids in on it too. So not only have I been stitching away this week, but so have the girls.

Now, I won't tell you that our stitches are perfect and uniform and even. They are not. But they are turning out really well. And the girls are doing a great job with it. Miss M is already planning out her next few projects. I believe Miss A might have another one in the works as well. They've made great progress this week though and it's neat to sit down and be able to do this with them!





I love having this to do with them. And maybe their other projects will come to fruition and maybe not, but at least for now I'll have this week to remember stitching and learning along right beside them!


My project is done now. But never fear - it was so great, I have another project on the list! =)

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Too much to do ... not enough time!

Isn't that the way most people feel? But that is exactly where I am at right now.
This week I need to:
  • finish a hand embroidery project
  • help the kids finish a hand embroidery project
  • do some machine embroidery on 2 towels
  • finish one of my knitting projects
  • start another one that needs to be done by June 7
  • get 2 designs created
  • start up a group swap
  • start a cross-stitch project that should be finished sooner rather than later
  • make a couple of bread bags (complete with hand embroidery, although truth be told these can wait)
  • make each of my girls a dress
All that in addition to playing chauffeur (although thankfully swimming lessons are over and I couldn't be happier about it LOL!), grocery shopping, laundry, cooking, baking, cleaning, and teaching. And oh yeah, we're having company over on Friday and I'm working all day Saturday and Sunday. And because I'm that mom I told my kids I'd try to take them swimming one day and we have to get to the library before Wednesday closing time!

Phew. I'm tired already. And it's getting harder and harder to get on-line. Which is saying a lot because it was already hard.

So tonight I went through my bloglines feed. I cut it from 187 to 66 (although I'll add one more because although it shouldn't, that number creeps me out!) I'm sorry to those people I took off. The truth is I stopped reading all of them a while ago. It's just too much to keep up. I had hoped to get the list down to 50, but alas I couldn't cut it anymore. And of course I only kept my most favorites of favorites of favorites. Which is surprisingly a big list anyway. I feel bad, I do. If I could freeze time I'd read thousands of blogs each and every day, but I can't.

Anyway, I'm trying to keep posting here regularly. And at the motherhood, and I have another site I haven't been to in forever. And checking bloglines always scares me. I know there will be too much to read and I'll end up marking all read without reading any of them. And so, something had to give. And I'm not about to kick the children out! LOL! =)

Saturday, May 02, 2009


I've been busy working on projects lately. We needed gifts and we needed them quickly, so I've been working my little heart out to get them done!

First up, the girls ended Awana last week - both of them earned their first book for their respective group (for those of you who are familiar with Awana I have one daughter in Sparks and one in T&T). So we needed a little something for their leaders - who, we are so blessed, that each girl really liked her leaders. But, we're on this whole budget thing over here and it makes gift giving, well, a bit trickier! So, we together decided to give them washcloths and soap!
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Okay, here's where I admit I was pretty nervous. My dad jokingly (well, actually probably not so jokingly) if we were trying to tell them that they all smelled bad. ::sigh:: Anyway, I was nervous that they would look at their little washcloth and soap and think we were crazy bad gift givers (although if you are wondering, I've gotten the same thing as a gift before and I love it!) Two of the teachers were so thankful it shocked me. The one said her mom had knitted her some in the past but they were in need of replacement so getting a new one was so great! The other just couldn't get over the fact that we made them just for her. Amazing what a washcloth and a bar of soap can do for someone! =)

Next up: cute knit/sewn dress for a little girl

Two Summer Sundress

Okay, now be honest, how cute is that? I kind of wish I had a 2 year old to put in it myself! I think I would keep it and find something else to give the little girl LOL! Anyway, it wasn't too hard to make and was quick so that was good. Am hoping it fits and that they like it half as much as I do! LOL!

This party is actually for 2 girls in the family, so I asked the older girl what she wanted. She didn't know. That answer wasn't helpful. So we asked a bunch of questions and discovered: she likes jewelry but never wears it so that's not what we should give her, she likes music and CD's but they are very unorganized, she has a spot on her wall to hang things, and really anything we get will be fine. So 9 year old and I put our heads together and created this:


Well, do hope it will be fine. My 9 year old okay'd the project (and it's her friend so that was VERY important). Except when it was all done, she said in a sort of funny voice "Wow. That's big. Bigger than I thought it would be." And then she quickly added "But, I like it. You did great mom!" Which makes me wonder if it is too big and oh my goodness this poor girl is gonna hate it but have to pretend she likes it so she doesn't hurt our feelings. But what can I say? I didn't have a pattern, I just made it up as I went along. It holds 24 CD's, which I don't think is a large amount. And if there isn't enough room on her wall, well, it fits on a door too! LOL!

Aside from that I finally learned to make bread without a bread machine. I know, how silly does that sound? But we haven't bought bread in over a month. I've been making it for us. Almost every day - 5-6 days a week. We go through lots of bread and well bread machine loaves are smaller than most loaves you buy at the store. And we love bread. It was getting too hard to keep up! So, I did it by hand today and made four loaves (two whites, two wheats). Except I don't have 4 bread pans. So I had to improvise on the fourth loaf. Anyway, two are in the freezer and 2 are in the fridge waiting to be eaten. If I'm lucky I won't have to do this again for 5 whole days LOL! I'd love it if I could stretch it out for a whole week ;-) Except making the bread was fun. And now I'm looking to bake other things ... I'm thinking muffins, bagels, and a whole plethora of other ideas. And the 6 bread/muffin/baking cookbooks I checked out of the library are helping fill my mind with ideas!
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