Monday, November 30, 2009

Just three more weeks . . .

Although, I'm hoping for much less. ;o) My list from "six weeks left" remains pretty accurate, although I must add on to that the loss of my ankles and arms that go numb whenever I lift them for longer than 30 seconds. (??) Those are some newbies for me, but I'll see my midwife today and see what she has to say. It's our very last week of school for this semester. I'm thrilled. I'm really looking forward to doing the fun activities I have with my kiddos and just having a reflective advent, a time of waiting, a time of preparing, and boy, do those words really hit home right now. Today we begin our Jesse tree devotionals, using this --it was something that came as part of a Christmas e-book planner I had purchased a few years back, but come to discover the lady that wrote it also writes a blog I enjoy, A Holy Experience. I'm also trying to find some coloring pages for the kids that will work for each day, so far I have found this. However, I have completely run out of printer paper (hmmm, wonder why). ;o)

Among other news I'm wondering if anyone has a way to reset Jackson's internal wake-up clock? 5:58 or 5:59--every day, regardless of when he goes to bed. Although yesterday it was 4:55, and that hurt. Darkness is obviously no deterrent for him. If I could just get him to sleep until 6:30 or 7 that would be AWESOME.

Wishing you all a very good Monday and a lovely week this very last day of November.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Friday Finishes~11/27

ummm, "me" ;o)
Unfortunately, nobody notified the resident baby. I don't want to whine and complain, because as my sister and I were discussing yesterday, the last month or two of pregnancy gets kind of rough, no matter who you are. Rather uncomfortable, you know? But I do have this to say, this is the most uncomfortable I have ever been at the end . . . It causes me to wonder how on earth the Dug.gar lady has done it 16, 17, or however many times. But moving on . . .
Jackson has "finished" his use of a toddler bed, Emmett the crib. They are doing great! Getting a new bunk bed set up proved to be quite a project, bed, mattresses, cut some plywood for "bunky boards", mattress protection, sheets, comforters . . . It took awhile to acquire everything. I had grand plans to sew up some homespun quilts for the boys, but here's the reality: 1. It would take more time than I have right now 2. Within a week or two of use somebody would have markered them, or cut them, or ?? So, in the end, a "Wal.mart bed-in-a-bag" proved to be the perfect choice. ;o) Still have some other boys' room projects to finish, but I'm getting there.
A stocking for the newest little man! So impressed with myself that it's finished and hanging--before he has even arrived, when Emmett just finally got his stocking last Christmas . . . ;o)

And my shutter "picture thing"--I had originally planned it for a different spot and was going to hang it horizontally, but this worked out better. For now I have stuck the pictures on with scotch tape, I may look into getting some more small clothespins, or maybe there is something else out there that would look neat.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

A Happy Day!

Thanksgiving Myspace Graphics
Thanksgiving Myspace Graphics
Kids Shoes

A happy Thanksgiving day to all my friends and family!!! We are so blessed by all God has done for us this year and so thankful for His provision.

And a very happy birthday to my Mom--an original turkey day baby!!--so it's always fun when her birthday falls on Thanksgiving again. We are looking forward to a tasty meal with my side of the family at my sister's house today, and then another tasty meal at Josh's parents tomorrow. Can't wait for my next weigh-in at my midwife appt on Monday . . . ;o)

Hope you all enjoy a blessed day!!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Art imitates life imitates art . . .?

I mentioned Jackson's current coloring obsession awhile back. I'm thinking I left off with the potato head craze. Which was then followed by a Spider Man craze with a few more potato heads mixed in for good measure. Then he landed on "Wall-e" from the movie of the same title. I counted tonight and there were in the vicinity of 14 Wall-e pictures. He then decided he could make his own Wall-e. Which he has done about 7 times now, he draws his Wall-e, and then I must make the rocket and the "Eva." He attaches a "grabber" to the rocket that is always holding Eva and adds a few more "Eva's" to the rocket windows for good measure. Same thing, every time. But the last two pictures he added some grass and sky. I was duly impressed. And then he showed me his latest masterpiece: What's on Wall-e's eyes you ask? Oh, that's a bra.
If you're familiar with the movie I think there's a part where Wall-e is going through a trash pile and ends up with a bra on his eyes and he say "Woa!!" I'm not too sure if I have my details correct because it really wasn't a part that caught my attention. But apparently it caught the attention of a certain four year old boy. Because not only has there been this incident, but Josh and I discovered him trying on one of my bras, and then putting one on his eyes and saying "Woa!!" with perfect mimicry. Just lovely. I would have taken a picture because it WAS pretty funny, but quite frankly I'm not interested in flaunting my personal items on the world wide web. So, you'll just have to take my word for it. ;o) I can't begin to express how proud I am that this kid couldn't write his own name to save his life but can draw for himself a brassiere with delightful accuracy. And such a brilliant shade of magenta . . .

Saturday, November 21, 2009

How great our . . .

Joy, joy, joy!!! (Are you singing along yet?) ;o)
These were originally going to be "joy pillows" an idea I saw here where you have three star shaped pillows and affix a letter to each to spell "joy." But after I got going on this project I decided I wasn't really in the mood to stuff the appendages of a star--times three. Then I thought I could just fit all three together in an 8x10 frame. But the letters didn't fit. Which brought me to my final solution, individual 5x7 frames, which serendipitously I just had laying around from an uncompleted project of long ago. In fact, this whole project was FREE (aside from the $0.35 I had to spend on more black embroidery floss) because I had scraps/leftovers from other projects. I used another font I got online called "leaf" (hence the leaves). ;o) And while this project is a fabric/sewing project I'm thinking there are tons of ways you could recreate it in other mediums, like paper, or get three little chalkboards and write the letter on with chalk . . . Possibilities are, as always, endless. (Although an ornery husband could have fun with the chalkboard idea and might keep you on your toes changing out letters on you.) ;o) Another shelf in my hutch is complete. Now to finish up the third and this area will be officially decorated. ;o)

Friday, November 20, 2009

Friday Finishes~11/20

I didn't get as many of my projects done as I had hoped, there are a few things nearing completion, but not ready for a "grand reveal" yet. I did however get lots of other little things done, like the boys' bunk bed is set to arrive on Tuesday, all the bedding is bought, the kids' "Christmas Eve outfits" (to which Josh rolls his eyes at my weirdness) all ready (except some black shoes for Marissa, can't find her size in anything I like yet). I pulled out a suitcase to have ready for hospital packing . . . all those little things that must be done . . . I'm getting there. I had a nice day to myself yesterday, more of an errand day, but even those can feel like mini-vacations when all by your lonesome. ;o) I also had my midwife appt. and discovered that my iron is pretty low. Which explains the intense need for ice and a few other things--coldness, breathlessness, heart palpitations . . . A lovely "aha" moment. ;o) So, I've dutifully begun taking some iron supplements and that should help bring my energy levels up. I also bought myself some popsicles in hopes of not continually running to the freezer for ice cubes. It's not really working. Although I figure, while my teeth may not like me, ice cravings are probably better for me than ice CREAM cravings. ;o)

So anyway, my "finishes" a new Christmas sign--found the font "Christmas Card" on "dafont" and then I experimented with a light mist of spray adhesive and glitter. Not sure if you can really see that or not. I hung it above the piano, and like all my signs, I'm not the best at lettering, but it'll do, and it saves me lots of money.
And then my little "Christmas Countdown" garland. I found the mini paper sacks at as well as the clothespins, then I just printed out the numbers on red cardstock, glued them on and we're ready to go. (This is my kitchen bulletin board by the way, cleared of all it's miscellany to make way for the Christmas cards and pictures.)
And we also "finished" France and celebrated with some French cooking. Now to be perfectly honest I'm not sure how "French" it was--a "Quiche Lorraine" with a frozen pie crust from Wal.mart and "REAL" bacon pieces probably isn't exactly what France is serving up. As well as "Brioche au Chocolat" made from refrigerated crescent rolls and some chocolate chips. I'm thinking Julia Child might be horrified. ;o) However, it was still tasty and the girls declared that if they lived in France they would love every single meal they ate. I'm sure.
Tomorrow will find me cleaning, and sewing, oh! and baking too--forgot about our Sunday night bake sale!! And I'll officially be one month from my due date! Can you believe it?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Random Thoughts

I've done my best to remain a hermit since Sunday night. We did venture forth yesterday evening since Josh was home earlier than usual and did a whole bunch of little errands, like he runs into one place, I wait in the van with the kids, I run into the next place, he waits, etc. But by the end of that Jackson was sobbing in desperation because he was in dire need of a drink, Emmett announced he had to go potty (all while it was MY "van watch"). . . Reminding me why it's better to remain a hermit. ;o)

But today is Wednesday--violin lesson, orchestra, and AWANA night. I ventured out of my knit pants for today and put on some jeans, applied some make-up, and had grand plans for actually doing my hair. But alas, that proved too much and it is twisted up in a bun, once again. I go back and forth between longer hair/shorter hair. Longer hair can be easier because there is more you can do with it to hide the fact you didn't do it. That's nice. But on the other hand shorter hair forces me to actually do something and make myself presentable. A "catch 22" I believe. ;o)

I'm still furiously nesting--lots of little projects, found the floor of my closet again, being really creative with meals because I haven't wanted to go grocery shopping . . . sloppy joes on hot dog buns works right? ;o) "Candy Cane Milk" is available at Su.per again, still just as tasty as it was last year. I tried a new cookie recipe called "Chocolate Peppermint Snaps" and they're REALLY good. Especially with a glass of candy cane milk. ;o)

Tomorrow I am taking a "personal day." Well, probably more a "personal 3/4 of a day." I have been in desperate need of a break from the cacophony (there's your word of the day) ;o) that has been home life lately and Josh finally has a bit of time to make that happen. So, he's taking all four of them on a field trip to the fire station tomorrow. I will enjoy having the house all to myself, and once they return I'll leave for awhile, visit my midwife, etc. It should be refreshing.

So, nothing too exciting happening here, just plugging along, and the time really is flying for me. Which is both a good and a bad thing. Kind of like the whole short hair/long hair dilemma. ;o)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Brown paper packages tied up with strings . . .

. . . these are a few of my favorite things! I've had this idea for awhile--I always love in magazines how they'll throw in a few very simply wrapped gifts and it just makes the picture appeal to me more. I thought it would be fun to have a "present display" on a shelf in my hutch for Christmas this year. If this idea appeals to you at all, here's what you need.
1) After finishing a box of cereal, macaroni and cheese, cocoa, etc. save the box and tape it shut. (I originally had plans to use styrofoam but my goodness is that stuff expensive!!!) Instead, I went through my trash . ;o)
2) Purchase some brown craft wrapping paper from for $2.99 and use your 40% off coupon. Or use some saved brown paper grocery sacks--free. While at the Hob Lob get some craft cinnamon sticks in the Christmas crafting aisle that seem to be 50% each week and some jute twine.
3) Show your kids you are wrapping EMPTY FOOD BOXES, there are NO PRESENTS INSIDE.
4) Wrap the boxes--I used a glue stick to secure mine because I didn't want any tape noticeable.
5) Tie a nice little twine bow around them
6) Scavenge around for a Christmas-y looking garland and discreetly snip off evergreen parts to stick under the twine. Or go into your yard and trim some trees. Add a cinnamon stick. Your present is done.
7) Arranging--the hard part--I seriously messed with this for the last two days because it just didn't "feel" right (I agree, perhaps a bit neurotic for a bunch of fake presents) but anyway, what kept bothering me was the clean, straight lines of the presents and empty space. I kept scavenging around my house for things to tuck around them. First, a red berry garland that I cut into lots of little pieces. Then I added pine cones. Then I took them away. Then I rearranged . . . Finally, I climbed up on the arm of my wing chair--something I tell my kids not to do, and particularly not the smartest idea when you are 8 months pregnant and have a slight balance issue--and grabbed a handful of grapevine garland from atop my armoire. ;o) Then I started shoving bits and pieces of sticks all over the place. I discovered the messy woodsy look made me the most happy. SO glad that crisis was solved! Should have known it needed grapevine . . . ;o)
Anyway, a very cheap and easy project if you have an empty spot somewhere. ;o)

Saturday, November 14, 2009

My Apologies . . .

I realize we have yet to celebrate Thanksgiving. I know it is still fall. And yet, I officially have December on the brain. Therefore, I had to remodel the blog. ;o) So enjoy the Christmas music, the red and green . . .

And realize I may have plunged off the nesting edge.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Friday Finishes~11/13

I saw this idea somewhere else, a goal of a "Friday Finish" where current projects get finished up for "show and tell" on Friday. It's always nice to have a deadline, even if a self-imposed one (I tend to start a number of things at the same time and then have projects scattered everywhere). So, here's what got focused on this week:
New Pillows--2 red homespun ones for the "craigs.list chairs", a wool/homespun candy cane pillow to put somewhere for Christmas, and a tiny little wool star--that desperately needs a little rusty jingle bell in the center--to tuck somewhere.
I have a few things that are "distressed pine" and we've had them since we first got married. They have taken a beaten, but they are tough pieces. However my coffee table was looking pretty pitiful. It's seen many meals upon it, late night snacks, kool-aid spills, marker stains, and even served as a cat's scratching post. I was debating sanding everything down and trying to restain. And then I decided I still had more black paint. ;o) If it didn't work I wasn't out of too much.
End table before:
End table after:
Coffee table before:
Coffee table after:
Now the top of my coffee table has a lot of "distressed gouges." I did try to sand it down, but honestly I would have needed a planer to get that thing smooth. So, it remains an imperfect piece, but definitely "good enough" for the current state of my household. ;o) And I like how the black looks with all the cranberry colored furniture I have right now. It looks much better than the pine.

But now I'm eyeballing this:
The lone piece of distressed pine remaining. Dare I? I still kind of like it as is, but I also think it would look pretty awesome black. It would be a very big project, and because it houses the tv would also require painting the inside. Hmmmmm. Something to mull over. But I am FINALLY running a bit low on black paint. I'd for sure need another gallon for this big boy. ;o)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Kids Currently

We got in two days in a row of leaf jumping last weekend Marissa has fallen in love with Narnia and C.S. Lewis and has started in on the third book. She and her daddy have rousing discussions, and I have no clue because--believe it or not--I NEVER read them (I was more an "Oregon trail" kind of girl, not fantasy . . .)
She has also become our walking encyclopedia of animal facts, wants to be like Florence Nightingale, and can hula hoop with the best of them.
Isabella is working hard at her reading and can now play "Twinkle, Twinkle" in its four variations on her violin. She told me today amidst giggles that Marissa and her had a puppet show this afternoon followed by a nose-picking contest. I did not ask for details.

Jackson has become a coloring machine. It all began with "Larry Boy" and the realization he knew what colors he should be colored. Then it was combines and tractors, then robots. And then for a week, potato head after potato head, and now spider man. I am very thankful for free coloring pages online. But we need more markers.

And I think the days of this:
are numbered, if not completely over, because Josh found this:

on clearance after Halloween. It is now Jackson's outfit of choice. We've had it three maybe four days. And it could really use a washing.

And as for Emmett
he remains the "ham." His sisters dote on him and he eats it up. He stands next to the girls while they practice violin "playing" a wooden spoon--naked--while we all burst into giggles. He's been completely potty trained for a good month now, in the end soooooo much easier than Jackson that I would do handsprings if I could. And he also shares my obsession with munching on ice right now. Weird.
And that's what they've been up to, "behind the scenes." ;o)

"Make a Memory" Christmas Countdown

Here they are, my grand December plans! I've been working on this for the last month, knowing that December could be a long month for me, (as each day I'll be hoping for a baby who won't show . . .) so I wanted something for the kids and I to look forward to each day. I'm going to hang up a long pieces of twine and clothespin 25--neatly decorated I hope!--envelopes to it. Inside each envelope there will be an activity to complete that day, some involve cooking, some going some place, and some crafting. I'm trying to slowly compile everything I need and have a "kit" ready to go for each day. Now when the baby brother does appear we may have to do some maneuvering, but I did try to keep the ideas a bit simpler as we got closer to my due date. You'll notice we're getting the cookie making out of the way right at the beginning! ;o) I also have a stash of Christmas books that I'll be incorporating throughout, but I haven't gotten those out yet (as well as using my list of library books). I've linked up as many things as I could find if you need directions on how to do something (and also so I have something to refer back to next year!). Memories we'll be making this year include:

1. Make sparkly pine cone ornaments
2. Make cinnamon dough ornaments in the shape of their hand prints
3. Visit the Children's Museum and picnic lunch there
4. Make Christmas cut-out cookies (sugar & gingerbread)
5. Decorate the Christmas cookies
6. Make homemade cocoa mix
7. Make gingerbread houses (from graham crackers)
8. Peppermint day— read LEGEND OF THE CANDY CANE (make peppermint play dough, marshmallows, cocoa)
9. Wood ornament painting party (just the simple cut-outs from a craft store)
10. Make a Christmas orange pomander
11. Have a cocoa party and watch a Christmas movie
12. Attend the live nativity at First Evangelical Free Church
13. Attend the Christmas concert at our church
14. Have a muffin tin meal with "Christmas shapes" theme
15. Make snowman head ornaments (going to give the craft you did last year a try Kathy!) ;o)
16. Make a gum drop tree
17. Read Gingerbread Baby and Gingerbread Friends play with gingerbread play dough
18. Make a snow globe
19. "Christmas Lights Tour" in our pajamas with popcorn balls and cocoa
20. Make jingle bell/bead bracelets and dance to our favorite Christmas music
21. Make a winter village—celebrate first day of winter, read some winter books
22. Make paper chain decorations
23. Christmas Card Making--stickers, glitter, markers, etc. at hand for creating masterpieces
24. Christmas Eve service at church and Grandma's House
25. Birthday Party Breakfast for Jesus and open presents

Sunday, November 8, 2009

6 Weeks to Go

My "state of the belly" address:

~Getting into bed is painful and so is getting out.
~My feet still hurt
~The laundry and I continue to remain enemies
~Chucked the wedding ring this week--because it was rather snug--not for other reasons ;o)
~Audible sighs and groans accompany nearly everything I do that requires moving
~Craving ice and any fresh-baked good available
~Scale rising with amazing persistency
~Kids still commenting daily "Wow your tummy is sooooo big!" (doing wonders for my self esteem)
~Sick of maternity clothes
~Gazing wistfully at skinny clothes
~Sleep coming in 2-3 hour increments, broken up by frequent trips to the "necessary"
~Deciding the person who invented the body pillow can be my best friend forever
~Wondering how it was we burned through 36 rolls of toilet paper so quickly
~Realizing the blame probably rests on me
~Shocked to realize there's a lot of "stuff" I need to have ready, like a baby book for instance, and oh, some diapers would probably be good . . .
~Doubly shocked to realize that if this fellow decides to come 2 weeks early like Emmett did I only have four weeks left!!! So much to do, so little time left to do it!

Seriously though, I'm doing well. Yes, I'm tired. But overall, when I think about how this IS the 5th time around, it's gone pretty well--could be a whole lot worse. And while I joke with Josh about how nice it would be to put myself on bed rest for awhile, I'm truly thankful I am up and about and able to attend to the needs of everyone without help. I'm positive these next few weeks will go quickly and before we know it there will be a new little baby to meet and snuggle. Can't wait!!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Winter Book List

Here's a list of books I've been compiling to fill our book shelf with come December. We won't be doing any "actual" school, but we will still be enjoying and learning about the season--from the spiritual side and about winter nature/season changes. All are available at our local library. Some we've read before, and some I'm just going off of Am.azon reviews--so if you check one out and it's awful for whatever reason, know you were warned. ;o) I'm sure this list will be honed down in the following years as we discover our favorites. Just thought I would share in case anyone else is interested. (And if you have a good wintry book to recommend leave it in the comments). Happy reading! ;o)

The Kids Winter Handbook (Drake)
Snow Amazing (Drake)
The Big Snow (Harder)
Dear Rebecca Winter is Here (George)
Flannel Kisses (Brennan)
In the Snow; Who's Been Here? (George)
On a Wintry Morning (Chaconas)
Stranger in the Woods (Sams)
Time to Sleep (Fleming)
When Winter Comes (Van Laan)
Winter is the Warmest Season (Stringer)
Winter Visitors (Hayes)
A Winter's Tale (Wallace)
The Shortest Day (Pfeffer)
The Winter Solstice (Jackson)
Animals in Winter (Rustad)
Crafts to make in Winter (Ross)
Explore Winter (Anderson)
Let's Look at Winter (Schuette)
Snow is Falling (Branley)
Where do they Go? Insects in Winter (Selsam)
Winter an Alphabet Acrostic (Schnur)
Winter Lullaby (Seuling)
Winter Trees (Evans)
Owl Moon (Yolen)
And now to work on the "Christmas Book List". . .

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Thankful Tree

Over the last few years November has been the month we put up a "thankful tree." If you are unfamiliar with the idea, it's pretty simple. Hang up an empty tree shape, cut out some leaves, and then daily have your kids tell you what they are thankful for. My kids love it. There are all sorts of variations, like a "thankful wreath" or a "thankful turkey" (that's where you add feathers to a turkey). Here's our tree from last year: I'm a bit behind schedule this year, I like to have everything ready to go for the first of November, but it might be more by the end of the first week of November. ;o) I'm hoping to do the following version of a tree this year for something new. (And also because cutting out maple-shaped leaves takes a whole lot longer than this simple shape) ;o)

Picture courtesy of Family Fun
Anyway, just an idea to pass along to make your November a little extra special. It's always fun to hear what the kids are thankful for day in and day out. And as a sidenote, if you do the actual tree branch tree, you can use this tree for December for a "Jesse Tree" which is a series of advent Bible readings through the month of December as you count down to Christmas. Go here for more info/ornaments to print out or just it--there are lots of ideas out there.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Glimmers of Gold

"Come and see the works of God,
Who is awesome in His deeds toward the sons of men."
Psalm 66:5

"Thou hast crowned the year with Thy bounty,
And Thy paths drip with fatness.
The pastures of the wilderness drip,
And the hills gird themselves with rejoicing.
The meadows are clothed with flocks,
And the valleys are covered with grain;
They shout for joy, yes, they sing."
Psalm 65:11-13