Wednesday, June 30, 2010

A Surprise Visit

A dear friend was in town yesterday to pick up her daughter and had some time to kill. I'm so glad she called me up! We had such a nice afternoon of fellowship. I always enjoy my visits with her, which are way too few and far between!

It just so happened that Rob had the older three kids out, and it was nap time. Mr. S had the special treat of playing with one of his best friends on his own! He was so excited and the two boys had a great time together.

Once Miss C got up she had fun playing with my friend's "baby". It was so much fun to watch them interacting together!

Busy Bias Apron

A few years ago I purchased this Pattern from The Paisley Pincushion. It is my favorite apron, it hangs so nicely, is not fussy, and covers all the areas that are likely to get messy (even my shoulders and upper back from baby drool/spit-up!). While this apron does require more fabric than most aprons it seems to be worth it.
I've made a few of the adult sized ones over the years, a couple for me and a couple as gifts, but this last month I made a few children's ones! My mother-in-law let me go through a large bin of fabric she had and I found these cute prints in just the right amounts of fabric for these aprons! I either had the coordinating fabric already, or found them on sale so I did not have to spend much on them. I think they turned out so very cute, and the kids are excited to wear them. They fit Miss E, and fit all of the boys too. Miss J is a bit small for it, but it will not be long before she fits them too!
I think I'm going to do a give-away with one of them in the next week or two, so be watching!

Friday, June 25, 2010

bumgenius snap conversion

I cloth diaper. Some of my favorite diapers are the bumgenius one size pocket diapers. They are so easy to use, and fit from newborn to potty training! However, I do not like the hook and loop on them. So I did the snap conversion that I had read about on various forums/blogs. This has saved me having to trash some very good diapers that still had plenty of life in them, and so has saved me quite a bit of $$$$$!
This is a picture of the worst one. The hook and loop was barely holding the diaper on anymore. Now this is one of my oldest diapers, and the only one like it to have survived the attack of the laundry fairy (link fixed), but the others would have started to look like this in time.
I removed the hook and loop from the diaper body and the tabs.

Made a template and made the marks on the diaper.


put the snaps on *thanks for the cool snap pliers Rob!

Added some cute "ooga booga" snap caps that made me smile! *they come in all of the bumgenius colors, so they all have them!

And my diapers were all set and ready to go! I love them with the snaps!
*I have a few more that either were not finished yet, or in the wash at the time I took the picture.

Mr. S and silly putty... not mix well together!

He has had problems with the stuff before, but never to this extent. It was only a matter of time before it was stuck in his hair. That time came, and he did a good job of working it in!
He thought it was funny until he realized it would have to be cut out. Then the crying started. He recovered, and his hair will look just fine once I give him a real haircut.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

funnel cake, minus the funnel

I love funnel cake, and I've considered making it, but I don't have a funnel (and even though we keep meaning to pick one up it never quite makes it on the shopping list!).

Today is a grey day and it seemed to call for some extra fun at snack time. I thought I'd see what I could rig up to make funnel cake. I figured my spaetzle maker would work just fine. Instead of one big cake, we ended up with lots of little drops!

One recipe made a ton! We made up six bowls like this.
Then we filled this big bowl to overflowing.
And these were left on the counter.


The kids all LOVED it. They said I was the greatest mom and a wonderful cook. They all had seconds.

Our day got a bit brighter! *and stickier too*

Oh, and we did save some for Daddy!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

by george I think she's got it!

Miss C figured out crawling yesterday/today. For now it has actually slowed her down a bit while she works on coordinating all four of those limbs, but it will not be long before she is all over the place!

I'm not sure all of her siblings are thrilled with this development!

I can tell she is not going to be content with crawling for long, she has started to explore the world above the floor by reaching up to grab things. This is the first step in starting to pull up, she is also crawling up on things too (though for now she is mostly limiting that action to my lap, but I think the stairs will soon be a target of exploration for her). She is growing up way too fast all of a sudden!

A visit from Aunt Ellen

One of my dearest and oldest friends came up to visit me this past week-end (actually she is my very first friend, since we have a picture of her sister (2yrs), her (1yr), holding me (3-4 months)! It has been a long time since our days of playing dress up/house, cooking experiments, roaming malls, and dreaming of life as a grown up! Life has not quite taken us where we had expected (does it ever?). I met and married my prince charming, who swept me away to the military life, she got busy with life and a career. We've still stayed in touch and done our best to see each other whenever one of us happened to be in the same area as the other, but they were always quick visits that never seemed to allow for a real reconnect.
Recently Ellen met HER prince charming and her wedding is just months away! She is in the midst of planning her wedding and getting ready for a move too. Somehow she managed to find time to come up here for a visit!
I loved reconnecting with Ellen after all these years! I loved how we were able to connect in so many ways despite how the years have changed us, she is a dear friend and such a blessing to have in my life. Our late night chats were so special. She brought along her computer so that we could go over wedding plans and ideas. She has a wonderful day planned out! It was so much fun and so special to have a part in her wedding plans and hear where she would like help from me!

It was such a blessing to have Aunt Ellen here while Rob was gone. The kids just adored her (even Miss J, who is normally quite stand offish, was in love with her at first sight!), making a week without daddy much more fun and much easier on me! The kids were obsessed with building a tower of legos that would touch the ceiling, Aunt Ellen joined in the fun and helped them accomplish their goal!
Miss E had fun with Aunt Ellen, cooking and drawing. Miss E treated us all
to a tea party and she made snickerdoodles for the treat! Miss C got her first TINY taste of frosting from Aunt Ellen who felt sorry for the poor baby having to miss out on the yummy home made doughnuts.

This was truly a special visit and one I will treasure! I am looking forward to being there at her wedding in just a few months.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Summer with toddlers and pre-schoolers

We've started taking our "summer break", my big kids and I need it. We need the break from the more ridged schedule and directed learning. They need time to explore and learn in the freedom they have earned through working hard and showing responsibility, I need time to rest my brain a bit, and plan for the next school year. However, I still have little ones that really need to be guided and directed in most of their time. I'm planning activities for my little ones to keep them learning, busy, and out of trouble. I know I have some dear friends reading this that have little ones also, so I thought I'd try to post these activities regularly as an encouragement and give you ideas. I also know that you are all very creative, so I'd love to hear your ideas too!
Yesterday was a warm day, so I had a couple of projects for the kids. Mr. S and Miss J washed the playhouse! It really was dirty, but a quick spray with the hose got most of the dirt off. However I gave them a couple of buckets of soapy water with rags and a sponge and let them go at it! They had so much fun! Kids want to be helpful and know that they have a place in the family, that they are needed and wanted. Finding things like this for your kids to do is such a blessing to them and to you!

They spent over an hour working out there. They came in wet, hungry, and ready for naps, but happy and pleased with their job well done. Miss E had joined them out there and had a good time too.

Miss C watched from her saucer for 1/2 and hour, but joined me in the house in the Ergo as I did some school prep for next year.

Meanwhile Mr. R and Mr. M had a big job in the front yard. Some friends had passed on a cute little table when they moved. It has sat in our back yard for over a year not being used (but I had a good plan for it!). It needed to be cleaned out (that's an understatement!) and these boys were so happy to do the job.


Finding slugs in the table made the job even more fun!

I think they spent nearly three hours (broken up by breaks for lunch and rest time) working on the table. They had a great time with this job and the table will be a wonderful blessing to my little ones!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Big brothers

Miss C is adored by her big brothers. They all ask to hold her all the time. This morning when I set her down on the floor during our Bible reading they all surrounded her in hopes that she would notice them (she does not disappoint, she loves them all dearly and gives them the biggest smiles!). Their daddy does such a good job teaching them to care for and protect girls.
What a lucky little girl to have three big brothers to love her and watch out for her!

*my other sweet girls are also very lucky to be loved by these wonderful young men!

Summer Hair cuts!

Mr. M has been wanting a mohawk ever since Mr. R got one for silly hair night. He managed to talk daddy into letting him have one done this week, so thats what I gave him (and Mr. S) this morning.
Mr. R opted out this time, he just got a regular hair cut.

bagel dogs

Miss E asked if she could do some cooking the other day. She looked through a cook book, found a recipe that she thought looked good and that we had all of the ingredients for. I was afraid that maybe making bagels was a bit much for her, but figured she would manage okay. She chose bagel dogs because she knows her daddy loves to eat bagel dogs.

She did a great job. She handled it all on her own needing only to ask a couple of quick questions, otherwise this entire job was done on her own! They turned out wonderfully and made daddy so very happy to have such a wonderful daughter! I am blessed to have such a smart, responsible, thoughtful daughter who is now so able to assist me in caring for our family and home!

Monday, June 14, 2010

knife throwing

This is the newest activity/hobby the boys are trying out with Daddy. Rob made up these targets for them. They even have a rope with knots as markers so they know their distance from the target.
Mr. R and Mr. M have been spending quite a bit of time in the back yard these days practicing.

Oh, and we don't let them practice out there with real knives. Rob made up a practice knife for them. Because of the black tape on the "handle" they are able to see what part of the "blade" is hitting the target and how they need to improve their throws.

sitting up, and laying down

Miss C is getting this sitting up thing figured out, and having so much fun getting to play a bit more like a big kid!

Miss J barely made it in the door after running and errand with Daddy. She did not nap on Saturday during nap time, but gave in before dinner. I think she slept like this for about an hour, I even tried to wake her and she was just too tired to get up.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

sick day(s)

We have a mild bug going through the house. Miss C was its first victim, followed by her sisters, and me. Mr. R was the latest victim. We'll see who else falls prey to it in the next couple of days.

Everyone was already a bit tired out before this, so it was time to take a break anyways. We've spent the last couple of days just hanging out doing whatever needs to be done or seems fun at the time.

Laundry baskets make great playpens! Miss J was so tired and grumpy, we let her sit here and watch a show for a while. She perked up a bit after that. She is watching "Pre-school Power" which is a cute set of DVD's showing little kids doing all sorts of every day activities. I get them from Netflix from time to time. I had not realized this one was coming, but it was great timing since she loves watching these.

Mr. M asked to play a game. Sorry! I had fun playing with the two big boys, and the little ones enjoyed watching and "helping". Miss E took the opportunity to have some quite play time upstairs.


Zoomorphs are a fun set of toys, perfect for Miss E, but the other kids like them too.

It has been nice to have a mostly quiet week, just hanging out, nothing we really NEED to do. It was a bit gloomy outside for a couple of days too which helped us feel like laying low too. Now the sun is starting to come out and we're all starting to perk up a bit more.

She sure is determined!

In the last week or so Miss C has seemed very determined to get moving. Though she is not crawling now, she is mobile! She surprised me by getting this figured out so quickly. Up until about a month ago she was not moving around much, even though she was able to roll over she didn't do it much. Then all of a sudden she decided it was time to get up and moving!

She is up on her hands and knees often.
A few seconds later....


After a couple of minutes....

Ah, success!
So, we're getting used to having a mobile baby around again. Books are a favorite of hers, so we're having to be extra careful with the bulk of our books, but make sure to leave baby books out for her!

playing in the creek

On Saturday we went to visit some dear friends that live not too far away from us (but far enough that we don't get to see them as often as we would like!). We all had a wonderful time of food, fun and fellowship!
It was a hot day, so we thought it would be a nice treat for the kids to go play in the creek. The dads took the big kids, while the moms stayed at the house with the babies (Miss J had to be a "baby").

What a blessing it is to have such wonderful friends!