Thursday, December 31, 2009

I'm searching for some

motivation right now. The Littles are napping and the Bigs are holed up in the play room playing school. After spending the most of the morning with my Referee Hat on, the silence is golden and it's making it quite difficult for me to get off my rump to get some work done. :) It's bad.

I know once I hit the shower (I did workout this morning. Yay! That makes three days so far this week!), and throw my tennies back on, I'll be good to go. In the meantime, I'm watching the minutes tick by as I do absolutely nothing. Lazy moments are a vital part of life, right? ;)

One thing I have to get done today is make a dessert for tonight. We're going to spend the evening with a few other families who have kids the same ages as our kids. It'll be nice to not have to get a sitter. I was searching the cookbooks for dessert ideas when I remembered the gallon of whole milk in the fridge expires today. Viola! I'll use it to make some homemade custard. Vanilla crunch, here we come! A double batch of custard should use most of what is left of the milk. Easy peasy!

I did get some pictures of the light switch covers and magnets I got done earlier this week. If I have enough time after getting all my necessary things done, I'll try to do up a few more of them. I got a note via Facebook today from someone suggesting we raise our prices on the light switch covers. It's something I'll have to mull over. I haven't checked out the competition on Etsy for a while now so I really don't have any idea what other sellers are selling their's for.

The peace and quiet didn't last long as the Bigs have just piled out of the playroom asking if they can make homemade ice cream. (a combo of snow, sugar and milk) Sigh. Christmas vacation has gone amazingly well but in some ways, I think I'm ready for them to go back to school.

Looks like I better hit that shower before too many more minutes pass!

I hope you all have a wonderful and safe New Year's!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

After lunch

I found these three hunched over at the table.Sketchpad and scrapping supplies spread out all over. They were all in their glory!

I hated to disrupt their concentration but I made them move their mess into the kitchen so I could spread out my sewing stuff on the table. Mean mom! :) Actually they didn't mind and soon we were all grinning and satisfied with how the afternoon was panning out.

I was sewing merrily along, in my own little world. I paused to turn the corner on the blanket I was sewing when all of a sudden my machine took off, sewing like mad all on it's own. I was just about to have a heart attack when I heard the squeal of delight from under the table. I peeked down to see Baby Doll poised and ready to have another to at the presser foot. She had been playing quietly in the living room and I didn't see her slip into the dining room to join the "fun". She was quite pleased with herself, clapping her dimpled hands together!

Take my word for it...sewing with a baby on the floor is not recommended!

Once she was distracted upstairs in the playroom, I was able to get a few more blankets done. It was positively blissful to spend some time sewing! I'm hoping to continue tomorrow afternoon. We'll see...

Tuesday Treasures, one day late

Better late than never!
I haven't yet done a feature on a vintage shop so let me show you daisytoad.
I'll admit, it was the colors of some of her items that first caught my eye. How cool is this hairdryer? Love the robin's egg blue!
This butterfly would be darling attached to one of my girls' backpacks or made into a zipper pull!
daisytoad has a huge variety of items in her shop. From typewriters
to shoes and everything in between. There definitely is something for everyone!

Last but not least...these are my fav from her shop. But then again, I'm a sucker for cute cups!

Monday, December 28, 2009

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

We had a lovely and relaxing Christmas!
It was, of course, chaotic but that's nothing new and different. (I figured my Dad would appreciate this picture!) Can you see which are the presents and which is wrapping paper? ;) While cleaning up the mess, I found an unwrapped gift for Baby Doll!
My husband's sister and her husband flew in from MN on Christmas Day to spend a few days with us. It's always great fun to have family come visit!
On Sunday we took them to Arches National Park, turbo version. We didn't have much time there but were able to get the gist of the park.
We got a sitter and left a few kids behind. These three had a grand time exploring. You can't really see it, but we gave our son some binocs for Christmas and he's scanning the horizon for wildlife. I know it's still early, but so far, that gift has been a hit!
I love the fact that in the park, you have the red rock but also the snow covered mountains in the distance. It's an awesome contrast!

We had time to do a short hike to three arches. There were only a few other visitors in the park so we could do it in a short time. We kept remarking how packed it must get at peak times and how long it would take us to see it all if we had come at that time of year. I'm glad we came while there was still snow on the rocks, it was so gorgeous!

Our mini family posing at those three arches. I didn't realize until we got home that I didn't even get a picture of my SIL and her husband. Shame on me!
Now they're off skiing today and my goal is to get this house back in order. We'll see how successful I will be...

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Santa's Elves

made an appearance at my house today.

If there is one chore at Christmastime I'd rather not do, it's wrapping gifts. I despise it greatly! The past few years my wonderful Husband has done most of it. This year I had an "ah ha" moment and decided to enlist the help of my older kids (along with a couple friends they had over).

I had them wrap all the gifts for the Littles. They were quite pleased to help and I was quite pleased to let them. It was a win-win situation!

Now the wrapping is more than half way done and I am one happy camper!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The activity of the day

We spent about an hour this afternoon making graham cracker "gingerbread" houses.

The ingredients:
  • graham crackers (about 7 crackers per house)
  • Royal Icing (slowing mix 5 cups of powder sugar into 3 egg whites. Beat for 10 minutes)
  • candy
  • sprinkles (kids love these, Moms on clean up duty don't)
  • plastic baggies
  • paper plates
  • a few friends
  • a healthy dose of patience
  • an already messy floor (if your floor is spotless to start with, it won't be when you're done!)
  • toddlers who are napping, thus greatly reducing the amount of patience needed

Optional ingredient (not highly recommended)

a crawling baby who scampers along the floor, in her utmost glory, eating whatever is dropped.

Scoop some icing into a baggie. Squish it all down into one corner and cut that corner off so you can squirt the icing out in a nice, clean way. Squeeze from the top of the bag, sliding all the icing down to the cut corner. Give each kid their own baggie of icing to use. This will greatly reduce the amount of squabbling.

Put together the basic structure of the house, making sure you have plenty of icing. (Spend a few moments wondering why 8 year old daughter has a winter hat on. Bad hair day?) Let the house sit for at least 5 minutes so the icing can set. If you skip the step, you will have structures falling down left and right, causing much strife among the builders.

Let the kids go to town attaching candy to their houses with icing.

Admire finished houses and happy grins on the faces of the kids.

Line houses up on counter for Dad to see.
Spend the rest of the afternoon chasing sprinkles across the floor and shooing little hands away from the finished product. (we may need to find an alternate place to store them)

Thursday, December 17, 2009

From the past few days...

I think I may have found the perfect spot in this house to take pictures! I think, anyway. Can you tell which two were taken in that spot? Polka Dot Diaper Pouch
Bird and Roses Light Switch Cover
Chandlier Light Switch Cover

Diaper Pouch

I have to keep testing this spot out and see if it'll work more. I've been experimenting since I love the look of good natural light instead of "fake" lights.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Warning! Brain Purge Ahead

I think I'm a lists kind of gal. When my brain is cluttered, it feels great to spew it onto a piece of paper.
  • I'm done with my Shutterfly jazz. Yes!! I got the calendars ordered and on their way for the grandparents. My oldest two girls both requested more scrapbooking supplies for Christmas so I ordered each of them some pictures from this past year. Believe it or not, they might actually make it here before Christmas. Now wouldn't that be something?!?
  • Tomorrow I promise I'll get the tart dough made. (I've only been saying that for the last week or so.) My husband said if I'd make the dough, he'd roll it out for me. I've never made them so I'm scared I'll screw them up. He did it all last year as I snuggled our freshly born baby on the couch.
  • I went to the library tonight to get Hubby some books on cd. I came out with a stack of books for me. Good one. Like I have time to read. Looks like a bunch of late nights ahead of me.
  • I "babysit" my friend's daughter a few days a week for only an hour or two each time. I use the term "babysit" loosely because she is in kindergarten and is extremely easy to have around. I hardly notice she's here. Anyway she brought me a Christmas gift this morning (as if she needed to, but we've already gone around and around on this one and I lose each time. I'll find a way to get even someday!) and in it was fresh elk summer sausage and jerky. It was my lucky day! I was thinking I should hoard them and not share with the kids but I suppose they do most of the "babysitting" since they play with their friend when she's here. Shoot anyway.
  • I'm taking baby steps when it comes to getting these Christmas cards in the mail. I have them all addressed and the stamps bought, now I just need to seal them shut, put a stamp on them and put them in the mail. I'd hate to be too on the ball and get them all done in a day. Apparently I'm all about milking it out as long as I can.
  • I got a few magnets designed today! I was on the floor in my bedroom, surrounded by a mess of paper crafting goods in a completely silent house. No one needed me. No one wanted me. No one yelled for me. No one but me and my thoughts. Pure bliss!! (as much as I love my kids, I simply adore naptime. It's what I need to recharge and face the supper/homework/bedtime chaos.)
  • Remember those cookies we baked a few weeks ago? Completely gone. Looks like we better plan another baking day. I knew it would happen, just not this quickly. Such is life.
  • I have 10 days to figure out what to get two girls in their early 20's. Any ideas? I'm coming up a bit blank this year.
  • This brain purge helped! My eyeballs are shutting all by themselves. I'm tried. I'll see you all tomorrow!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Simple Pleasures for Simple People Entry #12098

Or maybe I should consider naming this post "taking pleasure in the little things in life". Whatever you want to call it, I am a happy camper. All because of a front closet.

You see, when we moved into this house in August, it had more closets than we've ever had before. A front closet, a back closet, a linen closet, three walk-in closets, one "normal" closet. We were in closet heaven!

The catch? They all came with wire shelves. Have you ever tried to organize a bunch of little stuff on wire shelves? Not fun. Things just don't line up right. A person needs a million baskets to keep them all contained in one area. Plus the "pantry" is so small that if you blinked, you'd miss it. All of a sudden, my closet bubble burst. Yes, we had the space, but not the shelving required to get our life organized.

I've been patiently waiting for the right time to add "shelves" to Hubby's long list of tasks to complete. His plate is so full already, I hated to ask him to add more to it. Last week he started talking about building a sauna in the basement and I decided I couldn't wait any longer. I asked him, rather sweetly, if he'd be willing to do a few things on the main floor for me first before he started on the sauna. Don't get me wrong here, I would love a sauna but would rather have some order in my day to day living. After all, if Mama ain't happy...

Being the great guy that he is, he agreed and started in on the front closet. A few hours later, here's what I had...
Isn't it just lovely?! Yes, those are empty shelves you see there. I haven't had time to fill them all up yet. This closet was such a mess (I forgot to take a before picture). It was one of those spaces where you open the door, throw whatever in and shut the door really fast. Then you'd hope that when friends came over, they didn't open the door because you never knew what was going to spill out of there.
Now when I'm feeling stressed and disorganized, I'm going to throw open this door and gaze at the top shelves, all neatly organized. I know well enough the bottom ones won't stay neat for long so I won't even look at them...
I can only imagine how delighted I'll be when the shelves in the laundry room are done.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Telling the story

The craft sale(s) have come and gone and we still have product left over. I decided to take everything that I've made and list it in my Etsy shop. If it sells, then I'll hand over the money to the church. Fair enough, right?

One of the hot items was the good ol' key fob. Or, at least, it became popular after I explained to people what they were for and why they need them.

Taking everyone's confusion to heart, I decided to use the description in the listing to tell the story instead of just listing the particulars. Here's what I wrote...

"You know the drill...

You walk to your front door juggling grocery bags, purses, perhaps a kid or two, diaper bags, etc, grabbing everything from the car so you can make it all in one trip. You nimbly navigate the steps, hoping you don't trip. You reach the door and...oh on!...where are you keys to unlock the door? Lost at the bottom of your purse, again. Sigh!" Then I continued on with the rest of the jazz.

Pre-key fob, this was literally the story of my life. I know I'm not the only one! We'll see if a catchy description works or not.

On the listing, I was even brave enough to have a picture of my lovely wrist. Yuck. Not very flattering!

There were only about five of these left so I'll list them and see how they sell. If they sell, maybe I'll make more. It just seems like key fobs are oh so popular to list on Etsy.

I think Santa will throw a few into the kids' stockings. They make perfect zipper pulls for backpacks.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

You've seen her

since she was a few weeks old.

She's been snuggling blankets and artfully crossing her ankles. Grinning her huge grin for all to see.

Her sweet baby feet have been melting the hearts of many.

All in one years time.

Today our baby turns 1 year old! It's crazy to think how fast the past year has gone, yet we can't imagine life without her; her sparkling deep blue eyes, her megawatt smile, the dimple in her cheek, her chubby little fingers and wrists, her squeal of delight! The entire family just adores her!

Happy Birthday to our little Princess! Love you, the Sweetest Baby in the Whole Wide World!!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


sometimes just goes too fast and is too busy! I am craving a day to sit and create Who knows when that will happen! For now I have to be content with craving out an hour here and an hour there. Such is life. It's all good!

I sit here, taking the time to sip my morning cup of coffee, dodge the paper airplanes that are "flying" all over the room (my poor attempt at folding planes that only crash to the ground. My three year old told me "that's not how dad makes them, his don't crash right away!") and listen to my two year old belt out her best rendition of "Jingle Bells" amidst her squeals of delight at the airplanes crashing to the floor.
My moments of relaxation will be short lived as I tackle my to do list. I'll try not to think about the fact that I could be at a friend's house today sewing up some purses for our girls. I was just feeling too overwhelmed with what needed to be done today at home. We'll try to get together on Monday. Something to look forward to!!
Yesterday I brushed the dust off my sewing machine and did up this blanket for a customer. I was a bit worried I had forgotten how to sew since it had been so long! ;) It had been about a month and a half since I had last pulled it out. No worries. It's like riding a bike...once you know how, it doesn't take much to come flooding back. I started on a second blanket like this (well, it was more of a burpie style) but ran out of time before I got it done.

I am so looking forward to a date with my Husband on Friday! The last few years we've spent a few hours Christmas shopping and then going out to dinner. I'm quite impressed with the fact that he's still willing to come with me and it's an awesome sport about it. This coming from a guy who despises shopping unless it has anything to do with the outdoors. I love him dearly for being so willing to come with me once a year especially when I know he doesn't like shopping at all.

Now about that to do list....First things first, I better get these order packed up and in the mail!

Happy day to all!

Monday, December 7, 2009

It's beginning to look a lot like


On Saturday we ventured up the winding roads with some friends to where the pines start to cut down our Christmas tree. Keeping with tradition, we built a fire, roasted a few hot dogs,
drank big cups of hot chocolate,

found a few different sledding hills, (there wasn't nearly as much now as there was last year, but the kids weren't fussy. As long as they could sled for a little ways, they were content.)
and, oh yeah, cut down a tree. Last year we hauled the whole troop into the woods, thru thigh high snow drifts to find the perfect tree. This year, Hubby disappeared into the woods all by himself and came out with a beautiful tree. Smart man. None of the kids seemed to mind, they were too engrossed with playing in the snow.

We tied the tree on top of the 'Burb and made our way home.

After wrestling the tree into the stand and turning it around and around until it was just so, Hubby put the lights on. Then the two of us sat back and

let the kids have at 'er. This is their favorite part! As they get older, the ornaments get more and more evenly spaced out. The only request from the parents is that the glass ornaments get put high so the babies don't get them. Other than that, it's all theirs!
We woke up this morning to a few inches of snow on the ground and now it really feels like Christmas around here!

Friday, December 4, 2009

After much talk

and not action, I finally pulled out some light switch covers. I carved out a few hours this afternoon to start on them. Started, but not finished. Most of these ones pictured are almost done, I just need to add a few more details (besides cutting the openings out). We'll see how many days it will take me to finish them up all the way!

The best part of not digging into my bag of goodies I had bought at Archivers for about a week was being able to squeal with delight all over again when I saw what I had bought! Talk about Inspiration City!! I had a hard time putting it all away when it came time to make dinner. Sigh...all good things must come to an end...

Thursday, December 3, 2009

I'm exhausted!

We've been baking Christmas cookies since 9 am this morning. I haven't been on my feet for this many hours straight for months!!
First up was sugar cutouts. Here they are all lined up ready to be iced. Usually I'm standing around waiting for the oven but now that I have convection bake, I couldn't keep up! It was wonderful! We did get them iced, complete with my hot pink stockings. They should have been red but I'm always a little leary about adding too much food coloring...

My husband's niece showed up just as I was finishing the cutouts. She got busy getting the peanut blossom dough mixed while I kept a watchful eye on the toddlers unwrapping Hershey Kisses and Andes mints.

Peanut blossoms done. Next up the Andes mint cookies. Oops. Forgot to take pictures of them. These ones will be the ones that will be gone first! They are divine! After we got those done we did ginger cutouts drizzled with white chocolate. It's amazing how much more fun and faster baking goes when a "partner in crime" is present! It felt like we were done in no time!
The only thing we have left to bake is prune tarts. Not today though. Enough is enough. Next week maybe...Although I do have a hankering for some rice pudding right now...

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Tuesday Treasures

We haven't talked jewelry for a while so on this Tuesday Treasures it's all about jacarandadesigns

The first thing about her shop the jumped out at me was her pictures. Marine Necklace
Stunning isn't it? Great pictures are always important when selling online but in an area, like jewelry, that is totally saturated with sellers, they are that much more important. I absolutely love how she stages her shots.

My girls would be drooling over a hair pony like this one! What a fun idea! Too bad they all just got shorter haircuts...

Oceanic Hues Necklace
I adore the colors of this necklace. I also love the square pendant paired with round beads. Lovely!

Continuing on my love of the colors she uses. Isn't this scarlet/red/whatever you call it, just gorgeous?!? It's so neat how the green just pops against it.

Please stop by her shop and give it a looksie! You'll be so glad you did!