Friday, December 28, 2007

Christmas Gifts!!

I have soo much catching up to do!!! Whew!! What a crazy month it has been!!! I'm a little sad that Christmas is (almost) over, but also soo relieved!!!! It is such a stressing time of year!!! I'm running low on time today--as I still have some "holiday" baking to do--we have ANOTHER Christmas to go to this weekend (that's the beauty of having SO much family local!! And having 2 sets of divorced parents!)

Anyways, I wanted to share some of the homemade holiday gifts!
First off, the finished kitchen!
kitchen stocked kitchen up close

We "stocked" it with "Melissa and Doug" goodies (this and this) and the kids are absolutely in LOVE with it!!!

Next, three finished Waldorf dolls--one for Ashlee, one for McKenna, and one for my niece Cloey! I made each dolly a blankie and pillow too!
all 3 dolls doll with blankie

And lastly, the girls in the Christmas dresses I made for them!
Ashlee dress kenna dress

Ashlee's dress was Butterick pattern 4434, and Kenna's was Butterick 3782. I'll definetly be making more of these for the girls!! I'm looking for some birthday fabric for McKenna right now!! So if anyone knows of any cute girly cupcake fabric--please let me know!!!
I was especially proud of myself with these two dresses, as they were my first attempts at putting in zippers--and they came out pretty well!!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Ashlee's name book

One more Christmas present down, only a million more to go! Haha!
I made a little fabric book for Ashlee, with the letters to her name. The book is 8"X8", and has a layer of quilt batting in between each page. All in all, it was an easy project, and I'm fairly happy w/ the results! The only thing I would change is the fabric paint on the cover and the numbers page. Those letters and numbers were small, and I thought it would be difficult to applique, so I tried to take the easy route---and well, that's what I get I guess! I don't think Ashlee will mind though! I can't wait to give it to her!

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My husband totally rocks!

As I've mentioned before, I've been asking Dustin to make the kids a wooden play kitchen for Christmas. I was starting to get a little nervous, w/ Christmas being only weeks way, and he hadn't even started yet! But, he pulled through this weekend. On Saturday, MIL came to get Braydon and Ashlee to spend the night, so Dustin, McKenna, and I all headed over to my dad's--as his garage has all the necessary tools--and we wouldn't have to worry about Braydon and Ashlee seeing it!

So, he worked on it Saturday afternoon, and for a couple hours on Sunday, and it's coming along so much better than I even imagined!! It's almost complete--it just needs a second coat of stain, then it needs to be assembled! Here are a few pics of it in progress.

It will have a stainless steel bowl for the sink, and a faucet and knobs. The right side will become the stove. The bottom right cupboard will be the oven, and the left is just a cupboard. Then of course there will be a back on the whole thing. I can't wait to see what it looks like finished!! Now I need to get started on the felt food I want to make to go with it!!!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Christmas Card

This was my first holiday card I designed myself. While it's not complicated by any means, I'm still pretty dang proud of how it turned out!! We took the pics this weekend, and was actually surprised I got one of each of them smiling! Don't get me wrong, there were tears involved, and forget having all three of them together in one pic--it just ain't happenin'!!!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Well, Turkey Day went off without a hitch! BIL, SIL, and lil' neice came down and had dinner w/ us and hung out. We had the traditional turkey (brined, of course!!), stuffing, potatoes, corn, cookie salad (yum!), and SIL brought an awesome Sweet Potato Crisp. BIL brought his Wii down, along w/ Guitar Hero...and I'm officially addicted!! All the stores around here are sold out of the Wii system..or I would have bought one already!
Now this week, hubby is out of town, and I agreed to take on some extra kids to help out their parents...5 kids all week, and now husband...I think I'll be stark raving mad by Friday!!!
Especially thanks to the fact that McKenna has perfected her crawling! She is now all over the house. And while I love her newfound's also annoying at times! And how she always finds that one paperclip, or piece of catfood...I'll never know!

With hubby being gone this week, hopefully I can find some time for my crafting projects! I have lots of stuff to finish for Christmas..and the list of things keeps getting longer! I did manage to get some pics this weekend for our holiday I just need to put something together in photoshop.

As always...lots to do!!!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Waldorf Doll

I finished one Christmas present!! Yea!! A Waldorf doll for McKenna. I ordered the Heavy Baby Kit from Joy's Waldorf Dolls, and I have to say I'm very impressed w/ her service, and product. The kit included almost everything I needed--other than needles and some lavender thread!--and her instructions were very easy to follow and included lots of pictures! I even did the embroidery on the face by myself!! I want to make 2 more of these now--one for Ashlee, and one for niece, Cloey. I placed an order for fabric on Friday from Joy's, and I received my box yesterday! Talk about service!!

Anyhoo--here are some pics!
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She has a lavender velour bunting that is oh-so-soft, and her body is filled w/ millet, so she is quite malleable. The millet also has lavender essential oil mixed in w/ it--so she smells awesome!! I can't wait to give it to McKenna on Christmas!!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Look, It's me again!!

Well, I'm just full of myself lately! LOL!

I got my hair cut again, and I LOVE it!!!!!! A new cut and color is just what I needed! I feel like a woman again, instead of just "mom."

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Friday, November 16, 2007

Look! It's me!

I made this nifty fabric headband following this tutorial. It turned out totally cute and I love it!!! Just had to share! It was SUPER easy too--took maybe 1/2 hour--and that was w/ an 8 month old helping me! LOL!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

I'm getting worse and worse...

At blogging that is! I started out soo good...and now I'm down to once a week updates! I definitely need to step it up. In my defense, I (ok, WE) have been incredibly busy! This past weekend hubby tore up my kitchen...literally! He put in new flooring, and new counter tops! Yea!! But, that also meant a whole weekend w/o my kitchen!! And pretty much resulted in Braydon and Ashlee having free reign over the rest of the house the entire weekend--b/c I was busy helping, needless to say, it was a mess, and everything in the house was covered in layer of dust from sanding the floor...It took me all of Monday, and most of Tuesday to get the house back into shape. Plus, w/ Thanksgiving next week already, I need to do all the "extra" cleaning that I leave until company comes! (like the entry way, my sewing stuff, etc) Yesterday I managed to find a little time to sew--which was incredibly stress relieving!! LOL! I swear, my sewing machine had become my crack. I'm almost finished w/ my first Waldorf doll. I ordered the Heavy Baby Kit a few weeks ago, and it's coming along remarkable well for my first attempt! I just have to embroider the face, and finish her bunting..and then pics will come!! Then I just have to make 2 more before Christmas!! Along w/ numerous other gifts! The Christmas countdown has begun! I can't wait to get thru Thanksgiving so I can get started.
Speaking of Thanksgiving, I'm really looking forward to it this year! We are doing it at our house, as we have the past couple of years, but usually we just invite my parents...which is always kinda awkward, as the divorce isn't soo far in the past..etc. Now, they both have significant others, and putting them all together did NOT sound like my idea of fun. And MIL's is out of the question. She is seriously certifiable...and holidays w/ her make me crazy. So, we invited Dustin's twin bro and family! I can't wait!! A fun, low stress, low fuss holiday! I love my BIL and SIL, and their daughter is only 3 months older than Ashlee--so the kids will have a blast!! Even though they only live 15 miles away, they both work full-time, so we don't get together much. Should be a great time!
Last night I actually got to get out for a few hours! SIL invited me to go hang out w/ her at a local comedy night. It was really fun, and nice to be away from the kids for a while. Braydon and Ashlee were already asleep by the time I left, and Dustin said McKenna was awesome! They were both sound asleep when I got home! I was a little worried as to how she would do, as she's been sick for the past few days.
Today, I started on Thanksgiving place cards. I'm making these cute lil' turkey's from the Martha Stewart site, and if I do say so...I think mine look better than hers!! Will post pics later tonight!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Well, my four year old is mad at me. Why?? Because we do not have a toy fire truck. This week is "F" week at school, and every week the kids bring something for sharing. Apparently, someone must have brought a fire truck earlier this week, and now my son is insisting that he has one to bring as well! I've suggested every other "F" thing I can possibly think of; frog, fish, food, etc. All of which have been angrily shot down. He stomped away to his room now. When did he get such an attitude!?

On a positive note, earlier, while I was slicing up apples to make apple crisp, he told me I was doing it "perfectly!" LOL! I couldn't help but smile! I'm always amused at the words that come out of his mouth; delicious, pregnant (yeah, that one surprised me!), Internet, harmonica...the list really goes on and on! And I cannot believe how observant he is! It started when he was very young--even before he was year old. When we would go to my dad's house, he would recognize the alley, as we were pulling in, and say "bumpa's?" (grandpa's). My dad's house wasn't even in sight yet!
Then, this weekend, we went up to Fargo. We were in Fargo at the end of July, and stayed over in a hotel. Well, we happened to pull into a gas station on Saturday, next to the hotel we stayed at--and he recognized it! And got all excited, that we made it back to our hotel. He was pretty bummed to find out we weren't staying! (Last time we stayed, Grandma was there, and he got to go swimming--what kid wouldn't be disappointed!)

Oh, and more good news! Today, McKenna crawled!! She turns 8 months tomorrow! I can't believe it. A part of me is soo happy and proud, and another is crying and longing for her to still be an infant! I can't believe how fast they grow up! And every milestone w/ her is bittersweet, as Kenna will probably be our last.

And lastly for a little show off, here are a couple more sock monkeys! These I made for a friend on my March mommy's board, and I love how they turned out! I'll be sad to ship these out tomorrow!

Friday, November 2, 2007

Finally updating...

I just haven't been in the computer "mood" lately. I've been neglecting this blog, as well as my mommy boards. I'm not sure what's up w/ me.

We had a great Halloween though! I did the kids' costumes last minute, as usual!
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Braydon went as a pirate--his costume consisted of a store bought white dress shirt that I distressed, added some gromets, threaded suede lace through, and shortened. I also cut off the cuff, moved them up, making a channel, and threaded the suede lace through them as well. Pants were black sweat pants, w/ 8 inches cut off the bottom, then I made some 3 inch vertical cuts up the pant leg. We finished it off w/ a red skull bandana, black and white striped socks, and a piece of fabric w/ skulls on it for the sash. This project was almost no-sew, but the end result was pretty awesome! He loved it, and I think it looks better than the pirate costumes you can buy!

Ashlee was a ladybug--her outfit was just as simple! I made a red tutu--using a new sew method!--and attached black felt dots. Then, she wore a black long sleeved shirt, and black tights. I also made her a headband and a "wand". The head band I made using a store bought black head band, and Crayola model magic. I used the model magic to make the antennae--let them dry, painted the black, and hot glued them to the head band! Voila! The flower wand I made using more model magic, hot glue, paint, ribbon, and a pencil. She loved her costume, and looked adorable!

McKenna just went as herself! LOL! Halloween onesie and some trick or treat baby legs that I made her! She looked cute and festive!

Now, of course, I'm sick. And so is McKenna. I'm sure it's from getting in and out of the car all night on Halloween. She's crabby, I'm's no good! Braydon has preschool today, in the afternoon, so I'm hoping Ashlee and McKenna will lay down, and I can take a nap!! Too bad being a stay at home mom doesn't come w/ sick days!

I've got lots of projects on the burners now! Tons of sock monkeys, the Waldorf doll kit I ordered, diapers...the list really never ends!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

What I did today...

I made a sock monkey!! He turned out so cute!!! Especially for my first shot at it!! It was a lot more tedious than I thought, and I remembered how much I hate hand sewing, but it still was only an afternoon project! Definetly smile-worthy too! Ashlee and McKenna love him--even Braydon likes it! Now, I just need to make 3 more for christmas presents!!
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Monday, October 22, 2007

Craft fair goodies!

We went to the Fall Craft Show this weekend, and got a few good things!!
Pressed flower artwork, honey, candles made from honeycomb, homemade honey and almond soap, homemade peanut butter (yummy!), salsa, and chokecherry jelly (for my dad!). I also got a new spoon rack (for collector spoons), and a cute birdie cutout for Dustin's grandma.
It was a fun afternoon. The kids were happy w/ the homemade lollies they got!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

I miss my hubby...

I really miss him. He just called and said he won't make it home tomorrow. He'll catch a flight Saturday morning, but won't be home until late afternoon. Then, Monday morning he flies out to Pennsylvania. I can't stop crying right now. I just want him to come home soo badly. This house feels soo empty without him.

Teething Bisquits

I made McKenna some teething cookies this morning, and thought I would share the recipe.

Baby Cereal Cookies
2 T. Shortening
1/2 C. Sugar
1 Egg
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. water
1 1/2 c. Baby cereal (I used oatmeal)
Heat oven to 300 degrees. Cream shortening and sugar. Add egg, baking powder, salt, vanilla, and water. Mix until well blended. Gradually stir in cereal. Knead until smooth. Pat into rectangle. Cut into 12 1" bars. smooth edges so they will not be sharp. Place on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 20-30 min. or until dry. Store in UNCOVERED container overnight. **freezes well**

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Like I don't have enough to do...

I already have tons of projects I want to complete, and now I can just add some more to the pile!

I got these patterns in the mail today! I really only wanted the coat pattern, but they came together. The P.J.'s are from 1980, and the coat is 1972!! Soo cute!! I am totally in love w/ the coat!!

Now I just have find the right fabric! I want to make a spring/fall jacket for Ashlee, and one for McKenna for next spring/fall.

And if that's not enough to keep me busy, I found these cute fabric flower tut's!
Check out here, here, and here!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

What a day!

Whew! Am I glad it's almost bedtime! Today seems to have taken a lifetime!! Braydon had preschool this morning, which is always an event-getting 3 kids fed, dressed, and into the van, and to the school by 8:20am. Thank goodness the school is only a couple blocks away! Ashlee has started this insane bit of dressing herself--which means something that used to take 5 minutes, now takes a half hour. I've given up on trying for matching outfits even. Today, we left for school in blue fleece pants, a tutu, and her jammie shirt. At least she doesn't get out of the van. If we are actually going out in public, than I have final say! But, at 8:00 this morning, I just didn't feel like arguing!

It was another rainy day here. And while I love rain, and we desperately need it, it's not the ideal situation for a new puppy!! My entry way is filled w/ muddy doggy prints. But that wasn't even the worst of it. I think Sadie must have had at least 20 "accidents" in the house today. One even on my BRAND NEW carpet!! This happened after she had JUST come in from outside, where I had watched her go potty TWICE!! She came straight in and peed on the floor. She has now been banned from the carpet. I've kept her gated up in the entry way, which works well. She has plenty of space, but it's 50 percent linoleum. I'm not sure why today was such a bad day for her. She's been doing so good, but today, it seemed like every 5 minutes she was peeing. She'd come in from outside, and five minutes later there would be a puddle. I keep telling myself, "she's still a pup." But boy, after cleaning up pee all day, I'm starting to regret this whole dog thing. It makes in worse that Dustin's not even home to help out.

Since it was raining today, the kids spent most of the day coloring. Braydon's new thing is coloring the ENTIRE page in a rainbow of colors. The "puppy"(or whatever he may be coloring..) cannot just be brown--he must be red, orange, yellow, green, blue, violet, and all colors in between! My fridge is covered in artwork that looks like a hippie's tee shirt! I'm all for color though, so I love it!
Ashlee loves to color too. She's just getting into it. Before she would just eat the crayons, now at least some of it end up on the paper (i still catch her taking a nibble every now and then though...)! Her newest thing is "TA-DA!" She brings me her paper and says it, just beaming! It's so cute!

The forecast calls for rain tomorrow too, so I think we'll make some homemade clay, and make some Christmas ornaments. I'll dig out the recipe and post it tomorrow. I also found a yummy recipe for chocolate cake that I might try out too!! We'll see!!

Monday, October 15, 2007

My first applique!!

I think it turned out pretty well for my first try!! I can't take full credit for the design--I saw a shirt like it somewhere, and tryed to "recreate" it. I drew out the template myself, and I think it turned out pretty good. Ashlee likes it--so that's what matters I guess! He still needs some nostrils--but I'm not quite sure how to do it yet....
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My hubby left me this morning.

Well, he WILL be back on Friday though! He left this morning for Salt Lake City for work. Blah! A whole week w/o my hubby! Two years ago, I might have been pouting, and while I will miss him, it's nice to have a whole week to MYSELF!!!! No pressure--all week! As long as the kids are fed, they're happy--they don't care about dirty dishes, or a massive stack of laundry! When Dustin goes out of town, it's like a mini-vacation around here. I have plans to drag out all my sewing stuff, and hopefully get caught up on some stuff--like diapers for McKenna that I REALLY need, and runners for my coffee and end tables.

Sadie seems to be adjusting really well to our family! She's had a few accidents in the house, which is to be expected, but overall, she's doing great!! She's such a hyper pup though. And tends to bowl over McKenna if given the chance! I think she's going to be a great addition to our family.

I think I'm going to seriously start looking into homeschooling the kids. I'm very much on the fence on this subject. I KNOW public school systems are flawed. I know that. But I also know how much I enjoyed school. Up until about 8th grade--and then I hated it until we moved to South Dakota my Jr. year. My four year old is in preschool right now, which I'm OK with. But I need to make a decision before he starts Kindergarten next year. I know I am capable of teaching the kids, but it's such a commitment. Am I ready to make it??? I love my kiddos, and most of my reasons for wanting to homeschool are based on fear. Teenage pregnancy, drugs, shootings...the news is FULL of horrible things happening to our kids these days. And I'm not sure I'm willing to take the chance of sending them to public school. It seems like a gamble anymore. But I want my children to have friends. That's the biggest thing. I'm not sure how many people homeschool around here, but I'm betting it's only a small handful of kids. And there probably isn't any homeschooling groups that meet up in my area. So what do I do about friends, sports, etc.?? There are a lot of questions I need answers too, and a lot of research I need to do regarding this, I guess. I've got a little bit of time at least...

And, to end on a postitive note, the gals at 5 Minutes for Mom are at it again!! This time they are giving away a Casio Pink EX-Z75 digital camera!! So head on over, and check it out!!!

Friday, October 12, 2007

What's for supper??

Made this last night, and it was FANTASTIC!!! I got the recipe from a girl on Diaper Sewing Diva's, so I can't even take credit for it!!
I also made cajun seasoned chicken breasts w/ it, and used the soup as sort of a dipping sauce for the chicken. YUMMY!!!! This will definetly be a do-over!!!!


Hard Rock Cafe Baked Potato Soup

8 Bacon slices - fried & crumbled
1 cup Yellow onions - diced
2/3 cups Flour
6 cups Chicken stock - hot
4 cups Potatoes - baked, diced & Peeled
2 cups Heavy cream
¼ cup Parsley - chopped
1½ tsp Granulated garlic
1½ tsp Salt 1½ tsp Red pepper sauce
1½ tsp Coarse black pepper
1 cup Cheddar cheese - grated
¼ cup Green onions - diced

Chop bacon; reserve. Cook onions in remaining drippingsover medium high heat until transparent, about 3 minutes.
Add flour, stirring to prevent lumps; cook for 3-5 minutes, until mixture just begins to turn golden.
Add chicken stockgrdually, whisking to prevent lumps until liquid thickens.
Reduce heat to simmer and add potatoes, cream, chopped bacon,parsley, garlic, basil, salt, pepper sauce and plack pepper.Simmer for 10 minutes; do not allow to boil.
Add grated cheeseand green onions, heat until cheese melts smoothly.

Garnish each serving as desired with chopped bacon, grated cheese andchopped parsley.

Makes 8 Servings.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Puppy love...

We added a new member to our already large sized family~~a 10 week old chocolate lab named Sadie!
We got her off Freecycle of all places!!! Gotta love freecycle!!! The kids (and DH) are in love already!!! So far, she's done great!! She went potty outside right away, so hopefully that's a good sign!! She will be an indoor/outdoor dog, but hopefully she can be inside more than out....
Here's a quick pic!! She won't sit still long enough for be to get a better pic!!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

It's been awhile....

It's been a few days since I last posted, so I figured I'd better catch up!! We had a pretty uneventful weekend--mother in law came on Saturday to watch the kids so hubby and I could have dinner by ourselves--and by ourselves, I mean w/ McKenna!! LOL! She is having severe seperation anxiety right now, and would have gone to pieces had I left her w/ MIL.

Hunting season starts soon. And this year, I'm actually looking forward to it. Having hubby gone, just means I can spend my weekend mornings sewing, instead of the usual cooking/cleaning routine. Plus, this coming weekend is opening pheasant season, which means craft fair time!! (Don't ask me why, but there is always a craft show pheasant opening weekend).

I managed to get a few things done this weekend. A couple of surprise Birthday gifts, 3 Large diapers for McKenna, a cloth doll and dress for Ashlee (which is only partly done-she still needs hair and a face, but Ashlee loves her as is...) I'll post pics soon!

Yesterday was McKenna's 7 month birthday!! I can't believe she's 7 months already!! Where o where has time gone!!! She may very well be our last baby, and it makes me sad that she's growing up so quickly. She's already eating solids, sitting up, and trying to crawl!! I'm so proud of her, yet so sad at the same time. I was to remember every smile, every coo. If I could capture her sweet baby scent, and bottle it, I would. It's bittersweet.....

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Christmas presents!!!!

McKenna decided to make it a late night, so I've been browsing for Christmas present ideas--and I found some great ones!! I really want to make Ashlee and McKenna a couple of nice cloth dolls, (knockoff Waldorf syle!) and I found some great sites!!

Dolly Hugs

Then, how about a puppet theatre!!??

And lastly, this cute cloth book is a huge inspiration!

I'm going to be one busy mama!!!

But my goal is totally handmade this Christmas. Even hubby is joining in! He's making the kids a wooden play kitchen!! I know they will love it!!

Channeling my domestic goddess

I hate housework. I mean really truly hate it. But I really like a clean house. Do you see the problem here?

I seem to be stuck in a rut. I just have no ambition to do anything. Really, it's been that way since I was pregnant w/ McKenna. I chalked it up to pregnancy, and kept telling myself (and my husband!) that it would get better once the baby came. Then I blamed it on having 2 kids and a newborn. I've run out of excuses now, so something has to change.

My biggest problem isn't cleanliness, it's clutter. It's totally overtaking my house--the entryway, the dining room, the kids' rooms, the closets, even my room. It's just EVERYWHERE, and I'm not sure what to do w/ it. Even our garage is cluttered. It's so overwhelming, and I am at a loss on how to get a handle on things.

So, my goal--one room a day. Tomorrow will be a new day, a new start. Hopefully by writing it down, I'll be able to stick to it.

On a positive note, my 2 year old, Ashlee, is finally starting to talk in sentences!!! It's been a long road w/ her, verbally. She is a smart girl, but didn't really start talking until she turned 2, and now, at 27 months, she is finally stringing words together. Today, she told me, "I did it, Mommy!" and "No, it's not." It might not sound like much, but for her it's a HUGE accomplishment. Her brother started talking almost instantly, so this was a change of pace for us. Instead of words, she was grunting and pointing for the first two years, but now it seems to be coming together. I asked her pediatrician at her 2 year checkup, but since she was progressing, he didn't seem too concerned about it. Now, w/ all the recent toy recalls having to do w/ lead paint, I can't help but have that in the back of my mind. She's ALWAYS chewing on things. Since she could sit up, we've had to keep everything away from her--even still today, I find her digging in the trash eating old mashed potatoes, or her brother's crayons. Once, I changed her diaper, only to reveal "treasure"--colored buttons and field corn from our trip to the zoo the day before. God only know's what else she's eaten that we haven't caught. So it makes me wonder if I shouldn't take her in to have her lead levels tested. What if? But other than delayed speech, I really have no other concerns w/ her. She can count to ten, she know's her ABC's and most of her colors. She can get dressed (for the most part), she can brush her teeth, and attempt to comb her hair. She's outgoing, loves her dolls, and playing dress-up. She's just like any other 2 year old. But that "What if" keeps hanging in the back of my head.

Moving on...I attempted to make the little one some homemade baby food today. I bought some papaya, mango, peaches, and apples today, and had high hopes to get some stored away.
I started by steaming the fruit--which I've never done, and found requires a steamer--of course, which I don't have. So, I improvise, and used the metal basket that we use for the fry daddy. It seemed to work well--I got the papaya and the mango nicely steamed and ready to go. Ok--onto step two. I dumped my nicely steamed chunks of papaya into the blender, and hit "Puree." One. Two. Three.Four.Five. Stop. Look in blender--and find nasty orangey grayish mess., I think, maybe I left a couple of the seeds??? I didnt see them, but maybe, right?? Rinse blender, repeat w/ mango. One.Two.Three.Four.Five. Stop. Open blender. This time it's a yellowy gray mess. Throw out papaya and mango. Obviously something going on w/ the blender, but for the life of me, I can't figure it out. So, tonight McKenna will be dining on Gerber Organic Pears and Sweet Peas.
Tomorrow I'll have a go at the peaches and apples. These I've done before, so I know what to expect at least!

I won!

Horray!! I won the Barefoot Books giveaway over at Opinionrated!!!!! Soon my kiddos will have their hands on "Elephant Dance: A Journey to India!" Thanks Catherine!!!!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

What's for supper?

Tonight-Dustin's Chili--only I'm making it b/c he's working! We love this stuff! So, I thought I would post the recipe for everyone!


2 lbs ground beef
2 cans tomato soup
1 can of red kidney beans
1 can Mexican style diced tomatoes
1 medium onion
1 T. Chili powder (or more if you like it!)
salt and pepper to taste

Season ground beef and onion w/ salt and pepper, and brown. Drain fat. Add remaining ingredients, and bring to boil. Then simmer for at least a half hour--the longer you simmer, the more the flavor intensifies.
Serve w/ crackers or our fav. Frito Lay chips!

Lions, and Tigers, and...Kangaroo's????

Wow. It's Wednesday already! October 3rd. The days are ticking down to Halloween now, which means I really need to figure out this whole costume situation!! I really want a theme this year. So far, I have McKenna figured out--she and I will be a mama and baby kangaroo! I have brown cords and a brown shirt I can wear, and I got McKenna a brown onesie, and whipped up some brown striped faux babylegs for her to wear. Then, my big accomplishment....I made a pouch sling!

I wish I would have known how easy that was going to be before forking over $60 + on two Peanut Shells.
Seriously--this lovely brown pouch sling cost me about $3.50, and took up maybe 20 minutes of my time. And, I have enough to make ANOTHER brown pouch sling! I definitely see more pouch slings in my future!!

Back to Halloween costumes. I really need to figure out Braydon and Ashlee. I want some kind of "jungle" animals. Braydon was a lion when he was 2, and we still have that costume--but I washed it, and his poly synthetic lion's mane melted into one big dread. So, that costume won't be having an encore appearance. Braydon has also decided that he wants to be a Tiger this year, which isn't an easy costume to find!

So, I've been scouring over websites, but I must have unrealistic expectations. All the animal costumes I've found are ugly! Especially the Tom Arma ones! Not only are they ridiculous looking, they are ridiculously priced! (Ok, not all of them are goofy looking--but most of them!!! I do like the rabbit....)They are all the rage on the mommy boards I'm on though, so I guess I'm just missing something....

Hopefully I'll find something I like soon.

I do this every year. I have high hopes for these ultra fabulous Halloween costumes, then I end up running to Target the day before and picking up whatever's left that fits.
This year WILL be different!

So, other plans for today....I REALLY need to get some diapers done. I got 7 outer layers of PUL and 7 suede cloth inners cut out last night. So today I will hopefully get them sewn up. I'm making pockets, so they tend to go together fairly quick.

I'd also like to take the kids on a walk today. It's gorgeous outside today. High 60's, a slight breeze, Autumn is definitely upon us. Our leaves are finally starting to turn, and the kids are just in awe of finding red, orange, and yellow leaves all around.
So, it's off to work I go!! Need to get crankin' on those diapers!!

Oh, and if you get a chance today, stop by Opinionrated, and sign up for a chance to win a copy of the chilren's book, "Elephant Dance." But hurry!! Deadline ends today!!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Amy Butler Nappy Bag

I finished!! Yippee!! I'm really proud of how this turned out. I haven't been sewing for long, and most of what I've done lately is diapers for McKenna. This is the first thing I've made w/ "designer" fabric (Amy Butler, Lotus series), so I was a little nervous, but all in all it turned out well!! Very functional, and stylish, if you ask me!! LOL! I also made the changing pad, which is what's poking out in the picture there, but gave up on the changing pad storage case when saw it called for buttonholes. For some reason, my machine and I don't see eye to eye when doing them, and I didn't feel like engaging in an hour or two battle, that I would eventually lose. Instead, I walked away from my sewing maching happy! Dustin seems to have a knack for the buttonholes, so maybe I can con him into doing them for me later tonight!
So, here's my new bag, in all it's glory!!!

Monday, October 1, 2007


We have a a 75 gallon saltwater aquarium. It is totally Dustin's pride and joy, but I really love it too. I've always loved the ocean, and this is about as close as I'm going to get for awhile!! LOL!
Anyways, today I discovered that we have some murderous tankmates.....

A few weeks ago, we added a new memeber to our tank, an Orange spotted watchman goby. He disappeared a few days ago, and we chalked it up to natural causes.

Well, I think I've changed my mind. We also have a sally lightfoot crab, and a serpant sea star. We feed the sea star occassioal chunks of raw shrimp, but nothing daily. I guess we need to start. Today, I found the crab happily munching away at the remains of a snail, and the sea star had his tentacles wrapped around the snail shell. Looks like we have a serial killer team on the loose. A couple days ago there were the remains of hermit crab (just legs left...) in the sand; couple that w/ the disappearing Goby, and now the snail, it's not hard to figure out what's happening.

Now we just have to figure how to solve the problem......

So, this one goes out to "Goldie" the goby, the un-named snail, and the un-named hermit crab...You'll be missed my friends!

Just another manic monday.....

In the middle of all my Monday morning hustle and bustle, I rounded the corner into our living room to find this. How could you not be anything but happy after seeing her!? And, as an added bonus, I finally got a shot of those bottom teeth!!! Anyway, more to come later, but McKenna reminded me to tell everyone, "Happy Monday!!"

Sunday, September 30, 2007

The Name Game

The Name Game

1. YOUR ROCK STAR NAME: (first pet & current car),Turdy Bob Caravan

2.YOUR GANGSTA NAME: (fave ice cream flavor, favorite cookie),Chocolate Chocolate Chip

3. YOUR “FLY Guy/Girl” NAME: (first initial of first name, first three letters of your last name), J-Phi

4. YOUR DETECTIVE NAME: (favorite color, favorite animal),Pink Kitty
5. YOUR SOAP OPERA NAME: (middle name, city where you were born),Renee Jamestown

6. YOUR STAR WARS NAME: (the first 3 letters of your last name, first 2 letters of your first),Phi-jo

7. SUPERHERO NAME: (”The” + 2nd favorite color, favorite drink),The Aqua Coke

8. NASCAR NAME: (the first names of your grandfathers),Arthur Harold

9. STRIPPER NAME: ( the name of your favorite perfume/cologne/scent, favorite candy),Pink Hershey

10.WITNESS PROTECTION NAME: (mother’s & father’s middle names ),Renee Jay

And a few more…

11. TV WEATHER ANCHOR NAME: (Your 5th grade teacher’s last name, a major city that starts with the same letter),Green Galveston

12. SPY NAME/BOND GIRL: (your favorite season/holiday, flower).Autumn Daisy

13. CARTOON NAME: (favorite fruit, article of clothing you’re wearing right now + “ie” or “y”)Orange Shorty
14. HIPPY NAME: (What you ate for breakfast, your favorite tree),Pancake Willow

15. YOUR ROCKSTAR TOUR NAME: (”The” + Your fave hobby/craft, fave weather element + “Tour”),The Sewing Sunny Tour

A new day, a new blog!

Apparently the blogging world is shutting the door in my face. After two attempts to set up a blog, we'll see if this one survives! Gah!! Talk about frustrating!!!!!
So I guess I'll just jump on in....

Friday was homecoming in our little town. My 4 year old, who just started preschool this fall, got to ride on one of the floats (and by "float," I mean a pickup truck pulling a trailer w/ 30 preschoolers on it! This is midwest living at it's finest!)

He was soo excited to be apart of it though!!! They even made shirts w/ blue and gold handprints on them just for the occasion.

Ashlee also had a good time--Daddy came home early to watch the parade w/ us, and Grandma L. even came down! Ashlee got TONS of candy, and w/ Grandma around, got to eat far more more than she needed! She even shared w/ big brother when he was done w/ the parade. All in all, it was a great afternoon. It was such a beautiful day--high 60's, and sunny--perfect parade weather!! It sure beat sitting out in the 90 degree sun watching the Fourth of July parade!!!

So far this weekend, I've gotten nothing accomplished. What a waste! We did manage to watch a few movies: "We Are Marshall," w/ hunky Matthew McConahey, "I am Reed Fish," (a not-so memorable movie...) , and a low budge horror flick, "Abandoned." The only one I'd reccomend is "We are Marshall." Earlier in the week we rented "Knocked Up," which was hilarious!! One of the funniest movies I've seen in a long time!

My plan was to get the Amy Butler Nappy Bag done this weekend. My fabric came on Thursday,
and so far all I've managed to do is get the pieces cut out. Hopefully tomorrow the kids will give me some time and I can get it started. I also found a cute little tutorial at Making It Fun for making cloth shoes that I'd like to try this week. I also have plans for a fleece jacket and pants set for McKenna (McCalls M5220), some p.j. pants for Ashlee, and I need to get started on some Christmas presents. Oh, and McKenna seems to be rapidly growing out of her size M diapers, which means I need to get started on her Large stash. If only I had as much time and ambition as I had ideas!
Hopefully tomorrow I'll have some progress to show off!!!