Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Apple Pickin'

If you know me, and I know the both of you do, I have started to enjoy canning, especially applesauce. Last year I bought two bushels/ boxes of apples from a wonderful orchard near by. I made a lot of applesauce and applebutter with those. However, the applesauce didn't last as long as I had hoped. This year we skipped spring and started in on a hot dry summer in May, so I was a bit worried about the crop this year.
This pass weekend, my mother-in-law informed me that her apple trees were ready for picking and there are lots of apples out there. I was thrilled, since previous years the crop was less than stellar and completely picked over by birds.
So the next morning I loaded up the big girls, a few baskets, bags but no gloves. The good thing is apple trees aren't pokey. The gloves could have come in handy while picking up the gross apples that had fallen off the trees already. But we made do, and the big girls didn't complain, about that.
My mother-in-law got the ladder out after the girls had picked everything at their level. Big Girl J was first up.
With the sun, I wasn't able to get a picture from the other angle. Now Big Girl J, has her big brave moments, but not very often, this was not one of those times. She was nervous up on that ladder, even after many times up and down she was still un-easy about the whole thing. At least the time up she seemed like she was getting more comfortable.
While this was going on, I was still looking for apples at my height, and Little Miss O was trying to move the basket of apples we had gathered thus far.

It was a little heavy.
Big Girl O was not  any more brave than big sister. She was just as uneasy and neverous, but didn't want to pass up her turn to get on the ladder and pick apples. So mommy had to come up the ladder behind her, to keep her comfortable.
We spent only 2 hours, we picked about 48lbs of good apples, and I couldn;t stop smiling. There was just something awesome about doing this with my girls, and how much they enjoyed it.
They love to help me do so many things, some things I let them help and they decide they don't want to help anymore and give it right back to me. Other things, they will continue to do until they believe the job is done.
I love my girls, I love to do this kind of stuff with my girls.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Best Super Awesome Great Aunts

We had a special treat last weekend. My mom's sisters made a trip across the corn fields and pass many cows to the not so wild west, to crash a 3 year old's birthday party.
As the story goes, Mamma was trying to talk her recently retired sister into coming out for the weekend to help her dig iris. Obviously, no one in their right, or retired mind would want to drive 8 hours or more to 'help' work in a garden in 95+ temperatures. However, if you add in the opportunity to attend a certain 3 year old's birthday party thrown by the best party throwing mom, then it just might sound like a good idea. Good enough to talk another sister into coming along! Which means I get a weekend with my Aunts and my girls get a weekend with their Great Aunts! This is the first time they get to meet Baby K, but they have met the big girls many times before. Of course, it took a few minutes to warm up to them, but before they got in the house, both girls were hugging and loving on their Great Aunts.
Both came bearing gifts. Like they were trying to bribe the girls for the Best Super Awesome Great Aunt Award. the BSAGAA.
Baby K got a blanket from Wonderful Aunt Gaynell, all blankets are welcome from her. Aunt Gaynell is always so thoughtful and gracious with her gifts to my girls. As if they were her own grand kids, and they love her just like a grandma. She got to stay at our house and help me while I prepared for the birthday party, and I was very thankful for the extra set of hands!
Of course, Baby K was passed back and forth as arms got tired, neither one admitted it was tired arms. They tried to act as if they were just being nice. One comment of 'you can hold her since you have fewer years left with her than I' created a comical conversation and lots of laughter!
Super Aunt Jan, gifted the big girls a hand made toy, that the girls just loved. They came rolled up and tied with a ribbon, that was supposed to just be the 'wrapping' however the big girls thought that is how the toy should be stored.

There were video's of them playing, however they are little big. So I will have to figure out how to add those, or link them or some technical thing I don't understand. But these toys get played with daily and it is very fun to watch them play!
Great Aunt Gaynell brought them a craft to work on for the next morning. The girls love coloring with markers and this time they got to color on clothes with markers!

With Great Aunt Gaynell sleeping in the nursery, we had Baby K in the bassinet in our room for a couple nights. The nursery and the big girl's room have plug in night lights. Our room is quite dark at night, and I didn't think ahead of time with that. So the first night I told Wonderful Husband that I forgot to bring a night light in to our room, so if Baby K wakes up in the middle of the night I won't trip on anything to go get her. So he snuck into the big girl's room and stole theirs. The next evening Aunt Gaynell had gone to bed while the girl's showered, so when we went to tuck them into bed, Big Girl J was concerned that their night light was gone (even though the light in the bathroom stays on and lights their room much more than that little night light does.) This was a very big problem for her. Wonderful Husband told her 'Aunt Gaynell must have borrowed it, maybe she is afraid of the dark" This made me giggle, but I let it be. After the girls were asleep, he snuck back into their room and took the night light for our room.
Since night lights are not something I remember when the sun is shinning, this happened again the following night. The night after Great Aunt Gaynell left we were walking into the girls' room and Big Girl J said, "Now what did Aunt Gaynell do with our night light this time!"
We both laughed very hard at this, but we allowed her to continue to think that Aunt Gaynell had been taking their night light, only because she wasn't here to defend herself!
Love You Aunt Gaynell!

It was so awesome to have you both here this last weekend! We love you Wonderful Great Aunts so much, and I have decided the BSAGA Award goes to the both of you!

Saturday, August 4, 2012


I know I have stated how much I enjoy the new website pinterest. I have found many fun recipes, crafts, decorating ideas and other random things. I have been sitting on many ideas with our house currently being on the market.
A weekend ago I was struggling with the current housing situation. I feel like we are in limbo. Half of our stuff is packed up to 'stage' the house and we are essentially in a holding pattern that wasn't feeling promising. So I decided I was going to do a few of the things I was holding off on to help me feel at home again. Considering everything I did for the last 9 months was done or not done to the house to keep it 'staged' and not personalized.
So in an effort to keep my sanity, the very little I had, I decided I couldn't keep spending the weekends at open houses. So we went garage sale-ing for the first time this season. I had lots of finds, and we went late enough in the day, almost everything we picked up was 50% off! So even bigger win. Then I went over to the thrift store, who also does 50% off on Saturdays, looking for specific items to make projects found on pinterest.
This is a veggie basket, most veggies I buy by the bag would last longer if given proper air flow and not kept in the bag sitting on top of the microwave. So I found this for planter basket for $3 at the thrift store, hung it in the kitchen and Bazing! It's perfect!
 I have to admit, although I am an Independent Pampered Chef consultant, I do struggle at dinner time if I don't plan it out, so I was going to make a menu board, but found this at Kohl's for $6, had $10 Kohl's cash, so I think I came out on top with out having to try and make something while ALL of my craft stuff is packed away.
 My girls have been collecting jewelry like little girls do. Their Daddy bought them a very cute little jewelry box just before Big Girl J was born. Very little, obviously not knowing how much jewelry little girls collect! So I made 'open hanging' jewelry boxes, one for necklaces and one for bracelets. Found each frame at the thrift store I think $1 each and already had the hooks in a box for a different project. But a small 5 pack of these hooks were $1 less than a 100 pack, so we bought the big pack, and I am glad we did!
 I have been sitting on these half done for a while, my garden mushrooms. Made from wooden salad bowls, also found at the thrift store for a couple bucks and some fire wood I had in the stack out back.
I had the bowls painted for months and for some reason the white circles had me struggling. I finally decided to go try it free hand and see how it worked, I also had to do this early on morning while the big girls were sleeping, since they like to help, a lot. After I did one, I was happy enough to keep going without a circle template, and finally finished my project in minutes. Wonderful Husband drilled the hold and screwed them together for me, and I planted them!

All said and done, I felt very good for what we got done that weekend. And I felt a lot better about the place I currently live!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Just a Little Busy

My last post was only a few months ago, and not much has happened... HAHAHAHA I couldn't even type that with a straight face!
So let's see, time to catch up, what should I start with. There was the pinterest projects I did last weekend, the invites I made for Opal's birthday, the new baby that joined our family!
Back almost 11 weeks ago, we had our 3rd little bundle of joy, Baby K. She was 8lbs even, and although I had to be induced, she came pretty quick. She was very healthy, her breathing was slightly stressed, however, we got to keep her in the room and after the three hour adjustment time, she was fine and perfect.
She is growing like a weed, already sleeping through the night, in her crib, in her room. She just went to her room this week! She has been a very different baby from my other girls, but she is not what I would consider difficult. She doesn't take a bottle very well, but is getting better. I have an all day event, an hour away this Saturday, and was getting concerned that I wouldn't be able to go. So trying to find a bottle that she will take was becoming frustrating and tiring, then we realized it wasn't so much the bottle as the fact that she knew I was there. Although she hasn't fully latched on to a bottle, she does eat enough from a bottle to hold her over till I get home. I had a cooking show Tuesday night and when I returned home she had almost 4oz of milk! This means I get to go to my event Saturday, and I don't need to worry so much about her eating when I am not around, if she gets hungry enough she will eat!
M wonderful supporting husband, was very willing to tough through the day, even if she hadn't ate that much on Tuesday. He is a great dad, and I love that he was ready to have a terrible Saturday with a crying child just so I could go do my thing. I have friends who cancel on me last minute because there kid is sick and the dad just isn't good with that kind of thing. I am certainly blessed with my family!
The big sisters are also doing a wonderful job with their new sister. Big Girl J and Little Miss O love Baby K so much. In fact there are many times where I have to say 'no kissing the baby when she is asleep!' They just can't keep their hands and kisses to themselves, they are always asking to hold her. In fact, when my drama queen, Little Miss O, is having a fit over nothing, I can calm her quickly by asking if she would like to hold her sister. The tears stop immediately and she runs to a chair. Big Girl J is often getting herself into trouble by picking up Baby K when she didn't ask first.
A couple weeks ago, I think Baby K was around 5 or 6 weeks old, I wanted to go run a couple errands. Baby K was sleeping in the bassinet in my lower room ( only 2 steps lower), and the girls had been playing. I told them to get some shoes and and we can go. I walked up the steps to get my purse ready, use the restroom and help find shoes. After everyone was ready, I turned to go back to the lower room and get Big Girl K. As I turned around, Big Girl J was carrying Baby K to me. I am certain the look on my face would be similar to that if I had turned to see a serial killer with a very large knife in hand. My heart skipped a dozen beats and it took everything in me to not freak out. My 5 year old lifted her out of the bassinet, walk through the room, up two stairs and through two more rooms without my help, knowledge or permission. I took Baby K from her and strapped her in the car seat and realized the damage was done. Big Girl J knows she can physically carry Baby K and no amount of yelling will prevent this from ever happening again. So we just need to regulate it.
I told Big Girl J that she needs to ask before just picking up her little sister. That I would be happy to help, but I must be aware that she is doing it.
Since then, Big Girl J does fairly well at asking before moving her from the floor to her bouncy chair or chair to floor. She has been allowed to take her from me and walk over to give daddy Baby K. However, there are still a few times when I put Baby K on the floor and walk out of the room, and when I return she is in the chair. My babies are growing up too quick!
And now as a reward for those who read this whole entry, some pictures of Baby K and the big girls!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Superhero Training Camp

Big Girl J turned the big 5 Wednesday, we celebrated her birthday on the Saturday before her birthday since Easter is this coming weekend. I was about 1 hour from printing the invites for the party to be Easter weekend before I noticed a sign that prevented that mistake! A few months ago, or 7, a friend posted on facebook about making superhero capes. That got my wheels turning, Big Girl J is very into superheros, all of them, so why not? I turned to my creative spot, google. I found a variety of people who spent way too much money, and others who probably could have tried harder. I hope I found a happy medium, because I put in a lot of effort, but tried to keep the cost down.
I went to the local flea market and found some comic books. I got four different ones, found the 'perfect' frame or strip from each. Scanned them in the computer and blocked out the word bubbles. Then I wrote in my own information about the party. I even had Robin saying ,"Holy 5th birthday Batman!" I was giggling the whole time I was coming up with the wording. I know the kids didn't get it, but I hope the parents enjoyed that part.
I had RSVP cards that needed to be returned to me that told me who the superhero was, what color cape they wanted (there were only four options) what their super-power was, and if they were bringing a sidekick (sibling.) I made capes for the hero's and sidekicks. The super-power was just something fun for the kid and parent to come up with. My favorites: Turning people into princesses and the other, being very sneaky.
I made four capes out of one yard of basic cotton fabric. I chose my colors so the fabric markers would show well, since the craft project was to decorate your own cape. I wanted something easy ans would require dry time, glue or more sewing. I used fancy fun fabric for my girls, fancy fun fabric is not fun to sew. I am very glad I picked the cotton fabric for the other 30 capes I had to make!
I glued jewels and pre-decorated theirs, since it is Big Girl J's party. Her cape had J5 and Little Miss O had O2.5 logo. The jewels didn't last long, but it didn't have to, they loved them for the day, and still do, now that they got cleaned.
We played a couple games, first was pin the mask on the superhero. A few nights before her party, I had Big Girl J lay down on a brown paper cover cardboard, so I could trace her. I can't free hand a stick figure! Then I painted in the rest and cut some basic masks from a template I found using my creative source, google.
I made two more superhero masks without eyes holes for the blindfolds rather than something else.
We also did a villain punch, we ran out of time, so the villains were faceless balloons, but it didn't matter to these little superheros. It took only minutes for the villains to pop. We just hung them from the tree and let the kids go. Since all the kids got to keep their cape and mask, I decided against having winners in these games, and no prizes or bags for the kids to take home. Another annoyance at other parties, cheap toys that break or make too much noise!

I don't think all the kids got to play this game, the late comers had to for go punching villains.
Then we had surprise visitors, Superwoman and Mr. Incredible! I did not ask my friends to do this, in fact I was only aware that one of my friends was going to do this, then at the party I learned she found an outfit for her husband and they would be doing this together!
They came in through the back gate, fully dressed, and taught the kids to stand like a superhero, then how to fly. They all lifted bricks to show off strength, and tried to build a wall to knock down. However, some kids were unable to wait for the wall to be built and it was knocked over quickly. I am certain that is what really made the party, and it is not what I planned, I just have really good friends!

I made the cake, of course. However, there aren't very many unique ideas out there on the Internet, so I kept it basic, for my sanity. I also wanted to keep with the generic superhero theme, the party was not based on a particular superhero, rather the kids and what they wanted to be.

My great friend, who was superwoman helped me out by bringing snack food. My goal was to keep it simple and not feed everyone, since I was 33 weeks pregnant. She brought 'Mighty Meatballs,' 'Archenemy Pepperspray' cream cheese stuffed sweet peppers, 'Kryptonite Swords' a tasty Caprice kabob. The first chocolate cake I made fell apart, not wanting to throw out a good cake I made cake pops out of that disaster, and called them power pops. They were all a big hit!
I was told there were many children leaving the party requesting the same theme for their next party, made me feel good, but I know a big part of what made it a success was the superheros who came and taught the kids how to act like a superhero!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Super Duper Capes!

Big Girl J just keeps getting bigger! My first born turns 5 in a couple weeks. But she acts much older, sometimes. And much younger when she doesn't get what she wants, the part of this that drives me crazy is Little Miss O gives into her crying fits and gives her the color cup or spoon that she wanted. Those silly girls!
The birthday party is going to be held the weekend before her actual birthday. This is confusing to a 5 year old. I have had to explain to her, many times, why her party is a Saturday in March rather than the Wednesday in April, that she knows is her actual party. For a long time now, she has been very into superheros. Back in the fall, I got the idea of a superhero themed party for her, and made the mistake of telling her my idea. Since then, that is all she has talked about, there has never been another option for her party. So I did some research online for ideas and turned up very little. Some parents go overboard and spend tons of money on a young child's party, and others didn't seem to try. So to meet in the middle where I want to be, don't go broke, but put in some effort, I had to pick and choose and try things myself. The invites, and the capes were the toughest.
I will get into more details on the invites later after the party, when I blog about everything I did. Today I am talking capes. I had my Super Mom, go to a local fabric store with me and we tossed around some ideas. I left there knowing I could make one yard of fabric into three or four capes. We also decided to use light colors so the 'craft' of the party would be the kiddos decorating their own cape with fabric markers.
So the time came, I felt that I had almost all RSVP's and printed off my discount coupons and headed to the local craft store. Got the first few yards of red fabric, and attempted to get the idea of the cape out of my head and into real life. I have a friend who loaned me a sewing machine, so I got to avoid digging mine out (Thanks!)
I feel they turned out better than I thought they would. Very basic, but I was able to make four capes to one yard and that includes the tie. This makes the capes about $0.35 and hopefully the masks will be just as cheap.
Of course, the big dilemma, I only thought I had all the RSVP's in. This weekend I made roughly 25 capes thinking I would have 5 extra. As of Tuesday, I am short about 5 capes! Luckily I can make four capes in a half hour, so I am not worried about that, however, I no longer have extra capes or fabric, so I will have to print some more coupons and make a couple trips to the fabric store! But it should be fun, and I am hoping for some awesome pictures of 30 or so superheros running around my back yard. Oh, yeah, and I am hoping for good weather, since 30 superheros running around my house seems impossible, wait, that should read 'is impossible.'

Sunday, March 18, 2012


We have had some crazy awesome warm weather. It has really been testing me, I know I shouldn't get out and clean the garden quite yet, but it is sooooo nice. Of course, maybe I just should, since I am 8 weeks and counting down. It might be more realistic for me to do it now, in sections, very slowly.
I did go play in the dirt yesterday though, I got the go ahead from my friend's mom (who works at a nursery) to turn over the veggie garden and get ready to plant those cold weather seeds next weekend.
Of course, I came home, changed my shoes, grabbed my hand tiller and went to work. I am out of shape or 32 weeks pregnant, because, man that really kicked my butt! However, it is done. The garden is ready.
I will be planting carrots, lettuce, onions, and broccoli next weekend. We do have a chance of snow/ rain early this week, but is should be super pretty again next weekend. This means that I need to finish making my seed tape for the carrots and lettuce. I got this idea from the crazy world of pinterest. I don't think I knew of seed tape, I am still a novas to say the least about my gardening ability.
It uses lengths of toilet paper, cut in half and separated (if two-ply.) Then use a ruler, paint brush and cornstarch or flour glue, drop a glue spot every couple inches.

 The carrots suggest a couple inches, I haven't read the lettuce yet, but obviously measure to the seed you are using. Then fold the toilet paper over on itself. I used cornstarch and it seemed to dry very quick, so after four feet, then folding, it did not stay. So I went back on top of the fold and dropped another drop of glue on the top. It seemed to hold very well. I did 4, four foot strips this way. Then I ran out of time. So I must work on this some more this week! But I have a very busy week, so I will have to plan time wisely and calculate how many I need, so as not to waste time.
Come next weekend I should be able to 'dig' a shallow ditch to lay this in, then cover. Then hopefully they will grow!
I never admitted this about my garden last year, but I had no clue what size that seed was when I went to plant. I had muddy gloves from 'working' the area I had planned to plant the lettuce and the carrots, so when I opened the packet of microscopic seeds and dumped them into my muddy glove, I instantly realized it would be impossible to separate these by two inches in rows. So I 'sprinkled' the seeds to the best of my ability over the area, and used the dirt to cover and 'help' spread them. During my harvest it was painfully obvious that they were extremely crowded. I am excited to see how this tape works. Especially since I can work on this, in the garage, out of the wind, out of the rain, or at night.