on our day off


Friday, November 27

we go to preschool 3 days a week. on our days off, we usually have errands to run or take a field trip to the zoo or park or other local activities. lately, we have spent a little bit more time at home.

it isn't easy for me or my three to stay home for very long. we tend to get bored. maybe it is the small space because it is small. maybe it is the over stimulated environment that is full of toys because it is definitely full of toys. occasionally, they entertain themselves well . . .

she likes to dress up. and design things for dress up.

he likes to read. alot.

and, she likes to eat.

especially yummy pancakes. look at those thighs, they tell it all.

and, if all falls into place, i might get a few minutes to do something myself. when it is not filled with laundry, dishes, floors or laundry, it is filled with this:

this and laundry.

help: i switched to the updated blogger which offers xlarge picture options and now my pictures don't look right. hmm . . .

the lesson of the day (including a tutorial)


Monday, November 23

we are out of preschool all week and i have a needy, unhappy baby and i have not slept through the night in more than a week. not to mention, that each child woke up several times last night. so, when we woke up this morning everyone was in a great mood. after getting doctor appointments for 5:20 this evening (yes, that is the earliest appointment they had and, yes,i called right when they opened), i realized there was nothing to eat or drink for breakfast. so, we headed to mickey d's in search of a nutritious breakfast full of the the healthiest ingredients. each child got exactly what they ordered. only one didn't through a fit screaming they wanted something different once we arrived home. so, as spencer and i ate our breakfast in peace and quiet, i had an idea. and, once the others collected themselves and ate their breakfast, we began.

i found this stick on the front porch a week or so ago and thought it would be perfect for a mobile.

we hung it with invisible thread. ideally, i would have used monofilament, but this was a in-the-moment project.

i've had this book sitting in the closet for years. any book about being thankful would work, but i love the way pk hallinan's books resonate with my children.

after reading the book, we traced some leaf shapes on leftover cardstock. while carter cut them out, i wrote what miller said on his leaves. then carter wanted me to write her things on her leaves. they both wrote their own names on the back of their leaves.

what they are thankful for is a complete reflection of their personalities. miller included "all the books we have at home" and "all the teachers (specifically ms. donna, ms. carole and ms. molly)" and carter included "stars" (it was listed in the book) and "ms. jennifer".

then we strung them on the invisible thread and hung them on the stick. and, we found an old vent to hang it from in the middle of the room.

while we were worked on this project, we talked about how some people don't have the things we take for granted (food, a home, clothes). after a few minutes, carter said, "it's hard not to whine." and, you know what, she is right. when you have what you need most/all of the time, it is hard not to whine about not having the things you want. it is even harder to teach my children to be thankful when they seem to have even less of an understanding of being in need. true need. 

so, while some tend to skip over the holiday that i often feel obligated to, i will try to put more of a focus on it and the lesson it teaches. because right now, being thankful has to be taught just as much as reading and writing. tell me, what are you thankful for?

he said: the pledge


Friday, November 20

thrifty crafting:aqua bowl


Wednesday, November 11

here is a sneak peak at a little fall decor.
do you see my little bowl? a few months ago, i went to a great estate sale, but of course i didn't take pictures or blog about it. the prices were great and the dig was even better. i found something that looked like this:
i found this one on ebay. but mine had scallop trim. (i love scallop trim. i think that is why i bought it. that, and it was only $.50.) it is a tole shade from a hanging light fixture. i thought it would make a cute bowl. i spray painted it my favorite color and hot glued twine around the weird line-y part.i really wanted to fill it with sea shells, but i didn't have any. i still don't. and, it is fall. so, i filled it was gourds. what do you think?

a cute canvas tutorial


Monday, November 9

i have wanted to share this project for a while, but i make everything at the last minute so i usually don't have the patience (or time) to stop and take pictures of each step. this time, i tried to plan ahead, so let's go!

this is what you need to start: canvas (choose size based on design), acrylic paint, foam brush, small brush, scrapbook paper, mod podge, scissors, ribbon, craft glue (i prefer my best friend, aleene's tacky glue) and a paint pen
step 1: paint your canvas. i usually paint it with a foam brush first to make sure it is all covered.
then, i paint it with a small brush making an X pattern to create texture. don't worry if all the paint is smooth or if it is lighter in some areas.

step 2: create & cut out your design. i wanted a pumpkin for this canvas. as you can see, i was making multiples and like to create assembly line style.
step 3: adhere your design to the canvas. i use mod podge for this step.

step 4 (optional): i used distressing ink to ink the edges of my paper before i mod podged it and in between the pieces after i did it.

step 5: place a coat of mod podge over the entire canvas.
(no picture. see, i told you i would not remember to photograph each step!)

step 6: add any words you want using the paint pen.

step 7 (optional): you could add another coat of mod podge depending on if you have enough time for another layer of mod podge to dry before wrapping it. i usually don't!

step 8: glue ribbon around the edge of your canvas for a finished look.

and, ta da!
there are so many different things you can make using this technique. i use this project a lot to create baby gifts to match room decor. i would love to see what you come up with! these will be teacher gifts. i hope they like them!

i'm linking this tutorial up here with lots of other inexpensive crafty ideas! i can't believe there are only 45 days to shop/create before christmas!

pocket pants


Saturday, November 7

this boy . . .
loves pocket pants. he also loves to carry things. that is probably why he loves pocket pants.

i know this about him. and to this point, it has never caused harm. until today . . .
remember berta . . . our enormous workhorse of a washing machine.

last night, i filled her to the top with little socks and underwear, pajamas, t-shirts and more. when i woke up, i went to put it all in the dryer. i knew immediately.

what is that all over berta? you ask.
this is what is left of the chosen toy miller carried in his pocket yesterday. this is what is left of what i unknowingly threw into berta with hundreds of teeny tiny clothing.

i didn't know what to do. so i just put it in the dryer. this dryer is like berta circa 1960. they don't make dryers like this anymore. lots and lots of heat using lots and lots of energy. al gore would be mortified.

i am amazed it didn't melt all these thousands of teeny tiny pieces to the clothing.
now you know what i will be doing today.

lesson learned. (i hope.)

a trip to the pumpkin patch


Wednesday, November 4

i love fall. i love pumpkins. i love falling leaves, cooler temperatures and warm sweaters. i love decorating for the holidays. i love beginning traditions and continuing those traditions.

each year, we have gone to the same little pumpkin patch in our area of the city. it is in a church yard and the money goes to the student ministry's mission trip (who doesn't want to support that?)

this year, josh has been so busy that we went on the only night someone didn't have something. somehow, it wasn't raining. josh called me that afternoon and asked if we would be ready. i had totally forgotten. the kids were napping. clothes were dirty. i wanted to say no, but how could i? we had to have pumpkin patch pictures, right?

spencer didn't think so. i sat her on the ground and it broke her heart. i don't know if it was teething or the cold, wet ground, but she was sad.

this picture is our children. carter is in her own world, singing or talking non-stop. miller is being a boy and giving spencer all of his attention. spencer is trying to roll with the punches no matter what is happening to her (teeth, brother, or worse).

so her. i found the leggings this summer and knew they would be perfect for fall. she picked each fabric in the pumpkin applique this year. i love the way her legs are intertwined!

why do we even try to pose our children? they are so used to josh and the camera, it is pointless. so a few puffs for the baby and a little freedom for the others and all was well.

oh, how she loves her momma.

and, oh, how her momma loves her.

then, miller proclaimed this his pumpkin. and he attempted to move it across the yard . . .

slow and steady wins the race. s.l.o.w. and steady.

i wish i had a rabbit in a hat


Sunday, November 1

(do you remember that song? it reminds me of junior high.)

around labor day each year i start asking my children what they want to be for halloween. each year i receive a different answer almost every day. each year they finally choose at the last minute.

this year was no different.

as a mommy who likes to make things, i started early with my creative suggestions of what the 3 of them could be this year. to no avail.

carter had her own ideas. in each scenario she gave, her sister was a dog or something carter was going to carry. um, no.

then, we had to have the talk about age appropriate costumes. "you are 5. you have all the time in the world to be barbie. let's pick something warmer. it will be cold by then." that's code for "uh, no. i don't think so. there is no way you are wearing that. you need to find something with more clothing. or you will not go."

obviously, not everyone had that conversation with their girls because i saw more little girls in tight, short dresses or fishnet stockings or worse. hello, people they are still little girls even if it is halloween.

so, two days before our first halloween event (because this was the longest halloween in history), my mom and i took the kids to costco to see if we could find a costume for the baby. we were short on time and thought her costume would be the hardest to make. we did not find an animal, but we did find a magician/vampire costume for miller. the costume came with everything-top hat, wand, cape, yada yada yada.

so, after a moment of creative thinking, we decided spencer could be his rabbit and carter could be his assistant. what does an assistant wear? isn't that similar to barbie's costume? i don't think so. but, then josh said she could just wear a princess style dress. and as we were leaving costco, they had a new rack of black velvet and satin dresses. carter was headed straight for them when i blurted out, "look at those pretty costumes! that would be a great assistant's dress." of course, the glittery flowers overtook her and she obliged.

so, now the rabbit. apparently, white rabbits are more of a springtime costume. i didn't know people typically dressed in costume for easter unless they were the bunny sitting in the chair at the mall. but, whatever. i took a chance at a local children's consignment shop and found ten of varying sizes and cuteness. i took the cutest and we made do with the size. (because every girl knows you will put yourself in any size if the outfit/shoes are cute enough.)

they wore the same costumes to four different events. i was a little sad they weren't homemade, but not for long. last year i was up to 2 am painting wendy's stripes. and, i am still working on miller's wardrobe for fall/winter. so, maybe next year. i actually look forward to the year miller wants to be a washing machine or something crazy that i can't buy off the rack.

even if the rack is super cute . . .


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