score one for mama

the. best. $1.99 (x three packs) that i have ever spent! i have been making busy boxes for our 18 month old, like these to keep her occupied while doing school with big kids and bought the pompoms to put half in a tupperware for her to dump and fill, and stick magnets on the other half to play with on a small metal tray. she found them while i was cooking dinner, so i figured i would let her play with them.

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after i set her up with a fill-and-dump container, our three year old asked if she could play, too. i got her going with a handful of them.

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of course, then along come our five and six year olds who want a piece of the action, so i look for ice cube trays, realize i don’t have any (really) but find the ikea ice trays and tongs for a fun time.

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i also happened to have a random clothespin in the kitchen that i hadn’t walked to the laundry room yet. so the big kids took turns with the clothespin and tongs, while the little ones wanted their turn with the tongs and trays.

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the tissue box that can no longer be left on normal level because this little one likes to empty it, got emptied again and filled with pompoms. based on the length of time she spent with it, i don’t think i will be throwing them out any time soon.

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when she got tired of playing with the trays and dump and fill container, she started putting them away in the plastic bag they came in! the big kids started hiding theirs for each other to find, so we played “hot and cold” until daddy came home (20 minutes late) for dinner, with no one crying or whining!

best $5.97 ever.

cigar, anyone?

i hope you’re glad to be where you’re at
i don’t mind living where we are
it’s a suitable climate
a fine habitat for the yellow-haired monkeys in the yard
yellow-haired monkeys in the yard

a friend of mine
ya know he’s flat broke
just delivered me a fat cigar
it’s a beautiful excuse for a celebrative smoke
it’s a yellow-haired monkey for the yard
another yellow-haired monkey for the yard
yellow-haired monkeys in the yard

deri daugherty/steve hindalong

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a slightly less elegant version…

i found these yummy-looking shortbread bites on my cousin’s pinterest board

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i thought it would be a fun Christmas baking project with the kids (which, i might add, is not normally something high on my ocd list of Fun Things to Do with Small Children).

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instead of kneading the sprinkles in, i gave them each their own plate with dough, sprinkled it with the Christmas sprinkles they chose, and let them roll it around. like play-doh. but tastier.

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and the oven fixed the ugliness. so, while ours aren’t as pretty as the ones in the picture, they could have looked alot worse if the oven hadn’t softened and melted them a little.

*note, i made the first batch according to the instructions and a second batch from namaste’s perfect flour blend  because we are wanting to cut out as much sugar and wheat from our diet as is possible for us right now (i know, fantastic time of year to be implementing that change, well played, parents!). they came out tasting good (or as good as something without wheat flour can taste, right?), but they seemed to melt a little more than the wheat flour ones. so if you are wanting them to look like the ones in the recipe picture, you might need to do a little messing around with the measurements to get it firmer…or, i guess, not let little hands roll them and melt the butter.  i also added a few drops of peppermint oil to that batch, which i would highly recommend!

feeling crafty

clothes pin bag

clothes pin bag, at last!

pinafore

sweet p’s pinafore

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ring sling and burp cloth

stockings by the fire

stockings by the fire

do you know how awful it is to try and get a picture of your own head with an ipad?

do you know how awful it is to try and get a picture of your own head with an ipad?

after months of not doing much, november – december was crazy productive! i was thinking of all the things i had been doing, was amazed at myself and felt the need to share, of course. so let’s start at the top, shall we?

clothes pin bag  my grandma always had a clothes pin bag and i wanted one when we started hanging our clothes, but couldn’t find one. i ended up finding this one. i did not download the template, i just eye-balled it because i am impatient and didn’t want to take the time. also, the fabric i used isn’t really fabric, it is some weird non-plastic, table cloth-like stuff i inherited through the years, so the “neck” does not lay flat, but for a 20-minute, pattern-free project, i am pleased! and think of my grandma every time i use it.

pinafore  my cousin texted me a picture of her daughter in this super cute pinafore and promised it was crazy easy-peasy. and basically…she was so right! let me be clear about my actual sewing abilities: i have never (never) completed a pattern without handing it mangled and still in pieces to my mom for her to fix and finish for me. until this one. and i made it, from download/print-out/cut-out to sewing complete, minus buttonholes, in one nap time. seriously. and i did another one for our oldest daughter after the kids were in bed. (we had a play day the next day that i wanted them to wear them to, so i was a little motivated)

ring sling and burp cloth  this is more my kind of sewing. like curtains, there are just lots of straight lines and no fancy work. super easy to make and make a few bucks on the side. actually, this the reason my fantastic husband made my dream laundry/sewing room for me, to make a little side money while taking care of the kids. so, yes, the sling is for sale!

stockings by the fire  justice, our newest addition, went last Christmas without a stocking. but as she was only a week and a half old, i am fairly certain she was ok with it. however, this year she will need one, so i am furiously knitting when i have the time to sit (and am not blogging). in the back is mercy’s, what the finished product will look like. i went ahead and added it in because by the time it is done, i will have done all these projects in under a month. (i am not gloating) (well, maybe a little)

flowered cloche  ok, not big on the selfies, but it didn’t look like anything lying on the arm of the couch and i wasn’t thinking jimmy would want to model it for me, so there it is. i have a really fantastic scarf from gap that used to have a matching hat (but not gloves because i was too cheap to buy them and i have regretted it ever since) but one of my roommates from the past had a friend who was going someplace cold and i let her borrow it and have never seen it again (or the friend, come to think of it, although, randomly, she and her now husband and children have moved next door to some friends of mine who live an hour away. yeah, weird. so…) i crocheted this one to go with it and now i don’t have to be bitter anymore.

may the force be with you

(you’re going to need it)

as part of her early childhood requirements at her university, my cousin emily is taking a yoga class. her daily homework is a 15-20 minute session recorded by her teacher (should it be professor since it’s a college class? yoga professor sounds weird) anyway, she has started coming over in the morning so i can do the sessions with her on our porch. it’s so serene in the (somewhat) early morning before the florida humidity sets in. we sip our coffee, set up our mats with blocks and stretch bands within reach, get the computer ready…set…and go. amid dog, cats, and three small children, we practice yoga.

patience : (from her play yard, we learned early on this is better than letting her run free) em-mee!

mercy : is that our computer?

me : yes, it is. shhh, ok?

creepy-voiced yoga instructor begins

mercy : (whispering and trying to copy our moves) is that your yoda mat?

patience : em-mee!

at some point, mercy leaves so emily and i actually have a chance to focus until we hear from behind the bathroom door…

mercy : i’m duh-un!

me : ok, get down, then.

mercy : but i POOPED! (snicker from emily)

me : ok, you’ll have to wait a couple minutes.

jameson : look! i made lego guns (pointing them in my face as i’m trying eagle pose). pshew, pshew!

me : shhh, that’s great, jameson. go back to your lego table, ok? and let mercy (who has been yelling this whole time that she’s duh-un) know i’ll be in in a minute, please.

jameson : ok. (opening the bathroom door) mama will be here in a minute, stinky butt!

mercy : I AM NOT stinky butt! (more snickers from emily)

jameson : haha! yes you are stinky butt! (mercy continues to yell that she’s not)

jameson : haha! i called mercy stinky butt…look, i made lego guns. pshew!

me : (now in lotus, hands at heart center and supposedly focusing for the rest of the day) shhh, don’t call her stinky butt. nice guns, and again, please go back to your lego table. thank you.

and we are done. i help mercy finish but when she comes back and sees that emily and i are putting our mats away she wails, “but i wanted to do yoda with you!!!”

washing our (food) sins away

i love my husband. but since a certain unfortunate chain buffet restaurant has (sadly) come to our side of town, he has been wanting to visit. (i won’t name it, but it could also be called The Yellow Place Where Livestock Is Kept.) and while i would never say anything to him like when hell freezes over, because i love him, i’m pretty sure he understood that  there was  no way i would ever go there or consent to take our children.

this was before i was pregnant.

when you are pregnant; have a four-year old, almost three-year old, and one-year old; have nothing planned for dinner; are finishing up your stay-at-home-and-clean day with all three kids cooped up inside because of storms; and your husband comes home early and offers to take you to eat “somewhere else” (i.e., i won’t have to clean the kitchen, set and clear the table, sweep under the table, wash dishes, to say nothing of the the energy it would have taken just to figure out what to fix…) things change a bit. well, alot, actually.

so this yellow-place-where-livestock-is-kept has a chocolate fountain and cotton candy machine, blue being the color last night. so you can imagine what our children looked like at the end of the meal. (and in spite of excellent training otherwise, they absolutely loved all their food and for the first time for the past year, we didn’t have to remind mercy to eat.)  anyway, to make a long story short…they greatly needed to run off some of the sugar and needed a bath to wash off the sugar, so jimmy got out with them halfway down the drive and made them run to the house in the rain. which turned into an entire-family-even-the-baby-got-involved water fight. it was pretty fabulous.

consistently inconsistent

i know it’s been awhile when i start typing the link to this blog and it doesn’t automatically pop up in the address bar. it seems like i’m struggling for consistency in every area of my life. diet (meaning what i eat, not a specific fad or plan), exercise, bible study, discipline – my own and for our kids. the only thing that has been consistent the past 6 and a half weeks has been swim lessons. 10 minutes a day, five days a week and i’m exhausted.

so the thought of starting an intense, 11-week bible study with our life group seemed a bit ridiculous.

that was before i started. now that we’re in it…it’s, well, it’s still kinda insane. but really, really worth it. based on colossians 2:7, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness, it is called growing strong in God’s family. and while it takes you in slowly, we’ve been warned that we are getting ready to get tossed into the deep end with no life jackets. but i do feel like if i can gain some consistency in that part of my life, it will spill over into the other areas i’m struggling in.

i guess patience and i are learning to swim at the same time.